Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events - February 2013

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

February 2013

Change that sweeps in like a rogue wave

Welcome to the February 2013 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events
Waves of change are coming...

There is a very interesting phenomenon that sometimes occurs in the world's oceans, known as rogue waves. Rogue waves, as one might imagine, are enormous waves - sometimes reaching over 10 storeys tall - that come seemingly out of nowhere, and have been implicated in the sudden disappearance of oceangoing ships.

Unlike tsunamis or waves caused by large storms, rogue waves are not created by the upheaval of the ocean floor or by strong winds; rather, they come about by chance when a number of smaller waves serendipitously happen to join forces in just the right way, joining to create a single, larger wave. When enough other small waves join in, the end result is one massive wave with the combined energy of all the smaller waves that teamed up to create it, overwhelming everything in its path. A rogue wave.

The phenomenon of the rogue wave lends an interesting analogy to the way in which small actions become movements, and sometimes, movements combine to bring about profound change.

Even as the global climate becomes more unstable and the currents of history grow choppier, we are now undoubtedly living in the era of the rogue wave. Popular movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and now Idle No More are the products of a time when, facilitated by the ultraconductive media of the internet, social media and mobile communications, small actions can ripple out further and faster than ever before, found and joined by other ripples that transform them into powerful rogue waves.

These days, the waters lie thick with ripples. 

Our region appears to lie at the confluence point of many a good ripple. Vancouver is home to many groundbreaking pioneers in the fields of social technology, sustainability, activism, new economic paradigms (including the newly launched Seedstock Community Currency - see below), urban agriculture, social enterprise and much more. These pioneers and movements are now increasingly crossing paths and networking with one another, thanks in large part to organisations like Village Vancouver that dedicate themselves to connecting a broad base of citizens and organisations who know that we have an urgent need to transition to a more resilient, sustainable and positive future, and each bring a piece to the enormous puzzle. 

Will Vancouver be the epicentre of the next rogue wave, toppling the tyranny of fossil fuels, Big Finance, environmental degradation and social inequity?

Why not? Let us make it so! Join your ripple to the rogue wave forming in 2013, and hang on for what could be a very exciting time in our history.   


Your February newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

The Village Vancouver Vlog

Do you prefer watching and listening to reading? The click on the image above to watch the latest edition of the Village Vancouver Vlog, where VV board members provide a round-up of some of the most interesting things that have or are about to take place in Village Vancouver!

Become a member today!

Have you joined the Village Vancouver community by joining our website? We hope you'll consider becoming a member of the Village Vancouver Transition Society as well, making our movement even stronger! It's easy to join - just click here!


Village Vancouver launches Applied Ecological Economics 1001!

Full house at Applied Ecological Economics 1001!
On January 23rd, Village Vancouver launched its new Applied Ecological Economics 6-month study course with its first "class", attended by 25 people from across a broad spectrum of interests and professional backgrounds who all share one thing in common: they know that the currently accepted economic paradigm, addicted to infinite growth and constantly increasing material throughput, is unsustainable, and they want to be able to understand the alternatives in ways that they can apply to their own lives and professions, and communicate effectively to their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Course facilitator Michael Barkusky
AEE 1001 is being facilitated by local Ecological Economist Michael Barkusky with the support of fellow members of the Ecological Economics discussion circle which began two years ago. It is an opportunity for peer-supported learning, using Herman Daly and Joshua Farley's text Ecological Economics as a guide. We hope that many of the participants will soon choose to apply some of the insights gained through their study to real-world projects and policy development. 

For more information, please contact course co-organiser Jordan Bober (

~From the Transition Network~

What happens when local authorities ask “what if the economic situation doesn’t get better?”

-Fiona Ward, Transition Network

The question in this post’s title was one of the challenging questions asked at the Solace South West Autumn Seminar, held at Dartington, Devon in early November.  The event was called “Room to Think” and to that I would add “about the things we don’t really want to think about”.  The event organiser for this year was Richard Sheard, CEO of South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council. He said:

“Within these 2 days, I wanted to raise some important questions about the difficulties we face in local government in these increasingly uncertain times. Besides questioning growth, should wellbeing rather than GDP be our measure of success? And what’s the role of communities in leading their own future and delivering local solutions? I wanted to provide some challenges to the status quo, and also look at some of the potential solutions that are emerging.”              

Commercial Drive hold first in monthly series of potlucks and workshops

Fomenting fermentation fun on the Drive!
On January 23rd, Commercial Drive Village held its first monthly potluck and workshop at Rising Star Housing Co-op, kicking things off with a fun veggie fermentation workshop led by Alyssa Kohlman and Nikoo Bouroumand. All the participants got to take home their own jars of fermented cabbage, carrots, beets and daikon radishes!

