Community Notes

(Click on photos to enlarge)

It’s Farmers Market Season Again!

The West End Farmers Market returns for its 20th year. (Linda Lawson Photo)

Spring is here, at long, long last, and that means the annual West End Farmers Market returns with an array of delicious taste treats to help us forget the winter blahs.

Celebrating its 20th year as a neighbourhood must-do, the Farmers Market is located on Comox Street, between Bute and Thurlow.

Every Saturday West Enders can shop for the best in local, seasonal produce, artisanal bread, prepared foods, craft beer, wine, spirits, ethically raised meat, eggs, and dairy, sustainable seafood, and handmade crafts. Hot food & coffee on-site as well.

Saturdays from May 27 through October 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The Annual Strawberry Festival

The West End Senior’s Network will hold the 27th annual Strawberry Festival, easily one of our neighbourhood's most popular family fun events, at Barclay Manor on June 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. 

This is an all-ages event with live music, vendors with unique wares, and kid’s games and activities. All the best features of a tea party, outdoor concert, children’s party, with face printing, craft sale with hands-on workshops, and a community bazaar, all rolled into one amazing afternoon.

There will be community information booths by some of the West End - Coal Harbour’s favourite groups, community facilities, and services and opportunities to learn about and get involved with numerous volunteer organizations.

And don’t forget to treat yourself to a piece of strawberry shortcake and buy some raffle tickets for a chance at amazing prizes!

Visit their website closer to the date for more details.

Remembering Stanley Park Zoo

Canadian Youth Hostel bike hike in front of the grizzly bear cage at the Stanley Park Zoo. (Vancouver City Archives Photo)

If you grew up in Vancouver before the 1990’s you will most likely have vivid memories of the Stanley Park Zoo. Join local historian Jolene Castillou Cumming to revisit this long-gone attraction in decades of Zoo stories and anecdotes and see rare historical photos, some dating back to the 1800’s.

The tour covers 100 years of the Zoo’s past, from buffalos to flamingos, from penguins to the smelly old reptile house and the seal pool and otter slide. Visit the site of the very first zoo, where Lord Stanley’s statue is today, and learn about the original zookeeper. The tour then crosses the old stone bridge over the duck ponds to visit the concrete bear pits where Tuk the polar bear lived and zoo relics still exist. Then stop at the previous lower and upper zoo sites, and go on to the Lumbermen’s Arch animal paddocks at Whoi Whoi. The tour then moves to the west, where the rustic Children’s Zoo building still stands. This is the area where Pete, the last peacock, roamed freely. Then hear about Canada’s most famous monkey, when we visit the location where Emily Carr’s Woo, spent her last days in the old Stanley Park Monkey House.

You'll hear tales of “headline making escapes” (bears, monkeys, Russell the goat, and wolves) and find out what happened to the remaining three swans of Lost Lagoon. Jolene will share a few of her own zoo stories, as well as some of her family Zoo photos from the 1950s and 60s.

Sunday, June 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (or maybe a bit longer). $10 cash. Drop-in only, with a $10 cash donation. Meet at the Lost Lagoon viewing plaza overlooking the lagoon, at the foot of Alberni St, at Chilco St. Rain or shine.

On The Road Again

Your West End Community Centre offers four adult outings for day-trippers in June. 

On Wednesday, June 7 hop aboard for a scenic train ride on the West Coast Express to downtown Mission, travelling along Burrard Inlet and Fraser River. Join the monks at Mission Abbey for evening prayers and enjoy dinner and dessert at a Mission restaurant. (2:50 to 9:30 p.m. - $121). 

How about the Pemberton Strawberry Tour, a day trip up to the Pemberton Valley? Take home a bag of fresh strawberries after enjoying a strawberry field picnic lunch and sightseeing through the scenic Pemberton Valley. (8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. — $109). 

Island adventures also feature on the June road trip schedule. Tuesday, June 20 you can head out to picturesque Mayne Island, enjoy lunch at the Mayne Island Inn, visit the lighthouse overlooking Active Pass and the Japanese gardens, and enjoy an easy walk through the Arbutus tree forest. End the day with a sea-view afternoon tea. (8:15 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. $130 - $15 extra ferry fare for those under 65).

For a longer sea voyage, head to Victoria on Wednesday, June 28 and visit the Robert Bateman Centre and view works by this renowned wildlife artist, visit colourful Fisherman’s wharf, and take in the scenic drive along the ocean front to Oak Bay Village. Lunch and desert will be served in the elegant Members Dining Room at the Parliament Buildings. Maybe we can persuade Spencer to join us! (7:15 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. $138 - $15 ferry fare for those under 65).

All trips begin and end at the West End Community Centre. Call 604.257.8333 for information and registration. 

Ongoing & Recurring Events

Here are some of the ongoing and repeating events and activities happening all over the West End. It's a busy neighbourhood, and you're invited!

Bike Safety Days: The West End - Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre is onsite at Jim Deva Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays June 10, July 22, and August 12 to offer bike safety information and free bike registration.

Dance In Transit: Free mini-classes in dance followed by social dancing. Street vendors will provide snacks and beverages for hungry and thirsty dancers. Saturdays, June 24, July 22, and August 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Jim Deva Plaza.

The West End Art Market: Every Sunday through to October 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. as many as 30 artists exhibiting and selling their works at Jim Deva Plaza in a festive atmosphere that includes live entertainment.

Movie Matinées ... Every Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Barclay Manor (1447 Barclay) you can catch a movie matinée. This month's screenings include: June 2 “Mona Lisa Smile” with Julie Roberts; June 9 - “The Light Between Oceans” with Michael Fassbender; June 16 - “Big Eyes” with Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams; and June 30 “No Reservations” with Catherine Zeta-Jones. No movie on June 23 as the Manor will be closed for Strawberry Festival preparations. By donation, and popcorn is included!

Family Night Fun & Games … The second Monday of each month West End Family Night at Gordon Neighbourhood House provides families and their children residing in the West End with an opportunity to enjoy a family night out, forge new friendships, and share a hot meal. Admission is by donation, with a Gordon Neighbourhood House membership. Monday, June 12 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Contact Isabel at isabel@gordonhouse.org or 604-683-2554 for details.