The Kamloops
Table of Contents –

JULY 2024
FREE! TAKE ONE! Serving people since September of 2013.
Welcome to our July newsletter. This month, we’ve got tons of cool stuff to
share with you.
First off, let’s talk about summer fun! July is all about enjoying the sunshine, making memories, and having a great time with friends and family.
There are so many awesome things we can do, like going camping, taking
trips or holidays, and enjoying music in the park right here in Kamloops.
Feeling the heat? No worries! We’ve got you covered with suggestions like
going to blockbuster movies, hitting the mini-golf course, or cooling off in
the arcades. We’ve also got an article on sun safety for your eyes.
But that’s not all – we’re also talking about LGBTQ+-friendly travel. That
means we’re sharing tips and ideas for traveling to places where everyone is
welcome, no matter who they are or who they love.
Over the years, we’ve tried to bring you some fun interviews with different
music artists. One dream has been to get a Taylor Swift interview. We are
still hoping to connect with her, but for now we are excited to bring you the
next best thing. We’re sitting down for interviews with two Taylor Swift
tribute bands, Swift Kick and Burning Red! They’re going to tell us all
about what it’s like to pay homage to one of the biggest pop stars in the
We’re also shining a light on an important topic: poverty. We’ll learn about
what it means to live in poverty and how we can help those in need.
This summer let’s make the most of every moment. From enjoying the
Kamloops Buskers to relaxing with a glass of lemonade or munching on
delicious watermelons and corn on the cob, there’s so much to do both outdoors and indoors.
So, let’s soak up the sun, make some memories, and have the best July ever!

Krystian’s Corner ———page 2

Empowerment through Self Advocacy
————-page 3
Burning Red a Taylor Swift Tribute
Band—————page 4
Swift Kick a Taylor Swift Tribute
Band——page 5
Summer fun in the sun—-page 6

Kamloops International Buskers Fest—
page 7
Be An Ally——page 9
Poverty Advocacy———–-page 10
LGBTQ+ Travel————–page 11
Kindness & Compassion —page 13
Dancing Through Addiction—-page 14
Sun and Your Eye Health—-page 15
Celebrating Disability Awareness, success
stories and inclusion for all! Written by peo-

Do you have a
story idea or an event you think
would be good for our readers? Conple with Diverse Abilities
tact us at:


Special thanks to The
Printing Place for your
support of the Kamloops
Self-Advocate Newsletter.

113-540 Seymour St., Kamloops, BC
V2C 2G9 Office phone: 250-828-1344.
We always look for writers and people
to interview. Please subscribe! Be
sure to check out our online newsletter for bonus
stories! KSA Facebook page: The Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter On KSA website:

The KSA has created a program to recognize and promote local businesses that are
accessible and supportive of all members of the community. The businesses listed here are
friendly, accessible, and great to deal with.
Ability Friendly Accessible Business Program
Horizon Dental Clinic
5 Bean Brewbar & Café
All Around Gamerz
The Vic Downtown
Kamloops Film society
People in Motion
New Horizons Professional Support Services Inc.
Our Footprints Eco Store
Kamloops Art Party

Krystian’s Corner
I’m really excited to bring you this month’s newsletter. We’ve got some interviews and articles
that I think you will enjoy.
I wanted to interview Swift Kick, a Canadian Taylor Swift tribute band because I am a big fan of
Taylor Swift. I love her music and know other people do too. It’s fun listening to Taylor Swift music and learning
about tribute bands who pay tribute to her and who celebrate her. I also wanted to interview Burning Red, a Taylor
Swift tribute band from the USA.
There is also an article about LGBTQ-friendly travel. That means we’ll learn about places where everyone is welcome,
no matter who they are or who they love. It’s important to be kind to everyone!
With the start of summer, there are lots of awesome summer events. We can have some outdoor fun, like going mini
golfing or having a BBQ and eating yummy corn on the cob. Have you ever been to the Kamloops Buskers? You can
watch talented performers and it’s free to attend! We can also go to Music in the Park and enjoy some tasty watermelon
while soaking up the sun.
If it’s too hot outside, it’s okay to spend some time indoors. Why not check out the Fun Factor, an arcade filled with
games and excitement. And don’t forget about the cool events put on by Kamloops Music Collective – they’re always a
blast! People can have fun at day camps and summer camps, where you can meet new friends and learn new things.
I’m looking forward to some fun activities. My family is going to visit my Gramma and we are going to celebrate a
family birthday. I am looking forward to seeing my Gramma. I haven’t seen her for a long time.
Let’s celebrate summer and have fun!

Everyone Deserves Love and Respect by Krystian

People with different abilities can be part of the LGBTQ community. This means they might love someone of the
same gender, feel like they are a different gender than the one they were born with, or have another special identity.
These people are very important, and we need to understand and respect their experiences and challenges.
JoJo Siwa is a famous singer who loves someone of the same gender. She is a big star who sings and dances, and
many people know her. JoJo Siwa is proud to be herself and talks about LGBTQ rights. She has a new song called
“Karma” on YouTube. It’s fun and shows her strong spirit. Everyone should watch it!
But sometimes, people with disabilities who are also part of the LGBTQ community face extra problems. They
might have a hard time going to special events because the places are not easy to get into. They might not have
enough help or resources. Some people can be mean or not understand them, making them feel left out or lonely.
It is very important for everyone to learn about these issues. We all need to be kinder and more understanding. People with disabilities can love and have feelings just like everyone else. They should be treated with the same respect
and given the same chances.
Making the world a nicer place for everyone means celebrating each person’s unique qualities.
People with disabilities have dreams and should be able to choose who they love. When we are
kind and accepting, we help make the world better for all.
We can support people with different abilities in the LGBTQ community by being friendly and
not judging them. JoJo Siwa’s music, like her new song “Karma,” makes people happy and
strong. Let’s also try to make each other happy and strong. If you haven’t already, watch JoJo
Siwa’s “Karma” on YouTube and join in making the world a more loving place for everyone.
Link https://www.jojosiwa.com/

