The Antigua and Barbuda Association of Calgary was founded by Ms. Tina Benjamin on November 1st 1981 with an initial membership of five. The membership grew quickly to thirty-five individuals by the following year. On November 1st 1983 the Association was incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta.
The first President was Mr. Gordon Christopher. The Association’s meetings were held in Tina’s basement for a very long time until the Calgary Police Services (Community Relations Branch) allowed us to use their center in Mayland Heights for several years. After that, the venue kept changing to wherever we could find a meeting place or at a member’s home.
In 2001, the Association obtained its own building. The building is used by various community groups. A number of theatrical groups have also used the building for practices. The building is available to the public to host meetings and other small functions as well.
The membership is open to anyone who wants contribute to the Caribbean community and Calgary’s dynamic sense voluntarism. We donate money to other non-profit organizations in the Calgary area such as The Mustard Seed Foundation, The Cancer Society, and The Calgary Women’s Shelter.
We believe that education is very important. As such, in the year 2000 we started offering scholarships to students pursuing full time post secondary education. The recipients are subject to an approval process to qualify for the scholarship. Our goal is to help as many young people as possible to further their education.
ABAC has flourished over the years and as a result has been privileged enough to give back. Since 1981 the ABAC has donated to and volunteered with various charities in Antigua and Canada. Some of the groups we support are:
Mount St. John's Medical Centre (Antigua)
The Red Cross
Interfaith Food Bank
Inn from the Cold
The Mustard Seed
Women In Need
In addition to its charity work, the ABAC organizes a host of social and cultural events throughout the year Games Nights, Senior day trips to various parts of Western Canada, annual Independence celebration, annual Spring Fling , Brunches and more. The ABAC has also taken part in the annual Carifest (Caribbean Festival) in Calgary.