Archive for September, 2013

A public art project by Bayview Elementary School at Deverill Square Park.





My name is Yvonne Vander Kooi. I’m a local painter & muralist & will be coordinating a public art project for Deverill Square Park with Bayview Elementary School & neighborhood residents. The project is inspired by the Little Hummingbird story by author & artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Bayview Elementary School has adopted this simple yet moving parable that expresses the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal. The art will be inspired by themes and images from the story & convey how small contributions, when added to the whole, can have a big impact & make a big difference.


I will be painting a series of paintings for the fence line as well as coordinating art workshops for the students at Bayview & neighborhood residents in September & October. Community evening & after school workshops will be hosted on;

Thursdays, October 17 & 24 6-8 PM

Mondays, October 21 & 28 3-5PM

There will be opportunities to participate in the project either by painting one of the 250 panels, volunteering in the art workshops, and/or coordinating the installation and celebration of the project at the school & park. Bring your paint shirts!

Bring your ideas, find out more about the project & how you can participate to the Open House at Bayview Elementary School on September 26th at PM, email me yvonne.birdstudio@gmail.


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As we bumble into one of stormiest weekends forecasted this fall, it seems that we must either rename our South End event to “Chalk Smears” or chalk it up to experience, make a hot cup of tea and take advantage of the extra nine months to gestate more ideas for sidewalk drawings on July 1st.  Personally, I’m opting for the latter.  It seems that many people were thinking about this already since the number of hardy souls who registered is exactly two.  There was also an unregistered plan for several South Enders to chalk up the asphalt at Deverill Park.  Alas – tis not to be.

Way back in July and August, when we saw nary a cloud and rain seemed a thing of the distant past, we thought September would be just another month in an endless stream of sunny Pleasantville days.  But coastal realities are here again and the sidewalks are wet, wet, wet!  So, dear friends, let’s settle in with soup and socks and dream of next year…we’ll chalk together next year.

In the meantime, during any dry moments over the winter you can always run outside and hastily lay down a little chalk note and picture for the passerbys…or head to your basement as we did this morning.


For some inspiration, check out “Inspirational Quotes Sidewalk Chalk Style” on lifestyle citizens.  http://lifestylecitizens.org/inspirational-quotes-sidewalk-chalk-style/

Cosy, warm wishes to all!


“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso

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The Daily News has approached our Chair,  Douglas Hardie to provide a weekly column focusing on the south end.  We’ll post the articles here and welcome your feedback and suggestions for future topics.

I must admit to more than the occasional twinge of guilt as I drive by Tong’s Grocery at 707 Haliburton Street, heading for the mall and yet another bulk buy of groceries. Tong’s is an old south end institution and represents one of a dying breed of neighbourhood grocery stores that have somehow survived the dramatic changes in our shopping habits.Tongs

Kim and Ed Wong took over Tongs in 1991 and continued a tradition of serving groceries, snacks and sundries from this store that stretches back to the 1890’s. Although I’ve followed the herd to the supermarket for my family’s grocery shopping, Tongs has played a lovely part in our family life, serving as our essential ice cream destination and giving the kids their first independent shopping experience when we’ve run out of some staple or other, “and don’t forget to say thank you…”.

I was chatting with Ed the other day and he talked about the challenges they face in keeping the business running. At times, he and Kim have had to supplement their income through other jobs and they have had to work long hours, seven days a week, to stay afloat. Despite the challenges, they have managed to pull it off and along the way raise two fine boys, one currently in university and the other a Masters level mathematician with Stats Canada.

One of the great things about having a neighbourhood store like Tongs is that you can walk there. This is important if you don’t have a car, (a reality for many south end families), but you also get to chat with neighbours on the way, envy their gardens, catch up on the gossip and generally feel part of the neighbourhood.

Liveability” is the urban planning catchword and any neighbourhood design charrette that I’ve attended always seems to include an abundance of small, pedestrian friendly stores like Tongs. My question is this: if I care about the viability of a store like Tongs, what am I prepared to do about it? Anyone for ice cream?

