Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2023 • Circulation 5000

Chinatown to Boost Downtown Vibrancy

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi bows with family members of Hung Trang and Ban Phuc Hoang at the May 19th memorial for the two men. Paula E. Kirman

The Chinatown and Area Business Improvement Association’s economic recovery program continues to gain “steam” – and not just from power washing sidewalks.

While only three months into the Chinatown Solution, a long-term project to revitalize the area, the change has been remarkable. The solution starts with cleanliness, pure and simple. After washing all of the sidewalks and storefront windows in Chinatown on a bi-weekly basis, shoppers and shop owners have felt the change on the street. This partnership program has now been expanded to include vacant lot and alleyway cleaning. We believe that the best recovery is grassroots recovery and we are providing a level playing field for commerce to thrive in an environment where people are safe and want to visit and shop. We believe in the free economy and it is important to note that we did not have to market to people – they were waiting to come to us and have been very vocal about the difference they see.

The BIA began closely working in unison with our partners months ago with the goal of achieving a better community. We are trying every good idea and concept to make a positive difference for all in Chinatown and we proudly acknowledge that “all” includes not only businesses and residents, but also the social agencies and the people in need of services from these agencies and, of course, all Edmontonians.

Our actions are well thought out and we have moved slowly to ensure that our economic recovery is done right with caring, with reason, and with results. We feel that success only comes if every single person in the Chinatown area shares in the benefits of having their quality of life improve.

We have had our struggles to get where we are today. I would personally like to thank the Chinatown and area community for joining in the memorial for Hung Trang and Ban Phuc Hoang on May 19th, when we honoured two men who were killed in a terrible tragedy that must never be allowed to happen again. One of the most poignant moments at that memorial came from Christina Trang when she said, “I want my father to be remembered as a catalyst of change in Chinatown, to bring back safety and restore this once great community.” Paying respect on that day were shop owners, visitors, EPS, Sheriffs, EMS, the Mayor and City Councillors, and people referred to as “houseless” who are currently calling Chinatown home. This loss touched all of us in the community and this loss binds us together. Christina, I believe that your wishes for your father are being fulfilled.

The Chinatown and Area Business Improvement Association continues to publicly applaud the City of Edmonton for their initiatives to revitalize the downtown core. It is the right “first step” to healing Edmonton. Look no further than Chinatown for the proof. We were the worst affected area in downtown Edmonton.

Further changes are planned in the coming months. We are well along the way to restoring safety and security and plan to “Disney up” Chinatown by installing year-round lanterns across 97th Street – and a few other surprises. We want Edmontonians to be proud of Chinatown – that is our goal. After all, this is your Chinatown and it does not exist without you.

In addition to sidewalk and window cleaning we have added clearly signposted areas in Chinatown that will remain open to allow for regular cleaning and easy foot traffic. The “Chinatown Solution” includes everybody but it is much more – it is based on respect and it involves all in the community.

Over the past eight weeks we have made great strides improving Chinatown with a simple homegrown solution that works. We have alleviated many of the unique problems that face Chinatown and have improved the quality of life for all in our community. This has increased commerce and provided dozens of people in need of an opportunity to re-enter the work force and to regain a sense of pride and community belonging.

The Chinatown Solution has exceeded all of our expectations and we will continue to expand its scope. It does not fix everything but it is a model that other communities should consider following. Our success is measured by our results, and we have seen exceptional results with increased vibrancy, a strong community partnership with all residents of our community and, of course, a very clean and welcoming Chinatown.

We could not have accomplished this without the dedicated work of Hope Mission’s staff and the wonderful people in their recovery program. We wish you continued success and Chinatown is proud to be a part of your journey.

The City has taken the steps in the right direction, but downtown Edmonton and Chinatown still have much work to do. Chinatown is proud to have a lead role to play in Edmonton’s downtown vibrancy and recovery.

Stephen Hammerschmidt is the Chinatown and Area BIA’s Director of Economic Recovery.

Ben Calf Robe Traditional Pow Wow

Event returns to McCauley following a pandemic break.

The 39th Annual Ben Calf Robe Traditional Pow Wow took place on May 13th at Clarke Stadium, the first time since 2019. This year’s theme was “Honouring Our Sacred Gifts – Our Children.”

The Ben Calf Robe Traditional Pow Wow is organized by Edmonton Catholic Schools and Indigenous Learning Services, in partnership with the Ben Calf Robe Society and the City of Edmonton.

Photos by Paula E. Kirman.

CEASE Announces New Executive Director

Kate Quinn (left) and Liz John-West at Red Dress Day on May 5th. Paula E. Kirman

Liz John-West, known to many in McCauley and Alberta Avenue, is the new Executive Director for the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).

Jessica Steingard, CEASE Board President, welcomed Liz to her new position: “She comes to us having spent many years serving vulnerable Albertans. We are confident CEASE will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership.”

“The buying and selling of human beings, especially vulnerable women and girls, is one of the world’s fastest growing crimes,” says Liz. “This crime leaves deep and lasting scars on its victims. CEASE has dedicated the last 25 plus years to ending sex trafficking. I am honoured to take the baton from Kate Quinn and further the action and dialogue needed to end sex trafficking in Edmonton, Alberta, and Canada. CEASE is a force for change, and I strongly believe that with collaboration and hard work we can build a society where traffickers are held accountable, buyers are charged, and women and girls are freed.”

As outgoing Executive Director, I wish to express my profound gratitude for the past 27 years of working with CEASE, formerly PAAFE. The work was rooted in our experiences in McCauley and other core communities in the early nineties. CEASE has offered me rich learning opportunities and inspirational moments. It is a community initiative that requires the insights, skills, and experience of many, especially those whose lives are touched by any aspect of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and social inequality.

It has been my privilege to work with dedicated staff throughout the years. They are fierce advocates for the women and men who trusted them to walk alongside, bearing witness to painful histories and celebrating milestones of healing and forging new pathways. Past and current Board members give generously of their time to lead the organization and support the staff team and the vision and mission of CEASE. I wish to thank the women, men, and 2SLGBTQIA people who have so graciously been great teachers, sharing and challenging me to deepen my understanding. I look forward to hearing about new opportunities that Liz will create for CEASE!

Kate Quinn is the past Executive Director of CEASE. She lives in McCauley.

Red Dress Day 2023

The movement is growing.

Red Dress Day on May 5, 2023. Paula E. Kirman

In 2018, there was a small gathering of supporters led by April Eve Wiberg, a grassroots activist with Stolen Sisters and Brothers and Judith Gale from Bear Clan Beaver Hills House. They gathered in Amiskwaskahegan—Beaver Hills House Park, hung red dresses in the trees, and planted posters around the park. Waving at pedestrians and drivers, they called out to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, men, boys, and Two-Spirit people.

In 2019, Red Dress Day expanded to a walk, starting at Canada Place and moving down Jasper Avenue to Amiskwaskahegan Park. The pandemic in 2020 prevented people from gathering, but, in 2021, over 400 people wearing masks marched from Churchill Square to Amiskwaskahegan Park.

In 2023, the Red Dress Day march increased to over 1000 people, many wearing red. Chants rang out, including: “Stop the Violence, Stop the Hate” and “No More Stolen Sisters and Brothers.” Traffic stopped, cars honked, drums sounded. Although I was unable to be there in 2022, I have been told that numbers were similar.

Red Dress Day events are organized in cities across Canada. This year, Winnipeg MP Leah Gazan led the call for a “Red Dress Alert” system like the Amber Alert when children are missing. The motion, which was adopted with unanimous consent, also called on the Federal Government to declare the ongoing violence a national emergency.

Kate Quinn lives in McCauley.

Return of the McCauley Community Orchard and Gardens

The McCauley Community Orchard and Gardens is back! Thanks to all the community members and organizations who worked tirelessly to get the space back up and running for the 2023 season under the new stewardship of Sustainable Food Edmonton!

Do you wish you knew more about fruit trees, orchards, and what it takes to grow great fruit in Edmonton? We are looking at dividing up the orchard into 12 sections (2-3 trees per section) and providing interested individuals and groups with the opportunity to learn how to grow, maintain, troubleshoot and harvest their sections. Each section would require approximately 3-4 hours of work per month – done on your schedule each month!

We also have 20 raised bed garden plots available for gardeners for this season – individuals and groups are welcome to inquire for a bed to grow all the annual veggies and flowers they’d like.

We will be hosting work bees, gardening workshops, orchard workshops, cider pressings, and more. We would love to have you all join us on the site this summer. The outdoor space will be available for events, celebrations, festivals, and more.

Questions? Suggestions? Do you want a garden plot or an orchard section? Do you want to volunteer with us? Would you like to host an event or workshop at the site? Please reach out to Shannon at

Information provided by Sustainable Food Edmonton.

An Update from City Council

Hello! As the proud City Councillor for Boyle Street and McCauley, I’m pleased to share a few updates with you. From addressing challenges to creating fun, here are some of the projects the City is undertaking in your neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhood Renewal
Both Boyle Street and McCauley will be going through Neighbourhood Renewal, including reconstruction of sidewalks and roads. Construction is starting this spring in specific parts of the neighbourhoods and will be phased over three years. Search “Boyle Street McCauley Neighbourhood Renewal” for the website and feel free to reach out to the Project Manager, Donny Fung at or 780-496-4055 with any questions or to get more information.

As the Councillor for Ward O-day’min and resident of Oliver, I’m aware of the continuing challenges posed by encampments.

Council approved an Enhanced Encampment Strategy focusing on two outcomes: rapid access to housing for those in encampments and minimising safety risks. A number of new strategies are being taken to meet these goals, including:

  1. An active priority list that will work to move 100 people living in encampments into housing this summer.
  2. Prototype projects aimed at improving the cleanliness and fire safety of encampments to reduce the most immediate risks and impacts to neighbours.
  3. A new community liaison, providing follow up information to let you know what actions have been taken and what you can expect to see after an encampment has been reported to 311.

While I’m hopeful these enhanced approaches will alleviate some pressures, housing is the only true solution to encampments. My Council colleagues and I continue to stay focused on securing the housing our community needs to ensure every Edmontonian has a place to call home.

Healthy Streets Operations Centre
The Healthy Streets Operations Centre (HSOC) in McCauley is a collaboration between numerous agencies. It provides a visible safety presence, engages with the community, and proactively addresses public safety issues in portions of central Edmonton communities. If you have any questions about the centre, you can connect with the HSOC Project Manager, Dallas Dyson, at

Summer Fun!
The Green Shack program is back this summer! Starting in July, kids can drop by to enjoy fun and free activities, including games, sports, crafts, music, drama and special events.

Boyle Street (in partnership with the YMCA), Neighbourhood Playspace at Boyle Plaza:
Tuesday July 4- Thursday August 24, 2023, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

McCauley, Giovanni Caboto Park:
Tuesday July 4- Thursday August 24, 2023, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

*In Closing *
If you’d like to stay up to date, please sign up for my newsletter at or follow my social media accounts. You can reach out anytime at or 780-496-8333.

I’m also looking forward to spending time enjoying Boyle Street and McCauley this summer (especially my daughter’s favourite parks at Boyle Street Plaza and Giovanni Caboto!) so please be sure to say hello if we cross paths!

Heart of the City Reboot

Establishing new beginnings.

Twenty years ago, members of Action for Healthy Communities, Bissell Centre, the Our Voice street newspaper, and the neighbourhoods of Boyle Street and McCauley got together to help inner city artists record and produce a CD showcasing the diverse musical voices within the communities. This CD, or rather project, was named “Patchworks” and would go on to inspire a daughter project entitled “Heart of the City.”

On June 12th, 2004, the first annual festival was held at Giovanni Caboto Park with 19 musical acts performing. The park hosted around 300 people that day, going up to 700 the following year. Heart of the City would continue to grow, adding free workshops, free activities for the whole family, and a second day of programming in 2010.

As we gear up for our 20th anniversary in 2024, the Heart of the City Festival Society (HOTCFS) has decided not to host our annual two-day festival in 2023. Instead, we intend on stretching the festival’s regular programming over the remainder of the year by hosting a series of events throughout our district. We have an almost brand-new Board of Directors and we plan to take this time to strengthen and reboot our organization while still upholding our mission to support and promote the artists and artisans in our communities.

We want to thank you, our community members, the Boyle McCauley News, all of the artists and creatives who have contributed to the festival thus far, and, of course, all of the board members and volunteers before us for their diligence over the years. HOTCFS would not be possible without the support and dedication of our volunteers and sponsors.

We will continue to update you regularly on our socials and website at, but, as always, you can reach us by email at “” with any questions and suggestions. We’re also @heartcityfest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have any photographs or footage of previous festivals or any stories you wish to share, please do not hesitate to pass them along. We have something special in store for our 20th anniversary! Stay tuned.

Jakki is HOTC’s Producer and a member of the festival’s Board of Directors.

Let the Sun Shine

_“Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s alright”- George Harrison (1943-2001), member of the legendary group The Beatles._

The first day of summer arrives with the solstice on Wednesday, June 21st. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Earth is tilting towards the sun.

Summer activities abound, such as festivals, concerts, and holidays. Perhaps you will have a vacation or a “staycation.” Maybe this can be a time to leisurely get to know our city and community!

You can have your own festivals right outside your door. Be creative – gather neighbours and explore. Our community holds a lot of significant history. Multiple generations of families have lived here, so there is always a story to tell!

Church Street (96th Street between 107th and 111th Avenue, formerly “Kinistino Street”) is considered historically significant and was visited by well-known people such as Pope Francis who was here last summer, and the cast of SCTV who filmed a segment there in the early ‘80s.

Even a nice relaxing afternoon in Giovanni Caboto Park across from the historic Italian Centre can make for a wonderful time.

Enjoy your summer – I know I will! And don’t forget to let the sun shine!

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

Meet With Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative

Problem Property Initiative Meet & Greet
Wednesday, June 14th, 2023
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Edmonton Intercultural Centre
9538 107th Avenue

This spring, Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative (PPI) is hosting a series of Meet and Greets across north central Edmonton, where the highest number of problem properties exist. The final event will be held at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre in McCauley on June 14th.

Free for all Edmontonians to attend, these events aim to strengthen relationships with community members and increase awareness of the PPI’s long term strategy and increased resources to address problem properties.

Each Meet and Greet features a presentation and question and answer session, followed by an opportunity for community members to share their knowledge and experiences directly with the PPI team members working in their neighbourhoods. Several new public information resources will be available. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

On April 29th, 62 people from 14 neighbourhoods attended the first Meet & Greet that took place in Eastwood. Guests were invited to provide their feedback about the event and the information presented by the PPI. An overwhelming 93% reported that the event helped to increase their knowledge of how the City and its partners address problem properties; 86% reported that the event gave them confidence that the City had a good strategy in place to address problem properties; and 86% signed up for a newsletter to receive information about the PPI’s progress and future events.

*Resources and Contacts *
To learn more about the Problem Property Initiative, visit
To report a problem property call 311, contact 311 online or use the confidential reporting form at
To report an unsecured vacant property call 311 or email
For general inquiries or to engage directly with the Problem Property Initiative, email

Information from the City of Edmonton.

Latta Bridge Replacement Continues

Despite traffic interruptions, the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.

The Latta Bridge construction site as seen in early May. Leif Gregersen

The Latta Bridge (90th-91st Street on Jasper Avenue) has been closed since August 2022 to accommodate a bridge replacement project. The roadway will not re-open until fall of 2023 (estimated date). The resulting detour has presented some challenges for residents, visitors, the staff, students, and families at St. Teresa of Calcutta School, and the many others who use this section of Jasper Avenue to get to points east and west.

The new Latta Bridge is replacing a bridge built 87 years ago, in 1936. This is the third version of a small but important ravine crossing (see sidebar: First and Second Latta Bridges). Approximately 20,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. The approved budget of $19.7 million is intended to cover the cost of demolition, rebuild, the installation of a new bridge deck and shared-use path, and landscaping.

The contractor, PCL Construction, has had one notable setback to date. “In April a girder rolled onto its side and a new girder has had to be fabricated,” says Nicole Boychuk, communications coordinator, Integrated Infrastructure Service, City of Edmonton. “We will keep the public informed about any potential changes to the project timeline,” she adds.

The detour reroutes traffic, mainly on 92nd Street and north and south of St. Teresa of Calcutta School. Speed bumps and other traffic-calming measures are in place. “To address shortcutting concerns,” Boychuk says, “we worked with the Edmonton Police Service and the community. The safety of both residents and construction workers is a priority, and we’re continuing to monitor and adjust.”

This writer’s informal and unscientific survey of the impact on local residents, the school, and businesses suggests that the detour and changes to the ETS service are being taken in stride. Those who live near Jasper Avenue on the east side of 91st Street are enjoying the temporary lack of traffic noise, particularly the sirens of ambulances and fire engines. A small shuttle bus (#998) now runs between Jasper Avenue and the Stadium LRT Station every 12 minutes. The shuttle also connects with frequently running bus routes 2, 3, and 101 just north of the station.

As a result, transit trips might be even better than before. Riverside Towers resident Ernie Koch certainly thinks so. “After 60 years, I have the best, most consistent, and convenient services ever. The LRT takes us wherever we need to go. It goes often and quickly.”

Another local who drives is going with the flow. He says, “I have learned to avoid the detour route, especially during rush hour and drop-off times at St. Teresa of Calcutta School.”

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

First and Second Latta Bridges
The first Latta Bridge was built in 1911 by its namesake, David Latta, an early resident of Edmonton whose home was on Jasper Avenue just to the west of the ravine. This relatively primitive wooden structure served the needs of the time. As more motorized and larger vehicles started to use the bridge, it became necessary to make improvements. But the Great Depression of the 1930s prevented the City from moving ahead. Finally, in 1936 the second bridge was completed, made possible by the availability of relief workers receiving low wages – a form of social assistance – and by using a lot of recycled materials, including components left over from the construction of the High Level Bridge. Filling in the ravine was considered but the old coal mines discovered underneath the crossing caused a problem. (See the article in the October, 2017 edition of _Boyle McCauley News_ and an entry in the Forgotten Edmonton blog.)

Kinnaird Bridge
Rehabilitation of the nearby Kinnaird Bridge (on 82nd Street just south of 112th Avenue) began on May 1st, 2023. One lane of traffic in both directions and one sidewalk remain open. This project, combined with the ongoing closure of the Latta Bridge, has led drivers to find new routes.

A Taste of the Philippines in McCauley

RJ Tasty Bites is another hidden gem in Chinatown.

The full meal spread at RJ Tasty Bites. Alan Schietzsch

RJ Tasty Bites
9711 107 Avenue NW

While a great many of McCauley’s restaurants are visible on our famous Chinatown strip along 97th Street, there’s also more excellent food hiding just out of sight.

RJ Tasty Bites is a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall tucked inside a doorway just half a block to the west, kitty-corner from Lucky 97 or south across the avenue from Lee Garden Korean. At 9711 107th Avenue, it’s easy to get to by walking or bus, as well as having street parking right at the door.

Julia (the “J” in RJ) immediately welcomed us inside, with no reservations needed.When I mentioned that my spouse and I lived in the area and hadn’t noticed the restaurant before, she told us that they were attracted to the neighbourhood because of cost and location. Buying a restaurant space in McCauley beat other areas of Edmonton, while the central location made their delivery and take-out business so much easier than from other neighbourhoods.

Julia and “R” (her husband) had run a popular restaurant in the Philippines before settling in Edmonton, so they are able to offer an extensive menu of Filipino cuisine. Their clean and bright space is fairly simple with just a couple of larger tables for families and a few smaller tables for one or two. There was a brisk delivery and take-out business happening, definitely evidence of R’s cooking reputation in the Filipino community, which had spread through years of catering parties and weddings.

Combining Asian cuisine with Spanish empire influences, Filipino foods centre around combinations of sweet (tamis), sour (asim), and salty (alat). Popular dishes include adobo (vinegar and soy sauce-based stews), caldereta (meat stewed in tomato sauce and liver paste), mechado (larded beef in soy and tomato sauce), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), pinakbet (veggies like kabocha squash, eggplant, beans, okra, bitter melon, and tomato as a stew, flavoured with shrimp paste), sinigang (meat or seafood with vegetables in sour broth), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (deep-fried spring rolls).

We ordered the Beef Adobo, which we learned is a super-popular item. It was already sold out by the time we’d arrived! So Julia suggested the pork version. While it was cooking, we decided to try the lumpia (spring rolls) appetizer, which arrived in a small basket. The rolls were tight, golden, small and crispy and not at all greasy, awakening the appetite for more. The Pork Adobo came nicely seasoned and plenty meaty, with well-cooked chunks to dig the fork into. We also shared a Chicken Mami, shredded chicken pieces in a big bowl of noodle soup, served with green onions, roasted garlic, bok choy, napa cabbage and boiled egg. This soup (or the Pork Siomai and Beef Pares version) would make a great one-person meal, bringing to mind a Japanese ramen or Vietnamese pho.

Counterpoint is a feature in Filipino cuisine which normally comes in a pairing of something sweet with something salty or sour. For example, Puto, mildly sweet rice cakes almost like miniature cupcakes we were offered for dessert, each featured a surprise – a tiny decorative strip of salty and fatty processed cheese. It was a surprisingly tasty combination!

Stomachs filling from the hearty food, we noticed that RJ’s also served bubble tea as well as calamansi juice, sago, and summer coolers for drinks. Wanting to see what a Filipino bubble tea was like, we each ordered one, and were happy to find they were absolutely loaded with bubbles and jelly – tasty bites indeed!

The two of us enjoyed the tasty and very substantial meal, with two containers left over for the next day’s lunches, for about $50. And there’s so much on the menu that we couldn’t yet try, like the Silog rice meals and the Beef Pares. We’ll be back.

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

Edmonton Ramps Up Cleaning and Graffiti Removal to Boost Downtown Vibrancy

Chinatown north as seen in May of 2022. Paula E. Kirman

The Chinatown and Area Business Improvement Association publicly applauds the City of Edmonton for their recently announced sidewalk cleaning and graffiti removal initiative. It is the right “first step” to healing the downtown core and we know, we “were” the worst affected area in downtown Edmonton.

Edmontonians should know that Chinatown has a very comprehensive cleaning and graffiti removal program which we term the “Chinatown Solution” but it is much, much more than graffiti removal and power washing sidewalks: it involves our entire community. Over the past six weeks we have made great strides improving Chinatown with a simple “homegrown” solution that also works to alleviate some of the unique problems that face Chinatown, namely houselessness, social disorder, and large-scale encampments. We made a very conscious choice when designing our “Chinatown Solution” to partner with Hope Mission and employ individuals from Hope’s recovery program to power wash Chinatown’s sidewalks, to squeegee all storefront windows, to remove garbage, and so much more. This has provided dozens of people the opportunity to re-enter the work force, and regain a sense of pride and community belonging.

