Brenda Felker (left), Anita Eriksen and Farideh Ghaffarzadeh are members of the seniors advisory committee Seniors on the Move, which released an open letter about transit and transportation on Tuesday, the International Day of the Older Person. Jennifer Saltman / PNG
Brenda Felker is dreading the day when she won’t be able to use her car to connect with friends and family, and still get where she needs to go.
“That’s huge, losing your licence,” she said. “It scares me that I would lose my independence.”
That is why Felker joined an advisory committee of Seniors on the Move, which represents seniors who use different modes of transportation to get around Metro Vancouver.
On Tuesday, the International Day of the Older Person, the committee released an open letter signed by 225 people outlining changes to the transportation system that would make it more welcoming for seniors. The letter was the culmination of three years of work.
B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie said transportation is arguably the most important concern for seniors, and was the focus of a report — which included 15 recommendations — that came out of her office in May 2018.
“Your efforts, I think, are starting to resonate,” Mackenzie told the committee. “I think that local governments, regional governments, provincial governments, federal governments are all understanding this need around transportation and this huge group of people that is growing who can’t drive their cars any longer, but they still need to get out and about.”
Mackenzie noted that at age 65 about 90 per cent of seniors have a driver’s licence in B.C., but that number drops to less than half by age 85.
The letter has suggestions in a number of key areas, including walking, mobility aids, public transit, HandyDART, taxis, transitioning drivers to other transportation modes and volunteer ride programs.
“We think these changes would be a great place to start. Our cities may not have been built for an aging population, but we can adapt them,” said Anita Eriksen, a committee member who gave up her car when she turned 65.
Transit users are looking for a long list of changes, many of which concern bus travel. In addition to real-time information at bus stops and covered bus stops with seating, seniors are looking for drivers who make courtesy announcements, get closer to the curb, and wait for seniors to sit or get stable before leaving a stop.
Accessibility alternatives when elevators and escalators are out of order, and more community shuttles with ramps and kneeling capability are also important.
HandyDART users want a payment system and pricing that integrates with the rest of TransLink, coordination and integration with the medical system and better education about the service.
Kathy Pereira, director of access transit service deliver for Coast Mountain Bus Company, said TransLink is looking to address a number of concerns outlined in the letter, and promised to bring the concerns back to the transit agency.
“We do the things that most people do that are obvious … but sometimes we don’t think far enough. So I think that’s one of the big messages I’ve heard here,” Pereira said. “We’re on the right track, but maybe we’re not going far enough.”
Walkers and those who use mobility aids are looking for better-maintained, wider sidewalks, more benches, better street lighting, functional curb cuts and more time to cross the street.
Drivers looking to leave their cars behind need more information on other ways to get around and resources to make the change, as well as medical services plan coverage for required medical exams.
Taxis need to be given incentives to pick up seniors and those with mobility issues, and seniors need more information about taxi savers.
The letters says there should be ways to assess the fitness of volunteer ride program drivers and the suitability of their vehicles, and there should be standardized training along with more drivers.
Beverley Pitman, the seniors planner at United Way of the Lower Mainland and self-identified “young senior,” called the list of suggestions comprehensive, visionary and highly practical.
“By stepping up and taking this on, in effect you’ve made visible a whole bunch of other seniors who haven’t had the opportunity or maybe are really socially isolated because they don’t have access to at transportation system that enables them to get out and about,” Pitman said.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly committed two robberies in August, choking each victim until they became unconscious.
In both incidents, the suspect approached and began conversations with the victims before placing them in a headlock and robbing them, according to a Transit Police news release.
Early on the morning of Aug. 18, police say the suspect approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.
Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say, the man stole his phone and fled on the train.
Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when the suspect started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.
The suspect grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious.
Watch: Robbery suspect caught on video before his alleged crimes
CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17
The victim’s wallet was stolen and his credit card used to make a $400 purchase at a convenience store.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man in his late 30s, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches with a stocky build and short brown hair.
Transit police say the level of violence used by the suspect is concerning and ask anyone with information about his identity to contact them at 604-516-7419 or by text message at 87-77-77.
Think back to some of your favourite celebrations. Odds are, ice cream was present for at least one of them.
“Any type of childhood or celebration with family and friends — the commonality is always ice cream,” Mark Tagulao, the founder and culinary director of La Glace in Vancouver says. “Celebrations, or even quiet moments with loved ones, that’s when you eat it. And I think that’s the underlying element of why we love it.
“It’s nostalgic. And it tastes good.”
The fact that it’s cool and creamy — and quite possibly the perfect summer treat — doesn’t hurt its almost-universal appeal, either. But, if you’re to ask Tagulao, you don’t need to be celebrating anything special to enjoy a good scoop.
“I could honestly polish off a litre in one sitting. That sounds really bad to admit,” he says with a laugh. “But, at least you know that I like it.”
Those who have stopped by Tagulao’s much-loved Vancouver ice cream shop, which set up shop at 2785 W 16th Ave. two years ago, are likely as well versed on the topic of quality ice cream as he is. In fact, the cold, creamy treats at La Glace are so delicious, they were voted by our readers as the best in the city.
“Oh, wow! That’s crazy,” Tagulao humbly exclaimed after being notified of the win. “It’s always great when you make something and people respond really well to it.”
Though, he admits to having a head’s up that his ice cream was truly memorable during a recent TED Talks event where he was sharing samples of his ice cream.
“There was this one woman who came up and was insisting on getting more ice cream,” Tagulao says with a laugh. “And I looked up, and it was Cher.”
Needless to say, he gave her a full-sized scoop rather than the tiny sample spoonful.
“That was a pretty cool moment,” Tagulao says.
Celebrities aside, taking the top spot on our reader-chosen list means that the efforts that Tagulao and his team have been making to get customers into the shop are more than working. Situated outside of the downtown core, La Glace is more of a destination for ice cream fans than a place that people simply stumble upon while exploring the city.
The location is an element that’s played a part in the growth story of La Glace, for better or for worse, prompting Tagulao to make sure that every lick or spoonful enjoyed at his store leaves a lasting impression on his customers to ensure that they come back for another scoop. And tell others to do so, too.
“We have a lot of regulars, and there have been a lot of new people coming in this summer,” he says proudly of his growing business. “It is more about getting the word out there because it is one of those places that is a destination. But, the fact is that people do make a point to come and check it out, and for newcomers who say that they heard about it and they heard great things — they’re making the effort to come out, too.”
One taste of the shop’s creamy creations is all that’s required to understand that these blends aren’t your average scoops of store-bought sweet stuff. The small-batch ice cream, which is made from scratch using a base of creme anglaise — a thick custard-like concoction containing heavy cream and egg yolks — is classified by Tagulao as French ice cream, a distinction he says helps to set it apart from the rest of the shops in the city.
