GWAC and CoV’s Head of Planning

April 26, 2022


A New Socialist Party

April 25, 2022


On May Day, at Grandview Park at 12:30pm, yet another civic political party makes its entry onto the stage. This time it is a new party with an old name, Socialists.

Everyone is invited to their founding launch.

Shine at Britannia!

March 7, 2022

The Spring Equinox is a returning of light, a shift from winter to spring. We invite you to celebrate with us and share our stories with each other through music, art, dance, food and togetherness. The market will feature the works of local artisans, delectable food, community tables, and activities—it’s our time to shine again.

Bring your instruments for a chance to play. Get ready to sing, dance, and clap!

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Art at Britannia: Call for Indigenous Artists

March 4, 2022


In June of each year, the Britannia Art Gallery hosts an exhibition in conjunction with National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) that features work by Indigenous artists. This year, the gallery invites emerging Indigenous artists who are just starting out in their careers to submit work in the following mediums to be featured in the exhibition: 

  • 2D work
  • Moving images (film/animation)
  • Small-scale 3D work to exhibit within the gallery’s display case.

Honorarium: $300

This call is open to all emerging Indigenous artists. You do not need to live or work within East Vancouver to apply. Full submission details can be found at


New Brighton Restoration — Volunteers Needed

February 16, 2022


If you have some time and energy to spare, and want to help make a part of East Vancouver even more beautiful and natural, you could do a lot worse than volunteer to help with the New Brighton Park restoration.

Image: Nigel Peck

Volunteer crews have been removing invasive species — such as Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberries — and they will be replaced with native species. As Nigel Peck wrote to me:

“our next work party will be on Saturday, February 26th and, at this point, we have spaces for about a dozen new volunteers. For those tired of their Body Sculpt Zoom Fitness classes, there is nothing better than wrestling with Scotch Broom or Himalayan Blackberry for a good cause with excellent company.

We provide tools and safety equipment so all that is required is ‘reasonable physical shape’ and enthusiasm for the project. We do require everyone participating to be fully vaccinated and to sign a Release Waiver.”

It seems like a thoroughly worthwhile and fun project. For more information and/or to offer your help, please email

GWAC and the BIA

January 10, 2022

GWAC and the BIA

January 6, 2022

Christmas In Grandview Park

November 26, 2021

GWAC and Dogs!

November 4, 2021

The Future of Affordable Housing in Grandview

September 8, 2021

An Italian Day — Of Sorts

August 14, 2021

For two years now, the pandemic has removed Italian Day from our June calendar to our great loss. But now that we are beginning to re-open, the Italian Day Festival Society and the Commercial Drive Business Society are sponsoring a day of music and fun at the pop-up plaza at Grant & Commercial next Sunday.

Should be great fun!

Homicide in Grandview Park

August 7, 2021

In the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, a 60-year old long-term resident of William Street, Gilles Hebert, was assaulted and killed in Grandview Park. He and his partner are folks I have known for a long time.

The incident occurred at 1:30pm on a bright sunny day when dozens of passers-by must have been on the Drive, at the Park, or on Charles and William Streets. The police have apparently arrested a 39-year old man but they would obviously welcome any information that the public can give.

Anyone with information is asked to call VPD’s Homicide Unit at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.


Update 8/13: I decided to change the title of this post from “murder” to “homicide”.

Britannia Plaza Market

July 8, 2021

It is a great idea to have a sort of farmer’s market at Britannia. And it is on right now, today, until 7:00pm. Then they will be back for the following few Thursdays. Good stuff!

GWAC and Urban Critters

June 30, 2021

This month’s ZOOM meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) is at 7:00pm on Monday, 5th July. The main topic this month is urban critters — rats, and such — and how we can cope with them.

Special guest, Dr. Kaylee Byers will speak about the Vancouver Rat Project, Canada’s first interdisciplinary program of research which studies urban rats, the risks they pose to human health, and how we can better manage and live with them. Bring your questions.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 889 2493 9957, Passcode: 105840

I am sure there will also be questions about our diverse urban menagerie including skunks, squirrels, raccoons, etc.

Last year and winter, our patio was awash with rats, and nothing seemed to keep them away. This year, I have seen no signs of them at all. Last year, we had a small family of raccoons (Mom, Pop, junior) come visit every evening. This year, just junior seems to be around. I’d be interested to know the reasons behind these ebbs and flows.

