Kiwassas Annual Christmas Craft Sale

Posted on: November 24th, 2015 by The East Village


Are you looking for unique Christmas gifts to give to your loved ones this year? Kiwassa’s Annual Christmas Craft Sale is taking place from Wednesday, November 25th until Friday, November 27th from 11am to 3pm each day, and they may have just what you’re looking for. “(These are) beautiful crafts which our seniors have made every Monday,” says Jane, Senior and Settlement Program Worker at the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House. Spending your dollars at the fair helps support our local seniors, and the seniors program at Kiwassa.

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House is a gathering place where people of all ages, cultures and walks of life can make friends, participate in programs, find resources, share ideas, and contribute to community life.

“We are a grassroots volunteer-led non-profit organization. We provide a broad range of accessible, free and affordable programs for children, youth, families, seniors and adults, and volunteer and leadership opportunities in the northeast of Vancouver. Kiwassa values and appreciates diversity and we seek to include and reflect all who live here.”

Kiwassa Craft Fair

New Mural at Star Tile

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by The East Village


Have you seen the gorgeous new mural at Star Tile? The Hastings North Business Improvement Association is happy to have helped sponsor this wonderful beautification project. Work for the mural started in May, after the previous mural was tagged in early Winter.

The vibrant new mural was created by Xochitl and Dedos, a husband wife duo who go by the name of Nomadic Alternatives. Their style is bold and colorful, and you’ve likely seen their work around the city, with their eye-catching murals sprawled across East Vancouver and beyond.
Visit their website for information, and be sure to take a walk down Hastings Street this week and check out the new mural!


The Vancouver Giants

Posted on: November 17th, 2015 by The East Village


The Vancouver Giants are our city’s major junior ice hockey team, and are part of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Inaugurated some fifteen years ago, the team has won both a President’s Cup, and a Memorial Cup as part of their thirteen season history.

Their home rink is located at the Pacific Coliseum, where the team practices four to six times a week. Most of its players are still in school, and those who are not in school are often helping out with the Giant’s Read To Succeed community program. “Essentially we visit schools all over the lower mainland and encourage them to read and increase their physical activity,” says Vancouver Giants Operations and Marketing Coordinator, Lauren Foss. “It’s a two week program, and if they read and do physical activity every day for two weeks, they get a free ticket to a Giants game.”

“Last year we spoke to over 15,000 enthusiastic students in over 60 schools across the lower mainland. The enthusiasm on the Read To Succeed game nights is second to none,” Lauren tells us. “These are the games that the players are especially excited to play in because they know that the students they met are all in the stands cheering for them.”


When we ask what she loves most about her work with the Giants, Lauren says she enjoys coming up with new ideas to help make the in-game experience different and better each time. “I enjoy seeing ideas come to fruition and of course working with all the players and staff to make all efforts  the best they can be.”

Lauren says she loves working in the area, and enjoys the scenic amenities just outside her door. “In the summer, I love eating my lunch in the botanical garden at the PNE park and walking the grounds there as well,” she says. “I also love the unique restaurant offerings in the area. I will definitely never go hungry!”

Visit The Vancouver Giants online for more info, and to buy tickets to an upcoming game. Remember to stay social on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest.

The Kettle Society’s “Art Against Stigma”

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by The East Village


The Eastside Culture Crawl is an annual 4-day visual arts festival taking place each November, which involves artists on Vancouver's Eastside opening their studios to the public. The event is focused on the area bounded by Main St., 1st Ave., Victoria Drive, and the Waterfront; and involves painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, glassblowers -- from emerging artists to those internationally established.

The Eastside Culture Crawl officially began in 1997 with 45 visual artists in 3 Strathcona area studio buildings and was attended by a few hundred people. Since that time, the event has grown to include over 400 artists, craftspeople and designers attracting an audience of more than 25,000. The organization itself has evolved to represent the heart of the East Van creative community, and has become a highly anticipated event to look forward to each year.

EVV’s own Kettle Society will be participating in this year’s Crawl, with a unique series titled “Art Against Stigma.”’ A gallery style art show and sale, this is the only art series of its kind in our city, with some 1,000 pieces of art on display from 60 different artists, all of whom live with a mental health disability. Many of these artists are well-known in Vancouver’s art scene, and 100% of the proceeds of art sold will go directly to the artists.


