Calgary Pop-Up Care Village helps those in need at latest festival

A gymnasium full of tables of agencies offering their services to people in need. There's people walking around, talking to those behind the tables.
Calgary Pop-Up Care Village festival in progress Jan. 24. Photo courtesy of the University of Calgary.
Ryan Hunt - CFWE - EdmontonAL | 27-01-2023
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The Calgary Pop-Up Care Village held a festival on Tuesday at the Kerby Centre to help vulnerable Calgarians get the resources they need.

Bill Zheng and Hanna Woodward, event managers for the Calgary Pop-Up Care Village, said the event is put on to help those who suffer from homelessness, poverty, mental health issues and language and cultural barriers saw lots of success with the 47 agencies who came through to lend a helping hand.

It all started when Zheng, a grade 11 student at the time, got to experience a similar pop-up village in San Fransisco, giving him the inspiration to launch something like that in Calgary.

After shelving the idea for a few years, and forming a team with Woodward eventually joining, they held their first successful event in September of last year.

Expectations going into the festival were a bit unsure, but Zheng and Woodward were more than happy with the result: 430 people came through, and the volunteers at the event said it was "one of the most meaningful experiences" of their lives, according to Zheng.

Woodward said she was "super inspired" by all the agencies and volunteers who came out to support a good cause.

"My heart is very warm today" Woodward added.

Zheng and Woodward say there are big plans for the rest of this year and beyond for the Calgary Pop-Up Care Village.

They are going to try to host this event in twice a year, with one festival in the summer, and one in the winter. The next festival is planned to be held in Olympic Plaza on Sept. 27.

More information can be found by visiting the pop-up website.

​​Listen to the full CFWE Interview below with Bill Zheng and Hanna Woodward: