Weekly News Recap: January 11, 2019

Former Speaker of the Alberta legislature Gene Zwozdesky has died. He was 70. POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILE PHOTO

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. -- George Bernard Shaw

Welcome to 2019!

First, a thank you to all those who participated in our reader survey for the ViTreo Weekly News Recap. We are reviewing and will be making changes based on your input. In fact, we have already started to make some small changes. More on our plans in the coming weeks. We promised to draw for a set of Beats headphones from those who participated in the survey. We have a winner! Congratulations to recap reader David Finch! David, we will be contacting you shortly to arrange to send you your Beats headphones.

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  • TransCanada Corp. changes name to TC Energy (CBC) CALGARY STORY "TransCanada Corp. is changing its name to TC Energy. The pipeline and utilities company says the change better reflects the scope of its operations across North America." 1/9/19

  • Red Deer ready to roll out welcome mat for Canada Winter Games (CBC) RED DEER STORY Congrats Red Deer! We are all excited. "In just over a month, Red Deer will be bursting at the seams as 20,000 visitors descend upon the central Alberta city to watch some potential winter Olympians compete at the 2019 Canada Winter Games." 1/9/19

  • VIDEO: Dr. Ed McCauley takes helm as new University of Calgary president (UToday) CALGARY STORY "As of January 1, 2019, Dr. Ed McCauley began his term as the ninth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary [...]. On January 25, the campus community will have the chance to connect with Dr. McCauley in person at a casual meet-and-greet reception." 1/8/19

  • The Calgary Public Library Announces New Program in Partnership with Calgary Fire Department (CBC) CALGARY STORY This is cool!"From January through June, children and families will have the opportunity to participate in weekly drop-in Firefighter Storytimes at select Library locations. Visitors will enjoy a story read by a local firefighter, and, availability and weather permitting, a tour of a working fire engine – a special experience for children of all ages." 1/8/19

  • GPRC PRESIDENT AND CEO ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT (My Grande Prairie Now) GRANDE PRAIRIE STORY "President Gnatiuk, thank you for your amazing service. ViTreo is proud to be working with GPRC. "Grande Prairie Regional College is on the hunt for a new President and CEO. [Don] Gnatiuk announced his retirement from both positions. Gnatiuk has been with the school for the last 12 years and says he has mixed emotions about leaving." 1/7/19

  • Gene Zwozdesky, former Speaker of the Alberta Legislature, has died (CBC) ALBERTA STORY "Former Alberta MLA and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Gene Zwozdesky has died. He was 70." I knew Gene well. He served Alberta and Canada with grace, dignity, and civility. RIP Gene. We will not see your like again. 1/6/19

  • Homes by Avi's commitment to the RESOLVE campaign fulfilled by The Maple (The London Free Press) CALGARY STORY Congrats to Homes by Avi and the RESOLVE Campaign. "The Maple, a 25-unit building, supplies housing for women who have been identified as chronically homeless, who have experienced homelessness for a year or more, or have experienced challenges that impact their ability to find and maintain stable housing. The building, made possible thanks to the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, Homes by Avi, the City of Calgary and other generous donors, is the sixth new permanent supportive housing building to be completed for the Calgary Housing Foundation (CHF) and its housing collaborator, HomeSpace, and the eighth new building to be constructed through the RESOLVE Campaign." 1/5/19

  • Remarkable year at Red Deer College (Todayville) RED DEER STORY A great summary of the year by RDC President Joel Ward. 1/4/19*

  • 'A ways to go': Alberta's year-end job numbers stuck in neutral (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "Year-end job numbers for Alberta paint a picture of an economy that, while healthier than it was two years ago, is not recovering as fast as many would have hoped. In a year whose latter half was defined by pipeline setbacks, market access anxieties and a widening oil price differential, Calgary’s unemployment rate ticked slightly higher — hitting 7.9 per cent in December, up from 7.5 per cent in December 2017, according to Statistics Canada." 1/4/19

  • Parker: Vecova plans new centre for people with disabilities and diverse needs (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY Congrats! We love Vecova! "This year marks 50 years since the Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute was opened on land on the north side of the University of Calgary along 32nd Avenue N.W. Many who have used the facilities over the years still remember it as the VRRI, but since 2011 it has been known as the Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research and continues to do an extraordinary job for persons with disabilities by enabling inclusion, fostering social innovation and accelerating meaningful outcomes with positive effects for society. Led by CEO Joan Lee and an active volunteer board of directors, it is about to launch a capital campaign to build a new facility on the current site that will enable it to meet the needs of the growing number of people with disabilities, while continuing to operate as a social enterprise in welcoming the surrounding communities." 1/3/19

