I hear Vancouver songstress Sarah McLachlan slipped into the March 26 park board meeting to speak in support of a fundraising concert proposed for Stanley Park on behalf of her music school.
It would be difficult for anyone to refuse a personal request from the popular singer, known almost as much for her charity work as for her greatest hits. So I wasn’t surprised to hear the Voices in the Park event was approved for Sept. 15 with proceeds going to McLachlan’s School of Music, which offers free music programs for youth who normally would not have the opportunity to attend.
Vision Vancouver commissioner Sarah Blyth told me the commissioners had no idea McLachlan would attend the meeting. “It was awesome,” says Blyth. “I was really excited to support her program because it really gives back through youth mentorship. Youth don’t always get a lot of support.”
The concert expects to draw more than 20,000 people to Brockton Field in Stanley Park, so I’m guessing there’s a major transportation plan yet to come. Licensed areas that will hold up to 5,500 concert-goers were also approved Monday night.
Vision Vancouver park board vice-chair Aaron Jasper called me Wednesday to talk about why the staff recommendation to change the way public spaces are named was put on hold.
He first wanted to assure me the recommendation was made by staff and not the majority Vision Vancouver commissioners on the board, as was suggested by some. When the recommendation was made public in a staff report last week, some commissioners, former commissioners and members of the public told me they had grave concerns about how the change could lead to nepotism and croynism. I wrote about some of those concerns in Central Park this week and last. “There was nothing partisan about this report,” Jasper assured me.
Jasper says the decision regarding the recommendation was postponed because the accompanying staff report didn’t include enough information.
He says staff was directed to add to the report before it’s again presented to the commissioners, adding that staff is concerned because the way parks are named now is by committee, which is time consuming. He says many commissioners, including him, have no idea why parks and public spaces are named, so this will be an opportunity to bring everyone up to speed.
Jasper said once the staff report is complete, the commissioners will find a way to make naming parks and public spaces more efficient, while still engaging the community.
In yet another effort to convince dog owners to license their pets, the city is going to allow them to complete the process online.
According to a staff report, the city has a goal to have 85 per cent of Vancouver’s more than 100,000 dogs licensed within two years of its implementation, likely by this May or June. Might I add a hearty good luck with that.
As reported previously in the Courier, the fees to license dogs not spayed or neutered will drop from $71 to $38, the same cost for spayed and neutered animals. The plan is part of an overall effort by city staff to streamline the process to obtain simple licences and permits by applying online. Permits and licences for fire alarms, businesses and parking permits will also eventually be available online.