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exploring the good life in Airdrie for 10 years! | spring 2013

exploring the good life in Airdrie for 10 years!



designs with reclaimed resources

THE $3,000 MAKEOVER you won’t believe your eyes! THE TOUGHEST WOMEN IN TOWN meet up at the roller rink





$7,5 0 FitnE 0 Chall ss see pa EngE! g e 107

Happy, healthy smiles are what we do best. Nose Creek Dental provides professional general dentistry services for every member of the family. Our friendly team will make every visit an enjoyable one, for any treatment that you may require. General dentistry services are the foundation of dental care, and include your regular cleanings, examinations, and restorative procedures.

Our commitment to innovative technology means that we can transform your smile in less time and in less invasive ways than ever before. Products like Zoom! Whitening, Invisalign, and CEREC Ceramic Restorations are convenient, long lasting and safe ways that we can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. Our team of dental professionals has been bringing friendly, top-quality dental services to the families of Airdrie and area since 1994.

Nose Creek Dental Centre • #1-409 1st Ave NW., Airdrie, AB T4B 3E2 403-948-6684 (tel) • 403-948-6691 (fax) •


60 Acre Backyard Enjoy one of Airdrie’s largest green space with ponds, parks and pathways out your backdoor.



Townhomes offered in two unique styles; front garage Classics or affordable Urbans.

A boutique collection of laned homes walking distance to a new school and green space.

3 bedroom homes range from 1,100 to 1,560 sq. ft., some with master on main floor, fenced yards, and walk-out basements. Also enjoy exclusive access to Trails’ amenity centre.

3 bedroom homes range from 1,300 to over 1,600 sq. ft. plus full unfinished basements for storage or future development.




includes GST

Classics from the high






Starting$from the low low 300s*

Starting from the mid

includes Lot & GST

includes Lot & GST

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CALL 403.980.3345


includes GST

CALL 403.980.9209

Many homes feature bonus rooms, dens and laundry on bedroom level plus unfinished basements for storage or future development.



12 Show Homes Open Mon – Thurs 2 – 8pm Weekends & Holidays 12 – 5pm Follow Us *Prices and availability subject to change without notice. E&OE.

/ VestaProperties

Reunion Terrace Williamstown Close Williamstown Blvd Veterans Blvd (HWY 567)

Downtown Airdrie

8 St. NW

Urbans from the mid

A signature collection of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom front garage homes nestled around a pond and landscaped nature trails.

8 St. NW





From HWY 2, exit west onto HWY 567 (Airdrie), west on Veterans to 8th St.

HARDER HOMES LTD. “Make your Memories ... in a Harder Home” Built with Style, Quality and Functionality At Harder Homes, the Choice is Yours, the Possibilities Endless.

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Contributors spring 2013

exploring the good life in Airdrie for 10 years!


airdrielife contributors met several amazing women from


the community this issue while on assignment, and they


share some of their thoughts:


SaraH DeVeaU, Writer hair Classic, page 106 ADVERTISING SALES

What impressed you about entrepreneur


Rose Marie Pottinger? Chatting with Rose Marie, i was impressed by her unfailing enthusiasm and drive, and how kind and generous she is as a person. i think her business

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Anne Beaty Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams Sergei Belski, Michelle Carre Leslie Davies, Sarah Deveau, James Froese , Alex Frazer-Harrison, Ellen Kelly, Kurtis Kristianson, Tina McMillan, Carl Patzel, Kristy Reimer, Kent Rupert Sherry Shaw-Fraggatt Print West

ContaCt us

Editorial Advertising

will be a wonderful resource for Airdrie. WhErE to FinD us

airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. If you do not receive an issue please contact

KriStY reimer, PHotoGraPHer Amazing Women, pages 58-68 What did you learn when you met with Airdrie’s Amazing Women?

airdrielife is also available at more than 50 locations around the city. You can also find airdrielife in every showhome in the city and at more than 100 locations in Calgary. airdrielife is published quarterly by Frog Media Inc. with the co-operation of the City of Airdrie Economic Development Department.

i learned that all of these amazing women are incredibly humble and didn’t think they deserved to be nominated. this humility in itself is a reason they need be featured because it shows that their hearts are in the right place. they each represent every woman who is making Airdrie a better place by being selfless, giving, ambitious, caring and courageous.


ISSN 1916-355X

Contents copyright 2013 by Frog Media Inc. May not be reproduced without permission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. EDitorial poliCy

eLLen KeLLY, Writer Vietnamese heritage, page 24 What comes to mind when you think of Thang ˘ng owner Esther Trung-Lam? Lo Admiration for a courageous journey, respect for a strong work ethic and the best Vietnamese spring rolls i’ve ever tasted.

airdrielife editorial is not for sale. Editorial is completely independent from advertising, and no special editorial consideration or commitment of any kind can form any part of the advertising agreement. All editorial inquiries must be directed toward the editor. A copy of Frog Media Inc. Writers’ Guidelines can be downloaded from the editorial page on our website. airdrielife does not accept unsolicited submissions. Freelance writers and photographers interested in assignments are asked to send an inquiry, with samples from at least three published magazine articles, to airdrielife is produced from well-managed forests, printed with canola-based inks, and is 100% recyclable.

8 | spring 2013

editor’s note We invite you to visit McKee Show Homes in these fine Airdrie communities. Bayside

2429 Bayside Circle

King’s Heights

1191 King’s Heights Road


1313 Ravenswood Drive


2378 Reunion Street

Cooper’s Crossing 1161 Coopers Drive

Each spring I look forward to learning about more of the amazing women who grace our city. And each time, I realize that regardless of age, career path, personal circumstances, past experiences, they all share core qualities. Humility, compassion, a sense of community, a sense of duty – all come together in these women. They represent the best Airdrie has to offer; yet there are many more women out there – opening their hearts, working hard, making their community a better place – who may not have been profiled on these pages, but who make the world brighter simply by being in it. You know who they are. ‘Amazing’ doesn’t have to mean winning the Nobel Peace Prize or discovering the cure for disease or becoming prime minister. Sometimes amazing is simply getting up in the morning, day after day, and doing what you have to do, even if it brings no kudos or recognition. Amazing is laughing with your children when you feel like crying. Amazing is saying: “I’d love to help out with your charitable event,” when all you really want to do is go home and turn on the TV and zone out. Amazing is holding the door open for another, or smiling at a stranger (and watching the smile in return). Amazing can be fireworks, but amazing is also quiet and peaceful and powerful. Amazing is following a dream, even if few others have trod that path (Jessica’s Jazz, page 22). Amazing is brightening lives with jewelry for the home (Seeing the light, page 84). Amazing is forgoing sibling rivalry for sisterly love and support (It’s a family affair, page 104).

Airdrie’s Family Builder for


Take a look around our community and you’ll see amazing in all its myriad forms. To all women, in Airdrie and beyond, thank you – you truly do make a difference. 403-948-6595 Anne Beaty, EDITOR

10 | spring 2013

We build Family Movie Nights. For 25 years, we’ve built the best into every detail of every McKee Home. Because we know what life’s dreams and memories are made of.

Airdrie’s Family Builder for



72 On the Cover Sheri Reed creates unique decor from reclaimed materials

exploring the good life in Airdrie for 10 years! ears!



Columns and regular features

12 | spring 2013




Petlife with James Froese




Lifestyles with Tina McMillan


Lifemoves with Michelle Carre


Businesslife with Kent Rupert


Last Look

We Light Up Your Life.

Mattamy homes are designed to make use of as much natural light as possible. We use oversized windows throughout the home. This adds a natural, cheerful brightness inside the home. This, combined with our smart use of space, creates a warm and open interior. So even in the dark and dreary short days of winter, you will have more light in the home, which will perk up your spirits. Families who live in Mattamy homes have more reason to smile and right now, as the days grow longer, you’ll appreciate having a home filled with light without having to turn on a switch.

Windsong Sales Centre: 907 Windsong Drive, Airdrie Sales Centre Hours: Monday to Thursday 1pm-8pm; Friday 1pm-6pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11am-6pm. visit us on facebook All illustrations are artist’s concept. All dimensions are approximate. Prices, specifications, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. E.&O.E.

life in the moment


Creativity Unleashed – Artist draws

subjects from life

Musical Choices – Guitarist loves


spontaneity of jazz


Eastern Cuisine – Restaurateur offers taste of home


Rotary Festivities – Performers take centre stage


Fashion-Forward – Young mom gets a makeover

life in the community



Just for Kicks – Athlete earns kudos


Wheeler-Dealers – Roller derby proves popular


Three Times Lucky – Local triathletes enjoy

the challenge


Friends for Life – Abilities Airdrie is family


Awesome – Airdrie women exemplify ‘amazing’

life at home




Friends and Neighbours – Prairie Springs

has warm appeal


New Look – Home gets new lease on life


Guiding Light – Store owner loves her work


Stylish Living – Showhome has

impressive amenities


Real Estates – Builder is custom-made


Lifestyles – Annual event has something

for everyone

Green Thumbs – Videoconferences offer


gardening info

life at work

100 Career Choices – Healthcare attracts local women

104 Sibling Success – Sisters share business knowhow

106 Classic Act – Looking good means feeling good

108 Bon Voyage – Entrepreneur extends

14 | spring 2013

open invitation

Gardenwalk in King’s Heights in Airdrie

• extensive pathway system • parks and green space • minutes to CrossIron Mills Mall • entertainment, rec centre and schools • 15 minutes from Calgary • 15 minutes to international airport

Starting from the





Showhome Location: 1100 King’s Heights Rd SE, Airdrie

Showhome Location: 1187 Kings Heights Road SE, Airdrie

Call Karen for more info:

Call Cindy for more info:



Showhome Hours: Mon - Thurs: 2 - 8 pm | Sat, Sun & Hol: noon - 5 pm

* Starting from price includes house, lot and GST. Subject to change without notice.



King’s Heigh ts Blv d

Kings Heights Rd Gardenwalk Showhomes



Kingsvi ew Blv |

From Calgary: Deerfoot Trail North (QE2) to Airdrie. Go east on Yankee Valley Road and follow the signs to King’s Heights Showhomes

Kingston Way Showhomes

Kings Heights Dr







Starting from the

The excitement of the city... and the tranquility of the suburbs. Beyond Expectations. Enjoy the parks, pathways and canals - the shore lapping at the bank of your backyard. Find your family’s perfect escape right now. Quality side by side, single family and estate style homes are ready for possession.

Home ownership with the luxury of waterside living.


in Airdrie

Home, Lot and GST from


PHASE 9 Coco Homes

Genesis Builders

McKee Homes

Greig Forsyth 403.980.3720

Anni Jansson 403.980.3105

Kellee Davis 403.975.0816

Deerfoot Trail

8 Street SW SW Airdrie

#2 Highway


Yankee Valley Blvd West



Genesis Builders

Sovereign Homes

Anni Jansson 403.980.3105

Kevin D’Costa 403.980.1140

Blunston Patients Smile More.

New patients welcome. 403-912-9378 Thayne Blunston, DDS, General Dentist ď‚— 1, 620 1st Ave NW Airdrie

moment life in the 24 Jewels of Asia

22 noteworthy 37 style savvy

life in the moment | artist

Nature nurtures painter

story by Ellen Kelly | photos by Kurtis Kristianson

Cheryl Todd Shergold thrives on communication with other artists

20 | spring 2013

“Painting is the window to my world.”

– Cheryl Todd Shergold


tep into Cheryl Todd Shergold’s studio and become immersed in a world of art depicting the subjects she loves. Paintings in acrylic and oil, drawn from nature, are central, but there are also people and pet portraits, still lifes as well as a self-portrait done in mixed media. The studio envelops visitors in the scent of oils and acrylics and the welcoming warmth of the artist. Shergold has been passionate about art since high school, but after marriage and four children there wasn’t time to enjoy her creativity until her youngest child was about five. She believes that“art is in everyone” and that everyone has the capability to produce some form of art. “I’ve made the choice that this is who I am,” she says.“It’s important to base your life around doing what you love.” Shergold paints realism and feels strongest working with acrylics, but she also loves oils for their richness and texture.“I’m trying to loosen up and become more of an abstract realist rather than a photo realist,” she says. As for the strong influence of nature in her paintings, she says:“It’s my passion to take care of what we have … to put it into my art, just to get people to see how beautiful it is and that we should embrace the beautiful world that we have and take care of it.”

A juried member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Shergold’s affiliation with the Airdrie arts community began in 2008 after she moved to Crossfield. She is a member of the Airdrie Artist Guild and communications officer and webmaster for the Airdrie Regional ARTS Society. In 2011, Shergold painted one of the highest-bid chairs at the AIRdirondack chair auction. A member of Creative Airdrie, she has been the organization’s visual co-ordinator, contributed a mural on Main Street and currently volunteers at various events. Three of Shergold’s images have been accepted by Art in Motion and will appear on Airdrie Transit passes in 2013; her bear is soon to be painted on one of four power boxes sponsored by Fortis; and her art is currently on display at Smitty’s in Airdrie. Shergold says she thrives on communication with other artists. Through ARTS she organizes an artists’ ‘show-and-tell’ that meets monthly at Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery, at which five artists showcase their work each month. “We get together, brag to each other, show the piece that we’ve brought and talk about the inspiration behind it,” she says. “It’s fun and it keeps us inspired.” Shergold is adamant that it is not a competition. “It’s about supporting each other and sharing, because we make each other stronger in the end,” she says. Early influences in Shergold’s career were John Singer Sargent, one of the current-day masters, and Pino, whose influence re-established her interest in art.“I saw his art and it took my breath away. I thought,‘I have to get back into this,’” she says. Along the way, she has had many mentors and considers Gene Prokop and Christopher Jordan, both Alberta artists, exceptional. Shergold is currently finishing a fine arts certificate program in visual design, specializing in fine art theory and practice, at the University of Calgary, and in 2012 she received the university’s Continuing Education Endowment Award. Shergold’s biggest challenge is to find the time to dedicate to her work. “Art is a lifestyle,” she says. “It’s what’s within you. It’s something you have to do.” When it comes to the arts community in Airdrie, she is excited by what she sees.“There’s something brewing in this town and it’s wonderful,” Shergold says. “I have a feeling that the arts community is going to be bigger than we could ever imagine.” life spring 2013 | 21

life in the moment | musician profile


22 | spring 2013


story by Sarah Deveau | photo by Sergei Belski

Local guitarist hits all the right notes


he may not have grown up in a musical family, but 25-year-old jazz guitarist Jessica Ackerley is doing her best to make her name a household one in the North American jazz community, and inspiring her younger brother to do

the same. Ackerley was born and raised in Airdrie, and credits Airdrie’s small-town atmosphere (at the time) for forcing her toward the creative arts to fill her time. “When I was a young teen it felt like there wasn’t much to do in Airdrie; it’s not like it is today,” she explains. “I had a lot of time for creative pursuits and was really forced to entertain myself.” Dusting off her dad’s old guitar one day, she decided to learn to play. She took a few lessons locally to learn how to read sheet music and began switching between the flute, bass and guitar. Before long she was practising incessantly. After graduation, Ackerley was accepted to the Grant MacEwan music program in Edmonton, where she studied with several guitarists who encouraged her to pursue jazz guitar specifically. “I was really drawn to the spontaneity and liveliness of improvised music,” she says. “With jazz guitar being such a male-dominated field I liked the idea of blazing a new trail.” Ackerley’s success was inspiring to her younger brother, John, who attended a jam session with her in Calgary and was encouraged to learn an instrument. He chose the upright bass and is currently at Vancouver Island University finishing his degree in jazz. For two years while Ackerley attended MacEwan University, her private guitar instructor Jamie Philp was impressed by her dedication to her craft and her overall artistic ability. Philp was reminded of her devotion to her music when he heard her play over Christmas at a performance in Edmonton. “Jessica was the young lady who practised eight hours a day

while she was here, and is a very talented musician,” he says. “She’s also a talented artist as well – we have a beautiful painting done by her hanging in a hallway at home.” Ackerley moved on to complete her bachelor of music degree in jazz performance at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., and is now pursuing her master’s degree in jazz performance at Rutgers University just outside New York City. At Rutgers, Ackerley is one of only two females in a 90-student body of the jazz program, and she is one of a handful of female jazz guitarists on the Canadian music scene. She also composes and performs in two groups, one in Toronto and another in Nova Scotia.

