As the Director of Access and Awareness for Variety Village, Archie Allison can be found bouncing from event to event across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). His contagious smile and positive attitude leave everyone in his circle feeling proud to know him and grateful for inclusion in the Variety Village world. We’re sharing a little more about Variety Village and Archie Allison as part of our Canadian expansion.
“It’s great to have companies that reach out and participate in their communities on more than just a sales basis,” Archie says. “Having a place like the CURE NATION to share the triumphs of each other really highlights how Cure Medical is doing just that.”
VARIETY VILLAGE BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER
Scarborough, Ontario’s Variety Village is a truly unique space, filled with equipment and activities built specifically so that everyone can participate. Whether it’s sports, fitness programs, summer camps, skills training, or coaching for competitive and Paralympics athletes, Variety Village really has it all!
Not only is the space accessible, but it’s inclusive as well. It is clear from the moment you enter that everyone is welcome and that everyone can fully participate in their chosen activities. No one person is singled out, everyone belongs.
Archie says, “people are finding themselves through sport and physical activity. They’re feeling happier, more content, more satisfied with their own lives through participating with their families, friends, and peers.”
STRENGTHENING tORONTO THROUGH VARIETY VILLAGE
The Cure Medical team met Archie Allison for the first time at the Toronto Abilities Expo. It was evident how much the entire community rallies around both him and Variety Village.
Not only did it seem that Archie knew every one of the thousands of people at the Expo but the stories we heard about events and activities at Variety Village were almost uncountable.
It seems that everyone in the Greater Toronto Area disability community has some connection to Archie or Variety Village as a whole. Stories were told, photos taken, and plans for upcoming events were shared between Archie and Expo attendees.
VIDEO: VARIETY VILLAGE WELCOMES ATHLETES TO COME AS YOU ARE
“Talking about Variety Village doesn’t have the same impact as when you come in and experience the Village in person,” Archie explains.
WHAT STARTED AS A PLACEMENT GREW IN TO A PASSION
Archie attended high school across the street from Variety Village and had intended to pursue art therapy at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) after graduation. In Archie’s senior year, his Guidance Counsellor and Physical Education teacher, Stefan Tipold, suggested that he complete a placement at Variety Village – and the rest is history.
“It was my second week here that I fell in love with what Variety Village is and what it does both as a facility and as a mandate.” Archie has been with the organization for 36 years and will happily tell everyone how excited he still is to come to work each and every day.
“I think every place should be like Variety Village,” Archie says with a smile.
VARIETY VILLAGE OFFERS VOLT HOCKEY
One of the many ways that Variety Village includes people of all abilities is through their recent acquisition of Volt Hockey chairs. In Volt Hockey, players transfer from their everyday powerchair to Volt chairs in order to play, ensuring that they won’t damage their everyday wheelchairs while playing the sport.
Volt Hockey is popular in Scandinavia (with over 50 teams competing) and is now available in Ontario! The Volt Hockey program has been initially introduced to London and Markham (with “give it a go” days) and there is a possibility of expanding the program to Newmarket and Barrie soon.
You never know who you’re going to meet while playing Volt Hockey at Variety Village.
Not only has Nicklas Charlton, a Danish Volt Hockey Champion, been to the Village to play, but Toronto Maple Leaf’s Coach Mike Babcock and players Brad Boyes, Byron Froese, and James van Riemsdyk have come out to try it out as well!
PIZZA POWERS THE VILLAGE
None of Variety Village’s programs happen without the support of countless staff, volunteers, and donors. Variety Village has several fundraising events throughout the calendar year and many Ontarians are familiar with the “That’s Amore Pizza Day”. It is held in partnership with Pizza Nova in a tradition that has spanned over 30 years.
This is a one-day fundraiser held each spring where $1 from each Medium Pepperoni pizza purchased by walk-in at Pizza Nova is donated directly to Variety Village.
In 2018, That’s Amore Pizza Day raised a staggering $118,602 to support the programs at Variety Village.
Pizza and a donation to a great charity? Win-win!
VARIETY VILLAGE HOPES FOR EXPANSION
In recent years, Variety Village has been reaching beyond their physical location in Scarborough and developing programs in locations across Ontario. They are working with leaders in sport to develop programs that reach people where they live. This includes working with MLSE, regional municipalities, and the YMCA. Thanks to Variety Village, adaptive sports offerings now exist in Toronto, Vaughan, Markham, and London.
Looking to create more of these opportunities in the future, they are developing programs in Beeton, Peel and other areas in the province. Variety Village and its staff are a place that people can reach out to “talk about ideas and different adaptations to make sure that everyone is involved.”
The expansion to more local areas gives all Ontarians, regardless of physical challenges, the chance to feel welcomed and included within their communities.
ARCHIE FINDS COMMON GROUND WITH THE CURE NATION
Variety Village is a place for every person to feel welcomed and to learn from each other. We strive to offer the same experience through the CURE NATION as well!
That’s why Archie expressed his excitement with the understanding that “this blog can educate about what’s available. A lot of times it’s hard to find resources and information and this is a valuable learning initiative for individuals and families.”
“Not only does CURE give us a place to come together online, but the company also gives back to the community by engaging in advocacy events and donating a portion of their proceeds to medical research,” Archie concludes.
For more information on all that Variety Village offers and how you can get involved, visit their website at varietyontario.ca.
Cure CATHETERS ARE AVAILABLE IN CANADA
If you are seeking a quality-made, intermittent catheter that is not made with scary chemicals like DEHP/DINP, BPA or natural rubber latex, Cure Medical has a full assortment of male, female and pediatric catheters available for your daily use. With a wallet-friendly price, you’ll love the comfort and care you receive with Cure Catheters.
The following intermittent catheters are available now from Cure Medical and its authorized dealers in Canada.
- Cure Ultra® Ready-to-Use Catheter for Men and Women
- Cure Hydrophilic Catheters
- Cure Medical® Pocket Catheter
- Cure Catheter® for Women
- Cure Catheter® for Men
- Cure Pediatric Catheter
- Cure Twist® Ready-to-Use Catheter for Women
- Cure Catheter® Closed System
- Cure Medical® Catheter Insertion Kit
To request free samples of the Cure Catheter®, Cure Ultra®, or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical supports medical research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.
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