Bow Cliff Centre gets a New Parking Lot!

Bow Cliff Centre parking lot renewal, Seniors SW Calgary, Bow Cliff SeniorsExciting news! At last we can announce that funding has been raised for the parking lot – nothing stands between Bow Cliff Seniors and a new  parking lot to be completed by Fall, 2012.
An April 18th letter from the Provincial Government  announced that we had been granted $125,000.00 through the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).
On Monday, May 7th, JoAnne Porter, our Community Recreation Co-ordinator for the west area called with the good news that the City of Calgary had awarded Bow Cliff Seniors $218,864.67 from the Capital Conservation Grant (CCG) – another contribution to our parking lot renewal program.
Some of you may remember that we entered contests and Corporate entities were approached along with applications being made to all levels of government, so this success may go to our heads.
Summarizing sources of funding:

218,864.67   CCG funding
35, 000.00   Waste & Recycling Dept
125.000.00   CFEP
4,000.00   Hellenic Society
382,864.67  Grand Total

A plan of the lot was issued to members attending the Annual General Meeting followed by a question and answer session. One of the questions related to a limit of four  handicapped parking stalls. This has been extended to six but all stalls are the size of those at Canadian Tire stores – comfortable for even the most timid of drivers – speaking personally.
To avoid distraction, signage will be limited, but generous speed bumps  are sure to slow down any  reckless drivers. Any personal concerns?  Any members of the Board or Staff will pass on your questions to the Building and Development Committee, we’ll try to answer your questions.
After this…. our next major endeavour? How about a New Hall?
Betty Wheatley, Ways & Means Director


Robbie Burns Traditional Scottish Dress, Bow Cliff Seniors, The day to celebrate Robbie Burns Day has again arrived.  January 25, 2012 would have been Robert Burns 253rd birthday!  His writing definitely stands the test of time.  The most famous is Auld Lang Sang we sing bringing in the New Year.  Much of his poetry was very bawdy as, it turns out, was his lifestyle.  

Wikipedia has lots of information on the life of Burns

At Bow Cliff Seniors Centre, we relish celebrating the traditional Scottish event. Everyone loves to be a Scot for the day, and many of our Scottish members come out in full regalia.  Bow Cliff Seniors, Robbie Burns 2012 Celebration Calgary, Calgary Seniors, Events for Older Adults

Our Entertainment Director, Stan Wheatley has arranged a wonderful and lively ceremony today — January 18th to be sure we could book the piper, Robert Henderson. Alma Anderson will be escorting the Haggis during the piping ceremony.  The Selkirk Grace will be given by Vivian Scott. The Address to the Haggis is given by Chuck Taylor.

After lunch we will enjoy some lively Scottish Dancers to entertain us.

We encourage our members to pull out their  tartans and come celebrate with us. We are cooking up some tatties (mashed potatoes) and neeps (turnips) with a pan of meat (pork loin). 

Robbie Burns Celebration Calgary, Bow Cliff Seniors, Haggis Calgary, Events for Seniors Calgary

Haggis is part of the Tradition of the Robbie Burns Celebration

The  Haggis will be piped in on ceremony, not be be missed!

Bow Cliff Seniors, Robbie Burns 2012, Calgary Events for Seniors,
Escorting the Haggis during the Piping Ceremony

And Stan always brings a bottle of his finest Scotch so we can all enjoy a toast during the ceremony. (Glen Morange, Single Malt)

Although we are celebrating early, the actual day has many opportunities to join in the celebration. There are many great websites to guide you through hosting a Burns Dinner;

Slainte mhath! (slanju va)    To Your health!  

Happy Robbie Burns Day!


Robbie Burns

Robbie Burns

#3 – Mid- to Low-Income Seniors – Friends of Bow Cliff

Reason 3: All funds donated to Bow Cliff Seniors are used within the organization for programs and services to help members who are mid- to low-income.

Think about how many times you, as an individual in Calgary, take out your wallet in an average day. There aren’t a lot of places that people can gather without paying for something, whether it’s a coffee, a dinner or an event. But many seniors in Calgary struggle to meet their basic needs; 26% of Calgary seniors receive the Guarenteed Income Suppliment to help them do just that.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Bow Cliff Seniors, Calgary Seniors

Bow Cliff Seniors exists to make sure that these seniors – and those who are struggling just above this line – have a place to gather without having to worry about how much is in their bank account that morning. For the most part, we rely on funding from governments (New Horizons for Seniors, Alberta Gaming and Family and Community Support Services of Calgary) to pay ongoing operational costs (including administrative and facility costs). We also look to sponsors and donors to help us grow our programs and meet the increasing needs of seniors.

