Childhood Abuse Brought Me to the Downtown Eastside

In 1954, when I was six years old, I came to Canada from Germany. Ever since then I have lived in Vancouver. When I was growing up, my father abused me physically, mentally, and sexually. My mother did nothing to protect me. At the age of 13, I ran away from home and stayed with my friends in New Westminster until I turned 17. I was pregnant and went back home to Vancouver to give birth to a baby girl in 1966. She was apprehended in 1967 by the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD). She was only 9 months old. Read more

In Our Own Voices Writing Project

The Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group is launching the In Our Own Voices writing project in June 2011.  After a six-week period of intensive writing, we are ready to share our stories about hope, struggle, love and resistance in the Downtown Eastside. During the month of June 2011, you will find twelve exclusive stories from In Our Own Voices on the Vancouver Media Co-op. A new story will be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting on June 6th. Week one will feature the journeys that have brought women to the Downtown Eastside, week two will draw attention to child apprehension and violence against women, week three will explore daily life – from working the street to police brutality – on skid row, and week four will highlight ongoing issues of homelessness and poverty in our neighbourhood. The stories will be available here: Read more

Dalannah Bowen Dares to Dream a Big Dream

  Click to read a sneak preview from the February 2010 issue – PDF The Independent Times is a monthly publication dedicated to promoting the active lifestyles of today’s retiring baby boomers in Metro Vancouver and to providing topics of interest and importance to the 55 Plus Lifestyle. You can explore and download the Independent Times at

Community Quilt Project lays fabric for new relationships

Quilty Pleasures The women gathered around the table are busy at work, threading needles, stitching fabric and sewing patterns. It’s Monday afternoon and they’ve congregated at the Interurban Gallery with one common purpose: to quilt. The participants are here as part of the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts’ Community Quilt Project. As part of the Centre’s Fabric Arts Program, the project aims to give the Downtown Eastside community the opportunity to create together—whether through quilt-making or other fabric arts. “Our goals,” says Lisa Fox Valdes, administrative coordinator for the Centre, “are to bring together diverse groups and individuals in the neighbourhood, to provide opportunities to develop their creative expression and to encourage and build connections and relationships within the community.” Read more

Long-awaited Downtown Eastside Centre for Arts becoming a reality

Just two years after Dalannah Gail Bowen imagined it, the Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts is coming to life. Bowen held an open house for the Centre April 23 at the Interurban Gallery at the corner of East Hastings and Carrall, the centre’s first home. Singer Dalannah Gail Bowen credits her involvement in the Downtown Eastside arts community with helping her get her life back after years of homelessness and addiction. Apparently, Bowen wasn’t the only one seeing her wishes realized. Read more