Creek Forum

so many moving pictures

With the Creek Forum we asked ourselves the question: what role do we as citizens and tax payers play in influencing the development of the place we call home? 

image: Igor Santizo

On November 5th we occupied the headwaters of te Statlew, the little creek now known as the St. George Rainway

 Activities were on St. George Street from Kingsway to 13th avenue

The Creek Forum

The Creek Stewards (students from Mount Pleasant Elementary)  led a day of activities designed to inform and inspire engagement with place-making. The event reflected and celebrated over a year of work the students  undertook to meet their community enhancement goals, understanding that Green Infrastructure builds social cohesion and is a long-term antidote to isolation.

Because the car-dealership on the corner is redeveloping, it is urgent and imperative that all community stakeholders engage with telling the story of what the headwaters of te Statlew could be. We are grateful that Destination Auto is open to a community design process and conversation about integrated public space. Together, we can weave our narratives together in a good way.

image: Igor Santizo

The schedule for the day included  

An invocation, Salish Welcome, Calling to Witness.
Some context for the St George Rainway Project.
Unveiling of  signage for te Statlew (bench and mural). 
Distribution of Folio, mapping student experience with Rainway Project to date.
Folio design: Madeleine Sauvé
-Storytelling by the Creek Stewards
-Debate by Ms. Seafoot’s Division 1, on the following 4 Rainway (SGR) themes:
   SGR will be beautiful
   SGR has a necessary purpose and structure
   SGR will be an active transportation route
   SGR builds community


Stamp Card

Craft Station: make your own wave-form puppet!

Stakeholder Information: learn about Odyssey, The Boys and Girls Club, Mt. Pleasant Family Centre, PosAbility, The Robson Park Community Garden and more!!

Design Charrette: contribute your vision of what the block between Kingsway and 13th could look like.

Scavenger Hunt: find yourself here!

Scavenger Card
















Following a special song from Ms. Scoretz Division 3, a warm and nourishing lunch was enjoyed. 

After lunch, Russell Wallace from the Native Education College Choir led Zumac, a fun, audience participatory song, teaching various salmon related words in Henqeminem.

photo by Igor Santizo

The community’s Public Piano was available for play under a protective fish tarp and bamboo structure.

Piano Play

The music sent us off on a guided walk downstream, past the tilting topography of twelfth avenue, to flow through a puppet show and sound-garden.

Stumpy the Tree
Stumpy the Tree, animated by Mind of a Snail


After floating merrily past fellow community-minders (hailing from places as diverse as: City Commons, The Tool Library, The Drift and The Art Walk)…


…walkers finally found themselves in cloud shrouded view of the mountains. There, Wendy Charbonneau (Squamish) told the story of the Two Sisters and we danced the Jimmy Jimmy in celebration!         

Water Bodies Dance Collective

WaterBodies led the final leg of the journey towards the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School Field where we were invited to once more gather ’round a bamboo structure.

Give Away


The closing ceremony was an invitation to carry a drop of  the story forwards...




In  addition to working at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, activities facilitated over the Summer of 2013, in preparation for the November 5th Creek Forum included

NEC Carving 

FREE Carving workshops

The VSOS and Native Education College hosted carving workshops with Joe Bolton and Martin Sparrow (Musqueam). These workshops resulted in 8 cedar panels which will be used to frame the signage at the Storyteller’s bench at the Headwaters of te Statlew as well as the Mural at 8th and St. George street.



Sound Wave Call

Through the Summer, City Studio’s Public Piano was in Robson Park, inviting people to play and muse on the flow of water beneath Vancouver’s streets. It  is now housed at OdysseyII, serving to enhance their Art Therapy programme. The piano rolled back out during the Creek Forum, standing proudly within sacred structural geometry, with a fish-tarp canopy in case of rain.

Bag Swim

Te Statlew Summer Series

Summer Workshops

In August, salmon masks were danced with in glee! Salmonberry, fern and wave puppets were stitched and articulated, finding their voices and stretching their synapses, ready to play on November 5th.

Wee Wave Forms!
Wee Wave Forms!


We also made our own  stencils.

storm sewer marking

storm sewer markings



 The Creek Forum was only possible with: 

The Wild West Coast
The dedicated team of Creek Stewards
Creative Facilitators: Igor Santizo, Naomi Steinberg;
Creative Support: Shahira Sakiyama, Ari Lazer, Ocean Deonne, Kalie Bredo, Josh Welsh, Martin Sparrow, Joe Bolton, Varouj Gumuchian, Rob Sutherland, Madeleine Sauvé, GP Mendoza, Melissa Estable, George Rahi, Pierre Gauthier;
Civic Support: Carolyn Drugge (COV sewers & sanitation), Branca Verde (COV social planning)
Performers: Water Bodies ((Jen Dunford, Olivia Davies, Rianne Svelnis, Angelina Krahn, Daphné Paquette, Jennifer Aoki)), Meris Goodman, Candice Curlypaws, Lindy Gray, Maggie Winston, Mind of a Snail, Darcy McMurray, Wendy Charbonneau, Russell Wallace & the Native Education College choir;
Partners: Vancouver Society Of Storytelling, St George Rainway Project, Mt Pleasant Family Centre, Mt Pleasant Elementary School (Ms. Stevenson, Ms Scoretz , Ms. Seafoot, the PAC);
Funders: Vancouver Foundation (Youth Philanthropy Council), ArtStarts in Schools, BC Arts Council, Embrace BC, Neighbourhood Small Grant, Pacific Salmon Foundation;
In-kind: Village Vancouver, Kivan Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Mt Pleasant Neigbourhood House (food security network).
… And a very special thank you to all our  bright and efficient volunteers!…

 Creek Forum Invitation

VFlogo-colour   ArtStarts_Logo_300dpi_CMYK BCArtsCouncil_RGB_pos_lrg EMbraceNO Bak  PSF