$36 may not seem like a lot, but to our centre it could mean:Bow Cliff Seniors, Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors

  • birthday lunch for six seniors
  • two hours of in-chair exercise instruction
  • one month of snow removal so a senior can stay in his home


Making a donation via Friends of Bow Cliff means we can continue offering great programs for seniors at a cost they can afford. Won’t you join us today?

#2 – Keeping Seniors Active – Friends of Bow Cliff

Reason 2: Bow Cliff Seniors assists seniors who might otherwise be isolated to stay active and socialize.Bow Cliff Seniors, Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors

As the number of seniors increase in our society, governments are developing strategies and policies that will best address their needs. In Alberta, the government is committed to aging in place, which encourages the development of programs/services that support seniors to live independently as long as their health and circumstances allow.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff SeniorsSeniors centres, like BCS, are an integral part of aging in place. As a community gathering place, BCS hosts activities that keep seniors engaged on an educational, recreational and/or social level. These include exercise classes, card games, and a weekly luncheon. We charge minamal fees for these activities to allow all seniors, regardless of income, to participate.

In 2011, we’ve added new programs like the Healthy Living Challege, run in conjunction with 11 other locations in the city, and increased our Food Services Program to add more weekly lunches, Themed Dinners and Musical Jams.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff Seniors

Having the support of the Friends of Bow Cliff will help us develop more programs to reach isolated seniors in 2012.

Won’t you join us today?

Friends of Bow Cliff, Calgary Seniors, Bow Cliff Seniors

#1 A Place in the Community – Friends of Bow Cliff

Reason 1: Bow Cliff Seniors has been in the community for 36 years, providing a place for seniors to come for programs, services and activities.

1975: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were battling on the music charts, Jaws was making us think twice about going into the water, and James Clavell’s Shogun was just hitting the bookstores.

In Calgary, people were cheering for the Calgary Cowboys on the ice and the population was still under half a million. (453,812, to be exact.)  The community of Spruce Cliff was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and it was during this time that seniors of the area came together to discuss programs and services that would reflect their needs.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Bow Cliff Seniors, spruce cliff,

36 years later, Bow Cliff Seniors continues to provide programs and services for seniors in Spruce Cliff and beyond. Our activitities have evolved with the changing needs of seniors. BCS exercise classes, for example, are now augmented by the Healthy Living Challenge, which encourages people to take responsibility for their own healthy choices. The weekly luncheon started as a fundraiser, but is now supported by sponsorships like that recently provided by Exterran. The ShareCare Program, which provides lawn care and snow removal for seniors, now helps 80 seniors in 15 communities – and the need continues to grow.

Friends of Bow Cliff, Bow Cliff Seniors, spruce cliff, Calgary Seniors

United Way volunteers decorating before Lunch

Which is where you come in. We’re encouraging people to support the ongoing needs of seniors by becoming a Friend of Bow Cliff. $36 for 36 great years of service – it’s a bargain, really, and it means we can start 2012 on the right foot. Won’t you join us today?

Friends of Bow Cliff ~ Celebrating 36 Years!

36 years ago, several members of the Spruce Cliff Community came together to discuss options for programs/services for seniors in the area. On December 19, 1975, the Spruce Cliff Seniors came into being. (The name was changed to Bow Cliff Seniors in 1976.)

Bow Cliff Centre, Friends of Bow Cliff

Friends of Bow Cliff ~ Celebrating 36 Years

 Since that time, BCS has provided a community gathering place for seniors from all over Calgary. We hold exercise and art classes, host bridge, cribbage and bingo games, serve a weekly lunch and bring people together through our partnerships with groups like the Alberta Handicrafts Guild and Calgary Dollars.

We’ve also had our share of challenges (the 1989 fire) and successes (taking on the building lease) that have kept us going. Funding has been its own challenge, and so this year we’re asking people to step up. We’ll be spending the next few weeks sharing our top five reasons why you should donate now and become a Friend of Bow Cliff in 2012.


“Safety in Parking” – Vote Today!

Aviva Community Fund Bow Cliff Seniors is proud to be participating in the Aviva Community Fund competition again this year. Our project – “Safety in Parking” – builds on two years of fundraising  toward a new and improved parking lot, including:

  • south side sidewalks (so seniors don’t have to walk behind parked cars)
  • centre walkway (allowing safe access to all parked cars)
  • speed bumps and barriers at ends of the lot
  • signs (speed limit, handicapped parking and information)
  • landscaped planters
  • security cameras

How You Can Help

First, register for an account at (You can’t vote unless you register for an account.)

