Calgary City News Blog
- [LIVE VIDEO] Firefighter Graduation | 1:30pm Dec 5, 2013 4 December 2013
36 recruits and 2 dogs to become probationary firefighters
This is the last graduating class of 2013. Thirty-six recruits are graduating to become probationary firefighters alongside Honey and Gibbs, The Calgary Fire Department’s two accelerant detection canines. The new probationary firefighters will each be placed in one of 38 fire stations throughout the city to continue their on the job training.
The Calgary Fire Department will commence recruitment for 2014 and 2015 classes starting December 10th of this year. Visit calgary.ca/fire and click on recruitment for more information.
The Fire Cadet Program gives high school students the opportunity to learn about what it takes to be a firefighter, through teaching life-skills like leadership, community involvement, teamwork, pride and respect. Through theoretical and practical training, Fire Cadets learn basic firefighting skills, and, how to apply those skills and values into daily activities. The deadline for applications has been extended to December 13th. To learn more visit calgary.ca.
- Be a Snow Angel – Adopt a sidewalk this winter 4 December 2013
The Snow Angels campaign was initiated as a way to respond to the growing number of older adults affected by icy sidewalks. The campaign encourages residents to lend a helping hand where they can.
Keeping walks and driveways clear can be very challenging – even dangerous – for older adults and others who have limited mobility.
“Helping your neighbour keep their walks clear is not only important so sidewalks are passable, it’s important because it’s part of how we look out for one another,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Click to learn more about how you can become a Snow Angel.
- Diversity and accessibility are highly valued at The City 4 December 2013
The City of Calgary is built on a foundation of compassion and care for its citizens, no matter what their various backgrounds and abilities. Making this a great city for everyone is paramount to all of us.On this 21st Annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), we at The City recognize and celebrate our differences as we strive to make our services accessible to all, including those with mobility challenges.“We are leading the way, in many respects, when it comes to providing accessibility to persons with disabilities,” says Leanne Squair, Issues Strategist, Access & Disability Issues with The City. “I’m excited about what we’ve accomplished and our plans for the future, such as installing Tactile and Braille lettering on garbage and recycling carts for people with visual disabilities.“The theme for this year’s IDPD on December 3 is ‘Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all,’ and that’s just want we aim to do.”The City of Calgary’s Council Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) serves to provide advice on issues that impact the needs of people with disabilities, including how to make buildings, transportation and services accessible for City employees and citizens.Accessibility Highlights for 2013:
- Calgary increased the number of accessible taxis to 168 and provided more accessible buses and C-Trains.
- There were 38 captioning sessions at City Council meetings, public hearings and budget deliberations – for people experiencing hearing loss, English as a second language and those with cognitive and learning challenges.
- Another 18 audible pedestrian signals for people with vision loss were installed to bring the total to 140.
- Barrier-free designs were incorporated into Chinook, Sunnyside and Whitehorn LRT stations.
- Barrier-free designs will also be included in the four new Recreation centres and redevelopment plans for City parks.
- Snow Route Parking Ban Advisory 3 December 2013
The Snow Route Parking ban goes into effect Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 9 AM. If you're parked on a Snow Route, please move your vehicle prior to this time or else you could receive a ticket and/or be towed.
Want to know if the street you normally park on is part of the Snow Route parking ban? Check our interactive map.
More information on Parking bans can be found here.
- City Matters – Snow and Ice Removal 2 December 2013
Each year The City receives over 6600 concerns about snow and ice on public sidewalks. Today's big snowfall acts as an important reminder to keep walks clear in the winter months as it helps keep citizens safe.
Homeowners have 24 hours after the last snow fall to clear snow and ice from the walks surrounding their property. If you’re concerned about snow and ice on a public sidewalk, the 311 Calgary app makes it easy to let The City know.
To learn more, visit calgary.ca/snow or download the 311 Calgary app.
