Tag Archives: Canada

The Four Core Values in Fitness

Weight-Room etiquette is basically the same at every gym or club.  At the YMCA we like to base our etiquette on four core values displayed prominently in every location across Calgary and Canada alike.  Following the basic idea of these core values both personally and within the facility allows all members to show one another the kindness of these core values in our workout areas.

Honesty – Personal – Listen to your body and acknowledge what your limits are; push yourself to those limits.  Hitting below won’t give you the results you desire, and above may lead to injury.  Facility – There isn’t a sign-up for our cardio machines as there once was, but we do ask that members honor the 30-minute maximum during busy or peak times when someone could be waiting.

CaringPersonal – Care for yourself by eating well, sleeping well, and creating a wellness balance in your life.  Facility –  allow others to work-in between your sets.  Working together can help build new relationships and friendships within our YMCA community.

RespectPersonal – Acknowledge that you are being the best version of yourself and stop comparing yourself to others.  Cherish the uniqueness that is you!  Facility – wipe down equipment after use, no one wants to use equipment that hasn’t been cleaned!  The staff and volunteer team has a cleaning list that covers all equipment in the gym and we do our best to keep things are clean as possible for member use.

ResponsibilityPersonal – Hold yourself accountable, don’t blame external forces if you stumble.  It happens to everyone; own it and move past it.  Facility – Clean up after yourself; put weights away, cable attachments back to where they belong, and take pride in being part of our YMCA community.

The YMCA prides itself on delivering four core values in our every day engagements.  As a member of the YMCA, we hope that you feel those core values every time you are in our facilities, as well as paying it forward to one another.

Be Well




– Bell NBA All-Star Challenge Presented by AIRMILES Invites Canada’s Top Competitors on All-Expenses Paid Trip to Compete at NBA All-Star 2016 –

– BMO All-Star Kidsfest at the YMCA Includes Jr. NBA Clinics, NBA Cares Activities, and More –

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2015 – The NBA today announced a nationwide All-Star 2016 program that will bring the excitement of All-Star to 14 Canadian cities in 10 provinces from November through February.
Anchored by the BMO Financial Group (BMO) NBA All-Star Kidsfest at the YMCA and the Bell NBA All-Star Challenge presented by AIRMILES, the events will take place in Calgary, Charlottetown, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Sherbrooke, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor and Winnipeg. NBA Global Ambassador and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo and former NBA players Muggsy Bogues and Ron Harper, among others, will interact with fans across the country as they participate in All-Star-themed events and basketball activities, including appearances by NBA mascots and NBA team dancers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring NBA All-Star 2016 programming to 14 cities across the country,” said NBA Canada Vice President and Managing Director Dan MacKenzie. “As part of our largest grassroots initiative in Canada to date, these events will allow us to grow the game in the birthplace of basketball while also providing top young talent with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend NBA All-Star. We thank our partners BMO, Bell, AIRMILES, Samsung and the YMCA for helping us make these events possible.”

Each event will tip off with the BMO NBA All-Star Kidsfest at the YMCA, an interactive family-friendly event featuring Jr. NBA clinics and NBA Cares activities such as dance classes led by NBA dancers, and a youth art program that invites the community to design a canvas that will be displayed during NBA All-Star 2016 in February. The YMCA is the community partner of Kidsfest, where young sports enthusiasts will also have the chance to try their hand at news making through the popular BMO Junior Reporter Contest.

The Bell NBA All-Star Challenge presented by AIRMILES, which builds on Bell’s commitment to growing basketball across the country and developing homegrown talent, invites basketball enthusiasts ages 14 and older to realize their All-Star dreams and show off their talent. A cross-country initiative to identify and showcase the country’s next generation of rising stars, the Challenge will invite Canada’s top three-point 2 shooters, skills challenge competitors and dunkers on an all-expenses paid trip to compete for a national title at NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto. The regional challenges will be held at local universities and tie into each school’s basketball games.

In addition, ambassadors from Samsung Canada will be onsite at each event to provide fans and participants with the ability to personalize their own videos from the events with footage from NBA All-Star 2015.

