For the first time: all 21 fountain designs exhibited

this is my city logoANNOUNCING THIS IS MY CITY FESTIVAL 2016 kick off Thursday, April 7, continuing to April 24

Water for Riley is so proud to be a PARTNER PROJECT  @  THIS IS MY CITY FESTIVAL

Water for Riley Design Exhibit

A true community project, inspired by the need for access to drinking water for all Riley Park visitors, this exhibit showcases 21 innovative and playful designs from students of ACAD and SAIT for a much-needed, new public water fountain for Riley Park.

In May, these designs will be vetted – first by a community-based jury, then IBI Group and the City of Calgary – before one design is chosen for further development and construction near the children’s playground in Riley Park.

See all the 21 designs together for the first time!

Share your comments, impressions and your own stories of Calgary’s wonderful Riley Park.

@ Blank Page Studio April 7 – 24

Collaborators: Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Association, area businesses, local individuals, students and staff of Hillhurst School, faculty and students of ACAD and SAIT, This Is My City, and The Calgary Foundation.

And you: help make the fountain a reality for Riley Park, call 403 862 1923 or email  to participate, and click here to donate through the Parks Foundation. Specify your donation is for Water for Riley.

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Bring on SAIT

Thanks ACAD, and 3D Object Design course instructor, Kerry Harmer, and students; we have your 19 amazing designs.

Now, we await the designs of the two SAIT teams who were assigned designing a drinking fountain for Riley Park as their Capstone Project. We expect those two designs on March 25th.

Team Capstone event final

Read the announcement of the first time all 21 designs are exhibited.

Email to volunteer with Water for Riley, or call 403 862 1923. Help build whichever outstanding student design the jury selects. Riley Park is our community park, and good design improves quality of life, creates community, and boosts the economy.

To donate through the Parks Foundation, click the button and specify your donation is for Water for Riley:

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The drinking fountain designs were a cultural program

What a remarkable group of women and children gathered March 3, 2016. As an inclusive community, Hillhurst Sunnyside welcomes women and children in specialized housing services. Family Resource Centres serve as community hubs for programs in the specialized housing. Since a Family Resource Centre is located near Riley Park, the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association invited the ACAD poster exhibit to a program. The poster exhibit showed up in style.

Among other topics, the women discussed their different cultures, and the spiritual importance of water in world cultures, especially for women. All of the women and their children had been to Riley Park. They had huge smiles as they talked about the playground. Each of them agreed they’d experienced thirst while at the playground, and that a drinking fountain is needed for health.

After a delicious feast of ethnic foods, the beautiful children played and their mothers viewed the ACAD student designs.

Viewers had no trouble selecting their preferred design.
WINS display
Viewers discussed the cultural and spiritual roles of water to women.

Water for Riley is proud to visit the Family Resource Centre that, according to its website: “provide families with barrier free access to essential programs, services and resources that improve wellbeing.”

Water for Riley is all for wellbeing, and the drinking fountain is a barrier free essential service. We parted with new friends of the fountain.

To get involved with Water for Riley, call 403 862 1923 or email us. Please click the button to donate  through the Parks Foundation to our beautiful drinking fountain, whichever design it will be. Specify your donation is for Water for Riley.

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Engagement and Interaction: two best interim outcomes of water for riley

What are the most fun, interesting aspects of Water for Riley’s project plan so far? Two things: engagement and interaction. The whole project was designed to 1. engage the community, especially students, and 2. be interactive. However; plans have a tendency to stray from their intentions. How has the plan worked? Happily, in this case, the plan exceeded all aspirations.

ACAD students enthusiastically participated in the Water for Riley challenge to submit their designs for the drinking fountain. The 19 designs were then framed as posters and displayed in Hillhurst School and the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA) building for two weeks each. There are plans for exhibitions in more venues around the community.

The level of engagement and interaction with the poster exhibit has been overwhelming.

Hillhurst School engagement

Hillhurst School students had first viewing of the poster exhibit. School Vice Principal, Elan, arrange for the display in the school hallway, where students passed it several times a day.