“I think we’re still teaching Vancouverites that there are different types of ice cream,” Tagulao says of the dairy distinction. “The fact that we use Avalon Dairy Heavy Cream and egg yolks, for sure make it a much more rich, decadent product.”
The depth of flavour, and overall richness of the product, contributes to the scoop size that La Glace dishes out. In comparison to other shops, the servings may seem small. It’s a portion talking-point Tagulao says he often finds himself explaining to customers.
“When we started introducing our scoop service when we first opened up, people would look at the scoop and be like, ‘Oh, that’s a modest-sized scoop.’,” he recalls. “I think people are more used to American-style ice cream where you get a huge scoop and it starts to melt really fast and you have to eat it right away. The reason it melts really fast is that there’s more aeration in it and that’s why you get larger scoops.”
Typically though, about halfway through a serving, Tagulao says those naysaying newcomers realize just why the portions are the restricted size that they are.
“When they started eating it, they were like ‘Whoa, this is really rich’,” he says with a laugh. “The fact is, you only need a little bit to satiate your appetite for it.”
The less-is-more approach is something that fans of Italian gelato are familiar with, where portion sizes are smaller and flavours more vivid. But, Tagulao is the first to inform customers that La Glace’s artisan iced treats are not gelato.
“We’re not gelato, we’re French ice cream,” he emphasizes. “There are a lot of great ice cream places in Vancouver, but we’ve kind of differentiated ourselves in the way that we are French ice cream and we make everything from scratch.
“We’re trying to create and maintain that level of high-end, luxury ice cream that’s accessible to everybody.”
That accessibility ambition has seen Tagulao introduce a curated selection of La Glace flavours into local grocery stores this season.
“It’s exciting,” he says of the wholesale branch of the business. “It’s definitely a new challenge each year. We’re in the beginning of year three now, and I see ‘expansion’ being the big word for us this year.”
But, he assures fans of his hand-crafted ice creams that the increased production won’t change the richness of his flavours.
“Because we are small batch, that’s where we can really maintain the quality of our product. You can scale up, if you scale up properly. For us, our plan is to do it slow and steady,” he says. “There’s certain compromises that I will not take that would sacrifice the quality. That’s what I really want to adhere to, is to not to dilute the product or the brand at all.”
At La Glace, the menu consists of a few steady favourites including Vanilla Bean, Vegan Coco Pandan Ice Cream with Pandan-infused coconut cream and Ganache Ice Cream.
“We have people who are angry if we ever run out of ganache,” Tagulao says with a laugh of the dark-chocolate mixture of heavy cream and chocolate that is a go-to for many of the shop’s regulars. “We use Valrhona chocolate, which is a really high-end chocolate supplier from France.
“People cant’ get enough of it.”
In addition to the regular flavours, there’s a revolving selection of specials that change each month.
“There’s about 20 or so flavours that rotate through each month. And then we always incorporate some seasonal flavours, as well,” Tagulao says. “We are always trying to do some new recipes. I like to play in the kitchen, so I always add in another flavour as a surprise.”
Tagulao admits that it’s the recipe testing — and tasting — that continues to be his favourite part of the job.
“Being able to be creative is what motivates me,” he says. “I always want to have something new to offer, but I also want to respect the fact that customers have their favourites.”
So, which flavour is his personal favourite?
“I know it’s going to sound really boring, but it’s the vanilla bean,” Tagulao says of his favourite flavour. “There’s just something about being able to add things to your ice cream. I’ll get the vanilla — but I’ll always throw in a spoonful of peanut butter or Maldon salt.
Best ice cream shops, as recommended by our readers:
Metro residents know their hot spots when it comes to scoring the perfect ice cream (Note: we didn’t break down the voting into categories such as ice cream, gelato or soft serve. We’ll let you do that).
When we asked our readers to submit their recommendations for the best ice cream in Metro — and beyond — via social media and email, there were a few that immediately came out on top.
Hungry for the details? Here are the top 23 destination in and around the city to get a sweet ice cream treat.
As always, if you didn’t take part in our vote, well then, you’re not allowed to complain about the results. But you’re welcome to add your recommendations in the comments below.
TOP 23 ICE CREAM SHOPS
Alice & Brohm — 1861 Mamquam Rd #9, Squamish, aliceandbrohm.com
Bella Gelateria — 1001 W Cordova St, Vancouver, bellagelateria.com
“Scientists say that’s exactly what’s needed,” Carr said Thursday. “The world’s leading scientists issued a report in the fall of 2018 that implored governments to act with urgency. The climate is changing faster than they earlier predicted.”
Cutting GHGs by 100 per cent in Metro Vancouver requires updating the Climate 2050 Strategic Framework, which calls for an 80-per-cent reduction.
The panel’s report said if global warming is not kept to 1.5 degrees C, it could lead to more periods of drought, increased wildfires, and place entire ecosystems at risk.
To reach the 1.5-degree target, it would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” the panel’s report stated.
Carr admits that becoming carbon-neutral requires systemic change in Metro Vancouver.
“The first step is reaching out to the public in the development of roadmaps to get to these kind of reductions,” she said. “I’m counting on the public and stakeholders to get us to where we’re aiming to keep global warming at a level that avoids catastrophe.”
Carr pointed out that the 100-per-cent net reduction in GHG emissions recognizes that not all fossil fuels will be eliminated by 2050. What it means is that any GHG emissions by then will be offset by methods such as sequestration, a form of long-term storage of carbon dioxide by reforestation and wetland restoration.
The 2030 target of 45 per cent is important, Carr said, because it’s an interim measure which allows public bodies to assess how they’re doing over time.
Vancouver set a goal in 2010 of a 33-per-cent drop in GHGs by 2020. Part of the reason why Vancouver is now only at seven per cent, she said, is because there were no interim targets.
“As one example, the region has been impacted by smoke from unprecedented wildfire activity in western North America in three of the past four summers,” it said. “Expected future climate impacts include more wildfire smoke, an increase in rainfall intensity by 20-45 per cent by 2050 and 40-75 per cent by 2100, and at least one metre of sea level rise.”
The report goes to say that achieving carbon neutrality requires Metro Vancouver to not only reduce GHG emissions as much as possible, but also to commit to using “100 per cent renewable fossil fuel-free energy by 2050.”
Across the country, more than 250 local governments have declared climate emergencies.
The information is used by either of the two health authorities in the region — Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health Authority — to determine whether there should be a swimming advisory.
Metro Vancouver also monitors False Creek, where the guideline for E. coli is 1,000 per 100 mL, five times higher than at nearby Sunset Beach. The level is higher in False Creek because it is not considered a swimming area where people are likely to come in contact with the water.
Matt Kieltyka, a spokesperson at Vancouver Coastal Health, said False Creek’s location next to Sunset Beach has an effect on water quality.
“False Creek, which is not a designated swimming area, does have higher levels of E. coli, and Sunset Beach could be affected by the tidal movement of water,” he said in an email. “It’s fair to say that can be one of the factors that’s contributing to the elevated levels at Sunset Beach.”