Summer quotes
“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip
of wine … It’s summertime!” —
Kenny Chesney
“Summertime is always the best
of what might be.” — Charles
“I love summertime more than
anything else in the world. That
is the only thing that gets me
through the winter, knowing that
summer is going to be there.” —
Jack McBrayer

Empowerment Through Self-Advocacy

By Krystian
Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself. It’s very important, especially for
people with disabilities. When you self-advocate, you tell others what you need and
how you feel.
Self-advocacy helps you feel strong and happy. When you can say what you need,
you can make sure you are treated fairly and with respect.
Imagine you are in school and need extra time to finish a test. Self-advocacy is when you tell your teacher about
it. You ask for the help you need so you can do your best. This makes you feel good and helps others understand you better.
Sometimes, speaking up can be hard. It can make you feel nervous or shy. But remember, your voice matters.
You deserve to be heard.
To self-advocate, start by learning about your needs and rights. Practice what you want to say with a friend or
family member. They can help you feel confident. When you feel ready, speak up kindly but firmly.
Self-advocacy isn’t just about school. It can help you at home, with friends, and in your community. When people listen to you, they can understand how to help you better. This makes the world a nicer place for everyone.
Think of self-advocacy as planting seeds. Each time you speak up, you plant a seed of change. Over time, these
seeds grow into a garden where everyone is included and respected.
Self-advocacy gives you the power to shape your own life. You can make choices that are best for you. By
standing up for yourself, you show others that everyone deserves respect and fairness.
So, always remember to use your voice. Be brave and speak up. You are important, and what you say can help
make the world a better place for everyone.

Burning Red, a Taylor Swift Tribute Band

Credit Photos to Isaiah Bradford: https://www.facebook.com/ibradfordphotos
Rachel Holden: https://www.facebook.com/rahcanon
By Krystian
Meet Gina, the lead singer, guitarist, and piano player in a Taylor Swift tribute band
called Burning Red. This tribute band is from Chicago Illinois USA.
What do you enjoy about Taylor Swift?
I love Taylor as a songwriter, and I think she’s an incredibly talented performer,
vocalist, and instrumentalist. I love how she has created and fostered a very loyal
community of people who are generally very kind and supportive of one another.
Have you ever been to any of her concerts?
Yes – I attended the Reputation Stadium Tour in Chicago in June 2018 and the Eras
tour in Chicago in June 2023.
When did you become a big Taylor Swift fan?
I bought my first Taylor Swift record when she released 1989 – so 2014, but I
became a full-blown Swiftie when she released Reputation in 2017. Taylor is my
Special Interest so I have learned nearly everything there is to know about her.
What do you enjoy about being a tribute artist as Taylor Swift?

I love learning how to play Taylor’s songs and seeing exactly how complex they are. Taylor is a very talented
songwriter, and she uses very interesting patterns to create her songs.
What is your best part of playing shows as Taylor Swift?
The best part of performing Taylor Swift’s songs live is being around other Swifties who
are very energetic and excited to sing along with all the songs. Everyone is having so
much fun and there’s so much joy in the room.
What do you enjoy about being on stage?
I am more comfortable on stage with an instrument than I am anywhere else in my life.
It’s the one place I really feel like I belong. I love to sing and play guitar and piano, so it’s
very fulfilling for me as a person.
Why did you want to sing and start this tribute band as Taylor Swift?
I started this because I love playing Taylor’s songs and I love being around other
Swifties. I also knew that we could do a great job because I have a very talented band
who are all very appreciative of Taylor as an artist. It takes really talented people to play
Taylor’s songs, and as a Swiftie, I knew that we were the right people to do this.
What else would you like to add? How can people find you online?
I want people to know they will have a lot of fun at our shows, and I hope to see them at
a show soon!
People can find us by visiting WWW.BURNINGREDBAND.COM. All of our social media is linked there.

Descendants: The Rise of Red
On Disney Plus July 12th
Taken from https://ondisneyplus.disney.com/movie/descendants-the-rise-ofred

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Musical
Former Villain Kid Uma, now headmaster of Auradon Prep, extends an invite to the school to
another VK – Red, the rebellious daughter of the Queen of Hearts from Wonderland. After
the Queen of Hearts incites a coup against Auradon, Red must team up with Cinderella’s perfectionist daughter Chloe and travel back in time to try to undo the traumatic event that set
Red’s mother down her villainous path.
Directed By Jennifer Phang
Cast: Brandy, Rita Ora, Kylie Cantrall, Malia Baker, China Anne McClain, Jeremy Swift, Dara Reneé, Ruby Rose
Turner, Morgan Dudley, Paolo Montalban, Melanie Paxson, Leonardo Nam

