Sled Alley creates community engagement as part of Sled Island’s 2024 festival

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Sled Alley at the behind The Palace Theatre on Saturday January 22, 2024

Being notorious for being one of the biggest music festivals in Calgary, Sled Island hosted Sled Alley, a community engagement event that took place in the alley behind the Palace Theatre on Saturday June 22 to feature local artists and other collaborators as part of the 2024 Sled Island festival.

Different food trucks, including Arepas Ranch and the Dairy Hut were stationed at the Alley to provide people with food. Activities such as skateboarding from The Compound skate park and chalk drawing by the Connect First Credit Union was available for attendees. 

One of the other many highlights included a scavenger hunt from Earth MMO, an augmented reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.

Rowan Sommerfeld is the co-owner of Earth MMO. He said QR codes were displayed around Sled Alley booths to encourage people to go to vendors and scan the codes to complete the scavenger hunt. 

“We’re here to make an immersive, engaging experience where people can have this game that they play while interacting with all the different things to do here,” Sommerfeld said. 

Other booths included the Alcove Centre for the Arts. They partnered up with Como se Dice, a latin collective whose goal is latinidad, a Spanish term referring to Latin American people who share commonality with the Latin culture while celebrating its differences.

Paula Alfaro, a member with the Como se Dice Collective says Sled Alley is a good opportunity to spread the word about their collective. 

“Because even though our focus is latinidad, we still gotta include other communities we want to work with each other together and you know, the Alley station,” Alfaro said.

First-time vendor Amanda Shaw, owner of Mand and Bunny, found herself tabling at Sled Alley due to a fellow vendor’s double booking.

Shaw spoke of her experience at Sled Alley.

“For first-time sellers, it’s kind of a risk because you don’t know what you’re capable of selling in-person so I thought this would be a great opportunity,” she said.

Shaw described her first market experience as ‘pretty great.’

“I really wanted to be involved specifically with the local community because online it could be anyone. It’s been so nice to be able to talk to local vendors and just people in my city that I could actually connect to in person,” she exclaimed.

Shaw added, “immediately I’ve been connecting with artists.”