Around Town: Unplanned, Women & Families Centre, Baptist Housing . . .

Why isn’t the movie Unplanned being shown in Canada? More than 200,000 people have signed a CitizenGO online petition demanding that Cineplex “Bring Unplanned to Canada and the World.”

The petition, sponsored by National Campus Life Network in partnership with Kelowna Right to Life Society, LifeCanada and Respect Life Ministry, Victoria, states:

“Unplanned” is a powerful new blockbuster film that chronicles the life of Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic director whose life and career were turned upside-down by what she saw one day in her clinic.

This is a powerful and eye-opening film that has been piercing through the abortion narrative in the United States. “Unplanned” has actively moved individuals to the pro-life perspective.

Most notably, in the first two weeks of the movie release, 94 Planned Parenthood workers have contacted Abby Johnson’s organization, And Then There Were None. Also, “Unplanned” brought in over $6 million US in its opening weekend [now over $18 million], far exceeding Hollywood expectations.

“Unplanned” was released in the US on March 29th, 2019. However, if you live in Canada, you will not be able to view this new film. It appears that the “controversial” nature of this film is impacting its release. There are no public screenings scheduled anywhere across the nation.

A story posted on The B.C. Catholic News site described the roadblocks to showing the film in Canada:

Canadian movie distributors have de facto censored the movie Unplanned from screening in theatres here says the movie’s producers.

“We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada,” said producer Lisa Wheeler at an Ottawa news conference May 8. . . .

“What we’re seeing is that the film industry in Canada mirrors the film industry here in the United States, in terms of being more politically progressive, left leaning and pro-choice than the population at large,” said Chuck Konzelman, the film’s writer/producer/director in an email interview. “So our project is essentially anathema to them, and they see excluding us from Canada as ‘positive good’ . . . effectively enacting de facto censorship, without right of appeal.” . . .

The two largest distributors in Canada cited ‘content’ as the issue, “not lack of consumer demand,” Konzelman said.

Cineplex Canada is attracting lots of negative comment on its Facebook page from potential viewers about the fact that it is not showing the film. A question by John Crane asked “why Unplanned is not scheduled to be shown in Canadian Cineplex Theatres.”

Their response:

Hello John, when and where a film is shown depends on contractual agreements we have with the film studios. At this time we don’t have any info on their plans to release Unplanned in Canada.

According to The B.C. Catholic, representatives of the two big motion picture exhibitors in Canada – Cineplex and Landmark – say they have not reached agreements with any distributors.

When I called Cineplex May 22, that was basically what their customer service person said as well. Noting that they have had lots of calls about Unplanned, he said: “There is no Canadian distributor that has bought the rights to the movie . . . the makers of the movie haven’t contacted distributors in Canada . . . we don’t have the rights.”

The producers of Unplanned have not given up on Canada though. The main page of the Unplanned website makes this statement May 14, in a bright red bar across the page:

Unplanned is not coming to Canada. Theaters have refused to allow the movie to be seen. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

That statement links to a Canadian Inquiry Form, which encourages interested groups to bring in the film for a special showing. So for now, the best bet for seeing the movie will be at a private showing (as 3,000 people did in Edmonton), but if supporters of the petition (and the website Canada Wants Unplanned) achieve their aim it may end up in movie theatres after all.

Canada is a democracy, with open access to a wide range of media. Yet there are limits to tolerance, apparently, when it comes to the issue of abortion.

I wrote recently about Mary Wagner, who has spent five years in jail for peacefully demonstrating outside abortion clinics. The Liberal Party of Canada won’t allow you to run under their banner if you’re a pro-lifer, and they prevented groups which wouldn’t sign on the dotted line from receiving Canada Summer Jobs grants, until forced back by public opinion. Responding to restrictive new abortion laws in the southern States, Tyee writer Dorothy Woodend wrote a strongly worded article, helping to create an atmosphere which makes it difficult to discuss the issues. She concluded, “But it’s no longer a struggle. Now it’s a war.”

None of these reactions offer any recognition that Canada has no protection whatever for human life until birth. Asking for a fair hearing will not get any easier, but my thanks go out to those who continue to seek justice, peaceably and creatively.

UGM’s Women & Families Centre

MPs (Hedy Fry, Jenny Kwan), MLAs (Selina Robinson, Melanie Mark) and Mayor Kennedy Stewart were among the dignitaries helping out with UGM’s ground-breaking ceremony.

BC Housing focused on Union Gospel Mission’s planned Women and Families Centre in its May 22 press release titled ‘More than 20,000 new homes underway for people throughout BC’:

Partnerships with organizations like the Union Gospel Mission, which is breaking ground [May 22] on new housing for women and children, are behind the success of the more than 20,000 new homes complete or underway in nearly 80 communities throughout the province.

“Our government has acted quickly to address the urgent need for housing that people can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “It is not just about increasing the number of homes. It is about working with our partners to build the right kind of homes to make life better for people at all ages, stages and income-levels.”

