WEATHER ALERT
Armande Bourgeois Martine

Armande Bourgeois Martine

Crescentwood community correspondent

Armande Bourgeois Martine is a correspondent for Crescentwood. Reach her at 1martine789@gmail.com

Recent articles of Armande Bourgeois Martine

My experience with excessive police force

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My experience with excessive police force

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

Are vulnerable citizens more likely to be targeted by police? Here is my experience. I was 13 years old, traveling with my family in the summer of 1972.

We lived on a Saskatchewan farm and were completing a road trip in the south central area. Preparing to overnight in a Moose Jaw hotel, my parents were getting stuff from the car in the parking lot.

Impatient and tired, I grabbed my pillow and walked alone to the hotel entrance. About midway, a car stopped. The passenger window rolled down. A man told me “Hey you, come here.”

This farm girl, unaccustomed to big town life, thought the worst. I ran toward my parents, still in the parking lot.

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Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

Are vulnerable citizens more likely to be targeted by police? Here is my experience. I was 13 years old, traveling with my family in the summer of 1972.

We lived on a Saskatchewan farm and were completing a road trip in the south central area. Preparing to overnight in a Moose Jaw hotel, my parents were getting stuff from the car in the parking lot.

Impatient and tired, I grabbed my pillow and walked alone to the hotel entrance. About midway, a car stopped. The passenger window rolled down. A man told me “Hey you, come here.”

This farm girl, unaccustomed to big town life, thought the worst. I ran toward my parents, still in the parking lot.

RHP choir director nominated for LGBT* award

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RHP choir director nominated for LGBT* award

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

Brittany Mielnichuk is the artistic director of Rainbow Harmony Project (RHP), Winnipeg’s LGBTQ2*community choir. Recently, she was nominated for a Manitoba LGBT* Chamber of Commerce award as “an individual who is making a significant contribution to MB’s LGBTQ2* communities.”

Mielnichuk joined RHP in 2017 as assistant director to Justin Odwak, fulfilling a couple of objectives.

“Directing a community choir had been one of my goals from a young age. I’ve also always had an interest in social justice issues. When RHP was looking for an assistant director, it was perfect timing to combine both of these things in my life,” she said.

Mielnichuk took the baton during RHP’s transition years. Having gained a footprint in the music community meant an increased number of non LGBTQ2* members were registering to sing in the non-auditioned choir. There were concerns the song repertoire with its activist message would be lost.

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Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

Supplied photo
Brittany Mielnichuk (at right) directs the Rainbow Harmony Project choir during a performance.

U of M students help design urban green space

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U of M students help design urban green space

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 29, 2021

Immersion in nature, including parks, promotes personal wellbeing.

Who says so?

That’s exactly what the World Health Organization states:

“Urban green spaces (including parks, woodlands, and sports facilities) are a ‘necessary component for delivering healthy, sustainable, liveable conditions.’”

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Friday, Oct. 29, 2021

Immersion in nature, including parks, promotes personal wellbeing.

Who says so?

That’s exactly what the World Health Organization states:

“Urban green spaces (including parks, woodlands, and sports facilities) are a ‘necessary component for delivering healthy, sustainable, liveable conditions.’”

Explore a newly renovated Carnegie library

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Explore a newly renovated Carnegie library

Armande Bourgeois Martine 4 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

Opened in 1915, the Cornish library was kept from closure a fourth time in 2005 with the help of The Friends of the Cornish Library.

The group commissioned a painting in 2016 to celebrate the century-old library and its history. That painting was put on display for the first time when the historic library re-opened in July following renovations.  

Friends group spokesperson Linda F. Sigurdson Collette, a 20-year member of the University Women’s Club, is a long-time resident of Armstrong’s Point. Speaking of the painting, she said “it tells the story of the suffragette movement in Manitoba from 1880s to 1916 and the celebration of our beloved Cornish Library.”

More than 100 years ago, suffragettes frequently held meetings in the Cornish library basement. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to pass the bill of enfranchisement in 1916, giving most women the legal right to vote.

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Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

Supplied image
Naomi Gerrard’s painting depicting the Manitoba suffragette movement hangs prominently at the newly renovated Cornish Library.

