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winter 2010/2011


Bell Is he the next


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Local businesses take the next step to a storefront


Best Tastes of Airdrie




Everything you wanted to know about

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2010 Airdrie Festival of Lights Guide


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Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Anne Beaty Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams Sergei Belski, Alex Frazer-Harrison, Elizabeth Hak, Ellen Kelly, Cory Knibutat, Kurtis Kristianson, Carl Patzel, Kristy Reimer Angela Burford Wendy Potter-Duhaime


Contact Us Community Investment Editorial Advertising Web Accounting

Where to find us airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. If you do not receive an issue please contact airdrielife is also available at more than 50 locations around the city including the Airdrie Calgary Co-op. 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 2010 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 canolabased inks, and is 100% recyclable.

4 | winter 2010/2011


Group Publisher

winter 2010/2011

What is your favourite winter comfort food?

Alex Frazer-Harrison Mac ‘n’ cheese, from all those years back in Saskatoon watching The Flintstones at noon hour during the dead of winter.

Kurtis Kristianson Coffee. When we are in the back country, or spending all day outside, it’s just coffee. And lots of it.

Carl Patzel Whether it’s stress-driven or a buried early-life experience, when I need a little comfort in the tummy I usually run to eggs.

Elizabeth Hak Anything from a slow cooker. You can’t beat tossing a mish-mash of food into a slow cooker in the morning with heavenly smells reaching you the minute you open the door after work. I’ve even started using it at night so I wake up to hot apple and cinnamon oatmeal in the morning. Yum.

Sergei Belski My winter comfort food is the same as my summer comfort food. I love condensed milk. Sometimes I make candy from it, but mostly I just eat it with a spoon straight from the can. I always say it’s good for your heart, because it makes you happy.

Ellen Kelly Chicken pot pie, stew and dumplings, homemade soup and warm cheese buns, macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate.

Cory Knibutat Chili-lime chorizo sausage and perogies. I sauté the chorizo in chili-lime butter and onions before adding the perogies to finish them off.

Kristy Reimer Potato chowder.

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editor’s note Every issue of airdrielife introduces me to yet more of this city’s incredible people. Each and every one of them has a fascinating story to tell and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know more about our wonderful community through the eyes of its residents. This issue we take a look at some of Airdrie’s heroes, from those who have saved a life to those who dedicate their time and energy to helping others, be they next door or half a world away (see Hometown Heroes, page 60). One of our community’s unsung heroes was Tim Harriman (see Remembering Tim, page 57), who faced his difficult – and all too short – journey with courage, humour and optimism. Tim’s positive attitude and selfless actions helped others both at home and across the country and his legacy will live on even though he is gone. Heroism doesn’t only encompass life-saving efforts or volunteerism. To me, heroes include those people who hold the door open for you when you have an armload of groceries, who offer a hand when the sidewalks are thick with ice, who smile at you when you’re having a miserable day and shine a little light into your life. These people may not garner all the headlines, but they are making a difference. This issue also highlights a wonderful way of beating the winter blues: food! (And no, I don’t mean overeating.) From entertaining to indulging, we offer some fabulous recipes to savour when the snow is three feet high and getting out of the house is a challenge (see Entertain, Replenish, Indulge, page 34). This doesn’t mean we should scrap our healthy eating habits, but we can have some fun along the way. For myself, winter is a great time to curl up inside and read a good book. With that in mind, Airdrie Public Library has kindly provided some great ideas for the whole family to enjoy when outdoor activities are at a standstill (see Booking Time, page 46). So put your feet up, settle back and enjoy winter 2010/2011 with airdrielife.

Anne Beaty, EDITOR

On the cover:

For ski racer Jeff Bell, life is measured in hundredths of a second Photo by Kristy Reimer

6 | winter 2010/2011

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Columns and regular features


Music Q & A








Rural Roots




The Back Page


8 | winter 2010/2011

66 Cover Story 14


King of the Hill

Meet 17-year-old Jeff Bell, who lists Ken Read as a mentor

and is calm about speeding down a mountain at

100 kilometres per hour.

life in the moment


Weaving Magic – Christina Waldner

22 The Main Attraction – Creative Airdrie’s next big project


28 Taste This – our annual roundup of delicious dishes


34 Entertain, Replenish, Indulge – recipes and ideas for the winter months

42 Timeless Fashion – how to make anything old look very right-now

44 Rover’s Vacation – the pets can play when the owner’s away

46 Booking Time – how the library can ease the winter blahs

49 Sew Day – quilters stitch together a good time

Wind Riders – snowkiting adventures Magic Touch – meet Chef Darrik Lee

life in the community

57 Remembering Tim – a tribute to a lost hero


Hometown Heroes – ordinary people in extraordinary moments


Minor Hockey, Major Costs? – everything you need to know about

minor hockey in Airdrie

life at home


Light It Up – bright ideas for home


Wrap It Up – envelop your home in colour this Christmas


Warm It Up – home heating tips

life at work



A New Frontier – home businesses make the leap


Park Space – industrial spaces are filling


On The Edge of Greatness – Airdrie’s 2010 winning businesses winter 2010/2011 | 9

Blunston Patients Smile More.

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

moment life in the 16

Kindred Q & A




Tastes of Airdrie

life in the moment | artist profile

First-Class Fabrication Some may call it a craft, but Christina Waldner’s woven pieces are works of art

story by Anne Beaty | photos by Kristy Reimer


Fibre artist Christina Waldner has been a ‘material girl’ since childhood

he word “art” most often brings to mind painting and sculpture. For Airdrie’s Christina Waldner, though, art encompasses so much more. Waldner is a fibre artist. She works with fibres and textiles to create colourful, imaginative works of art – from woven pieces to quilts to wall hangings. Sewing, weaving, knitting, quilting, crocheting – all is fodder for this artist’s mill. Waldner’s interest in all things ‘material’ started as a child, when at age 10 she was taught how to sew by her mother. “It wasn’t cool while I was growing up,” she remembers with a smile.“I would be at home sewing.” ‘Cool’ or not, Waldner’s love of textiles has never waned. She has made her own clothes for many years and she used to make wedding dresses for a living, personalizing each piece and embroidering in blue a bride and groom and the date inside, so the couple would have ‘something blue’ on that special day. Over the years, Waldner has attempted to pick up a new craft each year (although she admits to not being terribly enamoured of appliqué). Now, she has immersed herself in weaving, an art she has been honing for four to five years. “It’s very repetitive, but oddly relaxing,” she says. “It’s also more instant gratification than, say, knitting or even crocheting.” Being drawn to this particular craft is natural – Waldner is carrying on the tradition of a favourite aunt from Toronto, who still weaves, even at age 93. “I do credit Aunt Iris. She’s just inspiring on all sorts of levels,” she says. “[When visiting her] I always used to stay in what we called ‘the loom room.’”

A very hands-on person, Iris encouraged her niece to pursue her dreams, no matter what. “I probably inherited her strength of character – I’m kind of bossy,” Waldner laughs. Following in her aunt’s footsteps, Waldner has been experimenting, creating and improving her weaving skills as she goes along. Each year, Olds College hosts fibre week, which offers a plethora of events and workshops, from master spinner and weaver classes to fleece shows and Waldner would ultimately like to take one of the master weaver classes. She has already taken classes with the Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild of Calgary and last summer, she attended a retreat for fibre artists. “I’m a kinesthetic learner,” she says, adding that she has found a home with other likeminded people in the fabric-fibre world. “I love the community.” Weaving comprises two sets of ‘threads’: the warp, which runs lengthwise, and the weft, the cross-thread, which is thrown on the loom. While the warp needs to be stable and not stretch, the sky’s pretty much the limit for materials to use as the weft. From knitting yarn to cut-up plastic bags,“You can literally use basically anything,” she says. Waldner’s first creations were placemats, but she has added more complex patterns and pieces to her repertoire along the way. Now, she is working with a four-shaft loom, which allows for a wide variety of patterns. (“The equipment is not cheap,” she says, “so you want to make sure you enjoy [weaving].”) She often works from a book that provides 500 patterns, although she does occasionally create her own. “Weaving is actually pretty mathematical and I’m not,” she says. continued on page 18

14 | winter 2010/2011

life in the moment | music

Q&A with


story by Ellen Kelly | photo courtesy of Kindred

“When you expect great things, they arrive in threes. Theresa Wasden, Sheila Ross and Andrea Morton are Kindred. They sing anthems that claim hearts, open minds and lift spirits” (from their web page, with permission)

16 | winter 2010/2011

How did the group begin? Theresa, Sheila and Andrea began singing together eight years ago. The name, Kindred, describes their relationship with each other. Theresa and Andrea are mother and daughter; Sheila is an “adopted” family member, a kindred spirit. The group feels a spiritual connection. What kind of music interests the members? The new album is folk/pop but Kindred plays every kind of music – jazz, swing, some country. Theresa favours big band and Latin samba, Andrea is attracted to anything with an electric guitar, and Sheila says there is very little music she doesn’t like.

life in the moment | music continued from page 16 Where has Kindred appeared recently? Future appearances? All three women are busier than they thought they’d be. They started out thinking they’d perform possibly once a month but are now handling three or four gigs each month. Kindred recently appeared at the AIRdirondack Art Project Gala Auction, Famous Five Anniversary celebration in Calgary, Exile Island (fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation), Southern Stardust Big Band concerts, Airdrie Canada Day Parade and Festival of Lights, among others. The group is opening for the Festival of Lights on Dec. 4. Theresa, Sheila and Andrea will also be appearing with the Southern Stardust Big Band but they say they would really like to take January off. What about the new CD? Kindred will be launching a new CD, Kindred Hearts, at the Bert Church Theatre Nov. 26, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Chris Le Blanc is opening for the group and all of the artists on the CD, all internationally known musicians, will be there. Kindred Hearts is co-produced by Red Box Productions and John Theil from Horizon Music Studios in Calgary.

What does Kindred hope to tell people through music? Is there a message? The group wants to let people know that they are loved. Kindred’s purpose is to inspire people and empower them to discover who they are. What makes Kindred successful? The ladies all love similar things. Theresa, Sheila and Andrea want to connect with people so they try to do that through their music, their work – serving in some way. Who are Kindred’s musical heroes? Personal inspirations? Theresa: I’m inspired by the smooth jazz sound of Sarah Vaughan and by Kiri Te Kanawa, an opera singer with the most amazing voice. (My) personal heroes include daughter Jessica, who reminded (me) of what is important in life. Sheila: My music is inspired by the people close to me. It comes from people who have the same vision and heart. My personal inspiration comes from family. My grandfather stood for integrity. He showed me it’s important to stand for what’s right. Andrea: I’m inspired by the music of KT Tunstall and her use of rhythm and energy. There’s a free-

dom to it. My personal hero is Leah Mostert, a girl I knew growing up. She was always striving to do her best. I saw her personality as always a positive motion, always in a positive direction. She always saw things with positive intent. What strengths does each member bring to the group? Theresa, who has been in the music business the longest, says she brings experience and stability. Sheila thinks it’s important to be a team player. Andrea is upbeat and they all agree that she brings energy to the group. Where does Kindred see itself in five years? Maybe another CD? The Junos? An award would be nice but they’d be happy to be part of the celebration. It would be great to be a part of all that energy and would inspire them to go further. Why is Airdrie a good place to live? It’s a great place to raise a family. Children grow up with a great sense of community. And Airdrie is forward-thinking. It has all the amenities of a larger place but it doesn’t feel like a large city. The community knows how to come together and celebrate.


life in the moment | artist profile continued from page 14

Her art also allows her to express the rainbow in her soul. She doesn’t wear a lot of bright colours, she says, so with quilting, weaving, sewing she can indulge her sense of colour. A graphic designer by profession, Waldner, who has lived in Airdrie for eight years with husband Wayne, has worked at Airdrie Public Library for the past two years. Prior to that, she spent 12 years at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. Her company, White Dog Design, is named for some very important family members – West Highland white terriers Aberdeen and Stuart currently rule the roost at home. Waldner grew up in a creative family. “My mother (who is of Norwegian heritage) is an amazing cook and she did teach me how to sew,” she says, adding that although she herself isn’t a cook, she “can whip up … anything with a piece of string.” Her father, an elementary school principal, played guitar and sang; a brother

18 | winter 2010/2011

works with wood; and another aunt is an “amazing” knitter. Exposure to art in all its myriad forms also helped Waldner develop her own personal style and creative outlets. At age nine, she and her family moved to Germany for three years, while her father lectured at a military school there. “I got to go to Belgium and see them making Belgian lace,” she says, adding that she also attended opera and ballet productions at Strasberg. She has played the flute and currently sings with an a cappella choir. Arthritis runs in Waldner’s family, so she can foresee a time when knitting or threading a needle will be beyond her, as her agility and hand strength wane. But with weaving, she says, she will be able to work a loom no matter what in order to continue her creative journey. “It’s something that I hope I’ll be able to do for a long time,” Waldner says. “I try to live creatively and lifelong learning is important to me,” she adds.“I can’t imagine not being creative. I think it’s a blessing.” life









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during the

with Joan Bell


on’t get me wrong – I love the holidays, but I always seem to use them as an excuse not to exercise and eat healthy. I am too busy to exercise, because I’m shopping, decorating the house, entertaining family and friends. There are so many tantalizing foods to eat – cookies, sauces, gravies and tempting appetizers! Then when January comes around, I make another resolution to get back on track. Sometimes I think I am on a merry-go-round instead of the path to health and wellness. I have come up with a few tips to enjoy the holidays while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sound impossible? It’s really quite simple. The keys are moderation and a bit of planning. Put as much thought into your diet and exercise as you do into your gift buying and socializing over the holidays and you will be surprised at how well you do. Keep in mind that Christmas is a ‘day,’ not a ‘month,’ of indulgence. Pay as much attention to where you eat as what you eat. When you are running around trying to organize a get-together or finish your shopping, it is easy to forget to eat healthy and then binge on the first thing at hand when you finally slow down. Avoid reaching for the cookies at the end of the day by packing a few nutritious snacks – such as carrot sticks, almonds, walnuts or a piece of fruit – to munch on while you run your errands. Don’t forget to take a bottle of water with you. Often your brain thinks your body is hungry, when what it really needs is water. Speaking of running errands, park your car at the far end of the parking lot or leave the car at home and walk to the store. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise, including the dreaded snow shovelling and house cleaning, will help keep your heart healthy.


Remember, though, a half-hour walk doesn’t equal a mound of potatoes and gravy. I have a girlfriend who feels that if she shops for an hour she deserves a cappuccino and a sweet. While it’s easy to underestimate how many calories some foods contain, it’s also easy to overestimate how many calories we burn while exercising. Even if you exercise a fair amount, it’s not carte blanche to eat whatever you want. Remember, everything in moderation. If you are heading out to a cocktail party, eat before you go and plan to only sample a few goodies at the soiree. Enjoy one or two seasonal drinks, but remember to drink at least one glass of water in between to remain hydrated. Choose a glass of wine over that calorie-laden rum-and-eggnog. Next morning, make sure you drink lots of water and have a healthy breakfast to get your body back on track. If you have time to check your e-mail, watch TV or surf the Internet, then you have time to exercise. You can focus on localized muscle strengthening while driving or sitting at your desk. Or fill some of your leisure time by getting to the gym and working out. Exercise is a great way to reduce the stress of the Christmas holidays. Most of all remember to take some time for yourself over the holidays. Sometimes you have to prioritize exercise and ‘me’ time, but your health and the feeling you get after working out is well worth it. I hope you not only survive the holidays, but manage to enjoy time with family and friends, while keeping yourself on the wellness path. Remember, even if you trip and fall, the only ones who fail are the people who don’t get up and try again. Wellness is not just about diet and exercise, it is a lifestyle choice. life Editor’s Note: Congratulations, Joan, on winning the 2010 Winning Edge Award! (See more details on page 91)

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life in the moment | arts

The MAIN Event Creative Airdrie takes on Main Street for its sophomore project to promote the arts


f you’ve driven or walked down Main Street since Nov. 8, you might have noticed (and how could you miss it?) a 300-foot-long sign wrapping around the Old Hotel site on the corner of Main Street and Centre Avenue. The perimeter of the lot has been transformed into public art space that will be unveiled in May 2011. For now the signage says, “Main Street – the downtown arts project by” And the dashes of yellow mimicking the road out in front indicate the scale of the project. “Art on construction hoarding is very popular in places like New York,” says Michelle Pickering, a local artist and arts teacher who is the arts co-ordinator for the project. Pickering’s role is to engage 30 different groups within Airdrie to take a 4x8-foot traffic board and turn it into a work of art. Anyone can sign up for an art board, says Pickering.“Community groups, neighbourhoods, friends – we will do our best to match you with a local artist who can help you flesh out an idea and translate it onto the art board.” There is no limit to what can be designed, says project creator Sherry Shaw-Froggatt. “I’d personally love to see lots of youth involvement, especially teens. There is an enormous amount of talent out there and these kids deserve recognition. I’d even love to see someone who excels at graffiti art to contact us and we will give them an art board. These 30 boards are not meant to be cookie-cutters – they should represent what Airdrie is to everyone involved and art is different things to different people.” The only control? A solid undulating grey line that weaves through every board.

