Bronwyn Neufeld (left) has been a day camp leader and aquatics instructor. Eilysh Zurock has worked as an archivist assistant at a museum. Catherine Miller
When you were out and about in Boyle Street this summer, did you meet a young woman with a camera who wanted to talk to you? If so, we hope you cooperated!
The Boyle Street Community League’s two summer program assistants, Bronwyn Neufeld and Eilysh Zurock (both students at the University of Alberta), enthusiastically took on a project called the Heart of Boyle Street. Their task was to interview and take photos of people who live and work in the community. The goal was to document and share people’s stories and voices, thereby showcasing the eclectic and diverse spirit of the neighbourhood.
Zurock says she and Neufeld were looking to include a variety of different people. “We didn’t wish to exploit anyone or [on the other hand] to suggest that Boyle Street is perfect.”
In early August, Zurock and Neufeld had done almost 40 interviews and photos. This significant number is indicative of their persistence, since some people decline because of privacy concerns or for other reasons.
The summer program assistants, funded via Canada Summer Jobs, are also laying the groundwork for future community league projects. “We were hired to develop programs and organize events that will be sustainable after our time with the BSCL,” Zurock says. For example, something they call Flash Mob would involve setting up a camera library and camera club. Cameras would be loaned to club members to take photos on a theme relevant to the area.
Neufeld is also working on setting up a running club for the League. We asked her about choosing the BSCL summer job instead of one more closely related to her plans to become an engineer. Her reply: “It’s important to try different things and get a broad perspective. I also like this job because it is self-directed.”
Zurock has similar comments. She is interested in human geography, that is, the study of the interaction between human beings and their environment. So, even though she is studying business (with a minor in human geography), she wants to equip herself with a broad knowledge base.
Both Neufeld and Zurock have impressive backgrounds in volunteering and community service. The BSCL was fortunate to have their assistance this summer.