Weekly News Recap: December 21, 2018

Current and future Habitat owners join to celebrate the launch of Silvercreek, the largest townhome development Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta has planned in Calgary. SUPPLIED / POSTMEDIA

It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials. -- Bruce Lee

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The epitome of cool

  • VIDEO: Try to Keep Up With America’s Oldest Female BMX Racer (Great Big Story) Need some inspiration. Watch! "Kittie Weston-Knauer loves a challenge, so best not get in her way. She started BMX racing at 40 years old, initially competing against men and later working with the sport’s sanctioning bodies to create a women's cruiser division. Now 70 years old, 'Miss Kittie' feels like she wins every time she gets out on that track … and she has no intention of hanging up her helmet." December 2018


  • How to make 'chinook-proof' outdoor rinks and other tricks from a veteran ice-maker (CBC) CALGARY STORY Philanthropy takes many forms. Guys like this are community heroes. "Chinook winds might spell relief for those sick of chilly winters, but for rink master Dale Prince, Calgary's inconsistent weather is a bit of a headache. Prince has been maintaining an outdoor rink at Haysboro Community Centre for about 29 years, and he says Calgary's weather makes it a tough place to keep ice smooth." 12/19/18
  • $500M BMO Centre expansion gets provincial support after approval by Calgary city council (CBC) CALGARY STORY "One day after Calgary's city council conditionally approved a $500-million project that would double the size of the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, the province has announced its financial support. The province announced a 20-year extension of the Rivers District Community Revitalization Levy for its one-third portion, while the city will fund the remainder. The levy is responsible for the development in Calgary's East Village, including the recently completed Central Library." 12/17/18

  • Ottawa to announce $1.6B for battered energy sector (CBC) ALBERTA STORY "Canada's battered energy industry will get a $1.6 billion boost from Ottawa [...] — an attempt by the Trudeau Liberals to slow the political and economic bleeding in the oilpatch." 12/17/18

  • New Victoria Park arena could cost up to $600M, Calgary committee hears (CBC) CALGARY STORY "It could cost up to $600 million to build a new multi-purpose arena in east Victoria Park to replace the Saddledome. Michael Brown, the head of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), told a city council committee Friday afternoon the price range for a new 20,000 seat arena would be $550 million to $600 million." 12/14/18

  • CMHA in Swift Current earns amazing prize (Prairie Post) SWIFT CURRENT STORY Nice! "The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Swift Current Branch won the grand prize of $125,000 in iA Financial Group's second annual Canada-wide philanthropic contest. The goal of the contest is to provide financial support to a Canadian charity that works with people living with mental health issues." 12/13/18

  • eSports events coming to Calgary thanks to new partnership (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY eAthletes everywhere rejoice! "A new partnership is set to bring competitive video-game events to Calgary — an industry estimated to reach more than $1-billion in revenue next year. The Calgary eSports League is partnering with Telus Spark to bring competitive eSports events to the science centre." 12/11/18

  • Got a hospital parking ticket? Pay the fine with a donated toy (CBC) ALBERTA STORY Love this! "Alberta Health Services has launched a new campaign this holiday season that gives people who have recently received an AHS parking ticket a chance to donate a new toy rather than paying the fine." Note: This campaign runs until December 21.12/10/18

  • Calgarians get sneak peek into Seton YMCA set to open next month (CBC) CALGARY STORY Congrats! "Calgarians were given a sneak peek of the new Brookfield Residential YMCA in Seton over the weekend, ahead of its scheduled opening next month. Built by the city, the 330,000 square-foot facility will be the largest YMCA in the world when it opens Jan. 14, 2019, besting the 284,000 square-foot Shane Homes YMCA, which opened at the beginning of the year in Rocky Ridge." 12/10/18

  • U of C will take over main floor of Calgary's old central library (CBC) CALGARY STORY "The University of Calgary is moving into the old central library location, at least for a while. The faculty of environmental design will operate a teaching lab on the main floor of the building and use it as an events space. It will lease the space for five years from the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, starting in January." 12/10/18

First Peoples of Canada

  • 'Both things are true': Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground (CBC) FORT MCKAY STORY "The berries tasted different. The blueberries and cranberries didn't look the same either. When elders from Fort McKay near Alberta's oilsands went to their traditional picking areas, things just didn't feel right. They knew something was off. But what? The First Nation's questions eventually grew into a collaboration with university-based researchers that brought botanists out on traditional berry-picking trips in an attempt to use western science to investigate community concerns. Sure enough, the elders were right. Berries closer to the oilsands were different." 12/14/18

