Communi-Tea Transformation?

 Can conversation over a cup of tea change a community? We’ll let you decide!

After a week of construction we launched the Encyclopedia House art installation on October 2 to a lively crowd some great media coverage in the Now Newspaper and Peace Arch News. On that day, we talked about the issue of homelessness in our community.

The goals of the Encyclopedia House art installation are to promote curiosity, encourage thought, and enliven public discourse in our community. What better way to continue the momentum than with a series of community-led Tea Parties to address issues of interest and concern to local community members.

On October 8 we meet the Peoples’ Food Security Bureau. We learned about food security issues in our neighbourhood and got a sneak preview of a “land-art” project in the works for Newton.

On October 15 our Tea Party was hosted by Meera Gill from Our Global Village. We learned about the many ways that this local community-led group is working toward peace in our neighbourhood.


On October 22 we were treated to a “Local Authors Reading” by three local authors: RB Herath, Inthirani Arul, and Sharon Buydens. The topics ranged from world peace, to self esteem to solar ovens!

On October 29, Katheren hosted a lively rainy-day Tea Party inside the Newton Recreation Centre. The conversation was great and there was even a bit of music!

On November 5, Daniella Smith, a local student from Kwantlen Polytechnic University talked about the “Books Behind Bars” project that she is involved in. You can still drop of books for this project through the Encyclopedia House window!

Our last Tea Party on November 12 tackled the issue of public drinking in The Grove. It was a rainy day, so we met in Safeway. We were joined by Gary Thandi, a local counselor with “Moving Forward,” a coalition of counselors and outreach professionals interested in approaching this issue from a different perspective. We went away with some great ideas and contacts for ways to move towards a more sustainable and integrated approach to community safety.


Thank you to the Newton Recreation Centre for the ongoing support or providing table, chairs, power and shelter when that weather got bad. Thank you to the Salvation Army Thrift Store for donating the mugs for our travelling tea set. Thank you to Brad for the wonderful fiddle music.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a travelling tea set that we could just set-up anywhere, any time?

Let’s hold on to the thought of having more Tea Parties in the spring. Start giving some thought to topics that you would like to explore, and maybe event topics that you would like to facilitate!

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