Winter is the time to plot and plan, and spring is the time to act. This spring I would like to celebrate some of our very own action heroes - people who are changing Calgary for the better with small but powerful steps.
Anyone who had the opportunity to meet Michael Green, usually remembers, in minute detail, their first encounter. His wild vision for Calgary’s downtown dared us to look at our city differently, and it helped us dream of a much bolder place; a Calgary that we could never have imagined without him. For over 30 years, he transformed the month of January into an extravaganza of theatre, dance, music, and, yes, wrestling.
Many artists speak of how Michael could see their potential, even when they could not see it for themselves. Michael saw these boundless possibilities, not only in each of us, but in our city as well. We will miss our Michael Green.
Mavis Sew is a Capitol Hill magician! She became the catalyst in a community in need of rejuvenation. Mavis’s energy is infectious – she inspires others to get involved, showing her neighbours that working together on simple projects like a playground or community garden can be transformative. She continues to lead the charge on new programs and events in her neighbourhood.
Tamara Lee is the positive force behind several ground-breaking ventures including Bow to Bluff and the YIMBY Project (Yes In My Backyard). My all-time favourite is Bench Diaries, a project to collect the anonymous thoughts and feelings of those who happen upon a diary placed on a public bench. Tamara then adds the entries to a website: www.benchdiary.com/Calgary. These funny or poignant missives-from-the-soul paint a picture of community consciousness.
It’s hard to miss the proliferation of tiny, colourful libraries springing up in Ward 7 and beyond. Along with 3 Things for Calgary, Civic Camp, and many other initiatives, Cheri Macaulay is responsible for bringing little libraries to Calgary. The Ward 7 Team organized a little library building bee with the help of local developers, and we now boast the most little libraries in Calgary. Cheri is re-focusing her energies on her newly adopted community of East Village. Fasten your seatbelts, East Village!
Great initiatives also happen because neighbours come together. A special example is the Neighbour-2-Neighbour Initiative in East Crescent Heights, started in 2009 by residents concerned with rising neighbourhood crime. N2N now organizes events like “Celebrating Diversity, Building Community” which features diverse cultural groups performing for the residents and businesses. N2N is also responsible for the Travelling Coffee Table, where you can share an impromptu coffee at random places in Crescent Heights.
These are a few of the delightful experiences brought about by Ward 7 residents, to enhance and enrich community life. If you have a similar idea, don’t be afraid to give it a try. You never know what will come of it or who you will meet.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.