Kamloops woman creates community for homesick Maritimers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops woman creates community for homesick Maritimers

The music, food and culture of the east coast is coming to Kamloops thanks to a new online Maritime community.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / North Cape Coastal
February 01, 2020 - 8:00 AM

Replanted maritimers missing kitchen parties and scuff and scoffs, there’s a way for you to fill your boots with all the traditions from home.

Dawnica Flatt has been living in B.C. for 19 years but says her home will always be Halifax. She left to follow her now husband out west for work and tries to go home whenever she can.

“Usually, we go home once a year and the past two years we’ve gone home for Christmas, and this year we didn’t have the opportunity to do that,” Flatt says.

“We’ve been feeling a little homesick.”

Flatt took to Facebook to try and find a group of Atlantic Canadians who she could chat with but found nothing in Kamloops. She thought there may have been one a few years back, but figured it eventually grew inactive. When she saw her idea fleshed out in two Albertan cities, she knew it was time to make her own here.

“I did find one page in Calgary and Edmonton, and it gave me the idea. So I kept the name - the Kamloops East Coasteners.”

She started the group in December and already has more than fifty members, with representation from all four maritime provinces. She says the group members have connected over shared culture which she hopes to recreate in the river city through social gatherings.

“It’s hard to describe… the east coast is known for the friendly people and that sense of home. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, it still is home to so many people,” Flatt says.

“I want it to be that home away from home. Not everybody can go back home every year because of work, family, or financial situations… (we want) that comfort in others, and having that sense of being home without being home.”

Flatt has been putting out polls and asking for suggestions as to what the group would like to see. She’s expecting monthly get-togethers and is open to pub crawls, kitchen parties, bonfires and family-friendly events.

“We started different topics like, ‘What do you miss most from home, what kind of food do you miss?’ Somebody said ‘donairs’ and somebody else said, ‘Oh, I like to make them,’ and offered to make them. Those connections and cultural things from back home, some people have the know-how and can share it with others,” Flatt says.

The east coast folks are going to meet up for the first time this Saturday for a patio party. As much as Flatt is looking forward to getting the whole group together regularly, she says it is strong personal connections between members that she is striving for.

Going forward, she and other group members hope to share the Atlantic culture with those who haven’t been exposed to it before. She says they are considering hosting an event that will focus on sharing east coast food, culture and music to the general public.

“Maybe down the road we’ll open up to us having a larger event and showcasing the east coast culture to other people,” Flatt says.

For more information on the group and their upcoming events, check out their Facebook page.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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