Inner City Recreation & Wellness Program

Winds of Change Blowing at ICRWP

Comfortable Kitchen Coordinator wanted.

  • Jermain, Sportsmanship Award recipient for February. Rebecca Kaiser

  • Angel and Phil at Paws The Cat Café. Rebecca Kaiser

  • Street Print Artists enjoy their new office space. Jo

The staff here at the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program are getting really excited about the warm and sunny weather! Every day of melting brings us that much closer to spring and outdoor seasonal activities such as gardening, slo-pitch, outdoor soccer, and many other opportunities to frolic in the sweet Alberta sunshine. The change in season brings new community members to the drop-in centres of Edmonton’s inner city and new diverse faces to ICRWP programming, as well as some returning ones!

A huge shout out to Darren and the team at Quarters Arts for putting on an amazing display of light, laughter, and love at the GLOW Community Arts Lantern Parade held on March 24. The team did an amazing job at partnering with us to provide opportunities to include all members of our vibrant inner city community.

Last month the Street Prints Artist Collective moved into our spacious new office, provided by the fine folks at E4C! We have already started having meetings, gatherings, and even a birthday celebration in the new space, and we look forward to adding our own flair to the place, filling it with art and making big plans for our summer and the coming years! Later this month we will begin doing artwork and workshops out of the newly renovated Bissell Centre.

The ICRWP Sportsmanship award went to a new face at the program in February. Jermain Soungie joined us for Friday Floor Hockey, bringing with him an energetic and kind attitude. Jermain brought his whole team together to discuss roles and strategy during the game, stepping up into leadership position first chance he got. We look forward to seeing more of his playful and game-oriented spirit at future programs.

Last week, Inner City Pet Food Bank (PFB), a service offered by Boyle Street Community Services via the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program, visited Paws The Cat Café to celebrate its community volunteers. Not only did we cuddle and bond with new feline friends, but we also talked about what kind of community we wanted the Pet Food Bank to create, how we felt fellow PFB community members should treat one another, and other items related to how we as a group want to see the program run. We hope our community feels that we offer a safe space of supportive and nurturing furry friends and we hope our community knows that we always do our best to keep their animals fed and well. Huge shout out to Paws The Cat Café for having us and sharing their story. Interested in meeting kitties to adopt? They do that there – and coffee, great coffee. If you are interested in visiting the café please see www.pawsthecatcafe.com. For more information on the Inner City Pet Food Bank check out our page “boylestreet.org/we-can-help/adult-services/pet-food-bank“http://boylestreet.org/we-can-help/adult-services/pet-food-bank. The Pet Food Bank is always in need of donations for our furry friends, especially cat food and cat litter!

The winds of change bring challenges as well. ICRWP has supported the Comfortable Kitchen held on Church Street at the First Christian Reformed Church. The program effectively brought otherwise isolated members of the inner city community together to socialize, cook, bake, and share a meal together on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, the program is losing its wonderful coordinator in June. This program has been bringing community members out into the community to learn and socialize together for approximately 30 years and is a part of Boyle Street and McCauley neighborhoods’ heritage. Parts of Church Street have recently been named heritage sites and it is programs like the comfortable kitchen that give the area its charm and culture. ICRWP is putting a call out to the community to ask for a new coordinator to step in after the month of June. If food security, cooking, and bringing people together are something you want to help support in your community then please contact Rebecca at (587) 337-9860 for more information.

Rebecca Kaiser and Mike Siek are Program Coordinators with ICRWP.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • More Music from Musical Mamas – The Musical Mamas, a group of women singer/songwriters who meet and mostly live in or near the area, released their second volume of original music in March. Pictured is performer Sylvia Khoury. For more information visit musicalmamassociety.com. Shauna Specht

  • Welcoming the Year of the Dog – Lunar New Year celebrations took place in Chinatown on February 17, organized by the Chinatown and Area Business Association. Pictured with Lion Dancers, from left: Kerry Diotte (MP Edmonton Griesbach), Frankie Lee (Director with the Chinatown and Area Business Association); Brian Mason (MLA Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood; and Mayor Don Iveson. Paula E. Kirman

  • Mercury Opera’s La Traviata in McCauley – A scene from Mercury Opera’s production of La Traviata at one of the matinees at Studio 96 during March. The opera also played to sold-out audiences at Chez Pierre Cabaret. Cecilia Ferreyra

  • London Villas Hub Grand Opening – London Villas Hub’s grand opening on March 14 featured food, entertainment, and the chance to experience the new space for the first time. It is located in the former church at 9620 109 Avenue. Paula E. Kirman

  • New Mural in Chinatown – A new mural on 97 Street near 107 Avenue was unveiled in February. It was created by artist Kris Friesen with the full support of McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton. Paula E. Kirman

Around the Neighbourhood

Volunteer With Us!

We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.