Ward 9

Gian-Carlo Carra (Incumbent)

Website: carra4ward9.ca

Facebook: @GCCarra

Twitter: @GCCarra

Q. Which Library do you use most?

A.  Central Library (now that the Glenmore Square branch has moved out of ward and the Forest Lawn branch is not yet in Ward 9)

Q. In your view, how does Calgary Public Library strengthen your ward?

A. All my work is based on the understanding that Great Neighbourhoods make a great city. Neighbourhoods are the nexus of people and place. The people of our neighbourhoods are the residents who live there, the business people who work there, and the institutional actors that serve our needs and connect our neighbourhoods to the broader, non-geographical communities of our City–the schools, the faith and cultural communities, the special service providers, and our libraries.

While our amazing Calgary Public Library serves Calgarians at a much larger scale than at the neighbourhood level, the positive impact on the communities that are lucky enough to be home to a library branch is undeniable: the loss of Ogden’s library to Quarry Park is keenly felt in that community; and the positive role the Forest Lawn branch has played in the communities of Greater Forest Lawn–as a champion of literacy, as a centre for community organization, as a “third place” for our City’s most diverse neighbourhoods–is undeniable.

My dream for the Calgary Public Library, as our city-building, neighbourhood-enhancing mission following the delivery of our beautiful new Central Library, would be the introduction of mini-branches throughout the neighbourhoods of Ward 9 and the rest of Calgary; opening onto the plazas by the stations of the GreenLine, embedded in the mixed-use programs of our next-generation community association halls and neighbourhood schools, and taking up small shopfronts along our main streets.

I believe, ideally, that schools are the heart of Great Neighbourhoods; main streets are the backbones of Great Neighbourhoods; churches and temples are the souls of Great Neighbourhoods; and libraries are the wisdom of Great Neighbourhoods.

Q. What is your earliest library memory, or, tell us about an experience you’ve had at Calgary Public Library that made a positive difference to you.

A.  My earliest memory of a public library was the branch two blocks from the apartment I grew up in on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In the fourth grade a group of friends of mine, both boys and girls from very diverse backgrounds, would meet there weekly to learn to play Dungeons and Dragons together. This memory is infused with the love of learning, the welcoming nature of public space, and the importance of collaboration and fellowship that both shapes my approach to life, as well as my most basic sense of why libraries are critical to Great Neighbourhoods.

Q. What is your favourite program or resource at Calgary Public Library?  

A. Three programs come to mind: First, the early literacy programs that bring together parents and their toddlers to instill a love of reading together early–my son and I learned to love to read together at the Glenmore Square branch in Ogden when he was tiny. Second, the opportunities I’ve had to meet with neighbours around community building exercises hosted at both the Glenmore Square and Forest Lawn branches–discussing the challenges and opportunities facing our communities and plotting a best-possible future together are amongst the most important things a community can do together. Finally, the big public lectures at the Dutton Theatre from some of the brightest minds alive today in the project of City and Community building –Peter Calthorpe, Jan Gehl, Jeff Speck and Jared Walker, to name a few.

Q. What are you reading now? What’s one book you would recommend others read, and why?

A. Right now, I’m reading Danny Meyer’s Ten Restaurants that Changed America, a fascinating exploration into what and how we eat says so much about who we are. On deck, I have Robert Kanigel’s 2016 Eyes on the Street: the Life of Jane Jacobs which is a great segue into which book I recommend others read: Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The Death and Life is one of the seminal works of modern urban design. It remains an amazingly insightful exploration of the human habitat that is the Great Neighbourhood, and is a testament to the power that an informed and inquisitive citizenry can have on shaping the future of their neighbourhoods and their city.

Q. What musical instrument would you be most likely to borrow from our musical instrument lending library, and why? (We have banjos, drums, guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, violas, violins, and xylophones.)

A. I don’t play an instrument myself but I have many musicians in my family and my son is showing a love for music that leads me to believe that he too will gravitate towards playing something as he grows. I value the resource of a musical instrument lending library because it helps families balance encouraging our children to explore their passions with the realities challenging resourcing those passions.

Omar M'keyo

Website: n/a

Facebook: @omkeyo

Twitter: @odjalala 

Instagram: n/a

Q. Which Library do you use most?

A.  Forest Lawn Library

Q. In your view, how does Calgary Public Library strengthen your ward?

A. Libraries play a very important social role in modern world, especially when it comes to low and poor income neighborhoods like SE communities in Calgary. It provides the necessary services and programs critical to the local economic wellbeing. Libraries provide safe, friendly public spaces, a welcoming place for anyone who wants to access the services. The access to free internet allows anyone to access thousand of materials online for free. Work search, resume printing etc…are important services that are vital to human development.

Public library allowed me to acquire information and training necessary that made me secure employment and became a contributing member of my community.

Q. What is your earliest library memory, or, tell us about an experience you’ve had at Calgary Public Library that made a positive difference to you.

A. I was born in a moderate city in the Republic Democratic of Congo where national library system was none existent or in some cases poorly funded. My first encounter with a really library was with a United Nations funded library in a third country. The resources available allowed me to learn ESL that prepared me to write IELTS exam. Once I passed the IELTS I got a scholarship to attend University of Thompson Rivers in Kamloops B.C where I graduated with a Bachelor degree in economics and political science.

