Archbishop’s Cup: First Test for Notre Dame

Notre Dame on Saturday, 6 Nov 2021

A large crowd gathered around Notre Dame school for the annual Archbishop’s Cup football game on Saturday. Fans spilled out from the stands and stood in the rain along Kaslo Street to watch the game, setting up two shelters and blocking the sidewalk.

Tent blocking sidewalk near firehall

In addition to the overflow crowd, side streets were jammed with visiting cars and there were numerous parking violations. City by-law officers ticketed several vehicles and at least one was towed for parking next to a fire hydrant. This despite parking made available by the school a few minutes walk away at Renfrew and Hastings.

The crowd was noisy, but for the most part well behaved. However, several fans were caught urinating on a garage in the lane between Parker and Venables near Kaslo. When the shocked homeowner told them to stop, they just moved farther up the alley to continue their business.

A small group were drinking beer on the Kaslo sidewalk near the white tent.

The school hired security guards to keep an eye on things on school property. We were told by one of the guards that his jurisdiction didn’t extend to the sidewalks. The City by-law officers were only interested in parking violations. Calls to the Vancouver Police non-emergency line went nowhere as wait times on Saturday were extremely long.

Pass or Fail?

The school deserves a failing grade for the first big event they’ve held since the completion of Juggler Field. Minimal effort was made to inform local residents about the Archbishop’s Cup and the crowd it would attract. And it was only in English and only to people with internet access.

While the field was under construction, flyers were delivered from time to time to warn nearby residents about a change of work hours or an increase in noise. It’s not clear why, given the number of people expected for the game, this wasn’t done. It would be easy to include other languages like Mandarin or Cantonese as well.

NRC – wherefore art thou?

This committee is designed to facilitate communication between the school and residents. It is barely functioning. The school promised quarterly meetings for the Neighbour Relations Committee (NRC), but has failed to live up even to that and still hasn’t published a meeting schedule for this school year.

Regular meetings and more members without direct ties to Notre Dame would help the committee be more effective.

Brown Trees Don’t Make It

People who attend events at Notre Dame are supposed to stay on Notre Dame property and not block sidewalks around the school or stand near the firehall.

One of their building permit requirements states that “perimeter areas should screen the field and not be utilized as additional sitting or standing space”. (DP-2018-00128 condition 1.4 – see link below)

Notre Dame needs to comply with this permit conditions and install screening. The trees planted along Kaslo Street are all dead, as are many of the shrubs and smaller plants. The school built a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art sports facility, but somehow can’t keep a few plants alive.

The local residents need to know why the trees and plants aren’t thriving, and when Notre Dame is going to fix the problem.

In the meantime, if they are going to continue holding events on Juggler Field, perhaps they should look to a temporary screening solution.

And put Jiffy John on speed dial.

10 thoughts on “Archbishop’s Cup: First Test for Notre Dame

  1. The cars racing up and down the street and blocking traffic was horrible with the drivers then walking in the middle of the street to the event. Cars were playing chicken on the street and force the other cars to back all the way back up the street.

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  2. Always bad driving from Notre Dame parents and students. Noise level on Saturday was so loud, it could be heard blocks away. Some people have to sleep in daytime but this is going to be impossible unless they turn down level of noise

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  3. Yes, quite noisy alright. I also heard it from several blocks away. It could have been even louder if we hadn’t had all that rain. It helped to dampen it a little. And probably kept the crowd size smaller than it might have been.

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  4. You live close to a school this is what happens on occasion. As for the dead trees? Does anyone recall the heat of this summer?
    Would you like it to go back to a dirt pile with coyotes and rats running around?

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  5. It’s not about where we live, or dirt piles and rats, but how Notre Dame manages its events. They can do a better job. Juggler Field is a state of the art facility and Notre Dame needs to learn how to handle it in a way that minimizes impacts on the neighbourhood. As for the dead trees, the heat dome is not the only factor. There were other things at play, including a basic design problem. Check with Notre Dame. Ask them how they are going to fix it. It’s part of their permit to have living plants screen the field along Kaslo and not have it as a viewing location. Big events will happen at Notre Dame and it is in everyone’s interest that they run smoothly and safely. I’m sure you agree.

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  6. Definite Fail

    You would think people working in a state of the art facility would be more professional.
    The folks at Wilco did take the time to flyer the neighbourhood during construction.
    They seemed to be responsive to concerns. They were to us.

    So now 6 months later why is the school not being professional?

    1. We need speed bumps on kaslo or maybe traffic circles.
    2. We need proper communication to the neighbours via email and paper.
    3. We need better management of the event from the school side.
    4, We need notification of events like this.

    We do not oppose the school or hate it.
    But frankly we are tired of the unprofessional management running this school.

    We know there will be a handful of events every year, that is OK.
    But at least make an effort,and be proactive. Tell us!

    We all need to put our foot down and get this fixed before they host any other big games or events.
    I went on their website and it has only last weeks information. So are they done?

    So who can we complain to at the City of Vancouver? What about Notre Dame? If concerns are falling on deaf ears, who is next up the line? The Archbishop, a Cardinal the Pope?
    Do tell if anyone knows.

    If you have some updated contacts please share.

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  7. Thank you for your insightful comments. We couldn’t agree more.
    And no, they aren’t done yet. There will be several more games in coming weeks as it is playoff season, The senior team (the one that played in the Archbishop’s Cup) will play again this Saturday, 13 November at 1:30. If they win, there will be a game at the same time the following Saturday. There will also be some weekday games for the younger players.
    Please share your concerns with Notre Dame and the City of Vancouver. The email for ND is community.relations@ndrs.org
    That goes to the V-Principals Dennis Pavan and Jon Tagulao who chair the “Good Neighbour” committee. If you’re interested, you could ask to be on the committee. We’re hoping for more non-Notre Dame affiliated members.

    At City hall, Erica Tsang-Trinaistich is the Project Facilitator responsible for the Notre Dame reconstruction project. Her email is: erica.tsang-trinaistich@vancouver.ca

    Another very good person to write is Sonia Erichsen, at the City of Vancouver. She’s the Manager of Development & Building Services Centre and, as well, Notre Dame’s new Regional Educational Committee( REC) Chair. A key position in the school administration. Like the school board. Her email address is: sonia.erichsen@vancouver.ca
    You can copy all of them!
    That’s probably a good start. There’s always our City Council as well. You can visit the City of Vancouver website to contact them. Next year is an election year.
    And…the Archbishop…why not? You can fill out a form at: https://rcav.org/about/contact
    Thanks again and let us know what happens. Our email address is: notredameneighbours@gmail.com

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  8. The dirt field, bingo, games at Empire were part of Notre Dame when our daughter attended. It was busy but never out of control. We moved away and returned to this amazing neighborhood in 2018. No bingo, dusty dirt piles, and a few chaotic traffic days a year. But just in time for all the controversy about the school field. Three years later, I can honestly say it is a gorgeous site. We see people trying to manage drop-offs and pick-ups, and sometimes school staff is seen picking up garbage on our street. They even cleaned their sidewalks when we have a little snow. Yes there are busy times around the school, maybe 1 hour a day in total. I think we all got a little spoiled with no traffic during the height of Covid19.

    The comments about speeding and crazy traffic are valid. Of course, work on Renfrew and Kaslo streets hasn’t helped the situation. We agree that something needs to be done. I am going to reach out to the Hasting Community Police office and see if they would do a speed watch around the school. I would suggest others do the same, https://hastingssunrisecpc.com/

    If a Neighborhood Relations Committee is supposed to exist, where is it located? I’m very puzzled that no one at the school thought to notify the neighborhood of the Archbishop’s game or anything else they are doing.

    My opinion is that it would be logical for the school to want to engage the neighbors so that this neighborhood can become even better. Normalcy is returning and now we have some big events coming up throughout the year.
    Hence, it is prudent for the school and the neighborhood to get together sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for keeping us all updated.

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  9. Hi Sandi – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I’m not a big fan of all that artificial turf, concrete and asphalt. The dead trees don’t help.
    Be that as it may, Notre Dame has its field of dreams. So far, the school’s dream hasn’t extended much beyond their property line. The website (https://www.ndrs.ca/) is last century. If you turn your head sideways, you can see the “event tab”. That’s the notice about upcoming games.
    If you’d like to see a school that has embraced community engagement, check out St. George’s School: (https://www.stgeorges.bc.ca/welcome/community-relations).They are also undergoing a big redevelopment that has been years in the making.
    Notre Dame doesn’t have to start from scratch. They just have to believe it’s the right thing to do and get on with it. I’m sure St. George’s would be happy to share what they’ve learned.
    Thanks for writing Sandi. If you would like to contact Notre Dame, their community relations email is: community.relations@ndrs.org

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