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ICONIC. ICONIC.

spring 2015

We believe in building homes that are handed down from one generation to the next. It’s why we design sophisticated, livable interior spaces, adorn them with dramatic, timeless exteriors, and craft each and every one with cutting-edge materials and technologies.

Because if it’s not a home you can be proud of for years to come, it’s not worth building in the first place. Accept nothing less.

THE

VOICE

OPERA DIVA ALICIA WOYNARSKI

AIRDRIE’S REAL ESTATE

MARKET What’s new & what’s next

INTERNATIONAL

PIPELINE 5TH ANNUAL

AMAZING

AIRDRIE

WOMEN

MEET 34 INSPIRING NOMINEES

SERVICES

START HERE

IN A MAN’S WORLD Women making it work!

www.airdrielife.com

Coming soon to Apple Wellness ... Vantage Point Chiropractic & Wellness!

CALGARY

AIRDRIE

CHESTERMERE

CHESTERMERE

OKOTOKS

HIGH RIVER

(403) 474-8953

(403) 980-8096

(403) 474-0664

(403) 460-3606

(403) 938-2504

(403) 649-8891

Lifestyle Homes is a proud builder partner of the Holmes Approved Homes program. Visit a showhome today for additional details.

LIFEST YLEHOMES.C A


ICONIC. ICONIC.

spring 2015

We believe in building homes that are handed down from one generation to the next. It’s why we design sophisticated, livable interior spaces, adorn them with dramatic, timeless exteriors, and craft each and every one with cutting-edge materials and technologies.

Because if it’s not a home you can be proud of for years to come, it’s not worth building in the first place. Accept nothing less.

THE

VOICE

OPERA DIVA ALICIA WOYNARSKI

AIRDRIE’S REAL ESTATE

MARKET What’s new & what’s next

INTERNATIONAL

PIPELINE 5TH ANNUAL

AMAZING

AIRDRIE

WOMEN

MEET 34 INSPIRING NOMINEES CoverSpring2015.indd 1

SERVICES

START HERE

IN A MAN’S WORLD Women making it work!

www.airdrielife.com

Coming soon to Apple Wellness ... Vantage Point Chiropractic & Wellness!

CALGARY

AIRDRIE

CHESTERMERE

CHESTERMERE

OKOTOKS

HIGH RIVER

(403) 474-8953

(403) 980-8096

(403) 474-0664

(403) 460-3606

(403) 938-2504

(403) 649-8891

Lifestyle Homes is a proud builder partner of the Holmes Approved Homes program. Visit a showhome today for additional details.

LIFEST YLEHOMES.C A

LSH_Iconic_airdrielife_MT_v1.indd 1

10/21/2014 4:18:59 PM 2015-02-10 11:23 AM


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Mattamy is proud to be continually growing in Airdrie. Our newest community of Southwinds is fully connected to Windsong and offers plenty of new home opportunities. One of the truly original neighbourhood features is a reconstructed Environmental Reserve that will serve as a wonderful community gathering place.

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Follow us:

All illustrations are artist’s concept. All dimensions are approximate. Prices, specifications, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. E.&O.E.


“I go to my dentist for checkups. But I went to my orthodontist for my best smile.� Dr. Mo Korayem is a certified specialist in Orthodontics. Orthodontists are specialized dentists with an additional 2-3 years of additional education and training beyond dental school focusing on the art and science of dental alignment, bite correction, and smile enhancement.

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We are here to help people live life smiling. We employ the latest in orthodontic science and technology in the creation of healthy, beautiful, lasting smiles.

Dr. Mo Korayem

Airdrie’s only full-time certified orthodontist

Airdrie’s Orthodontic Clinic

spring 2015

Contributors What amazing women would you invite to your dream dinner party?

JENNIFER BRIGDEN, WRITER of all the amazing women I could have dinner with I would choose my mother. We’d sit together at the table and she’d tell me her stories and all about her adventures. I’d do the same. She was a remarkable woman by all accounts and she died when I was three.

ELLEN KELLY, WRITER I would have a really large dinner party! My grandmother – she died when I was three but she had the most amazing hard life and I have questions that only she can answer; Catherine ford because I always wanted to be a journalist and she’s the best/worst, depending on her opinion; gloria Steinem because she was a feminist/activist when I was just beginning to learn that women could do anything and she’s still an activist and still cool; oprah because I often imagined being at one of her book-club dinner parties and it’s only right to reciprocate; Carol Burnett because she is intense and funny and serious and lovely; several of my writerly friends because they are my tribe and they put me at ease.

KRISTY REIMER, PHOTOGRAPHER I would invite Annie Leibovitz. She is one of the most incredible female photographers ever, and I would love to pick her brain!

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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editor’s note According to my online thesauri, synonyms for “amazing” include: awesome, incredible, marvellous, stunning, unbelievable, wonderful. All these words and more describe our 2015 Amazing Airdrie Women. It’s always a pleasure to meet, either in person or print, the women of our community who are seen by others as amazing … even if they don’t see it themselves. Their stories show just how they have touched the hearts and lives of others in amazing ways. Volunteering in their community and abroad, overcoming challenges to pursue their dreams, making the sacrifices necessary for family, friends and those in need – Airdrie’s amazing women have done it all. The list of accomplishments is pretty impressive, but they are a very humble group of women. What others view as amazing they simply see as doing what needs to be done, living their lives in an ordinary manner, just being themselves. We had a lot of fun this year with the photo sessions for Amazing Airdrie women. Photographer extraordinaire Kristy Reimer and publisher extraordinaire Sherry Shaw-Froggatt put our amazing women at ease and soon had them smiling and laughing and showing their true colours. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the results speak volumes. I hope you, too, enjoy meeting our Amazing Women. They are well worth knowing, and they make our community amazing, too.

Anne Beaty, EDITOR

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| spring 2015


24 On the Cover

Music is everything for mezzo-sporano Alicia Woynarski.

GROuP PuBLISHER

PHOTO BY KRISTY REIMER

EDITOR COPY EDITOR DESIGN MANAGER CONTRIBuTORS

ADVERTISING SALES

PRINTING DISTRIBuTION MANAGER

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Anne Beaty Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams Anne Beaty, Sergei Belski, Jennifer Brigden, Matt Carre, Alex Frazer-Harrison, Deanna Hunter, Rob Jamieson, Ellen Kelly, Kurtis Kristianson, Lori Kuffner, Britton Ledingham, Carl Patzel, Vanessa Peterelli, Kim Purvis, Kristy Reimer, Kent Rupert, Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Lisa Silva, Jaimee Slifka-Butalia Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Sharie Tanner Print West Sharie Tanner

cONTacT US

Editorial Advertising

anne@frogmediainc.ca sherry@frogmediainc.ca shariet@frogmediainc.ca

WhErE TO FIND US

airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. If you do not receive an issue please contact sherry@frogmediainc.ca airdrielife is also available at more than 100 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.

Columns & regular features

VOLuME 12, NuMBER 1

Contents copyright 2015 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.

26 Events

36 healthylife 46 reallife with rob Jamieson

EDITOrIaL POLIcY

56 parentlife with Vanessa peterelli

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.

82 lifetimes with Ellen Kelly 88 gardenlife with lisa silva 96 homelife 98 lifestyles with Kim purvis 102 businesslife with Kent rupert

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114 last look

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ISSN 1916-355X

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 editorial@airdrielife.com airdrielife is produced from well-managed forests, printed with canola-based inks, and is 100% recyclable.


84

62

life in the moment

106

22 Visionary – young artist earns recognition

24 musical outlet – opera singer finds balance 30 good taste – Chef shares craft 32 incredible Journey – makeover completes transformation 38 awesome adventure – machu picchu enchants 42 airdrie Celebrates – Event showcases the arts

life in the community 60 Citylife – you’re welcome!

62 Food for thought – blogger shares good taste 64 athletic Endeavours – local women shine 66

running rampant – Events support community

68 amazing women – what more can we say?

life at home

84 King’s heights – good neighbours 86 ready for summer – outdoor reno impresses 90 Creating Community – developer meets demand 92 showhomes – Cooper’s Crossing shows off 94 way of life – builder embraces innovation

life at work

104 Career paths – women pursue passions 106 Jet set – local centre serves industry

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68 | spring 2015

110 Entrepreneurship – association builds bridges 112 sweet success – business woman creates bonds


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18 airdrielife.com | spring 2015 Visit shanehomes.com today to view our selection of home models, showhome information, maps and more.


QUICK POSSESSIONS AVAILABLE NOW Learn more about Pier 11 homes online and come visit our beautiful Airdrie show home today.

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It’s the most amazing luncheon of the year! PRESENTS THE 5 ANNUAL TH

airdrie amazing

women

Awards Luncheon

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 11:30 AM THE WOODS, AIRDRIE airdrielife is pleased to make a $5 DONATION to the Airdrie Relay for Life for each ticket sold.

TICKETS $50

Don’t delay. Tickets sell out early! Purchase online at airdrielife.com

presents: Champagne reception

amazing Heart

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swag bags full of goodies

women of improv hilarious entertainment

amazing

amazing

amazing

amazing

PROMISE

LEADERSHIP

COURAGE

DETERMINATION

| spring 2015


moment life in the 22 Realist Creativity

30 culinary arts 32 New Looks


life in the

moment

artist profile

Worth a Look

“I

think the best art makes people feel things and that’s what I want my art to do,” says artist Rebecca Shuttleworth. “I want people to experience things that they don’t really think about.” Born and raised in Balzac, Shuttleworth graduated from George McDougall High School in June 2014, but even at this early stage of her artist’s journey, she is making a name for herself.

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story by Ellen Kelly | photos by Kurtis Kristianson

From Grades 9-12 she received the highest mark each year in art, and in 2014 her pencil sketch entitled A Cowgirl’s Summer Day won the $2,000 Calgary Stampede Western Art Scholarship. Shuttleworth is a member of the Airdrie Regional Arts Society and has showcased and sold her art at ARTember and the Airdrie Christmas Market. She has also done commissions, including one for Douglas Lake Ranch in B.C., the biggest working cattle ranch in Canada.


AN ArT CAreer BegINS To BLoSSoM

Shuttleworth’s artwork is primarily western-themed. She works in a variety of mediums, favouring pencil because, she says, “you can get it so clean. It is not a messy medium and you can get really good detail.” She enjoys doing portraits – of both people and horses – and she is a realist, so attention to detail is important. Her art is maturing as she adds detail and works with more specific and challenging subject matter. Shuttleworth has been interested in drawing and art since she was very young and in Grade 6 began taking lessons with Jane Romanishko in Airdrie, then began taking art in high school from art teacher and artist Marda Wright. “I have lots of family support,” she says. “My mom enjoys art and does a bit as a hobby, my aunt is an interior designer so she is definitely art-oriented and Ms. Wright is a mentor and still helps me.” The young artist will begin a combined art and education degree with a minor in music education at the University of Lethbridge in September 2015. Her goal is to become an art teacher, preferably giving private lessons in her own studio. “I want to incorporate my art into my lifelong career because I enjoy it that much,” she says. Shuttleworth usually works from pictures that impress her, often incorporating her own ideas while drawing from a photograph to obtain her own artistic interpretation. She has, in the past, tried abstract work but always returns to realism. The mixed farm

where she lives and her mom’s horse arena are wonderful sources of subject material. “I’m really passionate about both art and the farming life,” she says. Shuttleworth’s artistic creativity also takes another form. A musician, she plays the tuba and was thrilled to be selected as a member of the Alberta Honour Band, a group selected by high school music teachers. She also plays the violin, both classical and modern, for enjoyment. Most recently, with the support of Airdrie artist Glen Collin, Shuttleworth was honoured to have her portfolio considered for the Qualico Youth Artist Award at Creative Airdrie’s Mayor’s Night of the Arts in January and has applied to have her work accepted for the 2015 Stampede Western Art Auction. Two Alberta artists – Bernie Brown from Okotoks, who also works in pencil, and Adeline Halvorson, designer of the 2014 Calgary Stampede poster – awe and inspire her. Currently Shuttleworth is employed as a receptionist for a natural healing centre in Cochrane and works independently on her art. “My art gives me something I am proud of,” she says.“It is a learning experience because in every piece I create there is something I want to improve or that I don’t like. “I can find my weaknesses and improve on them,” Shuttleworth adds. “It’s a real learning process at this point.” life ShUTTLEWOrTh’S arTWOrK can be seen on her website at rebeccashuttleworth.com

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moment

Musician Profile

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spring spring2015 2015

Brent Calis Photo

life in the


Classical connections by Ellen Kelly

T

o Alicia Woynarski, mezzo-soprano and voice teacher, music means everything. “It means joy, love – I can reach out to people and help them escape the roughness of the world,” Woynarski says. “It’s an outlet for people who can’t express their emotions to come and listen because they can experience those emotions. That’s what opera singing really is – emotions intensified through music.” After Woynarski’s first singing lesson at age seven, she told her mother she wanted to be a singer. For the next eight years, her first voice teacher, who remains a friend and mentor, instilled the love of classical music. In high school it was clear that her career would involve singing and she studied seriously, taking theory and history exams and getting Royal Conservatory grades. In her second year of university she specialized in performance so she could sing in the operas. However, she also wanted to study the composers, many of whom came from the same areas in Europe as her parents. “It was family history that made me interested in the culture and in learning the languages. With opera, we had to study German, Italian, French and English and be able to sing in them,” says the musician, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Western University and a master of music degree in voice performance from the University of British Columbia. As a mezzo-soprano, Woynarski explains, her voice is on the lower end of the soprano range and is suitable for such roles as seductress, mother, witch or sometimes boys. (The higher soprano voices sing the love-interest roles – the Juliets.) Inspired by the work of mezzo-sopranos Frederica von Stade and Joyce DiDonato, Woynarski – whose favourite role so far is Carmen – has an extensive repertoire. “I am always striving to continue with this opera career and get into new opera houses,” says the singer, who performed with Calgary Opera in February and will make her debut with Manitoba Opera next season. People sometimes consider opera stuffy and difficult to understand but much is being done to change that. Such groups as Calgary Concert Opera and Cowtown Opera perform in English, making it accessible and fun. “Come and have an open mind and experience it,” says Woynarski. “It’s art for everyone.” She has also been giving voice lessons for the past five years and has recently opened her studio in Airdrie. Woynarski teaches the classical technique of opera singing with emphasis on alignment, posture and especially breathing, but she does cater the lessons and repertoire to the students’ interests. “I have a few students who focus on musical theatre, a few [who] focus on jazz, but [I always teach] with scales and the backing of classical technique.” As musician, performer and teacher, Woynarski wants students to be engaged with the character and how the character is feeling so there is a sense of understanding. “They need to be able to connect with the music,” she says. Ultimately, she would like her students to learn to express emotion through singing as well as learning how to create beautiful sounds. “There is a saying in Italian, “chiaro scuro,” which means the perfect balance between light and dark aspects of the voice. I would like to pass that on to students,” she says. Woynarski’s talents extend to the visual arts. She has been asked by a children’s author to illustrate his book and she likes doing portraitures for friends and family. She likes working with artists from all disciplines and hopes, one day, to work on a collaboration involving song, dance, drama and visual art on a chosen theme to present to the community. She is also the director of the Airdrie United Church choir. For Woynarski, singing provides her with an outlet, as well. “As singers and actresses we wear our emotions on our sleeves,” she says. “A lot of people struggle with their emotions and it’s a way for them to connect, which is always a good thing.”

life

spring spring 20152015| airdrielife.com | airdrielife.com2525


life in the

moment

events

Young performer at the 2014 Rotary Festival of Performing Arts

The Culture Calendar March 3 aPL hIGh SchOOL arT GaLa airdrie Public Library To launch APL’s High School Mosaic art exhibit, which runs March and April, the gala will highlight and celebrate the artwork of students from the community. Special guest speaker: artist Michelle Wiebe; performances by Georgie Girls and the George McDougall Sax Quartet. Refreshments will be served. 7-8 p.m. March 8 caLGarY OPEra’S ISIS AND THE SEVEN SCORPIONS Bert church Theatre An exciting, ancient myth, Isis and the Seven Scorpions follows three young archaeologists lost in the Egyptian desert as they unravel the ancient myth of Isis in an effort to save their professor. Immersed in the epic struggle of a distant past, they discover the healing power of ancient wisdom. Admission is $16. 2:30 p.m.

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March 11-21 aIrDrIE rOTarY FESTIVaL OF PErFOrMING arTS Bert church Theatre, Genesis Place and Grace Baptist church Daily schedule available online. Free and open to the public. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

March 14 ShaMrOcK ShIMMY FUNDraISEr Town and country centre All proceeds support Airdrie Food Bank. Cocktails at 7 p.m.; dinner and dance to follow. Silent and live auctions, 50/50, raffles, entertainment. Tickets $50 per person, available at Airdrie Food Bank or by calling 403-948-0063.

March 20 MarY WaLSh WITh SPEcIaL GUEST SharrON MaTThEWS Bert church Theatre A comedic tour-de-force featuring two of Canada’s funniest women! Canadian cultural icon, comedienne and social activist Mary Walsh will perform some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters, along with up-to-the-minute local political satire. Musical theatre comedienne Sharron Matthews will serve up her signature irreverent wit with solid gold mash-ups by pop artists. Admission is $37. 7:30 p.m. March 21 aIrDrIE rOTarY FESTIVaL OF PErFOrMING arTS ShOWcaSE Bert church Theatre Tickets are $10, available during festival week or at the door. 7 p.m.


NOSE CREEK

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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, 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) • www.nosecreekdental.ca


life in the

moment

events

2015 Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show This annual spring tradition is an excellent event at which to connect with your community; explore home and lifestyle solutions; and shop, compare, try and buy. Chances are you will meet friends and neighbours while taking in the exhibitors and entertainment. A free ARTS Show & Sale, hosted by Airdrie Regional Arts Society, runs in conjunction with the home show. Ridley Bent March 27 CALGARY CONCERT OPERA’S COSI FAN TUTTE Faith Community Baptist Church A comic opera in two acts. Advance tickets $25; $30 at the door; children under 12 free. 7 p.m. March 28 PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN FIDDLERS Bert Church Theatre Back by popular demand! A foot-stomping, toe-tapping afternoon full of good old-time fiddle music. This group plays for the people and for their love of the music. Just good old-fashioned fun! Admission $16. 2:30 p.m. April 10 APL FAMILY FUN NIGHT Airdrie Public Library Bring the whole family for giant games, cards, board games, Wii, Lego, snacks and refreshments, prizes and more. 5-8 p.m. April 11 COUSIN HARLEY Bert Church Theatre Cousin Harley is joined by Keith Picot on upright bass and Jesse Cahill on drums making an unstoppable rock ’n’ roll wrecking crew. They have a reputation for delivering everything from classic honky-tonk and cow punk rippers, to a helping of western swing and classic jump blues. Cousin Harley slugs it out in roadhouses across the land. Admission $25. 7:30 p.m.

