Archive for the ‘Going Green’ Category

Cristina King, Regional Floral Specialist at Whole Foods Market speaks on declining bee population at Epic Expo in Vancouver

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Whole Foods Market addressed a critical environmental issue on the declining bee population at their main exhibit with lots of fantastic displays and visuals.


Here are the facts:

  • Bees are responsible for pollinating at least a third of our food crops including: nuts, coffee, mustard, apples, peaches and other fruits and vegetables.
  • The value of pollination to Canadian food crops has been conservatively estimated at $1.2 billion per year.
  • The bee population is rapidly declining in North America due to habitat loss and degradation and the use of pesticides. In fact, in the U.S. alone, feral honeybee populations have dropped approximately 90% in the past 50 years.

Within a 400-square-foot booth made of 100% recycled materials, Whole Foods experts will be on hand to educate people about the importance of the bee population for local agriculture and ecosystems and what they can do to help the decline. The exhibit will feature a full scale urban garden with a variety of living plants, informational displays and a movie trailer of “Queen of the Sun” – an award-winning documentary about the bee crisis.

In addition, bee keepers from B.C were  present at select times throughout the weekend to discuss facts about pollination and honey production and the issues challenging the beekeeping community.

Please vote for Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens – Creating a Green Zone from the Aviva Community Fund

December 2, 2010 1 comment

Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens

We Need Your Support

We want to win a $90000 grant to turn Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside into a Garden City!

We need you to vote for us. 10 Times (once a day for 10 days). Between Dec 2 and 15. And we’ll give you prizes.

Sign up for daily voting reminders at You must be signed up to win prizes. If you’ve already signed up – You are awesome.

Thank you!

The Strathcona BIA has applied for a $90,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund to help us build 20-30 microgardens in Strathcona, part of Vancouver’s inner city. The grant winners are determined through an online voting contest. We’ve already made it through the first round, so now we need you to vote for our idea 10 times (once per day) between December 2 and December 15 as we compete in the semi-final round against 29 other projects across Canada.

Please vote below:


The Strathcona Neighbourhood The Strathcona neighbourhood is Vancouver’s oldest residential community and also has one of Canada’s lowest socioeconomic levels. 2006 statistics state the average household income is $27,139 compared to $63,889 for Vancouver overall.

Strathcona residents also have lower education levels than the average for all of Vancouver. 32% of residents have an education level less than Grade 9 as compared to 9% in Vancouver and only 40% of people 20 years of age or older have some form of post secondary education compared to 69% in Vancouver overall.

While the neighbourhood has beautiful heritage buildings and a rich artistic community, it is also characterized by homelessness, open drug use and dealing, prostitution, and graffiti.

Our Idea We propose to create 20 to 30 community micro-gardens throughout Strathcona. The gardens would be installed on private properties adjacent to public spaces in highly visible, underutilized areas.

How it would work Depending on the nature and size of each location, the gardeners and the property owners would decide whether the plot should be a community garden, single-owner garden, or a living wall. Vegetation would consist of native perennials and edible plants.

The gardens would be installed by qualified landscapers of Mission Possible Enterprises, a local non-profit which provides employment opportunities for individuals with job readiness barriers and assists in breaking the cycles of poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Local youth would also be employed as partners with the landscapers to learn valuable food production and community development skills.

Benefits of this project

  • Edible plants would provide new opportunities for local food production. Using native plants would reduce the resources required for their maintenance thus minimizing the ecological footprint of each garden.
  • The BIA has received many comments from residents and businesses regarding the need for more green spaces – they want the Strathcona Green Zone to literally become greener. By creating micro gardens, more green space would be accessible throughout the neighbourhood.
  • This project would also reduce spaces available for criminal activity through the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). A public place that lacks significant ownership interest is often perceived by some as places where criminal activity is supported. By converting underutilized spaces into gardens, the BIA would help reduce areas that encourage crime.
  • The most profound benefit of this project would be the generation of green jobs for individuals with job readiness barriers and inner city youth. The youth will gain tangible job experience and skills.
  • There will also be opportunities for intergenerational interactions with Mission Possible’s employees and youth in a safe environment. Many of the landscapers will be able to teach the youth some of their consequences of their decisions in their lives in the hopes that the youth would not follow the same path.

