2017 Memberships Are Now Available!

New year, new season. Time to hit the reset button and recapture some of the magic that has been missing on and off the pitch the past few years.

We will be putting in a lot of extra work this year to let people know who we are, what we offer, and what we’re doing to make the match day experience awesome. We want members who have drifted away over the years to come back home. We also want to bring new members into the fold with new songs and chants. We want the city buzzing when it’s close to march time. We want to make Cascadia away trips the hottest ticket in Vancouver.

Most of all, we want everyone to know that there is no better place in town to enjoy a football match than standing with the Southsiders.

No more passengers. No more tourists. The bystanders have had a good long run at our expense, and it’s time for the Southsiders to step their game up and take the supporters end back, one seat at a time.

Click here to log in to your account and follow the renewal instructions.

The 2017 Vancouver Southsiders membership includes a gorgeous new scarf, a membership card valid for discounts from our partners, priority access for our various social events, and access to our away ticket allocation. The membership fee remains at $30. Additional fees may apply for online transactions, and if shipping is requested to a mailing address. Your items can otherwise be claimed in person at most of our social events and match day gatherings.

You have the option of paying your membership fee online now, or paying in person later. We will have a membership table set up at The Belmont Bar for our February 18 launch party, and there will be other opportunities throughout the season.

Either way, it would be incredibly helpful if you completed the online portion for us ASAP. This helps us keep things running smoothly, and it helps us plan for the future. Thanks!

If you have any questions, please contact Aaryn Vivian at membership@vancouversouthsiders.ca

 

 

Save The Date!

The Southsiders 2017 Launch Party goes down at The Belmont Bar (1006 Granville St, underneath Doolin’s) on Saturday February 18 at 3 pm. Event details will be announced shortly, but there will most definitely be beer, great prizes and *possibly* some very special guests. It’s going to be a fantastic event. You need to be there!

Erin’s Story: Why We #Talk4Erin

 

As our #Talk4Erin mental health awareness campaign has been moving along in tandem with the upcoming buzz around #BellLetsTalk Day, many of you have been asking about the namesake of these efforts.

Her name is Erin Dyk. She died on December 11, 2013 at the age of 24.

Though she is one of more than 15,000 British Columbians to have lost their lives to suicide in the past 30 years, she is much more than a number or a statistic. She is loved dearly by her family, and missed tremendously by all who knew her.

We came to know about Erin’s story through her sister Kristina, who worked for the Whitecaps front office a number of years ago, back when the Southsiders were getting ready for the big move up from Swangard to MLS. We recently asked Kristina to share a little bit about Erin with us, and here’s what she had to say:

“Erin was the youngest of three. Robyn and I the oldest.  Daughter of Mary and Dave Dyk. Funny enough during the Swangard days, Erin was actually around the pitch, opposite side of the Southsiders. One of her many summer jobs was working the BMO VIP club (a beer garden behind the north goal), and sometimes pinch hitting at any other ‘Caps events I needed extra hands at.”

Kristina says there’s no shortage of great stories about her sister, who apparently had a tender heart and marched to the beat of her own drum all her life. Erin was incredibly friendly and engaging. She was the sort of person who would drop their plans in a heartbeat to take the time to help a senior find their way back to their room at a care home, or to spend time talking (and even dancing) with a homeless person, because why not?  At home she was affectionately known as “Squirt” or “Munch.” She was an avid swimmer with the PoCo Marlins. She also played basketball, softball and water polo. Kristina also says Erin was an “annoyingly healthy eater” who loved spending time outdoors to be closer to nature.

Erin loved to travel the world, too:  Scotland, Mexico, Las Vegas, Southeast Asia. She also discovered a passion for scuba diving while she visited Malaysia. Kristina says her sister found freedom in those waters, and the ever-elusive feeling of peace.

“Her struggle with depression at its peak was about a year long before she took her life. Before that year she did mention seasonally feeling different or the blues, which ultimately was one of the reasons she was so keen on getting into scuba diving. Not only does being under the water help apparently, but her plan was to be here during the summer and then abroad in the winters teaching diving. Sadly it was just months after her graduation that she died but she did spend a few months of 2013 in Honduras teaching.

Our family decided right away to be open about the fact she died by suicide and that she struggled with depression and anxiety. This was mostly because it was something she had a hard time talking about. She didn’t know of anyone else going through something similar, people didn’t understand why someone who was always so outgoing and fun wasn’t able to work anymore, didn’t make it out to friends things, struggled to get out of bed. She was ashamed. Wrongly, she also thought she was burden. While we could openly discuss the fact she had thoughts of suicide and she was willing to seek help with these thoughts a few times, her dying like this was still such a shock.

