Cold City, Warm Hearts: Newcomer kids get dose of winter fun at FortWhyte winter party
Winter festivities intended to showcase season's good side, bring kids together
Sledding, snowshoeing, sitting around a bonfire — a handful of staple winter activities were rolled out on Saturday evening for around 100 newcomer and inner-city kids in a chilly celebration at FortWhyte Alive.
The Cold City, Warm Hearts Winter Party kicked off shortly after 5 p.m. at the nature site, bringing together kids from Rossbrook House — a downtown Winnipeg drop-in centre — with kids who are new to the country through the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM).
"Today's event was kind of inspired by some of the stuff going on in the world right now, and just feeling, locally, like we wanted to send a message of how connected we all are," said Brenda Hasiuk, who sits on the board at Rossbrook house and organized the event.
"Given my connection with Rossbrook House, I thought, you know, the kids at Rossbrook, the one thing they know a lot about is winter fun."
Event activities included a bonfire and bannock making, ball hockey and Inuit games such as blanket toss. Kids also snacked on pizza donated by Pizza Pizza.
Hasiuk said the goal of the event was to help the children get to know each other and show newcomer kids a cold winter isn't necessarily a bad thing.
For many children, winter is still "a whole new experience," she added.
"And I think it's so important that as new Winnipeggers, they need to figure out how you get out and you have fun in the winter, how you still meet people," she said. "And it's a big part of who we are, and the sooner they can figure that out, the better."