Neighbourhoods are not just a grouping of houses along a street or a block. Neighbourhoods can also be vertically oriented, such as a single condo tower. The block party for 4388 Buchanan was brought to the attention of our strata council, who reviewed the proposal written and supported its submission. With the NSG approval, the next steps were to pick a date. July 15, a Saturday, was chosen as it should be a sunny summer day and being a weekend day, most people would have the day off from work so that more people could attend. We put up a signup sheet in our mailroom to determine the number of people attending so we knew how much food and beverages to purchase. We also put up signs in the elevators and parking levels telling people about the block party and asking for volunteers.

Our condo building shares the same location as a Save On Foods store where many of our owners shop. Council asked the coordinator of the party to ask Save on Foods if they could help donate a few items so we could then offer more at the party. We were pleasantly surprised when the manager offered to cover all the costs that we had listed in our proposal. We had already made some purchases using the NSG money before getting this offer from Save On Foods. We updated our posters, letting people know about Save On Foods providing the food and beverages for our event, as well as the NSG.

Three days before the party, a group of about eight volunteers met to organize who would do different tasks, such as setting up tables, chairs, making name tags for people as they arrived, working the bbq, etc. On the day, the party started at 4 pm. The volunteers started putting out everything for the party at 2 pm, so we were ready for 4 pm. To help people get to know each other, name tags were handwritten when people arrived at our outdoor patio. The person’s first name and the floor, or unit number, were written on the name tag so that others could not only know your name but which floor you lived on. Many people only know people from their floor and maybe the floor above and below. It was great to see that people from a higher floor were able to speak with people from a lower floor and build new friendships in our building.

The day before the party, three volunteers went to Save On Foods to collect the donated food and beverages, which we then stored in our lounge, which had a fridge. Save On Foods people came on the day of the party and set up a tent for us, which helped provide shade on this sunny day. The manager also came over partway through the party to say hello to our owners and renters living in our building. One volunteer arranged a playlist with music from the 1980s, which we all enjoyed. The party was a great success. No block party was ever held in this building before, which is 20 years old. The residents now would like to have a party every year. The remaining NSG funds we have will go toward having another party, this time in November, held inside as the weather is too cold outside to celebrate together the upcoming holiday season. Thank you to the NSG for approving our plan so that we could offer this block party.

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