If you look around, there’s something happening in London, Ontario almost every weekend. However, London Youth Advisory Council Director of Advocacy Support, Emma Blue, said the city’s youth says quite the opposite. “A lot of times, young people will say that there isn’t really anything to do hear in London, and often times that’s a really big concern.”
She felt those who want to attend community events might not know about them, and those hosting them struggle with reaching young Londoners. “Often times, when we talk about youth engagement, we have this idea that if you just make a social media account, they’ll magically flock to you, and it doesn’t typically work that way.”
Blue said the 15 Councillors on the Youth Advisory Council will go to areas where young people are likely found, such as skateboard parks, community centers and schools. They will talk to the young citizens about what issues matter to them. She said London’s youth are concerned about mental health issues, Aboriginal issues, and job opportunities.
The London Youth Advisory Council has also reached out to the community by providing family movie nights in Victoria Park. With the bulk of the festival season starting in July, Blue wanted to provide a free event for families to enjoy earlier in the summer. “Considering what the economy is like, and especially when your a student, you don’t have a lot of money,” she said about free events, ” If you go to places like Toronto or Vancouver, a lot of the events and festivals you have to pay for, whereas here if you go to any of the events in Victoria Park, they’re all free.”
The next LYAC Movie Night will screen “Jumanji” on June 15 at around 9 p.m. The event will run until the end of August, featuring a screening of “Finding Nemo”.