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With Gratitude Looking Back and Hope Looking Forward

When I look back over 2017 I am filled with gratitude for what has been accomplished by MACG.
  • We have grown as an alliance to 20 member organizations.
  • Numerous people have stepped up into leadership roles and are growing in these roles. Both of our issue teams are making steady progress.
  • Our senior's team is focusing on how seniors can access non-medical home supports to help them stay in their homes and communities - and they now have a plan for which they are building support.
  • Our reconciliation team is working towards the creation of an Indigenous gathering place and has been building a relationship with the Indigenous Gathering Place committee. Next steps include taking the request for land to city councillors.
  • Before the New Year many of our leaders and institutions took action to ask our government to increase our shared social safety net so that those of us who fall into hard times can continue to live until we get back on our feet.
What fills me with gratitude is that after being told again and again that this will never work, that bringing together Calgarians as a broad base, to work for the common good won't happen, all of you by your work and commitment are proving this wrong. By your actions you are showing that organizing the communities of Calgary to create a city that is just and compassionate is possible. This is the hope that carries me into 2018. This year will be an exciting year.
  • We are planning to have our official founding assembly.
  • We will build a culture that is transformative.
  • We will be moving into action and campaign mode.
  • We will be coming out with a new name.
I look forward to bringing this hope into reality with you.

The Beginning of Formal Engagement with Political Leaders

This past month we began our formal engagement with political leaders. On a beautiful wintry day our group of leaders went to City Hall to sit down with Councillor Evan Woolley. We took the time to learn about him - why he went into politics and what he want to accomplish. We talked with him about the issues we are working on. In this way, we began to build a public relationship with him. He gave us a commitment to work with us on both of our issues. It's also critical to recognize that in the process, our leaders gained something too. The learning that came from the meeting will help them continue to build constructive relationships with decision makers.


"If you want to make change, learn how to do it together and with impact"

"Engaging, Thought -provoking. Find like-minded people to go forward with the ideas passionate to me"

This was how two people described their experience at our first foundations for community organizing training of 2018, held at Ambrose University in January. In terms of both the diversity and the quality of people who gathered it was a great day. Now comes the important work of taking what people were learning and translating it into collective


Foundations of Community Organizing Workshop
(Formerly 9 hour Leadership in Public Life Institute)
Are you interested in working together for the common good? The Metro Alliance for the Common Good puts a priority on developing our members into effective community leaders. If you are interested in community organizing, if you are already a MACG member or if you are interested in exploring being a part of MACG, we invite you to our Foundations of Community Organizing Workshop (formerly our Leadership Institute). This training aims to develop leaders and members who understand and are able to practice the key skills of community organizing.

This workshop provides content based on the philosophy and practices developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) during its 70 years of community organizing experience.
The topics include:
  • What is community organizing and why use a community organizing approach
  • The organizing cycle
  • Relational meetings
  • Listening sessions
  • Problems vs. issues
  • Power over vs. power with
  • Negotiations and actions to obtain concrete and winnable outcomes.
This workshop is being offered as a part of a course at Ambrose University - Collaborative Leadership for Social Change. For this day long workshop we would like to invite community members and MACG members to join with students as they learn the foundations of community organizing.

Date/Time: Watch for nest date.
Location: Ambrose University 150 Ambrose Circle SW Room A2141
Cost: MACG member organization - Included in membership
Non-members - $50 (or pay as you are able)
We would ask that everyone contribute to cover the cost of lunch that day.
For information contact Ryan Andersen 403-993-712 or
To register visit:

Next Leaders' Lunch

Our Leaders' Lunches are gatherings of MACG leaders and people interested in MACG. Our next one will be a discussion about the values and the use of power.
Date: TBA
St. Stephen's Anglican Church,1121-14 Ave SW
To register visit:

Core Team Training

Core teams are one of the central elements of strong community organizing that we are beginning to develop in MACG. Core teams exist in individual member institutions. They connect the institution to the broad-based organization, engage the member organization in the work of the broader alliance, and use the practices of community organizing to strengthen the member organization either internally and/or in its work with its community.

Our goal is to have a core team in each of our member organizations. This goal is important because it is how we can strengthen you, our members, it is how the work of MACG can become meaningful to your community, and it will exponentially grow our ability to have an impact.

To achieve this, it is important that we develop and train our core team leaders, not just once but on an ongoing basis. We will host core team training 2-4 times a year. The aim will be to give each of you the skills and support you need to build a strong core team, to bring the core teams together, and to connect them to the work of MACG. This ongoing coaching will also demonstrate the impact that community organizing can have on your institution and community. Each training session will be about 2 hours long.

Next Date: Monday, March 5, 2018; 7 pm
Location: Knox United Church, 506 4 St SW. Calgary

Register at:

Please note that during December each of our teams chose not to have their regular meetings. Our regular meetings will begin again in January.

Seniors Team- February 8, 7:00 pm, Lutheran Church of Our Saviour 8831 Fairmount Dr. SE

Reconciliation Team - Wednesday, February 21, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church 1St and 16 Ave NW

MACG Board - Thursday, February 22, 8:30 - 9:30 am, Beth Tzedec Synagogue - 1325 Glenmore Trail SW

MACG Leadership Team- Thursday, February 22, 11:00 am, Beth Tzedec Synagogue - 1325 Glenmore Trail SW

Foundations of Community Organizing: January 20, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at Ambrose University

Reconciliation Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples

So what does reconciliation look like, here in Calgary? For us it looks like a team, led by Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders, who are working together to get land, currently controlled by the city, to be set aside for an Indigenous gathering place at Fort Calgary. It looks like a Roman Catholic leader and a traditional Indigenous spiritual leader working together to organize a sweat lodge. In the process the tides of hundreds of years of history have begun to turn in a new direction. Turning reconciliation from an idea into new relationships is what our reconciliation team is, not just talking about, but enacting. If you are interested in being a part of this team, come to a meeting!

Regular Meeting: Third Wednesday of the month from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church
1703 - 1 St. NW
Next Meeting: February 22

Supporting Seniors

The latest Statistics Canada census tells us that the number of seniors in the population is growing. Seniors face many questions: how and where they want to live as they age, how they'll stay connected to the community, how they'll maintain friendships if housing moves are needed, what sort of support will be available to them. . . A question we all confront is what will happen as all the baby boomers age, especially since we have barely begun to build the seniors housing that they will need. These are the questions that our seniors team have been wrestling with. What they have heard is that seniors want to stay in their homes. We are coming to understand that seniors are our elders and play an important role in keeping our communities vital. To allow them to stay in their homes, our city will need to connect them to supports, especially non-medical ones. What is the alternative? Supportive housing that is much more expensive for everyone and will rarely create diverse communities that are full of life. Our seniors team is now working on a plan that has already been piloted in Edmonton. If you are interested, you are welcome to come to a meeting.

Regular Meeting: 2nd Thursday of the month from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
8831 Fairmount Dr. SE
Next Meeting: February 8


Board of Directors

Regular meeting: 2nd Thursday of the month from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
1325 Glenmore Trail SW
Next Meeting: February 22

Leadership Team

Regular Meeting: 4th Thursday of the month from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Beth Tzedec Synagogue
1325 Glenmore Trail SW
Next Meeting:February 22


You can now donate money to support the educational work of MACG through the Industrial Areas Foundation Canada. This can be done through Canada Helps by clicking on the link below and selecting the MACG Calgary fund