CEED Centre block party returns with healing and community engagement

Behind the CEED Centre Society’s house is Beckett Park which is set up with various tents from community organizations to celebrate the family block party.

People are reacquainting themselves with grassroots organizations and neighbours.

In the beginning, there’s a table set up for children to paint and put their masterpieces on a board next to a booth with small potted plants to take home.

There’s free popcorn at MLA Lisa Beare’s booth – a guaranteed conversation starter.

There’s black tea and infused water in front of the kids’ play area. Musicians are playing in the garden where the CEED farm’s market is set up

Overall, the atmosphere is inviting and cosy on a pleasant Saturday afternoon.

Read: Family block party returns to Maple Ridge after a decade

A booth that caught many people’s attention was the Museum on the Move by Maple Ridge Museum. They were showcasing the history and presence of Japanese-Canadian in the Maple Ridge area.

“At one point, 30 per cent of the Maple Ridge residents were Japanese. They had their community halls, schools and temples in the area,” said Shea Henry, executive director of the museum.

display of historical photos of Japanese Canadians
Photos of Japanese-Canadians in Maple Ridge were on display, including structures that once belonged to them/Ayesha Ghaffar

Black and white photo prints on the table are a walk down memory lane of what once was. Many Japanese-Canadians were taken to concentration camps as a result of World War II and were not allowed to return.

The building now housing CEED Centre was one of the Japanese buildings in Maple Ridge.

“Any gathering is a good opportunity to talk to the community and take a look back. A lot of people have stopped by who had no idea about this history and given the Japanese history with the CEED Centre house, we had to be here,” said Henry.

Read: Can art and intuition work together? A Maple Ridge artist thinks so

Another tent that piqued interest was at the west end of Beckett Park, set up as a healing corner for community members.

After two years of being home-bound, many people are returning to community events but with stress and anxiety in their hearts.

Here, Carol Waters, a holistic body practitioner and Jane E. Bene, an intuitive artist and card reader, are helping people in ways beyond their realizations.

Waters is working with a client, who’s lying comfortably on a 1.5-metre-long table. She starts with her hands on the forehead, moving from one pulse point to another to create a flow of positive energy.

By late afternoon, she sensed stress and tautness present in everyone who visited the tent for a healing session.

“People are coming out of COVID-19 with a lot of stress and stiffness and not knowing what to do with their bodies and my job is to help them relax and de-stress,” shared Waters.

While she continued to socialize in smaller groups during the pandemic, she is happy to return to community events like these.

“It feels really good to be back in the community, this is how it’s supposed to be,” said Waters.

I quickly made use of the opportunity to get my energy assessed. I can best explain it as waves in an ocean; there are some stronger than others. In a healing session, you might experience emotions in a similar way.

deck on cards spread out
Jane E. Bene had two decks of cards were neatly kept on the table, one set of wisdom cards and the other about animals/Ayesha Ghaffar

On the other hand, Bene decided to do card readings for people instead of bringing her intuitive art supplies.

It was also an opportunity to showcase my healing capabilities, Bene shared.

A butterflyway project booth, educating community members to create a pollination path for flying insects, and the Street Outreach Society’s naloxone training booth were opportunities to engage in community work and re-introduce yourself post-pandemic.

As the weather gets better, community events are slowly returning to Ridge Meadows, inviting members to ease into social gatherings once again, at their own pace and time.

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