This Neighbourhood Life

This Neighbourhood Life: Conversations About City Life

How do we tell stories about our neighbourhoods?

In the spring of 2018, Sense of Place partnered with Kiwassa Neighbourhood House to create a 6-part neighbourhood radio residency that explored issues of reconciliation, settlement, small business vitality, aging, public education, childcare, economic development and housing as they are experienced in a neighbourhood under pressure.

We wanted to identify and connect people through stories that help shed light on community development work in local communities, celebrate success and take pride in learning and practice that supports a welcoming and inclusive neighbourhood.

The show asked: what are the roots of social and economic isolation experienced by people in the Hastings-Sunrise community? How do the experiences in our neighbourhood offer learning and potential for others grappling with similar pressures? The scariest and most exciting part of the show? Broadcasting the show live from various locations in the Hastings-Sunrise ‘hood.

Setting up from places like coffee shops and UNYA we spoke to people from all walks of life – more than sixty guests in total.

We interviewed politicians and pundits but we also spoke to musicians and community activists.

One of the highlights of the series came when one of our interviewees dropped out at the last minute during our show from UNYA. There was a hole in our show. What would we do? The youth community activists looked at each other. What happened next was one of the most magical moments of my radio career. Hope you’ll listen in here. The show won a British Columbia Association of Broadcasters award in 2018 for best community service programming.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank producer extraordinaire, Anne Watson (check out her artwork and writing her, it’s fabulous!). She really was the mastermind behind this award-winning series. This would never have happened if it wasn’t for her. Mark Gifford, the Executive Director of Kiwassa Neighbourhood House was the innovator who originally approached us with the idea for this series, and I saw firsrt-hand how he adeptly practiced building community through true engagement and clear communication. I will always be grateful to Mark for making this idea a reality.