May 19, 2018

NDP Story Circle

Illiteratty                  Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Our first major fundraiser outside an election was staged Wednesday, May 16th, and it was a grand success!

Photo by Ron Richings

Story Circle was a themed evening all about storytelling ~ in words and in music ~ and was staged at The Cottage Bistro on Main Street in Vancouver.

Illiteratty on stage at Story Circle    Photo by Ron Richings

Producer of Story Circle, and Vancouver-Langara BC NDP member, Jim Murray, set about creating a showcase of storytelling by combining great music with some of Vancouver's best storytellers, and stories that come from outside the box, and inside the circle.

Jim Murray    Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Stories had to be original, could be read or memorized, told within five to seven minutes, and adhere to the basic storytelling model of having a beginning, middle and end -- no speeches, no rants and, in this night's case, no poetry.

The evening opened with Illiteratty doing four songs...

Illiteratty at Story Circle       Photo by Tristan Dickson

Illiteratty is a folk group from Vancouver, performing original swing, European cabaret, ambient, celtic, rockabilly, a cappela, folk, world, pop and more. All with sharp lyrics and five part vocal harmonies. The songs are funny, angry, intelligent and political.

Sherry y Jeem         Photo by Tristan Dickson

Sherry y Jeem  recounted a story about a slight misunderstanding in Buenos Aires.... "No, politico movimiento!"

Leslie Stark  Photo by Tristan Dickson

Leslie Stark told a story about a high school president that had more than a vague resemblance to a contemporary president of the Excited States. Leslie is producer of Vancouver Fringe Festival plays with her group: The Elegant Ladies Collective. Leslie Stark also tells stories at Vancouver Story Slam and The Flame. Leslie is a high school teacher, playwright, poet, mom, dancer, hoop-maker, and cat cuddler.

Spillious  Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Next up: Spillious, a Trans-feminine poetic creature from Vancouver. Spillious was the 2017 Grand Slam Champion of the Vancouver Poetry Slam, and a Vancouver Story Slam Finalist in 2017. Sometimes loud, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always brutally honest, Spillious touches on what it is to be queer, Trans femme, a father and an educator all at the same time. Spillious is also a high school music teacher, workshop facilitator and academic. They have been performing spoken word for over a decade and have been featured in venues all over Canada and the Excited States.

Sherry MacDonald   Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Sherry MacDonald told a personal story of family tragedy. Sherry lives in Vancouver-Langara and volunteered for our campaign during the last election. She is frequently seen on this stage telling stories at  Vancouver Story Slam and The Flame. She’s a writer, playwright, teacher and mother of three adult sons. Sherry is currently working on a musical about the Battle of Ballantyne Pier, with her composer, Illiteratty's own: Earle Peach.

Kelly Greene    Photo by Ron Richings

After another set by Illiteratty, special guest Kelly Greene took to the stage. Kelly was our party’s candidate in the last election for Richmond-Steveston. When once asked what her theme song might be, Kelly answered: We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. Kelly led our gathering in a fundraising exercise that exceeded expectations!

In the next election, whenever that might be, Kelly will become the MLA from Richmond Steveston, and we'll be adding our support in making that victory happen!

Susan Dickson
Photo by
Stefan Nielsen

Next up, with a personal story of love and Cuba, was Susan Dickson. Susan is a retired school teacher, a world traveller, a drama teacher, a lover of Shakespeare, and someone who lives in Vancouver-Langara and knocked on doors for our campaign during the last election. Susan Dickson tells stories at the Vancouver Story Slam.

Mike Funergy     Photo by Ron Richings

Mike Funergy told a story about exploring in Victoria, getting hauled in by the police and explaining it all away, "Just like Dora".  Mike is a creative therapist, facilitator, storyteller, and performer who believes in building stronger connections and communities through the use of play, creativity, and imagination. Mike tells stories at Vancouver Story Slam and The Flame, and believes that world peace can be established through good stories and sock puppets. 

Don Simpson
Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Last up for our evening was Don Simpson and a story about cats.... No, not the musical. When asked to provide a brief bio of himself, Don said, “I live in quiet retirement in Kitsilano and appear, to my daughter's amazement, to still have almost all of my marbles.” Well, regardless of how many marbles are still in the bag, Don Simpson is a perennial favourite at the Vancouver Story Slam, and recent winner of the Verses Spoken Word Festival Invitational Story Slam. and he provided a great final story for the Story Circle.

Stefan Nielsen                  Photo by Tristan Dickson

Our first Story Circle was a success! Thanks to all the performers and to Cottage Bistro for setting the stage. Thanks to all who attended!

Part of an appreciative audience    Photo by Stefan Nielsen

Story Circle was produced and hosted by 
Jim Murray, with help from Sherry MacDonald and the Executive of Vancouver-Langara BC New Democrats.

Text by Jim Murray.
Copyright 2018 by V-L BC NDP.

November 7, 2017

Convention 2017

Our premier!

The BC NDP Convention was held this year in Victoria on November 3, 4 and 5, and Vancouver-Langara was there!

BC NDP President: Craig Keating

It was a busy three days, with key note speeches from John Horgan, Jagmeet Singh, and others.

Craig Keating

Amandeep Nijjar and BC MPs introducing Jagmeet

In his 40 minute address, Premier Horgan highlighted some of the great work he and the BC NDP government have done in the last several months, including:

  • Embracing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Ending big money in politics and reforming BC’s lobbying laws to make sure public interests, not private interests, drive government decisions;
  • Holding a referendum on proportional representation in 2018 to let people decide how we elect MLAs;
  • Creating a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to tackle the opioid crisis;
  • Renewing the Human Rights Commission;
  • And supporting people and businesses affected by the wildfires.

