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WINTER 2016/17

Taden Ty

THE BROTHERS RATTIE and a city full of HEROES Farm-to-table

dining Leaving a


Airdrians now have their own Community Foundation

The house that love built Airdrie Festival of Lights Guide


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Seline Badel-Wong, Melanie Beingessner, Sergei Belski, Sara Chamberlain, Ayesha Clough, Charlene Codio, Rafael Codio, Nancy Critchley, Alex Fraser-Harrison, Erin Heck, Sherry Jenkins, Kurtis Kristianson, Britton Ledingham, Amber Lowe, Dark Mass Photography, Melody McClain, Vanessa Peterelli, Kristy Reimer, Kent Rupert, Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Wyatt Tremblay, Meghan West


Wendy Pratt

PRINTING Transcontinental DISTRIBUTION Sharie Tanner CONTACT US EDITORIAL ADVERTISING WHERE TO FIND US airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. If you do not receive an issue please contact airdrielife is also available at more than 100 locations around the city. You can also find airdrielife in every showhome in the city, Cross Iron Mills 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.


ISSN 1916-355X

Contents copyright 2016 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.

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

WINTER 2016/17 |


Look for this icon throughout the magazine

editor’s note I

am writing my editor’s note on a patio overlooking the Brisbane River, in Brisbane, Australia. And while I am far from home geographically, the internet keeps me in the loop of everything happening at home. My favourite part of working from here is that my emails back to Airdrie all come from the future. Being 16 hours ahead made for fun email conversations with this issue’s collaborators. The future of Airdrie is very much on my mind. Economic Development is working on a 10-year strategy, 2017 is an election year, and this city needs to stay ahead of the curve and show initiative and backbone on everything from instituting blue bins to building the desperately needed new space for the library and preparing our city for a future population of 100,000. (Yes, really!) As our city grows so does the opportunity to share even more stories with you. This issue is always a fave because we get to focus on people who have incredible stories of courage, commitment, creativity, passion and spirit. From the brave little Kaley Biggar to the exhausting energy of Ian Aman, it is a privilege to share these stories. How many heroes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Ask the Airdrie Festival of Lights – they are able to glow this year because so many people in the community stepped forward to help restring and re-bulb all the displays. Thousands of volunteer hours were involved. Every one of those people is a glowing hero to me! Anne Beaty, our former editor (who retired in early 2016), loved the hero theme. Anne passed away suddenly this past September and the shock is still there for me. I keep wanting to drop her an email about an idea or person we should profile and then my fingers hover over the keyboard, lost. Anne was a story hero; she worked behind the scenes for seven years with airdrielife and almost twice that with the Airdrie Echo newspaper. She was passionate about literacy and loved her job at the library. Her passing is felt very deeply by everyone involved in this magazine as well as in our community. I am pleased to announce that airdrielife is launching a scholarship fund for Airdrie high school journalism students in 2017, in Anne’s memory. To heroes big and small, airdrielife is proud to share your stories and in light of world events and politics near and far, we ask for one simple thing: be kind. It will make you a hero in someone’s eyes, guaranteed.

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Editor and Publisher

8 | WINTER 2016/17

This issue of airdrielife is dedicated to the memory of Anne Beaty, 1958 – 2016


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FrOnT-GaRaGe HoMe | WINTER 2016/17

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the 88 On Cover

Oh brother! Ty and Taden Rattie talk hockey and family PHOTO BY BRITTON LEDINGHAM

SLICE OF LIFE 16 Turning Wood 21 Making Some Noise 24 Farm-to-Table Delights 28 Community Kitchen 30 AMNA Finalists 38 Progress Report 40 Malissa’s Moment

HOME LIFE 50 Built with Love 56 Parks in Play 58 ReidBuilt Loves Airdrie 60 Showhome Parade 62 Showhome Map

WORK LIFE 66 We are Airdrie 68 Poultry Science 71 Best of Airdrie Business 72 Starting Smarter

LOCAL LIFE 78 Super Heroes 80 Legacy Foundation 81 Heroes Big and Small 90 Mother’s Milk 92 All in the Family



24 | WINTER 2016/17

32 Events 43 Petlife 44 Parentlife 46 Healthylife 63 Homelife 67 Businesslife 70 Financiallife

WINTER 2016/17 |






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slice of life W H AT T O S E E , D O , E AT, L I ST E N T O A N D M O R E

Turning Wood 16 • Farm to Table 24 • Progress Report 38



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“You can take a piece of wood, and in a couple of hours, you can make something that looks so different from when you first picked it up”


d Auston and his wife, Kim, sit in their backyard at a patio table arrayed with a display of colourful wooden items spun on his lathe. There are finely crafted bowls of various sizes; some functional, and some simply unique works of art. There is also an assortment of goblets, some with long, delicate stems that might have been lifted from the set of Game of Thrones. Ed is a woodturner, or a “turner,” as those in the craft refer to themselves. “You can take a piece of wood, and in a couple of hours, you can make something that looks so different from when you first picked it up.” The Austons and their two daughters arrived in Airdrie from the Yukon in 1994. “We figured it was time for a change,” Ed says. Kim is originally from Calgary, but Ed, a member of the indigenous Tlingit people, was born in the Yukon. His business name is Tthay Natal, which is also his indigenous name, and means Eagle Soaring. Ed’s ties to the North run deep; there’s even a mountain named after his father, who was a wilderness outfitter. A Level B welder, Ed has worked for various companies, but hadn’t experimented with wood until 2001, when his wife gave him a small lathe for Christmas. “He’s always hard to buy for,” Kim explains, “but he just took off from there, and started making magic with it.” Ed signed up for a workshop at the Black Forest Wood Company in Calgary, and it was there that he learned to use turning tools. The first thing he made was a “rickety bowl” from African Padauk, an exotic, orange-tinged wood. “Once I started doing this, I began to look at firewood differently,” says Ed, laughing. He then began making bowls and goblets out of maple, cherry and other woods, “spinning them out” as fast as he could, filling the

Auston house “with thousands of pieces,” and giving them to his children and friends. He doesn’t use stain, but finishes each one with beeswax to enhance the natural hue of the wood. A year ago, Ed’s daughters suggested he sell his work at local craft markets. “It started out as a hobby, you know, just getting ready for retirement,” he jokes. They’ve had success with Market Collective in Calgary, Kim says, who acts as Ed’s business manager, but they hope to feature more in Airdrie this Christmas. “Last year was our first market,” she says. “We sold a lot, especially practical things like rolling pins.” Ed is also a member of the Calgary Woodturners Guild. The group meets in the Black Forest shop and he says it’s been helpful to share ideas and designs with other turners. “Woodturning is a lot of copying from turners that have already done their stuff,” he says, adding that there’s only so much you can do on a lathe that looks different from someone else’s work. Ed has tried his hand at design, making a small bowl from the dark, swirling grain of Mexican cocobolo wood. He remembers that as he shaped the inside of the bowl, a distinctive design appeared in the wood. “It’s one of my favourites,” Ed says. “When I look at a piece of wood, I don’t always know what I’m going to get. Something like that just came out of it.” Besides buying a larger lathe, the artist has also been experimenting with making spoons and tables. Still, turning is what he enjoys the most. “There’s really no limit to what you can make.” life For more about Ed Auston’s work, visit Tthay Natal on Facebook

WINTER 2016/17 |



Every year around this time, we bring in a broad range of trending fall  fashions that we feel Airdrians and Calgarians will love. There’s something for everyone at our store, whether you’re looking for everyday wear, formal wear, or just something cozy and comfortable to wear around the house. We are also expanding our menswear section all the time with great men's gifts, new performance underwear lines, and quality dress shirts. This holiday season we are offering our largest selection of unique gifts ever! If you’re looking for that “Where did you get this?” type of gift, we’ve got you covered. Avoid busy malls and crazy parking lots, drop by The Store Upstairs/ Airdrie Pharmasave today, your one stop holiday gift shop!

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WINTER 2016/17 |



“The sheer energy that these guys had was something to see. The drummer was jumping right out of his chair.”

irdrie’s annual original songwriting contest, SLAM on AIR, is attracting talent from outside the community, says organizer and SLAM (Supporting Local Area Musicians) marketing director, Steve Gilliss. “We opened it up, and this year we had bands from Edmonton and Lethbridge.” SLAM now has advocates in other cities, Gilliss says, “spreading the word about what we’re doing here.” There were 33 submissions, the largest since the contest began in 2012. “There were so many different genres of music,” says Gilliss, “and when (the finalists) played at Bert Church and supported each and connected with each other, that’s what it’s all about more than who wins.” The format was “switched up” this year, Gilliss explains. Participants submitted a YouTube video, from which six contestants were chosen by online judges Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, formerly of Guns N’ Roses; Nick Catanese, formerly of the Black Label Society; Sean Kelly, guitarist for Nelly Furtado and Lee Aaron; and Donnie Frizzell, a U.S.- based concert promoter. “The feedback we got from these judges was incredible. They were literally floored at some of the talent,” says Gilliss. The six finalists – Flaysher, Savage Playground, Xander Nils, Kieran Clarke, Steve Jevne and The Martin Project – performed live in front of more than 150 people at Bert Church Theatre in September before a judging panel of Richard Harrow, Ralph Boyd Johnson and Bryan Taylor, all industry professionals from Calgary. Prizes included three hours’ worth of mentorship with Ron Thal and Nick Catanese, cash, a spotlight on AIR 106.1 FM, and a profile on Discover Airdrie. Edmonton’s ’70s-’80s hard-rock band Savage Playground head-banged their way to top spot this year. While there wasn’t much separation in points between the contestants, Gilliss says, it was Savage Playground’s stage presence that made the difference. “The sheer

22 | WINTER 2016/17

energy that these guys had was something to see. The drummer was jumping right out of his chair.” Josh Hughes, 18, and his brother Ryley, 19, formed Savage Playground three years ago, and attribute their stage presence to producer Lita Ford. They met Ford, formerly of the all-female American rock band The Runaways, by chance while staying at the same hotel in Las Vegas. The brothers persuaded her into listening to the band’s first EP. “She said, ‘This is great guys, but you need to be produced,’” says Josh, who plays drums and sings. Ryley, who plays lead guitar and sings, pens most of the songs, but the music is also a collaborative process with the other band members, rhythm guitarist Daniel Martin and bassist Patrick Miskiman. The band has since worked with Ford where she lives in Los Angeles, and the experience has been “mind blowing,” says Josh. “It’s so much different from just going into a studio and recording. You work with great people, and from that comes this professional vibe,” he adds. SLAM on AIR was another one of those incredible experiences that has shaped them as a band, say its members. “Airdrie is this small town, but how often do you get a chance to play for these seasoned musicians and get their feedback on lyrics, song structure, all that kind of stuff,” Ryley says. “For SLAM to do that, for the people of Airdrie to make that happen, it’s awesome.” Savage Playground’s members plan to stay connected with the musicians they met during the competition, and perhaps collaborate on a project. Which is what Gilliss says the contest is really about. “These bands want to grow and make music, and doing something like this, where they can connect with each other and with industry professionals, in Airdrie, creates such a great opportunity for them,” he says. life

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Fine food without the


Executive Chef Jason Barton-Browne preps homemade pasta


24 | WINTER 2016/17

Restaurant owner Hoan Nguyen


century-old door greets every guest who comes to Hayloft in Airdrie. Its gorgeous wood panels and inlaid glass diamonds have been lovingly restored by restaurant owner Hoan Nguyen (pronounced Haan Nuwin). And like everything in this charming eatery, there’s a story behind it. “When I bought it, it was covered in six layers of white paint,” says Nguyen (who also goes by James). It took him two weeks of painstaking work to sand down and detail the 1900s door, which came from a home in Crescent Heights. The seller had tried to restore it herself, but soon gave up. Not Nguyen. “It was blood, sweat and tears – quite literally,” he says with a weary laugh. The former teacher from Calgary has filled his new space with local treasures: a vintage record player; a bar built from an old barn door; an Empire oven scavenged from a butcher shop in Crossfield. Renowned Calgary food critic John Gilchrist describes the look as “nouveau agrarian.” Others call it “barnyard chic” or “refined rustic” with its loft ceilings, exposed wood beams and industrial lighting. WINTER 2016/17 |



Seasonal Fare

The food philosophy at Hayloft is to evolve with the seasons, says restaurant owner Hoan Nguyen. “The further we get into the depths of winter, the more we will rely on pulses, grains and root vegetables.” Homemade fresh pastas continue to play a strong role on the menu. There’s also a focus on slow cooking methods, producing comfort food favourites such as the braised beef brisket.

“From cowboy hats to baseball caps, we want everyone to feel comfortable here” Decor aside, Gilchrist gives the food his blessing, declaring that Hayloft is “worth the trek” to Airdrie, even for a discerning Calgary clientele. No stranger to serving Calgary’s “men in suits,” Executive Chef Jason Barton-Browne can throw it down with the best of them. Take an entrée like seared tuna. Barton-Browne pairs succulent slices of albacore tuna with grilled apricots and diced summer squash. It’s then delicately arranged on a plate piped with green swirls of mint pea purée. At a recent Sunday brunch, two poached eggs jiggle delightfully as the server lowers a plate of eggs benny onto the table. They are cloaked in a glistening hollandaise, and perched perfectly on locally sourced bacon and a fresh-baked buttermilk biscuit. A side of hand-cut hash browns and homemade ketchup complete the offering. Barton-Browne is a heavy-hitter from Calgary’s competitive culinary scene. Starting as a butcher at River Café, he went on to the Boxwood Café and worked his way up to being head chef at Teatro, one of Calgary’s top fine dining spots. How did Nguyen manage to lure him away to Airdrie? “It was easier than he thought,” says Barton-Browne. The former globetrotting chef now has a little daughter and lives on a farm in Crossfield, where his wife is a passionate beekeeper. He loves having free rein over the kitchen, which embodies his guiding principles of “guest experience, quality ingredients and social responsibility.” Take something as simple as a plate of fish-and-chips.

