Did you get a chance to see some of the unique and thought-provoking art installations throughout our region this past June? Installations such as Head-man, Arena, and Recognize Everyone (all pictured below) were a part of the biennial CAFKA festival. The good news is that you can experience CAFKA events throughout the year, including today at the Walper Hotel. This past weekend and continuing today the Walper has been host to CAFKA@The Walper 2019. If you missed out this weekend, a number of pieces will remain on display at the Walper until the end of April.
CAFKA @ The Walper 2019 is an exhibition "featuring six contemporary artists whose practices are based in Southern Ontario. Works by Vessna Perunovich, Shaheer Zazai, Jordyn Stewart and Amy Lockhart will be on view from March 1 through April 2019 in the public spaces of the hotel. From March 22 through March 25 two rooms in the hotel will be given over to installations by Audrey D'Astous and the Call Again Collective. #365ofgoodWR
As we anticipate the arrival of light rail transit in our region this spring, let's take a look at Brent Toderian's 6th resolution for cities. It states: Take public transit whenever you can, and while you’re at it, look around at and engage with the real, honest humanity on display that you’re usually blind to when you’re behind the windshield.
I have long been a user of public transit from my first independent ride as a tween in the small town I grew up in (a ride which ended in me getting lost and riding the entire route not once, but twice, before finding my stop!) When I moved to the region as a university student, I remember studying the paper maps and schedules to figure out my best options. After taking route 12 all the way from near Conestoga Mall to get out to Fairview Mall (taking well over an hour), I was quick to research more direct options!
I still use transit these days but now that I live in the core, I find riding my bike or walking tend to be my main ways to get around the region. However, for those longer trips (or really bad weather days) it's important to have transit as an option.
My favourite way to experience the enjoyment of using transit, is to bring young children along with you! I always enjoyed bringing my niece and nephew on the bus and their excitement to ride the bus really was contagious. Check out #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit for more examples of why many of us really do enjoy using transit. If you haven't rode the bus lately, find your favourite little humans and hop on board this week! #365ofgoodWR
We are fortunate to have many organizations locally that support our newcomer population. Some organizations focus on this solely, such as Reception House. However, many others have expanded their programs to include programs that specifically support newcomers. SHORE Centre is one of those places. Their Newcomer Health Programs "provide newcomers with accurate information, access to community resources and non-judgmental support in their own language. The program reduces barriers by providing childcare and bus tickets and addresses cultural and religious sensitivities by using trained peer facilitators from the participants’ cultural community."
These programs are offered through partnerships with several other organizations such as local community centres, the Kitchener Public Library, the KW Multicultural Centre, and the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre. The Healthy Women, Healthy Family, Healthy Community program is offered Tuesdays starting at 5pm at the Downtown Community Centre. A variety of topics are discussed such as family planning and community resources, parenting, and healthy relationships. Find out more on the SHORE Centre website. #365ofgoodWR
Rock Your Socks for World Down Syndrome Day! Pull out your most fun and colourful socks today in celebration of people with Down syndrome!
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. It falls on March 21st since individuals with Down syndrome have 3 of their 21st chromosome instead of 2 - therefore, the 21st of the 3rd month is World Down Syndrome Day (3/21).
Join the movement to "create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome on 21 March. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder."
#WDSD19 #LotsOfSocks #365ofgoodWR
Do you know youth interested in filmmaking? Encourage them to enter the Youth Video Competition and they could win prizes! The contest invites youth (12-25 years) to "share their original short films and animations for a chance to win cash prizes in three age categories: 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25."
The contest is offered by the City of Kitchener and the Kitchener Public Library. Winning videos will be shown at the main KPL branch at the end of April. Submissions are due by March 29th. Learn more about the contest criteria here. Click here to see last year's winning videos. #365ofgoodWR
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is celebrated annually on March 21st. On that day in 1960, 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa were killed. Learn more about why this day was created and some of the ways you can help bring an end to racism.
Locally, several organizations have partnered together to offer a forum in recognition of this day. You will have the opportunity to view a film on the topic and then hear from a panel. The event is at KPL Central and the panel includes:
Carl Cadogan, CEO, Reception House
Ruth Cameron, Executive Director, ACCKWA
Lori Campbell, Director, Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, uWaterloo
Lu Roberts, MSW, Ahwenehaode Indigenous Justice Program, Indigenous Justice Coordinator
It is moderated by: Dr. Ciann Wilson, Assistant Professor, Community Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University
There is more information in the attached image and you can register for this free event here. #365ofgoodWR
We really are fortunate to have so many great community centres in our area. If you haven't lately, look up some of the great programs offered at the community centre closest to you. There's a wide range of classes, workshops, and programs available.
The Country Hills Community Centre recently launched a new program entitled "Skills Library". It's an opportunity for "youth and adults to come together and gain an understanding of each other, share the space, learn new skills and build positive relationships." It's offered Mondays from 6-8:30 pm for ages 11-15. They're looking for more adults to volunteer with the program by sharing their skills, talents, or interests with this group. Contact Shannon at the Centre (call or email) if this interests you. #365ofgoodWR
We have many amazing youth doing some pretty great things in our community - so let's celebrate them! You can nominate a youth (ages 14-24) for a Kitchener Youth Council award. These awards "celebrate and recognize the talents and contributions of young people in our community at an annual awards ceremony at city hall." The awards ceremony takes place at Kitchener City Hall on May 1st and nominations are due by March 29th. #365ofgoodWR
I've been fortunate to be a long time volunteer at the Food Bank, celebrating 10 years there last April. It's been wonderful to see the many unique ways that the Food Bank supports the community including the recent development of their Fresh Approaches food centre allowing them to offer fresh produce to community partners.
Canstruction is one more way in which the Food Bank connects with the community and it is happening now. This is a "unique, international event engaging designers, architects and engineers to use their talents to help those struggling with food insecurity." This event has been running locally since 2008 and since then has raised enough food and funds to provide over a million meals to our community!
You can see what's happening with Canstruction at Conestoga Mall now until March 17th. Join in the fun by voting for your favourite structure! #365ofgoodWR
Well it's day 67 of #365ofgoodWR which means I have highlighted 66 great things happening in our community. I remember on day 5 or 6 of this project I started worrying about what I had got myself into! To write something daily (even if only a couple of paragraphs each day) was not a habit I had yet formed. However, when I was running my campaign last fall, I started writing more often (for my blog, newsletters, etc.) and quite enjoyed it. That is partly where the idea for this project started - I wanted to write more often and highlighting the good in our community seemed like a great focus. But less than a week in, I worried that writing for another 360 days seemed daunting. Now 67 days into the project, I would say that writing daily has become a habit for me, one that I often look forward to even. And with all of the great things going on in #WRawesome, there is never a shortage of things to write about!
After saying all of that however, next week's schedule looks rather full for me and I'm not sure if I will get a post out everyday or not. (Side note: 67 days in and I have yet to learn how to schedule posts on Weebly!) Therefore, it seems like a great time to check in with you! Is there something that has been highlighted on the blog that you were thrilled to learn about? What events are coming up soon that you'd like to see featured on the blog? Let me know in the comments.
Also, as I reflect on time in this post, it seems fitting to remind you about this weekend's time change. Don't forget to turn those clocks ahead...and watch this video for a little Daylight Saving fun :)