Our next monthly potluck and workshop will take place on February 21st from 6-8pm. Jordan Bober from Seedstock Community Currency will be giving a workshop on community currencies: what is it, how does it work, why is it important and how can YOU get involved?

Sign up to the Commercial Drive mailing list here to ensure you receive reminders about upcoming meet-ups. We have lots of great workshops planned for upcoming months, including local currency, bike maintenance, seed starting, chickens 101, and more.

Main Street Village Monthly Potlucks and Workshops

The Main St. Village meets the first Tuesday of every month for a potluck and workshop.

Our February Village Vancouver & Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Potluck and Workshop will be Tuesday the 5th of February.

Potluck (6-7pm): Bring something yummy for the potluck.
Workshop (7-8pm)Sewing 101: Join our local villager Amie Peacock, as she teaches us the basics of sewing.

 If possible, please bring:
-pair of fabric scissors
-thread (any color)
-sewing machine (optional)
-old pants-jeans or dress pants that you want to repair, shorten or hem
-measure tape

Canning & Seed Exchange. We're making this a monthly thing! Bring something you've canned, seeds you've saved or food you've grown and exchange it with others!

What: Main St. VV & LMNH Potluck & Workshop: Sewing 101
When: Tuesday, February 5th: 6-8pm
Where: Little Mountain Neighborhood House (3981 Main St.)
Why: Build community, eat good food and learn to sew!
Cost: Free!!!  

Check out the Main St. VV website or "like" us on Facebook: 

Drop in Spaghetti Night Celebration

Village Vancouver, the Drop in Spaghetti Night Team and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House are collaborating to bring you a celebration of the wildly delicious Drop in Spaghetti Nights (DISNs)!

Feb 1st | 6-8 PM
St. Mark’s 1805 Larch St.

This month’s Kits House Potluck celebrates a series of 13 locally-sourced and locally prepared neighbourhood dinners hosted by Kits Villagers and supported by a Vancouver Green City Grant. Each of these meals has brought or will bring neighbours together to share a meal cooked on one stove, reducing transportation and energy consumption.

Hosts were also encouraged to prepare their meals using locally-sourced ingredients (e.g., 100-Mile Diet) and to track the origin of all of their ingredients. We will be reporting on the results of these Drop-In ‘Spaghetti’ Nights and encourage all who hosted or participated in a DISN to share their experiences as well.

We invite you to bring a vegetarian dish featuring local ingredients to share at this month’s potluck. Local chef, Russell Cameron, will also be providing soup and bread.

Please RSVP here or to Ross at

For more information contact Zsuzsi at 604.736.3588

Kitsilano Sew Op and Music Exchange

The Kitsilano Sew Op will be meeting on the first Saturday of every month in 2013. Come join us and help build the Sew Op concept, refurbish machines, and work on creative cloth projects.

Not into sewing? Bring an album or some tracks released within the past month and listen to some new tunes in an inviting atmosphere. Snacks provided.

We are still accepting donations of used sewing machines. We provide these machines to community members free of change on short-term loans. Please contact Sandra at for details.

12th Annual World Community Film Festival Feb 15-17

Activate your mind at the 12th annual World Community Film Festival at Langara College February 15-17. The festival screens over 40 social justice and environmental documentaries set around the world and across the street.

In his writings and talks, Mike Lewis often weaves 
a diverse array of topics such as local food systems, 
energy ufficiency, affordable housing and land reform, 
low-cost financing and monetary reform, and 
democratic ownership together within a tapestry of 
climate change, peak oil, and an inequitable 
and increasingly unstable global economy
Kick-off by author Mike Lewis
The festival kicks off Friday Feb. 15 at 5 pm with a lecture by noted author and educator Michael Lewis (The Resilience Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady State Economy) on Strengthening Resilience Close to Home. Michael is the Executive Director of the Canadian Center for Community Renewal, the lead investigator for the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance, and is well-known internationally as a practitioner, author, educator and leader in the field of Community Economic Development and the Social Economy. 

Admission to the lecture is by donation and the event is sponsored by Village Vancouver and Langara Continuing Studies. 

The lecture is followed by a superb opening night double bill featuring the Vancouver premieres of two inspiring films about activism: Maestra and Bidder 70 at 7:30 pm. The Saturday night screening is the powerful and poignant Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

Nothing Like Chocolate
The Saturday and Sunday daytime program includes films on indigenous issues, Black history, the status of women, and the cost of oil. Village is pleased to sponsor part of the growth and sustainability program at this year’s festival. Showing on Sunday at noon is Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth, a film that examines the cultural barriers that prevent us from acting rationally about environmental issues, followed by In Transition 2.0, an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, which Village is part of. VV is also sponsoring the Saturday 2:30 pm screening of Shift Change  which tells the little known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy.