26 | WINTER 2016/17

Recipe for Hayloft’s popular Beef Bolognese

“We choose ling cod, which is sustainable,” Barton-Browne explains. The potatoes are organic and come from Strathmore. “It would be a lot easier to buy fries [from a wholesale distributor], instead of peeling, blanching, frying – all that takes time and effort. And in a restaurant, time is money.” Barton-Browne’s Bolognese alone takes three days to make, so it’s no can of Catelli. He sources as much meat and produce from local farms and families – including Casey’s Heirloom Tomatoes of Airdrie (run by a teacher at George McDougall), pork from Bear and the Flower Farm in Irricana, and greens from Blue Mountain Biodynamic Farms in Carstairs. The breads, pastries, pasta – all are made in house. While Barton-Browne no longer spends five to seven minutes on plating (as he did at Teatro), every dish is beautifully and thoughtfully presented. The challenge is to serve high-end food in Airdrie without the eye-watering Calgary prices. “No more corporate accounts. It’s people coming who most likely had to pay a babysitter,” says Nguyen. “So we’re all about the good food – just not froufrou-ey,” he adds. “From cowboy hats to baseball caps, we want everyone to feel comfortable here.” Hayloft backs onto 8th Street, a block south of Sobeys, with access from the inner courtyard of the condo complex. It’s open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday, with brunch service on weekends. life

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Let’s get

Cooking! in the

Airdrie Rotary Community Kitchen at the Airdrie Food Bank

Thinking Holidays?

There is something for everyone this season with opportunities to make homemade edible gifts, share traditions and even participate in a bake-a-thon to take the stress out of holiday treats!

Planning Ahead Family Friendly Freezer Meals: Let’s roll up our sleeves together to stock up on popular family dishes! Participants will prepare a selection of dishes to take away. Crock Pot 101: Triumph over busy schedules by making dinner a breeze! Crowd pleasing recipes to make ahead will be featured.


Expanding Your Horizons Hands-On Homemade: Using simple recipes to make alternatives to some grocery store favourites! Participants will take home hummus, granola and energy balls. Pie Making 101: Come for a relaxed introduction to pastry and pie making using classic recipes for apple pie and chicken pot pie. Participants will take home one sweet and one savoury pie to freeze and enjoy at their convenience. Gather at the Table: Come together with others in the community through a love of food to share a recipe or food skill that will be put to use preparing a meal for the group to enjoy together.

Classes & workshops are scheduled and added on an ongoing basis; check out the community kitchen calendar to see start dates and what’s new! Follow us on Instagram!

28 | WINTER 2016/17

airdrielife recently caught up with Meghan West, who joined the Airdrie Food Bank team this past summer as co-ordinator of the Airdrie Rotary Community Kitchen. “I am so grateful for the unique opportunity to weave together my passions for creative programming, food accessibility and healthy eating,” says West, who has a master’s degree in education from the University of Victoria and an undergraduate degree in nutrition from the University of Guelph. West explains the Community Kitchen was developed to enable Airdrie Food Bank to extend its services beyond emergency-only support, by empowering community members and clients through kitchen programs that not only build food skills, but strengthen support networks. “My hope, and the hope of the Airdrie Food Bank team, is that the Community Kitchen Programs will inspire the community to come together to celebrate cooking and connection,” says West. “Building skills and sharing meals in the kitchen are an opportunity not only to make new friendships, but also to reconnect and do something new with an old friend.” life

“I love this recipe because it is so versatile. The oat-banana base gives you a hearty start to add your favourite flavours if you feel like experimenting. Sweeteners can be swapped out to make them vegan, and choosing certified gluten-free ingredients gives you a gluten-free cookie! “ – Meghan West

OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped 2 large ripe bananas, mashed 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp or 2 pinches salt 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 3 cups large-flake oats 1/3 cup applesauce 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp vanilla 1/3 cup strawberry jam (optional) Preheat oven to 325 F. Chop dates and set aside. Mash bananas and set aside. Combine oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and coconut in a large mixing bowl. Combine applesauce, honey and vanilla into a small bowl. Add bananas and wet ingredients into the large bowl with the oats; gently stir until combined. Fold in chopped dates and jam (if using). Pack the dough tightly into a large ice cream scoop or spoon out in lemon-sized balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then press down gently.

Yes, we can update his glasses. (The sweater is your problem!)

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Remove and let cool on the cookie sheets completely before moving. Cookies will keep best if stored in the fridge. Eat within a week. Makes 8 large cookies

101-120 2nd Ave NE 403.912.0999 WINTER 2016/17 |





Emma Gallaher Mitchell George The Martin Project


Lynne Dalcin Vernon Gray Jordan Harris


Erin Brekke-Conn Lia Golemba Robin McKittrick Wyatt Tremblay


Air 106.1 airdrielife magazine TD Canada Trust


Lee-Anne Ducharme Kusuhara Katherine Funk Michelle Orsten VITREOUS GLASS CHAMPION OF THE ARTS


Amanda Fusaro-Smith Deanna Hunter Jay Stoudt



he adjudicators had a big job. That’s the verdict after reviewing 39 nominations for the 2017 TD Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts. Five adjudicators from outside Airdrie included representatives from ACAD and the Calgary Philharmonic. Adjudicator and actor Tania Sablatash was moved by the quality of nominations. “What a gift each nominee brings with them…. The nominees represented in this competition are the cream of your city.” The finalists themselves are a very humble lot, echoing much of the same sentiment as cartoonist Wyatt Tremblay: “To be singled out from among so many talented people is humbling, but also inspiring.”

30 | WINTER 2016/17

Airdrie talent is evident in the variety of musicians, visual artists, actors, filmmakers and champions of the arts represented, as well as – new to the awards this year – arts educators. “As a teacher, your validation usually comes from the amazing music and moments of learning that you create with your kids. Being nominated for this award, with such an esteemed group of individuals, is truly an honour,” says high school band teacher Jordan Harris. The recipients will be announced at a gala awards evening in January at Bert Church Theatre which features live entertainment including a special performance by music legend Art Bergmann. Tickets are on sale now through the Bert Church Theatre website. life

Read more about each finalist and their thoughts on being nominated

PHOTOS BY: Kristy Reimer, Kurtis Kristianson, Sergei Belski, Air 106, Kyle Wudrich, A.F. Benner

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SMILING No Matter The Season.

No Matter The Season.




Winter Calendar of Fun! NOVEMBER-DECEMBER ART IN THE LIBRARY Airdrie Public Library Throughout the year, Airdrie Public Library (APL) plays host to local, regional and travelling art. Upcoming exhibits include Pebble Creations, by Cher Nicholson + Delree Dumont.

NOV. 25-26 CHRISTMAS MARKETPLACE Airdrie Koinonia Christian School Shop for everyone on your list with a variety of vendors – Christmas shopping made easy! Friday 5-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

NOV. 25 AUTHOR VISIT Airdrie Public Library Leanne Shirtliffe, author of Don’t Lick the Minivan, and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids. Refreshments and entertainment from Storm.

DEC. 1-3 RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA Bert Church Theatre With lyrics by Richard Rodgers and music by Oscar Hammerstein II, this legendary musical will be brought to life on Bert Church High School’s stage featuring students from George McDougall and W.H. Croxford high schools. Bert Church is excited to have a live orchestrated pit band conducting the music and underscore for this show. Nightly at 7 p.m.; special children’s matinee Saturday at 2 p.m. with games and prizes. Call 403-948-3800 ext. 7007 for details.

NOV. 26 FRED PENNER CHRISTMAS, WITH THE AIRDRIE CHILDREN’S CHOIR Bert Church Theatre Welcome the holiday season with this legend of the North American family entertainment scene, a gentle giant with kind eyes and an undeniable ability to make you feel good about yourself. Admission $20. 2:30 p.m.

DEC. 1-3 SCROOGE: A CHRISTMAS CAROL … WITH A TWIST! Airdrie Victory Church By Chelsea Restall, directed by Lizzy Evashkevich, presented by Torchlight Theatre. Everyone knows Ebenezer Scrooge, but what about Eliza Scrooge? A mean-spirited, miserly old maid named Eliza Scrooge sits tightly locked in her old home, saying “Bah Humbug” to Christmas.  Can the visit from the most unexpected guest thaw her frozen heart? Or will the most unfortunate future still befall her?” This classic tale of second chances, with a twist, is sure to warm your heart this Christmas season. 7 p.m. show nightly; 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets: evening performance $18 seniors/children, $22 adults; matinee performance $12 seniors/children, $18 adults.

Find links and more event details

Bad hair-days are inevitable.

32 | WINTER 2016/17

DEC. 1-31 AIRDRIE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Nose Creek Park One of Canada’s largest outdoor lights displays, the Airdrie Festival of Lights has been dazzling visitors for 21 years! Come out for a winter walk (or take the miniature trains!), grab a cup of hot chocolate, warm yourself by the fire and enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun and holiday cheer. 6-9 p.m. every night in December, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission by cash donation; parking is free. DEC. 3 SANTA CLAUS PARADE Main Street Santa Claus is coming to town! A fun, festive way to get ready for the holidays, with great floats and entertainment. Parade begins at Fletcher Park and proceeds southbound on Main Street. 5-6:30 p.m. Note: streets close at 4:30 p.m, and re-open 30 minutes after parade ends.

DEC. 4 HIDDEN TREASURES CHRISTMAS EXPO Town & Country Centre Enjoy more than 40 vendors, a visit from Santa (12-2 p.m.) with a small gift for the kids, a children’s station to make Christmas cards and ornaments, and kids’ face painting from 1-3 p.m. Admission $2. Tickets can be preordered online (to make sure there are enough gifts for the kids). 11 a.m.-4 p.m. DEC. 8 CELTIC TENORS CHRISTMAS Bert Church Theatre The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists ever to emerge from Ireland. Their live show is an experience overflowing with vitality and variety from start to finish and leaves the audience thoroughly uplifted. Admission $35. 7:30 p.m.

DEC. 17 CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS MARKET Daybreak Community Church Presented by Airdrie Cares and Airdrie Hearts Unlimited Society, making it possible for children from struggling families to pick out and wrap a gift for their parents/guardians, as well as make a card. Santa’s elves will help make this a fun, memorable and uplifting event. (Also accepting donations of gift items for moms and dads, gift wrap, ribbons and bows.) Visit Facebook to register for event, or e-mail Airdriehearts@ for more information. 1-5 p.m. DEC. 31 FAMILY FRIENDLY NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY Nose Creek Park Enjoy a DJ, carnival games, prizes and a whole lot of family fun inside a heated tent. All in addition to the Festival of Lights’ miniature train rides, hot chocolate, fire pits and lovely light display! Please note: does not include fireworks, which take place offsite at Ed Eggerer Park (still visible from Nose Creek Park) at 6:30 p.m.

Bad teeth-days can be a thing of the past. Dr. Jennifer Buchanan

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY: 403 948 3342 WINTER • 2016/17 |


SLICE OF LIFE EVENTS DEC. 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS Ed Eggerer Athletic Park Behind Genesis Place. Ring in the new year with some community spirit and enjoy the child-friendly fireworks display. Show is about 15 minutes long. Approximate start time 6:30 p.m. Note: please walk or carpool. Limited parking onsite (Scouts Hall and Ron Ebbesen Arena).

Coming in 2017 JAN. 14 NASHVILLE HURRICANE Bert Church Theatre During the course of this 75-minute one-man masterpiece the audience learns about Henry Waltrip (the Nashville Hurricane), from his humble trailer-park beginnings alongside his white-trash mother to the crazy gigs on the road with his blues-playing mentor. The stories and songs unfold into hilarious rants on love and music, a riveting tale involving the dark side of show biz, and blazing guitar work any audience is sure to rave about such as the finale: a one-man acoustic Devil Went Down to Georgia. Admission $16. 7:30 p.m.

JAN. 21 INTERNATIONAL GUITAR NIGHT Bert Church Theatre Each year, International Guitar Night’s founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world to join him for special concert tours highlighting the diversity of acoustic guitar. For 2017, Gore has chosen Italy’s innovative contemporary guitarist Luca Stricagnoli; brilliant young Brazilian composer/performer Chrystian Dozza, and India’s groundbreaking slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Admission $29. 7:30 p.m. JAN. 28 TD AIRDRIE MAYOR’S NIGHT OF THE ARTS Bert Church Theatre Join Airdrie’s arts and culture community at this stunning evening chock-full of live entertainment as awards are presented to the arts community and its patrons. More information at

JAN. 28-29 AIRDRIE HEALTH & WELLNESS EXPO Town & Country Centre Features local health- and fitness-directed products and services, including but not limited to skin care, birthing, essential oils, women’s health, community sports, weight loss and more. Wellness information sessions every hour. Admission $2 for ages 12 plus. Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. FEB. 10 GEORGE CANYON – ACOUSTIC Bert Church Theatre Canadian country music legend George Canyon is continually melding his love of family with his passion for music. His latest album, I Got This, finds him back in the saddle; a culmination of two years of writing, and working with incredibly talented writers, producers and musicians. Admission $45. 7:30 p.m. FEB. 12 AIRDRIELIFE WEDDING EVENT Apple Creek Golf Course Come see what Airdrie has to offer you for your big day, and keep it local. Pre-registration is not required, however it will win you some extra cool stuff. Bring your bridal party and have a fun day! 12-4 p.m. Admission $5.

The most life enriching membership available! Incredibly good times result in stories that are shared over and over with friends. Stories about moments that were so hilarious, so exceptional, so sweet that they leave an impression that lasts forever. We create opportunities for you to achieve maximum enjoyment of life for the time shared with us. You belong with us! Unlimited, Prepaid , Student and Pay Per Play Options Available

Visit or call 403.686.GOLF (4653)

34 | WINTER 2016/17


It’s Better at Bayside!

From the gear you need for winter to the hippest coffee and Airdrie’s favourite dinner out, you will find it all at Bayside Village. Winter is better at Bayside!

Sorso Coffee Social Sorso Coffee Social wants you to rethink your hang. They offer only the best ethically sourced beans, supplied by the most respected roasters in Canada, coast to coast. Housing a variety of locally made kombuchas on tap for your gut health or spike it with gin for their famous ginbucha. All of Sorso’s food and pastries are made in house by renowned chefs – wholesome, healthy and locally sourced. Have a breakfast sandwich made with free-range eggs or belly up to the bar and sip some wine from their extensive and affordable selection. Enjoy one of their popular homemade desserts or some delicious bites off their night menu. Relax on the patio with a cold draught beer or find a spot to cosy down with one of their 30+ organic loose-leaf teas. Sullys Lifestyle Sullys Lifestyle has been Airdrie’s No. 1 snowboard and skate shop since 2003 and 2016 is no different.  With their move to Bayside they have been able to step up their service and give Airdrie access to even more name brands and product than ever before. This winter you’ll find a huge selection of snowboards, boots, bindings, jackets and winter accessories for the entire family. Sullys is also pleased to provide a full wax and tuning service on boards and skis throughout the season. Visit Sullys in Bayside and let them help you prepare for a great season on the hills! Peppercorns Peppercorns is dishing up delicious with some super specials this winter. During the week (Tuesday to Friday) check out the exceptional Express Lunch buffet loaded with house-made soup and salad bar. Enjoy daily choices of entrees like roasted pork loin with rosemary and garlic or gnocchi ricotta casserole with dessert and fresh fruit. The menu changes daily and at $12.95 per person, there is no better value (or taste) in town. Cure your pasta cravings weeknights, Monday to Thursday, with the Pasta for Two special – always fresh, always $25. Winter months are perfect to gather the family so let Peppercorns host you every Sunday night for Family Supper Sundays. Be sure to follow on Facebook for all the weekly special details!


Pasta for 2



All you can

EAT Lunch Buffet




Follow us on

for more weekly specials WINTER 2016/17 |


Dr. Jennifer Buchanan • Dr. Oleg Beregovoy

A heartfelt thank you to my amazing patients who followed us to our new location.

Dr. Jennifer Buchanan

New patient? Contact us today.



is GemTime WIN A GOURMET GETAWAY! We love our readers and we want to reward you with the ultimate weekend getaway with Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts! One night lodge accommodation Three course a la carte dinner for two Breakfast for two $450 value!

Explore the world of gems at Airdrie’s newest sterling silver gemstone boutique

One-of-a-kind Pieces: Rings, Bracelets, Pendants & Earrings Individual Gemstones Available

Simply take our online reader survey and you are automatically entered to win! Draw date Jan 10, 2017

Emerald Lake Lodge, Yoho National Park

All taxes and gratuities included. Alcohol not included.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Banff

Deer Lodge, Lake Louise

See George Canyon in Concert! Enter online to WIN tickets to George Canyon at the Bert Church LIVE Theatre Feb 10, 2017 PLUS more great shows:

Customized Parties: Angel Card Readings Cleansing your gemstones Intro to Smudging Chakras & Gemstones

403.818.8020 36 | WINTER 2016/17

Celtic Tenors Dec 8 Nashville Hurricane Jan 14 International Guitar Night Jan 21 Dufflebag Theatre Mar 5

Full contest details online at


PLUS! Follow us on social media to win weekly prizes!

Airdrie Events presents the 5th annual

Wedding Event




W I N!



February 12, 2017 Noon - 4 pm Apple Creek Golf Course

Admission $5

Fashion Displays Local Vendors

Ready to help with your big day!

Swag Bags

Event Specials

Fabulous Prizes

PLUS! Read all about planning your Airdrie wedding in the spring issue of WINTER 2016/17 |



Last 20 Pounds Fitness Challenge THE MID-POINT CHECK-IN


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Neck: 13.25” Shoulders: 43” Chest: 40“ Waist: 37” Midsection: 40” Hips: 41” L Leg: 20.5” R Leg: 21” Both Arms: 13”


Neck: 12.5” Shoulders: 42.5” Chest: 39“ Waist: 33.25” Midsection: 36.5” Hips: 42.75” L Leg: 22” R Leg: 22.75” Both Arms: 13”


Neck: 16.25” Shoulders: 49.75” Chest: 43“ Waist: 38” Midsection: 39” Hips: 39.25” Both Legs: 21.5” Both Arms: 13.5”


“I am surprised but thrilled with the consistency of my weight loss. I am thankful it doesn’t feel like I am dieting all of the time.”

Hair that turns heads...

Follow the progress of Jay, Jessica and Lana

5 - 2145 Summerfield Blvd. 403.948.7091

Dedicated is the word to

describe the contestants for the Last 20 Pounds Challenge. At the half-way point they have lost a combined total of 32 pounds and a whopping 71.75 inches – that’s close to six feet! What makes this even more amazing is that each contestant lost weight at their weekly weigh-in (at U Weight Loss) following Thanksgiving! That’s not an easy thing to accomplish but these three have a goal and want to achieve it. Says Jessica: “I am surprised but thrilled with the consistency of my weight loss. I am thankful it doesn’t feel like I am dieting all of the time.” Our contestants have been equally dedicated to going to Tri Fit Training and getting in their workouts. We know it’s hard work, but it’s paying off. “I am happy with the results,” says Jay. “I have increased energy; I am fitting into my “skinny clothes,” and getting a lot of compliments.” The goal is to give Jay, Jessica and Lana tools and information so that they can continue a healthy lifestyle going forward. It’s not about restricting food but about understanding it. Time spent in the gym is positive and productive. “I am enjoying the whole process. I am happy with the results I am seeing,” says Lana. “The people I work with at U Weight Loss and Tri Fit are really great.” With our challengers’ results at the halfway mark, their drive to reach their goals and the amazing attitudes they each have, this will be a tight race to the end. While each of them will face different challenges over the coming weeks, we know they will be able to overcome them. Can’t wait to see who will be the winner! life





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Mention code: FIT for 15% OFF your bra purchase

When was the last time you had a professional bra fitting? 206- 304 MAIN ST. AIRDRIE, AB WINTER 2016/17 |





40 | WINTER 2016/17

Define Retirement Your Way. Start the Conversation Today. Carman Thiessen, CFP

Chris Friesen, CFP

Financial Planner 403-462-7727

Financial Planner 403-807-3010

RBC Financial Planning is a business name used by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by 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. © Royal Bank of Canada, 2016. 36425 (10/2015)

Celebrating 30 Years of Spirited Tradition

November 24 to December 24

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens

Adapted and Directed by Dennis Garnhum Associate Director Simon Mallett Starring Stephen Hair as Ebenezer Scrooge

Tickets going fast – book now for this family favourite production!


@theatrecalgary #tcCarol Max Bell Theatre at Arts Commons

Th is production is made possible by the generous support of the Cal Wenzel Family Foundation.

WINTER 2016/17 |




his issue’s makeover participant has made a big transformation, not only in her appearance but also in how she feels. After making changes in her life, Malissa Ancell lost more than 50 pounds in the past year-and-a-half. It changed her body, as well as her outlook, completely. Described by her sister as having horrible fashion sense, Malissa is completely unsure of her style or clothing sizes when we meet at CrossIron Mills. However, when I ask what her inspiration for the makeover clothes could be, she knows immediately. She likes the character played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Sweet Home Alabama. She prefers the ease of plaid shirts and jeans but still wants to look soft, feminine and stylish. The first stop on our shopping trip is Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th at CrossIron Mills. It’s newly opened and stocked with fabulous designer jeans and great brands that you can’t find elsewhere. We pick out a pair of Rag & Bone skinny jeans with a modern wash and a yellow fade that could be compared to patina on metal. The skinny jean is an ideal fit for Malissa with her small, feminine frame so I add a Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren blouse. It has the same type of antique quality in the fabric and that country-girl look. Finished off with Vince Camuto black booties, her first look is complete. The last item we find at Saks Off 5th is some Steve Madden black leather runners that I am dying to build an outfit around, especially given that Malissa runs after kids all day. That perfect outfit starts with a search for the ideal plaid shirt. I explain to Malissa that I believe the plaid top for a woman still needs to have feminine lines and colours – it can never be too masculine. I like

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blues, burgundies and reds but nothing too bold in colour or too boxy in cut; otherwise, you can look like you borrowed your grandfather’s shirt. We find a beautiful blue-and-black plaid at Forever 21. It’s perfect because it will easily go with denim but is still soft and shapely. Next, we move on to Winners where we top the shirt with a cute bomber-style, quilted black jacket and faded boyfriend jeans by Guess. All together with the black runners, Malissa is a chic mom, ready to run! A makeover wouldn’t be complete without a great date-night or girlsnight-out look. At Winners we find a great sweater dress in the cold-shoulder trend and these fabulous blacksuede, peep-toe booties complete with ties and tassels around the ankle. The booties scream designer but are really a fraction of the cost. Off to hair and makeup! Wendy Bates-Wiebe at The Hair Lounge gives Malissa a trim to keep split-ends at bay. She then adds some amazing blonde highlights in varying tones. The blonde gives Malissa a refreshed look and she loves the change. On the day of the photo shoot, Wendy re-styles Malissa using the perfect country-girl curl. Makeup artist Sarika Mehta offers this advice to Malissa while prepping her for the shoot: “There are no rules when it comes to beauty. To make your foundation last use a good primer to your skin, then mix two shades of blush together and apply to the cheeks before your foundation for a glow that looks like it’s coming from beneath the skin.” A big thank-you to The Hair Lounge, Sarika Mehta and CrossIron Mills for making this makeover great! life - Seline Badel-Wong is a personal stylist at


Dr. Erin Heck at

IS YOUR petlife




Share your pet’s joy with others


s a veterinarian, I have been fortunate to witness the way that pets enrich, enlighten and invigorate our lives. The most memorable example of this was when I volunteered for pet therapy at a nursing home in Calgary with my loveable golden retriever Oakley. Eager-eyed residents who were so happy to pat Oakley on his head and give him a treat. One week we walked into a room with an elderly lady tucked into a hospital bed; it looked like she was staring into nothingness. The activity co-ordinator took the woman’s wrinkled, limp hand and used it to stroke Oakley’s head. All of a sudden her body just came to life; her fingers started to move, her head tipped toward Oakley and she started to talk to him. The whole room was in awe watching a conversation between an elderly woman and a red, fluffy, adolescent golden retriever. The woman spoke a language that was foreign but we all could understand the love and excitement that flowed through her words. I later learned that she was 103 years old and had not spoken to anyone in two months. All animal lovers can recall those special moments when you witness an outpouring of love for a furry friend in the most unscripted of instances. When you can see how that pet impacts someone’s life to make it fuller, brighter and ultimately worth living. The holiday season can be difficult for people in our community who are socially isolated, including those in seniors’ homes, hospitals, hospice care and homeless shelters. Sharing your pet with others can be the greatest gift that you give this year. You and your furry family member can volunteer with PALS (an organized pet therapy group) or talk to your community nursing home, hospital or shelter. life

– Dr. Erin Heck is a veterinarian with Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic in Airdrie

Our pets make us smile every day. Together, let’s create a life full of health and happiness for you and your pet. Show us how your pet does good in the world.

