28th Annual Women’s Memorial March: Thursday, February 14th, 2019

The Flag Shop Provides Doggie Daycare for a Good Cause

Top Left: Crystal feeding our fur babies; Bottom Left: Our EVP’s adorable Ruby; Right: Our President’s beloved Mocha (who’s been with us since Day 1), counted during inventory

A few weeks ago, one of our customer service reps, Graham, asked if he could bring his girlfriend Vanessa’s dog, Ollie, to work on Tuesdays. It turns out that Vanessa would be busy on Tuesdays sewing a traditional star blanket in preparation for the 28th Annual Women’s Memorial March. To make this happen, she was looking for a temporary doggie daycare solution. This is where we came in! The Flag Shop is a family business – and that includes all of our fur babies, who come to work with us every day: Lizzy, Mocha, Nike, Ruby, and Fuzzbie. So, of course, Ollie’s in great company!

Ollie with Graham and Tatyana

The Star Blanket
The special star blanket is an expression of love and healing which will be presented to a family member of one of the missing women. When The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman first heard about the reason that Ollie needed daycare, she said, “Having Ollie at work on Tuesdays is just one way we can help out, supporting the efforts of others who are getting ready for the march.” She added, “I’m so grateful to have a way to share this event with others, because this march is about honouring missing and murdered women, and helping to make sure that our lost sisters are never, ever forgotten.”

The 28th Annual Women’s Memorial March is coming up on Thursday, February 14th, 2019. In 1992, an Indigenous woman was senselessly murdered on Powell Street, which hits close to home for us. This sparked action by the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). What began from outrage and grief, turned into a constructive expression of caring and compassion for the lost women and girls of Coast Salish Territory, DTES. This is how the march began, nearly 30 years ago. The sad truth is that, even today, women of the DTES, and in particular Indigenous women, continue to face violence and abuse and death.[1]

The Staggering Truth About Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls[2]
According to the Government of Canada Department of Justice (DOJ), as of 2017, of the total population of missing women in Canada, 10% are Indigenous. According to DOJ findings, 6,849 women were murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2014, and of those, 16% were Indigenous. Of these women, 53% lost their lives at the hands of a family member. The highest number of cases of murdered Indigenous women between 2001 and 2014 were reported in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. In Yukon alone, the numbers of homicides were 12 times higher for Indigenous women, compared to non-Indigenous women.

Marching for an Important Cause – Their Spirits Live Within Us
If you would like to join this march in honour of murdered and missing women, here is what you’ll need to know:
On Thursday, February, 14th, family and community members will gather in remembrance at 10:30 a.m.
The march will start at noon from Carnegie at Main and Hastings in Musqueam, Squamish, and Selilwitulh territories. For additional information, please visit: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/.

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[1] https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
[2] https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/jf-pf/2017/docs/july04.pdf

G’Day Mate! Australia Day is on Saturday, January 26th

Get Your Flag on and Celebrate in Aussie Style!

It’s Australia Day on January 26th, and what a great time to spotlight this country and its people. It’s a day when all Australians and lovers of Australia around the world will be celebrating. Whether it’s the amazing wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos, or famous sights like the Great Barrier Reef, or the Sydney Opera House, Aussies have a lot to be proud of, and to celebrate! On Australia Day, many will gather with family and friends to enjoy drinks, barbecues, concerts, boat races and citizenship ceremonies.

From Convicts and Criminals to Clothing-Optional Beaches
It was on January 26th 1788, when the First Fleet of British ships landed in Port Jackson. Captain Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack, establishing the first British colony at Sydney Cove. And, did you know that the first colonies of Australia were designated as penal settlements, to exile criminals and convicts? Today, modern-day Australia is home to many awe-inspiring sights, such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Shark Bay and clothing-optional beaches, like Maslin Beach in Adelaide.

