All posts by Chad Baird

All Sport One City

All Sport One City starts this week, Monday January 22nd until Saturday January 27th. All Sport One City is an initiative of Sport Calgary and gives adults (18 and older) a chance to try out a new fitness activities or sports at many different facilities across the city for free. All Sport One City is promoted in partnership with PlayCity and Calgary Roughnecks.

Registration is done through the Sport Calgary and daily calendars of activities for the week are available at YMCA Calgary will be participating in All Sport One City by offering a variety of activities at Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA, Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot, Remington YMCA, Saddletowne YMCA, and Shawnessy YMCA locations. Please see the YMCA activities below:


Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Monday, January 22 – Group Cycle 6:00-7:00AM

Tuesday, January 23 – Group Blast 12:05-12:50PM

Wednesday, January 24 – Barbell Blast 5:30-6:30PM

Thursday, January 25 – Active Yoga 6:40-7:40PM

Friday, January 26 – Zumba 12:05-12:50PM

Saturday, January 27 – Hi Low & Muscle Works 9:30-11:00AM


Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot

Monday, January 22 – Zumba 6:00-7:00PM

Wednesday, January 24 – Group Cycle 6:00-6:45PM

Thursday, January 25 – Yoga 7:30-8:30PM

Friday, January 26 – Group Power 10:30-11:30AM


Remington YMCA

Monday, January 22 – Synergy Circuit 12:15-1:00PM

Wednesday, January 24 – Bootcamp 12:15-1:00PM


Saddletowne YMCA

Saturday, January 27 – Muscle Works 11:00-12:00PM

Saturday, January 27 – Open Climb 11:45-1:00PM, 1:15-2:30PM

Saturday, January 27 – HIIT 2:00-3:00PM


Shawnessy YMCA

Monday, January 22 – STEP (Intro) 8:15-9:00AM

Tuesday, January 23 – Group Cycle 6:00-6:45PM

Thursday, January 25 – STEP (Circuit) 6:00-7:00PM

Saturday, January 27 – Gentle Yoga 9:15-10:30AM

The Arts at YMCA Calgary

Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge: A Centre for Arts in Calgary



Dear Community Partner,

YMCA Calgary has been serving Calgarians since 1902. In that time, we’ve evolved to meet the changing needs of our city. Our organization is once again evolving to include the Arts at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge.

YMCA Calgary now offers Arts programs for children and youth. We are running dance, drama and visual arts programs for children and youth aged 6-17. This is a great opportunity for young people in the NW Calgary community to try new activities and develop creativity.

YMCA is a leading provider of safe, accessible, and compelling programs for all ages, with a goal to building healthy and vibrant communities. Arts learning is a central means to this outcome. Our sports programs develop physical literacy. Our arts programs develop creative literacy! – programs that flex, strengthen and grow our imaginative muscles through creative expression and play.

We are thrilled to dive into the Arts with our new programs and promote happiness and health in youth and children through drama, dance and the visual arts.


Judy Lawrence, Arts Manager & Judith Mendelsohn, Arts Programs Director

Meet the Team!








Judy Lawrence, Arts Manager

Judy Lawrence brings a lifetime of building community through the arts. She has served as Executive Director for The Alberta Jubilee Auditoria Society (for both Calgary and Edmonton!), and for the International Fringe Theatre Festival in Edmonton. She has worked with Calgary Opera, Springboard Performance, Dancers Studio West, One World Festival, Calgary Arts Development, Arts Commons, Alberta Arts Festivals Association and more. She is thrilled at this bold new arts adventure with YMCA Calgary , and the huge opportunities to serve community in living joyous, creative lives.









Judith Mendelsohn, Arts Program Director

Judith is thrilled to begin a new venture as Arts Program Director. She has worked as a performer and instructor for Green Fools Theatre, Evergreen Theatre, Arts Commons, and Quest Theatre. Judith is passionate about creating and performing her own shows, dance, and can be found sometimes walking on stilts or wearing a clown nose!









Matt Dewald , Drama Instructor

Matt has formal training and experience as a teacher and a theatre director. He has worked with over a dozen different theatre companies and schools in Calgary as a director, actor, producer and educator. Much of his work has been with children’s theatre companies and directing theatre for young audiences. 









