YMCA Calgary – YMCA Ukraine Partnership Visit 2015

Did you know that YMCA Calgary has had a partnership with YMCA Ukraine since 2006?

With so much focus on YMCA Calgary’s branches and work in the community, it’s easy to think that our commitment stops at our city limits. In fact, we’re part of a much larger organization, present in 126 countries around the world.

As part of our role as members of a global organization, YMCA Calgary has an active partnership with YMCA Ukraine. The partnership exists to strengthen both YMCA movements and to be participants in the Global YMCA Community.


Recent Visit


YMCA Calgary President & CEO Helene Weir, and VP Children & Youth Tanis Cochrane recently spent over a week in Kiev, Ukraine this past June to sign a new three year partnership agreement with YMCA Ukraine.

YMCAs in Ukraine are much different than YMCAs in Calgary. There are four paid staff at the national office level, and all local YMCAs are led by a volunteer president and comprised of volunteers, most between 18 & 30 years of age.

The volunteers deliver programs to children and youth in the areas of camping, scouting, special events, floorball (similar to floor hockey), and creative arts and drama. There are 23 local associations, with three suspending operations due to the conflict in the eastern part of the country.

“We were in Kyiv which felt very safe but rather surreal with an underlying uneasiness as Ukrainians wonder what will happen next in their country…” said Helene.

Currently, there are about a million Internally Displaced People who have fled from eastern Ukraine to western Ukraine for safety, leaving behind homes, jobs and life as they know it. YMCA Ukraine works to meet community needs by providing programs and services to these displaced children and youth, thereby affording parents opportunities to look for work and to find permanent housing.

Ukraine Ambassador

Helene and Tanis also had the opportunity to visit with the Canadian Ambassador, Roman Waschuk and his chief program staff. He was very impressed in learning about the volunteer leadership of the YMCA and how it could contribute to the development of Ukrainian civil society.

Helene and Tanis left feeling extremely proud and moved by our YMCA Ukraine colleagues.

“Coming back to Calgary I can only reflect on how proud I am of our YMCA partnership with Ukraine and on how fortunate we are to live in Canada”, said Tanis.

The staff from the national YMCA Ukraine office asked us to share the following message:

Thank you to all the members who made donations to support our people being affected by the conflict. Your donations supported everything from clothing, to toys, to school supplies for children and youth who had been displaced from their homes. We really appreciated your kindness, your support, and your thinking about us.


YMCA Calgary couldn’t be happier to partner with YMCA Ukraine. Their commitment and dedication to their community and their country is truly inspirational, and highlights what makes the YMCA so great, the people! 


Read more about YMCA Calgary’s Global Initiatives!




We’re in the 2015 Calgary Stampede Parade…Yahoo!


YMCA Stampede parade float

For the second year in a row, our amazing YMCA Calgary team will be walking rocking the Stampede parade!


Our float posse is made up of YMCA staff and volunteers, and all around amazing people!

These folks will be pushing our float, walking and dancing alongside it, and representing YMCA Calgary at one of the most exciting events on Calgary’s calendar!

If you didn’t have a chance to check out our float last year, you should definitely come out and cheer us on this year!


Let’s Share!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @YMCA_Calgary and Instagram @ymcacalgary to see all our pictures from the parade!

We also want to hear from you! Share your tweets and Instagram posts using the hashtag  #WildWildYMCA and the Stampede’s official hashtag #Stampede2015 !



The Stampede Parade

The Calgary Stampede Parade kicks off the annual celebration on the first Friday of Stampede. This year’s parade is on Friday, July 3 and starts at 7:30 am.

The parade route starts at 6 Ave & 3 St SE and travels west. It turns south at 10 St SW and comes back east on 9 Ave to finish at 4 St SE.

Come join the fun, see some great floats, marching bands, and of course wave to us as our YMCA Calgary float dances past!

Summer Spaces in YMCA Childcare and Child Minding

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Summer sees a change to operations within YMCA Calgary Childcare Centres and Child Minding Areas. And, this change might be just what you are looking for to enhance your child’s summer experience.

