La Piazza Allegra Restaurant on James Street South approved for a beer garden during the World Cup

La Piazza Allegra on James Street South, will have a 122-person beer garden in the parking lot outside his restaurant from June 13 to July 13. There will be several TV screens and finger-food service in the part-tented, part-outdoor area, which will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Read the whole story here.

Yoga @ City Halll

FREE Outdoor Yoga at City Hall will be available on Wednesdays at noon during the summer. Everyone is welcome, whether you’re a yoga guru or trying it for the first time. This is being presented by City of Hamilton and Moksha Yoga Hamilton (instructors are provided by Moksha).

When: June 4 – September 17, 2014 from 12 pm – 12:45 pm every Wednesday

Where: City Hall at 71 Main Street West – the grassy area at the corner of Main and Bay Streets

Just show up and bring a mat and hydration. Take a break at lunch to:

  • get active and stay healthy;
  • get outside; and
  • connect with your City!

Ward 2 Participatory Budget Update

Key upcoming events for PBW2 in June are as follows:
  • A major Envelope Stuffing Party next week – we’ll need about 20 volunteers, location TBA and 4-6 people willing to help deliver the envelopes to the Canada Post depot on Frid Street; this ward-wide mail-out will include the actual paper ballot, information on all the voting times and locations, who is eligible, what kind of ID is required to vote, etc.
  • A big presence at the Art Crawl (we’re hoping that the weather will cooperate)
  • We’ll be working with PBW2 participants to create Presentation Boards for the upcoming Expo on Saturday June 14, location TBA; we will make materials such as the boards and construction paper available for pickup from Nathalie’s studio upstairs from Homegrown and at the creative gathering on the 14th
  • The PBW2 2014 Project Expo – a week-long exhibition of project displays so that residents can familiarize themselves with projects on the ballot, June 21-18 at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market Communit Space
  • We’ll be sharing PBW2 information from our info tent in Gore Park during two weeks of Gore Park Promenades: June 18-20 and 25-27
  • A BIG announcement about a major voting incentive, details TBA soon (hint, it involves the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra and a generous donation to PBW2) — it is very exciting!
  • Another really BIG announcement about a special visitor and delegation, both from the US PB movement, again with details TBA — very exciting, too!
Attached is the VOTING LOCATION INFORMATION SHEET (locations, days and times) and this is a link (below) that we hope you will please share as best you can with your email lists or through your websites to help us get the volunteers we need to make this month a big success: 
REMEMBER: The big vote runs online from June 23-29 and in person voting will be available on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29.

FYI: we are planning to host an event in mid-July where we will be announcing the winning projects after the big vote, and a gathering dedicated to soliciting feedback on this year’s process so that 2015 will be even better!

Making Democracy Fun in The Downtown Core

Participatory what?

“Participatory Budgeting Ward 2” is also known as PBW2.  Those names don’t exactly roll off the tongue.  It’s not surprising, then, that some call it “PB” for short or else “Peanut Butter” in jest.

Simply put, Participatory Budgeting (PB) offers a new way to manage public money, and to engage people in government. It is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables residents to work with government to make the budget decisions that have direct impact on where they live.  There are four steps to PB.  Ideas are generated.  Projects are proposed.  All residents are eligible to vote to choose the best projects.  The winning projects are implemented by City Staff.

The idea has had tremendous appeal for Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie’s whose PB project is in its third year and Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr, who sponsored a PB process for the first time last year.

“PB may sound like a lot of work,” smirks an enthusiastic Burson, “And it is, but it’s also a lot of fun.  You’d be surprised.  People get excited knowing that they can truly make a difference when they “vote local”, so to speak.”

Making Democracy Fun is the title of the recent book by the Executive Director of the New York based non-profit organization called The Participatory Budgeting Project, Josh Lerner. Lerner, fresh from a full-day gig at the Obama White House, will be visiting Hamilton to talk about the exciting potential for spreading Participatory Budgeting projects right across Hamilton.  Lerner will be visiting distant relatives while he is here, but PBW2 organizers Burson and Zur Nedden have asked him to launch a special event: the PBW2 2014 Project Expo.

The Expo is a week long exhibition of project displays June 21-18 at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market Community Space.  The displays will help the public learn more about the projects on this year’s ballot in more detail during the week of PB voting, in the last week of June.


Online voting is a fun new feature of PBW2 and will be available through the PBW2 website June 23-29.

Voting using “traditional” paper ballots will take place at a number of locations across Ward 2 on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29.

For more details on voting, volunteering and the PB process please visit the website:  You can also get PBW2 updates on Facebook and Twitter.