This program has exceeded all of our expectations and we are now expanding its scope. In light of the City’s recent focus on cleaning and graffiti removal for downtown, our “Chinatown Solution” is a model that other communities should consider following. Our success is measured with our results and we have seen exceptional results with increased vibrancy, a strong community partnership with all residents of our community and, of course, a very clean and welcoming Chinatown. The new Chinatown has been noticed by shoppers and our repeat visitors as well as by our residents and shop owners. Everyone wants to have a sense of pride in where they live and where they work; it is human nature and the Chinatown Solution has moved the needle in a very positive direction. We welcome all of Edmonton to come and see for yourself. We could not have accomplished this without the benefit of the Alberta Government’s Civil Society Grant which started us on this path, the dedicated work of Hope Mission’s staff, and the wonderful people in their recovery program. We wish you continued success and Chinatown is proud to be a part of your journey.

The City’s graffiti removal and cleaning program is a powerful “first step” in the right direction, but downtown Edmonton and Chinatown still have much work to do before we see a full recovery. I want to let Edmontonians know that there is hope and if the hardest hit area like Chinatown can resolve the bad stigma of unkept streets and blowing garbage while lifting others to rejoin our society, then the downtown core can surely do the same.

Stephen Hammerschmidt is the Chinatown and Area BIA’s Director of Economic Recovery.

Gabriela Mistral Latin American School (GMLAS)

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) would like to welcome Gabriela Mistral Latin American Society (GMLAS) as the newest Tenant Partner operating in the EIC Facility.

The Gabriela Mistral Latin American School was founded on October 9th, 1987 by a group of parents and teachers who sought to maintain and promote the Spanish language and Latin American culture among their children. It is a non-profit organization which relies solely on the efforts and generosity and support of each one of the members of Edmonton’s Latin American Community.  

The school counts on an energetic group of dedicated teachers. Their aim is excellence in teaching Spanish through literacy, language, dance, music, and culture. Those are some of the reasons why, at their school, learning Spanish is fun! 

The school has an enthusiastic student community including children, families, volunteers, and adults wishing to learn Spanish and enjoy the Latin atmosphere that permeates the school.  

At Gabriela Mistral, everybody is welcome! 

For more information about GMLAS, please visit their website at

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

June-July 2023

Welcome to our June-July issue. We hope you enjoy our presentation of community news and events.

If you are part of the online world, we also publish stories in between our print issues at our website: You can also subscribe to our free e-newsletter there. It is delivered directly to your inbox when we publish a new issue.

This community newspaper would not function without the efforts of our volunteers who write, photograph, proofread, deliver, sit on our board, and help at our casinos. Speaking of casinos, our next one is scheduled for some time between January and March of 2024. Our casino is our biggest fundraising event. Although the date might seem like a long time in the future, it’s never too soon to let us know if you’re interested in volunteering for a shift (or two). For this, and any other volunteer-related questions, send me a message at

Do you love Boyle McCauley News and want to see it thrive? Perhaps you would like to become a member of the non-profit society that oversees the operation of the paper. It’s free to join and you will occasionally receive notices and information. The sign-up page is here:

Have a wonderful start to your summer. See you again in August.

High Hopes in Perilous Times

By the time many of you read this, another provincial election in Alberta will have come and gone. What changes the election may (or may not) bring are not yet known, since I am writing this in advance of voters heading to the polls. No matter what the election results are, I have some high hopes for the future, despite the grim few years behind us.

I hope that healthcare stays public and is properly funded so that people won’t have to start paying to see a doctor or to have a medical procedure, and that people won’t have to experience long wait times, especially to treat critical illnesses.

Further to the above, I hope that healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and everyone else involved in caring for patients, are treated with the respect they deserve, so that they will stay here and not be compelled to move to another province.

I hope that housing is a priority and that the unhoused will have access to safe, affordable homes. After all, if someone is housed, issues like mental health or addiction are easier to address.

Like the healthcare system, I also hope that education stays public and is funded properly to keep the teacher to student ratio reasonable and that supports are in place for students with special needs. I also hope that the curriculum being taught is developed by experts in education and includes both sound knowledge and values that reflect a diverse and inclusive society.

Frankly, all of these hopes should be unquestioned aspects of reality in a well-functioning society. The problem is that we haven’t functioned very well for a while now. My biggest hope is that those in power will do better, and that the rest of us will hold them accountable.

Weaving Threads of Hope

New transitional housing in the west end offers help to those in immediate need.

Whether we are housed, unhoused, tenting, or just driving through Boyle Street and McCauley, we are affected by the visible weight of homelessness and the wait for positive shifts in this continuing crisis. It’s been a hard winter with the devastating impact of frostbite, the shigella outbreak, fires, and deaths. Housing Outreach Teams at Bissell Centre, Boyle Street Community Services, and others actively engage with those sleeping rough. They work tirelessly to connect them with community resources and housing options, while Homeward Trust coordinates the city-wide responses.

One additional thread of hope opened in late January, thanks to partners like the Jasper Place Wellness Centre, the Tallcree First Nation, and the City of Edmonton, which invested $7.5 million from its Sustainability Fund. The Bedfort Inn on 155th Street and Stony Plain Road provides a transitional space for those in need of immediate safe lodging. Fifty-nine separate rooms equipped with a mini-fridge, microwave, and bathroom offer steps towards improved health and affordable housing. There are also daily meals plus mat spaces in the former banquet hall.

Homeward Trust reports that 45% of those seeking safe, affordable housing identify as women. Separate rooms with private bathrooms are especially valued by women. CEASE staff can refer women fleeing trafficking and exploitation to the Bedfort. The Safety Network Coordinator (identity protected) works with ALERT Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation Detectives. One woman felt her only option was to return to her trafficker. When she was offered a spot at the Bedfort, she took it! Knowing that she had a safe place to stay for 90 days where she could regain her autonomy and connect to a housing worker lifted her hopes.

Maureen Reid, CEASE Coordinator, asked a woman she had referred to the Bedfort about her experience: “Oh my goodness, I finally had a safe bed to sleep in after being homeless for four months. The stress immediately left me and the first night I slept nine hours straight, and I was warm! The staff were extremely kind to me and I felt really supported and cared for. The housing support worker was so helpful with my move and helped me with getting food and furniture.”

Maureen said, “As a staff person, this is a tremendous resource gift and a very gratifying experience working with the JPW staff to help participants reach their goal of finding a safe and affordable home”.

There are many other hopeful stories emerging from these 59 rooms. These stories strengthen us all. But, will this be a last chapter? The original funding expires May 31st.

Kate Quinn is the Executive Director of the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE). She lives in McCauley.

GAPSS Hits the Streets of McCauley

From left, Yasushi Ohki (community guide) discusses the concept of “narrow streets” with Peter Kosowan, Daniel Witte, Dezmond Coyes, Jamie Yakimets and Stephen Yakimets. Sheila Thomas

On March 9th, the Geography And Planning Students’ Society (GAPSS) hosted a walking tour of McCauley, focusing on innovative ways to improve the well-being of a neighbourhood. Although GAPSS advocates for students at the U of A, Daniel Witte, VP of events, says “anyone who is interested in these topics is also welcome to join.” The tour was expertly guided by Yasushi Ohki of Green Violin, a non-profit community development company. The following is a partial summary of the outing.

Dependant on zoning approval, Green Violin wishes to construct three small cottages, named Base Camp, on a single lot located at 10718 92nd Street. Along with its mission of building innovative spaces, Yasushi insists, “all Green Violin’s projects must be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.” The objective is to continue with designs that are best received by a community.

Nearby, at the juncture of 107a Avenue and 92nd Street, Yasushi directs attention to a neighbourhood icon that had served as a corner store. A City of Edmonton program hopes to revive these community hubs through a system of grants for qualifying applicants.

The history fans among the group were treated to the story of the “jailers’ homes.” These are the tiny houses that were built for staff working at the Alberta Penitentiary that used to stand where the stadiums are now. More than a century old, the remaining few are identical to each other in their unique architecture. Sadly, not one is registered as an historical resource, running the risk of disappearing forever. Jamie Yakimets, a U of A student studying towards a degree in planning, suggests that “they could be turned into mini museums, focusing on the jail and the construction of the homes.”

As the tour moved through McCauley’s alleyways, Yasushi discusses the concept of “narrow streets” and why we needn’t feel afraid to walk these routes alone. He visualizes the transformation of garages into cafes and small shops, creating a safe and welcoming environment for community gatherings.

During the tour, Yasushi pointed out three properties owned by the Edmonton Community Development Company. The ECDC is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with communities to purchase and dispose of derelict residential and commercial entities, then rebuild or transform them into safer, family-friendly properties. An excellent example is the Piazza Plaza. This site now has more community-minded commercial tenants. Peter Kosowan, a graduating business student, says of the ECDC: “Seeing the residents come together like this really showcases the importance of our neighbourhoods across the city and the role they have to play in promoting urban vibrancy.”

Daniel encourages community members to contact GAPSS with event ideas as it is “a really good way to broaden our horizons and bring value to our members.” He can be contacted at

Sheila is semi-retired from the hospitality industry and is an Edmonton history enthusiast.

Spring Streets

Before the bloom
of leaves and gardens
rain must provide refreshment
for the awaking environment

Days extend while nights dim
as icy conditions abate
and snowbanks deplete
the glow of snowlight retreats

The air is light
as are the jackets
anticipation is on the rise
with plans to hatch a surprise

Festival season draws near
there is a call for patios and beer
new opportunities await
to mingle and associate

Jon is an aspiring researcher and writer. He believes everyone has creative abilities.

Meet & Greets Aim to Strengthen Relationships with Neighbourhoods Affected by Problem Properties

This spring, the City of Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative (PPI) will host a series of Meet & Greets in north central Edmonton, where the highest concentration of problem properties exist. Free for all Edmontonians to attend, these events aim to strengthen relationships with community members and increase awareness of the PPI’s expanded powers to address problem properties.

Each Meet & Greet will feature a presentation and Q&A session, followed by an opportunity for community members to chat directly with PPI personnel. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

  • Saturday April 29th, 2-4 p.m.: Eastwood Community League Hall, 11803 86th Street
  • Thursday May 18th, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Alberta Avenue Community League Hall, 9210 118th Avenue
  • Wednesday June 14th, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Edmonton Intercultural Centre (McCauley), 9538 107th Avenue

Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative addresses properties that generate frequent and serious complaints and safety concerns. As part of its strategy to tackle the issues associated with these places, the PPI is committed to communicating, engaging, and collaborating with neighbourhoods affected by problem properties. The PPI is pleased to announce new public information resources and opportunities to meet with its team members.

We’ve updated our website. Visitors will find photo galleries, improved definitions of a problem property, more precise reporting guidance, an enhanced Who to Call list, and a new information sheet that provides an overview of the PPI.

Information from the City of Edmonton.

New Public Art Blooms in Boyle Street

“Marigold” as seen in daylight plus several of the installation’s colour changes visible in the dark. Paula E. Kirman

This 16-foot tall marigold is a public art installation that blossomed at Stadium Yards in late January.

Rohit Rental Living commissioned Studio F Minus of Toronto to design and create “Marigold,” which cycles through several colours and is intended to represent diversity.

As an interactive element, the colour transitions increase in speed when approached.

The marigold is Edmonton’s official flower. Stadium Yards is located near 106A Avenue and 84th Street.

A Long Way to Go

Dear friends,

As I write this, spring is starting to peek around the corner, and I’m so looking forward to enjoying some warm weather soon. And with spring and warm weather comes a provincial election too!

As I wrap up my first term as your MLA, I wanted to use this space to say thank you for putting your faith in me to represent you and our communities for the last nearly four years. I’ve been so proud to use my role to stand up for our neighbours in Boyle Street and McCauley during this time, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so after the upcoming election.

It feels like the last four years have gone by quickly, but our communities have stayed strong and have continued to take care of one another. On my end, I think that what I’ve been proudest of has been my advocacy for our most vulnerable neighbours. This has included pressing the government on accessible and affordable housing, on harm reduction services, and on the need for strong public healthcare and education systems that leave no Albertans behind.

I know that we still have much work to do, and I am hopeful that my Alberta NDP colleagues and I will have the chance to put our advocacy into action and legislation for much-needed supports, like investments in permanent supportive housing, healthcare supports – including family health teams and free prescription contraception – and the wide range of social supports that our communities have been asking for over the past four years.

In short: I know that we have a long way to go toward building an equitable, kind, and supportive province for all Albertans, and I can’t wait to continue this work together with you. And, as always, I’m here to help, so if you need anything, would like to share your thoughts or feedback, or if you’d just like to say hello, please reach out to our constituency office!

Take good care of yourselves and each other.

Janis Irwin
MLA, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
Phone: 780-414-0682
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Constituency Office: 6519 112 Ave. NW

A Time of Transition

“Transitions are a time for reflection, and a time for looking forward.” – Roy Cooper, American politician and attorney.

Spring arrived as of March 20th. Spring and fall are known as “transitional seasons” with spring transitioning from winter and fall from summer.

However, every season has a transition, requiring us to adapt. Seasons affect how we dress for the weather, the recognition and celebration of events, how nature appears, and what fresh food choices are available.

As well, every season has something to offer. Spring can be a time of planning whether it be for a summer vacation or an event, such as attending Edmonton’s numerous outdoor festivals and concerts.

When the snow melts, we discover things that have been covered. Unfortunately, some of it is trash, so if you want to plan an event with your neighbours and community you can arrange a clean-up! You need gloves, garbage bags, a broom, and a reacher/grabber tool, all available for a bargain at dollar stores. You can also get a free Capital City Clean Up Litter Kit from the City of Edmonton that includes a safety guide, a pair of gloves, and three garbage bags. Go to, search “Litter Pick Up Supplies & Events”, and fill out the form.

Living in a clean environment makes life healthier, less stressful, and more pleasant. It can improve the self-image of residents and of the neighbourhood as a whole. Of course, be cautious of sharp objects, like needles. If you find a needle on public property, call 311 and they will arrange for it to be picked up. For private properties, call Boyle Street Ventures: (780) 426-0500. You can refer to the Boyle Street and McCauley Crime and Safety Resources on page three of the paper for more information.

Do what you can for your ability. Our community is historic, original, and beautiful. Let’s embrace and respect it. Every little bit helps.

Let’s embrace the transition of the seasons!

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

New Chinatown Gate to Span 97th Street

Community input and collaboration leads to a positive end to a controversial chapter.

A conceptual rendering of the new Chinatown Gate from the City of Edmonton.

Edmonton’s new Chinatown Gate is a go. Underground footings have been installed at the new location, over 97th Street at 101A Avenue. As well, the City has installed a dedicated area to showcase the gate, which includes landscaping.

City Council’s 2023-26 budget has allocated $6 million for the project, and designers in Harbin, Edmonton’s sister city, have prepared a conceptual design. A refined and engineered design will be provided in the future. “The best gate designers in the world are in China,” says Brett Latchford, Director of Chinatown Recovery, City of Edmonton.

Michael Lee, Vice Chair of the Chinese Benevolent Association Board, says it would have been ideal to install the new gate nearer to the area further north, where most of Chinatown is now established. But 97th Street close to Jasper Avenue is “a becoming site,” Lee says, since Edmonton’s Chinatown began in the late 19th century at and around the area where Canada Place is now.

Plans are to reflect the style of the old gate, constructed in 1987, which was a gift from Harbin. This “Harbin Gate,” located on 102nd Avenue just east of 97th Street, was dismantled in 2017 to make way for construction of the Valley Line LRT. It cannot be reinstalled in the new location because it is not wide enough. One of the six lanes of traffic on 97th Street is being closed, but the old gate still cannot span the five remaining lanes.

The timelines are not definite, but project participants expect work to be completed within the next couple of years.

This whole process has been controversial (see the story ““Harbin Gate Makes Way for LRT”:” in the April 2017 issue of Boyle McCauley News). Hon Leong, President of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society, says that at that time there was a lack of communication and consultation with the Chinese community.

But now, Lee says, the Chinese Benevolent Association is “very pleased that the City is considering our input.”

The installation of a new gate is just one part of a broad strategy for the City and Chinatown businesses and residents to work collectively on several fronts (see sidebar: Five Pillars). The City of Edmonton’s website states, “While the City played a role in the development of the strategy, it is community-driven and it will be collaborative community-based partnerships that drive the success of the strategy.”

This good news is what Leong describes as “an end to this whole chapter.”

Five Pillars

The Chinatown Strategy is planned around these five pillars:

  1. Improve sense of safety and security
  2. Focused economic development
  3. Governance and community leadership network
  4. Celebrate Chinatown as a destination
  5. Enhance built form and landmarks

From the Chinatown section of the City of Edmonton’s website.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Reflecting on the “Light Up McCauley” Initiative

An example of how a participant took part in “Light Up McCauley.” Jakki Duttenhoffer

Light does more than simply help us see – it can change our perspective. The “Light Up McCauley” (LUM) campaign has brightened the McCauley neighbourhood in more ways than one since its introduction in 2021. By providing lighting resources to local community members and groups, LUM spotlights the benefits of adequate lighting on mental health and well-being, while improving visibility and security.

On a sunny Community League Day last September, Safer McCauley and the McCauley Community League invited league members to take home a free set of motion-activated solar security lights and/or decorative LED string lights. Then as the familiar darkness of winter set in, we decided to follow up with recipients about their experiences with the lighting.  

The first notable outcome of LUM was an improved sense of social connectedness, an important factor in community-building. Individuals who decorated their homes with coloured string lights received compliments on their efforts, which often encouraged them to compliment their neighbours’ decorative efforts in a chain of appreciation. One community member also reported that having the festive lights in his home made him more inclined to host guests over the holiday season.

Because the Christmas season can often feel cost-prohibitive and inaccessible, the opportunity to have decorative lighting provided by LUM promoted inclusivity during this time. Residents of all ages reported that their light display allowed them to participate in holiday festivities, and feel included. Families with children also found joy in creating daily rituals and lasting memories centered around the lights. 

Another important outcome reported was an increase in perceived safety with the installation of lighting outside. Motion-activated security lights helped residents feel greater protection from crimes such as vandalism, trespassing, and theft. Many residents also reported feelings of security when entering and exiting their homes at night, allowing them to enjoy the comforts of home.

The last reported benefit of the lighting project is general happiness and positivity. Evidently, people feel good when they make improvements to their environment. This translates to the community at large and makes for a brighter place for us all.

“Light Up McCauley” is an initiative of McCauley Community League and Safer McCauley (REACH Edmonton), supported by funding from the City of Edmonton McCauley Revitalization.  

Celia Sweetland is a University of Alberta graduate (B.A. in Economics), and recently volunteered as a research assistant with REACH Edmonton.

Winter Events Past With Spring on the Horizon

A group photo from the 2023 McCauley Cup on February 25th. Adaptive Professional Photography/Jesse Hervé

With the arrival of April, our minds seem to naturally wander towards the spring and summer, and perhaps overlook some of the fun that has taken place over the past few cooler (but still sunny!) months. Prior to speaking about spring, we’d like to make special mention of a few recent MCL-supported winter happenings:

Winter Events Past

The McCauley Rink season wound down after another active, eventful, and fun-filled year. Special thanks to Dan, Albert, Adam, Kevin, and all others who contributed in so many ways to keep the gate open, the ice smooth, and the music playing! Also special mention to the good people at Baijiu restaurant for supporting us this year with a supply of snacks.

The McCauley Family Day event held at the rink on Sunday, February 19th offered warm drinks and snacks generously donated by the Pagnotta and Mannarino families, some lovely live music from Dana Wylie, horse rides from Longriders, as well as skating and warm fires. Special thanks to all our volunteers; LeaAnn Whiting, Jakki Duttenhoffer, Kenna, Grace Kuipers, Harley Kuipers Glugosh, Ruscita Hygaard, Ruth Sorochan, and Corine Demas.

The McCauley Cup, a fun-centered hockey game between members of the Edmonton Police Service and kids from in and around McCauley, took place at the rink on Saturday, February 25th. It was a warm and sunny day, and good times were shared both on and off the ice. There were too many donors and volunteers to list them all, but a few notables were Arctic Chiller water, United Sport & Cycle, Italian Centre, Sports Central, and community volunteers Grace Kuipers and Joan Kirillo. Special guests included EPS Chief Dale McFee, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, MLA Janis Irwin, Councillor Anne Stevenson, and MP Blake Desjarlais.

Spring on the Horizon

By the time this article is published, spring will have officially arrived. At MCL this means a shift in focus to outdoor activities and events, and a build-up of excitement for what’s to come. A few things we have on our radar include: a summer kids/youth soccer program at Giovanni Caboto and Norwood Parks, a spring/summer event at the rink, Community League Day in September, and a willingness to consider any other ideas and opportunities that may arise. For up-to-date information, please visit our website, follow us on social media, or sign up for a membership at

Casino and Board Volunteers Needed

We have been approved for an upcoming casino on June 24th and 25th at Grand Villa (next to Rogers Place). The funds received from this casino will be used to fund both our rink operations for 2023/2024, events and programs, and beyond. If you are interested in volunteering please call 780-668-3194 to discuss details with Colleen.

McCauley Community League Board Volunteer Opportunities Abound. Join Us!

Finally, our board is searching for a few more committee members who are passionate about all things McCauley. Our intention is to have friendly and engaging conversations, work towards a few worthwhile goals, and do our best to support community members in good ways. Email us at if you’d like to chat further about your interest in this opportunity.

McCauley Community League

Abinet Family Restaurant and Catering

Warm and casual Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.

Vegetable Combo. Alan Schietzsch

Abinet Family Restaurant and Catering
9642 107 Ave.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, Sat. & Sun.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

McCauley residents might remember a little restaurant called “No Name” nestled behind Lucky 97. It closed when COVID hit, and a new jewel has sprung up in the location.

Abinet Restaurant (pronounced like “cabinet” without the “c”) is run by a charming fellow of the same first name, who opened his Ethiopian and Eritrean family restaurant last April. Wanting to explore a variety from the eight page menu, we came in a group of five, and were happy to see that there were several large tables suitable for family groups as well as smaller tables for one or two. The clean and bright space is decorated with Ethiopian embroidery tablecloths, colourful woven baskets, and it’s easy to get to by walking or bus, as well as having street parking right in front.

Abinet and his family welcomed our group in a very warm and casual style, with no reservations needed. Mentioning that we’d never visited before, he told us that he had run a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda about 10 years back, before finally landing in Edmonton. His experience shows: as well as having such a wide menu, his staff’s service was very accommodating to all our group’s different requests, and food showed up fairly quickly for such a large and varied order.

Ethiopian food is eaten by scooping up morsels of food with pieces of pancake-like injera bread, but two of our group were more comfortable using forks and plates, which the staff were happy to quickly supply. Because one of our diners doesn’t eat bread, we tried Ruze be Doro, a very mild chicken-on-rice dish that arrived on a huge oval platter. If you like it tangy, Abinet will give you a container of Awaze (pronounced a-wa-zee), a spicy thick sauce made with not just chiles, but also mustard seeds and berber spices, which had heat and an amazing depth of flavour. Be sure to try it. When we asked about this remarkable flavour, Abinet pulled out his phone to show us a video of how it’s made.

Next, the vegetable combo arrived, with five different items on the injera bread. It could be an entire meal in itself for vegetarians. The generous portions continued with Misto, a spicy lamb (or you can choose beef) stew, and Lega Tibs: lamb cubes with onions and peppers, seasoned with herbs. The seasoning was the best I’ve had at any Ethiopian restaurant, with rosemary adding subtle depth instead of being garlic-dominated.