Shark Bay, Western Australia – Source: https://www.sharkbay.wa.gov.au/

Seven Interesting Facts About Australia
Sourced from: http://tingoeducation.com.au/10-interesting-facts-about-australia/  

Australia is known as the world’s sixth largest country by total area after Russia, Canada, the US, China and Brazil.

Australia is a beach paradise, with over 10,000 beaches. If you visited a new beach every day, for 27 years, you still wouldn’t see them all.

Australia is ranked as the second-best in the world for quality of life, health, education and economic freedom.

Australia is one big island surrounded by more than 8,000 smaller islands.

The Red Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. This species of kangaroo is known to be the largest, and is native to Australia. The meaning behind the Red Kangaroo as the national animal of Australia is that it’s not particularly good at walking backwards. This symbolizes determination to move forward, as a nation.

Over 300 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia, together with 45 Indigenous languages.

Australia ranks number 54 in countries of the world by population, and the current population of Australia is over 25 million, as of 2019.[1]

The National Flag
Australia’s national flag holds three main elements, which are the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross. The Union Jack reflects the history of British settlement, the Commonwealth Star has seven points representing the states and territories of the commonwealth, and the Southern Cross is a constellation, positioned in the design to signify Australia’s geography. [2]

We all know that national flags are symbols of national identity and pride. No matter where we come from, we can understand how it feels to see our own nation’s flag being unfurled, raised and flying overhead! And, every flag has its own story to tell. Did you know that the Australian National Flag is the only one in the world which flies over an entire continent? This glorious flag is also the first one to involve a public competition. Five people tied in the competition and co-designed the flag. One of the designers was Ivor Evans, a 14-year-old from Melbourne, whose father owed a flag making business, and another was Annie Dorrington, a famous artist from Perth.[3]

So Many Ways to Celebrate in Canada
We know there may be 14,000 kms, and the largest ocean in the world, separating us from Australia, but we Canadians love to celebrate with our Aussie mates. On January 26th, get your flag on and join in on one of the many Australia Day events happening in your community. While we couldn’t list all celebrations across Canada, here are few of them, with convenient links to more details:

Vancouver, BC
Australia Day Games at Strathcona Park (AFLBC)
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2AUCnCg

Kelowna, BC
Australia Day at Big White Ski Resort
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2FWQ1Z9

North Okanagan, BC
Silverstar Mountain Resort Annual Australia Day Bikini Run
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2HrZJoC

Fernie, BC
Australia Day at the Kodiak Lounge
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2R6rjHi

Golden, BC
Australia Day at the Kicking Horse
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2RH8BeB

Whistler, BC
Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibit at the Audain Art Museum
Open Until January 28th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2S4RFhy

Calgary, AB
Unicorn Pub Australia Day Party
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: http://superpub.ca/

Banff, AB
Australia Day at Sunshine Village
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2R7qMF4

Montreal, QC
Australia Day at the Mad Hatter Pub
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2RFbQmM

Toronto, ON
Australia Day Celebration Dinner at the Australian Wine Society of Toronto
Friday, January 25th 2019
For information, please visit: http://www.aws.ca/
Tickets: https://bit.ly/2RKsP7t

Gladstone Hotel Triple J Hottest 50 Countdown Party
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2W9nXr0

Want to Know More About Where to Get Your Aussie Flags?
We’re so glad you asked! No matter how you’ll celebrate, all of our Flag Shop locations across Canada carry Australia flags in all sizes! We also have crests and friendship pins. So, stop “faffing around” as they say, and let us know how we can help you and your mates get ready for a “rip snorter” of an Australia Day!

On a Serious Note

How Did You Like Our Blog!?
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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population
[2] https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/australian-national-flag
[3] http://www.australianflag.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=103
[4] https://www.reconciliation.org.au

Carson Graham Secondary School Students Get Creative and Help the Environment 

Textiles Donated by The Flag Shop Find New Life and New Purpose

In today’s blog we’re giving a big shout-out to some students from Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver. These grade 10, 11, and 12 Home Economics students, instructed by their teacher, Whitney de Beer, recently worked on some fun, creative, and socially responsible sewing projects.

