Tag: Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues

The Top 10 Things I Loved About Working for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and Why You Should Apply for My Job…

Michael Janz, Marketing Director, EFCL - Photo c/o Metro Edmonton

For the past three and half years I have been privileged to have one of the coolest jobs in Edmonton.

As many of you know, in addition to being the Ward F Edmonton Public School Trustee, I’ve been employed as the Marketing Director for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL).

Sadly, as of August 31st 2012, I will be leaving the EFCL.

If you are looking for purposeful, flexible work that has you doing real projects to make our city better, I urge you to apply for this job.

I’ve been paid to encourage neighbours getting to know their neighbours and to increase building their capacity to make cool things happen in their neighbourhoods. It’s an extrovert’s dream job! Pinch me, right?

My role included teaching volunteers skills, connecting them with services, planning events and parties, and much more. I’ve had a fantastic team of coworkers, a switched-on EFCL board team, and the opportunity to work with thousands of volunteers from every neighbourhood in Edmonton.

For someone who wasn’t born in Edmonton, this job has made me feel like I know the city inside-out, and that I’ve lived here since the 1911 construction of the High Level Bridge.

What’s next for me? After much deliberation with my wife, we’ve made the decision that it’s time for me to pursue graduate school on a full-time basis, increase my focus on my EPSB Trustee duties, keep up my volunteering (Edmonton Public Library Board and University of Alberta Alumni Council) and, in the spring, get ready for school board re-election – October 23rd, 2013. If there is time, I might pursue some consulting work, and if the right project comes along, I’m always looking for ways to get involved.

So can I preach it like I feel it?

In no particular order, here are my TOP TEN favorite memories of working for Edmonton Community Leagues…

1. Co-creating Community League Day with the EFCL team:

“Hey guys! What if we hosted a block party or festival in every Edmonton neighbourhood on the same day? What if we did it every year on the third Saturday of September?”

That’s how Community League Day was born. 90 Leagues participated the first year. 100 the second. This year over 110 are expected to participate. If the popularity keeps growing, a decade from now Community League Day will be one of Edmonton’s marquis events like the Fringe of the Heritage Festival.

I visited a dozen events each year and was honored to have helped organize such a crazy festival — including our ridiculous media stunts like the Worlds Largest Quilt or the City Council Croquet Game!

2. Working with partner organizations who support Edmonton:

The numerous partner organizations I’ve had the privilege of working with have been amazing. Sponsorship and partnerships were a key part of my role and I couldn’t have met an easier, more like-minded group to work with.

I owe a special shout-out to the good folks at the Office of Great Neighbourhoods and Community Services, especially Stephane Labonne and Kathy Barnhart who have helped us launch a few really innovative initiatives.

Our corporate partners really stepped up. It’s been a pleasure working with Jon Hall with the Edmonton Real Estate Board, Cheryl Kaziuk with Servus Credit Union, Jason Bossert with FPB, and the whole Edmonton Examiner team. These folks really know how important it is to build strong relationships with Edmonton neighbourhoods.

Within the non-profit sector, I’d like to throw a big thank you to Leslie Evans and the team at the Federation of Calgary Communities, Russ Dahms at the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and Karen Lynch at Volunteer Alberta for their mentorship and guidance.

3. The Edmonton Next Gen Committee and the Edmonton Community Challenge:

From the first gathering at Orange Hall, to allowing me speak at Pecha Kucha night #5 to the Edmonton Community Challenge 2010, 2011 and the (ongoing) 2012, it’s been a riot!

On behalf of marketing people and non-profits everywhere, thanks for always pushing our events through your fantastic newsletter.

The City of Edmonton Next Generation team has been a fantastic help in our efforts to recruit more “Under 40” year old Edmontonians to community leagues. The whole team has been amazing, in particular Tegan, Sherman, Michelle, and Christine have been fantastic and I really appreciate your help and energy.

4. The New Kids On Your Block Outreach Parties of May 2012:

My job couldn’t have been cooler! I was paid to throw parties with local musicians and DJs, food, Alley Kat beer, and entertainment in order to recruit more young adults to community leagues.

I hope that these events inspire many more neighbourhood folk festivals, parties, and community gardens in future!