Our absolute favourite was the Derek Tibs, which had sprigs of rosemary amongst the meaty chunks of barbecued grilled beef, accented by Senafich, which is like a Texas barbecue rub powder, blending hints of mustard and chili dusted on the grilled meat.

For drinks, try the coffee ceremony, where freshly roasted beans are still smoking as they arrive, and it’s prepared at the table alongside the traditional Ethiopian incense. There are also regular fruit juices and soda pop for the kids, as well as tea and Perrier water. Abinet is a comfortable place for families, and our senior mom was warmly treated.

Prices are very reasonable: all five of us enjoyed a delicious and enormous meal, with four containers left over for the next day’s lunches, for about $100. What a value – real quality food for $20 a person. We’ll be back again with friends, or before if we start craving the lip-smacking Derek Tibs again – I know it won’t be long!

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

Problem Property Initiative Update

Edmonton’s Problem Property Initiative (PPI) is committed to proactive communication, engagement and collaboration in neighbourhoods affected by problem properties. Please see the following update regarding new resources and upcoming opportunities to meet with our teams.

PPI Web Page
The Problem Properties in Edmonton web page has been edited to create a more user-friendly and informative environment. Visitors will find photo galleries, improved definitions of a problem property, more precise reporting guidance, an enhanced Who to Call list, and a Problem Property Initiative sub page. New features will be added on an ongoing basis, in response to stakeholder feedback.

PPI One Sheet
This downloadable and printable one sheet provides an overview of the PPI, its new centralized model, specialty teams, and long term strategic plan. It also provides a detailed definition of a problem property and up-to-date contacts for reporting a problem property. Feel free to share the resource with members of your community through your digital channels and/or in print form.

Additional public information and resources are in development, including a PPI booklet, tools to support tenants and landlords, and a reporting flow chart to illustrate how the PPI and its partners respond to problem property complaints.

PPI Meet & Greets (dates to be announced)
We look forward to meeting you and your neighbours in person. A series of “Meet & Greets” will take place in spring 2023 in several neighbourhoods affected by problem properties. Through these events, we aim to strengthen relationships, increase awareness of the PPI and its new resources, learn about your experiences, and connect you with the PPI team members assigned to your neighbourhood.

Information submitted by the City of Edmonton.

April-May 2023

Welcome to our April-May issue. I often use this space to thank volunteers who have gone above and beyond, and this time is no exception. Due to a technical issue with the software we were using, we needed the database we use to generate the distribution list and bag labels for our distribution team and block carriers rebuilt in another program.

Thank you to Randy Layetzke for undertaking the time-consuming task of ensuring all of our route information is up-to-date and useable in a more accessible format. Some of you may recognize Randy’s name from when he was the paper’s Distribution Manager a number of years ago. As a result, he is quite familiar with our routes and our distribution system.

Fortunately most of our volunteers do not need hardcore technical skills. If you would like to volunteer with the paper, contact me at to find out what opportunities are available.

If you would like to become a member of the non-profit society that operates the paper, you can do that here:

Subscribe to our free e-newsletter at our website: Finally, please follow us on social media: we’re bmcnews on "Facebook": and "Twitter":, and bmcviews on Instagram.

From Boyle Street to Wyoming

Occasionally I encounter a situation in my role as Editor that reminds me of the small world in which we live – and, thanks to modern technology, how a small publication can impact lives far distances away.

In early February, I was emailed by a woman in Wyoming researching her aunt: Anne Boyea. An internet search led her to the paper’s website. Anne Boyea was mentioned in the December 1979 issue – from our first year of publication, and of which we only have one physical copy. Her first name was misspelled as “Ann,” and she was thanked for a financial contribution to the paper.

Then, this niece sent me a copy of an article credited to Boyle McCauley News, December 1979. However, it was not in the copy of the issue on our website. At this moment I realized we did not have a complete copy. Through this article, I learned that Anne Boyea was born in a tent city in the 92nd-93rd Street area. Her family were recent immigrants from Yorkshire, England, who could not find proper housing. She lived in or near the area her entire life. In her later years, she lived in Pioneer Place in Boyle Street – and where we still drop off papers.

Later in February, I received a phone call from the sister-in-law of Boyea’s Wyoming niece. She had a full copy of the December 1979 edition and wanted to donate it to us. I gladly met with her to accept the paper and chat about her family. Sure enough, the feature article about Anne Boyea was on one of the missing pages. We digitized the issue and it is now in our online archive at our website. I hope this experience demonstrates the importance of hyperlocal media extends beyond a neighbourhood’s borders.

Accolades for McCauley Community Members

Todd Janes and Sarah Hoffman. Tonya Malo

A number of McCauley residents and community contributors have received some major awards recently.

In our previous issue, MLA Janis Irwin wrote about presenting me with the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. A couple of other community members have also recently received this honour.

McCauley resident Todd Janes received the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal from Sarah Hoffman, the MLA for Edmonton-Glenora on October 13th, 2022, for his contributions to the city and province. Todd is the Executive Director of the Stony Plain Road Business Association. In a Facebook post, Sarah Hoffman describes him as “a tireless advocate for Alberta’s arts, culture, and business communities.”

Kate Quinn was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal from MLA Janis Irwin on December 16th at the office of the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE). “For over 30 years Kate has been an advocate speaking out against sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in our communities. As the Executive Director of CEASE, Kate has helped countless individuals,” said Janis Irwin in a Facebook post.

A couple of other McCauley community members have been honoured for their work in the Arts and contributions to making Edmonton a better place.

McCauley musician AV (Ann Vriend) received the 2022 Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund (EATF) in December. Known for her porch concerts bringing the community together during the pandemic, many of AV’s songs are inspired by her experiences living in the neighbourhood and her passion for McCauley.

Another recipient of the EATF – and a reason we here at the paper are celebrating – is Vikki Wiercinski: Boyle McCauley News’ Designer and Advertising Coordinator. In addition to being an artist and designer, Vikki is a ceramicist and the lead organizer of the Royal Bison Art and Craft Fair.

The EATF is a joint initiative of the Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Community Foundation, and is intended to encourage artists to stay in the city. We certainly hope both AV and Vikki stick around for a long time to come!

New Strategy and Dedicated Resources Added to Help Address Problem Properties

Before and after images of a recent clean-up coordinated by the Problem Properties Team (PPT). City of Edmonton

Problem properties are much more than abandoned houses with overgrown weeds. They are magnets for repeat criminal activity, place a burden on emergency services and pose a significant public health risk. Their presence in a community generates frequent and serious complaints and safety concerns.

Problem properties have been a long-standing challenge throughout Edmonton. That’s why, in early 2020, the City of Edmonton initiated an 18-month human-centered research project to gather ideas and lived experiences from Edmontonians in some of the hardest hit neighbourhoods. Out of this came the 2023 – 2026 long-term strategic approach for problem properties and dedicated funding to tackle the issues associated with these places.

“After 18 months of research and community engagement, the development of a robust long-term strategic approach and the creation of a funded centralized model for administering the Problem Property Initiative, the City of Edmonton and its stakeholders are now, more than ever, positioned to address problem properties,” said Justin Lallemand, specialized program coordinator at the City of Edmonton.

The Initiative now includes:

Dedicated resources
Neighbourhoods with high concentrations of problem properties and derelict buildings will be assigned dedicated Municipal Enforcement Officers to proactively identify and quickly address problem properties before they escalate. A dedicated Community Safety Liaison will also join Officers on inspections to bring an enhanced social justice lens and will provide direct support to people staying in or employed at problem properties.

Centralized office
A newly created centralized office serves as the key point of contact for the public, community, and City Council regarding all aspects of problem properties. This team will continue to develop relationships, attend community meetings, and co-create solutions based on data as well as the specific needs of the communities to which they are assigned.

Coordinated responses
The Problem Property Initiative coordinates the efforts of multiple City departments, the Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services, and the Government of Alberta to present a united, consistent approach to the complex issues associated with problem properties.

Unique approach to unsecured vacant properties
The Community Property Safety Team (CPST) is a bold, innovative, and proactive approach to reducing fire risk at unsecured, vacant buildings. Using provincial legislation, the CPST holds landowners accountable to secure unsecured, vacant buildings that pose a fire risk to the surrounding community.

Streamlined path to demolition
A more focused, unified approach to streamline the path to demolition has been designed to take bolder action in addressing situations where owners have not taken accountability for their problem properties. This process prioritizes and expedites demolitions where required.

Potential tax subclasses
The City is studying the potential to establish a tax subclass for derelict properties. This subclass would enable the City to charge a higher tax rate to properties that are declared derelict, hopefully helping to discourage neglect and ensuring owners take responsibility for their property.

Stay tuned to your neighbourhood news and social media for an invitation to attend one of the City’s Meet and Greet Events where the Problem Property Initiative will share information about its strategic plan, dedicated teams, and new resources; and continue to gather information from community members about their lived experiences with problem properties.

*Resource and contacts *

Photos: Before and after images of a recent clean-up coordinated by the Problem Properties Team (PPT). The property had been destroyed by fire and left in a state that presented a significant and unsecured hazard to the surrounding neighbourhood. PPT intervened, removing approximately 11 extra-large bins of debris and backfilling with approximately 20 dump truck loads of dirt.

Information from the City of Edmonton.

The Centre for Race and Culture

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

The Centre for Race and Culture

The Centre for Race and Culture (CFRAC) is a non-profit organization based in Edmonton. Their aim is to create a society free of discrimination and racism. CFRAC’s team includes experienced coordinators, assistants, educators, facilitators, and board members. They offer consultations, workshops, and courses which advocate and support intercultural understanding in the community.

CFRAC was established in 1993 as part of the Edmonton office of the Department of Canadian Heritage with the initial goal of educating the public regarding race relations. This goal continues today through community engagement and research-based projects and initiatives.

Consulting practices are offered by CFRAC to organizations that value equity, diversity, and inclusion. This fosters an intercultural and inclusive mindset that benefits diverse workforces, which helps individuals become better team players and community members. Previous customized workshops have included topics such as Anti-Racism Education, Gender Inclusivity, and Effective Intercultural Practices.

Public workshops and courses are also available to the general public, where participants listen and learn about issues related to race and culture. Participants complete activities and reflections to improve their understanding of intercultural concepts. Recent programs include Unmasking Micro-Inequities, which covers intersections from different instances of inequities, and the Leadership Program for Racialized Youth, which is focused on Indigenous Solidarity. Workshops and courses span from a single day to fourteen weeks. CFRAC places importance on community engagement, so many of the workshops they offer have a sliding scale basis on the ticket pricing to limit the barriers to the public’s participation.

Free access to educational resources and publications is also available on CFRAC’s website to sustain a continuous social commitment to its stakeholders. Individuals are permitted to access the resources at any time to share information with their communities to initiate meaningful conversations on equity and inclusivity.

More information about CFRAC can be found on their website at To get in touch, they can be contacted at

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Make a Friend in February

“Though February is short, it is filled with lots of love and sweet surprises.” – Charmaine J. Forde, writer and poet originally from Barbados.

While February is the second and shortest month on the Gregorian calendar, it is also the only month that can add an extra day every four years – known as leap year.

February is Black History Month and, in the U.S., is also Cancer Prevention Month. As far as individual dates go, many know of Groundhog Day (February 2nd) and also Valentine’s Day (February 14th). However, there are some lesser-known dates you can learn about for your amusement. These include:

February 1st: Dark Chocolate Day
February 6th: Chopsticks Day
February 13th: Tortellini Day
February 21st: Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday)

Finally, we end the month with Chocolate Soufflé Day on the 28th!

So, if you want to recognize any of these dates, they could be excuses to have fun.

My favourite day is February 11th: Make a Friend Day. I find our community supportive and friendly and have met wonderful friends here. Some friendships have started by sharing community interests and attending events that take place in Boyle Street and McCauley.

My late grandad used to say “Everyone you meet can become a friend.” I like that – and there really is a day for everything!

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

New Boyle Street Café Filling a Gap in the Neighbourhood

Felice is a happy place with a focus on community.

Michelle Brouwer. Brizsa Pedroso

Felice translates from Italian as “happy,” and the owners of this new café in Stadium Yards have definitely chosen the right name.

Michelle and Tim Brouwer’s business at 10930 84th Street is making a major contribution to the Boyle Street community and beyond. It offers craft coffee and other beverages, snacks, and a small marketplace – all sourced from approximately 30 local companies and individuals. It has presented several live shows featuring regional musicians, and has plans for more in the future.

“When you support a local business, you support people who are your neighbours,” Michelle Brouwer says. “We have each other’s backs.”

Brouwer, who was a lab technician for 12 years, comes from a family of entrepreneurs operating small local businesses in the Edmonton area. She and her husband decided the time was right to join the business world, and started planning in January of 2021. They opened the café in April of 2022.

“Business was always in the back of my mind,” Brouwer says. “Then the pandemic forced me to re-evaluate and think about my passions, which include live music and food. I see owning and operating a business as a lifestyle (being your own boss) and a way of building the community.

The café’s customers include students from Norquest, MacEwan, NAIT, and U of A, who can easily drop in via the nearby Stadium LRT station. The café welcomes them and offers a place where they can work on their laptops and read.

The owners are responsive to customer feedback. For example, they lowered prices when they realized that many local residents – and many students – have low incomes. They also listened when customers asked for more savoury food options and upgrades to the Wi-Fi.

Brouwer notes that visitors from other cities and provinces “are finding us and coming for the Edmonton experience.”

The concerts have worked out really well too. Tickets were sold out for local artist Ellie Heath’s concert on November 26th. And, Felice gives the artists 100% of ticket sales, 100% of merch sales, and 5% of the revenue generated. “I didn’t know that this was not common practice,” Brouwer says, laughing.

The café hosted a plant market in October, with 800 people coming through the door. Plans are underway for a vintage market offered by local vendors.

Brouwer notes that a big component of Felice’s success is the staff. There is an 86 percent retention rate. “Staff have had a direct impact in shaping Felice into what it is today.”

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Coffee shop at last

_My husband and I moved from the Highlands to an apartment on Jasper Avenue in 2013. We moved for disability access but gradually discovered how much our new Boyle Street community had to offer. Little Italy and Chinatown are unique, special, and filled with treasures. The built heritage of this area – the oldest part of Edmonton – is of great interest to me (Alex Taylor School, the Brighton Block, the Hecla Block, and more). Being able to look out my window at diners on the patio of Panini’s restaurant makes me feel very cosmopolitan. But until now one thing was sorely missing – a coffee shop! Felice has filled that gap and is doing so far beyond what I could have hoped for. – AJ_

1909 Boyle Street Building Being Restored

Edmonton Iron Works will have another chapter in its long history.

The Edmonton Iron Works building. Leif Gregersen

Restoration is well underway on one of Edmonton’s oldest buildings, a 1909 industrial site called Edmonton Iron Works. This structure, located on the east side of 96th Street north of 104th Avenue, is interesting for a number of reasons.

First, it is the place where Edmonton Iron Works manufactured materials to construct a very new and rapidly growing city. As well, it was not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, with its brick façade and large windows. And, it is one of a small number of historic sites left in the Boyle Street area, the original location of Edmonton’s city centre.

The City of Edmonton now owns Edmonton Iron Works and is continuing rehabilitation work on the foundation and significant portions of the building structure – what Principal Heritage Planner David Johnston calls “the really scary stuff.”

“Current tasks include restoring exterior walls, installing new floors, addressing a range of structural repairs, and preparing the space for new uses,” Johnston says. The project is challenging, he adds, since “rough and tumble” heavy industry can result in a lot of wear and tear.

The building’s location is near what was then a railway that facilitated shipping and receiving. After Edmonton Iron Works shut down its business in 1927, various other industrial companies were located there. But by 2016 the building had been empty for a number of years and the owner had applied to demolish it. The structure was on the City’s Inventory of Historic Resources, but this listing did not give the City any power to stop demolition.

“Alberta Culture headed off the process by ordering the property owner to provide a historic assessment,” Johnston says. The owner then sold the property, and the City of Edmonton made an unusual and rare decision to buy it.

Plans are for the space to be available for tenants by 2024. The Edmonton Arts Council has already committed to moving in when work is completed.

Work is also proceeding on the 1950s annex on the north side of the Edmonton Iron Works Building, which the City also owns (along with an annex on the south side, which is on hold for the moment). These areas will be renovated as opposed to the restoration techniques required for the central historic section.

“The restoration of the Iron Works could be a catalyst for the Quarters area,” Johnston says.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Winter Activities and Beyond

As McCauley welcomes the first months of 2023, signs of winter activity can be spotted everywhere. From the holiday music in our local stores, to colourful lights in businesses and on residences, to children playing in the snow in the parks and skating, to folks just trying to keep warm in whatever ways they can: they’re all parts of cold weather living in our community. While warmer days tend to offer a bit more ease of comfort while we are out and about, the cooler months offer opportunities to come together and connect in their own unique ways.

The McCauley Community League Board gathered together in mid-December (indoors!) to celebrate the year that was 2022, give thanks to our outgoing president Alice Kos (who has contributed so much over the past few years), and to shift our gaze to the year ahead with intentions to keep supporting our neighbourhood in whatever ways we can. In the spirit of coming together, both our community rink and kids/youth soccer programs have been in full swing thanks to a dedicated crew of volunteers for both programs (more information:

We hope to continue hosting a few fun events throughout the year as capacity and resources allow, as well as to collaborate with partners in Chinatown, E4C, REACH Edmonton, Viva Italia District Association, and others with activities and initiatives unfolding in and around the neighbourhood. We will be hosting our annual Family Day event at the rink on Sunday, February 19th, and co-hosting the McCauley Cup hockey game with the Edmonton Police Service on Saturday, February 25th (both weather dependent). Please watch our website and social media for more information closer to the dates!

We are also excited to announce that we have been approved for an upcoming Casino on June 24th and 25th at Grand Villa (next to Rogers Place). The funds received from this casino will be used to fund both our rink operations for 2023/2024 and beyond, as well as the future construction of a permanent community-centered rink amenity building to replace the trailer currently on site. We are in need of volunteers for various shifts for both of these days. Anyone interested can email us ASAP at:

While our board is mighty, we are also somewhat small these days. We welcome anyone interested in joining us to reach out to discuss your interests/passions and how we can best support you as an addition to our team. Our meetings are engaging, social, and fun while also focused on keeping on track with activities, events, and projects with the benefit of our community as a whole. We are open to new ideas and suggestions, as well as opportunities to increase capacities and resources in order to ensure meaningful outcomes for our community.

Our meetings are open to all and we currently meet on the third Thursday of each month from 7-9 p.m., either in-person or virtually depending on our board’s availability and comfort levels. If you are curious, please email us and let’s chat!

Finally, we encourage everyone to sign up for a McCauley Community League membership now available online ( to keep up with events and news updates as they unfold. Memberships are still free (although donations to the League are welcome).

McCauley Community League

Pei Pei Chei Ow

An artistic menu of Indigenous cuisine.

Berry BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Alan Schietzsch

Pei Pei Chei Ow #102, 11051 97th Street (inside Whiskeyjack Art House)
Open Wednesday to Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Boyle Street and McCauley may be downtown and urban, but our city neighbourhood is also where Saskatoon berries and wild asparagus grows just below the Stadium LRT station. Huge herds of bison roamed right to the edge of the River Valley until our houses were here. Ducks and geese still swim in the North Saskatchewan River below Jasper Avenue.

That natural fruit and meat sustained the people right here for thousands of years, and they – and the people who harvested it – haven’t gone away just because the few remaining bison are now on ranches.

In the previous issue of the paper, I reviewed Tee Pee Treats on 102A Avenue. There’s another exciting new Indigenous eatery hidden in McCauley, called Pei Pei Chei Ow (pronounced pe-pe-s-chew). We discovered Pei Pei Chei Ow inside the front gallery entrance while checking out the beautiful Whiskeyjack Art House on 97th street near the corner of 111th Avenue. Just inside, art fills the walls, and in front of you will be an equally artistic menu, seasonally changing with the natural cycles of what ingredients are freshest and currently available.

We were intrigued by the Berry BBQ Brisket Sandwich. A tangy berry compote contrasted with the deep flavours of the tender meat, enhancing both elements of the sandwich. Next was the Breakfast Sandwich, with perfectly-cooked egg and a little hit of richness with salt and fats from the mortadella, offset with the crisp bite of arugula and the real surprise: a bright green pea pesto that contained such freshness that it was like opening a pea pod in a garden. Our final selection was beef stew accompanied by bannock, which was deep and hearty, sustaining us well past the time we’d usually get hungry again – a real comfort food.

Founded by Chef Scott Iserhoff, Pei Pei Chei Ow was the name his Moshom (Grandfather) Louis gave to Scott during his childhood. It means “robin” in Omushkegowin (Swampy Cree).

Iserhoff says, in an article at Explore Edmonton, “Our Edmonton-based catering company offers contemporary Indigenous cuisine, inspired by the land, life, and seasons that surround us. We incorporate a variety of Traditional and Western ingredients to create food experiences that tell a story. From large public events, to small specialty dinners, we create elaborate and customized menus that use Indigenous cooking techniques while exploring the impact of colonialism on the Indigenous food system and our contemporary Culture.”

As well as serving at the gallery with take-out, and catering for events around Edmonton, Pei Chei Ow also offers a variety of cooking classes to share their knowledge of Indigenous cooking, traditions, and culture.

“I feel a responsibility to showcase Indigenous food,” lserhoff says in the Explore Edmonton article. And showcase it he does. I love that I can go there and have something new, not boring or ordinary. Yet the food is somehow comforting and familiar, even to this old white guy. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because it’s genuinely the food from right here, our shared home.

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

A World Created by Love

A heart woven on the fence at the McCauley Community Rink. Paula E. Kirman

It’s February. Fluffy snow is falling outside the windows, like a white angel who covers the world with its wings.

Each year, on the fourteenth day of February, we celebrate the wondrous holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine’s Day is a holiday of love, beauty, romance, as well as tenderness. The name of the holiday comes from a priest named Father Valentine, who secretly wed young couples. On this day, people give gifts to each other. Gifts such as flowers, sweets, and greeting cards called “valentines.”

Through frost, snow, and wind fly the red-breasted birds of the winter: the valentines. They fly like small sparks of a big fire of love. Those small hearts are like parts of a one heart, which fly in a hurry to give the kindest and tender words to our loved ones.

God is love. Love is a feeling that surrounds us from our very childhood, and thanks to love we come into this world. It makes our lives better and more colourful. Each day, our parents, with their love, devote their whole selves to see the smile on their children’s faces.

We look at the world through the windows of our souls, and those windows are our feelings. At times, we just want to stop the fast pace of life for a moment and pay attention to people. To give them a smile, or to say words which will put a smile upon their faces – words that will make their eyes be filled with joy, and their hearts melt.

Like a bird without the skies, or a child without miracles, a human cannot exist without love. It is wonderful that there are people to whom it does not matter where you come from, and what you look like, but they simply love you for who you are.

