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exploring the good life in Airdrie


FALL 2015

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

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A Reflection of You.





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SALES CENTRE HOURS: Monday - Thursday 1 pm-8 pm; Friday 1 pm-6 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11 am-6 pm All illustrations are artist’s concept. All dimensions are approximate. Prices, specifications, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. E.&O.E.

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Fall 2015

in this issue devoted to arts and culture in airdrie, we asked our photographers to pick their favourite picture and explain why that image comes to mind. kurTis krisTianson i love being a portrait and lifestyle photographer, as the people i get to photograph are always very interesting, but the one that stands out in this issue was ali Froggatt (Ones to Watch, pg 107). it was a relatively complex setup but she walked in, got right into character and nailed it on the first go. She is awesome to work with.

krisTy reimer My favourite picture is the one of lia Golemba (Lia’s Lines, pg 22), because of her vision for the shoot. lia used to be an art director and so she had great ideas to bounce off of me. She was thinking of colours and background while i was thinking of lighting and it made a fun collaboration.

sergei BeLski My favourite image would probably be a photo of musician Jesse Wray robbins with his guitar (Open Arms, pg 26). it was great to connect with an artist. everything just worked at our photo shoot and i walked away with some nice images.

Airdrie’s Orthodontic Clinic FAll 2015



editor’s note


grew up surrounded by books. Literature was an important part of life in my family, and a trip to the library was a real treat. We also loved music (Dad instilled in me a real love of jazz in all its forms, and I can pretty much sing word for word every one of the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein), ballet (my sister actually saw Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn in performance) and art (I have memories of seeing the Mona Lisa and the Venus di Milo at the Louvre … but I was only 11 at the time and was not terribly impressed). My father, a professor, was a wonderful photographer, and my mother, a writer, was a prodigious potter. And travel to various points around the globe has been a highlight through the years. In short, our family has lived art and culture. So it is with great pleasure that I have watched Airdrie mature during the time since I first came here in the 1990s, and I am thrilled with how our community has embraced art and culture. The art community was strong when I first moved here, and it has only gotten stronger, thanks to support and encouragement from the community at large. The number of arts-related events has increased dramatically, and Bert Church Theatre has evolved, too, offering even more world-class performances for all ages. Painting, pottery, theatre, photography, dance, music and more are all here for the taking, as a participant or simply someone who appreciates what these activities add to the quality of life in their community. And as the population has grown, we have welcomed newcomers from around the world, who bring with them a wealth of cultural experience, which they share with their new community. With that in mind, airdrielife is honoured to be able to profile a cross-section of the community – our artists, musicians, entertainers, entrepreneurs (who demonstrate their own special brand of ‘art’), friends and neighbours. All these people who make up our community truly do make Airdrie richer. We are lucky to live in such a community.

Anne Beaty, EDITOR



FAll 2015








22 on the cover

Artist Lia Golemba illustrated our cover. Read about her life, business and art on page 22.


columnS & regulAr FeATureS


36 events 40 Healthylife 50 Parentlife with vanessa Peterelli


54 reallife with rob Jamieson 70 lifestyles with kim Purvis


72 gardenlife with lisa Silva

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Anne Beaty Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams Anne Beaty, Sergei Belski, Alex Frazer-Harrison, Rob Jamieson, Ellen Kelly, Kurtis Kristianson, Jeff MacKinnon, Carl Patzel, Vanessa Peterelli, Kim Purvis, Kristy Reimer, Kent Rupert, Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Lisa Silva, Shilo Storey, Corey Wine Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Sharie Tanner Print West Sharie Tanner


76 Homelife 80 businesslife with kent rupert 114 last look

Editorial Advertising



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 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 2015 by Frog Media Inc. May not be reproduced without permission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. 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



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


FAll 2015


Slice oF liFe 20

Family footsteps – potter pursues passion


graphic design – Art imitates life


Author’s world – zombies infest Airdrie


positive outlook – musician encourages learning


hard work – dancer aims for success


mission possible – salads satisfy


up to the challenge – Fitness rules


travel bug – Couple gets taste of india

Home liFe 58

gen-x at home – builder targets 40+


town centre – new development fills need


nice neighbourhood – hillcrest attracts families


showhome serenity – Water decorates community


taking flight – Artwork decorates ravenswood


growing canvas – gardeners create oases

Work liFe



16 ||


Company evolves – zytech embraces community


entrepreneurship – Creativity proves successful


off to a good start – program makes a difference

locAl liFe

FAll FAll 2015 2015


something for everyone – green spaces enhance city


multicultural community – Family finds Airdrie ‘amazing’


Arts celebration – Festivities begin


unique art – Chairs grace local area


paint the town – it’s not your average art gallery


milestone – parent link marks 10 years


up and coming – young talent impresses


keep you posted – initiative gains momentum

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slice of life

W h at t o s e e , d o , e at, l i s t e n t o a n d m o r e

20 Clay creations • 24 Booking it • 46 Exotic journey

Slice oF liFe ArTiST ProFile For Stacey mcIntyre, art is part of her soul.

Pottery is her passion

story by ellen kelly photos by kurtis kristiAnson


riginally from Ontario, potter Stacey McIntyre moved to Airdrie seven years ago. McIntyre commutes to Calgary for her day job in advertising but creating beautiful pottery is her passion and salvation. “Advertising is about business so there’s a lot of stress,” she says. “Pottery is my opposite. It’s my escape. It keeps me sane.” McIntyre’s mother and older sister paint and her nephew studied computer-based graphic design, but her grandmother was her first strong influence and mentor. “She drew, she did lino printing, she did silk screening and she did pottery, so that was my first exposure,” she says.“I have pots that she made and I have a whole portfolio of hers that I’m archiving and photographing to share with my family.”



FAll 2015

ARTIST CARRIES ON FAMILY TRADITION McIntyre took art in high school, where she was actively introduced to creating pottery but then, for many years,“it just went away,” she says. When she moved to Airdrie, McIntyre, in search of social connections, took two rounds of pottery classes. Sometime later, she did some soul-searching and went back through the things she really liked doing. Pottery was on the list. A close friend encouraged her, off she went to Wetaskiwin to buy a potter’s wheel and from there it snowballed. Other than her Saturday pottery classes, she is a self-taught artist. Today McIntyre’s inspiration is found mainly on the Internet where she finds the online pottery community supportive and encouraging. “I’m on Instagram and if I’m not doing anything, I just sit on my phone and look [at] pictures and read about shows people are in. You see the work people have done and you learn new techniques, too. I call it ‘pottery porn,’” she says.

Although she admires many different techniques used by many different potters, McIntyre’s personal favourite is hand-building. She uses stoneware, a form of clay that is heavier and more durable than earthenware and not as delicate as porcelain (which she plans to use one day). She also creates using her potter’s wheel and has recently started making dinnerware using a technique called slab-building, in which the clay is rolled out and pieces are cut from a template. “People want things that are functional,” she says. McIntyre’s favourite creations, though, are her hand-built vases, which have a specific style and are influenced by human form, often a torso with the top, which is always offset, opening like a flower. She builds the cylinder and while the clay is still malleable, she stretches it and plays with it to make the unique shape.“It just happens,” she says.

For the artist, who suffers from depression and has body image issues, “all shapes and sizes are beautiful just the way they are” and she works to achieve sensitive and subtle pieces through self-expression. McIntyre is always thankful for the help and support of her husband, Ray LaPlante, and good friend Sarah and for the encouragement in moving forward she has received from airdrielife publisher Sherry ShawFroggatt.Her greatest concern is one shared by all artists – that their work is underappreciated and undervalued when it is compared to commercially produced products. However, to date her art has been very well-received.

A member of ARTS, McIntyre has shown and sold her pieces at Art in the Park, the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show Art Market and the Calgary Lilac Festival. She will be helping Greg McRitchie glaze bowls at the Empty Bowls Festival in conjunction with ARTember and is also preparing for her display at the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market Nov. 28-30. And the icing on the cake – she is currently enjoying her brand new kiln. “My art is part of my soul,” McIntyre says.“I’ve been creative my whole life and I would be a very unhappy person if I couldn’t do it.” life FAll 2015



Slice oF liFe on THe cover

Lia’s Lines story by ellen kelly | photo by kristy reimer



FAll 2015


Where’s the art?

Our “Where’s Waldo-esque” cover by Lia Golemba is composed of myriad images that represent Airdrie arts and culture. Go online to for a key to all of the images and enter to win a $50 Good Earth gift card!

Meet the artist who created our first illustrated cover!

rtist, wife, mother and creative director for her company, Pink Spot Studios, for the past 13 years, Lia Golemba leads a busy life, full of the things she loves.. Her ‘day job’ with Pink Spot involves art direction and graphic design, mostly branding, as she meets the creative needs of clients in Canada and the U.S. Golemba, who has always loved art, grew up in Kelowna, B.C. When the Kelowna Art Gallery started early childhood classes, the young Golemba was in attendance; she later returned to teach summer programs. Her first passion was painting, which led her to Calgary and ACAD (Alberta College of Art + Design). The artist initially chose ACAD because it offered glass blowing “but I found I was really bad at it,” she says. “I ended up having a pivotal instructor … Alison Miyauchi questioned the path I was on, then really pushed me toward design – one of those things that changes your life.” Today Golemba considers her ACAD associates mentors. “It’s a close-knit community,” she says, “and I love to see where they are going and where their work is taking them.” Four years ago, Golemba and her husband moved to Airdrie. She is a member of Airdrie Regional ARTS Society, Graphic Designers of Canada, and the Graphic Artists Guild. In addition to a bachelor of design degree from ACAD, Golemba has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Calgary’s masters of teaching program. As an artist, Golemba works in oils and mixed media. She combines painting with found objects sealed between layers of resin and describes her art pieces as being like a flooded skating rink with items buried in the layers.“I really like personal things, so when I’m doing portraits for people I try to embed little pieces of things they are attached to,” she says. She draws, paints or sands, affecting each layer as the piece develops. The light reflects around the objects and those things are preserved forever. The cover for airdrielife came about through volunteering to create the doodle wall for Culture at the Creek. Golemba was approached by airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt to illustrate a cover that included ARTember landmarks and events. “We brainstormed and it turned out to be kind of a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ type of thing,” says the artist. For now, Golemba works mainly on commission as she tries to find a parent/work/artist balance. “I haven’t shown much,” she says. “I am the shoemaker without the shoes – I have no website and I don’t show and I’ve never stopped working or selling or getting commissions. I’m word of mouth. “Art is my therapy,” she adds. “It’s that quiet place to connect with something that’s bigger than everyday.” life Fall 2015




Slice oF liFe AuTHor ProFile

Write Stuff story by Anne beAty | photo by kristy reimer


any Airdrie residents have known Blair Lindsey first as a firefighter/paramedic with Airdrie Emergency Services (AES), and then as an instructor in the emergency medical technology field at SAIT. Nowadays, though, Lindsey has a new tag to add to his resumé – zombie thriller writer. Hunting the Dead, the first in a series, has been published; the second book, Containment, is in the works; and he’s already got ideas percolating for the third. The writing part probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to those who know Lindsey. “I grew up in a house that was always full of books,” he says. “My mom and dad were avid readers.” From childhood, his imagination has run wild through the literary landscape. His appreciation of literature has only deepened with time, and he has found that writing is just another facet of that appreciation. “I think inside most people … they all have a story they want to tell,” he says. A self-confessed “geek,” Lindsey has always been attracted to science fiction. “It’s about possibilities that don’t necessarily exist yet,” he says. So why zombies? “I don’t know,” he says with a laugh, adding that he enjoyed the post-apocalyptic horror movie 28 Days Later, and the ideas began bubbling after that. It really started, the author says, with a picture in his mind of a woman on horseback, sort of a Wild West setting, which led him to determine a time frame (the first story is set during the Civil War).“I really wanted the main character to be a strong heroine … in the tradition of action movies,” he says. Thus was born Solenne, whose family and tribe were slaughtered by the undead, and whose mission in life is to hunt and destroy the creatures. It’s somewhat of a shift in focus for a man whose first career is all about saving lives. Lindsey enrolled in SAIT’s emergency medical technology program in 1983 and upon graduation in 1985 started with AES, where he stayed until 2003 (part-time from 1999 to 2003). His SAIT position came about when a friend asked him to come in and teach, and he was hooked.



FAll 2015

“I really enjoyed it right away. What I love about it is … the engaging discussions with the students about how things work.,” Lindsey says, adding that helping students understand – seeing those ‘aha’ moments – has been extremely gratifying. Although he loves teaching, there is the occasional pull back to the paramedic life.“I do miss it sometimes,” he says. But, he adds with a smile, he has become used to working regular hours. The writing, though, has to be done in the non-regular hours. While he needs to be able to write in long blocks of time – “I really admire people who can sit down and do 15 minutes of it,” he says – Lindsey can ‘write’ in his head while he is doing other things. When he is running especially, he says, his thinking process becomes clearer, and he can work through how a scene will end or other aspects of the story. With Hunting the Dead Dead, it took three years for him to complete the novel and although there were times when he almost despaired of ever finishing, he persevered. “I thought, ‘I’m going to power through and finish this,’” he says. But all the hard work was worth it and Lindsey is proud of the final result. “There are a lot of zombie books out there,” says the author, “but I think this is different. It has a kick-ass heroine; it takes place in the Civil War era. I think people would find it a really different and interesting story.” Now, he is hard at work on the next instalment of the series. For Lindsey, the second book has allowed him to add depth to his heroine, as more of the“under-the-surface” aspects of Solenne’s character begin to emerge.“She’s ruthless in the first book and ruthless and damaged in the second book,” he says. He will continue to balance his teaching and his writing, as well as enjoying other creative pursuits (such as 3D art –“I just love that creative process,” he says). And in the years to come, will he be hanging up the teaching spurs and writing off into the sunset? “That’s actually exactly my plan,” Lindsey says, adding that his dream is to continue writing and perhaps retire to B.C. “You look at the things that you can do (as you get older) and still be able to enjoy.” life

Slice oF liFe muSiciAn ProFile

Open arms

story by JeFF mCkinnon | photos by sergei belski

robbins shares his enthusiasm




FAll 2015

esse Robbins’ first attempt at performing at an open mike a few years ago back home in Ontario did not go as he planned. He attempted to play three songs and was unable to finish any of them. “I was ill-prepared; it was a new thing for me, playing live by myself,” Robbins recalls. “But the people there were awesome and super encouraging. They said: ‘Come back next week. Keep coming out.’” So he did. After meeting the 27-year-old – and stumbling across an event from his past that made news in Calgary – it’s not surprising that Robbins stayed positive after that first night on stage. A few months after moving to Alberta in 2011 he stood on the side of the road in Calgary holding a sign that offered passersby free hugs with no strings attached, telling the media when they arrived to interview him that he simply wanted to make people smile. Robbins has taken his approach to life and connected it to his lifelong love of music. For the past two years he has organized an open mike event of his own every Thursday at the lounge at Smitty’s Restaurants in Airdrie, where he had met and become friends with the establishment’s music-loving owner, Josh Shelton. “We have quite a few regulars now and it’s literally people of all experience levels,” Robbins says. “I wanted to create an environment like the one I walked into. If someone comes up and they aren’t able to complete a song or they are discouraged, we want to encourage those people to come back and keep playing.

