The COVID Years Annual Report

Before we venture into a new year and a new season of Calgary Corporate Challenge, we'd like to reflect on the past two years of resilience, innovation, team building, and the prevailing spirit of the September Games.

ccc staff members at a park
  • team on human bonspiel inner tube at olympic plaza
  • 4 ISL employees collecting charity donations
  • group of 4 masked people at mini golf

"Tom Hanks just tweeted that he's tested positive for coronavirus, so I assume we're all doomed now."

Dave Ford, apparently trying not to be 'overly alarmist'

On March 11, 2020, after learning about the NBA pulling the Jazz and Thunder off the court before their scheduled game that evening, I sent a message to the CCC staff gently suggesting that we work from home for a few days while “coronavirus remains a thing.” None of us realized at the time that “coronavirus [would remain] a thing” for at least the next two years, drastically changing our plans for 2020 and 2021.

What follows here is a report on how those two years went for our organization. Before you look ahead at the details, I want to say a quick “THANK YOU!!” for continuing to support Calgary Corporate Challenge as we’ve worked to find ways to deliver something close to the experience you expect from us. Whether you’re a Company Captain, volunteer, sponsor or participant, the last two years have shown beyond a doubt that we truly could not do this without your continued support. So, again, THANK YOU, and here’s to a year that includes in-person sports events!

Dave Ford, Executive Director

The Calgary Corporate Challenge Team

CCC is run by a small (but mighty) staff supported by a dedicated group of individuals, including a volunteer-run Board of Directors.

staff photos with names of staff: Dave Ford, Jacquie Li, Hayley Sellick, Chelsea Wither, Taylor Rhodes, Gabrielle Freeman, Joseph Cheah
photos of board members and names: Adrienne Wong, Barry Klatt, Brad Robertson, Derrick German, Doug Caspar, Hyla LaPointe, Kevin Webster, Kirsten Foster, Rachel Paul, Rod Blank, Travis Wymenga

Thank you to our Sponsors!

  • Suncor Logo
  • BDO logo
  • Rosen Logo
  • Nutrien Logo

The Last In-Person Events of 2020

aka The End of the Before Times

"The first two of ten Off-Season Events planned for 2020 in support of our Charity Partners!"

In October 2019, riding the wave of dopamine that follows the September Games, our team took some time to reflect on the year's successes. After reminiscing about our numerous charity-focused Off-Season events, we decided it was time to give each of our charity partners an event of their own! With Slo-Pitch, Laser Tag, Horseshoes, Rowing, a Board Game Night and more scheduled, we were ready.

While the year had other plans for us, we were still able to host our annual Brain Freeze Trivia Night and Human Bonspiel!

  • a group of 10 people posing at schanks for trivia

    Brain Freeze Trivia

    February 3, 2020

    47 teams of four competed in five rounds of trivia (& a Brain Buster!) at Schanks Sports Grill and raised over $2000 for Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

  • four people in orange jackets sitting in tubes at Olympic Plaza

    Human Bonspiel

    February 24-28, 2020

    We hosted 56 teams of sliders at Olympic Plaza and raised nearly $4000 in support of KidSport Calgary.

    Check out our Highlights Video here!

Planning for the September Games in Extraordinary Circumstances

aka The WFH/Quaranteam Zoom Meeting Era.

"This year is our 25th anniversary, so expect 2020 to be even bigger and better!" - The CCC Team, blissfully unaware of what was to come.

We were looking to make the 25th September Games the most memorable year yet and, congratulations to us, it happened! No one is likely to forget 2020.

As news of COVID began to take over our televisions and social media feeds in March of 2020, we began to look into introducing more virtual options "just in case".

Our first attempt at a virtual event came when we celebrated CCC's 25th birthday with a trivia night via Zoom. We deemed it "Quiz Me Thru the Phone" and crossed our fingers for a fun night. Our participants did not disappoint! Not only did we have over 60 teams, they showed up with some of the best trivia team names to-date: Panic! At the Costco, Quentin Quarantino, Children of the Quarn, Social Quiztancing, and more.

Despite the success of this event, we continued to hold out hope for a "return to normal". Unfortunately, it soon became clear that we would need to take the over-sized couch of a year and pivot. On May 25, we sent an email with a new plan:

The first-ever fully virtual, 3-month long Calgary Corporate Challenge Games.

What did the 2020 Games include?

  • Summer Challenges

    We introduced Challenges to encourage our participants to stay active: Suncor Step, ROSEN Run, Nutrien Cycle, Bowling, and Golf.

  • Esports Tournaments

    2020 was the push CCC needed to dive into the world of Esports: League of Legends, Fortnite, NHL, Call of Duty, Rocket League, and more.

  • New Spin on Old Events

    We revamped the Design Challenge and, with the help of our incredible volunteers, we were able to develop a virtual Amazing Race & online Poker tournament.

  • Focus on Participation

    In the spirit of employee engagement, and in an effort to include everyone, we opened our events up Canada-wide and allowed for multiple teams from each company.

  • BDO Bingo & CEO Challenge

    We created the BDO Bingo Card to get the CEOs involved in the Games. Teams traveled around YYC discovering photo-worthy landmarks and highlighting local businesses.

  • Drive-In Movie Halftime Party

    We organized a Drive-In Movie in support of our Charities (with a little help from our friends at Spartan Controls)! A parking lot full of people trying not to cry during Up (2009).

2020 & 2021 Challenge Highlights

  • 1009

    ROSEN Run Times Submitted

  • 401,510,119

    Steps in the Suncor Step Challenge

  • 65,383

    KMs in the Nutrien Cycle Challenge

"We know that there is some uncertainty around events but we’re optimistic about a return to a more "normal" Games in 2021."

