Place Matters: A North Calgary Project

Place Matters: A North Calgary Project was made possible by the City of Calgary – Your Local Government‘s Council Innovation Fund and Suncor Energy Foundation in collaboration with Parks Foundation Calgary and Vivo to discover what creates a sense of belonging in North-Central Calgary. During 2022-2023, we launched a community engagement initiative to listen and learn about who are the communities of belonging, what creates a prosperous community, what are the strengths and assets of north Calgary and how do we build things that care for us instead of more things we need to take care of.

The insights gained informed a co-creation strategy model and tool kits for grassroots park development across North Central Calgary. Along the way, we measured things like engagement, connections, and community activation. The project also helped to generate a list of priorities of community-driven outdoor space projects for the future.

What We Did

Key Learnings

Report & Toolkits

Media & Resources

What’s Next

What We Did

Using a co-development model, we collaborated with key community mobilizers on events and targeted engagements. The events included “streams” of engagement: a blessing of the land,  two bus tours (one targeting business owners and operators and the other targeting community activators), subject matter expert interviews, a capital projects survey and an engagement prioritization public event on Neighbour Day.

Key Learnings

Key Themes

During the project, you, our incredible community, shared your values connected to outdoor public spaces. These values are the bedrock of our vision for North Calgary’s outdoor spaces: 

  • Connectivity: We should aim to connect community members with each other, with the natural environment, and with other communities. 
  • Prosperity: Our spaces should support local businesses, connecting them with our community, and giving back to our neighborhoods. 
  • Safety and Belonging: We’re should creating places that foster a sense of safety, inclusivity, and community ownership. 
  • Health and Wellbeing: Every park and corner should be designed to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing. 
  • Maintenance and Sustainment: Our spaces should be crafted with longevity in mind, ensuring they’re maintained for generations to come. 
  • Inspiration and Activation: Outdoor spaces can be our canvas for art, stages for events, and gateways to nature, inspiring our community 
  • Joy and Entertainment: Most importantly, outdoor spaces are the playgrounds of joy, where every moment is cherished, and laughter and memories bloom. 

We are truly grateful for your active participation and your valuable insights throughout the Place Matters project. You’ve helped shape the future of our community, and we couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead. 

Community Prioritization

The “North Calgary Prioritization Map” is a testament to our shared dreams. It showcases the power of community priorities and lays the groundwork for continued engagement. We’re committed to ensuring that under-represented communities have their voices heard in the prioritization of existing and new projects. Find out more in the report. 

What Would Help Develop Vibrant & Thriving Neighbourhoods?

Report & Toolkits

Vivo for Healthier Generations and Parks Foundation received $100,000 in funding from the Council Innovation Fund in 2021 for the project A Strategy Model for Grass Roots Park Space Development in North Central Calgary, herein referred to as Place Matters. The objective of the project was to engage North Calgary community members in the development of a strategy model for grassroots park development and to identify priorities for outdoor public space projects. Report contents include

  • A summary of community engagement methods and insights
  • Recommendations to support Calgary’s outdoor public spaces
  • Priorities for future outdoor public space projects in North Calgary
  • Community toolkits to support future community engagement and outdoor public space project development



Media & Coverage

We are grateful for coverage of the community engagement process. For media inquiries, please connect with

Global News Coverage

CTV News Coverage 

Livewire Neighbour Day Coverage

Neighbour Day Event Video Capture 


What's Next

A series of community-identified projects were presented, in addition to a framework to support additional project prioritization and community engagement. The latter is significant as continued community engagement is necessary for future prioritization at a community-by-community level to ensure under-represented communities are appropriately consulted in the prioritization of existing and new projects. The current project list, outdoor public space priorities, and existing asset distributions can be leveraged to inform prioritization strategies, an example of which is presented in North Calgary Prioritization Map. The implementation of such an initiative will require the support of organizations such as the Parks Foundation, in partnership with other community organizations and advocates, and additional project funding.

In-Progress Projects (2024-2027):

  1. Symons Valley Park (~$3M): Multi-use Park with rink, tennis courts, basketball, pump track, playground, amphitheater, and art in Symons Valley
  2. Kincora Sport Court & Gathering (~$250K – $400K): Multi-use sport court and community gathering space in Kincora
  3. Creating Coventry Future Phases (~$200K – $400K): TBD – Games Park / Nature Play Park in Coventry Hills
  4. VIVO Public Art & Community Gathering (~$500K – $1M): Mural, Active / Playful Art furnishings for gathering at VIVO. $150K in funding already raised
  5. North Calgary Pump Track & Gathering Space (~$600K – $900K): Pump track and community gathering space near Nose Creek / Harvest Hills
  6. Sandstone MacEwan Rink Project (~$850K): Multi-use sport and rink space in Sandstone Valley. $500K in funding already raised

Future Prioritized Projects (2027-2032)

  1. North Calgary Multi-Use Sports & Plaza Gathering (~$500K – $750K): Basketball, soccer, sport amenity with Plaza in Evanston
  2. North Calgary Natural Playground and Dog Park (~$300K – 500K): Natural Playground and Dog Park in Carrington/Livingston
  3. Destination Playgrounds: (~$500K – $1M): Destination playground projects with community gathering, prioritizing Beddington Heights
  4. North Calgary Youth Activity Park (~$750K – $1M): Parkour, skateboarding, basketball, youth-focused amenity in the area of Hidden Valley / Sandstone Valley / MacEwan Glen
  5. Future Regional Park Project (2027-2032)
  6. North Calgary Regional Park ($TBD): Strong desire for regional amenity. Budget, scope and location TBD

Connect with Us

If you are interested in learning more about the project, want to connect or share feedback or get involved with this initiative, email


    I would like to receive updates & monthly newsletter content from Vivo. Please note that this can be opted out from at any point.

    © 2024 Vivo For Healthier Generations | Vivo is a registered Canadian charity #88308 2117 RR0001 | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use