Founded in May 2020 during COVID-19 in Lake Bonavista, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Community Stompede is a neighbourhood-based series of eclectic volunteer entertainment, staged right from front lawns and nearby green spaces! All events are free, and generally staged on weekends and/or evenings within communities as a way to lift community spirit, and to bring neighbours together to get to know each other better. And, it’s now open to communities anywhere!
What’s special about it? The community connection. The reaction to performing for your neighbours ranges from, “Wow, I didn’t know you could sing like that!” to “Aw, I remember you when you were only 4 feet tall!” and “How’s you mom doing these days?” The neighbours reconnect just like an extended family, and it is truly a beautiful feeling. Little children get such encouragement; adults and seniors feel reunited.
The key: We DO NOT screen the acts for “professional” quality. There is no need; this is about inclusion, and sharing whatever a person wants to share. We believe that ALL people can create something entertaining. A child taking their stuffed animals and making them into a “stuffed animal zoo” on the front lawn is heart-warming entertainment to all the neighbours, and a proud delight to the child that creates it. So is a display of model planes, making a crazy hopscotch, performing music, dancing, showing classic cars or anything that inspires fun and curiousity. As long as it’s safe and fun, it’s a great fit for Community Stompede.
Community Stompede just keeps getting better, too: We recently added a mobile component in Lake Bonavista to bring the entertainment to residents who are not mobile enough to get out an enjoy Stompede. This is perfect for entertainers who prefer short performances: say 1 – 2 songs, or a couple of magic tricks (making it very accessible for young or new entertainers). One of our mobile team performers is only 5 years old! We would love to see other areas doing the same, as the residents absolutely love it – they come out on their porches smiling and delighted…and their neighbours gather round to listen too. This helps them reconnect with everyone and feel so much less alone.
Community Stompede continues to grow. We have performers now in about a dozen communities across Calgary, and have a free “How to Stompede” kit that we’re willing to share with any community that wants it, regardless of your location. In addition, an event can be done on $25 worth of Facebook ads plus a few dollar store supplies, and planned in as short a time as ONE WEEK! We’re always seeking more performer/participants, and would love the help of any people willing to be volunteer organizers who want to assist in recruiting multiple participants in their areas. Whether you want to do it weekly, or just try it as a one-off event, we are certain that it will truly open your eyes about the talent, spirit and potential within your own community.
If you want to be involved in any way, contact us today.