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We're THRIVING at home!

We're THRIVING at home! @ Kitchener City Hall, 200 King St W, 12am-11:45pm.

Kitchener Minor Hockey

Game Results for the past week

No scores have been reported

Thodestool SFF Editing

Plague Log: Day 18

I did not get the sleep I'd hoped to get last night and so I was pretty useless today. I got through some chores, puttering around and getting little things done. But mostly mindlessly scrolling through social media and just kind of killing time.

The order from Michaels arrived today, but I don't really have the brainpower or patience to work on any of the crafts I want to try. One day soon.

Spouse and kiddo were all about schoolwork today. We're all still doing okay. Tired of this, but so is everyone.

I had a virtual craft time with some friends tonight, and that was great. We all had our own things to work on and I sewed some new shiny buttons on my coat while they knitted and painted. It's nice to see friends even if it's not in person.

But I'm wiped out so I'm going to try getting to bed soon. Maybe I can sleep tonight. I know I'd feel a lot better if I could string together a couple of good nights' sleep.


Stuff To Do With Your Kids In KW

Free Online Entertainment for Families while #SocialDistancing



Normally we would be telling you about all the exciting spring activities, but now in March 2020 we are using terms like SOCIAL DISTANCING and SELF ISOLATION to describe the times.  With the outbreak of the CORNAVIRUS aka COVID-19 we are all inside.  We want to keep your spirits up so are some FREE ONLINE activities to keep you busy.  Some you can watch and others you can participate in.  If we missed any family friendly free online activities, please post them in the comments.Here is our list so far
March 19, 2020Jeff Sheppard’s Line Dancing Class at 7pmwww.facebook.com/jeff.sheppard
March 20Artshine drawing class on YouTube at 10am www.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw
Sonshine and Broccoli at 11:30am on Instagram Live www.instagram.com/sonshineandbroccoli/
Arkells music lesson at 1pm www.instagram.com/arkellsmusic/

Magic Juggling Comedy Show at 5pm www.facebook.com/jpmagic.ca
Virtual Paint Night 7pm www.yaymaker.com/ca/on/kitchener/30120/events/virtual-venue-your-device-kitchener-waterloo-on/march-20/free-virtual-paint-nite-event-03-20-2020-10232567(not sure if this is for families or not)

Dancing Distantly with Thunderstorm Productions at 8pm
m.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions/profile
March 21Debbie Allen (from FAME) dance class for kids at 2pm  www.instagram.com/therealdebbieallen/

#DistanclyDancing with Thunderstorm Productions (you may just want to do the audio as some videos may not be age-appropriate) www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

March 22
If someone is looking for a family church service, this is the link that was sent in by Lindsay Kivell
www.facebook.com/mycalvarylife/posts/3082391241805088

Sign up for the SING-ALONG happening on the 23rd
Send an email to communications@kwhab.ca 
info from
 www.facebook.com/KWHabilitation/photos/a.377958582245681/3675688955805944/?type=3&theater


Trivia 7pm
(not sure if it is family friendly as we have not done it before)
www.facebook.com/293311194395877/photos/a.293825617677768/1008612959532360/?type=3&theater

March 23

Artshine online string art
 Monday at 10am EST m.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw
see supplies needed at www.instagram.com/p/B-A7Cj1AKHI/

UPDATED INFO Sing Along at 11am.  zoom.us/j/297918422 

Williamsburg Community Association Drawing Class 6:30pm on Facebook live www.facebook.com/williamsburgca
Supply list at www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pb.117547391605170.-2207520000../3431577520202124/?type=3&theater

March 25

Dance Class with Debbie Allen (from FAME). Salsa at 4pm
www.instagram.com/therealdebbieallen/

Artshine Ice Cream Dream 6pm
 m.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw
see supplies needed at www.instagram.com/p/B-A7Cj1AKHI/

Zumba with the Williamsburg Community Association with Facebook Live on their page at 7pm
www.facebook.com/williamsburgca

Info from www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/a.194451373914771/3436668909692985/?type=3&theater⠀
Trivia 7pm(not sure if it is family friendly as we have not done it before)
www.facebook.com/293311194395877/photos/a.293825617677768/1008612959532360/?type=3&theater

March 26
#DistantlyDancing Kids Dance Party with Thunderstorm Productions
 www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

March 27
Author Sandra Wilson will be reading her children's story at 11am on her facebook page
www.facebook.com/authorsandrawilson

Artshine Comic Book Super Hero 2pm
 m.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw
see supplies needed at www.instagram.com/p/B-A7Cj1AKHI/⠀Debbie Allen (from FAME) tap dance class 2pm  www.instagram.com/therealdebbieallen/

#DistanclyDancing with Thunderstorm Productions 8pm-midnight (you may just want to do the audio as some videos may not be age-appropriate) www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

March 28
Debbie Allen (from FAME) dance class for kids Time to be determined  www.instagram.com/therealdebbieallen/

Storytime with Summer Santa 2pm www.facebook.com/jollysanta4hire

#DistanclyDancing with Thunderstorm Productions 8pm-midnight (you may just want to do the audio as some videos may not be age-appropriate) www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

March 29
Williamsburg Window Walk -theme is flowers
www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pb.117547391605170.-2207520000../3450621308297745/?type=3&theater

Fred Penner Sunday March 29th 2020 at 2pm CST on Instagram and Facebook pages.
www.facebook.com/fred.penner.583
www.instagram.com/fpenner5/

Chase from Paw Patrol at 3pm and Peppa Pig at 4pm on Facebook Live www.facebook.com/cdjaservicesElton John's #LivingRoomConcert at 9pm on FOX (and maybe MuchMusic) www.instagram.com/p/B-UcGLpAp2V/



March 30
Full Body Exercise w/Williamsburg Community Association on Facebook Live
at 9am www.facebook.com/williamsburgca using small hand weights or soup cans
Info from
 www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pcb.3446333228726553/3446331632060046/?type=3&theater

Kids Art Explorers w/Williamsburg Community Association on Facebook Live 6:30pm www.facebook.com/williamsburgca
Supplies Needed = paper and crayons (or pencil crayons/markers)
Info from
 www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pcb.3446333228726553/3446331632060046/?type=3&theater

March 31
Artshine in French 2pm

www.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw

April 1
Erick Traplin on facebook live at 10am on the Kitchener Public Library page www.facebook.com/kitchenerlibrary/
info from
www.facebook.com/erick.traplin.9/posts/10157924149976023

Facebook Live at 10am on the Thordale Fall Fair Page it's Agri-Music with Markus starting at 10am.www.facebook.com/thorndalefair/Sing-a-long with some of your favourite family friendly songs with Juno nominated children’s recording artist Markus!Markus is a staple in Canadian Entertainment - featured guest appearances on the Mr. Dress-up Show & Treehouse TV host. Dance, clap and sing along!
Williamsburg Window Walk -theme is JOKES
www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pb.117547391605170.-2207520000../3450621308297745/?type=3&theater

Dance Class with Debbie Allen (from FAME) at 4pm
www.instagram.com/therealdebbieallen/


Zumba w/Williamsburg Community Association Facebook Live 6:30pm www.facebook.com/williamsburgca
Info from www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pcb.3446333228726553/3446331632060046/?type=3&theater

April 2
Soper Creek Wild Rescue Facebook Live at 10am on the Thorndale Fall Fair Page www.facebook.com/thorndalefair/

Artshine in French at 11am
www.youtube.com/channel/UC08RXLDLgZYE46JXLS7O7vw

Kids Dance Party 6-8pm with Thunderstorm Productions
 www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

Zumba Gold (slower pace) w/ Williamsburg Community Association. Their FB page will have the zoom login 6pm www.facebook.com/williamsburgca
Info from
 www.facebook.com/williamsburgca/photos/pcb.3446333228726553/3446331632060046/?type=3&theater

April 3
Stronger Forever FB Live Family Friendly Fitness Class time to be determined
www.facebook.com/StrongerForeverYou

All Ages Dance Party 8pm-Midnight with Thunderstorm Productions
 www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

April 3
Disney themed Show Us Your Ears Kids Dance Party 5-7pm with Thunderstorm Productions
 www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

All Ages Dance Party 8pm-Midnight with Thunderstorm Productions
 www.twitch.tv/thunderstormproductions

Other resources we have found
Some Good News from John Krasinski
www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5pgG1M_h_U&t=24s
If he does more this is the channel page www.youtube.com/channel/UCOe_y6KKvS3PdIfb9q9pGug

Nutrition for Learning Free Pop Up Snacks, dates and locations vary.
Info at www.nutritionforlearning.ca/popupsnacks/

Free Watercolour Paint class daily at 6:30pm on Instagram Live
 www.instagram.com/stories/candiceleylandart/


Family Friendly workout
www.facebook.com/groups/2369595749/permalink/10158167027735750/

Lots of fun and free ideas on the Kitchener Public Library Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/kitchenerlibrary/

Daily Activities shared via video. Sign up for the Daily Activity newsletter
 www.recessguardians.org/daily-activity-newsletter

Crafting ideas with household items www.instagram.com/luso.canadiana

For those with older kids, Joe Kimpson (From Flag Raiders) goes on Facebook Live at 10am with some History News (he also asks ALEXA the weather and makes oatmeal)
 www.facebook.com/joe.kimp

mindfulness for kids courses for free ! Www.themindfulmama.ca

kids yoga through Modo Yoga Brantford's Facebook page (public) on Mon., Wed., and Fri. at 11:15 am. Claire is doing a story time at 6pm, also through MYB. If your friends follow the MYB page they'll see an updated schedule every day. Download the MYB app or go to modoyoga.com/brantford/

Sonshine and Broccoli on Instagram Live Mon-Fri at 11:30am www.instagram.com/sonshineandbroccoli/

I believe the ARKELLS Music lesson happens Daily at 1pmArkells music lesson at 1pm www.instagram.com/arkellsmusic/



Alan Doyle (from Great Big Sea) live daily at 5pm on his facebook page this week
www.facebook.com/alandoylemusic (now over, 2nd last week in March)

Our local YMCA has workouts by age group at www.thisisy.ca/body/

Stronger Forever You fitness classes on Facebook Live
www.facebook.com/StrongerForeverYou

List of Apps that may be helpful from
Melissa Dubewww.facebook.com/groups/2369595749/permalink/10158177226860750/

Colouring Contest (ends March 26) eatonrealty.ca/2020/03/22/eaton-realtys-picture-perfect-contest

Science Magic videos - links at www.facebook.com/groups/2369595749/permalink/10158156066530750/

Erick Traplin's YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/channel/UC0Mzj7s1nei02guFvC17w7Q

Google Arts and Culture artsandculture.google.com/

Disney Imagineering in a BoxInfo disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/03/enjoy-a-one-of-a-kind-learning-experience-from-disney-imagineers/Link to start www.khanacademy.org/humanities/hass-storytelling/imagineering-in-a-box

How to Draw Mickey Mouse through the years.  Also lots of other character drawing at the end of the post.
disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/03/draw-mickey-mouse-at-home-with-a-disney-parks-artist/

Kennedy Space Centre
Online science videos with facebook live www.facebook.com/KennedySpaceCenterVisitorComplex/

Staying Healthy with TVO Kids www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZKr_TDK9YiwKH1tuSGF5DvTt5U2LBNRH

Ripley's Aquarium Shark Cam
experiencity.ca/things-to-do/2020/03/18/ripley-s-aquarium-of-canada-set-up-live-cams-so-you-can-watch-sharks-swimming-from-home/

Concerts from popular artists on Global Citizen's Instagram
www.instagram.com/glblctzn/
I will do my best to update this list as I find more infoHere are some others from our STUFF TO DO WITH KIDS IN KITCHENER WATERLOO Facebook Group contributors
Julie Bundscho  They are in the states and have been running a daily art class for free. Their plan was just the 2 weeks, but have now extended it to 4 weeks! My Kids have been enjoying it!

www.facebook.com/McHarperManor/ daily at 1pm


Jess N. Dela Cruz Since many kids are/will be home from school, sharing an awesome list of ideas from a parent who homeschools.

Online resources:
- BrainPop
- Curiosity Stream
- Tynker
- Outschool
- Udemy
- iReady
- Beast Academy (Math)
- Khan Academy
- Creative Bug
- Discovery Education

YouTube Channels:
- Crash Course Kids
- Science Channel
- SciShow Kids
- National Geographic Kids
- Free School
- Geography Focus
- TheBrainScoop
- SciShow
- Kids Learning Tube
- Geeek Gurl Diaries
- Mike Likes Science
- Science Max
- SoulPancake

Lots of board games, library books (and Kindle), tinkering/upcycling with household junk, etc.
Some resources to help with kids at home:

*Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.

classroommagazines.scholastic.com/.../learnathome...

*Pretend to travel the world..Go on a virtual tour of these 12 famous museums.

www.travelandleisure.com/.../museums-with-virtual...

