Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events - February 2013

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

February 2013

Change that sweeps in like a rogue wave

Welcome to the February 2013 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events
Waves of change are coming...

There is a very interesting phenomenon that sometimes occurs in the world's oceans, known as rogue waves. Rogue waves, as one might imagine, are enormous waves - sometimes reaching over 10 storeys tall - that come seemingly out of nowhere, and have been implicated in the sudden disappearance of oceangoing ships.

Unlike tsunamis or waves caused by large storms, rogue waves are not created by the upheaval of the ocean floor or by strong winds; rather, they come about by chance when a number of smaller waves serendipitously happen to join forces in just the right way, joining to create a single, larger wave. When enough other small waves join in, the end result is one massive wave with the combined energy of all the smaller waves that teamed up to create it, overwhelming everything in its path. A rogue wave.

The phenomenon of the rogue wave lends an interesting analogy to the way in which small actions become movements, and sometimes, movements combine to bring about profound change.

Even as the global climate becomes more unstable and the currents of history grow choppier, we are now undoubtedly living in the era of the rogue wave. Popular movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and now Idle No More are the products of a time when, facilitated by the ultraconductive media of the internet, social media and mobile communications, small actions can ripple out further and faster than ever before, found and joined by other ripples that transform them into powerful rogue waves.

These days, the waters lie thick with ripples. 

Our region appears to lie at the confluence point of many a good ripple. Vancouver is home to many groundbreaking pioneers in the fields of social technology, sustainability, activism, new economic paradigms (including the newly launched Seedstock Community Currency - see below), urban agriculture, social enterprise and much more. These pioneers and movements are now increasingly crossing paths and networking with one another, thanks in large part to organisations like Village Vancouver that dedicate themselves to connecting a broad base of citizens and organisations who know that we have an urgent need to transition to a more resilient, sustainable and positive future, and each bring a piece to the enormous puzzle. 

Will Vancouver be the epicentre of the next rogue wave, toppling the tyranny of fossil fuels, Big Finance, environmental degradation and social inequity?

Why not? Let us make it so! Join your ripple to the rogue wave forming in 2013, and hang on for what could be a very exciting time in our history.   


Your February newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

The Village Vancouver Vlog

Do you prefer watching and listening to reading? The click on the image above to watch the latest edition of the Village Vancouver Vlog, where VV board members provide a round-up of some of the most interesting things that have or are about to take place in Village Vancouver!

Become a member today!

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!


Village Vancouver launches Applied Ecological Economics 1001!

Full house at Applied Ecological Economics 1001!
On January 23rd, Village Vancouver launched its new Applied Ecological Economics 6-month study course with its first "class", attended by 25 people from across a broad spectrum of interests and professional backgrounds who all share one thing in common: they know that the currently accepted economic paradigm, addicted to infinite growth and constantly increasing material throughput, is unsustainable, and they want to be able to understand the alternatives in ways that they can apply to their own lives and professions, and communicate effectively to their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Course facilitator Michael Barkusky
AEE 1001 is being facilitated by local Ecological Economist Michael Barkusky with the support of fellow members of the Ecological Economics discussion circle which began two years ago. It is an opportunity for peer-supported learning, using Herman Daly and Joshua Farley's text Ecological Economics as a guide. We hope that many of the participants will soon choose to apply some of the insights gained through their study to real-world projects and policy development. 

For more information, please contact course co-organiser Jordan Bober (

~From the Transition Network~

What happens when local authorities ask “what if the economic situation doesn’t get better?”

-Fiona Ward, Transition Network

The question in this post’s title was one of the challenging questions asked at the Solace South West Autumn Seminar, held at Dartington, Devon in early November.  The event was called “Room to Think” and to that I would add “about the things we don’t really want to think about”.  The event organiser for this year was Richard Sheard, CEO of South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council. He said:

“Within these 2 days, I wanted to raise some important questions about the difficulties we face in local government in these increasingly uncertain times. Besides questioning growth, should wellbeing rather than GDP be our measure of success? And what’s the role of communities in leading their own future and delivering local solutions? I wanted to provide some challenges to the status quo, and also look at some of the potential solutions that are emerging.”              