Childcare and Child Minding each offer unique experiences – read on to learn more and to see if you would like to explore available options further.

YMCA Childcare and Child Minding – where kids play and learn!

Childcare: Licensed childcare for children aged 19 months – 6 years

Temporary openings are available for 1/2 or full days over the summer months. This option is available due to turnover within the centre as older children leave in preparation for kindergarten and new children have not yet started. All days may not have availability.

This may be an option for families who need a few days or a week of care for their child over the summer. It may also be a fit for a child attending a 1/2 day of camp and then requiring childcare for the balance of the day.

As always, full-time permanent spaces in our centres will be filled from our existing waitlists.

Availability is limited and inquiries should be directed to each centre’s Childcare Director:

Eau Claire – Margaret Ferriss    T 403-781-1666

Saddletowne- Merle Clarke       T 403-537-2722

Shawnessy – Trudy Halvorsen    T 403-254-3211

Child Minding: Short term care for your child aged 6 weeks – 10 years

This is the place for kids to be while their parent/guardian is using the facility. Equipped with toys, games and caring adults who love to spend time talking and playing with children you can feel confident that your child is well cared for while you are furthering your own health and wellness goals.

During the summer all of our areas see a decrease in usage which can open up opportunities for casual bookings. Member children 6 weeks – 35 months are FREE while a minimal charge applies to both older member children and non-members.

Visit or contact the Child Minding Area at your branch today:

Crowfoot YMCA        T 403-241-4618

Eau Claire YMCA      T 403-781-1669

Saddletowne YMCA   T 403-537-2724

Shawnessy YMCA      T 403-254-3217

2015 Stampede Breakfasts

It’s that time of year again!


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It’s time to plan your Stampede breakfast schedule.  We’ve got lots of fun, pancakes, and celebration all over the city! Grab your cowboy hat and enjoy some tasty treats with some of the staff and volunteers from your local YMCA.

Tuesday, July 7  – Shawnessy YMCA in South Fish Creek Complex, 7:00am-10:00am
Wednesday, July 8  –  Eau Claire YMCA, 7:00am-9:00am
Friday, July 10  – Crowfoot YMCA, 7:00am-9:00am
Friday, July 10  –  Saddletowne YMCA in the Genesis Centre, 9:00am-11:00am

Swap your gym wear for stampede wear and come say howdy!

Soccer Summer Camps at Crowfoot YMCA

Did you know that Crowfoot YMCA offers a Soccer Development Summer Camp for ages 6-13? This week-long soccer development camp focusses on growing soccer skills through fitness activities, soccer skill development, cross-training, swimming and games. With an emphasis on teamwork and a love of the game, this camp is sure to be a KICK with kids!

Additionally, Crowfoot YMCA offers a variety of other summer camps, including Creative Arts Camps, and Swimming Camps. Space is limited and filling up fast, so sign up today!

Course codes can be found here.

Register online or by visiting or calling Member Services at 403-547-6576. As with all YMCA Calgary programs, financial assistance is available through our Strong Kids Campaign to those who qualify.

Grade 6’s Blew the Roof Off!

AllGymEau Claire was BOOMING this past Friday as our Grade 6’s congregated on the third floor to celebrate the past 10 months we’ve spent together.

What a truly amazing year we’ve had! Between impromptu gaga ball face-offs, nutrition workshops, tournaments, dance parties, Lego sessions, and cooking classes, it seems we have done it all at the YMCA! This past Friday, we got all of our branches together for our Grade 6 Year End Celebration, and it was incredible! Even though we were rained out of our Riveredge site, we still managed to collect a whopping total of 122 grade 6 students under the Eau Claire roof!

After enjoying some pizza and veggies, we split off into groups and participated in a variety of different stations. All our grade sixes got to HarveyStudiotry a little bit of everything; from Lego, to Kin ball and team building, to the first ever YMCA dance-rap-karaoke party!

