Evan Comstock

Evan Comstock

East Kildonan community correspondent

Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

Recent articles of Evan Comstock

Bronx Park market gets a makeover

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Bronx Park market gets a makeover

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

The Bronx Park Farmer’s Market, now under the leadership of co-ordinator Denzel Green, recently unveiled a new look and logo.

“I chose this design as I really wanted to represent the community we serve and the community that we are,” Green said. “Soon we will be featuring our very own Bronx Park Farmers’ Market merchandise so you can always remember home wherever you go.”

The community has really come out to support the market’s vendors this year and hundreds of people visit, even on rainy days. Denzel said this year they have “many new local crafters, bakers and amazing Manitoba homegrown vegetables, meat products and honey from Edelweiss Family Garden, Top Fresh Garden and Healthy Harvest Farms.

Green spoke of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of participating in the market as a vendor.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

Denzel Green, co-ordinator of the Bronx Park Farmers’ Market, shows off its new look and logo.

Farmers’ market set to start next month

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Farmers’ market set to start next month

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Monday, May. 9, 2022

The Bronx Park Farmers’ Market is starting up again June 4.

The ropes are gone and customers will be free to roam and congregate this season. Relaxed health restrictions will also allow for outdoor seating and a place to enjoy the grilled delights from Winnipeg’s best hot dog cart, the Joker’s Smoker.

The market is expecting many of the same vendors to return this season, and registration forms have been accepted from a bunch of new for artisans, jewellers, and local crafters.

The market is sad to announce the passing of a pioneer vendor – Gord Hymers, known for his mobile knife sharpening business, By the Hand of Gord. Gord was also well-known as an expert skate sharpener and it’s said he was known throughout the NHL. Gord was never shy to share his ideas and the market has gained so much from his insight and dedication. He will be missed.

Monday, May. 9, 2022

The Bronx Park Farmers’ Market returns for its eight season on June 5.

Recapture your youth at Captain’s Collectibuzzz

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Preview

Recapture your youth at Captain’s Collectibuzzz

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Friday, Mar. 25, 2022

Captain’s Collectibuzzz is a wonderful store at 101-377 Henderson Hwy. which sells vintage toys, comics, games and much more.

I met with store owner Kirk, after being lured in by the painted Fred Flintstone character on the outside of the building and, while I reminisced about younger days, Kirk explained how he came to fulfill a childhood dream of owning a toy and comic store.

“I always thought of doing this as a kid, its hard to believe sometimes,” he said. “When I was a very little kid my dad would buy comics and then hand them to me after when he was done reading them, and that got me into it.”

“I was lucky my parents bought me toys when I was little, too,” Kirk explained. “My brothers’ toys were always in mint condition, while I enjoyed playing with them, I still tried to keep them in good shape, and take good care of them.”

Friday, Mar. 25, 2022

Captain’s Collectibuzzz, at 1-377 Henderson Hwy., stocks all kinds of collectible toys and figurines.

Alive and kicking at Kildonan Karate

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Preview

Alive and kicking at Kildonan Karate

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022

I met with sensei Steve Burch at his karate dojo at 1115 Henderson Highway the day relaxed COVID-19 restrictions allowed more students to train in-person. Kildonan Karate had been operating virtually through January and, while some students are still signing-in to class via their computers, others were trickling in to the dojo and began warming up as we spoke.  “It will be nice to get some people who are comfortable back in the dojo again, give them that choice to train in-person, it’s good for them to get a chance to see each other,” Burch said. “Even if we’re not doing partner work, people are just happy to see each other.”Burch explained how Kildonan Karate is still able to maintain safe physical distancing, mask-wearing, and maintain a sanitized dojo. “It feels like a fairly safe environment, I think, mentally, people need to interact with their fellow karateka,” he said, using the term for karate practitioners. Kildonan Karate teaches traditional shotokan karate and is affiliated with the World Traditional Karate Organization. There is a curriculum that rotates every 12 to 16 weeks, depending on level, and students can keep track of their learning in a WTKO passport. “The biggest change I see in the students is the confidence. Maybe they have tried soccer or hockey and it just didn’t fit, maybe they didn’t have the confidence,” Burch said. “I can see students slowly build confidence over time when they engage in something that they really like. I can see that shine through when they apply that confidence to school and to other sports; they come out a better, stronger person.” The white belt class was about to begin when I visited, and I could feel there were a couple of eager students who wanted their sensei to start and although I was worried these young guys (Junior and Ren, both aged nine) were gonna kick my butt out of the training area, it was great to see them eager to learn. “The activity is good, kids are always with their devices now and it’s different from when we grew up with soccer balls and street hockey,” Burch said. “If we can give them something where they can be physical, they can train their mind and body, while also learning respect and discipline.”Classes are open to all ages and there are even parents who join their little ones.“It’s great for kids and adults. Everyone needs more confidence, and the self-defence never hurts in a crazy world,” Burch said. “Hopefully you never have to use it but it’s nice to have if you do.”  For  more information, visit www.kildonankarate.ca or call 204-801-4580.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

I met with sensei Steve Burch at his karate dojo at 1115 Henderson Highway the day relaxed COVID-19 restrictions allowed more students to train in-person. 

Kildonan Karate had been operating virtually through January and, while some students are still signing-in to class via their computers, others were trickling in to the dojo and began warming up as we spoke.  

“It will be nice to get some people who are comfortable back in the dojo again, give them that choice to train in-person, it’s good for them to get a chance to see each other,” Burch said. “Even if we’re not doing partner work, people are just happy to see each other.”

Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022

Photo by Evan Comstock
Sensei Steve Burch poses with two of his white belt students at Kildonan Karate, 1115 Henderson Hwy.

Anna Family Store is a hidden gem

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Anna Family Store is a hidden gem

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

Hello, East Winnipeg!

While there is sadness at seeing our small papers go, I couldn’t be more excited to be sharing stories of our corner in East Kildonan to a wider audience. There are some hidden gems where we live and admittedly sometimes there’s a reluctance to divulge their whereabouts for fear of losing charm.

However, you should all know about Anna Family Store, located at 755 Henderson Hwy.

I interrupted Anna Nabrzeska during a busy time a couple of days before Christmas. Some customers were asking for uszka, a Polish perogy typically filled with wild mushroom.

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

Photo by Evan Comstock
Anna Nabrzeska shows off some of the more than 7,000 items she stocks at Anna Family Store.

Building CommUNITY204

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Preview

Building CommUNITY204

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021

I have followed up on community leader Daniel Hidalgo twice in the last year as he continues to create opportunities for Manitoba’s marginalized people while managing his non-profit start-up, CommUNITY204.Each month he seems to be adding to his accomplishments in helping others. Recently he returned from a week of visiting, with Point Douglas MLA Bernadette Smith, a northern community facing desperate circumstances. “Things are bad up there. A lot of depression from not having anything to do. It is dark much of the year, and people are isolated,” he said. “They live without internet connections or TV entertainment like city kids are used to.” People from northern communities often travel south to the big city but do not have the coping skills to secure work or housing, and young may end up in care or homeless.Here in Winnipeg, Daniel’s group provides safe places and activities for youth. He has a large complex downtown that is hopping with activity. “It’s busy here after school,” Daniel said. “Kids are learning skills, to be part of a group and feel connected to something important.”CommUNITY204 is also working alongside other organizations ,such as Anishiative, and the True North Foundation to create safe spaces for people to keep warm this winter.The two large teepees at the foot of the Disraeli Bridge provide warmth and a home base for those in need of shelter. The warm-up shelters at 190 Disraeli St. accept donations including appropriate clothing such as tuques, socks, gloves and footwear. “We often forget how important good, dry shoes and socks are,” Daniel said. “Sometimes homeless people are unable to keep their feet dry and need a change of clothes.”Daniel has secured some shoes to donate this Christmas but could use the public’s support in helping provide for dozens of at-risk youth. On your way downtown you might want to throw a bag of unneeded warm clothes in the car. “The public can donate warm clothes directly at the warmup camp,” Daniel said. “They would be very appreciative.”To support Daniel in his initiatives, contact CommUNITY204 through its social media page at www.facebook.com/CommUNITY.204/Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

I have followed up on community leader Daniel Hidalgo twice in the last year as he continues to create opportunities for Manitoba’s marginalized people while managing his non-profit start-up, CommUNITY204.

Each month he seems to be adding to his accomplishments in helping others. Recently he returned from a week of visiting, with Point Douglas MLA Bernadette Smith, a northern community facing desperate circumstances. 

“Things are bad up there. A lot of depression from not having anything to do. It is dark much of the year, and people are isolated,” he said. “They live without internet connections or TV entertainment like city kids are used to.” 

Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021

Photo by Evan Comstock
Daniel Hidalgo of CommUNITY204 shows off some of the shoes his organization has collected to distribute to those who may need them this winter.

Living edge furniture business takes off

Evan Comstock 6 minute read Preview

Living edge furniture business takes off

Evan Comstock 6 minute read Monday, Nov. 15, 2021

Over the past few years Greg and Lauralee Flett have been developing a business called Timber Wülf Live Edge, creating and building custom furniture in East Kildonan. Greg recently showed me around his shop and explained some of his creative and production processes and how he came to make a living doing something he loves.“We started our business in April 2020, as the result of me working in construction and trees being a byproduct. Instead of crunching them up and sending them off to the landfill site where they would be shredded, I purchased a chainsaw mill and started making live edge slabs,” Greg said. A live edge slab is a piece of wood that still has the natural edges of the tree, which commonly include the bark. “The craze really took off in Winnipeg and it got to the point where I couldn’t keep up and it was filling all of our evenings and weekends. I got laid off when COVID-19 hit, so we just jumped in with both feet and never looked back.”Now, slabs of black walnut, cherry, hickory, spalted beech, Russian and Mediterranean olive, even some black ash from Southern Ontario, line the breezeway into Greg’s shop, waiting their turn to be treated and transformed.  Lauralee explained the most popular applications. “People use live edge pieces for all types of furniture projects including urns, bar tops and mantels, charcuterie boards and counter tops, coffee and end tables, also large pieces like headboards and dining tables,”  she said.Looking at their website (www. timberwulf.ca) I also found a custom cribbage table with built in cup holders and steel legs. I learned that, along with the beautiful wood pieces, Greg’s ability as a welder and metalsmith allows him to recreate any design that customers see or imagine. “We custom-build to any dimension including the base, brackets, legs, anything you see,” Greg said. “You can bring the ideas.” The hardwood can come from the customer, too, and Lauralee explained that several projects have been completed to preserve a family’s favourite tree. “We’ve worked with a 50-year-old California redwood that someone brought to us and even an old maple that a family wanted to remember,” she said. Using a piece of a familiar tree is also popular in live edge urns. “Each one is unique and has so much meaning this way,” Lauralee said.“There’s a natural rustic look of wood, and the fact that this stuff is reclaimed and repurposed and it doesn’t end up in a landfill means a lot. This portion of the tree gets to live on its own, and your great-grandkids’ great-grandkids will be able to enjoy this; these are forever pieces,” Greg said. To see pictures of their work and to order yours visit their website, check out @timber_wulf_ on Instagram or check for their ads on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

Over the past few years Greg and Lauralee Flett have been developing a business called Timber Wülf Live Edge, creating and building custom furniture in East Kildonan. 

