Increasingly we are finding that good community engagement requires going out to people rather than just inviting them in. With that in mind, the Centre has been supporting the organizing of five neighbourhood block parties in Whistler to help foster stronger networks in and out of neighbourhoods.
The “Neighbourhoods Work Block Party” in Whistler adds a new twist to the traditional block party by bringing together neighbours and community organizations in a fun gathering to build social connections and to foster conversation about building extraordinary neighbourhoods. Beyond neighbours getting to know neighbours, the volunteer run events will help participants to explore synergies between neighborhood visions, the goals of community organizations, and potentially upcoming local government projects.
“If these neighbourhood block party events are successful in Whistler then we will add them to our community engagement toolbox as one strategy for reaching out to residents during community planning processes “ says Dan Wilson from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability.
While the Centre’s idea to combine neighbourhood planning with a social gathering is relatively unique, it builds on the growing trend of local government support for block parties. This support typically ranges from providing toolkits to event trailers with games and equipment, and, as is the case with Whistler, sometimes funding.
The Whistler Centre for Sustainability is supporting and funding Whistler block parties with the funding support of the Evergreen Foundation.
Here are a few examples of bloc party toolkits and funding:
- Cold Lake, AB
- Surrey, BC : Neighbourhood Enhancement Grants
- Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants
You can also visit our Neighbourhoods Work webpage.