City of Mississauga to Co-Host First Open Data Idea Jam

Code and the City

The City of Mississauga will co-host “Code and The City”, an idea jam, in partnership with Sheridan College and I-CUBE (University of Toronto Mississauga) to mark International Open Data Day on March 5, 2016.

As an early adopter of open data in 2010, the City of Mississauga was one of the first 12 public sector agencies in Canada to publish open data, on the City’s website. The website describes the purpose of open data and provides accessible data sets.

“We are inviting the best and the brightest – students and seasoned professionals – to participate in our inaugural Code and the City Mississauga event,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said. “Participants will mine through mountains of open data and it is our aim that this greater access to information will empower participants to use City data sets for software and website development. Participants will help ignite new applications that have the potential to deliver smarter, effective and more efficient community services,” Mayor Crombie added. “With open data, our next big idea is in the hands of Mississaugans.”

“The City of Mississauga is a digital innovator. Code and the City is one of many initiatives to advance our community through digital,” said Shawn Slack Director of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. This event will create a greater awareness of Mississauga’s open data sets and educate the community on how the City’s information and services can be accessed through the use of technology.”

At Code and the City, 75 developers, designers, mappers and information analysts will gather to share, discuss, network and collaborate on ideas through the use of open data. Participants will have the opportunity to attend open workshops led by industry professionals and instructors.

All teams will present their submissions to fellow participants and judges. The event aims to create actionable solutions for improving how Mississauga can gain greater awareness and engagement with the community in a digital environment.

The winning solutions can earn up to $6,000 in cash and prizes.

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NEW EXHIBITIONS AT THE AGM

On Thursday, February 25th from 6-8pm The Art Gallery of Mississauga is hosting an opening night reception for three new exhibitions coming to the gallery in February and running until April 10th.

A free shuttle is available from The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto leaving at 6pm.

Change Makers

Change Makers aims to re-evaluate the relationship between Aboriginal and Western cultures. This exhibition celebrates the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s recent commitment to the study and exhibition of Indigenous art while providing diverse responses to what it means to be Indigenous today. Through their works, the artists engage with ideas of self-representation to question colonial narratives and present parallel histories while exploring relationships between the spiritual, the uncanny and every day.

Featuring: Outi Pieski, Wally Dion, Wendy Red Star, Melissa General, Amy Malbeuf, Shuvinai Ashoona & Nicotye Samayualie

Pushing Paint

Fiona Kinsella takes the physicality and organic qualities of oil paint as her starting point, pushing the medium to become more than surface pigmentation, into the realm of the sculptural – to grow, shift, change, to build up and to decay.

The Zenith of My Understanding Is Like Water in a Thimble

In a new body of work, Claire Scherzinger examines the relationship between drawing, painting and sculpture as a spectrum of exchange of information and knowledge between the image and the object.

For more information please visit the AGM Web site.

COUNTRY MUSIC COMES ALIVE WITH WINDMILL THEATRE!

Windmill Theatre is set to dazzle music lovers with its first-ever Country Music Cabaret on February 5 and 6, 2016.  The Best of Country will take place at The Great Hall located at 84 South Service Rd (QEW and Hyw 10) Mississauga.

Expect music from the likes of Shania Twain, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Patsy Cline,” says Artistic Director Brian Pritchard. “You’re out there, you love the music, so join us for a real Countryfest.”

The Best of Country features a powerhouse cast of local vocalists. Singers include Kevin Baker, Heidi Cyfko, Raylin Marcotte, Blair Barnsdale, Heather Brissenden, Chris Burke, Sarah DaCunha, Jason Hales and Erin Boyle. All will be under the musical direction of Joshua Tamayo.

Based in Port Credit, Mississauga, Windmill Theatre is a flourishing theatrical organization known for its innovative cabaret performances. The Windmill Theatre stage has served as a launch for numerous prominent Canadian artists including Darryn De Souza (Musical Arranger for the Tenors), Evan Alexander Smith (Broadway and Shaw Festival), Brianna Palmer (Wizard of Oz National Tour). Please visit www.windmilltheatre.com for more details.