Greg recently showed me around his shop and explained some of his creative and production processes and how he came to make a living doing something he loves.

“We started our business in April 2020, as the result of me working in construction and trees being a byproduct. Instead of crunching them up and sending them off to the landfill site where they would be shredded, I purchased a chainsaw mill and started making live edge slabs,” Greg said. 

Monday, Nov. 15, 2021

Photo by Evan Comstock
Greg Flett poses with his saw in his workshop at Timber Wülf Live Edge.

New vendors coming to Bronx Park market

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

New vendors coming to Bronx Park market

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2021

Confidence can be a capricious characteristic, as optimism is every so often doused with reality. Having a realistic attitude can be considered virtuous, however, as a sensible person tries to seek facts and be honest, with oneself, others and their environment.

Like many others I have come across, I was overly optimistic when the global COVID-19 pandemic began and didn’t imagine the lasting impact on our city.

There are a couple of new stores opening in our neighbourhood and I can’t wait to tell you about the entrepreneurs and stories behind them, however with the current government orders, it is best to wait a couple of weeks before I go knocking on doors to take pictures.

I can, however, tell you about the Bronx Park Farmers’ Market’s plan to open on June 19 (if 10 per cent capacity restrictions have been lifted by then) at the Bronx Park Community Centre, and about some of the new vendors coming for the year. There are three unique new plant growers I am very excited to see set up who will be selling varieties of tropical plants, air plants and cut flowers.

Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2021

Supplied photo
1882 Fruit-Based Hot Sauce will be available for purchase at the Bronx Park Farmers’ Market when it (hopefully) opens for the season on June 19.

Jets’ anthem singer stands on guard for thee

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Preview

Jets’ anthem singer stands on guard for thee

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Saturday, May. 1, 2021

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Evan Rogalsky, a music teacher at John Pritchard School and one of the anthem singers for the Winnipeg Jets.Evan grew up in North Kildonan and is now living in what he refers to as :shallow Transcona,” not accepting full departure from where he first called home. Evan was already working with students in schools and playing in cover bands when he saw that the Manitoba Moose, then in their third season back in Winnipeg, were holding auditions for a singer. Evan put something together that stood out from the rest, betting no one else would play Canada’s national anthem while also playing the guitar.His wager paid off as he got the call to audition in person. “It’s a cool story,” Evan said, reminiscing about how he planned on singing in one of the producer’s offices for his second audition. When he arrived at the arena however, they directed him onto the ice to perform in front of the management. “There were a bunch of people in suits, and they asked me what it means to me, to sing for the Moose.” Evan told them what it meant as a kid to have hometown hockey. “I grew up going to Jets and Moose games and there’s a lot of nostalgia being able to sing at the arena where your heroes have played,” he said.Evan also told them that while he was growing up that he loved the punk rock image in music videos “but I was a lousy skater,” he said, “so I got into the music.” The Moose gave him five games and Evan did them all with his guitar. This caught the attention of the game presentation team of the Jets, and now Evan performs in front of millions of hockey viewers.  “I do anywhere from four to five games a year,” he said, “Stacey Nattrass does the bulk of the games while three or four of us other singers and celebrities fill in the gaps.”Evay said his unique style was developed while studying the greats. “Anytime a celebrity would do a sporting event national anthem, I would always wonder, how would I do it? Everyone does it differently, and I tried to take ideas and wrap them into my own version.”Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Evan Rogalsky, a music teacher at John Pritchard School and one of the anthem singers for the Winnipeg Jets.

Evan grew up in North Kildonan and is now living in what he refers to as :shallow Transcona,” not accepting full departure from where he first called home. 

Evan was already working with students in schools and playing in cover bands when he saw that the Manitoba Moose, then in their third season back in Winnipeg, were holding auditions for a singer. 

Saturday, May. 1, 2021

Supplied photo
Evan Rogalsky is an anthem singer for the Winnipeg Jets and a music teacher at John Pritchard School.

A moment of peace during spring break

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Preview

A moment of peace during spring break

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Saturday, Apr. 3, 2021

There is a tradition our family has had the privilege of enjoying each spring break, whereby we pick the warmest day of the week and drive out to the beach.While Lake Winnipeg is never thawed and the play structure is usually surrounded by water, we always have our choice of picnic tables to enjoy a brisk and brief chunk of French bread and fruit. We pack up and play with shells and stones, and usally create a makeshift game of bocce with rocks along the shore’s thin ice. Finding a moment of calm and quiet, where imagination is free from any fear of interruption.I have noticed throughout the workday that a person has to actively plan time away from screens; time to just look out the window, at a painting, another person.I am beginning to wonder how our youth will fare, since they don’t have years of living without computers to look back on. There was a time once when we were more social and talkative.When I was young, my mom was on the phone regularly, sharing her day, sharing feelings through voice, and listening intently to the person on the other line. When we connect with one another in-person, just like connecting with nature, emotions emerge, and healthy memories are created. Communicating through typing does not always provide the same deep connection, and in texts and emails we can sound monotone. Conversations give us an opportunity to use our voices, hear our own uniqueness, help us to be separate and strong individuals, while more profoundly contributing to a greater whole.  I know, more snow may yet arrive, and swimming is a long way away, but the stage is set for summer and the beach is there waiting. Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

There is a tradition our family has had the privilege of enjoying each spring break, whereby we pick the warmest day of the week and drive out to the beach.

