Community, Oct 5, 2015

Last week I spent a lot of time doing terribly partisan volunteer political work for the upcoming election, which cut a bit into my out-in-the-community time. But I still got a few things in, including a relatively non-partisan All Candidate’s Meeting.

They must have been nervous at the start, because it was a lot more fun a meeting than it looks here.

The Queens Park Residents Association always runs a great all-candidates event, and this year was no exception, The crowd is respectful, the questions thoughtful, and the setting delightful. You can follow the mood of the room (surprisingly lovey) from this storified collection curated by Julie MacLellan at the Record, including a lot of my (trying not to be totally partisan) tweets.

Other events last week were refreshingly less political.

Saturday morning, The City and the Alzheimer Society of BC held a community conversation entitled: “Dementia-Friendly New West”. There were presentations and opportunities for community feedback on various aspects of making a City more livable for people with dementia and those who support them. I learned a lot about the different types of dementia, and how it impacts the daily lives of people, be they the diagnosed person, a family member, or another caregiver. The City’s Social Planner provided results of a survey recently performed to determine the needs and challenges of people impacted by dementia. It was a great event, and an opportunity for me to learn a little more about city-building that they don’t teach you in City Council candidate school.


Saturday was also the 75th Anniversary of the Wait for me Daddy photograph, which made it a great time to unveil the Official Dedication Plaque installed at Hyack Square to recognize the people who put the Statue program together.

There were also special performances at the Anvil Centre. The University of Calgary Wind Ensemble performed an original piece by New Westminster native Brian Garbet which was inspired by the Wait for Me Daddy photograph. There was a performance by the Lord Tweedsmuir Theatre Troop inspired by the meanings of “Freedom” and “Discipline”, and performance pieces by three small troupes of multi-disciplinary artists that all combined music, dance, spoken word, video and performance to animate the personal stories of three New Westminster residents who have in some way been impacted by war and separation. It was an inspiring and sometimes chilling show.


Finally, New Westminster Fire Rescue had their annual Open House on Saturday at the Glenbrook Fire Hall. This is a great chance for families to learn about emergency preparedness and what our Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance teams do for a living, all in the guise of getting neighbourhood kids closer to firetruck. Hundreds of people showed up this year (it was a beautiful day!) and got to learn about fire extinguishers, the Jaws of Life, and did I mention firetrucks?

What ever you do, don’t park in front of a fire Hydrant in New West.

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