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SPRING 2019

Real Women Play Rugby Exciting Entrepreneurs Airdrie Children’s Festival Weaving Magic airdrielife.com

Meet our 32 Amazing

Airdrie Women 2019


We chose t o move t o Bayside for the est a t e homes “and scenic pathways. We stayed here for the neighbours and small-town community feel.

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WHY BUY NOW? BECAUSE BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN SOUTHWINDS START IN THE LOW $300s. Enjoy the convenient walking distance to Chinook Winds Park with great features such as a boarded ice rink, a skate park, baseball diamonds and a Mattamy Spray Park. A new K-8 public school is also now open, along with parks and playgrounds throughout the community. Enjoy connected pathways that lead you from Osborne Park to around the Environmental Reserve, and beyond. Two new Showhomes opening mid June.

Riedel Model

SALES CENTRE 907 Windsong Drive Airdrie, AB 403-980-8765

Urban Townhomes From The Low $300s

Environmental Reserve

Single Family Homes From The Mid $300s

Discover More Reasons To Buy New At mattamyhomes.com Please visit mattamyhomes.com for Sales Centre & Showhome hours Homes are subject to availability. All illustrations are artist’s concept. All dimensions are approximate. Prices, specifications, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. E.&O.E.


BORN AIRDRIE. RAISED AIRDRIE. SELLS AIRDRIE.

airdriehouses.com |403.862.0096


ing ly serv Proud s familie ie r d ir A

PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt

ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER

Sarah Schulz

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

DESIGN DIRECTOR

Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams

CONTRIBUTORS

Sergei Belski, Amanda Benner, Adam Boccinfuso, Stacie Gaetz, Jill Iverson, Britton Ledingham, Tara Levick, Trent Pittner, Heather Pollock, Shauna Quinn, Jules Rainforth, Kristy Reimer, Dawn Smith, Mario Toneguzzi, Wyatt Tremblay, Stacey Watts

Stock Photography by istock

SALES DIRECTOR

Wendy Pratt

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

Sharie Tanner

PRINTING Transcontinental

CONTACT US EDITORIAL sherry@frogmediainc.ca ADVERTISING wendy@frogmediainc.ca WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA sarah@frogmediainc.ca

WHERE TO FIND US airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. If you do not receive an issue please contact sherry@frogmediainc.ca airdrielife is available at more than 100 locations around the city. You can also find airdrielife in every Airdrie showhome, at CrossIron Mills and at more than 100 locations in Calgary. airdrielife is published quarterly by Frog Media Inc. with the co-operation of the City of Airdrie Economic Development Department.

VOLUME 16, NUMBER 1 | ISSN 1916-355X

Contents copyright 2019 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. airdrielife does not accept unsolicited submissions. Freelance writers and photographers interested in assignments are asked to send an inquiry, with published samples, to sherry@frogmediainc.ca

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General Dentists

Now offering Aesthetic Botox

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contributors

IRI

T

As this is our spring issue focused on amazing women, we thought we’d ask two of our very own amazing women for their thoughts on their female role models.

GI FT

HEAR T, E H T M O FR

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#sharejoy

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Stacie Gaetz, writer My most important female role model was my mom. She was a kind, caring teacher, wife and mother who devoted her life to her children. I lost her to breast cancer when I was only 20 years old and didn’t have the chance to thank her for moulding me into the woman I have become. To this day, my most important goal in life is to give my children even half as much love and devotion as she gave to my sister and I, while teaching them the things they need to know to become amazing adults, just as Mom did for me.

Dawn Smith, writer When I think about women of influence in my life, my grandmother stands out. It isn’t because she was high profile or had an amazing career. On the contrary, my grandma, now 87, lived in a rural farming community for most of her life, and it’s unlikely that people outside that area would even know her name.  But she is inspiring because of the person she is. She was born into a poor family, lost her mother at age five and her closest sibling when she was just 16. Rather than becoming bitter and angry, Grandma developed an amazing sense of empathy. She is kind to all and has dedicated her life to caring for others. As a result, she is loved by everyone who knows her. I aspire to be as loving and accepting of others as she is.

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Quick Possess Homes ion N Availab ow le.

Built for the way you live.

Each Harder Home is built with style, quality and functionality in mind using only high-end products, professionally skilled trades and cutting edge building practices. A true custom home builder from start to finish, our disciplined approach to construction, exceptional customer service and our one-on-one approach to the home building experience has earned us an unsurpassed reputation in the Home Builders Community.

Ask about our 2019 promotions and building options! Come visit our Showhome: 1217 Cooper’s Drive Our philosophy reflects our commitment to building beautiful custom homes for the families who live in them.

Monday - Thursday Weekends & Holiday

2 pm - 8 pm Noon - 5 pm

403-912-7900 SALES@HARDERHOMES.CA

• HO ME S STARTING IN THE 500 S • HARD E R HO ME S.C A


2019

Amazing Airdrie Women Awards Luncheon Friday, May 10 11:30 a.m. THE WOODS RESTAURANT

TICKETS $55

On sale online ONLY THIS EVENT SELLS OUT DO NOT DELAY! woodsidegc.com/store

2019

Davis Chev presents Comedy Guest Cory Mack! Awards presented: McKee Amazing Leadership TD Amazing Promise Pureform Amazing Courage Pharmasave Amazing Heart Cream Body and Bath Amazing Determination with Airdrie Eyecare Swag Bags ConfiDENTAL Photo Booth Fitzsimmons Cocktails Avenue Dessert Door Prizes

$5 from every ticket sold goes to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R.

Note from the publisher H

ere we are – coming after our 50th issue and roaring right into spring with what I like to call our “Sweet 16” year. Yes, we are now in our 16th publishing year which is why I decided to have a little fun with our 2019 Amazing Airdrie Women and bring some sweet props courtesy of Avenue Cakery and Bakeshoppe and The Store Upstairs. The photo shoot was a one-day frenzy of fun; it’s funny how getting someone to hold a tray of macarons and cupcakes can get a smile. Everyone played with the edible props (we supplied untouched cupcakes for nibbling on after) to show that while the awards are honouring some truly amazing, courageous, heartfelt and touching stories, it’s important we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It was a privilege to meet all of our nominees and I hope you take the time to get to know a bit about each one starting on page 75. Then go online to airdrielife.com before April 12, cast your votes and then buy your ticket to the May 10 Amazing Airdrie Women luncheon. We are bringing back the hilarious Cory Mack to help us celebrate the day. From amazing to awesome – we celebrated our 18 Awesome Airdrie Kids back in January with, yes, an awesome party. This annual night has become another highlight of my year; see the very colourful pictures on page 73 to 74. From rugby to weaving, we’re showcasing a lot of amazing women in our community on these pages – but fear not guys – your turn is coming this summer when we turn our focus to the men we admire, and that list keeps growing. Stay tuned. Here’s to a bright and early spring!

Sherry Shaw-Froggatt


greatlife

17 Weaving 20 Horseplay 22 Dreamcatchers 24 Events 26 Fitness Final 32 Spring Fashion 36 One-sheet Cooking 38 Healthylife 42 Parentlife 43 Airdrie Children’s Festival special feature

homelife

47 50 51 52 55

Working Harder At the Heights The Market Shane Show-offs Inspections

worklife

57 Media Maven 59 Working Women 64 Businesslife

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citylife

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69 72 73 75

Women’s Rugby In the City Celebrating Awesome Amazing Airdrie Women

73 75On the Cover Just a few of our 2019 Amazing Airdrie Women. See all 32 of our nominees starting on page 75. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KRISTY REIMER

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FIND YOUR PERFECT HOME AT

ROWHOMES

TOWNHOMES

SINGLE FAMILY LANE HOMES

S

outhpoint is a one-of-akind community situated in southwest Airdrie that stands apart for its wide selection of homes and expansive green space. When complete Southpoint will feature a charming mix of detached singlefamily homes, townhomes, rowhomes, paired homes and condos – an option for every budget and lifestyle. With 12 acres of parks and green space woven throughout the neighbourhood, great amenities like a tennis court, basketball court, playgrounds and BBQ areas, plus an elementary school planned for 2019, Southpoint is the ideal place to raise your family.

VISIT OUR SHOWHOMES & PRESENTATION CENTRE! 305 SOUTHPOINT GREEN SW (Corner of 40th Avenue SW & Reynolds Gate)

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday to Thursday - 2PM to 8PM Friday - 12PM to 6PM Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 12PM to 5PM

VESTASOUTHPOINT.COM southpoint@vestaproperties.com

403.980.1979

The developer reserves the absolute right to modify, cancel or extend this offer at any time without prior notice. Actual interiors, exteriors and views may be noticeably different than what is depicted in photographs. This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering may only be made with the applicable offer to purchase and agreement of sale and disclosure statement. Prices and availability are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E.


Airdrie’s Premiere Yoga/Fitness Studio

Mind - Body - Soul ABOUT UNITY If you are overwhelmed with life’s demands, try a yoga or fitness session at Unity Fitness Studios to experience unity of mind, body and soul. Co-owned by Dr. Raj Sharma, Unity Fitness Studios offers a variety of regular and hot yoga classes for beginners of all ages to those looking for a challenge to their training routine. “Our lives are so busy, filled with work, family stress, just getting stuff done in general. There’s so many demands on us everyday,” said Dr. Sharma. “You come into the studio, it’s really a chance to get away from all of that and recharge your batteries to come out feeling more energized and at peace.” The goal of Unity Fitness Studios, as stated by Dr. Sharma and his business partners Alex Massey and Tahir Chaudhary, is to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing for Airdrians. Members of the studio find themselves embraced in a community that encourages strength for the body, frees the mind and soothes the soul. “We find that yoga is a core element of physical and mental wellbeing, and is a wonderful complement to other fitness activities including team or individual sports,” said Dr. Sharma.

PROGRAMS Unity Fitness Studios offers a variety of programs. “There are lots of different benefits and different options in our studio, and it’s not just one cookie-cutter type of yoga class,” said Dr. Sharma. Regular yoga classes include Foundations, Flow, Yoga for Backs and Sculpt. Hot yoga sessions include Foundations, Yin Yang, Yang Yin, Hip & Hamstrings, Morning Vitality, Restorative, Flow and Yoga Strengthening. Unity Fitness offers specialty programs which focus on pre and postnatal, children, and even a yoga program developed at the University of Calgary that supports cancer survivors. All of this takes place in a facility with a spa-like appeal, making Unity Fitness Studios Airdrie’s premier yoga studio. Coming soon: massage therapy and acupuncture to complement your fitness regime. Check out Unity Fitness Studios to preview our schedule and sign up by visiting the studio at 800 Yankee Blvd., or at unityfitnessstudios.com.

unityfitnessstudios.com 403-945-9642 309, 800 Yankee Valley BLVD SW


MUSIC 20 | FITNESS FINAL 26 | FASHION 32

greatlife 36 W H AT TO S E E , D O , E AT, L I ST E N TO A N D M O R E

For the love of weaving G R E AT L I F E | A R T I ST P R O F I L E

STORY BY WYATT TREMBLAY | PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI

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n an old farmhouse north of Airdrie, Bonnie Datta weaves colourful streams of yarn into soft handwoven items. Weaving is more than just a hobby for Datta; she works up to eight hours a day designing complex patterns and preparing her three looms for the rhythmic task of shuttling thread back and forth. “It’s something that you do only because you love it,” she admits. Datta’s family moved to the area in 1954 where she still lives in the original family home. After completing a B.A. in mathematics at the University of Calgary, and a M.Sc. in mathematics at the University of Rhode Island, she worked for 20 years in the computer industry.

However, Datta’s real passion continually wove its demands into her life. “Every spare moment was a weaving thing.” She laughs about it now, but says there was often a struggle between having enough time or enough money to put into it. Weaving and math are similar, Datta says. In weaving, there are threads to be counted, lengths to determined and proportions to be worked out, and like math, you can explore its limits. She also likens it to cooking. “There’s recipe-weaving just like there’s recipe-cooking. Then there’s going beyond the recipe and understanding what you can change and where you can break the rules.” S P R I N G 2019

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G R E AT L I F E | A R T I ST P R O F I L E

“My life just came into weaving, and that’s pretty much all I do” For instance, she routinely makes her warps (the tensioned, vertical threads on the loom) long enough for two woven items. “As I work through the first piece, I noodle away for how I might tweak it for the second one. When it’s finished … you’d never know they were from the same pattern.” Datta uses locally sourced alpaca and sheep wools, preferring to leave them in their natural colours, though she will occasionally use dyed yarn. “These,” she explains, pointing to several shawls and scarves with patterns in the natural wool’s earth tones, “will hold their colour for years.” Datta’s love for textiles came from her grandmother who taught her embroidery, but weaving appealed to her mathematical mind. In the early 1990s, Datta partly retired, bought a 30-foot travel trailer, modified the bedroom to fit a loom, and hit the road with her dog. “For seven years I lived in that travel trailer,” she recalls. She drove around Canada and the U.S., studying and taking courses in weav18

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ing, eventually teaching in places like California, New York and Calgary. “I really enjoyed it. I called myself the ‘itinerate weaver,’” she laughs. It wasn’t until she fully retired in 1995 that Datta plunged full time into her craft. “My life just came into weaving, and that’s pretty much all I do.” Datta has a website with her inventory, but self-marketing has never been her strength. “Selling yourself takes time away from what you love.” Besides, she adds, weaving is a work of love for her. “A piece that takes a week to make will get me $250. There’s just not an appreciation for handwoven fabric.” “It’s like a hand-caught fish,” she laughs. “Does it taste better? “Some people think so.” life Visit crocuscorner.com to see more of Datta’s work


The Store Upstairs Boutique

The Store Upstairs Boutique

Airdrie, Alberta

The Store Upstairs Boutique

Airdrie, Alberta

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G R E AT L I F E | M U S I C

Nice Horse STORY BY WYATT TREMBLAY | PHOTO BY HEATHER POLLOCK

“IF THERE’S TROUBLE, WE’RE GONNA FIND IT.” This line from Pony Up, the 2018 hit single from the Calgary-based country-rock band Nice Horse, sums them up. At least, that’s what Katie Rox, one of the four founding members, says. “That pretty much describes us,” laughs Rox, who calls Airdrie her hometown and now resides in Vancouver, and plays banjo and acoustic guitar. “We began as a project band. We just wanted to do what we do, have fun, and play at Stampede.” The band’s onstage camaraderie is something bass player Brandi Sidoryk, who lives in Calgary, credits to their off-stage friendships. “We’re comfortable sharing the stage with each other,” she says. “We were friends before this.” The band’s drummer, Krista Wodelet, who lives in Airdrie, agrees, “We’re friends who happen to be women, and who are damn good musicians.”

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The band’s electric guitarist, Tara McLeod, was unavailable for an interview, but, according to Sidoryk, “is the rock in their country rock.” The quartet’s 2017 radio-friendly debut album, There Goes the Neighbourhood, hit the ground running, featuring catchy songs like Six String Outlaw, which pokes fun at the classic narrative of the heartbreaking cowboy, and the feminist anthem Mansplainin’, which comically skewers condescending men. Fueled by a raucous mix of rapid-fire vocals and Rox’s spirited banjo, Mansplainin’, has received a lot of attention. “(Male patronizing) is something we talk about a lot,” Sidoryk admits. “Some men still seem surprised that we’re capable of playing our own instruments without their help.” Wodelet agrees, “I’m a drummer, and there are few women drummers, so I get it. People just aren’t used to seeing this.”


