Community ChampionsShaping a Better City

Gathering Music Enthusiasts at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

The Calgary Folk Music Festival runs Thursday July 21 - Sunday July 24

For 4 days in July, Prince’s Island transforms from a quiet, pastoral park into a spirited hub for thousands of music enthusiasts attending the Calgary Folk Music Festival. In its 37th year, the Festival aims to expand the boundaries of what constitutes folk music, while simultaneously drawing people together as a community.

“I have been happily surprised at the enthusiasm of the Calgary community,” says Debbi Salmonsen, who is in her second year as the Executive Director of the Festival and a transplant from Vancouver. When it comes to the music scene, Deb says that Calgary has many things going for it; numerous places to hear music, a supportive music industry, strong support from the City and organizations like Tourism Calgary, as well as the rise of collaborative music initiatives such as the Music Mile and of course the newly opened Studio Bell home of the National Music Centre.

Creating Safe Havens: Camp fYrefly for LGBTQ+ Youth

From July 7-10 2016, youth from all over the country attended a 4 day residential retreat at Camp fYrefly in Cochrane. Camp fYrefly is an educational, social and personal learning retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, genderqueer non-binary, two-spirit, queer, questioning, pansexual, asexual and allied (LGBTQ+) youth.

Hilary Mutch (she/her) is the Camp coordinator at Camp fYrefly. Since entering adulthood, she felt that the intersections of heteronormativity, sexism and patriarchy created unsafe spaces for her, a young, queer youth, and many she interacted with. Her experiences have shaped her viewpoints as a feminist, social justice advocate and inspired her to work with youth at Camp fYrefly. At Camp, Hilary seeks to empower youth and grant them the ability to change their own situations. She believes that even tiny acts of support, such as offering pickups and drop-offs for those that cannot access Cochrane, can make a huge difference for the person being helped.

A Relentless Light of Hope

Introducing The Church Agency Collective About Sexual Exploitation (The Collective)

Two pastors walk into a bar…

Yes it’s the cliché start of a bad joke, but it’s not far off from the beginnings of The Church Agency Collective About Sexual Exploitation (The Collective). Dr. Bradley Friesen, a pastor at Centre Street Church and Co-Chair of The Collective, invited a fellow pastor for lunch to talk about social justice.

Music Mile ~ Inglewood

What is true community engagement? Well, it might just look like this…

What started in 2014 as a street-based citizen engagement experiment by Inglewood residents, Bob Chartier and Meg Van Rosendaal, quickly grew into one of the finest stretches of live music venues and events in Calgary – The Music Mile.

Lemonade for Fort Mac

One Young Canadian’s Generosity

One hot summer day in June, 7-year-old Muhammad Kazmi intently penned large letters onto a lime green poster board: “Lemonade for Fort McMurray.”

Lemonade-DrawThe idea of selling lemonade to raise money for the Fort McMurray wildfire relief effort was sparked weeks before while watching the news. Muhammad’s mother, Syeda Zehra, says, “He saw the burning homes on T.V. and said to me, ‘we should do something to help’.”

Pop-Up ESL Provides Community for the Isolated

One Sponsor Group's Discoveries in Supporting a Syrian Refugee Family

“These women are the most fantastic dancers I’ve ever seen – like belly dancing on steroids. They take off their hijabs, you know, and are so free.” Lee Elliott, a volunteer coordinator for Hillhurst United Church’s Syrian refugee family, describes the beautiful ease with which the Yassin family’s five daughters dance in the company of

The New EconomyCreating a Thriveable Future

Anarchist Bakers Hit Calgary!

Sourdough Pizza Crust Meets Sourdough Business Development

“I‘ve all ways wanted to be an Anarchist Baker” whispered Nancy Dick as she left the information session with The Grain Exchange Cooperative and Tim Hewitt, co-op developer with the Arizmendi Association of Co-ops.

Nancy was one of a dozen people who showed up to learn about the possibility of a worker-owned artisan bakery in Calgary, based on the Arizmendi model.

From Reconciliation to Redistribution

Co-ops on the Road to Right Relations

t seems trite to say, yet I felt I had witnessed history in the making,” says Len Findlay, remembering his participation on the occasion of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) documents on June 2nd in Ottawa. “There was a collective sense too, of being part of a justice and reconciliation project bigger than any one person and requiring the best efforts of all.” says Len.

If you build it… they will come

The Cleveland Co-op Model Experiencing Unprecedented Success

Looking for a model to build a value-driven, placed-based, industrial-sized businesses dedicated to equity, inclusion and local ownership? Want to keep wealth local and build an ecosystem of support that leverages local assets?

Steve Dubb of the Democracy Collaborative discussed the Cleveland Model at the ‘Wealth Building Through Ownership’ panel during the recent CASC/ACE Annual Conference in Calgary, Congress 2016

Starbucks or Worker Co-op?

Which is the Better Deal for Jane?

Tim Hewitt, Co-op Developer for the Arizmendis Association of Co-ops and I imagined that we were sitting together in a Starbucks having just received a $4 latte from a smiling-faced young person, with a B.A. in Political Science, who was careful to ask if we wanted anything else… we named her Jane. I asked Tim what


    An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture

    12/09/2016 @ 11:45 am - 1:15 pm - Join Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann and John McKnight in a live Skyped conversation discussing their new book An Other Kingdom. An Other Kingdom provides a new narrative, a shift in our thinking and speaking, to take us out of a culture of addictive consumption into a place where contract is replaced by covenant, consumption is

    Our StoryNew Scoop and Journalism

    Toot-Toot!! We’re making waves!

    Generative Journalism Co-op Energizing New Talent

    Hope and possibility is stirring in Calgary as a Generative Journalism co-op called NewScoop YYC draws an array of new talent sensing a life-giving space in which to step into their gifts and animate a new story for their city and society.

    “What’s energizing me is this different approach to writing stories,” says Tamara Lee, who connected with NewScoop several months ago. She brings an eclectic mix of gifts — technical writing, placemaking artistry and a degree in biochemistry. Tamara says she’s especially drawn to the idea of creating news in a way that is generative — where the story-gathering process itself sparks new possibilities for her community.

    Staying Awake in Three Chapters

    Introducing Moving Into Right Relations: A NewScoop Story Circle and News Program

    NewScoop YYC is embarking on a project to surface and share stories in Calgary about the movement towards Right Relations generated within and across communities including both indigenous and non-indigenous initiatives and collaborations.