Dr. Kim Crisanti Dr. Laura McKenny Dr. Jeremy Mount Dr. Dave Seefeldt



Creekside Crossing 1105 35 Mackenzie Way Open Mon-Fri 8 am - 6 pm, Sat 9 am - 4 pm

WINTER 2016/17 |






Work around what’s important in your life Help a student achieve their “a-ha moment”

Stand side-by-side with us for success

Call us today! 587.317.6286

Airdrie’s Premier Play Center Now Open

118, 2956 Kingsview Blvd Airdrie, AB T4A 0C9 587-430-0909

44 | WINTER 2016/17

0 800 t sq f y da Birth ies Part p u Gro s Rate ily Fam s t u o n Disc

Heroes of home


’ve always had great respect for families who choose the homeschooling path. It takes a committed parent to embrace the monumental responsibility of educating their own child. The benefits of homeschooling are many, from schedule flexibility (allowing for participation in personal interests such as travel, sports or the arts, for example), to the ability to accommodate different learning styles and needs, to the opportunity to foster closer relationships with family. Potential cons can include teaching-parent burnout, or strained relationships due to extended time with a family member who has the role of both teacher and parent. Fortunately, Airdrie families have access to a variety of valuable resources – both online and in the community – to help them realize success. Rocky View Schools’ Community Learning Centre combines the best of homebased learning with the flexibility and support of locally available staff. As a Grade 1-12 homeschool resource, the centre provides traditional parent-directed, teacher-directed and blended programming, offering guidance, planning, teacher facilitation and/or learning materials. Centre staff can work with parents to make homeschooling their children more successful and enjoyable. The growing popularity of homeschooling can be inspirational for parents, but also a bit overwhelming. That’s where developing a support group of other homeschooling families – with whom to share ideas and advice – can really help. Parents are combining forces to create homeschooling networks, which might range from Facebook groups connecting parents near and far, to local families taking educational outings together. When it’s time for a change of scenery, parents can take advantage of a variety of Airdrie facilities and programs well suited to homebased parents and their children, from Genesis Place to Airdrie Public Library. “Homeschool families have a history of using creative and hands-on methods to teach their children the skills and subjects needed to be successful in life, both personally and professionally,” says Danielle Coulter,

ISTOCK BY GETTY IMAGES owner of the Tutor Doctor franchise serving Airdrie, Cochrane and part of Calgary. As homeschool supervisors, parents teach many subjects themselves, says Coulter, but as children grow and their needs change, there may be subjects they find challenging, don’t enjoy, or for which they just don’t have the time. “In that situation, many parents turn to tutoring because they know how important it is that their children understand the subject to move ahead in their future learning.” “The right tutor can bring the focused help that a parent would like for their child with a different and complementary approach,” says Coulter. Enlisting outside help can take some pressure off the homeschool parent, while ensuring their child gets the help they need in that area. Coulter explains that there are a number of homeschooling systems available, and since the Alberta Education curriculum is constantly being tweaked, she gets calls for help in a wide variety of subjects, and across grade levels. Highschool help often involves subjects that might be more complex, such as chemistry and calculus, or assistance preparing for college admissions essays. “Despite the changes in the economy, the demand  for tutoring services continue to grow,” adds Coulter. “For all parents, the most important thing is the long-term success of their kids.” life

Glowing Brighter than EVER!

sion Admis ion nat by Do

Come and see what 1000s of volunteer hours and 75,000 NEW bulbs have done to our displays!

Trai n




Hot Chocola


Nose Creek Park, Airdrie

airdriefestivalo WINTER 2016/17 |



Corporate Tax | Corporate Year Ends Personal Tax | Business Consulting





e all have everyday superheroes in our lives. People who help others just because they can. People who volunteer their time and resources to others less fortunate. The woman who holds the elevator for you when you have heavy bags in your hands. The neighbour who keeps your spare key safe and checks on your cats when you go on vacation. The man who grabs a toddler running toward a busy street. These are the people who change the world. The really cool feature about becoming an everyday superhero is that there is a fabulous benefit for doing good for others: when you help others just to make their day better, you bring happiness into your own life. According to Project Happiness, when we do good for others, our brains become wired for pleasure, trust and social connection. We feel good about making others feel good … and it increases the chances that we will do it again. There is a global benefit from helping others – the pay-it-forward effect. You let a frazzled mom with two little ones in front of you in line at the grocery store. She gets home 10 minutes earlier, and avoids her toddler’s before-nap meltdown. She then takes that 10 minutes to call a friend to tell her about the fabulous person who just let her in line. Her friend, after hearing about a wonderful gesture from a total stranger, is then inspired to pay for the coffee of the person behind her, who then is inspired to…. (fill the blank in here). Happiness gets paid forward and it was our everyday superhero who started the entire goodwill endeavor in motion, just by giving up a little time. The great part of this equation is that we can all become everyday superheroes. It is contagious. Give up your space in line for that frazzled mom with the two small children (she needs all the help she can get!), or hold a door open for someone. Smile – seriously, that’s all it takes, a smile when someone needs it. Everyday superheroes bring out the best in all of us, and, by extension, positively influence our entire planet. Our world can use any and all positivity it can get, so I invite you to think of others, perform random acts of kindness and become an everyday superhero as often as you can. life

the selection. Adore the prices.



CIM Airdrie Life Ad_Re-sized.indd 1 | WINTER 2016/17

31/10/2016 11:28 AM

– Dr. Melanie Beingessner is a chiropractor and owner of Blessingways Family Wellness



Built with Love 50 • Parks in Play 56 • Jewel of Cooper’s 60

HOME LIFE RENO FEATURE Kadence (at left) with mom Shanna and sister Addison react to the unveiling of their new home

50 | WINTER 2016/17


“MOVE THAT BUS!” As friends, volunteers and supporters shouted those words on a blisteringly hot August afternoon on an Airdrie cul-de-sac, a large passenger bus pulled away and changed forever the lives of Addison and Kadence Foley and their mom, Shanna Leavitt. The two young girls – Addison, 9, Kadence, 12 – looked on in amazement as their new home was revealed. Once inside, they raced to their bedrooms: Kadence’s with its unicorn artwork, Addison’s done in an equine theme. “This is amazing – overwhelming,” said Leavitt. “The girls are just beyond excited.” It had been only 111 days since renovations began on the 1,870-squarefoot, three-bedroom bungalow in Woodside that had been purchased as a home that would meet the changing needs of the two girls who are fighting Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a rare progressive disease that attacks

mobility and damages the nervous system. Their previous two-storey home in Fairways had become too difficult for the girls to navigate as their mobility changed; Leavitt, a single mom who works as a dental hygienist, even found herself having to carry the girls up and down the stairs to get to their bedrooms. Shauna Wilkinson and Laurena Pollock, longtime friends of Leavitt’s, saw the impact the FA diagnosis had on their friend and her girls. “We did not really understand the magnitude of what she was dealing with until the diagnosis came down,” said Pollock. Added Wilkinson: “There was no alternative but to help. I actually joke with Shanna that it was sheer stupidity and complete love; we had no idea what we were doing, but we just started.” Initially, the family’s story was communicated as a potential nominee for the Airdrie Angel program, an initiative that helps Airdrians going through difficult times, but the program’s Michelle Carre recalled that

Our final chapter in the renovations of the Leavitt family home reveals dramatic transformations and a caring community. WINTER 2016/17 |



Over 300 volunteers have crossed the threshold, 73 different companies were involved … there were more than 8,640 volunteer hours [put] into the project the scope of Leavitt’s needs – basically a future-proofed home where the girls could maintain as much independence as possible — was beyond what Airdrie Angel could provide. But Carre’s husband, Matt, a local realtor, found himself working with Leavitt to find a home that could be upgraded. A friend actually purchased the house, which allowed renovations to begin while the girls were still living in their previous abode, the idea being that, after Leavitt took possession of the new property, the old one would be sold and Leavitt would take over the payments. But that still left an extensive renovation that required gutting the home to its studs (many of which, Michelle said, were also removed), and some substantial structural work. Standing in the spacious kitchen, Wilkinson noted: “The kitchen in the original floor plan was originally a sunken living room – they had to raise the joists up on the house to bring everything level.” The estimated cost of the renovations on the early 1990s-vintage home, she said, was pegged at approximately $300,000. And that’s where the community spirit of Airdrie began to shine as volunteers from the construction and trades in both Airdrie and Calgary offered their time and donated materials to make the renos happen. Michelle did the math: “Over 300 volunteers have crossed the threshold, 73 different companies were involved to the renovation … there were more than 8,640 volunteer hours [put] into the project.” But, as she told friends and supporters at the unveiling ceremony as she choked back tears, “the most important number is two. That is how many girls will get to grow up in this wheelchair-accessible home and be able to maintain their independence and dignity as they grow.”

52 | WINTER 2016/17

Brent Fraser, owner of RockCreek Builders, managed the project. After the unveiling (as Leavitt and her girls were given some private time to explore the home), Fraser – who, along with other volunteers received signed artwork from the girls as a thank-you – said he was happy to see it finally come together. “It is nice to see the whole project finished,” he said. “Hopefully they can enjoy it for years to come. “It was a challenge for sure … organizing volunteers, but it worked out well, and a great group of people volunteered to put this together,” added Fraser. “Where we needed people, there was always someone to step up and fill in the gaps.” Work on the home continued almost to the last minute, with Wilkinson noting that some of the kitchen work was finished only a couple of hours before the unveiling. Some of the features in the new home include a roll-in shower, wider doorways and a lift providing access to a lower level which includes space for exercise and therapy. Matt said the previous owners of the home, a couple in their 90s, were aware of the plans for it, though sadly the husband passed away only a couple of weeks before the unveiling. “They were extremely accommodating to let us through when we needed to,” he said. “They worked with us … it was the community coming together. “And you look at the group that put this all together – it started with five of Shanna’s longtime friends and now look at all the trades that came in,” said Matt. “We [Airdrie Angel program] ended up with a small part of it, which is fine by us – at the end of the day it was what was the right thing for the girls.”

Project Contributors

Related to the renovations, supporters of Leavitt and the girls launched I’m Possible, a website that not only raises awareness of FA, but also collects donations for costs related to the move, as well as, Michelle noted, funds to provide Leavitt with “a cushion” to help cover additional costs as Kadence and Addison grow and their needs change. “I’m Possible comes from, ‘Nothing is impossible,’” said Wilkinson. “We wanted to open the world for Addison and Kadence so they can dream and hope and live … and (have) a home where they can be independent in and safe in, and Mom’s not worried about breaking her back carrying them up and down the stairs. Things we take for granted in our own homes.” Contacted a month after the unveiling, Leavitt said she and the girls are still excited and humbled by the community’s support. “It has been beyond amazing,” Leavitt said. “I had a moment after I was able to put the girls to bed [the first night] and I sat there and took it all in. This house is so full of love – we can feel it completely.” Leavitt has already noticed a difference in her girls. “The girls are doing so much more on their own and it is so cool for them to be able to have friends over and get around and not be stuck in one room. And the bedrooms … one is Kadence and the other is exactly Addison. They got it right; they did it perfectly. “Their disease is progressing and they are in and out of hospital doing testing. Things are changing, but they’re still smiling and so happy and that is the only thing that is important,” added Leavitt. life

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WINTER 2016/17 |



Community Heart

“Our success in Alberta stems from our success in Airdrie. Everything we’ve done in Calgary has been modelled off our Airdrie experience.” STORY BY ALEX FRAZER-HARRISON


here’s more that goes into planning a new neighbourhood than just laying out streets and building lots. A successful community needs to offer its residents a feeling of connection – to the neighbourhood and to each other. Mattamy Homes is aiming for this by developing the new community of Southwinds around Osborne Park, a two-and-a-halfacre oasis. “Osborne Park was designed to be at the true heart of the community,” says Joe Case, manager of land development for Mattamy. “It’s designed to be what we consider public space in the purest sense in that there’s no perception of private ownership. Every square inch of it is inviting for all the residents of Southwinds … and from all over southwest Airdrie.” The park features amenities such as a public plaza, picnic tables, playground, and even a toboggan hill. “It’s designed for four-season use,” says Case. “The bottom of the [toboggan] hill can be flooded as a puddle rink in the winter. In the summer, that same hill we use as an amphitheatre for movie-in-the-park [events].” Osborne Park is named after the Osborne family, the area’s original landowners. “They were one of the original homestead families of the

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Airdrie area,” says Case. “They’ve farmed the land since the early 1940s and they still farm just to the south of us … they had an input into what the community would look like.” Southwinds also features a reconstructed environmental reserve. “We harvested 10,000 cuttings from the original wetland,” Case explains. “We preserved the native soils and, when the earthwork was completed we put it back, and it’s going through its second growing season.” Located south of 40th Avenue, Southwinds opened for sales in 2014 and is now selling its sixth phase. Case describes it as a masterplanned community, as is Mattamy’s previous Airdrie development, Windsong. Mattamy is also developing the neighbourhoods of Cityscape and Carrington in Calgary, and Case attributes the company’s growing list of local success stories to the work it’s done in Airdrie. “Our success in Alberta stems from our success in Airdrie,” he says. “Everything we’ve done in Calgary has been modelled off our Airdrie experience.” For example, Case says, Cityscape continues Southwinds’ theme of having a community hub by building around a 115-acre environmental reserve that connects to the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway pathway system that now encircles Calgary. life

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“Sagewood, Fairways, Woodside, Stonegate, King’s Heights … we’ve sewn our way into the fabric of Airdrie”



or nearly 20 years, ReidBuilt Homes has been a major player in Airdrie’s homebuilding scene, arriving just as the city’s growth went into overdrive. Today, you’ll find ReidBuilt in communities such as Bayside Estates, and, when asked to list other areas in town where the company has built homes, general sales and marketing manager Dave Abbey has to pause to draw breath. “Sagewood, Fairways, Woodside, Stonegate, King’s Heights … we’ve sewn our way into the fabric of Airdrie,” he says. Established in Edmonton in 1982 when Art Reid launched his business, Abbey says, “out of the back of a station wagon,” ReidBuilt expanded into the Calgary region in 1997, initially building in Airdrie. “I would say McKee Homes and ourselves were one of the mainstays of the Airdrie building community,” says Abbey. “We have created a strong brand here. Airdrie is very loyal to builders that support the community. It’s a great community and we try to support [it] as much as possible.” Abbey has seen tremendous growth himself since joining ReidBuilt in 2001 when, he notes, the city had only about 19,000 people. He says the company has worked to keep pace with changing needs.

