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Sign for the times: North Calgary community boosting entryway image with grant

The original Coventry Hills signs still stand in the northeast Calgary community, but change is about to come.

The community was first established in 1991.

Northern Hills Community Association (NHCA) took on a beautification initiative to improve one of their five neighbourhoods’ entryways – by updating three signs.

Residents of Coventry Hills expressed concerns regarding outdated and worn entry signs to the neighbourhood, leading the community association to take action.

“One of the signs that we’re surveying right now says, ‘show homes that way’, [but] there’s no show homes in Coventry Hills … they haven’t been updated since the initial developers put [the signs] in,” Yana Soldatenko, NHCA’s Executive Director, said.

Previously, the association had done what they could to support residents and allocated some time to cleaning up the entryways and planting flowers in the area.

“Now, we want to do more,” Soldatenko said.

The grant program

On March 3, the City of Calgary launched the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant (ING), developed out of the This is my neighbourhood program (TIMN).

The ING repurposes $142,000 of the TIMN programs’ funds toward the new grant.

The ING is intended to support Calgary communities in creating safe, inclusive spaces and programs to address residents’ needs, increase a sense of belonging and further develop the resiliency of community organizations working towards greater sustainability.

As of now, $112,000 in grants have been awarded to 16 of the 20 community associations that applied for funding.

NHCA is one of the groups that have applied for the Inspiring Neighbourhoods Grant (ING) to replace three signs. However, they continue to look for other ways funding ways to make the initiative happen, Soldatenko said.

The hope is residents will feel a greater sense of pride in their community.

Next Steps

The NHCA’s has been alerted to a variety of different beautification projects within the community. They’ve done this through engagement with the residents in their communities.

The association has also received updated entry sign requests from their other neighbourhoods.

“We will be looking at this of how can we do that. Not just in Coventry Hills, but across Northern Hills,” Soldatenko said.

“It’s gonna be an interesting journey of what we can come up with to do because it’s all funding dependent.”

Currently, they’re conducting an online residents survey. They hope to learn if updating the signs changes residents’ feeling, perception, comfort and sense of belonging in the community.

“We already have 230 responses, and we [still] have a week to go,” she said.

“So hopefully we’ll get more, and hopefully engagement picks up. It’s great that we touched on something that people care about.”