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the arts & culture initiative

22 | winter 2010/2011

In spring 2011 the “promotional boards” on Main Street will be replaced with works of art

“Everyone has to work with the grey line and when the boards are all complete and placed up on Main Street it is like a puzzle or mosaic – the grey line represents the pathways of Airdrie and is a visual metaphor for connecting our community,” says Pickering. The art boards will be distributed in the first weeks of January 2011 to those 30 groups that want to get involved.“We need you to fill out a form and outline your ideas. We want to ensure we get a well-rounded display and represent everyone. Art is all-inclusive. And so is this project,” says Shaw-Froggatt. Requests can be sent to Pickering at The boards will go on display in May and Creative Airdrie is hoping the display becomes a major tourist attraction in the region. Getting the project going took the skills and talents of a different creative type. Josh Dorner of Backwood Landscaping dug the post holes; Richard Baptist and Jeff Landel of Fatboys Renovations constructed the walls with materials partially donated by Fulton’s Home Hardware; and Corey Wine of Sign Concepts tweaked the

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Where great food & friends meet ... final design and installation of the promotional boards. Qualico, the developer of Ravenswood and Creative Airdrie’s partner in the successful AIRdirondack Art Project that raised $10,000 in an hour, is again providing the financial support for this project to succeed. “Qualico has been amazing,” says ShawFroggatt. “They get it. They understand that a vibrant city comes from a vibrant arts and culture community. We are so pleased to continue our relationship with their team.” life For more information on the Main Street project go to or contact Michelle Pickering at or Sherry ShawFroggatt at

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life in the moment | adventure

Wind Riders story and photos by Kurtis Kristianson

winter 2010/2011 | 25

life in the moment | adventure

kite skiing Snowkiting gives a whole new meaning to adrenaline rush


am standing on the edge of a snow-covered mountain lake in the middle of winter. The anemometer in my left hand confirms that the wind blasting at my back is close to 25 kilometres per hour, and I haven’t seen the sun in three days. I should be frozen and hypothermic even with the high-tech fleece and Gore-Tex® I layered on this morning. But I am not cold at all; quite the opposite really. I am so pumped full of anticipation and excited about what I am about to do that I think I might actually be sweating. It’s time for one last safety check while my brain begins to swim in a fresh wave of adrenaline. Harness and helmet are on tight, chicken loop and control bar are secured, and lines for the control bar to the kite have been walked and cleared of any potential tangles before I click into my downhill skis: looks like all is a go. I glance a few hundred metres to my right where Barrett is just strapping on his snowboard and I give him a thumbs up. I get a head-tilt back as he shoots his arm straight up to reciprocate the gesture, and it’s time to go. One step back, tug the chicken loop and the 9.5-square-metre kite I have weighted down with snow bursts into the sky with me in tow across the fresh powder. A few long carves before I turn the kite and rip back toward the launch site. I am electric, my body is charged

26 | winter 2010/2011

with energy and the daily nine-to-five world slips away. This is snowkiting, and I feel I must warn you: it is a highly addictive sport, relatively inexpensive and safe, and will keep you wanting to be outdoors all winter long. Snowkiting is becoming more popular, especially with major advances in technology and safety. You can drive to a good spot and be flying within minutes. The kite itself is built just like a smaller version of a paraglider and connected to a control bar through a set of 20-metre-long lines. Whether you prefer skis or a snowboard, the kite is easily controlled with the bar connected at your waist harness, and first-timers can generally be comfortable with a trainer kite on the first day. Full-sized kites are extremely powerful and, as with any sport where you are at the mercy of Mother Nature, safety and respect for the equipment are absolutely necessary. Find a club or someone who can give you time on a trainer to allow you to get into a kite big enough to tow you. Not long after that you will likely be checking the weather channel often, looking for the next big storm or high wind forecast, while others wonder if you’ve gone mad. life

life in the moment | best tastes

Agropur Fine Cheeses Available at Calgary Co-op

OKA Classique Cheese Made from specially selected cheese wheels aged for over 60 days in the original cellars of the Cistercian Abbey located in Oka. This extended ripening period adds to its maturity and gives it its pungent taste and characteristic aroma.

Best served with gewürztraminer, pinot gris, zinfandel, shiraz and most styles of beers.



Sherry Shaw-Froggatt does her annual roundup of flavours and discovers, to her delight, that she literally has to eat her own words

Chevrita Cheese A soft cheese made from 100% goat’s milk, Chevrita features a smooth and delicate caprine flavour. A delicious cheese to discover! Best served with sauvignon blanc, sancerre, pouilly-fumé, casual and sour beers.

Camembert Gourmet Camembert Gourmet is tailor-made for the epicure in each of us. Blending cream, hazelnut and mushrooms together into one delectable flavour, this typically European soft cheese is creamy to perfection. Best served with chardonnay, pinot gris, white and red côtes-durhône, smooth beers and pale-ales.

Rondoux Triple Crème Rondoux Triple Crème is made from milk and fresh cream, it is a fine cheese of the most unctuous kind. Let it ripen and its texture will become even creamier. It will literally melt in your mouth. Best served with viognier, chardonnay, chenin blanc, casual beers and red and blond lagers.

Best Deli

28 | winter 2010/2011

Roasted pork tenderloin with Saskatoon berry demiglaze from Peppercorn’s


have discovered my true calling in life. Food tester. I had the privilege to eat my way around Airdrie a week before our deadlines and really get myself on top of who is serving what. Peppercorns is unveiling a new menu this month and the taste-testing I got to do was heavenly. Fresh jumbo – and I mean jumbo – shrimp in a light Thai chili sauce whetted my appetite and then Usha brought me heaven in a bowl, lobster bisque. It has been years since I have tasted a bisque this velvety and full of flavour and not, as at too many places, laden with salt. This is going to be my new downfall with my weight. Then to my delight, chef and owner Umesh presented chicken in a red curry sauce, pan-fired baby bok choy and jasmine rice. I have been begging Umesh to put a curry

dish on his menu and he did, just for me. Trust me, it is delicious. The secret ingredients include coconut cream and galangal, a type of ginger. Next up? Pork and saskatoons? You bet. Grilled pork tenderloin nestled in a pool of Saskatoon demiglaze, to be exact. A beautiful presentation and every bite is to die for. Last, a new twist on an old favourite – smoked duck breast carbonara. Chicken shmicken – wow, does duck ever have flavour. Tossed with fresh pasta and creamy carbonara sauce, this dish makes spaghetti and meatballs look as if it belongs on the children’s menu. Peppercorns has come into its own, working hard to tweak its menu to introduce Airdrie palates to more sophisticated flavours and it’s working. You need a reservation on the weekends.

Pizza – If author Elizabeth Gilbert had a relationship with her pizza in Italy then I am having an affair with pizza from Casa Mia. This is not your wimpy pizza. This is pizza where the meat measures one inch thick under the cheese – meat pie! My husband’s idea of happiness. Me, I prefer the spinach and feta – there is something in the sauce at Casa Mia (I keep thinking it’s cinnamon but I am still figuring it out). Regardless, the crust holds up to the weight of the toppings (wimpy crusts are a pet peeve of mine) and they must load a dump truck of cheese on every order. Not for those on carb-restricted diets, for sure. Noshing with Nash is a delight. Discovering some of his secrets in the kitchen is even better. Nash is the owner of A Fine Balance Catering located on Main Street. While his catering business is steady, he is trying to build a lunch and dinner crowd for takeout. And as people discover just how good his food is, they become regular customers right away. One of the first treats Nash introduced me to is his samosas. Stuffed full of either chicken or beef, they are infused with flavour and no filler. He evens works with only the tenders of the chicken breast and the leanest of ground beef, proving that quality does make a difference in taste. As a take-home item you can pick up his samosas either baked or uncooked and do them at home (much healthier than the traditional fried version).

Nash’s naan bread could become a trademark name if he wanted to pursue it. This is naan bread made with a healthy conscience. Whole wheat flour, garlic, ginger, cilantro and a touch of yogurt – a fresh batch of dough is whipped up each morning and prepared on a clever contraption made with an upside-down wok as customers place their orders. Naan bread is used for making wraps (such a revelation after paper tortilla shells) on demand as a side for Nash’s famous butter chicken. Both can be ordered and picked up to take home. Speaking of wraps, Nash showed me how to put together a shish kabob using the naan bread. The centre piece of the wrap is the kabob itself made with ground beef, cilantro, garlic ginger, red chillies and garam masala (a blend of Indian spices). Add a dollop of yogurt dip (infused with garlic, ginger and chives) and you have a hearty, healthy lunch sliced into bite-sized appetizers. Head east to King’s Heights and you can taste the best of South America, thanks to Casera Latin Deli which serves fresh, authentic Peruvian and Chilean cuisine. Owner and chef Carla pays homage to her roots with such mouth-watering dishes as empanadas and Chilean sandwiches on homemade amasado buns. She generously gave me a sampling of products to take home and everyone was salivating from the aroma when I arrived.

Agropur Fine Cheeses Available at Calgary Co-op

Canadian Reserve Cheddar A cheese of exceptional quality, Canadian Reserve has been awarded the title “World’s Best Aged Cheddar” numerous times. With its pronounced hazelnut flavour and firmer texture, this cheese is aimed at those looking for a slightly more refined cheese. Best served with bordeaux, côtes-du-rhône, rioja, chianti, blond, red, and black beers.

Fresh Ideas for

Entertaining Made easy...

Discovery Cheese Box Discover the crème de la crème

of fine cheeses.

Are you looking for the perfect gift? Something to bring to your next holiday party or potluck? Or maybe just a way to say thank you to someone special? Enjoy the convenience of serving this collection of fine cheeses along with Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps, fresh bread, fresh fruit and nuts to create an elegant cheese board. Serve up some varieties of wine and beer for an educational and fun cheese pairing party. Add a wooden cutting board, a bottle of wine and a stylish cheese knife and you have the perfect gift for any occasion!




Pick up yours today at any Calgary Co-op deli counter.

Chicken and beef samosas from A Fine Balance Catering

winter 2010/2011 |

Best Deli 29

life in the moment | best tastes

IL Villaggio Italian Cheeses Available at Calgary Co-op

IL Villaggio Parmigiano Reggiano

We feasted on aji de gallina (shredded chicken in a walnut cream sauce) and lomo saltado (sautéed beef with tomatoes, onions and peppers). The flavours are a delight and such a nice change from the everyday. Oh, and how could I forget? (My taste buds can’t!) The dulce de leche churro. OMG. Who knew a churro tasted this good? Carla’s churros are almost sinful. But let’s face it, everyone needs to be bad once in awhile! And of course we finish with dessert. Everyone knows how much I loooooooove Avenue

Bakery. And everyone I convert to this gem understands why. Fresh fresh fresh and real, as in real butter, real cream, real good! And this time of year, who has time to bake? So toss a little flour in your hair right before you present a tray full of squares just like Grandma made every holiday. Date squares, Nanaimo bars, turtle oat squares, lemon bars, almond squares ... the list goes on. And you can eat as if it’s Christmas all year round. Mangia mangia, Airdrie! life

Whole or Shredded

IL Villaggio Mascarpone IL Villaggio Gorgonzola Dolce

Fresh Ideas for

Entertaining Made easy...

Pasta with Asparagus and Gorgonzola

Feeds approximately 4-6 people.


fresh asparagus


ribbon pasta

209 Centre Avenue S.W., Airdrie - (403) 948-0010

30mL CO-OP GOLD Olive Oil 4

spring onions, sliced


clove garlic, finely chopped


fresh basil leaves


Santa’s little secret!

IL Villaggio Gorgonzola Cheese crumbled freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Get into the Best Health of Your Life!

Trim asparagus and cut them in half. Cook pasta until al dente, adding asparagus during the last five minutes of cooking.

With Our Three Phase Weight Loss & Muscle Correction Program

Heat oil in skillet. Cook onions, garlic and basil about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring. Reduce heat and add pasta, asparagus and Gorgonzola cheese. Cook gently for about 3 minutes, or until cheese melts.


Toss pasta until evenly coated. Season with pepper.

Your entire support team under one roof!

CALL TODAY! 403-948-0045

Jennifer Leadley

Best Deli

30 | winter 2010/2011

Nutrition Coach

203, 2903 Kingsview Blvd. S.E. Airdrie

“Let’s meet and discuss our unique 3-phase weight loss. I’ve lost 70lbs”

life in the moment | chef at work

Magic Touch story by Anne Beaty | photos by Kristy Reimer

Customers can’t get enough of Darrik Lee’s sushi winter 2010/2011 | 31

life in the moment | chef at work


ushi Haru owner/manager Darrik Lee is thoroughly enjoying introducing Airdrie and area residents to his specialty food experience. A professionally trained sushi chef, Lee has been providing his customers with a wide variety of dishes for the past two years. He takes pleasure in experimenting with taste combinations and encouraging customers to tempt their palates with unique tastes, all while carrying on a centuries-old tradition. The term “sushi” refers to the use of vinegared rice with either a filling or a topping. (Sashimi is the term for sliced raw fish often used in sushi.) Originating in Japan several hundred years ago, sushi was developed as a way of preserving fish. Fast-forward to the 21st century and sushi has taken on a whole new life, with dishes ranging from simple fish and rice to specialty rolls with a variety of ingredients. The cuisine has evolved to take on the flavour of the areas in which it is served. For example, California developed its own kind of sushi roll made with avocado. That particular taste has become popular around the world and even in the country where sushi originated.“It’s pretty hot in Japan,” Lee says. Originally from Korea, Lee came to Calgary with his parents in 1998 at age 19. At the time, he had no idea that he would become a business owner, specializing in a menu that tickled his fancy. But after working in the food industry for some time, he attended the Sushi Academy in Korea three years ago, immersing himself in all things sushi for four months, and he hasn’t looked back since.

32 | winter 2010/2011

Lee’s decision to own a restaurant in Airdrie came about unexpectedly. He stopped by to eat at the local restaurant and the owner asked if he’d like to take over the business. “I thought it was meant to be,” Lee says. The first six months or so were quite slow, he says, but after he was interviewed on CBC Radio, things began to pick up.“That actually brought a lot of customers,” he says. Now, he has built up a regular clientele and new customers continue to stop in. Lee gets fresh fish delivered on almost a daily basis to create his special dishes for both customers with sophisticated palates and those new to the cuisine. “I have some customers [who] order only tuna belly sushi,” he says. For beginners, Lee suggests trying tuna or salmon, which have little to no ‘fish’ smell or taste and offer a truly melt-in-the-mouth food experience.“They have soft meat,” he says. The more adventurous can dig into mackerel, which has a much stronger taste. Lee – who himself enjoys the thicker filets of tuna, as well as octopus and scallops – recommends working up to this specialty. “Once you start to like it, then this is where you go,” he says. And it’s not just what many consider ‘taste’ that makes great sushi. The various textures (crunchy and soft) and temperatures (the rice should be warm, the fish cold) create the whole sushi experience, from the mouth-watering anticipation to the refreshing aftertaste. “You have to feel good after you eat something,” Lee says.