Then, starting Monday, October 3, 2011 (12pm ET), you can vote by clicking on the “VOTE” button at our Aviva Community Fund site (Bow Cliff Seniors “Safety in Parking” Project) or, if you’re on Facebook, you can vote at their page (

Once you start, please keep going! The first round lasts 15 days (October 3 to October 19) and each person registered can vote once a day. The top 90 ideas will make it into the semi-final round and the top 30 into the final round, and every vote counts!

And please, share this information with friends and friends! Post it on your Facebook wall, tweet about it, write a blog post or two, text your kids, share via intra-office email – whatever you can do to get the word out. The more people who hear about this project and vote, the more likely we’ll win the competition.

Calgary Dollars & Bow Cliff Seniors Launch the Rosscarrock Timebank Program

Building on the successful partnership that brought the Calgary Dollars Market to the Bow Cliff Seniors Centre, the two agencies are once again collaborating on an exciting new venture: The Rosscarrock Timebank project.

Timebanks have been around since the early 80’s though they have existed informally as long as there have been communities of people helping each other.

Bow Cliff Seniors, Calgary Dollars, Rosscarrock Timebank

Timebanks are based on reciprocity, assistance from others, and returning the favour

Timebanking is based on reciprocity – the concept that when people get assistance from a neighbour or a community volunteer they like to “return the favour”. A Timebank formalizes this exchange of service by assigning a value to the hours spent helping someone and this value is then “banked” and can then be used to “purchase” a needed service. Service exchanges can take place between two Timebank participants or Timebank hours can be used later for a service offered by any registered Timebank participant.

Bow Cliff Seniors, Calgary Dollars, Seniors & Teens

Teens, want to learn some cool new skills and have fun meeting the seniors in your neighbourhood?

The Rosscarrock Timebank is open to any senior or teenager who lives in the community of Rosscarrock.

Interested teens and seniors will be brought together in the fall to get to know each other and talk about needs and interests.

Calgary Dollars, Bow Cliff Seniors, Rosscarrock Timebank,

Seniors & Teens working together

From their input, a registry will be created listing skills that teens can offer – help with household chores, yard work, or snow shovelling, for example – and talents that seniors can offer – help learning skills like gardening, sewing or knitting, card games and such. Project staff will help match teen’s and senior’s needs and interests to relevant skills and talents being offered.

Are you a senior living in the community of Rosscarrock? Do you need help with things like household chores and yard work?

Calgary Dollars, Bow Cliff Seniors, Timebank, Seniors & Teens

Seniors, could you use some help from a local teen with household chores?

The Timebank is a great way for you to get help and have fun getting to know the teenagers in your neighbourhood! For information or to get involved call Corrine at 403-270-8002.

Fundraising in Economically Challenging Times

Our Volunteers are working hard this week to prepare for the Clothing Sale Fundraiser at Bow Cliff Centre on Saturday, June 4th.
This fundraiser is an answer from the dedicated members to raise money for our centre in challenging times.

“Our Bottle Drive money is way down this year compared to last year”, comments Tracey Braun, Executive Director of Bow Cliff Seniors. “But its not only here, the Boy Scouts did far less on their bottle drive this year than previous years as well.” Why is this happening? Tracey replies ” I did a little research to find out why, and members are giving their bottles to their kids and grandkids, who need the money.”

Bow Cliff Centre relies on donations and funding to keep its programs going. Even in these tough economic times, our dedicated members are prepared to work hard. Hilda Townsend, Clothing Sale Coordinator has a group of ladies organizing and sorting for the sale, as well as people coming in every day to bring bags of clothes for the sale.

Spring & Summer Clothing and Accessories at Bow Cliff Fundraiser June 4, 2011

“We are accepting all Spring or Summer clothes, as well as shoes, purses, jewelery and other small items for the sale.” Says Hilda Townsend, Volunteer Coordinator.  If you can clean out your closet and support our Fundraiser, help us out! There are many people in the city who can use these items, and we encourage them to come check out our sale.

The Clothing Sale is part of the Wildwood Parade of Garage Sales being held on Saturday, June 4th.  Hilda has organized her volunteers to be there on Friday, June 3rd from noon to 8:00pm to allow local people to shop early.
Come by our Fundraiser, get a deal of the beautiful clothing coming in for Bow Cliff Centre’s fundraising efforts.