WEST VANCOUVER STORIES
THE PANDEMIC PROJECT
Thank you to all who attended the book launch!
Please scroll down for the Zoom recording. Thank you Mayor Booth for joining us and for your kind words. My apologies for starting the recording late.
Twenty-three ‘ordinary’ West Vancouver citizens, between the ages of 16 and 86, gathered online to share their experiences of being alive during this astounding time in history. As they wrote, listened and learned about each other, friendships were forged. This book is proof that everyone is a storyteller, and that it is our stories that unite us. I am grateful to everyone who generously – and courageously – participated in this process. Huge thanks to the West Vancouver Foundation for funding this initiative. West Vancouver Stories: The Pandemic Project is a celebration of hope and resilience. It ensures that our stories will never be lost. ~ Lindy
"The pandemic of 20/21 has impacted us all in ways none of us could have imagined. While we are united in fighting this common enemy, how each of us experiences it is unique. And I believe that to develop empathy as a society, we need to hear the stories of others. That’s why the West Vancouver Stories initiative is so important. It’s an opportunity for a diverse and courageous cross-section of our community to share compelling and intimate reflections on life during this extraordinary time; and for the rest of us to understand and appreciate those insights." ~ Mary-Ann Booth, Mayor of West Vancouver
Thank you for making West Vancouver Stories: The Pandemic Project a #1 Bestseller on Amazon!
All proceeds from book sales are used to provide copies of the book to community organisations.
Elke Babicki, M.Ed., R.C.C. has been a consultant and clinical counsellor in Toronto and Vancouver for over thirty years. Her workshops and sessions in Europe and Canada have helped thousands of people claim more power in their lives. In 2011, Elke received the Women of Worth Leader of the Year Award for her work in supporting and inspiring women across the globe. She lives by the ocean in West Vancouver with her husband, Matt, an engineer and inventor. Her book, Identity: From Holocaust to Hope, was published in Germany as Uebern Ozean in 2017 with great success. www.elkebabicki.com.
Sharon Thompson's 35 years in West Vancouver has been filled with family and friends; volunteering with colleagues and acquaintances; caring about neighbours and community. Many years of participating in school and neighborhood initiatives exposed her to countless volunteers and grew her sense of community. Stepping into provincial and municipal governance has unveiled a deep understanding and appreciation for the unparalleled breadth of local brain trust, talent and resourcefulness. She is ever inspired, grateful and proud to be a part of West Vancouver, where she serves as a district councillor.
Brenda Morrison grew up wandering the hillside and seaside of West Vancouver. Her heart sang a deep song when her adventurous spirit brought her home, to raise her children close to the land and the family she holds dear. Her life’s work is centred on respectful relationships with the land and its people, upholding the spirit of diversity and inclusion. She is honoured and grateful to be the Director of SFU's Centre for Restorative Justice and serve on the board of North Shore Restorative Justice. She believes walking the talk in your own backyard brings justice home.
Julie Flynn was born and raised in Newcastle, England. After a brief visit to Canada, she immigrated and made North Vancouver her home in 2001. She soon developed a love for the great outdoors, especially trail running in the mountains. Julie’s writing is inspired by her frequent adventures in the North Shore mountains and beyond. Her debut children’s book, Finn and the Magic Backpack, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a finalist in the 2018 Canadian Book Club Awards. instagram.com/julieflynnwrites
Meet the contributing writers
Kimberley Clarke is a secondary school teacher of writing and literature as well as a poet, playwright and performer. She has been an educator forever and loves to learn and teach. She is the author of four and a half YA novels in The Addie Sinclair Series. The webpage for the series can be found under “The Addie Sinclair Series” and the books in the series can be found on Amazon or ordered wherever fine books can be ordered.
Sharon Selby is a long-time resident of West Vancouver, where she lives with her husband, daughter and son. A Registered Clinical Counsellor, she has been supporting children, teens and families for the past 23 years, particularly in the area of anxiety. She is the author of a children’s book on anxiety, Surfing the Worry Imp’s Wave, and the recipient of the 2020 YWCA Metro Vancouver Woman of Distinction Award for the category of Connecting the Community. www.sharonselby.com.
Chris Stringer has a passion for creativity. He considers himself the original fool rushing in where angels fear to tread – his explanation for launching the Beacon newspaper, with no experience in publishing or writing. His entrepreneurial business life has taken him across Canada and the US. Since retiring in West Vancouver, he has been a committed community volunteer, convinced that if he makes it to heaven it will be as a volunteer. He derives his strength and inspiration from his family who share him begrudgingly with his community hobbies.
Sixteen-year-old Rose Lepin has been a resident of West Vancouver since she was two years old. Currently a grade 11 student, she is adjusting to the dynamic approach to schooling brought on by the pandemic. Rose is the current reigning Miss Teen Greater Vancouver (2019-2021) and a top 6 national finalist for Miss Teen Canada 2020. A Beacon contributor since grade 8, Rose hopes to use her voice to help others feel less alone. mapofmadness.home.blog or @roseofvancouver on Instagram
Deanna Regan lives in Ambleside with her family and super dog, despite declaring loudly she would never be a dog owner. Preferring trail over asphalt, two wheels over four, wine over water, and wrinkles over Botox, she embraces life, change and writing in equal measure, cooking with waning enthusiasm, and has learned to never say never.
