airdrielife summer 2012

Page 1

summer 2012

Meet more than 20 men you’ll

ADMIRE The Miller



love Airdrie? Why DOES ChriS MulDErS

PLUS thE bESt patiOS FOr DriNKiNG a bEEr thiS SuMMEr

Adero showhome in Reunion

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the uncommonly stylish homebuilder **Limited time offer. Your Sabal Sales Association has complete details. *Laned home starting price based on Xeno model. Garage home starting price based on Kalos model. Prices subject to change without notice.

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Show Home Hours Monday - Thursday: 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm Friday: by appointment only Sat., Sun. & Holidays: Noon - 5:00 pm scan with a smart phone for information on our website

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Thank you Airdrie for an amazing 25 years! Please visit us at our new dealership


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Contributors summer 2012


CHelSeY MotZ Airdrie’s Chelsey Motz, 21, is finishing her journalism program at SAit. She completed her practicum with Frog Media inc., researching, compiling and editing information for our new tourism guide, Eat Play Stay,


and you will see her feature story on friend Shayne Franzman on page 24. Chelsey is looking forward to pursuing her dreams of writing stories about fascinating people.


Sherry Shaw-Froggatt Anne Beaty Vanessa Peterelli Kim Williams Sergei Belski, Linda Bruce, Michelle Carre, Sarah Deveau, Alex Frazer-Harrison, Laurie Harvey, ellen Kelly, Kurtis Kristianson, Tina McMillan, Chelsey Motz, Carl Patzel, Kristy Reimer, Kent Rupert Wendy Potter-Duhaime Print West

CONtaCt uS

Community investment editorial Advertising Accounting WhErE tO FiND uS

Kent rUPert in his new column, businesslife (page 86), Kent Rupert, team leader with the City of Airdrie economic development department, brings years of experience to the fore, as he talks about our evolving community and the ever-changing face of Airdrie.

airdrielife is delivered to all homes in Airdrie and surrounding areas. if you do not receive an issue please contact airdrielife is also available at more than 50 locations around the city including the Airdrie Calgary Co-op. you can also find airdrielife in every showhome in the city and at more than 100 locations in Calgary. airdrielife is published quarterly by Frog Media inc. with the co-operation of the City of Airdrie economic Development Department.

VOLUMe 9, nUMBeR 2

lAUrie HArveY nose Creek Valley Museum curator laurie harvey has stories to tell! And she’ll be sharing them with us in her column, pastlife (page 55), which will chronicle the history of Airdrie and nose Creek Valley.

iSSn 1916-355X

Contents copyright 2012 by Frog Media inc. May not be reproduced without permission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. EDitOrial pOliCy

airdrielife editorial is not for sale. editorial is completely independent from advertising, and no special editorial consideration or commitment of any kind can form any part of the advertising agreement. All editorial inquiries must be directed toward the editor. A copy of Frog Media inc. Writers’ Guidelines can be downloaded from the editorial page on our website. airdrielife does not accept unsolicited submissions. Freelance writers and photographers interested in assignments are asked to send an inquiry, with samples from at least three published magazine articles, to airdrielife is produced from well-managed forests, printed with canola-based inks, and is 100% recyclable.

6 | summer 2012

We invite you to visit McKee Show Homes in these fine Airdrie communities.

editor’s note

Each issue, I learn a bit more about the people who make up our

community, and their stories are so much fun to share. This issue, with its focus on our community’s wonderful male half, is no different. Music, homebuilding, photography, cool jobs and hot homes – our summer issue of airdrielife is dedicated to the man about town (although women will no doubt enjoy these stories, too).


2429 Bayside Circle

King’s Heights

1191 King’s Heights Road


1313 Ravenswood Drive

For example, Jesse Hegedus’s ultimate garage (page 68) is something I think virtually everyone will lust after. (Seeing that creative use of space and colour has certainly led me to reiterate a long-time prayer: Dear Lord, please let me have another garage. I promise I’ll use it for the car this time.) The perfect mancave (page 80) is another awe-inspiring retreat. As for community characters, Gary Giesbrecht (page 20) is a fascinating man I’ve known for a long time, but I am pleased to have the chance to get to know him even better and introduce him to those who haven’t yet had the pleasure.


2378 Reunion Street

And although over the years I’ve often heard the name Soderglen (page 62), there are plenty of

Cooper’s Crossing

heavy-horse-pull champion Stan Grad and his wife, Jane).

1161 Coopers Drive

things I didn’t realize about this highly successful rural business (such as, it was established by

This issue, we also welcome some new faces to the fold. Kent Rupert is probably familiar to many in the city as team leader with Airdrie Economic Development. Kent will be offering his insights in a regular column, businesslife. Also new is Laurie Harvey, Nose Creek Valley Museum curator, who will share narratives of Airdrie’s history in her regular column, pastlife.

Airdrie’s Family Builder for


These are just a few of the great features in store this issue, so sit back, enjoy the season and read to your heart’s content. 403-948-6595 Anne Beaty, EDITOR

8 | summer 2012

We build Happy Birthdays. For 25 years, we’ve built the best into every detail of every McKee Home. Because we know what life’s dreams and memories are made of.

Airdrie’s Family Builder for



60 On the Cover

Chris Mulders takes a 360-degree look at Airdrie PHOTO BY KRISTY REIMER

Columns and regular features 22 Lifesmarts with Sarah Deveau 36 Events 38 Lifelines with Linda Bruce 40 Life online 42 Petlife with James Froese 46 Improve Your Life 48 Lifetimes with Ellen Kelly 50 Citylife 55 Pastlife with Laurie Harvey 62 Rural Roots 72 Lifemoves with Michelle Carre 78 Lifestyles with Tina McMillan 86 Businesslife with Kent Rupert 94 Last look

life in the moment

10 | summer 2012


Painted Ladies – AIRdirondack chairs are back


Running Wild – New band coalesces


Musician Q & A – Fiddler, painter, tool guy


Up-and-Coming – Young man finds his true calling


New Look – Justin gets a ‘manover’


Viewfinder – Photographer loves what he sees


Get Out – Great pubs and patios in Airdrie


Restaurant Profile – Zenbu offers new flavours


All homes feature double front-drive garages.






8th St. SW


Located in Southwest Airdrie, Hillcrest offers easy access to shopping, schools, parks and downtown Calgary. Showhome builders offer an excellent selection of home styles and floorplans. Excel now selling single front-drive garage duplexes starting in the $280’s.

Visit or contact our showhome builders. Excel Homes Contact: Angela Kolewaski Phone: 403.948.9359 Email:

Shane Homes Contact: Jeff Brodowski Phone: 403.536.2316 Email:

Trico Homes Contact: Cory Baiton Phone: 403.980.8510 Email:

Showhome Hours: Monday to Thursday 2-8pm | Weekends & Holidays 12-5pm | Closed Fridays.


life in the


52 Unstoppable – Award-winner keeps on giving 53 Valued Volunteers – Community members earn recognition 54 Involved – Alderman loves his city 56 Getting Their Kicks – Athletes keep going strong 58 Wild and Woolly – Rescue centre makes a difference


life at home

66 Neighbourhood – Meadowbrook delights 68 Divine Decor – That’s a garage? 70 Showhomes – Side-by-side-by-side 73 Live, Work, Play – Local builders make Airdrie home 76 Up and at ‘Em – Raised beds make gardening easier 80 Cave, Man – Below-ground playground

life at work

30 12 | summer 2012

88 Work of Art – Mural makes a statement 90 Tough Job – It is work 92 For the Guys – Business owner loves his job



There are many reasons for buying a new home in Ravenswood. Great pricing and amazing architecture are the top two.

Your brand new home should include everything that makes life more enjoyable. And in Ravenswood great prices and wonderful aesthetics are on that list. Because of the beauty of this community you will have the comfort of knowing your investment will be protected for years to come. All for a price that allows you to still enjoy everything else in life. Eight showhomes now open Monday through Thursday from 2pm to 8pm or Saturday, Sunday and holidays from noon to 5pm. Broadview Homes (403.980.5600), McKee Homes (403.980.1092), NuVista Homes (403.980.9525) Pacesetter Homes (403.980.8625) Crestmont • evanston • silverado • the hill • ravenswood Coming soon – redstone • Painted sky • double Creek

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Year-round fun and adventure Everything’s within reach at Bayside in Airdrie. You can embrace the tranquility, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or hit the shops at CrossIron Mills. Here, the pace is a little slower and the cost is a little lower making waterside living surprisingly affordable. With two new phases of this award-winning community now selling - it’s time you planned your

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moment life in the 26 Man Overboard 28 imagery 34 taste of asia

life in the moment | public art

artist bob harriman

poet Jeanne botha

Third annual AIRdirondack Art Project launches

Creative Chairs


StOry by ShErry ShaW-FrOGGatt | phOtOS by SErGEi bElSKi

or the third consecutive year, you will soon see a dozen Adirondack chairs on display around the city that are more than just chairs – they are works of art. The AIRdirondack Art Project (AIRdirondack being a wordplay on “Adirondack” and “Airdrie”) is a public art project and, when the chairs are later auctioned off, the annual major fundraiser for the Creative Airdrie Society. The entire project is presented by Ravenswood (a Qualico community). “If you want to sit on it, you have to bid on it” – that’s the catchy tagline of the AIRdirondack Art Project Gala that takes place Sept. 22. But first the chairs have to be turned into works of art by area artisans, and are then unveiled June 23 during the Empty Bowls Festival at Nose Creek Park. Artist Veronica Funk, who is one of the original co-ordinators of the project and also one of the first chair artists, is looking forward to seeing the 12 works of art.“I am especially excited about this year’s AIRdirondack Art Project artists, as they include a fibre artist, jeweller, ceramicist and photographer, along with another group of amazing painters,” Funk says.“This year I am also thrilled to include the work of high school arts students. As always I can’t wait to see the results of the abundance of creativity and talent of our artists.” This year’s artists are Christine Taylor, Tracy-Lee Shannon, Bob Harriman, Robyn Cooper, Kathryn Zondag, Rod Wood, Jeanne Botha, Christina Waldner, Melissa Bruglemans, Debbie Knutson, Koos de Jongh and St. Martin de Porres Grade 11-12 art students under the direction of teacher Sheila Stacey. The artists are collaborating online, sharing their progress on Facebook under AIRdirondack Art Project. Full bios are also available online at both and Abstract artist de Jongh was honoured to be chosen as one of the chair creators.“I look forward to sharing my artistic inspiration with the public,” he says.

