Posts Tagged "dream"


Town Talk: A Night To Dream gala benefits expanding Ronald McDonald House

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Seen with singer-lawyer-artist-wife Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, artist-carver and Order of Canada member Robert Davidson is the subject of director Charles Wilkinson’s feature-length documentary, Haida Modern.

Malcolm Parry / PNG

SWEET DREAMING: Ronald McDonald House’s recent A Night to Dream gala was a recurring one for Lindsey Turner, who chaired it for the fourth consecutive time. The 17th annual event reportedly grossed $680,000 to help accommodate the 2,000-a-year families who occupy the 73-suite facility for an average 13-day stay. CEO Richard Pass and new board chair Patrick McGuinty may soon announce that up to 52 suites will be added to five-year-old Ronald McDonald House on the B.C. Children’s Hospital campus. Four-bedroom satellites are also expected beside Royal Columbian Hospital and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. They’ll duplicate one at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Ronald McDonald House CEO Richard Pass and four-time Night of Dreams gala chair Lindsey Turner saw that event reportedly grossed $680,000.

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MODEL CITIZEN: Masset-raised artist Robert Davidson is the subject of Charles Wilkinson’s documentary, Haida Modern, that premiered during the recent Vancouver International Film Festival. Called “a protégé and friend” by celebrated late carver Bill Reid, Davidson also perceives the Haida tradition not as inviolable rules but as the basis for evolving, living art. His own wide-ranging artworks include gold coins that the Canadian Mint released to accompany his 1997 elevation to the Order of Canada. $50,000 in ordinary currency came his way in 2010 with the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement. “I’ve been thinking about a new car,” the ever-modest Davidson said before cheerfully admitting that he’d forwarded the entire amount to fund post-secondary bursaries for Haida Gwaii students.

Former B.C. Lions coach-GM Wally Buono’s wife Sandy and their four children attended his induction into the Italian Cultural Centre’s Hall of Fame.

Malcolm Parry /


FELICE ANNIVERSARIO: Italian Cultural Centre president Michael Cuccione welcomed community members to a recent 42nd anniversary fundraising gala. Such events have been staged annually since 13 Italian associations founded the Slocan-at-Grandview “Il Centro” on a 3.25-hectare former city dump site. This year, Cuccione inducted former B.C. Lions football team head coach and general manager Wally Buono into the centre’s Hall of Fame. Happily, his old team defeated the Toronto Argonauts 55-8 the following day. Buono likely approved the teamwork when catering director Fabio Rasotto’s kitchen squad served the centre’s fourth full-capacity banquet that week, then repeated it the following night when the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese Society honoured longtime community benefactor John DeLucchi.

Susan Mendelson celebrated her Lazy Gourmet catering firm’s 40th anniversary made possible by her policy of hiring “people better than me.”

Malcolm Parry /


BON APPÉTIT: Lazy Gourmet owner Susan Mendelson celebrated her catering firm’s 40th anniversary at the Roundhouse Community Centre recently. She likely didn’t foresee that when a UBC arts-and-social-work degree scored her a $350-a-month job at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, now the Cultch. To meet her rent, she made carrot cake, cheesecake and Nanaimo bars for sale during intervals. She and friend Deborah Roitberg then founded Lazy Gourmet, but Mendelson’s brush with dramatics continued. That was when “two beat-up cars jammed in (a departing customer) and all these scruffy-looking people were waving guns.” Suspecting that it wasn’t part of an earlier movie shoot, Mendelson asked if she should call the cops. “We are the cops,” one fracas member replied. Her business maxim: “I always hired people who were better than me.” That doubtless pleased seven-year general manager Kevin Mazzone at the anniversary beano.

Actor-moviemaker Mark Oliver, who recently screened his 2018 short, Elvis Strung Out, likely benefitted from previous generations of showbiz pros.

Malcolm Parry /


Mark Oliver’s parents, Jeanne and H.A.D (Bert), show the latter with Second World War medals and French, German and Liberian Orders of Merit.

