Gazebo Talks

Author: Carson Anderson

From 2pm to 7pm on June 8, 2017, as part of the consultation process for the ongoing parks inventory report and Community Park masterplan report, the MABRRI team in partnership with The City of Parksville, held an open house at the gazebo located in Parksville’s beautiful Community Park. Because the open house was at the gazebo we nicknamed the event “Gazebo Talks”. The purpose of this event was to update the community on what has been found through the consultation process so far, ask participants to share the opinions they have about what we should be doing, and give the community insight into the future plans of the consultation process. The day started as a wet and windy Thursday afternoon which tapered off into a gorgeous partly sunny evening. Despite the weather conditions when we arrived the people of Parksville were consistent through the entire day. To their credit, they proved they’re not sugar-cubes and will not melt away when they get a little wet.

In total, approximately 135 people came and participated in the Gazebo Talks open house with many more passersby stopping, to have a quick chat about what was occurring before returning to their enjoyment of the elegant shoreline and the tranquility of the Community Park.  For those passersby that entered our open house they got to meet any of the 12 cheerful students that attended the event, and we got to meet them as well. Students were split up and given responsibility for 1 of 6 stations:

  1. greeting station
  2. door person station
  3. what do citizens want in the park feedback station
  4. where are you from/colouring station
  5. jeopardy station
  6. and consultation feedback station

Each station promoted a flow of people through Gazebo Talks. Visitors were greeted on the boardwalk by our greeters and encouraged to participate in the open house.  As visitors entered the open house they were recorded by our door people to provide us with an accurate count of participants. Once in the open house they were encouraged to provide feedback about what they want in the park, talk about where they are from and their motivations for coming to the park, colouring for children, play Parksville jeopardy, and/or look over our previous consultation summaries.

 After weeks of planning, and a day of hosting an open house; 7pm rolled around marking the end of an enjoyable and interesting undertaking, there are some very cool people in Parksville with great ideas who are an absolute treat to converse with. After getting to spend a few hours amongst the people of Parksville in their beautiful park students left in happy and satisfied with our accomplishment. So happy in fact, a little radio karaoke broke out as we journeyed back south to our office in Nanaimo.