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April 19 DUFFLEBAG THEATRE’S SNOW WHITE Bert Church Theatre Since 1992, the DuffleBag Theatre has been celebrated at festivals and schools. Actors retell the original adaptations of select fairy tales and Shakespearean classics with humour and a twist. Before your eyes, audience members join in on the action. This unpredictable performance is a hilarious experience for all ages where the dream of living a fairy tale comes true! Admission $16. 2:30 p.m. April 24 RIDLEY BENT Bert Church Theatre Ridley Bent continues to weave tales of wisdom and intrigue in his acoustic duo show with titles such as Fill Yer Boots about a truck-driving card player, and Crooked and Loaded written about a shootout with a posse of outlaws. On Wildcard the 2009 CCMA nominee and seven-time BCCMA winner’s storytelling and songwriting chops are sharper than ever. Admission $29. 7:30 p.m. April 25-26 AIRDRIE HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW Genesis Place See story this page for details.

May 1 PROVINCIAL RECITAL – AIRDRIE ROTARY FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS Grace Baptist Church Free admission. 7 p.m. (Doors open 6:30 p.m.) May 3 ANNUAL MCKEE HOMES TOUR DE AIRDRIE Genesis Place (start) The event, hosted by the Rotary Club of Airdrie in memory of Andrea Conroy, offers distances of 5.6 km, 10 km and 21 km. Details, ticket information and registration online. Early registration deadline March 31. May 29-30 Sleeping Beauty & The Beast Bert Church Theatre This comedy follows the valiant quest of the bumbling but good-hearted Prince Charmless as he attempts with all his might to save Princess Rose from the Wicked Faerie and her sleep-induced curse. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed as their favourite fairytale character. Tickets $10, $5 for children. www.nosecreekplayers.com May 29 6:30 pm May 30 3 pm & 630 pm

Features for 2015 include more than 170 exhibitors, including traditional favourites such as the Lioness home-baked pies and the Blue Grass Garden Centre Rainbow Play Centre for the kids. Visitors are sure to find a variety of exhibitors at the show, such as healthy living, travel and golf, cookware, jewelry, clothing and skin products, along with the traditional home show products and services. There are experts in bathtubs/ showers, decking, interior decor, flooring, landscaping, painting, roofing, stucco, windows, window coverings/tinting, renovating, sun rooms and much more. Be sure to take in the live entertainment on the Talent Stage between your shopping and visiting. The show is pleased to welcome back Airdrie’s own The Happy Medium, Michelle Rusnak, to the stage this year. The Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show runs Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 get in free. Door-prize draws include a $1,000 shopping spree courtesy of platinum show sponsor Canada Safeway, as well as $3,500 in cash giveaways from platinum sponsors Airdrie Dental Centre, Big Top Roofing and BMO King’s Heights.


CELEBRATE WITH US!

Festival Showcase Sat. Mar 21, 2015 7 pm Bert Church Live Theatre Provincial Recital Fri. May 1, 2015 Grace Baptist Church Tickets available at Bert Church Live Theatre or Grace Baptist Church during the week of Festival March 11-21 www.airdrierotaryfestival.org

GOLD WINNER VOTED AIRDRIE’S BEST REALTOR

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

moment

cHef

The Seal of

Creativity story and photo by Carl patzEl

Chef puts his personal flair in every dish

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W

hat started out as a simple recipe to make money slowly simmered into a seasoned love of the culinary arts for Tony Dunstan. The Red Seal chef currently stirs up his gastronomic skills at the Overtime Lounge. But this pub-food atmosphere cuisine is a long way from Dunstan’s beginnings. “I started working very young and was 13 when I started in the first restaurant. By 17 I was already second-in-command of a kitchen, and at 19 I was working at a five-star restaurant,” says the 45-year-old Dunstan. “I needed the money. You go in and do your best,” he adds.“From what I know now to what I knew then there’s 1,000 miles in between.” Many entree plates before that, the skilled culinary artist received his first taste of fine food during Sunday visits to his grandmother’s kitchen. A talented baker herself, Dunstan’s grandmother helped the chef sharpen his interest in the world of food. The elderly matriarch was in charge when it came to wearing the kitchen apron. “When we went to my grandparents’ house, it was always a communal, family event to go into the kitchen,” says Dunstan. “My grandmother was amazing at baking and my grandfather was a butcher by trade. He was an amazing cook, as well.” All were encouraged to get their hands dirty during the festive feastlike gatherings. “When they did a feast it was done to the nines,” the Airdrie chef says.“You go into the kitchen – everyone gets their hands in there. We were making homemade fudge before I was 10 years old.” It’s been a constant learning experience since those formative years for Dunstan, who, since the early 1980s, has worked as a maitre d’, chef, baker and executive chef. Initially looking on the culinary life as just a formula for paying bills, the knifeslinger slaved many years over a hot stove, steaming through the days at the Royal York Hotel in Ontario. A fortuitous meeting with a master saucier changed his attitude toward the lifestyle. “I originally did it for a job and then you find the one person [who] triggers your interest, and mine was at age 19,” says Dunstan.”(He) was old school. We wouldn’t even buy mayonnaise. Everything was from scratch – it was so much work. But he’s the one [who] sparked the interest. I wasn’t doing it as a job anymore, but as a career.” On a whim in 1996, Dunstan packed his knives and chef ’s jacket and moved to Calgary, where he worked at several eateries around the city and was then sponsored for an apprenticeship at SAIT. “I came out here on a whim and didn’t have a job,” he says.“I came out with ambition.” Now Dunstan works at elevating pub food and coming up with inventive, nutritious, tasty morsels for catered events. He marries years of recipes and knowledge to thrill the palate. “If you have individual flavours they have to all come together. I call it the‘honeymoon,’” he says.“Food is love; that’s why I use the honeymoon method.” With such signature dishes as Citrus Marinated Chicken and Beef Tenderloin Roulade with Spiced Chocolate Sauce, the man in white pushes the flavour envelope, stirring up heart-healthy, gluten-free entrees. While others just see an empty plate, Dunstan envisions a masterpiece of flavours using his daily creative juices to bring a savoury creation to the table. “I love it when I get to do black-box cooking,” he says.“You go in with a few ingredients and make something new out of it. You have no recipe, you just create items as you go. I love that. “When you get that creativity,” Dunstan adds,“it’s a unique feeling.” life

CITRUS MARINATED CHICKEN Servings: 4 12-16 chicken drumsticks 4 cloves garlic, slivered 1 tbsp dried basil 2 pinches black pepper 2 lemons 2 limes 2 oranges 125 ml canola oil Take all the fruit and remove the zest and reserve. Cut the fruit in half and grill slightly on a lightly grilled barbecue, griddle pan or pan. This accentuates the flavour. Next, squeeze the juice from all the fruit and put into a nonmetallic container or sealable bag. Add all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and seal or cover in the fridge and let marinate for 4 hours or overnight. When ready, preheat oven to 350 F. Discard marinade and put chicken on a lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven until the chicken is 72 C internal temperature. Suitable accompaniments would be buttered jasmine rice or cream pasta.

BEEF TENDERLOIN ROULADE WITH SPICED CHOCOLATE SAUCE Servings: 4 1 kg cleaned and denuded beef tenderloin 500 ml good-quality beef broth with little or no sodium 100 ml tawny port Pinch allspice Pinch cayenne 50 g semisweet chocolate Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste Reduce beef broth over low heat by half. Do the same to the port. Add together the reduced beef broth and reduced pot; while still warm, melt shaved semisweet chocolate into the liquid. Add the spices and stir to incorporate. Season the sauce with salt and pepper or to taste. Season the beef tenderloin with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 F. Preheat an oven-safe frying pan and sear the beef. Finish the beef in the oven to desired doneness. Allow rest period before slicing. This will retain natural meat juices. After the beef is sliced ladle a small amount of the broth, port and chocolate mixture onto the beef tenderloin and enjoy!

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

moment

MaKeover

B

etty is mom to three active children and works in childcare. Like many moms, she finds herself treating her family before herself. Her submission for our spring makeover was a witty breakdown of her recent weight-loss journey. Betty has lost a staggering 58 pounds over the last 18 months – completely with hard work, determination and an amazing smile. I met with Betty for her style consult and shopping spree at CrossIron Mills. We started out at Joe Fresh, an awesome store for building wardrobe basics, where you never have to compromise style for affordability. Betty has been having a hard time finding her own personal style and dressing for her new body. Having gone from a plus size, and being limited to specialty shops, to a size small is no easy feat and I wanted to help Betty celebrate this accomplishment with a few rocking new go-to outfits. We also stopped into H&M and Spring. Between these three shops we were able to piece together five looks in just less than two hours! Betty already owns a great pair of dark denim skinny jeans, so we used them as a base for a few different looks she could easily put together herself. She is a busy, active mom and we wanted her clothing to be as stylish as it is functional. Building on top of skinnies is a great look that you can easily dress up for a dinner date with your husband or dress down to run errands. I paired Betty’s skinnies with a green-plaid button-up, added a butterfly printed scarf and accessorized with some simple gold bangles (all H&M). Next, we started with a varsity-stripe top, layered it with a boyfriend denim button-up and added black skinny jeans (which have great stretch to them for extra comfort). I wanted to glam this look up a bit so I layered two sparkly statement necklaces (all from Joe Fresh). Jewelry is a really easy way to finish off your outfits. I had Betty tie this look together with black faux-suede ankle boots from Spring. Our third look was a black floral print tunic (Joe Fresh) that Betty could layer with her skinnies or a pair of leggings. I added a simple necklace and the same black boots from Spring. This is a great throw-on-and-go outfit that still has you looking pulled together.

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| spring 2015

Betty’s story by JaimEE sliFKa-butalia | photos by Kristy rEimEr


Big Day

BEFORE

spring spring2015 2015 | | airdrielife airdrielife.com airdrielife.com

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Jaimee Slifka-Butalia is a stylist and personal shopper. She is the buyer and front-runner for Gypsy Friday and Pop Up Shop and has an unwavering love for animal rescue and vintage clothing.

Makeover Partners CrossIron Mills – Fashions The Hair Lounge – Hair and makeup Nose Creek Dental – Teeth whitening

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| spring 2015


The fourth look was all about layering. Springtime in Airdrie is still chilly, so I paired a knit long-sleeved sweater with a denim jacket and the same black skinny jeans. I also added a long layered necklace to add interest to the outfit and finished off with a cute pair of brown flat ankle boots (all from H&M). This was Betty’s favourite outfit and she looked absolutely wonderful! The final look included Betty’s own skirt that she purchased after her weight loss. She loved the skirt but told me she didn’t have the courage or occasion to wear it! I thought it would be a cute layering piece to wear over top of some black leggings (Joe Fresh). I kept the look simple with a black thin-knit sweater (H&M), a blue statement necklace (Joe Fresh) and the black ankle boots. After our shopping spree Betty met with Wendy Bates-Wiebe from The Hair Lounge, where Wendy worked her magic on Betty’s naturally curly hair. Wendy lifted up Betty’s layers for more volume on the sides, so she can wash and wear in the future. We played up Betty’s beautiful twinkling blue eyes with a light purple ombre with a dark purple base hair colour. As you can see from the before photo the colour really softened Betty’s complexion. Makeup artist Krista Ho Lem worked with Wendy to finish off the transformation. Betty doesn’t wear much makeup so we wanted to give her a soft, natural everyday look. We evened out her skin tone with a medium coverage foundation and brushed natural beige over the eyes with a touch of brown shadow in the corners. We shaped in the brows and added dark brown eyeliner. We wanted to keep Betty’s lips simple and just used a neutral brownish-pink gloss. She looked stunning! Betty says that since her makeover, she has a lot more self confidence and a better idea of what clothes and styles suit her new body. She loves her new hair colour and says that as someone who hardly ever wears makeup, “It was like looking at a whole new person when I saw myself in the mirror with my transformed face – fake lashes and all!” Betty’s final makeover treat happened after the photo shoot – she was treated to a teeth whitening session at Nose Creek Dental – and now her smile is even more brilliant! Our deserving makeover winner was wonderful to meet and style. Congrats again, Betty, on all your hard work! life

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35


life in the

moment

HealthyLife

Options are

endless

M

by Anne Beaty

ost of us are quite familiar with the term “arthritis,” but don’t always know what it means. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, a condition marked by joint pain and stiffness. The two most common types are osteoarthritis (a degenerative disorder resulting from trauma, infection, repetitive strain injury, and general wear and tear, usually beginning later in life) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder that can begin at any age). Having recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my lower back, I wanted to learn more about the condition and what I can do to ensure it does not becoming debilitating. My attitude is that the more I can do to ‘take charge’ of arthritis (or any other medical condition, for that matter), the better off I will be both physically and mentally. Yoga, acupuncture, chiropractics, massage therapy, foot orthotics, hot and cold therapy, laser treatment, nutritional supplements, topical essential oils – the list is almost endless when it comes to options for arthritis treatment. And while there is no cure, there are plenty of things I can do to ease the condition and slow its progression. “It doesn’t mean that you’re sentenced to a life of pain and discomfort,” says Dr. Jacqueline Boyd, of Access Chiropractic and Wellness. Boyd, who was diagnosed with scoliosis in her 20s and has lived with spinal arthritis for many years, points to exercise as a great way keep arthritis symptoms in check – in other words, that the more you move the better off you will be. “We recommend yoga and Pilates. Motion is lotion!” she says, adding that chiropractic treatment is also valuable to assist in restoring a full range of motion. Even something as simple as adding nutritional supplements to your diet – from glucosamine and MSM to calcium, ginger and omega-3 – can help, although this is unique to the individual.“You have to kind of fine-tune it to the patient,” Boyd says. Another option is acupuncture. “I treat quite a few people with arthritis. It helps to manage the pain with arthritis and it can also slow progression,” says Stacey King, registered acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

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Through her business, A Fine Balance Health Care, King offers a wide variety of treatments. Initial treatments are focused on the particular spot where there is pain. When the acupuncture needles are inserted, it draws blood to the area to help heal and flush out the swelling. “Blood is very healing, so it does help to slow the progression,” King says. The ideal, she adds, is that after three to four once-a-week treatments, a maintenance schedule of a treatment every four to six weeks will be all that’s needed to treat symptoms. As for exercise, yoga is a good discipline for dealing with chronic pain and other health conditions, says Randelle Lusk, co-owner of Airdrie’s Blacksmith Yoga. “It helps with general relaxation,” Lusk says, adding that yoga also assists stretching and strengthening muscles and better overall alignment for bones. “It does touch the entire body, both internally and externally.” While building muscle strength, reducing pain and improving flexibility is important, yoga provides more than just a physical approach; it offers mental and emotional benefits, as well. “Yoga has helped me and other people process different traumas in their lives,” Lusk says. “It’s a real coping mechanism or coping approach. Yoga is not just a practice, but an experience, with a social aspect that can be highly beneficial. As well, it allows you to get to know your body better. “You’re learning the lost language of your body,” Lusk says. With that in mind, though, Lusk recommends a gentle start for people who haven’t been practicing yoga. “Start with something quite simple and progress into it,” she says. “Give your body some time to adjust to it.” Looking ahead, I will take my cues from these three women, their experience and expertise. For Boyd, she has never let her condition stop her from doing what she wanted to do, such as skiing and hiking. “There are so many things that you can do to make sure you’re symptom-free,” she says. “You have so much control.” And that’s a great example to live by. life

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

moment

travel

EDITOr’S NOTE: We are pleased to feature Airdrie residents who travel the world. If you have gone on an amazing adventure and want to share it with us please contact anne@frogmediainc.ca

The Pinnacle of story by dEanna huntEr | photos by rob ing

Peru MacHu

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piccHu


1

2

3

M

y husband and I love to travel. We do it as often as we can. In fact, when we got married 15 years ago we made a commitment to each other, and our newly blended family, that travel was going to be an important part of our lives. The type of travel we do has varied a lot over the years, from home exchanges to motorcycle trips. The common thread, however, is our desire to explore and have new experiences. In May 2014 we had a two-week holiday booked to visit the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. And when it was suggested we tack on a two-week adventure trip through Peru, we couldn’t resist. The Galapagos Islands were amazing. The creatures we got to see and the islands we got to explore were unreal. It’s a trip everyone should have on their bucket list. But the adventure in Peru was exceptional. We travelled with a company called G Adventures, in a small group of 13, led by our CEO (Chief Experience Officer), Freddy. The itinerary was full, with time in the Amazon rainforest, the altiplano and the Andes. The entire trip was off the beaten path and we were immersed in stories, music, food and history provided by Freddy and the local guides who joined us along the way.

The pinnacle of our Peru adventure was our four-day trek on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This was definitely a new type of travel for us. We worked out at the gym for months in advance to make sure we were fit enough for the long days of hiking. We researched what to wear and what to bring. We studied maps, blogs and forums so that we understood where we’d be camping, what altitudes we would gain and some of the ruins we’d see along the way. But nothing could have really prepared us for that most amazing adventure. Our group of 13 grew to include two university-educated guides, two cooks and 25 porters to carry everything: tents, clothes, food, chairs, tables, cooking stoves and even a portable toilet. These fellows (the oldest was 65!) would run past us in their rubber flip-flops about 20 minutes after we set out each morning. And at the end of each day they would welcome us into camp with shy smiles, a hot meal and a warm cup of coca tea. On the first day of the trek we passed though tiny villages with chicha (corn beer) shacks, mangy dogs and children playing. Occasionally we would pass locals on donkeys, heading to their homes along the trail. The countryside was lush with grass, wild orchids, hummingbirds and grazing llamas.

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

moment

travel

4

5 1. Deanna Hunter and husband Rob Ing above the clouds 2. Almost at Dead Women’s Pass 3. The spectacular Andes 4. Amazing stone engineering at Machu Picchu 5. Warm welcome into camp from the porters 6. The family at Dead Women’s Pass 7. Phuyupatamarca ruins 8. On the trail Day two was the most challenging and also the most rewarding. The morning was straight elevation gain as we climbed ancient Incan steps to Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,198 metres (13,769 feet). Breathing only about 60 per cent of the oxygen we are used to, along with the strenuous incline, meant that we needed to stop often to fill our lungs and rest our legs. The guides’ rule was that we should stop regularly to catch our breath, but never more than two minutes – for fear that we wouldn’t be able to get going again. I wasn’t about to be the dead woman in the pass, so I kept moving (and gasping), one foot in front of the other. Downhill on the afternoon of that second day turned out to be as challenging as the uphill, as we were accompanied by some rain, hail and thick clouds, making the rocks dangerously slippery. The physical challenge was huge, but success on that day was more about mental strength. Our trekking family left a little blood, a lot of sweat and a few tears in the Andes that day. Day three took us through even more beautiful scenery and ruins than the days before. We descended through what the guides called“cloud for-

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est,” trekking through some of the most stunning terrain in the world. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but the Andes are really something to behold! Sayacmarca, the Inaccessible City, and Phuyupatamarca, the Town Above the Clouds, were remarkable. At each important site we stopped to enjoy a history lesson from our guides and to eat the calorieladen snacks the cooks had prepared. The engineering work of the Incas is astonishing and is to this day still somewhat of a mystery, as the Incas did not have the wheel. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to see these places where only the locals and registered trekkers can visit. Our camp on the last day was only a short distance from Machu Picchu. Our goal was to get to the Sun Gate early in the morning so that our first view of the site was not crowded with thousands of tourists who take the bus up to the site. The last challenge of the trek was the few hundred metres up to the Sun Gate – what the locals referred to as the “Gringo Killer.” It entailed scaling a stone wall with hiking poles rendered useless and tucked under an arm. I’m glad I didn’t know about it ahead of time or I may have caught the next donkey down the mountain!


