Village Vancouver October 2012 Newsletter and Calendar of Events

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

October 2012

Photo from
Welcome to the October 2012 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events

And happy Thanksgiving to you all as well. Here is Canada, this is the time of year when we enjoy the fruits of the harvest and take a moment to remember everything else that we are thankful for. 

Sometimes, when we feel a sense of despair over the state of affairs in the world, gratitude may seem like the furthest thing from our minds. And yet, as the renowned author, teacher and activist Joanna Macy has said, "The great open secret of gratitude is that it is not dependent on external circumstance. It’s like a setting or channel that we can switch to at any moment, no matter what’s going on around us."

Elsewhere, Macy explains where this channel of boundless gratitude originates: "To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it – is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world."

We hope that you will find much to be grateful for this month, including perhaps some of the many initiatives that you will read about in this newsletter, celebrating and accelerating the work we are doing together for the self-healing of our world.

In gratitude,

Your October newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

Transition Prince Rupert's Lee Brain's stirring message to     2012 Transition Network Conference

Last month we told you that Lee Brain of Transition Prince Rupert was on his way to Europe to participate in conferences in the UK and Poland, including the 2012 Transition Network Conference. Now, you can watch his speech to the conference yourself! The son of an oil executive, Lee addresses the question: "How do we create a large scale, systemic shift out of infinite growth towards local resilience and the steady-state economy?"

Become a member!

Have you joined the Village Vancouver community by joining our website? We hope you'll consider becoming a member of the Village Vancouver Transition Society as well, making our movement even stronger! It's easy to join - just click here!


Don't miss Neighbour Savour III on October 23rd!

We’re back! Village Vancouver presents Neighbour Savour III: Late Harvest Potluck. It will be our BIGGEST POTLUCK yet and will take place at Heritage Hall on Tuesday October 23rd, from 6-9pm.

For the price of your favorite dish - join us for amazing food, local live music, great conversation, local exhibits, and 300-400 of the most happening and sustainable people in Vancouver! This neighbourhood social starts with family-friendly activities at 6pm and relaxes into local beer and local music as the evening progresses.

Local foods, locally prepared, and shared by you. Come bearing your favorite homemade dish, hopefully from your garden, and if it’s not a family secret – the recipe! We will compile the recipes and make them available in a cookbook after the event.
Local Music and Local Drinks. We'll have music by local artists and local brew.
Waste-Free zone. All leftovers will be taken home or composted, and all dinnerware will be real; no paper, cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, or anything that cannot be washed, reused, or recycled. We will not even have a trash can at the event.
Canning & Seed Exchange. Bring something you have canned and exchange it! Bring some seeds you saved and exchange them!
Kid's Area. Bring your kids so they can enjoy puppets, salmon hats and more!
Community Tabling. Local sustainability groups, including Village Vancouver, will be highlighting their excellent work.

If you can't bring anything, just show up anyway, eat well, and celebrate your community! There is no admissions cost, the food can't be beat, and the beer will be excellent and affordable.

Volunteer at Neighbour Savour!

To make this event happen we need some volunteers. Come on out to this great event (details here) and volunteer a bit of time. Volunteer for a “team” listed below and email Jason –

  • Set-up Team (between 5:30-6pm): set up tables, chairs, layout, plates & etc pickup, compost, sound equipment & stage, etc.
  • Clean-up Team (9-10pm): tables, chairs, plates & etc., compost, etc.
  • Dishwashing Team (6:30-9:30pm): 15 min shifts throughout the nigh
  • Kid's Area Team (6-7:30pm): 20-30 min shifts, 2 people, help kids make salmon hats and recycled art
  • Greeting Team (6-8pm): 30 min shifts, greet people, name tags, sign-up, 2-4 people
  • Beer Team (6-8pm): 30 min shifts, serve beer 2 people
  • Food Table Team: organizing food, food labels, collecting recipes, 2 people
  • Donation Team: 2-4 people, donation asks 4-5 times during night with people walking around with buckets
  • VV & Main St. Tabling Team: 2+ people to table
  • Engagement Team: 2-4 people to help engage people in VV projects

What disappearing Arctic ice, the Mayan prophecy, and balloons could be telling us 

-By Celia Brauer

Our world is awash in news. Between the paper sources and electronic ones, there’s a great deal to digest. Sample international news in the past few weeks: “huge rallies in the streets of Spain and Greece against the austerity measures” and “iPhone 5 is released”. On the national front: “Justin Trudeau makes a bid for the Liberal leadership” and “Pauline Marois won’t hike student fees”. On the local scene: “Vancouver’s green bins will be taking even more food scraps”, “the new Port Mann Bridge will be unveiled soon”, “the endless sunshine continues”, and much, much more. 