Nice Horse is L to R: Krista Wodelet (vocals, drums); Katie Rox (vocals, banjo, acoustic guitar); Brandi Sidoryk (vocals, bass) and Tara McLeod (electric guitar)

races to fame “The industry has changed a lot,” Sidoryk adds. “But we still occasionally get that look like, you know, ‘You’re the band?’” They formed in early 2017, but they’ve already toured with Tom Cochrane, played with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Washboard Union, were named CMT Fresh Face Feature Artist, and have been nominated for their first Canadian Country Music Association award. All four co-write and sing, and while a feminist theme runs through their lyrics, Wodelet says their songs are not all message driven. “We’re all career-focused women … but we’re about having a good time, and that shows up in our music.” Before Nice Horse, they each had successful but very disparate musical careers. Rox was the lead vocalist for the indie/rock band Jakalope, Sidoryk

has been an opera singer, Wodelet is a classically trained bassoonist, and McLeod shredded guitar in the heavy metal band Kittie. So, why a country band? “It just happened as we were writing songs,” says Sidoryk. “They sounded country; we just went with it.” Together, the four friends bring an impressive list of individual industry connections, such as the Sakamoto Agency, Coalition Music, and producer Jeff Dalziel. “We’ve all been in the music industry for a long time, and we bring all of that,” explains Rox. “We don’t do things half-heartedly,” she adds, “If we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it all the way. It’s part of the magical sauce of Nice Horse.” life

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G R E AT L I F E | C E L E B R AT I O N

DREAMCATCHER A NIGHT OF ART, CULTURE AND INSPIRATION STORY BY STACEY WATTS PHOTOS BY AMANDA BENNER

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AMNA SPONSORS & PARTNERS TD Bank Group The City of Airdrie Creative Airdrie Qualico Communities Davis Chevrolet Vitreous Glass McKee Homes

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Alberta University of the Arts (formerly ACAD) Borger Group of Companies KIDCO Construction airdrielife magazine AIR 106.1 FM Century Downs Casino Pink Spot Studios Vigu Media

n Jan. 26, the local arts and culture community came out to the Bert Church Live Theatre to honour their own at the 2019 Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts (AMNA) Awards presented by TD. Guests were treated to DREAMCATCHER: A Night of Art, Culture and Inspiration. Beginning in the lobby with indigenous-inspired hors d’oeuvres by Aahksoyo’p Indigenous Catering and desserts by The Avenue Cakery and Bakeshoppe, inspiration was found throughout the evening. The lobby was alive with the sounds of traditional hand drumming performed by members of the Blackfoot, Cree and Métis nations. A traditional teepee, artifacts and art were also on display. After a traditional blessing, there were performances by indigenous hoop and fancy dancers, Métis jiggers, fiddlers and hand drummers. In addition to the indigenous artistry, music and dance numbers were performed by the Midnight Mustangs from George McDougall High School led by Jordan Harris, McKee Music, Star Bound Dance and joining the grand finale, committee members Daniel Fortier and Tina Petrow. MC Phoenix and sponsors presented the six awards, created by Airdrie artist Emily Fleming, to: Muk-Luk Magpies Stained Glass Emporium (Patron of the Arts), Elizabeth Hall (Champion of the Arts), Lia Golemba (Professional Artist), Lindsey Schultz (Emerging Artist), Madeline Collingridge (Youth Artist) and Jordan Harris (Arts Educator). The awards were adjudicated by out-of-market arts professionals Sandra Sutter, Louis B. Hobson and Merrilie Stonewall. The 240 plus guests had a great night according to enthusiastic attendees like Dr. Natalie Graham-Long; “It’s the best night out in Airdrie. For a good price you get appetizers, a dessert bar, coupled with an incredible variety show. Every year outdoes the previous year with the quality of talent showcased. This year they upped the ante by lighting the entire theatre in a Northern Lights glow.” life For more information on the awards, visit amnaawards.com


2019 recipients L to R: Shawn MacPherson and Ron Henry, Muk-Luk Magpies; Lia Golemba; Madeline Collingridge; and Jordan Harris. Missing: Lindsey Schultz

“I want to sincerely thank the organizing committee, performers, sponsors and patrons for making the Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts Awards so special. I would like to congratulate all of the nominees and winners of this year’s awards. A special thank-you to the First Nations who shared their culture and dance with all of us. It was truly a remarkable experience which contributed to making the evening such a success.” - Mayor Peter Brown

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Entertainment Ahead! G R E AT L I F E | E V E N TS

APRIL 6 PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN FIDDLERS BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE Back by popular demand! This will be a foot-stomping, toe-tapping afternoon full of good old-time fiddle music. The Prairie Mountain Fiddlers play for the people and for their love of music. It is all about good old-fashioned fun! Tickets $16. 2:30 p.m.

The Celtic Tenors

MARCH 8 THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES presented by VDAY Airdrie & Ladies Out Loud BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE The award-winning play is based on V-Day founder/ playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humour and grace, the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength. Through this play and the liberation of this one word, countless women throughout the world have taken control of their bodies and their lives. Tickets $30. ladiesoutloud.ca/vday-airdrie 7 p.m. MARCH 16 SHAMROCK SHIMMY Town and Country Centre Annual fundraising dinner and dance for the Airdrie Food Bank. Tickets $60. canadahelps.org 7 p.m. MARCH 16 TREVOR PANCZAK BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE There’s something compelling and immediately likable about Trevor Panczak and his music. The Alberta-based, award-winning country music entertainer writes, interprets and records songs that speak to one’s heart in a way that is simple and soulful with an appeal to a broad array of music fans. Tickets $38. 7:30 p.m. MARCH 29 SHOWCASE CONCERT – AIRDRIE PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE The culmination of exceptional talent from the Airdrie Performing Arts Festival is open to anyone who loves live performances by youth. 7 p.m.

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MARCH 23 AIRDRIE’S DUELLING PIANOS NIGHT TOWN AND COUNTRY CENTRE A toe-tapping fundraising night for the Airdrie Field Turf Project. Tickets $30 at Eventbrite. 6 p.m. MARCH 30 CHEREMOSH UKRAINIAN DANCE COMPANY BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE Rich in intensity, energy and spirit, Cheremosh takes audiences on a colourful and exhilarating journey, thrilling them with intricate choreography, spectacular costumes and dynamic music. Men leap to amazing heights with their breathtaking acrobatics while women spin across the stage with incredible beauty and grace. From beginning to end this two-act dance spectacular with 44 amazing dancers is sure to entertain. Cheremosh is without a doubt a sight to behold. Tickets $38. 7 p.m. APRIL 4 ABRA CADABRA TRIBUTE SHOW BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE ABRA Cadabra has been touring the world for 15 years helping audiences of all ages and cultures celebrate the timeless and uplifting music of ABBA! This high-energy and captivating show keeps the music of ABBA alive. As fans of the music themselves, ABRA Cadabra prefers to not impersonate the original members of ABBA, but instead recreate the amazing music and legacy of the Swedish super group with powerful vocals, musicians, dancers, costumes and plenty of stories about the real ABBA. SOLD OUT.

APRIL 12 THE CELTIC TENORS BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE This charismatic globetrotting trio are the most successful classical crossover act to emerge from Ireland, singing songs they love and not taking themselves too seriously. For The Celtic Tenors, it’s all about the music, the harmonies and the fun. The Celtic Tenors will perform songs such as Danny Boy, You Raise Me Up, Nessun Dorma and other favourites. Admission $49. 7:30 p.m. APRIL 13 APL AUTHOR SERIES: DWAYNE CLAYDEN AIRDRIE PUBLIC LIBRARY This event features an author reading, a discussion, refreshments, book signing, and a prize draw. Dwayne Clayden’s vast experience working with emergency services spans over 40 years, and includes work as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair. Dwayne’s upcoming book series, Writing Realistic Scenes, provides writers with realistic information on EMS, police, fire, air medical, and 911/dispatch so authors can be accurate in how they portray the emergency services in their writing. 11 a.m. APRIL 25 LOUISIANA HAYRIDE BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE Come join the fun and help the lovable cast of the Louisiana Hayride Show celebrate 10 years of touring this show across western Canada! You’ll hear the best country and rockabilly hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s as they pay tribute to the historical radio program, The Louisiana Hayride with past favourites and new classics! You’ll think you’re at their concert when you see Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Crystal Gayle, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson step on stage to perform for you! Also featured in this amazing show is a tribute to Shania Twain and music by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride and more. Tickets $51 at ticketpro.ca 7:30 p.m.


Look for this icon as airdrielife will be giving away tickets – follow us on social media for weekly draws.

APRIL 27-28 AIRDRIE HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW RON EBBESEN ARENA An excellent way to connect with your community and explore home and lifestyle solutions. Come to shop, compare, try and buy. Organizers are excited to have the money tunnel returning this year, as well as attractions: attendee bingo, the photo booth, , two onsite food trucks, an onstage fashion show and EJ Rescue showcasing some of their dogs available for fostering or adoption! Admission is $5; free for children 12 and under. Be sure to also visit the ARTS Market (free admission) hosted by Airdrie Regional Arts Society, located in the main gymnasium at Genesis Place. MAY 2 SÉAN MCCANN IN CONCERT TOWN AND COUNTRY CENTRE Hosted by SLAM in Airdrie and Worldwide Music Ventures, Inc. Séan McCann bought his first guitar, which he affectionately calls “Old Brown,” in 1989. Today, Séan continues to cross this country with Old Brown by his side, sharing his truth with people face to face and using music to heal as a speaker and mental health and recovery advocate. Tickets at Eventbrite. 7 p.m. MAY 10 AMAZING AIRDRIE WOMEN AWARDS Join Airdrie’s amazing community of women in celebration of the ninth annual Amazing Airdrie Women Awards. The luncheon features comedian Cory Mack from the Comedy Network, a gourmet lunch and dessert, a Fitzsimmons reception and presentation of the five awards. (Read more on page 75). Tickets $55 at woodsidegolf.ca 11:30 a.m.

MAY 23-25 CHARLOTTE’S WEB PRESENTED BY NOSE CREEK PLAYERS BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE Nose Creek Players is proud to present Charlotte’s Web, a beautifully crafted story about the power of friendship, empathy and resilience. Bring the entire family to the Bert Church Live Theatre as Joseph Robinette’s enchanting adaptation comes to life! Charlotte’s Web is presented by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois. Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.; Friday, May 24, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets $14. MAY 26 RON JAMES LIVE IN AIRDRIE BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE Award-winning comedian Ron James has been selling out theatres for over 15 years with his marathon, side-splitting, kinetically charged performances. Marshalling a comedian’s eye for satire and a writer’s ear for language, Ron takes his audience on a breath-taking, non-stop roller coaster ride, cutting a wide swath through contemporary culture with his razor-sharp ribald wit, uncompromising standards and unique, poetically honed delivery. Tickets $62.50 at ticketpro.ca. 7:30 p.m. JUNE 1-2 AIRDRIE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL NOSE CREEK PARK Two fun-filled days for kids of all ages – see the special section starting on page 43 for all the details. All activities are FREE.

Séan McCann

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G R E AT L I F E | F I T N E SS C H A L L E N G E

The Winner!

The airdrielife

FITNESS CHALLENGE

Winning Results

Congratulations to our inspiring 2018 airdrielife Fitness Challenge contestants!

A

All three are winners based on their life-changing results, but Laura Brauer’s story resonated so deeply with everyone involved, she was selected as the champ. She receives gifts from Orangetheory Fitness, Simply for Life, the “Create the Life You Envision” course from Michelle Carre and an airdrielife makeover with The Hair Lounge (watch for this in a future issue). Chris and Amber are also being surprised with gifts from Orangetheory Fitness. Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2019 challenge and how you can participate!

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SPRING INTO LIVE ACTION

NOTHING COMPARES TO THE SHEER THRILL OF LIVE THEATRE! MATTHEW GOOD SOLO ACOUSTIC | FEB. 13 Will’s Jams Live – Family show | FEB. 17 Maddie Storvold – Lounge Concert | FEB. 22 Luke McMaster – New Album release | FEB. 28 Trevor Panczak – Country Music PERFORMANCE | mar. 16 Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company | MAR. 30 ABRA CADABRA – ABBA TRIBUTE SHOW | APR. 4 Prairie Mountain Fiddlers | APR. 6 The Celtic Tenors | APR. 12 Charlotte’s Web by Nose Creek Players – 4 shows May 23, 24 & 25

purchase tickets through

For a complete listing of our 2018–19 season, please visit thebertchurchtheatre.com S P R I N G 2019

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G R E AT L I F E | F I T N E SS C H A L L E N G E

The following are excerpts from our challengers’ experiences. Read their full stories with feedback from trainers online at airdrielife.com and enter to win a one-month pass to try Orangetheory Fitness for yourself!

LAURA BRAUER THE WINNER Final weight 225.6 lbs; total weight loss 45.4 lbs Right arm 13” Left arm 13.5” Chest 46” Upper waist 44” Waist 42 7/8” Hips 47.5” Thigh 22.5”

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Says Laura: This has been a very life-changing process for both my family and me. Looking back at this journey, I find myself very emotional. Since starting the challenge, we have been on many family hikes, and I’ve been able to jump on our backyard trampoline for 45 minutes at a time. I have also been able to take my son wall climbing, and actually climb the walls with him! My confidence and energy levels have really shined through. My yellow Lab also now gets more exercise and adventures out to the mountains for our family hikes than he ever has in his 10 years of life! He is far more energetic and happier too as a result! I have learned that I am capable of more than I ever thought and that it is really mind over matter. I’ve learned that diet is just as important as working out! I discovered as I increased my number of workouts and the intensity that I wasn’t eating enough or drinking enough water; this slowed my weight loss down for a few weeks but only until I figured out the right balance. I now realize that fitness will always be a part of my life. It’s not a quick fix; it’s a lifestyle change. Most importantly, I have learned how to put my health first. I make it a priority to work out at least five days a week. I average six to seven days a week as I absolutely love it. The classes are never the same and I am always challenged! My health has greatly improved over the past 12 weeks. I am now also off all insulin and diabetes medication and my blood sugars are within normal range! I no longer check my sugars! They are actually the lowest they’ve ever been and I am no longer a Type 2 diabetic. I have enjoyed the friendships and connections I’ve made, getting to know Chris and Amber. We have all been a great support for each other and continue to do so. I’ve enjoyed surrounding myself around positive and uplifting people on a daily basis. I absolutely love how everyone supports each other. Moving forward, my goal is to continue with my diet, and fitness. I will continue attending Orangetheory. I am working toward losing more weight and continuing to improve my fitness levels. Once I reach my goals I will set new ones to keep myself motivated. I will also continue to write what I eat in the food journal and weigh in regularly. It keeps me accountable. Special thank you to Nicole at Airdrie’s Simply For Life for helping me tweak a few things within my diet and start a food journal! I’d like to personally recognize the efforts of Coach Deanna; she had a HUGE challenge and has taken me under her wing and really pushed me when I needed it, encouraged me when I was discouraged, constantly kept me accountable and supported me when I needed her most. I would not be where I am today without her help. My success with this weight-loss challenge is very much also her success. Lastly, I’d like to take a moment and really encourage anyone who’s considering a lifestyle change just to do it! Start with one change at a time. Take chances and push past your fears and insecurities! I had them and still do; however, fighting through them ensures that you own it, and it’s very empowering.


