Freddy Reach is a new initiative in Fredericton. Emerging from the large-scale isolation promoted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it intends to foster community and strengthen the ties between residents of the city. Their plans are exciting, and may even involve university students this coming fall.
They held their first ‘community mixer’ at the Tipsy Muse café in Downtown Fredericton, on February 10. More events are in store: Freddy Reach will promote its next event in April.
Sarah Clowater, a representative of Freddy Reach, explained that “the idea came together in October of last year.”
“A few people ran into each other at one of the social clubs or Happy Hour clubs, and people were just chatting and saying: ‘You know, this is a cool thing, but it would be awesome if there was somewhere that you could find everything.”
During the pandemic, many people relocated to Fredericton. Some, like Clowater, were originally from the city and decided to return; others hailed from other parts of Canada and were moving into Fredericton for the first time.
“There were a lot of new people that had come into the city, but still were not coming out to events,” Clowater said, “, especially during COVID.”
She went on: “There was a lot of growth in the city, and it seemed to us that there were just not a lot of ways that people were connecting over kind of starting to come back out and do things.”
“So that is how it started.”
In terms of what Freddy Reach intends to achieve, Clowater had a lot to say: “We want to create a kind of, like, a recognizable rallying cry that represents community and our togetherness in that community. Our pride in the city.”
“Over time, we envision it as becoming a thread that is woven into everything,” she explained.
“So if it is people just sharing a hashtag, or sharing an event that they saw on our page, then everybody that is coming to our kind of social media or groups can come there and find out as well.”
She continued: “We want it to be a hub where people can find anything, whether they are new to Canada, new to Fredericton, or if they are just returning.”
There is a new event in store for Freddy Reach, scheduled to happen in April. “We have not quite decided what we are going to do yet, because we want each of our events to be different from what we did before,” Clowater said.
It should, however, be different from the introductory event of Freddy Reach — which was a community mixer at the Tipsy Muse. “We had a jam night, where people could get up and play or just take in the music,” she noted.
Clowater also explained that Freddy Reach intends to target all ages, including university students: “If there is anyone from the university that wants to promote anything, we would certainly love that too.”
“And if there are any newcomer groups in the fall, it would be something that we would love to get involved in a couple of partnerships [at the university] as well.”