In the fall of 2017, when Calgary’s Central Library was still under construction, the Calgary Public Library Foundation launched its Windows of Opportunity Campaign.
Windows of Opportunity was a unique way to support the entire Calgary Public Library system. By making a donation of $100, $2018 or $5,000, Calgarians could submit an inscription for the iconic windows of the Central Library—a building that the entire city and world was watching when it opened to the public on November 1, 2018.
With more than $1 million raised and 2,500 window inscriptions submitted, the Windows of Opportunity Campaign closed on November 4, 2019. Funding from the campaign provided the Calgary Public Library with flexible funding and supported Collections, areas like the Create Space and projects like the Short Édition Short Story Dispenser in LUKES café, which inspires readers with 1, 3, or 5 minute original stories that are printed on demand, and much, much more.
Limited Edition Architectural Sketch
Individual and Generational Windows purchasers also received one of 1,000 Limited Edition Prints featuring a sketch of the new Central Library by Craig Dykers, lead architect and founding partner of Snøhetta.
Snøhetta is one of the world’s most sought-after architecture firms and was named the 2016 Architecture Innovator of the Year by Wall Street Journal. They place experience at the heart of their process, and have gained national recognition from projects such as the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the Ryerson University Library.
Location and Logistics
How long do I have to purchase a new Central Library window?
Windows are still available for purchase – you will get a tax receipt and certificate of appreciation now – with your inscription being installed at a later date.
Why are the names only on the windows for a limited time?
The high-quality vinyl that will be used for the names has a lifespan of ten years; Generational Windows will be replaced to ensure that they last 25 years, or a generation.
Will my name/phrase/quote appear on the window glass?
Permanently etching or marking the windows would interfere with the ceramic frit, which helps reduce solar heat gain and contributes to the building’s LEED Gold Status. Installing the messages on the mullion (window frame), allows us to retain the integrity of the windows.
Can I choose where my window is located?
We are no longer able to offer window selection based on floor or orientation due to limited availability.
Can my name be placed near my friend/family member’s name?
We cannot guarantee placement requests, however, we recommend that you purchase your windows (at the $100 and $2018 levels) at the same time to increase the likelihood of your messages being near each other.
How will I be able to find my window?
Generational and Personal window purchasers will be notified of their approximate window locations once they have been installed.
All Group windows are located in the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery.
My window inscription is in a location I don’t like. Can I have the placement changed?
Placements cannot change for windows after purchasing.
All group windows are located in the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery. Windows purchased at this level have not been provided with a predetermined location. We encourage you to wander the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery to find your window and continue to explore the rest of the Library.
Windows purchased at this level are placed on a first come, first served basis.
I don’t like where my inscription has been placed on the window frame. Can that be changed?
Inscriptions are placed on a specific pane, based on the character count. We have meticulously calculated the length of each pane style and determined the side which would best fit an inscription.
Will my inscription be checked for spelling or grammar?
Due to the high volume of inscriptions, we will not be checking for spelling or grammar. Please, ensure your message is spelled correctly.
There is a mistake on my inscription. How can this be fixed?
If you believe an error has been made on our part with your inscription, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-221-2002. We will work to correct this mistake in a timely manner.
If an inscription has been entered in error during your purchase, you will have to pay the fee again in order to cover installation and design costs.
Do I have to use all 35/100/200 characters?
No, that is just the maximum number of characters available to you.
Can I select where line breaks occur on my inscription?
No. Because certain pane sizes are selected, the appropriate line break will be made in your inscription.
Can I add something other than my name?
Yes, you can choose a name, the name of someone special to you, a quotation, or other wording. Profanity, offensive language, emoji’s or marketing (i.e. phone numbers and websites) cannot be used.
Can I add multiple names?
As long as you stay within the character limit for your window, you can use multiple names.
Can I provide a message in another language?
Yes, but please ensure the message you submit is accurate. It will be checked to ensure that there is no profanity or offensive language.
Why is my inscription in white or grey letters?
To protect the integrity of the building, we have selected a special type of vinyl lettering to place on windows. We would like new Central Library to last for quite a long time and considerations like this must be made.
Can I select the font of my inscription?
All inscriptions will be written in a predetermined font. The font type is Museo Sans.
Can the “name on certificate” and “inscription for window” be the same?
Yes, you can make the name and inscription exactly the same if you want to. Please add the same information to both fields when you are at the checkout.
Please note that the “Name on Certificate” field will not appear on the window.
We anticipate some people will use the Certificate to present to someone as a gift so they know that their inscription will appear in the new Central Library when it opens in November 2018.
Gift and Group Windows
Can I buy a window for someone else as a gift? Or in honour of or in memory of a loved one?
Yes! We hope that many Calgarians will think of making a donation to the Library as a gift for Christmas, birthdays, or any other special occasion. The “purchaser” (donor) will receive the tax receipt, and you can give the Certificate to the person being honoured.
Can I purchase a window with others?
Yes. You can have one person coordinate and purchase the window (in which case, the tax receipt will be issued in their name) or the Library Foundation can set up a group donation page for Personal and Generational windows. Contact us at 403-221-2002.
What is the Windows of Opportunity Campaign?
The Windows of Opportunity Campaign is an initiative from the Calgary Public Library Foundation that will allow Calgarians to leave their mark in the new Central Library by purchasing a window.
Why are you fundraising for the new Central Library? Isn’t it completely funded?
While the new Central Library building is paid for, the Library Foundation is fundraising to activate the inside of the landmark building and support the entire Calgary Public Library system. Your support will help to ensure critical programs and services continue to serve Calgarians, and new innovative ideas can be tested and trialled.
Why are there three different levels?
To ensure that this fundraising is accessible for most, we are offering windows at three different levels:
- $100 Group Window – The donor receives up to 35 characters (including spaces) that will be placed with others on a rectangular window in the Welcome Gallery (1st floor) of the new Central Library for 10 years.
- $2018 Personal Window – The donor receives up to 100 characters (including spaces) that will be placed on an individual geometric window for 10 years.
- $5000 Generational Window – The donor receives up to 200 characters (including spaces) split across two panels of a geometric window for 25 years.
Why isn’t there a donation level between $100 and $2018?
We do have a number of people who are choosing to make donations between the $100 and $2018 level by purchasing multiple $100 lines of 35 characters.
As there are a limited number of geometrically shaped windows on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor of the library and the inscriptions on them will be limited to the purchaser with no other donors’ inscriptions appearing, the donation level is significantly higher. At this level of gift, the donor will also receive a limited edition architectural print.
The $100 inscriptions will appear in the large, rectangular windows on the main floor in the Welcome Gallery and there will be multiple inscriptions on each window. If you choose to purchase more than one inscription at $100 each, we will try to have those inscriptions run together on the group rectangular windows. A tax receipt will be issued for the full amount donated.
How much will I get a tax receipt for?
Your tax receipt will be issued in the full amount of your donation.
Is my purchase refundable?
Purchases are not refundable as it is a donation, therefore, 100% of the funds are tax receiptable, according to CRA regulations.
How do I find out more?
Please visit mylibrarywindow.ca or call 403-221-2002