What does Calgary mean to you?
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
— Margaret J. Wheatley



The Project

What makes a successful city?

This is the guiding question for Calgary On Purpose. We are a group of Calgarians interested in what makes a ‘successful’ city, and we need people from all walks of life to join that conversation. As a citizen-led platform, our mission is to increase transparency, build trust, and facilitate inclusion. We believe that every individual has the power to shape Calgary’s future.

What makes us different?

There are a lot of other civic engagement initiatives. What makes Calgary On Purpose different, is that we prioritize face-to-face encounters over online surveys. We believe that the most transformational conversations happens in person.

We host regular public events that explore what makes a successful city. Our events spotlight people from diverse backgrounds – including policy experts and people experiencing homelessness – to speak on city issues that matter to them. We encourage public participation, as well as disagreement, and we challenge you to raise the tone of the conversation for our political leaders.

How does this impact you?

Calgary On Purpose is a project made by and for all Calgarians. Its overarching purpose is to encourage Calgarians to ask thoughtful and informed questions during the 2021 municipal election.

If you have an idea you want to share, or a project that you are already working on, please connect with us by filling out one of our contact forms.

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The People


jason grelowski

Jason Grelowski is a business executive and entrepreneur, with over 20 years’ worth of experience advising and leading organizations. He assists corporations and businesses, in both the private and public sectors, to re-invent and re-position themselves to be stronger and more effective. As a native Albertan and proud Calgarian, he has lived and enjoyed cities across Canada and has developed a strong commitment to his community and the arts.

Jason is a creative thinker and strategist, with an infectious passion and positive outlook. He is committed to Calgary On Purpose’s desire for positive dialogue, supplemented by fact-based policy discussions.


Nicole Hartley Bradford

Nicole Hartley Bradford has a crazy dream of a re-wilded world, where re-naturalized humans live in communities – so intimate and intelligently designed, that we call them villages – on a planet we have ‘salved’ with loving awareness.

She’s devoted to setting an imperfect living example, here, in Calgary: speaking, writing and facilitating to inspire and empower others to do what they can, wherever they may be.

Nicole openly shares the many tools she and her friends have found, created and tested in pop-up and long-term experimental villages in and around Calgary.

She trusts that her dream will be realized. She also realizes it might not — but in any case, she hopes that her four children and that the children of the future might be proud of her efforts.


Sarah Hertz

Sarah Hertz is working towards her MPP at UCalgary's School of Public Policy. Her Capstone project, supervised by Dr Myles Leslie, is a comparative study of Calgary and Detroit that examines whether propping up a single industry will ’save’ a city. She is also working as a Research Assistant for Dr PG Forest, in the School’s new Urban Policy division, and as a policy advisor for Calgary On Purpose. She holds a Master's (MPhil) in Renaissance literature from the University of Cambridge and a BA Honours in English from the University of Calgary. She is also the Founder and Executive Editor of YYC Policy: the official publication for MPP candidates at SPP.

Raised in southwest Calgary, Sarah now lives closer to downtown and enjoys cycling to work – weather permitting! Inspired by her commute, she has become interested in how transportation infrastructure can strengthen community ties.


kris kelly-frère

Kris has staked his career on the idea that people will rise to the challenge if asked the right question.

Currently supporting the transformation of a regional recreation centre into a next generation social infrastructure hub and movement, he also leads a hybrid public health research project + social innovation lab called the GenH Play project. He's primarily interested in the craft of leadership and the development of adaptive and resilient communities.

Previously a Senior Innovation Designer helping to found the Civic Innovation YYC Project at the City of Calgary, he focused on working to craft new channels for citizens to create with their governments. Along the way his team nurtured adaptive tools and mindsets with the belief that government can, and must, do better. He appreciates the challenge of asking "how could I be a better ancestor" as we tackle emergent and complex problems.

Holding a Master’s degree in Architecture, Kris was part of the core team that designed the experiences and operations for Canada's newest science centre, TELUS Spark. He's an Alumni of Leadership Calgary, The Banff Centre, and has broad experience applying both design and strategic thinking at a range of scales. His work also includes an active art practice, community leadership and critical writing. In another life, he was a tap dance instructor, sometimes coaches high intensity rowing classes, and can't stop drawing.

Kris has called this place home his whole life. He has a young daughter and husband who's future drives his passion for leaving them better traileads. He is committed to nurturing and caring for the wonderfully strange frontier that is our place in this landscape.

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Colin Jackson

Having retired after a career in the performing arts and broadcasting, Colin Jackson volunteers in support of education, poverty relief, and community building organizations. He admires the wisdom of First Nations author, Thomas King, who says that "we are the stories we tell."

As a proud Calgarian, Colin wants to be part of revealing, then telling, a story of our city as a place of deep connectivity, remarkable kindness, and selfless compassion.