August 2019, Scarborough, On

CELEBRATE AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN WITH US!!

Music, Dance, Culture and of course, Food! The award winning 8th Annual Afro- Carib Fest ( ACF) is back on Saturday August 24th and Sunday August 25th 2019 for an unforgettable experience. Taking place at the Albert Campbell Square in Scarborough, the dynamic event highlights the culture and essence of African Caribbean communities.

This year’s event will showcase over 50 local and international artists as well as include its first ever cultural parade ( on Saturday August 24th at 3:30pm) ; which will display the beautiful colors, dance, and styles of the Afro-Caribbean culture. There will be exciting belly dance lessons, drum and dance performances, audience engagement activities, a youth and kids zone, dance competitions on each day with exciting prizes and more! There is something for everyone at our bustling marketplace with diverse vendors and food trucks. The festival attracts over 35,000 people from the GTA and across Ontario. The event is FREE and will run from 12:00pm to 9:00pm each day.

Afro Carib Fest is brought to you by Heritage Skills Development Centre ( HSDC) ; a non-profit organization with a goal to promote and celebrate diversity, foster civic pride, bridge cultural and economic gaps with integrative learning opportunities and creative community engagement. ACF has become a vital component of the cultural fabric of Scarborough and offers an avenue for the celebration of the heritage of the African and Caribbean communities and beyond as it showcases unity, diversity, inclusiveness through arts, music, food and culture.

Some of the artists this year include: Ammoye, Tonya P, Burundi Drumming Toronto, BlackStars, Level Exodus Band, SlimFlex, Indian Ocean Roots, ICU group, Carnival Spice, HummingBird Tassa Drumming Group, RemiRay, Gabriela Belly Dance, Major Benzy, Prince David Sax and much more!

We hope you will join us to capture and witness our diversity, community and cultural pride!

New Funding for Variety Village

Monday, July 29th,
The provincial government
announced that it is providing $4.5 million to Variety Village for facility repairs, as well as recreational and competitive adaptive sport programs.

“Our government believes every person deserves the opportunity to enjoy sport at all levels and all abilities,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Variety Village does important work promoting inclusion and accessibility in sport and recreation, which is why we’re proud to provide them support to continue delivering physical activity and sport programs.”
Provincial funding will include $2.5 million in 2019-20 for facility repairs, as well as $2 million over the next two years to help deliver recreational and competitive adaptive sport programs. Some of the programming includes aquatics, competitive sports and introducing children with disabilities to parasports through education and outreach.

“The children and families that are served by Variety’s programming are very grateful for this historic investment of funding,” said Karen Stintz, President and CEO of Variety Village. “For over 70 years, Variety Village has been breaking down barriers for children with a disability and their families. This announcement is significant because it will mean the sustainability of the facility for the next 20 years. This is a government that understands the importance of investing in families and delivered on that commitment.”

“Ontario is one of the best places to play sport and be an athlete,” said MacLeod. “Variety Village is empowering children with disabilities and levelling the playing field through competitive adaptive sport.”

Variety Village is an inclusive family-friendly fitness, sports and life-skills facility in Toronto that has provided programming for people of all abilities, including those with disabilities, since the first facility opened in 1949.

Ontario has invested over $18 million in operating funding to Variety Village since 2002.
Variety Village has the largest inclusive summer camp program in Ontario, with 2,000 children attending last year.

 

It’s Summertime!! Paragliders fill the sky off of East Point Park on Monday July 8th. They mostly fly at the bottom of Beechgrove Drive off an elevated hill next to the park.
Despite not using an engine, paraglider flights can last many hours and cover many hundreds of kilometres, though flights of 10 kms and one to two hours are more the norm.

Yes, Yes and Yes Committee of Adjustment gives the go ahead to Thunder Women Healing Lodge

By Trevon Smith
Council chambers lit up Thursday afternoon when the Committee of Adjustment voted yes to a minor variance application by Thunder Women Healing Lodge (TWHL). While those opposing the decision stormed out, some staying to shout their concerns at committee members – supporters of TWHL were in thunderous applause.
“[These] victories are very small for our people,” Peggy Pitawanakwat said smiling, a resident of the Cliffside neighbourhood and supporter of the lodge. “To be able to see it and be part of it is so important.”
Thursday’s session was meant to discuss the healing lodge’s variant designs that did not meet city zoning bylaws. However, opposing speakers were quick to stray into other concerns. Judy Chamberlain, also a Cliffside resident, spoke briefly before the committee’s decision on the lack of parking spaces before voicing her thoughts on the safety of the community. Judy and her husband moved to Cliffside as part of the revitalization of Kingston rd. “We do not consider the proposal of ex-offenders or offenders waiting to be prosecuted as a good fit for the revitalization,” she said.
“We will not feel safe.”
Community concerns were likely heightened by the 2009 murder of Tori Stafford by Terri-Lyne McClintic, who was a resident of the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in southern Saskatchewan. TWHL, however, have released a myths and facts document to help clarify rumours and qualms. The lodge bringing criminals into the neighbourhood is a myth, the document says, and the future residents of the lodge are already living in the neighbourhood.
As well, the document clarifies that the lodge Terri-Lyne was in was an “alternative correctional facility” operated by Corrections Canada.
The lodge at 2217 Kingston Rd. will be a residential building that provides programs and support for indigenous women. It will feature a commercial space, likely an art gallery or cafe, as heard in Thursday’s meeting, where residents of the lodge can learn valuable work skills.
Other issues that were raised include: the size of the property, its proximity to schools in the area and that the noise of Kingston Rd. would be insufficient for the healing process. As well, the opposition asked why Scarborough was chosen instead of a property downtown, where native and indigenous services have traditionally been located.
Ward 20, according to Councillor Gary Crawford’s FAQ, has the highest population indigenous population in Toronto. 18 other properties across the city were considered, but were too expensive for TWHL.

“It’s ludicrous,” Peggy said, “that we still have to fight to get a little piece of land to experience healing for our people.”