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May 13 Bulletin

13 May 2020 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Celebrating Community Builder Helen Goldlist 

Helen Goldlist has had an eclectic career, beginning her professional life as an occupational therapist but then some two decades later re-training as a draftsman to design and build offices around the world. Her life-long work as a volunteer is similarly eclectic, ranging from service on boards in social service organizations like the JVS Toronto, Jewish Family and Child Services, and Bridge to Health: Medical and Dental, to those in the arts like the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Fourteen years ago, Helen was winding down her most recent business when she encountered a notice urging anyone who was interested in setting up a farmers’ market to come to a meeting. She was instantly intrigued: “I thought as I was working towards retirement this would be such a positive enterprise to be involved in. I’d moved into the Annex a few years before but hadn’t met a lot of neighbours and this would be a start. And I thought it would be great to have some good fresh food available.”

Helen is modest about her role. She says she was elected Chair because she was the only person in the room that first meeting who had a pen in her hand.  She’s quick to acknowledge the work of so many others like Gus Sinclair, Eleanor Levine, Christine Innis and Jim Jacobs. But there is no doubt that a huge degree of the enormous success of the market goes to her – to her incredible drive, vision, and superb social skills working with farmers and volunteers and local businesses to bring the market to life and sustained prosperity.

When asked what her greatest struggle has been over the years, the answer came swiftly: Weather! Only once did the market have to close because of gale force winds. Otherwise it has remained open rain or shine, hot or cold for 21 Wednesdays each summer and fall.

And her greatest satisfaction? “The market has become a place for our disparate community to come together: to appreciate where our food comes from and the farmers who produce it, to listen to live music by local musicians, and to engage with each other in a welcoming atmosphere.”

COVID-19 is naturally proving a challenge to the re-opening of the market. But Helen says, “We’ll work it out. I’m sure we’ll find ways to make it happen.” And it’s that spirit which explains how fitting it is that she is this year’s winner of the ARA Community Builder Award. Congratulations and thank you!  

Helen Goldlist

Winner of the ARA 2020 Community Builder Award

Brunswick Makes Music 

Adam Seelig is a Canadian and American poet, playwright, director, musician and Artistic Director of One Little Goat Theatre Company who lives on Brunswick Avenue. Micky Fraterman tracked him down to find out about the nightly music that cheers the street every evening at 7:30. Here’s Adam’s response:

"In the early days of the pandemic, I started a band with my two kids (Shai 17 on tuba, Arlo 13 on trumpet, I'm 44 on trombone) to cheer on frontliners and to cheer up the neighbourhood (plus ourselves). We were soon joined by two more horn players at a distance (Vanessa and Neil). Their other band? The Toronto Symphony Orchestra! And then another two from across the street (Marcus and Jack), and more…

"We call ourselves Horn on the Cob and the Social Distance and have played a newly arranged song from our front porch and yard every night at 7:30pm for 50 nights in a row (as of May 9, 2020). Nomi Rotbard, my spouse, introduces and videos each night’s song. It has been such a pleasure to share music with the neighbourhood!”

Click on the link below to hear the group’s 50th song: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ae7eq2bewgtrkto/Hockey%20Night%20in%20Canada%20Horn%20on%20the%20Cob%202020_05_09.MOV?dl=0

And follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HornOnTheCob.   

Walkway l-r: Kyle Windjack (trumpet), Patrick Smith (tenor sax), Marcus Thompson (cornet)

Porch steps: Adam Seelig (trombone), Shai Rotbard-Seelig (tuba), Arlo Rotbard-Seelig (trumpet)

Driveway: Neil Deland (horn), Vanessa Fralick (trombone)

Supporting Local Businesses under COVID-19

·         The ARA urges us all to support our local businesses as the COVID-19 lockdown is gradually lifted. One way is through the City of Toronto’s launch of ShopHERE to help local businesses and artists open free online stores.

·         The Bloor/Borden Farmer’s Market is struggling with the details of re-opening this June. ShopHERE may help some of the farmers who attend the market. Helen Goldlist also needs assistance from younger helpers who might step into the roles usually taken by her more senior volunteers. If you can lend a hand, please contact aracares@theara.org.

·         The Loblaws store at Dupont and Christie has shut its doors to in-store shoppers as of Monday this week to become a dedicated PC Express store providing pick-up orders only. The pharmacy will remain open for patients, and prescriptions can be picked up or delivered during regular pharmacy hours each day.

·         No word on the planned 2021 opening of competitor Farm Boy at 740 Dupont, the Riocan site just west of Christie.

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