“I liked the idea of blazing a new trail” With Christmases spent in Airdrie, Ackerley divides the rest of her time between New Jersey during the school year and Toronto during the summer. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t really know where home is right now,” she says. “My parents still live in the house I grew up in, but now I’m a bit of a nomad, not nearly as rooted as I was growing up.” Nonetheless, Ackerley doesn’t seem to have any intention of settling down anytime soon – at least not back in her hometown, where she once taught guitar at Airdrie’s own Music Centre Canada on Main Street. “I’ll be graduating in May and am hoping to get my visa to continue to stay in the U.S.,” she says. “I’d like to work [in] Brooklyn, join a few bands, teach and record an album. New York is the jazz centre of the world, and music really becomes your life.” life spring 2013 | 23

life in the moment | culinary art

Thang Lo˘ ng chef Vam Nguyen shows off her delicious specialties


t’s a long way from Hanoi City to Airdrie, but Esther Trung-Lam made the journey 33 years ago and, after many twists and turns, has returned to her passion for exquisite Vietnamese food by opening Thang Lo˘ng Vietnamese Cuisine. The friendly, intimate restaurant, located next to City Hall, opened last September. In addition to seating for 34, takeout and catering services are offered as well. Trung-Lam says her life in Vietnam and her journey to Canada were precarious. During the Vietnam-American war her family hid from bombs while moving around in various rural areas in order to go to school. Then during the Chinese-Vietnamese conflict her family was in danger again. Her heritage is mixed Chinese-Vietnamese so her parents were advised to leave Vietnam for their safety. “They were suspicious my dad might be a spy for China,” she says. Her father and a few others got together and built boats and the police in Vietnam helped them reach the Chinese border.“We were boat people,” she says. The family first went to China for a month to fix up the boats and get more food before continuing on to Hong Kong. They reached a refugee camp in Hong Kong in 1979 and stayed for six months before being sponsored by a church in Drumheller, where they lived for six months before moving to Calgary.

Fresh Flavours Vietnamese heritage shines through in dishes story by Ellen Kelly | photos by Sergei Belski

24 | spring 2013

Bijou Clothing Co.


EMERALD Fresh as all outdoors with evening glitz and sparkle, emerald is the colour of 2013! We love this choice because it enhances every skin tone and pairs easily with neutrals. Sequined shirt, jungle print dress, casual pant or shimmering jewel, emerald is always stunning. Lively, radiant and lush, this pop of colour from the Land of Oz dazzles and delights, drawing attention to any woman who wears it.

Colour on the catwalk MOROCCAN BLUE Take a vacation in this dreamy sea blue. Not as dark as navy but still easily combines with poppy red and white for the nautical look.

POPPY RED This standout colour demands attention. This look-at-me red is a perfect colour to add into your wardrobe for spring.

LEMON ZEST A fresh colour for a fresh Spring. This bright and cheery yellow will lift anyone’s winter spirits. We love the idea of yellow skinny’s for Spring.

BEST ACCENTS Three new tints to add spring “zing” to your wardrobe as accents. So think bags, jewellery, scarves and hats in these lovely shades!


Please join us! 1st Annual Spring Fashion Show Friday, March 22nd, 6:30 pm Overtime Lounge, Upstairs, Twin Arena, Airdrie


Cochrane: #320, 1st Street West 403.932.2233 Airdrie: #207, 960 Yankee Valley Blvd. 403.945.3332

25/pp includes appies & a glass of wine!

Purchase tickets in store or online at spring 2013 | 25

life in the moment | culinary art

Salad Rolls (the amount and proportion is up to you!) Stir-fry lemongrass chicken

Trung-Lam’s first restaurant experiences were as a young mom in northern Alberta, where she and her husband ran the Hines Creek Hotel restaurant, then their own Western and Chinese restaurant in Berwyn. Due to their youngest son’s health issues, they moved back to Calgary in 1997. Since then, Trung-Lam’s career has taken a different path. She works for the federal and provincial courts, as well as privately for law firms as a translator and for the Calgary Board of Education as a language interpreter/ESL assistant. “I love helping ESL children. They have a problem pronouncing or understanding and I understand that. Language was the hardest thing I had to overcome,” she says. During this time, though, Trung-Lam got to thinking: “My friends are very good cooks. Maybe I should try this out.” She had the business and customer service experience necessary to run a restaurant, but had never professionally cooked Vietnamese food. She asked her friends, including Thang Lo˘ng cook Vam Nguyen, if they were interested and the rest is history. Nguyen, from Cua Ong, in northern Vietnam, uses her experience and unique gift to prepare meals at the restaurant. Through a translator, she says she came to Canada in 1996 and

26 | spring 2013

is very happy to be reunited with her husband. Her favourite dishes, which she prepares beautifully, are rice vermicelli, the house noodle soup and the authentic Vietnamese spring rolls. “Vietnamese food is very popular now because it is so healthy,” says Trung-Lam. “We use a lot of lemon grass, garlic, ginger. Everything we serve is fresh, made when you order.” Menu items include an abundance of fresh vegetables, rice, noodles, stir fry, soup and, of course, Vietnamese coffee. The house specialty is vermicelli noodles with barbequed pork, chicken or beef and fresh vegetables; Vietnamese spring rolls made with a rice paper wrap (these are the best!); and for dessert, deep-fried bananas and ice cream. Trung-Lam’s philosophy is based on hard work. “Working keeps you young,” she says. “There’s no time for sitting around, just work to set the foundation for the kids. I want to retire early and travel.” She has been back to Vietnam twice in the past 33 years, and is more than happy to share her native cuisine with her community. “I want to introduce the good food of the Vietnamese to the people who have never experienced that before. Preparing a good meal for them brings me joy,” she says. life

rice paper wrap (available at any Vietnamese supermarket) rice vermicelli shredded carrots shredded lettuce bean sprouts cucumber, cut in strips boiled shrimp, cut in half and cleaned prepared hoisin sauce Prepare the vegetables and shrimp. (Be sure to use cooked shrimp). Cook the rice vermicelli by dropping in boiling water. Stir and wait until it changes colour and is the texture you desire. Dip rice paper in hot water, lay flat and wait for it to become soft. Layer the ingredients on the rice paper, leaving enough room to fold the rice paper over the filling and to fold in the ends. The rice paper will stick to itself. Dip in hoisin sauce (add sugar or water, depending on your taste).

“The difference is incredible. Her bite is comfortable and her smile is brilliant !” — Maria, 38

Your child. Your orthodontist. Whether you’re considering clear aligners, retainers or today’s braces, Quest Orthodontics is here to help you reach your smile enhancement and bite improvement goals. Airdrie’s first and only orthodontic clinic is currently accepting new patients of all ages. Dr. Mo Korayem, a certified specialist in orthodontics, is proud to serve the Airdrie community and surrounding areas.

live your smile

Call for your free consultation today !

(403) 948-9595

life in the moment | events

spring arts & Culture Calendar

From local crafts to award-winning acts – it’s all happening in airdrie airdrie Dance academy

april 27-28 Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show Genesis Place Showcasing products and services to enhance your home and life. Visit april 27-28 3rd Annual ARTS Show Genesis Place Check out the talented artists at this very popular show and sale presented by the Airdrie Regional ARTS Society. Free admission with your ticket to the Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show.

ConCErts marCh 2 Celtic Tenors Bert Church Theatre, 7:30 p.m. The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists ever to emerge from Ireland. In 2000, following an impromptu audition at EMI in London, the Celtic Tenors were signed on the spot to an international record deal, a highly unusual event that was the talk of the music industry. The Celtic Tenors’ live show is an experience overflowing with vitality and variety from start to finish and leaves the audience thoroughly uplifted. Visit

28 | spring 2013

marCh 10 Calgary Opera – Hannaraptor Bert Church Theatre, 2:30 p.m. The Emerging Artists of the Calgary Opera produce a 45-minute work, fully staged with set and costumes, piano accompaniment and a Q & A following the show. Past presentations have been based on Cinderella, The Magic Flute and The Brothers Grimm. These performances are a wonderful fit for students in kindergarten through Grade 9. Visit marCh 23 Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts – Festival Showcase Bert Church Theatre, 7 p.m. A ticketed event featuring the outstanding performances of the festival from the musicians selected to represent Airdrie at the provincial music festival. Visit april 6 Prairie Mountain Fiddlers Bert Church Theatre, 2:30 p.m. Back by popular demand! This show was sold out last season and will be another foot-stomping, toe-tapping evening full of good old-time fiddle music. This group plays for the people and for the love of the music. Great fun for the whole family. Visit

KylE WuDriCh

JamEs EmEry photography

photo CourtEsy airDriE ChambEr oF CommErCE

Exhibits & art shoWs

nose Creek players

april 19 Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts – Benefit Concert & Silent Auction Bert Church Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available in the Bert Church Theatre lobby during festival week or from any festival board member. Featuring performers recommended to represent Airdrie at the provincials in Edmonton. Visit may 11 9th Annual Yodelfest Town & Country Centre Featuring Alberta Polka King Jordan Rody and Miriam and the Mountaineers. Tickets $27 in advance, $30 at the door (groups of 12 or more, $25 each). Contact Miriam’s Music at 403-948-1961 or 9th annual yodelfest

photo CourtEsy miriam DrEhEr

airdrie home & lifestyle show


Celtic tenors

DanCE may 10-11 Follies 2013 – Airdrie Dance Academy Annual Recital Bert Church Theatre Details at JunE 13-15 Star Dance Company Year-End Showcase Bert Church Theatre Details at




CIM-3197-A01F AD1 AirdrieAD.indd 1

2/4/13 5:24 PM

We take good food seriously... Lobster Balinese

april 12 Bert Church High School One-Act Play Festival Bert Church Theatre Call 403-948-3800 for details april 26-27 Nose Creek Players Performances GoldenRod Community Hall, April 26 at 7:30 p.m.; April 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Performing two original pieces: Drowning Ophelia (Kim Cheel), an emotional look at domestic abuse and who it affects; and When We All Come Together (Robin McKittrick), exploring the initiation and maintenance of relationships. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. To reserve tickets, e-mail nosecreekplayers@ may 16-18 Bert Church High School Dinner Theatre Harvey by Mary Chase Bert Church Theatre Call 403-948-3800 for details

Mille Feuille of Escargot Ahi Tuna Carpaccio

and make it seriously good Reservations a must 403.948.0039 91 East Lake Cres. NE Airdrie

No stock photography used... this is the real deal spring 2013 | 29


photos CourtEsy oF JolEEna DrolEt

life in the moment |performing arts

It’s music to your ears by sarah DEvEau

Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts

f you happen to be visiting Genesis Place during the third week of March, in addition to the swish of basketballs hitting the net and shouts of soccer players, you’ll also hear an unusual sound – pianos, trombones, flutes and other musical instruments. That’s because Genesis Place will be co-hosting the second annual Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts. The inaugural event, held in April 2012, was a roaring success, featuring 607 participants who performed to more than 1,200 audience members. This year’s festival is expected to be bigger and better, incorporating junior and senior piano, strings, band instruments, voice ensembles, musical theatre and choir. “Our focus is on learning and teaching,” explains festival president Nadine Low. “We promote the appreciation of music and speech arts by running this festival that encourages amateur performers and students to participate and perform in a noncompetitive environment.” Workshops are open to registration from musicians aged six to adult, although the majority of the competitors are between six and 18. “Each workshop has a highly qualified adjudicator who watches the prepared performance and scores it, and provides written feedback, as well,” says Low. “Everyone goes home with something they can work on or improve. “Many of the participants are studying for their Royal Conservatory of Music exam, a Canadawide standardized program, and use this opportunity to receive feedback on their work,” she adds. The festival takes place at Genesis Place and Bert Church Theatre over six days, and members of the public are encouraged to attend between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to watch the performances at no charge. The final performance – on March 23 at 7 p.m. at Bert Church Theatre – is a ticketed event, and features the outstanding performances of the festival from the musicians selected to represent Airdrie at the provincial music festival. Low notes that there are 36 other music festivals in Alberta, and local organizers are thrilled Airdrie now has representation. “There are a lot of benefits to having our own music festival in Airdrie,” she says. “After hosting our first successful festival we were accepted into the Alberta Music Festival Association and we are now able to send our successful students to the provincial festival in May. We have a lot of local talent and before, they would represent Calgary or Olds.” life For more inFormation on the events, or to register as a musician or volunteer, visit

30 | spring 2013

spring 2013 | 31


fall/winter 200 4 • volume 1 • number 1 • ww w. a i r d r i e . c a


life in the moment | contests


years = $10,000 Move up to Cooper’s Crossing, wher

e life is good.

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Complete community profiles

Inside this issue: detailed

city map, city living informati on, show home highlight s and much more

This september will mark the 10th fall issue of airdrielife. We’ve decided to start the celebrations early since with this issue, it is technically the beginning of “Volume 10.”

a note from airdrielife publisher sherry shaw-Froggatt

our 10th year of publishing is underway and we want to make it a great experience for you, the reader. our readers are engaged in their city magazine. You read it cover to cover, keep it on the coffee table for months, take it with you on vacation (we see the pictures) and even send copies to family around the world. Quite simply, airdrielife has become a part of your life. and for that we are grateful. so we would like to reward our loyal readers! starting with this issue we begin the largest-ever prize pool in our history. We have more than $10,000 in contests, giveaways, challenges and more. some opportunities to win require a little effort (check out the Fitness Challenge on page 107. P.s. You don’t have to pay to participate!) and some require nothing more than entering online at with your contact info. Watch every issue coming this year for more makeover opportunities, surveys and just simple fun as we reminisce about airdrielife from 2004 through today. but right now you can take part in these exciting contests:

ENTER ONLINE NOW TO WIN 1 of 2 $100 Cream bath & body shop Gift Cards (just in time for Mother’s Day)

2 tickets to the amazing airdrie Women awards Luncheon May 3 at The Woods 1 of 3 CDs by legendary blues guitarist Lou rye

1 $50 Crossiron Mills Gift Card 2 tickets to the bijou Clothing annual spring Fashion show March 22 at the overtime Lounge

2 tickets to the Prairie Mountain Fiddlers april 6 at bert Church Theatre

PLUS register online for the airdrielife $7,500 Fitness Challenge Go online and tell us why you deserve to be our next $1,000+ makeover!!! AND like us on Facebook – we are always having impromptu contests for everything from cupcakes to concert tickets!

32 | spring 2013


Airdrie has a secret. There’s a little slice of heaven located just off Main Street, where you can find this spring’s hottest European fashions. Trendsetting lines from London, like Fever and Angel Eye, shoes and boots by Chinese Laundry, Lola Jeans and Minnetonka Moccasins!