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8 And then we were there. We had arrived at the Sun Gate, looking down at Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At first glimpse it seemed no more remarkable than the other ruins we had visited over the last few days. But as we headed down the mountain, getting closer and closer to our final destination, we knew for sure that this one was indeed different. It was a sight that we will never forget. Our South American trip was everything we could ever hope for in our travels, full of exploration and adventure. And this time we made some great friendships, learned a great deal and challenged ourselves as never before. life

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life in the

moment

acHieveMents

TD Airdrie Mayor’s Night

A

of the Arts – a celebration of arts and culture

rts and culture is thriving in Airdrie so it was time to celebrate the achievements of artists and performers and the people and businesses that champion and support the arts. More than 240 guests celebrated the inaugural Mayor’s Night of the Arts at Bert Church Theatre Jan 31. The evening – organized by the Creative Airdrie Society in partnership with Airdrie Regional Arts, SLAM in Airdrie, Nose Creek Players, Airdrie Public Library, Airdrie Rotary Festival of the Performing Arts and the mayor’s of-

fice – featured a champagne reception and an awards program interspersed with live performances by regional musicians, singers and dancers. A decadent dessert reception followed. The high-energy event hosted city and provincial dignitaries, corporate sponsors, arts patrons and members of the growing Airdrie arts and culture community. airdrielife was proud to be a media sponsor of the event and we are delighted to share some of the photo highlights thanks to photographer Stewart McLeish. life

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1. Brad Fleischer (in red), recipient of the Hopewell

1

Emerging Artist award, with his bandmate and brother Ryan Fleischer.

2

2. Vitreous Glass Arts Champion recipient Glen Collin.

3. Event chair Jennifer Harbour, Mayor Peter Brown, event creator Sherry Shaw-Froggatt and stage director Caleb Cummings.

4. Qualico Youth Artist recipient Miranda Schmidt with her proud piano teacher, Lynne Dalcin.

5. Mayor Brown, FortisAlberta Professional Artist recipient Veronica Funk and Mona Bartsoff of FortisAlberta.

4

6. TD Bank’s Derrick Cresswell-Clough,

Qualico’s Linda Rutledge (recipient of the Patron of the Arts Award; Qualico was also there as a sponsor), Mayor Brown.

5

7. Juno winner and Airdrie performer Alberto San Martin.

8. Airdrie mezzo-soprano Alicia Woynarski. 9. The decadent dessert spread by Avenue Cakery & Bakeshoppe.

10. Dancer from the Alberta Ballet graduate program. 11. Johnny Summers and a member of his band. 12. Airdrie musical theatre performer Anna Low. To learn more about the awards program and nominate for the 2016 awards, visit creativeairdrie.ca

9

10

12 11

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

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As I sit in seat 28F on Flight 35 – thousands of feet above Fargo, N.D. – I keep thinking about back home, as most would. My destination is Toronto, but my heart pines to be in my living room with my family. I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions, but one is clear for me this year, and it’s an extension of a focus of mine from last year. My past was foolishly sacrificed in favour of what I thought was a better life. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, but I’ve never seen things so clearly when it comes to my wife of almost nine years and the little rugrats I call my sons. I wish dearly I had taken more time with them, and bask in every moment I have in their presence. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. I am not a smart man. I have my moments, but everything I have is because of the woman who tends to be the strong silent type to what some would call my boisterous persona. She is my balance. She’s truly an amazing woman. And while some would argue that I’ve been a man-child as long as I’ve lived in Airdrie, you should see me have epic lightsabre fights with my youngest, and how much pride I have in taking my oldest son on a tour of the house I’ve spent hours building in Minecraft. I’m 34 years old and yet, I’m somewhere in the six-to-eight range in their presence. I’ve seen how neglect can destroy families, and when I wasn’t there for my family I always feared the damage I was potentially causing. It was always done for the greater good of what I believed to be a better life. I know now that

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moment

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while it was fun while it lasted, I’m in a far better place than I could have ever expected. You can’t do anything about the past other than learn from it, and I have. I wasn’t an absent father by any stretch of the imagination, but I know I would have benefited from one less professional sacrifice and one more moment with my bloodline. Everything I do, with or without my family, has some essence of them around me. Last time I was in Toronto a few months back, I made sure to put Skype on my wife’s tablet so I could see their faces when I called home every night. A Lego CN Tower resides in the base of the actual thing, and I gushed over how much my kids would have lost their minds seeing it. And I know it’s not homesickness yet. That’s still to come. I’m not with them right now, but they’re always with me lately. I’ve said in past columns that you have to do what makes the most sense to you, what entertains you above others. For me right now, it’s family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. life

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Worth

aDvertorial feature

the

Drive

A

pple Creek Golf Course is shooting to become an overall golfing experience. Come to enjoy a relaxing day of golf just minutes north of Airdrie. Apple Creek is a magnificent way to spend the day in a tranquil setting of the outdoors and fresh air. Located just minutes north of Airdrie along Main Street and Dickson Stevenson Trail, the course is a fresh new golf attraction heading into its second full year of operation. “We’re looking forward to the new season and we welcome back our loyal followers and new golfers,” says Apple Creek general manager Bob Choma. Striving to become the apple in your golfing eye, Apple Creek challenges every level of golfers from the beginner to the low-handicap player. Apple Creek boasts an original 18-hole layout. “We don’t have the traditional back nine and front nine. They interweave with each other and by doing that you can visit the snack shack five times during your round of golf,” says Choma. “The 2,100 square foot log cabin snack shack sits right in the middle of the course, it’s very unique.” Coming in over 7,000 yards from the back tee boxes, Apple Creek will challenge long hitters but also plays forgiving from the shorter tees while offering the country atmosphere. “It’s very relaxed,” Choma says. “We have no neighbours and it is wide open. We have no developments along any of the boundaries. You may get the odd train going by or see some cattle to the north.” “The greens are on the smaller size, so you can play target golf or you have to know where to miss, but you can manoeuvre around quite easily,” he says, adding that there are plenty of challenges and water affects 16 of 18 holes, highlighted by the island tee box a par 3 on the 15th hole. Last year, more than 170 trees were planted, including 55 30-foot-plus trees, which will impact play for this season and the future. In its first season Apple Creek hosted several events, charity tournaments as well as two rounds of the Calgary amateur golf championships. With the new log cabin clubhouse, Choma says, Apple Creek is striving to become a 12-month operation able to host events, such as tournaments, weddings, parties as well as corporate and business functions. “We are now going to become a full-time entertainment centre,” he says. “Our clubhouse will be big enough to entertain functions with up to 300 people.” Apple Creek offers an attractive annual seasonal membership, starting at $1,050, as well as daily weekday green fees of $40; a driving range; men’s and ladies’ leagues; and a future practice facility.

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| spring 2015

11064 TWP Road 275 Rockyview. Just 5 min north of Airdrie on Dickson Stevenson Trail


Nose Creek Players present

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May 29 6:30 pm May 30 3 pm & 6:30 pm Bert Church LIVE Theatre

Guests young and old are encouraged to dress as their favourite fairy tale character!

Tickets $10 adult $5 child

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Saturday, March 14 6 pm

Dinner & Dance Irish Dancers Silent & Live Auctions Tickets $50 per person $375 for table of 8 All proceeds support the Airdrie Food Bank Tickets by invitation only. If you have been missed off our invitation list please contact Noo Jarvill 403.948.0063 noo@airdriefoodbank.com

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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weddingLIFE airdriE’s wEdding ExpErts haVE adViCE For you!

AIRDRIE NEWLYWEDS STACY BORYLO AND DARRAGH O’MALLEY, PHOTOGRAPHED AT THEIR 2013 WEDDING BY AIRDRIE PHOTOGRAPHER KRISTY REIMER

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Where

Memories Are Made aDvertorial feature

Brooch Bouquets

Calligraphy

Bridal brooch bouquets not only add a sparkle to your wedding day but become a keepsake that will be treasured for years to come.

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting and can be used in many ways. From addressing envelopes in a beautiful script to help set the tone of a special event to capturing a feeling or memory in a framed poem, the art form is evident.

Alongside the wedding dress, and of course the bride, a stunning brooch bouquet becomes a centrepiece of your special day. Unlike traditional hand-held flower arrangements, the sparkling brooch bouquet never dies or needs preserving and its beauty and originality will amaze family and guests. As a popular and affordable alternative to fresh flowers, these custom-designed bouquets can incorporate family heirloom jewelry representing a loved one or even photographs in mini-frames, allowing them to walk down the aisle with the bride and bridesmaids during this special event. “We can co-ordinate matching bouquets for your bridesmaids, corsages for family, and boutonnieres all in your theme, colour and within your budget,� says BerylAnne Hodgins, designer of these stunning keepsakes. These gorgeous bouquets add a special touch to any ceremony, look exquisite in wedding photographs and become an attractive head-table centrepiece during the dinner. Your bouquet is sure to become a treasured memento enjoyed long after the wedding and can be passed down to future generations.

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BerylAnne Hodgins, owner of Where Memories Are Made, is a calligrapher with more than 35 years experience available for your scribing needs. For a free consultation for either the calligraphy or brooch bouquets, contact Where Memories Are Made at 403.912.4343 or drop in to the store which is located at #3, 521-2nd Avenue SE, Airdrie (on Edmonton Trail).


AskWedd the ing Experts

Angela Mesiatowsky, Tier One Travel Q. What are the most popular destinations for weddings in 2015? A. The most popular 2015 wedding destinations are Mexico (Mayan Riviera), Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) and Jamaica. I am planning my own destination wedding in Jamaica for October 2015.

Q. What are the three top things to remember when planning a destination wedding? A. BOOK EARLY! Destination weddings are very popular. More and more couples are quite happy to skip all the fuss of planning a wedding locally and would rather hit the sun and sand with their family and friends. I recommend booking one year in advance. Check the wedding date availability at the resorts you are interested in BEFORE you book your trip. Most resorts/hotels only perform a couple of weddings per day and may be booked already. Check the local laws/requirements for the country you are getting married in. Most countries have rules about how many business days you need to be in destination prior to your wedding date. Q. Why should you work with a travel agent to book a destination wedding? A. Why not? I do all the work for you! This is my passion. I can provide all the details, answer all the questions and, most importantly, be the liaison between you and your guests and you and the resort. A travel consultant has been there, knows someone who has or has a network of contacts that can be accessed for your questions on the destination, transportation, documentation, immunizations, travel insurance and more. A travel consultant gives you personal attention. Your wedding will be tailored to your needs and interests.

I help create an experience just for you. A travel consultant provides you with peace of mind. You have an advocate you can call on for help before or during your travels. Plans change, emergencies happen, flights get cancelled, hurricanes and snowstorms happen! The biggest thing I can share with you is TRUST. Most travel consultants, myself included, are a part of ACTA – Association of Canadian Travel Agencies – and abide by a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to their clients’ best interests.

Lynn Kehoe, Cream Body & Bath Q. Can you tell me about trends in bridal lingerie for 2015? A. Bridal lingerie trends have changed over the past years. With more sleek fitted styles, unique dress designs and destination weddings, brides have many needs to address. Most popular is the strapless wedding dress and luckily there are many strapless bras from which to choose these days. Brides can choose from beautiful lace bras to a practical foam T-shirt style in variety of sizes right up to H cup. Even the most slender bride might feel the need for shape wear under

her wedding dress and the choices are endless. Some of our favourites for firm support are Spanx, the Higher Power, Boostie-Yay, and Slimmer & Shine. This year is producing many sexy styles in the bridal department, from backless to plunging-to-the-waist necklines. Lingerie is no different; women are choosing sexy lingerie that speaks of their own sense of style and individuality. Kristy Reimer, Kristy Reimer Photography Q. What can a professional photographer do for my big day? A. An experienced, reputable professional photographer will give you the confidence that your photos will be amazing! Professionals don’t hope their photos will turn out – they make sure their photos turn out by reading the light. It is very important to hire a photographer who understands light. Also, professional photographers do so much more than just photograph you on your wedding day. There is the initial consultation, the contract, gear/prop prep, timeline planning, shooting the engagement session, location scouting for the wedding day, hiring second shooters/assistants,

photographing the wedding day, culling and individually editing the photos, archiving the photos on site and off site, album design, approval, and ordering. Q. What are some of the key questions I should ask a photographer? A. When you’re meeting with a photographer, definitely make sure that she or he has backup equipment. A pro should have at least two camera bodies, if not more. Also, make sure he or she is backing up your photos in multiple places so they are safe and sound.

Q. Are engagement sessions still a trend? Why should we do one? A. Engagement sessions are super important for your photographer to learn about your relationship. As you interact, the photographer will learn if you are romantic or goofy, and what poses work best for your personalities. Also, most couples have never been photographed professionally before, so the engagement session gets out some of the nervousness of being in front of the camera before the big day.

FOR ALL OF YOUR

Unique, Stylish and Fresh Designs for Your Special Day

BRIDAL NEEDS

Your Destination Wedding Expert!

Specialty Bras, Hosiery & Garters

Angela Mesiatowsky 4-2145 Summerfield Blvd. Airdrie 403.948.4422 summerhillflorist.com

303, 191 Edwards Way Airdrie 403.945.7827

angelam@tieronetravel.com

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Ask the Wedding Experts Preet Nijjar, Studio 150 Make Up Q. What is the top trend in makeup for brides this year? A. There are two trends that I would say are on top of my list. First is soft smoky eyes with liner and soft lips. The liner can be black or brown depending upon the preference of the bride and/or the skin colour and type. For eye shadows, stick with overall warm colours. A second top trend is contouring. contouring seems to be getting very popular trend to create a perfect jawline, a properly angular nose and high cheekbones. This technique can really transform the bridal look. But be careful not to go too heavy-handed or too bold with colours. Q. Why should I hire a professional for my big day? A. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. That means you should put a lot of work into everything, and it can be very stressful. If you want everything be perfect then hire a professional makeup artist and sit, relax and enjoy your big day. A professional makeup artist will use professional products that are suitable for your skin and will make sure makeup is done properly so that it lasts thoughout the day and night. And a professional makeup artist can come to your location and get you ready – then you won’t have to stress yourself about driving back and forth on your wedding day. One less thing to worry about!

Debi MacLeod, Avenue Cakery and Bakeshoppe Q. What do I need to think about when booking a wedding cake? A. Make sure you have a realistic budget and understanding of the process that a caring bakery puts into each wedding cake. I approach every wedding cake as if it’s my own and take great care in making sure that everything – from the baking of the cake layers to the fillings and icings – is perfectly delicious. The extra hours, care and decorating involved in making a wedding cake is more than an average cake and therefore the price will reflect this. Making sure that you have as much information as possible to give to your cake maker is important, such as style or theme of your wedding and approximate guest count. Q. What’s new and trendy right now for wedding cakes? A. New and trendy for wedding cakes seems to be vintage. Today’s vintage is often romantic, simplistic in style, and back-to-basic buttercream. Lots of ruffles are popular, roses seem to have never gone out of style and using fresh flowers over sugar flowers gives a beautiful, elegant look to a simple cake. I’m also finding that some couples are opting for completely non-traditional styles and having cakes made to represent the bride and groom personally. Another style of non-traditional cake that we are getting a lot of requests for is in the gothic genre; whether it includes dark colours with deep rich designs or sugar skulls with roses, it is taking on more popularity.

Weddings

Chris McNicol, Woodside Golf Course & The Woods Restaurant & Patio Q. How should I budget for my reception? A. When budgeting for your reception, write a list of all of the costs associated and prioritize what is most important to you. The major reception costs are venue, food and liquor. Set an amount for the overall reception budget with which you are comfortable and stick to it. Your overall reception budget divided by the number of guests will determine the maximum cost per person that you can spend. Our food packages range from $30 to $38 per person, with a $1,000 room rental fee. Q. What questions should I ask my caterer when planning my menu? A. Budget is most couples’ concern when planning their weddings, so it is important to know what your caterer is including. Be sure to ask if service staff, gratuity, linens and table settings are included in your catering quote. When planning your menu, ask your caterer for suggestions for common guest preferences and if the caterer has any specialties so that you can treat your guests to a memorable experience. But remember that this day is all about you, so ensure you are working with your caterer to choose a menu that best reflects your tastes as a couple.

Colette Storm, Summerhill Florist Q. What are the floral trends for 2015? A. Floral trends are leaning towards soft pastels such as light pinks, corals, cream, whites, lavenders and light lemon yellow. Garden roses, tea roses, Lisianthus, peonies, lily of the valley, Queen Anne’s lace and ‘shabby chic’ is still in this year with a slightly Victorian look to it. Brides are loving the rustic charm of burlap but with a feminine touch such as lace in their bouquets. Adding in brooches is big this year! What we see in terms of floral design is lots of texture using unique foliage such as dusty miller, Scottish thistle, succulents, and Scabiosa pods just to name a few. This year we are seeing a shift away from the wild garden “Pinterest” look to a more stylized cascade design. Brides are preferring the elegance of this look. Q. How do I budget for wedding décor? A. The general rule of thumb is flowers should comprise 10 per cent of your total wedding budget. The average wedding cost is anywhere from $10,000$30,000 in Airdrie. So a bride should expect her budget for flowers to be in the range of $1,000-$3,000 on average. When budgeting for flowers, you always get more bang for your buck if you go with a mix of flowers as opposed to one type of flower. That way you get less expensive flowers mixed in with the more expensive flowers and your dollars go further.

Your Wedding Day shouldn’t be ordinary...

Birthdays Events

Preet Nijjar

Specialty cake orders require a min 3 month advance notice.

Airdrie 6 - 620 1st Ave 403.948.6331 Didsbury 1812 20th Street 403.518.1222

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Make Up Artist & Esthetician

Restaurant & Patioh! woodsidegc.com 525 Woodside Drive NW Airdrie

facebook.com /studio150bypreet preetnijjar123@gmail.com


spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

moment

parentlife

column

with Vanessa Peterelli

Early start is essential

W

e all know it’s important to develop good habits and pay close attention to the health of our children. Regular visits to a family doctor are a natural starting point. In addition to tracking your child’s growth and overall well-being, your family doctor will be able to identify and address any concerns, referring your child to a specialist when needed. Optical and dental health are two important areas where early routines, proactive measures and intervention also make a huge difference. Finding health practitioners with whom you can build a good relationship is important, too. (It wasn’t till my young son discovered our beloved “Dr. Shiny” that he really took an interest in caring for his teeth. Prior to that, it would not be exaggerating to describe brushing as an admission-worthy, twice-daily rodeo event!) Dr. Vicki McDermid of Airdrie Dental Studio recommends that children have their first dentist experience around age three. Usually that first visit is really just a ‘happy visit,’ McDermid says, allowing children to get comfortable, most often with a parent along. An overall check and cleaning usually takes place. Checkups every six months are recommended, unless there’s a concern, and warning signs to watch for in young children include general pain and discomfort, cold/hot pain, brown spots and resistance when you’re brushing certain areas of your child’s teeth. At age five, fluoride treatments can begin, as well as Xrays to determine progress of the six-year molars, says McDermid. By this stage, many youngsters are ready to leave their parent behind in the waiting room, which she actually recommends as children often do better on their own. Remember that young children need adult help to ensure a thorough brushing. Assisted flossing should start early, as well – ideally as soon as a child has two teeth touching. “Basically the back two teeth, top and bottom,” notes McDermid.