Whitney de Beer with Grade 12 Students Victoria, Niki, Aynaz and Alyssa

It was back in the summer when Whitney’s family ordered a flag from us, and some time later, in preparation for her Home Economics classes, she started asking around to find textile donations for her class projects. She remembered The Flag Shop and reached out to us. Of course, we were thrilled to offer our recyclables to help the students give them new purpose.

Yesterday’s Banners and Flags Become Today’s Tote Bags

The students were very excited when they heard about the fabric donation, and were keen to design their bags based on the shapes and colours in the printed material. They were given creative freedom, and using a standard pattern, they chose how to position the material and where to cut it. They were proud and enthusiastic about using resources that may have otherwise been thrown out. The unique and one-of-a-kind bags combine design and functionality, and help to keep the conversation going about social responsibility among youth in our community.

Pinning and Sewing

Whitney has taught Textiles for six years to students in grades 8 – 12. Reflecting on these projects and the impact on her students, Whitney said, “This work encourages creativity while at the same time is perfect for all students, regardless of varying levels of sewing experience.” She added, “It’s an awesome opportunity to use resources from our community, and is a big plus in caring for our environment.”

From Tote Bags to Gym Bags
Grade 10 students also do a recycled fabric project every year and have always been asked to bring their materials from home. With plenty of fabric left over from the tote bag project, it was an easy decision to put it to good use.

Function and Style in the Making

Students were asked to identify a target group, who may have a specific need for a bag. Whitney explained, “While we call it our gym bag project, it’s not necessarily a gym bag that they make, but rather a bag intended meet a need and serve a defined purpose.” She added, “The flag and banner material donation was very valuable because it meant that all grade 10s would be able to use a common fabric, rather than a variety, which helped so much with collaboration.”

Students used basic sewing skills and incorporated a pocket with a zipper or a button. They each created three designs and made a pattern for a basic bag with a drawstring. The flag material worked so well because it’s durable, washable, and easy to sew.

Drawstring Bags with Zippers or Pockets

Our Planet Is Worth Protecting
We want to say “Thank you!” to Whitney and the Home Economics students of Carson Graham Secondary, for allowing us to be a part of something that has transformed banners and flags into beautiful and functional bags, giving them new and extended life! The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, is a former school teacher with the Vancouver School Board who understands the impact that projects like these have in influencing and empowering young minds to protect our world. Susan said, “If you’re a teacher who is thinking about leading a special project, we would love to help!” She added, “Encouraging a sense of social responsibility in our students, while teaching them to think creatively about environmental issues, – these are the things that will stay with them for a lifetime!”

Victoria, Niki and Alyssa Showing off Finished Bags

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The Flag Shop Nova Scotia Reaches Quarter Century Milestone

Join Us as We Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia recently celebrated a major milestone, marking an important day in its long and rewarding history. Join us as we take a look back – and what better place to start than the very beginning?

Debbie Visiting The Flag Shop Vancouver in the Early 1990s

As the first independently franchised shop, Debbie Hartlen bought The Flag Shop Nova Scotia in November of 1993. It began when Debbie’s husband, Bruce Hartlen, saw an ad in the newspaper. Debbie was intrigued by the concept, recognizing she could use both her love of sewing, and the management experience she’d developed through her nursing career. She said, “My career background is actually in Nursing – I’m an RN, and in those earliest days, I was doing both – part-time Nursing and running the shop!”

Original Press Release – 1993

Looking back, there are so many memories for Debbie and her family. The Flag Shop is a family business, and all of her kids, and even her granddaughter, Alyssa, have worked there over the years.

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia Family and Staff

As for major highlights, it was in the mid-90s when The Flag Shop Nova Scotia won its bid to supply the Navy with its first sets of minesweeper signal flags. The team cut and sewed an astonishing 2,400 flags for that first order, and since then, they have supplied military flags on many different projects.

