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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.”
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.
Be part of the excitement. Volunteer to make Water for Riley a reality. Call 403 862 1923 or email Water for Riley. Click the button to donate through the Parks Foundation. Specify you are donating in support of the Water for Riley project.
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.
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 Riley 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.
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.
Alison Miyauchi, Associate VP, Research + Academic Affairs, congratulated the students for their creative bridging from the college to the community.
JoAnn Reynolds, External Communications, ably directed the short presentation event and wrote an article.
The Calgary Foundation‘s Community Engagement Associate, the ever helpful Julie Black, brought greetings from Water for Riley’s major donor to date.
Myra Miller, Major Gifts Officer, and Kara Tersen, Director of Philanthropy + Communications, were the guiding hands behind the scenes.
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.
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 this 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.
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.
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 Foundation, and specify your support is for Water for Riley.
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.
“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:
Be part of it. Join the movement; help Riley Park attain a public drinking fountain, for future generations. Donate through the Parks Foundation 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.
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.
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.
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 the Parks Foundation Calgary, click on the button. Please specify the project you support is Water for Riley.