Telus Community Day kicks off Best of Calgary Ideas Week with multiple stories of civic engagement

By Gary Davies // Tuesday 9th of May, 2017 // 4:37 PM
photo by Neil Zeller

When we asked for suggestions this past February of people and organizations doing great things in our city, as part of our annual Best of Calgary survey, we were blown away with the multitude and variety of suggestions. We asked for them, because we knew there were people to be honored and stories to be told that didn’t necessarily fit into one of our 100 “Best of” categories.

Sifting through the suggestions was no easy task, and developing an agenda that squeezed all these stories into a Monday afternoon was even harder. That said, were thrilled with the line-up we’ve pulled together for this year’s Telus Community Day and we’d like to share some of it with you.

Our afternoon is divided into three sections, focusing on the community building around arts and culture, sports and recreation, and food and drink. We’ve brought together a diverse group of civic leaders, activists and innovators to speak to the importance of each section in building a sustainable community.

Karen Ball, a fundraising executive who recently served as Executive Director of Calgary 2012; Mitch Lee, founder and head instructor of Beat Drop; and Troy Emery Twigg, an artist who works in theatre and dance as a choreographer, performer, storyteller and educator, will each provide their perspective on the importance of arts and culture in building community.

Olympic Gold Medallist Kyle Shewfelt will lead a discussion around the civic importance of sport and recreation with Mike Bell, founder of The Pioneers, Calgary first gay hockey team; Amal Mohammed, who developed the Somali United Basketball League; Jean-Claude Munyezamu, founder and president of Soccer Without Boundaries; and Kevin Kobelka, executive director Hockey Calgary.

And our final panel will look at why it matters to eat and drink local, in support our food producers, brewers and restaurants. Stephanie Jackman, founder and president of REAP (Respect for the Earth and All People), will be joined by Tony Marshall, owner of Highwood Crossing Foods; Michael Noble, owner of The Nash and NOtaBLE restaurants; and Patricia Koyich, a restaurant consultant, instructor at SAIT, and former owner of Il Sogno restaurant.

While these three panels are sure to stimulate some of the more interesting discussions throughout the day, we know that often at these types of events it’s in the lobby that the real inspiration gets underway. Which is why our friends at Village Brewery will be hosting “A Time for Connecting” happy hour, immediately after our programming. This will provide all attendees with the opportunity to speak one-one-one with some of our presenters and panelists, should their on-stage stories spurn further discussion.

And while that seems like a jam-packed day already, we haven’t even mentioned our keynote speakers and entertainers, who will fill out the balance of the day. More about them in our next blog early next week.

If any of the above interests you, we would love to have you attend Telus Community Day during Best of Calgary Ideas Week on Monday, May 29th at the Bella Concert Hall on the Mount Royal University campus. Tickets are $30 after that date) and can be purchased at