About a month after she died it was #BellLetsTalk Day. I remember feeling pretty helpless at that point, but one thing I could do was talk, so I remember sitting on my living room floor and tweeting all day.” 

Kristina says her family has used the #Talk4Erin hashtag online as a means of working through their grief and encouraging helpful, healing dialogue – not just for themselves, but for other families trying to make sense of similar tragedies involving their loved ones too. She said her mom Mary had this to say:

“It’s been said that it takes a community to raise a child, well I guess it takes a community to help heal the loss of a child. Thanks for sharing your kind words, all of you. Thanks for continuing to #Talk4Erin. All of us together can make a difference.”

 

We are encouraging our members to #Talk4Erin and share their own personal stories of how mental health and suicide has impacted their families. You can make an anonymous submission by clicking here . Your stories will be shared by the @Southsiders Twitter account  on #BellLetsTalk Day on January 25. Even if just one person struggling out there can find some hope from within our stories, it’s worth it.

Please also consider making a donation to the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (@CrisisCentreBC). Tweet pledges to @Southsiders using the #Talk4Erin hashtag, and we shall collect your donations in person at our February 18 launch party at the Belmont Bar.

And finally, we wish to express our sincere thanks to Kristina and her family for sharing Erin’s story with us so that we may share it with you.

 

We’re Blue, We’re White… and we #Talk4Erin.

Southsiders urged to #Talk4Erin in support of @CrisisCentreBC

Mental health – two words that represent a vast range of extraordinary challenges affecting millions of Canadians and their loved ones. More than 15,000 British Columbians have taken their own lives in the past 30 years. Chances are, you’ve known one of them.

There are people in our community right now who are struggling and feel very, very alone… and in some cases, it’s possible their loved ones have no understanding at all of the painful depth of these problems. Mental health doesn’t have a particular face or look. That person on the street with a huge smile on their face might be in the throes of the most terrible depression imaginable. When it comes to mental health, all is not necessarily what it appears to be.

There are many barriers that prevent people from getting the help they need. One of them is stigma. There are people we know and care about right now who aren’t getting the support they need at home, at school and at work because of other people’s misconceptions about what mental health looks like, and what it means for those affected by it.

Let’s take a few steps to change that, shall we? Here’s how you can help.

You are likely familiar with the #BellLetsTalk campaign, and how that project has done a great job of encouraging a very important national conversation about mental health. We would like to take advantage of that momentum and connect with our members, our followers, and all Whitecaps fans alike. Here’s what we propose: Tell us how mental health issues and / or suicide have impacted you or someone you care about. It would also be helpful to hear some stories of recovery, healing and hope.

On January 25 we will share your submissions via the @Southsiders Twitter account with the intention of raising awareness, reducing stigma, and letting our many followers know that if they are struggling, they are not alone. This process is intended to be as confidential as you want it to be. You are under no obligation to provide personal info.

All we ask is that you share your truth and speak from the heart. And you can do that here: https://goo.gl/Uxr4Ee

We will post that link a few times each day until Jan 25. We hope to hear from you. Your stories can help people.
If you’re having a hard time right now, know that there are people ready to hear you out at the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (@CrisisCentreBC). If you need help call them at 604-872-3311 or 1-800-SUICIDE. Help is available 24/7.

We encourage you all to consider making a donation to @CrisisCentreBC. They do amazing work when it is needed the most. If you have a few dollars to spare, you can tweet a donation pledge to @Southsiders with hashtag #Talk4Erin .

We’ll collect your donations at our Feb 18 launch party @BelmontBar and other future @Southsiders gatherings.
We’ll tell you about Erin soon. Her family misses her dearly. There’s far too many families who know that loss. Once again, that link to share your stories is: https://goo.gl/Uxr4Ee

Thanks for your support. With love and respect to you all from your friendly neighbourhood Southsiders.

 

#Talk4Erin

Vancouver Southsiders Annual General Meeting, December 10th, 2016 at 2pm

It is time for to hold our annual general meeting. The official notice of the AGM is available here: Notice of Vancouver Southsiders 2016 December Annual General Meeting

Where: The Belmont Bar, 1006 Granville St, Vancouver, BC

When: Saturday, December 10th

  • Doors at 2pm
  • Registration at 2:30pm
  • Call to order at 3pm

All members in good standing for 2016 are invited to attend.

There are special resolutions proposed, which can be found here: Resolutions “A” “B” for Vancouver Southsiders 2016 December Annual General Meeting

Should the resolutions be passed, an election will be held. Nominations for the intended election are now open.

