I think we could add a tag line to Moncton’s motto of Resurgo: Faciam Istud.
Resurgo is a rallying cry, a promise that the city will rise again: from losing its original town charter in the 1800s, to the economic shift of the 1980s, to the RCMP shootings of 2014.
What resurgo as a single word doesn’t capture is what it takes to make that rebirth a reality. It takes many things, but perhaps most importantly it requires community leaders who understand the emotional connection to economy and who don’t wait for change but instead faciam istud – make it happen.
That’s what I see transpiring with events like FLASH Moncton and Flip Burger Festival, two new events launched this month. Both of these events are building on established community strengths and creating new ways for people to interact with their city.
“We love our town,” stated the organizers of FLASH in an online post. “We want it to be beautiful and vibrant, to help people feel [at] home and [to] want to stay here or [to] even come [to Moncton].”
FLASH brought dozens of people of all ages into common – and not so common – spaces in the middle of winter. Like its partner event, INSPIRE, this festival has the potential to draw visitors from around the world. Flip Burger Festival encourages residents to explore the talents of more than a dozen local chefs while creating a friendly competition that engages those with creative culinary skills. Both festivals add an energy and enthusiasm to our city that lifts people’s spirits and feeds into that idea of rising together to overcome our challenges.
This same spirit of faciam istud is happening throughout our region. There’s the new Festival ChocoLoco in Shediac this weekend. There are pop-up shops and restaurants peppering storefronts in Dieppe. There are world-class business with international clients based out of home offices throughout Southeastern New Brunswick. There are products like Tuxy and Yanky showing up in places like UNILAD and NBC. There are no shortage of examples of people who are making change happen for themselves and their community.
I spent time at Riverview’s Chocolate River Farmers Market this week, chatting with many of the vendors and the market organizers. One of the things that struck me most about the Riverview market is the strong community the participants have created for themselves, sparked by the leadership of Kelsie-Ann Caissie and Tosh Taylor. The pair first pitched their dream for a market during Riverview’s Sustainapalooza (which is itself a fantastic example of how a municipality can encourage community engagement), describing the value of a market as adding to residents’ quality of life. This is much more than the ability to shop locally for locally-sourced goods. It’s the ability to have a venue in which like-minded residents can gather and create relationships that are more valuable than the economic impact of the market.
The organizers of FLASH shared this comment that sums up the essence of faciam istud: “In WANTING change, we MAKE the change, instead of just waiting for it to happen.”
This captures so much of the creative energy I feel bubbling around New Brunswick these days. We can’t sit back and wait for change. We must create it. And we must support it. Not every one of us will have a fantastic idea for a festival or a market or a business. Not everyone who does take the leap to try to turn an idea into action will see great success. But we all need to understand that the true success, the spirit that will propel us to rise again, is in taking the risk.