While Lake Winnipeg is never thawed and the play structure is usually surrounded by water, we always have our choice of picnic tables to enjoy a brisk and brief chunk of French bread and fruit. 

We pack up and play with shells and stones, and usally create a makeshift game of bocce with rocks along the shore’s thin ice. Finding a moment of calm and quiet, where imagination is free from any fear of interruption.

Saturday, Apr. 3, 2021

Photo by Evan Comstock
Taking time to enjoy the beach and nature’s wonder was a decent reminder that we all need time away from our screens.

Snow sculpting became a pandemic pastime

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Preview

Snow sculpting became a pandemic pastime

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Saturday, Mar. 13, 2021

This past February was great for spotting snow sculptures, carved into yards around the city. I have even stopped to take pictures of a few, thinking no one would believe me. There was a life-sized dolphin in Riverview, a massive sphinx in St. Vital and, across from the North Kildonan Community Centre, I found an oversized family of snow people.I met Derrick and Naoko Kennedy, who, along with their son Zen and daughter Luca, had been busy carving, using a new technique.While I had always thought  you needed to have the perfect temperature for that melty, sticky snow in order to roll up a snow ball, Derrick and his amateur sculptor friend James have been perfecting a technique for packing snow during a deep freeze.“Working with the snow is easier when you have it very cold because the snow sets up overnight and you can carve it the next day. In fact, the colder the better,” Derrick said.“It’s easy. Get some cardboard and some ratchet straps and start filling it up, basically. My friend James got the idea from the wooden forms they use for Festival du Voyageur; he thought there must be a simpler way,” Kennedy said.“The drive for building sculptures comes from wanting to get out of the house after a long winter indoors, but it brings a lot of smiles to people’s faces,” Derrick said. “One grateful neighbour dropped off a card thanking me for keeping the spirit up in the neighbourhood; some people stop to wave, they want to take pictures with Olaf.” “It made me feel like I was famous,” Zen said. “There were lots of people stopping.”The character from Frozen came out of a form Derrick had built for his neighbour. “After we ran out of usable space, my neighbour allowed me to build on her lawn.”“Mention that they’re all melted now,” Derrick said. “The big guy is really leaning, but you can see them online.” Derrick and Luca made a how-to video explaining the steps in building a homemade form. You can see in the video how cold it was by Derrick’s frozen beard. However, when I asked him about the cold, he said “the sun was shining, the sky blue, that was enough motivation for me.”The video has been posted to YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxZ_7JA6tIEvan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

This past February was great for spotting snow sculptures, carved into yards around the city. I have even stopped to take pictures of a few, thinking no one would believe me. 

There was a life-sized dolphin in Riverview, a massive sphinx in St. Vital and, across from the North Kildonan Community Centre, I found an oversized family of snow people.

I met Derrick and Naoko Kennedy, who, along with their son Zen and daughter Luca, had been busy carving, using a new technique.

Saturday, Mar. 13, 2021

Evan Comstock
Ice sculptor Derrick Kennedy with one of his creations.

Selection at local comics shop out of this world

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Preview

Selection at local comics shop out of this world

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

I recently met with Galaxy Comics owner Jeremy Gartner in the store’s new location at 1143 Henderson Hwy. The store has essentially switched retail spaces with Mar-Schell’s Music, which is now in Galaxy’s old storefront at 1109 Henderson Hwy. “We really just ran out of space,” Jeremy said. “It was time to make a change and an opportunity that came up. “Mar-Schell’s has been here since the ’80s, we have been here since the ’90s, and we both wanted to stay in this area.” The new Galaxy Comics location allows shoppers to browse with lots of personal space, and separate counters let customers peruse Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering and other game cards. Back issues fill one part of the store while new comics have been given their own cozy corner near the front. A new, comics’ account services window ensures subscriptions can be ordered and picked-up seamlessly.The store’s figurine section has lots of everything, from sci-fi to horror, video game characters and of course Marvel and DC superheroes. One amazing new area is packed with hundreds of Funko Pop!, and throughout the store I found tons of new board games and the latest role-playing books.“Being in the new store feels refreshing. After being in the other location for 23 years, it was a good thing that worked out for both of us,” Jeremy said. If you feel like dropping, remember that the store is currently operating at limite capacity restrictions. You cancall  204-338-5216 or email info@galaxy-comics.ca ahead to arrange for pickups.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

I recently met with Galaxy Comics owner Jeremy Gartner in the store’s new location at 1143 Henderson Hwy. The store has essentially switched retail spaces with Mar-Schell’s Music, which is now in Galaxy’s old storefront at 1109 Henderson Hwy. 

“We really just ran out of space,” Jeremy said. “It was time to make a change and an opportunity that came up. 

“Mar-Schell’s has been here since the ’80s, we have been here since the ’90s, and we both wanted to stay in this area.” 

Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

Evan Comstock
Galaxy Comics' spacious new location at 1143 Henderson Hwy. means there's lot of room for customers and merchandise alike.