Farida Bishay, superintendent of environmental monitoring for Metro Vancouver, said samples are collected daily between May and September from 113 sites at 41 locations and measured at Metro’s Microbiology Laboratory.
At Sunset Beach that translates into one sample every week and two samples every third week.
“The analysis takes 24 hours, so we want to be able to have results on Friday to report to our health authorities before the weekend,” she said.
The most recent reading at two stations at Sunset Beach at the mouth of False Creek on July 3 showed 548 and 455 E. coli per 100 mL; at Snug Cove on July 5, there was a single reading of 416. Swimming advisories were initially issued on June 27 for Snug Cove, and June 29 at Sunset Beach.
The July 5 readings from three sites in west, central and east False Creek show readings of 41, 80, and 319, respectively, of E. coli per 100 mL.
A recent Metro Vancouver report looking at E. coli found that beaches had swimming advisories for about 50 days in 2018, the highest since 2014 when there were 240 days of advisories.
Determining exactly what causes a high E. coli reading in any one location isn’t easy, Bishay said.
Reasons can include storm water runoff, animal waste, algae blooms, water temperature, and discharge from recreational vehicles, boats, septic tanks, and sewers.
“We’re not consistently better under wet or under dry conditions,” Bishay said.
Metro Vancouver doesn’t test for differences in E. coli between species, she said. There is no way to tell, for example, whether elevated E. coli are from the growing number of Canada geese around False Creek and English Bay.
The high E. Coli counts in 2014 led to the formation of the False Creek Water Quality Working Group and to a study tracking the source of the bacteria. Results are due later this year.
“It is hoped that the information gained from this study will be helpful to better understand the factors affecting recreational water quality in the region and the sources that may have contributed to the elevated bacterial counts in 2014 and 2018,” the Metro Vancouver report said.
Bard on the Beach Festival This annual celebration of The Bard is back, celebrating 30 years with four productions on two stages, plus a host of special events. This years shows include: The Taming of the Shrew, until Sept. 21: The 2007 ‘spaghetti western’ version of show – one of Bard’s most beloved productions – is the inspiration behind this hilarious Wild-West love story, where two fierce kindred spirits finally meet their match in each other. • Shakespeare in Love, June 12-Sept. 18: Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. The deadline for his new play is looming and he’s in desperate need of inspiration. And then he finds his muse – Viola. She’s Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms but their road to romance runs into plenty of speed bumps. • All’s Well That Ends Well, June 26-Aug. 11: This new, bold staging is set in India during the waning days of British occupation and the cusp of Indian independence. Helena, a privileged young Indian woman, secretly loves Bertram, an officer in the British Army. Cultural, social and political barriers stand between them. But Helena doesn’t give up, and her journey takes her into the heart of her own culture and identity. • Coriolanus, Aug. 21-Sept 15: Political warfare – and war within a family – drive Shakespeare’s compelling story of the ruthless fighter, Coriolanus, as she fights for honour without compromise. The themes of pride and arrogance are at its core, as Coriolanus examines what it means to be loyal to a parent, to a leader and to a country. • Bard Village, Vanier Park • 604-739-0559, bardonthebeach.org
Fraser Valley Children’s Festival: Fairy Tales Bring out your fairy’s, dragons and fairy tale characters for the 23rd Annual Children’s Festival with arts and crafts, music workshops, entertainment and much more for the young and young at heart. • Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission • June 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free admission, mission.ca
Italian Day on The Drive A vibrant cultural street festival celebrating Italian culture, heritage and community. The Drive comes alive in green, white and red with piazza-style animated zones, live music, food vendors, patios, lifestyle attractions, fun family activities and more. • Commercial Drive, June 9, noon-8 p.m. • Free, italianday.ca/
5X A South Asian millennial festival showcasing the best of music, art, film and fashion. This multi-day, multi-genre event celebrates creativity through art, fashion, live music, club nights, film, and a block party, plus a conference to build connections and capacity in our communities. • June 12-16, 5xfest.com
2019 Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver One of Western Canada’s biggest celebrations of Francophone music and culture. • June 13-23 • lecentreculturel.com
88th B.C. Highland Games & Scottish Festival Wear your kilts, plaids and tartans and enjoy two days of piping, live Celtic music, free entertainment, competitions, kid’s activities, a whisky school, vendors, food, massed pipe bands and a few surprises. • Lafarge Lake Park, 1290 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam • June 14 and 15 • $15, bchighlandgames.com
20th Annual Surrey Fest Downtown As many as 4,000 people visit this festival each year to view the exhibits and enjoy food and live entertainment. • Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey • June 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. • surreyfest.com/
Breakout Festival 2019 Canada’s only all hip-hop outdoor music festival. Price of admission includes ride pass to Playland. • PNE Amphitheatre • June 15 and 16, 3 p.m. • Single day tickets: $99-$149, two-day tickets: $189-$269, breakout-festival.com
Car Free Day Vancouver Car Free Day celebrates the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods by organizing a multi-site annual arts and culture festival that reclaims traffic thoroughfares as community focused public spaces. Artists, local residents, performers, artisans, non-profits, and businesses re-imagine spaces normally reserved for vehicle traffic. • West End, June 15, noon-7 p.m., Denman Street from Davie to Robson • Main Street, June 16, noon-7 p.m., Main Street from Broadway to 30th Avenue • The Drive, July 7, noon-7 p.m. Commercial Drive from Venables to N. Grandview. • Free, carfreevancouver.org
Croatia Days 2019 Celebrate one of the most vibrant communities in the Lower Mainland! Enjoy live entertainment, folk dancing, music, choir performances, a children’s play area, futsal, video entertainment, a variety of fresh food, video entertainment and a beer garden. • Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr. • June 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. • Free admission, 604-879-0154, croatianculturalcentre.com
Gathering Festival Celebration in the Park Following four weeks of festival programming for Vancouver’s inner-city community, the festival wraps up with a free all-day event featuring two stages, arts, crafts, community booths and family activities, including a headline performance by Canadian power-pop legends Odds. • Emery Barnes Park, Davie & Seymour Streets • June 15, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. • Free, gatheringfestival.wordpress.com
Hillcrest Summer Festival Enjoy amusement rides, inflatables, games, activities, stage performances, a vintage car show and entertainment such as face painting, balloon art and musical performances. (In event of rain the event will take place at the Vancouver Curling Club, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way). • Riley Park, 50 E. 30th Ave. • June 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, 604-718-5885, hillcrestcommunitycentre.com
Langley: 25th Annual Community Day This year the event will feature two stages, a food truck festival, beer garden, a kids and youth zone, fire rescue kids challenge, marketplace community organizations, and more. • Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Crescent., Langley • June 15, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free, 604-514-2940, langleycity.ca
