Residents at United’s two communities celebrated Canada Day and found new ways to create lasting memories.
At Garrison Green, residents collaborated on a large artwork banner that was strung from the second floor balcony. A musical group, the Awesome Brothers, played Canadian songs and invited residents to sing along from their suites as the band walked around the building. Inside, residents were treated to traditional poutine in the bistro and a special festive dessert at dinner.
The significance of Canada Day brought out great memories for the residents. Garrison Green resident Allan Holbrook’s family came to Canada in 1952. Although his grandfather was born in Canada, he left to become a sharpshooter in a wild west show in England.
“My grandfather was born in a house that straddled the Canada/U.S. border in Ontario,” said Allan. “The family was American, but he was born in the back of the house, so he was Canadian,” Allan laughed. “The government made him a dual citizen, but he eventually left for England where he married. His son – my father – later came to Canada.”
In 1952, Allan, who was 17, and his family came to Canada and settled in Calgary where Allan eventually found his calling as an insurance adjuster.
“We used to go to the parades for Canada Day, the Stampede and other events. I don’t do much of that now, but I’m very proud to be a Canadian. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” said Allan.
Filomena Sangregorio and her husband arrived in Calgary in the mid-1950’s. She from Italy, and her husband from Belgium. Calgary was a small city, she recalls, but it was a proud moment for her. “We were so happy to be here,” Filomena said. “Calgary is very special to me. I couldn’t speak English then, but we quickly made friends and raised a family. Canada Day reminds me that Calgary is a nice place, with nice people, and home to our friends and family.”
At Fish Creek, Canada Day started on a sweet note with afternoon ice cream floats in the bistro, flags for everyone and a collaborative community art piece – Why Do You Love Canada? – displayed outside the theatre. Residents posted short answers on the wall, such as “Wild life, Canadian Rockies, blue skies”, and “The trails that I walk on, the mountains I can see, the new friends I can converse with.”
The Awesome Brothers band played for Garrison Green residents on Canada Day, but rain forced a delay until July 2 for the performance at Fish Creek. The choice of songs performed was a collaborative effort with the residents. Songs by Hank Snow, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Ian Tyson and Brian Adams were among the favourite Canadian requests. The band worked its way around the two buildings at Fish Creek, with a finale in the courtyard, where the band acknowledged each resident who had requested a song.
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To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.