Nominations will close on December 9th at 3pm.

The business of nominations will be conducted on our forum here: 2017 Election Category

Rules for the election are found here: Vancouver Southsiders Election Rules for December 2016 AGM

 

Following the conclusion of the annual general meeting, all attendees are invited to attend a viewing of the MLS Cup at Doolin’s Irish Pub (upstairs from the Belmont Bar).

Seattle away trip September 17

Important information on Seattle Away September 17 trip.

Please read very carefully.
Cascadia Away
Please read through the general Away Travel Policies and the Southsiders Code of Conduct. Anyone who travels with us is subject to these policies — no exceptions.  This means that you and your friends and/or family members that are making the trip with you are held to the same standard.  And ultimately, you are responsible for them.  If anyone in the group fails to abide by these rules, travel privileges will be revoked, and funds allocated to future away trips forfeited.  Basically, don’t be a dick, and you’ll be fine.

Itinerary

05:30 gathering at Burrard street SkyTrain station, filling out waiver documents.
05:45 boarding the buses (collecting waiver documents and photocopies of passports)
06:00 Buses depart from Burrard station, WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
06:15 (estimated) pickup at Empire Field (E Hastings @ Windemere)
06:30 (estimated) pickup at Braid station 
06:45 (estimated) pickup at Campbell River Store. 
      BE THERE EARLIER. WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
08:00 (estimated) stop at Costcutters, purchasing provisions for the trip
10:45 (estimated) buses arrive at Stadium.
11:00 NE gate opens for away supporters. 
      Entry with flags and personal tifo is MANDATORY at this time. 
      Entry is HIGHLY recommended at this time.
13:00 Kickoff.
15:00 Conclusion of the game (3 points). Our sections will be held for 20 minutes.
      You have been warned. PLEASE BE PATIENT, NO DRAMA, DON'T BE A DICK.
16:00 (estimated) Buses depart from Centurylink parking lot. 
      STAY WITH THE GROUP, DON'T WANDER AROUND, WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
19:30 (estimated) Buses arrive back to Vancouver, making stops 
      at Campbell River Store, Braid station and Empire Field
      with final dropoff at Burrard Station.

Stadium entry

CenturyLink stadium has very strict limitations on bags (14x14x6 inch), leave it on the bus or in your car. Be at the NE gate at 11am, especially if you have personal tifo, flags, or you just want a better spot in the stands.

Prohibited items: Animals (service animals ok), Beach balls/frisbee, Bottles (glass), Cans, Coolers/Ice chests, Drugs/Illegal Substances, Fireworks/Flares/Smoke Bombs, Flammable liquids, Flasks, Glass Containers, Laser pens/pointers, Pepper spray, Weapons, Whistles, All laptops

Ticket only

if you purchased a ticket only for this game, you’re missing out on the bus! We still have a few seats available, change your mind now!

Your ticket is available for download from the membership app, please print it as they will check it upon entering the away supporter sections. All away supporters’ sections are General Admission, the seat printed on your ticket is NOT your seat.

Bus travellers

Thank you so much for joining us on the buses! We have two buses, and expect great times on the way down and up the I-5.

Your match ticket is available for download from the membership app, please print it as they will check it upon entering the away supporter sections.All away supporters’ sections are General Admission, the seat printed on your ticket is NOT your seat. For the few of you who are not a members (yet!) I’ll email you the pdf.

Note that you won’t be able to bring back any of your purchases back to Canada as we are away less than 24 hours.

Travellers checklist

  • Valid passport, enhanced drivers license or nexus card
  • Photocopy of your travel document (we will collect this and give it back/destroy it upon return)
  • Travel insurance coverage.
  • Match ticket printed.
  • Supporters gear. Bring your best and loudest voice.
  • Cooler for your refreshments, please bring a smaller one if possible so it fits under your seats. Coordinate with your fellow travellers and share a bigger one. You can buy ice at Cost Cutters.
  • Moderation. It will be a long day, drink with pace. Our boys on the pitch need our full support while we are in the stadium. Drunk idiots will not be tolerated.

… and as always

Don’t be a dick.

 

#getOnTheBus September Seattle bus trip

The Whitecaps are playing the Seattle Sounders on September 17th at CenturyLink field at 1pm. Join the #capsOnTour faithful to support our team south of the border.

Supporters bus trip and match ticket sales started and will go on until August 11th.

