The Kids Are All Right: Youth Week in New Westminster

On May 2nd, the New Westminster Youth Awards will celebrate New West Youth.

These awards are a ceremony designed to identify and recognize the accomplishments of youth within the City of New Westminster.  There are six categories for youth accomplishments as well as one category for adults that have supported youth in their work towards success.

The Youth Awards themselves originated from the definition and purpose of Youth Week in B.C. which is to highlight and promote youth throughout our province during the first week of May each year. This celebration provides the opportunity and backdrop for an awards ceremony dedicated to youth who have accomplished great things within our community. The ceremony also provides a forum for promotion and identification of the positive contributions the youth demographic has made to the New Westminster community on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. An additional purpose is to establish and maintain a positive environment and outlet for youth accomplishments within the New Westminster community. The categories and criteria are heavily Parks & Recreation based with intent to highlight youth accomplishments while in our programs, facilities, and community events.  It is a chance for youth to stand out and be noticed for the positive contributions they have made.

You can get more info about all of the events at, including the BBQ today after school.

Cutting-edge artists from Club PuSh coming to a venue near you!

For the first time in its history, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is extending its programming to New Westminster with the launch of Club PuSh at the Anvil Centre. New West residents can still catch up-close two renowned artists creating major buzz in Canada and the US as part of this series.

Showing off his three-octave range, US singer Joseph Keckler moves from opera to pop without missing a beat in this riveting performance. Keckler was named as a “major vocal talent whose range shatters the conventional boundaries” by The New York Times in 2016. He performs widely and has appeared at Lincoln Center, Centre Pompidou, Miami Art Basel, UCB, SXSW and many other venues internationally. Keckler performs this weekend – January 26 at Anvil Centre. (For a sample of his range and work, check out this performance – he has many operas to choose from but I like this operatic English language short film).

A photo of performing artist Joseph Keckler seated alone on stage with a microphone.

Award-winning and JUNO-nominated Canadian Aboriginal cellist Cris Derksen and her trio will pull audiences in with their hypnotic blend of loop pedal, drum machine and cello. Originally from the North Tall Cree reserve in northern Alberta, Derksen has collaborated with icons from Kanye West, to Naomi Klein. The trio takes the Anvil Centre stage on February 2.(I struggled to pick one track – they are unbelievable soundscapes to listen to- but try this one featuring Jennifer Kreisberg from her most recent album.) 

Jessica Schneider, representing both Anvil Centre and the Massey Theatre, said about this first-time partnership: “We have adventurous audiences all over Metro Vancouver who are going to love having Club PuSh a little closer to home. This is yet another smart move for PuSh in branching out to New Westminster’s community. Anvil Centre will be a great theatre setting to take in Club PuSh. Adding a second date for visiting artists increases the impact of their visits to BC and an earlier performance time makes the shows accessible to a wider public.”

The PuSh Festival has been bringing cutting-edge arts experiences across the disciplines of dance, theatre, music or multimedia to Vancouver audiences for the past 14 years. This year, the festival welcomes artists from 11 countries – including those from Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Mexico, among others.


Brown Baggin’ It! Join Mayor Coté for a lunchtime chat!

Check out this coming event from Mayor Coté, a B-Y-O-Lunch event happening on December 15 at City Hall in Council Chambers. No RSVP is required, you just show up and bring your lunch and topics for discussion and it’s an informal chat. Mayor Coté admits this isn’t his original idea. “This idea came from a recent meeting I had with the Mayor of Victoria, Lisa Helps. They provided us with an overview of their public engagement program and Mayor Helps has been doing these brown bag lunches for a few years now.”

It’s a great idea. It’s a casual, its over food, and it’s non-threatening. As great as public engagement is, formal open houses or info sessions aren’t always for everyone, and not every topic gets an open house. So this is a nice idea to bring up things you’re curious about.

Mayor Coté looks forward to it. “I think this is yet another way I can connect directly with residents. Whether people have questions or want to share their ideas or concerns about the city, I am hopeful this will provide a good forum for discussion and further enhance our efforts and commitment to public engagement in New Westminster.”

Free Dog Bite Prevention Seminars for Families

Did you know that by the time kids are 12 years old 50% of them will have been bitten by a dog?