Watching the chef at work is like watching an artist. He quickly slices the raw fish, deftly skimming the blade across the surface to remove any extraneous bits. When the filets are ready, he neatly rolls the rice and shapes the fish over the top, ensuring there is a slight upcurving lip on the filet. “It has to be aerodynamic, just like a fish,” he says, ensuring that his sushi is esthetically pleasing as well as tasty. When it comes to making rolls, Lee uses his imagination to combine flavours and textures, as well as coming up with visually appealing creations (his“dragon roll” really does look like a dragon). “Food is always really up to your imagination,” he says. While he currently lives in Calgary, Lee is thinking of moving to Airdrie in the future.“I think Airdrie’s a little special city,” he says. He is also thinking of opening up another food business here, one that offers such specialties as Korean-style chicken. “I want to introduce more different-style food,” he says. In the meantime, he is delighting in the here and now and he encourages everyone to open their minds and palates to the sushi experience. “Sushi is very healthy food,” he says. Although running his own business requires a lot of work, Lee doesn’t see it that way. “It’s not like working, it’s like playing with some ingredients,” he says, adding that owning his own restaurant is a dream come true. “That makes me very happy.” life

Find it @ Your Library

With an APL library card, you have access to books, A/V materials, digital media, and e-resources—24/7 from the comfort of your home, in your jammies. Check out everything we have to offer online:

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8am-1:00pm & 1:30-4pm 8am-4pm

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Wednesday 8am-1pm & 1:30-5pm Friday 7:30am-4:00pm

Dr. Marilyn Given Dr. Neil McDermid winter 2010/2011 | 33

life in the moment | food

Just a Pinch,® a family owned and operated Canadian company, believes in the difference that the right salt can make. Whether you’re finishing off a gourmet dish or simply salting your french fries, the right salt can change your eating experience. Never before has there been such a wide variety of flavours, colours and textures. Just a Pinch’s commitment to quality ensures that customers receive only the best, most natural products.

Natural • Unprocessed Additive Free •

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December entertain T

he holiday season is a real joy, because it’s a non-stop excuse to serve and eat fabulous little hors d’oeuvres that make it look as though you spent hours preparing. But creating tempting little snacks for when you entertain – or even just for yourself and your family – doesn’t need to be an exhausting, daylong exercise. Remember, half the job is presentation – you can make a bowl of chips and dip look elegant if you take a few minutes to be creative. Here are some of airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt’s favourites, according to her family and guests over the years.

• •

Looking for a unique gift idea?

Gourmet Salt Gift Boxes

Guacamole-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes Wash and halve cherry tomatoes; scoop out flesh. Add a dollop of guacamole to each. Really, that’s it! Of course, you NEED homemade guacamole, and even that is easy: Ingredients:

Available exclusively at all Calgary Co-op deli departments. Visit to learn how to savour the flavour and for delicious recipe ideas.

34 | winter 2010/2011

2 very ripe avocadoes, peeled, pitted and mashed 1/2 red pepper, diced 2 green onions, chopped 1/4 purple onion, diced 1/4 green pepper, diced 1 tbsp lime juice 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro (chopped, stems removed) Chop all ingredients and toss together in a bowl with mashed avocado. Allow guacamole to be chunky, not smooth. Remember: avocados brown when exposed to air so if you are not serving immediately, squirt more lime over the top and cover with plastic wrap in the fridge.

Ahi Tuna Poke Thanks to Sherry’s trip to Maui last year, she has discovered yet another way to serve ahi tuna. Hawaiians eat poke (which she thinks of as tuna bruschetta) all day long. Ingredients:

1 ahi tuna steak, at least 1-inch thick (raw) 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1/2 purple onion, chopped 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped, stems removed 2 mangos, peeled and chopped Chop raw ahi tuna into little pieces that resemble tomatoes in bruschetta. Toss all ingredients together lightly with 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp lime. Serve with tortilla chips and allow guests to scoop and eat. Because the ahi is raw keep it well chilled before serving

Fresh Ideas for We at airdrielife love to cook and eat and so we have put together a guide to savouring the winter months, sharing some of our favourite recipes for your culinary enjoyment. Sesame Ahi Tuna Bites Sherry has been making this one for a few years – even gets the squeamish to try raw fish.

ahi tuna sesame rice cracker wasabi paste mayonnaise lemon juice


1 1 1

Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced slice of brie for each cracker box of Triscuits

Assemble the ingredients: layer cracker, brie and then apple. Drizzle with balsamic glaze (available at Sobeys or Italian markets). A bizarre combination, but you will love it!

The Original Turducken is a turkey stuffed with chicken, which is stuffed with duck - all fresh and all de-boned. Stuffed with a seasoned bread cubes and fresh sausage stuffing, the finished product looks like a regular turkey ready for the oven.

Chorizo-and-Brie Bites These require a bit more prep but the look on people’s faces when they eat them is worth it. Ingredients:

Balsamic Apple Crackers

The Original Turducken

“a turkey, stuffed with chicken, stuffed with duck”


Slice ahi very thin and put one piece on each rice cracker. Drizzle with 1 tsp wasabi to 1/4 cup light mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice (add more wasabi depending on your bravery). Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Tell them, “It was nothing, really.”


4 1 1 4

Spolumbo’s chorizo sausages, fully cooked (Sherry recommends pre-boiling them a day ahead – this gets the grease out – and then lightly browning in pan prior to assembly) package of brie, thinly sliced onion, sliced and caramelized in a pan with butter whole wheat tortilla shells (or, better yet, try homemade naan bread made by Chef Nash from A Fine Balance Catering)

Assemble still-warm ingredients: on a flat tortilla or slice of naan lay one sausage; line with brie slices and caramelized onions. Roll tightly and slice into 4-6 pieces. Use toothpicks to hold the individual pieces together. Keep bites warm in a crockpot or heated serving dish. Makes 24 pieces.

Pre-order your holiday turducken today!

100% Canadian The Original Turducken is made with 100% Canadian products by Canadian owned and operated companies. • 100% Canadian, grain-fed turkey and chicken • 100% Canadian ducks free-run raised on a diet of natural grains and fresh well water. • Stuffed with locally-made Spolumbo’s spicy Italian sausage or chicken apple sausage stuffing. Sizes range from 3.3 kg - 5.5 kg, frozen.

Available at Calgary Co-op. winter 2010/2011 | 35



Naturally Raised, Naturally Better.


life in the moment | food

January replenish


Our turkeys range in the sunshine and fresh air on a largely whole grain diet that is supplemented with forage. This is a fine combination for a great tasting turkey.



Our members and customers frequently tell us about the compliments they receive when they serve a WINTER’S TURKEY: • exceptional flavour and tenderness • moistness of the meat • richness of the gravy • heartiness of the soup stock • purity of the product We’re proud of these compliments. We believe these comments are indicative of the consistent high quality of our turkeys - a fact confirmed by the growing number of customers who insist on WINTER’S TURKEYS year after year. Available at Calgary Co-op food centres starting December 18, you can also pre-order your WINTER’S TURKEY in any of our meat departments to ensure you get the size you want on the day you need it.


Available at Calgary Co-op.

36 | winter 2010/2011


tart the new year off right by replenishing your body and soul and incorporating some power foods into your diet. Some top picks are: • fish (salmon, tuna), with heart-healthy omega fatty acids; • nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), for protein; • high-intensity coloured fruits (blueberries, strawberries), which provide antioxidants; • dark green vegetables (broccoli, spinach), a tasty source of vitamins A and C; • dairy products, for calcium; and • whole grains, for fibre. It doesn’t take much to improve your diet. A couple of small changes in your eating habits are sometimes all it takes. This can be as simple as starting to eat breakfast – it doesn’t have to be huge, even some fresh fruit and a slice of whole grain toast is a great way to start the day – and having a quick bite to eat mid-afternoon. A great snack that is easy to make and good for either breakfast or in the afternoon (or even for dessert) is a fruit-yogurt smoothie. Take a handful of fruit (a banana and some raspberries or a mix of strawberries and blueberries), half a cup of yogurt (those little yogurt cups are the perfect size) and some orange juice. Whip everything up

in a food blender and voilà! Simple, filling, healthy and delicious! Another breakfast or snack food that incorporates whole grains is granola. This mixture most often consists of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit and honey. You can let your imagination run wild when creating this tasty treat. Try using dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries or mixing in shredded coconut. Fish has long been recognized as a great food for your health. For those of you who don’t like fish because it tastes like, well, fish, try mahi mahi. It is a bit more expensive, but it is fabulous. Just sauté a mahi mahi filet in a little bit of butter, topped with whichever herbs or spices you like, and you have a great meal. A fun way to get your vegetables is gazpacho. While you can follow any number of recipes, this is also a great way to get rid of leftover tossed salad. Simply take the leftover salad and blend it up with a bit of tomato juice, olive oil, chopped tomatoes and cucumber. Add a dash of lemon juice and serve cold. Last but certainly not least, dark chocolate can improve overall heart health by helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. For more on chocolate, see February (page 38).

Grandma’s Great Granola Ingredients:

5 cups quick oats 1 1/2 cups nuts (almonds, pecans), chopped 1 cup sunflower seeds 3/4 cup sesame and flax seeds (in the proportion you prefer) 1 cup wheat germ 1/2 cup bran 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut 1 cup honey 1/4 cup canola oil 3 tbsp molasses 1 tbsp vanilla Mix honey, oil, molasses and vanilla and heat until quite warm. Mix in dry ingredients. Roast at 375 F in batches, a little at a time, spread out on a cookie sheet. Roast for 5 minutes, stir and roast for 5 more minutes. Cool and stir in at least 3 cups or more, to taste, of whatever dried fruit you prefer (raisins, currants, chopped apricots, dried cherries, dried cranberries).

For all the finishing touches Airdrie's Only Independently Owned and Operated Pharmacy

209 Centre Avenue S.W., Airdrie - (403) 948-0010

Gazpacho Soup Ingredients:

1 lb 2 1 1 1/2

tomatoes cloves garlic large onion green pepper cucumber

Purée in blender with 1 cup tomato juice. Add 4-5 tbsp (or less) olive oil, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice or wine vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and herbs to taste. Serve well chilled. An ice cube may be added to each bowl.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS MEANS HEALTHY EATING Eat your way to healthy living with our locally raised meats with no added hormones or antibiotics! Book today for the holiday season fresh free-range turkey :: smoked ham :: fresh turducken :: fresh salmon :: pork tourtiere :: smoked turkey :: party platters :: fresh oysters :: pumpkin or apple pies Check out our Gluten Free selection for the holidays. Don’t forget it’s our 7th Annual TOY DRIVE for The Alberta Children’s Hospital. Please help support this much needed cause by dropping off a new toy, game, puzzle, book, DVD or stuffed animal to our store before December 18. *New this year… All proceeds from our in-store baked Christmas goodies will go to Emily’s Backyard at The Alberta Children’s Hospital to help purchase new equipment for the playroom. Get your Christmas baking done early and help out a great cause! We can all pay-it-forward and make a kid’s Christmas a little brighter.

403.948.9572 :: 705 Main Street South. Airdrie winter 2010/2011 | 37

life in the moment | food

February indulge N

ow that you’ve started the year off right by incorporating more healthy eating habits into your life, it’s time to indulge a little bit. That’s right – it’s chocolate time. (Thanks, St. Valentine, for giving us a day to celebrate chocolate … oh yes, and love!) While overindulging on sweets is never a great idea, dark chocolate and cocoa – in moderate amounts, of course – may actually be good for you. Research indicates that dark chocolate and cocoa, which contain flavanols with antioxidant properties, may help keep your heart healthy and cardiovascular system running well by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving blood flow. And that’s good news for those who want a little bit of indulgence in their lives. Since its origination in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America more than 2,000 years ago, cocoa (chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao tree) has been treasured around the world in various countries and cultures. Originally an important part of the Mayan and Aztec cultures, chocolate was introduced to Spain 500 years ago, spreading to the rest of Europe and back to North America in the centuries to follow. Because it can be used in so many different ways (for example, Mexican mole sauce), it is a staple on many menus. From mocha lattes to dark, rich chocolate cake, this taste sensation is worth celebrating. Now of course, a little bit of chocolate or cocoa goes a long way, especially when it comes to cooking, but every now and then it’s nice to dive right into a chocolate fondue (and justify this as a way of getting your fruit). Check out our recipes and bon appétit! life

38 | winter 2010/2011

Mocha Bavarian Cream Ingredients:

1 envelope gelatin 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cold water 3/4 cup dry milk 1 1/3 cup brewed coffee 1 oz unsweetened chocolate 2 eggs, separated 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 1 tsp vanilla Soften gelatin in 2 tbsp cold water. Stir 1/4 cup milk into coffee, add chocolate. Heat to scalding and stir until chocolate is dissolved. Add small amount of mixture to egg yolks, beaten slightly with 1/2 cup sugar. Return to pan and cook, stirring until slightly thick. Add softened gelatin, stir until dissolved. Cool. Chill until almost set. Put remaining water in bowl. Stir in cream of tartar and vanilla. Add remaining milk and egg whites and beat until stiff (10 minutes). Add remaining sugar and beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold whipped milk and egg whites into gelatin. Turn into quart mould. Chill until firm. Serve with more whipped milk.

Cocoa Apple Cake Ingredients:

3 2 cups 1 cup 1/2 cup 2 1/2 cups 2 tbsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 cup 1/2 cup 2 1 tsp

eggs sugar margarine water flour cocoa baking soda cinnamon allspice nuts, chopped chocolate bits apples, cored and chopped vanilla

Beat together eggs, sugar, margarine and water until fluffy. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in nuts, chocolate bits, apples and vanilla. Spoon into greased and floured 10-inch cake pan. Bake 60-70 minutes at 325 F.

To-Die-For Brownies

Whole lot of glowing going on

These are so easy and so fast. If you have all your ingredients pre-measured you can look like a professional at your own dinner party, putting brownies in the oven while the main course is being served. Ingredients:

butter, melted cocoa egg granulated sugar all-purpose flour salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter in microwave, remove and stir in cocoa until smooth. In another bowl beat eggs until frothy; add sugar, flour and salt and stir together. Pour cocoa mixture over top and stir. Scrape immediately into a greased 8x8-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes for super moist, 30-35 for regular. Note: serving them warm over vanilla ice cream and drenched in really good chocolate sauce, such as Hershey’s, is the ONLY way to go. Up the chocolate factor: before scraping into pan stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Up the grown-up factor: stir in 3 tbsp of Kahlúa before adding to pan.

Easy Chocolate Fondue (A perfect way to get kids to eat fruit!) Ingredients:

1/2 cup 1 bag

whipping cream semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat cream over medium heat, stirring constantly. Just before boiling, stir in the chips, handfuls at a time, keeping it smooth. Keep adding chips until you reach the consistency you want. Best chocolate fondue dippers: mandarin orange pieces, strawberries, bananas, grapes, angel food cake, brownie bites. Make it adult: add your choice of Kahlúa or amaretto (2 tbsp) to the milk before heating.

Glowing Nightly December 1- 31 6 PM - 9 PM

presented by



imagine it...

2010-2011 Professional Series

1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 1 cup 3/4 cup 1 pinch

Alex* Cuba

Thurs. Feb. 3

John Mann Sat. Feb. 12

Jeff Martin Fri. March 11

Carlos del Junco Thurs. March 24

Pavlo, Rik Emmett & Oscar Lopez Thurs. March 31


Fri. April 15

Reserve your ticket online! winter 2010/2011 | 39

life in the moment | events

What’s Going On?

