Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • October 2020 • Circulation 5000

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Safer McCauley: What it Takes to Keep McCauley Clean

Cleanliness is an ongoing challenge in McCauley. Removing litter and illegally dumped junk from the neighbourhood is a big task. But with contributions from an array of people, our community is tackling the challenge. And we’re beginning to fully understand what it takes to keep McCauley clean.

McCauley Apartments and E4C are the veterans of neighbourhood clean-up in McCauley. With support from the McCauley Community League (MCL), they have facilitated the Annual McCauley Community Clean-Up that many of us have benefitted from for years. More than just a generous free service, the clean-ups have been community-building events. Unfortunately, due to COVID, a traditional event could not take place this year. Adaptations were made to reduce the risk of exposure. The results saw McCauley Apartments, E4C, Boyle Street Ventures (BSV), McCauley Revitalization, and Safer McCauley all playing roles.

McCauley Clean-Ups took place in both June and September this year, promoted via social media, email, and flyers. Forty-two large truckloads of illegally dumped junk and unwanted large items were removed from households and businesses free of charge.

To arrange for the removal of illegally dumped junk from your property throughout the year, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca.

Neighbourhood volunteers play a huge role in keeping McCauley clean. Over the past two years, neighbours have come together for one-hour Litter Blitzes, with Litter Kits provided by the City of Edmonton’s Capital City Clean Up (CCCU). This year, three socially-distanced events took place between April and September.

September 19th’s Litter Blitz coincided with both World Cleanup Day and Community League Day. Thirty volunteers included MLA Janis Irwin and representation from the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Committee, McCauley Apartments, Better Environments, and the Edmonton John Howard Society. Over the past six events, 120 people have cleaned up 98 bags of litter. And with 96 Litter Kits finding their way into households, individuals are frequently seen cleaning up wherever and whenever they choose.

If your household or business requires a free Litter Kit and/or sharps container, please contact Mark Davis at Mark.Davis@reachedmonton.ca.

Social enterprises are playing an increasingly important role in the promotion of cleanliness in McCauley. Through a recent agreement with CCCU, McCauley Revitalization, and the Chinatown and Area Business Association, Mustard SeedWorks is currently providing 42 hours/week of litter and needle clean-up in Chinatown and broader McCauley. Over the past four months, SeedWorks has removed 331 bags of litter and 995 stray needles from our streets, alleys, and green spaces.

Boyle Street Ventures (BSV) is being contracted to remove large items from McCauley – both throughout the year and as part of McCauley Clean-Ups. This social enterprise also offers other services, such as regular sweeps of McCauley alleys for litter and needles, and pressure washing in the Chinatown BIA. They are also the first organization to offer clean-up of needle debris on both public and private property throughout Edmonton.

To report stray needles on public property, call 311. To request free clean-up of needles on private and/or public property, call BSV at 780-426-0500 .

McCauley is visibly better off. Efforts are being tracked closely, and a clearer picture of the extra resources it takes to keep McCauley clean is emerging.

Mark is REACH Edmonton’s Neighbourhoods Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca.

Anawim Place Food Bank is Open for Business

I dropped by Anawim Place Food Bank in mid-October to see how they were doing. Very impressive!

Anawim operates every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at 10650 95 Street (the building north of Neumann Plumbing). Sister Estela, Father Jim, and their wonderful, dedicated volunteers greet people and process their food orders. By the time a client has seen the third person in the process, their order is ready and they can leave with their food.

If you can, please donate to Edmonton’s Food Bank, which delivers each week to Anawim. And, if you need help, please go to see them. You will be warmly welcomed.

Colleen is Boyle McCauley News’ Volunteer Coordinator. She lives in McCauley.

Post Pandemic = Restructuring

To say this year has been transitional and full of adjustments is an understatement. We all know how tough this past year has been and how many plans, routines, vacations, and events have had to be adjusted, postponed, or cancelled.

The McCauley Community League has also fallen victim to 2020’s villain, the Coronovirus. We have had a quiet year with many changes and adjustments. Among these changes have been board members who have either resigned or moved away, leaving us with a few bodies to carry over the league’s existence for the remaining months ahead.

As this may sound all doom and gloom, a quiet year for a community league gives us the opportunity to focus on more of the administrative side with financial audits, grant reports, reassessments, and other tasks that need our attention. So, even though it seems like a quiet year on the website, social media, and events, we are simply readjusting, refocusing, and re-evaluating what our future will look like as a community league post-pandemic.

Jordynn Vis is the President of the McCauley Community League.

A New Mural Brings Beauty to Boyle Street Community Services

October marked the completion of a large and colourful mural painted in honour of the Indigenous women who make up our community. Titled “Connected,” this beautiful painting takes up three large panels on the West fence in the courtyard attached to Boyle Street Community Services. The mural displays six portraits of community members and was created by Tristen Jenni, an Indigenous artist from Chakastaypasin Band in Saskatchewan who is Plains and Woodland Cree. She is currently creating out of Edmonton. The mural project was supported by the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program.

The mural was part of a series of projects focused on removing barriers to recreation and wellness activities for marginalized Indigenous females experiencing houselessness in Edmonton and was completed with funding from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

The mural artist, Tristen Jenni, speaks to her inspiration for the piece. “In this mural, I was wanting to show our power as women no matter where we come or where we have been,” she explains. “We are the keepers of the land. The earth we walk on, the ground we touch, the sun that warms us connects us to her and to one another. In Indigenous culture, our women have always been the keepers of the land, our mothers, our teachers. They hold the gift of life. We are all connected. Hiy Hiy.” To see more of Tristen’s work, follow @tristen.jenni.art on Instagram.

One of the main things about this project was not only that it has female community members as a focal point, but it also acts as a beautification of the community to which the mural is home. So much effort goes into beautifying the downtown area for people who come here to work, dine, watch games and concerts, attend events, or play in the area. However, there is considerably less for those who access services and live in the community. The courtyard beside Boyle Street Community Services acted as a refuge for activities held outside of the building, to simultaneously maintain safety and foster community during the summer months of the pandemic. Although the cooling weather might drive us indoors a little more often, this mural will act as a ray of sunshine, a reminder of the leadership and strength of Indigenous women and the presence of the Indigenous community in the inner city.

_Rebecca Kaiser, Program Coordinator
rkaiser@boylestreet.org

Bridging the Divide

I came to Boyle Street 10 years ago, full of hope and optimism. My old friends in Oliver told me I was moving to skid row. I begged to differ. I told them that the homeless people they were referring to were just the same as the rest of us, just less fortunate. I expounded that the people living under these unfortunate conditions had every right to share the neighbourhood. If they were treated with respect, they would in turn treat others with respect.

When I first moved here I ran into many people who were eager to be helpful. Instead of asking for a handout like the homeless in Oliver, these people were asking if I had work for them. If I was raking leaves, they would ask if they could do it for me. When I struggled with the lawnmower, the men from Urban Manor stopped to help. I was thoroughly enchanted with the spirit of the area.

But over the years I’ve has several larges pieces taken from my porch: statues, chairs, art, and other things of sentimental value. How does someone justify taking something that isn’t theirs? When the brother of someone who did odd jobs for me defrauded me out of a substantial amount of money, he told someone, “It’s okay, she’s got a lot of money.” NOT.

Maybe some people think they got the short end of the stick, that they have the right to make up for it by taking from those they think have some to spare. The trouble is that a person can never know the struggle of others when those misfortunes are not evident.

How did things change in the neighbourhood I call home? When did the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” become so wide? How do we reverse the trend? I’m aware that people who used to congregate in the Ice District have been forced out of that area. We now have more of the homeless in our neighbourhood. How do we convince our new neighbours to treat all of us with a little respect? I always thought that kindness would bring kindness in response. Is there something that we’re not doing as a community that would bridge the divide?

Manon is a resident of Boyle Street and an active volunteer in the community. This column contains her own opinions, and is not affiliated with the Boyle Street Community League.

I Tried Making Prison Hooch

Is home brewing as easy as it looks?

Every fall, I seem to end up with a mountain of apples to deal with. My usual go-tos are fruit leather, apple chips, and breakfast crisps. This year, I was inspired by Netflix prison dramas to try making apple cider from home. If it can be done with a few kitchen scraps in a plastic baggie on TV, surely it can’t be that complicated.

Minutes of research taught me that the process can be as complicated as multi-step wine making (such as the time I tried to make wine from my backyard grapes and ended up with a large batch of red wine vinegar) with specialized equipment and chemicals. Or, it can be as easy as apple juice + sugar = booze. In theory, the wild apple skins have enough yeast that they can start fermentation on their own (yeast eats sugar and creates alcohol), so it is recommended that you keep the skins on when crushing your apples for juice. This didn’t work for me: after a day of watching my batch calmly doing nothing, I added a pack of brewer’s yeast from the Italian Centre. This kicked off fermentation and my cider bubbled away happily for about two weeks.

When the bubbles stop, fermentation is done. At this point, I measured the amount of alcohol with my hydrometer (collecting dust in my basement from the aforementioned wine making fail) to be 6%, the correct amount for beer and cider. Time to put it in bottles to age, though since the taste was super strong and a little flat, I decided to add a tablespoon of sugar to each one litre bottle (executive decision from a general knowledge of how champagne is made, plus experience with kombucha getting very bubbly after adding sugary fruit). I let the bottles sit for six weeks, then popped one open for a taste test.

The taste had mellowed, and the cider had developed a bit of effervescence. It is somewhere between cider and apple wine, and with a bit more maturing will make a decent fireside drink to force on my family and friends.

The best part? It was almost free, since I used only three ingredients: donated apples, sugar, and yeast. If you decide to try making hooch, let me know how it goes. You can borrow my hydrometer.

Lindsay Brommeland is a McCauley resident of 14 years who will try anything once.

Keep Informed and Strong

“Unity is strength . . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”- Mattie J.T. Stepanek (July 17, 1990 – June 22, 2004), who published seven best-selling books of poetry and peace essays before his death at the age of 13.

We have been facing unusual times, with outcomes of which we are unsure. Under these circumstances, it is common to have a barrage of feelings, including confusion.

I have been reading up on articles about mass outbreaks of war, famine, and disasters. During these kinds of experiences, the strength of community can help each other.

Our community has a long history of helping each other, from businesses opening and being supported, to events bringing us together. These things make me feel lucky to live here.

The sizes of gatherings currently need to be limited during the pandemic. However, a quick call, internet chat, or physically-distanced greeting can help. I take precautions when I am out, but I try to stay positive.

Being confused, anxious, or depressed are not characteristics of being weak. Being informed can make you strong. We can all get overwhelmed. If you feel the need you can contact the Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton’s 24/7 Crisis Line at 780-482-4357. They are there to listen, advise, and care.

Things are changing daily, so keeping informed helps. No one should be completely alone. Togetherness and cooperation will help create a better outcome. We are resilient!

Stay safe and well, and think good thoughts.

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

CO*LAB: Connecting, Creating, Collaborating

For those who have not yet had the opportunity to connect with the Quarters Arts Society (QAS), their new CO*LAB space and exhibitions are reasons to make the walk, bike, or drive. The Boyle Street non-profit recently opened a vibrant space at 9641 102A Avenue to encourage artistic expression and engage people with inclusive, accessible, citizen-led projects honouring the heritage and diversity of our community.

The first art exhibit opened just days after final touches were made to the new building. Titled “Riding Horses with White Men,” artist Jae Sterling was chosen to show at the gallery from October 2nd to October 7th. The exhibit was a cross-cultural, multimedia body of work examining race, sexuality, violence, and art’s ability to retell and heal histories.

If you missed the first show, we encourage you to look at upcoming shows, performances, and programming, on the QAS events page at quartersarts.org/events or on social media: @colabyeg on Instagram and Facebook. The citizen-led, community-run CO*LAB facility connects our community, offers an opportunity to share knowledge and ideas, and is a space to collaborate, create, and celebrate in Boyle Street.

You can also connect with Quarters Arts on Facebook and Instagram: @QuartersArts.

Jonathan Lawrence (Twitter:”@Jonathanlaw_”:https://twitter.com/Jonathanlaw_) is a Boyle Street Community Member and serves on the BSCL Executive Team.

“Love Me and I Will Return The Love”

A visit to a McCauley childhood home builds connections.

When we transformed drab 9320 into Casa Rosso, we had no idea what magic would be conjured.

In August, we began presenting a “Lemonade Series” of outdoor concerts in the back yard of friends and on our own deck turned stage. The grand finale was a weekend of Drive-In Movies at Bonnie Doon Mall.

Boris was laying bricks outside while I, bagged from the Drive-In event the night before, consumed my first coffee of the morning. “Darcia, come outside, we have visitors.”

“Oh great,” I thought, dressed glamorously in fleece pajamas, an old sweater, and Crocs.

Nella Bruni had taken a drive down memory lane with her husband. Struck by the sight of the house she’d grown up in, they stopped. “Can we look around?” she asked.

“Sure,” we responded.

Amid tears of nostalgia, photographs were snapped echoing a shot of Nella on the same front porch as a young girl. Tales of happy times, and the home’s history of sheltering new Italian immigrants, were shared. Her parents Giuseppe and Rosaria Bruni had worked so hard to earn the money to buy what we’ve affectionately dubbed “Casa Rosso.” They were the true heart of the home that gave so many a leg up so that they could eventually afford a place of their own.

Later, Nella’s friend Anna – a friend of Allen Jacobson who plays with Mercury Five, our jazz ensemble – texted a photo of us with Nella. “Do you know these people? They’re musicians.” We laughed at how the universe finds a way to bring magic, joy, relationship, and life-affirming events into our days.

We’ve kept the Casa Rosso concerts going this autumn and notice that when the music begins, our audience expands beyond the house and yard. Neighbours appear on rooftops and porches and passersby stop to listen. On the night when Nella, Anna, and their husbands occupied a front row seat, we told the heartwarming story of how we’d met.

Before then, how would I have ever known when choosing colours and preparing surfaces for paint, that turquoise had been a dominant colour, or, that the red picnic table in Nella’s old photo would be the exact shade of red picked for Casa Rosso? It’s as if this old house has a soul and was murmuring, “love me, and I will return the love.” It’s magic.

Darcia lives in McCauley.

Hockey Fans Sponsor Pizzas for the Homeless

Area restaurant prepares weekly pizza lunches for clients of Boyle Street Community Services.

Panini’s Italian Cucina, a popular Boyle Street pizza and pasta restaurant, is providing pizzas for weekly pizza lunches for the homeless at Boyle Street Community Services, thanks to generous donations from all over North America and beyond.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team began treating clients of Boyle Street Community Services to a weekly pizza lunch during the team’s time in Edmonton’s playoff bubble. Players saw Boyle Street Community Services from their window, and ordered food from Panini’s to be delivered there.

After the team was eliminated in the playoffs, Scott Jividen, a Golden Knights fan from Nevada, contacted Tony Caruso, owner of Panini’s, to keep the pizza program going. “I saw a couple of news stories about the team donating pizzas over the course of the playoffs, and I wanted to find a way to keep it going. I made a casual mention about continuing it for another week on the Golden Knights forum on Reddit. Other fans of the team were enthusiastic about the idea, so I decided to reach out to Panini’s and see if they were interested,” Jividen explains.

Caruso designed an online platform to handle donation orders from anywhere. The website was used by people around the world during the “Pizzas for Boyle Street” campaign in September. “Initially, the goal was to supply pizzas for one week,” says Jividen. “It was meant as a way fans could show appreciation for the Knights, and continue their charitable efforts.”

However, the number of donations far exceeded anyone’s expectations. After the campaign ended, 597 pizzas were ordered – enough for 24 pizzas every week for six months. In total, 402 orders came from the United States (308 of them from Nevada), 191 from Canada (158 from Alberta), and four orders from outside Canada and the U.S.

“We were expecting 30 or so donations and the numbers were 20 times that,” says Tony. “We felt a great sense of community that stretched past our borders!”

Caruso, along with his brother and business partner Rob, have been discussing creating a permanent website for the program, with the intention of continuing to share their pizzas with those in need – after they catch up on the 597 pizzas in a few months.

Panini’s is located at 8544 Jasper Avenue.

MLAs Talk AISH at McCauley Apartments

Janis Irwin speaking at McCauley Apartments. Leif Gregersen.

On October 1, I attended a special event at McCauley Apartments regarding an issue that is very critical to its residents – and 70,000 other Albertans. MLAs Janis Irwin and Marie Renaud were going to come and speak about AISH.

Janis Irwin is the MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood, serving most of the people who receive this newspaper. Marie Renaud is the MLA for St. Albert and serves a key role in the Official Opposition as Critic for Community and Social Services.

Janis Irwin said how important it is to keep the UCP accountable for things like possible cutbacks to the AISH program. She said that letters and emails get action, and encouraged us to use these tools to make our voice heard. As well, we should involve our family members because together we would make quite a large vote block.

One woman told a heartbreaking story of how she believes that if AISH is cut, she will soon be on the streets and in terrible health. People with mental illnesses are not lazy; they are people who face incredible barriers to being employed and need every cent they can get. The fact that Jason Kenny de-indexed AISH (meaning it will not be tied to the cost of living), and the fact that one of his cabinet members referred to people on CERB being “Lazy people who sit at home smoking pot and eating Cheezies and who don’t want to work” had a lot of people fuming.

Both MLAs were very interested in what we had to say as recipients of AISH. Their talk was informal and informative.

Leif lives in McCauley. You can learn more about him and his work at edmontonwriter.com

Mercury Opera Turns McCauley Gardens Into Music Venues

Beginning in August, McCauley-based Mercury Opera has produced several series featuring different genres of music, such as the summer “Lemonade” series, featuring jazz and classical. The physically distanced shows were presented at a couple of private homes in the neighbourhood. Mercury Opera continued presenting shows into autumn with the “Fall by the Fireside” series.

Photo 1: From left: Boris Derow, Cara McLeod, and Emilio De Mercato.

Photo 2: From left: Josh McHan on bass (partially blocked), Darcia Parada, Boris Derow, and Chris Evans.

Photos supplied.

“Still in Chinatown” Presents Culture and History

“Still in Chinatown” took place at Co*Lab on September 12th. It featured a variety of performances, including music, dance, and spoken word.

Presented by the Aiya Collective, “Still in Chinatown” was curated and hosted by Wai-Ling Lennon.

November 2020

At the time I am writing this, leaves are changing colour and starting to fall off of the trees. By the time you read this, there might even be snow on the ground. However, here’s a new issue of Boyle McCauley News to enjoy while keeping warm.

Have you visited our website lately? We publish exclusive stories that either don’t make it into our print edition, or happen in between issues. Visit us at bmcnews.org. You can also follow us on social media, where we share important community information, share when we publish something new on our website, and sometimes post photos from community events. We are bmcnews on "Facebook":https://www.facebook.com/bmcnews and "Twitter":https://twitter.com/bmcnews, and bmcviews on Instagram.

We’re always looking for volunteers, especially Block Carriers (in McCauley) and Apartment Ambassadors/Condo Connectors (in Boyle Street) to help us get the paper to readers. Contact me for more information (editor@bmcnews.org).

You can also help keep the paper publishing by taking part in our micro-donation campaign. Even as little as $2 each month can go a long way towards helping the paper remain sustainable. Head to bmcnews.org/donate for more information.

Enjoy the issue and keep well.

So Much Gratitude

The deadline for our November issue fell on Thanksgiving this year, so when I sat down to write my editorial gratitude was on my mind.

We have a lot to be thankful for at Boyle McCauley News. We have benefitted from the generosity of people in the community and beyond through our Toss Us Your Toonies campaign. Visit bmcnews.org/donate for more information. Thank you for supporting independent community news.

As well, in late September we received financial support from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage, and Sports organizations. This funding will go a long way towards filling the gap until our next casino. We are extremely grateful.

As I mentioned in our previous issue, the paper’s Board of Directors had to make some difficult decisions concerning our current budget. In addition to ceasing the Canada Post mail-out to Boyle Street, another decision was to close our office and not have a physical space. We then received a generous offer from the Edmonton Community Development Company to share their office space with the organization. We are so thankful that we have a place to work, meet, and store our archives.

At the same time, we want to thank Miranda and Ken at Zocalo for being such wonderful landlords for the last 14 years. If you are looking to lease basement office space in the area, get in touch with them because there is a great opportunity now available.

Dana Wylie: “Music has always been my language.”