“Friends, if this is what we can do in 109 days, imagine what else we can do,” said Horgan. “Together, we can make life more affordable, build housing for people, bring in fair ferry fares and eliminate unfair MSP premiums. We’ll build hospitals and urgent care centres, make sure our kids have safe schools to learn in and deliver transit and transportation to get people moving. We’ll continue to support traditional industries like forestry and mining, and we will grow the new economy and create good jobs for people as we build up our province.”

“Together, we will build a stronger, fairer, more just province, where no one is left behind.”

Standing room only for Jagmeet Singh. 

 Our next Prime Minister!

Jagmeet and MPs

Workshops on campaign strategy and the new legislation for campaign finance reform were offered, among others.

It was a long three days of hard work along with almost 1000 delegates and observers. It was also a time to celebrate our party's victory, our movement's dedication to the future, and the selection of a new federal leader. And now, with Convention 2017 done and finished, it's time to get to work. Join us!

Photos by Jeem, with several provided by BC NDP. Text by Jim Murray. 
Copyright 2017 by V-L BC NDP.

November 6, 2017

Vancouver-Langara at Convention 2017!

Our YND delegate to Convention: Betty Bi

The BC NDP Convention was held this past weekend in Victoria, and your constituency association was there!

Betty Bi was our delegate to the Young New Democrats Convention that was held during the weekend. Ellen Ramsay was our delegate to the party's Women's Rights Committee. Our Secretary, Janet Andrews, was a delegate to Convention through her union affiliation.

Gudrun Langolf and Ryan Meech in a  quiet moment

Other delegates from Vancouver-Langara were our new President, Stefan Nielsen,  new Vice-President, Ryan Meech, Treasurer, Anita Romaniuk, and Gudrun Langolf and Jim Murray.

Stefan Nielsen and Anita Romaniuk

Long days. Hard work. And much celebration at the fact that sixteen years of darkness has finally lifted.

Want more information? Want to be involved in your local social-democratic movement? Contact us!

Quiz? Is there a quiz at the end?

Photos by Jeem. Text by Jim Murray.
Copyright 2017 by V-L BC NDP.

October 3, 2017

Our 2017 AGM and new Executive

Some of the members attending our AGM

On Saturday, September 30th, members of Vancouver-Langara met for our Annual General Meeting.

Our AGM has grown in attendance every year for the past three years, and this year was no exception.

Brea and Iwona, from Gigi Blin Market Cafe

We gathered at the highly popular, and a neighbourhood institution: Gigi Blin Market Cafe, in the heart of Marpole. They're friendly, highly accommodating and ... the coffee is great!

Jim Murray

Stefan and Exec: Gudrun Langolf

Stefan, posing a serious thought

Member: Frank Teague

Jim Murray presided over the meeting. Reports were provided by Anita Romaniuk, our Treasurer and the recent campaign's Financial Agent, and by Ryan Meech, our erstwhile Data Guy and campaign wonk.
Ryan, pondering seriously

 Ryan provided an in-depth report on what went well, what didn't and   other observations from the recent campaign.

Jim, our WRC rep: Ellen Ramsay, and Ryan

New Secretary: Janet Andrews, and member: Stephen Karr

Jim announced that he was not seeking re-election as President, after several years in the position. He will remain as a member and activist. So.... after a spirited nomination and voting process....

A new Executive was elected, unanimously as it turned out.
  • President: Stefan Nielsen 
  • Vice President: Ryan Meech
  • Secretary: Janet Andrews
  • Treasurer: Anita Romaniuk
  • Women's Rights Committee representative: Ellen Ramsay
  • Members-at-large: Raj Dhir, Jing Kokko, Gudrun Langolf, Jim Murray, and Jody Sekora, 
Member: Bruce Ross and new Exec: Jing Kokko

New Exec members: Jody Sekora and Raj Dhir, and Stefan

Thanks to all who came out for the meeting, and thanks to Gigi Blin for hosting!

We're building a movement to win this riding in the next election. And we can ~ with your help. We're your local social democratic movement. Join us!

Photos by Ron Richings. Text by Jim Murray. 
Copyright 2017 by Vancouver-Langara BC NDP.

August 6, 2017

Pride Parade 2017

Members of Vancouver-Langara volunteered and marched in this year's Vancouver Pride Parade.

Several hundred New Democrats, along with candidates and newly elected MLAs marched with Premier John Horgan.

We marched because social democratic solidarity includes all of us. And because it is fun. And we're proud.

John was not the first BC premier to march in the parade, but he was the first premier to walk the entire route in 16 years!

Photos by Jeem. 
Copyright 2017  by Vancouver-Langara BC NDP. 

June 9, 2017

Balloons at Vaisakhi ~ April 15

Early morning set up

The annual Vaisakhi parade draws over a quarter million people, and we were there!

The finer points ot balloon making

The assembly line

Gudron Langolf, member from Vancouver-Langara

Ten volunteers from Vancouver-Langara joined other New Democrats from around MetroVancouver to hand out helium balloons through the day.

Madeline Lalonde, Vancouver-Quilchena

Madeline Lalonde, candidate for Vancouver-Quilchena, spent much of the afternoon meeting and greeting people.

Kelly Green, Richmond-Steveston

So too, did Kelly Green from Richmond-Steveston.

James Wang, candidate for Vancouver-Langara

And our own James Wang made an appearance too!

Face painting was a popular part of our NDP booth too!

Photos by Jeem. 
Copyright 2017 by V-L BC  NDP.