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For children age three and over, she recommends fluoridated toothpaste. Under this age, it’s difficult to control how much fluoride they’ll swallow. (Parents can use a small amount - less than pea-size - and just rub it on the child’s teeth and gums.) McDermid notes a rise in cavities across all age groups, which appears to be the result of a combination of factors. “No fluoride in the water, what we’re eating and drinking, and busy lifestyles play a large role,” she says.“Kids are drinking more Powerade, pop, Starbucks frappuccinos....” She’s had teenage clients with as many as 30 cavities. A parent of four, McDermid understands today’s hectic pace. “We’re all so busy, with both parents working. It’s hard to ensure a 16-year-old is flossing.” Developing healthy habits in early childhood and sticking to a regular checkup schedule really helps. Dr. Ali Moradian of Airdrie Specs Optometry recommends that infants have their first eye examination between six and nine months of age. Children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and annually after starting school. An eye exam does more than determine if your child sees well, says Moradian. It’s also a vital part of a child’s overall health, helping to address any issues early on. Signs and symptoms to watch for in children include covering one eye; tilting the head; skipping lines or losing their place while reading; and avoiding tasks that require close work. Co-ordination of a child’s eyes and their ability to work together begins to develop in infancy, he says. Vision therapy is a treatment program designed specifically to improve eye co-ordination and such conditions as strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye). Strabismus is a muscle condition in which a child’s eyes are not properly aligned with each other. It generally appears between birth and 21 months, and doesn’t resolve without treatment. In fact, it can worsen.


Amblyopia is weak or low vision in one eye as a result of an uncorrected prescription during the early years of development, or due to strabismus. The condition, says Moradian, is the leading cause of preventable vision loss. With early detection and treatment (before age six) by an optometrist, though, it will often resolve completely. We’ve all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a village to protect that child’s health, too. life

Kids sleeping poorly? Always constipated? Frequently sick? Often seem unsettled?

CALL

Drs. Jacqueline Boyd & Paul Bajor Making children (and mums & dads) healthy for the last 13 years!

Dr. Boyd: 403.945.0855 Dr. Bajor: 403.945.1349 keeping all ages healthy through gentle chiropractic care

www.AccessChiropractic.net

Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Small Classes Certified Teachers Alberta Curriculum Before and After School Care Preschool to Grade 6 204 1 Ave NE, Airdrie 403.477.3311 atlaslearningacademy.com

Math. Reading. Confidence.

Don’t take chances with your family’s health

NEW LOCATION! KUMON MATH & READING CENTRE OF AIRDRIE 9-2145 SUMMERFIELD BLVD SE AIRDRIE, AB T4B 1X5 403-912-2972 rubybulsara@ikumon.com

www.ab.bluecross.ca dental • prescription drugs • vision • travel • massage chiropractic • ambulance and more

ABC 83309 2015/01

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

Alberta Blue Cross 83309 Parenting Life Ad - 3.5”x3.125” RUN SPRING 2015

57


The LAST

20 lbs

CHALLENGE Are you stuck in a tness and diet rut? Have you been trying your best to get in shape, but have reached a plateau? It’s time to change up your routine and enter the airdrielife Last 20 lbs Challenge!

Our team of experts from Body by Nic, Simply for Life and Blacksmith Yoga will work right beside you for 12 weeks to help you reach your tness goal. airdrielife readers will follow your nal transformation and cheer you on all the way. Three contestants will each benet from more than $2000 in personal training and guidance. Winning contestant will receive an additional $1500 prize package Enter now at airdrielife.com. Deadline to qualify is March 18, 2015. Contest is open to Airdrie and area residents 18 years and older. Three contestants will be selected to compete from April 1 - June 30. Successful contestants must complete the full program and consent to full body length photography before, during, and after the competition.


community life in the 62 Savouring Success

64 awesome athletes 68 absolutely amazing


citylife

customer service

CSI Airdrie story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Sergei Belski

City staff members (left to right) Rhonda Rosko, Gayle Davies and Cheri James welcome everyone to City Hall.

W

ith Airdrie one of Alberta’s fastest-growing communities, it’s a challenge for the City to keep up with growing demand to provide customer service to an increasingly diverse base of residents, not all of whom have time to trek down to City Hall to pay their bills. One goal of the City’s Customer Service Initiative (CSI) is to provide residents with an array of choice when it comes to doing business with the City, from taxes and licences to paying bylaw fines. “As a municipality, it was important for us to recognize that there was an opportunity to extend service levels to our customers, while also recognizing [that] not every Airdrie resident works here in Airdrie,” says City IT project leader Rosaline Wood.“So how do we extend ourselves to be available to our customers when they need us, as opposed to inconveniencing them by them always having to come to our facility to pay for certain services?”

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From this perspective, the City launched a multi-year ‘e-government’ initiative, which started with an overhaul of the municipal website two years ago. “That was about transforming us as a City from being more informationally driven and department-based to being more servicebased, because we recognize our customers don’t necessarily always know which department they need to engage with,” explains Wood. In December 2014, the City launched MyAirdrie, an online tool that allows residents 24-7 access to their utility statements, and the ability to pay their bills for utilities, as well as renewing dog and business licences online.The system also allows people – including non-Airdrie residents – to pay bylaw tickets. “Our customers can access tax statements, as well … and preview their assessment notices,” says Wood.“What MyAirdrie enables customers to do is, as a result of creating an account through the City of Airdrie website, they can sign up for the individual services they choose to manage online.”


No, it’s not a crime show....

This means that if there are certain things customers are more comfortable dealing with in person, they have the choice to continue doing that. In fact, the City recently completed a renovation of its front-counter customer service area at City Hall. “It was to complement what we’re doing with online customer service,” says Wood.“We now have three customer service administrators [who] work directly at that counter and are able to assist customers who are coming in for certain permits and to pay for business and dog licences.” Expanding online services to cover some day-to-day business will allow City staff to deal with crucial requirements, without the need to expand City Hall or add additional staff.“We are certainly bursting at the seams,” says Lucy Wiwcharuk, director of Corporate Services.“As we’re putting these pieces in place, it’s allowing us to process that work more efficiently. We have been such a fast-growing municipality; we needed to be quickly changing gears to operate a mid-sized city.” Wood says that MyAirdrie will be expanding to include more online functions. For example, she says, “What will be coming is an online portal available to our larger-volume developers and builders so they can submit applications online. “Also, in early 2015 our customers will be able to apply for new business licences and dog licences [not just renew, as is the case now] within MyAirdrie,” she adds. MyAirdrie and the reconstruction of the front counter were two of 11 interconnected sub-projects under CSI that cover such issues as records management governance, payment reviews and planning permit processes, and enhancing online security. After just over a month of operation, MyAirdrie had already seen more than 1,450 payments made through the system for such things as utility bills and licences, and close to 400 businesses had registered for accounts. While Wood says it’s too early to gauge the adoption rate, a goal of 30 per cent has been set for 2015, and upcoming citizen satisfaction surveys – in particular the one for 2016 – will indicate how well the expanded online services have been accepted. Wiwcharuk and Wood also note that the hope is that more City and City-related services may eventually be brought under the MyAirdrie umbrella, such as recreation facility and program bookings. (Indeed, exploring online service options for Genesis Place is one of the 11 subprojects under the initiative.) “It’s been very favourable for us,” says Wood.“Our utilities and cashiers have done a phenomenal job of marketing [MyAirdrie] with customers.” Adds Wiwcharuk: “So far, there has been a lot of excitement. The big thing was to try and give customers a choice. You can either [access services] at home at your leisure 24-7, or we can serve you over the phone, or you can come here in person. But a lot of people in our city travel to Calgary to work and we recognize they can’t always be here during regular business hours.” life Learn more about MyAirdrie at airdrie.ca

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A flavourful life

life in the

community

MulticulturalisM

F

story by lori KuFFnEr photos by sErgEi bElsKi

or Sadhna Grover, her kitchen is her haven, where culinary creations come alive and food preparation takes on a whole new meaning. “Cooking has always been my passion,” says Grover, a retired high school economics teacher. “I learned cooking from my mother. My mother-in-law, also a wonderful cook, challenged me. And my husband, who had a specific palate, encouraged it.” Born and raised in Kanpur, the 10th largest city in India, Grover was one of six children. Her parents believed education meant job security and worked hard to ensure all their children were college-educated. Encouraged by her mother, after high school she received her teaching degree. “Being a teacher was a noble profession for a woman,” says Grover, who also earned a master’s degree in economics. She married Darshan Grover, a high school math teacher, and they had two children, daughter Rachna and son Hemant. For job opportunities, the couple moved to Kenya and eventually Botswana, where they both taught in government-funded schools. Although her teaching life offered plenty of time to cook, it was not until Grover’s retirement in 2009 that things would really take off. In 2011, her husband also retired. That same year Rachna and her husband immigrated to Calgary along with their two sons. The couple quickly fell in love with Airdrie and settled here. Sadhna and Darshan had a decision to make. Would they return to India for their retirement or join their daughter and family in Canada? The next year, wanting to watch their grandchildren grow up, they came to Canada – and they embraced their new country. One day when she was going to

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the bank someone held the door open for her, something that Sadhna had never before experienced. Another time she noted how one neighbour shovelled an older couple’s driveway. “Everyone seems to help each other here,” she says. Adjusting to the Prairie winters was new but not too terribly difficult.“Canadians have a great heating system,” she says. “Even in the coldest of days we are warm. Our stores, doctors’ offices and houses are all well-heated. The only cold we face is when we walk to the car.” Although Sadhna and Darshan helped look after their two grandsons, there was plenty of time for Sadhna to now explore her cooking, and she wanted to share it with the world. Rachna, a computer engineer, encouraged her mother to blog and helped create her website, while son-in-law Madhu, a skilled photographer, takes photos of her culinary creations. Since May 2014, Sadhna has been creating three to four new recipes a month for her blog. “When an idea comes to my mind I start writing it down in my file. I start relating something to that in my own personal life and include that in my blog as well,” she says. Her cooking also keeps the family’s culture alive for her two grandsons, who enjoy the traditional foods. (Although Sadhna cooks Indian recipes, she makes western foods, as well.) Sadhna, who has never eaten meat, is a strictly vegetarian cook. She tries to use organic ingredients as often as possible and keeps her meals to a healthy balance. Her black lentil stew is an example – it has at least as much protein as if made with beef. Since she started her blog eight months ago, it has attracted more than 6,000 hits, with viewers from 11 countries including Canada, the United States, Germany and Japan, and she is now considering writing a cookbook. Between her family and her new career, the move to Canada has been highly fulfilling, and Sadhna and her loved ones are very much at home here in Airdrie. “It is a sense of community,” she says life To check out Sadhna’s blog, visit herbsspicesandtradition.blogspot.ca

YELLOW LENTIL CREPE 250 g yellow lentils (yellow split mung beans) 2 large carrots, shredded ½ green pepper, shredded 100 g cabbage (small piece), shredded few leaves of fresh coriander, sliced 100 g cheddar cheese (optional) salt and black pepper to taste oil for roasting the crepe Rinse lentils 2-3 times and soak in a little water overnight or for 7-8 hours. Grind the soaked lentils and make a batter or thick paste with very little water in a blender. It will take 4-5 minutes to grind the lentils, depending on the blender you use. The batter should be finely ground and resemble that of thick cake. Heat a flat pan or a frying pan on medium flame; glaze the pan with a little oil. Scoop one big spoon of batter (1/3 cup) and spread evenly on the pan (should have a round shape like a pancake); sprinkle a few drops of oil on all the sides of the crepe with a teaspoon. Turn and roast the crepe on the other side in the same way; when golden on both sides take it out in a plate. (8-10 crepes can be made with this batter, depending on the size you make.) Fold crepes in half and fill with shredded vegetables and cheese. Serve with tomato ketchup and/or any other chutney of choice (e.g. homemade coconut chutney).

CARROT HALWA 2 lb grated carrots 200 g (¾ cup) sugar 200 g (¾ cup) grated khoya (a semi-solid form of milk available in Indian grocery shops in the refrigerated section) OR ½ tin (150 ml or 10 oz) condensed milk (If using condensed milk, reduce heat and adjust sugar. It may take 5-10 minutes more to evaporate the water.) 2 tbsp unsalted butter 2 tbsp sliced almonds ½ tsp green cardamom or nutmeg powder 3 tbsp raisins Boil the grated carrots in a pressure cooker for one minute after the whistle OR boil in a pot with a little water for 10-15 minutes till tender. In a wok or frying pan heat the butter on a medium flame; add carrots with sugar and stir. Wait for the water from the sugar to evaporate. Stir after every minute (it may take 8-10 minutes for the water to evaporate), then add khoya, mix well and stir for two more minutes. Add cardamom powder, sliced almonds and raisins. Decorate with some almonds and serve hot as dessert.

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life in the

community

Athletes

Rhonda Grenier with daughter Skyla

Bike, row or box.... story and photos by Britton Ledingham

Airdrie boasts incredible women in all walks of life, and the following three women exemplify “amazing” when it comes to athletics.

Now heading into their fourth and fifth seasons of racing, the racing Greniers don’t want to give up their N plates and will be back in Drummondville, Que., in July.“The plan is to go out and try to defend our titles again,” says Grenier.“I think it will be fun.”

When Rhonda Grenier’s daughter Skyla said she wanted to try BMX five years ago, Grenier hadn’t ridden a bike in well over a decade. She spent the first summer volunteering and chasing her now nine-year-old daughter around the Airdrie BMX Track of Champions. The next year, Grenier purchased her own pedals to push. “I’m quite impressed with how much I can force myself to do,” says the 35-yearold athlete. Three years into her career, Grenier has held the N1 (national No. 1) plate among 30-34 (2013) and 30-39 (2014) female cruisers for two years, while ranking first provincially and earning the AB2 (Alberta No. 2) plate last season. (Skyla has earned the N3 plate two years in a row, and an AB4 plate and a fourth-place finish in the provincial series.) “I really like doing it with (my daughter), because I know what she’s going through,” Grenier says, adding that she encourages other parents to participate.

Carly Short is carving out a name for herself in boxing. The 18-year-old 2014 Bert Church High School graduate picked up boxing two years ago, leading to a 2014 provincial gold medal and Alberta Golden Gloves title in the 55- and 57-kilogram divisions. “Boxing is an absolute art. I love it … it makes me feel unique,” says the five-foot-two fighter. Short now trains at Neutral Corner Boxing & Fitness in Calgary, while attending Mount Royal University for open studies, with the goal of a business degree. Taking a break since Golden Gloves, the young boxer added her only loss to her now 4-1 record on Jan. 17 in Calgary versus BobbiJo Lillies of Manitoba – a gold medalist from the 2014 Ringside World Championship. Short’s Alberta Golden Gloves bout is set for March 21-22 in Calgary, followed by Alberta Provincial Championships in Stony Plain

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these Airdrie athletes are rising stars April 11-12. Her current challenge has been training to become a southpaw. Short’s love of boxing has influenced her twin sister, Tawny, who trains with her every day. Now in the senior novice category, Short plans to get a few more fight’s worth of experience under her belt before moving up to the senior open category, and hopes to make nationals one day. Olivia McMurray stumbled upon her passion for rowing when she was handed a flyer at the University of Calgary about five years ago. After spending 13 years in ballet, she was looking for a new sport. “It’s kind of been a total shock that rowing has taken over my life,” says the engineering graduate. In her fourth year of competitive rowing last summer, the 21-year-old represented Canada for third place in the U23 mixed eight and fourth in pairs 1,500-metre races at the Commonwealth Rowing Regatta in Scotland. After earning bronze in the U23 women’s pairs at the 2012 nationals, followed by a top-six finish in 2013, McMurray’s 2014 finale was an 11th-place finish in senior-level pairs at the National Rowing Championships in Victoria.

Photo courtesy of Olivia McMurray

Carly Short

Olivia McMurray

“It’s a sport that’s so perfectly suited to my personality,” the George McDougall graduate says, explaining that there are no stars and everyone pulls their weight. Currently training with the Victoria City Rowing Club under former national coach Doug White, McMurray is devoting herself to her sport. “I’ve thrown everything at it, since it’s my last year [in U23],” she said. The amateur athlete is pursuing funding and a spot on the national team to represent Canada at the U23 world championships in Bulgaria in July. life

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life in the

community

Footloose

Crystal Zeemel, Boys and Girls Club events and volunteer co-ordinator, is ready to roll for the annual Race for Kids.

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Running for a Cause Some jog for exercise, while others run for sport. Many more ‘roadwork’ enthusiasts lace up just for the fun of it.

T

hen there’s the select group that combines all those attributes with a little dash of philanthropy along the way. For those wishing to exercise a little charity into their running routine, Airdrie offers several fundraising fun runs throughout the summer. Supporting a good cause can go a long way toward helping out the local community, whether it be raising awareness, sustaining recreation programs or promoting positive youth activities. Crystal Zeemel, events and volunteer coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, relies on the annual, nationwide Race for Kids event to bring in funds for the local youth organization. “Race for Kids is actually one of our biggest fundraisers, and it’s a nationwide race all over Canada on June 6,” says Zeemel. “The money goes to our summer programming and supporting our youth.” Funds go not only toward the organization’s summer day camps program, supporting outings, crafts and staffing costs, but also team wilderness programs that offer local youths a chance to participate in canoeing, white-water rafting and hiking in the mountains. “It’s really the only place for the youth to go, and there’s no [drop-in] cost for youth,”

story and photo by Carl Patzel

Zeemel says. “The centre is that safe place for them to be after school, and we also have leadership programs in the evenings to build their confidence and help them become leaders.” The 10-kilometre race offers teams of four runners a chance to not only raise funds for the B&G Club, but to incorporate costume themes and put themselves in the race for a few prizes at the windup party, too. “It’s quite interesting to see what kind of outfits our teams have,” Zeemel says.“It just shows the community support for the kids.”

The programs promote healthy activities for youths of all ages, lower registration fees for families, and Run Alberta series sanctioned 5-K and 10-K races. The Mayor’s Run draws an average of 300 to 350 participants, with that number climbing close to 1,000 for surrounding family activities. “We always say it’s a family festival atmosphere. We have the kids races at a different time than the parents races so they can watch their kids,” says Matsuba-Szucs. “We try to involve the whole family and have a good time doing it.”

