Planning the celebration

Something to celebrate

The drinking fountain’s delayed installation, disappointing though that is, also presents an opportunity. We have time now to put on a great celebration of our success.

Lisa Chong, Stephanie Corbett, Joanne Pawelek, and Tracy Hume met for the first time 21 October, 2019, at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.
Rachelle Donaldson, Maddie Selby, Michelle Reid, Stephanie Corbett and Lisa Chong met 27 November, 2019, at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and created an action plan to work on for 2020.

We brainstormed how to thank the many donors, community volunteers, major sponsors, donations in kind, partners, contributors, stakeholders and many others. We created a list of ideas for acknowledging this unique community effort.

Help plan the party

Do you want to help put on this fun event? We offer lots of scope for creativity, a chance to meet and work with wonderful people, and be recognized as a friend of the fountain.

If you are interested in an exciting volunteer opportunity, you can contribute to this legacy project. Join our team and work on some of the following tasks, as the plan evolves:

  • Work out logistics for the event and implement the plan
  • Work with the committee, within the budget for the event 
  • On SM platforms, post before the event and after it of the experiences
  • Engage with three main groups and other stakeholders:
    1. Community leagues, organizations, and informal groups that use Riley Park
    2. Corporate, local and regional
    3. Individuals
      1. Local
      2. Regional
      3. City-wide

Riley Park is so special

In other posts, we shared photos of this bench that a secret admirer decorates with seasonal ornaments. The Thanksgiving, autumnal wreath warmed our hearts. The drinking fountain belongs in this natural green treasure, which community members quietly nurture, as it nurtures them.

Urban parks, community, and water: life extenders

The continuing saga of Water for Riley (W4R)

W4R is pleased to report that Heavy Industries has now assigned a Project Manager. On November 8, 2018, Amy Ghalambor and Michelle Reid meet with W4R at the proposed installation site.

Michelle Reid, City of Calgary, and Amy Ghalambor, Heavy Industries Project Manager, meet in Riley Park to discuss logistics at the drinking fountain site.

The stamp of approval on the project’s fabrication gets closer with each meeting and discussion about design. There are still complications to work out, and Amy is committed to finding solutions.

W4R in the news

As well as the interview on Global Calgary TV, Nov. 25th, W4R volunteers appeared at City Hall Nov. 26th, to speak in support of the Parks Foundation Calgary’s funding.

Today, Nov. 27th, Audrey Neveu, CBC Vidéojournaliste / reporter, interviewed W4R volunteers.

Audrey and Gena Rotstein ( had a great discussion about the non-profit sector, fundraising, and finding solutions to social issues.

The story will be aired sometime early in December.

Audrey toured the site where Riley Park’s drinking fountain will be installed.

People need nature and parks for many reasons

It’s been a long process since the project began in April, 2015; much longer than the volunteer committee imagined. Those five principles, articulated November 20, 2015, remind us why the drinking fountain is such a priority. The vision still inspires W4R volunteers.

One of W4R’s five principles is health, as evidenced in new research published in Lancet Planet Health 2017; 1: e289–97, Urban greenness and mortality in Canada’s largest cities: a national cohort study, by Dan L Crouse, et al.

… as the amount of greenery increased, people’s risk of premature death decreased by eight to 12 per cent.

… exposure to and interactions with green spaces are associated with improved psychological wellbeing and have cognitive, physiological, and social benefits…

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.

Completions and complications

Three completions:

Design: Hopefully, you have seen ACAD student Michelle Lazo’s winning design of the drinking fountain for Riley Park, called Reflecting Blooms. Michelle envisioned five blooms. The five heights were intended to enable access for all thirsts, whether approaching the drinking bowls on paws, wheels or feet.

Plan Assist: The fabricator, Heavy Industries (HI), has almost completed the Plan Assist. HI translates Michelle’s concept into preliminary drawings. Once the City approves the drawings, HI details drawings and a 3D model from which the fountain gets built.

