August 4, 2014
Our annual end-of-summer barbecue is back! Save the date—Saturday, September 6th, starting around 5pm. Same central location – details to be confirmed later.
Posted by Mike Klassen at 11:47 AM | Permalink
May 23, 2014
McBride Annex Spring Fair is a great annual local community event. Lots of fun for families.
Saturday, May 24th from 11am to 3pm
Located at McBride Annex, 4750 St. Catherines Street (29th and St Catherines)
The annual McBride Annex School Spring Fair is a fun and exciting carnival with games for kids of all ages, delicious food, Bouncy Castle, giant slingshot, silent auction, face painting, music, prizes and fun…Don’t miss out!
Come celebrate the day at this family-friendly fun event. Rain or shine, we’ll see you there. Admission is Free.
Tickets for food, games and silent auction will be available for purchase at the Fair.
More info here.
Posted by Mike Klassen at 1:17 PM | Permalink
August 1, 2013
Chalk up another successful event held by the Mountain View Neighbourhood Group, who have been coordinating community gatherings for over a decade now. The 13th community BBQ held on Sunday, June 14th had special meaning for the neighbourhood, as it was to mark the 10th anniversary of a unique piece of Vancouver's public realm – the Country Lane (south lane at 700-block east 27th).
To make this event as meaningful as possible, it was important to ensure that key individuals were in attendance. These included local community advocates Sharole Tylor, Jackie Larson, Jeannie Kamins (all of whom were involved in spearheading the Country Lane), Lilli Wong and former Vancouver city planner Sandy James. Sandy was the Lane's most vocal proponent at city hall.
It was also suggested that we invite members of Vancouver city council to mark the occasion. Councillors Elizabeth Ball and George Affleck attended, as did MP Don Davies and a representative of the office of MLA Mable Elmore. The Country Lane was built following its approval by city council in July 2002, then led by Mayor Philip Owen.
Philip Owen was also proposed as a guest, and to the delight of organizers he agreed to join the festivities. He arrived with his grandson, who enjoyed the BBQ food and the company of other children in attendance.
The biggest challenge facing the event was trying to make sure everyone possible could attend this public event. Once we had commitments from many people, the next challenge was getting the community to know the event was happening, and where. Posters were circulated all over the neighbourhood, each featuring a small map where the Country Lane was.
We also used social media – our website, email lists, and Facebook group helped to raise awareness. Using Twitter had an additional bonus. A reporter for the National Post saw a 'tweet' about the event and, intrigued by the Country Lane concept, persuaded his editor to run a page 3 story about the Lane, along with a photo of organizer Mike Klassen and Sandy James. It helped to give organizers the boost they needed to generate interest in the July 14th event.
Mike contributed his semi-regular “community correspondent” column to the Vancouver Courier newspaper discussing the Country Lane and forthcoming event, which helped to give it a final bit of profile. On July 14th just before noon, community members began to straggle in for the food and good company. Neighbour Robert Major took on BBQ duties and roasted all the beef, turkey and vegetarian weiners. Several also brought their own dishes, and two 'soccer tents' were provided additional shade from the sun.
The images show what a great event it was – many members of this diverse community gathered, young and old.
Thanks to everyone who joined us that day, and especially to Sandy James and Philip Owen for your leadership and foresight to create a great public space like Mountain View's Country Lane. Many thanks also go out to the Vancouver Foundation and their Neighbourhood Small Grants program, which provided us with a grant to cover the event costs.
Posted by Mike Klassen at 11:29 PM | Permalink
July 11, 2013
We're getting excited about this weekend's 10th Anniversary BBQ in the Country Lane. In advance of that event, the Vancouver Courier newspaper is running a piece on this subject:
Community Correspondent: Vancouver’s country lanes turn ten
A two and a half-page report titled “Country Lanes Demonstration Project” from Engineering Services to city council, dated July 9, 2002, is buried on the website archive known as former.vancouver.ca. It is a “former” public policy conceived by a group of enthusiastic city staffers who saw the potential in Vancouver's otherwise overlooked back alleys.
But with so many laneway homes being built today, will the Country Lane program that has lately languished win new fans at city hall?
Posted by Mike Klassen at 1:26 PM | Permalink
July 7, 2013
We're excited to have some special guests coming to our Sunday BBQ! Please join us for the fun with friends and neighbours. It is the 10th Anniversary of a special Vancouver public space. Bring a dish to share, or just show up and join us for lunch.
Date: Sunday, July 14th, 2013
Time: 11:30am to 1:30pm
Where: "Country Lane" -- south lane of 700 block East 27th (just east of Fraser, between 27th/28th Avenue) -- see Google Map.
For more background and photos of the history of the Country Lane see this link.
Read a recent report in the National Post newspaper on the Country Lane.
Posted by Mike Klassen at 9:11 PM | Permalink
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