Acro Yoga in Riley Park. #Sunnyside365
“I moved to Sunnyside in 2008 into a little apartment on 6 st. & 2nd Ave. Before then I used to live up in Hidden Valley and I would put over 1500km a month driving everywhere. Once I moved to Sunnyside, I drove a lot less, I’m lucky if I hit 50km a month now. I’ve moved around the neighbourhood to various apartments and condos, but I can’t leave, this place is home.
I started this 365 photo project as a way to kick my portfolio into gear after my computer crashed. I wanted to keep the inspiration and motivation that I had when I finished university at Royal Roads in April of 2015, and I also felt that it would be critical for me to have some sort of artistic credibility for the courses that I teach at SAIT. But it was the desire to learn more about Sunnyside and Hillhurst that really drove me forward.
Throughout the year however, I’ve come to discover so many other reasons to keep pushing through, even when my brain was screaming at me to give up. The need to persevere has guided me, despite a nearly life-ending depression that I’ve experienced this last year. Even when I personally felt like I couldn’t stand to live another day. In those times, I put my brain on autopilot and let my heart guide me through to next photograph.
There’s so many amazing stories in this community that I’d need to shoot and post 100 photos a day for year. So many incredible stories of perseverance, inspiration, sadness, hope, frustration, support, encouragement. However, the most common word that I heard was “community” and the generosity of the people who reside and visit here.
There’s some amazing history in this neighbourhood, but what I think is the most fascinating thing is the future that lies waiting for this little place. This little village in the centre of the city, this community of friends and families.
I am, in it’s sincerest form, grateful.” Ara Shimoon, Sunnyside365
*For the curious, I shot this photo using a remote trigger for my camera.
“Riley Park needs a drinking fountain, so we collaborated with the community to make it happen. We just got a letter of support from the Calgary Cricket League, ACAD is throwing their support behind it, we’ve raised half of the funds in six months and we’re still going strong. We engaged students from elementary schools in the area, the colleges, the neighbourhood… I think it’s pretty cool.
So far we have not spent one penny beyond our costs at the student awards. We’re doing this all on the monumental support from the volunteers–they really came together.
If people would like to donate and get a tax receipt, they can go to WaterForRiley.org.” Deborah Sword (left) with Gena Rotstein (right) at the Framed on Fifth Neighbour Day Garden Party.
Riley Park at sunset. This beloved place is so much to so many people. It takes on a special meaning for everyone at different times of the day or of the year.
Once a part of the Riley Family homestead, it was gifted to the City of Calgary over a century ago. It’s incredible to think of how many people over the past one hundred years have benefited from that single act of generosity. It goes to show that a person can truly make a lasting impact on the world for the cause of good.
“Our team is from Edmonton. This is a Calgary/Edmonton match. I’m the coach, he’s the team manager. It’s a beautiful day. Weather is perfect, sun, everything around is nice. Do you know the sport? It’s Cricket.” Lalit (left).
Riley Park is home to one of the of the oldest Cricket pitches in Canada, having been donated by the Riley family in 1908. Back then, Cricket was our national sport.