Each teacher could use the Water for Riley project and the design posters for grade appropriate learning. As an example of how the teachers engaged the elementary school students, grade six used the exhibit for the critique method of observation and testing opinions:

Grade 6 assignment to use methodology for critique of one design
Grade 6 assignment to use methodology for critique of one design
Grade six students picked a design poster to observe and answer the questions assigned
Grade six students picked a design poster to observe and answer the questions assigned
what the students liked
what the students liked in the designs
what students would liked to have seen in the designs
what students would liked to have seen in the designs
Hillhurst School student comments
Hillhurst School student comments and drinking fountain designs

Hillhurst School student Liam, and his mother Leslie, had a great discussion about the designs and what it would mean to have a drinking fountain in Riley Park.

Liam & Leslie discuss posters
Liam & Leslie discuss posters

Liam recalled the teacher brought the posters to the classroom where students passed them around and discussed them. “It was awesome, especially the animal bowls because dogs need to drink, and people take their dogs to Riley Park,” he said. Although Liam admitted to having one favourite design, if his idea were built it would be “a fountain like a pea shooter.”

Leslie added that when Water for Riley first came to her attention, her reaction was: you mean, there isn’t a drinking fountain there now? “Parks should have drinking fountains,” she said.

Community engagement is ongoing

Next, the exhibit moved to the HSCA where it hung on the wall outside the gym. Everyone, from children in day care to youths in programs, shoppers at the Farmers’ Market, and seniors playing cards, could view the posters .

Community members Fong and her sons Kai and Bo, went to the exhibit at HSCA and carefully considered each design. They thought the drinking fountain was a good idea. “A beautiful design will make Riley Park look nice so more people will visit,” said Bo.

And, Fong said, it was very cool that ordinary people in the neighbourhood took on the task of Water for Riley as volunteers. “Hillhurst Sunnyside is really open to those kinds of ideas and to saying ‘yes’ to ideas.”

But – sometimes the fountain would get dirty and perhaps people would do bad stuff to it. It was important, Kai and Bo decided, to get everyone to take ownership of Riley Park so bad stuff didn’t happen.

Kai and Bo agreed on steps they could take. “Clean it if it’s dirty. We can all do our share to take care of it. If we see someone doing bad stuff, tell them to stop. Call 911 for emergencies.”

Fong, Bo, and Kai discuss the posters
Fong, Bo, and Kai discuss the posters

Soon, they’d agreed on their favourite design, although they each preferred it in different colours.

What else is cool about Water for Riley?

Think about it. Without Water for Riley, the HSCA might have requested the City install a drinking fountain in Riley Park. If the City agreed to the request, Riley Park would have gotten a concrete block fountain of one nozzle, without regard to users’ disabilities, height differences, artistic merit to attract visitors, canine needs, or the other criteria the students considered in their thoughtful comments and designs. Instead, Riley Park will get a water feature that’s beautiful and functional.

To get involved with Water for Riley, call 403 862 1923 or email us. and please donate to our beautiful drinking fountain, whichever design it will be. Click the button to donate through the Parks Foundation, and specify your donation is for Water for Riley.

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Press release #1: Water for Riley gets noticed

Press Release 1 WaterforRiley

Press Release 1 WaterforRiley
Press release #1 page 1
PR 1 page 2
Press release #1, page 2

Be part of the excitement. Volunteer to make Water for Riley a reality. Call 403 862 1923 or donate buttonemail Water for Riley. Click the button to donate through the Parks Foundation. Specify you are donating in support of the Water for Riley project.

Exhibit of student designs a success

The submitted drinking fountain designs continue to send shivers over people viewing them. No one who sees the array of wonderful designs is left unmoved at the creativity and imagination of the student designers.

The display of 18 ACAD student designs spent two weeks each at Hillhurst School and the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA). In both venues the feedback is incredible.

