Village Vancouver February 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the

Village Vancouver Newsletter

February 2015


Village is Bursting with Activity this Month!

In this issue, you'll find information on a variety of Community Meals (as well as a Meet and Greet Tea), where you can meet your neighbours and enjoy good food and conversation, while learning about everything from soap making and vegetable fermenting to backyard chickens and Neighbourhood Small Grants.

Like us, you may be itching to get started on gardening activities. Growing opportunities abound in VV -- a good place to learn more about them is at our Permaculture and other gardening opportunities Info Session at Strathcona Community Centre on February 8th. If you need some seeds for your garden, February marks the start of local Seedy Saturdays, and you'll find our seed libraries present at a variety of events and activities.

This month features volunteer opportunities with the Just Film Festival, Newsletter Team, Food Scrap Drop Spots, and Commercial Drive Village Core Group. We're also seeking additional board members.
In Transition News, we look at Transition, community resilience, and social justice. If you want to learn more about food justice and community food resilience, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks has a new Events Alert list that you may be interested in receiving, and, as always, there's loads of workshops and other great activities listed in Upcoming Events.


Your February Newsletter Team,
Bonita Jo Magee, Simone Hoedel, and Ross Moster

Become a Society Member Today

Join the Village Vancouver Transition Society! The membership fee is based on a sliding scale (suggested dues are $25) and it helps us develop this Village and its community. Your annual membership will make our movement even stronger! It's easy to join here.



Around the Village

We're hosting close to 30 activities, workshops, and events this month.

Share a meal with other Villagers
Our community meals come in all stripes and sizes - e.g. neighbourhood village potlucks, dinner groups, drop-in spaghetti nights, sharing a meal after a garden work party, Slow Food, Slow Everything Day, Neighbour Savour, and Thanksgiving Dinner, and often feature a workshop or information component and a Seed Library.

There are several neighbourhood village potlucks this month...
Main St. Village's monthly potluck (Feb 3, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House) includes a Soapmaking workshop and discussion about upcoming Neighbourhood Small Grants in and near Mt. Pleasant and Riley Park, and Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood Food Network, while the Kits Village monthly potluck (Feb 8, please RSVP for location), includes discussions about gardening, permaculture, and pollinating opportunities, as well as Westside Neighbourhood Small Grants and a chance to get some free seeds for your garden or swap or donate some seeds from a Kits Village Seed Library.

Want to hear about Village Vancouver's newest projects in the West End and elsewhere in Vancouver? Join us for a West End Transition Village hosted potluck (Feb 15, West End Community Centre), where we'll also be talking about the West End Neighbourhood Food Network and WE Neighbourhood Small Grants possibilities. A seed library will be present.

Commercial Drive Village's (also known as Grandview Woodland Village) monthly potluck (Feb 19, Rising Star Co-op) features a Veggie Fermenting workshop. Cedar Cottage Village is holding a Meet and Greet Tea (Feb 22, RSVP for location) which includes a chicken coop tour, a seed library, brainstorming about Cedar Cottage Village, and discussion about Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Small Grants.

Kits Village also hosts a Drop-in Spaghetti Night (Feb 28, RSVP for location), primarily for neighbours living within 2-3 blocks of Cornwall and Maple.

New VV Permaculture and Gardening Opportunities

Village has several urban agriculture projects, e.g. a collaborative garden, green spaces, a permaculture plot and mini-food forests, as well as a sponsoring a community garden, with new projects in the works in various neighbourhoods.

On Sunday, February 8th we'll be hosting a Permaculture and other gardening opportunities Info Session at Strathcona Community Centre, where you can learn about a number of current and upcoming permaculture and other gardening opportunities in Village. (Several work parties have already been scheduled.) Gardeners of all levels of experience are welcome to attend.

At Kits Village's monthly potluck (which follows the info session), there'll be a discussion of gardening opportunities (including permaculture and pollinator projects) in Kits Village and Point Grey.


Village organizes over 50 workshops a year.