Carole Aylard Sewing a Signal Flag – 2016

Debbie remembers the millennium flags project, for the Nova Scotia Art Museum, in 2000. This was a project whereby communities designed flags to present their visualization of their collective identity, and could participate by submitting their flag designs. Through this project, more than 50 flag designs were received. The Flag Shop Nova Scotia produced two of each of the flags, one of which was flown at the museum, with the second being displayed in the community.

Millennium Flags Project – 2000

Who can forget the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax? Debbie, her husband, Bruce, her sales manager, Carole, and her daughter, Stephanie installed 30 flagpoles at the Emera Oval skating rink, in the middle of a raging snowstorm!

Canada Winter Games – Emera Oval – 2011

In 2013, The Flag Shop Nova Scotia expanded, doubling its shop and production space from 900 to 1,800 square feet. Debbie said, “It’s been an amazing journey over the years, with many hills and valleys.” She added, “We are most proud of our reputation – we are known for being helpful, while providing excellent service, as well as the highest quality products. We work with our clients, meeting their deadlines and providing whatever they may need.” It’s no wonder at all that they’ve had a consistent increase in sales, year after year!

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia – 2017

More recently, just this past September, as part of a ship building project, The Flag Shop Nova Scotia supplied Irving Shipbuilding Inc with the bunting for the Harry DeWolfe Naming Ceremony. Debbie said, “These are just a few of the many projects we’ve had over the last 25 years. There were countless others and we’re proud to have been a part of all of them!”

Harry DeWolfe Naming Ceremony – October 2018

As far as future plans go, Debbie says she is looking forward to slowing down, all the while identifying where new options for growth might be, and how to further expand the business.

Nursing has continued to be a part of Debbie’s life. This has been facilitated by the wonderful people, such as Carole Aylard, who have supported her decision and stepped up to make sure the shop continued to run smoothly. Debbie received her Masters of Nursing in 2013, and is currently doing doctoral studies in Education, having started in 2016. She is set to graduate in October 2019. Wow! So, this is what “slowing down” looks like to Debbie!

Debbie Sewing a Nova Scotia Flag

Debbie also volunteers by directing a children’s choir at her church and contributing to various food projects, such as Feed Others of Dartmouth (F.O.O.D).

Congratulations to Debbie and her family on their 25th Anniversary, and thank you for being a valuable part of The Flag Shop family.

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Announcing New Ownership of The Flag Shop Montreal

Keeping It in the Family: Best Wishes Ginette – Welcome Marc-André!

By Susan Braverman

It’s with a bittersweet sense of joy that I announce a change in ownership of Le Flag Shop Montréal.

Ginette Bazergui joined The Flag Shop Montreal as store manager in 2000 and loved it so much that she bought the franchise a year later. It was a natural fit for Ginette who, prior to her time with us, spent many years in retail management, and also owned a stationery and gift store.

Ginette Bazergui with Husband, Peter Liontos and Doreen Braverman at NAVA 37 in Montreal – 2003

Ginette fondly remembers those earliest days at The Flag Shop. She recalled, “I just loved it, from day one! Aside from the great relationships with our customers and suppliers, I remember other major things like setting up all the accounting.” She added, “They just could not tear me away from the shop!”

The First Flag Shop Montreal at 3187 Rue Saint-Jacques in Saint-Henri 

Talking with Ginette in recent years, I knew the time for new ownership would come “one day” but by the beginning of this year, I could tell it would be happening sooner rather than later. For Ginette, it took time to get used to the idea of retirement. As ready as she was to start the next chapter of her life, jet-setting around the world with her husband, Peter Liontos, she was torn because she loved the shop so much! Finding the perfect buyer to service her loyal customers in Montreal would be the biggest factor in helping her to hand over the reins.