Natalie Lauchlan, Visual Arts Director

Natalie Lauchlan is an emerging artist, published and exhibiting across Canada, and over seas. Natalie has been working as a Studio Artist with the CBE for several years and is currently focusing on a B.Ed with the University of Calgary. In an exciting new partnership with the YMCA she hopes to bring the interests of her students to the forefront of every class, integrating the individualities of students into the practice of new skills and techniques. Natalie believes in providing equal opportunity, and bringing professional practices and techniques to the hands of children

Great Programs to Choose From!

Introduction to Drama
(Classes split by age: 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Let your inner performer take centre stage in this introductory drama class. You will learn the basic improvisational techniques used in acting, as well as work on character and scene creation. This is a great program for anyone looking to develop confidence in front of a crowd.


Introduction to Dance
(Classes split by age: 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Get an introduction to modern and classical dance! From hip hop to ballet basics, you will learn to express yourself in a variety of dance genres in a supportive setting. Participants will learn basic movements and apply them to both individual and team dance routines. You will develop spatial awareness, balance, strength, flexibility and expression through movement in this fun and social program. Previous dance experience not required.


Introduction to Art Making
(Ages 6-8, 9-12, 13-17)

Explore the basics of drawing, painting, mixed media and more! Participants will play with line, colour, space, light and shadow, brushstroke, proportion and perspective in a variety of formats.  You will exercise and develop your imaginative muscles as you build your skillset and discover the joy of self-expression through the creation of innovative art projects.  Previous art experience not required.

Arts Season

An exciting season to come!
Join us as we launch our inaugural season of performance at the beautiful new BMO Theatre at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge! We are thrilled to announce that YMCA Calgary can bring you the show ‘We Are All Treaty People,’ April 21, 2018. This show is in partnership with Calgary’s premiere professional children’s theatre company Quest Theatre. It is also in association with Making Treaty 7 Society. Together Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists tell the story of the shared history of our land. This show is especially suited for children, and culminates in a Round Dance for all.



Christmas tree sales at the Melcor YMCA

Christmas trees are back at the Melcor YMCA! We will be selling trees during our regular operating hours from December 1st – 24th! If you are interested in purchasing a tree just stop by our member services desk, and a staff member will be happy to help you!


The trees range in height from 4-8’ tall and cost $5/ft. 50% of the funds raised will go towards our strong kids campaign, and the other 50% will go towards supporting the LIT youth attending the Western Canadian Leadership Conference (WCLC).


November 28th is #GivingTuesdayCA. After the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a day to give back to community.

In our communities, we continue to see families struggling financially and when expenses are prioritized recreational and health programs usually fall near the bottom of the list. It is during this time of stress that people most need to take care of their physical and mental health and stay connected to a caring community.

At YMCA Calgary, through our Strong Kids Campaign we provide individuals and families with financial assistance to participate in programs that enable lifelong healthy living and support their social and emotional wellbeing. So far in 2017, 19,741 individual experiences have been provided to children and youth to participate in day camps, swim lessons, climbing wall courses, Camp Chief Hector summer camp, child care and gym and sport classes.

Your donation will give the gift of the YMCA to a child who needs and wants it. Your support welcomes them to a caring community and gives them the chance to belong, grow, thrive and lead.

Give the gift of the YMCA to a child in need. Donate Today!

See how you can impact a child’s life through James’ Story.

Shane Homes YMCA Photos

The Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge is almost here! This facility is true work of architectural art and we are proud to be operating this beautiful facility.

Ukraine Update from Tanis Cochrane


I spent September 20th to 30th in Ukraine as part of our International partnership with YMCA Ukraine. I participated in their Annual General Meeting of all YMCAs in the country, met with other International partners, and visited some local YMCAs.


The situation in Ukraine remains relatively unchanged in the past year. Crimea was seized from Ukraine in March 2014 by Russia, and the eastern region of Ukraine remains an active war region. This has resulted in approximately 1 million people being displaced from these areas of Ukraine to the western region of the country. This has created an increase in demand for support services for these internally displaced people. The YMCAs in western Ukraine are responding to these needs by offering programs for children and youth, especially camping programs during the summer.


The context for YMCAs in Ukraine is much different than here in Calgary. YMCA Ukraine has existed for only 24 years and there are 25 local YMCAs, only 7 of which have physical spaces they can utilize for programming purposes. Despite the challenges within the country and within the YMCA, some of the local YMCAs are growing and are becoming stronger each year.