5. The staff and board members of the EFCL:

I’ve appreciated the collaboration and support of the EFCL Board and Staff team, especially Allan Bolstad who has been an amazing mentor and friend. We’ve shared so many lunches, and at every opportunity I’ve tried to soak up as much of his political and journalistic lectures– plus we’ve had many laughs along the way.

And I’ll really miss the team! Every single initiative on this list was done collaboratively. No matter the project, all hands were available to help.

Valerie is a communications wizard. Linda is a money magician. Andrea is the captain of conflict resolution. Bev takes living local to heart. Shahriyar lives the cultural outreach and integration gospel. Joanne is the office mother who never misses an opportunity to remind me what’s important in life: good wine and a happy wife.

What a wonderful workplace!

6. Never the same day twice! Other-duties-as-required:

One of the highlights of the non-profit sector is the do-it-yourself attitude. We know that we have a lot to do, but little money to do it with.

“Can you find us a new neon sign? Can you find us a few talented summer students? Do you want to go for a midnight ride with the Mill Woods Community Patrol? Can you teach these workshops? Build a parade float? Apply for grants? Write articles? Can you help us develop a multi-million dollar fundraising strategy for our centenial projects?”

The EFCL has its hands in everything in Edmonton. If you are keen, it’s a tremendous learning opportunity.

7. Three years of the Heritage Festival:

Jack Little and his volunteers throw a heck of a party!

Organizing a community league presence at the Heritage Festival was an amazing chance to get out of the office. Footballs! Volunteers! It’s community league rush week! Not only did we sign up thousands of new emails for our e-news newsletter, we spread the word to everyone in the park about the cool things Edmonton neighbourhoods are doing!

8. Organizing the Community League Tradeshow:

Having the opportunity to organize and execute the EFCL Tradeshow 2010 and 2011 was a great opporunity to connect our volunteers with amazing businesses and services that they needed. For those of you looking to learn and grow, you won’t want to miss the Leagues Alive 2012 Conference and Tradeshow coming up on November 3rd.

9. Strategic planning, the Living Local Campaign and the 2011 Living Local Summit:

What should Edmonton look like in 20 years? What will neighbourhoods look like? How can we revitalize our communities, promote active transportation and reduce traffic? How can we develop great neighbourhoods where  people feel good about where they live?

These questions and many others fueled the construction of the EFCL Business Plan and the organization of the October 2011 Living Local Summit. Having the opportunity to work and think long-term about the direction of our communities– and then take tangible steps to make that vision a reality, was an incredibly rewarding experience.

10. The friendly people of Edmonton:

In a mere 4 years, I’ve met over 3000 hard-working Edmontonians from over 154 neighbourhoods. They selflessly chip away planning events, publishing newsletters, and making life better for their neighbours. Their labours make their communities stronger and safer for years to come.

Almost everyone I meet had some involvement at some point with their own local community league. Maybe it was coaching a sports team. Maybe it was as an attendee at a party. There is truly something special about the legacy of volunteerism in Edmonton that is happening all around us in our own neighbourhoods.

As Ron Kuban’s book recorded, Edmonton is a city of urban villages and no two neighbourhoods are alike! Edmonton Stories recently did a feature on the EFCL and community leagues captured here:


It’s been such a special opportunity, both for my personal and professional development. As you can tell, I remain passionate about the work and the organization.

The job description will be posted this week on www.efcl.org.

Check it out, and please pass it along to exceptional candidates in your network.

Employment Opportunity

Director of Marketing

Job Description:

The primary responsibility of the marketing director will be to help raise funds for EFCL programs and operations.  The director will also be asked to help with development of the EFCL market brand, promotions and updates to the business plan. Finally, the individual will be invited to take part and help manage other EFCL programs, depending on the interests and abilities of the candidate.

Fundraising Duties:

a)     Help raise funds for the EFCL’s 100th Anniversary Project, a $2 million (plus or minus) upgrade to Hawrelak Park.

b)    Solicitation of vendors and management of annual EFCL trade show.

c)     Solicitation of sponsors and management of annual Community League Day promotion.

d)    Solicitation of EFCL sponsorships and management of existing accounts.

e)     Apply for grants from various orders of government and foundations.