Commercial Drive hold first in monthly series of potlucks and workshops

Fomenting fermentation fun on the Drive!
On January 23rd, Commercial Drive Village held its first monthly potluck and workshop at Rising Star Housing Co-op, kicking things off with a fun veggie fermentation workshop led by Alyssa Kohlman and Nikoo Bouroumand. All the participants got to take home their own jars of fermented cabbage, carrots, beets and daikon radishes!

Our next monthly potluck and workshop will take place on February 21st from 6-8pm. Jordan Bober from Seedstock Community Currency will be giving a workshop on community currencies: what is it, how does it work, why is it important and how can YOU get involved?

Sign up to the Commercial Drive mailing list here to ensure you receive reminders about upcoming meet-ups. We have lots of great workshops planned for upcoming months, including local currency, bike maintenance, seed starting, chickens 101, and more.

Main Street Village Monthly Potlucks and Workshops

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

Our February Village Vancouver & Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Potluck and Workshop will be Tuesday the 5th of February.

Potluck (6-7pm): Bring something yummy for the potluck.
Workshop (7-8pm)Sewing 101: Join our local villager Amie Peacock, as she teaches us the basics of sewing.

 If possible, please bring:
-pair of fabric scissors
-thread (any color)
-sewing machine (optional)
-old pants-jeans or dress pants that you want to repair, shorten or hem
-measure tape

Canning & Seed Exchange. We're making this a monthly thing! Bring something you've canned, seeds you've saved or food you've grown and exchange it with others!

What: Main St. VV & LMNH Potluck & Workshop: Sewing 101
When: Tuesday, February 5th: 6-8pm
Where: Little Mountain Neighborhood House (3981 Main St.)
Why: Build community, eat good food and learn to sew!
Cost: Free!!!  

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

Drop in Spaghetti Night Celebration

Village Vancouver, the Drop in Spaghetti Night Team and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House are collaborating to bring you a celebration of the wildly delicious Drop in Spaghetti Nights (DISNs)!

Feb 1st | 6-8 PM
St. Mark’s 1805 Larch St.

This month’s Kits House Potluck celebrates a series of 13 locally-sourced and locally prepared neighbourhood dinners hosted by Kits Villagers and supported by a Vancouver Green City Grant. Each of these meals has brought or will bring neighbours together to share a meal cooked on one stove, reducing transportation and energy consumption.

Hosts were also encouraged to prepare their meals using locally-sourced ingredients (e.g., 100-Mile Diet) and to track the origin of all of their ingredients. We will be reporting on the results of these Drop-In ‘Spaghetti’ Nights and encourage all who hosted or participated in a DISN to share their experiences as well.

We invite you to bring a vegetarian dish featuring local ingredients to share at this month’s potluck. Local chef, Russell Cameron, will also be providing soup and bread.

Please RSVP here or to Ross at

For more information contact Zsuzsi at 604.736.3588

Kitsilano Sew Op and Music Exchange

The Kitsilano Sew Op will be meeting on the first Saturday of every month in 2013. Come join us and help build the Sew Op concept, refurbish machines, and work on creative cloth projects.

Not into sewing? Bring an album or some tracks released within the past month and listen to some new tunes in an inviting atmosphere. Snacks provided.

We are still accepting donations of used sewing machines. We provide these machines to community members free of change on short-term loans. Please contact Sandra at for details.

12th Annual World Community Film Festival Feb 15-17

Activate your mind at the 12th annual World Community Film Festival at Langara College February 15-17. The festival screens over 40 social justice and environmental documentaries set around the world and across the street.

