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Foundation introduces Chair Jim Saunders

Jim Saunders, an Associate with RE/MAX Real Estate Lethbridge, has been named the fifteenth Chair of the Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, effective April 1, 2018.

Jim was first appointed to the Board in 2015 by the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA). As a Past President and long-term Director of AREA, Jim has been watching the Foundation evolve since its inception in 1992. Over the last 26 years he’s seen the impact of the Foundation’s community investment program. “As a practicing Realtor, both my clients and I have benefitted from many of the resources made available to buyers, sellers, and investors,” Jim says. “These resources were the direct results of AREF’s funding initiatives.”

Jim was raised in Lethbridge and calls Southern Alberta home. He graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in 1978. He financed his education working as a self-employed contractor and started a successful automotive specialty business while still in school. Jim sold that business in 1982 to pursue a career in Real Estate.

In 1983, the year he was first licensed, Jim was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” by the Lethbridge Real Estate Board. Thirty-five years later, Jim has been recognized through membership of the RE/MAX Platinum Club and the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.

Early in his career Jim began volunteering on various industry committees and participating at the local, provincial and national levels—specifically the Lethbridge And District Association Of REALTORS® (where he is a Past President), Alberta Real Estate Association (Past President), the Real Estate Council of Alberta, and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Jim’s first priority in his new role as Chair is ensuring the Foundation remains nimble and timely when serving Alberta’s communities. “With the rapidly changing landscape in Alberta—politically, technologically, economically and environmentally—we need to make sure we are focussed on making a difference where it matters most to Albertans,” Jim says. “My previous board experiences have taught me the importance of not just maintaining the focus of the organization, but continually redefining the goals.”

Jim is looking forward to continuing to work with the Foundation’s Board of Governors as Chair. “The wide range of experiences and perspectives of the Governors is our greatest asset, and by drawing on such varied and unique backgrounds we have an opportunity to create a dynamic, focused team,” he says. “The Foundation is in a strong fiscal position going into 2018 and 2019, with substantial funds available both from investment earnings and trust fund income. Coupled with an experienced, dedicated staff and an enthusiastic Board of Governors, we are aligned to make things happen in our communities.”

Jim will serve a two year term as Chair of the Board. His experience in the industry and insight on community initiatives will bring much value to the Foundation.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation Board of Governors Public Appointment Opening

The Foundation is seeking a candidate to fill the position of Public Appointment (Consumer Interests) on the Board of Governors. According to the Ministerial Regulations, the Foundation is seeking one person, who is not in the industry, who is appointed by the current members of the board then in office and is, in the opinion of those members, representative of the interests of real estate consumers. Preference will be given to a candidate who brings the following:

  • Is energetic and acts as an ambassador for the Foundation by networking and creating awareness among community and industry stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of Alberta, current issues and the ability to identify grant making and community investment opportunities.
  • Holds respect for diverging viewpoints and is willing to contribute their personal leadership skills towards creating efficient and effective governance.
  • An appetite for continuous learning and using that learning to benefit the Foundation and the community
  • An independent thinker who bases their decision making on analysis of available information and their own experiences.
  • Experience with financial management and investment responsibilities – current assets of the Foundation are around $15.7 million.

Responsibilities

  • The Governor is responsible for investing in community initiatives, conducting fiduciary matters as well as representing the Foundation at related events.
  • The Governor must attend three board meetings per year.
  • The term of the appointment is for three years and will commence immediately.
    Please note that the Foundation is independent of organized real estate and licensing authorities. The position does not pay an honorarium, however all expenses and travel expenses are covered.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, April 13th 2018

For more information, please view the complete description here or contact the Executive Director, Cheryl De Paoli, at 403.228.4786 or cdepaoli@aref.ab.ca (Indicate in the subject line: Board Public Appointment).

March 2018 Community Investment

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation approved $434,000 in community investment projects at their recent meeting.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) supports and originates initiatives that enhance the real estate industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. AREF was established in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 18.5 million dollars in community and industry grants to nearly 550 projects across Alberta.

Projects approved at the March meeting include:

Alberta Emerald Foundation – Environmental Recognition Program

The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) is a unique and necessary charitable organization in Alberta. From celebrating environmental excellence during the Emerald Awards with 12 cross-sectoral categories and independent judges to recognizing the impact, innovation and achievements of Albertans through our Emerald Day events and Eco-Sharing. AEF shares these achievements and connects businesses, organizations and individuals which support environment to make a difference to locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation – Moderate-Income Calgarians’ Attitudes on Homeownership

In many other Canadian cities, most moderate-income jobs can accommodate a home purchase. In Calgary, it’s a little more challenging. The average price tag on a home in Calgary has increased greatly while salaries have not kept pace. We want to investigate three broad categories pertaining to moderate-income Calgarians who do not own a home:

1.Are they renters for life or do they eventually want to buy?

2.If they want to buy right now, what are the barriers (e.g. price too high, mortgage payments greater than rent, no down payment, lack of green options, waiting for right house)?

3.Are there housing forms they would like to see that are not currently provided in the development community?

Calgary Homeless Foundation – Building a Sustainable Non-Market Sector

Building a Sustainable Non-Market Real Estate Sector will help position housing providers for long-term sustainability and create capacity so that they can make strategic use of real estate assets. Based on feedback collected from the sector, we will develop training workshops and a speaker series for housing providers, empowering them to make use of strategies such as identifying redevelopment potential, real estate financing tools and investment strategies, or leveraging assets through strategic collaboration and partnerships.

