Celebrate Memories

celebrating-memories-26I was raised in a home that attached value to handmade goods. Art and crafts were things to be cherished and cared for. They added something special to any room, celebration, or occasion. My mom always showed respect towards handmade goods and the makers behind them. She taught us to see the quality in art and crafts and to look for pieces that evoke feeling.

My mom used pieces of art to showcase the transition from one season to the next. This rotating art exhibition took place in the living room—her gallery. This was a space where she could express herself emotionally, aesthetically, and create family memories.

Christmas was no exception. Down came the painting with the fall leaves, and up went a winter scene complete with ice-skating, a snowman, and a little house in the background glowing from the warm fire within. These were by no means high-end pieces of art. They were simply lovely painted scenes that my mom was drawn to.

I come from a family of five kids. The living room was the only clutter-free zone in the house. It was always clean, there were fancy couches that never had the chance to sag, and all of my mom’s treasured possessions were on display and safe from swinging limbs. We were never told to keep out. But, as kids, we had a sort of reverence towards this room.

The paintings set the tone of the room. It was exciting to watch my dad help hang the holiday painting. We knew Christmas was coming. My mom’s holiday art added something special to the Christmas season. These pieces were valued and cherished in a different way than the pipe cleaner ornaments and paper Christmas trees that decorated the TV room.The Christmas paintings were the backdrop for so many holiday memories and experiences.

My childhood memories are filled with art and crafts. Creating was a Christmas tradition and a big part of our celebrations. My mom is a fairly quiet and reserved person. She is also very crafty. Crafts connect her with people and help foster relationships. This was true in her role as mom, as well.

Whether it was creating beaded candy canes or marshmallow Christmas balls, sitting down at the kitchen table and getting crafty was her way of gathering us together and expressing affection.

My mom is a skilled knitter, sewer, and quilter. Her handmade pieces are scattered throughout the house. I feel coziness when I think about the embroidered Christmas table runner that adorned the coffee table, the crochet snowflakes on the windows, and the handmade stockings that hung from the mantel. These things are familiar and they make me happy.

Now that I am a mom, the love and effort my mom put into making handmade pieces is so evident to me. Crafts were an expression of her love. They were her way of making our house a home.

I’m sure there were store-bought Christmas decorations in my childhood home, but I can’t recall any. The warm, fuzzy memories are triggered by the beautiful pieces created with knitting needles, a sewing machine, a glue gun, ribbons, and whatever else filled the the craft closet.

Gift-giving among my family reflects our upbringing. We only exchange handmade items that are locally made. There is something special about sharing where a gift was purchased, the artist you are supporting, and the passion that went into it.

celebrating-memories-27I am proud of my work with the Arts Council of New Westminster as coordinator of New West Craft. It feels great to provide local crafters and artisans an opportunity to showcase their work to the community. Thanks to my mom, I truly value their work and the passion and love that goes into their creations.

I encourage you to change how you shop this holiday season. Why not skip the shopping mall and focus on shopping small instead?

The New West Craft Christmas Night Market on Saturday, December 3 is a great place to start. Join us at River Market from 6:00pm to 9:30pm and visit with over 40 local vendors selling handmade goods.

To learn more visit: www.bit.ly/NewWestCraft2016

Last Monday at the Movies Celebrating its 15th Season

lmatm_sept5x7Last Monday at the Movies returns for its 15th season on Monday, September 26. The Arts Council of New Westminster hosts this popular movie series in partnership with Massey Theatre and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit program. Film buffs can enjoy a great selection of Canadian and international films on the last Monday of each month.

The new season is off to a great start. Catch the critically acclaimed film The Man Who Knew Infinity. Written and directed by Matthew Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity is based on the true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Dev Patel), a self-taught Indian mathematics genius who travels to Trinity College, Cambridge before the First World War, where he forges a bond with his mentor, the eccentric professor G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons).

Add a little film culture to your Monday evening–without having to leave the city!

