‘Twas the Night

YMCA Calgary has been chosen as the charity of choice for ‘Twas the Night, Calgary’s largest holiday celebration and after-hours shopping event!

‘Twas the Night will be held on November 27 at the downtown shopping centre, the CORE, and all donations collected will benefit YMCA Strong Kids.

Kick off the Christmas season and enjoy a fun night of shopping filled with:

  • special deals from retailers
  • a performance from Juno nominated artist Matt Dusk and his big band
  • a walk down a red-carpet hosted by eTalk’s Tanya Kim
  • FREE parking
  • Spectacular tree-lighting with special lighting effects and pyrotechnics (including a 45-foot Christmas tree!)
When: Thursday, November 27, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where:  The CORE (TD Square/Holt Renfrew) Valet entrance at 751 3 St SW (Remember, the valet parking is FREE!)
How: RSVP at
What to wear: Feel free to dress holiday retro chic a la the glamorous 1960s. Prizes will be awarded for the most impressive retro-themed attire.

The event is open to all, and is free to attend, although donations are encouraged. Donations can be made online when you RSVP, or  in person at the door.

Last year ‘Twas the Night raised over $60,000 for local non-profit organizations. Let’s see if we can beat that record to help even more Calgary kids get a YMCA experience through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign!

Encouraging Self Help Skills in Children

A YMCA Childcare participant prepares her snack

A YMCA Childcare participant prepares her snack

As a healthy part of their development, children have a natural drive to be independent and to do things on their own. As children grow and have opportunities to develop their skills, they learn to do more and more independently.

YMCA childcare staff support children in their quest for independence by regularly providing opportunities for them to take personal responsibility. While it can be faster and less messy for adults to do things for children we want to help children develop competencies they can take pride in.

When children practice self-help skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves, they are utilizing their gross and small motor skills, gaining confidence in their abilities and developing self-confidence. These early successes lead to them being more willing to try new things while recognizing that practice leads to skill development.

Ways to encourage self- help skills at home; 

Meal times – Encourage your child to serve themselves, pour liquids into a cup and eat without direct assistance during meals

Dressing and grooming – Allow extra time for your child to dress/undress themselves and to perform personal grooming tasks

Hygiene and toileting- Encourage children as they learn to use the toilet, climb on and off the toilet seat, pull clothing up and down, and wash their hands

Daily chores- Involve your child in age appropriate household chores. Studies show that early involvement leads to greater independence in early adulthood.

Celebrate your child’s success!

Submitted by Margaret Ferriss, Eau Claire YMCA Childcare Director

Sac Dene Presentation and Story-Sharing

Camp Chief Hector invites you to an evening of story-sharing and information about Sac Dene 2015.

Sac Dene is a six-week canoe trip and a two-week counseling experience for 17 year old co-ed youth. Focusing on leadership development, the Sac Dene group travels north to paddle the Mackenzie River, visiting communities along the way. Sac Dene participants, as part of the Leaders-in-Training program, return to Camp Chief Hector YMCA to become part of the counseling team for the final two weeks of the summer.


Hearth Room
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Center
1320 5 Ave NW, Calgary

Oct 22 | 7:00-8:00pm
RSVP required. Please click here for more information.

*Attendance is not mandatory for Summer 2015 applicants but the night is a great way to learn about the fun adventures coming next summer.

Yoga for Peace

TwoHappyYogis_71426491   yoga pose_114481720

In celebration of the 2014 YMCA Peace Week, Eau Claire YMCA will be hosting Yoga for Peace on Wednesday November 19th from 10:30 – 11:15 and at 12:50 – 1:30.

YMCA Peace Week is unique to Canada.  It originated in 1984 when YMCA Canada decided to add an entire week of peace related activities to follow Peace Day. This year, we will be celebrating our 30th year! Why yoga? Yoga is an innately peaceful activity with the goal of encompassing the overall essence of peace. Please come and join instructors Gary & Pam and be a part of this national celebration!


Fitting Health and Wellness into Your Day

Many people are aware of the health benefits of exercise, but did you know that health and wellness means much more than one hour a day at the gym? If you dutifully put in your hour of exercise, but spend the other 23 hours of your day sitting, you are still considered to have a sedentary lifestyle with all of the risk factors that entails. See the following link for details: Sedentary Behaviour Risks

If you have a sedentary occupation, how can you overcome this challenge? Try getting up from your desk and walking around the office for 5 or 10 minutes every hour or two. You may feel that you’re too busy to add this into your day, however, you will likely find that these mini-breaks increase your productivity when you return to your desk. Walk to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question, rather than phoning or emailing. Even standing up at your desk and stretching once in a while will be helpful. If you are having a small meeting with just two or three people, suggest a walking meeting to your colleagues. Pedometers are an excellent way to track your activity over a day to ensure that you get in your minimum number of steps each day.


Stay-at-home parents have a great opportunity for activity; dance with your children, play tag, go for a walk to the park and push them on the swing. Not only will you enhance your own health with activity, you will set a great example for your kids and perhaps even deepen your parent-child bond!

hill climb

Belly Dance versus Bellyfit: What’s the Difference

Belly Dance versus Bellyfit: What’s the Difference?

