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November Meeting at Ray-Cam, Neighbourhood News + Events, Strathcona Seismic, and more

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hello, Strathcona friends and neighbours.

We are pleased to announce that this month's meeting will be taking place 7:15, Wednesday November 6, at Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, 920 East Hastings. The location change is part of our ongoing efforts to reach out to and engage with more residents of the Strathcona area.

Another change, resulting from our October AGM sees two new members of the executive council, Chris Coleman and (former SRA Chair) James Johnstone who will be joining Elana, John, Gordon and me on the council. A big thanks to outgoing council members Jodi Spargur an Danielle Sherring.

Another big change is to our website, which now features more of a 'blog' type format, with timely posts, commentary and events posted to the front page, check it out at

Lots more neighbourhood events and news below.

- Pete Fry, SRA Chair

In this newsletter:
  1. Community Announcements:
    • Strathcona Community Centre Pub Night
    • Heart of the City Festival
    • Development and Democracy in Vancouver
    • Growing Gen 7: Great Food with Great People for a Good Cause
    • Through the Lens: Building Vancouver's History
    • BREAD & SALT: A tribute to the East End’s historic Ukrainian Community
    • 17th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl 2013
    • Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
  2. Strathcona Elementary Seismic Upgrades
  3. Updates on LAPP
  4. Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
  5. Updates on Union Street / Adanac Bikepath
  6. Update on SRA society status

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Community Announcements

Strathcona Community Centre PUB NIGHT
Have fun and hoist a few with your neighbours, while helping to raise funds for the community centre, the Strathcona Pub Night is always a great time! Live Music featuring Mark Wardrop and the Hullabelugas
Tickets $25 or Five for $100
Proceeds to fund the purchase of a new community centre van.
Friday, November 8
Each ticket includes one beverage and one appetizer, 19+ only

Heart of the City Festival
The 10th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival
Featuring over 80 events at over 25 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside, with special events including the premiere of Bread and Salt on the post festival weekend of November 8 to 10. To celebrate the Festival’s 10th Anniversary and to honour the talents, wisdom and power of our home community this year’s theme is: “Drawing Strength from Our Roots,” with a focus on the rich and diverse communities of the Downtown Eastside.
Presented by Vancouver Moving Theatre in association with Carnegie Community Centre, the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, and a host of community partners.

Development and Democracy in Vancouver
In neighbourhoods across Vancouver, community planning processes and development decisions by Vancouver City Council have provoked a democratic crisis and raised the question: how much of a say should the citizens of Vancouver have over how their neighbourhoods develop over the coming years and decades?
Please join Green Party City Councillor Adriane Carr together with former Vancouver City Planner Peter Burch and UBC Chair of Urban Design Patrick Condon in a series of special Town Hall meetings where the focus is on your thoughts and your voice.
West End: Saturday Nov. 2, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, St. Paul's Church, 1130 Jervis Street
Grandview-Woodland: Saturday Nov. 2, 2:30-4:30 pm, Britannia Community Centre /Eastside Family Place,
Canuck's Room, William Street at Grandview Park
Marpole: Wednesday Nov. 6, 7:00-9:30 pm, Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre, 990 W. 59th Avenue
[note: we had tried but were unsuccessful in organizing one of these for the DTES, the three above neighbouhoods are all undergoing Local Area Plans as well. Patrick Condon has done some very interesting work on mid-rise densification over tower-style densification as a solution for affordable housing and more livable communities]

Growing Gen 7: Great Food with Great People for a Good Cause
A fundraiser for Urban Aboriginal Youth.
ALIVE and Motivate Canada, with support of the Ray-Cam Community Centre and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, have undertaken a partnership to create greater opportunities for Aboriginal people, particularly youth, to actively participate and be successful within the multi-cultural neighborhoods where they live (more on the Gen 7 program here). Tuesday's fundraiser at PIDGIN Restaurant will present an opportunity to learn more about Gen 7 and this place-based approach to leadership and reconciliation, while enjoying the creativity of Chef Makoto Ono. Tickets are $100/person with a tax receipt for $50.
Tuesday, November 5, 6:30-9:30pm - PIDGIN Restaurant, 350 Carrall St.