In Transition 2.0

The festival also has an extensive program of food and farming films covering issues from genetically modified seeds to urban farming, and is co-sponsored by VV. Full schedule and other information about BC’s largest social justice film fest can be found at

Change your money - support Village Vancouver!

Nutritious community money
In January, a new currency began to circulate around Metro Vancouver. Seedstock Community Currency, co-founded by Village Vancouver members Jordan Bober and Andrew Perry, launched on January 17th with more than 20 initial participating businesses and 8 participating non-profits. Since then, additional businesses are being added almost daily. 

Seedstock also launched its online xChange Station: a website where anyone can purchase Seedstock from the local cause of their choice. You see, Seedstock enters circulation when a local business agrees to accept part payment in Seedstock for their goods or services, which allows them to create some Seedstock. Businesses then donate Seedstock to local causes, which can spend it, use it to reward volunteers, or exchange it for $Cdn with supporters like you.

When you buy Seedstock from a local cause, it is like getting a double use of your money: first you get to help the cause with your $Cdn, then you can spend your Seedstock at local community-minded businesses. On top of all that, you are helping circulate a type of money that stays in the community and helps build a more resilient and vibrant local economy. To learn more, visit the Seedstock website at

Village Vancouver has already been fortunate to receive generous Seedstock donations from several participating businesses, including Homesteader's Emporium, Cascadia North Permaculture, Mortal Coil Media, Sallmen Tutoring and Road to Compassion. Many thanks to these generous, community-building local businesses!

Now you have another way that you can support the work of Village Vancouver - by trading some of your $Cdn for some of our Seedstock. For every dollar you contribute, receive an equal amount of Seedstock in return which you can spend at any participating local business. New businesses are being added all the time, so check the website regularly, subscribe to the Seedstock newsletter, or visit them on Facebook.

Garden plots available in East Van

Located at 10th and Commercial Drive, is My Own Backyard (MOBY) garden with cobshed, nearby playground and greenspace.  The Annual General Meeting is being held on Wednesday, February 6.  For more info on how to become a new member, email 

Since its inception in 2008, Cedar Cottage garden (Victoria Drive and Hull Street) has grown to 100 garden plots with lots of common areas.  To apply for membership email or check out our website at

Neighbourhood Small Grants now open

Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Grants are now open for applications in most neighbourhoods, with most deadlines on March 31st.

Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Grants are for amounts ranging from $50-$500 for projects, workshops or events that bring neighbours together and/or make a positive mark in the neighbourhood. They're super easy to apply for - all you need to do is team up with at least one of your neighbours. Many Village Vancouver members have successfully applied for these grants in the past and used them to carry out Transition projects. We hope that many of our members will apply this year as well! Looking for a neighbour to co-sponsor an application? Why not send out a message or start a discussion in your neighbourhood Village page on our website?

To find out whether you can start applying for grants in your neighbourhood, please check out the Vancouver Foundation's Neighbourhood Small Grants website at

Call for Expressions of Interest for Boulevard Fruit Trees

Would you and your neighbours like fruit trees on the boulevard in front of your house?

The City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, and CityStudio Vancouver students would like to help you plant fruit trees in your neighbourhood. They are looking to install pilot projects that will encourage fruit trees on Vancouver’s boulevards.

Residents or businesses with a boulevard adjacent to their property, and interested in having this project in their neighborhood are encouraged to apply. Groups of residents can apply to maintain the fruit trees and be the sole stewards of the site, or can offer their boulevard to a local non-profit or community organization (such as Village Vancouver) for care.

The cost of the initial planting (trees, soil, mulch, etc.) will be funded for a handful of pilot projects. Questions and completed applications can be sent to Applications are due February 10 2013, and successful projects will be planted in February/March 2013. If the pilot project is successful, they will consider additional projects in the future.

Opportunities to work with Village Vancouver in Kitsilano and other neighbourhoods

Village Vancouver has been working with the Park Board and City Studio students to establish a pilot boulevard fruit tree project in Kits. VV will also consider working with neighbours on other projects, both in Kits and in other neighbourhoods. If you're interested in exploring a fruit tree partnership with Village Vancouver -- or know of potential sites -- please contact VV Neighbourhood Food Networks Coordinator Ross Moster at

An Ideal Boulevard

An ideal boulevard for this project is grass covered and bordered by a curb. It should also be free of a sidewalk and have minimal shading by other street trees. The photo to the right is an example of a boulevard suitable for this project.

