Vivo (Cardel Place) - CRA: Nose Creek Sports&Rec

Formerly Cardel Place, we're on a mission to raise healthier generations in Calgary and beyond. We are committed to healthy active living, innovation and community building. As stewards of one of Calgary’s leading recreation centres, we’re pioneering local solutions to the national challenge of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity.

Active, Healthy ChildOur Story Why We Exist

We registered our daughter in Vivo's Child + Youth Action Research Project as a simple exercise in getting her more active and exposing her to a variety of different sports and activities. At first it was a struggle – cajoling, negotiating and pushing her to attend the twice-weekly classes. Gradually though, we noticed her excitement increase as her self-confidence began to blossom. As her fitness level and hand-eye coordination improved, so did her keenness to attend the sessions. Not only was she affected physically, but her greater belief in herself improved her willingness to share and socialize with other participants and her instructors. As a result, we’ve witnessed the emergence of a better-quality relationship with her brothers and sister at home and a willingness to put herself out there and try new things. Now, our once shy reticent child is registered in a variety of programs for the fall and has planned a full slate of engaging outdoor activities over the summer.

~ Ayman, PARENT 

Active families create vibrant communities.  Healthy adults are more innovative and productive employees.  Happy individuals are more engaged citizens. They combine to ensure that every generation has the chance to live a healthy life, which in turn contributes to decreasing the crippling demands on Alberta's healthcare system.

The benefits of every generation enjoying a healthy life are real and measureable. In October 2014 The Conference Board of Canada forecast that getting just 10% of Canadians to moderately increase their physical activity and decrease sedentary time will increase Canada’s GDP by $7.5 billion and lower health care costs by $2.6 billion by 2040[1].

To realize these benefits, and to keep Calgary one of the best places to live and work, we need change in our communities at the grassroots level where children, youth and families live, learn, work and play. We must think and act differently, moving beyond health promotion to empower and educate Albertans to live healthy, active lives.  The question is where do we begin?

[1] Conference Board of Canada October 2014 Report -

Child shows off her colourful artworkOur Impact What We Do

Vivo is working to create made-in-Alberta solutions to this provincial and national challenge. The organization operates a self-sustaining regional recreation centre in north-central Calgary, one of the most diverse and rapidly growing communities. Vivo has over 1.2 million visits annually.  

Our goals:

  • Raise healthier generations by helping more children, youth and their families be more healthy, active and less sedentary;
  • Strengthen our community by engaging key partners in a vision to build a stronger, safer and healthier community for all; and
  • Create new evidence-based blueprints for Canada’s public recreation sector demonstrating the sector’s immense potential to create healthy, active and vibrant communities across the country. 

To accomplish these goals we are catalyzing collective leadership by engaging partners to create an evidence-based change system aligning schools, recreation and other community assets to achieve better health outcomes.   

Together with Mount Royal University (MRU), we’ve launched a new upstream collaboratory, Canada's first community-driven, community-based action research centre focused on empowering Canadians to live healthier lives across their lifespan.

The collaboratory was introduced at our October 2014 Raise the Bar Leadership Roundtable, where Premier Jim Prentice, federal cabinet minister Michele Rempel and organizations from across diverse sectors underscored the value of this innovative and collaborative work and signalled their intent to join in solving Alberta's, and Canada's, systemic challenge of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour. 

We're working with a range of diverse partners in helping individuals and communities get more active and healthy. Some of these include:

  • University of Calgary
  • The Calgary Foundation
  • Telus Spark
  • Campus Calgary
  • APPLE Schools
  • Ever Active Schools
  • Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention
  • McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health
  • Active Healthy Kids Canada & ParticipACTION
  • Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • John Hancock Research Centre on Physical Activity, Tufts University, Boston

Child + Youth Action Research ParticipantOur Programs How We Do It

Vivo offers a variety of programs, services and innovative leadership including:

  • Spontaneous, active play and organized sport opportunities;
  • Structured programs for all ages;
  • Space for community groups and organizations;
  • Subsidy programs to eliminate economic barriers to healthy, active living; and
  • National leadership through creating innovative, evidence-based active living curriculums, programs, services and spaces, leading to a new blueprint for Alberta's public recreation sector.

Child + Youth Action Research Project

In 2012 we launched our first pioneering project in partnership with MRU. The Child + Youth Action Research Project creates evidence-based curriculums to empower children, youth and their families to live healthier lives. Today more than 600 children and families across Calgary have taken part and changed their behaviours as a result.   

Phase III (January 2015-June 2016) of this exciting project will include:

  • Expanding the curriculum development to include early childhood and grade 3;
  • Training Vivo's 110 part-time instructors, 10 full-time program staff and volunteers to deliver programs that maximize physical activity time by introducing proven instructional strategies and techniques; and
  • Sharing the program model with other recreation providers across the country.

The success of the Child + Youth Research Project has led to the establishment of an expanded research agenda with MRU.

The research areas include:

  • Child + Youth;
  • Healthy Active Suburbs and Built Environments;
  • Knowledge Translation; and
  • Healthy Policy. 

Action research projects in these other research areas will be launched throughout 2015. 

Play Ambassadors

Vivo's Play Ambassadors aim to bring back play for children, youth, adults and families by facilitating opportunities for families to be active, outdoors, and playing together. Our goal is to create awareness and provide education on the benefits of unstructured play, and work with communities to increase overall capacity for play. Play Ambassadors attend community events, pop-up in parks across north-calgary each summer, appear within Vivo's facility on a weekly basis and provide resources and training to others who want to promote play. 

Vivo Kids

Meet the Vivo Kids.  These lovable characters will get children singing, dancing, rhyming and laughing about the importance of a healthy active lifestyle. The Vivo Kids are featured educators at Vivo and in Grade One and Two classes across north-central Calgary. 

Child + Youth Action Research ParticipantOur Requests What You Can Do

Would you like to be a part of the local solution to the national challenge of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour?     Here’s how you can play your part:

  • DonateJoin the movement and help empower and educate children, youth and families in Calgary and beyond to live healthy, active lives. 
  • VolunteerFrom facility operations to our action research project, Vivo is powered by individuals dedicated to making their community a more vibrant place. 
  • Become a Healthy Living Ambassador: Educate yourself and read our Success Stories to find out how others have made healthy living a part of their everyday life. Then inspire others to get moving and tell us your story!
  • Stay Connected: There are countless ways to connect with Vivo, and to stay in-the-know about our latest news, events and initiatives. 
  • Advertise: Proceeds from advertising in our arenas go directly to our innovative action research and programs that help increase accessibility for anyone inspired to get more healthy and active.