Rinks ready to go at Bronx Park, Clara Hughes

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Preview

Rinks ready to go at Bronx Park, Clara Hughes

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Friday, Jan. 8, 2021

When restrictions were lifted in December 2020, Bronx Park Community Centre and Clara Hughes Recreation Centre went to work preparing their outdoor ice rinks, providing a place for people to skate over the holidays.A couple of days into the new year, I found Bob Fabbri, the building and grounds manager, flooding the big outdoor hockey rink at Clara Hughes. “People keep coming by and asking when I’ll be done,” he said, smiling. “Lots of kids have already been playing on the pleasure rink.”Beside the regular-sized rink, next to the skate park, there is a rink that was cut in half. Used as a basketball court in the summer, the area is perfect in the winter for learning how to skate or just having fun. Skaters are welcome to use the rinks if they follow social distancing rules. There are benches outside to sit and change your skates, but the facility remains closed. Bob, who started making ice as a volunteer in 1992, also manages Bronx , where the two pleasure rinks have been opened and one large rink should be open by the time this column is printed.“It feels good to see people out here using the rinks. If you drive by any time of day the pleasure rinks are busy. It’s not just the usual kids by themselves, we are seeing a lot of parents with younger kids too.”With everyone home for the holidays, our local community centres saw a resurgence in usage. “I don’t think the slide has been this well-used,” Fabbri said. “The warm weather has helped, but the increased number of kids is remarkable.”Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

When restrictions were lifted in December 2020, Bronx Park Community Centre and Clara Hughes Recreation Centre went to work preparing their outdoor ice rinks, providing a place for people to skate over the holidays.

A couple of days into the new year, I found Bob Fabbri, the building and grounds manager, flooding the big outdoor hockey rink at Clara Hughes. 

“People keep coming by and asking when I’ll be done,” he said, smiling. “Lots of kids have already been playing on the pleasure rink.”

Friday, Jan. 8, 2021

Supplied photo by Donna Fabbri
Bob Fabbri makes ice at Bronx Park Community Centre and Clara Hughes Recreation Centre.

Helping others is healing

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Preview

Helping others is healing

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

 

During the pandemic I have been taking some online courses through the University of Manitoba’s inner-city social work program. While all the classes have been conducted online, I have had the privilege of learning with some progressive thinkers and activists.  My classmate Daniel Hidalgo is a CBC Manitoba Future 40 finalist in the category of social activism/volunteerism. One of his projects,CommUNITY 204, was begun in mid-October by a group of youth workers who had been volunteering together for about a year.“We help the marginalized community by providing everything from furniture, food, water, toiletries and, most importantly in the winter, appropriate clothing. Beyond outerwear, socks are important this time of year; we are always trying to teach the kids to keep their feet dry,” Hidalgo said.CommUNITY 204 has a team of about 10 vounteers who use their own trucks to help with deliveries. Hidalgo also uses his own home, and a space that he has rented to store and sort clothes and furniture. Hidalgo has used his own money to produce a logo and to buy serving equipment and supplies for Soup for the Soul Sundays, which is held once a week at 3:30 p.m. “Soup is donated from Meal Set Bistro on Academy (mealsetbistro.com),” he said. He has also been providing honoraria to the youth who work with him. “They work their butts off helping people,” he said. “I grew up in care and I didn’t have these kind of supports. You’re led down one of two paths in life, and one of the easiest ways for me to stay on the right path is through helping others. “Our motto is helping is healing, helping is medicine. It makes you feel better. Sometimes you’ll get a reaction from somebody and that will shape your whole day.”CommUNITY204 also provides peacekeeping, safety patrols and harm reduction services.Hidalgo, who has his paramedic’s license, worked with Mama Bear Clan, Drag the Red, and OPK Social Service Agency search parties as a captain/medic. Now, just three months into his new venture, the demand for CommUNITY 204 services has increased significantly.“Right now, we are just trying to stay afloat,” Hidalgo said. “We’re trying to get gently used clothes and non-perishable food items out to our youth.” The clothing drive, following current public health restrictions, is accepting donations at Hidalgo’s house in East Kildonan.For more information, call 204-293-0335; email team.community.204@gmail.com; or visit www.facebook.com/Comm.Unity.204/ and www.instagram.com/community.204/Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. 

During the pandemic I have been taking some online courses through the University of Manitoba’s inner-city social work program. While all the classes have been conducted online, I have had the privilege of learning with some progressive thinkers and activists.  

My classmate Daniel Hidalgo is a CBC Manitoba Future 40 finalist in the category of social activism/volunteerism. 

Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

Supplied photo
(From left) Sosa Hastings, Isaac Richard, Shadoe Hastings, Mike Richard and Daniel Hidalgo are members of CommUNITY 204.

Gamer raises funds for sick kids

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Preview

Gamer raises funds for sick kids

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

Wyatt Sutherland is a participant in Extra Life gaming fundraiser in support of Children’s Miracle Network.Created by video gamers about 10 years ago, Extra Life raises money for hospitals around North America. The gamers, who play video games for 24 hours straight, choose which hospital they are supporting.“I chose the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba because it is close to my heart. I was a very sick kid growing up, so I try to give back as much as I can,” Wyatt said.He understands first-hand the difficulties associated with illness and has dedicated much of his time to helping others in need.This summer, when he told me about his fundraising initiative, Wyatt mentioned his previous, modest goal. “Last year, I blew right past my goal of $500 and raised $800.”Then the two-year-old son of his closest friends was diagnosed with leukemia.“There was suddenly someone close to me that was going through a tough time,” Wyatt said. “I just wanted to help cover their bills and make life a little bit easier for them.”So,Wyatt took it upon himself to help, and presented his friends with a direct, personal donation of $2,000, more than double all his fundraising efforts combined.“I want to help support families, honestly, helping feels good.”Extra Life’s motto is ‘Play Games, Heal Kids’ and that is exactly what Wyatt will be doing when he starts his 24-hour video game marathon. He will continue playing, non-stop until noon the next day, all the while raising funds for those who need it most.“This year my goal is to reach $1,000 dollars US, and I am already at $411 US raised,” Wyatt said.Donations can be given anytime, year-round by visiting https://www.extra-life.org/participant/WyattSEvan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

Wyatt Sutherland is a participant in Extra Life gaming fundraiser in support of Children’s Miracle Network.

