Water for Riley made tremendous progress in the past few months. Among other news:
The jury has selected one design
Phase 1, over the past year, garnered 21 drinking fountain designs. In phase 2, the jury shortlisted three designs that went for technical review. The jury met and decided unanimously on one design. Phase 2 concludes in mid-January, 2017, when the jury’s selection of the final design is announced. W4R thanks the anonymous five jurors for diligent volunteer service, and their superb Chair, Sally Truss.
It will be one of these three exciting student designs:
W4R is so grateful to receive a Stepping Stone grant for the celebration at which the winning design will be announced. A volunteer planning committee is organizing a gathering soon to be held on ACAD’s campus. Everyone will be invited, so stay tuned for the details of this public event. Thank you to The Calgary Foundation, wonderful volunteers and ACAD, among others.
Place2Give has been a creative, wise partner from the beginning of the project. As fiscal agent, Place2Give CEO, Gena Rotstein, gave W4R excellent advice. Place2Give’s advisory relationship with W4R will continue. Thank you to the Parks Foundation, which is now accepting donations on W4R’s behalf.
The Parks Foundation joins W4R’s other generous collaborating partners.
Phase 3 will soon be underway
Phase 3 is to build this winning design. Phase 4 will be the installation and grand unveiling celebration of this beautiful, functional, artistic drinking fountain.
Phase 3 depends on successful fundraising to pay for the construction. If you are able to volunteer to help with one of the upcoming fundraising events, please call 403 862 1923. Let’s discuss which of these volunteer committees’ activities is right for you.
To donate, click in the button to go to the Parks Foundation site. Once at that site, please indicate your donation is for Water for Riley Park.
The Water for Riley (W4R) organizing committee is restructuring for W4R’s last stages of activity. Here are five exciting volunteer contributions you can make to this legacy project:
Special Events Coordinator: short term organizing a function at ACAD, long term organizing celebrations leading to conclusion of project, coordinating with Fundraising Committee.
Duties for this position include:
Logistics and plan the event to announce the winner of the drinking fountain design challenge (October, 2016)
Logistics and plan the event unveiling the finished product (summer 2017 ideally)
Recruit volunteer support
Work with Project Manager to create guest list and set tone for the events
Write blog posts leading up to events and follow up posts detailing the experiences had/felt/enjoyed
Work with Project Manager, Fundraising volunteers, PR/Marketing volunteers to set budget and ensure continuity of the W4R brand
PR/Marketing-Communications: short term planning how to get W4R better known in the community and City-wide, long term build the brand
Duties for this position include:
Craft marketing & communication strategy for the next phase of Water for Riley focusing on engaging businesses as sponsors –individual donors and community organizations to support the fundraising activities
Recruit and engage individuals to activate the PR/Marketing-Communications strategy
Update blog post as aligned with Marketing-Communications strategy and/or work with Project Manager to help with blog posts
Social Media: short term coordination of various SM platforms for consistent branding, long term operation of those SM
Duties for this position include:
Assist the Marketing-Communications volunteer with developing the strategy (if skills are relevant)
Execute the SM strategy developed with the Marketing-Communications volunteer
Recruit others to help with social media
Seek and execute opportunities to post and tweet about W4R
Fundraising: short term goal to organize a committee, long term goal to bridge the gap between money already raised and cost of the drinking fountain
Duties for this position include:
Recruit and build an engaged, high functioning fundraising committee
Use the straw outline of the fundraising concepts to develop a comprehensive plan targeting three groups:
Community leagues, organizations, and informal groups that use Riley Park
Develop a corporate sponsorship pitch for names on plaque dedication on the fountain
Develop a corporate sponsorship package for the Kensington/Hillhurst/Sunnyside business community (lesser donation than a named sponsor)
Individuals, both users and non-users of Riley Park
Implement the plan with financial goals to hit $70K
Work with Special Events volunteers, Marketing/Communications volunteers and Project Manager to ensure continuity of messaging and W4R brand
Write a blog post monthly sharing the updates on fundraising and other relevant information
Donors: W4R is a citizen driven sub-committee of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. All donations of $10.00 and greater get tax receipts from the Parks Foundation.
Click here to donate through the Parks Foundation and specify that your support is for the Water for Riley project.
