A guide to working in your community
The next provincial election is scheduled to take place on Monday, May 29th. The resources on this page will help you engage and voice your support for sport, physical activity, and recreation (SPAR) in the election and campaign process.
The following resources will help you understand how your local candidates support SPAR. Second, these resources can assist candidates understand how the SPAR sector can continue supporting community prosperity.
SPAR Election Playbook: Keep Alberta Moving. This is our main strategy document. Read it, print it, share it!
Data and facts reinforcing our messages.
General FAQs that you may have (or may get challenged to provide answers for!).
A generic letter that can be customized and sent to local candidates.
Letters to Candidates
We will be sending letters to Party Leaders and key candidates (current Ministers, high profile candidates, etc) asking them questions specific to SPAR and what they believe and support. Responses will be posted and shared on the SPAR Matters website when we receive a response. You will be able to communicate these responses to your organizations and networks.
Feel free to tailor this letter to your own situation, send it to your local candidates and share their responses with key supporters and advocates of SPAR in your community. Fax it, Mail it or Email it and request a response. Be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any formal replies you receive as we will update these on the website.
Encourage your network contacts, friends, and family to send letters to candidates as well.
If everyone who gets these resources were to do these things, the SPAR message will be well heard during the campaign. The more often candidates hear about SPAR’s Election Platform, the more success we can have in effecting post-election changes.
Other ways to engage
Share the SPAR Election Playbook with members of your organization, and even your municipal council. It will provide them with an overview of things that are critical needs for SPAR today and can also spark questions for local candidates.
Encourage interested individuals who are your advocates for SPAR to attend election forums and ask questions.
Contact Your Candidates. Arrange a meeting – let them know you will be voting in their constituency and share how important SPAR is to the quality of life in your community. Once the election is called, candidates are busy with their campaigns. Don't be surprised if you are unable to secure a meeting, you may have to seek them out at community events, debates, etc.
Check your local media or call the Party campaign offices to identify opportunities to attend public appearances by the candidate and ask questions related to the SPAR Election Playbook. Be specific and perhaps say: "We are seeking your support. Please tell us where you stand on the changes we are seeking.”
When you have an opportunity to meet with a candidate, be sure to email or leave a copy of the SPAR Election Playbook. Remind each candidate that you are counting on their support.
When you have been able to talk with candidates, thank them for their time.
Attend an All Candidates Forum. Forums are typically advertised in local newspapers. If you have trouble finding out when a Forum is scheduled, call local Party offices. Asking a question at a Forum is a good way to raise awareness of SPAR issues and to get public statements from candidates.
Tell Us What Your Local Candidates Are Saying: We would like to track the responses of candidates. Please send any updates to email@example.com
Tips for Meeting with Candidates
Should you have an opportunity to meet with a candidate, there are some simple things that will help the meeting go well:
Be Prepared: Review the candidate’s and Party’s platforms. Try to relate SPAR messages to points of common ground. Offer suggestions to improve a platform issue.
Be Concise: Ask for a meeting of a half hour or less. Prepare comments ahead of time. Use the SPAR materials as a guide. Hit the high points and leave documents behind for the candidate's use. Speak briefly and work to engage the candidate in discussion.
Make It Personal: Where possible talk about why SPAR is important to you and your community. Talk about how your professional, volunteer and personal activities relate to your commitment to SPAR.
Bring an Expert: If you can bring someone with you who is passionate about the issues and an avid supporter of SPAR, do so. (A Councillor, a Board Member, someone from the health sector, someone from a youth organization, etc.)
Be Specific: Ask if you can count on the candidate's support for the issues.
Be on Time: And do not forget to send a thank you note afterwards.
What else can you do to make SPAR A Priority in this election?
Have your family, friends, and associates send letters to the leaders of the major political parties and to local candidates outlining the importance of their support for SPAR and the critical and opportune time now for investment. A template letter is available on the SPAR Matters website but try to personalize the letters as much as possible.
Send emails to the major political parties outlining your support for SPAR, encouraging their support.
Be prepared for the candidates or their canvassers to call your home or knock on your door with a question concerning SPAR in mind. Review the election strategy document and other resources and have them ready as handouts.
Contact local municipal politicians and business leaders and have them send letters of support for SPAR investment to local candidates and especially to the leaders of the major political parties.
Call local radio talk shows when candidates are appearing and ask questions about their position on SPAR and their commitment to further support and funding.
Monitor the websites of local candidates for references to SPAR. If there is no reference, e-mail your comments to the candidate. If there is a good reference, then email your congratulations to the candidate for addressing such an important issue. Some Parties and candidates even have blogs and/or Facebook pages where you can post information, issues and questions.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers outlining the importance of investment in SPAR and have friends and family write letters as well. A template letter is available on the SPAR Matters website but try to personalize the letters if possible.
Use your imagination to come up with other local initiatives and activities to get SPAR on the agenda in this election campaign.