16 | summer 2012

For Harriman, the experience has been eye-opening. “I volunteered to participate in the 2012 AIRdirondack Chair project after seeing last year’s amazing chair art, but knowing little else about the actual chairs,” he says. “Transforming a kit consisting of 20 pieces of raw wood and a few nuts and bolts into a colourful decorated chair was not only a new challenge, but a ‘fun’ fundraising project to have worked on. Last year the chairs netted $10,000 for the Creative Airdrie Society, a non- profit organization dedicated to the development of the arts community and instrumental in bringing Alberta Culture Days (formerly Arts Days) to Airdrie. “We expect to see our numbers double this year [at the gala],” says Creative Airdrie executive director Linda Bruce. “The calibre of the chairs, the calibre of the event and the calibre of the community that comes to the event is second-to-none.” But before the hotly anticipated gala, the public will have the opportunity to view each chair from June 24 to Sept. 21 at the following locations: TD Bank (downtown); Brewsters; City Hall; Airdrie Public Library; Home Hardware; Genesis Place; Starbucks on Main Street; and the four main showhomes in Ravenswood. This year people have the opportunity to win two chairs created at the 2011 ARTember festivities, which will be on display at Cam Clark Ford. For every entry received, Cam Clark will donate $2 to the Creative Airdrie Society. (See rules and regulations on entry forms.) The bright and colourful chairs were a ‘hands-on’ project created during last fall’s Culture in the Creek by children who stopped by, dipped their hands into paint and left their prints behind. For this year’s AIRdirondack project, based on a large number of requests, Creative Airdrie is considering allowing online bids on select chairs in advance of the gala. Find out more at life

Creating Beautiful Smiles for Life

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smile about! Every patient wants to have an attractive smile. When you smile with confidence, you look your best and feel good about yourself. Straight teeth and a broad smile are very important to a person's positive self- image. As your teeth, jaws and lips become properly aligned through orthodontic therapy, your self-image can improve. This is just one of the many benefits.

What is Orthodontics? Orthodontics is a form of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Technically speaking, these problems are classified as "malocclusion," meaning "bad bite." *Dr. Jennifer Buchanan is skilled in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance. Most people associate orthodontics with the application of braces to correct crooked teeth in children. *Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, however, treats a wide variety of conditions in people of all ages.

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life in the moment | new talent (left to right) Chad McMonagle, aaron vaiasicca, Eli budwill, Chris Doi and adam Goring take in the street art before one of their jam sessions in airdrie


Romeo StOry aND phOtO by KurtiS KriStiaNSON

18 | summer 2012



On the run with Airdrie’s hottest new band

ow often do you find yourself cruising in your car listening to a catchy tune on the alternative rock station, fingers tapping on the steering wheel, and your teenager asks you to turn it up? Or, from the other perspective, you’re still in high school, at an all-ages rock show trying to be cool, while your parents are having a great time grooving to the 20-something band on stage that you came to see. Is this even possible? What are the chances that teens and their parents could actually have a common taste in music? Maybe it sounds highly unlikely in this day and age of rebellious punk and teenage angst-filled music, but it is not a dream. Local band Run Romeo Run takes its influence from the ’90s and 2000s and marries it with a punk pop-40 sound that anyone at any age can enjoy. Run Romeo Run – Chad McMonagle, lead guitar; Chris Doi, rhythm guitar; Adam Goring, drums; Aaron Vaiasicca, bass guitar; and Eli Budwill, vocals – is working hard on its first compilation of singles. Although this Airdrie-based band only formed within the last year (simply enough through a Kijiji ad), the band’s career as a recognisable Canadian group is well on its way to getting established. “We are constantly heavily promoting our band in every way we can,” Doi says.“Nobody cares how good you are if you never interact with your fans or go out of your way to try and make new ones.” While distance and lifestyles generally grind away at a forming band’s momentum, at the beginning the members were busy putting together songs by sending material out to front man Budwill in B.C., so he could contribute and send back. This arrangement also meant that Budwill had to drive more than eight hours to play shows with little rehearsal time. Now, though, all five members are living in Airdrie and Calgary, making Run Romeo Run their No. 1 focus. “We have [a] solid schedule which we committed to which brings us together to jam at least two times a week,” Doi says, adding that the schedule accommodates their

busy school and work lives. “Once summer comes around and school is over we are going to push really hard to get three jams in per week.” Fresh from a recent trip to Toronto for Canadian Music Week, where the five members spent their time connecting with other bands and music industry professionals, Run Romeo Run is doing its best to continue the energy and exposure.“One thing people don’t know about [is] how intense it is to be in a band,” says Goring. All it takes is a listen to the band’s first single, Smiling in South Carolina, to realize this is not the stereotypical punk-pop sound. With musical influences and backgrounds in classic punk, ’90s alternative rock and operatic theatre, the band is creating a fresh, progressive alternative pop style all its own. “The music is full of energy and getting out to a show is about enjoying yourself without getting crazy or hurt,” says Goring, who adds that the band is not interested in wasting energy with angry or political messages. What does the future hold? Clearly, taking five talented musicians who are already confident enough to focus on producing radio-ready music is like developing the next supergroup. There is no struggle to make the band work, just the business of building great singles and getting enough airplay to build a fan base. “We are going out and supporting local bands, putting on shows and making tons of new friends in various other local bands,” Doi says.“It’s all about connections and keeping them tight. We want to be that band that breaks the mould, and go the extra mile to get to the top of the scene!” The band members are passionate and proud of their own particular type of music and believe that integrity and honesty mixed with a positive message will go a long way to establishing them in the Canadian music scene. “We all know what we’re doing,” Budwill says. “You know it’s confidence, you’re in control of what you have, you’re not just making a racket – you know what sound you can make.” life summer 2012 | 19

life in the moment | musician Q&A

20 | summer 2012

Q&A with


Fiddler, artist, tool guy, rodeo guy – Gary Giesbrecht has done it all StOry by alEx FrazEr-harriSON | phOtO by KriSty rEiMEr

The founding member and current president of the Prairie Mountain Fiddlers – marking its 25th anniversary in 2012 – recently sat down for a chat about music and art. what came first: art or music? When I grew up [in Castor], my grandfather was the leader of a small community band. My brother and I learned how to play the horn … we started at seven-eight years old. Later, I had a cousin who played guitar and we were into that folk music, Marty Robbins. I learned to play guitar. I was always drawing as a kid, too. I went to a one-room schoolhouse, and I’d sit there and look outside and draw anything I saw … birds or a truck … I used to get in trouble with the teachers. I didn’t rekindle the art until about 1516 years ago. I had a major operation in 1994 … that woke me up to things a bit. I started out doing pencil drawings … then someone said I had to work in colour, so I started to do colouredpencil stuff. Then I worked a bit in pastels. Then everyone said why not do watercolour? Last year, I started working in oils, but there are days I swear I’m going back to watercolour! what do you like to draw? Horses, people, Western-related. My wife and I were in Texas, a one-horse town … there were these ruddy chickens running around main street, so I took some [photos]. About a month ago, I couldn’t find anything to paint, so I painted this rooster in three hours in oil. Someone said, Why don’t you continue doing these roosters and chickens? But I’ll tell you something …

I hate chickens! I learned to hate chickens [on the farm]. So I’ve [done] three chicken paintings so far – and I’m thinking of doing another one! when did the music come back? I was stuck in a hotel room in Grande Prairie for six months [in 1973], with nothing to do. They had a music store … and I bought a guitar. But I always had a hankering in the back of my mind. When I was a kid, there was Don Messer’s Jubilee on every Saturday night and they used to have guest fiddlers … I always liked that fiddle music [and] I paid attention to bluegrass music. When I built my house [in Airdrie], I borrowed a fiddle from a neighbour. I found a place in northwest Calgary giving lessons; this was in 1982. This guy, Roy Watts, played with the CFCN Old Timers … he was a welder by trade, with massive hands like me. I started going to fiddle contests. In 1987, a meeting was held in Calgary and the Prairie Mountain Fiddlers was formed … there are two of us left in [the group] who signed the charter. We went from a membership of about 30 and now number in the 110-120 range. We try to encourage new [fiddlers]. It’s a fun thing to do. I’m still learning … in some respects, I wish I’d started as a kid playing violin. I play every gig with Prairie Mountain Fiddlers. I also formed another group called Pure Country. what do you like more: music or art? I put them on a bar [holds out his arms, balanced]. I’m sometimes asked, What would you like to give up? Neither one, thank you. Art is a solitary thing; the music gets me out and I’m interacting with people and having a great time. life

summer 2012 | 21

life in the moment | column



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22 | summer 2012

FruGal SuMMEr FuN

ore than 10,000 children under the age of 14 will soon throng out of their school doors to descend upon Airdrie and begin having as much fun as possible during their two-month summer vacation. The very things kids have anticipated with excitement, many parents have dreaded! Keeping kids busy during the summer months without overspending on costly summer camps and too-frequent trips to Calgary can be a struggle. Luckily, Airdrie has more than enough to do that’s fun and inexpensive. With 82 kilometres of paved pathways in our city, there are plenty of neighbourhood trails your family might not yet have explored. Meadowbrook has a particularly beautiful pathway system with lovely wooded routes that lead to a large park at the middle school. If you have a smartphone, download a geocaching app and spend time finding and hiding geocaches. No idea what I’m talking about? Geocaching is a free treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Visit to find co-ordinates to learn how to play and search for the more than 100 geocaches located in Airdrie. Be sure to look for the cache entitled“Roll on by” for a special one my daughters and I have hidden on the east side. Elsewhere in Airdrie, although the splash park in Jenson has closed there’s still a great

playground and park available complete with mature trees offering relief from the sun. The huge Chinook Winds Regional Park complex, which opened last summer, is another great spot for families. It consists of a skate park, several baseball diamonds and a hockey rink with boards that contains basketball courts in the warmer months. There are plans for much more, including a spray park, to open later this summer. If you’re at your wit’s end and need a few days without children underfoot, check out the day camps available at Genesis Place, Little Gym and other venues around Airdrie. Some offer financial assistance to qualifying families, while others offer single-day options for families limited by budget or time. Quinn Donaldson, manager of children’s services with the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, suggests checking out club activities. “In summer we offer eight weeks of themed summer programming for kids aged six to 12,” says Donaldson. “Some of the exciting things we’ll do this summer [are] go rafting, head to the coal mines and an overnight camping trip.” And Airdrie Public Library always has plenty of fun programming for kids of all ages during the summer, so be sure to sign up for the library’s mailing list at to learn more about how the library can help you keep your kids busy this summer. life

Smile More. New patients welcome.