There are plenty of great events from December to February to keep your mind off the fact that we will be averaging less than 10 hours of light per day! Dec. 1-31 Nose Creek Park Airdrie Festival of Lights If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you don’t know that Airdrie hosts the largest walk-through lights display in Western Canada, right here in Nose Creek Park. Train rides, hot chocolate, a children’s activity tent and yes, thousands and thousands of lights creating magical scenes for the whole family. Key Dates: Dec. 4 - opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m., with fireworks at 8 p.m.; Dec. 31 - New Year’s Eve fireworks at 8 p.m. Get details and weather/ operational updates at Dec. 3 Bert Church LIVE Theatre James Keelaghan - Losing My Scrooge Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter James Keelaghan is one of Canada’s most successful and respected musicians, and one of the brightest stars on the world folk scene today. The idea for Keelaghan’s Christmas show originated with his wife wondering how it could be that her husband’s favourite movie is A Christmas Carol, considering he was so humbug about the holiday. Joined by Zav RT on piano and violin, Keelaghan recounts in story and song how he came to rediscover the holidays after the birth of his first child. Visit for details.

Dec. 13 Bert Church LIVE Theatre Airdrie Community Choir - Christmas Singfest Airdrie Community Choir will be joined by several high school choirs during an inspirational evening of Christmas music. Come and celebrate the season in song! Admission: donation to Airdrie Food Bank. Visit for details. Dec. 11 Nose Creek Park CP Holiday Train, in support of Airdrie Food Bank It’s back! The CP Holiday Train stops in Airdrie at 2:15 p.m. Expect a turnout as Santa and the gang show up in a train laden with lights – it’s a spectacular sight. But hang around for a great show from The Odds. The Festival of Lights will open early (5 p.m.) with free hot chocolate for the first 400 visitors so you can mosey over from the train staging area and take in the lights. Food Bank donations are encouraged.

40 | winter 2010/2011

Jan. 21-23 Bert Church LIVE Theatre Airdrie Family Theatre Children’s Play - The Super Hero Club A young boy and girl running from a nefarious evildoer turn to the elite members of The Super Hero Club for help. Although our Super Heroes have some amazing superpowers, it is not as easy as one might think for them to save the day. A number of super foul-ups, through no fault of their own, help the young boy and girl learn that they are quite capable of helping themselves, that there is a hero in all of us and that every one of us is just as special as everyone else. Visit for details.

Feb. 3 Bert Church LIVE Theatre Alex*Cuba Singer-songwriter Alex*Cuba’s trademark melodies, pop-soul hooks and rock chords subtly subvert commonly held notions about Cuban music. His second album, Agua del Pozo (Water From The Well), has topped the iTunes charts, won him two consecutive Juno Awards and taken him on tours across the U.K., Japan and America. With a heart as big as his retro ‘fro, Cuba takes it in stride and focuses on what he does best: crafting songs that cut through linguistic barriers like a machete through sugarcane. Visit for details. Feb. 12 Bert Church LIVE Theatre John Mann After 11 albums and countless tours of the U.K., Europe and North America with Spirit of the West, John Mann strips down to his alt-folk roots for his one-man show. In his most recent record, December Looms, Mann’s songs are beautiful melodies with emotionally honest lyrics that capture the intimate moments of his hometown of Vancouver — its occupants, the fragile details of their dysfunctional love and the loss of a city’s innocence. Visit for details.

SYMPHONY HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOWS BEGIN AT 4PM DAILY Twinkling, blinking, shining all around us; the season of greetings and joy is here, glowing as bright as the stars in the sky. Join us at CrossIron Mills, as we celebrate the traditions of the season with a Holiday Light Show. Share the moments of holiday wonder with family, friends, and all you meet at this spectacular fest of dancing light, and enjoy the magic that surrounds you. Gaze upon the sparkling stars and the charming trees as they invite the spirit of the season to enchant you. Starlight Symphony begins at 4PM and runs daily throughout the holiday season with a show every 30 minutes. The light show is located at the entrance of the Entertainment Neighbourhood, between La Senza and XXI Forever.

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winter 2010/2011 | 41


life in the moment | fashion

Fashion Fashion blogger Jeanine Froggatt discovers that antique shopping in Airdrie can lead to very modern fashion statements

Brooches and cameos add flair and original style to a jacket, hat or bag. It’s easy to turn brooches into hair pins (be sure to choose something lightweight). Or, make your own bold statement by mixing several pieces together on your lapel.

Take an heirloom pocket watch like this one and add a thick gold chain to make a real statement necklace. Hamilton 21 jewel pocket watch $450

A little designer bling goes a long way. This replica Christian Dior enamel pendant says, Look at me! $45

Finding genuine croc leather is a rare, exciting find. Finding a VINTAGE croc leather purse is even better. Croc leather always looks tasteful with your accessories. Vintage croc purse (with matching wallet) $129.99

Gold bracelets and rings – these items are great to mix and match with your old and new jewelry. Pile on a few gold bracelets and bangles with your watch and you are ready to go. The great thing about these vintage finds is that they don’t have to be the same shade of gold. Don’t be afraid to mix in copper or even silver to add edge. Featured here, a black Alaskan Diamond pendant cut ring. Inset: The vintage cameo bracelet even contains memories from long ago.

Jeanine Froggatt is a lover of fashion, photography and a good book. She blogs about her fashion finds in Calgary, New York and Los Angeles. Recently, she attended Teen Vogue’s Fashion Conference in New York with Anna Wintour. Follow Jeanine’s blog

42 | winter 2010/2011

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winter 2010/2011 | 43

life in the moment | pets

Kristi Smith, owner of 4 Paws professional petsitting service, spends some quality time with her clients

story by Ellen Kelly | photo by Sergei Belski


Vacation When the owners are away … the pets will still play


he tickets are purchased, bags are packed, you’ve arranged with the neighbours to bring in the newspaper – warm weather and soft breezes beckon. You’re ready to go. But what about Fido? Your faithful friend with the wagging tail and forlorn brown eyes has no illusions about sipping piña coladas or dipping his furry toes in the ocean. How will he spend your winter vacation? Unless you have a neighbour who will check on your pooch as well as your newspaper, or family members who can either stay with your pet or let Fido move in with them, you will be searching for professional services that will allow you to leave home with confidence. Facilities are varied. Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, you may go for the spa experience – posh accommodations with indoor exercise space and plenty of pampering – or you may choose a more rustic experience – a

44 | winter 2010/2011

country vacation with a pastoral ambiance and plenty of excellent care. Regardless, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. If you choose a kennel, check it out in advance. “We have an open-door policy – come any time and look around. It’s easier if you know your pet will be well taken care of,” says Diann Marchessault, owner of Green Acres, a kennel adjacent to Crossfield. Marchessault suggests that you bring your pet early in the day so it has a chance to get used to its caregivers. You’ll need to bring upto-date vaccination certificates, emergency contact numbers and your dog’s regular treats and food. Some kennels supply food, but dogs do best on their own diet. At a time that could be stressful for them, strange food can lead to upsets. Bedding and dishes are supplied but owners are welcome to bring the pet’s own things. Favourite toys are also a good idea. Green Acres offers large pens with a slanted, heated floor; chain link walls and gates; and

an outdoor exercise area. Dogs are housed individually and exercised in small groups or individually, according to their needs. An appointment with a private groomer can be arranged on request and the kennel supplies taxi service (for the pet) if necessary. Kennel staff can also administer medication, although not by injection. Most kennels need plenty of notice and space must be reserved early for holidays and long weekends. Costs are in the $25-per-day range, often with discounts for more than 10 and 20 days and special rates for more than one dog sharing a pen at the owner’s request. Green Acres offers the same routine, seven days a week, and uses treats and plenty of exercise to keep the dogs happy. Another option that many pet owners favour is the services of a professional petsitter. Kristi Smith, owner of 4 Paws, has been in the business for a year-and-a-half and loves her job.“I can’t believe I get paid to do this,” Smith

laughs.“I love dogs, I love working outside and I love working for myself.” As both a petsitter and a dog-walker, she provides a variety of services to her Airdrie clients. To assist clients going on vacation, she either works from their home, staying overnight for the duration of the absence, or she drops in to house-sit, visiting the pet for a specified length of time, three times a day. The fee for stay-in petsitting is $40 per night. Drop-in petsitting is $15 per hour, $10 per half hour. Petsitting is a good option if you have more than one dog or cat; as well, the fee is per visit rather than per pet. “And,” says Smith, who cares for cats as well, “staying home is more comfortable for the pet, especially if it has disabilities or health problems.” She suggests that anyone considering a petsitter should meet the sitter in advance and book ahead, especially during peak travel times. Many of Smith’s clients are people who work long days and realize their pet needs a break. Monday to Friday, she exercises a group of four to six dogs at the off-leash park in east Airdrie. She also has several doggie clients she walks individually on leash, either for an hour or half-an-hour, at the owner’s request. As well, Smith offers twice-a-day potty breaks for puppies. She requires up-to-date health checks, vaccination certificates, emergency contact numbers and city-registered dog tags for the dogs she walks. The fee for a walk is $15 per hour, $10 per half hour. The fee for puppy potty breaks is $8 per break. “My biggest challenge is scheduling,” she says. Since she works alone, seven days a week, all hours, having a social life is difficult. She is able to squeeze everything in but enjoying an evening out or having guests over requires strategic planning. Arranging a vacation well in advance is a necessity. Smith’s favourite breed of dog is the Australian shepherd and her own Australian shepherd accompanies her on all dog walks. “She loves her job too,” Smith says. life MORE LIFE ONLINE Get tips for planning your pet care during vacation at

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winter 2010/2011 | 45

life in the moment | library story by Christina Waldner, Airdrie Public Library

Take a look in the

library There are more than books waiting to get you through the winter months


t’s finally happened and winter is upon us – that frosty time of year when we all hunker down, bring our favourite cozy sweaters out of storage, put on socks and throw the snowbrush back in the car. Blah. It all sounds so depressing. Now, the most obvious way to deal with this appalling situation would be to run, not walk, to the closest travel agent and book a trip to a tropical destination. Of course, then you’ll have to deal with the depressing aftermath when your credit card statement arrives … But fear not – there are ways that you can beat those winter “blahs,” and they won’t cost you a thing! If you have an Airdrie Public Library (APL) card, that is. Who knew such an innocuous little piece of cardstock held such power? Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Go on a video conference with your children. Some of the places we’ve already visited include the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, the Alaska SeaLife Center and even outer space with NASA! • Check out the myriad e-resources available to cardholders from our website. These

46 | winter 2010/2011

valuable resources are available to you 24-7. No need to change out of your jammies and brave the snow! We have information on hobbies and crafts, automotive repair, books, history and much more. • For the younger set, we have all sorts of links in the Kids Resources section of our website to help you with your homework or have some fun. Parents can check out our links to important information on Internet safety. • Learn a language – our Tell Me More® online language learning software puts 13 languages just a mouse click away. Always wanted to learn German or Spanish? Why not practise your “danke” or “gracias” from the comfort of your own home via Tell Me More®? Then you’ll be ready for that great vacation next year. • Why not join a club? We have clubs for Scrabble, chess, genealogy and book enthusiasts. • We often get asked our suggestions for a good summer, beach or cabin read but how about a winter reading list? (One of my favourites is The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore. A fascinating novel set in Leningrad during the last, crazy days of Stalin, The Betrayal made the Man Booker Prize longlist.) A cup of tea in front of a fireplace, wrapped in a warm blanket with a great book? Sounds pretty

enticing actually. We’ve put together several reading lists for you – check out airdrielife online. Many of these titles are also available as eBooks or audiobooks. If none of these suggestions work and you still find yourself at the travel agent’s, at least you can come to APL to check out a travel book or two to plan your tropical adventure! life For more information on the above plus many more resources, visit

For suggestions of great children’s books, visit the following websites:

Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) American Library Association Building a Home Library homelib/alacbcbuildinghomelbry.cfm Children’s Classics: A Booklist for Parents Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Publications (Bibliographies and Booklists)

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amazing Good amazing


life in the moment | books


A mug of coffee, a cozy blanket and a good book … here are some top-10 lists created by the experts at Airdrie Public Library to help you and your family enjoy those days when there really is nothing better to do than curl up and read. 10 Great Whodunits - Christina Waldner (Communications/Fund Development Specialist) Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie The Bridesmaid by Ruth Rendell The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter Curtains for Three by Rex Stout Death of an Expert Witness by P.D. James Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George Flesh and Blood by Jonathan Kellerman The Kookaburra Gambit by Claire McNab

10 Classic Children’s Novels Lei Shimbashi (Children’s Services Co-ordinator) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder Exercise Your Brain Cells with some Great Non-fiction Reads! - Donna Lohnes (Head, Adult Services) Trauma Farm by Brian Brett Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

MORE LIFE ONLINE Check out the rest of the Airdrie Public Library staff picks, along with book descriptions, at

48 | winter 2010/2011



Amazing women are all around us


Together with Community Links, airdrielife is looking to celebrate those women who have made a difference in their own lives or the lives of others. As simple as a random act of kindness, as brave as a battle with cancer. As determined as a first-time triathlete, as caring as a mother. Whatever her story, we want to hear it. Nominate a woman who you feel is amazing and join us in 2011 for our tribute to these amazing women in the March issue of airdrielife. The celebration continues with a recognition luncheon with special guest speakers and surprises. Go online today and tell us your story about an amazing Airdrie woman. or email Deadline to enter is Jan. 15, 2011

life in the community | quilting guild Members of the Airdrie and District Quilt Guild create, share ideas and simply enjoy each others’ company at the regular sew day, held monthly at GoldenRod Hall

Sew Day story by Ellen Kelly | photos by Anne Beaty


he needles were flying at a recent “sew day,” the once-a-month working meeting of the Airdrie and District Quilt Guild. The organization, which turns five in January 2011, consists of approximately 20 quilters between the ages of 30 and 60-plus and welcomes anyone at any skill level who is interested in quilting. Members come from Airdrie, Crossfield, Keoma, Calgary and from as far away as Sherwood Park and Onoway – individuals participate when they can. The annual membership fee is $30. Sew days, held on the third Saturday of each month between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at GoldenRod Hall, are supplemented by monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the meeting room upstairs at Airdrie Co-op. These gatherings cover more than business – members share information, listen to speakers, show off their projects and view demonstrations. They plan upcoming events, such as twice-yearly charity days, and are currently in the initial stages of planning a quilt show to take place next year. At the recent sew day, six guild members and 4-H member Payton Perozak were bus-

ily working on individual quilting projects. GoldenRod Hall bustled with activity and the homey, comfortable feeling of people with a common interest working together, sharing quilting patterns, tips, lunch and friendship. It’s a community of friends, they say, and they all have something in common – fabric! “One of the best things about sew day,” says guild president Karen Humphrey, “is wandering around and seeing what everyone is working on. We get ideas and help each other. You don’t have to take a class to learn, you just share what you know. That’s the dynamic of the group.” The quilters turn out beautiful quilts for family and friends, but the work doesn’t stop with personal projects. The guild’s goal is “to promote quilting and support charitable organizations in our community,” so a great deal of the members’ hard work benefits others. Guild members make children’s quilts for the Crossfield Fire Department, who then hand them out to fire and motor vehicle crash victims or “whenever they come across a child in their work who needs a hug,” says quilter Brenda Stevens. winter 2010/2011 | 49

life in the community | quilting guild

Quilters thread together friendships and projects Members also donate to Airdrie Community Links, make placemats for Meals on Wheels and have made fabulous quilts for Habitat for Humanity which are then sold at a silent auction. Adopt-a-Family Christmas hampers often include a quilt and the guild has also donated pieces to be used in fundraising for various other worthwhile causes. The guild holds two charity days a year when members work strictly on projects for others. Some are group projects, some are individual, and yet others are assembled as a group and then finished at home by a member. In creating the current Habitat quilt, individuals made the house blocks and members spent a day putting them together. On charity day, members take stock of their supply of donated fabric, thanks to generous donations from the community, and plan future quilts and smaller items. Kits are also prepared for guild members to take home and complete. When the need is great and the supply is low, kits are taken

to the meetings and members are invited to get busy. The quilters agree that everyone gets a lot of satisfaction and knowledge from completing the community projects. They often use a new pattern, a new technique or a new accessory, so they learn as well as experiencing the joy of making the item. “During my life I’ve had a lot of things given to me that I couldn’t afford otherwise, so the giving to others is very important to me,” says Stevens, who has been quilting for 20 years. Always busy, the guild members also organize one educational day a year, a weekend retreat at Gull Lake (they smile and say it’s a present to themselves) on the Mother’s Day weekend, and they hold a Quilt ‘Til You Wilt day in November from 9 a.m. until midnight (or whenever they wilt) to finish up Christmas gifts and projects. The group agrees that quilting is very addictive and means different things to different members. “If you’ve had a stressful day or a stressful

week, you start to quilt and it all goes away when you start to touch fabric,” Humphrey says. Marnie Lehman, who has been quilting since she retired 12 years ago, says, “I was always a sewer so it just seemed to be a natural progression. I had friends that encouraged me to take it up … so we could do things together.” Mary Turubchuk has done many crafts but keeps coming back to quilting. “It’s relaxing,” she says. For Laura Deschner, “It’s community. We meet the most wonderful people.” “It’s a warm feeling to be able to talk to all these people and get together with them,” adds Sandra Smallwoods, whose two sisters are also guild members. The members say that quilt shops have personalities – some match the quilter’s character more closely than others – but when asked which quilt shop is their favourite, the unanimous response is, “We’ve never met a quilt shop we didn’t like.” life

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6 kilometers of

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• Single family homes • Playgrounds nearby • Walkout lots on canal • Sunny, south facing lots • Wide selection of floor plans • Vibrant, growing community • Elementary school now open • Executive bungalows on estate lots

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This map is for thematic purposes only. This map may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means without written permission of the City of Airdrie. The City of Airdrie provides this information in good faith, but it provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability arising from any incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or its improper use.