Pharmasave_OnCentre Airdrie, Alberta

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Pharmasave_OnCentre Airdrie, Alberta

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PHARMASAVE.COM 403-948-0010 | 209 CENTRE AVE SW AIRDRIE


G R E AT L I F E | F I T N E SS C H A L L E N G E

CHRIS DICKINSON Final weight 172.2 lbs; total weight loss 29.8 lbs Right arm 12 7/8 “ Left arm 12 7/8” Chest 38” Upper waist 30” Waist 31” Hips 40” Thigh 19.5” Says Chris: I first want to start off by thanking airdrielife magazine for selecting me for this opportunity. I also want to thank the OTF staff (Rochelle, Lisa, Deanna, Racheal and all the others) and Nicole from SFL for being there for me for the last three months plus.   The staff members at OTF have made this whole process so fun and enjoyable. Yes, the OTF workouts are challenging and can burn; however, they are so enjoyable due to the amazing staff. What I have learned from my time with Orangetheory, first and foremost, is anything is possible; you just need to believe in yourself. Like the coaches say, “You can do anything for 30, 60, 90 seconds if you believe.” I have also learned how far I am able to push myself both physically and mentally; our body is capable of some amazing things. I have found my love for fitness again and look forward to the workouts, even feeling off when taking a rest day, but also realize how important they are to overall health. I am very much addicted to OTF and will continue my journey into the future. Nicole at Simply For Life has been truly amazing. She is extremely knowledgeable in teaching and providing the techniques for me to learn to take care of myself from the inside. She would take the time to explain everything and make sure I understood our plan to fuel my body during the challenge. This amazing journey that I accomplished provided me with so many wins in my life. From day-to-day wins of just feeling confident in myself, to having more energy allowing me to do a lot more things with my girls, to encouraging me to live a healthy long life so I can make many more years of memories with my girls as they grow. I am proud of the changes I made in my life as I can be a positive role model for my girls, showing them the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.  I have made many new friends along this journey, including the staff at OTF, coaches, other OTF members and both Laura and Amber.  The biggest thing I will carry forward from this is that I am worth the effort and I can accomplish anything because I believe in myself. 

AMBER JENSEN Final weight 159.4 lbs; total weight loss 28.6 lbs Right arm 11.5” Left arm 12” Chest 36” Upper waist 31.5” Waist 34” Hips 38” Thigh 21”

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Says Amber: Thank you for letting me be a part of this challenge. It was exactly what I needed to lose the weight and I believe I learned all the right actions to prevent me from gaining the weight back. Before the challenge I felt a little hopeless and like the weight would never come off and now after only three months I’m almost back to my original weight, which I never in a million years thought would happen. I liked having the accountability of being weighed in each week and being assigned a trainer to check in with. I felt that if I cheated on my diet, or skipped a gym session, I would not only be letting myself down but them as well. I loved that I had competitors in this challenge because it kept me more on point. During this process I learned how to eat everyday healthy food to lose weight. I learned that carbs aren’t the enemy and that cutting out all carbs will actually backfire on you. Before when I tried to lose weight I would either not eat enough during the day and then binge eat during the evening or eat too much during the day and have no weight loss at all. Now I’ve learned how to eat healthy portions and what foods to eat at certain times and I’m not starving and still losing weight. I also learned I can be an early riser to work out. I always wanted to work out first thing in the morning but never thought I would be able to get my butt out of bed to work out. I love Orangetheory Fitness classes so much that going there is a treat for me. I will definitely keep going for a long time to come. The one thing I will bring forward is my healthy eating plan that Nicole has taught me. The diet itself didn’t feel like a diet and is something that I will be able to carry on for a very long time. I’ve always struggled not knowing what good or bad to eat and now I feel very confident in my food choices. life

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G R E AT L I F E | FAS H I O N

ZIVA&EM

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La Lemon floral dress & cardigan (Montreal-based designer for plus sizes!)

{ ZIVA&EM

Joseph Ribkoff tunic & floral pants

Spring Style Fidelity denim Chaser T-shirt Free People blazer CoLab purse (vegan leather) Free People Monroe clogs Ashley Nadalin wooden lace bib (Calgary artist)

THE STORE UPSTAIRS Naked Zebra top Soaked in Luxury skirt Jacqueline Kent necklace & earrings CoLab wallet 32

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{

{

SEVEN SAINTS

Buh-bye winter – we want soft pinks, fresh denim, bright colours and florals! Get into our local fashion boutiques for your latest looks.


{

THE STORE UPSTAIRS Esqualo denim jacket Soaked in Luxury lace top Oxygen Jeans denim CoLab backpack Jacqueline Kent necklace Matt & Nat booties

The Complete Airdrie Experience

AIRDRIE EYECARE

{

So many frames … so many colours! Top four frames all LA Eyeworks Bottom frame Dutil Eyewear

FINAL PHASE

NOW SELLING!

You could WIN gift cards to all of our fashion partners by becoming a member of our a-list. Go online today to airdrielife.com and register for our exclusive weekly enewsletter!

DUPLEXES $340 STARTING FROM THE

King’s Heights has it all — the complete Airdrie experience your looking for. An almost sold-out community is ready and waiting with shops and amenities for your whole family. A great school for the kids. Two large ponds surrounded by parks and pathways. Best of all — beautiful homes that fit your family and your budget. Just 24 minutes from downtown Calgary.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES STARTING FROM THE

DUPLEXES STARTING FROM THE LOW

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES STARTING FROM THE LOW

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$430

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G R E AT L I F E | F O O D

The flavours are fresh this spring thanks to Airdrie’s top independent taste purveyors! Hayloft

Stop waffling over who has the best brunch...

Resos Recommended 403-948-7416

@theavenuecakery

Fitzsimmons Brewing Co. is releasing an Oatmeal Stout (just in time for St. Patrick’s Day) and in April, look for a Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA). Due to popular demand the Roasted Pineapple Sour returns in May along with an Orange Tangerine Radler, just in time for summer!

6 - 620 1st Avenue NW 403.948.6331

The Avenue Cakery and Bakeshoppe is loaded up with bars, cupcakes, and macarons in bright colours and flavours. (Our fave is still lemon!)

Cocktails Wine Beer Espresso Breakfast Lunch Dinner Patio Bayside (8th and Yankee) 34

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ver at Hayloft get your fork into Your Local Ranch braised beef chuck with roasted sunchokes and carrots, passatelli noodles and sour cherry jus. Sip on a fresh ‘Lovebird Shandy’ Lovebird gin, raspberry lemonade, Wild Rose raspberry ale, lemon and rosemary. Brunch favourites include organic Eggs Benny with caramelized onion biscuit, herbed hash browns and fresh hollandaise; and cinnamon bun French toast with berry and pear compote and goat-milk ice cream. Half-price bottles of wine on Wednesdays and feature flatbreads are only $10 on Thursday nights.

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Sorso


Sorso

•401- 401 Coopers Blvd SW •mezzaninehair.com

403.945.1877

Partner Sunday Brunch at The Woods (Woodside Golf Course) is still ranked No. 1 in the city and that’s probably due to the incredible array of food weighing down the buffet! The omelette station and waffle station only add to the fun for all ages. On Friday nights enjoy a traditional Neapolitan thin-crust pizza and an ice-cold pint of beer for only $20, and soon, people, soon … the patioh opens! At Sorso it’s a whole new vibe! Think of Sorso first for proper cocktails, great wine and craft beers. A new menu in April highlights some fresh new tastes Airdrie has been craving, like Ahi Poke Bowls and more veggie and vegan options. And their Eggs Benny choices are second to none. Live music every Saturday night runs the gamut from hip hop to country so there is always a reason to show up, sip and savour the food and the ambience! Flatbreads are $10 on Friday nights, and sip on a $15 wine flight on Wednesdays! life

WIN THE TASTES of Airdrie! We’re giving away gift cards to our favourite places every week! Join the a-list at get your exclusive offers and entry forms!

Retired or retiring soon? I can help you define retirement your way.

Carman Thiessen, CFP

Financial Planner 403-462-7727 carman.thiessen@rbc.com

Chris Friesen, CFP

Financial Planner 403-807-3010 chris.friesen@rbc.com

Talk to an RBC® advisor.

RBC Financial Planning is a business name used by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by RMFI. RMFI, RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RMFI is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. † Personal lending products and residential mortgages are offered by Royal Bank of Canada and are subject to its standard 36425 (01/2018) lending criteria. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. © Royal Bank of Canada, 2018. VPS100533

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G R E AT L I F E | R E C I P E S

In the Kitchen

PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI

WITH MEGHAN WEST AND VANESSA ASMUS

Airdrie Food Bank Community Kitchen

Classic Chicken and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces 1  zucchini, cut into coins (half-inch thick) 1 large red onion, cut into bite-size pieces 2 bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces For Spice Mix: 1/3 cup olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 4 cloves garlic crushed or1/2 tsp garlic powder 2 tbsp dried parsley  2 tbsp dried basil 1 tsp dried ginger (optional) 1 tsp chili pepper or red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground black pepper Preheat oven to 450 F. Chop, slice and prep the chicken and all veggies. (You can swap out the veggies to incorporate your favourites.) Ensure that similar-textured veggies are chopped into the same size so they cook at the same rate. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in all the spices. (On busy nights or when you don’t have the ingredients on hand, substitute 1/3 cup of your go-to oil-based salad dressing for the spice mix.) Add chicken and veggies into the large bowl and mix until evenly coated. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken and veggies are cooked through. Serve with rice, pasta or salad.

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THESE TWO RECIPES COOK AT THE SAME TEMPERATURE SO YOU CAN EVEN TRY THEM OUT AT THE SAME TIME!

MOST NEEDED MOST NEEDED STAPLES Beans & Legumes Boxed Cereal (Cold and Hot) Canned Tomatoes, Fruit and Vegetables Condiments Dry Pasta Flour* Jam & Honey Juice (1 Litre Boxes) Meat, Canned (Tuna, Chicken, Ham etc.) Milk, Evaporate and Powdered Milk Alternatives (Almond, Rice, Soy etc.) Oats * Pancake Mix Peanut Butter Rice * Side Dishes or meal kits (Rice-a-roni, Noodles, Rice etc.) Soup, Dried Large Packages Soup, Single Serve Cups Sugar * Sugar free items (for diabetics - Splenda, Diabetic Boost etc.) Syrup * These items can be donated in bulk and will be repackaged at the food bank.

DID YOU KNOW?

WE RELY ON OUR COMMUNITY FOR DONATIONS OF FUNDS FOR

90%

OF OUR OPERATING COSTS. ONLY 10 % COMES FROM GOVERNMENT GRANTS

OTHER NEEDED ITEMS

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts 1.5 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 2 tbsp olive oil 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper Preheat oven to 450 F. Cover a cookie sheet with foil or coat lightly with oil. Rinse, trim and halve the brussels sprouts, then pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the oil, cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add in the brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Spread onto the cookie sheet making sure they are not touching. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately. In your kitchen: Spring is a time of transition which for many of us means changing schedules, new activities and busy nights! Sheet-pan dinners and simple sides are quick from start to finish and even quicker when you incorporate prepping your veggies into some weekly meal planning.

DID YOU KNOW?

70%

Bathroom Tissue Facial Tissue Feminine Hygiene Items OF OUR FOOD Household Cleaning Supplies DONATIONS COME IN DURING Toothpaste & Bar Soap THE HOLIDAY MONTHS

SCHOOL PROGRAMS Juice Boxes 250 ml (No Sugar Added) Pasta Microwavable Peanut-Free, Non-Dipped Granola Bars Spreadable Cheese & Cracker Packs Tuna & Crackers Packs

DID YOU KNOW?

WE SUPPLIED JUST UNDER

25,000

SNACK ITEMS TO SCHOOLS AND PROGRAMS DURING THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR

BABY NEEDS

DID YOU KNOW?

20,000

Formula Enfamil Gentlease Diapers Sizes 4, 5 & 6

HOURS OF THEIR TIME IN 2018 AT THE AIRDRIE FOOD BANK

In our kitchen: We have a fresh face in the kitchen! Joining Meghan in facilitating our ever-growing variety of programs is Vanessa. We are so excited to share more opportunities to get cooking and connecting with you! Check out our online calendar available through the Airdrie Food Bank website to find your perfect class or workshop. life

airdriefoodbank.com 403.948.0063 info@airdriefoodbank.com

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H E A LT H Y L I F E | C O L U M N

New location in King’s Heights local award-winning florist serving our community for over 30 years!

summerhillflorist.com | 403-948-4422

healthylife

WITH GUEST COLUMNIST JULES RAINFORTH

Unexpected finds.

Equinefacilitated wellness and facing anxiety

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quine-facilitated wellness (a.k.a. equine-facilitated learning, mental health or psychotherapy) refers to the process of partnering a person with a horse and engaging in activities which serve to increase one’s emotional development and well-being. Among other things, it is a great opportunity to increase self-awareness, improve relationships, and grow trust, self-confidence, self-esteem, leadership abilities and communication skills. Anxiety in particular is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. Not a surprise given the expectations we put on ourselves.... Technology has enabled people to dive into their work 24/7, to interact with others at the touch of a finger, and increased the amount of pressure to produce faster and better! Slowing down and being mindful just isn’t something many people are able to do often or well. We have a job to do, children to raise, meetings to attend, household responsibilities … the list goes on. Feeling rushed in and of itself has a physiological response in our bodies: our heart rate and

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blood pressure increase, we breathe faster, and we experience “butterflies” in our stomach. We have all had encounters with anxiety! Whether a pre-existing condition/nature or nurture is responsible, our world is full of anxious people. Horses can assist us with anxiety for a number of reasons: they are not thinking about anything other than the present moment; they come to us from a place of non-judgment, and they are always honest and authentic. People, no matter how well intended, cannot be perceived in the same way. Horses also have an ability to sense our emotions and often mirror them back to us – they can even sense those feelings hiding beneath our consciousness.

P E O P L E W I L L S TA R E

“Horses … have an ability to sense our emotions and often mirror them back to us – they can even sense those feelings hiding beneath our consciousness”

Horses provide the treasure for which we are willing to face the dragon. When choosing to face anxiety, it is a necessary component to actually WANT to face our fear. Unwanted situations often lead to typical responses of avoidance, anger, negativity, frustration or lack of focus. People seem to WANT to be with horses, however, and this is a great starting point: when you WANT to ride or engage with that horse you are more willing to push through the fear and this provides an opportunity to practice facing anxiety. The confidence one can grow while working with or riding horses can carry over into our lives and give us a sense of courage day to day. life Jules Rainforth, owner of Rein Forth Equine, has a BA in psychology, and is an equine-facilitated learning professional and equine professional through EFW-Can.

M A K E I T W O RT H THEIR WHILE VISIT US AND SEE OUR NEW SPACE!

403.912.0999 101-120 2ND AVE NE

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G R E AT L I F E | C O L U M N

Three practical alternatives to screen time … that work!

A

s parents, we’ve all heard about the risks of too much screen time for our children, but how much is too much? Success In Math Is Just The Beginning

parentlife

WITH STACIE GAETZ

In a new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), brain scans revealed that children who have more than two hours of screen time a day got lower scores on tests focused on thinking and language skills. If it’s taboo to take my tots to the TV or tablet when I need to get something done without a child attached to my leg or asking me 1,456 questions, what can I do to keep them entertained and encourage them to play independently? Here are three practical alternatives to screen time that actually work:

Success In Math Is Just The Beginning Success In Math Is Just The Beginning

Tutoring and Enrichment

Test Prep

Homework Help

Kids don’t hate math, they hate feeling frustrated. The Mathnasium Method™ teaches kids to truly understand math, eliminating frustration and giving them the skills and confidence they need. Teaching math is not just what we do, it’s all we do. We’re the authority in math education, with over 900 learning centres worldwide. Start your child’s transformation. Schedule a comprehensive free assessment t oday.

