Your chance to weigh in on culture in Weston

The City of Toronto is surveying residents about the cultural events and spaces in their communities (hint: there are few in Weston).

This kind of survey drives me up the wall:

  1. If it’s taken seriously, the rich get more cultural money. After all, the rich work in offices and have computers at their desks all day. The rich have newspapers and groups to direct people to the English-only survey.
  2. If these surveys are not taken seriously, they give the appearance of accountability where none exists.

So, go Westonians. Tell the city what you think about the arts, culture, and historical spaces in our fair village.

1a. Honest, to Christ. Who asks these questions? Here: “Do you feel that arts, culture and heritage offerings are physically, financially and geographically accessible to you?  Arts, culture and heritage offerings are defined as films, live music, theatre, dance, literary events, art galleries/displays, museums or heritage displays.”

Tell me now, is that an easy-to-answer question for someone with English as a second language? Could the navel-gazing ‘community facilitator’ behind this not have said: “Do you go to movies, concerts, or other performances? Do you go to museums?”

So help me god, I’ll bet 10:1 this is some PhD candidate doing “action research”. Any takers?

This is the sort of crap that ensures that the Wychwood Barns and the Evergreen Brickworks go to the richy-rich hoods, while we get, what? A train station? I could murder someone.

Spaces still available for March Break camps

If, like me, you forgot to plan anything for your kids for March Break, you can take a deep breath. All is not lost. The City of Toronto would like you to know that there are spaces still available in many of the day camps.

Nearby camps with spaces available include at Weston CI, The Elms, Thistledown and Amesbury. You can register online. The camps cost about $80 for the week—quite a steal.

Urban Arts Gallery Opening A Big Hit.

Marlene McKintosh – UrbanArts Executive Director

Marlene McKintosh – UrbanArts Executive Director

A large and respectful crowd was on hand at Urban Arts on John Street Thursday evening for the inauguration of the Youth Gallery Project. Excellent artworks were on display featuring the talents of students from Weston Collegiate and Archbishop Romero High School. While the poetry slam had few entries the audience was appreciative. A guest appearance by talented Mississauga performer John River ended the evening.

Ify Chiwetelu- Program Coordinator managing the Poetry Slam.

Ify Chiwetelu- Program Coordinator consults judges during the poetry slam in the gallery.

Lashawn Arrindell - event photographer.

Lashawn Arrindell – event photographer.

Joan Wilson organized the photo and painting exhibit

Joan Wilson organized the gallery exhibit

John River performing.

John River performing.

Poetry slam competitors.

Two poetry slam competitors perform together.

While the poetry slam entries were low in number, organizer Ify Chiwetelu was confident of more participation in the next event.

Report on Recipe for Community

InsideToronto has a report on the goings-on at the Recipe for Community meeting that UrbanArts hosted this week.

Community food festivals, a food action team and entrepreneurial workshops are just some of the ideas put forth at the Recipe for Community meeting Monday, Jan. 21 at UrbanArts at 19 John St.

UrbanArts has approximately $67,500 to work with so far this year and members of the community, as well as a handful of local organizations, were eager to pitch program ideas to help youth in the area.

Big weekend

This weekend will be a big one in Weston.

The Farmers’ Market will be closing; next year it will re-open in a new location. There will be face-painting, balloons and a bouncy castle.

To celebrate the year end, there will also be a pet and owner parade with awards for the best Halloween costumes. The parade starts at 11, and all are welcome to enter.

At 12, there will be a dedication ceremony for Pantelis Kalamaris Lane and Pantelis Kalamaris Gardens. The streets are being named in honour of Peter the Barber, longtime Weston businessperson.


Residents honoured with Diamond Jubilee Medal

14 York South—Weston residents were given the Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years of rule. The recipients were given the medal by MP Laura Albanese in Ottawa Queen’s Parklast week. They are among 60,000 Canadians so honoured.

The recipients in York South-Weston are:

  • Fergus James (Fergy) Brown, President of the Learning Enrichment Foundation
  • Major David C. Forster, Instructor Officer for the Air Cadets
  • Denis Hoban for volunteer service with youth and seniors
  • Gioconda (Jackie) Rosati, for her work with Villa Colombo
  • Frank Varacalli for two decades of volunteer service at the Amesbury Sports Club.
  • Mohammed Shahied Shaikh, director of the Masjid-El-Noor Mosque
  • Superintendent Mark Saunders, Unit Commander of 12 Division police
  • Inspector Scott Gilbert for his service as a police officer
  • Barbara Spyropoulos for her years of volunteer service with the Toronto Police
  • Rev. Dr. Michel R. Belzile for founding the Interfaith Community Building Initiative and for volunteer service in the community
  • Father Gianni Carparelli, founder of the Caritas drug treatment program
  • Constable Jim Lambe for four decades of service as a police officer
  • Dr. Vincent Kong for his volunteer efforts in the Sino-Canadian Exchange Society
  • Luisa Giacometti, whose bio was not provided to me

In her press release, Albanese said,

I am proud to have been given this opportunity to recognize 14 outstanding citizens in York South Weston. Their spirit of contribution is fittingly recognized with this Diamond Jubilee medal, and we are lucky to have them in our community.


Photo: Michael Miller