The New Flag Shop Montreal at 1320 Rue Charlevoix in Pointe St-Charles

Keeping It All in the Family
Marc-André Bazergui, Ginette’s nephew, just so happens to live right around the corner from the new Flag Shop, on Charlevoix. One evening while out walking the dog, he noticed the new logo on the storefront and said to his partner, “It would be funny if I bought The Flag Shop.” Following discussions with the family, it became clear that this would be the right decision for Marc-André, and the family. He said, “It’s the best of all things because the flexibility of ownership will allow me to balance my work with my passions.”

Ginette, Peter and a Young Marc-André in 2003

Marc-André has worked many years in the field of IT and is passionate about engaging with a number of on-line communities. He is a huge advocate of STEM Robotics and is involved in advancing this field. He enjoys creating custom LEGO® projects – something which began in his childhood, and he likes connecting with people. As Marc-André learns the ropes from his aunt, I have no doubt he will become a Flag Shop powerhouse! And, Ginette will never be too far away as she supports him in this transition. She likes to remind me that I can’t get rid of her that easily!

In Spanish, there’s a beautiful word “jubilar”, which holds a dual meaning – to rejoice and to retire. Please join me in wishing Ginette a most jubilant retirement, and also in welcoming Marc-André as the new owner of Le Flag Shop Montréal.

Marc-André and Ginette in the Shop Office – November 2018  

Félicitations, Ginette et Marc-André!

November 14th is World Diabetes Day: The Family and Diabetes

The Staggering Reality of Diabetes in Canada and Beyond

40′ x 80′ World Diabetes Flag Made by The Flag Shop Head Office 

Happy Birthday, Sir Frederick Banting
World Diabetes Day (WDD) takes place every year on November 14th. It was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This important day is set aside to promote advocacy and collective action in addressing diabetes as a global health epidemic. In 2006, the United Nations (UN) passed Resolution 61/225, making WDD an official UN Day. November 14th was chosen because it is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who together with Charles Best – both Canadians – discovered insulin in 1922.[1]

What is Diabetes?
In simple terms, diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot use glucose properly. As the main source of energy for the body, glucose levels are controlled by insulin. When the body (pancreas) produces no or very little insulin, this is type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics need daily insulin injections and regular checks of blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas sometimes makes enough insulin, but the body doesn’t respond to it properly. This is known as insulin resistance. Treatment for type 2 diabetes may include exercise, healthy eating, medication, and monitoring blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes can lead to additional health risks, especially when diabetes is not well-controlled. These may include: impaired vision, stroke, and heart disease.

World Diabetes Day Theme 2018-19: The Family and Diabetes
According to IDF global statistics, more than 425 million people have diabetes, and half of all cases are undiagnosed.[2] The WDD theme, spanning two years, highlights the impact on families and the role families play in diabetes management, care, prevention, and education. Today, less than 25% of all family members have access to diabetes self-management education which supports improved quality of life. For those needing insulin, the costs can be very high, and even unaffordable, impacting the livelihood and health of families.[3]

Diabetes in Canada
Every three minutes in Canada, someone receives a diabetes diagnosis.[4] According to Diabetes Canada, in 2015, 3.4 million Canadians were diagnosed with diabetes. Estimates for undiagnosed diabetes were at 1 million, and in that same year, 5.7 million Canadians were found to be prediabetic.[5] This amounts to more than 10 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Looking ahead to 2025, the total number of Canadians to be diagnosed with diabetes is expected to reach 5 million.[6]

Get Involved and Make a Difference
Aside from World Diabetes Day on November 14th, the month of November is Diabetes Awareness Month. For a full listing of events in your community, please visit the Diabetes Canada events page at: https://www.diabetes.ca/in-your-community/local-programs-events/find-a-program-or-event

3′ x 6′ World Diabetes Day Flag Made by The Flag Shop New Brunswick 

World Diabetes Day Symbol – Flying High on a Flag
The blue circle is a universal symbol giving diabetes a common identity. Its purpose is to show support of all efforts to spotlight diabetes around the world. Across many cultures, the circle symbolizes life and health. It was the passing of UN Resolution 61/225 that inspired the blue circle, reflecting the colour of the sky, and the colour of the UN flag. This is significant because the UN represents unity among many nations, and holds a strong and influential position to signal governments to take action in the fight against diabetes.[7]

Diabetes concerns every family.
Know the signs and symptoms because early detection and treatment matter!