Pacific Rim Kite Festival This colourful annual extravaganza transforms Garry Point Park into two wind-whipped days of demos, kite battles, and individual and team flying shows. • Garry Point Park, Richmond • June 15 and 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • bcka.bc.ca
Queer Arts Festival The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival is recognized as one of the top five festivals of its kind in the world (Melbourne Herald Star). This year’s theme rEvolution gathers together artists who dissemble, push and transgress; art as the evolution of the revolution and will tie together nearly 100 artists and more than 20 events and programming including receptions, curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, workshops, artist talks, panels, and screenings, parties and more! • Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews • June 17-28 • queerartsfestival.com
Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival North America’s flagship dragon boat festival returns to Vancouver. Kick off summer with three days of some of the continent’s best dragon boat racing, headliner music shows, cultural installations, interactive performances, local artisans and shopping, food, and family-friendly activities. • Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and the waters of False Creek, 1455 Quebec St. • June 21-23 • Free, concorddragonboatfestival.ca
Point Grey Fiesta West 10th Avenue and Trimble Park are turned into a start-of-summer neighbourhood celebration with a parade followed by amateur stage performances, exhibitors, vendors and the only carnival in a Metro Vancouver park. The festivities kick off Friday afternoon with bike decorating at 4502 West 10th Avenue, and carnival rides start as soon as school is out at 3 p.m. in Trimble Park. Led by Fiesta’s mascot, Ole the Bull will start the Saturday morning parade at 10 a.m. Activities in Trimble Park include local businesses and artisans exhibiting and a variety of acts performing on stage. Carnival games and rides run until Sunday afternoon, and as a homage to Father’s Day, dads ride free with a child all day Sunday. • June 21-23 • Free, pointgreyfiesta.org/
TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival One of the largest jazz gatherings in Canada brings together jazz legends, emerging musicians and contemporary visionaries from different countries. This year’s featured events include performances by Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, and Herbie Hancock. • June 21 until July 1 • coastaljazz.ca/
24th annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Celebrate Midsummer with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. There will be cultural displays, along with artisans, events for all ages and the best of Scandinavian foods. • Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burnaby • June 22 and 23 • $10/adult, under 16/free, scandinavianmidsummerfestival.com
Cultus Lake Day Kick the day off with Pancake Breakfast by donation at Cultus Lake Fire Hall, followed by a parade, an artisan market, food vendors, activities and more, all wrapping up with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. • Cultus Lake Park, 4165 Columbia Valley Hwy., Cultus Lake • June 22, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. • Free admission, cultuslake.bc.ca
Driediger Farms 6th Annual Strawberry Festival Whether you are in the market for B.C.’s best berries, delicious artisan foods or a day in the sunshine with your family, this is the event for you. Shop local brands and eat local food! • Driediger Farms Market, 23823 72nd Ave., Langley • June 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. •facebook.com
East Side Pride Celebrate Pride on the East Side! Throw down a picnic blanket and take in an array of diverse performances, visit the Community Market with over 30 vendors and community partners, and grab a bite to eat at a food truck. • Grandview Park, Commercial Drive • June 22, noon • Free, vancouverpride.ca
Lynn Valley Day The day starts with pancake breakfast (8:15-9:45 a.m.) followed by a local parade and a full day of family fun. Highlights include games, inflatables, Maypole dancing, face painters, live entertainment, food and a beer garden. • Lynn Valley Park, 3590 Mountain Hwy., North Van • June 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free, lvlions.com
McBurney Plaza Summer Series McBurney Plaza Summer Series will be filled with live entertainment, fun activities and amazing give-aways. • June 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Kick off summer with live music by Side One Band, backyard games and gourmet ice pops. • July 13, 6-10 p.m.: Enjoy an evening of live entertainment, local craft beer and wine, and delicious street food. Enjoy entertaining opening acts and an all request Dueling Piano Show. (Dueling Pianos in the Plaza is a 19+, adult only event). • July 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Downtown Langley will be the hub for celebrity spotting as we welcome a lineup of talented Legend impersonators to perform live. Enjoy popcorn as you watch the show, plus a paparazzi photobooth and face painting. • Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Prepare to be amazed! A unique and talented line up of magicians are ready to entertain you with live shows and roving magic. Enjoy magical balloon twisting, cotton candy and activities. • McBurney Plaza, 20518 Fraser Hwy., Langley • June 22 until Aug. 10 • Free, downtownlangley.com
National Indigenous Peoples Day: Langley The Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society invites you to come out and celebrate their unique heritage, diverse culture and many aboriginal achievements. • Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Crescent, Langley • June 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, langleycity.ca
Strawberry Festival Enjoy a celebration of summer days with the West End Community. Presented by the West End Seniors Network, this event will feature local vendors, community organizations, food, music, activities, free horse carriage rides and the best strawberry shortcakes in town! • Barclay Heritage Square, 1433 Barclay St. • June 22, 1-4 p.m. • Free, 604-669-5051, wesn.ca
Greek Day on Broadway Live a day the Greek way and immerse yourself in a world of delicious Greek food and drink, market vendors, entertainment, and live music. • West Broadway from MacDonald to Blenheim • June 23, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free admission, greekday.com/
Golden Spike Days Festival One of the oldest and longest running family events in B.C. this annual event features live entertainment, including headline performances by Big Sugar, Harlequin and Prism; plus special events; food and activities for all ages. The event commemorates the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line and its arrival at the original Western terminus in Port Moody where the last spike was driven. • Rocky Point Park, 2800 Murray St., Port Moody • June 28 until July 1 • Admission by donation, goldenspike.ca/
Vancouver International Guitar Festival Join guitar builders, players, collectors and aficionados for live music, master classes, special events, and the opportunity to see, hear and play some of the world’s finest handmade stringed instruments. • Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way • June 29-30 • vancouverguitarfestival.com/
Evo Summer Cinema Series Enjoy an outdoor screening of your favourite films on the four-storey inflatable movie screen. Come early to enjoy lots of fun pre-show activities including games, giveaways and prizes, and grab some delicious bits at one of the food trucks. games, prizes, and giveaways, as well as the weekly offering of food truck fare and classic movie treats. This year’s film lineup includes: Wayne’s World, July 2, 9 p.m. | Beetlejuice,July 9, 9 p.m. | Shrek,July 16, 9 p.m. | Sleepless in Seattle,July 23, 8:30 p.m. | Moulin Rouge, July 30, 8:30 p.m. | Finding Nemo, Aug. 6, 8:30 p.m. | Harry Potter 3, Aug. 13, 8:30 p.m. | Jurassic Park, Aug. 20, 8 p.m. • Grand Lawn at Ceperley Meadows, Second Beach • Lawn seating if free, VIP reserved tickets available for a fee, eventbrite.ca
