Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • December 2021/January 2022 • Circulation 5000

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A New Podcast, First Aid Training, and a Parade

Street Prints artist, Sherien, poses with her flying saucer created for the GLOW Festival. Mike Siek

Keep Moving Podcast
Rebecca recently had a conversation with a co-worker who was advocating for a shift in the way society views people experiencing marginalization. The focus has been heavily on services, on offerings, on numbers. However, the reality of the situation is that people are people, not labels, not numbers, and certainly not just clients. Every individual facing barriers to participating in society is more than the sum of those barriers. If we take a shift towards getting to know people, their strengths, and their challenges, if we had the resources to work more in a relational approach, we’d help more people feel like they belong and help them access the skills to overcome societal barriers.

This is something that the Inner City Recreation & Wellness Program has a unique opportunity to do and exactly what the new podcast, Keep Moving, is trying to capture. Keep Moving is a show about the leisure lives of some of Edmonton’s most marginalized community members and the effects of gentrification of the downtown core. The podcast aims to provide a platform for individuals facing barriers to tell their stories, humanizing community members by highlighting the dynamism and depth of each person’s story, while challenging and reducing negatively-viewed labels. Keep Moving held a launch event this month at The Grizzlar. The event was also the release of the Underground City Project recordings. Underground City is a youth-focused music initiative that brings to life the collaborations of youth experiencing marginalization, another platform for community members to advocate for their stories to be heard and seen.

Community-Focused First Aid
Boyle Street Community Services is holding a Community-Focused First Aid session, in partnership with the YMCA Boyle Plaza and the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program, on March 27th. This course came about in response to several incidents of violence that occurred in the vicinity in 2019. These events resulted in the loss of one community member and the serious injury of another. Their friends and fellow community members reported being there, witnessing it, and wishing they could have done more to help. It is also a common occurrence that community members are together in the event of an overdose, and programs like Street Works have played an invaluable role in educating community members on overdose prevention training.

With the common fluctuation in winter temperatures, chances of overdose, and possibility of injury, there is an obvious need to provide access to basic first aid information to the community. On March 27th the first session will be held in the Willow room at YMCA Boyle Street Plaza location from 3-5 p.m. Please call Rebecca at 587-337-9860 to sign up. The training is free of charge, does not finish with a certification, and is open to all community members. More sessions will be held in the Bissell Centre on April 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Anyone over 18 is welcome to join!

March 21st is the Spring Equinox, which means Quarters Art Society is orchestrating another Community Arts Lantern Parade in celebration of the coming season. This year’s theme is magic, and community members of all sorts will come together to create illuminated paper lanterns to carry together on the evening of the Equinox. Inner City Rec. team members brought workshops to the Boyle Street Drop-in, Bissell Community Space, and Boyle Street Plaza during the launch of Fresh Routes, a mobile grocery store that graces the YMCA every Thursday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

These workshops, held throughout the community in the lead-up to the festival, generate a myriad of beautiful and diverse lanterns, created by community members from all walks of life. As such, some of the lanterns that arrive at the event cannot be carried by their creators, and are instead carried by those who show up to the parade to be involved at the last minute. This connection between artists and parade-goers highlights the connections that can be made through art and community engagement. This year’s Glow Community Arts Lantern Parade will be held at Quarters Arts’ new facility CO*LAB (9641 102a Avenue), with lantern workshops starting at 3:00 p.m. on the day of the event (March 21st).

Rebecca Kaiser and Mike Siek are Program Coordinators with ICRWP.

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