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Leaving a Legacy at 214

Date: 26th February 2017

Three, Two, One… Construction on another 2017 gift has officially started! We’re building a barrier free, inclusive, learning and working space for young adults at 214 Banff Avenue. Lifting off in Spring ’17, we invite you to join the excitement and make a Canada 150 donation to #SPACELab



Built in 1948 as a doctor’s office, 214 Banff Avenue has served as a dental clinic, as Gordon Taylor’s campaign office, as a library, and as a retail outlet. In June 2015, the main street space became a home base for philanthropy and anchor for community groups. Since opening its doors twenty months ago, the foundation has welcomed more than 30 groups and 2,500 individuals into the building. Now, the basement at 214 Banff Avenue is slated for an upgrade and will be transformed into an inclusive, barrier free, welcoming hub for the Bow Valley’s youth and young adults. Renovations have just begun in the underused and inaccessible space, which will result in a “SPACE Lab,” a playful acronym for Share Philanthropy: Act with Care and Empathy. The SPACE Lab will offer programs for young people looking for a neutral space to learn, talk, read, craft, listen, or pursue a personal interest and potentially meet a new friend.


The legacy of the SPACE Lab will be twofold. First, there will be an impact on the young people who use this quiet, welcoming, and affordable as a place to build their resume, learn a new skill, share a talent or meet a new friend, thus adding to the building’s history of community service. And secondly, this is executive director Lorraine Widmer-Carson’s legacy project before retiring from the foundation in June.

“I’m so excited to spend the final few months as executive director dedicated to the vision of the SPACE Lab – a safe, welcoming, program space for youth and young adults,” Widmer-Carson says, noting her concern for young people who feel lost or alienated in the community. “Four words have formed my vision for this work: Join me in imagining… With imagination, a few more dollars and a little “TLC,” the basement at 214 will be transformed into a place where young people can get connected, find social supports and feel like they belong.”

Widmer-Carson invites the community to join her in imagining one more time, noting that the year 2017 is the perfect year to turn a corner on how we view community, especially our young adult population.

“We want young adults to know they are valued and respected. We want them to find ways to fit in and belong. This will be my legacy project,” Widmer-Carson says, adding that if you haven’t yet found a way to get excited about Canada 150, consider making a donation to the SPACE Lab. “Donations of every size are encouraged – specifically for the SPACE Lab, for general grant-making or for all of the ways we deliver on our mission: Engaging hearts and minds to build a stronger community.”

The foundation aims to launch the SPACE Lab in late May and the official ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for September 2017.

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