In addition to our Soapmaking (Main St. Village, Feb 3) and Veggie Fermenting (Commercial Drive Village, Feb 19) classes, our Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community Series continues with Peas and Greens (Strathcona Community Centre, Feb 26). Future offerings in the Series include Winter Kraut Making (Mar 12) and Introduction to Organic Food Gardening (Mar 26).

Main St. Village also offers Seed Starting (Mar 3). Other Village workshops in March include Balcony, Container, and Small Space Gardening (Mar 5, West End Community Centre).

West End Neighbourhood Food Network is offering an Introduction to Organic Food Gardening (Feb 19, West End Community Centre) and Peas and Greens (Mar 19, WECC), while Grandview Woodland Food Connection hosts Sauerkraut Fermentation (Feb 4, Britannia Community Centre) and Canning for Beginners (Feb 18, BCC).

VanDusen Botanical Garden is holding several workshops, including Healthy Soils, Healthy Humans (Feb 11), Lasagna Gardening (Feb 21), and a Mindful Nature Walk in the Tropics (Feb 28, Bloedel Conservatory).

Other activities
Other upcoming Village activities include a VV Seed Savers get together, thrice weekly Food Scrap Drops Spots, Kits Village Recycling Depot, admin work parties, our monthly Board meeting, and the Just Film Festival.

For further information on all activities, check out Upcoming Events (below) and visit our website.

Seedy Saturdays 

According to Wikipedia, the first Canadian Seedy Saturday was organized by Agrologist Sharon Rempel at VanDusen Botanical Garden in 1990 with over 500 people in attendance. Today, there are dozens of Seedy Saturdays in British Columbia and many, many more throughout the world as seed security becomes a pressing issue with both the loss of heritage seeds, seeds of diversity, and the attempt to patent ancient seed varieties. 

Here is a list of Seedy Saturdays in and around Vancouver:


February 21/22 (10am to 3pm)
Harris Barn at Hawthorne Grove Park, 4140 Arthur Dr.
Brian Minter is key speaker (10am)


February 28 (10am to 4pm)
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Hosted by the Master Gardener’s Association of BC
Seed and Plant Vendors, Free Lectures, Display & Information Booths,
Used Books Sale, Food and Kids Activities
- Keynote Speaker – Sharon Hanna, Author of ‘Book of Kale
Admission at Door by Donation, which goes to Seeds of Diversity

For more info:


March 7 (10am to 1pm)
Thompson Community Centre, 5151 Granville Ave

North Shore

March 7 (11am to 1pm)
North Shore Neighbourhood House, 225 East 1st St.


March 14 (10am to 2pm)
Fraser Valley Conservancy, 4460 Bradner Rd.
-10:00 Chicken Manure Seminar (and other fertilizers), hosted by Kayla Feenstra of Dragonlily Gardens.
-10:30 All about Seedlings Hosted by Chris Billion from One Love Farm
-11:00 Seed Saving Seminar, hosted by David Catzel of Glorious Organics Cooperative
-12:00 Potluck
-1:00 Door prize draw

For more info:


April 11 (11am to 3pm)
Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.
Our event will include a seed exchange and seed and plant sale as well as tours of our heritage site and buildings, and crafts and activities for kids.


May 10 (Noon to 3pm)
Langley Demonstration Garden in the Derek Double Day Arboretum, Fraser Highway

Village Vancouver maintains a vibrant Seed program, with several seed libraries, seed saving workshops, and other activities that promote seed access, sovereignty, and security. Our seed libraries can be found at many of our community potlucks, workshops, and other activities. In the coming months, we will be placing some of our seed libraries in various public facilities. Stay tuned to find out where!

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks 

Village Vancouver is a member of the city-wide Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks. This coming year, they'll be creating some fun, community-based fundraising initiatives and an annual fundraising event. Don't miss hearing about it! Subscribe to their new EVENTS ALERT (they will send out approximately 5 emails each year so it won't clog your inbox.)