*This is the awesome free curriculum that we use. Everything from preschool activities to 12th grade is here!

allinonehomeschool.com/

*List of thinking games by grade: allinonehomeschool.com/thinking/

**More awesome free learning websites that we like to use**

www.starfall.com/h/

www.abcya.com/

www.funbrain.com/

www.splashlearn.com/

www.storylineonline.net/

pbskids.org/

www.highlightskids.com/

kids.nationalgeographic.com/

www.coolmath4kids.com/

www.mathgametime.com/

www.uniteforliteracy.com/

www.literactive.com/Home/index.asp

www.sciencekids.co.nz/

www.switchzoo.com/

www.seussville.com/

www.turtlediary.com/

www.e-learningforkids.org/

Kaitlin Marie Carruthers K5LEARNING.COM has free printable worksheet for preschool to grade 6!
Olivera Banda I saw this list of online resources for kids..www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156751571736104&set=p.10156751571736104&type=3&theater
Stephanie Schwemler www.farmfood360.ca

Virtual farm tours
Brandi Thompson www.thenewstribune.com/.../article241307611.htmland Virtual Paint Night listed under March 20
These are from

Lisa Buckle Lynch

16 Card Games for Math www.weareteachers.com/math-card-games
Virtual Harry Potter Escape room kidsactivitiesblog.com/136211/digital-escape-room-harry-potter
Scolastic online kids courses www.cnn.com/2020/03/15/us/scholastic-coronavirus-students-trnd/index.html
150+ Educational Shows on Netflix homeschoolhideout.com/educational-shows-on-netflix
Virtual Museum Tours www.thrillist.com/news/nation/virtual-museum-tours
10 ball games for kids frugalfun4boys.com/indoor-ball-games-kids
60+ Best Math Websites www.weareteachers.com/best-math-websites
Netflix Party www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/03/17/coronavirus-netflix-party-lets-friends-do-movie-nights-quarantine/5072347002
60+ Classes from YMCA www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article241307611.html
Journal the experience news.virginia.edu/content/write-it-down-historian-suggests-keeping-record-life-during-pandemic
KW Short Story Contest www.jenniferfarquhar.com/short-story-contest

Michele McBride Roach
Boredom Buster list

chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/list-of-online-resources-for-anyone-who-is-isolated-at-home

Lea Vasiljevic

classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome/grades-1-2.htm

www.khanacademy.org/ (also see Disney Imagineering in a box above)
Math Game www.prodigygame.com/
Math www.cockeyed.com/personal/homework/homework_problems.htm
Crafts www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts

This post was also featured on CTV Kitchener on the News at Noon and a different clip at 6pm

Noon News info at the 4 minute, 26 second mark


 and another a clip at the 6pm news at the 7 minute mark (this one doesn't show properly but can be found at kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?&binId=1.1147281 )



Thanks to everyone that is contributing to this post.  Be sure to join our STUFF TO DO FACEBOOK GROUP too!
www.facebook.com/groups/2369595749/



Kitchener Minor Baseball

KMBA COVID-19 Program Update

COVID-19 Program Update Based on the recommendations of our provincial government health officials, KMBA will be extending the suspension of all programs and team activities until May 4, 2020. We will review this new timeline at the end of April. All players/guardians and coaches can review the email sent this evening for further details and

Read More


Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

COVID-19 Coronavirus Chamber Update

03/31/2020

We hope that you, your staff, and families are well. Please see our Chamber COVID-19 Update for today below. In addition, we are looking for feedback from the business community – please see below for two ways that you can provide your feedback.

Region of Waterloo Public Health Update

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health is updating the number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region on their website on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10:30am. As of yesterday, there were 60 confirmed positive cases and 43 presumptive positive cases in Waterloo Region. Today, Region of Waterloo Public Health confirmed the first death related to COVID-19 in our region. Please check the Region of Waterloo Public Health website for up to date COVID-19 information for our region.

Federal Government Update

  • Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion & Trade, Mary Ng, have indicated that they will be providing more details about the 75% wage subsidy for businesses tomorrow. We will provide you with these details as soon as they are available.

Provincial Government Update

  • Today, Ontario’s Premier announced that Ontario is extending school and child care closures. Public schools will remain closed to students until Monday May 4th and as that date comes closer, this decision will be re-evaluations based on public health advice. Details on these closures and education continuance can be found using the link provided.

Upcoming FREE Webinar

The Greater KW Chamber of Commerce is hosting a FREE webinar, Cybersecurity Best Practices for Working Remotely, this Thursday April 2nd at 3:00pm EST. If you have staff working remotely then we encourage you to join us to learn about best practices in cybersecurity when you have a team working remotely. Our guest will be Alex Willis, Vice President, Sales Engineering & ISV Partners from BlackBerry who will talk about the importance of protecting your company from security risks and tools that are available for you to use. Register Today!

We Want to Hear from You!

Feedback from the business community is critical to help direct advocacy efforts and share the information/resources that are needed during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please see below for two ways that you can provide your feedback.

  • Canada’s Innovation Corridor Business Council, which is comprised of 14 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in southwestern Ontario including our Chamber, is seeking feedback from the business community on the impact of COVID-19. This responses will be summarized and passed along to the municipal leaders, as well as the Premier and the Prime Minister. Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback! This questionnaire will be open until Tues March 31 at 5:00pm EST.
  • The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is concerned about you and your business as we manage the impact of COVID-19. Our goal is to understand and articulate your business needs so the Chamber can be helpful as we speak at the local, provincial and federal levels of government. In addition, we strive to coordinate resources between government and our local business community, share information and provide assistance to help maneuver through these times. Please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey today.

Chamber Member Promotions & Updates

During this time, if you are a Chamber member and your business has any special offers, updates, or resources you would like shared with our membership, we want to know! Fill out this short form with your update and we will compile submissions onto our website and share on our social media channels.

03/30/2020

We hope that you, your staff, and families are well. Our Chamber COVID-19 Update for today outlines updates from all levels of government – including details from the Federal Government about the increased wage subsidy announced Friday – as well as an update from Region of Waterloo Public Health. In addition, we are looking for feedback from the business community – please see below for two ways that you can provide your feedback.

Region of Waterloo Public Health Update

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health announced this morning that there are 60 confirmed positive and 43 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region. You can find more information about these cases on their website.

Federal Government Update

  • As a follow up to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday outlining increased financial assistance for small and medium-sized businesses, more details were made available today about the wage subsidy to help businesses keep their staff employed. Details about the 75% of wage subsidy include:
  • Businesses with a revenue decrease of 30% or more due to COVID-19 will be eligible
  • Not for profit and charitable organizations will be eligible for the wage subsidy, as will businesses of all sizes
  • Number of employees that an organization has is not an eligibility requirement
  • This program will cover up to 75% of the first $58,700 earned (or up to $847/week)
  • The wage subsidy will be backdated to March 15, 2020
  • For those businesses who can afford to top up their staff’s wages to cover the remaining 25%, the Prime Minister is encouraging them to do so
  • We will share details about how to access these funds as they are made available

Provincial Government Update

  • On Sunday, the Provincial government announced updated guidance to help construction employers better understand their responsibilities and what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site.
  • As a reminder, the Government of Ontario announced providing electricity relief for families, small businesses and farms during COVID-19 on March 24, 2020 effectively immediately. Residential and small business customers on time-of-use (TOU) pricing will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed. The Government has indicated that it intends to keep the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing in place for 45 days. The 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically – no customer action is required. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider is able to implement the price change, in which case they will receive a credit on the following bill.

Municipal Government Update

  • On Friday, the Region of Waterloo announced that it is coordinating emergency child care for critical service workers. This child care will be available 24/7 for parents who provide critical services in our community and it will be free. More details and the application can be found on the website.

We Want to Hear from You!

Feedback from the business community is critical to help direct advocacy efforts and share the information/resources that are needed during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please see below for two ways that you can provide your feedback.

  • Canada’s Innovation Corridor Business Council, which is comprised of 14 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in southwestern Ontario including our Chamber, is seeking feedback from the business community on the impact of COVID-19. This responses will be summarized and passed along to the municipal leaders, as well as the Premier and the Prime Minister. Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback! This questionnaire will be open until Tues March 31 at 5:00pm EST.
  • The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is concerned about you and your business as we manage the impact of COVID-19. Our goal is to understand and articulate your business needs so the Chamber can be helpful as we speak at the local, provincial and federal levels of government. In addition, we strive to coordinate resources between government and our local business community, share information and provide assistance to help maneuver through these times. Please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey today.

Chamber Member Promotions & Updates

During this time, if you are a Chamber member and your business has any special offers, updates, or resources you would like shared with our membership, we want to know! Fill out this short form with your update and we will compile submissions onto our website and share on our social media channels.

03/27/2020

There were several financial supports for small and medium-sized businesses announced by the Prime Minister today. For information about this important assistance, along with several other updates, please see below.

Region of Waterloo Public Health Update

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health announced that there are 69 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region. You can find more information about these cases on their website.

Federal Government Update

  • Today, the Prime Minister announced a major increase to financial supports for small and medium-sized businesses. Those supports include:
  • The wage subsidy available for qualifying businesses has increased from a 10% subsidy to a 75% subsidy for up to three months, and will be retroactive to Sunday March 15, 2020
  • The federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Business Account for small businesses that will see banks offer loans of up to $40,000 government-guaranteed loans that will be interest free for the first year. If certain conditions are met, then the first $10,000 of the loan will be forgiven.
  • The government will be providing an additional $12.5 billion to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC)
  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, will have more time to make HST and GST payments, which are being deferred until June 2020
  • Earlier this week, our Chamber along with our partners Communitech, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, and Waterloo EDC sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Premier on Ontario, outlining recommendations to help better support businesses. We were pleased with the federal government’s response today as they are acting on several of the recommendations in that letter. These measures are important for our local business community, as well as businesses across the province and country. The Prime Minister indicated today that more information about these programs would be available on Monday. As those details become available, we will share it through our updates and on our website.

Advocacy Update

  • As a follow up to the letter that was sent to the Prime Minister and Premier of Ontario earlier this week, an op-ed was published by the Waterloo Region Record online yesterday and in print today.
  • Today, the region announced the creation of the Business and Economic Support Team of Waterloo Region (BESTWR). This initiative is a partnership between the region, all seven area municipalities, Waterloo EDC, Communitech, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce to help all types of local businesses cope with the challenges caused by COVID-19. In addition to the partners noted above, members of BESTWR will include representatives from the Region and all area municipalities, and representatives from many other organizations engaged in supporting our local businesses and the local economy. More information about BESTWR will be available in the coming days.

Calls for Industry Support

  • Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) announced $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. Please visit the NGen website for more information.
  • The Provincial Government’s Ontario Together: Help Fight Coronavirus program is welcoming help from businesses and organization who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support their response to COVID-19.
  • The Federal Government is asking Canadian manufacturers or businesses to contact them if they can assist in meeting the need for medical supplies.

We Want to Hear from You!

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is concerned about you and your business as we manage the impact of COVID-19. Our goal is to understand and articulate your business needs so the Chamber can be helpful as we speak at the local, provincial and federal levels of government. In addition, we strive to coordinate resources between government and our local business community, share information and provide assistance to help maneuver through these times. Please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey today.

Chamber Member Promotions & Updates

During this time, if you are a Chamber member and your business has any special offers, updates, or resources you would like shared with our membership, we want to know! Fill out this short form with your update and we will compile submissions onto our website and share on our social media channels.

Webinars

Did you miss our COVID-19 and Your Business webinar yesterday? Don’t worry! The webinar was recorded and you can watch it here!

We are working hard to support business and will continue to send you updates by email, through social media and on our blog. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources for Your Business site for information and resources that may help you, your staff, and your business.

03/26/2020

Our Chamber update for today including announcements from municipal, provincial, and federal governments; an update from Region of Waterloo Public Health; advocacy efforts; upcoming webinars; and, resources for businesses.

Region of Waterloo Public Health Updates

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health is updating the number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region on their website on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10:30am. As of yesterday, there were 58 confirmed cases presumptive positive cases in Waterloo Region. Please check the Region of Waterloo Public Health website for up to date COVID-19  information for our region.

Municipal Government Updates

  • Yesterday, The City of Waterloo and The City of Cambridge announced economic response plans to provide financial relief for residents.

Provincial Government Update

  • Ontario is enabling financial relief for businesses through allowing businesses in the province to defer their premium payments for six months until August 31, 2020. All employers who are covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and they will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit. Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces. Please visit WSIB for more information.
  • Additional information on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 is now available. Included in the plan :
    • A proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. With this plan, more than 90% of private-sector employers would not pay EHT in 2020.
    • A five-month interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes beginning April 1, 2020.
    • Setting electricity prices for residential, farm, and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate (off-peak price), 24 hours a day for the next 45 days (previously announced)
    • Working with the federal government to find ways to support apprentices and enable businesses to continue to retain these skilled trades workers during the COVID-19 outbreak

Advocacy

Yesterday, a joint letter from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Waterloo EDC, and Communitech was sent to the Prime Minister and Premier of Ontario. In this letter, the heads of these leading business organizations in Waterloo Region, who together represent over 90,000 workers and 3,500 businesses of every type and size, have summarized their recommendations to help support the business community during COVID-19. An op-ed, Responding to COVID-19 required unprecedented and urgent government support, has been published on The Waterloo Region Record site and will be published in print tomorrow (Friday).

We Want to Hear from You!

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is concerned about you and your business as we manage the impact of COVID-19. Our goal is to understand and articulate your business needs so the Chamber can be helpful as we speak at the local, provincial and federal levels of government. In addition, we strive to coordinate resources between government and our local business community, share information and provide assistance to help maneuver through these times. Please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey today.

Upcoming FREE Webinars

If you missed our COVID-19 and Your Business today, then you will still be able to access it. We will post this webinar on our website within the next day. Please stay tuned!

We are working hard to support business and will continue to send you updates by email, through social media and on our blog. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources for Your Business site for information and resources that may help you, your staff, and your business.

03/25/2020

GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
  • Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses – March 25, 2020
  • Region of Waterloo and local municipalities declare States of Emergency
  • Kitchener City Council approves Early Economic Support Plan Extra 60 days to pay property tax and utility bills without penalty

A joint letter from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Waterloo EDC, and Communitech was sent to the Prime Minister and Premier of Ontario on March 25, 2020. In this letter, the heads of these leading business organizations in Waterloo Region, who together represent over 90,000 workers and 3,500 businesses of every type and size, have summarized their recommendations to help support the business community during COVID-19.

View letter: New Government Response to COVID Virus for Business and Communities.v2 (1)

03/25/2020

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659, 8:30am – 5:00pm.

Government Announcements

  • Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659
  • Region of Waterloo and local municipalities declare States of Emergency

Mental Health Resources

  • Managing Stress poster, Region of Waterloo
  • Mental Wellness Network of Waterloo Region

Stay Safe

  • COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool, Government of Canada

03/24/2020

In today’s update, we wanted to provide you with information about important announcements from the Provincial and Federal Governments, as well as information from Region of Waterloo Public Health, and upcoming free webinars and additional resources for businesses.

Provincial Government Updates

  • Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Government of Ontario has ordered at-risk workplaces to close-down by 11:59pm today, while encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue their operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. Essential businesses who will be staying open are asked to implement any and all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees. Read the list of Essential Workplaces here. The Ontario government will be launching a website and a 1-800 number where inquires can be directed and we will share this information with our members as soon as it becomes available.
  • This afternoon, the Premier of Ontario announced that the government is providing electricity relief to families, small businesses, and farms due to COVID-19. For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. The discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills and customers do not need to complete an application to receive these savings.