Changing Tutoring and Enrichment SP ECI A L I Z I N G I N N E W BO RN & MAT E RN I T Y P H OTO G RA P HY

403.945.030 0

*

I M AGE S BYJOAN N E .CO M

Worried your child is becoming more connected to technology than people?

™ Lives Through Math Test Prep Homework Help

Mathnasium of Airdrie Kids don’t math, they hate feeling frustrated. The Tutoring andhate Enrichment Test Prep Homework Help 403-771-6246 Mathnasium Method™ teaches kids to truly understand math, Kids don’t hate math, they hate feeling frustrated. The eliminating frustration™ and giving them thewww.mathnasium.ca/airdrie skills and confidence Mathnasium understand math, 401 Coopers Blvd unit 1007 they need. Method teaches kids to truly eliminating frustration and giving them the skills and T4B confidence Airdrie 4J3 Teaching math is not just what we do, it’s all we do. We’re the they need. authority in math education, with over 900 learning centres Teaching math is not just what transformation. we do, it’s all we do. We’re the worldwide. Start your child’s authority in math education, with over 900 learning centres Schedule a comprehensive free assessment t oday. worldwide. Start your child’s transformation. ™ Schedule a comprehensive free Through assessmentMath t oday. Changing Lives

Mathnasium Changing Lives Through Math™of Airdrie

403-771-6246

Mathnasium of Airdrie

www.mathnasium.ca/airdrie 403-771-6246 401 Coopers Blvd unit 1007 www.mathnasium.ca/airdrie Airdrie T4B 4J3 401 Coopers Blvd unit 1007 Airdrie T4B 4J3

Watch them willingly put away their devices & REQUEST storytime!

Creating lasting connections is easier than you think! Find out how a personalized photo storybook will have them begging to read with you: Visit sentimentsphotobooks.ca/offer SPECIAL BONUS: Receive FREE shipping

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“If possible, have your child take part (in an age-appropriate way) in the activity you are doing” GET TOGETHER If possible, have your child take part (in an age-appropriate way) in the activity you are doing. If you are cooking or baking, your child can measure and mix. If you are cleaning, give them their own duster. This allows you to spend time together and bond, while getting the job done. GET CREATIVE Depending on your child’s age, there are any number of activities they can do to get their creative juices flowing including: reading; writing a story; drawing; colouring; crafts; puzzles; playing board games or cards, etc. GET ACTIVE Take your laptop outside while the kids play in the yard. If the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor fun, take the party inside with an indoor obstacle course or simple games like red light/green light, hide and seek, What Time is it, Mr. Wolf, and other classics. Although these are great alternatives, we can’t discount technology altogether. Our children will use electronics their whole lives (more than we ever did) and knowing their way around these devices is important. Along with implementing an “everything-in-moderation” approach with limits that work for your family, try watching the show or playing the game with your child whenever possible and talking to them about it afterward. According to the NIH study guidelines, “young children learn best when they are re-taught in the real world what they just learned through a screen.” life Stacie Gaetz loves to tell stories. She thoroughly enjoys her work as a freelance writer and co-owner of Sentiments Photobooks, but her real passion is for her daughter, 4, and son, 2.

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It’s our Sweet 16 year of publishing your favourite magazine and we’ve lined up more than $ in sweet prizes for you! th

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G R E AT L I F E | S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

#airdriechildrensfest

JOin US!

June 1-2, 2019 10 am - 4 pm Children’s village, inspiration stations, entertainment stage, workshops

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G R E AT L I F E | S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

IT’S GREAT TO BE A KID IN AIRDRIE!!!

Airdrie’s Children’s Festival is back and expanded to two days in 2019! Join us in Nose Creek Park June 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With so much to do and explore, it’s a perfect, fun-filled weekend for the whole family.

CHILDREN’S VILLAGE

This is a play space designed to be grand in space and scope with especially unique activities. Known as the uber-fun playground!

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Train Kiddie Striker Giraffe Kiddie Striker Sky Jump House Combo 18’ Super Slide Farm Toddler Combo Animal Kingdom Toddler Combo Western Obstacle Course Foam Pit with Bubble Machine Inspiration Stations


ENTERTAINMENT STAGE Be prepared to giggle, clap, sing along and dance with our spectacular lineup!

Through the inspiration-station activities, we want kids to learn through a form of play, but we also want young people to see the leaders in these centres as role models, and think about future career possibilities. For example, a staff member from the zoo with small reptiles to share might inspire a dream of a degree in biology. A leader teaching landscape painting might raise the possibility of becoming a movie set designer. Our goal is to try to present high-level career opportunities with groups that typically may not be showcased. Watch the website for updates! Workshops Workshops will be intimate settings, run throughout the city during the festival. Sign up and attend whatever topics are of interest (last year featured traditional drumming, puppet making and signwriting). Topics, details, times and locations all still to come – watch the website for updates!

SATURDAY, JUNE 1

11 a.m.

Calgary Children’s Choir

12 p.m.

Smilin’ Rylan

1:30 p.m. Bobs and LoLo

3 p.m.

SUNDAY, JUNE 2

11 a.m.

Smilin’ Rylan

12 p.m.

James Jordan

1:30 p.m. Bobs and LoLo

3 p.m.

Peter Lenton

Peter Lenton

About the Festival: A Message from the Board We aim to enrich the lives of children and celebrate cultural differences of all kinds, ALL FOR FREE IN A FESTIVAL IN AIRDRIE. Our target is children aged four to 12, but we promote this as a family affair because we hope parents will engage their children in discussion after the event to further enhance the experience and learning opportunities. We also hope that older children will engage by getting involved as volunteers. Our Purpose It’s not enough to just provide information to our children and expect them to process that into something spectacular. It is incumbent on us to create opportunities for them to have fun but to learn in the process. It is equally important, in order for us to thrive as a community, that we embrace our cultural differences. In many instances our struggles are caused by a simple lack of knowledge, folklore or urban legend. Our goal is to create a curiosity, ignite a passion, break down a barrier, remove a fear ... all by giving our children the chance to see and do things they may not otherwise. Who We Are A group of local Airdrians noticed a gap in our community with respect to learning opportunities for kids (outside of their everyday schooling) that would inspire them to reach for great things and encourage them to be curious and creative. We saw other cities had these opportunities and we wanted this for Airdrie, too. We wanted to see an event that allowed for inclusion of others who might not ordinarily get involved.

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G R E AT L I F E | S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Take the Reins Embrace the Journey

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Follow us on:

Thus, the Airdrie Children’s Festival Society was founded. On May 26, 2018, our event featured five distinct fun and learning components – the Children’s Village, an interactive fun and play area; the Inspiration Stations, interactive learning centres; main-stage entertainment featuring professional children’s entertainers and some local talent; city-wide workshops; and to finish off the day, an outdoor family movie. Our board of directors are all residents of Airdrie and active, and a few are parents. We all love our community and wanted to see an organization and event that we could all be proud of for children – one that would inspire our children to be curious and encourage them to aspire to greater things! The Airdrie Children’s Festival Society holds the vision for the festival, and all decisions are made to create the best event possible.

Get Involved It’s not about us, it’s about the kids! If that’s how you live your life day to day, then there is a good chance we have a place for you somewhere with the society or the festival. Whether it’s assisting in the Children’s Village on the day of the festival, helping organize another event, making contact with sponsors, or even being a gopher when we need it, there’s a volunteer name tag ready to have your name on it. Contact us today to get involved: airdriechildrensfest.com life


IN THE HEIGHTS 50 | MARKET 51 | INSPECTIONS 54

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homelife

IDEAS AND ADVICE FOR YOUR HOME, INSIDE AND OUT

“We built Harder Homes as a family and when you build with Harder Homes, you become part of our family”

HOMELIFE | BUILDER PROFILE

WORKING

STORY BY STACIE GAETZ

HARDER I

FOR YOU

f you are in the market for a quality custom home without the wait, Harder Homes has you covered. In 2019, Airdrie’s award-winning custom builder will focus on making more quick-possession homes available to homebuyers. “We have many people inquiring about quick-possession homes, so we wanted to give more attention to that market and do it in a competitive price point,” says Simona Harder, owner and CFO. She assures homebuyers that Harder Homes will continue to provide them with the personal touch for which the company has built a reputation.

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HOMELIFE | BUILDER PROFILE

“We operate on a people-first, one-on-one approach to the building experience that is unique to Harder Homes. We take pride in being a custom homebuilder focused on building relationships,” says Harder. “We know all of the clients by name, not lot numbers, because we built Harder Homes as a family and when you build with Harder Homes, you become part of our family.”

When customers build a house with Harder Homes, they deal directly with the owners, so they can feel confident that their home will be built for the way they live. How is Harder Homes able to provide this kind of one-on-one attention to homebuyers? With a unique building plan strategy that limits the number of new projects to about 20 per year. This disciplined approach to the building process has enabled Harder Homes to maintain a standard of quality that is difficult to achieve when constructing a larger number of homes, and to focus on the attention to detail that you expect to see in a custom-built home. Harder says she is proud of the fact that in the past 15 years, they have never built the same home twice. Each Harder Home is built with style, quality and functionality in mind, using only high-end products, professionally skilled trades and cutting-edge building practices, she adds. Harder Homes builds In Airdrie, primarily in Cooper’s Crossing, as well as some acreage homes and renovation projects in the surrounding area. “What has kept us here is the fact that we live and play here in Airdrie,” says Harder. “We are locally owned and operated and proud to support many other local businesses. We believe giving back to the community that supports us is fundamental and that’s what we will continue to do in 2019 and beyond.” life

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H O M E L I F E | D E V E LO P E R

Royal Welcome STORY BY MARIO TONEGUZZI

T

he King’s Heights community in Airdrie is coming into its final phase with only 67 lots remaining in the popular neighbourhood that was first started by Melcor Developments in 2004. “Last year we serviced our final phase which was a momentous occasion for us,” says Alan Boucher, Melcor’s senior development manager. “It’s been pretty interesting to see the community grow over time and kind of mature.... Airdrie has great access to employment certainly within Balzac and the industrial areas in north Calgary. Good proximity to the airport and Highway 2 as a major goods corridor between Calgary and Edmonton.” There are more than 2,300 homes in the community. The appeal of King’s Heights is its convenient location just south of Yankee Valley Boulevard and east of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway. It’s also a comprehensive community with access to parks, ponds and an amphitheatre. And it boasts “a royal range” of amenities including Melcor’s Kingsview Market in close proximity. Boucher says Melcor is committed to building communities where residents can live, work, play and shop and King’s Heights fits perfectly within that vision. The final phase has three homebuilders – Jayman BUILT, Homes by Avi and McKee Homes. “It’s kind of the last opportunity for people to buy a home in King’s Heights,” says Boucher. “They have an opportunity to buy a new home in a mature com-

munity which doesn’t always happen all the time. “The last phase is kind of nestled nicely at the south end adjacent to a storm pond. So you’ve got some really nice views and vistas and connections to the pathways that run throughout the community.” There are a variety of different products available. “We have semi-detached homes that Jayman and Avi are selling which is kind of our starter product,” explains Boucher. “And then we have some move-up front-drive single-family product, and … some beautiful estate lots that back onto the pond. They’re walkouts with great views and vistas to this naturalized storm pond amenity built with all these pathways, and there are some seating areas and playgrounds. It’s a pretty nice-looking area.” Boucher says Melcor expects King’s Heights to be sold out by early next year. In the fall, Melcor opened up a new outdoor skating rink and multi-use court in the community. As Melcor looks to the future, it has two master-planned communities coming in Airdrie – Lanark Lake on the east side and on the southwest side, Cobblestone Creek. “Between those two future communities, it’s about 3,600 (housing) units,” he says. “That’s a big part of (Airdrie’s) growth plans and Melcor is pretty honoured to have the ability to have such a big impact on building Airdrie for the next 10 years.... Right now we’re just waiting for the right market conditions to launch those two new communities.” life

“Melcor is pretty honoured to have the ability to have such a big impact on building Airdrie for the next 10 years”

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HOMELIFE | COLUMN

H

old onto your hats Airdrie; we’re not out of this funk just yet! The current real estate market is still trying to find its stability and recent statistics indicate we’re not going to see a significant change in the short term. When I am asked by clients (almost daily) how the market is and what to expect this year, I simply try to stay positive and reassure them that real estate is still a safe and reliable investment. I don’t suspect 2019 will be any different of a market than 2018 was. If you listen to your local experts on how to price, present and sell your home, you’ll do just that. We as Realtors rely on “stats” to educate our clients as to how they fit in the current market. Every client has a different opinion of statistics. These help set expectations with respect to validation of worth using recent market activity. The concept of statistics is to look back in time; they are sales that have happened in the past and are used for the present pricing or as a guideline to forecast the future market. I say let’s try something different in 2019 and start thinking more positively about the largest investments most of us make in our lifetime. Let’s strive to bring back some higher numbers to our city, set some new standards and engage in ensuring a better, brighter future for Airdrie’s real estate. As I’ve said multiple times before, real estate is similar to a roller coaster; there are ups and downs! We experienced a slower end to 2018 than all of us in the real estate industry would have liked. Airdrie saw only 45 total sales and 68 new listings in December of last year. Recently I’ve noticed that single-family homes priced in the lower ranges ($285,000 to $325,000) seem to be flying off the shelves if presented, priced and marketed correctly. If you’re a seller in the higher price ranges stay patient and make sure each and every private showing you have counts. Go the extra mile when it comes to showcasing your property as I’m sure you’re all aware that the buyers in our market have lots to look at.

sector could result in a faster rebound in housing demand, as homebuyers may start to realize what great deals are on the current market. My advice is simple. If you’re a seller, be patient for the right buyer to come along. All good things come in due time. If you’re a buyer, take advantage of these low rates and ample inventory levels to obtain an optimal real estate investment! life

Trenton Pittner, Legacy Real Estate Services

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Looking at 2019

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H O M E L I F E | S H OW H O M E S

Shane on the Hill

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HILLCREST, AN APEX DEVELOPMENT, IS A UNIQUE COMMUNITY ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF AIRDRIE.

Here you will be welcomed home by an impressive entrance feature that boasts the same extensive landscaping found throughout the community. The architectural style in this community is primarily traditional, with a strong prairie colour palette. Hillcrest is a family-oriented community offering its residents a simple lifestyle, and it’s conveniently located near all the necessary amenities including schools, shopping centres, parks and pathways. Only 15 minutes from the Calgary city limits, Hillcrest allows for easy accessibility to primary commuter routes. Shane Homes is currently building single-family laned and paired homes with five showhomes currently on parade in Hillcrest. A unique model the builder is currently offering is the Wayside, a 1,068-square-foot bungalow model popular among those looking to downsize. With a wide variety of models from which to choose, and the ability to customize, Shane Homes can meet the individual needs of each of its customers. Alternatively, there are quick-possession homes available for those looking to move in sooner. Limited opportunities remain to own in this well-established community, as Shane Homes is currently building in the remaining phases of Hillcrest. For more information, visit the sales centres located at 370 Hillcrest Road. S.W., and 204 Hillcrest Road S.W., open Monday to Thursday, 2-8 p.m., and weekends and holidays, noon-5 p.m.

