Original article: blushvancouver.com/the-odd-christmas-party-an-evening-with-jim-byrnes/ Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any funding or financial support from the Vancouver Police Department and the contributors are made up of police officers, retired officers, and volunteers. This year’s annual Christmas fundraiser was held at Central City on Beatty Street and it was packed. Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any […]
By Kelly Marion Photos by Kelly J Marion –> @kellyjean247 Odd Squad Productions (OSP) held their 15th Annual Fundraiser Gala this month and sold out at over 1000 guests. The Vancouver Convention Centre was overflowing with black ties and evening gowns, with everyone looking chic as they perused the silent auction and sipped on a glass of wine. The large support was shown through people of all ages, social statuses and races including many from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). What began as a community of volunteer police offers determined to beat work on the East side of Vancouver in 1997, is now an organization at the forefront as a highly regarded resource directed at prevention education and awareness for youth. They began using the scare tactic with the debut of their award-winning “Through a Blue Lens” production. Take a moment to watch the film and you’ll understand the effect it can have. Since then, they have grown to incorporate many educational videos and peer-to-peer programs in an effort to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. After a walk down the red carpet with the VPD lining each side, the night unfolded in to an evening of entertainment, education and eating. There was a special marine […]
Volume 73 of Vancouver Is Awesome: POSTED BY RICK CHUNG 15th anniversary Odd Squad Gala at Vancouver Convention Centre West on June 7, 2012. Hashtag: #OddSquadGala. More photos available on Flickr. The Odd Squad celebrated fifteen years with their annual gala. For the unaware, TOS is a local organization started to keep troubled youth off the street and away from drugs, gangs, and violence. I had no idea of the strong Vancouver PD association. The night’s gala affair included special guests like Winnipeg Jets player Evander Kane, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chief Constable Jim Chu, board memberJim Byrnes, and other local celebrities. TOS includes a strong documentary program, producing an Oscar-nominated short on policeman Whistling Smith as well as peer-to-peer component, and talks from reformed gang members. I was curious about the whole “odd” theme and moniker, considering the VPD association. Evidently, it started from a saying and even including a musical set from The Odds. The night included some special entertainment from dragon dancers, a boat show, vintage car display, and host of other entertainment. The celebration brought together a few of the higher aspects of local charity, reminding us to do our part, support good causes, and never forget to improve our surroundings and contribute to our society.
BY TERRY BELL, THE PROVINCE Christine Nesbitt came to Vancouver 28 months ago and left town with a 2010 Olympic speedskating gold medal hanging around her neck. On Wednesday Nesbitt is returning to Vancouver with some of her Calgary-based teammates for a close-up look at the city’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. The visit is part of a program run by the Odd Squad Production Society, a non-profit group established in 1997 by a group of retired and current Vancouver police officers. Its goal is to “design programs that honour and motivate youth, encourage them to set positive goals, lay their own path and stay On Track by keeping drug-free for a long and healthy life.” For several years Odd Squad has been offering the program to a number of junior hockey teams but this will be the first involvement by Olympic athletes. Chris Graham, a founding member and Director of Peer-to-Peer programs, is ecstatic. “One of the things that’s been on our mind for a long time is that there’s a lot of girls involved in gang activity and drug trafficking and poor relationships,” Graham, a retired Vancouver policeman, said Tuesday. “We’re not able to deal […]