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spring 2013 | 33

life in the moment | column



Conquer joint problems



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34 | spring 2013



s your dog or cat getting older and starting to show signs of joint stiffness? Does your pet have trouble going up or down stairs, or jumping up like it used to? There are ways to help your furry friend. Vets often recommend Metacam (or meloxicam), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that addresses joint problems. When our previous golden retriever, Samson, developed joint problems, we gave him Metacam once every two weeks, with noticeable improvement in his mobility. However, what we did not know was that Metacam is also hard on the liver and kidneys. Additional possible side effects include loss of appetite, dizziness and vomiting, among others that can be researched on credible websites. We stopped Samson’s Metacam, and looked for other options. Changing to a pet food with joint supplement products, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and even MSM (an antiinflammatory) is one possibility. If your pet has mild joint problems, you may notice an improvement in movement. However, many times the dose in pet foods is only a basic supplement and does not provide the therapeutic amount needed to make a substantial difference. Looking for a product that provides a therapeutic dose of glucosamine and chondroitin becomes a better option. You may think that glucosamine joint products intended for humans are just as effective for your pet; however, the truth is they are not. Pets have a much shorter digestive system, and they process food and supplements much more quickly than we do. As a result, they tend not to get much out of human supplement before it is through their system. As well, not all pet glucosamine products are created equally. One customer had been using a glucosamine joint product for three years with few noticeable

results. She switched to using a liquid joint supplement and in less than a month, noticed an improvement in her dog’s ability to negotiate stairs! There have been some concerns that liquid joint supplements don’t work because the active ingredients settle to the bottom. But testimonials such as the one above tell a different story. I have also spoken to the supplement company about this. Apparently, continuous monitoring of samples from each batch produced shows that the active ingredients stay in suspension. Again, not all products are created equal! When Samson started having joint problems, he also had a partially torn cruciate ligament, and we were told surgery was the best option. We chose to try a different route and found a vet who gave him acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. She also taught me how to massage some of the muscles in Samson’s hip area to keep them supple and flexible. We gave him the therapeutic dose of glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as salmon oil for its anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, we also started giving him yucca powder. Like Metacam, it’s an antiinflammatory, but unlike Metacam, it actually detoxifies and cleanses the liver and its related systems. Within two months Samson was doing things we had not seen him do in the previous two to three years – such as running up the side of a hill at full speed! Other customers have also come in with their yucca powder/glucosamine supplement success stories, and we always love to hear about these! Your local pet specialty store should be able to answer your questions about quality joint supplements. Most are available in powder, tablet or liquid form. Be assured that there are healthy, natural options to help your furry family member regain the quality of life that you both deserve. – James Froese is owner of Global Pet Foods in Airdrie

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life in the moment | new you

Boho sexy comes out to play!

itted to airdrielife

oto Brittany subm

The “before” ph

Have you ever wanted to secretly nominate yourself for a makeover TV show? Have you felt as though you’ve lost your style to a career, kids and the daily grind?

Makeover Magic by Leslie Davies

spring 2013 | 37

life in the moment | new you After being bombarded with entries on Facebook, airdrielife fashion editor Leslie Davies co-ordinated our spring makeover for one lucky reader. Meet Brittany Reid. leslie and brittany selecting outfits at pharmasave

She’s a young mom of two little girls, five months old and 19 months old. And since her first pregnancy she’s lived in the stretched-out sweats she got in high school, her hair pulled back in a ponytail – and admits her husband knows she’s having a “wickedawesome” (her words) day if she gets a little mascara on by 5 p.m.! Blessed with a new body she’s not used to dressing and a desire for comfort first, she wrote to us to request her own, personal style rescue! Brittany’s makeover experience started with a colour, style and a body-shape consultation. I learned that hiding in those sweatpants is both a boho vixen and a classic, retro-femme young woman who LOVES high heels – oooh, I was so excited to start unleashing her sassy, swish style! Amazing local businesses came together to provide a complete makeover experience for Brittany.

Kendall Wallis of beauty Culture by Kendall applying a few glam lash extensions

Airdrie Specs Optometry outfitted her with new, fashionable prescription eyewear, and Airdrie Dental whitened and brightened her megawatt, model-like smile. On the day of the photo shoot with Kristy Reimer Photography, Sasha from Sass Couture Salon added layers to Brittany’s gorgeous auburn mane to give lots of texture and movement, and left the length to allow for lightning-fast, toddler-friendly styling. Hits of vibrant red and sun-kissed blond were added to give greater dimension and a hit of fun and funky to this young mom’s look – finished with a gloss to enhance shine. Kendall from Beauty Culture by Kendall applied a few doe-eyed lash extensions on Brittany’s outer lids and then finished her makeover “ta-dah” with an expert makeup application in warm, neutral tones including a ginger lip gloss.

sasha thaxter of sass Couture salon making brittany’s world a little more colourful

Just check out these photos … doesn’t Brittany look absolutely stunning? If you haven’t been to Pharmasave yet, you have to go! The store had so many flattering outfits that I couldn’t choose what to take to the photo shoot! Colour analysis with leslie of impaCt image

shopping for new glasses at airdrie specs optometry

38 | spring 2013

Wanting to honour Brittany’s desire for comfort AND express her style more authentically, I selected pieces that would complement her lifestyle and help her feel a little more polished without a lot of fuss. And then the piece de resistance … Pharmasave even had a couple of sexy boho pieces I could pull together – and a pretty little retro silhouette dress! (Check out the kick-butt boots – yes, from Pharmasave!)

brittany is all smiles thanks to airdrie Dental, as well as new eyewear from airdrie specs optometry, hair by sass Couture salon and makeup by beauty Culture by Kendall. Jewelry by stella and Dot. outfit, pharmsave

And, of course, an outfit is NEVER complete without great accessories. Brittany’s outfits were all styled up and made fabulous with beautiful jewelry from Connie Miazga of Stella & Dot. life

spring 2013 | 39

life in the moment | new you

outfits this page by pharmasave, accessories from stella & Dot

airdrielife: What was it like having Leslie scrutinize your whole look? brittany reid: “It was terrifying, having someone measure you and critique your outfits and style. But she was a lot of fun to work with and she really listened to what I needed and wanted.” al: What was your fave outfit from the shopping trip? br: “100 per cent my little black dress with the boots.” al: What was your favourite part of the whole process? br: “Definitely the photo shoot. It was so much fun; I felt so glamorous! And my hair – because what girl doesn’t love the smell of hair dye – plus the Kevin Murphy products I received are amazing!” al: What valuable thing did you learn that you are carrying forward into everyday life? br: “That it’s important to take a little me time in my day. Also, that putting on sweats and a tank top isn’t any quicker than a pair of pants and a nice shirt. And that you can look stylish and be comfortable at the same time.”

Dying for a dynamic makeover of your own? .

ENTER NOW for our summer makeover. Message us on Facebook or e-mail us at and send a headshot along with 200 words or less about why you NEED a makeover with Mezzanine Spa, Mezzanine Hair, Pharmasave and more, all co-ordinated with our fabulous fashion editor Leslie Davies!

40 | spring 2013

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42 | spring 2013

community life in the 58 Absolutely Amazing

48 Four-Wheelin’ 52 Willing and able

citylife | healthy living

Mind, Exercise,

Genesis Place hosts unique lifestyle program for children


t can be challenging to talk to your children. And it can be doubly challenging to talk to them about such topics as healthy eating and staying in shape.

Lori Giroux hopes a program newly launched in Airdrie will help open the door to these types of discussions.

above a healthy weight. But rather than it be a bunch of boring classroom lessons, the 10-week program is aimed at getting children – with their parents or caregivers – involved in activities that promote healthy living, explains Donna Dudek, fitness and community liaison co-ordinator with Genesis Place.

“As a parent, I like to be given the tools to have the conversation in a sensitive manner – it’s hard to know what to say and the right way to say it without sounding mean and unsupportive,” Giroux says.

“The first hour, the whole family is together, and we get into topics like changing habits and nutrition,” Dudek says. “Then the second hour, the parents stay with a facilitator for a more indepth discussion and their child takes part in a fun, active session in the gym.”

That’s why she enrolled herself and her son, Roman Mendez, 12, into the first MEND program session at Genesis Place. Short for “Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!,” MEND originated in the United Kingdom and is now offered from Europe to the United States.

Having both parents and children involved is key. “The kids aren’t the ones preparing meals or doing grocery shopping,” says Dudek. “You have to have the parent buy-in. One of the sessions we do is a grocery store tour … they learn how to read labels properly.

Funded locally by Alberta Health Services, the program is aimed at youngsters aged seven to 13 who are considered to be

“And we do a lot of goal-setting – how to incorporate more activity into their days,” she adds.

Children and families enjoy the activities, while learning positive lifestyle choices

44 | spring 2013

Nutrition, Do It! story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Sergei Belski

Dudek stresses that MEND is not a weight-loss program. “It’s about teaching families about new behaviours, so they can have a healthier, active lifestyle,” she says, adding that it’s often a matter of teaching healthy strategies and behaviours that will allow the children to “grow into” a healthy weight. The initial program launched in January had a capacity of about a dozen children. Dudek says that there are plans for a spring session in April, and she hopes to see a MEND program for fiveand six-year-olds added in the future. Rhonda Grenier enrolled her daughter Janessa, 8, into the program, but her other daughter, Skyla, 7, also takes part (siblings are welcome to attend). “If you’re going to make changes in the family, it affects the whole family, not just one of the kids,” Grenier says, adding that a pediatrician had recommended one of the MEND programs offered in Calgary, but scheduling didn’t work out. “My goal is to have my kid, honestly, not be challenged with her weight

and food choices throughout her teenage years. I want her to be comfortable with who she is, and have the right choice not be a chore.” Giroux says that she considers the program a catalyst to discussing healthy choices with her family. “A lot of benefits will come to families who don’t know anything about cooking healthy and proper activity,” she says, adding that there’s another important aspect in sharing the experience with her son. “Being there, I’m accountable.” The key, says Dudek, is in keeping the activities fun. Participants are also able to access online resources, and organizers hope to touch base with them down the line to see how they’ve progressed. citylife For more information about the spring session of MEND, call Donna Dudek at 403-948-8804, ext. 5568. For more information about the program in general, visit

spring 2013 | 45

life in the community | world-class

Just for Kicks story and photo by Carl Patzel

2012 City of Airdrie Elite Athlete Karate expert Emily Lambert keeps adding to her achievements


omething Emily Lambert started just for kicks has now earned her the right to be immortalized among Airdrie’s athletic elite. Entering the Airdrie Shotokan karate ring has brought the 18-year-old black belt many accolades, medals and a chance to travel across North America and beyond. Now the Team Canada member will be able to see her name commemorated on the walls of Genesis Place after being named the 2012 City of Airdrie Elite Athlete. “I was completely surprised by it,” says Lambert, who received the award in February.“I didn’t even know Airdrie had this award. It’s a little unbelievable.” The George McDougall High School student’s many achievements started when she was 14, with a third-place medal at the nationals. She also collected third-place fighting medals at the 2010 and 2011 Karate Canada national championships. Lambert added similar accolades to her fighting resumé with several second- and third-place medals at the U.S. Open karate championships from 2009 to 2012. She counts earning a spot on the Team Canada karate squad as one of her greatest achievements. “Every other competition I went to, it feels amazing to get a medal, but I was working towards making the Canadian team for four

46 | spring 2013

years,” Lambert says. “After all that training I finally achieved it and it felt awesome.” Tying her first belt at the tender age of eight, the petite champion has trained in several dojos, including the Airdrie Goshindo Karate Club. Like many young martial arts enthusiasts, Lambert was admittedly shy and initially intimidated by the empty-fist sport. “I had to fight some much bigger girls when I was younger so I was always afraid of getting smacked really hard,” chuckles Lambert. “Now I enjoy getting hit. “Karate has been a big part of my life. It teaches you discipline and respect, and I like the adrenaline rush of fighting and meeting people from all over world,” adds Lambert, who has competed across North America and at the 2011 Pan American Karate Championship in Mexico. Despite a concussion and a couple of broken bones, Lambert continues to have high aspirations in the sport as she joins the under-50 kilogram adult division. And this young athlete isn’t resting on her laurels. “A lot of people say this, but I really believe I want to be world champion, and that I can achieve it,” she says. Lambert will join four other Airdrie athletes immortalized on the Genesis Place wall, including gymnasts Corissa Boychuk and Janelle Desmarais-Moen, arm wrestler Darrell Belyk and Olympic luger Eric Pothier. life

Bijou Clothing Co. &



Awards Luncheon Celebration Join us as we celebrate the women of Airdrie with special guest Michelle Cederberg, acclaimed speaker and author of “Energy Now!” Michelle Cederberg

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*AAW is pleased to make a $5 donation to the Airdrie Relay for Life for each ticket sold. spring 2013 | 47

For a wheely good time….

life in the community | teamwork

Give roller derby a try story by annE bEaty | photos by Carl patzEl

FOR SOME, THE WORDS “ROLLER DERBY” BRING BACK MEMORIES of wild and woolly entertainment on wheels, with hints of pro wrestling and theatrics worthy of the stage. However, since its grassroots revival in the past 10 to 15 years, roller derby has become an honest-to-goodness sport, and is even being considered for the 2020 Olympics. “It is 100 per cent sport – we’re very legit,” says Sarah“Hissett Fit” Hissett, founder of the Rocky View Rollers, a league encompassing Airdrie and Rocky View and Mountain View counties. The Rocky View Rollers organization is relatively new on the scene, having come together last winter and spring under the auspices of Hissett, who brought with her several years experience. Always an athletic person, she started her skating adventures in 2007 after seeing a TV spot on the Calgary Roller Derby Association. “I looked at my husband and I was like,‘Dude, this is for me!’” she says. Hissett, who lives in Irricana, donned the skates and began rock ‘n’ rolling with the Calgary league (where she won the highly coveted Most Feared Award in 2010) and earned a spot on Team Canada at the inaugural Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto in 2008. When her daughter was born a few years later, though, she decided to bring her beloved sport closer to home, and thus the fully volunteer Rocky View league was born.

48 | spring 2013

With such descriptive derby names as Violet Disregard and Lion. L Ritchie, the Rocky View Rollers take to the flat track with abandon. During a match, two teams of five skaters attempt to outscore each other by helping their own jammer (the designated scoring player) lap opposing team members. The sport is full contact and safety rules are firmly applied. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to do. “Roller derby is an excellent way to get fit,” Hissett says. “It’s exercise without feeling like exercise.” Yet for the women of the Rocky View Rollers, the competitive activity is so much more than just a sport – it’s a way of life, and women of all ages and sizes are welcome to join. “You’re allowed to be you here,” Hissett says. Stacey ‘No Bark Lutsey” Lutes, Rocky View Rollers external relations co-ordinator, joined for sport and exercise (“I‘ve lost a whole lot of weight!” she laughs) and found sisters, camaraderie and community involvement.“It makes me feel part of the community,” Lutes says. The community aspect comes from the fact that not only is the team homegrown, but its members also volunteer at various events around the community and support local causes, as well as local businesses. “That’s something that we very, very strongly advocate,” Lutes says. Members have joined for various reasons, but they echo Lutes in their appreciation for the sense of family. For Melinda Gross, who has been skating with the Rollers for six months, the experience has been chal-

airdrielife editor anne beaty tackles her most daring assignment to date rocky view rollers captain sarah “hissett Fit” hissett

For someone who had never been on roller skates before, a Rocky View Rollers intake evening in January at Genesis Place was a perfect opportunity to be reintroduced to roller derby and to try my hand (or feet) at the activity. Lacing up the borrowed skates and putting on all the safety gear (wrist guards, knee pads, helmet), I gingerly made my way out to where all the team members and wannabes were gathered, listening to captain Sarah Hissett explain about the sport, its demands and the pluses to dedicating oneself to rolling around a flat track at high speed.

lenging but wonderful.“I love it – it’s fitness, it’s new friends, it’s something different,” Gross says. “The more I learn, the less scary it is.” Learning the ins and outs of roller derby can be a bit overwhelming at first. But the more they skate, the more the women overcome their fears to become highly adept at their chosen sport. Adena Cheverie had never been on roller skates before joining the team. Eight months later, she is much more comfortable.“It’s definitely a learning process,” Cheverie says,“but a lot of fun.” Sarah Deveau – who has skated with the Calgary and Rocky View leagues and is now a member of a Red Deer team – also loves the multi-faceted aspects of the sport. Deveau loved roller-skating as a child, so when sister-in-law Hissett introduced her to roller derby, it seemed a natural fit, even though Deveau was not athletic or sports-minded when she was growing up. But all it took was a short time on wheels and the Airdrie woman was hooked. “The benefits to me are numerous,” Deveau says.“I get a great workout in while hanging out with some incredibly fun people. “I love the camaraderie of derby, the competitiveness of it, the opportunity to improve my skills and become faster, strong, harder-hitting and more agile,” she adds. As the competitive season rapidly approaches, the Rocky View Rollers continue to hone their skills and are gearing up for the season’s matches. And they are more than appreciative of the opportunities created by captain Hissett. “Sarah … has inspired [us] to create a grassroots organization that focuses on developing confidence, sportsmanship, relationships and support of the local community,” Lutes says. For Hissett, her fulfilment comes from seeing other women grow, both as an athlete and personally. “It empowers women,” she says. life

At first, I was highly uncomfortable, and had to remind myself to lean forward, so as not to have my feet fly out from under me and land on my (admittedly padded) backside. We trained on basic skills, which include everything from skating and stopping (T stops, pizza stops) to falls (one-knee, two-knee, four-point) and slides (baseball slide). With lots of encouragement from my fellow skaters, confidence came gradually, and I was thrilled to find out I could skate backwards, a skill I never managed to master on ice skates. As I looked around, I could see lots of focus, determination and smiles to light up the room. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to discover a heretofore-unknown talent! After an hour or so of skating, it was time to call it a night. A jammed wrist and a few bruises to my ego were all I suffered (although the backs of my upper arms were sore for several days afterward – probably from having to push myself back up so many times), and I could see how easily one could become addicted to this sport. If I only had the time…. spring 2013 | 49

life in the community | athletics

Alexandria Rawlyck enjoys the winter sunshine during a training ride along Big Hill Springs Road

Triathletes take training to a whole new level

Triple Threats story by Carl Patzel

Photo by Carl Patzel

Imagine a leisurely 3.86-kilometre swim in open water.

