2015 April Newsletter

PDF Version



VCN Tech|Team has been relocated to the beautiful Woodward’s Building at 111 West Hastings Street, Second Floor.

Drop-in for free access to computers and the Internet.  It is open to the community from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with technicians on hand to provide solutions to your technical issues. For help with your personal computer call the Technical Help Desk first. It’s freely available by appointment.


VCN held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 20, 2015, with a quorum including 4 board members, 3 staff, 4 VCN volunteers, plus 12 regular members.

Highlights of 2013-14

  • hired our first Executive Director
  • speed of internet connection
  • true cost of “Free” at VCN
  • VCN’s move to digital archives
  • VCN’s social enterprise development of VCN Innovation Labs
  • Worked toward launch of “Telling Our Stories” an interactive website which hosts 60+ personal stories and videos of people growing up in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s in the Grandview Woodlands, Strathcona and Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.  See
  • developed the Street Messaging System (see the next page for more information on this project).


In today’s information age, access to ICTs is essential. The Street Messaging System (SMS) is a unique and instant way of connecting people experiencing poverty and/or homelessness to services available. The SMS actively sends accessible, reliable, and informative text messages into the hands of those that need it most.

The short film was funded, by Telus for the Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society’s Play It Forward program, VCN collaborated with filmmaker Anna Christina Waters to create a short film to educate the public, providers, and funders on the SMS. The commissioned film, featuring Homeless Advocate Judy Graves, is available online and will be available for free on the TELUS OptikTM TV.

See it now at


The third VCN Intern Magazine is now available online. This issue was produced for the Industry Canada-funded 2014-15 Youth Internship program, and documents the work of interns at their placements and highlights the incredible work that their organizations are doing in the community. It serves as a platform to showcase the diverse voices of interns from graphic designers to creative writers to journalists. Interns produced pieces that spoke on issues relating to bridging the digital divide and community development with a particular focus on Community Based Learning.

Download it in PDF format (7MB)
VCN is a non-profit organization and needs to raise just over $150,000 a year in order to operate. We rely exclusively on sponsorship, grant and your donations to get there.

Please consider donating to the VCN. Your tax-deductible gift of $25 or more will ensure we can keep delivering much needed programs.

By becoming a member or renewing your membership, or making a cash donation, you help ensure the long-term sustainability of an organization dedicated to ensuring everyone in our community has access to the Internet since 1993.

A sincere thank you to our renewing and new members. We couldn’t do it without you!


Dial Up Internet Connection Problem Fixed

On Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at 8:30am, we experienced issues with our dial up service. Internet connectivity with dial up was not working. Users were able to connect to local services such as their VCN email but external websites would not have worked. This issue was fixed at 10:45am but recurred at 11:30am. The issue was fixed at 1:00pm. We are currently monitoring the situation.


VCN outgoing mail service registration form

Dear VCN users,

If you ever had problems with sending emails with another internet provider (e.g. Shaw, Telus, etc).  VCN is now offering outgoing email service. This allows you to send emails with any internet provider.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in receiving the outgoing mail service.

How does it work?

1. Fill out the registration form below.

2. VCN will reply you with a confirmation that your name has been added on our list.

3. Follow the VCN outgoing mail service set up guide.



Servers updated to fix Bash bug

VCN’s server has been updated to fix the Bash bug that has been in the news.



Email server update

On Thursday, September 25th at 3:00pm the email server was updated. Due to a misconfigured setting, email were stored in the wrong location. The problem was resolved on Thursday, September 25th at 5pm. No messages were lost in the process. If may take a few minutes for messages sent during the issue to arrive in your inbox.


Fake emails – Never provide VCN account information

People have been receiving fake emails asking for their VCN account information.

VCN will never ask for your account information in an email. Please do not reply to any messages asking for your VCN account information.

For assistance please contact the VCN Help Desk by email at or call 778-724-0826 extension 0.


VCN closed on Monday August 4th

VCN will be closed on Monday August 4th and will reopen on Tuesday, August 5th.

Please leave a voice message at 778-724-0826.


VCN’s Street Messaging System funded by CIRA

VCN is developing a web-based text messaging platform that will instantly connect street involved, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Metro Vancouver with vital information about shelter, food services, health alerts and employment/training opportunities.

Starting in the Downtown Eastside, and using simple text messages, VCN will web-enable direct messaging to help end street homelessness, locate emergency shelters, send alerts about ‘bad batches’, missing persons, and job/skills training.

VCN thanks the Canadian Internet Registry Association (CIRA) for recognizing how important our project is to disadvantage and vulnerable street-involved people in Vancouver. These funds will quickly be put to good use developing this program to increase the reach of all the Internet has to offer.

Where knowledge is power – putting that knowledge right into the hands of those who are most powerless is vital.  VCN welcomes any contribution to help pay SMS costs.


VCN Help Desk reduced operating capacity due to planned picket line on June 11th

The Main Street Education Centre is located in the same building at the VCN Help Desk. If there is a picket line outside the building then the 411 Seniors Centre will be closed on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.The VCN Help Desk will be operating at limited capacity. The technical office at 704-333 Terminal Ave will be closed. Phones and emails will be operating at reduced capacity.

Please call 778-724-0826 extension 0 for assistance.


Picket line outside Help Desk building

The Main Street Education Centre is located in the same building at the VCN Help Desk. There is a picket line outside the building and the 411 Seniors Centre will be closed on Monday, May 26, 2014.

The VCN Help Desk will be operating at limited capacity. The suite’s door will be closed. Phones and emails will be operating as normal.

Please call 778-724-0826 extension 0 for assistance.