W.E. Connect

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'W.E. Connect' orange text against yellow background. W.E. Connect is the West End Community Hub project slogan for the reimagining process.

Deepen your connections to this community, this place, this land. Then, help imagine the renewed West End Community Hub.

Help shape the future of the site that currently includes the West End Community Centre, King George Secondary School, Joe Fortes Library, and other important civic facilities.

It all begins with reconciliation. We invite you to listen and learn from Knowledge Holders from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Then, share your own experiences of the West End and hopes for a new community hub by attending online events, visiting project pop-up locations, and joining us in-person.


Get involved

  • Register for the virtual Public Information Session on Wednesday, December 8 to learn about the Vision & Principles for the West End Community Hub that you helped to create.
  • Engage with community stories about the West end and W.E. Connect Art.


A Renewal Plan

W.E. Connect is a project led by the City of Vancouver, Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver Public Library, and the West End Community Centre Association. This work builds on previous community engagement processes and takes direction from the West End Community Plan, VSB Long Range Facilities Plan, Vancouver Public Library Strategic Plan, and VanPlay.

This project will produce a renewal plan - a document that will guide and direct the future of the site’s buildings, programming, and outdoor spaces.

  • The West End Community Centre will be replaced to meet the needs of the growing West End neighbourhood, including renewal of an ice rink.

  • King George Secondary School will be redeveloped to provide more spaces for students and meet seismic upgrade requirements.

  • Joe Fortes Public Library will be expanded to provide a larger library space.

  • The renewed community hub will likely have combined and shared programming spaces. Other potential uses that could serve the West End will be considered for addition or expansion in the renewal plan, including a relocation of Firehall No. 6, childcare, seniors’ spaces, and arts and culture facilities.





Deepen your connections to this community, this place, this land. Then, help imagine the renewed West End Community Hub.

Help shape the future of the site that currently includes the West End Community Centre, King George Secondary School, Joe Fortes Library, and other important civic facilities.

It all begins with reconciliation. We invite you to listen and learn from Knowledge Holders from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Then, share your own experiences of the West End and hopes for a new community hub by attending online events, visiting project pop-up locations, and joining us in-person.


Get involved

  • Register for the virtual Public Information Session on Wednesday, December 8 to learn about the Vision & Principles for the West End Community Hub that you helped to create.
  • Engage with community stories about the West end and W.E. Connect Art.


A Renewal Plan

W.E. Connect is a project led by the City of Vancouver, Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver Public Library, and the West End Community Centre Association. This work builds on previous community engagement processes and takes direction from the West End Community Plan, VSB Long Range Facilities Plan, Vancouver Public Library Strategic Plan, and VanPlay.

This project will produce a renewal plan - a document that will guide and direct the future of the site’s buildings, programming, and outdoor spaces.

  • The West End Community Centre will be replaced to meet the needs of the growing West End neighbourhood, including renewal of an ice rink.

  • King George Secondary School will be redeveloped to provide more spaces for students and meet seismic upgrade requirements.

  • Joe Fortes Public Library will be expanded to provide a larger library space.

  • The renewed community hub will likely have combined and shared programming spaces. Other potential uses that could serve the West End will be considered for addition or expansion in the renewal plan, including a relocation of Firehall No. 6, childcare, seniors’ spaces, and arts and culture facilities.





Discussions: All (7) Open (7)
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    Sunset People ~ by Skwxwú7mesh Weaver, Angela George, in collaboration with Gabriel George, səlilwətaɬ Knowledge Holder (2021)

    Coast Salish Weaving, sheep’s wool 45.7cm x 25.4cm (18in x 10in)

     

    Chief Dan George referred to his people of səlilwətaɬ as the Sunset People. He composed a prayer song recognizing that we turn to the Sunset at the end of each day and give thanks to the sun for warming our children, for giving us light, for nurturing our lands. We hold our hands up in gratitude to the setting sun and ask it to return tomorrow. His grandson, Gabriel George shares this history which is reflected in this weaving. Woven upside down then inverted, it reflects knowledge of past generations woven into the present. The setting sun on the horizon, viewed over the ripples on the Burrard Inlet and Salish Sea, reminds us to uphold the integrity of our ancestors, conducting ourselves according to the laws of nature, giving thanks, striving to illuminate the warmth and light of the Sun.

