Kerby Centre Timeline

by Andrew McCutcheon

For everyone of our major milestones, the Kerby Centre and Kerby News has put together a massive timeline of the biggest and most important historical events that have occurred, every single year we’ve been open. 

To honour that tradition, here is the official Kerby Centre Timeline, updated for our 50th anniversary!  

1973

Moved into present location. 

First proposal for Adult Day Program to School of Nursing, University of Calgary. 

1974 – 1975

Opening of Wise Owl Boutique. 

Housing Registry funded by grant from Alberta Housing Corporation. 

1976 

Incorporation of Kerby Assembly under Societies Act. 

Fashion show of Yesteryears, founding event of the Museum of Fashion. 

1979

Trends in programs shifting markedly in direction of self-development. 

Social and health service delivery becoming an increasingly vital part of Kerby’s offering. 

1980

Provincial government carried out the following. 

Renovated and equipped kitchen. 

Refurbished gym floor. 

Painted interior. 

1981

Kerby Established memorial fund. 

1982

Opening of refurbished Dining Room. 

1984

In house xeroxed newsletter switched to a commercially printed newspaper. 

1985

Provincial government provided accessible washroom for Gym. 

Lee Porter refurbished main entrance to Kerby Centre in memory of her husband, John. 

Vivian Lindoe designed Kerby logo. 

1987

Plans drawn for Alice Harrison Addition to Kerby building to house proposed Adult Day Program. 

1988

Elder abuse becoming a pressing and present issue. 

1989

Adult day program opened. 

Operating funding by province of Alberta. 

Capital funding was 50 per cent by donations 50 per cent by province of Alberta. 

1991

The Hon. Ken Kowalski, then minister of Alberta Public Works, personally visited Kerby Centre to ascertain the condition of the building and grounds. As a result, he struck a committee to oversee a three-year upgrading plan which would include paving the parking area next to the building, installation of a chair lift making all parts of the building accessible, extensive repairs to the roof and an air conditioning system in the gym. 

1992

A proposal was submitted to the Provincial Government to implement an education program specific to abuse of older adults. 

1993

Kerby assumes publishing of Kerby News. 

1994 

The first Senior’s Trade Fair, what would go on to become the Kerby Expo, was held! 

1995

Fund Development Officer hired and Fund Development office opened. 

1997

Launched fundraising campaign for Shelter for Abused seniors. 

1998

Introduced Kerby News website. 

Started construction of Shelter for Abused seniors. 

1999

Official opening of the Kerby Shelter, the first purpose-built shelter for senior survivors of elder abuse in North America. 

Internet capability was made available to students and staff. 

2000

Grocery delivery service started as part of Information Department as a three year pilot project for Alberta Health and Wellness. 

2003

Shopping service completed its trial and was accepted as an FCSS funded program. 

Housing directory was first made available for free distribution 

Designed, built and entered a float in the Stampede Parade in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Kerby Centre. 

2005

The minister of seniors and Community Supports announced sustainable funding ($255,000) annually to cover a portion of the shelter operating costs. 

Kerby Centre distributed 600 tickets for the queen’s visit that were set aside for the seniors of Calgary. 

First membership appreciation tea is held. 

2006

As the first step in extending the west leg of the LRT< a four car station was proposed to be located directly in front of Kerby Centre. Kerby responded stating that this would require extensive access modifications which would have to be paid for by the City. 

2007

Kerby Centre collaborated in an effort to design a website for Calgary immigrant seniors. In this enterprise, the Kerby Centre Information Department assumed administrative responsibilities. Funding was provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to place the website on line in early 2008. 

Meetings were held with Chi Loo, assistant Deputy Minister of Seniors, in which he pledged support of the need of seniors shelters to achieve parity with Women’s and children’s shelters. 

The grocery delivery service, in conjunction with the Secret Santa organization, has added a birthday gift program to the Christmas Program. 

2008

Patricia E. Allen, CEO, tendered her resignation to be effective as of June 30, 2008. 

Honorary Life Memberships were presented to Noreen Mahooney, Betty McCreight, Sheila Power and Hank Heerema at the Annual Meeting. 

Hank Heerema also received the Minister’s Seniors Service Aware from the Honourable Mary Anne Jablonski, Minister of Seniors and Community supports for his outstanding contributions. 

2009

Richard Parker, current chair of the board, became involved with Kerby Centre after his retirement with the City of Calgary. 

2012

Kerby Station opens for public use on Dec. 10 After a long construction and negotiation with the City of Calgary, Kerby Centre becomes another downtown stop on the Blue Line, with the creation of the entrance vestibule we utilize to this day! 

2013

2013 broke records with 1,200 folks turning out for our 22nd annual Stampede Breakfast. Working with Shaw Community TV, Kerby Centre produces eight episodes of Successful Aging, which not only premiered on television but were also some of the first uploads to the Kerby Centre YouTube channel. 

2015

The First Annual Kerby Cares Gala is held in support of the programs and services offered by the Centre.  

Kerby expanded to a satellite location in the East Village known as Kerby2, following the closure of the Golden Age Club. Several programs were rapidly expanded to meet the needs of the seniors in the East Village.  

2016

Hank Herema steps down as board president of Kerby Assembly.  

In years previous, Hank had set a high bar for leadership within the Kerby Community. He started volunteering on the board of directors in 2010, but his association with Kerby started long before that. He helped Kerby with our computer and technology needs, volunteered at casinos, wrote for the Kerby News, and sat on special events, fundraising and many other committees. In 2016, Hank’s volunteer hours stood at over 25,000 and he still holds the position of president emeritus to this day. 

2017

The Rotary Club of Calgary South donated $4,000 for a new design and production computer for the Kerby News editorial team. 

Kerby held a variety of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation of Canada.  

2018

With our partners, the Alberta Association on Gerontology and the Alberta Gerontological Nurses Association, Kerby Centre released a study about caregivers who care for the 55+. The research, led by Allegra Samaha, aimed to “give voice to caregivers of people over the age of 55.” 

2019

The Rotary Club of South Calgary donated $6,000 to Kerby Centre to establish a Men’s Shed community. Men’s Sheds are a collaborative program developed to bring men together with their peers to support bonds and assist in the fight against isolation. 

Kerby’s Men’s Shed is still active to this day and meets at Kerby’s Wellness Centre, which would be established several years later. 

2020

In 2020, we had to shutter our doors in response to the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This put a massive strain on not only our organization, but our members who were isolated, worried and extremely affected by both the restrictions in response to and COVID-19 itself. 

However, our staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to come up with new and inventive ways to continue supporting and connecting with our community, even in the midst of an unprecedented event. 

We made social calls, we delivered hot meals, we figured out Zoom and then immediately started doing online programming – programming that we’re still doing today.  

COVID-19 would continue to affect us in the years to come, but 2021 was the year we realized Kerby Centre could do more and be more than what we’d be doing behind these four walls previously. 

2021

Kerby began delivering services and programs at the Veiner Centre in Medicine Hat, located in the new purpose-built seniors’ centre constructed to replace a building that was destroyed in the 2013 flood. We also took over operation of the Strathcona Centre, expanding the reach of our services and community farther than ever before! 

2022

Kerby Centre reveals its new branding: Unison Alberta, which oversees both the operation of Kerby Centre, and also the Strathcona and Veiner Centre’s in Medicine Hat. It is announced at the 2022 Seniors Expo, the first one to be held after the advent of COVID-19. Attendance records are blown away. 

2023

Unison’s Kerby Centre celebrates it’s 50th anniversary! 

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