The Next Speaker …

April 24, 2017

…in the Britannia Renewal Speakers’ Series will be Ouri Scott, architect, and David Ramslie, sustainability planner. Their topic will be Learning and Community Growth and will take place on

Thursday May 4th, 7:00pm at Britannia High School Auditorium

I think it’s really about an approach to the environment. Not talking about the technical sense of the environment, but the sense of place. Honouring the past of that place, thinking about who and what came before, from people, trees and animals. And making references to the past and to cultural heritage.” – Ouri Scott

Everyone is welcome!


Michael Kluckner Exhibition

April 21, 2017

Grandview’s own Michael Kluckner, watercolorist, author, and heritage expert, is having his first exhibition in Vancouver since 2006. The exhibition will include watercolours, oils, and drawings “mainly about Vancouver”.

The show is at the VanDusen Gallery Gallery on Oak Street, between April 29th and May 27th. Admission is free. An opening reception will be on Saturday 29th April from 2:30 to 5:30pm.

Michael is also streaming a complete virtual show at his website.

Don’t miss it!


Library as Community

April 21, 2017

Last night I attended the latest in the Britannia Renewal Speakers’ Series. This was a presentation on the unique role of the public library in building community given by Asa Kachan, CEO of the Halifax Library system. There were perhaps just three dozen in the audience. She was an excellent speaker and deserved more.

Halifax has recently opened a new Central Library. It was this space — and the process by which it was designed — that was the central feature of the presentation.  The previous building, a 1950s slab, was no longer relevant or attractive to the current generation; the new building is entirely different. The concepts and design ideas were developed during an active and extended community engagement phase, primarily using World Cafe methods.

As a meaningful symbol of the engagement of the local community, the library handed out 400 pairs of scissors to residents to cut the ribbon in opening day.

Ms. Kachan repeated often that a modern library needs to be both “purposeful and surprising;” that the purpose of libraries and other public spaces is to “change the quality of people’s lives.”  The Halifax Library has been designed to be open and participatory, with flexible spaces that many groups and individuals can self-curate.  As she stressed, if you build good spaces, people will use them imaginatively.

The speaker also emphasised that the community engagement process does not end with the construction project. The same importance of public input continues into ongoing operations and programming.

It was an inspiring presentation in which she stressed that the library is for the people not the librarians, giving examples of how a library can make a significant difference to an individual. She noted that Halifax is a welcoming open library for the homeless and others without other access to technology. There is a new encouragement to include food with library activities and to make the library part of a food security network.

Throughout Ms. Kachan’s presentation — and especially in the Q&A within which a wide range of library-use topics were discussed — I got the sense that she would like to add even more of the social services and community components that already form part of the Britannia continuum. In turn, Halifax’s experience is one we should keep closely in mind as we develop the Britannia library as part of the renewed Centre.

 


Chapter 3 of Birth of A Community

April 17, 2017

The third part of my history of early Grandview is now available at the Grandview Heritage Group website. This part covers the earliest settlers in our neighbourhood, from 1891 to 1901.

I hope you find it interesting!


Dates for Calendar

April 15, 2017

There are two meetings of interest at Britannia this coming week.

On Tuesday 18th April at 7:00pm in the Info Centre Boardroom, there is the regular monthly meeting of the team planning the Britannia Renewal Project. the agenda this month includes a discussion on housing, a report on the lease negotiations, an update on the speakers’ series, and other items of interest.  All are welcome.

On Thursday 20th April, at 7:00pm in the Britannia Library, there will be a discussion with Asa Kachan, Chief Librarian of Halifax Public Library. The topic will be “Learning and Community Growth” and again, everyone is welcome.

This Thursday would also have been the regular monthly meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group, but we believe the Library discussion to be of such interest that GHG has canceled this month’s meeting and will meet again in May.

 


Bursting The Bubble

April 13, 2017

At the Grandview Heritage website I  just posted a quick look at the housing market in Grandview back in the 1930s. It may offer some historical perspective on how house prices can fall.

Hope you find it of interest.


Review: Sweet Greek

April 10, 2017

In the last Changes on The Drive I mentioned that the old Kingdom Beauty supply depot at 2227 Commercial had been given a new coat of bright yellow paint and was being renovated.  The new business is now open and is called Sweet Greek. I went there today to welcome them to the Drive and to try them out.

This is a Greek-based cafe with all the usual menu items and more,  but the first thing to notice is just how friendly are the couple who run it. They have only been open a couple of days and they are clearly wanting to encourage business, but the warmth to me and the others who followed me seemed genuine and I appreciate that.

All of the food is made on the premises and the pastries looked delicious. It was lunchtime so I had the daily special which proved to be a really good leek soup and a well-heated ham and cheese roll.  The coffee was just as good, too.

This is a huge space; much more than they appear to need right now. There are currently just a couple of chairs along one side of the serving bar, a shelf-table with stools along the Drive window, and four small tables along the north wall.  If they get popular, they have plenty enough space to put in more tables and chairs — and I hope they will need them.