Dana Wylie, a former music director on the board of Heart of the City Festival, recently became a McCauley resident. Music has defined her life’s path. “I did musical theatre straight out of high school for a few years professionally,” she says. “And then I started writing songs. I went to university in my 30s and studied music history and musicology. Music has always been my language. It’s like my first language!”

Dana had this to say about living in McCauley: “I love living in McCauley because it really does feel like the heart of the city. Every day I come into contact with people from different backgrounds and different walks of life, doing life in such a huge variety of ways. And I like living in a neighbourhood where I can’t hide from the fact that we live in a city and a society that fails so many of its people every day. I haven’t lived here long, but I believe this is the kind of neighbourhood where people do their best to look after one another.”

Dana told me that she has two projects on the go. She just finished recording a new album called How Much Muscle. Dana says, “It lives in the world of womanhood and coming into a really feminine kind of power, the kind of power that tends to get recognized as irrationality and hysteria. It is about women and femmes asserting that it is power and not just craziness.”

She goes on to say, “I’ve also written a show. It’s a theatrical song cycle or a music theatre hybrid piece that has my songs interspersed with text that explores my relationship to my ancestry and sometimes the lack of connection I feel to my ancestry. It’s about trying to get back to my roots or figure out what they are. The show is going to be produced at the SkirtsAFire Festival in March.”

Dana is also an activist and recently led a rally for the Basic Income movement. She explains, “The reason I’ve become interested enough to get involved with Basic Income is because of the way that I felt after I started getting CERB. The stress of worrying about money fell off me. I felt more creative. I felt more like I could define the course of my life and it made me think: what would people do if they weren’t spending all of their time scrambling around to make money? What amazing projects would people take on? What amazing art would people make? What really important activism would people do? I’m sure people would feed themselves better. People would support more local businesses and go to farmers markets to buy their vegetables. This could be so exciting if the average person had all that stress taken off of them.”

When I asked Dana how people could get involved in the Basic Income movement, she encouraged people to go to this website and sign up for the newsletter: www.basicincomecanada.org

You can follow Dana Wylie on Instagram at @danawyliemusic.

Corine Demas serves as volunteer Vice President and Spoken Word Director of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton. Corine is passionate about poetry, storytelling, and her city, Edmonton.

Easy Baked Acorn Squash

Fall produce is known for its variety of winter squash such as pumpkin, butternut, acorn, zucchini, and spaghetti. To choose quality squash, it should be heavy for its size, have a stem that is firm and dry, and its rind thick.

I’m more likely to cook butternut or spaghetti squash, but this year I’ll be adding more baked acorn squash to my meals. One cup of cooked acorn has approximately: 9g of fibre, 37% of daily vitamin C, 22% of daily magnesium, 20% daily B6 requirement, and 2.3g of protein (Source: LiveStrong.com).

Here is a simple, quick, and easy way to bake acorn squash.

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp soft butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Cut stem off acorn.
  • Keeping the skin on, slice acorn in half (lengthwise). Next, scoop out the seeds and pulp from inside the acorn.
  • Place acorn on a baking sheet pan, cut (acorn flesh) side facing up.
  • Rub insides of acorn and the rims with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
  • Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes depending on the size of the acorn.

You will know it is ready when the flesh of the acorn can be easily pierced with a fork.

If you’d like an extra sweet taste, once the acorns are finished baking, you can also add a drizzle of maple syrup before serving.

Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.

Get to Know the Edmonton CDC

The Edmonton Community Development Company is developing McCauley through community engagement.

The Edmonton Community Development Company (CDC) has been active in McCauley for a couple of years now, but the organization seems like the neighbourhood’s best-kept secret. Many have still never heard of the CDC. Even those who are aware of the CDC are unsure of what the organization actually does.

The Edmonton CDC is a small organization of four staff. Its core funders include the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Community Foundation, United Way, and Homeward Trust. The City has also committed $10 million of land to the CDC.

“The idea of a community development corporation or company has been discussed on and off for at least 30 years, but never got legs until the Mayor’s Task Force to End Poverty saw community development as a way to address low income in neighbourhoods” says Mark Holmgren, Executive Director of CDC.

A former McCauley resident, Holmgren’s background includes serving as the CEO of Bissell Centre, a senior staff at United Way, and as the Executive Director of Operation Friendship back when its current multi-purpose centre was built.
 
The CDC develops housing and commercial properties, either on land assets transferred to the CDC by the City, or acquired on its own.

“We try to address neighbourhood aspirations and ‘community pain’ through engagement and then by developments that a neighbourhood can actively support. We don’t consult with neighbourhoods because we have to – we do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Holmgren explains.

Last year, in tandem with the McCauley community, the CDC helped residents create an investment co-op, raise $1.1 million from more than 100 local investors in order to purchase The Piazza on 95th Street, a long-time source of community pain. “It’s a classic example of resident-led community development that resulted in a major neighbourhood asset being owned by the community,” says Holmgren.

In addition to its recent purchase of Wyser Manor, the CDC has acquired two derelict properties on 93rd Street, which it will develop into three units of family housing on each site. It plans on purchasing eight more of these problem properties and developing them into just below market housing. “The CDC is prepared to invest approximately $6 million to redevelop these 10 properties, and we hope to leverage our work into more of the same from the City and other developers,” Holmgren adds.

Major projects in McCauley currently include being in the “late stages of community engagement to identify what to build on what is called the Paskin lands on 95 Street and 106 Avenue,” says Holmgren.

The lands provided to the CDC by the city involve contracts that allow the CDC to take possession when the organization is ready to develop. “Until we take possession, those lands are still the responsibility of the city,” Holmgren explains. “The reason why we wait is so we can avoid the costs of owning vacant land (property taxes, land maintenance, insurance, fencing, etc.).”

The CDC also serves as a “leader, partner, capacity builder, and innovator.” Holmgren cites examples as:

  • Buying and redeveloping derelict properties while working with the city and others to co-create a long-term strategy to scale up efforts.
  • Offering a Social Enterprise Bootcamp once or twice a year that helps social entrepreneurs from all walks of life move forward with their social purpose business intentions.
  • Co-creating design jams focused on identifying and then prototyping innovations that make building housing more affordable, including new ways of building or using materials, streamlining approval processes, designing, financing, and engaging citizens.

Holmgren emphasizes that the Edmonton CDC will not build what neighbourhoods don’t support.

“Our relationships with, and understanding of, urban core neighbourhoods have made it clear that residents do not want more permanent supportive or subsidized housing because they have far more of such housing than do other neighbourhoods,” he says. “Our focus is on acquiring or building near market or just below market homes for sale or rent in order to attract more families into the area.”

“While we support efforts to house the homeless and attack housing insecurity through subsidized housing, neighbourhoods also need market housing and local businesses to foster an inclusive, healthy socio-economic economy. There has to be a balance and for too long urban core neighbourhoods have been seen as the place to locate social programs and social and non-market housing. We believe we have a role to play in creating that balance.”

Walking for Women and Family Safety – Update

Janis Irwin (right) joined Joanne to walk on August 25. Ingrid Crowther

While walking every day since June 1, I have learned a lot about a central part of our neighbourhood. First, that Caboto Park is a beautiful and quiet but busy place to meet others. The trees provide wonderful shade, and the grass is used by many to have a picnic lunch, meet friends, contemplate, and relax. It is an invaluable and appreciated piece of shared land, which we are so lucky to have in the middle of our neighbourhood.

Next, my walk every day for 80-plus days was to hopefully raise awareness about family violence and the need for safety for women and families going through this horrible experience. As a survivor, I know how scary and upsetting violence can be. My heart goes out to women and families going through this.

Walking with my rescue dogs was also a good way for me to take time to think about how I managed to survive. I thrived, raising my daughters as a single parent, working at good jobs, teaching, and completing Master’s and Doctoral degrees.

Finally, I wanted to show that you can survive and thrive in spite of family violence. The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters is also there to help and provide counselling on next steps and temporary housing. The need is urgent especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all who have donated, I hope you never have to go through this, but if you do, know there is help. To donate: ACWS.ca/donate.

Joanne lives in McCauley.

Yard Sale has Unexpected Results

In late July, I had a yard sale on a Saturday just after AHS said it was okay. We had a few tables spread out on the front lawn with various things on each one: kids’ stuff, kitchen things, a few coats hanging, some shelving and household things, and dishes/glassware and silverware sets. Everyone seemed happy to be able to get out of the house and visit.

A really lovely thing happened when a couple of women came along, who said they had been homeless and just found housing. The coats caught their eye. They tried them on and their faces lit up. As they whirled around in the coats, they seemed to feel really special. The happy look on their faces was payment enough for me. I gave them the coats, which they wore as they went on their way. It made my day, and I hope they enjoy the coats.

Joanne lives in McCauley.

Safer McCauley: Actions and Activities

From Prioritization to Action
In 2018, Safer McCauley began surveying community members to identify and prioritize our collective safety-related concerns. This process would help determine how to focus efforts to create a safer and more vibrant community for all.

Surveys took place at community meetings, online, and door-to-door. Local service agencies were invited to meetings and encouraged to extend invitations to the often-marginalized members of our community. Meetings saw residents and service agencies engaging in constructive conversation. Several service agencies expressed gratitude for being invited to community meetings for the first time. A number of them shared the surveys with their community members, whose input was added to the overall findings.

This community input revealed these top priorities: 1) concentration of poverty; 2) problem properties; 3) needle debris; 4) garbage; and 5) a desire to increase vibrancy and connectivity. Diverse community members soon came together to brainstorm ideas to promote safety through vibrancy and connectivity. Activities like the McCauley Dog Walkabout and McCauley Litter Blitzes were launched.

A schedule of activities and community meetings for 2020 was developed – and abruptly halted by COVID-19. The silver lining is that community partners have accelerated collaboration to address more complex issues like problem properties, needle debris, and garbage. In a short time, significant progress has been made and many new resources have been deployed.

Problem Properties
A May 2019 Safer McCauley Community Conversation ignited a series of events leading to reform of the City’s approach to problem properties. The Residential Living Governance Committee became the Problem Property Initiative (PPI). The PPI consulted with a community advisory committee for guidance. New Municipal Enforcement (Bylaw) Officer positions were created to focus on the most chronic offenders. A confidential online reporting form was created. Several notorious problem properties have shut down. And, projects have emerged to transform problem properties into more positive entities. Considerable thought has been given to balancing the interests of the community with the interests of individuals displaced by the closure of problem properties.

To report a problem property confidentially, search “problem properties of Edmonton” or go to: https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/report-a-problem-property.aspx. To report concerns about property standards not related to a problem property, call 311. Remember to request a file number and a call back from the Municipal Enforcement Officer for McCauley.

The extensive list of organizations collaborating to address garbage in McCauley requires acknowledgement: BSV, CCCU, the Chinatown BIA, E4C, McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, Mustard SeedWorks, Safer McCauley, and volunteer community members all play a role.

Needle Debris
In November 2019, REACH Edmonton gathered 16 organizations to discuss a more coordinated response to stray needles. Increased connectivity and communication has yielded much progress. Boyle Street Ventures (BSV) announced its willingness to clean up needles on public and private property. Capital City Clean Up (CCCU) coordinated an update of the City’s 311 script to refer private property concerns to BSV. Funding from CCCU supports Downtown Proud to do sweeps of McCauley alleys twice a week. A partnership between Mustard SeedWorks, Chinatown BIA, McCauley Revitalization, and CCCU provides regular clean up of needles and litter. And REACH, the City, and service agencies are working on a process to consolidate needle collection data.

To report stray needles on public property, call 311. To request free clean up of needles on private and/or public property, call Boyle Street Ventures at 780-426-0500.

Garbage and Litter
The extensive list of organizations collaborating to address garbage in McCauley requires acknowledgement: BSV, CCCU, the Chinatown BIA, E4C, McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, Mustard SeedWorks, Safer McCauley, and volunteer community members all play a role. Litter Kits have been distributed. Community-wide clean-ups have taken place. Partnerships with social enterprises have expanded. Households and businesses can request free removal of illegally dumped large items. Pressure-washing services are available in the Chinatown BIA. McCauley is visibly better off. Efforts are being tracked closely, and a clear picture of the extra resources it takes to keep McCauley as clean is emerging.

To arrange for the removal of large items illegally dumped on your property, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca.

_Mark is REACH Edmonton’s Neighbourhoods Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca

e4c Update - October

Hello! It is good to be back in the McCauley Apartments office, building community in person (mostly) again. I look forward to seeing you soon. Want to chat? Call me (Kathryn) at 780-964-3444 or email me at krambow@e4calberta.org

Wellness Wednesdays: Every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. – weather permitting – we gather in a safe, physically distanced way on the patio of e4c’s McCauley Apartments office (9541-108A Avenue). We do all kinds of wellness activities, enjoy each other’s company, and have a safe, healthy snack.

Lonely? Bored? Check out the Wellness Network: online courses are always being added, or meet in person with a wellness navigator to help you map out your wellness journey, FREE! 780-699-3253 or www.wellnessnetworkedmonton.com

Kathryn Rambow Manager of Community Development, Housing & Mental Health Division, with e4c.

Have your say in major McCauley development at September online forum 

The Edmonton Community Development Company is making plans to develop a parcel of land at 106 Avenue and 95 Street, with the goal to choose a development concept that will answer the needs of the community. 

This is where you come in. 

The CDC invites residents and business owners in McCauley and surrounding neighbourhoods to weigh in on the best development solution for this land via two virtual engagement sessions held via Zoom on September 22 and 24.   

“Our motto at the Edmonton CDC is ‘People First Engagement,‘” explained Mark Holmgren, Executive Director of the CDC. “Our decisions for this project moving forward will therefore hinge on the preferences of people in the neighbourhood.”

At the one-hour online engagement sessions, Edmontonians will learn more about the project’s progress to date and take part in a discussion about which of three development options will best benefit the community. 

The sessions will be led by Karen Gingras, Director of Neighbourhood Development for Edmonton CDC, who has been part of the project since 2018. 

“In our first year of operating in 2017, the City committed the lands on 95 St and 106 Ave, and other lands to the CDC to allow us to hit the ground running,” explained Karen.  

Rather than try to create development plans on their own, the Edmonton CDC decided to form the McCauley Concept Design Team, comprising people who live and/or work in McCauley. 

Over the course of eight months, the team explored various ideas, and considered the planned development in nearby neighbourhoods such as the Stadium Station Area Redevelopment Plan; The Quarters Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan; and The Boyle Street McCauley Area Redevelopment Plan. 

“We worked extensively with the Concept Design Team, who identified three strong development options,” said Karen. “Now we want to open the conversation to a larger audience to help us confirm the best fit for the neighbourhood.” 

Development options for the site include a makers’ space, a food emporium, and a hardware store. 
 
“The option we move forward with could add walkability, vitality, and brand equity to the 95 street commercial district,” said Mark, “so we hope to hear as many perspectives as possible at our virtual forums so we can be confident our decisions reflect the best interests of the neighbourhood.” 

To learn more about the project and to register for the online engagement sessions, please visit www.edmontoncdc.org/paskin

Article submitted by the Edmonton Economic Development Company.

Arrange a Donation Drive

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” – Unknown

After summer, autumn sets in. It is one of my favourite seasons, with the colours, the shorter nights, the cooling breeze.

Some students will return back to school in a hopefully safe manner. Others will continue to adapt to routines that keep them safe and sound. The COVID-19 precautions put forward by health authorities should still be followed. If we all listen to experts and follow their advice, we can likely have a better outcome.

With a bit more time on some of our hands, let’s do something unique like arrange a donation drive. Recently in my building we did an eco-donation drive, to send items we no longer needed off to be recycled.

Members of our co-op were asked to bring items to one of our board rooms. The outpouring was incredible! The arrangement was done by our co-op president. Another board member found and supervised the pick-up through www.electronicrecyclingassociation.ca. It was done safely and quickly.

You could also arrange a community donation of clothing, books, and other materials you no longer use. Let’s do “autumn cleaning” and “spring cleaning!”

Stay safe, and stay well.

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

Mustard Seed Update

I was at my desk one sunny morning in late July when I heard the jangling of keys and a vaguely familiar voice through the open window. I peered out and was delighted to see Greg, a friend whom I had met at the Kinsmen Shelter this past spring. Greg had been a previous shelter guest who connected with our employment counselor and is now a part of our Seed Works Chinatown McCauley Clean team!

For over three decades, the 96th Street Mustard Seed church has been a community hub, welcoming thousands of participants for drop-in programs and serving over two million meals. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and our meal service closed, our creativity was tested as we searched for a way to provide meals to our community. We created Dinner2Door, a delivery service where nutritious meals are prepared, packaged, and delivered free of charge to the doorsteps of Edmontonians in need. Without our loyal volunteers, none of this would have been possible. Dinner2Door has been very successful, providing approximately 1000 meals per week to those who may have a roof over their head but have difficulty feeding themselves and their families. To register for Dinner2Door please inquire with Carmen (CarmenThomas@theseed.ca) at the 96th Street church.

Other programs and services continue to operate out of the church, including our expanded Food Bank, which is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Because homelessness exists not only in the inner city, but throughout Edmonton, we are offering meals to go and emergency services at our Community Hubs on the south side (The Neighbour Centre) and the west end (The Christian Care Centre). Our north side hub, The Mosaic Centre, recently relocated and will be reopening this fall. As well, we are currently operating two overnight shelters on the south side.

As we face both the continuing unpredictability of COVID-19 and the perennial predictability of another Edmonton winter, we remain committed to creatively meeting the shifting needs of Edmonton’s most vulnerable. If you see an opportunity to partner with us, we’d love to start with a conversation. As my friend Greg continues to remind me, we have much to learn from each other.

Kirsten Schmaus is a lifelong Edmontonian and a Community Engagement Coordinator with The Mustard Seed.

Bringing Outdoor Recreation Back to our Community, with Care

Art time in the courtyard. Mike Siek

With the closure of the Expo Centre, where the Inner City Rec & Wellness Program has been working for the past several months to provide safe and accessible programming for our community, we are excited to be back out in the sun (and wind, and rain, and probably snow, soon enough), bringing back some summer and fall programming!

The sudden change brought on by the closure of Expo Centre created many challenges, yet presents some exciting opportunities for new beginnings for our team and our community. When choosing which programs to re-open, we have selected ones that bring healing, joy, physical activity, and emotional connection, and which can be launched in a safe and sustainable way. Unfortunately, this means that several of our sports programs, and those that take place in indoor communal spaces, cannot be re-launched at this time.

One of the first programs that we worked incredibly hard to find a way to open was our weekly trip to Lady Flower Gardens in northeast Edmonton. This amazing community development garden includes five acres of agricultural land and a 75 acre old-growth forest that nestles up against the North Saskatchewan River. Each week we are able to bring up to six people with us to harvest food for Edmonton’s Food Bank and for themselves, providing food security, connection to the land, and a much-needed reprieve from the city.

We are also working with Bike Edmonton to, once again, create Bike Repair Pop-Up events each month, where volunteers and staff from Bike Edmonton set up work stations to provide bike repairs and safety inspections for our community members. For many, a bike is the only way to get around the city, and they are often in need of repairs, lights, brake-tightenings, and other such things. This program also offers community members access to free parts and repairs once a week at the Bike Edmonton North location, through a membership card program.

We will continue to work towards creating these types of unique community initiatives – where ICRWP partners with other agencies and organizations to create much-needed support for those with barriers to access, bringing services and opportunities into the inner city, and meeting people where they are at. If you are part of an organization that provides recreational activities or wellness and cultural programs, and you would like to find a way to reach a population that rarely gets access to such things, please contact us.

This year, the Boyle Street Community Services building added a courtyard area. Activities can happen in a fenced-off area, and projects created by community members can be safely left outside throughout the year. This area includes tables, large chairs, a small garden, and opportunities for artwork creation. This year we are working to have weekly Art Time in the courtyard, where community members can paint, draw, sculpt, write poetry, and more! We will be bringing supplies and examples into the new space, and allowing anyone from the community to join in the creative process.

Street Prints Artist Collective has a new office space! We recently moved into a comfy little shared office space in McCauley Apartments with support from one of our partner agencies, e4c. We can print artwork, store our equipment and supplies, and have one-on-one meetings. It is also a quiet space for collective members to do administrative work. This community support for our artist collective is what makes community development possible. We see examples of this every day: agencies and organizations finding new ways to work together to share resources and spaces as we struggle to make our way through a changing landscape, and navigate new fiscal and political realities that face community-based organizations.

