One thing I have discovered about myself is that I am not very good at the getting the photo. I am having meetings all of the time in this job, and am going to some fun events and many of both really should result in a photo. To prove I was there, to promote the event or person I was meeting with, to fill the space in these update blog posts I call “This Happened” about what I have been up to. I need to work on that.
A good example has been the meetings I have been having at various City facilities with City staff who work there. I have been trying to get out to various departments with coffee to just chat with the folks who are on the “front line” doing the often thankless public-facing work, and those in the offices who do the things that keep a complex organization running. They are really great learnings for me, and a chance to familiarize myself with the different complexities of the City. But I always forget to get a photo.
As a Council, we have been wrapping up our onboarding tours and meetings, which means we have seen the innards of the new təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre, and have seen the working parts of some of our older facilities. We were able to see the ice room for the Queens Park Arena, which is spic-and-span in its newness, as the old ice plant has been recently replaced with a much safer and more efficient plant that not only reduces the risk of ammonia spills, but also is way more energy efficient:
I was able to attend the Hyack President’s Tea at Centennial Hall, where I shared tea with President Penny McIvor, met some of the new Executive Members and the 2023 Ambassadors. It was great to be back to meeting in person for these events, and I know the entire community is looking forward to the 2023 Hyack Parade and festival.
I have continued to work with regional leaders on some common interests, including hosting a couple of members of Langley City Council at one of our City’s best meeting spaces:
And had several Metro Vancouver meetings, which are generally held at their offices in Burnaby. As there are commonly two meetings a day, there is some lag time when Board Directors from around the regions can network, or just point the back of our laptops at each other.
There was also a press event I attended with some members of the TransLink Mayors Council to announce the launch of the new battery electric buses. These Nova all-electric buses are going to be serving the 100 route from 22nd Street Station to Cambie. They have 100+km range, can be charged in 5 minutes with that overhead gantry thingy, and are made in Canada!
Have I mentioned the meetings? I had a great sit-down with Jay Chalke, the Ombudsperson for the Province about their program and mandate, and their role in assuring citizens are treated fairly by Local Governments. He was also able to share some of the research the Ombudsperson office does to provide guidance to elected officials and others in the Public Service to assure the public interest is served.
I also had a chance to meet with Paul Horn who has the unique distinction of being a fellow Mayor (the District of Mission) and the President of the Senior Salmonbellies, which gave us the chance to talk about “mayor life”, and about how the City and the ‘Bellies can partner more closely.
I not only attended the 10th anniversary Pecha Kucha New West event, but I was invited to be one of the presenters. For those out of the loop – a Pecha Kucha night is when around 10 people give shot presentations on something they are passionate about. The presentation are kept short (Under 7 minutes) by the rule “20 slides, 20 seconds each”, and the slide change every 20 seconds automatically, so you need to keep up. There was a great turnout for the 10th event, some great speakers (my highlights by paraphrased title: “I tried Rugby at 35” and “Talking about shame”), and the MC of the night was a real ham:
Finally, for reasons that were all over the news, Members of Council and some senior staff from the City did a tour of the Shipyards in North Vancouver to see what a transformation of public space can look like, and to hear a bit from the Mayor of North Van of the challenges and opportunities the pace presented:
And a few of us may have popped into the Copperpenny after, but those memories are fuzzy.