Robert Ollerenshaw: Passion for Community

A Passion for Community

The 20/20 Wavelength Project is deeply grateful for the artistic spirit of its partners and sponsors. This month we are highlighting our sponsor and neighbour at The Edward. On the east side of cSPACE, The Edward nears completion. Built by Section23 Developments and featuring gorgeous design and stunning amenities, The Edward showcases healthy luxury living for seniors. How wonderful that The Edward counts access to the cultural amenities at cSPACE as one of the benefits of a rich life. 

We spoke with the Founder and Executive Chairman of Section23 Developments, Robert Ollerenshaw, and got on his wavelength about what matters to him most right now. 

The Ollerenshaw family is well established in the history of Calgary. The family’s roots are in ranching and farming in southeast Calgary, where 80 years ago Robert’s father first bought parcels of land, Section24, and then later Section23. However, while Robert’s father’s passion was in the land, Robert’s passion has always been in architecture. After graduating with a degree in architecture from the University of Calgary, he founded Section23 Developments (named for his father’s purchase) and started building high end homes in Alberta and British Columbia. He has since enlarged his view to building whole neighbourhoods. As Executive Chairman of the company, Robert provides the vision for Section23’s projects. He works with a team that further designs and develops innovative spaces and places for people to live and call home. The Edward was his chance to design and build an innovative boutique seniors’ residence for independent active seniors. He is a passionate creator of diverse, inclusive and multi-generational communities. 

What gets you up in the morning?

“Throughout my education at the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, I developed a natural curiosity to think outside the box. This innovative mindset and way of thinking is one that I have continued to apply throughout my career. It is in this pursuit of innovation that I continue to be inspired by the potential of every project that I have the opportunity to work on and what inspires me every day.”

I am passionate about the arts, innovation, community building, diversity, inclusion and multi-generational connections. These concepts form the underpinning, embodied by the team at Section23 Developments and Baywest Homes and perfectly tie into cSPACE’s core values. From the very beginning, The Edward was conceived as a fresh approach to seniors’ living, its origins inspired by my passion for the arts, architecture and most of all, building relationships and strengthening communities. As a neighbour to cSPACE, I cannot imagine a a better location to develop synergies between the arts community and seniors aging in their community at The Edward.”

What excites you about being involved with the 20/20 Wavelength Project? 

“I am a passionate supporter of cSPACE and the arts and when I heard about the [20/20] Wavelength Project, I just knew I had to be involved. I am drawn to the idea of what wavelength people are on and the exploration of the diverse and unique perspectives we all have. I can’t wait to see the project come to life through art in this great community.”

This project is all about “What Matters Now.” What can you share about what matters to you now, personally, and to your organization in light of all the events of 2020?

Home is everything to people right now. It is our sanctuary, our refuge and our place of comfort and safety. This has me thinking about how people’s priorities are changing and how this will impact their lifestyle and the way home design will change into the future. I am also mindful of how social isolation has impacted seniors and how through engagement and a sense of community we can use creativity to find meaningful connections across the generations. Health and wellness are also at the forefront of my thoughts, as well as food safety and security. My family’s roots are in ranching and farming so sharing the value of local food production is very important to me. This legacy is a point of pride for myself and my family, and is the source of inspiration for Section23 Developments’ new community of Rangeview, Calgary’s first Garden-To-Table community.

What’s your message to the world, looking forward to 2021?

“Looking forward to 2021, I want to encourage everyone to stay strong, to be resilient and spread a message of hope. You can choose to make a positive difference by embracing diversity and creating an inclusive environment through your own choices and incremental actions. We are all navigating through uncertain times and we all need to be supportive and caring towards one another.”

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Robert with his nephew, sister, and niece at the ground breaking of The Edward. Robert, far right, Left to right: Justin, June, and Brittany Hazel.

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