Tsuut’ina Nation leaders, Taza Development Corp. and members of the Calgary business community officially broke ground on one of Taza’s three villages (Taza Park)
A well-attended culturally rich and celebratory ceremony is held
Officials from Tsuut’ina and Taza announce that renowned auto dealerships Metro Ford and Big 4 Motors are to be the first anchor tenants at Taza Park
The first shovels are dug into the ground to signify commencement of construction
Festivities begin with a Tipi raising activity on the grounds of the Brown Bear Woman Centre hosted by Bruce Starlight and Tony Starlight.
To celebrate Taza’s anniversary, Taza Talks looks back with the people who have made development possible. The first Talk is held on Tuesday, June 22: The Spirit of Genuine Partnership which focuses on the search for the right strategy and partner to create a brand new, intentionally planned community and bring it to life and includes Host: Bryce Starlight, VP Development, Taza Development Corp and Panel: Chief Roy Whitney, Tsuut’ina Nation; Jonathan Wener, Founder and Chairman, Canderel; William Briscoe, CEO, Taza Development Corp.
The second Taza Talks is hosted on Tuesday, June 29: Building a Legacy and discusses how to build a legacy that will drive change and includes the individuals responsible for creating Taza’s foundations, from its brand and to its buildings. The Host includes Cieran Starlight, and Panelists: Chad Placsko, Borger Group; Tanya Puka, Brandsmith Studio; Jordan Big Plume, Tsuut’ina Communications; Steven Crowchild, Tsuut’ina Nation.
The first ever Bridging Connection Outdoor Artist and Vendor Market is held on June 26, 2021 in celebration of Indigenous History Month in the East Lot of the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex. The event features an artist spotlight on Livia Manywounds and Alanna Bluebird-Onespot and with 25 vendors and over 400 guests in attendance.
The first round of vibrant new businesses proceeding Costco are officially confirmed and announced to the public, at The Shops at Buffalo Run.
Located in Taza Exchange, the following tenants that make up this distinct mix include: Tim Hortons; BMO; Dollarama; Lavish Nails; Buffalo Run Dental; Happy Cup Bubble Tea; Complete Health Chiropractic & Massage; TiNi Vietnamese; BarBurrito
Taza hosts a Facebook Live Grand Opening featuring a virtual tour of the Experience Centre; discussion with special guests; Live Q&A with members of the Taza team; and the announcement of Taza’s Bridging Connection Program.
Located at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex, the Taza Experience Centre acts as a space for community members to connect and learn more about Taza Development.
The Experience Centre is set to host a variety of events and programs, from career and employment sessions to celebrations of Tsuut’ina Nation history and culture.
The Experience Centre welcomes visitors.
Bridging Connection is designed and launched to bring communities closer together through a range of creative collaborations with current and prospective tenants and businesses to continue to contribute to and elevate the visual infrastructure of the project.
The program launches with an initiative on behalf of Taza Development Corp., seeking two Tsuut’ina Nation artists to complete artwork design for roadside flags that will highlight the guiding principles of Cultural Influences of the Tsuut’ina and build brand awareness for The Shops at Buffalo Run.
Nathan Meguinis and Josh Starlight are engaged and selected.
Calgary’s growth is noted as increasing strain on the Bow and Elbow Rivers’ ability to provide for agriculture, industry, and the everyday household needs of Tsuut’ina citizens.
The Taza water reservoir and pumphouse project works to replace aged infrastructure and provide a consistent source of potable water for the community as it builds out the 500-acre Taza Park—the first of three villages that make up one of North America’s largest First Nation development projects.
Instead of the more conventional chain-link fence, the security fence (made of a mix of cedar poles from western Canada and repurposed poles from the Tsuut’ina Nation) creates a curvilinear fence to safeguard the reservoir, provide structural support for solar panels, and transform the project into a bold gateway marker to Taza Park. The space also offers the unique opportunity for a permanent art installation from the Tsuut’ina Nation.
The design targets net zero building emissions, in keeping with a sustainability goal for all the Tsuut’ina Nation’s public buildings. Solar panels, mounted on the site’s unshaded southern exposure supply the majority of the pumphouse building’s electrical requirements.
Responding to the importance of water for the Tsuut’ina—who are known as the “Beaver People”—the arrangement of the wooden solar fence alludes to the shape of a beaver dam. The conical shape of the arrayed wooden fence posts mimics the shape of a teepee. The integration of the solar fence within the landscape speaks to the Tsuut’ina understanding of the interconnectivity between all living beings and the land.
