St. Alban’s Youth welcome Sunchild First Nation School!

St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club and Sunchild First Nation School at the CN Tower on May 13th 2019

On May 9th, St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club had the pleasure of hosting a group of students from Sunchild First Nation School, who live on the Sunchild 202 Reserve in Alberta. They arrived to Toronto as part of the Youth Exchanges Canada (YEC) program: The YEC is a unique program that gives youth the opportunity to travel to another province or territory, learn about Canada’s heritage, and take pride in their own communities.

During their stay, St. Alban’s youth and Sunchild First Nation school students got to know each other through ice-breaker games during a pot-luck dinner.  Afterwards, students played a group game of volleyball, which built their communication, leadership, and teamwork skills! 

We started off the week with a guided bus tour of downtown Toronto, exploring Casa Loma, Yorkville, Chinatown, Nathan Phillips Square, and the University of Toronto. The tour highlighted Toronto’s culture and diversity. We finished the day off with a Toronto Blue Jays game, which many students said they are a fan of!

Later in the week, students participated in the annual DSAT Buddy Walk supporting Down Syndrome awareness for community engagement.  Sunchild First Nation students witnessed a beautiful and emotional speech by our long-time youth member Olivia and her mother. We ended the 5-day itinerary with a day trip to Niagara Falls, the CN Tower and the Ripley’s Aquarium!

Alban’s and Sunchild School youth at Niagara Falls

St. Alban’s has participated in this program for 15 years and this is the 2nd year in a row that St. Alban’s leaders Cindy and Kat have done the program together. What makes this program extra special are the relationships that are made. It’s also fun to interact with new people and learn about different cultures across Canada.  I would highly recommend this program to all youth. It is definitely a life-changing experience.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post, highlighting our experience at Sunchild First Nation School!

Countdown to Camp – Meet Paige!

Paige, Summer Camp Staff

Favorite summer memory growing up
Riding my bike on dirt paths with my cousin and friends. 

Favorite summer activities?
I love going to water parks 

What are you looking forward to this summer?
Seeing new and old faces return to Summer Camp

Anything you are nervous about?
I’m most nervous about how cold the pool water will be

If you had one super power what would it be and why?
That’s simple… to be stronger than all of the infinity stones (TEAM MARVEL)

Sadie – future teacher, pizza skeptic.

Meet Sadie! She’s is in Grade 2 and attends our STARS After School program at Rawlinson P.S. Her favourite colour is green. If she could be a food, it would be a sandwich instead of a pizza because pizza is gross. (A kid who doesn’t like pizza…whaaaa?)

Her favourite animal is a raven and her favourite toy is Hatchimals. She prefers summer time because winter gear take too long to put on. (Editor’s note: Agreed!) Sadie and her best friend are always making up new games. Sadie would like to be a teacher. She loves strawberry ice cream. If she could be an animal, it would be a shark because they regrow their teeth.

Thunderclaw – award winning recording artist

Thunderclaw, winner of last year’s song writing competition at St. Alban’s.

“The St. Albans INC Studio has allowed me the space to focus on developing my craft and sound along with mastery of handling studio time management and efficiency, enabling me to finish projects much faster than when I started.

My advice to new participants coming to the Studio is that the studio is brimming with and surrounded by resources and connections that are very valuable. And very experienced engineers that have a lot of advice; be sure to make use of these assets as they are all there to help you move forward as an artist, expand your skill sets and become more experienced in whatever ventures you take on.”


Meet two of our INC Studio Engineers:


Jo’el has been with the INC Sound Studio for 4 years. He started his musical journey from a young age when his mother, a gospel singer recorded, produced, and pressed her own vinyl in Jamaica. Jo’el has worked with notable local and international artists including Shaggy, Kardinal Offishall, and Drake’s producer Shebib 40/40. 

Combining his love of music production and education, he has helped incorporate alternative features to the INC program including Beatmaking and “Bar Count” sessions for participants to expand into different facets of the music industry.

“Youth should have access to education and resources that can help shape their skill sets and create sustainable careers.”  ~Jo’el Douglas


Garjanah graduated from TREBAS Institute and began doing freelance work for Sheridan College animation students, and for underground Toronto artists. Garjanah believes that St. Alban’s INC Studio is a great place for youth to jump start their musical creativity. 

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel 

Teniyah Mills – lover of macaroni pie and dinosaur bones!

Teniyah Mills, 8, one of our best customers at the Jane and Finch Grandravine site’s lunch and after school programs.

“I love the food, it is so yummy!”

Teniyah’s favourite hot lunches are beef tacos, macaroni pie and chicken caesar wraps.  Her favourite afternoon snacks are chicken taquitos and grilled cheese sandwiches.

“I also love my friends. I made a lot of new friends at the Club, that are now my friends at school. I also love the staff.  Ms. Keanna cooks yummy foods and Ms. Micaela, Ms. Christina and Ms. Shaquela give me lots of hugs, teach me new words, crafts and all the new dance moves.”

Teniyah loves arts and crafts, she enjoys splat painting and drawing pictures of her Daddy in heaven as well as her family. Teniyah loves to dance and has great rhythm. She aspires to be apart of our Artistically Out Spoken (AOS) dance team when she is of age and perform at STOMP (a dance competition). Teniyah especially loves outdoor activities and looks forward to NIKE’s monthly visits with us.

I want to be a doctor when I grow up!
When Melanie and Jason visit us on Tuesday afternoons from the ROM, they taught us about bones. Then we went on a trip to the ROM and they showed us old bones and dinosaur bones. I knew then, that I wanted to be a doctor and fix bones. I wanted to fix dinosaur bones, but they don’t exist anymore, so I will heal and fix people and people bones.

