On Friday June 21, 2012 the DSGPCCA and Gathering Place Community Centre held our first Emery Barnes Park summer festival. Renamed the Gathering Festival, over 1000 neighbours, partners and Gathering Place patrons all came out to the park to enjoy the events. The events were MC’d by Wane Stewart. Activities and performances started at 5PM with Tambai Marimba, the Gathering Place Choir, Gathering Place Jam Band, Carnegie Jazz Band, and closed at 9:00 PM with a procession by Orchestar Silvovicia.
The festival site was animated with stilt dancers, and flags donated by Still Moon Arts Society. Three Bridges Clinic nurses set up a free clinic and health tests. In celebration of Doggy to work Day, free dog and pet food was distributed along with pet care advice from Network For Animals and the City of Vancouver Animal Control. Our community bikes offered free bike tune-ups. Coast Mental Health, the Community Police and Vancouver Second Mile Society had information booths. There was plenty of free food. The Gathering Place kitchen served 300 free salmon dinners; Coast Mental Health supplied free sandwiches and Starbucks donated coffee.
50 volunteers and staff assisted with set-up, staffing information booths, serving food, clearing garbage from the site, running events and tearing down at night. Major volunteer contributions came through DNI Digital Media, Catholic Charities and the Gathering Place.