9th annual Indian Summer Festival Bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues across the city with the provocative theme of Tricksters, Magicians, and Oracles; the 2019 festival lineup features futurists, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians and storytellers from around the world. Highlights include: July 4: Indian Summer Festival Opening Party • July 5: International speakers series 5×15 • July 6: Conjuring the Future – a galaxy of potent musical voices from across Canada • July 7: Pico Iyer on Life, Love and Mortality. Writer, world-traveller and TED sensation Pico Iyer has spent his life answering the great questions of humankind • July 8-14: PAUSE Free Programming • July 12:Amjad Ali Khan & Sons with Sharon Isbin: Strings for Peace • July 4-14, indiansummerfest.ca
The Dancing on the Edge Festival Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance is an eagerly anticipated highlight of the Lower Mainland’s dance season. This year’s DOTE presents extraordinary dance productions from Canada, Brazil and Korea, offering high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance. The innovative and spell-binding work features World Premieres, North American and Western Canadian debuts, and works-in-progress from some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers. • July 4-13, dancingontheedge.org/
Vancouver Greek Summerfest This annual celebration of food, entertainment, and family fun features the famous barbecued lamb and Loukoumades, as well as hundreds of live singers and dancers on the Performance Stage. • 4641 Boundary Rd., July 4-14 • Free admission, vancouvergreeksummerfest.com/
Burnaby Arts Council: Summer Arts Festival An outdoor festival celebrating summer, this fun and engaging event offers thrills, excitement and culture! The festival showcases local artists competing in a live art tournament, a variety of entertainment, artists and artisans and much more. • Outdoor event at Deer Lake Gallery, 6584 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby • July 5 and 6 • 604-298-7322, burnabyartscouncil.org
Cinema Under the Stars Start your weekend off with a Friday night experience at Cinema Under the Stars! Leigh Square will showcase recent movies on their enormous, 26-foot tall silver screen at Sun Valley and Gates parks. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, round up some friends and bring the whole family. • July 5, 9 p.m. at Gates Park: Mary Poppins Returns • July 19, 9 p.m. at Sun Valley Park: The Hidden World • Aug. 2, 8:45 p.m. at Gates Park: Ralph Breaks the Internet • Aug. 16, 8:45 p.m. at Sun Valley Park: Avengers: Endgame • Various venues, Port Coquitlam • July 5 until Aug. 16 • Free, in the event of rain, movie will be moved to the next available Friday. Movie subject to change so check for updates on the city website or call 604-927-8400 for confirmation., portcoquitlam.ca
Theatre Under the Stars: Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) invites audiences to a summer of inspiration with Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies, running alternate evenings from July 5–August 17. A beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940, TUTS’ 2019 season offers two exuberant musicals: one that tells the lighthearted tale of a mother and a daughter who embark on a hilarious quest to discover the identity of the daughter’s true father; the other shares the stirring account of a ragged band of newspaper boys in 1899 in New York City who strike for fair pay and humane working conditions. • Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park • 604-631-2877, tuts.ca
Whistler Children’s Festival Fuelled by imagination, creativity and giggles, the Whistler Children’s Festival is the resort’s longest-running event, now in its 36th year. • July 5-7, whistlerchildrensfestival.com
10th Carnaval del Sol The biggest Latin festival in the Pacific Northwest, featuring two days of live music, art, dance, sports, and poetry in celebration of Latin American Culture. Carnaval del Sol, recreates the atmosphere of a vibrant city plaza in Latin America. The arts showcased during this event include live musical bands, Native Canadian and Latin American visual art, traditional folk dances from different countries, arts and crafts displays, dancing and culinary lessons and a Latin American inspired fashion show. • Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard • July 6 and 7 • carnavaldelsol.ca
Khatsahlano Street Party Ten blocks of amazing music, merchants, food and fun, including performances by Hey Ocean!, The Boom Booms, Harlequin Gold, and many others. • West 4th Avenue from Burrard to MacDonald • July 6, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free admission, khatsahlano.com
7th Annual Summer Repertory Festival An uplifting comedy set in a doughnut shop, a classic political satire for the age of Trump and a celebration of the power of storytelling make this year’s Annual Summer Repertory Festival from Ensemble Theatre Company one of its most thrilling yet. Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday, and Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy and brought to life by Ensemble’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers. • Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St. • July 10 until Aug. 16 • From $25, Festival Pass: $88, ensembletheatrecompany.ca
Harrison Festival of the Arts From the world stage to local artists there’s something for everyone at this annual 10-day festival. Other highlights include an Artisan Market, workshops and an art exhibit. • Harrison Hot Springs, July 12-21 • harrisonfestival.com
Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival This outdoor festival features craft beer and punk rock performances by NOFX, Bad Religion, The Real McKenzies, Anti-Flag, Chixdiggit, and The Last Gang. • PNE Amphitheatre, July 13 • Passes start at $69.50, ticketleader.ca
Wind Festival for the Arts Paddle, play and soar at this free three-day art and music festival celebrating all things wind and water. From amazing workshops to local artists and live performances, to the biggest artisan market we have ever seen, this is the largest free festival in Squamish. • Downtown Squamish, July 18-20 • Free, squamishwindfestival.com
107th annual Aldergrove Fair Days One of B.C.’s best small-town fairs features world-class fun for the whole family. Highlights include musical performances including headliners Loverboy, a Show ‘n’ Shine Car Show, a chili cook-off and much more. • Aldergrove Athletic Park, July 19-21 • Admission by donation, 604-418-9507, aldergrovefair.ca
42nd annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival Explore an amazing array of artists gathered from around the world. This year’s festival includes performances by Sam Roberts Band, Corb Lund, Charlotte Day Wilson, The Hamiltones, Larkin Poe, Basia Bulat, and many others. Other festival highlights include an Artisan Market, Folk Bazaar and the Little Folks Village for kids under 12. • Jericho Beach Park, July 19-21 • thefestival.bc.ca/
Surrey Fusion Festival This two-day festival showcases and celebrates the cultural diversity of Surrey. The event brings together cultural and community groups from around the world, along with 150+ artists and performers. Live entertainment, food pavilions and interactive cultural activities will keep you busy throughout the weekend. • Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey • July 20 and July 21 • Free admission, surreyfusionfestival.ca
Squamish Constellation Festival This brand new festival features three days and nights of music, art, food and fun featuring two stages and more than 40 acts of multiple genres. Headliners include Jessie Reyez, Bahamas and Serena Ryder. • Hendrickson Field, Squamish • July 26-28 • constellationfest.ca/