Artistic rendering of Union Gospel Mission’s new Women and Family Recovery and Housing Centre. (NSDA Architects / UGM)

The province is contributing $14.5 million to help build the Union Gospel Mission’s (UGM) new and expanded Women and Families Centre. The seven-storey building will provide 36 affordable rental homes, a new 28-space child care centre and 27 addiction recovery beds for women and children in the Downtown Eastside.

“This new building will not only save lives, but change the trajectory of entire families for generations,” said Bill Mollard, president, UGM. “It means fewer children in poverty, fewer women on the street and a future for families struggling to find housing.”

Women needing addictions support will have access to an on-site, long-term addiction recovery program – the only program of its kind in the Downtown Eastside. Other supports and services offered in the building will include counselling, life skills and career development.

“When I was homeless, it was horrible, but my life was transformed at UGM and I know this new building will help others like me,” said Emily Surrette, former UGM guest and single mother who was homeless for more than two years. “I’m really excited about the new building because it’s essentially a one-stop shop for child care, treatment, housing – all of these things. It’s really crucial for recovery.”

Located at 616 East Cordova Street, the new building is expected to open in mid-2021.

Go here for the full press release.

Evergreen joins Baptist Housing

Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care is now one of 18 Baptist Housing communities.

I am always surprised at how sizeable some of the Christian housing groups are. One of the oldest and largest is Baptist Housing, which oversees 18 housing communities around the province. It has just added one more, in White Rock.

A May 8 press release stated:

We are pleased to announce that Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care is now part of Baptist Housing.

Evergreen Baptist Campus of Care in White Rock has a long history of caring for seniors. The care campus includes long-term care, assisted living and affordable housing.

The campus was founded in 1959 by members of the North American Baptist Conference Association of BC Churches. As their board looked to the future and considered how best to secure the long-term ministry of their campus, a decision was made that resulted in Baptist Housing assuming transfer of the campus.

As a non-profit faith-based organization, Baptist Housing [which is affiliated with the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in BC] has an equally rich history of serving seniors in BC, establishing its first residence in Vancouver in 1964. Today, the organization has 18 senior living communities in the Lower Mainland, Victoria and Kelowna that are home to over 2,500 seniors.

These are the communities which are part of Baptist Housing:

May 23, 2019

Long & McQuade Presents Rashid Williams – May 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Multiply: Let's Celebrate Together – May 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz & Spirituality: Digging into Worshiping in Jazz – May 23, 2019 - May 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Tom Reynolds in Concert – May 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

May 24, 2019

BC Home Learning Conference – May 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Historymaker 2019 – May 24, 2019 - May 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 12:30 pm
The Sojourners – May 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
From the Old World to the New: Concert with Cathedral Organist Denis Bédard – May 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

May 25, 2019

Revitalize: Your Church and You – May 25, 2019 at 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Walk for Life – May 25, 2019 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
WMI Spring Conference – May 25, 2019 at 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
A Toolkit for Spiritual Survival Retreat with Fr. Rolheiser & Dr. Higgins – May 25, 2019 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: The Return of Soul Gospel – May 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Ember – May 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Worship Invasion – May 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: The Return of Soul Gospel – May 25, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

May 26, 2019

Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Seven Women in Jazz – May 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers – Sunday, May 26 at 4 pm – May 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
African Children's Choir: Just as I Am Tour – May 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Duncan Africa Fundraiser – May 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Religion & Violence: Inter-Religious Studies Conference – May 26, 2019 - May 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 5:00 pm

May 27, 2019

Focus on Life 21st Annual Gala Dinner – May 27, 2019 at 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Role of the Laity in the Reform of the Church: A Modest but Urgent Proposal – May 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wesley Hill: Retrieving Asceticism – how contemporary Christians are retrieving an ancient theme – May 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

May 28, 2019

12th Annual NightShift Charity Golf Classic – May 28, 2019 at 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
Jesuit Scotch Tasting Reception – May 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

May 29, 2019

Maxine Hancock: Costly Grace & Severe Mercy – theological resonance in Louise Penney's 'Three Pines' mystery novels – May 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

May 30, 2019

Thy Kingdom Come – May 30, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Cake – May 30, 2019 - June 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

May 31, 2019

Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation – May 31, 2019 - June 2, 2019 at All Day
Hillsong United Tour 2019 – May 31, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

June 1, 2019

HomeStart Foundation Garage Sale – June 1, 2019 at All Day

June 2, 2019

Canadian-American Theological Association (CATA) Conference – June 2, 2019 at All Day
Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture 2019: Rethinking Samuel – June 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

June 3, 2019

Gordon T. Smith: Christ Centred or Spirit Centred? Why the Question Matters & Why the Answer Makes All the Difference – June 3, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 4, 2019

