U of C Active Living


The University of Calgary’s Active Living department is one of the largest and most diverse recreation departments based on a North American campus.

In 2010, Active Living was created under the leadership of Kurtis Kinnear who merged Health and Wellness, Youth & Community, and Campus recreation programs and developed the University of Calgary Summer Camps program to become one of the city’s largest camp providers.

Active Living has a team of 45 full time and over 750 part time staff. In 2016, the department’s staff handle 47,000 registrations and 600 school bookings, in over 75 recreational and sporting activities, and the Outdoor Centre processes 18,000 outdoor equipment rental orders.

From 2010 to 2017 Active Living went through and unprecedented period of growth: increasing the annual budget from $7.9M 2007 to $10.8 M while growing public program registrations by more than 33%, and school bookings by nearly 300% in six years including doubling summer camps from 5,000 to 10,000. Public tracked facility usage increased from 490,000 to 581,000.

The increase in facility usage reflects the departments focus on student engagement including innovative new programs and incentivized approaches like the Student Credit (2011), Level Up (2014) and a dynamic new City of Calgary partnership (2015). The Outdoor Centre pushed the faculty’s leadership role in outdoor recreation by creating the Outdoor Council of Canada (2008), which pushed for new approaches to certifying guides to safely lead outdoor activities in the backcountry.