Who are the Extras?

MikeConnect with us

Leah and kids“Who are the extras in the movie of your life?” was a question posed by speaker Danny Harris in his TED talk on connecting with our neighbours. This question was a topic of conversation recently for some members of Grace Vancouver Church. How do we get to know these people in our neighbourhoods who maybe we see but are strangers? A member of our group suggested the idea of hosting a community BBQ. Another member then approached a high-rise residence across the street from the church about partnering on the event so neighbours could meet and get to know one another and the “strangers” in the area.  The Strata for the building loved the idea and offered their corner park as a site for the get together.  Several local businesses on 7th Avenue – Thai House and Ceili’s Irish Pub – jumped on board by offering food and their support. Over two weeks, members of the group went about the neighbourhood hanging posters on poles, inviting neighbours and drawing invitations with sidewalk chalk.  About 100 people showed up on a sunny Saturday evening for the Summer in The City BBQ. There were members of the church, people hanging out in the park, residents of the high-rise, and those out on a walk that all joined in. The cyclists that passed by and those pushing their grocery carts up 7th Avenue were welcomed for a meal and conversation. Building Caring Communities hosted an activity to identify the gifts and the stories of the residents in the area. Neighbours showed up with guitars, banjos, and lots of delicious food. There were also activities for kids, great conversations, and did I mention, lots of wonderful food!

Everyone seemed pleased that this event had occurred and were “hungry” for what might come next. Many shared their ideas ranging from art activities to community conversations to community dinners. Some of the area residents have volunteered to join in with the group exploring how to continue to make this a more connected neighbourhood where people are known.