Category Archives: News

Strathcona businesses serve new grub with old community values

VANCOUVER — On the eve of summer 2015, three businesses are preparing to open their doors to residents and visitors of Strathcona. Every business brings its own distinct vibe to the area: The Heatley, a gastropub-style neighbourhood watering hole; Roots+Fruits, a health food café with fresh seasonal juices; and Ed’s Daily, a commissary with grab-and-go breakfast and lunch. While the cuisines couldn’t be more different, the owners of all three businesses share a common interest: making a valuable contribution to the Strathcona community.

“I think if you’re planning on opening a business down here without a community program, you wouldn’t really fit in,” says Brett Turner, who co-owns Ed’s Daily with Dax Droski. The commissary-style café on the corner of Heatley and Powell hasn’t seen a break in foot traffic since its opening in early May, whether it’s a lunch rush of employees from the animation studio next door or morning coffee runs from the residents of nearby social housing units.

“We see all kinds of backgrounds coming into the café, and so far it’s been really well-received in the community,” Turner explains. He adds that they’ve seen a lot of anticipation leading up to the opening date. “We were on social media about a month before we opened, and obviously people were seeing something being built here, so people kept reaching out to us, asking when we were opening.”

The Heatley, located just up the street from Ed’s Daily, has seen a similar kind of attention. Owner Michael Brennan says he has made a point of leaving the windows and the doors of The Heatley open throughout renovations. “I’ve always invited people to come in and ask who I am and what I’m doing,” he explains, “and by that, I feel like I’ve already gained support of the community.” His vision of The Heatley was brought about by what he felt was an absence of old-fashioned neighbourhood pubs in Vancouver. Strathcona, with its diverse yet tight-knit community, seemed like the perfect spot.

“The one thing that Strathcona has that I think many neighbourhoods are sorely missing is businesses interspersed throughout the community,” Brennan says. “I wanted to ensure that what I wanted to do was in line with the neighbourhood, not a radical transformation of [it].”

It seems that all Strathcona business owners, whether they’ve been running businesses for many years or moved into the neighbourhood recently, share Brennan’s sentiment. Scott McTavish, who owns Roots+Fruits, says paying homage to the history and tradition of Strathcona is part of the business identity. “Our goal is to be embedded and accepted by the community and give them what they want,” he explains.

His inspiration for the menu at Roots+Fruits came from extensive research on positive effects of a healthy diet. “It soon became obvious that a lot of the food that we’re consuming everyday can be improved upon and should be more convenient to obtain,” McTavish says. Following that realization, McTavish has created an oasis of responsibly-sourced organic superfoods and seasonal freshly-squeezed juices.

Ed’s Daily and The Heatley are both participants of Made in Strathcona, a Strathcona Business Improvement Association initiative aimed at highlighting local businesses. As SBIA executive director Joji Kumagai explains, the business owners’ interest in the daily lives of Strathcona residents ensures that the changes in the community have a positive impact. “It’s not just about opening a business and trying to do whatever you can to make a buck – which is what you have to do as a small business owner – but also to really understand how to make your community better.”

If the three newest additions to the Strathcona culinary scene are any indication, things are about to get a lot better – for residents and foodies alike.

A version of this article appeared in BeatRoute Magazine in June 2015.

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We need better criminal response to domestic violence: crisis centre

(Courtesy Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter)

(Courtesy Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver police have answered several domestic violence calls at the Nguyen house, but that didn’t stop the tragedy from happening.

The city’s sixth homicide was a suspected motive of a domestic dispute; the last one happened only one week earlier. This renews a local women’s centre call for change in addressing domestic abuse.

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Proposed project could bring fire pits to Vancouver beaches

(Courtesy Vancouver Campfire Project/Facebook)

(Courtesy Vancouver Campfire Project/Facebook)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – How would you like to sit around a fire at the beach this summer?

A student collaboration out of SFU and UBC hopes for an exemption in the laws around open fires in Vancouver.

It’s called the Vancouver Campfire Project, and organizers are proposing to put fire pits on Vancouver beaches, with a pilot pit proposed for this summer on Jericho Beach. Continue reading

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Elephant advocates raise awareness for ivory poaching crisis

elephantics

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Music, dancing, and bright elephant ear hats made this flashmob look like a party. But the group got together in front of Pacific Centre mall downtown to bring awareness to a serious issue – the elephant poaching crisis in Africa.

The animal advocates call themselves Elephanatics, and they believe educating consumers on the cruelty of ivory poaching is the first step. Organizer Andrea Duthie says a flashmob is a fun way to turn heads to this serious issue.

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New Olympic statue unveiled in downtown Vancouver

nike statue

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The 2010 Olympics have long been over, but Nike the Greek goddess of victory has finally landed Vancouver.

Dozens of people gathered at the corner of Thurlow and Cordova for the official unveiling of the statue on Saturday afternoon.

The statue is a gift from the ancient city of Olympia, and was designed by a renowned Greek sculptor Pavlos Angelos Kougiomtzis.

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Abbotsford homeless file a human rights complaint against city authorities

DJ Larkin of Pivot Legal Society is helping Jubilee Park homeless file a complaint. (Olsy Sorokina/BCIT News)

DJ Larkin of Pivot Legal Society is helping Jubilee Park homeless file a complaint. (Olsy Sorokina/BCIT News)

ABBOTSFORD – Residents of the homeless camp in Abbotsford are fighting back the city’s move-out notice with a human rights complaint.

On Monday, city authorities posted a notice for the residents to remove all their tents and belongings from Jubilee Park, citing safety concerns associated with extreme weather conditions as the main reason.

The camp in Jubilee was set up after another site along Gladys Road was smeared with chicken manure to drive out the homeless in early June.

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Vancouver Heritage Foundation hosts the last of the movie night series at Hollywood Theatre

Vancouver Heritage Foundation paid a grant to restore Hollywood theatre's historic facade earlier this year. (Courtesy Vancouver Heritage Foundation)

Vancouver Heritage Foundation paid a grant to restore Hollywood theatre’s historic facade earlier this year. (Courtesy Vancouver Heritage Foundation)

VANCOUVER (BCIT NEWS) – The upcoming movie night may be the last time the screen lights up at Vancouver’s historic Hollywood Theatre.

Vancouver Heritage Foundation has been organizing movie nights at the Hollywood since the spring of 2013. Showings were organized with the help of the Church at Hollywood, which has occupied the building since the theater’s closure in

Most films in the series shared themes inspired by Vancouver’s history and architecture. All admission and concession at the movie nights has been by donation.

The foundation also gave a grant for restoration of the theatre’s historic façade earlier this year. Most of the money has already been spent for painting the building and restoring one of the oldest neon signs in Vancouver – a city once known as Canada’s Neon Capital.

Heritage Foundation executive director Judith Mosley says the foundation would be sorry to lose the historic theater.

“It’s a historic building, it is on the heritage register for Vancouver. We would really like to see a use continue for the Hollywood that is compatible with retaining the historic theatre, including the interior,” Mosley says. “Certainly we’d really like to see that happen, and would hope for a positive solution around that.”

Mosley says more people have been coming out to what was already a popular event since the possibility of the Hollywood’s closure.

The last movie night is planned for on November 26, and will show a 1949 film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead.

This article originally appeared on the BCIT News website on November 19, 2013. Read this and other stories by Olsy Sorokina here

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