Michelle Pockey Leadership Award Accepting Applications!

Are you a female leader? Then listen up!

The Michelle Pockey Leadership Award has been created to recognize Michelle Pockey, an exceptional female leader in our community. As a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle dedicated herself to making a positive difference in the world – from energy, mining, environmental, and Indigenous legal issues, to increasing the economic success and impact of women. With her vision, she co-founded the Professional Women’s Network in 1997, and the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network in 2016. She worked tirelessly for 20 years advocating to advance women in business, law, Indigenous and non-traditional sectors. She was an inspiration for others every day of her life until her passing from cancer in June 2016.

The Michelle Pockey Leadership Award will give first priority to an Indigenous woman, a single mother, or a woman facing economic hardship. Second priority will be given to a woman pursuing law, justice, Indigenous, or environmental studies. The award is intended to support her tuition, housing, or childcare in the pursuit of post-secondary education, which will advance her leadership and long-term career prospects.

You can also support the award through donations, so take part today!

For more information and to download the application form, click HERE 

Tax Changes Ahead!

Some of us look towards the tax season with dread, but there’s also lots of reasons to be excited if you have a family. Plus, how great is it that February has an entire day devoted to family? Almost all Canadian families are given an extra day to spend time with each other. H&R Block wants to give Canadian families another reason to celebrate Family Day, by reminding them of all the credits and deductions they’re entitled to. Want more money for your family vacation next year? Then, pay attention.

Changes to benefits this year: There’s a new benefit in town and it’s called the Canada child benefit. It actually replaced the Canada child tax benefit and Universal child care benefits last year. Canadians may be entitled to this tax-free monthly payment that helps eligible families with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.

Last chance for certain credits: This is the last year to claim the Children’s arts tax credit and Children’s fitness tax credit. If your children participated in a program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or development activity (such as tutoring), you may be able to claim up to $250 of the fees paid, per child. If your children played hockey, took horseback riding lessons, or participated in some other eligible program of physical activity, you may be able to claim up to $500 per child for the cost of registration in these programs.

Child care expenses – Canadian’s who paid for daycare or a child care program such as a summer day camp, may be able to claim these expenses.

Other benefits to remember – if you have a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit, you may be eligible to claim a transfer of the unused amount. If you are caring for a dependent with a physical or mental impairment, you may be able to claim the Family caregiver amount .

Whatever you do, be sure to contact a tax professional to make sure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to!

Oyaco Celebrates a Birthday!

OYACO, one of Canada’s larger distributors of infant, toddler and maternity products, is turning 15 on Mother’s Day this year! One of the first companies to introduce baby sleeping bags to Canadian parents in 2001, OYACO has continued to bring innovative, creative and truly helpful products to the Canadian marketplace.

OYACO was founded in 2001 by Narda Simpson, President of Oyaco Products. Narda, who continues to run the company today, is an inspiration to Mompreneur’s everywhere. Building a company from an idea drawn up at their kitchen table into a national success story is something many entrepreneurs will do only in their wildest dreams.

“Oyaco is my first baby,” Simpson says. “I wasn’t a mom when I started the company. A friend of mine was making sleeping bags for babies, and I bought one from her to give to one of my friends as a baby gift.” Simpson’s friend was very impressed with the usefulness of the sleeping bag, and word spread to other friends, who were eager to have them for their babies. “Before too long, we found ourselves sewing baby sleeping bags after work in the evening and selling them privately,” she says.

Simpson’s success was fast and furious. With a keen business sense and a natural instinct for knowing what the consumer wants, Simpson started sourcing the product from international manufacturers and distributors to bring to the Canadian market. With the success of the Grobag sales, Simpson’s business started to be recognized by other baby product manufacturers who wanted to enter the Canadian market, and Simpson soon found herself sourcing and importing products from around the world.

“We really strive to make parenting easier,” Simpson says. “We want to take the frustration factor out of parenting by giving parents the tools they need to enjoy these precious moments in their young family’s life. Our products must be practical, otherwise we won’t carry them. This has really been an awesome journey.”

WestCoast Families Congratulates Oyaco on their success!

Xpocity Shopping Social!

Don’t miss the Xpocity Shopping Social on Thursday, September 25th from 4-10 pm at the Vancouver Four Seasons Hotel on West Georgia.

XpoCity is Vancouver’s first Women’s “Shopping Social”, a shopping expo that provides women with the opportunity to discover and experience some of Vancouver’s best and most unique brands, products and services. The event will be featuring up to 70 exclusive vendors in the 5 main aspects of a woman’s lifestyle: Health/Fitness, Beauty/Fashion, Food, Home & Business/Career. XpoCity is the ultimate Social Shopping event for the Vancouver Woman. The woman that is likes to explore and experience all areas of her lifestyle. Our handpicked vendors and brands are the best in their category, offering only quality and lifestyle-enhancing products for women looking for quality in all products they incorporate into their lifestyle. XpoCity is also an event that brings like-minded women together. Through networking, aspiring entrepreneurs, women in business and working professionals can mingle and connect.

The first component of XpoCity will be a Vancouver Professional Women’s Networking Session, where women can mingle, connect and network with other like-minded women. Women will have the unique opportunity to meet and mingle with XpoCity ‘Xperts’ – some of Vancouver’s most influential women in business, media and pr professionals, stylists, bloggers and great personalities!

XpoCity is the ideal evening out, featuring all things women love under one roof including:

  • Great vendors
  • Mini manicure bar
  • Complimentary hair
  • Make-up and eyelash touch-ups
  • Female DJ
  • Refreshments
  • Exclusive offers
  • Shopping
  • Giveaways & Gift cards
  • Much MORE!

Womens Networking Session – 4:00pm – 6:00 pm

Book Signing, Megan Williams, Our Interrupted Fairytale4:30pm – 6:00pm

Xpocity Expo – 5:00pm – 10:00pm

West 49’s 11th National Coat Drive: ‘Coats for Kids’ Encourages You to Sift Through your Closets and Donate Coats.


West 49 customers have consistently delivered strong community support by donating coats for kids who don’t have adequate winter clothing and this year West 49 wants to help kids when the temperatures fall.  Since 2002 more than 85,000 winter coats have been distributed as a result of this program. Each of the 70 West 49 stores across Canada donate coats to a local charitable organization to help families in their community.

“Compassion, kindness and giving back are important to West 49 and our customers who want to have a positive impact in their community,” said Lisa Stuve, Marketing Manager, West 49. “We know that receiving a coat from Coats for Kids makes a big difference for a lot of kids and that something as simple as donating a coat can have an impact in a child’s life when the weather turns cold.  We are encouraging everyone to sift through their closets and donate a coat this year.

West 49 Coats for Kids campaign begins on October 17th and runs through to November 20st.  Coat collection barrels will be placed in each and every store.  Everyone who brings in a clean, insulated gently used winter coat to any West 49 store across Canada will receive $25 off any winter jacket.  Donated jackets will then be given to various youth shelters and charities across the country.

West 49 is encouraging customers to share photos of them donating a coat in store through (http://coatsforkids.west49.com/2013/ via social media with the hashtag #W49C4K.

Don’t Miss the It’s My Family show in Abbotsford

Become part of the family at It’s My Family on Nov 16 & 17, 2013 at the Tradex in Abbotsford.  Don’t miss out on the largest and most interactive show in the Fraser Valley.

Come and rock out to a fantastic performance by Bobs & Lolo. Get in touch with your inner Princess with performances by Snow White and Cinderella or join a princess for story time and be sprinkled with fairy dust in our perfectly princess area.  Be awestruck by the amazing Science World presentation.  Get your giggle on with fabulous performances by Norden the Magician and Neale Bacon and His Crazy Critters. Roll on down to witness the fantastic feats by The World Roundup Freestyle Skateboarding Team.  Jump, tumble, roll, and bounce with the Langley Gymnastics Foundation interactive circuit, bouncy castles and toddler area by Par – T – Perfect and Hamster Balls and Laser Tag by Games2U.

Participate in the photo contest to raise funds for the Canucks Place Children’s Hospice sponsored by Ashley Martins Photography or enter your baby into the Baby Olympics Crawling Contest.

Enter to win the Ultimate Birthday Party Grand Prize or a fabulous 7 day trip for 4 to Southern California provided by Roblin Travel and Western Vacations.

For more info or to purchase tickets please visit www.itsmyfamily.ca or email zoey@itsmyfamily.ca

Welcoming Modern Mama to the North Shore!

Join WestCoast Families at the Modern Mama North Shore’s Launch Party at Gymboree North Shore on Sunday, Jan 27th for the chance to have your child appear on the cover of our magazine!

Bring your child (aged 0 to 5) to Gymboree North Shore between 10:00 am & 3:00 pm on January 27th to have his or her adorable smile captured by Rhonda Dent Photography and Earthling Photography. Every child receives a digital image & families can stay to enjoy the playgym, bubble & parachute games, photo ops with Cloud B‘s giant Gentle Giraffe, snacks from Edgemont Village’s COBS Bread, coffee from Lonsdale Quay’s Bean Around the World & tons of amazing door prizes!

