Over the past 24 years I have invested a significant amount of time in trying to make Calgary a better city. I have served on volunteer committees helping charities, volunteered on not-for-profit boards, started festivals, connected countless charities and donors, and am forever lobbying all levels of government. At one point, I was actually on nine boards and/or committees at the same time.
I do this because I love Calgary. I also know the city has been very good to me and I believe it is important that everyone do what they can for their community. My kids are almost 16 and 18 years old and I know they would appreciate that we are working hard to leave them a vibrant, exciting and prosperous city – a place for them to thrive and be proud of.
The whole idea behind Best of Calgary Ideas Week is to celebrate the great things we have and to gather people together to share ideas and activities that are needed to keep moving Calgary forward.
In 2015 our city and province was having a very difficult time. The mood was sombre and the tone was turning negative. And for a Calgarian this was difficult to hear on an ongoing basis. Our youth was talking about needing to move elsewhere to start their careers; our highly educated employees were searching for prosperity in other jurisdictions. And all this was happening at a quick pace.
And I hated hearing it all, so when Gary brought the idea forward I knew we had to try and do something.
We needed to prove to others that this was not the time to turtle.
You see, I knew that many industries were actually thriving, I also knew that there was still a very active arts and culture scene. There were over 6,000 new companies started as a result of the downturn. There was proof everywhere that this city deserves to celebrate all its success stories. But there was also enough evidence to show that we have much to do to make this city an even better for tomorrow.
Starting something like this isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. But as I mentioned above, it is important. And it’s important that we all work together to make a better city.
I hope you can come out to as many of the activities we are putting on during Best of Calgary Ideas Week.
I think you will find it to be very worthwhile.