Contact us at:
Rebecca Kaiser, Program Coordinator, rkaiser@boylestreet.org
Mike Siek, Program Facilitator, msiek@boylestreet.org

Welcome to CO*LAB

New arts hub in Boyle Street will showcase community and collaboration.

CO*LAB. Manda Brownrigg

On behalf of Quarters Arts Society (QAS), I am honoured and elated to be able to finally welcome you to our new home: CO*LAB, a brick and mortar space where we can further our mandate of grassroots, arts-centred community-building, while advocating for equity, safe® spaces, representation, and accessibility in the arts.

QAS developed CO*LAB to be a community-run arts hub that offers the unique opportunity to connect neighbours, to share knowledge and ideas, to collaborate, create, and celebrate in Boyle Street.

Since our departure from Boyle Street Plaza in 2016, QAS has been searching to find space to be able to facilitate our monthly arts nights, annual GLOW walking lantern parade, artist residency programs, curated art shows, concerts, and writing workshops.

Beginning in early 2018, volunteers at QAS have worked with the City of Edmonton to rehabilitate the building located at 9641 102A Avenue, ensuring we meet our community’s requests for accessible gallery, performance, workshop, studio, kitchen, and public spaces found in our centre. We are so eager to be able to once again bring consistent, barrier free programming and have continuity of presence in the neighbourhood we love.

Although COVID-19 has changed the capacity and scope of how we produce events and create together, know that in the near future CO*LAB’s doors will be open to once again host our monthly Quarters Arts Nights, featuring an open stage, special performances, art shows, and new media exhibits. We can’t wait to be able to share new programming initiatives we have been developing with our neighbours at iHuman, Ociciwan, and artists that identify with the rich history and Chinese diaspora found in South Chinatown.

In the meantime you can join us in person, socially distanced of course, or online at twitch.tv/quarterarts every Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., for our all ages, pop-up Summer Music Series, showcasing the many talents of our community, that will culminate in a Boyle Street Block Party on September 19.

If you are curious about getting involved or have an idea for QAS programming at CO*LAB, you can contact me via email at ad@quartersarts.org. Curious about renting or volunteering? Contact Manda Brownrigg at operationsdirector@quartersarts.org. Looking forward to CO*LABerating with you!

Lorin Klask is the Artistic Director and a founding member of Quarters Arts Society.

Murders and Memorials

Finding strength to carry on.

Drummers at Amber Tuccaro’s “Angelversary” on August 18th. Paula E. Kirman

The big drum encircled by men singing called people to gather at Okîsikow (Angel) Way, the juncture of 96 Street and Jasper Avenue. April Eve Wiberg, leader of the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Movement, organized an “Angelversary” to mark 10 years since 21 year-old Amber Tuccaro disappeared on August 18th, 2010. When her remains were found two years later in Leduc County, her family experienced a fresh wave of grief. In 2015, RCMP released an audio recording and grief ripped their hearts again. They could hear Amber asking a man where he was taking her.

Ten years later, and the man who murdered her has not yet been found. Amber’s mother, Tootsie, told the crowd she would never give up, until her daughter’s killer is found.

Kathy King’s 22 year-old daughter, Cara, disappeared in early August of 1997. Her remains were found in a farmer’s field a month later. Her killer has not yet been found. To remember her and all those who are missing and murdered, Kathy created a website she called MissingCara.ca. She tells her daughter’s story and the seasons of her own life. Kathy has documented the names of hundreds of murdered women, men, and LGBTQ2s+ persons. She has summarized the 213 Calls to Justice from the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Women.

Lisa Arsenault, 48, was murdered on May 24, 2020, the day before the launch of Edmonton’s 16th Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week. Her family, too, has spoken publicly about their grief and hope that the killer would be found. He was, thanks to video surveillance at the south side hotel where her body was found. Ian Stewart Gainer, a 32 year-old man from Camrose, was charged with first degree murder on August 21st. Lisa’s sister and sons expressed their great relief, although they will experience grief anew when the public trial begins.

CEASE keeps a sad list of sexually exploited persons murdered in the Edmonton area. That list stands at 44 since 1983 and only 13 have been solved. Behind every name on this list, families and communities grieve for these individuals. CEASE hosts an Annual Memorial on August 14 to remember all those whose lives are stolen, whether through murder, suicide, addictions, or illness. Memorials help those who grieve know they are not alone. Memorials are a drumbeat, calling for action.

Kate is the Executive Director of the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).

The Age of Aquarius

An ancient curse is, “may you live in interesting times.” These are indeed interesting times.

Just as men with far right beliefs have been elected to power, there seems to be more people rising up to expose and defeat them. Just as social media made it easier for men to harass women, brave women have taken a stand and exposed those predators. The world has risen up to protest police violence against those who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour). And we have simultaneously helped and fought each other in the face of COVID-19.

Change, even if it’s for the good, is stressful. I’m hoping that many of the changes brought about by COVID-19 are permanent, such as shopping locally, growing our own food, and making our own bread. Spending more time with our families is the new normal. We have time to read more books. We have more time to take out of what were our busy days to think about our lives and to reflect inward. We are in a position to inspect our relationships, to weed out people who are only a source of stress, and to cultivate the relationships that add value to our quality of life.

I fully believe we are in the Age of Aquarius with so many changes in the world. Many astrologers see the Age of Aquarius as that time when humanity takes control of the Earth and its own destiny as its rightful heritage, with the destiny of humanity being the revelation of truth and the expansion of consciousness. Some people will experience mental enlightenment in advance of others and therefore be recognized as the new leaders in the world. It seems to me that the world has become more polarized; we are seeing the very best and the very worst of people. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we are one species. There are some selfish and bigoted people who have been given a voice by certain politicians, while other people have been led by people who work tirelessly for justice and goodness.

In these days of change I hope everyone is taking advantage of the last of the season to get fresh air and sunshine to prepare ourselves for a new season in this Age of Aquarius. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves so we can all be stronger.

Manon is a resident of Boyle Street and an active volunteer in the community. This column contains her own opinions, and is not affiliated with the Boyle Street Community League.

Remembering Orlando Bruno

Orlando Bruno.  Gary Garrison

I have five sparkling red jars marked “Mr. Bruno’s Cherry Syrup” left in the pantry, the result of Orlando Bruno’s generosity, sharing the bounty of his fruit trees with his neighbours. Now those trees have lost their loving caretaker.

Mr. Bruno passed away on August 5th, after 64 years in McCauley. He was born in Calabria Italy in 1931 and came to Canada in the 1950s.

I met Mr. Bruno shortly after moving to McCauley in 2010. We wanted an apple tree in our new front yard, and I had heard of Mr. Bruno’s reputation when my daughter Diana interviewed him for the Firewood Institute, which was collecting stories of people who practiced sustainable agriculture in the city. My partner Gary and I knocked on his door, after considering the lock on the gate and a big “Beware of Dog” sign posted on the fence (no dog to be seen). He was a walking encyclopedia on gardening.

He worked for years at the University of Alberta as a maintenance man, all the while sharing his knowledge of tree grafting with professors and students, and raising four sons with his beloved wife Carmela.

Mr. Bruno got started in Edmonton with the help of another McCauley giant, Frank Spinelli, who provided a job as a chef in a camp near Hinton, giving him time to learn English. As his son shared in a moving eulogy at Mr. Bruno’s memorial service, he worked there for 18 months, cooking by day and cutting hair by night and saving money to eventually move to his second house in McCauley where he filled his triple lot with apples, cherries, vegetables, and tomatoes, and his cupboard with a good red wine which he offered to anyone who dropped by.

At his memorial service, a son shared how his father, with a grade two education, prospered and balanced his wife’s “generosity and warmth” with his “frugality and strictness” as I’m sure you’d need with four sons. His life took a downturn when Carmela died in 1995 but as his son quoted, “complaining doesn’t change anything,” and he carried on until he broke his ankle this spring and charmed the EMS staff who came to his rescue.

His trees and his knowledge will continue to bear fruit for years to come, but the neighbourhood will miss his large personality and presence in the big corner lot.

Sara lives in McCauley.

Dan Taylor: “Comedy is curated to provoke an emotional reaction.”

Dan Taylor. Corine Demas  

Dan Taylor performed comedy with Heart of the City in 2018 and 2019.

Dan, a resident of McCauley who is currently pursuing his Masters in Theology, started doing comedy in 2011. “I started doing comedy because I got out of doing social work and got into doing full-time church ministry. It was easy to be always around people who believed exactly as I believed, and that’s just not a healthy thing for people in ministry. I like to be around people who are challenging me. So I started doing comedy. I started doing it at an opportune time because it was a boom time again and especially for corporate comedy in the city. I started in December and in a couple of months, I was getting paid gigs because I had a clean 20 minutes and that was really valuable at the time. I stuck with it. I love the people, I love the venues. I do love the art form.”

When I asked Dan if he considers himself an artist he said, “I really prefer the analogy of craftsperson because comedy has to work in the same way that a table has to function as a table. If a carpenter or a craftsperson is making a table, they can make that table as beautiful as possible but if it doesn’t work as a table, if your coffee slides off, then it doesn’t work. I think by the same token comedy is a craft in that it has to make people laugh and if it doesn’t make people laugh that is the equivalent of a table that’s slanted.”

Dan started a podcast in his COVID-19 spare time called “Holy Sh*t.” “Basically, it is an adult Bible study with a comedian,” he explains. “I tell a story from the Bible in its unedited form. Most Bible stories that people are familiar with have been distilled for children. These stories are so old and influential. The conversation that we then have is, what does this story mean for us now and if we should just get rid of it altogether. There are some stories that could be thrown away, there are some that should be kept, and some that we should amplify.”

Dan Taylor recently performed at The Grindstone Theatre’s Re-Set Festival. In addition to listening to his podcast, you may be able to find Dan at one of the city’s open stages, like The Grindstone Theatre’s Wednesday night open stage.

Corine Demas serves as volunteer Vice President and Spoken Word Director of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton. Corine is passionate about poetry, storytelling, and her city, Edmonton.

Remembering Pastor Barrett Scheske at Inner City Pastoral Ministry

Pastor Barrett Scheske in front of the Inner City Pastoral Ministry office circa 1980. Supplied

I am now at an age where I regularly read obituaries. Last month I saw a familiar name in the Edmonton Journal from long ago. Rev. Barrett Scheske, the founding pastor at Inner City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM), had just died in Medicine Hat. Barrett came to inner city Edmonton in 1979 to start up and lead a new, innovative, ecumenical ministry initiated by Bissell Centre and the United Church of Canada.

I remember Barrett as a young, energetic, recently ordained Lutheran minister ready for new challenges. He started with Sunday services held in the basement gym in the old Bissell Centre building in the midst of a multitude of boxes, papers, bags of produce and children’s toys, with a card table for an altar. His congregation came from those who frequented Bissell Centre and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Unscripted dialogue homilies were common. The Sunday worship was usually accompanied by food supplied from local churches. During the week, Barrett conducted a “ministry of presence,” regularly visiting and talking with people at local agencies, rooming houses, and street corners. His office was shared with the old Bissell Thrift Shop on 97th Street. He became a regular at community gatherings. He even joined in a neighbourhood protest at City Hall to oppose a city proposal to close wading pools in local parks. He was easy to spot as he drove through the neighbourhood in his flashy red sports car.

Barrett stayed at ICPM for three and a half years. He helped to build an excellent foundation for ICPM. Forty years and several pastors later, ICPM has grown and thrived. It is still based at Bissell Centre, and it continues its important ecumenical ministry of service in inner city Edmonton.

I have now lived in McCauley for over 40 years. I always find it fascinating to revisit how the contributions of individuals and groups from long ago in the neighbourhood have grown and flourished over the years with succeeding generations. The story of Rev. Barrett Scheske and Inner City Pastoral Ministry is certainly one of these stories worth remembering.

Bob lives in McCauley.

Be an Apartment Ambassador or Condo Connector

New volunteer program raises the bar in urban community building.

There is a popular notion in Edmonton and beyond that if you want to have a sense of community in your neighbourhood, you should move to a street lined with single-family homes. However, if you live here in Boyle Street, a ground-floor front door is probably not your reality. According to the latest city census data, 94 percent of Boyle Street residents live in an apartment building or condo complex.

As a community league, our job is to help neighbours connect socially and mobilize civically. Unlike leagues in lower-density neighbourhoods, we can’t knock on your door because we don’t know your buzzer number. If we want to throw a block party on the street in front of your house, we can’t do that if your street is Jasper Avenue.

To create community in Boyle Street, we have to rethink how we, as your neighbourhood association, connect with you as our fellow residents. One of the most important ways we have done that is through Boyle McCauley News. When it became clear that the News could no longer afford Canada Post delivery to our neighbourhood, we immediately teamed up with the paper to find a solution. But that solution depends on you and your willingness to help.

To transform this challenge into an opportunity, the BSCL is recruiting Apartment Ambassadors and Condo Connectors. The titles are different, but the responsibilities are the same:

  1. Buzz in the Boyle McCauley News when a member of its crew comes to drop off a stack of newspapers. (This is after we get permission from your management to put a newsstand in your lobby.)
  2. Hang up a poster, or two, or a few, if it comes in with the newspaper and your building has a community bulletin board.
  3. Receive occasional emails from the BSCL board about important community updates and spread the word however you see fit.

The minimum time commitment ranges between five seconds and five minutes a month to simply buzz in the News rep and hang a poster if it comes with the paper. This, on its own, makes a major impact and we will be grateful for your help. The rest is up to you. You can invest as much time and creativity as you’d like in finding the best way to be an ambassador to your apartment or condo community.

Together, we can create a vibrant, connected community. All we need, quite literally, is to get our foot in the door. If you can help, or if you simply want more information, contact info@boylestreetcl.com.

Joelle Reiniger is vice president of the Boyle Street Community League.

An Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Pop-Up

An ESO quartet performs a pop-up concert in honour of Lindsay’s mother’s birthday. Todd Homan

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, I have been trying to focus on positive side effects that have resulted from having to change the way we interact with one another. One of them has been the way that people have adapted to keep the world moving and sane, resulting in all kinds of new experiences in how we spend time with family and support our local community.

My mom, a lifelong lover of the arts, had a milestone birthday in August. In normal years we would celebrate with a meal out, followed by a concert or play. This year, it was a bit of a quandary how to make it special given the much more limited scope of local activities and social distancing parameters. My mom’s best friend thought it was worth a try to apply to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to host one of the pop-up concerts they were having throughout the city. And guess what – they said yes!

A quartet (in this case, a flute, bassoon, bass, and violin) arrived at 7 p.m. and set up on the driveway. We let the surrounding neighbours know what was happening, so they could set up lawn chairs on their own properties to also enjoy the concert. The musicians sounded incredible, while also engaging with us and taking the time to explain the context and arrangements of the music they played. They finished their set with a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which was the best version any of us has ever experienced (and much better than hearing my family singing it!).

If not for the pandemic, we would never have had the opportunity to connect with the ESO on such a small scale, nor they with an audience who may otherwise not have the ability to attend the Symphony under regular circumstances. The pop-up concerts operate on a “pay what you can” model. The donation box appeared to be full, so hopefully it was worth their while. I know for my family, it was an incredible experience for which we are all very grateful.

Lindsay Brommeland is a McCauley resident of 14 years who will try anything once.

CEASE Annual Memorial Video

This is the 21st year for CEASE’s Annual August 14 Memorial. Due to COVID 19 safety considerations, unpredictable weather, and no back-up building facilities (washrooms, water, rain-out), CEASE made the decision to move the Annual Memorial to a video.

The key element of the Memorial is Remembering. The names of those whose lives have been stolen from them, their families and communities, are spoken. Some lives were taken through murder, some through suicide, some through addictions triggered by traumas, and some through illnesses that are a consequence of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, violence, homelessness and other factors associated with the sex trade.

You can view the video at CEASE’s Facebook group here.

Children Learn by Watching and Doing

Recently, I was looking through some old photos and realized something very important for parents to know. Our children learn by watching what we do. We might say: “Do what I say, not what I do.” However, they watch and learn from what we actually do.

The photos here are of my eldest daughter who was about 14 months old when her sister was born. So while I was busy with the new baby, she spent a lot of time with her father, “helping” him do whatever he was doing. The serious look on her face tells the story – she was trying hard to be a good kid by doing what he was doing, and he let her “help.” She is around 18 months old in these pictures. As parents, we need to be aware of the example we set, and encourage the kids to “help” in a positive way, even though they cannot do much at this young age.

Mopping the floor, watering the lawn, fixing the car, painting the fence, and shovelling dirt in the garden. She is a hard working adult today, and I believe it’s because she was encouraged to “help” at this very young age. I find these photos amazing.

Remembering Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill volunteering at Heart of the City a few years ago. Jim Gurnett

About 30 people gathered in the sunshine of Giovanni Caboto Park on a sunny July 27 afternoon to remember the life of their friend Rocky Hill. Hill died in March, doing what he loved – helping someone else. He had a heart attack after helping push a vehicle that was stuck in the snow. Because of health restrictions during the COVID-19 period, this was the earliest a public service was possible. Memories shared focused on his care for others, often cooking and serving food or helping in other ways. His love of art was also celebrated and each person who attended was invited to take a small painting or piece of jewellery he had created. The service was led by Inner City Pastoral Ministry’s Pastor Quinn Strikwerda.

Jim Gurnett is with Inner City Pastoral Ministries.

Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market in 2020

If you build it, they will come.

The Kuhlmann’s booth at the Downtown Farmers Market. Dieter Kuhlmann

Dieter Kuhlmann has been extensively involved with the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market for many years. His business, Kuhlmann’s Greenhouse Garden Market, has been a major vendor at the market since the 1970s, and he is currently serving as the market’s board chair.

When Boyle McCauley News gives him a call, Kuhlmann turns off his tractor to tell us, “We’re here for the long haul. I predict a bright future for the market. It will come.” He says the other vendors are also optimistic and excited to see what the future holds. “On the whole,” he says, “we are receiving a lot of positive feedback.”

“Food is a big thing,” Kuhlmann says, adding that interest in local food “is currently a very strong movement.” He says people like to know and trust the people from whom they get their food.

Kuhlmann says The Quarters district, with active support from the City, is slowly becoming a place to visit, as well as a place to live. He notices that not everyone is driving to the market, even though there is ample free parking (1000 free stalls when the market is open on Saturdays and Sundays). Quite a few are walking in from nearby residences.

“The market is one of the most significant places in The Quarters,” Kuhlmann says.

Located at 97 Street and 103 Avenue, the historic market building was originally the GWG factory and later an Army and Navy department store. This site offers architectural beauty and a significant amount of indoor space for vendors to display their produce, meat, fish, prepared food, artistic creations, and other wares. The avenue next to the parking lot offers space for outdoor kiosks as well, when the weather permits. But the year-round indoor venue is a big draw.

Joelle Reiniger is a member of the EDFM board and a resident of The Quarters/Boyle Street. She sees the market as much more than a structure. “It brings together people of all ages, all demographics, from all parts of the city,” she says. “The Farmers Market gives people a reason to linger and stay. When you go there, you are almost guaranteed to see somebody you know.”

Mary Ann Debrinski, the City of Edmonton’s director of urban renewal, welcomes this addition to the Quarters district. “It is a current and future attraction with a determined group of vendors,” she says.

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

Boyle Street / McCauley Neighbourhood Launch

Beginning in late July / early August you will see some activity in Boyle Street and McCauley as we prepare for Neighbourhood Renewal in your area.

Neighbourhood Renewal is part of the City’s Building Great Neighbourhoods and Open Spaces (BGNOS) Branch. Through the program, roads, sidewalks, street lights and park spaces in mature neighbourhoods are renewed and rebuilt, opportunities to improve other areas including bike connections and green spaces are explored, and mitigation for issues such as speeding and shortcutting are considered. Planning for renewal in Boyle Street and McCauley, including
engagement with residents and stakeholders, is about to get underway, with construction scheduled for 2023.