In his writings and talks, Mike Lewis often weaves 
a diverse array of topics such as local food systems, 
energy ufficiency, affordable housing and land reform, 
low-cost financing and monetary reform, and 
democratic ownership together within a tapestry of 
climate change, peak oil, and an inequitable 
and increasingly unstable global economy
Kick-off by author Mike Lewis
The festival kicks off Friday Feb. 15 at 5 pm with a lecture by noted author and educator Michael Lewis (The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady State Economy) on Strengthening Resilience Close to Home. Michael is the Executive Director of the Canadian Center for Community Renewal, the lead investigator for the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance, and is well-known internationally as a practitioner, author, educator and leader in the field of Community Economic Development and the Social Economy. 

Admission to the lecture is by donation and the event is sponsored by Village Vancouver and Langara Continuing Studies. 

The lecture is followed by a superb opening night double bill featuring the Vancouver premieres of two inspiring films about activism: Maestra and Bidder 70 at 7:30 pm. The Saturday night screening is the powerful and poignant Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

Nothing Like Chocolate
The Saturday and Sunday daytime program includes films on indigenous issues, Black history, the status of women, and the cost of oil. Village is pleased to sponsor part of the growth and sustainability program at this year’s festival. Showing on Sunday at noon is Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth, a film that examines the cultural barriers that prevent us from acting rationally about environmental issues, followed by In Transition 2.0, an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, which Village is part of. VV is also sponsoring the Saturday 2:30 pm screening of Shift Change  which tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy.

In Transition 2.0

The festival also has an extensive program of food and farming films covering issues from genetically modified seeds to urban farming, and is co-sponsored by VV. Full schedule and other information about BC’s largest social justice film fest can be found at

Change your money - support Village Vancouver!

Nutritious community money
In January, a new currency began to circulate around Metro Vancouver. Seedstock Community Currency, co-founded by Village Vancouver members Jordan Bober and Andrew Perry, launched on January 17th with more than 20 initial participating businesses and 8 participating non-profits. Since then, additional businesses are being added almost daily. 

Seedstock also launched its online xChange Station: a website where anyone can purchase Seedstock from the local cause of their choice. You see, Seedstock enters circulation when a local business agrees to accept part payment in Seedstock for their goods or services, which allows them to create some Seedstock. Businesses then donate Seedstock to local causes, which can spend it, use it to reward volunteers, or exchange it for $Cdn with supporters like you.

When you buy Seedstock from a local cause, it is like getting a double use of your money: first you get to help the cause with your $Cdn, then you can spend your Seedstock at local community-minded businesses. On top of all that, you are helping circulate a type of money that stays in the community and helps build a more resilient and vibrant local economy. To learn more, visit the Seedstock website at

Village Vancouver has already been fortunate to receive generous Seedstock donations from several participating businesses, including Homesteader's Emporium, Cascadia North Permaculture, Mortal Coil Media, Sallmen Tutoring and Road to Compassion. Many thanks to these generous, community-building local businesses!

Now you have another way that you can support the work of Village Vancouver - by trading some of your $Cdn for some of our Seedstock. For every dollar you contribute, receive an equal amount of Seedstock in return which you can spend at any participating local business. New businesses are being added all the time, so check the website regularly, subscribe to the Seedstock newsletter, or visit them on Facebook.

Garden plots available in East Van

Located at 10th and Commercial Drive, is My Own Backyard (MOBY) garden with cobshed, nearby playground and greenspace.  The Annual General Meeting is being held on Wednesday, February 6.  For more info on how to become a new member, email 

Since its inception in 2008, Cedar Cottage garden (Victoria Drive and Hull Street) has grown to 100 garden plots with lots of common areas.  To apply for membership email or check out our website at

Neighbourhood Small Grants now open

Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Grants are now open for applications in most neighbourhoods, with most deadlines on March 31st.

Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Grants are for amounts ranging from $50-$500 for projects, workshops or events that bring neighbours together and/or make a positive mark in the neighbourhood. They're super easy to apply for - all you need to do is team up with at least one of your neighbours. Many Village Vancouver members have successfully applied for these grants in the past and used them to carry out Transition projects. We hope that many of our members will apply this year as well! Looking for a neighbour to co-sponsor an application? Why not send out a message or start a discussion in your neighbourhood Village page on our website?

