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Witches flash mob dances for mental health awareness in East City, downtown Peterborough

Click to play video: 'Witches flash mob takes to the streets of East City and downtown Peterborough' Witches flash mob takes to the streets of East City and downtown Peterborough
A witches flash mob was held Thursday night in East City and in downtown Peterborough. The event was organized by the Canadian Family Health Counselling to help promote mental and emotional wellbeing – Oct 22, 2021

A group of dancing witches took to the streets of Peterborough on Thursday night to promote mental health awareness.

Their flash mob broke out in the middle of Hunter Street in East City around 6 p.m., featuring about four dozen participants who attracted spectators along the sidewalks.

Some of the witches held a second performance in downtown Peterborough, on George Street, said Kim Sargent, clinical director of Canadian Family Health Counselling (CHFC), who helped organize the event. The CHFC, at 155 Hunter St. East, provides counselling services for children, youth, adults and families.

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“Our original plan was to do it in East City only, but I guess some of the witches got a little twitchy and decided to migrate,” Sargent said.

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The event’s aim was to help people deal with isolation during COVID-19. The CFHC spearheads “Project H”, a series of monthly pop-up ideas, events and initiatives to promote mental and emotional well-being.

“Not only have people been cooped up, but anybody who is struggling is struggling all the more throughout this time,” said Sargent. “The point of Project H is not just to be goofy and silly. We’re making a point to say that it’s important to do these things in the community. There’s a bigger picture here than just people dressed up as witches.”

Sargent hired dance instructor Mason Perkins from A Frost Dance Experience to provide one dance lesson prior to the flashmob performance. Participants could also watch an online video to learn the dance moves.

Perkins was pleasantly surprised by the turnout — the dancers and the spectators.

“It was super refreshing. I was very glad I was able to do this,” said the St. Peter Secondary School student. “It was a nice break being outside in the fresh air, just stepping away from our lives with our masks on, and all of our restrictions.”

Read more: Low mental health reported among Canadians compared to pre-pandemic: survey

“The practice had a small group, but we knew something was brewing as we got a lot of emails from people interested in participating,” Sargent said.

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Plans are being made for a November event. Meanwhile, Sargent says December will feature their annual Christmas Happy Tree Challenge, when participants can bring decorations to add to the tree at the corner of Hunter and Rogers streets.

For more information on Canadian Family Health Counselling, call 705-740-8360 or email grow@canadianfamilyhealth.ca.

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