NBA All-Star 2016 will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball. Toronto also hosted the first game in NBA history on Nov. 1, 1946 at Maple Leaf Gardens. NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto is the first NBA All-Star to be held outside of the United States.

For more information on the nationwide NBA All-Star 2016 programming and to learn about the events in each market, visit www.nba.com/allstarevents. Fans can follow @NBACanada on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and unique content.


  • Thursday, January 7 – 6:30-7:30pm Jr. Clinic at Shawnessy YMCA – 400 333 Shawville Blvd SE
  • Friday, January 8 – 530pm-8pm (Clinic 6-645pm & 7-745pm)
    BMO All-Star Kidsfest on Friday Night at Saddletowne YMCA – 7555 Falconridge Blvd.  NE
  • Sunday, January 10 – 10:30-11:30am  Jr. Clinic at Crowfoot YMCA – 8100 John Laurie Blvd N.W

Thursday, Nov. 19 – Sunday, Nov. 22 – Winnipeg, MB
Thursday, Nov. 19 – Sunday, Nov. 22 – St. John’s, NL
Thursday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, Nov. 29 – Toronto, ON
Thursday, Nov. 26 –Sunday, Nov. 29 – Fredericton, NB
Thursday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec. 6 – Regina, SK
Thursday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec. 6 – Montreal, QC
Thursday, Jan. 7 – Sunday, Jan. 10 – Calgary, AB
Thursday, Jan. 7 – Sunday, Jan. 10 – Charlottetown, PEI
Thursday, Jan. 14 – Sunday, Jan. 17 – Halifax, NS
Thursday, Jan. 14 – Sunday, Jan. 17 – Windsor, ON
Thursday, Jan. 21 – Sunday, Jan. 24 – Edmonton, AB
Thursday, Jan. 21 – Sunday, Jan. 24 – Vancouver, BC
Thursday, Jan. 28 – Sunday, Jan. 31 – Ottawa, ON
Thursday, Jan. 28 – Sunday, Jan. 31 – Sherbrooke, QC
Thursday, Feb. 4 – Sunday, Feb. 7 – Toronto, ON

About NBA All-Star 2016
NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto – the first All-Star to be held outside of the U.S. – will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 65th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game in the U.S. for the 14th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 31st year of All-Star coverage. The Air Canada Centre will also host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 12 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 13. Other events at NBA All-Star 2016 include the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire and the NBA Development League Dream Factory.


Contact for more information
Tiffany Fisher, NBA Canada, 416-680-2062 or TiFisher@nba.com

Helene Weir, President and CEO of YMCA Calgary named a WXN 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

YMCA Calgary’s top executive joins community of Canada’s most iconic women leaders

Calgary, Alberta (November 25, 2015) –– YMCA Calgary is pleased to announce Helene Weir, President and CEO, YMCA Calgary has been named a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner.

Launched in 2003, the Top 100 Awards celebrate the incredible accomplishments of Canada’s top female executive talent as well as their organizations and networks. Ms. Weir, who is included in WXN 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 will be honoured during a gala celebration at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on November 26.

Helene Weir joined the YMCA in 1983 and, in increasingly senior positions, has had a profound impact by helping our charity improve the lives of people in our community and fulfill a vision where every Calgarian can belong, grow, thrive and lead.

As a proud supporter of women in leadership, YMCA Calgary works to create the necessary conditions and opportunities for women like Ms. Weir to help them thrive and succeed within the not-for-profit community.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of Helene Weir and the team she leads,” said Narmin Ismail-Teja, Chair of the Board of YMCA Calgary. “In a time of profound growth and change for our organization, Helene lives out the YMCA values of honest, respect, responsibility and caring every day.”

The Top 100 Awards serve to recognize talented leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and to inspire the current and next generation to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

“For these highly accomplished women, receiving a Top 100 Award means much more than recognition or a chance to share the spotlight with other remarkable Winners, it’s an opportunity to pay it forward,” says WXN founder, Pamela Jeffery. “WXN Top 100 Award Winners are powerful women both in their careers and their potential to transcend boundaries to have a greater impact on the communities around them.”

