By RYAN MCCRACKEN on August 14, 2021.
Pop-Up Parks is aiming to bring the community together by celebrating what makes us different.
The Connecting Community initiative has already held two events in the city this summer and is now looking toward the Medicine Hat Recreation Experience on Aug. 28 at Echo Dale Park.
“These are events that are free and available to the public, and encourage people from different backgrounds to interact and share space in all sorts of manners, culturally,” said Pop Up Parks chair Dina Jubrak, adding they’ve partnered with dozens of local not-for-profits for the event. “This is a pretty busy day. We’re going to be there from 2-7 p.m. with a wealth of activities.”
The afternoon will feature a variety of recreational activities for participants to try, as well as vendors, cultural exhibits and more.
“The idea is to let people experience all sorts of those cool recreation activities that are available in Medicine Hat like kayaking, paddle boarding. We’re going to have a drum circle, hula hooping, a short yoga class that’s low-strain for people who want to just dip their toes in,” said Jubrak. “Most of the vendors are also not-for-profits who are offering more information and sharing the story of what they’re doing.”
Jubrak added Pop Up Park did two Taste of Culture events in July – an Ethiopian stir fry in Central Park and Korean Kimchi pancakes at Kin Coulee – which received plenty of participation and praise.
“A little bit from all around the world,” she said. “”We really went with options for inclusion.”
That inclusion extends beyond culture, says Jubrak.
“We did provide a few options, including in-person and online participation,” she said. “If a person wanted to participate and they didn’t feel safe enough to share space with us at the park, we would deliver the ingredients to their doorstep and they would have the link – which is actually publicly accessible, so if anybody at home right now is hearing about Korean Kimchi pancakes for the first time and wants to make it at home, there’s a list of ingredients and a video of how to make it (on Facebook).”
Keeping with the trend of trying new foods, Jubrak says Pop Up Parks has partnered with the Miywasin Friendship Centre to offer bannock on a stick at the recreation experience. However, given the amount of effort that will go into making the day a success, Jubrak says you may have to come out to Echo Dale or pick up your own ingredients to try it for yourself.
“We might just have the list of ingredients and facilitator streams,” she said. “We will be streaming some of the activities to the webpage as well.”
While the focus is on Aug. 28, Jubrak says it won’t be the last celebration before fall settles in, as Pop Up Fest is planned to coincide with Alberta Culture Days in early September.
“That’s going to happen during the week of Sept. 6-12. We’re collaborating with Pride for a portion of our activities,” she said. “There are some really exciting activities planned, and again, an outdoor kitchen, some movement space, a drum circle, meditation and mindful movements, as well as some art.”
More information on Pop Up Parks can be found at http://www.popupparks.ca or by searching for Pop Up Parks Medicine Hat on Facebook.