Village Vancouver at the Sustenance Festival

The Roundhouse is proud to present the Sustenance Festival.  Now in its fourth year, the Sustenance Festival is an evolving platform for community groups, artists and people interested to learn more about Vancouver’s Food Landscape to come together, share information, eat and have fun!

Village Vancouver has partnered with Sustenance and will be there with a large interactive display for the duration of the event, and will be curating the 800 sq ft Food Friendly Neighbourhood Demo as part of the "Check out our Assets" food asset mapping activity on October 18th. We hope to see you there!

Vote for Village Vancouver's entry to the Aviva Community Fund Contest!

The Aviva Community Fund is giving away $1 million in grants to help community groups realise their great ideas across Canada. The ideas that are selected will be eligible for as much as $150,000 in funding!

Village Vancouver has submitted a proposal for a project to establish a Demonstration Transition Village in Kitsilano, linking up, incubating and documenting sustainability and resilience-building initiatives in the neighbourhood like never before, and using the experiences  there to create a toolkit that any other neighbourhood could use to replicate the model. This can make a big difference in Vancouver and beyond!

Aviva decides who gets the grants based primarily on votes from the public, which means that Village Vancouver needs your support! You can help ensure that our idea becomes a finalist simply by clicking here and voting for our entry. If you have not voted for entries to the Aviva Community Fund before, you will be asked to choose a username and password prior to casting your vote. You will have 15 votes in total and can even vote for Village Vancouver more than once (although you are limited to one vote per day)!

Eastside Seedsaving Initiatives

Do you live in East Van? Are you interested in collaborating with neighbours to make East Van self-sufficient with its very own stock of locally-harvested seeds? Three Eastside neighbourhoods, Grandview Woodland, Cedar Cottage and Hastings Sunrise, have seed initiatives happening right now, and are working collaboratively to create a network of Eastside seedsaving projects! You can get involved too - here's how:

Grandview Woodland:
Do you live in the Grandview Woodland (Commercial Drive) neighbourhood? Have any surplus seeds to spare? If so, please drop them in the seed donation box at Britannia Library until October 13th and help endow the neighbourhood's first seed library!

Interested in getting more involved? A meeting will be held at Britannia Library on October 30th at 7pm to gather those interested in helping establish the seed library. Contact for more information.

Want to learn how to save your own seeds? Why not attend the Saving Seeds workshop at Britannia Community Centre on October 13th, 2-4pm (cost $25). For more information or to register, call 604-718-5895.

Cedar Cottage:
This neighbourhood is home to the Cedar Cottage Seed Savers Collective, a group dedicated to the careful preservation and propagation of many seed varieties in the city. They also organise workshops to teach the art of seed saving to others. Want to be subversive by planting out seeds for the collective? Contact

Hastings Sunrise:
Seedsaving efforts and plans to establish a new Hastings Sunrise Seed Library are being spearheaded by Jill Whitelaw. Hastings Sunrise will be collaborating closely with the new Grandview Woodland Seed Library in the months to come. If you live in the neighbourhood and are interested in seed saving and seed sharing initiatives, please contact Jill at

East Van Community Garden Plots Now Available

Thanks to Cylia Wong for informing us about plots available to community gardeners in two locations, now and for 2013:

My Own Backyard (MOBY) garden created in 2006, with garden plots, a cobshed, playground and greenspace.  To contact the Membership Liaison, email for further info.

Cedar Cottage garden boasts over 90 garden plots and a lot of common space.  To check out their website, go to  To apply for membership, email

New Gardens Coming in Spring 2013
  • Village Vancouver is sponsoring the creation of a new community garden at Woodland Park, near Commercial Drive! Contact for more information.
  • Shifting Growth is establishing a new community garden at Commercial & 12th for next spring. Please contact to learn more.
Know a good place to start a new community garden? 
The City of Vancouver is currently accepting Expressions of Interest for new community gardens on City-owned or private land until October 31st! Click here to learn more. Need some advice on how to proceed? Contact us and we're happy to give you some pointers!