  • Photo Essay: It devours our land (The Narwhal) FORT MCKAY STORY "A historically willing participant in oilsands operations, the Fort McKay First Nation is taking the Alberta government to court over its failure to protect Moose Lake, a sacred site, from rampant industrial development." 12/13/18

  • 'Gyms can be intimidating': Women Warriors offers Indigenous women fitness in a safe space (CBC) LLOYDMINSTER STORY "Shelley Wiart started Women Warriors to help Indigenous women feel comfortable in a workout setting. 'I find that some of the gyms can be intimidating to walk in to if you're just new to fitness,' Wiart told CBC Radio's Blue Sky. She started Women Warriors in Lloydminster in 2015 and has since successfully transplanted it to the Onion Lake Cree Nation." 12/10/18

Movies to watch

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge


  • Data philanthropy and the design of the infraethics for information societies (The Royal Society) Philanthropy takes many forms. In today's world, it even takes the form of gifting your data! "In mature information societies, sharing data is increasingly recognized as a crucial means to foster their development. However, competing tensions on data control and ownership, limited technical understanding, and the lack of an adequate governance framework pose serious challenges to attempts to share data among different actors. Data philanthropy, understood as the donation of data from both individuals and private companies, has been proposed as means to meet these challenges." 12/28/16

Philanthropic personalities

  • George H.W. Bush secretly sponsored a Filipino child for 10 years. Read some of the letters they sent each other (CNN) Such a great story! "Even after his death, George H.W. Bush continues to warm our hearts. The 41st President sponsored a 7-year-old boy in the Philippines for ten years using a pseudonym, the nonprofit who connected them revealed." Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this story. 12/18/18

  • Paying it forward: a Christmas story (The Globe and Mail) CALGARY STORY This story is from 2007. It was shared with me by my friend Nima Dorjee after he read the George H.W. Bush story above. I share it with you here because it is simply a beautiful and powerful Christmas story. Thank you Nima. 12/22/07

  • Nelson: City entrepreneur aims to repay his adopted country (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "Not that long ago, he dreamed of becoming the first Sikh billionaire in Canada [...]. But although his company is relentlessly moving ahead — snapping up rental units, renovating them and putting them back on the market across most of Western Canada — [Bob] Dhillon has his sights on a grander goal. It’s why he recently made a $10-million donation to the University of Lethbridge, a gift that resulted in a major change to the curriculum of the college’s business school, which now bears Dhillon’s name." 12/13/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • Charity turns down donation because people were blacked up at fundraiser (Metro) "A charity has refused donations from a community fundraiser after some of the revellers went to the event wearing blackface. Shocking images have emerged from the Old Colwyn annual fancy dress event, showing several men dressed in African clothing with black make-up on their faces. The money raised should have gone to an organisation that helps babies and their families at the nearby Glan Clwyd Hospital." 12/19/18

  • Trump Foundation Will Dissolve, Accused of ‘Shocking Pattern of Illegality’ (New York Times) "The Donald J. Trump Foundation, once billed as the charitable arm of the president’s financial empire, agreed to dissolve on Tuesday and give away all its remaining assets under court supervision as part of an ongoing investigation and lawsuit by the New York attorney general." 12/18/18

  • CBS Picks 18 Recipients Of $20 Million Donation To Fight Against Workplace Sexual Harassment (Deadline Hollywood) "CBS has picked 18 recipients of a previously announced $20 million donation to support the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace. The $20 million was deducted from the exit package of former CEO Les Moonves in September under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations." 12/14/18

  • Boy Scouts may file for bankruptcy (CNN) "The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Boy Scouts leadership has hired the law firm Sidley Austin LLP for possible chapter 11 bankruptcy filing assistance, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. According to the newspaper, filing for bankruptcy would halt the many lawsuits the organization faces alleging inappropriate conduct by employees." 12/13/18

  • Brad Pitt's foundation debacle offers timeless lesson for donors (Philanthropy Daily) "[Brad] Pitt, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, didn’t just send money to New Orleans; he created the Make It Right foundation in 2007 and vowed to build homes in New Orleans. His foundation ended up raising $26 million and built 109 homes in the poverty-stricken Lower Ninth Ward. [...] Brad Pitt’s charitable commitment is admirable. But surely it would have been better to have asked the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward what sorts of homes they wanted instead of giving them what they thought they deserved?" 12/11/18

