Wednesday - May 29, 2024 - Trading a church for an apartment

🌧 High 14C

Good morning!

“Where are you from?” is a delicate question. It can suggest that the questioner thinks you don’t belong here, or are not from here, especially if you aren’t white. At the same time, I get asked the question all the time from various European immigrants I know (including friends and family members). The curiosity is understandable—having grown up on another continent, they want to know where I might have family links. I generally shrug and say “Alberta,” since that’s where most of my grandparents were born (I think). It’s not the answer my questioners are looking for. They want to know where my ancestors are from, and are never impressed that I neither know nor, frankly, care that much.

I do know a bit about my family background, thanks to my step-mom. There’s a bunch of English, Irish, and Scottish in there, along with a tiny bit of Scandinavian. A Polish buddy asked me why I’m not more curious, and mostly, I think it comes from being a total mutt. When I hear someone say they can trace their lineage back five generations to a certain place, I wonder how a person can know much of anything about 64 different great-great-great-grandparents from as many different places. All the power to you if you can chart your family tree, but sometimes I feel more kinship to all my ancestors whose lives have been lost to history than the very few who are not.

– Tyler

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Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


The art of a jersey

Sandeep Johal designed the Vancouver Bandits’ new jersey for their South Asian Heritage Night on Saturday, June 1. 📷️ Vancouver Bandits (Canadian Elite Basketball League)

For an artist who describes her work as having an “Indo-folk feminine aesthetic,” Sandeep Johal has been designing an awful lot of jerseys for men.

“It is very feminine,” Johal agreed. “But I think there’s space for that.”

Over the last two years, Johal has created three South Asian-inspired jerseys for three different teams: the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Vancouver Bandits. Each incorporates different motifs from South Asian design: the Canucks jersey for the 2022 Diwali night featured a blooming lotus, while the Whitecaps jersey from that same year channeled Johal’s love of maximalism.

On Saturday, Johal’s Vancouver Bandits jersey will be premiered at the Langley Events Centre during the team’s South Asian Heritage game night. The jersey itself contains elements of Punjabi folk art in the fox’s head and along the seams of the jersey.

Seeing it on the court will be a meaningful moment for Johal, who played basketball herself in high school, and one that she hopes will inspire young fans as well.

“It took me a long time to build the confidence to try to be an artist,” Johal said. (She only began making art professionally in 2016, after the birth of her son.) “When these little kids and teens, young adults come into these spaces, I hope that it makes them feel like … they have this chance to do something that they might have formerly seen as impossible.”


Need to Know

⚖ Key DNA evidence in the case against Naomi Onotera’s husband was introduced in court Monday [Langley Advance Times]

✂ An Abbotsford care home now has its own hair salon [Abbotsford News]

🚓 Mission will spend $400,000 to build a fence around its RCMP detachment; it may also build a new police HQ [Mission Record]

🌲 Has the province kept its promise to protect old-growth forests? Not entirely [The Narwhal]

🚨 A pedestrian was killed near Agassiz Monday night [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🚒 The City of Mission has signed a new three-year contract with its firefighters [City of Mission]

🎨 Chilliwack Mural Festival has confirmed nine local and international muralists to paint from August 1 to 17 in Downtown Chilliwack.*

*Sponsored Listing


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The Agenda

A developer hopes to demolish a small old church in Central Abbotsford and build a large apartment building in its stead. 📷 Google; City of Abbotsford

Large apartment building may replace small Abbotsford church

A small church (and its large parking lot) in Abbotsford may soon be replaced by a large apartment building.

Whitetail Homes hopes to build a six-storey, 131-unit apartment building on a one-acre property near the corner of Clearbrook and Peardonville roads in Central Abbotsford. The property currently houses a 73-year-old Mennonite Church. (City documents list the owners of the property as “Mennonite Church British Columbia,” but Assessment BC records show the property was sold in 2023 for $6 million.)

Abbotsford council got its first look at the plans at its Tuesday meeting. Because the proposed building would require a change to the city’s Official Community Plan, a public hearing would follow.

The new apartment building would include 93 one-bedroom units, 13 with one bedroom and a den, and 25 two-bedroom units. If approved, the developer would kick in $81,175 to improve the nearby intersection.

More prizes for brown lawns

The City of Chilliwack wants its residents to let their lawns go golden yellow—and is offering to pay the people who do it best. From now until Oct. 15, the city is asking residents to keep mowing their lawn, but to stop watering it. The goal is to conserve water for essential reasons, like drinking, cooking, and bathing.

Residents can send in pictures of their grass for a chance to win a first place prize of $150. (The second place winner will get $100, and the third place winner will get $50.) The city didn’t specify what, exactly, makes for a first-place brown lawn—but winners from last year show grass that is largely dormant, but clearly maintained. Residents can also send in images of their vegetable gardens, rock gardens, and rain barrels for more entries.

Images can be sent to [email protected] until Oct. 15. Winners will be announced by Nov. 8. More details on the contest, including pictures of last year’s winners, are available online.

The Current wrote last year about Fraser Valley municipalities promoting “ugly” lawns while retaining rules that prohibit butterfly gardens and nature-friendly alternatives to grass.


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🗓 Things to do

Free smoke filters: A Simon Fraser University group is holding workshops in Abbotsford and Chilliwack where people can build their own air filters to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke particulates. Workshops will be held at Matsqui Recreation Centre today, May 29, from 9 to 11am and on May 30 from 1 to 3pm, as well as today at the Fraser Valley Regional District offices in Chilliwack from 2 to 4pm. Supplies are provided, but space is limited. Call 604-702-5496 to register.

Trail Run for Water: Race in a 10K, 25K, or 50K trail run on Sumas Mountain on Saturday for the 2024 Run for Water. Details online.

High-tech art: Hacking the Third Wave II, a high-tech art exhibition, is coming to the Fort Langley Community Hall from June 1-9. Artist talk and opening reception is at 2pm on Saturday, June 1. Details online.

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