grunt gallery and CCEC became friends and neighbours in our original location on East 6th Avenue in the historic Ashnola Building, where we resided from 1984 to 1995.  Soon after opening, grunt became clients at the local credit union and have been ever since.  32 years!  Now, grunt gallery’s new monthly giving campaign in partnership with CCEC invites you to make monthly donations to support our work.  

For more information visit their website or make an online donation or call them
604 875 9516 to make monthly contributions. 

  • Spark – A Fireside Artists Talk Series is produced at the Native Education College on East 5th Avenue, and features young aboriginal artists sharing insights and challenges about their artistic practices during brown bag lunch sessions on the third Thursday of every month
  •  #callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities.  It’s one of only six projects selected for support by the {Re}conciliation Initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts#callresponse focuses on the “act of doing” through performative actions, highlighting the necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples.
  • The Blue Cabin is a civic project (in partnership with Other Sights and Creative Cultural Collaborations) that saved renowned Canadian artists Al Neil and Carole Itter’s foreshore cabin on Burrard Inlet from demolition, with a vision to convert it back into a working studio as part of a new artist residency program. 
 Projects like these make up the fabric of grunt’s reputation for bringing focus to the kind of artists and art projects that are vastly underrepresented in conventional galleries.

Your donations help to keep our doors open and our events free, always.  Just $10 a month is enough to make a big difference to a small community gallery like ours.  We hope you’ll drop in to visit the gallery and enjoy some of our performances and exhibitions.

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Galiano ranks 2nd to Inuvik for core housing needs.  Meet CCEC Member, Galiano Green (a project of the Galiano Land and Community Housing Trust).  They are creating an innovative model for non-profit, low-income affordable home ownership project.   Galiano Green makes it possible for motivated singles and young families to "build your own home without the high cost of owning land." 


Why we belong to CCEC:   Several of our community members suggested that we contact CCEC.  We felt that the scale of CCEC was right for our island community.   We were pleased that CCEC was responsive, helpful and interested in what we are doing.   They showed an immediate understanding of our vision and helped us think of real-world solutions to our financing.  
Tom Hennessy, Director


Residents on Galiano were looking for ways to revitalize their community as lack of affordable housing has forced young people off island for work and made it prohibitive for those on fixed incomes to secure housing.  Galiano Green has made it their mission to create an innovative non-profit affordable housing model that could be employed in any small community in Canada. They created a small lending group using land resources and established a loan guarantee fund at CCEC.  The fund has allowed CCEC to make loans for small business, housing and agriculture in their community since 2009 Tom Hennessy, Director, says, “We think that the creative financial model we have worked out with CCEC will help us achieve this goal”.  

Affordable housing has always been the most pressing problem for the community on Galiano.  Because they are close to Vancouver, city residents purchase houses on Galiano to use for weekend and summer vacations.   More than half of the houses on Galiano stand empty most of the year.   Rents for the remaining homes are very high and tenancy is insecure because renters have to move out during the summer when their homes are used by the owners as inflated weekly rentals or used for the owners’ family vacations.  The situation has becomes worse every year as more homes are taken out of the rental market.  As the situation becomes more precarious on Galiano, this only increased the groups’ determination to find a solution.  

Starting in the fall 2016 based on the current approval process with the Islands Trust, construction will start on 20 homes, ranging from 500 to 1000 square feet. Each home owner will be responsible for harvesting, storing and treating enough rainwater to serve that household’s needs. The property has a separate well with a significant supply.  Two common buildings are planned: one for laundry and shower and eventually, a multi-use building which could include a meeting area, workshop/studio and daycare.

For more information contact:   Tom Hennessy - phone: 250 539 2960,  email:

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Abolishing a pillar of colonization: the prison system

The acceptance speech for the Roger Inman Award with Joint Effort member Lora McElhinney

I’d first like to acknowledge that we are on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples: the Squamish, the Tsleil-waututh and the Musqueam. My name is Lora McElhinney and my people come from the traditional territories of the Irish, the Scottish and the English. I am grateful to be speaking tonight about the abolition of one of the pillars of colonization, the prison system and the role of Joint Effort in this fight.