Slice oF liFe muSiciAn ProFile

“The more you keep playing with a microphone the better your stage performance gets,” he adds. “It’s a great way to learn. You are surrounded by other musicians who are going to keep helping you. It’s a great environment.” (The open mike at Smitty’s was expected to take a hiatus for July and August and resume in September.) Robbins says that he has been taking music seriously now for four years, which corresponds with the time he arrived in Airdrie from his hometown of Ridgeway, Ont., near Niagara Falls. He began playing in Grade 10 when, after getting his first guitar, a bass, he joined up with some high school buddies to form a heavy metal band. Robbins went home for the funeral of a friend who died in a traffic accident in 2011 and stayed for a spell, then moved back to Airdrie two years ago. He spent this past summer as a wilderness guide for the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie. Given his outlook on life, it’s not surprising to learn that Robbins has always leaned toward feel-good summertime music. The Beach Boys are his favourite band and a Beach Boys CD was the first music he ever owned. “I still have it somewhere,” he says.“They were a big influence when I was younger and even now. If I’m ever in a bad mood it’s easy to put the Beach Boys on and get a smile.” It was a feel-good tune called Travellin’ Life that Robbins submitted in 2014 for the SLAM on AIR songwriting contest. He reached the finals and although he didn’t win he drew the attention of Air 106.1’s program director Kevin Wallace, who subsequently helped Robbins find a studio to record a professional version of the song and then put it in rotation. “It’s a feel-good song – I wrote it on the ukulele. It’s got whistling on it,” says the musician. Robbins’ open mike is just one piece of a big music puzzle that exists in Airdrie, which is home to a wide range of performers with wide-ranging tastes. “The music scene here is fantastic,” he says.“There are a lot of talented musicians in the area. Everyone brings their own flavour to the table. “When we have an open mike here you don’t get a bunch of people coming out and playing the same style of music. You get a little bit of everything and it’s a beautiful thing,” he adds. life



FAll 2015


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Slice oF liFe dAnce

She A knows she can dance.... by JeFF mACkinnon

tdFoto.CA tarzan dan

a local performer dances her way onto the disney channel



FAll 2015

udessa Parafina began taking dance classes at an Airdrie studio when she was eight, and she’s never stopped. The 18-year-old does not take time off in the summer as others do. Instead, during her past break she opted to drive to Vancouver to take extra classes at the prestigious Harbour Dance Centre. She will return there in the fall to attend an intensive year-long program and dance with a semi-professional company. “Dance is her one true passion,” says mother Tiffany Parafina. “She was dancing two hours a day at (Edge School) then up to another 30-plus hours a week and for years she also danced in a studio on top of that. Even in the summer when she finally gets a break she takes extra classes for aerial work which she has performed in two different Stampede grandstand shows.” For now, Audessa is taking her passion and is working diligently to turn it into a career, and there’s already good reason to believe that will happen. She landed a part in the dance finale of a Disney Channel movie, Descendants, which debuted July 31. It was produced by Kenny Ortega, the man responsible for the successful High School Musical series. The part was the result of an online video audition that Audessa submitted to the Disney team, which turned into an in-person test that so impressed Ortega that he asked the Airdrie dancer to stick around Vancouver an extra week to audition for an acting part, even though she had no acting experience. “We rehearsed for a couple of hours a day for two weeks, then we went to Victoria to shoot for a week-and-a-half,” Audessa explains. “I’m part of the dance scene you see at the finale of the movie, the big final scene.” The Disney appearance was not Audessa’s first time on the small screen. At the age of 15 she won a role in a national McDonald’s commercial. A McDonald’s employee at the time, she submitted a video audition to producers, who called her to Toronto to try out. In the commercial, Audessa and the other dancers performed a routine in which they all built the perfect sandwich. “The whole shoot was truly amazing,” says her mother. “She met great friends and worked with one of the nicest choreographers in the business, Luther Brown (a judge on So You Think You Can Dance Canada).” Audessa has also been part of the Young Canadians grandstand show at the Stampede for the past six years, putting her in front of several thousand spectators each night. “(The Young Canadians) was a great experience,” says the recent Edge School graduate. “It’s a great place to learn stage presence because the Stampede is such a big audience. It’s a real great place to train.” The plan now is to move to Vancouver, study dance and acting and keep working toward a career that allows her to pursue her passion. In late July, Audessa and her family made the trip to the West Coast where she successfully auditioned for The Source Dance Company, which is run out of the Harbour Dance Centre. The success comes as no surprise to her first Airdrie dance teacher, Mandy Yip, who operated Star Baton and Dance Company, where Audessa started studying at the age of eight. (Yip sold that studio and it now operates under a different name.) “Audessa’s extremely talented and she’s a very hard-working kid and always has been,” says Yip. “Plus, she’s naturally beautiful and all of those things together make her a very employable dancer.” life

Slice of life Food

With the Airdrie’s best burger review behind me, I am now on a mission for Airdrie’s best gourmet salad! Is there a salad out there that will make me cuss like a sailor? Probably…. I woke up in the early morning, knowing I was going to fulfil my salad curiosities starting today. I softly stepped on the scale, afraid to see what was in store for me after the burger tour. Just as I suspected … 216 pounds. I’d put on a few! The salad mission came

Salad Days story by Corey Wine | photos by Sergei Belski



FAll 2015

at the perfect time.

The Chopped Leaf I had to satisfy my curiosity and hit up The Chopped Leaf right away. Since its opening, I continue to hear the buzz about this establishment. Sure, I’ve been there many times since the opening, but hadn’t managed to get away from the excellent wraps. This time would be different, though. The Bangkok Salad: Romaine, iceberg, peppers, snow peas, onion, noodles, peanuts, cilantro with evil peanut and prawns. Evil peanut? That sounds like a new gaming app. But, no, actually they were pretty evil. Every taste bud in my mouth opened up wide once the first bite hit my palate. This deep salad bowl was chock full! There were many complex flavours going on and no shortage of any ingredients. Unique, very flavourful and hearty. I left full and happy. Presentation: 7 Taste: 8

originaL Joe’s Sometimes, ya just gotta get away from not only your own kids but all kids. Ahhh, date night – let’s go to OJ’s! OJ’s is an 18+ establishment that has a little of everything on its menu. Tonight, though, I was here for salad. I was hungry and I knew the Grilled Sirloin Salad would shift my craving away from OJ’s awesome Kona Burger. Before I changed my mind, I ordered the Grilled Sirloin Salad and I was glad I did. Seven ounces of marinated AAA sirloin medium-grilled and served over chopped romaine, tomato, crumbled goat cheese, grilled mushrooms, red onion and sugar snap peas and topped with buttermilk blue cheese dressing filled me up to the brim. The steak was cooked perfectly to mix with the robustness of crumbled goat cheese and blue cheese dressing. Great salad, great beer, great ambience, no kids. YAHOO! Presentation: 7 Taste: 7 CosTa Vida Date night again. This time, I took my wife, Lisa, to Costa Vida on Main Street. Costa Vida is another place about which I continue to hear positive word-of-mouth, not just for the salads but the tacos, burritos and wraps, as well. It all starts with the restaurant’s signature hand-made tortillas. While Lisa chose the Mango Chicken Salad, I chose the Sweet Pork Salad with rice, beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips, cotija cheese and cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing. What a great date night filled with laughter and healthy food in a fun environment. Neither of us could finish so, we had leftovers for lunch the next day. I wrapped up the remainders of my Sweet Pork Salad into the signature tortilla that lined the tray’s bottom and made a burrito out of it. It was even better the next day! Presentation: 6 Taste: 8

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Slice of life Food

“I sat there with my eyelids slowly closing so as to really embrace the flavours that were being presented to me.” Brewsters Brewing Company Do you know how long it has been since my last crab cake? Too long! The grilled Crab Cake Louis Salad at Brewsters was nice and lightly crispy with a red wine vinaigrette, mixed greens, cucumber, grape tomatoes, sundried cranberries, mango salsa, basil aioli and sriracha mayo completing the bowl. Many senses were heightened while I was nibbling away at this meal. It was interesting how all of the main ingredients accented each other, and that sriracha mayo…. Presentation: 7 Taste: 5 Canadian Brewhouse The superb mid-morning weather spelled it out for us in the clouds … P-A-T-I-O. Let’s go to Canadian Brewhouse before the patio is full. “Can we bring our 14-year-old daughter onto the patio?” we asked the hostess.“Of course,” she replied. We took a look around at what others were eating and saw how large their salads were. We looked at our own menu and made history. It was the first time, ever, that every member of the Wine family ordered salad for dinner! I chose Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad: Fresh mixed greens with bacon, tomato, hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese and crispy chicken strips. Really fresh. Word of advice – a salad on a sunny patio goes best with hard-boiled eggs accompanying it. Being seen with a Cobb salad on a sunny patio is even better. (Daughter Leah had the Queen Charlotte Caesar Salad. Mmmmmn … chicken, romaine and croutons, fresh parmesan, real bacon bits, creamy Caesar dressing and a lemon wedge. Being seen on a sunny patio with her parents was not the ideal situation for her, though.) Lisa had the Taco Salad, which came with crisp romaine, cheddar cheese, red onions and chopped tomatoes, served in a crisp homemade taco shell bowl with salsa, sour cream and choice of beef or chicken. (For Lisa, being seen on a sunny patio with her happy salad-eating family is the best!) Presentation: 8 Taste: 6



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Pour Beer Market I love a salad that can pull off a combination of fruit without a clash of flavours jeopardizing the dish. At Pour Beer Market, I chose the Salmon Waldorf Salad to see if it was fit for the test. I also chuckled a little at the word “Waldorf ” so it was a no brainer that I ordered it. (Waldorf … chuckle, chuckle, chuckle....) Grilled salmon, green apple, cashew, pea shoots, Brie, celery, cranberry, quinoa and orange-poppyseed dressing loaded the plate. I realized that I could have a completely different taste with every single bite. I grabbed some salmon. I grabbed some green apple. Wow! Next bite – green apple, Brie and quinoa. Holy moly! I sat there with my eyelids slowly closing so as to really embrace the flavours that were being presented to me. Next bite, I tried some cashew, quinoa and salmon! *&$@# $&@!!! Next bite – celery, cranberry, salmon, Brie. WHAM! I fell right off my bar stool and broke my leg. I took the Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) approach (Grohl recently broke his leg on stage) and finished the salad as paramedics splinted my leg for transport. I left Pour Beer Market on a stretcher, feeling like a rock star as I heard people say, “There goes my hero.” Presentation: 8 Taste: 8 The Woods at Woodside Golf Course The Woods’ Salmon Salad – OK, let’s see how many golf puns I can make here. FORRRRRRK! I hooked this fish within seconds of its delivery. I decided to work on my slice so I grabbed my knife and fork and took out a divot. The salmon was perfectly cooked as it lay upon a bed of baby spinach, red onion, quinoa and fresh strawberries, topped with honey-mustard dressing. An albatross circled above, eyeing my delicious catch. I kept thinking to myself, “Keep your head down and follow through, keep your head down and follow through.” So I persisted, onto the back nine!

It was time I took a Mulligan on my empty glass of beer and grabbed another one. My next few attempts got me in real close. Just a couple of bites left, all I needed to do was tap it in. The greens were fast and I quickly devoured every last morsel. I ordered a tea (tee) after my meal, mainly so I could work it into the punniness of this story. All in all, I had a great round. This salad was par for the course in my books. Presentation: 7 Taste: 7 Paros I knew that Paros was familiar with the weekly business crowds coming in for a quick lunch and the restaurant’s ability to get patrons back to the office in time, so I ducked in for the Paros Salad. I accompanied the romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, feta cheese (oh yes, do things go betta with feta!) olives, Paros dressing and pita with a nicely sliced, marinated chicken breast. I took one bite and went into a delirious haze. I came to to the sound of crashing. I had unknowingly knocked my plate off the table. The restaurant was silent, each patron and staff member looking my way. In a panic, I yelled, “Opa!” Just then, every patron in the establishment stood up and yelled, “Opa” as they threw their plates onto the floor. Belly dancers came out from the back, the party was on and, it sure beats washing dishes! Presentation: 8 Taste: 10

Thanks to considerably lowering my wheat/ gluten intake during my salad adventure, I have been feeling way less bloated and more active and have absolutely been able to stuff myself to the point of popping. The proof is in the pudding … let’s get on that scale. 200 lbs! I have lost 16 lbs. over the last twoand-a-half months! All’s well that ends well, but now I am thinking about pudding! life

Fall 2015



Slice of life Events

Fall into Fun! September 2015 AIRDIRONDACK ART PROJECT There’s still time to check out the 12 original works of art that just happen to be Adirondack chairs (or, as the Creative Airdrie Society calls them, AIRdirondacks). The chairs are auctioned off at a formal gala Sept. 12 in support of the arts.

Sept. 12 AIRDRIEFEST 2015 City Hall An outdoor market-style festival that combines community group registrations with local artisans, delicious food and an afternoon of free family-friendly activities. Held in the parking lot, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

September CROSSFIELD FARMERS MARKET Pete Knight Memorial Arena (Crossfield) Open Thursdays, 5:30-8 p.m., to Sept. 17, this indoor market features a variety of vendors who make, bake or grow their own product, multiple vendors with hot food and ready-to-cook items, and more (e.g. out-of-province produce). Enjoy weekly entertainment vendors and demos, including local artists/musicians and interactive vendors.

Sept. 12 6TH ANNUAL AIRDIRONDACK ART PROJECT AUCTION AND GALA McArthurs Fine Furniture This black-tie event presented by Ravenswood is the highlight of ARTember and the annual fundraiser for the Creative Airdrie Society. Featuring the live auction of 12 original works of art on handcrafted Adirondack chairs. Entertainment, wine, craft beers, gourmet food and more. More information and tickets online.

September-October AIRDRIE FARMERS MARKET Jensen Park Open every Wednesday, 3:30-7 p.m., to Oct. 7. Explore the market and enjoy local goods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, original quilts, handcrafted art, natural soaps and lotions. September-November ART IN THE LIBRARY Airdrie Public Library The 2015 exhibit schedule includes: September-October: Sabbatical paintings and prints by Michelle Wiebe; November: Imagination by Tracy Laxton Sept. 2-23 ARTEMBER EVENTS AT THE LIBRARY Airdrie Public Library Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23: Writers Club; Sept. 14: writers workshop with Ellen Kelly; Sept. 19: Junior, Adult & Teen Artists: Samreen Junaid, henna; Sept. 18: Sunday Cinema; Sept. 23: author/illustrator Barbara Reid



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Sept. 12-13 STEAM AND STATIONARY ENGINES Pioneer Acres (Irricana) An event that highlights several stationary and portable steam engines as well as a 65 HP Case steam tractor. Visitors can also enjoy an impressive collection of internal combustion engines. Early settlers used these stationary engines to pump water, lift grain in elevators, operate blacksmith and woodworking shops, produce electricity and perform a host of other tasks. Sept. 12-27 ARTember Airdrie’s arts and culture celebration features special events, festivals, workshops and the popular Taste of Airdrie restaurant promotion. Full calendar of activities available online. Sept. 19 9TH ANNUAL EMPTY BOWLS ARTS FESTIVAL Airdrie Food Bank Moving to a new date and location in 2015, this family-friendly celebration of local talent in visual and performing arts draws the community together, brings awareness to local hunger issues and raises funds for Airdrie Food Bank.

Sept. 25 MARIE-JOSÉE LORD TRIO Bert Church Theatre Soprano Marie Josée Lord, violinist Antoine Bareil and pianist Hugues Cloutier present their program Jambalaya – a spicy collection of audience favourites. With her own personal style, voice, charisma and choice of repertoire, Lord delivers a gourmet recital where classical and popular music are gently and tastefully entwined. Admission $16. 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 ART OF THE HARVEST Airdrie Ag Park The Airdrie and District Agricultural Society (ADAS) is proud to host this annual harvest event. Horse teams and vintage equipment will be used to harvest grain planted in spring. This informational demo and event offers something for the very small to the very tall, from the city dweller to those with rural roots. Located 3 km west of Airdrie on Big Hill Springs Road. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26-27 CULTURE AT THE CREEK Nose Creek Park Airdrie’s celebration of Alberta Culture Days, providing free activities for all ages. Music, food, arts, cultural performances and much more. October AIRSCARES HAUNTED ATTRACTION A haunted attraction offering tricks and frights sure to scare! NOTE: not for young children. All proceeds directly support the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie. Exact location, dates, times and ticket prices available online. Oct. 3 JOHN MCDERMOTT TRIO Bert Church Theatre Nominated for several Juno awards, John Charles McDermott is a Scottish-Canadian tenor best known for his rendering of the song Danny Boy. His accomplishments include the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Bob Hope Award for his support for veterans’ causes. Admission $45. 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 2nd ANNUAL POSITIVE POST-IT® DAY Take part in teaching the world the power of a positive phrase. Whether it’s to combat bullying, improve mental health and well-being, or simply a way to show you care, be sure to participate in this initiative aimed at making the world a better place. Oct. 14 CALGARY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Bert Church Theatre The whole family will enjoy this one-hour performance by a world-class orchestra in an intimate theatre setting. Admission $29. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 DEFEAT DEPRESSION East Lake This locally hosted walk/run (2 km and 5 km) around East Lake is a fundraiser for local community mental health organizations (as part of the Defeat Depression Canadawide campaign) and Airdrie Food Bank. The event is Halloweenthemed and includes face-painting, a best-costume contest, family entertainment, Zumba warmup, guest speakers, awards and prizes. Oct. 17 MARTHA WAINWRIGHT Bert Church Theatre With a hugely expressive voice and an arsenal of powerful songs, Martha Wainwright – daughter of folk legends Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and sister of acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright – is a beguiling entertainer and a refreshing force in music. Admission $29.75. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 Airdrie Business Awards Bert Church Theatre Enjoy an evening of celebration, cocktails and desserts. Admission $50. 7-10:30 p.m.