Promoting recreation and a healthy lifestyle is the annual theme of the Mayor’s Recreation for Life Run and Walk sponsored by Propak Systems Ltd. Jodie Matsuba-Szucs, Air Ace Athletics president and run director, says the event has been a popular forum for assisting local causes, such as the Phase 2 and Phase 3 expansions at Genesis Place. “This is our ninth year and in the last previous eight years we’ve raised over $58,000. We’ve supported several different causes along the way,” Matsuba-Szucs says. The family-friendly event, set for June 7 and open to all ages, has also used funds for Special Olympics Airdrie and Free-For-All Fridays youth programs at Genesis Place.

Rounding out the ‘Big 3’ runs is the Rotary Club of Airdrie’s annual McKee Homes Tour de Airdrie Fun Run. The event, set this year for May 3, offering distances of 5.6 K, 10 K and 21 K, annually draws between 350 and 400 runners and has numbered more than 400 in its largest turnout during a spring snowstorm. Supporting Community Links and Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society, with an aim of ending domestic violence, the run is dedicated to Andrea Conroy, a mother and personal trainer who lost her life to domestic violence in 2012. Apart from raising awareness on domestic abuse the Tour de Airdrie run brings in between $25,000 and $30,000 for the cause. life

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life in the

community

Amazing Women

W

elcome to the fifth annual Amazing Airdrie Women feature. We at airdrielife are pleased to present to you 34 women from our community who in the eyes of their friends, colleagues and loved ones have been deemed amazing. We couldn’t agree more, especially after meeting, interviewing and photographing them. The photo shoots are always a highlight of the process for us. This year we decided to have a little fun and bring the women into Kristy Reimer’s studio. Most of them were nervous, but the second we handed them an “I’m Amazing” sign their faces lit up, they laughed, they forgot about which was their “best side” and they got to be silly. In fact the best photos came from laughter. Please read on about these amazing women and be inspired to go online to airdrielife.com and register your votes before April 1 to pick the top three finalists in each category (excluding Amazing Courage). Your votes count for 50 per cent of the decision. The other 50 per cent comes from our sponsors, editorial team and previous recipients. On May 1 at a very special luncheon we will announce the recipients in each category. We invite you to join us that day for more laughs, some tears, hugs and an absolutely amazing day celebrating amazing women. Tickets are available at airdrielife.com – Publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt

Special thanks to our Amazing Airdrie Women Awards sponsors:

Title Sponsor – Pharmasave

Luncheon Sponsor – Bank of Montreal

Amazing Courage Sponsor – Pureform Radiology

Amazing Leadership Sponsor – McKee Homes

Amazing Determination Sponsor – Hassett & Reid Law

Amazing Heart Sponsor – Pharmasave

Amazing Promise Sponsor – Airdrie Women in Business Association

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by JEnniFEr brigdEn

Amazing Courage RECIPIENT

Candy Adams A few words come to mind after talking with Candy Adams and hearing her story: strong, compassionate and – of course – courageous. The longtime Airdrie resident has raised two smart and thoughtful sons, James and Shane Adams. But on April 6, 2012, she endured the worst tragedy a parent can imagine. Her son James, then 19 years old, went into cardiac arrest after batting practice and died. “Just before he passed away, we discovered that his heart had fully recovered from the cardiac arrest, “ she says. “He was getting progressively worse because of the [resulting] trauma to the brain, due to the lack of oxygen.” If, she explained, the sports facility James had been at that day had an AED (automated external defibrillator) machine available and staff knew how to use it, he might have lived. Three weeks after her son passed away, Adams read about a 16-yearold boy who went into cardiac arrest in Edmonton – there was an AED available, but no one there knew how to use the machine. “All I could [think] about,” she says, “is that I didn’t want this to happen to another child.” Today, Adams is working hard establishing the James Tonks Memorial Foundation – a non-profit dedicated to raising money to purchase AED machines that will then be donated to schools, sports centres and organizations in partnership with the Alberta Paramedics Association. “With every donation we make, they’ve promised to walk the recipients through the steps and teach them how to use the machine,” Adams says. “The machines are actually really intuitive and with easy-to-follow instructions on what you need to do.” She has already started fundraising. The first year after James passed away, Adams’s boss gave her a week off and she organized a street hockey event in memoriam. “We live on a close and there were always street hockey games going on and James was one of the older children involved,” she explains. “Everyone grew up with each other playing street hockey in front of our house.” Adams organized the street hockey day again and said that she’d start the foundation if 100 people took part – a number she easily exceeded. She intends on making it an annual fundraising event with teams canvassing for pledges and donations. Those who know Adams are in awe of her resilience and perseverance in the face of such an unthinkable tragedy. “Candy Adams is the most exceptional woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing,” says her friend, Jocelyne Dunn. “She has surmounted incredible obstacles and overcome tremendous grief.” Adams credits her family, friends and neighbours with giving her the encouragement she needed to start the foundation. “This wouldn’t have happened without the people I have supporting me,” she says. “I wouldn’t be here without my son, my family, my friends – that’s all there is to it.”

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Karen MacDonald

Karen MacDonald is bubbly, bright and driven to succeed. upon moving to Airdrie 18 years ago, the Scotland native threw herself into volunteerism and quickly became an integral part of the community. MacDonald took a job with the Boys and Girls Club in 2001 and stayed for 11 years, eventually taking on the role of executive director. “I was heavily involved with many community initiatives and built amazing relationships that I still have today,” she says. “I know it takes good leadership [to succeed], but it takes an even better team and collaboration.” With her guidance, the Boys and Girls Club was able to open a youth centre and place two full-time staff members in the high schools and two more in elementary schools. The club also launched after-school care and programs at a middle school.

Amazing Determination

“After I resigned my position, I took the time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life … [and asked myself] what do I want to be when I grow up?” MacDonald laughs. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she started her own life coaching business, Three D Coaching, working primarily with women and girls, empowering them to put their best foot forward. She also launched a personal, more creative venture, too. Kulture Shake is an online radio and video podcast she hosts. “She empowers people,” says nominator Carmel Squires. “I’m very proud to know her and have her as a friend.”

Candice Kolson

Businesswoman, alderman, parent; Candice Kolson knows what it means to do it all. Born and raised in nearby Rocky Mountain House, Kolson has lived in Airdrie for nearly 10 years and has two children. She owns an event management business and earned a seat on Airdrie’s city council in the last election. “The way things ‘work’ has always interested me, and I felt – as a voter myself – like I would want … an accessible, transparent person I could relate to [in office]. That is a position I work very hard to fill,” she says. Kolson also oversees the Airdrie Farmers Market and has organized several local events, such as Food Truck Frenzy, Spring Fling and the Christmas Show. She loves her work – both jobs – and sees events as a fun way to bring the community together and meet one another. This determined Airdrian also strives to make the best decisions possible for the community. “She sees situations within our community that she feels need changing, or new leadership, [and] without a second thought, takes them on with all of her heart and soul,” says friend and nominator Betty Carter. Kolson credits her family and friends with the support that is key to her success, along with her own passion for the work itself. She threw herself into understanding the ins and outs of city government upon her election and has learned a great deal. “It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about the way things work, there is always an opportunity to learn more and make better decisions,” she says.

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Shilo Storey

Shilo Storey knows that home is where the heart is and the local Realtor is committed to helping her clients find the best home for their families. “Shilo has built herself from unknown to top of her field in five short years,” says her nominator and employee, Kerry Bostick. “A woman who rarely takes her eye off the ball, she works day and night and takes pride in being knowledgeable and proficient.” A Realtor since July of 2009, Storey loves what she does. “I help people with their largest investment, educat-

ing them, moving them into a new chapter of their lives,” she says. “I help to eliminate some of the stress [of moving] by guiding people with my expertise.” Having her own business is important to Storey and she strives to be a role model for the women and girls in her life. Her advice? “You are the only person in control of your life, so work hard and take life by the horns.” Known for drive and determination, Storey aims to always do the right thing and help people as often as possible. She values relationships – with her friends, family, employees and clients – above all else. “I am emotional and passionate about all I do,” she says, “And all of those [who] are close to me.”

Michelle Pirzek

so the whole family headed out to help when it was their turn.

Michelle Pirzek has a bright, sparkly personality befitting her commitment to the annual Airdrie Festival of Lights.

“It really inspired us,” she says. “It’s not just about the Festival of Lights; the event touches so many other organizations.”

The mother of two began volunteering for the event way back in 2003, only mere months after her family moved to Airdrie. “I’ve been a volunteer since I was 14 years old and I know the benefit of buying back into your community,” Pirzek says. The organization is a perfect fit for her family and touches all facets of the community. Different local organizations donate volunteer hours in exchange for a small honorarium – typically just enough to cover the costs of an activity. Her daughter was a Girl Guide,

Barbara-Mae Thorne

Losing weight can be tough, but Barbara-Mae Thorne embraced the challenge head on. “After my mom passed I remember being in the bathroom one day and looking at myself in the mirror. What had I become?” Thorne says. “I knew then it was time to take control of my life, to actually get my life back.” In April 2009 she began a weight-loss regime and by October Thorne had lost 100 pounds. She entered a fitness competition and lost another 30 pounds while preparing. Five years later, she still competes and was the proud winner of the Transformation Challenge award at the 2014 International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) competition in Calgary. “I like having a goal, a vision of how I will look on competition day,” Thorne says. “It is a lot of work, but very rewarding. For me it is not about the trophy or the medals, it is about competing against yourself.” Inspired by her journey, Thorne launched her own business, Transformation Fitness & Consulting, and is busy helping local Airdrie residents achieve their own fitness goals. “I can honestly say to my clients that I have been in their shoes,” says Thorne. “My clients motivate me. The change fitness is making in their lives is making all the difference in mine.”

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The family continued to volunteer year after year, with Pirzek and her husband, Rob, eventually joining the board of directors. “She is so amazing with the dedication and care she puts into helping the community,” says Rob. Michelle has also run a private dayhome for 20 years. She is committed to offering great care at an affordable cost. “Parents shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality care for price,” she says.

Renee Bedard

For Renee Bedard, reinvention is the name of the game. The proud mother of four girls, aged nine to 16, decided to enrol in Delmar College of Hair and Esthetics after working odd jobs for years. Bedard had always wanted to be a hair stylist, but put her goal aside for years, always putting her family and children first. “I wanted to show my daughters that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to,” she says. “Always follow your dreams.” Her girls couldn’t be more impressed. Bedard was nominated by her stepdaughter, Brooke Buxton, who has been watching proudly on the sidelines along with her sisters. “[Renee] is a strong and hard-working woman. She is always there to help when [you] need it,” Buxton says. Bedard graduated Jan. 9, 2015, and is now a certified stylist. She’s happy she took on this challenge and knows it was worth all the extra struggle to see it through to the end. “I want to set an example for my girls,” she says. “They will be women one day, and I want to raise them to be exceptional, independent and successful on whatever road they choose in life.”

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Amazing Heart

Dr. Jacqueline Boyd

Dr. Jacqueline Boyd’s career as a chiropractor was an inspired and natural choice. When she was a teenager, Boyd suffered from chronic chest infections and bronchitis and was generally unwell, complete with nearly constant sore throats, coughs and swollen glands. In university, she developed sciatica and saw a chiropractor for treatment. “I went and felt great,” she said. “My overall health improved. In fact I have not had a chest infection since. It was the change I had hoped to find. ” Boyd graduated in 1997 from Mount Allison university with a bachelor of science degree with honours in biology and as a doctor of chiropractic in 2001 from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She opened Access Chiropractic and Wellness in 2004 and her husband, Dr. Paul Bajor, also a chiropractor, later joined the practice. They’ve since opened a second location. “I am also motivated by the love of what I do,” Boyd says. “It is simple, safe, natural, gentle and effective. Chiropractic restores health and wellness by improving and restoring the body’s ability to heal.” She works closely with all clients to help them return to full health and draws inspiration from her own journey to wellness as a young woman. Her client – and nominator – Kelly Paisley is grateful for the relief he found at Access Chiropractic and Wellness. “Dr. Boyd is one of those rare finds in the medical profession who genuinely wants to help people. Today, I am living pain-free, thanks to Jacqueline,” says Paisley.

Megan Lockhart

Megan Lockhart runs a home-based barre fitness and wellness coaching business called Hello Life. With two children of her own, she works primarily with mothers looking to get fit and feel confident. “My motivation for becoming a barre instructor actually came from my fear of being in front of a crowd and being judged,” Lockhart says. “I wanted to overcome that obstacle in my life, so I signed up for instructor training and just went for it.”

Becky DeJager

Becky DeJager didn’t set out to become a preschool instructor, but after trying her hand at it she quickly realized it was a style of teaching she loved. Today, DeJager is an instructor at the Ecole Des Petits Amis (EPA) – a French immersion preschool in Airdrie. “I get to play and create every day with an amazing team and fabulous children,” she says. “I have the privilege of participating in their learning and supporting them as they grow into delightful human beings. It is truly a joy!” DeJager loves working with children and has two of her own with husband Geoff. Her daughter, in

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fact, is preparing to start preschool at Ecole Des Petits Amis. As a teacher and mother, she welcomes the chance to see the world through the students’ eyes. DeJager is part of a great team of instructors. Her boss, Jackie Astrom, has nothing but praise for DeJager and her colleagues, saying, “They bring an endless amount of positivity and caring to work each day.” In fact, the women who work at EPA are a closeknit group who love the school, their pupils and their jobs. “We each have different gifts and graces that complement each other well,” DeJager says. “I enjoy coming to work every day.”

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Fitness training and moral support go hand in hand at Hello Life. Lockhart strives to help women – nearly all new mothers – create positive goals rather than focusing only on weight loss. “Megan has one focus in life and that is to help others discover and create their passions, grow their confidence and recognize the positives in their life,” says her friend and nominator, Cheryl MacIsaac. Knowing firsthand how difficult it is to balance everything on a busy mother’s plate, Lockhart wanted to create a safe and encouraging space. The workout, she says, provides the energy her clients need to tackle an ever-growing to-do list. “As cheesy as it sounds I want them to say hello to life again,” she says.


Nicole Toovey Nicole Toovey may be a great nurse and dayhome owner, but she’s an even better mother. Toovey owns and operates a dayhome in Meadowbrook and is a practical nurse with her Level 2 ECE (Early Childhood Education). She has two daughters – Danielle and Dominique – with husband of 20 years, Kevin. Toovey was nominated for this award by her daughter Danielle, who struggles with anxiety, panic and depression.

teenager in today’s world. She wants her children to grow up to have good values, a sense of pride and be accountable for their actions. “It is hard as a mother to see your child hurt so bad and know that you can’t fix it. I would change places with (Danielle) in a heartbeat,” Nicole says. “Even with all of these challenges that she faces, though, she still takes time to be a great human being.”

“I hope to grow up just like her; she’s everything you think a mother could be,” says Danielle.

Nicole is proud of her girls and all they’ve accomplished. She will continue to lead by example and support them in every way she can as they grow and change.

Nicole is inspired to be a role model for her children and sees firsthand how tough it is to be a

“I want to look back and know I did my job to the best of my ability,” Nicole says.

Ruby Bulsara

Parents in Airdrie are probably familiar with Ruby Bulsara. She and her husband, Yazdi, own the Kumon Math & Reading Centre of Airdrie.

Bulsara works closely with parents to determine the best possible way to help each child who comes to the centre.

“I have always valued education, thanks to my parents. I know persistence is key to getting what you want in life, and education can play a major role in that,” says Bulsara.

“She is very caring and always takes time to address questions or concerns,” says parent Hirra Memon. “She is an amazing mentor for my kids.”

Students at the centre enjoy attentive, one-on-one tutoring and are guided rather than simply told answers. Learning by doing, she says, teaches students the importance of perseverance – a lesson they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Bulsara also supports Airdrie Public Library (APL) – a favourite hangout for her two children. She and her husband are founding members of the Advocates for the Airdrie Public Library, an organization dedicated to raising funds for APL operations and future expansion.

“I truly believe that through proper guidance and perseverance anyone – and I mean anyone – can achieve their goals and dreams,” she says.

“As a family, we believe in giving back to the community,” she says.

Michele Gray

“To assist those in need is a great honour,” says Michele Gray. A registered nurse, Gray works for Alberta Health Services at Home Care in Airdrie. She was inspired to undergo her nursing training 23 years ago when her father died and she saw firsthand how important the thoughtful medical care was to her family. “I love being a nurse and my true passion and calling is in palliative care,” she says. “Being able to help a client with end-of-life issues and supporting their family is such a privilege.” In 2009 a group of concerned citizens invited Gray to join in efforts to open a hospice in Airdrie. She quickly stepped up and served as vice-chairperson, then chairperson of the board. Hospices, she says, are an important need and shouldn’t be overlooked. “As a palliative-care nurse, I could see what the needs were in the community. I really wanted to make things better for people and their families at such a difficult time in their lives,” she says. All the group’s hard work paid off and the Airdrie and District Hospice Society is now a registered society with charitable status. Gray is stepping down from her leadership position this year, but is proud to have been a part of this project. “She is a role model for many, providing support direction for people who seek it,” says daughter Amanda.

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Josie Hoisington

For nearly six years, Josie Hoisington has run a day home, a business she started while homeschooling her daughter.

Liane Pinel

Liane Pinel has a big, busy life and the personality to match. Pinel wears a lot of hats: photographer, mother, digital designer, shop owner and artist. She owns a handful of small businesses in Airdrie built around her own deep spirituality, compassion and love of people. “The sparkle she has and leaves behind with anyone she meets truly shows she has an amazing heart,” says her friend, Terri Stephens. Pinel’s storefront is host to her many ventures, including The Spirit Within and Forever Keepsakes. It’s there where you’ll find her most days and where she sells crystals, incense and other spiritual items. Every day she opens her doors for anyone who wants to stop by and share their worries – and the teapot is always within reach, too. “I’m happy with a $5 incense sale if I can spend an hour with a young woman and help her get on a good path,” says Pinel. “My job is to help people and then never see them again; I want to empower them.” A talented photographer and artist, she also makes and sells a full line of keepsakes. She loves to help local residents create memorable items that will last using their own artwork, as well. “Our motto is, ‘If you think it, I can make it,’” Pinel says. “You’ve never seen [children] glow with pride the way they do when their art is on a gift they’re going to give to Mom or Dad.”

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“I made the decision to leave my job – which I loved – and take on the role of a homeschooling mom,” Hoisington says. Her daughter had been struggling in the classroom setting and stood to benefit from the change of pace. A few years later, her daughter was ready to head back into the classroom and Hoisington kept her business going. “I loved that I was able to have such a positive impact on my daughter. To see how well she did and continues to do now that she is back is so rewarding for me,” Hoisington says. Today, she takes care of six children, ranging in age from one to four, in her dayhome. Under her tutelage, the children focus on being kind to themselves and to their friends, and on early learning, creativity and play. “We celebrate when we are happy, we respect when someone is having an off day,” Hoisington says. “The kids truly love each other and that bond has really become an important part of our relationship.” While there are a lot of things she loves about her job, Hoisington cites the relationships she’s developed with the families as the very best part – a sentiment echoed by the children and parents with whom she works. “A typical day in her dayhome consists of a lot of hugs, a lot of laughter and a few dance parties,” says parent Cora Dumais. “I count my blessings daily that Josie is in my life and my children’s lives too.”


