More LINC Stories!

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is part three of a series, Creative Writing with LINC. If you missed the last two posts, check out Part One and Part Two on the blog.

The X-Ray Files – by Amir

Everybody has their own story in his/her life and it’s always amazing to hear about the people’s childhood adventures; for me also childhood was amazing in my whole life, my mother was a dentist and a faculty member at the university as well. She taught during morning time and cured her patients in her clinic during evening time. I was the only child in my family and because of that I had to go to the clinic after  school in the afternoon and normally I did my homework there. In contrast to my existing calm personality, I was hyperactive when I was a little boy; once I remember when I finished my homework and I got free time, I went to the patient X-ray files and I changed a few of them. I didn’t know what trouble I caused for my mother. A few days later, I saw my mother was very nervous and she complained to her secretary about replacement of the X-rays. Her secretary told her that the only guy who could do that is Amir, because he is the only guy who can access the files (at that time there was drawer to file such X-rays). After a short time thinking she turned to me and said, “Look at me son! I was scared about what has happened.” But after a while I saw my mom smiling at me. She approached me, and gave me a warm hug which I will never forget. I was crying in repentance, but I know she understood very well that I didn’t know the consequences of my act.

The Wedding Surprise – by Mubaraka

Hi, my story is about my childhood. I was born in a joint family. I have many cousins and we really had lots of fun. We always lived in our own world. I mean, in our childhood world we were not aware of things happening outside of our world. Once we had big event at our home when I was 5; my aunt was going to marry, everyone was happy having fun and busy in their own chores. We were too, and we were doing our own things, playing, and dancing. There was a surprise waiting for me but I didn’t know about that. In my aunt’s wedding ceremony, we were dancing, and suddenly someone called me to go and see my mom. When I went to mom, she was in bed and had a baby in her hands. I said: “What? What happened to you and whose baby is this?”  My grandma told me, “Your mom was expecting a child and now here is your new sibling, a baby boy.” That was a marvellous moment for all of us.  I will never forget that moment in my life, it was so much fun but I was so innocent that I didn’t know about my mother’s pregnancy Ahahaha…….. Isn’t it incredible to be a child? I wish everyone can be like Peter Pan!!

Shawnessy YMCA Grade 6 NSTEP Healthy eating workshop.


Last Saturday February 14th 2015 Shawnessy YMCA hosted our monthly Calgary Flames Grade 6 Member healthy eating workshop with our partners NSTEP.

The kids had requested being able to make healthy chicken nuggets, made with home-style ingredients and no preservatives. They really enjoyed the outcome!




After splitting into groups the kids each got to try cracking eggs (only one went on the floor!), cutting up the chicken and using the oven.

Our NSTEP Healthy Eating workshop will be returning next month on march 14th 2015 and is open to all grade 6 members, to register simply email me with your name, phone number and any food allergy’s!

Philip Perryman

20150214_161234Youth Coordinator Shawnessy YMCA

Youth Advisory Council

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is looking for new members!

We are looking for individuals 18-30 years who are strong in or have a desire to learn about: Advisory groups, functioning of Board of Directors, and professional of people laughing_46801039

The YAC is a team of Calgary youth who work toward ensuring a youth perspective, and youth representation in the strategic direction of the YMCA and its programs. The YAC focuses on youth as one of the core pillars of the YMCA, helps develop a strong youth voice by working with the YMCA Executive, Board of Directors, and Program Leaders to provide insight into decision-making.

Each year, the YAC will establish a series of targeted goals that provide focus for its initiatives.  These goals are formed based on an annual YAC survey, Committee discussion, YMCA branch roundtable input, and the overall feedback gathered directly from the YAC.

To find out more about us by clicking here or by viewing our application.

Submitted applications must be accompanied by resumes and sent to  no later than Wednesday, March 11th, 2015.

Creative Writing with LINC – The Donkey Cart

Today I am happy to share another story with you from my time with Neelam’s CLB 7 class. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

The Donkey Cart – by Sana

I landed in Canada 6 months ago. I am the eldest child of my family. My parents are in Pakistan. My father is a businessman and my mother is a home maker. My mother is the best cook I have ever seen. Being the eldest child of the family I have received too much care and love from my family. I still remember when I was young, I used to go to market with my father to buy the stuff for our shop. I would like to share a little incident that will be interesting for you.

Donkey Cart-page-001

One day I was going with my father to the market. We were on the motorbike; suddenly we saw a donkey cart coming to us. We were at the speed of 50 m/h. My father tried to escape the donkey, but while trying we both fell down. People gathered to watch and help us. My father had some scratches and people were trying to move the motorbike that was on top of him. Someone picked me up from the ground and placed me on the donkey cart.While I was sitting on the cart, the donkey started walking slowly. My mother taught me not to go out alone or even speak to a stranger. She said that if I did that, someone would kidnap me. When the donkey started walking, I thought that the person who picked me up from the ground was trying to kidnap me. I started crying and screaming. I was shouting and saying: ‘Dad, please rescue me from the stranger. He is trying to kidnap me.’ I continued shouting and crying until my father came to me and hugged me. He said: ‘ No honey, we are safe. Don’t cry, I’m with you.’ Everyone was laughing and enjoying the way in which I was complaining my father that a stranger could kidnap me. My father also forgot his injuries and started laughing.