Knowledge and Experience:

a)     Fundraising experience, including government grants, corporate sponsorships, designing donor recognition programs.

b)    Proven success in relationship building, excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.

c)     Computer proficiency using MS Office Applications (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook).

d)    Positive, enthusiastic attitude and an ability to work independently and as part of a team.

e)     Understanding of non-profit environment and community league system.

f)     Valid driver’s license.

Salary/Hours of Work:

– $45,000 per year, plus benefits and performance based incentives.

– Flexible work hours/75 bi-weekly.

Closing Date:

Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

How to Apply:

Please send covering letter, resume and the names of three references to Allan Bolstad, Executive Director, Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, at allan.bolstad@efcl.org


For more information, check out: www.efcl.org

February Newsletter: School Closure Moratorium Committee Recommendations and much more

Hello Everyone,

Two very important information pieces regarding School Closures are on the radar.

  1. The EPSB Moratorium Committee Draft Recommendations:

Last year when our board established the two year moratorium on school closures, we determined the need to investigate the causes of closures and determine recommendations that could help keep more schools open. The findings focus on actions that the EPSB district should take and actions that the Province and the City of Edmonton should undertake.  Many of the mitigating factors around a school closure (amount of maintenance funding we receive, the number of children in the neighbourhood) are more influenced by the City or the Province and not by well-intentioned school trustees.

These recommendations are being discussed at 2PM tomorrow at our Public Board Meeting. You can watch it online at www.livestream.epsb.ca

To see the information reports on the causes of closures, check out presentations on:
1. Urban Growth Patterns 2.            Aging School Buildings and Infrastructure Deficit 3. Instructional and PO&M Funding 4.            District Enrolment Trends 5.            Space Utilization 6.            Alternative Programs and Open Boundaries 7. Leasing 8.            Concluding public forum


These recommendations if approved by the board will become the backbone or our advocacy regarding school sustainability.

Some questions I have…
– So what is the action piece?
– Do we need to prioritize the maintenance of existing schools over new schools?
– Do we need to establish which particular schools are at risk and need supporting?
– What will this work mean in future for our board and future boards in 10, 20, 30 years?
– What options are there for collaboration with the Edmonton Catholic School District?
– Are replacement schools something that should be referenced or considered when the cost of repair exceeds replacement?
– What do you think? michael@michaeljanz.ca

  1. The Mayor’s Task Force on Community Sustainability (The Michael Phair Task Force) Launch Feb 2nd @City Hall.

During the election Mayor Mandel was vocal about the need to support established communities and support more collaborative planning between the city and the school board. The Mayor established the Task Force on Community Sustainability headed by Former Councilor Michael Phair. The Task Force has been meeting with stakeholders around the city and hosting public consultations. I have been to a couple of these gatherings and found them to be most informative.


Many Edmonton communities, especially mature neighbourhoods, are challenged with keeping their communities livable, lively and vibrant when confronted with change. The population pattern of mature neighbourhoods typically sees a large decline in the number of school aged children, resulting in a significant impact on schools. This kind of change and others that occur over time in mature neighbourhoods can slowly lead to a loss of vibrancy and community ‘wholeness’.

The City recognizes that communities are the building blocks for the quality of life of its citizens and is aware that a key building block in healthy communities is schools. In collaboration with the provincial government, school boards, parents and community groups, the Task Force on Community Sustainability has been brought together to build innovative partnerships and plans across jurisdictions and to recommend ways that core neighbourhoods can become more vibrant and sustainable.

Looking for Solutions
Newsletters and Updates
Public Input
Task Force Members

  1. February Update

Much has been happening in 2012 so far. Last week we went on an organizational board retreat for 3 days and evaluated how we can do our work together, better. With the potential of a massive policy overhaul being undertaken by our board, we are always trying to evaluate how to do our work more effectively.

Outside of my work as a Public School Trustee (in theory this job is part-time though the committment is far more significant) I am the part-time Marketing Director for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. This job has me representing Edmonton neighbourhoods at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference this coming week. This is quite complimentary to my work as a school trustee because many of the sessions focus on the relationships between schools and communities and how schools are a key component of good urban planning.

