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Spring Is Sooner Than You Think!

The festive season draws to a close (except for Chinese New Year, just around the corner) and it’s time to think about some the highlights of the year to come. In the West End one of those highlights is the annual Art In The City exhibition and sale at the West End Community Centre in early May.

The Call For Artists to participate in the 2019 iteration of this event went out a few weeks ago. In case you missed it in the hurly burly of the season, click on the image above to see the details. Drop by the WECC or email for more information and to register to be one of about 50 artists whose work will be on display and available for purchase.!

Looking Back At December

Gingerbread House entries by the folks at Vancity on Robson.

Gingerbread Mania!

Gordon Neighbourhood House held their first annual Gingerbread House Contest to mark the festive season, and the results were both delightful to look at and tasty to nibble on (when nobody was looking!). West Enders shared there best works of gingerbread art, with a final judging and a show and tell at the Merry Market & HoHoHoDown on December 20. Check out these gingerbread houses made by the folks at the  Vancity West End branch!

Now get started on your gingerbread vision for next year!

Revellers at the annual West End Seniors’ Network’s Holiday Luncheon. (The Orange Lamphouse Studio Photo)

Seniors’ Network Holiday Luncheon

The West End Seniors’ Network (WESN) held its annual Holiday Luncheon at the Century Plaza Hotel. Much jollification and carolling ensued.

The WESN touches the lives of thousands of neighbourhood seniors year-round with their programs at Barclay Manor, drop-in centre Kay’s Place in Denman Mall, and their Clothes & Collectibles thrift shop, also in Denman Mall.

The Holiday Luncheon is an opportunity for the many volunteers who make these initiatives possible and the Network’s members and staff to congratulate one-another on another successful year and share their appreciation.

More than 50 Vancouver firefighters were called to the scene of a fire at Bikes and Blades on Denman.

Three Alarms On Denman

The West End is losing businesses at an alarming rate, mostly due to soaring rents and taxes. But Bikes and Blades on Denman was lost to a fire that saw more than 50 firefighters called to the three-alarm blaze, when a fire broke out in wood framed building.

The damage was extensive (though most of the contents of the adjacent convenience store were saved) and the building, including the suites upstairs, will not be habitable anytime soon. The row of small shops on Alberni in the same building are also closed for business.

Gordon Neighbourhood House showed some appreciation for their volunteers, a sentiment shared by many non-profit and service organizations in our community.

Gordon House Appreciated Them — And So Do We!

Back in November Gordon Neighbourhood House held its annual volunteer appreciation event to thank all the community members who dedicate their time and their skill set’s to ensuring that community hub thrives as an asset to the West End. Volunteers came out from across all programs to mingle over a selection of wine and appetizers.

Thank you to all community volunteers everywhere. So much that enriches our lives couldn’t happen without you!

Winter’s Dance on Robson

The Robson Street Business Association (RSBA) and Small Stage brightened the first week of December with the third iteration of “Winter’s Dance” featuring a fusion of live and digital dance complemented with innovative technology to create a unique visual experience for Robson Street visitors and residents. Live dancers performed in storefront windows while dancers appeared larger-than-life on the facade of the John Robson Building at 1155 Robson.

At the official launch reception hosted by CinCin Restaurant (with a bird’s-eye-view of the John Robson Building) RSBA executive director Teri Smith said “we are excited to bring back “Winter’s Dance” this year and share a little holiday magic with everyone.”

Here’s hoping that 2019 brings us a fourth “Winter’s Dance”, which deserves to be a much anticipated annual event.

Sister Diversity Rains and friends, celebrating the Holigays!

LGBTQ Seniors’ Celebrate The Holigays!

LGNTQ Seniors enjoyed a fun-filled “Holigays” celebration, an annual gathering for LGBTQ2 older adults and seniors to recognize the life-long connections woven within their community of communities, held by Qmunity at Haro Park Centre. On hand to toast the passing year were the charity fundraising (and fun-raising) group the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, including celebrated Sister Diversity Reigns, see here with some delighted party-goers.

Your Winter Program Guide Is Out

Tennis anyone? Hockey? Pottery? Yoga? Day trips? Photography? Come on folks, there’s got to be something you’d rather be doing this winter (and spring, and summer, and fall) than binge-watching on Netflix. And your West End Community Centre Association (WECCA), operators of the West End Community Centre, Coal Harbour Community Centre, and Barclay Manor are sure to have something for you.

The WECCA 2019 Winter Program Guide is out now and you can find a copy at any of those three locations, other local gathering spots, or you can check it out online where It is fully interactive to make registration easier for you. Registration has started, so sign up soon for the programs you want before they fill up! 
Download your copy now!

Signs of the Times …

Rosemary Brown Lane

The east-west lanes throughout our neighbourhood have been officially named in honour of notable Vancouver citizens, recognizing their achievements and contributions to our community.

Rosemary Brown Lane runs between Robson and Haro Streets, from Burrard Street to Lost Lagoon.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1930, Rosemary Brown moved to Canada in 1951 to earn a Master of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.

In 1972, urged by other members of the Vancouver Status of Women Council, of which she was a founding member, Brown entered provincial politics as a New Democratic Party candidate. When, on she won her seat in the riding of Vancouver-Burrard, Brown became the first Black woman to sit in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. During her 14 years as MLA, Brown created a committee to remove sexism in British Columbia's educational material and was instrumental in the formation of the Berger Commission on the Family, among her many other accomplishments.

She ran for leadership of the federal NDP in 1975. With the slogan "Brown is Beautiful," she broke colour barriers in the federal arena when she ran a close second to Ed Broadbent, ahead of three other candidates.

After departing politics, Brown became a professor of women's studies at Simon Fraser University. In 1993, she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and served until 1996. In 1995, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia and in 1996 was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Canada Post featured Rosemary Brown on a Canadian postage stamp released on February 2, 2009.

About The Laneway Naming Project

Adopted in 2013, the West End Community Plan included an opportunity to develop infill housing along the neighbourhood’s 33-foot-wide laneways and to enhance the laneways. This in turn enabled the City to recognize a number of individuals with strong connections to the West End by naming these soon to be residential laneways. The West End Journal will feature one of these newly name lanes, and the pioneer it honours, in each coming issue.

Milestones …

The West End Journal would like to help you mark important milestones by sharing them with your neighbours. Send notifications of births, weddings, key anniversaries, and passings to Include one or two photos to complete the story. We look forward to hearing from you.