Federal Government Updates

  • The House of Commons has been recalled and are Members of Parliament are meeting today regarding the introduction of urgent economic measures, as part of Canada’s $82 billion response to support workers and businesses during the COVID919 pandemic.

Region of Waterloo Public Health Updates

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health is updating the number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region on their website on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10:30am. As of yesterday, there were 17 confirmed cases and 15 presumptive positive cases in Waterloo Region. Please check the Region of Waterloo Public Health website for up to date COVID-19  information for our region.
  • You can find a list of Region of Waterloo service changes and closures due to COVID-19 through the Region of Waterloo Public Health site.

Upcoming FREE Webinars

The Greater KW Chamber of Commerce is hosting a FREE webinar, COVID-19 and Your Business, this Thursday March 26th at 4:00pm. Join us to hear from our Chamber’s President & CEO, Ian McLean, for an update on COVID-19 and the impacts to your business, as well as how the Chamber can continue to support you during this difficult time. Register Today!

Other free webinars that are being hosted include:

  • BDC Webinar: How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business – tomorrow (March 25th) at 12:00pm EST
  • BDO Webinar: Cash Flow Strategies and Government Incentives in the time of COVID-19 – Thursday March 26th at 12:30pm EST

Additional Resources

  • COVID-19: Top Five Things SMEs Need to Know, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • FAQs for Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers, Government of Canada

Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings, Public Health Ontario

03/23/2020

Today, Premier Doug Ford announced the closure of all non-essential workplaces to fight the spread of COVID-19 that will come into effect Tuesday March 24th at 11:59pm. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow (Tues) and we will send an update tomorrow to share those details. The province will have a 1-800 number and website available on Wed March 25th for any inquires.

Today, the Prime Minister announced a plan to mobilize science to fight COVID-19 that will support our country’s researchers as they do critical work to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, and people around the world, during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, the Government of Canada announced new measures to support for farmers and agri-food businesses facing financial hardship due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Region of Waterloo Public Health provided an update this morning that there are 17 confirmed COVID cases in Waterloo Region plus an additional 15 presumptive positive cases. Among the confirmed and presumptive cases include those due to community transmission and close contact. Containing the spread is the most important action that we can all take to protect businesses, staff, and the community. Please continue to follow the instructions from the Region of Waterloo Public Health, the Ministry of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada for information on protecting yourself and slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Can your business help?

Provincial Government

  • The Ontario Government has launched Ontario Together: Help Fight Coronavirus and would like to hear from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the COVID-19 response.

Federal Government

  • The Government of Canada would like to hear from businesses and manufacturers who can assist in meeting the needs for medical supplies. The Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products that will help in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Help Canada Combat Coronavirus Submission Form
  • For any questions/requests/applications for medical devices, including test kits, please email:
    devicelicensing-homologationinstruments.sc@canada.ca
  • For any questions/requests/applications for other health products, including hand sanitizer, please email: covid19healthproducts-produitsdesante.sc@canada.ca
  • For questions and offers on retooling, please email: mid-dim.ic@canada.ca
  • The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Programwill build on its existing relationships with thousands of Canada’s most innovative small and medium-sized businesses to pose challenges to the marketplace for innovative solutions to fight COVID-19. The most promising solutions will be selected for procurement, working with Innovative Solutions Canada.
CCc advocates for canadian businesses

03/20/2020

There were two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region today. Please keep up to date on COVID-19 developments in our region through Region of Waterloo Public Health. In addition, please find out about the service changes and closures in Waterloo Region due to COVID-19.

As the Prime Minister announced earlier this week, non-essential travel Canada and the United States will be restricted, which will not impact trade. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate on behalf of all Canadian businesses the importance for ensuring trade flows between Canada and the United States.

This afternoon, Premier Ford announced that the government is helping students learn from the safety of their own home while schools are closed. This assistance includes offering educational programming throughout the day for school-aged children on TVO Kids. Other resources will also be available to children to learn during their time at home.

Business Resources:

In addition to the resources that we have previously sent out, please see the following information:

  • The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is hosting a free webinar How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business on March 25, 2020 at 12:00pm EST
  • Download the Canada Business App provided by the Government of Canada to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19
  • Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19: If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed
  • Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Provincial and Federal Government Announcements

03/19/2020

As new information is continually being released about COVID-19, we are working hard to gather and summarize the information to share with our members. As you know, there have been several government announcements in the last few days about assistance that will be provided to businesses and individuals. Below is a summary of some of those measures. In the coming days we will provide practical information on how to apply for the assistance listed below.

Provincial Government Announcements

  • Premier Ford Announces Job Protection for Workers during the COVID-19 situation
  • Ontario Enacts Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public

Federal Government Announcements

  • Work-Sharing Program (Federal) – temporary measures for the downturn in business due to COVID-19
  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefitswill be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. Those who are eligible can apply online.
  • The Emergency Support Benefit has been introduced to support workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment. We will share details on how to apply once they are available.
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • A Temporary Wage Subsidy will be introduced to support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs. The subsidy would be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during a period of time of up to three months, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
  • The Bank of Canada also took a series of actions to support the Canadian economy during this period of economic stress, enhance the resilience of the Canadian financial system, and help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to both households and businesses. This included cutting the interest rate to 0.75% as a proactive measure.
  • The CRA will allow businesses to defer the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and September 2020 until August 31, 2020.
  • The Federal Government would like to hear from businesses who can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19?
Chamber Event Rescheduling

03/17/2020

We know that this is a very challenging time for our members and we are committed to supporting the local community in any way possible. The Chamber continues to work hard to access information and resources to help our members through this very difficult time. We know that this situation is causing concern and uncertainly and we will continue to provide updates to our members by email and through our website. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources for your Business page for resources that may be helpful for your business. Please feel free to reach out to us by phone or email and we will try to help in any way possible. You can find our staff directory on our website.

In accordance with advice from health officials and in an effort to protect the health and safety of our members, staff, and community, the Chamber will be rescheduling all events that were scheduled to occur from now until the end of May. Among the events being rescheduled include Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit, the Manufacturing Summit, Leadercast, and the Energy & Environment Forum. Registrations for the impacted events will be valid for the new dates and information about refunds can be found on our website.

Our staff at the Chamber has been working hard to meet the needs of our members during this extremely difficult time. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly changes, we continue to monitor new developments and updates as they are released. We will provide updates as more information becomes available about the assistance that the Ontario Government and Federal Government have announced.

Thank you for your continued support of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and we are here to support you and your business as best as we can.

CHAMBER OFFICE HOURS UPDATE

03/16/2020

The Greater KW Chamber staff is working hard to meet the needs of our members during this extremely difficult time. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly changes, we continue to monitor the updates and developments as they are released. In an effort to protect the health and safety of our staff, members, and the community, the Chamber staff will be working remotely until further notice and our office will be closed to visitors. Our staff will be available Monday through Friday between 8:30am – 4:30pm and you can refer to our staff directory for the appropriate contact information.

We know that this is a very challenging time for our members and we are committed to supporting you and our community. Please continue to reach out to us by phone or email and we would be happy to help.

We will continue to provide COVID-19 information and resources that can help our members. You will receive these updates, as well as updates related to our events, through email, social media, and our website.

You can find resources on our website to help your business, including:

  • Pandemic Preparedness Resources for Businesses from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Resources on preventing the spread, self-isolating, self-monitoring
  • Update to date COVID-19 information from the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Ministry of Health, Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization

Additional Resources:

  • Premier Ford Announces Job Protection for Workers during the COVID-19 Situation
  • Ensuring Economic Resilience – Government of Canada
Gkwcc update

03/13/2020

As the situation with COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to rapidly change globally and locally, we are monitoring the developments closely. The health and safety of our members, event attendees, community, and staff is of the utmost importance to us and as such, we have made the decision to reschedule our upcoming events between now and April 23, 2020. Registrations for the impacted events will be valid for the new dates and information about refunds can be found on our website. We are evaluating the Chamber events that are scheduled beyond April 23, 2020 and will provide an update to our members as soon as possible.

While we are rescheduling upcoming events, the Chamber continues to work hard to access information and resources to help our members through this very difficult time. We are in contact with Public Health and will actively work with municipal, Provincial, and Federal government officials to advocate for businesses in our region. We know that this situation is causing concern and uncertainly and we will continue to provide updates and resources to our members by email and through this webpage.

As a reminder, you can find the most up to date information about COVID-19 as well as helpful resources on the following sites:

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Ministry of Health
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • World Health Organization

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce offers a Pandemic Preparedness Resources for Businesses. In addition, the Government of Canada has created a Risk Assessment Tool that can used to make informed decisions about mass gatherings during this time.

We sincerely thank you for your continued support of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce and we are here to support you and your business as best we can.

Regarding Upcoming Events

We feel rescheduling these events is the wise thing to do as the health and safety of our members, event attendees, community, and staff is of the utmost importance. We are not cancelling any programs, but instead are rescheduling for a later date.

The events currently being rescheduled include:

  • Manulife Chamber Academy – March 24
  • Cyber Security Summit – March 24
  • MNP Networking Breakfast Series – March 26
  • Manulife Chamber Academy – April 7
  • Libro Chamber Young Professionals – April 7
  • Jay Fencing Business After 5 – April 15
  • Energy & Environment Forum – April 23

We are closely monitoring the situation and will reschedule when we feel it is completely safe to do so for everyone concerned. We are evaluating the Chamber events that are scheduled beyond April 23, 2020 and will provide an update to our members as soon as possible.

Current registrations for the events listed above will be valid for the new event dates. If the new event date does not fit in your schedule, refunds will be available at that time. During this time it may take longer than usual to respond and process your request.

Upcoming GKWCC Events

03/12/2020

As you may have heard today, there have been two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Waterloo Region. Please continue following the Region of Waterloo Public Health website for up to date information.

Yesterday, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a statement about the Federal Government’s COVID-19 response plan. You can read the Canadian Chamber’s statement here.

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (GKWCC) continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and we have been in contact with Region of Waterloo Public Health. We are evaluating our upcoming events and will provide an update as soon as possible. As we announced earlier this week, we have temporarily revised our refund policy to allow registrants to cancel up until the start of the event and receive a full refund. If you would like a refund, please email events@greaterkwchamber.com with the email titled ‘event refund’. Please specify the event, company name, and full name the registration is under.

Resources
  • Several COVID-19 Awareness Resources from the Government of Canada, including:
    • Reduce the spread of COVID-19: Wash your hands
    • How to care for a person with COVID-19 at home: Advice for caregivers
    • Vulnerable populations and COVID-19
    • How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19
  • Several COVID-19 posters from the Region of Waterloo Public Health:
    • Help stop the spread of germs!
    • How to self-isolate
    • How to self-monitor
    • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has several resources available for Pandemic Preparedness for Business

We will continue to monitor the developments daily and update you with resources and information as it becomes available. To keep up to date on COVID-19 Coronavirus, please follow:

  • Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Government of Ontario
  • Public Health Agency of Canada

We encourage everyone to protect their own health and safety as well as the health and safety of others by:

  • Staying home if feeling unwell
  • Washing your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds
  • Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces regularly
  • Sneezing and coughing into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
GKWCC Event update

03/09/2020

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (GKWCC) continues to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). In terms of the GKWCC’s upcoming events, we are taking our lead from Public Health, who is currently not suggesting the postponement or cancellation any of our scheduled events. As a result, we are proceeding as planned with all upcoming GKWCC events.

The safety and well-being of our members and community are of the utmost importance to us. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update this policy as required. We will communicate any event changes to registrants, our members, and the public through email, social media posts, and updates on our website. In the meantime, we are exploring alternative options for our events – including holding virtual events or rescheduling – in case the directive from Public Health changes.

Currently, we encourage all event attendees to:
  • Evaluate their own health (and the health of people they’re in close contact with), when deciding to attend an upcoming GKWCC event. A temporary change to our refund policy has been made for those who are no longer able to attend an event (see below).
  • Follow the guidance of the Region of Waterloo Public Health for everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of viruses, including but not limited to:
    • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick
    • Stay home when you are sick
    • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Use sanitization materials offered complimentary at Chamber events
  • Greet other event attendees with a fist bump or wave, instead of a handshake
Temporary Change to the GKWCC Refund Policy

During this time, we have revised our GKWCC Event Refund Policy for registrants. If you are not able to attend an in-person event, please contact our Events team by email prior to the event. For select events being held using virtual technology, the 3-Business Day Cancellation Policy will remain in effect; registrants for these events will be notified of this policy via email communication. If you are no longer able to attend an event that you are registered for, please send an email to events@greaterkwchamber.com as soon as possible.

As published on the Region of Waterloo Public Health site, symptoms of the COVID-19 Coronavirus can range from mild – like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe, and can include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you are unwell, we encourage you to stay home to recover.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Chamber Update

03/05/2020

As COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread globally, including the first confirmed case in Waterloo Region, commerce and communities are being impacted. Your Greater KW Chamber of Commerce is monitoring the situation and wants to provide you with useful tools and resources for your business.

Our team has compiled resources to help prepare your business and ensure that your employees remain safe. Resources below include a Business Pandemic Preparedness Checklist, Business Continuity Guide, and a Crisis Communication Plan.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19:
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Government of Ontario
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
Resources for your Business:
  • Business Pandemic Preparedness Checklist from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)
  • Business Continuity Guide from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety 
  • Business Continuity & Recovery Plan from The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Crisis Communication Plan from The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Cover your Cough Hand Washing Poster from The Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Guidelines for Mass Gatherings from The Government of Canada

Region of Waterloo Public Health recommends taking the following actions to avoid the continuous spread of germs and viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

We will continue to update this page with additional resources and templates as they relate to the business community when they become available. Connect with us on social media to ensure you are aware of the latest updates.

