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Q & A with Bill Countryman

After six and a half years devoted to our community’s sports programs, our Sports Director Bill is stepping down from his volunteer role on the Griesbach Community League.

We are now looking to fill the position: are you ready to take on this challenging, but rewarding role? Read this Q & A with Bill to find out.

If you have any questions or would like to apply, please email our president, Shelby Corley (president@griesbachcommunity.com)


1. Briefly describe both the busy and slower season.
The busy season is the spring session from February until June. In the past we have seen as many as 150 registrations. After registrations, the Sports Director finds volunteers for the session and arranges resources. Much of the time goes towards setting up the teams; paying fees; organizing team equipment; communicating with parents and coaches; and coordinating coaching courses. Throughout the season, there is an on-going need to address parent concerns, set up pictures, and respond to divisional requests from the zone office. Towards the end of the season, there is a need for equipment collection, deployment of team pictures and organizing of the year-end party for younger age groups. With the Volunteers Director position still vacant, the Sports Director may take on the extra responsibility of contacting parents. The fall season is very similar in terms of responsibilities but only for about one-third of the teams and it is about one-third as busy.Outside the organizing, there is a need to keep up with the EMSA (Edmonton Minor Soccer Association) meetings and emails.

2. Briefly describe how the season (and the position) have changed for the time being and any current challenges with the limited season.
This past spring, due to Covid-19, the number of registrants was down substantially–about 25% of previous levels with only four teams, making it relatively easy. The biggest challenge was having parents cancel without notifying, due to Covid-19. This fall season is strictly online through the zone and for indoor, but Griesbach will not be supporting any teams.

3. The number of hours per month on average (pre-Covid-19 and currently).
Spring session> (Feb to May) 10-20 hours a week (This includes: Email, meetings, sessions, and organizing).

Fall session> (Mid August to October) 5-10 hours a week (same tasks listed above).

During Covid-19, (February to June), I spent between 5-10 hours a week, due to the start of the season being unknown.  

Fall indoor session has been 1-2 hours, with not having teams for the session.

4. Advice to someone considering applying for this position).
Doing a provincial jail time might be easier! (2 years less a day). Just joking…..The biggest payoff is interacting with the community, forming relationships with young families and seeing the growth of players in the program. The work you put into the community can be seen on the field with the program you create–but you have to be willing to follow through and see it to the end. At a minimum, you need to commit to a 2-year term in order to have a real understanding of the program and to develop some consistency with the EMSA zone.

5. Good qualities to have for this position.Good communication, organization and patience. Soccer or sports experience is not necessary.

6. Ways to grow and what you can learn in this position.
Form a cadre for the program. Choose one person as a point of contact with the zone; one for equipment and logistics and one for volunteers/coaches. I always had people willing to assist with the registrations but finding good coaches willing to commit was the biggest issue.

7. Greatest challenges and successes in this role.
Challenges: the EMSA, the time commitment and finding consistent coaches with experience.
Successes: Watching the teams play, returning teams and coaches; seeing the soccer program go to city championships; and witnessing children and members in the community form friendships outside the sport.

8. Why this role is vital to the community.
It brings young families in the community together and creates long-term friendships in sport that also expand into school.

9. Perks of this position (company car, box seats, signed jerseys…).
Watching the teams play, meeting great families and making new friendships. No perks, no company car, no box seats, no signed jerseys, no fee-saving for registrations of sports……maybe a bag of chips and a pop at the year end party?……oh, and you get to freeze as well. The other perk has been working with a great board with so many accomplishments over the years. 

Seeking directors for the Griesbach Community League

The Griesbach Community League is seeking some new volunteer directors to fill two-year terms.

Joining the board is a great way to meet new people, learn or perfect skills and make your community an even better place to live. You don’t need previous board experience. Board members include students, parents and retirees. There really is space for everyone!

Time commitment will vary, depending on what kinds of initiatives and events are happening that month. Generally, the board has one meeting per month at Major General Griesbach School. Meetings are capped at two hours, often take less than that, and the board generally doesn’t meet formally over the summer.

Interested? Need more information before saying yes? Email Shelby: president@griesbachcommunity.com for more details.

We are actively recruiting for the following positions, which will be vacant and up for election at our annual general meeting on March 12, 2020.


This position works closely with the president, assisting them in all duties. They will fill in running meetings, when the president or other chairperson is absent. They will also work with the past-president and current president to identify future board members.


This is an executive position. Ideally, we’re looking for a CPA who can serve at least one two-year term. Previous board experience isn’t mandatory. Our current treasurer has done such a great job that you’ll be walking into a well-established practice. Our board meets once per month, and the treasurer is not often required to attend other meetings, but is responsible for bookkeeping, regular financial updates and necessary filings.


