Village Vancouver Newsletter December 2012

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

December 2012

The Mayan calendar famously comes to an end on December 21st,
2012. End of the World, or an invitation to start something new?
Welcome to the December 2012 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events

Both calendars and events are very present in people's minds these days, not least because of the famed ending of the Mayan calendar on December 21st of this year, which has many people wondering what, if anything this portentious date will mean?

As of this writing, supermarket shelves are still stocked full and life seems to be going about its regular paces, so it is probably safe to conclude that the vast majority of Vancouverites to do not really believe that the world will come to an end within weeks, or even that anything mildly cataclysmic will take place. Nonetheless, December 21, 2012 has entered the popular consciousness as a date when maybe, just maybe, something will shift. Paradigm shift? If not the End of the World, perhaps the End of the World as We Know It?

What causes paradigm shift? One might reasonably say that paradigm shift occurs when a critical mass of people abandons an old story in favour of a new one.

Paradigm shift is already taking place in our time. As the film Occupy Love shows us, the large-scale abandonment of the old stories in favour of a new "love story" can be traced back at least two years, to the Arab Spring, the Indignados movement in Spain, the Occupy movement in fall 2011, and more recently, the Casseroles movement here in Canada. Recent events right here in Vancouver, such as the Living the New Economy week of events drawing more than a thousand people to learn and talk about changing the narrative of our economy, show that the time is ripe for new stories to emerge.

Is it conceivable that with the popularised ending of the Mayan calendar on December 21st, enough people will give themselves permission to finally let go of the old stories that have been holding us back, as a society, from the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible?

What a fantastic outcome that would be! Not the End of the World, but the Beginning of the World We Long For and Know Is Possible.

Wishing you much love this holiday season, and a joyful and prosperous New Year!

Your December newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

Love for all living things

If this doesn't make you feel like picking up a hoe and putting in a garden, we don't know what will! Vancouver singer/songwriter Buckman Coe has released this fun new music video for his song "Love for all living things", on the theme of urban agriculture. Strathconans, look out for some familiar scenery!

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!


Thanks for supporting Village Vancouver in this year's Aviva Community Fund Competition!                     

In November, Village Vancouver drove a campaign to win $50,000 towards our Kitsilano Demonstration Village project from the $1 million Aviva Community Fund. The competition depended on getting as many people as possible to vote for our project, as those projects that received the most votes would go on to win the funding they sought.

We came close - over 2200 votes and a 14th place finish out of 564 entries. We finished very strongly, but couldn't quite reach the 10th place finish we needed to move into the semi-finals.

We'd like to thank all of you for your fantastic support. Without it, we wouldn't have done nearly as well as we did. Thanks as well to our kindred organisation Be The Change Earth Alliance, which also ran a very strong campaign and encouraged their supporters to use any leftover votes they had to support Village Vancouver's campaign.

Even though we didn't move on, it's a very healthy sign for Village Vancouver that we were able to garner such a high level of enthusiasm for our Kits Village demonstration proposal. We continue to run primarily on people power, and this year has seen an amazing array of activities (over 250!) and new projects emerging in Village -- and 2013 promises more of the same. Getting involved does make a difference!

Once again, thanks for all you do!

Be well, celebrate, and persevere.

-- Ross and the rest of Village's Board of Directors -- Ann, Beth, Dana, Diane, Jacquie, Jason, Jordan, Randy, and Thomas

P.S. And thanks for tolerating all our emails during the voting!

Main Street Village Monthly Potlucks and Workshops

The Main St. Village meets the first Tuesday of every month for a potluck and workshop.

Come join us at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House every month between 6-8pm for a potluck with neighbours and skill sharing workshops.  Past workshops have included: bike maintenance, beer brewing, gardening 101, bee keeping, and chickens 101.  

Check out the Main St. VV website or "like" us on Facebook: 

Slow Food, Slow Everything Day with Village - Dec. 9

Celebrate Terra Madre Day and the holidays in a relaxing way! Join us for a slow food, slow everything day.

Drop by anytime. Potluck lunch around one, potluck dinner around six, movie later on - or sometime to this effect...

Any food you wish to bring for the potlucks or for other times of the day is most welcome. If you're so inclined,  please consider bringing some "slow food". For instance, this could be something you make using local ingredients. (Making pizza during the day might be fun too. If you're interested, let us know.)

In between, hang out, go for a walk at the beach, enjoy a conversation, read a book, visit the Kits Village Collaborative Garden, or relax and do nothing. And maybe board games, knitting, seed swapping, soup 'n share???...suggestions welcome or surprise us!

11 am until late.

For more details and to RSVP, visit the Event page here.

Village Vancouver Presents: Applied Ecological Economics 1001

Village Vancouver's Ecological Economics Study Group, active since early 2011, has relaunched with an exciting new initiative: Applied Ecological Economics 1001.