 

The post COVID-19 Coronavirus Chamber Update appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


My Home in Kitchener Waterloo

Are Schools Closed Today? Kitchener-Waterloo

Are Schools Closed Today? Wondering if your child’s school is still open? Look no further! This site provides up to date information about school closures, bus cancellations, and even which buses may be delayed. You’ll be able to check the schools closed today in real time.  You can also tune in to a variety of […]

The post Are Schools Closed Today? Kitchener-Waterloo appeared first on My Home in Kitchener-Waterloo.


Andrew Coppolino

Crazy Canuck: hangin’ in there, eh?

The popular Crazy Canuck Restaurant’eh has two locations — one in downtown Kitchener, tucked inside the Corporation Square building at Ontario and Duke streets, and the original location kitty corner to the St. Jacobs Market on Weber Street in Waterloo.

Both are open limited hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Call the downtown location to order and pay; a Crazy Canuck brings your order to the door. In Waterloo, there’s a delivery take-out window.

Like all restaurants, there has never been a tougher time for the business. But like many, many restaurants, the Crazy Canuck team has adapted, become more inventive and is working hard to keep afloat.

We caught up with Crazy Canuck co-founders Freddy Hayes and Jeremy Monforte (via telephone and email) and asked them how they are doing and how they’ve adapted.

[Interview edited for brevity and clarity.]


*****


andrewcoppolino.com: So how did you get to the stage you’re at now?
Freddy Hayes: It’s hard to keep track of time, but several days ago when the announcement came down, we had all the guys come in and we asked what we felt comfortable with. Did we want to truck on through until it was mandatory to close down completely?

And what happened?
Hayes: When we shut down the dining room right away and went to delivery only, we did unfortunately lose some part-timers. We’ve never had a big staff. We have five currently.

♦Crazy crew; happier times: Hayes (left), Monforte, Jason Robb, Liam Cameron, Tyrone Kaufman (photo/Crazy Canuck).

As you would expect.
Hayes: But the core team said they didn’t want to sit around. They said they didn’t want to stop the business. Why don’t we try to keep going?

And how has that played out? What have you done?
Hayes: All of us go from work to home. We’re focussed keeping interaction outside of the restaurant to a minimum, of course. Inside, we keep distanced from each other too.

So given that, what are the nuts and bolts of the business now?
Hayes: It’s take-out and gift cards. We hit social media. We’ve picked up a bit of catering, and we have also helped at fire halls and group homes. And the workers at Martin’s [Family Fruit Farm] around the corner from our Waterloo location.

I understand that you’ve got 30 delivery orders within 20 minutes tonight?
Jeremy Monforte: Our delivery through Skip the Dishes and Door Dash have increased significantly over the past two weeks and for that we are grateful.

That’s something. How has the general community responded? Your regular customers?
Hayes: People have reached out and were calling left and right saying we really want to help you out. Booked some catering. For some of our older regular clientele, we’ve put some food packages together and drop them off. I ran one today.

It’s a good thing that gas prices are so low!
Hayes: Yes it is!

♦Grateful to the community (photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

So people know, how is pickup done?
Hayes: We’ve built a temporary pickup window in Waterloo. All interactions are done one at a time through the window. Order on the phone, pull up and call when you arrive. No one is coming and going inside. There always has been, but there’s lots of hand-washing and sanitizing after every exchange.
Monforte: No guests enter the dining room and none of our staff come into direct contact with customers. It’s been working very efficiently. The amount of sanitizer, bleach, Lysol, and isopropyl alcohol that we’ve gone through in the last two weeks has been an eye opener to say the least. But we aren’t going to let up with sanitizing virtually everything and washing our hands likely hundreds of times a day.

Financially, is all of this more difficult at the downtown Kitchener location?
Hayes: For sure. We’re only two years there and everything is at its tightest. We have to do what we can to continue until told otherwise.

It’s certainly a difficult time.
Hayes: It is, but we’ve had a lot of thank-you’s for being open from customers. And it’s great to be able to help people on the front lines, taking food to a group home, or a fire hall.
Monforte: We will get through this together. The entire Crazy Canuck team is so proud of the city and community that we call family. We look forward to the day that we can open our doors again and welcome our guests into our “home.”

[Banner image/Crazy Canuck]









Check out my latest post Crazy Canuck: hangin’ in there, eh? from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Miovision

Solving traffic problems remotely

Both citizens and traffic teams feel the pressure when unexpected traffic issues arise. Citizen complaints are good indicators of these issues but rarely provide all the information needed for a traffic team to take action. Traffic teams must observe issues themselves to: 

  1. Identify the problem (and the cause) 
  2. Assess a course of action 
  3. Determine who and what is needed to fix the problem
  4. Coordinate the required resources to get the issue solved as soon as possible 

That’s why solutions designed to provide real-time information about a traffic network enables traffic teams to respond to issues faster and more efficiently. Through features like connectivity and smart video sensors, signal communications improve significantly and provide traffic teams with: 

  • Remote access to monitor and manage signals 
  • Visibility into what’s happening, in real-time, at an intersection 
  • Accurate and reliable data from the roadside 
Real-time alerts and better visibility

Using cellular connectivity to gather data directly from the traffic signals means it’s possible to deliver email alerts to traffic teams letting them know when there’s an issue, such as signals stuck in flash. Combined with improved visibility through video streaming, traffic teams can immediately verify the issue in real-time, deploying the necessary resources to fix the problem faster than traditional processes allow. 

Traditionally, traffic teams need to travel to the location of a reported issue to confirm and assess the problem. Sometimes other priorities delay this process and, in the meantime, additional citizen complaints continue to come in. While some reporting systems allow citizens to upload photos when reporting an issue, circumstances can change quickly and these photos are not always a great representation of what’s happening at the intersection or roadway right now.

Smarter intersections for innovative traffic teams 

Connecting signals within a traffic network is an important step towards delivering smart intersections that allow traffic teams to do more with existing resources and infrastructure. Simplifying processes is just one way signal communications help support these teams, giving them the ability to assess problems remotely and prioritize work more efficiently. 

Want to learn more about managing traffic networks remotely? 

View a real-life example of how one region solved traffic issues at an infamous intersection where a malfunctioning railway crossing had inconvenienced citizens for years. 

Open Office Hours 

COVID-19 Update: Customers will continue to get the help and support they need to address the unique traffic challenges they may be facing. Even as we practice social distancing — working from kitchen tables, basements, and home offices — the Miovision team is ready and eager to help.

Our experts will be hosting virtual Open Office Hours to help support traffic teams as they navigate these difficult circumstances. 

If you’re not a current customer, you can still join these online sessions where our experts will: 

  • Address challenges identified by our customers and those in the field
  • Demonstrate practical solutions through TrafficLink
  • Answer questions from the participants

The post Solving traffic problems remotely appeared first on Miovision.


Kitchener Minor Hockey

Game Results for the past week

No scores have been reported

WRDSB Educational Assistant Association

NEWS FROM THE EAA OFFICE

NEWS FROM THE EAA OFFICE March 30, 2020 Dear Members: I have some updates in the following areas:

Mappedin

Product 101: IMDF Export

Reading time: 2 minutes

Together, Mappedin and Apple Maps provide venues with infrastructure-free indoor positioning, robust 3D renderers, and a convenient CMS to maintain indoor mapping data. Here's how. 


James Davis Nicoll

A Distant Drum / Comet Weather By Liz Williams


Liz Williams’ 2020 Comet Weather is a standalone contemporary fantasy novel.

The Fallow sisters — practical Bee, DJ Stella, fashion-designer Serena, and the peripatetic Luna — are unremarkable save for their whirlwind love-lives, their vanished mother Alys, and the stars who occasionally descend from the sky to manifest as humanoid incarnations in the Fallow home Mooncote. Oh, and the occasional ghost. 

With Lerninsky’s Comet soon to be visible in the sky, the sisters (and a few friends) gather at Mooncote.



Laura Mae Lindo MPP

NDP says students, parents and teachers need longer-term direction

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Education critic Marit Stiles says families need to see a concrete plan for students that assumes kids can’t return to class in the near future. 

“Keeping kids at home during the pandemic is the right thing to do,” said Stiles. “But as it becomes clearer that schools will be closed for weeks to come, students and parents have a long list of questions that haven’t been answered, and every board has been left to fend for themselves.”

At this time of uncertainty the province must provide clarity. The minister must issue clear directions, including the government’s position on the following:

  • Final grades — Grade 12 students need answers about how their final grade will be determined and what impact that will have on their post-secondary plans.
  • Special needs supports — Parents need extra supports to get special needs students through the next few weeks at home.
  • Access to internet-connected devices — The government must work hand-in-hand with school boards to provide access to computers at home especially to those families facing economic challenges, and explain what will be done for students who don’t have access to a decent internet connection at home.

“It’s time to see a blueprint from the government for students that lets everyone know what to expect if schools can’t open again for a number of weeks,” said Stiles.

Stiles also urged the government to begin planning for the longer term.

“Parents, students and educators need assurances from the government that it will provide the supports that will be needed when school returns,” said Stiles. “We can’t pretend it will be business as usual. Teachers will need to help students catch up, and many students will need extra support — including support from child and youth workers as well as guidance and educational assistants.”


Communitech News

Food. Shelter. WiFi. Slack.

Always be prepared. It’s not just the Scout’s motto. It’s what brought our Waterloo Region Future of Work and Learning Coalition members together in 2019. We began by looking at what employers, employees, education and government can do to build a community of practice to help future-proof the workplace.  We just didn’t think the future […]

The post Food. Shelter. WiFi. Slack. appeared first on Communitech News.


Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Chamber Member Local Promotions & Updates

We want to continue to support our Chamber members during this time and encourage our community to choose shopping local where they can. Please share your offers and we will happily share them on our social media and website. This offer is only available for our Chamber members.

Grocery Top-Notch Concierge

A component of our business is running errands, personal shopping including groceries and home delivery. To help those who need assistance during this pandemic crisis we have reduced our hourly rates 69% until May 31st. This means we could grocery shop & deliver to homes for $20/hour, for smaller errands call to get a price that is less than the hourly rate.

Picard’s

We are remaining open to provide some normalcy in people’s lives.

Quantum Greens Inc.

We are offering healthy food preparations and meal packages for delivery. Each pack includes 6 meals, 3 lunches, 3 dinners. Learn more.

Retail Culligan Water

$2 water refills all day everyday (was only on Toonie Tuesday’s but to avoid crowds we expanded to everyday) also closed Saturday’s and reduced hours to 8.30-5pm Monday to Friday. Offer expires April 15, 2020.

IT Hardware/Software Services Execulink Telecom

Waiving overage fees for Internet services until April 30, 2020 for both residential and business customers, offering free previews on many of its TV channels, such as Disney and National Geographic, until April 30, 2020, arranging for shipping on necessary hardware returns and exchanges, and assessing service calls on a case-by-case basis to best serve the customer and keep both customers and technicians safe. The telecom provider is also encouraging its customers to take advantage of e-billing and pre-authorized payment options to reduce the risk of transmission or infection.

CPR Cellphone Repair

Remaining open Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. If your phone, tablet or laptop is out of commission then drop it off at one of our locations or give us a call to arrange FREE local pickup and delivery.

CopperTree Solutions Inc.

CopperTree is offering free 1/2 hr consultations with organizations about how to maintain IT security and continuity while employees work from home. Learn more.

FoxNet Inc.

All local businesses are under pressure to facilitate “self isolation” for their employees at this time, but many small to medium sized businesses are not in a state of preparedness to enable this. If you’re having challenges implementing a “work from home” scenario for employees and need guidance on how to enable this including securing these endpoints effectively, we can assist. FoxNet is here, as we have been for 18 years, to help. Learn more.

CRV.Computer

Business as usual; curbside protocol; computer design & assembly, sales & repair.

Marketing, Consulting and Training Taylor’d Ergonomics Incorporated

We have a free online presentation for employees who have begun to work from home (Engish or French). If a company would like to license and brand it, for distribution to all employees, we are donating 50% of the license fee to FoodBanks Canada Covid-19 charity. Purchase at www.taylordergo.com/store. Offer expires May 31, 2020.

Lori Straus, Freelance Copywriter

Social media in a pinch: I’ll look after companies’ social media accounts for $50/week if their usual team is out of commission. Also happy to offer communications consulting. Learn more. Offer Expires May 31, 2020.

Paula Stanghetta & Associates Inc.

Paula Stanghetta & Associates Inc. is offering two free products in these challenging times. The first is 45-minute online coaching session for small business owners to help identify short-term strategies to re-focus during COVID-19. The second offer is a series of 30-minute ‘training byte’ webinars. To access this free, no-obligation offer, contact paula@stanghetta.com. Offer expires August 31, 2020.

Lalonde Muller Digital Strategies

Are you a local business wanting to add an online ordering form to your website? We can build it for you. Learn more.

Performance Matters

I help companies redesign in-person programs for online delivery. I’d be happy to have an initial brainstorming conversation to share insights with you about what is possible and some first steps you can take. Learn more.

Non-Profit The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Your support helps The Food Bank of Waterloo Region focus on ensuring no one goes hungry. Financial donations can be made at: www.thefoodbank.ca/covid-19-response/ and will help purchase many of our Most Needed Items, fill gaps in our inventory, and support various operational activities.

Cleaning Services AERO CLEANING SERVICES LTD.

In these challenging times with COVID-19, please keep your family, friends and employees safe. Please see our special message regarding COVID-19 Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Learn more. Offer expires December 31, 2020.

Clean & Tidy Inc.

We want to announce we are still working and making sure to take the steps needed to ensure we are providing a safe clean to our clients and team. We are using gloves if we feel the need to. Our products will remove up to 99% of bacteria and are all natural. We want to make sure to provide a space our clients feel safe.

Medical Services CosmeDERM Medispa

CosmeDERM is currently closed but will soon offer discounts in laser packages. Offer expires April 30, 2020.

Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice

We are in desperate need of PPE- masks, gowns, sanitizer. Please contact at Www.lisaardandinnisfree.com.

Human Resources H2R Business Solutions Inc.

H2R can assist employers, and their employees navigate through these uncertain times due to COVID-19 by providing a variety of information and support regarding all things HR as well as assistance with navigating the ever changing government announced subsidies, special leaves of absence, employee ROE submissions and EI applications, government funded, and other assistance programs provided to employers, and offer employees support and strategies for staying healthy and productive. Learn more.