Trends and shifts

  • SAIT is the 1st school in Canada to issue grads their credentials via blockchain (CBC) CALGARY STORY This is awesome! "Soon, SAIT graduates won't just be walking across the stage to shake the dean's hand and receive a paper diploma — they'll also get their credentials on a secure blockchain key. The Calgary-based technical post-secondary institute is the first in Canada, and one of just around a dozen schools globally (including MIT and Stanford), to issue blockchain-secured credentials. 'There are more and more cases of fraudulent transcripts that post-secondaries are having to deal with,' said SAIT registrar Neera Arora. 'It's going to be totally secure just for their access.'" 12/19/18

  • 2019 Will Be The Most Generous Year. Ever. (LinkedIn) From the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "Most of us have heard of the 10,000 hours rule. The theory—made popular by the writer Malcolm Gladwell—is that if you practice anything for 10,000 hours then you will become world class at it. I’m not convinced it’s as straightforward as that. I’ve been trying to perfect my butterfly for a LONG time and still haven’t mastered it. But it’s certainly true that the single best way to get better at something, whether it’s swimming, learning a language, or playing an instrument, is to practice. It works with giving too. Practicing actually works great with generosity. And today, more and more of us are doing it—especially women and young people. That’s one of the reasons why I predict that 2019 will be the most generous year ever in America." Thanks to Denise Summers for sharing this article. 12/10/18

Reports and studies

  • Finding The News 2.0 (Media-cmi.com) CANADIAN CONTENT "How age, language, and geography influence Canadians' media choices." No surprise, the older you are, the more likely you are to read a print newspaper. Lots of other surprises though. Read on. Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this paper. 10/30/18

Large gifts

  • Marc Benioff's donation to hospital will increase children's mental health services in the East Bay (ABC) "[Marc] Benioff and his wife Lynne, announced a $15-million gift to [benefit children's mental health services in the region]. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland is the beneficiary of the $15-million gift." 12/18/18

  • Central Elementary gets $1 million donation for space center (Daily Herald) "The $1 million commitment from the Edward St. John Foundation toward the rebuild of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center at Central Elementary School is the first major gift and boost toward the $4 million the Alpine School District hopes to raise for the project. The $1 million commitment is part of a four-year pledge from the foundation to match dollar-for-dollar funds raised by the Alpine School District." 12/17/18

  • Last minute donation saves Chicago church from auction (Fox News) "Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church held what parishioners believed would be its final service on Thursday. The church was slated to go to auction Friday after facing legal issues and about $8 million in debt when a bank foreclosed on the property [...]. But church leaders said they received a phone call around midnight from a group offering a nearly $2 million donation to help the church purchase the property from the bank." 12/15/18

  • Stryker, Johnston make record-breaking $30 million donation to Atlanta college (Michigan Live) "Kalamazoo’s Ronda Stryker and her husband Bill Johnston gave a record-breaking donation to Spelman College in Atlanta." 12/14/18

  • Habitat's largest townhome project set for Silver Springs (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY Congrats! Thank you CREB Foundation and Calgary Foundation. "Habitat for Humanity is launching Silvercreek, its biggest project ever in Southern Alberta — a $9-million, 32-unit condo development in Silver Springs [...]. Funding partners for the Silver Springs project include the CREB Charitable Foundation, which gave $1 million, and the Calgary Foundation, which contributed $1.5 million." 12/12/18

  • Health Foundation gets largest ever donation of $3 million (Fort McMurray Today) FORT MCMURRAY STORY Woot! Nice gift Suncor! Thanks. "A $3-million donation from Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation is the largest one ever given to the Northern Lights Health Foundation. The donation was made Monday morning to support the foundation’s annual Gratitude Campaign. The money will help support two major projects at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, which include Minimally Invasive Surgical Suites and renovations to the building’s lobby." 12/4/18

  • Cincinnati school receives $2M anonymous donation, giving students 'many more options' (Cincinnati.com) "Thanks to a $2 million anonymous donation to Seton High School, construction of a new student center and outdoor learning space will begin next year." 12/7/18

  • Michigan State debate team gets $1.5 million donation from anonymous couple (Lansing State Journal) "Michigan State University's debate team recently received the largest donation in its history — perhaps the largest single donation ever made to a college debate team — from an anonymous couple." 12/6/18

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