In preparation for the planning and design phase of the renewal, activities are beginning, including:

  • Lidar 3D imaging – You may see a Nektar 3D truck in the neighbourhood picking up information about road widths, curb locations, boulevard tree locations and sidewalk details. You may also notice markings on the roads at intersections – some look like a large V – these are used to support the imaging.
  • Utility location – Paint markings will start appearing on the roads, and flags of different colours will be placed showing the location of underground utilities. During this time, you will see the following vehicles: EPCOR, Telus, Tierra Geomatics and Thurber.
  • Preliminary survey – Thurber’s friendly staff will record and measure the distresses (cracks, ruts, potholes) in the pavement.
  • Pavement testing – JR Paine will be onsite to collect pavement and subgrade strength properties. The truck/equipment stops every 25 meters, applies a weight to the pavement and records the deflection of the pavement. Each test takes about five minutes. Thurber will also be collecting pavement thicknesses – this mobile test has a collection speed of 20 km per hour.
  • Pavement drilling – You may see “no parking” signs installed at select locations the day before drilling/coring. The closure will be for a single lane only and about 20 m long to accommodate a Mobile Auger drill rig and a Thurber truck. The closure may take about 45 minutes for each location and during this time, please stay away from the drill rig for your safety.

Working together to make the most of your neighbourhood

Our team will be working with residents, property owners and stakeholders in the neighbourhoods of Boyle Street and McCauley over the next three years to understand your needs and desires for this renewal as part of the input process to shape the future neighbourhood.

We know some great work has already been conducted in these neighbourhoods that we would like to use as a starting point, where relevant, for our project and discussion. We will be reaching out to stakeholder organizations in the coming weeks to share more details on our project and discuss how we might learn from the work conducted previously and how we might cooperate/collaborate moving forward to the benefit of all.

This is your city and your neighbourhood. We want to understand how you experience your neighbourhood and ask for your input on what we might do to make it better. We will engage and work with you on the renewal of roads, sidewalks, street lights and park spaces and promote other community opportunities to enhance how people live and interact in Boyle Street and McCauley. We commit to being open and transparent about how your input is used. Let’s make the most out of your neighbourhood.

For more information, please contact:
Becky Redford at 780.496.4887 or becky.redford@edmonton.ca
Leanne Janke at 780.914.4543 or leanne.janke@edmonton.ca
Chase Gingles at 780.996.4372 or chase.gingles@edmonton.ca

Information provided by the City of Edmonton.

October 2020

Hi everyone! All of us here at Boyle McCauley News hope you are keeping safe and well.

As mentioned in “McCauley Musings” in this issue, we have discontinued our Canada Post mail-out to Boyle Street for financial reasons. Be sure to keep checking our website (bmcnews.org) and our social media for the locations of the newspaper boxes we are placing in the area. We are bmcnews on "Facebook":https://www.facebook.com/bmcnews and "Twitter":https://www.twitter.com/bmcnews, and bmcviews on Instagram.

If you would like to facilitate delivery to your building, see page 11 about how you can become an Apartment Ambassador or Condo Connector. If you live in a house and can deliver to your street, we can also arrange a drop-off.

You can also help the paper remain sustainable in the future by taking part in our micro-donation campaign. Head to bmcnews.org/donate bmcnews.org/donate for more information. Even donating as little as $2 each month can go a long way towards helping the paper remain sustainable. We also hope to have other fundraising initiatives in the near future (like our recent Pampered Chef online party), so stay tuned!

Comments? Questions? Want to volunteer? You can reach me at editor@bmcnews.org.

As the Paper Pivots

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a lot of businesses and organizations. Boyle McCauley News has also had to pivot (one of the new pandemic buzzwords) in these challenging times.

As a non-profit community newspaper, we rely on both advertising and fundraising. Our planned raffle this year was cancelled due to a lack of events at which to sell tickets, which is also hard to do while socially distancing. As well, our casino has been postponed indefinitely.

As a result, the paper’s board has had to make some major budget changes for our new fiscal year. This includes discontinuing the Canada Post mail-out to Boyle Street. If you live in Boyle Street, know that we still value you as readers. We are in the process of putting more newspaper boxes in the area (in addition to our existing one at Boyle Street Plaza). We hope to have one outside the Farmers Market, as well as several along Jasper Avenue.

If you want papers dropped off at your building, see page 11 about how you can volunteer as an Apartment Ambassador or Condo Connector. If you live in a house and would like to deliver to your street, we can arrange that too.

We are also looking for more Block Carriers in McCauley. The mail-out overlapped with some blocks in the area, so we have a bunch of new routes, as well as established ones needing new carriers. Contact me at editor@bmcnews.org for more information.

Edmonton CDC Purchases Wyser Manor

Wyser Manor. Matt Steringa

Edmonton Community Development Company (CDC) has purchased an 11-unit apartment house in the heart of McCauley. Built in 1912, Wyser Manor was a boarded-up derelict property before being extensively renovated by Wyser Contracting in 2000.

“This is a well-maintained, beautiful apartment house providing permanent housing to persons on fixed incomes,” said Mark Holmgren, Executive Director of the CDC. “Owning it means we can preserve quality housing and the long-term affordability of rents.”

Last year, the CDC partnered with the McCauley community to create an investment co-op that led to 91 investors, including the CDC, purchasing the Piazza strip mall on 95th Street. The CDC is also working with the community on a major development on 95 Street just north of the railroad tracks.

“The CDC is committed to taking on projects and initiatives that strengthen urban core neighbourhoods,” says Holmgren. “Growing the local economy and increasing the number of quality housing opportunities are part of that commitment.”

Plans to develop market affordable housing are also underway in urban core neighbourhoods. Said Holmgren, “urban core neighbourhoods require integrated strategies to stimulate the local economy, preserve quality housing, and to create housing that attracts more families to the area.”

Born out of the Mayor’s Task Force to End Poverty, the CDC began its work in 2018. Other initiatives include the development of a community hub in northeast Edmonton, a partnership to deliver mobile food markets in low income areas of town, offering learning and supports to social entrepreneurs, and working with residents on a large development on 118th Avenue that will further advance the arts and local business growth.

Information submitted by the Edmonton CDC.

Reminders of the Past Enhance the Present

Anita Jenkins sent me a link to the article she wrote on the history of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market in the August issue, for which she had used me as a source. Of course, this alerted me to the existence of the Boyle McCauley News. I took the opportunity to browse the site and was very impressed. It is accessible and packed full of the kind of information that both reflects a community and helps to create a strong community sense.

I moved to Edmonton shortly after the downtown market was moved to 97th Street from its original location in the block now occupied by the Milner Library. On Saturday mornings, when I arrived early to shop, I parked my car a few blocks away so I could walk by the Chinese barbecue shops. I thought of the area as slightly run down but exotic. And, before his death in 2006, Ewen Nelson – Boyle Street resident, keen market shopper, and friend to many – worked hard in the community and was a big booster for Boyle Street.

More recently, when I was doing research for my book on the social and cultural history of gardening in Edmonton, I discovered that Thomas Henderson, Edmonton’s first beekeeper, lived on Fraser Avenue (98th Street) in the 1880s before he moved to Rabbit Hill. His wife Peggy’s roses were often commented on in the Edmonton Bulletin. The Hendersons and their friend/neighbour, J. Knowles, market gardened on Fraser Avenue. Here is an advertisement from the Bulletin on August 21, 1888: “All kinds of vegetables and herbs for sale at the Fraser Avenue Gardens. Orders left with Mrs. T. Henderson or J. Knowles will be promptly filled and delivered.”

These little reminders of the past make the present so much more interesting than it would otherwise be.

The Decadence of France, Delivered

Croissant and cookies. Paula E. Kirman

Macarons and Goodies French Bakery
10548 101 Street
587-473-6400
macaronsgoodies.com

On hot summer days I sometimes feel like enjoying smaller meals, as well indulging in sweet treats.

A craving for a sandwich and pastries inspired me to try Macarons and Goodies. Located just across from McCauley’s west border, the French bakery features a variety of pastries in addition to breakfast selections, sandwiches, salads, and other lunch items. There are also coffee and other beverages to be had.

Still trying to stay home as much as possible, I ordered from Uber Eats. The shop also delivers via SkipTheDishes and DoorDash. For my lunch, I decided on a smoked salmon flatbread sandwich. My two biggest, consistent complaints about flatbreads are that they either don’t have enough toppings on them, or that the bread itself is bland (or both).

This flatbread had neither of these problems. The bread was chewy in the middle, and crunchy all around the edges. Served slightly warm, it was loaded with smoked salmon, capers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and dill. When I ordered, I was given the option to customize to some extent, so I opted to hold the cream cheese, as I have never really liked it. I didn’t miss it in the least. The portion was small, but mighty.

Of course, when ordering from a French bakery I cannot resist getting a few treats. The raspberry sablé cookie had delicious, sweet raspberry preserves between two fresh shortbread cookies, lightly dusted with icing sugar. The chocolate financier cookie had the consistency of moist cake, filled with oozing dark chocolate. Both cookies were small, but extremely rich.

Finally, how could I resist trying a croissant? I absolutely love croissants, and I was not disappointed. The crunchy, flaky layers on the outside gave way to the softer, chewier interior of buttery goodness.

At Macarons and Goodies, you are going to pay for quality. The flatbread was $11.95. My cookies were $1.50 for the raspberry sablé and $1.75 for the chocolate financier, and the croissant was $2.95. With taxes, the delivery fee, and tip, my lunch came to around $30. However, for an occasional treat, it’s worth it. Macarons and Goodies also offers pre-payment with a credit card, and curbside pick-up. Treat yourself to something decadent.

Edmonton:  Mercury Opera Presents a Lemonade Summer of Entertainment

Summer Lemonade Series

Events include intimate but socially distanced 45-60 minute outdoor performances in garden locations. These concerts will feature some of Edmonton’s finest classical and jazz musicians in a potpourri of musical selections.

Classical garden programme (soprano & piano) August 8th, Little Italy
Features some of opera and operetta’s greatest hits, art songs and more sung by Cara Lianne McCleod accompanied by Emilio De Mercato and a surprise guest.
Instrument sponsored by The Piano Centre
SOLD OUT

Jazz meets Mercury Opera (Jazz trio with soprano Darcia Parada & tenor Boris Derow)*
Saturday August 15th (Private Event) 6-7 p.m.
Sunday August 16th Garden Concert Little Italy 6-7 p.m.
Thursday August 20 Garden/Terrace Fairmont Hotel MacDonald 6 – 7 p.m.
Sponsored by: The Downtown Business Association, The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, PSVA Virtual Events.

Program:
“Don’t you know/Quando m’en vo” – La Boheme – Puccini
“Summertime” – Gershwin
“Autumn Leaves” – Kosma
“Yes My Darling Daughter” – Lawrence
“Habanera” – Carmen by Bizet
“Toreador song” – Carmen by Bizet
“Smile” – Chaplin
“Intermezzo – Cavalleria Rusticana” – Mascagni
“Moon River” – Mancini
“O sole mio/It’s now or never” – Di Capua
“That’s Amore” – Warren
“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” – Gershwin
“What’ll I Do” – Irving Berlin

The series will be capped off with a weekend of Drive in – “Opera in the Movies” classics in partnership with Bonnie Doon Centre and features live pre- movie entertainment.

Friday August 28th Mercury Opera presents The Marx Brothers madcap comedy A Night at the Opera, “one of those classic films you can see dozens of times and laugh just as hard as you did the first time.” Heaven knows we all could use a good laugh or two this summer. It will also feature a pre-screening live show by tenor Boris Derow and friends performing music from the movie.

Saturday August 29th
The original Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, and a pre-show with live jazz ensemble “The Dungeon Quartet” performing hits from the era including “The Prisoner’s Song,” “Tea for two,” “Yes, Sir that’s my Baby” and more.

For both events:

Gates opens at 7:30 – Live performance- 8:30 – Movie screens at 9 p.m.

Mercury Opera is known for messing with the public’s perception of opera bringing it to railway platforms, tents, boats, back alleys, strip clubs, saloons, a diner, and the Badlands Amphitheatre.

Partners and Sponsors for the Bonnie Doon event include:
Bonnie Doon Centre
Fresh Air Media
French Quarter Business Association
La Cité Francophone
Creative Connects
PCL
CKUA Radio

To Purchase Tickets visit mercuryopera.com

For artist bios and photos, more info or to find out how you can book an outdoor physically distant, but socially connected, concert in your neighbourhood contact, Darcia Parada at 780-803-1849.

Information submitted by Mercury Opera.

Edmonton Intercultural Centre: Taking Bookings and Preparing for Alberta Culture Days

A participant paints a trash can during Show Your Colours. Sim Senol

EIC Now Taking Bookings

EIC (9538 107 Avenue) has reopened its doors to activities under strict precautions against COVID-19. The building is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on a regular basis, with additional hours until 10:30 p.m. based on the specific needs of community groups using our facility. EIC has started accepting reservations for bookings. Masks are required in the building for all activities other than sports. We require groups to adhere to the 2 metre physical distancing rule, so we can only accommodate bookings for up to 50 people at this time. We have implemented strict sanitizing protocols that include sanitizing each shared space between usage by different groups.

Alberta Culture Days

Mark your calendars for an amazing Alberta Culture Days event for September 5th and 6th. We have applied for a grant through this program and, if approved, will bring together local artists representing 20 different cultures with art lovers to paint the old trash cans of the McCauley School building. Earlier in July we held a dry run to see how the finished art pieces will work which has made us even more excited about the prospects of our “Show Your Colours” event in September. We will be closely following the guidance from Alberta Health and have already made alternate plans to either run the activity as an appropriately distanced outdoor event OR as a virtual one. Once all the cans are painted we hope to turn them into a travelling exhibition, and let Edmontonians vote for the best one. Make sure you follow the EIC Facebook or Twitter pages to get more information about details.

Sim Senol is the Executive Director of the Edmonton Intercultural Centre.

CO*LAB: Building Arts in Boyle Street

The CO*LAB address. Stewart Burdett

You may have noticed the bright yellow doors on the newest building on 102a Avenue. This is CO*LAB (Community Arts Laboratory). CO*LAB (9641 102a Avenue) is a community-run arts facility managed by the Quarters Arts Society. Though they are not officially open for business, Quarters Arts is opening their doors every Saturday for their Summer Music Series, and invites you to join them outside (and socially distanced) for live performances from local artists between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

July 18th featured three amazing local artists: Mustafa Rafiq (multidisciplinary artist whose primary focus recently has been in exploring feelings connected with diaspora, gender expression, and alienation through sound art), Dwennimmen (a spoken word artist who uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic, and spiritual fortitude), and Tasana Zurch of Pepper’d (a Black arts organization focused on developing opportunities and resources in Edmonton for Black creatives).

Saturday, July 25th will feature sets from Creeasian. Born Matthew Wood, he is is well-known in Edmonton’s Hip Hop circles. The moniker “Creeasian” came about when a friend asked him about his ethnic heritage. Wood said he was Cree and Vietnamese and his friend immediately replied, “Hey, you’re a Creeasian!”

Each week, Quarters Arts will be curating a show for Edmonton, by Edmonton artists and creatives. Once CO*LAB is officially open to the public, they will feature events in their performance hall, gallery space, workshop spaces, and more. CO*LAB will also have many rental opportunities for performances, gatherings, shows, studios, offices, kitchen, and more. If you would like to learn more about Quarters Arts, CO*LAB, or performing at the Summer Music Series, you can contact them at info@quartersarts.org.

Manda Brownrigg is the Operations Director of Quarters Arts.

A Summer Update from Safer McCauley

The McCauley Litter Squad in action during the McCauley Clean-Up. Mark Davis

McCauley Community Clean-Up & Litter Squad

The Annual McCauley Community Clean-Up has provided a valuable service to our neighbourhood for many years. Due to COVID-19, this year’s clean-up could not take place in the same way it has in the past. To adapt, a contractor provided by McCauley Revitalization, E4C, the McCauley Community League, and Safer McCauley picked up unwanted large items free of charge. With no registration required, households and businesses simply placed items in their alleys on the advertised dates of June 19th and 20th.

Significant demand for the service – and some unforeseen challenges – caused the clean-up to take longer than expected. Ultimately, all items were picked up and 18 dumpster truck loads were taken to the Waste Management Centre. Community-based social enterprise partners (Mustard SeedWorks and Boyle Street Ventures) assisted with cleaning up any loose messes left behind. The McCauley Litter Squad also took part in the event, with 22 community members volunteering for a short “litter blitz” on June 20th.

Illegally Dumped Junk

Illegally dumped junk is a regular concern in McCauley. Households and businesses can now request free pick up of illegally dumped junk throughout the year. For assistance with large items dumped on your property and/or public property, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca. Targeted turnaround for pick up is 48 hours. Revitalization and Safer McCauley are pleased to be partnering with Boyle Street Ventures to support this service. Boyle Street Ventures will also be scheduled for several sweeps of McCauley alleys to pick up illegally dumped junk throughout the year.

Chinatown is a unique asset in McCauley, Boyle Street, Downtown, Central McDougall, and the entire Edmonton area. Please consider supporting its restaurants, markets, bakeries, and other businesses whenever possible.

Support for the Chinatown Business Improvement Area

Safer McCauley and Revitalization are participating in a process to increase support for the Chinatown Business Improvement Area (BIA). This year’s community clean up expanded service throughout the BIA. And the BIA is now making regular use of the free service to pick up illegally dumped items.

A partnership between the BIA, Revitalization, Capital City Clean Up, and the Mustard Seed now supports SeedWorks to provide 32 hours per week of proactive litter and needle clean up on public property in the BIA – as well as 16 more hours throughout McCauley. A partnership with Boyle Street Ventures also adds pressure washing to the list of services available to the BIA community.

On July 14th, a Chinatown Community Meeting brought together a representative group of stakeholders to discuss safety and build collaboration in support of the BIA. The meeting was convened by REACH Edmonton. Those invited included the Chinatown BIA Board, the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative, the Chinese Benevolent Association, and multiple community leagues. Also represented were the Mayor’s Office, the Ward 6 City Councillor’s Office, several City departments, Boyle Street Ventures, #YEGAmbassadors, EPS, and REACH. Participants enjoyed a productive meeting and began to identify and prioritize their concerns.

Chinatown is a unique asset in McCauley, Boyle Street, Downtown, Central McDougall, and the entire Edmonton area. Please consider supporting its restaurants, markets, bakeries, and other businesses whenever possible.

Chinatown & McCauley Safety Resources Booklet

At the Chinatown Community Meeting, Safer McCauley presented a new Chinatown & McCauley Safety Resource Booklet. The document, compiled in collaboration with McCauley Revitalization, will be an updated “who-to-call” resource to be made available online and distributed in hard copy to households and businesses. Some of the available resources are represented in the updated Boyle Street and McCauley Crime and Safety Contacts list in this issue of Boyle McCauley News. The booklet and the list represent a greater emphasis on 24/7 Crisis Diversion and other McCauley-relevant services, while still connecting the community to Edmonton Police Services.

_Mark is REACH Edmonton’s Neighbourhoods Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca

Heart of the City 2020

The (Modified) Show Must Go On.

Heart of the City 2020 looks a little different this year, but a lot has been happening!

This year, we had a pop-up concert and Facebook livestream at Mainstreet Park in Inglewood. The show was held outside, with the stage under a grand old tree. We featured the comedy of up-and-coming stand-up comedians Leo Langford, Brad Semitux, and Britney Campbell. We also heard music from emerging artists Benjamin Williams and Dempsey Bolton.

On the first weekend of June, we held livestreams on Facebook with singer-songwriters Donna Durand and Rebecca Lappa. We also featured the music and art of some of Edmonton’s most talented youth, including Shandoa Vivian & Dezmond Morningchild and Amy Polczer, with the support of CreArt Edmonton. If you would like to watch any of these livestreams, they are available on our Heart of the City Facebook page.

We held a workshop by a wonderful Edmonton writer and visual artist, Clark. She shared with us examples of how we are influenced by mythology and helped us look at writing our own mythologies. Zach Dafoe led a workshop about diction and writing with a method he calls “Writing from the middle out!” which helped us approach our writing from a new viewpoint. At the time I am writing this, we have a couple more workshops coming up in late July and early August.

We Need Board Members!
Are you passionate about your community? Do you love live music, spoken word, visual arts, and dance? Are you looking for something valuable to do with your spare time? Heart of the City Festival Society is seeking new board members to fill some pretty important roles. We are looking for a treasurer, social media director, marketing director, volunteer coordinator, and a production assistant. You need to be willing to meet once a month between September and March and once a week from March to the first weekend of June to help us vision, plan, and execute the 2021 festival. This is a great opportunity to network in the arts, hone new skills, and help your community! Please contact us at heartcityfest@gmail.com for more information about joining this volunteer, working board. We need you!

Corine Demas serves as volunteer Vice President and Spoken Word Director of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton. Corine is passionate about poetry, storytelling, and her city, Edmonton.

Heart of the City 2020

The (Modified) Show Must Go On.

Heart of the City 2020 looks a little different this year, but a lot has been happening!

This year, we had a pop-up concert and Facebook livestream at Mainstreet Park in Inglewood. The show was held outside, with the stage under a grand old tree. We featured the comedy of up-and-coming stand-up comedians Leo Langford, Brad Semitux, and Britney Campbell. We also heard music from emerging artists Benjamin Williams and Dempsey Bolton.

On the first weekend of June, we held livestreams on Facebook with singer-songwriters Donna Durand and Rebecca Lappa. We also featured the music and art of some of Edmonton’s most talented youth, including Shandoa Vivian & Dezmond Morningchild and Amy Polczer, with the support of CreArt Edmonton. If you would like to watch any of these livestreams, they are available on our Heart of the City Facebook page.

We held a workshop by a wonderful Edmonton writer and visual artist, Clarke. She shared with us examples of how we are influenced by mythology and helped us look at writing our own mythologies. Zach Dafoe led a workshop about diction and writing with a method he calls “Writing from the middle out!” which helped us approach our writing from a new viewpoint.

Are you wishing you had made it to one of our free writing workshops online? Not to worry – we still have two more writing workshops coming! The first workshop, on July 18, is once again with facilitator Clark. She will guide us through writing mythologies for our community! And August 1, we invite you to join spoken word artist, rapper, and community activist KazMega and poet and playwright Lady Vanessa for “Reimagining Art as a Process to Heal.” They will guide us through some examples of their artistic works to describe their methods of writing through traumatic times and give us the chance to write and share our own work. If you want to join these workshops go to our Heart of the City Facebook page and register your email address to be invited!

We Need Board Members!
Are you passionate about your community? Do you love live music, spoken word, visual arts, and dance? Are you looking for something valuable to do with your spare time? Heart of the City Festival Society is seeking new board members to fill some important roles. We are looking for a treasurer, social media director, marketing director, volunteer coordinator, and a production assistant. You need to be willing to meet once a month between September and March and once a week from March to the first weekend of June to help us vision, plan, and execute the 2021 festival! This is a great opportunity to network in the arts, hone new skills, and help your community! Please contact us at heartcityfest@gmail.com for more information about joining this volunteer, working board! We need you!

Corine Demas serves as volunteer Vice President and Spoken Word Director of the Heart of the City Festival Society of Edmonton. Corine is passionate about poetry, storytelling, and her city, Edmonton.

#ChalkTheBlockYEG

Amazing sidewalk chalk art with positive messages was featured at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market on several weekends in July as part of #ChalkTheBlockYEG. #ChalkTheBlockYEG is an initiative of YEG Downtown Collaboration in support of the United Way.

Top: A creation from Quarters Arts on July 4th.
Bottom: A Round Dance with Lance Cardinal’s art at the centre, on July 11th.

Photos courtesy of YEG Downtown Collaboration.

Tony Hits the Street Again

Vietnamese sandwiches are a crunchy, delicious delight.

Chicken satay banh mi. Tony Forchetta

Nhon Hoa Sandwich Bar
9718 106 Avenue
780-425-0932
www.nhonhoaedmonton.com

It’s been a crazy few months and your ol’ buddy Tony is not sure what to think about the new way of things. Of course, me and Missus Tony have been holed up and eating well during this time. Why not? We made a lot of fresh pasta, bread, sausages and even bacon. But it’s taken a real toll on the waistline, and now with summer here (kinda) we gotta get that beach bod ready – if only we could actually go to the beach.

Oh well. I figured I would venture out and check out some of my old haunts and see who is still around and serving up some tasty treats. One of my faves has always been Nhon Hoa down the street in Chinatown. Their specialty? Bahn mi – or, as I like to say, “Bun? Me? Why Not?”

Now, I’ve gotten my fill of them tasty sandwiches from the Italian Centre Shop over the years, as well as a TON of meatball sandwiches courtesy of yours truly. But Nhon Hoa does something completely off the hook. These are Vietnamese subs and if you ain’t never had one, oh baby are you missing out.

You might ask, “Vietnamese subs? What gives, Tony?” Well, lemme throw you some history. It all started back when the French occupied Vietnam, leading up to the establishment of French Indochina in 1887. In addition to their architecture, the French introduced the baguette, which has become part of a tasty, crunchy, little roll called a bahn mi.

Nhon Hoa has perfected this sandwich by offering that crispy little roll full of almost any kind of filling you want, from shredded pork and chicken, to veggies and various cold cuts. The key is to have the tasty mayo and all the greens including the hot peppers. Crispy raw carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and sliced peppers, and whatever filling you like.

Me and Missus Tony like the satay chicken or the shredded pork and chicken. Tony likes some variety and can be a little adventurous, so I’ll mix it up and try something new sometimes. But I ain’t never had a bad sandwich, ever!

Make sure to take cash, ‘cuz they ain’t got no machine, but there is an ATM in the corner. And you don’t need much dough, ‘cuz a sandwich is under $10 and will leave you smiling. You can get a spring roll or one of them bubble drinks (Tony don’t like them bubbles much) or even a meatball. Hey, who knew? So do the right thing and check it out. If you’ve already been, get your bones down there and do it again. If we don’t look after these little gems, they just might not be there down the road.

Ciao for now, be well, look after each other, and, as always, Tutti Mangiare!

Tony lives in McCauley.

“So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”

A fond farewell to McCauley.

In 2012 my wife, daughter, and I purchased our home here in McCauley. We moved in mid-summer and were able to experience all that summer in McCauley had to offer. We met some of our neighbours, and started to settle in. Of note were the neighbours immediately on either side, Mario and Vittoria Sarnelli and Wally and Ingre Lysz. That sealed the deal and we felt like it was home.

Over time we got to know more and more folks. In 2014 (or 15, I forget) we got involved with the Revitalization project and met even more amazing people. That blossomed into my joining the Community League board the next year and becoming its Chair a year later. It’s been an incredible ride, and I’ve found myself engaged and committed to an adopted community that I am proud to be a part of.

Over the past years we’ve sponsored several events like the Spring Fiesta, Movie Night in the Park, Bend it with Beat, Halloween Nights, and Christmas events. We’ve also attended numerous City Council meetings, went to bat for residents at City Hall, and given interviews to the media about the community. I’ve always been proud to represent and promote our home community, and despite some of the obvious challenges that come with living here, we remain positive.

So it is with a heavy heart and some sadness that I share that Steph and I are selling our amazing home to pursue a new adventure in British Columbia. This will likely be my final article. I am grateful to have had this column to share with you all the League has done, and to have heard from so many of you over the years.

The work I’ve been a part of does not leave with me. In fact, I hope that my legacy is simply that anyone can make a difference – you just have to get up and show up. The League is in particular need of help as always, and even more now due to recent budget cuts from the City and lack of casino fundraisers via AGLC.

I encourage anyone and everyone to think about where they are at and what they want to be a part of. This entire COVID-19 pandemic has made a lot of people take a pause and look at their lives and make decisions. I think that is a good thing, because it refocuses us and makes us evaluate what’s important. If your home and community are important to you, this is a great chance to get involved. Speak with your neighbours and get to know each other. Speak to a League member or grab a membership from Zocalo. It is up to each of us to see the best in each other and the community. Be the change you want to see in the world (to quote Mahatma Gandhi).

I can honestly say that our time in McCauley has made a lasting impression on all of our lives and helped me, in particular, tap into a part of myself I can truly be proud of: McCauley Proud.

There are too many people for me to thank and acknowledge, but I think you all know who you are. And, in the words of the dolphins from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

_Greg is the President of the McCauley Community League. He can be reached at league@mccauleycl.com

Convoy for Action

One of the cars in the Convoy for Action. Paula E. Kirman

On June 3rd, over 130 cars convoyed from Borden Park through McCauley to the Alberta Legislature, honking to passers-by, clapping, or waving in solidarity.

The Convoy for Action was organized by April Eve Wiberg, the volunteer leader of the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness movement, and Stephanie Harpe, representative for #MMEIP: Missing, Murdered, and Exploited Indigenous Persons.

They wanted to call attention to the fact that there has been no national action on the 231 Calls for Justice released on June 3rd, 2019 by the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. This national action plan requires participation at the federal, territorial, provincial, municipal, and Indigenous government levels. The Inquiry Report States: “As part of the National Action Plan, we call upon all governments to ensure that equitable access to basic rights such as employment, housing, education, safety, and health care is recognized as a fundamental means of protecting Indigenous and human rights, resourced and supported as rights-based programs founded on substantive equality.”

The tragedies continue. Sadly, on the night before the declaration of Edmonton’s Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week, a woman of Indigenous heritage was found murdered in a hotel on Gateway Boulevard on May 24th. Her sister spoke out at the gathering before the convoy began driving. She said her sister struggled with mental health and trauma. She had been hospitalized for a month in February and lost her housing. Her family didn’t know where she was. Staying in that cheap hotel and doing what she needed to do to cope with her pain cost her life. Police continue to look for the man who killed her.

CEASE has faithfully kept the light of remembrance burning for 21 years by hosting the Annual August 14th Memorial for all those whose lives have been stolen through sexual exploitation. We will add her name to the long list of women, men, transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people who have died, whether through murder, suicide, addictions, or illness.

This year, due to COVID-19 and the weather, the Memorial will be video recorded and posted on Facebook.

One action each person can take is to read the Recommendations tabled by the Inquiry.

Kate is the Executive Director of the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).

Supportive Housing: Things Are Looking Up

I come bearing good news.

The City is beefing up its response to slum housing and investing upwards of $50 million to create supportive housing for our most wounded, vulnerable, homeless citizens.

I don’t have to tell you, but this has been a long journey. The people of Boyle Street and McCauley are some of the most compassionate people I’ve met. Yet the side effects of poverty, mental illness, and addiction have haunted your neighbourhoods for far too long.

Businesses suffer. Families pick up and leave. It’s not fair. These are beautiful neighbourhoods with historic and cultural character.

I became frustrated with the City’s enforcement of bylaws related to derelict or slum housing. You may recall I wrote an article in January’s issue of the paper. The problem properties motion had just been made and city administration was working closely with community representatives.

So now we fast forward a few months and — ta da — the freshly branded Problem Properties Initiative.

City staff opened new channels of communication and engagement so slum (and drug) houses can be reported and responded to quickly.

Communication is key. If the Problem Properties Initiative has success, you’ll know. If all is quiet, you can demand to know why. No hiding.

I’m also excited by city council’s approval of $53 million in funding for five supportive housing projects. Four of the sites were announced already. None of them are in Ward 6, which supports city council’s policy of creating mixed market/non-market housing neighbourhoods across Edmonton.

Boyle Street and McCauley are compassionate neighbourhoods. But there’s been too much concentration of homelessness in your communities.
One of the five supportive housing facilities will be a pilot project for modular construction.

At the same time, the City is establishing a transitional housing facility at the former jockey clubhouse on the Northlands site. It aims to be operating by the end of the year.

Solving homelessness and reducing social disorder in Ward 6 neighbourhoods has been my highest priority. We have people in our midst living the most desperate lives, largely because of trauma and the resulting mental illness and self-medicating addiction. They deserve to live in dignity. They deserve help to return to an engaged life. In helping them, we reduce the stress in neighbourhoods like Boyle Street and McCauley.

It will take some time yet. But things are looking up.

Councillor Scott McKeen represents Ward 6 on city council.

Plan to Volunteer

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” -Jenny Han (American Author)

We have likely had one of the oddest summers on record due to the pandemic. Summer is when our city and community shines as bright as the sun. Yes, all festivals have been postponed and many places are conducting business differently, but we can still enjoy the beautiful weather safely. I am sure everyone must see the changes around them. I am hoping things will return to a sense of what they once were, if we all work together.

We are known as “Festival City” due to our abundance of year-round festivals. When things get running again, let’s give all the support we can – for example, by volunteering. Volunteering is not only valuable for the organizers, it is valuable for us all!

I have met incredible people through volunteering, and despite having a physical disability, it seems I always manage to be included. In fact, this paper is run by a large number of volunteers! I am a proud volunteer columnist.

Being involved is stimulating and educational. So, as our summer comes to a close, remember there will be another summer next year. In the meantime, let’s help each other to do our best. Together, a community can be inclusive and powerful.

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

Potatoes and the Pandemic

A simple dish with fresh ingredients.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive surplus of potatoes here in Canada.

Potatoes are a root vegetable originally cultivated by Indigenous Peruvians and eventually brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the 1500s.

This starch-filled vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked. However, dietitians advise against eating uncooked potatoes due to the difficulty they can cause for one’s digestion

For this recipe you can use any type of potato, but I prefer to use small (size of a golf ball) yellow potatoes for crispier results. You will need a large baking sheet.

*Twice Cooked Smashed Potatoes *

*Ingredients: *

  • 1.5 pounds small potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Fine sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • In a pot the size of a dutch oven or soup pot, heat water to a boil.
  • Next, add potatoes and a pinch of salt. Be sure that there is a minimum of 1 inch of water covering the potatoes. Let cook for approximately 20 minutes until tender. Once cooked, drain the water and let the potatoes cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
  • Lightly oil a large baking sheet with olive oil. Using a basting or pastry brush to do this makes it easier.
  • Place potatoes on the baking sheet. Using a fork or potato masher gently “smash” the potatoes until they are flattened. The thinner the crispier.
  • Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic/garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake in oven for approximately 25 minutes or until they are crisp and golden on the edges.

*This is the type of recipe where you can add a variety of herbs and spices on the potatoes before placing them in the oven: thyme, rosemary, green onion, chives, parsley (after they are baked). You can even use butter in place of olive oil. What makes this simple potato dish taste great is the use of minimal, simple, and fresh ingredients.

Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.

The Gift and the Grief of COVID-19

Darcia’s house before. Darcia Parada

As an opera producer/director, my world unravelled when the pandemic struck, and its future remains uncertain.The early days felt a bit like being trapped in a blizzard. We created online performances, playing music while we “stayed home,” until it became clear this was going to be a long haul. Shows with multiple singers are a no go, so I turned to bread baking. One loaf became two and in days, my experiment became a side hustle.

A designer friend weathered the storm in Edmonton until she could fly back to Portugal. Before leaving, she popped by for a physically-distant backyard visit inspiring us to paint our house. “You need colour!” she said. Thus began its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.

This article was meant to be about how COVID-19 created an opportunity for creativity. Instead, it’s about love and grief. The day after our last shutter was painted and hung, we lost our chocolate lab, Koco. The joy of completing our home project is tempered by tears, and the final step of staining the deck of our newly red, yellow, and turquoise house is paused while we mourn.

The large rescue’s physical and soulful presence was an anchor and calming force in our family: LOVE wrapped in fur.

Koco’s walks took him all over McCauley until age and mobility issues made his adventures less adventuresome. Most summers he was a fixture outside Spinelli’s on sunny days waiting for me to get my cappuccino before resuming his morning walk.

Good natured, kind, and gentle, he loved to stop and smell the flowers.

Koco loved being with his pack, understanding the importance of family, friends, and human connection.

Koco loved food and sharing snacks. Movie nights with popcorn included a bowl for Koco.

Koco loved walks and naps. Koco welcomed any opportunity to crack the gate, break out and see the world, even if it was only to visit a neighbour’s yard, remaining safe until reclamation.

Always in the moment, Koco would sit on the deck, breathe the night air, and look at the stars.

He loved music and sat under the piano, listening as we sang.

Koco didn’t need COVID-19 to teach him what was essential. In these fragile times, we all grieve in some way for what we’ve lost. Our beloved Koco shows us what is true, beautiful, and what matters. The rest is foam.

Darcia lives in McCauley.

An Indigenous Response to Black Lives Matter

Around 15,000 people attended the Black Lives Matter protest in Edmonton on June 5th. Paula E. Kirman

An example of human failure that systemically reveals itself in waves, is racism. Recently, senseless deaths, or should I say murders, of Black people in the United States have given the issue light once again.

Black Lives Matter posters and marches flood newscasts. Then, inevitably, possibly feeling left out, other oppressed groups raise their voices to be heard. Their signs show up on social media. And Indigenous people are among them. I’ve seen Indigenous people asking, “What do we do about this? How do we respond?”

Well, to me it’s a no brainer: support them! Walk beside them. Don’t raise your issues to try to drown out their protest, just because they have media attention. I consider that a kind of theft. Stealing their thunder, so to speak. This demonstrates a lack of integrity.

I began to give it more serious thought and discussion. I saw on mainstream media, at one protest, a sign stating Indigenous sovereignty and Black Lives Matter on the same poster. Amen.

Then Creator brought to my attention a little known fact about June 21. Nearly 100 Indigenous people in the United States demonstrated outside the Bureau of Indian Affairs to show their support for the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C., which was conceived and organized by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

This is what I expect Indigenous people to do. So now we have a precedent. I also discovered that John Boucher (1938-2010), a long-time senator for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, and the Métis National Council had given Nelson Mandela a gift of a Métis sash on September 24, 1998 in Ottawa. When Mandela addressed Parliament later that day, he wore the sash. How cool is that?

So this is how we (Indigenous) people should respond. Stand beside, support, and also give honour to Black leaders.

Sharon Pasula is an Indigenous spiritual and cultural resource person who lives in Boyle Street.

History of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market

The story behind what has become one of the major attractions to the area.

Flowers for sale at the outdoor portion of the market. Stephanie Ould

Edmonton is surrounded by market gardens that thrive on the rich agricultural land in this region. As well, one of Alberta’s major industries continues to be agriculture, and the provincial government has at various times supported farmers markets through grants and other resources. Add to that the current public interest in farm-to-table food, and you have an environment that provides exceptional support for farmers markets.

“Alberta’s strength in markets, which it really has,” says Kathryn Merrett, “has something to do with the early years in Edmonton.” She is referring to the opening of the Rice Street Market in 1900 at Market Square (99 Street and 102 Avenue) and its continued activity there for almost 65 years, until the city chose that site for the Stanley A. Milner Library.  

Merrett became a fan of the downtown market in 1967 when she first came to Edmonton from Winnipeg. One thing led to another, and by 2001 she had published a book entitled A History of the Edmonton City Market (University of Calgary Press).

This book documents the ups and downs of this special economic and cultural element of our city. The publisher’s description of Merrett’s book says that she “sheds light on the turbulent relationship between a city’s cultural and agricultural values and the civic aspirations of the city’s officials.”

The “ups and downs” created by the outside world have included two world wars, the 1918 Spanish flu, and the Great Depression – and now, COVID-19. Within the city, there have been many booms and busts in Edmonton’s economic health, as well as major changes to the downtown core. A place that began as a small outpost in the Western Canadian frontier has quickly grown to a population of one million people and what current Edmontonians like to describe as a metropolitan atmosphere.

All through those 120 years, vendors have arrived at the downtown market almost every weekend – at least in the summer. They come to sell their produce, meat and fish, cooked dishes, artistic creations, crafts, and more. Through the generations, visitors have come to shop, visit, be entertained, and just enjoy the special atmosphere that a market provides.

In 1916 the original Market Square acquired an all-weather structure to house the market, and in 1933 an annex was added. But in the 1950s and ‘60s the market experienced a significant decline. Edmonton’s central and downtown development now focused on progress and modernization. So in 1965 the market was moved to a building on 97 Street and 102 Avenue to make way for construction of the new library.

In the summer of 2004 the market moved outdoors to 104 Street, with the closure of two city blocks on spring and summer weekends. In the fall of 2011 the market began operating year-round, moving inside City Hall in the winter.

In 2019 the downtown market made another move to its current address in the historic GWG building on 97 Street and 103 Avenue, very near to the spot where it had operated previously for almost 40 years. This location offers free parking, an attractive interior and indoor shopping year-round.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Merrett says. “I am really looking forward to buying the fresh peas and new potatoes when they arrive.”