Helene Weir joins a prestigious community of past Award Winners, including Canada’s most iconic women trailblazers: Margaret Atwood, best-selling author; Dr. Roberta Bondar, astronaut; Arlene Dickinson, former “Dragon” and chief executive officer, Venture Communications; Christine Magee, president, Sleep Country Canada; Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada; Heather

Reisman, founder and chief executive officer, Indigo Books & Music; and, Kathleen Taylor, chair of the board, Royal Bank of Canada.

The full list of WXN’s 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners can be found at www.wxnetwork.com/top-100/top-100-winners.

About Helene Weir

Helene Weir is in a rare group of female CEOs in the world-wide YMCA movement, currently active in over 120 countries. Ms. Weir is one of only 3 female CEOs among the largest YMCAs in Canada and is one of only 13 in the 70 largest YMCAs in North America. Under her leadership, YMCA Calgary is one of the leading voices in the country for preventative health through physical activity and wellness through community. A 2011 Women of Vision award winner here in Calgary, she also demonstrates a commitment to local community involvement through membership in the Rotary Club of Calgary which just celebrated its 100th anniversary in Calgary.

About YMCA Calgary

YMCA Calgary is a charity dedicated to building healthy communities. For over 113 years, YMCA Calgary has been committed to nurturing the potential of children, youth and families, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community.

About the Women’s Executive Network (WXN)

At WXN, we inspire smart women to lead. WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize our community of more than 19,500 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN enables our partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London, UK in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders.

More information and details are available at www.wxnetwork.com or www.top100women.ca.

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Helene Weir or WXN founder Pamela Jeffery, please contact:

Marion Morris
Harbinger Communications
416-960-5100 ext. 260



LINC Multi-Cultural Celebrations

South Collage 1Twice a year, YMCA Calgary LINC students come together to celebrate their cultures with a special Multi-Cultural Event. Recently, the South LINC classes held a beautiful cultural showcase in the lobby of the Shawnessy YMCA, and the North LINC classes took visitors on an exciting road trip around Canada at 1000 Voices in the Genesis Centre.

If you missed it, here are some highlights of these exciting events. Stay tuned for the next Multi-Cultural Event – we have them every May and November!


North LINC students worked together in groups representing each province and territory of Canada. During the event, students set up displays in their classrooms; each room was a different part of Canada. Everyone had a chance to visit each unique area of Canada, and learn about what makes it special. Of course, Alberta and Calgary got a little bit of extra attention! At each stop, students asked questions, collected stickers on a map, and had a chance to win Canada-themed prizes. By the end of the day, everyone had been to every province and territory!

North Collage 2

North Collage 1

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of Calgary, South LINC students worked together in groups representing dozens of countries from around the world. They showcased their cultures with traditional games, delicious food, beautiful clothing, and lots of music. The event was open to the public, so visitors of all ages from the Shawnessy community were able to experience the fun and excitement of the celebration.

Great job, LINC! What a fun and exciting day for everyone. I can’t wait for the next event!

South Collage 2 South Collage 3



YMAP goes to Camp Chief Hector YMCA

Written by Jillian Harbour, YMAP Director, Community YMCA.

The YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) had their annual trip to Camp Chief Hector YMCA. This year we traveled out to Kananaskis Country with an unprecedented 131 participants, 7 volunteers and 5 staff for a weekend filled with games, lots of laughs, new challenges and amazing people (and no snow!).

Between the always helpful Camp Chief Hector YMCA staff and the strong leadership Matt and Alisha provided the rest of the team, the weekend was a great success. My favourite moments of the weekend were the ever popular open mic night (I am always blown away by the amazing talents YMAP participants keep secret until camp!) and all the teamwork/encouragement I saw between the youth as they faced new and exciting challenges together.

This is often the first experience of its kind for the participants. These youth are new to Canada and seeing and experiencing the mountains and the Canadian outdoors for the first time.

