The Leejay Levene 2020 art calendar will be available for purchase at the launch event coming up on May 22nd. In honour of Leejay's caring and compassionate style, funds raised from the sale of the calendars will go to support the work of KW Counselling Services.
Drop into the launch event between 6-8pm for music, canapes, and speakers including Bryan Larkin and Elizabeth Witmer. Don't forget to pick up your calendar while there for only $10! #365ofgoodWR
OK2BME is a local organization in Waterloo Region offering free services for LGBTQ2+ identified children, teens and their families. It is run through KW Counselling Services. Services include confidential counselling, a youth group, and public education and training.
OK2BME has several great workshops and events coming up in the next couple of weeks. On May 24th is the Pride Prom and this year's theme is Enchanted Forest (check out their great poster below). On May 31st, attend How to Talk to your LGBTQ+ Kids or Clients About Sex and Dating (free to attend for Waterloo Region residents). Becoming an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Agency is offered on June 10th. In this workshop, attendees will learn more about Bill 16 and about "key practices to creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTQ2+ employees". This is just a small sample of the #365ofgoodWR of which OK2BME is involved. Visit their website for more details.
It seems to me that many people are talking about housing affordability and availability. I noticed this during the campaign last Fall and I am glad to see many of these conversations still happening. In fact, just last week they were again discussing this issue on one of my favourite shows, The Agenda. It seems every day there is an article in the news on this topic as well. Recently Jennifer Keesmat shared her thoughts on why she believes our housing market is falling down on affordability. Saturday's Star shared that new provincial regulations on housing could impact community benefits negatively.
It's reassuring that this issue remains on so many people's radar. Of course, we need to do more than simply read some articles or watch a news program occasionally. In fact, HHUG suggests we take action to become Housing Heroes! That brings us to Brent Toderian's City Resolution #10. It states: "Tell your elected leaders that you insist on real action on homelessness, starting with actual homes and supportive services, whether you can see its effects in your neighborhood yet or not. Remember that this is about human values, not property values. Remind them that providing homes for the homeless actually saves us all public money."
In order to create change in our communities, we need to inform our elected officials about the kind of community we want to live in. This week, take a moment to share your vision for our community with your elected officials. #365ofgoodWR
As I mentioned just a couple of posts ago, we are fortunate to have such high calibre local theatre in the region. So please indulge me as I highlight one more play this week for the #365ofgoodWR project. I look forward to attending Guarded Girls this weekend. This play is put on in partnership with Green Light Arts and runs until May 19th. They have had some sold out performances so you may want to get your tickets soon!
Guarded Girls "reveals the complex ways in which our prison system affects generations of women and how thin the line can be that separates those of us who are on the inside vs. those of us who are on the outside of Corrections." There are warnings for strong language, mature themes, and nudity. Find out more about the play here. You can buy tickets here.
It seems we are facing more and more cuts and reductions to important social support systems in our cities and province lately. Now, more than ever it seems, we need conversations and awareness around topics such as poverty, basic income, and affordable housing. Waterloo Region Nonviolence is hosting just such a discussion this Tuesday. It's entitled Viewpoints on Poverty.
The evening will offer a panel presentation, group discussion, and a question and answer time. The evening will include the "perspectives of a person with experience living a life of poverty, a facilitator working in the field, an academic, and a policy maker." The event takes place at Queen Street Commons, starting at 6:30pm this Tuesday. #365ofgoodWR
I have long been a fan of theatre, especially when it has a local, community focus. I have even had the chance to perform in a couple of local theatre performances once upon a time. Needless to say then, when I discovered Backyard Theatre I was absolutely thrilled! Kathleen and John have transformed their backyard space into a theatre to showcase some amazing local plays. And this is not just a canopy tossed up in the backyard. It is an indoor built theatre with lots of seating for the audience. I had the chance to see Nowhere, Ontario there and it was such an entertaining production. I was happy to bring along family and friends when the production headed over to the Conrad Centre for a later run.
I'm excited to share that Backyard Theatre has another production hitting the stage this fall at UW's Theatre of the Arts (not in their backyard theatre this time). I attended the read-through last year and I can't wait to see this in full production. The play is called The Other Side of the River and it "tells a foundational story of early Canada through a powerful family drama. Based on a true story from the Niagara region, the play follows the plight of three families (American, Canadian, Mohawk) during back to back Wars in North America. It shows ordinary people forced into extraordinary circumstances, making impossible choices between loyalty to family and loyalty to nation." Visit their website for more information. #365ofgoodWR
It's time for the Safety Village open house this weekend. This annual event provides fun for all ages. Attendees have a chance to learn more about the Waterloo Region Police Service (WRPS) with a tour through headquarters, as well as games and activities. Children can also tour Sparky's apartment, go for a pony ride, and use the peddle cars. The event happens this Saturday (May 11th) from 10am-3pm. I have heard rumours that Erick Traplin may also make an appearance!
If you can't attend this Saturday, the safety village is accessible to the public daily and is a great place to practice riding a bike! #365ofgoodWR
Last year I attended my first iftaar and thoroughly appreciated that opportunity. The Coalition of Muslim Women have extended an invitation to residents of Waterloo Region to attend their upcoming event "Tastes of Ramadan". This is a free, family friendly event held at RIM Park on May 18th starting at 7:30pm. Join in this fun event and taste traditional iftaar delicacies and learn about the fasting traditions in different parts of the Muslim world through casual conversations with folks from diverse cultural backgrounds. Register here. #365ofgoodWR
Although Globe Studios has been around for a very long time, I only learned of it a couple of years ago. I am so glad I did! It's truly a community gem and operates a unique model that I would love to see replicated elsewhere. You can read more about Globe Studios in an article I wrote for the Community Edition last year.
Or even better than that, visit the studio! They host 2 open houses each year and the next one is this Friday (May 10th) from 4-9pm. You will have a chance to see the space, meet with artists, and purchase a wide selection of items. If you need a Mother's Day gift, this is definitely the place to visit! #365ofgoodWR
It seems that May will be Movie Month for me! With not one but two film festivals, and a showing of Knock Down The House, my calendar was already pretty full with great movies to watch. However, I have now added another one to my list, called Why We Cycle. It explores "some of the obvious and not-so-obvious effects of cycling on people, communities and cities."
The film will be shown on May 21st at 7pm at the School of Pharmacy (10 Victoria St S, Kitchener). There will also be a panel discussion following the film with Jennifer Dean from UW, Emily Slofstra (CycleWR), Justin Readman (City of Kitchener), and Sarah March (Ward 10 Kitchener Councillor). The panel will be moderated by the Canada Research Chair in the School of Planning (UW), Brian Doucet. You can register for the event here. #365ofgoodWR