This blog was featured on Make Something Edmonton‘s website.
Since becoming an active volunteer in Edmonton, I’ve come to learn just how unique this city is. There is a wealth of smaller communities within larger communities; areas like music, the arts, social justice and, in particular, community leagues.
Entirely volunteer-driven — from programming events and activities to maintaining outdoor ice rinks — the city’s 157 community leagues rely on residents and neighbours to make sure everything runs smoothly.
And that kind of commitment deserves a celebration. This Saturday, Sept. 16, is Community League Day, an annual city-wide celebration in Edmonton to commend those volunteers who help transform our city. More than 65 community leagues are taking part in events over the month; for some it’s a fall barbecue, for others, it’s an outdoor movie followed by spectacular fireworks.
Since annual community league memberships expire August 31, it’s also a chance for community league members to see the neighbours they haven’t seen for a while, to catch up and sell memberships for the upcoming year.
Edmonton’s system of community leagues is distinct in Canada — while other cities do have similar community organizations, our system is more coordinated and comprehensive — and this year marks their 100th anniversary. The first Edmonton community league was formed in 1917 in Crestwood, and on, September 9, the league printed a book of the its history and threw a huge party to commemorate the occasion.
As active members in their neighbourhoods, community league volunteers can often be found participating in other city events, and promoting their neighbourhoods. Prominent community league volunteer for Strathcona Centre, Donna Fong, hosted a project for Make Something Edmonton’s 100in1Day event on June 3 called Exploring Skunk Hollow. Her passion for her neighbourhood was apparent in the Exploring Skunk Hollow knowledge quiz she presented to the folks who took her tour.
Community League Day is more than just one day. It’s one day to celebrate the other 364 days of hard working volunteers. It’s about meeting your neighbour across the street and forming those lasting relationships that contribute to making our city so unique. It’s people like Donna who continue to make Edmonton what it is: Welcoming, familiar, passion-driven and inspiring.
For more information and a full list of Community League Day events, visit the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues at efcl.org, and share your CL Day experience on social media by using the hashtags #yegCLDay17 and #157Strong.