Community Work Search Resources

[Editor's note: thanks to Robin Anderson for the photos and information below. Where we work and what we work at is one of the most important aspects of community].

On Monday April 2, 2012 all provincial employment programs changed. Job seekers will be able to use a new set of services to help them find a job. All the employment services currently being funded by the Ministry of Social Development will end and will be replaced by the new Employment Program of B.C. Under the new Program, Metro Vancouver has been divided into various catchment areas and different organizations are responsible for providing services in each area. MOSAIC and its Partner Service Providers will be offering services in the Northeast part of Vancouver. There is a Centre for all job seekers at Commercial and Broadway and locations for specific groups of job seekers, such as youth and people of aboriginal descent.

[Editor's note: there has been a bit of controversy around the re-distribution of resources - from in-person to online - with Service Canada's Hire a Student program, at which I used to work in the lat '90s and early 2000s].

Says Anderson about the changes:

In terms of the context, CSJ is a federal program delivered by Service Canada, and our employment resource centre is a provincially funded project under the Ministry of Social Development. We think our WorkBC employment services would fit well with the re-vamped CSJ.

Students have access to self service services at all Work BC employment centres across the province. This includes access to computer terminals to print work related documents, search job postings including employment opportunities for students such as those available through the Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ) and attend workshops. They can also ask staff for some feedback on their resume and for information about where they can find job search leads.

In the MOSAIC locations, job seekers can find out what jobs are in demand, how to write the best resumes and cover letters and how to give successful job interviews. “We can also help select and fund training for eligible participants,” says Drive Youth Employment Services employee, Robin Anderson. “All the services, including access to computers and the internet are free.” For more information, email, check out the Work BC interactive, phone 604-708-9300,

Netflix is killing the Video Store

Just as video killed the radio star, now Netflix is killing the video store. And I most certainly do not feel fine about this.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Netflix in some ways. I recently enrolled in their “program” and have been immersed in a steady stream of semi-current movies. In the evenings when I run out of tasks to do (which happens frequently) and am too tired to read a book, I’ll frequently find myself scrolling through their selection of films, trying to decide whether I feel more like watching Doogie Howser (aka Neil Patrick Harris) eat shrooms and drive around the South in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay or witness the latest “terrible” comic book adaptation in The Last Airbender. Shudder.

It’s cheap (around $8 a month) and it’s easy as pie. In fact I was so complacent in my video watching that I almost missed a short article in the Globe and Mail one weekend announcing the imminent closure of Videomatica – a signature video dealer in Kits. Videomatic was known far and wide as the place to go to get the movies you couldn’t find anywhere else. Their selection was extensive – so extensive in fact – that apparently a decent portion of their collection will likely be preserved – hopefully by Herman Wosk (of the Wosk Centre) simply because it can’t really be replicated anywhere else. It was harder to miss a recent article that game out today in the Vancouver Sun proclaiming the close 146 Blockbuster stores across the country. The demise of both Blockbuster and Videomatica tell a sad story of the gradual demise of the video store.

I have my own neighbourhood version of Videomatica. It’s called Black Dog Video. There are many things that endear Black Dog Video to me. Here are some of the reasons:

1. The dudes that work their are chill, helpful and “educated” in the subject of good films

2. Their mascot is a black dog

3. They publish a wicked by-monthly newsletter that gives me great tips for what I should be watching and makes me chuckle out loud about what I shouldn’t be watching.

4. You get paw prints each time you rent a movie

5. They are dog friendly and even have tasty treats for your mutt should you bring them into the store

6. Their selection is extensive. They carry all sorts of terrific foreign films that you’d never see at a glitzed up Blockbuster

7. Their shop is close by to Vera’s burgers and the Liquor Store – sort of a one stop shop for a movie night

8. If you have ridiculous late fees you may find (some of them) forgiven

9. They aren’t a chain (well, they have 2 locations so they sort of are, but you know what I mean)

10. They are known far and wide in the community.

Black Dog, like hundreds of other small video stores around the province, is in danger of going out of business in the coming years thanks to the growing power and consumer buy in of content-on-demand being led by companies like Netflix. They have a difficult time competing, both in price and convenience. If they do disappear, they are likely to leave a big gap in our communities and take with them the opportunity to discover a film we might never had considered searching for or might never have found without a friendly recommendation from a staff member.