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life in the moment | heart and soul

24 | summer 2012

Shayne’s Identity StOry by ChElSEy MOtz | phOtO by SErGEi bElSKi

Local musician finds his soul through his music


rom an early age, Shayne Franzman has had an unquenchable love of music. Now, at the age of 21, he has started to make a name for himself in the music industry. “I’ve had a passion for music since about three years old, but I never knew I had musical insight or ability until about 15,” he says. “At about 17 I bought a guitar and began learning our old songs and writing my own.” Having started a band for fun in his early years, penning music and lyrics, by the time Franzman graduated from Bert Church High School, he had learned to play multiple instruments. Working at Sobeys part time and unsure of what to do next, he toyed with the idea of starting another band. It was around that time that he saw a contest being offered at music store giant HMV. “I was supported by my aunt and uncle when I was playing guitar but I never told anyone I was taking it seriously until [last spring],” he says. Says Franzman’s uncle, Brian Franzman: “[Shayne’s] always had an interest in music, but only the last five years [in] writing. He started getting better at it, more confident at performing.” Searching online, Shayne discovered a contest with the New Black Centre for Music & Art for songwriters and vocalists. Entering one of his own self-written and performed songs, he crossed his fingers for good luck. Shayne won a prize that included a 20-minute set at the Ship & Anchor pub on 17th Avenue in Calgary, plus a song feature on the pub’s yearly Ship & Anchor compilation CD, which will include 12 songs and be sold at local HMVs. “It’s great … any time you have a passion for something and you go for it. When he used to sing I always used to tell him to perform,“ says Brian.

Since then, Shayne has enjoyed great success with the release of two albums he had professionally recorded at a nearby studio. Inspired by his winning song, Identity – written to describe the confusion of being a young adult starting out in the world – Shayne has decided that music is what he wants to do with his life. He finds himself now eagerly supported by his large family. High school friend Kira Anderson, 21, has been a supporter and fan since the beginning. “I love Shayne’s music. I listen to it all of the time and know almost all of his songs off by heart,” Anderson says. “I love the lyrics the most. Plus, the guitar sounds amazing and his passion is phenomenal.” Anderson had such faith in Shayne’s musical ability that she helped organize the merchandise table and sell tickets for his first concert, held last summer at Bert Church Theatre. Supporters of his music turned up in what became a sizable crowd of more than 100, many buying his T-shirts, CDs and lyric books. After his first performance, Shayne found a second gig instantly lined up at Airdrie’s first annual art festival, ARTember. While on his albums he performs his own music instrumentally and vocally, in concert Shayne enlists the help of his cousin, who is a professional drummer. His roommate, a pianist, also makes an appearance. “I see him making it big if he wants it. Shayne has character some new artists lack and the passion to do anything,” says Anderson. “[Shayne] is an amazing local artist. He is one of a kind and truly dedicated to his music.” life summer 2012 | 25

life in the moment | makeover

The MAN over bEFOrE

WHen We PUt tHe CAll oUt for GUYS needlooK, we got some hilarious inG to UPdAte tHeir looK responses (all from their spouses). “Please make him over!” was a common thread. But airdrielife reader Beth Francois made a practical plea for spouse Justin: “My hubby could definitely use a manover! He has in the last year or so been promoted to salesman, so [for] someone who used to pull wrenches to be in the casual corporate world has been a stretch.” Mark’s Airdrie and Hair Lounge to the rescue!

lOOK #2

Damien Tiloshanec at Mark’s picked out some comfortable fitted shirts and pants for Justin that he can dress up or down depending on the day’s agenda. Wendy Bates-Wiebe and the crew at Hair Lounge made sure he got a great cut to suit his new look. “We gave him a wonderful scalp massage using Aveda rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner,” says Wendy. “I suggested he push his hair to the front and finish up with men’s grooming clay for defining and separation.”

lOOK #1

photographer adam Kuzik over at Studio 35 gave Justin the rock-star treatment and the great results are on this page. Justin was a good sport (and a great model). We asked him a few questions during the photo shoot. What was the hardest part of changing jobs when it came to getting dressed for work? now I have to plan ahead for where and who I will be meeting that day. Am I going to be downtown, in a shop or out in the field? I just have to plan better. What is your new dress code? It’s more work casual. It can go anywhere from dress shirt and tie to coveralls and a hard hat, depending on the day. What is the most dominant colour in your closet? Black, for sure.

lOOK #1 Justin is wearing Mark’s perfectly pressed pants in grey and perfectly pressed dress shirt in patterned purple. With a bright purple tie (also from Mark’s) Justin can meet important clients and feel confident. lOOK #2 a little less formal but still professional, Justin models a solid purple perfectly pressed dress shirt with casual fitting navy perfectly pressed pants (available in flat front and pleated styles). All clothing from Mark’s Airdrie Styling by Damien Tiloshanec Photography by Studio 35

26 | summer 2012

you ended up modelling a bright purple shirt and tie – how did you like the look? I didn’t mind it. I thought it looked good. What is the one item in your closet beth wishes you’d get rid of? Any of the T-shirts I have. What did you learn from this experience and will you look at your closet differently? I learned that I should try some different colours in the clothing I wear. Change it up a bit. Mostly just try and update my look.

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209 Centre Avenue S.W., Airdrie

Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm, Saturday 9am - 6pm & Sunday 11am - 5pm (403) 948-0010 •


life in the moment | artist Q & A

StOry aND phOtO by KurtiS KriStiaNSON

Artist Rod Wood shares his vision

28 | summer 2012


here seem to be so many ‘fine art’ photographers out there and every second person has a camera. With the high-speed progression of superior gear, the learning curve to a great image is short. But regardless of how talented a photographer is when he or she starts out, there just seems to be a level of understanding and perception embedded in an image when it is bolstered by years of experience and maturity of the craft. Recently, airdrielife sat down with one such experienced photographer, Rod J. Wood, and learned that there is always more to see. rod Wood poses with some of his personal and published fine art at his home in Crossfield

is this a hobby for you or is it full time? I’m retired. But it’s neither hobby nor full time. It is just something that I have always done and will always do because I get so much enjoyment from it. more the lifestyle then. do you sell any of your work? [For] any artist, selling a piece is gratitude and acknowledgement in a concrete form. Like many artists I am insecure with my abilities and thrive on praise from unexpected sources, such as someone buying a pic to take home. how long have you been ‘making pictures’ and what was the catalyst to be a photographer? For 45 years. I can’t think of any one thing that spurred me into taking photographs. I found from an early age that I was visually attracted to things. I enjoyed looking. This led me into the arts and I naturally took a camera along for the ride. I found myself carrying a camera with me wherever I went. what kind of photography are you passionate about? is there anything that influences your work? I do find that I get lost in flower gardens as the sun is going down. Peonies have especially excited me in recent years. I’m taken away from the everyday world, getting lost in the multitude of shapes, forms and shades of colours produced in a peony blossom. I am influenced by what I see.

so, are you a trophy hunter or immersive photographer? Definitely immersive. I don’t seek out good photographs. I put myself in situations and through exploration, [find] myself facing something that I may not have seen before and may never see again, taking the opportunity to create an image that I can enjoy for all time. what motivates you to go out and shoot? is it light? design? contrast? The delight and excitement that comes to me when I see a certain light, a pleasing composition or set of colours. There are myriad things that await those who choose to see rather than just to look. Every photographer has a favourite piece of gear. what is your favourite piece? My eyes. I am filled with so much pleasure simply by looking and seeing. I had a photo exhibition at the public library which explored the difference between looking and seeing. They are two different functions. We look in order to navigate and identify; we see to comprehend, appreciate and take pleasure in. where do you like to photograph? close to home? do you take any trips? One of my favourite places is my backyard. I don’t often take my camera around town with me like I used to. My wife and I walk just for the enjoyment of walking and if I’m carrying a camera there is too much stop-and-go.

what do you see when you’re out making pictures? I see extraordinary in the ordinary; I see fast expanses in the tiniest of things. I rarely go out to take pictures; I go out and take a camera along with me.

what would you be doing if you had unlimited resources? Travelling more, purchasing more equipment and buying property in the Qu’appelle Valley of Saskatchewan.

what is the most important aspect of a scene when you compose? The light. There are moments that happen ever so briefly and if I am able to capture one to appreciate time and again, I feel like I’ve won a prize.