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HOMELIFE | COLUMN

Midtown by Shane Communities and Apex featuring Shane Homes. See ad page 87

See ad page 2

See ad page 2

See page 15

homeadvice

WITH ADAM BOCCINFUSO See ad page 5

Harder Homes and McKee Homes See ad page 88 Hillcrest by Apex featuring McKee Homes, Shane Homes and Mattamy Homes See ad page 7 Kings Heights by Melcor featuring Homes by Avi and McKee Homes See page 33

Vista Crossing by Dream (Crossfield) featuring McKee Home and Homes by Dream See page 51

5 Times You’ll Want a Home Inspection

B

uying and selling a home is a big deal. Not only is it a huge financial investment, it’s where you’ll build your life filled with moments that matter. You can make the most of those moments by having complete peace of mind in your new home or when selling. We’ve pulled together five times you’ll want a home inspection: 1. Throughout the building process. If you have the opportunity, it can provide peace of mind having unbiased, independent inspectors view your new home during the building stage – before plumbing, framing, electrical and HVAC are hidden by drywall. 2. Deciding on your new home. Home inspectors have a keen eye for spotting deficiencies that often go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Inspectors also carry useful tools and equipment to assist in ruling out deficiencies. When purchasing your new home there are often a few parties involved, and it can be reassuring to have an unbiased, third party professional opinion on the condition of your new home, whether it is brand new or new to you! 3. Investing in your future. Your home inspection will ease anxiety and give you more time to focus on the excitement of having a new home – all for a fraction of the cost of your new home. Homes are often the most expensive purchase you will make in your life; it’s definitely worth the extra time and care to ensure it is a solid investment.

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5. Selling your home. Things like weather, wear and tear, and lifespan can all affect the condition of your home. Having your home inspected before selling gives you the time you need to obtain reasonable repair estimates. It also shows prospective buyers you are dealing in good faith to help avoid 11th-hour negotiations and delays, and justifies your full asking price. Make the home buying and selling experience a whole lot more relaxing by choosing to have a home inspection. Leave the nitty-gritty to a professional and give yourself reassurance as you make one of the most exciting decisions of your life. life

/7 24

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AIRDRIE ALARM 40

Residential & Commercial airdriealarm.ca

y

4. Meeting your new home for the first time. Introductions are always easier with an icebreaker. Consider your home inspection like an introduction to your new home. During the inspection you should learn how to properly AIRDRIE care for your home-specific systems (i.e. HVAC ALARM and exterior drainage) and how to maintain 0 948-183 the building materials within your home to increase their longevity and ensure they are functioning well.

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403.948.1830 info@airdriealarm.ca • 24/7 Monitoring • Burglary Alarm • Surveillance Cameras • Automation • Guard Services & Response

“F45 offers personal training results in a team training environment! Each class is carefully guided by F45TV while our award winning trainers provide consistent form assistance and accountability.”

7 Day Complimentary Pass!

www.f45training.ca/Airdrie/trial/ 587-600-0080 | airdrie@f45training.com 304 - 401 Coopers Blvd

Adam Boccinfuso is a Certified Master Home Inspector and co-owner with wife Veronica of Bocc Home Inspections in Airdrie

IGNORE THIS AD.

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C 403.863.4785

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Airdrie’s Newest Boutique!

TRENDY and AFFORDABLE LOOKS for every woman, SMALL to CURVY

403.980.4588

zivaemboutique.com

109, 960 Yankee Valley Blvd

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DON’T DO IT. Don’t advertise your business if you have all the customers and sales you ever dreamed of. But if you’re still dreaming... give Wendy a call and she can help you get more life into your marketing.

Wendy Pratt |Sales Director

C 403.863.4785

wendy@frogmediainc.ca


WOMEN AT WORK 59 | WELCOME TOURISTS 64

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M E E T T H E M OV E R S , S H A K E R S A N D B U S I N E SS M A K E R S

Brie Robertson: B WORKLIFE | CAREER

Playing with the big boys

STORY BY STACIE GAETZ | PHOTO BY SERGEI BELSKI

rie Robertson is a strong, confident woman who has never been afraid to play with the big boys. Robertson found her passion for sports and the television industry growing up in Yellowknife where she curled competitively. “When I would watch the coverage on TSN, I just knew that was what I wanted to do, and I never lost sight of that goal,” she says. Robertson now has 15 years’ experience in the television industry and has held the titles producer, director, videographer and editor.

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WORKLIFE | CAREER

Working for networks like TSN, Sportsnet, Fox and on major events like the Pan Am Games, the Pyeongchang Olympics and the Asian Summer Games in Indonesia have been huge accomplishments for her. However, she admits that being a woman in a still hugely male-dominated industry can be challenging. “It’s not lost on me that sometimes I am at an event and I look around, and in a room of 50 people, I am the only woman,” she says. “After all this time, I still get people looking

at me when they first meet me and saying, ‘Oh, you’re directing?’ or ‘I’ve never seen a woman director before.’” Robertson says she responds to these comments by doing the best job she can to show them that she deserves to be there. “I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, so it fits for me. I can deal with being the only woman,” she adds. What is hard for her as a woman working in the television industry is the strange hours and the travel involved that sometimes take her away from her husband Ed and six-year-old daughter Laëlla.

“The biggest struggle is juggling our schedules because my husband works for the Calgary Flames and has odd hours as well,” she says. “We want to spend as much quality time together as possible and make sure everyone feels loved and happy.” Despite her busy schedule, Robertson has also been running her own company – 62 North Media – for the past two years. She shares her video-making expertise with Airdrie entrepreneurs to help them make professional corporate videos for their small business on a reasonable budget.

PRESENTED BY

“We make videos realistic for small businesses,” she says. “People think they need to spend thousands to get a professional video for their company and they don’t. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get something impactful.” Whether it’s through her work as a television director or helping other small business owners realize their dreams, Robertson’s biggest goal is to be a good role model for her daughter and show her that by working hard in any industry, women can be happy and successful. life 58

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W O R K L I F E | W O M E N ’S W O R K

“It’s really just about feeling connected” Allison Anhorn of ZIVA&EM Jacqui Jepson (centre) with PINK WAND staff

Working Women STORY BY MARIO TONEGUZZI | PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI

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W O R K L I F E | W O M E N ’S W O R K

Claudette Kirkwood of Rocket Fizz

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urgeoning population growth and a very supportive climate are driving more women to start enterprises in Airdrie, as is the City providing existing business with the resources to grow and expand. Airdrie has been one of the fastest growing communities in Alberta and Canada in recent years with population soaring from only 2,265 people in 1977 to 64,922 in 2017. That has been the foundation for creating an environment that makes it attractive for business growth as well. “The biggest thing is our market. Being one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, we continue to grow not only our customer base but our employee base,” says Kent Rupert, team leader of Airdrie Economic Development. “We also have a very strong business community and supportive business community. We see it

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every day where businesses are always helping out businesses. We have a number of different clubs. We have a strong chamber. We even have the Airdrie Women in Business Association – specifically women helping women work their way through the business process.” Current growth projections predict Airdrie to grow at a constant rate over the next 25 years to a projected population of more than 110,000 by 2040. Airdrie supports business creation and growth in a number of other different ways – lower taxes than in Calgary; no business tax; the ease, speed and personal touch in dealing with the municipality; access to strong markets due to its proximity to the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, the Calgary International Airport and a growing trade area with Calgary nearby; and a number of business groups for networking and support. “Part of our job is to make sure we have a strong

and positive environment. One of the projects we have is the SMARTstart program (an entrepreneurial training initiative),” says Rupert. “In the last five years, we’ve put 89 entrepreneurs or 76 businesses through that program, and all those people have local business mentors. “I just think that helps create a strong business environment because you have businesses mentoring and supporting other businesses. “Our average age is 33 so people are very hungry for business and want to get into it,” he adds. “You look at our demographics and half of the business owners are female. There’s a really strong culture of women supporting women within the community.” From new startups and manufacturing, to moving to bricks-and-mortar space or expanding by added locations, here are some successful female business owners in Airdrie.


NEW ENTREPRENEURS Allison Anhorn opened her boutique ZIVA&EM Boutique on Yankee Valley Boulevard at the end of March 2018. “We’re a ... high-end women’s fashion store,” says Anhorn. “It was an existing store already. I just really wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was the right time for me. I had worked in downtown Calgary for close to 20 years…. I’ve lived in Airdrie for the past eight years. I know it’s a great place to go into business and how the community supports local businesses. So I was able to buy this business and make it my own.” Anhorn says Airdrie’s small-town feel is conducive to helping entrepreneurs achieve success and women really support each other in the city. “It’s really just about feeling connected,” she says. Vanessa Dagenais (and husband Dylan), opened F45 Training at the end of May 2018 in Cooper’s Town Promenade. The fitness studio offers personal training in a team atmosphere. Technology is integrated throughout the studio to offer an innovative, motivating, results-driven 45-minute workout. Vanessa became a member of F45 in Chestermere, which was the second in Canada to open. She had tried personal trainers and bigbox gyms. But personal trainers were too expensive and she wasn’t disciplined enough for the gyms. That changed when a girlfriend invited her to the F45. “I was hooked and within three and a half months I had lost 35 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. It completely changed my life,” says Vanessa. “I came home one day and said to Dylan, ‘we need to look at opening one. We need to change other people’s lives like it changed mine and ours.’ We thought Airdrie would be the perfect community with lots of young families.” They also thought a newer and growing community would be the ideal place to start a business.

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Aliser Ramos took over an existing restaurant, Abe’s Modern Diner at the Kingsview Market, in July 2018. Ramos and her husband, originally from Mexico, have always worked in the hospitality and restaurant industry. She started blogging on a YouTube channel about a year ago to promote S P R I N G 2019

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W O R K L I F E | W O M E N ’S W O R K

Nadine Woitt of Mezzanine Hair Studio

local businesses with the intent to show what other women and other businesses were up to. She wanted her venture to help others. When she blogged about Abe’s, and spoke about how she and her husband always wanted to own a restaurant, it led to a conversation about buying Abe’s. “I think we have in Airdrie so many possibilities of starting new things that we don’t have (in Mexico). We have the opportunity here,” says Ramos.

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Claudette Kirkwood opened Rocket Fizz in the first part of July 2018 on Kingsview Road. “It’s a candy and soda shop. But it’s a lot more. It is a larger franchise down in the States but we’re the first location in Canada,” says Kirkwood. “We actually started in Airdrie a couple of years ago under a different name and directly built a business relationship with the actual master franchise guys of Rocket Fizz. They offered us an opportunity to open one and it was something we couldn’t pass up. “Airdrie has been amazing. They have been very welcoming. Airdrie comes across as small town but 62

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it’s actually quite large – a large population base. They seem to really want to shop local. So that’s been really good. There’s so many benefits to Airdrie as opposed to (Calgary). Airdrie doesn’t have a huge business tax like Calgary does. So that’s a major draw.”

to be really involved in the community, support other businesses, support local charities, and that presence in the community is really important in Airdrie because it’s still a small-town feel…. People want to feel that you are part of the community; that you’re involved.”

Jo-Ann Scott-Noye opened her Kingsview Market location of PhysioWorks in October 2016 and expanded to another location in Cooper’s Town Promenade in September 2018. “We’re (a) physiotherapy and massage clinic. One of the impetuses of opening it for me was to provide the level of care that I thought our clients needed. So we’re a little different than some of the more traditional clinics. We try to offer very personable, welcoming environments. Many of our clients feel like they are part of our team,” says Scott-Nye. “We offer a little bit more hands-on treatment.… The big thing for us is that sense of community that I really feel like we have created. “We offer a place where people enjoy coming. We’ve made it a little more of a pleasant experience and we’ve created a really loyal following. We try

Nadine Woitt has been running Mezzanine Hair Studio in Airdrie for about 16 years. The studio moved to Cooper’s Town Promenade just over a year ago from Edwards Way. “It was definitely an upgrade. We didn’t necessarily take on bigger space. It’s a better location,” says Woitt of the full-service hair salon specializing in Redken products. “Airdrie is a great community to do business in. I’ve been in the community for just over 20 years now and have been working in this industry for that period of time. The community is very supportive. I value them. I support community as much as I possibly can. It’s been a really good adventure for me.” Woitt says her business has grown significantly since its inception and she adds she has managed that growth because of the great staff she has in the studio.


“We’ve seen considerable growth over the years for sure. This previous move has been huge for us,” adds Woitt. Managing the studio’s growth has been a lot of hard work combined with perseverance, she says. Jacqui Jepson’s business, The Pink Wand Cleaning Service, has seen tremendous growth since it opened as a residential and commercial cleaning service in Airdrie 11 years ago, with plans now to franchise the operation to other parts of Alberta. Today, The Pink Wand has 11 different locations that it services, from Okotoks to Olds and Didsbury. “The business community in Airdrie is amazing and supportive. We have lots of different programs to support entrepreneurs and their success. SMARTstart being one of them,” says Jepson. “The entrepreneurs within the community support each other. We come together for various causes and to help each other with our businesses as well. I think the city is super supportive of small business in Airdrie.” “The members of the City know everybody in the business community by name and they’re asking what they can do to help out,” adds Jepson. Erin Hardy and Jennifer Friesen decided to open their clothing boutique Seven Saints in Cooper’s Town Promenade in the middle of September 2018. “We had a mobile boutique for the last four years. We had like a vintage motorhome that we had refurbished,” says Hardy. “We did lots of markets and festivals around Calgary and Airdrie, as far as Red Deer. We expanded and put down roots with the brick and mortar. “We had a pretty good customer base and the demand was there. We have the online store too but not everybody’s an online shopper. We just realized it was time to have regular business hours and give people some more.” Hardy says location was really important for the business. “Airdrie’s been awesome to us. Supporting local is really important to people. We really feel that. We have an amazing following here,” she says. life

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Airdrie!

I

say that, not because you are new to the city, nor that I am, but because together, we are about to venture down a path with a fresh focus! I joined the City of Airdrie Economic Development team late last August, tasked with creating a tourism profile for our city. Exciting! Tourism in Airdrie? An inquisitive, unsettled and often baffled look comes over the face as I mention this, feeling the reach of mountains, lakes or palm trees a little out of scope. Yet in June 2018, Expedia ranked Airdrie as the second friendliest community to visit in Canada, all based on hotel guests’ feedback! Successful tourism does not need themed amusement parks, famed landmarks or architectural marvels to attract visitors. It needs great reviews. In fact, the word tourism applies to almost anything now: eco-tourism; cultural tourism; even voluntourism is a thing! Tourism is simply ‘the activity of people travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment.’ Regardless of the approach, attracting visitors attracts money, which few cities can afford to pass up. Tourism in Canada is booming, having had its best year ever in 2018, accounting for more than $24 billion to Canada’s GDP by the fall quarter. In Alberta, tourism is valued as a core pillar of economic diversification, now and in the future. Reported growth is up five per cent year over year, putting billions of visitors’ dollars directly into Albertans’ pockets for job security, business growth and community investments. Airdrie as a destination? Every tourist destination started somewhere! Be it giant roadside markers, quirky taglines, or self-proclamations. Tourism attractors, those brand identities, draw us in with their idyllic imagery, colourful language and palatable features. Creating


a unique identity in tandem builds business attraction. Investors are known to buy into the pulse and appeal of a community after experiencing it first as a visitor. Airdrie has great attractions, well-known festivals and events, local restaurants and hidden-gem retail. The amount of talented entrepreneurs, home-based businesses and industry experts is ours for the boasting. Unfortunately, many of these small businesses have small marketing dollars to tell their story. For tourism growth, working collaboratively to promote Airdrie will be a key to our success.