Claire Culhane once said, “we have to fight while we still have time,” in response to the growing reaches of the police state in Canada and the fight for Prison Abolition. I was not part of Joint Effort when she was alive (I joined in 1999), but 25 years after she said this there is no less sense of urgency and “no better fight in town”, although unfortunately there are still prisons.

I went into BCCW with Joint Effort less than a month after I’d gone to Seattle to the WTO for the protests that brought activists and militants, academics and shit disturbers together for three days of theatre, popular education, candlelight gatherings, peace marches, parades, prayer, direct action, non-violent passive resistance, music, drumming, vandalism, arson and unarmed disruption of the police state and the trade talks it was protecting. Tuesday night, running from rubber bullets, tear gas and a monstrous army tank there was no turning back from having seen the show of force and the expressionless, choreographed uniformity of the thousands of police.

So it was with a healthy mistrust I went into BCCW for the first time. What I didn’t realize was what I would learn about freedom, about life, about being a woman, about Native traditions and teachings, spirituality and politics and history, about speaking your mind under surveillance, about never being manipulated into thinking you are changing the system, about those who have died in prison in protest, for prisoner rights and liberation, about creativity and self-expression as modes for liberation and emancipation, about the double-edged sword of education, about the bold faced lie of rehabilitation, about totalitarianism and who is being concentrated and warehoused in prisons sometimes in secret in Canada, about remaining idealistic and realistic after huge defeats such as the passing of the omnibus bills, about breaking isolation, about the capacity of the community to support each other with limited financial resources, none whatsoever taken from the state or church, with centuries of combined experience in community support and advocacy, resistance, art and writing, collective organizing and ally work and with the understanding that those most oppressed by the system are in the best position to know what is wrong with Canadian society.

It is timely that Joint Effort, with its roots in the Women’s Movement, Social Justice Movements and Alliances, Anarchist destruction of oppressive regimes, should win the Roger Inman Memorial Award, now that, to misquote Justin Trudeau, “it’s no longer 2015.” What becomes of the Broken Hearted, what becomes of a system fortified by unalterable totalitarianism, what becomes of hundreds of changes of laws and thousands of words of condemnation. This is a crucial time for the community inside and outside of prisons to push for prison abolition. Even if we could retract every law and policy the Harper government put in place, even if he was put in jail himself, as David Suzuki said he should be this week, this would only obscure the fact that prisons are punitive, obsolete and make even the freedom of those on the outside conditional. To quote a woman we met a few years ago at ACCW who was protesting the lice and foot fungus epidemic inside, “We’re shutting this place down! Call the health inspector. We’re shutting this place down!

Thanks so much to CCEC and to the billions of individuals and organizations and movements who have supported people’s freedom and self-determination anywhere all over the world at any time. It is important to understand how vast, how diverse and how rich we all are together when we admit we don’t want to be imprisoned.

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Personal chef meets postpartum doula - that’s what The Veggie Doula brings to the table.  Meet CCEC member, Chef Laura who says, “Let me worry about food preparation so that you can focus on the most important task - bonding with your new baby.”  With the intent of alleviating some of the challenges and stress of bringing home a new baby, The Veggie Doula comes to your home and prepares veggie-centric meals for baby and the whole family. 


Contact The Veggie Doula at:



Having a baby can be one of the most joyful experiences of peoples’ lives. It can also be one of the most stressful.  All families, big and small, can find the new adjustments overwhelming.  This is why Chef Laura has set out to alleviate some of these challenges.  The Veggie Doula carries one week of groceries on her bicycle fit with a trailer to prepare veggie-centric meals in your own home! The goal is to support families and provide nutritious, high-quality meals during this special transition.  With the intent of alleviating some of the challenges and stress of bringing home a new baby, The Veggie Doula comes to your home and prepares veggie-centric meals for baby and the whole family.


