Ten churches vandalized across Calgary

CALGARY (CityNews) – Calgary Police are investigating after 10 churches across the city were vandalized overnight Thursday.

CPS says either during Wednesday night or Thursday morning, the churches were tagged with orange and red spray paint.

One church had a window smashed along with paint thrown inside.

Police believe that the vandalism is in response to recent discoveries of unmarked graves at sites of former residential schools in B.C. and Saskachewan, as handprints and the number 215 were scrawled on the buildings.

“The Calgary Police Service is committed to doing our part in this reconciliation effort and ensuring that the generational trauma of the residential school system is properly addressed in policing,” a statement from CPS reads.

“However, we also all need to join together as a community to come to terms with our past and find a path forward to reconciliation. Vandalism like this is not just illegal; it serves to create further division, fear, and destruction in our city. We need to find the people responsible, both to hold them accountable and to prevent further divisive incidents,” the statement added.

The churches vandalized overnight were:

  • Saint Bonaventure Catholic Church at 1600 Acadia Dr. S.E.
  • Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church at 819 13 Ave. S.W.
  • Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 219 18 Ave. S.W.
  • Sacred Heart Church and Columbarium at 1307 14 St. S.W.
  • Grace Presbyterian Church at 1009 15 Ave. S.W.
  • Saint Luke’s Parish at 1566 Northmount Dr. N.W.
  • Holy Trinity Church at 1525 45 St. S.E.
  • Saint Anthony’s Catholic Parish at 5340 4 St. S.W.
  • All Nations Full Gospel Church at 1403 8 Ave. S.E.
  • Saint Joseph Catholic Church at 640 19 Ave. N.W.


Calgary’s Hate Crime and Extremism Unit is joining investigation efforts since all the locations vandalized are part of the Christian faith.

It comes as other churches across Canada have become targets of this kind of vandalism.

Recently, a church near Edmonton burned down and police believe the fire was suspicious. Some believe this is also connected to outrage over residential school discoveries.

Politicians ad Indigenous leaders have cautioned against vandalizing churches or committing arson.


The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says he understands the rage, frustration and pain brought on but funnelling that anguish into burning down churches will not bring justice.

“To burn things down is not our way,” Perry Bellegarde said Wednesday. “Our way is to build relationships and come together.”

Audrey Poitras, president of the Metis Nation of Alberta, said the town and church have close relationships with the Metis community.

“Some of our citizens were married there. Some left shoes on the steps to commemorate the children whose lives were lost at residential schools,” Poitras said in a statement.

“Violence and destruction are not the way forward during these difficult times.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took to Twitter to condemn the blaze at St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Morinville, about 40 kilometres north of Edmonton, calling it a “violent hate crime targeting the Catholic community.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the national chief and other Indigenous leaders in echoing the call for an end to the fires.

“This is not the way to go. The destruction of places of worship is unacceptable and it must stop,” Trudeau said.

“We must work together to right past wrongs.”

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