ARC Canada Conference: Family Vibes – June 4, 2019 - June 5, 2019 at All Day

June 5, 2019

Near-Future Evangelicalism: Anticipating the Next 10 Years – June 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Roots: Shaping a Deeper Life (Wednesday evenings) – June 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm
Vancouver Formosan Singers – June 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mark Noll: 'Liberty' Has Been Precious for Canadians & American, But Have They Meant the Same Thing? – June 5, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 6, 2019

Welcome to Worship – June 6, 2019 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

June 7, 2019

Starfield: The Reunion Tour – June 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Vance Nelson: The Brief History of Mankind – Evidence for the Tower of Babel – June 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Ellisa Sun & Ursidae – June 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

June 8, 2019

Memorial Service for Pastor Tom Cheung – June 8, 2019 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Artisan Fair – June 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Alzheimer's Café – June 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Vance Nelson: Monumental Monsters / The Brief History of Mankind – June 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Creation Science Association of BC AGM Dinner Meeting & Dire Dragons: the Missing Link in Dinosaur History with Vance Nelson – June 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hymn Festival: I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord – June 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 9, 2019

Leave a Legacy – June 9, 2019 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Kristian Alexandrov Trio – June 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
African Children's Choir: Just as I Am Tour – June 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
VOS 2019 Spring Concert: A Psalm for Our Time – June 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 10, 2019

Redefining Healing Seminar – June 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 12, 2019

1,000 Women in Religion Edit-a-thon – June 12, 2019 at 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
UGM Summer Connect – June 12, 2019 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

June 13, 2019

Memory House by Kathleen Tolan – June 13, 2019 - June 15, 2019 at All Day
SongStage with Ivan Boudreau – June 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

June 14, 2019

Pastors Forum: Pastors for the Common Good – June 14, 2019 at 9:15 am - 11:30 am
The Practices of Faith in the World of Work – June 14, 2019 - June 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Notes of Freedom – June 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 15, 2019

Journey Home Refugee Support: Basic Training – June 15, 2019 at 8:45 am - 3:00 pm
Step Up! Speak Up! Freedom Rally – June 15, 2019 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration – June 15, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Golden Threads from Heaven: Weavings by Debra Sparrow – June 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Porter's Gate Worship Project: featuring Isaac Wardell, Audrey Assad & more – June 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 16, 2019

Prayer Rally for Hong Kong – June 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

June 18, 2019

Beulah AZ Café (third Tuesday of each month) – June 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

June 19, 2019

EFC Webinar: What Churches Can & Cannot Do During a Federal Election – June 19, 2019 at 9:00 am - 9:45 am
Leaving a Legacy: a seminar on wills, estates & legacy gifting – June 19, 2019 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Indigenous People's Day Celebrations – June 19, 2019 at 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Jazz Evensong – June 19, 2019 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

June 20, 2019

Canadian Viewpoints: Concealed and Revealed – June 20, 2019 - July 12, 2019 at All Day
DivorceCare (ongoing, several locations) – June 20, 2019 - January 7, 2020 at All Day
We are the Body by Andrew Kooman – June 20, 2019 - June 22, 2019 at All Day
World Refugee Day – June 20, 2019 at 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Welcome Table: A Summer Solstice Soiree: a fundraiser for Journey Home Community on World Refugee Day – June 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 21, 2019

One Heart B.C. – June 21, 2019 - June 22, 2019 at All Day
Emerging Artist Showcase – June 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

June 22, 2019

Teddy Bear Picnic – June 22, 2019 at 10:30 am - 2:00 pm
Candid: An ACTS Seminaries Storytelling Open House – June 22, 2019 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Ember – June 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Marty Franklin Jazz – June 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Somerset Trio – June 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

June 23, 2019

Point Grey Fiesta: Ecumenical Worship Service in the Park – June 23, 2019 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Feather Dance: Unveiling Party – June 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Gabriel Hasselbach – June 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Taizé Contemplative Service – June 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Erosion of Freedom: How Transgender Politics in School & Society are Undermining Our Freedom . . . – June 23, 2019 at 6:45 pm - 9:45 pm

June 24, 2019

Iain Provan: The Emperor's New Clothes – Constantine as Old Testament Hero – June 24, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 25, 2019

Henry V by William Shakespeare – June 25, 2019 - June 29, 2019 at All Day
Day of the Seafarer – June 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

June 26, 2019

Faculty Roundtable: What the Church Needs to Hear About the Holy Spirit – June 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Tremper Longman: The Beginning of Wisdom – Becoming Wise According to the Bible – June 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 27, 2019

Business by the Book Breakfast, with Michael Franzese – June 27, 2019 at 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Jean Vanier – June 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Songs for the Fatherless with Brian Doerksen – June 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 28, 2019

Mighty Men's Conference with Angus Buchan & Robin Mark – June 28, 2019 - June 30, 2019 at All Day

June 29, 2019

Platinum Artist Project Playoff Concert – June 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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