The Arran-Elderslie Youth Council is made possible through the combined efforts of our team, our partners and our volunteers.
Laura Fullerton (she/her)
Community Development Coordinator for Arran-Elderslie
Laura is the Community Development Coordinator with the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie. Laura works with business owners, community groups and residents to continue to make Arran-Elderslie a great place to live, work and own a business. The Arran-Elderslie Youth project is an exciting way to involve young people in the community and engage them in Municipal government. Laura is excited to be a part of this project through her role at Arran-Elderslie, and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie is proud to be a partner!
Sandra Crockard (she/her)
Co-Director of Trinity Theatre
One of the founding members of Trinity in 1982, Sandra has since been committed to working alongside Alan in their exploration of ‘theatre outside theatre’ bringing art and theatre practices to youth engagement and community development. From the time they moved to Paisley in 2013, she has been looking for ways to get involved in Arran-Elderslie. Sandra is very excited about this opportunity to bring their many years of experience to help bring about a Youth Council for Arran-Elderslie.
Alan Richardson (he/him)
Co-Director of Trinity Theatre
Alan has been working at Trinity since 1982. He started Trinity with 6 graduating students from York University’s Fine Arts Theatre program. They created an ensemble that stayed together for 9 years. Sandra and Alan carried on developing their theatre work to have more practical application in the community. They have been Co-directors since the 1990’s.
Alan is very excited to be living in Paisley. The beauty of Bruce County daily inspires and comforts Alan. Sandra and Alan had the privilege and fun of working with students at Sacred Heart in Walkerton and St Mary’s in Owen Sound over several years and the vivacity and enthusiasm of the peer leaders only confirmed their positive feelings for the area.
Alex Oestreicher (she/her)
Youth Development Coordinator
Alex was hired in the summer of 2020 to assist in building and facilitating the Arran-Elderslie Youth Council. Alex is currently attending Trent University, studying media studies and political studies. Alex appreciates staying connected to her community and applying what she is learning to her professional practices. Alex is constantly inspired and regularly learning from the youth in Arran-Elderslie. She enjoys working to facilitate space in which youth feel valued, heard and empowered.
The Municipality of Arran-Elderslie
In August 2019 Council approved the formation of the Arran-Elderslie Youth Council. One of the Arran-Elderslie Economic Development goals for 2019-2020 was to develop youth engagement opportunities. Youth retention, education, representation and exposure are important pillars for growth in the Municipality. Municipalities around the province have experienced a Youth Council to be a youth retention and youth engagement tool. Youth are more likely to return home to a community after post-secondary education or stay in the community after being exposed to what opportunities are available.
The Arran-Elderslie Youth Council provides youth with an opportunity to have their voice heard in the community. Arran-Elderslie Municipal Council may ask the Youth Council to advise on an issue pertaining to youth, service groups or clubs in the community may come to the youth council to provide input on a project, or the Youth Council may take on larger advocacy issues within the region. The Youth Council takes on projects and initiatives that matter to young people in the Municipality to make Arran-Elderslie an even better place to call home. The Arran-Elderslie Youth Council presents at a Municipal Council meeting once yearly to provide an update on events, budget, members and projects. Arran-Elderslie Council supports the Arran-Elderslie Youth Council through operational funding, staff time and space to meet as a group. Arran-Elderslie Council is looking forward to watching to Youth Council grow and continue to take on an active role in the community.
Trinity is a charitable organization founded in Toronto in 1982 whose mission is to provide integrated and experiential learning, using the arts and intergenerational interactions to facilitate the development of communities across Canada. Co-Executive Directors, Alan Richardson and Sandra Crockard are residents of Arran-Elderslie who, until recently, divided their time between Paisley and their work in Toronto schools and communities.
The concept for an Arran-Elderslie Youth Council was borne out of discussions between Alan, Sandra, and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie Community Development Coordinator, Laura Fullerton. Looking for ways to become involved in their Arran-Elderslie community – and given their background in youth engagement and community development – Sandra and Alan realized the unique challenges that rural communities face in youth volunteerism, community engagement, and retention. Trinity has extensive experience developing youth leadership groups across Canada and facilitating intergenerational relationships in both urban and rural contexts. Alan and Sandra are pleased to have been able to play a role in the establishment of the Arran Elderslie Youth Council and continue to serve as Adult Allies.