Inner City Recreation & Wellness Program

Art, Gardening, Music, and Sports

  • Laura Peters, Sportsmanship Award recipient. Rebecca Kaiser

The Street Prints Artist Collective is excited, along with many in the community, to see the newly renovated Bissell Centre West! (At the time of writing this article the centre was not yet open.) As soon as it opens, we have extra reason to be excited because we will be creating art, and bringing artist-run workshops within the new space on a weekly basis!

As soon as the ground starts to dry up a little more, ICRWP will be loading up the van with gardeners and heading out to Lady Flower Gardens to starting working in this year’s garden! Every growing season, participants harvest vegetables for Edmonton’s Food Bank, and bring home bags of produce for themselves.

We will be kicking off our first week of Inner City Sluggers Slo-Pitch the first week of May! Our practices will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays at Diamond Park, and games will be Tuesday evenings there as well! Our outdoor soccer team with the Edmonton Sport and Social Club Recreational League also starts this month.  

This month’s sportsmanship award goes to Laura Peters. Laura is fairly new to our Friday floor hockey games, and took a bit of a bump to the head playing hard on her first day! Despite some minor bruises, she came back to the program. Laura is a great sport and is adamant that everyone takes time and care to include others.

The Underground City artists are in final preparations to celebrate the release of the songs and poetry they recorded in the Boyle Street Youth Unit and at CJSR. The celebration/release will be at the upcoming Heart of the City Festival on June 2 and 3 in Giovanni Caboto Park. It is free, and everyone is welcome! Along with these young artists, ICRWP will be looking for other musicians and artists to highlight at the festival from the drop-ins at Boyle Street Community Services and Bissell Centre.

From May 11-13, the University of Alberta’s Humanities 101 program is hosting a conference to celebrate ten years of barrier free education! Learners from Edmonton’s class, as well as students from similar programs across Western Canada, will present on a wide scope of research and issues ranging from the importance of art therapy and public radio to ICRWP’s own Pet Food Bank! The conference is free to attend and includes an opening night concert at the Winspear Centre. For more information, please email Rylan at

Rylan Kafara is the Program Lead, Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program. Mike Siek and Rebecca Kaiser are Program Coordinators with ICRWP.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Ukrainian Community Easter Celebration – On March 17 and 18, the exhibition of archive photos “History of UNF, UWO & UNYF in Pictures” took place at the Ukrainian National Federation hall located at 10629 98 Street. The Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) celebrated its 85th anniversary last year, and on March 23, 2018 the Ukrainian Women’s Organization (UWO) celebrated its 85th anniversary. The exhibition featured photographs from 1934 to 2012. Pictured above are participants in a watercolour workshop by artist Valeriy Semenko (front, kneeling). Mykola Vorotylenko

  • Pets: A Part of Home – One part of “home” for me, is the pets we keep as part of our family. They provide love, affection, joy, and hope when we need it most. My two rescue dogs keep me walking when I don’t even feel like going outside, because they love to go for walks. Last month, I lost one of my rescued cats, Charlie, who I named after my grandfather. He was only about eight years old, but a month or so ago his breathing became laboured, and he began to lose weight. He never complained - he just wanted to sit on my lap and be stroked, so we did that. He died on Saturday night, April 7. My home feels so different without him. I took this photo of him in March, and to me he looks unwell even then. Poor little guy. I miss him. Joanne McNeal

  • Ukrainian Community Easter Celebration – On March 17 and 18, the exhibition of archive photos “History of UNF, UWO & UNYF in Pictures” took place at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall located at 10629 98 Street. The exhibition featured photographs from 1934 to 2012. Pictured above is the youth ensemble Dzherelo during a concert featuring young performers. Mykola Vorotylenko

  • Fuel for Hunger Feeds Thousands – Moe Duval (front) and his crew of volunteers served chili lunches on the street by Bissell Centre and other inner city locations every Sunday during the winter months. The group, which is not affiliated with any agency, made the chili them- selves and served about 6500 bowls of chili between December and March (approximately 500 bowls each Sunday). For more information, search for “Fuel for Hunger” on Facebook. Jim Gurnett

  • Thanking the Plows – 110 Avenue in McCauley, between 92 Street and 95 Street, is very narrow because it was one of the first streets in Edmonton to have houses built along it. So, in the winter, the plows have nowhere to move the snow to but onto the sidewalk. When the snow began to melt this spring, it made huge puddles on the sidewalks, which turned to ice at night and made the road so narrow it was almost impassible. Joanne called the City and asked for their help to move the ice and snow. A few days later, two snowplows arrived and did an excellent job of cleaning up the spring mess. She wrote and thanked them for their work, and her photos are being included in a City employee newspaper, along with her thanks. It never hurts to say thank you when people do a great job! Joanne McNeal

  • Speaking Truth to Power – The annual Outdoor Way of the Cross took place on March 30 (Good Friday). Around 300 people took part in the walk, with numbers down a bit due to the cold weather - the coldest temperatures in the walk’s 39-year history. This year’s theme was “Speaking truth to power,” a Quaker saying used in the 50s and 60s in anti-war activities (and based on Jesus saying “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”). Stations looked at housing security, Truth and Rec- onciliation recommendations, police/courts/prisons, the environment, working people, and older people/isolation. For the first time, the Cross was carried past the new Royal Alberta Museum building. Michael Hoyt

Around the Neighbourhood

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