Wind Fall

November 30, 2020

At lunchtime today I was walking down the Drive collecting material for tomorrow’s Changes on the Drive post. The wind was constant, viciously cold, and strong. So strong that one of the trees in Grandview Park fell over and completely blocked the Drive just a few minutes after I passed by.

Select image for a clearer view.

As you may be able to see, it brought down power and transit lines but, so far as I could see, there was nothing underneath — which is a blessing.

The Drive has been closed from Parker to Charles.


First Nations: Shut Down Canada!

November 23, 2020

There was a small demonstration by First Nations at Grandview Park at lunchtime. The speakers used screechy megaphones which made it hard for me to understand what was being said. However, their signs called for Canada to be “Shut Down” and for the RCMP to be disbanded.

I saw no police there but, when the protesters decided to form a parade and march north on the Drive there were suddenly whole fleets of cops on motorbikes and push bikes. As the parade marched away, I thought the number of police was about the same as the number of protesters and, while they didn’t interfere in the time I was watching, it seemed an over-reaction to say the least.


GWAC October 2020

October 1, 2020

The October meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) will be a ZOOM meeting on Monday 5th October at 7:00pm.

It will be a form of open mic affair for the GWAC Directors to listen to residents’ opinions. According to an email from a Director:

“[W]e’re approaching this meeting as an opportunity to hear from our members about the issue of housing and development in Grandview, in particular as it intersects with the current homelessness situation in the neighbourhood.

We’ll start with a bit of summary discussion about the current pressures on the neighbourhood, providing some background regarding the tent encampment situation as well as some of the current housing proposals in the works: the non-profit rental project at 1766 Frances, the fully market development project at 2300 Charles and the proposal for social housing on the Britannia site; then we’ll offer the members a chance to share their views regarding when and if the community plan should be relaxed for a project providing community benefit and what housing is the right fit.

The goal of the meeting is to hear from our membership to inform the direction GWAC should follow on these issues.”

I’m sure some divergent voices will be heard on these issues. I wonder if any of the Vancouver-Hastings candidates will join us?

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84241518316
Meeting ID: 842 4151 8316


What We Will Miss This Summer

April 15, 2020

I just received an email from Britannia Neighbours announcing that their always wonderful annual East Van Garden Tour set for June 21st has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.  And that got me wondering about some of the other festivals and gatherings that we have become accustomed to on the Drive.

Car Free Day, one of my real favourites, scheduled for July 12th, has been converted from a street festival into an online event.  Not sure how that’s going to work.

On June 6 we are supposed to enjoy the 25th annual Stone Soup Festival on the Greenway.  There is no indication on their website, but it seems highly unlikely that will be going ahead.

The following weekend — June 14th — is the scheduled date for this year’s Italian Day.  Once again there is no news on their website, but a huge gathering of that kind doesn’t seem feasible at this point.

It looks like being a long quiet summer.

 


Good News — and Bad — for the Drive

April 14, 2020

In previous reports I have noted that Triple A Grocery at 1626 Commercial was boarded up and probably closed.  However, today it seemed to be open again, which is good news.  Hope it is permanent.

On the other hand, Storm Crow Tavern at 1305 Commercial is closed and not coming back.  The owners posted on Facebook:

“The Tavern already had many challenges, such as an expiring lease in an aging building slated for redevelopment, and the coronavirus, for us and many other small restaurants, is a fatal blow while we’re already down.”

They will be keeping on with their Alehouse on Broadway, and the Manor in Toronto.

 

Many thanks to Ferry Seagull for the heads up.


The Virus Strikes The Drive

March 16, 2020

This weekend I received a useful email from Fet’s Whiskey Kitchen at 12340 Commercial Drive reminding me of the extra safety regime they had put in place at the restaurant to protect customers.

Today, in another email, they announce they have decided to close indefinitely as a precaution.

“In light of the clear and strict recommendations of Canadian and provincial health officials for social distancing, we were compelled to act swiftly and decisively to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Along with the collective governmental and societal efforts to contain this pandemic, we hope that this decision contributes to bringing us closer to putting this behind us, getting our people back to work, and once again fully enjoying the relationships that we’ve nourished over the years. Aside from public safety our highest priority is to ensure employees are looked after. As we await details on emergency government relief funding, we will be making every effort to properly assist our employees through this crisis.”

I didn’t hear anything about restaurant closures in the BC Health Officer’s press conference this morning, so this action by Fet’s is purely voluntary, and I applaud their community spirit.


Another Date For The Calendar

March 7, 2020

The People’s Co-op Bookstore — Canada’s oldest continuing bookstore — will host a book launch on Wednesday 11th March.  The launch is for Lisa Robertson‘s The Beaudelaire Fractal.

“Robertson, who now lives in France, was a big part of Vancouver’s poetry scene in the 1990s, when she was part of the Kootenay School of Writing collective, and for a time operated Proprioception Books. She is the author of numerous fantastic books of poetry, including The Weather, Debbie: An Epic, 3 Summers, and Cinema of the Present.”