Insurance Ives Roth Nowak Insurance Brokers

Our doors are closed to visitors, but we remain open by phone and email to assist clients with any insurance needs whether personal or business related. Contact service@ivesinsurance.com.

Wholesale s.t.o.p. RESTAURANT Supply

We are always available for online Shopping. Shipping right to your door. Pick up at the location only available at our Kitchener & Sudbury location Monday to Friday.

www.shopatstop.com.

Supreme Basics – Office Supplies and Furniture

Smile You’re Going to Save! Offer expires June 30, 2020. Learn more.

Print and Promotional Products Artals Promotions Inc.

Free rush service on all engraving, and free shipping on any order over $250.

Scribes’ Nook Inc

We can make a do it yourself card pack for Easter for children or adults custom made. Learn more at scribesnookinc.ca or call 519-725-0453. Offer expires April 15, 2020.

Financial and Legal Services Currency Converters of Waterloo Inc.

With the crazy hike in the USD we are here to offer all Chamber members a VIP rate on selling or buying USD or any currency you require, plus all wire fees at $15.00. Learn more.

LegalShield

LegalShield is providing services uninterrupted. You’re not alone – we can help with things such as travel restrictions, cancellations & refunds, employee rights & employer obligations, wills & POAs. Learn more.

MNP LLP

MNP has launched the COVID-19 Business Advice Centre www.mnp.ca/COVID-19, providing information and practical insights to help organizations navigate uncertainty brought about by COVID-19. Visit MNP’s COVID-19 Business Advice Centre at www.mnp.ca/COVID-19 and subscribe to receive email alerts to get the latest guidance, tools and resources to help you navigate uncertainty during this crisis.

BDO Canada LLP

View the BDO Canada LLP COVID-19 resources here.

Skilled Trades Huron Creek Development Corporation

We are working hard to stay safe and deliver homes.

Hospitality ChefDtv Inc

For Chamber members, 10% off your order of our new to go menu. You can find the Menu on touchofclasscatering.com. Starting Monday April 6th we are offering to go menus, delivered anywhere in the region (delivery charge applies). Offer expires April 30, 2020.

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The post Chamber Member Local Promotions & Updates appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Centre in the Square

#ithappenedatCITS : Stone Temple Pilots, Nov. 13 2018

On November 13, 2018 legendary rockers Stone Temple Pilots took over Centre In The Square with Seether, and a newly reunited Default! Here are a few photos from the night. Head over to our Instagram account to get a stage tour of STP’s Drum & Guitar world!

Read more...


Reception House

Not Another Gala 2020 Update


The Registry Theatre

CANCELLED – Maggie & Me

Keeping in mind the well being of audiences and performers, JM Drama and The Registry Theatre have decided to cancel this performance.

Ticket refunds will be made. Please contact KW Tickets at 519-578-1570 if tickets purchased via one of their services, or email at info@registrytheatre.com if tickets purchased through us directly or are uncertain of your ticket purchase method. As an alternative to a refund, we are happy to issue charitable donation receipts to anyone who has purchased a ticket for a cancelled event.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and urge everyone to take care of themselves, and each other.


The Registry Theatre

CANCELLED – Woody

Keeping in mind the well being of audiences and performers, JM Drama and The Registry Theatre have decided to cancel this performance.

Ticket refunds will be made. Please contact KW Tickets at 519-578-1570 if tickets purchased via one of their services, or email at info@registrytheatre.com if tickets purchased through us directly or are uncertain of your ticket purchase method. As an alternative to a refund, we are happy to issue charitable donation receipts to anyone who has purchased a ticket for a cancelled event.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and urge everyone to take care of themselves, and each other.


Open Text

How to adapt to supply chain disruptions caused by the Coronavirus

All the major examples of supply chain disruptions over the previous 20 years – from the SARS epidemic to the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami – have led to the development of new levels of supply chain risk management. However, the lessons learned about the vulnerabilities in global supply chains from these events can’t easily be …

The post How to adapt to supply chain disruptions caused by the Coronavirus appeared first on OpenText Blogs.


WPL's More Books Please!

Canadian Authors to Enjoy With Your Child

This time of social distancing took us all a bit by surprise. If you didn’t have the time to stock up on books for your child before the library closed you’re not alone. Fortunately, our download library has many great junior books available. Help maintain their literacy skills by making a plan to sit down together and read. Make sure you check out some of these great Canadian authors:

Heather Smith

Heather Smith currently lives here in Waterloo but she spent her childhood in Newfoundland. The wild beauty of the east coast had such a profound effect on her that she has intertwined most of her books with a Newfoundland setting. It is so well described in her stories that it almost takes on a character itself rather than just a location. She is a brilliant storyteller who often writes her books in verse, such as her 2018 release Ebb and Flow.

Eric Walters

Fostering a love of reading in the classroom is a teacher’s main goal. Back in 1993, Eric Walters struggled to get his fifth grade students to read. Hoping to inspire them, he wrote his story set in their school and used many of his students as characters. Not only did he succeed in encouraging them to read, he went on to get the book published under the title Stand Your Ground. Since then he has written over 90 novels for teens and young adults.

Susin Nielsen

Big hair, fedoras and teen drama – Susin Nielsen got her start writing for the television series Degrassi Junior High. The show tackled real life issues like drug use and teenage pregnancy which gave Susin Nielsen an understanding on how to communicate serious experiences to a young crowd. Her latest novel, No Fixed Address deals with the issue of hidden homelessness and earned her a Red Maple Award Nomination.

Shane Peacock

Elementary, my dear Watson! Not much is mentioned about Sherlock Holmes’ childhood in the original stories but Shane Peacock has created a whole series around Sherlock’s early years. Long before he became the famous detective from 221B Baker Street, he was a just a child on the streets of London trying to put clues together one piece at a time. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series has just as much intrigue and suspense as the Conan Doyle stories.

There are so many great Canadian authors to choose from: Norah McClintock, Kenneth Oppel, Kelley Armstrong, the list goes on – all of these authors are available on our download library. Take some time to browse through and find an author that’s right for your child.

— Lesley L.


Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Chamber Not For Profit/Charitable Organization Member Updates

Amidst these difficult times, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some amazing Charities and Not For Profit member organizations that could use the support of our community. We will share their updates/needs in one centralized location. If you are a Charitable Organization or Not-For-Profit that is a Chamber Member and you wish to be featured on this page, please fill out this form.

Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington

Our offices are closed to the public util further notice, but programs and services are still be offered through zoom and other platforms as well as by phone. Phone messages are checked daily. Stay tuned for information on new dates for our Winter Warmer event and our IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region

Our head office is currently but we can be reached by email or phone. In these difficult times we are working to serve the children and their families in our programs. We continue to find ways to allow the Mentors and Mentees to connect with one another online.

Canadian Blood Services

We are asking that anyone who can donate, please book an appointment to do so. You need an appointment to donate so we can further regulate donors etc, please if you are healthy, come and donate at our permanent location in Waterloo today. Our address is 94 Bridgeport Rd E.

Centre for Family Business

Please go to our website to view information resources provided by family business stakeholders and sponsors. This information is targeted towards family businesses but also has relevance for any business in the Waterloo region.

Community Justice Initiatives

CJI’s office is currently closed. Our services are being offered virtually and by telephone where possible. Please go to www.cjiwr.com/about-us to find the contact information of the staff person you wish to connect with. We look forward to seeing you again when it is safe to do so! General inquiries can be directed to info@cjiwr.com. Most staff work regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30) but it is possible to arrange for service outside of these times if needed.

Community Support Connections

As we continue to deliver Meals on Wheels to older adults and people with disabilities, many of our dedicated volunteers who are seniors themselves are unable to deliver at this time due to their own underlying medical conditions, or because they are staying at home to self-isolate to protect a loved one. We need businesses or people who would normally be working to apply to volunteer with us to get food out to the people who helped build our community into what it is today. Volunteers can apply online at our website, and will complete a telephone screening with video training provided to deliver meals under our new no-contact protocols. Mileage is reimbursed. We have most staff working from home and are redeploying staff to provide service differently.

Grand River Hospital Foundation

RH is currently looking for donation of PPE items, donation of services (specifically in trades) as well as donation of funds to help support the purchase of PPE and equipment related to fighting COVID-19. Donate to their COVID-19 Support & Readiness fund online.

House of Friendship

We have modified our service delivery for several programs. We are also hiring more staff for our Shelter, as we have increased needs to help support social distancing among shelter participants. We are still providing Emergency Food Hampers, Neighbourhood Food Distribution, and Family Outreach and Addiction Counselling (albeit by phone) to residents in need. If you need assistance, please call 519-742-8327.

Immigration Partnership – Immigration Waterloo Region

The Immigration Partnership of Waterloo Region is working remotely to support businesses and organizations that employ or serve immigrants. Staff can be contacted by phone and email. We just launched a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 and immigration, with information for immigrants, immigration serving organizations and others. General inquires can be sent to ImmigrationPartnership@regionofwaterloo.ca

KidsAbility

Although we may have closed our doors and are practicing social distancing, KidsAbility’s staff are working remotely and supporting families in new ways through virtual appointments, workshops, coaching sessions and more. Please continue to reach out to us to let us know how we can support you and your child during this time. View their COVID-19 update here.

Kiwanis Club of Kitchener-Waterloo

Our Club has put meetings and events on hold, including cancelling the KW Kiwanis Music Festival. Hoping to hold “non-contact” Club elections in April.

KW Counselling Services

We have cancelled all of our face to face counselling, groups, and events, but we are still offering counselling via phone and video. Having had to cancel a major fundraising event, we would be most grateful for any financial support the community can provide. Donations can be made online.

MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

MEDA has implemented a Work from Home protocol for all of our staff, with domestic and international travel suspended. Our mission of creating business solution to poverty continues! Please sign up for updates on our work and good news stories in this unprecedented time on our website. As people decrease their movements and change their buying habits, this impacts businesses. We encourage everyone to shop locally whenever safe and possible. We support entrepreneurs around the world and your donation to MEDA will directly support training, access to finance, and women’s economic empowerment.

Monica Place

Monica Place is working hard to provide ongoing support to high risk pregnant and parenting young women in our community. We continue to operate our two facilities in Cambridge and Waterloo and support our young women in the community remotely. We welcome financial donations or supplies including formula, diapers and toys.

Nutrition For Learning

In response to COVID 19 on our school community who cannot access student nutrition at schools while they are closed Nutrition for Learning has responded by delivering food to various school locations in Waterloo Region to ensure students can continue to be able to access essential nutritious snacks and food items while schools are closed. We could use help sharing daily the locations on website of the POP UP SNACKS and fundraising support for our programs. Learn more about the pop-up snacks initiative.

Office of Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament

Our office is closed, however, we are still available to our constituents by phone (519-571-5509) or by email. We will be happy to answer questions about the federal government’s supports for those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

oneROOF Youth Services

Due to Covid-19, our doors remain open 24/7 to our shelter cohort only and we continue to provide food, shelter, medical care and support to this group. Staff are working 12 hour shifts with the same co-workers /shift. Unfortunately, our other programs, those that included youth who were housed but in need; those who were precariously housed; and those who were struggling with other issues while housed cannot be served at this time. We are encouraging them to self-isolate in their current home situations during this pandemic. Due to Covid-19 protocols we are not currently accepting donations on the wish list located on our website. Monetary donations are needed. Thank you for doing your part, as we continue to do ours.

Parents for Community Living

Parents for Community Living has had to suspend operations of our respite program and day program services. This affects approximately 100 families who need our support at this very difficult time. We would love to share gift cards for restaurants, grocery stores, take out services etc. If local businesses would like to help these families with this gift, we can distribute them to those most in need. PCL’s main office is operating with just one-two staff persons at a time. Office hours 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday.

Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region

We’ve created the SVP Emergency Fund to provide unrestricted funding to local charities affected by COVID-19. SVP is working with other funders to share knowledge & ensure resources are shared where needed most. “As charities in Waterloo Region encounter substantial increases in demand due to this crisis, SVPWR wanted to think outside the box when it comes to supporting them. This fund will do exactly that. SVPWR staff and Partners are ready to work together to catalyze change in our broader community.” – Rose Greensides, SVPWR Executive Director

The Arthritis Society

We are your one-stop resource for your questions or concerns about arthritis. In times of uncertainty, know that anyone with arthritis can benefit from the expert online resources we have developed including COVID-19 information and expert webinars on keeping you healthy. We are here for you. View the COVID-19 and Arthritis resources page here. Their staff is currently working remotely, and can be reached at 519-743-4141 ext. 1101.

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

In response to COVID-19, The Food Bank has adjusting our operations and activated the Community Food Assistance Network Pandemic Business Continuity Plan, ensuring the continuation of essential services offered in the community while minimizing health risks. View the full list of programs here. Updates to our COVID-19 response are updated regularly here.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities

We have created the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. We wish to inform the public as broadly and quickly as possible in order to solicit donations that will support front-line organizations dealing with the current crisis. Launched on Monday, March 16, 2020, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund will support the work of front-line organizations that are collectively striving to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy.

Uptown Waterloo BIA

We love all the resources for businesses that we’ve been seeing from your newsletters, Small Business Centre, Ontario BIA Association and have been adding those to our website. Our main message is to support local in whatever ways possible during this time. We’ve written a blog including suggestions of how that can be done and have a page on our site listing current business operations (which are open/closed, offering curbside pickup/takeout etc.) . If these can be shared on your channels, that would be awesome!

The post Chamber Not For Profit/Charitable Organization Member Updates appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Inksmit

Can you 3D Print this file?

URGENT VIDEO UPDATE FROM INKSMITH (MARCH 23): 

In light of the changes enacted by the Ontario and Canadian government, we can no longer ask for our community members to leave their homes to physically drop off the parts at our Gaukel location. We will continue to accept any 3D printed parts but we ask that you consider mailing the parts instead of making physical drop-offs.

March 21, 2020:

We're making an urgent call to all 3D printer owners in Waterloo Region to help us produce PPE face shields to combat COVID-19. We are currently working on creating a laser cuttable file to increase production but any help 3D printing headbands in the meantime will make an impact. 

