A community with a sour(dough) heart

Valentines Sourdough for Queers workshop benefits queer newcomers

(Left to right) bakers Max Harley and Karo Herzog, with baker and owner Cora Wiens.

Supplied photo

Eadha Bread will host a Valentine’s Sourdough for Queers workshop on Feb. 14.

Cora Wiens, the owner of Eadha, says sourdough workshops compress what is for Eadha bakers a three-day process into a two- hour learning experience, using premade dough to teach participants about the process of making sourdough.

All participants get to take home some starter and bread that is ready to proof and bake by the end of the workshop.

Wiens is particularly excited for the Valentine’s Sourdough for Queers workshop.

“It’s important for marginalized groups to be able to have spaces where they’re around each other and see themselves represented and where people can be themselves and be understood and just hang around away from the bullshit of daily life, so having a workshop that’s exclusively for folks that are queer is a pretty special thing for me to be able to provide and participate in,” she says.

“Then to have it on Valentine’s is just sort of cute,” she says. “To have it as an alternative date option and just celebrate your queerness and learn something and have fun and then also, it’s a fundraiser, where all the proceeds are going directly to a queer refugee food bank fund run by Sunshine House and QPOC.”

Levi Foy, the co-ordinator of the Like That program at Sunshine House and its co-founder, says the program is part of the Gizhiwenimin initiative to provide support for queer refugees and is loosely run with QPOC Winnipeg.

He says the program began about two-and-a-half years ago, when they were approached by representatives of the City of Winnipeg to assist in refugee support.

“When we started speaking with people, we realized people who are new to Winnipeg may have almost no understanding or familiarity or comfort in going to mainstream service centres (such as clothing or the Manitoba Health cards needed to access food banks) and asking for types of stuff they may need to make living here easier,” he says.

“If you’re queer and you’ve never been out, and you kind of have to be out to pass the litmus test for the immigration and refugee board, you would really not have any kind of starting point,” Foy says.

This initiative acts as a “landing spot” for queer newcomers to access the queer community in Winnipeg.

“I think that Eadha’s doing just the best work,” he says. “They’re the model neighbour in this community.”

This passion for community building is also a part of Wiens’ philosophy about breadmaking.

“Bread is such a communal thing,” she says. “I think many different cultures have a bread that is part of their culture, not necessarily sourdough. It’s kind of a community symbol. It translates across all kinds of lines.”

Those who are not able to participate can donate to Eadha to cover the cost of participants or to Sunshine House or QPOC on their websites.

Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)

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