I found some time after work last night to mow the lawn. While that’s an unremarkable achievement at the best of times, a couple of things got me to thinking. More specifically, it was a couple of meetings. Albeit brief, my yard work last night allowed me the opportunity to connect with two neighbours. It’s just this sort of “over the backyard fence” encounter that really makes me appreciate my neighbourhood. Sure, it took me longer than usual to cut the grass. But I wouldn’t trade the chance to chat with my neighbours for anything. We get along well and I enjoy our conversations.

It reminded me of an idea I had a couple of months ago and one that I’ve foolishly been keeping all to myself. The idea was, simply, “this is my Waterloo Region.” As I walked to work one day, it started to form in my mind as a narrated video of the people and the places that make Waterloo Region great. Think of the national anthem when played at a sporting event and the amazing images that just scream “Canada!” on the big screen in the arena. Same idea, except the images would, naturally, scream “Waterloo Region!” I’m fortunate to have enough friends in the audio and video business that I’m sure this project will eventually be completed. But I’ll need your help.

Who are the people or what are the places that make this region great? It can be a location or an event or anything at all that makes you feel “at home” in Waterloo Region. For me, the chance to chat with neighbours over the backyard fence is just one small part. I can’t imagine this community without that big giant pretzel (or large intestine, or…) outside the courthouse on Frederick Street or without the Harmony Lunch or without the people like Joe Mancini and his Working Centre and the work that they do with little to no fanfare. These are the people, places, organizations and public art displays that are a very part of the fabric of our community.

So now my secret is out. Which is a good thing in many ways. For one, it commits me to the project. For another, it allows me to solicit ideas. What’s in your Waterloo Region? What is it about this place that makes it great? Suggestions on people, places and things are are welcome through the comments section below. I’m pretty sure that, by the end of this, the only really hard part is going to be editing the list so that we end up with a nice, 4-5 minute video as opposed to a 3-hour documentary.

Although now that you mention it… :)