2022 Annual Celebration Nov 20 In-Person!

This will be the first time we are meeting in person in the same physical space for Festival of Neighbourhoods November Celebration since 2019. This year we are meeting the Propinquity Challenge all over the place!

Propinquity is one of the main factors in interpersonal attraction. It refers to the physical or psychological proximity between people. It can mean kinship between people or a similarity in nature between things.

We are through the worst of a global pandemic and things are returning to a more conducive environment for re-establishing a sense of propinquity where we live, work, raise our families, and go to school and celebrate!

We are looking forward to seeing you in person! This is a new beginning for the Festival and we want to celebrate with you together. RSVP here.

This will be the first time we are meeting in person in the same physical space since 2019. What a relief that is!

We also recognize that safety precautions are always good when it comes to public health. Therefore we will have masks and sanitizer available for attendees but you are not required to wear masks. It is suggested if you are concerned. It is always an option and we want to ensure that you are given the tools you need to stay reasonably safe and comfortable in shared spaces especially if you are concerned that contracting any viruses may be of serious consequence to your health.

Book A Table for the This Years Celebration

We are offering information display tables to any of you who would like to be able to showcase and express all you have done this year and over the pandemic to keep propinquity alive and growing. You can share and talk to others who are participating and display images of your events and activities. You can show us the geographic boundaries of your neighbourhoods by exchanging with others who are doing the same. Show us your neighbourhoods attributes, parks, community centres, green spaces, businesses, etc. Show us what’s missing that you wish you had. Will you need access to power? Let us know. 

First come, first served. Email Heather.Majaury@waterlooregion.org.

Pop Up Park Living Room Oct 15

Join us in the living room space we will be making cozy on Saturday October 14 in front of the City Hall! Heather Majaury, the coordinator of the Festival of Neighbourhoods and David Alton, the facilitator of the Lived Expertise Working Group will be your hosts for the day.

Session 1: 

Spaces, Places, & Faces: Festival of Neighbourhood 
A Lively and interactive facilitated POP UP PARK LIVING ROOM session helping visitors to think outside the box when it comes to park planning. Get Creative & Brainstorm.Have fun considering what park lands and shared living space means to you and your neighbourhoods. What works for one part of the city may not be what works for another? Share ideas about where to go now. Walking Paths, Nature Areas, Food Forests, Playgrounds and other Activities for All Ages. Contemplate our joy, connection, collective health and well-being and the mutil-layered use of shared spaces and conscious places. Consider how to realize more Propinquity in Kitchener Parks now and in the future through a playful approach to good conversation 

LUNCH & LEARN with The Social Development Centre
Bring your lunch and hang out  at the  POP UP PARK LIVING ROOM. This is a casual time to visit our installation and learn about the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region. Sit and chat with hosts David Alton: Coordinator Lived Expertise Working Group and Heather Majaury: Festival of Neighbourhoods Coordinator. They will share interesting anecdotes and share what programs and opportunities there are to get involved with the SDCWR. As we emerge from COVID there are all sorts of ways to benefit from and be a part of the Social Development Centre. It’s a great way to meet people, exchange ideas, connect with change makers and thought leaders throughout the region. Learn about Festival of Neigbourhoods, The Civic Hub, Eviction Prevention, and the Lived Expertise Working Group, Electricity Subsidy Support and most recently our Ride for Refuge.  We are a space where you are invited to find your place. 

Session 2:

Homelessness, Parks & Community

Canada is facing a growing homelessness crisis. What does that mean for our park spaces? You have likely already seen people living in tent communities in parks across the City. Meet Lived Expertise Consultants at the POP UP PARK LIVING ROOM, to ask your questions and learn from the people directly supporting unsheltered communities. Put faces to the homelessness crisis and learn how you can play a role in getting people housed. Parks are shared spaces for all residents of the City, but that doesn’t mean navigating the complexity of this crisis isn’t challenging for us all. This session is a safe space for visitors to ask questions, build understanding, and imagine solutions together. Explore a human rights approach to housing and how unsheltered communities, advocates and city staff are striving to meet it.

Are you up for a Neighbourhood Exchanage?

Neighbourhood Exchagnger

Neighbours visiting each other neighbourhoods has been a thrilling experience during the pandemic when we could not gather as usual – but it seems to continue to attract attention. If you wish to learn more, go to a part of the city that you never visited before or unlike where you live, maybe we can connect you with another neighbour we know who would love to give you a tour, tell you about gatherings and activities people love doing together, and in return, come to visit your neighbourhood! Contact heather@waterlooregion.org to become the next Neighbourhood Exchanger!

Did you miss the 2021 Celebration?