This could be a real tragedy, both for Black Dog community lovers and film buffs. While the selection of Netflix is likely to continue to expand and be augmented by other on-demand sites, there’s something to be said about the corporeal existence the old way of picking a film. Like the movie theatres, there is something special about going to the movie store, browsing the titles and heading home in anticipation that would be missing by just punching a bunch of buttons. I guess we’ll soon see whether this “certain special something” is enough to compete with cheaper prices and more convenience. I hope so, but I suspect not.

Buying into your first community

Buying a home for the first time is a particularly intimidating prospect. But it’s also one that gives you a good opportunity to evaluate your priorities. Is it to have a lot of space (two bathrooms + den)? How about scenery? Are you looking for somewhere in a hip and happening community or how about a home that’s got a horrible view but is tucked away on a nice, quiet street? Unless you’re Richie Rich, it’s pretty difficult to have it all. You need to make some sacrifices that don’t feel like sacrifices, because you’re about to spend an ungodly amount of money – at least that’s what if feels like the first go-round.

All the sudden, those thousands of dollars you’ve been carefully putting aside, and that had seemed so big and bulbous in your bank account and RRSPs are weak and puny standing next to the omnipresent and life altering blimp of a mortgage. A thousand seems like a lot of money in everyday life – heck you can buy a new computer, TV or vacation with it, but in the world of my mortgage, it’s really just a drop in the bucket.

Then there’s the whole aspect of how the process takes you from your itinerant renter ways to setting roots down as firmly as an ol’ oak tree (well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea). You better make a smart decision. No take backs. No longer can you uproot and head to greener pastures if you happen to dislike the neighbors’ loud music or the landlord incredibly slow fix-it routine. Oh you can move, but it’ll be a hell of a lot more expensive than just forgoing your deposit and renting a moving van. Now you get to pay property transfer tax, a Realtor, a lawyer and tons of other fees.

No you are locked in and because you’re in a condo, you’re not in this alone. Welcome to the community of condo owners. You don’t know any of them yet, because you’ve only just purchased your place. You’ve reviewed your strata documents and they all seem normal enough – but then you really never know. You don’t know if you’ll jive, if they’ll share your scrimp and save philosophies and “work life hustle” way of doing things. Maybe they’ll be terrific. Hopefully they will be, because their decisions will have an intimate and in some cases profound impact on both your life and your financial investment in the future. In a condo community the arbiter of many future decisions is the almighty power that is Strata.

Despite these concerns, I will say I am excited to soon be embarking on a new journey into home ownership. For the first time, my fiancé Theo will truly be able to nest rather than simply improve the lot of another person with her ongoing home renovations. Plus, after some exhaustive searching we were able to find a home right smack dab in the middle of a community we really know and love – Grandview Woodlands aka Commerical Drive. At least the neighbourhood won’t be a surprise. Sure we could have gotten a few hundred more square feet if we headed a city or two past outside of Vancouver. But to be honest, the more we looked, the more we became convinced that we would be willing to sacrifice space for a community. Though are living arrangements would be smaller and denser in Vancouver, it was worth it for us.

Our condo itself is a great find. A two bedroom gem on the second floor of a fully rain-screened building built in 1995. We’ve been in there twice and we already have a vision of the renos that will transform the place from cramped, dirty and gaudy into refined, tasteful and comfortable. First step is to take down some drawers, replace the hot water heater, do a little plumbing and take a sledgehammer to the large bathroom mirror which has been glued (yup, you heard right – glued) onto the wall. Then its on to painting. We figure beer and pizza will be the minimum wage for the job with a possible raise of big man hugs from me for all who participate. Let the saga begin!

Neighbourhood Ducks Stereotype

To make up for my first contribution to the Daily Gumboot (see Douchebags Series), I thought I would class it up a bit with some flashy phrases and ostensibly deep thoughts.  Let’s talk like neighbours.

I recently moved from one neighbourhood to another.  Neighbourhoods are sometimes places where communities take form.  Sometimes neighbourhoods have nothing to do with community.  One thing I did observe was the identity that came with the neighbourhood, not necessarily the community.

I’ll explain: many cities are made of very clearly defined and strongly defended neighbourhoods.  These borders may be fuzzy at the lines, but make no mistake – there is identity lodged within those drawn social or political lines.  It may be more than whom your Member of Parliament may be, more than when your garbage is taken from your curb, maybe even more than a collection of favourite shops and cafés.  Yes, friends, your neighbourhood can be an emblem of your very soul.