- See the galleria tree structures on Stephen Avenue in a new light 2 December 2013
New LED lighting is set to illuminate and animate the ten metallic tree structures found on Stephen Avenue Walk, located next to Bankers Hall and the CORE Shopping Centre. The new lights were turned on over the weekend, and create a new night time perspective along Calgary’s busiest downtown street.“The galleria trees are one of the most iconic and photographed structures on Stephen Avenue Walk. This lighting design will shed new light on these structures and brighten the pedestrian environment, on what is typically a very dark downtown block”, said Graham Gerylo, Project Manager, Centre City Implementation. The new lighting design includes colour LED spotlights which illuminate the ‘trunk’ and linear LED fixtures that outline the top ‘branches’ of the tree structures. In addition, theatrical spotlights cast a mottled light pattern onto the underlying sidewalk and roadway, brightening the streetscape.“Enhancing the lighting of architectural landmarks and structures in the downtown area is a Centre City focus. In the winter months, Calgary can be a very dark city. Lighting features like this help to create a more vibrant and inviting environment for Calgarians and our visitors to enjoy”, said Gerylo.The Calgary Downtown Association will operate and program these lights moving forward, which have the capability to be animated throughout the evenings and for special events.Imagine this block and the trees lit up green for St. Patrick’s Day:Or Red when our Calgary Flames or Stampeders are playing:If you would like more information about this project please contact 311. Members of the media can also contact The City of Calgary’s media relations line at 403-828-2954.
- City seeks opinions on commercial activity in Calgary parks 29 November 2013
CALGARY – The City of Calgary Parks is gathering public feedback through an online survey on how parks are used and should be used for commercial activities. The survey will be open for one month and can be accessed at www.calgary.ca/parks.Currently, The City has a limited framework for permitting commercial activity within parks. Permits are granted on a case-by-case basis, and research is needed to develop a policy that improves the permitting process and reflects citizens’ values.“Commercial activities can contribute to the vibrancy of our open spaces, and help improve people’s experience in our parks,” said Catherine Stotschek, Parks Commercial Business Services Lead. “Buying a cup of hot chocolate at an outdoor skating rink or attending a concert are good examples.”Stotschek says the goal of the survey is to understand how to balance the needs of park users with appropriate commercial activities in the right locations.Parks is consulting with key stakeholders, and would like to hear what citizens think through the online survey. Feedback from the survey will help Parks develop a policy framework for permitting commercial activities. The framework will identify consistent principles and processes to ensure where permitting is appropriate, that the permitting process is fair, priced appropriately and reflects citizen values.Parks is working with a Canadian-based retail and commercial development company to conduct stakeholder and public engagement. The company will also research best practices and innovative ideas carried out by other municipalities.The framework will be presented to Council in 2014.Parks values input from citizens. Please take the survey at www.calgary.ca/parks. The survey will remain open until December 27, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
- City Recreation programs for every ability, every age 28 November 2013
The City of Calgary recognizes the unique and wonderful differences of citizens and offers programs for all ability levels. For 29-year-old Barb Bateman, it was her first time playing water polo at Village Square Leisure Centre.
“It was a lot of fun. We worked as a team getting the ball into the net,” says Bateman, who enrolled in the winter water polo adapted program. Adapted programs provide adults with disabilities the opportunity to improve their health, lifestyle and physical fitness and at the same time, provide an opportunity to meet new friends and expand their social networks.
“Recreational opportunities like water polo get you out and moving around instead of sitting on your butt,” adds Bateman. “I will definitely come back next week.”
If you are looking for programming to meet specific abilities, Recreation offers four to six adapted programs per season for youth and adults. Registered programs include water polo, boxercize, drumming, line dancing, scrapbooking, and more. There is no cost for support workers to join in the fun.
“Try it out and see for yourself how fun it is,” shouts out Bateman!
City Recreation also offers adapted fitness programs that incorporate individualized exercises in a group setting. Each program includes elements of strength training, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
“This class is having so much fun that they are not even focusing on the fact that it is fitness,” says Recreation Specialist, Linda Tanigami.
An active lifestyle helps individuals reach their full potential, connect socially and enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and mind. “Many of our water polo participants know each other but they live in various parts of the city. They don’t often have the chance to get together and be with their friends,” adds Tanigami. “But they know every Monday, they will get together to play water polo.”
“New friends are made quickly when you are active together so it is a blend of new and old friends playing a great game.”
We believe that all Calgarians have the right to live an active, creative and healthy lifestyle. Making recreation a part of everyday life, provides opportunities to increase self-confidence, develop skills and have fun. Thus, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all our customers. Recreation’s more than 3,000 registered programs and 6,500 drop-in opportunities are 100 per cent inclusive. This means every individual, no matter what their ability level is, is granted the opportunity to attend any program we offer.
Registration has already started and classes fill quickly.