Malcolm Parry /


TREES AND APPLE: Actor-moviemaker Mark Oliver, who recently screened his 2018 short Elvis Strung Out, may appreciate late singer Judy Garland’s lyrics: “I was born in a trunk in the Princess Theater in Pocatello, Idaho.” Oliver has a trunkful of theatrical antecedents himself. Grandfather David Oliver owned theatres and produced films in 1910s and 1920s Germany. Grandmother Edith was a screen actress. A great grandmother danced with the Kirov ballet. Oliver’s late Berlin-born father, H.A.D. (Bert) Oliver, sidestepped the stage to study with a London firm of solicitors founded in 1560. “But inside every solicitor there’s a barrister struggling to get out,” he said after moving to Vancouver and pleading criminal law cases. But the theatrical gene survived. One of Bert’s many acquittals involved him holding up a pre-punctured cup of water that dripped steadily for 30 seconds. Then, facing the judge (he later became one himself), he said: “This decidedly reminds me of the case for the Crown.”

Rupa and Rana Vig staged a 100 Year Journey gala based on a same-name book he published following his and brother Minto’s Mehfil magazine.

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CENTENARIANS: Rana and Rupa Vig staged another 100 Year Journey gala recently. The annual event began in 2014 along with a same-name book marking the centennial of Canadian officials turning back South Asians aboard the ship Komagata Maru. The book, which contains illustrated accounts of 103 successful immigrants and their families, was developed from Mehfil, a glossy magazine that Rana and brother Minto founded in 1993. Four years later, then-premier Glen Clark called Rana “a politician in the making.” Evading that dubious assessment, he achieved something comparable in 1994 by becoming a diamond-direct dealer of the Amway multi-level marketing firm.

Pamela Anderson may break out her self-named wine should there be a successful outcome to her protesting a Port Moody park’s proposed roadway.

Malcolm Parry /


BOTTOMS UP: Actress and animal-activist Pamela Anderson has joined others opposing a proposed roadway through a Port Moody park. If successful, they could celebrate with toasts of Anderson’s name-brand wine. That would be a step-up from the tankerloads of Baby Duck produced by Port Moody’s old Andre’s winery. Coincidentally, that concern’s former site is contentious, too, with three towers and nine lower buildings now proposed.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Brexiteering Britons may ruefully sing Three Blind Mice on that children’s rhyme’s 510th anniversary Oct. 12.

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Ice Dream nightmare: hundreds of frozen vegan treats stolen from truck in Vancouver | CBC News

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Someone somewhere in the Lower Mainland has a truckload of hot ice cream that Naomi Arnaut is desperate to get back.

That’s “hot” as in “stolen,” not “hot” as in “melted,” although it is conceivable the thousands of dollars in frozen treats burgled from Arnaut’s Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck did not survive the crime.

“I suspect that they targeted me and had a plan, because they were very efficient,” said Arnaut. “They got in there fast, got what they wanted and got out.”

The pink and white truck was hit Sunday night while parked on Industrial Avenue in East Vancouver.

Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for Ice Dream Sandwiches or Say Hello boxed cubes of ice cream that may appear to be in the wrong hands. (Say Hello Sweets)

Beside making off with over 100 Ice Dream Sandwiches and eight cases of boxed ice cream, thieves also ripped out the truck’s generator leaving behind extensive damage and smashed doors and windows.

On Facebook Arnaut is asking people to be on the lookout for anyone trying to fence treats from Say Hello Sweets.

“If you see Say Hello being sold somewhere that doesn’t quite seem right, please alert us ASAP!”

Arnaut is hoping a neighbouring business has security camera video of the crime. 

Vancouver Police confirm they are investigating.

Owner Naomi Arnaut and dog Babycakes in front of the Say Hello Sweets ice cream truck.


‘Living my dream’: Sixty people become new Canadians on Canada Day

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Bill and Phyllis Neufeld are British Columbians born and bred.

As Canadians — born in the tiny pulp-and-paper-mill town of Ocean Falls on B.C.’s Central Coast — the Neufelds never had to take an oath of citizenship.