An Inclusive Approach The Strathcona Community Micro-Gardens would provide an inclusive approach to addressing many of the problems affecting this community. We are counting on your support!

For more information on the Strathcona Green Zone, visit us at Twitter: SBIA_GreenZone

About the Strathcona Business Improvement Association The Strathcona BIA (SBIA) is a member driven non-profit business organization in Strathcona, a sub-community of east Vancouver. It represents over 850 commercial property owners, business tenants, and 7,000+ employees. The area is a broad mix of industrial, commercial, retail, and residential zoning – many who have been in the area for over 40 years.

The SBIA conducts a variety of programs to facilitate the revitalization of Strathcona including street beautification through banners, flower baskets and murals; street micro cleaning; and graffiti removal. One of its core initiatives is the Strathcona Green Zone, an initiative to promote green practices among its membership and eventually make the area a sustainable district. Programs include waste audits and a resource exchange whereby businesses find other businesses to repurpose unneeded materials to divert them from the landfill.

Besides business development, the SBIA is involved with community events, sponsoring the Powell Street Festival, the largest Japanese Canadian festival in Canada; the Eastside Culture Crawl, a three day event drawing over 10,000 people to artists’ studios in east Vancouver; and children’s programming at the Strathcona Community Centre.


Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants in Vancouver

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The Vancouver Foundation has partnered with the City of Vancouver (Social Planning Division) to fund Neighbourhood Small Grant projects focused on “urban food” with various Neighbourhood Houses.

This pilot project is called the “Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants”.

The timeline for this pilot initiative with the City is from July to
October 31, 2010. This means that we would need to have the projects
funded to take place by end of October.

“Urban Food Projects” which City would like to support include any NSG
Projects that have a “food” focus.  This means the projects may cover
building food gardens or garden plots, educational workshops (i.e.
canning, cooking) or workbooks  cookbooks or manuals related to food.

Check out our website and click the sidebar “ad” which will take you
to the application form at

Deadline is August 1, 2010 at 5 p.m. and you will be notified on or
before August 9, 2010.

Application forms can also be found at RayCam, Strathcona, or Carnegie
Community Centres.

AHA MEDIA meets Toby Barazzuol at International Village Gifts & Crafts fair on Sept 19-20, 2009

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA meets Toby Barazzuol at International Village Gifts & Crafts fair on Sept 19-20, 2009

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Below is a photo of Peter Davies of  AHA MEDIA speaking with Toby Barazzuol

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Below are photos of Toby and his beautiful glassware


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AHA MEDIA at Gastown Farmers Market in Vancouver

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Visit the Gastown Farmers Market in the on 200 block Carrall Street, Sundays throughout August and September

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Join neighbours, friends and visitors at the Gastown Farmers Market held Sundays, 11am – 3pm on Carrall Street near Gassy Jack Square. The market will feature only locally grown and harvested produce, meat, seafood, baking, preserves, snacks and more! Enjoy lunch at one of several cafes adjacent to the market or grab some groceries and head out to discover the many great local shops in the area. Its Sunday – slow down and enjoy Gastown and the Gastown Farmers Market.

Get in touch



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This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter.


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This video showcases Chris Croner and his delicious blueberries from Matsqui Blue Farms at Gastown Farmers Market.

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter.


Below is a photo of Maddy and Honey Mae of W2 Community Media Arts standing in front of Klippers Organic Acres

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Support our local Vancouver Farmers Markets! 🙂

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Please see all 82 photos of Gastown Farmers Market on our Flickr: