Vancouver Raging Grannies

We are the Vancouver branch of a worldwide group of older women trying to make the world a better place to leave to our grandchildren, through action and satirical song. If you wish to join us in Vancouver, please contact Robyn at:

Monday, March 13, 2006

"Command" Performance

We were happy to be asked to sing at a Government House lunch in Victoria for International Women's Day, March 8. We were thrilled to discover that not only the Lieutenant-Governor of BC, Iona Campagnolo, but also the Governor-General of Canada, Michaelle Jean would be present.

We left Vancouver in the sleet in a 10 passenger van, borrowed specifically for this occasion, and driven by our fearless and intrepid Granny Darlene (only later did she tell us she had never driven anything that big before!). Because it was very windy, there was some concern that the ferry might be cancelled, but luck was with us (in fact, the ferry coming in the other direction was cancelled - but that didn't affect us). We were served a lovely buffet lunch before entering the Main Dining Room hearily fortified and belting out:

Hey look us over, Women proud and strong
Time to hear our voices, Time to hear our song....

Our songs were heartily applauded and to our amazement and great pleasure, we received a standing ovation by the crowd of about 150 (mainly) women present.

As we descended from the stage, we had the opportunity to meet both the Lieutenant-Governor and the Governor-General, both of whom are very intelligent and charismatic women.

Then we piled back into the van, and drove to Swarz Bay (where the sun was bright and warm - especially for us?) and boarded the 5pm sailing back to Vancouver.

A full day, both in terms of what we did and how we felt.

But life doesn't slow down for us Grannies, and on the ferry coming home, some of us worked on songs for our next gig in just two days time.

Stephen Lewis Foundation

Friday evening, March 10, we made a brief appearance at St. Andrew's Wesley Church in Vancouver at a concert in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. All the proceeds from this event which featured excellent musicians from the Vancouver area, were for the benefit of SWAPOL (Swaziland Positive Living) to help people living with HIV/AIDS.

We had intended to walk on stage by either humming or belting out "Hey Look Us Over"
but as soon as we were introduced, the audience roared its recognition of us and continued cheering until we were all on stage.

Our first two songs were well received (of course!) but then we sang out the chorus of our last song (to the tune of Battle Hymn) -
"Cut the military spending,
Cut the military spending,
Cut the military spending,
And increase foreign aid."

The roar of support from the audience was deafening and they joined in the final chorus with gusto and enthusiasm.

It was an emotional evening for many of us - and in support of a most worthy cause.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DE-Elect David Emerson

The Vancouver Raging Grannies are outraged at the actions of David Emerson, elected as a Liberal MP, who 2 weeks later was sworn into Harper's Cabinet as a Conservative Cabinet Minister. We support the voters of the Vancouver-Kingway riding who feel he should resign and a by-election held to fairly and honestly elect an MP who truly represents this riding. Some of us sang the following little ditty (to the tune of "The Old Grey Mare") at a recent protest outside Mr. Emerson's campaign office:

David Emerson
Ain’t what he used to be
He was a Martin fan
Now he's a Harper man
David Emerson
Ain’t what he used to be
Just a few weeks ago.

David Emerson
Elected to represent
Kingsway residents
Now he’s set a precendent
He made a mockery
Of government
Just a few weeks ago.

Our democracy is gone
Opportunism carries on.

We don’t want him
DE-elect Emerson
We demand our rights again
We demand to vote again
Vancouver-Kingway needs
To have its say again
And kick the traitor out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Belated Update

Many holidays (good) and sheer laziness (bad) has me apologizing for not updating this site monthly.

Highlights of the Fall included:

1. Singing for the Ground Zero Awareness Campaign before the film "Scared Sacred."

2. Opening a event on depleted uranium with our new song on that subject.

3. Supporting Betty Krawczyk in her ongoing battle in support of BC forests and the rather questionable social justice system in British Columbia.

4. Being the featured after-lunch "speakers" for the AGM of the BC/Yukon Transition House Society.

5. Trying, through our choral efforts, to stop the sale of Terasen Gas to Kinder Morgan - both at the BC Utilities Commission and at the Terasen shareholder's meeting.

6. We also wrote/revised two songs in support of the Iraqi War Resisters currently in Canada and sang at a film evening supporting these courageous young men.

7. Sang at the Hotel Vancouver for the Seniors demonstration re: keeping medicare public.

8. A "Santa Doesn't like War Toys" gig at a local shopping centre. We were actually invited, and NOT kicked out.

9. Four of us attended the Western Regional Gathering at Whidbey Island and one of our members went on to Washington DC to sing with Raging Grannies from across the US at the September 24 Peace Rally.

10. In late January, we went to both local universities. At the University of BC, we sang about issues of social diversity to a large class of Education students, ending with a short session on song-writing. At Simon Fraser University, we did much the same program to a class on social justice.

11. Mid-February, we are hoping to join with a Vancouver Cuba solidarity group to picket outside the United States Consulate on the issue of the Cuban Five.

Tired, but happy, we continue to RAGE...

Friday, August 26, 2005

August Update

This was a slow summer for the Vancouver Grannies. We trekked down to Peace Arch Park on Sunday July 3 to join with the Bellingham Grannies and the Seattle Grannies in support of the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba.

Then, after a month off, we sang at a meeting August 11 at the Vancouver Public Library. The subject of this evening was Depleted Uranium and Robyn wrote a truly inspired song on this topic.

Later in the month, we were once again filmed for a Vancouver Film School Project. We all look fantastic in video and are looking forward to seeing the finished product next month.

But it was good to have this time off as it looks like in September we will be turning down gigs because so many things are happening on the same days. Will report on these as they happen.

Some of us are looking forward to attending the Western Regional Gathering in Washington State in mid-September. We will meet with Raging Grannies from all over the Pacific Northwest and it looks to be a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mellow May, Jumpin' June

After resting on our laurels in May from the receipt of the Vancouver Peace Award, June arrived with a long string of gigs.

June 2, we were happy to sing again this year for the BC and Yukon Society of Transition Houses annual meeting in Richmond, BC. (Richmond is a close suburb of Vancouver). Our many songs about the homeless, welfare cuts, and domestic abuse were welcomed with applause and appreciation. Not only did we all receive a wonderful lunch for our efforts, but we also walked away in splendid new Transition Houses t-shirts.

On June 10, we visited a Seniors' Residence, again in Richmond, which was an interesting experience.

On June 14, we hung around City Hall for over an hour, hoping to sing at the Walmart in Vancouver City Council decision meeting, only to be told to go home. NO, we weren't being bad - it was postponed to the following Monday. So Monday June20 found us again at City Hall - this time to wait two and a half hours until it was our turn. But, as usual, we brought down the House! Much appreciative applause and clips of us on the news on two television channels.

Barely were we home, then the next morning we headed back to City Hall (they really must like us!) for the first official event relating to the World Peace Forum being held in Vancouver next year. It was a moving event - school children sang and presented to the City peace flags they had made which will be on display for the next year. We turned out in full complement save one - Lu unfortunately broke her wrist a few days ago and could not attend. We sang two great songs and then watched while white peace doves were released on the steps of City Hall.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Grannies To Receive Vancouver Peace Award

The Vancouver Raging Grannies have won the Vancouver Citizens' Peace Award "which recognizes outstanding contributions to world peace [through] leadership, commitment and dedication to the promotion of peace and disarmament."

The Vancouver Citizens Peace Award was established in 1990 to recognize the contributions of individual Vancouver citizens actively working on peace issues.

The Award Ceremony will take place in the Council Chamber at Vancouver City Hall on APRIL 26, 2005 at 3:45 pm. We would like to invite any and all current and former Lower Mainland Raging Grannies to join us for this presentation.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Upcoming Election

The BC election will be on May 17, 2005 - giving us a number of opportunities to be heard with all our various concerns.

This coming Wednesday (April 6), we have been asked to sing at the NDP nomination meeting for the West Vancouver - Capilano riding, having previously appeared at the Vancouver Point Grey meeting last month.

On April 3, the 52% Coalition organized a gathering of women's groups with different concerns, specifically in terms of the upcoming election. We set up a table displaying hats, shawls, songs, and, naturally, we were asked to sing, which we happily did, adding our own particular concerns in our own particular and familiar manner to the afternoon session.