2014 Go Smart Day Highlights the Benefits of a Community-Minded Downtown Courtenay

2014 Go Smart Day, an initiative of Imagine Comox Valley, saw almost 500 people take to the streets in downtown Courtenay in a celebration of youthful fun, sun, sports, shopping, food, music and art. Organised by a handful of pro-active animateurs, supported by a few dozen volunteers and enjoyed by hundreds of community members of all ages, the event was everything the organisers had hoped for.
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Image caption: 2014 Go Smart Day - early morning chalk art, started by local artist Tracy Kobus and filled in by people of all ages with some gentle guidance from local teacher Nicholas Williams.

 

After ongoing deliberation and varied input the group organising 2014 Go Smart Day under the banner of Imagine Comox Valley decided to change the name of the event from Car-Free Sunday to Go Smart Day. “It’s never been about being anti-car. We felt that the name Car-Free Sunday was too rigid. This event is about promoting the many possible uses of a public resource. Go Smart Day seemed a much better fit and we are grateful for the suggestion from one of our supporters.” said Andrew Gower, part of the organising team. “Considering the large number of children and youth that come out to the event, it seemed essential to have things flowing freely; we the organisers basically make the roads of the downtown core a safe space allowing people to do what they want as they want.”

 

Support from the downtown businesses played a key part in the success of the event and the organisers are grateful to be-Clothing, The Broken Spoke, Cardero’s, Courtenay Antiques, Everything Wet Store, Fiction, Home and Garden Gate, Iconic, Kradles, Courtenay Library, The Laughing Oyster, Courtenay Museum, Red Living, Union Street Grill and Grotto and Zocalo Cafe for their participation on the day of the event. Along with some shopping, people were invited to participate in a cretiri-fun event, a community garden potluck, create street art, enjoy a sidewalk music show (thanks to our friends from Elevate the Arts) and ride all kinds of things up and down and around 5th street and a small downtown core loop.

 

Getting to the event was pretty easy, even for those who had to travel some distance to get there, thanks to participation from the folks at BC Transit, who provided both a special transit schedule for the day of the event and an impressive informative booth. Special mention also goes out to Christine Nave of CNIC Traffic Services, who generously donated the time and effort required to ensure safe traffic control services for the event.

 

“Seeing your friends and neighbours out on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Strolling through our beautiful downtown core without worrying about kids riding their bikes. Supporting local businesses, knowing that it is money well spent because they support you. This is community-building at its finest - and most fun.” said David Frisch, volunteer coordinator for 2014 Go Smart Day.

 

As the event came to an end, and traffic on 5th Street resumed to normal, the volunteers enjoying some post-event goodies cooked up by Union Street Grill and Grotto, unanimously agreed that 2015 Go Smart Day couldn’t come soon enough.
For more media from the event search for #2014GoSmartDay on Twitter or Facebook.

2014 Go Smart Day Volunteer information

Go Smart Day is a grass roots festival organized by Image Comox Valley. It’s purpose is to build a stronger community by developing and supporting more efficient use of its resources. Specifically, the Festival encourages the community to explore alternative modes of transportation and use of public space. Generally, Go Smart Day supports healthier lifestyles in other areas such as housing, economic development, food production and supply, and healthcare.

Go Smart Day is not Anti-car. Go Smart Day is about enabling healthier alternatives.

Intersection Volunteers:

  • Please greet driver’s with courtesy and openness.
  • Offer directions if necessary.
  • If a driver insists on crossing the route and there is no danger (no one using the route), help facilitate the crossing.
  • If a driver insists on crossing the route or driving on the route and there is a danger, please take a license plate number and vehicle/driver description and contact the Police - 250-338-1321.
  • If there is an emergency (someone is seriously injure, or someone is extremely aggressive), call 911.

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator - David Frisch – 250-338-3638

RCMP - 250-338-1321

 

 2014 Go Smart Day  Traffic Management Plan  by David Frisch
Intersection 11:45-2:00 1:45-4:00
5th & Cliffe Pat Pat
     
4th & Duncan Sue Moen Keith
    Monique
4th & England Joy Magnusson  
     
4th & Fitzgerald Stan Kera
  Marguerite Ian
5th & Harmston   Michael Linton
     
6th & Harmston Sheila McDonell  
     
6th & Grant Chantal  
     
6th & Fitzgerald Zak?  
     
6th & England Terry  
  Gil  
6th & Duncan Renee Kevin
  Kathleen Joanna

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2014 Go Smart Day – Sunday, June 22

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Sunday, June 22 is the date for the Valley’s “Go Smart Day”, a street festival that provides opportunities for people to literally play in the streets. Segments of select streets are closed to vehicular traffic from noon to 4pm so that other ‘people uses’ may take place in the streets of downtown Courtenay. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to view the poster.)

Imagine Comox Valley is hosting the event in partnership with a number of community partners and invites all citizens of all ages to enjoy a fresh perspective in Downtown Courtenay! Experience something new by participating in the Road Runner’s Fun Run or the open criterium, by helping your kids decorate their bikes, creating street art, listening to live music, enjoying a street café meal or a Community Garden potluck, or riding the One Thirty Three/Jump Camp skate park.

The event will be held on 4th, 5th and 6th Streets as well as the cross streets of Duncan Avenue, England Avenue and the portion of Fitzgerald Avenue between 4th and 6th street. See map inset. Portions of the route will provide opportunities for the races, shown as ‘fast zone’ on the map.

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Such festivals are organized all over the world as a way to bring communities together in the roads and streets of our cities, towns and villages. The absence of traffic can make the streets a pleasant place to congregate, as they are quieter and there is less air pollution than on a typical day. The recently held popular Elevate the Arts festival in downtown Courtenay showed just how lively and enjoyable our streets can be!

An event like Go Smart Day requires community support and engagement, and the organisers welcome feedback and ideas. If you want to be a part of the event, you can get involved by signing up to be a sponsor, vendor or volunteer, entertainment or activity provider all of which can be done by sending an e-mail to imaginecomoxvalley@gmail.com.

Connect online:

Many thanks to our sponsors

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Media Release – TEDx Comox Valley: Revealing Hidden Local Talents

On Thursday, May 23rd Imagine Comox Valley once again organised and presented a TEDx event.

(TEDx = an independently organised TED event.)

You can view some images from the event here, or alternatively you can visit the event page on Facebook.com and see some comments and feedback there. Thanks to the steady hand and skilled eye of Blue Bamboo Productions you can also view a video clip of each of the talks in this Youtube Playlist. Or you can view them below…

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The organisers wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to Michael Fountain and Dan Peruzzo of Blue Bamboo Productions, and highly recommend them to anyone looking for videography services.

TEDx Comox Valley: Revealing Hidden Local Talents

The folks behind Imagine Comox Valley and the latest TEDx Comox Valley event would like to extend their gratitude to every member of our community that attended our event focusing on revealing hidden local talents. We gathered close to $450 in donations and exposed a crowd of more than 60 people to some ideas that were well worth spreading.

The organisers ask that anyone who attended the event please consider giving us some feedback by completing a short survey.