Let's talk about...community

DATE: Tuesday, June 4th, 2015


The Royal Canadian Legion Alberta No. 1 branch, was founded by World War I soldiers returning to Calgary who formed a mutual aid society. Branch No. 1 opened in 1922, as a memorial hall honoring the heroic contributions of Canada’s servicemen and women and providing ongoing support for returning members of the Canadian military. The Legion offers club rooms for veterans gatherings and spaces for community events.

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


Design Talks Institute invited artists and designers who have worked directly with communities on regionally specific projects. A community supper followed which was catered by some of Calgary’s most outstanding restaurants. The evening culminated with a screening of “Strange and Familiar: Architecture of Fogo Island” with the architect Todd Saunders in attendance.

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


Richard Kroeker, Richard Kroeker Design

Yvonne Mullock, Artist (Lead Artist community quilt project Fogo Island Arts)

Peter von Tiesenhausen, Artist

Kate Thompson, Director of Development Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (moderator)

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


Foccaccia by Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

Cobb Salad & Roast Chicken by NOtaBLE

Avonlea cloth-bound cheddar (Cow’s creamery PEI) and Five Brothers gouda from Gunn’s Hill (Woodstock, Ontario by Janice Beaton Fine Cheese

Red lentil hummus by Boxwood

Chickpea chat by EthniCity Catering

Barbecue pork loin and seven grain salad by Sunterra foods

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island

Q & A with Todd Saunders of Saunders Architecture

image: DesignCause / d.talks

image: DesignCause / d.talks


These artists and designers introduced us to the collaborative aspects and outcomes of community enriched projects using local materials, craftspeople and knowledge.

Richard Kroecker is an architect who incorporates usability and ecological sustainability in his works. Buildings are designed to retain the natural beauty of their surroundings and are often inspired by early Native American designs and materials. His design of a children’s theatre for the Acadian fishing village of Cheticamp on Cape Breton was awarded a 2006 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia award with the jury remarking on the sense of community the structure inspires.  Richard shared the design of a theatre for dance and music in rural Botswana and how improv was woven into the building of the structure.

Yvonne Mullock is an independent artist who works in drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textile and craft on projects that consider the nuances of people, their surroundings, context and place. Yvonne was the lead artist on a community quilt project in partnership with Fogo Island Arts and the Shorefast Foundation. Yvonne immersed herself with the island quilt makers, photographed and cataloged the items and learned the traditions of style and craft that were passed down from generations of families. The Fogo Island Arts project used expertise of local craftspeople to furnish the Fogo Island Inn. Everything from the furniture, light fixtures, doorknobs and quilts were made by residents of the island.

Peter von Tiesenhausen is an artist whose projects are closely tied to the place where he grew up (Demmitt Alberta). In 1997 he copyrighted his property as an artistic project to protect it from pipeline development. He is currently building a white picket fence on his property eight feet per year, never to be maintained so that the passing imprint of time may be revealed. In a recent project he and his wife built a straw bale and timbre framed community hall for their town in collaboration with craftspeople and artists from across Canada. All of his projects use found materials and often take on life outside of a gallery. They are developed with the ongoing effect of natural processes and impressions in mind.

Kate Thomson, Director of Development for the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, moderated the panel discussion.

Todd Saunders is the principle architect of Saunders Architecture and lead architect for the Fogo Islands Arts project in partnership with the Shorefast Foundation and founder Zita Cobb. The two developed an inn, a gallery, a restaurant and artists studios. The Fogo Island Arts Centre offers an international residency program. Using architecture as a tool, the project aspires to add another facet to the economy of Fogo Island which had relied heavily on cod fishing. All profits from the project are for the community and a cottage industry is gaining momentum as skilled craftspeople form the project are selling their furniture and items from the inn to people around the world. 150 craftspeople from boat builders to quilt makers as well as artists and designers from around the world collaborated on the project.

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


The Lost Spaces Found Exhibition continues:

Centre Street LRT Platform

May 25 - July 31 2015

Free and open to the public, all hours

Continue to send us photos of your lost spaces via twitter and instagram tagged #dtalkslostspaces or email them to hello@dtalks.org.

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks

image: Jesus Martin Ruiz / d.talks


Thank you to our incredible supporters and friends: DIRTT Environmental Solutions, The Victoria Park BRZ, The Ward Community Events Fund, The Jonathan Hart Memorial Fund.

Our amazing community supper was possible because of support from: NOtaBLE, Janice Beaton Fine Cheese, Boxwood, EthniCity Catering, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Beer Revolution, The Green Hare Vegetarian Catering, Sunterra Market.

Thank you to our logistics and media sponsors; UPS (52nd street location), The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, Design Cause & Western Living Magazine.

Special thanks to Larry, at the Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 for the amazing venue and assistance.

Design talks is 100% volunteer run and community supported.