The Big Reveal: another community building event from W4R

The Big Reveal event was a stunning success

Kerry Harmer’s 3D Object Design class submitted 19 of the superb drinking fountain designs. She spoke about what it meant to her students to have real-world experience of designs’ impacts in the public realm.

Kerry Harmer was outstanding as emcee

Kerry’s counterpart is Greg Ball, SAIT instructor for the two Capstone Program teams that submitted designs. Greg observed three benefits his eight students obtained through their participation in Water for Riley. They saw the application of their effort to outcomes; learned problem solving in the context of client needs, and saw the social interactions among government, industry and non profits sectors. Greg also noted that Water for Riley provided rare cross fertilization between SAIT and ACAD students, which could be a model for the future to sharing thinking.

Greg saw SAIT and ACAD students learn from each others’ ways of thinking in a rare cross-fertilization on a project.

Dr. Daniel Doz, President of ACAD, said how proud he is of all the 29 student designers.

Jocelyn Kabatoff, Chair of The Big Reveal event, stands with all 21 of the design posters. Framed on Fifth donated all the framing for the project.

Daniel, among others, commented on the neighborhood feeling Water for Riley reinforces. He then dropped the cover and revealed the winner, Michelle Lazo’s Reflecting Blooms.

Dr. Daniel Doz before revealing the winning design.

Michelle told the story that her father worked for Calgary’s Parks Department. She grew up going to Riley Park and loved the flowers that inspired her design. She was really happy all the experiences came together and thanked her team and Kerry. She felt like she’d come full circle. “Dad worked there. Now my thumbprint will be there too.”

Michelle with the poster of her winning design, Reflecting Blooms

Sally Truss told her connection to Riley Park stemmed from being Executive Director of This is My City Art Society, which yarn bombed the house that became Aurora on the Park, a supportive and affordable residence. A drinking fountain is a welcoming gesture to the 25 Aurora residents who are across the street neighbours of Riley Park. Sally then described the process by which the jury had selected Reflecting Blooms. She praised the jury members, Michelle Reid of the City of Calgary Heritage Department, and the students who submitted designs. Thanks and shouts out to IBI Group for expert input that helped the jury reach its decision.

Sally was Chair of Water for Riley’s professional jury.

Ron Buchan, City of Calgary Parks Department, expressed how tremendous a project Water for Riley is. He recalled getting a request for a drinking fountain for Riley Park and thinking it was the usual concrete block residents wanted, and how much more exciting the student design challenge was. He asked his manager what directions he should give the students to guide their designs. His manager replied: “Give them nothing and let them run wild.” He’s really excited to see this fountain in the ground. “Riley Park is already a wonderful amenity and this drinking fountain design will enhance it.”

Ron challenged the community to replicate the Water for Riley process with a design competition for the proposed Riley Park bandstand.

Water for Riley thanks all its funders and sponsors, and especially Jocelyn Kabatoff and the volunteers who made The Big Reveal a reality.

Pushing Petals donated a glorious bouquet that graced the sponsors’ table and was given to Michelle when she won.
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