Or not.

Vancouver is a city of neighbourhoods.  If Vancouver were the high school prom, Yaletown would arrive in the limousine, Point Grey would be sitting (sober) poised together as far from the dance floor as possible, the West End would be the dance floor, Main Street would stay outside jeering at the crinoline and suede (or wearing it, depending on irony), Commercial would wear their homemade threads, and my new neighbourhood, Kits, would be the shiny ones with the crowns and parent’s beamers.

Okay, so maybe it’s easy to throw clichés at neighbourhoods, especially when they’re as clearly demarcated as Vancouver.

But what if you don’t fit into your neighbourhood?  What if you community looks and acts differently than your neighbours?  Do you cease to be part of that community?

And what about your identity?  Some might say that you are your neighbourhood, that the two are indivisible because of some ancient law that you choose your home and it forms you.  Some might be dead wrong.  Just like the jocks and drama geeks in high school, there are elements of each in the other.  Occupying more than one group encourages cross-pollination; having more than one identity, though potentially confusing, can create stronger and more dynamic community.  Think about it: you have a flock of birds of a certain feather and then all of a sudden you sink a duck in the middle – eventually those birds could start walking and talking differently.

So among the small dogs, lattes, early runs and BMWs (John and I once counted no less than 54 at the corner of Yew and 4th in less than an hour), there is a community within the neighbourhood within the city.  And we could all do with a bit more cross-pollination if you ask me.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be to each their own.  Leave the ducking out of community for the birds.

Co-operative Communities

Over the past few days, my life has been very Co-operative. On Saturday night, I participated in a panel discussion about the past, present and future of co-operatives in Vancouver. On Monday night I was part of the riproarin’, kick-ass Annual General Meeting of the Eastend Storefront Food Co-operative. Here’s a quick – and awesome – synopsis of these events that will make you want to get outside and build a little community right now:

Communities Unite!

The Players: Marty Frost (Facilitator and Co-operative guru), panelists from Co-op Radio, The People’s Co-op Bookstore, East End Food Co-op, and CECC Credit Union.

The Venue: Rhizome Cafe on Broadway, hosted by Co-op Radio 102.7FM.

Awesome Quotation: “Pay day loan companies are directly responsible for the cycle of poverty in our communities. They are criminal and should be stopped.”

Amazing Moment: The myriad perspectives from the panel on the answer to the question: “How will co-operatives be relevant in the future?’ I won’t spoil it (you can listen to the broadcast at 102.7FM), but it had something to do with building community from chaos

The Result: Changemakers even cooperated to get each other drinks and help each other out the door. It was a beautiful thing!

The EEFC Must Grow or Die! (Seriously!)

The Players: The Facilitator, The Auditor, The Manager, The Board of Directors, Two Staff Members, and a Bevvy of Members New and Old.

The Venue: The Lion’s Den on Commercial Drive.

Awesome Quotation: “I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way – and maybe I’m just a yuppie, part of the gentrification of The Drive – but that railing in front of the store looks like it’s from a militant 1970s era that doesn’t exist anymore. What about the bright and shiny co-ops out there?” (Editor’s note: the dark, brooding, communist railing from the 1970s is now officially retro!)

Amazing Moment: BOD President Bill Bargeman’s heartfelt, frank and sense-of-urgency-laden report for the year. It was followed by an outpouring of enthusiasm from members and the Co-op now has a fully-peopled board.

The Result: Change is coming to Commercial Drive, people. And if my name started with a “W” and ended with a “Hole Foods” I’d be gettin’ pretty nervous* about my market share right about now.

Needless to say, both experiences were fantastic examples of powerfully positive communities coming together during not-so-great times in order to make a supportive difference. Now get out there and build some community!


*for the record, International Deliciousness Provider, Whole Foods, probably shouldn’t worry too much about the EEFC…pretty funny though, right?

The Sun builds Community

John's nemesis or community builder? You be the judge.

I don’t make this sort of a statement lightly. I know co-editor John Horn harbors some ill will towards the sun, and I believe he has reason to feel that way.

But in recent summer weeks, I’ve been surprised by the amount of community the sun’s managed to build, just by being so damn hot. You see dear readers, I, like many of my friends, live in an apartment that’s on the second floor. In the morning the sun heats our tiny little home like a mischievous kid heats up ants.

