This year, 2023 came in with a bang for me waking up with a flu after ringing in the new year with family and friends. Living in the old Anglican Church here in Alvinston allows me a place to be able to host a fun party space for decor, dancing and lots of space to mingle. This year was no exception despite the flu.
The New year also had me thinking a lot about this blog and where I see it heading in 2023. Coming out of the first year I have taken some time to reflect on not only what I was able to accomplish but also the areas that need to change, improve and grow. I have decided I need to focus all my energies on my personal goals as an artist alongside the goals I have for this blog.
One of my personal goals as an artist was achieved in 2022/23. I submitted my painting titled “Death” into the 16th International Arc Salon. It is one of the biggest realist art competitions internationally, which received 5,400 entries from around the world. There were 2, 152 pieces selected as semi-finalists (including my piece) and 1,273 pieces that were selected as finalists. It is the first time that I have had a piece make it as a finalist in this competition and it made me realize that I need to buckle down and work even more on this series.
Through this time of reflection I came realize that I was not able to accomplish as much as I had hoped in both aspects of my life, as an artist and as a writer. Time seemed to get away from me and I also became sidetracked with other endeavours and pursuits. Over the last 11 years here in Alvinston I have spent many hours involved in the community through volunteering local organizations as well as ones I have been part of from the beginning. All of which have been dedicated to creating events, spaces and improvements that benefit the community as a whole. Some have been more successful than others and some it just wasn’t the time in this community to succeed. This last year I have been involved with Alvinston Feral Cats where we have been able to catch, spay, neuter vet and find home for many feral cats and kittens. I personally worked on one colony in particular of 18 cats and kittens who lived at a local garage. All were fairly human friendly due to the folks working there who cared enough to feed and handle them. I presently have the last cat in my house waiting for his forever home as we found homes for all the rest. It’s been both rewarding and time consuming so one of my personal resolutions is to step back form some of the work I have been taking on with the ferals. I will keep working with the group but in a lesser role.
Reflecting on the year that has past writing this blog and looking forward into this year already started I have decided to split my focus between both Inwood and Alvinston. I plan to add smaller blog entries along with more in-depth stories and history, including more photos when I can. Even when I cannot find all the information out there on a person, story or the history of a building maybe just posting photos or snippets will encourage people to send me any info they have. Researching the stories is important to me but at times it can be time consuming and a challenge. Although I do love a challenge, hearing first hand from locals and their memories is very important to my goal with this blog.
In the coming year I will also be approaching local businesses, with sponsorship/advertising opportunities. Altho I am not a newspaper I can add logo’s of businesses on stories thanking them for their support and I will be adding a sponsorship page. This blog is a labour of love but to dedicate the time needed to do proper research I am finding I need ways to compensate for all the work that will be going into it. This blog is not just for me and my joy in the research and writing but it is for the community and making sure the history and stories are recorded and accessible to the community for free.
March 22nd I will be publishing a story almost complete which I started last fall. One which features the Vozniak family, Igor, Maria, Polina, Bogdan and Mykolaiv from Lutsk Ukraine. The story is long over due but one I am happy to finish.
Although a little late I would like to start off this year saying thank you for the continued support from the Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston. Without their support I would not be able to continue. As well I would like to thank the people who have been following this blog. With out them there would be no reason to continue this project. I look forward to sharing much more of my finds and stories over the next few months, both historical and current events. Please keep coming back and don’t forget to “follow” the blog to be notified when I post a new entry. When you follow me you are emailed when a new story is published!
In looking forward to adding some stories on Inwood I leave you with a few photos I found of the Inwood I want to get to know that is mostly a memory.
If you have any photos or stories on the buildings, the history or the people who a part of Alvinston and Inwoods past or present please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a text or phone call at 519-614-2882.