Janise Smith wants to tell the world about the good works happening in Scarborough. As a community activist and the publisher of snapd Scarborough, Janise is on a mission to capture and promote the suburb’s “positive essence” by showcasing fundraisers for our hospitals, public spaces, and non-profit agencies, as well as colourfully documenting achievement recognition ceremonies, milestone occasions, neighbourhood parties—and the people who make it all happen.
“I want to build community through the paper. Media perception that is negative does not represent everything that we love about Scarborough. It’s so important to spread joy and a positive light. I love being able to do that through snapd.”
As an example of Scarborough at its best, she cites Project Engagement, which brings together local companies, resident volunteers, places of worship, city councillors, police and firefighters to create holiday hampers filled with donated food and supplies for hundreds of local families in need.
Janise, the Communications Chair for the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, is also the organizer and host of the popular gala, Celebrating the Excellence in Scarborough. The 5th annual event welcomed about 400 people, all proud to recognize everyone from social workers to artists to athletes. Devon White, famous for helping the Toronto Blue Jays win back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993, was among the honoured guests this year.
Janise says that when Scarborough’s reputation catches up with the reality, and all residents feel proud to live here, that will be the moment when one of her major goals will be accomplished.