why do you choose photography and not some other art form? Pleasure, plain and simple. I get a lot of enjoyment from wandering and taking photos. My eyes find interest, the viewfinder composes and the media captures. life summer 2012 | 29

life in the moment | out and about

Where is the best place to unwind on a summer afternoon in Airdrie? Photographer Kurtis Kristianson took a few friends to find out. During the long, hot dog days of summer, one of the most satisfying things to do is spend some quality time with friends and colleagues at one of Airdrie’s licensed patios. Everyone has been to their neighborhood pub or has a favourite patio they frequent, but did you know that there are at least 12 licensed patios open for business in Airdrie during the summer months? I had no idea there were so many. So when I asked a couple of friends to join my wife and me to tour some local patios, we were turned on to a wide range of places to relax and enjoy a few cold ones outdoors. When we could we tried the food, had at least one beer or highball and stayed for a minimum of one hour … all the while recording our experience and blowing my editor’s budget out of the water.

brewster’s Brewster’s is one of the larger patios in town and offers a very comfortable and slightly more private feel. The perimeter has high walls and glass that block out (most of ) the noise from the street to the south, and the open lattice roof has heaters for the occasional cool night. As expected, our waitress was friendly and the food and craft beer was excellent. We felt more at home with the wicker-and-cushion furniture and as dense as the seating is, never at anytime did we feel that we couldn’t carry on a private conversation. This is the place to have an early evening pint with friends or a date you’re trying to impress (good luck). 3 Stonegate Dr. NW

boston pizza With only 10 tables, the patio here is a little smaller than most of the ones we visited and forced us to be slightly more intimate with our group. With the ’80s alternative playing in the background, sitting in the plastic chairs and glass panels keeping out the street noise, I felt strangely more at home. No gimmicks here, just good old BP’s sports bar atmosphere on the outside with a couple of heaters overhead. Service was good and we could have easily spent a few hours here (oh, yeah, we did). This place is a sure thing if you get in early enough or on a slow night and I’d recommend coming with your buddies or the girlfriends. 106 Sierra Springs Dr. SE

30 | summer 2012

Pubs & Patios

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Free initial consultations Airdrie’s first and only orthodontic clinic is now accepting new patients ! Dr. Mo Korayem, a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics, is proud to serve the Airdrie community and surrounding areas. With 3 additional years of advanced education following dental school, orthodontists are specialist dentists focusing purely on dental alignment to create balanced bites and beautiful, vibrant smiles.

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Mr Mikes This is a nice medium-sized patio attached to the south side of the Mr Mikes restaurant in the Sierra Springs area. There are 10 tables with umbrellas at this location and it has an open atmosphere that doesn’t leave you feeling crowded. The furniture still has a classy feel to it as far as patios go and the outside ‘club’ music was left at a good level in the background. Service and the beer selection were good and the very tasty house craft beers are served in a tall “stange” (narrow and very tall glass). Unfortunately even though you can still catch some of that warm evening sun to the west, this patio is a little close to the noisy Highway 2. This is the patio to come to during the week with your family or a date that requires very little talking. 130 Sierra Springs Dr. SE

Woodside Golf Course

Original Joe’s


Now here is a location that should almost be termed “outdoor living room,” as this patio actually has a split personality. Along with the standard patio seating is the couches-and-fireplace setup that opens up onto the golf course to the west. Immediately we felt like VIPs, delivered from our important day, enjoying each other’s company and sipping our domestic beer. Yes, domestic beer only at this location, but it is a golf and country club and it’s already broken the mould with this amazing open-air lounge. This is a fantastic spot to get together with your friends on a warm early evening to enjoy good food and open space. The guy with the date should come here at dusk.

The medium-sized patio at Original Joes’ is fairly simple, with a glass panel fence to eliminate street noise and your standard furniture and umbrellas. However, even with 12 tables this place still felt quite open when busy and conversations at our table were easy and private. As simple as the patio is, it’s still Joe’s great food and beer selection and specials. Our waitress was excellent and timely and we ended up more lost in conversation while there than hooked up on the atmosphere. This is where I’d take my colleagues for lunch or have a casual business meeting. Perfect on a hot day and easy on the wallet (make your date pay).

This addition to the original location is a little smaller, but it has been well thought out. The seating is separated from the lot by high frosted glass and there is a heater running the length of the overhead canopy. The furniture is solid, the service is good and the setup makes for a fairly simple but intimate experience. This is still a traditional Irish pub, however, so if you’re looking for a pub atmosphere and like being outside, this is it. Start your night off right or bring the beer-league ball team after an early evening game. Great spot to break up with that date you brought to Mr Mikes, by the way....

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32 | summer 2012

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life in a moment | restaurants

on a roll story by Carolyn McTighe photos by Sergei Belski

Japanese and Korean flavours come to life at Zenbu


hen properly prepared, Asian-inspired cuisine can be one of the most esthetically pleasing, not only for your palate, but also for your eyes. With its vibrant and colourful combination of ingredients, it has become a favourite of Canadians and is a staple on the menus of many modern restaurants around the country. Once considered an exotic food only enjoyed by a select few, Asian food’s popularity has been steadily rising due in large part to its health benefits and a growing cultural diversity and acceptance. South Korean-born Eliz Jung – co-owner of Airdrie’s Zenbu restaurant with husband Scott Suh and Calgary friends Julia and Fuming Yang – has seen firsthand this rising interest. A restaurant decked out in understated elegance, Zenbu has quickly become one of Airdrie’s most popular dining establishments. Yet despite the praise, Jung is still surprised by the acclaim and confesses she was initially worried that Zenbu would not be accepted. “When we first opened I was worried the people of Airdrie might not come here to eat,” she says. “But within a short time we had a steady stream of customers. Many of them are very loyal and eat three times a week with us. “I think it’s just wonderful the way Airdrionians have embraced us and our new cuisine,” she adds. “It’s just wonderful to see people try new things and know you’re the reason why they’re doing it.”

34 | summer 2012

One of the real draws of Zenbu is chef Jae Wook Hong, who got his start in the kitchen at a Japanese restaurant in London. Although initially educated in hospitality management, his experience at the restaurant and working with other cooks encouraged him to pursue his passion. In 2007 he enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu London, and he hasn’t looked back since. While he is an expert in cooking and presenting Korean and Japanese dishes, the chef ’s own favourite cuisine is French, because it is “very delicate and detailed.” He loves to try new French food, he says, as well as eating at restaurants specializing in other European and Japanese food. Then it’s back to work at Zenbu. As part of a team he likes, Hong thoroughly enjoys his job, from morning prep to evening cleanup. But his favourite part is seeing the customer relishing a meal, be it Korean or Japanese, and leaving with “lots of joyfulness.” With a menu that consists of Japanese standards, such as tempura, sushi and sashimi, and such Korean specialities as Korean-style beef short ribs and marinated barbecued beef, Zenbu is a collection of all the best of Asian cuisine. “Unlike Japanese food, Korean food takes longer to prepare and has more steps in the preparation,” Jung says.“Right now our menu is mainly Japanese, but we are in the process of changing that. By definition our restaurant’s name means ‘everything’ and that’s really true of how we plan to keep running things.” Jung first came to North America as a child, when her family

emigrated from South Korea to Pennsylvania. Originally a graduate of a hotel and restaurant management program, she spent 10 years working in the U.S. on a military base as a human resources specialist before moving to Canada with husband in 2007. Although her work had been fulfilling and challenging, she admits that the dream of opening a restaurant was always in the back of her mind. “It was always a dream of mine, but something I was scared to do,” Jung notes.“When you’re young you don’t fear many things, but when you’re older and have a family and responsibilities you suddenly have worries. Had I opened this business when I was young I’m sure I would have been worry-free, but as a mother and wife it’s different. There is more riding on it.” However, after conversations with the Yangs about the difficulty of finding a good Korean restaurant close to home, the concept of Zenbu was born, with the restaurant opening in December 2011. For all the partners, opening a restaurant was a natural choice, given their professional and family backgrounds – Jung’s own hotel and restaurant management education; the Yang families’ 60 years experience with restaurants and cooking; and Julia Yang’s education and work experience in the hospitality management field. Now that the four have taken the leap of faith, they are pleased with the community’s response so far and hope for a bright future. “We want Zenbu to be a collection of great Japanese and Korean food,” Jung says. “We also want it to be a place people want to keep coming back to. If we can manage that then we’ve succeeded.” life

Chef Jae Wook Hong shows off his culinary creativity summer 2012 | 35

life in the moment | events

Summer Fun

Celebrate the warm days with these great activities JuNE 23 6th annual Empty bowls arts Festival Nose Creek park, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Hosted by Airdrie Food Bank, this community event showcases local artistic talent while drawing attention to hunger issues in Airdrie. enjoy local musicians; a silent auction on bowls made by local artists and ViPs; children’s events; and a free soup lunch. Donations to Airdrie Food Bank are welcome. Details at JuNE 23-SEpt. 22 the airdirondack art project enjoy 12 original works of art (Adirondack chairs or, as the Creative Airdrie Society calls them, AiRdirondacks) – on display around Airdrie between June and September. The chairs will be auctioned off at a gala in support of the arts at McArthur Fine Furniture, at which guests will enjoy gourmet food and a live jazz band. Details at JuNE 27-July 1 45th annual airdrie pro rodeo Highlights include bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding, as well as daytime activities for children and evening beer gardens. Located west of Airdrie on Highway 567. Details at July 1 Canada Day Celebrations Activities include the Canada Day Parade starting at 10 a.m., hosted by Airdrie Pro Rodeo Association; the Airdrie Public Library Canada Day barbecue; Dog Day Afternoon from 12-4 p.m. at nose Creek Park (featuring an adopta-thon, barbecue, pet photography, obedience demos and safety talks), hosted by Wild Rose Humane Society; Airdrie Pro Rodeo evening events; and fireworks at east Lake Park at dusk. Details at auG. 18-19 annual Fall Fair – horticulture & bench Show Genesis place Hosted by the Airdrie and District Agricultural Society and featuring competitions and judging in such categories as vegetable growing, children’s crafts, baking, fine art and photography. exhibits can be dropped off Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; judging at 2 p.m. exhibits will be open Aug. 19 to the public starting at 10 a.m. Details at

