After weeks of fine combing through 102 applications, we are thrilled to announce the 5 recipients of the 2023 Built Together grant program.


Kensington School—inclusive playground

In its 63 years of existence, Kensington School has never had a playground. Its 400 students not only come from a range of cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, but they also live with various cognitive, social, sensory or physical disabilities. For decades, Kensington School has been trying to gather the funds necessary to build an inclusive playground where children with diverse abilities can play without barriers. Alberta Blue Cross is thrilled to push them over the financial finish line and help them realize their dream. “We are so excited and grateful to have been chosen by Alberta Blue Cross for their Built Together grant program,” says Monica Marchand of the Kensington Parent Association. “Not only will this greatly benefit the school children, but with this being a fully inclusive playground, we will be able to support children of all abilities in the community.”


St. Stephen Schoolaccessible playground

St. Stephen School’s 411 students have long been using a playground that, unfortunately, is rapidly deteriorating and is scheduled to be removed in June. This would leave the kindergarteners to grade niners, who come from the lower-income area of Southwood, with no space to play and have fun. While fundraising efforts have been ongoing, the cost of creating an accessible playground—the only one in the area—is out of reach without the help grant programs. “We are thrilled to receive the Built Together grant. We know play is an integral part of elementary schools and childhood development, and the new playground will benefit the entire community,” says Janet Lymer, executive director for the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation. Alberta Blue Cross is excited to help St. Stephen School and by extension the Southwood community make their vision a reality.

Secondary city

Good Shepherd School, Peace River—playground

Most of the playground facilities at Good Shepherd School in Peace River have been removed due to age-related deterioration. The structures that remain are dated, inaccessible and will soon also need to be destroyed. To ensure its students and the community’s children have access to play and healthy living opportunities, Good Shepherd is building an accessible new public playground on school grounds, located in a heavily residential area. “We are very thankful to be a recipient of the Alberta Blue Cross Built Together grant,” says Jacqueline Bennis on behalf of the Friends of the Shepherd Society. “Receiving these funds will allow us to make our dream a reality. We are now able to proceed with securing pieces for our playground.” Alberta Blue Cross is pleased to support Good Shepherd School and the Peace River community in achieving their active-living goals.

Rural community

Aurora Middle School, Lac La Biche—outdoor court

Basketball is a growing sport in Lac La Biche: school team numbers are up, community interest in programming is increasing and families are often seen shooting hoops at the local recreation centre. To further take down accessibility barriers, Aurora Middle School is building a basketball area with 2 courts, 4 hoops and outdoor seating that its students and staff will be able to use the courts for physical education classes and recess activities. Even better than that—these courts will be open to anyone in the Lac La Biche community and beyond, free of charge. “Receiving this amazing support from the Built Together grant means we can go forward with our project. We are hopeful the community will recognize the value of this project and help us keep the space for our students and families in the community a safe and fun spot,” says Andrea Ulliac on behalf of Northern Lights School Division. Alberta Blue Cross is thrilled to be able to contribute to the active living goals of Aurora Middle School’s students and the community at large.


Alexander First Nation—outdoor ice rink

Alexander First Nation—Kipohtakaw—located on Treaty 6 territory and led by Chief George Arcand, is part of the Cree linguistic group with a population of 2,263 official members. As a remote, rural community, their youth and families have minimal opportunities to engage in active outdoor recreation. This has led to decreased wellbeing among community members. To help their members lead healthy lives and thrive on their traditional lands, Alexander First Nation has set out to create accessible and sustainable active living opportunities. Alberta Blue Cross is proud to support them in building the first outdoor ice rink in their community—an inclusive space for community members to enjoy and gather year-round.

About Built Together

The Built Together grant program helps Albertans build spaces for active living in their communities. From playgrounds, multi-use courts and rinks to outdoor gyms, parks and walking trails, we’re giving back to Albertans and helping them live their best lives.

Each year, this program awards 5 grants of $50,000 for healthy living infrastructure projects across Alberta, in 1 of each of the following areas: Edmonton, Calgary, a secondary city, a rural community and an Indigenous community. These infrastructure projects must be open to the public and free to access.

The 2024 Built Together program will open this spring.

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