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.

WINS 3
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.

donate button

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.

 

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.

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.

Why is a drinking fountain important for Riley Park?

Background to the project

Our much-loved Riley Park has lots to offer visitors. It also lacks basic facilities like drinking water and toilets in its most heavily used areas near the playground, picnic tables, and new bandstand.

Facilities were identified as an unfunded priority for both the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association and the City of Calgary Parks Department. That means it’s officially known the services are needed, and there’s no public money allocated now or in future budget cycles.

What are the benefits to date?

Once this close-knit community saw a need and opportunity we mobilized around a vision of a unique, functional, public art fountain. A group of committed volunteer residents started an exciting multi-institution collaboration with collective beneficial impacts.

We instituted a SAIT and ACAD student challenge to design a drinking fountain that reflects the heritage values of one of Calgary’s oldest districts, and aesthetic values of Riley Park’s gorgeous flowerbeds, and athletic values of the cricket pitch, playground and pool. Participating students have taken ‘ownership’ of their park and their fountain.

We already see the benefits even before the fountain’s design is selected. All the learning institutions are now engaging with each other and the community for the first time. The designs will be publicly displayed, giving student talent a showcase. IBI Group, formerly a local business until it recently relocated its office, has agreed to donate part of its services to provide engineering oversight. The Calgary Foundation provided the first money in and we’re fundraising for the balance.

How can you be involved?

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Contact us waterforriley.org. To donate through donate buttonthe Parks Foundation Calgary, click on the button. Please specify the project you support is Water for Riley.