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Our High River Community Summit

We are so excited for the Our High River 3rd Annual Community Summit.

This year's theme is Connection.

We will start the conversations at the Community Café on Wednesday January 11, 2017.  We are at Carlson's on McLeod from 5-8pm.  Come and join the fun...free food and refreshments.  Kick off 2017 by bringing a friend, neighbour or co-worker with you!  We will be having fun and making a 2017 Community declaration/resolution together!!

Then Saturday January 14th we have a full day of awesomeness planned! (lol)

You can come for the whole day, part of the day...whatever works for you.  We also have free childcare available if you register in advance.  Email ourhighriver@gmail.com (let us know your kids age, allergies and interests)

We would also LOVE you to register if you're coming (kids or not) so we can provide you with FREE breakfast AND lunch!! ourhighriver@gmail.com

Get your licence to connect and join the road trip with us for Our High River.

You can see in the photo about the agenda for the day...we have many things planned.  But our ultimate goal is to equip you and get action started in High River.  This is OUR year to make things happen in OUR community. 

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You are invited to apply for the Community Vitality Advisory Committee...

We need community minded volunteers like you to join the Community Vitality Advisory Committee!  We are looking for up to 9 citizens who can take off their "individual" hat and put on their "community" hat to help us advise Council on how to spend funds on Community Led Initiatives.

Members on the committee will be responsible for:

  • Receiving, assessing and making recommendations to council on the awarding of funds from the Community Vitality Fund.
  • Monitoring the awarded funds and updating Council accordingly.
  • Ensuring that effective communication and consultation with the community plays a major role in the efforts of the committee to fulfill its purpose.

For more information follow the link to the town's website: http://highriver.ca/index.php/en/publicforums/news-forum/news-releases/1573-town-seeking-applicants-for-community-vitality-advisory-committee-town-seeking-applicants-for-community-vitality-advisory-committee

We believe that members of Our High River would be excellent candidates for this committee because we know how committed each of you are in moving forward community initiatives and projects. Please consider this your personal invitation to apply to join this committee.  We also know there is a pool of knowledge and wisdom within the Our High River network that can help support citizen led initiatives to move forward and grow sustainably to continue to enhance the high quality of life we enjoy in High River!

"Citizens building community. Community building citizens."

- Caitland and Jody

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Do you have an idea that will help bring people in your neighbourhood together? Want to host a neighbourhood gather or have an idea to help enhance the beauty of your neighbourhood?  How about the downtown? Do you have an amazing idea that will bring vitality into the downtown core this winter?

The Community Vitality Fund still has some funding available for 2016 and we want citizens to leverage this funding before next year! So if you have an idea, call Caitland at 403-603-3447 or email casmundson@highriver.ca to share your idea and see if it is a fit for the CVF!

Want to help make a difference in how grants are awarded yearly?  The Community Vitality Fund pilot has been so successful this year that the Town of High River is moving towards this model for all community funding in the future. Are you a "big picture" thinker who has a passion for High River? We are looking for residents who want to sit on the Communtiy Vitality Advisory Committee to advise Council on how to allocate community funding 3 times a year.  Check out the link to apply! http://www.highriver.ca/index.php/en/publicforums/news-forum/news-releases/1573-town-seeking-applicants-for-community-vitality-advisory-committee-town-seeking-applicants-for-community-vitality-advisory-committee

It is up to each of us to create the community we want to live in!

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Mystery on Mainstreet & OHR App Update!

Hey Our High River!

Many of you have been asking us to share some photos from the Mystery on Mainstreet. Sorry it took us a while - the team had ALOT of amazing photos to go through!

For those of you that don't know, the Mystery on Mainstreet event was held on the morning of Saturday November 5th in downtown High River.  It was an amazing event with over 70 citizens in attendance! We were testing out the NEW! Our High River App to see how the "push notification technology" would work.  Some of you might be asking....what is this app all about??? Since we have completed our first phase of testing, we are now working with the amazing team at Rally Engine to roll out the second phase of the app - Volunteer Connection!

One of the main pieces of feedback that came out of the Vital Signs survey was that people want more ways to get connected to events, community activities, and volunteer opportunities in High River.  The Our High River app is going to have the capacity to share all this information in time, but for now we are focusing on the volunteer aspect.

What can you do to get involved?

Download the App! Search "Our High River" in the App Store or Google Play (coming soon to Blackberry!)  --> Activate Account using the activation code "our high river" --> Fill in your information and complete the volunteer profile!