You are invited to join the Opening Night Reception, hosted by The Kettle on Thursday,

November 19th, from 5PM to 7 PM. Mingle and sip refreshments generously provided by Take Five Café, and hear from Expressive Arts Therapist Carla Shirley, who will speak on the topic of “Communicating Through Our Intuition.” For information on submitting artwork or if you’d like to  volunteer for the event, click here.

For additional information, visit The Kettle Society’s website, and check out The Eastside Culture Crawl’s website for more.

Big Joy Barber & Salon

Posted on: November 10th, 2015 by The East Village


When you first set foot into Big Joy Salon, it might not be quite what you expect. The non descript frosted door that you enter through leaves much to the imagination, and owner and stylist Shaunn Watt tells us that’s exactly what he wanted. He uses words like “small” and “quiet” to describe his space, and we’d garner it’s no stretch to add “hidden gem” to that list of adjectives.

“People here will just ring the buzzer and come and get their hair cut,” Shaunn says with a shrug. “I never thought that people would just do that; but people are pretty brave in this neighbourhood. I don’t think you could do that in other parts of Vancouver.”

Opened this past May, Shaunn says the salon caters to a mixed clientele, and is inclusive to everyone. “We attract really nice people who are really opened minded,” he says, cleaning up after a haircut he’s just finished. “It’s a pretty progressive area which is important to me.”

After receiving his professional training nearly a decade ago, Shaunn worked for years in larger salons in Vancouver, building his client list and perfecting his craft. Shaunn says he’s always wanted to open something like Big Joy, and couldn’t be happier with how things are going so far.

“It’s at a really nice place right now,” he says with a confident smile. “There is always a new fun neighbourhood, you know, but I really like it here. Our friend just opened up a tattoo shop down the street, and I love Jackalope's, and another of our friends run Horses Records. It’s still a little more affordable here, people can still do things creatively. Not everything needs to be so perfect and immaculate -- it can be more do it yourself.”

That DIY attitude is something that has worked out quite well for Shaunn. The seemingly immaculate salon is quintessentially East Van, with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and art. “I liked decorating the space myself and just making it work,” he says casually. “It actually all started with a lamp and I went from there,” he laughs. When you speak with Shaunn, there’s a certain humbleness about him you can’t help but pick up on.

big joy 2

“Here there is such a variety of people in this neighborhood,” he continues. “There are young people, old people, gay, straight, and everything in between But then there’s the older shops that have been here since the beginning.  It feels much more human. Sometimes Vancouver feels a little bit too perfect, but Hastings will always Hastings.”

Chris started working at the salon just a month ago, and says he feels right at home here. “I grew up at Kingsway and Nanaimo, and when people think of East Van, I think people think of this area,” he says. “Things are built with sustainability opposed to cost and renewal. Other parts of the city, things will be built so quickly that it goes out of fashion as fast. Whereas this area, things stay. A lot of the houses around here are heritage houses. It’s real.”

Big Joy

Big Joy Barber & Salon is located at 203-2132 E. Hastings Street. Visit their website for more info, and stay social on Facebook and Instagram.

More Food. Less Hunger. Initiative Returns

Posted on: November 6th, 2015 by The East Village


Maple Leaf Storage have just kicked off their 2nd Annual “More Food. Less Hunger.” Campaign, and we want to help to spread the word. From now until January 16th, Maple Leaf will be collecting non-perishable food items at all 12 of their locations, which is donated to the food banks of British Columbia and Calgary.

“This year our goal is to donate over 1000 lbs. of food to local food banks,” says Darren Shaw, marketing manager at Maple Leaf Storage. “Last year, 712 lbs. of food went to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, SHARE Family & Community Food Bank in Port Moody and the Calgary Food Bank.”

The most needed items include Canned fish or meats, canned beans, kidney, black bean, chickpeas, pasta and rice, canned vegetables, and diapers -- just to name a few. When donating to food banks, it’s always great to give items that you yourself would want to eat.


Help spread the word about this initiative on Social Media using the hashtag #MoreFoodLessHunger, and be sure to follow Maple Leaf Storage on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates. For more information about this campaign and location listings, visit the Maple Leaf Storage blog.