After six days of conversations, activities and music, our four-dimensional pop-up art installation and community engagement initiative has come to an end. We talked about families, food, and public art, connected local businesses with newcomers, and heard some great local artists. And now it’s time to say goodbye, and start planning the Pandora Park Fall Festival, which is just round the corner – on the 23rd of September!
Thank you all for taking part in this experimental project, and for sharing your stories and talents with us.
Thursday conversation was all about food: we need it to stay alive, but food is more than just sustenance. It brings people together, and helps to bridge the divide between different groups. Local poet, youth worker, community builder and activist Bryant Doradea shared some of his poetry, followed by singer and songwriter Elliott Slinn
Minister Shane Simpson joined us on Wednesday to talk about the importance of public art in bringing people together. The evening concluded with community singing.
Monday saw local business owners connect directly with newcomers to our community from Iran and Afghanistan. The evening ended with an impromptu dance party with Saeid Kooshki providing the entertainment (with power helpfully provided by a local resident!)
The goal of the project was to upgrade and improve the garden area around the Adanac Housing Co-op, which is used by both the co-op residents and community neighbours.
So far, the project volunteers did a major upgrade of the two 10 x 30 foot garden beds in front of the co-op’s apartment building. They added six yards of good soil and a variety of new plants: lavender, azaleas, rhododendrons, hebes, carnations, dahlias and coneflowers. The plan is to add a few more plants, and maybe some bulbs for spring flowers.
The seniors who live in the apartment buildings are very happy. Many of them can no longer garden, and these two beds were neglected and sad looking, so it has been a treat for the volunteers to be able to redo them, as a way to share some love with the seniors!
The volunteers enhanced a rock garden that small children love because of its path; built a new shade garden, including building a rock retaining wall, and planted hydrangeas and hostas. They also built a new children’s garden, including building up a rock wall, adding a path and bench and a little patio for playing in amongst the plants and shrubs
Still to be done is enhancing the area around the co-op office, it is very neglected. The plan is clean it up, add some hydrangeas in pots, and decorative rock and stone. Something to make people smile.
The positive energy being created through this community small grant is amazing, and people are proud of their accomplishments. What a nice way to get people connected with each other, and build community!
Last year we conducted a series of radio interviews with over 100 people from our neighbourhood on topics ranging from food security to better childcare facilities, and business improvement ideas.
This year we wanted to continue these conversations – and the idea of Container Conversations was born! An art installation and a gathering place all in one, the container is in the corner of the Sunrise Square parking lot from the 23rd to the 27th of July. Come and join us for daily activities, conversations and performances. All free, all welcome!
The event brought together people from the preschool, out of school care and youth programs at HCC as well as families at Lord elementary. People who might not have met before were able to make new connections. The event was attended by over 300 people.
The children loved growing potatoes in the school garden, harvesting and cooking them. Each class made a different potato dish.
There were many volunteers (parents, teachers and youth) who helped organize and help at the event. Teachers organized the garden projects. The school PAC organized the food. Parents and teachers helped to organize and run different activities at the event. The youth group from Hastings Community Centre volunteered to run two stations, helped out at other stations and helped with set up and take down. This was a great leadership opportunity for the youth. The school PAC and HCC contributed money towards the event which really helped with food costs.
It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time!
Last year we organized a series of radio interviews with over 100 people from our neighbourhood, on a wide range on topics: housing, childcare, safety, jobs, and many others.
This year we wanted to build on what we had learned, but also to bring these conversations into the community – and the idea of Container Conversations was born! An art installation and a gathering place all in one, the container will be placed in the corner of the Sunrise Square parking lot the 23rd and 27th of July. Come and join us for daily activities, conversations and performances. All free, all welcome!
The next event funded by our Community Small Grants is the Summer Social with the Franklin Street Community Garden volunteers.
Don’t miss this fun event: great music, food, games for children! Meet new friends, reconnect with your neighbours, and learn how you too can make your community better.
If you have an idea for a community project in Hastings North for next year, please check the Grants page on this site. We’ll be announcing the next round of applications in November.