There are so many stories to share but this one is the funniest to hear and closest to my heart. Now when all of us are grown up, whenever I am reminded of the gatherings, the stories, my mother’s aromatic dishes, those laugher, jokes, my siblings’ company, I miss them and feel like running back to my home being a little girl.


Saddletowne YMCA Power Outage – Friday, February 13, 2015

UPDATE: Saddletowne YMCA re-opened it’s doors as of 11:30am today. The pool remains closed for the rest of the day but will re-open Saturday, February 14th. Saddletowne Child Development Centre also remains closed for the rest of the day and will re-open on Tuesday, February 17th.

8:56 AM The Genesis Centre has experienced a power outage. As a result the Saddletowne YMCA is currently closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to restore our operations.

Y survive Vs Grade 6 indoor soccer!


Yesterday at the Shawnessy YMCA our Calgary Flames Foundation Grade 6 Members took part in a fun indoor soccer game against our Y-Survive teams as part of the drop in gym program we are running for our grade 6 members.

This one-time event gave both teams opportunities to get to know other members of the Shawnessy YMCA that they may not have met before and encouraged as sense of community. It was also a lot of fun!

Next week our regular drop-in gym will proceed in gym 1 on Wednesday 18th 2015 from 5-6pm, all grade 6 members are invited!

Philip Perryman

Youth Coordinator Shawnessy YMCA

Creative Writing with LINC

For the first few weeks of the winter semester, I worked with Neelam’s CLB 7 class on a special Creative Writing project. We had a blast! It was so much fun to tell our stories together and to find new ways to share our history through descriptive writing. We laughed, we cried, and we even got a little bit scared, thanks to some scary tales featuring crocodiles, spiders, leopards, and cockroaches! (Don’t worry, I will save those for Halloween!)

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some stories from my time with Neelam’s class on the YMCA blog. Today, I have two stories to share about the shock of Canadian winters. I think we can all relate to that! Happy reading and stay tuned for the next instalment of LINC Creative Writing.

My First Winter Experience in Canada – by Sabrina

I would like to share my first winter experience in Canada. I didn’t have any idea about how winter weather condition in Canada can quickly become dangerous, often with little or no warning. After my bitter situation, I came to know  that  Canadian winters are famous for being cold. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire city. It was the time of December 2012, my first year in Calgary. I was staying in Calgary alone with my two kids. Environment Canada forecast 30 c.m of snowfall expected during that day.  A powerful winter storm hit Calgary & its surrounding areas. At first I was enjoying the weather. Suddenly I felt that I need to buy milk for my little one, who was only two months of age. I decided to go to my neighbouring shop to buy it and come back. I was driving through the locality near my house and my driving speed was 20/25 km/h and I was in the middle lane. Strong winds, extreme cold, heavy snow and ice knocked down some trees on the sides of the road. While driving I came to know that storm has created many hazards, including automobile accidents on icy roads, and that made me feel helpless. Unexpectedly my car skid & it kept skidding until I hit the left curb. I tried to pull my car back but I failed to do so. At the same time my little son started to cry and my big son got scared.  After a while, one police car came and stopped behind my car. After hearing everything he helped me to move my car back to my house. That was a memorable day for me, how I was stuck up in the middle of the road. I have learned a lesson from this incident i.e when blizzard hits, stay indoors and wait it out unless it is emergency, and if I must go outside during cold weather I must wear layers of clothing with a wind resistant outer layer, warm socks, a hat and scarf and watch for wind-chill or extremely cold temperatures.

My First Month in Canada – by Torikun

My first month in Canada was chaotic.  I came to Canada on January 18th in Montreal. In winter time, Montreal has lots of snow. That day, the outside temperature was -23 degrees.

I came to Canada alone and it was my first plane journey. I was very confused in Heathrow, the London Airport. The airport is very big and it was complicated for me. I could not find my airplane’s gate. When I saw someone, I asked them and they helped me to find my airplane’s gate.  When I was on the plane from London to Montreal, I saw people put 3-4 pieces of ice in a glass of water and they were drinking. I was surprised. Because, the water was already cold but why they put ice? When my plane landed, it was already late. Then I was waiting at a different airplane’s luggage receiving place, because I did not know that different airplanes have a different luggage receiving place. When I did not find my luggage, then I asked a man and he said, “different airplane has a different place”. Then I looked another place and I found it.