The heat makes you break a sweat while sitting at you computer. It makes you feel like you’re melting like the wicked witch of the West when you cook with the oven. Its all the more tormenting to Vancouverites, whose body temperature has been carefully refined by countless months of cool and cold rain. We are not used to the hot vibes habitual in Sunmagetton like many Torontoites.

So what do we do? Well, like millions of others around the world, we head outside, to the beach or my personal favorite to our neighbourhood umbrella shielded patio -  where a cold pints or ice-coffee awaits. In recent months, the patios of many of the Drive’s watering holes have swelled with people and its neat to see. Havanas, Stellas, and the Zawas never looked so packed. Meanwhile, across town in Kitsilano its easy to see the throngs of people taking in the evening air at premier spots like Las Margaritas or Malones. Nothing like patio life to create a collective sense of community and interconnectedness don’t you think? It is certainly something the Europeans have down pat and something many people look forward to enjoying each time they visit the continent. With the sun’s help perhaps we’ll slowly but surely recreate that atmosphere – at least in the summer months.

Nothing like patio life link dozens of people together and create a positive buzz in an otherwise rainy city. For that buzz (though not for the accompanying discomfort), I thank you dear sun. But I will let John Horn have the last word on this subject if he should so choose.

Grow or Die!

Celebrating 35 Years

The East End Food Co-op (EEFC) is Vancouver’s oldest – and only – consumer-owned grocery store. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the store, too. Honestly, it’s probably the second best part of my neighbourhood, which is located at the Northern end of Commercial Drive – the best part of my ‘hood are the people who live across the hall from me. For the bast two years, I’ve been a member of the EEFC’s board of directors – we do our best to represent the needs of the Co-op’s membership. These needs, wants and ideas range from providing a healthy range of local products, building relationships with ethical vendors, offering a selection of fair trade products amongst our non-local items (like delicious, delicious coffee), and personalized orders.

And, as a member, you get to have a say in what we do and how we do it.

As written about before on this blog, co-operatives are a thing to celebrate. Whether your business is mountain equipment, food in Toronto or professional hockey, it is a refreshing thing to have your shareholders be the very consumers of your product(s) and/or service(s). According to Harvard’s Henry Mintzberg, the future of business will look more like these examples of co-operative, community-minded models than, you know, the non-accountable shareholder and profits-before-people models we have now.

Recent findings show that 99.2% of people on Earth agree with this necessary, from-business-to-community transformation. Unfortunately, we’re quite far away from such a thing.

The Need to Grow or Die

Our world is a chaotic one. Times have been better for the EEFC, not to mention pretty much every other small, community-minded grocery store on Commercial Drive and beyond. Many things have added to our business being in a tough spot. The recession. The Olympics. Opportunistic multi-national food conglomerates. Fuel prices. Razor-thin-operational margins. Pirates. All of these compounding factors have impacted – or are impacting – the EEFC in a negative way.

Like I said, we your help. We need to grow our business or die trying. If you’re a member, you’ve got a stake in this campaign – heck, you’re one of the many owners! So, over the summer, I encourage you to spread like wildfire these Ten Amazing Rumours About the East End Food Co-op:

  1. Member Appreciation Days: Are you a member? Awesome! Do you want to be a member? Awesomer! You get 10% off everything in the store on Wednesdays and Thursdays all summer long!
  2. Doug Smith is a Rock Star: Doug is the EEFC’s fearless leader who also plays a mean bass – if you’d like to know more about Doug’s rockin’ ways, please email me today for exclusive video footage!
  3. Organic, Fair Trade Bananas! What?! Such things exist? Yes. They do. Stop by and check ‘em out.
  4. Great deals. Check out the Manager’s Specials today!
  5. Stop supporting Corporate Socialism. Ridiculous subsidies to agro-business and petroleum-based supply chains have rigged the food-delivery game against local initiatives like the EEFC. Nobody (except Kurt and Monsanto) likes socialism, so reward good, local, sustainable free enterprise by shopping at the EEFC.
  6. The EEFC supports its community. Buy a re-usable cloth bag and a portion of the money goes to a local charity or special cause, like the Stone Soup Film Festival!
  7. BOD Hugs! That’s right, folks. Free hugs. Just track down an EEFC Board Member and let us know what kind of hug suits you best.
  8. Kraft Dinner. Sorry, Rumour 5, but the EEFC listens to its members. Even if those members want Kraft Dinner.
  9. Shopping Carts. The carts are so amazing and agile that a few were taken from the store! Not cool, a-holes. Kinda cool, possibly senile seniors who mistook the carts for their walkers.
  10. Celebrity Appearances. Every now and again some local/international celebrities show up to the Co-op. Thing is, the only way to see them is to make sure you’re in the store every day. Will Trevor Linden stop by and give out free hugs with the Board Members? Yes!*

