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COVID safety first this Calgary Neighbour Day, says Mayor Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi knows you want to get out with your neighbours June 19, but he wants you to do it with safety in mind.

Last year’s Neighbour Day celebrations were mostly done virtually due to the public health measures in place. With Alberta reaching stage 2 Alberta’s reopening strategy, Calgarians can enjoy outdoor in-person celebrations once again. The rules allow for outdoor gatherings allow for 20 people, with distance.

Neighbour Day was created after the 2013 floods. It recognizes how Calgarians came together in time of great distress.

“We started Neighbour Day as a celebration of community resiliency and what a great year it is to continue to celebrate community resiliency,” said Mayor Nenshi

On the city’s Neighbour Day portal, there’s an option to have councillors or the mayor attend your celebration. (You KNOW they want to attend!)

Getting together once again

Mayor Nenshi said that Calgarians can resume their traditional Neighbour Day celebrations with some restrictions.  

The mayor said the city wouldn’t be issuing road permits for block parties. Some permits for outdoor activities like fire pits and picnic sights will be allowed, he said. He reiterated that all indoor events are still on hold.

“We have learned over the last 15 months to be creative, how to adapt, and I’m blown away by Calgary’s commitment to keep this tradition alive,” the mayor said.

Despite receding restrictions, Nenshi tells Calgarians to enjoy the festivities in a manner that follows public health guidelines.

“I encourage you this Neighbour Day to check on family and friends. Outdoor barbecues are OK as long as you are safe with sharing food. Driveway get-togethers are OK as long as there are not more than 20 people and you’re wearing masks when it’s appropriate,” he said.

The stage 2 openings will also allow up to 150 people to attend outdoor public gatherings such as festivals and concerts. All youth and adult sports will be allowed to resume with no restrictions. Nenshi encourages Calgarians to share their Neighbour Day activities with #yycneighbourday.

“I’m sure that many other creative ideas will come together. You can do a community cleanup together, you can decorate your windows, fences and patios. Discover a green space in your community or have a virtual party,” said Nenshi.