Credit Group photo by KW Visuals
Solo photo by Jenna Rachelle Photography

Swift Kick Band: A Taylor Swift Tribute Band

By Krystian
What is your name? Who are you? Laura Morgan. I’m the lead singer of the
band Swift Kick – a Taylor Swift Tribute
Why are you a big fan of Taylor Swift? I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift. I
would call myself a swiftie for sure.
Why did you want to be a tribute artist and sing like Taylor Swift? I have always covered
other people’s music and I naturally have a similar voice to Taylor’s. Someone approached us to
do a whole night of Taylor Swifts music many years ago after hearing us cover one of her
songs. We thought it was a great idea and we had so much fun doing it that we just never
stopped. That was about 10 years ago.
What do you enjoy about Taylor Swift? I love that her music is so catchy. It’s very easy to fall in love with her
songs. And I love that she seems to be such a genuine person, in her music and the way she deals with her fans.
When did you become a tribute artist? I have been covering other people’s music and writing some of my own
music my whole life, but only started as a tribute band with Swift Kick about ten years ago.
What do you find fun about performing as Taylor Swift? I love how enthusiastic her fans are, we get to be a
small part of it and its incredible. Everyone knows every word to every song, and they are so excited for every
song that you play. That’s special to a performer. We feel lucky getting to see a small glimpse of what Taylor
Where are you based? We are based out of Charlottetown PE. But travel frequently outside our province.
When did you become a fan of Taylor Swift? I first fell in love with her when I heard “You Belong With Me”
on the radio for the first time. That song is an undeniable bop. To this day it’s still one of favourite songs to sing.
What else would you like to add? How can people find you online? We are on Facebook and Instagram,
swift_kick_band is our handle. Just wanted to say thank you for thinking of us and asking me to do this! It was
Link https://swiftkickband.ca/

July 3rd in Theatres

In the first Despicable Me movie in seven years, Gru, the world’s favorite supervillainturned-Anti-Villain League-agent, returns for an exciting, bold new era of Minions mayhem in Illumination’s
Despicable Me 4.
Following the 2022 summer blockbuster phenomenon of Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, which earned
almost $1 billion worldwide, the biggest global animated franchise in history now begins a new chapter as Gru
(Oscar® nominee Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Oscar® nominee Kristen Wiig) and their girls —Margo (Miranda
Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Madison Polan)—welcome a new member to the Gru family, Gru Jr.,
who is intent on tormenting his dad.
Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal (Emmy winner Will Ferrell) and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina (Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara), and the family is forced to go on the run.
The film features fresh new characters voiced by Joey King (Bullet Train), Emmy winner Stephen Colbert (The
Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and Chloe Fineman (Saturday Night Live). Pierre Coffin returns as the iconic
voice of the Minions and Oscar ® nominee Steve Coogan returns as Silas Ramsbottom.
Packed with non-stop action and filled with Illumination’s signature subversive humor, Despicable Me 4 is directed by a co-creator of the Minions, Oscar® nominee Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets),
and is produced by Illumination’s visionary founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Brett Hoffman (executive
producer, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Minions: The Rise of Gru). The film is co-directed by Patrick
Delage (animation director Sing 2 and The Secret Life of Pets 2), and the screenplay is by the Emmy winning creator of White Lotus, Mike White, and the veteran writer of every Despicable Me film, Ken Daurio.

Eighty new homes coming for seniors, families in Kamloops

Taken from https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2024HOUS0093-000882?
Seniors and families in Kamloops will soon have access to 80 affordable rental homes as construction begins on a
new development at 346 Campbell Ave.
“Kamloops is a growing community, and with population growth there is a need for more affordable housing options
for people living in the community,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These 80 homes will go a long way to
support the future growth and development of the city, while also supporting seniors with low to moderate incomes.”
The project is a partnership of the Province, through BC Housing, the City of Kamloops and ASK Wellness Society,
which will operate the development once construction is finished in early 2026. The building has been named The
Confluence, which is a recognition of bringing people together, while paying tribute to Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc
lands and rivers.
“We’re thrilled to break ground on The Confluence, a project that embodies our commitment to providing a tapestry
of affordable housing options in Kamloops,” said Bob Hughes, executive director, ASK Wellness Society. “This development will offer a safe, supportive and intergenerational community, addressing the pressing need for quality
housing for families and seniors in our region.”
The six-storey building will include a mix of units to meet the different needs of the community with low to moderate
incomes, including one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, with 20% of the units accessible. Rents for the units will be
finalized closer to opening.
“As we break ground on this new development, we’re not just laying bricks and mortar, we’re building hope and opportunity,” said Katie Neustaeter, deputy mayor, Kamloops. “These 80 affordable rental homes represent more than
just a place to live, they’re a symbol of commitment to our seniors and families and to our North Shore community
The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $9 million for the project through the Building BC:
Community Housing Fund and will provide annual operating funding.
This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly
78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including nearly 1,800 homes in Kamloops.
Learn More:
To learn more about government’s Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British
Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

Summer Fun in the Sun!

