The Kenora Youth Wellness Hub hosted another successful Back to School BBQ on August 31, 2022.  

The event was a huge success, feeding approximately 350 people and giving fully stocked back packs to 200 local youth!  

Jourdan Kardal, one of the organizers for the event and Drop-in Coordinator for the Youth Hub, spoke about the activities from the day, “We had some mocktails, we played the game Plinko, we made some medicine bags with tobacco, and many other activities.”  

With the school year starting next week, Tess Lavelle-Sutton, Program Manager, shared some information for any youth thinking about checking out the Youth Hub, “The Youth Wellness Hub is one-stop-shop for youth aged 12-25 to access mental health supports, cultural programming, education, employment supports, food supports, primary care, drop-in counselling, basic needs, recreation, peer support, and to build community. We are open Monday to Friday, from 12-6.” 

While the BBQ was happening outside, multiple Kenora organizations had activities and information tables set up inside the Youth Hub for youth and their families to check out.  

Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC), Firefly, Kenora Association for Community Living (KACL) and Kenora Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) were all set up inside ready to share their information with the youth and families that stopped by.  

Kerril Davidson-Hunt is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Clinic Coordinator for Kenora Chiefs Advisory and in partnership with several community agencies, she was at the BBQ to spread awareness of FASD to youth while also destigmatizing the disorder through the Red Shoes Rock Campaign.  

“FASD is an invisible disability, we are just trying to make it a little bit more accessible to talk about it.” 

 “We want to talk about the impact alcohol has on a fetus, but we also want to [highlight] that people with FASD have strengths, we don’t want to lose sight of that,” said Davidson-Hunt.  

She explained that making sure youth, especially older youth, are aware of FASD is key to creating awareness of the disability.  

Overall, Kardal described the event as going “very well.” The Kenora Youth Wellness Hub would like to thank all of the event sponsors and partners: Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Kenora No Frills, Wholesale Club, KPDSB, KCDSB, Firefly, KSAC, WNHAC, and WJS.