© April 2010, City of Airdrie

52 | winter 2010/2011


To Calgary & International Airport


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Church School

Visitor Information Services/Shopping

Winter 2011 In the City Guide

Grocery Shopping

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Bert Church Live Theatre Festival of Lights (December) Iron Horse Miniature Railway Park Nose Creek Valley Museum Rodeo Grounds

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Airdrie Airport Airdrie Public Library Bethany Care Centre Cemetery City Hall Community Health Centre/Urgent Care R.C.M.P. R.V. Sewage Station

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BMX Track Chinook Winds Park

Your guide to City recreation and services in Airdrie.

Curling Club

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Skateboard Park Splash Park Spray Park

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Genesis Place program registration starts December 6, 2010. Melt away those extra inches! Register for the 12 week Winter Meltdown Challege. Find out more in the Winter 2011 In the City Guide winter 2010/2011 | 53

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community life in the 58 Rural Roots 60 Heroes 63 Hockey 101

life in the moment | column


with Ellen Kelly


A whiff of


ave you ever wondered why, when you smell something like pipe smoke, coffee or freshly mown grass, you have a vivid memory of a time or place where that same scent was present? The reason for this isn’t completely understood, at least not by me, but possibly it’s because our olfactory centre is right next to the part of the brain that processes memory, mood and behaviour and therefore, there is a connection. Some scent-induced memories are pleasant and we’re transported back to a time and place of pleasure, joy and love. (That wouldn’t be the dentist’s office smell.) I have a very old oilcloth tablecloth that has the scent of the farm kitchen absorbed in the flannel backing. Unfold this cloth and the scent of cigarette smoke and fried bacon, coffee and dust waft into the air, maybe not an appealing aroma for most but as I inhale, I am instantly whisked to a place that holds many cherished childhood memories of both a place and the people in it. The memory is so real, I feel as if I am physically there. Our sense of smell is immediate – it warns of fire before we see flames, of a bad taste before we put something awful in our mouths. The scent of perfume or aftershave reminds us, both favourably and unfavourably, of

56 | winter 2010/2011

people from our past. Roasting turkey, baking bread, bubbling pasta sauce, melting chocolate – cooking aromas make our mouths water. But what about the appealing aroma of fresh-baked bread in a store that has no bakery? The cedar or hickory smell of artificial logs burning in the fireplace? New-car scent

in a car that isn’t really new? Or heating a bit of vanilla or cinnamon to create that comfortable, homey atmosphere before the real estate agent arrives with prospective buyers? There’s actually a name for it – ambient scenting. It’s a technique used to bring out an unconscious behaviour or emotion, such as instilling a down-home comfy feeling in a very ordinary hotel room by adding a specific scent to the air conditioning.

Sometimes memories, altered by time, circumstance and, in this case, manipulation, aren’t quite what they seem. During a writing class I’m teaching, we recently had a discussion about how our sense of smell evokes memory. We eventually centred on food, kitchen aromas and pleasant associations, when the topic of coffee came up. Who can resist the aroma of freshly perked coffee? Those touching coffee commercials featuring the young man who comes home on Christmas morning to the whole family gathered around the Christmas tree with coffee perking in the background make both my eyes and my mouth water. Then one young lady in the group told us the coffee aroma that fills our nostrils and makes us crave our next caffeine fix when we zip the foil seal off a can of dried coffee grounds is artificial. Dried coffee grounds have no distinguishable odour and scent is added to make the product appealing. What do you mean, coffee aroma isn’t real? It was as if she told us there was no Santa Claus. We obviously had many collective, pleasant memories that included coffee. But wait. She assured us that the aroma of coffee roasting was real, that the bouquet of coffee perking was genuine, just that the dried grounds, like many things in life, aren’t quite what they seem. life

story by Elizabeth Hak

Harriman was just hitting his stride as an engaging, athletic teenager when cancer struck in 2002. He began to fatigue easily, had a neverending string of colds and noticed unexplained bruises on his skin. His perplexing health issues might have slowed him down but they didn’t stop him until he had vision problems during a hockey game. Tests revealed the unthinkable. At age 14, Harriman had lymphoblastic leukemia. His fight to be cancer-free took three years of both optimism and determination, but in 2005 he left the hospital healthy and more than ready to get on with his life. Strong and resolute, Harriman hatched a plan to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Canada. In 2007, after two years of preparation and perseverance, he launched the Spokeman bike tour, an ambitious cross-Canada fundraiser. While raising money was important, he wanted to stop in as many towns and hospitals as possible to visit children with cancer. He wanted to show them that the days, months and even years of painful treatments and missed opportunities were worth the effort. With medical help and their will to live, simple wishes and big dreams would come true. For 83 days, Harriman rode through driving rain, gusty winds and sweltering heat to complete the tour. When he was tired or sore, he only had to think of what children were going through, what he had gone through, to propel him forward each day. His friend, Christa Boccabella, was at his side for the duration of the tour. By the time they reached Newfoundland, their friendship had deepened into love. With the tour over, they were able to make plans – university, community service, marriage. For a while, they were able to think about their future together. But in 2009, four years after Harriman was pronounced free of cancer, it had come back. He and Christa traded their plans of a big summer wedding for an impromptu ceremony so that they could be man and wife while he started his next battle. With his own healthy cells, an auto transplant was attempted, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. This appeared to work and Tim and Christa carried on like an average married couple. “He wanted so desperately to be normal,” says Christa. “To be healthy, to be a husband, and he did all that.” Life was good for Tim and Christa in fall 2009. Tim was promoted at work. They had their first Christmas together as a married couple. Their life was blissfully normal. It didn’t last. Early in 2010, he wasn’t feeling well and tests once again showed that the cancer had returned. “That was the worst. It came from nowhere,” admits Christa. Tim’s brother was a bone marrow match but Tim researched other options as well. “I really admired that about him,” says Christa. “He remained so strong and hopeful. Never did he talk about the possibility of dying.” The bone marrow transplant was a success and in June, they were celebrating. It finally looked as if Tim had beaten the cancer for good. But it would not be denied and returned in a very aggressive form. With Christa by his side, Tim passed away in their home Sept. 28, 2010. He was 22 years old. Tim faced the end of his life as he had lived it – with humour, dignity and grace. “He was a fighter,” says Christa. Tim encouraged children to fight, dared families to hope, motivated friends to care and inspired communities to unite. If you think one person can’t make a difference, remember Tim Harriman. life

Tim Harriman leaves a legacy of hope

On Oct. 4, 2010, it was standing room only in the George McDougall High School gymnasium for the memorial service for Airdrie’s Tim Harriman. Hundreds of people came to celebrate an extraordinary young man who lived a meaningful, productive life.

A hero remembered

life in the community | legacy of hope

winter 2010/2011 | 57

life in the community | rural roots

For the Kids

Lorraine Parkinson (second from left) and her family continue to open their home to the young people of their rural community

Let kids be kids.

That’s one of the philosophies Lorraine Parkinson lives by, whether as a leader with the Golden Rod 4-H club or when opening her acreage to neighbourhood children. “I always wanted to call our [acreage] Park Meadow Acres, after my husband’s parents’ farm, but we never did,” says Parkinson.

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She and her husband, Jeff, have lived in the Airdrie area for 22 years, after moving here from Stettler. “We wanted to live in the country as opposed to the city, so we bought four acres west of town,” she says. “At that time, [Airdrie] had under 10,000 people. There were no traffic lights – just four-way stops. Things

have changed so much, and when the first set of traffic lights went in, I remember we were so excited!” Parkinson says she personally doesn’t have a farming background – that belongs to Jeff, who was raised in Ontario by parents who farmed, raised hogs and mink, grew corn and even ran a sawmill on the side. Although Jeff

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Kristy Reimer

Lorraine Parkinson is recognized for her work with 4-H, but would rather talk about the youngsters didn’t exactly follow directly in their footsteps – he became a chemical engineer in Alberta’s oilpatch, instead – when the opportunity came to buy the acreage, the couple jumped at it. Having a growing family didn’t hurt. The Parkinsons have four daughters – Taryn, Cassandra, Avery and Devon, with Devon being the youngest and in Grade 12 and the others working or studying elsewhere.

Parkinson says one of her earliest memories of her acreage is planning trees for a shelterbelt. “Our oldest daughter had a video camera with her and she’d come out [while we were planting] and shout, ‘Movie, Dad!’” laughs Parkinson. “We planted the trees and added oth-

er stuff out there. Jeff built a playground, like the type you’d normally see at a city school, and we knew we needed that because we had the kids and we wouldn’t be running into town all the time.” And, of course, you might as well call a playground a kid magnet. “At one point, we had 35 kids living in the subdivision [nearby] and these kids would congregate at our place,” says Parkinson. “There were constantly kids at our place and the parents knew where their kids were. We also had a nice little hill kids could come and toboggan on in the winter.” The demographics of the area have changed a bit, she says – more doubleincome-no-children households – but the acreage can still be a hub of activity. “[Several months] ago, we hosted a 4-H group from Strathcona County that rented [GoldenRod] Hall for a sleepover and they went into Airdrie to use the pool, and then they came to our house and we had a bonfire for them – many of these kids had never had s’mores in their life. It was pitch black outside but they found the playground, just like that!” Parkinson’s involvement with the Golden Rod 4-H Multi-Club dates back 14 years, to a time when there were thoughts of relocating the ruralbased club to Airdrie. “I sat on the community board of GoldenRod Hall and [the board] asked how can we keep the club here, because it had been started by the women in our community,” she says. Parkinson describes the Golden Rod club, based out of the rural community hall northwest of Airdrie, as “non-livestock-based. Projects we did last year in-

cluded welding, foods, photography and quilting – we drew on the Airdrie Quilt Guild to be our resource. This year we’re also doing a pet project, as some of the kids board horses, so they will learn how to properly take care of the animal. Not showing, just basic animal care.” Parkinson says she’s seen the club go from having mostly rural members to including more urban youngsters who want to take part in programs that include drama and art. “It doesn’t just have to be ag-based stuff,” she says. “The sky’s the limit.” One of the most encouraging things Parkinson has seen is how young people involved with 4-H seem to develop not only initiative for projects, but initiative for something a lot of children seem to have forgotten about these days – how to play. Parkinson recalls a recent community service day at the GoldenRod Hall: “There [was] a group of teenage girls doing their thing, and we were looking at 10-14-year-old girls playing tag and hide-and-seek. They can’t do that in the city. Kids don’t get to be kids these days the way we used to.” Although she eschews the idea of being rewarded for her work, her efforts with 4-H did result in her being nominated this year in the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) Small Town Heroes contest. “I was very surprised – a lot of other people deserve that award, too,” Parkinson says. “I always tell the parents, I’ll do anything for your kids. You have to get the kids involved because they’re our future, and if they’re not involved, what kind of future will we have, especially if we want our communities to survive?” life

winter 2010/2011 | 59

life in the community | people


Tyler Laton believes his actions were instinctual when he ran into a neighbour’s burning house to warn the residents


Heroes 60 | winter 2010/2011

photo by Carl Patzel

iving into the nearest phone booth, fictional heroes don decorative capes and identity-disguising masks, transforming into muscle-bound super characters with the ability to kick some nasty butt with blazing speed. But in real life, your everyday hero is most likely your neighbour, the guy down the street or typically someone in the right place at the right time. Forget the comic book good-deed superheroes, side-kicking boy wonders, military-grade body armour, web-shooting wrist attachments, or miraculous timetravel manoeuvres enabling damsel-indistress rescues. Ask the everyday champion who has been thrown into the heroic spotlight and you’ll frequently hear the phrase, “Instinct just took over.” The ordinary Joe is usually driven by an overwhelming trait deeply embedded in the human psyche, one that intuitively elevates others’ safety and well-being over his own. Whether these everyday heroes proceed without thinking, relying on training or natural instinct, those benefiting from courageous and magnanimous acts are always grateful.

Meet Airdrionians who made a huge difference with a simple act of selflessness story by Carl Patzel

For Tyler Laton, courageous instinct saw him jump into action as, without a concern for harm to himself, the Airdrie resident ran into a neighbour’s burning home after seeing flames and smoke shooting into the air. “I just instantly reacted and ran up to the house. There were already people outside. I didn’t know if it was anybody from the house or not. Something instinctively made me run into the house,” says Laton. Bursting into the smoke-filled home five houses down and across the street from his Springs Crescent residence, Laton quickly began searching for people. “I ran up to the house and the garage was completely engulfed in flames to the point where the garage door was melted off,” he says. “When I ran in the front door there was smoke and you couldn’t see anything in the living room area, but then when I ran upstairs it was like there was nothing happening. No smoke detectors were going off, there was no smoke upstairs, the lights were on, it was quite eerie.” Fortunately for all, Laton quickly found two unsuspecting residents and informed them their house was on fire. “They were pretty much just getting ready

for bed and there were no smoke detectors going off. The only way they knew is that I told them their house was on fire and they ran out,” he says. The late-evening fire, which began in a garage that was storing combustible materials, eventually engulfed two homes and spread to two other houses. “By the time we ran out,” he remembers, “the house was engulfed in flames and catching to all the other ones.” Having run head-first into a dangerous situation, Laton, a husband and father of four children, admits initially his family wasn’t too pleased with his bravery. “[My wife is] proud of what I did but she’s not happy that I didn’t think that I could have left my family a single mom with four kids,” says Laton, who is employed as a mechanic. “Now that it’s been months after, you have time to think about it. At that time I didn’t think of anything. As of right now, I’m like, ‘Wow, I have four kids. That really would have [been bad for my family].’” Laton, who spent five years in the military with the Princess of Wales and Seascott regiments, still doesn’t understand what drove his courageous actions that evening. Instead of the typical holiday in the tropics, Kent Rupert and Sherry Reed devote their time and energy on a Habitat for Humanity build in Costa Rica

photo courtesy of Sherry Reed and Kent Rupert

Courage under fire

“Some of my military training might have helped me stay calm and not freaked out,” he says of his courage under fire. “I haven’t really thought too much into that.” A helping holiday

Personal sacrifice can come in many forms. For Sherry Reed and Kent Rupert, heroic deeds took on another form – the forfeiting of their own comfort to help another human being. Instead of a trip to Disneyland or an all-inclusive Mexican resort, the couple took a hardearned two-week holiday time to the interior of Costa Rica to help build a home for a single mother of two. Through the international edition of Habitat for Humanity, the dynamic duo traded a scenic beach and umbrella drink in hand for a shovel and rake in an underdeveloped nation. “For me I love to build houses in Canada, but the opportunity to go to another country and experience another culture and work really hard for people who are so desperately in need was just very compelling,” says Reed. Reed and Rupert were the only two Canadians in a group of 17 people, which included a wide variety of personalities from university students to grandmothers. Putting aside culture shock and language barriers, and attempting to ignore the scenic beauty of extended pineapple fields, the group was welcomed by an empty lot of red clay and immediately put to work. “They said if we get all the holes dug for the pilings that would be doing well. As a group we said we wanted to work longer hours, we wanted to go to site earlier,” Reed says. Between the back-breaking work and tropical sweat, the group was visited by several locals, including the single mother who would eventually call the location home. At two weeks’ end, the group had finished the piling foundation and had all walls completed. “At the close-out of the build they all came for that, thanked us and made us small tokens. They openly wept with gratitude. It’s a very profound experience,” Reed says. That kind of in-depth emotion is not an everyday occurrence in North America, land-ofplenty where amenities and housing can often be taken for granted. winter 2010/2011 | 61

life in the community | people

photo courtesy of Kerry and Shelley

Kerry spends a special moment with Shaminie, the young Honduran girl whose life he saved when he and his wife were on vacation

“It tunes you back into what we do here every day with our lives that impacts people that much, but we just don’t see the tears and the hugging,” Reed says, reflecting on the gratifying experience. “We’ve never worked that hard for that long in that kind of heat. We came home feeling so revitalized and so refreshed. That for me was just a reminder that every day matters and everyone’s important,” she adds. Breath of life

Reminders of the frailty of life can happen in the strangest of places. On a beautiful Honduran tropical evening, Kerry and Shelley (who asked that their last name not be used) were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. The last thing they ever expected was a rescue scenario to develop during their vacation. As the couple enjoyed watching local youngsters jump off the dock and play in the water at their seaside resort, a relaxing, happy hour quickly turned dramatic. “I actually made a comment to my wife,‘Look at that little girl, she has her bathing suit on backwards,’” local businessman Kerry says, recalling his two teenaged daughters at that age.

