A travelling village dinner in Beaverbrook aims to bring people together and give them an opportunity to get to know their neighbours.
Resident Eileen Howell brought the idea to life last year after reading an article about a community in Toronto that held a similar event. The travelling dinner features three courses – appetizers, entree, and dessert – served at three different houses, with three different couples for each course.
The first house with the first course features three couples. After, they all disperse to a new location for the next course, with a different set of couples.
“The same thing happens at the end of the main course…they put their coats and hats on and go off for dessert with a whole new group of people,” said Howell. “The idea is to break bread with a stranger; receive hospitality, give hospitality. Meet a neighbour, make a friend.”
With newer families and individuals moving into the area, Howell said this is a great opportunity to meet new people.
“We need to find new ways to connect with each other in order to keep the community strong,” she said. “Being a neighbour matters. Knowing who your neighbours are matters.”
The Beaverbrook Travelling Village Dinner, to be held on Dec. 1 starting at 6 p.m., is now in its second year and is looking to draw more attendees than last year.
Sponsored by the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association, the inaugural event drew more than 120 people. The dessert portion had to be moved to the Mlacak Centre because there was so much interest, said Howell.
“It was the first thing we ever did that really engaged the whole community,” she said, adding she personally talked to around 200 families leading up to the dinner. She sent out emails, made phone calls, and even went door-to-door to let people know.
There are only two rules in order to participate, said Howell:
* You have to be willing to have people come into your home, and be willing to enter a stranger’s house.
* You can’t invite people from outside the community.
“I’m sort of expecting this will mushroom,” she said. “It’s truly a really wonderful evening.”
For more information, or to register for the Travelling Village Dinner, call Howell at 613-592-8754 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The people just around the corner are no longer strangers,” said Howell. “They know their neighbours.”