Professional doula and chef, Laura is both.  Classically trained in culinary arts at George Brown in Toronto, Laura is skilled in creating satisfying vegetarian food made accessible for everyone in the family.  Years of nanny experience helped her developed new ways to satisfy picky eaters and her own complex palate pushes her to explore exciting new flavours for those with more sophisticated tastes. In addition to helping several families through their birth and postpartum experiences, she has received accreditation in both postpartum Doula and Breastfeeding Support from Douglas College in Vancouver.   Bringing her favourite things together - food, birth and bicycles - The Veggie Doula was born.


The Veggie Doula’s services make an invaluable group baby shower gift as well as a necessary preparation service for yourself as parents-to-be. Grandparents near and far may also delight in the service and care they can provide by hiring Laura.


Personal chef meets postpartum doula - that’s what The Veggie Doula brings to the table.


Contact The Veggie Doula at:


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The Roger Inman Memorial Award is presented annually in recognition of a project, group or individual
that has made a significant contribution to the economic development
of the community. CCEC is committed to keeping our money and resources working in our community by
actively supporting and promoting the development of strong, successful community businesses, projects and organizations.

Joint Effort – Women in Prison Support Group started in the late 1970's as a sub-committee of the BC Federation of Women.  The prisoners’ rights movement grew alongside liberty and equality seeking movements building in the community.  While many of the issues prisoners faced mirrored the struggle on the outside, there was the additional issue of isolation.  So when prisoners put out the call for outside support, The BC Federation of Women sought to break this barrier of isolation by forming a subcommittee that would go into the prison as allies.  Since its’ inception, countless women from the local activist community have been involved with Joint Effort, doing solidarity work and providing resources to the women on the inside, while at the same time providing a forum to bring prisoners voices to the community.  Their goal is to raise awareness of the issues facing some of the most marginalized women in our communities; women in prison. 

To learn more and to get involved contact: Email:    Web:


Their mandate is to bring together women in prison with women from the community.  The group organizes skills building and information workshops in the prison that are facilitated either by the women themselves, members of Joint Effort, or women from outside organizations.  Workshops include creative writing, arts and crafts, performances by local, national and international musicians and actors, and social, cultural, educational and sporting events.  In 1990, they started the Books 2 Prisoners program in response to the need for current and diverse reading material.  They send books by request free of charge to Canadian prisoners.  Their workshops and activities are a means of creating a network of resources and support for women re-entering the community.

Joint Effort is 100% volunteer run.  Women in the group donate their time, skills and resources.  They fundraise in the community by organizing events that highlight prisoners’ rights issues.  All funds raised go towards workshop supplies so the prisoners can attend all programs free of charge. 

The activities of Joint Effort are wide ranging and include: 

  •  Publishing “Broken Silence”, a collection of prisoners writing and artwork, facilitated by local authors and distributed to all women’s prisons in Canada; and “The Word is Out, A Women's Community News Service”, an ongoing newsletter written by and about women in prison.
  • Making a banner for the Women's Memorial March in the Downtown Eastside.
  • Making Christmas parcels and Prison Justice Day cards that are sent to women in prison in Kenya.
  •  Creating a “Words from Women in Prison” installation at the December 6th National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women event organized by Rape Relief. 
  • Making a World Aids Day Card for a woman or youth in the community living with AIDS, HIV, or Hep C.  The cards were distributed by A Loving Spoonful, Positive Women's Network & YouthCo.
  • Making a quilt for Prison Justice Day to honour some of the women who have died unnatural deaths in Canadian prisons.  The quilt was displayed at the Prison Justice Day Rally.
  •  Creating squares for a project called “The Living Blanket”, a collective production of self-portraits on textile by women from around the world.  It exhibited at A Space in Vancouver, and has continued to travel internationally, becoming larger at every location it stops to exhibit.  It was curated by Doris Buttignol, who is based in France, under the honorary patronage of Asociacion Madres de Plaza de Mayo.
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