Well-attended Government and Community Services Fair took place at Cloverdale Mall on Feb. 20, 2016

Peter Milczyn at the New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club display at Feb. 20, 2016 Government and Community Services display. Jaan Pill photo

Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn (in foreground) at the New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club display at Feb. 20, 2016 Government and Community Services Fair. Jaan Pill iPhone photo

I’ve been visiting Cloverdale Mall for many years:

Click here for previous posts about Cloverdale Mall >

One of my previous posts refers to one of several Government and Community Services Fairs I’ve attended over the years:

Government and Community Services Fair – Feb. 23, 2013 – Cloverdale Mall

Etobicoke Community Concert Band at Government and Community Services Fair at Cloverdale Mall, feb. 20, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

Etobicoke Community Concert Band at Government and Community Services Fair at Cloverdale Mall, Feb. 20, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

As well, I wrote a post a while back, while sitting at the Food Court at Cloverdale Mall, about our efforts to remember things that happened in the past:

Memories are malleable – capable of being stretched or bent into different shapes

MPP Peter Milczyn

In recent years, I’ve been helping out in election campaigns as a volunteer canvasser and scrutineer, on behalf of Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn. I also help out as a volunteer at the annual Government and Community Services Fair at Cloverdale Mall, which is organized by the Constituency Offices of local MPPs Yvan Baker and Peter Milczyn.

Members of Taoist Tai Chi Society perform in accompaniment to the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra at Government and Community Services Fair. Jaan Pill photo

Members of Taoist Tai Chi Society perform in accompaniment to the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra at Government and Community Services Fair. Jaan Pill photo

I much enjoyed being a volunteer at the Feb. 20, 2016 event. There was a great turnout and the musical entertainment was a great addition to the day.

I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to help out as a volunteer at such an event. The work that I do, in my case as a volunteer, is pretty straighforward. When people are arriving to set up booths, they sometimes need help with directions.

Before the event begins, I make a point of doing a walk-through of the mall, marking on a map which sections of the mall have roughly which table numbers. Then whenever anyone asks where their table is likely to be, I can tell them at once. Sometimes I walk with them to a table, if time permits. I enjoy meeting people on such occasions, and helping out in whichever way I know how.

Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaan Pill photo

Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaan Pill photo

Sense of engagement

What I like about the whole event is the sense of engagement that people have. The people who are setting up their displays are well prepared, and enjoy talking about their particular organizations and lines of work. The Fair is also well-organized, with over 100 agencies taking place. My sense is that plenty of work is involved in the planning of the event.

There are so many conversations, and so much sharing of information. Meeting one-on-one with Government and Community Agencies serving the local community is a great experience. There’s much to be said for social media and there’s much to her said for meeting face-to-face as well.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

In a sense, meeting face-to-face is what Cloverdale Mall is about every day of the week. The place has the atmosphere of a small village, in the positive sense of what a small village entails. I like to spend part of my day at Cloverdale Mall, whenever I can. There’s a feeling of sociability and friendliness about the mall that I much enjoy.

It’s been some time since the Target store has closed at Cloverdale. The music performances this year – the first ones that I’ve seen, in the years that I’ve been attending the Fair – took place where the doors leading to the Target store had been located. The doors are now closed and a large graphic and tagline has been installed across the walls and doors at that end of the mall. When the Target store was closing, I enjoyed walking the floors at the point where all that remained were the graphic displays on the walls. It was like walking in a Pop Art gallery.

The mall was packed with cars. Jaan Pill photo

During the Feb. 20, 2016 Government and Community Services Fair, Cloverdale Mall was packed with cars. In the background, where the orange rectangle is located, is the site of the former Target store at the mall. Jaan Pill photo

Fair Trade coffee

I don’t usually buy the Globe and Mail but every once in a while, when I’ve stopped at Cloverdale Mall to have a coffee, or to check the news on my smartphone, I like to go buy a print version of the Globe and Mail, or the New York Times.

On one occasion, I came across a Globe and Mail article about Free Trade coffee that prompted me to spend many hours reading further about the topic. I’m really pleased I bought a copy of the Globe that day. I used to subscribe to the online version, but there is one columnist whose work I do not want to support, by paying for a subscription, and for that reason stopped subscribing.

Click here for previous posts about Fair Trade >

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

I’ve read fragments of many books from the Toronto Public Library that deal with Fair Trade. What is of particular interest to me is the distinction between rhetoric, as it pertains to Fair Trade, and the backstory that is behind the rhetoric. As with any other aspects of life, with Fair Trade things are not necessarily as they appear to be.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Recently, two of the books that I’ve borrowed from the Toronto Public Library on the subject of Fair Trade coffee are:

Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino (2008)

Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture (2007)

I like the above-noted books because (from what little of read of them to date) they are balanced and offer an evidence-based overview of the topics at hand. I’m pleased I happened to buy a copy of the Globe and Mail that had an article about research related to Free Trade coffee; had I not read the article, I would not have started to read about Fair Trade. An early post in a series of posts, regarding this topic, is entitled:

Does Fairtrade certification benefit poor farmers? In Ethiopia and Uganda, the answer is No: study

Another post is entitled:

Stage magic and Fair Trade coffee

Venezuela

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

I recently also bought a copy of the New York Times, probably at Cloverdale Mall, which included an article about Venezuela. The article, which I read with much interest, prompted me to start borrowing books from the Toronto Public Library dealing with Venezuela. From the time of the Iraqi War, when it served as a “stenographer to power” in promulgating false information about purported weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I have been dubious about the reliability of the New York Times. That said, I find its articles can be a great starting point for further reading.

I’ve recently borrowed several books about recent Venezuelan history; one book has in particular caught my attention – again, because it is balanced, evidence-based, and well written; I’ve written a recent post about it:

The Revolution in Venezuela: Social and Political Change Under Chávez (2011)

A subsequent post is entitled: Venezuela continues to move deeper into economic disarray: Feb. 9, 2016 New York Times article

MPP Peter Milczyn, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, with local resident and volunteer Jaan Pill, and Kunga Tsering, Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, at the 11th Annual Government & Community Services Fair at Cloverdale Mall, February 20, 2016

MPP Peter Milczyn, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, with local resident and volunteer Jaan Pill, and Kunga Tsering, Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, at the 11th Annual Government & Community Services Fair at Cloverdale Mall, February 20, 2016

Frame analysis

The Revolution in Venezuela (2011) also makes a point of distinguishing between stories and frames, as they relate to interpretations of the history of Venezuela. Again, the distinction – and connection – between stories and frames is of much interest to me; I’ve devoted a separate page to this topic, and have tracked down all of the bibliographical sources for “frame analysis” that are noted in the book.

The Revolution in Venezuela (2011) is also clearly written and well-organized, and serves to underline the fact that complex issues are amenable to analysis and some measure of sense-making, provided that enough thought and care is devoted to the task at hand.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

For many reasons, I much enjoy Cloverdale Mall and I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to help out as a volunteer at mall on Feb. 20, 2016.

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image