In Conversation with Beverly Lewis
Bev has been a teacher at the University Settlement Music and Arts School for over 35 years. To commemorate our 100th anniversary, she volunteered to compile a cookbook. We chatted with her about her time here.
Please tell us about your experience with University Settlement?
It’s been incredible, I am really attached to University Settlement, the atmosphere is very friendly, and I really like the multicultural element. University Settlement provides many community services and recreational facilities for everyone, especially for children, seniors, and newcomers. Being a part of the community myself, I enjoy the amenities very much, especially the swimming pool.
How about the Music School?
Teaching at the Music school has been extremely rewarding. We are very proud of the fact that we have a substantial subsidy program. The subsidy makes music so much more accessible for children and youth who wouldn’t be able to afford music lessons otherwise. I’ve had many students who’ve worked very hard and done very well, some who haven’t, but they have all been good experiences. Just being a part of a child’s growing up process is a real privilege and I enjoy every bit of it. Am also very excited that the music school is starting some free world music drumming classes!
You are working on a cookbook to commemorate the century run of the Music and Arts school?
I come from an Anglican church family and there were always church and community cookbooks around me growing up. So, when we started thinking of things to do for the 100th anniversary it just seemed natural to do a cookbook because I knew that there would be so many recipes from different cultures and it would be such a neat thing to be able to present.
In the process, I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to a lot of people, not only the ones who are currently associated with the University Settlement, but also the ones who were here years ago, including teachers, staff, board members, students, and their parents. I’ve gotten recipes from people from all over Canada. People who have submitted these recipes come from such different backgrounds; I am terribly proud of that diversity. It is more of a community builder in a way and is so much more than a cookbook.
That is so exciting, how soon can we have a copy?
We hope to make it available in the fall.
You can get to know more about Bev here: https://universitysettlement.ca/music-arts-school/beverly-lewis/