Whatever your interests are, there’s a program for you. Watch a CTV Morning Live segment from November 27 on one of our programs for people with disabilities – a creative drumming class.
Register online at calgary.ca/recreation or by calling 403-268-3800. There’s more than you think with The City of Calgary Recreation.
- Wheels in motion for Calgary's Centre City cycle track network 27 November 2013
The City is planning an east-west/north-south network of cycle tracks in the Centre City. It will connect the Elbow River and Bow River pathways through the downtown area, and to its many destinations such as office buildings, commercial districts, arts and recreation places and residential communities. Ultimately, the cycle track network will improve transportation choices for Calgarians and make roadways safer for people who walk, bike or drive in the Centre City.
The City has scheduled events in the Centre City to talk about planning the cycle track network with Calgarians who live, work, and travel in the area. Here’s where you can get involved:
- CORE shopping Centre, +15 level by Holt Renfrew (324, 8 Ave. S.W.) - Thursday, Nov. 28 to Friday, Dec. 6, all day (staff available over weekday lunch hours, except the dates listed below)
- Mountain Equipment Coop (830, 10 Ave. S.W.) - Saturday, Nov. 30, noon - 4 p.m.
- Nexen Building, main floor lobby (801, 7 Ave. S.W.)- Tuesday, Dec. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Mountain Equipment Coop - Wednesday, Dec. 4, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Eighth Avenue Place, +15 level (525, 8 Ave. S.W.) - Thursday, Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
You’ll see the streets and avenues that The City is considering for an east-west/north-south cycle track network. You’ll also see 1 Street S.E. as the street chosen for the next cycle track, scheduled to begin construction in 2014. Find out more and provide your feedback at Calgary.ca/cycletracknetwork.
- City announces professional development course for artists working in community 27 November 2013
The City is pleased to be offering an all-new eight week professional development course designed specifically for artists interested in working more closely with the community.
Beginning in January 2014, selected artists will meet on Tuesday evenings to explore the breadth of community-based public art, and learn more about the opportunities and challenges of working with the community.“Anyone who is inspired by working with diverse populations and building community through their work should apply for this course,” says Dawn Ford, Public Art Program Coordinator. “This is a great chance for artists to take a break from the isolation of the studio and challenge themselves to work in a different way. It just might open up an entirely new realm of unexplored possibilities for them, and that is very exciting.”
Topics will include types of community collaboration, the integration of public participation into an arts practice, and how to use community-based principles and techniques to strengthen future commissions.
The application process for this course is competitive. An internal selection committee will review all applications and assess qualified applicants for admission to the course. While 20 of the spaces are to be filled by professional artists, all interested artists are encouraged to apply as there are five audit spots reserved for individuals who do not meet the ‘professional artist’ criteria.
For full course details, including registration fees (fee assistance is available) and how to apply, download the course application form.
- Report to Calgarians - Snow & Ice Concerns 26 November 2013
You can help keep Calgarians safe this winter by working with The City to keep public sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
If you’re a homeowner, you have 24 hours after the last snow fall to shovel the walks surrounding your home. As a citizen, if you have a snow and ice concern, you can let The City know by submitting a request through the 311 Calgary app.
To learn more, visit calgary.ca/snow or download the 311 Calgary app.
- City of Calgary receives two Awards for Municipal Excellence 21 November 2013
The City of Calgary received two 2013 Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence today:
1. The Safe Communities Award goes to the Multi-Agency School Support Team, for their work on early intervention of at-risk youth.
2. An Innovation Award Honourable Mention goes to the 311 Mobile App for being the first of its kind in a municipal context in Alberta.
The Safe Communities Award emphasizes law enforcement and prevention of criminal activity, including addressing route causes and providing learning opportunities to high risk groups. The Multi-Agency School Support Team (MASST) is a partnership between the Calgary Police Service, Community & Neighbourhood Services, the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Catholic School District and Alberta Health Services.
MASST teams consist of a police officer and City social worker based in various Calgary schools. They work directly with children, their families, schools and community agencies to identify problems quickly and deliver prevention and intervention services to children aged 5-12 years. A Social Return on Investment evaluation has shown that MASST is making an impact on the lives of children in Calgary.
“We are very honoured our MASST program was selected for the Safe Communities Award,” says Community & Social Development Manager, Cheryl Joynt. “If we intervene early in the lives of children demonstrating at-risk behaviour, we know we have a better chance of making a difference to that child’s long-term success – and that benefits everyone.”