Malissa Ancell

Holly Marentette

“I love being with my family … and am lucky enough to be married to my best friend, who was also my high school sweetheart,” she says.

“She is an amazing, loving and caring friend to many people and a wonderful mother,” says her friend, Christopher Kirkwood.

Holly Marentette is doing great – and she knows it. Mom to adorable two-year-old Mina and brand new graduate of a business administration program, Marentette works hard for everything she has in her life.

Malissa Ancell is a busy bee. A stay-at-home mother with two girls, part-time babysitter for two more and outgoing salesperson, it’s a wonder Ancell has any time for herself.

It was with her daughter in mind that Marentette decided to go back to school and enrolled in classes, making time in her busy schedule. She finished her course a few months ago – ahead of schedule – and says that her daughter was the best motivation she could every find.

Ancell offers before- and after-school care for another mother during the week. She also sells Gold Canyon candles, hosts passion parties and started a leggings and apparel business called T&A with her mother last year.

“I didn’t just want to do dead-end jobs,” Marentette says. “I wanted to show my daughter that I could do it; my biggest driving force is her being proud of me.”

“She’s always there if you need her and you can always count on her,” says friend Shanel Bull.

She looks forward to hitting the job market with her newly updated resume and continuing to be a role model for her daughter. And as proud as Mina will one day be of her mother’s accomplishments, it will not compare, says Marentette, to how she feels towards her little girl.

Ancell loves living in Airdrie and gives back where possible, a sentiment she’s passed on to her daughters. Last summer, without prompting, they asked to start a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer.

“The pride that you feel as a parent – there are no words,” she says.

She has her own health issues to manage and is grateful for the support she received when she needed it most. “Without my family and friends I would have never been able to come back from my hole,” Ancell says. “I hope I, too, can be there for others.”

Dawn Fiegen

Driven by her love of family and her faith, Dawn Fiegen is a proud mother and grandmother who puts others first. “My No. 1 vocation in life is mother and grandmother to my children,” Fiegen says. Together with her husband, Robert, she has four grown children and home schools their son Creed, 12. Creed was diagnosed with both ADD/ADHD and a language-based learning disability when he was a boy. He was prescribed medication and, when the time came, was sent off to school. “He did well in kindergarten where he had plenty of resources; however, after that he basically fell between the cracks,” she explains. “He was labeled as ‘defiant’ and hated going to school.” Fiegen knew that her son wasn’t willfully eschewing rules, but rather that he was lost and that the standard school system wasn’t working for his needs, and so Creed is now benefiting from his new learning environment.

Val Reason

Val Reason is an instructor at Airdrie French immersion preschool Ecole Des Petits Amis. Native to Montreal, Reason and her family moved to Alberta in 2004 where Reason, then a stay-at-home mother with three boys, threw herself into volunteering at her sons’ school and eventually sought a job working with children. “My family is my passion,” she says. “I have always loved children and being able to work with them daily inspires me.”

“My mother is the most generous, kind-hearted, inclusive person I’ve known,” says her daughter and nominator, Bethany Palsky.

Today, Reason loves her job at the preschool and welcomes the opportunity to teach and inspire the students, helping to mould them into the amazing young individuals she knows so well.

Fiegen credits her own “loving and loyal” family for her positive attitude and parenting style. She learned a great deal about unconditional love from her own parents who supported her through her difficult teenage years.

“Going to work every day is a real pleasure. I love seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they arrive, the way they are eager to learn and the excitement they exhibit when they have mastered a new skill,” she says.

“I am incredibly grateful for the chance to simply pay it forward,” she says.

Reason couldn’t be happier with her job. Her boss, Jackie Astrom, is thrilled with her, and the rest of the team she oversees. “They demonstrate compassion and patience towards our little ones,” Astrom says.

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Rebecca Powers

Rebecca Powers is the proud owner of a thriving local business, Airdrie Community Thrift Store. “I moved to Airdrie from Calgary in 2010 and after many years of struggling to make ends meet, I was able to save a bit of money to open a successful business with the [intention] to support local charities,” Powers says. Her desire to be her own boss motivated her to open her first store. An added bonus? Being in charge gave her the freedom she needed to keep her own hours and still be home for her two daughters. “She tries so hard to provide well for her family and help support the community,” says nominator Nicole Kamke. Powers loves the ups and downs of operating her own business and is happy her experience has been successful. She wanted to build a charitable element into her stores to honour the help and support she’d received from community organizations in the past. To date, she’s donated several thousand dollars to Airdrie Food Bank to support construction projects and the children’s breakfast program. “My beliefs are such that I feel we are put on earth to help and support one another,” she says. “I gain great satisfaction through supporting my community, customers, friends and family.”

Natalie Gilkes

Natalie Gilkes is a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls and car enthusiast – both important parts of her story. Gilkes imported a Nissan Skyline from Japan in 2007 and met her husband the next year; he had the same car. When Gilkes was five months pregnant with her first daughter she was sideswiped while driving her Skyline. Luckily, the baby was fine, but both mom and vehicle weren’t so lucky.

Suzanne Restar

An urgent care nurse in Airdrie, Suzanne Restar knows how to handle herself under pressure. Restar moved to Alberta from Manitoba with her husband, Jay – also a nurse – in 2006 and took a job in urgent care services at Airdrie Regional Community Health Centre when it first opened. “Every since I was young girl, I wanted to be a nurse,” she says. “My parents had a lot of friends who were nurses. I love looking after people and making them feel better.” Today, Restar is a proud Airdrie resident and credits her job with connecting her to others in the community. Her focus on urgent care puts her in the unique position of providing the medical assistance they need in hurry.

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“I have chronic neck and upper back pain and TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders) that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life,” she says. “Most of the patients I look after are lovely and appreciate our care,” she says. Jay is impressed by his wife’s hard work and dedication to her job. He has seen for himself the passion she brings to the workplace and how involved she is in her patients’ lives. “She has taken care of different people in different situations and I believe it’s time that she [is] recognized for the nursing care she provides for the people of Airdrie,” Jay says. The Restars weren’t sure they would stay in Airdrie when they first moved here. The community won them over and they’re happy they headed west. “I love Airdrie! It’s a great place,” Suzanne says.

Gilkes’s second daughter, Mia, was born a few years later and has congenital hypotonia – a state of low muscle tone often involving reduced muscle strength. “I knew something wasn’t right from day one,” says her mother. The soft spot on Mia’s head was also very small at birth and began to fuse together when she was three months old. She’s cried nearly non-stop since then, but by all accounts is doing great, thanks to her doctors and weekly physical therapy at Alberta Children’s Hospital. “I try to stay as positive as possible for the girls and for my husband. It’s not about me anymore, but more about teaching my girls how to become strong women,” Gilkes says. Her friends and family are proud of Gilkes, having watched her tackle challenge after challenge. “She is setting a fabulous example for her growing family and at the end of the day, she still has a smile on her face, which is truly admirable,” says her neighbour, Marny Jizelle.


Gail Walding

Gail Walding is a lot of things, among them good mother and loving daughter. Last summer, looking for a new adventure, Walding quit her job, but a week later her mother – who was already living at Airdrie Bethany Care Centre and was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – was diagnosed with cancer. “My husband and I felt that we had been given a gift of time and that I would not look for employment until sometime down the road,” says Walding. “I am able to take her to all of her appointments and, most importantly, spend time with her every day.” Not working has a financial impact on the household, but with the moral support of her husband and two daughters, Walding is determined to be there for her mother throughout this journey. “My mom is the best mom a person could ask for; and the best daughter,” says Walding’s own child, Nikii. Gail cites her own loving, caring parents as motivators and says that she’s modelled her own parenting on their work and her own childhood. Being raised with strong family values, she says, helps strengthen each generation that follows, giving them the courage to navigate life’s tougher times. “I am the daughter that my mother raised,” she says, “and there is nothing amazing about what I am doing; it’s just pure love.”

Lisa Brade

A proud mom of three, Lisa Brade wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a stay-at-home mother to three children ages 11, nine and six. “I love being a mother,” Brade says. “Although it can be demanding and at times incredibly frustrating, it is by far the most rewarding job.” Brade is an active volunteer in Airdrie who is involved at Nose Creek Elementary School, volunteering in the classroom, assisting with fundraisers or helping out at special events. She also supports projects within the school to benefit local charities, such as Airdrie Food Bank. “Educating our children is not the sole responsibility of the school or of parents; it’s a partnership,” she says. The Brade family went to Mexico last Christmas on a mission trip. The experience was deeply moving for all family members and they helped in whatever way they could – even giving a pair of their own shoes to a little girl in need. “Lisa always saw the needs of others … and was a true missionary,” says her friend, Angela Mesiatowsky. “She sets a wonderful example for her children and friends.” Brade also volunteers with Next Step Ministries (Sparrow House) and helps put together baskets for women who have experienced drug addiction, trauma, abuse, sexual exploitation and/or homelessness or have been in jail. “I try to live love daily,” she says. “Love is all we have to give, and all we have to gain.”

Lynn Harris

Lynn Harris is a fixture in Airdrie. In fact, if you’ve stopped by City Hall in the past 10 years, hers is the first face you would have seen. “I was hired to greet the people of Airdrie and help them with whatever they need,” Harris explains. “I try to go the extra mile; every person who leaves City Hall should leave feeling like it was a positive experience.” Harris also loves to volunteer. From helping with her girls’ school activities and field trips when they were children to giving back at Fletcher Village, she contributes when and where she’s needed. She even helped launch a program for families in need – subsidy support for parents whose children have started school. But more important for Harris than her job or her role in the community is her family. She is mother to three grown daughters and is proud of the caring people they’ve become. “My mom goes out of her way to help people and make them smile … she has the most genuine heart you will ever come across,” says daughter Rebecca. Proving her commitment to making the most of every day, Lynn recently took a six-month leave of absence to travel throughout Europe, inspired by the memory of a good friend who passed away. “It was a life-changing experience; a lot of personal growth,” she says.

Vote FOr YOUr FaVOUrITE aMaZING aIrDrIE WOMEN aT airdrielife.com

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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Amazing Leadership

Devon Blower

Devon Blower has a big job and a busy family. Together with their three children, she and husband Brad Lescard have lived in Airdrie for six years. “Devon exudes confidence,” says her husband. “She keeps us all in check and still manages to smile every day.” Blower works as a human resources consultant for Bell Canada. No two days, she says, are ever the same when you work for a large organization that employs more than 60,000 people. “I will help people with questions about benefits … creating personal growth plans … supporting corporate security with investigations, terminations, recruitment, training of policies and performance management; and answer inquiries about employee concerns,” she says. Never one to rest on her laurels, Blower went back to school to expand her skill set and took on a volunteer position with Bell Canada to help support its charitable initiative. “It’s such an honour to be a part of an organization that gives back,” she says. Blower is also actively involved in her children’s education. She chairs the school council at her youngest daughter’s school and is the co-chair at her oldest’s high school. “I want to understand the decisions that are being made about their futures,” she says. “They start with imagination and dreams of what they want to become and I want to be a part of … [making them] come to life.”

Jayne Kirby

Originally from England, Jayne Kirby has worked in finance for almost 20 years, serving the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Kirby is a financial advisor with Edward Jones and was elected president of Airdrie Women in Business Association (AWBA) in February 2014. “AWBA captures many of the life values I think are important,” she says. “It supports women in all facets of life, allowing them to grow at their own pace and in their own context.” As part of the AWBA mandate, says Kirby, the group strives to create professional growth and community support opportunities. The association believes that non-exclusive membership will fuel business and personal growth for local women, and the city itself. “Airdrie is one of the best places to be in business and we want to play our part,” she says. Under her leadership, the organization grew a lot in 2014 and she hopes the success will continue far into the future. “I’ve been very impressed with Jayne’s leadership skills,” says AWBA member Tracy Goodbrand. “She can motivate, encourage and guide people in the direction that is needed.”

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Tammy Hnatiuk When Tammy Hnatiuk saw a need in her community she dove right in.

Hnatiuk is the volunteer head coach for the Airdrie Special Olympics swim team. She stepped up to take on the job in a time of need – the prior coach passed away – and she wanted to help make sure the team stayed together. “I couldn’t imagine the athletes not being able to continue in the program,” she says. “I love working with them, and seeing their love of swimming and their skills grow.” under Hnatiuk’s tutelage, the team has expanded from 12 athletes to more than 30. She’s helped organize tournaments and earned her place as a much-appreciated, much-loved volunteer leader in the community. She’s inspired by the athletes she coaches and puts their needs first. “It’s great to see the athletes growing and changing,” she says. “I’m happy to be able to provide the opportunity for them to learn new skills and challenge themselves.” There is no telling what will come next for Hnatiuk and her incredible team of athletes – all of whom are grateful to have Hnatiuk on their team. “She is a great inspiration to the athletes and a wonderful volunteer head coach,” says organization member Diane Smith.

Laurie Jacob-Toews

Laurie Jacob-Toews has been a part of the Airdrie community for her whole life and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I believe that ‘community’ is not just where we live, but includes all areas where we feel a connection to others,” Jacob-Toews says. She is manager of community development services at Community Links and has worked there for 11 years. She’s been involved with several different community initiatives through her role, including: the Airdrie Business Awards, the Welcoming Airdrie committee, Go Girl and Extreme FX. “Her self-sacrifice and dedication to the people of Airdrie is remarkable,” says co-worker Cal Coleman. A devoted horsewoman, Jacob-Toews is heavily involved with the Airdrie 4-H chapter and the Calgary Stampede. She is the chairperson of the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull committee and a founding member of the Draft Horse Town committee. She just finished a term as chairperson of the Calgary Stampede 4-H committee and has sat on the Calgary Stampede 4-H Parade committee for 15 years. “I truly love living in a community where we believe in working together and collaborating,” says Jacob-Toews. “We all know one another and are all trying to achieve the same goal – a healthy, connected community.”

Jacqui Jepson Jacqui Jepson has business acumen in spades. Jepson owns The Pink Wand Cleaning Services – a commercial and residential cleaning service she launched in 2008 with only a vacuum, a family van, signage and ambitions to be her own boss. Today, the business has more than 250 clients, six commercial vehicles and, Jepson says, the best staff in the business. “Being an entrepreneur is exciting,” she says. “It is amazing to watch what can be created out of an idea, hard work, showing up, commitment and good people.” She started her business as a single mother with three children. “Knowing I had to make it for a good quality of life for myself and the kids has kept me driven,” she says. And with her business thriving, Jepson looks for ways to give back to the community whenever possible, even offering cleaning services where needed free of charge – including for seniors and palliative care patients. “Jacqui has a huge heart,” says Kelly Paisley, a Pink Wand client. “She has the … ambition to keep on growing.” Jepson is also involved with a program called SMARTstart, which allows new entrepreneurs to be mentored by existing businessmen and women. She serves as a mentor and encourages other local business owners and entrepreneurs to get involved.

Vote FOr YOUr FaVOUrITE aMaZING aIrDrIE WOMEN aT airdrielife.com

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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Amazing PROMISE

Leah Wine

Leah Wine is one tough cookie. The 13-year-old loves her school and her family, and is finding her stride on a local ringette team, despite her issues with anxiety. An inexperienced skater, Wine was nervous before signing up for the team. “I was scared I wouldn’t fit in, but I tried and went from not being able to skate to skating just as good as the other girls. It made me feel like I can do it,” she explains. Her success on the team has helped her combat her performance and social anxiety. Ringette, she says, makes her feel confident. “I know I can score, I know I can pass and I know I can skate.” Wine works hard at school and is dealing with her anxiety the best way she can, leaning on friends and family when she feels overwhelmed. Her friends are a huge part of her life – as with lots of young people – and she is able to tell them anything, making her anxiety more manageable. Her mother, Lisa, is deeply proud of her daughter and all that she’s overcome. “(Leah) is so beautiful and confident, but criticizes herself and her abilities,” says Lisa. “[But] she’s a determined young woman who goes for what she wants.”

Zoe Winn

zoe Winn is determined to make a difference in the world and, at only 12 years old, she’s well on her way. The Grade 7 student is a competitive figure skater with the Airdrie Skating Club and in her spare time is a big supporter of Operation Christmas Child. She assembles as many shoeboxes as she can, filling them with items she diligently shops for throughout the rest of the year. “I have never been able to imagine how kids less fortunate than me feel and what their life is like,” Winn says. “It breaks my heart to think about. We have so many things here and some of these kids have never received a gift before.” Winn canvasses her friends and family for donations, sometimes forgoing her

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own Christmas and birthday presents in favour of shoebox items. Thanks to her own generosity and savvy shopping skills, she was able to pack 70 boxes last year. “She loves to help these kids who have so little and each item she packs in a box includes a little bit of love,” says Winn’s mother, Gina. zoe is excited for the day when she’s old enough to travel and see how initiatives such as Operation Christmas Child have an impact on children and families in less-developed nations. until then, she looks forward to e-mails and stories from recipients. “A teacher who delivered one of my shoeboxes in Costa Rica said the toothbrush and skipping rope was one of the girls favourite items,” the young woman says. “The things I pack in a shoebox really can change their life.”


Caitlin Prater-Haacke

Caitlin Prater-Haacke wants to be prime minister someday … and you’d better believe she has a real shot. Last year Prater-Haacke made waves across the country when she launched an anti-bullying campaign called Positive Post-it Day. After a cruel act of bullying took place at her school, she put Post-it notes with inspirational messages on all of the lockers – more than 800. The response was not what she expected. Prater-Haacke was pulled from class and reprimanded for making a mess. Not easily discouraged, she fought back with many of her fellow students and neighbours on her side, and Positive Post-It Day was born. “The idea – which originally came from Pinterest – was my way of combatting the negativity I found in my halls, and has become a way to show others how much we really care,” she says. On Oct. 5, 2015, youths will be encouraged to write positive messages on Postit notes and give them away, or put them in different places. Prater-Haacke is partnering with the Airdrie Bullying Awareness Program (ABAP) and Rocky View Schools to host the event. “Caitlin is amazing because she is trying to change the world, starting with her own community,” says mother Nicole Haacke. “She is the most amazing and promising kid I know.” Currently, Prater-Haacke is the chairperson of the Airdrie City Youth Council and has plans to attend university to study political science. “Only time will tell what’s next for me,” she says.

Jorden Blackwell

Dance is more than a hobby for 16-year-old Jorden Blackwell – it’s her job. “Since a young age I’ve always known I wanted to be a dancer,” Blackwell says. “Last year, my ballet teacher had told me about an audition for a summer program with the Joffrey Ballet School [in New York City].” Her interest piqued, the Airdrie teen auditioned and was quickly accepted into the summer dance classes, as well as the year-round ballet program. “This was more than I could have asked for. There was no questioning whether or not to accept, it was New York,” she says. “So many amazing dancers have come out of Joffrey and had extremely successful careers.” Dance, says Blackwell, is a young person’s career. She is focused on her goals and making sure she’s ready to seize any and all opportunities that come her way. It’s make or break in the world of performing arts, she says. “There is no guarantee; you don’t know when you’re going to get a job, you don’t know when your next paycheque will be, or if it’s sustainable,” she says. Blackwell is grateful for her parents’ support and knows how important their permission and encouragement is to her success. Throughout her years as a dancer, she’s met many other young people who, while talented, didn’t get the same chances. “We count down the days until she comes home,” says her mother, Charlotte. “But we’re so proud of the young woman she’s becoming and her dedication to her dream.”

Vote FOr YOUr FaVOUrITE aMaZING aIrDrIE WOMEN aT airdrielife.com

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

community

coluMn

Congratulations to Airdrie’s amazing women, those recognized as well as all the others who live amazing lives every day.

lifetimes

with EllEn KElly

‘Amazingness’ is relative to the situation and in this day of instant everything, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a perspective on what is really important, but four years ago, while visiting my husband in the hospital, I met a lady who altered my view of life. While at the hospital, we often escaped my husband’s tiny space and sat on one of the benches provided for hall-walkers. Mostly we discussed the state of the health care system, the dinginess of the hospital and the friendly and efficient but overworked staff. One day, we heard a woman humming as she approached our bench. Dressed in hospital scrubs, she was pushing a cart loaded with bottled water, which she was distributing to patients. Friendly and enthusiastic, she radiated joy. “How are you today? Are you thirsty? Would you like a bottle of water?”

New perspective

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“We’re fine, no thanks,” we said, but she stopped to talk. “Do you know,” she said, in her sing-song accent, “that I have the very most important job in the hospital? I am the water-bearer. In my country there is no life without water and the person who brings the water is the most important person in the village. Where I come from, we spend our lifetime searching for it. I must go now and take the water to these people.” In a sweeping movement, her arm indicated the rooms in the hallway in front of her and, continuing to hum, off she went. The whole conversation took about one minute but it had a huge impact on me. While I spent my time thinking about what I didn’t like or didn’t have, she was content with her life and what she could give back. Her service to others fed her spirit and the pleasure it gave her shone through her eyes and landed on all who met her. I envied her selflessness and the peace she conveyed. While I was complaining, this lady was doing the most important job in the world and was happily at peace with her ability to perform a service for others – a lesson in how to bloom where you are planted and in the reward of giving to others. The water-bearers of the world are truly amazing women. life

| spring 2015


home life at 92 Showy Favourites

86 Outdoor Living 94 crafting Dreams


life at

home

Neighbourhoods

For the Penmans– Allan, Mariam and daughter Lauren – King’s Heights was the perfect choice for a family home.

Kings of the Castle story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photo by Carl Patzel

L

ocated in the southeast corner of Airdrie, King’s Heights has been one of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods for close to a decade. Accessed via Yankee Valley and Kingsview boulevards, King’s Heights is promoted as being Airdrie’s “most meticulously planned” new community. Certainly for Allan and Mariam Penman, it was the perfect fit for the couple and their daughter after immigrating to Canada from Scotland in 2008. “We were landed immigrants,” recalls Mariam.“The economy was pretty bad at the time, but my husband was really fortunate to be offered a job when we landed in Toronto.” Six years ago, the opportunity arose to come out to the Calgary region.“But we didn’t want to live in Calgary … Calgary was so big and we didn’t want that,” says Mariam. (Which is

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saying something, considering the Penmans hail from Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.) “Allan worked near the airport and we thought Airdrie was the perfect choice,” she adds. “We looked online together and made a few decisions. We didn’t know much about the city, so first we rented a townhouse in King’s Heights … after a couple months, we decided we liked it, so we built a house.” Working with McKee Homes, the Penmans chose a three-bedroom plan of just under 2,000 square feet, just perfect for the couple and daughter Lauren, now 11. “Coming from Scotland, the houses here compared to the houses there … the difference is unbelievable,” says Mariam, joking that her old semi-detached home in Scotland “would fit in our garage” in Airdrie. Six years later, the Penmans have seen a lot of growth in the area. A new commercial area,

Kingsview Market, has developed just west of the neighbourhood, as has the Kingsview Business Park employment hub; plans for a new K-5 elementary school in the neighbourhood were unveiled by the province in 2014; and more builders continue to add homes to the community, including Homes By Avi, Innovations by Jayman, Shane Homes, Loreck Homes and Merge Developments. For Mariam, the appeal of the area is its proximity to amenities. Lauren figure skates at Genesis Place and Plainsmen Arena, while both Allan (who is a draftsman in oil and gas) and Mariam (who does IT support analysis) find the commute to their jobs – he in north Calgary, she in Balzac – a snap. “We wanted to find a better life and more opportunity in Canada,” says Mariam. By all accounts, it seems they have found both here in Airdrie. life


spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life at

home

renovation

Out and about with style PHOTOS BY KRISTY REIMER

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BEFORE

I

n the winter 2014 issue we featured Colin and Sheila Winn’s amazing transformation of the Airdrie home they lovingly renovated with style and panache.

What you didn’t see was just how much of the renovations actually took place on the outside as well, so we had to do a two-part feature! Here we showcase the extraordinary hard work that went into the backyard of their 1980s bungalow. With two bull terriers, the first priority when tackling the overgrown and neglected yard was a fence. Once that was completed, Colin and Sheila turned their focus to the rest of the yard, hauling boulders and patio bricks from the front driveway to the back all on their own. (They both claim to have strong backs now!) Their inspiration came from the giant fir tree; it reminded them of Banff so they incorporated large boulders into the landscaping. The most impressive task for this sunny south-facing yard, though, was creating myriad seating and conversation areas with a variety of stone, brick and wood decking. The result is an expanded, truly livable backyard escape designed for hosting parties, something they look forward to this summer. The Winns have demonstrated they have style both inside and outside of their home! life

See interior shots of the Winn renovation at airdrielife.com

spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life at

home

coluMn

gardenlife

2015 trends for indoor/ outdoor gardening G

with lisa silVa

ardening has been evolving over the past several years and there are lots of exciting new products being introduced this year, too! Products have changed to cater to today’s lifestyles to include plenty of low-maintenance and aesthetically appealing designs. Some trends have carried over from last year – such as container gardening, raised gardens, terrariums, miniature gardens and water features – and many others are making comebacks from years past. New product introductions are making gardening easier and more appealing with movements of buying locally, growing your own, eating organically and reusing. Let’s explore some of the new trends together. Vertical gardening is hugely popular as outdoor spaces are getting smaller. This is a great way to green up your space and not use a large footprint. More options for containers are available and most include a watering system. There is also the idea of reusing and repurposing by using pallets to make vertical gardens. The vertical walls can be used to grow annuals, vegetables, herbs and even indoor plants. Raised gardens and container planting still remain very popular, as these allow people to grow edibles almost anywhere. As urbanization and city living continues to increase, more people have balconies and other small spaces but still want to be able to grow their own or enjoy some greenery. Growing your own is popular because of the health benefits of growing organically and knowing where your food is from. Raised gar-

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dens are also popular because they are ergonomically designed, making gardening a time- and labour-saver. Many new styles and ideas are available, from wood boxes and reusable bags to plastic containers, pots and more. ‘Ketchup and fries’ is probably the biggest and newest trend for this year. Picture this: a tomato plant with tomatoes growing above ground while underneath, potatoes are growing on the same plant. You benefit from two crops on one plant. This idea and trend will surely expand into other veggies in the coming years. The idea is amazing in that you can grow twice as much food from one plant and it takes up less space. Spacesaving combination plants have been around for years with multi-grafted trees, but the concept is now moving into other areas. And when you harvest in late summer you have a meal preplanned for you. Bright colours have made a huge comeback and the gardening world is no exception. You will now find that many of your traditional garden pieces are brightly coloured in vibrant greens, reds, yellows, blues and more. Choose from pots, planters, furniture and decor items. Your garden is sure to draw attention and make you smile every day. Enjoy and have fun. Make sure to experiment with gardening and don’t be afraid to try something new. Gardening is meant to be an extension of our inside and show who we are. life – Lisa Silva is marketing manager with Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre


life at

home

Marramy sales consultant Jess-ann Verdone (left) and community sales manager Paula roughton welcome everyone to the company’s airdrie sales centre.

Developer profile

Make Mine a Mattamy story and photo by Carl patzEl

T

he popularity of Mattamy Homes can be measured with just a quick glance down streets of their sold-out masterplanned communities. With more than 30 years experience in the homebuilding market, Mattamy Homes has constructed more than 60,000 homes across North America. The company entered the growing Airdrie market in 2009 with the southwest community of Windsong and is now focused on its Southwinds project along Eighth Street. The last of 1,000 families moved into the completed Windsong community last November. This came as no surprise to the seasoned builder group, which did its homework before putting down basements in Airdrie. “Mattamy as a company is known for doing their market research. They knew that Airdrie was a growing city and there was a need and demand for their product,” says Nada Courtliff, Mattamy

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Homes director of sales and marketing. “One of the differences with Mattamy is the style of homes they build. They have more of an integrated garage in the home, front porches, and they do a wide lot instead of the long, narrow lot that we see so often.” The developer’s next project, Southwinds, is another master-planned community, with a selection of village homes starting at $249,990; urban townhomes ranging from $249,990 to $304,990; and double-front garage, single-family homes starting at $334,990 for 1,279-squarefoot models and rising to $499,999. Within walking distance of Chinook Winds Park, Southwinds is designed to complement the neighbouring Windsong. Existing wetlands have been integrated to intertwine with the Southwinds landscape while existing vegetation has been transplanted throughout the community. “(Mattamy community planners) did want it to be an extension of Windsong so they tried to

keep the continuity of the style of homes and the streetscapes,” says Courtliff. “There is a wetland area that we maintained and partially reconstructed [as a] feature of Southwinds. It’s the only wetlands area that has been reconstructed and kept in a community in Airdrie. That’s unique, as well.” Complementing the community with walking paths and natural park areas, Mattamy transferred more than 15 varieties of natural plant life throughout Southwinds. With that, and the addition of a newly announced K-8 school in Windsong projected to open in 2017, Courtliff expects the popularity of Mattamy Homes to continue. “We’ve been welcomed into the Airdrie market as a builder and the style of homes people have responded well to,” she says. “So we continue the similar product with some tweaks to update them, but that seems to be what people want.” life


567

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Kingsview Blvd SE

Queen Elizabeth II Hwy

Veterans Blvd

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To provide exemplary residential real estate service and solutions at all times, in all ways.

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spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life at

home

sHoWHoMes

the new showhome parade of single-family frontdrive options on cooper’s Drive is one of many new home collections within cooper’s crossing in airdrie’s southwest. offerings by trico, McKee and lifestyle Homes are just a short walk away from the new public K-4 school expected to open in fall 2016. your sneak peek at these exciting new showhomes includes lifestyle Homes’ Mossberg (top left), lifesyle Homes’ verona (top right), trico’s tremon (bottom left) and McKee’s carlingford and sperrin models (bottom right). a home in cooper’s – voted airdrie’s most popular community – says you have arrived!

ShoW Me!

TrICo

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LIfeSTyLe


Mckee

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life at

home

BuilDer profile

Gablecraft sales director Tanis Luining is pleased to show off the company’s Shoreline Villas.

Crafting a New Way to Live STORY AND PHOTO BY CARL PATZEL

C

onsidering itself the next generation of homebuilders, GableCraft Homes feels it will fit right in with the age demographic of a rapidly expanding Airdrie. Primarily a western Canadian developer with projects in B.C. and Calgary, the subsidiary of Pacific Capital Real Estate entered the Airdrie market with the unique Shoreline Villas located on Chinook Winds Place. “We’re young, with an unstoppable passion, embracing innovation and design. At GableCraft Homes we make smart decisions that make homes better,” says Tiffany Ardolino, director of marketing and sales. “The Shoreline Villas are our first development in Airdrie and we really saw a need to provide single-level, main-floor-master homes for the community.” From the street, the size of the 22-unit villas can be deceiving. Although GableCraft produces the same refined floor plan in each home, the builder offers options of a finished walkout basement, complete with two bedrooms, bath and 980-square-foot media area. Half of the units back onto walking paths and picturesque pond and include a 1,355-sq.-ft. main floor plan with master bedroom (including oversized en suite), den, 1.5 baths, and spacious kitchen and dining area. “We design thoughtful, creative floor plan layouts that make a whole lot of sense. We are fastidious in our attention to the craft and detail

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of construction,” Ardolino says. “We choose neighbourhoods that are close to everything essential and we are dedicated to beautiful park-like landscaping. At GableCraft we make small choices that deliver big.” Tucked behind Yankee Valley Boulevard, the villas start at $469,900 with the first homeowners moving in last spring. GableCraft targets a project completion date of this summer. Ardolino says that the liveable walkouts are naturally lit all day by large windows, including in both bedrooms. “All of this interior space opens onto a large elevated deck overlooking water or park space. Oversized windows allow plenty of natural light in and beautiful views from all rooms in the home,” she says, adding that a full-size front-drive two-car garage completes the main level. Currently Shoreline Villas is GableCraft’s only entry into the Airdrie market, but the company also has 600 multifamily homes under construction in the Calgary area. Ardolino says that GableCraft is definitely looking for more opportunities in the Airdrie market. “Airdrie is vibrant and a wonderful city for families; we wanted to extend that opportunity to all generations,” she says. “Shoreline Villas allow homeowners to be closer to family and friends in Airdrie while downsizing into their dream home.” life


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life at

home

coluMn

getting

You have a story to tell. Let us tell it through your marketing. Want tips to help tell your story...

real about real estate homelife with guEst Columnist matt CarrE, thE CarrE group, rE/max roCKyViEw rEal EstatE.

R Construction Underway – Move-in Ready Homes Available

eal estate and oil. Just like most everything else in Alberta, they go hand in hand. In 2014, we saw records set in many areas: the most MLS sales with 1,697; the most single-family home and condo sales with 1,290 and 407 respectively; and – most significant – the highest average sales prices for single family homes at $428,000 and the overall market at $387,000. I often get asked what the market is going to do. I have a stock answer: My crystal ball is perpetually broken. We live in a world where we get instant information and with that, things can change on a dime. Six months ago we were enjoying $100-a-barrel prices and as I write this, we are down in the $40s. Since our economy is dependent on oil, how will this affect the real estate market? The first thing we have seen is a rise in inventory. On Jan. 1, 2015, Airdrie had 170 active MLS listings. At the end of January, that number was 290. While we always see a spike in new listings after the holidays, generally it is not this many. However, the month ended with a similar number of MLS sales as in January last year, which is positive especially considering January 2014 was a strong month. The bad news is that it looks as if we will have a significant decrease in average sales price, but there were a lot of condos sold so the product mix certainly brought the average price down. I certainly see a slowdown compared to 2014, but I personally believe that Airdrie

®

®

®

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is in a great position to weather the storm. We’re one of the fastest growing communities in Alberta, if not the fastest. Part of the reason we grow at a rate of 12 people a day – with half of those people coming from Calgary – is because we have everything we need right here. However, we are still a more affordable city than Calgary. In fact the typical home in Airdrie is approximately $130,000 cheaper than our neighbour to the south. My belief is we will continue to see more and more Calgarians move to our city because they can offer their families more for a lot less money and still have a reasonable drive to work. All this being said, only time will tell. But as I said earlier … my crystal ball is broken! life – Homelife is a new column in airdrielife. Each issue a local realtor will discuss the Airdrie real estate market and provide his or her own advice and opinions.

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www.bluegrassnursery.com :: 403.226.0468 :: South of CrossIron Mills in Balzac spring 2015 | airdrielife.com

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life in the

community

Column

D lifestyles

with Kim Purvis

esign trends. They’re like fashion trends – they make you feel current one day, and eventually they’re also the ‘looks’ that you regret; the ones that even make you hide the photo evidence! Permed hair, shagcarpet walls, and baby-blue tubs all started out as exciting design trends! While we might not be able to predict what we’ll regret design-wise, we can mitigate the risk by making smart decisions on when to embrace a trend and when to admire from afar. Make your big-ticket purchases – such as cabinets, flooring, tile and furniture – using good old-fashioned sense: look for good quality, practicality, classic style and affordability. Save the trends for accessories and things that are easily changeable as the mood prompts. Here are my current favourite design trends that are easy, inexpensive and sure to make a beautiful impact on your home’s trendiness. Geometrics. They’re a classic, simple and easy way to add some fun to a room. Geometrics are fabulous in rugs, drapes, pillows and wallpaper. Dramatic accent walls in black or dark navy. Imagine a neutral room with a black wall – it makes all the light colours pop! Especially beautiful behind a headboard. Fun hardware. It’s so easy to change out hardware on an old dresser, desk or even a closet door. Anthropologie and Pier 1 Imports are great stores to pick up some cute knobs to dress up all your cabinetry. Brass. Don’t be kicking yourself that you didn’t save all your parents’ light fixtures and doorknobs from their great home renovation circa 1999 … it’s different now. The brass is more distressed and works well in industrial fixtures and smaller furniture, such as coffee tables. White walls. Crisp, bright and fresh, white walls are the perfect blank canvas to introduce all of YOUR personality and style. Trends are fun and are often what draws us to a picture in a magazine or a store in the mall, but what makes a room beautiful or an outfit fabulous is attention to the classics with a trendy twist. life – Decorator Kim Purvis, owner of Aurora Decor, is pursuing her lifelong passion of creating beautiful home spaces

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KATHY Anderson

REALTOR速

403.969.2347

cell

403.266.7154 direct kathya@cirrealty.ca www.mouse2house.ca

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Communi�es Bayside Estates by Genesis featuring Reidbuilt Homes & McKee Homes Coopers Crossing featuring McKee Homes, Vesta Homes & Lifestyle Homes Estates at Coopers Crossing featuring Crystal Creek Homes & Harder Homes Hillcrest featuring Shane Homes King’s Heights featuring Innova�ons by �ayman & Shane Homes Pier 11 Bayside featuring Crystal Creek Homes & McKee Homes Ravenswood featuring McKee Homes Southwinds featuring Ma�amy Homes Williamstown featuring Vesta

�ul���amily Developments Brookside at Bayspring by Merge Shoreline Villas by Gablecra� Homes Stonekeep by Merge The Chateaux by Cove Proper�es Zen by Avalon

Check out more than 30 showhomes in Airdrie!

Use this handy reference map to find the showhome parades adver�sed in this issue. indicates single family homes

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indicates mul��family homes

airdrielife.com


work life at 104 Women’s Work

108 Smart Business 112 award Winning


life at

work

column

businesslife

with Kent Rupert

Leaders make a difference

E

very once in a while in a community you will get business owners or leaders who will make a difference, not only to their organizations but to the community and to all the lives that they have touched. In the last few months we lost two of these great Airdrie leaders, John Stringle and Dick Buchanan. Both of these gentlemen will be known for many different things they have contributed to Airdrie and the people here. The Airdrie business community and I will feel the loss. Many of you may have known John as the manager of the TD Bank for many years and a regular throughout our business community. Dick had been the owner of Air-Alta Insurance and was instrumental in starting Airdrie’s first Chamber of Commerce, along with helping the community get its first ambulance. Both men spent selfless hours giving back and mentoring staff and clients, because of the strong relationships they had built. Over the years, I had the opportunity to spend many hours over many cups of coffee talking to both men about what they loved doing, why they thought it was important to give back and the importance of passing on to others what you know and have learned.

