How to Form a Community Association

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Links to Guide Community Association Decision Making Process


Vision, Mission and Values

  • Establishes purpose/why a group exists
  • Guides decisions about what group offers
  • Establishes priorities for spending
  • Acts as an evaluation tool
Note: Please click the Guide for Successful Groups (PDF) created by The City of Red Deer and Red Deer & District Community Foundation for further information (2009, p. 9-11).

Operating Procedures

  • Provides for an overall understanding of how your association will operate
  • Your group may want to consider establishing a board of directors, particularly if your group foresees a large number of members/volunteers or if there may be the potential for substantial fundraising
Note: Please note that it is required to establish a board of directors if the group decides to register as a society or charity.

Board of Director Responsibilities

  • Defines the group's purpose/vision
  • Establishes short and long term goals
  • Establishes policies and bylaws (rules for governing your association)

Board of Director Roles

  • Chair (or co-chairs)
  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Other board members (members or directors)
Note: The organization will determine how many members to have and what their role might be (e.g. members might be in charge of fundraising or promotion). It may be helpful to define job descriptions for each role. Please access the Guide for Successful Groups  for further information (2009, p. 15-22).

Naming your group

If you plan to register as a society, the name of your group will need to meet specific criteria. The Government of Alberta Societies Act (2004) has guidelines for naming your group.

  • Using a specific word such as society, association, committee
  • Using a phrase that is indicative of what the group will do
  • Using a unique word that has meaning for your group
Note: It is not required by law to register as a charity with the Government of Canada or to incorporate a society with the Government of Alberta. It is important to note however that these decisions will impact how you operate as well as affect the ability of your group to raise funds.


Grant Information

The City of Medicine Hat offers a number of funding opportunities, including community development grants, municipal sustainability initiative grants and special events competition grants. For additional information as well as access to the application forms, click here.

Contact Information

Community Development staff will assist in facilitating the development of community associations when invited to do so. Please call 403.529.8316 for further information.