“Thank you to the Provincial government for acknowledging the importance of early intervention programs such as MASST,” says Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson. “MASST pairs a police officer and social worker to work directly with at-risk youth and their families. By addressing risky behaviour early, we are able to steer kids away from crime to where their chances of success are far greater.”
The Innovation Award recognizes original ideas that provide creative solutions for improved services. The 311 Mobile App allows citizens to submit and track the status of service requests with their smartphones. When citizens report something like a pothole, they can attach a photo and use their GPS function to allow the app to detect the location. The information, attached photo and location citizens provide allow City employees to assess, prioritize and efficiently respond to requests.
“I’m proud that my colleagues at The City are being recognized for ingenuity in making services more accessible to citizens,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The 311 Mobile App contributes to the transformation of government, and it provides a quick and cost effective way for citizens to directly improve their community.”
The awards were presented on November 21 at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference in Calgary. The Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence involve a rigorous process of application, documentation and review, and the awards are open to municipalities across Alberta.
- Artists of all ages flourish at City of Calgary Recreation arts programs 21 November 2013
This winter, get creative with The City of Calgary Recreation! There are many great arts and culture programs to choose from in the new Recreation Winter Guide.
“Making art is a little better than playing video games because you get to meet new friends,” says seven-year-old Sam Norris, whose favourite art programs work with clay. The program Winter Village, for example, provides him the opportunity to create a winter village out of clay with his mom.
“On the last day, you get to take your art home and show your family,” adds Sam. “We have a shelf at home with all the clay pieces we made. There are about 20 pieces including a rocket.”
Recreation has been offering art experiences to Calgarians of all ages and abilities for more than 25 years. Whether you are a beginner, need extra support or want to develop your skills, you’ll find the creative opportunity you are looking for at one of The City’s two art centres – North Mount Pleasant or Wildflower.
Recreation Specialist, Laurie Hass Yearwood at North Mount Pleasant Art Centre says, “In a place like this, creating art becomes achievable because you have the support, all the materials are supplied for you and the studio is beautiful. People come here and find a nice surprise.”
Throughout the year, approximately 52 programs are offered. A favourite for many are the holiday programs that start December 3 and run to mid-December.
“I love holiday programs for a variety of reasons. They are very family focused. And one of the nice things is that they are short and a lot of fun,” continues Yearwood.
Classes are small and designed to promote self-expression in a fun, non-competitive way. All instructors are experienced, practicing artists with formal training and offer a wealth of knowledge in a wide range of disciplines.
“Art allows us to express our ideas and be creative. It provides an opportunity to see the world from a different angle,” say Yearwood.
Registration for Recreation’s winter programs has already started. There are more than 3,000 registered programs and 6,500 drop-in opportunities to choose from this season. There is a program to match everyone’s interests.
Stimulate your imagination, meet new friends and have fun this winter. There’s more than you think with The City of Calgary Recreation.
Register online at calgary.ca/recreation or by calling 403-268-3800.
- Calgary AfterSchool passes with flying colours 20 November 2013
Today Calgary AfterSchool released the results of a four-year study showing the positive impact it’s making on the lives of Calgary children and youth.Right after school is a time when young people are home and many are unsupervised, with parents still at work. The City of Calgary, together with United Way’s “Upstart”, developed the Calgary AfterSchool framework which is a first of its kind in Canada. The innovative approached links programs provided by agencies and organizations across the city into a network of high-quality supervised activities for children and teens.“It is important to us that we know what kind of difference we are making in the lives of Calgary children,” says City of Calgary program coordinator, Zorian Klymochko. “We commissioned this study to make sure the work we are doing is hitting the mark. We are thrilled to see the impact Calgary AfterSchool has made.”According to the report, Calgary AfterSchool has resulted in kids spending less time at home alone and more time in activities that help them develop social skills and be more physically active.The report, done by Merrill Cooper of Guyn Cooper Research Associates Ltd., shows the program making a measurable difference for children with poor social skills and emotional challenges. The report findings also indicate that, fewer youth are spending time on unconstructive activities, such as watching TV, playing electronic games, or hanging out in the mall with nothing to do. Instead, they are engaging in supervised, high-quality programs where they are able to learn new skills, be physically active and have fun with peers.Calgary AfterSchool currently offers programs across the city to children aged six to 16 between the critical hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. For details on the report or more information visit Calgary.ca/afterschool.
