COLUMN: Helping to co-create a sustainable community

Our region recently experienced the largest demonstration in its history, when up to 150,000 people – mostly young – converged on downtown Vancouver to give voice to their urgent appeal for concrete action to address the growing climate emergency.

Joining with millions of others around the world, they expressed concern and hope for a sustainable future, both for themselves, and for those who are already suffering climate change-driven displacement and famine.

Sometimes, it can all seem very far away to us; but as I was reminded at a recent presentation here at Alexandra Neighbourhood House, Surrey and White Rock face a future of food insecurity, coastal erosion and flooding; without immediate and drastic action to mitigate and adapt to the reality of accelerating climate change.

As a follow-up to our successful climate change-themed art exhibition in May, “Our Common Future,” Tjasa Demsar, from the City of Surrey’s Sustainability Office, shared her knowledge and expertise on climate change and sustainability at Alex House’s AGM a couple of weeks ago. Her address attracted a packed room of local residents; many of whom expressed interest in continuing the dialogue and collectively devising strategies to build more sustainable lifestyles – whether at home, at work, or in our leisure activities.

In response to this grassroots-driven desire to effect positive change locally, Alex House will host a community conversation on sustainability focused on individual and local action; as well as on empowering neighbours to local advocacy and activism.

The conversation will take place in late November; and I will have more information on the date and format in my next column.

If you’d like to be a part of that, drop me a line at communityprograms


Readers may recall the fire at Beecher Place in April, which caused extensive damage to the iconic Crescent Beach venue.

We are pleased to announce that the building has been repaired and refurbished; and we will have a grand reopening on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 3-6 p.m.

There will be live music, food (generously donated by Sheila’s Catering) and a draw for all-day rental of the venue (a $750 value). You can register to attend at

The Semiahmoo Peninsula is renowned for its talented artists and craftspeople.

Their works will be showcased at our annual Holiday Craft Fair, on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you’re one of those talented people and would like to book a spot at the fair, go to for the registration forms, or call 604-535-0015 ext. 231. The cost is $50 per table. If you’re looking for unique and interesting gifts, mark the date on your calendar and we’ll see you there.

For sponsorship opportunities or special requests, call Jason at 604-535-0015,ext. 231.

Neil Fernyhough is manager of Alexandra Neighbourhood House’s community programs. For information on programs and services at Camp Alexandra, call 604-535-0015 or go to

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