City launches 11th annual campaign promoting snow safety and community spirit

For Calgarian Tom Daumler and his family, taking the time to shovel their neighbour’s driveway after a heavy snowfall isn’t a big deal.

“We have a neighbour who is older, and [we] know that they (are not) able to do it. So it just made sense for us to keep doing it,” he said. “Depending on which member of our family does it — whether it’s me, my wife or my kids — we all go out and make sure we shovel both sides so it helps them.

“It’s not even necessarily that it feels good. It’s just good knowing that they don’t have to do it and they’re not stuck in their place because of lots of snow. Right now, the husband of the lady next to us had a stroke about a year and a half ago, so he’s not even home anymore.”

Daumler is among thousands of Calgarians who unofficially take part in the City of Calgary’s annual Snow Angel Campaign, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this year.

The campaign emphasises community spirit and involvement, said Chris Thomson-Hunter, Snow Angels program co-ordinator with the City of Calgary.

“Snow Angels is a campaign where we encourage neighbours to help other neighbours who might not ordinarily be able to shovel their snow,” said Thomson-Hunter. “It could be because they’re older adults, could be because they have mobility challenges. That spirit of community helping neighbours is what we really want to see out there.”

The City received 721 nominations to have someone recognized as a Snow Angel over the 2013-14 winter season – a 137 per cent increase from 526 the previous year.

“These folks living in homes where they struggle to clear the snow and ice are being kept safe,” said Thomson-Hunter. “It’s safety for the residents, it’s safety for community members who are walking past, safety for people who need to access homes like postal workers, meter readers – anybody who needs to access a residential street to get to their work.”

Calgary’s street bylaw requires sidewalks adjacent to properties be cleared of snow and ice down
to pavement 24 hours after a snow-fall event.

Since its inception in 2004, the campaign has recognized 7,650 Snow Angels in Calgary.

To nominate a Snow Angel in your community, visit or call 311.