Created by video gamers about 10 years ago, Extra Life raises money for hospitals around North America. The gamers, who play video games for 24 hours straight, choose which hospital they are supporting.

“I chose the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba because it is close to my heart. I was a very sick kid growing up, so I try to give back as much as I can,” Wyatt said.

Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

Supplied photo
Wyatt Sutherland hopes to raise $1,000 US for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba in the Extra Life gaming marathon fundraiser.

Making cottonwood memories

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Making cottonwood memories

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

We seem to have a heightened attachment to our tree this year, and the sight of sun between her leaves awakens a sadness that we will say goodbye to our cottonwood’s shade for another many months. Or the heartache could just be anxiety from thinking of all that raking.The leaves seem to hang on until the first snowfall and we always hope a sunny November will allow us time to clean up before the last leaf truck circulates for the season.While we’ve been closer to home more than usual this year and have kept a close eye on the yard, we have also grown closer to our neighbourhood itself. Naturally, by being around more we have come to know more of the nooks and crannies, the patterns of people, the cycles of all creatures who come to inhabit the yard for a couple of months each year.Although fall only lasts for a moment, we find this time offers opportunity to build lifelong memories. Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

We seem to have a heightened attachment to our tree this year, and the sight of sun between her leaves awakens a sadness that we will say goodbye to our cottonwood’s shade for another many months. Or the heartache could just be anxiety from thinking of all that raking.

The leaves seem to hang on until the first snowfall and we always hope a sunny November will allow us time to clean up before the last leaf truck circulates for the season.

While we’ve been closer to home more than usual this year and have kept a close eye on the yard, we have also grown closer to our neighbourhood itself. Naturally, by being around more we have come to know more of the nooks and crannies, the patterns of people, the cycles of all creatures who come to inhabit the yard for a couple of months each year.

Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

Evan Comstock
With the beautiful colours of the autumn cottonwood comes worry about it whether it will shed its leaves before snow falls.

Bronx Park looking for new hockey director

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Preview

Bronx Park looking for new hockey director

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 18, 2020

The Bronx Park Community Centre will hold its annual general meeting on Mon., Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.The meeting was postponed in the spring and will now be held in the gymnasium to allow for social distancing measures.One item of news that we can reveal before the meeting is that volunteer hockey director and equipment manager Jim LeBlanc will be stepping down from his positions after six years at Bronx Park.“I was responsible for working with the River East Minor Hockey Association and representing the club, the families and players in the area,” Jim explained. “The position allows the area to share ideas and voice concerns at the association meetings.” LeBlanc said the job follows a familiar pattern.“It’s fast paced at the front-end (of the hockey season) because registrations come in and teams are formed,” he said. “Once that’s done the time commitment drops off but you are still responsible for monthly meetings with the Bronx board and the REMHA board.”“At Bronx Park we usually have a Timbits team and a 7 and 8s team, so the equipment manager supplies pucks, jerseys, and equipment.”“Being a part of the club is rewarding because you are serving the hockey community and it’s an opportunity to pay it back to  those who did this for us when we were kids,” LeBlanc said. “Fortysomething years ago someone did the same for me and I’m grateful they did it. “I don’t know their names, but I remember being at the club and the canteen always being open. There was a place to put on my skates and put my shoes because someone was there. That was really my motivation to be a part of the community centre,” he said.“My son was in hockey, but it was the good experience that I had when I was younger that brought me to this role.” Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

The Bronx Park Community Centre will hold its annual general meeting on Mon., Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

The meeting was postponed in the spring and will now be held in the gymnasium to allow for social distancing measures.

One item of news that we can reveal before the meeting is that volunteer hockey director and equipment manager Jim LeBlanc will be stepping down from his positions after six years at Bronx Park.

Friday, Sep. 18, 2020

Evan Comstock
Jim LeBlanc has been hockey director and equipment manager at Bronx Park Community Centre for the past six years.

Off to Valley Gardens CC

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Preview

Off to Valley Gardens CC

Evan Comstock 5 minute read Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

Cher Hebert, general manager of Valley Gardens Community Centre (218 Antrim Rd.), and I recently met to talk about how things are going this summer. We walked around the grounds, surrounded by empty fields, which would usually have been bustling with soccer and baseball teams. However, there were plenty of people enjoying the centre’s state-of-the-art splash pad and shiny new play structure.We also came across something unique that I believe will become a trend elsewhere as more pet owners are looking for places to run their dogs in the city.The centre has placed free poop bags on the boards of one of its outdoor hockey rinks and visitors can let their pets run free in the designated safe space. “I couldn’t believe it,” Cher said. “Last week we got a $75 cheque sent to us, thanking us for doing this.”A daycare operates at the centre Monday through Friday but there are currently no events or socials booked until after the new year. “Everything’s been pushed back; most of them left their deposits and rescheduled for 2021,” Cher said. ‘The Lodge,’ a recently renovated building beside the centre that is usually used for small events, is closed as well. “We could only fit 10 people in there, considering social distancing,” Cher said.The challenge of social distancing will continue in the fall and winter when Valley Gardens will be expected to provide some organized and recreational ice time. Cher is concerned about how the change rooms will be organized for physical distancing.“There would only be a handful of players allowed in any change room at any given time. I couldn’t put in two full teams even if I used all seven dressing rooms,” Cher said.For now, though, we’re not looking at ice but fields and fields of grass. “The City used to cut the grass but now we do,” Cher said. The fields include full-size and mini-soccer pitches, two softball diamonds and a baseball diamond behind Terry Sawchuk Arena. The grounds team cuts the grass up and around Kimberly Hill to London Avenue, while the City takes care of the top of the hill. “We have one full-time building and grounds guy, and a couple of Green Team grants, one to help with the grass and the other to support the visitors to the park and splash pad,” Cher said.“It is a good community service to have her out there to assist with visitors in accessing washrooms and providing the odd Band-Aid,” Cher said.Cher, who has been in her “dream job” position since 2015, is thankful for the support of her board, including president Geoff Archambault.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.Cher Hebert, general manager of Valley Gardens Community Centre (218 Antrim Rd.), and I recently met to talk about how things are going this summer. 

