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Community Connexions News 2017-18

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On May 15th, Dr. Gwynne Dyer presented a lecture titled, Surviving the Populist Wave to our Grade 10-11 students. Dr. Dyer has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster, and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years. An thoroughly engaging experience, four students shared their thoughts on the presentation:

"Dr. Gwynne Dyer’s presentation was primarily focused on the rise of nationalism and populism across the globe. He not only analysed the causes of the current situation, which he believes to be mass unemployment due to automation, but he also dove into solutions. His solution: universal basic income, which he says current trials around the world prove its efficiency in combatting unemployment and poverty. These ideas did, however, prove controversial among students and sparked debate in classes throughout the rest of the day. Whether or not students embrace his ideas, he truly inspired a group of knowledgeable thinkers to continue to search out answers to global problems as the next generation of future leaders." - Henry (G11)

"It was an amazing presentation. The correlations between job opportunities and the 2017 US election outcome were fascinating, This presentation draws away our attention from the social norm of "Trump-blaming” and analyes the true reasons behind the votes, which reveals an alarming social/economic trend that was not commonly noticed. Dr. Gwynne Dyer’s unique perspectives and insights were quite eye-opening. - Sam (G11)

"The presentation by Dr. Gwynne Dyer provided a fresh perspective on the success of Donald Trump, which linked well to his discussion on the global issue of job scarcity. While his a commentary on Donald Trump addressed the common criticisms of the President, what I found particularly engaging was his praise of Donald Trump in shedding light on the issue of job scarcity. As an economics student, it is interesting to think that the simple, theoretical principles of scarcity and supply and demand can be such powerful drivers of seemingly separate, important political happenings. Dr. Dyer also explored the relationship between job scarcity and America's rapidly changing approach to manufacturing, which provided my classmates and I, great, real-world, examples of the macroeconomic concepts of political objective and structural unemployment that we have been studying. Though, what really sparked a discussion amongst my peers was his controversial solution to the job scarcity problem: guaranteed income, which many economics students viewed as unfeasible and ineffective, while others considered the ethical and moral benefits to it. Overall, Dr. Dyer's presentation proved to be thought-provoking and insightful, allowing us to link our coursework to real-life events, while also facilitating the development of our own perspectives on the issues that were presented. - Ethan (G11)

Thousands of Ismaili Muslims in Metro Vancouver celebrated the arrival of their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, last weekend. Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, the 49th hereditary leader of Nizari Ismailism, a branch of Shia Islam, was in Canada to celebrate 60 years — his diamond jubilee — as Imam. He hosted around 20,000 people from across the province at BC Place over Saturday and Sunday, including many students from Mulgrave who have kindly shared reflections on the experience:

Mikhail T, Grade 10

On the weekend of May 5th-6th, his Highness the Aga Khan visited Vancouver for the first time in many, many years. Thousands of Ismaili’s from BC and Canada gathered at BC Place to commemorate this visit. For Ismaili’s, the Aga Khan’s visit to Vancouver was a very special occasion that will be only a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. With thousands of Ismaili volunteers gathered to make this weekend as special and efficient as possible for everybody, this very memorable occasion is one I will never forget. Not only did this visit bless us with countless prayers, but we also had the opportunity to gather with Ismaili's from all over the province and connect with one another.

After going through this incredible experience, I can say with confidence that this visit gave me pride in my culture and religion. Seeing all these people from all around Canada who share the same values as me made me feel as if I am part of a very special Ismaili community. Also, seeing the Aga Khan for the first time was also something I can never forget. Everybody had the opportunity to see his highness and receive blessings and prayers, which was something that we all cherish very much. In addition, the environment which we were in was absolutely amazing. The thousands of volunteers worked for countless hours to make this experience the best it possibly could be and it definitely paid off.

Lialah M, Grade 7

The Aga Khan spent the weekend with Vancouver Ismailis, tens of thousands of people came to hear him speak and to receive his blessings. I felt excited to physically see the Imam, after hearing his farmans. I felt like part of a larger community. I also felt really lucky and grateful to have this opportunity. 

Kaiden T, Grade 8

The day started at 10:00am. We left home excited and feeling mentally and spiritually prepared from the last two weeks previous to this date. We arrived at BC Place at about 11:10, longer than expected because of all of the clutter downtown. I was doing volunteer work for the day, so I had to start right away. With some other friends, we were 'ask me' hosts who guided and answered as many questions as we could to help the event run smoothly. We did this for about three hours. Not going to lie, we took breaks about every 30 minutes in the lounge area. It was about to be a long day ahead of us.

