Festivals & Events

The Gathering Place: New Life at the Waterfront

The Gathering Space, recently unveiled at the heart of Saint John's uptown at the confluence of King and Water streets, pulses with the anticipation of a vibrant new chapter. This freshly redeveloped waterfront site promises to be more than a mere scenic locale; it stands as a cultural nexus that honors the deep historical roots of the area while welcoming future possibilities.

Rebirth of Tradition

Derived from the Wolastoqey language, "Ihtoli-maqahamok" means "the gathering space," aptly naming a site historically pivotal for Indigenous trade, culture, and community. This designation came from a collaborative effort with the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, ensuring that the redevelopment project not only revitalized the area but also preserved its profound cultural significance.

This transformative waterfront redevelopment is part of a larger city initiative to enhance community engagement and accessibility to the Saint John waterfront. Among its key features are a 360-degree outdoor stage designed for an array of performances and events, seasonal community skating rink, and multiple spaces dedicated to local vendors. Such amenities aim to host a diverse array of events, fostering a vibrant community spirit throughout the year.

The strategic location of  Ihtoli-maqahamok - The Gathering Space already positions it as a community staple, surrounded by some of Saint John’s finest culinary spots, quaint shops, and cultural institutions like the Saint John Free Public Library. With the redevelopment, the city anticipates a surge in both local and visitor foot traffic, bringing renewed energy and economic opportunities to the waterfront area.

Scheduled to open its doors to the public in June, the waterfront development continues to evolve. Features such as the Harbour Passage extension, a new rock pool fountain, and enhanced landscaping are set to enrich  Ihtoli-maqahamok - The Gathering Space further. Even after its official opening, ongoing enhancements throughout the summer will continue to shape its landscape, promising a well-rounded, dynamic public space.

Ihtoli-maqahamok - The Gathering Space is a testament to Saint John’s commitment to cultural preservation and community enrichment. As it prepares to welcome a multitude of gatherings, this space stands as a symbol of unity and historical respect, offering a place where the past and present merge in celebration of community and cultural heritage.

Saint John’s waterfront is on the brink of becoming a more inclusive, engaging, and culturally enriched environment, thanks to the thoughtful creation of Ihtoli-maqahamok - The Gathering Space. It is set to be a cherished venue, weaving together the fabric of community life with the threads of historical significance.