All things considered, our team was very happy with the outcome of the 2020 Games. We reached a whole new demographic of participants and were beyond grateful for the support we continued to receive. As we entered 2021, we were glad to have developed a new slate of events and were ready to bring one or two of them into the mix with our in-person events.

As we know, because we're all here in the future together, that didn't quite go as planned. On March 22, just over a year after we first started working from home, we announced a socially-distanced, largely virtual 2021 September Games.

We continued with the Summer Challenges, hosting the Suncor Step (July), ROSEN Run, and Nutrien Cycle (August), and did another edition of the BDO Bingo Challenge. In contrast to 2020, we re-introduced points, medals, trophies, and a handful of safe, distanced, in-person events.

  • Bocce

    The outdoor fields at the Calgary Soccer Centre were, as usual, the perfect location for our Bocce tournament.

    Despite the rain, our teams were all smiles for the first in-person event of the year.

  • Horseshoes

    The Calgary Horseshoe Club spruced up their outdoor pits to welcome our participants on the first Sunday of the Games.

    A rainy weekend day, but a welcome chance to see everyone together.

  • Rowing

    The Calgary Rowing Club hosted this fun new event for us on their outdoor patio.

    A relay race where teams of four rowed a total distance of 3 km.

  • Mini Golf

    Teams visited the mini golf course at Golfuture YYC for this event.

    Scores were submitted via the CCC website, and Top 6 teams were awarded points.

  • Bowling

    Our friends at National 10 offered up their bowling lanes for this event.

    Teams could book a free lane and submitted their scores via the CCC website.

  • Final Day ROSEN Run

    ROSEN and CCC set up at the starting point of our 5K and 10K in Edworthy Park to cheer on the racers and to celebrate the Final Day of the September Games.

2020 & 2021 September Games

By The Numbers

  • 105


  • 2,961


  • 45

    Events & Challenges

pie chart of 2020 and 2021 ccc revenues
pie chart of 2020 and 2021 ccc expenses

"Calgary Corporate Challenge is an exceptional organization that is innovatively creating ways to bring us all together through healthy competition, and support for our communities. It connects us with other companies of all sizes in Calgary’s corporate community, raises awareness for charitable programs and services, and fundraises a significant amount of money each year for its 10 charity partners. Over the years, the CCC has continued to evolve with new and exciting opportunities to get involved, which was especially demonstrated through the pandemic... [CCC] positively impacts our corporate culture directly, fostering team building, networking, and even the creation of long-lasting friendships (...and growing trophy walls!)"

- Suncor Energy Company Captains

2020 & 2021 Participating Companies

A big thank you to everyone on this list!

  • team posing at bocce
  • team posing at bowling
  • team posing at horseshoes

2020 & 2021 Charity Highlights

Since 2006, Calgary Corporate Challenge and our participating companies have raised nearly $8 million through the Charity Challenge and other charity-focused initiatives.

  • 6,463

    Units of Blood Donated

  • $262,649.82

    Total Funds Raised

  • 7130

    Hampers to the Food Bank

2020 & 2021
Charity Partners

Charity Challenge

The last couple years have been tough on everyone but, as usual, our companies showed up in a big way for our local charity partners. They helped raise more awareness on social media, they ran bottle drives and raffles, hosted an outdoor concert and blood drives, attended virtual lunch & learns, donated goods, volunteered as Mentors and more!

2020 & 2021
Charity Partners

Other Events We Hosted in 2020 & 2021

We're not just about the September Games!

  • Quiz Me Thru the Phone

    May 3, 2020

    Celebrating Calgary Corporate Challenge's 25th Birthday with our first-ever virtual trivia event.

  • Drive-In Movie Night

    Halftime Party 2020

    Entry by donation raised $800 for our charity partners, 170 lbs of food was donated to Calgary Food Bank, and some gently used sports equipment went to KidSport Calgary!

  • Christmas Tree-via

    December 15, 2020

    Our annual Christmas celebration complete with matching Zoom backgrounds and SANTA CLAUS?!

  • Amazing Race: March Madness

    March 23, 2021

    A virtual race around the world! Teams solved puzzles to reveal coordinates to be used on Google Maps.

  • A gif of 4 television sets from each decade since the 70s

    50 Years of Trivia

    May 26, 2021

    A belated 26th birthday celebration for Calgary Corporate Challenge.

  • Concorde Sports Day

    August 30, 2021

    A multi-sport day for Concorde Entertainment Group staff. Volleyball, archery tag, bubble soccer, spike ball, yard games, flag football and more!

  • Christmas Tree-via

    December 15, 2021

    Our first in-person trivia event in two years! A Merry Christmas indeed.

Goodbye 2020 & 2021. Thanks for the memories, and for introducing the team to Fortnite Happy Hours.

Here's to 2022!

While we could have done without the global pandemic, the past two years have given our team a renewed understanding of the mission, vision, and values of Calgary Corporate Challenge.

It's easy to feel like a team when you're sitting in an office together, or when you're playing a game of soccer or pulling a truck. But, in a time of isolation and uncertainty, we had to prioritize finding new ways to stay connected and engaged. As we worked to create over 20 brand new events, and onboard new staff members virtually, team building opportunities had to be embedded in our every day: From Zoom Happy Hours and Fortnite Battles to socially-distanced picnics in the park.

We wouldn't have made it through the last two years without these moments of connection, and we certainly wouldn't have been able to host 40+ events for nearly 3,000 people.

As we go into the 27th annual September Games following a tough two years, we're fully committed to giving our participating members every opportunity possible to reconnect as a team, both in-person and virtually.

Because the team that plays Laser Tag and Mario Kart together, stays together (or something like that).

Explore our past event pages: