Following the 2013 floods in Calgary, the City sparked YYC Neighbour Day, which has turned into an annual celebration of the spirit of our communities. Four years later, this annual initiative is stronger than ever, and YYC Neighbour Day is taking place this Saturday, June 17th.
Held on the third Saturday of June, Neighbour Day is a time for Calgarians to celebrate our neighbourliness and strong community spirit by organizing community events such as front yard barbecues, garden parties, picnics, clean-ups or afternoon teas in a local park. [City of Calgary]
The initiative is not only to celebrate the spirit of our city, but to encourage Calgarians to get out and spend some time with their neighbours, and get to know the people on their street. Here’s some ideas to celebrate Calgary Neighbour Day:
- Host a block party of BBQ: if you didn’t get on top of this early on, you may have missed the boat on permits at this point. However, permits are not required if you host a community event in:
- Common area or room in condo building
- Community centre (inside)
- Have a neighbourhood picnic at a local park: the deadline has also passed to book off greenspace at a park, but you can always just bring a group to your favourite local park and take advantage of the amenities offered at many (barbecue pits, picnic tables, etc.). A list of City of Calgary parks can be found online.
- Hold fun competitions on your street: organize some sports or games with your neighbours. Some ideas include: chalk art, basketball, street hockey, etc.
- Have a neighbour meet-and-greet: do you know all of your neighbours? Perhaps there’s someone new on your street? Hosting a meet-and-greet is a perfect opportunity to give everyone the chance to meet one another.
- Have a community spring cleaning or gardening event: if your community is blessed with a community garden, why not organize a day spent green thumbing? Even better, offer to organize a clean-up of your community!
- Create a free little library: if you’re not familiar with free little libraries, they are open miniature libraries in communities or on front lawns that promote the “take a book, leave a book” notion. It’s a great addition to a community, and promotes connectivity and literacy as well. Consider putting up a free little library to show your neighbours and neighbourhood some love. More information can be found online here.
However you spend June 17th, share your experience on social media with #yycneighbourday.