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[1] www.worlddiabetesday.org
[2][3] https://www.idf.org/e-library/epidemiology-research/54-our-activities/455-world-diabetes-day-2018-19.html
[4][5][6] https://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/advocate/why-federal-leadership-is-essential
[7] https://www.worlddiabetesday.org/resources/logo.html

100 Years Ago on November 11th, 1918 the First World War Came to an End

Honouring Our Canadian War Heroes in the Fight for Peace and Freedom

On November 11th, we remember Canadians who fought for peace and freedom, and especially those who did not return home. It was on this date, 100 years ago, in 1918, at 11:11 a.m. that the First World War ended. Officially called Remembrance Day, it is also known as Armistice Day, or Poppy Day. We remember our many brave soldiers who endured the hardships of war throughout history, as well as those who served (and continue to serve) in peace-keeping missions far away from Canadian soil.

Remembrance Day may have originated as a means to mark the ending of the First World War. However, since 1866 to present day, Canada has been involved in 19 wars. These include the Fenian Raids (1866–1871), the Wolseley Expedition (1870), the North-West Rebellion (1885), the Second Boer War (1899–1902), the First World War (1914–1918), the Russian Civil War (1918–1920), the Second World War (1939–1945), the Korean War (1950–1953), the Persian Gulf War (1990–1991), the Somali Civil War (1992–1995), the Bosnian War (1992–1995), the Kosovo War (1998–1999), the Afghanistan War (2001–2014), the Libyan Civil War (2011), and the International Military Intervention against ISIL (2014-present).[1]

The True North Strong and Free – A Heavy Price Was Paid
November 11th is an important day of remembrance. This is especially true since, with each passing year, there are fewer survivors of world wars. It’s more important than ever to remember the sacrifices they made for our country. We honour these courageous soldiers for their service, keeping Canada strong and free.

Ways to Remember
Donate to the Poppy Fund and Wear a Poppy
Poppies, which are sacred symbols of remembrance, should be worn on the left lapel, closest to the heart. They are to be worn from the last Friday in October until the evening of November 11th. Donations to the Poppy Fund support war veterans and their families.[2]

Visit a War Museum and Learn About Military History
Spending time at an aviation or military museum is a great way to remember the sacrifice of heroic Canadians who gave of themselves to preserve our freedom. More information about military museums, including virtual exhibits and galleries can be found at the Government of Canada’s Military Museums website[3]

Attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony in Your Community
Remembrance Day ceremonies are planned across the country, and beyond, by many of the 1,400 branches of the Royal Canadian Legion. [4]  Find out more about ceremonies in your community, including a branch locator at www.legion.ca, or visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website, for events across Canada.

Flags on display at George Derby Centre, a veteran care facility in Burnaby, BC

Remembrance Day Flags – Buy Them and Fly Them
The Flag Shop carries a full range of Canadian-made Remembrance Day products as well as ensigns and military flags to honour our serving and fallen heroes.

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
– John McCrae

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If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories, or learn about events taking place in your community, you can subscribe in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and hassle-free! And, don’t worry, if you’re not captivated by every word, unsubscribing is just as easy!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_Canada
[2] http://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign/donate-to-the-poppy-fund
[3] https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/caf/militaryhistory/militarymuseums/museums.html
[4] http://www.legion.ca/remembrance/remembrance-day

The Flag Shop Edmonton Supports Dogs with Wings Changing Lives for the Better

Adorable Black Lab “Iggy” Destined for Greatness

The Flag Shop Edmonton is thrilled to be a sponsor of Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society – in particular, supporting the training-for-service of Iggy, an outrageously cute black lab.