    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art?

    Learn about Skwxwú7mesh Weaver Angela George here.

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  • Learn about the West End through Ken Boesem’s personal story and original artwork, Community Nest

    2 months ago
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    Community Nest (West End) ~ by Ken Boesem (2021)

    Acrylic and ink on canvas 50.8cm x 76cm (20in x 30in)

     


    Through a personalized avian metaphor, artist/writer Ken Boesem’s West End story reflects upon his own queerness, finding a home, and gratitude for his time as a guest in this territory. At the same time, it circles imagery of community building.

    Like the West End’s crows, who build their nests anew each season, West Enders like Boesem have repeatedly utilized the West End as a renewable source of incubation and growth, through multiple life changes.

    Boesem symbolically posits the West End as a communal nest, creating a visual metaphor for the area as a safe place of incubation and growth. In this sense, we can conceive how the West End serves many as a place of individual gestation and rebirth, while also serving many disparate communities as a metaphorical “safety nest”.

    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art?

    Learn about artist Ken Boesem here.

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    Strength in Community - by Cory Douglas (2021)

    Graphic design, digital

     


    The Two Headed Snake, with the protagonists of a brother and sister who defeat the serpent, is a legend that is told by different First Nation communities up and down the coast. I've taken inspiration from the Skwxwú7mesh Nation legend. This story simply represents the challenging times we are facing today. We have an opportunity to look at this legend and pull inspiration from the duo's leadership and create something beautiful with our modern day story, working together in harmony and building relationships in places perhaps not considered. Look beyond the limits of what is and expand the possible by utilizing the strength that every individual imbibes. This is a story of hope and resilience and becoming stronger as a community.

    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art? 

    Learn about Skwxwú7mesh artist Cory Douglas here.

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  • West End stories: Holding Hands, Snow on the beach, and more

    about 2 months ago
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    Participants of W.E. Connect workshops chose these stories to be shared with the broader community. The stories were submitted by community members through the West End Experiences Survey

    Read these stories, then reply below: What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in these stories?


    Holding Hands

    Holding hands for Justice, a protest march along Davie St. from English Bay up to Hornby after a young gay couple had been assaulted for holding hands while walking along Davie. The assault triggered a massive community response with Jim Deva at the helm. That Sunday afternoon Davie St. was awash with gay and lesbian folk holding hands and singing and as we marched up the hill towards Jervis St. Hundreds of gay pride flags fluttering in the breeze filled the street for blocks. Looking up towards Jervis from Cardero seeing hundreds of folk waving the pride colours was a true moment of inspiration and pride.

    Busy Yet Quiet

    Everyone thinks that the West End is so dense/crowded. And it is, but it also surprisingly peaceful when you walk along tree-lined residential streets. My favorite thing to do in the West End is to go for an early morning run along the Sea Wall/Stanley Park and then head to a coffee shop. People watching in the West End is the best.

    Living in the fun destination

    I moved to the West End (near English Bay beach) from Yaletown. When I stepped out of my previous building in Yaletown, there were people on the sidewalks, but they always seemed to be in a hurry and headed somewhere else. In contrast, when I stepped out of my new building in the West End, there were people on the sideways, but this was their destination, and they were having fun. It was lovely to live where people came to have fun.

    Snow on the beach

    I live near the intersection of Beach, Jervis and Pacific. The hill at the intersection to Pacific is small but can always get people in the snow. Many years ago, it snowed and cars became stuck trying to get up the hill. My friend and I set up beach chairs to sit and cheer when people made it up. We would help push cars up the hill. After a little while, more neighbours came out to do the same. I think one person brought us all hot chocolates. One neighbour came and shovelled the snow on the hill so cars and the C23 could maybe make it up the hill. Eventually, the snow plows came so we didn't need to be there. The neighbours and I ended up going to the grassy hill on top of the pump station and tobogganing down. It's a good memory. I'm sure I have more, but when/if it snows, I always remember this day.


    Please reply below: What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in these stories?