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A commotion caught their attention as another couple spotted the same little girl lying on the ocean floor. Encouraged by his wife, and much yelling and screaming at the water’s edge, Kerry, a former Airdrie volunteer firefighter with an EMT licence from 20 years ago, quickly arrived at the beach. “Here was this same little girl that they had just dragged out of the water. She was lifeless, no pulse and not breathing. So I took over and started doing CPR on the girl,” he says. Through the general chaos, with the frantic, crying mother and family on the scene, Kerry performed CPR for five to 10 minutes. Finally, the girl started breathing, was put into the recovery position and coughed up a lungful of water. “I was very patient and gentle with her and just kept working on her until she started to breathe. I knew that kids have a lot of resilience to drowning. They bounce back where an adult does not,” says Kerry. The Airdrie man asked an English-speaking gardener to find a truck to take the girl to the hospital. Alongside her mother and aunt, Kerry kept an eye on the six-year-old youngster, named Shaminie, receiving a few welcom-

ing, voluntary responses from the girl. After speaking with doctors, Kerry returned to the resort to a congratulatory welcome, but he was more concerned about the health and future of the young Honduran. “I was worried about the girl becoming a vegetable. I thought I saved a little girl but she was going to be mentally handicapped or brain-damaged,” he recalls. Life moved on in the tropical resort, but Kerry couldn’t get the youngster out of his thoughts. Arrangements were made to see an alert Shaminie in the hospital and he paid another visit before leaving the island. “They were just very appreciative. It was nice to see the little girl. I bought her some ice cream and talked to her through an interpreter. That was good enough for me,” he says. Although mother and child may argue with him, Kerry doesn’t consider his actions that day as heroic. “I was in the right place at the right time, and that’s all there is to it,” he says.“I think anybody would do it if they were in that situation and they felt that they could help.” Calling it the most incredible summer of his life, celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary, shooting a hole-in-one and saving a young life, Kerry also acquired an extended family along the way.“I was just lucky and so was she. I have a new daughter now.” Reflecting on his blazing actions, Laton also doesn’t consider himself a hero, agreeing he was in the right place at the right time. “There are two types of people: people that act and people that react. I guess I just acted,” says Laton, giving his impression of a modernday hero. “[My brother’s] been in Afghanistan on his third tour. He knows he’s going into a dangerous area months before he even goes. Or a firefighter who knows he’s running into a burning building, or a police officer who goes to work every day knowing that this day [he or she] may not go home. They know they’re doing it and they still do it every day. Those are heroes.” life MORE LIFE ONLINE Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as a hometown hero? Visit our website and tell us why at

life in the community | sports

Minor Hockey

Major Costs? story and photos by Cory Knibutat

Playing hockey in Airdrie is a major financial commitment but there are ways local teams and parents can cut their expenses


ockey is a great game. Hockey is an exciting game. Hockey is Canada’s game and it will remain that way due to the strength of the minor hockey system. The Airdrie Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) is a shining example of what minor hockey should be: well-organized, wellcoached, focused on skill development and most of all, fun. A lot of young families enrol their children in minor hockey every year as a way for those children to pursue their newfound love for the great sport. What may seem as easy as registration and waking up early on weekends for games can be a bit trickier than what families new to minor hockey may anticipate. There are equipment costs, extra ice times and longer travel requirements than many first-year parents might think. However, parents can prepare for these little extras and make the most of their child’s first season in minor hockey. Many new hockey parents enrolling their children for the first time in the AMHA are unaware of a few hidden costs that may double or triple the initial cost of registration. After equipment costs (see below), tournament costs are the single biggest addition to a child’s hockey expenses. A fairly typical

amount to register a tyke or novice team in a single overnight tournament is $600 to $700. That roughly works out to $50 per player per tournament for which the team is signed up. With that in mind, teams have made it easy for parents to be aware of additional costs from the get-go. Division












Pee Wee






Midget City



Midget Travel*



*Travel teams play within the Central Alberta Hockey League or a larger zone, depending on their level

Before the start of every season, teams have a parents meeting to decide how many tournaments in which the team will try to participate. As well, they discuss any additional ice

times, to keep team budgets under control and affordable for all families. “Each year, as a part of the parents meeting, we decide on how much family needs to give, just to get the team account going because there [are] usually expenses right off the bat,” says Leona Esau, a mother of two boys, aged seven and 11, in AMHA and a former team manager. “Just simple things like socks to get for the kids to match their jerseys because they’re different from year to year.” The parents decide how much they need to raise and how they will raise it. “This year we’re doing pub fundraisers. We’ve got local restaurants and bars that usually give us a discount on the food, or free food in some cases,” Esau says. “We usually run a silent auction along with it. So each family donates an item worth a minimum of $50. Last year, doing that and a raffle, we netted between $4,000 and $7,000 for the season. “So that will pay for your tournaments, and any extra ice times,” she adds. Equipment:

It takes a lot more than a love of the game to play hockey year after year. Safety is always No. 1. In the first year of minor hockey, it is essential that parents take the necessary precautions to ensure their child’s safety on the ice. While players winter 2010/2011 | 63

life in the community | sports Brady Esau shows his enthusiasm for one of Canada’s most beloved sports, while other players, including the Airdrie novice Royals (at right), work on developing their skills even as they have fun

and parents don’t necessarily need to worry about the dangers of collisions and blisteringly fast shots at an early age, the equipment a child uses should fit properly to protect him or her from falls and unplanned meetings with wayward sticks – two very common occurrences at the tyke or novice level of minor hockey. Equipment includes shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, shin guards, skates, a helmet and a few sticks to make it through the season. There’s no need to buy entirely brand-new equipment to play hockey. While parents might be excited to have their child play hockey for the first time, the child may not share the same excitement for more than a season

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or two. There is no shame in searching for second-hand options to fully suit up a child for his or her first season, plus finding goodquality used equipment can save a small fortune in cash. “People have this stigma sometimes about buying used,” says Murray Buchanan, former coach and president of AMHA.“I did it with my kids and I certainly played, myself, with used stuff and I was fine. “If they want to be a goalie and you fork out $2,500 … for goalie equipment and then they decide to quit because they don’t want to be a goalie, you’re going to want your money back,” he adds. “It’s probably a better idea to start them with $800 worth of used [equipment].

It’s probably just as good. Same equipment, just not brand new.” The trick when searching for used equipment is finding the correct size. Yes, children grow like weeds, but parents should never buy equipment a size too big in hopes their child will grow into it. Equipment that is too big compromises not only a child’s ability to play the game properly, but also his or her safety. “Way better to buy used that fits properly and trade it in every year than to buy stuff that is too big because you want your child to get two seasons out of it,” Buchanan says. Located just a block east of the Ron Ebbesen Arena, Airdrie’s own East Side Sports is one place to start looking for quality used equip-


Tips Tournaments:

Reduce the number of overnight tournaments for which the team signs up by choosing tournaments closer to Airdrie. Share hotel rooms with other families. Travel:

Curb your enthusiasm. The whole family doesn’t need to go to every tournament. Try alternating which parent takes your child to the games every weekend. Carpool!

ment. Online options have recently also become available to parents looking to save money, with such websites as offering a platform for parents to swap used equipment. For inexpensive new equipment, is a fantastic source. Sometimes, though, players and parents don’t need to look farther than their own dressing room. “We pass [equipment] on to other families,” Esau says.“You kind of get to know who can afford equipment and who can’t and we get a lot of equipment handed down to us. [There are] bulletins posted in all the rinks as well.” Buchanan, however, does recommend buying helmets new every time. There are the seemingly obvious safety issues of

perhaps buying a helmet that has, in some way, been cracked, damaged or otherwise compromised. “What happens is that when kids get older, they sweat. And when they sweat into the padding of the helmets … that foam picks up the sweat and compresses. It’s just not as good,” he says. “Head injuries, I think, are quite preventable. The concussion levels, I believe, could come down if everybody has a proper helmet. It’s not the place to save $50 … on a helmet.” “Get an excellent helmet for your child,” Buchanan adds. life For more information on enrolment and the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association, visit

Say no to fast food. “We have lots of families to bring their own snacks and food,” Esau says. Equipment:

Look for sales! “End-of-season sales are awesome,” Esau says. “Don’t buy skates before the fall, though, because the kids grow so fast.” Buy secondhand – from another team member, online or from secondhand stores.’s clearance section is a good place to check for inexpensive new equipment. winter 2010/2011 | 65

life in the community | athlete profile

King of the

Hill 66 | winter 2010/2011


For skier Jeff Bell, it’s all downhill from here story by Carl Patzel | photos by Kristy Reimer

hile most of us process time on a relatively lengthy day-to-day basis, Airdrie’s Jeff Bell measures his life in hundreds of a second. Whether grinding out on ice, grass or the hardwood, sporting contests are often decided by the comparatively wide margins of goals or points proudly displayed on a glowing scoreboard. Usually a winner is announced after a couple of hours of gruelling battle. Local competitive skier Bell, though, prefers the uniquely challenging downhill path where results are measured in mere seconds, and, in most cases, tenths of a second. “Just to put it in perspective, half a second is a fair bit of time in racing. If you beat someone by half a second in one run you beat them pretty good,” says the 17-year-old George McDougall high school senior. “I have been knocked off the podium by four one-hundredths in SG (super giant slalom). That’s a little harder reach at the finish line, or that extra brush on the skis during that long night of tuning.” A lifelong athlete, involved in tennis, soccer, football and hockey, Bell strapped on his first pair of skis at age two, being influenced by his father, Don, and Canadian Olympic alpine racer and 1980s “Crazy Canucks” member Ken Read. “Ken Read and my dad were some of the people who helped me along with my switch from hockey when I was 11,” says the Calgary Alpine Racing Club member. Reaching 100-140 kilometres per hour (in the professional ranks) during a vertical drop of around 800 metres, downhill skiing is a pressure-filled sport where the smallest minor adjustments in equipment and technique can mean the difference between top three or middle of the pack. All these elements can combine for elevated mental stress in an already tense, on-the-edge sport. “On race day every hundredth counts, but it’s all the training that leads up to it that gets you ready physically and mentally to compete,” says Bell. Riding a slow progression of success as a youngster, Bell produced some of his best skiing this past season, most noticeably at the Miele Cup last March, where he finished second in the junior ranks and seventh overall. “I know I did not ski as well as I can but when you manage to put two relatively clean runs together goods things happen,” says Bell. “I was happy about my podiums at that race, but what stood out for me winter 2010/2011 | 67

life in the community | athlete profile

Even with the time and effort it takes to stay competitive, it’s not all work and no play for Jeff Bell

is the men’s overall Miele AB cup, which I placed second in.” On the back of those showings Bell was invited to join the Alberta Ski Team Selection Group this past season, gliding straight into its Peak Power Sport Development training schedule. Along with the honour came increased training concentration on and off the ski hill. Several camps later, Bell fell into the twice-a-day, five-times-a-week off-season workout schedule. While most teenagers look forward to some relaxing fun in the sun during summer vacation, Bell has spent countless hours on the ski hill and in the gym training for a shot at future glory. “At first the training in the gym was hard, a lot more volume and intensity than dry-land training with the club,” he says, “but after a couple weeks I just got into a routine and then it wasn’t so bad.”

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For a good part of September and October, the Alberta squad took its training wheels down under to New Zealand for exhausting training sessions, including seven hours of slalom, giant slalom and super G at Mount Hutt. Afternoon sessions included dry-land training and video review analyzing the day’s runs. Another career highlight for Bell was being invited to volunteer at the Vancouver Winter Olympics through the Pathway to Excellence Program. “That was one of the most amazing experiences,” he says.“I was lucky enough to get chosen to represent Alberta at the Olympics and I got to see my dream up close.” Describing it as a surreal adventure, Bell got up close and personal with the top professionals in the sport. “I was honoured to meet (freestyle skiing gold medalist) Alexandre Bilodeau later when we were training in Mount Hood,” says the Airdrie teen. “I have had a chance to meet

a few Canadian Olympians, including Nancy Greene, Steve Omischl, Ken Read, Bilodeau and a few others. “I have to say overall what I have learned is hard work and perseverance from these people,” he adds, “and if anyone has been a mentor or role model for me in those respects, it is (Calgary native and Lake Louise World Cup champion) John Kucera and my dad.” That drive and determination has Bell looking to make the Canadian team, compete on the World Cup circuit and one day possibly be selected to compete at the Winter Olympics. But before he begins hoisting crystal globes at the professional level, Bell realizes there’s lots of competition and tiny tenths of seconds standing in his way. “Yeah, there is plenty of competition to go around,” he says. “I’m just thankful I don’t live in Austria – they take it really serious over there.” life

home life at 70 Bright Ideas 76 Home Heating 80 Williamstown

life at home | lighting

Light up your life story by Anne Beaty

Bright ideas for your home


hen it comes to lighting a home, the sky’s pretty much the limit. There’s something on the market for any use, from simple to ornate, from specific task lighting to creating a special ambiance. Aside from ensuring enough light for such activities as reading and cooking, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, especially in the dark winter months, is what lighting is all about, says Airdrie’s Leah Buss of Basic Elements design company. “It’s nice to add some sparkle to every room,” Buss says. When it comes to an overall effect, recessed lighting is definitely not passé, says Tina McMillan of Airdrie’s McMillan Interiors. Pot lights can be used to deal with several issues, McMillan says, from brightening up dark rooms (think basement) to highlighting art (which can be done with directional pot lights). Recessed lighting can also add character to a home. “It’s a lot of mood lighting. It creates a different mood, a different atmosphere in the room,” says Anna-Jane Warren of Diva Designs and Consulting. Pot lights also can be put to good use in

70 | winter 2010/2011

kitchens, where they can illuminate specific work areas, as well as adding to the distinct flavour of the room often considered the heart of the home. Pendant lights in the kitchen are also very popular, with lights placed over islands or open counters. This design helps highlight certain areas, especially islands and peninsulas. “It just makes more of an impact,” McMillan says. The pendants should be at least five-anda-half feet from the floor, higher if necessary, depending on the use of the area (sink, eating area) and the height of the people who use it – in other words, Buss says, high enough to look through, yet low enough so that one doesn’t stare into the light bulb. Also in the kitchen, the use of lights inside cabinets with glass doors adds a special glow to the room. This type of lighting is great in cabinets that go to the ceiling, as that is often wasted space anyway, McMillan says. Undercabinet lighting is also definitely popular, although if counters are made of material with a high sheen, they will be reflective.“You’re going to see your light fixtures,” she says. In all rooms, it’s a good idea to mix and match when it comes to lights, taking into ac-

count the uses of the room. “Every area has a different function and a different purpose,” Warren says. Using several light sources is important. “What I love … is the layering that you can do with lighting,” says Buss. By this, she means providing multiple light sources in a room, even if they will never all be on at the same time. At least five to seven light sources in a room, from overheads and floor lamps to table lamps and task lighting, are a good idea, says McMillan. And finding that just-right article to finish off a room can be as simple as installing a unique type of light fixture that has been part of decorating for years. “Chandeliers are becoming a lot more popular again,” Warren says. Chandeliers are often used in a dining room or an open concept foyer with a cathedral ceiling, but they can be used in other areas of the home as well. “The big trend now is putting them in unusual locations,” Buss says. These run the gamut from large bathrooms to over kitchen islands.“I’ve seen them in a lot of master bedrooms,” adds Warren. life


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life at home | decorations


Griswold Syndrome Simple advice for lighting up your home for the holidays story by Sherry Shaw-Froggatt

“Is your house on fire, Clark?” “No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”


t’s something my husband dreads every year, because when I say, “Honey, can we put up the Christmas lights?” he knows by “we” I mean him. Sure, I help with the prehanging requirements but he is the one stuck on the ladder. I recently talked to some people who had never hung Christmas lights and was horrified to learn they planned to just staple-gun them to their roof à la Clark Griswold So for those who may have forgotten the golden rules of light-hanging (we all start taking shortcuts over the years) and those newbies, here are some simple rules of thumb.