  • 'Best year ever': Calgary Zoo shatters attendance records in 2018 (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "It was a record-setting year for the Calgary Zoo, thanks in large part to its four new, giant black-and-white inhabitants. Almost 1.5 million people visited the zoo in 2018, breaking an attendance record set in 2012 when it opened its Penguin Plunge." 1/3/19

  • Helped by Beyonce clip, Paris' Louvre breaks visitor record (660 News) "The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum, received a record 10.2 million visitors in 2018, numbers boosted by a video clip shot by pop star Beyonce amid its paintings and sculptures." 1/3/19

  • Construction of RD Regional Hospital back on Capital Plan (Lacombe Online) RED DEER STORY "The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is elated by last week’s announcement by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Government of Alberta that a redevelopment and expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is back on the Facility Infrastructure Capital Plan for 2018." 1/2/19

  • Elise Stolte: Edmonton can learn from Calgary's path to end homelessness (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY "This is the year Edmonton shifts to a more active role in locating and building supportive housing for the hardest to house. City officials are analyzing maps to select the first four sites — all outside the traditional inner-city locations — and readying a major information campaign to convince residents to support this in their neighbourhoods." 12/28/18

  • Calgary professor remeasures Alberta mountain peaks, one hike at a time (CBC) In my mind, Gérard has always been a cool dude. This makes him even cooler. "A University of Calgary professor emeritus is combining his love of hiking with his expertise in geomatics to rewrite topographical maps of hikes in Kananaskis and Banff, one mountain at a time. Gérard Lachapelle has so far measured about 15 mountains and said most maps are accurate within 10 to 20 metres." 12/27/18

  • YMCA OF Metropolitan Detroit Names Helene Weir As New President & CEO (YMCA Detroit) Woot! Congrats to Helene and to YMCA Detroit. "The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit has named Helene Weir as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2019." 12/20/18

  • Winnipeg Is The Kookiest Canadian City You’ve Never Heard Of (AWOL) WINNIPEG STORY I love Winnipeg as well. This is a great article on a great city. Also, the term 'legit ridic' is pretty awesome (and warranted). Thanks to our intrepid source and avowed Jets fan, Ron Bailey, for this article. "There are fewer of the scenic blockbuster attractions that its cousins on the east or west coast of Canada boast. It also happens to be located slap-bang in the centre of the Great White North. Literally. So it’s not exactly on your way to… well, most other places." 12/14/18

First Peoples of Canada

  • Tsuut'ina Nation abuzz with honey business (CBC) CALGARY STORY "A first of its kind beekeeping program is underway on Tsuut'ina First Nation in southern Alberta. The program was the brainchild of Tsuut'ina Chief Lee Crowchild who says it started three years ago with a beekeepers workshop. The workshop graduated five trained Tsuut'ina beekeepers and supplied them with the beehives and tools they needed to succeed." 1/7/19

  • 'A sense of pride': Edmontonians sign up for Cree language classes (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY "Nehiyawe, or Cree language learning, is a popular course at EPL, offered downtown and in Highlands. The library’s Indigenous services team chair Margo Till-Rogers says when classes aren’t on the calendar, EPL immediately gets calls asking when they’ll be back." 1/2/19

Books to read

  • Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy Kindle Edition (Amazon.com) "Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us. From the plough to artificial intelligence, from Gillette’s disposable razor to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, bestselling author and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford recounts each invention’s own curious, surprising, and memorable story. " 2018

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

  • What's the Worst Pain? (Gizmodo) "Some people say that life is pain. Those people are optimistic: life isn’t pain, it’s pains, plural—tooth pain, back pain, breakup-pain, the pain of watching your parents grow old and die, the pain of downwardly adjusting your expectations for life, stomach pain and sinus pain, pain you can’t quite trace to any one single source—a thousand different strains of this stuff, some not-insignificant percentage of which you’ll almost certainly experience before your (likely painful) death." 1/7/19

  • SPEAK YOUR PIECE: THE ‘HARD TRUTHS’ OF DISMISSING RURAL PHILANTHROPY (Daily Yonder) "Rural communities are creative and resourceful when it comes to community development. They have to be. Foundations that avoid rural investment are missing opportunities for innovation and success." 1/4/19

