December 2020 BVRH Monthly Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin
December 2020
• COVID-19
As we move further into fall, we all have a critical role in staying healthy during the Covid-19
pandemic. Cases of Covid-19 have climbed dropped a bit, with more than 18,000 confirmed
cases in Alberta, including 113 in our region. Tragically nearly 900 Albertans have died, most
of whom were seniors.

We are all tired of Covid-19, but we still have a lot of work to do. We all must stay the course
for the sake of our vulnerable people and healthcare system! Keep washing and sanitizing your
hands, wearing a mask when you can, avoiding crowds, watching your distance from others,
and staying in when feeling any symptoms. Do not go out unless it is absolutely essential. We
can still beat this virus if we work together and protect each other.

There is good news on the vaccine front, but it will be many months before we are all
vaccinated (at least those of us who intend to be).

Alberta has recently implemented much stricter measures to try to avoid exponential growth in
cases and overwhelming our health system. People over 60 years of age and those with certain
pre-existing health conditions are the most at risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19,
especially when they live in close proximity as occurs in seniors’ congregate accommodations.
• Designated Supportive Living Operations Planning
Senior management had been working on the development of an operating model in
collaboration with Alberta Health Services and other relevant professionals in preparation for
operations following the construction of Phase 2. Since every party to this planning has been
rocked by the COVID pandemic, little progress has been made since, but it is now restarting.

Bow River Lodge 100%
Cascade House 78%
Bow River Homes 100%
Mount Edith House 100%
Community Housing 100%
Rent Supplement 100%

COVID-19 Response

As COVID began to emerge onto the world stage in January we started to review our pandemic
planning and to bring in supplies as a precaution to prepare for the potential emergency, not really
thinking that the situation would evolve as dramatically it has. Fortunately, we were well
positioned to meet the new reality, which has helped us to fend the virus off to date. We have
spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, hired many new staff, and developed many new ways of
doing many things. The residents of our lodges and our employees are COVID-free. We remain
fully engaged in our efforts to keep things that way, because the threat is much higher now than
ever. Suffice to say COVID-19 has drastically changed most of the ways we conduct our
businesses, but we are settling into our new routines and are cautiously optimistic.

As we look ahead to a long few month of winter, rest assured we will remain vigilant and prepared
to continue to significantly reduce the threats that COVID presents to our people and operations.
While we expect our seniors’ facilities to continue to experience significant restrictions and greatly
enhanced infection prevention and control measures for some time to come, we can look forward
to the day COVID no longer presents the grave threat that it currently does. We hope that on that
day we can celebrate successfully fending the virus off and being far better able to manage the
viral threats of the future; we promise we will throw a great big party!

This is Home (Phase 2)
Meanwhile, construction of the longanticipated designated supportive living
facility continues. The picture to the
right shows the wall-raising work that is underway.

Schedule: Clark Builders continues to
work with the province and Marshall
Tittimore Architects on the design and
construction planning of the 60 bed
DSL4/D facility. Demolition of the old
lodge is complete, having made way for
the new building, while leaving the
newer southeast wing in place for future
use. That building, the southeast wing
has been established as a stand-alone
building now. Expect substantial
completion in Q4 2021, followed by commissioning.

Design: This facility has been designed to meet the needs of designated supportive living level 4
and dementia operations, including enhanced safety and care-provision considerations. We can
expect to have to add enhanced infection prevention and control safeguards as the lessons of
COVID take hold.

Economics: The current capital cost is $17.2 million; the Government of Alberta has committed
$16.3 million to date. BVRH has agreed to contribute the remaining 5% of the capital budget (up
to a maximum of $900,000) to keep the project viable.


We are a Housing Management Body (HMB)
created by the Government of Alberta. Alberta’s
HMBs operate and administer provincially owned
social housing facilities and programming. The
Province holds an extensive portfolio of these
facilities through the Alberta Social Housing
Corporation (ASHC) that serves many needy and
vulnerable Albertans. Each HMB is a not-for-profit self-governing corporation under the
Alberta Housing Act that manages ASHC assets in their respective region. HMBs may
operate various housing programs and own facilities.

Every municipality in Alberta is a contributing member of their regional HMB and is required
to have at least one appointee serving on the governing board The HMB board members are
responsible for acting in the best interests of the entire region. HMB’s function as property
managers for the Province, often working to address relevant housing needs in their region.
HMB operational funding sources can vary somewhat. Tenants pay accommodation fees,
which are usually subject to affordability limits. These limits often lead to operating deficits by
constricting the ability to collect enough fees to cover the full costs of operations. Provincial
grants and municipal requisitions subsidize seniors’ lodge deficits, whereas the Province
alone funds deficits in independent seniors and community housing programs.

As the HMB for the Bow Valley region, BVRH is responsible for social housing and affordable
supportive living accommodation for seniors throughout Kananaskis Country, the Bow
Corridor, the MD of Bighorn and all of Banff National Park. The region covers an area of
13,500 square kilometres that has two towns and seven hamlets that contain approximately
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 can access
the programs we offer, subject to eligibility requirements.

We are an independent body that collaborates with two provincial ministries, five municipal
governments, numerous agencies in our community and provincial organizations to provide
and promote safe and appropriate housing in our region.

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 provide housing-related programs to approximately four hundred residents in the Bow
Valley region, delivered through our four programs. These programs are housed across
seven properties in Banff and Canmore that contain a total of thirty-four separate buildings,
twenty of which are stand-alone residential houses.

Our projects include:
• Seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that provide room and board to the residents of our
85 suites.
o Phase 2 of our This is Home project will open in 2022 to deliver designated supportive
living to the region through sixty 24-hour care suites that will provide appropriate
accommodations to our vulnerable seniors while alleviating pressures on local
• Seniors’ self-contained independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that include
a total of 62 one-bedroom apartments.
• Family housing residences in Canmore that include 38 townhouses and 20 houses.
• Rent Supplement Programs that currently provide financial assistance to approximately
35 households in the Bow Valley.
• Planning is underway for the conversion of a 15-suite lodge wing into independent
seniors’ self-contained housing for low-income seniors.
• Planning is underway for the re-profiling of a part of the Bow River Lodge site to increase
the number of senior’s self-contained suites while adding other affordable housing

Bow Valley Regional Housing aspires to collaborate with relevant entities to ensure that
suitable programming that will mitigate the housing needs of our client base is available.
We will:
• Make decisions and recommendations using relevant and valid data regarding
community trends and housing needs.
• Obtain funding to develop infrastructure that meets identified needs for social
and senior’s affordable housing programs.
• Embrace operating principles that incorporate innovation, service excellence
and best practices.
• Attract and retain highly qualified and caring staff.
The BVRH team includes approximately forty employees, based at Bow River Seniors Lodge
in Canmore, and Cascade House in Banff. Our Central Administration and Maintenance
Teams are based in Canmore but serve all of our projects. We have dedicated Housekeeping
and Food Service Teams at each of our two seniors’ lodges.

Client-focus, empathy, caring, commitment to quality and a guiding philosophy of serving
our clients in their homes.
High ethics, professionalism, transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness.
Sustainability, innovation, versatility, collaboration, communication, vision and
More information is available on our website at