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Your students can experience energy first hand in their class by pedal powering electricity. Learn from a hands-on session about forms of energy and transformations, and experience the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy! Here's the description for elementary, junior and senior high school students:

 

 

 

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Students learn how to answer the questions; What are some different kinds of energy? How is electrical energy unique? What are the sources of electricity? How much physical exertion is needed to provide electricity for a cell phone as compared to hairdryer? What are ways to conserve electricity? How does electricity production affect climate change? How do choices between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources affect consumption and pollution? How do transportation choices affect energy consumption?

Click Here to Book Your Class Session

Elbow Valley Cycle Club is a membership program for passionate bikers. The program runs January 1 to December 31st. if you are interested in experiencing the program before becoming a member they allow one day trip that you can tag along on! I interviewed Don from Elbow Valley Cycle Club and he gave Open Streets the low down on their club and membership programs!


What made you so passionate about building a better bike community in Calgary?

 

Don:

  • Safety: more cyclists makes all cyclists safer on the road--motorists learn to expect to see cyclists
  • Opportunity: when we started the EVCC in '83, no one else was offering low cost easily accessible recreational cycling opportunities in Calgary
  • After a cycle across Canada, we realized that Calgary was surrounded by and contained superb cycling facilities
What has been your favourite trip/ event through the Elbow Valley Cycle Club? 
Don: I'm partial to the biannual Tulip Tour, however the member's undeniable favourite is the  annual Golden Triangle tour over the 3 day May long  weekend.   The GT attracts 350-400 cyclists annually and is entirely volunteer run

What do you think that the city of Calgary could do to improve the biking community? 

Don:

  • As a corporate entity, the City of Calgary is doing a good job of making Calgary a "bike friendly" community. The staff are excellent: well trained and dedicated.  Sufficient funds are available to realize the bike related projects that they envision.  There is adequate engagement.
  • The cycling community needs to learn how to best give the administration and politicians the support they need.  This means in part attending public engagement sessions and public meetings to discuss the projects.  There are a lot of projects and associated public engagement and it is easy to loose track.
What does the membership fees help pay for? 

The annual membership dues pay for:

  • Monthly socials (venue and refreshments),
  • Club insurance,
  • A telephone answering service,
  • A secure website with the ability to handle financial transactions,
  • Executive committee meetings,
  • Mapping software subscriptions,
  • Recognition for event coordinators
What kind of commitment is it to be a member? 
  • Other than paying their annual dues, there is no commitment requested from members
  • We have a number of expectations of members who attend rides:
    • wear an approved helmet
    • follow our group riding guidelines
    • show up early enough to get their affairs in order before a ride
    • not to leave a ride prematurely without telling another rider
    • come prepared and be relatively self sufficient (carry rain gear, flat tire repair items etc.)

Fun Fact: There is actually no physical location for Elbow Cycle Club; they create meeting places for club encounters!
for more information please look at their website https://www.elbowvalleycc.org/

 

 

(Right to Left) Ali, Quinn and Gwen

Good Life Bikes has an incredible atmosphere with social justice in mind! The idea behind Good Life Bikes is to be an open space for all people to feel comfortable and have a special place to talk and learn about bikes! They have an amazing weekly program that is Called G.E.M which stands for gender empowerment mechanics! This event runs every Wednesday and is exclusive to woman, transgender, non-binary and other marginalized individuals; that want to learn more about mechanics! Open Streets got the pleasure of interviewing three amazing "Greasers" Ali, Quinn and Gwen to learn more about G.E.M and the other amazing aspects about Good Life.

Why do you think it is important to bring more women and other marginalized individuals into the bike mechanics world?

Quinn: Gender inequality in the profession; and making marginalized individuals to have more safe places in the community.

Gwen: my biggest thing is that I would like to help change the societal standards. I would like jobs to not be seen as blue or pink collared jobs.

Ali: We would like to prove that cisgendered males are not the only ones capable of being mechanics.

for anyone who does not know cisgendered means that the gender you are born with is the gender that you identify with 

What has been the most inspiring part of your job?

Quinn: G.e.m for sure and having the ability to teach.

Gwen: Having clients come in and they think they wont be able to do do it. I also love that its safer, because people know their bikes more.

Ali: Helping people and helping people feel included in the bike community when they did not think it would be for them.

