It seemed challenging for neighbours within the Milano building in the West End to meet each other and have an opportunity to develop community. Applying for a small grant, the hope was to create a venue and invite neighbours to get to know one another over a very low-key, casual time that included snacks.
The first Sip ‘N Schmooze was held in August within the Marquis store behind the building in their open meeting area. An off site venue was rented as the current building lounge is tiered for theatre seating and not conducive to a group social gathering. The second event was a coffee & donut morning downstairs in the main lobby entrance of the building during an October weekend.
Both venues provided a chance for individuals – including a mix of owners and renters – to get to know one another and meet their neighbours. There was a lot of appreciation expressed for two events, especially since free food was a part of them! There was also a side benefit as neighbours were invited to give input to the courtyard upgrade project currently underway. An interest in community and seeing the building’s own used as a space to meet neighbours and have events has developed.
Although the general response and interest was positive, having individuals commit to coming to the events was difficult. There tended to be a lackadaisical, “If I’m around, I’ll come.” However, about 35 individuals have met, started to know each other or renew connections, and there is renewed desire to have more regular community events for the building. The ball is rolling!
Thank you Vancouver for providing the grant to make this a reality!

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