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Community Services and Protective Services (CS&PS)

What we do

We contribute to Calgarians’ well-being and quality of life by providing sport, art, culture, leisure activities and parks; strong communities through social connectedness and good neighbour policies; and safety by providing reliable emergency and disaster response systems.

We do this through partnerships with community agencies, community and social recreation associations, civic partners, and a network of provincial and federal emergency management agencies.

Strategic Direction

Community Services & Protective Services continues to identify opportunities that will help us operate more effectively and efficiently. We strive to deliver services in a more targeted way (ensuring the right balance between outcomes and process) through collaboration and leveraging community partnerships. We keep our focus on quality, service delivery and efficiency as we think about our services with an eye to the future and emerging trends to maximize the impact and effect of our tax supported budgets.

2012 – 2013 Accomplishments

Community upgrades

The Community Investment Fund supported upgrades to Bowness Park, Shouldice Aquatic Centre, Ernie Starr Arena and Optimist Park athletic field.

The reopening of Devonian Gardens

Devonian Gardens reopened following an extensive renovation. New plants, including exotic varieties, were planted throughout the 2.5 acre space, showcasing 10,000 shrubs, 1.5 million pounds of soil and 550 tropical palm trees covering 18 species.

The Genesis Wellness Centre

The Genesis Wellness Centre opened to offer urgently needed sport, recreation, wellness and cultural services to the residents of northeast Calgary.

New recreation centres

Funding was secured to begin construction on four new recreation centres. Quarry Park and Great Plains broke ground in 2013 and ground breakings for Rocky Ridge and Seton are planned for 2014.

New Central Library

16,500 Calgarians voiced their opinions on the new Central Library and the library system. The project team has been announced and design for the new Central Library is now underway. Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2018.

New community initiatives

The Inspiring Strong Neighbourhoods initiative was piloted, laying the foundation for creating a citizen-centric program that empowers residents to improve their communities.

Poppy Plaza

Poppy Plaza opened in honour of the men and women who have served to protect our freedom and security.

New fire stations

The Calgary Fire Department opened four new fire stations in the communities of Douglas Glen, Symons Valley and Seaton, and replacement stations in South Calgary and Evergreen. Two additional replacement stations are planned to open in 2014 in the communities of Windsor Park and Royal Vista.

Flood 2013

Calgary Emergency Management Agency

The Calgary Emergency Management Agency coordinated The City’s response to the flood, overseeing the efforts of 29 Business Units, 12 external members, 7 invited partners and approximately 7,000 City staff.

Public Safety Communications

911 experienced some of the highest call volumes ever seen and the Fire Department performed more than 400 water rescues of citizens who could not safely escape from their home within the first 24 hours of flood evacuation notice.

Recreation centres

Our recreation centres were converted to reception centres supporting 3,687 people in need of information and resources and serving as a shelter for 1,390 displaced citizens at the peak of the flood.

Social emergency services

Community & Neighbourhood social emergency services worked with displaced citizens and vulnerable populations and ABS coordinated community clean-ups to help aid their return home.

City celebrations

Canada Day celebrations proceeded despite the flood and the festival schedule remained uninterrupted on Prince’s Island Park. Ongoing recovery Recovery work continues to restore badly damaged lands and pathways and providing ongoing support to our partners such as the Calgary Zoo and Talisman Centre.

Improving how we deliver services

Community Services & Protective Services achieved more than $10 million of Productivity Gains in the 2012-14 business plan and budget cycle. The majority of the productivity initiatives focused on efficiencies through the reduction of staff, administrative efficiencies and/or reorganizations, change in operations and contracting services. We continue to seek further efficiencies and opportunities.


Total Gross Budget 2014 - $502.2M

Tax-Supported Net Operating Budget 2014 - $394.0M


CS&PS Operating Budget 


Capital Budget - $375M


CS&PS Capital Budget 


What services do we provide?

Animal & Bylaw Services (ABS)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $18.1 M

  • We support communities with a focus on health, safety and protection of people and their pets.
  • We encourage safe behaviours through education and compliance; graffiti removal programs; enforcement of park and pathway regulations, and address snow and noise complaints.
  • We support citizen-centric service delivery.
  • We operate dog and cat licensing programs and animal adoptions. We manage animal shelters and animal control services and provide no cost spay and neuter services for pets of low income Calgarians.
  • We provide bylaw enforcement for municipal bylaws and provincial statues.

DID YOU KNOW? We support compliance with all municipal bylaws and 11 provincial statutes, and support the Crime Prevention Investment plan and Graffiti Abatement Program.

Community & Neighbourhood Services (CNS)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $31.3 M
  • We provide programs and services for children and youth, seniors, families and communities.
  • We work with community associations and social/ recreational groups to provide over 130 accessible community recreation activities.
  • In partnership with other agencies, we offer a Youth Employment Centre that provides career and employment services to Calgary youth aged 15-24, with an annual employment fair to over 4,500 youth.
  • We support the Calgary Afterschool program which keeps over 16,000 kids aged 6 – 16 active and safe during critical hours after school.
  • We deliver youth crime prevention and early intervention programs, and support youth justice as well as the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative.
  • We provide employment preparation services to persons with barriers to employment and offer home maintenance services to low income and infirm seniors.
  • We are constructing 2 new recreation centres and planning for 2 more recreation centres to meet the growth needs of our communities.
  • We work with over 100 partners and provide liaison and funding to The City’s Civic Partners including the Calgary Zoo and the Calgary Public Library, as well as FCSS agencies.

