With the official opening of 63 new units in the Bow River Seniors Lodge, the term This Is Home has taken on new meaning for happy residents.
While some seniors had already moved into the newly completed phase one of the lodge expansion, on Friday (Feb. 23), residents, along with Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Alberta Seniors and Housing, Banff Mayor Karen Sorenson, acting Canmore Mayor Vi Sandford, MLA Cam Westhead and representatives of Canada Mortgage and Housing, Bow Valley Regional Housing and ASCH, ID 9 and Reeve Dene Cooper (MD of Bighorn) were on hand for an official ribbon cutting.
“I’m very happy to be here on behalf of Premier Notley and my government colleagues,” said Sigurdson, “and many other representatives, residents, community members and staff.
“It’s such a great day for Canmore. Sixty-three units will provide good quality homes, care and comfort for seniors. The government of Alberta is very proud to have worked with our federal partners and Bow Valley Regional Housing to see this important project come to life.
“This is about meeting the changing needs of seniors. This is about making life better for Albertans of all ages.”
Housing projects like the Bow River Lodge, said Sigurdson, help keep seniors in their own communities, with friends and family, which is what the provincial government is hearing from seniors.
Beyond the phase one opening, said Sigurdson, “I’m so pleased to hear that construction is expected to start later this year on phase two. We are definitely committed to every Albertan having a safe and affordable place to call home.”
Phase two will see another 60 units created, with completion expected in 2020.
“I know this project will have a positive impact in your community.”
For her part, Canmore councillor and BVRH chair Joanna McCallum thanked members of the BVRH board and CAO Ian Wilson for their hard work.
“We call our re-development project This Is Home because that’s what it’s all about; providing welcoming homes for our Bow Valley seniors at all levels of care. The Bow Valley is grateful for the support from our partners in making phase one a reality.
“This project helps all ages in our communities by strengthening the ties between generations and reducing the stress felt by caregivers separated from their loved ones. Projects like this don’t happen overnight, they are the result of planning and advocacy, over many, many years.”
McCallum thanked those involved in the project over many years, from politicians to architects to tradespeople.
“And I would like to underscore the very hard work by our CAO, Ian Wilson and staff. They are our boots on the ground and in the trenches in making this project a reality. They are the ones working one-on-one, face to face with our most vulnerable with dignity, compassion and care.
“I would also like to highlight the very hard work of our MLA Cam Westhead. In my mind, MLA Westhead is a true representative and during the course of this project and in the funding of the second phase, Mr. Westhead has understood our goals, our model and most importantly, shared our vision.”