I am happy to announce that I will be working on the following project in collaboration with #YEGFilm and the cooperation of several community organizations.

JEWISH EDMONTON STORIES ONLINE PROJECT SEEKS PARTICIPANTS

Jewish Edmonton Stories Online, a project for Jewish and non-Jewish Edmontonians alike to learn and connect with the stories and places of our community’s past, will launch in the fall of 2021. We are seeking remarkable stories and memories from interested members of Edmonton’s Jewish community that connect to a particular place in the City. Stories do not have to be submitted in a complete format. At this point, we’re looking for story ideas and summaries. We will follow up with you once the stories are selected for sharing on our coming interactive storytelling website. Stories will be recorded via audio, video, and/or written transcription via an interview process.

We intend for the stories to represent diversity within the Jewish community, including, but not limited to elders, Sephardim and Mizrahim, women, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities. All recording will be carried out safely with COVID-19 protocols in place. The storyteller will be paid a small honorarium. At this time when we are physically isolated due to COVID-19, it’s important to reach out in as many ways possible to connect and share our community’s knowledge, history, and experiences.

This project is being made possible with the support of the Edmonton Heritage Council, JAHSENA, WordsPicturesMusic.com, #YEGFilm, and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton. To share your story, or for more information, feel free to connect with us at stories@jewishedmontonstories.ca. Deadline for stories: March 1, 2021.

Last year, I worked as a co-producer, co-writer, and cinematographer on a film project called A Monumental Secret. Produced with the support of the Edmonton Arts Council, the short film explores a little-known aspect of Ukrainian history in Edmonton, and how two friends grapple with the reality of this information. I worked with fellow writer and producer Adam Bentley on the project, and my friend John Guliak has a new song featured in the film, which helps tie everything together in the end. The film stars the acting talents of Dan Moser and Griffin Cork. Here’s a look at the trailer.

A Monumental Secret trailer from Adam Bentley on Vimeo.

 

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).

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For the past year I have been working on a short film called McCauley: A Caring Community – Conversations on Social Housing. The film discusses the concentration of social housing in the McCauley neighbourhood, and why housing needs to be a city-wide responsibility. It is an independent production with support from McCauley Revitalization. The official trailer was released a couple of weeks ago – here it is!

As I announced here a few months ago, I accepted a four-month contract with Mill Woods United Church as Marketing Project Coordinator. The church decided to extend my contract beyond the original expiry date of August 31. I am on a very part-time schedule of 10 hours a week updating the church’s website, social media, and finding new ways to increase the church’s presence in the community.

Making things ever so official, my bio and photo is now up on the church website’s staff page, and an article I wrote about what exactly I do was published in the latest edition of the Connections newsletter (it’s on page 11).

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.

As a freelance communications professional I find that every once in a while I have to reinvent myself, develop new skill sets, or, at the very least, hone my existing ones.

Working on the McCauley Moments documentary project opened some doors for me in television. Shaw TV picked up the film and has been showing it on its community station this week. This has brought a new audience to my work, at least this part of my portfolio.

Television is going to be more a part of my work in the near future. Stay tuned for an announcement within the next couple of weeks.