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“We’re building to higher specifications than the average builder,” Abbey says. “We want to make beautiful homes affordable and within reach of all facets, whether from the starter market to semi-estate. Now our brand reaches right from street town [homes] into single-family homes and semi-estate.” Bayside Estates, in partnership with land developer Genesis, features single-family homes including some lots backing onto the community’s innovative canal system. Co-area manager Chris Herriman not only sells homes in the community for ReidBuilt, she’s lived in Airdrie for close to 25 years. “I love Airdrie – it has everything Calgary has,” she says. “I discover new things every day, even though I live here!” With Bayside Estates going strong, ReidBuilt is already looking to the future. Abbey says sales are expected to start next spring in Georgetown at Reunion, where ReidBuilt will team up with developer Slokker West on single-family front-attached garage and laned homes. Meanwhile, community involvement is also important, especially given that a number of the company’s employees live in Airdrie, and Abbey says ReidBuilt is an active supporter of events such as the Airdrie Pro Rodeo and Airdrie Festival of Lights, as well as organizations such as the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. life

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Cooper’s Gem

Emerald Homes makes townhomes inviting

There are only a dozen of these gorgeous townhomes available in Airdrie’s destination neighbourhood, Cooper’s Crossing. Built by Emerald Homes (a division of McKee Homes), they range in size from 1,705 to 1,810 square feet on two floors, with attached garages and great touches like nine-foot main floors, stainless-steel appliances, fireplaces and generous ensuites, all with a sunny south-facing backyard. Starting from $420,000. Located at 115 Cooperswood Place

60 | WINTER 2016/17



Purchases Refinances Debt Consolidation Rate Comparison

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WINTER 2016/17 |


Airdrie and area Show Home Map A quick guide to those advertised projects now selling in the area!

Bayside Pier 11 by Genesis Developments featuring Genesis Homes See ad page 55 Bayview by Genesis Developments featuring Genesis Homes. See ad page 10 Coopers Crossing by Westmark featuring Harder Homes, Lifestyle Homes, Emerald Homes, McKee Homes and Vesta See ad page 96 Hillcrest by Apex featuring Excel Homes See ad page 5

Kings Heights by Melcor See ad page 59 Midtown by Wenzel Developments and Apex featuring Shane Homes & Excel Homes See ad page 14 Ravenswood by Qualico featuring McKee Homes See ad page 48

Southwinds by Mattamy Homes See ad page 11 The Gates at Hillcrest by Mattamy Homes See ad page 11 Vista Crossing by Dream Developments featuring Homes by Dream, McKee Homes & ReidBuilt Homes See ad page 95

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62 | WINTER 2016/17

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•Est. 2008•




W ES Sensible strategies Purchases Refinances ITH OUR COMMUNITI for today’s Debt Consolidation Rate Comparison homebuyers and owners

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rollovers. That’s when your mortP Avoid 403.804.3694 F 1.866.899.6813 E gage comes up for renewal and you just roll 133 1st St. NW Airdrie it over with your current lender. If you are auto-renewed, the difference can be hundreds of dollars a month. At renewal, take a moment to shop around, and make every last dollar count. Polish your credit. A low credit score can prevent you from getting the lowest mortgage rate. That’s why it’s so important to have good credit behaviours, like paying your bills on time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50 per cent of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day! Consolidate to drive down debt. If you are carrying a large amount of high-interest debt outside your mortgage, this may be the time to roll that debt into a low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands in interest payments and boost your monthly cash flow. Subscribe to rate updates. This will allow you to stay on top of any shifts in the market – and respond quickly. Get ready now for higher rates. No one can predict when rates will start to rise. If you are buying or renewing now, consider what rates and your mortgage payment might be when you renew. If you can, set your payment up to that higher amount; you’ll avoid payment shock down the road, and pay your mortgage off faster! Speed up your mortgage pay-down. Take every opportunity to beat down your mort“What a relief to deal with a gage principal. Build a plan to take advantage cleaning company who employs of your lender’s prepayment privileges! Consider changing from monthly payments to weekly people who are professional, or bi-weekly payments. take pride in their work, do an Reno and roll. The right renovation might excellent job, and are a pleasure be all it takes to turn the house you’re in into the home of your dreams. It may be an option to roll to have in my home...” large renovation costs into your mortgage. Angela M. Get flexibility with a re-advanceable mortgage. This is a brilliant mortgage concept for those who want to pay down their mortgage – but still have flexibility in case it’s needed later. With re-advanceable mortgages, you can access your equity should an emergency crop up or an unexpected investment opportunity arise. life Carpet & Upholstery | Furnace &

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Poultry Science 68 • Best of Airdrie 71 • Starting Smarter 72




he future of business in Airdrie, and the future of the city itself, was put under the spotlight at Airdrie’s first Economic Development and Investment Summit. Hosted by Airdrie Economic Development and the City of Airdrie, the one-day event at the Hampton Inn & Suites brought in experts to discuss topics including how retail can adapt to the online world; sustainable development; how the City addresses future planning; and the value of placemaking and urban design. The event also included a presentation on the new 10-year Airdrie Economic Strategy. “The summit was held to start the conversation in Airdrie about what Airdrie will look like in the future, and to have a discussion … about current and future trends,” says Sara Chamberlain, economic development officer and project manager. “There were two purposes: to talk about the economic strategy we’re developing … and also to get different groups in a room together to share ideas and connect. “[The summit] was also to position Airdrie as a city looking to its future. We had outside investors and speakers from as far away as Toronto and Vancouver.” Events such as the summit are important in growing “the realm of the non-residential part of the community,” says attendee Linda Bruce, Airdrie Chamber of Commerce president and former mayor. “We’d love to see industry grow and develop and help employ the people who live here [so they don’t] have to face the crawl into Calgary every day. It’s part of providing for the residents in their live-work-play aspect, but also providing economic growth for the city proper.” Highlights for Bruce included the discussion on placemaking and discussion of the changing face of retail, though she personally doesn’t foresee traditional retailers going the way of the dodo just yet. “How many years have we been hearing about how, with online shopping, stores will disappear and malls will disappear … and now you’re finding online businesses are creating small pop-ups and brick-and-mor-

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tar [locations],” Bruce says. “It spoke to me that it’s hard to get away from the physical.” The Airdrie Economic Strategy covers the years 2017-2027 and aims to, among other goals, “support a diverse, innovative and sustainable business community,” while attracting new business and promoting entrepreneurship. “We want Airdrie to be sustainable into the long term, where people can live, work and play right here,” says Chamberlain. “We want to make sure we’re creating a business and community environment that people will want to come to and stay in.” The exact recommendations of the strategy are still being determined and have involved business and larger community consultation, but will incorporate attributes related to both economic development and placemaking – a concept that promotes a sense of community that draws people to live and do business. Chamberlain says the City could start working on recommendations from the strategy as early as January. The summit is an example of the type of engagement that led Airdrie Economic Development to receive the 2016 Atlas Advertising High Performance Economic Development Award, an international prize celebrating best practices, says team leader Kent Rupert. “This is the first time a Canadian city has been recognized for this [award],” says Rupert. “It’s full credit to my team – we’re having the conversations with business. We’re trying to understand what their needs are and their concerns are … whether it’s the summit or roundtables or our business visitation program and Business Satisfaction Survey.” Chamberlain says there has been talk of hosting another summit after the success of this first event. “We do think a larger audience would be interested,” she says. life

Learn more about the Airdrie Economic Strategy at




Airdrie is “Above and Beyond”


n October of 2016, the Airdrie Business Resource Partnership (ABRP) received the “Above and Beyond” Award from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) for the great success of the SMARTstart program. This program has become such a success because of the people who envisioned it, entrepreneurs brave enough to chase their dreams and the local businesses that give their time as mentors and sponsors. There are many programs and people in the community that go “above and beyond” to assist in improving peoples’ lives. We have seen Grade 10 students get the experience and education of building houses through the Building Futures program; the Health Foundation who advocated tirelessly to bring 24-hour health care to Airdrie; and we now have a group that has joined forces to look at health care in a new way – through the lens of a health co-operative. All of these examples are created in Airdrie, for Airdrie and are grassroots based. There are so many who work hard for what they believe is right and to move our community forward. They go to their place of work, they run their businesses, and they accomplish the goals they set out to complete. Sometimes they are successful in the vision and other times they are required to start again and learn from their mistakes. I have the fortune, like many, to work with people in the community and at the City who work tirelessly and passionately to try to make Airdrie the best place it can be. They do this because they want to and because they see the potential. They choose to serve a greater vision of our community in ensuring that Airdrie is a great place to live, now and into the future. I had the honour of accepting this award on behalf of the ABRP and everyone associated with the SMARTstart program, and it made me reflect on all the people and businesses that truly go “above and beyond” every day to make Airdrie better. These individuals are not necessarily recognized for what they do through awards or recognitions. It is the business owners who decide that Airdrie is the place to set up operation and choose to donate to fundraisers and not-for-profits, not concerned if they see the return of their investment. It is the volunteers that help mentor and support others to achieve their dreams or volunteer their time to organizations to see them become successful. And it is the City staff who make sure we have the vision that reflects the needs of our community, have water to our taps, safe roads on which to drive, public places and parks in which to meet and relax, and a community of which we want to be proud. There are many in Airdrie who go “above and beyond” every day, and I challenge you to seek out those individuals, volunteers, businesses and City staff, and thank them for helping to make Airdrie the great place that it is and is going to be. Let me be the first to say…. THANK YOU, AIRDRIE! life






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Dr. Tom Inglis, managing partner and founder of Poultry Health Services


68 68 || WINTER WINTER2016/17 2016/17


arving into that Christmas turkey or sitting down to enjoy some chicken you picked up at the local supermarket, it’s easy to take for granted the science and technology involved in making sure your food is safe. Since Airdrie-based Poultry Health Services Ltd. (PHS) started in 2002 as a one-man operation, it has grown to encompass several facilities in the city, with plans for a partnership with another in Ontario, and has become an innovator in diagnostics, consulting, auditing and other veterinary services for the industry. “Our primary focus is the commercial poultry industry – the core of our business is diagnostic, but we’ve grown from there,” says Dr. Tom Inglis, managing partner and founder of PHS, who took his veterinary training at the University of Saskatchewan after an agriculture degree at University of Alberta. “Our first contract was in Edmonton, doing diagnostics for all the poultry producers in Alberta, and we started out in the government labs there. We [relocated] to Airdrie temporarily, to the Agriculture Centre, and we decided to stay – it was a great place to keep the business.” Dr. Darko Mitevski joined the company in 2005 after having met Inglis at the University of Georgia. “We started growing the business in Airdrie to start to do more consulting services, expanding our diagnostics into other areas,” he says. “And we’ve started to form different partnerships because we saw opportunities beyond our core business.” Inglis cites one example of this as the company’s custom vaccine program. “The idea being if you find a vaccine that works to protect animals or people from a disease, you can commercialize it,” he explains. “If you find a regional problem where there’s a new and emerging disease, you need to isolate those organisms, grow them up, kill them, and put them in a vaccine and then protect that population.” Most such autogenous vaccines are produced in the U.S., but Inglis says the plan is to start manufacturing lo-

cally (which is one reason, he says, why PHS recently expanded its Airdrie locations to include a 14,000-square-foot building on East Lake Avenue). Inglis says the complexity of food safety work has evolved. “The term used now is sustainability, looking at everything from welfare and carbon footprinting, to diet,” he says, adding much of the focus is on preventing illness. “You get into that integrated health management … there’s been a real shift from diagnose and treat to prevention and surveillance.” PHS also performs third-party auditing as organic/non-antibiotic poultry production has taken off. The company also works with students from the universities of Calgary and Alberta, with U of C students rotating through PHS facilities. “Much of our DNA is in teaching,” says Inglis. The influence of PHS has grown beyond Alberta, working with producers in Germany and Brazil, and Inglis says they’re building a diagnostic facility in Stratford, Ont., with an associate establishing a business there. Mitevski says the pride of doing good work comes from seeing products in the stores. “Every day, someone can walk into Superstore, Sobeys, Costco, and there’s always a fresh chicken, turkey, eggs. Walking through the store, I recognize brands and it’s nice to stand behind them,” he says. “To see yourself as a small part of it … is rewarding, in a sense.” Beyond helping keep our food safe, PHS is a supporter of local causes, such as Airdrie Food Bank. The company has also donated space to the Airdrie Lioness Club for its Christmas hampers. “Everyone who joins the team has something they believe in; Airdrie is our home,” says Inglis. life

“The term used now is sustainability, looking at everything from welfare and carbon footprinting, to diet”

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WINTER 2016/17 |



Time for stunning hair, it’s party season.



he air is cold. The snow has fallen. As we sit and dream of warm sand and drinks with umbrellas, we realize, yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to get ready for taxes! As your stomach sinks at the thought, take heart. Starting your tax planning early can ease the pain and help ensure you take advantage of every deduction available to you.




