Award Recognition

Fan and Molly

The Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary recently held their award ceremony on September 25, 2014.

YMCA Calgary was honoured with the Inclusive Community Award in recognition of our efforts to engage, include and support people with developmental disabilities whether it be through membership, programs, services or employment and volunteer positions.

Fan Wu, Eau Claire YMCA Program Manager and Molly Green, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator attended the event and accepted the award on our behalf.

Community Wellness Day at Crowfoot YMCA!

Our Community Wellness Day is underway from now until 6pm. This event is in conjunction with Robert Thirsk High School and the Crowfoot branch of the Calgary Public Library. There are many exciting events happening at all three places, including mini-golf, foosball, air hockey, story time, Henna, face painting, a movie, pie eating contest, floor hockey, video gaming, meditation, fitness classes and much much more! Get your free passport stamped at each location and enter to win prizes!

Linkfest Robbyn

Prepare Yourself for the Halloween Howler

Halloween is less than a month away!  Join our staff and volunteers at the Crowfoot, Saddletowne and Eau Claire and Shawnessy YMCAs for a spooktacular afternoon of crafts, games and treats.  Children aged 2 to 12 are invited to participate in this ghoulish good time. Registration is only $5 for members, and $10 for non-members.  Parents, guardians and mummies get in for free!

Crowfoot YMCA
Halloween Howler | Saturday, Oct 25 | 3:00 to 4:30 pm

Eau Claire YMCA
Halloween Howler |  Saturday, Oct 25 | 2:00 to 3:30 pm

Saddletowne YMCA
Halloween Howler |  Saturday, Oct 25 | 2:00 to 3:30 pm

Shawnessy YMCA
Boorific Bash |  Friday, Oct 31 | 5:30 to 8:00 pm



Visit your local branch for more information.  We can’t wait to see you then- don’t forget to booooook it in your calendar!

Free Grade 6 Memberships

Hey, Grade Sixers!

Did you know that just by being in Grade Six, you get a FREE YMCA membership? That means that you can go to any YMCA in the city, and get in for free. This membership lasts for an entire year! It started on September 1st, and can be used by you until August 31st – that’s about 1 week before you start grade 7. 1297609000845

With your membership, you can go to any Y and use the pool and gymnasium. Each branch is different, but some of the extras that you can use include: squash courts, rock climbing walls, dance studios and youth rooms. Also, you will be able to come to any of our “Flames Fridays” and participate in the activities we have running there.

At Eau Claire, our Flames Fridays run from 2:00-10:00 PM every Friday. These Fridays are kind of like Teen Nights, but they are much longer and are open to all youth – not just teens. This means that you can come with your friends and drop in on any of our activities. At Eau Claire, you can expect to find things like:

  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Take a look at SHINE
  • Ping-pong
  • Youth in the Arts (5:00-6:00)
  • Hip Hop and Latin Freestyle Dancing (6:30-7:30)

Flames Fridays are a really great way to connect with other kids your age, and learn about all of the things you can do at your branch.


On top of all of that, there are some Free Grade Six programs that have been made just for you! Here at Eau Claire, we have some drop-in things like:

  • Quidditch
  • Theatre and Vlogging (where you can practice your acting and then use our props and cameras to make your own videos)
  • Open Gym Games (where you can learn lots of new activities)
  • Board Game Café (to play things like Magic the Gathering and other games)


We also have some registered programs which mean you have to either talk to somebody in the branch (front desk) or go online to say you would like be a part of the program. Our free programs that grade sixes can do are:

  • Active Y Kids (up to age 11)
  • Adventurers (Leadership for grades 5 and 6)
  • SHINE (Working out your body)
  • Youth Running Club

If any of these things sound interesting you, you should drop by the branch to register for your membership. You need to make sure you bring a parent or guardian with you. They will have to sign some papers that say they are ok with you having a membership. All you need to do is go to the front desk with your guardian and proof that you are in grade 6. Most families use their Grade 5 report cards, but if you don’t have that, you can always get a letter from your teacher, or use something else like a Patrol Card. You can really use anything, as long as it says:

  1. Your Name (i.e. John Short)
  2. Your grade (i.e. Grade 6)
  3. The School Year (i.e. 2014-2015)


Again, this is all FREE!! And it’s super easy to sign up for! We’ll see you at the Y!!

How do you help your community?

“How do you help your community?” 


This past Saturday, at the North of McKnight Family Fun Fair, we asked families how they help their community as an act of peace. At YMCA Calgary, we believe in the power of peace through the everyday actions of community members.  Six year old Shanah proudly helps her community of Falconridge by picking up litter on the ground when she goes to the park. Her mother supports the community by providing child care for her neighbours.

Many people choose to advance peace through their selfless acts of kindness, courage and understanding. Whether they work locally or abroad, alone or in groups, they make a meaningful contribution to a better community and a more compassionate world.

Help us celebrate and honour outstanding Calgarians. YMCA Peace Medal nomination is a great way to honour someone for their dedication to peace. Your nomination also helps create awareness about community needs and inspires others to get involved. Recipients will be honoured at the 2014 Peace Medals event on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, during YMCA Peace Week.

