Parties at the Shops, Scullin*

16 Mar

*Full disclosure: the Belconnen Community Council, of which I’m Deputy Chair, helped sponsor Parties at the Shops at Scullin, and we also had a stall on the day. I wasn’t paid for my involvement (nor was the BCC). Views and observations below are entirely my own.

I missed the Parties at the Shops celebrations last year, and was determined not to miss it this year. After all, the Chief Minister described it as one of her favourite centenary events:

When the opportunity came up for the BCC to be involved in helping to sponsor the version at the Scullin shops, we happily did so.

Years back, I’m told there was huge demand for leasing space in many of our local shops, but it seems to be a different story now. It’s a shame; shops like Scullin have a pretty great design have plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces which could be well utilised.

Alison from local Canberra band The Cashews getting kids to sing along and play ukeleles with her; a school choir also sang, including Katy Perry's 'Firework'!

Alison from local Canberra band The Cashews getting kids to sing along and play ukeleles with her; a school choir also sang, including Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’!

Parties at the Shops truly reinvigorates these spaces. Over four hours, the space was transformed and people filled it – kids just out of school, but also people with young families, and those heading home from work. While the kids generally left by about 5pm, the space was still pumping with music, arts and crafts, a cake stall, and a barbecue.

The streets in Scullin are named after aviators - this is a pinata (much to the kids' delight!) made by the Belconnen Arts Centre

The streets in Scullin are named after aviators – this is a pinata (much to the kids’ delight!) made by the Belconnen Arts Centre

I've never seen kids have so much fun decorating an otherwise drab bin with dots! I wanted to join in

I’ve never seen kids have so much fun decorating an otherwise drab bin with dots! I wanted to join in

The op shop was giving away books

The op shop was giving away books

The BCC’s big agenda item this year is the update to the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan. To get conversation going, our stall had copies of all the old master plans, as well as old aerial photos of Belconnen as it was being built (thanks to ESDD), and old photos of the Town Centre under construction, including the Library (opened by the Governor-General!), Westfield, and the Churches Centre (the latter still looks the same) (these photos were courtesy of the wonderful folk at ACT Heritage Library). We’re also doing a survey over the next month to get opinions about the Town Centre – whether you’ve been to it once, or every day.

Me standing with some old photos of Belconnen, courtesy of the ACT Heritage Library

Me standing with some old photos of Belconnen, courtesy of the ACT Heritage Library

I was delighted to see so many people interested in old photos of Belconnen!

I was delighted to see so many people interested in old photos of Belconnen!

Obligatory BCC photo :)

Obligatory BCC photo πŸ™‚

There was also hair spray-painting, face painting, free 5 minute massages and Indian food.

The very popular arts and crafts stall

The very popular arts and crafts stall

In my usual pose with Amy Moon, Parties at the Shops producer

In my usual pose with Amy Moon, Parties at the Shops producer

Perhaps my favourite part of the day was the photos of ‘new Belconnen’ – non-people portraits of our beautiful district by Canberran David Burke (under orangedrummaboy).

Photographer David Burke, Amy Moon and his beautiful collection of Belconnen photos

Photographer David Burke, Amy Moon and his beautiful collection of Belconnen photos

Kids get excited pointing out all the different Belconnen places they can identify

Kids get excited pointing out all the different Belconnen places they can identify

David’s photos of Belconnen can be viewed on Facebook here.

Old and new photos of Belconnen

Old and new photos of Belconnen

I’m absolutely biased, but the day was a big success. From the BCC’s perspective, we loved having people come and talk to us about Belconnen and what we do. Most of all, though, Parties at the Shops shows just how much of a community still surrounds these local shops – it’s people that make areas come alive.

A final plug: if you’re interested in that survey I mentioned, I’ve made it very easy for you: click me!

Date: Friday, 14 March 2014

Where: Scullin Shops

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile (I’m biased, as above)

Want more? Other Parties at the Shops have been held this weekend; Lyneham, Waramanga, Chisholm, Weetangera, Kingston, Narrabundah, Hughes, Cooleman Court and Yarralumla are still to go: try the Facebook page for more information. In the meantime, feel free to get involved next year!

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4 Responses to “Parties at the Shops, Scullin*”

  1. anna.landon March 19, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    There was a sign on Belconnen Way – Party in Scullin Friday 4-6 – nobody knew where, when. If we had known we would all have gone along.

    • inthetaratory March 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Sorry to hear that. There was a lot of advertising over two months on various websites, including Canberra Times. I agree a better sign than that on the day would have helped.

  2. honeyroastedcashew March 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    for people who are interested in being part of a Facebook group for Scullin, we’ve set this one up… we did some organising at the party via this page, and we probably will again next year, so come along and join it. πŸ™‚

    (or search “WxNW neighbourhood network”)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/255261427942901/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Malaysian Chapter, Belconnen | In The Taratory - March 16, 2014

    […] I hear about Belconnen’s Malaysian Chapter is good, so after a big Friday at Parties at the Shops, it seems like a no fuss option where we’ll get good, tasty food. And we’re […]

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