YMAP CCH 2015 (2)

Getting Crafty!

Helping on the High Rope


Creative Writing with LINC

For the first few weeks of the winter semester, I worked with Neelam’s CLB 7 class on a special Creative Writing project. We had a blast! It was so much fun to tell our stories together and to find new ways to share our history through descriptive writing. We laughed, we cried, and we even got a little bit scared, thanks to some scary tales featuring crocodiles, spiders, leopards, and cockroaches! (Don’t worry, I will save those for Halloween!)

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some stories from my time with Neelam’s class on the YMCA blog. Today, I have two stories to share about the shock of Canadian winters. I think we can all relate to that! Happy reading and stay tuned for the next instalment of LINC Creative Writing.

My First Winter Experience in Canada – by Sabrina

I would like to share my first winter experience in Canada. I didn’t have any idea about how winter weather condition in Canada can quickly become dangerous, often with little or no warning. After my bitter situation, I came to know  that  Canadian winters are famous for being cold. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire city. It was the time of December 2012, my first year in Calgary. I was staying in Calgary alone with my two kids. Environment Canada forecast 30 c.m of snowfall expected during that day.  A powerful winter storm hit Calgary & its surrounding areas. At first I was enjoying the weather. Suddenly I felt that I need to buy milk for my little one, who was only two months of age. I decided to go to my neighbouring shop to buy it and come back. I was driving through the locality near my house and my driving speed was 20/25 km/h and I was in the middle lane. Strong winds, extreme cold, heavy snow and ice knocked down some trees on the sides of the road. While driving I came to know that storm has created many hazards, including automobile accidents on icy roads, and that made me feel helpless. Unexpectedly my car skid & it kept skidding until I hit the left curb. I tried to pull my car back but I failed to do so. At the same time my little son started to cry and my big son got scared.  After a while, one police car came and stopped behind my car. After hearing everything he helped me to move my car back to my house. That was a memorable day for me, how I was stuck up in the middle of the road. I have learned a lesson from this incident i.e when blizzard hits, stay indoors and wait it out unless it is emergency, and if I must go outside during cold weather I must wear layers of clothing with a wind resistant outer layer, warm socks, a hat and scarf and watch for wind-chill or extremely cold temperatures.

My First Month in Canada – by Torikun

My first month in Canada was chaotic.  I came to Canada on January 18th in Montreal. In winter time, Montreal has lots of snow. That day, the outside temperature was -23 degrees.

I came to Canada alone and it was my first plane journey. I was very confused in Heathrow, the London Airport. The airport is very big and it was complicated for me. I could not find my airplane’s gate. When I saw someone, I asked them and they helped me to find my airplane’s gate.  When I was on the plane from London to Montreal, I saw people put 3-4 pieces of ice in a glass of water and they were drinking. I was surprised. Because, the water was already cold but why they put ice? When my plane landed, it was already late. Then I was waiting at a different airplane’s luggage receiving place, because I did not know that different airplanes have a different luggage receiving place. When I did not find my luggage, then I asked a man and he said, “different airplane has a different place”. Then I looked another place and I found it.

My husband checked on the airplane’s website and it showed that the plane had landed almost 11/2 hours ago. But I did not come out from the airport. He thought that I missed my plane. After 2 hours, I came out from the airport. Then he picked me up. When we came out from the airport, snow was falling and I saw everything was white, trees had no leaves. He parked his car far away from the airport, because  my plane was late and the airport parking ticket is expensive. So, we rode an airport bus. Then, the bus stopped in a metro station. In Montreal, the train station is underground and it was also a new experience. I did not have a heavy winter jacket. My husband brought a jacket for me. But I was still very cold. My husband parked his car on opposite site of the train station. He took one luggage and he rolled it from the station to our car, but I took another luggage and I could not roll it because the snow was falling and it was hard work for me. I saw everyone was driving on opposite side and drivers also sat on opposite side of the car. Everyone followed the traffic rules. When the snow was gone, everything was clean (especially the roads, sidewalks etc.). My first month I found the differences between Canada and my country. When people were talking or asked me questions, I could not understand most of them. That’s why I went outside with my husband. I felt shy.

