Bryan’s connection with libraries dates back almost 50 years, to his university days when he both worked at a library and used its resources to support his studies. Throughout his working years, libraries continued to play an important role in his life, providing him with research and development support for his community and volunteer work. More recently, Bryan has actively engaged with Calgary Public Library, participating in workshops on dementia and expanding his involvement to the development of dementia-friendly communities in Calgary.
Bryan’s passion for community support and leadership was instilled by his parents, who encouraged him to build meaningful relationships personally and professionally. His mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease led him into the caregiving and health-related fields, and he has been actively involved in the Brenda Strafford Foundation’s dementia initiatives.
Bryan’s commitment to community-building and inclusivity inspired him to leave a generous gift to the residency programs at Calgary Public Library. The Library’s residency programs are short-term, paid, community engagement residencies that support individuals and collectives living and working in Calgary and surrounding First Nations communities. Calgary Public Library currently holds nine residencies annually: Children’s Artist/Illustrator, Indigenous Artist, Newcomer Artist, Author, Musical Artist, Historian, Entrepreneur, Storyteller and Indigenous Elder-in-Residence. Bryan is thrilled that the Library’s residency programs provide free access to arts and culture, enabling people from all walks of life to learn and grow.
Bryan believes that the Library provides a safe and accessible space for everyone and that their partnerships and community engagement initiatives offer endless possibilities. Residencies highlight the cultural diversity of Calgary and provide an example of citizen engagement in a highly meaningful way. Bryan hopes that his gift will help promote the value of the Library and provide enjoyment to people across the city. He emphasizes that while quality of life is so often discussed in terms of physical health, the Library provides vitality and community connection, which contribute to overall well being.
Looking ahead, Bryan envisions Calgary Public Library as an even more vibrant community hub, offering information and resources that remain accessible to everyone, regardless of cultural, political, or artistic views. He is particularly interested in health, well being and social hubs within libraries, enriching communities and promoting lifelong learning.
Bryan’s commitment to community support and his belief in the power of the Library to bring people together make him an inspiring donor and community leader.