Strathcona Community Centre: The Heart of the City

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

You still have time to donate to the Food Security program through the Christmas at Canada Place website. By donating through Canada Place before January 10th, 2010 you’ll be entered to win an all-inclusive trip for 2 to Jamaica.

This season I have partnered with Canada Place’s Christmas campaigns and as such, I have learned a great deal about their support of the Strathcona Community Centre.

I had the chance to speak to Recreation Programmer Ron Suzuki about Strathcona’s many programs and how they have built up such a strong bond in what is even referred to on Wikipedia as “Canada’s poorest postal code”. Working with the odds against them, they have cultivated an amazing support system in the Downtown Eastside, with the community centre at the heart of it all.


Photo credit: mag3737 on Flickr

The Strathcona Community Centre has been around since 1972 and they operated 7 days a week, year-round. They have fitness facilities, basketball camps, floor hockey and piano recitals like most other community centres although they also host several specific programs to not only entertain, but help the entire neighbourhood, especially the children, learn invaluable life skills for themselves and their families.

The Downtown Eastside neighbourhood in which the Strathcona Community Centre lies consists of a “working poor” population where 78% are ESL (English as a Second Language) and 60% are single parents. This means they work to make ends meet and as such are just above certain income levels in order to get social assistance (although many would refuse this aid in any case). This also means that parents are working so much and so hard that they cannot be there to greet their children when they get home from school, and this is where the community centre comes in.


Photo credit: mag3737 on Flickr

Fed by three public schools in the area the community centre is a place for children to hang out but also continue their real-world education. “The public looks to the Community Centre as the ‘safe place’ in the community,” said Suzuki who introduced me to several of their programs: Continue reading this post ⟩⟩

Christmas Holiday Activities for the Family

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Over the Christmas break many are wondering (since I’ve been getting inquisitive emails) what there is to do around town while the kids are still out of school.

Christmas @ GE Plaza

Here are a few activity suggestions:

  • White Spot – Richmond Centre and Kingsway & Knight restaurants will be once again donating their time (and tips) to charity on December 25th. This is the tenth annual fundraiser where the public is encouraged to come out and dine at these White Spot locations on Christmas Day from 11:00am and 3:00pm with all sales going to the Richmond General Hospital and Variety – The Children’s Charity.
  • GE Plaza Ice Skating – Skating at Robson Square is open from 12:00pm – 9:00pm daily. During the holidays, they’ll be open Christmas Day (12:00pm – 5:00 pm), Boxing Day (9:00am – 9:00pm), and New Year’s Day (9:00am – 9:00pm).
  • Bright Nights in Stanley Park – The light displays and miniature train will be open until January 2, 2010.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Bundle up, grab some hot chocolate, and watch the sails lightshow.
  • Burnaby Village Museum – Presenting Christmas Traditions, Past and Present January 1st until January 3rd, 2010 (12:00pm – 5:30pm).
  • Surrey’s Winter Ice Palace – Running until January 3rd at the Cloverdale Arena, the Winter Ice Palace is ice skating with an old fashioned twist.
  • BC Sports Hall of Fame – Starting January 8th they will have a new “Go Canucks Go” exhibit featuring highlights, photos, Captain’s Corner, and 40 Canuck moments to celebrate the team’s 40th anniversary with the NHL.
  • Vancouver Police Museum – On Boxing Day the museum is open 9:00pm – 3:00pm and admission is free for all their Twitter followers.
  • Public Observation Area at YVR – Take a Canada Line train in and explore the remodeled domestic terminal. Grab a bite to eat and sit in the public observation area where you’ll have a fantastic view of planes landing. Kids can explore and watch multiple videos at the kiosks, learn about local history, and peep through binoculars to get an up-close look at aircraft on the tarmac.
  • If you have a New Years Eve celebration in your community and would like to get the word out, please feel free to contact me and I’ll include it in a post at the beginning of next week.

    New Seabus Pacific Breeze Now in Operation

    Comments 13 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Since 1977 the Seabus has nautically connected downtown Vancouver and the North Shore.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    With a lot of pressure on the Burrard Otter and Burrard Beaver, today Translink officially launched a third vessel into operation and I was there for the maiden (media) voyage of the Burrard Pacific Breeze.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    My pal Dave, who has been covering all things transit in images, words and sketches since its inception into the transit fleet, was along for the ride.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    We were invited up to the bridge and onto the outside deck for the run over to North Vancouver. The vessel itself was quiet and smooth as we made our run to Lonsdale across the Burrard Inlet.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    The Burrard Pacific Breeze was immediately put into service once we reached the terminal on the other side and they handed out special “I was there” certificates for people who were on the departures that followed.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Having a third Seabus means that sailings will run every 10 minutes but after the Olympics either the Burrard Beaver or Burrard Otter will be taken out of service and sold off.

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus Opening Day of the New Seabus

    Opening Day of the New Seabus

    At $3.50 during peak times, my friend Dave notes that the Seabus is the ultimate harbour cruise. Hopefully the new ride (on those silky soft seats) will prove to be a smooth one for commuters and visitors alike.

    From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I have several big posts being published this week so while I am taking some time to wrap up business affairs (and Christmas presents) here is yet another photo post. This is a showcase of photos from around Greater Vancouver submitted on Flickr to the Miss604.com group pool.

    Chirp!
    Photo credit: The Blackbird on Flickr
    Tricouni
    Photo credit: Tawcan on Flickr
    Vancouver under fog
    Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr
    Olympic Banners
    Photo credit: Matuda on Flickr
    Granville street
    Photo credit: Russian Bear 1 on Flickr
    IMGP8331
    Photo credit: elvis_hitler on Flickr

    Please click through to view the images in various sizes and to check out other work by the photographers. Everyone is also very welcome to join the Miss604 group pool on Flickr.

    Vancouver History: Winter Scenes

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Although we had a dusting of snow at the beginning of the month, a white Christmas doesn’t look very probably for Vancouver in 2009 (and Environment Canada only gives us an 11% chance each year anyway). 2008 was named “Canada’s Whitest Christmas” so in case you’re missing the powdery dustings around the city, I’ve rustled up a collection of winter scenes from Vancouver’s past thanks to the Vancouver Archives.

    1889
    View of Vancouver from Westminster Avenue South (Main Street & 6th)


    Photo credit: Trueman & Caple, Item#: Str P125

    1889
    View of Vancouver from Richards Street and Dunsmuir Street


    Item#: Str P123

    1902
    View of the North Shore from Robson & Jervis


    Item#: Van Sc P123.2

    1900s
    Second Beach in Stanley Park after snowfall


    Item#: Be P104

    1900s
    Horse and sleigh at the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park


    Photo credit: Stanley Park Photographers, Item#: St Pk P46

    1910s
    Main and Pender after heavy snowfall


    Item#: CVA 789-78

    1916
    Hastings and Richards after heavy snowfall


    Item#: CVA 789-75

    I’m still trying to be creative and think up my latest Then and Now post so if you have any theme suggestions (such as Hotels, Street Views, Apartments, Tourist Spots etc.) I’d love to hear them.