The 100In1Day festival is a global initiative designed to encourage citizen engagement, create connection between people, and maybe offer the chance to blow some bubbles.
That last part — well, actually all three truth be told — will be made possible thanks to Lilka Young, Nicole Patterson and Carolynne Gabriel who have crafted a little something they’re calling The Ultimate Playdate.
Ottawa, Hamilton and Edmonton will be joining London for 100in1Day, which is set for Saturday, June 3.
The Ultimate Playdate, which take place from 1-3:30 p.m. at Cavendish Park, will include activities such as hacky sack, hula hooping, kite flying, jump rope, potato sack racking (in coffee sacks), Ultimate Frisbee, and of course, blowing bubbles.
“It was the simplicity of it (100In1Day) that attracted us, but also the opportunity to connect with our community and our neighbours,” Young said. “It’s such a great, grassroots opportunity to get out and do something. It’s a really great way to get people engaged in their community and meet people they might not get to interact with otherwise.”
Taking place at locations across the Forest City, the goal of the festival is — as the name suggests — is to put together 100 community focused events of all shapes and sizes.
With just over a week to go, The Ultimate Playdate is one of 87 events registered on the website. To check out the list, to register, or just find out more information, visit https://100in1day.ca/london.
According to lead organizer Nicole St. John, the day’s events are limited only by the imaginations of the Londoners planning them.
There are community events by groups such as the Hyde Park Business Association, the North East London Community Engagement, the Blackfriars Neighbourhood Association and the Old South Community Organization, which is once again hosting the annual Gathering on the Green. There are also smaller events up to and including old-fashioned water fights.
As St. John explains, the only requirements are the events need to be free of charge and, ideally, be crafted around the idea of growing community.
“There are just such a variety of activities going on. I’m excited that in the last few days we’ve seen a real spike in registering and a wide variety of pop-up events, activities, things people have put together to do that day,” she said. “I love they are taking place across the city in different neighbourhoods, in different parks, in different urban spaces. Every day I look to see what people have come up with and the creativity is pretty amazing.”
If launching a community event is “outside someone’s comfort zone,” 100in1Day is designed to encourage people to visit as many of the 100 events as possible.
St. John — who said she’s confident of reaching the 100-event goal, if not exceeding it — the takeaway from 100in1Day should be how easy it is for people to engage and be active citizens.
“I want people to enjoy the beauty our city has,” she said. “I hope people get the chance to talk to one another, actually have a conversation and get to know someone a little differently.”
While she will be busy with The Ultimate Playdate, Young said she is already planning on taking in as many other activities as she can get to.
Upon hearing the festival is so close to its 100-event goal, Young said she sees it as a sign her fellow Londoners are equally committed to the goal of building a stronger, more vibrant city.
“I think it’s so encouraging to hear about this kind of turnout. I think that says London is interested in community,” she said. “So many unique events, coming together to be showcased in one day, it’s a really cool opportunity to show a different side of London.”