Taken from https://www.kamloopsmusiccollective.info/summer-programs
An instrumental and performing arts program for kids
This program is perfect for kids who have finished Kindergarten to Grade 3, no experience
Dates: August 6th – 9th 2024
Time: 9:00am – 2:30pm daily
Location: Kamloops United Church (421 St.Paul Street)
Cost: $275 (plus system processing fees)
*Financial Assistance is available for families in need for this program.
Click Here To Find Out More!
About the Program: Get ready to sing, dance, play, and enjoy the fun and the sun of Summer! This energizing week of music will get kids moving, playing instruments, learning
new songs, and exploring new musical styles. This is a musical experience your kids won’t
want to miss! Participants will expand their knowledge and skills on a variety of instruments including: djembe drums, boomwhackers and musical theatre. Kids will also participate in movement activities and explore their creative sides!

S’mores Brownies
Taken from


UPDATED: FEB 7, 2020

S’mores brownies are the BEST way to eat
s’mores. The brownie stays so gooey and fudgey.
You won’t be able to stop.
16 serving(s)

Cooking spray, for pan
6 graham crackers
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients called for on box
1 c. chopped Hershey’s bars
1 (10-oz.) bag marshmallows
Step 1 Preheat oven to 350° and line and spray a 9”-x-9” baking pan with cooking spray. Layer bottom of pan with
graham crackers. Make brownie mix according to box and then fold in chopped Hershey’s bars. Pour brownie batter
over graham crackers. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes and check with a toothpick to make sure center comes out

Kamloops International Buskers Festival

Presented By: Kamloops International Buskers Festival
Dates: 7/25/2024, 7/26/2024, 7/27/2024, 7/28/2024
Location: Riverside Park
Address: 100 Lorne Street, Kamloops, BC
Time: Times vary – see website for details
Price: Free
Experience the extraordinary at the 5th Annual Kamloops International Buskers Festival! Join
us in Riverside Park from July 25-28 for four days of awe-inspiring performances by acrobats,
magicians, jugglers, hulahoopers, artists, musicians, and more. Immerse yourself in the vibrant
atmosphere as professional street performers from across Canada and around the world converge in Kamloops. This family-oriented festival offers free admission, but we encourage you
to show your appreciation by tipping the talented buskers. Indulge in a culinary adventure with
our local food trucks and be part of this unforgettable celebration of art, music, and entertainment. Mark your calendars and get ready to be amazed!

Music in the Park
Taken from https://www.tourismkamloops.com/events/annualevents/

From 7:00pm to 8:30pm each evening from July 1st to August 31st each year, visitors and locals
are invited to come to the Rotary Bandshell at Riverside Park for FREE musical entertainment
by local, national and international musicians. As well, on selected evenings you can check out
some more live local music at McDonald Park.

Overlanders Day 2024

July 21st 10-3 pm
Event by Kamloops North Shore BIA
Taken from https://www.facebook.com/events/brocklehurst-recreation-centre/overlandersday-brought-to-you-by-interior-savings-2024/3499151427014400/
An amazing community event with entertainment stage that goes on all day, incredible food vendors, Community & Business, vendors, dunk tank, games, kidz
zone, eating contest, dog races, Animal corner including a petting farm, mascots,
clown, prizes, & SO much more

About the Club

Taken from https://www.tdsummerreadingclub.ca/about-the-club
The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for Kids of all ages, interests
and abilities. This free Club is offered at more than 2,000 public libraries across Canada, as well as online. The Club
celebrates Canadian authors, illustrators and stories, and inspires Kids to explore the fun of reading their way. This
is key to building a lifelong love of reading.
Check with your local public library to see when in-person registration opens—it varies slightly by location but is
usually in mid- to late-June. Your kid will receive a free notebook and stickers to track their reading. Your library
may also have fun activities and initiatives for Kids to take part in.
8+ Million Kids attended programs and activities
4+ Million National Program Registration
The TD Summer Reading Club website launches on June 10, 2024. Kids can:
Create an online notebook
Read ebooks
Vote in the Battle of the Books
Review books
Participate in weekly trivia
Write stories
Read and write jokes
Read an original web comic
View author/illustrator readings and workshops
Print colouring sheets
Find the perfect book
There’s something for everyone, including kids
with print disabilities, and preschoolers and their

Farmer’s Markets
Taken from https://www.tourismkamloops.com/
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
The farmer’s markets are a great way to shop the farm
store, check out local vendors and visit the girls in the
dairy. Come out and have some fun!
Upcoming Dates
June 9
June 23
July 7
July 21
August 4
Aug 18
September 8

Be An Ally

By Leslie Zeng – DDA Communications Canada Summer Jobs SFU Student
Taken from https://www.develop.bc.ca/be-an-ally-to-people-with-disabilities/
Are you looking to make a change this summer? Perhaps you want to go to the gym regularly or say ‘yes’ to things more often. But how about looking deeper and changing your perspectives or practices? After all, a healthy mind promotes a healthy body.
This summer, learn to open your heart and be mindful of those who have a harder time conquering life. Being an ally can be a simple job once you educate yourself on how to do better, and if you have gotten this far, you are already on the right track. Here at DDA, we want
to share a few tips on being more considerate to the disability community:
We can often take for granted our convenience in navigating our daily routines. However,
this accessibility is not the same for everyone. Accessible signs, menus, parking, and assistance are all features the public lacks. Now, imagine if you could not simply order food at a
restaurant because braille menus are not available.
We can make a change to this by advocating for these aspects in businesses. By promoting accessibility through your
conversations, you are encouraging the right standards and being a voice for those who may not have one. So, the next
time you visit your local shops or restaurants, let them know your ideas on creating an accessible environment.
Use of Language
Verbal disrespect is common because it is easy. However, the impacts can be just as bad as physical disrespect. Being
mindful of the way you refer to someone or speak to them is crucial.
Patience in learning and understanding is one of the virtues we must often practice. By speaking the right language,
you are contributing to multiple parts in one: educating others, fostering inclusivity, and reducing stigma. How do we
learn the right language? Researching, being open-minded to learning from others, and or putting yourself in their perspective.
Living in an age of technology means having easy accessibility to resources. Websites, videos, and articles are always
one click away. Nonetheless, being that resource for your fellow peers is one way to be an ally. Whether it may be reposting useful links or creating a post of your own, you are raising awareness and creating a positive environment for
yourself and others.
These tips sure can be useful to know, but nothing changes without putting in the work. Reroute your perspective and
use your privilege to help people with disabilities. So focus on the things that truly matter this summer and join us in
being allies. Change starts here.

