On January 3rd, 2023, members from the Optimist Club of Calgary, Dinner Optimist Club, and Airdrie Optimist Club attended the Curling Alberta Optimist U18 Curling Championship Opening Ceremonies at the Cochrane Curling Club. Hundreds of junior curlers, their coaches, and parents from across the province were in attendance and excited about participating. This Championship event is the culmination of a number of pre-qualifying tournaments held across Alberta over the last month. We are proud to have been able to partner with Curling Alberta to sponsor curling tournaments for youth under the age of 18 over the last 20 years.
On December 5th, 2022, our club hosted a Christmas Party for members, spouses/partners, and invited guests. It was a fantastic an evening of some great food, fellowship, food, and a chance to reconnect with other members and their partners in a social setting.
On November 30th, 2022, we hosted our annual 2022 Optimist Club of Calgary Festive Showcase fundraising event at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. This event gives local youth musicians and dancers the opportunity to perform the programs they have been working on to a live audience on a professional stage. Hosted by the Heebee-jeebees, the performing groups included the Calgary Stampede Showband, The Young Canadians, Stetson Show Band, the Calgary Round-Up Band, and several other performing groups. Just over 1,400 people were in attendance, including 80 immigrants we invited through our relationship with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. It was a fantastic night of entertainment, music, and singing for everyone who attended.
During our November 8th meeting, we were very fortunate to have Fariborz Birjandian (CEO of Calgary Catholic Immigration Society) speak about global immigration trends, why Canada needs more immigrants, and the role service clubs can play in assisting with the integration of newcomers into local communities. Finally, he spoke about how our club can attract immigrants who are looking for volunteer opportunities.
At our meeting, we were fortunate to have George Brookman (Business owner, Calgary Herald columnist, radio commentator, and Order of Canada recipient) give a presentation on a variety of topics, including the current state of our city, provincial and Canadian politics, and world affairs.
One of our favorite speakers, Lori Williams (Political Scientist, Professor at Mount Royal University, and TV Media Commentator) was back again speaking to our club about “Everything Politics”. This time, she gave a presentation about the upcoming UCP Nomination and provided a detailed breakdown of each nominee and their platform.
Last year’s summer barbecue for Optimist Club members and invited guests was such a success, we decided to hold it again on August 21st, 2022 McKenzie Lake Beach Club.
There was plenty of food and spirits to go around, and it was a fantastic chance to reconnect with everyone before the end of the summer.
Zone 6 Lieutenant Governor Marilyn Bushell inducted a number of new members to our club, and President Bill Campbell handed out a number of Member Appreciation Awards to several members who provided a significant contribution over this past year.
Our Optimist Summer Picnic for members was held at Glenmore Park on July 16th, 2022. Our club rented a private picnic site at the park for members to enjoy.
Member Robin Morris provided the chili, cheese buns, and dessert. And everyone else contributed something to ensure the event was a success.
The park was extremely busy and the weather was spectacular!
Members from our club, along with the Dinner Optimist Club of Calgary and Optimist Club of Airdrie hosted the Calgary and area 2022 Junior Golf Qualifying Tournament on July 13th at Collicutt Siding near Crossfield, Alberta. Attendees had fun and the weather was great.
Our club, in conjunction with the Dinner Optimist Club of Calgary hosted the “2022 Optimist Day in the Park” at Optimist Athletic Park on Saturday, June 11th from 10 AM to 3 PM. There was plenty of free food, activities (bouncy castle, obstacle course, miniature golf, curling, bean toss), and fun for families at Optimist Athletic Park in the Glenbrook community of southwest Calgary. Approximately 200+ members of the Stetson Showband practiced and performed during the event. The Calgary Fire Department provided a fire truck and two fire fighters for kids to see, talk to, and take pictures with. And the Calgary Flames mascot “Harvey the Hound” joined us for several hours to entertain and engage with everyone in attendance. We even had Richard Pootmans (Calgary City Counselor) attend for several hours and meet attendees. Over 450 people were in attendance during the event, despite the rain we had for several hours.
At our meeting, Dr. Phil Langill gave a fascinating presentation to our club entitled, “Astronomy and the Rothney Observatory - Understanding the Universe we Live In.” He is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary and the Director of the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory in Priddis, Alberta. We learned a lot about the observatory, how stars are formed, and black holes.
The club had Dr. Tom Keenan back again in March to talk about his latest book, “Technocreep” which explains how technology is becoming creepy in hidden ways that are difficult for most people to understand. During our meeting, he talked about the vast amount of privacy-eroding and life-invading technologies humans deal with from governments, corporations, and yes, even the person next door.
Our guest speaker was Jeff Parry, Concert Promoter, Author, Owner of Jeff Parry Promotions. Over decades of being in the music business, Jeff has promoted shows for a wide range of stars and acts around the world. During the meeting, he discussed his book "Fail to Win: Because of the Beatles.” It is an insider's look at the enigmatic world of big finance, overblown egos, and phenomenal risk—and reward—in the behind-the-scenes activities of national and international rock music promotions. His book illustrates the importance of embracing failure in order to attain significant financial and personal success.
Our guest speaker was Dr. Tom Keenan, technology expert, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary; Author; and TV Commentator. His presentation was called “Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and the Blockchain – What’s the Latest?” It was an interesting discussion on digital currencies, how they are ‘farmed’ and tracked electronically on the blockchain.
Scott Forsyth, Professional Photographer, Author, and Calgary Medical Doctor was the guest speaker for our meeting. He is an award-winning National Geographic photographer who was recognized as "Artist of the Year" from the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC). His presentation was based on his award-winning book The Wild Coasts of Canada, featuring images from seven years of travel across the globe.
Our guest speaker was Lori Williams, Political Scientist, Professor at Mount Royal University, and TV Media Commentator. She spoke about “Everything Politics” - including a debrief of the federal election, upcoming municipal election, provincial issues, and a provincial referendum.
Optimist International is recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all youth and helps them develop to their full potential.