Water for Riley’s thank you

Just as the project to build a drinking fountain in Riley Park was delayed, modified and downsized, so too was celebrating the project delayed, modified and downsized. But, in the end, we did it. We held a party that complied with COVID rules.

There are so many people to thank. Let’s start with the three donors that made the celebration possible:

The City of Calgary Ward Community Event Fund,
TD Park People, and Mirza Amiri, Manager of TD Bank and his team in the Kensington Branch.

Outstanding volunteers planned and worked at the event: Lisa Chong, Maddie Wong Selby, Rachelle Donaldson, and Yameen Huq.

Water for Riley had many, many volunteers over its five+ years, especially: Jocelyn Kabatoff, Michelle Vincent, Natalie Bach, and Sally Truss.  We also had many donations from local community members, residents and folks from all over the City who supported what Water for Riley was achieving. We are so grateful.

NorthWest Healthcare Properties, the largest donor to the drinking fountain, supplied employee and star volunteer, Rachelle Donaldson, plus a fabulous gift basket to give away.

Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and Water for Riley especially thank:

  • Alberta University of the Arts and Kerry Harmer
  • Southern Alberta Institute for Technology
  • The Calgary Foundation and Julie Black
  • Framed on Fifth, Hannah White and Patricia Gustafson
  • Sunnyside Natural Market
  • City of Calgary Water Services and Parks Departments, Michelle Reid and Ron Buchan,
  • Nulli Identity Management and Barb Gosling
  • Hillhurst School
  • Place2give Foundation and Gena Rotstein
  • Parks Foundation Calgary
  • IBI Group

We know the drinking fountain works and Water for Riley saved the first water out of it to douse it instead of champagne. Once we can drink from the fountain, the effort and wait will be worth it.

As written in a prior post, the drinking fountain was 100% over budget and years behind schedule, installed just in time to be unusable because of a global pandemic. Who says irony is dead?

Stay safe, friends, with warm regards and thanks from

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.

 

 

Start of the coordination team

Not often are meetings described as “great” but Water for Riley volunteers agreed. That was a great meeting on March 9, 2017.

The coordination team gathered to discuss how to build and install the drinking fountain, Reflecting Blooms.

Elvin Karpovich (IBI) Gregory Courage (Heavy Industries) Garrett Newman (IBI) Michelle Reid (City of Calgary) Michelle Vincent, (Water for Riley volunteer)

Setting the tone, Michelle Reid summarized Riley Park’s importance as Calgary’s best example of an historic cultural landscape.

In other words, Riley Park is very distinctly of its time, 1910 and 1920s. Riley Park would look quite different if it were a modern park. Thus, the City does not want Riley Park to look like an ordinary park. Riley Park must be distinguishable yet compatible with and subordinate to the landscape of rolling hills that mark Calgary’s natural features.

Wow, that’s a demanding framework Water for Riley must respect. Fortunately, the jury’s choice of winning design does that. As Michelle Reid concluded, ““It’s amazing that the students were so successful in designing their drinking fountains, considering how complicated intervening in historic landscapes can be.” Michelle’s comments made Water for Riley very proud of the ACAD and SAIT student designers.

With that context, the experts from IBI Group and Heavy Industries coordinated the work to be done. There’s an early phased plan to obtain approvals, create preliminary drawings, and prepare design templates. The processes to fund raise, build, and install the drinking fountain are tentatively mapped and the first round of tasks assigned.

Michelle Lazo, the winning designer, will have the opportunity to work with these wonderful experts as part of her award. Together, they will turn her designer’s concept into a reality.

To be part of this exciting project, call 403 862 1923. Help build the drinking fountain so that the future looks like history in this unique, historic, natural jewel.

Click the link and let the Parks Foundation know you want your donation to go to Water for Riley.

 

Louise Riley ‘hosts’ Water for Riley

Exciting news from Water for Riley’s partner
This Is My City Art Society (TMC)

Water for Riley is honoured to again be part of TMC city-wide festival from April 3 to 28, 2017. Sally Truss, a founding member of Water for Riley’s organizing committee, is curating all 21 amazing ACAD and SAIT student drinking fountain designs.

Sally Truss, Executive Director, This Is My City Art Society

The exhibit will be installed at – appropriately – the Louise Riley Branch of the Calgary Public Library. Water for Riley is proud to continue Calgary’s longstanding connection to the Riley Family.

In 1910, Ezra Riley donated the land that became Riley Park. His daughter, Margaret Louise, was a children’s librarian and author. The Louise Riley Library is named for her.