Center for Public Legal Education Alberta – Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program 2018-2019

The Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program is the best source of easy to understand, accessible and accurate legal information about landlord and tenant matters in Alberta. This program provides vital information to Albertans online, in print and in person. Funding of this program will enable CPLEA to continue reaching and responding to the needs of over 700,000 resource users (and growing) per year.

The Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development – New Energy Economy

With our New Energy Economy project, we will reflect investments (and the associated jobs) in energy efficiency, renewables and clean tech already happening within Albertan communities, create a uniquely Albertan energy-climate narrative that appreciates a diversity of perspectives, and build the skills and capacity of Albertans to effectively communicate about energy and climate. The result will be a discourse surrounding energy and climate that is less polarized and more informed.

Stettler Learning Centre – Rural Climate Solutions – online resources and broadcasting

The project is to create and publish a podcast series and website covering on-farm climate solutions—from solar power to better land management—in order to empower members of the rural community with the tools and understanding to be part of the clean energy economy of the future.  This is an extension of an already existing program funded via the Alberta Government Community Environment Action Grant program to provide workshops and learning related to climate-positive agricultural and land-use practices.

The Sustainable Red Deer Society (ReThink Red Deer) – ReFraming the WaterShed

This project approaches watershed management for drought and flood resiliency from a Low Impact Development land-use perspective to literally build upon the success of the Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project. Conventional outreach activities by environmental non-profit organizations can be enhanced to deliver important lessons by offering hands-on experiential / skill-building learning that engages new audiences who otherwise would not be reached. Our initiative addresses watershed management through both active and passive rainwater and solar energy harvesting through a series of workshops that culminate in the raising of an open-air timber frame barn dubbed, “The Water Shed.”

University of Alberta – Faculty of Agricultural, Life, & Environmental Sciences – Coping with the Pressures of Fragmentation and Conversion of Agricultural Land in Alberta

A province-wide survey will assess attitudes of Alberta residents and municipal authorities toward fragmentation, conversion, and conservation policy tools. This research will help Alberta’s developers, provincial and municipal governments to better manage the fragmentation and conversion of agricultural land. This project involves two work streams with different deliverables at different dates: one on attitudes towards land use and the different policy tools; the other on the economics of land use change and the GIS planning tools. Final results will be disseminated in parallel.

University of Alberta – Faculty of Law – Subsidiarity in Action: Effective Biodiversity Conservation and Municipal Innovation

In Alberta, municipal jurisdiction over the environment, generally, and biodiversity, specifically, is experiencing expansion as a result of amendments to the Municipal Government Act. This project explores the implications of this expansion.

University of Lethbridge – Advancements in Irrigation Agriculture with Implications for Economic and Community Development and Environmental Stewardship in Alberta

Irrigation agriculture provides the foundation for economic and community development as well as environmental stewardship in southern Alberta.  This study will focus on the adoption of recent important advancements in irrigation agriculture (commonly referred to as ‘precision agriculture’) and implications for the ongoing benefits of irrigation in southern Alberta.

 

 

About Traversing Terrain and Experience: Atlas of the Battle River and Sounding Creek Watersheds

By Battle River Watershed Alliance

The land that drains into the Battle River and Sounding Creek- these watersheds- provide a backdrop for the unfolding lives lived full of courage and tragedy, heroism and heartbreak. Over time, this landscape has witnessed the retreat of glaciers, Indigenous peoples and great herds of bison, the arrival of the Fur Trade and European settlers, the ploughing of fields, and the creation of modern cities. This book tells these stories, and many more.

In 2014 with the help of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and others, the Battle River Watershed Alliance set out to tell these stories in an Atlas unlike any before. In 2017 the dream became reality and the Traversing Terrain and Experience Atlas was published. This is no ordinary atlas; this is a compilation of stories, art, photography, geography, and interesting facts that make our home unique. It blends the science with the social, it reflects on how the land has shaped us, and how we have shaped the land. It expands our understanding of place, as it takes you through the story of a landscape rich in history, culture, resources, and inspiration.

 

The 120 pages of this hardcover book contain 100% local information on everything from climate and weather, to population density, to art and culture. The watersheds region is expansive and diverse. The Atlas has equal representation from urban and rural perspectives, from the western headwaters at Battle Lake to the eastern confluence with the North Saskatchewan River, from the northern parkland to the southern grassland, from past, to present, to future.

The Atlas will be distributed at no cost to the 60+ schools and 40+ libraries in the watershed, ensuring all students and community members can have access to it. Books are also available for purchase through the BRWA website at www.battleriverwatershed.ca/atlas.

By reading through this atlas you will come to understand the deep and profound relationship between the land, water, people and all living beings. You will see the interconnection between our environment and our economy. You will learn more about the communities which make up this region, and the extraordinary people who call this place home.

Climate and Weather Pages

Population Density Pages

 

 

Pembina Institute launches map showcasing clean energy projects across the province

Alberta’s New Energy Projects Map is an interactive online tool created by the Pembina Institute that showcases the variety of clean energy projects that contribute to the growth of Alberta’s economy by creating jobs and investment opportunities. It highlights the multitude of new energy projects operating or under construction in Alberta from 2012 on. The map is a living library and its scope will expand as Albertans submit their own projects and continue to pursue new energy opportunities.

View the map directly here.