DID YOU KNOW? Each City tax dollar in Community & Neighbourhood Services generates another $1.11 through provincial and federal grants, giving us over twice the reach! 

Calgary Fire Department (Fire)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $195.5 M

  • We deliver an integrated program of emergency fire and medical response, prevention and enforcement and support emergency and disaster management planning preparedness and response.
  • We deliver emergency protection and technical rescue and medical response services. Calgary Fire Department made 105,000+ responses to 54,000+ incidents in 2013.
  • We respond to fires, emergency medical incidents, chemical and hazardous materials releases and motor vehicle incidents. We provide specialized rescue services including rescue from incidents such as wind, water, tall structures and collapsed buildings or confined spaces.
  • We deliver health and safety programs to reflect the demands of our growing and changing communities.
  • We work with building and property owners through education, inspections and enforcement, to ensure compliance with fire and safety codes.
  • We work with partner agencies for joint emergency and disaster planning, preparedness and response.

DID YOU KNOW? Since introducing our annual home safety program in 1996, we have visited over a quarter million Calgary homes to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)

(budget included in Calgary Fire Department budget)

  • We work to respond to and recover from major disasters and emergencies that impact Calgary and its citizens.
  • We work with City departments, external agencies and volunteers to be sure that there is a prepared, fast response in the event of a disaster.
  • We develop tools to identify, collect and assess information on hazards, risk and vulnerabilities supporting emergency preparedness.
  • We coordinate over 100 Task Force members from southern Alberta for Canada Task Force 2 and 100 Emergency Social Service Members who provide reception centre services to evacuees during a disaster or emergency.
  • We coordinate over 30 members and numerous partners in an emergency or disaster.
  • We work with City of Calgary business units and other organizations to plan business continuity operational capacity and resiliency before, during and after an event.

DID YOU KNOW? During the June flood, up to 200 people worked in The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at any given time to assist CEMA in the coordination of more than 7,000 City staff, ENMAX personnel, Canada Task Force 2, Emergency Social Services, Canadian Armed Forces and more.


2014 Net Operating Budget - $80.0 M

  • We steward public parks and the open space to create liveable communities.
  • We manage Calgary’s public parks, pathways, civic cemeteries and open space, including 7,765 hectares of managed parkland and natural areas and nearly 800 km of pathways.
  • We develop all parks related policies and plans.
  • We negotiate park growth for new communities and work with citizens to build new regional parks, improve cultural landscapes and revitalize our older parks.
  • We protect Calgary’s flora and fauna through habitat management. We develop strategic policies intended to protect natural areas and the urban forest.
  • We promote environmental awareness through education and special events such as nature programs for school age children and the annual Pathway and River Clean Up.

DID YOU KNOW? Parks maintains 1,070 playgrounds, 925 soccer fields, 432 ball diamonds and planted 4,350 trees in 2012.

Public Safety Communications (PSC)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $24.7 M

  • We are the first point of contact for citizens in emergency.
  • We deliver 911 call evaluation and dispatch for Police, Fire and Alberta Health Services.
  • We are the largest public safety answer point in Alberta, and one of the largest in Canada in terms of call volumes and number of people served. The average speed of answer for all emergency calls was under 6 seconds (2013).
  • We are experiencing an increase in call volumes and 70% of the calls originate from a cell phone.
  • We co-ordinate first response teams at the scene of an emergency and provide communication support for front line crews.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2012, PSC received over one million emergency and non-emergency calls.

Recreation (Rec)

2014 Net Operating Budget - $43.7M

  • We provide a range of recreation, sport, arts and cultural programs, services and facilities to meet the recreation needs of all Calgarians through both direct service delivery and partnership agreements.
  • We operate the existing City’s recreation facilities (two leisure centres, 19 arenas, eight golf courses, two arts centres, 11 athletic parks, 12 aquatic and fitness centres and one sailing school).
  • We deliver thousands of programs and services ranging from aquatics, arts, culture, dance, day camps, sport and fitness, with 10,876 courses offered to 120,341 participants in 2013.
  • We manage and support arts and culture initiatives and enrich our city through the public art program and civic art collection. We provide support to more than 270 major events and festivals with over 997 event days in 2013.
  • We reduce barriers for anyone wanting to participate. The Fee Assistance Program provided almost 25,452 Calgarians with highly discounted access to recreation programs and facilities in 2013.
  • We book and rent space in our recreation facilities for community sport and recreation groups – 500,185 rental hours for arenas and athletic parks in 2013.
  • We provide partnership management support and funding to civic and community partners including Talisman Sport and Wellness Centre, Calgary Arts Development Authority, Epcor Centre for Performing Arts, Sport Calgary.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2012, there were almost 4.2 million visits to City recreation facilities.