What if your vote had more impact?

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What if your vote had more impact?

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2021

A parliament formed using our current “first-past-the-post" (FPTP) electoral system does not reflect the way Canadians vote. Some have referred to it as “phony democracy”.

Under the winner-takes-all-system, votes are tied to a single riding or constituency and only count when they pick the winning candidate. Otherwise, a vote is wasted,  if you will.

Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. still use this antiquated system. Politicians and their leaders are in a conflict of interest, refusing to change a system that keeps them in power. 

The first line on Fair Vote Canada’s website states: “No party with 39 (per cent) of the vote should get 100 per cent of the power.”

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Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2021

Supplied image

Cornish Library opens new chapter in its story

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Cornish Library opens new chapter in its story

Armande Bourgeois Martine 4 minute read Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

Opened in 1915, the Cornish library was kept from closure a fourth time in 2005 with the help of The Friends of the Cornish Library.

The group commissioned a painting in 2016 to celebrate the century-old library and its history. That painting was put on display for the first time when the historic library reopened in July following renovations.

Friends group spokesperson, Linda F. Sigurdson Collette, a 20-year member of the University Womens Club is a longtime resident of Armstrong Point. Speaking of the painting, she said, “It tells the story of the suffragette movement in Manitoba from 1880s to 1916 and the celebration of our beloved Cornish Library.”

More than 100 years ago, suffragettes frequently held meetings in the Cornish library basement. Manitoba was the first in Canada to pass the Bill of Enfranchisement in 1916, giving most women the legal right to vote.

Read
Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

Opened in 1915, the Cornish library was kept from closure a fourth time in 2005 with the help of The Friends of the Cornish Library.

The group commissioned a painting in 2016 to celebrate the century-old library and its history. That painting was put on display for the first time when the historic library reopened in July following renovations.

Friends group spokesperson, Linda F. Sigurdson Collette, a 20-year member of the University Womens Club is a longtime resident of Armstrong Point. Speaking of the painting, she said, “It tells the story of the suffragette movement in Manitoba from 1880s to 1916 and the celebration of our beloved Cornish Library.”

More than 100 years ago, suffragettes frequently held meetings in the Cornish library basement. Manitoba was the first in Canada to pass the Bill of Enfranchisement in 1916, giving most women the legal right to vote.

Promoting well-being via safe river access

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Promoting well-being via safe river access

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

During COVID restrictions, many citizens increased their time outdoors. Droves of Winnipeggers were on the river trail during the cold season, many experiencing it for the first time. That is likely to translate into permanent increased use post-pandemic.

Progressively drier summers have meant steeper banks along the river due to the decreasing water levels. The situation necessitates additional safe access points to the river trail.

I have heard Osborne Street North residents complain about limited access to the trail from their neighbourhood. I accessed the trail from Crescentwood regularly last winter. The Wolseley Winter Wonderland committee is an ad hoc group of the Wolseley Residents Association.

“The group raised some funds to install ramps to the river trail and are exploring other options and working with the City of Winnipeg,” a WRA spokesperson said. 

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Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Photo by Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press
People made use of the Centennial River Trail in droves last winter, as the COVID-19 pandemic restricted many other activities. Now it’s time to improve access.

Carving out opportunity during COVID

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Carving out opportunity during COVID

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2021

Some of us have been fortunate, managing to escape the ravages of the global scourge that is COVID-19 with its physical and/or financial repercussions. My friend, Terra Johnston, part of that kismet, maximizes her time during the pandemic restrictions.  

A dreamer but mostly a doer, Terra’s creative hands and inventive mind’s latest endeavour is a collaboration with her sister, Kellie Kuz, who has a marketing background, and their self-taught artist mother, Marlene Cowell.

Bringing their respective talents together, the trio carved out a new art collection - or, rather, have transformed nature’s carvings into works of art.  

Terra lives with her husband, Tony, a former firefighter, on the shore of Lake Winnipeg and she found herself, during the pandemic, collecting driftwood on walks with her dogs and goats (yes, they have pet goats). Finding beauty in the wayward chunks of wood, Terra lugged them home.  

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Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2021

Supplied photo
TheARTofshore collection specializes in mounted pieces of Lake Winnipeg driftwood.

