Past Legacy Projects

For over 30 years the Calgary Flames Foundation has been giving back to our community. The following are projects we have completed thanks to your support!

Flames Community Arenas 

Expanding on success

The Calgary Centennial Arenas, recognized as one of the most successful facilities of its kind, opened in 1986 due to the efforts of local residents who recognized the advantages it would bring to their community. The Calgary Flames Foundation donated $1 million toward the recent expansion of the complex which saw a third arena added to the facility.  This will provide much needed ice time for a variety of sports including hockey, lacrosse, figure skating and ringette and is expected to increase the number of visitors from 500,000 to 750,000 a year.

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The Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation

Fostering creativity and the exchange of ideas and solutions. The Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation, opened in July 2010, is a place where artists and leaders can learn, create and exchange ideas. Situated on Banff Centre campus with views of the mountains, the centre is 21,000 square feet and houses 17 meeting rooms with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, nine large multifunction rooms, a ballet studio, a Galleria featuring art from the Banff Centre’s permanent collections, and a Library and Archives with access to the Centre’s collection of books, recordings, films, music scores and historical materials. As thanks for a $300,000 donation, one of the 17 meeting rooms was named the Calgary Flames Foundation Room.

Rebecca Hotchkiss International Brain Frontiers Scholar Exchange Program

The Scholar Exchange Program will allow the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) to achieve its mission of excellence in neuroscience research, education and improved neurological and mental health here in Canada and beyond. Leaders in neuroscience from around the world will visit HBI for extended, intensive research residencies. In addition, HBI faculty, fellows and students will be able to travel to other parts of the world to exchange ideas, collaborate and learn from leading neuroscientists. The Scholar Exchange Program is unique and will enhance the reputation and impact of the HBI and the important work being done. The Foundation has donated $600,000 over four years to this program.

Health and Medical Research

The Calgary Flames Hockey Club is committed to helping create healthy vibrant communities and to enhancing the wellbeing of Southern Albertans. To achieve this goal, the Foundation donated $5 million to REACH!, Rotary/Flames House, and Rotary/Flames Park at Ronald McDonald House during the 2005 season.

REACH!

Aimed at creating a new world standard of health for Southern Albertans, REACH! was a joint partnership between the University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, the Calgary Health Trust and philanthropic leaders such as the Flames and Rotary Clubs of Calgary. The partnership raised $312 million. Health initiatives and state-of-the-art medical facilities across Calgary which received funding from the REACH! partnership are highlighted below.

Public Health and Wellness – CORE Connections

Preventing adolescent depression and substance abuse and helping students feel safe and valued at school is the goal of Core Connections, a 3 year intervention project currently running in 30 schools.

Facilitators work with schools to promote mental health and teach life skills such as how to deal with conflict, difficult emotions and other stressors. To date, 5865 children have been involved with the project and dramatic results have been reported from the pre-pilot including a 20 percent reduction in drug use, a 50 percent reduction in smoking and an increase in students reporting that they have someone they can confide in when upset.

The Calgary Flames Foundation/Rotary donation allowed the program to get started and sparked other donations and grants making it possible for a seven year program. The project is collecting and providing hard evidence regarding the impact of the program.

Markin Institute for Public Health

The Markin Institute for Public Health focuses on preventing disease by promoting health and wellness in the population and conducting research in various disciplines including medicine, kinesiology and urban design. Studies are conducted in schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods.

Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute, established in 2004, is a ‘virtual institute’ that coordinates and integrates all cardiovascular services in Southern Alberta; this includes educating and training future health care professionals, promoting cardiovascular health and disease prevention, providing treatment and increasing access to cardiac services, and conducting research.  The Institute serves over 1.6 million people in Southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Eastern British Columbia.

The following projects were supported by the Flames/Rotary donation:

•    Cardiovascular Health Awareness and Management Program
•    Canadian Hypertension Education Program
•    A CIHR supported study assessing hypertension occurrence, management and outcomes in Canada
•    World Health Organization meeting on sodium reduction
•    National Cardiovascular Outcomes Workshop

The impact of these projects, programs and meetings has spanned from the local to the international level.

Hotchkiss Brain Institute – Spinal Cord and Nerve Regeneration Project

The goal of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was launched in October 2004, is to translate research in neuroscience and mental health into innovative health care solutions. Research focuses on the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves and looks at both healthy and diseased tissue. Discoveries are applied towards preventing, detecting and treating neurological and mental health issues including multiple sclerosis, stroke and psychosis.

