On June 28th, Calgarians celebrated the launch of six unique Community Hubs planned for the next five years in the communities of Bowness, Greater Forest Lawn, North of McKnight, Sunalta, Village Square and Vista Heights. Serving more than 200,000 residents, each Hub will reflect local needs and desires, as identified by residents, with the goal of making their community stronger.
A partnership between The City of Calgary, Rotary Club of Calgary, and United Way of Calgary and Area, Community Hubs are made possible through philanthropic donations and local community participation. 2016 saw investment in the first two Hub sites at Village Square Leisure Centre and 1,000 Voices at Genesis Centre (North of McKnight area). Additional Hubs will open as community planning evolves and funding becomes available.
“This is truly a grassroots initiative that empowers residents to shape and build the kind of community they want to live in and raise their families in,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “All Calgarians deserve to grow up in a community that is invested in their success, where residents support one another, and where there is easy access to important supports and resources. Strong communities don’t happen by chance. They are intentionally created. Our neighbour’s strengths are our strengths.”
Acting as a ‘community living room’ of sorts, Community Hubs serve as gathering places for residents to connect and socialize. They will house a variety of easily accessible resources and services, and provide opportunity for conversation and collaboration among residents on items that matter to them. While each Hub will be unique, they may include things like financial literacy training, childcare, counselling, and food hamper distribution. All with the goal of helping individuals and communities thrive.
“We know strong, vibrant, and connected communities are directly linked to individual resilience and economic growth,” said Karen Young, president & CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “Community Hubs support the Enough for All strategy as they empower communities to be strong, supportive, and inclusive; and provide easy access to supports, services, and resources. We’re honoured to partner on this initiative and thrilled to see support from individuals and corporations wanting to make positive community change through their investment in the long-term vitality of Calgary.”
To date, donors have contributed $3.8 million to the Community Hubs initiative. Recognized at the launch for their generous contributions were Mike Rose and Sue Riddell Rose, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, and Rotary Club of Calgary.
“As a Founding Partner, Rotary is excited to be a part of this initiative that will strengthen our city for future generations,” said Sid Mark, president, Rotary Club of Calgary. "We look forward to filling leadership roles at all levels such as hosting barbeques and community consultations, holding governance roles on advisory and steering committees, and operating programs like Stay In School and Christmas Hampers. Our involvement extends well beyond financial contribution.”
Community Hubs is the first partnership of its kind in Canada where a United Way, municipal government, and service club are taking on a city-wide neighborhood initiative.
“I have seen people from all walks of life get connected through our Hub. It is amazing how one connection leads to another. Newcomers to Canada connecting with others while trying to learn new ways of an entirely foreign country. Special needs individuals impacted in positive ways through simple interactions with others. To see these connections happen right before my eyes, is a feeling I will always cherish.”
Snanna Virk, Village Square Community Hub ambassador and local resident
“From a business perspective, it makes sense to create Hubs as a central place for people to gather together and create healthy and economically vibrant communities.”
Sue Riddell Rose, president & CEO, Perpetual Energy Inc. and Community Hubs donor
Tell us what community means to you at #yycHubs