Last Earthwalk of the season! Acadia/Wreck Beach

The last False Creek Watershed Society-Village Vancouver Earthwalk of the season will be led by Biologist Pamela Zevit, and will start at Acadia Beach Parking Lot at 10am on  Sunday, October 14th. The route goes west along the beach from Acadia Creek. Wreck Beach is one of the last close-to-wild beaches in Vancouver and has many remaining natural ecosystems to observe.

This is the last walk and we would love to have some feedback on the walks that you took. Would you do Earthwalks again? What Earthwalks would you like to see? Please let us know:

Backyard chickens come to North Van!

Thanks to the advocacy work of CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Club) and Village Vancouver, the North Vancouver City Council voted last month to permit residents of single-unit residential zones to keep up to 8 chickens in their back yards. 

Allowing the chickens is an easy way to have a more self-reliant community, says Ann Pacey, a local chicken farmer and Village Vancouver board member.

"I don't think we really have an appreciation for how fragile our global food network is," she added. Read the full story here.

Join Village Vancouver at the BC Seeds Gathering 2012

From Nov. 9-11, The BC Seeds Gathering will bring together seed growers, community leaders, seed networks and young urban farmers from across BC at the Kwantlen University Campus in Richmond. 

Village Vancouver will be at the gathering and will be hosting a roundtable called
Community Access to Seeds: A Roundtable on Libraries, Banks, Seedy Saturdays. We hope to see you there!

Billets needed for the 2012 BC Seeds Gathering!

There will be people coming from all over BC to attend the 2012 Seed Gathering. If you can offer someone a place to stay for the 9th and 10th (or possibly the 9th, 10th, and 11th), please let us know. Contact Ross at

Green Spirituality Talk by author Chris Philpott

Join Village Vancouver on November 8th, 2012 from 7-9pm for a free talk by Chris Philpott on Green Spirituality.

Chris is from Transition Lemington Spa in England and the author of Green Spirituality.

Location TBA. To RSVP and receive updated information about this event, please see the Village Vancouver event posting.

Vancouver's Weekly Affinity Circle

Our group provides participants with the opportunity to express emotions that might be coming up for you as you go through a process of separation or loss and through periods of inner growth in a safe and caring environment. The group guidelines have been developed to create safety from judgement and from attempts to analyse, rescue or fix one-another.  We meet weekly and invite you to join us and to see if this group is for you.

To learn more and find out about the next gathering, please visit the group's Meet-up page at

Meaningful Movies in Hastings Sunrise: Garbage Warrior

The Vancouver Mycological Society's Mushroom Show

Living the New Economy - Granville Island, Nov. 19-25

7 days of events - converging ideas, resources and people to help you thrive in the New Economy

If you have an idea, project or enterprise that benefits your community, human health or the environment, then Living the New Economy is where you want to be November 19-25. This week of events will energize, accelerate and celebrate the people, institutions and collaborations that are bringing the New Economy to life. Learn about marketing with integrity, the future of financing, the critical role of social media and the exciting future that awaits. The program is designed as a skill-building intensive with lots of opportunity for fun, creativity and expanding your network. Hosted by Healing Cities Institute in collaboration with Seedstock Community Currency, Community Micro Lending and Gen Why Media.

NEWS! Healing Cities Institute invites you to submit your application for an E-pass which provides full and affordable admission to Living the New Economy's workshops and activities as well as exclusive access to significant mentoring, networking and investment opportunities. Apply for an E-Pass here. Scholarships may be available. For more information, visit or write to

Introducing PlantCatching

Many members of the Village Vancouver community may be interested in a relatively new (and Canadian!) internet platform called "PlantCatching".

PlantCatching connects you with gardeners in your area and lets you do two very simple things:

1. Find plants, seeds and bulbs, gardening materials and even fruits and vegetables given by fellow gardeners, either anonymously in a public area, or personally at or near their property.

2. Share your passion by giving your plants, seeds, bulbs and your own harvest crops so that existing members of the site or even passers-by can catch, plant and admire them, or eat them.

Learn more at

Sustainable Communities Courses at Langara

     6 Tuesdays, Oct. 9 - Nov. 13 > 6:30 - 9:30pm
     Instructor: Erin Mullan

     2 Wednesdays, Oct. 10 & 17 > 6:30 - 9:30pm 
     Instructor: Eric Doherty

     6 Thursdays, Nov. 1 - Dec. 6 > 6:30 - 9:30pm
     Instructor: Nicole Latham

Courses are held on the main campus of Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver, BC. 

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events