Its one thing, in the teeth of organizing a fabulously family friendly event like the Festival of Lights to have a sense that, in addition to having a ton of fun there's an important point to all of this. Then you sit down for a chat with the North Shore Shelter's radiant Louise Warner, and all of the pieces come together. Yesterday we met with Louise to get a complete breakdown of how the Shelter put to work the $25,000 the Festival raised last year. We thought she might tell us about important things like new clothes, bedding or beds for their residents. Instead, Louise told us the Shelter used the Festival money to start up a state of the art kitchen training program. With Chef Don Guthro at the helm, the Shelter's North Shore Culinary Training Program gives its current and former residents in-depth training in how to cook beautifully. The program gives its participants an essential life skill -- everyone should be able to enjoy a good meal -- while at the same time giving them the ability to find work. Leave it to the North Shore to create an innovative and life changing answer to Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen. Chef Guthro, Louise Warner and the program's participants definitely have the good angels on their side. The money we raise in this year's Dundarave Festival of Lights will be used to keep the North Shore Culinary Training Program a taste of Heaven's Kitchen.
Unbelievable. Labour Day weekend and we're starting to think about Christmas. Truth is, its never really left us -- planting the trees on the beach, dancing and singing with the fiercely festive women of Tiddley Cove Morris, and walking knee deep in snow through a forest of Christmas trees in the dead of night. All of these memories kept the heat wave cool and were never far as we swam off Dundarave Beach through the summer. This year, arms linked with the fabulous people of the Dundarave Business Association and the District of West Vancouver, with the heavenly host of people who've been with us every step, and with more time available to us than those wild six weeks of 2008, we're set to make some wonderful things happen at Dundarave Village and Dundarave Beach this Christmas.