Joanne Singleton has been a part of West Vancouver for over half a century, visiting her grandparents as a young girl and returning in her early 20s and again in 2006 with her family. She is an international Amazon bestselling author, and has had long-standing careers in both the legal and real estate professions. Joanne has treasured memories of West Vancouver and cherishes her walks with family through Memorial Park, Lighthouse Park, Ambleside and the spectacular seawall. She loves to travel and share a fine meal with those close to her heart. joannesingleton.com
Karen Hoffman has lived in a creaky wood home in West Vancouver since 1990. When not staring at the stunning view, she holds company with friends or her two loving adult children. Her career began in finance and moved to social work where she facilitated circles of support for parents and kindergartners and taught SEL with North Shore Family Services. In retirement, Karen produces memory books for those who wish to preserve their legacy. She compiles stories and photos to create unique storybooks for family and friends to enjoy. www.moondancestories.com.
Domenica Mastromatteo lives in West Vancouver with her three children, two cats and her dog, Bonnie. She is currently completing a diploma from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. Domenica has worked with a wide range of clients (children, adolescents and adults) with a range of issues: PTSD, trauma, bereavement, ADHD, depression, anxiety and addictions. Her work with sensationalchildren.ca has assisted many families. She brings an understanding of the therapeutic process, fine arts, education and advocacy to her career as art therapist. domenicamastromatteo.com.
Melody lives on the West Coast with her devoted husband and rowdy children. She grew up in rural Alaska with her identical twin sister, Harmony. Before becoming a writer, she was a nurse, owned and operated two coffee shops, and earned three science degrees. When not writing or trying to conceive, she can be found in nature, hunting, hiking, skiing, sailing or berry picking. She is socially aggressive and will befriend you while pumping gas then steal your name for her story's protagonist. melodynoble.com
Wendy Winslow has lived in West Van for 50 of her 74 years. She has lived and worked internationally but is inevitably lured back to beautiful BC. Her husband, children and grandchildren have given her the love and strength to get through the year of COVID-19, her annus horribilis. Friends, Zoom yoga and chocolate have also helped.
The youngest of seven children, Karen Tidball is a migrant from a small farm in rural Saskatchewan. She has lived in West Vancouver since 2003. Mother to two daughters and a son, they, along with her husband, are the loves of her life. Karen enjoys swimming, hiking and exploring the world. She credits surviving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in her twenties for helping to re-shape her life. Dedicated to discovery, lifelong learning and a career of service to others, Karen is a Certified Professional Coach, committed to helping people lead careers and lives that satisfy them. linkedin.com/in/karen-tidball
Born in Borneo, Anne Baird is a West Vancouver artist and writer. She is a freelance journalist, has published 16 children's books, and writes and illustrates a small column, Anne's Corner, for The Beacon, about life in the slow lane. She is inspired by her three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Also, by her mother, Ruth, and her seagull family, Busby, Mrs. Busby, and Busby Junior and the hummingbirds. www.littlebigbooks.net.
D. Higgins is an Eagle Harbour citizen, swimmer and paddle-boarder. When she is not teaching, she observes the Parthenon eagles from land or water. Favourite times are spent in the company of her family, gardening or eating.
Jennifer (Lutes) Hill is a bred, if not born, Vancouverite. In 1999 she crossed Lions Gate Bridge to start her family in West Vancouver. She is a mother to three daughters and an old dog. She lives in a little cottage by the sea and swims almost every day from June to October. Jennifer is passionate about health and wellness, writing and her daughters. Instagram: jenhill1228
Annie Hill was born and raised in West Vancouver, where she continues to live with her husband, three teenaged children and two entertaining cats. After studying exercise physiology and healthy aging at UBC, she went on to work and teach at the University of Texas. Annie currently works as a health and fitness trainer for seniors. In her spare time, when she’s not driving kids to and from activities, or cheering from the soccer sidelines, she can be found on the trails, up the mountains, at the beach or on the water.
Elizabeth Wooding has been living in West Vancouver with her family since 2004. She loves the outdoors and art in every form. She’s come late to the art of writing and is discovering that it’s in tense: it can happen in the past, present and future.
Fay Mehr has been living in Canada since 1995. After settling in Vancouver, she started a career in sales and pursued a diploma in public relations. She currently works in the movie industry. Fay is passionate about psychology. She has taken many self-development classes over the years and hopes to pursue her psychology aspirations in the future. Fay enjoys a vibrant life in Vancouver with her friends and family and takes pleasure in reading, writing, traveling and recently, painting.
Laurisse spends her time flitting around what some call Vancouver in her tiny car. She is happiest with sand between her toes, salt water in her hair and a sour beer in hand. She is grateful to exist on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
For the past 20 years, Lindy has lived in a little blue cottage in Eagle Harbour, where she overfeeds the squirrels and jays on her deck. She believes world peace is entirely possible, if everyone would just write a book. So that’s what she does – helps people write books. Like this one. And her greatest thrill is uncovering the magic in their stories. Visit her on Instagram.
Book launch March 2021 Speaker View
Book launch Gallery View