If you or someone you know has a 3D printer we would greatly appreciate any help printing these files. We will take care of assembly and providing the clear face shield and elastic head strap. We just need help producing the 3D printed parts. 

Below you can find the CAD model file created by Prusa3D with the recommended print settings for slicing. 

All 3D printed PPE headbands can be dropped off at our office at 44 Gaukel Street in Kitchener. If you are interested in helping print parts please start doing so!

If you have questions and need to contact us please use this form. If you're interested in joining our Community Slack group with hundreds of other 3D printers, please also fill out this form.

Please note, InkSmith is working with a team of doctors to ensure all the necessary protocols are taken in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have set up a touchless drop-off system for those wanting to contribute 3D prints. After they're received our team will be sanitizing all items with an ozone generator. From there, the hospitals will execute their own practices for disinfecting the masks prior to use. 

PRINT FILES FOR DOWNLOAD:  www.prusaprinters.org/prints/25857-protective-face-shield-rc1


FILES TO PRINT: 
PART 1 - "covid19_headband_rc2.stl" OR "covid_19_headband_rc3.stl" PART 2- "bottom_reinforcement.stl" (any size print bed) (Please do no adjust the scale of either part, only print what you can fit on your print bed)
If you're only able to print one part and not both that's totally fine. We will take any 3D printed parts we can get. 
RECOMMENDED PRINT SETTINGS: 0.3 or 0.35 layer height in PLA or ABS with 10% infill.  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 

Q1: Are you selling my donations?
A1: No. We are producing some fully laser-cut face shields on our own that we reserve the right to sell (we want to keep our team employed), but any parts that you donate will become part of a shield that is donated completely for free to help with the COVID-19 response effort in Ontario. We will also donate the other components such as the PETG clear shield that attaches to the parts you print. We’re all in this together and our company has a long history of social responsibility and philanthropy.

Q2: I saw on social media that you have a laser-cut design now. Do you still need my parts?
A2: Yes. We like to Hedge our bets. Our laser-cut design lets us produce thousands per day, and we can guarantee they are clean since they are made in our facility and we have full control from end-to-end. The 3D printed versions that we are crowdsourcing with your help will go out as donations to under-funded clinics and front-line groups to help them stay safe. More information about each face shield version can be found here. 

Q3: Will anyone actually use this stuff?
A3: Yes. While we are currently in the process of getting approved for a Health Canada License, we can promise that there is an urgent and immediate need for hundreds or thousands of shields in Ontario alone. Our advisors have informed us that even if the 3D printed shields aren’t approved for use in the highest-risk situations, there is still a huge need. We have clinics, family physicians, pharmacists etc all asking for help. Every one of these “DIY shields” that they use is one more “approved” one that can be reserved for the high-risk users in the short term.

Q4: Can I be compensated for shipping costs, time, or materials?
A4: Unfortunately, no. At this time anything you produce and ship to us is a complete donation to the overall effort. Please only produce what you can afford to and don’t risk the financial stability of your family. This is a crowdsourced effort and the crowd is quite large, so saving the world is spread out across all of us. We’re in this together. Every little bit helps, so take pride in any contribution you can make.

Q5: Should I buy more printers to help?
A5: No, not unless you were going to buy more anyway. We sell 3D printers and even we don’t think this is wise. 3D printing is simply not mature enough to produce anything at scale… yet. As the world responds to this crisis, many major manufacturers are ramping up other types of production quickly. Our community effort is meant to buy them time. We can respond in hours or days, but they’ll be ready to handle the needed volume in a few months. 

Q6: Are you looking at other PPE or medical devices too?
A6: Yes. There are many designs for many things but the goal is to help protect the workers and not just make them look stylish. There are multiple levels of protection needed and the most often cited (on social media) is “N95”. N95 masks are one of the highest levels of protection, but there are many scenarios where other, less stringent, things will work. We have no intention of producing N95-equivalent products with this effort. However, we are looking at multiple designs that might replace the simpler surgical (or “procedure”) mask. If these can be crowdsourced you’ll hear about it five seconds after we get the go-ahead from Health Canada. We promise! For now, please stay focused on this specific design of face shield because there are many, high-value use cases for it and an immediate, daily need for them.

Q7: Are you an approved MDE supplier?
A7: Not yet, but with any luck we will be tomorrow. Our goal is to get the final assembly process certified so you can keep helping make the parts at home. With the help of Communitech we’ve filed the applications, done the fast-track paperwork and are in daily contact with Health Canada. They want us to help meet the need just as much as you all want to help fill it.

Q8: Are these shields disposable?
A8: All of the 3D printed PPE parts we will be producing are limited to single-day or single-person use and will be disposed of after. The reason for this is that the 3D printed parts are porous and cannot be properly cleaned with disinfectant. For this reason, we need to produce as many 3D printed parts as possible, which is why we need your help! We know that you probably wish these parts were reusable but it’s just not worth the risk. That being said, any 3D printed parts we can provide are immensely helpful for frontline workers, even if they’re only single-use.

As for the laser cut version of the PPE face shield InkSmith is manufacturing, these will be reusable. This version of the face shield is made out of a PETG material and will withstand the disinfection process. 

For information about the difference between these two types of masks please visit our webpage. 

Q9: What to 3D print with? PETG?
A9: PLA and ABS are ideal. They print fast and are strong. PETG is fine if you want to spend the extra money on filament and have your printer dialed-in perfectly. Otherwise speed is more important and you should save the PETG for your own projects.

Q10: I have other designs! Where do I send them?
A10: At this time we are gathering information for the requirements of what is needed for actual medical use. We want to avoid producing look-a-like movie props and instead protect the health of front-line workers and slow the spread of disease. This means that we aren’t in a position to review the alternative designs that are sent to us. Once we have specific requirements we may post some sort of design competition for a prototype. Until then, let's all stay focused on the design we’ve already chosen.

Q11: Can I modify things at all?
A11: No. We need these parts to be exactly the same size and shape. If your print bed is just barely too small and you try to shrink the design below 100% we will not be able to use the parts you make and the plastic will be wasted. We also can’t accept parts that are printed in pieces and glued together. The only acceptable modification is laying out the model in the slicing software to print multiples at a time if you have a large enough print volume.

Q12: Is it better to deliver them to you in small batches daily or larger batches twice a week?
A12: The fewer times you leave your house the safer we all are. Given the size of the response we’ve gotten for this effort there is a natural stagger to the deliveries already. For now, save some gas and try to bring us 10+ pieces at a time, or make a delivery twice a week, whichever happens first. If we need them daily we’ll let you know.

Q13: Can I put them in bags to make sure they don’t get contaminated?
A13: You’re welcome to transport them to our drop bin in bags, but we ask that you please don’t put the bags (or boxes, or any kind of packaging) in the drop bin with them. Our goal is to minimize the contact opportunities between all the parties. Our drop-box has an ozone generator in it and we close the lid and run that for a few hours to kill everything organic inside. If your parts are in bags or boxes then that interferes with this process and puts our team at risk. Also, please don’t touch the other parts in the bin for the same reason. Thank you!

 

 


Ranger Report

Ingham triples up in team awards


Jacob Ingham was a real difference maker this season.

When the veteran goalie was in the crease the Kitchener Rangers were one of the best teams in the Ontario Hockey League.

When he hit the sidelines for a seven-game stretch with an upper-body injury in November, the club only managed one win.

So, it's no surprise that the Los Angeles Kings prospect was feted three times when the team dished out its annual awards in a staggered fashion over the past week.

Full story


Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, March 31

PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS

Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”

“This is God’s grace for each of us, to be set free from our fears, to find the courage to speak our truth, to discover that courage is a gift.”
Sam Rodman

It takes courage to choose to respond with grace at any time, but especially when we are under the pressure of some stress or challenge. Everyone experiences pressure, sometimes even extreme pressure, in their lives. The question is not if we will experience stress in our lives, but rather how we will choose to respond.

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist wrote a highly respected book entitled Man’s Search for Meaning, which includes this quote: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

There is a crucial distinction between reacting to stress and responding to stress. When we merely react, we often blame the stress, or someone or something other than ourselves, for our reaction. Responding is different than reacting in that it involves our thoughtfully choosing the response we wish to make. As the quote above from Sam Rodman reminds us, God has given us the freedom to think and not merely react out of fear and stress, and to have the courage to respond with grace.

Reread the quotes from Sam Rodman and Viktor Frankl. What speaks to you in each of these quotes? Can you think of times when you have handled stress by either reacting or responding? What was the difference when you were able to respond rather than react? Do you have strategies that help you respond rather than react?


Thodestool SFF Editing

Plague Log: Day 17

In an alternate timeline, I'm on a cruise ship headed for Honduras and hanging out with cool writers, getting writing done and attending workshops.

I didn't sleep worth a damn last night, so getting through the day has been a chore. We've made a homework schedule for the kiddo and got her set up with spouse's work laptop in the dining room (since he's not going to work and just using his desktop computer right now.) So she can talk to friends and relatives on Skype or whatever without taking over my laptop. This is, strangely, a huge relief to me.

Hopefully getting her into a regular routine will help me get into a routine and back to functioning. She didn't get dressed until lunchtime today and ended up playing outside most of the afternoon.

So I did a lot of chores today and ended up taking a nap to get through the afternoon. I didn't get through as much as I'd have liked to, but I still got more done than I thought I would. We had space themed pasta (the noodles were shaped like spaceships and stars and things) for dinner and then I made some of those cheater Pillsbury cookies where the dough is pre-formed into little balls you just take out of a package and put directly on a tray. They were delicious. I ate like half of them.

The kiddo had a Zoom call with a cousin and I had a GoTo meeting with my writers group, where I actually got a bit of writing done. Mostly I was making notes on changes to make to the story. I've finished the first draft and now I'm slowly making my way through a second time to make it better. I'm trying to incorporate suggestions from beta readers to improve the story. I haven't been able to since the beginning of the month.

Maybe I can get a good night's sleep tonight and actually have the brainpower to revise my novel tomorrow.

I did a little bit of beta reading for a friend tonight. These are all activities I haven't really been able to do in the last couple of weeks. I also haven't played a video game in like 3 days. So I might finally be coming out of this fog of trauma. But I do worry that if I'm feeling this bad already and nothing's really happened yet, what's it going to be like when people I know start getting sick?

I just keep hoping that all these measures the government has in place will actually do what they're supposed to. And that some treatments will be developed like tomorrow and we can maybe get back to normal by the summer. That'd be cool.

Anyway, after I finished last night's blog post, I read some more of the anthology I started over the weekend. I haven't been able to read much, but this is fun and whimsical and just what I need. The book is called Robots vs Fairies and it's a delight. I'll do a full review of it once I'm finished, but last night's story was about a hero librarian whose girlfriend was a living book. It was beautiful and fun and exactly what my brain needed.

So I'm going to read a little more of that and try to get to bed way earlier than I have been. It'd be lovely to get some real sleep for once.


University of Waterloo: School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability: News

Why communities must be at the heart of conserving wildlife, plants and ecosystems

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A little more than a year ago, the Haida Nation released the Land-Sea-People plan to manage Gwaii Haanas, off the coast of northern British Columbia, “from mountaintop to seafloor as a single, interconnected ecosystem.”


University of Waterloo: Engineering

Professor helping with effort to disinfect N95 masks

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Waterloo Engineering professor Bill Anderson is using two decades of research experience to help solve the shortage of N95 masks for healthcare workers in the coronavirus crisis.

Anderson is consulting with hospital officials and collaborating with a Cambridge company hurriedly building an automated device to disinfect masks with ultraviolet (UV) light so they can be reused.

Communitech News

Waterloo Region delivers for health workers

Gloves. Masks. Gowns. And antiviral spray. It came by the box load. It came on trucks and in cars. It came from offices large and small. And by the end of day Monday, a veritable mountain of personal protective equipment destined for Waterloo Region’s front-line healthcare workers was stacked high in the curling club lounge […]

The post Waterloo Region delivers for health workers appeared first on Communitech News.


UW Blueprint

Featured Project: Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region

Dedication to creating a lasting social impact within the community is central to the mission of local charity Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region (SVPWR). Over the past two terms, Blueprint has been working on building the tools needed to support their cause.

“Each step of the way, Blueprint’s team asked lots of questions to ensure what they were developing matched expectations, and were transparent around their processes. From building in the ability to rank applications to ensuring the portal’s colours matched our brand, they were responsive to our requests, and fantastic to work with.”
- Taryn Graham, Operations & Communications Manager at SVPWR

SVPWR is a charity who activates a network of 90+ Partners: local community builders who strategically invest their time, money, and skilled support in the charities they work with. By pooling the Partners’ investment and skills, and providing unrestricted funding (not limited to a specific project or program) over a three year span, SVPWR makes a significant impact in helping these charities build their in-house skill set and community reach.

They believe in strengthening the Region’s charitable sector by engaging a local community of active donors — and since their founding in 2010, SVPWR has done just that. They’ve leveraged over $500,000 in unrestricted funding into an estimated $3.5M in impact from their donations, pro-bono support provided by the Partners, and further donations inspired by their involvement.

The Problem

Every year, SVPWR chooses a new charity to work with by calling for applications and reviewing them with an Investment Committee of staff and Partners. The committee reviews each application online, and submits application ratings and comments for discussion at meetings. They worked with some great local companies to create the first review portal, but as the organization grew, SVPWR wanted to build something with more features and interactivity.

This is where Blueprint comes in. Our team at BP was able to assess the original portal and use feedback from SVPWR staff and past committee members to work together to determine requirements and a wish list.

The Solution

The SVPWR-Blueprint team has built a group decision-making platform that enables SVPWR’s funding committees to review applications and consolidate their opinions and notes in a single platform. Blueprint’s designers performed extensive user research to create a system that supports and simplifies the committee members’ existing workflows, providing an intuitive experience that makes application review easy and organized.

This workflow entails:

1. Opening up the app to see a list of all candidates
2. Reviewing, rating, and making notes on each candidate in detail
3. Ranking candidates in order of preference

By having a full understanding of each candidate and their potential, committee members are equipped with information they need to make an informed decision.