My husband checked on the airplane’s website and it showed that the plane had landed almost 11/2 hours ago. But I did not come out from the airport. He thought that I missed my plane. After 2 hours, I came out from the airport. Then he picked me up. When we came out from the airport, snow was falling and I saw everything was white, trees had no leaves. He parked his car far away from the airport, because  my plane was late and the airport parking ticket is expensive. So, we rode an airport bus. Then, the bus stopped in a metro station. In Montreal, the train station is underground and it was also a new experience. I did not have a heavy winter jacket. My husband brought a jacket for me. But I was still very cold. My husband parked his car on opposite site of the train station. He took one luggage and he rolled it from the station to our car, but I took another luggage and I could not roll it because the snow was falling and it was hard work for me. I saw everyone was driving on opposite side and drivers also sat on opposite side of the car. Everyone followed the traffic rules. When the snow was gone, everything was clean (especially the roads, sidewalks etc.). My first month I found the differences between Canada and my country. When people were talking or asked me questions, I could not understand most of them. That’s why I went outside with my husband. I felt shy.

Cutting vegetables with a knife was also challenging. My husband taught me. Now, I can cut very well with a knife. Also I did not know most of the cooking recipes. But I wanted to eat that. So I called my mother and she gave me the recipe. At that time, my husband worked as a radio frequency engineer. Sometimes, he lived 4-5 days in Halifax, 2-3 days in Newfoundland and 6-7 days in Toronto. So, I lived alone in my home. I felt bored. I didn’t know Canadian culture, rules etc.

At that time, I had some bad experiences, but I had some good experiences that made me really happy. That’s why, I said my first month in Canada was chaotic.

YMCA Calgary to operate new Quarry Park Child Development Centre

YMCA Calgary is excited to announce they will be the operators of the new Quarry Park Child Development Centre, a new Remington Development project.

This purpose-built childcare centre will have approximately 348 licensed spaces to serve families with children aged 12 months – 6 years in the surrounding communities in southeast Calgary. This approximate 36,000 sq ft facility is scheduled to open in 2016.


Artist Rendering.

View Calgary Herald Article: Remington project brings child care options to Quarry Park


Benefits to your Child at YMCA Childcare Facilities

Learning Benefits

  • Early years research has formed the basis of the YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum, now implemented in over 300 YMCA Childcare centres across Canada.
  • Children are given opportunities to participate in developmentally appropriate play-based activities that maximize children’s learning. and prepare them for kindergarten.
  • Early childhood educators are provided with the skills they need to prepare program and spaces that are conducive to learning.

Health Benefits
Children will enjoy:

  • Indoor group activity spaces including multi-purpose rooms for active play
    A large, dedicated outdoor environment featuring natural play and learning areas
  • A learning kitchen for early nutrition education
  • Recreation time in the Remington YMCA (opening 2016) pool and gym for older children
  • Nutritious snacks and mid-day meal
  • All children registered in YMCA Child Development Centres receive a free YMCA Child Membership.

Social Benefits

  • Positive, caring relationships form the foundation of YMCA childcare settings. Children learn about YMCA Calgary’s core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility and practice behaviours which support social skill development, emotional competence and community engagement.


Click here to Sign-Up for Email Updates about this Facility

Grade 6 Drop-In Soccer


This month at Shawnessy YMCA our Calgary flames foundation Grade 6 members have the opportunity to play indoor soccer at our Grade 6 Drop in Gym!

Today Wednesday 4th February we hosted Drop in Soccer for all our grade 6 members, we had a good turnout of players and it was lots of fun!

Next week we will be meeting again from 5-6 pm in gym 1 on Wednesday at the Shawnessy YMCA for a special Grade 6 Vs Y-survive event, all grade 6 members are invited so come along and try some soccer!

Philip Perryman

Youth Coordinator Shawnessy YMCA

Call for YMCA Calgary Board of Directors

Each year the YMCA Calgary Board of Directors reviews its composition and replaces vacancies created by ‘graduating’ board members with individuals from the Calgary community. YMCA serves the needs of our diverse community and Board composition aims to reflect that diversity. Board members, who serve a three-year term, play a governance role in supporting the strategic vision of YMCA Calgary.

We are currently seeking candidates with one or more of the following professional competencies & skills:

  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Brand Management
  • Fundraising

Consider a nomination if you are committed to playing a leadership role in our community including supporting the financial sustainability of YMCA, possess the preceding core competencies and are passionate about telling the YMCA story.

Individuals may express their interest by providing their resumes on or before February 13, 2015 to:

Prospector Executive Search & Consultants
Lachlin McKinnon

YMCA Calgary is a charitable organization driven by its mission to facilitate and promote the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of individuals and to foster a sense of responsibility with the community.

The Board of Directors is comprised of individuals committed to strategically support the YMCA in delivering on our mission.