Calgary·Opinion

Finding Calgary's Soul: A meditation for Black History Month

"You are the flavour that gives Calgary its kick. You are the steady beat that has become the heart of this city. You have inspired us to come together and share our stories, our talents and our gifts." Lynn Olagundoye, on our city's soul.

'Your voice has become so strong I’ve had no choice but to sing your song'

Calgary model Jonathan Reimer, part of a photo shoot for the upcoming Soul in the City performance event. (Katherine Calnan)

Editors Note: Calgary is often seen as a city of economic bluster and workaholics. But as Lynn Olagundoye writes, if you look, you can find its 'Soul.' Her poetic meditation is in honour of Black History month.


 There was a time when I couldn't see you. I didn't know you were there. I worried that I would never find you, and worse, you would never find me.

I use to believe that you could only be found in places like Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles. You know, not Calgary.

But with time I could feel your pulse beneath my feet. You became a steady thought tucked in the back of my mind, only to be seen in my dreams.

As the years came and went, I grew and the city grew.

Together, we experienced a change of pace and a change of thought. We experimented with different looks and made many new friends. Friends from all walks of life that each left an imprint on us so profound, that we will never be the same. With each year and each encounter we expanded, we became bolder and more vibrant , more open and more unique. With each new encounter and deeper experience I could feel you making your way to the surface.

Today, your presence is undeniable.

I see you everywhere, and in everyone. Your voice has become so strong I've had no choice but to sing your song and join in your dance. I'm excited by you. I'm enthralled with you and the opportunity you have brought to me and the city of Calgary.

You are the flavour that gives Calgary it's kick. You are the steady beat that has become the heart of this city. You have inspired us to come together and share our stories, our talents and our gifts. Regardless of our colour, race, religion or orientation, it is through you we can come together and experience our oneness and discover our flawed perfection.

You see, this city means a lot to me. We've grown up together.

She was there when I took my first breath and likely will be when I take my last.

So trust me when I say that she has never been as beautiful, vibrant and exciting as she is right now and I think it's because she found you ... her soul.

We have Soul in the City.


Calgary: The Road Ahead is CBC Calgary's special focus on our city as it passes through the crucible of the downturn: the challenges we face, and the possible solutions as we explore what kind of Calgary we want to create. Have an idea? Email us at calgarytheroadahead@cbc.ca

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About the Author

Lynn Olagundoye

Singer-songwriter

Lynn Olagundoye is a Calgary-based singer and songwriter. She co-created a community focused organization called Soul in the City.