♦♦The Team

The project wouldn’t be what it is today without the hard work of the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 SVPWR teams. While each worked on different phases of the project, there was a clear through line for collaborative problem-solving and a drive to get the details right.

“Developers often pair-programmed to learn from one another, and worked hand-in-hand with designers to ideate new features and build a pixel-perfect experience. In the end, we’re all super proud to have contributed to such an impactful project!”
- Brittany Lau, Project Manager of W20 SVPWR Team
What’s Next?

So far, SVPWR has just completed round one of their 2020 Investment Committee assessments, and early feedback from the committee members has been very positive! Next up, the team will be working on scaling the application so that it can be used concurrently to support their other programs and other philanthropic investment funds.

Special thanks to the Blueprint SVPWR Team and SVPWR for contributing to this article! For more information about SVPWR, you can click here.


Cindy Cody Team

Support Our Community & Local Food Bank

During these unprecedented times, it’s important that we worked together as a community to support each other. Donations to the Food Bank crucial right now.

  • When vulnerable families can’t afford to stock up on food for days at a time, the Food Bank can help ensure they have enough food.
  • As the situation changes, some of the Food Banks programs within the Community Food Assistance network may have to close for various reasons. Donations will help keep service continue for families who need food.
  • Many fundraising events that raise money for the Food Bank have been or will be cancelled.
  • Grocery stores and other food industry partners are unable to keep up their own shelves stocked. The Food Bank relies on these steady donations as part of the 4.5 million pounds of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food they acquire and distribute on an annual basis in Waterloo Region. Right now, they need to purchase the food items to help fill their gaps.

Let’s work together to donate to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and help families in our community during this stressful time.

Donate to the Food Bank today

 

Please give whatever you can. Every bit helps.

  • $25 provides 75 meals
  • $50 provides 150 meals
  • $75 provides 225 meals
  • $100 provides 300 meals

 

We are aiming to raise $10,000 for our local food bank. Please join us in providing much-needed funds today.

The post Support Our Community & Local Food Bank appeared first on Cindy Cody.


Cindy Cody Team

Free Colouring Pages For Kids | Home Activity

Need some new colouring pages for the kids this week? Here are some to keep you busy. Easily download and print, then get creative!

We’d love to see what your family created. Send us a message with your art or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

 

 

The post Free Colouring Pages For Kids | Home Activity appeared first on Cindy Cody.


Kitchener Minor Hockey

Game Results for the past week

No scores have been reported

TL;WR

There's actually events in this one. Online. But events.

There's actually events in this one. Online. 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line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateBody .mcnTextContent,#templateBody .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateColumns .columnContainer .mcnTextContent,#templateColumns .columnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templateFooter .mcnTextContent,#templateFooter .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } Thank you health care workers!

The TL;DR for Waterloo Region. 

View this email in your browser Ways to help Check the always up-to-date listings over at Communitech.ca. Ways to support local Looking for more places to support, check out Support Waterloo Eats and KW From Home - both awesome resources for local businesses and how to order from them.

Crafty Ramen has gift cards available for purchase online.

Get ready to get those thank you frontline worker gifts at Gifted with a gift card. DM Sylvia to purchase.

All Things Preserved has free porch drop-off anywhere in the Region.

Is the air in your house getting a little stale being locked in? No worries, The Scented Market has you covered. They're still shipping and if you're in Ariss, you can pick up directly. (Here's hoping we don't run out of deodorant. -Ed.)

The Loop in Uptown Waterloo is offering 15% and free local deliveries.

Swine and Vine has weekly take out menus and free delivery.

White Rabbit has cocktails to go and take out online now!

Order some farm fresh veggies from Milky Way Farms through LocalLine. Things to do (at home) XBC has free online H.I.I.T, bootcamp and yoga classes throughout the week. (It's my gym and I miss going there. -Ed.)

Emily and Chaveen are hosting Online Bachata Flashmob lessons on Instagram every Wednesday and Sunday at 5 pm. If you miss them, you can catch up on their YouTube channel. 

The Four Bells Fitness Emporium has a YouTube channel with strength and conditioning workouts for you to do at home. Plus, Mark makes some good jokes.

Three Tides Wellness has online movement classes. Check their site for details.

Send some love with Merrily Designs. Choose a card and a message and Merrily will send it out to make someone's day.

Purple Teeth Consulting launched their Thirsty Wine Club. Choose from two or four bottle packages - delivered on Thursdays.

Trivial Soup has Harry Potter Trivia on Wednesday, April 1 starting at 7:30 pm. You need to download Google Hangouts first.

THEMUSEUM has a Free Paint Night with Social Art livestream on Facebook on Thursday, April 2 starting at 6:30 pm.

Watch old GI Joe episodes on YouTube.

When you're not supporting local restaurants with takeout, why not improve your cooking game? Nick Benninger and his family have launched a new cooking series to help you make some awesome meals at home. (The only thing getting us through this is the thought of bone broth at the Chriskindl Market in December. -Ed.) Side notes


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Concept UWaterloo

A New Virtual Concept

Well, this has been an unexpected end to the Winter Term. Kudos to everyone for drawing on their inner entrepreneur and adapting to the constantly changing new normal! Though you can’t see our smiling faces, we are still here to support you through these crazy times. It’s been incredible to see everyone’s collaboration and new ways of interacting, we are physically distant but seem to be closer than ever.  

In order to keep an appropriate social distance, the Concept $5K Finals needed a bit of a makeover so we’re embracing technology and going digital! Our 10 finalists sent in video pitches for our judges to review and select the top four winners. In addition to the four $5K Grants, our friends at Conrad will also be selecting a winner for the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business Award. This award will provide one student team with access to two first-year engineering co-op students who can help them achieve short-term business objectives through a 7-week placement. 

But wait, there’s more! Since this style of pitch competition is brand new for Concept, we are also adding a brand new prize! The People’s Champ award will provide $500 to the Finalist who impresses viewers the most, and receives the most likes on their pitch video. 

♦Concept $5K Finalists

Although you don’t have the pleasure of seeing them in person, you can still engage and be part of the competition! As our virtual audience you can engage in the following ways: 

  • Watch the finalists pitch videos on YouTube
  • Like your favourite team’s video to help them become People’s Champ 
  • Guess which four teams will win the $5K Grants for a chance to win your own prize 

In addition to the $5K Finals going virtual, so are our coaching sessions. You still have the opportunity to talk to any and all of our amazing Concept Coaches and can connect with them virtually to discuss all things startup and continue working on your projects. 

To end this unique semester on a high note, our social media channels will be abuzz with some fun and engaging activities and give-away contests over the next few weeks. Our goal is to keep you updated, educated, and entertained! You can look forward to:

  • Advice from our coaches on how to adjust and continue to work on your idea in this new reality 
  • The $5K Winners and new People’s Champ will be announced 
  • Student entrepreneurs will share how they are staying productive
  • The Graduate Student Startup Fund Winners will be announced
  • A virtual trivia competition and awesome prize giveaways 

You won’t want to miss out on all of this, so be sure to to follow us on social media. Every Monday our incredible Programs Lead, Carly Cameron, will be providing weekly video updates so you never miss a beat and can stay in touch… from a safe distance. You will now be able to enjoy Concept without leaving your couch – what a time to be alive! 

The post A New Virtual Concept appeared first on Concept UWaterloo.


Open Text

OpenText 2020: Cloud, cyber resiliency and partnerships

New deployments, features, functionality and updates are about to get easier and faster for organizations running OpenText™ solutions. As we roll out OpenText Release CE this spring as part of OpenText Release 20.2, we will bring automated management of our products in the cloud. This is just one of many new announcements in the year ahead …

The post OpenText 2020: Cloud, cyber resiliency and partnerships appeared first on OpenText Blogs.


Velocity Incubator

Supporting founders during the COVID-19 pandemic

♦ A special update (March 2020)

Velocity hasn’t stopped helping founders. But we have modified how we are helping. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, here’s what we’re doing differently: 

  • All Velocity companies are now working remotely.
  • All business advisory meetings will be provided virtually. More recently, we have moved all of our early-stage programming to conference call meetings, and we have simply extended this practice to all discussions with founders. Over 100 hours of advisory meetings are continuing on a weekly basis.
  • We’re committed to keeping the founder community connected. We continue our work to promote founder-to-founder discussions digitally and remotely. 
Velocity Stage 1 application deadline extension

In the end, Velocity will keep moving. Applications for the next Stage 1 cohort have been extended to April 6, 2020. In particular, special considerations will be given to companies that have or could pivot to deploy immediate or near-term solutions that can combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know that startups have great capacity to identify opportunities, innovate quickly, and develop market-ready technologies. Velocity can help by working with founders to quickly evolve their strategies and product development to rally to this cause. We are already working with a number of companies building COVID-19 solutions, and we are ready to work with more.

Learn more about Velocity’s support for companies. 

Note: this blog post will be updated in the coming days and weeks to reflect our evolving support for Velocity companies and our commitment to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.


The post Supporting founders during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared first on Velocity.


Open Text

COVID-19: the implications for industries

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It is also having a huge impact on the global economy, with most organizations being impacted – from an operations, customer and employee perspective.  Also impacted are services where an interruption would endanger life, health or personal …

The post COVID-19: the implications for industries appeared first on OpenText Blogs.


Women's Crisis Servics of Waterloo Region

Safety Tips for Children during COVID-19

The post Safety Tips for Children during COVID-19 appeared first on Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.


Women's Crisis Servics of Waterloo Region

Tips for Neighbours, Friends and Family

The post Tips for Neighbours, Friends and Family appeared first on Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.


House of Friendship

Waterloo Region Coming Together!

The past two weeks have demanded emergency changes in our community to support our neighbours facing homelessness, hunger and a lack of resources to cover their most basic needs to survive.

At the same time, our team and community have responded in creative ways in the midst of incredible need and safety concerns.

 

 

Would you consider a donation today if you are able?  Just click this link House of Friendship COVID-19 Response to make your online donation now.

From our House of Friendship family to yours, stay safe and healthy!

The post Waterloo Region Coming Together! appeared first on House Of Friendship.


WPL's More Books Please!

Festival of Literary Diversity Goes Online This Year

The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) is a 4-day festival that celebrates books and stories. Festival events include panel discussions, workshops and networking events for aspiring, emerging and established writers.

This year’s festival will take place virtually — featuring free online events. Panels, discussions and workshops will allow guests from across Canada and around the world to participate in the festival via Zoom. All virtual events will be close-captioned.

The FOLD 2020 revised schedule will open April 5. Registration can be completed through their official website.


Open Text

How to create quality content using the latest AI & ML tools

Wouldn’t it be magnificent if you could create quality content, which is intelligent and smart and at the same time make it rich using the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) tools? Intelligent content creation is a way to create content that can be semantically rich, reused, readapted and reconfigured by content marketers …

The post How to create quality content using the latest AI & ML tools appeared first on OpenText Blogs.


Code Like a Girl

Introduçāo ao Rancher

O que é o Rancher?

O Rancher é uma ferramenta opensource que serve para administrar uma infraestrutura de docker. Pelo fato dele ser opensource, é possível contribuir com o código, abrir issues ou até mesmo sugerir novas features no GitHub do projeto.

Utilizo ele em produçāo, na versāo 2.3.2 e falo com tranquilidade que ele é muito confiável para ser utilizado de maneira gratuita, existe uma boa documentaçāo sobre o projeto e também alguns fóruns onde eu geralmente tiro dúvidas.

Principais componentes do Rancher

Administraçāo pela UI (User Interface): Você pode administrar todo o seu ambiente através da interface dele que é muito simples e intuitiva.

Ambientes segmentados: Através do Rancher é possível criar diversos ambientes para os seus serviços. Em todos os seus ambientes, você vai ter nodes próprios para cada ambiente. Você pode utilizar essa funcionalidade para criar e separar seus ambientes de homologaçāo e produçāo, por exemplo.

Catálogo: O Rancher possuo um catálogo com inúmeras ferramentas prontas para serem instaladas no seu ambiente de maneira rápida, como por exemplo: Wordpress, Github, ELK, Grafana, Redis, RabbitMQ, MariaDB, MongoDB, entre outras.

Autenticaçāo: Você pode configurar o controle de acesso ao Rancher através de várias ferramentas, como: Windows AD, Azure AD, GitHub, Ping, Keycloak, AD FS, Okta, FreelPA, OpenLDAP e Google.

Além disso, você também pode utilizar o próprio sistema de controle de acessos do rancher, que possibilita que você segregue os níveis de acesso de acordo com as permissões e regras de cada usuário.

Seleçāo de orquestradores: Quando você cria um ambiente, tem a opçāo de selecionar o orquestrador que o Rancher deverá utilizar, podendo ser o Kubernetes, Mesos, Docker Swarm ou o Cattle que é o orquestrador nativo do Rancher e inclusive foi o primeiro a ser lançado como opçāo de orquestrador quando saiu a versāo beta do Rancher.

Criaçāo de infraestruturas híbridas: Você pode adicionar no seu cluster, hosts que estāo em clouds como AWS, DigitalOcean ou Azure, bem como hosts que estāo em qualquer datacenter On-Premisses.

Serviços: Um serviço pode ser 1 ou vários containeres no Rancher.

Acesso ao container pela interface gráfica: Você pode acessar qualquer um dos seus containers através da interface gráfica e também tem acesso aos logs do container, através da funcionalidade View Logs dentro de cada pod.

Fácil integraçāo com o prometheus e grafana: É possível adicionar uma monitoraçāo muito efetiva e ter vários dashboards e métricas através dessa configuraçāo, o ponto negativo é que dependendo do volume de logs que você decidir armazenar, o seu espaço em disco pode ficar sobrecarregado muito rápido, por isso recomendo que você teste bem essa funcionalidade antes de realmente colocar em produçāo, focando principalmente na volumetria de logs.

♦Como começar a utilizar?
  1. Para iniciar o seu lab, você precisará ter um host linux com pelo menos 4GB de memória.
  2. Em seguida, você precisará ter o docker, para instalar no Ubuntu, utilize o comando: sudo apt-get install docker.io
  3. Depois de instalar, dê o start no serviço do Docker:systemctl start docker
  4. Em seguida, instale o Rancher: sudo docker run -d — restart=unless-stopped -p 80:80 -p 443:443 rancher/rancher
  5. Para acessar o Rancher, insira o ip do host onde o Rancher está instalado com a porta 80 no seu navegador e você já terá acesso a ele e todas as suas configurações.