Mission Folk Music Festival Staged in one of B.C.’s loveliest parks overlooking the Fraser River, the Mission Folk Music Festival is renowned for its mix of accessibility and easygoing comfort, affordability and small-town friendliness, and some of the finest folk, world, roots and blues music from across Canada and around the world. • Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission • July 26-28 • 604-309-6079, missionfolkmusicfestival.ca
Honda Celebration of Light For three action-packed days and mesmerizing nights, the Honda Celebration of Light brings people together for a musical fireworks competition. This year features competing teams from India (July 27), Canada (July 31), and Croatia (Aug. 3). • English Bay, hondacelebrationoflight.com
Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest North America’s largest one-day Food Truck Festival features food trucks, beer gardens, live music and much more. • Columbia Street, downtown New Westminster • July 27, 4-10 p.m. • Free admission, downtownnewwest.ca
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest Enjoy 4H livestock shows, horse shows, home arts and gardening competitions, and backyard farming demonstrations. The daily entertainment includes live music, multicultural/community acts, roving entertainers and much more. • Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 Jim Robson Way, Maple Ridge • July 27 and July 28 • Free admission, mrpmcountryfest.com
Punch Bowl: Festival of Cocktails Join more than 50 vendors sampling their finest summer spirits, beer and cider cocktail creations, plus live music and a barbecue. • PNE Fairgrounds • July 27, noon-3:30 p.m. or 5-8:30 p.m. • punchbowlfest.com/
Richmond Maritime Festival Landlubbers and sea-goers of all ages will enjoy activities that delight one and all. Discover local lore, visit beautiful wooden boats, create works of art, bring your picnic blanket and enjoy the tasty treats. Take in music, painters, potters, stilt performers, puppets, story tellers and much more! • Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, 5180 Westwater Dr., Steveston • July 27 and July 28 • Free admission, richmondmaritimefestival.ca/
Caribbean Days Get ready to soak up some tropical rhythm, culture and food at one of the largest cultural events in B.C. Kick off the day at the Multicultural Street Parade, followed by a day of live entertainment, an international food fair, a craft market and a family zone with face painting and other activities. • Waterfront Park, North Van • July 27 and July 28 • caribbeandays.ca
South Surrey Festival A fun, family friendly event that offers safe, creative and inclusive activities for the whole community. Join us for a variety of activities and attractions like stage entertainment, face painting, crafts and games, artisans and vendors, food trucks and more. • South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, 14601 20th Ave., Surrey • July 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, 604-592-6970, surrey.ca
Vancouver Bach Festival The Vancouver Bach Festival is one of the largest festivals of its type in North America, featuring a superb series of concerts with guest artists from all over the world. Concerts are held downtown at Christ Church Cathedral and at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on the UBC campus. • July 30 until Aug. 9 • earlymusic.bc.ca
62nd annual Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival Five days full of fun, excitement, action, and entertainment for the whole family. There is music, children’s activities, a kettle boil, a parade, wacky bed races, chainsaw chair carving, an 8km run, pancake breakfast, two world class Loggers Sports Shows, and so much more. • Al McIntosh Loggers Sports Grounds, 39555 Loggers Lane, Squamish • Aug. 1-5 • squamishdays.ca
Chilliwack Sunflower Festival Features more than three acres planted in the giant Mammoth sunflower that can reach heights of 12 feet and taller. There will also be 1.5 acres planted in a cut flower orange variety which will reach heights between five and six feet. The fields are completed with an acre of show garden featuring 15 different varieties of different heights, colours and bloom sizes for guests to enjoy. • 41310 Yale Rd., Chilliwack • Aug. 1 • chilliwacksunflowerfest.com
Rockin’ River Music Fest An impressive lineup of distinguished country music alumni featuring Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Kane Brown and Brett Kissel. Over 30 acts performing across multiple stages as well as an expanded Party Zone, increased riverside and XL campsites, free-flow party patios, and more onsite amenities including food options, bars, and bathrooms. A new Entertainment District will be located in the Chattahoochee campground featuring added music, breakfast options, and late-night entertainment. • Merritt Festival Show Site, Neilson Street, Merritt • Aug. 1-4 • 4-day pass: $275-$425; 1-day pass: $60-$200 at rockinriverfest.com/tickets, rockinriverfest.com
Vancouver Mural Festival The city’s largest annual free public art celebration brings artists and murals to Mount Pleasant and Strathcona, as well as a week of events including the Strathcona Street Party. • Aug. 1-10 • Free, vanmuralfest.ca
Wanderlust This festival brings together a remarkable group of yoga and meditation instructors, musical performers, speakers, artists and chefs for a transformational retreat. Choose your own adventure with multi-level yoga and meditation sessions, mouth-watering organic foods, heart-pumping music, inspiring lectures and workshops, and boundary-pushing outdoor activities. Find your true north. • Whistler • Aug. 1-4 • wanderlust.com
29th annual Harmony Arts Festival The District of West Vancouver celebrates summer with free concerts, signature culinary events, movie nights, children’s programming, art markets, an Indigenous Showcase and more. This annual festival features 10 days of events and activities designed to showcase arts and culture and celebrate summer on the North Shore. An extensive array of programming includes more than 50 free live musical performances and concerts on two stages, art markets, al fresco culinary experiences on the waterfront, art demonstrations, talks, and exhibits, outdoor cinema nights in the park, fun activities and interactive art experiences for kids. • West Vancouver’s waterfront, between 14th Street and 16th Street on Argyle Avenue, West Van • Aug. 2-11 • Free admission, harmonyarts.ca/
Abbotsford Agrifair The 109th annual Abbotsford Agrifair is set to return for another weekend of summertime fun in the country. Returning this year will be the popular midway rides, the Demolition Derby, the Laughing Logger Show, 4-H shows, the Country Horse Classic, the Global FMX Motorcross Show, Cannon Top Gun Logger Competition, the pig and duck races, nightly concerts and roving entertainers. New events include a Pirate Ship Show, a Tank car-crush event, a Tractor/Truck Pull Show, Yule Kids and so much more! • Abbotsford Exhibition Park, 32470 Haida Dr., Abbotsford • Aug. 2-4 • agrifair.ca
Tsawwasen Sun Festival A three-day celebration of fun in the sun, jam packed with special events, games, friendly competitions and many other attractions. There’s antique hunting and skateboarding at the South Delta Recreation Centre and BINGO at KinVillage, while the bulk of the events take place at Winskill Park. The pride of the event is the annual Rotary Parade which heads down 56th Street from 16th Avenue to Winskill Park. • Tsawwassen • Aug. 2-5 • sunfestival.ca
19th annual Caribbean Festival There is no shortage of reggae, ska, Soca and Cuban Salsa performances at this annual festival celebrating Caribbean culture. Enjoy two large stages offering continuous music, a wide variety of food vendors offering authentic Caribbean foods, street vendors and a large Kid Zone. • Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge • Aug. 3 and 4 • 604-467-5535, caribbeanfest.ca