So there it is. Some 100% absolutely mostly true rumours that you must spread about the East End Food Co-op. We’ve got the best food for the best price from the best people in Vancouver. And we can’t wait to see you again or meet you for the first time!


*No! …this probably won’t happen…but it could!

A Discussion of Douchebags – Introduction

“You’re a douchebag!”

Those mean-spirited words spewed themselves my way about a year ago on Commercial Drive, which is my neighbourhood. To be honest, they still haunt me. Nobody likes to be called any derivative of a douche-like noun/verb/adjective, as it is undeniably negative. For example, I make a strong case for professional-kindness to my students because, when it comes to business (or any other kind of collaboration), nobody wants to work with a douchebag. The thing about being a douchebag, though, is that it is entirely subjective. So, whether I am or not will be left up to you, readers – but, hey, this isn’t about me.

Needless to say, my friends, co-workers and strangers I meet on public transit have become well versed in the above tale. One such good friend, Gumbooteer Theodora Lamb, pitched the brilliant idea to discuss the term/concept/factoid/person/people/word “douchebag” as it relates to communities everywhere around the world and beyond. Google “douchebag” and you can see just how much this word has woven its way into our social fabic.

As this is a blog an online magazine about community, it seems only natural that we address such a word/thing/person that is, for better or worse, a super-popular nomenclature within our cultural landscape. So, for the next week, the Daily Gumboot will discuss douchebags from a myriad of perspectives, including, but not limited to, etymology, history, “the douchebag” around the world, reforming (or not reforming) douchebags, photographic analysis of “douchebags”, and an interview with “Pete”, the Daily Gumboot’s resident dou- well, you get the idea.

Many questions – such as, “why can you say ‘douchebag’ on television?” and “are there douchebags in East Africa? If so, how are they similar/different from douchebags in Yaletown?” and “what will be the long-term impact of douchebags on our communities?” – will be addressed logically, rationally, intelligently, professionally, and hilariously by the DG‘s talented team. I hope you have fun with it!

- John Horn, Editor-in-Chief

Grandview Park – a redesign for beautification or gentrification?

Grandview Park ... all guns and drugs? Or good 'ol family fun?

 I vividly remember listening to a lively CBC radio debate – lively enough that the tension seemed to permeate along with the radio waves through the room – in Fall 2008 about the potential redesign of Grandview Park in East Vancouver. Stephanie Maingot, Commercial Drive resident, was advocating for the allotment of $1 million from the city in order to ‘redesign’ the park, which she described as being fraught with drug dealing, crime, violence and illegal protests. The tension within the interview arose when Ms. Maingot was unable to pinpoint exactly how these funds would be used to address these issues, and was likely fuelled by the fact that the radio host, at the height of the interview, slipped in the fact that he is a proud East Van resident. Ms. Maingot’s plight is supported by both a group of neighbors calling themselves the ‘Friends of Grandview Park’ and the Commercial Drive Business Improvement Association. For more on Ms. Maingot’s views, check out this Vancouver Courier story in which she was interviewed on the topic. 

Earlier this year, the Vancouver Parks Board announced that this redesign project was approved, with construction set to begin in Summer 2010. The ‘Friends of Grandview Park’ were very involved in this approval process, presenting to the Parks Board on the necessity of this redesign. More details and conceptual design options can be found on the Parks Board site. Of course, there are those in opposition to the redesign, stating gentrification of the area as their main concern. The argument can be found on their Defend Grandview  website