To find out whether you can start applying for grants in your neighbourhood, please check out the Vancouver Foundation's Neighbourhood Small Grants website at

Call for Expressions of Interest for Boulevard Fruit Trees

Would you and your neighbours like fruit trees on the boulevard in front of your house?

The City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, and CityStudio Vancouver students would like to help you plant fruit trees in your neighbourhood. They are looking to install pilot projects that will encourage fruit trees on Vancouver’s boulevards.

Residents or businesses with a boulevard adjacent to their property, and interested in having this project in their neighborhood are encouraged to apply. Groups of residents can apply to maintain the fruit trees and be the sole stewards of the site, or can offer their boulevard to a local non-profit or community organization (such as Village Vancouver) for care.

The cost of the initial planting (trees, soil, mulch, etc.) will be funded for a handful of pilot projects. Questions and completed applications can be sent to Applications are due February 10 2013, and successful projects will be planted in February/March 2013. If the pilot project is successful, they will consider additional projects in the future.

Opportunities to work with Village Vancouver in Kitsilano and other neighbourhoods

Village Vancouver has been working with the Park Board and City Studio students to establish a pilot boulevard fruit tree project in Kits. VV will also consider working with neighbours on other projects, both in Kits and in other neighbourhoods. If you're interested in exploring a fruit tree partnership with Village Vancouver -- or know of potential sites -- please contact VV Neighbourhood Food Networks Coordinator Ross Moster at

An Ideal Boulevard

An ideal boulevard for this project is grass covered and bordered by a curb. It should also be free of a sidewalk and have minimal shading by other street trees. The photo to the right is an example of a boulevard suitable for this project.

Click here to download the application form.

Welcome, Sunshine Coast in Transition!

Congratulations to the initiating group of the newly formed Transition Initiative, Sunshine Coast in Transition (SCIT)! SCIT has recently launched its website which we encourage you to check out here:

Here are a few words from the SCIT website about some of the goals of this new Transition Initiative:
The Sunshine Coast in Transition Initiative is based on a dedication to a tangible, clearly expressed and practical vision for our community. These are our core beliefs: 
We used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the down slope. 
If we collectively plan and act early enough there is every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill we find ourselves on today. 
Our local Transition Initiative is intended to act as a sort of “glue” between other groups in the region who are focused on resilience and sustainability, and as a bridge between our community and other Transition Initiatives around the world, providing a common, inclusive channel for building awareness and taking action toward the kind of future that we envision.
We wish our Transition allies on the Sunshine Coast all the best in this initiative, and hope we will have many opportunities to collaborate in the future.

FREE Intro to Permaculture Day - February 13

Join a group of conscious learners in a free introduction to permaculture day in the Heart Gardens, Gumboot Gardens, Elphinstone Rainforest and Mandala Beach of Roberts Creek. Pilgrimage in carpools to the Sunshine Coast, a short ferry ride from Vancouver to experience an unique and creative introduction to the permaculture paradigm. 

The first two of these free classes filled with overflow so I am offering a third and final opportunity for people to join in this one day learning adventure in the Elphinstone Rainforest.

together we will :
talk about the ethos, principles, toolkit and metastructure of permaculture,
tour the gardens,
meet some of the food-medicine plants of the Coastal First Peoples, 
share a potluck meal, 
watch some permaculture movies, 
walk in the rainforest, 
meet by the ocean,
and have an inspiring day learning and growing with nature. 

The first date was filled to capacity so I am offering a second date for this unique opportunity. The day will run on February 13 from 11 am - 5:30 pm, aligning with the bus linked to the 9:20 am ferry from Horseshoe Bay and the 6:30 ferry returning to Vancouver. I will help to co-ordinate a carpool as well.

There is a limited space so please RSVP to confirm your attendance to 
Since its a free course, i am trusting that if you ask for a space you will make a commitment to following through and attending the day :) The winter weather varies, please come dressed to be outside for short periods regardless of weather (dress warm and with rainproof gear or umbrella in case it rains).

