The Still Moon Arts Society is a Vancouver-based community organization that involves local residents in the ecological and social life of the Still Creek neighbourhood through cultural activities, participatory arts, and collaborative management.
Mission and Purpose
The Still Moon Arts Society is dedicated to the participatory management of Still Creek and the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood. Still Moon actively encourages and facilitates participation, interaction, and engagement around issues of environmental sustainability, artistic and cultural heritage, and community wellbeing. Their vision is "a Still Creek neighbourhood where people live as part of a healthy ecosystem and participate in a community where the arts thrive."
Origins and Development
The Still Moon Arts Society was established by Terry Taylor in 2004. The Society’s founding corresponded with the increased urbanization around and degradation of Still Creek in the Renfrew Ravine and the beginning action-phase of the 2002 “Still Creek Rehabilitation and Enhancement Study” commissioned by the City of Vancouver. The Society was instrumental in securing community members a seat at the table during in the formulation and implementation of an ecosystem-based management model of the Creek through the Integrated Stormwater Management Plan beginning in 2007.
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
The Still Moon Arts Society is overseen by a nine-member Board of Directors headed by President Crecien Bencio and Vice-President Henry Lau. Its work is supported by team of individuals including Artistic Director, Carmen Rose, General Manager, Bea Miller, a nine-person Youth Committee, and an eight-person Communications Committee. Most of their activities are open to the public but certain events — such as monthly meetings of the Streamkeepers — require registration and recruitment efforts generally targeted at community members and residents of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood.
The Society is a registered non-profit, funded through donations, grants, and public/private partnerships. As well, the Society also offers a number of services priced from $300-$400 including group tours of Renfrew Ravine, Lantern Workshops, Community-Engaged Art Talks, and stilt performers.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
Still Moon Arts Society specializes in the use of participatory arts to connect community members to each other and to the land. Through artistic experiences and expression, the Society imparts a passion for nature and communal living. Their yearly Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival features a diverse array of participatory arts.
Ecosystem Based Management and Stewardship
The Society and its group of Still Creek Streamkeepers have been involved in the planning, restoration, and ongoing community governance of Still Creek in the Renfrew Ravine through an ecosystem-based model of management. The Streamkeepers host public educational sessions on stream stewardship and their work includes the following activities:
- Water quality testing
- Ravine cleaning
- Garbage removal
- Invertebrate sampling
- Removing invasive species and replanting with native plants
Major Projects and Events
Restoration of Still Creek
As an official partner in the establishment of an ecosystem-based management model of stream governance over Still Creek, the Still Moon Arts Society was tasked with “co-ordinat[ing] activities, provid[ing] leadership, and ensur[ing] liaison between all collaborators [as well as] connect[ing] people to resources in the community through EBM [ecosystem-based management] implementation.” Since 2007, the Society and its group of Still Creek Streamkeepers continue to monitor the health of the creek and to organize events and activities to improve the water quality, sustain ecosystems, and rehabilitate the newly returned salmon.
Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
A yearly event, the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is a celebration of creativity, community, and nature. Featuring local artists and various spectator and hands-on activities, the Festival invites participants to celebrate the harvest season, learn more about community-members’ cultural traditions, and build an appreciation for the interconnected nature of local ecosystems and species.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
In her Master’s Thesis for Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, Catherine Parsons found that local governments and community organizations such as the Still Moon Arts Society deserve equal recognition and credit in the restoration of the Renfrew Ravine. In partnership with the Evergreen Foundation, the Still Moon Arts Society was found to have been effective in raising awareness, mobilizing support, and organizing community-led efforts to restore the Still Creek Watershed. Parsons concludes that the Society was instrumental in “establishing collaborations between people and organizations in the watershed… coordinat[ing] ecological restoration activities with the high school to educate students and foster[ing] environmental stewardship in youth."
Still Moon Arts Society is not directly involved in the production of research publications but they do circulate a semi-monthly, community-focused newsletter. The resource section of their website also provides educational and background information on the Still Creek and Renfrew Ravine Restoration process such as the City of Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy and a local plant guide.
The Collaborative Restoration of Vancouver's Still Creek (case)
Participatory Arts (method)
Ecosystem-based Management (method)
The Evergreen Foundation (organization)
 Still Moon Arts, "About," Still Moon Arts Society, October 13, 2012, http://stillmoon.org/about/.
 Still Moon Arts, “Still Creek Streamkeepers,” Still Moon Arts Society, July 23, 2018, https://stillmoonarts.ca/stewardship/streamkeepers/
 Catherine Ernestina Maria Parsons, “Restoring a ‘Paradise of a Place’: Exploring the potential for urban Ecosystem-based Management in the Still Creek Watershed, Vancouver, BC,” Simon Fraser University, June 26, 2015, http://summit.sfu.ca/item/15649
 Still Moon Arts, "Board of Directors," Still Moon Arts Society, https://stillmoonarts.ca/our-story/our-team/
 Still Moon Arts, "Our Team," Still Moon Arts Society, Jan 15, 2016, https://stillmoonarts.ca/our-story/our-team/
 Still Moon Arts, "Funders and Supporters," Still Moon Arts Society, October 9, 2012, http://stillmoon.org/about/funders-and-supporters/. [Broken Link]
 Still Moon Arts, "Services," Still Moon Arts Society, ND, https://stillmoonarts.ca/getinvolved/services/
 Still Moon Arts, “Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival,” Still Moon Arts Society, September 7, 2012, https://stillmoonarts.ca/moon-festival/
 Still Moon Arts, “Newsletter Archive,” ND, https://stillmoon.org/media/newsletter-archive/ [Broken Link]
 Still Moon Arts, “Still Creek & Renfrew Ravine Resources”, Still Moon Arts Society, July 15, 2018, https://stillmoonarts.ca/stewardship/resources/
 Parsons, “Restoring a ‘Paradise of a Place’”, pg. 60.
 Ibid., pg. 61.