Get started today! The nomination categories are:

  • Community Peace Initiatives by an Individual
  • Community Peace Initiatives by a Group
  • Community Peace Initiatives by a Youth
  • International Peace Initiatives by an Individual
  • International Peace Initiatives by a Group
  • International Peace Initiatives by a Youth
  • Humanitarian Peace Initiative
  • YMCA Calgary Staff Peace Initiative

Submit your nomination for 2014 Peace Medals Recipients by October 15, 2014!

 “Peace has many dimensions. It is not only a state of relationship among nations. We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us. The responsibility for peace begins with each person, in relationship with family and friends, and extends to community life and national activities.”

~ YMCA Statement on Peace

Youth Drop-in Hip Hop and Latin Freestyle !

Hey Youth! Join us at Eau Claire during Flames Friday tonight from 6:30-7:30 PM for some Hip Hop and Latin Freestyle Dancing!

hip hop dance girlsOur dance instructor, Melvi Alvarado, is one of our former YMAP students. He is currently a part of Dance Fusion Calgary and has generously donated his time to teach some of Eau Claire’s youth the ins and outs of Hip Hop and Latin dancing.

Melvi will be joining us every Friday from 6:30-7:30 until the middle of December. Come by and check it out!

Camp Chief Hector Fall Yoga Retreat

Join us at the Camp Chief Hector YMCA for an inspiring yoga focused weekend. This Yoga Retreat will accommodate students new to yoga as well as those with a background in yoga. Our goal for the weekend is to be in this wonderful mountain location, spending time experiencing our body, breath and mind. Our instructors will help you develop a balanced practice that will serve you well in all aspects of your life. They will provide adjustments in your poses if you wish.  There will also be time to explore the incredible site. Shared accommodations and meals are included.

Yoga Retreat | Fall 2014

  • November 21 at 5pm – November 23 at 2pm
  • Cost $290
  • Phone our city registration office to register at 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622.

To read more about the instructors and to see the weekend’s schedule, click here.


Healthy Eating in the Early Years

Young children have specific needs when it comes to meeting their nutritional requirements to grow and thrive. The type and quantity of food are especially important when you consider tiny tummies and all the development they are experiencing.


Staff of the Saddletowne YMCA Child Development Centre have put together a list of things to consider when addressing the nutritional needs of young children.

  • Parents and caregivers decide WHERE to offer food and WHAT foods will be available
  • Children eat best when they sit down for meals and snacks rather than when on the move
  • Sitting and eating with children encourages a pleasant atmosphere making it easier for everyone to eat well and to enjoy the meal. It is also an excellent time to catch up on the day’s happenings and support language development
  • Turn off the TV, radio and electronic devises during meal time. This helps a preschooler focus on eating as well as on learning and practicing positive eating skills
  • Children’s appetites change from day to day. Some days a young child will eat a lot while on other days their appetite is much smaller. This is normal!
  • Stay positive and remember that trying to force a child to eat is not effective. Children know when they are hungry and when they are full. Allow a child to leave food on their plate and try not to bribe them to “eat just one more bite”
  • Children’s portions are typically smaller than an adult sized portion. They also need to eat small amounts more frequently. For more information on food choices and portions for children visit Canada’s Food Guide
  • Limit treats to ensure children are filling their bellies with foods that support their development. And, remember, a little creativity in preparation and in serving style will  provide the variety young children may be wanting when they reach for treats
  • Involve children in meal planning whenever possible. This is a great way for children to learn where foods come from and how they are prepared. It also provides an opportunity for children to experience a sense of pride as they help to prepare delicious foods the whole family will enjoy
  • Your child’s steady growth is the best way to tell that they are eating enough

By prioritizing meal times as family time you are also supporting the overall health and wellbeing of everyone within the family.



Newcomers Workshop at Saddletowne YMCA

Are you and your family newcomers to Canada? Or maybe just newcomers to the YMCA? Do you want to learn more about our fitness, swimming, or pre-school classes? Did you know that we also offer Math Tutoring for youth and English Language Instruction for adults?

Drop-in at our Community Wellness Day at  Saddletowne on Saturday, September 27th, from 1-5pm for an introduction to the YMCA! Ask questions and get information about the programs offered at YMCA Calgary for kids, youth, and adults. This is a great opportunity to learn more about using our website and our online program registration, as well as how to apply for financial assistance.

Staff and Volunteers from the Newcomer Programs Department are ready to introduce you to YMCA Calgary.

For more information about the Community Wellness Day, check out the full list of activities here.

See you Saturday!

Adventure Training: Introduction to Parkour

While you train for your family adventures through Family Swim to Survive, let us expand your horizons and provide your with new and exiting ways to get out there and be active.  At the Saddletowne YMCA, we want to continue to help you prepare for the season of adventures ahead.

Will you accept our mission of adventure?

Let us help prepare you for your latest adventure through the Introduction to Parkour this Saturday, September 27  at 1:00PM for our Community Wellness Day at the Saddletowne YMCA.

Introduction to Parkour is a program in which we will help you explore your way through the Urban Jungle.  Parkour utilizes movements such as rolls, vaults and climbing to navigate through any environment.  It is about moving efficiently and effectively, and reconnects us with the child within.  All obstacles become opportunities with the help of a qualified instructor!

Make sure to stop by for a continuation of your adventure training: Introduction to Parkour by dropping-in on Saturday, September 27 at 1:00PM.