“For tourism growth, working collaboratively to promote Airdrie will be a key to our success” Where do we start? Huge trends in the tourism sector are agri-tourism, the slow-food or ‘farm-to-fork’ experience. Domestic tourism (a.k.a day tripping) and provincial sports tourism abound. Travellers enjoy authentic experiences, without high costs and crowds, yet still Instagram worthy. They seek local food, local attractions and to find a sense of connection to the place they are in. For Airdrie, we will build up our identity, focused on our strengths and competitive advantage, thriving in our ‘small-town feel’ and big-city amenities. We are stacked with authentic experiences ready to share. So invite your faraway friends and family here, engage in the community, post those great reviews, and be sure to welcome everyone you meet along the way. life

Shauna Quinn is the tourism development officer with the City of Airdrie, tourism@airdrie.ca

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We are very social at the City of Airdrie

airdrie.ca

be a part of

THE CONVERSATION Facebook.com/CityofAirdrie

Learn more about the City’s big news and stories

Twitter.com/City_of_Airdrie

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Take a look at what’s happening around town

MyAirdrie.ca

Do it all through one account. Register for programs at Genesis Place. Sign up to receive emergency and other helpful notifications. Pay your animal or business licence fees, bylaw tickets, utility bills and property taxes. Print your tax statements or assessment notice. The options are endless.

www.airdrie.ca/getsocial

Stay up-to-date on monthly City news, upcoming events and specific facility information coming directly from City of Airdrie departments, Genesis Place and the Bert Church LIVE Theatre!


CONNECT 72 | AMAZING WOMEN 75

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

C I T Y L I F E | S P O R TS

Highlanders R

STORY AND PHOTOS BY BRITTON LEDINGHAM

rugby

ugby in Airdrie hasn’t had an easy road, but that may play out in its favour in the long run; adversity grows deep roots, right? Since its inception in 2014, the Airdrie Highlanders Youth Athletic Association has had fits and starts of momentum among adults, with a bent on growing rugby’s foundation among youth, namely with the U17 girls team. S P R I N G 2019

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Sierrah Barthel is a product of the program entering its third season in 2019. “I was actually really scared to start at first, and then I joined the high school team, and I’ve loved it ever since,” says the prop-position forward. “I can’t imagine my life without rugby now.” Now 18 and graduated from W.H. Croxford High School, last summer was Barthel’s first in rugby. She’s happy she found the sport. Barthel shared her story after the girls’ last game of the 2018 season in late August, before she began playing recreational rugby at Mount Royal University. They had just lost in a blow-out to the Calgary Canadian Irish Athletic Club’s U17 girls team at the Irish fields in Calgary. Spirits were unwavering. The two teams shared their mutual respect, shook hands and mingled together for one big, intersquad group photo under the uprights in the evening light. “There’s no hating the other team,” said Barthel. “We all love each other, and we’re all here for the sport.” 70

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Barthel played hockey, basketball and volleyball before, but enjoyed the contact sport even more. After a brief, four-game season and summer of twice-a-week practices, she already acknowledged the Highlanders as her “second family.” “What I like about rugby is we need everyone,” she said. “We need the fast people, the strong people, just everything. Short, tall, it doesn’t really matter.” Head coach Jill Young is at the helm of the Highlanders’ U17 girls rugby team, which doubled from about eight to 16 players from year one to two. “Mens, womens, youth, juniors, kids, I just want rugby, I want rugby in Airdrie,” says Young, 30. She shares a vision of seeing Airdrie’s high schools hosting rugby games. “If I ever want to develop my family, I want my kids to be able to play rugby in Airdrie,” says Young.


Kelsey Dupuis, Highlanders assistant coach (alongside Mitchell Dorgan), is just as optimistic about his players, many which, like Barthel, just picked up the sport. “They seem to be having a blast,” says Dupuis. “I’m very proud of these girls.” He’s as unwavering as Young, cultivating the athletes, watching them grow and recruit their friends. “Any time you start a new program, especially in a non-major centre, you’ve got to be patient,” says Dupuis, noting many players will be returning for 2019. “They had that much fun, and that’s how you establish a base in any sport.” Dupuis and Young encourage girls to check out the Highlanders, noting equipment (cleats and a mouth guard) can cost about $60 to start, and team fees are less than $200. Practices at George McDougall High School’s field are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m., with touch rugby immediately after, during the summer months. life For more information, visit airdriehighlanders.com or email airdrierugby@gmail.com

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CITYLIFE | CITY HALL

Get Social and Connect with us! STORY BY JILL IVERSON

Do you always know which week you’re supposed to put out organics? Did you know the City is moving forward with a pilot project to allow backyard bees? Do you know the public swimming hours this week at Genesis Place? If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to get social and connect with us! There are so many ways to be in touch with the City; pick the ones that work best for you. MyAirdrie MyAirdrie is a unique online platform built specifically for our residents in Airdrie. By creating an account, you gain access to real-time information on utilities, taxes, animal licenses, business licenses and so much more. Through MyAirdrie, you can: • set up text or email reminders to put out your garbage/recycling; • apply for or renew your animal licence or business licence; • get emergency notifications specific to your neighbourhood; • sign up for recreation classes; • get notifications when garbage/recycling service is interrupted; • pay your bylaw tickets; • pay your utility bills and view historical statements; • pay your property taxes; • set up text or email reminders when utility bills and property tax bills are due; • and more. Sign up for your MyAirdrie account by visiting Airdrie.ca and clicking on MyAirdrie sign in in the top right hand corner.

Social Media The City of Airdrie has a Facebook page, Twitter account (@city_of_airdrie) and we post beautiful photos of our city on Instagram. The best part about our social media accounts is that not only can we keep you up to date on what’s happening, but you can ask us questions too. Our social media team is helpful, friendly and online, answering your questions during normal business hours.

Enewsletters Want information delivered right to your email inbox? Then our enewsletters are a great choice for you. We have four monthly enewsletters: • Airdrie Today covers all things City related; • Airdrie@Work has great information on local business and economic development; • Genesis Place Press keeps you up to date on recreation opportunities at Genesis Place; 72

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• The Bert Church Live Theatre enewsletter keeps you up-to-date on upcoming shows, day camps, theatre classes and much more.

Community Engagement Opportunities Be honest ... do you feel like your opinion and feedback won’t be heard so you don’t bother speaking up? Here are some great examples of where Airdrie resident’s voices changed minds and plans. • Clear bags for garbage were going to be mandatory, but Airdrie residents spoke up and asked for the chance to show they could do better at diverting garbage to organics/recycling without clear bags. • Neither Council nor administration at the City knew the best way to handle laws surrounding cannabis. Through the public consultation, residents were able to shape the municipal bylaws we now have in place. • Feedback on the layout of the fitness centre at Genesis Place prompted staff to survey users about what layout would work best for them. The layout was changed based on the feedback received and customers loved the new design. • Some citizens, especially seniors and households with only one person, found the green organics carts and blue recycling carts very big. This prompted the City to offer a smaller-size cart for those who wanted it. Whether it’s filling out an online survey, attending a public hearing at a City council meeting or taking part in a focus group, your opinion matters. Get involved in community engagement opportunities to shape your city in ways that work for you.

Old School Still have a flip phone? No access to internet at home? You can still stay connected with us! Read your local papers and airdrielife, visit the library for internet access, come see us at City Hall, attend open houses or send us ideas on the best way to connect with you. life Have an idea about more ways the City of Airdrie can connect with residents? Send your ideas or comments to corporate.communications@airdrie.ca, visit Airdrie.ca or visit the City on social media


C I T Y L I F E | C E L E B R AT I O N

Awesome Event PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI

W

ith a build-your-own taco bar and plenty of balloons, cupcakes and bright-orange T-shirts, the 2018 Awesome Airdrie Kids were celebrated at Woodside Golf Course Thursday, Jan. 24. The party was the wrap-up for the second annual program, created by airdrielife magazine, that saw its number of nominated kids between ages six and 14 almost double. Each child was presented with a certificate declaring them “completely and totally awesome,” an orange “I’m awesome” T-shirt and a Sullys gift card. In addition, airdrielife, through the program sponsor Chinook Gate, will donate $50 on behalf of each child to the charity of their choice.

THE 2019 AWESOME AIRDRIE KIDS (WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE CHARITIES) ARE: Maury Garcia Pérez – Volunteer Airdrie Cruise Jackson – Airdrie Food Bank Anna Hrynenko – Airdrie Children’s Hospital Mental Health Ward Piper Anderson – Arthritis Society of Canada Elodie White – Airdrie Hospice Ammalee Addai – horizonscentre.org (Ghana) Shaelene Smith – Soap for Hope Rowan Restar – Alberta Children’s Hospital Aidan & Nolan Pole – Friends of Nose Creek Elementary School Reading Program Nolan Pole – Airdrie Power Talia Smith – heartbeats.ca Brady Popoff – Jumpstart Zac Grant – Calgary Drop-In Centre Emma Raymundo – Alberta Children’s Hospital Hannah Northwood – Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Southern Alberta Ellie Sachs – Alberta Children’s Hospital Brain & Mental Health Elle Groeneveld – Alberta 4-H Foundation Alex Steffler – Canadian Diabetes Association

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The Awesome Airdrie Kids were created in 2017 by airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt and Nic Lacoursiere, a local fitness trainer. “Nic asked me to create a program similar to the Amazing Airdrie Women because she kept hearing about so many great kids in the community,” says Shaw-Froggatt. “It was a brilliant idea and one that we are so happy has come to life. All of the kids this year touched my heart; they exemplify what is good in the world and give us all hope for the future. It’s very telling how much these kids care by the thought they each put into their pay-it-forward donations. These kids are truly awesome.”

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Most of the 18 Awesome Kids can be seen around the city over the year at various events like the Airdrie Children’s Festival (June 1 and 2) and airdrieFEST (Sept. 7). If you see them in their bright orange shirts be sure to say congrats on being so awesome! life

The nominations for the 2020 Awesome Airdrie Kids opens March 15, 2019, and closes Aug. 30, 2019. Nomination forms are online at airdrielife.com


CITYLIFE | AMAZING WOMEN

Airdrie’s Amazing Women

STORY BY DAWN SMITH | PHOTOS BY KRISTY REIMER PROPS BY AVENUE CAKERY AND BAKESHOPPE, AND THE STORE UPSTAIRS

Clockwise from top: Jinaye Shomachuk, Kimberley Ford, Tara Pickford, Michèle Tremblay (centre), Ashton Bennett and Kimberly Rose

“We get to say the kind of person we want to be in the world and watch the impact” SSPPRRI N I NGG2019 2019 || airdrielife.com airdrielife.com

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CITYLIFE | AMAZING WOMEN

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elcome to the ninth annual Amazing Airdrie Women Awards, presented by airdrielife and Pharmasave on Centre. On the following pages you will read about 32 women who inspired others so much, they were nominated by their peers, families, co-workers, neighbours and teachers to receive this very public hug. Please read each woman’s story and then take a moment to join us online at airdrielife.com to vote for your choice for Amazing Heart, Determination, Leadership and Promise. Your votes count for 50 per cent of the final decision in the selection our recipients. (We select the Amazing Courage recipient in advance and this year we are proud to share Sarah Cormier’s story with you.) The other 50 per cent is decided by our editorial team, previous recipients and sponsors. A special shout out to our amazing sponsors who make this whole process and awards luncheon possible: Pharmasave on Centre, Davis Chev, Airdrie Eyecare, Fitzsimmons Brewing Co., McKee Homes, Pureform Radiology, Cream Body and Bath, TD Bank and ConfiDental. We present the awards May 10 at Woodside Golf Course, an event I consider to be one of the highlights of my year. Tickets for the always sold-out luncheon go on sale March 6 – be sure to secure yours early at woodsidegc.com. It’s a wonderful day to celebrate the women in our community with a gourmet lunch, the hilarious observations of comedian Cory Mack, and the electric energy of 100+ women (and men!) celebrating and honouring the amazing women in our city.

Standing: Beckie Lower and Heather Cowie Seated L to R: Sheila Shareski, Fozia Alvi, Danielle Edwards, Robin Loyola Front: Tricia Andres McDonald

-Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, publisher

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Pharmasave Amazing Heart Nominees FOZIA ALVI Dr. Fozia Alvi understands that one person’s voice can make a difference. The voice of the family physician who has practiced in Airdrie for more than a decade has now reached the highest levels, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum in defense of the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh. Originally from Pakistan, Alvi became an advocate after a medical mission to Bangladesh. After seeing the plight of thousands of refugees, who have fled their homes in Myanmar due to what many countries have declared genocide, Alvi refused to stay quiet. She contacted media and began to share what she had seen. “It’s not right to be quiet when these atrocious crimes are occurring,” she says. “I had to do something, because I was very angry.” Alvi refuses to give up. She has returned to the poverty-stricken refugee camps several times to provide health care and continues to speak out against the situation. Alvi’s colleague, Dr. Mindy Gautama, is impressed by her dedication to the refugee population. “Her stories are heartbreaking but important in shedding a light on the despair of a people that the world has ignored far too long.” ASHTON BENNET Pregnancy and newborn photographer Ashton Bennett uses personal tragedy to help women suffering through postpartum depression and miscarriage. Not only has she suffered two miscarriages, but the mother of two also had postpartum depression with her second. She is adamant about spreading the word by sharing her story with others, despite the pain the memories often bring up. “No one talks about it, but I have taken it upon myself to spread the word,” says Bennett. “I use my business to share resources and be an advocate for these women.” Heather Spearman Obery first read Bennett’s story on social media. She is impressed with Bennett’s bravery. “She has been so vocal and not afraid to be out there, and it has helped a lot of women,” says Spearman Obery. “She has suffered and used it to grow.” Bennett, who is now training to become a doula, sees the work she does with these women as her calling. “It’s my job now, I have to help these women,” she says. “I can’t let them go through it alone if I can help.”

KIM BERGMAN Kim Bergman has faced a steep learning curve since she and her husband took over Explosive Edge six years ago. But the duo has been successful, transforming the previously hockey-based training and development facility into a multi-sport facility that caters to athletes as young as two years of age. Recently, Explosive Edge moved into a 10,000-square-foot space, quadrupling its size and vastly increasing the programs on offer. The growth of the business didn’t come easily, but rather from the hard work of the team. Bergman, formerly a teacher, plays an integral role in the success of the family business. The mother of two young boys works behind the scenes, making sure everything is running smoothly. The task has always required balance and a strong work ethic, but things became more challenging this past year due to Bergman’s health issues. But the young mom is determined to embrace all the challenges she faces. “Life can’t just stop,” she says. “Days when I thought of giving up, I just kept going. You have that choice to make.” Lynn Fitzgerald has high praise for Bergman. “[She] is an amazing mother to her two sons, an amazing businesswoman that built the foundation of Explosive Edge, and an amazing contributor to the Airdrie community,” she says. “I am extremely proud of Kim and her accomplishments.” BRANDY CORCORAN Brandy Corcoran is a dance mom who challenges stigmas. Rather than pushing for her daughters to be in the limelight, Corcoran helps create an atmosphere in which every child can flourish. “We have the opportunity to make an impact on these children’s lives during a time of key development,” says Corcoran. “I want to promote teamwork and pride in self so they know you can create your environment to be what you want it to be.” Corcoran sees dance as an opportunity to teach her daughters life lessons, such as although you are just one person, you can make a huge difference in the lives of others. According to Stephanie Staniforth, owner of Elements Dance Co., Corcoran has made a positive impact on the studio by modelling how a dance parent should behave. “Brandy goes absolutely above and beyond to help demonstrate and inspire the culture within our dance studio community; a culture which values respect, integrity, trust, commitment and excellence,” says Staniforth. “She has helped create a positive atmosphere.”

