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Civic beauty 

100 in 1 Day offers cultural, environmental and edible interventions for Halifax in one grand festival

HFXBookSwap is just one of the ways to interact with the city during 100 in 1 Day.
  • HFXBookSwap is just one of the ways to interact with the city during 100 in 1 Day.

HRM, because we love you, this is your intervention. On Saturday, June 7, Halifax will join Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in a city-wide series of interventions for 100 in 1 Day, a non-profit organization founded in Bogota in 2012 to celebrate civic groups and communities.

Designed to introduce the general public to all facets of local organizations, hobbyists and group-oriented activities, 100 in 1 Day will stage small events around the city that help to create urban acts of change. Described as a "festival of civic engagement," 100 in 1 Day is organized by pan-national firm Evergreen Cityworks to foster a healthy urban environment.

With a growing list of interventions, from plant sales to lectures on sexism, 100 in 1 Day invites people or groups in the community to register an intervention that is free, accessible and also has a positive impact on Halifax's civic culture. As a "citizen-driven" event, 100 in 1 Day has relied on the creativity and initiative of locals to bring this first-time occurrence to fruition.

"I have always been a believer that the best way to show city change is by being part of the solution," says Arthur Gaudreau, the team leader of HFXBookSwap. Having heard of 100 in 1 Day in other cities, Gaudreau attended planning meetings to explore how he could be involved. "Big ideas can be simple," he says. Like a literary treasure hunt---HFXBookSwap asks participants to register a location online (hfxbookswap.retales.ca) at which pre-loved books can be found. "It's like an infinite library in the wild of the streets," he adds, noting there are also prizes.

Take your pick(s): hike to Susie Lake with MLA Diane Whalen, rummage through the Spryfield Clothing Swap, browse a giant yard sale all down Pepperell Street or help with food prep and service at Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. The list of interventions continues to grow.

"The 100 in 1 Day will really impact public participants in that they'll see how easily small groups and individuals can make a difference," says urban beekeeper Jillian Ruhl who, with the Halifax Honey Bee Society, is planning workshops on how to start an urban apiary. "With urbanization increasing substantially every year, natural landscapes and urban agriculture can really benefit from urban beekeeping," she explains.

While the underlying focus of 100 in 1 Day is environmental, the concept of environment touches all facets of Halifax life.

"There are tons of reasons to check out 100 in 1 Day, but most importantly, because it's going to be fun," says Kate Horodyski, who will lead an outdoor yoga class. "I mean, when else can you decorate trees in yarn, dine on the sidewalk, shop for antiques, learn to make your own deodorant, do yoga in the park and watch a movie while relaxing in a hammock, all in one day? There really is something for everyone," she says. Get imaginative: 100 in 1 Day is still taking volunteers and intervention proposals. For the full list, visit 100in1day.ca/halifax/.

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