Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

New N.K. festival hopes to build community

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A North Kildonan couple is hoping to start up a new festival in the neighbourhood.

Maria Sanchez and Rory McDonnell have set up the Won’t You Be My Neighbour festival for June 8 at Bunn’s Creek Centennial Park. The festival is slated to run from 2 to 6 p.m.
Sanchez said she’s helped plan numerous festivals across the city, and took inspiration from the Transcona Hi Neighbour Festival when coming up with the idea to start this event.

"We live in such a great neighbourhood," she said. "So why can’t we do something like that for North Kildonan. Then it just started snowballing from there."

The duo said they’re still in the process of lining up entertainment, but expect to gather up a family-friendly roster of local musicians, magicians, and other entertainers. There will also be games like ring toss, ladder golf, and other carnival-style games.

McDonnell said as someone who does business with community members, he hopes local businesses will step up to the plate in one way or another to help make the day a success.

"We’re in the process of getting sponsorships, donations, and people involved so we can make it a day to remember," said McDonnell, noting approximately 10 to 12 volunteers will be required, at minimum. "If we have as many stations as we expect to have, we can’t do it alone."

"If it’s a big success, then we’ll look at having it as an annual event," added Sanchez. "Hopefully it’ll get bigger and be as good as the Hi Neighbour."

McDonnell said there is a void of similar, non-profit events in the community, and noted Bunn’s Creek Park is well-suited to host such festivals.

As well, in advance of the festival, Sanchez is holding a contest for local children to express what North Kildonan means to them. Entrants can express their relationship to the community in a short essay or a work of art. The contest is open to neighbourhood residents ages 12 and under, and submissions must be received no later than June 6.

For more information, visit the Facebook event titled Celebrate North Kildonan Neighbourhood or contact Sanchez at 204-881-6273.

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Twitter: @HeraldWPG

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