36 | summer 2012

auG. 25 airdrie Summer Classic Show and Shine Nose Creek park Take in hundreds of cars, ranging from first models to modern-day classics, on display at this fun family event. (View a display of even rarer cars on Aug. 11, weather permitting, with a rainout date of Aug. 25.) Details at SEpt. 8 airdrie Fest 2012 City hall, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A fun, family-friendly outdoor event with free live music, children’s activities and a marketplace boasting a wide variety of food, products and services celebrating local businesses. Details at

SEpt. 14-30 artember The second annual citywide celebration of the arts will include wine tastings and painting workshops, author readings and dance classes, talent shows, art shows, professional musicians, comedians and a multicultural celebration in nose Creek Park. Take in the art show and sale wine-andcheese Sept. 14, and the Cooper’s Crossing Twilight Carnival Sept. 15, which will feature fireworks, a children’s carnival, food and artisan vendors, and Japanese floating lanterns. Throughout ARTember, enjoy the fine dining experiences at local restaurants with Taste of Airdrie and take an Artwalk through town and visit more than 30 businesses hosting local artists. Details at

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summer 2012 | 37

life in the moment | column

The Dog Days of lifelines

with linDA BRUCE


Summer is definitely here and thoughts turn to backyard enjoyment. For the true green thumb the garden diary has been consulted, plots have been planned and bedding-out plants can finally be placed outside. I think gardening will be on hiatus for a few years in our backyard. My small front garden will now get all the attention. Our yard looks like a scene out of any war movie, with trenches and foxholes dug everywhere. No, we haven’t been invaded by wayward gophers looking for



38 | summer 2012

respite from another development. It is the result of a PowerPoint presentation. This is where I must digress and complain about our education system. Sometimes it is too good at what it does. I am sure many of you are aware that children today learn how to create PowerPoint presentations. It seems as if this should be a good skill for our young people. Balderdash! It is a subversive plot to hoodwink parents. You see, a year ago my middle son desperately wanted a dog. I desperately didn’t. “We like to travel,” I said.“We are out all the time. It wouldn’t work in our busy home. Who would clean up after the dog? (Not me.) Who would walk it? (Not me.) It just isn’t going to work,” I adamantly stated. And that was the end of that, or so I thought. After school one day, my son wanted to show me a project he had completed. He pulled up a PowerPoint presentation regarding all the reasons he should have a dog, with solutions to every one of my objections, and since he had recently started a job he would pay for all the expenses. You can imagine how proud I was. This was a masterpiece. Since he learned it at school he must be a gifted student. Of course he could have a dog. My son wasn’t interested in a miniature or teacup dog. He wanted a real dog (his words), a big dog. He searched Kijiji for huskies, malamutes, anything big and furry. I was getting nervous. By a stroke of (good?) fortune, acquaintances just had a litter of pups so we could help them out by taking a pup off their hands. Cisco entered our life – a Bernese mountain dog-border collie cross. Yikes! Last summer this puppy was relatively harmless. He was a cute furball who loved his walks and his chew toys. He watched the other dogs and kids in the park and learned to get up on the trampoline. By the end of the summer we discovered a small problem. There was a hole in the trampoline. Cisco chewed the hole. I guess that was the first sign of trouble. Cisco is a chewer. He chewed every toy and bone into bits in minutes. Three pairs of my high-heeled shoes were destroyed. A leather love seat and

chair were great teething rings. Shrubs in the backyard were nicely pruned. New hoses and lawn furniture will be on order this summer. As if the chewing isn’t bad enough, he has discovered that he also likes to dig. At last count we had more than 30 holes of various sizes and shapes throughout the yard. (If I could train him to dig for truffles I could at least make some money from his efforts.) My son booked a dog whisperer to come and help. My husband is building an enclo-

sure, although I am not sure if it is for the dog or us. It has been suggested that we should unload all this trouble. That makes my heart stop. In a year Cisco has captured our hearts. He licks, nuzzles, wrestles, hugs and loves us and we return the favour, except for the licking part. If you walk the paths in Meadowbrook and see what looks like a bombed-out backyard, give us a wave. I know we should have more pride, but instead we have a dog and lots of love. life

Type to enter text

presents the

3nd Annual

SEE the 2012 AIRdirondack Art Project chairs at the following locations June 23 to Sept 21: Brewsters, Home Hardware, TD Main St, McArthurs, City Hall, Airdrie Public Library, Genesis Place, Starbucks Main St and the Ravenswood Show Homes

PLUS Enter to WIN 2 AIRdirondack Chairs at the new Cam Clark Ford location and Cam Clark will donate $2 to Creative Airdrie for every entry received! (Details in store)


If you want to sit on it, you have to bid on it!

Saturday September 22, 2012

7 pm at McArthur Fine Furniture Tickets $75 Dress Code: Formal An elegant evening of jazz, fine food and wine, and the live auction of 12 original works of art on Adirondack chairs and an exclusive silent auction to support the Creative Airdrie Society and the future of arts in Airdrie.

Charlotte Allen Office Manager

Matt Carre REALTOR®

Michelle Carre REALTOR®

2011 Highest Bid Chair $2000. Artist Cheryl Todd Shergold (left) and bidder Sarah Sperrin.

Purchase tickets at

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life in the moment | online At Woodside the F in GOLF is for FUN


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life in the moment | pets

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Does your dog gobble food up as if it hasn’t eaten in days? Some think nothing of this and feel it’s just normal behaviour for their pet. But there are health concerns and risks that could threaten your dog’s life, should this behaviour continue. When a dog eats too quickly, it swallows too much air. This can result in an upset stomach, vomiting, regurgitating or excess gas soon after eating. More seriously, veterinarians say dogs that inhale their food have an increased risk of choking, digestive problems and canine obesity. You may wonder why canine obesity is included in this list. Canine obesity can occur when a dog who is not portion-fed eats quickly, causing overeating and consequent indigestion and discomfort. This can disrupt its regular exercise pattern, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle and, of course, weight gain. Dogs with deeper chests that eat their food quickly are also at greater risk of developing bloat, technically known as GDV (gastric

dilatation volvulus). This life-threatening condition is caused when gas builds up in a dog’s stomach and can’t get out. As the gas accumulates, the stomach swells and often twists. Although it can occur in any type of dog, it tends to show up more frequently in larger, deep-chested dogs. Older dogs (over age seven) are at greater risk compared to younger ones. One strategy to slow down your dog’s eating rate is a slow-feeding bowl. These are available in plastic, stainless steel or ceramic. Some bowls have multiple partitions to slow down eating while others look like a donut, with a rounded centre knob, making the kibble move around the bowl. Both designs are effective. One customer purchased a slow-feeding bowl for her dogs and became a real fan, as it cured them of their excess gas problem! Treat dispensers are another option for encouraging slow eating, as the dog has to ‘work’ to get out the kibble, but considers it play. Some food manufacturers design their kibble shape with the specific goal of slowing down a dog’s food intake rate. For example, Labrador retrievers often eat too quickly. Royal Canin has a specific food for Labradors that is designed to slow down eating. I saw a video clip from Royal Canin’s research facility showing how quickly a yellow Lab ate regular kibble, and was surprised at how much longer it took the same dog to eat the “engineered” kibble from Royal Canin. So if your dog is eating too quickly, talk to someone at your local pet specialty store. Prevent the many indigestion concerns related to fast eating, protect your dog’s health and improve quality of life for your dog and for you for many years to come. – James Froese is owner of Global Pet Foods in Airdrie

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life in the moment | health

Improve Your Life by improving your smile story by Carolyn McTighe


f your eyes are the window to your soul, then your mouth is the door to your heart, especially when you consider that many of today’s health issues can be directly tied to good or bad oral hygiene. The first impression we make, our smile is what greets people when they meet us and is the one feature on our face that can truly make us feel either confident and proud or embarrassed and self-conscious. “Having unhealthy gums, decayed or missing teeth can be distracting to another person during conversations and cause them to make assumptions about that person’s personal hygiene,” explains Dr. Aaron McKee, Nose Creek Dental Centre dentist. “Good oral health allows a person to be confident in their appearance, which can change a person more than you think. I’ve had multiple patients tell me how their whole personality has changed after restoring their mouths to health. Now they’re outgoing, confident and love showing off their smiles.” According to Dr. Quoc Quach of Grace Family Dental, it’s never too early to start a consistent cleaning routine. Teaching children how to properly care for their teeth will not only ensure that their trips to the dentist are pleasant, but will also give them a healthy start to their adult lives. “It is recommended that children have their first visit to the dentist by the time they are one year of age,” says Quach. Having your smile at its tip-top best isn’t just about appearances; it’s also about making sure you stay healthy for many years to come. “If you let cavities get too big they can cause infections and these infections can spread to other parts of the body, including the face, heart, artificial joints and, in extremely rare instances, even into the brain,” McKee says. “Also, if oral health is neglected it can eventually lead to a person having to alter or limit their diet, which can severely impact their health if they are unable to take in the proper nutrients their body requires.”

46 | summer 2012

Although trips to the dentist on a regular basis are important, there are simple steps we can all take right now to ensure optimal oral health. Brushing after every meal is essential, but according to McKee, flossing is the one daily routine we simply can’t afford to skip. “You can brush three times a day, but still get cavities and have gingivitis if you aren’t flossing,” he notes. “Flossing doesn’t only help to keep your teeth clean but also keeps your gums healthy, too. “Proper oral health can allow [people] to maintain their natural teeth for their entire lives,” McKee adds, “which can mean not having to get dentures or sacrifice any favourite meals or treats later on in life.” In addition to regular brushing and flossing, diet plays an important role in maintaining good oral health.

