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Opinion of the design

Community engagement is part of Water for Riley (W4R)

W4R encourages community input. This comment came through this site’s contact page, as well as The Parks Foundation Facebook page. W4R shares it in hopes you will join the discussion.

What do you see in the drinking fountain design, “Reflecting Blooms?

The writer, Dave, raised two main concerns, and gave a compliment:

  1. The drinking fountain design. The city is experiencing an opiate crisis and you are putting a fountain that resembles opium poppy heads in a family friendly park?  Beyond the fact it may trigger addicts, it is terrible metaprograming for the kids. I object to a design that references opiates.

W4R replies: We should all be concerned about opiates. However, not all flowers with petals are opium producing poppies. There are over 50 varieties of poppies, according to https://www.britannica.com/plant/poppy, many looking little like the fountain design aside from having petals.

Nor was opiate-bearing poppy in the mind of the student designer. In her description of the design, she stated she took her inspiration from the floral beauty of the park flower beds, and opiate poppies aren’t planted there, so her design’s intention doesn’t reference opiates.

  1. Shading from the sun. This is the problem with the existing fountain, the water is warm because it is often in direct sunlight.

W4R repliesThe City of Calgary decided on the site for the drinking fountain in Riley Park. The City of Calgary has to connect the fountain to a water line that already exists. Also, the drinking fountain should be accessible to the open areas and playground and the new bandstand for the health of the children and music lovers. Fortunately, lovely mature trees shade the site selected.

And now, Dave’s compliment: I love the idea of fountains in parks. Thank you for this initiative, this is a great opportunity to add value to the community through functional art, just please be mindful of the subconscious message it conveys.

W4R replies: Thank you, Dave, for the insightful comments. We hope this addresses your concern, and are glad you like the idea of a drinking fountain in the park, especially where no potable water source currently exists.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

A standard contract in non-standard parts

Like NAFTA negotiations, Water for Riley (W4R) is a tri-party contracting effort, which was supposed to be fast and simple, until complications happened.

The unexpected complications

The standard contract that Heavy Industries (HI) usually signs with its clients just didn’t apply to this project. Because W4R is unique, three of the contract clauses needed revisions.

Fortunately, W4R’s amazing partners at the City of Calgary Parks Department and HI understood the issues that W4R had with the contract and worked hard to make the necessary changes. Back to the NAFTA metaphor, we parsed legal language from October, 2017, to July, 2018.

W4R is an ad hoc group of volunteers

W4R owns nothing and has accomplished much. W4R exists to:

The solution in two parts

HI and the City of Calgary really came through for us.

First, HI revised some clauses in the contract. HI is a world-class company, whose clients include well-known artists and corporations. Yet, HI gives our local drinking fountain the same consideration, attention, and time it does to its multi-million dollar international projects.

Second, HI and the City of Calgary agreed to (a) split HI’s standard contract into two phases with known start and end dates; and (b) HI will sign the City of Calgary’s standard documentation for any work it undertakes for the City of Calgary.

The first phase contract, which W4R signed, starts now. It ends when the drinking fountain is fabricated, in a crate, and loaded on the truck on HI property, before the loaded truck’s wheels roll.

The contract was signed 9 July, 2018, setting the stage for HI to begin its work.

The second phase contract, which HI and the City of Calgary will sign, starts when the loaded truck’s wheels roll. Phase two covers installing the drinking fountain in Riley Park.

Water for Riley is incredibly grateful for this flexibility in the standard practices of both HI and the City of Calgary.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See the W4R story in ACAD’s video

ACAD’s creative W4R story

ACAD captures W4R in video

W4R followed its own unique structure and process. ACAD’s Director, Marketing & Communications, Marion Garden, thought W4R had a great story. She found the right, amazing people to tell it.

W4R’s story is now online

Kenzie Webber

Kenzie WebberACAD‘s talented Digital Content Coordinator,  shaped the story of how W4R brought institutions together, engaged community, and gave students a real-world, client experience.

At several stages, ACAD videographers filmed W4R’s special events. Kenzie features that ACAD footage and this blog’s images in the short video.

Steven Hodges, ACAD‘s Community Engagement Strategist, liaised with W4R volunteers during the editing process.

Please share the link to the video about W4R’s story https://youtu.be/1ZKjAIab3Bs

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

 

 

Riley Park’s new bandstand

Thank you, City of Calgary Parks Department

Water for Riley has enjoyed a productive relationship with staff of the City of Calgary Parks Department. From the beginning of the project, Councillor Farrell, Ron Buchan and Michelle Reid understood the vision to bring a student-designed, artistic, functional drinking fountain to Riley Park.