The Louise Riley Branch is easily accessible from the Lions Park C-Train station and many Calgary Transit buses.

Here is the link to the TMC Festival 2017. Check it out.

 

To become involved with Water for Riley call 403 862 1923.

To donate to making the drinking fountain a reality, click on the button and let the Parks Foundation know that your donation is for the Water for Riley project. 

The origin of Water for Riley

At the Big Reveal on 18 January, people asked what inspired the idea of Water for Riley. Here’s how the concept of a student designed drinking fountain in Riley Park originated.

In summer of 2010, a White West-highland (Westie) puppy named Trail was 11 weeks old and just adopted into a Hillhurst family.

Trail at 11 weeks old.

While walking in Riley Park, Trail let it be known he was thirsty. Very, very thirsty. With typical “Westitude” (the Westie breed is famous for attitude), Trail demanded water. When he wanted something, he was as ear splitting loud as a shrieking child.

There was no water to be had anywhere in the park

Trail and his humans had to forego the rest of their walk. Partly to get water and partly because other park visitors looked at Trail as if his terrible humans were abusing him.

This experience had us think – if a puppy got thirsty enough to stop a family’s outdoor activities, how much more important was it to keep children happy, hydrated, and healthy? We know the negative health consequences of sedentary children and the need to get them in nature. Supplying drinking water to keep them playing in Riley Park was obvious.

With ACAD and SAIT so close, the idea of making the drinking fountain a community-building, student engagement project was born from that dog walk.

There were many pieces to bring together in the collaboration. Slowly, it gained momentum until it’s half way to reality.

Trail attended all the Water for Riley committee strategy sessions that took place in Riley Park and the student walk-around groups with City of Calgary Parks Department staff.

Trail was happy to tour Riley Park with Ron from Parks Dept and student designers.

However, Trail usually slept through Water for Riley committee planning meetings,

Bored to sleep at a meeting.

Trail’s now eager to be the first dog to drink from the Reflecting Bloom that is specifically designed at his height.

Trail can dream big

And, for the record, Trail is a calm six year old who loves Riley Park and doesn’t scream anymore.

To volunteer for Water for Riley call 403 862 1923.

Help make the dream come true, donate to the drinking fountain in Riley Park. Designate your donation the Water for Riley project and receive a tax receipt.

To donate through the Parks Foundation, click in the button and specify your contribution is for the Water for Riley project.

 

Water for Riley thanks partners and donors

At this almost half way point, Water for Riley thanks those who have made it possible for the project to get this far. Donors include The Calgary Foundation, Sunnyside Natural Market, Framed on Fifth, and Alberta Culture and Tourism.

donors & partners

For your donations, thank you. Water for Riley values all its community relationships, which are as important as drinking water in the park on a hot day.

All donations of $10.00 and greater get tax receipts from the Parks Foundation.donate button

Click here to donate and specify your donation is in support of the Water for Riley project.

Call 403 862 1923 or email with questions and to volunteer.

Water for Riley progress update

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?

  1. 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.

  1. 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 throughdonate button the Parks Foundation. To contribute to the project, click the button and specify you support the Water for Riley project:

 

 

 

Short list to be announced at Neighbour Day party

You are invited to the unveiling of the three finalists in the ACAD and SAIT student challenge to design an artistic public drinking fountain for historic Riley Park.

At 2 PM, at our partner’s Framed on Fifth on June 18, 2016.

Come, enjoy the festival of arts and artists.

See the final three student designs before
the jury makes its final selection.

press release for Neighbours Day

Help build the public drinking fountain in Riley Parkdonate button. Click to donate through the Parks Foundation and specify your support is for Water for Riley.

Call 403 862 1923 or email to volunteer or for more information.

Short listed designs unveiled June 18 @ 2 PM

You are invited to the announcement of the three finalists

At 2 PM, at our partner’s Framed on Fifth

The jury has spoken

Come, enjoy the festival of arts and artists

Be among the first to view the final three.

What happens next?

The short list of three is now in the hands of our experts, the international consulting firm IBI Group, for technical review.

Once we have the engineering report,
the jury will make its final selection.

Stay tuned for the date of announcing the finalistArt for the Artist in You

Help build the public drinking fountain in Riley Parkdonate button. Click to donate through the Parks Foundation, and specify you support the Water for Riley project.

Call 403 862 1923 or email for more information.

Drum roll please – for the 21 designs

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

balloons– ta dum da dum –

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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.
donate button