If that doesn’t faze you, how about a relaxing 180-km bicycle ride? But maybe pedal power isn’t quite your thing. Perhaps a laid-back, Sunday jog might just do the trick, say about 42 km of unforgiving blacktop? How about you do all three, simultaneously, back-to-back, just for kicks? For most, that would be an exhausting – if not near-death – physical experience. But there is a local group of athletic diehard devotees who live for this physically exhausting sport of triathlon. Some, like Alexandria Rawlyck, even admit they have become addicted to this gruelling activity. “I did one and was totally hooked,” says Rawlyck. “Of course, during my first race I said I would never do this again. Then you cross the finish line and can’t wait to do it again.”

50 | spring 2013

Like many rookie triathletes, the 28-year-old mother of one started slowly, working through shorter sprint distances and then moving on to the Olympic model of a 1.5-km swim, 10-km run and 40-km cycle. Even with a little experience in the pool, Rawlyck found the churning waves of the open-water swim a daunting task, doing the breaststroke the entire distance. “I could not get my face in the water,” she says. “So during the swim I was thinking to myself, ‘Why on God’s green earth would I have ever thought I could do something like this?’ “[Swimming] can be the most intimidating part,” she adds. “It’s the smallest part of the race and it can be a little bit of a washing machine; you’re in a wet suit that you don’t typically swim in, which can feel really constricting.” One of the last to leave the water, Rawlyck recovered on the cycle phase, passing several participants on her bike. By the end of the taxing

Photo submitted by Sharon Styles

Triathlete and coach Sharon Styles has been competing for six years

10-kilometre run, she was exhausted, but not broken, and captivated by this physical journey. “There is just something to be said about crossing the finish line and the feelings and endorphins you get when crossing the finish line,” she says. “It’s enough to say,‘I am going to do that again.’” That physical drive flows through the newly formed Airdrie Triathlon Club. The tri-sport club formed in 2012 and attracted 49 members, 33 of them women, from different age groups, most looking for a local training outlet. Many of the athletes are there just to finish, some want to place in the top of their age group and others just want to challenge their personal best time. Triathlon veteran and part-time coach Sharon Styles sees every type come through the club’s ranks. “I see all body shapes, all ages, all speeds,” says Styles. “Triathlon is an inclusive culture. My very first triathlon I felt it was so much about everybody crossing the finish line. The person [who] crossed last got the most cheers.” Apart from a fear of spandex, many newcomers find an open-water lake swim the most intimidating task. A former lifeguard and competitive swimmer, Styles has helped many locals in the pool. “Anyone can do triathlon. It’s a challenge for a lot of people, but it’s a huge sense of satisfaction,” says Styles, who was named Alberta Female Triathlon Athlete of 2012 in the under-40 age group. There are many options for experienced and first-time racers in and around Alberta, from entry-level mini sprints, to ‘try-a-tri’ events, right up to Olympic distance races and the ultimate Ironman. A six-year triathlon veteran, Styles was attracted to the sport after incurring several injuries from competitive running. She says that combining the three disciplines has actually helped keep her injury-free. “You can have shoulder injuries from swimming or knee issues from cycling. But because you’re mixing your body up with three different sports it’s not so repetitive with one thing.” The perky and petite Rawlyck had a personal goal to do an Ironman before turning 30. Working her way through sprints, Olympic distances and a half-Ironman event, she exceeded her time schedule and accomplished her goal in 2012 in Penticton. Although she had encountered the dreaded ‘wall’ during previous events, she balanced her training and nutrition for the ultimate physical test. “The run was long … and wasn’t where I had wanted it to be, but I found new friends out there and everyone motivates each other,” says Rawlyck, who saw plenty of participants throwing up or needing attention from ambulance attendants. But with endorphins blazing, the Airdrie Triathlon Club member concentrated on finishing and enjoying the ultimate physical experience of what many non-athletes can only imagine. “I can’t say that I hit any real lows. I was out there to finish and enjoy the whole entire day,” says Rawlyck, who, like many of her fellow racers, can’t wait to push that physical envelope just a little further. “It’s the challenge that keeps you coming back and wanting to get faster and better,” she says. “That’s what keeps bringing me back because I know I can push myself harder.” life spring 2013 | 51

life in the community | volunteerism


bilities Airdrie Centre was formed to meet a specific need in Airdrie and area – to provide friendship, acceptance and activities for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. “There was nowhere for them to gather, meet and socialize,” says Abilities director Barb Woolsey. “There wasn’t a place where they could cook, play cards and feel welcome and cared for. They had to go to Calgary for these activities.”

Two-and-a-half years ago, when Aileen Carney-Brown’s son Daniel graduated from St. Martin de Porres, the family found there was very little programming for someone with his needs in Airdrie. Carney-Brown, co-director of Abilities, met Woolsey, who became Daniel’s caregiver, and together they formulated a plan to establish a space where adults with special needs could connect and enjoy activities with friends.

Housed at two other local places previously, the organization now shares space with the Boys and Girls Club.“We’ve been accommodated three different times in three different spaces and they haven’t asked anything in return. The community has been wonderful,” says Carney-Brown. Abilities Airdrie Centre’s programming includes crafts, cooking, ceramics, card games and social skills. The participants share a meal by bringing it, cooking it or enjoying takeout.

Disabilities Airdrie 7 Organization offers friendship, acceptance story by Ellen Kelly | photos by Sergei Belski

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From left: volunteer Mary Wakefield, Daniel Brown and Abilities director Barb Woolsey share a laugh

They celebrate birthdays and other special occasions and all thrive on the comfortable atmosphere of friendship and sharing. Christine Ross-Stewart, a full-time volunteer who has been with the group almost since its inception, was looking to find more meaning in her life. “I really needed to feel something coming back,” she says. “[Now] if I’m having a bad day, I drive myself over to the centre and once I’m there I think about nothing. My problems are gone. I’ve grown as a person.” Along with Woolsey, Carney-Brown and Ross-Stewart, part-time volunteers come in on a regular basis or to help with special requests. And the community has stepped up. The group has hosted a visiting artist and Theresa Wasden helped start a music program. TD Bank donated its lobby for a Christmas craft and bake sale, for which Airdrie Centre Street Church and Abilities volunteers donated their time and wares. The Action Jackson’s real estate team, Airdrie Food Bank, Starbucks and Sobeys have all helped out. Community Links passes on information to those who fit the program. The group also finds ways to give back and has become involved in a cottage industry in El Salvador: women there make quilts from old blue-jean material; Abilities Airdrie cuts, packages and sends material to them. The El Salvador ladies gifted one of their first completed projects to the group as a thank you for helping them start their business. Both Woolsey and Carney-Brown agree that their biggest challenge is the time commitment. “Sometimes there just aren’t enough volunteers to go around, but it hasn’t overwhelmed us yet,” says Woolsey. A meeting place is also an ongoing worry, as the Boys and Girls Club will need the space in the summer. Nonetheless, the organization’s volunteers see growth in its future. “It is important to be able to make things happen for the people who need it,” says Woolsey. “They give so much back.”

Carney-Brown feels its importance personally. “It means keeping my son happy, occupied and doing something purposeful,” she says.“It’s everything to [Daniel]. It’s his community.” Ross-Stewart, who appreciates the support the centre gives to caregivers and volunteers, adds: “It’s a wonderful place to volunteer. I absolutely love it. I didn’t think volunteering could be so much fun.”

The group – which meets Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – has several regular participants who come alone or with caregivers, depending on their needs. There is no cost other than an occasional $5 fee to cover craft materials. They are always ready to welcome new friends. life FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Barb Woolsey at 403-912-1944 or 403-561-1147, or Aileen Carney-Brown at 403-912-1552

Abilities Airdrie director Barb Woolsey is grateful for the strong community support for the organization

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It’s always interesting to bring women together who are strangers to one another. That’s what happens every time we do the Amazing Airdrie Women (AAW) photo shoot. Over the course of an evening at McArthur Fine Furniture (taking advantage of the absolutely perfect ‘diva’ sofa), more than half of our 2013 nominees came together for a photo session. It was neat to hear the conversations that naturally spring up when you get two to three women at a time sitting close together. And the laughter! (Maybe some of that had to do with my bad Gangnam Style dancing behind the camera). But once I had them laughing everyone relaxed and seemed to enjoy this small moment in the spotlight. And true to form each one of these women proved her worth as a nominee by being gracious, humble and generous of her time and energy. This is the third year we’ve asked community members to tell us about the amazing women in their lives. From simple acts of kindness to careers built on compassion, the women on these next pages deserve their recognition. And a hug. After you read this feature please go online to and vote for those women you feel should become finalists. Your votes will account for 50 per cent of the decision; the other half comes from the AAW panel of sponsors, previous year’s winners and airdrielife editorial team. Then order your ticket for the Bijou Clothing and airdrielife Amazing Airdrie Women Awards Luncheon to take place Friday, May 3, 2013. We’ve planned a great event, with spirited speaker Michelle Cederberg and a menu created just for us by The Woods. Awards will be presented during the luncheon. It’s guaranteed to provide a few laughs and a few tears – sort of typical of women getting together. It’s why we’re all so amazing.

Contributors: Kristy rEimEr, sarah DEvEau, EllEn KElly, alEx FrasEr-harrison, annE bEaty

airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt on the ‘diva’ sofa at the 2013 Amazing Airdrie Women photo shoot

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From left: Jacqui Jepson, Lori Rehill and Sasha Thaxter

Amazing Heart Being able to offer hope for people and helping them get through crisis is what drives Lori Rehill. As executive director of Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS), Rehill’s job is to lead the organization that provides emotional and practical support to people dealing with trauma. In that role, Rehill has made a huge difference in the community and with her colleagues at ADVAS and the RCMP, with whom she works closely. “I love working with Lori,” says RCMP Const. Francine Hennelly, who has known Rehill since she started with ADVAS nine years ago. “We are so blessed to have her here.” The work done by Rehill and her associates often goes unheralded, as those they assist in times of crisis move on. “We just don’t see the results, because people are in a better place,” Hennelly says. But gratitude isn’t the reason why Rehill does what she does. “I can’t ever imagine working in any other world,” says Rehill, “because [my colleagues] want to be here … to make a difference and to keep the community safe.” Before joining ADVAS, Rehill worked in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. It was her own life experience that introduced her to the world of Victims Assistance. “Words that were said to me had a huge impact on my ability to move forward,” she says. That experience led her to apply as a volunteer with the organization; a year later she became co-ordinator, and finally took on the executive director responsibilities two years after that. “And I haven’t looked back,” she smiles. While Rehill credits her co-workers with making ADVAS such a strong organization, those co-workers point to Rehill as an inspirational leader. “She goes way above and beyond her job duties,” says Laurin Levick. “Lori is an inspiration. Her enthusiasm and generosity make me want to be a better person, just by being around her.” For her part, Rehill has nothing but good to say of her colleagues. “I’m so proud of everybody I work with,” she says. “We belong here.”

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JACQUI JEPSON Amazing Leadership Jacqui Jepson has a busy agenda. A single mother of three, Jepson runs her own business and supports local charities, yet she always takes time to look out for the welfare of others, be they family, friends or employees. “Jacqui is the most amazing boss I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for,” says Chelsey Bramwell. “There hasn’t been a day in the last year-and-a-half that she hasn’t thanked me for my day’s work. I’m grateful to work for someone who gives [her] all, and believes in her business and her staff.” For herself, Jepson sees the leadership role as “putting yourself in others’ shoes, giving without expecting in return and living a good life true to yourself.” And she looks to others as her inspiration. “I take leadership and inspiration from my staff I work with every day; my mom, who has always put her family first; my dad, who is the best businessman I know,” she says, “as well as those who have overcome obstacles and daily life struggles and continue to come out on top with dignity and a smile.”

Sharon George


Amazing Determination Sasha Thaxter has accomplished a great deal in the past decade. She began her career as a hair stylist at the tender age of 18 after attending Delmar College of Hair and Design in Calgary. Three years ago, at only 26, through perseverance, determination and a passionate work ethic, she established her own business – Sass Couture Salon. “I’m very lucky,” Thaxter says, adding that she’s grateful for the support of family and friends. “I was taught to work hard, to achieve my goals and then keep going. What seems unattainable is within reach.” Those who know Thaxter have been impressed by her drive to succeed. “She … has overcome many obstacles to make her business a success based on her determination and the support of the people of Airdrie,” says friend Kelly Hryniw. Adds friend Ashley Hart: “When she says she is going to do something, she puts all energy towards it until it is done.” Even with all the demands of running her own business, Thaxter’s heart is always open to others. She contributes both goods and services to organizations such as the Airdrie Skating Club and Airdrie Minor Hockey and recently donated her time and talent to an airdrielife reader makeover. “Sasha has always shown great determination and perseverence with work, friends, family and community,” friend Jason Jacobs says. “She has worked extremely hard and is yet always available, no matter how busy her life is, for friends and family.” From Thaxter’s perspective, though, it’s those around her who make all the difference in her life. “My family and friends keep me going and my clients inspire me,” she says.

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SHARON GEORGE Amazing Heart A dedicated canvasser for both the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association (regardless of inclement weather!), Sharon George cares about her community. She happily volunteers her time for charitable causes, and although she’s modest about the positive impact she makes, it’s George’s personal investment in the lives of others that has made a huge difference. “This lady is amazing in all ways,” says friend Thomas Cook. “[She] helps out every year supporting needing families at Christmas and never asks for anything in return.” For George’s part, she is more than appreciative of what Cook and his wife, Sandra, have brought to her own life. “They’ve given me things I’ve never had in my life, like kindness and understanding,” George says. “They’ve kind of taken me in as part of the family.”

