How CREA’s Board of Directors are Staying Busy During the Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared earlier this year, public health authorities implemented physical distancing guidelines and most of Canada’s economy was shut down.

As the lockdown went from weeks to months, many people were left searching for activities to keep busy.

CREA’s Board of Directors is no different. So, we asked them, “What hobby have you picked up or rediscovered during the pandemic?” Their answers are below.

Costa Poulopoulos – Chair

I’ve always had a passion for cooking. Staying at home during the pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to step up and enhance our cooking adventures with new recipes and DELICIOUS outcomes!

Jill Oudil – Vice-Chair

I’ve started spinning again for exercise with a Peloton bike. I had done spin classes many years ago. It’s been so much fun. I would have never done this if it wasn’t for being quarantined at home. I’m grateful! 

Larry Cerqua (Ontario) – Regional Director

I’ve started enjoying music more at home. As well, with the weather change, I’ve been cleaning up the landscaping outside along with other chores I had put off.

I’ve also watched all the seasons of our favourite television series, now I’m waiting for it to return. I’ve also discovered some new series I’ve never heard of. Some of the shows I’ve enjoyed include Bosch, Homeland and Jack Ryan.

Kimberly French (Atlantic) – Regional Director

Meditation. Another director, Kari McBride, put me on this path. It was something I wanted to do but could never find the time. During this crisis it’s helped with my anxiety and allowed me to focus.

Georges Gaucher (Quebec) – Regional Director

I tried to play the guitar but lacked the patience.

I’ve always loved cooking, so I doubled down on that, even using Zoom to cook along with my three kids. Then we can eat together, sort of. I’ve done a whole bunch of new recipes—but then I had to eat a whole bunch of leftovers. Surprisingly, I lost weight.

I also discovered this funny cook from New Jersey on Facebook, Pasquale Sciarappa. He’s a riot.

Don Kottick – Director-at-Large

Reading for sure. I ordered some great books by Ben MacIntyre. I started with The Spy and the Traitor, which hooked me. Then I orderedA Spy Among Friends, Double Cross and Rogue Heroes. If you are interested in history or spy novels, these real-life stories will definitely intrigue and captivate you.

Phil Moore – Director-at-Large

When COVID-19 hit, my 24-year-old daughter returned from Europe where she was performing in Cirque du Soleil. To stay in shape, she needed a hiking partner, so I began to hike two or three hours every morning with her. I got to spend quality time with my daughter and discover the great outdoors in beautiful British Columbia. 

Steven Bobiash (Saskatchewan) – Regional Director

One task that has become a hobby is what I call, “the Zen of picking up pinecones.” We have two big spruce trees in our front yard and every time we get a breeze, pinecones fall. It can be a nice break to go out and pick up the pinecones. No matter how good a job you do, there will be more to do the next the wind blows.

I grew up on a family farm and always loved the smell of fresh tilled soil in the spring. With all the disruption from COVID-19, this spring I appreciated taking time to see nature at work, seeds being planted, plants growing—whether crops, gardens or a few flowers, this has been something that has helped keep me grounded and focused! No matter how busy you are, take time to smell the roses. 

What hobby have you discovered during the pandemic? Tell us in the Comments below.

To stay in the know, visit our resource page What REALTORS Should Know About COVID-19 and share our consumer COVID-19 hub with your clients.

Sarah Doktor brings her experience as a small-town journalist and national online editor to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Sarah helps facilitate conversations between CREA and our members, boards, associations and the public via our online communities. She also helps coordinate the content presented to you here on the CREA Café. In her spare time, Sarah can be found at the gym, running on a trail or watching Netflix with her cat, Libby.


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