Looking forward to a day of wonderful people connecting and sharing about how to be more conscious planetary citizens. 

Delvin Solkinson has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced trainings with Rosemary Morrow, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Robyn Francis, the Bullock Brothers, Tom Ward, Jude Hobbs, Larry Santoyo, Scott Pittman, Michael Becker, and Robin Clayfield. He is an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute and a Field Mentor through Permaculture Institute USA. Recently he completed a PDC in Portland with Toby Hemenway and a second Diploma through PI USA.

Kym Chi has completed a PDC with Verge Permaculture, advanced trainings with Larry Santoyo, Scott Pittman and Toby Hemenway, and is currently completing a second design certificate in NY through Gaiacraft and a certified Diploma program through the Permaculture Institute USA.  Kym teaches and offers consults and designs, is co creating a community hub for Urban Agriculture and works with teachers in schools across Alberta, engaging differentiated teaching styles and youth empowerment.

Learn more:

From our friends at Cottonwood Community Garden...                                                   Save Cottonwood Community Garden!

A consequence of the city’s plan to remove the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts is a plan to divert traffic from Prior Street to a widened Malkin Avenue – the “Malkin Connector” – which will be extended west to Main Street and east to Clark Drive via an overpass across the railroad tracks.

Malkin Avenue is the right-of-way for the downtown freeway that was never built. This right-of-way is 12 lanes wide and parts of Cottonwood Garden, Strathcona Garden and Strathcona Park have all been developed on this unused right-of-way. Cottonwood Community Garden will be most affected if the plan to widen Malkin goes ahead.
There’s still time to stop Cottonwood Community Garden from being bulldozed and paved over.

Sign the Petition!

Write a letter to the Mayor and Council!Writing a letter to the Mayor and Council ( is one of the most effective ways you can help save Cottonwood. Please send a copy to

Newly formed Zero Waste Canada joins international call for an end to waste

Toronto, ON, (January 17, 2012) — Having Canada become a country where waste is eliminated and resources are continuously reused is the goal of the newly formed Zero Waste Canada (ZWC).

“We are pleased to join with international Zero Waste experts from around the world to promote the best-practice policies, legislation and initiatives that eliminate waste,” says Erich Schwartz, a British Columbia-based ZWC director.

Schwartz adds that zero waste is not some pie-in-the-sky unattainable target. Communities and
corporations that have adopted zero waste goals are achieving significant results. For instance, San Francisco, U.S.A., Kamikatsu, Japan and Caparoni, Italy are diverting 80% of their waste while municipalities in Canada are diverting an average of only 33%. Considering that 40% of municipal waste is recyclable and another 40% is organic, Canadian municipal diversion rates should be much higher.

Read the entire press release here...

Visit the Zero Waste Canada Website:

Upcoming course: Setting Healthy Limits

6 Tuesdays, Feb 19th - Mar 26th , 6:30-9:00pm, Langara College

Although we are born with internal feedback systems to set healthy limits, these mechanisms often become muted. When we understand how the brain and body naturally respond to sudden and ongoing stressors and learn how to keep our bodies feeling safe, we can set healthy limits more comfortably. This ability improves our own health as well as our relationships with others.
Participants learn: To recognize their body’s early signals of feeling stretched. To strengthen their ability to set healthy limits without alienating others or compromising themselves. 
Instructor Shayna Hornstein has been a registered physical therapist in British Columbia since 1981 and works with people with chronic pain. For twenty years, she has also provided training for organizations wanting to reduce the impact that stress has on the morale, safety and effectiveness of the people who work there. She studied with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute of Boulder, Colorado and has a certificate for the Treatment of Trauma and the Body.
Shayna’s practical and refreshing courses draw on studies of neuroplasticity and the brain and the body under stress. You will leave each class with specific physical tools that you can practice in your daily life.

$225 (CRN: 70633). Register by phone 604.323.5322 Or register in person at the Continuing Studies registration desk on the Langara campus. If cost is an issue, please contact Leslie Kemp at or 604.323.5981

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events