THUNDER BAY – Building a city is more than simply building infrastructure. It is building a sense of community, along with a feeling of belonging in that community. It starts in the neighbourhoods. When neighbours get to know each other, and get to become friends, those neighbours watch out for each other. In the Windsor neighbourhood, that has been an ongoing process under the stewardship of the Community Action Group (CAG), along with assistance from volunteers, support from Alpha Court, the City of Thunder Bay, the Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC), and a host of helping groups.
Wednesday night, the Community Action Group and the Regional Multicultural Youth Council hosted a barbecue in the Windsor complex. Along with hotdogs, watermelon, cold drinks, frozen treats, and music, the neighbourhood came together to share some fun.
The young people gathered on the impromptu dance floor and enjoyed such classics as the twist, and the ‘chicken dance’.
CAG Co-Chair Alaina King and Moffat Makuto worked out the details of the evening’s festivities, and planned the menu.
The music played on from seven until just after nine, and the fun and enjoyment was shared by all the neighbours. When it came time to pack up, the young people helped clean up, and helped load the RMYC van and hoped for a quick return for another summer barbecue and fun night.
The CAG in the Windsor/Picton/Junot neighbourhood started in early 2012, it came about after the provincial election, and as a result of a September 2011 RMYC barbecue. NDP candidate Steve Mantis attended the event, and was struck by how the neighbourhood needed some loving care. That interest has led to a grassroots neighbourhood group forming which meets at the Alpha Court on the second floor of the Boys and Girls Club to discuss neighbourhood issues and plan events and activities.
The final group of Katimavik volunteers helping in Thunder Bay did surveys in the neighbourhood, gathering information on what was needed, what people wanted, and some demographic information. The surveys were collected this spring, and families were rewarded with tickets to Thunder Bay Northstars hockey games. That information has led to the creation of art programs, classes planned for parenting, and other activities in the neighbourhood.
The entire effort is fueled by volunteers, and assisted by a growing number of helpers.
The RMYC will be hosting a barbecue in the Limbrick neighbourhood on Friday, July 13th from 3-5PM. There are efforts underway to duplicate the growing success of the Windsor CAG in other neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay.
The RMYC are seeking assistance from interested community partners and potential sponsors this summer to assist in their programing. The RMYC is operating this summer out of the Dennis Franklin Cromarty School on Edward Street, as the group seeks a new permanent home. If you or your company would like to assist in the efforts of the RMYC you can call 622-4666.