Spread joy and kindness this holiday season
The City of Calgary remains in a state of local emergency and our top priority remains to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community while continuing to provide essential services.
The holiday season
We are encouraging Calgarians to celebrate safely and spread joy and kindness this holiday season.
“With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, we can’t celebrate the holidays like we normally do,” said Chief Sue Henry, Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). “The holidays are going to look different this year but we must stay committed and pull together as a community to ensure we slow the spread of COVID, keep everyone safe and save lives.”
While there’s a provincial ban on indoor and outdoor social gatherings, The City is reminding citizens there are ways to celebrate the holidays while helping slow the spread of COVID-19.
Calgarians can schedule a video call with loved ones to open presents together, have a toast, or virtually share a dinner. There are plenty of toboggan hills, cross country ski and snowshoe tracks as well as parks and pathways for a winter walk. The City’s outdoor rinks are starting to open from now through to February, depending on the weather.
Another way The City is encouraging Calgarians to pull together as a community is by supporting local.
December is an important month for business owners – for many, it’s the busiest time of the year. While the latest provincial health restrictions are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19, they have a major impact on many local businesses. That’s why they need all the support that Calgarians are able to give.
Citizens who have the means, can support local in a variety of ways, including:
- Order takeout from local restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.
- Buy gift cards for a friend or family member from a local spa, salon, museum or recreation facility for when they re-open to the public.
- Send flowers to a friend, donate to a local charity, or pick up some extra items for the foodbank.
- Take online classes from their favourite local gym.
- Even though retail stores remain open with limited capacity, consider getting curbside pickup or shop at local businesses online. If you are going into a store, wear a mask, keep your distance and practice good hand hygiene.
According to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, “While things look different this year, we can still support one another through the holiday season. Buy those last minute gifts from your favourite local businesses and, if you can, give generously to the many charitable organizations in need. We can #SupportLocalYYC and support each other at the same time.”
Santa and New Year’s
For the first time ever, earlier this week City Council declared Santa Claus as an essential service through a special Notice of Motion. This means Santa can visit households and deliver presents to children across the city on Christmas Eve.
While New Year’s Eve events and festivities are cancelled this year due to COVID, The City will air a video of past Calgary fireworks on The City’s Facebook page starting at 9 p.m. and then again at midnight on New Year’s Eve to help bring some light to Calgary households.
The City is working with The Province to clarify guidelines around outdoor skating and the use of outdoor rinks. The person or organization in charge of the rink should determine the maximum number of attendees allowed in the space at one time to allow for proper physical distancing. The most important part to adhere to is skating only with members in your household and staying two metres away from other skaters.
Mental and social support during the holidays
The City would like to remind Calgarians who are struggling that there are resources and supports available. If you or someone you know needs emotional, mental or social support over the holidays, please call 211 or text INFO to 211.
The Calgary East Zone Newcomers Collaborative has been supporting newcomers in East Calgary and helping the Government of Alberta provide resources tailored to the community. Calgarians living in the North East in need of support are encouraged to call 1-833-217-6614.
Carpooling is not recommended under The Provincial Health Orders, however, we understand that some people must carpool to get to work. If you must carpool everyone in the vehicle should wear a mask and sit as far away from other passengers as possible. Sit in a zig zag pattern so no one is in front or to the side of you. Open a window for some extra ventilation.
Community Peace Officers and the Calgary Police Service continue to work together, along with Alberta Health Services, to ensure Calgarians safety through the enforcement of all bylaws and public health orders.
For more information visit Calgary.ca/COVID19 or call 311.