Councillor Highlights

1. Raising Awareness of Homelessness in Richmond Hill

MP Majid Jowhari and I spoke to tired kids from TMS after their night of homelessness

Homelessness is an issue for our community like it is for many others. I had the pleasure of attending two events in February that were in support of reducing, and ideally eliminating, this problem. Toronto Montessori School each year partners with
360kids to give their grade 6 students an opportunity to experience a simulated night of homelessness. The students, with the support of their teachers, participated in exercises to help the students to develop an empathy for, and understanding of, what it might mean to be a homeless youth. 
Myself and MP Majid Jowhari had the pleasure of speaking to a very tired group of grade 6 students on the morning after this exercise.
The next event was the Coldest Night of the Year Walk to raise money and awareness of the great work that Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold does for over 500 homeless adults in York Region each year. This was the first walk in Richmond Hill and many community members came out to support the cause.
 
 

A number of elected representatives showing support for the Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold Program

 

Coldest Night of the Year Walk

 
 
2.  Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts turns 10!
Ten years ago on February 28th, 2009, the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts raised its curtain for the first time. At the beginning of this event, a young Richmond Hill resident took the stage and sang O Canada to begin an awesome Opening Night Performance. 
I was in attendance that night and remember thinking this was the start of something really great in our community. It was exciting to think of the possibilities that a world class performing arts facility might bring to our community. The promise and excitement of that Opening Night has come to fruition over the past ten years.
This year, on February 28th, 2019 I had the pleasure of attending the 10th anniversary celebrations featuring a performance by Richmond Hill residents Jackie Richardson and Frank Spadone. 
In the past ten years the community has enjoyed great music performances, meetings, community events, fundraisers, orchestra performances, theatrical performances, dance recitals and many other events on the theatre’s main stage, Plaza Suite, and outdoor plaza. Over one million attendees have also enjoyed the theatre over the past ten years. Clearly the community continues to come together at the RHCPA.

Ten years ago I thought it was a visionary investment in our community and it continues to be a proud and enriching part of the community today. Here’s to another ten years of showcasing arts and culture in Richmond Hill!

 

A poster from the RHCPA Opening Night in 2009

 

Richmond Hill Resident and singer Jackie Richardson

Richmond Hill resident and Comedian Frank Spadone

 
3. Green Lent at St. Mary’s Anglican Church
 
I have come to believe that often initiatives to improve our environment do not begin with governments. They begin instead with citizens recognizing a need, taking actions to make a positive change, and then pushing governments to take further positive action. I was thrilled to be invited to St. Mary’s Anglican Church for Green Lent Sunday Service in order to hear about their Green Lent initiative.  Green Lent includes concrete ways to live more gently on the earth and fulfill one’s Christian obligations around Lent. Thanks to the environment group at the church for their leadership, and to Reverend Matthew McMillan for the wonderful sermon about being good stewards of creation. It was very inspiring to see local environmentalism in action. Thanks also to our Richmond Hill Environmental Services staff for being there to talk to the congregation about Richmond Hill’s efforts to protect and enhance our corner of the world. To learn more about St. Mary’s Anglican Church visit https://saintmaryschurch.ca
 
4. Richmond Hill wins at Festivals and Events Ontario Competition
Richmond Hill has again won an award recognizing the quality of our Town events. Richmond Hill’s Canada Day festival has won recognition from Festival and Events Ontario. Congratulations to our Event Services staff for their efforts in bringing quality community events to Richmond Hill. To find out more read the article that appeared March 4 on York Region.com https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/9201077-richmond-hill-wins-big-festivals-events-ontario-award/
 
5. Yellow Brick House Gala

Terrence, Lorris, Dave and David at the Yellow Brick House Gala (Lorris is the CEO of YBH)

For many of the years since the first Yellow Brich House gala in 2006 I have had the pleasure of attending this annual event in support of the great work that this organization does in eliminating domestic violence, and supporting women and children impacted by this violence. 
 
As a past Board member, volunteer, and donor I appreciate the important work that Yellow Brick House does in our community. Over the years I have heard stories from survivors of domestic violence and have no doubt that the work Yellow Brick House does is important.  To learn more about Yellow Brick House visit https://www.yellowbrickhouse.org