Community News Update - August 28, 2023

Dear community,

Help spread the word! This Saturday, September 2, I'm hosting a BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE, 

Join me at Cy Townsend Park (455 Winona Drive) to kick start a new school year for our St. Paul's students with snacks, treats, and of course, supplies! Students of all ages, their families, and anyone who can benefit in our community (and beyond!) are welcome.

Applying the same concept as our beloved food tables, our supply drive invites you to take what you need or donate what you can. No questions asked. We'll be accepting donations of UNUSED backpacks, pencils, pens, lunchboxes, crayons, notebooks, and other school supplies.

Attendees will also have the chance to learn about anti-bullying, share their best tips for succeeding at school, and to share concerns with me and my team that we will try our best to answer. Go community care go!

Thank you! For more information, visit or email [email protected]. See you Saturday!

It was a busy weekend in community, and beyond!

This Saturday, I visited 'A Love Letter to Little Jamaica', as part of the City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot 2023 program, highlighting all the ways the community contributes to Toronto's rich culture. This specific event offered those who've been shaped by Little Jamaica in one way or another, myself included, the opportunity to remisnisce on their best memories, sharing stories and ideas of Little Jamaica's past, present, and future. Whether it was spending weekends in the chair at Monica's hair shop with my mom, or the countless visits to Randy's (the long getting longer each time), Little Jamaica will always have a big piece of my heart and I am so thankful for Saturday's beautiful reminder.

To learn more of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot Little Jamaica programming and find future events, click here.

I also hopped over to Frankel Lambert Outreach Committee (FLOC) for another one of their courtyard crawls. Few places in our city or province are so exemplary of the many benefits of co-operative housing! Not only does it offer residents REAL affordable housing - what we know is much too far and few in between these days - it's very structure is one that builds community, invests in one another, and makes a house into a home and a resident, a neighbour & friend.

Thank you for having me over, FLOC and all you do for our St. Paul's community!

On Sunday night, I had the honour or joining the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 58 to celebrate their 125th year, alongside my colleagues MPP West and MPP Tabuns. It was a fabulous evening celebrating the union, its countless contributions to the film, stage, and entertainment industries, and its many labour achievements for its members in its century-plus-long history.

But it has also been a difficult year for IATSE members, following a tough few years through the pandemic too. With strikes and lockouts impacting workers of their sister unions, including ACTRA, the WGA, and SAG, the industry has slowed mostly to a standstill. So while there was fun to be had and much to celebrate, last night was also a reminder that an injury to one worker, is an injury to all, and that worker solidarity doesn't start or stop on the picket line. 

Thank you, IATSE Local 58! Here's to 125 more years of strong industry and stronger unions! 

Women in Film and Television (WIFT) has launched their Indigenous Writing program. Tailored to Indigenous content creators, the opportunity looks to amplify Indigenous stories and voices in supporting them to strengthen their craft, connect with peers, and receive guidance from experienced mentors.

Indigenous art, storytelling, and culture is a vital part to Ontario's heritage, present, and future; a part that goes untold all too often. Thank you, WIFT for seeing this gap and working to fill it through this program. 

Applications are open now until September 6th. For more information or to apply, click here.

On top of this weekend's school supply drive, the community food table at Marian Engel Park (on Lambertlodge Avenue) is happening this Saturday.

Whether you've got donations to spare or need some extra groceries to get you through the week, come on down between 11AM to 1PM to take what you need and leave what you don't. No questions asked!

Mark your calendars! Bloom Bar Studio is hosting a COMEDY CABARET on Thursday, September 28. Tickets are $20 and include a welcome drink!

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

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