The Rotary/Flames Laboratory for Spinal Cord Research within the Hotchkiss Brain Institute is the site of the Spinal Cord and Nerve Regeneration Project. Cutting edge research led by Dr. Peter Stys and supported by his research team focuses on nerve injury and repair. Using laser microscopy equipment unique in the world, the team is taking stunning images and videos of nerves, cells and sub-cellular components from spinal cord specimens and has developed new model systems for studying spinal cord injuries. It is hoped that this research will lead to new therapies that can minimize the damage to the spinal cord after injury. A new device, the “CARS Exoscope”  is being developed which will eventually allow for the same detailed images to be captured from live animals and people.

Rebecca Hotchkiss International Brain Frontiers Scholar Exchange Program

The Scholar Exchange Program will allow the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) to achieve its mission of excellence in neuroscience research, education and improved neurological and mental health here in Canada and beyond. Leaders in neuroscience from around the world will visit HBI for extended, intensive research residencies. In addition, HBI faculty, fellows and students will be able to travel to other parts of the world to exchange ideas, collaborate and learn from leading neuroscientists. The Scholar Exchange Program is unique and will enhance the reputation and impact of the HBI and the important work being done. The Foundation has donated $600,000 over 4 years to this program.

Alberta Bone and Joint Institute – Tissue Engineering Lab

The Alberta Bone and Joint Institute, founded by J.R. McCraig in 2004, is a non-profit umbrella organization for bone and joint health care, research and education in Alberta.

Funds from the REACH! partnership were directed to the Tissue Engineering Lab and the purchase of equipment. Research on repairing damaged cartilage and ligaments is the focus of the Lab. A key piece of equipment purchased for the labs enables researchers to perform ongoing experiments on cells to determine how they respond to compression and how best to push stem cells towards damaged tissues. These experiments bring science closer to engineering tissues to implant and repair damaged cartilage and ligaments using stem cells which offer the best chance at treating joint injuries.

A biomaterials engineer will be appointed to the biomaterials portion of the labs and new equipment will be bought with the remaining funds. The new piece of equipment will aid in the understanding of how mechanical and biological stimulants interplay. Additional labs are also being built.

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Project NeuroArm

NeuroArm is a surgical robot with the precision and dexterity of a surgeon’s hand. A combination of space robotics and advanced imaging technology, neuroArm is the first of its kind. The robot performs technically challenging surgical procedures in parts of the brain a surgeon’s hands cannot go, all with minimal invasion on surrounding brain tissue. Made of non-ferromagnetic materials allows it to be used in conjunction with MRI technology, meaning images of the brain can be taken throughout a procedure without interrupting the flow of surgery. This use of intra-operative MRI (iMRI) has been shown to improve surgery in up to 20% of cases. NeuroArm can also be used for training by using it as a simulator with virtual tools that can mimic the sensation of microsurgery.

Officially unveiled to the world on April 13, 2007 following  years of research, design and engineering, neuroArm has helped over 1,200 patients, 17 of these last year. The first procedure with the robot was performed on May 12, 2008. After its initial launch, neuroArm underwent some modifications and the iMRI was upgraded to a stronger 3T magnet which required comprehensive modifications to the operating room including the addition of whole-room Radio Frequency shielding. Research continues in new areas and development of neuroArm II is underway.

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Southern Alberta Institute of Urology

Each year in the province of Alberta 2,400 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and the disease claims more than 400 lives. Early detection and treatment are critical to successfully fighting this disease.

Opened in April 2010, the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology is a 40,000 square foot one-of-a-kind facility that has treated more than 43,000 patients to date. The Institute is the only medical structure built entirely through philanthropy and within its walls are offices for 14 Urologists and the Prostate Cancer Centre. The Centre runs the Prostate Cancer Rapid Access Clinic which has reduced the time it takes to reach a diagnosis from 95 days to 8.5 days; a huge impact in the fight to save lives.

Rotary Flames Park at Ronald McDonald House

Quiet sanctuary and a place to play for families when they need it most.  More than 17,000 families have made the Ronald McDonald house their home away from home while their child is receiving treatment at a Calgary hospital. These children and their families can now play in the two-acre private park surrounding the house. The park, a joint initiative between the Rotary Clubs of Calgary and the Calgary Flames Foundation, has bike paths, playgrounds and quiet gardens and allows the House to run outdoor programs.