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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Funding program helps upgrade and renew sport facilities - first deadline Nov.12

The City of Calgary has helped provide funding to community groups to renew and upgrade sport facilities through the Sport Facility Renewal (SFR) funding program since 2008.

Acadia Community Association was granted up to $805,000 in 2013 for upgrades to the curling rink at their recreation centre - which just celebrated its reopening on Oct. 18. The upgrades included the replacement of the existing ice slabs with a new refrigerated floor system.

Now accepting applications

The City is currently accepting applications for the upcoming 2015 SFR funding program, with the project pre-screening deadline for the 2015 SFR funding program coming up on Nov. 12.  

“This progressive grant program enables community organizations the opportunity to leverage dollars to upgrade or refurbish existing sport amenities,” says Greg Steinraths, manager of Sport Partnership & Development at The City of Calgary.
More than $6M awarded since 2008

Since the program’s inception, The City has awarded more than $6 million to partner organizations such as Cardel Place, Triwood Community Association, Oakridge Community Association, the Northeast Sportsplex, and the Calgary Rugby Union.

“We’re happy to support community-based organizations as they endeavour to move forward significant projects. In fact, these amenities are critical to our sport delivery system,” says Steinraths. “The rink re-opens just in time too – as Calgarians are gearing up for their favourite winter pastimes.”
“As Calgary’s population continues to grow, so does the need for quality sport amenities. Investing in sport encourages healthy individuals, as well as, healthy and vibrant cities.”

For more information or to learn about the first step in the process, the project pre-screening (deadline Nov. 12) or for an update on all of Recreation’s projects.

Submitted by Lisa Fleece, Recreation

Six storey wood structures: An innovative way to increase housing affordability

Beginning in November, The City will be accepting building permit applications for six-storey wood-frame residential buildings in areas where the building proposal would comply with the applicable zoning rules. The current Building Code currently limits wood frame residential construction to four storeys.

“We are looking at innovative ways to make housing more affordable for Calgarians,” says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Six story wood buildings are easier and cheaper to build than using other materials, which makes for more affordable homes.”

This decision comes after two years of participating in engagement with industry and responding to public review comments for the National Building Code.

Calgary joins jurisdictions in Quebec, British Columbia and on January 1, 2015, Ontario, to allow six storey wood buildings. Rollin Stanley, General Manager of PDA notes that "cities across North America permit this type of construction. It has provided lower cost construction and we have looked at building practices in these places to model our approach to regulations."

The City is also taking best practices from these jurisdictions to adopt in Calgary which includes enhanced Fire Safety Plans during construction.

“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region would like to thank The City of Calgary for their leadership in providing this exciting opportunity to bring more mid-rise multifamily construction to Calgary,” says Amie Blanchette, Director of Government Affairs with CHBA. “This new choice in the marketplace will assist our builders in meeting the steadily increasing demand for safe, quality housing in a variety of forms throughout the city.”

The City of Calgary will be accepting building permit applications for six-storey wood-frame structures immediately using an alternative solution process, to meet the minimum requirements of the Alberta Building Code, until the changes are adopted. View the technical guide and examples at

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The City of Calgary and partners come together for Halloween safety

Halloween is a fun time of year – with costumes, pumpkin carving, parties, and trick-or-treating. To help Calgary families prepare for the fun-filled night of spookiness The City of Calgary has partnered with Calgary’s Child Magazine and Shaw TV to help promote Halloween safety. 

Together, the Partners for Safety will be out on Halloween night between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in more than 800 marked vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, bylaw vehicles, ambulances and Shaw TV vans. These vehicles will be on patrol to provide a safe contact for any child in need of help. 

Trick-or-treaters can also visit any Calgary fire station or talk with a Calgary Transit bus driver if they need assistance or help. 

Safety tips for trick-or-treaters
  • Keep an eye open for trick-or-treaters when driving on Oct. 31. 
  • Choose or make Halloween costumes which allow your trick-or-treater to see clearly. 
  • Avoid costumes that are too loose and could choke, tangle or trip, and ensure costumes are made of bright, reflective material.
  • Always find out where your trick-or-treaters are going and when they will be home.
  • Trick-or-treaters should remain in the doorway or on the doorstep, when trick-or treating. 
  • Travel in groups and avoid short cuts through alleys, lanes or private property.
  • Cross the street at intersections, after looking both ways to ensure it's safe to cross.
  • Trick-or-treaters that are out after dark should carry a flashlight to help see and be seen.
  • Check all Halloween treats before children eat them.
Decorating tips with safety in mind
  • Use a flashlight or battery operated candle to light your jack-o-lantern. 
  • If you do use a candle, do not leave the jack-o-lantern unattended and ensure it is well away from anything that may burn or cause it to be knocked over. 
  • Keep exits clear of decorations. 
  • Keep decorations, especially those that are highly flammable like dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper, away from open flames and heat sources including light bulbs and heaters. 
For more information, please visit and follow the Partners for Safety on Facebook and Twitter

Submitted by Bridget Cox, Calgary Fire Department

Monday, October 27, 2014

Next phase of engagement for Prairie Winds Park begins October 29

The next phase of public engagement for Prairie Winds Park redevelopment is starting up soon, and we want to hear what you think. Prairie Winds Park is located in northeast Calgary's Westwinds community.

"Sounding board" at the park during Phase 1 consultations.
On Oct. 29, 2014, we are holding a public workshop at the Falconridge/Castleridge Community Association Hall (95 Falshire Drive N.E.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to hear what you have to say about the three preliminary design concepts for the park.

Three concepts will be shared - coming soon!

Each of the three concepts has been designed based on feedback received during the first phase of public engagement. During initial engagement, we heard from park users and other citizens that the park’s current infrastructure and pool needed work. So, within each concept you can see how this input has been incorporated into three unique designs for the park.

Throughout this phase of engagement (from Oct. 29 to Nov. 23, 2014), we are asking park users and other citizens to review each concept and tell us which one they prefer and why.

Ways to provide feedback on the concepts

Feedback can be provided in-person at the public workshop on Oct. 29 or in the park on the sounding boards, online (beginning on Oct. 29 - this blog post will be updated with the link), via text to 311-431-5333 or email at Citizens can also join the conversation on Twitter using #prairiewindspark.

All the feedback collected during this phase of engagement will be used to develop a final park design concept.

More about Prairie Winds Park.

Submitted by Erin Martinez, Parks

Friday, October 24, 2014

WANTED: Your input on West Eau Claire Park design concepts

The City completed the first round of engagement on West Eau Claire Park, receiving over 1600 comments and ideas, and is now ready for public input on the draft design concepts created from the comments received.

What: Open house
When: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
Time: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Eau Claire Market, Centre Court

At the open house, a summary of what was heard during the first round of engagement and a site analysis will be available along with the draft design concepts.

“We received very thought-out ideas in the first engagement which tells us people are passionate about this park space,” says Greg Stewart, project manager with The City of Calgary. “At this stage, the input we receive will help revise our strategy and concept designs to ensure we are using as much public input as we can, based on the budget and capabilities available for the space.”

The West Eau Claire Park is along the Eau Claire Promenade from the Louise Bridge (10th Street SW) to Eau Claire Plaza. The public input will help The City identify a clear vision to guide the design, provide a concept plan, and prioritize improvements for West Eau Claire Park.

For more information about the project and to see results from the first round of engagement visit