Coldest Night of the Year Walk

The Coldest Night of the Year is a non-competitive 2, 5, and 10 km winter-walk happening in more than 90 communities across Canada. Charities in each community raise funds and awareness in support of individuals experiencing hunger, homelessness and hurt. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary partners with Blue Sea Philanthropy, KAIROS Calgary and the Mustard Seed to host Coldest Night of the Year in Calgary.

The Companions Making Footprints (towards ending homeleness) team: Sr Terry fcJ with CiMs Lisa, Pat, Heather, and Lauren; Dorothy; and Sr Pat (Sister of Charity of St. Louis)

February 23 marked the sixth time that Calgary held this fund-raiser walk to help people who are or were homeless. Statistically, the end of February is usually the coldest of the year but that was not true this time. The Companions Making Footprints (towards ending homelessness) team has participated all six years that Calgary has taken part in the national walk. The first two years Lisa, CiM, Lis and Sr Theresa (Terry) fcJ were the walkers and the following times other friends and Companions in Mission joined us. It is always good to hear the speakers representing Feed the Hungry and Kairos Calgary telling us what they have been able to do for homeless folks in the past year and then to listen to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi both motivating and thanking us for thinking of those who are less well off than ourselves and building community in our city.

Once the talks have finished, we head outdoors. Usually there is the option of a 10 km walk but that was cancelled this year due to the cold. We walked west along the Bow River towards the Peace Bridge. Those choosing the 2 km distance crossed that bridge and returned to the Eau Claire Centre. The 5 km walk took people north along 10 St. before they were directed back. A delicious chili supper with bread awaited everyone. As with all community events, volunteers are the heroes of the day.

The temperature in which we walked was – 24 C with the wind chill but it was actually about  -16 or -17 C. That felt much better than some extreme temperatures we have had lately. The R.C. Diocese of Calgary began the project and reached out for ecumenical involvement. The following information was sent by the organizing team for 2019.

Photo credit: Stephen Cross


-24 degrees
297 Walkers
37 Teams
1,095 donors
90 volunteers
$73,000.00 raised !!!

Thank you! You all worked so very hard and we are so very grateful. It was so very cold. And we forgot to send coffee to the rest stop (sorry!). But you prevailed! And it was beautiful to see all your rosy cheeks when you came back and enjoyed the amazing chili provided by our caterer (Event Planners Plus for those who asked) and hear your stories about your adventures out on the route. We hope the experience was a good one, and that you understand the impact you will have on the more than 400 folks who have a meal at Feed the Hungry each week, and the residents in Bankview’s 26 apartments that have a roof over their head each night. Because of your efforts.  Thank you!

The organizers have made available some photos of this fantastic and fruitful event!

Thanks to all supporters who helped us reach our goal! (check it out)

Submitted by Theresa, fcJ