Another deliverable of the Plan Assist is the budget for the build. HI figures out the costs from the approved final design. While not as pretty as the Reflecting Blooms concept rendering, this is what the Plan Assist looks like in the preliminary stage:

Contract: The City of Calgary legal staff has almost approved the wording of the installation contract, which will govern the drinking fountain’s delivery to Riley Park for installation in Spring 2019.

So far, so good.

Three complications:

Unanticipated items: The mechanical engineers designing the plumbing determined that the water pressure in the line is too high for a drinking fountain. An expensive device is needed to step down the pressure. This is an unanticipated item that HI is currently sourcing. Also, the concrete pads anchoring the stems will require an engineering stamp and inspection, which is another unanticipated expense that HI is incorporating into the budget. W4R had hoped to be finished with fundraising and now awaits HI’s updated budget.

Accessibility: The original design is straight stems with steel bowls. HI and the City advise that a wheelchair or walker can’t fit under such a configuration. HI is working on an alternate configuration that will make one stem accessible.

Budget: The original concept was for five, staggered heights of functioning stems. If the updated budget exceeds what has been raised in donations, and if no further funds are available from grants or donations, the drinking fountain will have to be reduced in one of two ways.

Cost saving option 1. Build three functioning drinking fountains and two non-functioning, ornamental blooms on stems.

Cost saving option 2. Eliminate the two ornamental stems and have three functioning drinking fountains.

The conclusions:

This is the purpose of the Plan Assist – to work out these issues before the stems are built.

There will be a drinking fountain in Riley Park in the spring, 2019, with a currently unknown number of stems. Details depend on HI’s updated budget, 3D model, and signed contract between HI and the City Parks Department.

Everyone on the fabrication team is trying hard to construct this project to a limited budget. It’s hard on the volunteer committee, after so many years, to think of having to alter or reduce (or both) the winning design, which was for five elegant stems. However, it’s equally hard to continue fundraising in these challenging economic times.

We welcome ideas.

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.

Nice drinking fountain design; will it work?

The Calgary Foundation Neighbours Grant

When Water for Riley (W4R) was just an idea without a name, two community members met with Julie Black, The Calgary Foundation’s fantastic Citizen Engagement Associate. From the start, Julie and The Calgary Foundation (TCF) provided financial support as well as excellent advice, encouragement, and other opportunities.

Julie Black and Deborah Sword, volunteer Project Manager of W4R.

Once again, we are excited and delighted to announce that TCF has awarded us a Neighbours Grant to fund the building of the drinking fountain’s prototype. W4R and the fundraising committee want to shout out our gratitude.

W4R is proud to partner with and accept support from The Calgary Foundation.

To find out how Reflecting Blooms works we’ll build it

Taking risks is how W4R achieved the success it’s had so far. Bring on the next challenge. With a winning design and a fundraising plan, we’ve retained a fabricator and mechanical engineer.

W4R relies on community volunteers. The next steps will rely on professionals. We are very pleased that the expert firms we’re working with have committed to contain costs, and to give us fixed, reasonable prices to move ahead in increments, as funds are available.

Next step is the design build

Design–build is a method to deliver a project.

“Design-build is intended to be a highly collaborative, fully integrated process that is built on trust, mutual respect, teamwork, innovation and creative problem solving. Design-build unleashes the power of team to deliver projects faster, better and for optimum cost – best value for the money, time and e ort invested. Owners find that when design-build is done right, their level of engagement with the entire team is more meaningful than is experienced with other delivery methods.”

Be part of it;
a beautiful public drinking fountain,
for Riley Park, for you and as a legacy 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.


Five ways to build a legacy

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:job titles Volunteer Opportunities

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
  1. 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
  1. 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
    • Corporate:
      • 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
      • Hyper-localized
      • Broader
      • City-wide
    • 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. donate button

You can be involved with the drinking fountain for Riley Park. Call 403 862 1923 to volunteer, with questions or for more information.