Unfortunately, we’ve been informed that after next month, the City of Calgary Mobile Skatepark Program will be discontinued. This is as a result of the city’s recent $60 million in budget cuts.
Before Genesis Centre skatepark, before Southwood, even before Millennium, there were the mobile skateparks.
The first mobile skatepark in Calgary was built in 1997 during initial talks about Calgary’s first permanent skatepark. Programming ran between July and August and the park was located in the neighbourhoods of Southland, Silver Springs, and Downtown (at 5th Ave and 5th St). The mobile skatepark was so successful that community associations requested the skatepark the following year, and thus the mobile skatepark program was born.
One set of ramps turned into two, then four, and in 2017 the program was expanded to include 6 parks worth of ramps that could be set up around the city simultaneously. In 2017 there were 24 communities that hosted mobile skateparks for either two weeks or a month between May and September.
The mobile skateparks have serviced areas without permitted, permanent skateparks and travelled throughout all quadrants of the city throughout the summer. For years the only indoor skateboarding opportunities in the city where when the mobile parks were in recreation centre indoor hockey rinks, like Village Square. Rain or shine, this gave youth (CASE board members included, back in the day) a local opportunity to skate without having to rely on transit or parents to drive you downtown or out to one of the skateparks in surrounding towns (Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, etc). While parents were at work, they could relax knowing that their children were in a safe environment, operated by the City, that allows them to hang out all day, make new friends, get active, and learn new and valuable skills.
The mobile skatepark program has employed local skateboarders who have been helpful, friendly, and got the youth stoked about skateboarding. This helped strengthen the relationship between the City and skateboarding community. The mobile parks have been a low barrier entry to skateboarding for youth. Staff helped parents and youth realize that the skatepark is a welcoming environment that supports skaters of all levels and fosters a real sense of community. Staff members even taught lessons to those new to skateboarding.
The City has used the mobile parks for collecting valuable data used in important decision making regarding where to locate permanent skateparks. The mobile parks have also contributed to the Calgary skate scene through events like skate jams and competitions in collaboration with Calgary skate advocacy groups and skate shops alike. In 2018 alone the mobile parks hosted 24 competitions from June to September.
We are now looking to communicate with the City to understand what is next for the mobile skateparks and find out if there is any way we can work with them to ensure that the parks are used in some capacity in the future.
For an in depth look at the past 20 years of skatepark development in Calgary, check out Board Member Jeff Hanson’s master’s thesis: Collaborate, Participate, and Skate.
We hope that you can check out the mobile skateparks before September 5. For the list of locations, dates, and hours, please visit the city’s website.
For the second year, we were able to offer an “intro to skateboarding” camp with youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary‘s Genesis Centre location.
Thanks to sponsors Supra Distribution, New Line Skateparks, and Canada Skateboard, all 15 youth participants were able to take home the skateboards and helmets provided– not to mention a solid foundation for skateboarding and skatepark etiquette.
We anticipate the permanent skatepark at the Genesis Centre to open within the coming weeks, with an official grand opening celebration set for early September.
Thanks to Everett from Academy Skateboard Collective for co-leading as well as volunteers Joel, Matt, Jesse, Roger, and Tyler. This excellent video was created by Matt Allen of Flying Fox Productions:
Derrick Timoshenko is a Calgary skateboarder, CASE supporter, and overall rad dude! We’re pleased to have our youth journalist Peter Osiowy conduct this interview and showcase local talent in Calgary!
Photo: Steve Marentette
What was your first set up?
Walmart board. No idea what it was, but I know it was from Walmart though.
Which felt better down a 12 stair? A nollie heel or fakie frontside flip?
Fakie frontside flip. It took a lot of attempts, probably at least 2-3 hours. When I pulled it off I almost couldn’t believe it.
Did those tricks happen on the same day?
No, different days.
Place you want to visit?
