Spring Fiesta Highlights Cultures of the Community

  • Hoop Dancer Lakota Tootoosis. Todd Homan

  • A Lion Dancer with the McNally Chinese Culture Club. Todd Homan

  • Opera singer Boris Derow. Todd Homan

  • Mini-Round Dance. Todd Homan

  • Fancy Dancer Dustin Stamp. Todd Homan

On Saturday March 24, McCauley Community League, in partnership with McCauley Revitalization, held its first Annual Spring Fiesta at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre located at 9538 107 Avenue in the old McCauley School. The event was open to all community members as well as those who work and play in our amazing neighbourhood.

And did they come. Around 200 people, young and young at heart, came out for the afternoon and shook off that winter dust with their neighbours. The underlying theme was to celebrate the spring equinox as it relates to the First Nations Medicine Wheel and welcome all the people of the community, to share food and some laughs, watch some amazing performances, and get to know each other in a fun and safe social environment.

March 21 was the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racism and we wanted to show support in way that celebrated McCauley’s diversity. There was food galore. People enjoyed Indian tacos and bannock from Tee Pee Treats, panini and antipasti from the Italian Centre Shop, delicious hand-rolled sambusas from Aroma Cup Café, and tasty fried bonce and real ginger beer from Bola at Best of Africa. Our Master of Ceremonies, Nigel Robinson welcomed performances from a variety of artists throughout the day including Jordan Lane and Alex Armstrong from YEG Music’s November Band of the Month Feral Fires, Hoop Dancer Lakota Tootoosis, Fancy Dancers Dustin Stamp and Sarah Paquette, and Métis jigger Hugo Martel and his group.

In addition, the McNally Chinese Culture Club performed a Dragon Dance, Edmonton’s Poet Laureate Ahmed Knowmadic performed spoken word poetry, and McCauley tenor Boris Derow from Mercury Opera closed off the event with a little opera. Councillor Scott McKeen made an appearance to support the event and was seen having a couple of laughs and dancing with the groups. The Edmonton Public Library generously brought their green screen and button maker as well as a projector for a FIFA Soccer Tournament for the kids, and the Canadian Native Friendship Centre had a table to make friendship bracelets.

A few local artists and crafters came to showcase and sell their creations and door prizes were plentiful and generous with goodies from the City of Edmonton, Mile Zero Dance Company, Lindt Canada, the Italian Centre Shop, Zocalo, and VIVA Italia to name a few. The Community League would like to thank all those who played a part in making this event a success, from League and community members to our partners in McCauley and our friends at the City who always show their support in improving the quality of life for everyone in McCauley.

Greg is a McCauley resident who is part of the Community League.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Around the Neighbourhood

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