On July 1, Canada turned 144. And a new East Village street fair was born.
East Village is evolving by the day, and the entire community is engaged in the change, including the seniors who are some of EV’s most loyal neighbours. The East Village Residents’ Association, celebrated the growth of the community with a street fair that attracted Mayor Naheed Nenshi, throngs of families and lots of crafters. As music wafted in from Fort Calgary and the Murdoch Manor Barbecue offered an old-timey soundtrack, visitors perused offerings from hand-carved furniture to feather hair extensions, and kids snapped up home-made hats to decorate.
Ruellen Forsyth-Nicholson, stylishly patriotic in a red double-breasted blazer and white skirt, brought her granddaughter Gracie to the fair and reminisced about her days modelling for a store in East Village decades ago. Linda Delegarde, decked out in a hand-sewn clown costume, moved to Murdoch Manor a year ago, and the whirlwind of construction since her arrival has impressed her. “People around here are very friendly, and I think most of them are looking for change,” she says.
Crafter Amy Victoria Wakefield has an affinity for all things old, as evidenced by the vintage-style photos she sold at the fair. Still, she thinks the new East Village development is for the best. “I think there's nothing better than creating a community by the river,” she says. She sees water as the natural focus of a community, and points out that most cities in Canada sprang up around lakes or rivers.
Like Calgary itself, which sprang up at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers more than a century ago, when Canada was young.