Posts Tagged "building"


Building a dragon boat gives job seekers new carpentry skills

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Fifteen job seekers have gained new boat-building and carpentry skills through a work experience project focused on this year’s Dragon Boat BC Festival in Vancouver.

The province provided $288,643 to Dragon Boat BC to create a dragon boat building program that helped unemployed and at-risk people develop marketable skills in boat building, finishing carpentry and painting. The group created a full-scale dragon boat prototype and a fully finished boat that will compete in the 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat BC Festival from June 21-23, 2019.

“This program brings together skilled workers and people experiencing unemployment looking to add new skills to their resume,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Dragon Boat BC recognized an opportunity to help people gain work experience and expand community sport participation. It’s these innovative partnerships and a community commitment that help create more opportunities for people in our province.”

Both groups worked closely with a project team led by an aerospace engineer, project manager, professional shipwright, multi-generation canoe carver and paddlers. The teams used high-tech and modern aerospace materials to develop a new high-quality, lightweight and B.C.-built design.

“All of the program participants showed drive and determination,” said Ann Phelps, executive director of Dragon Boat BC. “It isn’t an easy thing to learn a new skill, and everyone who helped us build this boat worked hard to gain transferable experience that will support them in their employment path. The funding gave us the opportunity to introduce people to new skills and a new sport, and build something we can share with the community.”

The boats will be used to support community paddling programs in B.C. to give more people an opportunity to try the sport and become part of a growing community of paddlers.

“I knew that this program would help me build a stronger resume, but I didn’t realize just how much it would change my life,” said Angela Gleeson, program participant. “My time here has grown into a full-time position with Dragon Boat BC and I can say first-hand that other participants, and now friends, have gone on to work in jobs because of the life skills and resume-building work that we accomplished together here.”

Funding for this and other projects is provided through WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP aims to increase employment opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through partnerships, research and innovative job creation projects.

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately $15 million will be invested in CEP projects throughout B.C. in 2019-20.
  • Since the program began in 2012, more than 381 CEP projects have helped local communities, employers and people looking for work.
  • Job creation partnerships are one of five CEP streams available throughout the province.

Learn More:

Learn about how Community and Employer Partnerships are helping local communities:  www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Job creation partnerships: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships/Job-Creation-Partnerships.aspx

Dragon Boat BC: https://dragonboatbc.ca/

2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat BC Festival: https://concorddragonboatfestival.ca/

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B.C. Ferries building more boats and seeking input on how to improve the service on them

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BC Ferries is replacing some of its aging vessels — and it’s asking for ideas to help improve the customer experience on the new ferries.

Customers have a month until April 12 to submit their suggestions online at  bcferries.com/about/nextgen or take part in the pop-up sessions on board the vessels themselves on some of the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes.

“There is still a lot to be decided as we work to keep fares affordable, reduce our environmental impact, plan for future flexibility and enhance the onboard experience for customers” said a statement from Mark Collins, BC Ferries’s president and CEO.

The Queen of New Westminster, Queen of Alberni, Queen of Coquitlam and Queen of Cowichan, serving Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes are all being replaced.

“We want to hear your thoughts on the project, and your ideas about how we can improve your experience when travelling with BC Ferries,” said Collins.

The ferry operator is interested in hearing from customers about how to make improvements to

  • Accessibility.
  • Food and beverage options.
  • Family and pet areas.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Deck spaces.

BC Ferries says it is also interested in hearing about any new or innovative ideas that would enhance the public’s experience.

The new vessels are expected to set sail by the mid 2020s and will service Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen, Departure Bay-Horsheshoe Bay and Duke Point-Tsawwassen.

A contract to build the new vessels is expected to be issued next year.

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Police investigating after assault in Burnaby condo building elevator

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Burnaby RCMP are asking a man to come forward after a woman was assaulted in the elevator of a condo building early Saturday morning.

Police say they received a report of an assault Dec. 15 just before 2 a.m. of an assault in the area of Nelson Avenue and Imperial Street in Burnaby.

