Eau Claire beat the winter with a party on the lagoon

-By Rizwana Shaikh, Federation of Calgary Communities

Neighbours gather at the Eau Claire skating party on the lagoon

While we’re now basking in the sunshine, we fondly look back on a snowy February 11, 2018 when the Eau Claire Community Association hosted their eighth annual skating party on the lagoon.

The skating party was a huge success thanks to a fire-pit provided by the City of Calgary and hot chocolate and treats provided by Shaw Communications. The event took place at Prince’s Island Park Lagoon, featuring free skate rentals courtesy of KidSport, a non-profit organization that provides positive sports opportunities to children from low-income families. Nearly 80 residents of all ages beat the cold to join in on the winter fun and to get to know each other.

Karin Stiefenhofer, the event organizer, was happy to see new friendships form over the four hours of the event.

“I just loved the connections that happen over the activities and the fun outdoor event.”

Curling rocks donated by the Elboya Heights – Britannia Community Association

She also thanks the Elboya Heights – Britannia Community Association for loaning curling rocks for their pond curling activity. The more people involved with an event, the more fun everyone has, and these two community associations truly shared that spirit. Everyone at the skating party had big smiles activating the green space in Prince’s Island Park.

The community association also used the event to help raise money for KidSport, with every donation made being entered in a draw for a chance to win a hockey stick and a Calgary Flames hat, both signed by Johnny Gaudreau. Thanks to the wonderful people who entered the draw, the Eau Claire Community Association raised $550 for KidSport.

KidSport donation and prize table set up by the community association

Supporters from Canadian Blood Services were also at the skating party with an information table, and City of Calgary Parks staff from the Environmental Education Program set up an animal sample table, more accurately called the “poop table” where kids had a blast matching samples to the correct animals.

“The kids had a riot,” says Stiefenhofer.

This event drew out people and volunteers from all parts of the city, with one volunteer from a neighbouring community coming to help. Eau Claire Community Association welcomes anyone who’s interested to join their events.

Stiefenhofer says they have a formula for organizing the skating party to ensure they can continue bringing people closer together for “a feel-good event.” They are now looking to upgrade the event and the possibilities are endless. We’re excited to see what they have planned for us for next year.