Village Vancouver is Seeking Board Members

Village Vancouver Transition Society is looking to add energetic and enthusiastic new members, including a new Treasurer, to our active and dedicated board. We're a working board, and board members are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 hours/month (including monthly board meetings) to help build organizational capacity, carry out our program priorities, increase member engagement, and ensure effective stewardship of the society's resources. 

Our 2014-16 program priorities include:
  1. Strengthening the capacity of local villages and constituencies
  2. Identifying, developing, and nurturing initiatives that demonstrate the principles of sustainability, resilience and regeneration
  3. Developing related learning opportunities - for example, workshops.
Application deadline: February 22, 2015.

Queries may be sent to starting Feb. 1st.
Additional information is posted at Village is looking for additional board members.

Just Film Festival 

The 2015 Just Film Festival will take place March 20 – 22 at Langara College.

Volunteers are need to help in a variety of ways including:

VILLAGE VANCOUVER INFORMATION TABLE: We need 4 or 5 members to do a 3-hour shift helping staff our table. Table volunteers get to see one or two free movies. Interested? Contact Ross.

THE FESTIVAL: It’s a fine way to show your support for the event, meet some great people and, of course, volunteering for a minimum of six hours will allow you free admission to the 2015 Just Film Festival and an invite to the opening party. All volunteers are entitled to a letter of participation upon request. Positions: Postering, Guide Distribution, Ticket Seller, Projectionist, Usher. 

Interested? Check out the Just Film Festival website.

Food Scraps Drop Spots

 As many people know, the West End Neighbourhood Food Network (WENFN) has partnered with Recycling Alternative and Village Vancouver to bring the donation-based Food Scraps Drop Spots to the West End since 2012, with two sites (three shifts) hosted at the Gordon Neighbourhood House and West End Community Centre.  

For specific dates, check out the VV Events page or for more info We are entirely volunteer-run so if you are able to join us to help cover some shifts, please contact us!

Village Vancouver Newsletter Team

Join Bonita, Simone, and Ross and spend just a few hours each month contributing to this fabulous newsletter you are reading right now. Learn new skills, meet new people – it’s all good! Email us at

Mention you saw this ad in Village Vancouver's February Newsletter for your chance to win…. a position on the new Village Vancouver Newsletter Team!

More Volunteer Opportunities?

Yes! Learn about more exciting volunteer opportunities, visit our website.


Diversity and Social Justice: The Maturation of a Social Movement

“Whose resilience are we concerned about, and to what end?”

This is the rhetorical question put forth in a critical paper by the Simplicity Institute on the Transition movement. In response to this critique, the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) on the eastern coast of the US got busy and created a teleseminar series that delves into the important issues of diversity, power and affluence. Should the Transition Movement be more explicitly concerned with social justice?

In the series "The Maturation of a Social Movement: A Regional Response to a Critique of the Transition Movement”, MATH convenor Pam Boyce Simms hopes to explore the intersection of the Transition Movement and Eco-justice. Simms notes in a blog post that “Transition groups are indeed for the most part, white and middle class.

MATH held the most recent webinar session on January 29th exploring pathways to inclusiveness and diversity, presenting Simms and three other dynamic speakers from the region:

  • Yasmin Stewart, an activist from Call to Action Long Term Recovery Group in Far Rockaway, NY, experienced the devastation from Superstorm Sandy two years ago first hand. Vulnerable Rockaway residents suffered through profound personal loss in the superstorm, and afterward were forced to cope with “life shattering bureaucratic abuse”.
  • Reverend Dr. Modele Clark has been part of social justice work like “End the New Jim Crow,” and “Undoing Racism” social activism in Kingston, NY.
  • Joanie Freeman, a Transition Initiator, has worked to bridge the racial divide in Charlottesville, Virginia.

L to R: Rabbi Ya’el Romer, Pamela Boyce Simms 
(MATH Convenor), Rev. Dr. Modele Clarke
The Teleseminar series addresses the fact that resource depletion and climate change will affect various groups in different ways, and that some people or groups are more adaptable than others due more to historical power than place. The devastation and aftermath from Superstorm Sandy in Far Rockaway, NY, is a reminder that community and resilience building will continue to be the most important focus of the Transition movement's work.

