Neighbour Day 2019: A Review

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By Jessica Lajoie, CHCA President.

Neighbour Day 2019 started for me with putting up some barriers on 21st Ave to close down the block to traffic - a first for Capitol Hill Neighbour Day! Immediately I had some helpers decorating the road with side walk chalk, drawing hopscotch squares and stars. The weather was lovely. As the day went on I enjoyed live music, a yummy sausage, and chatting with local businesses. I even got my family's bikes tuned up for free! I wrapped up the day sipping a glass of sangria on the sunny deck of the community centre. Thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard to make it happen.

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By Mavis Sew, CHCA Vice President

The Capitol Hill Community's first Neighbour Day celebration wasn't planned as such.

In June of 2013, the Community Centre had organized a BBQ fundraiser for the Dinosaur playground. We had planned an evening of burgers and hot dogs, and some live musical entertainment. People attending would be charged at the door and all funds would go towards the new playground. Earlier, on the day of the event, Calgary started flooding, and our plans changed quickly from a fundraising event, to a free community BBQ with an invitation to anyone displaced by the floods to come up for a free meal and to escape the realities of the disaster for a brief moment. A few members of the Barberellas, a group of barbershop singers were unable to come due to living on the other side of the river, but the rest of them were eager and willing to contribute to our event. The event ended the evening with a lively and exuberant set by Aaron & the Cultivators, a Capitol Hill resident at the time.

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This coming together of neighbours, and community is the heart of Neighbour Day in Capitol Hill. Since 2013 we've continue to grow community through increasing opportunities for neighbours to meet at the Community Centre through recreational classes, social gatherings and clubs. By reaching out to the local business community, Neighbour Day found a partner, and has evolved to showcase the best that our community has to offer.

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My family spent the whole day at Neighbourday, eating lunch from the Dogfather while listening to the band on the stage. My children participated in the bicycle safety course & obstacle course offered by Safe Cycling Calgary. We caught up with the many local businesses, and had a free family portrait taken by Studio Lumen. We ended the day in awe by the musical talents showcased in the Talent Show organized by Bryan Buss of Leroux Studios. The family bands that performed were our favourite and has inspired our family to jam and perhaps enter into next year's talent show.

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On behalf of the CHCA, I hope you enjoyed the day, and thanks to you for coming and supporting our community! Many thanks to the vendors, Bryan Buss for organising the Talent Show, Abi Harker for organising everything on the ground, The Rockin’ Rebels, Scott Taekwondo and his students for putting on their demonstration, Velo Fix for coming out to treat everyone’s bikes, Pamela McHugh for organising the Bike Rodeo and Safety event, The Dog Father for the food, Happy Feet for providing the football, Brinna for manning the bar and mixing up her Sangria recipe, and all the volunteers who helped out on the day. Hoping to see you again next year!

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