COVID is changing us

What a year! The Kitchener Festival of Neighbourhoods concluded it 28th season in 2021 by continuing its new tradition of an online zoom celebration. We continued to find interactive ways to engage and connect. We learned a lot in 2020 and built upon our experiences in the pandemic. The Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region acknowledged the adaptations and activities of the Central Frederick Neighbourhood to keep inclusion front and centre and setting a great example for all of us. During distancing, they hosted virtual craft events, delivered all the material to neighbours homes, and made and exibit of all the great work to continue staying in touch, sharing and supporting each other.

We also introduced everyone to The COVID Safe LIVING room which is yet another activity trunk that can be signed out of the F.O.N pantry of possibilities. The LIVING Room was supported by Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. At our celebrations in November we held an on-line LIVING room where we discussed how COVID was changing Us? Kitchener’s Mayor, Berry Verbanovic, offered a candid synthesis of the entire event. With these kinds of ongoing exchanges we can contribute to and increase the quality of life for everyone we share this awesome city with– together.

The neigbourhoods who attended the festival on-line celebration this year received a $50.00 gift certificate to go toward their activities and events The neighbourhoods attending included, Victoria Park, Central Frederick, Schneider Creek, Doon South, Mount Hope Breithaupt Park, Huron, King East, Vanier/Kingsdale, The Bus Station District, Duke and Water Street Downtown Neighbourhood, Auditorium, Lydia Street, A Better Tent City, Williamsburg, Belmont, Westmount, Country Hills, Laurelwood Downtown Kitchener, Cherry Park, Forest Hills, Alpine, North Six, Olde Berlin Towne, The Kitchener Market Area. A total of 25 neighbourhoods!

ABTC and Auditorium Exchange


We took the Neighbourhood Exchange to a new level this year! We set up our own version of a neighbourly speed dating session to encourage participants to become Real Life Exchangers! Exchangers from A Better Tent City and Auditorium made an awesome video that compared the experiences of their neighbourhoods and with each other. It really highlighted our true interconnectedness, despite stark differences in access to basic necessities such as running water, showers, laundry, sewer, etc. Which neighbourhood did you always wanted to visit? Let’s do it together in 2022.

Come Back Bingo

We celebrated our COVID Comeback Bingo Winner from Central Frederick represented by Susan Fulop with a 100.00 gift certificate. As they say, “If you don’t play you can’t win!” We encourage everyone to use Comeback Bingo to kickstart your activities over the winter and into the spring as well. We thoroughly enjoyed the creativity of the Williamsburg Neighbourhood and its Association who shared a video synopsis of their activities which included on-line picture sharing. Totally inspiring!

Comfortably sitting in our living room in a community garden, we asked the neighbours to learn more about each other. They did have fun with our bingo cards. Watch the video! Do you want to try? Download at www.festivalofneighboruhoods.ca and walk around your neighbourhood to get to know more about your neighbours:)

28th Annual Celebration

How is COVID Changing Us?

Festival of Neighbourhoods is back! You are invited to our 28th Annual Celebration Sunday, November 21st at 1-3pm on Zoom! RSVP by November 19th to the Zoom event registration link here.Annual Celebration Poster

Lots of neighbourhood gatherings have become annual occurrences and the pandemic has prevented them from happening in their traditional way. We want to hear how your neighbourhood has adapted gatherings to be safe and inclusive the past year.

Join us in celebrating our diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods. Let’s learn from each other on how we are adapting in this ever changing world. The Festival continues to connect neighbours to share ideas for the future of our neighbourhoods.

In honor of the Festival’s 28th year, the first 28 neighbourhoods to RSVP for the online celebration will receive a $50 certificate to be used for future neighbourhood projects or gatherings. Stay tuned for future updates about this awesome event!

COVID has changed our registration form too!

If your neighbourhood has gathered together this year, whether in person or online, don’t forget to register it. If there were no gatherings, let us know about that change you experienced too!

Share with us by filling out a short COVID-times registration form.

Founded by Architect John MacDonald, the Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region and the City of Kitchener, Festival of Neighbourhoods encourages citizens to plan simple gatherings in their neighbourhoods that are open to everyone and unite neighbours.

COVID Safe Gathering Spaces

Living RoomsBuilding Covid-19  awareness is an ongoing challenge for many neighbourhoods.  Encouraging reflection about how we have adapted and changed to live with our new realities during a global pandemic here in our own neighbourhoods and communities is the purpose of the COVID Safe Pop Up Living Rooms. Social Development Centre has brough together two initiatives the Kitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods and Covid Safe Pubilc Spaces to set up a site-specific pop up gatherings for a few hours within neighbourhoods that do not experience safety in many regards. We will practice the evolving COVID safe protocols and everyone can be as confident as possible that they are doing what they can to be protected from transmission, while unpacking deeper levels of what safety means to each of us. 

