Bring on the drums!
Food bank/Community Village offers even more programs than before
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village is drumming along to its own beat now, and it wants you to join in. It’s all part of the centre’s ever-expanding efforts to alleviate the stresses of the masses.
Marilyn Berezowsky said there’s nothing else like it, referring to the upcoming drum circles that she is set to start facilitating at the social service centre. There are myriad benefits that people can derive from participating, she continued, not the least of which is often just getting out of your own comfort zone.
“It’s really interesting. A lot of people say that they feel more relaxed yet energized. It sounds like those are opposite but they just have a really strong sense of well-being. You have to experience it.”
Berezowsky added drumming is for people of all stripes. What’s more, you don’t need experience. “You don’t have to be a professional musician. If you have a heart beat, you’ve got rhythm,” she stated.
She should know. She’s been facilitating these drum circles for at least a decade. Facilitated drum circles are different than other “jamming” drum circles. She leads with a dual sense of not only building the music but also building community and connection between the players.
“I think once people find out how good they feel when they’re in a drum circle, they’ll keep coming.”
You also don’t need to bring in your own instruments. You can if you want, but Berezowsky has enough of her own to occupy 40 attendees. She has frame drums and djembes, a West African style of hand drum. She also has shakers, wooden ‘frogs’, Boomwhackers, rain sticks, tambourines, and a Native American flute.
The drum circles start on Wednesday, September 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. She hopes to host these events twice a month. Interested members of the public will have to call the food bank or visit its website to learn about future sessions.
Attendance is by donation. All fees go to support the community village’s programs.
“It’s my way of giving back to the community,” Berezowsky confirmed. She also does a drop-in drum circle day program at the St. Albert 50+ Club.
The St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village is located at #30, 50 Bellerose Drive, next to the Canadian Tire. Call 780-459-0599 or visit www.stalbertfb.com to learn more about these sessions and other community outreach programs. New drum circles will be posted on the website.
Lots going on
The drum circles aren’t the only new and unique events to be held at the facility.
“I think the circle falls in line with all the other things that we’re doing upstairs,” commented Suzan Krecsy, the food bank’s executive director.
For a few years now, the centre has been working towards providing a wide array of programs and services to help and heal those who need it. A community kitchen helps to bring together people to learn how to make interesting and economical meals. A laundry and shower gives those without their own homes the chance to clean up and take care of themselves.
The newly renovated second floor of the facility offers about 650 square metres of space for guided meditation, yoga and gentle movement, financial literacy and nutrition classes, group therapy for stress reduction and advocacy for child benefits and health and financial assistance for persons with disabilities.
There’s even a legal assistance program run by University of Alberta Law students from May to August. Stop Abuse in Families will soon have an outreach counsellor hold hours at the Community Village. Trained volunteers also offer clients assistance with preparing resumes and learning job interview skills. They can also help out with preparing legal and government paperwork for programs like AISH and CPP.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s more: an infant formula program, Tools for School, and iRest, a guided deep relaxation and meditation program.
Community liaison Fay Lucy, a registered social worker, talked about the wellness room. The room has a mat with a magnetic resonating system that people lie on for 30 minutes. She said that she has used it herself and has experienced the benefits first-hand.
“It’s help to relieve stress, balance and calm people. It works to increase vitality, well-being and it rebalances people. There’s lots of research being done with regards to the electro ‘smog’ that people are being exposed to through every day through computers, cellphones, remote starts, televisions, microwaves… all sorts of waves that are coming through and discombobulating our whole systems causing stress.”
She added that the wellness room is open to anyone but is available by appointment only. The only fee for use, as for so many of the facility’s programs, is by donation.
There’s also the four-week Nurturing Opportunities of Wellness (or NOW) program. It’s by invitation only and it has components dealing with nutrition, personal psychology, personality and behaviours.
“It’s looking at a whole rounded way of being and how you contribute to the wellness of yourself.”