2021 Faces of Community - Sandra Neill

2021 Faces of Community - Sandra Neill

Sandra Neill

Crescent Heights Community Association



Using her creativity, learning something new and making connections keeps this volunteer involved with her community association.

Sandra Neill, the director of engagement with the Crescent Heights Community Association, has been involved with community for two years.

“I have actually been volunteering for about 30 years, it’s just something that I’ve always loved to do,” explains Sandra. “When I decided to volunteer with the community association, I was a little bit more intentional on what I wanted to do. I had three goals, three personal goals. One was to learn something new. One was to use my creativity, and the other was to meet people and make connections.”

Before getting involved with the Crescent Heights Community Association, Sandra was thinking of moving out of the community.

“I was really interested in the concept of cohousing and I was actually looking at possibly moving out of my community of Crescent Heights,” she says. “I looked into some different cohousing projects in Calgary, and I decided against it because of the location – Crescent Heights is a really great location.”

Deciding to stay, the veteran volunteer thought she should get involved with the community she lives in.

“I really enjoyed doing placemaking activities,” says Sandra. “One of the first projects I did was an intersection mural.

“I live right by Rotary Park, which is a dog park and I have a dog. I thought it would be really fun to do a mural that features the dogs in the neighbourhood.

“I tried to find an artist that lived in the neighbourhood that could design that [mural]. Then I took photos of neighbours’ dogs and sent it to her, and she made a design. We then had a paint date, like a party kind of thing, and we had over 70 people come out to paint and to help out in all different kinds of ways.”

Sandra stays involved because she gets to meet a lot of great people and likes to see the impact of her work on the community.

“I think the community association really tries to connect people and foster a sense of belonging to community,” she says.

“It also has the role of advocating for a community and also, just like bringing enjoyment [to the community], it really does enhance city life.”