- Pet of the Week: Frankie 20 November 2013
Frankie was injured by a car before he was brought to the Animal Services Centre. Our veterinarian fixed him up and Frankie’s healing nicely while waiting to find his fur-ever home.For more information on adopting cats or dogs from Animal & Bylaw Services visit Calgary.ca/animalservices.
- 2013 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results 19 November 2013
The 2013 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in and 88 per cent of citizens are satisfied with the quality of life in Calgary, an increase of 10 per cent over the last three years.
Ninety-two per cent of citizens are proud to be Calgarians and report increased satisfaction
with City programs and services.
Calgarians are invited to participate in the #Heartyyc contest by posting on The City’s Twitter or Facebook page. Share why you love Calgary for a chance to win daily prizes from The City and our civic partners.
The complete survey findings and infographic are available on calgary.ca.
- City Matters – Re-opening of the Ernie Starr Arena 19 November 2013
After 40 years of serving Calgary’s hockey community, The City of Calgary’s Ernie Starr Arena has re-opened following a year-long, much-needed upgrade.A new concrete floor has replaced the original sand floor and other renovations include more and larger change rooms, amenities including a new lobby and washrooms, brighter lighting and much more.To find out more about the completed upgrades or to make a booking, visit calgary.ca/arenas.
- Calling all dog owners and their dogs – complimentary obedience training opportunity this weekend 15 November 2013
Animal & Bylaw Services (ABS), along with Calgary Humane Society (CHS), are hosting two free sessions on recall training from a certified professional dog trainer.
“Calgary Humane Society is thankful for the opportunity to be partnering with Animal & Bylaw Services on this project to help improve the human/animal bond and increase positive interactions at dog parks and off leash areas with humane and effective training,” says Barbara Walmer, Department Head of Behaviour at CHS. “Proper training helps owners by giving them the techniques they need to minimize undesirable behaviours and encourage appropriate behaviour.”
Barbara will be at Egerts Park on November 16, from noon to 2 p.m. and Kirsty Pearson, also a certified trainer with CHS, will be at Bowmont Park on November 17, from 1-3 p.m. to share and demonstrate tips and techniques with Calgary dog owners and their dogs.
“We believe that good animal behaviour requires a commitment to building a strong relationship between pet and owner,” says Cheryl Herperger, a business strategist with Animal & Bylaw Services. “Animal & Bylaw Services is committed to working with and supporting Calgarians on responsible pet ownership and providing this training is part of that. Whether in an on- or off-leash area, your dog needs to be under your control at all times for the dog’s safety and for everyone else’s safety in and around your dog.”
These two free sessions are being offered as part of The City of Calgary’s Off-Leash Ambassador program which is a community-based program currently being piloted in the off leash areas at Egerts and Bowmont parks. The purpose of the program is to provide a volunteer-led approach to help promote and educate people about responsible pet ownership.
Pet owners will also be able to renew their animal licences at these events as well.
For more information on Animal & Bylaw Services and responsible pet ownership visit calgary.ca/animalservices.
- The 2013 Mayor’s Urban Design Award Winners 14 November 2013
awards page for 2013 for all the details.
Each winner and honourable mention was selected by a renowned group of jurors including: Stephen Teeple, founding principal of Teeple Architects in Toronto, Trevor Boddy, Vancouver- based critic of contemporary architecture and a consulting urban designer, Dr. Peter Sargious, Chronic Disease Management, Alberta Health Services, Mark Lindquist, Landscape Architect and Assistant Professor, Faculty of
Environmental Design at the University of Calgary and Alexandra Haeseker, an internationally practicing visual artist based in Calgary.
The Mayor’s Urban Design Awards are a partnered program with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Some winners selected at MUDA 2013 will compete in the National Urban Design Awards early in 2014. The three exceptions are the Mawson Award, City Edge Development and The Great City, Great Design award as these are award categories that have been adopted at the local level only.
- Report to Calgarians: Snow Route Parking Bans 13 November 2013
Help City crews keep our streets clear and safe during the snowy season by obeying Snow Route Parking Bans.
Stay updated this winter by signing up for email alerts at calgary.ca/snow or download the City of Calgary Road Conditions App.