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Month of Thanks: The Power of Art

Boyle Street Community Services is taking the month of October as a Month of Thanks. We’ll be highlighting partners whose advocacy and support have been instrumental to our success this year.


This week’s post is a little different. Instead of one partner organization, we have three individual supporters that found innovative ways to support us this year. They may have done it on their own, but they made an impact on their community along the way.


Jeannie

You might remember from the summer when talented Jeannie, a six-year-old Edmontonian, hosted her own art gallery in her parents’ backyard. Since the start of the pandemic, Jeannie spent as much time as she could creating works of art. But it wasn’t just an opportunity to

show off her skills:

“Naturally, I want to make her dreams come true, but it's also a great opportunity to teach her to give back," said Pamela, Jeannie’s mom.

Together, Jeannie and her parents decided that funds raised from selling any art at her art show would be donated to support us and our programs. The best part? Jeannie sold all of her art! The next best part? She raised over $1,000 for our community.


We felt so incredibly honoured that Jeannie would use her talents to support the people we serve, and we wanted to highlight her efforts to show that hosting a fundraiser has no limits on age or form. Jeannie is an inspiration to do-gooders both young and old who want to get involved in their community.



Mitchell

Mitchell, an artist from Toronto, was commissioned by the Edmonton Art Council to work on a project that takes a holistic view of Edmonton’s Chinatown. He came to Edmonton expecting to just fulfil his commission, but soon he became a part of something much larger. As part of his project, we talked with many of our community members.

Making his way to our Community Centre, he spent hours in the drop-in centre just taking in the stories of the community members and their experiences.

His initial project isn’t finished yet, but Mitchell was impressed with the importance of the work that we do at Boyle Street. He had a lot of honest and direct conversations about building partnerships with Boyle Street and the work that we do. Mitchell decided to designate Boyle Street as the agency of choice when selling his art in his online store and he raised a substantial amount of money that goes a long way towards helping our programs. Portions of his contribution are going to Sakihta Kikinaw, making a meaningful contribution to ID Services, and creating a matching campaign for this holiday season.


Through his art, Mitchell was able to create an opportunity for our community members to be seen, but also create a way to contribute to the work we do every day. He saw the value of a warm meal, which is where the relationship starts between Boyle Street and our community members. His holiday matching campaign means that a lot more of our community members can get a meal, which goes along with his commitment to build healthy and inclusive communities.


Nicholas

Nick works at Boyle Street in the Mobile Outreach Addictions Team (MOAT) and says he mainly uses art as a coping mechanism. “I was hoping to paint a recreation of Francesco Scaramuzza's interpretation of Satan from Dante's Inferno as a particular study for a while now,” he said.

“This seemed like a perfect opportunity to do that and raise a little money for Boyle Street.”

Focusing on the Boyle Street 50th anniversary campaign, Nick raised $50 for Boyle Street. “It’s a simple drawing with graphite then gouache over that, layer after layer until it’s done,” Nick stated, but the money he raised was able to help us at a time when we really appreciated the assistance.


Small Acts, Big Impact

Whether you’re six, or sixty, and whether you can raise $10 or $1,000, there are countless ways to contribute to Boyle Street and raise funds for our programs and services. These three partners used their skills in art to raise money, and their efforts went a long way to contributing to our community members and ensure our sustainability. Whether it’s a hidden hobby or secret skill that you have, there are many paths to hosting your own fundraiser. Part of the fun is just making it your own and being as creative and unique as you possibly can.

If at any point you read this and thought about something you can do, a way you can have fun and raise money for Boyle Street, we can help you with the rest. Even if you still need a little bit of help with the idea, check out https://www.boylestreet.org/fundraiser today for information and ideas on what kind of fundraiser you can host.