Stop. Hammer Time.

(Who doesn’t want to be able to start a post that way?) 

Join the Spare Parts Adventure Society at Hammer Time! A Pop-Up Fundraiser on April 27, 2018 at 7:30 at New Westminster’s River Market. Tickets are $20 per person and all money raised go directly to helping the Spare Parts Adventure Society bring more pop-up playground events to New Westminster’s parks and events.

The fundraiser includes a building contest where everybody is invited to use spare parts and their imaginations and creativity to build something exciting. Parents often remark that their kids have a load of fun building and creating at Spare Parts Adventure pop-up playground, so now everybody will have the chance. The best creations will win prizes such as a Steel & Oak gift pack and swag from Patterson Brands.

There is also a silent auction with over 20 incredible items generously donated by local companies such as Wild Rice, The Wine Factory, and Cartwright Jewelers. And if you like theatre and live entertainment, come out and bid on packages from Massey Theatre, Bard On The Beach, Out On Screen, and the Vancouver Symphony.

Dedicated to offering children and youth access to free child-driven educational opportunities, Spare Parts Adventure holds workshops and day activities where kids build their own playgrounds using raw materials such as rope, tarps, pvc pipe, wood, tires, or anything that enables a child’s imagination to flourish. Since 2016 Spare Parts Adventure has put on workshops for youth in various New Westminster neighbourhoods, helping them to develop self-reliance by taking risks and experience active play in barrier-free environments while developing their problem solving and teamwork skills.

Tickets are $20 per person and are available through Eventbrite — search for “Hammer Time” at More information about Spare Parts Adventure can be found on Facebook at 


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.”

Truth and Reconciliation New West

2017 marks 150 years since Confederation and it is an ideal time to begin a conversation about reconciliation in the Royal City. Several municipalities have already declared 2017 to be the Year of Reconciliation. On December 5, members of the working group Truth and Reconciliation New West presented at the New Westminster City Council meeting to discuss the upcoming dialogues taking place in New Westminster.

This is the transcript of the presentation:


The Witness Blanket was created out of hundreds of items reclaimed from Residential Schools, churches, government buildings, and traditional cultural structures that include Friendship Centres, treatment centres, and more.

We are very fortunate to have this piece of artwork in New Westminster. The Witness Blanket is a national monument to recognise the atrocities of the Indian Residential School era and is a symbol of ongoing reconciliation.

It’s been a year since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada completed their work and it seems like a very fitting time to open a dialogue about Truth and Reconciliation here in New Westminster.


Aanii, Boozhoo, ’Uy’ skweyu

Greetings everyone, my name is Babs Kelly, I was born into this city, this ancestral and traditional land of the Qayqayt, 50 years ago and it is an honour to be with all of you today as we consider what reconciliation means to each and every one of us, our community, our way of being together, and our way forward.

I am the grand-daughter of Rita and Bob from Liverpool and Olds Alberta, as well as the grand-daughter of Slim and Tina, and the daughter of Marilyn, who came to BC from north eastern Ontario and the land of the Fort Albany 67 Indian Reserve.

As a young boy Slim was taken away to residential school. He came out of residential school broken, and we all inherited and internalized that brokenness. The family story goes, that Chief Dan George dipped me in the chuck in hopes of giving me something to see through the hard times. I like to think of that as my first moment of truth. My family’s truth includes a legacy of violence, addiction, survival sex work, institutionalization, self-harm, incarceration, sexual abuse, and the fear of having our children seized.

It also includes the possibility of healing – not just through individual efforts and care, or with the support of our loved ones, but with the support, and with the acceptance of the truth, from the communities we find ourselves in, no matter how far from home.

I was asked to bear witness and speak this truth to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to share my story of the legacy of the intentional harm that was done to my family. I was asked to face my shame, to keenly feel the pain of systemic and personal racism, to understand the solitude of social disconnection born out of otherness;

And now I ask you, to lead our beautiful and historic city with courage, to consider the truths revealed through the TRC, and to believe in a community that honours reconciliation and where we are all one.

I know that reconciliation is possible, and that it will take different times and different paths for all of us.

And I know, as I walked here this evening through this city, this community, and as I look around this room, that we are all one. Reconciliation is an opportunity, a hope, and a way forward with so many of the challenges that we face; it is a way of understanding and reaching new solutions and it is a way of saying that we each matter and we each care.