The sponsorship, which began in 2017, involves a two-year financial commitment. Phyllis Bright, The Flag Shop Edmonton owner said, “Dogs with Wings does incredible work and truly understands what it means to impact the community in real and positive ways.” She added, “Supporting Iggy’s training has been a heart-warming experience, because we know he will do great things for someone who needs him, and someone who will love him.”

Iggy and Phyllis

Iggy’s Training Plan
As with all other puppies in training, Iggy’s lengthy training is a carefully and lovingly-planned undertaking, involving many skilled, caring people, and resources. For the first year, Iggy lived with his foster family, the Dubois’, who loved and nurtured him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also took him to puppy school once a week. Now in his second year of training, Iggy attends puppy school every day.

Doreen Slessor – Source: dogswithwings.ca

Dogs with Wings Executive Director, Doreen Slessor said, “It takes a lot of hard work on the part of many dedicated people to create the magic of our working dogs.” She adds, “We are very grateful to The Flag Shop Edmonton for its sponsorship of Iggy, which will help support his trainers, provide veterinary care, food, and equipment, such as his service vest.”

Dogs with Wings brings positive change for so many, thanks to its passionate and committed team, many of whom are volunteers. Its mission is to increase the mobility and independence of persons with disabilities and to enhance their quality of life by providing highly-skilled assistance dogs with professional training and ongoing support.[1]

Sourced from Twitter

Since 1996, hundreds of people have fostered dogs in training. Dogs with Wings currently runs training programs in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and Calgary, relying on more than 200 active volunteers from the community. These programs support their clients, empowering people to reach their fullest potential. Dogs with Wings trains dogs to fulfill specific roles, including guide dogs, service dogs, autism dogs, faculty dogs, and companion dogs.[2]

Companion Dog Tiko with Jim – Source: dogswithwings.ca

Partner with Dogs with Wings and Everybody Wins!
The costs to breed, raise, train and match one assistance dog are in the range of $40,000. Sponsoring a dog like Iggy helps to offset these costs. It’s also a great way to reflect a sense of good corporate citizenship while contributing to pride in your corporate brand, and building your reputation for supporting humanitarian causes.[3]

Thank you, Dogs with Wings for being a community leader in improving quality of life for Albertans, and for matching people with specially-trained assistance dogs. Your work is changing lives for the better!

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[1] [2] [3] https://dogswithwings.ca

An Unexpected and Heart-Warming Story of Caring and Soul Sisterhood

Students of Merritt Secondary March in Pride Parade and Meet the Prime Minister

By Susan Braverman

It seems like only yesterday when we were having such a BLAST at Vancouver Pride Fest. It was a magical time of being out in the community, and meeting so many amazing people. And, though it may be over, we’re already looking forward to next year!

While we had other plans for today’s blog, an unexpected turn of events led us to switch things up, to share a story about caring and human connection. It’s a beautiful example of what can happen when just one person notices a need in the community and steps up to take action. It truly warms my heart!

Enter Astrid. She had called The Flag Shop to order Pride flags for the grand opening of her business, Mary’s on Davie. In conversation with one of my account managers, she mentioned Merritt Secondary School, which had made headlines in the spring. For years, the students of the school’s LGBTQ and Indigenous clubs had been planning for a crosswalk near their school, to be painted with the symbolic rainbow colours. When the school district presented the proposal to City Council, it was not approved.[1]

As a concerned citizen seeing this in the news, Astrid wanted the kids to be loved, to belong, and to be seen. She wanted to see them marching in the Pride parade. She said, “I was so sad to learn about the struggles and disappointment of the students at Merritt Secondary.” She added, “High school is hard enough as it is, with kids looking for love and acceptance, while trying to find their own place in the world.” Creating an incredible ripple effect, the more she shared this story with others, the more support the kids received!

