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Chinese New Year Parade in Vancouver draws Ignatieff, Chu, Louie, Jang, etc.

Sarah Blyth
Feb 6th, 2011

Can you locate amongst the celebrants pictured in the slides:

1. Councillor Kerry Jang

2. Councillor Raymond Louie

3. Education Trustee Mike Lombardi

4. Parks Comissioner Sarah Blyth

5. The Liberal leader

6. Vancouver's Police Chief Jim Chu

7.  Others this editor doesn't recognize, but thinks she should?

Frozen ponds and lakes pose danger in city's parks

Press Release
Jan 4th, 2011

Trout Lake covered in ice, photo credit: Myles kilometers

The Vancouver Park Board is asking would-be skaters not to venture out onto frozen lakes and ponds in city parks. Most ice is too thin to support people or even pets.

Recent cold temperatures have allowed ice to form on lakes and ponds; however the ice is not thick enough to permit skating. Warmer temperatures, snow and rain in the forecast will add to the danger.

Warning signs are posted at traditional skating locations and park rangers and lifeguards are patrolling the areas reminding people to stay off the ice.

Locations include Trout Lake at John Hendry Park, Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake in Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Jericho Beach Park, Vanier Park and Sutcliffe Park near the entrance to Granville Island.

Faces and places from an unforgettable year

Sarah Blyth
Jan 4th, 2011

2010 has been an amazing year. Here are some of my favourite photos.

Photo 1: Muggins, the beloved kitty that lives at the New Fountain Shelter

Photo 2: Park Board Commissioners and Company cut red tape for the first-ever BMX dirt jump park at Kensington Park

Photo 3: Rick Mountain saying goodbye to family before heading to Rio for the 2010 Homeless World Cup

Photo 4: Park Board General Manager Malcolm Bromely introducing Captian Walrus at the grand opening of Hillcrest Park

Photo 5: Robert Milton shoots and scores at the Homeless World Cup in Rio

Photo 6: A hug from the mayor

Photo 7: Kailin See gets a dose of puppy love

A landmark and a BMX track: 2010 Park Board highlights

Sarah Blyth
Jan 2nd, 2011

The author at the 91st annual Polar Bear Swim

As a new year begins, I look back on the most memorable Park Board moments in 2010.

I’m so proud of the partnership between Friends of Bloedel (FOB) and VanDusen. By identifying Bloedel as a facility that wasn't working in its former capacity, it now has a good support network and will no longer be ignored. It took a lot of hard work, but John Cooper and the FOBs have made this a reality.

At the Park Board, we finally found proper gear for Eleanor Hadley so that she can hear at our meetings.

The greatest highlights for me included cutting the red tape at the first ever BMX track, Kensington Skatepark. The signing of Leeside over to the Park Board from the city’s Engineering Department was another special moment.

2011 began with a splash at the Polar Bear Swim

Sarah Blyth
Jan 2nd, 2011

Vancouverites braved the chilly waters at Stanley Park Saturday to participate in the 91st annual Polar Bear Swim.

Jewel Box of Lights at the Bloedel Conservatory

Sarah Blyth
Dec 20th, 2010

I went to check out the Bloedel Conservatory this weekend for their ongoing event, Jewel Box of Lights. John Cooper, the Bloedel staff and the Friends of Bloedel have done an impressive job decorating the conservatory. They have created a Christmas wonderland in a tropical, cozy atmosphere. It's a great way to get out of the cold and rain, which is exactly what I did.

I can see Vancouverites adding this to their list of annual family traditions. It is amazing to see how far Bloedel has come this past year and the community and partnerships that have been created.

The Jewel Box of Lights Event runs until January 2nd, 2011

Sunday – Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm

$5.35 for Adults
$3.75 for Seniors & Youth
$2.70 for Kids 6-12
Preschoolers – Free

Be sure to enter from the 33rd and Ontario Street entrance to avoid the construction.

Vancouver Street Soccer League holds its first tournament

Sarah Blyth
Dec 6th, 2010

The Vancouver Street Soccer league held its first tournament last Saturday. It was a perfect day to christen the  new turf field at Memorial South Field (at Fraser & 41st). Six teams competed, including Team Vancouver City Hall with team captain Gregor Robertson and the members of Team Canada from the Homeless World Cup. The teams played five games each with only a short break in-between matches, leaving even the most skillful players worn out by the end. However, not even the near-freezing temperatures, could take away the players' drive, keeping them going until the early evening.

Pacific Salmon as an official BC symbol? Call for public comment

Press Release
Jul 28th, 2010

Pacific Salmon Foundation

The Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fraser Basin Council and Living Rivers - Georgia Basin/Vancouver Island are inviting people from across British Columbia to express their views on a proposal to designate wild Pacific salmon as BC’s provincial fish. The organizations are encouraging public comment, which can be submitted at They will receive and post comments until September 30 and will relay all submissions to the Province of BC.

“Pacific salmon are part of the social, cultural, economic and environmental heritage of British Columbians,” said Brian Riddell, President & CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “They have helped shape our history, and for First Nations, the relationship with salmon goes back thousands of years.”

Kensington Skate Park officially opens Saturday, July 17

Sarah Blyth
Jul 12th, 2010

The new skate park at Kensington Park will officially open on Saturday, July 17 from 11am to 1pm. The event will include a ribbon cutting, cake, skateboard demonstrations by local skaters and a helmet giveaway. The Vancouver Skateboard Coalition and Concrete Powder skateboard magazine will also be hand. The park is located at 37th Avenue at Knight Street, east of the Kensington Community Centre.

Kensington is Vancouver’s seventh skate park. The retro-style bowl is unique to the Lower Mainland and is already very popular with the local skate community.

The skateboard park was completed earlier this month and was in use moments after the construction fencing came down. It features a bowl similar to empty swimming pools used for skateboarding in California, several ledges, a gap feature, a mini ramp and seating area for spectators.

Xwayxway (Not Stanley Park)

Jason Hall
Jul 9th, 2010

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the old British Empire in Canada. Even the Queen’s visit seemed to be generating undue negative reaction, culminating with accusations that Michaelle Jean’s husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, had suggested the Queen find accommodation in a local hotel (rather than Rideau Hall) whilst visiting Ottawa. Would Motel 6 do? And famously here, there was the suggestion of doing away with Lord Stanley’s eponymously named park in favour of the traditional Xwayxway. What’s next? No more tea at the Empress?

What’s in a Name?

It’s not uncommon for places to change their names over time. St. Petersburg begat Petrograd which begat Leningrad and then rebegat St. Petersburg again. Even Toronto was York for a time before returning to its much more original indigenous name (to the delight of Montreallers who insisted that Toronto means, “where the mind narrows”).

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