City covers insurance; first 3 to book get $250 each for fun
We’ve been huddled up for too long Selkirkians – let’s GetOutside with our friends and neighbours and get the summer of 2019 started!
The City of Selkirk wants to build safer, inclusive communities and its Block Party program is designed to do just that.
Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said while the obvious goal of any party is to bring people together for a good time, the city’s aim is to have the positive energy and good will from the party spill over into day to day life and create safer and more vibrant communities.
“The real goal is to build community at the neighbourhood level, neighbourhood by neighbourhood,” Nicol said.
When neighbours know each other, neighbourhoods tend to be safer because you have a vested interest and you want to look after the people living in your community, he said.
Why you should book a block party…
So what is a Block Party? Glad you asked. A Block Party is a party hosted on your street, with your neighbours, some you may know, some you may meet at the party, and it can be any kind of party you like.
If you want to gather around some burgers and hot dogs and chat – that’s a Block Party. If you want kids and adults running and playing and having a good time with different kinds of games – that’s a Block Party. Do you want music and dancing on the street? That’s a Block Party too.
By applying to host a City of Selkirk Block Party, city staff will come and close your street, the Block Party trailer arrives full of games and activities to make your party even better, and voila – you’ve got a party on your hands.
To sweeten the deal, the city covers insurance for your party and the first three people to book a party this year will receive $250 to spend on their party, any way they like.
A fun way to make connections
Vanessa Figus, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the City of Selkirk, says the benefits of hosting a Block Party are endless.
“Block parties help build community. People have an excuse to get together and they bring together people from different circles that might not have the opportunity to mingle otherwise,” she said.
“It’s a fun way to see long-time residents connect with new neighbours and the party can be a mix of young and old. You might even find that neighbour who knows how to build a fence or fix cars. And your kid(s) might find a babysitting gig! The good things that happen when neighbours get together go on and on.”
Selkirk launched its Block Party program two summers ago.
We drop off the fun, you make the fun happen
“One of the priorities in our Strategic Plan is to provide a vibrant, safe and healthy community and the city’s Block Party checks that box off nicely,” said Shelly Leonard, Program Coordinator, Culture, Recreation and Green Transportation.
“The city’s Block Party trailer shows up to your street free of charge, puts up barricades to close off your block to vehicle traffic, and drops off games and activities for kids and adults to enjoy. It’s a perfect opportunity for people to get to know their neighbours, connect with ones you haven’t seen in a while and build that bond of a safe and supportive community.”
The city’s step-by-step Block Party guide is available to download HERE or can be picked up at city offices – and guides you through what’s allowed and what’s not, gives you helpful tips on how to make your party a success and provides the application and other forms needed to complete your request.
Leonard said if you want to have a Block Party you have to fill out an application and have signatures of support from at least 75 per cent of your neighbours on your block.
The city has a list of activities that you can choose from for your Block Party – including volleyball, street chalk, hoola hoops, oversized soccer balls, safe lawn darts, horseshoes and other games – that will compliment other activities you and your neighbours already have.
The $250 gift voucher can be spent on anything you like for your party, from hot dogs to balloons, it’s up to you.
The Block Party program runs from May to September, seven days a week and is free of charge. The activities trailer is reserved on a first come, first served basis. The city will close your street for a period of four hours, between the hours of noon and 10 p.m. After the four hours are over, the city will pick up the barricades and activities, but your party can continue if you choose.
“The city brings all the activities you need, closes off your street for you, all you have to do is have fun,” Leonard said.