Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bringing race relations to the front pages: Black Brown Red Lives Matter working group

Working Groups can make a difference: Black Brown Red Lives Matter has started a public discussion with the intent of holding Hamilton Police accountable for practices of carding racialized people in the city. Front page news in the two big media outlets.

Staying silent is not an option: join with others to make a difference. OPIRG Working Groups can make change happen.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Street Tree Report 2015 now available online

Street Tree planted in Keith Neighbourhood:
cleaner air, shade, and improved housing prices!
Thanks to our student staffer Harshal Patel, the 2015 Final Report is now available online, with insights from our third year going door to door in Hamilton neighbourhoods to sign residents up for a free street tree.

Start at our project page on our web site, and check in at our project blog.

Check OPIRG McMaster out for ways you can participate in projects related to environment and social justice!

Year End Report Graphs: 1. Social Media Growth

Two of our main social media channels have shown steady growth over the past few years, enabling us to reach out to the wider community and broaden our reach. Twitter and Facebook growth has been achieved without allocating any budget money to promotion. Targeted promotion would likely help us reach more students coming to McMaster.

Instagram has been added and is growing gradually. We are also looking forward to getting supports in place to begin podcasts and we are going to give Vine a try.

We are in the process of organizing a social media volunteer group so volunteers can take an active role in building and maintaining our online presence.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Workshops in the Butterfly Garden, July to September

Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification Walk: Matt Mills
Saturday July 25, 11am

The Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden kicks off with a Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification with experienced naturalist, Matt Mills. 
Matt is well known locally for his eagle eyes, and extraordinary facility for finding and identifying the smallest butterfly or the most elusive bird. 
 The Guided Walk takes about an hour and begins at 11am on Saturday July 25.  Please bring a chair. 
If it rains the walk will be cancelled.  

For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit  

The Summer Series is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

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.