The Future of Community Halls in Our Great Neighbourhoods
As you know, some of our community residents and associations have had concerns about their community halls ranging from inadequate funding to ongoing maintenance issues.
Ward 9 has seen the loss of 2 community halls that have served as integral community hubs and their loss has started a conversation about the future of community halls and their purpose in serving their communities.
After meeting and speaking with the leadership of the Albert Park-Radisson Heights, Bridgeland-Riverside, Ramsay, and Fairview community associations, along with the leadership of the Southern Alberta Women's Hockey Association, and the Indefinite Arts Society, about these concerns, I wrote and sent the letter below on May 23, 2018, to formally inform them about my take on the next steps in bringing new facilities on line.
I also forwarded this correspondence to the Mayor as well as top administrative leadership at The City of Calgary to make my intentions clear and transparent about the work I would undertake on behalf of my constituents going forward and would like to share my thoughts with you.
Please have a look, let me know your thoughts, and sign up to my email newsletter to stay up to date as we move forward on this work, together.
May 23, 2018
To Affected Community Hall Users:
Re: The Future of Civic Integrated Facilities
Please accept this letter as my response and as an expression of my intent with regard to numerous formal and informal communications I’ve had with each of your respective organizations regarding your desires and needs to pursue a new, integrated future for each of your sites.
The mission of moving from stand-alone, single-use facilities on valuable civically-owned land, to a richly mixed-use model that better serves our communities and that are profitable enough to sustain themselves far into the future has been a core part of my Great Neighbourhoods work as your representative at City Hall.
There have been several developments over the last couple years that have pushed us towards embracing this idea of the Integrated Civic Facility: the decision to reduce our ever-expanding need for office space for City employees led to the Tomorrow’s Workplace Today program; the Enough For All Poverty Reduction Strategy called for the establishment of multi-service community hubs; our aging fleet of end-of-life civic facilities has necessitated outside the box thinking; and, the pervasive need to do more with less as we tackle the inter-related challenges of housing, service delivery, and economic diversification.
We have emerged from these processes with the broadly held conviction that we can no longer build stand-alone, single-use civic facilities. Our challenge now is to learn how to deliver this next generation of these Integrated Civic Facilities. Through combinations of leadership and circumstance, each of your valued Ward 9 organizations finds itself with the opportunity and the need to do this as well.
My pledge to you is that I will coordinate The City’s work on this broader project, on a pilot basis, with each of your organizations. I am convinced that the best way forward, given that we currently don’t know how to effectively bridge the gap between the theory and the practice of the Integrated Civic Facility, is to undertake several pilots and in so doing, amass a broader understanding of what does and doesn’t work than we would working on a single pilot.
I believe each of your needs is pressing and each of your opportunities is uniquely compelling. Further, I pledge to have these pilots significantly underway before the end of this term.
Thank you for your vision and leadership, and I look forward to the exciting, city-shaping work that lies ahead of us.
Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor, Ward 9