Love is like a river whose streams never run dry. There is no person who does not deserve to be loved. Love is something that we can never give or receive enough of. It is one of the most beautiful and powerful feelings on the planet, and the best thing that can happen to us. The more love you gift to others, the more love is being revived within you. Love is the feeling that unites all people. Without it the world would cease to exist.

_Natanel Krieksfeld is a grade nine student at Genesis Online Catholic Junior High School. _

February-March 2023

The new year brings some changes to the paper. First of all, Karen Simons, who has been our lead proofreader for the past four years, has decided to take a break. We thank her for her service, and I especially am grateful for her help in elevating the quality of the paper to new heights. Thank you, Karen!

At the same time, we would like to thank Glen Argan, who is stepping into our lead proofreading role. Glen is an experienced editor and has been a guest proofreader in the past. Welcome, Glen!

We also have two new board members to welcome: Richard Nguyen and Deborah Stewart. Richard grew up in the area and is also a Block Carrier. Some of you may be familiar with Deborah’s name, as she was a board member (and a Co-Chair) a number of years ago. Thank you both for stepping up!

Speaking of volunteering, if you are interested in writing, photographing, delivering, proofreading, or other roles, please contact me at You can also become a member of the non-profit society that operates the paper here: And don’t forget to follow us on social media: we’re bmcnews on "Facebook": and "Twitter":, and bmcviews on Instagram. Finally, sign up for our free e-newsletter at our website.

That First Bowl of Pho

A couple of years before I began editing Boyle McCauley News, a friend took me to a restaurant in Chinatown and led me through the process of ordering and consuming my first ever bowl of pho soup. This was a triple first for me: dining in Chinatown, eating pho, and using chopsticks. Since then, I have become accustomed to engaging in all three of these activities. I always reflect on this experience in the context of it taking a friend to push me out of my comfort zone and introduce me to something new, fun, and delicious.

At other times, I have been that friend who has introduced new places and cuisines to others. One time, after lunch a friend and I ended up going to a gift store in Chinatown to purchase a set of chopsticks so my friend could practise using them, hopefully to get better at it for our next lunch adventure.

I am not sure how many people I have brought to the restaurants, stores, and events Boyle Street and McCauley have to offer, but I know that each person walked away with an experience they never would have tried if not for my encouragement and persistence. In some cases, they left with a new perspective on the neighbourhoods and have become return visitors.

Trying something new doesn’t have to be something extreme or require a great deal of effort or planning. It can be something simple, like taking someone to a new restaurant to try a kind of food they have never tasted. Sometimes these small things can make a huge impact. I’ll always remember that first bowl of pho and the subsequent life choices I made – like becoming editor of this paper.

Jen Dunford: “My body is the work and I am the art.”

Jen Dunford. Steve Pedersen Photography

Jen Dunford recently moved to McCauley and is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Heart of the City Festival. Dunford is a multi-disciplinary artist who has formally studied piano and dance. She has worked in several different disciplines including theatre devising, acting, and singing.

Dunford says, “I’m an improviser by trade. I think that my happiest place is working between the mediums of live dance and live music. Art is a language. I’ve studied a lot in nonverbal communication which is my favourite way of saying dance. I work as a performer. My body is the work and I am the art.”

Dunford has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, a degree which she received in 2015. “I grew up taking community dance and I did Royal Conservatory examinations in piano at the same time, so I was concurrently becoming a musician and a dancer until I reached grade 6 in piano at which time it became more theory heavy and I had to make a decision between whether I was going to become a dancer or a musician,” Dunford says. “I decided to choose dance because oftentimes in a classical ballet class there is a live pianist and so in that way I could continue to experience both at the same time.”

As an independent dance artist, Jen works with musicians and singers performing together live. Her choreographies always include either live musicians or originally composed scores. “It is really important to me that the dancers and musicians have a connection. That interplay is what makes performance meaningful.”

When describing why she is drawn to dance, Dunford says, “I think it’s the ability to self-express and to have the agency to create. I feel empowered when expressing. I feel in control and I feel just a little bit taller, more confident. What always brings me to tears in dance is when I feel that I am a part of something more – I’m part of a conversation. It’s that communication between artists that makes me feel I’m a valued member of what is happening.”

“I recently came back to working as an educator for the Art Gallery of Alberta. It has been a joy and a highlight to utilize my skills in the fine arts and to recognize the cross over between all genres of art and how important visual literacy is. I’m really proud that the Art Gallery of Alberta, the house of art for our province, exists downtown.

About living in the inner city, Dunford says, “I think I prefer the downtown, even though I’ve had as many negative experiences as I’ve had positive experiences. It’s been a goal of mine to move out of the suburbs and create my own adult life in the inner city. I’ve always felt a part of the under-represented voiceless youth. I’ve spent a lot of time in the underbelly screaming into the void and never hearing an echo back.”

Dunford adds, “Maybe if I can create space for others, even in my own small capacity, I can help to reciprocate that echo.”

Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival and the Special Events Coordinator for the McCauley Community League.

Winter Solstice

Boyle Street sidewalk sign. Paula E. Kirman

Edmonton writer Audrey Whitson, who lives in Boyle Street, wrote her Solstice blog post about the greatly increased number of unhoused people in her neighbourhood. Following are excerpts from the post, which can be read in full here.

Lately I feel a little like I’ve been walking through the streets of Charles Dickens’s London, with waifs on every corner and debtor prisons in the form of credit cards and food banks, or perhaps the byways and highways of John M Synge’s Ireland in the late 1800s and his accounts of tenant farmers turned out of their small huts to survive in the ditches when they couldn’t pay the rent. Or even better, walking through Maria Campbell’s account of growing up Métis on the prairies, as one of the Road Allowance People because these were the only places available to them to scrape together a living.

But no, I go about my business — bank, bakery, grocery store — in Edmonton, Alberta. A dynamic, modern and civilized city by most accounts, part of a prosperous province and country. At three o’clock in the afternoon, I pass the single men’s emergency shelter off 97th Street, people already lining up for a bed for the night. I pass the young women trying to sell themselves for a meal or a place to crash. I stroll past the dozens of makeshift tents that line every available strip of public land between private fences and public sidewalks off 95th and 96th Streets.

What to do? It’s a dilemma for all who live here.

The number of people without a home in Edmonton has doubled (at approximately 3000) since the start of the pandemic.

A good friend and priest, René Fumoleau, who worked with the Dene in northern Canada most of his life, told the story of a time when he asked a local artist to draw a scene for Midnight Mass. He wanted a picture of the holy family arriving in Bethlehem, only it would be a Dene village and they would have a tent and a dog team. …weeks, then months went by and still no drawing, René finally cornered him. That’s when the artist told him, he just couldn’t imagine Mary, Jesus, and Joseph left to fend for themselves. Why, if they had arrived at any Dene community, any one of them would have made room. They would have been welcomed.

Audrey Whitson is MacEwan University’s 2023 Writer in Residence.

The Marian Centre

Where kindness is the bridge that connects hearts.

The Marian Centre. Paula E. Kirman

What is kindness? Each one of us, at least once in our lifetime, has needed help. And how thankful many of us were when facing difficult times, and someone stretched their helping hand towards us. We all live under the same skies, and each one of us is worthy of help, support, and compassion.

In Edmonton, there is a charitable organization called The Marian Centre, which is the name of the local branch of a charity that operates in many countries. The name the charity uses in places outside the city of Edmonton is The Madonna House. Charity is an important Christian virtue, and it is giving hope to those who have lost their hope. It is finding its path amongst people who do not remain indifferent to the pain and suffering of others.

The Marian Centre is located at 10528 98th Street, and is home for 12 people who decided to dedicate their lives to God and the service of humanity. The Marian Centre is currently under the leadership of director Hugo Isaza. Each of these people is ready without hesitation to come to the aid of those who are in a difficult life situation and cannot offer anything in return except a grateful smile. Many volunteers come to the Marian Centre daily to assist in giving the homeless items such as food, clothing, and various hygiene items. Volunteers cook meals for the homeless, they work in the clothing room, but, most importantly, they give the homeless hope and a sense that we are all in this together.

Each soul of a homeless person is an unread book, which not every person can understand. The people at the Marian Centre see the spark of God in every person and they understand that selfless help is giving not only support to the homeless, but also to be able to save lives. People with a big heart will never pass by someone else’s grief, because they will always treat someone else’s grief as their own. They can understand any person who has lost hope in their lives and give them the hope they so greatly need. Kindness is freeing a person’s understanding to accept and understand the people which life throws our way.

Natanel Krieksfeld is a grade nine student at Genesis Online Catholic Junior High School. 

SDAB Revokes Development Permit for Boyle Street Community Services

BSCS plans to continue working towards building the new facility.

The proposed site of the King Thunderbird Centre. Leif Gregersen

As this is a breaking news story, it will be updated as required. Updates will be posted here.

Nov. 25, 4:57 p.m.: Comments added from Alice Kos, McCauley Community League President.

The Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) has revoked Boyle Street Community Service’s (BSCS) development permit.

“Boyle Street completely disagrees with the decision. The organization plans to continue to move forward with the King Thunderbird Centre and will be exploring all avenues of recourse in the coming weeks,” according to a media release from BSCS on November 25th.

BSCS says that this decision “will mean that lifesaving services desperately needed in the core of Edmonton will be impeded.”

However, for a number of McCauley residents and community organizations, this decision was welcome. “As an appellant of the development, I’m relieved by the SDAB’s decision. At the same time, it’s complicated. McCauley is an inclusive and welcoming neighbourhood. And we want the best for our neighbours who are experiencing houselessness, and living with mental health and substance use disorders,” says Alice Kos, a McCauley resident and President of the McCauley Community League, whose board voted to support the appeal.

“I admire and value Boyle Street Community Services and their programs and services. But I feel the SDAB made the right decision. We won’t tolerate the perpetual over-concentration of services in one neighbourhood – especially one that itself is entirely vulnerable. And the location of the largest of those services within one block of the city’s largest K to 12 school would be entirely inappropriate,” Kos continues.

Kos is not the only one relieved by the decision. The Chinatown BIA, Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society (CTC), and other Chinatown organizations opposed the SDAB permit at the SDAB hearing held on November 10. Hon Leong, President of the CTC, in a letter of support supporting the BIA, listed a number of concerns.”

“As BSCS is a social agency, not a commercial enterprise, we believe that the Appeal Board should rule in favour of the Edmonton Chinatown BIA’s position that the proposed use by BSCSC is not in compliance with the land use indicated in the development permit,” Leong wrote.

“Moreover, during the development permit review stage, the City of Edmonton waived the need for a traffic impact assessment (TIA) study perhaps based on minimal vehicular traffic impact to the surround streets. In our view, the TIA study is a necessity to identify impacts to vulnerable road users such as BSCS clients who are challenged with mental and addiction issues and the large volume of students at the nearby Victoria High School. Conflicts between travelling vehicles and those vulnerable pedestrians on 101 Street and 107 Ave should be assessed to maintain traffic safety and protect vulnerable road users from potential injuries and fatalities.”

Finally Leong added that “We also believe that the development permit was approved without variances. There are a variety of uses (i.e., financial services and health) that would typically require variance and community consultation. This was not the case with this development permit.”

However, BSCS believes that “arguments made by the appellants to the development permit intentionally mischaracterized the services provided by Boyle Street and vilified those they serve. In the last year, Boyle Street has provided mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health services in the core of our city to over 7000 individuals the majority of whom are experiencing homelessness.”

Kos disagrees with the idea that the BSCS has been mischaracterized. “The reality is that a certain level of social disorder and lack of safety in McCauley / Chinatown and core neighbourhoods is connected to the over-concentration of poverty and services. That’s borne out by statistics and very visible evidence. Our entire neighbourhood system is vulnerable. Chinatown is dying. Businesses can’t operate with locked doors and smashed windows. And the level of random violence is intolerable.”

However, Kos also concerned by the “the divisiveness of this process. This appeal process has created an adversarial dynamic. But the reality is we’re not Boyle Street’s enemies. We’re not opposed to their services – only the location. We want the same as them: a healthy neighbourhood for all community members,” she explains.

The organization will continue to take steps towards the opening of the new facility in the planned location at 10010 107A Avenue.

“Over the 50-year history of our organization, we have experienced numerous challenges. This decision represents another challenge which we will undoubtedly overcome” said Jordan Reiniger, Executive Director of Boyle Street Community Services.

“We owe it to those we serve, our countless supporters, and our city to make sure this delay does not prevent us from moving forward in creating a purpose-built facility for those we serve who are put at the most risk in our society.”


Controversy Continues Over Boyle Street Community Services’ Planned Move to McCauley

Relocation of Boyle Street Community Services to McCauley Met with Concerns: Survey

Boyle Street Community Services is Moving

McCauley Shows Up for Community League Day

Over 600 attendees enjoyed performances, food, and activities.

Alice Kos and the God of Wealth. Alice Kos

“THIS is McCauley,” commented a volunteer and long-time McCauley resident as she observed the beautifully diverse crowd assembled at the McCauley Community Rink on September 24th in celebration of Community League Day.

After being surprised with a line-up outside the gate 30 minutes before the event began, we were delighted to welcome over 600 attendees throughout the day. Folks from all walks of life were welcomed with free coffee, cookies, and muffins on arrival, followed by hot dogs, beverages, and ice cream sandwiches. Children and youth enjoyed a bouncy castle, face-painting, and balloon artists. Attendees were treated to top-notch live performances from The Prince Charles Fiddlers, Ron Pearson Magic, Alain Intwali, Shang De Tai Chi Praying Mantis Martial Arts Association, Homofonik, and Melafrique.

The day was made even better thanks to contributions from our community partners. E4C hosted a craft table where participants transformed McCauley Community League t-shirts into vibrant orange tie-dye, in preparation for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. Courtesy of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative, the God of Wealth mascot graced us with his presence and entertained us with some pretty spectacular dance moves. Two players from the Edmonton Elks signed autographs and posed for photos with fans alongside their mascot, Punter. And REACH Edmonton, with funding support from McCauley Revitalization, gave away 100 sets of decorative string lights and 144 motion sensor lights to McCauley residents as part of Light Up McCauley.

A cheerful team of community volunteers were the lifeblood of this event. We didn’t expect quite so many folks to come out, and the volunteers were run off their feet to ensure the day went as seamlessly as possible! We are so grateful to each of them for giving so generously of their time.

The McCauley Community League Board is committed to ensuring that its events are open to all, and entirely free. Heartfelt thanks to McCauley Revitalization and the Edmonton Arts Council for helping make that happen!

On a more personal note, as I reach the end of my term with the MCL Board, I want to express how proud I am to have worked with such a solid group of board volunteers over the past two years. Regardless of many pandemic roadblocks, we accomplished a great deal together, not least of which were two of the best-attended Community League Day events ever. When I feel overwhelmed by the challenges our community faces, it’s events like these that remind me that there’s so much beauty, vibrancy, and love in McCauley.

Alice is the President of the McCauley Community League.

Another Success for Heart of the City’s Second Annual Indigenous Fashion Show

Models at Heart of the City’s Indigenous Fashion Show. Supplied

For a long time, I have wanted to celebrate the art of slow fashion at Heart of the City. Fashion is an all too often overlooked art form. We may not realize it, but every day we are wearing art.

When I met Heather Bouchier last year at a bonfire, I had a lightbulb moment. I asked Heather if she would be willing to organize a show for HOTC. She consented to my bringing the idea to the HOTC board. The board was excited about the prospect and thus Heart of the City’s Indigenous Fashion Show was born.

This year, with Heather joining our board in the new position of Fashion Director, we held our second annual Indigenous Fashion Show and clothing drive at Parkdale Cromdale Community League on November 12th. The show featured the creations of emerging designer Kiera-Dawn Kolson and, for the second time, Acahkos Designs by Rhonda Johnson. Heather Bouchier also showed a collection at the event.

The event was emceed by Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse. We were pleased to present to a sold out audience.

The generous donations of clothing were distributed to a local organization called Water Warriors, who serve houseless folks, including many Indigenous people.

If you would like to find out more about this year’s featured designers, follow these links:

Acahkos Designs

Kiera-Dawn Kolson

Heather Bouchier Design

Many thanks to the Heart of the City board members who pulled together to produce this event: Heather Bouchier, Dilara Polat, Jen Dunford, Mike Siek, and Fey Goble.

Heart of the City also wishes to thank our amazing sponsors for this event: EPCOR’s Heart and Soul Fund, The Edmonton Arts Council, McCauley Community League, Parkdale Cromdale Community League and Boyle McCauley News. We were also supported by a private donation by HOTC’s Music Director, Boosh.

_Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival and the special events coordinator for McCauley Community League. _

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resonates Through the Area

A morning gathering outside Ambrose Place with drumming and dancing, as well as the chance for community members to speak. Paula E. Kirman

September 30th was the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Also known as Orange Shirt Day, the day honours survivors of residential schools and the children who never returned home. Of the dozens of events to mark the day throughout Edmonton, several took place in Boyle Street and McCauley. Here is a look at some of them.

Photos by Paula E. Kirman.

IHLA: Languages and Learning

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

The International and Heritage Languages Association (IHLA) is a non-profit organization consisting of a consortium of community-based heritage language schools and programs in Northern Alberta. Heritage language schools are community-run schools that operate typically on weekends. They teach the language and culture of the ethnic community that support them.

Prior to 1977, heritage language schools were taught by dedicated volunteers and operated in isolation among diverse linguistic and cultural communities. Thanks to a grant offered by the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism, heritage language schools organized a conference in 1977 by and for their teachers. Once teachers discovered that their challenges and rewards were similar across schools regardless of the languages they taught, they decided to continue to learn from one another.

In 1978, the Alberta Ethnic Language Teachers Association (AELTA] was born. In 2003, this organization would become IHLA in 2003. The tradition of learning from each other continues to this day. Most heritage language schools still have volunteers and/or provide a small honorarium to their teachers, many of whom are also Alberta Certified Teachers.

IHLA’s membership consists of principals, teachers, teaching assistants, administrative school staff, and parent volunteers in the various heritage language schools that teach students of all ages, including preschool, elementary, high school, and adult learners.

IHLA supports:

  • heritage language students with the annual International Mother Language Day (MLD) and annual MLD Book which showcases student works and understanding of their language and culture
  • volunteer, internationally-trained, and Canadian-trained teachers with professional development opportunities, curriculum support, the IHLA Newsletter, and career support and advice
  • language school leaders by offering a mentorship programme, professional development and networking, advertisement, and help with creating a locally-developed curriculum.

IHLA is currently located in the Edmonton Intercultural Centre. It hosts a variety of events and learning opportunities within the building. Information about IHLA can be found at IHLA’s website: IHLA can also be reached at (Coordinator) or (President, Antonella Cortese).

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Something to Celebrate

Janis Irwin (left) with Paula Kirman after presenting her with the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal at Boyle McCauley News’ AGM on November 8th. Leif Gregersen

I’d like to take this time to celebrate with you. In my role as MLA, I had the opportunity this fall to nominate some incredible people for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. One of the people I was so proud to nominate was the editor of Boyle McCauley News, Paula Kirman.

If you know Paula, you’ll know a couple of important things about her. One is that she works exceptionally hard to build and strengthen our community. Another is that she doesn’t like to brag about this work. So I would love to use my update space, this time, to tell you about just some of the work that Paula does!

Paula is a well-known activist in Edmonton, and her strong sense of social justice is evident in her presence here in our communities of Boyle Street and McCauley, and beyond! Her commitment to anti-poverty and accessible housing initiatives, the peace movement, as well as environmentalism, bears out in the fact that you can find her at seemingly every rally, protest, and community gathering in support of these issues. By photographing and writing about these events, Paula also ensures that our community’s activism is recorded so that we can look back to see how far we’ve come, and can chart a path forward.

Rather than seeking recognition by speaking over community members whose voices have so often gone unheard and unrecognized, Paula chooses to support these folks and to do all she can to help amplify their voices. It’s rare to spot Paula in photos of community events, because she’s the one taking the photos! Through her work as editor here at Boyle McCauley News, Paula also makes very intentional choices about which stories the paper covers, and whose voices take precedence. She ensures that issues that aren’t featured in other media have a place in this paper. And as printed news is becoming increasingly harder to find, Paula shows great commitment to ensuring that the news is available in hard copy for those who cannot or prefer not to access the news online.

If you know Paula, there’s at least one more thing you know about her: she loves our communities. This love is so clear in all the work she does to ensure that our communities are both strong and compassionate. Friends, please join me in thanking Paula – for everything.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact our constituency office if we can offer any support. We’d love to hear from you.

Janis Irwin
MLA, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
Phone: 780-414-0682
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Constituency Office: 6519 112 Ave. NW

Remembering Pauline Bronstein

Pauline playing in our Il Tabarro Orchestra. She is pictured directly in front of the conductor. Supplied

A honey crisp apple scented candle burns in Brooklyn reminding me of the autumns I wished Pauline a happy Rosh Hashanah, dipping apples in honey for a sweet New Year. Today, it is my goyishe memorial candle. I am not Jewish but my friend was, though not religious.

The news she’d made an appointment to end her earthly life yesterday – October 31st – which came through a neighbour on messenger without warning was gutting.

Our own brush with the grim reaper was Saturday night when we rode the NYC subway to the Lomachenko Ortiz fight with Halloween revellers. Screams rang out for everyone to get off the train. My pulse quickened and we mounted the stairs rapidly to escape whatever it was: A shooter? A bomb? I couldn’t breathe from fear. The thought speeding through my mind was that if this was to be our end, what a rotten way to go without farewell and love expressed. Life is fleeting.

Mega yachts, multi-million dollar villas, skyscrapers, palaces, cosmetic surgery, hair transplants, and botox resulting in hopeful vampirism will not change the truth.

We all die.

When my son Dominic was old enough to walk home from school, he would sometimes forget his key, landing on Pauline’s couch. So, for the 15 years we were McCauley neighbours, Pauline kept one for our house.

A professional violinist in the ESO, Pauline was instrumental in our adoption of Koco, our late chocolate lab, and referred to him as puppy, a gross understatement since he weighed in at 54 kilograms on a svelte day. When Pauline was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a decade or so ago, she was already planning a future date in Switzerland where medically-assisted death was legal. In the end she would not have to leave her house to go by her own choosing.

Quietly courageous and full of humour, with the infectious giggle of a six-year-old, she gleefully recounted when a “drive-thru fix car” was parked daily at the same time on our street for a week. She’d walked up to the driver’s window and politely asked him to leave.

“Where should we go?”

“I don’t mind, but please don’t park here.” And they didn’t.

When we moved, Pauline did not come to say goodbye. She knew we’d longed to return to New York and that our days on 106A were numbered, like hers, and we were in denial. No more turkey dinners, fire pits, birthday or holiday celebrations would be shared in that house, and COVID had been a contributor. How vain of us to suggest that we were of such importance to her, since the reality is that Pauline was of great importance to us and a part of our family. I feel sad, cheated, and guilty. In our final telephone call, Pauline said that in the past year she would look at our house and long to see us walk out of it. Since she refused to mark her passage and the lives she touched with an event, I asked, “How should we honour your memory?”

“Go out and enjoy yourselves.”

The human soul is a light from God. May it be Your will that the soul of Pauline Bronstein enjoy eternal life, along with the souls of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah; and the rest of the righteous that are in Gan Eden. Amen.

