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 info@framedonfifth.com; website – www.framedonfifth.com. 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.

Student designers get a showcase

To pick one highlight is hard since the entire Water for Riley experience has been outstanding. Would it be the excitement of planning, the delight of collaborating with a terrific group of fun volunteers, the rush when supporters say they’ve wanted a project like this for decades, or maybe building bridges among those wonderful people – hmmm, which one was the highlight?

Let’s go with this past Monday, at Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD), in the first year 3D Object Design course, when the student designers gathered for photographs in front of the wall displaying their drinking fountain designs. Yes; peak experience indeed.
Special thanks to instructor Kerry Harmer for assigning the drinking fountain as a class project, mentoring the student designers to impressive results, and facilitating our attending the class events.
Kerry Harmer, course instructor, 3D Object Design
Kerry Harmer, course instructor, 3D Object Design
Alison Miyauchi, Associate VP, Research + Academic Affairs, congratulated the students for their creative bridging from the college to the community.
Alison Miyauchi, Associate VP, Research + Academic Affairs
Alison Miyauchi, Associate VP, Research + Academic Affairs
JoAnn Reynolds, External Communications, ably directed the short presentation event and wrote an article.
JoAnn Reynolds, External Communications
JoAnn Reynolds, External Communications
The Calgary Foundation‘s Community Engagement Associate, the ever helpful Julie Black, brought greetings from Water for Riley’s major donor to date.
Julie Black, Calgary Foundation
Julie Black, Calgary Foundation
Myra Miller, Major Gifts Officer, and Kara Tersen, Director of Philanthropy + Communications, were the guiding hands behind the scenes.
Kara Tersen, Director of Philanthropy + Communications
Kara Tersen, Director of Philanthropy + Communications

Myra Miller, Major Gifts Officer

Myra Miller, Major Gifts Officer

And then, the big reveal:
Students learned The Calgary Foundation awarded its Neighbours Grant to ACAD on Water for Riley’s behalf. With high fives, applause and fist bumps, students reacted in what they later described as “elation” at the recognition of their efforts. When they lined up in front of the designs pinned to the wall, it was, well, elation for us too.

Here are the student designers, elated, and then in front of their creations.

Students in 3D Object Design class react to Calgary Foundation award
Students in 3D Object Design class react to Calgary Foundation award

designers & designs

The student designers pose proudly in front of the prints of their unique designs

The news gets better: future showcases for the student designers’ impressive talent

Water for Riley has four or five, possibly six, display venues in the new year. The displays will give everyone a chance to see and interact with the designs, and leave comments.

Watch this blog for announcements on the dates and locations. Don’t wait for that  before getting involved with Water for Riley.

Be part of it. Join the movement; help Riley Park attain a public drinking fountain, for future generations. Click the button to donate to make donate buttonthis wonderful, artistic drinking fountain become reality. Specify your support is for Water for Riley project.

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.





T’is the season to believe in magic and success

When we first floated the idea of community-building around an ACAD and SAIT student design challenge we didn’t predict how engaging this drinking fountain project would become. In fact, we weren’t sure of anything. Expectation management is a way to avoid disappointment and we madly managed our expectations. We needn’t have worried.

There’s not words to convey how appreciative we are for all the moral support and hours of volunteer work put into the project so far. Fundraising is always an issue, and yet, we believe.

What have we accomplished so far to ensure the drinking fountain will get planted in Riley Park? Let’s chart the progress:

  • Our student designers put their artistic hearts, souls connected to nature, and creative brains into incredible designs.
  • The jury of anonymous professionals are so very qualified to select a design that will be a showpiece attraction for our much loved and historic park.
  • IBI Group is standing by to offer expertise to the jury so that the fountains are reliable, affordable, sustainable and feasible.
  • The administrations and staff of the three neighbouring learning institutions – Hillhurst School, SAIT and ACAD – are collaborating and engaging students together and with the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA), we think for the first time.
  • The residents of Kensington area are working with us to showcase the designs and get community feedback.
  • Our charity partners, Parks Foundation Calgary and This is My City Art Society shepherd us through the paperwork of grant applications and fundraising.
  • Talented markitgirlz designed the logo and website, other locals connected the project with Kensington BRZ.
  • Local businesses are cheering us onward. We are indeed a small village in the larger community.
  • Staff in City of Calgary Departments – notably Parks and Heritage – have done everything possible to clear the way for the fountain, once constructed, to be planted, turned on, and taken into the city’s inventory.
  • A local fabrication company stepped up to work with us in constructing the fountain once we have a final design.
  • Everyone we approach offered to help publicize, and we hope anyone reading this hits a forward or social media button to help more.

Yes, we have a lot of work to do, especially in raising money, before we succeed in constructing and planting the fountain in late summer next year.

Will we be successful? With your help, yes. Please click the button to donate through the Parks Foundationdonate button, and specify your support is for Water for Riley.

We believe.

Are you part of a blue community?

What is a blue community?

Blue Communities believe water belongs to everyone and thus everyone has responsibility to care for it through: “reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment in order to preserve water for nature and future generations.”

What is the water commons framework?

It starts with a commitment to three actions.

1. Recognizing water as a human right.

2. Promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste water services.

3. Banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events.

How can you participate in bluing our community?

When we started Water for Riley we hadn’t heard of the blue community initiative. The more we learn, the more we find we’re part of a growing awareness about water and movement to create beautiful public drinking fountains.

Be part of it. Join the movement, help Riley Park go blue. Click the button to donate through the Parks Foundation
donate buttonand specify you support Water for Riley; tax receipts issued, to make this wonderful, artistic drinking fountain become reality.

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


Apparently we’re part of a new movement

Robert McKercher, a local supporter of our project, sent a link to this wonderful story of the history of public drinking fountains.

It appears there’s a movement to bring back public drinking fountains. That the City of Calgary is our supporter puts it ahead of NYC. So great. And, we upped the stakes with the student art challenge to design the drinking fountain for Riley Park. Even greater.

Here’s some quotes from that website.

“There are small movements happening to restore the public drinking fountain to its former glory. For example, a design group in New York called Pilot Projects is hoping to install 100 new drinking fountains in the city.  They’re still trying to convince the city to partner with them on the project.”

The podcast and article on the website 99 Percent Invisible, includes  the history of public drinking fountains, and new community initiatives.

Fountain Drinks

“On April 21st, 1859, an incredible thing happened in London and thousands of people came out to celebrate it. Women wore their finest clothing. Men were in suits and top hats, and children clamored to get a glimpse…of the very first public drinking fountain. The fountain was used by thousands of people a day.”

Design a drinking fountain and history will remember you. Here’s two more examples:

Henry Rosenberg honoured for drinking fountain designs in Galveston, Texas.
Henry Darcy, honoured for drinking fountain design, Dijon, France.

Be part of it. Join the movement; help Riley Park attain a public drinking fountain, for future generations. Donate through the Parks donate buttonFoundation to make this wonderful, artistic drinking fountain become reality. Click the donate button and specify your donation is in support of Water for Riley project.

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

Location for the Riley Park drinking fountain

Map of location

Late spring or early summer, 2019, we hope to have a beautiful, artistic drinking fountain installed in Riley Park.

Its location is near the heavily used playground, picnic tables and new band stand. It isn’t so near the bandstand as to interfere with concerts. There is enough space around it for other activities.

What do you think?


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.