Citizens address urban planning problems

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Citizens address urban planning problems

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021

Winnipeg citizens and groups are banding together to address infill creep and urban sprawl. Most residents agree infill projects are necessary to offset the city’s decades of sprawl and note that the city is growing three times faster in area than in population.

A problem arises when an inordinate number of development occurs in some areas and not in others. Residents in some older residential areas feel their communities have more than their share of high-density projects.

 “Some neighbourhoods have had a lot of infill and they feel besieged. What we want to do is make sure there are some clear guidelines and principles,” said avid community development consultant Marianne Cerilli.

She is a member of United Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg. The group’s goal is to unite all voices in the debate, working towards viable, sustainable urban planning solutions.

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Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021

Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Fre
Marianne Cerilli is a member of United Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg.

Is the McMillan area turning into ‘condo city’?

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Is the McMillan area turning into ‘condo city’?

Armande Bourgeois Martine 4 minute read Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

Hundreds of condominium and apartment units have risen in the McMillan area over the past few years. The quiet residential neighbourhood is rapidly changing.

Four recent condo and apartment developments have sprung up on McMillan Avenue in the last couple of years. Speculators continue with plans for additional complexes.

Dwell Design proposes a 22-unit apartment building to replace three century-old single-family dwellings at the corner of Stafford Street and McMillan. Ventura owns the McMillan condo complex. It has a four-storey, 26-unit apartment proposal to replace three existing properties at the corner of Grosvenor Avenue and Wentworth Street.

Both developers appealed variances at a Jan. 21 meeting of the appeal committee, which is comprised of councillors Matt Allard (St. Boniface), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) and Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River), none of whom represent or live in the Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry ward.

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Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

Supplied image
An artist’s rendition of the proposed 22-unit apartment building that Dwell Design hopes to build at the corner of Stafford Street and McMillan Avenue.

Maintaining our urban forest

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Maintaining our urban forest

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

There has been a noticeable change in the tree canopy since my move to Crescentwood seven years ago. On our street section alone, there are new gaps every summer where trees formerly stood.

Midwinter may not be the usual time for Winnipeggers to think of our city’s green urban canopy. Nevertheless, this is an unusual winter. As I write this article, there are trees reported as budding.

Under threat from disease and the impacts of climate change, our tree canopy situation is exigent. (Tree canopy refers to the part of a city that is shaded by trees such as leaves and branches covering the ground.)

Last fall, River Heights city councillor John Orlikow proposed a motion that would encourage citizens to invest in their urban forest. The proposal is for the establishment of a tree-planting donation program.

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Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Fre
The city's tree canopy and Westminster United Church are seen from the Woodsworth Building in August 2020.

The tree canopy and Westminster United Church, as seen from the Woodsworth Building, in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. For Gabrielle Piche story.

Winnipeg Free Press 2020.

Saving the treasure trove of our neighbourhood

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Saving the treasure trove of our neighbourhood

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

How does a solidly standing historical Crescentwood home built in 1909, protected as a municipal historical resource, suddenly lose that designation? That is what happened to the recently demolished property 514 Wellington Cres.

The about-face was due to a 2014 bylaw change. The Wellington Crescent dwelling, along with 250 other properties, all in queue for heritage nomination, was removed from an inventory of historical buildings list by properties and planning director John Kiernan. They were transferred to a ‘commemorative’ list.

City heritage planner Rina Ricci explains:

“Under the old bylaw, buildings were added to the inventory list administratively. At times, owners of buildings on the inventory were not even aware of the heritage status of their property.”

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Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

Photo by Armande Martine
The lot at 514 Wellington Crescent is nothing but a pile of rubble after the demolition of a grand home built in 1909. The Crescentwood Neighbourhood Association has nominated the area for preservation as a conservation heritage district.

Using your influence

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Using your influence

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

Even if you did not watch the highly successful CBC comedy, Schitt’s Creek, co-created by father/son actors Eugene and Daniel Levy, you may have heard the Canadian comedy recently won a record 15 Emmy awards.

