Blog Archives

 

Archive for December, 2011

Dec
16

Collaboration Makes Lifelong Learning Possible

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

If you visit the Town of Wainwright’s website you will read how it is a strong, vibrant community located in East Central Alberta near the beautiful Battle River valley and is the major service center for the region. You will discover how it is a progressive community of 5775 (plus 650 at CFB Wainwright) with a historically stable economy and steady growth.

If you think of some of the non-profit/voluntary sector groups that are in and around Wainwright you would very likely be surprised at what great capacity they have. The reason they have such great capacity is because of the awesome partnerships that have been developed in order to offer great leadership development opportunities.

Take the learning council in Wainwright. The Wainwright & District Council for Adult Lifelong Learning provides terrific services for the region and of course, they offer great educational learning opportunities that help create and sustain strong leaders. Some of the courses offered help to build presentation skills, writing skills and of course board development. But they have only been made possible due to collaborative partnerships.

For example, the board development learning opportunity is a comprehensive 10 hour class led by the infamous Barb Pedersen from Barb Pedersen Facilitation Services Inc. Barb is well-known for her energy, enthusiasm and ability to plan and facilitate in the most effective of ways. In fact, my colleagues and I who work with KnowledgeConnector, all learned some of the best facilitation techniques workshops directly from her.

Great opportunities like this don’t happen by chance though. They take planning, research and most importantly, collaboration. Collaboration and partnerships stem directly from the leadership competency Relationship Building in KnowledgeConnector’s A.S.K. Framework.

What does all of this tell me? Simply that leadership skills, such as collaboration, are important in creating vibrant, sustainable communities. It also tells me that leadership skills are important in creating leadership development opportunities to create the strong leaders that create vibrant communities.

So, if you have strong leadership skills and offer learning opportunities that build stronger leaders make sure you collaborate to pay it forward! Register as a learning provider here on KnowlegeConnector and/or make sure to collaborate with your networks of leaders to help them create stronger leaders in your community.

If you have questions about registering as a learning provider or would like to learn more about the organization’s and learning opportunities mentioned above give me a shout!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Dec
16

Christmas Trivia, A Learning Moment…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

As the Christmas holiday quickly approaches (9 days if you are counting) we catch ourselves rushing around to find that perfect gift, wrapping presents and making the traditional christmas baking treats (butter tarts are my favorite this time of year along with steamed plum pudding with caramel sauce). We often get wrapped up in the “getting ready” stage that we forget to take the time to really understand the true meaning of Christmas and the traditions we follow.  So from my house to yours – “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. Enjoy!

The word Christmas comes from the old English “Cristes maesse” meaning Christ’s Mass. The Holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual birthday of Jesus is not known; therefore, the early Church Fathers in the 4th century fixed the day around the old Roman Saturnalia festival (17 – 21 December), a traditional pagan festivity. The first mention of the birthday of Jesus is from the year 354 AD. Gradually all Christian churches, except Armenians who celebrate Christmas on January 6 (the date of the baptism of Jesus as well as the day of the three Magi), accepted the date of December 25th.

Christmas Day itself is the day for opening gifts brought by jolly old St. Nick. Many of our current ideals about the way Christmas ought to be derive from the English Victorian Christmas, such as that described in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

The caroling, the gifts, the feast, and the wishing of good cheer to all – these ingredients came together to create that special Christmas atmosphere.

The custom of gift-giving on Christmas goes back to Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Kalends. The very first gifts were simple items such as twigs from a sacred grove as good luck emblems. Soon that escalated to food, small items of jewelry, candles, and statues of gods. To the early Church, gift-giving at this time was a pagan holdover and therefore severely frowned upon. However, people would not part with it, and some justification was found in the original gift giving of the Magi, and from figures such as St. Nicholas. By the Middle-ages gift giving was accepted. Before then it was more common to exchange gifts on New Year’s Day or Twelfth Night.

