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Invite to Vancouver’s first annual garden party!



Summer in Vancouver is synonymous with the beautiful outdoors, lively people, delicious cocktails and after this upcoming weekend, garden parties.

On Saturday, August 23rd, you are cordially invited to attend Vancouver’s first annual Garden Party and Croquet Classic at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  Produced by Cocktails and Canapes ( and Max Cunningham, the event is in support of Backpack Buddies.

Run by the Community First Foundation, Backpack Buddies delivers backpacks of food to the most vulnerable children in inner city schools. Their focus is on kids helping kids, engaging youth in community, and creating a place for children of all backgrounds to come together.

Party in the garden inside world-renowned VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

Party in the garden inside world-renowned VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

Aside from supporting a great cause, guests have a lot to look forward to including:

The Croquet Classic: Register a team of four to square off against the best teams in Vancouver. Winner earns the title of best in Vancouver.

Croquet Classic involves lively competition, and includes high flying prizes and great company. (Photo courtesy Of Vancouver Garden Party/Ki Communications).

Croquet Classic involves lively competition and includes high flying prizes and great company. (Photo courtesy Of Vancouver Garden Party/Ki Communications).

High Tea at Noon: Enjoy high tea at noon featuring the culinary talents of Chef Brett Turner, owner and Executive Chef of Cocktails & Canapes. Party guests can enjoy traditional tea time favourites served alongside specially prepared hors d’oeuvres

Craft Cocktails: Cocktails from Jacob Sweetapple, Perrier-Jouet champagne and Stella Artiois will also be served.

Perrier Jouet Champagne will play host throughout the afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Garden Party/Ki Communications).

Perrier Jouet Champagne will play host throughout the afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Garden Party/Ki Communications).

There will also be interactive, live performance art installations for guests to enjoy!

The event takes place at VanDusen Botanical Gardens from noon through 7:00 pm. Early bird tickets are available for $55.00 (without High Tea), $75.00 (with High Tea) or $1850 for tables of 8. For the full menu, tickets, and more information visit

Here’s a small glimpse on Vimeo!

Vancouver Garden Party

Can’t forget about the fashion! Here are some suggestions to help you achieve a “garden-perfect” look.

Ladies: You won’t blend in with the flowers with this summer-sweet silk floral dress! Best of all, it’s on sale for 39.94 at Joe Fresh.


Joe Fresh silk floral dress. (39.94)

Joe Fresh silk floral dress. (39.94)


A floral silk blouse like this one from Joe Fresh is fun and elegant. Pair it with a crochet skirt & a fuchsia lip and you’ll be blooming with beauty.

Joe Fresh floral silk blouse in orange. ($59)

Joe Fresh floral silk blouse in orange. ($59)

Gentlemen: BFS. Bow ties, floral prints, and shorts. Have fun, be bold, and pair prints with prints. Exhibit A: these men’s print chino shorts from Joe Fresh, available in navy and red.

Men's print chino in Navy. Available at Joe Fresh (14.94)

Men’s print chino in Navy. Available at Joe Fresh (14.94)


So mark your calendars, grab your mallets, and get ready for an evening of frivolous fun!

Blanca is a graduate from BCIT’s Broadcast Media and Online Journalism program. Blanca was born in Nicaragua, and was raised on the West Coast. Throughout the years, she has developed an eclectic style and has merged her love of culture, fashion, and food to create her blog: Blanca also works as a TV producer and travel host. A “social media queen”, Blanca believes in the power of the internet and its ability to connect and compel. Blanca is bilingual in Spanish and English and is currently learning Portugese.


Moving Forward Family Services and SEVA Thrift Store Society Announce New Program



Moving Forward Family Services and SEVA Thrift Store Society are proud to announce their partnership in Interview Ready, Dress to Profession. Eligible Moving Forward Family Services clients could receive the opportunity to participate in the program, where they will receive professional attire and interview support from SEVA Thrift Store Society.

Entering or returning to the workforce can be a difficult transition, and finding suitable attire can be challenging. Both agencies hope that Interview Ready, Dress to Profession will address gaps in current employment services and reduce some of the barriers associated with the job seeking process.

Moving Forward Family Services will screen eligible clients; individuals in lower socio-economic situations who are unemployed or face precarious employment, are actively seeking employment, and have scheduled interviews. SEVA Thrift Store Society will provide each candidate with two complete head-to-toe outfits as well as consultation to become interview ready. Dependent on availability, clients may receive “confidence coaching” from volunteer HR specialists.

“SEVA and Moving Forward Family Services are grassroots agencies dedicated to supporting our diverse communities. I look forward to working with SEVA in providing our mutual clients much needed supports that may significantly improve their current life circumstances.” – Gary Thandi, Executive Director of Moving Forward Family Services

 “Seva Thrift is extremely excited to launch this initiative with Moving Forward Family Services. We recognize that unstable employment and low wages negatively impact our community because our community is only as strong as its most vulnerable citizens.” – Kiran Malli, President of SEVA Thrift Store Society.

SEVA Thrift Store Society’s values are service, sustainability, empowerment, equity, volunteerism, vitality of community, altruism, and appreciation.  Moving Forward Family Services works with the community, for the community, ever striving to provide integrated services for clients.

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Coldest Night of the Year Event Raising Funds and Awareness For Those In Need



“Social wellness for our community” is their mission, and for over forty years, Sources Community Resources Society has been providing help, encouragement, and hope for local individuals and families across the Province. Stretching their impact throughout Surrey, White Rock, Delta, Langley, Prince George, and Parksville, they offer a number of services and programs throughout 20 locations, and touch over 40,000 individuals and families in need each year.

As the first social service agency in British Columbia and the 13th in Canada to be accredited by the internationally-recognized Council on Accreditation, Sources supports communities through leadership, education and volunteerism – reaching children, youth, families, persons with disabilities, seniors, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, and others coping with isolation, addiction, mental illness, poverty, disability, and conflict.

This year’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) on Saturday, February 22nd in White Rock is just another example of the impact they have on our local communities. This family-friendly walking event helps raise funds for charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting people in our community while increasing awareness on the topic itself. With a goal of fundraising more than $100,000, the proceeds raised will be put towards Homeless Prevention Services and the Rent Bank.

The Rent Bank is a service under the umbrella of Homeless Prevention Services, focusing on providing support to individuals and families who have low or insufficient income to access nutritious food, apply for income supports, medical disability benefits, receive legal aid, and ultimately, avoid homelessness. 100% of funds raised at the CNOY event will go towards it’s efforts to provide housing security to those in need.

Until last year, the government did not provide any funding for such services, however they now provide partial funding (by application). Although this does not ensure Sources will receive funding, it showed a clear understanding that the need is present. These programs help to assist local individuals and families who are living on a low income, and who are at extreme risk for homelessness.

This happens by supporting these individuals to achieve and maintain housing stability by facilitating and easing access to various income support or providing micro-loans for outstanding (overdue) rental or utility payments, damage deposits, or first month’s rent. The goal is to have people develop their independence and become self-sufficient by getting a (safe) home, and keeping a home.

In previous years, the impact remained strong, with Sources fully utilizing their budget for loans, and this past year showed no difference. From April 2019 until January 2020 alone, Sources received 383 service requests to assist with tenancy, housing, and income support matters. Case management services were provided to one hundred and eighty supporting with disability, income assistance, and other income support paperwork. In this same period alone, the Rent Bank approved 17 loans, providing $16,650 in assistance – helping a total of 38 people.

So how can you get involved? If you feel like walking 2, 5, or 10km for the cause, there is still time to register to participate among the other 49 teams and 233+ walkers, volunteer, or you can do your part donating to the cause and spreading the word! The White Rock chapter is just short of raising $60,000 raised – which means another $40,000 to go to achieve their $100,000 goal. Let’s come together as a community to make it happen and help those in need!

For more information on the Coldest Night of the Year event or the Sources Community Resources Society, take a look at their social media channels before:

Coldest Night of the Year:


Sources Community Resources Society:


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1 Billion Rising



As part of the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women, and the 11th annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week community members from various faith groups will gather to create care packages for women and children living in transitional housing, shelters, and low income housing.

Surrey, BC: On February 5, 2020, we will be creating care packages filled with personal hygiene necessities to help women and children across the Lower Mainland. This will be our 8th year in uniting as neighbours from many cultures and faiths to collaborate and enrich our communities. This free event is family friendly and is open to the public.

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 5th, 2020; 6-8pm
Location: L.A. Matheson Secondary School 9484 122 Street Surrey, BC V3V 4M1
Event Format: 6-6:30pm cedar brushing and refreshments 6:30-8pm program and assembly of care packages
Event Registration:

In February 2019, we were honoured to have Vera Jones, from Indian Residential School Survivors Society, talk to us about the struggles facing Indigenous women in British Columbia. We also created care packages for almost 1,000 people in our communities.