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587-360-2510 STONEKEEP.CA FAll 2015



Slice of life Events

November AUTHOR VISITS Airdrie Public Library Author Series: Nov. 6 – Tyler Trafford; Nov. 27 – Ali Bryan NOVEMBER-DECEMBER ADOPT-A-BOOK Airdrie Public Library Adopt a book and support your library at the same time. Proceeds from this annual fundraiser go toward APL programs. Nov. 6-7 AIRDRIE CHRISTMAS SHOW Town and Country Centre Airdrie Farmers Market hosts this show featuring regular market vendors as well as baked goods and holiday-themed crafts and gifts. Nov. 7 CHRISTINE TASSAN ET LES IMPOSTEURES Bert Church Theatre Pioneers in a domain usually reserved for men and precursors of the gypsy wave that swept across Québec, this all-woman



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quartet continues to reinvent this timeless music while integrating new ideas and influences with an originality and flair. Admission $24. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7-8 CHRISTMAS MARKET Crossfield Community Centre Hosted by the Crossfield Farmers Market, this show features seasonal vendors and product as well as regulars from the summer season. Watch for Santa (plus a photographer) on site! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14 WINE DOWN FUNDRAISER The Woods at Woodside Golf Course All proceeds from this event go to support children’s programming at Community Links. Enjoy an evening of wine and a delicious selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, plus a silent auction, raffles and entertainment. Sponsored by FortisAlberta. Tickets $35 per person.

Nov. 14 6 GUITARS Bert Church Theatre 6 Guitars is a pitch-perfect blend of music, comedy and characters, as Chase Padgett becomes six different guitar players, each with his own distinct voice, views and musical style. Characters ranging from a 19-year-old rock prodigy to an 87-year-old blues man share their journey with music from discovery to mastery through songs and stories. Admission $16. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-15 MRS. CLAUS’ SHOP HOLIDAY MARKET Town and Country Centre See what more than 55 local crafters, bakers, artisans and small-business owners have to offer over the holiday season. Santa will be available for pictures. Presented by Hat’s On Productions. Admission is free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Nov. 20-21 CHRISTMAS MARKETPLACE Airdrie Koinonia Christian School Shop for everyone on your list with a variety of vendors – Christmas shopping made easy! Open Friday 5-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 28 LIZZY HOYT Bert Church Theatre An award-winning Canadian vocalist and songwriter who also happens to rank among the top Celtic instrumentalists in the country, Lizzy Hoyt delivers music and stories with soaring melodies rooted in Celtic and folk tradition. Let her dazzle you with her talents as a multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, harp and step-dance. Admission $24. 7:30 p.m.


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Airdrie Life (7.25w by 4.75h).indd 1

7/9/2015 2:33:22 PM


Yankee Valley Blvd


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Kingsview Blvd SE

Queen Elizabeth II Hwy

Veterans Blvd



It Burns!!

Slice of life Healthylife

by Anne Beaty

Why and What to Do


ou’ve all felt it. You’ve enjoyed a great meal when suddenly … heartburn, that burning sensation in your chest and/or throat. You pop a Tums® and voila – it’s gone. Acid indigestion occurs when the gastric acid in your stomach backs up into your esophagus. If this happens only very occasionally, you probably don’t need to see the doctor, but if it is severe (e.g. you have trouble swallowing or have suffered damage to your esophagus) or occurs frequently (more than two times a week) or persists despite use of over-the-counter medications, you just may have GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease). Acid indigestion, bloating, burning, gas, even a pain in your chest behind the sternum – all are symptoms of GERD. You may feel it when you bend over, or at night when you lie down in bed. While the occasional heartburn may seem innocuous at first, if those symptoms continue, it’s time to seek medical advice. “It it’s severe and it’s happening a lot, then you should be seeing your doctor,” says Denise Melrose, pharmacist and owner of Airdrie’s Pharmasave. As the condition worsens, it can end up burning up the throat, Melrose says, resulting in esophageal inflammation or even ulcers. “The esophagus isn’t supposed to have acid in it,” she says.



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So what does this all mean? Working with your doctor to determine the problem is a first step. (It is especially important to see a doctor if you suffer from chest pains, as this, along with shortness of breath and pain in the jaw or arm, could signal a heart attack.) For diagnosis, there are several different types of tests available, and your doctor can determine which is most applicable. As for treatment, it really is dependent on the individual. There are several options for treatment depending on the frequency and severity of symptoms, and downing handfuls of antacid tablets isn’t the answer. “We very rarely use antacids anymore,” Melrose says, adding that the more the acid is nullified the more the body produces.“You end up with this vicious circle,” she says. Many people can manage the condition with changes to their lifestyles (eating smaller meals, losing weight, avoiding food and drink that trigger heartburn, raising their upper body in bed at night) and use of over-the-counter medications. Many may need prescription medication – H-2-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors – that neutralizes stomach acid or that reduces or blocks acid production, and some may need surgery. It is important to work with your doctor, as there may be potential side effects to long-term use of medications.“Anything that changes your acid production changes how you absorb things,” Melrose says. “(But) that’s pretty individual.” For someone who has enjoyed a life of eating whatever I darn well please with no negative side effects, it came as somewhat of a shock to learn that I am suffering from GERD, and that I have a hiatal hernia (the upper part of my stomach moves up into my chest cavity through a small opening in the diaphragm) which may be a contributing factor. It all started a couple of years ago when I started experiencing what I thought of as simple heartburn. However, over-the-counter remedies didn’t work and it didn’t go away. It did not seem to be related to anything I was eating or drinking (such as spicy foods or coffee), and I couldn’t pin down any specific cause. I was just always feeling the burn, and it progressed to the point where I felt as if I always had a lump in my throat. I saw my doctor and he ordered testing, the result of which is that I am now on prescription medication, a proton pump inhibitor which reduces stomach acid and will allow my esophagus to heal (that ‘lump’ was actually inflammation of my esophagus as a result of acid reflux). While I’m not jumping for joy at the fact that I have GERD, I am glad that I finally talked it over with my doctor and didn’t ignore it until more damage was done. As Melrose says, if that little voice in your head is saying, “I wonder if I should see the doctor?” … then see the doctor. life


EatPlayStay Airdrie


his exclusive page is designed to provide highlights from the 2015-2016 EatPlayStay Airdrie guide – available across Airdrie year round. Pick up a copy at a local restaurant or hotel or at CrossIron Mills. Or view online at Airdrie Health Expo Hat’s On Productions is pleased to introduce its Inaugural Health Expo on Jan. 30-31, 2016. Whether you’re looking for help or new ideas around treatment for a chronic condition, or simply need assistance keeping on track with your New Year’s resolutions, this is the place to be. Airdrie Town & Country Centre. Admission $2 for ages 12 and up.

Art of the Harvest Join members of the Airdrie Ag Society on Sept. 26 for an oldfashioned harvest demo and free lunch! Airdrie Ag Park 3 km west of Airdrie, Big Hill Springs Road and RR 14. Crossfield Farmers Market We’ve extended our season with a special two-day event Nov. 7-8 at Crossfield Community Centre. A traditional hand-

made-products market with 70 tables of unique products. Fresh, hot, home-cooked meals in the provided seating area. Twenty-table commercial-products marketplace available. Look for Crossfield Farmers Market on Facebook. Iron Horse Park Take the 1.6-kilometre interpretive journey aboard one of the 1/8th-scale diesel or steam locomotives at the park and get a feeling for what the railway was like in Western Canada during the pioneer days. The park is owned and operated by the Alberta Model Engineering Society, which was incorporated in 1971. Open Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., until Oct. 11, 2015. Rides $3. Visit Thai Charm Thai food – the culmination of a variety of foods from the four regions of Thailand: Northern, Northeastern, Central and Southern – is internationally famous. It’s a national cuisine blending elements of several Southeast Asian traditions, and its spiciness is well known. Thai Charm was voted by John Gilchrist as one of the best new restaurants of 2014 – come and discover why! Visit

Date: September 26, 2015 Time: 11 to 2 pm Place: Airdrie Ag Park. 3KM west of Airdrie on Big Hill Springs Road and R.R. 14

Come and discover the • Old Tyme Harvest Demonstration • Horse Teams • Antique Farm Equipment • FREE Beef on a bun (First 300 Visitors)

AIRDRIE HEALTH EXPO Jan 30-31, 2016 9am - 5pm Airdrie Town & Country


Open every Sunday 11 am - 4pm until Oct 11, 2015 Visit or call 403.948.2601

Registration Now Open for our NEW 2 Day Winter Market

Crossfield Community Center 900 Mountain Avenue NOV 7& 8, 2015 10 am - 4 pm

Regular season continues THURSDAYS 5:30 pm - 8 pm until Sept 10 at Pete Knight Arena!

Fall 2015



Slice of life Fitness

The Last 20 Pounds Fitness


Photos by Kristy Reimer

ay back in April, three lovely women stepped up to our 12-week challenge. More than simply a weight-loss contest, it was about overall improvement of fitness and lifestyle choices. With the help of Body by Nic, Simply for Life and Blacksmith Yoga, our three contestants – Alycia Bradley, Char Stang and Sarah Conduct – discovered the strength to reshape their bodies and minds! All three women made great strides in improving their health, from weight and inches lost to power and strength to new and improved eating habits.


Alycia |

Char FAll 2015


Challenge - RESULTS Alycia Bradley


Weight: 157.6 Chest: 37 Abs: 34 Hips: 42 Squats: 30 Pushups: 28 Burpees: 9

Weight Loss: 8.9 lbs (Weight Loss of 5.65%) Total Inches Lost: 19

Weight Loss: 9.5 lbs (Weight Loss of 4.92%) Total Inches Lost: 14.5


148.7 34 29 40.5 32 38 13

From a nutritional standpoint, I think the biggest ‘aha’ moment for me was learning that healthy eating requires that I chow down six times a day, with no more than three-four hours in between. It took a lot of mental effort at first: everywhere I went, I had to plan for how long I would be away from the house and to pack my meals/snacks accordingly. And let me tell you, within the first two weeks, if I didn’t bring enough for an outing, boy did I suffer. You learn to always pack extra … and now I always keep a spare almond snack in my purse in case of emergency ‘hungriness’! Needless to say, it truly has become second nature. I love eating so there was no real downside to it, just the extra dishes (lol). From an exercise standpoint, Nicole has been absolutely crucial to my success. I did not realize how psychological healthyhabit changing could be. In the past, those were the moments when I would have just given up. Having someone to really hold you accountable and understand what you are going through … was among the greatest gifts this challenge gave me. Secondly, I have come to realize that most weight-loss initiatives focus on food intake (which is very important), but leave out fitness and sheer strength. I cannot even describe how amazing it is to feel truly strong and to have earned every lunge, squat, and bicep curl that has got me to where I am right now. There is no way I will ever let go of this feeling.

If I can impart any wisdom to those wanting to change their life: to paraphrase Nicole, health is a lifelong journey – it should be at the forefront of everyday, like drinking water and sleeping. Stop looking at the scale, exercise to feel strong, and eat!

Char Stang


Weight: 193 Chest: 37.5 Abs: 38 Hips: 44.5 Squats: 39 Pushups: 28 Burpees: 11.5


183.5 34.5 29 44 45 42 11.5

I have lost a good amount of weight. I would have liked to have lost more but as Nic says, I didn’t put it on in six weeks so I shouldn’t expect it to go away in six weeks! I love working out with Alycia and/or Sarah and no matter how bad I feel going in, I always feel great when I am done. I see positive changes in my body and, most importantly, changes in my attitude toward working out. I am stronger both physically and mentally and know now that I can accomplish things I would have been afraid to attempt before. I really like the nutrition coaching; the recipes are great and Danielle genuinely cares about my ongoing success and my plans to be successful after the program. I need structure in order to be successful with my weight loss and the Simply For Life program gives me that. I have been going to yoga quite regularly and notice changes in my flexibility and strength. Sometimes it’s hard to drag myself there after a long day of work but I always feel better when I do. It’s a great way to unwind and take time for myself. Fall 2015



Slice of life Fitness






Sarah Conduct


Weight: 155 Chest: 37 Abs: 35 Hips: 39 Squats: 31 Pushups: 20 Burpees: 12

Weight Loss: 14.5 lbs (Weight Loss of 9.35%) Total Inches Lost: 16


140.5 34 31.5 37.5 59 41 16

I’m ecstatic with my results! I look in the mirror and I see muscles I’ve never had before and a waist I’d totally forgotten about! I’ve lost a good amount of weight and although I’m not quite at my target weight, I’m just a few pounds out and with all of the help I’ve had from Simply For Life, I know I can get to target. The workouts have been amazing. I’ve learned so much from Nicole and I’ve been able to transfer that knowledge to my own workouts and work on my strength to help my progress. Nicole and Danielle have been motivational,

supportive and inspirational. They have, quite literally, changed my life forever. I have loved every second of this journey. The workouts have been fantastic; Nicole is an amazing trainer. She is supportive and encouraging, and the workouts are tailored to you. I look forward to going and feel great afterwards. The meal planning is worked out around your life, likes, dislikes and ability to prep. The coaches at Simply For Life are fantastic; they put my mind at ease and give me the motivation to continue, even after a tough week. The only thing I’ve found hard is fitting in the yoga! Life is so busy already and with the extra time to meal prep and the appointments to keep with Nicole and Simply For Life, I have found it hard to make the time for more classes. That said, the times I have gone, I loved the relaxing atmosphere and yoga is wonderful on those tight muscles.

All three challengers are winners just for completing the program and getting results, but we did have special motivation with a prize package worth more than $1,000 to go to one of the women. The decision was based on the fitness outcomes, the overall attitudes of the challengers and reader feedback. As a result we are pleased to announce that Sarah Conduct wins the challenge prize package, which consists of three months of support from Simply For Life, 12 weekly training sessions with Body by Nic and the airdrielife makeover package – a $250 CrossIron Mills shopping spree, and hair and makeup by The Hair Lounge. Watch for Sarah’s celebration of her new look in an upcoming issue.



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WineDown Fundraiser

Saturday November 14 The Woods

at Woodside Golf Course

Tickets $35 per person For more information: or call 403.945.3900

well-appointed guest rooms with 103 comfortable pillow-top mattresses and triple sheet bedding program



All proceeds from this event go to support Children’s programming at Community Links. Join us for an evening of wine and a delicious Sponsored by selection of hot and cold Hors D’oeuvres. Silent auction, rafes and entertainment.


1. Q: Why isn’t there a big outlet store for quality Pre-owned cars/trucks/vans & SUV’s? A: But there is. Just Google CARSCO. 2. Q: Why is it so hard to find the best price? A: We’re not too sure. CARSCO does the homework for you and is consistently ranked in the top 3 for value in the region. 3. Q: Why doesn’t anyone have the car I want now? A: That one puzzle’s us too. CARSCO has 150 vehicles on site, full access to the dealer only auction right down the road and 2 strategic partners with an additional 7 million dollars in Inventory. I bet CARSCO can find it!


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Photos courtesy of Ken and Brenda Bax

Slice of life Travel

Ken and Brenda Bax, seen here at the Hampi ruins near Hospet, have memories to cherish of their trip to India, which included (next page, clockwise from top) shopping for ingredients in Udapur; Thalli lunch at their rooftop eatery; and the Taj Mahal.

A Taste of India by Anne Beaty

Airdrie couple discoverS culinary adventure in India



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en and Brenda Bax, who moved to Airdrie from Carstairs in 2008, were both infected with the travel bug at an early age. Ken, an oilfield end-of-life environmental and decommissioning program manager, and Brenda, a special needs assistant with preschool children, have been nurturing that bug ever since. Between them, the Baxes have travelled to Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Nepal, Southern Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean. Last winter, they combined two of their favourite activities – exploring new locations and exploring food – and headed off to India for a month in DecemberJanuary. For Ken, it was a return trip, since he visited India almost 40 years ago; for Brenda, it was an introduction to a country and a culture her husband still talks about. “This was somewhere we just wanted to get to and experience,” says Ken. “And we enjoy the food and culture.”   Setting off on Dec. 15, the couple spent the first two weeks in India on an organized food tour. The third week they were on their own at Goa; for the final week, they hired a car and driver and toured south central India.

Fall 2015



Slice of life Travel

Editor’s Note: Each issue we bring you an airdrielife reader’s travel adventures. Want to tell yours? Contact

Pull quote – “We got to learn quite a bit about culture and society – things that made the country what it is.”