Through the Lens: Building Vancouver's History
A historic indoor digital tour of Strathcona with John Atkin
Join historical experts in the Space Centre's digital Planetarium Star Theatre for a look back at Vancouver as you've never seen it before. This "indoor" digital walking tour allows a unique way to experience the changes that have enveloped our city over the last 100 years. Matching then-and-now panorama photography, experts John Atkin and Michael Kluckner move us through over a century of change.
Wednesday, November 6, 7pm

BREAD & SALT: A tribute to the East End’s historic Ukrainian Community
- Part of the Heart of the City Festival
This 85th Anniversary tribute interweaves oral history with live theatre and music, haunting choral singing and the driving rhythms of Ukrainian dance. Performed by a multi-generational cast of over sixty professional and community actors, singers, dancers and musicians and inspired by stories and memories from the East End’s historic Ukrainian community.
Friday, November 8, 2013, 8pm, Performance only. $15
Sunday, November 10, 2013, 3pm, Performance & Ukrainian dinner $25
Ukrainian Hall, 805 East Pender Street
Advance ticket sale information: (604) 254-3436

17th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl 2013
Vancouver's visual arts, crafts and design festival featuring 400+ artists.
Friday, November 15, 2013 - Sunday, November 17, 2013
Studio Preview - Thursday Nov 14 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Friday November 15 5:00 - 10:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday Nov 16 & 17 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
Mark your Calendars! The Strathcona Winter Craft Fair is back and better than ever!
Highlights include: 50 vendors, Crafts area for kids, Live Music, Door Prizes, And.... Food Trucks!!!
Saturday November 30, 2013 from 10 – 5pm
Facebook Page

* As always, the latest news and events can be found on our website.

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Strathcona Elementary Seismic Upgrades

Strathcona parents have been working hard to bring long-overdue seismic upgrades to the school.

Strathcona Elementary School is the oldest school building in Vancouver. It was rated #1 at risk by the BC Government in 2005, a year after the province began working with Strathcona to plan seismic upgrades. The inner city school is made up of 5 buildings, 4 of which require upgrades but only 3 are part of the renovation proposal. These 3 buildings are designated heritage buildings, which practically eliminates the opportunity to demolish the school and rebuild. Although designated early on as one of three schools to be prioritized, Strathcona has been passed over year after year, as schools in other areas of Vancouver receive signed project agreements.

See for ways you can help!
Join the Twitter campaign #9yearswaiting
Sign the online petition.

Local Area Plan

Since City Council granted the LAPP Committee's request for and extension to the November deadline (on September 27, City Council agree to extend the DTES Local Area Plan delivery date from November 20 to January 31) it seems the LAPP is spinning it's wheels. As of this newsletter, we are still awaiting the plan from the city, and the last few committee meetings have been canceled. According to an October 31 meeting of the co-chairs, the January deadline should no longer apply. According to minutes circulated from the same co-chairs meeting the City "remains firm on the housing ratio policies proposed for the DEOD and other areas in the DTES" *[ proposed 60/40 non-market/market in the DEOD, which includes the area 1/2 block north of Pender from Heatley to Gore.

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

In September the SRA voted unanimously to attend a coalition of concerned community associations from all around Vancouver. Currently 20 neighbourhoods from the West End to Hastings Sunrise, Point Grey to the DTES to Marpole have been working together "with the specific purpose of demanding a more respectful relationship between the City and the communities. The Coalition is working on creating a new development/planning paradigm that will stress community involvement and local influence over land use and zoning decisions." As with all new friendships, we are going through the getting to know each other phase, but so far we have been successful in keeping partisan politics and geographically specific agendas out.

Read the Coalition's press release here.

Media Roundup: Frances Bula, Vancouver Courier, Spacing Vancouver, Singtao Daily, News 1130, Georgia Straight

Union Street Closures, Adanac Bikepath

As of this writing, we have received no information from the City regarding our request for details of consultation undertaken as necessary criteria for changes to Adanac Bikepath [the City's Transportation 2040 Plan, explicitly calls for rigorous consultation of all stakeholders]. This wednesday's meeting will discuss options and how we will be proceeding with a formal F.O.I. request.

Anecdotal feedback indicates that the poor design of the recent changes to the Adanac Bikepath have resulted in two serious injuries [witnesses are still being sought for a pedestrian struck and injured by a cyclist on the 200 block], and have seriously compromised emergency vehicle access to Solheim Place (housing many seniors and disabled) with paramedics having to negotiate gurneys between parked cars and active bikepath. Notwithstanding the lack of response from the City's Active Transportation department, the SRA have been working with cyclist advocacy group HUB and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association to encourage safe and responsible cycling in and through Strathcona

Background: On September 25, residents received notice that The City's proposed expanded bike path and resultant closure of Union Street east of Gore "will not be implemented at this time". The letter does go on to hint that these closures will be happening by 2017 —  so presumably that means sometime after next November's civic election. Since June of this year the SRA and other local stakeholders in Chinatown and City Gate have been requesting input and consultation on a bike path that works for everyone, details of that approach can be found here.