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REPORTING INCOME So many of us have been there: you’re feeling on top of things and file your taxes early. A couple of weeks later, what should arrive in the mail but another pesky T-slip. It’s not for much. Just a little interest or dividend income. It’s tempting to think, no problem. CRA will have received the same slip and they’ll simply adjust the return. This can turn out to be a big mistake. CRA imposes a harsh penalty if a taxpayer fails to report income twice within a four-year period. In the event that you find yourself with unreported income, it’s important to file an amendment with CRA, prior to their reassessment. DIVIDEND INCOME Dividends are a bit of an odd animal in the way they are taxed. Due to the dividend tax credit, it may be beneficial to transfer dividends received from the lower-income spouse to the higher-income spouse. Seems counter-intuitive, but it can result in lower taxes paid.

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MEDICAL EXPENSES One of the most commonly missed tax deductions are those for medical expenses. Often we don’t bother adding up all those small medical slips because we think we won’t have enough to claim. While it is true that there is a threshold that must be met, many of us meet that threshold more quickly than we imagine. Medical expenses can be claimed for any 12-month period ending in 2016, and can be combined with your spouse and dependant children. CRA provides a lengthy list of eligible medical expenses on their website. As with everything tax related, there are criteria and restrictions that must be considered. Be sure to consult with your tax advisor as to how these and other provisions may affect you. life

– Melody McClain is a chartered professional accountant


Nominees for the

2016 Airdrie Business Awards

The Pink Wand Cleaning Service Jacqui Jepson

EMERGING BUSINESS AWARD Airdrie Family Eye Doctors Airdrie Puppy Pals Allstate Insurance Company of Canada – Airdrie Agency Devi Yoga Tribe Downward Dog Grooming Lathered Cleaning Company Inc. Liquid Amber Landscape Management Ltd. PUSH Cycling Studio Inc. (winner) Switchback Creative The Cat Next Door Inc. ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP BUSINESS AWARD Clothing for a Cause Good Earth Coffehouse (winner) London Drugs FAMILY FRIENDLY BUSINESS AWARD A Friend Indeed Airdrie Roofing Ltd. Bright Explorations Child Development Inc. Devi Yoga Tribe Four on the Floor Grace Family Dental Master Rim’s Taekwondo Mezzanine Hair Studio The Pink Wand Cleaning Services (winner) WINNING EDGE AWARD Airdrie Canvas Inc. Budget Blinds (winner) Canada Coach Lines Inc. Cream Body & Bath CrossFit 403 Mezzanine Hair Studio The IT Company Tri Fit Training Ltd. AIRDRIE BUSINESS LEADER AWARD Al Jones

Budget Blinds Kari Lines

PUSH Cycling Studio Inc. Janine Hartsook Tammy Block Good Earth Coffehouse Becky Diebolt

The best of the year T


he best and brightest of Airdrie’s small business community were honoured at the 2016 Airdrie Business Awards. PUSH Cycling Studio Inc. won a brand-new category, the Emerging Business Award, recognizing businesses in operation for less than three years. Co-founders Janine Hartsook and Tammy Block accepted the award. Hartsook paid tribute to staff and customers who have helped in PUSH’s numerous fundraising events. She also acknowledged their families for their support as she and Block balance running a business with other work. “Our husbands have been through so much … and we’re still working our day jobs!” she said. Becky Diebolt accepted the Environmental Stewardship Business Award on behalf of Good Earth Coffeehouse. “The community is what helps us sustain our business,” she said. “[And] for every one of our employees that takes on our standards and practices … it goes to show this is not just a job they do, they take initiative and pride in their work.”

In accepting the Family Friendly Business Award, Jacqui Jepson of The Pink Wand Cleaning Services spoke on the importance of a strong family, at home and at work; her daughter was diagnosed with Lyme disease earlier this year. “Through her daily treatments and illness, it truly was my Pink Wand family … that supported me,” Jepson said. “My business could not have existed without you.” Budget Blinds received the 2016 Winning Edge Award. Owner Kari Lines credited his wife, Mandy, for pushing him to start his own business. “I was really nervous to take that leap,” he said. “She said … you have to do this, and I’ve never looked back.” Al Jones of ADvance Distribution received the Airdrie Business Leader Award. “We didn’t get into business to create jobs for ourselves,” he said of Airdrie’s entrepreneurial spirit. “We got into business because we wanted to build something. We saw a need and we said, hey, we can fulfill that need.” life

WINTER 2016/17 |


Starting Smarter




Twenty-one entrepreneurs representing 17 businesses are busy working their way through the 2016 SMARTstart program. The program provides passionate, budding entrepreneurs with online business-skills training, in-person workshops and mentorship. Connecting the entrepreneurs with local mentors is one of the most important aspects of the program. This year’s participants have already completed a draft of a business, feasibility or strategic plan. By the program end in October, that plan – along with pro forma financial statements – will be complete, providing the entrepreneurs with a solid foundation from which to launch or expand their business. Learn more at

Meet all 21 entrepreneurs

72 | WINTER 2016/17

Doug Sid


LOCAL Mentor: Sid Van der Meer Age: 59 Business: Retired (Northwest Equipment Ltd.) Years in business: 30 Growing up I wanted to be: Pilot My first year in business: I learned that I had a lot to learn. Best advice you ever got: Spend 10 per cent of every day on what you want to do in three years. Proudest achievement: Developing Northwest Equipment into the vision I had, selling it and achieving our retirement goal. Entrepreneur: Doug Wright Age: 33 Business name or business idea: Siding and exterior company Years in business: N/A Dream/goal for your business: To grow the business to a point where I can focus on continued growth and managing the company. What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: I want to learn as much as possible, from completing a business plan to different ways of marketing my business idea to accounting and administration aspects of business. Over my working years I have been fortunate to learn lots; however, I know there is always more you can learn. I believe this program with a mentor will significantly increase my chance of succeeding with my business idea. Why I am an entrepreneur: It was always a dream of mine to open up my own business. Since I was in high school, I have always wanted to become my own boss. I believe after a decade-and-a-half of working for others I have developed some necessary skills that will help me to manage and run my own business. I realize that it is going to take a lot of discipline, and look forward to all the hard work that will go into creating, developing and managing my own business.


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Ron Jackie Harley

Mentor: Ron Farrell Age: 42 Business: Beneficial Insurance Solutions Years in business: 13 Growing up I wanted to be: Business owner. It didn’t really matter to me at the time what kind of business. Proudest achievement: At the time (age 29) I was the youngest owner of an insurance brokerage that I knew of in Southern Alberta.


Entrepreneur: Jackie Faber Age: 43 Business name or business idea: Serene Health Services Years in business: N/A Dream/goal for your business: Provide health services in Airdrie and community to give choices to residents and enable people to live at home longer with a dignified quality of life. What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: To build the ground roots of a company on a solid foundation. My biggest obstacle: Accounting measures Why I am an entrepreneur: Personal growth for myself and my career while providing a health service to the community and area. | WINTER 2016/17


Mentor: Kerry Oswald Age: 54 Business: Smart Auto & Tirecraft Years in business: 19 Growing up I wanted to be: Firefighter My first year in business: I worked 90+ hours a week. Entrepreneurs: Rian Levick, Harley Harper Ages: 31, 22 Business name or business idea: Ascension Float Centre Ltd. Years in Business: N/A Dream/goal for your business: (Rian) To be the first float centre in Airdrie; to be profitable so that we may one day expand to a second location





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Amazing financial help is close at hand. The Kingsview Market Branch is proud to be your neighbour. What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: (Rian) Strategic business planning skills, finance and accounting skills; how to network effectively; what it means to have a business mindset; and basic business skills that will provide the foundation for my entrepreneurial journey. Our biggest obstacle: Securing funding and finding a commercial location Why I am an entrepreneur: (Harley) I’m chasing my passion, providing value for others and building the life I envisioned. In doing so, I enjoy every bit of the hustle, the struggle and the personal growth. I am an entrepreneur because I believe I have greater gifts to offer this world, and I will not settle for a lifestyle I am not happy with.

Our team is available to talk about your personal, commercial and investment banking needs, and can offer the financial solutions that are right for you. For more information, please contact Leyla or Becky. Leyla Riazi, Branch Manager 587-775-2026

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Becky d’Haene, Financial Services Manager 587-775-2028

Trade-marks/registered trade-marks of Bank of Montreal.

WINTER 2016/17 |



Mentor: Jody Keller Age: 43 Business: Pharmasave, Carstairs and Didsbury Years in business: 11 Growing up I wanted to be: Professional hockey player My first year in business: I realized I could be successful as an entrepreneur. Proudest achievement:  2013 MJ Huston Award Winner as Alberta Pharmacist of the Year

Jody Linet

Entrepreneur: Linet Kiplagat Age: 40 Business name or business idea: Reliance Support Care & Services Inc. Years in business: 1 Dream/goal for your business: Provide customized, compassionate care to persons with disabilities through partnership with the individual family and the community. What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: Improve on business management skills; learn networking skills, Why I am an entrepreneur: To create my own purpose, destiny and a business that is based on my personal values, vision and expertise; and to give back to the community, specifically to those with physical and developmental disabilities by being a conduit to meeting their needs so that they can live life to their highest potential. Cleaners Big Ben Carpet Cleaning Pink Wand Cleaning

ADVERTISER DIRECTORY Use this handy reference to find the ads for local businesses here to help you!

BUSINESS Automotive Cam Clark Smart Auto & Tire

AD PAGE 93 75

Bridal Airdrie Events


Builders Bayview by Genesis Emerald New Homes Excel Homes Harder Homes Lifestyle Homes Mattamy Homes McKee Homes ReidBuilt Homes Vesta Collection

10 54 13 27 2 11 9 3 4

Chiropractors Blessingways Family Wellness


63 63

Computers/Tech Nerds on Site


Community Airdrie Festival of Lights Airdrie Food Bank Airdrie Public Library Creative Airdrie Welcome Wagon

45 28 64 67 64

Dentists Airdrie Dental Nose Creek Dental Quest Dental You First Dental

31 23 6 32, 36

Developers Cooper’s Crossing by Westmark 96 Hillcrest by Apex 5 Kings Heights by Melcor 59 Midtown by Wenzel Developments 14 Pier 11 by Genesis 55 Ravenswood by Qualico 48 Southwinds by Mattamy 11 Vista Crossing by Dream Developments 95

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ON PAGE 72 Mentor: Joan Bell Age: 59 Business: Retired – Airdrie Yoga Studio Years in business: 10 My first year in business: I wondered what I had gotten myself into! I always enjoyed being self-employed, but there is a lot of stress Proudest achievement:  Being honoured with the Winning Edge Award for most outstanding business in Airdrie Entrepreneur: Jackie Astrom Age: 41 Business name or business idea: École Des Petits Amis French Immersion Preschool Years in business: 2.5 Dream/goal for your business: Owning our own space and paying it off; second location What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: I hope to learn a wide variety of business skills. I started my business with a great deal of industry-specific skills but no business background. With the changes we anticipate making over the next few years, I feel some solid business learning and mentorship can help us make our business better. My biggest obstacle: Growth of our program in an uncertain market/cost stability

Education Tutor Doctor


Media Airdrie Echo 59 airdrielife 36

Entertainment Theatre Calgary Yee Haw Play

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Mortgage Brokers Axiom/ We Mortgage


Optometrists/Opticians Airdrie Eye Care Airdrie Specs

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Photography Images by Joanne


Real Estate Kathy Anderson CIR Shilo Storey RE/MAX Trenton Pittner Legacy Real Estate The Carre Group RE/MAX

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Fashion Sullys The Store Upstairs Cream Bath and Body CrossIron Mills

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Financial BMO 75 Carmen Theissen/ Chris Friesen RBC 41 MJ McClain Accountant 46 Fitness/Wellness U Weight Loss Hair Salons Mane Image The Hair Lounge


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Home Improvements/Renos Hot Water Spas 57 Iron Eagle Sheet Metal 53 Bugaboo Christmas Lights 61 Jewelers Rock n’ Gems


Restaurants Peppercorns 35 Sorso 35 Sports Woodside Golf Course


Veterinarians Airdrie Animal Health Happy Paws

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locallife A C LO S E R LO O K AT YO U R C O M M U N I T Y

Heroes Big and Small 81 • Ice Brothers 88 • Rural Roots 92








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Read more about each of our super volunteers!

The 2016 Volunteer of the Year Awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Airdrie’s volunteers. While the winners were announced in May, we decided to wait for our heroes issue to give them their due with, appropriately, a superhero photo shoot! Thanks to The Store Upstairs we were able to outfit each of our recipients and representatives in technicolour costumes that really seemed to suit their own super attitudes toward making Airdrie a great place to live.