Written by Serena Kerbes

Serena Headshot

What is the difference between a Belly Dance class and a Bellyfit class? My Belly Dance classes offer a more cultural and artistic approach to learning dance, focusing on Egyptian styles, learning about music through interpretation, and choreography. This is for women who really want to dig deep into the technique and style of Belly Dance, and get personal feedback from yours truly.

Bellyfit is for women who want to get a full workout utilizing elements of dance, yoga and pilates. Sometimes you just want to take a class where all you do is dance, sweat, breathe, and liberate yourself from the daily grind. If you are that type of person, then Bellyfit is the class for you!

The cardio dance portion of Bellyfit not only uses Belly Dance movements, but also East Indian, Bollywood and African dance. The core and stretch portions are inspired by yoga and pilates.  Bellyfit is one hour of continuous movement flow without pauses in the music, however, I do breakdown each movement in the cardio segments and give students time to get into the rhythm before moving on to the next section. There are also different layers of movement and levels of intensity, so it is up to the student how she wants to use these levels and layers. So the intensity of the class can be different for each women depending on what her goals are.

One thing I have observed from teaching Bellyfit is that it seems to bring happiness to the ladies who have tried it. They are laughing, smiling, glowing and radiant after class, and they feel good about themselves. As an instructor I can find nothing else more rewarding than that. I also feel fantastic after Bellyfit, because I get to do the whole class with you!

If you would like to see what a BellyFit class looks like in action check out the following Youtube video of Alice Bracegirdle the creator of Bellyfit, explaining it in more detail.

Classes are available at the Saddletowne YMCA Wednesday and Friday starting November 5th and 7th respectively, from 5:30-6:30 PM.  Our traditional Belly Dance class still runs on Monday 6:30-7:30 PM; a new class starts November 3rd!

Register today online, or stop by and chat with one of our friendly member services staff.  Please quote classes #96203 and #96213, or #94165 for Belly Dance. 


Free YMCA Access for Residents of Effected Power Outage Area

As of 1pm on Sunday October 12, anybody with a residential address within the effected power outage area will be allowed free drop-in access to the Eau Claire YMCA until the power is fully restored Downtown. This will include access to showers, and all program areas.


  • The map of the effected area can be found here:
  • Photo ID (for over 16) is required for access
  • For free access, individuals must provide proof of residence from with the green “power outage” zone on the map above. All others will be required to pay regular drop-in fee.
  • Access is to the General Locker Room change area, towels are not provided.
  • This applies to the Eau Claire YMCA only.
  • As the City adjusts the map when areas of power are reconnected, we will use the most up to date information from
  • This is not an Evacuation Centre, or a place to sleep. We are simply providing support to our Downtown community.

Any questions: please contact Eau Claire YMCA at 403-269-6701 and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Grade Six Basketball Tournament

Eau Claire is hosting a Grade Six Basketball Tournament on Friday, November 7th!

We are calling on our YMCA Youth between the ages of 10 and 12 years to register for this awesome opportunity. Participating in the tournament is not only a fun way to spend a Friday evening, but a great way to get active and make some new friends!

BBall Boy Throwing Ball_62257423

The tournament will begin at 6:15 and will continue until 7:30 pm. This is a 4-on-4 tournament – each team is required to have at least one substitute player (i.e. 5 players per team). You are only required to register yourself as teams will assemble on Game Day. Singles or doubles will be grouped together by Eau Claire staff/volunteers before the event begins.

In addition to other prizes, teams will be competing to play in our Final Game. The top two teams will be invited to represent Eau Claire in the Association-wide tournament that will be held in December (dates yet to be confirmed).

To participate, youth are not required to be in grade 6, nor do they need to be members. Participants must be between the ages of 10 and 12 to register. Non-members will be required to pay the $4.00 drop-in fee on the day of the tournament.

If you are interested in registering for this qualifier tournament, please complete the registration form and drop it off at the Eau Claire branch by no later than Wednesday November 5th! We will see you there!

Camp Chief Hector – Summer 2015 Registration Dates

Registration dates for Summer Camp 2015 are as follows:

RETURNING CAMPERS – How to register

Thursday, November 20 | Leadership I | Online or by telephone | LDI Registration Tips
Tuesday, November 25 | August Camps | By telephone and In-person (see below)
Thursday, November 27 | July Camps | By telephone and In-person (see below)
Friday, November 28 | 6-day Family Camps and Day Camps | By telephone ONLY

NEW CAMPERS – How to register

All ages, all camps (including Day Camps and Family Camps)
Monday, December 1 | YMCA Calgary Members | By telephone ONLY
Wednesday, December 3 | Non-members | By telephone and In-person (see below)

  • In-person at YMCA Calgary branches (numbers are handed out at 5:30am when the facilities open – registration begins at 8:30am)
  • By telephone, 8:30am – 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622

Summer Camp Session dates and prices.

For more information on how to register and our new cancellation policy, click here.

Visit the Summer Camp page of our website for program descriptions and barcodes. Having the camp barcode at the ready will make your registration faster.

Call us at 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622 or email us with any questions.