We learned of another store closing down in downtown Kitchener this week. J&P Grocery, which has been operating in Goudie's Lane for the last two and a half years, announced earlier this week that they would be closing as of Tuesday. I wish everyone there all the best as they move forward after this.
We are fortunate to still have a number of local grocers in our downtown catering to a variety of needs and diets. Full Circle, Legacy Greens, Mi Tienda Latina and the Kitchener Market all come to mind immediately for me. Of course, we can't take it for granted that these places will always be there. If you're able, please spend your grocery dollars at local grocers as that makes a positive impact right in our own community. CBC did an article earlier this year on just a few of the grocery options in Downtown Kitchener. You can read that here. What's your favourite local grocery store and why? #365ofgoodWR
Climate change is on the minds of many these days and we even have municipalities like Kitchener declaring a climate emergency and identifying steps to mitigate the impact of climate change. Fortunately we have organizations locally that we can look to for support in these areas. TransitionKW is one such organization.
They're based on the transition movement that started in the United Kingdom and they strive to "bring together citizens to build resilience and sustainability within our community in the face of the oncoming crises of peak oil and climate change." With the goal to inform, inspire, and support our community, TransitionKW facilitates community actions and events, raises awareness about the impacts of climate change, and offers an adaptation toolkit. The toolkit has just been updated for 2019 and includes resources to better understand climate change and prepare for it. TransitionKW believes that "by working together towards solutions to these problems that we can weather – and even thrive amidst – the changes and challenges that we face." #365ofgoodWR
Here's an opportunity for artists! The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is hosting an exhibition with LGBTQ+ centric themes and is looking for queer artists who work in clay and glass and explore themes of gender, sexuality, and queer issues in their art. If this interests you, contact Levi at email@example.com #365ofgoodWR
We're back to another city resolution from Brent Toderian. This one is pretty short and sweet: "Get a carshare membership instead of a car. If your city doesn’t have car share yet, lobby for it as much as you can. It will need changes at City Hall." And there's good news for those of us in Waterloo Region as we already have car share here - VRTUCAR. However it has had several transformations over the years. It first started out as the People's Car Co-operative in 1998 and was Ontario's first carshare program. It was then Grand River Carshare and then renamed Community Carshare as it expanded outside of the region. In 2018, VRTUCAR took over.
Through VRTUCAR you can access a vehicle on an as-needed basis. For some people, that may mean living car-free but using carshare on a few days here and there when a vehicle is warranted. For others, they may use carshare as a way to move from a 2 vehicle household to a one-car household, while still having access to a second vehicle when needed. One of the benefits of a carshare is that you usually have access to a wide range of vehicles, including larger vehicles such as pick up trucks or cargo vans - which can definitely come in handy on moving days! Another benefit is that you have access to carshare vehicles in other cities when travelling. Learn more about VRTUCAR on their website. You may also want to read this article from the Globe and Mail that compares the costs of owning a car versus using a carshare program. #365ofgoodWR
SPECTRUM is Waterloo Region’s first ever LGBTQ / Rainbow community space! Through SPECTRUM you can access programming, a DVD library, and other resources, as well as participate in social groups, special projects, and events. Their mission is to be "a volunteer-based LGBTQ community venue that is sustainable, supportive, positive and a safe space for people of all ages in the Waterloo Region. By providing resources, information, rainbow-related events, and programming, SPECTRUM will work together with partners and allies to ensure a strong and inclusive community."
One of the things SPECTRUM is involved in is a gender neutral washrooms survey/map in Waterloo Region. Since individuals who do not clearly conform to the gender with which they identify are far more likely to encounter hostility or violence when using public washrooms, an interactive map has been created that identifies gender neutral washrooms in the region. You can still add to the map as well. As I have stated previously, many things we put in place to support a particular segment of our population, often benefits the larger population. I believe this proves true again with this map. I know many families, especially those with younger children, would love to know where the closest 'family-style' washrooms are when out and about. This map identifies the type of washroom facility at each mapped location. It definitely seems like this is a great resource for many folks! #365ofgoodWR
Today we're taking a closer look at oneROOF who have long resided on Queen St S but will be moving to a new, larger location in the near future. oneROOF provides services and support to youth experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness. Services offered include food hampers, community outreach, advocacy, life skills training, and emergency shelter.
Read more about oneROOF and their upcoming move this Fall in this article. Learn more about oneROOF at their community BBQ and bake sale on Aug 2nd. You can also get a building tour then. The event runs from 11:30am-2:30pm on Aug 2nd. #365ofgoodWR
For today's #365ofgoodWR post I am sharing this article from the Kitchener Post about 2 local girls who created an app to help with disaster relief. The local pair ended up winning the junior technovation competition, competing against 38 other teams. Using their own personal experiences, the 2 girls created a prototype app that "focuses on the remnants of a natural disaster, making a more efficient way for organizations, donors, and victims to coordinate aid. It is designed to connect donors, emergency response organizations and governments to make sure survivors receive the help they need. Victims share what they need through their location. Response organizations can focus on a region’s needs while donors can see what resources are required." Read more here.
Register now for this workshop on Making Space offered through the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council. Participants will hear from a panel, and discuss how we can better engage with diverse viewpoints and create inclusive spaces. More details in the attached image or visit the WRCPC website. #365ofgoodWR
I first heard about Cons and Kernels when I attended Green Light Arts' production of Guarded Girls earlier this year. Given that show was about women's experiences in prison, it seemed a fitting partnership. Cons and Kernels sells popcorn but what makes it unique is that it's run by a woman who has also served time in prison. Her hope is to reduce the stigma associated with hiring people with prior convictions through education and having a little fun with it.
The website's introduction sums up well that philosophy: "We broke the law, but we fix good snacks! We blend unique ingredients to make compellingly delicious recipes that offer a fresh take on gourmet popcorn, made with conviction. From outlaws to outreach, spreading the truth one kernel at a time! Cons & Kernels believes in second chances, and will provide reintegration opportunities and educate the public through a variety of fun and educational awareness campaigns."
Emily, the owner of Cons and Kernels, also writes a blog which you can find on the website as well. Here she addresses a number of important issues around reintegration of offenders. Here's a small blurb from one of her posts: "One thing that is crucial to the successful reintegration of offenders after prison is being able to find work. As many people know, that’s a difficult thing for many because of the obligation to either disclose that they went to prison or get criminal record checks. Even if they get to the final interview, if it's between a convict and someone without that history, the employer will usually choose the other person. As a business, Cons & Kernels is one of many employers that seeks out candidates who have been to prison." Read more on the blog. #365ofgoodWR
Summer weekends are definitely something special that many of us look forward to. With BBQs, farmer's markets, and a variety of outdoor events happening, it can be easy for our weekend calendars to fill up. Something you'll want to get on your calendar for this weekend, if you haven't already, is the Kultrun festival. It's happening in Victoria Park July 13th and 14th (free admission), with the opening reception at THEMUSEUM on July 12th (paid admission).
There's so many artists and fun events happening that you'll want to check out the schedule online so you don't miss out on anything! Learn more about Kultrun and its host organization Neruda Arts in this CBC article or visit the website. I hope to see you at the festival this weekend! #365ofgoodWR