Click here to download the application form.

Welcome, Sunshine Coast in Transition!

Congratulations to the initiating group of the newly formed Transition Initiative, Sunshine Coast in Transition (SCIT)! SCIT has recently launched its website which we encourage you to check out here:

Here are a few words from the SCIT website about some of the goals of this new Transition Initiative:
The Sunshine Coast in Transition Initiative is based on a dedication to a tangible, clearly expressed and practical vision for our community. These are our core beliefs: 
We used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the down slope. 
If we collectively plan and act early enough there is every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill we find ourselves on today. 
Our local Transition Initiative is intended to act as a sort of “glue” between other groups in the region who are focused on resilience and sustainability, and as a bridge between our community and other Transition Initiatives around the world, providing a common, inclusive channel for building awareness and taking action toward the kind of future that we envision.
We wish our Transition allies on the Sunshine Coast all the best in this initiative, and hope we will have many opportunities to collaborate in the future.

FREE Intro to Permaculture Day - February 13

Join a group of conscious learners in a free introduction to permaculture day in the Heart Gardens, Gumboot Gardens, Elphinstone Rainforest and Mandala Beach of Roberts Creek. Pilgrimage in carpools to the Sunshine Coast, a short ferry ride from Vancouver to experience an unique and creative introduction to the permaculture paradigm. 

The first two of these free classes filled with overflow so I am offering a third and final opportunity for people to join in this one day learning adventure in the Elphinstone Rainforest.

together we will :
talk about the ethos, principles, toolkit and metastructure of permaculture,
tour the gardens,
meet some of the food-medicine plants of the Coastal First Peoples, 
share a potluck meal, 
watch some permaculture movies, 
walk in the rainforest, 
meet by the ocean,
and have an inspiring day learning and growing with nature. 

The first date was filled to capacity so I am offering a second date for this unique opportunity. The day will run on February 13 from 11 am - 5:30 pm, aligning with the bus linked to the 9:20 am ferry from Horseshoe Bay and the 6:30 ferry returning to Vancouver. I will help to co-ordinate a carpool as well.

There is a limited space so please RSVP to confirm your attendance to 
Since its a free course, i am trusting that if you ask for a space you will make a commitment to following through and attending the day :) The winter weather varies, please come dressed to be outside for short periods regardless of weather (dress warm and with rainproof gear or umbrella in case it rains).

Looking forward to a day of wonderful people connecting and sharing about how to be more conscious planetary citizens. 

Delvin Solkinson has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced trainings with Rosemary Morrow, David Holmgren, Geoff Lawton, Robyn Francis, the Bullock Brothers, Tom Ward, Jude Hobbs, Larry Santoyo, Scott Pittman, Michael Becker, and Robin Clayfield. He is an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute and a Field Mentor through Permaculture Institute USA. Recently he completed a PDC in Portland with Toby Hemenway and a second Diploma through PI USA.

Kym Chi has completed a PDC with Verge Permaculture, advanced trainings with Larry Santoyo, Scott Pittman and Toby Hemenway, and is currently completing a second design certificate in NY through Gaiacraft and a certified Diploma program through the Permaculture Institute USA.  Kym teaches and offers consults and designs, is co creating a community hub for Urban Agriculture and works with teachers in schools across Alberta, engaging differentiated teaching styles and youth empowerment.

Learn more:

From our friends at Cottonwood Community Garden...                                                   Save Cottonwood Community Garden!

A consequence of the city’s plan to remove the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts is a plan to divert traffic from Prior Street to a widened Malkin Avenue – the “Malkin Connector” – which will be extended west to Main Street and east to Clark Drive via an overpass across the railroad tracks.

Malkin Avenue is the right-of-way for the downtown freeway that was never built. This right-of-way is 12 lanes wide and parts of Cottonwood Garden, Strathcona Garden and Strathcona Park have all been developed on this unused right-of-way. Cottonwood Community Garden will be most affected if the plan to widen Malkin goes ahead.
There’s still time to stop Cottonwood Community Garden from being bulldozed and paved over.

Sign the Petition!

Write a letter to the Mayor and Council!Writing a letter to the Mayor and Council ( is one of the most effective ways you can help save Cottonwood. Please send a copy to

Newly formed Zero Waste Canada joins international call for an end to waste

Toronto, ON, (January 17, 2012) — Having Canada become a country where waste is eliminated and resources are continuously reused is the goal of the newly formed Zero Waste Canada (ZWC).

“We are pleased to join with international Zero Waste experts from around the world to promote the best-practice policies, legislation and initiatives that eliminate waste,” says Erich Schwartz, a British Columbia-based ZWC director.

