Tag Archives: algonquin

Student combines a passion for animals and art

“If I’m going to draw, it has to be something I’m passionate about.”

Lions and tigers and bears.  Stittsville artist Rebecca Woodrow loves them all. Drawing is her passion and, about a year ago, a friend suggested she try and sell her art.

Using the name “The Creative Tiger,” Woodward started her own Etsy shop.

Rebecca Woodrow with one of her drawings. Photo by Barry Gray.
Rebecca Woodrow with one of her drawings. Photo by Barry Gray.

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Stittsville student’s leadership a key part of “Unlock Change” fundraiser

(Article via the Let’s Unlock Change organizing committee.)

Chris Carroll
Chris Carroll

When Chris Carroll applied to be treasurer of the Algonquin College Public Relations students’ “Let’s Unlock Change” campaign in support of The John Howard Society, he included the following detail on his resume: “My friends always make me be the banker in Monopoly.”

Carroll’s professors were impressed by his sense of humour—and his solid track record as a PR student. He got the job, and has been handling the campaign’s funds ever since.

Carroll has lived in Stittsville since he was six, attending Holy Spirit Elementary, followed by Sacred Heart High School. Before landing at Algonquin, where he is pursuing a post-graduate diploma in public relations, he studied communications at Carleton University.

An active community leader, Carroll studies martial arts at Pathways Jiu Jitsu and every Sunday and he can be found at Holy Spirit Parish church, where he serves as a lector. He has been a lector since he was 12 years old, and was the youngest serving lector at the time.

Carroll credits his involvement with Holy Parish with helping him to become more open-minded and compassionate.

These qualities have served Carroll well has he and his classmates prepare to host 13 different fundraising events for the John Howard Society, which offers a range of programs and services for people involved in the court system. The Let’s Unlock Change campaign has an ambitious fundraising goal of $23,500.

Let’s Unlock Change runs from March 25 to April 14. Carroll’s team is planning a trivia night on April 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin St.

“I’m incredibly excited to be hosting this event,” Carroll says. “Trivia nights have always proven to be lots of fun, and when it’s for a good cause like the John Howard Society, everyone wins.”

Carroll’s classmates credit him for his strong leadership qualities and his smooth, confident speaking style, which can capture the attention of any audience. As Alex Scantlebury, one of his classmates, puts it: “Chris would be able to sell sand while standing on the beach, and still turn a profit.”

If you can’t make it out to the trivia night, there are many other campaign events to choose from. There is also an option to donate online if you want to help Carroll and his program reach their fundraising goal. Visit their website at www.letsunlockchange.com or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #LetsUnlockChange.


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Algonquin student plants the seeds for a community garden

Algonquin College student Kelsey Boggis-da Silva wants everyone in Stittsville to have the opportunity to start a garden, even if they don’t have enough room in the backyard, or any yard at all.

She’s organizing a meeting on Saturday, March 21 at Quitters Coffee at 2:00pm and is hoping to connect with people who want to help establish a community garden project.

“It not only would promote a sense of community, but allow those who don’t have the space or even expertise learn from neighbours and observation how to grow their own plants,” she says. “I think gardening is a wonderful, and important activity. We should know how our food is grown, how to grow our own food and care for the earth.”

She posted the idea to the Stittsville Neighbours group on Facebook and received dozens of comments in support and nearly 50 likes.

“The comments have been many, and all excited about the idea, with offers of support and suggestions. It’s been wonderful. It seems like it would be a project that could really get us together as a community,” she says.

A typical community garden is usually a co-operative effort between residents who share the costs to maintain a small plot of land, on public or private property. They grow vegetables and other plants for their own use and sometimes donate the produce to local food banks.

Boggis-da Silva is a business administration student at Algonquin so she’s hoping to put her management training to work out the details needed to get this project off the ground, like budgets, design, contracts and equipment.

One of the biggest challenges is finding a location for the garden.  She thinks the big space near Hazeldean and Stittsville Main that was once home to the Stittsville Flea Market would be great, but wants to get more feedback and ideas from the community.  Another idea is using space in Bell Park on the south end of Stittsville Main near Fernbank.

UPDATE: Shad Qadri says he’s been in contact with City staff about using the park between 67 and 77 West Ridge Drive for a community garden.

“My approach is goal-oriented. Look at the requirements of what is needed to reach that goal, put them in a logical order, access community resources the City has set aside for such endeavours and get our hands dirty. (Then we) rally the troops and put the people with specific talents in the right jobs, whether it be research, organization or community outreach,” she says.

She’s planted the seed, now she needs support from the community for the idea to take root and grow.

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The City of Ottawa provides funding for community garden projects through an annual grant to Just Food, a local non-profit organization that promotes sustainable food programs.  This year they will receive about $90,000 to help establish new gardens and support existing projects through the Community Gardening Network.

The network started with three or four gardens in central Ottawa nearly 20 years ago, and has grown to include more than 50 community gardens within the City of Ottawa, according to interim coordinator Jordan Bouchard.  Some of them have long waiting lists to get a plot.

“We’re building more each year,” he says. “Call me in three months and it will be a bit different!  It’s probably a fairly even split between gardens in central areas and gardens in the suburbs.”

“Our goal is to get as many people gardening in the City of Ottawa as possible.”

He says the number is actually much higher than 50, perhaps as many as 100, when you take into account about 30 gardens at local schools and other projects that aren’t part of the Community Gardening Network.

The group holds regular workshops throughout the year to help people in the community learn about what it takes to get a community garden project going.

He says community gardens can go just about anywhere, including private and public property, hydro corridors, Greenbelt land and park spaces.

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Stittsville does have an existing community garden on Stittsville Main Street near Cathcart.  It provides vegetables exclusively for the Stittsville Food Bank.

“Food Bank volunteers and Scouts helped build the boxes.  The horticultural society planted the vegetables and looked after the weeding and watering,” says Theresa Qadri, chair of the Stittsville Food Bank.

“Now the Food Bank volunteers plant the vegetables and work with the horticultural society in weeding and watering and harvesting. We are very thankful for our partnerships.  It is nice to know you can call on organizations to help the Food Bank and they respond with a yes so quickly,” says Qadri.

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For more information about Boggis-da Silva’s community garden project, check out the Stittsville Community Garden Initiative page on Facebook.


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