Following the record-breaking awards win, the younger Levy used his star power on social media by asking his millions of followers to join him in a free course on Indigenous histories. Within two weeks, 64,000 people had signed up online for the University of Alberta program. That is a lot of influence.

For some of us, the province’s code red pandemic response is an opportunity to expand our online circles of influence, sometimes called your circle of concern and influence. The process involves being proactive about those things that concern you, thereby expanding your circle of influence.

Concerns? There are many but today I will focus on racism. Since all oppressions (racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, etc.) are interlocking, one could argue that working to eradicate one “-ism” works toward eradication of all oppression.

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Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

File photo by John Woods / Winni
Artist KC Adams posed in 2015 in front of a projection of one of the images from Perception: A Photo Series, on the exterior of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Music community needs our help

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Music community needs our help

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

One of my biggest regrets this past summer was the realization we missed out on porch concerts. The disappointment was greater when I discovered a cool music series was occurring in our neighbourhood just one block over from our house. All summer long, the Red Haus on Dorchester featured top-notch artists.

Providing a safe place to listen to live music, DIY porch and curbside concerts became a thing over the summer. In the case of porch concerts, donations to musicians could be made in cash or via e-transfers. Curbside concerts charge an upfront fee for booking artists.

Live musical performances and the arts in general have been one of the casualties of the pandemic. Winnipeggers were recently asked in a poll whether they had supported the arts during the pandemic. Of the small number who participated, the vast majority — 87 per cent — said they had not.

Local bilingual musician Rayannah says, “One of the best ways the public can support artists’ work and put money directly into their hands is by buying their merch and their music (T-shirts, buttons, CDs, vinyl albums and downloads). It’s such a pick-me-up when you receive a notification that someone, unprompted, has bought a vinyl or purchased music on Bandcamp.”

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Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

Supplied photo
The Rainbow Harmony Project, seen here at a pre-COVID performance, has had to adust its rehearsals to accommodate mask-wearing and physical distancing.

A heart of gold is the Mary Barton way

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A heart of gold is the Mary Barton way

Armande Bourgeois Martine 4 minute read Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

When I first Googled the name Mary Barton, I read she was the protagonist of an 1848 novel. Although it sounded like an interesting read, she was not the Mary Barton I was looking for.

It turns out the Irish-born, early childhood educator from Winnipeg I was looking for is a real life heroine.

Barton is a well-respected, longtime early childhood educator in the Riverview area for the past 40 years. She worked 30 of those years at the Riverview Ashland Child Care Centre, and her dedication to the daycare children was celebrated at her retirement party in 2019. This year she got her way in the form of an honorary street named Mary Barton Way, situated at Montgomery Avenue.

In these pandemic times, early childhood educators “feel embattled but emboldened with a street named after their mentor,” said Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry). Rollins put forward the successful motion for what she claimed is the first honorary sign in tribute to an early childhood educator.

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Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

Sou'wester
Mary Barton after the ceremony which unveiled an honourary street sign in her name.

The avenue’s alive with the sound of sociability

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The avenue’s alive with the sound of sociability

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Friday, Jul. 10, 2020

Every evening, I walk the beat, so to speak. I take a 30-minute stroll in my neighbourhood to keep abreast of what is happening.

One recent June evening, I promenaded down the Corydon Biz strip, a.k.a. Little Italy. It was the busiest it has been since the start of the health crisis. There was a definite zestful vibe which I found invigorating as I watched singles, couples and families safely and kindly social distancing on sidewalks.

A post-pandemic shift was in the air due to businesses slowly starting up. Patios were filled up, albeit at half capacity.

“There is an air of optimism among our business members,” says Katia Von Stackelberg , executive director of the Corydon BIZ. “Everyone found an alternative way of keeping their businesses going. Through the worst times, they were doing side windows for pickup. It is too early to determine if any business went under due to the pandemic.”

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Friday, Jul. 10, 2020

Photo by Armande Martine
As summer takes hold, the Corydon Avenue strip has once again come alive.

Legislative Building celebrates milestone

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Legislative Building celebrates milestone

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2020

Beneath the Dome would be an apt name for a cafe or restaurant under the distinguished dome at the Legislative Building.

