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THE STORY OF CARMA HOUSE built by Brookfield Residential Properties

How do you possibly thank someone for giving you a home?  How do you thank hundreds of people for coming together to build you a home with their own hands?  

Wellspring Calgary had this once in a lifetime experience.  On May 28, 2008, in celebration of their fiftieth year of business, 340 Carma (now Brookfield Residential Properties) employees from across North America came together in an unprecedented generosity of spirit rolled up their sleeves, donned hard hats, hammers in hand, and with great hearts, built us a home!  

Please be assured it is a day we will never forget.

  It seems virtually impossible to fully convey the depth of the importance, the meaning of this gift, from Brookfield Residential Properties, not just now, but forever.  Wellspring Calgary was created as a compassionate response to cancer, responding to the need that every human being has for support when they are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  We do this by offering a great, warm, welcoming place that people can come to, to benefit from a myriad of free supports and resources.  Central to this, is offering a place that is distinctly non-institutional.  People with cancer spend much of their time in hospitals and stepping out of the patient role, even momentarily, is welcomed.  Can you  imagine then the effect of walking into Carma House – this grand, beautiful home by the river and knowing that hundreds of people came together, people who didn’t know you or your family, but who cared enough to build you a home?  It is a legacy that will benefit hundreds of thousands - most strangers to you, but all of whom will feel they somehow know, and will certainly never forget, you and your kindness. 

We know that this gift of a $2-million, 4,000 square foot home would not have been possible were it not for a very exceptional company; Brookfield Residential Properties, and a very special leadership team who saw it in their hearts to make this happen.  In addition to the extraordinary financial gift, this dream of not just building us a home, but building it together required planning, logistics, and perseverance that would have stopped most when it was merely a crazy idea.  But rather than being daunted by this challenge, Brookfield has stood by us every step of the way, determined to make Carma House come to life – and it has!

On November 16, 2009, Brookfield Residential Properties was awarded the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist Award at the Annual Philanthropy Day Generosity of Spirit Award.  A very fitting honor for a very extraordinary company.  Alan Norris, president and chief executive officer of Brookfield says:  “Our community involvement has been very diverse and consistent… But the Carma House project was a special project we took on in celebration of our 50th anniversary because we wanted to work together as a team to build something that would have a lasting impact on the community. While our name has changed since the build, we have decided to continue to call this home Carma House, in celebration of the roots which led to this build and the karma that oversaw this wonderful project.”

Please view the below clip aired at the Awards ceremony – a Wellspring member speaks about the significance of this gift of Carma House.


David Harvie, SR. VP Marketing, Carma Developers; Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel & Rita Egizii, co-founder Wellspring Calgary; Dave Bronconnier, Mayor, City of Calgary
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