Darcia Parada is a former McCauley resident who now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Keeping Winter Warm

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”- Japanese proverb

Winter is here, which means the snow and colder temperatures are visiting. Will it be a short stay, or will it stay longer than anticipated?

Each season has something to offer, from recognized celebrations to season-suited events. A great website to find out what’s happening in the city is From paint nights, concerts, readings, and community events and more, if you are a winter insider or prefer outdoors there is always something to do!

Winter is a harsh reality, especially for the vulnerable community living outdoors. We can all have a part in helping. Donations for clothing are always in demand. At this time of year it is especially important because we also have newcomers who will be experiencing an Edmonton winter for the first time!

211 is a great resource that can direct you to the agencies accepting donations. It is also a good number to call if you have concerns about someone in distress. Of course, if it is an emergency, call 911.

This community makes me proud of the unity and the diversity in its neighbourhoods. If you are in need of a bit of help yourself, you can contact The Edmonton Christmas Bureau at They offer assistance in a lot of ways.

I wish all people reading this a joyous winter season.

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

George Zhang: “Mentorship is very empowering.”

George Zhang. Supplied

George Zhang is a musician and also a mentor at CreArt. He has been playing the guitar for many years, and he also sings and plays a bit of piano and violin.

CreArt Edmonton’s website states that “CreArt is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating accessible art and community spaces where people share their knowledge in a horizontal approach to education and community development. We strongly believe in the power of arts to produce positive social transformation in our society.”

Zhang became involved with CreArt seven years ago, when he met Sabastian Barrera, the founder of CreArt Edmonton. “I started off as a guitar student at CreArt. I was taught by him alongside many other CreArt mentors. Slowly, I started to resonate with his inspiring vision: to promote free education in arts and community development. As I became better at guitar, I also followed Sebastian’s path and became a mentor,” he explains.

“I was told that I’m one of the youngest mentors in the community. I actually believe that the idea of mentorship is very empowering because it feels really nice to see students of yours grow. They can use what they have learned to make other people grow as well. That is the whole idea of CreArt – to give the opportunity to everyone who wants to participate,” Zhang says.

“My mission aligns with CreArt’s mission to promote non-profit arts in the community. We want to have social transformation in the form of art. The best way we think to do that is through our ability to mentor others and give them the opportunity to learn what they want. I have been part of CreArt for many years. I think this will be seven or eight years with CreArt. Every Saturday I teach guitar and mentor other community members. And I’ve been doing that for four or five years.”

Zhang is also a board member of CreArt. He joined the board two years ago when he turned 18. “I have been involved in CreArt’s other projects not as a volunteer, but as an official member of the board and a mentor. Every year in the summer we have a mural project where we paint a lot of murals and we put them up in the river valley,” he adds.

One of Zhang’s projects is a YouTube channel for him and his band, called “Ph15 Music.” “We try our best to record our own music, along with other covers, and try to upload it. We are looking for more opportunities to perform and also to collaborate with others.”

What does the future hold for Zhang? “I am currently [pursuing] an Education degree hoping to become a teacher. I think that was influenced by CreArt. As I said previously, watching my students strive and become better day by day is very rewarding for me. I do really believe in leadership and mentorship.”

You can find out more about how to take free guitar lessons or participate in mural painting and other projects with CreArt at And, check out Zhang’s band “Ph15 Music” on YouTube, as well as on TikTok and Instagram=.

Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival. She lives in McCauley.

Facing Our Fears

When I was a young child, I was afraid of the dark. I would have to be accompanied by my favourite stuffed animal any time I got up during the night. I still have the toy, and if it could talk I am sure it would have plenty of stories to tell.

As I grew older, my list of fears expanded. People not liking me. Embarrassing myself in public. Failing my final exams. Being served brussels sprouts with dinner. Oh, how I hated those pungent little cabbage-like veggies.

Now as an adult, I still cling to some of my childhood fears. The darkness can be frightening at times, but vegetables don’t bother me as much anymore, if they are prepared well.

Joking aside, we all have our fears. They are part of what makes us human and unique individuals. We also have choices in how we deal with those fears. Sometimes facing those fears is the only way we can move forward in our lives and enjoy new and exciting experiences. After all, several people told me years ago that I should be afraid of hanging out in Boyle Street and McCauley. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.

Why am I spending so much time thinking about scary things? I’m writing this a few days before Halloween, a time when many people celebrate all things scary and even go out of their way to experience fear.

Horror movies and haunted houses may be some people’s jam, but not mine. Bring on the costumes and candy, but when it comes to fear, there is enough scary stuff all around to last all year long.

December 2022 - January 2023

It may be getting chilly outside, but our distribution team and block carriers are still making sure the paper makes it to your doors. We still have a couple of routes up for grabs. Contact me for more information at

If you are one of our readers who picks up their paper at one of our five newspaper boxes, we know that our boxes have been in need of a little love and attention. We are pleased to announce that David Williamson (known to many as “Rickshaw Dave”) is our new Newspaper Box Technician. David will do his best to ensure the boxes are clean and functional.

If you live in McCauley or Boyle Street and enjoy Boyle McCauley News, consider becoming a member of the Boyle Street McCauley Community Newspaper Society, the non-profit organization that publishes the paper. Members build our numbers and receive occasional updates. You can apply for a free membership at

If you use social media, please follow us – we’re bmcnews on "Facebook": and "Twitter":, and bmcviews on Instagram. You can also sign up for our free e-newsletter at our website:

Enjoy this issue – and stay warm!

Taking Down More Problem Properties 

ECDC continues its work on community redevelopment.

The ECDC is redeveloping this problem property in Alberta Avenue, located at 11221 94th Street, into a modern front-to-back duplex. Supplied by ECDC

The Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC) is determined to redevelop 22 more problem properties within the next two years as a follow-up to its Project 10 initiative.
In 2020, the organization sought to acquire and demolish 10 derelict properties and build new homes for families to purchase. 

This pilot project was developed in response to harmful conditions that affect residents in mature neighbourhoods. Problem properties attract criminal activity and pose a major safety concern for the community.  

These boarded-up homes are often in terrible shape, with run-down exteriors and strewn garbage surrounding the property. Having encountered former meth labs and highly volatile chemicals, the team never knows what they’ll find when they enter these houses. Once, they almost fell through a hole because there had been a fire in the basement that was never disclosed.  

The ECDC has two new modern duplexes on the market in the neighbourhoods of McCauley and Alberta Avenue. They hope to sell one of these properties and use those funds to purchase their eleventh property. Karen Gingras, Executive Director of ECDC, says, “Hopefully, that occurs before the end of this year.  If not, then we anticipate making a purchase in the first quarter of 2023.” 

Most of the derelict properties purchased for Project 10 were northeast of downtown, but ECDC is looking to expand to other communities such as Inglewood, Britannia-Youngstown, Balwin, Belvedere, Queen Mary Park, Central McDougall, Jasper Place, and Chinatown.  

“We are seeking to add problem and derelict properties in these neighbourhoods to our database, so we are seeking addresses and pictures from residents in the communities,” says Gingras.

Skil-Tec and Euro Design Master Builder (EDMB) specialize in infill development and are constructing new homes for Project 10. According to Gingras, they plan to partner with these builders in their upcoming projects. 

“We will be increasing the minimum energy efficiency requirements from our builders and want to build basement suites in each unit so people can have them for extended family or to rent out. Since we would like to purchase and build on twenty-two sites, we hope to find at least one additional builder that aligns with our goals and can build a quality product in the price range we’d like to keep so that the homes remain affordably priced.” 

Another service the organization wants to add, along with developing these next properties, is to create a home ownership program that includes financial literacy and matched savings accounts. 

“We are also at the beginning of plans for a homeownership program with a non-profit organization in Edmonton. Hopefully we can launch these two homeownership programs before the end of 2022,” Gingras adds. 

The ECDC’s redevelopment initiative aligns with Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Revitalization Program as outlined in their 10-year strategic City Plan. With the support of the city, ECDC aims to improve livability in mature neighbourhoods while maintaining vibrancy and promoting equity for all Edmontonians.    

For more information, visit

Erica Marie is a content writer for the ECDC.

Sacred Heart Church: Rededication and Papal Visit

Elder Fernie Marty honours celebrants entering the church during its rededi- cation on July 17th by holding aloft an eagle wing to the sky, symbolizing the transcendent presence of God the Creator. Alan Schietzsch

Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples was rededicated on July 17th. The church underwent extensive rebuilding following a fire in 2020. The rededication took place in time for Pope Francis’ visit to the church on July 25th.

Autumn Update

Fall has arrived, and so has a return to “normal” for many families, friends, and neighbours. Along with the return of fresh morning air and the lengthening evening dark, our board has shifted from a brief summer break to restarting our in-person monthly board meetings (second Tuesday of each month from 7-9 p.m. – all are welcome!), and to making plans for the fall and winter.

On Saturday, September 24th, we hosted our annual McCauley Community League Day Festival at the Rink. It was a vibrant day of fantastic live music, magic, face-painting, crafts, balloon art, bouncy castles, and free food and drinks for all. Many thanks to our event volunteers and our partners at REACH Edmonton, E4C, and the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative for helping to make the day so wonderful. We’re also very grateful for the financial support from the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Revitalization program that helped to make this event possible.

Our McCauley Kids Soccer Program was a huge success this past summer. Its sessions took place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Giovanni Caboto Park. The program’s participants were 30-50 kids from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds coming out to learn and play alongside volunteer Coach Allan and his great team of volunteer organizers and leaders (a big shoutout to Krista Williamson and Susan Gulko for their tireless work!). We plan to continue this free soccer program indoors for the fall/winter season. If you have children who might be interested in registering, please visit for updates on how to sign up and join.

A significant asset to our neighbourhood in the winter months, the McCauley Community League is also hoping to operate our community rink again this year. Due to funding limitations over the past year, the financial feasibility of the rink is in question. As such, we have submitted a funding application to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation in hopes that we can obtain five years of sustainable funding. We have also requested a one-time capital donation to kick-start the Rink Pavilion Project mentioned at our AGM and in our July update. The remaining Project stages are Concept, Design, and Build. Each involves community engagement and consultation, and we’re always looking for volunteers who are willing to see this approximately five-year project through to completion. Please let us know if you are able to support moving this forward!

Finally, our board is currently made up of nine dedicated volunteers, but we’re looking for a few more. At present, we’re in need of both Civics and Memberships directors to join our enthusiastic and welcoming board. If you have the capacity to take on a dedicated role with our board (2-5 hours/month), we would love to talk with you about how you could help! Contact us at

Regan is the Vice-President of the McCauley Community League.

Abundant Community Edmonton

Connecting neighbours and communities in Chinatown.

Neighbourhood kids sharing laughs and painting faces at ACE’s block party in Chinatown. Supplied by the City of Edmonton

Remember the days when neighbours would pop by for a cup of coffee and a chat? Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) is working to bring back the impromptu neighbourly drop-in.

ACE has been in Chinatown all summer long, knocking on doors and introducing residents to one another through a series of block parties.

The purpose of each party is to bring the neighbours together, identify people who can take on the role as Block Connector, and encourage ongoing social interactions with the residents of that neighbourhood. ACE’s time in Chinatown is building on the initiatives they hosted in greater McCauley in 2019.

Debra Jakubec, Project Manager for ACE, explains that neighbours are often the forgotten component when considering the various supports that enrich our sense of connection. “Friends and family are important connections to have in our lives, but we spend most of our days surrounded by our neighbours.”

Over the summer, ACE hosted three block parties in Chinatown where residents fully embraced the opportunity to build connections as they brought out face paints, games for kids, music, food, and extra folding chairs. One block party helped connect a newly-arrived family from the Philippines with their neighbours, helping them gain a stronger sense of belonging in the city.

ACE’s Chinatown focus has been in support of the ongoing initiatives the City of Edmonton has been doing in the McCauley community and throughout downtown to help improve safety and well-being in communities with a higher density of vulnerable populations.

Safety has been top-of-mind in Chinatown and during conversations with residents, one woman shared how impactful neighbourly connections are. “Our building is located in what can be considered by most people a very ‘rough area.’ However, the feeling of friendliness and support is mind-blowing!”

ACE’s research has shown that the best way to increase safety in your community is to get out there and meet the people on your block. Knowing as few as six neighbours reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely and is linked to lowering depression and social anxiety.

So, next time you see your neighbour, be sure to wave hello, ask the name of their pup, or help them carry groceries to their porch. Building connections through simple gestures like these will create long lasting impacts in your level of enjoyment in your neighbourhood. And who knows? Maybe it’ll also come in handy next time you need to borrow a cup of sugar.

For more information on Abundant Community Edmonton, or to learn how to host your own block party, visit

Information submitted by the City of Edmonton.

Annual August Memorial

A time to remember and reflect.

articipants tie ribbons on branches to symbolize lost loved ones. Kate Quinn

Each year in mid-August, we bear witness and we remember. Alberta Avenue Community Garden provides a welcoming and beautiful space to gather. Family and community members mourn the loss of those who have died as a consequence of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking: some were murdered, some died by suicide, some through addictions, and others through illnesses.

Names date back to 1969. Friends, family, and community workers add names each year. The names of 266 people were read in 2022, the 22nd year since CEASE (Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation) initiated this annual memorial. Sadly, we already have two more names to add to the list for the 2023 Memorial.

As people entered the community garden, they were offered a “tobacco tie” – a small pinch of ceremonial tobacco wrapped in cloth in memory of those who had died. They were also invited to tie a ribbon onto branches from a mountain ash tree (also known as rowan tree). The rowan tree is a symbol of protection, wisdom, and courage in Celtic mythology. The ribbons were in the four colours of the Medicine Wheel of the Cree people: Yellow (East), Red (South), Blue (West), and White (North).

This year, a separate branch was tied only in orange ribbons to remember all the children lost through the residential school system. After the names were read, there was a moment of silence for all lives lost to sexual exploitation and trafficking throughout the world. Then, the branches were lifted up to the sky to symbolize farewell and release of the spirits of those who have died. (We used to release balloons in the four colours, but, due to the environmental impact, we chose another symbol.)

August of 2022 marks the sad month in 1997 when Cara King, daughter of Kathy King, was missing. Her body was found in a farmer’s field east of Edmonton on September 1st. Her name and photo are now among the many on the MMIWG list. Her murder has not been solved. Kathy was a fierce advocate for her daughter when she was alive, and continued that advocacy and public awareness on behalf of all sexually exploited persons in the past 25 years since Cara was murdered. At the Memorial, we recognized both her loss and her advocacy. A surprise gift was offered by an Indigenous leader from Treaty 7 who attended for the first time. He bestowed a spirit name upon Kathy.

Kate Quinn is the Executive Director of CEASE. She lives in McCauley.

Post-Summer Reflections

Dear friends,

As I reflect on the past few months, I know that it will be remembered as full of ups and downs. I really enjoyed spending time with many of you this summer. We connected at community gatherings, and I loved chatting with you when you saw me biking or strolling through the area.

You told me about the great work that our friends and neighbours are doing together to build community. But I also heard from you that times are tough right now; for some, tougher than they’ve ever been. Food, transportation, and housing costs are getting more expensive by the day, our overloaded healthcare system can’t serve everyone who needs to access it, and many of you are concerned about ensuring the health and safety of all of our neighbours.

I also want to encourage you to take time to rest and to do things that bring you joy. When we all work together, there is time and space for each of us individually to take a break when needed and come back stronger than ever. We’re lucky to have countless great community organizations that offer opportunities to gather together and have fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone out and about this fall and winter, just as we did this summer.

As I prepare to return to the Legislature this fall, please know that I’ll keep working hard to fight for our community here in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood. By standing up for public healthcare, supporting a strong education system with a modern, relevant curriculum for students, fighting for workers, pushing for access to harm reduction, housing, and other vital ground-level supports, and much more, I’ll continue to be your voice at every opportunity.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our constituency office if we can offer any support. As always, we’d love to hear from you.

Take care of yourselves, and each other.

Janis Irwin


Phone: 780-414-0682

Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Constituency Office: 6519 112 Ave. NW

Rave Reviews for New Playground

The Boyle Street Neighbourhood Playspace is a hit!

Sisters Madeleine and Lucy enjoying the new Boyle Street Neighbourhood Playspace at Boyle Street Plaza on July 25th, its opening day. Joelle Reiniger

The new playground in Boyle Street officially opened on July 25th. The Boyle Street Neighbourhood Playspace is located outside Boyle Street Plaza at 9538 103A Avenue. The playgroud is inclusive and features signage depicting the seven sacred Indigenous teachings: love, courage, respect, truth, humility, honesty, and wisdom.

On August 14th, Boyle McCauley News interviewed a few of the people who use the Boyle Street Neighbourhood Playspace. Here’s what they had to say.

Maddie, age eight, was planning to have her birthday party at the playground on August 21st. “There will be 32 people, including siblings and parents. There will definitely be cake, and some other stuff. That’s kind of all I know. It’s an awesome playground – I like spinning and the monkey bars best.”

Trayton, age five, knows the playground well because he is served by the YMCA Shirley Stollery Child Care in Boyle Street Plaza and he lives in the nearby Melcor YMCA Village. Trayton likes monkey bars and the climbing wall.

Trayton’s mom and a friend were watching him from the public art picnic table to the east. They are both enthusiastic about the new facility. The friend said, “It is a huge success. It brings people together in a more community-focused way, as compared to a one-time-only event such as a barbecue. The playground visitors are here with a purpose.”

Trayton’s friend also talked about how difficult it is for Boyle Street to break from its reputation as a less desirable place to live, and how the playground counteracts that impression. Trayton’s mom likes that the space welcomes Indigenous people through its images of the seven sacred teachings.

Adults who are not bringing children to the playground also appreciate it. Jacques and Naomi were exploring the space while out on a walk. “It is not only for kids,” Jacques said. “I like the [rubber pour-in-place] surface, a sort of foam astro-turf, which feels great. You could take your shoes off.”

During the summer, the playground was used by participants in the Green Shack, and it is used all year by the YMCA child care program and Bissell’s Child Care (9331 – 105 Avenue).

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Former Community Garden Site to Be Redeveloped

Former community garden site at 95th Street and 106th Avenue. Paula E. Kirman

The former site of a community garden at 95th Street and 106th Avenue will be redeveloped into an arts and community hub, with the Edmonton Sculpture Project as the anchor tenant, including a gallery and short-term space for artists in residence. It may also house shared community amenities such as a daycare and coffee shop.

The Primavera Development Group has signed an agreement to lease this site for 20 years from the Edmonton Community Development Company, and hopes to begin construction in 2023 following a rezoning application this fall, with a projected completion date in 2024. The project will incorporate components from the deconstruction of the four University of Alberta Ring Houses and two East Campus Village houses Primavera purchased in October of 2021.

McCauley Clean-Up Community Celebration and Volunteer Reunion

From left: Volunteers Christie Smith and Sam MacLellan, along with Mike Siek (e4c Community Developer), prepare the BBQ lunch for 50. Kathryn Rambow

On August 20th, 35 volunteers (new and returning) braved the summer heat to participate in the neighbourhood clean-up, share food, and catch up with one another. We collected 30 bags of litter, and a good time was had by all.

Big thanks to e4c for coordinating the event and to the McCauley Community League for promoting the event. Hope to see you next time!

Brandy Basisty is Program Coordinator with the Neighbourhood Organizing Initiative at REACH Edmonton.

Looking Forward to New Beginnings

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

Changing Together – A Centre for Immigrant Women

More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board, staff, volunteers, students, and clients of Changing Together are ready to return to their much-loved and anticipated activities at the EIC.

During the past two years the Centre saw a drastic decrease in regular class attendance. Changing Together lost some of their valued and invaluable volunteers and teachers and was forced to temporarily suspend the Sewing for Peace project and other Healing Circle activities like yoga and Zumba classes.

However, both the language and computer classes were able to continue, thanks in part to the kind-hearted willingness of dedicated staff who volunteered their time and resources, and several other volunteers from the Edmonton community. Special mention must be made of beloved volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who not only agreed to sit on the Board of Directors as Chairperson and Treasurer, but volunteered to teach as well, giving one-on-one instruction to some of the students. Three volunteers were also instrumental in holding the sewing classes together.

Financial support for most programs suffered and dwindled to a trickle during this period. It has been difficult to keep the doors open but for the emergency funds received from the three levels of government and from private donations.

Changing Together is forever grateful to the Telus Community Board for offering a grant to continue the Prevention of Family Violence program and the Bi-Cultural Parenting activity during the pandemic. It enabled many immigrant women and children to access much-needed and urgent assistance during trying times when incidents of conflict and violence within the family increased. While the grant was meant to sustain the program for only a year, assistance to clients will continue for as long as the services are needed and as long as Changing Together has qualified volunteers to provide the necessary help.

Today, Changing Together is looking ahead with much enthusiasm and excitement at reuniting students and teachers, clients and support workers, volunteers, and the community at large. There will be new faces at the Centre to welcome students and clients, with many new volunteer teachers to take over from those who have made the decision to retire or who have moved to other provinces and countries. The organization is in the process of recruiting a new Coordinator for the Family Services Program since their beloved and irreplaceable social worker has decided to hang up her hat after 18 years, with plans to spend more time with her hubby and grandchildren.

There is great hope in the air that while not all effects of the pandemic are entirely behind us, the future promises better things to come. The fall brings new beginnings for Changing Together. Welcome to a joyful and productive year for everyone!

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

The Fun of Halloween

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus (Nov. 7 1913 – Jan. 4 1960), French philosopher, author, dramatist, and journalist.

The joys of autumn include cooler temperatures, nature’s palette showing its plethora of beautiful colours in the trees, and October ending with Halloween.

So, let’s talk about the fun of Halloween. Those who celebrate Halloween get to be someone else for a day. Some people make a tradition a choice like dressing up as something scary like a ghost. Others may dress up like a member of their favourite band or sports team, while others come up with something totally original.

Personally, I like to see what people come up with. Costumes can be simple and inexpensive. Thrift stores get busy during Halloween season. You never know what you might be able to pick up for a bargain.

If you are not into dressing in costume or recognizing Halloween, that is also fine. Just remember that November 1st is a significant day. That’s when the stores lower the prices on candy!

Have a safe, pleasant autumn!

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

Tee Pee Treats Indigenous Cuisine

Bannock Pizza Pop. Alan Schietzsch

Curtis Cardinal, a local chef who grew up in northern Alberta, formed his love for bannock in his mom’s kitchen, where he first learned how to create the traditional food and feed people. A Whitefish Lake First Nation member, Curtis credits his journey into the professional kitchen to her teaching him to cook early in life.

Bread is a very individual thing. Every chef and every family makes bread – in this case, bannock – a little differently. Some are chewy, some flaky, some heavy and dense, others light and cake-like. Cardinal brings this flexibility to an imaginative variety of bannock-based menu items.

Wanting to try several, I started with the Bannock Taco, a heaping basket of ground meat, shredded cheese, and lettuce atop a “tortilla” of deconstructed bannock pieces. It was absolutely fresh and very filling, and the bannock was lighter and more crumbly than any bannock I had experienced before.

Next I tried the Bannock Fries, which are dough rolled before frying, accompanied by an herb and garlic sauce. They had a bit more chew, holding together and capturing just enough of the hot oil to make the “French fry” inspiration come through without giving up their own identity.

Finally, we sampled the Bannock “Pizza Pop” which was an enormous half-dome of bannock filled with meat, cheese, and pizza sauce. It arrived piping hot, and the thick bannock crust held the heat throughout the eat. Saying something’s “a meal in itself” may be a cliche, but not here – my dining companion, who’s a strongly-built adult man, was completely filled by it.This sure beats any factory pre-made pizza pop!

Cardinal has come a long way from first selling bannock over a decade ago from a backpack at powwows in the Edmonton area. Now that he’s opened an “official” restaurant in this bright and modern space, the vibe is relaxed, ordering is casual at the front counter, and there are small tables amid a vibrant art-lined space.

With his own recipe for bread and for life, Curtis continues his bannock adventure in our community, which is invited to try a taste of his bannock life at Tee Pee Treats.

Curtis also sells a prepared bannock mix (available on request) and offers catering for groups of 30 or more.

Tee Pee Treats is located inside the yellow door of CO*LAB between 96th and 97th Streets, just south from the Farmer’s Market and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

Cooking Up A New Life

Leonard Kaposho is a McCauley resident who caters with passion.

Leonard Kaposho. Supplied

Leonard Kaposho is a husband, a father, and a chef.

Kaposho and his family came to Canada in October of 2009. They are of Burundian background, but had been living in a Ugandan refugee camp.

The family settled in Edmonton’s McCauley neighbourhood. “Edmonton has better job opportunities and we chose the McCauley neighbourhood because we have kind neighbours who helps us get involved within the community,” Kaposho says in an interview conducted via email with his youngest daughter, Umaya, translating for him.

Cooking is Kaposho’s passion, and he currently works at a camp up north, as well as running his own catering business in McCauley. “I started cooking in 1986, exactly 36 years ago. It’s was a passion I fell in love with. I even went to culinary school for it back in my country Burundi,” he says.

Kaposho says that French cuisine is his speciality, and can cater for any kind of event. His past experiences include weddings, get-togethers, and even a friend’s concert. “I am a hard ambitious worker and whatever you need can be served at your request.”

He can be reached at:

Why I Didn’t See the Pope

A personal story of faith.

Pope Francis at the newly-rededicated Sacred Heart Church on July 25th, 2022. Paula E. Kirman

In order to explain to people about what the Pope’s visit to McCauley meant to me, I need to give some background. In the New Testament, there is a place where Jesus confronts one of his apostles who gives the perfect answer to his challenge, then Jesus told him, “…you have the keys to the Kingdom. Whatever you bind in Heaven, will be bound on Earth…” (Matthew 16:19). This was said to Peter, or Petros, which means rock. Many people will have heard of Saint Peter guarding the pearly gates to Heaven. What that means is that this passage details the very moment when Jesus appointing the first Pope. According to my faith, our current Pope Francis is a continuation of that line from Saint Peter.

The trouble I have is, some days (often recently), I have been hard pressed to find the faith that I spelled out in that previous paragraph. I don’t think I am alone in saying that the current pastor of Sacred Heart is amazing, but I desperately miss Father Jim Holland.

As I was letting the concept of this article gel in my mind, I thought about how down I have been recently. When I first started going to churches, around 29 years ago, I would go to them on and off, sort of like how I do now. One day a friend commented on this fact and gave me a list of things that seemed better with my life while I was attending church and another list of all my shortcomings when I wasn’t. I was insulted, of course, and got quite angry, but today when I was thinking of this, I got a little curious and shuffled through the files in my mind of the last time I went to a church.

I thought about one beautiful spring day when I went to a moving service, and when I left Sacred Heart, Dan Glugosh and his family were on their way inside. It really meant a lot to me to know that some of McCauley’s coolest citizens were not only Catholic (though I should be clear that I am not Catholic, I just attend a Catholic church) but they went to Sacred Heart as well. Then there was a day when everything seemed right with the world. Going to Mass was my quiet time and how I recharged my batteries. I prayed deeply that day, from my heart, and felt the warmth and love in Sacred Heart when I went forward to ask for the priest’s blessing. Somehow, I left that church feeling different. Not bad, not good. I just felt a slight difference.

Again I need to explain some backstory. Some 20 years ago, I was hospitalized with a very serious mental health condition and I lost a lot of close friends. I have been medicated ever since, and I think the medication has affected my memory. On that day when I noticed the change, right after Mass, I went home, picked up the phone and almost without thinking dialed a number I hadn’t dialed in all of those 20 years. It was the home number of a friend who had cut me out of his life as I was having mental health difficulties and he couldn’t handle it, or so I thought. This was someone who had been a buddy through school and adulthood and who just stopped talking to me and even blocked my number when I got very ill once.

This former and current friend and I talked for a very long time and it has felt so great to connect with him again. I was able to explain to him why things happened the way they did and he asked me to forgive him for not being a better friend. Since I last saw him, he added twins to his family and did well for himself as an engineer. He explained to me that he hadn’t just given up on me all those years ago. He had actually fought to see my doctor and demanded he do something about my condition. The doctor told him to ignore me and never contact me again, which he did, reluctantly, while caring for a wife and small child.

My day of “revelation” seems like such a small thing. A prayer. A moment of mental clarity. A phone number from years ago remembered perfectly despite that I often forget why I stand up to go into the kitchen. A phone number that was no longer my friend’s home number, but his work one, and I happened to call while he was within reach of this line. These things to me add up to a perfect small miracle. No doubt in my mind.

This tiny gift has greatly enhanced the quality of my life and made me much happier. I think about what people feel about the Catholic Church and the things that have gone wrong – the mass graves, the covered-up sexual abuse. All these things are horrible, no doubt. But another friend, a few years ago, told me when I got frustrated with people in the church I was attending at the time, “People can be terrible. People suck. It’s God that’s good.”

And so, I didn’t attend any masses by the Pope. I didn’t even see him. But I still have my faith. It’s a teeny, tiny little spot deep inside of me that simply knows there is a God, and I believe that if I can hold on to that it will get me through just about any rough time I could imagine.

October-November 2022

It was an eventful summer here at the paper. Colleen Chapman, our Volunteer Coordinator, reorganized our distribution route. We have a number of opportunities for Block Carriers to deliver the paper in McCauley. If you are interested in taking on a route, please contact me at Routes take around a half hour per issue, and we will drop your bag of newspapers off at your front door. Get fresh air, exercise, the chance to connect with neighbours, and perks like being invited to our volunteer appreciation events (once they resume).

Do you love reading Boyle McCauley News? Would you like to be a part of helping it thrive? Consider becoming a member of the Boyle Street McCauley Community Newspaper Society, the non-profit organization that publishes the paper. Members help build our numbers and receive occasional updates – and it’s free to join. You can apply for membership at

Did you know we publish content online between print issues? If you use social media, please follow us – we’re bmcnews on "Facebook": and "Twitter":, and bmcviews on Instagram. You can also sign up for our free e-newsletter at our website:

Thanks always for your support!

The Speed of Summer

As I reflect upon the couple of months that have passed since the last issue was published, the main thing that comes to mind is how fast this summer flew by. Summer is always too short in my opinion, but this one hit a new record.

Perhaps it was the unrelenting heat that at times made me think about where our earth is heading in terms of a climate emergency. I don’t recall a summer with so many days over +30 extending into late August. Admittedly, I am one of those people some find annoying, who prefers +30 to -30. However, I also can’t ignore the realities of climate change, and wonder anxiously what our upcoming winter is going to be like.

Perhaps summer seemed shorter because I finally had the chance to attend my favourite events since 2019, particularly the Folk Festival and Blues Festival. I also did a volunteer stint as a photographer with the Fringe, and stopped by the Heritage Festival. At all of these events I met up with people I haven’t seen in literally years – at least, not in person. As someone who tends to be introverted, this was both exciting and exhausting.

Perhaps my wistful longing for summer to never end was because of changing dynamics in some personal relationships. Some were due to simply being out and about more as described above, and being able to reconnect with folks – including a few pleasant surprises. At the same time, other experiences presented the opportunity for self-reflection.

So, while summer may be over, its effects continue. I hope for an autumn and winter of joy for all of us.

McCauley Community League: AGM Recap

MCL’s Annual General Meeting took place on June 14th. The Commonwealth Recreation Centre generously offered the League complimentary use of their beautiful Alumni Room in exchange for a spot on the evening’s agenda.

Approximately 35 neighbours and community stakeholders shared food, beverages, and good conversation over the course of the evening.

The meeting began with a presentation by Greg Witt, Supervisor at Commonwealth Rec Centre. Greg provided an overview of the programs he supervises at the Commonwealth Rec Centre, Clarke Stadium, and the Eastglen Leisure Centre. Greg welcomed community feedback and shared opportunities for the community to use Clark Stadium, receive tours of Commonwealth, and connect with Edmonton Elks reps for the engagement of Elks players in community events.

MLA Janis Irwin and Councillor Anne Stevenson also brought their greetings and expressed their support for the community.

Hon Leong, Chair of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society, gave a heartfelt account of how the community is reeling from the recent random murders of two members of the Chinatown community. Hon spoke passionately about the need for all of us to advocate for our community – from municipal and provincial leaders to residents. He spoke to the great need for inclusivity and respect for all cultures in our neighbourhood. He appealed to all McCauley community members to support our Chinatown neighbours. His words resonated deeply with many.

I summarized various projects undertaken by the MCL Board this past year, which included the digitization and centralizing of League files, improving communications, and creating reliable and sustainable access to financial information. We also summarized the past year’s programs and events including the Community League Day Party; the Safe Halloween Party, Holiday Skating Party, and Family Day Celebration; our year-long kids’ soccer program; and Light Up McCauley. We’re so pleased to partner with McCauley Revitalization, who supported many of these events and programs. And we continue to strengthen relationships with Safer McCauley/REACH, E4C and other community stakeholders. We really are stronger together.

MCL Director Rickard Enstroem provided an update on the new Rink building, which we’re tentatively referring to as the “Rink Pavilion Project.” This year, we finalized the first of four stages: Strategy. The remaining stages are Concept, Design, and Build. Each involves community engagement and consultation, and we’re always looking for volunteers who are willing to see this approximately five-year project through to completion.

An amendment to our bylaws was passed, which essentially requires that Board members be elected individually rather than as a slate, and via secret ballot rather than a show of hands.

Finally, we’re thrilled to welcome three new members to our board: Corine Demas, John Gee, and Sarah Pearson. Board positions for 2022-2023 are:

President: Alice Kos
Vice President: Regan Gee
Treasurer: John Gee
Secretary: Sarah Pearson
Communications Director: Todd Janes
Events Director: Corine Demas
Memberships Director: Grace Kuipers
Pavillion Director: Rickard Enstroem
Directors at Large: Kevin Jones and David Williamson

We look forward to another productive year working towards a vibrant McCauley!

Alice is the President of the McCauley Community League.

Heart of the City 2022 Recap

Back in Giovanni Caboto Park and loving it!

The Littlebirds Big Band. Jen Dunford

After two years of producing small events and online offerings, our team of volunteer board members were so excited to bring Heart of the City Festival back to Giovanni Caboto Park in 2022 on June 4th and 5th. The annual theme, aptly named Arts Awakened, found visual expression in the festival’s central theme artwork made by artist Elaine Cooper, which featured two foxes reaching out to one another and joining paws in a starburst of light. The image symbolized reconnecting with our friends, neighbours and, in turn, our own creativity. This is the magic that this festival brings to our community.

Many of our board members were new this year. They brought positive fresh energy to the festival. Those of us who have experience with producing the festival felt that with the help of all our new board members, our 19th year was one of the smoothest festivals we have ever produced.

This year the festival combined the youth stage and main stage, mingling established and emerging artists in the same line-up. The unified “clam shell” stage no doubt created many networking opportunities and a chance for youth to brush shoulders with a wide array of talent.

On the music stage, a notable moment occurred when Chubby Cree opened Sunday’s bill with the powerhouse voice of traditional singer 12-year-old Noah Green. He performs with his grandmother, Carol Powder, a female hand drummer. Their rendition of the healing song “Remember Me” touched many amongst the crowd. Chubby Cree were recently invited to open for The Halluci Nation, formerly A Tribe Called Red, and are currently hosting a Go Fund Me donation campaign page to raise money to travel to Toronto to bring their healing voices across Turtle Island.

Another stand-out memory was made when The Littlebirds Big Band closed the festival with some fantastic up-and-coming horn players taught by world-class jazz local musicians at the Yardbird’s youth music program. Head-turning improvised solos filled the air, stopping you in your tracks and causing you to question the years of experience that this incredibly talented group has under their belt.

At The Beat Spoken Word Stage we held two poetry showcases, three workshops, a comedy night, and a Story Slam. One of the poetry showcases featured youth reading their original works. We were impressed with the young people who showed up at our open stage, including a youngster called, “Arlo” who improvised a poem and even tried stand-up comedy for the first time to open our comedy night! KazMega, Leif Gregersen, and Fara Joy hosted workshops that were well attended. The winner of this year’s Story Slam was Ahmed Ahmed who told a story that made the judges laugh and cry.

We had an outstanding turnout of volunteers to help run the festival including long time security staff and organizers.Courtney Cronkhite, our first-time stage manager, deserves special mention for transforming into a pearl of an MC on stage.

Other metamorphoses happened at the Art Tent, where workshop facilitators provided many children with the opportunity to paint inspired creations together before trying their hand at the festival’s long-time staple activity: tie-dying T-shirts.

One board member voiced that time and again he had someone he hadn’t seen in two years approach him in the park and say, “Thank you! Our community really needs this!”

Next year will mark the Heart of the City Festival’s 20th anniversary. We would love to hear from you about what you would like to see us do to celebrate inner city arts and this milestone year.

Stay tuned for our next event coming this fall. We are planning to have our second Indigenous Fashion Show, community meal, and clothing drive.

You can reach us at and visit our website:

_Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival. Jen Dunford, HOTC’s Volunteer Coordinator, views art as a tool for change and believes in its integral role as a part of Canadian cultural identity. Her mission is to create cultural legacies through the practice of performance. _

Shima Robinson: “Life is hard, so I process those things with poetry.”

Shima Robinson. Colé Richards - Indigenality Photography

I met with Shima Robinson, a.k.a. Dwennimmen, and spoke with her about her former work with Heart of the City, among other things.

“I sat on the board of Heart of the City for three years. I used to help out with marketing and communications and the poetry stages. I have performed at Heart of the City since, I’ve done hosting at the Beat Stage, and I attend every year.”

I asked Shima about her connection to the downtown core. She said: “I have a lot of friends who live downtown. I do a lot of my work centrally: half downtown, half in the Old Strathcona area. I enjoy the energy of downtown, I like to see what is going on in my city – the good, the bad, the in-between. I like the proximity to all the things. Downtown is chock full of interesting places and spaces. There are institutional spots like the AGA and iHuman, but also venues like the Aviary or there is also Giovanni Caboto Park or the Italian Centre. A lot of good work happens in Boyle Street/McCauley. There is a lot of community outreach in the area that I am connected to as well.”

Shima shared with me about her work in the arts community. “Right now I work for the Fringe as the manager of learning and outreach and I work for the Edmonton Poetry Festival as the artistic producer. I am also an artist myself. I got published in April by Glass House Press, a book called Bellow that has an album that accompanies it – the QR code for the album is in the back of the book. The album was recorded with the collective Damn Magpies,” she says.

“I’m very busy in the arts. I’m a spoken word poet, performance poet, written word poet, stage poet, all the poetry stuff I do. I do a lot of performing at festivals. I did the North Country Fair this year, I did the Found Festival this year, I’m doing Purple City this year. I’m really into improvisational music.”

When I asked Shima what brought her to poetry she said, “I needed an outlet that was verbal when I was very young. I started to write my own poetry when I was 19. I was performing shortly thereafter with the Raving Poets. I kept doing it. I kept doing it because it allows me to explore in a very healthy way, and in a potentially introspective way, the relative duress of being alive. Life is hard, so I process those things with poetry.”

She continues: “A lot of people have very strong reactions to the things I say and the way that I say them. There are critiques in the poetry. I don’t make it a political mission but there is politics in everything.”

When it comes to poets, Shima says, “I think as poets we speak our minds. We tell it like we see it, we tell it like it is. Everyone has a responsibility to profess what they feel or give a testimony, but I think poets as a disparate group of people have a responsibility to honour themselves.”

Shima also takes part in poetry slams. “The slams both locally and nationally have had a huge impact on how I orate. I try to stay away from trends while taking cues from the way people do their thing – what makes the message clearer, what makes the story more interesting or more rich.

In the future, Shima will be releasing a book of poetry written in 4/4 time, inspired by hip-hop.

You can contact Shima on her website: You can order her book, Bellow, at

_Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival. _

Rayyan East African Restaurant

Great portions, flavours, and value.

A table full of food at Rayyan East African Restaurant. Alan Schietzsch

Rayyan East African Restaurant
10019 106 Ave NW
Open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Although it’s been in our neighbourhood for about a year, not many people seem to know about Rayyan East African Restaurant. Well, that’s about to change!

Rayyan has a friendly atmosphere, incredibly generous portions, and surprisingly low prices: three of us left after a huge meal, with delicious meats and rice for the next day’s lunch, for under $60! When you can enjoy such fabulous food for an incredibly low price at a restaurant staffed by a charming and generous Somalian-Kenyan family, it just has to be experienced.

Rayyan’s modern and bright space was previously occupied by a Chinese bakery, located kitty corner from Hope Mission, in the shadow of the EPCOR Tower. It’s spotlessly clean, and you are welcomed in a warm and very casual style.

The owners, Noor and Jamal, are a father and son who started the restaurant together about a year ago, naming it “Rayyan” after a family daughter. The family is mixed Somali and Kenyan, so their cuisine combines the generous portions of meat or fish with rice and/or several types of bread that are typically Somalian, with dishes borrowing a touch of the Kenyan seasonings and spices to make Rayyan’s cooking a very flavourful and unique blend – the best of both nations.

Somali meals are often protein-based. Fish, goat, beef, lamb, or chicken is fried in ghee or grilled or broiled. It is lightly spiced with turmeric, coriander, cumin, and curry and is eaten with basmati rice that has added onions, sweet peppers, and even a few raisins for a touch of sweetness. If you like Indian food, some of the flavours will seem familiar, but not nearly as dominant, as they’re more subtly used. You will also taste Persian influences, as well as Arabic notes and more, giving the rice an extra kick of flavours. The coast of Somalia has traded with all these regions for centuries, so the blend of flavours has been developed over a long history and has become outstanding.

For just $17, the food comes as a set meal. It’s prefaced with a small bowl of a brothy soup, and next you get a complimentary salad – and then the waiter arrives with a big platter of Somali style rice or pasta (much of the Mareeg coastal region of eastern Africa was an Italian colony, so pasta became part of the cuisine) or your choice of several types of flat bread: there’s Canjeero, a traditional Somali bread, as well as Mandazi (fried bread) and Muufo, a flat bread similar to an Indian chapati.

The food just keeps arriving. Then you see and smell your choice of kind of meat (beef, lamb, chicken, or goat) or one of four kinds of fish, or shrimps – so much food! And for a drink, try the mango which goes well with every Somali dish. There’s even a cinnamon spiced tea.

Our party of three hungry adults ordered the grilled fish, a lamb shoulder, and the breaded chicken (less greasy than most places, and a very comfortable introduction for children or those who are “scared” of trying something new or seasoned with spices – even my English mum would have totally enjoyed it!) The food is so good and the portions are great, with lots for leftovers.

Rayyan is an exceptionally friendly place in McCauley for some great East African cuisine. The food they put in front of their customers is delicious, filling, very affordable, and representative of their Somali-Kenyan heritage and identity.

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

Sahaba Mosque in Boyle Street

The Sahaba Mosque. Leif Gregersen

After I moved to Boyle Street in 2013, I often walked past the modest building at 9216 105th Avenue and wondered about its sign in front, “Sahaba Mosque.” It looks as if it was a community hall in a past life and has little or no resemblance to a mosque. Then I noticed the separate entrances for women and men, and on Fridays I saw many cars overflowing the parking lot and men arriving in their thobes (an ankle-length, long-sleeved gown).

I recently learned a bit about the Sahaba Mosque in conversation with Sami Khalaf, a board member of Edmonton’s Downtown Islamic Association which was established in 1998. The association operates the Sahaba Mosque and is also establishing a mosque on the south side.

Khalaf says people regularly visit the Sahaba Mosque to fulfill the Muslim obligation to pray five times a day. The women pray downstairs and the men upstairs. The building doors can remain open for daily prayers because Imam Abdul Shakoor has an office there where he writes sermons, prepares for Qur’an classes, and meets with members of the mosque who ask for spiritual guidance.

The congregation of about 200 to 250 people is made up of people from many ethnically diverse regions: North Africa (Egypt, Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea, and other countries), the Middle East, Pakistan, and other places.

The Sahaba Mosque is undergoing minor renovation, as the kitchen and bathrooms are in need of improvement. In addition, the Downtown Islamic Association has bought land at 44th Avenue and 127th Street with a view to building a mosque on the south side. A house on the property is being used as a school, and a shed-type building serves as a temporary mosque.

One of the goals of the association is to engage youth through programs and services such as soccer games, summer camps, barbecues, and other social activities. In this way, young people can meet their peers, learn more about Islam, and talk about how they can best navigate the challenges of young adulthood.

During Ramadan, the association participates in the traditional “families in need” service. Members deliver food to seniors and others who have difficulty making meals or cannot afford groceries. In some cases, local restaurants donate the food; in others volunteers gather to cook the meals.

The mission of the Sahaba Mosque/Downtown Islamic Association is, in part, “To sustainably provide a welcoming space and promote an indigenous practice and realization of Islam rooted in excellence, gratitude, and inclusion.”

For more information, visit the Sahaba website, The mosque also has a Facebook page:

Editor’s note: _Our May 2006 issue featured a profile of the Al-Rashid Mosque, which is Canada’s first mosque. You can read the issue here

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Upholding Diversity for Cultural Equity

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we will inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility in order to bring light to their many good deeds.

Ending Forever the Historically Devastating Impacts of the Child Welfare System

Creating Hope Society (CHS) describes who they are very clearly on their website: “a non-profit society established to recognize that the sixties and seventies child welfare scoop of Aboriginal children is a continuation of the Residential Schools era.” As such, CHS is “is carrying forward a healing process, commenced for Residential School survivors, to those who are products of a Child Welfare system that has perpetuated the legacy of the Residential Schools.” Through the many programs offered, CHS aims to build a just and humane society with the hope for a better future, full of support and healing for Indigenous Peoples. Their mission and vision support the values that EIC upholds.

Creating Hope Society has recently grown beyond the walls of the Edmonton Intercultural Centre. In this light, we would like to thank the Creating Hope Society for being part of the EIC family for eight meaningful years, May 2014 to May 2022. Through the years we have witnessed our humble beginnings, our crossroads, our growth, and our successes. EIC continues to support CHS in all of its future programming, activities, and events. For more information about this organization and their events, please visit their website at or drop into their new office at Unit 4, 10865 96th Street.

