Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Federal Government confirms Green Line LRT Funding

The Green Line is a multi-billion dollar investment in Calgary’s future that will help build vibrant communities where people can live, shop, work and play. Today, the Federal government confirmed their commitment of 1.53 billion dollars for stage 1 of the Green Line LRT. This is an unprecedented investment in public transit infrastructure and the largest in Alberta’s history.

Today’s announcement and confirmation of funding brings us one step closer to building Calgary’s next LRT.

“The Green Line is an incredibly important investment in Calgary’s future, that will create jobs, and provide Calgarians from Crescent Heights to Shepard with fast, reliable and modern public transportation,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

You may have already seen some Green Line construction projects underway in communities along the route alignment. These enabling works projects are clearing the way for the Green Line LRT, and include utility relocations, land preparation, environmental remediation and transit improvements.

Major construction of stage 1, which runs from 16 Avenue N to 126 Ave SE. will begin in 2020 with an expected opening day in 2026.  This is the longest segment of LRT ever constructed at one time in Calgary’s history.

“We have the experience and expertise to design and deliver the Green Line project,” said City of Calgary Transportation General Manager, Michael Thompson, “Calgary builds world-class LRT, we’re ready to deliver excellent transit service”

Since 1978, Calgary has been continuously building and expanding its Light Rail Transit system and has created one of the most well used Light Rail Transit systems in North America.

The full vision for the Green Line is 46 kilometres from 160 Avenue N. to Seton in the southeast. Like the Red and Blue Lines the Green Line will be constructed in stages over a number of years. The City will continue to advance the long-term vision for the Green Line, including the TOD planning work, land acquisition and transportation and transit planning to prepare for future stages of construction.

Green Line Stage 1 Fast Facts:
20 km from 16 Avenue N to 126 Avenue SE
14 stations
8 bridges
1 km of elevated track between Inglewood/Ramsay to 26 Avenue stations
4 km Centre City tunnel from 16 Avenue N to Macleod Trail
1 light rail vehicle (LRV) Maintenance & Storage Facility north of 126 Avenue SE (Shepard)
Approximately 70 low floor vehicles
$4.65 billion capital construction cost

Monday, May 7, 2018

2,500 volunteers participate in the 51st annual Pathway and River Cleanup

A Nerf bow and arrow and large pool noodles were a few of the strange items found at the 51st annual Pathway and River Cleanup on Sunday, May 6. 

2,500 volunteers spent Sunday morning picking up garbage from our parks, pathways and river banks. Volunteers included non-profit organizations, youth groups, community associations, friends, family, co-workers, City staff drivers and even cyclists, who delivered extra supplies to volunteers during the event.
By the end of the day, a 20-yard garbage bin was filled with garbage collected by volunteers. Last year, a total of 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs) of garbage was collected. Garbage bags will continue to be collected over the next three weeks. 

This year’s event was another resounding success in helping to keep our city clean. Thanks to all the volunteer who participated and thanks to our presenting sponsor ConocoPhillips Canada for supporting the event.

Get involved
The Pathway and River Cleanup may be over until next year, but help is always needed. Here are some ways you can get involved:
  • Always pick up and properly dispose of your garbage, including pet waste and cigarette butts.
  • A variety of volunteer opportunities are available with The City of Calgary year-round. Contact 311 for more information.
  • Organize your own cleanup, using our free kits.
To learn more about the Pathway and River Cleanup, or to find out how you can volunteer for next year’s cleanup, visit calgary.ca/pathwayandrivercleanup.

To see more citizen photos, follow along on Twitter: #YYCcleans

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Now accepting applications for the 2018 Calgary Heritage Authority Lion Awards

With support from The City of Calgary, the Calgary Heritage Authority (CHA) has been hosting the biannual Lion Awards since 2006. The Lion Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have undertaken initiatives, of any scale, in support of heritage conservation in Calgary.

In 2016, winners included the Alberta Champions Society, Historic Calgary Week, Andrew Guilbert, the Cliff-Bungalow – Mission History Book, Equinox Vigil in Calgary’s Historic Union Cemetery, the 1875 Fort Calgary Interpretive Exhibit, Hunt House, Simmons Building, and the Somerville Duplex. Lorne Simpson was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on over 300 historic site projects in Calgary and southern Alberta.

Recognizing Calgary’s heritage and history is not just about preserving the past. Maintaining a link to our past, and understanding those links, ensures we have complete communities in the future. The stories we tell reflect our values -- who we are and who we aspire to be.

“Heritage is a stewardship,” said Andrew Guilbert, a writer and journalist who was honoured with an Advocacy and Awareness Award for his work with Avenue Calgary, which has raised awareness of Calgary’s local heritage.

“It's something we get to enjoy because our predecessors knew its value, and it’s our responsibility to understand and share why that inheritance must be passed on after we're gone. To be recognized as one of the many people who understand that responsibility was a great honour, and gave me a sense of connection to something larger than myself.”

Heritage in Calgary is represented from the downtown core and beyond to surrounding communities, and the size and scale of eligible projects varies. Communities, groups, organizations, and individuals are eligible to apply.