  • Chessboxing: the new craze where brain meets brawn (Huck Magazine) Umm..."At a packed venue in North London, a ragtag crowd of curious punters and weekend warriors have gathered around a boxing ring. As the smell of beer and sweat starts to build, a strange chant rumbles through the venue: 'CHESS! CHESS! CHESS!'" 1/3/19

  • Central Edmonton Arts & Culture Map (The Gateway) EDMONTON STORY Cool and informative piece -- even for me. "[Edmonton's] swankiest arts establishments and where to find them." 1/2/19

  • Our Favorite Facts of 2018 (New York Times) I bucked the trend (thankfully) on #7. 12/28/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • Calgary Cannabis Club's $6K donation in memory of member snubbed by cancer centre (CBC) "Members of the Calgary Cannabis Club say a $6,000 donation to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in memory of one of its members was turned down, all because of the word cannabis in the group's name." 1/7/19

  • Sexual harassment runs rampant in non-profits — and it's time for our #MeToo moment (CBC) "Sector employs many young women seeking donations from older men, which can leave them vulnerable." 1/2/19

  • Crowdfunding is financing and promoting 'worst-of-the-worst' bogus cancer therapies: study (Edmonton Journal) "'I am a cancer patient, NOT a chemo patient,' she posted on the online fundraising site GoFundMe. 'Chemo is a serious poison' that destroys bones, kidneys and livers, and 'decimates' the immune system, she said. So she is trying to raise money for homeopathic and other natural therapies, including juicing organic carrots. It’s an example of the rapidly growing practice of people using crowdfunding for alternative cancer treatments — a phenomenon that’s helping finance and promote scientifically baseless therapies while raising false hopes for desperate people, according to the authors of a study appearing in this week’s issue of The Lancet Oncology." 1/7/19

  • Another Charitable Donation Clawback: A Heads-Up to Nonprofit Fundraisers (Nonprofit Quarterly) "In this [...] recent case, Arthur Lamar Adams, a $400,000 donor to the University of Mississippi’s Athletic Foundation, has been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that apparently netted around $100 million. Now, although no one suggests that the university or the foundation had any knowledge of the scheme, $310,000 of that money, donated over a ten-year period, must be returned to a receiver who is been appointed to retrieve as much of investors’ money as possible. Reportedly, these investors include another charitable body in L.A.’s Booth Foundation." 1/2/19

  • GoFundMe speaks out after donation seekers caught in NJ homeless man scam (CBS) Good response. "GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne confirmed to Cleveland 19 today it proactively refunded everyone who donated to the scam. 'All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded. GoFundMe always fully protects donors, which is why we have a comprehensive refund policy in place,' Whithorne said in an emailed statement." 1/26/19

Trends and shifts

  • Kenya will start teaching Chinese to elementary school students from 2020 (Quartz) "The country’s curriculum development institute (KICD) has said the design and scope of the mandarin syllabus have been completed and will be rolled in out in 2020. Primary school pupils from grade four (aged 10) and onwards will be able to take the course, the head of the agency Julius Jwan told Xinhua news agency. Jwan said the language is being introduced given Mandarin’s growing global rise, and the deepening political and economic connections between Kenya and China." 1/8/19

  • Plano-based tech and philanthropy company YourCause sells for $157 million (Dallas Morning News) "Plano-based YourCause, which makes software that encourages employee volunteering and giving, announced Thursday that it's been acquired by another social good-related company for about $157 million. The 155-person company will become part of Blackbaud, a Charleston, S.C.-based company that provides software for social good-related companies and groups such as schools, nonprofits and faith communities. YourCause and its employees will remain in Plano, founder and CEO Matt Combs said." 1/4/19

  • Crystal Ball Check-In: How Did We Do at Forecasting 2018 Philanthropy? (Inside Philanthropy) "Making predictions for the coming year is the kind of gimmicky thing that media sites do to get clicks. And it works: Our Philanthropy Forecast, 2018, was among the most popular articles we published last year. I’m not sure exactly why readers eat this stuff up, but I can say why we enjoy making these predictions—because, like our Philanthropy Awards, it’s an opportunity to think about the bigger picture of what’s happening throughout a philanthrosphere that’s hopping with action right now. It’s also a lot of fun to toss spaghetti up against the wall every January and then, a year later, to swing back around and see what stuck." 1/2/19