Next week we get to see what this section of the app will actually look like so if you work in an organization that has volunteers, or if you have some ideas to share email us at ourhighriver@gmail.com or stop by the office or give us a call at 403-603-3447.

And don't forget to check out the amazing photos and videos from the day! https://www.facebook.com/ourhighriver/photos/?tab=album&album_id=726488417517853

- Caitland and Jody

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Mayor Craig Snodgrass Trains for Mystery on Mainstreet

It's a grueling time for our Mayor.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass is training heavily for the Mystery On Mainstreet event on Saturday November 5th.

I have been personally coaching the Mayor as he asked for some extra guidance to ensure he's ready for the big day. 

Here's how it's been going....

Are you registered?

Are you ready?

It's going to be soooooo much fun!!!

www.mystery.ourhighriver.com

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OHR - There's An APP for that!

Hello!!

The official launch of the Our High River app is here!  You can download it now from the App Store or Google app store for iPhone and Android...coming soon for BlackBerry.

We are so excited about it!  It will gives us all opportunity to get more connected in our community.

Get yours downloaded today for FREE!

When you get it - click on activation - your code is : our high river

Then go into setting up your email/password and profile.

Have it ready for Mystery on Mainstreet on Saturday November 5th!

www.mystery.ourhighriver.com

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A BEE-utiful Ending.

Congrats Our High River Wisenheimers! 

We made it to the death round!  The final two teams but unfortunately didn't take the trophy home.  The winners were the Big Rockies Team from Okotoks.

But in reality the real winners from Saturday's Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee was the Literacy For Life Foundation.  They raised over $15,000 for literacy programs in our communities. 

Thanks to all who donated, cheered on teams and volunteered!  It was awesome!

PLUS you helped the Wisenheimers meet their $1000 goal so come to Rotary Park on Friday at Noon to see them getting covered in honey and feathers but the Chicken and the Bee.

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Is It Seriously The End Of September?

At first I thought the summer went by quickly and then September disappeared.

Anyone else feeling this way?

We are getting back into routine in our kids lives and in the community.

Huge congrats to all after an incredible weekend in High River!

Coming soon details on the launch of the Vital Signs survey!  We are so excited!!! Stay tuned.

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We Want Your Ideas!!!

Do you have an idea that you are passionate about and want to lead to completion? There is up to $30 000.00 in community funding now available to passionate citizens like you!

How long have you been thinking about ______?  How many times have you wanted to do something in the community but the funding wasn't there... or maybe you just didn't know how to go about it.

Now is the time to get your great idea into motion.

Details are below in the info we released earlier in the week.

Monday, July 4, 2016

HIGH RIVER, AB: The citizen led group ‘Our High River’ is partnering with the Town to launch the Community Vitality Fund (CVF) that is now available to citizens and community groups.

The fund aims to support community improvement projects or events that will help to make the town more attractive or safe, raise the level of community pride, showcase High River as a vital place to visit, live, or invest in, and/or improve the overall quality of life for citizens. 

“It is the people of High River who build this community and contribute to the vitality and high quality of life we enjoy here,” says Caitland Asmundson, community support worker for the Town. “This fund will provide an opportunity for citizens who are really passionate about an idea and want to take action to move it forward.”

The Community Vitality Fund is available for project expenses based on equivalent contributions of volunteer labour, other funding sources, and in-kind donations. Matching funds are awarded following an application, review, and approval process. 

In order to qualify for funding, applicants must demonstrate that their project will address some of the objectives of the CVF, such as:

  • Increasing the beauty and integrity of neighbourhoods
  • Stimulating communication and interaction between neighbours, citizens and local government
  • Drawing awareness, encouraging visitation, or attracting tourism to High River
  • Encouraging community based arts and culture projects within High River

“Neighbours, citizens, or community groups who are inspired to lead a project from the beginning through to completion in partnership with other community members, groups, or organizations and the Town of High River can apply for awards up to $2,000 in matching funds,” says Asmundson.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis up until December 1, 2016 and must be received two weeks prior to the anticipated start date of the project.  The CVF cannot fund salaries, fundraising events, ongoing operating expenses, or reimburse expenses for existing projects.

The Community Vitality Fund is a partnership of three community funds; The Neighbourhood Matching Fund, Economic Development Fund, and Arts & Culture Vitality Fund

To apply, contact Caitland (403.603.3447) to discuss your project and how to complete the application.  Submit your Community Vitality Fund Application by email to casmundson@highriver.ca or in person by appointment at the Culture Centre, 251 – 9 Avenue S.W.

Visit www.ourhighriver.com for the application and guidelines!

