Building community in Port Moody starts with ‘Hello’

Port Moody’s dogs are doing more with their own Facebook page than just exchanging hilarious cat videos.


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They’re connecting, looking out for each other and breaking down communication barriers. In other words, they’re trying to overcome the very same challenges faced by their humans in the increasingly busy and urbanized city.


The doggy Facebook page is one of several initiatives by the Port Moody Foundation to preserve and enhance the city’s small-town feel, even as SkyTrain brings new development and thousands of new residents, says its director, Heidi Maddrell. These include the creation of secure Facebook groups for diverse groups to exchange information and build community to events like Say “Hello” PoMo, which runs from May 1-8.


All week residents are being encouraged to say “Hi” to each other. It’s a simple act that can bring people together, says Maddrell.


“As soon as you say ‘hello’ to someone, they become a person and not a shadow,” says Maddrell. “They become a part of your community and you feel like you have to look out for them.”


There are three events this weekend to help Port Moody residents connect.


• On May 6, at 10 a.m., the city’s canine citizen will meet up at Rocky Point Park to exchange sniffs, put a scent to their Facebook profile.


• On May 7, the humans reclaim the park from 12-2 p.m. for a cultural mixer that includes performances of music, dance and storytelling by community groups as well as informational displays. Those groups that have cultural centres or places of worship are also being encouraged to throw open their doors to the community from 2-4 p.m.


• On May 8, at 6 p.m., PoMo Talks at the Inlet Theatre is a group discussion about the ways technology can be used to connect residents, businesses and community groups, keep the community informed about things like safety, traffic flow and emergencies.


It’s all about defeating the barriers of urban life, says Maddrell.


“Port Moody has always been a friendly community,” she says. “It’s growing at such a rapid rate, but we want to make sure we maintain that friendly-city feel.”


• For more information about Say “Hello” PoMo, go to

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