Amanda Tozser

AMANDA TOZSER Amazing Heart Amanda Tozser knows how to light up a room. An artist and face-painter, Tozser often donates her time and creativity to children’s charities and cancer foundations. “Amanda is constantly giving herself to the community,” says friend Joannah Pruden. “She donates a lot of her free time, which is not much with four young children. She is so loving and giving.” For Tozser, her charitable face-painting ‘work’ is exceptionally fulfilling. “When the little ones see their face in a mirror and smile it just melts my heart every time. It makes them feel so special,” she says. “For me it is something I am proud to do and will continue to do always. I truly do love my job.” Tozser’s positive approach to life is infectious. “I love her cheerful attitude and fun spirit,” says friend Olivia Brownell. “She is so loving and makes you feel like part of her family,” adds friend Tara Street. “I am blessed to know Amanda and she amazes me every day.”

JAYNE STEFFLER Amazing Leadership When she stepped into the role of director of volunteers with Nose Creek Swim Association (NCSA), Jayne Steffler had a vision – provide the opportunity to as many young people as possible to develop both physically and mentally through the swim program. Steffler’s aim of keeping costs down through volunteering has allowed more swimmers and their families to focus on the NCSA motto: Dream It, Train It, Live It! “Jayne’s work in this role proves how much she cares for the youth and athletics of our young Airdrie kids … if it were not for Jayne our club would struggle to survive,” NCSA president Greg Nixon says. “Jayne has never asked for any recognition and this proves that she is a thankless volunteer and an amazing Airdrie woman.” For Steffler, volunteering with the other “amazing” parents means that together they can surround the young athletes with constant support and encouragement. “It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child – at NCSA we believe it takes a large extended family to raise strong, confident and disciplined dreamers,” she says.

Jayne Steffler

LAURIN LEVICK Amazing Heart When it comes to helping her community, Laurin Levick is always ready to lend a hand. Through her role with Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society, Levick has been able to support those in crisis and facing incredible challenges. But despite the demands, it’s fulfilling for Levick simply to see these people survive and carry on. “There are things in life that we are simply not able to get through alone and we are here to lift the weight off the victim’s shoulders and help them survive,” she says. “I walk away feeling like I have made an impact for the better, or even just brought a much-needed smile [to] their face.” Her dedication has not gone unnoticed. “Laurin is always the first to put in her time and efforts into helping a worthy cause,” says Levick’s sister, Rhianna. “She is always the first one to offer any sort of help. Whether it is personal or professional or to a complete stranger, her kind heart is one in a million.”

Laurin Levick spring 2013 | 61

Michelle Neustaedter

MICHELLE NEUSTAEDTER Amazing Determination Michelle Neustaedter knows firsthand that life is full of obstacles. Yet she has learned to not only carry on when faced with adversity, but to use her life experiences to help others. A certified counsellor with a master’s degree in psychology, Neustaedter works with clients to help them make their lives better. Personal challenges, pursuing an education as a single mother, opening her own home-based counseling business and facing family tragedy – all these experiences have helped her learn more about herself and have given her a sense of purpose. “I am so glad that I have found a career that allows me the opportunity to better people’s lives and see them be successful,” she says. Her dedication and determination are apparent to all who know her. “Michelle … has a passion for helping people overcome obstacles and become the best they can be,” says Neustaedter’s mother, Kathryn Ryshford. “Michelle is a truly amazing woman with incredible compassion for others and dedication to her vision and goals.”

ANGELA PITT Amazing Determination Having grown up in Airdrie and seen it evolve from a small town to a city, Angela Pitt is more than willing to help out where she sees a need. In 2011 she set out to organize a very special event for her family, friends, neighbours and fellow residents – the highly popular

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annual Family Fall Fair – and has also helped organize a fundraiser for Carter’s Quest for a Cure. “She is just the most wonderful person ever,” says friend Amanda Tozser. Co-worker Krista Esau agrees. “Angela is an outstanding woman and does numerous wonderful things for Airdrie,” Esau says. “Angela is always promoting events that better our community and I look up to her and her determination.” From Pitt’s perspective, determination is embodied by two amazing women in her life, her mother as well as her grandmother, who raised eight children. “Times were much harder,” Pitt says, “and she’s got eight successful children out there.”

Angela Pitt


Nichole Horvath

Amazing Heart Single mother of three Nichole Horvath has faced some tough battles, yet she works hard and never gives up. In fact, she continues to give to others while providing a loving home and direction for her family. “Nichole is one of the most amazing people I have ever met,” says friend Kira Anderson. “[She] accepts anyone with open arms and an open mind; she puts her troubles aside to help everyone and anyone … and always puts her children first.” For Horvath, it is the community that is amazing, as the people of Airdie have always been caring and supportive. And it is her children who make all the difference, in good times and hard. “I have a lot of optimism for my children’s future. I just want to give a better day for them,” she says. “It’s been tough but it’s worth it. They’re so worth getting up [for] in the morning and doing it again.”

COURTNEY ROSE Amazing Heart Born and raised in Airdrie, Courtney Rose believes in living outside the box. In high school, she played football with both the Bert Church Chargers and the McDougall Mustangs, overcoming gender stereotyping in the maledominated sport. “It changed my outlook; it made me more willing to try new things,” says Rose, who went on to play tackle football for the Calgary Rage of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League. Until recently Rose was a tattoo artist at Human Kanvas, where she initiated Friday the 13th Tattoos and Piercing for Charity. One hundred per cent of the proceeds have been donated to various charities, including the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society, the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, Alex House and the Veteran’s Food Bank. “[She] is always doing crazy things for charity,” laughs friend Emily McKellar. Most recently, Rose has returned to school at the University of Calgary to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work with a minor in philosophy. Passionate about art, music and especially today’s young people, she says, “My basic philosophy is to help today’s youth understand that it’s OK to be different, to look different.” As well as volunteering at the food bank and the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Rose does outreach in high schools, striving to help individuals express themselves in a positive way through tattoos, piercing and body modification. “Be who you want to be,” she says. And to what does she credit her independence and success? “A good set of morals, handed down by my parents,” she says.

CRYSTAL ADAMO Amazing Leadership As president of the Airdrie Lioness Club, Crystal Adamo is passionate about keeping the organization vibrant and helping the community, and her leadership has been very much appreciated. “She is a good-hearted person who devotes her life to helping people,” says friend Yvonne Walker. “She deserves some recognition for not only all her hard work she does for the community of Airdrie, but for just being a great person who always puts others first.” Her husband, Gary Adamo, has nothing but praise for his life partner. “Full-time mother, full-time wife, full-time real estate agent, and 100 per cent volunteer Airdrie Lioness president,” says Gary. “Our community is a better place because of her undying commitment.” For her part, Crystal feels proud and privileged to be associated with the club. “I was drawn to the Lioness because they were women selflessly giving back to the community,” she says. “All the Lioness [members] are amazing to me and I thank them for letting me lead them!”

Courtney Rose and Crystal Adamo

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DENISA SANNESS Amazing Leadership & Determination Double-nominee Denisa Sanness is still settling in as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie (BGCA), but she came to the job in November 2011 already well-versed in helping young people. “It’s in my DNA – it’s part of who I am,” says the registered social worker, who started out working in a Calgary women’s shelter, followed by time “at street level” working with those affected by drugs, alcohol addiction and child prostitution. “It was different, moving from street level to more community-based services,” says Sanness, who spent eight years with Community Links before taking her position at BGCA. “You can find success and hope in every situation, whether it’s an individual trying to get off the street or a mom trying to flee an abusive relationship.” Now, she works to give Airdrie youths positive rolemodeling. “I was a Boys and Girls Club kid myself back in Calgary,” Sanness says. “My passion is kids … so it was a natural transition. “We strive to be a good place for kids to go and feel accepted and be part of the community,” she adds. “Last year, we supported 5,079 kids, and we’re growing.” Co-worker Kathy Ritcher has seen firsthand Sanness’s positive impact as a leader. “Denisa has taken the BGCA to new heights,” Ritcher says. “She was the mastermind behind AIRscares 2012, which was a huge success.” AIRscares transformed the old RCMP building into a popular Halloween haunted house. “It was a lot of fun, and it turned into an opportunity through the year for kids to learn technical skills,” says Sanness. Along with ample leadership skills, Sanness has also made an impact with her determination. “Denisa has shown so much heart and dedication [in] her career,” says friend Crystal Hvidsten. “Without her determination and dedication, the Boys and Girls Club would not be at the level it’s at today.”

Denisa Sanness


Taryn McKeage

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Amazing Promise Graduating from George McDougall High School this year is Taryn McKeage’s most immediate goal as she steps out into a world that needs more people with the dedication and commitment she’s shown so far in life. McKeage’s enthusiasm and interest in helping out led her to be the sports medicine trainer for the McDougall Mustangs. She has always been proud to be a member of the team and never missed a game or a practice. “It’s fun,” says McKeage. “It gives me something to do and it gives back to people. I like to help people.” Her inspiration comes from the closeness and support of the people around her – her parents, her brother and her friends. She has a keen sense of adventure – she’d like to visit Australia one day – and says she likes to go with the flow, waking up each morning not knowing what the day will bring. McKeage enjoys hanging out with friends and watching hockey, especially when her favourite team, the Pittsburg Penguins, is playing. “Her spirit and personality bring light into a room,” says friend Sasha Thaxter. “This young woman is amazing and I truly believe we need more young women like this to inspire the upcoming youth.” McKeage plans to attend post-secondary school, specializing in criminal justice. In five years she sees herself as a police officer following her dream to make a difference in the world.

Ellen Turek and Tanya Mark Erin Rissling and Caitlin Ratcliffe

ELLEN TUREK Amazing Heart When Beth Francois’ grandmother, Heloise Lorimer, was a resident of Airdrie Bethany Care Centre, Francois didn’t expect to gain a new member of the family through her visits. But Bethany caregiver Ellen Turek, who helped look after Lorimer, became more than a friend, and the love and care she showed the residents left an unforgettable impression. “Ellen went above and beyond, truly becoming a member of our family,” Francois says. For Turek, who ran a palliative care/end-of-life business for seniors in the community for many years before accepting the position at Bethany, the work has many rewards. “I work with seniors because I believe that they have a lot to teach us,” she says, “and I learn things from them every day.” The Bethany residents are beneficiaries, too. “Ellen has an amazing heart and truly loves her residents,” Francois says.

TANYA MARK Amazing Leadership As if her job as a nurse isn’t enough, Tanya Mark is also commanding officer of the Airdrie Army Cadets, team leader with Weight Watchers and mother of a 12-year-old daughter and a nineyear-old son. “Tanya thinks of family and community before her own needs,” says friend Heather Undershute. “She is an amazing person who goes quietly through her day while touching everyone that she meets. I’m proud to know her and blessed to have her in my family’s life.” For Mark, watching young Cadets develop as citizens is very fulfilling.

“The Canadian Cadet movement is one of the greatest organizations for youth,” says Mark, who has been part of Cadets since age 12. “It develops leadership skills, confidence and moulds young Canadians into wellrounded individuals. “I love to teach and inspire the Cadets and watch them become responsible young adults,” Mark adds. “It also makes me proud to be a woman and to be such an inspiration to our youth.”

ERIN RISSLING Amazing Promise St. Martin de Porres senior Erin Rissling, 17, has her whole life ahead of her, but she is already sure of her career path. “I’ve always been interested in health care … I really want to help people, make a difference,” says Rissling, who plans to attend Mount Royal University’s nursing program. Currently, Rissling is a page at Airdrie Public Library (APL), which keeps her busy, as the demands of the job are many and varied. She does much more than shelve books; she also helps keep the library in order, assists at the circulation desk, does the recycling – pretty much anything that needs doing. “We’re just there to help,” Rissling says. She may be serious about doing a good job – at work and at school – but her relaxed attitude on life in engaging. “Erin is so carefree, light-hearted, fun,” APL circulation manager Jean Van Buren says, adding that she is also impressed with her strength, intelligence and focus. “You can see where [she’s] going,” Van Buren says.

Although Rissling envisions a future in health care, she will always have a warm place in her heart for the library world. “I still do love reading,” she says. “I love books.”

CAITLIN RATCLIFFE Amazing Promise She may only be 17, but Caitlin Ratcliffe knows exactly where she’s going. Ever since she was a little girl, Ratcliffe has loved to read, and that fact has determined her path quite clearly. “I decided from quite a young age that I liked books and I just wanted to be a librarian,” she says. Ratcliffe, a St. Martin de Porres student, is currently a page at Airdrie Public Library (APL), with plans to attend the University of Lethbridge for an English degree before going on to the University of Alberta or the University of B.C. to earn a master’s degree in library and information studies. Her determination and focus are impressive. “Caitlin’s so mature,” says Jean Van Buren, APL circulation manager, adding that she expects Ratcliffe to be an upstanding citizen. The teen’s experiences at APL have only strengthened her resolve to pursue an education and career in library sciences. Her work certainly hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm for the printed word. “I’ve always loved reading,” she says. “I love that you can … disappear into someone else’s world.”

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Left to right: Shelley Bitz, Alicia Laurin and Nicole Kamke

SHELLEY BITZ Amazing Leadership Shelley Bitz has spent nearly her entire life in Airdrie, and it’s made its mark. “The people, the generosity and the kindness … the people in Airdrie as I grew up were always good to me,” Bitz says. She’s spent a lot of time paying that generosity back. Her resumé, when she isn’t at work at Scotiabank, includes volunteering for Special Olympics, the Festival of Lights and the Empty Bowls Festival – to name just a few. “I guess it’s a way to keep Airdrie generous and to give back to the people in the community,” Bitz says, adding that she’s trying to be a good role model for her daughter, Mikayla. When asked what has given her the biggest satisfaction, it’s her involvement with Rotary that comes top-of-mind. “It’s a huge passion for me, because of what it does for both the local community and internationally,” says the incoming president of the local chapter. Another important cause is her involvement in the Airdrie Regional Health Foundation. “Airdrie doesn’t have a hospital or 24-hour health care, and we’re trying to be creative in making sure that happens sooner rather than later,” Bitz says, adding that the dream is to have a “super clinic” with overnight beds and 24-hour access to care established in Airdrie.

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Her leadership qualities have impressed those who know her. “Shelley sets an example that actions truly do speak louder than words,” says friend Samantha Montefresco. “Her hard work, generosity and involvement within our community in Airdrie [are] inspiring.” Adds Christie Doyle: “[She] strives to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and change the world for the better.”

ALICIA LAURIN Amazing Determination When she saw her daughter heading in the wrong direction, Alicia Laurin decided to do something positive about it. “I wanted to show her firsthand what it is to do good things for others and how rewarding it feels,” Laurin says. So she launched Club Cre8, a group for youths who come up with ways to ‘pay it forward.’ “It gives our teens something positive to focus on,” Laurin says. Their experience in organizing, fundraising and putting their plans into action will help the participants build such skills as budgeting, negotiating, planning and team building. “This teaches our youth the value and responsibilities lacking in some of the dayto-day functions,” says Laurin’s partner, Don Brown.

Club Cre8 will stay with the young participants long after they have moved on, even as their experience evolves beyond the community’s boundaries. “The teens will be decision-makers and have an important role in helping kids across Canada pay it forward!” Laurin says.

NICOLE KAMKE Amazing Heart Nicole Kamke has had a passion for working with children for as long as she can remember. As a private tutor and lifeskill coach, she works with children with special needs in the community, and she couldn’t think of a better career choice. “After my own educational journey I began working with children who required extra support due to their own special learning circumstances,” Kamke says. “That was 12 years ago and I have never looked back. Helping each student reach their best potential possible is very rewarding for me – I truly love my job!” Her family and friends are also beneficiaries of Kamke’s caring spirit. “My wife gives to everyone she knows,” says her loving partner Chris Kamke. “She is my inspiration to think of others and the community.” Nicole has her own view of her chosen path. “Each child has a unique spirit and being a part of their life is a true blessing!” she says.