  • Match ticket – $32 online – $30 cash – members only (tickets will be available for download in the membership app)

#getOnTheBus

We are going to have the following options for transportation:

  • Same Day bus trip – early bird price $68
  • Overnight (Friday – Saturday) bus trip – early bird price $86

These are online prices at our #capsOnTour store http://members.vancouversouthsiders.ca/shop/trips/home Please log in to your membership account before purchasing.

Same day bus trip details

To minimize risk of missing the early kickoff time (1pm) the same day bus is leaving Vancouver downtown at 6am Saturday morning (first Canada Line train gets in on time from Richmond) We will arrange alternative pick-up stops to alleviate limited public transit options in the morning.

Possible pick-up stops: Empire Stadium (North Van and North Burnaby); Braid station (Burnaby, Port Moody, Coquitlam and beyond to the East); Campbell River Store (Surrey and beyond to the South) and beating the cruise ship bus traffic to get to the border as early as possible.

Overnight bus trip details

Leaving Vancouver downtown Friday afternoon (currently planned departure 3pm, might get adjusted based on demand) Stops at Campbell River Store, drop off downtown Seattle.

All buses will return right after the game on Saturday from the stadium.

#getOnTheBus

We need to hit minimum participation for each kind of bus separately. In case we do not reach minimum required attendance for Charter Bus Lines buses, we’ll be organizing minivan rental similar to our awesome Portland trip.

If you have any questions, concerns feel free to contact me at travel@vancouversouthsiders.ca, on twitter @xczimi or on facebook.

Personal note:

I will be on the Same Day bus. This is not a sightseeing trip. It is cheap. Let’s support together like we did in March.

Call for Hypocritical, Unfair and Arbitrary Sanctions in MLS to End

 Fellow Southsiders,

The Independent Supporters Council (ISC) is calling for the ridiculous ban on a member of the District Ultras to be lifted, and calling for cooperation from MLS to establish clear and well-understood rules for similar situations that might arise in the future.

Read the text of the ISC release below.

Recently Major League Soccer has taken harsh steps against DC United’s supporters group the District Ultras and targeted Matt Parsons, an active leader of the District Ultras.

The details of the punishment are widely available. Mr. Parsons lit a smoke device under a two lane car overpass in a march from from the tailgating area by all four of DC United’s supporters groups. The brand of smoke device in question is Enola Gay. It is widely used by many supporters groups inside their stadiums and is not known to cause respiratory problems or sickness of any kind inside these stadiums where they are used.

The District Ultras received a “punishment” of not being able to wave flags at the April 9th match vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps. Mr. Parsons received the absolutely ridiculous punishment of a one-year ban from R.F.K. stadium and a MLS league wide ban for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The Independent Supporters Council of North America believes this to be another prime example of the hypocritical, unfair and arbitrary nature of MLS, and it’s member teams, when it comes to dealing with supporters groups.

In this case, MLS consistently uses photos and videos of supporters groups waving flags, putting up creative tifo, lighting safe smoke devices. A widely circulated video showed a MLSSoccer.com employee lighting a smoke device in a MLS parking lot and running through the crowd with the active device. Yet they chose to ban supporters for doing the very things they celebrate.

What should be even more disturbing for supporters and fans of MLS teams is the league action itself in banning Mr. Parsons from ALL venues for 2016. This ban is an alarming trend where the league office arbitrarily, and without cause, is singling out fans, supporters and supporters groups for punishment seemingly based on the whims of faceless individuals hiding behind the league badge.

In this case, Mr. Parsons has been banned from every MLS venue for an action that would not even violate the rules of over 2/3 of the venues he is banned from.

The Independent Supporters Council of North America wants these hypocritical, unfair and arbitrary sanctions to end immediately.

First and foremost, the Independent Supporters Council calls for the ludicrous ban on Matt Parsons to be lifted by DC United and MLS immediately.

Furthermore, we are calling on Ray Whitworth, Vice-President of Security and Operations, to engage with the ISC in developing clear, fair and transparent rules that would regulate league wide bans and sanctions placed on supporters groups or their members.

This random criminalization of supporters and supporter’s culture is a dangerous step by MLS that threatens to derail the very real gains the league has made in recent years.

About:
The Independent Supporters Council was founded in 2009 to advocate for the fair treatment of home and away supporters, promote supporters culture, and oppose both racism and bias inside stadiums in North America.

Read more about the “incident” here:  http://dcist.com/2016/04/dc_united_facing_fan_mutiny_as_supp.php

And here’s a great read on supporter culture from Chris Corrigan over at AFTN: http://aftn.ca/the-only-permanent-job-in-football-is-supporter

Seattle Away? Seattle Away! March 19

Important information on Seattle Away March 19 trip.