I’ve started my part-time Masters in Education Policy Studies at the University of Alberta and my classes are fantastic. I’m enrolled in a class about Education Administration in Canada and it is extremely relevant to the work we are doing with the board and the challenges that we face.

Thanks for reading! As always, please visit www.michaeljanz.ca for more information and updates. If you would like to meet for coffee to discuss anything related to our community or public education, I’d love to hear from you.

Michael Janz
Ward F Trustee
Edmonton Public School Board

Interested in design, schools, or urbanism? Come to San Diego this February!

I’m excited to share that I will be attending the NEW PARTNERS FOR SMART GROWTH Conference in February 2012 in San Diego. If you have the time or interest, please consider registering.

No EPSB dollars are being spent on this initiative. I will be attending for professional development (I still work 3 days a week as the Marketing Director for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues) and to build upon the work I’ve been doing on our Living Local Campaign.

Every aspect of our life is impacted by the choices we make in designing and building our city. Do we want lower taxes, healthy citizens, less pollution and communities full of rich social interactions (smart growth) OR higher tax increases to pay for inefficient growth, more roads, greater auto-dependency, air and water pollution, school closures, unhealthy children, social alienation, and the “donut effect decay” that comes with more urban sprawl?

In Edmonton, Do we want the young families back in healthy, complete, communities thus revitalizing mature neighbourhoods or are we going to continue to offer a majority of the supply outside of the Henday? And if we are serious about growing “up and not out” what are some of the major barriers we need to overcome? If you didn’t see the session Councillor Don Iveson and I held that year, check out the community feedback)

This conference is targeted at a broad range of issues; design planning, public education, LRT, heathy communities, schools, transportation planning, and much more! The delegates come from a plethora of backgrounds, both elected and non-elected, from communities across North America.

As your Public School Trustee I will be looking for special opportunities to learn more about delivering top-notch public education while addressing the unique challenges that come with our urban setting. Design and planning issues, school placement, student transportation, and many of the conference sessions have huge implications on the decisions we make at the school board. I’ll be soaking up the learning opportunities!

Spread the word and if you can swing a conference this year in your professional or personal development, there are many worse places to be than San Diego in February!

You can view 10 years of past conference presentations (video and powerpoint) by clicking here: http://www.newpartners.org/2011/past_conferences.html

Putting Schools on the Map: Linking Transit Oriented Development, Families, and schools: http://www.newpartners.org/2011/docs/presentations/thurs/NP11_Vincent.pdf

How do we get more families back into the core of our city?

These are not Edmonton numbers, but from what I have heard our statistics are very similar. This is a big concern and has huge impacts on our student health and quality of life.

Click to download the invitation in .pdf:  Apr7WardFCouncilInvite

Attention: School Councils, Community Leagues, parents, families, and all residents!

Please RSVP: michael@michaeljanz.ca Free parking is available. Refreshments provided.

April 7th, 2011 at City Arts Centre 84th Ave 109th Street

Doors at 6:30 PM

Meeting 7-9:30 PM

How do we get more families back into the core of our city?

Nearly all of the schools in our Ward (Downtown, University, Southgate, Riverbend) have fewer and fewer families living in surrounding neighbourhoods. Fewer students in the catchment areas put our schools at an ongoing risk of closure now and in the future.

As citizens, this is economically inefficient as these neighbourhoods are built for families. We have billions of dollars of infrastructure in the core of our city (including our playgrounds, schools, parks and pools, libraries, and roadways) but there are fewer families moving into our neighbourhoods. What can we do to bring more families back into Ward F?

This event is organized for the neighbourhoods in Ward F:

Downtown – Westmount – Oliver – Downtown – Rossdale

U of A/Southgate – Windsor Park – Garneau – Strathcona – Belgravia – McKernan – Queen Alex – Allendale – Grandview Heights – Lansdowne – Lendrum – Malmo – Parkallen – Pleasantview – Empire Park

North Riverbend – Brander Gardens – Brookside – Bulyea Heights – Ramsay Heights – Rhatigan Ridge

All guests are welcome.

To suggest a subject for our next ward council or to RSVP: Michael@michaeljanz.ca