Monthly Archives: October 2007

Vancouver Library Workers vote 71% to go back to work: state that important advances toward pay equity have been achieved

Vancouver Library Workers vote 71% to go back to work:
state that important advances toward pay equity have been achieved

Craig Searle, author Naomi Klein and Todd Wong – Klein visited the Library Square picket line to give words of support to the Vancouver library workers on Oct 5th.

Vancouver library workers voted today (Friday) to accept new changes to a contract proposal that included most of the Brian Foley mediator recommendations.  The vote was 71.4% in favour of the new contract.

(update) The Vancouver Public Library board ratified the agreement today, on Saturday morning.

The union meeting started at 10:30 am on Friday, and with questions went 15 minutes past the 12 noon starting time that had been designated for voting to start.  Voting went on until 6pm.

After the voting, some members went out to picket sites at Brittania Branch and Library Square.  Votes were taken back to CUPE 391 headquarters where the announcement was to have happened at 7pm.

I attended the meeting, and picket duty at Brittania Branch library.

It was an emotionally charged meeting where the CUPE 391 Bargaining committee expressed their reasons for urging the membership to accept these proposals.  While the agreement did not give the Vancouver library workers two of the main issues they fought hard for such as pay equity and part-time/auxilliary benefits, the bargaining committee was able to get a “Classification Committee” added.  While this is not the Pay Equity Committee that CUPE 391 was fighting for, it will basically provide a mechanism for the library workers to compare library job classifications with other comparable job classifications in other City of Vancouver unions.

Burnaby library workers did achieve the “job review committee” that Vancouver library workers wanted, but were denied by Vancouver Library Management.

Donn Stanley CUPE National assistant regional director and Jim Gorman CUPE National representative were also in attendance.  Stanley praised the CUPE 391 bargaining committee, stating that “You have to be proud of your bargaining committee.  They did and incredible job.” 

A heart-felt standing ovation by Vancouver library workers was then given to their union bargaining committee.  Donn Stanley Long stated how impressed he was by the creativity, dedication and solidarity of the Vancouver library workers. 

CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg had just returned from a CUPE National conference in Toronto and told the membership that “Everybody knew about CUPE 391.  I am so proud of you all.”

“You all raised the bar for job action with your activities. 
Never before in labour history did strike action see knitters, puppet
shows, author readings, bicycle pickets…. and everything else you
did, like Word on the Strike.  Libraries and unions everywhere are
watching us.”

Time and time again, library workers stated how proud they were of their union brothers and sisters. At the same time, other library workers said they were bitterly disappointed at the library management's refusal to address pay equity, as well as part-time/auxiliary issues.

Many workers vowed a stronger commitment to the new friendships they had made while on the picket line, and to union issues. 

The Vancouver Public Library Board meets Saturday morning to ratify the agreement in order to make it official.

The Bargaining committee wrote this on the CUPE 391 website:

We are pleased to be back so that we can once again offer to the
citizens of Vancouver access to the great service that each and
everyone of the membership provides. Unfortunately, this is a
bittersweet sentiment, as more than half our membership have not had
this work fully recognized in this new collective agreement.
Nevertheless, the fight for our issues, in particular the fight for Pay
Equity, will continue beyond the venue of the bargaining table, and we
believe we will one day soon realize our goals.


Here is the CUPE 391 announcement that was released to the media

Attention News Editors:
Library strike ends: CUPE 391 makes important steps towards pay equity

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 19 /CNW/ – After 88 days on strike, CUPE 391 members have voted 71 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached yesterday
between bargaining representatives of the library workers' union and the
Vancouver Public Library (VPL). The VPL Board will be holding their
ratification vote tomorrow morning.
    The agreement was based on recommendations issued by mediator Brian
Foley: on
October 5, 2007 but included adjustments that were vital for the union before
the members could accept the deal. A primary adjustment was the addition of a
joint-committee on classification issues whereby the union can express their
pay equity concerns.
    “We've been saying all along that we went out on strike on a principle,”
says CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg, “now we're going back on a principle.
We are going back knowing we have made important advances towards the
long-term goal achieving pay equity and paved the way to make further advances
in the future.”
    In addition to Foley's recommendations, the tentative agreement also
includes the:

    –   Inclusion of three more librarian positions into pay grade
        increases/wage adjustments.
    –   Expansion of benefit coverage to include orthodics.
    –   Improvements to the return to work agreement, including: maternity,
        paternity, adoption leave coverage; improvements on how to handle
        vacation upon return to work and extension of timeline on grievances.