“Eliminating the frequency in which you eat sugary or acidic foods is very important,” Quach says. “If you don’t leave enough time in between those foods for your saliva to cleanse your mouth naturally, then there is more time those sugars and acids are in contact with your teeth. This can lead to cavities, which in turn can then lead to more serious health problems. “It is also important to keep your mouth cleansed throughout the day,” Quach adds. “Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum is a good way to keep your mouth moist with saliva, which will help to cleanse the oral cavity.” And the good news for all of us out there who could use a little help with our pearly whites is that many of the dental procedures performed to straighten, whiten and correct minor dental issues are quick, painless and non-invasive. Now go brush and floss your teeth! life

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life, the course offers opportunities for both the beginner and accomplished golfer with two distinct experiences along the front and back nines. Measuring from 5,398 to 6,887 yards, Collicutt’s signature hole is the 530-yard, par five sixth hole finishing with a risk-reward approach to an

Memberships are available on the equity and annual pass-holder levels and for intermediate and junior golfers. A grass-deck driving range and short-game bunker area are available for practice and warmup before the round.

island green that can test the best golfing skills. Collicutt, home of the CSGC Junior Gold Academy, is where head golf professional Lyndon King guides more than 200 junior golfers annually through the popular program open to youngsters aged four to 14. An affordable introduction to the game of golf, junior programs include weeknight clinics, lessons and even drop-in opportunities. Also extremely popular is the kid-friendly, family golf program which allows a child to play free with an adult after 3 p.m. on Sundays. summer 2012 | 47

life in the moment | column


with Ellen Kelly

Ruffled feathers Ellen’s cross-country takeout experience


ne night recently we decided to order ‘finger-lickin’ chicken’ for dinner. There is a ‘Finger-Lickin’ Chicken’ outlet about a mile from where I live, so picking up our dinner order wasn’t a problem. However, I wanted to know if I had to dress for the occasion or if I could

go sans makeup and in sweatpants and ratty shirt, so I called the restaurant to ask if it had a drive-thru window. It didn’t. Still, it’s easy to put on a little makeup, jeans and a clean top, so I told the lady on the phone that I would like to place my order. “No, no,” the voice on the phone from so very close replied. “I can’t take your order. You need to use our call centre number.” What? I was talking to a location I can drive to in five minutes. If I climbed up on my roof, I might even be able to wave to the lady on the phone. But she insisted she couldn’t take my order, so I hung up and called the number on the Finger Lickin’ website. A friendly male voice answered, asked my phone number and postal code and slowly we worked through my not-so-complicated order for dinner for two. I don’t know if I’m hard to understand or what, but ordering anything on the phone is, in almost every instance, a long, drawn-out and frustrating experience for me, and this was no exception. Anyway, back to dinner. Finally the chicken, the sides, the drinks were ordered. We had confirmed and reconfirmed my order. The guy asked where area code 403 was and I told him. He asked how the weather was in Airdrie. “Chilly,” I said.“Where are you?” “Toronto,” he said.“It’s cold here, too. It’s cold everywhere?” He should know. People from Vancouver to St. John’s were placing their dinner orders through a telephone service in Toronto so they could pick them up a few blocks from their homes. I am not convinced this is the most efficient way to run a business, but then, what do I know? “Your order will be ready in 18 minutes. Have a nice evening. Goodbye,” the voice on the phone said. I really didn’t trust this process, but when I arrived at Finger Lickin’ Chicken 18 minutes later, there was my order, accurately filled, packaged up and ready to go. Easy enough. But I still think there’s something weird about this. life

48 | summer 2012

community life in the 53 heart of airdrie 54 positive Force 62 ranchlands

citylife | parks

Green Spaces &Places StOry by aNNE bEaty

Airdrie has so much to offer for outdoor enjoyment

CHINOOK WINDS 50 | summer 2012


phOtO COurtESy OF thE City OF airDriE


ow that temperatures are on the rise and the days have grown longer, Airdrie residents begin to think outside the box. This means exploring and enjoying all that the city has to offer in the way of outdoor activities. And there are a lot – from parks to tennis courts to the 82-kilometre pathway system – with even more on the agenda for this summer and beyond. “The place is absolutely booming,” says Archie Lang, City of Airdrie parks and public works manager. At Chinook Winds, in the city’s southwest, a three-year construction plan includes a wide variety of amenities. This year, a favourite is the new spray park, which will take over from the old Jensen splash park. The elaborate mechanical system needed for the spray park will be housed in a concession building, which will also offer public washrooms. While Chinook Winds already has baseball diamonds and a skate park (space which could become multiuse in the off season), plans for the area include not only the spray park, but also beach-volleyball courts and stormwater ponds. For the winter months, a toboggan hill and a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing trail around the outside will finish off the area. “It’s going to be an all-season family recreation park,” Lang says. “It’s a really nice spot,” he adds, “but it’s aptly named ‘Chinook Winds!’” North of Chinook Winds and near to down-

town, an exciting plan beginning this year is the redevelopment of Jensen Park in one of Airdrie’s oldest neighbourhoods, next to the Plainsmen Arena. “We’re hoping to develop that into more of a historical interpretive park,” Lang says, adding that public input has been essential to creating this vision of Jensen Park. Another amenity Airdrie has to offer – one much appreciated by a whole host of two- and four-footed residents – is off-leash dog parks. Three new areas have been added to bring the total to five (there have been only two since 1994), with one area in the northeast specifically for small dogs. “That’s a big initiative – there are thousands of dogs in [Airdrie],” Lang says. “We’ve got a lot of happy dogs in town now.” Lang and his staff will also be busy this summer adding to Airdrie’s urban forest. While the city is admittedly not a terribly habitable environment for trees, he admits, there are now 18,000 trees spreading their branches, with more being planted each year. With all the plans for this summer and the years to come. there may be much hard work for Lang and his staff. But one of the real pluses of the job is that all that hard work has tangible results. “At the end of the day, you look over your shoulder and it’ll put a smile on your face, because that’s what you accomplished today,” Lang says. “You can make a difference and satisfy the needs of an entire city.” citylife summer 2012 | 51

life in the community | Q&A

A leader among men story by Ellen Kelly | photo by Kristy Reimer

Volunteering keeps Rob Van Biezen sharp

Recently named the Soul of Airdrie at the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Awards event, Rob Van Biezen has been an active volunteer in the community since moving to Airdrie 30 years ago. Now retired, and with support and encouragement from wife Kim, he is busier than ever. Best job you ever had? In my 40-year career as aquatic supervisor with the City of Calgary, the last couple of years working as special projects co-ordinator for the director of recreation [were] the high point. It felt good every day helping people throughout the city. The projects were fantastic. Recent achievements as a volunteer? I was recently honoured to receive a three-year ministerial appointment-in-council to the board of the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. I serve on the games committee, involved with developing games sites (such as the 55+ Games and Canada Games) in interested communities, and a committee that works with granting and funding opportunities in northern Alberta. I represent the board for three different organizations – Alpine Skiing, the Alpine Club and the Canada Olympic Park Organization. Highlight of your volunteerism? Being chairman of the board for the Airdrie 55+ Games in 2009. The closing ceremonies were outstanding. The volunteer commitment to the games was extraordinary. Everyone should be proud to live in Airdrie. Other volunteer commitments? President of the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association, president of the Airdrie Ringette Association, soccer coach. When I first moved to Airdrie, four years as a volunteer firefighter, and chairman of Airdrie Parks and Recreation. For the past 12 years, community services board (City of Airdrie). Past seven years, one of four organizers of the Garth Memorial Golf Tournament at Pine Lake. Importance of volunteering to you personally? I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I couldn’t volunteer. I love doing what I do. I want people to say, ‘Man that was good, that was fun.’ That’s enough to keep me going. What makes Airdrie unique? Our parks and our pathways are unbelievable for a community our size. Our community services organizations care. The developing culture is exciting as new members of our community become active. And our business community is so willing and helpful – they never shut the door on you. We’re very fortunate because we are a city but we have the mentality of a small community. Thoughts on Airdrie’s growth? Airdrie’s growth is progress. If you want to complain, step forward, but don’t complain unless you want to be part of the solution. I can never say enough about the volunteers and how much they mean to a community. life

52 | summer 2012

life in the community | people

The whole community wins

2012 Volunteers of the Year


n May 2, 2012, the community came together at the Town & Country Centre to recognize and celebrate some extraordinary Airdrie citizens at the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Awards Gala. “It is so important to recognize volunteers who willingly sacrifice their time and energy, dedicating themselves to vital services in the community,” says Clay Aragon, Family and Community Support Services co-ordinator with the City of Airdrie. “Every day someone in Airdrie volunteers and makes a difference. They volunteer because they believe in the importance of helping their neighbours, supporting causes they believe in and contributing to their community.” That positive outlook on life starts early for those such as David Lindsay, recognized as the Leader of Tomorrow, awarded to an Airdrie youth aged 11 to 18 who has demonstrated leadership through volunteer involvement. A “positive leader and excellent role model among his peers,” Lindsay has been volunteering with the Community Links donation program for three years, and has even at times recruited friends to help, says nominator Sue Der Stepanian. “I commend David for his reliability and dedication,” Der Stepanian says. “David has

Airdrie Food Bank

also recruited his friends at various times to help us, thereby spreading the word to others in the community about the power of volunteering.” Familiar faces in the community, Laurence and Linda Ray, of the Airdrie Faith Build organization, are this year’s recipients of the Ambassador Award for a citizen (proprietor) or a business entity that has made an outstanding contribution in promoting Airdrie as a place for community and opportunity through volunteerism and philanthropy. In October 2011, ground was broken on the community’s first Faith Build (Habitat for Humanity) home in Airdrie, thanks to the perseverance and hard work of the couple. Although the Rays are modest about their part in the project, pointing instead to the huge support from friends and supporters, they are excited that their Habitat dream has come to fruition. “Our greatest joy is in knowing that two families will benefit from this work in Airdrie and will be able to ‘build it/pay it forward’ for someone else in the future,” Linda says. “I love being part of a culture of philanthropy!” Truly the Soul of Airdrie – a citizen who has made an outstanding contribution as a volunteer in the fields of art and culture, athletics, social and community services, and/ or governance – Rob Van Biezen continues

