David Dodge, EFCL District B

David Dodge EFCL Past President and past district rep for Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere community leagues in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Rob Agostinis

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inspiration and Creativity Builds Better Communities in Edmonton

Community League Showcase Awards

Inspiration and Creativity Builds Better Communities in Edmonton

The Community League Showcase was an
evening of inspiration and a tribute to
community leagues in Edmonton. 
A huge thank you goes out to councillors Don Iveson, Ben Henderson, Kerry Diotte and Amarjeet Sohi and EFCL board members  Rob Agostinis, Christine Bremner, Ken Shapka, Lindsay Smith, Veronica Vinge and Alf White and Allan Bolstad and the EFCL staff for helping host a very inspiring Community League Showcase Awards night on Saturday at the Italian Cultural Centre in Edmonton.

When the event was done I had this overwhelming sense that all of the folks in every one of our 154 community leagues needs to hear these stories and become inspired too.

It reminds us that when they are at their best, community leagues are creative, inspiring and amazing agents of change. Where else would a group of people such as the Castle Downs Recreation Society get together to rebuild a playground and end up building a $2.3 million community-inspiring facility and then travel half way around the world to reinstall the used equipment in the Philippines!

Where else but Dunluce would a group of people get together to address security concerns posed by natural forest in a neighbourhood and instead of cutting the woods down create a young environmentally minded group of Play Rangers who wanted to learn about the woods and save the trees instead. 

Where else but North Millbourne would a group of folks from the community get together with a local fitness business called “No more excuses” and get people from their community involved in “Sweat, Hope and Rock-n-Roll fitness event that helped get residents active and it raised $25,000 for inner City schools.

Where else but Duggan would a group of community folks get together to create a new kind of Community League Day event by welcoming immigrants from the entire Bhutanese Community and others from the Chinese community to a day of culture, food and music. And beyond the day, the Bhutanese are now engaged in their new community holding events in the Duggan Community Hall that is theirs too.

Or consider Alberta Avenue. When they recognized the power of the Arts community in their area, they created amazing events like the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival. Aside from making an amazing video about their event, these new connections ignited a spark of inspiration and a a new kind of engagement in their community.

And finally it’s one thing for a community to work to amass resources to build the amazing Terwilliger Recreation Centre, but it’s quite another thing to build community around it by embedding themselves in the process of building the centre and being open to new partnerships and possibilities. The Southwest Farmer’s market is an unintended consequence of building community. Plopped smack, dab in the parking lot between the high school and the recreation centre the new Farmer’s market is attended by thousands of people and already has a half time staff member. 

Or lastly, consider the Brintnell Park Society in my district of the City. Faced with the absolutely daunting challenge of deciding where to start building community in their neighbourhood, they decided to tackle the problem head on. They quickly became aware of the serious challenges being faced by new communities trying to begin living local and building even the most basic community facilities. Inspired by the impossible, this group entered a national Schneiders Picnic in the Park competition and wound up winning $100,000 that will go towards a playground in their area.

The key ingredient in every single case is the unbridled creativity that comes from true inspiration and community. Thanks to all of the community leagues for the uplifting evening. 

1 comment:

  1. Great Post, David. The event was heartwarming on a cold day. What I liked best was the depth and variety of events that happen in Edmonton. We can't say it enough, but Community Leagues are so much more than soccer!