Launch of the Best of Calgary 2017 Survey

Today we launch our Best of Calgary survey for 2017. Best of Calgary is a celebration of the people, places and voices that make Calgary an amazing place to live and call home, while at the same time looking at ways to make our city better.

Ten days from now the next wave will launch – Cityscape and People – followed 10 days later by Arts, Culture, Music and Entertainment, and wrapping up a week and a half later with our Shopping and Services category.

There are 100 questions in total, and by the time the survey wraps up at the end of March, we anticipating hearing opinions from over 10,000 Calgarians.

Within each phase of the survey, we will be asking some bigger questions developed by our friends at the Calgary Foundation. These questions will provide us with a measurement of Calgarians sense of belonging and happiness with our city so that we can contribute to making positive changes for the future of Calgary and the people that live here.

Once the data is tabulated by our research partner, Stone Olafson, we plan to release the results on all of the above in late May, as part of a week-long celebration we’re calling Best of Calgary Ideas Week.

This is our second year producing the Best of Calgary concept and we’re excited to have developed the platform with the feedback we received. We re-launched it last February with the aforementioned survey, followed by a day of conversation, and an evening celebration last June. While we were happy with many aspects of our inaugural year, we had the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. We were not as inclusive as we wanted to be, either through our pricing structure or through our efforts to inform a broad base of Calgarians of what we were planning. Our programming, while informative, missed the mark when it came to embracing the inclusive nature of our community. And when some of these inconsistencies were pointed out to us via social media, we did not respond as we should have.

I sincerely want to thank those I reached out to on social media shortly after our inaugural event for agreeing to meet with me to share their feelings and critiques. In the true spirit of our city, many of these same folks now make up our citizens’ advisory committee, which we struck this past October.

I also want to thank both our returning sponsors and our new sponsors, who have embraced the changes we have made, and whose support has allowed us to develop and nurture a concept like Best of Calgary.

Based on the feedback we received from last year, there are some changes to the survey that you will notice immediately. Firstly, we will not be pre-populating each question with suggested options. We are leaving the response box blank, so as to not be seen as favoring one individual, company or organization over another.

Second, we’ve added some new categories, like Best Social Activist, and eliminated some others, so that we can come to an even 100 questions, down from last year’s 147.

Third, we’ve developed partnerships with a wide variety of groups and organizations that should not only increase the number of responses received, but also bring a lot more diversification to those responses. We’re confident as we hone our efforts each year, that we get closer and closer to achieving our goal of "celebrating the people, businesses and organizations that make this city great".

We’re actively developing the programming around our Ideas Week, scheduled for late May, and we look forward to sharing those ideas in the weeks ahead. For now, we invite you to visit our web site, fill out our survey, and sign up for our mailing list to ensure you are notified when each phase of the survey is released. Your voice is valued as we discover the Best of Calgary, and we thank you in advance for your participation.

Mandy Balak