Working on Westville


Group brainstorms about beautification and celebrations

Despite the snowy weather, Westville Mayor Lennie White saw a group of approximately 20 people gathered last week to the second of Westville’s planning forums to help improve the town with ideas from the citizens.

The first meeting, held in January, focused on gathering ideas for the town to move forward on to help with improvement.

From the initial meeting, which had drawn around 60 people, ideas were boiled down to six topics for the town and citizens to further brainstorm about. Taking a deeper dive into these six topics, the focus last week was beautification and celebrations. The other four topics will be tackled two at a time in similar meetings that are upcoming.

“We felt like these two went together,” said White. Those gathered were split into four groups, each was shown the same lists under the beautification and celebrations topics and tasked to prioritize the lists, then take those ideas and figure out how they can be put into actionable plans.

“I’m hoping that we actually develop some actionable ideas,” said White, “things that the town and the people can do together.”

Along with taking ideas from the lists, he told participants that new ideas are always welcome as well. On the beautification topic, some of the ideas listed included: public art, a town slogan, a music festival, community clean-up day, a farmers market and more. Some of the ideas centred around celebrations included finding other reasons to celebrate such as founder’s day or arts and music festivals, and being able to expand on current festivals like the parade of lights and Canada Day.

“We want to see things actually change in the town,” White said.

During the brainstorming session, some of the ideas written included getting a new sign for Cowan Street, installing raised flowerbeds for the empty lot in town, holding a slogan contest, organizing a market in the park as well as Sunday markets with crafts co-op and public art. Brainstorming about celebrations yielded ideas like hosting a mud run, mining heritage week, a homecoming event and even a kids mini-concert.

White shared that organizers are hoping to host another meeting later this month for the other topics which include economic development, geothermal/ solar, core values and community health.