1. Measure twice, buy once. Decide ahead of time where your lights will go. Will they show off the interesting peaks of the house? Go around the windows? Measure everything and then go shopping. My advice? Always buy extra – you can always return them later, because nothing is worse than having to stop halfway through to run out for more lights, only to find out the ones you bought are out of stock. You could switch to a different stock which you think looks close enough, but ultimately your spouse WILL notice the new

72 | winter 2010/2011

- Christmas Vacation (1989)

lights are vastly different from the ones already hanging, and demand you return yet again.

2. Lay the lights out on the ground first. Look where your electrical receptacle is located and plot from there. We once had everything hanging beautifully, only to discover we had the female end of the light string waiting for connection to … the wrong end of the extension cord. Down everything came (including our enthusiasm). 3. Test the lights before installing. See above. 4. Start early in the day. Nothing says stress

like working against the clock and the setting sun (which I believe feels like 3 p.m. around here in December).

5. Now here is the most technical and important part. Do not staple the lights to your roof. Your objective is to hang lights as easily and safely as possible without marring your home’s trim or walls. For attaching lights along gutters or the roof, use plastic clips made for the job – these grip shingles or gutters and have a lower hook that holds a light strand or exten-

sion cord. For attaching lights to window trim and similar vertical surfaces, use tube light clips or nail-on plastic clips, readily available at home improvement centres.

6. When in doubt engage a friendly neighbour and do your houses together. (Start on his, so you get all your mistakes out early.) 7. Do not, under any circumstances, turn your lights on BEFORE Halloween. Seriously, people. Even wait respectfully until after Remembrance Day. That’s just my two cents worth. 8. A beautifully lit house at the holidays makes everyone smile, especially the power companies. Use an outdoor timer and save yourself money and the “Did I turn the lights off?” nagging question that wakes you up at 2 a.m. Enjoy the darkest months of the year with modern man’s greatest decorating invention – the Christmas light. And send me your pictures if you think your home deserves to be featured in our winter issue next year. life

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life at home | winter home care

Baby it’s

cold outside!

story by Carl Patzel

Expert advice on staying warm inside


f you don’t want to be left out in the cold this winter, now is the time to keep the heat inside your home where it belongs. The time to begin thinking about weatherproofing your home is before the bitter chill of winter arrives. There are basically two areas that could affect your heating comfort this winter: your furnace and your windows. Proper maintenance and an annual tuneup are the keys to keeping the home’s central heating unit pumping, says Matt Gauthier of Big Springs Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. “We’re looking for proper operation and also to make sure [they’re] safe,” Gauthier says. “We cut a hole in the top of them and inspect the heat exchanger from the top and also pull

76 | winter 2010/2011

out the blower from the bottom cabinet and inspect them from the bottom.” Gauthier and his company have been servicing furnaces in Airdrie for 30 years. Apart from general cleaning and minor maintenance, the gas fitters will check the efficiency and safety of the heat exchanger. “We make sure they are firing properly, make sure the flames are looking good and blue like they should,” he says. The average high-efficiency furnace should have a life span of 20-25 years. Homes with heating units older than 30 years are most likely costing their owners on their gas bill. “At the 25-year mark I highly recommend getting them changed out. It’s basically the heart of your house. Without the heat your

house won’t work, it won’t tick. It’s very important to keep them clean and get them serviced at least every two years if not every year,” Gauthier says. Safety also becomes a concern in older homes. Heat exchangers have to be checked for rust marks and cracks. According to Gauthier, finding a cracked furnace means an immediate shutdown of the unit. “You can’t really tell if a furnace is going to break down the next day,” he says. “The best thing to have is a carbon monoxide detector in the house, especially if [the furnace] is of that age, and check batteries in [the carbon monoxide detectors].” A relatively inexpensive detector plugged into a wall can save lives from the undetectable killer gas.


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life at home | winter home care

But the ultimate solution for the older home may mean replacing that old heat ticker with a modern, high-efficiency furnace. Gauthier says that replacing an old monster furnace would pay off in anywhere from three to five years in gas and electrical bills. “You’re looking at, in some cases, a 50-percent upgrade,” he says. “Some of the problems are they’re oversized plus they are running very inefficient, from how much you’re burning to how much you’re utilizing. Most of it is just floating up the chimney.” If that older furnace is still functional, energy and money can be saved by installing a programmable thermostat. The digital convenience and slight temperature change during the winter months can save close to 10 per cent on your monthly gas bill, Gauthier adds. “A lot of people are on a schedule. They’re gone at eight in the morning and come home at five. If they were to drop their in-house temperature three to four degrees during the day that saves quite a bit.” If money isn’t rising out of the chimney through poor furnace production, the greatest

hit on the pocketbook can come through heat loss from windows. Getting a clearer picture on reducing the heating bill can mean just a few glass upgrades, says Wayne Upton of G.P. Windows and Doors Ltd. This could include bringing older windows up to a double or triple pane, installing low-E glass or argon gas windows or using a super spacer. “We take out older windows that are expending so much energy out of the home. The super spacer doesn’t transfer cold into your home. Low-E, argon gas is just the norm. For the small amount of money that it costs it’s [effective],” says Upton. Saving loonies isn’t the only advantage of newer windows. The year-round glass products include metallic elements that refract heat and keep out harmful UV rays that can fade expensive furniture fabrics. “[In the summer] people have had company over and they thought they had air conditioning in their home due to the fact that the heat is not coming [in],” Upton says. An indicator of poor, low-grade window

production is fog and frost buildup on the inside. This can be caused by poor insulating during installation or cracked wood framing in older homes. “The problem is builders from 20-25 years ago were putting in a low-grade window and they were not really insulating around the rough opening. They are getting a lot of heat loss,” Upton says. Depending on the style, replacing older windows with modern, middle-of-the-road polyvinyl units can cost between $700 and $1,000 per window. Good quality vinyl-mould models usually carry a 20 year warranty, and Upton says that window replacement costs will most likely be recouped on energy bills and add value to the home. “If you pull out an old window that is 20-25 years old and you put in what we have now, they have a huge amount of energy value,” says Upton, who is crystal clear on the effects of newer windows. “I’ve had customers call me afterward and say, ‘Our furnace [used to kick] in three times a night [and now] the furnace didn’t kick in once.’” life

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winter 2010/2011 | 79

life at home | showhomes


A wonderful world of choice

The oversized windows in Williamstown bring in an abundance of natural light

One of Airdrie’s most exciting and successful new communities, Williamstown, offers unique lifestyle opportunities on the city’s fast-growing north end, while at the same time embracing the natural areas that surround it.

The entertainment-sized open plans at Williamstown feature gourmet island kitchens and elegant dining areas

80 | winter 2010/2011

Straddling Nose Creek, Williamstown offers a mix of bungalows, single-family homes and townhomes, all surrounded by more than 60 acres of open green space, including 45 acres of environmental reserve. “We’ve just held the grand opening of Phase II, [launched] to keep up with the strong demand for homes in what is one of Airdrie’s best-selling new communities,” says Curt Woodhall, senior marketing manager with area developers Vesta Properties Ltd.“More than 1,500 people came to our grand opening celebration to tour our new phase of showhomes in just two weeks. And we were very happy with the excellent attendance and how pleased everyone was with our homes and how the community was taking shape.” That event was attended by more than 2,000 people over several weeks, and even received a positive endorsement from the mayor. So what makes Williamstown an exciting addition to the Airdrie home market, and the address of choice? Its location, for one thing. Situated by one of Airdrie’s major east-west roadways, you’re never more than a few minutes away from local shopping and services and the QEII highway; all of Airdrie’s schools, amenities and employment hubs are virtually on your


Luxurious master bedrooms at Williamstown feature ensuite baths and walk-in closets

The luxurious gourmet kitchens in Enclave, Williamstown’s second phase of single-family homes

Entertain friends in the spacious formal dining room at Williamstown and have after-dinner drinks in front of your cozy fireplace

doorstep; and the airport and Calgary are just 10 and 20 minutes away, respectively. The city’s pathway system also links to the community for those who’d rather bike or jog to work. And there are the homes themselves. Williamstown is a master-planned community offering a mix of townhomes starting from the low $200,000s and detached homes starting from the low $300,000s – a price point that still makes Airdrie one of the most affordable cities in Alberta. “We’ve done more than 20 sales in the last month or so, and sales continue to be strong as buyers recognize the exceptional value offered by Williamstown,” says Woodhall. “Williamstown offers some of the best value in Airdrie, with excellent pricing and a truly superior offering with high-end exterior finishing, and a carefully co-ordinated community design that includes walking paths, a children’s playground, a town centre and the environmental reserve. “This access to amenities and carefully planned community design will protect and maintain the homes’ value over time.” Many different home styles and lot-location options are available at Williamstown: • Enclave Homes: three-bedroom single-

family homes with nine-foot main-floor ceilings, stainless appliances, laminate floors, maple cabinetry and fireplaces. Square footage ranges from 1,330 to 1,660 sq. ft., plus basements. • Village/Park Homes: three-bedroom single-family homes backing onto the area’s parks, ponds and pathways. Some include bonus rooms. Square footage ranges from 1,450 to 2,100, plus basement. • Bungalow Homes: offering mainfloor master bedroom floor plans, these homes again offer nine-foot main-floor ceilings, along with stainless appliances, hardwood floors and gourmet kitchens. Their square footage ranges from 1,313 to 1,374, plus basement. • The Trails – Classic Townhomes:

three-bedroom townhomes, some including winter 2010/2011 | 81

life at home | showhomes

Williamstown offers 10 showhomes to tour so drop by today!

Williamstown features gourmet island kitchens and designer-selected finishings

Williamstown and Airdrie: ideal for a growing family …

82 | winter 2010/2011

master bedrooms on the main floor. Features include attached two-car garages, stainless appliances, rear decks, granite countertops and the standard nine-foot ceilings, as well as walkout basements on some models. Square footage ranges from 1,440 to more than 1,500 sq. ft. • The Trails – Urban Townhomes: two- and three-bedroom floor plans are available. Besides the nine-foot ceilings, features include raised granite eating bars and a five-appliance package. Some models even come with private fenced yards. Square footage ranges from 1,100 to more than 1,140 sq. ft. • Station Homes: three- and four-bedroom homes with front-attached garages at the heart of Williamstown. • Greenway Homes: a limited number of three- and four-bedroom homes backing onto the community parks, ponds and pathways. • Park Homes: one-of-a-kind three- and four-bedroom homes backing right onto the Nose Creek Environmental Reserve, including some with basement walkouts allowing direct access to the natural area. • Village Homes: this collection of three- and four-bedroom homes offers the old-school convenience of rear-lane access, with a choice of front-attached garages (with lane access for additional storage and parking) or rear-detached garages off the lanes. One thing all these different styles have in common is the Vesta Difference: detailed, eye-catching, craftsman-inspired exteriors combined with heritage landscapes that truly call to mind the small-town feel that has made Airdrie the community of choice. But don’t wait too long to consider the Williamstown advantage. Woodhall says Phase I of the lots and townhomes are already almost sold out and Phase II is expected to generate similar demand as indicated by the 20-plus homes already sold. Experience Williamstown for yourself. Drop by the sales centre at 10 Williamstown Landing, at Veterans Boulevard and Eighth St. NW. From there, you can go on to explore the 10 beautiful showhomes located throughout both phases. life

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work life at 86

Moving Out


Park Space


Winning Edge

life at work | startups A romantic at heart, Elaine Wagar recently moved her highly successful wedding gown business, Taffeta and Tulle Bridal, from her home to a storefront on Main Street

A new FRONTier Moving to a storefront is the next step for many small businesses in Airdrie story by Alex Frazer-Harrison photos by Sergei Belski

86 | winter 2010/2011


oving a home-based business out of the basement or garage into a fullfledged storefront requires confidence and a leap of faith. But many of Airdrie’s entrepreneurs are taking that jump. “I believe in love,” says Elaine Wagar.“When I was a teenager, all my friends were buying Seventeen, and I was buying Bride.” Little wonder that, when Wagar saw an ad on Kijiji for 80 bridal gowns from a bankrupt store in Ontario, she decided to take the plunge and start a business selling wedding gowns – Taffeta and Tulle Bridal. “I wanted a personalized service; this is a huge purchase for a girl, and the most exciting, and I love sharing in that,” she says. Wagar’s decision to avoid assembly-line gowns and focus on unique designs – coupled with her ability to provide gowns on day of purchase rather than through special order – saw her sell 450 gowns the first year. “The business took over the whole upper level of my home … and there were factors I couldn’t control, like the doorbell, telephone, kids and life,” she says. So, she moved her business to a storefront on Main Street, which opened on Sept. 1. “Anything new is a little scary,”Wagar says.“But I’ve had my eye on this location for nine years.” Already benefitting from word-of-mouth, Wagar says the new location is far more visible than her home.“It’s a perfect location.”

Nicole and Tim Smith opened CrossFit Edge Airdrie in a bay in Kingsview after their personal fitness business outgrew their basement, especially once they affiliated with CrossFit and its unique style of fitness training that emphasizes form and technique. “I was doing private training out of my basement – the whole floor was converted into a gym – and there wasn’t room to store this [equipment],” Nicole, herself a fitness competitor, says, gesturing to the weights, ropes and climbing apparatus she uses to help children and adults stay fit. “We’d grown to the point where we had a dozen people coming in in the evening and it got to be too much.” Working with the City of Airdrie, Nicole found the process of relocating to be “very quick, because I put every waking second of my time into making it happen very quickly. It was definitely a tough, scary and busy time! But we were sure it was going to work.” Since opening in February, the Smiths have seen their business grow – they now have some 60 members and word-of-mouth is spreading. “This started as a hobby – working out – and it became a passion/obsession, and I wanted to turn it into a career,” says Nicole.