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  • Learn about the Indigenous history of the West End through Chrystal Sparrow’s personal story and original artwork, Cedar Mother.

    about 2 months ago
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    Cedar Mother - Chrystal Sparrow (2021)

    Red cedar, acrylics, abolone and copper. Designed in Watercolour.

    12.7cm x 25.4cm (5in x 10in)

     






    Cedar Mother is a representation of land, animals, medicines, people, and the Salish Sea. The Coast Salish People of xʷməθkʷəyəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) have shared land, food, teachings, and many of the uses of red cedar for thousands of years.

    We used red cedar to build long houses spanning 100 feet to 200 feet in length, to construct canoes for travel, to make art and clothing, and to bury our people in sacred places. In Stanley Park, the West End, and throughout Metro Vancouver, our people once gathered clams from the inlets, and harvested berries, medicines, and cedar roots from the land.

    My great grandmother Rose Sparrow and great aunt Jeri Sparrow collected red cedar roots from Stanley Park to make baskets and to use for various medicines. I have relatives that lived in Stanley Park and gathered shells from the inlets like English Bay. The West End community was a part of a larger area where our people gathered and once lived.

    Learn about xʷməθkʷəyəm carver Chrystal Sparrow here.

    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art? 

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  • Learn about the West End through Afuwa’s personal story and original artwork, Seraphim.

    about 2 months ago
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    Seraphim - Afuwa (2021)

    Birch panel, handmade paper, ink, paint, 23k gold leaf

    61cm x 91.4cm x 3.8cm (24in x 36in x 1.5in)

     


    The story of a place begins long before you arrive. My entry point was Joe Fortes (1863-1922), the Trinidadian-born local hero after whom the branch library is named. Joe’s story led me to discover the lives of the residents of Stanley Park, outlined by Jean Barman in her excellent book Stanley Park’s Secret: The Forgotten Families of Whoi Whoi, Kanaka Ranch and Brockton Point (Harbour, 2005). Within these lives are themes that encircle us today: marginalization, resilience, resistance, and bonds that form in times of upheaval.

    Through the window frame of my old apartment, these community stories entwine with local plants – extending across generations, asking us how we can be in place beyond now, beyond the future, and move consciously and with grace towards a practice of land back.

    Learn about artist Afuwa here.

    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art? 

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  • West End stories: the Water Lady, Saturdays at the Fitness Centre, and more

    about 2 months ago
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    Participants of W.E. Connect workshops chose these stories to be shared widely. The stories were submitted by community members through the West End Experiences Survey

    Read these stories, then reply below: What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in these stories? 


    The Water Lady! 

    During the last two heat waves this year, one woman was sitting on a sidewalk patio with an adult beverage with her friends and asking (and getting consent) to spray people with a water gun. She was such a bully personality who understood the situation and provided some hilarity and relief. These are the types of people in the West End. It is a small community feel at the footsteps of the big city. It's connected but also secluded and the individuals in the community are what make it feel like home.     

    Saturdays at the Fitness Centre

    My partner and I went to a community centre fitness class every Saturday morning for over three years. It had an extremely affordable drop-in rate which helped as we were students and just starting out in the city. The class was special in that people of all ages came to it to work out. The friends we made in the class led to waves on the sidewalk as we moved about the community during the week recognizing people as we ran our errands. Babies were born and brought to the class, news was shared, and brunch was had after the class. Covid hit and the class hasn't been there since. We miss it, we miss our little Saturday community, and I hope that however the community centre shapes up that there continues to be accessible, and importantly, affordable options for community building.

    Park(let) Connections

    I live in the West End and love it here because of the diversity in housing, ages of people and incomes. This community has so much character. I love seeing people gather in the little parklets and often stop to talk to my neighbours there. People take pride in gardening as well. I'm part of a community garden at Nelson Park and there is connection and support.

    Spring Time in the West End

    I've lived in the West End for 14 years since I was in my late 20s. What I love most about living in the West End is watching the trees and plants bloom and blossom again every spring. How Barlcay becomes filled in with tree cover each April and May. How the rhododendron garden blooms in April. How the cherry blossoms explode in May. This is one of the most special experiences of the West End for me.


    What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in these stories?





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Page last updated: 01 December 2021, 09:59