Erin Shum: Bringing harmony to our parks system

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      As a park board candidate under the Non Partisan Association (NPA) banner for the upcoming Vancouver civic election, I’m hoping to restore harmony to our parks system—both externally, with a renewed focus on city renewal and beautification, and internally, by repairing the broken relationship between the city, neighbourhoods, and community associations. It is in this spirit that I seek your vote on November 15.

      My background has allowed me to see many facets of our city firsthand. After graduating from UBC with a degree in forest genetics, I started working with special needs children, specializing in the autism spectrum disorder. Together, with my mother, I also became an entrepreneur—we own and operate a spa business in Kerrisdale.

      I am devoted to community service. I’ve received the Duke of Edinburgh Award, sat on the Board for Learning Disabilities of Vancouver, volunteered and ran a Girl Guide Brownie unit with the Girl Guides of Canada, and volunteered with the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Currently, I’m a board member for the Kerrisdale Business Association and a volunteer for the Lotus Light Charity Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I also mentor young women in business at UBC.

      Through my experiences teaching, volunteering, and running a business, I’ve found there is a challenge in finding safe, clean community centres and public spaces that offer a diverse range of programs in our city. Many clients at my spa are seniors with limited resources. They feel the constant cutbacks and setbacks to our public facilities—they rely on them for activities and social interaction. I want to restore programs and improve schedules for our community centres—they should be catering to the community. If we improve the way we interact with these associations as a park board, we can more accurately reflect the citizens who rely on them.

      I also want to bring some fun back into our parks through things like accessible art and music events, or outdoor activities for all ages. Imagine an all-ages interactive jungle gym in one of our city’s parks! These are simple ideas, but they all return to putting our public facilities where they should be—front and centre in our community interactions.

      We can do plenty to improve the state of our parks and facilities. Small changes, like regular facility and landscaping maintenance, and regular garbage pickup, will go a long way.

      Restoring harmony to our parks system is an attainable goal. It’s also one that will pay big dividends to our community. If we can repair the relationship between ourselves, as a park board, and the neighbourhoods we serve, we can improve the services and facilities we provide to Vancouver residents, and, ultimately, create a more cohesive city.

      To do that, though, I need your support. On November 15, vote for Kirk LaPointe, Erin Shum, and the rest of the NPA team.




      Oct 10, 2014 at 11:33am

      What does an owner of a spa know about our parks?

      Raymond Tomlin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 11:59am

      I'll say what I said on Facebook this morning: I've had the opportunity to speak to Erin Shum multiple times while the two of us were in attendance at Park Board meetings. Erin is a bright and tough-minded young woman who knows parks and recreation issues in Vancouver.

      Let me tell you - Erin is nobody's fool. I believe that Erin will emerge as a necessary advocate and strong voice for the people of Vancouver when she is elected on November 15th.

      For me, Erin Shum is one of Vancouver's must-elects in 2014.

      Tommy Khang

      Oct 10, 2014 at 12:32pm

      @TJ Ok lets play this game what do all the following currently have in common: Sales & Marketing Manager at a non-profit, former social worker, marketing consultant, realtor, entreprenuer, and an aboriginal lawyer? That sums up your current park board commissioners.


      Oct 12, 2014 at 12:08am

      I'm with TJ on this one

      Park lover

      Oct 12, 2014 at 8:30am

      TJ for mayor, Trevor for Park Board

      Free manicures

      Oct 13, 2014 at 2:32pm

      Maybe her plan is to give us mani and pedis at our 520 parks in Vancouver

      Google her

      Oct 15, 2014 at 11:28pm

      look at the reviews of her business, majority of them are negative. If she can't even manage her business, how can she run for our parks.

      Stop being sexist!

      Oct 17, 2014 at 6:22pm

      Ya, you know that there's this website called Google her, Free manicures, Anonymous you guys should take a look at that. Stop being so friggin sexist.


      Oct 17, 2014 at 7:12pm

      Haters gotta hate and trollers gotta troll. You schmucks are Clearly threatened by someone who might actually have had some success in life, and could actually be helpful to your city. There are five seats on park board, so it ain't necessary to on bring her down, so you all can bring your man, Loke up. Especially since that boy's already been on the board for a term and what's he accomplished? Nothing. Wait... he managed to piss off community centres, almost paved kits beach (a vancouver icon) and almost killed the aquarium. Overall he is great at staying quiet to protect his darling fledgling political career... and that's why we need some new blood on park board. And BTW those are facts, not hate. He is a nice guy i am sure, but the results are in. Time for change.