    “We are looking forward to working with our employer to fully restore
public library services,” says Youngberg. The library workers are expected to
return to work as early as Wednesday, October 24, 2007.
    “The public is encouraged to approach us in the library and ask us about
pay equity. We'd be happy to tell you everything we know and point you to a
book or two on the subject.”
    CUPE 391 represents 770 library workers employed by the Vancouver Public
Library. This was their first strike in their 77-year history. It began on
July 26, 2007.

For further information: Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, (604)
908-6095; Ed Dickson, CUPE 391 bargaining chair, (778) 840-0207; Diane Kalen,
CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258,

Bill Tieleman takes out the garbage on media coverage of the Vancouver civic strike

Bill Tieleman takes out the garbage on media coverage of the Vancouver civic strike

Cupe 15 workers came for a visit to the CUPE 391 Library Square picket line to share solidarity

Bill Tieleman has written Vancouver newspaper columnists, editorials get facts wrong in trash talking CUPE Vancouver workers over strike and exposes the lapses of journalists who succumbed to all the “strike myths” propagated by Mayor Sam, the City and it's media spin doctors. 

Thieleman writes:

There is a lot of garbage left
around town from the end of the Vancouver city workers' strike – too
bad so much of it was printed in newspapers.

Those who insist on trash-talking workers should at least get their facts straight, but apparently that's asking too much.

Or maybe some columnists are simply suffering amnesia about why and when the strike got “personalized,” strangely forgetting Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan's lead role.

My friend Mike Smyth in the Province railed that: “The labour movement chose to personalize their attacks on Sullivan from Day 1.”

And the Vancouver Sun's Pete McMartin opined that the Canadian Union of Public Employees gained momentum: “by its clever, and unfair, campaign of painting this as 'Sam's Strike.'”

Did the people who advised Mayor Sam on his Olympic spin also advise him to say that the next Vancouver civic election will be “Sullivan vs the unions”?  A true leader would recognize that he is Mayor to every citizen in the city – not just the 47.3% of the voting public.  Gee… that's not even 50% + 1.

Who controls the media and why did they write the stories / editorials they did – is a good question.

The city of Vancouver is the biggest contributor to the GVRD/Metro Labour Relations Bureau that bargained on their behalf, while other munincipalities did away with their “services” which included hiring the high priced public relations firm The Wilcox Group.

The Wilcox Group was hired specifically to spin the 39 month contract, a CUPE National executive member told me.  When that failed, they were fired.

It's interesting that the Wilcox Group's clients include BCTV/CHEK TV/Can West Global Communications and Pacific Newspaper Group (Vancouver Sun and The Province) – two of the largest media influences in the Vancouver region. 

But not all the media stories were generated by high priced communication experts.

It was the creative and community minded library workers that created bicycle pickets, puppet shows, author readings, knitting for the homeless, Word on the Strike Fair, and many videos to promote their cause.  It was these grass roots actions – not CUPE paid staffers,  that inspired stories in the Georgia Straight, 24 Hours, and the Metro such as the Globe & Mail's “Library workers picket with pizazz”

The library workers did this all on volunteer time.  We did not sit around on the picket line creating a “War Room.”  We wanted peace and resolution.  We are on the front lines at the library.  We engage the public when they need a book, ask directions or need to be told to “Shh…”

Wherever we set up pickets we were thanked and supported by our patrons.  They brought us cookies, coffees and soups.  We received donations and letters of support from library unions as far away as Florida and New York.  I personally met librarians from St. Paul's Minnesota and Australia who came to the Library Square picket line.  Everybody was friendly toward us, with the exception of a few ill-informed people that yelled at us to “pick up the garbage.”

see the brilliant video Grandeur on Georgia about The Wilcox Group vs Pay Equity at

+ “Wage & Term” a comparison of Bobby Burnaby vs Vicky Vancouver

See more videos on

Vancouver Library Strike settlement soon? More media attention on the library now

Vancouver Library Strike settlement soon?
More media attention on the library now.

library co-worker friends Kristie, Angela and Alex staff the
Information booth and ask passers-by to sign a petition asking the
library management to return to the bargaining table.- photo Todd Wong

It's been hard for my fellow library workers on the picket line.  This is our first strike in the library worker union's 77 years of history.  Who would have predicted a strike would have gone on this long?  Well people at city hall did…  City spokesman Jerry Dobrovolny said back on August 20th, “Typical city strikes tend to be about six to eight weeks.”  But this 2007 strike was exacerbated by the city bargaining tactics of constant stonewalling and delay and walking away from the bargaining table from December through the spring, through the summer and into the fall. 

Today there's still a media blackout in effect.  So why is the Vancouver Sun publishing this story Striking library workers, city reach tentative deal on their website?  Who told them the information?

A CBC website story reports that Vancouver city manager Judy Rogers sent out a memo and talked with CBC News.  see CBC: Library staff, City of Vancouver reach tentative deal. This story was posted at 7:27 pm PST

News 1130 posted Possibility that Vancouver libraries could be opening next week at 5:19 pm PST

The CUPE 391 page lets library workers know there are “rumors” and “stories” going around, but they can't publish anything on the webpage.  The Bargaining committee will be down at Library Square for the morning crew talk, and apologizes for the confusion caused to its members.

When the CUPE 1004 and CUPE 15 unions for the Vancouver City inside and outside workers settled their contract disputes with the City of Vancouver, our job action committee leaders told us that maybe now, the media would pay attention to the library issues such as pay equity, and how the library strike has affected Vancouver citizens.  It's the middle of October and long after a schools started after Labour Day, the issue that students can't get books is now a news story.  see: Parents, schools suffer as libraries remain closed

But you can't settle a contract if the other party doesn't come to the
table.  The city negotiating teams were  roundly chastised in the media
for not understanding the definition of the word “negotiate” (see Vancouver Sun: Collective bargaining: Democracy in the workplace”).

The City negotiating team was also accused of an unfair labour practice called Boulwarism
where the city didn't even bother to negotiate settlements but instead
took a “take it or strike” approach to it's “offers” that were
couriered to CUPE 15 offices, moments before they were announced to the
media.  (see CUPE > City's failure to negotiate keeps its workers on strike.)


Meanwhile the media continues to print stories about how the striking workers shouldn't be able to take another job to put money on their table for their family or to help pay the mortgage.  Having enough money for food, or to pay the bills has been an issue for a lot of library workers.  A hardship committee was set up in the before the end of the second week of the strike.  Our union was sympathetic for these people and asked that people who were taking jobs elsewhere still put in some picket time both to keep in touch, and to keep solidarity. 20 hours of picket duty does not go far on $200 a week. When part-time jobs became available through our community networking, job contacts were first offered to people through the hardship committee.

And there are still other writers who believe that the CUPE unions were mistaken to rename strike action as “Sam's Strike” after Mayor Sullivan made several erroneous comments about the strike such as the right to picket the Olympics and also said that settling the strike not being a priority for him.

Check out Bill Tielman's column in 24 Hours.  Bill explores each of the “strike myths” and gives the resource links to set the stories straight.

Vancouver newspaper columnists, editorials get facts wrong in trash talking CUPE Vancouver workers over strike Vancouver newspaper columnists, editorials get facts wrong in trash talking CUPE Vancouver workers over strike. Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column …

Here are some of the latest stories on a google search.  Including a wonderful story about the reception that Vancouver library workers received at the CUPE National Convention in Toronto – where they shared their stories of the strike and the creativity of Vancouver libary workers in creating bicycle pickets, puppet shows, etc.