SAMREEN JUNAID Left to right: Tara Kearney, Dorothy Martin, Janine Jevne, Samreen Junaid and Lise Blanchette

TARA KEARNEY Amazing Promise Tara Kearney loves life, and she is especially passionate about the performing arts. A busy wife and mother of two, Kearney is a voice teacher, volunteers with students in preparation for Bert Church High School musicals and is vice-president of Airdrie Festival of Performing Arts. As if that isn’t enough, she has also been known to use her training as a floral designer to help out at a friend’s wedding. “Tara gives and serves where needed. She is passionate about everything she does,” says friend Nadine Low. “She gives with her whole heart and her enthusiasm for life is contagious.” For Kearney, seeing a young person develop and gain a sense of belonging and purpose through participation in the performing arts is highly fulfilling. “My favourite thing about performing arts is watching a student grow in confidence and maturity,” she says. “To me it doesn’t matter if a student becomes ‘famous’ because the life lessons they have learned with participating in the performing arts will stay with them forever.”

DOROTHY MARTIN Amazing Promise Full-time teacher Dorothy Martin brings sunshine to the lives of countless others. And her work with children with special needs has brightened her own life, even as it has opened doors for her young charges. “I believe that each child, whatever his or her needs, has the right to choices, opportunities and experiences,” Martin says. Challenging, yet rewarding, her work has taught her “patience, respect for differences, compassion and the need to press on even when things get tough,” she says. “The determination and resiliency I see in the eyes of my students

help me to push against my own challenges that arise in my life. “I am so blessed that each day I get to do what I love, help children reach for their potential,” she adds. Martin’s dedication to others has made an indelible impact on those who know her. “She is always there for anyone who needs her – friends, family, her grandkids, even people she has just met,” says daughter-in-law Bethany Martin. “She makes people meals, makes people laugh and warms people’s hearts.”

JANINE JEVNE Amazing Promise In six short years as director of Airdrie Public Library (APL), Janine Jevne has taken the library to new heights to become an award-winning, leading-edge community resource. “Janine works tirelessly to create, improve, implement and promote the resources and services offered at Airdrie Public Library,” says Sara Chamberlain of the City of Airdrie. “Janine’s leadership has been pivotal in raising [APL] to its current state – a valued, trusted and essential community resource.” Since 2007, the library has more than doubled in its collection, circulation, cardholders, program attendance and annual visits. “Janine is strategic and forward-thinking. She works from a vision for the library that she helped to establish,” Chamberlain says. That vision is all about APL as a gathering place for the community. “Libraries are in the ‘people’ business, not the book business,” Jevne says. “Libraries contribute to the well-being and health of communities by providing information, supporting literacy and bringing people together. “Libraries strengthen neighbourhoods and champion the cultural lives of communities,” she adds.

Amazing Determination Having overcome adversity in her own life, Samreen Junaid now wants to help people in need, and the compassion and perseverance of this wife, mother and artist have left their mark on all who have met her. “I am amazed every time I speak to this woman. She has a caring heart and loves her community,” says Ashley Geleidi of her friend, a traditional henna artist. “Despite everything she also finds the time to volunteer in the community.” For her part, Junaid continues to reach out to help others, in the hope of easing their pain. “In my life I truly understand the meaning of pain and the only thing [that] made me smile again: when I did something for someone I never knew or helped friends, when I contributed my time and presence, made someone’s child happy suffering with cancer – that smile and look in parents’ and children’s eyes made me happy again.”

LISE BLANCHETTE Amazing Promise Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie and District Hospice Society, YWCA, Alberta Council of Women, Child Find Alberta – these are just some of the organizations to which Lise Blanchette has volunteered her time and efforts, and her dedication and leadership are an inspiration to all who know her. “She is a giving, selfless person,” friend Zeena Hughson says. “Lise takes initiative and leads people, where others would step aside. She goes above and beyond every single time.” For Blanchette, volunteering has been an integral part of her life from a young age. “Philanthropy to me is not just about financial contributions but is about time and heart, as well,” she says. Building on the three key concepts – community, contribution, compassion for the cause – volunteerism is an important facet of life for people of all ages. “There is no better learning in life than to volunteer,” Blanchette says. “It has taught me compassion and about being passionate to those we serve.” spring 2013 | 67

TERRI AMEY Amazing Courage

Terri Amey is the recipient of the 2013 Tracy Work Award for Amazing Courage. We first profiled Terri in our spring 2010 issue when she submitted herself for our makeover contest. Terri’s struggles and triumphs did not end then and that is why we selected her to receive this award. She is the true definition of a survivor. STORY BY SARAH DEVEAU | PHOTO BY KRISTY REIMER Just over three years ago, Airdrie mother Terri Amey was in a horrific car crash driving on the highway to her job in Calgary. Helped by two eyewitnesses who stayed with Amey while waiting for rescue crews to arrive, she was in dire shape. “When the STARS air ambulance took off destined for the Foothills Hospital, I wasn’t expected to survive the flight,” says Amey. But survive she did, despite a litany of injuries that included broken femurs, pelvis, ribs, eye socket, nose, and even a broken bone at the base of her skull. After five weeks in intensive care and trauma, and an additional 13 weeks in Carewest, Amey returned home with her husband and two children. “My husband Ryan was my high-school sweetheart, and he’s been supporting me every step of the way,” explains Amey. The healing and rehabilitative process has been extensive. With plates in both femurs and a plate at the top of one femur, three screws

in her ankle and a pelvic plate and screw, Amey’s mobility was severely limited, and only recently has she begun to walk unassisted. “I’ve now been a month without canes or crutches to walk,” says Amey. “I was able to dance with my husband at his work Christmas party this year – it was my first time dancing in three years.” Amey says that while the physical challenges have been immense, the biggest struggle has been psychological. “Mothers and women in general, we tend to put everyone else first,” she says. “It’s very confusing to put myself first when I need to do so to heal. “I also find the process of healing frustrating when I want to be further along,” she adds. “I have to be reminded how far I’ve come and not be depressed about how much further I still have to go.” Despite her frustration,” Amey’s journey has been one of inspiration for those around her. “She struggles with a lot of stress, with her job, barely making ends meet, trying to keep her family today and not lose her mind! She still smiles through it all,” says Amey’s daughter, Kayla Kelly. “I’m proud to call her my mom and I want all of Airdrie to know how amazing she is!” Although she is modest about her accomplishments, Amey is positive about what the future holds for her. “I had heard the old cliché of ‘live like you’re dying,’ but I never understood it until my accident. Every day I wake up and challenge myself and challenge my kids and really enjoy life, knowing how fleeting it is,” she says.


Terri Amey

68 | spring 2013

home life at isabEllE gossElin photography

72 Old is New

80 Dream home 84 bright ideas

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life at home | designer

Reclaiming Artist turns

photo by Kristy rEimEr


72 airdrielife | spring 2013

ew people would expect a soft-spoken, willowy blond to spend her days overseeing new home construction. Even fewer would guess that she enjoys spending her spare time creating art with reclaimed objects, such as chandeliers made from twisted barbed wire. How do you build a barbed-wire chandelier without getting poked and scratched? “You don’t,” laughs artist and McKee Homes site superintendent Sheri Reed. Although building such a light fixture is one thing, hanging it from a second-storey ceiling is quite another. “It was a (barbed) high-wire act, starring my husband and son. Totally hilarious,” says Reed. Said husband, Kent Rupert, is well-known locally for his role in the City of Airdrie’s Economic Development department, and is devoted to Reed, despite her penchant for making him help lift massive logs, hunks of metal and other objects during their travels around Western Canada and abroad. “We went to Kimberley not long ago and I negotiated with a log-home builder for two large cedar logs

by Reed

story by Sarah Deveau

the forgotten into function

that I wanted to work with,” Reed says. “I’m always on the lookout for interesting materials; I always want the biggest thing we can lift!” Once home, Reed turned one of the log cutoffs, destined for a fire pit, into a beautiful coffee table, while the other awaits its turn at the artist’s hands. “Sometimes I have to look at materials for a while, give the object a chance to tell me what it wants to be,” she says. “On a recent trip to Houston I bought over 100 pounds of salvaged hinges and door handles. That was an interesting trip to baggage claim!” Reed is still uncomfortable at being called an artist, but her work speaks for her. She turns found objects – driftwood, logs, fence boards and yes, even barbed wire – into incredible decor that graces her home and the homes of those who have commissioned her work or purchased a complete piece. “I grew up on a farm just north of Edmonton,” she explains. “The thing about growing up on a farm is the opportunity to be creative for practical purposes. There are actually a lot of artistic farmers; I’ve seen the coolest stuff just born out of necessity. “Initially,” she adds. “I used materials I had on hand to build things I wanted or needed, so I was uncomfortable with being called an artist at first.” Evolving significantly over the past few years, Reed’s work is spurred by growing accolades for the pieces she was creating for her own home. “I began building tables and mirrors and I ended up building a few oversized weathered-wood pantry doors – basically barn doors on tracks – for a few

new homes,” she says. “Sliding barn doors are my favourite things to build.” Having been in the homebuilding business since she left the farm to move first to Cochrane, then to Airdrie, Reed was able to impress her connections and Reed Claimed Designs was born. Terra Davidson is one such connection who has been impressed by Reed’s talent. “I worked with Sheri as a builder, but I didn’t know a lot about her and then she invited my husband and [me] over one night for dinner,” says Davidson. “My jaw hit the floor when I went into her house and saw her amazing design esthetic and the pieces that she had created for her home.” Since then, the two women have been sharing ideas, working together on designing showhome furniture and other decor features such as wood walls, shelves and barn doors. “I love that [Sheri] sees reclaimed items that others would toss aside and [can] make something so beautiful,” Davidson says. “And because she uses reclaimed items every single piece is original, one of a kind.” Asked to sum up her work, Reed responds easily. “I see what the forgotten things could be. I love how things age and the beautiful patina they have. I don’t restore, but appreciate. “I really love modern design. I do love concrete and chrome and white walls. But I love it even more when there’s something old involved to contrast it,” the artist adds. “It’s that balance of old and new that appeals to me.” life spring 2013 | 73

life at home | column

follow the

emerald road



Hey, all of you amazing women out there, it’s time to celebrate the arrival of spring! For inspiration, look no further than Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2013, Emerald #17-5641. The world’s leading colour authority has chosen the most abundant hue in nature to enhance our sense of well-being, balance and harmony. These traits align perfectly with this season’s ability to encourage growth, regeneration and prosperity in all facets of life.

there’s no place like home Any room can be energized with touches of emerald green. For those who are more adventurous, painting can make a bold statement in an entranceway, powder room, dining room, office, den or feature wall in the living room. For the rest of us, accessories are the practical way to achieve a touch of trend by adding toss pillows, throw blankets, vases, plants, table runners, artwork, stemware and towels. We’re off to see the wizard You won’t need to go to the Emerald City to find this jewel tone. It is making an appearance on pillows, bedding, drapery fabrics, wallpaper, fashion, cosmetics and art by way of: • oversized floral prints; • botanical motifs; • bird (peacock, owl) and insect (butterfly) prints; • scroll and chevron patterns; • tribal and Bohemian styles; • decorative shells and stones; • nail polish and eye shadow; • clothing and costume jewelry; and • the works of Picasso, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. over the rainbow Ultimately, how you decide to incorporate this energetic colour, and the amount you feel comfortable in adding to your surroundings, is up to you. Keep in mind that the human eye actually sees more green than any other colour in the spectrum. This translates to ‘a little goes a long way.’ Bringing nature indoors is the best benefit, especially in spring when we are eager to spend more time outdoors. This trend alone has been a constant one and will continue as our global community strives to preserve the environment for future generations. – Tina McMillan, CID (a.k.a. The Decorating Diva), is an interior designer who calls Airdrie home

74 | spring 2013

Stop dreaming. Start planning. Crossfield’s Sunset Ridge is gearing up for Phase Two …and you are invited to make this exciting new phase your home. With huge lots, up to 58’ wide – all backing onto green spaces and a number of them backing onto a large pond - Crossfield’s Sunset Ridge offers you so much more for your investment. •Gorgeous PRAIRIE and MOUNTAIN VIEWS •Homes sites that can accommodate large bungalows - even with triple garages •An attractive neighbourhood where no two houses are exactly the same •You choose your lot, you choose your builder •ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINES are in place •There is NO BUILDING COMMITMENT You can secure your favourite lot early and build when you’re ready. Your choice! Crossfield is an easy commute… Only 10 minutes to Airdrie, 15 minutes to CrossIron Mills, and if you work downtown Calgary 35 minutes is all it takes. It’s close to everything… but miles away from the noise, traffic and stress of the big city. All essential amenities and services are right in town… schools from kindergarten to grade 12, medical and dental offices, shops, banks, churches, library, recreation facilities, seniors’ centers, and so much more. If you’d like to find out more about building in Phase 2 of Sunset Ridge, please give us a call.

We’d love to talk to you!

Sharon Sinclair, Associate Broker Sutton Group 403.946.2340 cell 403.560.7779 1.800.308.3691


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life at home | neighbours

Home on the Prairie Prairie Springs residents praise the lifestyle


story by Sarah Deveau | photo by Carl Patzel

t may be one of Airdrie’s smaller new communities, but Prairie Springs, tucked into the shadow of Cooper’s Crossing at the intersection of Eighth Street SW and Yankee Valley Boulevard, has an enviable community spirit. Christina Buhler and her husband, Ben, purchased their Prairie Springs home in 2009, and have been thrilled with the neighbourhood in which they chose to build.“The cul-de-sac we live in is amazing,” Christina says. “There are several families here that we have become friends with, and everyone looks out for everyone else.” She sees this throughout her whole community. “If my child is outside playing and falls down, my kids know they can go to our neighbour’s house and get help, and the same goes for other kids. We’ve held group barbecues and late-night campfires; and the older kids in the cul-de-sac have helped the younger ones put on a fashion show. It has a small-town ‘safe’ feeling.” The master-planned community features 350 single-family detached homes on generously sized lots. A large central park with a playground forms the heart of the community and pathways connect to the city’s extensive pathway system. The community has

78 | spring 2013

been the temporary home to École francophone d’Airdrie, and is situated immediately beside the Chinook Winds Regional Park. Initially six builders offered new home options in the neighbourhood, but new construction is almost complete, with Carolina Homes nearing completion of its multifamily project on a six-acre site on the west side of Chinook Winds Drive. “We’re very proud of the livability and the blend of housing types from condos to estate homes that allow young families to move in now and move up in the same area as their family needs change,” says area developer Gerry Lamont of Lamont Land Inc. “The unique builder group we had assembled that was building on the lots in Prairie Springs helped make this a successful and enjoyable place to live and play while providing a variety of housing styles needed to maximize the various lots and features.” The variety of move-in opportunities as well as the closeness to amenities was also a selling feature for Christina.“We have a little toboggan hill here and we’re close to Chinook Winds Regional Park, plus there’s a playground nearby – Prairie Springs really has everything we need for our family close by,” says the mother of four. life

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spring 2013 | 79

life at home | renovations

granite countertop and cabinets from rona (formerly totem building supplies); lane table and chairs from airdrie home Furnishings

Blue Haven

one woman’s new lease on life also transforms her home

stained-glass insert custom made by muk-luk magpies stained glass Emporium inc.