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The Cemetery

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to complete the Vital Signs survey.  Results and a report of all the information collected will be presented to the community in early October.  We can't wait to share with you and continue to grow this amazing town. #highriverawesome #movingforward

This week, my son and I took a bike ride to the cemetery.  I know it sounds kind of morbid, but he was really curious to take a look.  Mostly from his over-watching of the show Goosebumps, RL Stine and Scooby Doo.  He was sad to learn there was no ghosts to be seen in broad daylight and no zombies. :)

I did want to turn it into a learning opportunity as much as it was a fitness destination.  So we took a stroll through the various headstones and read about who was here before us.  We talked about how many of the people who were remembered here were those who help to build our community.  They were past business owners, political officials, first responders, teachers and more.  They were people who had great ideas and followed through.  They were people who worked together because they loved their town. 

He answered me with "you mean like we do now Mom?" (exactly)

One particular family plot caught his attention as there was a little boy who died at 7 years of age.  Kaiden was shocked to think of another little boy his same age who died.  We then chatted about life, living it each day, about being a great person and about heaven. 

Who would have thought a simple bike ride could lead to all this.  I am so grateful.

Honestly that's how I feel when I am in the graveyard.  Grateful.  Thankful to all those who paved the way.  And I can only hope one day someone will say the same about me and my family.

Speaking of great ideas...launched this week is the Community Vitality Fund. $30,000 is up for grabs in community grants.  If you missed the open house on Wednesday night we will have more information posted soon.

Be a paver, share those ideas and be one of the people who helped be a builder in our community. 

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#HighRiverAwesome

We have one week left for the Vital Signs survey.  As I write this blog we are approaching the 400 mark.  We need MORE, MORE, MORE filled out.  The more the better.  We will have some paper copies available to fill out while you enjoy the music tomorrow (June 18) at the Community Celebration in George Lane Park.  So pop by and say hi and grab your survey.

As you are more than aware, this weekend marks the 3rd anniversary of the 2013 Flood.  I debated whether I would write anything about it, as much as I have debated what I would do on the Sun Country morning show for June 20th.  My conclusion is the same.  Conversations still need to happen (whether we want them to or not) not only about our experience but even more importantly where we are headed, how far we have come and how there have been some really great things to come from that event in our lives.

What I would LOVE to see all of us do on Monday is fill our social media, websites and online areas with a bunch of positive stories, pictures and elements so that we can take over the regular stream of "news" that will happen that day when people look back.  Don't share your memories from Facebook with photos from that day.... go take a new photo of your favorite park, trail, area of High River and talk about how much you love it! 

Yes there are many still dealing with issues and there are many of us still in pain.  That's ok too.  We all know we felt that trigger when we heard the news of Fort McMurray.  What we have established since then is a great network of connections.  This site here is proof of that and a great place for you to post comments, thoughts and if you require some help getting through a day.  We have become a better and tighter community. 

Let's make June 20th #HighRiverAwesome

Who's willing to help me/join me to spread love and positive messages on Monday?

And I know all I talk about lately is Vital Signs.... but in this last week... a great way to help the community move forward is to fill it out - "for-reals" lol. This is going to be the tool to help celebrate what is great and grow what is needed.  If you've filled yours out (thank you) please encourage friends and neighbors to do the same.

http://vitalsigns.highriver2016.nrgsurveys.ca

p.s. Don't forget to click on the area where you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to a local business of your choice.

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Yes, there it is...my attempt at some blog humour.  Or perhaps not.  But maybe just maybe it got your attention to read it.  Which is also the outcome we are looking for.

The Vital Signs survey has been out for 10 days and we have just over 200 completed.  This is awesome! If you've filled yours out, thank you.  Keep sharing on your social media and your network.  If you haven't had the chance yet, this is your friendly reminder.  We have till June 24th to get them completed. Our goal is to reach 1000! (So we really need to up our game moving forward!)

My son Kaiden is helping us to track this goal...with our vital signs thermometer.

(as of June 3 just over 200)

The survey doesn't take very long to complete and like we have said before it's going to be an extremely helpful tool in moving the community forward. 

http://vitalsigns.highriver2016.nrgsurveys.ca

I want to take a moment and thank our local media - The High River Times, High River Online, 99.7 Sun Country and AM 1140 for helping us get the word out.  It's appreciated.  Thank you for the stories, interviews and putting it into your community events.  