To learn more about the project or to bring COVID-safe Living Room to your neighbourhood, contact Heather Majaury at heather@waterlooregion.org. 

If you wish to volunteer with the COVID Safe Spaces Project, please fill out this short survey!

 

2021 FON Program Coordinator Posting

2021 Post Image at Prospect AvenueKitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods team is seeking a candidate with experience in community development and community engagement, both face to face and online, to fill the 2021 Program Coordinator position.

Festival of Neighbourhoods was founded in 1994 and has since been a support and a recognition program for Kitchener residents who step off their front porch or front step to bring their neighbours together. Usually, neighbours who organize gatherings on their streets, in parks or buildings, are offered tools, a friendly support team, prizes and incentives to continue creating conditions and connections that counter isolation, build lasting relationships and break prejudice and stereotypes. As neighbours keep getting together, they collectively explore many ways to improve upon the physical infrastructure or the social fabric of their neighbourhoods. 

Inclusivity and equity in the city are a particular focus of the Festival of Neighbourhoods and this year, while still in the pandemic mode, we will be building on everything we learned about challenges and successes of remaining good neighbours to continue connecting virtually and transition to face to face encounters again. As virtual and physical remain inseparable, we are looking for a coordinator who is at ease working in both environments and has applied equity and anti-racism lens in their community work. 

The successful candidate would have experience in:

• Direct engagement across age, ability, income, colour, culture, language, & types of neighbourhoods

• Community-based research & information gathering to design strategies and tools for targeted engagement 

• Promotional material design to mobilize neighbours for effective outreach activities 

• Active engagement through social media of both residents and a range of partners organizations

• Conflict resolution and constructive communication in an intercultural context 

• Organizing conference calls and online events (Zoom & Google Meet)

To accomplish the following tasks:

• Coordination: facilitating team meetings; creation and monitoring of the workplan; tracking neighbourhood gatherings and Festival registrations; updating procedures, contact lists and reference documents; assist in creation of communication articles for the website and E-Neighbour; organize an Annual Celebration.

• Engagement: respond to asks for support by sharing tips and tools with neighbours; active outreach to new communities/neighbourhoods; updating and applying Inclusion Challenge strategies; supporting neighbourhood gatherings; administration of the Early Bird Registration Prizes and Neighbourhood Activity Trunk bookings; regular engagement through social media and online events. 

The position is a part-time limited contract, to approximately 25 hours per week from April to December 2021, with the possibility of renewal. Please submit your resume and a description of your experience and interest in working with neighbourhood-based initiatives, especially within the Festival of Neighbourhoods’ model of outreach and engagement. 

Deadline for applications is midnight on March 26th. Email the selection committee at admin@waterlooregion.org

Sincerely, John MacDonald, John MacDonald Architect and Aleksandra Petrovic, Social Development Centre WR

 

Join Our Team this Annual Celebration

Festival of Neighbourhoods

seeking a Multimedia Specialist

September 15th to December 18th

15 hours per week at $25 per hour

Kitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods team is seeking a candidate with experience in creation of audio/visual promotional material to assist in planning, hosting and disseminating stories about neighbourthood activities and gatherings during the pandemic for the first online Festival of Neighbourhoods 27th Annual Celebration to happen on November 15, 2020.

Festival of Neighoburhoods was founded in 1994 and has been a support and a recognition program
for Kitchener residents who are bringing their neighbours together. Usually, neighbours who organize gatherings on their streets, in the parks or buildings, would come together to share what worked well and how life in their neighoburhoods changed because of the connection made. Inclusivity is of particular interest to the Festival of Neighbourhoods and this year, because of the pandemic, we will
bring the neighbours together online to showcase the joy, the fun and the mutual care that flourished
during the times of distancing.

The job would include supporting the Festival of Neighbourhoods Team in designing the online Annual Celebration and preparing promotional material needed. We would need to gather information, audio interviews and visuals of the COVID activities organized; your keen sense of showcasing the creative, safe and inclusive ways to connect during the pandemic; skilled production of short video and audio clips, visuals and infographics to represent neighbourhood solidarity and vibrancy during distancing.

The successful candidate would need experience in:

creation of audio/visual material,

– research, interviewing and content writing

– promotional material design

– organizing online events, webinars or conference calls

– communication and team building skills

Send you resume and cover letter in one document by midnight of September 4th

Email the selection committee from John  MacDonald Architect and
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region at
admin@waterlooregion.org