The bookstore is at 1391 Commercial, opening time is 7:30pm, and admission is free!


GWAC AGM Tomorrow

March 6, 2020

The Annual General Meeting of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council takes place on Saturday 7th March at 2:30pm in the Canucks Family Room at Family Place (at the far north of Grandview Park opposite the play area).

GWAC is the oldest and most active Area Council in the City, holding public meetings each month. Most meetings feature an interesting speaker or group, and offers residents a space to air their thoughts and comments on issues of importance to our neighbourhood.

Have you ever thought of running for the GWAC Council?  The AGM is where the Council is elected each year.  Come along and vote!

This year’s AGM includes a fascinating talk by our own historian, artist, and heritage expert Michael Kluckner:

“Over 90 years ago Vancouver hired Harland Bartholomew & Associates to create Vancouver’s first city-wide plan, providing a template for the ambitious young city that was poised to amalgamate with two neighbouring municipalities to become the modern City of Vancouver. Automobile-oriented transportation and industrial growth were priority considerations … Kluckner will explore what was implemented, what worked and what did not, and track more recent changes in legislation and development, such as the vision for False Creek, condominium living and the push for compact communities in both the city and the region.”

It’ll be fun and useful. Hope to see many of you there!


GWAC AGM This Saturday

March 3, 2020

The Annual General Meeting of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council takes place on Saturday 7th March at 2:30pm in the Canucks Family Room at Family Place (at the far north of Grandview Park opposite the play area).

GWAC is the oldest and most active Area Council in the City, holding public meetings each month. Most meetings feature an interesting speaker or group, and offers residents a space to air their thoughts and comments on issues of importance to our neighbourhood.

Have you ever thought of running for the GWAC Council?  The AGM is where the Council is elected each year.  Come along and vote!

This year’s AGM includes a fascinating talk by our own historian, artist, and heritage expert Michael Kluckner:

“Over 90 years ago Vancouver hired Harland Bartholomew & Associates to create Vancouver’s first city-wide plan, providing a template for the ambitious young city that was poised to amalgamate with two neighbouring municipalities to become the modern City of Vancouver. Automobile-oriented transportation and industrial growth were priority considerations … Kluckner will explore what was implemented, what worked and what did not, and track more recent changes in legislation and development, such as the vision for False Creek, condominium living and the push for compact communities in both the city and the region.”

It’ll be fun and useful. Hope to see many of you there!


Come Party With The BC EcoSocialists

February 26, 2020

BC’s newest and most exciting political party — the BC EcoSocialists (further left than the NDP and far greener than BC Greens) — are celebrating their founding with an All-Star  musical extravaganza and fundraiser at WISE Hall this Friday.

Geoff Berner’s fine klezmer band headlines a great local line up, the fun and games begin at 7:30pm, and a donation at the door of up to $20 would be a wonderful help.

“It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of independent music and most of all, the birth of this new party, which we see as part of a larger Ecosocalist movement that is sweeping the world. We hope you can make it down to be part of it. Because it’s going to be a heck of a good time!! And you can say you were there when it all started.”


A George Bowering Event

February 18, 2020

One of Canada’s foremost novelists, poet, playwright, critic, and historian, the prolific George Bowering will be in Vancouver for the launch of his newest book.

“Writing and Reading gathers essays and criticism issuing from one of the most productive word processors in the country over the past decade or so.  All over the map in terms of content, style, and even length, a remarkably consistent perspective emerges from these thirty-one pieces, one that places reading at the centre of any writer’s practice.”

And not just in Vancouver but at our own People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial.   The launch begins at 7:30pm on Friday 21st February and admission is free.  A good one to mark in the calendar!


A George Bowering Event

February 8, 2020

One of Canada’s foremost novelists, poet, playwright, critic, and historian, the prolific George Bowering will be in Vancouver for the launch of his newest book.

“Writing and Reading gathers essays and criticism issuing from one of the most productive word processors in the country over the past decade or so.  All over the map in terms of content, style, and even length, a remarkably consistent perspective emerges from these thirty-one pieces, one that places reading at the centre of any writer’s practice.”

And not just in Vancouver but at our own People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial.   The launch begins at 7:30pm on Friday 21st February and admission is free.  A good one to mark in the calendar!


Councillor Colleen Hardwick at GWAC

January 30, 2020

The next meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council is on Monday 3rd February at 7:00pm.   The speaker this month is Vancouver City Councillor Colleen Hardwick.

The only urban planner on City Council, Colleen has been an active opponent of the City’s planning policies and processes.  Moreover, against vigorous opposition from City staff and their minions, she recently managed to get Council to approve the establishment of an independent Auditor General’s office to ensure that, over time, that Vancouver tax payers get good value for the decisions made by Council.