But they have. A few dozen times in what has become an annual Canada Day tradition.

Along with 60 new Canadians from 36 different countries, the Neufelds, sitting in the audience in a ballroom at Canada Place, proudly raised their right hands and pledged allegiance to the Queen and to do right by their country.

“It’s a reaffirmation of our citizenship,” said Bill. “It makes us aware how lucky we are that we are born here.”

It’s also their way to welcome their new fellow Canucks into the family, said Bill, who derives pleasure from witnessing such a momentous occasion. It can get pretty emotional, he admitted. “But I don’t break into tears or anything.”

“I do,” said Phyllis.

A bagpiper kicked off the proceedings, followed by cadets hoisting Canadian flags, a Mountie in red serge, military officers in uniform and dignitaries.

Gabriel George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation provided words of welcome and a traditional blessing and song.

The ceremony touched on reconciliation with First Nations, the original inhabitants of Canada who had welcomed early settlers but not reaped equal benefits from the country, and the need to do better.

B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin presided over the ceremony, hearkening back to history and the initial waves of immigrants who came to Canada fleeing hardship and deprivation.

“You may have faced great hardship and adversity before coming to Canada and you all made sacrifices to be here. I thank you for answering our invitation to make Canada your home,” she told the crowd before leading them in the oath of citizenship.

Devraj Chakraborty, 14, and seven-year-old Kenji Kirby help cut the cake during Canada Day Citizenship ceremony at Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre  on Monday. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia

Arlen Redekop /


Jerry and Joyce Kirby watched as their daughter Kenji, 7, performed her first duty as a Canadian: Helping cut a giant Canada Day cake studded with raspberries.

“I am so honoured to be Canadian,” said Jerry, who works in IT. “It’s a very wonderful feeling. I am very emotional I could cry right now.”

The family, originally from the Philippines, moved to Vancouver in 2015 under the federal skilled worker program. Canada, is “the land of opportunity,” said Joyce, a gateway to a better life.

Emilie Cautaert left Belgium in 2012 for what she thought would be a one-year expat stint at an aerospace manufacturing company and ended up staying for love.

She was seduced by Vancouver’s easy accessibility to nature and the diversity and multiculturalism she encountered daily in the city and in her office — a situation that would have been quite rare in her home country, she said.

“In Vancouver, all different nationalities work together. It was new for me. When you come from Belgium, everybody is from Belgium.”

Cautaert also met her husband, Alex Swinnard, on her first day at work. They are expecting their first child in August.

Coming to Canada was a dream come true for Rajesh Chakraborty, who moved to B.C. in 2014 with his wife and son.

Chakraborty wanted to work in animation, but there wasn’t much of an industry in India. He had a good job, a stable life, but his love of animation drove him to seek opportunities in Canada.

“It’s been my dream to come here and work, now I can say I am living my dream,” he said, smiling ear-to-ear.

His 14-year-old son Devraj, who attends David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver, took the occasion in stride.

When asked what he was looking forward to the most as a new Canadian, he said: “I’m not really looking forward to anything. Just living my life.”

Emilie Cautaert, who is seven and a half months pregnant, at the  Canada Day Citizenship ceremony at Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre on Monday. Cautaert is originally from Belgium. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia

Arlen Redekop /


In his remarks, defence minister Harjit Sajjan said all immigrants, new and old, share the same story “of coming here for a better life, hope and a brighter future.”

After the ceremony, he said he wanted to convey to the newly-minted citizens that in Canada, the possibilities are endless: “I want them to understand they have the breadth of Canada to choose from and to succeed.”

Even though Monday’s ceremony was his third Canada Day citizenship ceremony at Canada Place, it remains an emotional and inspiring experience for Sajjan.

He wants his Canadian-born kids, age 7 and 10, to witness the momentous occasion first-hand. That’s why he has been bringing his family to the ceremonies even before he was elected to office.

“I want them to understand the feeling,” he said. “When they see it through the new Canadians coming here and taking that oath, it resonates with them.”

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