Community Scoop Stories

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We are excited to present Community Scoop, a section of our website which will highlight activities, events, stories, and more, from communities all across Calgary! These features will include everything from the small events to the bigger community festivals. In addition to being housed here on the website, a Community Scoop feature will also be showcased monthly in our Get Engaged! e-newsletter.

For example, did your community have a Block Party this past year? How about a Community Clean-up, Winter or Harvest Festival? We want to recognize all that you are doing to interact with and engage your residents. Click here for information on submitting your Community Scoop story!

Check out all the features below, and for the latest Get Engaged Community Scoop feature piece, click here.

To view by community name select by first letter below:

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Bridgeland-Riverside's Tool Library

BRCA Tool Library

When Bridgeland-Riverside resident and bike-shop mechanic, Liam Gordon, shared his idea of creating a tool-sharing library with his local community association he found out that there were others in the community considering this possibility too. Courtney Hare, membership director of the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association (BRCA), had been working towards building a tool library with others and was thrilled when Liam came forward with his interest, expertise, and enthusiasm to partner. Over the past couple of years, the community association board has heightened its intention and commitment to build and strengthen the connections between people who live and work in the neighbourhood. This initiative has done just that! A tool-sharing library aligns with BRCA’s commitment to support the recreational, social and cultural development of the community as well as foster more connections within it.

The Calgary tool-sharing library is a result of the efforts of residents who donated their high quality tools, the community association which has offered its space for the library, a cash contribution from the Calgary chapter of the Awesome Foundation, and a special mentorship from the Vancouver Tool Library which has grown to 800 members in just two years of activity. Next steps for the project include finishing the setup of a membership and lending database as well as organizing and tagging the tools to be shared. Then an official launch, including a ribbon cutting, will take place.

Peggy Wouts, president of the BRCA, says of Bridgeland-Riverside: “We’re really starting to see a togetherness that’s really starting to percolate and build, and this is just yet another fantastic example of that and I think has incredible potential as it starts to unfold and build and develop further as a program.”

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Calgary Evergreen 2014 Summer Festival

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In August 2014 the community association of Calgary Evergreen hosted a summer festival that was a huge hit! The Evergreen community association made use of sponsors and vendors like Cardel, Jagerhaus, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Co-operators as well as Calgary Neighborhood Services, to make sure the event was fun and informative for all who attended.

Nicholas Mangozho, Evergreen’s Community Association Newsletter Editor, enthusiastically explains, “this year we decided to spruce things up one notch more! This community celebration was a great success in every sense of the word. Excuse my bragging for a moment, but one of the big and more visible changes, based on the feedback from previous years, was the food vendors/trucks. This was our effort to reduce the food line ups, provide food variety, and also to give people in the community who do not normally work in downtown Calgary, the opportunity to experience the delightful cuisines provided by food trucks”.

Entertainment for night included acapella group HOJA, Sonata School of Music, and Pure Motion Dance Company.  Some food trucks in attendance were Family Fry Guy, Tao Rex, Tailgate Grill and Twisted Lemon who provided some sweet treats and refreshments for the night.  Additionally, the community hosted a clothing drive for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta where residents donated gently used clothing and household items to support the charity. With so much going on it looks like the Calgary Evergreen Community Association put on an enjoyable day!

To go to Calgary Evergreen’s Community Association website click here. Below are photos of the event.

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CKE’s Wine & Whiskey Raises $24,000 for New Hall

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On May 24, 2014, the Chinook Park/Kelvin Grove/Eagle Ridge (CKE) Community Association hosted its second annual Wine & Whiskey: A Community Mingle with more than 180 people attending the sold-out event. Guests enjoyed wine and whiskey tastings, great food, live jazz music, a flamenco performance, and dancing.

This year’s Wine & Whiskey raised $24,000 to go towards building a new CKE community hall. As part of the event’s proceeds, the Stock-Your-Cellar Wine Raffle saw 185 bottles of wine donated from community members in all three communities of Chinook Park, Kelvin Grove and Eagle Ridge to form the instant cellar and $7,300 in ticket sales.

“Wine & Whiskey brings members of our community together for a fun time,” says Dawn Messer, the event’s co-chair. “The money raised goes back into the community for a new hall that residents will enjoy for many years.”

“It was very rewarding to see everyone enjoying themselves so much at Wine & Whiskey,” says Lindy Dawson, event co-chair. “It took a lot of volunteer hours in the months leading up to the event. Community volunteers and local business sponsors were critical in making the event a success.”

Sponsor contributions included in-kind products and services for design, printing, food and beverage, as well as cash contributions.