Para obter mais informações sobre o projeto, acesse a documentaçāo oficial da ferramenta.

Introduçāo ao Rancher was originally published in Code Like A Girl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

Monday, March 30

PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS

Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”

“Courage is grace under Pressure”
Ernest Hemingway

What is the connection between grace and pressure and how does it define courage?

The powerful story of the resurrection of Lazarus, in John’s gospel (chapter 11:1-44) is a story of grace under pressure. But not the kind of grace that presents a calm exterior. Everyone in this story is upset, even overwrought, including Jesus. Deep grief has taken hold. But grace and courage are everywhere, as well.

Martha goes out to meet Jesus and confront him. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Her boldness is an expression of grace under pressure. Later she says to Jesus: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” This is an unprecedented affirmation of faith in John’s gospel. Grace is present wherever the truth of God is being revealed. To speak our truth takes courage.

Later, Mary also says to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The pressure is mounting. Jesus is not calm, but he is courageous as he opens himself to God’s grace. His tears are a sign of that openness. Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb. And then he tells the people “Unbind him and let him go. …”

This is God’s grace for each of us, to be set free from our fears, to find the courage to speak our truth, to discover that boldness is a gift.

Have you known a courageous person who was under a lot of pressure and yet showed grace?


Paul Nijjar's Internet Landfill

COVID-19 Part 3: Isolation

COVID-19 Part 3: Isolation

It looks as if this has become a regular feature here on the Internet Landfill, even though as of this writing I have not even published the first entry. That's both okay (these entries are more for me than you) and not okay (I have other things I wanted to write about).

We are in the exponential rise now. I am still irritated at all the engineer types engineersplaining that exponential growth is exponential, but maybe they are right and we will have 2 billion people infected by May 11. As of this writing the Region of Waterloo page reports 69 cases in the region, and something like 6200 in Canada. (I think we were at 2000 last weekend?) Things are not looking good. Of the 69 listed as infected 11 are listed as hospitalized, which seems to me to be the critical number. The fear is that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. If (when) I get sick, I hope I can get better by myself, because I am not willing/wanting to use up a respirator that could be used for somebody else.

All of us who were comparing COVID-19 to the flu look like laughingstocks now, I guess. I continue to maintain that if we tracked the flu as thoroughly as we track COVID-19 then we would freak out about the flu too.

But boy howdy have things changed quickly. Capitalism has ground to a standstill. We have decided that it is okay for businesses to just stop, and governments to promise billions and billions of dollars in relief (but when we wanted those billions of dollars for drug addicts, jail reform, climate change, etc, it was never available). We are all self-isolating in our houses.

My hypochondria took a turn for the worse last week, and I convinced myself that I had a sore throat and might have the coronavirus. Even as I write this I am freaked out (the incubation time can be 14 days, right?) and have convinced myself that I have a tight chest and trouble breathing. I cannot trust my body's signals, so who knows? My educated guess is that this is anxiety, but won't it be rich if I have the coronavirus and have been spreading it to everybody? So rich.

I stopped going to work last week. My hypochondria was too acute. Now I stay in my room much of the time, and it kind of sucks. You would think that self-isolating would be easy for me, since I spend about 20 out of 24 hours each day by myself. But it has not been so easy. Supposedly I am working from home now but it is not going well.

For now I am still going out once a day. I try to stay out of other people's company, but I got groceries yesterday and a slice of pizza the day before that. I don't care so much if I have to stay out of the shops. I care a lot if I don't get to be outside now that the weather is nicer. Somehow we have interpreted social distancing as staying inside. I try to convince myself that cycling in the country does not pose anybody much risk even if I am infected, but I do not know that I believe this.

When I am walking around town I am wearing an old t-shirt over my face as an ad-hoc mask. The official word is that we are not supposed to wear masks if we are healthy, but I have been spending too much time reading @Pinboard and he has convinced me that a better interpretation is: masks may not protect me from the virus, but they may protect others if I have the virus.

I am less convinced by @Pinboard's assertion that we should use the tools of surveillance capitalism to track everybody, so that we can do contact tracing. Once we build that infrastructure it has been justified, which means it will never go away. On the other hand, proper contact tracing might save lives. (We always have to have something, right? Usually it is child pornographers or terrorists. Now it is a virus.) I guess I oppose this because I do not have a cellphone, and am therefore a traitor. But it is only a matter of time before tracking becomes ubiquitous and mandatory, "for public safety". @Pinboard says that we can dismantle the surveillance apparatus later, but I do not see how that will happen.

Another way in which I am a traitor is that I use cash, which is a big no-no in this post-outbreak world. I can forsee a time when debit will become mandatory "for public safety". Then I am in trouble, because I have no self control around money. I want as much friction between me and my purchases as possible.

A lot of things are changing quickly. I am acutely aware that I am being carried away by the tidal waves of the zeitgeist. People tell me what to think, and I think those things. Then a week later I look at what I was thinking, and I shake my head at how stupid I was.

Right now I am thinking that this crisis is showing all of our fault lines. All of a sudden we have decided it is worth putting all the homeless people into self-isolation, so we are miraculously finding shelter spaces (and hotel rooms) for them. This is another example of something that was "too expensive" before, but somehow we have the funds now. Of course, this response is completely inadequate. The real fault line is that we don't have sufficient housing for people, and sufficient supports so that difficult people can stay in that housing. There are many other examples like this.

I am disturbed that we now valorize shut-ins. "Wow! I was socially isolating all this time!" people crow, as if this was a good thing. But online connections are not the same as real-life ones, and I think once the novelty of our new lifestyle has worn off that will become more apparent.

I am feeling the novelty wear off these days. A couple of days ago I was out on my bike and I saw lots of children playing together in a schoolyard. I see other people congregating in parking lots. I am maybe a little less freaked out about the COVID-19 news than I was a few days ago (although my hypochondria remains).

I guess we are in different circumstances now, but I feel that we need human connection. We need conversation. We need touch. (We aren't even allowed to touch our faces any more.) We used to think that people who lacked these things were deprived. Now we think they are heroes.

I have been phenomenally unproductive in my isolation. I have all these tasks to do and books to read and taxes to file in addition to my paid work, but I am getting barely anything done. I am exhausted every single day, though. (Isn't that another symptom?) Getting sucked into COVID19 rabbit holes does not help. I wanted a break from work, and in some sense I got one, and it has not helped at all. Work hangs over my head from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep.

I prefer the catchphrase "flattening the curve" to "out of an abundance of caution".

I wish we had sufficient testing capacity for everybody. Honestly I wish I could get tested.

I wish we had sufficient ventilators (and the staff for them) to handle the cases that are coming. I wish there was a way to expedite this. If we had enough tests (so we could identify asymptomatic cases and isolate them) and enough hospital capacity (so that people could get treated when they have pneumonia) then maybe Boris Johnson's original advice to let this burn through the population would make a lot of sense. But we don't.

I see calls for hackers to help solve the crisis (with an app?) but all they do is make me feel guilty for not stepping up. One project (to get text messages to poor people) stings worse than the others.

I want to go out and help in the garden, but if I am sick (or at risk of being sick) then there is no way I can do this.

I am lucky in that the anxiety is the most difficult thing for me to bear, but the anxiety can be difficult sometimes. I have to end this entry now, because over the course of writing it I made my chest tight, my throat sore, and my brain convinced that I am the Typhoid Mary of this pandemic. (Wouldn't it be rich? So, so rich.)


Thodestool SFF Editing

Plague Log: Day 16

A writer friend is doing a short daily podcast about being stuck inside during this pandemic, and I thought I'd do something similar to avoid sending the same texts over and over or worrying relatives with radio silence. But since podcasting isn't my thing and this website has been sorely neglected (and I need to resurrect my writer brain somehow), I figured a daily blog post on this mess was the way to go.

So to recap: Since schools shut down, I have been an absolute mess. I have no executive function (the brain-power that allows you to basically be a functioning adult), don't sleep well, and can't do much of anything. I gave up on writing even though I love my current novel, and I haven't been able to read much either because most of my TBR pile is stuff that, while I was deeply looking forward to it, is far darker than I have the emotional capacity to deal with. I've found some fluffier reads and I'll post reviews of those as I get through them. But it's slow going.

In a better timeline, I'd be on a cruise right now, headed for Mexico and Honduras. That's been postponed until the autumn, but I'm not confident it will sail then either. Probably going to be cancelled or postponed to next year. I was supposed to go to California at the end of May for a writer's conference, but that's been moved online. I haven't cancelled the trip yet, in case there's some kind of miracle and also because the cancellation policies have changed so that I can cancel last minute. So we'll see but I don't have my hopes up.

It's so disappointing because these were going to be the first solo trips I've gone on. I put a lot of effort into planning them, especially the California trip. I was going to camp at a few different locations through the mountains after the conference, including one site overlooking the ocean. It was going to be such an amazing adventure. *sigh*

After anti-depressants getting me through the winter without a single day of depression, it sucks to be stuck in this low mood now. And since my Wellbutrin was only meant to last until spring, I'd started cutting back the dose to wean off, down to a half dose until recently. I was able to get it refilled over the phone and I'm back to my regular dose until I figure out how to cope with all this.

I basically played video games for 10 days straight. I've played more Nintendo in the last couple of weeks than in the last decade. My Nintendos (I'm really oldschool with an original NES, a Super NES, and an N64) were all sitting in storage, unused for years. I dug them all out, along with a spare TV we acquired, and set them up in my office.

I have plenty of energy, and once I get doing things I'm fine, it's deciding what to do that was largely impossible for a long time. I would default to scrolling through social media, which only made things worse, or to playing video games which was soothing if nothing else.

I'm starting to adjust to plague life. My writing group has taken things online and instead of meeting weekly in real cafes, we're doing virtual cafes. Several times a week now. Ha. We don't get much writing done, but it is nice to talk to other humans.

Spouse is busy with schoolwork, leaving most of the chores and child-rearing to me until his semester is over (soon, but not soon enough). We got our hands on a curriculum workbook so the kiddo can keep up on some of her skills. I make her do a page per subject each day. And she's reading a ton. She's gone through like 10 books already. I knew our libraries would end up closing, so we went and stocked up. I've also been buying her ebooks. And her teachers have sent us access to some of the learning apps she was using at school. We've been setting up virtual playdates with her school friends using Skype and Google hangouts so that's helped as well.

I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of cheap craft supplies to help keep both of us busy. I ordered a bunch more stuff from Michaels. I kind of miss going into physical stores, but I'm adjusting to online shopping. I'll probably order groceries for pick up in a couple of days. Yesterday I bought all of the kiddo's bday gifts, though I'm not sure what we'll do for her bday. Likely, it will be a virtual party, or just the three of us.

So we're all surviving, all existing, slowly getting used to the new normal. Part of the problem for me has been the uncertainty. The not knowing when this will end and we can feel safe leaving our homes. It looked like it was only going to be a couple of weeks at first, but now I'm accepting that this will probably continue into the summer. It's doubtful the kiddo will go back to school before she starts grade 4. I do wish we'd had more time to prepare for the school shutdown because I could have made more arrangements with more of her school friends. Right now, there are only three that we cycle through.

Anyway, since I've got lots of energy but no real brainpower, I've really thrown myself into yardwork now that the snow has melted. It's mostly stuff I'd do anyway, but that I often put off and get to slowly. I spent a couple of days raking the front yard and now the kiddo is helping me turn the front lawn into a flower garden. We saved all of the cobblestones from when the front walk was redone with stamped concrete a few years ago, and she and I have been using those to put a pathway through the front yard that will act as access points to different parts of the eventual flower garden.

I've been planning to turn the front yard into a garden for a few years now; I've even got sketches and lists of plants and flowers to put in. Inspired by one of my writer friends who's coping with the pandemic through DIY landscaping, I've decided now is the time to do my own garden. It's going to be a slow process that goes in fits and starts because my back isn't great and the weather still isn't consistently awesome, but so far we've got half the cobblestone path put in.

Guys. Digging up a lawn is fucking hard.

Once the path is in, I'll fill the gap between the path and the existing flower garden with flowers and probably some mulch to keep the weeds down. I'll put mulch around the evergreen too. Eventually I'll put two more pathways down the yard toward the road. A rock garden on the far side of the paths. Maybe a nice bench.

I'm going to need a lot more supplies. But we'll get there.

Anyway, today was largely occupied with laying out the cobblestones, moving them, digging out the lawn, and putting the stones back. I don't know when the weather will be nice enough to finish, but at least it's started.

And the nice weather allowed us to BBQ for the first time this year! It was such a nice change of pace. I love BBQ food. We had steak and baked potatoes. I was getting pretty tired of the same pantry meals and frozen dinners. We should probably start doing more takeout, but we really stocked up on pantry food and I feel like we should probably get through a bit more of that first.

Luckily, I was able to do a ton of shopping before all of the grocery stores were emptied by panic shoppers. We have enough toilet paper and rice and beans and frozen meals to last us probably a month. But we're just about out of fresh produce, so that sucks.

But BBQ today! So maybe it will be a little easier to go back to the same old tomorrow.

So that's it for today. We're still here and muddling through.


University of Waterloo: Engineering

Offers of help pour in for COVID-19 screening project

Monday, March 30, 2020

Waterloo Engineering researchers have received feedback and offers of help from around the world since launching an open-source project last week to improve COVID-19 screening.

“My goal was to engage people worldwide to push this initiative along and I’m getting my wish,” said Alexander Wong, a systems design engineering professor and director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Lab.

Wong launched the COVID-Net project in conjunction with DarwinAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup in Waterloo that he co-founded.


University of Waterloo: Engineering

3D printing focuses on COVID-19 protective shields

Monday, March 30, 2020

3D printers in the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Laboratory are producing parts for face shields in demand by health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our lab quickly volunteered to help and we’re now part of a community group of companies and institutions that have banded together to provide free medical support and supplies,” said Ehsan Toyserkani, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor and research director of the MSAM lab.