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CITYLIFE | AMAZING WOMEN Corcoran is committed to helping each dancer develop a sense of their own power within their lives. “We get to say the kind of person we want to be in the world and watch the impact,” says Corcoran. “This is our life and we get to determine how it goes.” SUE FERGUSON Longtime Airdrian Sue Ferguson believes in the power of volunteering. She learned the importance of contributing to the community early, having been raised to give back and doing so with such organizations as her local fire department and Meals on Wheels. After living here 24 years and raising her children in Airdrie, Ferguson’s commitment to the community is well established. She has been volunteering with Airdrie & District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS) for a decade, helping those impacted by tragedies trauma. Her duties have included everything from sitting with families who have lost a loved one in an accident to attending court for and with victims of crime. Ferguson continues her involvement with the organization because she sees its value. “I meet people at the very worst point of their life,” she says. “I know that I have helped get them from hurt to hope.” Michelle Wagner says Ferguson is a wonderful addition to ADVAS. “[Ferguson] is understanding, compassionate, caring and fun,” says Wagner. “She has shown outstanding efforts to reach out to victims and has extended above and beyond what is expected of her in this volunteer role.” KIMBERLEY FORD Kimberley Ford’s love of cooking goes back to her childhood. She believes in the power of a home-cooked meal to bring comfort in difficult times. So it was no surprise that the mother of three turned to her kitchen for therapy after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being involved in a serious car accident. “I was afraid to get behind the wheel so I was home a lot, and I just started cooking and cooking,” says Ford. She also began giving away meals – often homemade soups – to neighbours. Her acts of kindness grew when she started offering soup on social media. Once the word got out about Ford’s delicious food, she received numerous requests for meals for those suffering or in need.

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Clockwise from top: Jo-Ann Scott-Noye, Kayla Jessen, Kaidy Morgan and Nisha Rolleman

Now known as the Souper Lady, Ford caters meals for seniors and adults with disabilities, makes meals for Airdrie Angel recipients and for anyone going through a hard time. She and her husband also donated 32 hampers, with everything needed to make a Thanksgiving meal, to families. Ford feels as if she was given a second chance at life and intends to continue making a difference. “I am doing my best to ease the pressures of everyday life and tragic events,” says Ford. “Not only is cooking my therapy, but it makes me feel good to put a smile on people’s faces.”

LORI REIST Lori Reist has an amazing heart and seemingly boundless energy. The mother of five children, ages nine and under, Reist is also a day home provider who goes above and beyond. Together with her husband Mike, Reist runs a program that allows local high school grads who can’t afford outfits for their special day to dress in style. Last year, they raised $7,500 to help 16 young men buy suits and accessories to attend grad.


Airdrie’s three public high schools also received $1,000 each to help needy students purchase tickets to grad. The couple expanded their program by collecting used grad gowns to help out girls in need. “There are a lot more students than the average person might realize who are couch surfing or having to help their parents with expenses,” says Reist. “It takes a village.” Besides this program, Reist also helps out kids in her day home and has the biggest heart possible, says Sarah Courneya, a client. “She always thinks of others. This woman is my hero,” she says. NISHA ROLLEMAN Nisha Rolleman is the kind of person who helps make a community. The stay-at-home mom of three enriches the lives of those around her with her many acts of kindness in her Windsong community, to which she moved in 2013. Veronica Boccinfuso explains Rolleman helps other parents by watching kids at the playground behind her house, offering free childcare and volunteering on the local school committee. “She is an avid supporter of getting outside, building relationships with those in the community and being an all-around amazing-hearted woman that I truly am in awe of,” says Boccinfuso. “She does all this with grace and a wonderful sense of humour. Nisha is an inspiration by being a great example of being one’s best version of themselves.” Rolleman is humble about her community-building role, saying she does it as much for herself as others. “Being at home, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so I had to make an effort to get to know people,” she says. Still, Rolleman recognizes the benefits of networking within her community. “We have that it-takes-a-whole-village concept,” she says. It feels safer because you know people.” KIMBERLY ROSE Kimberly Rose’s kindness has touched many local families. She is the face behind Airdrie Cares Facebook page, raises money for Airdrie Food Bank, organizes numerous fundraisers and advocates against domestic violence and bullying. For more than three years, she has provided food hampers for struggling families, often spending her own money to ensure up to 30 families don’t go hungry. Rose also runs the Children’s Christmas Market, which helps families have a wonderful holiday by providing a place for up to 300 kids whose families are struggling to pick out a gift for their moms and dads. “Often, it is the only gift the parent receives and it makes the kids so happy,” says Rose of her efforts, which

involve gathering gifts and organizing about 30 volunteers. “It’s worth it to see the look on the kids’ faces.” Rose’s selflessness and hard work is being noticed, and not just by the families her kindness touches. Amanda Tozser describes Rose’s efforts in helping families in need as being “above and beyond.” Says Tozser: “She amazes me and all who know her. She has a heart of gold and is kind and wonderful to everyone she meets.” MICHÈLE TREMBLAY Twenty-nine years of teaching hasn’t dampened Michèle Tremblay’s commitment to her students. The French Immersion teacher does her best to meet the needs of her students. Her empathy had a huge impact on Emma and Kayla Work, whose mom passed away just one week before school started when Emma, the oldest, was going into Grade 5. Tremblay taught Emma for three years and by then Kayla was her student, too. Tremblay quickly became an important part of the girls’ lives. The girls are grateful to the teacher who helped them through a sad and devastating time. “I took them under my wing,” says Tremblay of the girls, explaining the loss of her mother gave her empathy for the girls’ loss. Tremblay is humble about her involvement, saying educators teach to make a difference. “I believe [teachers] have so much impact on their students. They are so easily impressed at this age that we want that impression to be a positive one.” Today, several years after losing their mom, Emma and Kayla are still very close to their teacher, notes Tremblay. “My relationship with those kids is amazing,” she says.

Cream Body and Bath Amazing Determination Nominees

DANIELLE EDWARDS Danielle Edwards, 17, understands the pain that war can bring. Her father, who was deployed to Kosovo two years before Edwards was born, came back a changed man struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her father’s pain impacts the whole family, and Edwards, who suffers from anxiety and depression herself, has often struggled to cope. Despite the difficulties, Edwards, a Grade 12 student at George McDougall High School, is proud of her military family and friends and has a great deal of empathy for others. “Danielle puts on a brave face … and is there to offer a shoulder… words of encouragement

and a bubbly enthusiasm that is so contagious you would never know that she struggles daily….,” says Michelle Turner. Edwards, who volunteers with First Airdrie Sparks and is always willing to lend a hand to her coach and teammates on her high school cheer squad, says being there for others helps her cope with her own anxieties and perfectionism. “It’s little things, but it really helps,” says Edwards. “It makes me feel like I have done something good and productive. It makes me feel like I am not focusing on my own issues.” BECKIE LOWER Life has thrown Beckie Lower a few curveballs, but the Airdrie mom’s determination has led her to explore entrepreneurship and real changes in life. After 16 years in the oil-and-gas sector, Lower was stressed and overloaded. She made the difficult decision to leave the stressful world behind and pursue a career as a personal trainer. She did all the right things: got business training through Airdrie’s SMARTstart program, and created a large network. But the business didn’t create the life Lower wanted, so rather than feeling sorry for herself, she has been taking the time to reflect and pursue things that make her heart happy. “Confidence is like a muscle; you have to train it slowly,” says the active volunteer, noting fitness helped her gain that confidence. “I just can’t give up; I won’t give up,” says Lower. “If I can inspire someone else, that makes me happy.” Jo-Ann Scott-Noye is impressed with Lower’s tenacity. “Beckie took a great leap of faith by leaving the corporate world behind to pursue her passion in fitness,” says Scott-Noye. “After she realized that this did not allow for work-life balance, she was open to other options.” JO-ANN SCOTT-NOYE Jo-Ann Scott-Noye is determined to help others by providing the best service she can. The owner of PhysioWorks, Scott-Noye has worked tirelessly for the past two years to build her business. Her hard work has paid off: she recently opened a second location within the city. Scott-Noye says she loves living and working in Airdrie and is proud to be part of the city’s business community. “Airdrie has that small-town feel [but with] all the amenities,” she says. “It’s a fantastic place to do business because the business community works together, supporting one another.” Scott-Noye attributes the success of PhysioWorks to the commitment of herself and her staff to excellence.

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CITYLIFE | AMAZING WOMEN “Our clients feel like they are part of our place. It’s their physio clinic,” says Scott-Noye. “It is not just a business for me, it’s about family, and I think our clients feel that too.” Andrea Doyle, a patient of the clinic, says ScottNoye and her staff exhibit a caring attitude and are very community minded, promoting other businesses and donating to local charities. “Jo-Ann listens to what the issues are,” says Doyle. “She is very caring, friendly and down to earth. She cares about what she is doing for her patients.” SHEILA SHARESKI Sheila Shareski believes teaching music is her calling. The mother of two has been teaching piano lessons for more than four decades and now has over 40 students of all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced. “It’s who I am,” says Shareski, noting she began playing in church at the young age of 13. Shareski has worked in other jobs over the years, but says teaching piano has been the most fulfilling. “Children are just so appreciative,” she says of her love for teaching. “You get your kudos from your students.” Currently Shareski works at Skyline Music with owner Lisa Ammirati, who says Shareski is gracious and supportive of her colleagues and students and has a huge impact, despite recently suffering personal loss. Ammirati is impressed by her friend’s ability to remain stoic and gracious even while going through her own troubles. “Her constant love and devotion to her career and her surroundings have reflected in each of us who are in her presence,” says Ammirati of Shareski. “We call her our fairy godmother.” Shareski is humble about her impact, explaining her faith and the way she was raised is what influences her. “I was raised to love one another,” she says.

McKee Homes Amazing Leadership Nominees RACHEL ANDRES Rachel Andres knows the lessons that athletics can teach. A Canadian National title holder in discus, Andres is passing that knowledge on as a coach and athlete with the Airdrie Aces. “You learn a lot of life skills in athletics,” says Andres. “You go through a lot of frustrating times … so the kids really have to learn to push through it.”

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Clockwise from top: Wendy Timmermans, Melissa Bentley, Aerin Bell and Susan Ferguson

Her trainees have found real success under her tutelage, with one athlete winning the National Title in both the hammer and discus events at the 2018 National Legion meet. As an elite athlete who is also the mother of a toddler, Andres is also breaking stereotypes. “I am trying to show people [your athletic career] doesn’t have to be done, it will just be different,” she says. In her quest to turn the region into a throwing centre, Andres is changing the lives of kids by teaching them they have value. “One of my kids said I basically saved her life.… I taught her there is more to life than being a size zero,” says Andres. “It gives them a focus and drive.”

Jodie Matsuba-Szucs is impressed with Andres’s dedication. “Rachel has a talent when it comes to coaching,” she says. “She has the athletes work hard and respect each other and they have a lot of fun.” TRICIA ANDRES MCDONALD Tricia Andres McDonald has an inspiring way of defining success. The owner of Orangetheory Fitness, which offers personal training, feels most fulfilled when she is helping others. Andres McDonald understands the importance of small acts of kindness, and strives to run her business with that in mind. “If you can have one small effect on a person, if you can have that one small


touchpoint with them, that changes their day, and I ultimately think that trickles down,” she says. Orangetheory isn’t the first local business Andres McDonald has started. Inspired by a desire to help women feel comfortable in their bodies, she founded Sol Swimwear, helping women find the perfect suit at private fittings. Her goal was to take the fear out of swimsuit shopping. “It really is about helping people,” she says, noting she was brought up to be generous and help others whenever possible. Although busy running four Orangetheory locations, Andres McDonald still takes time to give back. She was on the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce board for two years and organizes numerous fundraising events, such as adopting a family at Christmas. She also supports other local businesses, looking for collaboration whenever possible. Michael McDonald calls Tricia’s work inspiring. “Her belief that you can do anything you want, and her ability to create an environment where people want to succeed and be a part of the community, is truly an incredible thing to see,” he says.   MELISSA BENTLEY The owner of Little Steps Preschool, Bentley dedicates much of her free time to helping others succeed in business. “I have felt throughout my life that if I wanted to get something done, I had to do it myself, and I don’t want anyone else to feel that,” she says, noting she didn’t know where to find resources when she started her business five years ago. “I learned as I went, but just knowing there was some support and mentorship would have made it easier for me.” Bentley is determined to make a difference for other entrepreneurs and fulfills her passion by serving as president of the Airdrie Women in Business Association. She is also an active volunteer for Junior Achievement, which teaches youngsters life and business skills. Airdrie’s Dawn Benfin is impressed with Bentley’s commitment to helping others. Benfin explains besides volunteering, Bentley donates to numerous charities and recently raised $7,000 for a family whose child was diagnosed with cancer. “She is an inspiration to her staff and families,” says Benfin. HEATHER COWIE A life-changing trip to Guatemala with Youth Challenge International when she was just a young woman changed Dr. Heather Cowie’s

life. Seeing the vision problems in the country inspired the owner of Airdrie Family Eye Doctors to not only become an optometrist but also to give back to the community. Cowie gives back locally, raising funds for charities and local residents like the Owchar family, who lost their mom to breast cancer just two weeks after giving birth to twins, and organizing events like Karma Glasses, which provides free eye exams and glasses to those who can’t afford it. “Having a business, you can have a bigger impact than as an individual,” says Cowie. Kimberley Ford is amazed by Cowie’s generosity. “She would never turn anyone away if they required her services,” says Ford. “[Cowie] is an amazing soul.” Cowie has also returned to Guatemala eight times and has the goal of setting up a sustainable clinic in the South American country. “The gap is crazy there,” she says. “Only the rich see well there.” With her goal in mind, the mother of two recently completed a master’s thesis in public health. “This will be a lifelong project,” says Cowie. DIONE IRWIN Dione Irwin knows what it is like to struggle. The single mom of five once found it difficult to pay her mortgage, but 10 years ago, she took charge of her life, became a Realtor and now owns a successful real estate company. Irwin’s tenacity has helped her grow her business and she now mentors three agents and three staff members. Leading by example, Irwin finds joy in helping others succeed. “I need to share what I have learned to advance in my own life,” she says. “It is so exciting to watch [others] succeed and the stress fall off.” Tyler Baptist, one of Irwin’s agents, calls her mentor a natural born leader and wonders how she accomplishes so much. “She has five kids, a hugely successful real estate business, and she still find the time to volunteer and give back to the community,” says Baptist, noting Irwin donates to everything from the food bank to Herons Crossing School and POWER, whose mission is to open a women’s shelter in Airdrie. “For her, real estate is more than buying and selling homes; it is a way to truly help families in Airdrie. With all that she does … I sometimes wonder where she keeps her cape.” KAYLA JESSEN Kayla Jessen isn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs. Born and raised in Airdrie, the mother of two is a well-known volunteer and advocate. She sat on the Airdrie Public Library Board

for seven years and recently completed a three-year term on Marigold Regional Library’s executive committee. Jessen is also a founding member and past president of Airdrie Pride Society, created in 2014. In that role, Jessen has spoken out for the local LGBTQ community, challenging the discriminatory voices that exist in the area. “I was always told that everyone is special, and everyone has a right be special,” says Jessen. “When I see someone pushed to the side, marginalized and vulnerable, it is in my nature to do something.” Jessen’s passion for advocating for the LGBTQ community developed after watching friends and family face discrimination for their orientation. “There is discrimination, and the voices are loud,” says Jessen. “We wanted to create a positive place that is louder and can drown out those voices.” Airdrie Pride Society holds numerous events in support of the LGBTQ community and their advocates. Robbie White is proud of his wife. “Kayla is very social-justice minded,” he says. “She saw something that was missing in Airdrie and set her mind to creating it. She has a vision for what [Airdrie] was and what it could be.” ROBIN LOYOLA A longtime swim coach with Nose Creek Swim Association and a fitness instructor, Robin Loyola knows the power of exercise to help her cope with life’s stressors. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago, Loyola determined that she would exercise through the treatment. “I worked out through the chemo and radiation and never experienced the fatigue I expected. I didn’t suffer from depression … and I attribute that to exercise and keeping moving,” says Loyola. Waiting for her many appointments amongst other patients, many of them seniors, Loyola wondered if there was an opportunity to promote fitness. So Loyola began sending emails to numerous decision makers at the hospital and Alberta Health Services suggesting exercise equipment be available for cancer patients waiting for treatment. Her idea was well received and stationary/ recumbent bikes will likely go into the new cancer centre in Calgary. “I knew how much exercise benefited me, and if it benefits someone else, it would be a great give back for all the wonderful treatment and support I received,” says Loyola.

