Reason #86 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

The Community Leagues

By Emil Tiedemann

Being part of a community is fundamental, plain and simple. It doesn’t necessarily matter what community you’re a part of, but rather that you’re a part of something bigger than just yourself, whether it be a church congregation, a member of a sports team, or even a group of teenaged fanboys who get together once a week at the local comic book store. 

You’re part of a social unit with common interests and values, and perhaps a united goal or ambition, sharing struggles and triumphs along the way. Community leagues are no different, as residents of a certain neighbourhood or region come together to converse over unique issues and concerns they face as a whole. 
A meeting of the Twin Parks Community League.

These leagues address problems that plague their neighbourhoods, provide services like recreational opportunities, and keep their neighbours informed and up-to-date on what’s happening in their community, often acting in concert with local churches, schools, or some sort of political or recreational organization. Essentially, these groups are responsible for everything from improved local infrastructure to enhancing the standards of living for themselves and those around them. 

Edmonton happens to be a world leader when it comes to community leagues, with a strong history dating all the way back to 1917 when the Crestwood Community League was founded, a concept adopted from the predominately male “city clubs” or “social centers” out of the United States. 

Within four years, there were eight others in operation, uniting to establish the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues on January 24, 1921, with local businessman Thomas P. Malone serving as their very first president. This organization is still around even today, and has grown to include nearly 160 member leagues (& counting!). The community leagues serve as the voice of the people in every corner of Edmonton, devoted to preserving the good life and that priceless sense of community. #yegcommunity


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