Merritt Secondary Students Feel the Pride Parade Love
The most exciting thing is that the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) generously opened up a spot for the students, making room for them and their supporters, to march in the Pride parade. And the Davie Village came together donating thousands of dollars for a bus to transport the group to the parade. All I can say is “Wow!”

As both a business owner who is passionate about making a positive impact, and a former school teacher, Astrid and I have many things in common. Though we only met recently, I loved her the minute we met! I am deeply humbled by who she is, and the ways she gives back to her community. She does this quietly, choosing to stay out of the limelight, and instead shining the light on the needs of others. It didn’t take long to realize we’re soul sisters. We knowingly share parallel philosophies, that there is true joy in giving and serving others, and believing that all human beings have a role and responsibility to show compassion to those in need. It’s an honour to stand alongside the champions and heroes in our community.

Students of Merritt Secondary School

I’m so grateful for the chance to equip the students with everything they needed for the parade. We were thrilled to donate the banner they carried as they marched, and of course, the handheld Pride flags, too! Way to express yourself at the parade, Panther Pride of Merritt Secondary – we’re so proud of you!

[1] https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/rejected-rainbow-crosswalk-in-merritt-b-c-sparks-broader-community-support-1.3833271

Hello Vancouver – Pride Is Here!

Pride Premiere Tonight & Pride Fest August 5th – Two for the Price of One

This is the fourth year of having our booth at Pride Fest, and new this year, we’re so excited to be invited to exhibit at Pride Premiere, too! If you’ve been driving by our store on Powell in your daily commute, you may have seen our gang setting up in the parking lot. That’s because we were doing our dry run and dress rehearsals before heading down to Robson Street.

The Gang’s All Ready for Pride!

The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, said, “Time flies! With Pride Premiere today, and Pride Fest just around the corner, my team and I are getting excited!” She added, “Pride Week is a truly magical time when we have a chance to be out in the community, so attending two major Pride events is a double whammy of the best kind!”

The Latest and the Greatest in Pride Products – You’re in for a Big Surprise!
First there was one, two and four, and now there’s so many more! True to our policy to go big or go home, our product line has exploded! Stop by our booth and see us! We’ll be easy to spot among the crowds – just look for the colourful flags waving in the air. We’re launching most of our new products tonight, and we’ll have all of them next week at the Pride parade. For a sneak peek, go to http://pride.flagshop.com/ and get ‘em while they’re HOT! And be sure to check back often, because we’re always making our Pride site better.

Pride Flags of All Kinds

The Scoop on Pride Premiere and Pride Fest – When and Where
Pride Premiere
Friday, July 27, 2018 – 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight
Vancouver Art Gallery
Robson at Hornby
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/calendar//events/1491907

Pride Festival at Sunset Beach
Sunday, August 5, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunset Beach
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/calendar////1383471

40th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade
Sunday, August 5, 2018 – 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Parade route: Robson – Denman – Pacific
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/index.php?ch=Events&sc=&id=1383470

Brunch and Parade Viewing at The Boathouse
Sunday, August 5, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.
1795 Beach Ave
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/calendar//events/1332476

So, What Else is Going On?
Glad you asked! There are plenty of other Pride events happening in Vancouver. With far too many to mention, here are just a couple more that we found:

Pride at the Pier
Sunday, July 31, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.
The Shipbuilder’s Square
Wallace Mews, North Vancouver
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/calendar////1514660

Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast
Saturday, August 4, 2018 – 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Jim Deva Plaza
1200 Bute St
For more info, visit: http://www.vancouverpride.ca/index.php?ch=Events&sc=&id=1491908

For information about Pride in Vancouver, including events and information, please visit the Vancouver Pride Society website. Thank you to the amazing bunch at the Vancouver Pride Society for all you do!

Celebrate LGBTQ2+ Pride!