What do you think the city of Calgary could do to improve the biking community?

Quinn: its way more environmentally friendly, I think the city needs to realize it.

Gwen: they could defiantly make more improvements so pathways are most accessible from outside the downtown core.

Ali: Calgary has not put into perspective that the city needs green initiatives; especially recycling bike parts. I have done my research there is not a place in Calgary that recycles bike parts like we do!

Good Life Bikes store!

Fun Fact: Good life Bikes is the bike mechanics shop in Calgary that has mostly female employees. On top of that it is not just a bike shop they also host lots of concerts and other events!

 

For more information go to their website: http://www.goodlifebikes.ca/

Open Streets has started conducting interviews of our collaborators and the amazing work that they do! This is so our readers get to learn about  more exciting programs in Calgary! This new series is called Bike Warriors! Two Wheel View is a bike mechanics shop that sells used bikes that has AMAZING programs including Earn-a-Bike which is an after school program for children to learn bike mechanics! Open Streets got the honour of interviewing Laura and Rick, and some of the other amazing staff! (Neil, Luke and Bernie)


Interview Questions!

Why do you think it is important to bring more children into the bike mechanics world?

Rick: Bike mechanics teaches life skills, problem solving and builds confidence. It's not so much about the bikes, it's more about empowering kids build resiliency, and promote healthy lifestyles while giving them more freedoms.

Laura: It helps to build quick success that some kids might not find elsewhere. We have had success stories of past clients. One client still uses his earn-a-bike bike to cycle all around the world. He started from a rough part in Calgary but he figured out his potential and  sought out opportunities.

What do you think the City of Calgary could do to improve the biking community? 

Rick: connect the cycle tracks throughout Calgary. I would also like to see more advocacy for the biking community along with adding more questions about cyclist laws in the drivers licence test.

Laura: Access to more of the outskirts of Calgary, living really far south of Calgary there is not a bike path.

Would you like to see Calgary Have a similar transportation model as countries like Holland? Having the majority of people biking as their main source of transportation and do you think that this is possible? 

Rick: I do not think it is really possible. I do think it is important to get people aware of alternative transportation options, and getting more people involved in the bike community.

Laura: We would need people to appreciate the community that biking brings.

What would your advice be for making winter biking safer or any tips to get people more interested in winter biking!?

Laura: Making sure you have lots of layers!

Rick: single speed, no gears and using studded tires (see Diana's comment to see what these are) I even have a whole different bike specifically for the winter time!

Diana (Open Streets Practicum student): I did not know this but much like a car bikes have "studded tires" that are made for bikes to grip the ice, thus making winter biking safe!

What has made you so passionate about building a better bike community?

Neil: Teaching accountability and watching kids grow from starting the program to the end of the program!

Favourite Biking spot in Calgary, Alberta and in general? 

Neil: any mountain in Kananaskis

Luke: Moose Mountain

Bernie: Mt. Fromme in Vancouver!

Fun Fact: if you want to get rid of rust on your bike put coca-cola on the spot and rub it off with aluminum foil


Please visit their website http://www.twowheelview.org/ for more information about the organization!

To the Ends of the Earth

by Chase Friesen

Backed by the Parkland Institute, David Lavallee’s, To the Ends of the Earth, highlights the world’s reliance on unpredictable, and busting energy systems. Although the use of oil and gas is global, the basis of Lavallee’s film was focused mainly on Canadian production.

Our Dependency vs. New Energy

As noted in Lavallee’s film, Canada has the second biggest oil reserve in the world. Therefore, the flow of our economy is increasingly dependent on the flow of oil. Although there is a long way to come until our dependency on oil is minimalistic, there are things we as individuals can do to help expedite the process. There are also small business and non-for-profit organizations in Canada that support sustainable energy and the communities that face the swings of the fossil fuel economy.

