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C.A.S.T.L.E Initiative

The C.A.S.T.L.E Initiative is a unique program that focuses on providing chess opportunities to low-income, marginalized, underserved/underrepresented and vulnerable communities. Each program is unique in the approach, style and structure. However, the core parts of the initiative stay true:

  • C: Championing diversity & inclusion in the community

  • A: Advocating strategic thinking & problem solving

  • S: Supporting and providing guidance to those with less opportunities

  • T: Teaching intellectual and emotional tools for life

  • L: Learning and developing an interest in the game of chess

  • E: Empowerment and community engagement

This initiative is possible with the generous support of our community donors:


Trellis Society (formerly Boys & Girls Club)

We specifically work with the after school elementary and youth programs. These programs are primarily geared towards low-income households. Through our 8-week chess programs at 4 locations (Penbrooke, Pinridge, Bowness, and Forest Lawn) we help provide a safe, welcoming outlet for youth to come to after school, make friends, and learn the game of chess encouraging learning, expression, and a positive connection to one another.


Closer to Homes (CTH)

CTH provides youth services designed to meet the unique needs of youth by cultivating a thriving community relationships. With Closer to Homes we facilitate a sense of belonging and growth through chess. We provide online and in-person chess events to strengthen family ties and a safe, welcoming space for youth to go when families are seperated. Being able to make new friends, and learn an amazing game has positively impacted many.

Image by Michal Vrba

Dream Centre

The Calgary Dream Centre strives to guide men and women caught in cycles of homelessness and addiction into lives of purpose. The centre hosts a space for people to recover, improve and better their lives. They work by providing counselling sessions, meals and more. We work with the men's recovery process group in an 8-week effort by providing chess in the main cafeteria. Usually members do not require teaching, they are often hidden chess experts. These individuals use chess as part of their recovery process, and as a positive mental health tool.

Playing Chess Together

Centre for Newcomers

The Centre for Newcomers has a vision to accept diversity and inclusion. We share a similar mission to create opportunities to participate for all backgrounds. We want to support new families, and youth coming to Canada. Making new friends and finding your calling can be challenging. We wanted to support newcomers, to make our community more united and allow them to succeed in the new Calgary space. We host quarterly workshops at the centre.

Image by Oscar Omondi
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