CAPA: 40th Golf Tournament

There are less than two weeks to go until the 40th Anniversary Golf tournament taking place at Bearspaw Golf Club on September 27. This event is a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones while out on the course engaging in some friendly competition. Olympic Golf Medalist Kasia Gruchalla WesierskiAfter the tournament, participants will come together for a special meal and speeches from the CEO, Dr. Greg Bass, founding Board Member Jim Gray and keynote speaker Olympic Gold Medalist Kasia Gruchalla- Wesierski. The night will be spent remembering the past 40 years, sharing stories from the present and looking forward to the future of Calgary Academy. You don’t want to miss the stories, prizes and history making at this event! Most importantly, all funds raised from this golf tournament will go towards the Calgary Academy Parents’ Association (CAPA) Bursary Fund and the purchase of a new Knights Bus. CAPA is an organization of Calgary Academy parents who raise bursary money to support families of Calgary Academy children. CAPA is volunteer-run charity. Since 1986, it has raised more than $5 million to help children who demonstrate financial need.

“The CA golf tournament is more than just a round of golf.  It’s a collective recognition for a community coming together for an amazing school that delivers incredible results to young minds looking to find their path in life! We have seen these amazing results with all three of our kids at this school,” said Aaron Lane, CAPA President. 
Knights Bus In addition to supporting CAPA, the funds raised from the golf tournament will also go towards the $100,000 purchase price of a new bus, which will enable students to travel to high-engagement learning opportunities like field trips, community events, and athletics opportunities.   CAPA 50/50 Cash Raffle Logo Lastly, a 50/50 draw will be held in concert with the tournament to help raise funds for student bursaries. You can support this cause by purchasing 50/50 Cash Raffle tickets here and spread the word to your family and friends.     Take Actions: 

A Message from Golf Committee Chair: Liz Thompson

With this year marking the 40th Anniversary of Calgary Academy, the CA community has set out to celebrate in a big way! With multiple celebrations planned throughout the 2021-2022 school year it promises to be a year to remember. The first anniversary event will be the golf tournament, which will be hosted at Bearspaw Golf Course on September 27. The committee working to plan and facilitate the event is made up of dedicated staff members and parents, many of which have been involved in the golf program over the years, and all of whom are passionate about the Calgary Academy mission and vision. The committee is made up of myself - Liz Thompson - Sean Chursinoff, Erin Ellis, Neil Frail, Sarah Hoag, Alison Kolodnicki, Aaron Lane, Jeff Masse, Lindsey Meredith, Steve Patterson, Nick Waterbury, Marla Van Gelder, Markus Gierl, Rod Fleck and Patricia Lisevich. For myself, my interest in joining the golf committee stems from my time working in the golf industry. After graduating high school, I like many young students was looking for a summer job and landed at a local course that I had grown up playing at. What started as a summer gig answering phones and booking tee times, turned into eight years of work that saw me planning major tournaments and helping to manage the pro shop. Even after I began my teaching career at Calgary Academy, I continued working at the golf course part time for a couple of summers, not because I needed to, but because it was so hard to say goodbye. See, the reasons I loved working at the golf course, are some of the same reasons I love working at CA: working in a tight knit community, developing relationships with those around me, and working to meet the needs of those who frequented the course. Over those eight years I learned valuable lessons and developed many skills and am thrilled that for a brief time I have the opportunity to put those skills to good use as we plan this golf tournament. Our hope is that the golf tournament is a fun day to connect, celebrate and share all the things we love about the Calgary Academy community. However, I would be remiss if we didn’t also highlight that it will also serve as an opportunity for the school to raise funds – through the purchase of registration fees, a 50/50 draw and a silent auction. Funds raised will go towards a new Knights Bus, and the CAPA Student Bursary Fund, both areas where funds are much needed. If you’re still on the fence about registering, join us! I promise you a day of fun, filled with opportunities to reconnect with other CA stakeholders!

Golf Tournament

For golfers, a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work. Golf is a challenging but rewarding game that brings people together; it is amazing how four hours on the golf course can help you get to know someone better or make a new friend. September 1, 2021, marks the beginning of Calgary Academy’s 40th year celebration. To kick off our year of celebration, Calgary Academy will be hosting a special anniversary golf tournament on Monday, September 27 at Bearspaw Golf Club. Planned and coordinated by an incredible group of staff volunteers, this event builds on CA’s long history with the golf game. Past coaches, players, and a few local celebrities will tee off at Bearspaw Golf Club and duel for the top spot’s bragging rights. If the excuse to reconnect with old friends, experience a newly-renovated course, and just surviving COVID-19isn’t enough reasons to sign up, this tournament will also support the school realize two very important fundraising goals – the purchase of a new Knights Bus and continued fundraising for the Calgary Academy Parents Association Bursary fund. The money raised at the tournament will go towards the $100,000 purchase price of a new bus, which will be used to transport students and staff to and from sporting events, field trips and community engagement opportunities. A 50/50 draw will be held in concert with the tournament to help raise funds for student bursaries. Before we know it, September will be upon us, and we very much look forward to having the opportunity to celebrate with our students, staff, families, and community. We can’t wait to see you on the course!

