As part of a Business Improvement Area, it is important to reach out to the surrounding community. A surrounding community is the inner circle of any business area and so events, promotions, business opportunities and area investments need to reflect that of the main market of the area. If you can engage with the surrounding community, they will then help to expand and promote the businesses that reside along the main street. Of course, people will have different interests and agendas, but what matters most is the quality of community life and the number people who regularly connect, build trust, invest locally, and get involved.
There are many ways that you can be involved, invest locally and connect with your community. We have created a list of 5 things you can do to be more a part of your community.
1) Support local merchants.As a Business Improvement Area, this one is close to our hearts. When you support our local merchants, you are supporting a dream and a livelihood. Take the time to get out there and discover those Mom and Pops, the boutiques and local shops. You certainly won’t be disappointed by products or service.
2) Attend a public meeting, lecture, gallery openings, exhibits, or hearing. As a community member, your input is important and invaluable.
3) Volunteer. There are many organizations, groups and ways you can volunteer and give back. The great thing about volunteering is that it is the cost of your time and the rewards can be great!
4) Donate to your local food or clothing bank. Most often, we will clean and purge items from our homes and those items most often end up in the garbage. Why not donate your items to worthwhile charities and organizations in the area?
5) Communicate, participate, or follow your local resident’s associations. If you don’t have one in your area, then why not create one. Resident’s Associations are comprised of individuals living in the community that volunteer to make where they live a better place. Resident’s Associations will often host local events, help elderly home owners in the area, work with local BIA’s to create stronger communities, work to improve cleanliness and safety.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, Carey and Lesley Stone are no strangers to competing in martial arts. In a few weeks time, they will be boarding a plane along with their students to head to Dublin Ireland to compete in the World Martial Arts Organization’s World Championships. They will be joining other members of the Canadian Team to compete in various Martial Arts to not only bring home a medal but to bring home a feeling of pride and satisfaction in fulfilling their own personal goals. After speaking with Lesley about her desire to go and compete to fulfil her own personal goals and growth, I was inspired to sit down and chat with both Carey and Lesley from Tiger Dragon Martial Arts to learn more.
What started you in Martial Arts?
After being bullied in school at the age of 8, Carey began in Martial Arts as an outlet and for self defence. He later on enrolled his children and soon encouraged Lesley to also participate. Soon they became a family unit and embraced the Kung Fu lifestyle.
How long have you been in Martial Arts?
Carey is a 5th Level Black Belt with over 30 years experience and Lesley is a 3rd Level Black Belt with over 20 years experience.
Have you competed at a championship level before?
Both Carey and Lesley and many of their students have travelled across the world to compete and often with great success. There is no shortage of medals that emulate the skill and dedication both Carey and Lesley have for their craft. Carey holds over 10 world titles in various forms of Martial Arts while Lesley has competed both nationally and provincially-holding a top 10 spot in Canada.
While at the World Championships in Dublin, what category will you be competing in?
There is a large opportunity to compete in many different categories, as this is Lesley’s first World Championships, she will be competing in two categories, Traditional forms and Soft Style Kung Fu. Carey will be competing in Traditional, Soft Style Forms, Traditional Weapons and Soft Style Weapons.
How much training and practice does it take to get to a World Championship status?
When asked this question, I was surprised by the answer as it wasn’t a set 5 day a week 6 hour a day. It was not so much about the time but more about dedication, diligence, motivation and the fire to want it. Although Carey and Lesley train six days a week, they live, eat and breathe the Kung Fu lifestyle.
You are part of the Canadian Team. What qualifies you and how do you qualify to be on the team?
There are 40 members to the Canadian Team and to qualify you must participate in tournaments against others to represent Ontario on the Canadian Team.
What are your personal and professional expectations from the championships?
Their mantra reflects their expectations: “To give our very best effort every day.”
Both Carey and Lesley expressed how important that doing their best, supporting their students and representing their team and their school are all highlights of participating in events such as these.
What would a win mean to you, your students and fellow competitors?
Although a win would be fantastic, both Carey and Lesley feel passionate about competing and the satisfaction of expressing their skills that they have lived and trained with for over 20 years.
It’s very apparent that both Carey and Lesley are passionate about their craft. They have embraced Kung Fu and strive to live it every day. They expressed that it is more than just fighting but being aware of your interactions every day. They believe strongly in it’s meaning of “Hard work over a long period of time” and not giving up!
We wish you and your team great success at the World Championships!
For more information about Tiger Dragon Martial Arts Centre, visit their website at www.tigerdragon.ca.
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Recently we posted the question on our Social Media – What does St. Clair Avenue mean to you?
We received a good number of responses and each response was a clear indication of what St. Clair Avenue and Regal Heights Village means to our surrounding community. The same word seemed to resonate throughout each of the responses and that was Home.
In Regal Heights Village we are blessed to have a diverse selection of businesses. This may make it hard to define us as say the ” Fashion District” or a “Boutiques Boulevard” but it offers the community the opportunity to enjoy diversity and have a little bit of everything within walking distance.
Regal Heights Village alone is home to salons, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, a bookstore, a museum, clothing stores, banks, schools, grocery stores….you name it we have. We have everything here and here you are home.
Not only does Regal Heights Village have a diversity in businesses, but a diversity in young and old. We have community members that have lived all of their lives in the area and some who are brand new. We have families that have moved away and returned because Regal Heights Village and St. Clair Avenue is home to them and now to their growing families.
Thank you to everyone that participated in the post and we look forward to hearing more.
So what does St. Clair Avenue mean to you?