check out our blog with lovely posts from our youth ambassadors!
Here you will find stories from our youth about their kind deeds for the community and their adventures.
Hello lovely kind krafters!!! As you may know, our current cause is Monarch Protection and we are focusing on the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute’s current work in this area. The Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute is a non-profit co-operative that is working hard to protect butterflies through their project the “Butterfly Club”. This club was founded by biologists from MTRI and Parks Canada and over the coming summer, they are hoping to be able to plant 1000 swamp milkweed plants across Nova Scotia. In this blog, I’m going to write about the importance of Monarch conservation and how you can help these beautiful butterflies in the smallest of ways!
Monarch butterflies are known scientifically as Danaus plexippus and are perhaps the most common butterfly in North America. Its wings are easily recognizable with a bright orange, black and white pattern covering them. They are classed as milkweed butterflies as they lay their eggs on milkweed plants for their larvae to feed from. Monarchs can lay hundreds of eggs which is a hopeful sign to many researches as they believe that with enough time spent on conservation, their populations will begin to increase and reach non-critical levels.
Between August and Mid-October, Monarchs begin their multi-generational journey south over the span of several months. These butterflies head towards the high mountains of central Mexico for the winter months and then will begin migrating back north in March and arrive around July. At least four generations are involved in the annual cycle as most Monarch butterflies live only for a few weeks. During these migrations, Monarchs depend on nectar from wildflowers for their energy and fat, and milkweeds to lay their eggs on.
What’s the problem?
As of 2014, researchers found that over the past twenty years, the number of Monarchs in North America had dropped to less than 10% of what they once were. There are several reasons as to why this might be, but it is believed that the main one is loss of habitat. Due to the rise in development and agriculture, many of the Monarchs homes have been damaged or ruined. Predators also play a factor in the depletion as larger animals, as well as other insects, will ingest the larvae as it feeds on the milkweed plants. Another issue for these butterflies is that many milkweed plants are being sprayed with herbicides which kill the larvae as they try to thrive whilst creating a huge loss of breeding grounds for them.
Female Monarch (left) and Male Monarch (right)
So, what can we do?
Many people are interested in Monarch Protection just like kind krafts and there are simple ways for all of us to help them flourish! Here are a few ideas:
I have also found some great articles and videos to help you with even more ways to help the butterflies. These actions may seem small, but as Nicole Hamilton said in the following video,
“I might just plant my one Monarch waystation, which is just a raindrop, but then if my neighbour sees it, and then another neighbour sees it, and then we start to grow them, then it becomes something significant”.
http://www.merseytobeatic.ca/butterfly-club.php (more links on this page!!)
https://www.almanac.com/blog/gardening/garden-journal/monarch-butterflies-chrysalis-watch (awesome related articles!)
Thank you for reading everyone! Have fun planting in the sunshine and seeing these wonderful butterflies in your garden!
“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”
Hello kind krafters!! For any students reading this, happy summer vacation! If you’re anything like me, long breaks may not be your favourite thing. I am a lover of routines and so in the summer I can often find myself at a loss of things to do with all of my newly found time. To help myself, and any of you that might feel the same, I have written about a few ways I keep busy in the summer!
1. Create a weekly schedule!
Have a copy of your daily routines to make it easier to add other activities into your week. Write in specific times for exercise, work, volunteering, etc. You can always attend upcoming krafting sessions, so keep checking for future events!
2. Try one new thing each week!
This new thing doesn’t have to be big, but it’s awesome at keeping life interesting! Whether it’s a new food, event, or route home it will be cool to try. Some things I want to try this summer are: Paint Nite, Seven Bays Bouldering, and new exhibits at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia!
3. Plan out your social time!
Instead of waiting around for people to make plans with you, message your friends and ask if they want to hang out in advance! There’s always time for fun walks with friends around the Commons, trips for ice cream at Dee Dee’s, or taking a trip to the nearest lake/beach for a nice swim! Take advantage of the nicer weather and soak in that vitamin D!!
4. Keep learning!
I understand that most of us are done with school for a few months and really don’t want to pick up another textbook until classes start again in September, but the that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Listen to podcasts on topics that interest you, watch documentaries on Netflix, rent new books from the library and continue to research and become knowledgeable about things you might be unable to learn about at school. Attend museums, lectures, and other informational sessions that you are too busy to go to during the school year – you never know what you might find out!
5. Go to local events!
There are SO many things happening that are so easy to find out about and attend! Check out thecoast.ca for a super list of events for every day of the summer. Personally, I’m excited to see Jeremy Dutcher in May, Mamma Mia! through Neptune Theatre, Argyle St. Kitchen Party in July, Shakespeare by the Sea, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, as well as going to coffee houses and open mics around HRM.
Have fun finding cool things to do this summer everyone! But don’t forget to take the time to rest up before school starts again too!!
CW: Mental Health
As the end of the school year quickly approaches, I am finding myself constantly in concert black. For many of my music school friends and I, the end of a semester is usually a very busy time full of concerts. I have been thinking a lot about one of my most recent concerts (mentioned in a previous blog) and how impactful music can be. The concert was called “People Help The People” and it was a benefit concert for a non-profit organization called The Tribe Projects. We were able to raise a lot of money and educate many audience members, as well as ourselves, about the cause. With this concert coinciding with course selections for my next year at university, I have been thinking long and hard about where I want my music to take me in my future and how I would like to continue to use it in my everyday life.