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Well, the South End Chalk Walk rapidly approaches.  The plan has been to chalk on Saturday the 28th and/or in the morning of the 29th of September, with the Chalk Walk starting on Sunday September 29th at 10:00 am.  Perhaps one of the “chalk it up to experience” pieces here has been that this ain’t the best time of year to plan a Chalk Walk.  Lesson learned: it would probably be better to do this in the summer when the chances of sun are a bit higher.  Next year the plan is to hold the Chalk Walk on Canada Day on the July 1st weekend, so mark that on your calendars!

In the meantime, stay tuned to http://nanaimosouthend.ca/ for up-to-date information on the Chalk Walk.  If it is raining – well, many of us will probably opt for the great indoors, tea and a good book…but if the skies are dry – watch out for random acts of art around the neighbourhood – particularly in Deverill Park.

A map will be posted this Saturday for any registered sites.  There is still time to register your art site in the South End by going to:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ChalkWalk.  If you have any questions, please write to chalkwalk@enco.ca

And for tutorials on making homemade sidewalk chalk, go to:

http://www.marthastewart.com/252020/sidewalk-chalk-brendan-fraser (a video of Martha Stewart & Brendan Fraser making chalk!)


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Hi  Everybody,  WILPF  will be making a presentation to Council at the Committee of the whole  at  4.30 on September 30th.  We will have ten minutes at the end of the agenda. Attached and below is our submission,  Dyane


Dear Mayor Ruttan and  Council,


The Nanaimo branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom ( WILPF) would like  to address your next council meeting to request that  Council direct staff to put back or replace the signs at the entrances to Nanaimo indicating that Nanaimo is a nuclear weapons-free zone.


On June 8th, 1987 the City of Nanaimo adopted Bylaw # 3199 which prohibits  the  manufacture, transportation, storage and distribution of all nuclear weapons and components of nuclear weapons in the city of Nanaimo.


In October 1989 Council was approached by VANA, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, requesting the installation of signage at the entrances to Nanaimo indicating that Nanaimo was a nuclear weapons-free municipality.


In November 1989 Council instructed staff to obtain approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and proceed with installation of three signs to be located on Highway  19A adjacent to  Woodgrove Mall ( southbound) and on Highway 19A halfway down Chase River hill ( northbound) and on Highway 1 on Stewart Avenue at Poplar  Street (southbound)


These signs were designed and put in place  but by  2003 had gone missing.  When this was brought to the attention of Council, staff was directed to design new signs for the three entrances to Nanaimo. The signs which read “Welcome to Nanaimo,  a nuclear weapons-free zone “ were simple and attractive.   Unfortunately they have disappeared within the last few years.


Our womens peace group , which has organized the Hiroshima Lantern Ceremonies in  Nanaimo  for the last  twelve years, feels great  pride in our city’s  status as a nuclear weapons- free city.  We would like the signs put back  so that  everyone entering our city feels the same pride. As Nanaimo citizens, it is an important part of who we are.


 Yours very truly


 Dyane Brown


Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Nanaimo Branch



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Dam Poets

You are Invited to a few hours in the afternoon of a read by the Dam Poets (No entrance fee!)

Attached you will find a poster for the Dam Poets read at Vancouver Island Regional Library, Friday, September 27 at 1pm and are registered with Culture days Canada. You are welcome to share the poster and join us for a presentation by the Dam Poets that is a grassroots movement of artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and poets, and now part of the culture of the Nanaimo area.


The Dam Poets, founded by Meldy Wilton, and including Richard Broad (rpbroad), Dasch, Darragh Worledge, Brunie Brunie and the acoustic musical offerings of the Owl & Pussycat (Janette Briere and Jim Erkiletian) will be presenting Poetry Inspired by, and born out of issues to save the Colliery Dams, lakes and Parkland in historical district of Harewood in Nanaimo, British Columbia . The Arts and literary movement born out of the issues surrounding the 65+ acres of the Colliery Dams has permanently become part of the heritage of Harewood (http://www.savecollierydam.org/) , Nanaimo and this area connected to the mining days, Snuneymuxw First Nation (http://www.savecollierydam.org/) and the history of development of the Harewood Improvement District is cherished by citizens, as well as tourists, poets, writers, artists and travellers.

