What We Do
CommunityWise is a link between past, present and future. Over the past 40 years, the supportive physical and social space provided by CommunityWise has allowed hundreds of organizations, most of whom are small grassroots and nonprofit groups, to undertake their programs and activities with the stability and flexibility necessary for maximum impact.
The work of these supported organizations spans a wide spectrum of social, environmental, and cultural issues and their approaches include direct services, peer support, community development, and systems change. Among other areas, they work in addictions supports and advocacy; community economic development; hunger alleviation; disability services; mental health supports; ethnocultural community organizing; LGBTQ2+ peer support; Indigenous community services; and film, performative, and community arts.
More specifically, CommunityWise plays a critical role at multiple lifecycle stages of member groups through simultaneously serving as:
1) an incubation hub for new organizations who need a place to start out
2) a transition hub for organizations experiencing challenges accessing space over the shorter term
3) a long-term home and and inter-generational hub
CommunityWise members collectively serve tens of thousands of people in Calgary and surrounding areas each year (source: CommunityWise Member Survey). 1500 events, meetings, appointments, peer support groups, celebrations, workshops, and other activities took place at CommunityWise in 2018 (source: booking calendar).
5 values guide everything we do:
-Mutuality: We cultivate relationships, connection and collaboration because of their shared benefits and because together we can withstand individual and shared challenges.
-Inclusion: We respect and elevate diverse voices, practices and cultures, individual uniqueness and collective wisdom.
-Accountability: We are responsible to our shared space, to each other, to the larger community, and to the planet.
-Trust: We have confidence in the knowledge, experience, and ability of our members and partners, and actively work to keep their trust in us.
-Equity: We recognize and redress historical and current-day inequities experienced by certain equity-seeking groups and strive for their barrier-free participation.
“The benefits of being housed at CommunityWise have been immeasurable. We have been able to expand our services and vision from the offering of counselling services to the facilitation of client groups, the hosting of a platform of therapists from all over Calgary, and the organization of workshops with instructors from the city as well as abroad.” – Calgary Women’s Health Collective (CommunityWise member)
“Of the many positive aspects of the Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) project, I most appreciate that AROC is committed to promoting inclusion and equity not only as an outcome, but also through its process. Meaningful change that prioritizes the voices of those most impacted by racism is far-reaching and vital, and I am thankful for the learning and growth I have gained with AROC.” – Working Group Participant
“Thanks for all the terrific community support. CommunityWise helps us do our work better through your supportive staff, reasonable rent as well as connecting to other social justice, environmental and arts groups.” – Alberta Media Arts Alliance (CommunityWise member)
“Thanks for offering a safe space for groups and organizations who can’t often find one in traditional structures!” – anonymous donor
“This organization is a gem. When you walk through the doors of the old building, you feel distinctly like you’ve left Calgary. Officially, they provide affordable office and community space to grassroots efforts. But also…They are unwaveringly committed to community and equity in all they do. They care about each human who walks in the building, regardless of how or why they ended up there. They do A LOT with not a lot of money…personally, they inspire me to try harder and be more thoughtful. Your dollars couldn’t be going to a better cause.” – CommunityWise Supporter