Don’t miss this unforgettable salute to Country Music! Tickets are $30 and may be purchased on the Windmill website at wwwwindmilltheatre.com, by emailing windmilltheatre@mail.com or by calling 905-483-5702. Only ten tickets left, so call early to avoid disappointment.

The Fresh Produce Box Solution

Mississauga residents find a solution to the problem of skyrocketing produce prices through Eden Food for Change’s Fresh Produce Box program.

In January 2014, the program officially launched as a way for people of all income levels to access fresh produce. Immediately, the number of orders steadily rose amongst a variety of groups in Mississauga.

In the last few weeks, with this recent rise in prices for fruits and vegetables, Eden Food for Change (EFFC) has seen their orders increase by almost 40%. In December 2015 there were 135 small boxes and 151 large boxes ordered. Within a month there were 202 small boxes and 237 large boxes ordered by people looking for a solution to the dramatic increase of produce seen at grocery stores.

“Our goal is to provide more good food for more people,” says EFFC’s Executive Director Bill Crawford. “Food that is financially cheap is often nutritionally cheap so we started this program to help give people struggling financially the option of healthy food at a more affordable rate than they would normally find.”

Food prices at the Ontario Food Terminal, where EFFC purchases the produce for their boxes, have by 36% in the last year. However, with a more concerted effort for price comparison and negotiations with food vendors, the organization has managed to maintain the same number of items in their Fresh Produce Boxes as last year.

Participants can expect around eight items in a $10 box with a $20 box providing an increased quantity of the same items, plus an additional two or three more items such as green beans and cauliflower.

“Many people think this is a fundraiser for our organization, but it isn’t. We only take 10% to cover our costs,” explains Crawford. “We also make sure that we only buy for the number of people that have ordered that week to ensure cost-efficiency.”

The program is open to anyone who is able to pick up their order at one of the six western Mississauga pick-up locations. Interested participants simply place their orders online at www.edenffc.org/fresh-oroduce-box by 4 pm on Thursdays.

Contents for the boxes are purchased early on Friday mornings and then assembled by a team of volunteers with the boxes ready for distribution by Friday afternoon. The contents of the box can vary slightly from week to week, but a greater variety is seen during the local growing season.

Eden Food for Change has been serving hungry families in western Mississauga for 25 years. The organization serves people through its two Food Bank locations, its Learning Kitchen and Fresh Produce Box program and has a vision of Good Food For All!

Trees for Streams

Have you ever wondered what happens to Christmas trees once they are put out on the curb? You may be surprised to learn, that some are used in stream restoration projects in the Credit River. Since 2008, CVC staff in partnership with the Region of Peel have collected Christmas trees curb-side.

As rivers flow, they naturally erode and deposit sediment creating a meandering path. Sensitive fish species like brook trout depend on cold, clean water. This occurs in well vegetated, stable streams where natural erosion processes have created calm, deep pools separated by faster moving currents in rapids. Some land practices such as the removal of plants and shrubs along river banks change these dynamics.  That’s where the old Christmas trees come in.  CVC has been working on a stretch of river at Upper Credit Conservation Area in partnership with local stewardship organizations to narrow the shoreline that had been damaged by cattle. Using natural forces, trees are strategically positioned on the side of the river where sediments would naturally deposit. The many branches act like a net catching sediment. As a result the meandering path and natural width of the river are restored at a faster rate.  The success of this project can be seen from the bridge at Upper Credit (pictured here).  In some areas, the river was 20 meters wide and has been narrowed by half.  

Landowners with streams running through their property can affect water quality on site and downstream. Planting native plants and shrubs such as red-osier dogwood, white cedar and willow shrubs and maintaining an unmown strip of vegetation shades water keeping it cool and improves fish habitat. To learn more about caring for your land and water and projects such as stream restoration, attend an upcoming workshop.

If you want to learn more about the project at Upper Credit, visit the Countryside Stewardship Connection and click on the Trees for Streams topic.