Olivia and Ava enjoying the EarlyON drop in program!

Chona and her children Olivia (3) and Ava (16 months) playing in the EarlyON Family Resource program. 

Chona has been attending the EarlyON Family Resource program at St. Alban’s for three years, ever since the birth of her first child, Olivia.  Olivia and her younger sister, Ava, love the free play time, the ride on toys, and they especially love the Story & Song Circle (Tuesdays & Fridays).  They have met friends here that they see outside the program. 

Chona enjoys connecting with other moms, sharing information and discussing the joys and challenges of raising two kids who are so close together in age! 

The free EarlyON program runs Monday-Friday from 9:30am-12:30pm and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.

Monique and Jason welcome you to the EarlyON program.

Monique and Jason, leaders in the EarlyON Family Resource Program, are looking forward to meeting you and your children!

Our free EarlyON Family Resource Drop-in program 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.  Program highlights include parent/tot swimming, creative arts, music & movement, and workshops.

Monique Vettraino, RECE

Monique Vettraino, RECE has been the St. Alban’s EarlyOn Program Coordinator for 2 months, but has had years of experience as a participant in the program (and many others in the community) which she has been frequenting for many years with the children in her care.  Monique has quite enjoyed building new relationships and advocating for the children, parents and caregivers at St. Alban’s.  She is enjoying the daily song circles and providing new creative ideas to not only implement in the program but also for families to use at home. 

Jason Melville, Volunteer

Jason Melville has volunteered in a number of programs here at St. Alban’s and has been volunteering in the EarlyON program for 5 years! Jason has worked with the older children in the summer camp and STARS after school program, but says that he has really grown to love working with the 0-4 age group through the EarlyON program.  He especially enjoys using puppets to tell stories to the kids and using different characters’ voices. 

March Break & Summer Camp registration – online!

March Break online registration: Open now.

Summer Camp online registration begins: February 1 2019 9:00am

Starting this year, registration for March Break and Summer Camps will be online using the Amilia system.  We have been using Amilia for our aquatic programs since the Summer 2018 session and have been quite happy with it. Our members have mentioned that they like the ease of use of the platform. In order to get set for registration, you will need to set up an account on the Amilia system and add your child(ren) as participants in your account. (Note: If you have already set up your Amilia account for aquatic registration, you do not need to set up an additional account!  It is the same system!) Setting up the account before registration day will allow you to become familiar with the system, give you time to contact us with questions, and register for programs quickly on registration day.  

Need help? 

You may also come into the Club (arrange a time with us) to use our computer lab to set up your account if you would like in-person assistance.  If you would like to use our computer lab on the first day of registration, please let us know so that we can arrange to have a staff available to help you.

Complete instructions for setting up a new account in the Amilia system.

I am having trouble setting up my account.

Please call the Club for assistance with setting up your account.   We are happy to help – although will likely be unable to do so on the first day of  registration as our phone lines are typically quite busy on that day.   

Can I register by phone, email or in person?

Not at first. In order to fill programs in the order that we receive registrations, we need all participants to register using the online system.

For summer camp programs: We will begin accepting in-person registrations two weeks after registration opens.  However, keep in mind that this gives other participants a full two weeks to register for a camp that you might want.

Go to online registration. 

The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Uniqueka!

Uniqueka Wilson is an integral part of St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club’s  recording studio program. Uniqueka has worked for St. Alban’s for 5 years in the role of sound engineer. She has a passion for music and for the industry and believes that her passion for music came from her grandfather. Her grandfather was a music teacher in the Bronx, New York and was an accomplished trombone player, playing with famous people like Bob Marley. Over the years, Uniqueka has learned more about this amazing man and has come to realize that her passion for music comes naturally.

How did you first get involved in sound engineering?

I first became involved in the field when I found myself in-between careers and my brother invited me to join him in a recording session. I enjoyed it so much and found a studio in New York City that was offering a six month program for sound engineers. I enrolled in the program and lived with my aunt in New Jersey while I attended the program. I then returned to Toronto and enrolled in the Remix Project.

What do you enjoy most about this field and your role as an engineer? What do you find most challenging?

I enjoy being a part of the moment, when the artist is recording in the booth  in a vulnerable state, and helping them get the sound out right with perfect tone, pitch and expression.

The thing I find most challenging is when you’re working on a mix and getting each sound in its right space.

What do you find rewarding about this field?

I enjoy when I can deliver what the artist desires and they say, ‘you understood and delivered what I was trying to relay in my music.”

Do you ever write and record your own music – how does this make you feel?

Recently I started writing my own music and it feels really good. This helps me understand the artists I work with, even more. 

Have you gotten any recognition or awards for your work?

NOT YET!!!  

(Editor’s note: Although we don’t have a specific award to give her, we recognize the amazing contribution Uniqueka makes to our Club and the young artists she works with! Her work with musicians yields brilliant results but more importantly, she empowers youth to feel confident and connected to their community. If there was an award for awesomeness, she would definitely deserve it.)

What has been your coolest accomplishment in this field and in life?

In the field, that fact that I’m in this amazing field and I can still do what I love. I had no idea where this would lead me.

In life, my most valuable accomplishment is my faith in Christ and the fact that he has given me the opportunity to be a part of St. Alban’s and the sound studio where I have had the opportunity to develop and expand the studio. Being here at St. Alban’s has given me the chance and freedom to grow as a person and an engineer.