We’re living longer! That’s great news, isn’t it? British Columbians have the longest average lifespan among our fellow Canadians; however, many of us are facing our latter years feeling isolated and alone. While there are no concrete predictors of longevity, many studies dedicated to understanding the overall health benefits of engagement and social connection conclude that participation in group activities enriches our lives and keeps us healthier longer.
When you are blessed to live near the coast, is there a better way to spend a summer day with your family than on the water? Indeed it’s a great idea, but water sports are usually expensive and require many types of equipment. Because of this, many families end up going to the beach just to enjoy the scenic beauty instead of venturing out onto the water.
Recently, I got a chance to interview skimboarding instructor, Dax Kenny. Ten years ago he started a camp at Spanish Banks beach and has been encouraging the sport ever since.
Skimboarding is a daring, inexpensive and low-risk sport.
“This sport keeps you physically active and when it’s practiced at its best, it adds lots of adventure,” says Kenny. “There are so many tricks that can be added to maximize the thrill and excitement of the sport and still be safe. It is relatively easy to learn, no matter what age you are. Kids especially love this sport. After just a few days of regular practice they have much more confidence“.
If you’re familiar with Yaletown or if you read my previous post, you know that in the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre you’ll find the famous Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver. But maybe you haven’t heard how it ended up being housed after 58 years in service for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
“It was given to the city by the CPR in 1945,” says William Johnston, director of the West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) and the volunteer in charge of the Engine 374 Pavilion, located at the Roundhouse. That is the good news. The bad news is that the Engine—a landmark in Canadian history—was originally placed in Kitsilano Park, close to the beach. “It was stuck in a parking lot for many years getting completely trashed.”
Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is an artist-run celebration of queer arts, culture and history. It showcases the creativity of visual and performing artists who share a connection to the queer community. From Jul 24 until Aug 9 prepare to laugh, cry and be educated through performances and workshops that include dance, music, theatre, and literary and media arts.
Now in its 17th year, QAF has strong roots at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre; however, this year’s festival was almost a no-show. QAF organizers were informed by Canadian Heritage that it would need to pull the plug on funding due to cutbacks, but a public outcry persuaded the department to maintain support for the much-loved annual community celebration. “We didn’t get it all back, which is really unfortunate,” says QAF’s artistic director, Shaira Holman. “We still have to find places to cut, but we are really pleased with the outcome.”
Where will you be on August 24th between 11am and 4pm?
This year, somewhere in Stanley Park, Papergirl Vancouver’s volunteer cyclists will carefully pull pieces of rolled art, like newspapers reminiscent of a bygone era, from their bike baskets and distribute them to a delighted, unsuspecting public.
“The element of surprise is part of what makes Papergirl really exciting,” enthuses Roundhouse volunteer coordinator and Papergirl Vancouver lead Michele Mateus. “Recipients sometimes pull out their wallets and are surprised to learn that the item they are receiving really is a gift.”
Imagine hiking your favourite trail with your mom when suddenly she starts having trouble breathing, or hearing your dad complain about chest pain while on your regular morning run along the seawall, or at David Lam Park when a little girl starts choking…emergencies can happen at any time and often happen when you least expect. Do you know what you would do in the above scenarios?
Emergencies can happen at any time and often happen when you least expect.
Nervous? Don’t be. Getting certified in Red Cross Emergency First Aid will teach you how to respond to the above scenarios and many more. This 8-hour course will leave you feeling equipped to react appropriately to the most common emergencies seen in adults, children and babies. Red Cross is committed to helping people gain essential skills in first aid and CPR that will enable them to act decisively in the aftermath of injuries and health emergencies which include heart attacks, bleeding, choking and more. Red Cross welcomes anyone aged 13 years and up to register for their Emergency First Aid and CPR certification course.
Get inspired and read more heart-warming Red Cross stories at http://www.redcross.ca/who-we-are/red-cross-stories.
William Shakespeare, John Donne, e.e cummings.
Do these names have anything in common? Yes, you guessed correctly. They are all famous poets who have strongly influenced our lives today. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is an epic love story which helps us to appreciate our true love, and inspires us to seek our passion. Religious beliefs combined with sharp European criticism changed the meaning of acceptance during the Elizabethan era. Traditional techniques were abandoned, giving a modern flair to poetry, and reintroducing us to the beauty of poetry in our lives.
Whether being in love, happy, sad, or in mourning, poetry has its place.
Whether being in love, happy, sad, or in mourning, poetry has its place. People lean on poetry for its visual statement, content, music, and illustration of the artistic point of view. Geoff Mynett, a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Circle, is very passionate about poetry, “for the different viewpoints on the different subject matter, whether individual or universal. And there is something very universal about poetry. Be open to everything when reading poetry… Creating poetry is very different all together.”
Owning a dog in an urban environment like downtown Vancouver poses unique challenges. Small apartments do not allow dogs to run around and neither do they allow for backyard romps. In addition to the impact of limited space, apartment-dwellers must be mindful of the noise that their furry friends make. Loud barking or the clickety-clack of claws on hardwood probably won’t get you any Christmas cards. And, with Vancouver’s notoriously limited rental market, pet-friendly apartments are at a premium.
Dogs help break down social barriers.
Believe it or not, summertime in Vancouver is just around the corner. That means it’s time to shed the parkas and venture outside to experience the diversity of our beautiful city.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to spend your Friday evenings or Saturdays and Sundays, the arts and recreation program staff at the Roundhouse have an idea. Come and explore Summer on the Turntable under the canopy at the Roundhouse.
This summer the Roundhouse Turntable Plaza will be abuzz with exciting family-friendly theatrical and dance performances, arts and crafts workshops, and recreational classes for all ages.
Connecting people to the Roundhouse through the outdoor space.
Marie Lopes, Programmer, Arts Culture & Environment, says the Roundhouse staff’s initiative to connect people to the Roundhouse through the outdoor space is an excellent way to bring all the magic and creation that occurs indoors to the outdoors.
As the Vancouver Draw Down approaches on June 15, Vancouver artist and Draw Down workshop leader, Elizabeth MacKenzie, reflects on the importance of drawing in everyday life.
When someone says, “I can’t draw,” I refuse to believe them.
It’s easy to become overly focussed on the practical aspects of our daily lives. We forget the importance of activities that allow us to reconstitute ourselves as individuals within a world of possibilities. We forget about the pleasure of drawing.