If you have come to the realisation that so much of our current social and ecological predicaments - and the potential solutions to them - have a lot to do with economics, but have felt underequipped to fully grapple with this beast, this 6-month applied course in Ecological Economics is for you! 

Ecological Economics is born out of the simple idea that our economy is a mere subsystem existing within the larger ecosystems of our planet and our societies, and that any economic model that fails to take the biophysical limits of the environment and the health of human society into account is ultimately doomed to fail, causing much destruction and suffering in its wake. This may sound like common sense to many of our members, and yet Ecological Economics continues to be shunned by mainstream economists whose models consider the environment and society to be mere subsets of the economy, which in turn is not subject to limits.

Our curriculum is based on Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications by Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley (pictured). Beginning January 23rd, we will meet every 4th Wednesday of the month as a group to discuss readings from the textbook, with mutual guidance from peers and from our resident Ecological Economist Michael Barkusky.  

However, this is NOT a mere study circle. The "applied" part of the course will involve the formation of smaller working groups around particular interests, with each working group tackling specific issues in depth, making presentations to the larger group, and taking on a project to TRANSLATE ecological economics concepts into the real world - whether it be through the formulation of public policy proposals, campaigns to educate politicians and journalists, or by pursuing other projects to effect real change inspired by the insights gained through our study work. Our group represents many professions, skills and connections to policymakers, and we aim to leverage these assets to make a real impact. With upcoming provincial elections and a receptive city government, the time is right for the right ideas to come forth.

If you are interested in taking part in Applied Ecological Economics 1001, please write to for more information. No prior economic knowledge required - just bring your desire to learn, and by the end of these 6 months you will have a better understanding of economics than many of those who are today called "experts"!

Ecological Economics figures in Earthwalk

On October 7th, ecological economist Michael Barkusky led a fascinating and detailed tour of the False Creek seawall from Leg-in-Boot square to the Burrard Street bridge. It was the second last of the free Earthwalks tours that started in July.  A combination of bright sunshine and unusually warm temperatures encouraged a group of engaged water-lovers to spend their afternoon meandering the seawall while learning about False Creek’s transformation over the past two centuries. Read more on Spacing Vancouver...

A Studebaker called Clem: The truck that keeps on giving . . .

How's this for a neighbourhood project! Robert, Diane and Ana of the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for an unusual "green" project that is actually about the restoration of a 1946 Studebaker truck that Robert retrieved from an Alberta farm recently.

According to their Indiegogo crowdfunding page: "We believe in preserving things of value, both old and new, finding ways to give back and building resilient communities where people help each other out. And that's exactly what this truck will help us do. 

Everyone has ideas about how the truck can be used to help out around here- from urban agriculture to street party fundraisers, and we know "Clem" will become a beloved member of the Mount Pleasant family."

To learn more and add your support to this campaign, please visit the Indiegogo page at                                                                

The New Economy comes to Vancouver

Click on this picture to watch a beautiful 7-minute video
featuring  Charles Eisenstein on the subjet of
"Living without Economic Growth"
From November 19-25, Vancouver hosted an unprecedented convergence that brought together more than 1000 people (including many from out of town) for 27 different events spanning 7 days - all centred on the emerging New Economy. "New Economy", here, refers to a movement for a more sustainable, resilient, ecological, democratic and socially just economy that even now is beginning to emerge in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which revealed that the "old economy" fixated on endless growth, enclosure and monetisation of all aspects of life is breathing its last breaths. It is, as Sacred Economics author Charles Eisenstein would put it, a movement to create "the more beautiful world that our hearts tell us is possible".

Living the New Economy was hosted by the Healing Cities Institute and organised by Nicole Moen and Geoff Gosson of Animate Community, in partnership with a number of local organisations doing their part to help birth the New Economy into the world. This was an opportunity for some of the most creative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, activists, inventors, thought leaders and community organisers of our city and region to share their stories, forge new connections, celebrate the community of people devoted to positive change in our world, and hopefully, leave with new inspiration, ideas, and friends. 

Kicking off with a packed evening talk by Sacred Economics author Charles Eisenstein, followed by an Opportunity Fair featuring more than 30 local projects and organisations, attendees of Living the New Economy got to learn about community micolending, co-operative enterprises, community currencies (and even got to experience using one on Granville Island - the Seed Coin organised by Seedstock Community Currency), the local food economy, social media and the new economy, the future of finance, women and leadership in the new economy, the relationship between urban design and the new economy, marketing with integrity, finding one's purpose and much more.

If you're kicking yourself for having missed this great week of events, fear not! Due to popular demand plans are already being made for follow-up events both in Vancouver and in other cities in the region for 2013, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events