Construction of Tsuut’ina Trail started in 2016 with discussions dating back 70 years and currently supports over 2000 jobs.
The 12-kilometer stretch of road is officially opened, marking a major milestone in the massive infrastructure project that will eventually encircle much of Calgary with a total of 101-kilometres of highway loop.
August 28, 2020, marks a milestone for the Tsuut’ina Nation and Taza that Taza is officially open for business with the launch of Taza’s first anchor tenant: Costco.
Taza welcomes Taza Exchange, the very first Village at Taza to open. Featuring The Shops at Buffalo Run, Exchange’s retail district where Costco resides.
Taza is honoured by a blessing ceremony from Tsuut’ina Elders on the eve of Costco’s opening to commemorate the occasion and create a space of good energy for all those that visit the building.
Cotsco’s opening weekend smashes previous records and is recorded as the highest performing location in all Western Canada
In collaboration with Brandsmith, Taza launches two new websites: Taza Proper and Taza Exchange
Costco closes on an 18.6-acre site within Taza Exchange and is introduced as the first tenant of Taza.
The development Design Guidelines are officially published, outlining the land uses and design criteria for the 1,200-acre masterplan with emphasis on a proactive and leading approach to sustainability and low impact development.
A series of development laws and efficient procedures to govern Taza are announced including a Civic Services department that issues development, building and occupancy permits (completed in as few as 45 days).
Tsuut’ina Public Works along with the Tsuut’ina Police Services (Tosguna) and Tsuut’ina Fire and Rescue are acknowledged as providing all the necessary civic services for Taza under a Tsuut’ina Nation property tax regime that is substantially more competitive than other municipalities.
Tsuut’ina Trail is slated to be completed and open by October 2020.
Site servicing commences for Taza Exchange, acting as the first phase of the development project. Servicing includes the widening of Buffalo Run Boulevard and includes the first traffic lights ever to be installed and used on the reserve.
Interchange is developed as a senior studio that focuses on aspects of urban and community design, through cross-cultural interchange/exchange.
The studio project is developed in collaboration with the Tsuut’ina Nation community as the course criteria will engage traditional Indigenous ways of knowing and living, along with western approaches to interpretations of design, and sustainability.
The studio is a problem-based learning environment and the first of its kind, allowing students in the MArc, MLA and MPlan programs to work in interdisciplinary teams (and individually) on a culturally appropriate and sustainable urban design scheme.
Members of Canderel MDC take part during periodical design reviews as panellists of invited experts
The full suite of legislation is passed in relation to development approval by Chief and Council, providing commercial legislative certainty for tenants operating within the development.,
This gives tenants clearly defined laws, similar to surrounding jurisdictions while falling within First Nations legislation (The Indian Act).
A final iteration of the guidelines is confirmed and circulated to the Development Team.
Groundbreaking occurs along Tsuut’ina at Anderson Rd. and 130 Ave SW to begin the construction of Costco and The Shop at Buffalo Run.
Construction is slated to finish in summer 2021.
Details on head lease
An open house is held to discuss the development and address any inquiries or hard-pressing questions.
The event is targeted at residents of Lakeview to discuss issues being raised publicly and privately by the community.
Over 650 people attend or National Aboriginal Day
A historic dinner series including 4 dinners is held on behalf of Calgary’s business, art and community leaders and is hosted by Tsuut’ina Nation Chief, Lee Crowchild to present an intimate view of Tsuut’ina culture and share the nation’s vision for the future.
The evening includes a bus tour of the expansive construction sites, including the Ring Road site, which is slated for completion by 2021.
Construction of the new Seven Chiefs Sportsplex is hallmarked as a special edition, which is announced as expected to open in December 2018.
Taza development plans are released to the public during the Calgary Real Estate Forum and listed as commercial real estate development on Tsuut’ina Nation, bordering Calgary city limits.
The official launch is slated for January 2018.
Officials continue the process of finalizing the land use plan and design guidelines.
Canderel MDC and Tsuut’ina Nation begin assessing prospect project development partners.
Three distinct Villages are revealed (Taza Park, Taza Crossing and Taza Exchange).
Stantec begins the development project (Taza) on the interim design phase.
The initial master plan for Taza is finalized, which includes plans for site servicing and engineering requirements for the entire 1200 acres and three Villages.
Taza Park, Crossing, and Exchange naming is considered because of dialogue with Tsuut’ina Nation members and leadership.
The name “Taza” is vetted during a branding exercise held with Tsuut’ina Nation elders.
Bruce Starlight provides the context of the Taza phrase within the context of the ‘Woman Who Married a Star’ (aka “Starboy”) story.