The Arusha Centre

One example of a local organization is the Arusha Centre. The Arusha Centre values the importance of a local economy with a complementary currency system, Calgary Dollars. This monetary system boosts the local economy through the exchange of community members’ goods and skills and with local businesses rather than relying on unpredictable global markets. As a result of the crashing oil market, many individuals working in the industry lost their jobs. According to Johnson, of CBC News, from “December 2014 until April 2016, 3,853 jobs were lost in Alberta in oil and gas extraction and a further 29,196 in lost jobs that support energy and mining extraction” (2016). As a result of this loss of income, many individuals find it hard to apply their skills to other jobs or careers. However, one of our goals at the Arusha Centre, through Calgary Dollars, is to help individuals view their skills and interests as applicable opportunities to benefit themselves and their community. As for alternative energy, the Arusha Centre has created a project called Open Streets. Open Streets is a project based on energy conservation and sustainable energy education. Gerald Wheatley a manager at the Arusha Centre, demonstrated pedal powered live music at the January 25th Calgary premiere of To the Ends of the Earth at Plaza Theatre and talked about the importance of electricity conservation in Calgary.

The Arusha Centre's Open Streets program uses bike generators to educate about electricity in Alberta while powering live performances, speakers, and video projection

Watch the Film:

Sign up for an e-newsletter to find out when screenings and copies of To the Ends of the Earth become available to you.

http://endsofearthfilm.com/contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnson T., (2016, July 6). CBC News. Just how many jobs have been cut in the oil patch? Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/oil-patch-layoffs-how-many-1.3665250

To the Ends of the Earth, (2016). Retrieved from http://endsofearthfilm.com/

Arusha Centre: Communities Taking Action, (2017). Retrieved from http://arusha.org/

Calgary Dollars, (2016). Retrieved from http://calgarydollars.ca/

Open Streets Calgary, (2016). Retrieved from http://www.openstreetscalgary.com/

To release tension of mid-term school deadlines, University of Calgary Bike Share team hosted a de-stress event to promote a healthy lifestyle for students during exams. Held at "That Empty Space" on campus the Monday after reading week, the students were intrigued and drawn in by OpenStreets pedal powered electricity generating bikes, mini bike obstacle course, and free coffee. Nicole Rebustillo, a cycle enthusiast and member of The Bike Share committee, was excited for the event "this (event) is meant to be fun, to promote physical health and a positive community at the same time".

University of Calgary Bike Share was a successful applicant of the Take Action Grants. TAG is a small grants program of the Arusha Centre that promotes social or environmental ideas to move forward within the community. Awarded 1000 CalgaryDollars and $1000 federal dollars, the Bike Share committee agreed on using the CalgaryDollars to rent the OpenStreet gear to promote their initiative of accessible and affordable bike rentals for all University of Calgary students and staff. The remaining federal dollars are intended to purchase another bike to add to the collection of eight that they already have.

President of the University of Calgary Bike Share, Niko Casuncad, is extremely optimistic for the program. Nikos vision for future events and an idea that was circulating during the event was to build more of a community by hosting "group ride" events in the summertime along Calgary's Cycle Track Network.

The University of Calgary's Bike Share event is a perfect example of how TAG (Take Action Grants) is inspiring and connecting communities to gather together. For more information about U of Calgary's Bike Share Program, check out @UofCBikeShare or email uofcbikeshare@gmail.com. www.uofcbikeshare.com

"Bristol Pound sticks to people, builds community connections and works for people not banks to create fairer, stronger, happier local economy" (Bristol Pound)

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My personal experience of the Bristol Pound- by Lauren Ray (a Bristolian now using Calgary Dollars)

Bristol seems to take great pride in being independent and alternative, so the city welcomed a community currency with much enthusiasm when it was launched back in 2012. The Bristol Pound offered us with a refreshing economic alternative that was sorely needed in the aftermath of the 2008 banking collapse. Today, the Bristol Pound is the largest local currency system in the UK and represents to many of us the value of independent business, local consumerism and the spirit of community.

From the very beginning local people was encouraged to get involved with the Bristol Pound project, with many entering a competition to design the banknotes. This added to the anticipation of the new currency when the winning entries were revealed showing beautiful illustrations of iconic Bristol landmarks.

For many, the main attraction of the Bristol Pound is that it helps to keep money in Bristol. According to the founders, before the alternative currency was introduced 80% of the money spent in Bristol would typically leave the city, swallowed up by large international businesses and remote shareholders. Instead, by using the Bristol Pound money is retained in the local economy which stimulates growth and boosts local business for the benefit of our community. It also encourages businesses to source stock from suppliers in the Bristol area, helping to create local employment opportunities and reduce carbon emissions for greener trading. Knowing where and how your money is being spent and thus having greater economic transparency was hugely appealing for many people dealing with the fallout of the financial crash, and remains a huge incentive for many of us today.