Striking library workers, city reach tentative deal
Vancouver Sun,  Canada – 1 hour ago
vote will be set, likely Friday or Saturday. The two sides have not formally signed the agreement, Once they do, a strikeVancouver's library workers walk
Convention delegates pledge funds to CUPE 391 struggle: Striking
Trading Markets (press release), CA – 1 hour ago
Vancouver's 800 library workers have been on strike for 86 days and without a contract for 289 days. Forced into job action by the employer's unwillingness

Parents, schools suffer as libraries remain closed
Globe and Mail, Canada – 15 hours ago
Students at Britannia Secondary School usually benefit from having the vast resources of the Vancouver Public Library at their fingertips.

Attention turns to library workers
Vancouver Sun,  Canada – 16 Oct 2007
Youngberg said the union met Monday with representatives of the Vancouver Public Library and the Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau to discuss

A Place of Compassion: Joy Kogawa's Dream Vancouver statement

A Place of Compassion:
Joy Kogawa's Dream Vancouver statement

Joy Kogawa holds up her arms to embrace and support everything she loves in the world
– photo Todd Wong

Joy Kogawa, author of Obasan, has written A Place of Compassion for her submission  to the Dream Vancouver conference and website, organized by Think City. While Joy will not be attending the conference, I will be as one of the directors of the Joy Kogawa House Society

Dream Vancouver is an all-day conference which will take
participants from their dreams about Vancouver to a possible agenda for
change. The conference will be facilitated by Bliss Browne, internationally-renowned speaker and president of Imagine Chicago.  Former City of Vancouver Co-Director of Current Planning Larry Beasley is key note speaker. 
Ms. Browne will then facilitate a discussion-based session which will
take participants through a series of questions designed to bring them
to a collective vision of what the city could be. 

To attend you must register, click here.

Registration: 9:30 am – 10:00 am

Conference: 10:00 am – 3:30 pm

Reception: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Location: Jewish Community Centre, 950 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver (at Oak Street).

photo courtesy Joy Kogawa

Is Joy a Vancouver dreamer?  She was born in Vancouver in 1935.  During WW2 in 1942, when she was 6 years old, her family was removed from Vancouver and sent to internment camps for Japanese-Canadians.  She forever dreamed about returning to the the house in Vancouver's Marpole neighborhood, even after the Canadian government confiscated the property of the Japanese-Canadian internment victims, and resettled them to work as labourers on Alberta beet farms.  She lives mostly in Toronto but returns to Vancouver often, and has great hopes for Vancouver as a city, and as a cultural entity.

Joy Kogawa and her brother Rev. Timothy Nakayama, at the opening event for Obasan, the 2005 choice for One Book One Vancouver at the Vancouver Public Library – photo Todd Wong

Joy is acknowledged as one of Canada's most important writers in the 20th Century for her ground breaking novel Obasan – a story about the impact of the internment on the Japanese Canadian community.  Since May 2005, when I met Joy, at the first Obasan event for One Book, One Vancouver event at the Vancouver Public Library, our developing friendship was been a wild ride as I became a key player on the Save Kogawa House committee (See my articles on Joy Kogawa & Kogawa House).

I have witnessed Joy speak in numerous circumstances and she always seems to have an unwavering position that calls for peace and compassion in so many circumstances.  It embraces her anti-war stance, the Japanese-Canadian redress, South African apartheid, the Chinese-Canadian head tax issue, Japanese atrocities against China in WW2, the history of her ancestor's home of Okinawa, the naming of the 401 Burrard building after Howard Green.  Joy doesn't look to find blame for right or wrong, she looks to find resolution.

Kogawa and Todd Wong at the 2006 Canadian Club Vancouver's annual Order
of Canada / Flag Day luncheon.  Joy was key note speaker, and Todd was
one of the event organizers – photo Deb Martin

Vancouver has long had a reputation for a history with peace activism.  This is part of our social-cultural make up, and can be embodied through social policy initiatives.  Perhaps it has become such because so many people have come to Vancouver after leaving war, destruction, starvation, revolution, upheaval in their home lands.

Joy has given Dream Vancouver a very apt and fitting dream statement to find reconciliation and understanding “within and between the
faiths, between rich and poor, among immigrant groups, in established
neighbourhoods, in the Downtown Eastside, among those who are still
suffering from unresolved injustices of the near and distant past can
come to healing and hope and inner freedom.”

