I am so excited about today's interview and tour. I first heard about This World's Ours Centre from a friend. I looked it up and immediately fell in love. I was able to set up a coffee date with Koryn, the owner and I just felt so comfortable around her. Once I heard her story, I felt like this was a space I needed to visit. As soon as I walked into the space, I was blown away. It is tucked away on a side street near busy Main Street in Vancouver. Originally a storage space, it has been transformed into an airy, sun-filled space, still keeping some of the older features, such as the brick wall.
The thing I love most about the space is the attention to detail and the welcoming feel. I can't wait for you to read the interview and see what I mean. Enjoy!
Tell me about yourself
I’m married to my best friend, Kyle, and we have three beautiful children and a labradoodle
named Daisy. We moved to North Van two years ago and are in love with it. We enjoy hiking in the woods, swimming in the pool, and allowing our children to play outside like we did in our childhood.
I am also an educator and taught in the public school system before becoming an Inclusion
Consultant with the district. I left education to run This World’s Ours Centre. I recently becamean author in a motherhood anthology called The MomBabes, where I share my story alongside 14 other mothers. This book is your sisterhood: a collection of stories from 15 moms who’ve been there, drank cold coffee and survived to share their inspiring tales of failure, triumph, and success. I am also an advocate for inclusion and enjoy public speaking to both educators and parents about inclusion and why it is so important for all children. I love sharing my story and connecting with people about the importance of meeting kids where they are and ensuring that they are at the heart of all of our plans. Lastly, I am also the owner of This World’s Ours Centre in Vancouver, which is an inclusive centre providing a safe, social space and a variety of programs for neurodiverse children and families. ALL children are welcome to participate in our programs
How did This World's Ours come to be?
I wanted to create a place where my family felt as if they belonged. My youngest two children are autistic and we were trying to find places that my children could attend alongside other children. After being asked to leave a community center camp, I decided that there had to be another option for families out there like mine. I created This World’s Ours Centre in Vancouver and opened in May 2022. We are an inclusive centre that supports families with neurodiverse children.
What does inclusion mean to you and why is it important?
Inclusion to me means that we are all working collaboratively to ensure that our spaces,
schools, communities, and relationships are making everyone feel valued and comfortable. It means looking at what supports would benefit the most vulnerable in our community, and
ensuring that they are available for everyone. Every person has the right to be an integral part of their community and we need to place a higher value on that. That can mean environmental supports, like ensuring spaces are accessible, free of clutter and
allowing flexibility and movement, are calming (soft lighting, variety of textures, etc) to having access to sensory materials, providing choices, and keeping up to date on new research. It means asking questions, being open to constructive feedback, and making a deliberate effort to ensure that everyone is welcome and a part of what is happening in the space.
For me, this means sharing my story and having those vulnerable conversations with people so that my children are able to be included. Any chance I get, I love speaking with educators and parents about the importance of community and how we can support all children. I have joined my daughter’s PAC for this exact reason. I want to start having those conversations at a higher level so that we can start to plan community events and activities that are supportive for all kids.
What programs have been the most popular?
Oh my, it’s funny, cause hands down the most popular class has been Dungeons and Dragons. I know nothing about DnD, but have staff that are passionate about it and have made a safe space for youth and adults to gather and explore this fantasy world.
Our camps are also quite popular, as parents often need care during the holidays. We are
shifting our camps this Spring Break to be smaller in size with more support. Each camp is 3 hours in length and has a specific focus, like cooking. We have 2 staff assigned per group with a maximum of 6 participants in each group. If this goes well, this will be our layout for summer camps as well.
Your space is beautiful. What details or features are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the welcoming feeling our space creates for individuals and families. By
having calm colors, minimal furniture, and warm wood tones, we have managed to create a
space where people feel comfortable and at home. It helps that the kitchen is in the heart of the space and that no matter the event, everyone always gathers around the island. I love hosting at the centre as I feel so at home in the space.
But honestly, it isn’t just the space, it’s the people that make it feel so welcome. I have the
kindest, most caring staff and I am so proud of the hard work and dedication to this centre that they bring daily to work. I am constantly in awe of watching them work with children in our space and how passionate they are about advocating for them. They ensure every parent knows how much we love having their children here and they are always brainstorming more ways to ensure success in their programs. It is easy to work here when I am surrounded by such amazing people.
What are your future plans for your space? What things would you love to see in the next
I have so many ideas for the space, but I will tell you, expanding is always a possibility and one that I would love to do. I am also very passionate about setting up a not for profit side of the business that would allow us to support more people by providing access to programming at a reduced cost. This is something that is currently in the works and hopefully I can roll out in the near future.
Anything you'd like to add?
If you are ever in our neighborhood, please feel free to pop by anytime. We love having people pop in for a visit and to tour the space.
Thank you, Koryn, for your time and expertise. I am so excited for a space like this just down the street from me...much needed in Vancouver! I'd highly encourage local families to check it out.