Our Stories

Belong, Grow, Thrive and Lead: Power of Potential Campaign

When YMCA Calgary began operating as a place of sport, recreation, community and learning over a hundred years ago, Calgary’s population was 4,398 and the “Y” had a mere membership of 125 citizens.

Now, with a population of 1.25 million, there are over 40,000 people accessing YMCA Calgary’s services each month.

Due to Calgary’s significant growth and YMCA Calgary’s firm commitment to supporting the physical and mental well-being of all Calgarians, the YMCA Power of Potential (POP) fundraising campaign was launched in 2015 to ensure new community recreation centres would be built in several underserved communities.

Through its Major & Signature Gift Program, Calgary Foundation contributed $2 million towards the POP campaign that successfully raised $30 million, an astounding feat considering Calgary’s current economic climate. The campaign funds will support:


$23 million to operate and equip three new facilities: Remington Quarry Park, Shane Homes Rocky Ridge and Seton


$4 million to upgrade facilities at Camp Chief Hector YMCA
Since 1930, CCH has provided 200,000 outdoor experiences for children


$3 million to expand community programs including: Employment, leadership, education enrichment, recreation, and childcare

“We’re so pleased to partner with YMCA Calgary to meet emerging needs and support the important role recreation plays in building strong, healthy and connected communities,” says Eva Friesen, president and CEO, Calgary Foundation.

The new facilities will provide a blend of leisure, sports, arts, cultural and recreational amenities for individuals and families as well as competitive sport venues for groups and organizations. The facilities are owned by the City of Calgary, which contributed $447 million to the total project budget.

With 300,000 square feet, Rocky Ridge is the largest YMCA facility in North America, but once the Seton facility (330,000 square feet) opens in 2019, it will take over that title.

“With beautiful architecture, state-of-the-art equipment and plenty of natural light, the facilities will be world class,” says Narmin Ismail-Teja, chair of the YMCA board of directors. “But when I think of the Y, it’s not about the facilities; it’s about the community work. It boils down to four words: belong, grow, thrive and lead – that’s what we’re about.”