Establishing an eatery was part of the design when the historic structure was first built in 1920. According to the Manitoba Historical Society, “The tricky part is this particular space is difficult to access. It would entail entering a small, inconspicuous door off a hallway on the third floor, then ascending a staircase to the next level that is not accessible to the public. From there, there is another staircase up to yet another level.”

Suffice it to say that those plans did not materialize.

According to provincial archives, these original plans, in 1911, were part of a design to erect a third building.

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Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2020

Sou'wester

The marvels of my Crescentwood ’hood

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The marvels of my Crescentwood ’hood

Armande Bourgeois Martine 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 12, 2020

Strolling up and down the neighbourhood streets, I delight in the plentiful eye candy. Seven years ago, I moved into my partner’s Crescentwood character house and was charmed by the magical ’hood. Having lived here over 30 years, my wife proudly pointed out enchanting character homes and grand mansions as we strolled through our district.

During the global health crisis, neighbourhood walking is one of the few options left to occupy our time as we all adjust to the temporary reality.

I suggest that area residents check out these choice pieces of architectural delight on Ruskin Row, a street often found on historical tours of Winnipeg lists.

My favourite, and it seems a lot of other people’s too, is one I once heard referred to as the “wedding cake house.” When this elegant mansion came to market a couple of years ago, it elicited many Facebook posts. Most drooled and dreamed about being the next owners of the ornate yellow mansion. As expected, even at a hefty price, it was not for sale for very long.

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Tuesday, May. 12, 2020

Sou'wester
Stovel House is one of many impressive residences on Ruskin Row in Crescentwood.

Delivering ‘virtual wellness’ online

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Delivering ‘virtual wellness’ online

Armande Bourgeois Martine 5 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2020

 

For the last few weeks we have gathered, each from our respective homes, to meditate and take in a Wednesday evening session that seems to have an ataractic effect. We are Two Rivers Insight Meditation Community of Winnipeg, for whom Nelle Oosterom normally leads meditation from St. Peters Church on Elm Street. These days, she does it from her second-floor den. During these difficult times, meditation and yoga have emerged as essential services. At Two Rivers, the virtual offering has led to an increase in participation. “Our average in-person attendance is about 15. Our online sessions have so far attracted between 30 and 40 people. In these times the ability to steady the mind and lift the heart is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Oosterom says.Yoga Centre of Winnipeg has been offering online sessions via Zoom since March 25. Located at Grosvenor Square, the centre understandably saw a significant drop in attendance due to preventive measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Yes, we definitely have more attendance in each (online class) than in-person classes, but much fewer... overall,” says Shauna Ellerby of the Yoga Centre. She adds that “…yoga is equally beneficial at this time because of the movement and the opportunity to quiet the mind through focus on the postures and the breath.” Jana Svenda, who teaches at Yoga on Corydon (1115 Corydon Ave.), held that centre’s first online meditation class — entitled Karma Online Meditation — on March 29. At this time, she says, “there is an increase of people participating online in the classes.”You can view the schedule for online virtual yoga and meditation sessions at www.yogaoncorydon.caSvenda says Yoga Centre of Winnipeg has considered continuing virtual sessions past the pandemic but has no definite plans to do so at this point. Ellerby is also uncertain of continuing online access: “It’s hard to say — our preference is to work in-person but who knows what the future will bring.” Oosterom sees a benefit to maintaining an online option. “People who live outside of Winnipeg can continue to participate. It would partly depend on whether we can access wi-fi at our usual location at St. Peter’s Anglican Church,” she says.Who knows, there may be positive lasting changes resulting from this pandemic? In the meantime, be well.Armande Bourgeois Martine is a               correspondent for Crescentwood. Reach her at 1martine789@gmail.com 

For the last few weeks we have gathered, each from our respective homes, to meditate and take in a Wednesday evening session that seems to have an ataractic effect. 

We are Two Rivers Insight Meditation Community of Winnipeg, for whom Nelle Oosterom normally leads meditation from St. Peters Church on Elm Street. These days, she does it from her second-floor den. 

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Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2020

Sou'wester
Meditation leader Nelle Oosterom, of Two Rivers Insight Meditation Community of Winnipeg, leads the group’s regular Wednesday session from her second-floor den.