80 | spring 2013

W.D.b. Developments designed and crafted a custom built-in shelving and storage unit around the existing fireplace. the design allows potter to hide the tv (above the fireplace) when not in use. W.D.b. also enhanced the fireplace with new grating and tiles

broyhill red leather sofas from airdrie home Furnishings

2012 was a year of major changes in the life of Wendy Potter: relationship-wise, career-wise and homewise. Throwing three major life changes into a 12-month span could undo just about anyone, but Potter persevered ... even if she had to spend a few weeks washing her dishes in her bathtub. When Potter decided to add home renovations to her to-do list, she had no idea just how much was involved, how grateful she would be for local contractor Wade Barkhouse of W.D.B. Developments and suppliers like Trudy Bounds at Exciting Lighting Ltd., and ultimately how happy she would be with the end result. All the work on the home was done by local suppliers. Wendy’s home was a late-1990s McKee home with “great bones” and an open main floor plan, but with brass fixtures the home was becoming woefully out of date. The redone kitchen highlights the best of the renos – Passion Painters transformed the entire main floor with Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue on the walls. Shaker-style cabinets that extend to the ceiling, along with granite countertops, new stainless steel appliances and copper-toned lighting fixtures balance the look. A new kitchen table and chairs from Airdrie Home Furnishings pull the entire room together. life spring 2013 | 81

life at home | renovations granite countertop, new sink and tap all from rona, custom tile work by Chateau Flooring inc., glass enclosure by airdrie Windshield & glass ltd. and benjamin moore valley Forge brown on the walls completely change the ensuite into an aaaah-suite

Clear-stained maple hardwood extends up the stairs to the second oor now thanks to Chateau Flooring inc. new wall sconces from Exciting lighting ltd., rustic artwork from airdrie home Furnishings

82 | spring 2013

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Seeing the light

life at home | business profile

How one local mom flipped a switch on an exciting business


story by alEx FrazEr-harrison | photos by Kurtis Kristianson

trudy bounds specializes in “jewelry” for the home

84 | spring 2013

ometimes, all it takes is a suggestion to spur you into starting a new chapter in your life – like beginning a business. For nine years, Trudy Bounds has lit up the lives of homeowners in Airdrie as owner of Exciting Lighting Ltd., selling unique lights ranging from intricate chandeliers to fun, kid-friendly lights shaped like motorcycles, cowboy boots and even hockey rinks. “To me, lights are the jewelry of your home,” says Bounds. “You can say something with special lights … [it’s] something you can wake up every day to and say, ‘I’m glad I bought that light!’” Bounds was a stay-at-home mom, raising two boys, and her husband, Derek, worked as an electrical contractor and opened his own business in 1982. “He became very well-sought-after, a very big electrical contractor here in Airdrie,” she says. As her kids grew, Trudy wanted to get back into the workforce, learning about electrical work and joining Derek on job sites. “We found a niche for me in making lights,” she says, adding that she learned tricks of the lighting trade in part from watching Derek conduct home walkthroughs. “He was brilliant about knowing how much light is needed – a task [light], ambience, any kind of light. I listened and I learned.” She retired from the job in 2003. Big mistake. “It drove me crazy,” Trudy says.“Here I went from being so busy to being retired!” But then her husband, along with a member of Airdrie’s building community, put a new bug in her ear. “They said, if you’re going crazy, open a light store,” Trudy says. “We were on vacation in Hawaii and I looked at Derek and he looked at me and I said, ‘Yup, we’re going for it.’” This was in 2004, and Trudy opened Exciting Lighting in a storefront on East Lake Boulevard. She and a young receptionist working for her “wore 50 million hats,” says Trudy. “I did everything from

We just brought a little Joy into your advertising!

greeting clients to taking the orders, doing the payroll, what lights am I supposed to buy. By the end of one year, I had four builders here in Airdrie sending their clients to me.” By 2009, Exciting Lighting had outgrown its location – it got to the point where the Bounds even had to store lights at their home – and in March 2012 the business relocated to Yankee Valley Crossing, next door to the No Frills grocery store which had vacated some space during a renovation. Exciting Lighting continues to be a family business for Trudy and her husband, sons and sister-in-law. She says they provide lights for as many as 300 homes in a year, about half of which are renovations. “Airdrie is very traditional [in terms of lighting], and yet we’ll step out of the box and go contemporary, too,” says Trudy, who makes a yearly pilgrimage to Dallas, Texas, considered the mecca of the lighting industry, to search out unique and up-and-coming pieces. Experience has also taught her how best to display the lights in her store. Rather than overwhelm with light, fixtures are displayed on special I-shaped stands developed by Derek together with Trudy’s brother. This allows customers to see the lights in a more realistic fashion. “We have a lot of fun,” Trudy says. “It’s amazing that, from the first day I opened until last night, clients are walking out of here happy … with a piece of jewelry for their home.” life

Meet Joy Nowland, our new Sales Rep for airdrielife, Eat Play Stay and all our products. Book your ad for the June airdrielife before May 1

spring 2013 | 85

life at home | showhome

Trico is back building in Airdrie and Cooper’s Crossing is benefiting from the great style it brings to the street. Here is a sneak peek at this 2,621-square foot showhome

The Carlton by Trico • The main floor is open concept and hosts a spacious kitchen full of storage and the added bonus of a built-in wall oven and microwave perfect for culinary creations. • People who choose the Carlton showhome model will also appreciate the extended nook and cozy great room with fireplace. • Several large windows off the nook and great room make this space bright and cheery. • The main floor also features a large study with a built-in desk perfect for a home office or craft area. • The second floor boasts a large master bedroom with a spa-like ensuite that features his and her sinks, large walk-in closet and extra-large shower, making this a perfect retreat for couples. • Second and third bedrooms are located across from an alcove designed to allow for a designated computer station or study area for the kids. • Another great feature in this home is the bonus room with built-in entertainment centre – the perfect space for families to spend time together.

86 | spring 2013

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Watch for new additions to our Group in 2013! Check out our website to stay up to date.

Charlotte Allen Office Manager

Michelle Carre Real Estate Agent

Matt Carre Real Estate Agent 403.948.1411 RE/MAX Rocky View Real Estate | 540 2nd Ave SE Airdrie | 403.948.5900 Each office independently owned & operated. spring 2013 | 87

life at home|builder profile

The Canterra Way Newest estate home builder gives buyers exciting options story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photo by Kurtis Kristianson


ohn Mulders has seen Airdrie grow tremendously since he moved here in 1978, and now he’s one of the area managers for Canterra Custom Homes, a company that’s helping grow the city even more. “When I moved to Airdrie, it had 1,500 people … two four-way stops and that was it,” Mulders says. “It’s definitely grown over the years, but it seems to maintain that small-town atmosphere and it’s a friendly place.” That’s one reason why Airdrie has become a popular alternative to Calgary for people looking for a home. Calgary-based Canterra, after 20 years of constructing custom homes in Calgary and surrounding countryside (the company started in commercial construction 30 years ago, Mulders says), opened its first showhome in Airdrie’s Cooper’s Crossing last year.

88 | spring 2013

Canterra Homes manager John Mulders has watched his community evolve over the past 35 years

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“Canterra is a very good fit for Airdrie and for Cooper’s Crossing,” says Mulders, a 19-year veteran of the local real estate scene who has joined Canterra as an area manager although he has been selling homes in Cooper’s Crossing since the late 1990s. “A lot of the clients we’re seeing these days are people moving from Calgary to Airdrie,” he says. “They’re moving here because it’s a little less hectic than Calgary, and the city of Airdrie has a very good school system … and most of the schools the kids can go to locally and they don’t have to be bused.” Canterra is one of the estate builders in Cooper’s Crossing, with homes starting in the $700,000s. “Our homes are probably [buyers’] second or third home,” says Mulders. “The couples and families we deal with have already been in the housing markets and they know what they’re looking for, and they’re looking to build that house they want to stay in till they decide it’s retirement time.” The 2011 SAM Awards Builder of the Year, Canterra prides itself on leveraging a client’s lifestyle and dream-home wish list with a functional design. “We will sit down with you and go over your wants and lifestyle requirements and design a home from scratch,” Mulders says, adding that popular dream-home items include gourmet kitchens, big garages and media rooms.“Our customers know what it’s going to cost them before we turn the shovel. It’s all transparent … and they are kept apprised on a monthly basis.” A new Canterra showhome is currently under construction (the last one has already sold) and is expected to open later this spring. life

Conquer fatigue, procrastination, and loss of motivation and laugh out loud while you’re learning how! Michelle’s lively, practical sessions prompt audiences to find more time for the things that matter - health, life balance, stress management, fun, relaxation and gain more energy and productivity for business and for life! Contact Michelle about one-on-one coaching as well.

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141 Gateway Dr. N.E., Airdrie • Office: 403.960.1030 spring 2013 | 89

life at home | events

If it’s spring in Airdrie.... It must be 2013 Home & Lifestyle Showtime


Show Details: Date: Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Genesis Place, 800 East Lake Blvd. Cost: $5 per person; children 12 and under free with paying adult Free parking Free admission to the ARTS Show, presented by Airdrie Regional Arts Society

90 | spring 2013

he signs of spring can be found around Airdrie: melting snow, falling snow, melting snow, and of course the opening of the annual Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show. Held every spring at Genesis Place, the event sprawls over two indoor soccer fields and even into the gymnasium (thanks to the Airdrie Regional ARTS Society). This year’s event promises something for everyone, from shopping to a variety of entertainment options. Be one of the first 250 attendees each day and you will score a swag bag full of samples, products and coupons. An added bonus: everyone who attends receives an environmentally friendly, reusable cloth bag that will come in handy for shopping at the more than 200 booths. As well, everyone who purchases admission is automatically entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree courtesy of Airdrie Safeway. One of the mainstays of the show is the daily entertainment, hosted on two stages with a full schedule that includes fashion shows featuring offerings from Cream Body & Bath, Pharmasave, Mark’s and Costco. (Rumour has it that if you want to be a model, just call the Chamber office!) Four-legged stars will take the stage in a featured dog show, and keeping a tradition running (or should we say dancing?) are performers from Airdrie Dance Academy, Star Dance Company, Ambition Performing Arts and Shimmy with Suzy. Marie Lauer, events co-ordinator with show manager Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, says the variety of exhibitors will make for an exciting two days, with plenty of new vendors hawking their wares and services. “We have something for everyone. Buying or selling a home? Have a sweet tooth? Renovating? Building? Landscaping? Looking for activities for the kids? Want to get fit? Love to shop? Love to cook? Love to eat?” says Lauer.“If you answered yes to any of these questions ... come to the Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show.” Admission to the show also includes the ARTS Show, an extensive show and sale of area artists, presented by the Airdrie Regional Arts Society. For more information, visit

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O N LY 91 13-02-01 2:20 PM

life at home | column



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You can go looking for financial advice. Or you can let it come to you. Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). RMFI, RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RMFI is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec.

® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. ©2012 Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. 45808 (09/2012)

What’s inside your library? Come check us out this spring!

First, my heartfelt congratulations to the Amazing Women nominees. You’re an inspiration to us all! 111, 304 Main St. SE | (403) 948.0600

92 | spring 2013

organize your life! too! There are a ton of cleaning calendar ideas, tips and recipes for natural cleaners. 2. Make your storage system easy. Start by grouping things together – think of such items as batteries, light bulbs, keepsake items, toys and so on. Once you have gathered a group of items you will be able to see how big a container you need to store them. You can use lots of different containers for storage: old jewelry boxes, makeup bags that you got as your ‘gift with purchase,’ reusable shopping bags, the list goes on. Think outside the box. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one!) Once you have items stored it’s easy to keep things clutter-free. 3. Stay on top of your paperwork. I often sit at someone’s kitchen table and when I ask about a specific paper involving the purchase of their home the answer I most often get is, “I know it’s somewhere.…” but they never know exactly where. Knowing where your important paperwork is will make your life easier – if you need information you will know exactly where to find it. This is especially important if you are a condo owner. Maintaining your condo documents will save you money. It takes organization to be an amazing woman. We gals often take on many roles in our lives and that means a lot of responsibilities. Whether you have someone else helping you or not, taking care of a home is a big job. From day-to-day living to annual maintenance, there is a lot to do. Here are my top four tips for keeping organized, so taking care of your home is automatic and you can focus on being amazing. 1. Create a cleaning calendar. Break it down between weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. This is a great excuse to spend some time on Pinterest,

4. Ask for help. Being amazing doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself. Whether support means hiring someone to do your cleaning, asking your family to all help out in keeping things organized or getting a friend to hold you accountable, it’s important to establish a support system. If your home is in order and you have a plan of when specific things need to be taken care of, you will be able to focus on other parts of your life, such as your family, friends and passion projects. – Michelle Carre is a Realtor with Re/Max Rocky View in Airdrie



Are you new to the neighbourhood? Having a baby? A new business? Employment Opportunity Available: Business Program Representative Contact Welcome Wagon Today! Call: (403) 829.1773 Website: Welcome Wagon has been a Canadian Tradition for over 80 years.

All the visits are free free gifts and information. No obligation. Compliments of local businesses Founded in 1930, Welcome Wagon is a Canadian-owned, FREE greeting service for families experiencing a lifestyle change. We greet people who are undergoing lifestyle changes with a friendly visit

spring 2013 | 93

life at home | garden

Live and learn by Anne Beaty

Horticultural experts share their wisdom


pring is just around the corner, and gardeners everywhere can hardly wait for the growing season to begin. Here in Airdrie that season doesn’t start for a good couple of months (and let’s be honest, bedding out on the May long weekend isn’t always the greatest idea unless you plan to spend a couple of weeks with blanket in hand ready to baby your little darlings should there be snow, a not-unheard-of occurrence). However, there are plenty of activities that can keep gardeners occupied until that glorious day when they can dig right in. Even though it may only whet a gardener’s appetite even further (if such a thing is possible), learning opportunities are a great way to pass the time between now and May-June. This year, Airdrie Public Library is hosting a series of free videoconferences presented by Olds College. The Hort Week 2013 Winter Speaker Series provides a chance for local gardeners to learn from the experts. The topics are varied and – given that the first videoconference on Feb. 6 was full – appealing. The videoconferences are being held the first Wednesday of the month, 7-8:30 p.m. There is no admission charge, but those interested are asked to sign up in advance (check the library’s website at On March 6, the topic is everyone’s favourite: tomatoes. Entitled More Than Just Tomatoes – Heritage Varieties for Albertans, the talk

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is presented by Janet Melrose, Olds College instructor and lifelong gardener, who will share such information as the history of tomatoes grown in Alberta over the past century, and their place in today’s garden. The topic for the April 3 videoconference is very timely in this day and age: Before Pesticides, presented by Dr. Ken Fry, research scientist and college instructor. Dr. Fry will cover pest management methods both historical and current. The final evening is dedicated to The New Face of Ancient Grains. Rick Kohut, whose CV includes holistic nutritionist, farmer and author, will share his expertise on such foods as sprouted kamut and quinoa and their place in a healthy lifestyle. If these videoconferences aren’t enough, there are always other events in the area that provide plenty of ideas for gardeners. Along with the Calgary Home + Garden Show, which runs until March 3 at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, there are: • Red Deer Home and Garden Show, March 8-10 at Westerner Park; • Calgary Horticultural Society Garden Show, April 13-14 at Spruce Meadows; and • Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show, April 27-28 at Genesis Place. And don’t forget: you can always start your plants from seed indoors – tomatoes and peppers can be started in mid-March! life


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96 | spring 2013

work life at 100 Healing Hands

104 it takes two 108 venturesome

Courtesy of the City of Airdrie

life at work | column


with Kent Rupert

From left: City of Airdrie Economic Development team Tara Levick, Tristan Choi, Kent Rupert, Sara Chamberlain and Leona Esau

Entrepreneurial spirit abounds

The exciting part about the City of Airdrie’s Economic Development department is that our team has the opportunity to meet and assist energetic individuals in starting or expanding their local businesses. In 2012 our department provided information and opportunities to prospective and local businesses more than 2,700 times. That equals more than 10 contacts with businesses every day. Last year, Airdrie saw 308 new businesses enter the local market in the areas of retail, commercial, industrial and home-based entrepreneurs (HBE). This worked out to be more than 26 new business licences coming in each month, which just goes to show the exciting entrepreneurial spirit for which Airdrie continues to be known. As economic development professionals, we do our jobs because we love our work. Anyone who has had direct contact with any of the economic development team knows that we enjoy what we do. From first-pointof-contact Tara to business specialists Sara, Leona and Tristan, everyone truly cares about the customers and will work toward the right outcome. As the team leader of such a fun and dynamic group I can tell you that this is one of the most respected teams within our profession in the province and across Canada. As Airdrie residents you can be assured that you are being represented in the community, throughout Alberta and nationally by a group of caring professionals who truly love this community.

