Neighbour Day in New Brighton

We recently profiled Highland Park and their very first block party for Neighbour Day 2015. Now it’s time for the amazing community volunteers of New Brighton to shine. Here’s their story about their successful Neighbour Day.

It is never too early to start thinking about hosting your own Neighbour Day event in 2016!

New Brighton Neighbour Day 2015

Q: What inspired you to participate in Neighbour Day?

The New Brighton Community Association offered a free block party to the best nominations on why your block should win.  My nomination was one of the winning choices.

When I met with Amber Stewart, community member and Calgary Board of Education public school board trustee representing Wards 12 and 14,  we just thought it was the perfect day to get all the neighbours together to meet, laugh and have fun.

Q. Neighbour Day has struck a chord with Calgarians. Why do you think that
is?

Calgary is a community not a city.  We have always been a community, when people need help we are there.  I think that we want to be friends with our neighbours and just have a city wide block party.

Q: In the interests of inspiring others to take action in support of making
Calgary even better:
What was easy about organizing your Neighbour Day event?

Cooperation!  From the beginning we had a facebook group set up, I spread the word anytime I was out walking our dog, we had flyers and I got emails, Facebook messages and so many suggestions and offers to help via our group.   Our Neighbourhood came together to make it a great party.  It wasn’t just the money from the Community Association, it was local businesses supporting and helping, it was neighbours helping by lending us BBQ’s, it was a potluck so everyone contributed, everyone was part of it.  It was truly a neighbours block party.  I was not alone in any part of this process,I had helpers everywhere, friends everywhere.

What was challenging?

Time. We planned it very close to the date so I don’t feel like we got the word out enough to the condo’s.  And the weather–damn Calgary weather!  It was forecasted to rain all day, it only started raining as we finished packing up.

Q: What’s your advice for people who might want to host a Neighbour Day
event next year?

DO IT!  You do not need a ton of money to do it!   Do like we did, have a potluck, have people bring BBQ’s,  ask your hubby really nicely to BBQ for a few hundred people on your own  ;)

New Brighton husband

It builds such a great community and makes memories that could last a lifetime.

Our block when I grew up (here in Calgary) used to all be friends and have block parties and do this type of thing.  Those people are still my friends many years later, we are still a support for each other even though we live accross the world or even across the city.  We need that back in Calgary, we need to know our neighbours because friends.

Q: What’s next? In other words, has your Neighbour Day event resulted in any new community actions or events?

We will be doing another Neighbour Day Block Party in 2016.  We are all still active in our Facebook group, we chat a bit more, we know each others names, we watch out for each other. We are real neighbours now!

Myself and my hubby will be having a Christmas Open House for our neighbours, anyone in the gardens is invited.

There have been BBQ’s and parties, we have been watching over each other and even helped a neighbour when she needed it, because we are friends now, we had phone numbers so we were able to help from a far.

We have become friends.

Thank you to the Community Association and to Mayor Nenshi for creating Neighbour Day!

I feel at home like I did when I was a kid, I have friends who are jealous of our neighbourhood, they wished they had a block like ours!

Neighbour Day 2015 was such an amazing day.  There were a few times that I got to stop and just take it in.  I got to look around and see neighbours meeting, chatting and laughing.

It was such a great day!   I am so glad everyone took the time to come together and make it a great day :)

Submitted by Tara Dunn, community member, New Brighton

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