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BVCC creating opportunity for neurodiverse children to play

“We are hosting this carnival as a way to have our BVCC participants be visible in the community and to give children in the Bow Valley that are neurodiverse the opportunity to play and enjoy themselves in an inclusive environment."
Poppy Mural 1
Participants from the Bow Valley Connections Centre (BVCC) will be hosting a carnival on Sunday (Sept. 26). SCREENGRAB SETH WILLAMS

CANMORE – The Bow Valley Connections Centre is ready to bring a little razzle-dazzle to Canmore.

The Bow Valley Connections Centre (BVCC), an organization that creates social opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to access diverse social opportunities, will be hosting the Razzle Dazzle Carnival for children that have neurodiversity and their families and friends on Sunday (Sept. 26).

“We are hosting this carnival as a way to have our BVCC participants be visible in the community and to give children in the Bow Valley that are neurodiverse the opportunity to play and enjoy themselves in an inclusive environment,” said Dorothy Staniforth, BVCC co-founder.

The carnival event will be held at the Canmore Collegiate High School field and feature games and prizes.

“Our participants will be the ones running the games at the carnival. It’s great because it’s a different role for them. It’s a chance to give them some responsibility,” said Noriko Ohsada, a volunteer with BVCC.

She added the BVCC participants have been hard at work over the past two weeks preparing and building some of the components for the carnival games.

In addition to the carnival games, Crazylarry will be on hand creating balloon animals, Entangled Puppetry will also make an appearance as well as juggling clowns.

“There will be games, balloons, clowns and so much more. I hope to cover the field and make it look like a real carnival,” said Staniforth.

She added there will also be field games for children to enjoy.

Applying for grants has become commonplace for the group since the pandemic because the ability to fundraise has been lost, said Staniforth. She said the carnival would not be possible without the BVCC having received a Community Recovery Grant from the Town of Canmore, with one of the initiatives to create a social experience that strengthens connections between residents.

"We are a small but unique group. Because we're in a small town we can't cater to just one particular type of neurodiversity, so within the BVCC there is a wide range of neurodiversity. We want to be seen in the community and say 'We are still here and engaged,'" said Staniforth.

Carnival organizers are asking those parents of children with neurodiversity to register for the carnival at bvcc.office@gmail.com.

The carnival will be held from 1-3 p.m.


Evan Buhler

About the Author: Evan Buhler

Evan Buhler is an award-winning photojournalist and reporter who joined the Outlook in 2019. A native of Calgary, he previously worked in Salmon Arm, B.C.
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