Keeping businesses local and independent is also really important for many Bristolians. This is particularly evident in Stokes Croft, a fiercely independent and alternative area of Bristol, where for months and months residents protested (alas unsuccessfully) against the multinational corporation Tesco from opening another store. Many of the local consumers and businesses in this part of the city embraced the Bristol Pound, eager to demonstrate the rebellious nature of the area.

Following extensive advertising and local support over 800 businesses now accept the Bristol Pound. On a regular day I can buy my coffee and lunch in any number of cafes, pubs and restaurants around the city, and use Bristol Pounds at the cinema, museums, theatres and even to enter the cathedral. With the support of the Bristol Credit Union, money can be taken out from cashpoints or deposited, as well as used electronically which makes the currency much more convenient.

Unfortunately, one of my main concerns with the Bristol Pound is that its users are not representative of the wider community. Indeed, many of the areas that promote and accept the Bristol Pound are predominantly the affluent middle class areas of Bristol. There remain large parts of Bristol where the Bristol Pound is not accepted or even heard of, meaning those residents have far fewer opportunities to spend the Bristol Pound if at all. Clearly, many in Bristol do not have the privilege that allows them to afford the more expensive locally sourced organic produce.

That said, the currency may be more accessible for some following the decision by Bristol City Council to get on board. As a result of their involvement all of the community leisure centres across Bristol now accept the Bristol Pound and even our local taxes can be paid in the currency. In recent months we are now able to buy bus tickets and can even use Bristol Pounds at the train station. Arguably, one of the biggest endorsements for the currency came when the Mayor of Bristol agreed to take his entire salary in Bristol Pounds.

Evidently, the Bristol Pound is taking Bristol by storm. By using it we are proudly regaining control of our local economy and embracing the sense of community it brings to the city.

 

 

2016 has been the best year ever for the promotion of cycling. “Generally speaking we do see biking as an increased mode of transportation to Stampede Park,” said Stampede spokeswoman Jennifer Booth. “It’s a great green way to travel to the park.”

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Bill Gray, President and Chair of the Board of the Calgary Stampede, shows how easy it is to ride to the Stampede Bike Valet.
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Richard Stone, Stampede Innovation, demonstrates how to pedal power the charging station and bubblemaker at one of the three Stampede Bike Valet locations.

Bicycles were officially welcomed into the Stampede Parade in 2014 and the 2016 Bicycle Rodeo featured kids bicycle barrel racing, bike clowns, and BMX stunt riding along with a pedal powered sound system from Open Streets. Highlights included a bike trailer leaving a trail of bubbles, a full size penny farthing rider going no-hands, bike made out of wood from shipping pallets, and hundreds of parade spectators singing along to the (adjusted) lyrics "Save a Horse, Ride a Bicycle"

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Kim Nelson of Bike Calgary shares bike trailer bubbles with the parade crowd.
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Bike Rodeo clown Laura gets wacky as stunt rides perform
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Bicycle barrel racing with a pennyfarthing!
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Pedal powered MC Gerald Wheatley announces the kids bicycle barrel racing
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Mike Jones of Open Streets show off his Landry Woodworks pallet wood bike with daughters Sarika and Naili.

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With both in-kind and financial support from Mountain Equipment Coop and First Calgary Financial, Open Streets is excited to be at over 50 events in 2016 including the City of Calgary Canada Day on July 1, the Kensington Slide the City July 31, and the Tour of Alberta cycle race in September. @MEC_Calgary and @FirstCalgary are helping make it happen!

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Combining world-class cyclists with bike education at the Tour of Alberta is a match made in heaven!
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To beat the summer heat, Slide the City and Telus have teamed up with Open streets for pedal powered bubblemakers and soundsystems July 31
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Pedal powered projection of first-person video is an educational thrill and at many events along with bike skills and blender drinks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wrap up and last session of We Are Cities Day was held on October 26th at Community Wise Building.

Arusha has completed the role as Alberta Convener for We Are Cities including hosting five Alberta roundtables with 100 participants that contributed dozens of ideas to the process. Here are the top three:
1) Creating more multi-purpose hubs in Calgary's inner city
2) Empowering the City of Calgary to have more revenue generation options
3) Investing in diversifying Calgary's economy.

Check out the We Are Cities Roundtable Recap

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