Kamloops Library Summer Reading Program

Kamloops, BC – June 19, 2024 – The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) is excited to invite
readers of all ages to join Summer Reading Club 2024! It’s completely free, a fit for everyone, and packed
with fun challenges and prizes.
This year’s theme is “World of Curiosities,” and encourages readers – from infants to adults – to explore
amazing wonders at the library through stories and programming.
Visit TNRL’s program calendar for the full lineup of summer programs!
Summer Reading Club runs from July 1 to August 24, 2024. Sign up at your local library today – we can’t
wait to read together this summer! For more information on Summer Reading Club, please visit: tnrl.ca/src.

Blue Jays Report

By Andrew
During the last month, the Toronto Blue Jays
improved to 32 wins and 33 losses and sit in
4th spot in the American League East
Division. The Jays are 13 games back of
first-place New York Yankees with an
impressive 45 wins and 21 losses. They are
also 2.5 games back in the wild card. As I am
writing this, I predict that they will at least be
a couple of games back by the MLB All-Star

Pokémon Fan Anime

By Riley
I’m on a journey at the moment, working on
making a Pokemon fan anime for YouTube.
It will be full of stuff like battles, showing
people what the region of Kamloops looks
like in animation. I’ll be voicing two of the
characters. One of the characters is named
Drake and he is half robotic with a robotic
Creating an anime isn’t too hard. You can use
different apps, like kinemaster, ibispaint, and
an AI app.

Poverty Advocacy

By Krystian
Sarah Pump is the founder and Executive Director of Poverty Advocacy
Nanaimo. She took some time to share what PAN does and how we can
better understand poverty and support people.
What should people know about poverty? What is your mandate?
The mandate of Poverty Advocacy Nanaimo is to overcome barriers to
support by sharing about resources in Nanaimo. I think it’s important that
people understand that poverty can happen to anyone. Life can change
quickly, and there are often factors beyond our control.
How can governments reduce poverty and improve people’s quality of
life living with disabilities?
There are two things that all levels of government can do to reduce poverty and improve quality of life for people
living with disabilities.
The first is to increase the amount of money paid to disabled people through the provincial and federal systems.
Disabled people must be funded at or above the poverty line, not well below, which is where we are now. The
proposed Federal Disability Benefit may be able to accomplish this goal, but we still don’t have firm details
about it, and implementation continues to be delayed.
The second thing that every level of government can do is to reduce barriers to access for any programs offered.
Currently, most programs have barriers that can be insurmountable to someone in crisis. There is significant
bureaucracy to navigate, and communications about benefits are inconsistent. Our government representatives
need to create opportunities to learn from marginalized system users about how to make support more
How can we create awareness on Poverty in Canada and BC?
Telling the stories of real people living in poverty is key to increasing awareness and understanding. That’s why I
tell my own story so often.
What do you enjoy about raising awareness about poverty?
I enjoy helping people expand their understanding of the lives of people in poverty. There are many inaccurate
negative stereotypes out there about poor people. I know first hand how wrong those stereotypes are. Sharing
information and stories about poverty helps to increase compassion and solutions.
How did you come up with this platform and site?
When I became too sick to work a few years ago, I was forced to turn to Provincial Disability (PWD) for income
support. The process was confusing and stressful. And, even once I was approved, it was really challenging to
locate resources that could help me survive on an incredibly low income. I worked hard to research programs
that were available to offer support, and it has made a huge difference for me and my son. I wanted to share
about all of these organizations and resources with other people living in poverty in Nanaimo, so I founded
Poverty Advocacy Nanaimo.
What is your journey prior to starting this advocacy?
Before I became ill, I was a librarian. I loved working with the public, not only helping them find books, but also
supporting them to find information and resources. I miss my profession deeply, but I am grateful that it
equipped me with the skills to create PAN.
How do you think society in Canada can Improve for those with poverty?
I would love to see two improvements for those in poverty in Canada. First, financial support offered that is at or
above the poverty line. Second, we need to extend more understanding and support to people living in poverty.
What else would you like to add?
I am grateful for this chance to share about my journey!
Interested people can find Poverty Advocacy Nanaimo online at www.pananaimo.ca
How can people find you online?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61554356893626&mibextid=ZbWKwL
Or find us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/povertyadvocacynanaimo?igsh=Y3Y5czA4bTV6cDEz

