The University of Calgary is a world-class research institution, top-ten Canadian university and sports haven dedicated to helping students succeed. And the best part? Plenty of the programming at the University is open to the public! That’s right – you don’t even have to be a student to catch the latest speakers on hot topics, get yourself some exercise and continue a journey of lifelong learning.
One of the most popular public access areas of the University of Calgary is the Active Living Fitness Centre, part of the Faculty of Kinesiology. We all know keeping active is important, and by providing more opportunities to the public, UCalgary is there to support all Calgarians in their fitness goals.
“Within active living, we provide so many opportunities to the community,” says Albert Iamartino, director of Active Living and the Outdoor Centre at the university. “We’re committed to being an innovative leader in providing pathways for lifelong health and wellness to children, youth, and adults and seniors.”
The Outdoor Centre is home to a rental shop where Calgarians can find all the tools they need to explore the great outdoors, from winter equipment, such as skis and ice axes, to summer water gear, including kayaks and canoes.
Looking to workout indoors? Active Living is also home to the Aquatic Centre, Climbing Centre and a gymnastics centre, all currently open with restrictions.
Try your hand at speedskating in the Olympic Oval! Built for the 1988 Olympics, the Oval supports varsity and professional athletes alike while also providing space for community members to get active.
“We allocate use of the facility by thirds – a third goes to high performance, a third goes to varsity, and a third goes to the community,” explains Peter McCrory, director of the Olympic Oval. “It’s a healthy way to allocate what is a beautiful facility with amazing services to the community.”
Currently faced with COVID-19 restrictions, the Oval is open for minimal public use. In more normal times, it is home to Christmas party bookings, public skates, speed skating tournaments and more. There’s always something to do or watch at the Oval!
TIP: Check out the upcoming events at the Oval and keep an eye out for restriction changes here.
Keeping yourself in good condition doesn’t end with your body! An active mind is also key – and luckily, the University of Calgary offers many opportunities for lifelong learning.
One of the best ways to train your brain at home is with podcasts created by professors, staff and students at the university, covering topics from COVID-19 and how it affects all aspects of our lives to answering The Big Questions – yep, that’s actually the title of the podcast! Throw one of these on while cleaning the house or going for a walk and feel your brain get its daily workout.
If you’re looking for something more structured, look no further than Continuing Education at UCalgary. With courses and full certificates designed to refresh existing skills, add new ones to your repertoire or just help you explore a passion, it’s also a chance to learn more about what you’re interested in and keep your mind working.
“All of our courses are scheduled with the mid-career worker in mind,” says Gabriela Santamaria, associate director of marketing and communications with Continuing Education. “Nearly all of our courses are evenings or Saturdays, and many are online.”
This flexibility is perfect for the Calgarians who want to improve their skills without missing work and those who want to spend their evenings learning something new!
TIP: New courses are being added to Continuing Education all the time, including an upcoming Science Fiction writing course!
Last, but certainly not least, when we’re talking about overall health, it’s important to feed your soul! One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the arts – opening our minds and hearts up to new stories, developing empathy and transporting us to new worlds.
According to Dr. Joelle Welling, Interim Director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at UCalgary, performing and fine arts are crucial for communities – even if we don’t realize it.
“The arts allow us to come together (even if only virtually right now) to communicate, share, celebrate and learn, and are vital to our well-being as both individuals and a community,” she explains.
Lucky for Calgarians, UCalgary’s Art and Art History department features productions and work shared with the public! While staying safe at home, community members can tune into performances from the UCalgary String Quartet this spring or check out works by the graduating Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Students in the Nickle Gallery.
From online art exhibitions to performing arts broadcasts, there are many ways to engage with the arts in a safe way during COVID – and when we’re able to gather again, in-person performances are an even better way to share in the magic!
TIP: Check out all upcoming Faculty of Arts and Art History events here.
There’s always advice floating around on how to stay healthy – but lucky for Calgarians, we have a world class resource nearby! We have the University of Calgary right here, ready to help us care for ourselves – body, mind and soul. One of the many exciting places to explore right next to University District.
Healthy body, mind and soul! UCalgary and some of our amazing local wellness resources like Orange Theory Fitness have your back, legs, muscles, heart and more in mind. Learn more about our parks and open spaces here too!
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.