Jan 29  to Mar 26 - VV Winter 2015 Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community Series
Strathcona Community Centre

Feb 1 to 22 - Village is looking for additional Board members
Metropolitan Vancouver

Feb 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28 - West End February Food Scrap Drop Spots
Gordon Neighbourhood House, West End Community Centre

Feb 7 - VV Admin Work Party

Feb 8 - Permaculture & other gardening opportunities in Village Vancouver info session
Strathcona Community Centre

Feb 8 - Kits Village February Potluck + Neighbourhood Small Grants & Community Gardening/Permaculture/Pollinating Opportunities

Feb 11 - Healthy Soils, Healthy Humans
VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Feb 14 - Plum, Peach, Cherry and Fig Pruning and Training

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Feb 14 - Kits Village Green Streets Garden Work Party

Feb 14 - How to Grow more Fruit on your Plum, Peach, Cherry and Fig Trees
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Feb 15 - VV Permaculture Plot Work Party
Cottonwood Community Garden

Feb 15 - Village Vancouver February Community Potluck
West End Community Centre

Feb 15 - Kits Village Collaborative Garden Work Party Resumes! (followed by a potluck!)
Kits, near beach

Feb 15 - Spirit of the Land - Making Peace with the Land, Weekly Community Group Discussion Series
Various Locations

Feb 15 - Vancouver Storytellers
St. Mark's

Feb 18 - Canning for Beginners
Britannia Community Centre

Feb 18 - Rainwater Garden Workshop
Surrey City Centre Library

Feb 19 - Kits Village February Plastic Recycling Depot
Kits, near beach

Feb 19 - Commercial Drive VV Potluck & Free Veggie Fermentation Workshop
Rising Star Co-op

Feb 19 - Introduction to Organic Gardening
West End Community Centre

Feb 20 - VV Admin Working Group February Work Party

Feb 21 & 22 - Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo
Harris Barn at Kirkland House

Feb 21 - VV Permaculture Plot Work Party and Potluck
Cottonwood Community Garden

Feb 21 - Kits Village Collaborative Garden Planning Meeting & Potluck
Kits, near beach

Feb 21 - Lasagna Gardening
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Feb 21 - Kits Village Green Streets Garden Work Party

Feb 22 - Deadline for March Newsletter

Feb 22 - Cedar Cottage Meet & Greet Tea
Cedar Cottage

Feb 22 - Kits Village Dinner Group #1 - February Gathering

Feb 24 - VV Transition Society February Board of Directors Meeting


Feb 25 - Veggies: What to Grow and When to Sow
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Feb 26 - Peas and Greens
Strathcona Community Centre

Feb 28 - Mindful Nature Walk in the Tropics
Bloedel Conservatory

Feb 28 - Kits Village Drop-in "Spaghetti" Night 
Kits, near Cornwall & Maple

Mar 1 - VV Permaculture Plot Work Party and Potluck
Cottonwood Community Garden

Mar 1 - VV Seed Savers
Kits, near beach

Mar 1 - Kits Village Collaborative Garden Weekly Work Party
Kits, near beach

Mar 1 - Kits Village Dinner Group #2 March Gathering

Mar 3, 7, 10 - West End March Food Scrap Drop Spots
Gordon Neighbourhood House
West End Community Centre

Mar 3 - Main Street Village Vancouver Monthly Potluck and Workshop
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

Mar 5 - Balcony, Contain & Small Space Gardening
West End Community Centre

Mar 7 - All About Roses
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Mar 7  - Kits Village Green Streets Garden Work Party

Mar 8 - VV Permaculture Plot Work Party & Potluck
Cottonwood Community Garden

Mar 8 - Kits Village Collaborative Garden Weekly Work Party
Kits, near beach

Mar 8 - Kits Village March Potluck + Neighbourhood Small Grants, Community Gardening/Permaculture/Pollinating Opportunities
Kits, near beach

Stay Updated on Upcoming Events

The most up-to-date calendar of upcoming events!