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Punjabi Market Public Art Street Banner Project

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver’s Punjabi Market is hosting a new visual art project and collaboration featuring colourful street banners that line the area. Curated by the Indian Summer Festival, in partnership with the Punjabi Market Regenerative Collective, banners feature artwork from Debra Sparrow and Jag Nagra, artist and Collective member.

The project looked at the idea of place and placemaking in the context of the Punjabi Market being located on unceded, ancestral Musqueam territory and marking 51 years of existence as an important hub for the South Asian community.

Street Banners. Photo by Jag Nagra.
Street Banners. Photo by Jag Nagra.

Punjabi Market Public Art Street Banner Project

The Indian Summer Festival asked the two accomplished artists to respond to the Punjabi Market’s call for ideas to celebrate cultural traditions in the community. The resulting street banners are installed on Main Street between 48th and 52nd streets and will adorn the neighbourhood from April 12, 2021, until 2023. The Musqueam Nation’s banners are installed on the first and last poles on the street as an ‘embrace’ of this project and the Punjabi Market.

“Roadways in our world today
Replace the rivers that were the roadways of the past
Where people congregate for food and gatherings
In Musqueam, the old people tell a story
Of a two-headed serpent making its way through the waterways
Leaving behind lilies…
Over the last two centuries, the story has disappeared deep into the bottom of the river
Only to reemerge in a vision by Isaiah Sparrow after the story was related to him
It is an honour to have such a young man following his history
Bringing back stories that are never ending and important for the places we live.
The geometric designs reflect the blanket patterns woven by Musqueam women,
And are as old as time…
The modern designed birds are filled with Salish elements
Like us, in this modern day world we adapt to.         
The colours are in keeping with Jag Nagra
And her amazing reflection of her history,
Both as ancient as time
We walk together on this land”

Debra Sparrow, Musqueam artist

This is also the first time in the Punjabi Market’s five-decades that the Musqueam Nation’s flag has flown in the market.

“The two banners I designed comprise of a phulkari pattern and a peacock. Phulkari is traditional embroidery from the Punjab region of India where individual stitches create bold, colourful patterns. And much like the phulkari, what makes up a community is the weaving of individuals. Thread by individual thread is intertwined to tell a story, one that connects us all.”

Jag Nagra, artist and member of the Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective

Since the first shop opened in 1970, the commercial area on Main Street between 48th and 51st has been home to the Punjabi Market, the first in Western Canada. With the growth of the South Asian community in South Vancouver, Punjabi Market quickly became the heartbeat of the neighbourhood. More than just a market, the community of shops, restaurants and grocery stores provides a connection to homelands across South Asia and a place to learn more about these diasporas in Vancouver.

Street Banners. Photo by Jag Nagra.
Street Banners. Photo by Jag Nagra.

Established in 2011, Indian Summer Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival produced by Indian Summer Arts Society, a not-for-profit charitable arts organization based in Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. This year’s festival runs from June 17th to July 17, 2021, with more programming information to be launched soon. Its mission is to offer daring, multi-arts events that bring together diverse artists, audiences, and artists in a global dialogue and citizenship spirit.

Jarr is a New Package-Free Low-Waste Grocery Delivery Service

Comments 34 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Jarr offers package-free and low-waste groceries, personal care and household supplies, delivered to your door in returnable containers. Jarr (with two r’s for Reduce and Reuse) was founded in July 2020 by Emily Sproule, and operates in North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and Bowen Island. Their mission is to simplify zero waste living—together.

Jarr Sustainable Delivery

Jarr Grocery Delivery Service

Jarr’s products are locally sourced, organic and vegetarian. They use standard glass mason jars made for canning. Because of the intrinsic value they hold, people are less likely to throw them out, or send them into recycling streams, which can also be problematic. Jarr delivery drivers use MODO cars to keep their carbon footprint down and have just expanded to bike delivery as well.

Jarr Delivery

How it Works

  • Place your order online
  • Reusable, deposit based containers are filled with high quality, package-free pantry staples by the team at Jarr.
  • The items are then delivered to your door (delivery is free on orders of $40 or more)
  • When you place your next order, leave out the reusable containers on delivery day
  • The containers are picked up, counted and sanitized to be used again and again. You then gets your deposit back (ranging from $1-$2 per jar) and can apply that deposit to their next order

Since launching in July 2020 Jarr has filled 5,000 reusable jars, saving 5,000 pieces of single use packaging from ending up in the landfill. Jarr has seen a 25% increase in sales month-over-month since launching in July 2020.
85 pounds of plastic packaging saved from supplier Westpoint Naturals items alone (15% of Jarr Revenue).


  • Pantry staples: pasta, rolled oats, popcorn, nuts, baking staples, baking mixes, lentils and beans, spices, tea & coffee, quinoa, dried fruit
  • Fresh & frozen groceries: bread, eggs, milk products, organic fruit and vegetables, burger mix, jam, milk alternatives Personal care: shampoo and conditioner bars, soaps, shower melts, cleansing powder, face oil, liquid body deodorant, solid deodorant, hand sanitizer
  • Household supplies: jars, funnels, beeswax wraps, laundry strips, bottle cleaners, all purpose cleaner, laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, dish brush, lunch bag, aluminum bottle, mesh tea infuser.

Currently available for delivery in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, New West and Bowen Island.