I visited the Volyn YMCA in Lutsk, a small city of 250,000 people. This YMCA is currently raising funds to continue renovating an old Cinema that they hope to convert into a youth centre. They have some useable space within the building now, and a group of children and youth performed some wonderful dances and songs during our visit. We also met with their local youth board (comprised of young professionals under 30 years of age) and also their other board. For the first time in their history this YMCA produced a surplus from their overnight summer camping program in the summer of 2017. They had a waitlist of campers and also graduated 14 youth from camper to counselor this summer.


I also had the opportunity to visit the Lviv YMCA and the Verkhovyna YMCA, both in the western region of the country. It was wonderful to renew acquaintances and to meet some new volunteers involved in the YMCAs in Ukraine. Everyone is keen to learn more about our YMCA, to share ideas, and to actively plan for the future. Should you wish to learn more about our International partnership, please contact me at

A Trip to our YMCA Partners in Ukraine

A letter from YMCA Calgary’s Aquatics Director and YMCA Ukraine delegate, Graeme Voy

This past summer, I spent two weeks in Ukraine working with YMCA Ukraine Summer Camps. I spent the first few days at a day camp doing a variety of activities. I spent some time training the staff, teaching them some song and games that we would share with the kids. Duck Duck Goose turned out to be a huge hit to these Ukrainian kids!

Then I went to an overnight camp where I continued to play games, teach songs, and talk about YMCA Canada and the difference between our countries and their YMCAs. Everyone was really excited to meet me and learn about Canada and the children taught me lots of Ukrainian words. Everyone I met was very friendly and kind. They are all volunteers running these camps in Ukraine and are there because they are passionate about supporting their communities and helping others. It was a tremendous experience that I am really grateful and proud to have been a part of.


Graeme Voy



Art Balfour: 72 Years and Counting


Art Balfour has been a YMCA member for over seven decades and we are honoured to have such a dedicated member be a part of our community. His journey started with a Y membership in Toronto, then in the States and eventually finding his way to Calgary. Art brings joy to all those around him and is a health and fitness inspiration.

In 1935, Arthur lived in Toronto and first visited the Broadview Ave YMCA branch as a drop in – it was a nickel or dime to go swim with a group of friends. He didn’t become a member until about 1945 when he left high school and started working in downtown Toronto which was close to the YMCA. In 1953-60 Arthur moved to the US in Buffalo and used the Y there. He moved to Calgary in 1961 and worked at the Amaco building which was close to the downtown Y and he would workout at lunch. He retired in 1983 has been at SHY exercising 3-4 days a week.

“It has everything I want. I can’t think of anything else with other gyms that I want. The Y offers financial assistance to children who can’t afford to come to the YMCA. It’s a nice atmosphere and your health is better”




Summer 2016 Street Team!

Our YMCA Calgary street team has been in many communities across the summer telling people about all the great things the YMCA has to offer and the opening of Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge. It has been a great summer meeting neighbours in so many different communities across Calgary!


Carolyn Kutney: The Power of Taking Classes at YMCA Calgary

Carolyn, what is your YMCA story and why are YMCA classes so important to you?

First of all I need to start with a tragedy that hit my family.  My wonderful husband of 33 years had suddenly passed away of a heart attack in January 2011.   It was devastating.  I got myself into some counseling to deal with the post-traumatic stress of his death. I joined a yoga class at the Shawnessy YMCA a year later to deal with my stress and anxiety. It was effective, but I didn’t get to do the last yoga class as I had a serious injury which brings me to March of 2012.

I was coming down stairs and missed three or four of them. I realized something was definitely wrong when I tried to get up and fell.  At the emergency room they told me that I had completely ruptured my Achilles tendon. They put me in a cast for five weeks, then a walking cast for another six weeks and I needed a cane for another few weeks after that.

In the later stages of my recovery, my physical therapist and chiropractor both suggested that getting in the water would be very beneficial for my recovery. I came into the Shawnessy YMCA and inquired about their aquatics programs and found a gentle aqua fit class in the afternoon that worked very well for me.

I tried it out for a few weeks and found that I loved it. The participants and aqua fitness instructors were so friendly and helpful – I felt right at home. I found  my walking was getting stronger and the YMCA classes were helping me deal with the anxiety of losing my husband.  After reaping the benefits of the program for a year, I decided to start looking into becoming an instructor because I loved the activity.