Paris. I’ve had a bunch of buddies go there and they’re always sending videos and stuff. Cool architecture and skate parks. Good food.
Photo: Rob Bishop
Place you’ve been and want to return to?
Steaks or sushi.
Definitely sushi. Love the ginger too.
When you’re setting up a skateboard, do you carve the tape out with a file before you cut it?
For sure. I always use a file or something similar first. Actually, I’ve never seen anyone not use a file.
So what’s it like being a really good skater vs. someone who spends more time trying tricks?
It does feel good to land tricks, but I do put in tons of effort trying and working on new tricks and all, and I do spend lots of time not landing things. I like seeing people work hard to pull off a trick is a lot cooler than doing the same tricks over and over. I’d rather do something I’m uncomfortable doing than do the same things I already know I can do.
Photo: Steve Marentette
Do you have your half dozen tricks you know you can land to warm up?
Of course, but that’s just for the warm up. It’s about trying to get things that are out of your realm. That’s progression to me.
Is there anything you’ve been thinking about trying that you want to share?
Skate the Stampede Corral rail.
What did you learn from the visioning session for the future of skateboarding in Calgary?
If I can give anything back to skating it would be an honour. Helping out skateboarding in any way would be an honour. There’s a lot to do for skateboarding that I never realized, and CASE works really hard for the skateparks and the community. The goals all hover around more or less the same question – how to progress skating in Calgary. I’m probably most excited about seeing an indoor skate park built in the next five years.
What do you think would need to happen for an indoor skate park to be built?
There needs to be funding — from government, or WinSport, or private investors, or maybe all three. A proper indoor park won’t be cheap, but I think it is a combined effort with the skating community also becoming more involved.
Photo: Liam Glass
What advice would you give to a new skateboarder?
Practice makes perfect. Patience is a virtue. Hard work will reward.
Very hyped on CASE, and on everything they’ve done for the community. I’m really appreciative of all their hard work. Sign up to Canada Skateboard! Have fun out there and be safe!
Photo: Jade Hertz
Come on out to Millennium and help clean up and paint the park on Saturday June 8th from 10am – 3pm (*Note – Park will not be usable during painting).
Then get pumped for the CASE fundraiser at the @palominosmokehouse Saturday night. Doors 8pm – Bands 930pm. Will have a ton of awesome items for silent auction. Be sure to follow us on facebook and Instagram to check out all the great stuff available!
Thanks to everyone who has helped us out:
– Youth Brigade
– Nine Times
– The Source
– Vans Canada/King Pin Agency
– The Ship & Anchor
– DC Skateboarding
– Pabst Blue Ribbon
– The Compound
– Jon Balletta (Eternal Image Tattoos)
– [x] Conz
– Darren Parnell (High Wire Tattoo)
– Dylan Birkholm (High Wire Tattoo)
– Garret Price (Tattoo Artists)
– Mike Peace/Parkour Tattoo
– Village Brewery
– Legend 7/Hey Y’All
– Lulu lemon
– Concorde Group
– Dylan Llewellyn
– Red Bull
– Boring art
– Mark Kawalchuk
– SAXX underwear (Lachelt Marketing)
– Adrian & Martinus Pool
– Right to Roam
– Kermillac Skateboards
– Salad Skateboards
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.showpass.com/case-fundraiser/
Contact [email protected] with any questions!
Thanks to everyone who supported CASE at our 2019 AGM on May 22nd! We shared a lot of information about the upcoming year in Calgary Skateboarding including:
- Skatepark construction updates
- CASE’s new vision
- Millennium Clean-up and Painting (June 8th Afternoon)
- Fundraiser and Convert at Palomino (June 8th Evening)
- Supply box project expansion
- 2019 @yyctrickoftheyear
- Field Law Grant – “There Gives the Neighborhood”
- Canada Skateboard membership and Contest Series
And a lot more! Check the presentation below and email [email protected] about volunteer opportunities or any questions!