Introducing… the NextGen Volunteer in YEG Blog Series!

According to Merriam Webster, a volunteer is “a person who expresses a willingness to undertake a service ... Being a volunteer means that you are offering something – something that is not required nor an obligation. You do not volunteer for the pursuit of a monetary prize or recognition.”

The reported volunteerism rate in Edmonton has fluctuated over the past few years, hovering between 44% and 51%. Edmonton’s NextGen wants to keep encouraging our demographic of 18-40 years, their families and those NextGen at heart, to continue to give back to their community through volunteering.

Over the year, Edmonton’s NextGen is going to feature local nonprofit organizations in Edmonton who need and rely on volunteers to serve those in our community. They are going to tell you all about the difference volunteering can make within their organizations and how to get involved.

Are you a nonprofit that needs volunteers and wants to be featured on our blog? Reach out to us to schedule an interview with one of our volunteers!

Volunteer Engagement Co-Chairs

Jasmine Brazil (jasmine.brazil@edmontonnextgen.ca)

Rye Fedirko (rye.fedirko@edmontonnextgen.ca)

NextGen Vlog Series - Volume 6

This edition of the NextGen vlog series (part 6) brings us to Navina Yoga. Located in Windermere at 316 Windermere Road, suite 211. This second floor studio provides a variety of classes to suit almost everyone’s needs.

Getting to Navina Yoga is pretty easy there is a bus stop just across the road for the bus route 325, there is ample parking in front of the building and driving is pretty quick as it’s not too far off the Anthony Henday. Once you’re at the building finding Navina can be a little bit trickier due to them being on the second floor of the building. The key is to find the elevator or stairs (cause why not you’re there for fitness) and go up! Follow the Namaste this Way signs and you’re good to go.

Kids are welcome at Navina - they offer classes for ages 5 - 9 years, as well as classes for mom and baby. Not a parent, but soon, prenatal is also one of the options along with traditional yoga, warm classes and so much more.

If yoga isn’t really your thing but you are interested in connecting with the Navina community, they also offer Pilates and Barre classes to provide some variety for their clients health goals.

Community is essential to Navina as Navina is to its community, they offer Karma classes throughout the city, as well as weekly classes to the residents at Compassion House and Wellspring clients.

To learn more about Navina Yoga you can visit them on their website @ navinayoga.ca


Missed an episode?

You can watch our first 5 videos on the NextGen website HERE


In this series we will be visiting local restaurants and businesses throughout Edmonton and sharing our experience with you through video and written content. We will focus on accessibility, atmosphere and affordability, we will leave the reviews to you and just share what we learn.

NextGen Vlog Series - Volume 5

Located at 10932 119st, Cafe Linnea opened its doors in 2016. We may be late to the party but as usual Nicole and Patrick found a way to make their visit fun.

Did you know they have brunch - not just on the weekends? You can visit anytime Wednesday to Friday without reservation. On the weekends they offer reservations for brunch as well as high tea on select Sundays once a month. Families are always welcome and they will work with any dietary restrictions you might have. Pricing on the menu ranges. During dinner service Cafe Linnea now offers a Prix Fixe menu, which they started and tested only on Tuesdays and now offer every night. You have the option of a two course or three course meal with the added benefit of wine pairing if so desired. If not the bartender is delighted to apply their skills making the most delightful beverages warm or cold.

There is plenty of parking, however if you like you can take the bus which is close by just a few blocks away on 111 avenue.

Kelsey and Garner lets us into the kitchen during service - which was super fun and even let Patrick push the cheese cart (so he says but we really are not sure….)

Stayed connected with us to find out who will join Nicole at the next location - she’s letting them pick. Thank you Patrick for your contribution to NextGen and to helping us get the Vlog off the ground….maybe we can convince you for a guest appearance in the future…

Want to learn more about Cafe Linnea? Visit them online at https://www.cafelinnea.ca/ or just go there and eat cause #whynot its delicious.

Missed an episode?

You can watch our first 4 videos on the NextGen website HERE .


In this series we will be visiting local restaurants and businesses throughout Edmonton and sharing our experience with you through video and written content. We will focus on accessibility, atmosphere and affordability, we will leave the reviews to you and just share what we learn.

NextGen Vlog Series - Volume 4

When we learned about our next stop in the vlog series we were excited to understand this unique local concept for coffee and clothes.

Welcome to the Barking Buffalo Cafe and Salgado Fenwick. Located at 10842 - 124 Street this shop can be found with the Salgado Fenwick sign and a Buffalo by the door with a moon in the window. Being on the busy street of 124th there is plenty of parking and the bus routes for the #3, #5 and #7 are all within walking distance.

Once inside the shop you’re greeted by the friendly staff who also seem to know their regulars by their first names and always smile and wave to them as they enter. The majority of the clothing are made by the Salgado Fenwick team, we were lucky to get some behind the scenes look at the pressing process, if you’re looking for something for your favorite kid they have selections for them as well! And as a lover of Almond milk lattes Nicole was happy to find out that all the coffees regardless of “specialty” milk/mylk are the same price.

Some fun facts about this dynamic duo location, everything sold in the store is Canadian including some local Edmonton artists work. This is the only location in Edmonton to sell Pilot coffee which is a Canadian coffee roaster out of Toronto - if you want to learn more about it chat with Kassie, she is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about coffee. Want your coffee to go? The cups, straws, napkins all of it is compostable! They also offer free wifi and are currently open a little later on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the Holiday season.

Want to order online? Salgado Fenwick has an online store as well! You can visit them here https://salgadofenwick.com/

Want to learn more about the coffee? Visit Barking Buffalo here http://barkingbuffalocafe.com/


In this series we will be visiting local restaurants and businesses throughout Edmonton and sharing our experience with you through video and written content. We will focus on accessibility, atmosphere and affordability, we will leave the reviews to you and just share what we learn.


Missed an episode?

You can watch our first 3 videos on the NextGen website HERE .

Moréniké’s Best Tips on Mentorship for Newcomers!

New to Edmonton? Finding the right mentor could help you get to where you want to go.

Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan recently came out to speak at NextGen’s Ignite: Your New Life in Yeg event. The event was the first of its kind for NextGen and aimed to give newcomers a place to network, learn more about the city, and hear from some prominent Edmonton newcomers and their tips for finding success in the city. We were so glad to see so many engaged attendees come out and participate.

For those who missed out, our next event will be held on Monday, October 1st from 5-8pm at Roundhouse in Grant MacEwan and the theme will be How to Make Friends, as an Adult. You can RSVP here!

One of the most fascinating things about Moréniké’s talk was the many benefits of having the right mentor at the right time. In many of her endeavours she persistently searched for the perfect mentor who was willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Read on to learn more about Moréniké and how she leverages the power of mentoring to reach her goals!

Who is Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan?

Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to Edmonton in December 2003. She is a pharmacist, artist, facilitator, retail pharmacy owner, and founder of the Ribbon Rouge Foundation. She currently invests her time in multiple projects to address sexually transmitted and blood borne infections through arts based community organizing work directed at impacting systemic change for health equity.

Moréniké is currently working on OtherWise, a new podcast with fellow Edmonton newcomers and co-hosts Ahmed Knowmadic Ali and Keren Tang. The podcast aims to share stories from communities of colour in Edmonton, highlighting our collective ethno-cultural-linguistic diversity and heritage, reflecting who we are as a City, and bringing about positive social change. With their unique experiences they’ll explore transnational, ethnocultural diasporic linkages, cross-cultural connections, and our relationships with our City and Treaty 6 land. The first episode, about the origin of the project, will be available for download over the summer and can be found wherever you get you podcasts – iTunes, Google, Stitcher. If you are interested in alternative voices and stories, check it out!

Moréniké’s attributes many of her successes to her various mentors throughout the years. With their help, she was able to own a Shopper’s Drug Mart franchise only two and a half years after graduating. As a newcomer with few professional connections, finding the right mentor can make all the difference!

Moréniké’s Best Tips on Mentorship for Newcomers

  • Pick the problem you want to invest your life solving

  • Find champions who have achieved exceptional heights within different aspects of your chosen topic of interests

  • Reach out to these champions who capture your imagination and interest.

I have on many occasions found it striking how much people want to pay it forward.

NextGen is so grateful that Moréniké took the time to come and speak to attendees at our inaugural event. She was informative, inspiring, and stayed around to answer questions and connect with attendees. If you or your organization would like to connect with Moréniké about social movements and community organizing, you can contact her at morenike@ribbonrouge.com.

Thank you Moréniké!

 

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Keren’s Best Tips for Edmonton Newcomers to Get Involved!

New to Edmonton? Getting civically involved in your new city could be the best way to build connections.

Keren Tang recently came out to speak at NextGen’s Ignite: Your New Life in Yeg event. The event was the first of its kind for NextGen and aimed to give newcomers a place to network, learn more about the city, and hear from some prominent Edmonton newcomers and their tips for finding success in the city. We were so glad to see so many engaged attendees come out and participate.

For those who missed out, our next event will be held on Monday, October 1st from 5-8pm at Roundhouse in Grant MacEwan and the theme will be How to Make Friends, as an Adult. You can RSVP here!

If newcomers take one thing away from Keren’s talk, it would be that the civic involvement can be an incredibly effective way to make strong connections and integrate into a new city. Read on to learn more about Keren’s story and ways that newcomers can get involved!

