All posts by Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck

Aydan is a social worker, blogger, tango dancer, outdoor enthusiast and co-parent with Patricia to 8 children and 16 grandchildren. He’s also a resident of the 'hood and loving it.

Processing triumph and trauma through art Artist Marcie Rohr draws inspiration from the Avenue

Art, and by extension artists, help build community. That was the insight that inspired the Arts on the Ave initiative over 10 years ago and that continues to bring energy to the transformation of our community.   Continue reading Processing triumph and trauma through art Artist Marcie Rohr draws inspiration from the Avenue

Celebrate Latin American culture this July Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 returns for another year

It’s mid-afternoon at El Rancho Spanish Restaurant. Dora Arevalo, owner of El Rancho Restaurant and Orlando Martinez, dance instructor and entertainer, are intensely engaged in planning the second Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 (My Homeland 87th Street Festival), taking place July 14 to 16. Continue reading Celebrate Latin American culture this July Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 returns for another year

Serca Festival shows love of Irish influence Enjoy Irish arts and culture at long-running local festival

Liz Hobbs is an incredibly busy woman. Organizing festivals is her main gig, but she also directs theatre productions, writes, acts, and is currently the artistic director of the Serca Festival of Irish Theatre.

During the time I was tracking her down, Hobbs was in and out of the province. In and out of Edmonton. She was coordinating the Silver Skate Festival Folk Trail, then up to Kinuso (near Slave Lake) to audition 200 kids for Fiddler on the Roof, then back to work on the Chinook Festival. Continue reading Serca Festival shows love of Irish influence Enjoy Irish arts and culture at long-running local festival

Hugging regularly brings health and happiness Physical contact helps us bond with our loved ones

Science backs up what we all know intuitively: touch not only feels good, it is essential to our emotional and physical well-being.

Touching is fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health. It calms cardiovascular stress. It evokes safety and trust. It stimulates the brain to release feel-good chemicals that we produce naturally to encourage such behaviour (serotonin, dopamine and endorphins). Continue reading Hugging regularly brings health and happiness Physical contact helps us bond with our loved ones

Building communities in urban centres Mayors’ Forum addresses libraries and community

What can a library offer that most people don’t have already with smartphones and tablets?

Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi addressed a paying crowd of over 800 on Dec. 7 to defend the library’s continued relevance and explain why they believe it is worth the millions each city is putting into redeveloping its downtown libraries.

Continue reading Building communities in urban centres Mayors’ Forum addresses libraries and community

Blowing soap bubbles on my 63rd birthday Considering some philosophical questions about life

A journalist once asked Albert Einstein: “What is the most important question we can ask?”

Einstein replied: “Is the universe a safe place?”

That’s a big question. I am not sure how I would answer it. But since I am at the reflective stage of life, it seems like a good time to give it some consideration.

Continue reading Blowing soap bubbles on my 63rd birthday Considering some philosophical questions about life

Go, Pokémon, go! Free game gets youth outside Getting outdoors creates happy, healthy communities

What do an iPad and outdoor exercise have in common?

Very little, according to a recent lecture I attended on how the predominance of Wi-Fi devices were turning a generation into high-frequency couch potatoes.  

Continue reading Go, Pokémon, go! Free game gets youth outside Getting outdoors creates happy, healthy communities

Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature

The West Nile virus worries me. Not because of the one in a million chance I might get infected, but because we don’t need another excuse to demonize the outdoors.

Ours is the first society that spends the majority of its time indoors. According to studies, the average North American spends less than two hours per day outside. Compared to our climate-controlled, sealed and sanitized homes, we have developed the attitude that nature is uncomfortable, disorderly, unsanitized and potentially dangerous. Possibly true.

Continue reading Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature