Library Archives

What is Halloween?

Halloween in VancouverHalloween is a very exciting time of year for many in Canada. Halloween falls on October 31st every year. It was believed that the spirits of the dead could visit the human world and bring them back to the underworld. To stop this from happening, people dress up in costumes to disguise themselves and confuse the spirits.

To prepare, many people decorate homes, schools, and businesses with spider webs, witches, goblins, black cats, zombies, bones and monsters, or anything else that appears spooky or scary. They carve pumpkins with faces or Halloween themed patterns and place a candle inside to light it up. Many scary movies or stories generally come out at this time of year. Orange and black are the colours of Halloween – orange representing the fall harvest, and black signifying death.

Schools usually have students dress up in costumes on Halloween day. Students will then parade from classroom to classroom to show others their costumes and participate in Halloween classroom activities. Around 6:00 pm, many families will take their children out in their neighbourhoods and have them walk door to door calling out “trick or treat.” People who are home will open their doors and give the children goodies – candy, chocolate, chips, or small toys.


Where to celebrate Halloween in Vancouver

If you’re new to Halloween in Canada, don’t be afraid. It is a very fun day and there are many libraries and businesses that offer Halloween themed events for you and your children to take part in.

  • Friday, October 27th: The West Vancouver Memorial Library offers a Halloween Puppet Show filled with spooky fun for 3-5 year olds.
  • Friday, October 27th: The City of Surrey is hosting a Halloween Family Dance with music, crafts for kids, and prizes for best costume. Dress up and gather your friends and family for some festive fun. Register in advance to book your spot!
  • Monday, October 30th: The Surrey Libraries (Semiahmoo branch) has a Halloween Special on October 30th from 3:00-4:00pm, with a Halloween program full of stories, songs, puppets and a dance party. Wear your Halloween costume if you wish.
  • Tuesday, October 31st: The Vancouver Public Library is offering a program called Stories That Haunt Us: A Halloween Storytime for Adults. Renowned local storytellers Mary GavanShane Sableand Michael Sladewill petrify you with blood-chilling tales of the macabre and supernatural. Costumes are encouraged and goosebumps are guaranteed!


Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Finding a job in BC

job in BCHow to find a job in BC

If you’re a newcomer to Canada, you may be facing difficulty landing that first work opportunity. What you may be surprised to learn is that there are numerous organizations and services, free of charge, to assist you in understanding the Canadian workplace – Hidden job markets, workplace culture and expectations, networking, career fairs, resume and cover letter help, employment readiness programs and more. For example:



These events are for October alone! If you’re new to Canada and looking for a job in BC, you can tap into any of these organizations to get started. Each will leave you with an opportunity to explore further the opportunities available to you on your quest for meaningful employment. Good luck.

Celebrate Diwali in Vancouver

Diwali in VancouverDiwali, the festival of light, is a Hindu festival that falls on the 15th day of Kartika, the holiest month in the Hindu calendar. It marks the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night between mid-October and mid-November. It is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism.

This year, Diwali falls on Thursday, October 19th, 2017.

In preparation of this evening, people take the time to clean their homes, dress up in their finest clothes, and light up diyas (lamps and candles) in their homes, around temples, and many other buildings in their communities. People participate in family puja (prayers) to Lakshmi – goddess of fertility and prosperity. After puja, fireworks, family feasts, and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends, follow.

With the Hindu population of the lower mainland, there are many events to mark Diwali.

Diwali Downtown Surrey is the festival’s main event and a key attraction for festival sponsors, drawing thousands of attendees from all demographics for a South Asian cultural extravaganza. Diwali Downtown brings together the best of contemporary and classical Indian culture for the entire family. This year’s event will include over fifteen unique music and dance performances, an Indian style bazaar (marketplace) featuring South Asian crafts and food. This event will be held at the Surrey City Hall on October 1st from 3:00pm-6:00pm.

Diwali at the Vancouver Public Library celebrates sights and sounds of Diwali at an exciting music and dance performance. This event will feature colourful, fast-paced Indian dance performances to celebrate. This event will take place on October 5th from 12:30pm-1:30pm.

Food is a huge part of the Diwali holiday. A Diwali Fest Cooking Class will take place on October 8th from 12:00-2:00pm. You can get into the Diwali spirit through some exciting and tasty cooking classes, for small fee, to take place in the professional community kitchen at the Roundhouse. You will learn how to make delicious traditional Indian dishes through a cooking demonstration, tasting and recipes.

Diwali Downtown will take place October 14th, 3:00-7:00pm for it’s 14th Annual Celebration of the Festival of Lights. This event will feature music and dance performances by local artists, the Rangoli room – an opportunity to help create a room sized mosaic artwork, a Sari-Wrapping workshop and a fashion show.

Finally, the Rangoli Painting Workshop will wrap up the festival on October 17, from 6:30-8:00pm.

Let the lights of Diwali illuminate the years ahead. Happy Diwali.