If you ask any of our business leaders why they get involved, almost all of them will say:“Because it is the right thing to do.”

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Airdrie has a fantastic business community and you continuously hear how local business owners will help each other. The vibrancy and growth of our community also allows for them to get involved in numerous ways, whether it is in supporting local business clubs, our growing arts community, sporting clubs or youth organizations. If you ask any of our business leaders why they get involved, almost all of them will say: “Because it is the right thing to do.” In 2014 we saw many new local leaders step up and support a ‘made in Airdrie, for Airdrie’ entrepreneurial program called SMARTstart. This program took 19 new entrepreneurs through online training that taught them how to start and build a business. It was exciting to see these entrepreneurs finish the program, but also inspiring how 16 successful Airdrie business leaders stepped up and offered their time and years of knowledge to help these individual entrepreneurs move a step closer to becoming successful in their own businesses. So as we not only recognize those great business leaders who are no longer with us but also appreciate those who continuously give back to make Airdrie a better place to live and work, I challenge you to ask yourself what you are doing to make Airdrie a better place. We all have something to share and to give back to this great community we call home. Whether you are a business owner or resident, think of those you have respected and admired most over the years and why you admired them. Both John and Dick gave so much to this community, and for that I would like to say thank you. life

| spring 2015


aDvertorial feature

2015

health Challenge a six-week health and wellness initiative The health Challenge is back again this year to determine the most active and healthiest community. during the six-week challenge from March 16 to April 26, individuals will be engaging in easy activities for healthy eating, active living, mental wellness and social wellbeing, with the support of education, local community events and partnerships. each participant who signs up will be asked to join a community within the two participating PCNs (Airdrie, Beiseker, Carstairs, Cremona, CrossďŹ eld, didsbury, Irricana, olds and Sundre). even if you do not live in one of the participating communities, you can pick a community to support and come on board.

How can I register? you can register online at myhealthchallenge.ca beginning Monday, feb. 23. fill in the registration form and remember to choose your community. After you complete the registration, you will immediately receive a message in your e-mail that the registration was successful, and a link, which will be your access point to your individual online health Challenge portal.

How can I earn points? everyday activities are worth points – points for you, your team and your community. Points can be logged at any time during the day through your online health Challenge portal, then tallied and displayed weekly.

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life at

work

Non-traditional

Sharon Big Bull

Kathleen Closs Walroth

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Kurtis Kristianson and Sergei Belski

Forging ahead Sharon Big Bull Sharon Big Bull says that being an electrician is almost a glamorous trade. “Not only do you make things look pretty – you bring things to life,” Big Bull says. It certainly makes for a change from her previous experience doing snow removal and landscaping – or from accounting, which she attempted for a while before deciding paperwork wasn’t for her. “I’ve always worked with my hands,” says the mother of two who started out working in husband and electrician Adam Roberts’ company. “I worked with him off and on in the field and started my apprenticeship,” Big Bull says. After her youngest entered school full time, she signed up for pre-employment at SAIT, and was hired straight out of the program. Now in her fourth year of school, Big Bull is a year away from achieving journeyman status and, after spending three years working for a company handling residential and commercial electrical, she’s with Strike (energy services), focusing on industrial electrical.

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“My goal was to get my fingers into different places – that’s how you learn,” Big Bull says, adding that she’s worked with Strike in both Calgary and Crossfield. “I love my job. Not only do I get to use my hands and build, but I’ve learned so much,” she says.“It’s something to look at a space and know what goes into it … [it’s] not as simple as flicking a switch.” Industrial electrical work requires Big Bull to be at the top of her game.“It’s a lot bigger … more safeties, more hazardous,” she says.“In industrial you have to stop, assess and look out for your people.” Being a woman in a male-dominated field has never felt like much of a barrier for Big Bull.“Sometimes it’s intimidating for a lot of women … but if you’re willing to do it, why not?” she says. “The sky’s the limit. If you’re interested in something, go for it.” Kathleen Closs Walroth Kathleen Closs Walroth was already blazing a new trail back in the 1980s when she completed her welding apprenticeship, and again in the mid-2000s when she shifted to the world of workplace safety. In


Airdrie’s amazing women can be found in all walks of life – including careers where as recently as 20 years ago women rarely ventured. Here are three examples of local women blazing new trails.

Crystal Janulis

2013, Closs Walroth established Keep It Real Safety, which works with construction, manufacturing and oil-and-gas clients. “I grew up in the military,” Closs Walroth recalls. After her dad retired, her family settled in Fort McMurray and she started taking business administration at Keyano College, but it just didn’t seem like the right path. “I wanted to do something where I could make the type of money males made and use my hands and build,” she says. With that in mind, she took a pre-employment program at Keyano and found work in Airdrie. After years in the welding trade, Closs Walroth desired to move into workplace safety. She took a career transitions course at Bow Valley College in 2007 and soon found herself hired by Propak, where she became a safety assistant. She also worked for the Alberta Construction Safety Association. In December 2013, she branched out and started Keep It Real. Her first client was Airdrie’s McKee Homes, and with the company’s support and through getting involved in the SMARTstart entrepreneur-mentorship program, she’s continued to grow her business. “One thing that motivates me is working with youth, getting people before they get into the workforce,” Closs Walroth says, citing a statistic from the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada that a record 188 people died on Alberta job sites in 2013. “This right here is what I can help companies avoid,” she says.“The approach I use is very respectful. I remember how people treated me in my

apprenticeship and I vowed if I ever had a [chance] to motivate, educate, train, mentor, I’d do it with the utmost dignity and respect. “My goal is to help get people home at the end of the day,” she adds. Crystal Janulis Her friends call her “Zamboni.” That’s because Crystal Janulis has many a hockey fan’s dream job – operating Ron Ebbesen Arena’s laser-guided ice-resurfacing machine. Its proper name is the Olympia IceBear, but everyone calls it the Zamboni. “I’ve always been a people person – working with the public and not sitting at a desk,” says Janulis, who worked in her mom’s cleaning business in Airdrie before joining the City of Airdrie five years ago, the last couple of years working on the Olympia to make sure the arena’s rinks are smooth as glass for the many teams and clubs that use the facility.“There are kids who always freak out – ‘The Zamboni’s here!’ – and sometimes they chase me down the boards and wave at me,” she laughs. Janulis loves being in a job not traditionally associated with women; she worked her way up to the operator job after starting out as a rink attendant while taking classes through Bow Valley College. She’s one of three employees who operate the ice-resurfacers. “The first time I tried [driving the Olympia], the ice looked like a zebra,” she recalls.“I love this job, and I can see myself doing this for many years! “Some of my friends are calling me ‘Zamboni’ now, instead of Crystal.” life

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global Industry

Going with the flow T story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photoS by Sergei Belski

ransCanada’s Airdrie service centre has been one of the backbones of the Calgary-based company’s pipeline operations for many years. At first glance, the facility at 1401 Veterans Blvd. NE almost looks like a college campus, but then you get into the large machine shops and service bays, where skilled workers maintain much of the equipment needed to keep gas flowing through the pipelines that snake through Alberta – including maintaining such behemoths as the General Electric LM1600 turbine that looks as if it belongs on a Saturn V headed for the moon. “This facility was built in 1984; back then, we were Nova and we merged with TransCanada in 1998,” says Trevor Georgsen, pipeline manager for the Rocky Mountain Region (RMR), which covers most of Alberta south of Edmonton, plus a chunk of southeastern B.C. “Out of this facility, we provide support for four AOIs [areas of influence] – Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Brooks and SABC [Southern Alberta-B.C.]. We do major-equipment repairs, minor overhauls on the LM1600 jets, the RB211s by Rolls-Royce, and we have a dry-seal shop which is very specialized for our compressors.” Approximately 55 to 60 people work out of the Airdrie facility, which also provides offices for TransCanada’s director of field operations for RMR and its community and aboriginal liaison, Georgsen says. And employees don’t just work on Alberta-based equipment – TransCanada’s operations stretch into Eastern Canada and as far south as Mexico. “We’ve done [major-equipment repair] for Great Lakes, TQM [Trans-Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline] and facilities we have in the States,” Georgsen says.

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Watch Airdrie Now TV for the video interview with Trevor Georgsen. airdrielife.com

TransCanada’s Trevor Georgsen is excited to be working out of the company’s Airdrie location.

Over the last 31 years, the Airdrie location has served TransCanada well, he adds. “It’s good because it has more regional access,” says Georgsen.“We still have quite a few ties with downtown [head office] and that works well for our region in being able to access our engineering and specialized guys downtown to help us out with projects and if equipment needs repair.” Georgsen will have been with the company for 26 years come May, having spent 19 years in Hanna before relocating to Airdrie in June 2008, and he says that the company has provided many career advancement opportunities. “I started as an operator trainee and progressed through the control stream,” he says, adding that he continued to rise through the ranks and in August 2014 was promoted to pipeline manager for RMR. “It’s been awesome to come here to Airdrie,” says Georgsen, who has three sons, the youngest of whom plays for the Thunder junior B hockey team. He says he’s noticed the rapid growth in Airdrie, even just over the past six or seven years. “You go out of here at 4 or 5 p.m. onto Veterans Boulevard and it’s busy – Airdrie has its own mini-rush hour now!” he laughs.

When TransCanada’s Airdrie staff members aren’t working on pulldown compressors, dry seals, jet engines, impellers and other highly technical equipment needed to get resources from point A to point B, they can be found actively engaged in the community. “A big one for us is Stephen’s Backpacks,” Georgsen says of the charity that delivers backpacks full of items to children in need across the province. To help the organization make its deliveries, TransCanada donated a truck in 2013, and employees across RMR have supported the cause. TransCanada has also supported such programs as Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society, Airdrie Food Bank and Community Links.“We’re going to be bringing all employees from RMR here in March for a team-building event at the curling club, and we’ll buy some sliders to donate to the junior program there, too,” adds Georgsen, noting that TransCanada has community action team members who work in each AOI to facilitate local donations and other supports. “It’s very nice to work for a company that does great stuff in the community,” he says. life

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Saturday, April 25 & Sunday, April 26

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DINE for a

DIFFERENCE April 18, 2015 6 PM Town & Country Centre

Tickets $50

Join us for a trip down

Bourbon Street at our New Orleans themed Gala and support the Boys & Girls Club of Airdrie

Tickets at info@bgcairdrie.com or 403.948.3331

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B:403.948.4420 C:403.830.7071

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. ©2015 Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. 45808(01/2015)

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business women

Behind many of Airdrie’s amazing businesses are amazing women.

AWBA president Jayne Kirby sees making connections as an important part of what local business women want from the association.

Last fall, for the first time, all four winners of the Airdrie Business Awards were female. And according to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, between 2001 and 2011 the number of self-employed women jumped by 23 per cent, compared to 14 per cent for men. The Airdrie Women in Business Association (AWBA) is riding the wave, providing its members with access to networking, support and business-growth opportunities. “We’re here to promote, inspire and support women in business,” says AWBA president Jayne Kirby, a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Members range from small-business entrepreneurs to those working for large corporations. Through its partnerships with the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce and Airdrie Economic Development and involvement in such programs as SMARTstart and Go Girl, the association promotes personal and professional development, community support, business growth and community awareness of women in business. “Something like SMARTstart might give them more hard business skills … we offer the more personal as well as professional support,” says Kirby. “Women talk about things in different ways than men do … talking through

Airdrie Women Mean Business story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photo by Sergei Belski

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things is how we process information and how we come to make decisions. So to have a group of women who have been there before, or are in a similar place, is valuable.” AWBA has undergone some changes since Kirby – who came to Airdrie two years ago from Victoria – became president, including revamping terms for its directors allowing better continuity and planning, and rejigging membership terms. There are currently about 40 members, but the number fluctuates, Kirby says. AWBA vice-president Michelle Watson, transportation manager for the Wal-Mart Perishable Distribution Centre in Balzac, joined a year ago, and she enjoys the fact that AWBA is not an exclusive club. “We have everyone from homebased to professional women,” Watson says. “We want to do business with everyone within Airdrie … we don’t want to exclude anybody.” Watson strives to promote careers for women in the supply chain industry. “I’m a woman in a male-dominated industry and I do a lot of speaking in high schools to draw attention to young girls to think about careers in supply chain,” she says, adding that AWBA offers valuable networking opportunities for its members. “You never know where those connections will lead you.” With Airdrie’s population growing by about 5,500 a year, Kirby says, AWBA is ready to support the many women who are coming here looking for business opportunities. “They want to make connections,” she says. “Women are a lot more active in business and their communities than they used to be.” life

• Mortgage Insurance • Life Insurance • Corporate Insurance • Group Insurance • Custom Healthcare Plans • Healthcare Spending Accounts • Travel Insurance

Wendy Potter

T: 403.912.4395 C:403.969.5190 wendyp@dhcadmin.com Unit #8, 620 1st Ave. NW Airdrie, Alberta, T4B 2R3 www.dhcadmin.com 1.877.912.4395

FOr MOrE INFOrMaTION about AWBA, which meets the first Tuesday of every month, visit airdriewomen.ca or call 403-948-3292.

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WinninG eDGe

For Pink Wand owner Jacqui Jepson (right), seen here with manager Michelle coderre, hard work and determination have spelled success.

Self-Maid Woman story by alEx FrazEr-harrison photo by sErgEi bElsKi

F

or Jacqui Jepson, establishing her own cleaning business involved hard work, determination … and eBay. In 2008, Jepson established The Pink Wand Cleaning Services Ltd., and over the years has grown the business into a 30-strong cohort of professional cleaners who work with residential, commercial and homebuilder clients from Calgary to Crossfield. Its growth was one of the reasons Pink Wand received the Winning Edge Award at the 2014 Airdrie Business Awards. “I’d always wanted to be an entrepreneur and at the same time I wanted to work around my kids’ schedule,” she says.“I started with a vacuum I bought off eBay and I’d carry it around and just go by myself to houses. But then I started networking and finding [other] moms that wanted to work around their kids’ schedules.” Pink Wand works with a mixture of commercial, residential and construction clients. For example, when a builder completes a new home, Jepson’s staff help make things tidy for the new residents. Now a highly successful businesswoman, Jepson says that she didn’t plan to start a cleaning business. In fact, she took fashion design in college. “But it was something I knew,” she says. “I was a homemaker and

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enjoyed looking after the house and having a clean home.” With today’s busy lifestyles – both at work and at play – many people don’t have time (or energy) to run a vacuum over the floor once a week, so they appreciate having access to a service like this, Jepson says. “People will easily spend X amount of dollars on a dinner out and not think twice about it, but they’ll be concerned about giving themselves the gift of a clean house,” she says. “But once they get it, they often ask, ‘Why didn’t I get it before?’” Among the 250 residential clients served by Jepson’s team are many seniors. “They become like part of the family and [my staff members] enjoy their visits,” she says. “One of my longest-term clients I cleaned for until the day she passed away … we built a forever friendship,” Jepson adds.“Just before she had to leave for the nursing home, she said, ‘What you do has meant so much for me.’ It kind of puts everything in perspective.” Pink Wand sponsors Airdrie’s new SMARTstart entrepreneur mentorship and business-education program, and Jepson is happy to help up-and-coming businesspeople get established. “It’s great to see such young, fresh ideas and be able to offer support,” she says. life


ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

Steeldust Design Services Custom Website & App Design & Development

Proud to be the AWBA Webmaster!

Tracy Goodbrand steeldustdesigns.com 403.608.8665 tracy@steeldustdesigns.com

Krista Shewchuk Lead Stylist

kristashewchuk@hotmail.com

403.478.1541 This Q&A page is dedicated to members of the Airdrie Women in Business Association. Meet members in every issue of airdrielife. AWBA members can advertise here for as little as $75 a month. E-mail sherry@frogmediainc.ca for more information. Learn more about Airdrie Women in Business at airdriewomen.com Krista Shewhuck, Stella & Dot Q. What is new in accessories for 2015? A. Our spring line has launched and it is by far one of our best! We offer so many versatile pieces that easily go from day to night, work to play, casual to glam. We have expanded our collection of great personalized jewelry that helps you to express your style and also makes great gifts. Our spring collection offers so many pieces that give a pop of colour to your wardrobe. We are featuring lots of pieces that are constructed with mixed media and they really help you to stand out in a crowd. Our pieces can be worn with solid colours or even prints and stripes, so they are really easy to wear with the wardrobe that you already have in your closet. Jayne Kirby, Edward Jones Q. I don’t have a retirement plan in place. How can a financial advisor help me get prepared? A. A financial advisor is a licensed professional who helps both individuals and businesses understand their needs and then implement a tailored

solution. From retirement planning to brokerage advice to tax planning, financial advisors can help clients in every phase of their financial lives. Many people are not aware of how a tax-free savings account (TFSA), an RRSP or any other tax-sheltered plan can help them reach their financial goals faster. A financial advisor will undertake a thorough assessment of your whole situation and help you come up with a manageable plan to save for your financial goals. Your financial advisor will work with you to develop a plan that is right for you and will explain the choices to you throughout the whole process. The choice of investments must be suited to your risk tolerance, your objectives and your unique circumstances. By working with a professional you will come up with a plan that is tailored to your needs and goals.

stelladot.com/sites/kristashewchuk

THE COFFEE’S ON ME

You’re Invited... to join us for a cup of coffee and conversation at our next Coffee Club where we share ideas about current events, finances and investing. When: 9:30 am -10:30 am Thursdays in March & April Where: Edward Jones 107 400 Main Street NE

Jayne Kirby, Financial Advisor 403.948.3292

Airdrie

Tracy Goodbrand, Steeldust Designs Q. What are the elements of a good website design? A. Design of a website encompasses all the visual elements and should reflect you and your business. Use two appropriate colours, with a third used sparingly to highlight important content. The layout needs to be clean and uncluttered for easy readability. The navigation should be clear and easy to use, leading a viewer quickly to the information required. Quality images visually communicate your messages. Impress your viewers with relevant content wrapped up in a great design.

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life

Last look

Say Ahhh…. The Alberta foothills are magical all year long and no two sunsets are anything alike. We are lucky to live in an area where chinooks form and storms build with regularity; it’s a photographer’s dream. My favourite time to go out is an hour before sunset until an hour after and just let the sky do the rest. This image was photographed 20 minutes after sunset just west of Airdrie at Dewitt’s Pond. Settings: 5DMkIII, 16-35 lens, 1/60sec at 3.5f, 640iso, hand-held - – Kurtis Kristianson, spindriftphotography.com

 Have an image you think is worthy of a last look? Send it to sherry@frogmediainc.ca

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ICONIC. ICONIC.

spring 2015

We believe in building homes that are handed down from one generation to the next. It’s why we design sophisticated, livable interior spaces, adorn them with dramatic, timeless exteriors, and craft each and every one with cutting-edge materials and technologies.

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Profile for airdrielife magazine

airdrielife spring 2015  

The spring 2015 issue explores the good life in Airdrie!

airdrielife spring 2015  

The spring 2015 issue explores the good life in Airdrie!