Colleen is a keen proponent of a City Plan to rationalise development in our growing metropolis.  However, she wants to make sure that the people of Vancouver have more say in the future than the tenured staff at City Hall. In furtherance of this,

“Colleen plans to visit every neighbourhood within the boundaries of the City.  In each case, she will meet with organizations within neighbourhood boundaries including but not limited to residents’ associations, BIAs, community centers, heritage, and faith-based groups to take a detailed look at where to best accommodate growth of approximately 1,000 new dwelling units per neighbourhood over the next decade.”

Note that this meeting is scheduled to take place in the Activity Room above the Britannia Ice Rink.


GWAC Meeting: The Developer Speaks

January 3, 2020

The next Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) meeting is on Monday 6th January. The speaker this month is developer Michael Geller, a highly opinionated user of social media and radio talk shows.


Anarchism on The Drive — Tonight!

November 24, 2019

Erica Lagalisse will be talking about her recent book, Occult Features of Anarchism: With Attention to the Conspiracy of Kings and the Conspiracy of the Peoples, tonight at the People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial from 7pm to 9pm.

Erica Lagalisse is an anthropologist and writer, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), and board member at The Sociological Review. Lagalisse’s doctoral thesis,“Good Politics”: Property, Intersectionality, and the Making of the Anarchist Self, explores anarchist networks that cross Québec, the United States and Mexico to examine contradictions within indigenous solidarity activism and settler “anarchoindigenism”. The comparative work also throws into relief the idiosyncracies of university-educated Anglo-American leftists, and draws on anthropological, feminist and critical race theory to show how they have preempted the black feminist challenge of “intersectionality” by recuperating its praxis within the logic of neoliberal self-making projects and property relations.

As always, the event is free!


Turnbull/Saklikar Reading: November 23

November 19, 2019

Former Vancouverite Chris Turnbull returns to town for a reading with Renee Saklikar at the People’s Co-op Bookstore on Saturday, November 23.

Chris Turnbull is the author of Continua (Ottawa: Chaudiere Books 2015; Picton: Invisible Publishing 2019) and [ untitled ] in o w n (Vancouver: CUE Books 2014), one of a trio of poetry books alongside work by Heather Hermant and angela rawlings. His chapbook publications include Shingles (Vancouver: Thuja 1999); continua 1-22 (Ottawa: above/ground 2010); and The Great Canadian (Buffalo: Low Frequency Press 2015), which combines images from Turnbull’s site-specific rout/e project and text from Rawling’s forthcoming echolology. Undertones, a collaborative chapbook with text/artist Bruno Neiva, is emerging with Low Frequency Press in 2019.

Renee Saklikar is the author of Listening to the Bees (2018) and children of air india (2013).  She recently completed her term as poet laureate for the city of Surrey.

The launch is a free event at 1391 Commercial Drive, and gets underway at 7:30 pm.


Nomado’s 50th at People’s Co-op Bookstore

November 7, 2019

Quoting the People’s Co-op Bookstore email:

“Come and celebrate local literary publisher Nomados’s 50th — chapbook, not anniversary — at the People’s Co-op Bookstore on Thursday, November 14.

Nomados authors Joanne Arnott (Pensive and beyond), Renee Rodin (Ready for Freddy) and Fred Wah (Articulations) will be reading at this event. Nomados chapbooks, bookmarks, photographs, and refreshments available.

The event gets underway at 7:30, and admission is free.

The People’s Co-op Bookstore is at 1391 Commercial Drive.


Next GWAC Meeting: Discuss Broadway & Commercial

November 2, 2019

The next Grandview-Woodland Area Council (GWAC) Meeting is on Monday, 4th November, and the topic will be the current proposal to build huge towers on the Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial.

 

The proposed towers are significantly taller than allowed under the hard-fought GW Community Plan, and one of the questions has to be — did we waste four years on the Plan if it is simply to be ignored by every developer that comes along seeking greater profit?  Do the views of the residents of GW actually matter?

A brief history of the site’s development can be found here.

There will be a number of interesting speakers.  But most importantly GWAC needs to hear from YOU.  As usual, the meeting begins at 7:00pm and takes place in the Learning Resources Centre under Britannia Library.

 

 


Story Telling On The Drive

October 20, 2019

 

Local award-winning storyteller Jo Dworschak will be hosting a storytelling event she calls Rackle at Cafe Deux Soleils at 8:00pm on October 30th.

She hopes this will be monthly event, featuring a number of local story tellers.  It is a great venue for it.


Roger Farr at People’s Co-op Bookstore

October 12, 2019

Next Wednesday, 16th October, at 7:30pm Roger Farr will be launching his new book at People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.  As per their flyer:

“It ain’t no Lonely Planet guidebook.  Roger Farr‘s I Am a City Still But Soon I Shan’t Be … The nine-part, book-length travelogue takes the reader through the streets of Vancouver, New York, Berlin, Siracusa, and Nanaimo, exploring the sites of capitalism’s domination of the urban subject. It’s Farr’s first book since IKMQ (2012), a finalist for the Dorothy LIvesay Prize, and should help allay the concerns, of some, that what he writes isn’t really poetry at all.”

As always, this is a free event and everyone is welcome.