Please join us on Thursday, February 5th for the Edgemont Skatepark Design Open House. It’s drop-in format so stop by Edgemont Community Centre (33 Edgevalley Circle NW) between 6PM and 8PM. Facebook event page here.
We encourage all Calgary skaters to attend as there has been some opposition to this future park by some misinformed and misguided residents. In fact, one resident has been circulating a petition and had a meeting on January 15th to try to drum up support for his inaccurate and misleading petition.
Show Your Support
Residents of Edgemont and other Ward 4 communities need to show their support for this skatepark. Don’t give a very few loud individuals making irrational and unfounded arguments get in the way of your park being built! Show your support by:
One of the concerns raised in the petition is noise. Studies have shown that skatepark noise in permanent concrete parks is no greater than a playground, baseball game, or busy street– all of which occur within or adjacent to the future Edgemont Skatepark location (John Laurie Park).
Another concern of the NIMBY petition author is “real estate value” being affected by “the permanent structure [which] would be a permanent eyesore”. Again, this is unfounded. The design/look of the Edgemont park hasn’t even been made public yet. Furthermore, there has been no evidence that a skatepark affects real estate values negatively. In fact, this exact location hosts a successful City of Calgary Mobile skatepark for most of the summer. Real estate values have not been affected.
The other worries of the petition writer are the classic, unfortunate stereotypes that most skateboarders have (unfortunately) gotten used to.
Again, we urge you to attend this meeting to show support. The City has approved this park and it was originally supported by 96% of survey respondents but unfortunately it could be affected by a few noisy residents with outdated views.
We sat down over coffee with roommates Kevin Lowry and Tyler Warren to find out about what makes them tick. Enjoy!
You guys have been roommates for a while, right? Tell us about the spot you live in, as there’s some great skate history there.
Tyler: We’ve been roommates for almost a year now.
Kevin: I’ve been living there [above Kalamata Grocery] for eight years.
T: I just moved back last winter from Vancouver.
How long were you in Vancouver for?
T: Like two years, on and off.
So who else lives with you guys?
K: Bacon [Cory McNeil]
T: Bacon. Cory. Haha.
You’ve had a lot of roommates at that place, right?
K: Drew [Merriman], Andy, Sean MacAlister, Ben Blundell, Dylan Homer, Paul Gonzalez.
Where do you guys skate in the winter, with no indoor park in Calgary?
K: I skate one indoor spot but I can’t talk about it. That’s about it. My friend had a mini ramp but he moved.
T: There’s one secret spot but we can’t go there that often. It rarely happens. So Skate Church.
K: Every Tuesday.
T: You give’r cause it’s two hours a week that you get to skate.
K: Those guys that run it, I always have to go say “thank you” because they volunteer every week to put up with mayhem.
T: We were actually just talking about Source Park last week. And how #$%#ed it actually was. It was insane. Guys like Bryan Wherry moved here just for the park. He didn’t know anyone. It was solely because of the park. It was the craziest park ever. I was watching videos of it the other day. I was so young at the time so I only went there for birthday parties and stuff.
Do you guys have any trips planned?
K: I’m going to SF in a couple days and then I’m coming home for five days. Then I’m going to Europe for six weeks. I’m going to Lisbon and all around Spain, London. Tyler’s gonna come meet up in Spain.
T: First time in Europe!
Have you been to all those places before, Kevin?
K: Yeah, pretty much. But not every single one.
T: We’re going to small places, small cities in Spain.
K: I’ve never been to Alicante or Malaga.
Is Barcelona still the spot or is it blown out?
K: I went twice last year. It’s still good; the police kind of suck. People are pretty over it. Almost every skater in the world has gone there.
One thing that people don’t realize is in Calgary is, the city builds something new and it turns into a spot…
T: People just go all in skating it and it gets capped in like two weeks.
K: And people don’t realize that they have to take care of these spots. If you bring a drink, don’t leave it on the ground. Be respectful. If someone walks by, it can be pretty intimidating if eight dudes are skating– just say, “Hi, how’s your day going?” or something like that. That can make them feel safe.
Any favourite spots?
K: I like City TV. That’s my favourite ledge to skate.
T: McDougall was the best but they’ve capped it and sandblasted it.
K: I like Chalk too.
T: Yeah, Chalk.
Kevin, you aren’t originally from Calgary. What brought you here?
K: I’m from Saskatoon. I came here to get sober when I was 16 years old. I was court ordered to a rehab center. A lot of people ask me while I still live here. I like it here. It’s central. I have good friends here, a good house. It’s comfortable.
What about you, Tyler? You came up with the last generation of the Skaters shop team. Who did you skate with growing up?
T: I grew up in Forest Lawn. None of the guys I used to skate with skate anymore. I met Ben (Blundell) and Dustin (Henry) when I became allowed to go downtown on my own. It’s because of meeting those guys from skating downtown and at Mills that I just hung out with them and no one from my neighbourhood.
How did you get the nickname “Crazy T”?
T: I don’t know, man.
K: Just trying to be crazy.
How did YOU get the nickname “Kevlar”? And is that one sticking?
K: I don’t know. A couple people said it and then Gonz said it. Yeah, it’s sticking. I actually don’t mind it. It doesn’t bother me. Kevlar is pretty tough.
Have you skated with Gonz more than once? What’s he like?
K: Yeah, a bunch of times. He’s super down to earth. I think it’s hard for him because he’s been in the limelight for so many years. If you’re just walking down the street with him he gets stopped and asked to pose for a photo. He’s famous in the skate and art world. He’s pretty full of life– almost like a big kid. He skates every day. He’ll go out by himself and skate an 8-stair.
What photos/videos are you most proud of?
K: The video part I’m most proud of is Elephant Direct. I just like that whole video. I also like Sus Monts though because it was all filmed in Calgary. It was also probably the most fun I’ve had skateboarding.
T: I haven’t had many. I guess Civic Affair. And my first published photos would be my favourites: the 50-50 on the red bar on the underpass [KingShit] and the gap 5-0 that was in Color. The blue one. Jeff Thorburn shot it.
Do you have copies of them?
T: Yeah, my mom collects them. If I get a photo I’ll tell her and she’ll go pick up the magazine.
K: I actually save everything I’ve been in: every video, every magazine.
Are you guys filming for anything right now?
T: Squad Massage. We’re going to Spain and then Bacon’s gonna put it out.
K: I’m kinda done filming for that.
T: The Antisocial video.
K: I’m filming for the adidas video. They’re making a full-length.
K: Jascha Muller, Skin Phillips, anyone who’s ever filmed me. Chris M, Bacon, Lars, Brandon Conroy, Joe Castrucci, my parents.
T: Clubgear, Antisocial, CASE, Jai Ball, Wherry.
CASE board members have reached out to City of Calgary Parks regarding the damage/wear to Millennium Park. We’ve combed the park and photographed the damaged areas and sent on to our City Parks contact. We’ll also be meeting with them in person to come up with some recommendations to make this skatepark safer for everyone.
Winter is here and, although there hasn’t been much snow yet, it’s definitely cold outside. That means another skateboarding season has come to an end. Calgary still has no indoor skatepark.
The only public option, currently, is “Skatelife” on Tuesday nights at Dalhousie Community Church. Click the image below for more info: