Osmel Guerra Maynes.

New Leadership At QMUNITY

QMUNITY,  BC’s queer, trans, and two-spirit resource centre, located in the West End at Bute and Davie, has announced the appointment of a new executive director.

Osmel Guerra Maynes is a social justice activist who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda. 

Osmel immigrated to Canada as an international student in 2003 to pursue a Political Science Degree at Carleton University and worked to ensure access to education for marginalized communities through various student roles. 

During his time working with LGBTQ/2S community-based organizations in Toronto, Osmel focused his work on developing policy and procedures, strategic planning and program design in the non-profit membership-driven sector.

Osmel is looking forward to advancing the vision and mission of QMUNITY and  states that he "strongly believes in the power of inclusion to affect lasting social change."

Osmel will begin his new role at QMUNITY on April 16. 

In May 2017 the City of Vancouver announced that QMUNITY would have a new home in a purpose-built facility located on the northeast corner of Davie Street and Burrard Street on property owned by the City of Vancouver. Osmel will be stewarding the new building process.

Q has been operating for nearly 40 years, offering programming and services to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives through support, connection, and leadership.

Live, from the Stanley Park Heron Cam.

The Heron Cam Is Live!

Stanley Park is home to one of the largest urban great blue heron (Ardea herodias fannini) colonies in North America. They have been nesting at their current location behind 2099 Beach Avenue since 2001 and have been documented nesting in various other locations in Stanley Park as far back as 1921. Today, sightings of these majestic birds in and around the park are common place. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere and these birds are classified as a species at risk in BC. This subspecies of heron does not migrate. As they have difficulty finding undisturbed habitat and nesting sites, their population has declined across the province. Some colonies, including the Stanley Park heronry, have become accustomed to the presence of humans, but this is rare as human disturbance commonly causes birds to abandon their nesting areas. Raccoons, owls and bald eagles are natural predators of the eggs and young.

The Stanley Park Ecology Society has been monitoring the heronry in Stanley Park since 2004 and has worked with the Vancouver Park Board and the Canadian Wildlife Service to support herons in their urban environment.  The creation of a Stanley Park great blue heron management plan was a giant step towards the successful management of this species.

The Pacific Great Blue Heron is an icon of Stanley Park and heron watchers have been keeping a close eye on their nests, awaiting their annual their return. After circling the colony for a week, more than 70 Pacific Great Blue Herons have now finally settled in their nests above the tennis courts!

More herons will keep arriving before the annual heron breeding season officially kicks off.

You can keep up to date with all things heron by watching the new and improved Heron Cam, which offers a bird's-eye-view of the nests, from multiple different angles, ranging from views of specific nests to a broad over all shot. You can even watch a time-lapse video each night of the herons' previous daytime activities! Viewers can take control of the camera for two minutes at a time and zoom into specific nests! Watch their courtship and mating rituals, nest building, egg laying, and fending off of eagle attacks.

To have a look for yourself, click here



Another summer is almost upon us (yes, it's coming fast) and WE Arts has tentatively released the dates of the 2018 Summer Art Market at the Jim Deva Plaza.  They expect to announce shortly that the market will run every Saturday from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. starting May 26 and running through September 29. Confirmation expected shortly.

In the meantime, WE Arts is taking submissions from artists and vendors interested in participating in this year's Market. If you would like an opportunity to bring your artwork or crafts to the West End community on sunny, busy Saturdays through the summer, email for more details.

They are also looking for an assistant Art Market coordinator to help with operations during Market days, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Saturday (some flexibility on the dates) during the run. This person will be working with Art Market coordinator Daniela, and if you're interested, If you're interested, please email for more details.

Yes, it's almost summer in the West End. Be ready!

Stephen Scott at his post on Davie at Thurlow. Stop and say hello! (Dave Davey Decarlo Photo)

Stephen Scott's Welcoming Smile

Megaphone Magazine gives a voice, and an earning opportunity, to some of Vancouver's homeless and low-income residents. With his wide, warm smile and a contagious positive energy, Stephen Scott, has become the unofficial Davie Village welcome committee at the corner of Davie and Thurlow. to Davie is a joy to be around, which makes him a natural for the cover of this issue. But the gregarious Megaphone and Hope in Shadows vendor has had more than a few setbacks in his life.

Having gone through more than his share of set-backs in life, including a devastating auto accident and life-threatening illness, Stephen feels a strong connection with Megaphone’s mission, fuelled by his desire to help others.

“I like selling Megaphone because it is a good cause—I feel like I am able to help give something back to society. I am part of a project that creates positive opportunities for people.”

“I have a dream to go to Australia and hold a koala bear. That has always been my dream since I was a child. I hope to save money for a trip by selling Megaphone and Hope in Shadows", Stephen said recently in a vendor profile interview in Megaphone.

“I have some really good people who are my customers. People who want to get to know me, and appreciate what I do. That makes me feel really good. I like interacting with my customers. I like positivity, I like to smile and make people feel good.”

Stephen is fast becoming a West End institution. Next time you're passing his corner stop for a chat, and buy a copy of Megaphone to her what the more marginalized voices in our community are saying.