Wednesday June 8 is the next COMMUNITY CAFE! And we are thrilled to be having for the first time at Carlson's on Macleod.  Thanks in advance to Don & Brenda for hosting us.  Like all cafes it's a come and go style between 5-8pm.  Our topic this month is, of course, Vital Signs!  We will have computers available to fill out your survey while you're there too if you like.

We are looking for volunteers to help us share the survey in the community.  If you are able to attend events, take it to meetings and gatherings or assist in any way please email us at ourhighriver@gmail.com.

Our High River will also have office space at the Culture Centre.  We are just about all moved in and can't wait to show it off to you.

Have a great weekend!!!

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Vital Signs Survey Launched

TODAY, Our High River is honoured to partner with FCSS and The Town of High River and take the lead on launching a Vital Signs survey in our community.

I know you may be thinking… “What? Another survey? Didn’t we just do the census?” But hear me out!!

This is an essential tool that is going to help all of us. It’s a way to measure our strengths, to celebrate what we’ve done correctly and shed a light on areas in which YOU feel require improvement in our community. This will help us to act on our local priorities and let you grade where we are at. This is YOUR VOICE.

What’s really cool is - the Vital Signs program offers more than just a survey. It’s a community engagement process that is ongoing and will offer you an opportunity to interact throughout the year. Following the survey we will have Vital Focus and Vital Conversations (Our Community Café’s). The results of the survey will be presented on October 4, 2016.

This quality of life survey we focus on 8 key impact areas that measure the vitality of the community.

  • Connection – Neighbourhoods, Citizen Engagement, Inclusion, Sense of Community, Volunteerism, Belonging.

  • Environment – Conservation, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Sustainability, Natural Environment

  • Expression – Visual and Handmade Art, Music, Theatre, Culture

  • Health & Well-Being – Mental Health, Physical Health, Sports, Recreation

  • Lifelong Learning – Early Childhood Development, Education, Learning, Adult Learning

  • Livability – Housing, Work, Getting Around, Food, Affordability, Economy, Employment, A Place to Call Home

  • Safety – Personal Safety, Environmental Safety, Safety Knowledge

  • Thriving Populations – Seniors, Adults, Youth, Young Families, Immigrant Newcomers

Isn’t this awesome??? You will have until June 24th to complete the survey. AND can chose to enter-to-win a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant of choice!

Fill the survey out online OR pick up a paper copy at the FCSS office, Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex or Town Hall.

http://vitalsigns.highriver2016.nrgsurveys.ca

Plus the Our High River team will be bringing them out to community events during the time frame. If you would like us to come talk to your group, organization or gathering let us know! We would love to come out and share with you and help you with it! Just email us ourhighriver@gmail.com or call 403-603-3447.

We would also LOVE to see you sharing with your friends, neighbours, co-workers and community members. Take pics or video of you taking part. Post it on your social media and let’s get fired up about High River together! Use #HRvitalsigns and #ourhighriver  

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Little Britches Weekend

It's the 58th annual tradition in our community.  Little Britches weekend.  It's a great time to get out and connect with your community!

You can see a full list of events and times at www.highrivertourism.com

AND...while you're out and about be sure to take lots of pictures and share them with us!

If you post on social media use #ourhighriver or if you grab great pics and videos you can also share them with us by emailing them to ourhighriver@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing what fun you have this long weekend.

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We're Excited!

Yes, we're excited about a lot of things.  But to be totally honest with you today I am thrilled because I have figured out how to update the blog.  Sometimes you have to truly celebrate the little things.  Are you with me?  It's a little win.  Love little wins. 

May has been off to a great start for the transition within Our High River.  The fabulous Jodi Dawson who took this project, ran with it and made it what it is today has moved on to a new position with the Town of High River as the Manager of Economic Development.  Myself (Jody Seeley) and Caitland Asmundson are now guiding this project.  Which in reality is YOU.  We are here to help you the citizens continue to grow your community.  We like the analogy of Batman and Robin.  We are a team and we are as excited to work together as we are with you.

Our community café last week was awesome.  Thank you to all who came out to connect.  Thank you to Joyce and the crew at the High River library for giving us the space to connect.  With it being mental health month, our topic was "How's Your 5?" 

Coming up May 24th we have another amazing launch of a project/tool that's really going to help our community.  We cannot wait to share it with you.  And to be honest, this tool won't work without you.  Stay tuned for details and get ready to help us launch this amazing place forward even more.  We know you want to help, we know you want to share, we know you want to give your thoughts and ideas.  And in just under one week YOU WILL!

Shout out to Kelci at the High River Times for doing this great article on Our High River!  We loved chatting with you and we thank you and The Times for their continued support.

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We're Excited