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The week ahead in New West: What’s up Jan. Jan. 22 to 28?

Entertainment and politics are among the happenings in New Westminster in the week ahead
Marco Pereira is one of the performers at International Guitar Night 2024.

Whether you’re interested in civic issues, an evening of entertainment or checking out the Wishing Tree, you’re in luck this week. Here’s a roundup up of the happenings around town in the week ahead.

For weather watchers

Well, that was quite the week on the weather front! Frigid temperataures followed by a massive dump of snow – hello winter. Looking at the forecast for the week ahead, it’s shaping up to be a far more routine weather week in New Westminster – milder temperatures (several degrees above 0C) and lots of rain.

For music lovers

International Guitar Night 2024 – celebrating 24 years as the world’s premier touring guitar festival – features what organizers are calling a “killer lineup” of amazing guitarists: Luca Stricagnoli (Italy); Thu Le (Vietnam); Marco Pereira (Brazil); and Minnie Marks (Austrailia). It returns to New West on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave. See Massey Theatre’s website for tickets and more details on this year’s amazing performers.

For choir fans

The Rainbow Chorus of New Westminster is featuring an evening of Canadian tunes at its upcoming show: Canadiana – not your average Canadian concert. The choir will sing songs by the likes of Tegan and Sara, Allister MacGillavray, Carly Rae Jepsen, Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot – and others. The evening’s entertainment also features music adapted from North American Indigenous sources. It’s on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at The Sanctuary on Sixth, at Queens Avenue and Sixth Street. Tickets are available online ($20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, plus service charge) or at the door – cash only ($25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors.)

For folks who are interested in nature

The Wishing Tree, part of Shine Bright New West, is nearing the end of its run in Moody Park. The tree, presented by the City of New Westminster and the BC Parks Foundation, is in Moody Park until Jan. 28. Two community events are planned for its final week:

  • Wishing Tree Walk and Talk – Nature and Health is on Thursday, Jan 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. BC Parks Foundation staff will tell you how nature can help you become by sharing the evidence-based health benefits of nature and how you can make nature part of your health routine. The talk will start inside Century House with a short walk to the Wishing Tree in the park. Free hot beverages and treats will be provided. Registration is recommended for this free event and folks are reminded to dress for the weather.
  • Wishing Tree – Wishing in the Park is on Friday, Jan. 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. You can learn more about the Wishing Tree, win a prize and make a wish for nature. For every wish made to protect nature (by speaking to the street, hanging a written wish on a nearby sapling or sharing your wish online), the lights on the tree will dance, and $10 will be donated to help preserve parks in BC.

For civic-minded folks

The first day of advance voting for the School District #40 byelection is on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can vote at the Queensborough Community Centre’s (Samson room), 920 Ewen Ave. (The byelection is on Saturday, Feb. 3.)

For council watchers

Council watchers will be able to tune in to two meetings on Monday, Jan. 22 – a workshop at 3 p.m. and a regular meeting at 6 p.m. Both meetings can be attended in person at city hall or online.

Two items are on the agenda for the afternoon workshop:

  • The initiation of a planning process to develop a planning framework for the Lower 12th Street area, with that framework being used to guide review of “catalyst projects”
  • The 2024 budget, which is proposing that a 7.7 per cent tax increase be brought forward for public consultation. The report also outlines 2024 to 2028 general fund operating enhancements and a funding strategy.

A wide range of items are on the evening’s agenda, including three items for action and/or discussion that were included in the information reports section of the Jan. 8 agenda and were “pulled for discussion” at this week’s meeting: member selection for the community advisory assembly; outcomes from attending the United Nations Conference on climate change (COP28); and an update on train whistle cessation.

The consent agenda – which includes reports that are approved as a group unless they are “pulled” from the agenda by council members for questions and/or discussion – incudes various items, such as:

  • rezonings and temporary use permits for addictions treatment and supportive recovery residences
  • a lease agreement with the YMCA BC for the use of child-care space at the təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre
  • a noise exemption for work at the Provincial Courthouse on Carnarvon Street
  • an e-bike share implementation plan; the city’s audited financial statements from 2023
  • an update on food security
  • a report on the June 20, 2023 Samson  oil spill

Monday’s meeting includes a time for the public to speak to council (at 7 p.m.) but the number of delegates (up to 10) and their topics won’t be known until the meeting.

Council will also consider a motion from Coun. Daniel Fontaine, which was presented at the last council meeting. It relates to a request for a full accounting and report back to council regarding Mayor Patrick Johnstone’s trip to a climate change conference in Dubai.