The Ring Road is set to pass through Tsuut’ina Nation land in a land transfer agreement made in 2013.
Alberta Transportation officially announces the southwest leg of the Ring Road as ‘Tsuut’ina Trail’on July 11, 2017 in recognition of Tsuut’ina Nation ancestors and the hard work they put into the land; land known for significant cultural foundations, cultural identity, and spiritual connections.
The southwest portion of the Ring Road is expected to be opened to traffic in 2021.
The push to finish the city’s Ring Road is announced as a $340.7 million payment to Tsuut’ina Nation for the land, creating opportunities for economic reconciliation.
The Limited Partnership Agreement, Governance Agreement and the Development Management Agreement are executed on June 29 followed by a ceremonial signing and public announcement in Calgary on July 11, which secures national coverage.
Eclipse Productions is engaged to create a short intro video for the announcement. The video is well received at the press announcement.
The Designation Amendment is approved by Tsuut’ina Nation on June 28.
Tsuut’ina Nation to work with Canada to issue the order in council to formally adopt the amendment; the estimate time for completion is 3 months.
Target for establishing the form of subleases and approval process with Canada is slated for November/ December as they will require the master plan as well as base line environmental reports.
Buffalo Run Boulevard is designed by MPE and the cost of roadway is being funded by Alberta as part of the land sale deal with Tsuut’ina Nation.
Construction for the Buffalo Run Boulevard commences and is scheduled to be completed by November/ December.
Grey Eagle Drive will commence in 2017.
The Partnership with Canderel is announced publicly as part of a long-term vision to create educational and employment opportunities on the Nation to allow generations of Tsuut’ina Nation people to work and flourish, right at home.
1,200-acre commercial lands and The Taza Villages are announced along the Southwest Calgary Ring Road corridor and the name ‘Tsuut’ina Trail’ begins to be informally used for the portion of the ring road traversing the reserve.
Taza Development Corporation (now Canderel MDC) is created to execute the development on behalf of the Partnership.
Master Plan Land Uses is presented to the Chief and Council on April 12, for approval by May 4.
Draft infrastructure budget is circulated which will include assumptions for potential phasing and land leasing.
High-level servicing costs have been modelled and will be updated as the necessary studies are completed by Canderel MDC.
Tsuut’ina Nation notifies Canada that it is seeking a referendum in June 2016 to amend the current designation in addition to proceeding towards a land code.
The rationale is to be able to enter commercially viable land leases in advance of the land code that is being adopted.
Canderel MDC provides direction with respect to the various other legislation and bylaws that the Tsuut’ina Nation will need to develop over time.
The Commercial development is identified as its own tax district with additional direction from Canderel MDC.
Later in December, it is recommended that the proposed amendments to the designation should be confirmed by the nation with a Band Council Resolution and that the resolution be put to Canada to put pressure to act more quickly in addressing proposed changes; The Tsuut’ina Nation’s internal counsel agrees.
Work continues to progress on the Land Code and related legislation.
Tsuut’ina Nation charrette is considered a success with participation, engagement and support from 38 Nation citizens, representing several families.
The primary focus was on naming and branding, whereas the initiative also presents an opportunity to introduce Canderel MDC for the first time.
A meeting is held with Urban Strategies and Urbanics to provide initial land use recommendations for Canderel MDC to review and provide feedback.
Canderel MDC is set to continue to work with Urban Strategies and Urbanics to update the work plan and milestone dates.
Tour of Pima Nation (Talking Stick Resort and Casino) to meet with local developers who are experienced with Nation lands is scheduled for September 8–10.
Canderel works with Councilor Dodginghorse to develop an agenda as well as deliberates additional tours of successful Nation developments.
Consideration includes meeting with the Seminole Nation and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Tsuut’ina selects Canderel as a development partner following a competitive process based on creating a long-term, genuine partnership that will create a comprehensive master plan and support the Nation in creating and expanding its legislative and administrative infrastructure to support a world-class development.
Tsuut’ina Nation is opting to pursue its own Land Code.
Tsuut’ina citizens vote to initiate a high-level Economic Development Master Plan that outlines the strategy to designate approximately 1,200 acres along the eastern border for significant commercial development that will have direct access from the Southwest Calgary Ring Road when it is completed.
Tsuut’ina begins a rigorous process to select a development partner.
The Nation Economic Development strategic plan document is provided to Tsuut’ina Nation.
Internal visioning strategy with Nation members, representatives from the city of Calgary and the business community is held to develop a robust development concept for the development lands.