Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Helping immigrants settle and integrate Organization helps African immigrant youth and families make Edmonton home

Through the Sinkunia Community Development Organization (SCDO), Issa Kamara has translated a passion for helping his community in Sierra Leone into helping his adopted community of Edmonton.

Everyone in Kamara’s rural hometown supported him as he completed his bachelor’s degree. In 2000, he moved to Canada and completed a master’s degree in social work. In 2008, Kumara started Sinkunia as a way to return the support he had been given throughout his life. His hometown now boasts wells, a community garden, and a community ranch through his efforts.

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Beautifying communities and alleys People needed for local Animate the Avenue Alleys project

Wesley Andreas has set his mind on beautifying and connecting the communities that surround Alberta Avenue. He’s focusing on the alleys in particular.

“We thought maybe we could do something more colourful,” he said. Andreas is the founder of the Animate the Avenue Alley project. He started last year with a project on his own fence and garage. “We had been wanting to paint our garage anyway, so we used it as an opportunity to do something interesting with our garage painting, rather than just repainting it white.”

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Recognizing art, courage and innovation Sebastian Barrera receives award for his work on KinArt Ravine project

Sebastian Barrera is a doer. Despite obstacles, he finds a way to make projects he has a vision for happen.

On April 21, he received the Courage to Innovate Award at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts for his work on the KinArt Ravine project, a series of more than 60 murals lining the Kinnaird Ravine trail.

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Celebrate Cameroon’s culture on May 21 Enjoy a day of dancing, soccer, and food

“Every single Cameroonian knows two things. First thing: how to dance. The second thing is how to play soccer,” says Raymond Kampoer, beaming with pride.

Kampoer moved into Parkdale two years ago with his wife Micheline and two children. During the upcoming Cameroon Day celebrations, his rich, diverse culture will be on display in Edmonton.

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Connecting local art to the community Nina Haggerty’s beautiful installation has a home at Alberta Ave Community League

Artists from the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts gifted Alberta Avenue Community League with a colourful multimedia art installation representing the community.

Created by six painters and 12 clay artists who work at the Nina, the installation depicts unique houses in the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood.

Paul Freeman, artistic director of the Nina Haggerty, said “the aim of the centre has always been to broadcast work in the public space and an opportunity for other people to see what the artists at the Nina can do.” He explained the artists “want to make a concrete contribution to the local reality,” and that “good art connects your experience to my experience.”
Continue reading Connecting local art to the community Nina Haggerty’s beautiful installation has a home at Alberta Ave Community League

A new springtime event on the Ave Alberta Avenue welcomes Mythos, A Springtime Fair

“If you can dream it, it is possible.”

This is the vibe that I pick up from speaking with Keia Dreger, director and creator of Mythos, A Springtime Fair, which will be held April 21 at Alberta Avenue Community Centre.

Dreger created the festival out of a need for artists and artisans to “have an opportunity to learn, express, showcase themselves, network, create conscious community, gain exposure.” Dreger is also an artist. She works in a variety of mediums and has designed some dividers, which will be for sale at the fair.
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The importance of keeping your culture Local drum and dance troupe talk about their experience and vision

If you have spent any time at Alberta Avenue festivals, you have probably been mesmerized by Sangea, a high energy, colourful, and talented African drum and dance troupe.

I bumped into them at the Carrot during Black History Month. Their commitment to their craft, vision and values triggered my interest in culturally diverse communities. I jumped at the opportunity to interview founders Reckie Llyod and Erini Perez Amezcua about immigration, music, and artist lifestyle.
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Telling the tale of the city’s collective story Edmonton Heritage Council initiative helps Edmontonians find hope and belonging

On March 15, a diverse group of community members gathered in a sharing circle to tell their story of how they came to Edmonton.

Organized by the Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC), Weaving City Narratives was held at Ben Calf Robe – St. Clare School. The event was created to help people to find a sense of hope and belonging in Edmonton.
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Musicians, rejoice! Making music in the hall Jam sessions strike a chord with community musicians and music lovers

Last fall, my friend Gerard Forget and I attended a Leaders in the Community meeting hosted by the Avenue Initiative Revitalization. The purpose was for people to share ideas and brainstorm implementation of new projects that would benefit the community.

Gerard and I saw this as a great opportunity to share our idea of organizing jam sessions for community musicians and performers who were looking for a place to play together in an informal environment.
Continue reading Musicians, rejoice! Making music in the hall Jam sessions strike a chord with community musicians and music lovers

Explore mindfulness meditation Parkdale-Cromdale Community League offers free meditation classes on Tuesdays

A mindfulness meditation class is held every Tuesday between 7 and 8:30 pm at Parkdale-Cromdale Community League (11335 85 Street). This free class gives neighbourhood residents an opportunity to explore how sitting meditation practice can help you become more calm. Over time, meditation helps develop serenity not only during class, but also in everyday life. People practicing mindfulness meditation use a relaxed yet upright posture and pay attention to the natural flow of breath. All are invited to attend.