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Video: McCauley Writers Atlas Launch

The McCauley Writers Atlas launched on May 6 in Giovanni Caboto Park. Almost a year in the making, the volume features poetry, prose, and photography from people connected to the area. The launch featured a couple of writers sharing their work and demonstrates the cultural community that is growing in the area.

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Updated: Interview Portraits

A couple of months ago I posted introductions to some of the people who you will “meet” as part of the McCauley Family Life Videography Project. Numerous other interviews have been done since then, so here is an updated look at these dynamic community members.

Dave is a single dad who bought a home – a former crack house – in McCauley around three years ago. His two young sons Rowan and Lucas often stay with him.

Larry and Betti have lived in McCauley for 35 years where they have raised four sons. They are both concerned about social issues while loving the walkability of the area and the closeness of the community.

Kate and John have lived in McCauley for around 40 years and were at the forefront of the community dealing with the issue of sexual exploitation.

Dan and Teddi are a young couple with three children who moved to McCauley because it was affordable. They have chosen to stay because of the community.

Ken and Miranda live in McCauley and own Zocalo, one of the hippest home and garden shops in the city. They have many reasons why they choose to live and run a business in the neighbourhood.

Nhan came to Canada from Vietnam in 1978 with her family. She owns a cooking school in Chinatown which is host to a number of area events and also lives in the area where she raised her two children who are now grown. Her daughter Robbin also speaks about growing up in McCauley.

Teresa is the daughter of the Spinelli legacy. Despite her abundant wealth, she continues to operate a business, live, and send her young son to school in the area. I also spoke with her mother Rina and son Massimo.

Michael and Heather moved into their house in McCauley last year after renting for a while. Michael is a pastor at one of the churches on Church Street (96 Street) and Heather is a home maker. They have two young children (and several bunnies) and they are convinced that McCauley is an excellent place to raise a family.

Dorothy is an Aboriginal kookum (grandmother) who lives near Sacred Heart Church, a source of deep support to her and her family. She gave birth to six children, of which only two are still living, and is raising a brood of grandchildren with her husband. She has seen and experienced a lot in the decade and a half she has lived in the area (including a shooting that took out one of her windows and wounded a young person staying with the family at the time) yet feels safe and secure where she lives.

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Still Seeking Interviews

I’m in the home stretch of gathering interviews for the McCauley Family Life Videography Project but am still looking for young families and couples in the neighbourhood. In particularly, I am looking for immigrant families (or the descendants thereof) from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and also a same-sex couple that would be comfortable being on camera. If you are interested in taking part, please contact me at mccauleycommunity at gmail dot com.

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Ukrainian Community Content

I am trying to represent the main cultural groups in the McCauley area, and historically, Ukrainian has been one of them. McCauley used to be the centre of the Ukrainian community in Edmonton. There are still Ukrainians who live in the area, but many are now elderly. Most of the Ukrainians lived in the area that is now Chinatown, and some of the cultural buildings still remain such as the Ukrainian National Federation on 106 Avenue and 98 Street. It was here that a folk art event took place in mid-April, so I decided to pay a visit and speak to a couple of representatives from the Ukrainian community about why they still come to McCauley for cultural events. I also took in some wonderful Ukrainian dancing.

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Interview: Dan and Teddi

A major part of the McCauley Family Life Videography Project are interviews with residents and business owners (who are also residents!). Clips from the interviews will be woven together in some sort of thematic sense with clips from area events. However, to give you an idea of the kinds of interviews being done, here is an entire one from yesterday with a very articulate young couple who is raising their family in McCauley. The moved here for economic reasons and stayed for the community. Meet Dan and Teddi.

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Zocalo and a “Living Rock”

I had the pleasure last week of interviewing Ken and Miranda from Zocalo, one of the funkiest home and garden shops in the city. They live and work in McCauley and I asked them about their experiences on both fronts.

Today, I returned to Zocalo to photograph one of the “living rocks” being created for the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier coming up this weekend.

What exactly is a “living rock”? I am so glad you asked 0 take a look at this short video to find out.

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Family Day at the Rink

Family Day at the rink happened on February 18 with a skating party, hot dogs, marshmallow roast, and horse-drawn wagon rides. I had a great time filming the goings-on, and even hopping on the wagon myself and filming Church Street from that perspective. Here is a set of photos from the event and a couple of videos.

Family Day at McCauley Rink 2013

Family Day at McCauley Rink 2013