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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Preparing and planting a spring garden Great tips for getting the most out of your garden this year

With spring starting to peek through the winter cold, it will soon be time to plant a spring garden. Before sowing those tiny seeds, tackle a few garden chores to ensure your garden gets off on the right foot and grows the best plants possible.

If your garden has raised beds, now is the time to check for any damage. The soggy soil from rain and snow can strain wooden frames. Repairing bowed or split wood now will save you time and keep plants contained all summer.
Continue reading Preparing and planting a spring garden Great tips for getting the most out of your garden this year

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

Tackling crime is a team effort Empowering residents to take an active role in crime prevention

The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service hosted a “Connecting Community for Safety” event at Alberta Avenue in March. This event helped connect residents as well as encourage and empower them to take an active role in crime prevention.

Residents had an opportunity to share their stories, thoughts and ideas around crime and safety in small groups. Afterwards, Community Liaison Constable Jeff Thomsen and Community Safety Liaison Gurjeet Sangha encouraged a four-pronged approach to crime prevention: empower, connect, prevent, report.
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Friends for health and happiness

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a group of teen moms for two years while doing research for my Master’s thesis. It was a time of just being and talking with them to understand their world. I did not maintain a “professional distance” with the girls; we became friends. We socialized together, I babysat for them, I had them over to my house, I attended their births and baby showers.

What I learned is that like everyone else, what these girls needed most in their lives were friends. They needed people in their lives they could talk to, depend on and have fun with. I was by no means their best friend, but I was someone in their circle of friends they could reach out to.

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The small things make all the difference

I moved to the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood in 2006. I didn’t move here to be its savior. I moved here because I could afford it. The neighbourhood wasn’t even on my radar initially, but my then boyfriend (now husband) suggested I look here as he had previously lived in the area. My realtor said she wasn’t willing to show a single woman houses in this area so I got a new realtor and a new house. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome! I love living here!

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Improving neighbourhood connections Elmwood Park is a tiny league making a big impact on the surrounding community

Travel north from 118 Avenue on 75 Street and you will come across the Elmwood Park Community League. Situated by the Trans-Canada Highway to the north and surrounded by parkland, it’s an easy building to overlook.  As league president Melanie Spitzer said, “we’re so tucked in, even the community hall is tucked into a corner of the community.”  

Despite the location, league board members are making a difference in their community. “At our last few events, the awareness and participation has gone up,” said Spitzer, whose quiet enthusiasm for her task as president is obvious.

Continue reading Improving neighbourhood connections Elmwood Park is a tiny league making a big impact on the surrounding community

Opening the door to change Pursuing your passion with measured, thoughtful steps

Sitting across from me at the Carrot, Alex shares a slideshow on his iPad. A year ago, he left a well-paying job to become a writer and photographer. It’s clear he’s still excited by his choice.

Okay, Alex didn’t exactly leave his job. His employers laid him off when the economy sunk. This cold shower awakening helped him hear his dreams shouting for attention.

Continue reading Opening the door to change Pursuing your passion with measured, thoughtful steps

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.

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