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

Edible Landscaping

Lindsay’s espalier apple tree. Todd Homan

For the last two summers, I have been working on turning my mud pit of a yard into a functional landscape. The goals: low maintenance, high yield, and curb appeal. While these three things may seem mutually exclusive, I am happy with the progress so far (and our neighbours have nice things to say, so that’s a good sign).

A big part of planning was not to use up any precious space with grass. Not only does a lawn use a ton of resources (such as water, power, fertilizer, and time to mow) it does not produce anything useful in return. Instead I opted to plant perennials that will feed us: asparagus, saskatoons, haskaps, cherries, lingonberries, gooseberries, goji berries, and many other perennials are all hardy to our climate. You can eat your produce right away, dehydrate or freeze it for later, or turn it into jams, smoothies, fruit leathers, muffins, or whatever else floats your boat.

I found a way to squeeze in some fruit trees. The European concept of espalier made it possible on my small inner city lot. Using a framework of ropes or stakes, espalier allows you to train any fruit tree with spur growing fruit (apple, pear, apricot) into a flat pattern against a fence or wall. Mature examples of espaliered trees have elaborate, creative patterns that look amazing. We are not there yet, but my two-year-old trees are taking shape and growing small fruit.

My favourite part of my landscape is the tea garden. I have planted skullcap, betony, lemon balm, chamomile, bergamot, and a few others that are hardy to zone three and whose leaves can be dried and used as tea. Some of these plants are sold as herbal remedies for everything from headaches to insomnia. I can’t speak for the health claims, but the leaves taste great, are organic, and a personally-grown and blended tea makes a great gift.

My current combination of edible perennials with a few standard zone hardy perennials such as hostas and roses (also good in tea!) is filling in, and looking and smelling good. It has also been much less maintenance than having to mow every week or so, though I have enough in the ground to keep me busy when everything matures. For now, I will watch and weed!

Lindsay Brommeland is a McCauley resident of 14 years who will try anything once.

A Story of Feral Felines

I want to give a shout out to some wonderful residents of our neighbourhood.

It started last year with a young lady living in a Chinatown rooming house. She had no money for herself, but she had been feeding a pregnant cat. She asked me for help. I took the cat to Animal Care & Control. It was decided that she would be aborted, but Mother Nature had a different plan as she often does. The morning they were going to take her to surgery, she went into labour and gave birth to eight kittens. They were eventually adopted out to loving homes.

This year I got a call from the same young lady. Her old roommate Dave had been feeding a pregnant cat and she was getting bigger by the day. This feral cat had been born in this alley, probably the offspring of the first mom. The cat trusted Dave and we were able to put her in a carrier and take her to Eva, a lovely young person who would be fostering. That cat ate like there was no tomorrow. We were given two boxes of wet cat food from Lillian at Berkeley’s Place (a non-profit animal support network), so at least we didn’t have to buy any.

A couple of days later the cat, now named Millie, gave birth to three tiny kittens. One of them has deformed front paws but appears to be navigating well. Then her labour stopped, but we thought she had more kittens inside of her. This interrupted labour is not unusual and it can last 24-36 hours. She made many unproductive trips to the litter box and she was licking herself a lot. Her abdomen was hard. With great advice from Virginia from Little Cats Lost, we made the decision that she needed to go to a veterinarian. If she needed a c-section we might be faced with a bill in the thousands. I reached out to Pets in Need Alberta where a very kind woman offered to pay the vet bill and see later how we could sort it out later. I just about cried from relief when the x-ray revealed that she was constipated, which explained her behaviour. She could go home and nurse her kittens.

Just a few minutes later I was contacted by Vanessa Freeman, a volunteer for Zoe’s Animal Rescue. They were asked to help because someone had found a four-day-old kitten and though they had been watching for the mother for 16 hours, it was to no avail. This kind couple fed the kitten formula, but he was getting weaker and was likely to perish. I swooped him out of their arms and went straight to Eva’s. We rubbed the kitten with a towel that had been in the mother’s basket and placed him on the floor. Millie darted out of her box, took one breath over the kitten, and carried him off to her nest. It took a village to save those kittens. My heart swells with pride and love for those who made this happy ending possible.

Manon is a resident of Boyle Street and an active volunteer in the community. This column contains her own opinions, and is not affiliated with the Boyle Street Community League.

August 2020

Welcome to our August issue. We’ve got a packed issue of community updates and information.

Our micro-donation campaign continues. Why are we doing this? We had a solid fundraising plan in place, but COVID-19 changed our plans. So, we are reaching out to our readers for help.

Do you enjoy reading our print edition, visiting our website, or checking out our social media? Would you like us to continue to bring you stories and photos highlighting the wonderful events and people of Boyle Street and McCauley? Then please consider supporting us financially. Head to bmcnews.org/donate for more information. Each donation brings us one step closer to financial sustainability. Even donating as little as $2 each month can go a long way towards helping the paper remain sustainable.

Don’t forget to check out our web edition at bmcnews.org, and follow us on social media. We’re bmcnews on "Facebook":https://www.facebook.com/bmcnews and "Twitter":https://www.twitter.com/bmcnews, and bmcviews on Instagram.

Comments? Questions? Want to volunteer? You can reach me at editor@bmcnews.org.

Enjoy the issue and keep well.

The Essential Arts

The summer of 2020 will be memorable not only for what is happening, but also for what isn’t happening. Edmonton’s summers are known for festivals of music, art, and theatre. This year, because of COVID-19, there are no festivals. There are also no concerts, and most of the cultural organizations in the city have suspended their programming.

However, this has not stopped creativity from bursting out all over the city. Musicians are playing porch and street concerts, where people can enjoy the music while maintaining physical distancing. Sidewalks are coming alive with chalk art. Thanks to modern technology, performances of music and theatre are streaming online.

The pandemic is also helping some discover their creativity. People of all ages have been taking up playing instruments. They are painting, sewing, taking photographs, and doing a multitude of other artistic activities. Some of us have also been reading more, while revisiting our favourite music albums and movies.

All frontline workers deserve our gratitude for their roles in keeping us safe and healthy. The arts are also essential to helping many survive this pandemic with our mental and spiritual well-being intact. Be sure to thank the artists who have touched your lives by patronizing their work, and by opposing government cuts to the arts. If anyone speaks in a way that diminishes the arts, remind them of the music, books, or films that got them through this summer.

Anawim Place Food Bank

Renovating during the pandemic to serve clients better.

The signage on the front door of Anawim Place while it was closed. Sister Estela Andaya

Are you aware that the Sisters of Providence of Western Canada, a community of Catholic nuns, have been working in Inner City Edmonton for almost 50 years? Some of these dedicated women belong to the Parish of the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples and serve wherever the need calls them, such as Anawim Place Food Bank.

The Sisters of Providence own and operate Anawim Place Food Bank at 10650 95 Street. It is a service that provides food hampers to those in need, two days a week. Over the years the need for this service has grown significantly. So, along with the Sisters, a group of faithful volunteers from across the city are pleased to be there to prepare the hampers, keep the facility clean, and serve the people with a smile and compassion and care.

Most of the food available for distribution comes from Edmonton’s Food Bank each week. This is supplemented at times by donations from various churches, individuals, and the Sisters of Providence themselves who also undertake food drives when the opportunity arises.

During the COVID-19 outbreak Anawim Place Food Bank had to close its doors due to the concern of spreading the virus, as we could not assure the safety of our clients. However even this has a silver lining. During these weeks we have undertaken a renovation project at Anawim Place to make the atmosphere more welcoming, safe, and attractive for our clients. This has been a time of blessing as we see the newly created space emerging for those who come for assistance.

Poverty has always been a serious issue in our city as families and individuals struggle to make ends meet in this climate where work is scarce and funds even scarcer. Anawim Place and the Sisters are pleased to be able to do their parts to make a small difference in people’s lives.

Article submitted by Sister Estela Andaya, SP and Rev. James (Jim) L. Holland.

Office Space in McCauley for Rent

Office space for rent.

Available August 1, 2020:

Share office space with Boyle McCauley News! We have a small inner office in the basement of 10826 95 Street.

  • 10 feet by 11 feet, or 110 sq ft.
  • Unfurnished, except for computer table and chair.
  • Shelves on the upper walls.
  • Access to WIFI, utilities, and a washroom.
  • Very quiet; a perfect spot for a freelance writer/bookkeeper/graphic artist/etc.
  • Upstairs is Zocalo, where you will have access to excellent coffee.

Lease preferred. Rent: $300/month (possibly negotiable for the right person).

Contact editor@bmcnews.org for more information.

Overcoming Racism: We Need to Listen

One of the best ways to overcome racism is to take time to listen. Sit with People of Colour and/or people from other places. Ask about, and listen to, their stories of what they have experienced. Your listening shows you care, and will even help you to understand different experiences and perspectives.

One of the challenges of teaching at a southern US university was the extreme diversity of the students. Some had come from poor families, while some were from rich, privileged families. As they took their seats in my class, the groups sat together. I struggled to find a way to get them to start a dialogue.

So, I gave them an assignment to talk with one of the other students, who came from a very different background from their own, and to write and share a one-page biography of that student. At first the students struggled with how to do the assignment, but they all were courageous enough to find a person they had never spoken to, and talked to them about their experiences growing up.

At the end of their presentations, the atmosphere in the class completely changed. Many thanked me for giving them this assignment. It has been my experience that, wherever you find yourself, you can make a difference by thinking outside the box and by helping people listen to the experiences of others.

In my research with Indigenous women artists of the Arctic, many thanked me for asking them about their backgrounds. As they said, “If nobody asks, our grandchildren included, our skills and stories will be lost forever.” My own grandmother would agree. I learned so much from just listening. So make time to ask and listen.

Boyle McCauley News Statement on Black Lives Matter

Fight for Equity/Black Lives Matter Protest on June 5. Paula E. Kirman

On June 5, an estimated 15,000 people from all over Edmonton (including Boyle Street and McCauley) took part in the Fight for Equity/Black Lives Matter protest, calling for an end to racism and racial injustice. Boyle McCauley News stands in solidarity with the Black and Indigenous members of our community, and against systemic racism. As a community newspaper, we seek to amplify voices from the area and invite people who are part of diverse and/or marginalized communities to contribute as writers and photographers (for our print and online platforms), as well as volunteer in other aspects of the paper, such as block carriers or board members. Contact editor@bmcnews.org for more information.

Porch Concerts Bring Music to McCauley

Ann Vriend Paula E. Kirman

Porch concerts have become popular during the pandemic as a way of presenting live music while allowing for physical distancing. Here in McCauley, Ann Vriend has been playing weekly on Sunday afternoons from her home porch Father-daughter duo Steve and Stella Johnson performed from their home to people on the outside sidewalk, and Dana Wylie (with flautist Kirsten Elliott) also did a porch concert at the Johnson’s.

Art Installation Brings Inspiration to the McCauley Rink

Adam Larson

An art installation from third year Nursing students at MacEwan went up at the McCauley Rink in late April. The installation recognizes people and places making an impact on the connectedness, engagement, and mental well-being of the community during this time of COVID-19. Here is a look at the final product, as well as the team of students: (from left) Jordana Perri, Tatiana Unger, and Emma Hetherington.

In Loving Memory of a Harm Reduction Warrior

Keith Miller Supplied

If you frequented the inner city of Edmonton, Calgary or Lethbridge, then you have may have come into contact with AAWEAR. AAWEAR is a grassroots organization that began serving the inner cities approximately 15 years ago.

AAWEAR meets people where they are, and provides our community members with safe supplies, snacks, and hygiene items. AAWEAR members also clean up needle debris and provide appropriate referrals that our community seeks.

Even with the COVID-19 precautions in place, AAWEAR is still working within the community filling gaps and providing outstanding service.

In the past few weeks there has been much loss in our community.

It is with great sadness that we report the unfortunate news that one of our founding members, Keith Miller, passed away. Keith was with AAWEAR since the beginning. He was dedicated to serving our community. Keith never went anywhere without his best friend Stu. They were inseparable. Most often, the two of them were working side by side delivering harm reduction services.

Everyone knew Keith. He was very loved, not just by the community he dedicated himself to serving, but especially his AAWEAR family.

On May 22, 2020, AAWEAR was granted the Government of Alberta Northern Lights Award in recognition of providing support to Albertans who are living with addiction. We acknowledge and dedicate this award to the memory of an outstanding individual who dedicated his life to serving the Edmonton inner city. Keith will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again, friend.

With love,
Your AAWEAR family

Article submitted by AAWEAR.

Heart of the City Festival Needs You!

Heart of the City Festival has decided that this year, due to the worldwide pandemic, we will not be meeting in Giovanni Caboto Park. We are saddened by this choice, but your health and safety are of utmost importance to us.

Having said that, we want to let you know that we will be producing music live streams from the CreaArt Youth Stage, other live music streams from Get Away Gigs, and a select few of our main stage performers. There will also be writing workshops and a poetry open stage by The Beat Spoken Word stage. We will have an online visual art gallery and crafting workshops from our Visual Art team! And there will be an online dance production by Mile Zero Dance as part of our summer programming!

While we don’t need very many traditional volunteers this year, we still need your help! Please go to our website heartcityfest.com in the coming days and check out our schedule. Plan to attend a workshop, or start a watch party with your friends for one of our live music streams. Like and share Heart of the City events as much as you can! Spread the word that Heart of the City will be taking place online this year. Our website heartcityfest.com is your hub for downtown core arts this summer!

We launch on the weekend of June 6th and 7th. Keep your eyes open all summer long for more great content from your friends in the Heart of the City!

Please share our social media handles and get in touch with yours!

Twitter: @heartcityfest
Instagram: @heartcityfest
Facebook: Facebook.com/heartcityfest
Website: www.heartcityfest.com

We look forward to seeing each other in the park again in 2021

Safer McCauley: Cleaning Up in the Time of COVID-19

When the pandemic arrived, we could only imagine how it might affect us, collectively or individually. Those of us fortunate enough to support community from the safety of home soon realized how privileged we are. But how would we continue to build connectedness without face-to-face engagement? How would we adapt? And how would we maintain the momentum of existing work?

More than two months later, much remains unknown. But we can marvel at the adaptability and resilience of community in the face of an unprecedented challenge. And Safer McCauley is grateful to be able to continue to partner with community in support of well-being in our neighbourhood.

Cleanliness is critical to community well-being. Together, Safer McCauley, McCauley Revitalization, and the McCauley Community League have focused increasingly on garbage, dumped large items, needle debris, and problem properties. This collaboration relies on support from numerous partners – and community-minded individuals like you. Much progress has been made and momentum has increased regardless of COVID-19.

This spring, one individual’s post to the Facebook group McCauley Connect & Share, about cleaning up her block, prompted dozens of others to pitch in. Within a week, Safer McCauley distributed 40 litter kits from a front porch. Community members were soon seen cleaning up wherever and whenever they could. And a physically distanced Litter Blitz took place, attended by MLA Janis Irwin and Councillor Scott McKeen. We have acquired another 50 litter kits (including litter grabbers) from Capital City Clean Up. Households wanting a kit and/or sharps container can contact me directly at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca.

Efforts to maintain a clean community are ongoing. An annual McCauley Community Clean Up is a mainstay of the neighbourhood calendar. This season, to adapt to COVID-19, a contractor provided by the McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, E4C, and Safer McCauley will pick up large items free of charge. If you have items you’d like to dispose of, please place them in the alley behind your property the morning of June 19 and/or 20. A second event will take place September 18 and 19. The McCauley Litter Squad will activate to support these events. Please consider joining us.

For large items illegally dumped on your property and/or public property throughout the year, please contact McCauley Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg at gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca to arrange to have them removed.

Where possible, please lock up your garbage or keep it out of view until collection day. To reduce garbage rummaging please consider using clear transparent bags.

Please call 311 to report needles on public property. Capital City Clean Up will respond. Boyle Street Ventures cleans up needles on public and private property, Monday to Friday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. – noon). Please call 780-426-0500 for service. This spring, Downtown Proud has also been spotted cleaning up litter and needles deep into McCauley. Stay tuned for details regarding the resumption of the Mustard Seed and McCauley Revitalization’s partnership in needle clean up services.

Cleanliness is linked to the issue of problem properties. Recently, there has been significant progress in addressing problem properties in McCauley.

Cleanliness is linked to the issue of problem properties. Recently, there has been significant progress in addressing problem properties in McCauley. The Problem Property Initiative (PPI) has developed a stronger action plan in consultation with community members. Confidential online reporting is now available. New Municipal Enforcement Officer (MEO) positions have been created to respond to online complaints, and to target the most problematic properties. EPS and Alberta Health Services have noticeably increased enforcement and closure orders. And there are plans to redevelop several properties into something more positive for the community. For more about the PPI and/or to file a confidential report, please visit edmonton.ca and search ”report a problem property.”

Issues regarding problem properties and all other bylaw infractions can also be reported via 311, allowing the City to track all complaints. Anyone reporting via 311 is advised to request a file number and can request a call back from the MEO for McCauley.

Visit Facebook @safermccauley for updates.

Mark is REACH Edmonton’s McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca.

McCauley Senior Woman Walks for Women’s Safety and Shelters

Joanne McNeal (pictured with her dogs) is walking around Caboto Park to raise awareness of family violence and to support survivors. Doug Rygalo

On Mother’s Day, I began walking around Caboto Park daily to support women and children who need safety after experiencing family violence – because I, too, am a survivor of family violence.

Why am I doing this? Because it takes a great deal of courage and strength to acknowledge what is happening, and find a way to safety. I want to do something positive to help women who are going through this—I want them to see they can become survivors, not just victims of horrific violent actions. It takes the help and awareness of friends and neighbours who know the signs, and how depressing and demeaning abusive actions are. We all can help.

I know first-hand what it is like to be verbally and physically abused. As such, I hope this walk will also help me to heal unresolved issues and do something positive to help other women. It is a long and scary process to find safety, but no woman or child should have to experience violence. If you are in these circumstances, know that you are valuable. You deserve to be treated with respect, and women’s shelters are here to help support you with accommodation, risk assessment, safety planning, and more.

To support my effort to raise awareness and help women, please direct donations to the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters at acws.ca/donate

Although I fell and was injured, I plan to continue walking every day until about mid-August to reach 80 days of walking to celebrate my 80th birthday. Hopefully, my walking around Caboto Park will help bring awareness of family violence, and help women see they can become survivors instead of victims.

Joanne C. McNeal, Ph.D., McCauley senior.

New Boyle Street Playground Plan in the Works

The surveys are in. Boyle Street community members have shared their vision for a new playground, which will be to be built just outside The Quarters district.

Boyle Street’s new play space – located next to the Boyle Street Plaza and Melcor YMCA Welcome Village – will complement Kinistinâw Park, a neighbourhood green space located one block south along 96 Street. Kinistinâw Park features a contemporary design, which is meant to be enjoyed by people of all ages, but does not include traditional playground equipment.

The Boyle Street playground survey presented two concepts. The first features standard playground elements, such as slides, ramps, and ladders. The second features natural play elements such as rocks and logs for climbing. While the majority of survey participants favoured the naturalized design, 94 percent of survey respondents said it was important to incorporate traditional playground functions, such as swings and slides.

Survey responses, which came from community members of all ages, also emphasized safety features, such as fencing and clear sightlines, as well as equipment that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

The Boyle Street playground will be funded through a City of Edmonton grant, matched by funds from the Quarters Community Revitalization Levy and the Boyle Street Community League. Work on a draft design for the park has already begun and will be refined further, based on community feedback, later this year.

Joelle Reiniger is Vice President of the Boyle Street Community League.

*****
Message from the BSCL Board: During this time of physical and social distancing, we recognize, more than ever, our need for community. We are social beings and we must find new ways to connect for Boyle Street to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a healthy neighbourhood. If you have some time to spare, please consider volunteering for the Boyle Street Community League. Let’s put our heads together and find creative ways to lift each other up for a stronger, healthier, more resilient community.

To get involved, go to boylestreetcl.com and click on “I want to volunteer.” If you are new to Boyle Street or haven’t already joined the community league, you can sign up from our home page as well. Memberships are free.

Tony’s Still Eating at Home

Spaghetti and meatballs.  Tony Forchetta

Yo everybody! How’s it goin’? Wowza, it’s been three months now and ole Tones is aching to get out again. But with all those restaurants closed for so long and the new rules around, what they gotta do? I ain’t so sure I wanna go anywhere. I mean how’s a guy gonna eat with a mask on? Not that it’s a bad idea, cuz there’s some folks I just don’t wanna watch eat, like my cousin Gino for example. Dat guy is always chewing with his mouth open and talking at the same time. It’s like watchin’ someone throw a pizza into a wood chipper.

