This year’s Spring Festival will be Earl Haig’s 15th annual event! While we supersize the fun this year, we also aim to maintain the community-building and inclusiveness that have been part of our festival since it took root.
Members of the SAC recently chatted with Alisa, a founding organizer of our Spring Festival. Read on to learn how our little festival came to be!
Fifteen years ago during a challenging year of job actions, a group of parents wanted to end the year on a high note for the school community and came up with the idea for a festival. The event wasn’t intended as a fundraiser that year but was meant to re-connect the community. The organizing parents also wanted to make sure the event was inclusive of and welcoming to all. Diversity of food, event cost and types of planned activities were all carefully considered in that regard, and thus began The Festival of Nations! It was a great success and even made money!
As Alisa writes: “It was the start of I guess now 15 years of amazing community building. The event evolved as we added elements, adjusting and tweaking as we went along. While making much needed money for initiatives within the school, the larger purpose was always to create an inclusive event where all of our Earl Haig families felt welcome. It has always been an event that promoted the values and mandates of the school such as eco initiatives and our student talent show! It was an event where families could come and have a fun afternoon whether they were spending $50 or nothing. The food has always reflected the cultural diversity within the school and the events have been more about engagement and being active (crafts, old school games, planting flowers) than anything else.”
While fundraising is important, Alisa notes the true value: “Events like the Festival where [kids] see themselves being celebrated by the adults in their world – parents and teachers – are an important part of creating their sense of belonging in and being part of a community!”
We are thrilled to continue the tradition this year as we celebrate 15 years of our annual Spring Festival. Please lend a hand by volunteering for an hour or so and be sure to join us on Thursday, June 6th and be part of the fun (and our festival’s amazing history)!
* All Spring Festival proceeds support school initiatives and the Play EH! playground revitalization project.