CORNWALL, Ontario – The bandshell at Lamoureux Park was alight with sparklers and smiles despite a frigid drop in temperature on Tuesday night as people came together to incite change and promote inclusion.
Community Living Ontario held a province-wide launch of its Spark Change initiative on October 25 and all three area branches came together to celebrate the kick it off.
“We thought it would be great for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry to come together and hold this launch here in Cornwall” explained Councillor Maurice Dupelle, who is a Community Living Glengarry board member.
Community Living is a non-profit agency that supports people with intellectual disabilities, providing residential services, as well as employment support and home-share programs.
The Spark Change program is a year-long media campaign which will be recognizing Sparks in communities across the province.
Sparks are described as inspiring people who advance inclusion in their communities and must be nominated to become one.
“These are people who are doing great things and helping people with intellectual disabilities and they will have a chance to be recognized” said Dupelle.
“Each agency will also be able to pay tribute to the Sparks within their own community”.
The crowd danced to upbeat music to keep warm throughout the evening in anticipation of the main event.
After invigorating speeches from Community Living Executive Directors Debbie Boardman (Dundas), Danielle Duranceau (Glengarry), and Michelle Alguire (Stormont), members of the Community Living program joined the planning committee on stage to light sparklers and officially launch the campaign.
Duranceau explained “This program is very important because it brings awareness to the community and celebrates the existing Sparks that are already identified and also helps to find new champions for inclusion”.
“Every day we work at bringing down barriers and advocating for people to make sure they’re part of an inclusive community” added Dupelle.
For more information about this program or to nominate a Spark visit their website at www.sparkmychange.com.