Exemplary Practice and Student Showcase

Twice a year the Board of Directors recognizes staff and students for exemplary work, leadership, or contributions to the school community. This June, the Board was honoured to present Grade 12 student Thomas and teacher Becky Funk with this special honour! We are excited to announce Becky Funk as the recipient of the Exemplary Practice award for her work as a Music teacher and leadership with FestivARTS. Grade 12 Student Thomas D. was honoured as the recipient of the Student Showcase award for his creativity in the drama program and collaboration in the school community. Exemplary Practice: Becky Funk The recipient of the Board’s Exemplary Practice Award for June 2021 is Ms. Becky Funk. Her colleagues describe Becky as an innovative thinker who strives to create unique learning experiences for her students. Amidst the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and her daily responsibilities as a Music and Leadership teacher, Becky imagined and created a contemporary virtual arts festival called FestivARTS. Music students from CA and various provinces, American and Canadian music clinicians, a composer, and music teachers came together virtually for two days in May to learn, connect, create, and perform together. This fully virtual musical event was made possible by the pandemic, and a continued, borderless event is imagined for the future. An event like FestiVARTS is not something that can be accomplished in isolation, and Becky worked hard to engage staff and students and build advocates for the concept. Mayor Naheed Nenshi provided virtual greetings to kick off the event, and a team of more than five staff volunteers facilitated the event over the May weekend. This required hours of planning, collaborative organization, and communication that Becky lead with grace and positive energy. Ms. Funk continues to take on more than her teaching responsibilities and has also been leading concert and funk bands virtually for more than a year. She worked to establish a 4 and 8-week Composer in Residence for her students, providing virtual access to additional outside experts. Becky is an inspiration to the CA community with her positive energy and ability to embrace the challenges that come her way. Congratulations, Becky! Student Showcase: Thomas Dunsmore The recipient of the Board’s Student Showcase Award for June 2021 is Grade 12 student, leader, actor, director, and CASE Co-President, Thomas Dunsmore. Thomas is a hardworking, self-motivated and extremely creative person. His creativity has shone in the drama program over the years, on and off the stage. Most recently he was even recognized for his work on the play “SOS” by the International Theatre Society. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas was determined to ensure students had a Senior High drama department showcase. As a true leader he directed, designed, filmed, edited, and created all the promotional materials to go with the Senior High production, “Check Please,” which can be viewed on the Calgary Academy YouTube page. His teachers and fellow students have been positively impacted by his school spirit, love for drama and overall commitment to collaboration inside and outside the classroom. He has actively participated in strategic planning sessions every year since 2017, serves as Co- President of the Calgary Academy Student Executive (CASE), and was an active member on this year’s graduation committee. Prior to restrictions put in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas has been an active CA Ambassador, volunteering at tours and other Admissions- related events. Thomas’s team player attitude and positive energy along with his kind and honest nature is contagious. He is an excellent role model for other students and is an exemplary Calgary Academy student. The entire CA community will miss him greatly as he attends the University of British Columbia this fall. Congratulations, Thomas!

New Family Welcome 2021

From June 21 to June 23, Calgary Academy welcomed over 100 new families to the school community for the annual New Family Orientation. COVID-19 may have altered the event this year, but it did not take away from the fun! CA’s school mascot Scorcher made a special appearance to take photos and play games with students and their families. To help everyone stay cool in the heat, food trucks handed out delicious frozen treats. The week was full of making memories in the sun!  

“The goal of the event was to get students enthusiastic about the school year and to ease the transition to a new school. We loved seeing our new students’ smiling faces and the families taking the time to connect with one another,” said Annick Donde, Admissions Associate.
Changing schools can be intimidating but New Family Orientation helps students meet teachers and fellow classmates before stepping foot into the classroom. The Admissions team, alongside teaching staff, loved getting to know both students and their families before the school year begins.  
“The weather was beautiful, parents exchanged phone numbers and many of them made plans to connect over the summer. The new students are eager and excited to join our school,” said Irina Dart, Director of Admissions.”
Thank you to those who joined the New Welcome Orientation, and we can’t wait to see you again in the fall.   

Alumni Spotlight: Anna Dawson

Respect. Enthusiasm. Altruism. Commitment. Honesty. The REACH principles are the core principles that guide the way CA students interact with each other and the world. Anna Dawson (’19), has stayed connected to the school even after graduation and is actively living the principle of altruism. This spring, Anna reached out to her former Physical Education Teacher Tracy Sullivan with a generous offer: she wanted to donate her extra cross-country ski equipment to the CA program, rather than selling it.