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CITYLIFE | AMAZING WOMEN Linda Bruce has nothing but praise for Loyola. “Robin is amazing in many ways but it is her inspiration and positivity that sets her apart,” says Bruce. KAIDY MORGAN When Kaidy Morgan’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer while Kaidy was on maternity leave, she realized a life change was in order. Formerly a full-time professional in strategic manpower planning, Morgan quit her job to help her mom, who is still beating the odds. Faced with the loss of income, Morgan began offering the meal plans she created for her family to subscribers for $2. In just over a week, she had 200 subscribers. She received feedback that while the meal plans were great, shopping

and prep time was still an issue for many. That knowledge prompted Morgan to open Social Supper, a local business that does all the prep work, allowing clients to assemble healthy family meals quickly. Social Supper also caters to other food-based local businesses and charities like Kimberley Ford, the Souper Lady, who is thankful to use Morgan’s kitchen at no cost while creating the meals she donates. “[Morgan] is a strong, smart, funny and loving woman who inspires me to push through and persevere  every day,” says Ford of Morgan. Morgan is excited about the success of Social Supper and offers words of wisdom to those who are unhappy at work. “We really have but a very fleeting time here,” she says. “To do something that doesn’t bring joy is [a mistake].” L to R: Vanessa Cormier, Lori Reist (seated), Sarah Cormier and Robin Bishop

TARA PICKFORD Being a business owner allows Tara Pickford the chance to share her passion for the performing arts, as well as to give back to the community. Through her studio, Ambition Performing Arts, Pickford supports numerous charities and local organizations, such as Airdrie Food Bank, Community Links, Airdrie Angel, Airdrie Festival of Lights, Airdrie Public Library, Boo at the Creek, Airdrie Children’s Festival and the Airdrie Health Foundation. Pickford is also a member of Wild Rose Dance Arts Association Charity and part of 100 Women Who Care Airdrie, in which 100 women get together and give $100 each to a charity. One of Pickford’s passions is giving back to youngsters through Junior Achievement. Peggy Cave is impressed with Pickford’s willingness to support the community. “She is very deserving of this award as she is a leader in her industry and a great role model to women in business and life,” says Cave. Pickford is humble, saying giving back is simply part of being a member and business owner in the community. JUDITH PITTMAN Judith Pittman has been writing since she was a teen. The established author, who has written several mystery novels, has a passion for helping Canadian writers that prompted her to open a publishing company in 2012. Books We Love (BWL) Publishing gives Canadian authors options to the large American publishing houses, which are reluctant to take on new authors. “It is extremely difficult to get started as an author,” says Pittman. “I wanted to open up a Canadian market for quality publishing so our authors aren’t forced to self-publish or go to the States.” BWL has had real success, especially with its historical Canadian brides series, which bring history to life through the eyes of fictional brides from the nation’s provinces and territories. The idea of keeping history alive is close to Pittman’s heart. “My mother was the last of seven brothers and sisters whose family homesteaded in the Lyndale area near Drayton Valley,” she explains. “They told wonderful stories, but they are gone now. If you don’t write those stories, they will be lost.” Pittman has had success pairing newer authors with those with experience, an example of her passion for nurturing fledgling writers, especially those living in Alberta. Author Nancy Bell says Pittman is generous with her time and expertise, noting she “[Works] countless hours for very little other than the satisfaction of a job well done.”

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It’s all worth it for Pittman. “I don’t want these voices to be lost, and I don’t want their stories to be lost,” she says. “This is my passion. Hopefully I will leave a legacy of our stories behind when I am gone.” WENDY TIMMERMANS If you have lived in the community for a while, you likely know Wendy Timmermans. A public health nurse who moved to Airdrie in 1985, Timmermans has devoted a lifetime to providing top-notch care for locals. Les Timmermans correctly notes, “few are those whose lives have not been touched and inspired by the care of Wendy Timmermans.” Indeed, Timmermans has helped fill many of Airdrie’s health care needs during her three decades in the city. In addition to counselling expectant parents-to-be, visiting new parents and their babies, immunizing students in schools and educating the community about health care, Timmermans made a big impact on the city’s health care services. She was involved with the Airdrie Teen Clinic, which provided hundreds of teens with a safe place for education, treatment and counselling from 2010 to 2016, and was instrumental in forming the Airdrie and District Hospice Society, which provides a network of support for patients and their families at the end of life. Timmermans now serves as a public health care manager with Alberta Health Services, overseeing five clinics in the region. The retiring nurse explains her leadership efforts simply: “I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people.”

TD Bank Amazing Promise Nominees AERIN BELL Aerin Bell isn’t afraid to challenge people on their beliefs. The 14-year-old is an active member of the gay-straight alliance at her school and regularly speaks up against the prejudices directed against members of the LGBTQ community. “I like to do my best to help those who are different,” she says, noting she has had several firsthand experiences helping friends who came out and didn’t receive the support they needed, prompting her to step in. “I’d like to see freedom for everyone.”

A true leader, Bell doesn’t speak off the top of her head. She does her research, forms her own opinions and works to consider the perspectives of others, even when she doesn’t agree with them. “I go by the saying ‘seek first to understand, then be understood,’” says Bell. “I like people to know the truth … and I do my best to understand where they are coming from.” Danica Power, Bell’s teacher, says the teen is not only strong academically, but is also passionate, driven and empathetic. “She has a kind word for everyone,” says Power, adding Bell is also active in other roles at her school. “She is incredibly mature and carries herself with wisdom and an excellent joie de vivre.”

Top: Judith Pittman and Brandy Corcoran; middle: Kim Bergman, Dione Irwin and Rachel Andres; front: Jordynne Miller and Emily Henderson

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ROBIN BISHOP There is no doubt that Robin Bishop has amazing promise. Bishop graduated from Bert Church High School in 2016 with the second highest academic average and is now a third year University of Calgary student in the Bachelor of Neuroscience Honours program. Despite Bishop’s academic success, the 20-year-old suffers from misophonia; a neurological disorder involving negative emotional responses evoked by certain sounds. Bishop, who developed misophonia as a teenager, not only struggles with living with the disorder, but also often struggles with some people not understanding the condition. Although Bishop endures these everyday challenges regarding misophonia, she has embraced the opportunity to pursue research into the condition with her neuroscience education. “I think it is rare that the person studying [a condition] has it,” she says. “I really think I can take advantage of knowing the disorder, unlike other misophonia researchers.” To that end, Bishop will be working on a thesis project with a neuroscientist at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. While studying misophonia is one of Bishop’s main interests, she also wants to pursue further education in astrophysics, as well as her passion for art. Tania Schwartzenberger has high hopes for the brilliant young woman. “With Robin’s drive, determination, initiative, creativity and hard work, she shows amazing promise and could very well make the next big scientific breakthrough,” she says.     

EMILY HENDERSON Emily Henderson, 16, is definitely a busy teen. She is an elite athlete who trains up to six days a week while maintaining honours in school. But the Grade 10 W.H. Croxford High School student also somehow balances her schedule to allow her time for her other passion: volunteering. According to Kelsey Davidson, Henderson is a member of the Alberta BMX team, a two-time national champion and Worlds qualifier. Davidson says Henderson is also a wonderful role model who helps mentor younger riders, assists coaches at Airdrie BMX and volunteers at many community events, such as the Terry Fox Run and Quinn’s Legacy Run. “I appreciate her determination to make her succeed and her compassionate heart to care for others,” says Davidson. Henderson’s caring heart showed up early. At eight years old, she requested money, rather than gifts, for her birthday and donated the money to Airdrie Food Bank. Two years later, she shaved her head for cancer. She is still busy. She recently started a mentorship program with Big Brothers Big Sisters, in which she dedicates time each month to mentoring elementary school students. Henderson says volunteering is something that brings her great joy and encourages others to get involved. “I’ve never heard anyone say while volunteering that they hate it,” says Henderson. “[Volunteering] is really great for your mental health. It is good for your community, and it makes you feel better.”

VANESSA CORMIER Vanessa Cormier, 15, has always been a cat lover, but the Grade 10 student takes her affection for felines to the next level. Her efforts began on her 10th birthday, when, instead of gifts, Cormier asked for money to donate to Tails to Tell, an animal shelter in Crossfield. Shortly after, she and a friend crafted yarn bracelets and sold them raising $475 for the shelter. Cormier’s presentation about Tails to Tell at her former school, Nose Creek Elementary, resulted in the school “adopting” the shelter. Years later, the school still holds fundraisers to raise money for the rescue. Cormier has also sold paintings and iced tea to earn money for her beloved cats. She volunteers at Tails to Tell every Sunday morning, changing bedding, taking care of litter boxes, and feeding the animals. She is also the proud new owner of a black shorthair recently adopted from the shelter. Cormier is just pleased that she can do something for the animals. “The cats at the shelter don’t have any home, and they need all the love they can get,” she says. “It makes me happy that they are getting the medicine, food and shelter that they need.”

JORDYNNE MILLER Last year had a lot of ups and downs for Jordynne Miller, 21, but she rose above the challenges with grace. Just 10 days after her wedding day in January 2018, Miller’s new husband was pinned between two cars in a vehicle/pedestrian collision. He woke up in the hospital with his wife at his side, and that is where she has stayed throughout his ongoing recovery. Jolyn Miller is amazed by her daughter-in-law’s ability to smile through the hard times. “She is full of compassion, determination and kindness,” she says. In addition to working to help support her family and aiding her husband as he recovered, Jordynne found the time to lead a children’s choir at her church. She is also a talented artist who volunteered her skills to beautify Airdrie, painting a bench that sits in front of Airdrie Public Library. A Latter Day Saint, Miller attributes her empathetic nature and inner strength to her upbringing and faith. “My faith allowed me to just hunker down and hold strong…. It kept me in peace as things unfolded,” she says. “I have always tried to look out for others and treat everyone with kindness.”

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JINAYE SHOMACHUK Being born with Type 1 diabetes and suffering from asthma hasn’t stopped Jinaye Shomachuk from becoming an elite athlete. The 15-year-old Grade 10 student finished first in the hammer throw and discus and fifth in shotput for her age group at Nationals last year. She holds numerous provincial records and has several Canadian records for throwing events in her sights. Her coach, Rachel Andres, says Shomachuk has the potential to make the Canadian Senior National team in just three or four years. Shomachuk doesn’t pretend that her health issues don’t affect her, but she is matter of fact about them. “(Diabetes) doesn’t hinder what I can do, but it makes it a bit more of a challenge,” she said, explaining while competing in the shot put event at Nationals, her blood sugars crashed. Despite her challenges, Shomachuk has the short-term goal of breaking the Canadian record for the weight throw and long-term goal of competing at the Olympics. She doesn’t neglect her studies either, and hopes to have a career in the sciences or math. Practicing up to 10 hours each week, balancing school and athletics can be difficult, but like most challenges, Shomachuk embraces this one head on. “For me, both school and track are important, but school comes first,” she says.

Pureform Amazing Courage Award – recipient SARAH CORMIER has been selected by the airdrielife editorial team as the recipient of the 2019 Pureform Amazing Courage Award which is also known as the Tracy Work Memorial Award, named after one of our first year nominees. Sarah Cormier is certainly an Amazing Woman. Her ability to rise above the tragic loss of her infant daughter to assist and advocate for others is truly inspiring. Quinn was born in June 2015. The beautiful little girl filled her family with joy, but she tragically died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when she was just four months and 10 days old. As if dealing with the intense grief wasn’t enough, Cormier was also faced with financial concerns when she learned her maternity benefits had been cut off within a week of Quinn’s death. Cormier was devastated by the loss and didn’t


Sarah Cormier, Amazing Courage Award recipient

have the proper time to grieve before being expected back at work. “We thought it was an oversight, but it has been law since maternity benefits existed in Canada,” she says of the benefits being cut off. “Moms don’t get to take the time to grieve, and have to return to work. Some people even have to pay back their benefits.”

Instead of wallowing in grief, Cormier decided changes needed to be made and became an advocate for the approximately 1,000 families who lose their infant children each year. Cormier founded Quinn’s Legacy Run Society to raise funds to help families who have suffered the loss of their child. The Cormiers put on the fourth annual Quinn’s

Legacy Run in August 2018. Each year, the event helps local families take the time to grieve by providing a one-time financial payment to reduce their financial stress. But Cormier didn’t stop at helping local families; she and her husband approached Blake Richards, Banff-Airdrie Member of Parliament, to see if changes could be made to the federal rules governing maternity benefits. Right from the start, Richards was on board. “I was shocked,” says Richards of finding out benefits were cut off so soon after an infant’s death. “There was a problem, and I wanted it fixed.” Richards embraced the cause and tabled his private member’s bill, with the goal of providing 12 weeks of bereavement leave for parents who lose their children. Motion 110 was passed June 8, 2018, meaning the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) was mandated to study the problem. The study, during which members heard from experts and parents who have suffered the loss of a child, is now complete and HUMA is preparing a report, which will be presented in Parliament. Richards is hopeful for changes to the legislation, which will support grieving parents, to be made sometime this year. Richards says that after he introduced the private member’s bill, he heard from parents from all across Canada suffering similar losses and financial stresses. He is impressed with Cormier’s willingness to bring up the pain of her child’s passing for the greater good, explaining she has had to share her painful story numerous times while championing the bill. “The thing that strikes me about Sarah is her courage,” he says. “Anyone who is a parent can only imagine how hard it was for her to lose her child, but she chooses to take that grief and turn it into something good. That takes incredible courage.” Cormier is happy that Quinn’s name won’t be forgotten. “It is surreal, hearing what we started,” says Cormier. “It is our way of parenting Quinn and making her part of our family. We want her to be remembered.” Kiera Gosse nominated Cormier for an award, calling her “incredible.” “She is such a kindhearted, wonderful soul who is living her life with passion, even though grief is still a huge part of her,” says Gosse. life

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Dr. Neil McDermid | Dr. Victoria McDermid | General dentists

New patients are always welcome. Airdrie Dental offers services for the entire family, including children’s dental, hygiene, general dentistry braces and Invisalign® and so much more. So come in, and let’s make your best smile ever.

587-200-3562 | airdriedental.ca 704 Main Street, Unit One, Airdrie, AB Monday to Thursday from 8am to 4pm and Friday from 8am to 3pm


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airdrielife spring 2019  

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