Ethnically Inclusive Early Learning and Childcare

Intercultural Child and Family Centre (ICFC) is committed to providing high-quality, culturally responsive early learning and care for children while supporting families, fostering community, and building the capacity of educators.

ICFC operates two early learning and care programs: one at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre, and another at the 1000 Women site at NorQuest College, with a total capacity of 128 children, aged 12 months to 12 years. This organization works to develop and demonstrate culturally responsive childcare. Most enrolled families fall into one or more of these categories: immigrant, refugee, Indigenous, single parent, student, low income, or LGBTQ2S+. To the extent that it is possible, educators are chosen who reflect the demographics of their families.

The ICFC centres are demonstration sites for NorQuest students, and they also host students and research projects from post-secondary and other organizations. You are welcome and invited to tour one or both of their sites. For further information and enrolment, please call (825) 777-6014.

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Controversy Continues Over Boyle Street Community Services’ Planned Move to McCauley

The building at 10010 107A Avenue where BSCS plans to move in 2023. Leif Gregersen

Updated July 11, 2022: Boyle McCauley News initially reached out to City Councillor Anne Stevenson for comment, but she did not respond in time for the publication of the article. She has since responded and this has been incorporated.

In April, Boyle McCauley News reported the results of a survey spearheaded by community members concerning the proposed relocation of Boyle Street Community Services to McCauley.

On July 4th, a media release expressed ongoing safety concerns about the proposed move. Signed by numerous McCauley residents and representatives of local stakeholder groups such as the Chinatown BIA, Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society, and the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada (Edmonton branch), the media statement emphasizes that the new location will put BSCS within one block of the Victoria School of the Arts, the city’s largest K to 12 school.

“While concentrating social services in one area of a city is not inherently a bad thing, the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta have not put adequate systems in place to mitigate the social disorder that spills over from these sites into the surrounding community,” says Meagan Auer, a McCauley resident with a background in neighbourhood revitalization.

“Compared to the rest of Edmonton, McCauley residents shoulder a disproportionate amount of the social responsibility for those in need. From a community development perspective, this is not a suitable location for them. It does not reflect good urban planning for Edmonton’s downtown and opposes the City of Edmonton’s commitment to deconcentrate social services from McCauley within five years.”

The release also raises a lack of consultation between BSCS and McCauley residents and stakeholders. “Although BSCS has been seeking a new location for six years, Chinatown and McCauley community members were never consulted in the development of its plan to relocate to McCauley,” the release reads.

“The deal to purchase the new building was closed on October 30, 2021. It was a multi-million dollar deal with a major corporation and we were in the middle of negotiations, which necessitated we keep negotiations as private and confidential as possible,” said Elliot Tanti, a spokesperson for BSCS.

“As soon as those negotiations concluded we began engaging with the community as much as we could. From that moment on we began the process of building a notification plan contacting stakeholders. It was only the beginning. We knew once we made the announcement, we needed a strong plan to engage with these stakeholder groups.”

Tanti says there have been over 50 conversations with various resident community groups and stakeholders in the community, and they are still ongoing.

“What we’re talking about is a relocation of existing services,” says Tanti. “No additional services are being added to the site, which is only two blocks from the current site.”

However, according to Alice Kos, those two blocks make a huge difference. “They propose to move to the intersection of two business improvement areas in a site surrounded immediately, on all sides, by independent businesses. And less than one block from a K-12 school with nearly 2000 students. The concern is the impact it will have on BSCS’ immediate surroundings. Furthermore, while BSCS says it is not increasing the number of services it provides, its larger square footage will allow it to increase the number of individuals it serves,” says Kos.

Kos, a McCauley resident, is adamant that this is not a “McCauley vs. BSCS” issue. “Part of the reason I love McCauley is that it is compassionate, diverse, inclusive, and embraces vulnerable individuals as neighbours. I am not the least bit interested in demonizing vulnerable populations. And I would push back very strongly against anyone who would suggest that this is NIMBY behaviour on the part of McCauley community members. It would be fair to say that McCauley already has it all in its backyard. This is not about McCauley being NIMBY; this is about the vast majority of the other 300+ communities in the City being unwilling to host social services,” Kos says.

“Many businesses and residents are tolerant and accepting of the vulnerable population but are being cast as NIMBY. It is an unfair and unnecessary stigma for the Chinatown and McCauley community to bear in order to put food on the table and sell noodles in their stores.”

Hon Leong, Chair of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society, says the move will negatively affect Chinatown, due to potential congestion on 107th Avenue northbound from 98th Street with jaywalkers accessing BSCS. He cites similar foot traffic issues along 105th Avenue beside the George Spady Centre and Herb Jamieson, and 106th Avenue by Hope Mission patrons, and is concerned the same will happen at 107th Avenue northbound from 98th Street.

“These are contentious issues that place the businesses and residents in media crossfire and directly into physical confrontations with social agencies, the houseless, and the City of Edmonton,” says Leong. “Many businesses and residents are tolerant and accepting of the vulnerable population but are being cast as NIMBY. It is an unfair and unnecessary stigma for the Chinatown and McCauley community to bear in order to put food on the table and sell noodles in their stores.”

Tanti says that these strong reactions from the community “demonstrate there is more work to be done. We knew from the beginning this would be an ongoing and iterative process, and we’re willing to engage in these kinds of process with any stakeholders.”

He adds: “Boyle Street has been part of the community for over 60 years, and will be part of this community for a long time. What we’ve tried to do with our engagement process in these conversations is to try to work together with communities for solutions. We want the same things as the community. We do not want open drug use, people sleeping in camps, or on sidewalks. We do not want unsafe and unhealthy communities. We are aligned with the community in regards to what they are looking for. This building provides the opportunity to be solutions-focused.”

City Councillor Anne Stevenson for Ward O-day’min believes the City has a role to play in addressing the concerns between McCauley stakeholders and the BSCS. “I believe the new BSCS location can be part of the solution to addressing the housing and mental health crisis we see playing out on the streets of our community,” she says. “At the same time, I fully appreciate the concerns the community has raised – these are valid issues that require a detailed response and mitigation. I’d like to see the City come to the table as a partner in the good neighbour agreement to ensure necessary services are in place, and to remove the burden of reporting from the community at large. I look forward to ongoing discussion and dialogue in the coming months to ensure this move can be a successful one for the whole community.”

However, Kos thinks the best solution is for the City and Province to assist in BSCS’ relocation outside of McCauley. “BSCS services are essential and important and valued. Our community values its partnerships with BSCS. And that’s why we feel strongly that BSCS must be supported by the City and Province to find an alternate location.”

To read the press release in its entirety, click here.


Volunteers make Boyle McCauley News possible. I am excited to announce that we have a new volunteer position available. We need a Newspaper Box Technician to check on our five newspaper boxes approximately once a month to make minor repairs or tidying up as needed. The main requirements are having your own tools, a knack for fixing things, and a way of getting to the boxes. For more specific details, please contact me at

If newspaper box repair is not your thing, you can consider writing, taking photos, or delivering. Again, contact me at for more information.

Remember that if you love reading Boyle McCauley News and want to be a part of helping it thrive, consider becoming a member of the Boyle Street McCauley Community Newspaper Society, the non-profit organization that publishes the paper. Members help build our numbers and receive occasional updates – and it’s free to join. You can apply for membership at

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and @bmcviews on Instagram. Sign up for our free e-newsletter at our website:

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Walking in the Rain

I’m looking out my window at a hard early morning rain in July. The sky is very dark and gloomy. It’s too wet and chilly to go outside right now.

This isn’t the way I was going to start my day. I was going to go for a walk to hopefully enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. But that’s the thing about plans: they often don’t work out the way we intended.

However, I can view this unexpected shower as an opportunity. Sure, I can still go for a walk – I just have to dress for the weather and grab an umbrella. Some fresh air would be wonderful, and the smell of rain is exhilarating.

Or, I can continue to sit inside and stare out the window. The choice is mine.

I try to remind myself that rain is necessary. It provides moisture and helps things grow. Sure, it may come at inconvenient times, but I certainly don’t have any control over that. I do have control over how I react.

Life has a tendency to throw us unexpected twists and turns. Personal upheavals. Losing a job. Health issues. Even surprises that aren’t considered to be bad can throw us for a loop. An unexpected success can also be stressful.

But that’s one of the things about life: if you’re active and engaged with the world around you, things happen. Sometimes it means changing our perspective, dealing with a situation we’ve been neglecting, or simply going outside and getting wet.

Now, please excuse me. I have to go for a walk.

McCauley Development Corporation Revamps Little Italy’s PIAZZA

From a community eyesore to the heart of Little Italy.

The PIAZZA currently. Katie Parent/AICRE Commercial

For years, McCauley community residents watched the PIAZZA (located at 10825 95th Street, Edmonton) attract less-than-desirable visitors to the area with adult-only venues. Concerned local business owners and McCauley residents, determined to change their neighbourhood for the better, joined together and purchased this corner-stone retail property in 2019. With the economy looking up, the McCauley Development Corporation is renewed in its vision of the PIAZZA “Becoming a destination experience in Edmonton where Old World Charm meets Urban Vibe.” The investors hope to see the PIAZZA turn into an open-air shopping and dining destination filled with local vendors who are enthusiastic about improving the communities they serve.

To attract the best businesses for the area, the McCauley Development group tasked AICRE Commercial, a local Edmonton boutique commercial real estate company, to procure the best tenants for the spaces available. “It is an honour to be a part of this process,” said Meadow Kenney, real estate agent at AICRE Commercial who is leading the project. “Witnessing the power and positive impact of the community spirit in action already making a visible shift to the vibe at this corner of Little Italy is truly special. I know that the next businesses that open their doors here will continue to create a positive impact while enjoying a high-traffic retail location and the support of this incredible network of local business owners.” Meadow and the team at AICRE Commercial are seeking community-minded tenants to be a part of The PIAZZA in Little Italy. Business uses of all sizes are welcome to apply to be a part of this exclusive retail opportunity.

For more information, contact Meadow Kenney at 780-271-4845 or

Katie Parent is the Marketing Manager with AICRE Commercial.

CEASE Marks 25 Years

Looking Back, Growing Forward: 25 Years of Community Engagement.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi presents CEASE Executive Director Kate Quinn with a certificate of congratulations on June 15th. Kim York

The organization known as the CEASE (an acronym for Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation) celebrated its 25th anniversary on June 15th. It grew from community residents mobilizing to address the harmful impacts of street prostitution and drug trade activity in central Edmonton neigbourhoods. This activity increased dramatically in the late ‘80s – early ‘90s with men cruising residential areas preying upon vulnerable children and adults and harassing residents. A key element of the community response was to keep the circle open, listen, and engage diverse voices and stakeholders. The multi-stakeholder committee included formerly exploited women, street outreach and safe house staff, parents whose daughters were on the street, community residents, business associations, police, crown prosecutors, and health professionals.

This community committee focused on short-term solutions and long-term strategies. A key question in the search for a short-term solution was to ask: what activity causes the most harm to the most people and what can we do about it? The answer was the activity of men cruising affected everyone in diverse ways. The action was increased enforcement and the creation of an Adult Alternatives Measures Program, now called the Sex Trade Offender Program. The Ministry of Justice decided that eligible offenders would pay a fee for the program that was equivalent to the fine. These funds were returned to the community because it was the community that had raised awareness of the multiple impacts of harm.

The core priorities were identified as poverty relief, counselling, bursaries, and public awareness. These priorities are still reflected in the CEASE strategies: Heal the Harm, Build for the Future, and Inspire Positive Change.

Community partners helped create CEASE and reflect the adage “it takes a village.” CEASE is grateful to e4c, Boyle McCauley Health Centre – Kindred House, Catholic Social Services, DECSA, REACH Edmonton, and many community partners who collaborate to provide wrap around supports to individuals for various stages of their life journeys.

Thanks to philanthropy and community donors, CEASE has been able to create and sustain these strategies. The Edmonton Community Foundation, the United Way of Alberta Capital Region, the Stollery Foundation, Taillefer Family Foundation, and many others invested in creating hopeful responses. Poverty-relief became the HOPE Fund – Help Others Prosper Equally. The HOPE fund helps with food security, bus tickets and bridging support. Thanks to an anonymous donor, CEASE was able to add one-on-one coaching and a comprehensive approach called HOPE Coordination.

“Build for the Future” became three streams. One is EMPOWER U: Building Confident Futures through financial literacy and matched savings. The second is Building Blocks for Families one-one-one support and system navigation. The third stream is the expansion of the bursary funds to include the CEASE Bursary at MacEwan, the Rachel’s Hope Fund at NorQuest, AWINITA Fund for Indigenous women, and the Blue Sky Bursary and funds from the ECF Eldon and Anne Foote Fund that can be used at any publicly-governed educational institution. “Heal the Harm” includes the Project STAR Victim Advocate program for those who have been victims of the crimes of sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes of violence.

Woven through all these years are the voices of those who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. These include staff and board members. People with lived experience provided input into creating a range of supportive programs that would truly assist people wherever they were on their journey.

The high cost of sexual exploitation is marked each year through the Annual August Memorial to remember all those who have died, whether through murder, suicide, overdose, or illness associated with discrimination, trauma, and poverty.

As CEASE marks 25 years of community engagement, the board, staff, and community members are reflecting on how CEASE can continue to contribute to realistic and positive change.

Kate Quinn is the Executive Director of CEASE. She lives in McCauley.

Youth-Focused Event Celebrates Chinese and Indigenous Heritage

Community members of different cultures taking part in a Round Dance on May 21st. Paula E. Kirman

On the long weekend of May 21-23, approximately 60 young people from Edmonton-area Chinese and Indigenous communities gathered to get to know each other better and to jointly address issues that both groups face as marginalized people. The event was organized by the Chinese Benevolent Association Youth Council and the Enoch Youth Advisory Council.

On the Saturday, an outdoor festival included a Round Dance and cultural performances at Kinistinâw Park. Sunday featured conference sessions and interactive theatre with participants at the Edmonton Chinatown Multicultural Centre. Action planning happened at ASSIST Community Services Centre on the Monday. All of the event venues were within Chinatown on Treaty 6 land.

The Sunday agenda included two panel discussions. One featured representatives of the Chinese and Indigenous communities speaking about their cultural similarities and differences, and how they might work together to deal with racism and intergenerational trauma. Legislation against their communities is an example of shared experience. The Indian Act of 1876 aimed to assimilate First Nations people, and the Chinese Immigration Acts of 1885 (the head tax) and 1923 (exclusion policy) tried to keep Chinese people from coming to Canada.

Panelists talked about their communities’ efforts to revive their cultures and language, particularly in the case of Indigenous people. “We are still here,” said Dreydon Thomas, a member of the Enoch Youth Advisory Council.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

New Volunteer Position: Newspaper Box Technician

Newspaper box at Boyle Street Plaza. File Photo

Are you handy? Do you like fixing things? Do you have your own tools? Would you like to share your gift of making small repairs with the community? If the answer is yes, Boyle McCauley News has a new volunteer opportunity that might be a great fit.

We are looking for someone who will visit our five newspaper boxes approximately once a month to check on them and make minor repairs as needed.

Our newspaper boxes are located at:

  • 10844 95 Street (near Sorrentino’s)
  • 86 Street & Jasper Avenue (by Riverside Towers)
  • Boyle Street Plaza (by main entrance)
  • 97 Street & 103 Avenue (near Farmers Market)
  • 97 Street & 107 Avenue (near Lucky 97)

You must be able to visit the boxes approximately once per month: any time during a non-publishing month at your convenience, and shortly before we distribute a print issue (issues are scheduled for distribution on the first of February, April, June, August, October, and December). Using your own tools, you will make minor repairs to the boxes as needed (such as fixing bent door hinges, putting the inside shelf back in place if it has fallen, removing any garbage thrown into the boxes . . . ). You will report back to the volunteer coordinators as to the state of the boxes and if they need more papers.

Our volunteers are invited to our volunteer appreciation events and get other cool perks (like having your name in the paper). If you are interested, email

Italian Heritage Month Café Readings

Celebrating Italian Heritage Month

Event: Italian Heritage Month Café Readings
Time & Date: 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Location: Spinelli Bar Italia, Little Italy, 10878 – 95 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta
Description: To celebrate the contributions of generations of Italian immigrants and their descendants during June – Italian Heritage Month – please plan to attend a reading showcasing the work of local writers Lynda Celentano, Adriana Davies, Caterina Edwards, Marco Melfi, Emma and Joe Pivato, and Vivian Zenari.

Sponsor: The event will be sponsored by Teresa Spinelli, owner and CEO of the Italian Centre Shop chain, in the Little Italy store established in the 1950s by her father, Frank Spinelli. Drink an espresso or cappuccino; eat biscotti; and experience the worlds created in prose or poetry by these gifted writers.

Author Bios:
Lynda Celentano is an emerging author and screenwriter whose stories are based on her Italian heritage and family. In 2018, the Edmonton Public Library featured her short story, “The Crease,” in their Emerging Writer’s Showcase, and in 2022, Capital City Press will be including her piece, “The Power of Seven,” in their second online anthology.

Adriana A. Davies received an Order of Canada, an Italian knighthood and Heritage Writers Reserve Award from the Edmonton Heritage Council. Publications include From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor; The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello; The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War; From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History; and the poetry collection My Heart Laid Bare.

Caterina Edwards has published six books, and several have been shortlisted or won awards, while her novel The Sicilian Wife was a National Post Best Book of 2015. It was the Italian edition of Finding Rosa: A Mother with Alzheimer’s/A Daughter in Search of the Past that has garnered the most praise and media attention. In 2016, Caterina was inducted into the City of Edmonton’s Cultural Hall of Fame.

*Marco Melfi* has had poems published in The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Funicular, and FreeFall, and he was the recipient of The Fiddlehead’s 2021 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Contest. His chapbook, In between trains, was published in 2014.

Emma Pivato has three degrees from the University of Alberta, and has worked as a psychologist in Edmonton and Toronto, and as an academic. She has published nine mystery novels (the Claire Burke Series) and a memoir, _And Along Came Alexis_.

Joseph Pivato was a professor of literature at Athabasca University and has published eleven books, six of which were devoted to Italian-Canadian writers such as Mary di Michele and Caterina Edwards. He placed them in a context of comparative literature in English, French and Italian, and has been at the forefront of advocacy for multiculturalism in CanLit.

Vivian Zenari’s first novel, Deuce, will be published in summer 2022 by Inanna Publications. Her poetry and prose have appeared in periodicals in Canada and the US. She teaches literature and writing at Athabasca University.

Heading Into the Summer

Dear friends,

As we move into June, I am loving the warmer weather, the sunshine, and the beautiful greenery all around us. It’s been another challenging spring for so many, but I know that it’s lightened my load to see the ways that our neighbours have continued to connect with and support each other.

We’re approaching the end of the school year, and I want to offer congratulations to all the students, teachers, and other school staff who work or live in our communities of Boyle Street and McCauley.

To students: whether you’re graduating, moving on to junior high or high school, or simply wrapping up one school year and preparing for the next, please know that I’m so proud of all you have accomplished this year! I know that things have felt a bit strange and uncertain at times, but you have all continued to do your very best, and that’s well worth celebrating.

To teachers and school staff: I’m so proud of all of you, too. Once again, you have put forward incredible efforts to support your students in a very challenging time. Please know that I see you, I hear you, and I will continue to work to make sure your voices are heard.

I hope that everyone enjoys a safe, fun, and relaxing summer! I’m looking forward to joining you at some of the seemingly countless festivals, barbecues, and other gatherings in our wonderful communities this summer. As we reconnect, I know that we’ll continue to do our very best to support our neighbours and to keep each other safe – this is one of the many reasons I’m so proud of our community.

The Legislature will likely be on summer recess by the time you read this, but please be assured that I am continuing to fight for our communities and advocate for much-needed supports. Please don’t hesitate to contact our constituency office. As always, we’d love to hear from you.

Take care of yourselves, and each other.

Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-
Phone: 780-414-0682
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Constituency Office: 6519 112 Ave. NW

More Than A Soccer Program

McCauley Kids Soccer Program offers fitness, fun, and friendship.

The young players who attended the indoor soccer season wrap-up on May 1st, along with coach Allan Suarez. Jacob Kos

From September of 2021 to May of 2022, the McCauley Kids Indoor Soccer Program ran almost every Saturday and Sunday at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) gym. With over 40 youth participating in the program, the EIC gym and connected hallway were filled with the sounds of soccer balls flying, kids laughing, and parents and peers cheering everyone on.

Youth, ranging from 4 to 11 years old with diverse skill levels, honed their soccer skills week after week thanks to the amazing coaching abilities of Allan Suarez. Allan, the lead visionary of the program, worked with parent volunteers and the McCauley Community League (MCL) to design and offer this inclusive soccer program focusing on physical literacy and leadership. With the support of other partners, such as the Italian Centre and the City of Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Revitalization, nutritious snacks were also provided to help fuel the athletes during the program. When not playing soccer or cheering on their peers, youth took breaks from the action by making crafts, playing a parent-run activity, and making new friends within the community.

At the end of the indoor soccer season, a party was held on May 1 to celebrate the accomplishments of the youth who participated in this amazing community program. In addition to a game of soccer and team photos, piñatas, balloon animals, party games, and junk food made for a fun end-of-the-session party. This party was so much fun that one soccer player, seven-year-old Lazarus Jujjuvarapu, even deemed it “the best day of my life.”

Although the indoor season is over, soccer is not! The McCauley Kids Soccer Program started the outdoor season at the end of May at Giovanni Caboto Park. Make sure to check out the MCL at for more details.

A special thank you to all the parents, volunteers, community partners, and kids who assisted in providing such a positive experience and environment.

_Krista, who lives in the McCauley community with her family, volunteers with the McCauley Kids Soccer Program. She enjoys getting to know the youth in the community and connecting with their families._ 

Choose Chinatown YEG

A love letter to an Edmonton icon.

Architecturally and culturally diverse, Edmonton’s Chinatown Business Improvement Area (BIA) is home to approximately 120 businesses in operation – most of which are local and family-owned. Approximately one-third of these businesses are restaurants that serve nutritious, inexpensive, delicious food. There’s an array of cuisine to choose from, whether you want Hot Pot, BBQ, Vietnamese, Dim Sum, Filipino, Thai, Korean, African, South Asian, or Japanese (and the list goes on!).

Chinatown YEG also offers fresh, reasonably-priced grocery food, a Greek deli (the nearby Omonia Foods Import at 10605 101 Street), and a wholesale vegetarian grocer who makes fresh tofu and soy proteins (Ying Fat Foods Ltd. at 10512 98 Street). Like their Alberta Avenue neighbours to the north, Chinatown features local bakeries and butcher shops, including halal options. Chinatown also hosts a wide range of health services, such as pharmacies and Chinese traditional herb stores, western medical clinics, and acupuncture/traditional Chinese medicine.

The wide selection of products and services offered in Chinatown (along with Little Italy and Alberta Avenue) are expressions of the culturally-rich communities in which we live – and provide many opportunities to support local businesses who need our patronage more than ever before. While the economic effects of COVID-19 have been felt across the city, Edmonton’s core neighbourhoods have been additionally impacted by recurring incidents of property damage (such as fires and break-ins).

