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September 13, 2006

Who Runs Dufferin Grove Park?

updated April 8, 2006

Park Staff, Winter 2007/2008

The park staff are Lea Ambros, Anna Bekerman, Corey Chivers, Jenny Cook, Sarah Cormier, Anna Galati, Sandy Gribbin, Mario Lourenco, Eroca Nicols, Christina Serra, Mayssan Shuja-Uddin, Mary Sylwester, Dan Watson, and Amy Withers. They all work as part-time casual staff, and most have other part-time work as well -- in theatre, music, dance, teaching, translation, union work, or environmental research. Some are part-time students.

These park staff people are paid by the city to make the park run well, but they also add in their additional gifts - their particular talents, their enjoyment of the park friends, their sense of surprise and adventure. In addition, there are three CELOS-contracted assistants, Yo Utano, Michael Monastyrskyj, and Heidrun Gabel-Koepff. The park works through the combined good will of park staff and park friends.

The role of CELOS:

When we have enough money from the food-fundraising, or when we get a grant (we don't like to apply for those very often), we work on projects that interest park users (sometimes at other parks, not only at Dufferin Grove). Often the park workers (part-time staff for the city) have things they'd like to try, but which they can't do as part of their city jobs. Many of these young park workers are also artists, or other kinds of adventurers, and so they have lots of ideas.

So we make a contract with the person who wants to do an activity. We do these contracts for everyone who is paid with the fundraising money, whether a person wants to make a new kind of marshland garden in the park, or build a sculptural bench with kids at the playground, or develop a technical power-point presentation about the effects of the sun angle on outdoor rink ice. We even do contracts when we need an additional youth worker, at those times when we suddenly have an influx of youthful troublemakers. When the trouble is over, that contract ends.

None of these projects are jobs in the regular sense, and many are just "let's try this" experiments. Some people have one contract and then they move on, others have many contracts, evolving as they try out different projects. Many park workers go in and out of doing CELOS contracts, as they go back to university, or hit the road, or do contracts for other places.

Every year the CELOS book-keeper issues T4A slips, so that all this income gets declared for taxes, i.e. "self-employed" income. The book-keeper is also a rotating contract, so that different people can learn if they want to.


Whose Park is it Anyway?

How To Become A Park Friend

How The Park Works

Friends Of Dufferin Grove Park

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