“I have a love for cross country skiing and want to share it with others. I wanted to give back to the place that gave so much to me in terms of skills, opportunities, and friendship,” said Anna.
Now in her third year at the University of Toronto completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology, Anna knows from experience and from her studies the mental benefits of getting outdoors and moving. As someone who had participated in CA's Outdoor Education Cross Country Skiing program in Grade 10, Anna benefitted from exploring CA’s aspen forests, and snow-covered fields and parks around the city. She hopes the equipment will bring students together to share some laughs during the pandemic. For her, getting outside allows her to think more clearly and with the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions she believes this will be the perfect activity for students and staff alike.    
“Knowing Anna, she likely thought it was 'no big deal' but her donation of cross-country skis to the school actually set off a plan to get more of our students trying something new this season,” said Tracy Sullivan, Head of Physical Education.
When asked what prompted her to think of the school she attended from Grades 4-12 Anna says, “I was part of the community for so long as a student that now as an adult I want to help others receive the benefits that helped me achieve my goals. I also want to stay connected and bring value to the community and be a voice for what CA did for me and what it can do for others.”
“Anna has always had a heart of gold, and her kindness has a much bigger impact than she knows. I think it is very special that she thought of her school when looking to rehome something so valuable. We appreciate her donation so much and will use it for years to come,” said Tracy.
Thank you, Anna, for living the REACH principles and supporting our students!

Making Music in a Pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic shifting learning from in-person to online numerous times throughout the school year, Calgary Academy staff and students have embraced the opportunities presented from these ever-changing realities. While indoor music programs have been limited this school year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Becky Funk, K-12 Music Teacher at CA, took a creative approach to ensure students still had the chance to participate in engaging music opportunities through the “Composer in Residence” program, which included a four-part Funk Band workshop series and an eight-week Concert Band series. Supported by outside experts from the Music Creators’ Academy (MCA), an innovative program that composes and shares music in virtual environments, Becky has been able to shift to a fully online music environment and challenge students to create music and collaborate in new and fascinating ways.

People assumed that we couldn’t make music together online, but we justhave toshift ourperspective toview the internetas a different form of instrument and venue,” said Becky. 
Two faculty members of MCA, Dr. Benjamin Taylor and Dr. Garrett Hope, have been alternating monthly workshops with the Funk Band (grades 4-6). Each workshop challenged students to explore perspectives on musical creation, with focuses on improvisation and creation. For the Concert Band series (grades 7-12), Dr. Taylor has been working with students on composition and creation. The eight-week series will culminate in a live virtual concert on June 3 where the Concert Band will perform a composition they’ve created together. Moving to a virtual world has forced a shift from tradition for bands. In addition to not being in the same physical space, video conferencing platforms have posed new questions about how to create music together, which students have answered by adjusting sound settings, using music-making objects found at home, and incorporating the chat and video functions into their compositions. Rather than being frustrated by these new elements, students have recognized technology’s ability to create a unique musical experience. Funk Band had a relatively seamless transition to virtual rehearsals as it is common practice for them to bring funky instruments and ideas together to create original compositions. Concert Band, on the other hand, traditionally has specific instruments, songs, and rehearsal techniques associated with the ensemble that needed to be reconsidered and adapted to find success in this new format.
“The Concert Band had to go through a really big change and reimagine every aspect of our rehearsals, but the students have shown such patience, adaptability,and enthusiasm working through this new reality together all year,” emphasized Becky. 
As we all know too well, relationships are difficult to maintain online, and trust is crucial to any musical ensemble. In order to build an online culture that enables the learners to trust one another and take risks, relationship-building must be intentional, embedded, and treated with great care. One example of this was during the first meeting of the eight-week Concert Band series; Dr. Taylor made relationships and culture his priority, opening up about his personal interests and learning about the young musicians in return.
“It’s been really inspiring seeing the kids coming every week, always willing to try something new. Every week, rehearsal looks a bit different, but the young musicians’ enthusiasm and resilience haven’t changed,” said Becky.   
After the completion of the eight-week series, a live virtual concert will be held on June 3. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. and the concert begins at 5 p.m. All parents are invited to join the virtual concert. Interested parents should check the parent newsletter for the zoom event concert information.

FestivARTS Recap

This past weekend, FestivARTS made its debut. Clinicians from across the globe, students and teachers from across Canada, all supported by a strong CA Team. The team is grateful for this experience and owe some well-deserved thank you's to several people: Thank you to the FestivARTS CA Team The time, effort and heart that everyone put into this festival formed the foundation of relationships upon which all others were built. Thank you for investing yourselves in this project - it wouldn't have been possible without each and every one of your contributions. Thank you to the Participants CA was represented at the festival by 10 young musicians. Their creativity and collaboration skills made the CA community proud and contributed to 5 original compositions that were performed at the FestivARTS live virtual concert. If you see them in the hallway, congratulate them on their participation and performance! Grade 7: Luke W, Jalen W, Andy J, Lauren E, Lars K-E Grade 8: David S, Jedi J Grade 10: Sarah I Grade 12: Christian M, Courtney F Thank you to the Flies on the Wall The team is so grateful for the CA Community members who joined in the FestivARTS Community as Flies on the Wall, observing the variety of workshops over the course of the weekend. Thank you for making your presence felt and for supporting this initiative! Thank you to the CA Community Thank you for the encouragement, the positive comments, and the support. Conversations are starting for FestivARTS 2022. If you would like to become an organizing member of this community, send Becky Funk a message. Thank you to Mayor Nenshi who kicked off FestivARTS Saturday and welcomed everyone with some inspiring words about the importance of arts in education. [embed][/embed]