The Calgary Folk Music Festival has been proud to call Prince’s Island Park – in the heart of downtown Calgary – our home for many years. We deeply value the natural environment and are committed to demonstrating the kind of environmental leadership that inspires Calgarians and other organizations to use the CFMF as a model for their own personal and organizational improvements. The CFMF has a long history of implementing initiatives to decrease our footprint. Click here for a summary of the initiatives implemented over the past 14 years. Our Green Calgary 2011 assessment report is also available online.
The Calgary Folk Music Festival was the proud recipient of A Greener Festival award in 2011 and 2012.
First Calgary Financial Eco-Initiatives Program
Since 1996 First Calgary Financial has been a supporter of the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and in particular the title sponsor of the Eco-Initiatives Program.
Over the years, the First Calgary Financial Eco-Initiatives Program has evolved into an award winning environmental operation that is considered the benchmark for other Festivals. Throughout the years First Calgary Financial has provided not only financial support to grow the program but also a team of employees who have joined our volunteer ranks and have seen the impact of the support, first hand. We are thrilled to continue our partnership through to 2016. With the generous and multi-layered support of First Calgary Financial, the Calgary Folk Music Festival can continue to make sure its environmental footprint is minimized and while its cultural impact is maximized.
Here’s how you can help…
While we are on an exciting journey to minimize our environmental footprint, our efforts are largely dependent on you. Here are some tips about helping to preserve our beautiful island home for generations to come:
- Bring a reusable cup or bottle or buy one from the Festival merchandise tent. The Folk Fest is completely phasing out bottled water.
- Minimize the amount of packaging you bring and leave behind.
- Walk, carpool, take the bus, float on the river, or ride your bike on over and lock it up in our secured bike lock area.
- Visit Car2Go, Carpool.ca for local car-sharing or zimiride.com to find fellow festival travellers
Use the waste stations
- Dispose of your recycling, composting and trash at designated stations around the island. Festival volunteers are happy to help you sort waste and answer questions.
- Your recyclables are collected by and directly benefit the Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research (formerly known as VRRI)
Use the reusable Folk Fest plates and compostable cutlery
- The cutlery and cups you’ll get from our food vendors are all compostable so don’t trash them. Compost them at the waste stations.
- You’ll pay a $2 deposit when purchasing your food. Please return your plate to the plate return depots as soon as possible to get your $2 back and help us keep them circulating (And those of you with Calgary Folk Fest place settings in your homes, please bring them back! We won’t ask any questions, promise!)
- Don’t wash dishes at public water taps. It’s against health regulations and can contaminate the park.
Keep cigarettes butts out of the river
- Our volunteers pick up hundreds of cigarette butts each day of the Festival but too many still end up washing into the river. If you can’t find a container where you are, please help by pinching and pocketing your butts for appropriate disposal later on.
- Smoke only in designated smoking areas on the edges of the field and around the Festival site and use the cigarette butt containers provided in these areas.
- The beer garden is a no-smoking zone due to a City by-law.
Quench your thirst and save some money
- Bottled water will not be sold on the CFMF site going forward.
- This is not only an effort to reduce waste and recycling but an acknowledgement that water, as an essential requirement for life should not be bottled and sold for profit.
- Bring your own re-usable water bottle or purchase one from the record tent, and fill it at one of our TD Water Stations.
- Pick up a free tree on Saturday, plant it, care for it and help us offset the carbon emissions associated with artist travel to the 2012 CFMF.
Began offering bike lockup services to our audience and recycling beverage containers, proceeds go to Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
Started recycling cardboard
Launched the plate return/reuse program and purchased our first wind energy credits
Local food sourcing and organics became a priority, composting began in the backstage volunteer area and we started using only post consumer garbage bags for all the trash on the island, made a financial donation to The City of Calgary for the development of the Prince’s Island playground
Beer cup collection program began, a beer cup stacking tool was developed by a CFMF volunteer
Began annual participation in the Bow River Clean Up, started using only compostable cutlery in the volunteer area, exclusively mixed paper recycling and developed our vision document known as SEEQ (acronym for Social, Environmental, Economic and Quality)
Switched to compostable beer cups, expanded composting program to include food vendors, began e-cycling program, drop-in centre donations, sweat shop-free t-shirts for volunteers
Eco initiatives position created to coordinate overall program, began benchmarking the total waste produced during the festival, compostable cutlery at ever vendor stall, expanded composting program to include 12 waste & education stations geared towards engaging festival goers, audience surveys went paper-free, introduced Arusha’s Justice Award in song contest
Tree planting program, including tree seedling giveaways to offset the carbon emissions generated from artist flights, switched to only post-consumer waste toilet paper, began collecting cooking oil from food vendors and sent it to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) to be converted into biodiesel
Provided reusable water bottles to all the performing artists and did NOT provide any disposable water bottles for them, sealed all bear bins and centralized garbage collection on the island at the 12 staffed waste stations, this helped to collect more compost and recycling, a benchmark was established at 30% of total waste diverted from the landfill
CFMF wins A Greener Festival award in the Commended category
Bottled water is prohibited from sale by vendors
Cenovus Energy joins CFMF as an eco-sponsor
TD Canada Trust supports our water stations
Partnership with City of Calgary Waste and Recycling services allows us to divert all recyclables via "blue bin" program
Hopsitality volunteers harvest lettuce at Blue Mountain Bio-Dynamic Farms for use in volunteer hospitality
First eco-tour held by Eco-Initiatives team to media and sponsors to highlight green efforts
Eco-policy developed for Festival Hall
First pre-festival eco-tour of landfill hosted by Eco-Initiatives team
Beyond the environment
In addition to environmental leadership, the CFMF is also committed to social responsibility. We embrace our existence within the context of Calgary, Canada and the global community. We encourage diversity, contribute to community building and believe in the power of music to create dialogue. We are trying to create a grassroots role model for other organizations wishing to develop their own vision of social responsibility.
We are equally committed to economic viability. We strive to be a self-sustaining entity, charging a fair and affordable price for our service. We demonstrate our respect for other organizations and individuals by paying a fair price for their labour and goods. We support organizations who share our values, especially local producers, distributors, growers and artists wherever possible. We will always balance these efforts with our commitment to providing excellent and sustainable support and recognition to our staff and volunteers.
Music is our passion, as is community. We wish to continue to successfully bring the music of “folks” from around the world to our fair city, during our festival and year round, celebrating diversity, independence, creativity, excellence and the exchange of music and ideas. Every choice we make regarding this festival and this organization is made with an uncompromising commitment to providing the highest quality experience possible for all involved.
Thank you to the following organizations that make it possible for us to have a world class environment program: