Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club has the incredible opportunity of working with Juno nominee Ruben Esguerra.
Ruben is a multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, arts educator, community worker and is currently the music director of several program based in Jane-Finch. Ruben is a PhD (ABD) candidate in Musicology/Ethnomusicology specializing in traditional and urban music.
Ruben has been engaging our youth with music industry knowledge as well as teaching the foundations of creating their own music and songs. The greater goal of this initiative is to unify youth from all parts of Jane and Finch through positive music creation. Benefits of this program are many; development of music writing skills, beat production skills, music industry knowledge and navigation.
In recent times, the Jane Finch community has been impacted by events of violence. This program has been a great intervention that helps keeps our youth engaged and focused on a task and goal.
Some of the early pre recordings sound dope, can’t wait for the listening party.
Being a mentor to youth is about making sure they are comfortable and can freely express themselves at the studio. Also allowing them a space that truly feels judgement free. This program helped me develop my skills as an engineer, and as an artist. INC is a great stepping stone and it help me expand further into my field.
My favourite memory at INC studio was when I was working with a youth, one of the children from the Club opened the door and asked what we were doing. I told him we were working on music. He was shocked but also excited then he asked “Music is a real job?” it’s nice to open children’s minds and show them anything is possible.
In this new year I hope to give each INC studio artist a better experience with new skills I’ve learned throughout my career.
Listen to two new tracks that our artists produced in the INC Studio program!
Every Tuesday evening, youth cooking takes place at St. Alban’s. Youth not only learn kitchen etiquette but also learn about other’s cultures and the foods that come with it. Youth cooking is a great place where youth can make friends, learn how to cook and fill their stomachs!
“I want to be a chef when I grow up”
For some, this cooking program is something fun to do, but for youth like Jaylin J, it’s more of a prep class for his future profession.
Hollis Langley – St. Albans resident chef and our very own Gordon Ramsey – is in charge of the program and sees first hand the benefits of the program for youth and even himself.
“I enjoy meeting new participants and learning about different cultures and their recipes. I see the youth in the program take initiative, look for creative recipes, and divide themselves into roles. The youth don’t even know they are gaining skills not only for the kitchen, but for the future as well. ”
Since September, the cooking program has had a steady number of participants and that number seems to increase weekly. The common thread among all the participants is that everyone loves cooking – but no one likes doing the dishes!
Please come join us Tuesday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm.
Once every session, Humber youth participants are invited to The Power Plant for a tour of the current exhibition. Last week, the youth had the opportunity to witness the works of three contemporary artists. Read more for their thoughts on the exhibits and descriptions of the artists and their work.
“Anxious Audience stood out to me the most! Seemed the most real; the way it was made … definitely resonated to me as a black youth.”
Rashid Johnson – Anxious Audience Johnson is an influential contemporary American artist whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history.
“My favourite part was the three piece Popeyes meal! But in all honesty [Vincent’s] exhibition where they were making musing using the objects around them like water bottles, beads and drums – and him performing spoken word was fascinating!”
Vincent Meessen – Blues Klair Meessen lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He represented Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Solo exhibitions include Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse (2018); Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (2018); BOZAR, Brussels (2017); Kunsthalle Basel (2015); KIOSK, Ghent (2013) and MUAC, Mexico City (2013–14).
“I liked learning about each individual artist. About what inspired them to make that particular piece!”
Hajra Waheed – Hold Everything Dear Waheed lives and works in Montréal. Her works can be found in permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; British Museum, London; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris; Burger Collection, Zurich/Hong Kong; Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award and received the 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement as a Canadian mid-career visual artist.
“I learned that drawing one line can be worth thousands of dollars, simple art can be worth so much; it’s not about how you draw it’s how you express it.”
Our free EarlyON Child and Family Centre is open Monday-Friday from 9:30-12:30 and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm. It’s a great place for kids to play, sing, read and experience early learning activities, and for parents and caregivers to meet each other, and access a wealth of resources. Some exciting enhanced activities we provide include parent/tot swimming, creative arts, music & movement, and workshops.
Hayli Nelson, RECE, has been the St. Alban’s EarlyON program facilitator for two months, and has had over six years experience working with children in many different capacities. Hayli has been a gymnastics coach for over 6 years with children ages 18 months to 18 yrs old; and has worked in summer camps and child care with children of all ages! Having worked casually at the St. Alban’s preschool since May 2019, and in St. Alban’s summer camp in July and August, Hayli has really had a great opportunity to get to know the children, families, and community!
Amale Barrett is an Early Childhood Educator with over 10 years of experience. Her mission has been the same – to provide the kids in her care with all the ingredients of a good old-fashioned childhood. A love for children and a passion for art, crafts and play-based learning have led Amale to co-teach kindergarten in the TDSB for over five years in addition to working in several different areas of childcare. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling and considers herself an ‘urban foodie’. In addition to her professional life, Amale also volunteers with Camp Oochigeas and Camp AmeriKids who provide an enriching summer camp experience to kids who have childhood illnesses.
Hayli and Amale are both looking forward to implementing new concepts and ideas into the program, and have been enjoying building new relationships with the parents, caregivers and children in the St. Albans EarlyON program and in the community. Come join in on all of the fun activities they have planned, and connect with them and the other families! Amale and Hayli are extremely excited to join the St. Alban’s EarlyON team and can’t wait to meet all of you!
Every Monday in our after school program at Bala Avenue Community School, our mentors Davida and Matthew facilitate a weekly art project exploring a variety of media and methods. Let’s take a look at some of our beautiful artwork.
As you are aware, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced that its members will take further job action on Monday, October 7, 2019.
In the event that there is a strike and the school board closes, we will be offering full day programming at St. Alban’s main clubhouse (843 Palmerston Ave.).
Program will run from 8am-6pm. The cost will be $80/day for current members. An additional membership fee will apply to all non-members. Space is limited and will be on a first come, first served basis.
We encourage you to pre-register if you know that you will need the program. You will not be charged if there is no strike and the schools are open.
Please contact Ikram at Ikram@stalbansclub.ca for more information. Or front desk 416-534-8461 to register.
Raise the Grade has helped me tremendously with my homework, staying on track with my grades, and figuring out my career aspirations. I’m so thankful for a program like RBC Raise the Grade, because I know I can count on my mentors when I need help in any aspect of my life. I graduated high-school in June 2019 and just started the Kinesiology program at Queens University! I got into my dream university and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of my mentors in RBC Raise the Grade. Thank you Lauren and Olivia for all your help over the last three years and St. Alban’s for providing this program for youth!
About the RBC Raise the Grade program
The RBC Raise the Grade program is an educational program of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and supported by RBC Future Launch. You will be matched 1-on-1 with a mentor volunteer who will help you discover your own interests, work on your homework, study tips, and figure out your career path! The RBC Raise the Grade program at St. Alban’s Boys and Girl’ Club happens every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Program participants can register by contacting our Raise the Grade coordinator, Cindy Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org