Kelowna Gospel Mission Poetry Panels

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission courtyard officially opened for use on September 14, 2016. It was a glorious day for a grand opening, celebrating creative community and this safe gathering space which will graciously welcome our city’s most vulnerable for years to come.

A special congratulations to poets Norm and Nobu, whose meaningful and honest words now grace the walls in brightly coloured steel panels. Lesley-Anne Evans was invited to commission and mentor the poets throughout the creative process from ideation to installation.

Leon Avenue has often been cluttered with the personal belongings of those served by the Gospel Mission – causing complaints about the eyesore. Randy Benson, Executive Director with the Gospel Mission, says there was no place for clients to wait for services outside except the sidewalk, but that has now changed.

This is a welcoming space; we want people to feel like they’re appreciated,” Randy said. “We have staff here so we want people who are out here to be able to engage with our staff.” 

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Chris is one of the Gospel Mission’s clients who has been using the courtyard space. He says staff allow him to woodwork in the space, a favourite pastime of his.

“I am very lucky to be here. I like the environment and it keeps my mind off of things. It is a safe place and drug-free zone. I really enjoy it,” said Chris.

The KGM courtyard project was coordinated by the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects – Interior Chapter, with wide community involvement. Well done dreamers and creatives and politicians and donors and accounts people and hard labourers and craftsmen. Well done team, well done!!!

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Sage-ing Journal and journeying together…

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Amanda Kelly, Lesley-Anne’s friend.

Earlier this week, Sage-ing Journal released its Winter Issue #14, and within those pages, the article “Writing A Friendship,” documenting a chapter in the story of two writers who find one another and begin to journey together. One writer/poet is Lesley-Anne Evans, and the other, her friend of almost a year, Amanda Kelly. Together, Lesley-Anne and Amanda are exploring the way they can sustain a stable and supportive friendship that is cross generational and open to change. Their collaborative article in Sage-ing Journal touches on their discovery process.

An excerpt from the article:

Q ~ What is your biggest struggle as a poet/writer?

LA: Isolation, feeling like I’m not contributing to “real life.” or what I’m doing has value. I think we all need folk to remind us that we are not alone and what we do really matters.

A: My Achilles heel as a writer is a paralysis that often comes out of the exhausting demands of my perfectionism. When I have my fingers poised over the keyboard, my mind twitches and suddenly my chest feels as if it is contemplating collapse. In desperation I ask myself is what I have to say even worth saying and will it be what I want to say? I eventually regain my breath, whether if it’s five minutes later or the next day; I keep going. Writing will always hold insecurity, yet it is often one of the few things I feel is feeding me nourishment.

With this Sage-ing Journal publication, Amanda celebrates her first publication of poetry and prose. Congratulations Amanda!

Sage-ing Journal is a gift of love and conviction, produced fully by volunteers to “honour the transformational power of creativity. We are a quarterly journal intended as an initiative for collaboration and sharing. We present the opportunity for the free exchange of wisdom gleaned from creative engagement. We invite all ages to contribute their discoveries.”

Sage-ing with Creative Spirit, Grace & Gratitude, invites you to engage with them. You may contact the Editor, Karen Close at karensageing@gmail.com.

KNOW YOURSELF. BE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF. SHARE YOURSELF.