Kogawa and children from Tomsett Elementary School in Richmond.  After
seeing the Vancouver Opera Touring Ensembles production of “Naomi's
Road”, the children were inspired to helps save Kogawa House from
demolition.  Joy and the children stand in front of the house for their own private tour and reading event. – photo Joan Young

On November 10th, come to the 2nd open house event at Kogawa House.
Sunday, 3-5pm.  1450 West 64th Ave. (just East of Granville St.)
Admission is by donation.  Proceeds go to restoring historic Joy Kogawa House, now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC.

A Place of Compassion

Joy Kogawa, poet and novelist: The
dream I have for this west-coast city on the edge of the peaceable
ocean is the dream I have for the world – a dream of peace. What better
time than this to abolish war as we face our common planetary fate?

We have choices – to continue blithely on our way, fighting and
devouring one another for the rest of our dwindling days, or we can
individually and collectively lay down our weapons and practice the
ways of truth and reconciliation, cooperation and peace.

In a city where east-west faces and races meet and mix, where
cultures both clash and blend, the ways of peace can be cultivated,
watered, nurtured and the seeds of that action can fly to the farthest
corners of our hearts and the world.

As a Japanese Canadian, I have welcomed conversations with two
granddaughters of Howard Green, the politician whose public words
against us during the Second World War were dreaded in our community.
If they can seek to make peace with us on behalf of the grandfather
they loved, ought we not to walk with them? What an opportunity for
peace making and for walking on.

And ought we not, as Canadian descendants from Japan, to stand with
those Canadian descendants of China, who seek a fulsome parliamentary
acknowledgment from the country of our ancestors for the horrors their
ancestors faced in the Rape of Nanking? Or is it our choice to turn
aside and say, “These are no concerns of ours.” I believe that the
morally appropriate action is to respond to those who suffer and who
call our names.

But it is not for me to say what is right for anyone else. We are
each required to struggle with our own conscience and to respond to the
many voices that call us.

Fall has come to Vancouver

Fall has come to Vancouver

IMG_0262-photo Deb Martin

It's definitely fall  when you can jump into a huge pile of leaves, We've had some cold weather for awhile… I've paddled and picketed through the recent rain.  But this weekend, the weather warmed up, and all the leaves have started falling on the ground.

I started my Sunday off with a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team practice.  The day was warmer than expected.  Good short sleeve
paddling weather.  We are doing long slow distance paddling from
Science World to Granville Island.   It's about a 2km distance.  Much
more than a usual 500m dragon boat race.  But after doing the recent
2km races for UBC Day of the Long Boat and Fort Langley Cranberry
Festival Canoe Regatta, everything is easy.  We are going to paddle up to Remembrance Day, then take a break over Christmas… then start up maybe after Valentine's Day.  Come out and join us on Sunday 1pm. We meet just south of Science World at the Dragon Zone clubhouse.

IMG_0240IMG_0241IMG_0243-photos Todd Wong
Marlene and Wendy have been a wonderful pair of lead strokes and really
enjoy paddling with each other.  Georgia joined us this year for her second year of paddling, and we've put her in
more situations than she expected – including eating haggis, wearing a
kilt, dragon boat sprint races, dragon boat barrel racing, tipping over in a voyageur canoe race. She's such a good sport.

Here's the huge pile of leaves… me in the leaf pile!

Leaves have been changing colour and
now are on the ground. The weather is
chilly, and the beaches are finally
empty of sun worshippers.  We went for a walk around Kits Point and discovered a huge pile of maple  and chestnut leaves.  Some people had been raking the leaves and jumping from a tree into the leaves.  CRAZY!


We walked around Kits Beach, up to Heritage Harbour, and often down behind the Kitsilano Yacht Club to Trafalgar St.  We saw a Kingfisher sitting on a sail boat mast at the Yacht Club.