So far my favourite form of creating music has been through choir. The Nova Scotia Choral Federation has had a huge influence on my life and I honestly think that without participating in their programs, I would not only have chosen music as my career, but I would also not be the person I am today. Since I moved to Canada I have been involved in their choral opportunities and have managed to work my way through their different groups as I aged. When I was in a choir called Soundtrax, I was told by the conductor to audition for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir. This was the provincial choir for singers around my age and I really hoped to be successful in my audition. A few weeks later I found out that I had got in and was over the moon. That summer I went to a camp in Berwick (my favourite place) to rehearse with the choir. We were given a new piece to learn composed by Kim Andre Arnesen called “Even When He is Silent”. This soon became the most special choral piece for me as it was the first time I was truly captivated by the music I was making and the people I was making it with. This experience influenced me to continue pursuing choral music as more than a hobby.
Throughout junior high and into to my university days, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in Xara Choral Theatre. I think that Xara has had the biggest effect on shaping the woman I have become. This choir is an all-female ensemble ranging from 18-30 who “gives life to sung stories that are a feast or the senses and heart-felt explorations of identity, community, and culture”. I have performed in a number of shows with these beautifully courageous women ranging from sharing knowledge of stories from midwives who worked during the disastrous Halifax Explosion, to mythological shows involving the elements. Despite the variety of topics, each show focuses on humanitarian/environmental/social issues in Canada and abroad. In the fall I was honoured to perform Xara’s show “Fatty Legs” based on Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s true story of her experiences as an indigenous girl in a residential school. This tour changed my life and really made me re-evaluate how I had been choosing to use my voice in music. Since being a part of this show, I have changed my degree to focus not solely on music and to make sure that I can use my instrument to help create change where it is needed.
March was Music Therapy month, and at Acadia there were a lot of opportunities to better understand what music therapy is. According the Canadian Association of Music Therapists, music therapy is
“a discipline in which credentialed professionals use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains”.
In our weekly concert series at the School of Music, the music therapy students were able to showcase what a session might look like from start to finish. They displayed different situations and how music can be used in a number of ways to target certain aspects/needs for the patient. I found this extremely interesting because for a long time I had thought that music therapy could only be used in one way.
When I was younger, I struggled a lot with my mental health and in junior high, I was hospitalized. During my stay, I had my first experience with music therapy. It was a huge jam session where most of the patients got involved by picking an instrument to play and getting to it. Though everyone participated to varying degrees, we all left the session feeling better. I have always remembered this moment as it was the first time I felt hopeful in months. Up until my first year of university, I thought that music therapy was only used to help emotionally, but I have come to realize that a lot of it is very physical. I also didn’t realize the amount of health care categories that it is used in -from people with physical and mental disabilities, to neonatal and geriatric care.
In my opinion, all music is therapy. Singing in the shower, playing in an orchestra, performing in a gig in a bar, listening to a playlist that you made for when you’re in a certain mood, and messing around with friends are all different forms of using music as an outlet for your emotions. I am so thankful that I get to take advantage of this every single day and that I have found a creative way to share my thoughts and feelings. Music is so powerful, and as the common saying goes “when words fail, music speaks”. So with that in mind, have a great week kind krafters and I hope that music helps you through your stressful exam seasons or busy work schedules.
Love Rhian xoxox
We are really grateful to announce that kind krafts is the recipient of the Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office Intersectional Engagement Award!
We were presented with this award at the Green Gala on Thursday!
The Intersectional Engagement Award goes to a group that recognizes sustainability as truly intersectional and works effectively for sustainability in the fullest sense of the term. We are thankful to DSUSO for recognizing us!
Hello kind krafters!
Hope you are all doing well and enjoying these first few weeks of April. I am writing this post to you from a coffee shop beside the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay, BC as I wait for a boat to take me to Gambier Island. This morning I hoped on a plane and flew from Haida Gwaii to Vancouver, then took a sky train to downtown Vancouver, and a bus to this coffee shop. I said goodbye to the friends and places that had become my life for the past three and a half months, and headed out on a new adventure, this time for six months. It has been a tough day, saying goodbye and hello to things and people I have held dear for the past while, and starting a whole new life, all in the same day.
In that spirit, I thought I’d dedicate this post to the process of saying goodbye. It’s a tough one, and there is by no means a single right answer for everyone. But here I’ll share some tips and tricks to help the process
Tips for Saying Goodbye to a Place
Tips for Saying Goodbye to People
The mundane; my favorite sunny weekend afternoon activity on Haida Gwaii.
I hope this helps all of you who may be currently, or in the near future dealing with some goodbyes. To those of you writing exams and finishing semesters, I wish you all the best of luck and send all the positive vibes your way.
As always, please let me know all of your tips for saying goodbye.
Hey kind krafters, and HAPPY SPRING! As of March 20th, we are officially done with winter! Personally, I am so pumped to be able to go outside again without slipping down icy staircases, and having my hair messed up every day by the hail/rain/snow. To help to shed our winter layers, I am going to share some of my favourite ways to get your spring cleaning underway and to spend your sunny days!
Time to de-clutter!
Too much in your wardrobe? Get rid of your old clothes that haven’t been worn in years by donating them to second-hand stores near you. There are several cool shops in the HRM area where they will find a new home for you unwanted clothes like Makenew Curated Thrift Shop, Lost & Found Art Vintage Kitsch, and Elsie’s Used Clothes. Another great organization to donate your dresses to is the Glass Slipper (https://www.facebook.com/GlassSlipperOrganization/). If you’ve been thinking about finally parting with your prom dress, this is the perfect place to donate it. The volunteers at Glass Slipper try to make sure that everyone can enjoy their dress shopping experience, even if they can’t afford to buy one!
Super cute look from at Lost & Found!