Movie: The Man Who Knew Infinity

Where: Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave

Time: Doors open at 7pm. Movie at 7:30pm

Tickets: Single tickets are $9, or $8 for seniors and students. Season’s passes are also offered for the whole film series at a cost of $65, or $60 for seniors and students.

Tickets will be available through www.ticketsnw.ca, or cash only at the door.

Upcoming Movies:

Into The Forest: Monday, October 31

Darkness in November: Monday, November , 28

For more information visit www.acnw.ca/movies


Summer Night Market Coming Up

NWC-SUMMERMARKETSummer nights should be celebrated. Join New West Craft for their Summer Night Market on Saturday, August 13 from 6pm to 9:30pm at River Market in downtown New Westminster.

New West Craft aims to create a welcoming environment for local makers, artists and crafters to showcase their work to the community. New West Craft provides a fun shopping environment where shoppers can feel good about supporting local. Nothing beats buying something directly from the maker.

With over 50 vendors, there is something for everyone. Shop trendy baby gear, stationary, custom t-shirts, jewellery, leather goods, art, soaps, candles, home decor and more! Vendors will be set up outside along the boardwalk and spread throughout the River Market’s two floors.

Feelin' it DecalsNew West Craft is thrilled to have several River Market shops and restaurants joining in on the fun. Grab a bite to eat from Re-Up BBQ, Longtail Kitchen or Wild Rice and browse Mid-Century Modern HOME, Bunches & Blooms, Jolene’s Natural Soap, Shnoo and the Pachooch and Great Wall Tea Co.

Their special summer event will feature over 50 vendors selling handmade goods, live music, food and more. River Market is a great space during the day and New West Craft can’t wait to bring it to life at night.

West+WindSpend a summer evening at one of the best spots in the city. Enjoy the smooth sounds of local musician Sam Cave and relax to the acoustic vibe of father and daughter duo Emma and Roland Nipp. This event is perfect for the whole family: grab the kids and get creative with a sand art workshop hosted by local sand artist Roger Lee outside on the boardwalk ($5 drop-in fee)


It’s going to be an epic night in New Westminster! The New West Craft Summer Night Market coincides with the New West Pride Columbia Street Party: two great events happening downtown. New West Craft is proudly presented by The Arts Council of New Westminster.

For more info check out their event page!

Blue Trimble

Finding a Family Doctor

headIf it’s not housing or traffic, people in the city are talking about doctors–and the lack of them­–in this growing town of ours. Finding a doctor is no easy task and takes some serious digging, begging and luck to find the right fit (or any fit). It seems that everyone is on the hunt for a family doctor. With many in the profession retiring and the population of New West booming, doctors are in hot demand, but the supply is lagging behind. Continue reading “Finding a Family Doctor”

Staying Relevant

These days, libraries are so much more than just books. Libraries have evolved from simply being a place to borrow books, to a place where people spend time, where they navigate technology, make connections and engage with their community.

The programs and services offered by the New Westminster Public Library (NWPL) are constantly growing and changing with the needs and interest of their patrons–young and old. The mission may be the same, but the way a library informs, shares and gathers looks a little different today. This is a great time to revisit the library (in person or online). There are some really exciting things happening through the library that are worth checking out.

“It can be surprising to people who don’t visit public libraries to see just how many people come through our door on a daily basis,” explains Susan Buss, Deputy Chief Librarian NWPL. “To get a sense of this, I looked at the total hours open in 2015, and on average we had 146 people visit us every hour.”

The library is still alive and well!

Continue reading “Staying Relevant”

Putting Down Roots

This piece first appeared in Issue Zero of our print magazine, April 2016.

I like moving around. Maybe it’s my introverted personality that craves sneaking in and out of cities and towns before I get too attached to the people and places within them.  It could be the thrill of starting fresh and wiping the slate clean for new opportunities and experiences. Maybe I just never found the right place to call home. Continue reading “Putting Down Roots”