LGBTQ+ Friendly Travel

By Krystian
Meet John Tanzella (he/him), IGLTA President/CEO. He
connected with Krystian for an interview about this great
LGBTQ+ resource. Here’s what he had to share.
What is IGLTA?
The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) is the leading network of LGBTQ+ welcoming tourism businesses worldwide. Founded in 1983, we connect LGBTQ+ travelers with travel advisors, destinations,
tour operators, and other businesses committed to offering authentic travel experiences.
Determining LGBTQ+ friendliness can be complex and nuanced, as experiences may vary. However, some indicators include:
Legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Openly LGBTQ+ businesses and establishments.
A history of welcoming LGBTQ+ visitors and events.
What are some LGBTQ friendly places, is Hollywood California LGBTQ friendly for example?
There are hundreds of LGBTQ+ friendly destinations, and that’s exactly why IGLTA exists, to help those travelers learn about those destinations! The West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board (CA) is a proud Global Partner of IGLTA and the city definitely has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Other great globe-spanning destinations include Puerto Rico; Osaka, Japan; Seville, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; and Miami, Florida.
How did this website come about? When and why was it founded was it founded?

It’s important to know that we are more than just our website, we are a global network of 13,000+ LGBTQ+
welcoming accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events, and travel
media in 80 countries.
The association was founded in 1983 when communication was still done through the mail! It was founded by a
small group of LGBTQ+ guesthouse owners and travel agents who wanted to book queer clients in safe travel
spaces around the world. The website now makes it easier to connect globally and serves as both a business to
business and business to consumer tool.
What is LGBTQ Friendly Travel? How can we reduce stigma and discrimination related to LGBTQ Travel?

LGBTQ+ friendly travel goes beyond specific destinations. It’s about ensuring travelers feel welcome and respected throughout their journey.
IGLTA works to reduce stigma and discrimination in several ways:
Elevating LGBTQ+ welcoming businesses: We provide resources and access to a network of LGBTQ+ welcoming businesses around the world.
Promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion: We work with tourism boards and embassies to promote best practices to authentically welcome LGBTQ+ travelers.
Educating the travel industry: We offer resources and education to travel professionals to enhance their understanding and ability to serve LGBTQ+ travelers.
What does your website offer? How can government’s, businesses, tourist spots for example hotels, attractions improve for those who are from the LGBTQ community?
Our website, https://www.iglta.org, connects LGBTQ+ travelers to:
Member directory: Find LGBTQ+ welcoming destinations, accommodations, travel advisors, tour operators,
media, and other travel buyers and suppliers.
Travel guides and blogs: Get insights and advice for planning safe and enjoyable LGBTQ+ travel experiences.
Events and Tours: Join other like-minded travelers at events or tours worldwide.
We also launched our IGLTA Accredited program last year for accommodations and hotels. IGLTA Accredited sets the standard as an independent quality assurance process, providing concrete evidence that participating hotels genuinely welcome LGBTQ+ guests through their actions, not just empty words. To obtain
accreditation, hotels must successfully document fulfillment of eight criteria,
showcasing their dedication to creating a safe and welcoming environment for their
staff and LGBTQ+ travelers.
What do people from the LGBTQ community enjoy about your website?

I think users appreciate the website’s extensive resources, reliable information, and
focus on safety and inclusivity.
Continued on next page

LGBTQ Friendly Travel, continued
What do you enjoy about the website?

Connecting LGBTQ+ travelers with welcoming experiences and contributing
to a more inclusive travel industry are truly fulfilling.
How can we create a friendly and caring world for those from the
LGBTQ community?
Building a friendly and caring world involves continuous effort:
Empathy and understanding: Listen to and learn from LGBTQ+ voices and experiences.
Challenging prejudice: Speak out against discrimination and promote acceptance.
Creating inclusive spaces: Ensure everyone feels welcome and respected regardless of their sexual orientation or
gender identity.
What else would you like to add? How can people find you online?
Visit iglta.org, igltaconvention.org or iglta.org/foundation today to learn more! We are also on social media; follow
us on Facebook at @IGLTA, @IGLTABusiness and @IGLTAFoundation, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn at
@IGLTA and @IGLTAFoundation, and Instagram @IGLTA.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Taken from https://www.kamloopsmusiccollective.info/summerprograms
A One Week Musical Theatre Program!
This program is perfect for youth in Grades 3 – 8, No experience
Dates: August 12-16 2024
Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm daily
Location: Kamloops United Church (421 St.Paul Street)
Cost: $325 (plus system processing fees)
*Financial Assistance is available for families in need for this
Click Here To Find Out More!
Musical Theatre Production: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.
Musical Theatre Production
Instructor: Brittany Zettergreen
About the Program: Imagine a day filled with musical theatre, set
design, choreography and musical games and friends! At the Alice,
Down the Rabbit Hole musical theatre week, we will teach musical
theatre fundamentals that help students shine on stage and in all aspects of their lives. This camp is perfect for kids in grades 3-8, beginners are welcome!
Enroll the kids in a Performing Arts Camp that is modeled after our
popular summer program, the Kamloops Interior Summer School of
Music! Kids who take part will get to explore many aspects of musical theatre!
About the Show: When young Alice finds herself in a strange world
where everything seems upside down, she must find her way
home…and find herself along the way. As she travels through Wonderland, she encounters all of the iconic characters that audiences
have come to love: including the ever-tardy White Rabbit, the grinning Cheshire Cat, a cool Caterpillar, the wacky Mad Hatter, and the
hot-tempered Queen of Hearts.
Alice in Wonderland JR. features Disney favorites such as “The
Golden Afternoon,” “The Unbirthday Song,” and “Painting the Roses Red” along with brand-new songs, including music from the 2010
live-action film. Whether this is your first experience with Alice or
your hundredth, you’ll fall in love all over again with this timeless
story of adventure, imagination, and pure fun!

