British Columbia

Nightly neighbourhood dance party comes to an end, but new friendships will continue

The dance parties have been happening every weeknight near Main Street and East 7th Avenue in Vancouver since early April, inspired by the 7 p.m. nightly cheer for health care workers.

Concerns over noise and gatherings on the street prompted organizers to cancel nightly parties

Neighbours danced in the street Thursday evening along East 7th Avenue in Vancouver for one last party. (Gian Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Concerns over noise and physical distancing led organizers of a nightly dance party in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood to pull the plug Thursday, but neighbours say the connections they made through the event will outlast the pandemic. 

The dance parties happened almost every night for seven weeks, inspired by the 7 p.m. nightly cheer for health-care workers.

Roommates Harry Curtin, Brynna Walker and Hayden Munck started their first party on April 6 by playing music from a speaker on their balcony for their neighbours in the building across the street.

Only a handful of people joined them during the first week, but dozens of people started showing up for the music after they started an Instagram account to promote it.

"The general theme of getting to know our neighbours through this has been the best part of it," said Curtin.

"Now we know so many people by their names and it's awesome to be a part of that."

The group said the night of their last party — Thursday — was most likely their largest crowd. They decided to end on a high note after concerns about noise and physical distancing were passed on from their building manager. 

"[Thursday night was] the most we've seen by a fair few," said Munck. "Generally it's mainly the people in the area."

Some revellers said they will miss the parties, but are glad it brought them closer to their neighbours.

Roommates Brynna Walker, Harry Curtin and Hayden Munck started the nightly dance parties in early April. (Gian Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"We've been here for three years ... and we never met anybody before, but now we know a whole bunch of people," Thommaso Vanin, who lives with his partner, Barbara Wandolo, in the same building as the organizers.

"He's got new golf buddies and I've got new friends as well," added Wandolo. "It's the best part of our day."

The organizers say they are now thinking about planning a block party when restrictions are lifted.

"We're just really happy to be able to have done it for as long as we have done it," said Curtin.

"We know that a lot of people have appreciated this time we've spent doing it."

Building residents Thommaso Vanin and Barbara Wandolo said the parties were the 'best part' of their day. (Gian Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

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