Jul 31

HOST Ambassador profile: Shirley

by Downtown Calgary · 0 comments

shirley-host

Being raised in Calgary I thought that I knew a fair bit about my city and the upcoming events taking place in the downtown core; only after taking this job to be a summer HOST ambassador with the Downtown Calgary Association did I realize, how much I was missing. The downtown core area is such an essential part of this city; the daily events that occur here contribute to the city’s image and livelihood. Not only have I had the opportunity to try new experiences, I have seen firsthand the impact events and programs have on the overall well being of the community.

While working as a HOST ambassador, I’ve had a chance to help out at lots of great events. I believe that these events strengthen the connection between people and the places they share.

Every second Wednesday of each month the Calgary Downtown Association hosts a Pop-Up Picnic. Between 12pm and 1pm, downtown travelers are welcome to bring their own lunches and enjoy an hour of free entertainment. These events take place on ‘privately owned public spaces (POPS)’ and bring a sense of vibrancy to areas that can often be stagnant. Pop-Up Picnics are a way for Downtown Calgary to support local businesses and promote a healthy lifestyle by getting people out of their offices to enjoy some fresh air, good entertainment and company for an hour during their lunch breaks.

The Street Piano and the Community Garden are also initiatives that create an uplifting atmosphere to the downtown area and also function to bring visual appeal to the community. The street piano placed along the Barclay Parade on 3rd street SW presents an artistic cultural influence on the streets of downtown, bringing people together through the art of music. The piano helps re-imagine a space that would otherwise be just another street, to one that has a lively and fun atmosphere.

The Downtown Calgary Community Garden is a joint project between Downtown Calgary and the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre building opportunities to give back to the community in a sustainable manner. The garden inspires an awareness and appreciation for a public space by turning it into something that is beautiful and sustainable.

In the core of downtown is Stephen Avenue; this pedestrian only street is full of vendors, street performers and even stage entertainment adding life and energy that can be felt all along the avenue. The Downtown Calgary Summer Stage provides live lunchtime entertainment to people of all ages. The stage promotes a variety of local artists developing opportunities for those who wish to establish a larger fan-base.

As you walk along the avenue you will be greeted by the many different sounds and styles of street musicians and vendors, they spark the interests of masses to capitalize on a myriad of new experiences.

As the city continues to grow and expand both in size and vibrancy, the downtown core remains strong and acts as a leading influence on the culture in this city; inspiring and shaping the view on public spaces and working to bring together communities.

Note: this post was written by Shirley, one of our Downtown HOST ambassadors this year. If you’re interested in writing for us as a guest blogger email getdown@downtowncalgary.com

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