You can be involved with the drinking fountain for Riley Park. Call 403 862 1923 to volunteer, with questions or for more information.
Volunteers for the Riley Park drinking fountain have two main tasks:
1) Coordinating selection of one drinking fountain design from 21 student submissions, and
2) Raising money to build the chosen design.
How are we doing on both tasks?
The effects have been greater than the sum of the parts. Water for Riley volunteers and partners attended ACAD and SAIT classes, ACAD and SAIT students studied Riley Park, SAIT students went to Hillhurst Elementary School, ACAD students exhibited their designs at Hillhurst Elementary School, and Hillhurst Elementary School teachers created learning modules for students to interact with the designs. The designs were displayed in five venues around the community, including at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, and This Is My City Arts Festival.
Each design held enchantment for the five skilled jury members, and they debated until reaching an organic consensus. Three shortlisted designs are now undergoing professional, technical review. Water for Riley’s jury will get expert recommendations to guide its decision of which one design will be built.
That leads to the second major task – fundraising.
Water for Riley began in a different economic climate, so the second task is not yet half accomplished. Although there’s progress there’s also less money available for unfunded priorities like a drinking fountain near the children’s playground. The volunteer committee is working hard and smart on finding funding. Stay tuned for news.
With questions. to volunteer, or give comments please call 403 862 1923 or email. All donations over $10.00 are eligible for a tax receipt through the Parks Foundation. To contribute to the project, click the button and specify you support the Water for Riley project:
Water for Riley proudly presents the ACAD and SAIT student designs in the running for the drinking fountain design challenge. They are available for viewing and comments at Blank Page Studio until April 24, 2016. Stop by and add your comments.
These photos are no substitute for seeing the whole collection in the studio space. Please visit and leave your opinions on the page beside each design. No page at Blank Page need be left blank.
And now, in no particular order, the long list of 21 student designs, before the short list is chosen
– ta dum da dum –
To participate in Water for Riley, email or call 403 862 1923. To donate through the Parks Foundation, please click the button and specify your donation is for the Water for Riley project.
Two good questions 1. Why didn’t the City of Calgary install a drinking fountain in Riley Park instead of this lengthy, volunteer-driven, Water for Riley process?
2. What makes Water for Riley’s drinking fountain costly?
Both questions came up as the 21 amazing designs shine in the exhibit at Blank Page Studio during the This Is My City Festival from April 7 to 24, 2016.
The answer to both excellent questions is similar: Water for Riley wants more than obtaining a squat concrete public drinking fountain. The jargon for our vision is cumulative impacts. A beautiful, artistic fountain was the mechanism for attaining those cumulative impacts.
Now for the long answers.
Why not a plain, simple drinking fountain? A drinking fountain in Riley Park is an unfunded priority. More jargon meaning there’s no money and won’t be money in the City of Calgary budget although Riley Park’s need for drinking water is known. If there were money for it, the drinking fountain would have one nozzle without regard to users’ disabilities, height differences, artistic merit to attract visitors, canine needs, or the other criteria the college students considered in their thoughtful designs. And no cumulative impacts:
We will have fixed costs no matter which design is selected to build: Buy the structure for $$, transport it to Riley Park for $$$, dig a trench for $$$, pour a foundation for $, install hook up to waterline for $$, cover trench for $$, and turn on the water for $. The City’s estimate for installing any fountain is $20,000.00
If we have to fundraise for a plain, simple fountain, we saw an opportunity to acquire a beautiful, student designed, drinking fountain and forge new and strengthen existing networks of relationships, establish connections among neighbouring institutions, and build community.
In the past 100+ years, Riley Park’s neighbours didn’t collaborate if they had an idea to share, a problem to solve, or an interest in common. Water for Riley wants Riley Park’s neighbours to get acquainted and build social capital together. Social capital creates trust, and trusting neighbourhoods have less crime, higher energy, more caring, and better economies.
We’ve already achieved some cumulative impacts These are quotes from our conversations with Water for Riley’s partners:
School Administrator: “We’ve always wanted to work with the colleges and never had a reason to call them.”
ACAD Administrator: “I’ve been looking for an excuse to call my counterpart at SAIT.”
Faculty member at ACAD: “My students are so excited about this opportunity to work on a real project in the community.”
