Maple syrup, 800+ pancakes, children’s entertainment, jazzy music and warm Canadian welcomes were served up to new and long-time Coal Harbour residents on July 1st! By 9:30am PAL Vancouver rolled out the red carpet to its spacious rooftop garden and theatre and neighbours quickly lined up alongside rented BBQs, griddles, and coffee urns.
Hundreds of neighbours were invited via handbills to nearby building managers and local businesses; and a few dozen lawn signs helped guide the way to an incredible morning and early afternoon of festivities. Free musical performers in the PAL Studio Theatre included PALS Chorus – a 40 member fun-loving ensemble of 55+ singers from all over Metro Vancouver directed by Diane Lines; and PAL resident vocalists Judy Ginn Walchuk and Don Stewart. Outdoors in the lovely PAL Garden the Ross Barrett Jazz Trio (Ross Barrett, Ron Thomson and Jack Rae); the magnificent violinist Jonathan Chan; and a tireless crew of facepainters entertained neighbours of every age.
With more children attending Canada Day in Coal Harbour than ever before, over 550 attendees celebrated our country, its diversity, and the uniqueness of Coal Harbour’s apartment, condo, and co-op dwelling community.
PAL Vancouver itself is a unique celebration of Canada’s cultural heritage, providing longstanding members of Vancouver’s performing arts professions with affordable housing within a vibrant and creative community setting. PAL is home to residents who come from every aspect of the performing arts – film, television, radio, theatre, dance, music — and all occupations within those disciplines — design, direction, performance, promotion, production, technical, writing, and more. Priority is given to seniors (55+), persons with disabilities, and those with the greatest housing need. They are pioneers of Canada’s cultural history, recipients of the Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, and other distinguished honours. Many also struggle to survive on incomes below the poverty line. Residents experiencing financial difficulty due to age, injury, and disability pay only 33% of their incomes in rent thanks to PAL’s rental assistance program funded by individuals, businesses and foundations.
Very special thanks to Gordon Neighbourhood House for its Canada 150 Small Grant via Vancouver Foundation; the Coal Harbour Residents’ Association for its volunteers and sponsorship; Ethical Bean Coffee; Produce Terminal; Lekker Foods; families from the Bayshore Gardens Children’s Centre Daycare for attending; our long-time MP, the Honorable Dr. Hedy Fry for spending part of Canada’s 150th Birthday with us; and the many neighbourly PAL residents who volunteered as dishwashers, the clean-up crew, greeters, pancake flippers, coffee makers, fruit choppers, and balcony decorators.

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