Village Vancouver November 2012 Newsletter

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

November 2012

Neighbour Savour III at Heritage Hall exemplified what Village
Vancouver is all about: connecting neighbours for good,
sustainable fun - and lots of food!
Welcome to the November 2012 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events

What a busy and exciting month October was! Yes, the rain settled in, but there were plenty of bright spots too, such as Village Vancouver's Neighbour Savour III zero-waste potluck at Heritage Hall, which brought hundreds of neighbours together to share dozens of unique dishes, conversation and entertainment while producing zero waste!

Village Vancouver was also delighted to take part in the Sustenance Festival at the Roundhouse in October, bringing a large and beautifully decorated display celebrating the relationships between food and community, and playing a leading role in "Check out our Assets", an exercise by the newly formed Vancouver Food Assets Task Force to map food assets in Vancouver neighbourhoods.

November will be just as eventful, as you will see in this newsletter. From a talk on Green Spirituality by visiting UK author Chris Philpott to the Living the New Economy week of events later in the month, from clothing workshops to the creation of whole news urban farms and gardens, there is no shortage of opportunities to learn new perspectives, acquire new knowledge and skills, and meet new people.

Wishing you a cosy November,

Your November newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

Savouring our Neighbours

Neighbour Savour III at Heritage Hall - Photo by Randy Chatterjee
Neighbour Savour III, Vancouver's most epic potluck tradition organised by Village Vancouver and its Main Street Village, was another smashing success, bringing warmth and smiles to a slightly damp October evening. Neighbour Savour, which was made possible in part with the help of a Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation, packed Heritage Hall on Main Street with 200-300 gourmands and demonstrated that it is possible to gather hundreds of people together for an evening of great fun at low cost and without generating garbage bags full of waste. As a zero-waste potluck, not a disposable plate or cup was in sight, and the only waste created was a couple small buckets of compostables!

A huge thanks goes out to everyone who made this event happen, and made it a success: the organisers (led by Jason Mertz, Kaleen McNamara and Randy Chatterjee of the Main Street Village, as well as Village Vancouver Convenor Ross Moster), the many volunteers (including several UBC student volunteers, who were extremely helpful!), the musicians and spoken word poets who kept everyone entertained, the people who represented other great local organisations at the community tables, and everyone who contributed their own special home-cooked creations to this unprecedented spread!

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!


Whew, wasn’t the big one! Not here, not yet                     -By Ann Pacey and Malin Hansen

Free panel discussion on community earthquake preparedness Nov. 7th at St James Community Square

The end of October saw Vancouver flanked by 2 natural disasters, the 7.7 earthquake to our north in Haida Gwai and Sandy to the East.

Thankfully the earthquake, although big, didn’t cause major damage or injury. Not so lucky for the East coast, which looks to have been hit by $45 billion plus in damages, more than 50 fatalities and many more injured. As an aside, this global warming-amped storm drives home the need for preparation as we are forced to adapt to a world of crazy climate; hopefully the message won’t be completely lost on the election-centred political debate. 

Both events highlight the need for personal preparedness. But more than that, they point to the need to be prepared as neighbours. Disasters like these show all too clearly that emergency service providers quickly become overwhelmed and citizens are left to help themselves and each other. Read the entire article...

The Resilience Imperative

We find ourselves between a rock and a hot place compelled by the intertwining forces of peak oil and climate change to reinvent our economic life at a much more local and regional scale. The Resilience Imperative argues for a major SEE (Social, Ecological, Economic) Change as a prerequisite for replacing the paradigm of limitless economic growth with a more decentralized, cooperative, steady-state economy.

The authors (including Vancouver's own Michael Lewis!) present a comprehensive series of strategic questions within the broad areas of:

-Energy sufficiency
-Local food systems
-Low-cost financing
-Affordable housing and land reform
-Democratic ownership and sustainability.

Each section is complemented by case studies of pioneering community initiatives rounded out by a discussion of transition factors and resilience reflections.

With a focus on securing and sustaining change, this provocative book challenges deeply embedded cultural assumptions. Profoundly hopeful and inspiring, The Resilience Imperative affirms the possibilities of positive change as it is shaped by individuals, communities and institutions learning to live within our ecological limits.

Available from New Society Publishers. Order your copy via this link, and Village Vancouver will receive 15% of your purchase to support our programming!

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.

Prepare to vote for Village Vancouver's entry to the Aviva Community Fund Contest - starting Nov. 12!

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!

The third and final round of voting on projects begins Nov. 12. 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)! If a significant number of us cast our votes for Village Vancouver, we can win this one!

Transforming Old Clothes into New Fashion - Free Workshops                                                                             -With support from the Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grant Fund

Have you ever thought of making your own fashion by changing your old clothes?

Just bring your old clothes, scarves and any kind of fabrics that you don’t know how to recycle or reuse.

Let’s get together, and using our imagination and creativity we will transform our old clothes into something fancy.

Date and Time: October 27 to November 10, Saturdays, 4pm-6pm
Place: Mount Pleasant Community Centre, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver

For more information or to RSVP please email:

Salon d'Elan Vital returns!

Salon d'Elan Vital ( "vital" or “life" force) was one of the predecessors to Village Vancouver. Running from 2006-09, my wife Laura Lee and I (and salon participants) organized monthly discussions on the arts, culture, science, ecology and the environment, peak oil, sustainability, community, technology, place making, music, traveling, the future, living in the city, growing food, the Downtown Eastside, spirituality, the banking system and the economy, and anything else that struck our collective fancy.

Sometimes we brought in outside speakers, sometimes participants facilitated topics, and other times there was no set subject and we just let it go where it wanted to go. (Some of our most satisfying dialogs fell in the latter category.) Read more here...

Help build a new urban farm at Hastings Community Centre!

Do you want to be part of something bigger than yourself? Help join in the action of a new garden being built at the Hastings Community Centre. Get to know your neighbours and learn about gardening from a sustainable perspective. Work parties organized by Grant Watson of Grant's Gourmet Gardens. Work parties will run on Fridays or every second Friday, starting November 2nd, until the garden is built!

For more information, contact Grant Watson at Once things get going we will send out a schedule for the next few work parties.

Hastings-Sunrise Community Food Network - Potluck and Formation of Steering Committee

Thanks to everyone who voted - our official name is Hastings-Sunrise Community Food Network. 

The working group decided we would like to have another potluck at Templeton Pool on Monday, Nov 26th, from 5-8 pm. The focus of this potluck is to give an opportunity for new people to get connected AND to see who would like to form a steering committee for the Community Food Network. A steering committee helps to guide where the network will go from here and what events would benefit our neighbourhood, etc. 

If childminding is an issue for you, contact Reanne Price at

Please RSVP and kindly bring a dish to share.

Mini Multipurpose Room (main floor, by the teach pool)
Templeton Park Pool, 700 Templeton Drive, Vancouver

Stacy Bestard, Food Program Coordinator, Kiwassa 

Hope to see you there!

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.

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 a host of local organisations dedicated to effecting positive change in our economies and society.

Want to make the most of this exciting week of events but lack the cash for a full-access E-Pass? No problem - Living the New Economy has teamed up with Seedstock Community Currency to make this experience accessible to all! To learn more, please visit the Seedstock webpage here. If you are interested in being matched with a Seedstock-sponsored E-pass, please write to Seedstock Community Currency at  

Cohousing Fair - November 19th @ Heritage Hall

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

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

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events