Member of the executive. Takes minutes at meetings, keeps records of all documents, creates agendas ahead of meetings, notifies members ahead of meetings. Runs meetings, in absence of president or VP.


This is a great fit for someone who loves writing, photos and storytelling. This person oversees two mailed-out newsletters per year, email newsletters as needed, basic website maintenance and the community Facebook page. They also provide overall communications and marketing advice to the board. Our current communications director will teach you everything you need to know. This is a great opportunity to learn, or sharpen, your digital media skills.


This person co-ordinates volunteer commitments for the sports programs and for community league events. The ideal candidate is organized, loves scheduling and is good at dealing with people.


This person has a passion for event planning and throwing parties. They are the point person for the major Griesbach Community League events, including our annual September party and Easter egg hunt. They can also spearhead smaller events throughout the year.

More detailed position descriptions are available here.

Download the March community newsletter here

The latest Griesbach Community League newsletter is hitting mailboxes in the community this week.

Look for the light-blue paper with everything you need to know about the upcoming AGM, sports registration, playground and park upgrades and much more.

If you didn’t get a paper copy, or if you would rather read a digital copy, download a PDF version here.

Media release: GCL urges Competition Bureau to force Sobeys to sell or develop derelict lot


Griesbach Community League urges Competition Bureau to force Sobeys to sell or develop derelict lot

Feb. 4, 2019, Edmonton, AB – Residents of Griesbach are sick and tired of an undeveloped, derelict commercial lot on the southeast corner of the neighbourhood and are launching a Competition Bureau complaint campaign in order to pressure the lot owner, Sobeys Inc., to sell or develop.

The Griesbach Community League believes that Sobeys Inc. is in violation of at least two sections of the federal Competition Act.


Sobeys purchased the highly visible and commercially valuable lot on the corner of 137th Avenue and 97th Street NW to build a grocery store. When Sobeys bought the Safeway chain in 2013, plans to develop this lot stopped. There is now no incentive for Sobeys to build a new store directly across from Safeway, the store it already owns in Northgate Centre. By holding this corner lot, Sobeys is ensuring that no other grocery competitor can build near its Safeway store.

When Sobeys agreed to be an anchor-tenant, they were permitted to place restrictive covenants on the commercial land adjacent to the property. These restrictions prevent businesses that would compete with a grocery store—including bakers, butchers and flower shops—from leasing available commercial space in Griesbach Square. Sobeys clearly has no interest in becoming an anchor tenant. These covenants restrict competition and should be removed.

Sobeys has failed to act on concerns raised by the Griesbach Community League in the past. As such, the Griesbach Community League is now launching this campaign, asking residents to complain to the Competition Bureau about Sobeys.

“Sobeys has intentionally prevented business development in the southeast corner of Griesbach for more than six years,” says Griesbach Community League president Brad Tilley. “Consumers in Griesbach and surrounding neigbourhoods have less choice because of Sobeys’ actions. It is time for the Competition Bureau to act.”

Contact and more information

Brad Tilley, president, Griesbach Community League 780-720-2899

To read a copy of the complaint, go to griesbachcommunity.com/sobeys-lot

Download a PDF copy of this media release

Complain to the Competition Bureau about the empty Sobeys lot

Are you sick of the empty lot on the corner of 137th Avenue and 97th Street? So are we.

The Griesbach Community League wants you, the residents of Griesbach and surrounding neighbourhoods, to tell the federal Competition Bureau what you think in hopes of finally getting this lot developed or, at the very least, sold to someone who will develop it.

This lot was originally purchased by Sobeys to build a grocery store. However, when Sobeys bought the Safeway grocery store chain in 2013, plans to develop that valuable corner lot came to a screeching halt.

There is now no incentive for Sobeys to build a brand-new store directly across the road from Safeway, the store it already owns in Northgate Centre.

Since then, the lot has remained vacant. By holding on to this corner lot, Sobeys is also ensuring that no other grocery competitor can build near its Safeway store.

To make matters worse, Sobeys has placed restrictive covenants on land adjacent to the vacant land. These restrictions prevent business that would compete with a grocery store from leasing space in Griesbach Square. That means bakers, butchers and even a flower shop may be prevented from leasing space in Griesbach Square.

The end result is a derelict and overgrown empty lot in a prime commercial location, fewer businesses in Griesbach Square and less choice for consumers in Griesbach and surrounding neighbourhoods.

After considering all options, the Griesbach Community League board members believe a co-ordinated campaign to complain to the Competition Bureau may result in action.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Download the attached Word Document.
  2. Read the instructions page.
  3. Fill in your personal information (the sections highlighted in yellow).
  4. Mail the document to the Competition Bureau OR attach as a file and submit it online (this process is a bit complicated, it might be easier to mail) OR drop the printed document off at the Griesbach Community League AGM on Monday, March 11 in the MGG School gym and we will mail it for you.
  5. Send us an email to competition@griesbachcommunity.com to let us know you submitted the form. This is so we can track submissions.

