North Vancouver is one of the healthiest communities in Canada. And yet many residents struggle with health issues, social isolation and financial disparity. At NVRC, we challenge ourselves every day to deliver affordable, quality recreation and culture programs to address these issues and improve our community’s health and well-being. We don’t do it alone. We work with our residents, partners and networks to provide inclusive spaces, programs, services and events that welcome everyone and result in positive social and health outcomes.
Maintaining an active mind, body, and spirit
Dr. Mark Lysyshyn offers insights into a healthy community
As the Medical Health Officer for the North Shore , Dr. Mark Lysyshyn believes that many residents are spending too much time tuned into screens and not enough time connecting with each other and the nature that surrounds us.
There are many options for being active on the North Shore, trails for hiking and biking, urban pathways for walking and talking. Mark believes the NVRC also plays a big role in facilitating stronger community connections and improved population health by offering programs and services that are accessible to everyone.
Raising Resilient Kids
Community Leader Alix Dunham
On a mission to empower kids and help them build their confidence
When Alix Dunham became aware of the growing rates of anxiety and depression among youth in our community, she knew something needed to be done. Motivated by other parents and concerns for her own children, Alix developed Girls with Grit, a program aimed at building brain health and soul resilience in young girls.
Since it began in 2016, Girls with Grit has helped almost 1,000 girls grow and build resilience through programs offered at NVRC, in schools and privately in the community
NVRC is proud to work with Capilano Community Services Society (CCSS), North Shore Neighbourhood House (NSNH) and Parkgate Community Services Society and others to create a healthy, caring and connected community. Together, we are stronger and better able to provide a wide range of social, recreational and cultural programs and services at John Braithwaite Community Centre (NSNH), Lions Gate Community Recreation Centre (CCSS) and Parkgate Community Centre (Parkgate Society).
Capilano Community Services Society (CCSS) offers outreach and onsite programs and support services for people of all ages to increase social connections, stay active, and improve health and wellbeing. Fun programs promote learning together and provide a sense of community belonging, so that individuals and families can thrive.
Serving the North Shore community since 1939, North Shore Neighbourhood House (NSNH) believes that working together to meet the grassroots needs of its neighbours, especially our most vulnerable residents, is essential to building a safe, healthy and strong community. NSNH values and promotes cooperation, respect and empowerment through the provision of programs and services designed to meet the needs of individuals and the community as a whole.
Parkgate Society is a registered charity that has been serving the community since 1983. Parkgate Society provides a broad range of child, youth, family and seniors programs and services out of Parkgate Community Centre, the Seymour Youth Centre, and other community locations.
John Braithwaite Community Centre
Fitness leader and educator Gail Roxburgh
Her passion for mind and body health
Meet Gail Roxburgh, a local leader and educator on brain health who is making a difference on the North Shore. At 77 years young, she is a busy fitness instructor with both NVRC and NSNH and a tireless advocate for active aging and brain fitness.
When her close friend developed dementia, Gail learned everything she could about Alzheimer’s and dementia and the role exercise and activities play in helping to preserve and sharpen mental function. Her journey led her to become a certified Cognitive Fitness Facilitator and develop and lead special classes for brain health and exercise at a number of community centres across the North Shore including Mind & Body Fitness for North Shore Neighbourhood House at John Braithwaite Community Centre.
Parkgate Community Centre
Growing up at Parkgate
Ali's story of how the centre has influenced her life
With more than 15 years’ experience as a participant and volunteer at Parkgate, 21 year-old Ali Vickers has unique insight into the important role a community centre plays in a young person’s life. Ali was three years old when she first started in the daycare at Parkgate, from there she transitioned through childcare programs, enjoyed summer day camps and learned new skills through a variety of Parkgate programs and services.
Today, this dedicated and dynamic university student remains an active Parkgate volunteer and fitness enthusiast who credits her confidence and future career as a speech pathologist to her time spent “growing-up” at Parkgate Community Centre.
At NVRC, we work with a number of community and government agencies and non-profits on the North Shore to collaborate on specific initiatives and stay informed on community issues.
These networks include: Interagency Network , Middle Years Table, Seniors Coalition, Physical Literacy for You, Active North Shore and the Arts & Culture Network.
Building Physical Literacy
Physical Literacy For You (PL4U)
Promoting the foundation for a healthy life
In 2015, NVRC’s Samantha Morrision (pictured third from left) and her colleague Jo-Anne Burleigh (pictured fifth from left) from Vancouver Coastal Health were shocked to learn that only 17% of high school students are getting the recommended daily physical activity to achieve health benefits.
Inspired to improve the health of youth in our community, Samantha & Jo-Anne, together with other community leaders and a grant from the RBC Learn to Play Project, established PL4U in 2017. Workshops were offered, conferences organized and other tools and resources made available to support teachers, recreation instructors, coaches, parents and caregivers. The goal is to build awareness for physical literacy, why it’s important and how they can teach it to support improved community health.
Creating Dementia-Friendly Communities
Helen Murphy and North Shore Municipalities
Championing dementia-friendly communities
“Why are we here, if we don’t try to make a difference?” This is the call to action from Helen Murphy, one of our community’s finest champions for making the North Shore an inclusive and dementia-friendly place. She provides training to North Shore municipalities and organizations including NVRC to become dementia-friendly, and she volunteers tirelessly to create new programs to support people living with dementia.