Art belongs to everyone

For the past five years, I’ve been part of an organization called This is My City Art Society (TMC). TMC was a non-profit organization in Calgary that matched professional artists with artists who were homeless, had addictions or were vulnerable in our society. Not only did people create wonderful art together, they created a community. This is part of TMC’s …

Festival Time

It’s April and the month full of festival events for This is My City Calgary (TMC). TMC has music, theatre, visual arts and stories for you to experience. TMC is a volunteer-run, non-profit society that brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status. The festival is made up of different events taking place around the …

Come to the festival!

Since 2012, This is My City Calgary (TMC) holds a festival in April full of music, theatre, visual art and stories. TMC invites you to see what it has going on this year. TMC is a volunteer-run, non-profit society that brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status. The festival is made up of different …

Remembering our veterans

I’m wary of writing about my memoir writing participants from the Drop-In Centre because they are like you and me. Except these people have been hit a little harder by life and need a helping hand. I’m writing about them now because my writers last week wrote about Remembrance Day and I wanted to share their outlook on the day. …

Giving back

Capital Ideas Calgary asked businesses: “How does your business give back to the community?” Here’s my answer published in the Calgary Herald on July 23, 2015: http://bit.ly/1MaJcig How does your business give back to the community? Everyone has a story but not everyone has the chance to share his or her stories. This especially true of people living on the …

Come out to the festival

Yesterday I was at the Calgary library talking about my experiences teaching memoir writing workshops to participants from the Drop-In Centre, Alpha House and Women’s Centre. My presentation was one of five and part of the This Is My City Festival 2015. I’m a volunteer with This is My City (TMC). TMC matches artists with people living at the margins …

Dressing like a “gangsta”

For the past four weeks I’ve been spending some time at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre teaching a memoir writing workshop. Every Wednesday morning for about an hour a few people write around a table in the midst of a busy room buzzing with conversation and movement and a movie blaring on the TV in the corner. It’s not …

Flooded with memories: new book shares homeless perspective

It has been a year since the waters of southern Alberta rose, gained speed and rushed over the land. The floods destroyed lives, property and deluged downtown Calgary. Friends were told to leave their homes and watched while the river took over their possessions. Others came home from vacations to find they had nothing left other than what they had …

Monsters into words

“Write the hard stuff,” suggests the last line of a story in a writer’s magazine. That’s easy when the hard stuff is just basic hard stuff, like what to make for supper. But what if it’s like the hard stuff the people living at Alpha House are dealing with – the stuff that turns lives upside down and inside out …