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There are many local business – far too many to list – that love Airdrie, as well, and are the first to promote and brag about it to their peers and industries. As Airdrie ambassadors we encourage local businesses to support and promote the community throughout their network to become Airdrie ambassadors. In my 10 years with Economic Development I have had the opportunity to see the business community grow and evolve. The encouraging and exciting thing is not only do we continue to add job opportunities and services for our residents but there is also a strong sense of support in our business community. As the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 40th anniversary, it should be congratulated on its contribution to helping build a strong sense of community in our business sector. Through monthly lunches, Business After Hours events or annual golf tournaments, the Chamber and its members make it their mandate to bring businesses together for the betterment of each business and of the community. We at the City of Airdrie are fortunate to have a strong relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and congratulate it on 40 successful years. Whether it is the Economic Development team, the Chamber, one of our local business networking clubs or the local businesses themselves, we are all in it together to improve and offer exceptional service to our customers and ensure that Airdrie continues to be a great place to live and work. And that is evident in the numbers! – Kent Rupert is team leader with Airdrie Economic Development

*All procedures are performed by a general dentist. spring 2013 | 99

life at work | careers

Medicine Women story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Sergei Belski

Dr. Jacqueline Boyd, chiropractor Our experiences often influence our career choices. For Dr. Jacqueline Boyd, of Access Chiropractic and Wellness, truer words were never spoken. “From Grade 10 to 12, I was extremely ill with chronic bronchitis. I was on antibiotics all the time, had X-rays taken every six months. I was really sick,” recalls the Nova Scotia native.“I had the goal I was going to go to school and come up with a better drug to help people like me.” At university, Boyd learned about chiropractic care. “It really resonated with me,” she says. “The philosophy behind chiropractic is that the power that made the body heals the body. “There’s always the exception, like pneumonia or heart problems,” she adds, “but for 90 per cent of the problems, you have got to let the body heal itself. But it can’t do it if there’s interference.” Adjusting muscles and joints in specific ways is said to remove that interference (such as pressure on certain nerves), aiding the body’s healing. Boyd, who studied at Mount Allison University and at a chiropractic college in Toronto, has been practising for 11 years, much of that from the Access clinic she opened next door to Airdrie Co-op six years after driving past the location with her husband during her first visit in 1998. “I just had the feeling I was supposed to be there someday,” she says. Boyd regularly tells her patients that she’ll never retire. “I get to take somebody who is in ill health, in pain, and see them through that. I can stand back and say, ‘Wow, isn’t your body amazing! Look what it did today!’”

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From dentistry to chiropractic services, Airdrie has no shortage of skilled doctors ready to help with what ails you. And several of these practitioners definitely qualify as Amazing Women of Airdrie. Dr. stacey King, registered acupuncturist and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine Dr. Stacey King brings thousands of years of experience with her when she comes to work at Optimum Wellness Centres. Well, not King personally – she started in Airdrie about nine years ago – but her chosen field of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a long and ancient history, and people are still learning new ways to perform such treatments as acupuncture and cupping. “I probably have 100 more years to learn!” says King, who started out in a nursing program in Nelson, B.C. “There was a Chinese medicine school there and I started looking into it and found it fascinating and challenging, so I switched over. And I’m glad I made the switch.” About 85 per cent of King’s work involves acupuncture – inserting fine needles into the skin at specific and long-researched points that can provide relief for such issues as muscle pain and tension. “I see sports injuries, and repetitive injuries on the job are quite common. Probably 60-70 per cent of my client base is pain-related,” she says. “The [acupuncture] points are very precise. People don’t know anything about it when they come in – they’re skeptical; how does it work? But I’ve been doing this in Airdrie for nine years and you see it work over and over.” She also performs cupping, which applies suction to specific points to relieve muscle tension – sort of like massage, but in reverse. “I love that I see different things every day and meet great people and [I’m] able to help them,” King says. “You see someone come in who is really hurting, and you can help them. I’ve treated children seven years old up to 80-year-olds.” spring 2013 | 101

Dr. vicki mcDermid, dentist If one’s smile is the window into the soul, Dr. Vicki McDermid must have one of the most soulful jobs around. Before starting Airdrie Dental Studio in 2001, McDermid worked as a dental hygienist in Williams Lake, B.C., before deciding she wanted to become a dentist herself. Today, she specializes in cosmetic dentistry alongside her general dentistry work. “There’s really a broad spectrum – a chipped tooth that needs filling, all the way down to full smile design,” says the Mayerthorpe, Alta., native, who balances her workload with raising four young children. In fact, it was the birth of her first child that led to McDermid’s husband, fellow dentist Dr. Neil McDermid, joining the staff at Airdrie Dental Studio in 2003. “At first, we had no intention of working together, but

when we had a family, it made sense,” she says. Her family has been in Airdrie for 14 years, and after spending several located near Co-op, she relocated her studio to its current location five years ago. For most of her time in Airdrie, McDermid has worked alongside Dr. Marilyn Given, who joined the clinic soon after graduating from the University of Manitoba and has a special interest in orthodontics (such as braces).“In business, sometimes it’s hard to find a good match,” McDermid says.“[Marilyn] started out as an associate and now she’s my partner.” What keeps McDermid’s passion for dentistry going strong? “What I tell my children is, do what you’re going to love and then it’s easy,” she says.“It’s fun coming to work. And Airdrie is a great place to live and we have a lot of great patients.” life


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102 | spring 2013

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spring 2013 | 103

life at work| sister act

It’s a family affair Business is a ‘breeze’ for siblings

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photo by Sergei Belski

104 | spring 2013


Business is booming for Cayley (left) and Claire Breeze

hat do a specialty kitchen supply shop and a clothing boutique have in common? For sisters Claire and Cayley Breeze, it’s all in the family. Kitchen Boutique, owned by Claire, and Bijou Clothing Co., Cayley’s pride and joy, opened next door to each other last May in Yankee Valley Crossing. But this isn’t the sisters’ first venture into business. Claire owns two other Kitchen Boutique locations, in Canmore and Cochrane, and Cayley expanded her business only a year after opening her first store a few doors down from her sister in Cochrane in 2011. “My degree is in film and TV production – which is totally relevant to running a retail business!” laughs Claire, who opened her first store 10 years ago when she bought a shop in Canmore, then a year later bought a second in Cochrane.

“I think entrepreneurship runs in the family,” adds Cayley, who opened her first shop without a lot of experience either, but benefitted from her sister’s and parents’ business experience.“We grew up in business, so you have that exposure.” When it came to setting up shop locally,“Claire started eyeing Airdrie,” Cayley says, “and she thought it would be great for both of us to venture together.” According to Claire, the decision to locate in Airdrie was in part a reaction to Airdrionians making the trek to Cochrane to shop at the Breezes’ stores. And, she adds, the city also isn’t as “oversaturated” with clothing and kitchen stores the way Calgary is. “We don’t need to compete with [big-name retailers],” says Claire. “We don’t carry everything under the sun, but we carry high-end product.” She describes Kitchen Boutique as a “culinary specialist” that stocks brands and such European products as Le Creuset, Emile Henry and Wüsthof – pots, ceramic dishes, food containers from New Zealand, and a line of cake-decorating items. (Not to mention a “gadget wall” with no less than 20 different types of peelers!) Bijou, Cayley says, aims at the 25-55 market that’s looking for unique clothing styles, including lines from Europe.“You don’t want to look like everyone else – you want to have a style that’s more individual and that’s what our focus is,” she says.“Our store caters to women who are looking to get a little more out of their wardrobe … as opposed to some places where you can just choose the [store brand].” Opening a new business is never easy, but both shops have already made an impact in the Airdrie retail scene. “We’ve had a fantastic response from everybody,” says Claire.“People feel it was really needed here, another option.” Still, she adds, it’s always a bit stressful setting down business roots in a new town.“I’d have been apprehensive of opening in Airdrie if I didn’t have Cayley here,” she says. “Our staff supports each other, we do interstore staff promotions – we’re two different ‘families,’ but closely related!” Adds Cayley: “I think I had an easier time of it because I had Claire who had trudged through [establishing a business] for 10 years and I was able to soak up her expertise, and her mistakes. I maybe got off a little easier than I should have!” Cayley lives in Airdrie, and she and her sister have been quick off the mark in giving back to the community, donating prizes to events such as Airdrie Faith Build’s Diamonds and Denim gala fundraiser, and sponsoring this year’s Amazing Women Awards. “I think it’s important to connect and network with all the people here in Airdrie,” says Claire.“The business community here is phenomenal.” Cayley is also excited to be located in the midst of a growing retail hub. “We’re hoping Yankee Valley Crossing becomes a little more for the boutique shopper,” she says. life spring 2013 | 105

Hair Classic is more than just wigs

life at work| entrepreneur

Respect, empathy are stock-in-trade


story by Sarah Deveau | photo by Sergei Belski

hen Airdrie resident Rose Marie Pottinger opened her online wig store in 2010, she hoped her business would assist women and men suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatments and alopecia. She never dreamed she herself would need the services of her business just a few months later. “I started my business in the fall, and in February of 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Pottinger.“I had three surgeries and the cancer cells were still there, so I finally made the decision to have a mastectomy and reconstruction.” While she didn’t require chemotherapy, she still suffered from hair loss due to the stress and anxiety of the diagnosis and multiple procedures.“It was very ironic that I suddenly needed my own services,” she says. A mother to two older sons and a young daughter, Pottinger immigrated to Canada from Jamaica and lived in Calgary before moving to Toronto. She returned to Alberta in 2001 to settle in Airdrie, and has worked in the medical field for many years. She’ll open the doors to her first retail store in King’s Heights in April, offering wig fittings by appointment during the week and walk-in hours on Saturdays. Hair Classic Inc. offers wigs, hair extensions, eyelashes, caps, turbans, hats and other head coverings for women, men and children.“For ladies, especially, we like to put our best face forward, to be presentable to our own standard of looking good, and wigs help with this,” Pottinger explains.“There’s also an element of people being worried that they’ll be treated as though they have a death sentence, and they don’t want to present that to the world all the time.” Although a handful of businesses in Calgary and Edmonton offer stock and custom wigs and accessories, the business woman is confident her store will thrive in Airdrie. “I will be carrying fashion wigs, as well, for those who simply want to have fun experimenting with wigs. I wear wigs now because I love the different looks I can try out, rather than from necessity,” says Pottinger, who also plans eventually to offer breast prostheses and undergarments. “I’m someone . . . my customers will be able to speak to from a place of empathy,” Pottinger says. “I want people to know that when they come into Hair Classic Inc. they will get the respect and attention they need.” life

106 | spring 2013

the ultimate


diet | fitness | health

Airdrie Yoga&Fitness How would you like to get in shape for Free? airdrielife is looking for six eager people to take part in the ultimate fitness and lifestyle challenge We need three teams of two to compete in losing the greatest percentage of weight over a 12-week period, April 7 to June 29, 2013 Your custom-designed nutrition, fitness and wellness program by the experts at Simply For Life, Airdrie Yoga & Fitness, Body By Nic and Day One Fitness are ready to whip you and a buddy into the best shape of your life!


Weekly consults with Simply For Life staff, including weigh-ins and recipes One to two workouts a week at Airdrie Yoga & Fitness (choice of nine classes each week) Weekly sessions with personal trainer from Body By Nic Weekly group classes with Day One Fitness Cool workout T-shirts!



Three-month consult with Simply for Life Three-month workout pass from Airdrie Yoga & Fitness $100 gift certificate from Pharmasave $50 gift certificate from Cream Body & Bath $100 haircut and product package from The Hair Lounge


a windup event will take place in June at airdrie Yoga & Fitness to celebrate success of teams and award prize packs TWO WAYS TO ENTER: ONLINE – register your team at IN PERSON – pick up a registration form at simply for Life, 302 station Crossing, 191 Edwards Way sW or airdrie Yoga & Fitness, 201, 191 Edwards Way sW ENTRY DEADLINE: MARCH 24, 2013

All teams must commit to donating their weight loss in food to Airdrie Food Bank See ComPLete rULeS anD reGULationS at airDrieLiFe.Com

spring 2013 | 107

life at work | home-based AL: What was your initial inspiration for this product? Kendra: We were having a Latin-themed wedding and trying to come up with what would be original and make it exciting for our guests, because 90 per cent were travelling here. [I thought] it would be a great idea if I did an invitation that looked like a passport, with the premise that we’re bringing Latin America to Calgary. AL: What experience did you have before tackling this venture? Kendra: I really didn’t think I was creative at all. I had no design background, but I taught myself Photoshop and put together eight inside pages, two of them that looked like an actual passport. The rest had information about accommodations, local attractions, our itinerary – stuff I thought guests would find helpful. I never expected the response I got … people asking where I had my invitations made. AL: How quickly did your business grow? Kendra: I started with a free website and an advertisement on Kijiji. Within a few days after posting my first ad I got a response. In 2010 I got orders every month, but I was on maternity leave so I wasn’t pushing it. In 2011 my growth was 1,000 per cent. Now my growth in 2012 was 48 per cent.

story and photo by Carl Patzel


to Success

How a local entrepreneur brought the world to her own desktop

Promoting the ticket for an extra-special event, Kendra Lee is owner of Got The Invite? Passport Invitations by Kendra.

The entrepreneur, and mother of three, began her home-based business in 2010 after creating an invitation for her own wedding. She has since put a stamp on this successful voyage sending unique, passport-themed booklets throughout North America and even around the globe. airdrielife recently spoke with Kendra.

108 | spring 2013

AL: Without a business background, what were the challenges of starting Got The Invite? Kendra: Pretty much everything. Because I’m the only one involved in my business I had to learn how to be an accountant, to market, and because I was an online business I had to learn how to get my rankings. I really was wearing all the hats of a business. AL: What do you like most about running your own business? Kendra: I love a challenge; that’s what I thrive on. I was learning every day how to do better and how to be smarter about how I was working. AL: Who are your clients? Kendra: I’ve had orders from Ireland, Australia and quite a few orders from the United Kingdom. The majority is 75 per cent Canadian and the remainder is U.S. and international. AL: Will you expand from your home base? Kendra: I do enjoy working from home. There is such little overhead, so I don’t have to charge so much for my invitations. I wanted to make creative, unique invitations but make them affordable for everyone. By continuing to have my studio in my home I can do that. life

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life | last look

Nature’s Paintbox airdrielife photographer Kurtis Kristianson captured this ode to spring one April evening. The results … worth one last look. “This image was taken around 7 p.m. on April 5, 2011. I was cruising the back roads near the Carstairs gas plant when I saw this tree about 30 meters from the ditch. I ran over with my camera and started shooting and as the light dropped, so did I. I was in this spot for 15 minutes, lying in the cold mud, shooting frame after frame and just absolutely engrossed in the moment. There was no way I was going to miss this; that’s what it’s about.” - Specs: Canon 7D, ISO 400 1/80 second at f-5.6, Singh Ray Blue/Gold Polarizer

– Kurtis Kristianson,

Share your photograph with airdrielife and you may see it come to life here in a future issue. E-mail a jpeg to

110 | spring 2013

You don’t need to be Cool to be Smart with your money.

Quality Price Value Sales Centre: 2781 Chinook Winds Dr SW | Airdrie (403) 312-1004



Profile for airdrielife magazine

airdrielife spring 2013  

airdrielife spring 2013