Santa Claus is known by British children as Father Christmas. Father Christmas, these days, is quite similar to Santa, but his direct ancestor is a certain pagan spirit who regularly appeared in medieval mummer’s plays. The old-fashioned Father Christmas was depicted wearing long robes with sprigs of holly in his long white hair. Children write letters to Father Christmas detailing their requests, but instead of dropping them in the mailbox, the letters are tossed into the fireplace. The draft carries the letters up the chimney, and theoretically, Father Christmas reads the smoke. Gifts are opened Christmas afternoon.

From the English we get a story to explain the custom of hanging stockings from the mantelpiece. Father Christmas once dropped some gold coins while coming down the chimney. The coins would have fallen through the ash grate and been lost if they hadn’t landed in a stocking that had been hung out to dry. Since that time children have continued to hang out stockings in hopes of finding them filled with gifts.

The custom of singing carols at Christmas is also of English origin. During the Middle-ages, groups of serenaders called waits would travel around from house to house singing ancient carols and spreading the holiday spirit. The word carol means “song of you.” Most of the popular old carols we sing today were written in the nineteenth century.

The hanging of greens, such as holly and ivy, is a British winter tradition with origins far before the Christian era. Greenery was probably used to lift sagging winter spirits and remind the people that Spring was not far away. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe is descended from ancient Druid rites. The decorating of Christmas trees, though primarily a German custom, has been widely popular in England since 1841 when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria, and their children.

 Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 | yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Dec
12

What’s In A Name…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

Every community throughout rural Alberta has something to brag or boast about. This week I am highlighting such a community; let me introduce you to the Town of Beaverlodge….

Beaverlodge is a little town with a lot to offer. In the summer you can find people swimming at the Beaverlodge pool or Redwillow River, playing baseball, golfing, camping, quadding at the base (Saskatoon Mountain) and other local trails, fishing at Spring Lake, paintballing, dirt biking at the motocross track, and skateboarding. In the winter month’s people enjoy skiing and ice fishing at spring lake resort, skating at the indoor and outdoor arena, curling, sledding on local trails and into the mountains, and hunting (www.beaverlodge.ca)

Large landmarks are starting to appear all over Canada, nowhere truer than in Alberta. Beaverlodge celebrated its 75th Anniversary of incorporation on July 21, 2004, and part of our celebration included the unveiling of a Giant Beaver Sculpture on our highway corridor. Our Beaver is a remarkable roadside attraction surrounded by interpretive signage (history,
habitat, behavior of the animal, along with Town information.) The sculpture is 15 feet high, 28 feet long and weighs 3000 pounds. A must to see in Northwestern Alberta on your way up the Alaska Highway. Also featured in: www.roadsideattractions.ca

The library offers a bookclub, storytime for children 2-5 years of age, an after school program for ages 9-12, a summer reading program, Partners in Reading, and a meeting room for rent. Whether you are relaxing or researching you can browse through books or surf the net on one of the 3 internet stations, or bring your own laptop to take advantage of the library’s wireless connection. Also you can learn a second language through the library or attend NAIT & GPRC through Distance Learning. For more information call Shelly at 780-354-2569. To Learn more about the library, visit us at www.beaverlodgelibrary.ab.ca

There is so much more to learn about Beaverlodge that I can not highlight everything; so check out the list of attractions, events and activities with a click of a mouse or if you are in the neighborhood www.beaverlodge.ca

Does your community have a roadside attraction, or a historical significance in the north-west region? Let me know; and you and your community will be highlighted in one of our weekly blogs.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 | yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Dec
09

Make a Difference in the Volunteer Sector

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

  • Nominate Board Member
  • Eligible to hold office (on Board)
  • Receive Sector Connector eNewsletter
  • Access to Volunteer Alberta’s website and resources
  • Ability to apply for Volunteer Week
  • Enhancement Funding
  • Invitations to Professional Development and Training Opportunities
  • Access Community Guard Insurance and Risk Solutions offered by The Co-Operators (Note: Your name will be forwarded by Volunteer Alberta to the appropriate agent if the Community Guard box is checked on the reverse).
  • Access to OASSIS employee benefits
  • Cast 1 vote at membership meetings
  • Support for emerging and new Volunteer Centres
  • Nominate Board Member
  • Eligible to hold office (on Board)
  • Receive Sector Connector eNewsletter
  • Access to Volunteer Alberta’s website and resources
  • Invitations to Professional Development and Training Opportunities
  • Access Community Guard Insurance and Risk Solutions offered by The Co-Operators (Note: Your name will be forwarded by Volunteer Alberta to the appropriate agent if the Community Guard box is checked on the reverse).
  • Access to OASSIS employee benefits

If you have any questions about membership or would like to take the initiative to enhance your leadership skills through KnowledgeConnector give me a call.

