The rise of Esports

Intro:

Parents have been warning children for decades that they’d never get anywhere playing video games, but a growing number of gamers are proving their parents wrong. Gamers that put the time and effort in, are getting paid to play video games and they’re getting paid more and more as the Esports industry grows. Vancouver’s own Peter ‘Wayto’ Nguyen is part of a new generation of professional gamers that is changing the way people look at video games.

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Made in Vancouver: Exploring Vancouver’s maker community

A wave of creativity is sweeping across the world. More and more people are turning away from mass-produced products and have decided to take the quality of their goods into their hands. The maker movement, as it is called, is the cause of a rebirth in the DIY scene. Instead of going to stores, people are making what they need by hand. Vancouver is no stranger to this movement, but in an ever-expanding metropolitan it can be difficult for makers to find the space necessary to create. Find out what some Vancouverites are doing to ease this stress and why people in the 21st century are so drawn to hand-made things by watching this informative video.

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Possible changes to the Brentwood town centre

During the Burnaby elections the way Derek Corrigan and his council had been going about dealing with the city’s urban development came into question.

Specifically that not enough was being done to create affordable housing and that the council was only in favor of high-rise apartments.

At the last council meeting held before the elections took place, Corrigan’s council proved that it wasn’t as black-and-white a matter as some of their critics think.

Council approved a suggested rezoning application from the Community Development Committee, to  succession lands in the Brentwood town centre, south of Dawson Street. The suggestion being that the area be turned into a zone only allowing RM4 type residential housing or medium-density multiple family homes and not high rise apartments.

When the Brentwood area was being zoned in the 90s, the aforementioned area was left as succession land which meant that it would be considered industrial land until a decision was made to rezone it.

Councillors Pietro Calendino and Sav Dhaliwal were the only two holdouts on the vote. They argued that not allowing the building of high-rise apartments could limit the area’s potential for expansion in the future.

A diagram of the area in question from the Community Development Committee report. (Burnaby.ca)

A diagram of the area in question from the Community Development Committee report. (Burnaby.ca)

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Burnaby beat report pt. 2

The population of Vancouver’s neighbour to the east has been steadily expanding since 1986, and at over 200,000 residents, Burnaby is the third most populated urban centre in British Columbia behind Vancouver and Surrey.

Crime in Burnaby

As with all thriving cities, Burnaby is not without some issues, among the most distressing being the high rate of crime the city experiences. In 2011 Burnaby was the 26th most dangerous city in Canada according to Maclean’s magazine.

At the time the data was collected, Burnaby’s crime rate was roughly 20 per cent higher than the national average. An unexpected turn from when the very same magazine called Burnaby the best-run city in Canada just a few years before.

There is no clear reason why the rate of crime is so high in the area but a large population of young males might be a reason. Andrew Presto, 22, has been living in Burnaby for 3 years feels that it’s due to the ease of access of narcotics.
“Most everyone here knows a drug dealer or two. Even if they just sell weed,” said Presto
This year alone there have been almost 600 cars reported stolen and over 1800 thefts from cars according to Burnaby RCMP reports.

Making a difference

Because of this issue and more, Jane Jae Kyung Shin chose to become the MLA for Burnaby’s Lougheed area as a member of the NDP in 2013 also becoming the first Korean Canadian elected to the provincial legislature.

 

MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed Jane Jae Kyung Shin. (Legislative Assembly of British Columbia photo)

MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, Jane Jae Kyung Shin. (Legislative Assembly of British Columbia photo)

“Political commitment became imminent for me when I realized how much a product I am of all the progressive policies that made Canada the country it is,” said Shin

An immigrant of South Korea, Shin came to Canada when she was 11 years-old. Throughout her life, Shin and her family have benefited from a number of Canadian rights and freedoms, like universal health care when she fell seriously ill when at 16.