This year, we’re continuing the conversations we’ve started and building on our tradition of helping women and children in need. We will be supporting organizations such as:

  • Ama Transition House
  • Azure Place
  • Bill Reid Place
  • Charlford House
  • Cynthia’s Place
  • Dixon House
  • Durrant Transition House
  • Elizabeth Gurney House
  • Evergreen Transition House
  • Extreme weather shelters in the Lower Mainland
  • Firth Residence
  • Fraserside Emergency Family Shelter
  • Hyland House
  • Joy’s Place
  • Kenkinow Native Housing Society
  • Koomseh Housing
  • Maxxine Wright Place
  • Monarch Place
  • Nova House
  • Shimai Transition House
  • Springhouse
  • Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
  • Vi Fineday Family Shelter Society

Members of Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society will be welcoming event participants by doing cedar brushing, a traditional practice used to help clear negative energy. This will be followed by brief presentations by our partnering organizations, the reading of an official proclamation from the City of Surrey declaring February 1-7th UN World International Harmony Week, and the assembly of more than 500 care packages.

A similar event will be held in Vancouver at the Jewish Culture Center on Monday, February 3rd.

Our community partners include:

  • Global Girl Power represented by Lucky Kaur Gill
  • Global Peace Alliance
  • Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen represented by Tej Kaur Sumbal
  • Kaur Project represented by Jessie Kaur Lehail
  • Mustang Justice represented by Annie O’hana
  • Surrey Interfaith Council represented by Jonquil Hallgate and Sherry Marceil
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represented by Sherry Marceil
  • World Sikh Organization represented by Amanpreet Kaur Panesar
  • Worldwide Shift Disturbers represented by Zach Coumont

Background on One Billion Rising provided from:


1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender- based violence) in human history. The campaign, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.

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Perminder Chohan Foundation – Making the Holiday Season Better



As the holiday season comes to an end with the arrival of 2020, everyone should be able to find some food and warmth in the upcoming winter months of the new year. With this intention at heart, the Perminder Chohan Foundation organized multiple events in the days leading to Christmas – a food drive, a blanket drive, and a scrumptious lunch was organized for the less fortunate.

The food and blanket drives – were the second for the Foundation set up by B.C. philanthropist and businessman, Perminder Chohan. The community and Mr. Chohan’s friends came out to support the charitable events. All canned and non-perishable items collected at the Food Drive held in November were donated to the Surrey Food Bank.

The Foundations Blanket Drive was held on December 15th and more than 250 new blankets were donated. All blankets will be further donated to shelters in the Lower Mainland. The Foundation also sponsored and served lunch at the First United Church in Vancouver on December 16th, over 200 plated lunches were served.Mr. Chohan, the Managing Director of Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network – BC set up the Foundation to provide adequate education, proper healthcare and everyday living needs for the people who need it the most.

For more information or to make a Donation to the Perminder Chohan Foundation, please visit

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World Mental Health Day – Portraits



My Name Is Desiré Amouzou, and I am a Producer and Photojournalist for I love working with Surrey604 a growing and developing grassroots magazine about Surrey and beyond.

Like any new endeavour it has its challenges though, and for me that challenge hasn’t been being part of a relatively new magazine but my personal struggles with my Mental Health, in particular my struggle with Depression.

Some days are great and some days it’s an all out battle to maintain balance. Throughout, I’ve been shown love and care and respect by friends, colleagues and even at times total strangers, and I try to do the same in return on every occasion.

At the same time I’ve also been exposed to the Stigma and Judgment attached to Mental Illnesses, especially as a Visible Minority and as nice as I am when people get to know me, still my height and size can be off putting to some at first glance.

That’s why I am choosing to support this months World Mental Health Day on October 10th.


To help educate while doing something that I love, that helps me feel amazing and helps connect with people and make them feel awesome. Just like my true friends have done for me….I am forever indebted to them.

To support this day I am offering, from now till October 10th, along with any photographer who might join me, to anyone and everyone,

1. mini 30 minute portrait session for $50, which gives you 3 portraits in 24 hours for you to chose and the rest to purchase. 30% of the profits of each shoot goes to a non-for profit organization that supports men’s mental health awareness, diagnosis and treatment.

After the 10th I will continue till November by donating 20% of all my bookings, whether portraits or videography or corporate or creative projects.

I have set a goal of $1000 donated by October 10th. Thus far I’ve  secured $250 in bookings .

Book me now by either emailing me at

Or phone call at 1-604-799-3757

I will be in SFU and Surrey Central area as well as the vancouver library on October 10th running a full day push on portraits and donations to the cause.

Subscribe to my Instagram Page below for updates on all my projects.

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