I’ve been busy. Not the least with riding in (and recovering from) my first long bike ride of the year. The Pacific Populaire is 100km, 700+ riders, and on a beautiful spring day like we had last Sunday, pretty much the best 4 hours a person can spend. We had a great turnout from the @FRFuggitivi which bodes well for the cycling season ahead!
Since my March 27th post, here are a few other things that have kept me busy.
We had another meeting with the Youth Advisory Committee, where representatives from the City’s Bylaws department and Fraser Health talked about smoking. Not the usual “why you kids shouldn’t smoke!” stuff (the youth of today are smarter than we were at that age about addictions and peer pressure), but to have questions about smoking enforcement answered for them. Mostly, they want more and better enforcement of anti-smoking rules, want to know why people can smoke in parks or at SkyTrain stations, things like that. It was another one of those generation-divide type conversations, and I’m not blowing smoke when I continue to say that these meetings are really educational and inspirational for me.
The Royal City Curling Club had its annual DonSpiel- the last event of the curling season, and a good time for all. I was not on a team this year (too many things scheduled that weekend) but was able to pinch hit for one game. The theme this year was Team Jerseys, so the team for which I was asked to spare with chose to go with a grunge theme and call themselves “Curl Jam”. We won, we had fun, and we got a great pic for the back of our next Cd!
The same weekend, I attended the opening of a showing of Jack Campbell paintings at the Plaskett Gallery at Massey Theatre. I wrote a blog a couple of years ago when Jack died remembering my sometimes neighbour, and I am really happy that the Massey Theatre Society decided to show his works this month. It is on until April 28, and worth a visit, if only to get a sense of what New Westminster’s waterfront looked like though an artist’s eyes in the decades past.
I attended an event at Douglas College where a group of marketing students presented their semester projects, as a part of a partnership between the College, Envision Financial, and local not-for-profits. The student teams are matched with an external NFP that needs to solve a marketing, development or promotional problem. The students get real hands-on experience, the NFP gets the benefit of solid advice from people trained in marketing and promotions, and good things result. This year’s teams talked about their work with the Chrons and Colitis Canada, the Royal City Curling Club (them again!), and the Eagle Ridge Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. This is a great program, and an example of how Douglas College is really stepping out to make a bigger impact on the greater community. Kudos to everyone involved.
Speaking of Kudos, the New Westminster Police Department had a banquet to thank their volunteers last week at the Anvil. You may not have realized it, but the NWPD have more than 100 volunteers, who contributed more than 15,000 hours in volunteer service in 2015, in outreach, crime prevention, victim services, and other functions. We are a small town, and are lucky to have our own police force that understands and can concentrate on building our local community, but their work would be no-where near as effective or affordable without the efforts of people like Bruno Bersani and Alana Dochtermann, who each volunteered over 280 hours in 2015!
While at the Anvil Centre, I dropped by the opening of a new show at the New Media Gallery. The collection is called Germinal, with three pieces around themes of animal/human hybrids, and freak evolution, and genetic migration and… subjects that might make people a little wierded out. There is a large video collage, a mesmerizing projected work where genetic algorithms are used to create and modify words, and a very cool interactive video work where you can get your animal face on. Well worth a visit!
This past weekend also saw the 65th annual Opening Day of the New Westminster Little League season, where Councillor Trentadue took the role of Acting Mayor and threw her patented off-speed sinker across the plate, a pitch that would have surely induced a swing and a miss. The woman has skills. It was a beautiful day at Queens Park stadium!
There was also a Fundraiser for the Royal City Farmers Market held a 100 Braid Studios. I was able to try my hand at painting with wine, see some of the works of the resident artists at 100 Braid, and help raise a little money for the best little Farmers Market in the region (we are less than a month from the Tipperary Park opening for 2016!)
Finally, the start of April also brought an entire new and exciting venture to New Westminster. You all know Jen Arbo and Tenth to the Fraser, the website, but you may not know she has been working with a team to expand the 10th media empire. A print magazine with the same title was just launched with an “Issue #0”. It is a slick new format, really well produced, with a plan to give local writers, artists, photographers, and other artists a medium to add to the conversation that is already occurring at TenthtotheFraser.ca. I am totally not unbiased here, I have a great interest in seeing this idea fly, because there is a need for a breadth of voices in this community, and because I think the printed word still has a market. The key to me is to respect and challenge the audience by producing high-quality content, and I think “Issue #0” is a sign of good things to come.
If nothing else, the Launch Party at 6th Street Pop-up was a great event where much, much fun was had (see top of post).