The Friends of the Federation of Calgary Communities Society
Our Story Why We Exist
Children shout happily as skate blades cut ice and the sounds of pucks hitting sticks echo through the cold, frosty air.
There is a soft ‘thwack’ as a tennis ball is launched over a net.
Dirty hands clasp over the handle of a shovel as volunteers work to plough, till and dig through a community garden. Seeds are tossed into earth, water rains down on thirsty plants, and friends gather together to eat some of their freshly grown vegetables.
There is a quiet hum as bike tires slide across smooth pavement and in the background there is a sizzle of meat cooking on a BBQ.
A loud crunch echoes through the air, then laughter quickly follows as children dive in and out of piles of leaves.
These are all sights and sounds you can come to expect when visiting a community association. Through all four seasons Calgary’s community associations work hard to bring people together and to create a small town feel in the big city. From BBQs to sports tournaments, community events to garage sales, fundraisers and book clubs, one can expect to see community being built, maintained and grown across our city at Calgary’s community hubs.
This is where the Federation of Calgary Communities comes in to play. We are the organization that helps these community hubs and their volunteers build capacity to run all forms of community-building events. From providing support and resources to running workshops and seminars, the Friends of the Federation is dedicated to helping these community associations grow and offer exciting programs and services to their residents.
As communities grow and continue to offer engaging opportunities to Calgary’s residents, so too will the Friends of the Federation, continually being that pillar of support for communities.
The Friends of the Federation of Calgary Communities is a registered charity that builds the capacity of community volunteers and the general public in an effort to make Calgary a great place to live, work and play.
Our Impact What We Do
The Friends of the Federation of Calgary Communities and the Federation of Calgary Communities are the support organization for over 220 not-for-profit member organizations including the 150 community associations in Calgary. We exist to provide quality programs, services, and support to volunteers and Calgarians and to provide an informed and respected voice on issues important to building, supporting, and maintaining community life in Calgary.
Community associations are neighbourhood-based volunteer organizations providing a voice for community life, an overall sense of belonging, and social, educational and recreational opportunities for their residents of all ages. Community associations come in all shapes and sizes and are dedicated to addressing local issues, opportunities, and needs. Along with these community associations, The Federation of Calgary Communities makes up the largest collective volunteer movement in the city, with more than 20,000 volunteers strong!
Community associations can be the anchor for community life but they need support to effectively operate in today’s competitive not-for-profit world. They need a resource that will help to link common issues and concerns across communities. They need a support organization that understands their needs, assists their work and can work on their behalf. The Federation of Calgary Communities is that organization.
The Friends of the Federation and the Federation are dedicated to improving neighbourhood life in Calgary by providing services and programs that create, support, and improve neighbourhood life in Calgary.
ANNUAL REPORT (2014-15) - Service Highlights:
- We partnered with ENMAX to offer the Energizing Spaces Fund, a reimbursement program for our members to replace their old energy sucking appliances with new energy efficient models. To date we have awarded the replacement of 13 appliances to nine community associations, totaling $50,000!
To celebrate our network we awarded our four annual Community Volunteer Awards that recognize those who step up to make a difference in their community, spark new and unique ideas, come together to complete a project, and are committed to improving neighbourhood life.
Our planning work gained wider exposure, with an article on our work published in the Alberta Professional Planner’s Journal. We're also a part of the Neighborhood Change Research Partnership, a national research project examining the impact of income inequality on Canadian neighbourhoods.
We hosted the first ever Board Leadership Calgary: Make Dollars Basics for Non-Profits (May 2015) learning events. These events focused on financial a number of speakers from our very own staff team.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Friends of the Federation of Calgary Communities offers a variety of educational workshops and events to support Calgarians in improving neighbourhood life, especially as they serve within the community association movement.
Specifically, we offer workshops in:
- Financial Management
- Board Leadership and Governance
- Community Engagement
- Membership Engagement
- Urban Planning
- Effective Communications
The Friends of the Federation can assist our not-for-profit members, by serving as a "charitable sponsor" to complete various projects within the community. In particular, we work with the Calgary Foundation Neighbour Grant program to "support resident-led projects that help create and strengthen the ordinary bond of neighbourliness.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Your neighbourhood has a community association - a not-for-profit organization made up of volunteers dedicated to providing neighbourhood residents with a voice for community life, an overall sense of belonging, and social, educational and recreational opportunities for their residents of all ages, such as:
- Fitness classes (yoga, zumba, pilates, etc.)
- Arts & culture programs
- Community-wide events like Stampede breakfasts and movie nights
- Language classes
- Farmer’s markets
- Senior’s clubs
- Community gardens
- Committee work (urban planning, special events, safety, etc.)
- And so much more!
Community associations come in all shapes and sizes and are dedicated to addressing local issues, opportunities, and needs. A voluntary community association membership is a great way to support your local community and have a say in what goes on in your neighbourhood!
There are over 20,000 volunteers in the Calgary community association network, making it the largest volunteer movement in the city!