Are You Strong Enough to Support Strong Kids?

November is Strong Members for Strong Kids Month.


What does that mean? It means anyone interested will have the opportunity to engage in feats of fitness and pledge dollars for every rep/inch/second they complete, all in the name of raising funds for the Strong Kids campaign! One day per week throughout the month of November there will be a “Strong Members” booth set up in the lobby of the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA where you can stop by to see how strong you are for Strong Kids.

Through philanthropy, the YMCA and our donors are removing barriers to help children, youth and families live healthier lives and achieve their full potential. Our annual Strong Kids Campaign gives children and youth the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs that positively influence their health and well-being and connect them to a caring community. 100% of all Strong Kids donations directly support participation in YMCA experiences. In 2016, YMCA provided 23,000 subsidized experience and the need has only increased in 2017!

The specific days and themes of our Strong Members for Strong Kids campaign are listed below with the booth open from 6:30-8:30am, 11:00am-1:00pm, and 4:00-6:00pm each day. Whether you come at the crack of dawn Mondays or lunch time Thursdays, there will be a day and time where you’ll have the opportunity to have fun and show your strength for Strong Kids!


Wednesday November 1– Push Ups, reps per minute.

Thursday November 9– Skipping, reps per minute.

Friday November 17– Jump Height, inches jumped.

Monday November 20– Plank, seconds held.

Tuesday November 28– Wall Sit, seconds held.

Halloween Howler at the Melcor YMCA

Come join us on October 29th for an afternoon filled with tricks and treats!

Our annual Halloween Howler will be returning from 3:00-4:30! Dress up in costume and come on down to participate in various games, activities, and arts and crafts!

Please note: children under 8 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Please call us at 403-547-6576 or visit our member service desk to register!

Registration dates for Camp Chief Hector YMCA Summer 2018

It’s official!

Registration for Camp Chief Hector YMCA Summer Overnight Camps begins in December.

Get all the details here.

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

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”




Fall Drop-In Classes at ECY

Welcome to September! As the days get shorter and the air (eventually) gets cooler, we have some exciting drop in programs to highlight for the Fall session!

Essentrics- Mondays @ 5:30pm with Zsuzsa

Essentrics is a full body workout that utilizes dynamic and fluid combination of strengthening and stretching. The technique develops lean, strong and flexible muscles with immediate changes to the posture. Perfect for men and women of all fitness levels, this program rebalances the body, prevents and treats injuries, and unlocks tight joints. With a diverse music playlist accompanying each routine, this equipment free workout leaves you feeling energized, youthful and healthy.

Group Cycle- Tuesdays @ 5:30pm with Jacey

A high energy on-bike workout that emphasizes proper form and technique, this cycle class with Jacey will challenge and improve your endurance and power with hills, climbs, sprints and more!

Group Power- Tues/Thurs @ 6:00am with Ruhee/Rachel, Wed/Fri @ 12:00pm with Brigitte

Group Power is the most fun and innovative way to strength train! This class uses the barbell, step, high energy music, and body weight to create an effective and challenging workout suited to all fitness levels. Bonus tracks are being taught throughout September featuring new ways to challenge the back, legs, and triceps, and a brand new workout will be launched mid-October!

Group Blast- Tues @ 12:00pm with John & Jessi

A new and ridiculously fun way to get your cardio workout! Group Blast trains agility, coordination, balance and strength using the step as the training tool and energetic music to keep you moving and motivated! Stay tuned for a brand new workout mid-October!


If these, or any other programs interest you:


Click Here to download the YMCA App for up to the minute schedule information.

Click Here to see the full list of Drop In class descriptions.

Click Here to see the full list of Drop In class times.


Member’s Only Pickleball

We are excited to announce that starting Fall 2017, we will be offering members only pickleball at the Melcor YMCA! Pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis, and is played in a badminton styled court. We encourage everyone to come try out this new program, whether you are new to the sport, or have played for years! 

The gymnasium will be set up for pickleball Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:00 and 2:30. Members can book a court for 30 minute slots starting September 6th. Booking will work the same way it does for members only badminton; you can book the day after you play for the following week.




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.