I chatted with Rad Dad's local Edmonton chapter leader, Kristian Basaraba, about Edmonton's new group that supports local dads, about why he started the movement and what events are taking place.
YEG INSPIRED : Can you tell me why you started Rad Dad's ?
RAD DADS : Oh man people ask me that all the time, I got the idea from a group in Vancouver (Vancouver Rad Dads) and reached out to them (Dave). he suggested I give it a go in Edmonton. So I did.
YEG INSPIRED: Is there any particular reason why ?
RAD DADS : I have a few reasons I'm doing this. One is that I believe in being part of and building community and what better way then to do a dads group - something I have some (limited) experience in. Based on the response there is a definite need in this city for one - I had 80 dads show up at our first "dads-only" meeting in February (and I expected 20). I think "dads" don't really have anyone to talk to and what better way than a room full of dads drinking beer and talking about their experiences.
YEG INSPIRED: How often does Rad Dad's meet up?
RAD DADS : The goal is to have 4 "dad-only" meetings a year each with a different theme, our first meeting was on "Building Community" or next meet up scheduled for end of May will have a music theme, the August meeting will be a sports theme and looking at science theme for Novembers meeting.
Each meeting will hopefully have a feature dad guest speaker centered around the theme, a local craft brewery supplying the suds and an opportunity to meet new dads. We may also incorporate some sort of food aspect to them as well. Any money raised will be donated to a chosen charity related to the meeting theme through the sale of T-shirts. Kraft Kits I've designed and any other merch we decide (and can afford to create for dads).
YEG INSPIRED: You have some other events going on as well for the kids?
RAD DADS : Yes, Between each meeting I plan on having a "Kool Kid" event. Something centered around the "dads-only" meeting theme. Hence the "Build & Bond" Lego party this upcoming Sunday, we'll be hosting the "Build and Bond" event this Sunday April 9th from 1-3pm at 99ten Event Space, at 9910B 109 Street NW , located just below the Common. This event will feature buckets of Lego provided by the NALUG for an afternoon with kids of all ages to build whatever their imagination can envision. We plan on also having a balloon animal artist and a photographer on site, everyone is welcome, moms, dads and kids of all ages.
The 2nd Kool Kid event is going to be a family-friendly "rock concert" with some live music from bands I know. The sports event is yet to be decided but we're looking at hosting a street hockey tournament and finally the 4th event will be a science-inspired party of sorts (having kids doing fun science things). I'm a high school science teacher so this is my "jam" of sorts. Which I guess brings me to another reason to do this. All the "Kool Kids" events are things I like to do and want to do with my son. Science, Rock & Roll, Lego and Hockey, so maybe a selfish reason??
YEG INSPIRED: I think it's a pretty darn good reason! You have another event as well coming up, the Hangouts?
RAD DADS: The Whiskey tasting was initiated by Have Mercy and I've been calling these Rad Dads Hangouts. Have Mercy reached out to our group and this provides another opportunity to meet up and get together. The Whiskey Tasting is taking place on April 18 at Have Mercy Southern Table & Bar from 8-10pm. The Cost is $25 for food, booze and a whiskey education from the people at Wildturkey. Spaces are limited so you'll want to get on the list by emailing kristian.basaraba AT gmail dot com to reserve your space.
YEG INSPIRED : I love that you've started this group and brought it to the Edmonton scene. Why is it important for you
RAD DADS : It's important for dads to get support in the "trials and tribulations" in this parenting game. I want to erase the whole "deadbeat dad" attitude that is still prevalent out there today. There are many dads that are highly involved in the lives of their kids and sometimes I don't think they have a voice or opportunity to share their experiences, this group provides that avenue.
YEG INSPIRED: Thanks for taking the time to email and chat with the YEG Inspired Community. It's fantastic to see a group like yours come to the city to change peoples thinking and encourage support, something that YEG Inspired believes in strongly!