Tag Archives: Strathcona


Vancouver Arts Innovation & Business : Orcas take over Strathcona

01 Aug


Between rail yards and the clamor of the Downtown East Side, there lies an excess of concrete, industrial buildings, and bare walls. When art emerges here, it is a gift to the community of Strathcona and the city of Vancouver. The gift of public art sparks creativity and breeds innovation. Creativity and innovation nourish entrepreneurship. Therefore, murals do more than bring beauty to a neighbourhood…they also improve the socio-economic landscape of urban communities.



We recently discovered a unique gift : A local group of Vancouver youth has created an underwater oasis full of orcas. This group is lead by Todd Polich. He has been painting environmentally focused murals for the last few years. His goal has been to inspire people to take action for environmental conservation. This goal has been recently coming to fruition.



In order to create conversations about the environment, Todd has infused his mural skills into his  ‘Art of Empowerment’ youth programs. These programs teach kids about art, nature, and painting murals in meaningful spaces. He hopes that young participants will gain a renewed appreciation of the environment through the nature themed mural projects. He also enjoys the sense of pride that is instilled in youth participants.



Todd was inspired by public art as a teen and had a love for nature and the environment from camping as a child. He wants to help people realize their connection living with wildlife HERE (not separated from nature and the environment, we’re all part of it here together). Todd has witnessed his youth murals convert spaces. In one case, there was an area near a school where kids littered and threw cigarette butts on the ground. This scene changed after a nature mural was created. Through the pride and beauty of this project, the litter stopped gathering and was replaced by a new sense of respect and ownership.



The latest mural is on the Sunrise Soya building on Powell St at Hawks. Sunrise is Canada’s largest tofu manufacturer and one of Strathcona’s oldest businesses. This company is active in the Strathcona community and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association. As a business that gives back, it is fitting for this mural to come alive on the exterior of Sunrise Soya. This mural project was recently featured on CBC news. If you want to check out this video clip, please click below.


SOLEfood CSA Shares are a Nourishing and Unique Local Gift

23 Feb


When we find local, organic gifts that are meaningful and unique, it is our duty to report these findings to you. We recently discovered a great local gift that nourishes the gift recipient while healing Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.




Why are CSA shares from SOLEfood an awesome gift?




1) Nourishing your gift recipient with a weekly supply of fresh, local and organic produce:




The fresh delicious food can be picked-up from the farm, from the farmer’s market or it can be delivered by Shift Delivery.











2) Creating jobs and economic health in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side:




SOLEfood employs residents from Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. When you purchase a SOLEfood CSA membership, you make a commitment to the farm and the farmers at the beginning of the season by paying in advance for a portion of the farm’s products throughout the season. This guarantees the farm a market for its products, provides members with fresh food at a discount, and fosters responsible relationships between farmer, eater, and the land where the food is grown.







3)  Feeding hungry folks who can’t afford organic produce:




SOLEfood creates high end produce that is purchased by some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants. They also use this produce to nourish non-profits and local families who can’t afford expensive organic food. If folks cannot afford the bountiful goodness of fresh organic SOLEfood, they can become eligible to have food credits. When you sign up to become a member, you can choose to contribute to the low-income share program. This program provides low-income families with a $100 credit to spend on SOLEfood Farm fruits and veggies.




4) Building Community:




When Saul Good visits SOLEfood, the farmers talk about community and being a part of something larger than themselves. We get to see the community surrounding the farm expand into farmer’s markets and connect directly to local families.




5) Greening Vancouver’s inner city.




The SOLEfood Story: It Began with an Empty Lot and an Idea




The SOLEfood Inner City Farm began with an idea and an empty asphalt lot beside the Astoria Hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. The only signs of greenery were tenacious tufts of grass pushing through cracks in the concrete. Alongside the emptiness, there was a Cold Beer & Wine Store, a bar, and a hotel. There was prostitution and drug abuse that generated steadily from the emptiness.











It was hard to imagine that this space would one day become a source of healing for our city. The SOLEfood inner city farm is more than a green initiative, It is healing our city through job creation, economic stimulation, nourishing food, and community building.








In the beginning it was all about creating opportunities for people to gain skills, nourishment and employment, turning an empty lot into a productive positive space. As the conversations unfolded throughout our community and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association, Seann Dory picked up these ideas and ran with them. He worked relentlessly to translate these ideas into tangible reality.




On Saturday, October 31st, 2009, a group of fifty volunteers woke up bright and early, in order to build raised garden beds and green houses for the SOLEfood inner city farm. The sun generated warmth that day. Sean Dorrey rolled up his sleeves alongside the swarm of inspired volunteers. He grinned from ear to ear as he dug his hands into soil that was merely a possibility.







City Councilors, such as Andrea Reimer understand the multifaceted benefits of inner-city farms, “The movement is all about finding ways to provide people with the framework they need to feed themselves, rather than simply giving them food. And that’s very cool.” -Councilor Reimer