Charleswood residents have the chance to bundle up and showcase their creative flair in the community’s first annual snow sculpture challenge. Participants of all ages and skill levels can register their addresses at www.neighbourhoodconnection.ca
Julie Richard and her eight-year-old son Kallum Fraser are looking forward to participating in the first Charleswoood snow sculpture challenge.
On Jan. 24, a photographer will take photos of the front yard sculptures created by registered participants to post on the website for all to enjoy. A map will also be available so others can view the sculptures throughout the neighbourhood. All participants will be entered in a random draw to win a prize.
Event organizer Julie Richard got the idea from a friend who hosts a similar initiative in the Glenelm area.
"There has been so much negativity on the news, and I feel bad for the kids. All their sports get cancelled. All their play dates get cancelled," she said.
"I’m trying to create something that can motivate people to get outside and play. I thought a project and activity might give them that initiative. I’m hoping it’s one of those things that builds year after year."
Richard sees the snow sculpture challenge as a way to strengthen connections across the Charleswood community.
"I’ve been in Charleswood for five years and really didn’t know many people in the area. So this community connection initiative will, in my mind, create opportunities to get to know neighbours and like-minded people in the area. I hope more people share the enthusiasm I have to connect with those near us," said Richard, a realtor for Keller Williams Real Estate Services.
"As many of us are far from our families, being able to know those in our area and feel comfortable reaching out when needed can go a long way in creating peace of mind of that sense of belonging."
In addition, she hopes the new website might prompt others to share ideas to bolster community engagement.
"There is no neighbourhood association organization that I was aware of in Charleswood outside of Facebook, which is why I thought perhaps this could be a starting point to have this website. There’s room if people have ideas that they want to share," she said.
"Perhaps in the spring, someone might want to host a webinar on composting. When restrictions ease and things get a little bit better, maybe someone would want to host a movie in the park. I have a few ideas, like Front Patio Fridays when people could bring supper to their porch to enjoy time with neighbours from a safe distance."
For the upcoming snow sculpture challenge, Richard welcomes sponsors and prize donations.
She’s also looking into the possibility of securing a grant for the event. Anyone who would like more information or to make a donation can contact her at email@example.com or 204-230-2405.