Stronger Communities, Together

people celebratingBelongingness is a basic human need. It is this desire to belong that drives us to socialize, to gather, and to connect with one another. Strong communities are built by connecting like-minded people so that they feel that they are part of something bigger. Studies have shown that these connected communities result in reduced crime and a stronger sense of security and safety in the community as well as a sense of belonging and a personal attachment to the community.

The past 18 months have challenged our ability to feel that strong sense of community. As the pandemic forced us within our four walls, we were unable to get together and unable to meet or make friends. As things begin to open up, I will be a catalyst to ensure that the city facilitates every opportunity to gather and connect.

Spruce Grove already contains so many great locations and venues in which to host all sorts of events. We have Jubilee Park, Central Park, Horizon Stage, the public library, Fuhr Sports Field, and the Tri-Leisure centre, just to name a few. There are many more in the works as you read this including the new ballpark on the east side of town, the civic centre project in the Westwind area and Columbus Park rejuvenation in the City Centre. With so many venues available to use, we can take further advantage to host a variety of different events that can appeal to a wide range of interests.

By creating and fostering partnerships with local groups, the city can help facilitate these events at very little cost to the taxpayer. We’ve seen a few great events this summer like the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Rotary Ribfest both in Central Park and these partnerships ensured successful events that were enjoyed by many residents which did not incur a large cost to the city. While it is important for the city to encourage and help facilitate these events, we must also keep a keen eye on the cost to the taxpayer which I will always consider.

The most desirable communities are vibrant and alive with a wide array of diverse and exciting events. We all enjoy events like Canada Day in Jubilee Park and the Central Park Light-Up which are celebrations and symbols of our community spirit. These events bring us together and grow our sense of community. By creating partnerships with local community groups and by leveraging all the great facilities in our city, we can build on these great events and look to provide even more opportunities for us to congregate, converse, and connect. This will help build a stronger community that we can all be proud to call home.

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