We took our seats at 2:30pm, which left us just enough time to find seats at the very back of 15,000 people, even though the whole event started at around 5:30pm. We sat for three hours and mentally prepared and prayed together. Our Imam of the time (spiritual leader) rarely comes to see us, so this event was very special. By the time His Highness The Aga Khan had walked in to find his spiritual children waiting for him, the carpets were vacuumed and the food bags were empty. The large areas of people were packed with people in hospital beds who have dreamt about this their entire life to young ones who had no idea what was just about to happen. The significance of this event, the Diamond Jubilee (the 60th year that the Imam of the time has been our religious leader), was like one million proposals in one second or all of your birthday parties piled into one moment or your favourite NBA team winning the basketball championship 10 times all into one moment.

His Highness The Aga Khan walked into the massive stadium that had been covered up with white sheets on the outside, to greet the people of the Ismaili community. He walked around nodding his head to the people with a large grin on his face. He then sat down on his chair at the front centre of the whole stadium and looked out to his Ismaili community. After this, a large number of prayers carried on, which was recited in Arabic. He gave a 'speech' to our community which touched everyone's soul deep down. He was in the stadium for about an hour in total. After he left, we still recited many prayers, which meant we were saying thank you in Arabic. Thank you for his arrival and for the success we had in making this event run smoothly. We held our evening prayers for about 45 minutes after the big event. At this point, everyone was exhausted. The place slowly started to decrease numbers of people and everyone went home. At this time, it was about 10:00pm. It was a full day, but every second of it was completely worth it. 'Shukar' as we say, or in English, thank you or to show someone's gratitude.

This visit not only was special for everyone, but it gave each and every one of us a light and sense of happiness inside. To see His Highness The Aga Khan smiling at us was beautiful. It was heartwarming and it felt as though a million unicorns had flown in to take me to Wonderland. Everyone was in the moment and had their hands up to pray because we all felt the spark and the light inside us that he brought to the stadium. Even my immature teenager friends who are trouble with a capital T said that it was amazing to see and to experience such an event. My cheeks and jaw hurt afterward because of all of the grinning that was not forced, but came to me. Tears of joy were filled in eyes and of many all around the room. To give you a sense of the feeling at the time that he entered the stadium, there was not one person who was not saying their prayers out loud, and not one person who took their eyes off of him. My dad tells me that every second you look at him, it is worth a million prayers.

The West Vancouver Youth Appreciation Awards are designed to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and dedication of youth and youth groups who have made a significant contribution to their local or global community and who show initiative, enthusiasm, commitment, and a positive attitude.

This week, a number of Mulgrave students received the award, individually and/or as part of a club. Please find below the list of honourees. Congratulations!

Mackenzie (Mac) Walsh
Rong Mei (Carrie) Zhou
Jack Birch
Lillian Huang
Marla Rinck
Ethan Lippman  
Irene Zhang   
Grace Wang  
Chu Yun (Amy) Yu
Paige Leonard
Shivani Mehta
Ruokun (Tommy) Niu
Yuheng Wang
Augustin Wright
Pegah Abyaneh 
Anna Edmonds  

Create Change Club
Liliana Belluk Orlikow
Celina Manji
Alisha Muljiani
Kasra Saddad
Nicole Lee

Global Nomads Team
Pegah Abyaneh
Matthew Chasmar
Rachael Deng
Cole Rajani
Marla Rinck
Jarick Vance
Kiana Nariman
Xiaoting (Sam) Ye

Changemakers Club
Ellie Mitchell
Sahra Rajani
Elissa Caetano
Khayali Dhanji
Shyree Mehta

Club 360
Anna Edmonds
Charlotte Goetting
Natasha Kearns
Nicole Lee
Bronwen Campbell
Meridy Meikle
Liliana Belluk Orlikow
Ingrid White

Bee Keeping Initiative
Anna Edmonds
Charlotte Goetting
Natasha Kearns
Nicole Lee
Bronwen Campbell
Meridy Meikle
Liliana Belluk Orlikow
Ingrid White

Human Rights Club
Marla Rinck
Charlotte Goetting
Sayeed Mavani
Claire Stewart
Cole Rajani
Jarick Vance
Ingrid White
Meridy Meikle
Charlotte Armstrong
Anna Edmonds