Victoria Poschadel | 780-945-6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Dec
05

Learning begins at home…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

Do you have a favorite childhood book or author? Some of our favorite memories revolves around reading; bedtime or sitting on your grandparents lap.

Have you checked out your local public library lately? All under one roof is a “plethora” of knowledge. There is something for the whole family.

Your local public library provides opportunity and encouragement for continuous education as well as the enrichment of personal lives through recreational reading.  Programs and services are offered by and through the Library to meet identified needs in the community and to attract Library patrons of all ages and interests.

Throughout my travels all over the north-west, I have had the pleasure of visiting a variety of local public libraries. Each library had very welcoming environment with a wide assortment of activities and events, all themed around a series of books or novels.

The first place that I head to in each library is the “whats new” section. What attracts me to check out a new book?

– my favorite author

– the colourful illustrations on the front cover

– a catchy title

– a strong heroine character

– the Oprah’s list of books

– Heather Pick’s

– a good old fashion romance novel

– historical

Sometimes I go right to the magazine rack and pick up the latest issue of Canadian Living or Chatelaine. Did you know that most community libraries have comfy seating and some even serve coffee as well? Learning doesn’t get better than that. If books or magazines are not your interest, you can pick and choose your learning options with a just click of a mouse. All public libraries offer free internet access on a “bank of computers”. Also, most public libraries have video conferencing technology as well. Continuous education never looked easier.

Libraries are our community hosts to a wide variety of learning opportunities. So when someone says there is nothing to do…visit your public library today, it is just one of many activities you can do with a friend or your family or take a well deserved break.

What a better way to celebrate the season than buying that someone special a library membership, or giving the gift of access to knowledge to someone in need this christmas season it is always better to give than receive. Help someone else build those favorite family reading memories.

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 | yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Dec
02

Leadership Development Available Right At Your Doorstep

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Have you ever wished you could learn about enhancing your strengths as a leader without having to take a course in a classroom? With technological advancements growing as fast as they are these days, you really don’t need to look any further. Let’s find out how we can take advantage of these advancements.

Think of the iCCAN video conferencing project. iCCAN (Innovative Communities Connecting & Networking) creates access to learning through networked videoconference sites across Alberta. Currently there are 31 iCCAN sites throughout Alberta that offer access to groups wanting to take their learning to the next level without having to commute too far.  As a part of the non-profit/voluntary sector you are even more readily able to participate in educational courses offered by iCCAN as the three partners behind this project are the Community Learning Network, Literacy Alberta and Volunteer Alberta. And of course, iCCAN is also a registered Learning Provider with KnowledgeConnector. So, what does that mean? That it is a fantastic medium for leadership development for rural Alberta.

One webinar that iCCAN is offering is called, Meeting Skills for Results. Held on January 25, 2012 from 12:00PM‐ 1:30M this webinar will be offered in Hanna, Three Hills, Wetaskiwin.   At this videoconference you will hear Richard Larsen, MSc. – a Community Development Officer with Alberta Culture and Community Services – focus on building the capacity of individuals and groups to achieve their goals and accomplish their projects. With twenty-six years of experience working with a range of communities; rural, northern, ethnic, aboriginal, government and urban organizations, he identifies ‘what’s working’ and finds ways to replicate that. The registration deadline is January 18, 2012 or when the room capacity is filled at each location.

As a learner I invite you to learn more about courses that are offered and as a non-profit/voluntary organization I encourage you to see how iCCAN can help your organization deliver timely, relevant and accessible leadership development opportunities to those you work with. Remember, individuals can also obtain the iCCAN software to allow you to enhance your learning experience right from home.

For more information feel free to contact me at any time.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 | victoria.poschadel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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