So me and da missus figure we’ll just keep eatin’ at home for a little while longer. So dat means – you guessed it – Tony’s gonna toss you some more wisdom al la cucina. Ain’t you lucky? Shaddup.

I’m sure you all have seen that disgusting and shocking tragedy known as canned pasta. Apart from it being bad for ya, I’m thinkin’ if there ever was a reason for Italy coming over here and kicking our butts, that would be it. Well, that and pineapple on pizza. So, instead of cracking open a can, let’s make the real deal, ya?

So here goes. First I’m gonna give you a base tomato sauce. Then, we’re gonna make some meatballs and I’ll give you some other options as well.

Here’s where you can kick it up a notch or two. Try adding some meats to it when you’re baking it. Toss in a few Italian Sausages (I like Massimo’s sausages at the Italian Centre Shop) cut into big chunks, a couple spare ribs and maybe a pork chop. Let them simmer and cook with the sauce, then remove before blitzing. It makes a nice lunch or secondo (second plate).

Or, add some meatballs. I make mine the proper way with all three meats: ground beef, veal, and pork.

Pick a pasta of your choice – there’s more than just spaghetti. Try a proper Maccheroni from Calabria or Puglia. Cook the Maccheroni in well salted water to al dente (firm to the bite). Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce and meatballs, stir to properly coat. Place in an ovenproof casserole and top with some fresh mozzarella or caciocavallo and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F. Buon Appetito! And don’t let old Tony ever see you with a can of Beef-A-Roni!

*Tony’s Tomato Sauce *
(Makes 2 litres of sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 6-7 large cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1/4 good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2 x 28 oz cans San Marzano Tomatoes crushed by hand – make sure it says DOP on the can
  • 1 tbsp real oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (your call)
  • 1 jar Mutti brand Passata (uncooked tomato purée)
  • Handful of torn fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Heat a large oven proof pot with the oil over medium-low heat.
  • Toss in onion and garlic and sauté 8 or so minutes until aromatic.
  • Toss in oregano and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
  • Add tomatoes and stir.
  • Toss in basil and place the pot partially covered in the oven. Bake for 3 hours stirring once an hour.
  • After three hours add the Passata and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 1/2 an hour.
  • Blitz with an immersion blender until silky smooth. Make sure to scrape off brown bits from the sides.
  • Return to stove top and season with salt and pepper.

This is a base sauce. If cooking with meatballs or meat, toss it in and simmer it until it’s done. This will develop the sauce flavour and incorporate the sauce into the meat.

Tony’s Meatballs

  • 1/2 Cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ Cup whole milk
  • 1 lb each ground veal, ground beef, and ground pork
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 Tbsp Red Chile Flakes (your call)
  • salt and pepper

Add the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and let sit a couple minutes. Add the rest and mix well by hand – really get in there and mix it all together. Shape into meatballs about the size of a walnut and roll between your palms until firm and round then place on a tray. Put them in the freezer for about ½ an hour to firm up. You can now bag them and freeze for later use. Or, add a dozen to your sauce and cook them for about ½ an hour at a slow simmer.

Tony lives in McCauley.

We’re Still Active and Engaged

The McCauley Litter Squad cleans up during a physically-distanced litter blitz in late April. Greg Lane

It’s been three months since we’ve come into a new world of NOT being social. The League Board has not met apart from some emails. I don’t think that is likely to change and, as such, we have decided to meet virtually at least for the next little while. By the time this has been published, we’ve likely met.

Much of our focus and efforts traditionally have been spent on community events and programs like the Summer Sports program, Movie Night in the Park, and the Spring Fiesta – which now looks like it might be a Fall Fiesta, if at all. That’s all changed, and until we have a better sense of where things are at, and guidelines from AHS, it’s hard to know. We do know that the City of Edmonton cancelled all sports field bookings at the beginning of the lockdown period in March. That sadly meant that our Summer Sports Program went out the window, as did the Movie Night in the Park. We were not alone in that. Heart of the City was also a casualty (at least in the traditional sense – it’s an online event this year).

While the playgrounds are set to be open later this week (at the time of writing), and access to the fields is open to whomever, it seems unfortunate that the programs we loved to host have been shelved. The same went for the Green Shack Program in Giovanni Caboto Park. But here’s what we can do. We have a bunch of soccer balls. If you and your friends or family want to play in the park and kick a ball around – email me and I’ll get you a ball for free. While we can’t organize any of those events, you are welcome to participate yourselves and with your friends and family. So have at it.

While the programs and events are a part of what we support, we also play an active role in the safety, enhancement, and continued development in making McCauley a great community for all. We work actively with Safer McCauley and Revitalization on various initiatives that have impact on the community, like participating and supporting the Litter Squads and tackling the issue of problem properties. A lot of this goes on outside of the mainstream and public eye, but I wanted to let you know that we have been active and engaged always. The well-being of our community is our primary focus and part of everything we do.

If there are issues you need support on, or aren’t getting anywhere when dealing with the City, please let us know. We have access to your Ward 6 Councillor Scott McKeen, City Council as a whole, and various departments and agencies. We are committed to making a difference and helping build capacity in McCauley. If you need help, just ask – we’re here for you.

Be well, stay healthy, and wash your hands.

Greg is the President of the McCauley Community League. He can be reached at league@mccauleycl.com.

Forgiveness: A Path to Health

If someone told you that forgiveness enables you to release toxic thoughts of anger, resentment, bitterness, shame, grief, guilt, and hate, would you be willing to take the leap?

Or have you rehearsed your toxic thoughts for so long and so frequently that there is no light at the end of the tunnel? Your heart is so hard you could crack a nut on it. In either case, my adage is, “Where there is breath, there is hope.”

I consciously began a healing journey many years ago. I knew I had huge issues and, in some cases, really didn’t want to release some of it. As a follower of the Jesus Way, I knew I had spiritual resources and should use them. The idea came to me: “Pray and ask God to give you a desire to stop doing the undesired behaviour and give you a desire to do the good.” Wow. This was a revelation which I still access. The key was, I had to walk it out. It worked.

Recently, still on a healing journey, Creator has brought forgiveness to my attention. In my Indigenous community, this is a controversial topic for many reasons, mainly negative ongoing consequences of European contact. This is given as a reason for not forgiving. I feel like I understand partly because I am still angry about much of it. But when Creator speaks, I want to listen. So, in this, what some have called a “post-truth culture,” Creator is giving me truth – from a scientist. Currently, my favourite devotional book is Switch on Your Brain Everyday: 365 Readings for Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Her “Brainy tip” for Day 140: “Forgiveness positively impacts our mental and physical health.” She continues, “Forgiveness enables you to release toxic thoughts… It disentangles you from the source of the issue, removing the negative energy from toxic thinking. People who develop an ability to forgive have greater control over their emotions and are significantly less angry, upset, and hurt, and are much healthier.”

Interestingly, this is knowledge my ancestors knew also, but without the science.

Creator, put a desire in my heart to have a forgiveness mindset. Help me to release the darkness and embrace the light, causing me to walk in self-control and good health!

Sharon Pasula is an Indigenous spiritual and cultural resource person who lives in Boyle Street.

YONA-Sistema Music Program Deals with COVID-19

In the February 2020 issue, Boyle McCauley News described the Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta (YONA)-Sistema program at St. Teresa of Calcutta School. This remarkable program of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra has been offering great musical training and experience to Edmonton-and-area students since 2013.

But then in March of 2020, COVID-19 arrived, and the school, parents, and community had to figure out how to adapt to the changes the pandemic presented. The YONA-Sistema team reached out to families, asking them if they would still like to be involved in YONA in a different capacity. The response was a resounding, “Yes!”

So, YONA Online was launched. This involved more than 100 instrument deliveries/pick ups, online group and private lessons, peer group phone calls, and other innovative approaches to the new normal.

One Grade 3 student was new to the program this January and had only a few months’ lessons on his viola before lockdown occurred. He opted to continue online. He says the weekly half hour lessons are hard, but he is determined. He told his teacher that his dad’s birthday was coming up and he needed to know how to play “Happy Birthday.” That was quite a challenge, but he managed to play a version of the song, and his family did not care if his performance was worthy of Carnegie Hall.

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

Take Time for Yourself

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” -Lucy Maud Montgomery(Canadian writer; author of Anne of Green Gables,1874-1943)

June is the sixth month of the year, marking the halfway point. 2020 will be a memorable year in the history of the world, because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still in the realm of the unknown, with some things attempting to get back to a modified version of what they were. We are adapting. This situation doesn’t have to make us sink into despair. Instead, we can focus on hope and kindness.

Taking a walk is one of the most invigorating things I do. Walking really lets me see the beauty of nature and the stunning community we have. I call my walks “mini adventures.” Fortunately, I have a canine companion, so I partake in this enjoyment three or four times per day. Seeing the flowers bloom, hearing the call of the birds, and enjoying the long daylight are not only energizing, but also give me hope.

It is important to do things you enjoy during uncertain times. You can plan a daily “you time” by reading a book, calling a friend, watching a television program you enjoy, taking a walk, or doing anything you find enjoyable. It really does help.

If you feel overwhelmed, remember: you are not alone. I am grateful we have support services. The 24-Hour Distress Line – 780-482-4357 (HELP) – is a non-judgmental service where experienced staff will listen and support, not only at this time, but 365 days a year/24 hours every day.

As always, take time for yourself, relish pleasant thoughts, stay safe, and stay well.

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

McCauley Children’s Garden

The McCauley Children’s Garden. Ruth Sorochan

The McCauley Children’s Garden is operating for the 2020 season. It is located on an empty lot on 107 Avenue and 92 Street. The best access is on 93 Street.

The garden hosts weekly meet-ups, but is welcoming to all who would honour the space as a playful destination.

For information about the times of the weekly meet-ups, follow the McCauley Connect & Share Community Aid group on Facebook.

Unique Fence is a Family Project

The bench and Little Free Library. Paula E. Kirman

There’s an old saying stemming from a Robert Frost poem, that “good fences make good neighbours.” The intricate and beautiful work of a McCauley family demonstrates that good fences can also be functional, attractive works of art.

Ruth Sorochan lives with her partner Rebezar and their daughter Maia on 96 Street and 109 Avenue. In the last year, Rebezar built a wooden fence featuring unique geometric patterns and a functional bench on the outside.

“Rebezar’s passion is log home building,” Ruth explains. “He’s a builder who will do projects of any size. He loves the craftsmanship, and putting the patterns together.”

As well, during the same time period, Ruth conceptualized and Rebezar brought to life a Little Free Library named the “Spruce Cone Library,” after the spruce cones from their tree which decorates the structure.

“I love the idea of Little Free Libraries. I like to share” says Ruth, adding that it has been well-used in the community with people taking and dropping off books.

Ruth and Rebezar came up with the idea of having a bench attached to the fence because Maia, when she was younger, would often play in front of the house on the sidewalk. “It’s nice to have a comfortable place to sit,” says Ruth.

The bench is an old wooden bed frame that was intended to be turned into a bed for Maia. However, a better frame was found for that purpose, so it was turned into the bench instead. It is extremely sturdy, and has a slight slant to prevent rain from pooling.

In fact, most of the materials for the fence, bench, and library were reused. The only purchased component is the plexiglass for the windows on the library.

Keep an eye out for this one-of-a-kind arrangement – it is definitely worth a second look.

Coping During COVID-19: Part Two

How Boyle Street and McCauley businesses are dealing with the crisis.

Tan Hoang (left) and Hoa Sen Dao in front of their restaurant King Noodle House Pho Hoang in Chinatown. Linda Hoang

The COVID-19 lockdown has meant significant financial losses for local shops and restaurants. Some are even wondering if they can continue to operate. Still, many businesses have found new ways to serve their customers and keep their operations at least partially afloat.

Wen Wang, Executive Director of the Chinatown and Area Business Association, notes that many of the businesses in Chinatown (along 97th and 98th Streets) are restaurants and food service stores. They are usually small family operations that are not well equipped to switch to curb-side pickup and delivery. Since some of them do not have websites and/or delivery staff, during lockdown they had to stop serving altogether.

Linda Hoang, social media strategist and Edmonton blogger, issued a “plea for Chinatown” through her newsletter and social media. “I’m seeing local businesses that weren’t on social media before getting on it now due to the pandemic, like the Hong Kong Bakery. It’s been in Edmonton since 1978!! Swing by and grab some goodies to go to help them out (along with other Chinatown spots).”

Hoang, whose parents own King Noodle House Pho Hoang in Chinatown, says the area was already struggling for a number of reasons. One factor is an increase in suburban communities that have their own Asian markets and businesses, so not as many people are flocking to the centre of the city to shop and visit. She thinks that even the businesses who are able to switch to pickup and delivery are experiencing income losses of as much as 70%, as is the case with her family’s restaurant. 

On the May long weekend, when lockdown had partially ended in Edmonton, Panini’s Italian Cucina in Boyle Street hopefully put up its beautiful red umbrellas on the patio, even though the weather forecasts were dicey. A couple of weeks before that, co-owner Tony Caruso said, “We’re doing okay – some days are better than others. Most of our staff are still working with reduced hours – some not even reduced at all. All the regulars are still coming by and picking up, and Skip the Dishes is almost business as usual. We’ve been blessed in that regard. Of course, it’s not like before but we’re just happy to be moving and working.” 

Miranda Ringma, Director, Zocalo, says, “The first initial shock was really tough. We had to pivot quite a bit to online and phone orders. That was a complete change, as Zocalo was a sort of gathering place full of tactile experiences. We had to switch to straight shopping.”

“Our customers have been amazing,” Ringma adds. They have been calling and sending notes of support. At the beginning, we had a whole bunch of tulips for sale. They sold out immediately and we had to order more.”

At the same time, Ringma says it was difficult navigating the new requirements. Although Zocalo’s greenhouse is deemed an essential service, and it happens to be the beginning of gardening season – two positive benefits for the business – the new normal involves intensive procedures such as extensive front-end sanitizing, explaining and making room for social distancing rules, and ensuring all staff and customers are safe.

Christine Svensson, owner of Sugar Soul Studio, makes hats and hair accessories to sell at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market. She says being a one-person business allowed her to switch to providing an essential service: non-medical face masks. “You look around, see what resources you have, and pivot,” she says.

“My friends knew I could sew, and they trusted my sewing. They began asking me to make them a mask,” Svensson says. “I am in the fashion business, so I thought. ‘Might as well make them cute.’ Why not move away from, ‘don’t love it but have to wear it’?”

“And wearing a fabric face mask makes sense,” she says. “Leave real PPE for frontline workers.”

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

A New Normal

At the time I am writing this, phase one of the Alberta government’s plan to relaunch the economy has just gone into effect. As well, allowable outdoor gatherings have increased from 15 people to 50, as long as proper physical distancing is maintained.

Some are embracing the loosening of restrictions; others are being more cautious. I fall into the latter category. My philosophy of the situation can be summarized as: just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

But I totally understand that others have been frustrated with what they perceived as restrictions on their freedom and a desire for things to get back to normal.

However, normal as we knew it is not the “new normal” that we speak of now. Many of the restrictions that were and continue to be in place were not only for individual safety, but for the protection of others, particularly those in vulnerable groups who have to continue to self-isolate.

COVID-19 is still out there. The virus doesn’t care if we’re angry or frustrated. It will remain a threat until there is a viable vaccine and treatment options.

No matter how much we want to go back to the way things were, that world is gone – whether we like it or not. It’s a different world than it was just a few months ago. What that world will look like in the weeks and months to come, largely rests with us and our choices. Choose wisely.

July 2020

p(dropcap> Summer is here! Even though community events are still on hold, it’s still a great time to enjoy warmer weather and sunshine.

That said, please note that we are living in an ever-changing world. Government guidelines for COVID-19 are constantly evolving, and readers are advised to consult the relevant AHS websites for up-to-date information as to whether any activity is deemed safe and lawful.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our micro-donation campaign. Even donating as little as $2 each month can go a long way towards helping the paper remain sustainable. Do you enjoy reading our print edition, visiting our website, or checking out our social media? Would you like us to continue to bring you stories and photos highlighting the wonderful events and people of Boyle Street and McCauley? Then please consider supporting us financially. Head to bmcnews.org/donate for more information.

Have you visited our website lately? Head to bmcnews.org to check it out. If you use Facebook or Twitter, we’re on there as bmcnews. On "Instagram":https://www.instagram.com/bmcviews, we’re bmcviews. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the area, in between print issues.

Comments? Questions? Interested in volunteering? Drop me a line at editor@bmcnews.org.

All of us here at the paper hope you are staying safe and well!

e4c’s Make Tax Time Pay Has Launched Virtual Tax Filing!

This free service is available by appointment only. Dial 211 or call e4c directly at 780-424-7543 to make an appointment.

A representative will tell you which documents are required for filing, to ensure you are prepared for your appointment.

Your taxes will be filed over the phone to protect the health and safety of our community. A phone number that you can be contacted at is required to access this service.

You can also get more information at e4c’s blog.

A Welcomed Issue of Boyle McCauley News

It was great to receive the May issue! It’s especially nice to hear what the people of our area are doing to cope with COVID-19. Certainly, I have been enjoying long walks in the area, keeping in contact by email and snail mail. Like Anita, I am missing the art events, as well as activities at the Sage Seniors Association and ELLA (Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association).

I have been going to the Farmers Market on 97th Street every second Saturday. It is a spacious place and easy to maintain your distance. Ocean Odyssey has a stall right at the front door. Actually, I order and pay for my coho salmon on Friday and pick it up as I enter. I hope more residents of Boyle Street and McCauley patronize our farmers.

Thank you,
Cecily Mills

Update From e4c

The McCauley Apartments Office remains closed for the time being. We miss everyone so much! However, the McCauley Apartments gardeners have transformed the south of the building, and you are invited to stroll past and admire their work.

WECAN food co-op is a great way to stretch your food budget. The City Centre depot currently runs out of the McCauley Apartments office: Suite B08, 9541-108A Avenue. To place an order, call Kathryn at 780-964-3444.

Free tax help: e4c Make Tax Time Pay program is available over the phone for folks on a low income. Internet is not required for an appointment, but is recommended for obtaining consent. Call 211 or 780-424-7543 to book a phone appointment.

Being Our Best Selves

Springtime usually fills me with a renewed sense of optimism. I look forward to seeing what plants have decided to grow. What good things will I have to eat growing in my garden? I can go out wearing lighter clothes. Boots are replaced with freedom-loving shoes.

This year, there is no such freedom. Life is very different than anything most of us have ever experienced. Yet there are people in all corners of the earth who are refugees dealing with war or famine (in addition to the virus), who would gladly trade for our existence. I hope that the fight we are having with this virus will help us reflect on the plight of other people who live with the fear, the shortages, the potential loss of their lives.

This will no doubt bring out the best in many, who will go above and beyond to help others. Others will only be able to do a little, and many will just survive because that is the best they can do. There are some who will seek to profit from the fear of others. They will be the worst, most selfish version of humanity.

We might see sides of ourselves during this pandemic that will surprise us. We might think thoughts that we didn’t think we were capable of, both good and bad. We will see which of our friends get to stay and which ones get to go. Sometimes we pick friends who have the same traits we can’t accept in ourselves. When we face our own foibles, those friends slip out of our lives. We will forge new friendships based on a shared goal. We’ll encourage each other.

In the coming days, things might get worse. Like the saying goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn – and it might take a long time for dawn to break. I’m hoping I have the strength to come to the other side a kinder, gentler person. How would you like to be?

Manon is a resident of Boyle Street and an active volunteer in the community. This column contains her own opinions, and is not affiliated with the Boyle Street Community League.

Inner City Rec & Wellness: Virtual and Local Community Connections

Learn, View, and Share Local with CreArt Edmonton



Now might be the perfect time to learn how to play an instrument, or maybe watch local artists work their magic. Maybe you want to share a talent you have for art, writing, theatre, music, or anything in the arts. One local not-for-profit organization, CreArt Edmonton, has
dedicated the past few months to creating an accessible art and community space where people from the inner city of Edmonton, and all over the world, can gather to share their knowledge in a horizontal approach to education and community development.