The victim said an unknown man got into an elevator with her, assaulted her, stole her cell phone and fled.

CCTV footage from the elevator shows that the man struck the woman several times and fled after picking up what appears to be a cell phone.

The woman received minor injuries and was treated in a hospital. 

Pair were known to each other

According to police, initial investigations showed the man and woman were together before entering the elevator and had spent time in a condo suite in the same building where the alleged assault took place.

“The nature of this contact and what occurred prior to the male and female entering the elevator is still under investigation but may have been a factor in the assault that is alleged to have taken place,” the news release reads in part.

“At this time, police do not believe the general public is at risk as this appears to have been an isolated incident and it appears the male and female were known to each other, if only for a short period of time just prior to this incident taking place.”

Police want to speak with the man who is alleged to have committed the assault. He is described as Asian, five feet 10 inches tall, with a slim build and black hair. He was wearing a black jacket, black pants, and red and black shoes. He was last seeing headed north on Nelson Street. 

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‘Elvis has left the building’: Elusive otter manages to evade capture

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A wayward otter left a Chinatown garden the same way it got in: undetected.

The elusive creature managed to outwit humans and didn’t get captured by one of the nine traps; three were set up by the Vancouver Park Board and six were set up by a wildlife relocation specialist.

The expert was brought in last Friday, and the park board was optimistic the animal would be captured during the weekend. But as officials “otter” have known,  this was no ordinary critter. It didn’t fall for the salmon and tuna baits; it has a more expensive taste in fish.

The otter has caused havoc since it was first spotted at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Nov. 17. Since then, it has eaten 11 adult koi, each worth between $1,000 and $5,000, including Madonna, a prized fish believed to be more than 50 years old.

The presence of the unwanted guest forced the garden to shut down for nearly two weeks as officials tried to to lure it into one of the traps, but that hasn’t seemed to work. It was last seen Saturday, when garden staff tried to rescue and protect the remaining koi.

Officials now say there’s only one conclusion.

“As of this morning, there are still no signs of the otter. We feel like Elvis has left the building,” parks director Howard Normann said. “The otter came in the dark and probably left in the dark. We’re not sure exactly to this point, where it came from or where it went.”



But the park board and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen staff believe the otter may have slipped in through the gates, prompting them to install grates on the doors.

“We’re going to have automatic door closers. We’re putting a plate on the bottom to prevent the otter or any of the otter friends from revisiting the garden,” Normann said.

On Wednesday, park board staff, volunteers and specialists at the Vancouver Aquarium undertook the delicate work of moving the surviving adult koi, along with 344 baby koi, to the aquarium for safekeeping.

In the meantime, staff will be adding cameras and monitoring them to see if the otter returns before bringing the fish back to the garden, which likely won’t happen until the spring.

While the otter hasn’t been seen around Chinatown, it has been active on the Twitterverse.

Thursday morning, it told its followers it is off on a new adventure, but didn’t share where.

Garden looks for silver lining 

The executive director of the garden said it’s been an emotional time for staff and volunteers who have grown attached to the koi.

“The koi, they are very important as a decorative element in the garden, but going beyond being beautiful, they do have value from a cultural perspective,” executive director Vincent Kwan said.

“They have symbolic representations that tie to things related to perseverance, transformation, happiness, things that are very abstract, but elements that are engrained in the Chinese culture.”

The story has made headlines around the world and has put a spotlight on the garden.

 “I think the publicity is not a bad thing.  At the end of the day, what we feel is the attention and the various supports we got from the community are a sign that the garden is well-loved,” Kwan said.

Chinatown Today, a group focused on highlighting the neighbour’s past and present stories, describes the saga has “the most unexpected Chinatown story in recent memory.”

It created merchandise for people to show their allegiances. The proceeds go to help the garden.

The garden has been trying to replenish its koi population and hoped the adult koi had spawned.

When the remaining koi were rescued Wednesday, it showed staff their efforts had worked and the mature koi did produce more fish. Kwan called this a silver lining of the otter saga.

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