AVATIL 40th Anniversary Special Edition
Interview with Fay Bland,
Founder of AVATIL
We hope you enjoy this special 1. In what year did you establish AVATIL?
AVATIL 40th Anniversary issue of the 1966.
newsletter. Unfortunately this will be
our last Anniversary issue until 2. Why did you create AVATIL?
To help my daughter, Clara, grow. Forming a clan of other
September. Thanks to everyone who
parents, I tried to have something for kids with special
submitted to our Unicorn in our last needs.
issue and we both (JaSonic & Jesse)
wish you a very nice summer and all 3. When you began, how many clients were a
part of AVATIL?
the best in the world. Keep
submitting your articles during the It was like a Friday Night Club, so it started out with
approximately 10 clients.
summer months and keep it handy
4. Has AVATIL always served the same type of
until we start the Unicorn once more.
clientele? If not, how have the clients
changed - how and when did this evolve?
Another plan that JaSonic has (as an They were called 'mildly retarded' in the beginning, which
“Ask Sonic” section), you all could they are now called 'mildly intellectually handicapped'. The
E-Mail your articles to me people who were living there matured.
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and they
5. This year, AVATIL is celebrating its 40th
might be printed in September. anniversary. How did you think AVATIL has
changed over the past 40 years?
We hope to hear from you in the fall. The people get wiser, they get more confident with
themselves and they also have a broader range of interest.
AVATIL developed a more scientific approach than it first
Have a great summer again!
Signed, 6. Could you share some special moments with
Jesse Stacey Cale (editor-in-chief) Searching for government funding and knocking on doors
JaSonic (computer graphics, co- for donations to the organization. I love the Walk-A-Thon!
editor & computer expert) John Aung-Thwin's goat - I got him started on his farm
with that goat. We always worked as a group of concerned
7. Where do you see AVATIL 40 years from
Miracles can happen and there can be many opportunities
for people with intellectual disabilities.
Spring/Summer 2006 AVATIL CLIENT NEWSLETTER 1
AVATIL 40th Anniversary Client Dance Interview with Adolescent Group 2
Written by JaSonic & Matthew Member Andreas Kurz
Last night was THE night to go out and Edited by Jesse & JaSonic
enjoy yourselves (if you had a ticket for
the dance - it was just $6). It was
hosted by the lovely and talented 1. Why did you join AVATIL?
Adina and Laura. First, we enjoyed
some refreshments, and then the A: Because I have a disability and need
buffet dinner (sandwiches and salads) to learn social skills and make friends.
came out. In between the buffet
dinner and the dessert, I was doing a 2. What do you like about the
bit of DJing myself with DJ Brian. No Adolescent program?
doubt it was a DJ Sonic vs. DJ Brian
event! Everyone danced to the A: I like a lot about it, such as going to
different kinds of music that we both laser quest, bowling, and meeting new
had. At around dessert time (brownies friends.
that were provided by the Community
Kitchen), DJ Sonic was at the controls 3. What are your future plans?
for about 15 to 20 minutes. So I guess
we both did half the night. Guest A: I want to get into movies and live on
appearances were made by Carmela my own someday.
and Challette. Everyone had a great
time last night but none more than 4. Where do you see AVATIL in
Hannah Lusthaus who was the Limbo another 40 years?
Queen that evening. She really went
as low as she could go. There was also A: Maybe aliens will be running
a Karaoke machine which made a AVATIL!!!
few people stars.
Quite a few people won the door Andreas is moving into the Young Adults
prizes (CDs that were donated by Tim program in September of 2006.
Tassinari). Among them were yours truly Good luck, Andreas!
and Debbie Ziernicki. All-in-all, I’d say it
was a fun evening for everyone.
Matthew’s looking forward to the next
social event when I probably will have
my good friend JaSonic as volunteer
Spring/Summer 2006 AVATIL CLIENT NEWSLETTER 2
Interview with Patrick Creeley
1. How long have you been a client of AVATIL?
In the beginning, when Carmen Smith just started.
2. How did you become a client of AVATIL?
That’s a very hard question. Check with Carmela for that answer.
3. What have you learned from being a part of AVATIL?
I used to come to AVATIL from Pierrefonds. I learned public transit from AVATIL.