HSCA proclaims the exhibit inside and outside:

2016-02-14 15.16.26
Water for Riley display on events sign
2016-02-17 15.32.56
Water for Riley display on Events Calendar



2016-02-17 15.52.42
HSCA Executive Director, Quentin Sinclair, and Community Planning Coordinator, Lisa Chong, at Water for Riley market table

It became even more fun as the Farmers’ Market wound down. After 5:00 PM our special guests arrived. Viewing the exhibit together were: Ward 7 City Councillor, Druh Farrell with her key staff, Carol and Frank. Mountain View Constituency MLA, Dr. David Swann, The Calgary Foundation‘s Citizen Engagement Associate, Julie Black, This is My City Art Society Executive Director, Sally Truss, and Place2Give Foundation CEO, Gena Rotstein.

Julie, Gena, Sally, Carol, Deborah Sword, David, Druh, Frank
Julie, Gena, Sally, Carol, Deborah Sword, David, Druh, and Frank stand in front of the exhibit

Everyone had a great discussion of preferred designs, the cumulative impacts of the project, how fundraising efforts were going, how thrilled the ACAD students were to present their designs to the Water for Riley committee and supporters, and how the school used the display for multiple learning modules.

So many small milestones on the path to a public drinking fountain. None of the concrete steps that get us closer to the fountain are as important to us as the relationships we build on the journey we walk together. As Councillor Druh Farrell noted, the story of how everyone became involved gives us goosebumps.

There are lots of people to thank, and special thanks to the wonderful HSCA staff that helped tremendously with display space, time for hanging the display, occasionally monitoring the exhibit , and providing a table at the Feb 17 indoor Farmers’ Market.

Grateful. So grateful to all. Next post, the students of Hillhurst Elementary will get their due for their amazing feedback on the exhibit.

The exhibit is located at the HSCA building until Feb 19. Click the button to donate to Water for donate buttonRiley through the Parks Foundation, and be part of the community. Specify you are supporting the Water for Riley project. To participate or get more information, call 403 862 1923 or email Water for Riley.


ACAD student designs exhibited Feb 8-19, 2016

You’re invited to view the ACAD students’ submissions to the Riley Park public drinking fountain challenge. Tomorrow afternoon the posters are available for public viewing.

The posters hung for the past two weeks in Hillhurst Elementary School, where students and teachers used the exhibit in many learning modules. Their comments show how the exhibit engaged their imaginations about the drinking fountain’s role in the park, the natural environment, and the quality of the park users’ experience.

Not only does the public exhibit showcase ACAD student talent, it also fosters the relationship between the community, the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and ACAD.

Soon, the SAIT students’ designs will also be available. Another valuable relationship fostered. These are the cumulative impacts of the project.

This exhibit is a sneak preview of the designs that not even the jury has yet seen. Come, see the designs, leave comments, and make a donation donate buttonthrough the Parks Foundation. Click the button and specify your donation is in support of the Water for Riley project.

Your invitation:

exhibit open for viewing Feb 8



ACAD student designs exhibited at elementary school

2016-01-22 13.46.54The 19 designs submitted from ACAD students are on private display for the next two weeks at Hillhurst School There, Hillhurst elementary students will have the opportunity to engage with the designs.

Each teacher may adapt the drinking fountain design project in age and curriculum appropriate ways. There are many aspects of the project so teachers can modify the approach.

Depending on the learning module under study, students can share their stories and ideas about water, Riley Park, the world of design, environment and urban nature, the civic commons, how public services work and collaborative processes, to name only a few possible topics to discuss.

2016-01-22 13.31.472016-01-22 13.32.39Kerry Harmer, ACAD instructor of 3D Object Design, helped hang the exhibit of her students’ work.

In two weeks, the exhibit moves to public display at Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.

Kerry and the volunteer organizing committee of Water for Riley hope many will come to view the wonderful designs.2016-01-22 13.47.17

You can be part of the project as donor or volunteer. Email Water for Riley for details. Click Foundation the button to donate through the Parks Foundation Calgarydonate button. Tax receipts issued. Specify you are donating in support of Water for Riley.