Please read very carefully.
Cascadia Away
Please read through the general Away Travel Policies and the Southsiders Code of Conduct. Anyone who travels with us is subject to these policies — no exceptions.  This means that you and your friends and/or family members that are making the trip with you are held to the same standard.  And ultimately, you are responsible for them.  If anyone in the group fails to abide by these rules, travel privileges will be revoked, and funds allocated to future away trips forfeited.  Basically, don’t be a dick, and you’ll be fine.

Itinerary

11:15 gathering at Burrard street SkyTrain station, filling out waiver documents.
11:45 boarding the buses (collecting waiver documents and photocopies of passports)
12:00 Buses depart from Burrard station, WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
12:45 (estimated) pickup at Campbell River Store. 
      BE THERE EARLIER. WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
14:00 (estimated) stop at Costcutters, tapping of the kegs ceremony, 
      purchasing provisions for the trip
16:30 (estimated) buses arrive at Stadium.
17:00 NE gate opens for away supporters. 
      Entry with flags and personal tifo is MANDATORY at this time. 
      Entry is HIGHLY recommended at this time.
19:00 Kickoff.
21:00 Conclusion of the game (3 points). Our sections will be held for 20 minutes.
      You have been warned. PLEASE BE PATIENT, NO DRAMA, DON'T BE A DICK.
21:30 (estimated) Buses depart from Centurylink parking lot. 
      STAY WITH THE GROUP, DON'T WANDER AROUND, WE WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU.
01:00 (estimated) Buses arrive back to Vancouver, making stops 
      at Campbell River Store and along Cambie street,
      with final dropoff at Burrard Station.

Stadium entry

CenturyLink stadium has very strict limitations on bags, leave it on the bus or in your car. Be at the NE gate at 5pm, especially if you have personal tifo, flags, or you just want a better spot in the stands.

Prohibited items: Animals (service animals ok), Beach balls/frisbee, Bottles (glass), Cans, Coolers/Ice chests, Drugs/Illegal Substances, Fireworks/Flares/Smoke Bombs, Flammable liquids, Flasks, Glass Containers, Laser pens/pointers, Pepper spray, Weapons, Whistles, All laptops

Ticket only

if you purchased a ticket only for this game, you’re missing out on the bus! We still have a few seats available, change your mind now!

Your ticket is available for download from the membership app, please print it as they will check it upon entering the away supporter sections. All away supporters’ sections are General Admission, the seat printed on your ticket is NOT your seat.

Bus travellers

Thank you so much for joining us on the buses! We have three (3!) almost full buses, and expect great times on the way down and up the I-5.

Your match ticket is available for download from the membership app, please print it as they will check it upon entering the away supporter sections.All away supporters’ sections are General Admission, the seat printed on your ticket is NOT your seat. For the few of you who are not a members (yet!) I’ll email you the pdf.

Note that you won’t be able to bring back any of your purchases back to Canada as we are away less than 24 hours.

Travellers checklist

  • Valid passport, enhanced drivers license or nexus card
  • Photocopy of your travel document (we will collect this and give it back/destroy it upon return)
  • Travel insurance coverage.
  • Match ticket printed.
  • Supporters gear. Bring your best and loudest voice.
  • Cooler for your refreshments, please bring a smaller one if possible so it fits under your seats. Coordinate with your fellow travellers and share a bigger one. You can buy ice at Costcutters.
  • Moderation. It will be a long day, drink with pace. Our boys on the pitch need our full support while we are in the stadium. Drunk idiots will not be tolerated.

… and as always

Don’t be a dick.

 

Acknowledging our “Southsisters” on International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. The Vancouver Southsiders Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous contributions women make each and every day to the betterment of our organization and to the growth of supporters culture in British Columbia.

Our “Southsisters” march to BC Place with the best of ’em and sing their hearts out every match.

They volunteer as capos, tifo creators, charitable fundraisers, away days stewards and board members.

They turn out in great numbers at our rallies and social events.

They make our recreational teams a success as fierce competitors on the pitch and curling rink.

They set an outstanding example for newcomers who are just learning what it means to be a football supporter.

When the Southsiders first formed in 1999, it was a small but overwhelmingly male group that worked very hard to convince the Whitecaps and their fans what a proper match day experience should be like and how supporters had a critical role to play in that process. Since then our numbers have grown exponentially and hundreds of women have stepped forward to say “I want to be a part of that and I can help make it even better.” For that, we are extremely grateful.

Thank you very much to each and every one of you who raise a Southsiders scarf with pride. You keep us honest and accountable, and you motivate us to be better leaders in our community.

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