We walked around the grounds, surrounded by empty fields, which would usually have been bustling with soccer and baseball teams. However, there were plenty of people enjoying the centre’s state-of-the-art splash pad and shiny new play structure.

We also came across something unique that I believe will become a trend elsewhere as more pet owners are looking for places to run their dogs in the city.

The centre has placed free poop bags on the boards of one of its outdoor hockey rinks and visitors can let their pets run free in the designated safe space. 

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

Photo by Evan Comstock
Cher Hebert is general manager at Valley Gardens Community Centre.

Bronx Park Farmers’ Market is thriving

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Preview

Bronx Park Farmers’ Market is thriving

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 27, 2020

The Bronx Park Farmer’s Market at 720 Henderson Hwy. has been operating since the first Saturday in June and has become the hot spot each weekend in this end of town.

Without festivals, concerts, sports or out-of-town travel, the market has seen many more customers come through each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This has also prompted many new vendors to join the seasoned veterans such as Zhoda, Fairlane and Loewen Family Farms.

Karen Foods has been selling homemade spice mixes such as ras el hanout, which contains almost 30 ingredients from Anise to zerishk; RK Specialty Foods has been selling handcrafted Chap’s peanut butter and Hawaiian style baking; and Apple Blossom Farms has been bringing locally roasted coffee and gourmet honeys.

Monday, Jul. 27, 2020

Photo by Evan Comstock
Despite new social-distancing protocols, the Bronx Park Farmer’s Market has seen attendances increase this season.

Terri’s Trinkets and Toys is a hit

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Preview

Terri’s Trinkets and Toys is a hit

Evan Comstock 3 minute read Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2020

Terri’s Trinkets and Toys is now open at 210 Larsen Avenue.

Owner Terri Settle recently moved all her inventory from the Mulvey Flea Market where she sold toys for the past 12 years.

“I started off doing craft sales but decided that toys were more fun,” said Terri, “When I retired and had more time, I decided I would try my own little toy store.”The cute little toy shop is just a few feet off of Henderson Highway, tucked behind the Hot Rod Diner.

“There is lots of foot traffic here and it’s been so much fun. After three weeks we already have regulars coming in two or three times a week from the neighbourhood,” Terri said.

Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2020

Evan Comstock
Terri Settle of Terri’s Trinkets and Toys decided to open her own little toy shop after moving on from the Mulvey Flea Market.

Join The Wraskles on their rise to stardom

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Join The Wraskles on their rise to stardom

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2020

Last week I received stickers in the mail, along with a handwritten letter that thanked me for joining “teen rabbit sensations The Wraskles, as they fight the supernatural on the road to pop-punk fame.’”

At a time when kids are spending  all their time at home and with their faces in their screens, The Wraskles could be a fun diversion for some.

“We developed the series to give people a really good time,” said co-creator Greg Schoen, a Vancouver writer and creator, via a video call. “Kids shouldn’t be reading anything heavy or violent right now. This story is for everyone, while kids will be instantly pulled in, adults will get the jokes while being engaged as well.”

The other creator, Kurt Spurging, a director for Cartoon Network, has drawn some very memorable characters.

Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2020

Supplied image
The Wraskles were created by Vancouver writer Greg Schoen and Kurt Spurging of the Cartoon Network.

Taking time to explore the city

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Preview

Taking time to explore the city

Evan Comstock 2 minute read Tuesday, May. 5, 2020

Although we periodically announce the time throughout the day at my house, the clock on the wall has not meant the same to us since schools closed over a month ago.We have relied less on the hour to help us decide where we should be or what we should be doing.

Our elderly, chattering cat seems to know when I am supposed to wake up, however, and I find myself here at my desk, reading the Winnipeg Free Press a minute after the paper has been published, a moment before the spring sun rises.

There is no more feeling of urgency to prepare for the day and somehow, I miss the hectic breakfasts, the hollering, the drumming of the all-important things on our agenda. Now the clock doesn’t ring for recess but after brunch and a bit of home-schooling we always look forward to going for a walk. Each week, we have found a nice day to visit a different part of the city.

We have toured the towering homes of East Gate, strolled through old St. Boniface (la Belle Baguette is open) and most recently we took our time exploring les Bois-des-Esprits in Royalwood.

Tuesday, May. 5, 2020

Evan Comstock
Les Bois-des-Esprits in Royalwood were a wonderful setting for a home-schooling walk.

