You Can Lead a Walk!

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Anyone can lead a Jane’s Walk because everyone is an expert on the places they live, work, and play. 

 

Jane’s Walk Leaders help people get to know their communities by gathering people outside of their homes, offices, and cars to exchange knowledge, tell stories, and share experiences.

Jane’s Walks are often walking tours, but they can also be bike rides, poetry readings, food demos, musical performances, interactive theatre, performance art, games, and more!

 

The 3 Things That Make a Jane’s Walk:

  • Free, volunteer-led, and open to everyone
    There can be no registration, fee, or donation associated with leading or participating in a Jane’s Walk.

  • Non-commercial and non-partisan
    They cannot be used to promote a business or a candidate running for office.

  • Seek to promote dialogue
    Jane’s Walks are dialogues that seek to engage participants in conversation. They are not walking lectures.

Getting Started

You can put together a Jane’s Walk in as little as a couple of days. Once you’ve decided to lead a walk, get in touch with your City Organizer for specific instructions. Here’s how to lead a Jane’s Walk in 5 simple steps.

  1. Decide on a topic, theme, or neighbourhood to explore. 
    Think of a place or idea you’d like to explore in your city. What do you love about your city? What do you want to learn about? What do you care about and wish others cared about, too? What would make your city better? Here are some ideas to get you started:


    Advocacy
    Example: Preserving Affordability through Community Land Trusts
    Art & Architecture
    Example: Making Art and Media in Regent Park
    Food & Entertainment
    Example: Tasting "Tehranto": Persian Food in Willowdale
    Environment
    Example: Toronto's Climate Crisis: Flooding in Rockcliffe–Smythe
    History & Culture
    Example: Saving Little Jamaica
     

  2. Plan a route and stops.
    Walks can happen anywhere—from bustling downtowns to suburban neighbourhoods. Most walks include 3-7 stops, but many walks are much longer or shorter.

    Decide what you want to talk about. Remember that this isn’t a lecture, and you don’t need to be an expert in history, architecture, heritage, or urban planning. A Jane’s Walk is a unique story about how you see, interact with, and feel about a place or topic.

    Pick a date and time. Most walks happen during the global festival in the first weekend of May, but they can also take place all throughout the year—both day and night.

     

  3. Embed accessibility into your planning.
    While the nature of some neighbourhoods, routes, and the act of walking itself mean that not every walk will be fully accessible, we ask you to be conscious of accessibility and thoughtful about your route. Try to strike a balance between talking, movement, and rest. Think about stops that have access to water fountains, restrooms, benches, and shaded areas to recharge. Consider terrain, curbs, staircases, gates, and other barriers that could hinder someone’s ease of movement. Think about whether there are portions of your walk with dim lighting, underpasses, strong odours, excessively loud noises, traffic, or large crowds.

    Everyone experiences space differently, so think broadly and empathetically about what could make others feel physically vulnerable or even unsafe. Also consider how you will speak on your walk. Avoid jargon and brainstorm ways of speaking and asking questions that will engage a wide range of participants. Think about what language you will speak and whether you might want volunteer translators or interpreters.

     

  4. Get the word out. 
    Your City Organizer will help with this, but you should also promote your walk yourself. Create a Facebook event or share on Twitter. Your City Organizer may have official hashtags and social media accounts they use to promote walks. Talk to neighbours, store owners along the route, and friends! You can also ask local community groups to help spread the word. Invite journalists to your walk and add it to any community event listings in local newspapers or magazines.

     

  5. Lead your Walk!
    You’re all ready, Walk Leader! Go for it, share your stories, and don’t forget to have fun!

     

COVID Precautions

We recognize that not everyone will feel comfortable attending in-person Jane's Walks in their traditional form. As such, we are encouraging Walk Leaders to set a maximum number of participants for their walk, and to communicate whether the following protocols will be in place:
 

  • Mandatory masking for participants.

  • Megaphone or other sound amplification used by Walk Leader

  • Adjusting walk format to avoid congregating in large groups within smaller outdoor spaces.

  • Distributing rapid tests to registered walk participants.

The Festival organizers will be closely following public health directives to ensure that Walk Leaders and participants are kept safe. We encourage Walk Leaders to create a back-up plan for their walks, should we be discouraged from congregating outdoors.

Back-up options:

  • Live Walks: Walk Leaders will take attendees on a live virtual walk by streaming directly from their phone using a video conference application or telephone conference. Please note that registration will be necessary for Live Walks, and a link will be provided on the day of the walk.

  • Self-Guided Walks: Walk Leaders will create engaging audiovisual experiences combining photography, video, text, and audiogiving attendees the freedom to join the "walk" at any point in the weekend without time constraints.

Got Questions?


Reach out to support@janeswalk.net. We're here to make this as easy and fun for you as possible!