Sunday, July 05, 2015

Butterfly Effect: Photo Contest in Dundas Butterfly Garden

Urquhart Butterfly Garden, Centennial Park, Dundas.

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest 2015

Are you able to spot the  stunning  Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly?
Or see a common bird like the Chickadee in an entirely new light?  Can you detect the smallest spider or insect hiding in the petals of a flower? If so test your photographic skills at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden during our annual Photo Contest.

Photographers ages 10 and up are eligible for both cash and certificate awards in the following four adult and youth categories: Butterflies and Moths; Insects, Spiders & Bugs; Birds and other Wildlife; Plants & Flowers.

The Photo Contest runs from Saturday July 11th until Sunday August 30th.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is located in Centennial Park at the corner of Cootes Drive and Street. Parking is available on King Street East.

The Photo Contest is funded by generous donations from The Conserver Society of Hamilton & District; & Canadian Tire, Dundas.

For further information visit:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HIVE Design Contest - & no, it's not about the bees.

As part of the Hamilton HIVE executive, I would like invite OPIRG members to submit to the Hamilton HIVE Apparel Design Contest.

The purpose of this contest is to create a winning design for a Hamilton HIVE t-shirt. The t-shirt will be included in swag bags for the HIVEX young professional conference on October 31, 2015, reaching 200+ young professionals age 18-39 in the greater Hamilton area.

And yes, there are prizes to be won:
  • Ticket to the HIVEX conference and after party (October 31)
  • Ticket to Meet the HIVE Holiday Mixer (December)
  • Design displayed at HIVEX conference (October 31)
  • Recognition on Hamilton HIVE’s website, newsletter and social media platforms
  • Free t-shirt with your winning design
  • $100 worth of gift cards/certificates to local restaurants and shops
Total value of prizes: $200+

Submission guidelines and more details on the Hamilton HIVE Apparel Design Contest pageThe deadline to submit is July 8.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Turtle crossing sign on Cootes Drive

Not sure how effective this is...

Organizational Culture

The City of Hamilton recently used this model and found some disturbing trends, but local politicians decided to ignore the results and look for a different survey instead...

Despite the bad example at City Hall, this looks like a great way to gauge organizational culture (hint hint, it starts with Mission)...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Views: Hamilton, ON, Canada by Randy Kay

The OPIRG RESOURCE CENTRE in 360 panorama.
A small space in the student centre stuffed with big desks and books and papers.
A place where three part time staff split their 22 hours/week.
A place that was never really planned. Storage is shelving, cabinets, file folders in drawers and desks, even wicker baskets.
The furniture is basically the same used furniture we bought from MAPS back when the Student Centre opened and we relocated from Hamilton Hall.
In short: we are overdue for an upgrade. A plan. Some design touches.

If our mission here at McMaster is to enable students and community members to address important social justice and environmental issues in the public interest, how might we better build a physical space to do that? What do you think, given our room size restraints, we might do?

Feel free to comment, we value your input.

Sunday, June 07, 2015


Had some great visitors to the Resource Centre Thursday: Kyle (MAPS), Victoria, Enzo, Harshal, Robyn, Annilee, Humaira, Andrea, Nicole, Teresa, all stopped by for various reasons. The day went by super fast, so fast that I didn't eat lunch until 4pm!

Also got a nice little tour around Thode library where I went to check out some space for upcoming events. Thode has transformed into a beautiful and superbly utilitarian space. Some inspiration for our little centre?

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Guatemala: Working Group Year End Highlights Part 5

Looking back can sometimes surprise, and seeing all the work this international solidarity group (and one of our longest serving working groups, over 10 years) is pretty impressive. Here are some of the events and activities Guatemala working group got up to in 2014-15:

  1. CCDA visit with Leocadio Juracan @ the ARCH, June 18, 2014: National Director (Guatemala) of the CCDA. Peasant / Farmer organization of the Highlands, Leocadio spoke about territorial resource defense, resistance, solidarity trade and Cafe Justicia. Leocadio also visited 2 local elementary classrooms.
  2. Social Justice Coffee House in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders McMaster - Sept. 8, 2014, 7:30-9:30 pm - Lawn Bowling Clubhouse, Churchill Park. An evening of music and culture to help raise awareness about mining in Guatemala (performances, treats and Café Justicia. We spoke about risky community and environmental defense struggles in Guatemala related to Canadian mining companies, including Goldcorp Inc., Hudbay Minerals, Radius Gold and Tahoe Resources.
  3. Screening of the Award Winning Film, Defensora, withEngineers Without Borders Chapter of McMaster University on November 20, 2014. “A deeply moving testimony to incredible courage in the face of wanton brutality and a shining tribute to the human search for justice.” Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians. “Defensora” is a new film about the Mayan Qeqchi people's struggle in Eastern Guatemala to reclaim their ancestral lands, to promote community development and environmental well-being, and to seek justice, both in Canadian and Guatemalan courts, for the murder, shootings and rapes committed against them by Canadian mining companies (particularly Hudbay Minerals) in Guatemala.
  4. Canadian Mining Injustice With Grahame Russell, Director of Rights Action: Thursday, November 27, 2014 @ 7:30 PM @ John Hopkins Engineering, Room A114, McMaster University. Grahame discussed the impunity with which Canadian resource extraction companies operate around the world,leaving a legacy of environmental, health and human rights violations and the ongoing work across Canada to hold our companies, investors and government accountable for these harms. Grahame is a non-practicing Canadian lawyer, author, adjunct professor at the University of Northern British Columbia and, since 1995, director of Rights Action:,
  5. Justice Coffee. Wednesday, April 8th @ 12:30 pm -1:30 pm, MUSC 230. Professional barista, Jordan from the Food for Thought Working Group of OPIRG McMaster demonstrated how to make a great cup of coffee. 15 people came to sample the coffee and Carolyn presented the story of Cafe Justicia and the CCDA Peasant Farmers association.
  6. Cafe Justicia Project: We are keeping busy with the coffee project to support CCDA (Guatemala) Thanks to the PIG grant we are roasting locally and raising funds and awareness about social justice in Guatemala. This is a great example of Solidarity Trade. T his will be on going ...
Connect with Guatemalan Solidarity at

Friday, June 05, 2015

Year End Highlights part 4. Working Group: MISCA

MISCA (formerly MFNSA) worked through a busy agenda all year, mixing it up with political and social events to ensure maximum participation and exposure.

Here are some highlights from their year end report:
-1st Annual Cultural Gathering (celebration of Indigenous culture)
-Faceless Doll Workshops (3) (brings awareness to MMIW)
-games night, open mic and silent auction (fundraiser)
-speaker series with Phil Monture (raised awareness of land lost to Six Nations due to colonialism)
-Canadian Roots Exchange workshop 'the blanket exercise' (goes through history of colonialism to show effect its had on Indigenous people) -Dreamcatcher workshop (fun way to engage students in Indigenous culture while learning about Anishnaabe)
Connect with MISCA