BVRH November Bulletin

BVRH Monthly Bulletin                                      November 2015 

Strategic Planning

The BVRH board and senior administration engaged in a planning workshop in September to up date our strategic plan for the period of 2016-2020. The session confirmed the directions taken over the previous period, and refocused our efforts for the next period. Our core mission, vision, values and goals remain in place, having evolved to some degree. Updated statements and goals will be published before the end of 2015.

Gas Explosion incident

The investigation continues and is expected to take years to generate a report. Damage to the Bow River Seniors Lodge has been confirmed to be mostly non-structural, with very little in the way of structural concerns. Two lodge residential units are out of commission pending repairs. The repair project is being managed by the Province of Alberta, and is in the final stages of tendering.


Project occupancy rates

Bow River Lodge                  86% occupancy

Cascade House                      100% occupancy

Bow River Homes                 100% occupancy

Mount Edith House               97% occupancy

Community Housing             97% occupancy

Rent Supplement                   100% subscription


Temporary Flood relief housing

BVRH continues to assist the Government of Alberta with their efforts to house local victims of the southern flooding. This program is winding down; few tenants remain in place.


Bow River Lodge Redevelopment “This is Home


Phase 1: Bi-weekly owner meetings with the architect and contractor on-site along with ISL who represents the province and BVRH continue. Much of the underground work is complete. Plumbers are onsite completing the rough ins. Much of the framing is being done off-site, building pre-famed panels that will begin to be delivered in the near future.

Building completion is scheduled for December 2016.

Phase 2: Substantial planning will begin soon, subject to approvals from the provincial government and agencies; however construction on this phase cannot start until Phase 1 is complete and fully operational. At this point in time we anticipate completion of Phase 2 in late 2018.


Phase 1: The design includes 63 new residential lodge units, replacing 43 aging units and giving us 20 more, maximizing the available space in anticipation of the looming needs of our aging population in the region. This design means that all of our seniors will be housed in safe, new and fully functional spaces instead of some that are retro-fitted, ensuring more effective and efficient accommodation along with much improved ability to increase care services in the future.   Aside from the better facility afforded by this design it is important to also highlight the creation of a valuable and substantial piece of property to be used to meet regional needs in the future. The area currently taken up by the old parts of the original lodge will be used to bring higher levels of supportive living to the region for true aging in place in Phase 2.

Phase 2: This facility will be purposely designed to meet the needs of designated supportive living level 4 operations, including enhanced safety and care-provision considerations. At this point only a design concept has been developed. Our ASLI grant was awarded to us based on development of 60 SL4/D units; AHS has provided design guidelines that the facility must consider so as to secure a DSL agreement.

Selection of an Architecture/Prime Consultant contractor will occur early 2016.


Phase 1: Alberta Seniors-Housing representatives remain supportive of the 80/20 sharing model, whereby the Province will pay 100% of the project costs and BVRH will pay our 20% over time. The current total project cost estimate is $14.2 million.

Phase 2: The current capital cost estimate is $18.5 million. We have received an unconfirmed commitment of a $6 million ASLI grant. This funding, plus another $1.5 million in grants we hope to receive, makes the BVRH share $11 million; please note that these are very early estimates. We plan to fund our share through a combination of fundraising and financing; we are eager to learn about the status of the proposed lending program given the change in government. A senior Alberta Seniors representative has suggested that a model similar to the Phase 1 funding plan is possible.

It is expected that this development will improve our operating model to the point that we are able to achieve economies of scale that will eliminate the need to requisition for operating costs at Bow River Lodge in the future, although we may have to take on financing related to the provision of staff accommodation.


Phase 1: Our communications strategy continues; site signage will be in place in 2016.

Phase 2: Planning for the communications plan for phase 2 is being incorporated into our overall communications strategy.


About Bow Valley Regional Housing

Bow Valley Regional Housing (BVRH) is a Housing Management Body (HMB) for the Government of Alberta. The Provincial Government created HMBs to serve as operators and administrators of provincially-owned social housing facilities. The Province owns a large portfolio of these facilities through the Alberta Social Housing Corporation (ASHC), serving many needy and vulnerable Albertans. Each HMB is self-governing under the Alberta Housing Act, managing the ASHC assets in a particular region. Each region is comprised of multiple municipalities, improvement districts, etc. HMBs may operate other kinds of housing and may own buildings that house accommodation programs.

Every municipality in Alberta is a contributing member of their regional HMB. They are required to have at least one appointee on the governing board, which is responsible for acting in the best interests of the HMB. The board must consider the needs of each contributing municipality in its governance of the HMB.

HMB operations are funded through various means. Tenants pay rent and/or lodge fees, however since these are set at affordable rates the revenues cannot cover the costs of operations. Seniors Lodge deficits are funded through municipal ratepayer requisitions and provincial grants. Social Housing deficits (including independent seniors housing and community housing) are funded by Alberta Seniors (Housing).

As the HMB for the Bow Valley region we are responsible for social housing, as well as affordable supportive living accommodation for seniors throughout Kananaskis Country, the Bow Corridor, the MD of Bighorn and all of Banff National Park, an area covering about 13,500 square kilometres. This region has two towns and seven hamlets containing about 25,000 people. Our five contributing municipalities are: Kananaskis ID, MD of Bighorn, Town of Canmore, Town of Banff and Banff National Park ID9. The people of the region are able to access all of the programs we offer, subject to eligibility requirements.

The BVRH Mission Statement

Bow Valley Regional Housing commits to provide accommodation services for the Bow Valley region seniors and residents of modest means who struggle to secure and maintain appropriate housing. 

We manage:

  • seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that currently house up to 85 residents
  • an expansion project underway at our lodge in Canmore will increase capacity and greatly improve the standard of living for the residents of the lodge
  • a second phase of the expansion project that will introduce designated supportive living to the region by way of approximately 60 beds that will provide appropriate accommodations to our vulnerable seniors while alleviating pressures in local hospitals
  • seniors’ independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that include 62 one-bedroom apartments
  • 58 family housing residences in Canmore
  • Interim relief housing for two households displaced by the June 2013 flooding
  • the Rent Supplement Program in the region that currently provides financial assistance to approximately 40 Bow Valley households

All told we currently house, or help to house approximately 425 residents of the Bow Valley in 8 permanent and 1 interim housing projects encompassing 36 separate buildings between 3 separate communities.

We are a self-governing body. We partner with two provincial ministries and five municipal governments, along with numerous local and community agencies to provide and promote safe and appropriate housing to our region.


The BVRH Vision Statement

Bow Valley Regional Housing aspires to collaborate with housing organizations to respond to the housing needs of our client base through effective programming. We will:

  • Make decisions and recommendations based on relevant and valid data regarding community trends and housing needs.
  • Obtain funding to develop infrastructure that meets identified needs for social and seniors affordable housing programs.
  • Embrace operating principles that incorporate innovation, service excellence and best practices.
  • Attract and retain highly qualified and caring staff.

BVRH has approximately 36 employees based in either Bow River Lodge (Canmore) or Cascade House (Banff). Our Administration and Maintenance Teams are based in Canmore but serve all of our operations. We have Housekeeping and Food Service Teams in both of our lodges.

BVRH Values

Service: client focus, empathy, caring, commitment to quality and a guiding philosophy of serving our clients in their homes.

Integrity and accountability: high ethics, professionalism, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.

Efficacy: sustainability, innovation, versatility, collaboration, communication, vision and resourcefulness.


Information is available on our website at