43rd annual Powell Street Festival The largest Japanese Canadian festival in the country returns for its 43rd year. This year’s lineup of performers includes a wide variety of local and international talent. Enjoy stage performances, music, visual art exhibits, literary events, interactive installations, children’s activities, a craft market, martial arts demonstrations, amateur sumo tournament, historical walking tours, tea ceremonies, ikebana and bonsai demonstrations, and delicious Japanese cuisine. • Oppenheimer Park and surrounding areas, 400 block of Powell St. • Aug. 3 and 4 • Free, powellstreetfestival.com
Brigade Days Explore the encampment of re-enactors showcasing the Hudson’s Bay Company era as they swap stories, play music, and show off traditional skills. Don’t miss the Arrival of the Fur Brigades canoe re-enactment at the river at 1 p.m. on Monday. • Fort Langley National Historic Site, 23433 Mavis Ave., Fort Langley • Aug. 3-5 • Regular admission applies, 604-513-4777, pc.gc.ca
Pride Parade & Festival The three-hour parade route features approximately 150 entries offering non-stop entertainment. Enjoy floats, marching groups, dancers, community groups and performances. Immediately following the parade is the Sunset Beach Festival – a jubilant event featuring live music, beer gardens, vendor booths and more. • Starts at Robson & Thurlow, continues through the West End, finishing at the Sunset Beach Festival site • Aug. 4, starts at noon • Free, vancouverpride.ca
Anirevo: Summer 2019 Celebrate anime and Japanese pop culture in the heart of downtown. Join us this summer as we bring you even more amazing surprises and boatloads of memories! Highlights include cosplay, voice actors, panels and the Exhibitor’s Hall. • Vancouver Convention Centre • Aug. 9-11 • summer.animerevolution.ca
The 147th Annual Chilliwack Fair This fair is the cornerstone of the summer event schedule in Chilliwack, where you can find family entertainment and friendly competition. The Fair’s widespread appeal makes for a truly community event, with attractions ranging from the crowd favourite BCRA Rodeo, the Laughing Logger shows, live music, pig racing and bouncy rides, to artist and cooking demonstrations, home and garden displays and a marketplace. • Heritage Park Chilliwack, 44140 Luckakuck Way, Aug. 9-11 • chilliwackfair.com
Abbotsford International Airshow Canada’s National Airshow features all kinds of vintage planes and military aircraft, static displays and lots of performers including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. • Abbotsford International Airport, Aug. 9-11 • abbotsfordairshow.com
Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival 2019 Officially celebrating its 20th anniversary this family-friendly event returns to Deer Lake Park with performances by Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan, The War and Treaty, William Prince, and Southern Avenue. • Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park • Aug. 10, 1 p.m. • $60/$70, ticketmaster.ca, livenation.com
Clover Valley Beer Festival 40+ breweries, 80+ brews, live music, food trucks and a kick-ass time! Partial proceeds go towards Twins Cancer Fundraising. • Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 17728 64th Ave., Surrey • Aug. 10 • gibbonswhistler.com
Kaleidoscope Arts Festival With plenty to explore and site-wide beverage licensing, the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival will look and feel like an urban street festival. Includes performances by indie artists Current Swell, Royal Canoe and Terra Lightfoot. Try your hand at the arts, browse handcrafted wares in the artisan market, watch performing artists Blink Acro, Disco Funeral, Hip Hop Hoop, and visual artists Richard Tetrault and Sandeep Johal. Enjoy delicious food truck fare and sip craft beer and spirits. Music will fill the site, with DJ Emilita getting the festival vibe going at 2 p.m. and live concert performances hitting the TD Community Plaza stage starting at 4:30 p.m. • Town Centre Park, Coquitlam • Aug. 10, 2-9 p.m. • coquitlam.ca
RibFest Langley For three hot days and nights, Langley will host the summer party of the year! Join us at McLeod Park for live music, cold beverages, and delicious Southern-style barbecue ribs, pork, beef and chicken, plus fresh local corn and a full offering of entertainment. • McLeod Athletic Park, 56th Ave and 216th St., Langley • Aug. 16-18 • Free admission, ribfestlangley.com
Rock Ambleside This year’s classic rock festival will feature performances by Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite, Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult, Pat Travers, The Romantics, The Headpins, Streetheart, SAGA, Sass Jordan and David Wilcox. • Ambleside Park, West Van • Aug. 16-18 • rockamblesidepark.com
The Fair at the PNE One of B.C.’s most beloved summer events and an annual tradition for thousands of families across the province. Showcasing a diverse entertainment line-up, internationally acclaimed musical performances, and rides and attractions, this year’s Fair delivers another exciting line-up of new exhibits and top-tier entertainment. Highlight’s of this year’s Fair include Reveen: The Superconscious Experience, Knights of Valour, The SuperDogs and a new line-up for the Summer Night Concerts. • Renfrew and Hastings St. • Aug. 17 until Sept. 2, open 11 a.m. till late • pne.ca/fair/
Richmond Garlic Fest Highlights include fresh local garlic, garlicky delights from local restaurants, an expanded Farmers Market, live bird of prey flying demos, a Kid’s Zone with tons of farm & nature-themed activities, live music, farm tours, workshops and more. • Terra Nova Rural Park (The Sharing Farm), 2771 Westminster Highway, Richmond • Aug. 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • By donation, 604-227-6210, richmondgarlicfest.com
Steveston Dragon Boat Festival Steveston comes alive for one of B.C.’s biggest dragon boat races and one of Richmond’s most popular community festivals. Enjoy dragon boat races, live music, vibrant visual arts, entertainment, children’s activities, and culinary offerings, while kicking back and enjoying a relaxing summer’s day by the water. • Britannia Heritage Shipyard to Imperial Landing in Steveston Village, Richmond • Aug. 24 • Free, stevestondragonboatfestival.ca
Deep Cove Daze This local community arts festival features entertainment on the waterfront, mainstage entertainment, a fun play zone for kids, a food court, a beer garden, an artisan/vendor alley, a sponsor area, and various events such as a kids parade, pie-eating contest, and a cardboard kayak contest. • Panorama Park, Deep Cove, North Van • Aug. 25-26 • Free, musart.ca/deep-cove-daze
Richmond World Festival Features more than 90 artists on nine stages including headliners K-pop star Verbal Jint, Tokyo Police Club and Dragonette. Other highlights include Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, more than 50 food trucks in the FEASTival of Flavour, a culinary stage and Global Village, an artisan market place, the Bamboo Theatre and much more. • Minoru Park, Richmond • Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 • Free, richmondworldfestival.com
Laura Mackenrot, the former vice-chair of the City of Vancouver’s persons with disabilities advisory committee, outside TransLink headquarters. The board approved a policy that will see washrooms added to stations along the transit system. Jennifer Saltman / PNG
TransLink customers looking for public restrooms on Metro Vancouver’s transit system could soon find relief.
The transit authority’s board of directors on Thursday approved a recommendation from management to increase the number of washrooms available for public use.
“This is a very big change from where we’ve been in the past, and I’m really pleased to see us moving in this direction,” said board member Larry Beasley.
Public washrooms have been a hot-button topic over the years, and TransLink did not previously have a policy. The new one was developed during 2018.