SUPERPOWER WISH: To clone myself! SUPER-VOLUNTEER GOAL: With my Good Earth team, sponsor, donate and participate in various community organizations, charities and groups to help bring the community together

(Owner, Good Earth Coffeehouse) AMBASSADOR AWARD

Becky Diebolt

SUPERPOWER WISH: To communicate with dogs SUPER-VOLUNTEER GOAL: To continue to build a sustainable business committed to doing the right things


Matt Carre

SUPERPOWER WISH: To control water because it is in everything Super-volunteer goal: Inspire others to volunteer and build a global community

Deeba Behrouzi (13)

SUPERPOWER WISH: Super speed because I could help more people in a short time SUPER-VOLUNTEER GOAL: Raise awareness for helping each other out in the community

Dylan Behrouzi (12)

SUPERPOWER WISH: Super speed to react to the world’s problems SUPER-VOLUNTEER GOAL: That we never stop volunteering

Dominic Behrouzi (11)

AIRDRIE ADVOCATE AWARD Community Links was represented by three young siblings who volunteer their time with the Toy and Resource Library:

LEADER OF TOMORROW AWARD SUPERPOWER WISH: Teleportation SUPER-VOLUNTEER GOAL: Host more fundraisers for local charities


Mackenzie Murphy


Community Super Heroes


Creating Legacies Airdrie now has its own Community Foundation


s Airdrie continues to grow and becomes increasingly diverse, the city’s non-profit needs are also increasing. After years of planning and preparation, the city’s own charitable foundation will soon hand out its first funds. The Airdrie & District Community Foundation was officially established in September 2012, but it has taken a few years for it to get up to speed, says chair Derek Lalonde. “It has had fits and spurts and it took a bit to get going in terms of bylaws and getting charitable status … and then getting a really solid board of directors eager enough to get it going,” says Lalonde, adding organizers met with established groups such as the Calgary Foundation and foundations in Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Banff as they researched how best to get the Airdrie version going.


Buchanan inspired director Cindy Savitsky’s interest in the Foundation; she is with the Airdrie Lioness Club. “One of the things that really drew me into this was when I spoke to Dick Buchanan [about] the fact there were residents of Airdrie that wanted to do something with their money when they passed away,” Savitsky says. “They gave the Calgary Foundation $11 million … you and I can both see where that money could have been spent if it remained in Airdrie. There was a lot of potential we were missing out on as a community and district.” Lalonde says 2016 marks the start of the Airdrie & District Community Foundation officially starting to accept donations, adding that the organization is taking advantage of the Calgary Foundation’s long experience by recruiting it as the investment arm. “They do very well with people’s investments and they charge a low fee, so we get

“As the city grows, we need more of a central organization that is available for people that want to give back to the community as a legacy” “The foundation is a place for donors to be able to [contribute] money through their estate, or donate investments like securities or land or buildings, and get a tremendous tax benefit,” Lalonde explains. “And it is important for [the donors] to know that the Community Foundation will always know what the pulse of the community is. On the flipside of the coin, we will be working with charities in the community, [keeping track] of what their needs are.” The Foundation’s volunteer directors include people involved in local business, civic government and service groups. “Donors get the immediate benefit, knowing that their money will continue to be given back to the community on an annualized basis where needed,” says Lalonde. One early supporter was Dick Buchanan, who owned Air-Alta Insurance for 35 years and helped establish the foundation. After his death in early 2015, he left a bequest to the Foundation that created the Dick Buchanan Legacy Fund in his memory.

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to leverage their expertise and their support,” Lalonde says, adding that funds donated locally will stay in the communities served by the organization (which includes neighbouring towns like Crossfield, Carstairs and Irricana). Another director, Reg Hihn, who spent 30 years running the local Super Drug Mart, says the creation of a foundation was a must as Airdrie matures. “As the city grows, we need more of a central organization that is available for people that want to give back to the community as a legacy,” he says. “We’ve had a couple of inquires already asking if funding is available … hopefully, within the next few months, we’ll get our first funds out there. They probably won’t be large donations, but we’ll get the ball rolling.” life For more information on the Foundation, and to donate, visit or call 403-285-1858. Watch the website for a special event coming in February 2017.





icki Biggar draws a string of “treasure beads” out of a cloth bag with the help of one of her twin daughters, Keira, who lays it on the floor. It belongs to Vicki’s other daughter, Kaley. The hundreds of colourful beads along its considerable length represent a “poke,” blood test or medical procedure marking this eight-year-old child’s journey. The image is striking. “It’s been a long, rough eight years of caring for her,” Vicki says. Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital sponsors the Treasure Bead Program, Vicki explains. For every procedure a heart patient undergoes,

they are given a distinct bead to add to the string. The beads form a chain that describes each heart patient’s unique journey, allowing families a way to talk about it. “It’s not always easy to look at them,” she says, as her two girls play with the string on the floor. “This has been our life.” During her pregnancy, doctors told Vicki and her husband, Brodie, that one of the twins had heart issues; it would be more challenging than that. Kaley was born with Down syndrome, a severe heart defect and several other complications. WINTER 2016/17 |




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Her first two years of life were spent in the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She has had 36 major surgeries, and has a pacemaker, a feeding tube and an injection port for the blood transfusions she receives every four weeks to boost her immune system. Biggar, who quit a job as an office manager to care for Kaley full time, says that while life has been difficult, she couldn’t imagine it without the inspiration her daughter brings. “I look at her and what she’s gone through, and I think, ‘I would have given up years ago.’ But not Kaley.” Vicki’s seen her daughter come out of heart surgery sitting up in bed with a smile on her face. “She shows me what strength is really about.” Kaley, despite her challenges, is a happy and playful child, and enjoys anything that involves climbing or listening to music. She has had trouble talking clearly, but she can repeat words or phrases from songs as a way to communicate. “When she heard Adele’s song Hello, she started saying hello to everybody.” Keira is aware of her sister’s health needs, her mother says, because “as a family, we talk about it a lot.” When asked what she likes most about her sister, Keira says: “Ummmm, she’s my best friend. She makes me happy – a lot.” The sisters are inseparable, and attend Nose Creek Elementary. The school is the reason they moved to Airdrie from Calgary three years ago. “We wanted to keep the girls together, and (Nose Creek) was able to do that,” says Vicki. Brodie works in environmental monitoring and reporting and is often away, but Vicki says they agreed when the girls where born that they would make their family dynamics work. “I won’t say it’s been easy, but we’re a strong couple.” The two of them don’t get out much, but Vicki has a sister in Calgary who supports them. Respite services are limited in Airdrie, so the family utilizes one from Calgary. “But it’s hard to get someone to come out here,” adds Vicki. Kaley’s future holds more operations and more complications, says her mom. “But we accept today, and just hope for tomorrow.” life

Lindsey Coyle, rebuilding Airdrie’s Block Parent Program The iconic white-and-red Block Parent sign, a symbol of Canada’s largest volunteer-run child safety program, disappeared from Airdrie windows a decade ago. However, a stayat-home mother of two is changing that, one household at a time. But Lindsey Coyle needs help: “I have about 45 signs up right now … I need about 10 per cent (of households) for the program to function well.” The goal of the revived Airdrie Block Parent Association is to have signs on schools, pathways and at the beginning of every street, she says. Coyle, who grew up with a Block Parent sign in the window, can remember neighbourhood children coming to her house seeking help, and “it’s no different today.” “You’re not going to give a seven-year-old a cellphone. They need to know they can take care of themselves if something happens, and having a Block Parent on every street provides that.”


airdrielife puts the spotlight on everyday heroes we can all celebrate

Ian Aman, shining light on mental health Airdrie’s Ian Aman used six pairs of running shoes this summer to run 1,600 kilometres from the top to the bottom of Alberta. “I’ve never done anything like that before. It was a really neat experience.” Sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association, he ran from July 1 to Aug. 29, from the Northwest Territories border to the Alberta-U.S. border. With his wife and three children as a support team, he raised more than $25,000. Aman, who works for ATB Financial and also trains athletes through his company Legacy Endurance, organized the run for two reasons. Running teaches the mind to focus, and as someone who once struggled with depression and anxiety, he wanted to “shine a light on mental wellness.” Aman was encouraged by conversations he had along the way. “There’s still a stigma attached to mental health, and people just want to share their stories, and feel comfortable about it.”

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Mike Loughman, advocate for hope Mike Loughman, a former alcoholic and drug addict, says hope is what keeps him alive. “I have ‘hope’ tattooed on my back.” Loughman, a longtime Airdrie resident, was diagnosed several years ago as bipolar, with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and several learning disabilities. But he already knew this about himself. “Through my whole life, I wanted help, but I didn’t know how to get it. I fell through the cracks.” His life became a cycle of drinking, drugs and partying, until one day he asked for and got help. Successful with his own recovery, and fuelled by a newfound hope, Loughman has become an advocate for awareness of the help that is available. Collaborating in 2015 and 2016 with the Defeat Depression Campaign, a Canadian program that brings awareness to mental health, Loughman organized Halloween-themed walk/run events, which raised thousands of dollars. “We need to talk about (mental health). We can’t hide from it.”

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Sonya Lynde, a friend to animals Last spring, when Sonya Lynde was preparing to drive to Cochrane where she volunteers with the humane society, she received a call from her supervisor. “She said, ‘We have a stray cat in Airdrie. Could you pick it up (from the vet) before you come?’” Lynde, a cat owner who has lived in Airdrie since 2002, says she was told the society was now servicing her community. “There’s 60,000 people here; there’s certainly a need.” Jaimie Anton, the Cochrane & Area Humane Society’s fund development coordinator, says Airdrie was included because residents were calling with concerns over the lack of services. Airdrie has bylaws governing dogs, but not cats, and no animal shelter, she says. “We’re a good fit, we’re just down the road,” she explains, adding, “We have some really committed volunteers from Airdrie.” Lynde is not sure of the number of animals in the Cochrane shelter that may have come from Airdrie, but she’s hopeful the community will one day have its own facility. However, “it’s not something the City would do. Shelters are usually non-profit and rely on volunteers.” “I love animals,” says Lynde. “I’d go anywhere to volunteer.”



Jeff McDiarmid, one of a brotherhood of heroes “When you’re driving through a massive city at night, with smoke, zero lights, no traffic, no people, no pets, it’s just so eerie. It’s like a ghost town,” says Lieutenant Jeff McDiarmid of the Airdrie Fire Department. McDiarmid, who was born and raised in Airdrie, was one of 30 department personnel who volunteered to go to fire-ravaged Fort McMurray last summer. “As soon as the fire started, you automatically just put your name on the list. ‘Chief, send us up there. I’m ready to go.’” He attributes this to the “brotherhood of firefighters,” and says Fort McMurray would do the same for Airdrie. Several days after Fort McMurray was evacuated, Airdrie sent Fire Engine 88 with a four-person team, followed by three more personnel rotations. McDiarmid’s crew was the third, and was tasked with suppressing brush fires and flare-ups. “I’d do it again tomorrow, if I had to.”

“As soon as the fire started, you automatically just put your name on the list. ‘Chief, send us up there. I’m ready to go.’”

Andrew Melissen, a Queen’s Venturer Scout Andrew Melissen looks like a typical Grade 12 W.H. Croxford High School student, but lurking behind his engaging smile is a Venturer Scout. “I like camping, and being able to meet people who have similar interests,” says this 17-year-old. He’s a member of the Airdrie Venturer Scout Group, which offers 14- to 17-year-olds the opportunity to development important life skills. Melissen was recently awarded the Queen’s Venturer Award, which is the highest honour a Scout can earn. It took three years to complete the long list of requirements, some of which involved 50 hours of community service (Melissen did 300), environment work (he planted 200 trees with his Scout group), spirituality (he taught lessons at his church) and demonstrating leadership (he leads a Scouts Beaver group). How does he feel about it? “Not many people do this, and I did it. I have a great sense of accomplishment.” WINTER 2016/17 |




Alex Sharpe, para-swimmer, dreams of Tokyo Olympics Airdrie’s para-athlete Alex Sharpe says he wasn’t into competitive swimming until he was about 10. “When I was little, I hated water,” says this Grade 10 St. Martin de Porres High School student, who has never had full use of his left side due to a stroke he had in his mother’s womb. But now, this member of the Nose Creek Swim Association, who recently started coaching with the club, likes “going fast, and I love the travelling part.” A sixth-place finish in April at the Rio Olympics’ qualifiers in Scarborough, Ont., and four gold medals in July at the 2016 Speedo Can Am Para-swimming Championships in Gatineau, Que., have inspired him to aim for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. “It was pretty cool,” says Sharpe of the cheering crowds in Gatineau. “The Olympics are my dream right now, but I’d like to see how far I could go with coaching.”

Melanie Prebble, pulling together for Fort Mac When Airdrie’s Melanie Prebble saw multiple Facebook postings offering essentials to the evacuees arriving from the devastating fire in Fort McMurray this summer, she had an idea. “Why not create one Facebook page that connects the two,” says this stay-at-home mother of three daughters. Airdrie Supports Fort Mac was created, but the page suddenly became the nexus for Fort McMurray families to connect with support groups. “It was crazy. Originally I thought, ‘Maybe we can make some sandwiches,’ and help that way.” The page took off and Prebble found herself in the role of organizer, but when Skyline Living opened up 50 apartment units, she had to form a committee to stay on top of the influx of volunteers and donations. “(The committee) just grew, and people started taking on roles. Chaos eventually turned into order,” says Prebble. Fort McMurray’s Lisa Kozovski, who fled the city with her family, was moved by the generosity. “We’re not the people who need help, we’re the people who help other people. This community is amazing. It was very humbling,” says Kozovski, who returned home in the fall. Prebble has the same opinion: “Airdrie’s just that pull-together community. We did a good thing here.”