The Goa fish market

While the whole trip was filled with wonderful memories – the first sight of the Taj Mahal framed by the entrance gate as they walked into the grounds was breathtaking; and a meal in Jodhpur at the garden restaurant of On the Rocks was a highlight – the final week in the hired car was definitely the most exciting experience. “Driving in India is truly hair-raising/mad/dangerous/crazy/incredible,” Ken says with a laugh. The food tour was a lot of fun. The Baxes enjoyed cooking demonstrations (they had a bit of hands-on experience making chapatis, but mostly watched and listened and asked lots of questions), got to know and appreciate the local market scene and sampled a wide variety of cuisines. “Street fare is a big part of what people are eating,” says Ken.“Our tour leader was passionate about showing and introducing us to as much as possible. And he knew where and when to offer us snacks that would not upset our Western digestive constitutions.”  Having never taken a guided tour before, the Airdrie couple was very pleased with how it turned out. “We saw and experienced much more with the group and a leader than we would have on our own. And it was a good way to get ideas from fellow travellers and our guide on what to do with our other two



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weeks,” Ken says, adding that he suggests looking for a small group – 10 to 12 people maximum – with a focus, such as food. (For travelling on one’s own in India, he recommends hiring a car and driver.) Even though Ken and Brenda are experienced travellers, they recognize that there’s always something to be learned along the way, and being able to see the country through the eyes of others enhanced the couple’s experience. “Our guide for the tour was very informative, and open to any questions. Our driver on the last week gave us a perspective on India from an ‘average man’s’ point of view,” says Ken. “We got to learn quite a bit about culture and society – things that made the country what it is.” For anyone wishing to travel in this part of the world, Ken offers some words of advice. “India can be very hard travelling – logistics, culture shock, traffic, just getting around and knowing what to see or do ... did we mention culture shock? The tour was a great way for us to get ‘acclimatized’ a bit and learn the lay of the land – travel and logistics prearranged and managed.”   With the great Indian subcontinent trip now behind them, the Baxes are always looking ahead to their next adventure. In the meantime, they are content to simply savour their chosen home. “Airdrie has been great for us,” says Ken. life



myself to



You do your best to uphold your kids to their commitments so why don’t you make the same sort of commitment to yourself?

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Celebrating 40 years as Airdrie’s #1 Source For Breaking News, Sports & What’s Happening in YOUR COMMUNITY!

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Slice oF liFe column


With vAnessA peterelli

Yes, orange elephants can fly What it means to inspire creativity in children

Raising imaginative kids doesn’t need to be as daunting as it might sound. Simple, accessible ideas can do wonders for nourishing the creative genius within.

EMBARK ON AN ADVENTURE Give children the tools to learn about the world around them in an interactive way. Travelling afar is a great learning opportunity, but you can have an artistic adventure right in your backyard, where art and culture thrive. Take your kids to explore such gems as museums, art displays, the theatre and the library. There are a great many ‘windows to the world’ right here in Airdrie.

SHARE STORIES TOGETHER Inspire children to love to read and tell stories from an early age, whether it’s while drawing a picture, making up a song, playing dress-up, kneading Play-Doh , or gazing at the stars before bedtime. It can begin as simply as opening a book. “I think it’s important that kids are read to at a young age and encouraged to ‘pretend’ to read a picture book, when they are still unable to,” says Atlas Learning Academy director Helen


Koupantsis. “The story they will create while they pretend to read using the pictures will be amazing. “Sometimes, as adults, we just need to listen and pretend as well,” she adds. “Try not to correct imagination ... sometimes an elephant is orange and can fly.” For older children, suggesting a theme can do wonders for inspired storytelling. Notes Koupantsis:“If you ask a Grade 3 child to write a story about anything, most will get stressed and say, ‘I don’t know what to write about.’” Starting them off with a picture or story title helps. “Then they can start thinking and expressing what that means to them, without giving them too much of an idea of what to write about,” she says.“You can get 30 completely different stories from the same prompt.”

ZONE OUT, TUNE IN Encourage youngsters to go beyond their comfort zone and try something new. Have them take up a new hobby or interest; try performing arts classes; or learn a new language or instrument. An appreciation for music can be a powerful thing. “The act of listening to music alone

affects our emotions and mood and can make us feel happy or excited,” says Airdrie Children’s Choir founder and artistic director Karen Yackel. “These feelings and moods can inspire creative thinking and imaginative ideas. “Often when learning music the student is asked to let their mind wander and see what pictures come into their head or what story they think the music is telling,” adds Yackel. “I have found that students get really excited about this kind of activity, especially when they can feel free to share their ideas. Nothing is ‘wrong’ because the student’s experience is what inspired their brain to come up with a creative response.”

BOOST THEIR GREY MATTER “I think video games have [taught] children to think more black or white and the grey area is fading,” Koupantsis says, noting it’s worth looking for apps and games that encourage creative thinking. Challenge kids to apply their own imaginative solutions to daily situations. Kindle an appreciation for such games as Charades, Pictionary, Blokus and Qwirkle to inspire creative thought. Embrace the Play-Doh

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and unleash the Lego . Let your children build what and how they want to build. Corral some building blocks in a clear cookie jar on your island or coffee table – hard to resist and a decorative accent piece in its own right.

We love seeing kids!

OFFER ART A HOME Make your home a place where creative thought can thrive. Designate a craft drawer/box and stock it with simple supplies. Then, give creations pride of place in a special spot, such as an art wall, shelf or nice ‘coffeetable binder.’ Take photos of pieces so they can live on forever. Dr. Heather Cowie Dr. Brent Hopfauf Optometrists

GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME Time for unstructured, imaginative play is time well spent. Book it into your family calendar, if need be, then have your loved ones share the ideas, creations and discoveries that result. You might just learn something about your children’s perspective on the world and their place in it, as well as how creative thought can, indeed, have a positive impact, orange elephants and all. life

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Slice oF liFe column



With rob JAmieson

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y older brother is about to get married. This is weird territory for me. Growing up, he was the one to show me how to do basically everything. He was better than me at all that we did. He was a better hockey player, he was better with money, his Lego-building skills were off the charts while mine were subpar at best. The reason the idea of my brother getting married is so foreign to me is that I’ve already done it, and have been at it for more than a few years now. I didn’t learn this one from him. In fact, I feel as though I’m the one teaching him a thing or two down the homestretch here. You can’t teach someone how to be happily married. It’s like parenthood. You can read all the books and watch all the videos, but you’ll never know how to truly be the person you need to be until you’ve thrown yourself in the position of needing to be that person. That doesn’t mean people (including me) won’t ask for or be more than willing to give their advice as to how to do it right.

But I like this idea that my brother looks to me for advice. He’s even gone so far as to name me the“best man” of his wedding. I’m glad he’s comfortable finally admitting my dominance. (This is just some payback for his best man speech at my wedding.) So what is my advice? I’ve learned that you’re never going to be the ideal person your spouse will want you to be. That works both ways. Once you say “I do” things change. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing as long as you’re willing to grow together. Just remember to think that if there’s something that your significant other is doing to make you mad, or isn’t doing to make you happy, at any point of the marriage, there’s a good chance it’s reciprocated. Don’t let this become an irreparable problem. Grow, adapt and learn from each other. Understand why something is being done, or why it is not, and you’ll be light-years ahead of those who don’t have this understanding. I know my brother already knows this. We’ve grown up with a great example in our parents. My wife and I have also tried to instil these concepts into our relationship. It can be tough at times, but when two people can figure each other out, ever so slightly, it’s a wonderful thing. None of this will be in my best man speech. That’s where all my crude jokes and embarrassing stories will end up. Chances are, I’ll probably just give this issue of airdrielife to my brother the morning of his wedding. You know, just to ease the nerves on the big day. I know he will appreciate it as much as I’m honoured to write it. life


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Slice oF liFe #moreliFe

Scenes from the 2014 Carre Group $1 million Home in One Challenge at Woodside Golf Course

airdrielife brings you #MORELIFE! WIN a $1 Million Payment-FREE Mortgage

airdrielife is proud to be the media sponsor of the second Carre Group $1 Million Home in One Challenge Promotion at Woodside Golf Course. From May through August, every round of golf or tournament you play in at Woodside gives you a chance to qualify to be one of 13 lucky golfers to participate in the 2015 Million Dollar Home in One Shootout Sept. 13. the shootout itself promises to be a great afternoon with a party held right on the No. 3 tee box. the 13 lucky qualifiers and their fans will enjoy beverages and food after the nail-biting driving contest is finished. there’ll be tons of prizes for the golfers, and maybe, just maybe, Matt Carre will hand a lucky golfer a $1 million mortgage!

Full contest details at or



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home life

i d e a s a n d a dv i c e f o r yo u r h o m e , i n s i d e a n d o u t

64 Top-notch • 68 Community centre • 74 Growing art

Home liFe builder ProFile melanie Wood, Cove properties director of sales, shows off the Chateaux, the company’s new project in King’s Heights.

First-class living I story And photo by CArl pAtzel

f you envision a peaceful, quiet middle-aged lifestyle, then The Chateaux at King’s Heights may be just what the real estate doctor ordered. Recognizing a housing need for the gen-X population in Airdrie, Cove Properties offers up this two-building residence targeted at the 40-plus demographic. The adult-living atmosphere is perfect for those wishing to escape yard work or just downsize, says Melanie Wood, Cove Properties director of sales. “We’re also getting people who are moving here from outlying smaller towns because their kids and grandkids live in Airdrie. It’s basically a migration,” Wood says. “We did this ‘exclusively-for-the-40-plus’ building. We also did outside amenities with a gas fire pit and seating areas and really great landscaping.” Located in the city’s southeast just off Yankee Valley and Kingsview boulevards, the 95-unit complex features secure, heated underground parking and individual storage units, as well as bike storage in the parkade. Nine-foot ceilings decorate several fourth-floor suites and large, private balconies all include gas barbecue outlets. Gourmet kitchens will please those channeling their inner Gordon Ramsay, with oversized, flat-surface eating bars and solid Shaker maple cabinets.



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The Chateaux also boasts spa-inspired bathrooms with fully tiled, five-foot soaker tubs. “The whole building is heated with radiant in-floor heating,” says Wood.“The exterior of the building is very high end with acrylic stucco, brick and timber. “It’s going to be beautiful, with a little bit of a rustic appeal to it, and fit right into the neighbourhood,” she adds. Identifying the communal aspect of adult living, Cove Properties has added a social room to the design with card table, kitchen and seating area. This will connect to an outdoor seating area and fire pit. The Chateaux offers floor plans with one- and two-bedroom options ranging from 768 to 1,239 square feet. Prices range from $234,900 to $265,000 for two-bedroom units, with top-floor apartments climbing to $380,000. “If someone is really looking to downsize, or are on their own, the oneplus-den is a really great open floor plan. It makes sense for a lot of people in the lower price range,” says Wood. Looking at possession dates in late 2016, Wood says that customers are appreciating the compact size of the stylish, charming two-building project. “It’s a very small project,” she says. “We try to keep it small and elegant with bigger-sized suites and cater to people who are a little bit older.” life

From our family to yours... We hope you enjoy the McArthur Fine Furniture Experience!

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home life Developer Profile

The low down on

Midtown by Alex Frazer-Harrison

Airdrie’s newest up-and-coming neighbourhood


s Airdrie has grown out past the CPR railway tracks west of downtown, one piece of land has remained conspicuously empty amidst the rapid development. But the community known as Midtown is finally starting to take shape. The land, which covers 90 acres east of Eight Street SW between Railway Gate and Luxstone Landing and just south of Iron Horse Park, is now earmarked for a mixture of single-family homes, street townhouses, apartments and commercial development, centred around a nine-acre stormwater pond/lake. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the development, which has been on the books since 2009 and hit a snag at Airdrie city council in early 2014 before finally being given the go-ahead later in the year. Construction of Midtown’s first single-family homes is about to commence, with the first showhomes expected to open in spring 2016. Wenzel Developments of Calgary purchased the land, and development is taking place as a partnership between Shane Homes, Apex Builder Group (including Excel Homes) and Trico Homes. “We’re all excited to get this done and to give the area a different look,” says Dave Rickett, vice-president of sales and marketing for Shane Homes. “We’ll start building at the end of September and will have showhomes for the spring of 2016. Apex is doing the servicing for us … you always want to partner up with people who have the same vision as you do. “When we hired Apex to do the development,” Rickett adds, “we told them what the vision was. (Midtown) was never meant to be an area where you come in and build cheap, cheap homes. The architecture will be higher [quality] in here and the concept will be to look elegant. We’re going for a more urban-modern style.”

Building a community is rarely a one-company operation. In fact, Apex and Shane Homes have been partnering on neighbourhood development for nearly a quarter-century, says Susan Henderson, senior development manager with Apex. Locally, the two have previously partnered on Cooper’s Crossing and Hillcrest. “Shane Homes/Wenzel Developments purchased the Midtown lands and invited Trico Homes and Apex to be partners in the project,” says Henderson.“Wenzel took the project through the planning stage with the City of Airdrie, and Apex will now manage the development of the lands. “Locked by communities on all sides, the design pays close attention to the surrounding uses, ensuring a good fit with the existing neighbourhoods,” she adds. Henderson says that Midtown’s builder group – Shane (including its Creations by Shane division), Excel and Trico – will focus on providing diverse housing options in Midtown, including front-drive and laned homes consisting of single-family houses, duplexes and townhomes. Approximately 600 homes are planned for the area. There will also be a commercial section in the northwest corner, adding to already existing retail along Eighth Street. “We believe that Midtown will be a solid inner-city community,” says Henderson. According to Airdrie Economic Development team leader Kent Rupert, partnerships like those making Midtown a reality are important to building the city. “It’s exciting to see that piece of land be developed out,” Rupert says. “I think the advantage of being so close to Calgary … over the last eight years, we’ve seen a number of higher-end and larger developers [come to] Airdrie and choose it as a marketplace. “You look at that piece of land, over the last number of years the city has continued to build around it, and as the city has grown, it’s left this empty hole,” he adds.“It’s exciting to see it move forward and complete the centre part of the community.” life

“Locked by communities on all sides, the design pays close attention to the surrounding uses, ensuring a good fit with the existing neighbourhoods.” - Susan Henderson, Apex Builder Group



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Copperstone Village Fall 2015



home life Neighbourhood


or Deidra and John Hooper, buying a home in the new community of Hillcrest offered the best of both worlds. With Deidra working as a substitute teacher in Calgary and John a delivery driver based out of Balzac, the neighbourhood on Airdrie’s southern edge gives them easy access to their jobs. But at the same time they’re just a quick drive or walk from Airdrie’s amenities. “We moved here from Coventry Hills in Calgary … we’d wanted to move out of the big city for quite a long time,” says Deidra, whose family relocated in the spring.“Airdrie allows us to continue to work in Calgary, but it also has all the big-city amenities, but with a smaller-town feel.” Located southeast of Eighth Street SW and 40th Avenue SW – the latter expected to eventually connect to Highway 2 – Hillcrest greets residents and visitors with a stone tower and gatehouse entrance feature installed by area developer Apex. A stormwater pond anchors the northeast, there’s a future school site set aside, and the community is lined with linear parks and pathways. The Hoopers, who have two teenaged daughters, chose a 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom home, roughly twice the size of their

old one in Calgary. Deidra says that selling features for them included a three-car attached tandem garage, a nicely placed bonus room, lots of windows and natural light, and that fourth bedroom. That and a location on a much-quieter street than back in Coventry Hills where a gas station was among their neighbours. She also appreciates the close proximity to W.H. Croxford High School; her daughters enter Grade 8 and Grade 11 there next year. Back in Calgary, the girls had to be bused down to Crescent Heights near downtown. “[Now] the kids can bike to school or walk to school and if they want to be involved in after-school activities, they can stay,” says Deidra, “and it’s great to have kids [who] live in your community going to the same school.” The Hoopers have already started to experience Airdrie’s legendary community spirit. “We walked to the [Canada Day] fireworks, and it was awesome being in a small place where you feel like part of the community,” says Deidra.“And I love driving up the country roads – there’s a farm just south of us that has horses. “You really feel like you’re in the country, even though you have everything from the city,” she adds. life

Calgary transplants Deidra and John Hooper love Airdrie’s big-city amenities and small-town feel.

Life on the Hill story by Alex Frazer-Harrison photo by Carl Patzel



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home life Showhomes

Nestled in the heart of Airdrie’s welcoming southwest, family-friendly Bayside community Pier 11 offers the serenity of the country alongside the conveniences of the city. With canals running through the neighbourhood, nature is a key part of everyday life here. Here is a sneak peek at the three showhomes by Genesis. This page: the 2,432-square-foot Ambassador. Facing page: Top, the 2,261-sq.-ft. Avalon; Bottom, the 1,933-sq.-ft. Bella Vista.

