Set up as a community hub in north-east Calgary, Genesis Centre does much more than what it is supposed to do. It will not be an exaggeration to say that it is almost like a life line for many people coming to Calgary as immigrants. It offers them a warm welcome and a soothing ‘emotional shelter’ that they so direly need. Moving to a new land with a completely different language, climate and culture is an undertaking that takes a momentous toll on the human spirit. Not having friends and family in Calgary that has been declared home by the new settlers, Genesis Centre is a place where they get a chance to meet people who share the common expression, memories and values.
Genesis is immediately surrounded by Saddletowne, Martindale and Taralake communities, which are largely home to new immigrants. It is no wonder that you see many people coming from different parts of the globe present in this Centre trying to make connections with their ‘chosen habitat’. True Canadian spirit reigns here as one is not expected to give up his or her past associations to accommodate the new culture. Instead, the impressions that people bring actually enrich the ‘mosaic quilt’ strengthening Canada’s identity as a nation welcoming heterogeneity and peaceful co-existence.
Many facilities and services are available at the Genesis Centre. These include congregational areas, sports halls, community gathering spaces, library, outdoor recreation, and numerous casual sitting spots. The presence of organizations like YMCA, Calgary Public Library, 1000 voices and Genesis Medical and Psychotherapy Clinic add a great value. Some of the many events that take place here comprise of immigrant counselling sessions, religious congregations, cultural events, exam proctoring, graduation ceremonies, weddings and annual festivals like Stampede, Vaisakhi, Eid and the like. This set of activities has helped a great deal in providing meaningful orientation to the new-comers and providing hope for a better future.
The City of Calgary is undoubtedly making sure that all its citizens get access to windows into various cultures out there, seek inspirations and enrich their lives with a wide spectrum of colors that define the key theme of our age; diversity and multi-culturalism. And Genesis Centre is one great example of the City’s efforts in this respect.