Faculty member at SAIT: “The students had a bidding war for the chance to work on Water for Riley instead of the other projects we offered them.”
ACAD Student: “None of my other classmates had a chance to work with a real client and solve a real world design problem like we’ve had with Water for Riley.”
SAIT Student: “Water for Riley is a valuable part of my learning about how to apply design to the world around me.”
This Is My City Art Society partner: “Water for Riley is a true community based, volunteer driven project. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Students at both Colleges admitted that, until Water for Riley, they’d never wandered down the hill to see the natural jewel of an urban park at ACAD and SAIT’s feet.
The last word on cumulative impacts goes to Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association: “As the nearest neighbour to Riley Park, the HSCA is inundated with park visitors asking to use our building’s facilities. Water for Riley provides needed water, and enhances HSCA’s mandate of increased volunteerism and community engagement. HSCA had no relationship at all with ACAD or SAIT prior to this initiative. When neighbours identify projects that better our community, the whole community, present and future, becomes more resilient, adaptive and resourceful. The lessons learned through this project are transferable and trans-generational. Projects such as this demand the attention of funders, to collectively encourage and promote grassroots innovation that strengthens neighborhoods to overcome complex challenges in the future. Our employees come and go, but stories of residents turning ideas into action live on for decades. This initiative will be inspirational to many, and will serve as a roadmap for what can be accomplished through multi-partner collaborations in a community.”
2. Budget: What does Water for Riley’s fountain cost?
How much do shoes cost? It depends on design, materials, labour, etc. After our jury selects a design we’ll know. Our best guesstimate to build an artistic fountain is somewhere between $40,000.00 and $60,000.00, about double the cost of a plain fountain, not including installation costs.
We anticipate incidental costs of $7,000.00 for the design selection process, $5,000 of which is for technical expertise to review the short list of designs for feasibility, durability and affordability.
So far, we’ve had no (zero, nada) administration costs or incidentals. Everything has been donated; meeting and display spaces, lunches, photocopies, and time volunteered. Framed on Fifth donated the posters for all the exhibits. The wonderful Diana designed our fabulous logo, named Water for Riley, and constructed this website. Here is our still-expanding list of incredible partners.We’re very grateful for all, and hope this answers some questions. All questions, comments and offers to help are welcome. Email or call 403 862 1923.
To donate to the fountain project through the Parks Foundation click the button and specify your donation is for Water for Riley.
Tell us what you like about each design when you visit the exhibit at Blank Page Studio (1221B Kensington Road NW, Calgary, 2nd floor, entrance left of the mural) as part of This Is My City Festival.Follow Water for Riley for updates: Twitter @waterforriley
Please contribute to our beautiful drinking fountain project through the Parks Foundation and specify your support is for Water for Riley.
Purposes of the Water for Riley Project:
Riley Park’s nine hectares boast a cricket pitch, playground, wading pool, wooded areas, gorgeous memorial gardens, and open areas for rest, sports and picnics. Riley Park encourages activities for children. Yet Riley Park lacks facilities, such as drinking water. As an historic jewel among Calgary’s parks, Riley Park deserves an artistic drinking fountain. The volunteer committee believes success comes from community and builds community.
The Water for Riley Project is based on five principles:
Health: Thirsty visitors must leave, or bring bottled, sweet, or caffeinated drinks. Safe, sustainably delivered water on site shows a caring, welcoming community.
Environment: Discarded disposable cups and bottles litter the trash, bushes, and fence line. It’s an unsustainable waste of resources when a fountain would refill reusable containers.
Community building: This project brings together the park’s neighbours for the first time in a century. The Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Association, Hillhurst School, This Is My City Art Society, City of Calgary, local businesses and residents are involved. ACAD and SAIT students experienced a design challenge the Calgary Foundation funded.
Economic well-being: Attractions attract. The Kensington businesses work hard to make our community a visitors’ destination. An artistic drinking fountain supports that goal.
Other collective benefits of this project to our community and Calgary include:
connect people to place in an inner city destination,
increase energy for volunteerism and community engagement,
facilitate being in nature in a dense urban space and increase environmental awareness,
share knowledge of Riley Park as a designated historic resource,
encourage eyes on the street and crime reduction with families in the park,
join the international Blue Community Framework of water as a human right
the thrill of beautiful design instead of a concrete block public drinking fountain.