The battle of the boredom blues

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Preview

The battle of the boredom blues

Evan Comstock 4 minute read Monday, Apr. 6, 2020

We’d been stuck at home for a couple of weeks and my patience was beginning to unravel. Even the smallest occurrences were getting on my nerves. I found myself just glaring at the floor, trying hard to turn my frown upside down.While waiting for the water to boil for a cup of emergency chamomile tea, I pondered how my mood got this way.My day job has been working with kids for 15 years. But, by Day 15 at home my kids had me beat. At work I have some authority while at home I felt like a freshman horrendously harassed and hazed during freshie week.On this particular day, the kids were being extra loud. They woke up, began moving furniture and took boxes of books from the basement. They were building walls, they said, and now there was the terrible sound of ‘war’ coming from their rooms. I decided to walk in and say “be quiet” but instead I stepped into the hall as my youngest son fired his trebuchet (a kind of catapult).  An oversized Nerf bullet found my forehead. “Look out Dad, that’s a trap!” my older son yelled from behind his bed.And there was a trap. My eyes opened to see a bunker built into the end of the hall. Underneath me were marbles; lots of marbles. As I felt my forehead for damage my feet did their best to keep me standing. Picking myself up, I went from feeling pain to pride. My smile was turned right-side up, both literally and figuratively. Thank goodness there was no brain damage, though. I soon found my own Nerf gun and brought the heat. My sons had already won the big battle, though, as they had defeated our situation with their ingenuity and imagination. Our hearts go out to those affected by illness and we wait, patiently playing and learning, while the world heals.We will be able to move this game outdoors soon. For now, there’s a trebuchet in the hallway.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

We’d been stuck at home for a couple of weeks and my patience was beginning to unravel. Even the smallest occurrences were getting on my nerves. I found myself just glaring at the floor, trying hard to turn my frown upside down.

While waiting for the water to boil for a cup of emergency chamomile tea, I pondered how my mood got this way.

My day job has been working with kids for 15 years. But, by Day 15 at home my kids had me beat. At work I have some authority while at home I felt like a freshman horrendously harassed and hazed during freshie week.

Monday, Apr. 6, 2020

Evan Comstock
Evan Comstock and his sons are doing their utmost to battle boredom while school is out indefinitely due to the COID-19 pandemic.

Special moment for the Goring family

Evan Comstock 6 minute read Preview

Special moment for the Goring family

Evan Comstock 6 minute read Friday, Mar. 6, 2020

 

Shannon Goring-Alban recently returned to her home in East Kildonan after a trip to Uniondale, N.Y., where she stood at centre ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with her father on Feb. 29, and watched as his New York Islanders jersey was raised to the rafters.Butch Goring, known as the ‘final piece of the puzzle,’ helped the Islanders win four Stanley Cups after being traded to the team in  March 1980 by the Los Angeles Kings. His number 91 was officially retired by the NHL team.“It was surreal,” Alban-Goring said of the moment. “I didn’t have words to describe it. We’re standing on the ice and they start to raise the banner and out of this mist comes the Goring and 91. We were in awe watching it in silence and at one point I turned to my dad and just said ‘Wow’.’”Goring-Alban was a child when her dad played in the NHL. Although young, she says she always felt a part of the team’s extended family.“There was a family sense about it,” she said. “All of those guys hung out in the dressing room, and outside. We hung out as families when the guys went on the road. We went to other players’ houses. It was sleepovers at (goalie) Billy Smith’s house, who had sons my age, or at (team captain) Clark Gillies’, who had a daughter that was my age and two daughters my sister’s age.“We would go to Bob Bourne’s, Duane Sutter’s, even the trainer’s house when the guys were on the road because the wives were all friends, the kids were all friends. We even went on vacation together. “(Sports broadcaster) Jiggs McDonald’s daughter was the babysitter.”Goring-Alban said she now marvels at what she witnessed.“It wasn’t uncommon to go for dinner on a Saturday with other players’ families and you get people coming up to the table. I didn’t know until I was older that not everybody’s dad signed autographs at dinner or not everybody’s dad was on TV and gets a parade at the end of the year,” she said. “It wasn’t until much later that I understood how special that was.”The Islanders organization flew Gorings family, including his mother, Audrey, to New York and made sure they were well taken care of. “We arrived in New York to a party bus for 15 of us and the alumni, it was a such a classy weekend and well-done event that I’m just really glad that my kids got to be a part of it,” Alban said. “There are no words to describe the level of pride I had, just being so excited to be able to stand beside my dad at that moment.” Robert (Butch) Goring started out playing hockey in St. Boniface. He won the Bill Masterton trophy and Lady Byng Memorial trophy for his outstanding sportsmanship in 1978 and won the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the playoffs, in 1980 after helping the Isles win the first of four straight Stanley Cups. He now works as a colour commentator on Islanders television broadcasts.Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. 

Shannon Goring-Alban recently returned to her home in East Kildonan after a trip to Uniondale, N.Y., where she stood at centre ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with her father on Feb. 29, and watched as his New York Islanders jersey was raised to the rafters.

Butch Goring, known as the ‘final piece of the puzzle,’ helped the Islanders win four Stanley Cups after being traded to the team in March 1980 by the Los Angeles Kings. His number 91 was officially retired by the NHL team.

Friday, Mar. 6, 2020

Herald
Former Winnipegger and New York Islanders great Butch Goring is pictured with the Conn Smythe trophy he won in 1980 and members of his family, including (from back left): grandson Jacen Alban; daughter Shannon Goring-Alban; daughter Kellie Pickering; son-in-law Andy Pickering; granddaughter Charlize Alban; granddaughter Carrera Pickering; and his moter Audree Goring.