Schwartz adds that zero waste is not some pie-in-the-sky unattainable target. Communities and
corporations that have adopted zero waste goals are achieving significant results. For instance, San Francisco, U.S.A., Kamikatsu, Japan and Caparoni, Italy are diverting 80% of their waste while municipalities in Canada are diverting an average of only 33%. Considering that 40% of municipal waste is recyclable and another 40% is organic, Canadian municipal diversion rates should be much higher.

Read the entire press release here...

Visit the Zero Waste Canada Website:

Upcoming course: Setting Healthy Limits

6 Tuesdays, Feb 19th - Mar 26th , 6:30-9:00pm, Langara College

Although we are born with internal feedback systems to set healthy limits, these mechanisms often become muted. When we understand how the brain and body naturally respond to sudden and ongoing stressors and learn how to keep our bodies feeling safe, we can set healthy limits more comfortably. This ability improves our own health as well as our relationships with others.
Participants learn: To recognize their body’s early signals of feeling stretched. To strengthen their ability to set healthy limits without alienating others or compromising themselves. 
Instructor Shayna Hornstein has been a registered physical therapist in British Columbia since 1981 and works with people with chronic pain. For twenty years, she has also provided training for organizations wanting to reduce the impact that stress has on the morale, safety and effectiveness of the people who work there. She studied with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute of Boulder, Colorado and has a certificate for the Treatment of Trauma and the Body.
Shayna’s practical and refreshing courses draw on studies of neuroplasticity and the brain and the body under stress. You will leave each class with specific physical tools that you can practice in your daily life.

$225 (CRN: 70633). Register by phone 604.323.5322 Or register in person at the Continuing Studies registration desk on the Langara campus. If cost is an issue, please contact Leslie Kemp at or 604.323.5981

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events

Village Vancouver January 2013 Newsletter

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

January 2013

2013 - The Year of Remagination

Welcome to the January 2013 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events

Welcome, as well, to what might very well be one of the most pivotal, exciting and sometimes perhaps even downright terrifying years of our lives, if not in human history.

Everywhere, it seems, we are approaching a cliff or a wall. Due to the failure of its leaders to reach real compromise, the United States continues to teeter on the edge of a "fiscal cliff" that threatens the stability, not only of its own economy, but that of the rest of the world. Meanwhile, even greater and more chronic failures on the part of world leaders everywhere are carrying all of us towards even scarier cliffs - ecological and social cliffs. How much longer can we continue to defy the biophysical limits of our planet, or the limits of the growing ranks of the marginalised in our societies to tolerate injustice and inequality, before we tip over the edge? Often, it feels as though there is far too much momentum going in the wrong direction; the Great Turning will require far to0 wide a berth, and before the stern even begins to hint at an alternate course, it will be too late. To the exhausted and overwhelmed activist at the helm, the situation can at times feel titanically hopeless.

And yet, it is not hopeless at all - and that it what is so exciting about the times we are living in! As author Anthony Weston declares in his inspiring book Mobilizing the Green Imagination: An Exuberant Manifesto, humankind has been drastically underutilising the enormous power of its collective imagination. Just think: everything that we now see in our human-created environment, from immensely complex cities to high-tech gadgetry to the words you are reading on this screen has its ultimate origin in the human imagination. Humanity has used the power of its imagination to transplant itself from its ancient cradle in southern Africa to now inhabit every climate on Earth, right down to the least hospitable; our imagination has even taken us to the moon. 

On the other side of this two-edged sword, one could say that our runaway imaginations are what got us into the messes we're in now.

But could we not instead put our imaginations to work in the other direction, that of radically re-imagining our relationships with the Earth and with each other? Charles Eisenstein speaks of graduating from the conception of Mother Earth to that of Lover Earth - maturing away from the childlike attitude that Mother Earth is there to provide for all of our needs in a unidirectional parent-child relationship of giving and taking, and embracing Lover Earth instead - the Earth as the cocreative partner of humanity, to whom we give back at least as much as we take, and give joyfully. What sparks of the imagination might be kindled in our lover's eye, as we allow our love to guide us to the healing and regeneration of the wounds we have formerly inflicted? 

The only thing now in the way of such a new, mutual and fruitful relationship is the lack of imagination.

