Parks and integration
Starting Wednesday Aug. 8, the park board's website will be integrated with the city's to create a new version of vancouver.ca.
Vision Vancouver park board chair Sarah Blyth says the shift will hopefully mean more exposure for the board. "The city gets three times the amount of hits to its website," says Blyth. "So that means the park board should also get a lot more hits."
Blyth says there are many park board-related activities that take place across the city each week, including at its 24 community centres which are often overlooked due to a lack of exposure. She adds the change means park board news and events will be easier to find.
Blyth says the new system will be easy to use and allow for simple cross-referencing. The integration also means the launch of a social media strategy that will help get the word out about events and meetings.
"It's time to get with the future," says Blyth.
The park board used to have its own website separate from the city's until several years ago when its web address was changed to vancouver.ca/parks. Now the park board's webpages will be found via a link on the city's website at vancouver.ca. It's a new version of that website launching Wednesday.
This is not the first move the park board has made recently to increase its online presence. As reported in the Courier last month, the park board also wants to host videos of its public meetings online and has asked staff to explore options. According to a 2009 staff report, the cost to buy the necessary equipment would be $11,000 and the ongoing cost $14,000 a year.
Hold the bananaphone
Singer songwriter Raffi Cavoukian took to Twitter Tuesday morning to mourn the death of Kavna, a 46-year-old beluga whale that arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium from Churchill, Manitoba in 1976. Kavna gave birth to a calf nicknamed Tuaq in 1977 that lived only 16 weeks before dying of an infection.
According to an aquarium news release, Kavna had been displaying "inconsistent behaviour" over the past several weeks and had undergone blood work and other tests to determine the cause, which could be cancer. According to the aquarium, belugas typically live to the ages of 25 and 30 in the wild, which means Kavna was an exception.
On Twitter, Cavoukian explains the beluga was in fact not the inspiration for his beloved children's song "Baby Beluga." He adds, that while it's likely it's Kavna's voice heard at the introduction and close of the recording, he wrote the song for an imagined, universal baby beluga.
In one of his tweets, Cavoukian wrote, "Reflecting on Kavna, on writing Baby Beluga, on writing not a save-the-whales lament, but instead, a LOVE SONG!"
Park in the street
The park board is hosting a project information artists' session Thursday, Aug. 9, asking the public to share ideas about activities and qualities they'd like to see in neighbourhood parks and on their streets.
Reimagine Your Streets: Mount Pleasant brings neighbours together to talk about what they would most like to see and then vote on the elements of design they prefer. At the end of this session, architect Stanley King and the artists of Co-Design hope to have drawings of potential street-to-park designs for four locations within the community.
The session takes place from 2 to 7 p.m., Aug. 9 outside of Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 East Broadway. To register for this free event, visit parkinthestreet.eventbrite.com.