  • How top-ranked universities are becoming more accessible, one donation at a time (The Crimson) "[Bloomberg's] generous donation comes in the wake of a recent finding from The New York Times that some elite colleges have more students from the top 1% of the income scale than the bottom 60%. As many as half of all high-achieving students from low- and middle-income families also do not even consider applying to top colleges either because they know they wouldn’t be able to afford it, doubt they would get in, or aren’t aware of their options." 1/1/19

  • Want to make an end-of-year charitable donation? Yup, there's a...vending machine for that. (NBC) And the innovation award goes to... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes, our friends, the Mormons are leading the charge on this one. Cool beans. "The end of the year is a common time for people to make charitable donations. One organization is making it even easier for those annual acts of generosity, installing vending machines that enable donors to send items, from farm animals to school supplies, to underserved communities around the world with just the touch of a button." 12/28/18

  • AI Competition Is the New Space Race (Bloomberg) "It’s been another year of relentless artificial-intelligence hype and incremental AI achievement. Machines still beat humans only in carefully constructed environments or at narrow tasks. The good news is that, as the technology progresses, the race for leadership is still wide open, and even Europe, where politicians fret that the continent is lagging behind China and the U.S., is still quite competitive." 12/28/18

  • The Most Powerful Philanthropy You've Never Heard Of: Paying Strangers' Bail (Cognoscenti) As the article states, the wealth easily pay bail and head home... I heart this! "Want to make a difference with your charitable giving this holiday season? Pay someone’s bail. No, it’s not a typical year-end donation to the American Red Cross or your college endowment. But through local or national philanthropic bail funds, you can contribute directly to individuals’ release from jail before trial, typically for low-level, non-violent offenses. By helping low-income defendants avoid the potentially permanent harm from pretrial incarceration — including lost jobs, missed childcare and worse legal outcomes — the impact is enormous." 1/27/19

Large gifts

  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association Awards $1 Million Grant to InsideClimate News (Inside Climate News) "The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced tonight during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards® a $1 million grant to InsideClimate News. The grant will support ICN's investigative reporting projects, expand its National Environment Reporting Network, and provide scholarships for high school students to attend its summer Institute for Environmental Journalism." 1/6/19

  • Busy CBC food bank drive brings in $1.3M for hungry Calgarians (CBC) CALGARY STORY Thanks CBC! Thanks Albertans! "Albertans have stepped up to donate $1.3 million to the Calgary Food Bank as part of CBC Calgary's annual campaign. The station's fundraising drive brought in the large amount after an 18-day campaign — and a last-minute donation from a family going through hard times." 1/4/19

  • 'Hamilton' producer makes million-dollar donation to Mosaic Theater (Fox News) "Oak Park native and theatrical Producer Jeffery Seller known for producing the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' has decided to shine a spotlight on Detroit's Mosaic Youth Theater through a million-dollar donation." 1/3/19

  • Philanthropic Alberta couple donate millions to a cancer treatment centre in Rwanda (Globe and Mail) Wow! Again! "A few months ago, Edmonton businessman Irving Kipnes and his wife, Dianne, were planning to make a $100,000 gift to Partners In Health Canada when they had a sudden change of mind. The couple were so impressed by the charity’s cancer-treatment centre in Rwanda that they decided to donate $5-million instead. 'We were absolutely mesmerized by the work they’ve done,' Mr. Kipnes recalled recently from his home in Edmonton. 'We had given smaller amounts but we decided to make a bigger gift.'" 1/9/19

  • Thrifty social worker leaves secret $11M estate to children’s charities (Global News) This guy! What an incredible gift. "Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he had long planned. The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $11-million estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and abandoned. The amount baffled the beneficiaries and his best friends, who are lauding Naiman as the anniversary of his death approaches in January." 12/28/18

  • Anonymous $1M donation helps foster mom open shelter to house human trafficking victims (ABC) How great is this! "An anonymous $1 million donation allowed an Orange County woman to make the winning bid for five newly renovated homes that will house survivors of human trafficking." 12/28/18

  • Northwestern $1 million donation to Evanston funds paramedic services, job training (Daily Northwestern) "Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty announced last week the allocation of NU’s $1 million donation to Evanston’s Good Neighbor Fund. The donation is just one way the University tries to settle concerns from Evanston residents that its exemption from property taxes is a drain on the city’s revenue, a longstanding conflict in town-gown relations. It also comes as both Northwestern and Evanston struggle with a budget deficit." 12/26/18

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