CreArt is currently generating exciting new avenues to stay connected to local youth and residents during these challenging times. By launching CreArt Live Stream, they have reformatted their website to create a platform supporting the local Edmonton arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensures the continuity of the organization’s mission to use community and art as tools for larger social change. They are looking for new ways to promote, collaborate with, and support local artists and community developers as they work to connect with different communities.



If you are an artist or teacher, you can submit an online event to their page https://www.creartedmonton.com, under the Submit to Live Stream Here link. Please note that all live stream events be family-friendly and oriented to the development of art forms and community development. Events should also be inclusive and welcoming. As of the time of writing this update, this platform will live stream only from Facebook or Zoom room meetings. CreArt welcomes live shows to be broadcasted via Facebook; interactive workshops will be facilitated via Zoom Media.



CreArt Edmonton strongly believes in the power of the arts to produce positive social transformation in our society,, whether the community setting is face-to-face or screen-to-screen. Join in, stay connected, and keep gathering and growing on our shared journey, during the ebb and flow of these ever-changing times, as we use art as a pathway to positively transform ourselves and our society.



Other local organizations like Mile Zero Dance and Zocalo are also keeping busy with community work online, as well as pick-up and delivery, so check out their web pages to see how their services are accessible. This goes for your favourite local restaurants as well. You
 might find some here.

Farmers Markets, Nurseries, Greenhouses, and Fresh Routes


Did you know that farmers markets and greenhouses have been deemed essential? They are a long way from being food banks, but they fall under the umbrella of food! So, if fresh food is something that is fiscally available to you, you can continue to access farmers markets like the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market.

Also, if you are looking for a way to purify and beautify your home— which, for many of us, has become our whole world right now—greenhouses and nurseries are open! Kuhlman’s Market Gardens and Greenland Garden Centre are larger greenhouses to visit. Slightly smaller but just as visit-worthy are greenhouses such as Visser or Herbal Roots Greenhouse, as well as Local Crafters east of the city.




Fresh Routes mobile grocery store has shifted its focus to door-to-door delivery of affordable produce for anyone in isolation. You can connect with this resource via their web page. A full basket of produce is $15.00 – details are in the link!




Don’t forget your local businesses and community-based organizations. Check out their sites for information on how they are adapting during these changing times!

Rebecca Kaiser and Mike Siek are Program Coordinators with ICRWP.

Safer McCauley Update - Important New Resources

NEW FACEBOOK GROUP: MCCAULEY CONNECT & SHARE

  • In response to COVID-19, several McCauley community members created a Facebook group for individuals to offer or request support. You are invited to visit and join Facebook @McCauley Connect & Share:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/544223456204805/

REACH COVID-19 COMMUNITY DATABASE

  • REACH Edmonton has developed a thorough and easy to navigate COVID-19 Community Database. Visitors are welcome to add to the database and provide feedback about other resources they’d like to find. Please visit REACH Edmonton COVID-19 Community Response:

https://reachedmonton.ca/covid-19-community-response/

PROBLEM PROPERTIES

The new Problem Property Initiative has created a confidential online reporting tool. Community members wishing to report a problem property can visit:

https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/report-a-problem-property.aspx

  • Issues regarding problem properties and all other bylaw infractions can also be reported via 311. This process allows the City to track all complaints. Anyone reporting via 311 is advised to request a file number. They can also request a call back from the Municipal Enforcement Officer for McCauley.

ILLEGALLY DUMPED JUNK

  • For large items illegally dumped on your property and/or public property, please contact McCauley City of Edmonton Revitalization Coordinator, Greg Brandenbarg (gregory.brandenbarg@edmonton.ca), who can arrange for a private contractor to remove them.
  • For issues related to items at a problem property, please follow the process above in PROBLEM PROPERTIES.

LARGE ITEM PICK UP

  • Community organizations have collaborated for many years on community clean ups. This season, to adapt to COVID-19, a private contractor provided by McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, E4C and Safer McCauley will circulate McCauley to pick up your unwanted large items free of charge. If you have items that you would like to get rid of, please place them in the alley behind your property in the morning on the following dates:
    • Friday, June 19 & Saturday, June 20*
    • Friday, September 18 & Saturday, September 19 *

NEEDLE CLEAN UP

  • Boyle Street Ventures’ (BSV) continues to clean up needles on private property. Service is available Monday to Friday (9am-4pm) and Saturday (9am-noon). Please call BSV at 780-426-0500 for service. Calls to 311 requesting needle clean up on private property are now referred to BSV.
  • Please call 311 to report needles on public property. Capital City Clean Up (CCCU) continues to respond to these calls.
  • With support from CCCU, Boyle Street Community Services’ Downtown Proud is providing proactive clean up of needle debris and litter on public property in McCauley’s Chinatown several days a week.
  • The Mustard Seed and McCauley Revitalization have partnered for several years on needle clean up in McCauley. Stay tuned for details regarding the resumption of this service.
  • If your household requires a sharps container, feel free to contact me directly at mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca

MCCAULEY LITTER SQUAD

  • Safer McCauley is supporting community members who have requested litter clean up kits. A typical Litter Squad event is not possible at this time, but households wanting a free kit (including litter grabbers), are welcome to contact me directly atmark.davis@reachedmonton.ca. All volunteers are reminded to adhere to Alberta Health Services directives regarding physical distancing.
  • Capital City Clean Up is currently working with community leagues to provide additional litter kits. Please stay tuned to Facebook @safermccauley for further details: https://www.facebook.com/safermccauley/.

LITTER PREVENTION

  • Remember where possible, lock up your garbage or keep it out of view until the day of collection. To reduce garbage rummaging please consider using clear transparent garbage bags.

On behalf of REACH Edmonton and Safer McCauley, I wish you all the best.

Mark Davis
REACH Neighbourhoods Convener
Pronouns: He/Him
REACH Edmonton
(780) 977-3404
safermccauley.ca

WANTED: Your Input on How to Develop a Community Hub in McCauley

The McCauley community and the Edmonton CDC invite you to weigh in on a major development at the Paskin site at 95th Street and 106 Avenue. Three design/program concepts have been identified by a resident-led design team, and we are seeking your input and ideas about which concept is preferred. You can participate online at www.edmontoncdc.org/projects/paskin.

The three options include a food emporium, a makers’ space, and a hardware store. We are also exploring whether we should add housing on top of these developments. We are interested in what you think. The link identified above includes design concept sketches and a description of each option. The overall goal is to contribute to the development of a commercial zone on 95th Street.

According to Karen Gingras, Edmonton CDC’s Director of Neighbourhood Development, “Now that we have some concepts, we are at the important step of finding out which of these ideas is most likely to fit and succeed in the neighbourhood.”

We invite all readers of _Boyle McCauley News_ to take this important survey and to share it with anyone they know who has a stake in the future of downtown Edmonton.

The Edmonton CDC is a non-profit community development company working primarily in urban core neighbourhoods to engage with residents, local business, and other stakeholders on initiatives that strengthen social and economic life, and that reflect their interests and ideas about how to do that.

Mark Holmgren is the Executive Director of the Edmonton CDC.

Farewell to Pagolac

Long-standing Chinatown restaurant closed at the end of March.

Alan Schietzsch Pagolac’s storefront.

Is your mouth watering for some Vietnamese flavours? For Boyle Street and McCauley residents and visitors alike, the food that immediately springs to mind is often from Pagolac Restaurant – but the venerable eatery operated by the Luong family has now closed after three decades.

Pagolac’s distinctive bright red “laughing cow” sign has graced the corner of 95th Street and 106 Avenue since Vietnamese restaurants started opening in Canada, adding synergy to traditional Canadian-Chinese cuisine.
 
Pagolac’s sign features a cow because the restaurant was first famous for beef dishes. Their “Bo 7 Mon” was beef served in seven different courses. The variety included beef-filled leaf wraps, beef congee, seasoned cubed beef, and more. Families and friends came from all over the city to share these tasty delicacies.
 
Before long, Edmontonians learned to enjoy more flavours from the menu. Spicy satay beef stew, crispy green onion cakes, and comforting pho soup (noodles with sliced beef, Vietnamese meatballs, seafood, or chicken) were once “exotic” choices, but became trendy when friends shared their discoveries of these new taste sensations.
 
Pagolac became a go-to place, and the menu grew to nearly 200 choices. With popularity, the demand for these new foods grew, the restaurant prospered, and Pagolac launched additional locations in South Edmonton.
 
The original Chinatown eatery has now closed its doors (their other locations remain – visit www.pagolacrestaurant.com), and we’ll all miss the spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and the vintage look of their dining room with the delicious smell of spicy hot soup bowls rising to meet your nose as you entered their glass doors on a cold winter day. and we’ll all miss the spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and the vintage look of their dining room with the delicious smell of spicy hot soup bowls rising to meet your nose as you entered their glass doors on a cold winter day.

Alan lives in McCauley. He is the Chair of the Boyle McCauley News Board of Directors.

A Message Concerning e4c’s Programs and the WECAN Food Depot

Dear Neighbours,

All of our community programs are cancelled until further notice, in order to safeguard everyone’s health and safety. During the pandemic, e4c’s housing programs have been deemed an essential service. All staff teams are engaged in ongoing training to ensure that residents continue to receive the highest standard of care.

WECAN Food Depot: Our apologies for the gap in service for the month of April. The City Centre depot will be up and running again in May.

Payments:
The ONLY method of payment available right now is by MAIL. Send payments to WECAN c/o Jerry Forbes Centre 12122- 68 Street, Edmonton AB, T5B 1R1

May Payment deadline: postmarked by Friday, May 8
June Payment deadline: postmarked by Friday, June 5

Depot/Pick Up Days:
Curbside Pick-Up only (cannot come inside)
May Date: Thursday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
June Date: Thursday, June 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: McCauley Apartments (south parking lot)
9541 108A Avenue

*Questions: *Call WECAN administration at 780-413-4525

Tony Eats In

The finished product. Tony Forchetta

Yo, how’s it goin’? I know everybody is stressed these days, and your old buddy Tony is no exception. Me and Missus Tony ain’t spent this much time together since we was first married. Our favourite spots are all closed down, and somehow eating fancy chow in your bathrobe or sweats just ain’t the same.

I heard last week that it was now mandatory to wear a mask at home. Not to protect you as much as stop you from eating. I wonder how many folks stocked up on groceries and toilet paper and then went on an eating binge and blew through the majority of both.

So, with all the frantic stuff going on and people trying to make their own sourdough at home – I figure this was a good time to maybe just eat at home for a change. Your old buddy Tony knows his way around the kitchen just a little bit, and having Teresa’s Italian Centre Shop close by it’s a good excuse to eat in. So this time around I’m gonna throw you a little wisdom and share a ricetta with ya. Prego!

Tony’s Forchetta’s Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This dish is amazing in its simplicity and rich in flavour. It is attributed to Amatrice, a small town in northern Lazio, that sadly experienced a tragic earthquake on August 26, 2014. The dish does not have an abundance of seasoning. Both the guanciale and cheeses are quite salty, so there is no need for any additional salt. Guanciale is a cured bacon made from the cheek meat, which is very tender and fatty. Pecorino Romano is a harder cheese made from sheep’s milk and Parmigiano Reggiano is the king of cheese from the North. All products are available at the Italian Centre Shop. You can easily double the recipe to make more for your friends or family.

Serves 2
Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredienti

  • 1 Package of good quality dried Bucatini (Rustichella d’abruzzo or Molisana)
  • 4 fresh Roma Tomatoes cut into large pieces.
  • 4 thick slices of Guanciale cut into small 1-2 cm chunks. (Panchetta or Bacon will work)
  • Good quality Olive Oil
  • Grated Pecorino Romano
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Pepperoncino secco (Dried red chile flakes)

Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it with three big tablespoons of salt.

Put the guanciale into a cold pan and place on the stove over med-low heat. Let it slowly render the fat and crisp, this will take a few minutes. Relax, have a glass of wine.

Once the water is at a rolling boil, grab enough pasta for two people. Maybe half the package? And cook to its directions, usually 11-12 minutes. Read the package.

Once the guanciale has rendered the fat, you’ll have crisp bacon bit-like pieces and a lot of fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and chile flakes (just a pinch – you can’t take them out but you can add more). You can cover the pan to help steam and break down the tomatoes until they are soft, so about 5-6 minutes.

Your pasta should be almost done by now, so drain it and reserve the water.

Check your tomato and gaunciale. They should be still in chunks, but you can easily crush them with a fork. Add about ½ cup of the pasta water to help thin the sauce, just a small ladle at a time. Toss in your cooked Bucatini, mix with the tomato and guanciale, and remove from the heat.

Cover with a healthy handful of both cheeses and toss again and serve. Drizzle a decent shot of good olive oil over each and dig in.

Tony lives in McCauley.

Help is Just a Call Away

At the time I am writing this, we’re in week four (or five? I’ve lost track) of this new world we live in now, and it still seems surreal in so many ways. I was reading and watching various news outlets for the first couple of weeks. I’ve since stopped and only watch a wee bit each day. I’ve found that this overwhelming flood of stories and reports from healthcare experts and government leaders really isn’t doing anything to keep me any safer than I was, nor improve my spirits.

My mother, like her mother before, was a nurse. I grew up in a home where hand-washing and proper hygiene was the norm. I have been working from home for years, so a lot of this was perhaps easier for me to adjust to. And I have two puppies and my wife to keep me company.

But my real concern is for those who are alone – who do not have either family or pets to keep them entertained or occupied. Even a pet who cannot talk can listen, doesn’t judge, and requires some interaction throughout the course of the day. I’ve found myself thinking about friends and family that I’ve not spoken to in a while, and have been making a point to reach out and connect. I’ve sent emails weekly to the other MCL board members to check in and see how they are making out. And, while most of them have family and friends within their circles, it is the social interaction outside of the home that we rely on so much.

We are social creatures. The lack of external stimuli can have a dramatic impact on our overall sense of self. It is the little things that matter and in a new world like this, when so much of our social interaction is gone, we are all at risk.

We are social creatures. The lack of external stimuli can have a dramatic impact on our overall sense of self. It is the little things that matter and in a new world like this, when so much of our social interaction is gone, we are all at risk.

I learned many years ago to identify and deal with stress head-on. It was not a natural behaviour, but a skill I had to learn. I found that stress had a physiological impact on my overall well-being and, by learning to identify it, I was able to navigate through it. Not avoid it or pretend it wasn’t there, but to keep an eye on it much like watching the handrail when descending a steep set of stairs. You don’t need to grab it, but your mind knows where it is.

We are that stair rail for each other. When we are together, we recognize if someone is happy or sad and react appropriately. That’s not so easy now, and even harder to notice when we rely on merely text or email. Even videoconferencing doesn’t always do it, and not everyone has a computer to access. But you can call and talk to someone, listen and share with them, hear what they are saying, and connect.

If you’re stuck and feeling alone, know that there are others out there like you. I encourage you to call your neighbour or an old friend. Connect with someone, anyone. And if you’re really stuck, you can always call the Hall and Oates Emergency Helpline (Callin’ Oates) at 719-26 OATES and listen to one of four amazing hits by Hall and Oates. And if that doesn’t cheer you up just a little, I don’t know what will.

Be well, wash your hands, and look after each other. We’ll see you all on the other side of this.

_Greg is the President of the McCauley Community League. He can be reached a_t league@mccauleycl.com.

Italian Centre Tea Aisle

Read fine lines of print
on tea-bag boxes through your
2.0-power reading glasses
to find Earl Grey decaf.
In the 1.5-meter-wide aisle,
stay two meters away
from shoppers who scoff
at social distancing rules,
who think COVID-19
is for everybody else
or believe their bravado
and sweat-crafted six-pack
can crunch any pipsqueak virus.
Backtrack. Circumnavigate
the chocolates, the fridge
stocked with spiced sausages
if someone approaches or
has his nose next to a label
to decipher Polish text.
Wait until the path is clear.
Try to understand why
Italians fixate on caffeine:
here, decaf is anathema.
Go home with chamomile.

Gary is a poet and author in McCauley. He is a former Chair of the paper’s Board of Directors.

It Might Be Grief

When we feel we have no control over much of what is going on in our lives, we can unconsciously feel vulnerable. People handle vulnerability in different ways.

A positive way to look at it, is an opportunity. We have choices to make. Most people did not see COVID-19 coming. The governing systems have dictated how we should and, in most cases, must, mitigate the perceived crisis. Experiences during this time range from fear to anger to victimization to resignation. One thing to consider is grief. Many people realize they miss a myriad of things, especially civil liberties. When you miss something, grief can be triggered. Whatever seems to diminish us physically, psychologically, or spiritually – any unwanted experience – can be grieved.

Grief often presents as illness – physically as nausea, weight change, or sleep disturbance. Emotionally, it can look like depression, anger, loneliness, fear, guilt, or anxiety. Mentally, it can present as poor concentration and poor memory. Spiritually, you may be doubting and examining beliefs. These symptoms of grief can often frighten or confuse people. It does not mean you are weak or going crazy. Fortunately, something can be done about this. Here are some ideas.

  • Think about your life experiences. What have you lost and never grieved? For example: moving, losing a job, not getting accepted in school, or missing a funeral. Unresolved grief accumulates and can explode when you least expect it. Keep the slate clean.
  • Consider your cultural and spiritual beliefs. Have you answered for yourself “big life questions?” What is the meaning of life? What happens after death? Does God exist? When does life start and end?When encountering trauma and chaos, having answers to these questions can be a source of strength and help keep you balanced.
  • Develop a ritual or ceremony. This is often done to mark life transitions and milestones like birthdays. It can also be done to get a sense of closure, release something, give yourself permission, break through untruths, and affirm your self-worth. Whatever you need to keep yourself healthy and walking in a good way.
  • Join a community for support. There are so many choices: sharing circles, 12-step groups, men’s groups, seniors, survivors’ groups, faith groups, public speaking, self-help groups, etc.

Take this opportunity of “self-distancing” and “social isolation” to get to know yourself. If you do you can learn to recognize grief and embrace the initial discomfort of it knowing it is a process, and you are not going crazy.

For more information or to go deeper, check out a video that I did on YouTube.

Sharon Pasula is an Indigenous spiritual and cultural resource person who lives in Boyle Street.

Heart of the City 2020 is Going Virtual

In times of uncertainty and social isolation how is one supposed to cope? How can we fulfill our need for community when it seems so inaccessible?

One positive outlook is that we’ve been given an opportunity to create new platforms and new ways of connecting with our community. Some say the silver lining of the current situation is how we’ve managed to adapt and build digital communities. Our children are learning and connecting with their teachers and classmates online, we’re using apps to stay in touch with our family and our friends, and a lot of our population are able to work from home by means of the internet. But in the midst of these confusing times, while we’re all learning a new temporary way of life, our arts community has truly stepped forward and done an extraordinary job of providing us joy and relief.

Heart of the City Music and Arts Festival has been a member of the McCauley community for 17 years, and we intend to fulfill our annual tradition. In light of current events, we have decided to produce a virtual mini-series that will continue throughout the summer. Each committee is working hard to put together programs highlighting our city’s arts community and emerging artists. We will be updating our website and social media with news in the coming weeks.

Jakki is the President of the HOTC Music and Arts Festival Board of Directors, as well as the festival’s Music Director.

Quick and Easy Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

During a pandemic, when the government requires us to stay home and self-isolate, we can easily fall into a routine of eating a lot. It’s easy to do when the weather isn’t the warmest and you’re in your house for most of the day.

With food items wavering between out-of-stock and limited supply, it’s a good idea to have readily available ingredients for meals and desserts. This dessert is simple and quick, requiring items that are less likely to be in high demand and out of stock at the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 20 Golden Oreo Cookies (crushed or chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 (20 ounce) can Cherry Pie Filling

For the crust:

  • In a bowl, stir Oreo cookies and melted butter together until the cookies have been well-coated by the butter.
  • Next, place the mixture into an 8×8 inch pan. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the pan with the mixture into the fridge, allowing the crust to chill.

The filling:

  • Using a hand mixer, mix the powdered sugar and cream cheese.
  • Add the vanilla and then the Cool Whip.
  • Next, remove the pan from the fridge and cover all of the crust with the filling.

The topping:

  • Next, spread the cherry pie filling on as the top layer.
  • Allow the dessert to chill for a minimum of 2 hours before consuming.

Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.

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