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Wellness fair brings fun with family

Masha Scheele

The annual Family Wellness Fair now in its fifth year keeps growing as the years go by with more vendors and more activities for the kids.

The fair is wrapped around health and family wellness and hopes to spread awareness on family violence.

Yellowhead Emergency Services for Women (YES), Hinton Victim Services, Options HIV West Yellowhead, and the Hinton Friendship Centre put their minds together this year to come up with new ideas to create a fun day for families.

The focus of the event is on family violence, domestic violence, and awareness of resources in Hinton’s community.

“We answer questions and have brochures. We let them know it’s confidential, and every relationship has a wave and no relationship is perfect. You don’t have to go running with your kids to get some help or ask questions,” said Tannis Arsenault, Family Violence Prevention Worker at YES.

Around 54 per cent of the families served by YES were fleeing violence from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, while 35 per cent were in need of housing and 11 per cent were in crisis, meaning they were homeless, in transit, or awaiting hospital stays.

YES had 675 crisis calls and 426 general information calls during the same time period.

Their Family Violence Prevention worker had 224 contacts with people in the region who either recently left the shelter or chose not to come into shelter. 

Arsenault hopes families will come out to enjoy the activities the fair offers, while starting a conversation about family wellness.

“I actually predict there will be 3000 people that go through there easily,” said Arsenault. “I feel this year will be explosive.”

Arsenault became involved in planning the event three years ago and this is her first year stepping into a coordinator role for the fair.

“It’s like planning a wedding with no money, we have no budget. The whole day cost four agencies, 300 dollars,” she said.

Musician Jayden Madsen will be at the fair to provide some entertainment for the adults, while kids can spend their time in the bouncy castle or watch the Hinton Gymnastics group.

Arsenault said there was lots of planning and time that went into putting the fair together but feels it will be a success as the only market event happening in green square this summer.

“Lots and lots of phone calls to make sure everyone is on board. Make sure everybody has the message that it’s family health and wellness event and it’s supposed to be a fun day. But to have everybody in the community recognize all the different services they have and where they can go for help,” she said.

The Good Dog and Ice Cream food truck will be on site, as well as the RCMP, Fire department, unique homestyle business vendors, and classic yard games for kids.

Attendees can also receive 10 minute massages or join some yoga in the park.

“There are lots of organizations that offer help, and everyone has door prizes at their own table,” said Arsenault. 

The fair runs from 11am until 2 pm on Aug. 22 at the Green square.

For those who want to donate non-perishable food items, a food donation box will be present at the fair.

“Hinton is a great place, there’s a lot for families and resources available. Don’t be scared to ask,” said Arsenault.