CBC Calgary’s annual Blitz Day in support of the Calgary Food Bank returns

CBC Calgary’s 37th annual Blitz Day had an enthusiastic start Thursday, with live music, special guests and merry crowds helping to raise funds for the Calgary Food Bank.

As of 8:30 a.m., Calgarians had already contributed $822,159.60 to the month-long campaign, inching ever closer to the goal of $1 million.

Interim president of the Calgary Food Bank Michael Pasma helped to kick-off events Thursday morning. 

“The demand is higher than it’s ever been,” he said.

“We’re seeing more people in need coming to us, but we’re able to meet that demand through the work of what we’re doing today and through the generosity of Calgarians.”

Each year, CBC Calgary invites readers, listeners and viewers down the to station to take part in Blitz Day, a full day of special programming, live music and meet-and-greets.

The Calgary Eyeopener drew in crowds early Thursday morning, each generously contributing to the cause in their own way.

Two people pose for a photo in the CBC Calgary lobby.
At Lee Mah stands with Calgary Eyeopener traffic and weather reporter Angela Knight as he announces his donation to the Calgary Food Bank. (CBC)

At Lee Mah is a 14-year-old entrepreneur who has donated on Blitz Day for the last five years. He runs SodaKid Inc., a SodaStream cannister exchange service. He donates one dollar of each sale to charity, including $2,200 to the Calgary Food Bank this year.

Malcolm Knapp-Durante visits each year sporting a festive holiday jacket. He collects bottles and brings them to the bottle depot, contributing $350 this year.

Several Calgary companies and individuals donated in the tens — and some, hundreds — of thousands, wowing crowds throughout the morning.

A woman holds a microphone in front of a man in a festive blazer.
Malcolm Knapp-Duranate visits each year to make a donation to the Calgary Food Bank. (CBC)

Many Calgarians also continued to support the campaign by purchasing a unique bag of Fratello coffee beans, called One Night Only, produced and donated by the roastery for the cause.

The $20 package comes with a special-edition mug featuring all of traffic and weather reporter Angela Knight’s favourite things, with all proceeds going to the food bank.

Maureen Patton arrived with her sister to each buy a few bags.

“I’m always in support of the food bank,” Patton said.

“I thought this is the year to come down … I think it’s great, all the different people down here, coming to buy coffee, it’s great Christmas spirit to give.”

Two people stand in front of a coffee stand, one holding up a cup of coffee.
Colleen Patton, left, and Maureen Patton visited CBC Calgary during the Calgary Eyeopener program on Blitz Day to watch the show and buy some coffee. (Taylor Simmons/CBC)

Alberta at Noon

Alberta at Noon broadcast its daily, provincewide call-in program live from the CBC Calgary lobby.

As part of a now yearly tradition, host Judy Aldous asked listeners to swap their favourite holiday memory for a performance by Charms, made up of Megan Konschuh and Denis Dufresen, a husband-and-wife duo.

Listeners shared poems, stories and holiday traditions as part of the special program.

WATCH | Get a small taste of the performance Charms gave Thursday:

Charms plays some holiday tunes for visitors to CBC Calgary

3 hours ago

Duration 0:25

Musical duo Charms, made up of Megan Konschuh and Denis Dufresen, joined Alberta at Noon Thursday as part of the show’s Blitz Day programming.

Janet Preston came out to hear the music over the noon hour, as well as support the food bank.

“It’s an incredible way of giving, especially this Christmas. There’s so many less fortunate,” she said.

A man and a woman stand together holding coffee.
Janet Preston and John Rogers came out to hear music from Charms and to support the Calgary Food Bank. (Taylor Simmons/CBC)

There are still several ways to take part in Blitz Day. All that’s asked is you bring a monetary donation or a non-perishable food item with you.

Free parking is available in the lot just west of the CBC Calgary building, at 1000 Veterans Place N.W.

You can find all of the details at cbc.ca/feedyyc.

The Homestretch

Aldous, along with Chris dela Torre and Jenny Howe from The Homestretch, will be available to chat with listeners from 1 to 2 p.m. 

CBC Calgary News‘ host Rob Brown and West of Centre host Kathleen Petty will head out to the lobby from 2 to 3 p.m.

A guitar case with CBC stickers sits in the CBC Calgary lobby.
All of the programs broadcast from the CBC Calgary lobby on Thursday will include live music. (CBC)

The Homestretch team will wrap up the day with its own special program. 

“I’m truly astounded at how beneficial this campaign has been to folks in need over the years. I really hope people come on down and join us,” said host Chris dela Torre.

Howe says the interesting live guests and the talented live bands are pretty big draws. The popcorn and coffee on offer don’t hurt either.

“My favourite thing about Blitz Day is getting to talk, in-person, with the people who make our shows and our events so successful,” she said.

Make the Season Kind

If you can’t make it to CBC Calgary on Thursday, there are several other ways to take part in the fundraiser, including ongoing bakery sales and auctions.

Donation drop-offs will continue to be accepted weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 2 p.m. until Dec. 22 at the Parkdale Community Association, 3512 Fifth Ave. N.W.

The final campaign tally will be announced on the Calgary Eyeopener on Jan. 4. 

WATCH | If you’re not sure what to donate, watch this quick video with some tips:

Calgary Food Bank dos and don’ts

5 years ago

Duration 1:12

The CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive gets under way Dec. 1. Here’s some tips of what you should, and what you shouldn’t, donate.

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