Laurence and Linda Ray

David Lindsay

to demonstrate his passion for helping others. The list of his volunteer commitments over the years includes: Red Cross, Royal Lifesaving Society, Airdrie Minor Hockey, Airdrie Ringette, Airdrie Soccer, Airdrie Fire Department, Airdrie Recreation Board, Airdrie Community Services Board and the 55 Plus Summer Games Board. “I swear this man cannot mind his own business and, what’s worse, it’s been going on for almost 40 years!” laughs nominator Bev Morros. “He obviously can’t be stopped, so we have to acknowledge him!” Last but not least, Airdrie Food Bank is the 2012 Volunteer Advocate winner, awarded to a not-for-profit organization, a volunteer-comprised grassroots committee and/or a community group that has demonstrated community leadership by engaging citizens through volunteerism. The food bank’s 120 volunteers – of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life – generously donate their time and talents to “provide support and encouragement to those who need it most,” nominator and food bank volunteer manager Carolyn Geertsen says. “I am always amazed by their commitment and passion to those less fortunate,” Geertsen says. “They provide support, skills, talents and abilities to give someone hope and strength and the courage to face another day.” life summer 2012 | 53

life in the community | profile

Community Minded Kelly Hegg proves his passion for his city


story by Ellen Kelly photo by Kristy Reimer

hether it’s being involved in municipal or provincial politics, following his career as an elementary school principal for Calgary Board of Education or coaching soccer, Kelly Hegg is a positive force in the community. Hegg, who is Airdrie’s deputy mayor, chairman of the Community Services Advisory Board and vicechairman of the Environmental Advisory Board, moved to Airdrie from Calgary with his family16 years ago. “Like most families today we were looking for somewhere out of town, but not too far out of town – away from the rush of Calgary,” he says. An alderman on Airdrie city council since October 2004, Hegg’s interest in politics began long before. “I remember first being motivated when Peter Lougheed came to our door when I was a little kid. I remember him talking to my dad and he handed me a sticker. The campaign sticker was ‘NOW!’ I stuck that sticker on my door and it stayed there until I moved out. That was one of my first inspirations.” Hegg went on to become involved in high school politics and student government at University of Calgary, where he earned a degree in education and political science. He has been actively involved in Alberta Teachers Association, has been chairman of St. Paul’s parish council and has served on parent advisory committees at his children’s schools. His most recent political venture was as Progressive Conservative candidate for Airdrie in the recent provincial election, an experience he found enjoyable, even though he didn’t win. “Listening to people on their doorstep, sharing their priorities, concerns and ideas, is the best part of an election campaign,” he says. Looking ahead, Hegg – who credits his wife, Karen, as his “biggest supporter” in anything he’s done –

54 | summer 2012

life in the community | history plans to continue to work hard for his community, be it municipal or provincial. “It will always be my goal that Airdrie is a leader and doesn’t find itself on the outside looking in,” he says.“I will continue to work to make sure that isn’t the case – as an alderman or as a candidate in the future.” For now, Hegg is dedicated to Airdrie and his work on city council. The Community Services Advisory Board covers topics that he says “are near and dear to my heart.” He sees it as the “people arm” of local government, with duties that are twofold. The board oversees social services and funding for non-profit groups such as Community Links, Meals on Wheels and Airdrie Food Bank (administrative expenses). It also manages recreational development involving the arenas, Genesis Place, the parks and the arts. “Airdrie has always been grassroots driven,” says Hegg, pointing to various fundraising initiatives by such groups as Airdrie Gymnastics and Creative Airdrie and the current Raise the Rinks campaign for Phase 3 of Genesis Place as examples. As vice-chairman of the environmental board, Hegg is proud of Airdrie’s recycling program and dedication to protecting Nose Creek. “We’re looking at the organics with a pilot program,” he says, “and we now have a fluorescenttube recycler.” Aside from council, Hegg is involved with Airdrie and District Hospice Society, which started as a small group of people with similar stories and a common goal to bring a hospice to Airdrie. Through his involvement, he has learned that the concept of ‘hospice’ is more about community than a bricks-and-mortar building; it’s about support for both caregivers and patient. “Eventually a building will come,” he says, “but ‘hospice’ is so much more.” Hegg and his family enjoy camping, canoeing and kayaking; he enjoys reading and wishes he had more time to spend on the golf course. Ten years from now, he sees himself retired, but isn’t sure what that will look like. “I would still be involved in the community in some way, whether that’s sitting on a board and offering experience or being one of the people organizing an event,” he says.“Or it could be more formal, because opportunities come and go all the time.” When asked why Airdrie is a good place to raise a family, Hegg is clear. “Big-city opportunity and small-town feel,” he says. “It’s community and opportunity – you need a place and the place is Airdrie, but the place isn’t much unless you have people around you with those relationships that make a community. “We have a whole bunch of little communities that come together to make Airdrie a place to want to be and stay,” he adds. life


with lAURiE hARVEy

experience life in the past lane

Drive south on Main street and you’ll see a familiar building at the entrance to nose Creek Park. That particular facility has numerous stories to tell about Airdrie and the surrounding area and the fascinating history of nose Creek Valley. Nose Creek Valley Museum was created by a dedicated group of volunteers. This group started fundraising in 1984 and in 1988 the official opening took place. Five years later, the museum’s collection had grown so large, an addition to the facility was needed. Almost 25 years later, your museum is still collecting, preserving and exhibiting local history. Our mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret objects of a cultural, historical or social significance to the Nose Creek Valley, from 1780 to the present day, and to invite the public to share these objects through education and discovery. Our vision is to be the stewards and leaders in preserving and sharing the Nose Creek Valley heritage and culture. In other words, we are your cultural centrepiece in a diverse and growing cultural community. We believe history happens every day, and we are just trying to catch it all. We answer questions of not just when and who, but why and why here and, of course, what and where. This is important to us; it’s why we were created. We protect the past for the future, making certain there is a future for the past. Nose Creek Valley Museum values the preservation of the heritage of the Nose Creek Valley and the accurate recording of pioneer life in the region. We value the protection and exhibition of the heritage of the Nose Creek Valley. The collection at the museum of more than 15,000 artifacts covers multiple aspects of Airdrie’s heritage. There is a natural history and geological display, a fossil display and a First Nations history collection, as well as local history information, including farmhouse, merchant and blacksmith interiors. The museum’s collection also includes farm equipment and antique automobiles, local military artifacts, and a caboose and rails with rail car. There are also Second World War nose art and 4-H displays. Nose Creek Valley Museum activities include ongoing research, collection of artifacts and archival materials, the operation of the Airdrie Visitor Information Centre, sales of local history books, and periodic art shows and displays, as well as tours. There are also two meeting rooms to rent for various functions. The museum is always looking for dedicated volunteers. life – in this newest column, nose Creek Valley Museum curator Laurie Harvey will be sharing stories of Airdrie’s past

summer 2012 | 55

life in the community | sports United they stand, as they have for almost two decades. For some, men’s soccer in Airdrie has been a lifelong pursuit, and the Airdrie United strikers are once again on the chase for glory for another outdoor season. Not forgetting the team’s roots, over-45 player Ole Jacobsen recalls the early development of the world-popular game in this small, but growing, city. “There was a pickup game that went on Sundays at East Lake and that led to wanting to form a men’s team. We formed a more formal men’s team and joined the Calgary United Soccer Association (CUSA) league,” says Jacobsen, who also fills the role of Alberta Soccer Association president. That was a mere 17 seasons ago. Now fielding four local squads – in Divisions 4 and 5, as well as over-35 and over-45 teams – more than 80 footballers grind it out every season in CUSA.

Apart from competition and camaraderie gained through the pastime, the men’s squads also offer an outlet for over-18 players graduating from the minor divisions in the Airdrie and District Soccer Association (ADSA). The hope is that local talent stays within Airdrie, says Jacobsen who has laced up cleats for each team throughout his playing career. “The core group that’s on the over-45, many of them I played with 17 years ago when we started. It’s nice to see those same people coming back year after year,” says the ADSA past president. With almost three decades involvement in local soccer, organizer and volunteer Rod Kinley is also a driving force for the sport in Airdrie. Kinley looks to attract a competitive core for the younger lineups and encourages players to stay in the community. Several prospective under-18 players, who competed with the men during the indoor season, may be invited to try out with the Airdrie United 1 and 2 squads.

Getting their Men’s soccer takes the field

Goalkeeper Gregor Shields shows off his true World Cup style

56 | summer 2012

“Division 4 is the best of what I can produce, or what is available within Airdrie,” says Kinley, also an under-45 player.“Our goal is to get higher in the CUSA league and the only way you are going to do that is to find better and more talented kids.” Historically, Airdrie United hasn’t been ranked higher than Division 3. But despite being firmly entrenched in the Division 4B over the past couple of seasons, the locals have posted positive results, including a 103-5 record last summer. “We have really come together as a team, adding players here and there when needed,” says United coach David Rousseau. “Although we are about a year away from making the jump to the higher levels, we are on the right path.” Before the season began, Airdrie United was advertising for a solid goalkeeper and a dynamic striker to take the team up the divisional ladder to reach that next level of competition. While the team inevitably

loses local players to college and university squads, plus those who gravitate toward playing for a Calgary team, Rousseau has high expectations for the 2012 edition. “With the firepower we have this year I am expecting a first-place finish,” he says.“Our goals are simple for Airdrie United in the future: turn the corner and move up to the higher divisions and build on an already solid soccer program.” With his many years on the local scene, and a provincial perspective as Alberta Soccer president, Jacobsen sees the four-team system as a great opportunity for local recreational and competitive soccer players to keep their feet in the game. “You can rotate new people into the first team in the lowest division and have a second team for people to strive for. It’s a nice succession and keeps everyone more or less together and playing,” Jacobsen says, adding that the next step may be an over-55 squad. life