Kindness and Compassion with Lindsay Curry
By Lisa Coriale
As self advocates, we teach those around us how to look at life from our perspective. Kindness
and compassion change our interactions from strained, stressful, unpleasant, and hurtful to easy,
peaceful, joyful, and healthy. There are many simple ways to express and offer kindness and
compassion each day. This feature shows us how many different individuals use kindness and
compassion to improve their daily lives and the lives of those around them.
Please tell me about yourself.
My name is Lindsay Curry. I am a poet who lives in Kamloops, BC. I grew up here and moved back from Victoria
when I became disabled from employment. I love to spend time with people and their dogs and to advocate for
animals with the BC SPCA.
What do you do for a living?
I used to be a lawyer, a long time ago! I look after my aging parents and volunteer in the community.
What does kindness and compassion mean to you?
They mean everything! My email signature is “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some
kind of battle.” I believe that. Most of us hide when we are struggling or having difficulties, and we can often not
know when people need our kindness and compassion most. So I try to practice giving both whenever I can.
Why is it important to show kindness and compassion to others?
Because that is what we would want them to show to us. Because we can set an example by our own behaviour. Because it is the kind and compassionate thing to do!
How do you show kindness and compassion to others?
First, by remembering that I should treat other people the way I want to be treated; with compassion, kindness, and
respect. Second, by giving other people the benefit of the doubt – a rude person is probably facing some difficulty in
their life and isn’t by nature a rude person. Being kind and compassionate might make their day better and help
them with whatever they are facing.
How can people show compassion when they are in community?
By speaking directly to people, looking them in the eye, remembering that people are generally doing the best they
can, and by treating them with the respect that we want to be treated with.
What are some ways people can show kindness and compassion to people with diverse abilities?
By speaking to them like I want to be spoken to. If I were someone who needed assistance with communication, for
instance, I would want people to address me directly, rather than speaking to my assistant. By remembering that
they are people too! And by keeping in mind that just because someone has diverse abilities, that doesn’t mean that
they don’t understand everything that you are communicating – with both body language and verbally. My nephew
is mostly nonverbal – though he can talk, he chooses not to, and some people assume he doesn’t understand what is
being said around him – he does! He understands as much as anyone! But because he doesn’t speak, sometimes people assume he also doesn’t understand.
Being kind to ourselves improves our mental health. In what ways are you kind to yourself?
This is an ongoing work in progress for me. I try to talk to myself like I would to my beloved best friend, with love
and compassion.
People sometimes have negative views and/or attitudes towards people with diverse abilities. What do you do,
or can you do, to increase kindness and compassion for those who are diversely abled?
I can share my experiences so that those people have more accurate knowledge to act from. I can remind those people that diversely abled people are PEOPLE too, with the same feelings as everyone else. And I can lead by example!
Lisa’s Thoughts – Throughout the process of doing these kindness and compassion interviews, I have learned that I
believe it is important to feature everyday people in addition to those well known within our community. Different
people have different perspectives and I enjoy hearing from those who are not well known in our community. I
think that they are people many others can relate to.
I love Lindsay’s email signature, “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle”
and that she spreads this awareness both through her correspondence and her actions which increases kindness and
compassion around her.
Continued on next page

Kindness & Compassion, continued
I appreciate how she recognizes that there is a reason for behaviour and seeks to respond with
kindness and compassion. I like how Lindsay explains things because she can help people understand
situations in a way they haven’t thought of before.
Lindsay’s practical examples of ways to interact with people with diverse abilities are excellent! She has
kindness and compassion for the individual and seeks to know their perspective. When more people do this our
society will be a much more equitable place to live.
I want to challenge you, readers, to do as Lindsay does. Share your positive experiences so that other people
have more accurate knowledge to act on. Remind people that diversely abled people are PEOPLE too, with the
same feelings as everyone else. And lead by example!

Dancing With Addiction

By Krystian
Oceann Elsie is a mother, partner, international model, actor and as of this year because
of this program an award-winning filmmaker. Find out about her journey through addiction to healing.
How did you come up with the film ‘Dancing with Addiction’?
I realized about two days into the empowered filmmaker masterclass that I wasn’t going to
do an interview-based documentary because addiction is such a sensitive subject to so
many and it’s not easy to talk about, so I decided to do one on my own journey through
addiction. Healing out loud also helps others to do the same, I don’t think it should be so
taboo to talk about because in some way it affects everyone.
How did you come up with the name of the film?
Because the Healing journey is never really over when it comes to addiction. You’re faced
with challenges everyday to overcome so I feel it’s more of a lifelong dance as opposed to
a light switch.
What is your story for the film?
I explain my journey through addiction in hopes to inspire future generations that recovery and a beautiful life is
possible, no matter how lost you get.
What is Empowered Filmmakers program?
Telus Storyhive’s Empowered filmmaker masterclass is all inclusive- Indigenous focused program that offers
mentorship programs to Indigenous communities across BC and Alberta with little or no experience in film. I had
no prior experience and it allowed me to make an award-winning film in 3 days. I won visionary storyteller, best
short documentary and best cinematography so far with my film thanks to Farhan, Storyhive, Empowered
Filmmakers Masterclass and the Okanagan Screen Awards! The program lasts 5 days with Farhan Umedaly as
the coach who’s amazing! With his 2 aids and his puppy Skeena who’s there for emotional support. They’ve produced 130 films with 435 filmmakers since 2017.
Why did you want to be a film maker?
I hope to inspire others through movie magic! Whether it’s through acting or filmmaking I absolutely love it all.
What do you want people to take away from the film?