Natural beauty



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Fall 2015



home life Community art

The Art of the Raven story and photo by Carl Patzel



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Designer Sander Henriksen’s art structure in ravenswood intrigues and captivates viewers. (See a daytime view of the art installation on page 57.)

nown through folklore and mythology as intelligent and somewhat of a trickster, the raven is also esteemed for its well-honed social skills and sense of family. Combining these social attributes with a passion for beautification of community, Qualico Communities enhanced its newest Airdrie development of Ravenswood with a 30-foot art structure dedicated to its namesake feathered friend. Located beside a traffic circle off Ravenswood View at the corner of Ravenskirk Road and Ravenslea Garden, the metal installation captures a flock of the large black birds in flight while framing one side of a sitting area and gathering place. “We wanted something that would tie in with the vision and theme of the community but also create a place where people could spend time and would want to go,” says Maribeth Janikowski, Qualico communications manager. Designed and installed by Calgary company Heavy Industries, a 10-foot-high stainless curving screen mirrors a centralized ring hub bench. The focal point of the plaza includes a tree in the centre adjacent to low paving stone walls and sitting areas. Themed for community unity, the plaza is connected to three separate walking paths leading in from different neighbourhoods in Ravenswood. “We liked the idea that it created a place where people could come and enjoy the park with seating areas in there, as well. It’s quite a large art piece and a true feature of the community,” Janikowski says. Utilizing the premise of feathered – and non-feathered – friends flocking together at a central meeting place, Heavy Industries designer Sander Henriksen also searched for ways to impress and captivate the viewer on a visual level. Henriksen’s solution was to encase a flock of ravens between two layers of perforated metal helping to depict movement and focal points depending on the viewing angle.

“It allowed for more dynamic lighting and relationships between the environment and the sculpture. If I was a kid and I came up to it I would be intrigued by it,” says Henriksen. The artist designed the sculpture to interact with different lighting conditions throughout the day and even added artificial lights for night viewing, as well as seasonal weather changes. This Moiré effect (two sets of repetitive lines, or dots, in this case) causes unique, shifting patterns depending on the angle of view. “Your eye develops these weird visual distortions. The pattern, as you walk by … will move with you. It’s almost like a rainbow, an illusion. A flock of birds is constantly moving and shifting. It’s a symbolic view of the piece. It is something that is never consistent, and dependent on the environment,” says Henriksen who, as an Airdrie resident, applauds anything creative that brings more culture to the city. “It’s great [that art] is being focused on and [it] seems to be a strategy of the city to make this a nicer place to live,” he says. Thus quoth the raven, nevermore shall there be visual blandness in the southeast neighbourhood’s landscape. With master plans and developments continuing to dot the growing Airdrie scene, developers are blending aesthetic and cultural enhancements in their neighbourhoods. According to Janikowski, the unique art feature fits in with Qualico’s plan of designing a villagelike atmosphere that stands out on the Airdrie landscape. “[As] with any community, Ravenswood was more than just building a neighbourhood,” says Janikowski. “It was about creating a community with a thoughtfully planned space that provides residents with the opportunity to not only enjoy their homes but enjoy the space around them. “The art feature is just a great example of how we try and get people out and know their other neighbours and represent that community feeling in Ravenswood,” she adds. life FAll 2015




home life Column

The importance of home decor


– I’m serious!

’ve always loved decorating. When I was younger I would beg to do the Christmas decorating myself because I had an inspiration that I was excited to see come to life! I’ve never lost that passion for making spaces beautiful, livable and inviting.


with Kim Purvis

Often people will say that decorating is not their ‘thing’ and that’s OK, but I still think trying to create a house that feels like your home is important. Here’s why: 1. We are all really busy people. We always seem to be running from one thing to the next. When you finally get to be at home for an evening or a weekend, you’re relaxing, socializing with neighbours and spending time with your family. I think it’s much more enjoyable to do that in a space that is well thought out and feels like you. 2. When we create and execute a decor plan, no matter how simple, it shows pride of ownership. This includes renters, too. 3. It’s inspiring to exist in a space that you’ve put your touches on and makes you feel content. Great things happen when you feel inspired and at ease. 4. Let’s face it – our varied Canadian weather offers a lot of indoor time! I know, some of you are thinking:“That’s easy for you to say, being a designer.” But I’m not saying that making your house magazine-worthy is necessarily the goal. It’s about creating a space that makes you happy and feels like you. It’s also true that decorating is not a project some people want to take on, and then they call the designer – this makes me happy, too! Ready to tackle your house one room at a time? Ask yourself three simple questions: 1. What do I use this room for? 2. What colour scheme will suit the mood that I want to be in, in this room? 3. What kind of budget do I want to stick to? Once you know the answers to those questions you can piece together a great plan and tackle it one step at a time. Remember, the goal isn’t to make your home look like someone else’s; it’s to make it feel like a space that reflects you and helps you enjoy life. life – Decorator Kim Purvis, owner of Aurora Decor, is pursuing her lifelong passion of creating beautiful home spaces



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Fall 2015

2015-07-29 3:30 PM | 71

Home liFe column



With lisA silvA

it’s that time of year again

he season of autumn is upon us. We’ve enjoyed an interesting summer – lots of heat, volatile skies and everything in between. Hopefully everyone enjoyed some time away from busy lives. However, as the kids head off back to school, we’ve got to take a look at the next step in our gardens. For some this is the end of spectacular fun in the garden, new projects completed and containers looking their best. For others it’s a relief it’s finally over, but really, we still have several things to work on. September and October are the time to take a review of the gardening season and begin to make plans for next year. In the meantime there are a few tasks to be completed, in no particular order: • Harvest above-ground vegetables prior to freezing and root crops prior to a hard freeze. • Apply fall fertilizer to lawns and mow lawn one last time in late fall to prevent excessive snow mould and other issues that can occur with excessive lawn length.

• Cut back most perennials to about four to six inches. An exception would be those perennials that provide winter interest and potential food for birds throughout the winter. • Weed and tidy up flower beds to prevent overwintering insects and critters to bury themselves away (i.e. lily beetle). There is a fine line between leaving leaf litter in beds to decompose and amend soil and having a habitable place for overwintering pests. • Compost (or amend) beds, water in well and mulch to keep early spring weeds at bay, maintain more consistent soil temperatures through the winter and ensure the ability to retain some moisture in the soil to be used as needed once thaw occurs. • In September or early October, divide perennials; plant deciduous and evergreen shrubs and perennials scooped up at discount prices. (Make sure to water in well right up to freezing and mulch for best winter protection.) • Clear out annual debris and clean out flower pots and containers; store away pots that will not withstand winter weather fluctuations.

• Prep containers for winter interest displays. • Clean and prep garden tools and equipment prior to winter storage – you’ll be much happier to have them ready to go in spring. • Don’t prune woody plants until dormant. • Don’t forget to winterize water features and irrigation systems. • Plant tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs right up to ground freeze. On a final note, be sure to check greenhouses around the area for all sorts of inside plant options to activate your green thumb inside and to help with the transfer from outside to indoors. From flowering tropical plants, lush green foliage plants in all sizes and colours, succulents and cactus to itty-bitty fairy garden plants – all can help to create any type of indoor oasis. life – Lisa Silva is marketing manager with Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre

“As the kids head off back to school, we’ve got to take a look at the next step in our gardens.” LOCAL • QUALITY • RELIABLE • LICENSED & INSURED

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2016 @

Bert Church Theatre Tickets available fall 2015





Don’t miss out on this opportunity to nominate someone who has championed and/or enhanced the arts in Airdrie through their contributions and/or talent.

GO TO FAll 2015



Home liFe gArden ArT

Floral tapeStry Sally loves her flowers and tending to them is a summer hobby at her home in Stonegate. From perennials to potted annuals, her garden is a tapestry of colour and scent. verbena, petunias, geraniums, spirea and potentilla are just some of the plants that decorate this delightful urban environment.



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ScapeS This past summer photographer kristy reimer painted a portrait of local ‘artists’ through their garden canvases.

urBan oaSiS After moving from an amazingly lush but high-maintenance yard in Jensen, Sherry and grant decided to put in a creative low-maintenance oasis at their new place in bayside. carefully chosen trees and shrubs, as well as decorative features and flowering plants, work together to create an oasis in the heart of the city. FAll 2015



home life Column

The Hero Issue Meet the people who are making a difference in our city.

Winter Issue Available Nov 10, 2015 Be a hero to your bo�om line and adver�se in the winter issue of airdrielife. Deadline Oct 16. Contact

real estate

with Shilo Storey

Market should remain stable Insanely Outrageous Tee Times: or 403. 686 GOLF

Tee Times and Great Times

Insanely Delicious! Reservations: 403.948.7416 525 Woodside Drive NW Airdrie



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ike the weather this past summer, the real estate market has been a little bit exciting at times! In the first six months of 2014, we had 1,236 new listings on the market. In 2015, that number increased by 93 and we had reported 966 sales in Airdrie by the end of July. Also, there were 163 properties sold in July, which was down 10 per cent, and the number of available listings was down by six per cent. What does this all mean? There is just more than a two-month overall supply of properties. We can hope this will continue as the kids head back to school and everyone starts their regular routines again. Buyers will continue to buy homes and sellers can sell in a more balanced market. While we move into September, I feel that consumers are not as concerned as in the first quarter of 2015. This is shown purely in buyers’ confidence and the number of sales we’ve seen. Luckily interest rates should stay steady, with prices remaining relatively stable. With

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savings SECRETS

that, we hope to see some of the inventory be absorbed by first-time homebuyers looking to get into the market, which include young professionals moving out from Calgary to start raising their families. What can we expect for the last quarter of this year? Well, time will tell in October, as the energy sector continues to keep Albertans on their toes. People in the community ask where new homebuyers in Airdrie are coming from. My answer is – all across Canada. The most popular relocation places are the other Prairie provinces and the Greater Toronto Area. Each time our economy goes on a slight downward turn, we have to keep in mind that when looking at 2014 numbers and prices, sales were up. When we look at the 10- or even five-year averages, our numbers are up this year. Our stable inventory level related to sales activity is consistent with the 10-year average. It’s as if Airdrie sits in a bubble away from the ‘big city’ of Calgary, as do the other bedroom communities. In closing, as long as supply stays at a constant level and job loss does not continue, prices should remain stable. life



– Shilo Storey, RE/MAX First CIM-5265-A01F AD2 AIRDRIE LIFE FALL ADS.indd 1

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7/31/15 10:25 AM |


Coopers Crossing featuring McKee Homes, Vesta Homes, Lifestyle Homes & Trico Homes

Bayside Pier 11 featuring Genesis Builders

Hillcrest featuring Shane Homes & Trico Homes

Canal’s Landing featuring Genesis Builders, McKee Homes, ReidBuilt Homes & Crystal Creek Homes

builders and developers adver�sed in this issue�



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work life

meet the movers, shakers and business makers

82 Global enterprise • 84 One-of-a-kind • 87 Business smarts

Work liFe column


WiTH kenT ruPerT


Businesses adapt with technology

t always amazes me when I get to see firsthand how local businesses adapt and change with challenges that are presented to them, whether it’s a downturn in the economy, increased competition or rising costs. These owners are looking for quicker and more efficient ways to operate their business to reduce costs and increase sales. Today, using technology is one of the key ways to find efficiencies each day. In this month’s Business Life in Airdrie video (go to Airdrie Economic Development’s YouTube channel to view), we talked with Glenn German, CEO and president of ZyTech Building Systems. German told us how he’s invested in leading-edge technology to increase speed and efficiencies, and reduce waste in the construction industry – making ZyTech a world leader. What’s also fascinating is that German has done this in an industry which really hasn’t seen a lot of change in the past 40 years. ZyTech’s achievements are very impressive; however, most small businesses don’t have to spend millions to gain efficiencies by using technology. There are many examples of ‘simple’ technologies that can make small changes with a big impact on your business. Take smartphones, for example. For smaller businesses, there are such apps as Square, a mobile-payment device that attaches to a smartphone to accept credit card payments on the go. (Find a vendor using it the next time you visit the farmers market.) Businesses can also use e-transfers to quickly send and receive money through e-mails. No more running to the bank to drop off a deposit bag! Even the City of Airdrie has implemented online tools to make things easier for businesses. Did you know MyAirdrie (find it at allows you to apply for and renew your business licence, update business information, manage utility accounts – all from the convenience of your office 24-7? Other technologies that small businesses are using include“cloud service” to outsource data storage. Dropbox is a popular way to share documents across many different devices, and it allows businesses to have a backup system in case of emergencies. Other programs, such as web-based teleconferencing, allow businesses to make video and voice connections using basic computer equipment to collaborate with other businesses or talk directly to suppliers or customers – no more travelling across town or the country to meet! This is just the tip of the technological iceberg. With websites and e-commerce technology, local businesses can sell products and services around the globe – and we have many Airdrie businesses doing just that. Social media is another huge expanse of technology for businesses, and many locally are adopting it. In fact, a



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group launched a social media breakfast event in Airdrie this summer – to learn more or attend the next one, just give us a call at 403-948-8844. But where do you go to find out more about this daunting world? Online, of course. There is a plethora of blogs, podcasts, e-magazines and websites to get you up to speed ( and Fast Forward Online are good places to start or check out the federal government’s site at Or you can learn the old-fashioned way by talking to fellow business owners and connecting through learning opportunities and events. For example, check out the Small and Medium Enterprise Expo in Calgary in October (visit Whatever technology you decide to try, talk to other businesses and find out what works for them and just have fun with it. Your business will be glad you did. life



Michael Duffy • 403.471.8082


We Come On-Site to you • Complimentary Up-Front Quote FAll 2015



Innovation begins with a

Work liFe gLoBaL Business


story by Alex FrAzer-hArrison | photo by sergei belski

Zytech founder Glenn German



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ZyTech Building Systems


hen Glenn German established ZyTech Building Systems in 1997 on East Lake Way in Airdrie, the construction world was at his feet. The economy was coming back, people were building and it was a perfect time to establish a company devoted to manufacturing trusses and other supplies used in home and building construction. Before long, that dream appeared to be in ashes. “Within eight months, our facility burned to the ground,” says German. “That was a defining moment for us. As a new company, you need time to develop a culture … and when we had the episode of our facility burning to the ground, we called our customers and said, ‘Don’t worry about your orders; we’re going to take care of it.’” German’s staff arranged for a Lethbridge truss manufacturer to build product from ZyTech’s designs, and the orders were filled. And within seven months the Airdrie plant was rebuilt. “The culture that was built from that was, when we make a promise, we can keep it,” says German. “We pulled it off when we didn’t have a facility … we always need to find a way to keep our promises.” By 2002, demand for ZyTech products required a move to a larger facility in Balzac, after which the company began to expand across Alberta, into Saskatoon and, in 2012, into Arizona. In October 2014, ZyTech bought 10 acres at the corner of East Lake and Veterans boulevards for a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility devoted to “fast frame,” an innovation with which automated equipment from a Swedish company is used to build the major components of construction right in the shop. “The world is changing and we’re changing with it,” says German, giving an example of a local builder using fast frame. “Vesta Properties took over the Crown Shores project, which is a four-storey wood apartment building. We’re prefabricating the floors and the walls and the trusses … when it comes to the assembly of that building, I think our builder will probably save three months using our fastframe product.” German calls the new facility ZyTech’s flagship for this new product line, and says that it will be a model for the company’s future manufacturing facilities. “Within a year, we’ll start replicating this facility in Edmonton, Red Deer, Saskatchewan and the U.S.,” he says. He jokes that ZyTech expanded to the U.S. in 2012 in order for him to fulfil a promise to his wife.