Brigette Mayer, the owner and head trainer of mutt & moggy Training & Pet Care, is presenting two free dog bite prevention seminars in New Westminster. The first takes place on Saturday, July 8, 2017 from noon to 2pm in the Port Room at the Queensborough Community Centre. The second takes place on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from noon to 2pm in the River Room at the Centennial Community Centre. In these informational seminars, parents and their kids will learn how to understand dog body language and how to act safely around dogs in their home and community. There will be lots of fun, interactive activities to teach parents and their kids how to be safer around dogs.

“My goal with these seminars is to help kids and families stay safe. The statistics are astonishing – by the time kids are 12 years old 50% of them will have been bitten by a dog and 77% of those dog bites come from the family dog or a friend’s dog. The key to dog bite safety and prevention is early education for both kids and parents. These seminars are a fun and interactive way to learn how to speak ‘dog’,” said Brigette Mayer, owner and head trainer of mutt & moggy Training & Pet Care.

These seminars are presented by mutt & moggy Training & Pet Care and co-hosted by the New Westminster Animal Shelter. They are sponsored by the Vancouver Foundation / Neighbourhood Small Grants program, specifically Family Services of Greater Vancouver – New Westminster.

Brigette Mayer has owned and operated mutt & moggy Training & Pet Care for the past seven years. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), a licensed ‘Be A Tree’ presenter, a Fear Free Certified Professional, and a member of both the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). You can find more information on her Facebook page.

A Little Night Music comes to the Anvil Theatre May 11-21

Photo by David Cooper. Actors Warren Kimmel and Katey Wright

Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics come alive May 11- 21 at Anvil Centre Theatre in Patrick Street Production’s A Little Night Music. This sophisticated Broadway musical, which includes the hit song “Send In the Clowns,” has won 6 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), a Golden Globe, and a Grammy. With Hugh Wheeler’s wry, witty script, and Sondheim’s luscious score this romantic romp among mismatched couples explores the joys and frustrations of love and sex at all ages and stages. A true celebration of love and desire in three-quarter time. Directed by Peter Jorgensen, this runs Wednesdays through Saturday evenings at 8pm with a matinee May 14, 20, and 21 at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday May 13. Preview tickets are available May 11 and 12 for a reduced fee ($21.50 + $4 service charge) or seats May 13-21 range from $21.50-$35.50 (+$4 service charge) through TicketsNW or call 604-521-5050.

But you can win a pair of tickets to opening night just by commenting on this post! 



Based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music is a tangled series of interwoven love affairs at the turn of the century among the elite that takes place at a weekend country estate. The story begins with the esteemed lawyer Fredrik Egerman, (Warren Kimmel – who some of you might remember recently from Fiddler on the Roof and “It’s Tradition!”) who has recently married an 18-year-old virgin, Anne. The couple lives in the same house with Fredrik’s young son Henrik, (Caleb Di Pomponio) who has also fallen madly in love with Anne.  Fredrik’s dedication to his blushing bride is tested when he reunites with former flame and aging actress, Desiree Armfeldt (Katey Wright in a role played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dame Judi Dench among others) It all gets more complicated when Desiree’s jealous, married lover Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm (Nick Fontaine) gets wind of the reunion. All of these trysts and twists come to a head when Desiree convinces her mother to host Fredrik and his family for a weekend on her lavish estate – where the Count, with his wife Charlotte (Lindsay Warnock), crash the party.

Photo by David Cooper. Actors Nick Fontaine, Katey Wright, and Warren Kimmel.

Night Music gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the work of two geniuses,” says director, Peter Jorgensen. “The first, Ingmar Bergman, one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, and the second, Stephen Sondheim, who managed to deepen and enrich Bergman’s story with his glorious score and incredible lyrics.”

Since its original 1973 Broadway production, this musical has enjoyed professional productions around the world including in London’s West End, by major opera companies, by the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and in a 2009 Broadway revival. It was adapted for film in 1977, with Harold Prince directing, and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down and Diana Rigg.

Patrick Street Productions is a dynamic exciting musical theatre company creating quality productions of contemporary musicals that thrill, excite, provoke and above all, entertain. A Little Night Music is the epitome of a Patrick Street production – sophisticated music, complex characters, and a story written with intelligence and heart. 

Comment on this post for your chance to be entered to win a pair of tickets to opening night! Contest closes at 5pm April 30, 2017. One winner will be selected at random.