I just want people to realize we’re all human and make mistakes but there’s nothing
you can’t come back from if you decide to make that choice. I believe addiction is a
symptom of trauma and you have to heal the source of pain to overcome it, it takes a
lot of hard work and ugly truths, but it is possible with intention.
What else would you like to add?
There’s hope for those still suffering
don’t give up!
How can people find the film?
Through Storyhives YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The film is also available on TELUS Optik on channel 9.

The Sun and Your Eye Health

By Fighting Blindness Canada, May 2024
Interviewed by Ben
How can we keep our eyes safe from the sun?
The best way to keep your eyes safe from UV rays is by wearing sunglasses and a hat
when outdoors. The sun is at its strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., so it is
important to take extra precautions during this time and stick to the shade. You can
also check your local forecast for the UV index. The higher the index reads, the more
important it is to be protected. However, even cloudy or overcast days can pose some
risk. The UV index can remain high even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds.
What should we wear to protect our eyes when we’re outside on sunny days?
Sunglasses and a hat are your go-to items. When choosing sunglasses, ensure that they fit well and block light
from coming in around the lenses. When you purchase sunglasses, ensure that they indicate that they have UV
protective lenses that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. If you are affected by an eye condition, such as
age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you may wish to consider melanin or amber-coloured lenses, as they
can help increase contrast and make it easier to see. If you have questions about what type of sunglasses might be
the best for you, please speak with your optometrist or optician.
When choosing a hat, look for hats with broad, dark brims that keep your eyes in the shade and reduce the amount
of glare.
Wearing sunglasses and a hat is a good starting point, but it’s important to protect your eyes from more than just
the sun. We also need to get into healthy habits to lower the risk of eye diseases. This includes exercising
regularly, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, and getting regular eye exams.
Why is it important to take care of our eyes in the sun?
The sun emits several types of energy. The most dangerous forms to the eye are ultraviolet radiation (UV) as well
as its bright and intense light. You should never look directly at the sun, even when wearing sunglasses. There are
two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. Exposure to these forms of energy can cause vision problems and speed up
progression from existing eye conditions. Damage from UV rays happens over a long period of time and is
Some eye problems that can occur as a result of sun exposure include:
Issues with the surface layers of the eye. Overtime, exposure to UVB rays can cause a growth called a pingueculum or a pterygium on the white part of the eye and can cause discomfort and vision problems.
Cataracts, or clouding of the lens, can be caused, or worsened by UV rays.
Cancer of the eyelid, such as basal or squamous cell carcinoma.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The risk for AMD may be increased with prolonged exposure to UV
rays without protection.
Where can we go to get our eyes checked & how can someone make an appointment to check their eyes?
You will need to see an optometrist for a routine eye exam. You can use the Canadian Association of Optometrist’s website to help locate one in your area or ask family and friends for a recommendation. It is easy to book an
eye exam: you can book an appointment by calling their office and some also offer bookings online.
How often should we get our eyes checked?
If you are a healthy adult with no concerns about your eyesight, it’s recommended to get your eyes checked every
two years. However, if you are 65 or over, or are someone living with a chronic health issue that can impact eyesight (such as diabetes), you should have your eyes checked once per year. Children should have their first eye
exam at about six months old and a subsequent visit between two and three years old to ensure proper vision development. After that, they should be seen by an optometrist every year until they are an adult.
In British Columbia, routine eye exams are not covered between the ages of 19-64 years old. If you have an underlying condition that may have a negative impact on your eye health, such as an ocular disease, or a chronic health
condition like diabetes, your exam will be covered. When you book an appointment with your optometrist it is important to clarify which services are covered and what the costs will be.
If there is a sudden change to your vision, you experience halos around lights, you have severe pain or suffer an
eye injury, head straight to the emergency department. Remember that no concern is too small and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Continued on next page

The sun and your eye health continued
How can we reach out to you if we have more questions about eye care? Do you have a website or phone
number where we can contact you?
The Fighting Blindness Canada health information line is here to help! Reach us by phone or email to learn more
about resources that can help you be the best advocate for your own eye health. You can reach us at healthinfo@fightingblindness.ca or by calling 1.888.626.2995.
At fightingblindness.ca we also have a number of resources, including:
In-depth information on individual eye diseases, including treatment options and the latest in vision research.
Our View Point education events: sign up to attend an in-person or online event and watch our back catalog of
webinars – all free of charge!
Learn about our Young Leaders and Mentorship programs for youth ages 15-35 living with vision loss.

Q: What do you get when you cross a cow with a
A: A milkshake!
Q: What do you call a dog on the
beach in the Summer?
A: A hot dog!
Q: Why do bananas use sunscreen?
A: Because they peel.



Skip to content Click to listen highlighted text!