Celebrating ten years of REAP

Thanks to DIRTT Environmental Solutions for creating this anniversary video

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2017 Be Local Awards: Vote for these featured businesses through Sunday!

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Finance /
Economic Development

Vibrant Communities Calgary

A non-profit organization advocating for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty in Calgary.

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Vote!
Business Services /
IT & Web Support

Uppercut

Digital design studio creating compelling brands, stories and cross-platform experiences

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Vote!
Finance

Vital Partners

Vital Partners finds solutions for Calgary businesses looking for employee benefits.

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Vote!
Business Services

Brave Communications (Desnoyers-Schuler Inc.)

A social enterprise creating strategic communications plans and tools to promote positive behavioural change.

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Business Services /
Building & Safety

Ryan Murphy Construction

Boutique construction company founded by two women, with a combined experience of over 109 years in the field

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Arts & Culture /
Photography & Multimedia

Open Your Eyes Media

Open Your Eyes Media is a locally owned full service video production company including camera, editing and design work since 2007

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Arts & Culture

Theatre Junction GRAND

Counter culture for everyone.

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Finance

Krywolt Insurance

Personalizing all your insurance.

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Finance

Dorward & Company Chartered Accountants

Working with you in our community.

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Business Services /
Marketing & Promotions

Simply Social Marketing

Simply Social is a Calgary-based online marketing company, specializing in social media marketing.

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Living Locally

Lee Stevens on Vibrant Communities Calgary, poverty, and discovering her heritage

September 25, 2017

Lee Stevens is Vibrant Communities Calgary’s newest employee. “She is a member of the Carcross Tagish/Tlingit First Nation, and says it’s been “an interesting journey.”

“I look white, so when I worked as an Indigenous hospital liaison I often got asked ‘don’t you have to be Indigenous to be in this role?’ It just goes to show how diverse we are as a culture and ethnicity. You can’t make any assumptions.”

A trained social worker, Lee is Vibrant Communities Calgary’s Community & Engagement Specialist. She came to Vibrant Communities Calgary after a lengthy career working on the “front lines” of poverty.

“Instead of intervening, I wanted to prevent people from entering the system in the first place.” Vibrant Communities Calgary is stewarding Calgary’s community-driven poverty reduction strategy, Enough for All, targeting the root causes of poverty.

Addressing the unique needs of Calgary’s Indigenous population is one of Enough for All’s key components. On October 12, the Indigenous Advisory Committee will host a special event, titled Reconciliation Journey - Walking a Path Together.

“We’re hoping to showcase more of the organizations that are addressing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation report,” Lee says. In 2015, ​The Truth and Reconciliation Commission published 94 ways in which civilians and officials can work together to repair the harm done by residential schools – including language, justice, child welfare, and education.

“It’s also an opportunity to get the broader Calgary community informed, and hopefully inspire people to learn more about the 94 calls to action and how you can help the Indigenous community.” The events of the day will also feature guest speakers and panel discussions interspersed with entertainment from Indigenous youth.

Lee says it’s been “healing” for her own experience to learn more about and understand the intergenerational trauma, and how colonization and racist policies have led the Indigenous community to where it is today. Lee’s grandmother is a residential school survivor, and the two have shared many long talks about it.

“Just hearing her story and how strong she was, it made me so proud.”

“I don’t want to be ashamed of being Indigenous, and I don’t want other young Indigenous people to grow up feeling shame either. We need to learn and understand, and share our truth with those around us – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”

TAKE ACTION:


Click here to register for Reconciliation Journey on October 12, 2017.
Learn more about the Calls to Action and the Indigenous Strategy.
Connect with Vibrant Communities Calgary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Vote for Vibrant Communities Calgary as your favourite non-profit in REAP’s 2017 Be Local Awards!

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Living Locally

Uppercut and friends create an app to end youth hunger

September 25, 2017

Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids’ (BB4CK) school program provides free, nutritious lunches to children in need. But what happens to those kids when school’s out?

Food Finder YYC is a website lovingly crafted for BB4CK by Uppercut, a local tech developer, along with ten other local organizations. The app points users in the direction of free food programs -- such as Boys and Girls Club and the Food Bank -- for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks up to two days out. The pilot launched in July 2017.

The mobile function features a chatbot that, via text message, helps users find the nearest food resources when they input the nearest address, intersection, or school. The chatbot tool was an intuitive project for Uppercut.

“Kids aren’t always the best spellers,” says Chelsea Balsdon, Digital Marketing Director at Uppercut. “So we programmed the chatbot to recognize certain words, like nicknames or varied spellings for school names as much as possible.”  

This user-friendly, non-judgemental function was very important to Managing Director Kelly Tweddell. Kelly is a mother of elementary school-aged children, and seeing several of her kids’ classmates on the receiving end of BB4CK moved her to initiate the project.

“It’s really empowering for kids to be resourceful when they’re in a situation like that where they can’t afford nutritious food or don’t have access to it at home,” says Uppercut’s Wes Douglas.

“Technology can be a really helpful tool for non-profits like Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids to innovate and move into the future, and being able to volunteer these resources is really important to us.”

As the pilot continues, Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids will be adding more food providers from its robust community. Uppercut hopes to make the software open source so that other cities can adopt the same model.

TAKE ACTION:


Check out Food Finder YYC online, or text “Food” to 587-318-0232 to interact with the chatbot.
Learn more about Uppercut’s services here.
Connect with Uppercut on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Vote for Uppercut as your favourite local business in REAP’s 2017 Be Local Awards!

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Did you know?

Employee & minority owned businesses are the most profitable

Featured Event

Sustainability for Breakfast: Demonstrating your community commitment through HR

Oct. 3, 2017 - Oct. 3, 2017

Community Natural Foods Market Cafe
1304 10 Ave SW
Calgary

Human Resources is the heart of any good business. If you are wanting to learn about ways to improve your company culture and demonstrate your community commitment, then this Sustainability for Breakfast session is for you. The focus is centered on Doing Business Better.

Join us for presentations from Nabilah Chowdhury on the Youth Links Program; Margaret Yu on the Momentum Match Savings Program; and Franco Savoia on the Enough for All Tax Filing Campaign. Presentations will be followed by table discussions to expand on learnings and making more community connections.

Schedule:


Arrival, breakfast & networking 7:00-7:15 am
Presentations 7:15-8:15 am
Table discussions 8:15-8:45 am
Wrap up 8:45-9:00 am


Food:

Gluten-free and vegan options available, coffee, and tea will be provided. Don't forget to bring your travel mugs for drinks!

Access:

This venue is accessible for all people with limited mobility.

Parking:

Free parking is located around the building.

Payment is required at the time of your RSVP and is $30 per person. There will be a limited number of spaces at the door for those wishing to pay by Calgary Dollars. Please reserve one of these spaces by posting a comment on the Meetup page.

Proudly organized by REAP Business Association. Bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity. Waste diversion services provided by BluPlanet Recycling. The registration fee is required to cover REAP's ongoing costs to organize this event series: catering, promotional expenses (signage, Meetup organizer fees), compostable food service items (plates, napkins, cups and cutlery), insurance, and staff time.
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Did you know?

85% of Albertans are happiest when they have supportive relationships & time to do things they enjoy