Now. I live quite close to Grandview Park, and frequent it regularly. I’ve seen some shady transactions take place, very open displays of drunkenness, and homeless people sleeping in bushes. I’ve also seen amazing drum circles, children playing, and lovers picnicking. DG correspondent Kurt Heinrich was lucky enough to see a bike polo match the other weekend (which may or may not be played by resident ‘hipsters’). One can’t help but feel a sense of community when visiting Grandview Park, and if not accept, then tolerate the more systemic issues that confront residents that frequent the park. I don’t have anything against the redesign, per se – I can’t really argue against park improvements such as a better drainage system, new playground equipment, and more benches and flowerbeds – but it seems to me that a $1 million dollar redesign of the area will do little to address the more systemic issues that face the individuals who visit Grandview Park and the surrounding area. How will this redesign address homelessness? Mental health and addiction concerns? Poverty?  Is the intention of the ‘Friends of Grandview Park’ group to see these individuals move along to another park, or are there other initiatives happening parallel to this that provide support for our community members? If so, I haven’t seen any indication that this is occurring.. As a wise man once said, “Every society is judged by how it treats the least fortunate amongst them”.

Jane’s Walking through Vancouver’s Historical Communities

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

— Jane Jacobs, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’

It’s a simple equation, really: walking + history + people + urban literacy = strong, vibrant communities. This Saturday and Sunday (May 1 & 2, 2010) you can be part of the equation by participating in Vancouver’s Jane’s Walk 2010.

Fun Fact: Jane’s Walk is a Canadian creation that has been exported around the world – today, there are over 400 Jane’s Walks taking place on Earth. And you can be a part of it.

The Vancouver initiative is developed and driven by Think City, which, according to their website, “helps citizens understand the issues facing their communities while developing collective solutions to protect the environment, strengthen local economies, advance democratic rights and ensure access to quality public services.” After all, walking, as our Resident Architect, Stewartworks, will tell you, is perhaps the best method of transportation for properly engaging a community.

Jane’s Walk is all about the ideas of Jane Jacobs – writer, activist, Uncle Sam Impersonator – who stood up for the interests of local residents and pedestrians in opposition to a car-centered approach to planning. The event strives to take Jacobs’ ideas to communities unfamiliar with her ideas, like Phoenix, in order to advance raise awareness for people-first planning and design.  The walks bring people together based on shared interest; some of the best communities have been formed by strangers going for walks.

Recently, I sat down with Jane’s Walks Vancouver coordinator, Kim Fleming, who let me know about the impact this event makes on communities. “Jane’s Walk builds community in a number of ways. Firstly, it gets people out of their cars walking around their neighbourhoods talking to their neighbours! The idea behind Jane’s Walk is that it is a dialogue that happens while you are are on the walk. The tour host is more like a fascilitator who has knowledge around a theme and the idea is to engage interested people and have them share their knowledge, ideas and experiences as well. Walkers get a broader picture of their community and the people who live in it.”

And, in true Gumboot style, I asked Kim to identify her three favourite things about Jane’s Walks:

1. It builds community!(see above)

2. It allows us to discover and re-discover our city through pedestrian focused activities and the use of public space…all public space which includes our sidewalks, laneways, parks, school yards, boulevards etc…

The great surprise in the Olympics for me was the use of public space and the great sense of community that using those spaces built, pride in our community, our city and connection with our fellow citizens. We don’t, in Vancouver, use our public spaces in this way very often and our planning does not factor in the importance of it. But we saw with the Olympics that it is important and what we see with Jane’s Walk, which is all about this, is that Vancouverites have a hunger for it! It is our city after all.

3. Walkability. It’s fun, its healthy, its free! Exploring is fun. Stories are fun! People are interesting. Jane’s Walk is just a starting point. Walkability is a concept that can carry through every time you put foot to pavement, not just on a Jane’s Walk, when you go to the cornerstore think about how it got there, (is there a cornerstore? where would one be if there was….)how is the sidewalk used that you are walking on, who uses it?…

Needless to say, I will be attending a Jane’s Walk on Sunday. And I’m lucky. Because my guide is pretty much the Indiana Jones of Jane’s Walks. His name is Phil Skipper and he will be facilitating a community-minded jaunt around Douglas Park and the South Cambie ‘hood. From Phil, I expect to experience humour, random (seemingly impossible) facts, excellent questions, and possibly coordinated dance off against another tour-group and/or some unsuspecting neighbours. You can register for Phil’s walk by following this link.

Finally, before, during and after the walk take lots of pictures. Later from home, upload your best photos to Flickr and add thinkcity and janeswalk10 as tags. If you have a Twitter account, please update your status with anything of interest you see or learn along the walk. Use #janeswalk10 and #janeswalk before your message. Be collaborative and social – after all, it’s all about community!