Enter to Win

I have a Jarr prize pack to give away that includes $150 of groceries AND a $100 gift card to shop again! Here’s how you can enter to win:

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, April 16, 2021. Winner must be within the delivery area.

BC Youth Week 2021

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s the return of BC Youth Week, with events and activities planned for youth, by youth, all across the province May 1-7. This is an internationally celebrated event that aims to recognize the positive contributions youth make in our communities, and to celebrate the valuable work youth do all year round.

BC Youth Week

BC Youth Week 2021

I had the pleasure of speaking to youth leaders last week and got a preview of what some of them are planning around Metro Vancouver. From yoga and trivia, to a Mario Kart challenge, art talent show, community cleanups, and mental health workshops, here are just a few of the events each community group is organizing and hosting:


Celebrate Creativity
3rd Annual Cake Decorating Challenge
Where: ARC Youth Centre
When: Thursday, May 6, 2021 from 2:30 to 4:00pm

Celebrate Resilience
Youth Mental Health Awareness Day – Juggling
Where: ARC Youth Centre
When: Friday, May 7, 2021 from 2:30 to 4:00pm

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Chilliwack Tulips Open for Spring 2021

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Chilliwack Tulip Festival, which was cancelled last year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning for one month starting today with Chilliwack Spring Blooms followed by the full Chilliwack Tulips attraction later in the month.

Chilliwack Tulips
2019 Chilliwack Tulip Festival

Chilliwack Tulips Open for Spring 2021

When: April 11 to May 2, 2021
41310 Yale Rd, Chilliwack
April 11 to April 15 $10 general admission (Chilliwack Spring Blooms), April 16 to May 2, $20 (Chilliwack Tulips). Purchase online in advance.

In terms of blooming times, the “Chilliwack Spring Blooms” (featuring full bloom Hyacinths and Double Daffodils, along with a 4-acre field of budding Tulips) will take place April 11 to 15. “Chilliwack Tulips” (the remaining acres of Tulips) will be in bloom from April 16 until at least May 2.

Due to the current provincial travel advisory (avoiding non-essential travel outside of your region), they are only encouraging only residents of the Fraser Valley to visit the fields at this time. Additional COVID protocols include:

  • The fields’ capacity will be limited to 25%
  • Tickets will be sold online only, in one-hour blocks
  • Masks are mandatory in all areas of the grounds at all times; however, they may be removed briefly for photos so long as social distancing can be maintained
  • Hand-sanitizing stations will be available in multiple locations
  • Staff will be sanitizing high-touch areas throughout the day
  • Directional pathways will be 3 to 5 metres wide

Guests can roam among more than 20 acres of 25-plus tulip varieties, and over 16 types of double daffodils, and almost a dozen types of hyacinths. There will be more than 6.5 million bulbs in all. There are numerous photo-op props throughout the grounds, including 7 sets of swings, and several raised platforms. The Farm Shop will be open daily, offering fresh cut and potted tulips, dahlia tubers, sunflower seeds for the garden, tulip-themed souvenirs, along with individually wrapped frozen treats and bottled refreshments.

Launched in 2006, Chilliwack Tulips was the first attraction of its kind in the Fraser Valley — and it’s still the largest in BC, with millions of tulips each year. It returns this year with health and safety protocols in place to celebrate 15 years of bright, beautiful blooms.

Crisis Program at Covenant House Vancouver

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Covenant House Logo Small

The #CHVCatchUp is a monthly series featuring the latest updates and news from Covenant House Vancouver. Miss604 is proud to be the Official Blog Partner of CHV to share and tell their stories, like this month’s feature about the Crisis Program:

Crisis Program at Covenant House Vancouver

At Covenant House Vancouver’s Crisis Program, youth receive compassion and support from our caring team of Youth Workers, Social Workers, and Registered Clinical Counsellors.

When youth first arrive at Covenant House they are often scared, sick, hungry, and exhausted. At the Crisis Program the priority is to meet young people’s basic needs by providing:

  • A safe place to sleep
  • Nutritious food
  • Hygiene supplies and a shower
  • Clean clothing and pajamas
  • Medical attention 
Covenant House Vancouver

Relentless Support for Youth

There are 63 beds in CHV’s short-term, live-in Crisis Program:

  • 28 beds for female-identified youth (including LGBTQ2S, gender queer, gender non-binary and self-identified young women)
  • 35 beds for male-identified youth (including LGBTQ2S, gender queer, gender non-binary and self-identified young men)
Covenant House Vancouver

At the Crisis Program, youth also receive:

  • Food, clothing, and hygiene supplies
  • A consistent Youth Worker for support, goal setting, and planning
  • Access to Registered Clinical Counsellors
  • Access to Social Workers who help create an individual plan
  • Referrals to other social services
  • Help with finding employment and referrals to job centres
  • Financial assistance to get back home, if that’s a safe option
  • Recreational opportunities including yoga, soccer, hockey, and baseball
  • Help finding and securing a safe place to live when they decide to leave

Young people can stay in the Crisis Program free of charge for as long as they need to; because getting through a crisis takes as long as it takes.

Covenant House Vancouver

Crisis Program in Action

Rhiannon, a Youth Worker at CHV’s Crisis Program shares how a young woman named Tammara approached a unique challenge with hope and optimism:The pandemic has been a significant challenge for so many of us, but for drug users and those who are doing their best to stay sober it has been particularly difficult.

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