Community experiments in DTK

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If you know me at all, you know I love experiments. Especially social experiments.

Brohemus and I dropped by Goudies Lane in DTK on Thursday for what was billed as “First Thursday at Goudies Lane People-only Pocket”. The general idea is to limit traffic to the pedestrian kind entering the lane off Queen Street, put out some tables and chairs, get some music and painting going and see what happens. Well, the TL;DR is a lot of people passed through or hung out in the lane, chatting and eating. Together. So *that’s* a data point. And it jives with my experience that we learn way more about community building by *trying* approaches rather than *talking* about approaches. So hats off to the doers, the social innovators, the risk takers who must defend the spend on this gig. In fact, there was a lot of surveying and focus-grouping and input-getting that got us to here, but I just want to show the doing. Here’s the story from Catherine Thompson leading up to this event. Watch for the next one, first Thursday of July. In the lane.

More interesting than bistro tables or food vendors is painting on walls with spray cans, and that is what I first saw. I rarely forget a face I’ve photographed…

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and even partially hidden behind a respirator, I can tell this is Whos One. I first photographed him in the Laurier Library where he was exhibiting his work in 2015. Then last summer, I caught him painting riverside at the Cambridge International Street Art Fest. He’s part of The Firm, and you can follow their work on Instagram and Facebook. Hire them here.

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Perfect evening for casual chats.

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Top shelf talent.

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Don’t cross The Flash.

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Community within the community.

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I could watch…

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these guys paint…

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all day…

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long. I’m out of my depth in this medium, but I can appreciate the paint control, the shading, stenciling, iconography, adaptation, concept and collaboration. Respect.

Watch for them on Charles Street. Rumour has it they’ll be doing a Canada 150 mural.

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This guy never takes a bad picture. Ok, well I specifically posed him for this glamour shot. My pal, Eric Rumble, downtown marketing and program coordinator. He was in the lane in that capacity, but you should also know him as the community engine behind Night\Shift (Nov 2-4, 2017 – get that in your calendar)

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This is Eric doing air traffic control of a community event.

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And here are more people. High five to those who got their feet on the street. You’re doing it right.

This is us.


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