Well Martha is in Willowdale but Anne-Sophie and I are busy here in Ottawa! After a few weeks away it is great to be back on the Hill. The new session buzz has started, we are all gearing up for what promises to be an exciting fall. But we can’t forget there is a little summer left to enjoy.
I was lucky enough to have to opportunity to spend some of my summer in England volunteering for the Bromley by Bow Centre, a community centre in East London. I worked with a fellow named Chris on the “Signs of Life” project painting murals and doing mosaics. “Signs of Life” is a social enterprise that helps to fund the centre. Youth from the community are invited to free art lessons, in exchange they help to paint murals, make mosaics and create other art projects that can be sold to the community. For example, a school might commission Signs of Life to paint a mural on a playground wall. The team will come into the class rooms and work through the process of designing, drawing and painting the mural with the students. Students learn how to paint, they have the chance to contribute to their school and exert their creativity. The centre receives funding that can help to fund future programs and the school is left with a beautiful painting that will last years.
Here is a photo of the mural I helped with. I worked on the stars, believe it or not the few dozen stars took an entire day!
The Bromley by Bow Centre truly is incredible, everything is so interconnected. The medical clinic works with Signs of Life to do art therapy, the learning centre works with the nursery to teach English as a second language and computer skills. The word to describe it is resourceful. I am so happy I had the chance to work with the Bromley by Bow team, as an added bonus I got to see so much more of London than the average tourist!
After the UK I headed back to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for a quick visit with my family. After a few unusually hot days by the ocean, the first big hurricane of the season and a six am flight I am back in Ottawa.