Too often, environmentalists find themselves tinkering at the margins, trying to mitigate and preferably neutralise our harmful impact on the Earth: zero waste, zero carbon, zero footprint. What if, as Weston suggests, we were to fire up our imaginations a bit more and begin to imagine ways of doing things that do not merely have a neutral impact on the Earth, but a positive, regenerative impact on our planet? What if, far from becoming waste, every product we use were to end its lifecycle in a compost pile, yielding its nutrients to other useful, beautiful and/or tasty things? What if, instead of making our buildings energy self-sufficient, we designed them to produce a surplus of clean, renewable energy to share with others? What if, instead of contaminating water, our cities and households became like wetlands, cleaning the water that passes through them? What if, instead of building expensive dikes to protect our low-lying cities from the pretty much inevitable sea level rise, we began re-imagining those cities to, like Venice, embrace the encroaching waters? Richmond, the Venice of the Pacific, anyone? These are just a few of the ideas that Weston throws out there in Mobilizing the Green Imagination, hoping to provoke a few in our own fired-up imaginations.

Now how is this, then, for a collective New Year's resolution:

Having been spared the end of the world in 2012, let us embrace 2013 with a new lease on life! Let this be the year of letting go of the old stories, the old patterns, the old limits, and the embracing of a new story for humanity and the planet. Let us dust off our fantasies, pull our dreams out from under our beds, drag our shy imaginations away from the walls and out onto the dance floor. Let us awaken the Lover within, and scheme constantly of ways to give joy to Lover Earth, and to each other. Let us consciously, at every moment we can, kick up our exuberance levels at least a few notches.

Let 2013 be the Year of Remagination!

Happy New Era!

Your January newsletter team,

Jordan, Sharon and Ross

Transition recognised in European Parliament

Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins and Filipa Pimentel with the Civil Society Prize awarded by the European Parliament to the Transition Network in December, 2012. Says Transition Network's Funding Manager Nicola Hillary: “This prize is great recognition for the work of so many people in hundreds of European communities who are engaging their local civil society in developing low-carbon futures and livelihoods which promote well-being for all in the community”. Read more here.

Become a member today!

Have you joined the Village Vancouver community by joining our website? We hope you'll consider becoming a member of the Village Vancouver Transition Society as well, making our movement even stronger! It's easy to join - just click here!


Calling all tech-saavy Villagers!

Village Vancouver, as you know, is dedicated to helping Vancouver transition to a more resilient and positive future. 

Right now, in response to the changing needs or our organisation and our community, we are thinking of transitioning our website. 

Our aim in changing our website would be to create a clear and useful communication channel with the Village Vancouver community as well as with those learning about Transition for the very first time. We are seeking a powerful and direct impact on the visitor that clearly conveys what we are about and how to get involved, while maintaining the interactive features that allow our website to serve as a community hub, as it does now.

We have a few ideas already, but to do a good job we will need a lot of help and knowledge from tech-saavy and communication-saavy people. Does that fit your description? If so, would you be willing to join a team of volunteers working to evaluate and implement a change in our web technology? Please contact to find out more and to express your interest in helping with this very important transition.

What's out, what's in for 2013?

Out: Private Equity. In: Farmland
The Transition Voice has published a fun and poignant list of what's out, and what's in now that we're in 2013. Among the substitutions:

Out: Peak Oil. In: Peak Denial

Out: Credit Default Swaps. In: Fossil Fuel Portfolio Divestments

Out: e-learning. In: Pulling radishes

Read the full list here...                   

Announcing: New Commercial Drive Monthly Potlucks and Workshops

If you live close to Commercial Drive, 2013 is your year! Several local Villagers have come together to launch a new monthly Village Vancouver potluck and workshop in the neighbourhood, starting this month on January 24th when we will host a veggie fermentation workshop. Beginning in February, the monthly meet-ups will take place on the 3rd Thursday of every month.

Potluck (6-7pm): Bring something yummy for the potluck.

Workshop (7-8pm) – Veggie Fermentation: Learn the art of veggie fermentation. Things to bring:

  • veggies (cabbage, carrots, beets, onions, etc.)
  • wide bowl
  • salt
  • widemouth one liter canning jar

What: Commercial Dr. VV Potluck & Workshop: Veggie Fermentation

When: Thursday, January 24th: 6-8pm
Where: Rising Star Housing Co-op (1556 E. 5th Ave.) common room
Why: Build community, eat good food and ferment veggies!
Cost: Free!!!

Sign up to the Commercial Drive mailing list here to ensure you receive reminders about upcoming meet-ups. We have lots of great workshops planned for upcoming months, including local currency, bike maintenance, seed starting, chickens 101, and more.

Main Street Village Monthly Potlucks and Workshops

The Main St. Village meets the first Tuesday of every month for a potluck and workshop.

Our February Village Vancouver & Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Potluck and Workshop will be Tuesday the 5th of February.

Potluck (6-7pm): Bring something yummy for the potluck.
Workshop (7-8pm)Sewing 101: Join our local villager Amie Peacock, as she teaches us the basics of sewing.