Wine & Whiskey has evolved from a traditional spring dinner and dance that was held at an off-site location, to a more casual event hosted right at the community hall. “An event like this can be challenging to host at our current community hall because of the logistical challenges we face with our aging hall, “says Messer. “But we found that people in the community want to stay in our own neighbourhood for the evening. Our volunteer committee put a lot of extra effort into décor and staging to fit the event theme and make the venue attractive.”

“The timing of the casual spring get-together is key,” says Messer. “It’s a great time for old neighbours to reconnect and meet new ones while welcoming spring after a long winter. The food, wine, live jazz, flamenco performance, and dancing have proven to be a winning formula.”

Last year’s inaugural Wine & Whiskey also engaged residents in giving their vision for a new community hall. “People told us what they wanted to see in a new community hall,” Messer says. “We started the community dialogue about needs and wants for the future.”  

While official fundraising has yet to kick off for the new hall, events like this and others—like the recent flower fundraiser and casino—have not only provided a solid foundation to launch the campaign in the future, but also demonstrates solid community support for the project.

The CKE Community Association thanks everyone who came to Wine & Whiskey. We´re looking forward to making the event even better next year! 

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Crossroads Multi-Cultural Festival

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Crossroads Community Association, serving Mayland Heights and Vista Heights, is always keeping busy!  In addition to recently teaming up with the City of Calgary to begin offering an after-school program, they host a range of different festivals throughout the year. Most notably, their multi-cultural festival, that occurred on May 25th 2013, an annual event for this community association as a means to celebrate the rich diversity present in both Mayland Heights and Vista Heights.  As explained by Tracey Smith from the Crossroads Community Association, “our multi-cultural festival was developed to bring all the different ethnicities in the community together and to share culture amongst us all.”  With a multitude of performances and food from cultures found all over the world, as well as some face painting for the kids, the Crossroads multi-cultural festival is an enticing event that showcases character from both communities. This is definitely an event to worth looking forward to and celebrating!

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Deer Ridge Yellow Slide Park Revitalization

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Deer Ridge Community Association has done a lot in the past year.  Most recently, they were able to put up new structures in their well-known park Yellow Slide Park.  Getting some help from local volunteers and organizations (City of Calgary, The Parks Foundation, Propellus, BDI, Pet Value, and Blue Imp) they spent most of October 19th finishing up the Playscape park.

Jennifer Bass, a Deer Ridge community member was able to send in some photos of the original play structure from the 1980’s including one of her going down the iconic yellow slide as a toddler. There are also a few photos of the Yellow Slide Park Playscape revitilaization from this September-October 2013.

Also this year, Deer Ridge worked on their community garden, had a community clean up, and a movie in the park night, just to name a few.

To check out links from the Deer Ridge blog click here. Check out their YouTube videos below!

   

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Elbow Park “Celebrate” Event

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Elbow Park resident’s association (which is actually their community association) wrapped up an annual event called Celebrate on September 7, 2013.  Elbow Park encouraged community members to come and do just that, celebrate! As explained by their events coordinator Vicki Arista, “it’s a way for our community to get together after the summer, share stories and connect.  This year was particularly poignant in light of the flood disaster.  Although it rained all day (and I am not kidding!) we still got over 600 community members come out!” Making use of some community event funding, the community event was able to offer some great attractions like a photo booth, inflatable joust, airbrush tattoo, face painting and two popular food trucks: Farm Girls and Naaco.

The event also worked closely with the City of Calgary who helped Elbow Park along the way with applying for necessary building and noise permits, as well as fire and liquor licenses.  Even with the rainy day, a slide show put together by Elbow Park member Cameron Peters, went ahead.  The slide show included emotional photos from the recent June flood. “Elbow Park is really quite unique and resilient through and through. The spirit of those people that were worst affected was amazing to see” says Artista.

In addition to the Celebrate event, many Elbow Park residents host regular block parties that are administered individually by each block.  “Just another way to get together in our busy lives,” adds Artista.

Check out the Elbow Park website. Follow Elbow Park on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook.

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Erlton's Flood Party

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On the beautiful and sunny September 22 2013 the Erlton Community Association hosted an event, titled the “flood Party,” to help recognize the efforts of their community after June’s devastating flood. Over 200 attendees, including Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, came to share their stories from one of the worst floods in Calgary’s history.

Planning for this event started in early August when the Erlton Community Association President met with the Community Recreation Coordinator (CRC) from the City of Calgary to plan the “Flood Party.” It soon mobilized into a separate planning committee that included the CRC, a representative from the Talisman Centre, and some Erlton Community Association board members. The Erlton Community Association, who doesn’t have its own hall, worked quickly to get things going and acquired different permits, a venue, and sent out invitations to residents, some who haven’t even moved back into their homes yet.