Cutting vegetables with a knife was also challenging. My husband taught me. Now, I can cut very well with a knife. Also I did not know most of the cooking recipes. But I wanted to eat that. So I called my mother and she gave me the recipe. At that time, my husband worked as a radio frequency engineer. Sometimes, he lived 4-5 days in Halifax, 2-3 days in Newfoundland and 6-7 days in Toronto. So, I lived alone in my home. I felt bored. I didn’t know Canadian culture, rules etc.

At that time, I had some bad experiences, but I had some good experiences that made me really happy. That’s why, I said my first month in Canada was chaotic.

Nominate an Outstanding Calgarian!


Peace is advanced through the everyday actions of ordinary men, women and children. Young or old, working alone or in groups, locally or abroad. These peace-builders know that even small acts of kindness, courage, and understanding make a meaningful contribution to a better community and a more compassionate world.

Nominations for 2014 Peace Medals Recipients are now open.

We are now accepting nominations for our 2014 Peace Medals recipients. The recipients will be honoured at the 2014 Peace Medals event happening on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, during YMCA Peace Week. YMCA Peace Medal nomination is a great way to honour someone for their dedication to peace. Your nomination also helps create awareness about community needs and inspires others to get involved.

Help us celebrate and honour outstanding Calgarians.

The nomination categories are:

  • Community Peace Initiatives by an Individual
  • Community Peace Initiatives by a Group
  • Community Peace Initiatives by a Youth
  • International Peace Initiatives by an Individual
  • International Peace Initiatives by a Group
  • International Peace Initiatives by a Youth
  • Humanitarian Peace Initiative
  • YMCA Calgary Staff Peace Initiative


Download the Nomination Form


More Information

  • Contact Selena Gignac, International and Community Outreach Manager at 403-899-4047 or sgignac@calgary.ymca.ca for more details.

YMCA Peace Week

Undercover Boss Canada Featuring YMCA – Full Episode!

Did you miss last night’s episode of Undercover Boss Canada featuring Canadian YMCAs, including our very own Eau Claire YMCA?

Scott Haldane, President and CEO of YMCA Canada went undercover at 4 locations in 3 YMCA Member Association in Canada. As registered charities themselves, each YMCA Member Association has a CEO but they are known well and easily recognized within their own Association. An opportunity was created to have Scott go undercover and learn on behalf of local Member Association CEOs and the broader Canadian YMCA Federation.

The full episode is now available online! Click play below:

Undercover Boss Canada Featuring YMCA – Full Episode!

Did you miss last night’s episode of Undercover Boss Canada featuring Canadian YMCAs, including our very own Eau Claire YMCA?

Scott Haldane, President and CEO of YMCA Canada went undercover at 4 locations in 3 YMCA Member Association in Canada. As registered charities themselves, each YMCA Member Association has a CEO but they are known well and easily recognized within their own Association. An opportunity was created to have Scott go undercover and learn on behalf of local Member Association CEOs and the broader Canadian YMCA Federation.

The full episode is now available online! Click play below:

YMCA featured on Undercover Boss Canada TONIGHT!

Don’t forget to tune in tonight at 7PM to watch Canadian YMCAs, including Eau Claire YMCA in Calgary, featured in season 4 of the successful TV show Undercover Boss Canada, one of the W Network’s top rated series. The show follows executives as they leave the comfort of their offices to go undercover as employees on the frontline. Be sure to check out Scott Haldane, YMCA Canada’s President and CEO, as he goes undercover at Ys across the country!

Scott Haldane, President and CEO of YMCA Canada went undercover at 4 locations in 3 YMCA Member Association in Canada. As registered charities themselves, each YMCA Member Association has a CEO but they are known well and easily recognized within their own Association. An opportunity was created to have Scott go undercover and learn on behalf of local Member Association CEOs and the broader Canadian YMCA Federation.

The episode featuring the YMCA will be broadcast tonight at 7PM on the W Network! Be sure to watch!

View the Teaser Video: