ABC-123

Abbotsford Community Services

It’s never too early for kids to start enjoying reading and learning. ABC-123 is a pre-school program that focuses on literacy. With all of the play of a typical pre-school, they take every opportunity to enhance literacy skills.

The Program, which runs in five Abbotsford locations, thanks Vancouver Foundation for “having the vision to see where this would go” and for providing nearly $95,000 in grants. They hope that ABC-123 is only the beginning of a lifetime of literacy.

(Originally aired: 2005)

A garden in the heart of the city

Since 1975, VanDusen Botanical Garden has been educating the public about the importance of biodiversity, right in the heart of Vancouver.

A former golf course saved from development by concerned residents, the garden is now home to 7,500 different kinds of plants from six continents. A historian describes it as a living breathing organism that is still growing. A $20 million “rejuvenation” campaign is under way to renovate the gardens and create a “living building” – a sustainable, energy efficient structure with no environmental footprint.

Helping young musicians grow

Vancouver Academy of Music

The Academy is more than just a school of music. It’s a community where students can grow as musicians.

They offer classical classes for all levels from three-year olds learning the Suzuki method to aspiring professional musicians. Their mission is to provide a high standard of music education to all students in the community. Many members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra teach at the Academy.

Building a new home

Surrey Museum

Surrey Museum has been busy collecting artifacts, and building an audience.

When they amassed almost 100,000 artifacts and archival documents, they decided it was time for a new home. Thanks to Vancouver Foundation, they were able to build a glassy, 24,000 square foot museum, which is now open for the public to enjoy and learn about our fascinating past.

(Originally aired: 2005)

At-risk youth plug into music

MN8 Sound

One youth says the MN8 Sound Program was the best thing that ever happened to him. That is the power of music.

Therapist Avrum Nadigel created the program hoping that music would help youth age 12 to 18 tap into their creative energy and stay in school.

MN8 Sound, along with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver, helps participants write and record songs, and serves as their record label.

Participants develop valuable skills as well as confidence and self esteem by channeling their creative energy.

Art therapy for pre-teens

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House runs an art therapy program for pre-teens in East Vancouver.

Issues like self-esteem, identity and bullying can pose challenges for kids. Kiwassa encourages them to work it out through art. They offer individual and group therapy programs, thanks to funding from Vancouver Foundation.

Not only is it lots of fun, it helps pre-teens get out of their head and express what might be too difficult to say in words.

www.kiwassa.bc.ca

(Originally aired: 2005)

Commissioning New Works

Ballet Kelowna

Words cannot convey the beauty of this movement.

Tour jeté en l’air, panché arabesque, into lift. Retiré into fouetté pirouette, finish with lift, arms en haut.

They do it again… and again… and again… and again…

Tiffany Bilodeau and Rocky Gagne – two dancers with Ballet Kelowna – learn a pas de deux.

They practice in the studio for hours. They will do this sequence dozens of times until they no longer have to think of each individual step, til it flows effortlessly, til their bodies know the moves instinctively.

Power of One

Vancouver Humane Society

Leslie Fox, from the Vancouver Humane Society teaches youth to think critically about how their food choices affect the environment.  Typically people see animal rights as separate from environmental and human rights issues.  “This is a great opportunity to take animal issues and bridge them to all these other issues” says Fox.

Richmond Cat Sanctuary

Richmond Homeless Cats

It’s Club Med for cats – the largest cat shelter in North America. All they want is love, says one volunteer. And they get it here in Richmond on six acres of suburban farmland with indoor and outdoor areas.

This cat sanctuary, operated by the Richmond Animal Protection Society, provides a relaxing and harmonious home for 850 cats. The sanctuary even has special rooms for cats with feline leukemia and feline AIDS. Vancouver Foundation has granted $38,000 to the shelter since 1997.

Rescuing birds of prey

Pesticide poisonings, car accidents, fighting, shootings: the world can be fraught with hazards for birds of prey.

OWL Rehabilitation Society in Delta cares for eagles, owls, hawks and falcons as they recover from their injuries. They also provide fascinating educational opportunities on-site and at local schools.

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