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The history of community associations and the City of Calgary is a relatively young one, as is the Federation itself. The earliest community associations were formed during the 1920s to provide Calgarians with formal recreational programs and facilities such as outdoor skating rinks. The first group to function similar to a community association was in Bridgeland in 1908, which was formed to organize recreational and social activities, while the first to be called a “community association” was in Scarboro in the 1920s. By the 1930s many community groups in Calgary became formalized by registering under the Alberta Societies Act and adopted specific by-laws and constitutions. Post-war Calgary saw a dramatic population increase, and the number of community associations grew accordingly. These grassroots groups attempted to fill the needs of an expanding demographic by offering recreational and social opportunities.

During the 1950s, communities faced common concerns. One unified voice was seen as necessary to coordinate and liaise with community services. The Federation of Calgary Communities was an initiative of forty-seven community associations. This new large support organization gave the associations a combined way to increase their effectiveness while remaining autonomous. The Federation of Calgary Communities was able to develop and utilize its collective resources to respond to a variety of needs of the community associations. While officially incorporated in 1961 as a not-for-profit organization under the Societies Act, the Federation has actually worked for over fifty years in the coordination of services required by community associations.

Present-day Calgary is the “Volunteer City”, with its residents active in a multitude of efforts that enhance our city, our lifestyles, and our surroundings. Of these, community associations form the city’s largest volunteer group. Annually, community association volunteers donate over 22 million dollars in volunteer service. These dedicated volunteers come from a widespread base with over one-quarter of the City’s population supporting their community association through paid membership.

In 2021, the Federation of Calgary Communities celebrated its 60th anniversary!

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