Brian Borschowa started volunteering at the Alberta Avenue food pantry a number of months ago and now he’s a regular volunteer with the Community Hub Nights as well as a volunteer driver for the WECAN Food Basket pick ups. He’s thankful he got involved in the league. “I got to meet different people, make connections, and got to know the community better.” 

Ali Hammington, league president, is grateful for Borschowa and others like him who’ve stepped up to share their time and skills with the community. She says, “Everyone in our community has something to offer. When we come together to encourage and support each other, amazing things can happen: new friends, new opportunities, and a safer and better-connected neighbourhood.”        

The past year-and-a-half has been difficult for many. Join together with your neighbours in your community for sharing, support, and social connection. The third Saturday in September is Community League Day to celebrate leagues and encourage more people to get involved. 

Seven leagues in the district are putting on a variety of events and activities throughout September. They encourage you to not only participate but also become a member. Many of the leagues have free memberships or will provide one at no cost if you cannot afford the fee. Check with your league for membership benefits, but popular benefits are community rink access and community time at Commonwealth Rec Centre.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LEAGUE HISTORY

Every neighbourhood or area in Edmonton has a community league. The first leagues formed in 1917 in an effort to counter the political force of the Chamber of Commerce, business tycoons, and developers. They soon realized they had a stronger voice and more power working together, so they formed the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) in 1921. EFCL marked its 100th anniversary with a community league plaza in William Hawrelak Park in 2021.[Edmonton’s Urban Villages, Ron Kuban]

A community league is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization formed to meet the unique needs and interests of residents within a defined geographic area. [efcl.org] Parkdale, established in 1921, is the oldest league in the district followed by Alberta Avenue (1922), Eastwood (1923), and Cromdale (1925). It was two plus decades before the other neighbourhoods were established with community leagues: Elmwood Park (1946), Westwood and Spruce Avenue (1951), and Delton (1961). In 1986, Cromdale amalgamated with Parkdale.

ALBERTA AVENUE

9210 118 AVE

Whether you want to check it out for the first time or renew your membership, Alberta Avenue has lots of opportunities to get connected. Stop by their membership barbecue event on Thursday, Sept. 16 between 5-8 p.m. or their Campfire Pub Night on Friday, Sept. 24 from 7-11 p.m. Membership is “pay if you can”.

They have dedicated their facility to community use every Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. Community Hub Night includes things like a book library, sports, games, films, cooking, workshops, and more. Community members are encouraged to come lead or participate in activities that interest them or just hang out and visit with neighbours. In addition, Norwood Family Centre is bringing pre-school Storytime Adventures programming on Tuesday mornings starting Sept. 21. The league is also working with local seniors to host seniors’ drop-in groups and/or programs.

DELTON

12325 88 ST

The Delton Hall closed before COVID-19 for some major renovations. Now it’s time for the big reveal! Check out the grand re-opening of their newly renovated hall on Sunday, Sept. 19 from 1-4 p.m. when they kick things off with a block party and membership drive. Enjoy food, live music, games, and family activities. Then stay tuned for their next event, a Halloween party on Oct. 30.

EASTWOOD

11803 86 ST

Eastwood is partnering with Arts on the Ave and other interested leagues for activities celebrating Community League Day, which is the 100th anniversary of EFCL. 

Meditation class is starting up after the September long weekend. Join in on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. The E-Town Vocal Music Society is starting their acapella singing sessions again on Thursday evenings. It includes an adult group and a youth pop-music ensemble. The winter season starts Sept. 23. More info: etownvms.com. League memberships are free! And they rent out their hall or rink space. Go to eastwoodcommunity.org, contact [email protected], or call 780.477.2354.

ELMWOOD PARK

12505 75 ST

For their League Day on Saturday, Sept. 18 the community will be treated to a full-blown carnival and barbecue with roving entertainment, game stations, treats, and crafts. It’s free for everyone and free memberships will be available. Stop by between noon-3 p.m.

Elmwood Park invites you to their AGM on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at Eastwood Hall. Consider joining the board! They have a small cozy meeting space available for rent. Check out the amenities on elmwoodparkcommunity.org or email [email protected]

PARKDALE CROMDALE

11335 85 ST

Parkdale Cromdale is hosting an End of Summer Celebration on Friday, Sept. 3 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. with live music, drinks, and a free barbecue in their outdoor patio/rink space. Their popular Harvest Dinner League Day event is back on Saturday, Sept. 18 as a culturally diverse culinary journey. Also watch for an art installation and awareness event for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the end of September.

Join the league’s Facebook eNewsletter or follow them on Facebook as they run a variety of free or low cost community programs. Something new to check out is a free two month introduction to Capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts form. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6-7 p.m. for five-seven year olds and 7-8 p.m. for eight-16 year olds. Sign up at CreArtEdmonton.com.

SPRUCE AVENUE

10240 115 AVE

Spruce Avenue presents their annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day’s highlights include: 10 a.m. pancake breakfast, 12 p.m. Indigenous dancers, 2 p.m. historic walks, 4-6 p.m. barbecue fundraiser, 5 p.m. Sticks & Stones percussion performance. The barbecue fundraiser is in support of the Community Garden Project. Help them make the project a reality.

Memberships are currently free. Get one in person at the Harvest Festival or request it online at spruceavenuecommunity.com. Hall rentals can be booked at [email protected]. Next monthly board meeting is Sept. 21, 2021 at 7 p.m.

WESTWOOD

12139 105 ST

As per tradition, Westwood will again host a Community Bin event on Saturday, Sept. 18. Drop off your large unwanted items until the bin is full. There will also be a pancake breakfast that day. Check Facebook and westwoodCL.ca for event details. The league has teamed up with The Güd Box to give you the opportunity to receive boxes of fresh, healthy, and affordable produce up to twice a month. Order link is on the website.