Letter from the Executive Director

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We are a few days away from what would have been the 46th Annual Alexandra Festival, and it is hard to believe this will be a year without the festival. Having worked at Alexandra Neighbourhood House 14 years this summer, the festival has been at the heart of my work. My first year included hosting the festival, tag teaming with Harriet, a memory is etched in my mind, a torrential downpour drowning the Stage House stage with 300 + people trudging through our muddy site, primarily to ensure their annual tradition enjoying (Diane) Kolida’s Burritos. Even during the downpours the Alexandra Festival has been a local favourite. Over the years the festival has been an integral part of defining our place in community, from grassroots entertainment, to artisan wares, to engaged volunteers.

Who are we without the Alexandra Festival? For many people this is all they really know about Alex House, but we are really so much more. We are a team of inspired and inspiring people who attempt to support and meet the needs of their community. We are Youth Workers engaging our teens and Early Childhood Educators learning together with the children who inspire us. We are Custodians and Office administrators who work behind the scenes to ensure safety and resources to support our work. We are Program Leads who write grant after grant in order to support the emergent needs of our community. We are Volunteers who are at the heart of the work, who bring forward ideas helping to keep our vision front and centre ‘a vibrant, inclusive, and caring society’.

As a neighbourhood house we are all of you. We reflect the interests and needs of our community. We thank all of the volunteers who have stepped up to support the Caring Circles, all the funders like Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, the trio of Covid Response funders - UWLM, the Vancouver Foundation, and Vancity in support of the development of our respite accommodation and infrastructure support. If you know of an essential worker needing to self-isolate in order to continue working refer them to rentals@alexhouse.net to receive intake information. We are also in the process of implementing practices to support safe use of our site for our team, and for user groups, as we begin contemplating reopening in order to generate revenue for our ongoing work. We are mindful of the Federal & Provincial protocols and recommendations as we navigate forward.

As we start to think about how we can engage our community, please share with us your innovative ideas for connection. If you are learning about increasing needs that we might be able to support reach out to our Community Program Manager, Neil Fernyhough at communityprograms@alexhouse.net.

What remains clear as we move forward is the importance of community. Together we can make a difference.

We look forward to hosting you, as it becomes safe to do so. In the meantime, please practice safe social distancing as we enter the summer.

Hoping you will be able to join us for next year’s Alexandra Festival!

Warmly,

Penny E. Bradley, Executive Director