Event organisers from the Six Nations of the Grand River are looking forward to a safe, action-packed year.
Alysha Filer, the Communications Coordinator for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, says they’re hoping one of their popular events can return this fall.
Looking Ahead to Fall 2022
“We’re really hoping to run our Fall Festival this year in early October. That would be one of our Community Collaborators events. Community Collaborators is a year-long program for our sponsors. They get recognition for supporting events, and it’s our way of helping our partners give back to the community in a way that’s meaningful to the community directly,” she says.
The last time the Fall Festival happened was in 2019, and she says it was a huge hit.
“It’s a free event for the community. Everyone can enjoy games, rides, food vendors, and other activities. We’re really hoping it can happen this year,” she says.
In the meantime, staff at Chiefswood Park in Ohsweken, Ontario, are working on a few activities this winter.
Winter Activities at Chiefswood Park
“Before we started managing the park in 2018, it was basically just a campground. Since then, we’ve put up some log cabins. We also put in a playground, a splash pad, a dock, a boat launch, a 3-kilometre trail, volleyball nets, lacrosse equipment, and archery,” explains Chiefswood Park Coordinator Shawna Porter.
Dealing with a milder winter and pandemic restrictions, Shawna says they’ve adjusted their programming a bit to accommodate.
“The winter is very tough because of the weather, so that’s why we’ve come up with packages where guests can stay in the cabins and enjoy activities. We have one for Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and a Wellness Retreat in March. It’ll be a weekend full of learning about crystals, meditating, yoga, healthy eating, and traditional medicine. We might also include moccasin making. This will be our first retreat,” she says.
There are 15 cabins on-site with another one nearing completion.
“Each cabin has a washroom, shower, air conditioning, wi-fi, and a fire pit outside,” Shawna says.
A Community Favourite
After putting in many features over the past four years, Shawna says the response from the community has been great.
“The community here really loves the park. They can’t wait for the splash pad because it was installed right at the end of the summer, so this summer will be the first time that it will be open,” she says.
Adding features and running programs takes a big team to manage.
“There are eight of us who work here. Our team helps the guests and we run the programming as well. We also have different departments that come and help like maintenance and construction,” Shawna explains.
Despite the recent pandemic restrictions, Shawna says the Park was still able to hold an event during the holiday season.
“We recently had a Christmas Market where vendors were set up inside the cabins and people could shop from them. We had food trucks outside, fire pits going, and we just opened our Park Store. The vibe was good that day,” she explains.
That event also helped raise food donations for the local food bank.
Both Alysha and Shawna are looking forward to bringing back more events and activities in the summer and fall.
Follow the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and Chiefswood Park on Facebook for updates throughout the year.
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