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Suncor Energy Foundation invests in cross-cultural learning and connection programs at Calgary Public Library

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Public Library Foundation is delighted to announce a commitment by the Suncor Energy Foundation to support Indigenous programming and cross-cultural learning opportunities.

The $1.6 million donation will continue to support the Central Library’s goal of being an inclusive gathering place for all Calgarians. The funding will facilitate the hiring of two Indigenous program interns, roles that will focus on Indigenous engagement to ensure Library services can be designed to meet community needs. Funding will also support collaboration with external Indigenous-led researchers to develop appropriate forms of evaluation for Indigenous services. These meaningful additions to the Calgary Public Library’s Indigenous strategy will ensure that Indigenous community members are involved in decision-making and delivery of services is prioritized.

“In the White Goose Flying Report, Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee identifies the Calgary Public Library as uniquely positioned to provide accessible and barrier-free Indigenous inclusion and cross-cultural understanding, learning, and celebration,” says Alayna Many Guns, Indigenous Services Design Lead at the Calgary Public Library. “The Library is excited to work with Suncor Energy Foundation to better fulfil this role.”

Additional strategic priorities supported by this investment include Indigenous language resources including an online learning platform, Indigenous cultural initiatives such as a speaker and performance series, and a sustained focus on Indigenous Placemaking and art in libraries across the city.

The hub for this initiative is the Elders’ Guidance Circle space in the Central Library, which provides urban Indigenous peoples with access to Elders’ knowledge and guidance. The space will be formally named at a later date through a process established by Indigenous community members and leaders. Learnings from the Circle and feedback from the community will inspire and inform the expansion of Indigenous initiatives across the Calgary Public Library system.

“When we have spaces, places and tools to help us come together, celebrate, and learn about each other we can better appreciate the rich diversity that exists in our communities and that is a foundation for the strong and vibrant Calgary we’re all proud to call home,” says Eric Axford, Suncor Energy Foundation Board chair. “We see tremendous value in supporting the Calgary Public Library Indigenous programming and we are hopeful this space will be a special place to connect.”

The purpose of Indigenous Placemaking at the Calgary Public Library is to prioritize equity and inclusiveness by listening to, learning from, and building relationships with local Indigenous communities. These resources, spaces and events provide an open and safe place for Indigenous peoples to learn, share, and create; and for non-Indigenous Albertans to learn the diverse history and cultures of Treaty 7 Nations and Métis Nation Region 3.

On April 15, registration opens for free library programming celebrating Indigenous peoples throughout the month of June at calgarylibrary.ca. These programs mark Indigenous History Month, Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary, and the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

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About Add In–the campaign for Calgary’s Library

Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library, is the largest public campaign for a public library in Canadian history. The $350 million campaign will enhance and support a system of community libraries across Calgary and is inspired by the New Central Library, which opened its doors on November 1, 2018. To learn more about Add In and the Calgary Public Library’s vision to create the best public library in the world for Calgarians, visit addin.ca.

About the Calgary Public Library Foundation

The Calgary Public Library Foundation was created in 1999 to provide an opportunity for individuals, businesses and foundations to participate in building a library system for today and future generations. Its vision is to enable the citizens of Calgary to have the best public library in the world. Learn more about the Calgary Public Library Foundation by visiting addin.ca.

About the Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library, with 688,000+ members and 21 locations, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is currently the second largest library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America, with Calgarians borrowing more than 14.4 million physical and digital items and with 6.9 million in-person visits last year. The awe-inspiring 240,000 sq. ft. new Central Library – the newest gathering place for our city – opened on November 1, 2018.

Media Contacts:
Maegan Marshall
Communications Associate
Calgary Public Library Foundation
403.774.2543
maegan@addin.ca

Kelsey Marklund
Senior Account Executive
Edelman
403.817.0633
kelsey.marklund@edelman.com

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