Kitsilano Pool is a gorgeous long outdoor pool, beside English Bay.  During the summer, it is one of the best beachside hangouts..  It's such as shame that that pool was closed half-way through July when the Vancouver civic strike happened.  Pools, libraries and community centres were closed. All the other regions were able to settle without a strike but the City of Vancouver seemed to have a different agenda.  see


Kitsilano Pool was for the birds this summer.

Only the seagulls really seemed to enjoy Kits Pool this summer. Once the strike went into it's 2nd week, the pool had become quickly unfit for swimming. By mid-August it was clear the city probably had no intention of draining it, and refilling it with clean water before Labour Day. 

CUPE 1004 and CUPE 15 Outside and Inside workers are all back to work now.  It's only CUPE 391 Library Workers still out.  Talks went on this Monday afternoon… which is better than most of the summer when the Library Bargaining team went almost 5 weeks before replying to a union proposal.  As a library worker… it's been a disappointing bittersweet  summer, as the non-talks dragged on after our contract expired in December.

see my articles and pictures on the strike situation here:

Shh…. Salt Tasting Room is a Vancouver secret

Shh…. Salt Tasting Room is a Vancouver secret

Todd Wong hold up his glass at the Salt Tasting Room, with the daily menu chalkboard behind on the wall. – photo Judy Maxwell

Salt Tasting Room

Back in early September the Vancouver Sun published Vancouver slurp-and-swirl a top-five secret
– it was a story about the results of a poll which asked members for their top Canadian local secrets.  I couldn't find an entry about Salt Tasting Room – but I did find a link for British Columbia local secrets.

Even though I hadn't been to the Salt Tasting Room yet, I felt that I was already in on the secret because I had a gift certificate for the restaurant.  It had been sitting on the shelf since April 21st when I won the door prize at the BC Book Prize soiree event. (read my  my article).

I finally went last Sunday.  It was a cold drizzly Thanksgiving Day Sunday, the kind best spent indoors with wine and cheese.  And besides, I was moving pretty slowly after paddling 3 canoe races Saturday at the Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta.

The first remarkable thing you notice about Salt, is that it isn't the usual restaurant on a street – it's down an alley…Blood Alley is so-called because there used to be many butcher shops along the alley way… or is it because of Gastown's pioneer days there used to be lots of muggings?  Owner Sean Heather writes on the Salt blog that “Salt’s
location will have the look and feel of NY’s meat packing district,
right down to the cobblestones.”  I recognized the location across from Salt as being used in the Catwoman movie with Halle Berry.

You can sit in the window, at the zinc bar (very cool and shiny) or at the long 18 ft spruce table made from a 700 year old tree in the main room.  I chose the window seats so my friends could easily see me when they came in.  The first thing we talked about was walking down the alley.

Salt is rightly called a tasting room.  There is no kitchen.  Cured meats are served, hence the name salt, along with fine cheeses and nice wines.  The concept is to match cured meats and artisan cheeses, with delightful condiments and great wines.

For $15, you choose a platter of 3 items. We asked the server to select her favorite things for us.  Ash Camembert and Comte cheeses arrived with Mike's Corned Beef.  They were each paired with their own matching condiment.  Ambrosia apples, balsamic reduction and Guinness mustard. We also ordered a side dish of Coppa meat which the server behind the bar suggested. 

Our wines were deep delicious reds.  I had the Shingleback Cabernet Sauvignon, and my companion had the blended d'Arenberg Shiraz Viognier.  Everything was very tasty – perfect for sampling this and that… looking out the window and feeling warm and cosy inside.

Our third companion arrived and I ordered another plate.  This time I chose the sea salt chorizo, and artigiano salami while Judy chose the bleu de Gex cheese.  The setting was great.  Not too crowded, but still warm and cosy in this post-modern West-Coast wood, zinc and concrete decor.  And too soon… our time shared was over.

There's a great opening blog that details how the restaurant was put together.  It includes the trials and tribulations and pictures of how the large tables were put together… fascinating.

Donna Green, Todd Wong and Judy Maxwell – enjoying cured meats, cheeses, condiments, wines and friendship. photo J.Maxwell

Eating noodles in Vancouver: Jennifer Burke goes to Sha-Lin Noodles

Eating noodles in Vancouver: Jennifer Burke goes to Sha-Lin Noodles

– photo Todd Wong
Sha Lin Noodles is one of my favorite places to eat fresh noodles in Vancouver.  Throughout the summer, we often dropped in for dinner after Tuesday night dragon boat practice… or even on a Saturday afternoon for lunch.

Today, Oct 15, CBC's Living Vancouver did a spot with Jennifer Burke visiting Sha-Lin Noodles. It's a funny but informative story with Jennifer trying to twirl noodles, and slurping like she's famished.  She even handles chop sticks like an expert.

Wait!  Jennifer IS half Chinese.  According to internet sources, she was born in London  England, but raised in BC.  Her father is Chinese and her mother English.

Sha-Lin Noodles (video)

Living to Eat

Sha-Lin Noodles (video)

you're looking for a quick meal that's fresh, tasty and inexpensive –
how about noodles? We found a little place near Broadway and Cambie
where the noodles are so good it's even worth braving the nearby road
construction for.

– photo Todd Wong
Here's a picture from a Gung Haggis visit.  The chef makes his noodles, and Dan Seto lifts them up, while playing with his food.

Here's the April 18th story  Gung Haggis dragon boat team goes to Sha Lin Noodle Restaurant by Todd on Wed 18 Apr 200

Sha Lin Noodle House
548 W Broadway, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 873-1816

Joy Kogawa House Society is now legal…. next step – restore the house

Joy Kogawa House Society is now legal…. next step – restore the house

It has now been just been over two years since we launched the drive to save historic Joy Kogawa House from demolition.  It was mid-September when a demolition permit inquiry was made, but by the end of the week, we had notified news media, and made announcements at the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Community Dinner, Vancouver Arts Awards and Word On The Street book and magazine fair. 

It was an amazingly busy week for Joy, as she was feted by the One Book One Vancouver finale at Word On the Street, and received the community builder's award from the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop.  As well Vancouver Opera launched the premiere of “Naomi's Road” based on Joy's children's novel of the same name – a retelling of her famous novel Obasan.

Soon after in November, we held a special “Kogawa House Awareness
event” at the Vancouver Public Library where we presented the Vancouver
Opera Touring Ensemble's production of “Naomi's Road” in 2005.  In December, the Land Conservancy of BC became our partner in the struggle to save the house, and to lead our fundraising efforts.

By May 2006, the house had been paid in full by The Land Conservancy of BC, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.  We celebrated in June when Joy received the Order of BC.

On Sep 15, 2006, we held the first public open house event. One of the first people through the door was a childhood friend of Joy and her brother Tim.  “We didn't know where you had gone,” said Ralph Steeves.  Tears were in everybody's eyes at witnessing this reunion of two friends, 63 years later.

Last month, Joy's brother, Rev. Timothy Nakayama, came to visit the house he had left at age 10 in 1942.  Timothy shared his recollections of the house and yard, as we try to determine ways to restore the house to its 1942 character when their family was forced to leave the house, and board a train taking them to internment camps near Slocan BC.

We will hold the next public open house event on November 10th.  Special guest speakers will be authors Ruth Ozeki and Shaena Lambert.  The theme is War and Remembrance.

Historic Joy Kogawa House Society is now incorporated with the BC
Registry of Societies, which means we’re now a legal entity that can
carry forward the purposes of the society:


            The purposes of the Society shall be:


1.                  To
operate and preserve the former Joy Kogawa family home at 1450 West
64th Avenue in Vancouver as a heritage and cultural centre and as a
site of healing and reconciliation.

2.                  To
establish in the former Joy Kogawa family home a centre for writers in
which they can reflect on issues of conscience and reconciliation and
write about their own personal experiences or the experiences of
others, past or present.

3.                  To promote and negotiate the raising of funds for the pursuit of the Society’s purposes.

4.                  To
encourage in the former Joy Kogawa family home educational programming
along themes of social justice and social history, and to provide
docent services for such programming.

5.                  To advocate on behalf of the continuing operation of the house in the public interest consistent with the above purposes.

For contacts in Vancouver
Call Ann-Marie Metten or Todd Wong