According to the Chinatown Business Association, many smaller business owners within or near the BIA have experienced so many repeat occurrences of property damage that they’re no longer allowed to access insurance funds to cover repairs. These expenses (in addition to extra costs for cleaning and security measures in the space) are difficult to shoulder after the two-year loss of revenue caused by the pandemic. Many fear that more of these family businesses will close their doors if they do not receive increased support, that Chinatown will disappear, and that Edmonton will lose an iconic part of its identity and history.

As life opens back up from COVID-19, I humbly ask readers to offer your support for Chinatown by regularly shopping at Chinatown stores and ordering from Chinatown restaurants (if you have the means). A big part of why I’ve lived in the area for 16 years is because there’s a community spirit of looking out for each other. I believe we can keep helping one another and show our Chinatown neighbours some love.

Brandy Basisty is Program Coordinator with the Neighbourhood Organizing Initiative at REACH Edmonton. She lives in the Alberta Avenue district.

An Important Milestone in the Project 10 Initiative

The demolition of 10 problem properties.

A 3D rendering of the house that will be ready for sale in June. Supplied by the ECDC

The Edmonton Community Development Company (ECDC) has reached its goal of 10 problem properties for their Project 10 initiative.

Anna Bubel, a long-time resident of McCauley and researcher for ECDC, assisted in acquiring these properties through community networking. In 2018, through conversations with McCauley and Alberta Avenue community members, ECDC discovered derelict properties were their most significant pain point. Neighbours were exposed to drug activities, risk of fires, and decreased property values.

The ECDC decided to make Project 10 a priority and set a goal to acquire and demolish 10 problem properties in Edmonton’s core neighbourhoods and build new homes for families to purchase. However, purchasing these properties was not an easy task. Properties rarely come on sale in the open market. Bubel said, “Acquisition has been difficult. There are hundreds of potential inventories that are not listed, so it’s not a straightforward process.” Some owners hold on to their property, thinking it will increase in value, leaving it abandoned for many years.

Project 10 was a proof of concept for ECDC. The organization performed a study on the socio-economic costs of problem properties and recognized the urgency of its revitalization efforts. Bubel says, “we cannot stop with 10 properties; we need to be relentless with getting these properties torn down.” Ten properties are just the beginning.

Seeing a derelict property torn down gives residents hope for a vibrant future. There is a lot of work to be done between purchasing, demolition, and selling a property. The drawn-out process can make it feel like change is out of reach. However, it was a moment to celebrate on April 29th during a walk-through of the first ECDC property, which will be ready for the market in June. Bubel says, “I’m really proud. I know this really makes a difference.”

Erica Marie is a content writer for the ECDC.

The EIC Initiative

Fostering a community of love, support, and care.

The Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) is a community full of love, caring, and support. In this and future articles, we endeavour to inform readers of the non-profit organizations operating in the EIC facility and to continue to bring light to their many good deeds.

As a system of service and various advocacies, the Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) now hosts 13 non-profit organizations in converted office spaces throughout the historic 1912 McCauley School building in the heart of the McCauley community. Some refer to it as “the old brick building on 107th Avenue” usually followed by asking, “What goes on there?” or commenting, “I thought that place was closed.” Actually, it’s so alive, it has a heartbeat!

The EIC provides these organizations an avenue to raise awareness and offer intercultural sharing and learning, inclusion, and anti-racism through art, education, research, and recreation. Our member tenants share an atmosphere of a dynamic micro-community made of diverse sectors with the same goal: Intercultural Engagement.

Food for All!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op (MCHB), in partnership with the Edmonton Food Bank, Leftovers Edmonton, and Multicultural Family Resource Society (MFRS), saw the demand for food security increase by nearly 500 percent. MCHB had to rapidly expand its existing Food Distribution/Grocery Run Program to look after and serve their unique and diverse communities. This program is now consistently and efficiently providing over 3,200 individuals with weekly, essential food hampers.

This organization aims not only to provide food, but also to distribute nutritious and culturally-relevant items to members of ethnocultural communities who are dealing with chronic poverty. The demand for programs like this rose during the pandemic when more than 550 families found themselves in crisis due to an increased need for medical care and support, reduced work hours, and loss of employment. MCHB aims to reach more families as they bounce back from these times.

Culturally-Responsive Early Learning and Child Care

Aside from food, education is a basic need of all individuals, especially children. Intercultural Child and Family Centre (ICFC) strives to nurture children by offering child care with a socially-responsible and progressive attitude.

This organization provides a vibrant learning community that shares knowledge about traditions, food, language, and daily practices. ICFC is led by certified educators and trained professionals who continuously engage in child care education and professional development. They also conduct research on cultural diversity, cultural identity, and multicultural childhood assessments.

Information provided by the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

Free Books for Kids Under Five

Boyle Street and McCauley residents qualify for Ready. Set. READ! program with EPL and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Newborn Madeleine Reiniger, now seven, curls up next to some of her first picture books. Joelle Reiniger

My husband and I began reading to our kids from an early age – a very early age. In fact, I packed their first picture books in my overnight bag when we left for the hospital as expectant parents.

We introduced our eldest daughter to Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, before we had registered her name. Two years later, we rocked our second daughter to sleep with I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch before the sun set on her first day. As infants, they couldn’t understand the words or make sense of the images, but we wanted to make sharing books a part of their lives from Day One.

While we were probably more eager to get started than most new parents, it’s never too early to begin reading with the littlest people in our lives. It strengthens the bond between caregiver and child, makes memories, and sets the foundation for early literacy and language development. For these reasons, I was thrilled to learn that both Boyle Street and McCauley are among the 13 neighbourhoods that qualify for Ready. Set. READ!, a partnership between Edmonton Public Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Ready. Set. READ! is a free monthly picture book subscription for children under five. The books arrive by mail and are tailored to children’s developmental needs at each age. The program is funded by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and community donations, with qualifying neighbourhoods chosen based on census statistics and other data. If fundraising targets are exceeded, the program will expand to include more local neighbourhoods. When a neighbourhood is selected, all families with postal codes within its boundaries are eligible to receive their free book subscription.

To apply for your Ready. Set. READ! subscription or to make a donation, visit Paper application forms are available at any EPL branch.

Joelle Reiniger is a resident of Boyle Street and the proud mother of two young bookworms.

The Aviary: A Big Year On the Horizon

The Muz brothers are making an investment in the arts and in the community with their venue.

Philip (left) and Mark Muz. Corine Demas

The Aviary is a venue located in the old “Tiffany’s Bird Shop” on Norwood Avenue at 9314 111 Avenue. Online reviews rave about the eclectic live events including music, art, and spoken word, as well as the incredible staff, selection of drinks, and cozy atmosphere.

When Philip Muz, one of The Aviary’s co-owners along with his brother Mark, was evicted from his previous venue, The Artery, by the City of Edmonton in March of 2015, he had no place to hold live music shows. “I really enjoy doing this kind of work, so it seemed that this was the next step,” he says. “We could continue providing a space for live music and art here. I was very aware of this building and had been in it a few times as a kid. I had this distrust of commercial landlords and we had no success finding a venue anywhere in the downtown core. We saw this place for sale. We liked the whole appeal of owning the property. We wanted to show the community that we were making a real investment in the arts and the community. We are not some flash in the pan.”

Muz says his biggest challenge with running a live music and arts venue in this area is the parking ban due to its proximity to the Commonwealth Stadium. He hopes there is a solution that can be made with the City. “We simply cannot be open when there is a parking ban. We do live entertainment here and most of the acts are touring acts. They come with big vans and trailers and buses and they need to park out front. If there is a parking ban I have to send them three or four blocks away. And anyone who wants to come to the show can’t park. Though most of our patrons take transit, bike, and Uber, not having the option to park is really hard. That is my biggest challenge by a country mile,” he says.

In the future, Muz plans to revamp a festival he held four times before the pandemic, most recently in 2019, called, “Groovy Times.” “It’s a very eclectic, genre-diverse music, art, and poetry festival.” A number of other notable shows are on the horizon.

“It’s going to be a really big year and it’s going to be busy. We will be open a lot,” says Muz, who describes The Aviary as “an accessible, easygoing, diverse venue. There is a little bit of something for everybody here. We try to be a safer space and try to be as inclusive as possible.”

You can get info on upcoming events and buy tickets on The Aviary’s website Be sure to check out this local establishment which supports the arts community here in Edmonton.

Corine Demas is the president of the Heart of the City Festival. She lives in McCauley.

If Only June Were Forever

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” (Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian author, 1874-1942)

I refer to June as the halfway mark. It is the sixth month out of the full twelve of the year. The beginning of summer is on Tuesday, June 21st (at 3:14 a.m. MST, to be exact). School will be winding down, while patios and outdoor markets will abound and daylight will be longer. What a gift you are, June.

Fun fact: June used to be the fourth month of the year in the original Roman calendar, before the Julian Calendar was created!

In addition to June 21 being the summer solstice, it is also National Indigenous Peoples Day. Another important date coming up in June of 2022 is Father’s Day on June 19th, which is a day to recognize fathers or father figures.

My favourite, of course, is International Picnic Day! It is celebrated on June 18th this year. However, any day can be Picnic Day. Just pack up a picnic basket, or go grab some items from a local shop, and head to Giovanni Caboto Park.

Happy Summer – celebrate the sunshine!

Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.

YEG Chinatown Now Tour, Part Two

The 1980s to the present day.

A video still from Chinatown Tour with Lan. Lan Chan-Marples is pictured in the centre pointing towards Canada Place. Fallout Media

Lan Chan-Marples, a well-known member of the Chinese community, recently led a fascinating and informative tour of Edmonton’s Chinatown. What follows is a brief summary of the second part of the tour. (The first part was described in the April-May 2022 issue of Boyle McCauley News_.)_

In the early 1980s, the federal government built its regional office, Canada Place, on the spot where Edmonton’s Chinatown had existed for almost a century.

In response to this dramatic change, the Chinese community launched several construction projects nearby: a mall that included a 600-seat restaurant for special events and dim sum, a multicultural centre, seniors’ housing, and association buildings. In 1987 in cooperation with Harbin, Edmonton’s sister city in China, the Harbin Gate was erected on 97th Street and 102nd Avenue.

It soon became evident that the property taxes in the area were too high for small retail businesses to pay. Only two remain: Double Greeting Won Ton House and United Grocers. Other businesses moved north on 97th Street, in the area of 107th Avenue. These included restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, herbal stores, and a Chinese newspaper. The result is two Chinatowns – South and North. And North Chinatown is a blend of various cultures, including Korean, Vietnamese, Italian, and African.

Chan-Marples describes the story of Edmonton Chinatown as a “long history of tension and fighting a strong wind.” The community was renamed The Quarters, which she says is “an erasure of Chinese history.” Another blow was the removal of the Harbin Gate in 2017 to accommodate LRT construction. There are promises of its reconstruction in another location but nothing has happened to date. Also, the LRT track runs through the South Chinatown corridor.

Development of the Ice District has created parking restrictions in Chinatown North that affect businesses, some of which have been displaced and have moved further north. Chan-Marples cites other social issues affecting the area, including the increase in houselessness with the opening of several supervised injection sites. Finally, the pandemic has created great difficulty for Chinatown businesses, resulting in many closing or moving out of the area.

“The City’s decisions may be unintentional,” Chan-Marples says. The City’s plan does include mention of developing a Chinatown tourist district. As always, the Chinese community itself is moving ahead with increasing awareness of this special part of Edmonton – “making it the best it can be,” Chan-Marples says.

This tour of Edmonton’s Chinatown, produced by aiya哎呀! and Fallout Media, is available on STORYHIVE’s “YouTube channel”: The tour leader, Lan Chan-Marples, is a Chinatown advocate who has been researching, writing, and telling the story of Edmonton’s Chinatown past and present. She is a member of aiya哎呀! – an intergenerational group of artists and community members in Edmonton’s Chinatown.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Founder of THE nook CAFE Still Standing

Lynsae Moon at THE nook CAFE’s booth at the Downtown Farmers Market. Paula E. Kirman

Updated June 9th, 2022: THE Nook CAFE posted this message on their social media on June 9th:

It is with a bittersweet feeling we announce that this weekend’s offerings @yegdtmarket [June 11-12] will be our last service for the foreseeable future. Not forever but for a while. We have decided to take the next few months off to rest, recoup, and regroup so we can see what might come next for us. (More on this soon).

In November of 2021, THE nook CAFE, a vendor of great baked goods, became a feature of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market. Their window-front booth is tucked to the right near the 97th Street entrance.

Most weekends, co-owner Lynsae Moon is behind the counter, not just promoting her products but also charming the customers. All of the market vendors are charming but this one has a slight edge. Perhaps it’s because of her remarkable history in the downtown coffee shop/restaurant scene.

In June of 2017, Moon opened a unique establishment called THE nook CAFE just south of the market on 101A Avenue. Her unique and clear vision, along with her boundless energy, inspired Edify magazine to name her a Top 40 Under 40 in their class of 2021.

Moon’s goal, as described on THE nook CAFE’s website (, is “to build community by inviting closeness through a space of warmth and belonging.” The definition of “community” is wide-ranging. The definition of “community” is wide-ranging. For example, Moon adopted a pay-it-forward suspended coffee program, inviting people to purchase buttons to be kept in a jar and used by anyone who needed to redeem them for food and drink. She welcomed underprivileged people to patronize the cafe along with the artsy people who like this sort of place and the traditional business crowd like federal government workers from Canada Place located across the street.

Sadly, three and half years after opening, adversity and challenges came in waves. First there was the ongoing pandemic and then a major construction project that removed easy access to the cafe and use of the patio. There were complications related to the provincial government’s rent and employee subsidies to address the pandemic, and ongoing difficulty negotiating with the landlord. It was a recipe for bankruptcy, but as Moon puts it, “I am still standing.”

Moon pivoted to farmers market venues. First, she had an outdoor booth at the 124 Grand Market. Then, she moved to the downtown market booth, baking the items for sale in THE nook CAFE’s original premises. But this space will not be available after the lease expires in June, so she is looking for a new baking site and perhaps a new cafe location.

Moon continues to passionately embrace her original goals, which include “to build but not gentrify.” She says, “A cafe is reminiscent of a daytime bar, a place where people come to decompress, meet friends, and be social. It becomes a part of people’s rituals.”

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

Felice Café Opens in Boyle Street

The exterior of Felice Café. Leif Gregersen

Felice Café and market opened at Stadium Yards (10930 84 Street) on April 25. This new business serves drinks and treats, and offers local vendors a market where they can sell their products for a monthly fee. The 3,100-square-feet space has 35 seats, and two patios were just built outside and are almost ready to open. The business is applying for a liquor license and is planning to offer evening entertainment.

The owners are excited to offer a community-oriented gathering spot. Their focus is on the residents of the Stadium Yards rental apartments where the café is located. However, the café will likely also attract people who live nearby – there are six highrise apartments within a few minutes’ walk. Other patrons could be people who use the Stadium LRT Station and the Commonwealth Recreation Centre.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

June-July 2022

Hello dear readers! I have some wonderful news to share: our casino in April took place thanks to the efforts of many volunteers under the direction of our Volunteer Coordinator, Colleen Chapman. Long-term sustainability is our goal, and we will continue our ongoing fundraising efforts like Toss Us Your Toonies. Learn more at:

There are also ways to support Boyle McCauley News that don’t cost anything, such as following us, liking our posts, and sharing our content on social media. We’re on Facebook and Twitter, and @bmcviews on Instagram. We also have a free e-newsletter that you can sign up for at our website:

If you love reading the paper and want to be a part of helping it thrive, consider becoming a member of the Boyle Street McCauley Community Newspaper Society, the non-profit organization that publishes the paper. Members help build our numbers and receive occasional updates – and it’s free to join. You can apply for membership at

Finally, you can volunteer with us. We always need contributors and people to deliver the paper in McCauley and Boyle Street. Contact me at for more information. Take care, and enjoy the June-July issue!

Power to the People

I am sitting down to write these words a few days after participating in Edmonton’s first May Day march since 2019. International Workers’ Day (as it is also called) on May 1st celebrates workers and the labour movement, while also advocating for the rights of the working class. One of my favourite chants is, “The people united will never be defeated.”

When people of like mind work together for a common struggle, there is no telling what can be accomplished. I see it here in Boyle Street and McCauley, how neighbours band together to do everything from dealing with social issues to planning exciting events that activate and amplify the area. I expect that it will be an exciting summer in the area. In fact, by the time many of you read this, the Heart of the City Festival will have taken place in Caboto Park for the first time since the 2019 edition.

The fact that so much happens and gets done in the area due to the efforts of volunteers is incredible. Even this newspaper that you are currently reading would not exist without the involvement of volunteers in all stages of its production and distribution.

I am involved in a number of other communities in the city. The level of citizen engagement in Boyle Street and McCauley is among the highest I have witnessed. Other areas should pay attention and take note.

A neighbourhood is defined by its geographic boundaries. A community is defined by the people who live and contribute there. Power to the people who work hard to transform and enhance their communities.

Heart of the City: Poets and Storytellers Wanted

Dan Taylor performing comedy at the Beat Stage in 2019. Corine Demas

Heart of the City Festival seeks poets and Story-Tellers for our return to Giovanni Caboto Park Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th. Please email us at to register for the following events.

Saturday, June 4th
Giovanni Caboto Park

Community Poetry
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Poets will be given prompts at the beginning of the event and time to write. Then, they can read up to three poems in our open stage. Novices and unknown poets are highly recommended to come to this session! We welcome you to share original poetry or to share a poem that inspires or moves you that you didn’t write.

Awakening Poetry
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Join our host KazMega and featured readers Naomi McIlwraith, K’alli, and Sage Giroux as they read poetry al fresco!
Poets will be given up to three poems or five minutes to share original poetry at our open stage.

*Sunday, June 5th
Giovanni Caboto Park*

Youth Workshop
1 to 2 p.m.

Our workshop leaders Farah and Stef will be giving youth poets prompts and the opportunity to write their own poetry.

Youth Shout Out!
2 to 3:30 p.m.

Featuring poets under the age of 27. Join our featured readers Mikayla Bortscher and Megan Eaker. We will also be having an open stage where young poets will be given five minutes to read the poetry they wrote in the workshop or poems they have written ahead of time.

The Beat Spoken Word Stage’s 5th annual Story Slam
4 to 5:30 p.m.

Edmonton Storytellers of all ages and skill levels will be given five minutes to wow our judges with a family-friendly story. (The story doesn’t need to be for kids, but as there may be children present it must be free of profanity, overt sexuality, drug use, and violence.) The prize is $200.

Email to register for all events.

A Tribute to Bill Bourne (March 28th, 1954 - April 16th, 2022)

Bill Bourne performing on the music main stage at the 2018 Heart of the City Festival. Paula E. Kirman

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Bill Bourne died on April 16th following a long battle with bladder cancer. He had recently turned 68. Upon the news of his death, his Facebook page was flooded with memories from hundreds of friends, fans, and fellow musicians.

Known for his fingerstyle guitar picking and distinctive vocals, Bourne traversed the musical genres of folk, country, and blues through his solo work and numerous collaborations. He was nominated for and received numerous Juno awards, and was respected and admired for his generosity, professionalism, and down-to-earth nature. Bill Bourne often mentored and encouraged emerging musicians, and lived a relatively private life when he wasn’t touring.

Bourne lived in McCauley for a time and could often be found having coffee at Spinelli’s. He taught free guitar lessons for young people through the Boyle Street Community League at one point, and he often performed at numerous events and venues in the area – including the Heart of the City Festival.

In 2018, the Heart of the City Festival decided to give musicians and songwriters the opportunity to be mentored by a seasoned musician. Bill Bourne was an obvious choice as mentor for this program. He chose to work with Wendy Gregson and Renee McLachlan. The duo met with him for three sessions and wrote a song called “Ancient Rhythm” which they played in a windstorm on the main stage at Heart of the City that year.

Bourne had difficulty choosing who to work with for the mentorship program as he felt that all the candidates were worthy. In his typically generous way, Bourne gave each of the applicants the opportunity to spend two hours with him. Ten bands and solo artists took him up on his offer. Bourne told the musicians that finding interesting and new rhythms was key. He also advised that once a songwriter has gotten a song polished and has performed it, they should immediately record it and move on to the next song.

For Bill Bourne, music and spirituality were connected. Throughout these meetings, he spoke about how mystical music is and how one can express spirituality through music.

In his obituary, people were asked not to weep, but “to love each other, and dance and celebrate” – the latter request referring to one of Bourne’s most famous songs. His music will live on as his legacy, with its messages of peace, love, and kindness that he shared so freely.

Corine Demas is the President of the Heart of the City Festival. Paula E. Kirman, when she is not editing Boyle McCauley News, is a musician who had the privilege of working with Bill Bourne for a number of performances and projects.

Relocation of Boyle Street Community Services to McCauley Met with Concerns: Survey

BSCS will be moving into this building once it is renovated. The building formerly housed an indoor paintball centre and numerous non-profit organizations. Leif Gregersen

An informal survey conducted in March reveals that a number of residents in McCauley are concerned about Boyle Street Community Services moving into the neighbourhood.

The results were compiled from the 187 people who responded to the survey, most of who live and work in McCauley. Anna Bubel, an area resident and one of the volunteers behind the survey, posted the following summary in a McCauley neighbourhood Facebook group on April 19:

  • 53% opposed the relocation unconditionally
  • 28% might support the relocation if stringent conditions are met
  • 19% supported the relocation unconditionally

Those opposed want

  • A policy to limit the concentration of social services in McCauley (88%)
  • City Council to reject the development permit or rezoning application (83%)
  • Inform Boyle Street Community Services of these results (81%)

Those who might support the relocation want

  • A legally binding good neighbour agreement (73%)
  • Community representation on the Boyle Street Community Services’ Board of Directors (67%)

Those who support the relocation outright believe an upgraded building will better serve those in need.

Over 3/4 of respondents were concerned or very concerned about the concentration of social service agencies in McCauley.

Elliott Tanti, spokesperson for Boyle Street Community Services, responded to the survey results with the following statement: “Boyle Street has been a member of the community and providing services for over 50 years. Unfortunately, our current location is in a terrible state and quite literally crumbling. This new location is a relocation of our existing service complement just two blocks from our existing facility and will not increase services provided in the area. Boyle Street is committed to a meaningful and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders including local residents, businesses, community groups and BIAs. To date, over 50 conversations have been had with various stakeholders and groups directly impacted by the project with more planned in the near future and throughout the construction phase.”

The McCauley Community League was also provided with the survey results. “BSCS’s proposed relocation is something that has garnered a lot of conversation in and around the neighbourhood. The MCL Board feels our role is to encourage discourse, and to promote and/or facilitate engagement opportunities to McCauley residents and stakeholders,” says Alice Kos, President of the McCauley Community League on behalf of the MCL board.

Boyle Street Community Services has existed for over 50 years and has been in its current location since 1996. It will be moving to 10010 107A Avenue in summer of fall of 2023, once renovations at the building are complete.

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