My love with libraries pushed me to start a project to build free libraries overseas. I started raising money that allowed me to start building infrastructures meant to house library resources, such as books. The goal is to give the same opportunity to those who don’t have access to books and many services that comes with a library system. Today I have entered into contact with organizations that are ready to donate and ship books and other resources overseas.   

Q. What is your favourite program or resource at Calgary Public Library?  

A. There are many programs I love at Calgary Public Library, such as Brainfuse, Beanstack and Solaro where kids has access to online tutoring, exam prep and good reading recommendations. However, I still believe that we can do more on these programs making sure that no child is left behind, especially children from poor and new immigrant households. 

Q. What are you reading now? What’s one book you would recommend others read, and why?

A. I am currently re-reading the Works of John Locke. A friend suggested to me that I should read a book by Henderson, James Youngblood: Indigenous Diplomacy and the Rights of Peoples. I recommend others to have a look at this book. I plan to read it soon. You can get this book from Calgary Public Library.

Q. What musical instrument would you be most likely to borrow from our musical instrument lending library, and why? (We have banjos, drums, guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, violas, violins, and xylophones.)

A. I am not good at drumming, in fact I am terrible at it, but I like to drum. In the ancient African cultures and traditions drum carried lots of meaning.

Drum was a kind of first form of communication gadget, such as telephones today. It was used to inform people about what is going in the village. Tribes would use drum to communicate with other tribes miles away. It was also used to inform the people on meetings in the village or dangers facing the village. Today, drum is used to bring people together to celebrate rituals, births, weddings, and many more. Drum carries a sense of peace and harmony.

Can I say the same about Calgary public library? Yes.

Cesar Saavedra 

Websitecesarforward9.com

Facebook: @CesarforWard9

Twitter: @cesarforward9

Instagram: @CesarforWard9

Q. Which Library do you use most?

A.  Central Library

Q. In your view, how does Calgary Public Library strengthen your ward?

A. I strongly believe that the Calgary Public Library strengths my ward by being a beacon of knowledge and guidance, whether this is directly acknowledged by residents that use the library on a regular basis or by commuters who pass it by, a library leaves a reassuring impression. It reminds people that there is a source material being used by some and available to others, just as ancient cities had temples of discourse and lectures, the library is a symbol of the opportunity to seek that which can make us better, whether we are young or a bit older.

In addition to this I find that the library is a catalyst for engaging residents in developing their cognitive skills and critical thinking. To take advantage of a varied set of programs and activities that can in the end bring the community together and make connections with others, for us in Ward 9 that have many ethnicities and different cultures I believe that it is paramount to foment integration and confidence in establishing positive interactions among us.

Q. What is your earliest library memory, or, tell us about an experience you’ve had at Calgary Public Library that made a positive difference to you.

A. One of the earliest and fondest library memory was in Montreal, there was a public library just outside of my elementary school and I discovered the Tintin comic series. I used to get lost in the stories and looked forward to reading their next adventure, I enjoyed captain Haddock the most, now that I’m grown up (or so I think) I have started to collect the series. I think that I was decently proficient in my grammar due to reading often when growing up.

One of the things that I can say was a positive experience was the simple fact that I found I could find books in the library for free that I would usually buy in expensive bookstores. People should visit the library more often, one never knows what can be found, and it can awake our interests in an array of themes, it’s just a good feeling when one finds a book that appeals to them.

Q. What is your favourite program or resource at Calgary Public Library?  

A. I have to say that my favorite resource so far are the meeting rooms, they easy to book online and there is a variety of sizes and styles across the city, personally I’m looking forward to booking the Idea Lab in the central library for a get together. I had begun a reading group (La Luciernaga) earlier this year to share my favorite literature and discover new ones, so the meeting rooms where perfect for it.

These rooms are perfect for students and to set up meetings for a start-up or hobby, they are free and well kept. I believe more spaces should be made available in communities that sometimes only have one Library to share, I think that the level of privacy is welcome by users to carry out a variety of projects and start creating, the Idea Lab comes to mind.

Q. What are you reading now? What’s one book you would recommend others read, and why?

A. I enjoy classic literature very much, especially those that have to do with political sciences (my University major) and anthropology, to study why we do the things that we do, and where we are heading as a society. Therefore, I’m always reading Plato and early philosophy, but I would have to recommend a book that I got the chance to rediscover this year, that is Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

This book is just ‘magical’, in the fantastic sense but also in the range of topics it deals with, from general politics to evolutionary science, all seamlessly written with humor and suspense. Written almost 300 years ago, it is as relevant as ever. We all know the first story more or less, usually portrayed as a children’s book, a man landing in a country of little people, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The remaining three adventures takes the protagonist on journeys of self-discovery and gut-wrenching conclusions. It is enjoyable, yet carries a powerful message.

Q. What musical instrument would you be most likely to borrow from our musical instrument lending library, and why? (We have banjos, drums, guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, violas, violins, and xylophones.)

A. I’m somewhat of a formal person at times, and enjoy a fairly bit of classical music, therefore I would go with the violin, I can only dream of maybe one day creating melodic and pleasantly haunting music, the kind that pulls on one’s ‘heartstrings’. I will dare to dream, why not, haha, thank you.

Trevor Buckler

Website: n/a

Facebook: n/a

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Cheryl Link 

Website: link4ward9.com

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Boss Madimba 

Website: n/a

Facebook: @Elect-Boss-Madimba-for-Councillor-Ward-9

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David Christopher Metcalfe

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