Summertime does not slow things down at Cresteramics. Just the opposite: more activities, more visitors, more fun. Our summer youth program is happening Monday through Thursday because Creston’s very own Gleaners came to our rescue and funded the program. For the second summer, youth with special needs have their own program that gives them the opportunity to mix with peers, explore their community and learn life skills while having a great summer. The Telus Community Action Team for the Kootenays also supported this activity again this year. Our teens are expert tie-dyers and are producing colourful original T-shirts, baby onesies, socks and tank tops, which they will sell at the Creston Valley Farmer’s Market and at the Cresteramics store. The teens are learning about buying materials, producing goods and earning money. Watch for them at a Saturday market in August.
Even though the Creston Valley Bird Fest is over for this year, we are still participating in activities from that event. Our members will enjoy a trip to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area during the summer. Local artist Eileen Gidman will be working with our members as they participate in classes to develop posters for next year’s bird festival. We have some excellent artists and with Eileen’s expertise, patience and skills Cresteramics might just produce a winning poster for 2016. We look forward to helping with this festival in 2016.
Cresteramics store is enjoying visits from tourists and guests of Creston families. Stop by and see creations including chalk painted furniture and rustic home decorations from a new consigner, Shabby Birch Revivals. Garden gnomes are hiding in corners and Ron Hurry’s handmade unique jewelry makes great gifts for special occasions.
Our four-legged staff member, Lily, has just passed her certification as a therapy dog, even though we knew a long time ago how valuable she is to our members. Congratulations to Lily and her person, Randy.
Jimmie continues in his role as a self advocate on a regional council, Kootenay Community Council of Community Living BC. He speaks up clearly when he has an opinion about what will be best for persons receiving services from Community Living BC and his view is well received and respected.
We continue to work at the College of the Rockies gardens harvesting produce that the greenhouse staff shares with local organizations, such as the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors. Our garden in the community garden plot supplies produce for lunches at Cresteramics. This activity is supported by a longtime staff member who seems to really enjoy being outside with the members.
Activities continue at our site on Railway Boulevard, our store on Canyon Street, at our job sites through the community and at all the places we go to have fun, including the Canyon Street Walkthrough for Thursday afternoon singalongs.
Support we have recently received has allowed us to make improvements to our building on Railway Boulevard. Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Grants from Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B and the Town of Creston plus funds from Cranbrook’s Associated Canadian Travellers/United Commercial Travellers branch are paying for new windows. This will reduce utility costs and improve air circulation. The Creston-Kootenay Foundation has supported us again this year and we will be replacing our back doors. This will improve security, access and utility costs.
The support we receive from our community helps us to offer good programs for our members. The involvement of Cresteramics members and staff in the community makes Creston a better place to live for all of us.
Terry Nowak is a Cresteramics Society board member.