This is my last message as president of the BSCL. It has been a difficult year and a half, dealing with the City on the fate of our building, but those negotiations are now complete. The new board elected at the May 28 AGM looks forward to being able to put their energies toward programs and processes that benefit Boyle Street residents, and that support and enrich our community. It’s been a great honour to serve as your president, and I hope to stay on the board to work on development issues as a member-at-large.
Our AGM featured updates from the Edmonton Farmers Market on the market presence in Boyle Street (in the old GWG/Army & Navy building and the adjacent avenue. See a story elsewhere in this issue) and from Edmonton city planners Mary Ann Debrinsky and Claire Aubin on the Quarters and Boyle Renaissance Phase III. Then we showed York Moments, the film by Jason Gondziola that completes the York Hotel public art project that has been displayed in the Plaza for the last few years.
Made in partnership with Quarters Arts, York Moments is a short documentary by filmmaker Jason Gondziola and heritage practitioner Kyla Tichkowsky that dives into the complicated history of Edmonton’s York Hotel, and includes interviews from community members who share their stories of the hotel over the years. York Moments is also available online at https://vimeo.com/171185651/2ae04abf2d, and once the days get shorter and there is actually darkness to allow it, we hope to have a community event and show the film in large format (maybe outdoors at the York site or at the Plaza — check our website or Facebook page for the announcement.)
BSCL representatives have been to consultations with the Boyle Renaissance Phase III planners, bringing our institutional memory to the process as Phase III gears up again.
Good news for kids and families! Our Green Shack program will start at St. Teresa of Calcutta School playground on July 2 and run Mondays through Fridays 10 a.m. -1:30 p.m. until August 22. Of course we also have our free community admission for BSCL members at Commonwealth Recreation Centre on Saturdays! Summer will see other family-friendly programming which we will announce through our website and Facebook page, so stay tuned!
Our ongoing programs include Sunday Badminton, our wonderful Piu Yum Recreation Club on Monday afternoons (see the story in this issue about their Mid-Spring Festival!), Native Drumming on Tuesdays, and hip-hop on Thursdays. See our ad on page 12 for times and locations.
BSCL representatives have been to consultations with the Boyle Renaissance Phase III planners, bringing our institutional memory to the process as Phase III gears up again. We will be there working for the return of our 22-plot community gardens as well as other green space initiatives (a possible medicine-wheel garden and food forest have been discussed over the years). We also worked with the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market on suggestions for effective ways to work with Boyle Street to enhance the experience for everyone and bring a community feel to the new location.
On June 8, a community art picnic was planned by Edmonton Arts Council where community residents could bring small objects to be 3D scanned and duplicated to put in the Kinistinâw Park (phase 1) public art (if you missed it, stay tuned for other chances in the next few weeks to bring your objects for scanning.) Invisible Gate, by Mitchell Chan of Studio F Minus, will be a pair of traditionally-themed lion sculptures built of lucite bricks embedding these memory objects. Amazing futuristic scanning and construction techniques will create an homage to the area’s past as historic Chinatown, and also express a wish for an inclusive future, incorporating dreams and hopes from Boyle Street’s diverse people.
Last but not least, please remember that the BSCL is you. Membership is free again this year, and if you don’t see a program you like, get in touch with us and help make it happen. Happy summer from all of us at the Boyle Street Community League!
Candas Jane Dorsey is the outgoing president of Boyle Street Community League, and a long-time spokesperson for our community.