In the past, TransLink has cited the high cost of maintenance, and passenger safety and security as reasons to avoid adding washrooms on transit.
Currently, the only public washrooms are found at both SeaBus terminals and on West Coast Express trains, and they are required by federal transportation regulations.
A survey conducted as part of the review asked more than 2,000 people about washroom availability, and 72 per cent said that more washrooms would improve their transit experience. About 25 per cent said they would use transit more often if there were more washrooms.
“We do see this as an important ridership growth, ridership development objective,” said Andrew McCurran, TransLink’s director of strategic planning and policy.
Laura Mackenrot, the former vice-chair of the City of Vancouver’s persons with disabilities advisory committee, said four city committees had appealed to TransLink to add more washrooms to the transit system.
“How can you deny people the ability to do a basic human need every day?” Mackenrot asked the board. “This is not just a disability issue, it’s an accessibility issue that affects us all — all ages and all abilities.”
Mackenrot said she knows people who don’t use public transit because they have no access to washrooms, and urged TransLink to make sure any washrooms it adds are universally accessible and gender neutral.
According to a staff report, washrooms should be placed at major transfer or connection points for a high number of transit passengers, in places where there will be many passengers who have long journey times and evenly spaced on the system.
TransLink will look at existing spaces within stations, adding washrooms during upgrades or construction of new stations or partnering with developers, municipalities or private businesses.
An implementation strategy will be brought to the board for consideration next year, which will include potential washroom locations, costs and a timeline.
Mackenrot said after the meeting that she was very happy with the board’s decision.
“We worked really hard on this for the last couple of years and I think it’s a great first step in the right direction to be including washrooms in our stations,” she said.
One TransLink policy that won’t change is related to pets on transit.
Currently, TransLink allows pets — other than certified service animals — if they are in small, hand-held cages that fit on your lap. Transit operators can refuse a pet if there is a concern for safety or comfort of other passengers, or if there is standing room only.
It was anticipated that allowing more pets would negatively affect people travelling without pets, worsen safety and well being of passengers and staff, hurt system efficiency and increase administrative costs.
Management recommended that TransLink maintain its current policy, but continue to monitor industry trends and public sentiment to see if changes are needed in the future. The board endorsed that recommendation.
“Our current policy strikes a reasonable balance, providing an option for individuals who travel with pets without unreasonable, negative impacts to other transit riders,” said Andrew Devlin, manager of policy development.
Margaret Halsey has long advocated for allowing more dogs on transit. She said that if the board won’t consider changing the policy, then there should be a pilot project to see how it might work to have more pets on board.
“I’m certain that dogs that are allowed only at set times or on specific trains or buses would alleviate a considerable amount of challenges,” Halsey said.
An ambulance races down E. Hastings Street in Vancouver, BC Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Jason Payne / PNG
Emergency first responders, hospital physicians and others trying to revive overdosed drug users are now having to give several doses of naloxone to counteract increasingly toxic concoctions including heroin, morphine, and fentanyl, B.C.’s top public health official says.
Chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said even the free, Take Home Naloxone program kits are now being distributed with three vials since toxic street drugs require more intense antidotes — as many as six to 10 doses in the most challenging cases, according to ambulance paramedics.
Henry said contrary to some perceptions, it’s not that opioid drugs are becoming “resistant” to naloxone, it’s that many drug users are using not only more toxic opioids drugs like carfentanil but in multiple combinations with other drugs. Moreover, the current reality of the overdose crisis is such that users are taking drugs for which naloxone has no effect to revive them, she said. That includes cocaine, speed and GHB.
“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Henry said.
“Some of the drugs are so toxic, and drug users are also taking opioids with sedatives like Valium, alcohol or Xanax. So yes, we’re seeing that many people require several doses,” Henry said, adding that hospital emergency departments are also requiring higher doses of naloxone in intravenous drips to save lives.
“What we’re seeing is these potent toxic drugs, even the smallest amounts cause respiratory depression, cause people to stop breathing. So we may be getting naloxone in but we may need more and more, for longer periods of time because it (naloxone) wears off quickly.”
There are an estimated 55,000 individuals in B.C. who have opioid use disorders.
Joe Acker, director of clinical practice for B.C. Emergency Health Services, said in 2017, ambulance paramedics responded to 23,400 overdoses and the number in 2018 will, in all likelihood, exceed that. (The overall number of overdoses in B.C. would be greater because the figure provided by Acker does not include overdoses attended by other emergency personnel or those not attended by such professionals).
Acker said naloxone was administered in about a quarter of cases and he acknowledged that some drug users react with anger when they are revived with naloxone because it not only “ruins their high” but can also cause nasty withdrawal symptoms.
At times, oxygen may be used instead of naloxone to prevent those effects. Paramedics are no longer required to take drug users to a hospital once they have been revived as long as their assessments show that the client is stable.
Acker said some drug users seek out the most concentrated drugs like carfentanil while others are unsuspecting. Paramedics have observed that welfare cheque days are often the busiest and most lethal.
On the worst days, ambulances have been dispatched to as many as 135 overdoses across B.C. in a 24-hour period. Public health experts are expecting between 1,400 and 1,500 deaths in 2018, similar to 2017.
While paramedics and health professionals use safety-engineered retractable needles to avoid contracting infectious diseases from those to whom they are administering drugs, Henry said public health officials have not changed their minds about distributing such needles to drug users.
The issue of used needles being discarded on city streets and parks where unsuspecting children, adults and pets can step on them came up repeatedly during the civic election campaign. Needles that retract as soon as they are used are a harm reduction strategy in some jurisdictions but Henry said they have been ruled out here because they are harder for injection drug users to handle.
Acker said BCEHS does respond to citizens reporting accidental needle-pokes on streets and in parks but he couldn’t provide a number reflecting the frequency of such calls. Henry said while such cases would be traumatizing to individuals, in B.C. there has never been a case of transmission of HIV or other serious infections caused by such incidents.
Discarded needles seen on Vancouver streets or in parks will be collected if citizens call a hotline at 604-657-6561.
In her presentation on the opioid overdose crisis last week to city council, Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical officer Dr. Patricia Daly said overdose prevention sites and take-home naloxone kits were saving lives; the B.C. Centre for Disease Control estimates thousands of deaths over the last two years have been prevented because of the measures.
Daly said more than 300 people have died from overdoses in Vancouver so far this year, similar to the number at this point last year.
While Canadian life expectancies are rising, in B.C., they have dropped because of opioid overdoses. Last year, drug overdoses led to more deaths than suicides, homicides and motor vehicle accidents combined.
BBG Constructive & Security Installation Consultants is a multi-disciplinary property and construction consultancy. Working with businesses on built-environment projects, we are client-focused with the recognised experience, knowledge base, expertise and track record to tackle projects irrespective of complexity from a position of strength.