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L to R: Thumbs Up Foundation chair Kim Titus, co-chair Ken Reid and treasurer Susan Sarrasin give the thumbs up for mental health care and awareness

Kim Titus, two thumbs up for change When Braden Titus ended his life by suicide, his mother questioned the way health organizations worked together. “If mental health professionals are not talking to each other about services, then what hope do we have for our loved ones?” says Kim Titus, president of the Thumbs Up Foundation. The foundation was started in memory of her son Braden, who battled with depression and suicidal thoughts, but was known for giving the thumbs-up sign in family photos. Shortly before his death, he was put on an antidepressant, and given a specialist appointment for three weeks later. “He didn’t make the three weeks. It was senseless,” says Titus. The foundation’s goal is to advocate for change in how mental health care is accessed by people in need, and for Airdrie to be the healthiest community in Alberta. “Braden said the one thing he was good at was helping people. He still is.” Kristen Wallace and her merry band of volunteers Last December, when Kristen Wallace heard that the Airdrie Festival of Lights (AFOL) was in desperate need of volunteers, something “switched” in her, she says. “We’d gone down to the Lights before, we’d lived here for 13 years, and I felt maybe we’d taken advantage of it, so we just showed up.” Wallace and her five young children – Coben, Averie, Ashlyn, Shiloh and Callie (pictured at right) – volunteered throughout December, including Christmas Eve. They sold train tickets, served hot chocolate and spread holiday cheer. “I’m super proud of them. They totally took the initiative,” Wallace says. “Every decision was the kids. (Michelle Pirzek, AFOL coordinator) supervised, but they stepped up and this became important to them.” The family, including husband Shane, has been busy rebuilding displays for this year’s festival. “It’s important for the kids to realize it’s not always about the money in the stuff that you do.” life WINTER 2016/17 |







t is said that families who play together, stay together.

That couldn’t be more true for Ty and Taden Rattie. “All my best friends kind of turned into his best friends,” says Ty. “We always used to push him around and now he could come into our house and probably take any one of us.” Ty says the two have been best friends for as long as he can remember, and the feeling is mutual. “We’re probably one of the tightest (pairs of) brothers,” says Taden. “I’m glad to call him my best friend.” “Family” is tattooed on Ty’s right bicep above the initials of himself, his brother and their parents Rob and Shauna. In the middle of the initials is the number 11, representing the year 2011, when Ty was drafted by the St. Louis Blues. Taden was following suit in August to get the matching Aquarius (Ty) and Pisces (Taden) symbol tattoos mirroring those on Ty’s forearm. Ty, 23, is a right winger for the Chicago Wolves (American Hockey League) and is vying for a full-time role with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues where he has been a call-up over the last few seasons and with whom he was travelling this fall. (As of Oct. 28, he had played one game with the Blues and was pushing for more.) Taden, 18, is following in his brother’s right-wing footsteps and plays for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Vancouver Giants. Neither remembers their first time on skates but Ty says he has been told the stories of his outdoor rink debut by their father. Soon Rob was shuttling Ty – then a tike of about five years old – to 5:45 a.m. practices at the Plainsmen Arena, returning home for breakfast prepared by Shauna.

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“They worked well together and they definitely helped us out in the early ages,” says Ty. Taden had the same experience of practising on Airdrie’s three ice sheets at the Plainsmen and Ron Ebbesen arenas five years later. “They’ll support us in anything we do and they enjoy watching us,” says Taden of his parents. The brothers’ careers were mapped out similarly through bantam AAA with the Airdrie Xtreme. “Hockey has brought some great memories and some of my best friends and it all started here in Airdrie,” says Ty, noting he met two of his best friends, Logan Marlow and Trent Ouellette, with the Xtreme. Ty then played with the midget AAA Foothills CFR Bisons (formerly the Strathmore UFA Bisons) before heading on to the Portland Winterhawks for five years in the WHL from 2008 to 2013. He says he had the “time of my life” in Portland, where he was named the No. 1 player in the franchise’s history by The Oregonian online newspaper in September 2014. “To be a part of a [Memorial Cup] team is something special and I went to three league finals and only won once, so I was lucky enough to get into one Mem Cup and it’s a memory that’s going to be there forever,” says Ty. Those years were marked by his goal-scoring ability, earning him spots with Canada’s U17 and World Junior teams. The brothers’ only time competitively on the ice together was in the Winterhawks training camp in the fall of 2012. Ty has played the last three seasons with the Chicago Wolves and has appeared 26 times with the Blues. In 13 NHL games last season he notched four goals and two assists.

“We’re probably one of the tightest (pairs of) brothers. I’m glad to call him my best friend.”

His first NHL goal was a tip-in in a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, Jan. 12, 2016. Ty recalls his second goal tied St. Louis 3-3 at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 16 with parents and girlfriend Meagan Walsh in the stands. The Blues won in overtime. “That first goal was kind of a fluky one, but I scored the next night and it’s just a confidence thing telling yourself you can be here, you can play here, you can play with these players,” says Ty. Taden has outgrown his 6-0, 189-pound older brother and now stands 6-4 and nearly 200 pounds. The difference in size lends itself to varying styles of play for the two brothers. Ty is a goal scorer and opportunity-creator, while Taden has been utilized as an enforcer. Taden has had two fights in his brief WHL career, one more than his brother did in five years. “The biggest thing is use what you’ve got,” says Ty. “He’s 6-4, 200 pounds and he can skate good, so there’s not many players like that.” Ty says he can see Taden improving his game year-over-year. “He’s more than just a physical guy,” he says. “He’s going to be a skilled player. He’s got the hands, he’s got the smarts.” Taden’s path has diverged from Ty’s at times, but is incredibly similar. He played his 15-year-old season with the Airdrie Cochrane Avalanche (minor midget AAA), followed by a move to the Whitecourt Wolverines in the AJHL in 2014-2015 and for the beginning of the 2015-2016 season. He was moved to the Calgary Mustangs in October 2015 and retained his 2014 commitment with Western Michigan University in the NCAA.

By late 2015 the younger Rattie was in a Red Deer Rebels jersey after his WHL rights were acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. Although Taden didn’t see any ice time, he too had the MasterCard Memorial Cup experience last May while on the roster of the host Red Deer Rebels, who traded him to Vancouver this fall. The Rebels lost in the semifinal. The brothers stay in constant contact despite being miles apart. “I’ve got to listen to him,” says Taden. “He has seen it all. He’s been to world juniors, he has played [in the] NHL. When I see him doing these things, I want to push myself and do them, too.” The two have worked out together for the last four summers with Matt Sebastian at Explosive Edge in Airdrie. “There’s nobody else I would rather train with,” says Ty of his brother. Taden doesn’t see the profession as work in his budding pro-career. “You’re getting paid for it but [it’s] something you’re doing that you’re loving,” he says. “You can’t really call that a job.” Ty agrees. “There are times when you don’t want to practice,” he says. “You got to think about how many people would rather be doing what you’re doing. It’s what we picked to do and now we got to do our best at it.” Both are working to advance their careers to the next level. For Taden that involves the hope of an NHL contract and a return to the Memorial Cup in the next three seasons of junior eligibility. Ty’s future hopes are on a longer-term contract than his current oneyear, one-way deal worth $650,000 with the Blues. “I think short-term goals [are] establish myself establish myself as an NHL player and be an everyday player,” he says. life

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Back row, L to R: Samantha Powell, Arielle Bierkos, Lindsey Miko, T.C. Jordens, Lori Harahap, Caira Haynes, Charlene Codio Middle row, L to R: Sarah-Jane Moar, Sonja Kolstad, Kellie Richards, Chelsea Maxwell Front row, L to R: Michelle Gross, Cassandra Cavanaugh, Dominique Michaud, Sian Pilkington, Jessy Crawford

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his summer, Airdrie photographer and mom-of-four Charlene Codio decided to do a personal photo project on the subject of breastfeeding. Sixteen area moms boldly stepped up to the challenge with Charlene, and thanks to the assistance of her photographer husband Rafael Codio, they set the stage at a local acreage for a gorgeous and tranquil portrait of the beauty of breastfeeding. “Too many women are ashamed and scared to breastfeed in public because of the messed-up ideas some people have about it,“ says Charlene. “Breastfeeding is something that is absolutely amazing and beautiful, and a gift that you can give your child. It is the most selfless thing a mother can give her baby. “I know there are some mothers who choose not to breastfeed and others that just can’t. But this is really just in cele-

bration of the beauty of breastfeeding, and trying to show people that it is normal and okay to do,” she adds. “I hope that through this project … more women are able to breastfeed in public and not feel ashamed,” says Charlene. life

Project, ideas and wardrobe: Charlene Codio Flowers: Lori Harahap Makeup: Lucero Proudlock and Sarika Mehta Photo: Rafael Codio, CODIO Photography

Watch the amazing behind-the-scenes video

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he concept of the family farm may be fading for some, but for Bob and Ellen Cornish, it’s still going strong. Since the early 1980s, the couple have farmed four and a half quarter sections just northwest of Airdrie, as well as another three quarters about 15 miles further west. And it’s long been a family affair. “I was raised here … in fact, I was raised in the house across the road,” says Ellen. Adds Bob: “I was born on a dairy farm in Crossfield – which is now the golf course. That was Dad’s dream; he sold the land in hopes they’d develop a golf course there, though he never lived to see it.” So Bob’s dad must have been an avid golfer, then? “I don’t know if he ever golfed a day in his life!” Bob laughs. The current economic downturn has changed many lives in Alberta, and that was also true back in 1983 when a bad recession hit the local economy, forcing many to look for new careers. “Bob’s an electrician, and in those days in the ’80s with the crash, jobs were scarce and my dad had a hired man who chose to leave, so it was an open door for us,” says Ellen. “It was a great place to raise a family. We had to ease into the farming end because it was expensive, but luckily we

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had equipment.” Ellen says they’ve been full-time farmers since about the early 1990s. Over time the Cornish farm has evolved. Cattle used to be part of the mix, but aren’t any longer. These days, they focus on growing barley, canola and peas. Bob points to peas as an example of how agriculture is truly an international business. “Peas are a good rotation crop to get out of the cereals [for a while],” he says. “There’s more being grown this year because the price has been so good – last year, especially. “A lot of the peas are exported to India … it sometimes takes a disaster somewhere else for us to gain; India has had three years of drought, so their crops are not doing very well over there. They’re big on pulses [dried peas]. It’s a world economy now.” Looking back on his year in farming, Bob cites the improvements in technology as the biggest change. “Not only with cellphones and computers, but right into the tractor with auto-steer and all that,” he says. “And even on the agronomics side, there are much better tools now to use for determining your soil fertility and all that.” He also notes the increasing awareness and, for some, concern when it comes to the chemicals used in pesticides. “I had a guy figure out how











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1001 Highland w w AIRDRIE E Park Blvd

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L to R: Bob Cornish, Jacelyn Rohleder, Owen Rohleder, Greg Rohleder and Ellen Cornish, with dog Hunter

“It is a great lifestyle” much chemical is actually used on an acre of land,” Bob says. “The actual active chemical would fill two shot glasses.” Adds Ellen: “A lot of water is put on with that spray; if we didn’t spray, we wouldn’t have a crop.” For Ellen, the arrival of big corporate-run farms has meant “the family farm is depleting.” Fortunately, for the Cornishes, the opposite is true. The couple has four daughters, all of whom still have some involvement. One daughter, Jacelyn, who works for UFA in Calgary, married Greg Rohleder and they live across the road from Bob and Ellen. “[Greg] has worked with us for five or six years,” says Ellen. “He was not born on a farm, but he’s learned lots, and he’s done very well. He’s considering to carry it on.” Adds Bob: “I certainly feel like a mentor to Greg. He’s a good student; he has the aptitude to farm.” Another daughter, Careen, married Geoff Rohleder (Greg’s brother) and they and their children live on the Cornishes’ second property to the west. Denise and Mike Deere live in Airdrie and she helps out when she can. Their youngest, Ashley, and husband, Tom Callahan, recently started a home on a piece of the Cornish land. Ellen says one of her grandchildren, eight-year-old Justice, “wants to take over the farm! She’s very keen.” Beyond their own farm, Bob and Ellen have volunteered for years with the Airdrie & District Agricultural Society, with Bob a past president as well as current Art of the Harvest chair, and Ellen recently

94 | WINTER 2016/17

serving as chair of the Fall Fair committee. In 2013, the couple were presented with Honourary Life Membership Awards by the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies for their efforts with the Ag Society, which included being on the ground floor when the society supported the construction of the Ron Ebbesen Arena and launching the annual Art of the Harvest event that recreates how harvesting was done in years gone by. “I was approached by a good friend, a fellow I graduated with,” Bob recalls. “The Ag Society was struggling and at that time the City had approached them to help build the [Ebbesen] twin arena as the society had access to some funding the City couldn’t get. We went to a meeting and they said we’d either have to fold the Ag Society or take on this project, and it went from there.” Ellen says, although it’s a continual struggle to get volunteers, “if anything, we’ve gained some great friendships” through the Ag Society. So is farming the ultimate homebased business? “It is a great lifestyle,” Bob says. “We aren’t nailed to an 8-to-5 day. Some days are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but it’s seasonal when that happens; you can live with it. Through the winter and even the summer, we pick our hours, though we still have repairs to do and yards to look after.” It’s not completely accurate to say farmers are their own bosses, though, notes Ellen. “The weather is really more the boss,” she says. “But with no cattle we’re a little bit freer in the winter. And our grandkids can’t wait for the combines to get going so they can get a ride.” life


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Profile for airdrielife magazine

airdrielife winter 2016  

The hero issue! Explore the good life in Airdrie, Alberta with us.

airdrielife winter 2016  

The hero issue! Explore the good life in Airdrie, Alberta with us.