W4R has accomplished so much and it wouldn’t have happened without their support.

Michelle Reid, Councillor Druh Farrell, and Ron Buchan meet with Michelle Vincent, lead W4R volunteer.

Coming soon to Riley Park, again courtesy of Parks Department

For years, the only remnant of the prior bandstand was its concrete footprint, like a dinosaur print preserved in clay.

March, 2017, all that remained of the bandstand in Riley Park was this concrete pad.

Now, the bandstand rises again

April, 2018

A new permanent bandstand on the concrete pad replaces one that Nature destroyed.

Located near the new children’s playground, the bandstand will provide shelter and entertainment. This cluster of activities sorely needs drinking water. The drinking fountain will provide that water to thirsty entertainers and their audiences.

With the playground, activities and the wading pool drawing children and families to Riley Park, a drinking fountain is ever more important. Fortunately, with the help of W4R’s wonderful partners and sponsors, the drinking fountain also draws ever nearer in time.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

 

How a great community grows

Why are Water for Riley (W4R) volunteers working so hard to bring a drinking fountain to Riley Park?

Simple answer: Hillhurst Sunnyside (HS) is a terrific community, in every sense of the word community. While the community grows in population, with new developments and densification, it isn’t adding services. W4R aims to add one service to Riley Park, to accommodate the growth in HS residents.

As a member of the Federation of Calgary Communities, our HS community, especially the volunteers, live the “resident-led solutions” motto. W4R is a totally resident led effort.

W4R volunteers too often let social media slide, spending valuable hours on guiding the fabrication of the drinking fountain, dealing with finances, interpreting contract language, and fundraising. Social media fell to the bottom of the to-do list.

Thanks to W4R’s relationship with HSCA, we gratefully piggy back on HSCA social media to have this reach:
HSCA Website Page Views: 6734
Facebook Likes: 1718 increased 20
Twitter Followers: 3589 increased 25
Instagram Followers: 857 increased 25
Newsletter Subscribers: 1936 decreased 7

Social media is important for staying connected to the people who will benefit from the drinking fountain. Here are some interesting statistics about how to connect:

What can you do? Join a local community association for the connections and the other benefits, like discounts at local businesses, taking programs, and making new friends. Better yet – donate to W4R.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision a reality at the Parks Foundation Calgary. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to volunteer. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

To all donors, supporters, partners and friends, thank you from the volunteers of Water for Riley.

 

2018: the year of the drinking fountain in Riley Park

Water for Riley has a strong start to the year

Water for Riley (W4R) will receive Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT’s (NWHP) substantial financial gift in 2018, no strings attached. The contribution is part of NWHP’s commitment to being a good neighbour to beautiful Riley Park. Terry Schmitt, NWHP Regional General Manager, Western Canada, and Tracy Hume, NWHP Regional Property Manager, met with W4R on February 26, 2018, to discuss logistics.

Gena Rotstein, Tracy Hume and Terry Schmitt at NWHP office

Reflecting Blooms is in the construction queue

The artistic, functional drinking fountain created by ACAD student and emerging artist, Michelle Lazo, is in Plan Assist stage. Naturally, Heavy Industries needs a contract to lay out the responsibilities and rights for it and its client.

This opened quite an interesting discussion: who is Heavy Industries’ client?

W4R is what’s known as a legal fiction. It exists as the project’s name and a group of volunteers who ensure the bills are paid. The City of Calgary is the ultimate owner of the drinking fountain, but is not the client. An ACAD student owns the IP in the design, but is not the client. HSCA is the oversight body of W4R’s volunteer Project Manager, but is not the client.

The dilemma has now been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The contract will have all the proper signatures this week.

Michelle Reid, Parks Dept, Greg Courage, Heavy Industries, Ron Buchan, Parks Dept, worked out satisfactory contractual language.

2018’s four remaining tasks

Task #1 is continued fundraising to bridge the gap between income and expenses.

Task #2 is managing the paperwork associated with the drinking fountain’s fabrication.

Task #3 is ongoing engagement with W4R’s community, stakeholders, sponsors, and partners, especially on social media, for which we thank HSCA for its platforms, apps, and assistance.

Task #4 will be a ribbon cutting celebration sometime in autumn.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision a reality at the Parks Foundation Calgary. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to volunteer. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

To all donors, supporters, partners and friends, thank you from the volunteers of Water for Riley.

See you in person, this autumn, at the opening celebration of the drinking fountain in Riley Park.

 

Major sponsor uplifts Water for Riley

Welcome 2018 and NWHP,
W4R’s new sponsor

The North West corner of Riley Park is the old Grace Hospital. NorthWest Healthcare Properties (NWHP) owns the site, which is slated for redevelopment. It’s early stage, and NWHP hasn’t yet made planning decisions or submitted permit applications.