“Dam Poets Inspirations of the Colliery Dams, are presenting poetry inspired by the movement to save the Colliery Dams in Harewood, a section of Nanaimo, BC. We will allow time for the public to read their inspired words or on the spot ,inspirations by the Colliery Dams and Parkland. Poetry, RAP, spoken word, free style are all welcome. This is a library reading where we don’t have to be quiet! ”

Warning: may lead to feelings of: amusement, smiling, desire to become more connected to your community, desire to be involved with music, art and poetry, outburst of singing, friendly discussions, research, visiting your public library, inclusion in your community and thoughtful contemplations. Dam Poets take no responsibility for those desires

Come on out rain or shine

join us for ‘few hours of time

a few words, of thoughtful grace

Safe and Welcome at this place!

by Meldy Wilton


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lowvisionAs symbols, the Checkered Eye and the white cane both indicate visual impairment.

Most people who use a white cane have severe blindness, and use the cane as a tool for independent travel.

Some people use a white cane as a symbol, strictly to indicate to others that they have some degree of blindness. If a person has useful remaining eyesight, and doesn’t need the cane as a tool, they may still choose to carry one to communicate their visual difficulties and increase their visibility in traffic.

People with impaired vision who do not need the white cane as a travel or safety device, may choose to use a Checkered Eye to indicate that their vision is impaired.

The awareness of a person’s hidden needs can alleviate confusion, frustration, and embarrassment, for both visually impaired people, and the people with whom they interact.

Please be aware of the existence of this emblem, and have a glance to see if anyone you encounter may be wearing one. See – www.checkeredeye.com

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Blog and Facebook – Possible change of name of blog so not to confuse with the What’s Up in the South End FB page (moderated by Gord). Otherwise his page a good idea to engage in needed political discussions but need to distance from SECA.

Park Project: Sensory Garden – David Scott gave a fine display of a possible sensory garden for Deverill Park. Garden infrastructure done by City SECA to help with planting. Will be done in stages. Garden for everyone’s enjoyment, and accessible for people with physical, hearing and sight impairments, will emphasize texture, sound, scent and sight. Wheel chair accessible, stable walking surfaces, and convenient heights. There will be four circles, a fountain and a labyrinth. Meeting approved this plan. There are also plans to develop the basketball court and SECA advocates a return to 5 day a week Park&Rec led  activities in the summer.

Safety Issues – There has been an increase of people with heroin and meth addictions moving into Nanaimo, fortunately not into the S.End. Evidence of crack use has lowered. The one problem apartment building in our area has been closed. No problems with Balmoral. Reported by Dave Laberge of the RCMP

Hummingbird Project. – Yvonne of SECA will be working with students of Bay View School. Students will do art based upon First Nations legend of the hummingbird. SECA should put on an art opening when finished.

SE Articles in Daily News – Seems we are the only neighborhod assn, producing articles. Anyone want to participate? Any ideas for articles? Contact Douglas c/o of this blog.

Chalk Walk – good article in paper about chalk walk. Possible problem with weather. Might want to do it next time in mid-summer. We should get Bay View School involved. Idea is for people to register their chalk drawing sites on-line. Date for event is Sept 29. Looks like the Chalk Walk will be part of Culture Day which is 27-29 of September.

Waterfront Committee – group is working on guiding principles. City Spaces working as consultant. Web site set up. There will be an open house on either October 4 or 5, not fixed yet. Opportunity for public to tour site and give feedback. RDN is still negociating for transit hub. Later in October there will be a design charette, but this will be limited to 100 participants. More information on how to do that to come. Important for S. Enders to get involved in both open house and charette.

Movie Night in the Park – To co-celebrate the Chalk Walk week end, there will be an outdoor movie showing on Sept 28, weather permitting. Use tea wagon with cloth or tarp as screen. 

Jolly Miner Dinner – SECA members and anyone else interested, we will be having dinner at the Jolly Miner Monday, Sept 9 at 6PM.

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