This year, the CHA will be recognizing one winner from each category. There are five award categories:

Resource Conservation
Community Vitalization
Advocacy and Awareness
Heritage Trades and Crafts

Do you know of a project, person or group that is deserving of recognition? Please review the full application instructions and submit by May 3, 2018 at 4 p.m. To apply, please visit: www.calgaryheritageauthority.com/about/lion_awards.htm
The 2018 CHA Lion Awards will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at the Palace Theatre. Get your tickets now!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Celebrating Earth Day: Calgary Climate Symposium and five climate-smart actions

At The City of Calgary, Earth Day is an opportunity to show our commitment to environmental protection. Addressing climate change is one way that we are demonstrating that commitment by investing in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, expanding public transit, capitalizing on renewable energy, retrofitting streetlights to LED, managing our waste as a resource, supporting innovative community design and much more. Today, we are sharing some of the highlights from our recent Climate Symposium and we’ve compiled a top-five list of climate smart actions citizens can take to celebrate Earth Day with us.

Last month The City of Calgary hosted the Calgary Climate Symposium, bringing together community leaders, entrepreneurs, prominent climate experts and City of Calgary staff for a series of unique networking and learning opportunities.

This was the first symposium of its kind The City has hosted and all five public events sold out. With so much interest and many requests to hear what was talked about, a playlist of videos is now available on the program website at calgary.ca/climateprogram with all of the presentations as well as feature interviews with many of the speakers.

The symposium aimed to open up a Calgary-specific conversation about how a changing climate will impact our city, and explore opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

“Climate change acts as a risk multiplier,” says Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, referring to large-scale events he has responded to such as the 2013 Southern Alberta flood and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires.

“Alberta has become the hotbed of severe weather events,” Bill Adams, Vice President, Western Region, Insurance Bureau of Canada, explains with a bar chart showing seven of the top 10 weather-related insured loss events in Canada have been in Alberta. “Understand that you are vulnerable, understand what your specific risks are at your home and at your business, and then take steps to address those risks.”

And while a changing climate poses risks and vulnerabilities for Calgarians, there are also opportunities.

“Climate change should be seen as a huge opportunity rather than a threat,” says Andy Gouldson, Professor of Environmental Policy and Dean of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Leeds. “All of our work shows really clearly that addressing climate change can create jobs, improve public health, lead to better, more vibrant cities and enhance the quality of life.”

Gouldson is part of a team at the University of Leeds who recently published the Economics of Low Carbon Development Report for Calgary, evaluating and prioritizing a list of actions in the residential, commercial, transport, industrial and waste sectors that will provide the largest impact on the local economy and global climate. This study will inform the Climate Program’s upcoming Climate Resilience Plan to be presented to Council in June 2018.

Presenters from the symposium also outlined simple steps citizens can take today to be climate smart. These are outlined in their video interviews, and we’ve compiled the top five:
  1. Install an energy efficient furnace and/or windows – Guy Huntingford, BILD Calgary 
  2. Use the My Energy IQ tool to understand your energy usage – Jeff Hilton, ENMAX 
  3. Use alternative transportation options (bike, walk, public transit) – Caroline Saunders, British Consul General 
  4. Be active in your community: participate in community gardens, car share programs and more – Anika Terton, International Institute for Sustainable Development 
  5. Be aware of your risks and prepare a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit – Tom Sampson, Calgary Emergency Management Agency

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Centre City banners celebrate Calgary’s connections

Next time you’re entering Calgary’s Centre City, be sure to take a look at the new banners up on the bridges leading into the core and the Olympic Plaza pergola. Created by artists Mary Haasdyk and My-An Nguyen, the series of six banners build on the concept of bridges being connectors to people and places all over The City. 

Haasdyk and Nguyen worked together to create the series over the course of 2015 and 2016, with Nguyen developing the environments and Haasdyk creating the characters within them. Each banner acts as a bridge between the different worlds and the viewer.

“As an illustrator, storytelling is something I’m always thinking of in my work,” says Haasdyk.  “These banners have a playful side, but they merge that with the idea of showing the viewer the value of connecting with other people and our community.”

Haasdyk and Nguyen, both local artists who attended ACAD, saw The City’s request for banner proposals and decided to submit a joint proposal for the project in 2015 when they saw the request. 

“We really just applied on a whim,” says Nguyen. “We were surprised when we heard that we got it – we had looked at the previous artists who had won contracts and they were already well-established, whereas we had just graduated and trying to get some experience by working together.”

Both artists say that working as a team was not without its challenges – they were able to overcome
this by breaking up the work to capitalize on their strengths in order to create banners that would capture the public’s attention in a fresh and interesting way. Both say that it was a good learning experience, and hope that those who see the banners will use their imagination as they engage with them.

“We didn’t want to just represent traditional environments,” says Nguyen. “We both agreed that we wanted each image to take on a fantastical element and sense of surrealism. We want to catch the viewer’s attention, and give them things to explore.”  “We also wanted a sense of celebrating our City and aspects of our history,” adds Haasdyk. “We hope that the public will see the beauty and the value of our city and our community in these pieces.”

The banners will remain in place for one year. Visit calgary.ca/centrecity for more information on the Centre City banner project and to view past and present artwork.