 If possible, please bring:
-pair of fabric scissors
-thread (any color)
-sewing machine (optional)
-old pants-jeans or dress pants that you want to repair, shorten or hem
-measure tape

Canning & Seed Exchange. We're making this a monthly thing! Bring something you've canned, seeds you've saved or food you've grown and exchange it with others!

What: Main St. VV & LMNH Potluck & Workshop: Sewing 101
When: Tuesday, February 5th: 6-8pm
Where: Little Mountain Neighborhood House (3981 Main St.)
Why: Build community, eat good food and learn to sew!
Cost: Free!!!  

Check out the Main St. VV website or "like" us on Facebook: 

Drop in "Spaghetti" Night Community Wide Gathering

Kits House February PotluckFriday, February 1st, 6:00 - 8:00 PMSt. Marks, 1805 Larch St.

Village Vancouver, the Drop in "Spaghetti" Night Team and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House are collaborating to bring you a celebration of the wildly delicious DISNs!
February's Kits House Potluck celebrates a series of 13 mostly locally sourced and locally prepared neighbourhood dinners hosted by Kits Villagers and supported by a Green Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation. Each of these meals has brought or will bring neighbours together to share a meal cooked on one stove, reducing transportation and energy consumption.
Hosts have been encouraged to prepare their meals using locally sourced ingredients (e.g., 100-Mile Diet) and to track the origin of all of their ingredients.  We will be reporting on the results of these Drop-In 'Spaghetti' Nights and encourage all who hosted or participated in a DISN to share their experiences as well.
Everyone is welcome to attend! We invite you to bring a dish featuring local ingredients to share at this month's potluck. Local chef, Russell Cameron, will also be providing soup and bread.Save the date!
Click here for more details and to RSVP. For more information: 604.736.3588 ext. 31.

It's also not too late to attend a Drop-in "Spaghetti" Night. Six more are being held between January 16th and January 27th.  
January Dropins 
Share a meal w/neighbours, prepared by a neighbour.
They’re called Drop-in “Spaghetti” nights, because many of the ones we've held in past years have involved serving spaghetti, but can involve any foods - e.g., Drop-in Rutabaga Night.
Open to all, DISN's are especially aimed at neighbours living close to one another (w/in 2-3 blocks of a host). In many cases, ingredients will sourced fresh and locally -- e.g., in the summer, ofttimes from the Thursday Westside Community Food Market at 8th/Vine.  (VV tabled w/the Seed Library and other goodies.)
If you would like to attend or host a DISN, please RSVP below or to Ross at

Kits Village Helps Kits Library Pick Out Sustainability Books/DVD's 

Decisions, Decisions. So many possibiilties -
what to Choose? Kits Villagers Derek Irland and
Ross Moster, and Assistant Librarian Michelle Chou
in one of our favourite aisles at Banyen Books.
KVer Laura Lee Coles also helped and took the pictures.
(VVer Dana Wilson couldn't make it, but provided
some great suggestions as well.)

Kits Library Assistant Librarian Michelle Chou recently asked a group of Kits Villagers to help her pick out books and DVD's related to sustainability for the library. We decided to support a local bookstore - Banyen Books. Three of us accepted the invitation, while others who couldn't make it provided suggestions, and we ended up selecting over 50 books and DVD's on a wide variety of topics including Permaculture, Community Energy, Resiliency, Gardening, Local Economies, Urban Homesteading, Co-operatives, Green Building, and much more. A (near) complete list can be found here.

Derek, Ross, and Michelle with boxes of books and
DVD's bound for Kits Library. 
We appreciated the opportunity to help make more books and DVD's on sustainability, resiliency, and community building accessible to the community - thanks for asking us to help, Michelle! - and we encourage you to visit Kits Library and take advantage of the new selections.

We'll be adding the list to the website, and encourage you to let us know your favourite books, films, websites, etc., so we can expand the list. You can send your selections to Ross at

Vancouver Affinity Circle

You are invited to join Vancouver's Affinity Circle every Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:15 – Free.


A Fire Alarm
When you have pain in your life you automatically tense up.
You resist the pain or you fight it.
Unfortunately, that just makes the pain hang around.
Through experience you learn that the way out of pain is not to resist it but to accept it.

One way you can begin to accept it is to see the pain not as an attack on you or as a punishment of you, but as a communication that tells you something is awry.
It is like a fire alarm that wakes you up before the fire engulfs you.
It is a messenger telling you to adjust something in your life that is dysfunctional and out of balance.