Come time of the event there was lots to see and do including a flood photo display taken by residents of Erlton with a message board to thank flood volunteers, door prizes, and various food, drinks, and music, much of which was sponsored or partnered with local businesses.   The ‘Flood Party’ truly was a success and the planning committee’s hard work was well worth it when seeing all the happy faces!

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Chalk One Up for #mykillarney

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Scrolling through Facebook we found some amazing photos from Killarney-Glengarry Community Association’s (KGCA) Say & Skate event where local residents had the opportunity to express what they felt #mykillarney was to them along with some skate time. We loved this interactive activity where not only is there an opportunity to hear what residents think of their community but to do it in a fun engaging photo shoot is a perfect way to make it enjoyable for all.

Reaching out to Jill Dewes, Communications Director with KGCA, we asked how they thought of idea and how the day went and she let us know that this event really was a collaborative effort that began when their CA developed a new vision: Together, let's build and live and thrive and love Killarney and make it the best place in the world. Working closely with new councillor Evan Woolley, who was eager to see what he could for the neighborhood, KGCA decided that they needed input from local businesses and residents to help bring their new vision to life, and together Say & Skate was created.

As explain by Jill “This free event asked for feedback from our community on broad issues from development to public art, traffic control to preferred association events. As well as gathering these thoughts (many of which are now being put into action) we asked families to tell us why they loved living in Killarney… People loved the chance to express themselves in such a fun way, and we aim to do more of this sort of engaging activity at future events

Utilizing a local Calgarian photographer, Brendan Nogue, Say and Skate ended up a memorable event for all those who attended with many inspiring photos and ideas for future activities.

Check out KGCA’s Facebook page for the photos here.

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Oliver Quarry Park: A Revitalization by Shaganappi

Oliver Quarry Park Oliver Quarry Park 2

The 7-acre off-leash park immediately west of Crowchild Trail in our community was often walked through, but rarely a place that neighbours stayed and visited.  The Shaganappi Community Association had a vision that this park could function more as a meeting space for neighbours if thoughtful improvements were made. 

Starting in 2003, we asked neighbours how they would like to see the park improved and worked towards concept plans to change the site.  The City of Calgary encouraged our vision, and offered an initial seed fund to get our efforts started.  While honing our designs and getting the required approvals from various departments in the City, we simultaneously raised funds, applied for grants, and sought corporate partners who recognized the value of the project.  Multiple residents in the community donated their professional expertise.  Parks Foundation Calgary was instrumental to our fundraising campaign, as they were able to issue tax-deductible receipts for donations through their Project Gift Administration program.  Through grants, sponsorships, and donations from local residents, we were able to raise over $200,000 to help pay for these improvements.   We worked closely with various individuals from the City of Calgary, especially within the Parks and Recreation Department, to ensure that the improvements followed policy requirements and were carried out in a responsible manner. 

By the summer of 2012 we were able to build an earth berm and sledding hill in the park, alter the bike pathway for improved safety, build a masonry sound wall, and plant trees and shrubs to beautify the park. This project truly is a success story of non-profit organizations, government, and private partners working together towards a common goal.

The final component of our revitalization project was to name the park.   The Shaganappi Community Association felt that a name was essential to giving this park more of a purpose, and making it feel like a destination rather than a thoroughfare.  Research revealed that the park gully has some historical significance; the park area was once part of Calgary’s longest running sandstone quarry, which ran from 1897 to 1905 (called various names in its history, such as Oliver Brothers Quarry; Oliver Bone Quarry; Gilbert, Oliver and Bone Quarry, etc.).  We wanted to honour the role this area played in a number of Calgary’s sandstone buildings, including: the Land Titles building, Sunalta school, King Edward School, the Memorial Park library, and much of old City Hall.  We consulted the community residents online and in person to canvass support for a few potential names for the park. Ultimately, the Shaganappi Community Association submitted the name Oliver Quarry Park to the Municipal Names Committee to consider for this park.  Council approved our request for the name in December of 2013. 

To showcase the historical significance of the area, we designed a sandstone boulder that had the name Oliver Quarry Park on one side, and a historical interpretive sign explaining the significance of the area in Calgary’s early history on the other.  On September 21st, 2013 we had a celebration event for the community to unveil the new sign and share in the newly changed park’s features together.  The historical sign continues to be a shared story in the community that pedestrians, cyclists, nieghbours, and visitors to the area alike enjoy.  The Shaganappi Community Association has fostered community connections throughout the process of improving the park, and the once under-used space has now become a special place for neighbours to be together.