We even got to meet Harvey the Hound and former Flames defenceman, Rhett Warrener!

The best part was having all of our members come together and experience something new with their fellow branches. All of us were excited to be a part of something so different – and we ensured that everyone in the building knew it! We are the first cohort of Calgary YMCA’s Grade 6 members, Flamesand we made sure to sign this school year off with a bang!

Summer is just around the corner and we are all bustling with the exciting opportunities that await us! To find out more information on what your branch is doing this summer, take a look at our Activity Page or contact your Youth Coordinator!

Thanks again to all of our lovely grade 6 members who have made this year at the YMCA one of our most memorable! And thank you to all of our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life for making this year happen! Without all of us – staff, members, and supporters alike – this year’s success would not have been possible!

Get to know the unexpected signs of drowning

Deceptively quiet, 10% of drownings in children happen while being observed by an adult.

Drowning doesn’t look like the thrashing, yelling scene that most people think it does. In most cases, those who are drowning are physiologically unable to call out for help. Their mouths can’t reach the surface of the water to inhale or exhale – never mind yell for help. While their arms instinctively try to keep their body upright and above the surface, they are not able to perform voluntary movements like waving for help.

In just 20 – 60 seconds, someone who is drowning will quietly struggle on the surface of the water until they become fully submersed. The second leading causes of death in children (just behind vehicle accidents), most drown within 25 yards of an adult.

Get to know the signs of drowning before you head to the lake this summer:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs
  • Vertical position in water
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over onto back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

Swim and water safety skills are key in the prevention of drowning. Register for a YMCA swim program today.

Beat the heat this summer

Summer is one of the most active times of the year for many children and families. Outdoor activities increase as the days get longer. It is important for people to take the proper precautions with the rising temperatures and sun exposure throughout the day. Being active in the heat can be fun, but it can also pose a danger if you do not allow your body sufficient time to cool down. Here are a few ideas to beat the heat this summer:

  • Drink plenty of water: It is important to stay hydrated. Make sure to carry a full water bottle with you at all times.
  • Shower or bathe frequently in cool water: It will help you stay cool by lowering your body temperature and making you feel refreshed.
  • Make sure to wear Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen as it helps keep ultraviolet rays from damaging the skin. Dressing in light, loose clothing that covers bare skin is another sun-safe move.
  • Have a family swim: Find a local pool or splash pad to spend the afternoon at while keeping cool. Perhaps one of the local YMCA Calgary pools?
  • Take advantage of the cooler times of the day for activities: Early mornings and later evenings are the best times for strenuous activity.
  • Enjoy a cool treat: Ice cream, popsicles or freezies are enjoyable at any age. Or, try frozen fruit snacks such as grapes and bananas.
  • Look for inside or shade activities: Arts and crafts, reading or a favourite family board game are a great way to take a break from the mid-day heat.

girl swimming


Summer fun for the entire family!


Scheduled membership payment dates in June

Scheduled membership payment dates in the month of June may have been affected due to a recent software upgrade. Your payment dates will return to normal for subsequent months. This is not a duplicate payment and you will only be charged once.

Contact your YMCA branch with any questions. Thank you for your patience as we work to better
serve our community.

Shawnessy YMCA Childcare – A new look for the outdoor play yard.

The Shawnessy Child Development Centre has some very happy children. With summer fast approaching and outdoor play time lengthening, staff decided it was time to clean and revamp the outdoor play yard with some new toys and equipment. After all of the current equipment was removed from the play yard to be cleaned, the children had a few things to say about where the climbers and play house had disappeared to:

  • “It was sucked up into the ground!”
  • “The shed ate the climbers and slide!  It is going to burst!”
  • “Someone took them and put them in the grass area.  We will need to talk to someone about that.”
  • “Now we can ride the bikes all over and not worry about anything else.”
  • “What is going on here?  Trudy will have to figure this out.”

Equipment has now been returned to the play yard, along with some new structures for creative adventures – take a look!

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