My involvement with our neighbours first began shortly after hearing neighbourhood stories and reference to Vancouver Foundation’s 2012 Connections and Engagement Survey. The survey results and the stories prompted me and my wife to begin our practice of neighbouring. I use the term practice as I feel it emphasizes an intentionality of being an active neighbour. This act of intentional neighbouring is rooted in my faith - that to love God, is to love neighbour.
How can we deepen friendships and forge new practices with our isolated neighbours? Big annual events are a great starting place. But to nurture growing friendships and a web of care in our neighbourhoods, we need more than one gathering a year. I have found that simple hospitality, around good food – and hosted regularly in homes – provides the best foundation for developing a social fabric in a neighbourhood.
From the day we received the grant, we have been determined to put together the best event possible. As many of us know, artists today are stigmatized and often thought of as “inferior” - after all, we do nothing except paint stuff that honestly have no relation to anything of use just to make a living and try to please the upper class by creating obscure “modern” artworks that literally no one in the general population understands except for “the elites”, right?
With a neighbourhood street busy with children enjoying the park, tennis courts and recreation fields, we wanted to do something to calm the traffic. We heard of a similar project in Victoria, spoke with them and met to discuss ideas. We polled the neighbourhood to understand the level of support for this idea.
Do you have a great idea to bring people together in your neighbourhood?
Neighbourhood Small Grants is excited to announce that we are open for application in more communities than ever before across the lower mainland and beyond – including Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Squamish, South Okanagan / Similkameen, and Victoria!