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Happy Holidays! The OHPE Editorial Team wishes all of its readers, contributors, supporters and colleagues a happy, healthy and joyful holiday season. This will be our last issue until the new year, as we take time to celebrate and be with our families and friends.

It is truly a season of celebration. Tonight begins the festival of lights as we approach solstice and Hannukah, the eight-day Jewish holiday. Next week will bring more festivities as Christmas and the various traditions around it are celebrated. From December 26 until January 2 there is another holiday new to many: Kwanzaa. Thanks to the website KidsDomain, we would like to share with you a description of this African-American/Canadian heritage celebration.

"The name Kwanzaa, comes from a phrase which means 'first fruits' in Swahili, an East African language. Kwanzaa is celebrated through singing, speaking, dancing and reciting traditional stories. Kwanzaa is built on seven principles that are commonly known as 'Nguzo Saba.' These principles are 1) umoja--unity, 2) kujichagulia--self-determination, 3) ujima--collective work and responsibility, 4) ujamaa--cooperative economics, 5) nia--purpose, 6) kuumba--creativity and 7) imani--faith. Each of the seven days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles. Happy Kwanzaa!" Read more at

There is much to learn and appreciate from these principles and the multiple faiths and beliefs that make up the diversity of our world. We hope that our readers enjoy these next two weeks in many different ways.

In the next message we take you through a review of what 2003 has brought to us at the OHPE Bulletin-a wealth of features, commentary and resources from the health promotion community in Ontario.

From all of us at the Ontario Health Promotion Email Bulletin--Noelle Gadon, Alison Stirling, Jodi Thesenvitz, Larry Hershfield, Brian Hyndman and our colleagues at Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse and The Health Communication Unit--plus our many contributors--thank you for a fabulous year and see you on January 2!


Funding Available for Volunteerism Training and Networking Events


The Ontario Network of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative has funding available to nonprofit public benefit groups located in Ontario to offset the costs of events held between January 1 and March 15, 2004 to achieve any of the following goals:

* To provide training to volunteer managers (paid or unpaid) related to volunteerism

* To develop or strengthen local structures for networking between people responsible for volunteer development (paid or unpaid)

* To provide feedback to Ontario CVI's Action Plan for Volunteerism 2004-2009

For more information, the application format and where to send it, visit

Ontario Self-Help Network 2004 Conference


The Ontario Self-Help Network (OSHNET) 2004 conference will be at Metro Hall. Our theme this year is Think Self-Help: Building Blocks to Popularity. This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers and professionals involved in self-help/mutual aid to meet, explore issues and build skills.

The conference format includes

* Two guest speakers exploring current challenges facing the self-help movement

December 2003 Issue of HQC Update Bulletin


Highlights from this issue include

* Getting to know Dr. Ben Chan, new CEO of Health Quality Council

* Sharing what we've learned about primary mental health care

* Foundation is built: Let's get to work on the house

* Quality Improvement Network up and running

* Quality improvement: A practical art

* Caring for seniors when they leave hospital after hip fracture

* Summer '03 busy for SK SEARCHers

* Improving drug management in long-term care of frail elderly

Get your copy at

Science, Tobacco & You


The Canadian Association for School Health is promoting a Health Canada educational resource on tobacco. The "Science, Tobacco & You" resource includes an easy-to-use, Interactive CD-ROM; teachers' guide; sample lesson plans; short, fun assignments; and a series of student Quest cards. It is ideal for use in health, science, language arts, drama, visual arts and mathematics. The CD includes a virtual body lab and notebook, research assignments, crosswords and space for students to "rant" about tobacco.

All Canadian schools received a copy in May 2003, but you can order a free copy at the following website:


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