President’s Message – April 24, 2020

Dear Strollers,

I hope this letter finds you heathy and safe. You are regularly in our thoughts, and we send you best wishes. The board had an opportunity to meet on-line recently and we wanted to pass on some information to you.

We discussed the situation regarding the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Ideally, we would like to meet face-to-face to conduct the meeting, but we are prepared to consider alternative means of doing so, such as electronic options. The board will have a clear decision on the AGM particulars available for the membership by the end of June. As far as Stroll memberships go, they will remain in effect and will not require renewal until such time as the AGM takes place.

The board also discussed the status of the 2020 anthology. At this point there is no plan for its distribution, as we are exploring safe and practical options. We’ll keep you informed of developments.

The board will continue to convene through virtual meetings and has voted to extend the terms of directors until our 2020 AGM can happen. It is a great comfort to know that our leadership team remains steadfastly in place through this challenging time. Their commitment, ingenuity, energy and experience are invaluable assets moving ahead. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at

Yours in verse,
John Leppard

Message from John Leppard

Hello my friends,

It is my greatest hope that you are all safe, comfortable and well.

We are certainly enduring some turbulent times right now. For those most dramatically impacted by COVID-19, I am sending an abundance of virtual good wishes and support. Some members of our community may be feeling the emotional effects of social distancing more than others. If you know of a Stroll friend who may be experiencing such a challenge, please consider reaching out to lend some support. We are stronger together, my friends, never more so than now.

Along our thirty-year journey we have had challenges and overcame them, had successes and celebrated them, and always at the heart of our organization continues to be the poems and poets. These will endure regardless of the length of time needed to heal our world and put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.

I am grateful to the efforts of some of our members for providing creative leadership to keep our poetry flame alive. I encourage you to check out the invitations from Gary Garrison, Trudy Greinauer and our Parkland Poetry friends, outlined in our newsletter and Facebook page. Please let us know of any on-line collaborations you may be involved in that may be of interest to other members. We will do our best to promote and support you. You may contact me at

The Stroll board is monitoring the ever-unfolding changes this viral event is eliciting. We are confident that when things stabilize we will again meet and share our verse, face to face and heart to heart. Details on a future date for our AGM and anthology release will be made available when we have a clearer picture of what the future holds. We will continue to provide updates in our newsletter and on social media as needed.

Until then, my friends, on behalf of the board and associates, I wish you peace.

Yours in verse,
John Leppard

Stroll AGM and Anthology Update

We have received a few questions regarding the decision to postpone the 2020 AGM and anthology launch. A new date for this event has not yet been chosen. The Stroll board will be meeting in April to discuss alternate arrangements for the AGM and for ways Stroll members can obtain their copy of the 2020 Stroll Anthology.

We will keep you updated through the newsletter, website and social media as new arrangements have been made.

We thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Please note that the Stroll/WGA Edmonton office will be closed indefinitely as we participate in the effort to slow community spread of COVID-19. Staff will be working from home and will be checking email and telephone messages regularly.  We ask for your patience if e-mail inquiries and communication take longer than usual. If you have questions, please contact Ellen at

Final Haven & AGM Postponed

The health and safety of Stroll members is always a priority for the Board.

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and following the restrictions recommended by the Government of Alberta, the Haven scheduled for Monday, March 16th will be cancelled and the upcoming AGM and Anthology Launch scheduled for Sunday, March 22nd will be postponed until further notice.

As outlined by the Province, events with more than 50 attendees that involve seniors or other high-risk populations should be cancelled. Please visit Alberta Health for the latest info on COVID-19.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we take the recommended precautions to ensure the collective health and safety of everyone. For Haven or Stroll related questions please, contact

Utopia or Dystopia – Poetry Workshop with Shirley Serviss

A sincere thank you to Shirley for facilitating the Utopia or Dystopia workshop at the McMullen Gallery at the University of Alberta Hospital on February 22, 2020. Shirley led fifteen participants through a series of writing prompts based on the gallery’s installation by Emmanuel Osahor: paintings of real and imagined landscapes within Edmonton, a living wall of tropical plants and a soundscape of the river valley. 

Thank you also to the participants for attending to make this a positive collaboration!