Indigenous McCauley: A History and Contemporary Overview of First Nations and Métis Life in the McCauley Neighbourhood is a booklet supported by McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton that was printed and distributed this week. I worked on it for over a year as the Project Lead, Editor, and photographer, with the noted Métis writer Marilyn Dumont. Copies are free and will be available (at least on a semi-regular basis) at Zocalo, The Italian Centre, Sprucewood Library, and the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action. You can also download a copy in PDF format here (it’s 16MB so it may take a while to download if you’re on a slow connection).
My new short film McCauley: A Caring Community – Conversations on Social Housing launched on January 31 at Studio 96 – which is located in McCauley. About 40 people saw the film for the first time, followed by a discussion about social housing in Edmonton. Global TV came out for a segment on that evening’s late night news, and I did interviews to promote the film on CFWE Radio and Dinner Television. Then, the film launched online for all to see. It deals with the concentration of social housing in McCauley, and why housing needs to be dealt with on a city-wide level.
I was invited to the Spirit of McCauley Awards Dinner on October 15. It was to honour people who have contributed to the inner city neighbourhood of McCauley, by McCauley Revitalization. Last year, I received an honour for my work in the neighbourhood for almost 10 years.
While I did not know I was getting an award, I was surprised and honoured to receive one for my work with Boyle McCauley News and involvement with the arts, particularly in the areas of developing a series of booklets about the history and different cultures in the area, and videos (McCauley Moments and a forthcoming short film about homelessness and social housing called McCauley: A Caring Community).
Early in the new year I will begin filming my next video project for the City of Edmonton/McCauley Revitalization. Entitled “McCauley: A Place to Call Home – Housing Issues in a Caring Community,” the short film will explore issues of housing and homelessness in the neighbourhood and how other communities can learn from McCauley’s example. The ultimate message is that housing needs to be a city-wide responsibility.The film is also being made with the assistance of Boyle McCauley News. I’ll be posting updates concerning the project at the associated website and Facebook page.
On May 30, I was honoured to be named a True Friend of McCauley by the City of Edmonton/McCauley Revitalization. Around 50 residents, business owners, faith leaders, and representatives of agencies/non-profits who have contributed to the McCauley neighbourhood. The awards were handed out by Scott McKeen, Ward 6 City Councillor. I was in the Agencies/Non-Profit category for my work with Boyle McCauley News and several Revitalization projects such as a series of historical/walking tour booklets and the McCauley Moments film.
However, Revitalization Coordinator Jane Molstad was surprised when the tables were turned and we ended up honouring her! She was gifted with a digital art print I created of Sacred Heart Church.
I spent much of today working on a really fun project: a new website for an emerging Edmonton author named Leif Gregersen. Leif is a very talented writer of poetry, memoir, and short stories, with several books to his credit. I met Leif through my work at Boyle McCauley News, and I am so glad he asked me to create his website.
Another project I was working on for a couple of months is a booklet about the churches along 96 Street. The Churches of Edmonton’s Church Street: 96 Street between 106 and 110 Avenues launched on July 12 at the first annual Church Street Fair organized by Friends of Church Street. I was the editor, project manager, and one of the photographers. This is the second book project for McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton. Last year, I edited the walking tour book McCauley Then and Now: A Walk Through One of Edmonton’s First Neighbourhoods.