When shin started to see these privileges being lost she felt she needed to do something about it.
“Over the last decade, things have changed and for the worse in B.C. And I decided to get involved,” said Shin.
Being an immigrant herself, Shin is a good representative of her city’s diverse population where at any given time you could hear the unique sounds of over 100 different languages being spoken.

In fact according to the Canada 2011 Census, Burnaby’s visible minority population was 40 percentage points higher than the national average at 59.5 per cent.

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Burnaby beat report pt. 3

Along with Burnaby’s wealth of cultural diversity there are many other things that the city appears to be doing right.

Despite the difficulties faced, the city has been running a surplus budget for the past few years, measures taken by the RCMP have been successfully making a dent in the crime problem and to top it all off, 25 per cent of Burnaby is dedicated to park lands and green space.

The residents of Burnaby greatly value the quality of their surrounding environment, and are currently taking up arms to fight against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project which has recently made itself an enemy of the city’s eco-warriors after employees cut down trees in the Burnaby Mountain conservation area in order to survey a path for the pipeline.

Business in Burnaby
Like in most cities in British Columbia, starting a business in Burnaby can be a daunting task. The city’s bureaucracy can, at times, be less than hospitable to those wanting to start a business within the city limits.

Ben Coli a resident of Vancouver opened up Burnaby’s second independent brewery this year, Dageraad Brewing, the only craft beer brewery in British Columbia that brews Belgian style beer.

Coli chose Burnaby to set up shop due to the cheap rent in the area and if he had had it his way, he would have begun quenching the thirst of Belgian beer craving British Columbians in 2013.
“I could go on for hours about the bureaucratic hurdles I had to jump,” said Coli.
“Suffice it to say that my lease on my space started on June 1, 2013, and I wasn’t able to start construction until after New Year’s 2014.”

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Burnaby beat report pt.4

Coli explained that the reason for the delay rests solely on the shoulders of the City of Burnaby and the ordeal cost him tens of thousands of dollars and seven months of his life, none of which was spent on construction.

The permits that he assumed would take two months to attain ended up taking five and a half months more than his initial estimate.
However, despite all the hoops he had to jump through to get his brewery up and running, business for Coli is now going well. Dageraad only sells to private liquor stores with a majority of his beer going to Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria.

Coli actually sells very little beer in Burnaby but he’s hoping to change that very soon.
“I think that finally opening my tasting room will really help establish a connection with the local community and get some roots in Burnaby.”

-End-

Burnaby mountain flag

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Burnaby beat report pt. 1

Sign erected at Edmonds and Kingsway in 1912 to welcome Prince Arthur, Canada's Governor General at the time. (Heritage Burnaby photo)

Sign erected at Edmonds and Kingsway in 1912 to welcome Prince Arthur, Canada’s Governor General at the time. (Heritage Burnaby photo)

The city of Burnaby is far from the agricultural district it started out as in 1892. Burnaby owes its growth and development to the fact that it just happened to be situated between two of British Columbia’s oldest settlements: Vancouver and New Westminster.

Because of the way the Canadian Pacific Railway weaved itself through the province, early settlers established homes and small townships along the rails between the two cities labouring as farmers and loggers.

Eventually the town of Burnaby which was named after merchant, politician and Freemason Robert Burnaby, was born.
Over 100 years later, the sound of horse drawn carriages is no more, replaced by the perpetual clattering of Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrains.

The fields that once provided early British Columbians with sustenance are now nothing more than the arid soil underneath Canada’s second largest shopping mall, Metropolis at Metrotown.

Where there were once quaint farmhouses dripping with bucolic charm, there are now colossal apartment buildings that seem to increase in number every day.

Even without ever setting foot in Burnaby, it is clear to see that the city’s housing industry, along with the rest of Metro Vancouver’s, is booming due to interest from overseas buyers.

Look east from any elevated location in Vancouver and you’ll see the industrious cranes and gleaming towers rising up from the abundance of green space the Burnaby populace prizes so highly.

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