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New West residents invited to Douglas College speakers series

The upcoming health science speaker series at Douglas Colleges is looking at research that could spur improvements in patient care for people suffering with dual diagnosis.
Kofi Bonnie
Kofi Bonnie will speak at the Douglas College Speakers' Series on Feb. 15.

The upcoming health science speaker series at Douglas Colleges is looking at research that could spur improvements in patient care for people suffering with dual diagnosis.

Douglas College psychiatric nursing instructor Kofi Bonnie will present findings from research conducted at St. Paul’s Hospital at the college’s speaker series on Feb. 15 at the college’s Coquitlam campus.

Bonnie’s work identifies characteristics of clients with dual diagnosis and people who are repeatedly admitted to acute psychiatric units. Bonnie, who was the principal investigator on this research, is currently working with the director of mental health at St. Paul’s Hospital and community stakeholders to implement resource allocation based on his findings.

The college’s speaker series invites a variety of experts to discuss health issues with a regional, national and global impact. It is free and open to the public. Bonnie’s talk will be held at Monday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. at Douglas College’s Coquitlam campus, 1250 Pinetree Way, in room A1470.

Royal City Farmers Market serves up grants

Royal City Farmers Market is serving up $500 grants to each elementary school in New Westminster to use in a food-positive way.

Part of the market’s strategic plan is to help elementary-aged school children in New West gain a better understanding of the benefits of healthy eating and where food comes from.

The Food+ grant was created to raise awareness for all the ways food can be obtained, such as starting a garden, purchasing it at the farm, participating in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, shopping at the farmers’ market or a commercial grocery store, and creating conversation about the choice and what might impact them.

“When we said ‘Food-positive’ we mean a life that includes learning about food in a positive way, such as healthy and mindful eating, understanding where food comes from,” Jen Arbo, a member of the Royal City Farmers Market, said in a press release. “We would like to help create community around food and acknowledge the importance of food in our lives for more than just nutritional reasons. We believe food plays a role in culture, friendship and overall health.”

Applications for the Food+ program will be sent out to local schools and parent advisory committees in the next few weeks.

Grants can be used to start a food-positive program at each school that’s unique to the school’s needs, whether it’s a garden, a field trip, a guest speaker, a group dinner made with local ingredients or participation in a Growing Chef program where chefs engage students in games, lessons and activities.

For more information, email

New West celebrates Heritage Week

Heritage Week is an excellent opportunity to think about what history and heritage items attract people to the city – and that’s just what an upcoming event aims to do.

The theme of the New Westminster Historical Society’s upcoming meeting is Distinctive Destinations: Experience Historic Places. The Feb. 17 event will features a variety of places in New Westminster that have historical connections or contribute cultural aspects to the community’s story, including Irving House, local museums, cemeteries, the old B.C. Penitentiary site, Westminster Pier Park, Westminster Quay, the waterfront, the Wait For Me, Daddymonument, the cenotaph, St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, the site of Chinatown, Queen’s Park and more.

The New Westminster Historical Society’s presentation takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the New Westminster Public Library, 716 Sixth Ave. The program is free and everyone is welcome.