In Memoriam: Frank & Danse

June 23, 2021

There was a great turnout for the memorial gathering in Grandview Park this evening for the late brothers, Frank and Danse Williams. We had drumming and singing and a few short speeches from members of the family. I suspect the celebration will go on late into the evening.

They will be missed by many.

Memorial Gathering for Frank & Danse

June 23, 2021

Just a reminder that there will be a gathering to remember the lives of Frank & Danse Williams at 5:30 this evening at Grandview Park.

Here is an older YouTube piece about their carving work:

Antiques Roadshow On The Drive

June 22, 2021

On Saturday evening (26th June), a group called Looking For Friends will be holding a show at Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial, called Something Like The Antiques Roadshow.

According to ILiveinEastVan: “Hosts Jake and Carson are doing their own Covid safe interactive improv show that is their take on the Antique Roadshow. They will be evaluating your items on stage so feel free to bring something fun. This is an all ages event,” and is designed to be fun.

The show starts at 9:30pm and entry is $15. The few tickets left can be purchased through Showpass.

Important Date for the Calendar

June 15, 2021

I wrote earlier about the deaths of Frank and Danse Williams, whom many of us knew from Commercial Drive. I have been cheered by the comments on my blog and elsewhere that have celebrated their lives.

My understanding is that a memorial to them will take place at Grandview Park on Wednesday 23rd June at 5:30pm. I hope that a good crowd makes it a fine evening and a fitting celebration.

GWAC and TMH: A Report

June 8, 2021

I attended the GWAC ZOOM meeting last night which featured a long discussion about Temporary Modular Housing (TMH) in general and the new building at 1580 Vernon in particular.

The meeting began with an overview of TMH in Vancouver by Steve Bohus. It was a very useful review and was applauded by Lisa Jimenez, a CoV planner.

The meeting was then turned over to Julie Roberts and Robbie Moza of Community Buildings Group (CBG) who are in charge of operating the new building which is scheduled to open in July. CBG operates a number of low-barrier homeless shelters in Vancouver, along with two TMH projects, one in Marpole which has operated very successfully for three years, and another at Naomi House which opened earlier this year.

The new TMH at 1580 Vernon will include 98 housing units, along with a community kitchen, common areas, and office space. Each of the housing units is roughly 250 sq.ft. and includes a private bathroom and a small kitchen area. Ms. Roberts played a short but enlightening video of the TMH at Naomi House which illustrated the kind of housing units that will be available.

CHG is currently working with BC Housing to select the first tenants who will be offered space at Vernon. There is an attempt to prioritize local homeless.

CHG also creates what they call a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) from the local residential community. The CAC is designed to help integrate the TMH within the local neighbourhood. In the case of 1580 Vernon, there are no residences within three blocks of the building and so the CAC will probably be peopled by the businesses that are close by.

CHG noted that there were significant community concerns before the Marpole before the TMH was opened. However, after three years of operation, there now seems to be good acceptance of the building and its residents.

I found the presentation and the discussion to be extremely valuable. I have been a strong supporter of this development, and the proposal for 1st and Clark, and I hope that this presentation helped soothed some of the concerns people may have.

It was good to see CoV Planning and BC Housing staff, along with Councillor Jean Swanson and two BIA executives, join in with the GWAC meeting.

R.I.P. Frank & Danse

June 5, 2021

Two of the Drive’s most colourful characters are now both lost to us.

Frank, on the right, and Danse, on the left, have been habitueès of the Drive for as long as I can recall, sometimes carving wood and sometimes just begging. They had several pitches but most of the time they had a spot outside Home Hardware at Graveley.

I found them a cheerful pair, always willing to chat. Danse could be a bit loud on the bus, but in a happy way; proudly announcing with his big grin that no-one had to bow to him as he passed.

A few years ago, they moved back to small-town Alberta, which they hated, and they soon returned to the friendlier streets of Grandview. Their support network included folks at Home Hardware, Tim Horton’s, and the Dime, and I suspect many others too.

Now, they are both gone. Frank died a few weeks ago and I heard this week that Danse had died in intensive care on 27 May. They will be missed.

I understand that their sister is coming up from San Diego for a celebration of their lives on 20 June in Grandview Park. I also hear that Home Hardware will be erecting a plaque in their memory on their wall.