GCA makes a difference despite pandemic

Laura Smith
President Glebe Community Association

GCA makes a difference despite pandemic

Happy summer! Hasn’t it been wonderful over the past month or so to see neighbours in restaurants and shops, to visit with those we haven’t seen face-to-face in quite some time, to see things opening up a bit more? We are not out of the woods yet, but I am so thankful for these small opportunities to reconnect. I hope that you have all had the opportunity to receive your vaccines, if you’re eligible. Check out Ottawa Public Health’s website if you’re looking for information.

The GCA had a busy June with the second virtual Great Glebe Garage Sale, our annual general meeting and our usual monthly board meeting.

Another virtual Great Glebe Garage Sale

The virtual Great Glebe Garage Sale was a great success this year. Ever since the sale started in 1986, the GCA has asked those selling items to contribute 10 per cent of their proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank. We know that this has been a challenging year for so many in our city and, as we weren’t able to have the sale in person, we wanted to find another way to support the food bank.

Using the GiveShop app for the virtual sale, our community raised $3,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank. With matching donations to the food bank that will translate into about $15,000 worth of food. We are so thankful for your participation, as well as for the contributions from our neighbourhood businesses. Businesses donated gift cards and prizes – even during a difficult year for them too – and the Glebe BIA was very helpful in getting the word out about the sale. It was a great team effort – thank you! And mark your calendars for May 28, 2022 – that is the tentative date for next year’s sale, which we all very much hope can be in person.

GCA Annual General Meeting

It was great to see so many of you at our annual general meeting. We were pleased to welcome our elected representatives as well: MP the Honourable Catherine McKenna, MPP Joel Harden and City Councillor Shawn Menard. We were also able to recognize our community partners and to take a look back at some of the notable parts of 2020–21. I think the 2020–21 GCA board will go down in history as one that never met in person, but it was great to reflect on all the things we were still able to do despite the restrictions brought on by the pandemic The community pop-up gallery at Lansdowne, the monthly bottle collection with Operation Come Home, two virtual Great Glebe Garage Sales and our usual advocacy efforts were all highlights.

I am very grateful to the 2020–21 board for their commitment to improving our community and for their creativity in finding ways to do that when many of our usual ways were not available. I would offer particular thanks to those members who chose not to serve on the board for another year: Kristi Carin, Sam Harris, Jennifer Humphries, Wolf Illing, Angela Keller-Herzog, Sheryl Lattimore, Kate Reekie and Caroline Warburton. Thank you.

Our final piece of business at the AGM was voting on the 2021–22 board. It is a great group of people and I am very hopeful that we will actually get to meet face-to-face this year. A warm welcome to the board’s newest members: Jidé Afolabi, Cassandra Church, Ahmed Ibrahim, Debbie Long, Janet Mayhew, Janna Rinaldi and Della Wilkinson. Thanks to you and to returning board members for putting your names forward to be part of our work this year. You can see the names of those on the board on our website (glebeca.ca).

On that note, if you have not yet had time to renew your membership, please consider doing so. You can join on our website. Your membership and participation help us to advocate for our community. Thank you!

June board meeting

At our regular June board meeting, the new board got right down to work with a full agenda. We had several motions, ranging from pickleball to the proposed development on Chamberlain Avenue. There were also motions regarding the potential removal of trees at the new site of the Ottawa Hospital and proposed developments at Lansdowne Park. You can find the letters we wrote following these motions on our website.

Wishing you a wonderful last few weeks of your summer and beginning of September. We will be back in full swing with our regular board meeting on September 28. We will make a decision closer to the time whether that meeting will be in person at the Glebe Community Centre or over Zoom. If you would like to join us, please email Janet, the secretary of the board, at secretary@glebeca.ca.

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