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Celebrating the New Village Commons Sue Mallon Reading Nook

carya is proud to announce the official reveal of our Sue Mallon Reading Nook at Village Commons space in East Village. The reading space is in recognition of the dedicated service and leadership of carya‘s long-time former CEO Sue Mallon, and was designed and constructed by Calgary Reads with funding support from the Burns Memorial Fund for Children.
all photos by Jason Lukman

Sue Mallon served as carya’s Chief Executive Officer for seventeen years and spent decades contributing to creating an inclusive community through public service, not-for-profit and advocacy roles. Prior to carya, Sue had a successful 20-year career with the City of Calgary. Sue is also a City of Calgary police commissioner. In the wake of Sue’s retirement from carya in 2020, carya‘s Board of Directors set up a fund and collected contributions in her honour.

The Sue Mallon Retirement Fund contributions supported the development of carya’s new East Village community hub where the Sue Mallon Reading Nook is located. Village Commons officially opened its doors to the public in July 2021.

“I can’t think of anything more appropriate to be associated with than something about literacy and reading,” says Mallon. “It’s very true that reading to me is a whole world of adventure and exploration, and certainly you can watch it in children.” 

The Sue Mallon Reading Nook was designed and constructed during the summer of 2021 by Calgary Reads and local artist Karen Scarlett, who is also carya’s second Artist in Residence working with older adults in watercolour workshops.  

“At Calgary Reads we believe that a beautiful, joyful place inspires reading and readers,” says Calgary Reads CEO Steacy Pinney.

“A few years ago, we entered into a design experiment to understand the role environment plays in inspiring families to make time and place for reading in their busy lives and it worked! Adults and children are embracing reading as a key to success in school and life and families are intentionally creating joyful reading relationships. We are so proud that our beloved Little Red Reading House has inspired our sixth community reading place at carya.” 

The Sue Mallon Reading Nook at Village Commons was made possible through funding support from the Burns Memorial Fund for Children, a private foundation established as a legacy of Senator Patrick Burns — a Calgary pioneer and philanthropist who passed away in 1937. The Burns Memorial Fund for Children focuses on the health, education and recreation needs of low-income children and youth. A $12,000 grant from Burns funded a portion of the construction costs of the space where children and families attending carya programs will discover the joy of reading together. 

“Burns Memorial Fund for Children understands the importance of early literacy,” says Executive Director Michelle Clarke in her remarks at the official opening.

“The ability to read well is critically linked to success in school and life. We are proud to support this beautiful space where children and their families will share stories, explore the world together through books, and foster deep connections to reading.” 

Board member and chair of carya’s Philanthropy Committee Barry Taylor made a personal contribution of $25,000 to the Fund.

“Sue made significant contributions to carya during her tenure as CEO,” he says. “She was a wonderful mentor to many within the organization, with an ability to listen, motivate and encourage, building a team with a depth of knowledge and a positive approach to leadership that is recognized and respected by all. Her brilliant leadership has led to carya being a best-in-class organization caring for family and communities in Calgary.

“Sue has made a difference in the lives of many people. It is a pleasure to contribute to a fund in Sue’s name to recognize and honour her contributions and to help ensure her legacy.” 

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You can find our full press release about the Sue Mallon Reading Nook here.

For media inquiries, please contact carya’s Marketing, Media and Communications Specialist at HayleyM@caryacalgary.ca