Lions Gate Hospital Youth Advisory
Natalie Hanna
Ingrid White

Scholars Cup Team
Irene Zhang
Henry Spencer

Middle School Service Action Council
Nestor Deza
Katerina Georgi
Sadaf Ghanbari Miandoab
Zia Janmohamed
Adelyn Lee
Lucy LePoidevin
Angela Li
Gabi Novak
Isabelle Riedijk
Tessa Rinck
Alyza Samji
Setareh Setayesh
Devon Seybold

Vision Rescue Foundation
Yikang (Ken) Yang
Xiaoting (Sam) Ye
Chloe Costa
Elaine He
Yuheng Wang
Kiara Liu
Stephen Liao
Jingyi Mao
Madeline Campeau
Angela Chen
Grace Wang
Kasra Saddad
Andrew Zhang
Lucas Wong

Senior Service Action Council
Anna Edmonds
Sayeed Mavani
Andrew Horner
Nicole Lee
Bronwen Campbell
Marla Rinck
Sormeh Motevalli
Natasha Kearns
Lillian Huang
Liliana Belluk Orlikow
Jisang You
Ethan Lippman
Caroline Sinclair
Celina Manji

SpeakUp Team
Leona Li
Isabel von Borstel
Alyssa Ukani
Ahna Noormohamed
Sadaf Ghanbari Miandoab

Note: We do our best to ensure we share all students recognised. If we have missed a name, please email Laura Darch, ldarch@mulgrave.com, and she will update the list. 


39 Senior School students attended the 27th annual Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff, April 11-14th. Ms. By, Mr. Bortz, and Mr. Van de Reep couldn't have been more pleased about both the Chamber Choir and Senior Jazz Band's performances. From the great Festival Concerts featuring UBC University Singers and The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra to the excellent Showcase Concerts featuring festival participants, this was indeed a trip filled with many memories and musical inspirations. Every ensemble also had a one-hour workshop to work on new musical concepts and ideas for the future.

We interviewed four students who shared some of their best moments from the trip. 

Four chamber choir students

Tell us about the bus ride.
"It was fun to talk with friends, sleep a bit, and there was a lot of singing...mostly 80s music!"
- Angela, Grade 11

How was your first performance?
"It was good! We played the three pieces we've been rehearsing for a long time and it went really well." - Mack, Grade 11

Were you nervous?
"A little bit because of how big the stage for the was for the Jazz Band and how dry the sound was in the room (there was no echo!). It makes you feel like you're the only one playing. We performed well and no one made any blaring mistakes, which often happens, especially with an altitude change! The workshops also helped us learn new techniques." - Lillian, Grade 11

What was the best part of the whole experience?
"Watching the Count Basie concert...it was mind-blowing. I recorded the whole performance and I keep listening to it, they're so good!" - Sam, Grade 11

One word to sum up the trip?

Sam - Captivating

Lillian - Unforgettable

Mack - Growth

Angela - New...so many new experiences and knowledge from the workshops and other people's performances!


Last Friday, Grade 6 students, Hanna and Aria, showed a few pictures they had taken to their teacher. She thought they were very good and advised the girls to go visit our Communications Manager, Laura Darch, to see if they could be included in Connexions. Thoroughly impressed with their work, we're excited to share their amazing photography and reflection with our community!

Student Contributors: Hanna Y, Aria R, Raihan H, Ava W, Kevin E, and Nika B.

Picture one: "This picture is important because it was taken on Mulgrave’s LGBTQ community positive sidewalk. That is important to Mulgrave as a community because we try to be inclusive, respectful, and appreciative to all races and genders as we are a diverse community. It's also important because we took it in front of the totem pole. This represents Mulgrave strong appreciation to the Musqueam, Stath Wah tuth and Squamish Coast Salish peoples. We are thankful because they let us, as a Mulgrave community, live, work, and play on their land." 

Picture two: "This picture was taken right in front of the Mulgrave sign in the Senior school. We think this picture represents Mulgrave's beautiful environment due to the beautiful surroundings in the picture. Hanna made sure that she took the photo at the exact time Aria was in the air, which gave it more impact." 

Picture three: "In this picture, we have Kevin, Raihan, Nika, Ava, and Aria and it was taken by Hanna. It represents friendships at Mulgrave and our connections. As a Mulgrave community, we support everyone’s diversity and make sure everyone feels included in a safe and happy environment." 


issue 33.17-18

June 1, 2018

Read the full issue. An archive of last year's Connexions stories can be found here.


Click the date on the table below to access an archived copy of the newsletter.

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#1 Sept. 1st
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