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Annual General Meeting - Oct 1

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hello fellow Strathconians,

October’s meeting is unique for three reasons:

1. It’s on October 1st (weird but soon)
2. It’s our AGM (important voting and nominations, so come in person!)
3. It starts at 7 pm not at 7:15 (change is frightening, but this slight adjustment is manageable?)

Please mark you calendars now: SRA meeting and AGM, Wednesday October 1st at 7 pm sharp. (at the Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer Street)

We are committed to having guest speakers at every meeting this year. This upcoming meeting (oct 1st) features Britannia Community Centre Executive Director, Cynthia Low, and members of the Britannia Board, presenting “Planning for an even better Community Hub” a talk about major renovations anticipated for the Britannia site.

Britannia is hoping for voter approval of a capital plan expenditure by the City. This will allow them to begin major renovations to the Britannia complex that also serves Strathcona residents. They would like to show us what they anticipate and ask us to help them gauge community approval. Please turn out to learn more and help them plan for the future of our neighbouring communities. There was some discussion at our last meeting about the urgency to renovate our own community centre. This talk will be a good starting point for us to wrap our head around what this involves…

Following the presentation will be our Annual General Meeting. All positions will be open for nomination: SRA Chair, Executive Council, Treasurer, Secretary and committee members such as Prior Street, festivals and events, traffic, safety & security, community centre planning etc…

We especially hope to welcome new, energetic council members to help share the leadership and chairing tasks for the upcoming season.

Minutes from Sep 3rd meeting:

Welcome from Elana Zysblat, Executive Council member.

Elana asked people who are here to introduce themselves. Several new neighbours introduced themselves. Ricki Chen brought a few new roommates. Ricki also brought cookies to share.

Prior Street Road Safety Audit: --- Elana and Judy reported on the progress of the SRA's lobbying. The SRA Council stayed active over the summer months with regards to the Prior Street Road Safety Audit as you may have heard via our electronic newsletter and related posters around the hood. Thanks so much to all those who submitted surveys! We received over 130 responses in just a few weeks. The surveys were well received and influential. The consultants hired by the City to conduct the audit said that such wide, quick response is very rare and that our feedback was hugely helpful and influential for their findings. Over the summer, we (SRA Executive Council and Prior Street Committee) accompanied the consultants on a walkthrough of Prior-Venables and a follow up meeting with the Engineering Staff.

The City's safety audit proceeded, and community members have been actively involved with the consultants. How influential the RSA will be we don't know yet but the community will keep up the pressure. But the decisions will be put off until after the election and, depending on the outcome of that, could be implemented or ignored. But our goal is to make Prior safer now ('return parking back to both sides a la 1986'), and carry that forward into the future while decisions are made on the Viaducts and other things later.

Q.- Should we increase our overt public action during the election? Should we sponsor and all-candidates meeting?
A.- Raycam traditionally held one and is investigating that now.
Q.- City is considering lowering speed limits generally to 45kph. Should SRA support this?
A.- Once it is decided we would certainly consider it.
Q. Why was the Powell St overpass built?
A. In order to separate train and vehicular traffic, because the money was there in the Fed. infrastructure money
A comment that the Prior St. Issue is one that also affects Grandview-Woodlands and we should work together with that neighborhood, particularly in the redesign of Britannia Community Centre into a larger more 'destination' complex.

SRA nominations for Council, Chair and Committees:
The October 1st SRA meeting will be the SRA Annual General Meeting. With Pete Fry resigned as Chair, the Chair position is up for grabs! We are looking for new or old neighbourhood residents to take on leadership roles and get involved in local doings through the SRA.
--- October is AGM and elections. A year ago we started an executive council so that the organization would have a faster response to emerging issues. All positions will be open at that time. We also have a series of committees which are excellent ways of getting involved including Prior Street Committee, Zoning Committee, festivals and events Committee, Film Liaison etc… Jack suggested a new committee to plan a new Community Centre.
Q. If you are not yet a voting member, can you be on committees or the Executive?
A. General feeling was sure positive, no opposition voiced at all.
--- Discussion on what issues are affecting or interesting to the membership and the neighbourhood.
--- Judy spoke about the re-visioning and rebuilding of Raycam.
--- Elana spoke about our aspirations to have regular speakers. The November meeting will feature the first speaker, Ron Ewert, Captain of Fire and Disaster Planning from VFD.
Another speaker for December or January may be Ellie Epp, a founder of Strathcona Community Gardens who has a presentation on the origins of the Gardens from the 1970s. Another suggestion is inviting St. James music society to provide musicians/singers closer to Xmas
--- Come to the AGM with ideas for interest groups and speakers

Britannia Community Centre would like to attend and make a presentation in support of their capital plan and redesign.
--- Agreed to have them make their presentation next meeting (October) but starting earlier, at 7 pm sharp.
--- We will make an effort to distribute fliers about this talk if Grandview Woodlands get them to us.

Atira plans at the October meeting proposed development open house: Thursday, September 4th 4-7 pm 502 Alexander Street. Atira is planning a new development at 420 Hawks Avenue, just by the Rice Block. From the sketch and basic info on the open house flyer it looks like a six-storey apartment building intended for ‘women and children’. To hear more about this and ask questions visit their open house at the above mentioned place and time next week.

Strathcona Fall Fete (formerly known as the Strathcona Harvest Festival).
Saturday, September 13th, 3 pm - sundown @ corner of East Georgia and Hawks (the brick ‘piazza’). A family-friendly community street party, potluck and pie contest. Bring food and chairs to share. Bring pies for contest by 3 pm. Bring reusable dishes. Kids activities and crafts. music. face painting. straw stack. This event is once again supported by a Neighbourhood Small Grant (8th year) and the Strathcona Community centre. The organizers are looking for a few volunteer Face Painters and other volunteers to assist with crafts, pie contest and set up/take down. volunteers can contact Francesca:

Car Free Strathcona 2015:
The owners of Floral and Hardy edible plants at 688 E Hastings (in the Heatley Block) are proposing to organize a Car Free Day on East Hastings for next year. They are already involved with this City wide event and will be running for the Car Free Board of Directors. For more information contact Ruth at
--- Impetus is concern about the density, speed and lack of safety from traffic.The event would encourage more pedestrian traffic, which would increase pedestrian and neighbourhood safety and improve local businesses.
--- Requested that the SRA either form its own committee or contribute volunteers to pursuing car-free event in this neighbourhood.

Announcements from the Floor.
1. James Johnstone (check his website)- Walking tour Grandview Woodland on 10th, 13th is a DES and Strathcona walking tour
2. New community garden at Princess and Cordova, open house (open garden?) Sept 6 11am to 3pm.
3. Corn festival at Britannia on Sunday the 7th (or maybe the 6th, check the website)
4. From James again. On Friday there will be a film crew from Italy continuing the documentary he has discussed before. On this Sunday James will need extras to pose as members of his walking tour so he can be filmed blowing our socks off. Contact him
5. October 1st-19th is going to be an event for children with special needs, see
6. Wednesday Sept. 10, Astorino’s at corner Venables and Commercial, a talk on development and a debate on densification in Grandview