ArtStart Exhibition Opening – These Artists Have Come A Long Way!

What do you get when you combine 41 youth from 25 different countries with some creative facilitation?

Prospect’s ArtStart program!

ArtStart supports newcomers to Canada while celebrating the unique contributions they can make to our culture. The program objective was to help youth develop some of the skills they will need to participate in employment. So ArtStart was conceptualized to provide learning and community engagement with peer support, in a fun way.

Prospect has pioneered the use of art in many skill-building programs. Art is a powerful medium for making connections – on an individual level, in teambuilding, and in speaking to a broader community. ArtStart is a perfect example.

Our 41 graduates developed skills, an appreciation for Canadian culture, and a genuine connection to their new community. They created relationships, discovered new resources, and had a lot of fun.

The collaborators who made ArtStart a powerful and meaningful program include:

- The Calgary Local Immigration Partnership, who helped coordinate the unique services and partnerships coming together.

- Immigrant and Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) who funded the project.

- Youth Central, who demonstrated the meaningful connection to volunteerism, how to give back, and meet other youth who are engaged in community building.

- Fort Calgary for their unique way of bringing history to life.

- The Bankview Community Association for their support in the public mural project.

- The Quickdraw Animation Society, for the youth memberships, access to resources, and support of the animation project.

- The Calgary Public Library (Alexander Calhoun Library) for the access and use of library resources, library cards, and the amazing programming around language.

- The Calgary Board of Education and its schools, especially Mount Royal Junior High School, for making the project available to their students and families.

- The Untitled Arts Society and photographer Derek Lafont, for the use of the dark room and all the assistance with the photography project.

- ESL teacher Patty Greenshields.

- Immigrant Services Calgary, for making the opportunity available to so many immigrant youth.

- Calgary Catholic Immigration Services

A shout-out also goes to the youth mentor volunteers in each session. These were youth who have gone through the experience of being new to Canada, and now were supporting our youth by sharing their experience.

The ArtStart exhibition continues through September 20th at Studio C, #235, 1721 29th Avenue SW.

We encourage you to enjoy the art created in ArtStart and to continue to reach out and make our city and our province one of the world’s most welcoming and diverse places to live.

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Special guest The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism for Alberta

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Participants and their families enjoyed the exhibition opening, September 7th at Studio C.

The 2017 Prospect Stampede BBQ was a success – thank you to our sponsors!

On July 5th, Prospect’s Stampede BBQ drew an enthusiastic crowd to over 1,200 attendees. After last year’s sudden downpour, this year’s BBQ brought sun, clear skies and excitement. Activities at the BBQ included an inflatable climbing wall, bouncy house, jousting, beef-on-a-bun, mini-donuts, face-painting, and great music. The BBQ was emcee’d by Prospect’s own Lindsay Hextall, Director of Employer Services.

Prospect wants to thank all of our BBQ sponsors, including Jani-King, KMSS LLP, Kevin Staley, HBI, Franklin Auto Repair, Shell , SAIT, Aileen Enriquez (Cintas), Telus, Columbia College, Prairie Electric, EastSide Dodge, Dalvay Distribution INC, Ryanco, Calfrac, Phil Lock, BLG –Duncan, Rogers and Levant Mediterranean.

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One of the features of this year’s BBQ included the Great Canadian Armed Forces Burger Challenge – a competition to find out who makes the best burger in the Canadian Armed Forces. Prospect invited five of the top military chefs from the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, and the British Army in Suffield. The Burger Challenge was generously sponsored by CP Rail, TransCanada and The Canadian Legacy Project.

The competition was designed to help bring awareness to Prospect’s Forces@WORK program – an employment initiative funded by the Government of Alberta that helps veterans and transitioning members of the Canadian Armed Forces, particularly the ill and injured, find good civilian jobs. Since the program was created it has helped more than 800 veterans and their families.

The five military teams participating in the competition were Warrant Officer Bryan Power (returning champion from last year) and Private Christopher Chow from the 3rd Canadian Division, Master Corporal Jordan Reid and Warrant Officer Simon Tsang from the 3rd Canadian Division, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dana Haley and Corporal Nada Bounmey from the HMCS Calgary, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominic Jackson and Corporal Miguel Alarcon from the CFB Comox, and Corporal Christopher Walne and Corporal Steven Hocking from the British Army Training Unit in Suffield.

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Each team was given 15 minutes to plate their burgers for a panel of celebrity judges. The judges were food critic John Gilchrist, celebrity chefs Vikram Vij and Michael Noble, the Hon. Joe Ceci, Alberta’s Minister of Finance, and the Hon. Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada.

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CBC’s Angela Knight emcee’d the competition, keeping the momentum going with the crowd, playing games with the judges and offering great insight into the event sponsors, the judges and the Canadian Armed Forces. The competition was fierce, but the teams showed great esprit de corps, often helping one another and keeping their strict timelines in check.

The five teams used creative and delicious ingredients to wow the judges, including Elk, maple bacon, old white cheddar, maple BBQ sauce, beef steak tomatoes, kidney beans, Alberta Black Angus beef, and french fried onions. Their burgers were judged on taste, presentation, creativity, and their pitch to the judges.