“My wife is a U.S. citizen, born and raised in Florida, and when we got married I promised her I would grow her a palm tree,” says German. “I tried for years in Balzac and I couldn’t grow a palm tree, so I found the next best thing, which is three hours by flight to Arizona. Now I was able to keep my wedding vow and grow her a palm tree.” There was also the matter of a recovering post-recession homebuilding industry in the greater Phoenix area facing a lack of truss plants, and lumberyards that had shut down during the downturn. “We saw an opportunity to be part of rebuilding that community, so we opened up a truss plant there that also allowed some of our staff to move to a different locale and bring the ZyTech culture into our new facility,” German says, adding that the plant in Glendale also serves parts of California, Texas and Nevada, as well as Greater Phoenix. (At present, ZyTech has almost 500 employees across North America, he says.) German is content to keep his head office in Balzac and says that the new plant in Airdrie is perfectly situated close to Highway 2, allowing easy access to markets throughout the province. “This plant serves Calgary and Edmonton with fastframe product, and a huge advantage of being in Airdrie is we can service those markets very easily,” he says. Besides the “ZyTech keeps its promises” philosophy born from that early blaze, the company has also cultivated a corporate culture that embraces diversity and community-building. “We’re very multicultural and our employees speak 14 different languages,” German says.“And we try to build relationships and help the homebuilding companies build their businesses and build community. “Without community, you don’t have anything – you don’t have a place where people want to live, and you don’t get vibrancy,” he adds. ZyTech also promotes community by supporting local kids’ programs, such as Airdrie Minor Hockey Association, soccer programs and Rotary’s Miss School, Miss Out. Fostering career growth is also important. Thanks to ZyTech’s use of automation, German has been able to hire people for entry-level positions and, he says, “as time goes on, they get to know the different areas and how everything goes together. Your career growth is not limited – you can grow into engineering, management, and work at locations around North America.” life FAll 2015



Work life creative careers

Working Photos courtesy of Images by Joanne

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Sergei Belski

It takes a lot of creativity to start your own business. You have to think outside of the box – how to promote yourself, how to design a better widget, how to stand out from the crowd. But a large number of start-up businesses in Airdrie are based on creative endeavours to begin with, from web design and photography to an innovative way of delivering retail. airdrielife spoke to three local startup business owners who wear their creativity on their sleeves.

outside the box


Joanne McMonagle



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businesses born from creativity

Images by Joanne Joanne McMonagle never expected to make a living shooting photographs, much less photos of newborn babies and glowing mothers-to-be. “Many photographers have a dream when they’re young to be a photographer when they grow up, but I never thought for two minutes I would be one,” says McMonagle, who left her job in a law firm and started Images by Joanne in 2012, based out of her home studio in southwest Airdrie. “I bought a nice DSLR camera and a girlfriend had a baby and I said,‘Just for fun, do you want me to take some pictures?’” McMonagle recalls of the moment the shutterbug bit. She found she had a knack for photographing newborns (as in fewer-than-two-weeks-old) and babies, and taking maternity photos, as well. But she didn’t put up her shingle overnight. McMonagle says that she spent the better part

of two years learning her craft first.“I didn’t feel good enough to start advertising … I wanted to perfect my art before I started up an official business,” she says. “So it was two years of hounding friends for their babies! “When I look back at the beginning stuff to now, it was,‘My lord, what was I thinking?’ But everyone has to start somewhere,” she adds. McMonagle says that the fact she launched a new career later in life also helped. Her children had grown, which allowed her “time to sit at the computer for hours and edit and learn,” she says. While she has done some weddings and even boudoir photography, McMonagle focuses on newborn, baby and maternity photography. “The size of Airdrie, there are plenty of babies to go around!” she says. “The most rewarding is seeing the parents’ joy when they see the finished product.”

Seven Saints Designs Last spring, childhood friends Jen Friesen and Erin Hardy launched Seven Saints Designs, a fashion boutique on four wheels. Rather than anchor themselves to a storefront, the partners bought a 22-foot 1976 Vanguard motorhome, renovated the interior for display areas and fitting rooms, and since late April have taken their show on the road to the Airdrie Farmers Market, private residences and venues from Calgary to Red Deer. “We have everything you’d find in a regular little fashion boutique, only on wheels,” says Hardy.“I’m an interior decorator and we tossed

around the idea of one day having a shop, and I always loved fashion.” Partner Friesen says that the ‘fashion truck’ format, similar to food trucks, offers the type of flexibility a storefront doesn’t. “One of the benefits is we don’t have the overhead a typical store would have, and we’re not locked into a lease,” she says. “So that way we can put our resources into our inventory.” Besides turning up at the farmers market, the two also host Home Shopping Socials for customers. (“They want us to bring it to their house, we’ll bring it to their house,” says Friesen.)

Seven Saints (named in honour of the seven children between the two partners) offers lines of fashions that Friesen and Hardy say appeal to their sense of style, yet are practical. Accessories and jewelry are also part of the mix. “Erin has done a great job sourcing labels that is exactly the stuff we would wear,” says Friesen. According to Hardy, social media has been a major booster of Seven Saints, as followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter keep track of where they’ll be next. And, Friesen adds, the duo hopes to see a Seven Saints online store launched in the near future.

Jen Friesen (left) and Erin Hardy

Fall 2015



Work life creative careers

Trevor and Suzy Rounce

“Unless you’re trying to better yourself, you fall behind and you look dated very quickly.” Switchback Creative Since June 2014, Trevor and Suzy Rounce have parlayed their passion for creativity and web design into their own startup, Switchback Creative, which focuses on print and web-design services and marketing. “I’m actually a master electrician by trade, but I always had a passion for web design,” recalls Trevor, originally from Fort McMurray, who played hockey across Alberta before settling down in Airdrie 14 years ago. “I never really got serious about it until a couple years ago when we talked about doing this full time.” Suzy, originally from Calgary, studied digital communications at ACAD (Alberta College



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of Art + Design). After working for several companies and moving out to Airdrie a few years ago, she felt it was time to launch her own web-design business. Switchback has worked with several businesses, non-profits and events in Airdrie, Canmore, Cochrane and Calgary, including ARTember and Creative Airdrie. “We want to [help clients] create a following that loves their brand and what they’re doing,” says Suzy.“People think they need … to put an ad in every newspaper and have 20 different social media accounts. If you do one thing well, whether it’s a print ad or a great blog section on a website, then it focuses on what you’re doing.”

The demands of web design mean that Trevor and Suzy have to keep up on the latest technology and design trends. “One of my rules is to always try to beat my last website,” Trevor says. “But unless you’re trying to better yourself, you fall behind and you look dated very quickly.” The Rounces hope to eventually expand their business into a storefront, and attract more businesses from Cochrane and Canmore. Suzy says that they’re passionate mountain-bikers – the name Switchback comes from the sport – and would love to work with more outdoor-adventure businesses. life

Getting a

Work life teamwork

Smart Start Meet FIVE of the 10 teams of entrepreneurs and mentors who are part of the second year of Airdrie’s successful Smartstart program. You met the other teams in the summer issue of airdrielife and can read about them online.



Name: Rohit Kewalramani Age: 34 Business or idea: Kavita Foods (Specialty Ethnic Cuisine) Years in business: 1 Dream/goal for your business: To set up a commercial enterprise Which would you rather – Celebrity Apprentice or Dragon’s Den: Dragon’s Den What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: Skills to help my business prosper My biggest obstacle: Finances, direction and proper guidance Why I am an entrepreneur: I want to work for myself. I possess a good mindset for the business and have the potential to take it to the next level. I start each day with: My kids and family and try to move a step closer towards my goals.

Mentor Name: Jody Funk Age: 39 Business: Daystar Mechanical (plumbing/ heating /refrigeration) Years in business: 11 Growing up I wanted to be: I actually didn’t have a preference. My father was in trades and so I naturally gravitated to [that] as well. My first year in business: I worked a lot but did not make a lot of money. Things I know now I learned by making a lot of mistakes. Best advice you ever got: “Spend less than you make. Honour your word – at the end of the day all you have is your name.” Proudest achievement: Watching my kids make wise choices, and seeing them start their own business and watching it be profitable. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: E-mails … lots of e-mails I define success as: Making a difference in people’s lives. I have been paired with: Rohit Kewalramani, Kavita Foods (specialty ethnic cuisine) Fall 2015



Work life teamwork

Kelly Debbie


Mentor Name: Kelly Paisley Age: 36 Business: The I.T. Company Ltd. Years in business: 6 Growing up I wanted to be: Medical researcher My first year in business: I learned more in one year than I did in my lifetime as an employee. Best advice you ever got: “If you are going to do it for someone else, you may as well do it for yourself.” (on starting a business) Proudest achievement: Overcoming my fears and starting and maintaining my own business. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Pictures of my wife; files, business cards and a banana peel I define success as: Waking up every day feeling happy and excited to be doing what you are doing with your life. I have been paired with: Debbie Sheffield, Seniors To Go Service

Mentor Name: Kari Lines

Name: Debbie Sheffield Age: 60 Business or idea: Seniors To Go Service Years in business: 6 months Dream/goal for your business: Become a franchise Which would you rather – Celebrity Apprentice or Dragon’s Den: Dragon’s Den What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: The ‘secrets’ of success My biggest obstacle: Old dog learning new tricks Why I am an entrepreneur: I love the challenge. I start each day with: The excitement of that day’s challenge.



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Age: 35 Business: Budget Blinds of Airdrie Years in business: 7 Growing up I wanted to be: Airline pilot My first year in business: I learned a lot! We also won a Rookie of the Year award with our franchisor, Budget Blinds. Best advice you ever got: “When it comes to a business situation, don’t take things personally.” Proudest achievement: For the last two years running, we have won the award for the No. 2 Budget Blinds location in Canada out of more than 100 locations, and the No. 7 location out of more than 900 locations across North America. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Order entry screen, e-mail and calendar I define success as: Enjoying what you do, making a good income, and hearing positive customer feedback. I have been paired with: Debbie Sheffield, Seniors To Go

Mentor Name: Lorelei Talbot

Lorelei Sammi

Age: 42 Business: Astoria Asset Management Ltd. Years in business: 10 Growing up I wanted to be: Truck driver, lawyer, social worker, accountant My first year in business: I joined the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce and moved into our first official office from my house. Best advice you ever got: “Hire people who complement your strengths and – more so – your weakness, and if you are a growing company and looking at hiring part time, hire full time.” Proudest achievement: 10 years in business, making a difference in the properties we manage; racing motocross and completing a half-marathon three times. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Open files that I am working on for Creative Airdrie and one of our new properties I define success as: When we at Astoria can make a difference in the properties we manage and we can put a smile on people’s faces and help them with the challenges they are facing. I have been paired with: Sammi Tully, Family Fun Centre

Name: Sammi Tully Age: 29 Business or idea: Family Fun Centre Years in business: 0 Dream/goal for your business: To be the go-to place for families to enjoy good clean indoor family fun Which would you rather – Celebrity Apprentice or Dragon’s Den: Dragon’s Den What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: The tools I need to run a successful business My biggest obstacle: Location Why I am an entrepreneur: I want to improve the lives of those around me in the best way I can. Giving the families in Airdrie a place to play together is the best way I can think of. I start each day with: An optimistic outlook on making today my best possible day. Fall 2015



Work life teamwork

Delree Jacqui Sid

Name: Delree Dumont Age: 51 Business or idea: Native Art Gallery Years in business: 0 Dream/goal for your business: To open a 100 per cent aboriginal-owned-and-operated Native Art Gallery in Airdrie, that represents not only my artwork, but other aboriginal artists, aboriginal clothing designers and beaded handicrafts and gift items. Which would you rather – Celebrity Apprentice or Dragon’s Den: Dragon’s Den What I hope to learn in SMARTstart: Fundamentals of a great business plan and having mentor(s) to ask pertinent questions to help start my business My biggest obstacle: Finding retail space that is affordable with a good location Why I am an entrepreneur: I left 32 years in the oil and gas industry and needed a change in my life. They say do what you love, and I’ve always loved promoting and showcasing native culture and traditions through the arts. I now have the freedom to paint during the day or at 2 a.m. And I love the fact that I’m helping other aboriginal artists, designers and crafters succeed and become self-sufficient. I start each day with: Thanking the Creator for allowing me to see another day, then a cup of coffee and checking Facebook!

Mentor Name: Jacqui Jepson

Mentor Name: Sid Van der Meer

Age: 37 Business: The Pink Wand Cleaning Services Ltd. Years in business: 7 Growing up I wanted to be: Pet store owner My first year in business: I did whatever it took to get my name out – posted signs in ditches, knocked on doors and pounded the pavement! I worked 12-hour days to ensure I could provide for my kids. Best advice you ever got: “Plan your work and work your plan.” (from my dad, Dave Jepson) Proudest achievement: 2014 Business Winning Edge Award What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Profile pictures and bios of my staff I define success as: Reaching goals I have set for myself, checking them off and setting more goals to achieve. I have been paired with: Delree Dumont, Native Art Gallery

Age: 57 Business: Retired Years in business: 36 Growing up I wanted to be: Pilot My first year in business: In high school I took automotives, which led to a job in retail auto parts and shop equipment sales. One of the products I sold was air compressors. The company I was buying them from was very helpful in growing my knowledge on them and eventually offered me a full-time position as a sales rep. I eventually became a 50 per cent partner in this business. Best advice you ever got: “Always spend 10 per cent of each day on what you will be doing in three years.” Proudest achievement: Growing the business I sold last year from four people in 2000 to 42 employees; mentoring my management group and employees to the point that I was not needed anymore and was able to successfully sell the business as a going concern and all of our people remain an integral part of it. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Starting to develop my thoughts on working with my new mentee and partner mentor for the 2015 SMARTstart program. I define success as: Being able to live the lifestyle that you want or like and sharing with family and friends. Travel is a big part of this, too. The world has lots to offer. Also being able to give back to my community, which has allowed me to enjoy my life. I have been paired with: Delree Dumont, Native Art Gallery



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Mentor at Large: Ron Farrell Ron Yazdi

Age: 41 Business: Beneficial Insurance Solutions Years in business: 12 Growing up I wanted to be: Business owner. It didn’t really matter what kind of business, I just knew I wanted to work for myself, so that I had control over my time and income. My first year in business: I faced a number of challenges. The greatest of these was losing our second-largest vendor, and having to distribute that business between our remaining vendors. This project took a full year. Best advice you ever got: “Don’t be average.” If you are an average person, you will find yourself late in life with a job you don’t like, in an unhappy marriage, children who won’t give you the time of day, and not prepared for the future. Proudest achievement: At the time (age 29) I was the youngest owner of an insurance brokerage that I knew of in Southern Alberta. That title has since been taken away from me. What’s on your desk/laptop right now: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I read a little as often as I can; usually this means once a week I read a chapter. I define success as: Having a good balance between a happy home life and a good stable financial foundation. Being able to travel when I wish, provide solidly for my family and sure, even enjoy some of the finer things in life. Don’t miss the journey for the goal.

Mentor at Large: Yazdi Bulsara Age: 51 Business: Kumon of Airdrie Years in business: Kumon, 5; software consulting, 10+ Growing up I wanted to be: Doctor My first year in business: I became a software consultant more than 10 years ago. Best advice you ever got: “People treat you as you teach them to treat you.” I define success as: A person who gets up and tries again one more time. Fall 2015




Airdrie Women in Business Q&A AWBA Members Q&A

Q. What is an RDSP and how can it help me?

Q. Why is experiential learning at Silver Valley Ranch more

A. The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) assists eligible Cana-

helpful than other forms of learning?

dians with disabilities to build financial security. This plan may qualify

A. Experiential learning, whether equine-facilitated, nature-based or

for government assistance in the form of grants (up to $70,000) and

another form, is a powerful way to address individual growth and

bonds (up to $20,000).

potential. It is adaptable to each individual’s style, preferences, strengths, direction and more … which means it is more likely to result

You can open an RDSP and be the plan holder if you are:

in positive emotional effects and increased confidence, self esteem,

and sense of personal value and purpose. Our focus is to allow indi-

your finances;

vidual clients, whether a child, youth or adult, to get back to their own

• the legal parent of a child with a disability; or

nature, exploring and discovering themselves through experiential

• the legal representative of a person with a disability.

• an adult with a disability who has the capacity to manage

experiences in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment. Meagan Saum, Silver Valley Ranch

Consult a professional to help you integrate the RDSP into a long-term plan for the well-being of you and your family.

Q. What is ‘dry eyes’?

Jayne Kirby, Financial Advisor

A. Dry eyes is a really common eye condition in Alberta. Most people who have it don’t realize they do because symptoms are often varied.

Q. What is the most important thing to consider when

If your eyes get dry, sore, feel tired or even water excessively, you

selling your home?

could have dry eyes. Women are more prone to having dry eyes and

A. It is important to have your property seen by as many potential buy-

it often worsens with age. Computer use and digital devices have

ers as possible. The more eyes on your property, the more likely you

exacerbated the condition in many of my patients.

are to find the right buyer. While traditional marketing (newspaper

There are a lot of treatment options that your optometrist should be

ads, magazines, etc.) are all still important, more and more buy-

able to review with you. Sometimes preservative-free eye drops, eye

ers are going online to look for their next home. The top real estate

gels, prescription eye drops, eye masks, supplements and sunglasses

website in Canada is (also known as MLS). With your

can make a profound difference. Contact lenses can make dry eyes

property listed there and by using other marketing channels, it will

worse; there are now some newer, more hydrating lenses available.

have the exposure it needs to find the perfect buyer!

See your optometrist to find out what would work best for you.

Janine Oliver,

Dr. Heather Cowie, Airdrie Family Eye Doctors

Let’s get started! Join Airdrie’s fastest growing women’s organization Airdrie Women in Business.

Mark these monthly meetings in your calendar and join us! Sept 8 Fall Kick Off Oct 6 & Nov 3 7pm

Register online at Krista Shewchuk Lead Stylist




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It’s time to start living the life you only imagined! Find your inner courage, compassion & condence

Personal & Professional Life Coaching Recovery Coaching for Anxiety, Trauma & Addictions Youth Success Coaching & Programs Retreats, Workshops & More

Q. What’s new in fall fashion? A. The change in the weather as we move into fall will bring back the leggings, boots and long sweaters. Yay! Scarves will return as a wardrobe staple and neutrals and metallics will be popular trends this season. Our Westwood scarf in dove gray and metallic adds a warm hue with a bit of an edge to your look. Our newest line is better than ever and boasts lots of movement in the pieces, including fringe and four new lariat pieces. Versatility continues to be a must in fashion and our Brynn lariat can even double as a hairpiece. Mixed metals with pops of colour will definitely lead us into fall and will pave the way to more sparkle as we hit the holiday season. Krista Shewchuk, Stella & Dot

Partnering with entrepreneurs to redefine business ownership.