Update on SRA Society Application

Following ratification of our new constitution and bylaws at October's AGM, secretary Gordon Roe has submitted the necessary documentation with the provincial government - latest updates will be available at the next meeting.

7:15, Wednesday November 6, at Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, 920 East Hastings

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SRA Monthly Meeting Minutes
Wednesday October 2nd 2013, 7:15pm Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer 

( Please see Newsletter for details of announcements and background on motions)
Welcome by Council
Community Announcements (from newsletter):
Local Area Plan update: 
Dwelling far too much on process and procedure and too little on issues of substance.
Seems that the City is less interested in having the stakeholders agree on common interests and more on procedural efforts to divide and waste people's time.
DTES LAPP has been extended to January 31st.
The initial report, or at least the fluffy/general first third of it, have been distributed. Issues identified
newly increased building heights in more areas, but no specifics
no mention of affordable/working class/working poor housing
no definition of affordable housing
gentrification language being used to divide people on the LAPP
'lack of stewardship and neighbourhood care' flagged as a problem with no justification for it
rising rents laid at feet of rising assessments, but the height increases they propose would also increase assessments, reducing affordability.
A number of new bike paths appeared in the plan without ever having been mentioned previously to the LAPP.
Heritage preservation remains tied to re-development.
The LAPP members are all concerned about this and the City has been catching a lot of flack, but don't know if that will make any difference. Residents (regardless of income level) are most concerned. BIAs and neighbourhood service organizations have other concerns, but are generally concerned.
It is very clear that the decision has been made from above and they will be pushing heights and density despite community resistance, on behalf of politically-connected developers.
This dis-satisfaction is growing in all neighbourhoods, and neighbourhoods are beginning to unite in no-partisan opposition to the City and this top-down imposition of development plans.
Pete asked, of the various issues we are confronted with, what is the main concern of the membership- heights, housing mix, displacement of social housing, affordable housing
Viaducts and Eastern Core update:
Elana reported that the City council has set aside immediate movement on the viaducts and has instituted a new 2 year plan combining viaducts and eastern-core, and divided them into false creek and flatland (main west and main west).
This separation and the absence of ports, rail, and other important stakeholders, few want to engage with the process.
Now waiting to see if the process will be fixed.
Union Street Bike Path update
The City has done a 180 on the bike path, and now undoing their original design and have adopted more of that proposed by Strathcona residents, but still haven't done the consultations as directed by Council.
Our motion to do an FOI on the process may have influenced the speed with which this happened

Motion/Carried: That
AGM, SRA as a registered Society

The role of the executive council was discussed.
Nominations for Council: Chris Coleman and James Johnstone are new nominees, Elana Zysblat, John Hawke, Pete Fry and Gordon Roe standing again.
Moved/Carried: That the nominees be accepted by acclamation to membership in the executive council for a one year term.
The need to pursue society status for the SRA was discussed and the bylaws presented
Moved/Carried: That the bylaws as circulated be approved and the Council is directed to submit them to the Registrar to make the Strathcona Residents Association.

Announcements from the floor

Heart of the City Festival (see newsletter)
Terry Hunter spoke about some of the events on the 10th anniversary of particular interest to SRA members: Taiko Roots in Japantown, Ukrainian Hall tribute on its 85 anniversary, John Atkin explorations of False Creek shoreline, and John Johnstone's Historical Treasurebox at Pender and Carrall
Presentation by Ali Galius Strathcona Police Officer (see newsletter)
She emphasized that she is our neighbourhood contact and she will follow up on concerns if she is able. Contact her through Pete Fry.
Spoke of the sexual assault in McLean Park, have moved through the usual suspects and are now working on tips, many of them from Strathcona. She is available to do presentations on safety if women would like to request them. The neighborhood Safety Office in RayCam can also be a resource.
Left material on various safety topics, and advice on which number to call and what information the police would find useful.
Introduction to Frankie Mao, an intern assigned to the SRA by the UBC SCRP (School of Community and Regional Planning) Frankie will work to conduct research on matters of importance to Strathcona residents as part of his Masters program.