On behalf of my mother, my aunties and my grandmothers, chi miigwech, Huy ch q’u, and safe journeys.


Along with Erin Watkins and Nick Rowlands from the New Westminster Public Library and Hayley Sinclair from Community Volunteer Connections, we have organized a panel discussion called Community Stories of Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, January 19 at the Anvil Centre. We have invited dignitaries to attend and the event is open to the public with childminding available. Tickets are free or by donation with proceeds being donated to Spirit of the Children Society. This will be an opportunity to have a conversation about what T&R means for people living in New Westminster.

The panel discussion will be followed by a series of kitchen table dialogues which will be smaller scale, community-led discussions from January 25-February 18. We will come back to Council after these events to report back about what we heard. More information can be found at


Christmas in Sapperton

dsc_4259Are you ready to kick off the holiday season with some HO HO HO – then clear your calendar for this Sunday, December 4 from 12-5pm and come join in some free family fun in Sapperton!

A small group of merchants including Cadeaux Boutique, The Bloom Bloom Room, Mindful Mutts, and Good To Go got together to plan this first of what they hope is to be an annual Christmas community event. They decided a community-wide festive street party would be just the thing to connect business and community together. A passport was created listing all the merchants participating along with their free family fun activity at the event; make your own door swags at the Bloom Bloom Room, pet photos with Mindful Mutts, free hot apple cider and popcorn at Cadeaux, photos with Santa at Good to Go, ornament decorating in the parklet for kids, delicious food samples at local restaurants and more. The group also reached out to local talent to include the Quayside Singers who will sing carols from 12-1pm in the parklet as well as Juno nominated singer GinaLina who will follow in the parklet from 2-4pm with more festive holiday music and sing alongs.

The group created this community event in Sapperton to remind residents that there are some really great businesses on East Columbia St and that you don’t have to leave New Westminster to do your holiday shopping or run your errands. Keeping it local was key to this first annual event. The group also wanted to connect with other shopping districts in New West and surrounding communities to highlight everything from healthy smoothies and wraps, boutique blooms, local artisanal gifts, women’s clothing and jewelry, doggie daycare, restaurants, vintage home decor, a women’s only kickboxing gym, local cycle shop and other dynamic businesses located on East Columbia Street.

The passports are available now for shoppers to pick up at one of the participating businesses or during the event. Revellers are encouraged to visit all the participating merchants to check them out, partake in their festivities and fun, get a stamp and then visit the next one on the list. When the passport is complete and all the stamps are ticked off, participants can make their way over to Cadeaux Boutique to collect their complimentary swag bag filled with more goodies from the Sapperton businesses! Of course this encourages continued community connection for both the shoppers and merchants in a positive and fun manner. One more reason for the residents and shoppers to fall in love with Sapperton, and to continue to support local in New West!

See you on East Columbia Sunday December 4th!


Two Great Arts Events

Two amazing arts and crafts focused events you should plug into your calendar and see if you can make it.

Van Dop Gallery’s 20th Anniversary

The first is this coming Saturday, November 26, from 11 to 5, at the Van Dop Gallery located at 421 Richmond Street. Trudy Van Dop is celebrating her home gallery’s 20th Anniversary with a great party and shopping event. The curated exhibition will feature new works, small masterpieces, exclusive to Van Dop Gallery, and a special collection of artworks, perfect for giving. The Gallery will be filled with festive treasures and hand crafted, one-of-a-kind ornaments and gifts. Gift certificates are available as well!  604-521-7887 or 1.888.981.9886. 


New West Craft Christmas Night Market

New West Craft has your holiday shopping covered! The New West Craft Christmas Night Market returns on Saturday, December 3 at River Market. Shop over 40 vendors selling handmade goods. Enjoy live music and indulge in delicious food from River Market restaurants. This is more than a shopping event–it’s a community experience. The fun happens from 6pm to 9:30pm. For more, check out their Facebook event.


Mila + Paige Fashion Show

The Mila + Paige fashion show took place last Thursday and it proved that New Westminster really does have an appetite for a new way to shop for clothes. There was an incredible cross section of people at the sold out event in all aspects of diversity and the room was absolutely packed.

Mila + Paige show photos and captions courtesy of Megan te Boekhorst.