NWHP expresses its commitment to working with the community for mutual benefits. Members of the Hillhurst Sunnyside community have engaged with NWHP, with the goals of optimizing use of the prime inner-city location and fitting with the neighbourhood.

Water for Riley (W4R) is one of the stakeholders interested in NWHP’s plans for the land. After all, whoever lives and/or works in the Grace site has Riley Park for a yard.

One decision has W4R excited!

In NWHP’s own words, from Terry SchmittRegional General Manager, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT:

We are pleased to advise you that NorthWest Healthcare Properties would like to accept your proposal to become a major sponsor of the Water for Riley project by offering a donation of $50,000. NorthWest has been and will continue to be a long term member of the community and is excited about the opportunity to participate in this project.
Terry Schmitt and Tracy Hume of NWHP met with Michelle Vincent, volunteer with W4R.

In W4R’s words, we are grateful NWHP wants to be a good neighbour, W4R’s major sponsor, and participant in this adventure. This is a no-strings attached donation to the community for Riley Park.

The gift is important for so many reasons

This amazingly generous gift will allow us to complete the fabrication of Reflecting Blooms and plant the blooms this year. It motivates volunteerism in our wonderful community. It means we will come together, as a community, at a celebration when the drinking fountain opens. It demonstrates that community and developers can find common ground for mutual benefit.

 With this incredible gift, the drinking fountain might be almost fully funded. We await final cost of building it before we know for sure. The fabricators, Heavy Industries, is in the Plan Assist stage to confirm the final costs. Once we have that number, we will know if a gap exists between cost and cash on hand. Stay tuned for more news.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;

for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

 

Calgary winter, 2017-style

The holiday season is here

This is the winter scene that greeted Trail on his morning walk in Riley Park. (Not that there is much winter this December, 2017, as seen in the green background of the +15C record warm temperature.)

Trail and his BFF Jake, appreciate the holiday greeting from Anonymous Santa

To whoever took the time to make beautiful Riley Park
more festive with big bows this winter, thank you.

 

Season’s greetings and thank you from Water for Riley

Year’s end is a nostalgic time, and Water for Riley isn’t immune from the sentiment. 2017 marked some successes, some set-backs and lots of steps forward we’re proud to share. This year-end is a chance for huge thanks to all who made the drinking fountain in Riley Park manageable and close to reality.

Public art became a contentious issue in Calgary, with pushback from taxpayers and residents about the quality of art installations in public spaces. Water for Riley followed the debate with interest since the drinking fountain will be public art as well as a functional fountain. Water for Riley adhered to a different process than the Public Art Program. All 21 drinking fountain designs were displayed throughout the community in many venues, comments collected, and a professional jury of local residents specifically chosen for their expert credentials and their expertise in the neighbourhood. The transparent process resulted in a design that most residents accept.

Throughout the year’s many meetings, displays, marathon document writing sessions, and fundraising efforts, the organizing committee received and greatly appreciates the excellent guidance and advice from: IBI Group, Ron Buchan and Michelle Reid of City of Calgary Parks Department, The Calgary Foundation, The Parks Foundation of Calgary, Gena Rotstein of Place2Give Foundation, Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, Framed on Fifth, Sunnyside Natural Market, Nulli Identity Management, and Heavy Industries, Sally Truss, Michelle Vincent, Kerry Harmer, ACAD’s Marion Garden, among others. They worked hard to ensure the volunteers managing this grassroots project stayed on track.

To all donors, supporters, partners and friends, very warm greetings for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018, from the volunteers of Water for Riley. See you in person, this summer, at the opening celebration of the drinking fountain in Riley Park.

If you donate to Water for Riley, you will receive a tax receipt from The Parks Foundation Calgary.

 

Updating neighbours on progress

Community engagement is Water for Riley’s core value

Water for Riley’s (W4R) volunteer organizing committee is committed to engaging a wide range of communities. It’s important to keep groups and individuals with an interest in Riley Park up to date on progress. We’re closing on the goal of getting a beautiful, functional, artistic drinking fountain for Riley Park’s active users.

This week W4R volunteers checked in with Riley Park neighbours

The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA) has a new Executive Director, Karen Gallagher-Burt. W4R was happy to meet with Karen to introduce the project, and delighted that she was already well informed about it. Karen said: “Water for Riley is a very good news story.”

From the start, Water for Riley has been an ad hoc subcommittee of HSCA’s Community Planning Committee (CPC), reporting to the Chair of the CPC, Robert McKercher. Robert always gives sage advice, so it was nice to report on W4R’s status and get his feedback.