4. Do you have any cherished memories of AVATIL?
Helen used to be my counsellor, she was a nice person. She came to my first apartment when I
had an open house. I also had Elias as a counselor, and I liked the Bowl-A-Thon he organized.
5. What advice do you have for young AVATIL clients?
Go for walks, get exercise, and walk to Dairy Queen.
6. How do you think AVATIL has enriched/improved your life?
AVATIL got me my first apartment, and Challette helped me find my 2nd apartment last July.
Interview with Marni Spunt from the Young Adults Group
1. How long have you been a member of the Young Adult group?
I’ve been a member for over 5 years.
2. What do you like about the group (topics, people, and activities)? I like the animators
Katie and Isabelle. I like topics that we talk about such as sex education and friendship. I like
doing the weekend activities such as movies, going downtown, winter camp, and the Walk-A-
Thon that’s coming up.
3. What will you be doing after the Young Adult group?
I plan to go into the residential program.
4. What do you hope to learn from the transitional living residential program?
I plan to meet new people and especially to learn how to cook and to budget my money.
5. Where do you see AVATIL 40 years from now?
In 40 years from now, I see AVATIL having new residential homes, and even bigger apartments.
Spring/Summer 2006 AVATIL CLIENT NEWSLETTER 3
Interview with Meg Van Vliet
Blast from the Past: A Look at Our Unicorn Past
1. Q: How long have you been a client
of AVATIL? Spring 1991 Edition
A: A long time! My Experience at AVATIL
I learned who and what I am. I am self reliant,
2. Q: How did you become a client of organized, sure of myself, understanding, self-
AVATIL? controlled, honest person. I am a person who knows
A: A friend of mine told me about what I want, and will go to anything to get it. I am not
the establishment. afraid to admit that I am different from others and that I
have problems too. Everyone is special and unique in
3. Q: What have you learned from his own way. So if you judge somebody in a wrong
being a part of AVATIL? way, you are actually judging yourself. I learned how
A: Cooking & stuff like that. to cook, respect others better, to judge someone fairly.
Everything I’ve said so far has taught me how to live
4. Q: Do you have any cherished on my own. It’s not easy living on my own, but it is
memories of AVATIL? sure worth it because you get to be more independent
A: Nice & going to Monkland. for yourself. It takes a lot of willpower to do what I’m
doing. It’s fun too.
5. Q: What advice do you have for Love, from your ex-resident
young AVATIL clients?
A: Go through residence.
6. Q: How do you think AVATIL has Anikke Lion
enriched/improved your life?
A: Helped me cook, get me on my
Spring 1991 Edition
feet, more things to do, and
This was the last interview with Meg before Roses
she passed away. God Bless Meg and we
will remember her always. By Angelina
Je suis comme ces fleurs
Belle et dangereuse, mais
Si on me prends du bon côté
Je peux me faire inoffensive
Summer 1992 Edition The 1992 Ski Weekend
By Margaret Van Vliet Alors celui qui auras trouvé le
On February 14th, TIL went on a ski trip. We went to St. Donat. We Bon côté pourras alors là
stayed in a private chalet. We left TIL at 6 and got there at 9. We were lost for Sentir mon doux parfum tendre
an hour. After we got settled we had something to eat – pizza and hot apple Et délicat
strudel. It was good. Then we saw a movie called “Switch”. It was good. After Mais pour le moment
the movie we went to bed. Je reste belle,
On February 15th after breakfast, some went skiing and some went Piquante, dangereuse et
sliding and some stayed back to play games and watch a movie. After Convoité de tous.
everyone got back we had lunch. After lunch some went for a walk, some went
skating, and some stayed back to play games. After everyone got back we had
supper. After supper we saw the movie “Home Alone” it was good. After the We wish you a good
movie we had a party with dancing. After the party we saw another movie. summer!
Some went down to the basement to play pool. I learned how to play pool. After
the movie we went to bed.
On February 16th we had breakfast and after we got packed. Around
1:00 we left. We got back to TIL around 3:00. I had a good time and the food
Spring/Summer 2006 AVATIL CLIENT NEWSLETTER 4