ACAD students’ drinking fountain designs on display

ACAD students’ designs will soon be available for view
partner ACAD logoExciting news to start the New Year. Alberta College of Art + Design students in the Object Design course rose to the challenge and submitted fabulous drinking fountain designs. We expect two further designs from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology‘s Capstone Project course.

photo credit: Hannah
photo credit: Hannah White

Between February 8th and 19th, the 19 designs we’ve received so far will be publicly exhibited ahead of the jury’s review. You can see those designs at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association building; 1320 5 Ave. N.W. Drop in to view the submitted designs. Maybe even meet a student designer at the exhibit.

Once we have all 21 designs, the five-member jury will create a short list of designs for our experts at IBI Group to inspect. From the short list, the jury will select one design as Riley Park’s drinking fountain.

Framed on Fifth sponsors the display
Framed on Fifth is to thank for a significant boost in fundraising. Hannah White and Patricia Gustafson, the wonderful owners of Framed on Fifth, are the latest generous sponsors of Water for Riley. Framed on Fifth donated the materials and labour to beautifully frame the student designs for the exhibit.

Hannah with the student designs to frame
Hannah with the student designs to frame

Whether original art or a sentimental card, Hannah and Patricia make beautiful anything that can be placed in a picture frame. They also curate a unique, intimate gallery that features emerging artists in a friendly venue in the historic building (1911) across from the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Centre.

Please join Hannah and Patricia at their incredible shows. Let them know how much we appreciate their generous support of Water for Riley.

How to participate in the Water for Riley Project
Please drop in to the HSCA building starting Feb 8 to view the exhibit, leave comments, visit the website, and make a donation. Fundraising will bring the drinking fountain to life. We’ve gotten this far on no budget and self-support for a few small expenses. However, to build the selected drinking fountain design will take money.

Be part of it. Click on the button to donate through the Parks Foundation to make a donate buttonwonderful, artistic drinking fountain become reality. Specify your donation is in support of Water for Riley. Tax receipts will be issued from The Parks Foundation Calgary.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 or email Water for Riley with your contact information.



gallery/frame shop is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday. Phone – (403) 244-3688; e-mail; website – Please drop by to check out monthly exhibits or to enjoy a great cup of coffee – sometimes (weather permitting) in the delightful little back garden.

How the project will flow

The process is in motion.

We have a jury and project plan. We’re excited about how the steps have flowed so far. Here’s what will happen while the volunteers fundraise in the background:

  • Some students have already completed their designs and some students are still preparing submissions. We expect to have 21 designs when the student challenge ends 31st March, 2016.
  • Five anonymous arts professionals have accepted the invitation to sit as jury members. The jury will review all the student designs and create a short list based on criteria such as artistry and heritage values for Riley Park.
  • The City of Calgary has an interest in the designs at this stage for an important reason: Riley Park has cultural and landscape heritage status. Two Parks Department employees are involved on the sidelines waiting for the shortlist. They will give input into how the short list designs meet heritage criteria.
  • The jury will send its short list to our partners, IBI Group. Experts at IBI Group will give the short listed designs a professional review of the feasibility, sustainability, affordability, and technical details. This technical review is because students are not yet professionals.
  • IBI Group will return the short listed designs with detailed feedback. That feedback may include modifications so designs meet industry best practices and City of Calgary standards.
  • The jury will then use IBI Group’s technical feedback and City of Calgary Park’s input to select one design from the short list. The student whose design is selected may have the opportunity to work on any suggested modifications to meet technical code and heritage values.
  • With the final design selected (we hope for late May, early June, 2016,) we will send those specifications to our chosen fabricator (in negotiations now) for drinking fountain construction.
  • Depending on the complexity of the final design and the fabricator’s schedule, the target date for the drinking fountain to be installed and operational is late 2016.

Should we start celebration party planning now? Not yet: there’s a lot of funds yet to be raised.

Be part of it: help Riley Park attain a public drinking fountain, for future generations. Click donate buttonthe button to donate through the Parks Foundation to make this wonderful, artistic drinking fountain reality. Specify your donation is in support of Water for Riley. You can also participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 or email Water for Riley with your contact information.