Karen Gallagher-Burt, E.D. of the HSCA, and Robert McKercher, Chair of the CPC
Karen Gallagher-Burt, E.D. of the HSCA, and Robert McKercher, Chair of the CPC, met with W4R volunteer, Deborah Sword.

This week W4R volunteers checked in with Riley Park future neighbours

The Grace Hospital, north of Riley Park’s 10 Ave N.W. boundary and East of 14 St. N.W., has been purchased for redevelopment. The owner now is Northwest Healthcare Properties (NWHP), with big plans for a mixed-use development on the site.

W4R met with Terry Schmitt, NWHP Regional General Manager, Western Canada, and Tracy Hume, NWHP Regional Property Manager. Terry and Tracy expressed their interest in being good neighbours in our great community, which is W4R’s interest also.

Terry Schmitt, and Tracy Hume of NWHP, and Michelle Vincent, Lead Volunteer of Water for Riley

This week W4R volunteers checked in with Riley Park municipal neighbours

On Feb 17, 2015, before Water for Riley was named or formed, its current volunteer Project Manager sent an email to Ron Buchan, City of Calgary Parks Department, and asked if there was any possibility of getting a drinking fountain in Riley Park. Ron answered right away and he’s been answering right away ever since. In fact, Ron has shown up every time W4R has needed and invited him.

Michelle Reid, Cultural Landscape Lead in the City of Calgary Parks Department, has consulted to W4R for over a year. She has always offered good counsel and excellent ideas, and encouraged the student designers.

On June 19, 2012, W4R’s current volunteer Project Manager sent an email to Councillor Druh Farrell asking about a drinking fountain design challenge with ACAD and SAIT. Druh answered right away that: “I think it’s a great idea… I’m also sending a note to Parks, … as Riley Park is a regional park and gets a huge amount of use.” Druh, who was recently re-elected in Ward 7, provided W4R with a letter of support early in the W4R process, and has brought attention to events through her good offices.

We reported on the current status of fundraising efforts and drinking fountain fabrication. The City of Calgary has been incredibly helpful to W4R  and it’s a pleasure to work with them.

Michelle Reid, Councillor Druh Farrell, Ron Buchan, Michelle Vincent, Lead Volunteer of Water for Riley

Keeping all the communities of interest connected is one of the most positive impacts of W4R. You are part of the community.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

 

Is the finish line in sight?

The two remaining tasks take shape

  1. Task #1 is fundraising to complete the drinking fountain project. We have had several interesting prospect meetings, and more are booked.
  2. Task #2 is project managing the fabrication of the drinking fountain.

Meanwhile, we continue engaging with W4R’s wonderful partners:

ACAD is exploring an opportunity, subject to its own resource pressures, which intrigues Water for Riley volunteers. 19 September, 2017, we met with new ACAD staff member, Marion Garden, and ACAD teacher and W4R champion, Kerry Harmer. Kerry shared the reasons that Riley Park matters and deserves a blockbuster, public art, drinking fountain. Marion was interested in the process W4R used to bring institutions together and build community around the project.

W4R’s story is so inspiring that Marion wants to help. Her idea is fascinating. From early in the project the community engagement process has been thick and rich, and ACAD videographers tagged alone with equipment. Huge, raw data files are now cached in ACAD’s computers. Marion is exploring how to cull the footage and shape the story of how students designed the drinking fountain. This will be a long term collaborative project for ACAD.

Marion and Kerry at ACAD meeting, 19 Sept 2017
Marion Garden, new Director, Marketing & Communications, Alberta College of Art + Design and Kerry Harmer, teacher and mentor of student designers.

The drinking fountain prototype is slotted into a queue:

18 October 2017, Water for Riley volunteers met the consultants again, this time to see the fabricator’s scheduling plan, and identify the right people to answer the more detailed and technical questions. The meeting goal was to nail down the information needed to proceed with the Design Assist phase.

W4R and consultants meet with a full agenda to discuss
Heavy Industries created the Plan Assist, which focused the team members on how the project will unfold and tasks for each step.
Gregory Courage (Heavy Industries), Michelle Vincent, W4R volunteer, Amanda Polini and Prasad Ganesan (IBI Group), and Kevin Poole and Connor Hayduk (Heavy Industries).

From the meeting, we have a better idea of what we don’t yet know that the Design Assist will reveal and what questions to ask. IBI Group has already connected with City of Calgary staff to get key information.

The project is getting down to the technical details.

Now, we wait for the answers to become clear, which, by Heavy Industries’ estimate, is four to five months.

None of this would happen without the wonderful funders who supply the money to pay for the fountain. We are especially grateful to The Calgary Foundation for its incredible support.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.