Who is Keren Tang?

Keren has been an active member of the Edmonton community since relocating from Montreal in 2012. Since moving to Edmonton, she has worn many hats such as a community organizer, researcher, and policy advisor even made a run for City Councillor in the most recent election. She has worked hard to make her new home a better place by working with diverse communities including Indigenous populations and newcomer immigrants.

Keren is currently working on OtherWise, a new podcast with fellow Edmonton newcomers and co-hosts Ahmed Knowmadic Ali and Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan. The podcast aims to share stories from communities of colour in Edmonton, highlighting our collective ethno-cultural-linguistic diversity and heritage, reflecting who we are as a City, and bringing about positive social change. With their unique experiences they’ll explore transnational, ethnocultural diasporic linkages, cross-cultural connections, and our relationships with our City and Treaty 6 land. The first episode, about the origin of the project, will be available for download over the summer and can be found wherever you get you podcasts – iTunes, Google, Stitcher. If you are interested in alternative voices and stories, check it out! You can also follow the team on Instagram and Twitter.

Keren gained nurturing connections, friends, and creative partners by getting civically involved and advocating for the causes she holds dear. For her, this was the key to integrating as a newcomer. Her first step in getting involved was through attending a public health advocacy class in her first year at graduate school where she and her classmates raised awareness and advocated for safe cycling infrastructure including separated bike lanes. Although this may not be for everyone, there are so many ways for newcomers to get involved!

Keren’s Best Tips for Getting Civically Involved in Edmonton

Look Into Campus Projects and Activities

If you are a student, campus activity is one of the best ways to get involved quickly. Often campus projects have impact beyond the school itself. The key is to cultivate the relationship with communities beyond the campus and stay committed even outside of an assignment or a school project. This helps with building that social network beyond school.

Help Out At Your Local Community League

Edmonton has a unique Community League system compared to elsewhere in the country. It is a good starting place to understand issues that matter where you live, and meet your neighbours. There is a Community League in every neighbourhood in the city, and they are always looking for help, especially input from young people! Find out here where your neighbourhood Community League is, how often they meet, the kinds of programs and activities they have, and how you can help. Not to mention, these organizations can also offer training for you to keep building your skills.

Find a Local Board to Contribute to

In Keren’s many board involvements, she has consistently heard appreciations for her perspective as a young person. Don’t feel you are not qualified simply because you are young! Board and committee work is a training ground to build your skills and expose you to a wide variety of people and issues. Most of the time, folks are appreciative of any contribution and the time you give. So many organizations - however big or small - need good, committed people to help. If you are unsure where to look, get in touch with Keren or us at NextGen!

Take a Risk, Start Your Own Project

Finally, if there is something that drives you every day, and you can’t seem to find an initiative to contribute to, start your own! Reach out to us or even on social media for help.  Remember: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

NextGen is so grateful that Keren took the time to come and speak to attendees at our inaugural event. She was informative, inspiring, and stayed around to answer questions and connect with attendees. If you or your organization would like to connect with Keren about leadership, her experiences in community, research, and policy, you can contact her at kerentangyeg@gmail.com.

Thank you Keren!

Keren Tang

NextGen Vlog Series - Volume 2

It’s taken us some time to get our schedules together for the second installment of the vlog series. For those of you connecting in for the first time, we have recapped what this series is about at the bottom. You can watch our first video on the NextGen website HERE .

Our second installment finds us hanging out with RJ and Prudie at ShopChop #yournewfavoritestore Located at  #102, 10265 107 St downtown Edmonton. It is open Monday to Friday 11 am - 6 pm and Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm. There is street parking located out front and a few open parking lots not too far away. You can access this location by bus as the #2 and #109 run right out front and Strathcona transit also has a few lines that go by as well.

Formally known as Shampoo, a….if you guessed hair salon - you got it, ShopChop evolved into a hair salon with a shop out front 2 years ago. When you walk by you might think its a plant store specializing in succulents and cacti but it’s way more than that. When you walk in your are treated to a delightful surprise as you spot some of the coolest decor and gift ideas, everything from coffee mugs, lighting, candles, balloon dogs to beautiful locally sourced jewellery, gift cards and of course shampoos and hair products.

The owners of ShopChop answered a few questions for us and we caught it all on the vlog, but a few things you might not hear is that they love mustard, they have been best friends for longer than they’ve been in business together. They will take song requests in the salon as long as it's within their preferred artist or genre choices and NSFW is totally a go!

Take a stroll downtown and visit ShopChop you will not be disappointed.


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In this series we will be visiting local restaurants and businesses throughout Edmonton and sharing our experience with you through video and written content. We will focus on accessibility, atmosphere and affordability, we will leave the reviews to you and just share what we learn.