In an effort to provide more events involving members from the greater Wagmatcook community, the Wagmatcook Centre hosted the very first “Wagmatcook Community Christmas Gathering” that included a buffet style turkey dinner with live entertainment. Another special feature of this event was having local children from the Wagmatcook School singing Christmas Carols in Mi’kmaw (in cooperation with the Wagmatcookewey School). Marjorie Pierro, Principal of the School totally supported this initiative 100%.
Christmas music was provided by a number of talented performers from across the Unama’ki communities. This special initiative will target the inclusion of as many Wagmatcook residents as possible and is geared to promote a fun and happy atmosphere for all age groups along with members of the Chief & Council and all staff coming together with their families to enjoy one evening of giving and sharing together.
Another proposed idea was to have a volunteer to dress up as Santa and then come into the building to the stage area and give away gifts to all children ages 10 & under in the community. This provided hundreds of smiles to children of Wagmatcook. We worked with community and staff volunteers to organize this gift give away to each child ages 10 & under (this was sorted by family last names). Proposed gifts ranged between $15-$20 per child.
The Wagmatcook Centre’s Manager Mike Bona & Staff Robert Bernard took a lead role in organizing the entire event by securing volunteers, sponsors, informing community members and ensuring its success. With the support of Chief & Council, we approached band council contractors to donate either cash, prizes or products (food, water, etc) to the event for additional door prizes to other families. There was also a strong supporting committee of approximately ten community members, band staff and Centre staff that donated a lot of their time towards the success of the event – and it sure was a success!!
It was estimated that approximately 400 people attended our first event in 2011 and over 500 people in 2012 which was heralded by all who came as a great community event! It generated a lot of interest and good will among the people of Wagmatcook. It was a great way to say thank you to all of the staff that worked so hard all year, all of the children and families that support their kids going to school, all of the Council members that work to represent their people in the toughest of times and the best of times.
This event will now be an annual event that all community members from children to elders will enjoy each year by having a great time and sharing Christmas together as a community!