-From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini

Introducing the Transition Companion Widget

Author Rob Hopkins with his Transition Companion
The Transition Companion is Transition founder Rob Hopkins' second book, following The Transition Handbook. In it, he writes about what Transition initiatives are doing on the ground all over the world, providing tips and inspiration for how to start successful Transition projects in your community.

Now, thanks to Green Publishing, The Transition Companion is available to read for free, electronically, using the Transition Companion Widget.

To access this inspiring book online, click here.

Rob Hopkins: Change that spreads like mycorrhizal fungi

As I enter the final stages of editing the new book I have been working on, provisionally titled ‘The power of just doing stuff‘ (more information to follow), I am at the stage of, for one reason or another, cutting out perfectly good stuff that just doesn’t fit anymore (it’s a small book).  Seems a shame to waste them, so I’ll be posting a few here.  Here’s the first, which expands on something that got a mention in the video I posted here last week, the concept of thinking of Transition, and how it spreads, as being like mycorrhizal fungi. 

“There’s a particular type of fungus, known as mycorrhizae, that is one of the most extraordinary living things on this planet.  It forms in undisturbed soils and builds vast networks between the various elements that make up a forest, holding the soils together, increasing the plants’ abilities to scavenge nutrients, hold onto water, recycle debris, restore degraded soils.  It allows the various plants to send messages to each other, such as to warn about the arrival of pests and diseases.

2013 Rural-Urban Permaculture Design Course

Community Leadership Workshops at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House

Hastings-Sunrise Meaningful Movie: Food Inc.

January 17, 2013

Doors at 6:30pm, move begins at 7pm

St David of Wales Church, 2475 Franklin Street (at Kamloops)

How much do we know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families? Though our food appears the same - a tomato still looks like a tomato - it has been radically transformed.

In the Oscar nominated "Food Inc.", producer-director Robert Kenner and investigative authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollon (The Omnivore's Dilemma) lift the veil on the food industry - an industry that has ofter put profit ahead of consumer health, the  livlihoods of farmers, the safety of workers and our own environment.

PG Rated, doors open at 6:30, movie begins at 7pm followed by a discussion on the movie topic for those interested in participating. 

Popcorn, juice and snacks available for $1 each from our concession, proceeds to the DR. A.R. Lord School PAC.

Everyone welcome to St. David's, our movie venue.

Hastings North Community Small Grants - Applications open now! Deadline February 28th

The Hastings North Community Partners Group (HNCPG) manages and distributes Community Small Grants which are funded by the City of Vancouver through the Hastings Legacy Fund. Annually, the HNCPG distributes $18,000 in Community Small Grants to fund various community based projects in the Hastings North area.  Projects must take place, and both applicants must reside in the area of Boundary Road to Victoria Drive, and 1st Avenue North to the waterfront.

Projects can include cultural and performances and activities; murals and art projects; community celebrations (that are not looking for annual funding); dances and festivals, community and neighbourhood gardens; food movement projects; resident led classes; community dialogues and discussions, and more.  New projects that meet the criteria will be given first consideration for funding, as will those that intentionally promote social inclusion and cross-cultural connections, as well as include numerous members of the community.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Hastings North website.

Volunteer Opportunity with Growing Chefs

Growing Chefs! Chefs for Urban Agriculture is currently seeking chefs and those interested in food to be a part of their 2013 Classroom Gardening and Cooking program. In the Classroom Gardening Program, chef volunteers are paired with elementary school classrooms (grades 1-3) to give students hands-on experience growing and cooking their own food.

Growing Chefs! creates a forum for chefs, educators, growers, community groups, and families to work together to further awareness of food sustainability.

For more information please visit or contact Sophie at 

Book recommendation: Mobilizing the Green Imagination

An Exuberant Manifesto

by Anthony Weston

Dysfunctional cities, catastrophic climate change, ever-deepening distance from nature - today we see environmental disaster everywhere we look. In Mobilizing the Green Imagination, philosophical provocateur Anthony Weston urges us to move beyond ever more desperate attempts to "green" the status quo, toward entirely different and far more inviting ecological visions:

Life after transportation - decentralized work, inventive infill and self-sufficient micro-communities to facilitate life in place
Adaptation with attitude - cities that welcome the rising waters
A Great Second Chance - moving beyond exploitation of the whole natural world
A cosmic ecology - why not a green space program?

These postcards from beyond the leading edge of today's green thinking are bold, audacious, extravagantly hopeful and profoundly inspiring - the perfect antidote to the despair brought on by too many "doom and gloom" scenarios. Nothing less than a complete reinvention of contemporary environmentalism, Mobilizing the Green Imagination belongs in the back pocket of anyone who dares to dream of a brighter future and a better world.

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events