Brian Laythorpe 403.875.0776

Registered Disability Savings Plan Helping Canadians with disabilities build Financial Security Jayne Kirby 403.948.3292

For every pair of glasses we sell, we give a pair to someone in need.


AMAZING WOMAN NOMINATE HER Nomina�ons are now open for the 2016 Amazing Airdrie Women Awards Full details online at

Dr. Heather Cowie Dr. Brent Hopfauf Optometrists 600 705 Main Street SW 403. 912.2020 Fall 2015



Comfortable private home studio Functional training - train to live your best life 13 years experience. Nicole Lacoursiere 403.809.4993

Specializing in working with the physical and mental body together to create balance.



Pa irin gs

r of Wine or Bee Enjoy a glass m Plate after 3p and a Sharing

Saturday Evening Special Enjoy 2 glasses of wine & a Sharing Plate for $19.85 Live Music every Saturday evening from 7-9pm 1109 - 35 Mackenzie Way, Airdrie 403-948-3100



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local life

a c l o s e r l o o k at yo u r c o m m u n i t y

96 Esthetically pleasing • 98 Welcome home • 105 Exciting exhibit

locAl liFe CityliFe

story by Alex FrAzer-hArrison | photo by CArl pAtzel

It ain’t easy being


but the Airdrie Parks Department takes great pride in its work 96


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t’s something people take for granted every day – the parks, green spaces, even the nicely pruned shrubs and trees on the boulevards that dot the landscape in Airdrie. But behind every park, poplar, lilac and municipal flowerbed is a group of City staffers dedicated to helping make sure Airdrie stays green (and gold and brown and red….). “Nowadays, people do take it [for granted], and well they should,” says Archie Lang, manager of parks and public works for the City of Airdrie. “Without the parks and green spaces, where would the character of any town be? Just those areas where you can sit back and relax and reflect – whether it’s a cemetery green space or on a grass boulevard while sitting at a bus stop – that’s what parks are all about. “The less green space, the more chaotic your environment becomes,” Lang adds. The benefits of parks and green space have been written about in countless books. They provide beauty, shade, relaxation; trees and plants help suck up car exhaust; and they provide a break from what would otherwise be an endless sea of parking lots and rooftops.

court or a soccer field. All you need is a ball … that kind of recreation is affordable for everyone.” Lang’s team is also responsible for keeping an eye on City-owned plants and trees, keeping on top of them in case they begin to show signs of old age or disease. For example, a strand of shrubs hugging the east side of Main Street as it winds past Summerhill has been the subject of an ongoing replacement project. “We had a cotoneaster hedge all the way down the side, and the problem with cotoneaster is it harbours fire blight,” Lang explains, adding that fire blight, a bacterial disease that can kill trees and shrubs, can spread to quite a few different plants.“It’s our responsibility as stewards of the land that if we have a plant that’s harbouring a bacterial disease, we have to do the best we can.” Pruning the cotoneaster and other ideas didn’t work, so the City began gradually replacing it with other plants – “You want to diversify the plant species as much as you can,” Lang says – so that in four years, Preston lilacs, false spirea and ninebark, among other species, will be inhabiting the space. Along with reducing the fire blight risk, the new layout is simply more esthetically interesting.

“Without the parks and green spaces, where would the character of any town be?” One of Lang’s pride-and-joys is the natural areas that run through the city and tie in with natural and artificial waterways.“If you look at the canals and Nose Creek and all of the storm ponds and add up all that shoreline, we have 56 kilometres of shoreline in the city of Airdrie – that’s more than some lakes,” he says.“That’s a pretty amazing number, and there are so many opportunities on and in that water to just enjoy it, and people do with kayaks and small boats or rubber rafts.” Not that long ago, the term“linear parks and pathways” was confined to forward-thinking landscape-design textbooks. Today, every new community is designed with interconnected parks and pathways in mind (at least 10 per cent of every new area must be set aside for green space, notes Lang). “The connectivity of a community is accomplished via pathways in those lineal park spaces, and that’s by design, not happenstance,” he says. “We have 100 km of pathways just in the little city of Airdrie, and every time we do any sort of survey of the public, it’s one of the top amenities people appreciate. “It’s one of those amenities people pay for with their taxes, but overall it’s a low-cost amenity,” he adds. “You can walk on the pathway, you can jog, you can ride your bicycle or teach your kid how to ride a bike … or you can go to a multi-sport

“We also have a tree crew that goes out every day, pruning, doing assessments, and they’re planning where we’ll be planting trees next year,” he says. “We plant about 500 trees a year in the city.” Some of those plantings are to replace trees no longer considered viable. Several trees along Centre Avenue have been replaced over the past year or so, for example. “What we try to plant is not necessarily something that’s indigenous, but it’s winter-hardy,” Lang says. “The hailstorm in August [2014] was pretty devastating to a lot of trees. The maydays were just knocked to death. “But we always try to save the tree first,” he adds. “We’ll bend over backwards to save a tree rather than cut one down.” All this, coupled with the City-maintained formal flowerbeds around town, add up to an attractive community:“Parks for me are about providing a free or next-to-free public service and a great recreational amenity,” says Lang. life

DID YOU KNOW? Jensen park was the first park donated to the people of airdrie. today, it has a western-themed playground and bronze plaques commemorating the city’s history. FAll 2015



locAl liFe multiCulturAlism

story by Alex FrAzer-hArrison | photo by sergei belski

Family feels welcome in community


ince moving to Airdrie 12 years ago, Farah Malik and her family have seen this city grow tremendously – and they’ve come to feel more welcomed than ever. But coming to Canada took a bit of adjustment at first. “My family moved [to Canada] from Dubai in 1999,” Malik says. “We came to Ottawa and then we came to Calgary. It was a bit of a shock for a number of things. We had to take care of food – being Muslim, we don’t eat pork, so that was our main issue. At that time, only in the northeast [of Calgary] did they have a few halal shops.” Her family also had to get used to the fact Calgary was not a 24-7 city like the one to which they were accustomed.“Dubai, even if you wanted to go out at midnight, you could find something to do,” says Malik.“The culture [in Canada] was different, the people were different and getting to know them and merging into this community was a transition.” But she and her family enjoyed being able to follow their beliefs and culture more freely in Canada, Malik says, adding that in her parents’ native Pakistan, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community faced persecution. “My parents decided to make a future for us, to give us a better chance (by moving to Canada),” she says.



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Malik’s parents wanted to live in a quieter neighbourhood, so in 2003 they settled in the then-brand-new Canals neighbourhood of Airdrie. “At that time, Airdrie was a baby and they loved it … there were [virtually] no houses out here,” she says. “There were amazing people who were welcoming and treated us as their own, and we merged into their community – ‘community’ as in their neighbourhood community. And we saw everything grow in front of our eyes in Airdrie.” Malik went on to get married in 2006 and today lives with her husband, Saif, and two young sons Ardmanish, 8, and Arshman, 4, in a home not far from her parents’ place. “My mom’s favourite thing is that I’m so close – yet I’m not in her house,” Farah says. When not working – Farah is at a local bank, while Saif (who came to Canada in 2005) currently drives a taxi while training to be a cabinetmaker – the Maliks keep their religion and traditions alive by being active in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, often helping to spread information about their sect of Islam and promoting symposiums where representatives of different religions get together to discuss faith-related issues.

“My parents decided to make a future for us, to give us a better chance (by moving to canada).”

CHICKEN/MUTTON BIRYANI INGreDIeNtS NUtrItION 1 kg chicken or mutton 3 1⁄2 cups basmati rice (soaked in water for at least half an hour) 1⁄2 kg potato (cut into large chunks) 1 1⁄2 cups oil 1 1⁄2 medium onions (sliced) 2 tsp garlic paste 2 tsp ginger 1⁄2 kg tomatoes (chopped) 2 tsp salt 1 1⁄2 teaspoons red chili powder (or according to taste) 10 cloves (Laung) 8 green cardamom pods 10 pieces black pepper 2 tsp cumin seeds 2 cinnamon sticks 4 black cardamom pods 2 bay leaves 250 g yogurt 6 green chilies 2 tbsp coriander leaves 2 tbsp mint leaves 2 pinches orange food colouring

the maliks – Saif, Farah, Arshman, 4, and Ardmanish, 8 – love Airdrie and all it offers their family.

“Our community is working very hard to clear misconceptions,” Farah says.“We don’t want to be stereotyped.” Farah can also be found demonstrating her nail-painting skills at such locations as the Santa Claus Market and Airdrie Festival of Lights – “The kids love it,” she says – and once both her children are going to school full time, she hopes to turn this hobby into a homebased business. Airdrie has grown tremendously since 2003, and Farah says that while she still needs to head into northeast Calgary for halal, pretty much everything else is at her fingertips. “It is like a house of wonders that has everything you desire in it,” she says. “We have Genesis Place, the fast food chains, restaurants … Genesis Place has everything from skating to swimming to playing basketball and there’s the new skate park at Chinook Winds Park.” A highlight for her family this summer was going to see the Canada Day fireworks at Chinook Winds.“My kids just had a blast!” Farah says. “I love Airdrie – the people are amazing!” she adds. “The schools here are amazing. All we need is a university or a college here and we’d be set.” life

DIreCtIONS • Slice the onion and fry it in oil until it is light brown. Take out a quarter of it and keep aside. • Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes, salt, red chili powder, cloves, green cardamom, black pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, black cardamom and bay leaves to the remaining fried onions. • Fry until tomatoes are tender and the water is dry. • Add meat, yogurt and water (if desired) and cook on medium heat until the meat is tender and the water has evaporated. • In another pot, boil the potatoes until they’re half cooked. • Add green chilies, mint, coriander leaves and the half-boiled potatoes to the meat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. The meat curry is done. • Boil the rice with salt, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and black cardamom and drain the water off when the rice is half done. • Layer the curry with the rice in a pot in one-on-one layers. Sprinkle the food colour, fried onions and chopped mint leaves on top of the last layer. • Close the lid tightly making sure no steam passes out of the pot and cook on low heat until the rice is done. • Gently mix before serving. FAll 2015




locAl liFe FestivAls

     by Alex FrAzer-hArrison

ew calendars need to be printed in Airdrie, because it’s not September here anymore – it’s ARTember. For the last half-decade, Airdrie residents and local artists have gathered to celebrate the arts in this city, whether through painting elaborate Adirondack – sorry, AIRdirondack – chairs which are auctioned off at a prestigious gala, sharing culinary creativity, performing music or going into the schools and giving youngsters a firsthand look at what it means to create. This year’s ARTember festivities run Sept. 12-27, and Erika Holter, executive director of the Creative Airdrie Society, which organizes the festival, says that this year’s celebration will be bigger than ever. “It’s definitely been growing year after year and we have some pretty cool things coming up,” Holter says. ARTember officially kicks off Sept. 12 with the Ravenswood AIRdirondak Art Project & Gala, where a dozen chairs that have been displayed around Airdrie and at CrossIron Mills are placed on the auction block, with proceeds supporting Creative Airdrie.



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During the two weeks, several local businesses partner with local artists to showcase their work for Art in Business. For example, Good Earth Coffeehouse & Bakery on Mackenzie Way will feature art by photographer Ryan Donnelly, while artist Michelle Wiebe will have her work on display at Airdrie Public Library (APL). Other businesses participating include CIBC, Luxstone Manor, Krave Steakhouse & Bar and Foggy Gorilla. Taste of Airdrie also coincides with ARTember, with a diverse group of local restaurants and cafes offering discounts and other incentives. If you’re into learning how to create a piece of art, Cre8ive Ways, Muk-Luk Magpies Stained Glass Emporium Inc., 4Cats Art Studio and Color Me Mine will be hosting arts-related workshops. And along with hosting a children’s illustrator/author visit and a writing workshop, APL is inviting teens to take part in a decorating project for the library’s teen room, The Den. “We also have School and the Arts happening on Sept. 25,” says events co-ordinator Brenda Hong. “We’ve got a bunch of instructors

Annual artsfest will open your eyes and ears to the vast amount of talent in our city going into Bert Church High School to teach hip hop, photography, improv and [singing]. The kids can sign up for whatever they’re interested in and they’ll get a great experience from the instructors.” Everything comes together with the free Culture at the Creek celebration, which takes over Nose Creek Park Sept. 26-27 as a tie-in with Alberta Culture Days. The Cooper’s Crossing Stage will feature a nonstop lineup of dance and musical performances, including belly dancing, Filipino dancing, the Calgary folk group Steel & Timber, musical group Meta Mofo and the a cappella group, Hoja. Also performing is Juno Award-winner Alberto San Martin, who established Airdrie’s Solfeo Music Academy, where, on any given day, he might be found teaching four-year-olds to play piano or 68-year-olds to play ukulele. “First of all, this is a showcase of local musicians, and artists in general … you get a taste of what Airdrie is about in terms of the artists we have here,” says San Martin, who will be performing with local guitarist Jordan Bencharski. Solfeo will also have a tent set up at the event. “We’ll have guitars and instruments in there for people to look at,” San Martin adds. There will be several other exhibitors on hand, plus a Food Truck Frenzy, the Airdrie Festival of Lights Train, the Propak Art Pavilion, a creative gardening booth hosted by the Airdrie Horticultural Society and even a cupcake-eating challenge.

Holter says that Creative Airdrie is pleased to have Airdrie’s teen antibullying crusader, Caitlin Haacke, on hand with her Positive Post-it project. Haacke will have a station at the park where guests will be invited to write positive messages that will be used to make a big Post-it mural. Culture at the Creek runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 27. ARTember chair and Creative Airdrie vice-chair Michelle Wagner says that the event continues to grow in stature, and demonstrates the best of Airdrie’s community spirit. “I think ARTember is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and really celebrate the artists here and celebrate creativity and what it means for all of us who live here,” Wagner says.“The festival has grown immensely. We’ve always had community support and key individuals involved since the beginning. “ARTember demonstrates how passionate this community is about the arts and the different artists,” she adds, “and how important it is to have those opportunities in Airdrie.” As for Holter, who joined Creative Airdrie earlier this year, community support for ARTember is the secret to its ongoing success. “The amount of volunteer support and the passion of the organizers has been pretty impressive,” she says. life


For more information about this year’s ARTember events, visit Fall 2015



Local life arts fundraiser

Art you can sit on


here aren’t that many pieces of art that you can sit on, but the AIRdirondack chairs that have become a traditional part of ARTember fit the bill. The leadup to the sixth annual Ravenswood AIRdirondack Art Project & Gala places a dozen of the wooden chairs on display around Airdrie, each one meticulously painted by a local artist. On Sept. 12, McArthur Fine Furniture will once again host a lavish gala where the chairs will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to fund the Creative Airdrie Society and its efforts to promote the arts in this city. “This is the only fundraising event Creative Airdrie does throughout the year,” says executive director Erika Holter. This year’s gala, which officially kicks off the ARTember festivities, will feature performance art and roaming-type artists, as well as live music. “Instead of having strictly music, we wanted – in the interest of this being an arts gala – to incorporate some element of live art and performance art,” Holter says.

Among the artists whose work is adorning the AIRdirondack chairs this year are furniture “re-creator” Jennifer Pyykonen, henna artist Samreen Junaid, painter Delree Dumont, and award-winning artist and bodypainter Amanda Tozser. Tozser has several chairs in this year’s project: two children’s chairs – one with a superhero theme, another based on Frozen – and a third chair for adults inspired by the films of Tim Burton. “I did a chair last year, and in my art background I do airbrushing and I used to paint for Disney,” says Tozser, who used to paint murals promoting Disney films showing at Famous Players cinemas across the Prairies. She’s also done film and theatre makeup and has even done bodypainting for Cirque du Soleil. “I did a poll asking people on my Facebook page, ‘If you could have a chair, what would be your top thing?’” Tozser says. “Out of the few hundred people who did the questionnaire, many came back with Frozenand superhero-themed!”

“Instead of having strictly music, we wanted … 102


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story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Kristy Reimer

But first you need to bid on it!

The AIRdirondack chairs have been on display in businesses and other locations around Airdrie, such as 4Cats Arts Studio and Brewsters Brewing Company & Restaurant (where Tozser’s chairs can be found), TD Canada Trust and Good Earth Coffeehouse, as well as at city hall. On Sept. 2, all the chairs will be relocated to CrossIron Mills, where they’ll be on display until the auction on Sept. 12. Last year’s gala raised nearly $25,000, Holter says, adding that this year’s auction will allow proxy bidding for the chairs for those who cannot attend. Also featured will be a silent auction.“Something new this year is we’re giving people not only an opportunity to put down their bids on [merchandise], we’re also giving people a chance to bid to sponsor specific arts programs,” says Holter. “If an individual wants to sponsor a specific program, [he or she] can bid on that and maybe become the one responsible for bringing that program to Airdrie.”

Creative Airdrie co-founder Veronica Funk says that the AIRdirondack chairs take their place among other signature art projects around the world. “It really has grown,” Funk says. “And the funding helps support other artists in Airdrie. What a difference, even in five years, for arts in the community.” Tickets to the fifth annual Ravenswood AIRdirondack Art Project & Gala are $100 per person or $300 for a VIP package that includes a night in a hotel and transportation to the event at McArthur Fine Furniture, 141 Gateway Dr. NE. Along with McArthur, event sponsors include Qualico, The Carre Group, Beauti-Tone and Home Hardware Building Centre. life

To order tickets – and for more information about the project and other ARTember events – visit

to incorporate some element of live art and performance art.” Fall 2015



locAl liFe Art spACe Artists Justin mercer (this page) and Zach Abbott show their creative paint skills at ‘the Cage.’

Everchanging canvas uniQue ‘gaLLery’ draws aTTenTion 104 ||

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story And photos by CArl pAtzel


hat started out as a roughly sketched idea to attract spray-paint artists has transformed into wondrous, colourful canvas for creative minds. A testament to street art, Airdrie’s Miller Paint Park is regularly decorated with multi-layered lettering and characters exhibited in vivid colours. This Main Street compound at Nose Creek Park, fondly known by some as“The Cage,” slowly progressed from a tennis court to a temporary skateboard park to the current multi-use sports court and art park. “It’s a neat little multi-use facility,” says Archie Lang, operations manager of Parks and Public Works with the City of Airdrie. “We have an offering for people to be able to use a paint spray can in a positive fashion as opposed to graffiti in a park.” Formalized three years ago with the leadership of the Creative Airdrie Society, the outdoor canvas was born not only to detract from public graffiti-style vandalism but as a viable option for budding and existing artists to showcase their spray skills in public. “The person [who] is going to vandalize in the community is a different person than these people. These people are artists and they see themselves as such and rightfully so,” Lang says. “Why wouldn’t they do something of a more artistic fashion in an area that is allowed and totally legal?” This is not your average art gallery fare. Graffiti has evolved from the very beginnings of ancient symbolic cave pictograms through gang-style markings to modern-day signature tags. Going even beyond that, graffiti-style street art has been popularized by the music and fashion industries while earning respect in the visual art world. Aerosol paint is the major medium seen at the park, whether used freestyle or, as displayed by well-known folk star artist Banksy, through stencilling. Many of these spray-can Picassos, such as uncrowned king of the park Zach Abbott, have even used graffiti to launch an art career. One of the original artists to put a mark on the

park, Abbott has also acted as park host and instructor to younger budding artists. “There’s a full spectrum of benefits that the paint park brings,” says Abbott. “It’s mostly premeditative, but also available for when that’s not an option and you just need to go down and let it happen.” Bombing, an unsophisticated quick technique, is rarely seen at the park. Plenty of thought is going into this form of personal expression. “It has some community energy,” Abbott says. “It’s more of a collection now rather than individual pieces. It’s a form of expression, a lot more than just letters.” A one-time protégé of Abbot’s, digital artist Jared Hair recognizes the need for the outdoor gallery for the budding and experienced artists. “These kids have a passion to paint and if you don’t fill that passion for them they are going to go about it the illegal way. The paint park here in Airdrie has overwhelming reviews. I find the quality of art there is escalating, [as well as] the level of artists who are coming out,” says Hair, who takes pride in maintaining the facility with his fellow artists. A constantly shifting huge plywood canvas, the park is a summertime haven for aerosol aficionados, not only on the local scene but outside the city, too. Hair says that the Airdrie gallery has attracted artists from surrounding cities, from Calgary to Cochrane and Bragg Creek to Okotoks. “Usually you have to pay for a spot in a gallery for your art. This is free and one of the most popular areas in Airdrie,” says Hair, who is excited to see art forms trend beyond traditional graffiti lettering into more abstract realms. “I think as it expands and more and more people hear about it,” he says, “you’ll target those kinds of artists.” life FAll FAll 2015 2015



The Vital Link story by Ellen Kelly

Parent Link celebrates 10 years


nder the auspices of Alberta Human Services, Parent Link centres provide parents and caregivers with free resources and assistance to develop nurturing environments that support early childhood development. All Parent Link programs provide five core services: parent education, family supports, early childhood development, developmental checkups, and information and referrals. Operating in conjunction with Community Links, Airdrie’s Parent Links Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the community this year. Established in 2005, the local program focuses on children up to five years old. (Some supports are also available for parents of older children.) Funding has allowed Community Links – which provides support and programs to North Rocky View (Airdrie, Crossfield, Balzac, Irricana, Beiseker, Kathryn, Keoma and the associated rural area) – to add or enhance programs and services. Barb Gross, Community Links family resource services manager, and Laurie Jacob-Toews, community services development manager, explain how the program has grown from serving 41 children and 31 adults in 2005 to serving 1,340 children and 933 adults this past year. “We have many different families, and they all learn from each other,” says Gross.



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Jacob-Toews’ team, which operates in the community, is often the first point of contact when people come in, she says, “so they have a social work or related social services or humanities background.” The team offers such programs as Pregnancy and Beyond groups in partnership with Alberta Health Services, Healthy Families and Community Links. Programs are offered in the outlying communities, as well as at Bethany Care Centre, Luxstone Manor and Grace Baptist Church in Airdrie. “Part of our outreach is to reduce barriers for parents to get to programs. A lot of our parents are walking,” says Gross. The program has evolved to meet the needs of the community. “We have the same mandate but hours have been expanded over the last 10 years,” Jacob-Toews says. “We now have Thursday evening hours to accommodate those who are working full time, and we did some summer programming this year.” Adds Gross: “We believe that every parent at some point in their parenting career has questions or needs support and we are here to answer those questions.” life Fall program information is online and in the Program Services Guide available at Community Links. Register by calling 403-9453900 or toll-free 1-866-945-3905. Programs are free or can be subsidized and everyone is welcome.

Photo courtesy of Community Links

Local life Community Support

ones to watch

locAl liFe CreAtive genuis

story by JeFF mACkinnon | photos by kurtis kristiAnson

Meet seven local talented young adults Airdrie is filled with artistic talent, especially in the under-25 category. here airdrielife introduces some of those highly creative people who express themselves in a wide variety of ways. Watch for these names in the years to come. ude MoneT a a l c T x e n e of rBieri – Th recollection

alicia Ba

re and the inspired ations cultu N st ir F f uffalo Jump o B n -I ed A love sh a ch, m charcoal sket ip to Head-S g tr in d n o in o h -w d il rd ch er awa ri to create h Alicia Barbie old the 18-yearuffalo. B at e th th d f o o o g es y E s so one the charcoal wa was named e at u Her vision in d ra g l ary oo at the Calg h High Sch ip rc h u rs h la C o t ch er S B Art ssionals at the Western ngside profe lo a t o winners of sp a ede. ce iving her pie of the Stamp g ty e, re ed ti p en m e ta th S ring ys.“I love Showcase du ,” Barbieri sa re u lt cu the Western s n io e First Nat “I just love th e of muays had a lov lw a s a h the stories.” at th and m a family e age of seven th ce n si Coming fro o n ed pia come from has also play rt must have a f o e sic, the teen v lo er says that h when pressed an artist. and spent er, who was th o m d n stract works ra b g a d her n a sm ing her es surreali and develop y h p ra Barbieri lov g to o apph folio for her working on rt o er p m er m h su sh e th to poli f Art ills in order University o rr a C y il m Photoshop sk E s ool e prestigiou tend the sch th at to to n g o in ti p o ca pli he is h Vancouver. S + Design in sure 2016. m not quite I’ in d g n a in n n in io g at e b nim says.“I’m school) for a ne arts,” she fi in “It’s (a good in a m re I’ve r o into that o zing school. g a m to a t n n a a w s ’ I it if but they do to fine arts, and the work it is v leaning more to es couple of tim been there a zing.” there is ama

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Local life creative genuis

Brad Fleischer – The next Jon Bon Jovi When Brad Fleischer was 12 he asked his father, John, to buy him a guitar. Instead, Fleischer was given a raise while working with his dad in his construction business, so he could buy his own. “Essentially (my father) paid for it, but he taught me how to work for it,” the 22-yearold says. “I bought my own used Fenderstyled Strat and the rest is history, really.” Brad, his brother Ryan and some of their buddies formed their first band seven years ago, playing classic rock tunes. Today, Brad, Ryan and drummer Brandon Alberts are the three-piece band Storm, a fast-rising trio that has opened for such big-name Canadian acts as Tom Cochrane, Harlequin, Nick Gilder, Gord Bamford and the Headpins.



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One of the songs from Storm’s upcoming EP, One More Time, is already out and receiving airplay on two area stations – Drum 99.5 in Drumheller and Rock 104.5 in Olds, where the band won the station’s star search competition. “I like to write upbeat stuff, optimistic stuff,” says Brad, who was named Hopewell’s Emerging Artist of the Year for 2015. “Music is very powerful and it makes you feel certain things,” he adds.“If I can get a person to listen to my songs I want to help them to be the best they can and push them to the top. I’d rather do that than have them feel sad.”

Ali Froggatt – The next Tina Fey Ali Froggatt wants to be more than an actor. The 22-year-old wants to do it all in the film and theatre business. “I wasn’t satisfied with only being an actor, although I love it, it’s one of my passions,” Froggatt says.“I want to be able to wear all different hats in the industry and keep learning.” Froggatt joined Calgary’s improv factory Loose Moose as a 16-yearold. “(Loose Moose is) a blast and it’s the best training I’ve ever received,” she says. Improv is her first love, but she made her directorial debut at Loose

Moose this summer with a three-day run of the scripted show Dog Sees God by Bert V. Royal. It was so well received it was held over for an encore show. A graduate of the Randolph Academy of Performing Arts in Toronto, Froggatt now runs her own theatre company, Sour Dog Theatre, and in addition to the Dog Sees God production has produced two Airdrie improv shows that both sold a lot of tickets and drew positive feedback. She is fresh off the success of her first Calgary Fringe Festival production – Missed Connections, a totally improvised show based on real Craigslist missed connections. She developed the concept while in Toronto but was thrilled to bring it to life closer to home with a cast of her peers and improv mentors. Then it’s off to school in the fall. “I’ve been accepted into SAIT’s film and video production program,” Froggatt says.“It’ll help me develop the other side of my company, which is the film side. I hope to produce my own sketches and films and web series one day and that’ll help me start that up.” Editor’s Note: Froggatt’s Fringe show, Missed Connections, will have an encore presentation at Bert Church Theatre Sept. 26 as part of the ARTember celebrations. To win free tickets follow airdrielife on Facebook!

Fall 2015



Local life creative genuis

Mitchell George – The next Quentin Tarantino Mitchell George’s first short film, Father Robin Hood, was inspired by his experience as a homeless youth and the joy he now gets from being a father to four-year-old Cage. “I love being a dad and it was one of the things that helped me turn my life around,” says the 23-year-old. “Anything I can do to inspire him I do. It’s very rewarding. “Having the badge ‘Dad’ is probably the most rewarding title I can have,” George adds. Employed as a youth outreach support work at the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, Mitchell also runs his own production company, Crooked Cinema, and for the past two years has focused on making short films. His first, a twist on the classic tale where a homeless dad robs from the rich to help support his son, can be seen on Telus on Demand. Currently, George is working on a sequel, along with a“top secret” documentary. “I love making films,” he says.“It’s obviously one of my biggest passions and I’m never going to stop doing it.”



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Jillianne Kell and Cameron Swainson – The Next Steven Spielberg and Rob Stewart Despite walking the halls of the same school, Bert Church High School, Jillianne Kell and Cameron Swainson did not meet each other until two days before they became a video production duo at a regional Skills Canada competition. Kell and Swainson qualified there, went on to win at the provincial competition and then were top 10 in late May with a video about“trades then and now.” The two students are the product of the school’s communication technology course dating back to Grade 9.“It mainly focused on photography but when we went on to the video unit I was so fascinated by how we can make stories using video. I really enjoyed it,” says 16-year-old Swainson, who is contemplating attending either Mount Royal University in student broadcasting technology or Vancouver Film School. Kell is also planning to make video production a focus of her post-secondary studies. “Most definitely,” the 17-year-old confirms.“I’m thinking about going to SAIT for video production and continuing to make my own videos in my spare time to keep getting better.” Fall 2015



Local life creative genuis

Katie McCann – The Next Miles Redd Little did they know that while they were updating their home, Katie McCann’s parents were also planting the seed for her career path. The 18-year-old, who recently graduated from Bert Church, will attend Toronto’s Ryerson University this fall to study interior design. “My interest in design came from working around the house with my parents, renovating,” McCann says. “I always wanted to help out with that and now I’d like to make a career out of it.” Ryerson’s full-time, four-year program will teach the budding designer everything she will need to know to create spaces for all facets of life and work.“They have a really good reputation in Canada as having the best program, so I wanted to challenge myself,” she says. Creative Airdrie is lending its support to her dreams, having chosen McCann as the first recipient of the Karin Simpson Memorial Scholarship for Creativity. (The award honours one of Creative Airdrie’s founding members, who passed away in 2014.) life



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locAl liFe speCiAl guest Column

Day Positive Post-it d is to be celebrate Oct. 5, 2015. airdrielife is proud

to be a sponsor


umanity, benevolence and tenderness. These are a few of the words I use to describe kindness. But perhaps the true connection to these words is “positivity.” In October 2014, I had a run-in with the very opposite of these words. A student in my school made the decision to bully – and broke into my locker. On my social media, this person posted a status for 400 people on my friends list to view, like and share. This story became step one to changing the world. Less than a week later, I decided that I wanted to put an end to the negativity I saw in my own school halls. My solution began after I saw a story on Pinterest of two teens who plastered their school in positive messages after a fellow classmate’s suicide. This being my light-bulb moment, I decided to try this for myself. One trip to Sobeys and 800 Post-it notes later, step two of changing the world was executed. I covered my school in ‘Positive Post-its,’ which were essentially a sticky with a message. But not just any message. They began simply – “You are beautiful” and “Love yourself ” – and then evolved into phrases, such as: “You are a sprinkle cupcake in a world full of muffins.” After some initial planning, the citizens of Airdrie helped me to create the first annual Positive Post-it Day – a day based on the philosophy of benevolence and the ability to show each other kindness. But what was originally one girl and a dream became millions and Positive Post-it Day went viral! Airdrie, my beautiful home, taught me the true meaning of kindness. The very first notice of support was in our local Frilly Lilly, where hundreds of Postits could be viewed in the window. Next came Pureform Radiology, where a positive“Thank You” wall hung. And it surely didn’t stop there – schools, workplaces, stores and homes bore the symbol of the Positive Post-it, which became a true emblem of Airdrie. My community was the key to kindness, and it still is. Airdrie has helped me change the world and will always be my true home. Whether it be an initiative to combat bullying, the key to mental health issues or simply a way to show you care, please make sure to share your Positive Post-its this Oct. 5, which will be the second annual Positive Post-it Day. Let’s teach the world the power of a positive phrase! From here in Airdrie to the opposite side of the planet, this year’s day is aiming to be the largest one on an international scale. My hope is to see a photo of a Post-it on every continent, and maybe even on the International Space Station. Can we do it? life


Positively Perfect story by CAitlin hAACke | photo by kristy reimer

“And in this ad vanced bustling world, in this di gital world, on e act of kindness spread . One piece of paper, a very analog idea and a girl w ho chose to care ch anged the wor ld.” – Caitlin Haack e, Tedx Teen 2 015

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Local life last look

Dramatic canvas “Travelling the back-country, rural roads around Airdrie I came across a field of plump grain just waiting for harvest under a brilliant blue afternoon sky. Getting down low I used a wide-angle lens to frame a few stocks; a narrow f-stop to starburst the radiant sun; and a hand-held flash to pop colour into the sprouting grain to stand out from the background.” – Carl Patzel,

This picture was chosen by FortisAlberta to appear as part of the 2015 art wrap program on switching cubicles in Airdrie. This unique art partnership with Creative Airdrie places original works of art on otherwise utilitarian structures. Airdrie is the only city in Alberta to feature original works of local art on the switching cubicles.  Have an image you think is worthy of a last look? Send it to



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exploring the good life in Airdrie


FALL 2015

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

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Profile for airdrielife magazine

airdrielife fall 2015  

It's the annual arts issue!

airdrielife fall 2015  

It's the annual arts issue!