What does Cranbrook look like from youth's perspective?
That's the question being asked at a planning session coming up on Tuesday, August 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Studio Stage Door.
Hosted by the Cranbrook Social Planning Committee, the session will include a workshop where youth aged between 12 and 19 can map out key places for them in Cranbrook.
Working in small groups led by adults, youth will mark down spots like restaurants they like, parks to hang out in, recreation sites they use, as well as no-go zones that might not be safe at night, and even businesses they don't like going to.
The map will be available online once it's complete, but its main purpose is to guide discussion ahead of a Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) youth session in September.
Back in May, CBT accepted an Expression of Interest from the Cranbrook Social Planning Committee for the Community Directed Youth Funds, a new program that helps communities set priorities for youth aged between 12 and 19.
The next step will be a workshop held in Cranbrook on September 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Youth aged between 12 and 19 will join youth stakeholders to decide together how $100,000 from CBT will be spent in the community.
But before that meeting, Dana Osiowy, chair of the Social Planning Committee, said it is important for the community to come together to imagine an ideal future for youth in Cranbrook.
"I wanted to do some pre-strategizing to get people thinking bigger picture," said Osiowy.
"We don't have the capacity to do youth projects because we don't have any idea what youth want or where we are going."
She hopes the planning session will stop the CBT session from becoming a "laundry list" of different groups asking for a piece of the funding, and rather a chance to plan an overview of youth projects in the city.
"I don't want to talk about the things that are wrong with Cranbrook. It's better to think about the things that are working and what we want to build on, then come up with some position of strength," said Osiowy.
The workshop style of the planning session is designed to engage youth in the process, especially since children as young as 12 are part of the process.
"We've got to support the less powerful voices," said Osiowy. "We have to do something fun and engaging."
But the sessions aren't just for youth: the committee is appealing for the whole gamut of Cranbrook residents to take part.
"It's not just youth and it's not just service providers. We want parents and people who don't have kids. We want as much diversity as possible," said Osiowy.
The planning session will be held on Tuesday, August 14, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Studio Stage Door.
The CBT guided session will be held on Monday, September 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Studio Stage Door.
To register for either event, contact Dana Osiowy at 250-489-3111, email@example.com or the Cranbrook Social Planning Council's Facebook page.