The lucky Cover Kid Contest winner will receive a professional photo shoot & be featured on a 2013 cover of WestCoast Families magazine, and a prize package worth over $800, including:

  • A keepsake print of the magazine cover with logos & captions 3 months of classes at Gymboree North Shore ($234 value)
  • A family portrait session with Rhonda Dent Photography, including online gallery and 4 – 8×10 prints ($325 value)
  • A one-year family membership to Maplewood Farm ($121 value)
  • A one-year family membership to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
  • A $100 date night at the Cactus Club Cafe (for the parents!)
  • Much, much more…stay tuned!

Swag bags for the FIRST 40 PRE-REGISTERED moms/dads (1 per family) worth over $150

Huge door prizes!


Fine Print: Must attend event & have child’s photo taken to claim swag bag. Families from all locations are welcome to attend the event & have photos taken, but only North Shore residents are eligible for the Cover Kid Contest. Car seats & carriers welcome inside Gymboree – please leave strollers in the car or at home (due to space limitations).

Join the mom inc MOVEMENT Tradeshow on Sunday

Andrea Vance, Publisher of WestCoast Families magazine, is super proud to be part of a panel on Sunday at the mom inc MOVEMENT Trade Show. Admission is free, and gets you access to the tradeshow floor and marketplace with more than 50 exhibitors.

You can hear inspiring Keynote Speakers on the main stage, watch a fashion show by Twist, participate in mini coaching sessions, and attend a complimentary one hour tax or financing workshop. Complimentary makeovers and headshots too.

Pre-register at www.momincmovement.com/tradeshow/ and you’ll get a swag bag, avoid lineups at the event, and entry into hourly prize draws.

Sunday Nov 4, 2012 at 10am
Delta Burnaby Hotel, Casino and Conference Centre
4331 Dominion Street – Burnaby, V5G 1C7

If you want even more out of your day, register for the workshops too at www.momincmovement.com/workshops/
Enter code WCFAMILY to get $25 off a full day of workshops.

Holiday Event: Eco-Craft Fair

Students from Grandview and Lord Tennyson Elementary schools will be selling their own eco gifts they have been busy creating with the Education Team from Rocky Mountain Flatbread. A local crafter will also be selling home made crafts. Plus you can make your own eco-friendly bath salts, snow globes, holiday cards and decorations! There will also be local gift baskets for sale, full of products from local food stores. $5 from the sale of every gift basket will go to support World in a Garden, a local community garden in Kerrisdale.

DATE: Wednesday, December 8

TIME: 3:30pm to 6pm

LOCATION: Rocky Mountain Flatbread, 1876 West 1st Ave, Vancouver, 604.730.0321

Momcafe: The Constant Juggle

Don’t miss the next Momcafé event this Friday, November 19 The Boathouse in Kitsilano. Two busy moms (one an entrepreneur, another a lawyer) will share how they combine running strong businesses, raising a family and giving back to their communities. Sit back and relax while you enjoy a light breakfast, steaming latte and onsite childcare, while listening to these inspiring women and connecting with other educated, savvy Vancouver moms.

Andrea Scott is the co-owner of Skoah and Chiiki Munki. She is also an active consultant in the areas of PR and marketing communications, working with some well-known Vancouver companies including Lululemon Athletica, Grouse Mountain Resorts, and the advertising agency Grip Limited. Her experience as a teacher has been instrumental in developing the training program for Skoah employees, and in ensuring Skoah customers understand their skincare program. Andrea is also the founder of the Hopeful Hand, a charity created through Skoah to benefit the parents of ill and terminally ill children at BC Children’s Hospital and the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Andrea has two children.

Michelle Pockey is a partner in the Vancouver law office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. Michelle’s practice principally providing strategic legal and business advice regarding environmental matters and natural resource projects (mining, forestry, energy) and property developments. Michelle is recognized in her community as an entrepreneur and a strong supporter of women in business.  In 1997, she founded and has continues to serve as Chair of the Professional Women’s Network with chapters in Vancouver and Calgary with the sponsorship of Fasken Martineau.  She also serves on the Advisory Board to Young Women in Business and is an active member of the Women President’s Organization (Vancouver Chapter II).  Michelle was nominated and named a finalist for the 2010 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Business and Professional Category. Michelle is married to an architect and has a daughter, Noa, age 5 and a son, Nathan, age 2.

What: momcafé breakfast event “The Constant Juggle—A Fresh Perspective on Balance”

Who: Andrea Scott, Co-Founder of SKOAH & Michelle Pockey, Partner at Faskens Martineau LLP and Founder, Professional Women’s Network

When: Friday, November 19, 2010 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (registration begins at 8:45 a.m.)

Where: 1305 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

Cost: $37 non-members – $31 members (plus HST)

Onsite childcare is available for an additional fee.

To register and for more details visit www.momcafenetwork.com