Griesbach-Square-complaint (Click here to download Word doc)

Griesbach Big Bin Event & Community Cleanup: May 23

Saturday, May 23, 2015  –  104 St and Griesbach Road

• Community Cleanup: 11 am – 2 pm
• Big Bin Event: 10 am – 4 pm

Come join us for a little spring cleaning around Griesbach. We’ll provide the garbage bags and pickers. You generously volunteer to go throughout the neighbourhood. There will be a barbeque and refreshments provided by Westcorp Properties. Last year’s cleanup proved to be a volunteer activity for families.

To volunteer for the community cleanup contact Chrystal:

We encourage all volunteers to bring gloves, hat and sunscreen.

Do you have oversized items that need to go to the dump? Drop them off at the big bins provided by Westcorp. Some restrictions apply.

AVENUE Magazine profiles Griesbach

Griesbach is the subject of a wonderful community profile in the latest edition of Avenue Magazine. It’s written by our own Eliza Barlow, a resident who knows first-hand how great Griesbach is. Enjoy the read! Click here to link to the article.

Toboggan hill gets long-weekend workout

The toboggan hill at Griesbach’s Central Park has been the most popular spot in Griesbach this Family Day weekend.

Thanks to Melanie for letting us share these adorable photos! She says her girls are having so much fun…


And here are some shots of young Marco breaking the sound barrier, courtesy of his mom Chona…


Is she having fun or what?!? (Thanks to Dave and Karen for these great shots)…


…. meanwhile, these two are thinking, “It’s sure more work going up!” (Courtesy of Charmaine).


Again, thanks everyone for submitting these great pics. Please toboggan safely, and avoid any of the newly planted shrubs poking through the snow. Hopefully there are more great snow days ahead.

Welcome to our new website

Griesbach Community League is pleased to  launch our shiny new website. Thanks for checking it out. (Be sure to come back often!)

We’ve added a lot of things we think you’ll really like. It’s slicker, funner, more jam-packed with interesting tidbits and useful facts about our community. Plus it’s loaded with pictures.

The new format makes it easier to draw attention to big news items and events, archive information – and link content to social media. Our blog (The GriesBlog) will allow us to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest goings-on.

One of our goals has been to make the site relevant to existing residents as well as those who are considering moving here. So there’s something for everyone. We encourage you to explore. Even if you’ve lived here for a while, you may learn some interesting things (look for more stories behind our community history and the community monuments in the months to come).

As an added bonus, you can now buy your community membership online. Click the link and it will take you to the Edmonton Federation of Community League page. Be sure to specify Griesbach as your community. Moving forward, the plan is to allow you purchase tickets to community events online as well (such as the next Spring Fling, taking place in May).

It’s been a ton of work, so I hope you like it. I’d like to thank residents Damen Cole (of Brown Walrus Inc.), Felicia Dewar and Stacy Felkar for their assistance and feedback. Not to mention the entire GCL Board of Directors for their support and input.

Ultimately, this site is for you… and about you. If you have any suggestions on content you’d like to see, comments or feedback – let us know. And if you’d like to contribute as a writer or if you have some great photos you’d like to share, please get in touch. We’d love to have you aboard.

Happy browsing,

Dave Neufeld
GCL Communication Director

GCL 2015 Annual General Meeting and Canada Lands Update

Tuesday March 17, 2015
7:00 pm
MGG School

Find out what is going on in your community. Don’t miss Griesbach Community League’s Annual General Meeting. All Griesbach residents are welcome, and any adult with a valid 2014/2015 membership is allowed to vote – and run for a position on the board of directors. Several positions are up for election (see below).

The agenda includes:

•  A review of financial statements.
•  Executive and Director reports.
•  Elections for vacant positions.
•  Canada Lands presentation.

ALSO… Marvin Neumann, of Canada Lands, will be giving an update,
including the latest on the commercial development, new stages of development, Roundel Lake and Flanders Park.

We have arranged supervised activities for the children while the meeting is going on. As an added incentive to join us, our friends at Famoso have offered to provide gift certificates for all adults in attendance (while supplies last).


We’re looking for dedicated men and women to guide the Griesbach Community League. Several positions will be open for election.

• President • Secretary • Fundraising • Parks and Gardens • Neighbourhood Watch • Sports • Programs • Member at Large

All are 2-year term positions (click here for position description and duties).

To learn more about these positions or to put your name forward, email GCL Vice President, Carl Knowler by March 10, 2015.


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