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The Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta (CFSEA) announced that the Neighbourhood Associations of Medicine Hat and Area received the prestigious $25,000 Community Impact Award this spring. The Community Impact Award is a $25,000 grant designed for agencies with innovative project ideas that show creativity and leadership in supporting a vibrant, healthy, and caring community.

Pictured: Sadiki Bamperineza and Shantel Ottenbreit, Neighbourhood Association Members, accept the $25,000 Community Impact Award from John Hudson, CFSEA Committee Chair

Using information from their 2023 Vital Signs report, agencies that address the priorities of Work and Economy, Connection and Belonging, and Basic Needs including Housing, Health, and Food, were invited to apply.

This year, 12 applications from across the region were received and reviewed by the Community Leadership Committee at the Community Foundation. The Committee selected the recipient based on impact, alignment with priorities, community needs, and innovation. The Neighbourhood Associations of Medicine Hat and Area aligned strongly with all evaluation criteria and promises to support and connect neighbours to create a sense of belonging, where everyone feels welcome.

 “The Neighbourhoood Associations of Medicine Hat and Area is so grateful to the Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta for the opportunity to grow neighbourhood connections throughout our region.  When residents join together to connect, they not only get to know each other, they get to know the needs of the neighbours and the issues facing their community.  This builds a sense of belonging and creates a bond of common interests that leads to a vibrant community.” -Shantel Ottenbreit, Neighbourhood Associations Committee Member

Throughout the summer, the Neighbourhood Associations group will be supporting and attending block parties and events held throughout the community and region. Those considering hosting a block party or neighbourhood event and seeking support with advertising, invitations, or borrowing lawn games are encouraged to reach out to the group.

This fall, the group is planning an official launch event during the weekend of October 4-6, 2024. During this event, Neighbourhood Walks will be hosted throughout Medicine Hat, providing an opportunity for residents to get to know their neighbours, learn about the community, and hear unique stories about the neighbourhood from the past and present. Anyone interested in hosting a walk or wanting more information is invited to email the group or watch their social media and local news outlets this fall.

The Neighbourhood Associations group will also be working this summer to develop a Block Party trailer for neighbourhoods to borrow when hosting events. The trailer will be equipped with tables and chairs, a tent, and lawn games. By providing these items, the group hopes to alleviate some of the challenges associated with hosting a neighbourhood event like a Block Party.

Additionally, a registry is available for neighbourhoods that want to start or already have a Neighbourhood Association. Registering a neighbourhood will keep residents up to date with the group’s activities and the development of the Block Party trailer.

Finally, the Neighbourhood Associations group will offer learning events throughout the fall and winter months to help neighbourhood groups learn from others who have hosted events, plan fun initiatives for their neighbourhoods, and share neighbourhood concerns.

For more information on Neighbourhood Association of Medicine Hat and Area work or to connect directly, please email, mhneighbourhoods@gmail.com.

Click Here to view a ChatTV news release. 

Sydney Ratzlaff
Community Engagement Coordinator