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Strathcona Christie Aspen’s Holiday Craft Fair

Strathcona Christie Aspen SCA Mural

The Strathcona Christie Aspen Community Association’s (SCA) December 7, 2013 Holiday Craft Fair and Art Market was a huge success again this year!

About 800 shoppers came through our doors, happy with the selection and quality of handmade goods presented by local crafters and artists.  Vendors were happy with the volume of shoppers and sales.  Parents were happy with the free KidZone where kids were kept busy and amused while mom or dad shopped.  And everyone seemed happy with the new concession food offerings from Mountain Rose Catering.

Thanks to the Girl Guide Rangers volunteers for helping setup in advance and monitor the attendance at the door.

This year’s Craft Fair will be on Saturday December 6, 2014.  Previous vendors will be contacted in August for an advance-registration opportunity.  New vendors can contact us in September:  we accept only handmade arts & crafts – no vendors selling franchise products or services (like Norwex, Avon, Stella & Dot, Silpada, etc).  The SCA must preview and approve all vendor goods to ensure they are handmade, quality goods, and to minimize duplication of goods for sale.

Visit the SCA online at scacalgary.ca.

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Sunalta’s Crime Busting Jane’s Walk

Janes Walk Sunalta

On a snowy day in May (Saturday the 3rd) Sunalta’s Safety Committee hosted an informative and invigorating Jane’s Walk. With 17 enthusiastic people and three equally happy dogs we strolled through the neighbourhood discussing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – CPTED.

Calgary Police Cst. Glenn Rowley and his assistant, Environmental Design Master’s student Shirin Radmehr suggested and applied environmental design ideas as we all enjoyed the walk from the Wildflower Garden to Royal Sunalta Park to local business Mikey’s Juke Joint and finally to Sunalta Station.

It was an interesting and instructive lesson highlighting simple things we can do as a community to make our neighbourhood less hospitable to criminals.

From trimming trees for creating sight lines to selective lighting to simply getting to know your neighbours… we learned how easy it is to help keep our community safe.

Thanks to everyone who braved the snow to join Jane’s Walk 2014!

As always, please go on our community website Sunalta.net for upcoming community events.

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Triwood’s Community Clean-Up

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On Sunday April 27, 2014 the Triwood Community Association held its annual Spring Clean-Up event and what a success it was! We had a wide array of organizations join us for the day’s festivities: Iron Mountain Secure Paper Shredding, Evraz Metal, The City of Calgary Waste/Organic Disposal, Technotrash Electronics and The Cerebral Palsy Association.

We wanted to see our community motivated to make a change and help our environment we were amazed by the generosity and energy that everyone brought. We hosted a Shred-A-Thon Challenge to get more participants! We challenged the community to recycle 100lbs worth of paper and Iron Mountain was gracious enough to provide us with a scale. Once we received the actual number we were embarrassed to deliver the great news as we completely underestimated Triwood! Our community recycled 2500 lbs of paper! We also recycled 2844 lbs of electronics, two large industrial sized green bins of metal weighing in at 3350 lbs, three full truckloads of waste, Cerebral Palsy left with a full truck filled to the brim with toys, clothes, books, bikes and three truckloads of paint.

All in all the day was a huge success, thanks to our amazing volunteers and our wonderful community for their hard work and dedication! We are looking forward to next year and next time we aren’t underestimating our own abilities, see you then!

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West Hillhurst’s 65th Anniversary

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In 2013 the West Hillhurst Community Association (WHCA) had something great to celebrate: their 65th anniversary! Celeste Edwards from the West Hillhurst Community Association was happy to share her thoughts on this event and described how WHCA was able to show how much the changed over the years. The goal of the event was “bringing together West Hillhurst residents, young and old, to celebrate the rich history of both the centre and the neighborhood,” says Edwards.

This memorable event included getting the City of Calgary and the province involved in the celebration.  While Mayor Naheed Nenshi wasn’t able to be there in person, he made sure to send along a video to show his support and joke that the community association is now eligible for Canada Pension Plan dollars!  The Federation would also like to say congratulations to West Hillhurst Community Association for 65 years of dedication and serving their residents! We look forward to hearing more stories in the future!

For a link to the video from Mayor Neheed Nenshi, click here. Click here for the WHCA Facebook page.

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Have a Story to Share?

We're always looking for stories from community associations! Email us here.

Not sure what to tell us? Below are some questions that may help you out with a story. Remember, photos and quotes are great too!

  • What would you say most motivates your community to do an event like this?
  • Share some of the memorable moments of your event.
  • What are/were the goals you wanted to accomplish with this event?
  • What resources did you need and how did you get them?
  • Who did you involve in your community project?
  • Does your community association have its own community centre; or do you look for other space in the community to host events?

Last Modified: August 25, 2015