Nov. 16, 2021

Neighbourhood storytelling-on-a-postcard idea takes root, thanks to UCalgary student competition

Global Community Challenge invites Calgary's arts community to share personal stories; submissions open until Dec. 12
Postcard by Rachelle Skilling in Beddington
Postcard by Rachelle Skilling in Beddington

Last year, UCalgary International kicked off an innovative initiative to help students develop global and intercultural capacity amid the pandemic. The Global Community Challenge YYC (GCC) launched in October 2021 to bring students together into transdisciplinary and cross-cultural teams to work with local organizations in Calgary, learn about the challenges they are facing, and identify potential solutions that could have a global impact.

“The international virtual collaboration that takes place during the GCC provides global learning opportunities to students from UCalgary and students around the world, and allows us to foster deeper connections with partner universities,” says Cheryl Dueck, senior academic director (international). “Many of the community partners we work with are implementing and using the solutions that the students developed for them.”

Community partner Loft 112 fosters Calgary dialogue

One of those community partners is Loft 112, a creative hive where ideas are given space to develop, a place where established and emerging writers, readers, artists and poets are supported, a place where unheard voices are given a platform and a place of collaboration.

Loft 112, a community partner from the winter 2021 competition, was so pleased with their student team’s proposal that they have already began implementing it. They are embarking on a city-wide participatory project created to foster dialogue and community connection through “storytelling-on-a-postcard.”

Cards for Community invites all Calgarians — artists, musicians, storytellers, craft-makers, photographers, writers, cooks, bakers, poets, anyone who lives, works, plays, gathers in our city and wishes to participate — to open up this city, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, story by poem, image by song, and handicraft by recipe. At the centre of the initiative are four-by-six postcards.

Tell us about the neighbourhood where you live

“We aim to connect strangers and neighbours through sharing stories about the neighbourhood they live in on a four-by-six postcard for a large-scale physical and virtual art show at Loft 112 in Calgary’s East Village and The Central Library in February 2022,” says Lisa Murphy Lamb, director at Loft 112.

“At the end of the exhibit, 21 postcards from 21 different neighbourhoods will be awarded $300 each and will be printed and available to pick up at various locations around the city. Our project challenge is to receive at least one postcard from every one of Calgary’s 212 neighbourhoods.”

Murphy Lamb says, “Working with students from around the world gave us a valuable and broader view which we were looking for to expand our reach within the city with a creative project. The hope is to make invisible parts of our city visible and to amplify stories from all over Calgary.”

To get involved and learn more go to: or contact Lisa Murphy Lamb at The deadline to enter Cards for Community is Dec. 12, 2021. The art show will run Feb. 1 to 27, 2022 at Loft 112 and The Central Library.

The third installment of the GCC launched this fall. Don’t miss out on your chance to hear how students are creating local solutions to global challenges at finals on Nov. 18. Register to attend here.