Monty Barnes saw his home-based plumbing business expanding and realized he needed to get into a storefront, too. “We started with a van and put some shelves in it, and it climbed from there,” says Barnes, who started Monty’s Plumbing and Heating Service Inc. in 2001. “The business doubled every year. For the last couple of years, I’d been fighting the idea of doing something like this – getting out of my house. “We were always under the impression if we got out of the house, we’d grow because we aren’t restricted by space. And it’s true,” he adds. Barnes’ new location off Main Street and First Avenue NE opened last August. The storefront offers increased visibility and easier access for customers and also gives him extra space to display product. “The most difficult part was making the decision,” says Barnes. “But the time was right and the building was open. And I wanted a place where I could be associated with downtown; I’ve always enjoyed this part of town.” These three stories are becoming more typical as a growing number of Airdrie entrepreneurs set up storefronts, says City Economic Development team leader Kent Rupert.

“We’re seeing a lot more home-based businesses moving to storefront,” says Rupert. Commercial and industrial building permits by the end of August 2010 numbered 221, which put the city on track to having its second-best year ever, and many of those, he says, are home-based businesses upgrading. “Some businesses that are home-based can hit a certain point where they have to become storefront,” Rupert says, adding that there are several resources available to help local entrepreneurs switch up, including BizPal, which provides a one-stop destination for obtaining information about permits and other requirements for setting up a business. “We’re working closely with them,” he says, “and, with BizPal, people come in to us with a better understanding of what it will take to move forward. And that’s important; when someone gets into a business, they may know it inside and out, but not the process.” Nicole Smith says that her advice to anyone looking to graduate from home-based to storefront is to utilize the resources offered by the City. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll probably make a lot of mistakes,” she says. life

Monty Barnes, owner of Monty’s Plumbing and Heating Service Inc., makes good use of the extra space since he moved his business out of his home

For more information on business development in Airdrie, and BizPal, visit

winter 2010/2011 | 87

PARK life at work | spaces

SPACE Industrial/commercial parks draw international attention to Airdrie

Airdrie is very business-friendly, says Tim Wright, manager of Vanfax’s local distribution centre


ne of the things that makes Airdrie a self-sufficient city is its well-developed industrial and commercial sector. Part of this is thanks to a growing number of industrial/business parks on the north, south and east sides of the city that have attracted businesses ranging from entrepreneurs renting out business-park bays to distribution centres and offices that have spent millions on new construction. Affordability compared to Calgary, combined with a lack of business tax, continue to be drivers attracting businesses to the Airdrie area, says Kent Rupert, Economic Development team leader with the City of Airdrie. “We’re still less expensive than Calgary,” Rupert says. “Some properties [here] are around

88 | winter 2010/2011

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Sergei Belski

the $450-500,000 mark; in some parts of Calgary, you’d pay $600-700,000.” According to Rupert, the 2010 nonresidential tax rate for Airdrie was 10.65 per cent, compared to 13.79 per cent – plus an additional 6.73-per-cent business tax – for Calgary. “[It’s clear there’s] a huge advantage over Calgary,” he says. Business/industrial parks currently under development include Gateway Commerce Centre in the northwest, Highland Business Park in the northeast, Kingsview Business Park to the southeast and Sierra Springs in the southwest. New businesses also continue to emerge in Airdrie’s first major industrial park, East Lake, off Highway 2. Businesses Airdrie Economic Development hopes to continue to attract include

logistics and transportation services – such as the Costco and Vanfax distribution centres now in operation – as well as green industries and professional services. Vanfax, owned by Belron Canada, supplies auto glass shops, including the Speedy and Apple Auto Glass chains, as well as many independent dealers. The new Airdrie facility in Highland is part of Vanfax’s new distribution hub system, and will ship to warehouses that supply windows, mirrors and other auto glass products to shops throughout Western Canada and the northwest U.S. “Airdrie was chosen because it’s very business-friendly right now, with tax rates that are low, if not non-existent,” says distribution centre manager Tim Wright.“You can also thank Calgary for building the ring road. The ma-

jority of business in Alberta is on the Highway 2 corridor – it became a no-brainer when it came to picking a location.” Indeed, all of Airdrie’s industrial/business parks hug the QEII, with businesses never more than a few minutes’ drive from the highway. “The community is the perfect size,” says Wright. “When picking the labour pool, you can be competitive with the Calgary market and get a good choice of personnel to work with.” Vanfax initially employed about 12 people, but Wright says when fully operational (shipments to the warehouse network are expected to begin in December) that will jump to 25, plus additional part-time employees. Across the QEII, Gateway is still in its early days, but already has two high-profile tenants: Calgary-based McArthur Fine Furniture and Interior Design, and a new and innovative ATCO Gas operations centre, on which construction is underway. McArthur general manager Robert Pound says that after 73 years in Calgary, the company chose Airdrie to open its first major branch

(there’s also a boutique store in Okotoks). “With our Westhills store, we thought we got Calgary covered, but in Airdrie there was nobody out here in the sense of selling furniture at our level,” Pound says. “We wanted to jump in before anyone else. And the City really pushed this, because they wanted us to be the anchor tenant for this area.” Pound says that McArthur was originally approached by the CrossIron Mills megamall, but the Airdrie location, highly visible from the highway and near the commercial area fronted by Superstore and Canadian Tire, was too good to resist. Pound shares the general manager’s job with his brother, Darin, with the two trading off between the Airdrie and Calgary shops every two weeks. And both live in Airdrie. “Airdrie has everything you need, so you don’t have to leave,” he says,“and you’re getting away from the congestion of the big city – yet it’s 10 minutes away.” Pound says the new store, which opened in February, has bucked the recession trend. “People asked, ‘Why are you building in a recession?’ But the way I look at it, it’s an op-

portunity,” he says.“[The business] has been a constant incline, and very positive right now – the consistency has been really gratifying.” Besides hiring mostly Airdrie staff, Pound says he’s looking forward to increasing McArthur’s community involvement. “I love that stuff,” he says. “One of our vendors is tied in with the Make a Wish Foundation, and my brother and I are trying to break through to do [a project] for Airdrie.” A few blocks away, construction on the ATCO facility continues. The building will be only the third commercial geothermal facility in Canada; natural gas-fuelled pumps allow heat from the earth to provide heating and cooling, reducing emissions and cutting costs. Covering more than 15,000 square feet, the new facility will house as many as 60 employees. Kingsview Business Park, south of Yankee Valley Boulevard, has attracted tenants ranging from restaurants and fitness businesses to RV dealerships and FortisAlberta’s operations and contact centre. United Floors recently celebrated its first anniversary in Kingsview.

United Floors owner/director Joseph Crabtree (right) celebrates the business’s first anniversary in Airdrie’s Kingsview Business Park with wife Donna, who takes care of accounts, human resources and public relations, and son Tyler winter 2010/2011 | 89

life at work | spaces

“I’d been in the business since 1992, formed the company in 2008, and didn’t really have a formal location until last year,” says owner Joseph Crabtree.“We wanted something that would accommodate not only warehouse space, but retail showroom space, and have a nice comfortable location.” Crabtree’s 8,000-square-foot shop employs five full-time employees and another 12 subcontractors.“We do quite a bit of insurance work and we do a lot of contract commercial work,” he says.“We do work with the City of Calgary and we also have the local Airdrie business.” Crabtree, who belongs to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says locating in Airdrie was the best choice. “No. 1 is the price, obviously; the lease rates are very reasonable,” he says. “No. 2 was the competition. There isn’t a huge amount of competition out here, and the need for a business like this is certainly evident. No. 3 is the absence of a business tax, which is a huge benefit for the Airdrie area.” Rupert says that while Airdrie has about 15 years’ worth of industrial build-out left, the City is already looking at future potential industrial/business area growth. “We have an annexation plan to bring on 11,000 acres – a 50-75-year plan, and we’re in negotiations,” he says, adding that part of that new land is expected to be given over to industrial/business development. Developments in Rocky View County may also provide further drivers for growth. Aside from ongoing development around CrossIron Mills at Balzac, Rupert says, CN Rail is planning to build new yards east of Airdrie. “That’s huge, us having access to that, coupled with the fact we’re right next door to the Calgary International Airport,” he says. Recent infrastructure improvements, such as renovations to the Yankee Valley Boulevard and Veterans Boulevard interchanges, have improved access to the business parks, and Rupert says the City is working with the province on plans for a potential QEII connector at the future 40th Avenue S. Having such infrastructure in place is important if Airdrie’s commercial and industrial areas are to continue to thrive, Rupert says. life

90 | winter 2010/2011

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life at work | winners

On the edge P

of greatness

at Cashion says that he remembers how back in the early days of his business, Vitreous Glass Inc., there was so little traffic on Airdrie’s east side, he didn’t even need to watch for cars when he pulled out of the lot. How things have changed since the winner of the first-ever Airdrie Business Leader Award opened his glass-recycling business here in 1995. “Airdrie has always been a great place to do business,” Cashion says. “We were originally asked to come here by the City of Airdrie. Our employees are all from Airdrie, and everyone does a great job.” Presented during this year’s Winning Edge Awards by award sponsor the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, the new award honours “local visionaries, and exceptional leaders in both the business and Airdrie community as a whole … [whose] vision encompasses a blend of long-term community service with business excellence,” Chamber president Mike De

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison photos courtesy of the City of Airdrie

The 2010 Winning Edge Awards

Bokx said when introducing Cashion at the Oct. 22 ceremony. Indeed, Cashion’s CV includes involvement in scholarships, the Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, the Alberta 55-Plus Games and many other endeavours. “I’m a firm believer in contributions to the community,” he says. “There’s a layer of the community that can only be done by volunteers and Airdrie has such a strong volunteer tradition.” Now in their 13th year, the Winning Edge Awards continue to honour business and customer-service excellence in three categories: the Eco Edge Award (sponsored by the City’s environmental services board), the Family Friendly Award (sponsored by the Airdrie National Family Week steering committee) and the Winning Edge Award (sponsored by the Airdrie Business Resource Partnership). Jodie Simpson, owner of Global A.P.E. Inc., accepted the Eco Edge Award on behalf of a

Above, Mike De Bokx, Airdrie Chamber of Commerce president, presents Pat Cashion of Vitreous Glass Inc. with the Business Leader Award. At right, Alderman Fred Burley honours Jodie Simpson of Global A.P.E. Inc. with the Eco Edge Award (top) and Joan Bell of Airdrie Yoga & Fitness with the Winning Edge Award (middle); Sherry Shaw-Froggatt of Frog Media Inc. accepts the Family Friendly Award (bottom) winter 2010/2011 | 91




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92 | winter 2010/2011

life at work | winners

business which, since 2007, has kept the spotlight on environmental sustainability, alternatives and Fair Trade goods, while promoting education and awareness of such issues as animal cruelty and slavery. “I think it’s very important that there’s an award like this in any community that’s serious about sustainability and the future … it’s great that Airdrie is willing to recognize those kinds of businesses,” says Simpson. The A.P.E. in her business’s name stands for Animals, People and the Environment, the three principles of sustainability. “We’re grateful what we’re doing in the community is having an impact,” she says.“It’s a value all businesses need to take upon themselves.” The Family Friendly Award recognizes businesses that truly put family first, for both their employees and customers. This year, Frog Media Inc. – publisher of airdrielife – received the honours. “It’s gratifying to be chosen as a home-based business, because it’s the main reason why I started the business [in 2004] – I wanted to allow myself the freedom to work when I wanted and to be available to my family when they needed me,” says owner Sherry ShawFroggatt. “I can’t imagine a traditional 9-to-5 job anymore – the flexibility of our company is complete freedom.” Since one of the prizes awarded to recipients of the Family Friendly Award is a free advertisement in airdrielife, Shaw-Froggatt continued her company’s tradition of supporting the city by donating her free ad to Airdrie’s Community Links program. Joan and Rob Bell of Airdrie Yoga & Fitness received the final award of the night – the Winning Edge Award, which recognizes businesses that provide outstanding customer service, exercise innovative business practices and are actively involved in the community. Since opening Airdrie Yoga & Fitness in 2004, the Bells have grown their business into a wellness leader in the city, while remaining supportive of the business community. Their efforts have included joining with other wellness partners to organize free quarterly wellness seminars, providing referrals to and cross-promoting with other fitness facilities, and even donating studio space to the Airdrie Family Theatre group. “It’s been wonderful to be appreciated by my

peers,” says Joan.“We’ve tried to grow along with Airdrie and meet the needs of our customers. I’ve always been so delighted that we’ve been able to find some excellent instructors in Airdrie.” Her key to success, Joan says, is to not take the “big-box” fitness centres on head-to-head, but rather to play to her strengths, which include 12 years of yoga experience. “I started [taking yoga] through continuing education and I wanted to provide an environment that was more yoga-friendly,” she says. Airdrie Yoga’s student base is some 200-strong. “We’ve seen a lot of faces,” says Bell. “I think I’m offering something different [from other wellness/fitness providers]. I believe my instructors and my students are the true ‘winning edge.’” This year’s keynote speaker was singer and CBC Radio host Tim Tamashiro, who took the audience on a photographic tour of some of his favourite hidden gems in exotic Hawaii – before showcasing several of Airdrie’s gems that easily hold their own against anything in the Aloha State. “You can do something on earth nobody else can do,”Tamashiro said.“You can out-think, outinnovate, outsmart, out-prove, out-neighbour and out-unCalgary anyone!” life

2010 Winning Edge Awards nominees and winners Airdrie Business Leader Award

Pat Cashion, Vitreous Glass Inc. Eco Edge Award

* Global A.P.E. Inc. First Capital Asset Management ULC Frog Media Inc. Natural e GREEN: Natural Products Ready Recycling Services Family Friendly Award

* Frog Media Inc. The Hair Lounge Inc. The Little Gym of Airdrie Optimum Wellness Centres United Floors Winning Edge Award

*Airdrie Yoga & Fitness The Home Vintner M & M Meat Shops Rockyview Insurance Services, representing The Co-operators Simply For Life


Arts & Culture

restaurants, theatre, festival, music, art, dance, drama, events, markets and more

Airdrie it’s here for you!

2011 Community Links Program Guide

Available January 5, 2011 at Pharmasave, Community Links offices and various locations around Airdrie

Airdrie’s #1 Source For News, Sports and What’s Happening in Your Community! winter 2010/2011 | 93

life online | extras

Wonderful wins for winter! airdrielife online celebrates the winter months with heart-warming gifts for those lucky readers who enter our online contests The Ultimate Christmas Baking Prize Pack

Baking, schmaking ... why bother when you can win a scrumptious tray of delectable desserts from Avenue Bakery. One lucky winner will take this goodie tray home Dec. 15.

The MakeOver Contest Winner Announced! Watch our March issue for the amazing transformation of Terri Mae. Her story will make you laugh and cry. Coming in March Oh baby! Airdrie’s baby boom gives birth to new businesses and services for new moms. Amazing Women – airdrielife celebrates the women of Airdrie. The home building blog. From design to disaster? Read one family’s adventures with contractors, framers, painters and more and see the gorgeous end result.

The Return of the Cheese!

This was so popular last year we had to do it again and Airdrie Co-op is happy to oblige! Win one of four

The Store Upstairs

is Airdrie’s greatest shopping destination and here is your passport! Win one of three $50 gift cards

A trip for two to Cuba?

Alex*Cuba actually. Win two tickets to see the talented Alex*Cuba perform at the Bert Church Live Theatre Feb. 3, 2011. Singer-songwriter Alex*Cuba’s trademark melodies, pop-soul hooks and rock chords subtly subvert commonly held notions of what Cuban music is. His second album “Agua del Pozo” (Water From The Well), has topped the iTunes charts, won him two consecutive Juno Awards, and taken him on tours across the UK, Japan, and America. With a heart as big as his retro ‘fro, Cuba takes it in stride and focuses on what he does best: crafting songs that cut through linguistic barriers like a machete through sugarcane.

.com 94 | winter 2010/2011


Profile for airdrielife magazine

airdrielife winter 2010  

life in the moment, community, at home and at work , all in Airdrie

airdrielife winter 2010  

life in the moment, community, at home and at work , all in Airdrie