The winning team was from the Air Force, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominic Jackson and Corporal Miguel Alarcon from the CFB Comox. They received the Spatula d’Or (golden spatula) trophy for their winning creation of an Elk, beef and bacon patty topped with maple candied back bacon, double smoked cheddar, buttermilk onion rings, Stout BBQ sauce, aioli, beefsteak tomato and arugula on a pretzel bun.

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We can’t wait to see what’s on the menu for next year’s Stampede BBQ!

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Howdy! It's Stampede Season!

Prospect wishes everyone a fun-filled week of good food and activities during the Calgary Stampede.

We kicked off the festivities with our annual Stampede BBQ and are looking forward to sharing the photos and stories in the coming days.

Enjoy the Calgary Stampede! Yahoo!

Breaking Barriers 2017

On May 2, 2017, Prospect’s Viable initiative was pleased to present Breaking Barriers 2017 at Mount Royal University. The event was the product of many months of thoughtful planning followed by a few weeks of frenzied activity, culminating in a few exciting hours. We research topics relevant to Viable’s work and then seek out experts whose points of view are thought-provoking, inspiring, and actionable.

Our three speakers are all barrier breakers in their own right. Michael Landsberg is a passionate advocate for mental health and the founder of #SickNotWeak. Gabrielle Scrimshaw is a First Nations activist and co-founder of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. Rick Hansen, Canada’s Man in Motion, is the founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, dedicated to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all.

Calgary’s Mount Royal University was the perfect barrier-free venue, which brought in 250 attendees from Alberta’s business community, leaders and stakeholders from a variety of industries.

The afternoon began with Prospect’s Director of Employer Services, Lindsay Hextall, who welcomed attendees and talked about the work that Prospect’s Viable initiative does with employers. Afterwards, elder Ruby Eagle Child gave the opening blessing.

Lindsay Hextall Elder Ruby Eagle Child

Employer participation is the lifeblood of Viable. Viable has created relationships with more than 750 employers and industry associations.

Our first speaker was introduced by Alison Pressman, HR Global Functions and Downstream, with Shell Canada.

Alison Pressman

“Michael Landsberg is familiar to millions of Canadians as the host of TSN’s Off The Record. He brings his pull-no-punches style to his role as a mental health advocate. He is also the founder of a not-for-profit called #SickNotWeak”.

Michael Landsberg

A leading sports broadcast personality, Michael Landsberg courageously chose to speak out publicly about his depression and anxiety.

He has been with TSN since the network was founded in 1984, hosting Off The Record, one of Canada’s longest-running talk shows.

Despite all his accolades and accomplishments, Michael considers his work in reducing the stigma of mental illness as his most important professional calling.

At Breaking Barriers 2017, Michael won the crowd over with his rapid fire, candid, humorous delivery. The combination of personal experience and thought-provoking anecdotes about others with depression made for a compelling introductory presentation.

“The conspiracy of silence needs to be broken. Depression sufferers will often go to any lengths to not give up their secret. Like spies with precious information, they will keep their secrets no matter how intolerable the pain gets.”

Our second speaker, Gabrielle Scrimshaw, was introduced by Michelle Mobarrez, Regional Vice-President of BMO Financial Services.

Michelle Mobarrez

“Gabrielle is a proud member of the Hatchet Lake First Nation and has studied international business and policy in Australia, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe.”

Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Gabrielle’s presentation combined personal anecdotes of growing up in northern Saskatchewan and economic insights about the growing potential of First Nations youth to benefit Canada.

“The aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in Canada. By 2026, about 400,000 aboriginal youth are going to enter the workforce.”

Prospect’s CEO Melanie Mitra introduced our keynote speaker, Rick Hansen.

Melanie Mitra

“If you compare the work that Viable does with the work done by the Rick Hansen Foundation, you find incredible synergy. But we both recognize that we haven’t reached our destination.”

Rick Hansen

Canada’s Rick Hansen has perhaps broken more barriers than anyone in the world, making him the perfect keynote speaker for Viable’s Breaking Barriers 2017.

His epic 40,000 km journey around the world took him through 34 countries, almost none of which had explored accessibility or inclusion to that point.

The Rick Hansen Foundation has translated that awareness into action. His world tour opened the eyes to the potential of people with disabilities, and the Foundation ensures that none of the momentum is lost, working relentlessly toward an inclusive world where people with disabilities are living up to their full potential.

From the moment he exploded onto the stage, Rick Captivated the audience with his vision. His message was powerful and accessible, inspiring the crowd to join him in support of removing barriers in the built environment.

“My life’s philosophy is to make a difference in the lives of others, and I feel passionate about contributing in ways that utilize my skills and strengths to help our community. I believe my best work is yet to come.”

A spirited Q&A session followed each speaker’s presentation, proving the audience was engaged and inspired.

Breaking Barriers 2017 was an opportunity to challenge employers, peers, and stakeholders with bold ideas, creative thinking and concepts we can all build on to strive for a better society. We look forward to seeing more events in the future, as well as working towards creating a barrier-free society.

Rick Hansen Crowd