Feel-good Friday: Global BC’s highlights of the week

Joel Haywood “King Handles” and Jonathan Nkada Mubanda “Johnny Blaze” are hoping a new film about their lives and accomplishments resonates with youth and aspiring athletes. Global News

Each week at Global BC, we highlight our stories to bring a bright spot to your Friday and into the weekend.

Here are the five stories we want to share:

Canada’s first-ever commercial electric flight takes off in B.C.

It’s a historic day for Canadian aviation.

Sealand Flight, based in Campbell River, B.C., conducted Canada’s first-ever commercial flight in an electric aircraft on June 14.

Ian Lamont, a flying instructor, told Global News it’s a thrill and an honour.

“The price of fuel (aviation) gas today is over $80 an hour for the fuel burn in (a Cessna) 172. And this is going to be less than two dollars,” Lamont said.

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He added they would like to convert their entire fleet to electric aircraft.

To mark the occasion, Sealand held a contest for students to tell them why they wanted to pilot an electric aircraft.

1-bedroom rents in Vancouver dropped in 2023, data finds

It’s a statistic many in Vancouver thought they’d never see.

The average cost of a one-bedroom place in Vancouver was $2,650 a month in 2023, which was down about two per cent year over year.

Vancouver was the only city in the top 10 priciest rental markets where the average cost of a one-bedroom decreased.

Other B.C. cities in the top 10 were Burnaby, Victoria and Kelowna.

Despite the improvement, prices in Vancouver remain the highest across Canada’s biggest cities, according to the rental website Zumper‘s June rent report.

Click to play video: '1-bedroom rent drops slightly in Vancouver'
1-bedroom rent drops slightly in Vancouver

From streetball legends to classroom mentors, the journey of ‘The Notic’ inspires hope

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King Handles and Johnny Blaze, as they’re affectionately known, were members of the Notic streetball crew in Vancouver, a team comprised of mostly Black immigrants.

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Their rise to fame began on the courts, where they found solace and purpose in the game amidst the challenges of assimilation and discrimination faced as young immigrants.

Their flashy style of play and unyielding spirit captivated audiences, bringing them global fame as teenagers.

The team’s journey is the subject of a documentary called Handle with Care: The Legend of the Notic Streetball Crew, which was recently introduced into classrooms at Tamanawis Secondary School, with hopes of expanding access for educators across the Surrey School District.

“It’s a powerful movie. It’s about more than basketball, it’s about brotherhood. It’s about relationships. It’s about community coming together and trying to find ourselves in that, in that new world,” Jonathan Nkada Mubanda Johnny Blaze told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Former B.C. streetball stars inspire hope for at-risk youth'
Former B.C. streetball stars inspire hope for at-risk youth

Photographer aims to break Vancouver’s unfriendly rep through portraits of strangers

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Metro Vancouver has a bit of a reputation for being an unfriendly place, but one local photographer is trying to shatter that stereotype with a new project: stranger portraits.

It’s a bit of a tricky introduction, asking a random stranger if they wouldn’t mind having their picture taken.

It took Justin Veenema some time to work up the nerve for his new project.

“I said you just got to talk to one person. Try it once and if they say no, forget the whole thing,” Veenema told Global’s This is BC.

Inspired by the account Humans of New York, Veenema has spent the past several months photographing random people around Metro Vancouver.

“I made the decision to do this for one year, 365 portraits, and after that, I’ll re-visit the project to see how it’s going. But It’s completely changed my perception of the city.”

Click to play video: 'This is BC:  Vancouver’s Stranger Portraits project'
This is BC: Vancouver’s Stranger Portraits project

‘Take over the city’: Massive technology summit coming to Vancouver in 2025

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Vancouver will be hosting a massive North American version of the global technology conference called Web Summit in May 2025.

It will be the first North American flagship event in Vancouver and will be replacing the existing Collision Summit in Toronto.

Organizers said the event has a focus on connecting and supporting the “global technology ecosystem.”

“We can’t wait to gather the tech world and take over the city next year,” Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit’s founder and CEO, said.

“Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities with a flourishing tech community that connects the Americas, Asia and the West Coast. The time has come to transition Collision into Web Summit.”

Click to play video: 'Big tech conference coming to Vancouver'
Big tech conference coming to Vancouver



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