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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!

 

Play COVID #comebackbingo this summer!

As restrictions begin to lift, we want to get back to prioritizing connection by actively building strong and vibrant neighbourhoods. And to help renew enthusiasm, we’ve designed a simple, family-friendly activity to challenge you and spark new connections over the next few months:

It’s chock full of prompts designed to initiate conversation and encourage curiosity for your neighbourhood and the people in it. Think of it as a tool to re-familiarize yourself with community building and reignite your passion for inclusivity and belonging after a long and uncomfortable hibernation.

The prompts are adaptable to whatever makes sense for you. Choose your own adventure! Be creative! If you’re on social media, keep us in the loop using #comebackbingo on Facebook and Twitter using @FONKitchener. We wanna see your smiling faces!

Select the big red button below and we’ll email you your very own bingo card with instructions.

Submit your winning bingo card for one raffle draw entry at our season finale event.

Winning cards include one consecutive row of five completed squares. For one extra raffle draw entry, finish the whole card! Completed cards can be submitted by September 28 via email or snail mail and must include contact details to claim the raffle draw prize.

Email your completed card to:

entries@festivalofneighbourhoods.ca

Mail (or drop off!) your completed card to:

Festival of Neighbourhoods
c/o Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
23 Water St N, Kitchener N2H 5A4

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