Have you heard? People are saying amazing things about Vivo’s groundbreaking event.
“Wow! That was surreal, emotional, exciting, and beautifully orchestrated and delivered. Heartfelt congrats to all of you and the VIVO Board of Directors and the staff team. I am SO proud of your vision and tenacity to get this tremendous initiative launched! Yay! Exciting times….Cheers” Sue Scott, Founding Vivo CEO
As Vivo’s first CEO and General Manager from 2002 – 2016 Sue Scott knows how much we will all benefit from this expansion. Sue is now enjoying her retirement, but in 2004 when the doors opened at Vivo, she was there to see the excitement of the community who welcomed the recreation centre with much enthusiasm. The local population was much smaller back then, and yet the programs, classes and fitness centre already had waitlists.
The community hub that Vivo operates is the heart of north-central Calgary and it’s finally getting a BIG upgrade.
Vivo’s expansion Groundbreaking event, and All In for Community campaign launch, was held on a beautiful April morning at Vivo. The morning was sunny, calm, and warm for late April. Vivo was oddly quiet, however. Only a few members of the community, the construction team, and a limited number of Vivo staff were on site – this was not the big fanfare party we hoped for to celebrate this milestone.
Just like countless other events during the global pandemic, this celebration was an online virtual event. Normally Vivo events, parties, and celebrations are full of positive energy with sounds of laughter and the chatter of hundreds of people enjoying the personal connections we get at this community hub. Still, Vivo staff did not shy away from the challenge to make this groundbreaking event fun and engaging for everyone. They planned and brainstormed, and they never lost sight of the fact that this expansion is and will continue to be by the community, for the community.
The hard work came together beautifully with an energetic 40-minute show of how a community’s vision and dream can be realized. Over 220 people logged in to watch the livestream. They enjoyed seeing Sue Deyell as the MC who is a Vivo member, lives in the community, and is a radio morning-show host. People from all over the province loved seeing how she masterfully gave life and energy to the online production as the All In host.
Getting to this day, with shovels in the ground, has been a journey – a ten-year journey with countless hours of input from the community, designs and redesigns, and more consultations, and with unwavering community support to raise 90% of the funding for the massive $62 million project.
“Once complete, the expansion, renovation and existing spaces of Vivo will be 262,000 sq. ft. of inclusive, accessible and sustainable spaces where I know people of all cultures, ages and abilities will feel like they belong.” Cynthia Watson, Vivo’s current CEO.
Together with hundreds of other Calgarians, Dr. Josephine Tsang, a local community builder, tuned in to watch the livestreamed event on April 27. She was unsure if this celebration would have the same Vivo flare. After watching the production, she joyfully remarked: “The virtual groundbreaking event was well put together with the same level of excitement and warmth as I would have felt in-person otherwise. I know the Calgary community is ready to experience this center focusing on diversity and well-being!”
Viewers delighted in seeing community leaders, like Calgary Foundation, and government representatives enthusiastically participate in the event. MP Michelle Rempel, Premier Jason Kenny, and Ward 3 Councillor Joyti Gondek were among the many government representatives who sent in remarks. Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi who spoke at the event did not disappoint! His heartfelt and cheerful message of congratulations could be felt through computer screens across the city.
The action-packed day launched the All In for Community fundraising campaign to raise the remaining 10% of funds required to complete the project.
Many people from your community are already All In! This groundbreaking event showcased the world premiere of our All In community video to support the campaign, highlighting just a few members of north-central Calgary who are All In for Community.
Sue Scott is All In. Although she retired from Vivo in 2016, Sue still loves the sense of belonging she gets from Vivo.
It’s time for you to be All In, too. Check out how you can get involved on the All In website here.
Did you miss the event or want to re-live the excitement? You can watch the full recording here or watch the short, fun, and heartwarming recap here.