In early 2021, Loft 112, a creative community space in the East Village, was invited to work with international students through the University of Calgary. Loft 112 asked the students to help them solve a problem of how they could extend their reach into Calgary and meet new people in various parts of the city. Students came up with the Cards for Community project.
The project invited Calgarians to invite others into their neighbourhoods by way of a postcard. The postcards could visually tell a story about the neighbourhood. Participants could also share about their neighbourhood through a poem, recipe, or song, or they could share where they walk their dog, through a business, or anything else that welcomed someone into their neighbourhood and told them why it was an important place for them.
The student team then handed the project over to Lisa Murphy Lamb, Director of Loft 112, and Stacey Walyuchow, Manager of Opportunities at Loft 112, and the duo went to work to invite Calgarians to participate. In September 2021, they sent 800 postcard invitations into the community and launched a social media campaign. Says Lisa, “Our goal was to get a postcard for every neighbourhood in Calgary. We really wanted to get all 217 neighbourhoods. So the scope was huge. We got postcards from 120 neighbourhoods.”
And one of those postcards was submitted by Bowness resident, Sophie Stocking. Sophie has known Lisa for a few years now, and is often inspired by her projects. And Sophie immediately jumped on the opportunity to submit a card related to Bowness. Sophie says, “I hope people in Bowness get a sense of pride from it. I think we’re quite unique with the amount of nature and history we have. Bowness is really gritty and real, and unique in Calgary, and we should be proud of it.”
Lisa says, “Sophie’s postcard talks about the [train] bridge and the past and the present, and the lifelong activity of jumping from the bridge and escaping trains. Hers is a beautiful card and it talks about Bowness in a very poetic and visually stunning way.”
So beautiful a submission that Sophie’s card was selected as one of 23 winning postcards to be printed and distributed. Lisa says, “We’ve created a map of where these postcards are, and we’re encouraging people to have an adventure and go and pick up and collect all 23 winning cards. While they’re in the different neighbourhoods there is also a list on the card of must-sees to visit.”
Aside from a physical postcard, what is the intended takeaway from the project? Lisa says, “We want everyone to take away what they can, but we want them to see the city in perhaps a different way, and in perhaps a more personal way.”
The over 200 postcard submissions are now hung up for viewing in The Landing at the BCA (7904 43 Ave. N.W.) until the end of May. Join us on Saturday, April 23 from 6-8pm in The Landing for the official launch. to view the installation, and you can pick up a copy of Sophie’s winning postcard for yourself (while supplies last).
For the map to the other 22 winning postcard designs, visit: https://www.loft112.org/cards-for-community