Book and online video series helps independent living

The cafeteria at Tremploy in Charlottetown was standing room only for the launch of an ambitious new project aimed at helping people with intellectual challenges live more independently.

A collection of cooking videos was created in partnership with Public Health Office of the PEI Department of Health and Wellness, the PEI Association of Community Living (PEIACL), Tremploy, Holland College, and Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK). The first one was launched on September 17 where some of the recipes featured were available for taste testing.

The series, entitled Let’s Get Cooking, takes viewers through the preparation of the dishes with step by step instructions. G. Wooldridge Art created artwork for the accompanying recipe cards.

Clients of Tremploy were involved in the project from start to finish. They helped identify the dishes they would like to prepare, shopped for groceries with gift cards provided by Sobeys, and helped prepare the dishes on camera. The videos were created with CSK product developer chef Krista MacQuarrie.

Participants, organizer, and supporters at the cooking video launch at Tremploy
Photo credit: Rod Weatherbie

‘We believe this creates opportunities for individuals to build a real sense of pride and increase independent life skills,” PEIACL executive director Julie Smith said. “Being able to meal plan, prepare, and cook for yourself using a variety of means besides the written word is really beneficial to move towards independence. Using visual recipe cards, videos, voice overs, and text, is a strategy that compliments the ease of following the recipes for those of us that are visual and auditory learners.”

Tremploy executive director Joel Dennis said his clients’ participation is what made the project interesting and engaging. “Ultimately, this is a tool for them, and because they were involved in building it, there is a sense of ownership.”

Funding for a Human Services student to work on the project was provided by the college’s President’s Innovation Fund. Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward said the government’s Wellness Grant Program is there for a reason. “It’s there to help mobilize our neighbours across PEI and help them make the right choices, healthy choices, and strengthen their independence.”

The Let’s Get Cooking videos are available on the PEI Association for Community Living website at

About Rod Weatherbie

Rod Weatherbie is a writer working in the hospitality industry. He spent a number of years in Toronto as a member of the financial press before returning to PEI. Rod has published one piece of short fiction, one book of poetry, and has had work published in Red Shift, the Antigonish Review, Mitre, and the Toronto Quarterly. He has also recently co-produced, co-directed, and acted in a stage production of old television shows.

He also likes writing about food. Go figure.

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