September 16, 2017


Calgary, AB—Calgary’s youngest citizens gathered at Saddletowne Library today to celebrate the opening of the first of four new Calgary Foundation Early Learning Centres, vibrant and interactive Library spaces for children age zero to five to engage in play-based learning. These new spaces are one of five pillars of the Library’s vision to create a world-leading public library model for early childhood learning.

“Education is a key to success that opens doors for all,” said Eva Friesen, President & CEO, Calgary Foundation. “To ensure the health and well-being of the next generation, we’re pleased to support these Early Learning Centres, which will have a transformational impact on youth at a critical stage in their development.”

The $1 million investment from the Calgary Foundation and an anonymous donor will establish Calgary Foundation Early Learning Centres (ELCs) at Saddletowne, Signal Hill, Forest Lawn and Crowfoot Libraries, increasing the Library’s number of ELCs from five to ten by the end of the year. Funding from the Major & Signature Grant also enhanced training for staff and volunteers, providing them with tools to support children and families in our city.

“Reaching children aged birth to five sets the course for their future,” said Paul McIntyre Royston, President & CEO of the Calgary Public Library Foundation. “Libraries have always been huge proponents of early learning, and the Calgary Foundation’s investment will help the Library support families and children across our city—building an even stronger Calgary.”

Early Learning Centres are one piece of the Library’s Early Learning Strategy, a comprehensive and transformative model for early childhood learning based on five areas of focus: spaces, people, collections, programs, and research. Guided by existing research and collaboration with various academic and community partners, the strategy aims to support local families and prepare children for lifelong learning and success. The strategy envisions the Library as a global leader in early learning research. View the full Early Learning Strategy at

The Calgary Foundation is a Founding Partner of Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library. Through the Library Foundation, the Library is seeking $20 million of philanthropic investment in early learning as part of the Add In campaign.

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