Free. Period. program distributes over 40,000 products
In September of 2021, the City of Calgary, in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and Youth Central’s Mayor’s Youth Council, launched the Free. Period. program. Since the program’s start over 40,000 products have been distributed. The Free. Period. initiative provides free pads and tampons to anyone who needs them by making them available in washrooms—with no stigma or judgment.
“Having access to period products is a basic right. We wanted to help remove the stigma that is often associated with menstruation and make tampons and pads more available to anyone in need.,” says Alex Stevenson, Mayor’s Youth Council member. “We are very pleased to see how the program has expanded and moved us closer to addressing period poverty in Calgary.”
Period poverty refers to the inability to access menstrual products, which impacts the health and dignity of menstruators, especially vulnerable people, and youth. Not having access to period products can impact Calgarians in the classroom, workplace and everyday life.
“The response from Calgarians has been very positive. We have seen steady usage since the program was launched.” says Janet Lin, Community Strategies Liaison. “We have heard from Calgarians that this is a needed and valued program. So, The City will continue to make investments into the program, and we have done this by expanding the program to more locations over the last year.”
With the upcoming Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, The City will be announcing the winners of the art contest launched in January. The art contest asked youth between the ages of 12-18 or still in high school to design artwork to be wrapped onto the dispensers. Three designs were chosen to be wrapped onto dispensers in the next couple of months.
Currently the program includes 12 locations with a goal of expanding to all 21 library locations. The products are available at washrooms in these buildings:
Calgary Public Library locations:
Calgary Central Library (800 3 St S.E.) – Level 1 Everyone washroom, and Levels 2, 3 & 4 women’s washrooms
Judith Umbach Library (6617 Centre St. N.) – Everyone washroom
Forest Lawn Library (4807 8 Ave. S.E.) – Everyone washroom
Louise Riley Library (1904 14 Ave. N.W.) – Women’s washroom
Saddletowne Library (7555 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.) – Everyone washroom
Shawnessy Library (333 Shawville Blvd. S.E.) – Everyone washroom
City of Calgary locations:
Municipal Building (800 Macleod Trail S.E.) – main floor universal and women’s washrooms
Alberta Trade Centre (315 10 Ave S.E.) – 1st floor universal washroom and 2nd floor women’s washroom (requires key to access)
Village Square Leisure Centre (2623 56 St N.E.) – main floor women’s, men’s and universal washrooms
Valleyview Park (3224 26 St. S.E.) – Women’s washroom (seasonal washrooms reopening in May 2023)
Pearce Estate Park (1440 17A St. S.E.) – Women’s washroom (seasonal washrooms reopening in May 2023)
Other Partner Locations:
Community Hub – Bowness Community Association (7904 43 Ave. N.W.) – All washrooms
For more information on the Free.Period. program visit calgary.ca.