Kicks story and photos by Carl Patzel

Daniel Chevier’s expression says it all during a recent practice game summer 2012 | 57

life in the community | on the wild side

volunteers feel the satisfaction as they release a healed hawk back into the wild

Where else can you come face-to-beak with a wild, bright-eyed hawk, spend an afternoon hooting it up with some great horned owls or take a baby beaver for a walk? StOry aND phOtOS by Carl patzEl

Born to be wild

58 | summer 2012

aiWC offers rest and respite for (clockwise from above) a beaver, a rough-legged hawk, a great grey owl, a pair of Swainson’s ferruginous hawks and a great horned owl


he Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) not only attracts nature’s wounded creatures, but also human volunteers who relish getting close to magnificent species of local birds and other untamed outdoor residents. “You get to hold a lot of wildlife,” says Airdrie resident and volunteer Dan Measor.“If you want hands-on, you get all the hands-on you want here.” Founded in 1993, the non-profit facility works to conserve wildlife through comprehensive humane rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife. AIWC’s mandate also includes researching wildlife issues and protocols, as well as promoting awareness of native species through a multitude of on-site and classroom education programs. Located 25 kilometres northwest of Airdrie, just off Symons Valley Road, the AIWC facility has become a second home for Measor since he became a volunteer driver in 2004. “As far as mammals, I’ve rescued everything from muskrats to moose calves. As far as birds, everything from bohemian waxwings to bald eagles, from hummingbirds to herons. I’ve rescued them all,” he says. “I’ve brought almost 3,800 animals in here over nine years.” Initially introduced to the institute after bringing in an injured bird, Measor has volunteered close to 10,000 hours and driven more than 340,000 kilometres around the province rescuing wildlife.

Fellow volunteer Duane Sefton has spent more than 12 years at AIWC feeding animals, cleaning cages, rescuing and releasing animals, and anything else he’s asked to do. “We went to a wildlife conference and AIWC was there,” Sefton says of his initial interest. “I was interested in wildlife and I live in Airdrie, so it’s close.” The local volunteer has had close encounters with deer, badgers, muskrats, squirrels and all kinds of songbirds and other winged creatures, including his favourite, a bald eagle. “My first time to hold him I was very nervous, but after a while you get comfortable,” says Sefton, who takes delight in watching rehabilitated animals get back to their natural environment. “The biggest thing is releasing.” Completely funded by private donations, AIWC is finding it tougher to find volunteers and compete for funds with other worthy causes in a volatile economy, says Tara Tamasi, AIWC director of wildlife care. Along with volunteers, AIWC couldn’t survive to help these needy critters without monetary support. As of late May, Tamasi says, the facility is in jeopardy of having to close its doors under financial strain, operating costs and busy patient admissions. “Airdrie residents both human and wild have been so fortunate to have AIWC at their back door servicing every wildlife in distress,” she says. Relying on unpaid help to function, AIWC utilizes four full-time staff members and more

than 100 active volunteers – a third of those from Airdrie – including three veterinarians and several biologists. The facility regularly recruits members with annual drives in January and February to help with such needs as rescue drivers, conservation educators, public relations, construction and landscape management. The volunteers are a versatile group, Tamasi says, ranging from full-time moms to budding biology students. “Our youngest volunteer is 16 years of age and our more experienced volunteer is 74, so we have a huge range of volunteers, male and female, with different interests and from different professions,” says the certified wildlife rehabilitator. “You really can’t categorise our volunteers, because I think it’s just the love and welfare of the wildlife that brings them.” Although for some wildlife devotees it’s easy to become addicted to the rush of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing animals, staying detached from a baby beaver, an adorable fawn or an awesome red-tailed hawk is not such a simple matter. “You have to have a certain detachment from them. Sometimes it’s pretty tough,” says Measor, who helped release an automobile-struck, traumatized rough-legged hawk in January. “You just ooze self satisfaction afterwards,” he adds. “It’s an addiction. I love this place. I will stay here until they don’t want me here or until I die.” life summer 2012 | 59

life in the community | personalities

Chris Connects

story by Sarah Deveau Photo by Kristy Reimer

How a love for his city became a fast-growing hobby


ttempting to have a conversation in Starbucks with Airdrie Realtor Chris Mulders, the affable 31-year-old founder of Airdrie360, is no easy feat. There are frequent interruptions by residents, including Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown saying hello to Mulders, a local celebrity in his own right. “Chris has put together an amazing website,” says Brown. “Between the video clips, Facebook and Twitter, it’s a fantastic place to see almost everything that’s going on in Airdrie. It’s easy to use and the video clips are very informative. “Chris does it for the love of his community,” Brown adds,“and it shows.” Born and raised in Airdrie before moving to Calgary for a few years, Mulders is from a family of homebuilders and real estate agents. It was natural for the then-19-yearold to take his real estate course and begin working with his father in his real estate office. He soon began creating video blogs to talk about the real estate industry and position himself as an expert in the field, and found he really enjoyed the creative process. “I liked using videos to push my comfort-zone boundaries and do something different,” he explains. When Mulders and his wife, Candice, decided to have children, they moved from Calgary to Airdrie. Five years later they have two young children, who were the impetus to create Airdrie360. “When I started raising a family here I decided I could simply live in the city of Airdrie, or be part of the community of Airdrie,” he says.“It was an easy choice.” Mulders wanted to create something that would put a spotlight on the fantastic things happening in the city. He read an article in the Airdrie Echo about the food bank losing a source of funding and decided to do something to promote it. “The first episode covered [Airdrie Food Bank’s] Empty Bowls event, and it was really well received,” he says. Building on that success, food bank executive director Lori McRitchie asked him to help out with

60 | summer 2012

a video for the Joey’s Only Community Revival Project contest in October … and the food bank video won. Mulders spends about 10 hours a week publishing a video weekly plus blogs, photographs and event listings. It’s impressive, especially considering it’s been a one-man show until now, and all of the filming is done on a basic Canon DSLR camera with a simple microphone and lighting setup. “It’s probably the camera everyone got for Christmas two years ago,” he laughs. The operation is growing in size and complexity just as the community he’s covering is growing. Mulders is now collaborating with airdrielife magazine to create airdrielife 360, publishing video interviews with the people from its pages. He’s also brought on photojournalist Chelsie Fosty Dowler to create visual records and her own videos.“I’ll be producing promotional videos for Airdrie businesses and a monthly how-to video,” Dowler says. “These videos will feature Airdrie businesses giving our viewers information about things such as organizing and the spring clean, skin care, shopping around for your next mortgage, nutritious lunch box ideas and more.” So where do the ideas come from, anyway? “I really had to search out the stories when I first started,” says Mulders. “Now most of our ideas come from the interactions we’ve had with residents. Recently a client of Crossfit 403 sent us an e-mail through Twitter about a fundraising event they were doing, so we profiled that event and business. We’re always looking for more content … growing our online community and interacting with people.” Fans of the Facebook page and followers on Twitter will often see different content from what’s on the website. “We’re essentially telling the story of the community of Airdrie,” Mulders says.“I don’t even know where it’s going yet. It’s so new and we’ve barely scratched the surface. “A huge proportion of our population moved here in the last few years – we want them to get to know their community and neighbours and get involved, and I hope this project helps that effort,” he adds. life

Q&A i remember airdrie when: The signs said “Town of Airdrie,” there were no traffic lights, we had grain elevators, the Money’s Mushroom plant was here, the Palliser Furniture fire, the community going crazy on the streets when the Calgary Flames won the [Stanley] Cup.

what’s your favourite memory of growing up in airdrie? I grew up in a home on Summerfield Close. We backed onto Yankee Valley Boulevard. There was nothing but farmers’ fields as far as you could see. I remember one day a herd of cattle got out and stampeded down Yankee Valley Boulevard towards Main Street. Today it would cause absolute chaos; back then it was just a little excitement for the day.

what’s the no. 1 thing people say to you about airdrie? It’s either, “I didn’t realize how big Airdrie is. We always just drive through,” or “How long is the commute to downtown Calgary?”

what’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned from airdrie360? Even though I grew up here, there are still so many new things I learn about the community every week. That and the amount of talent that lives here and the passion people have for our community.

Chris Mulders and son Carter

what has been your most difficult interview? It would probably be Episode 1, with the food bank’s [executive director] Lori McRitchie. It was all new to me. I said her name wrong a few times. If you go back and watch it, you can probably see my hand trembling as I held the mike. Lori was great about it all. After that it just kept getting easier. summer 2012 | 61

life in the community | rural roots

Ranching business is a rural star story by Alex Frazer-Harrison photo by Kristy Reimer


oderglen Ranches Ltd. isn’t your run-of-the-mill corporate ranch. It’s more like a family. Established by Stan and Jane Grad in the mid-1970s, Soderglen has grown from a quarter section to 7,200 acres northwest of Airdrie. That’s now known as Soderglen North; another 13,000 acres in the Cardston and Fort Macleod area form Soderglen South. “Beef genetics is what we’re best known for,” says Scott Lees, who, with wife Elan, has worked with the Grads for 23 years. “We have five breeds of cattle here … they’re selected for different traits. Some are selected for the best meat; some for maternal or mothering instincts. We are basically a supplier of bulls for commercial – we sell 300-400 bulls a year [throughout Western Canada].” Soderglen has established its own unique crossbreed of cattle dubbed MAX (maternal Angus cross). “There are a lot of imitations of it out there, but we find it flattering,” laughs Elan. “But we’re the only ones to label them as MAX.” While Soderglen doesn’t enter cattle for awards anymore, that hasn’t stopped

62 | summer 2012

its owners from getting involved in other competitions. Fans of the heavy-horse pull at the Calgary Stampede may recognize Stan Grad’s name as a multiple champion in that event. The idea of a “corporate farm” brings with it some stereotypes that are busted when you visit the Soderglen ranch near Airdrie. For one thing, it’s a true family atmosphere, made possible by the fact most of the employees actually live on the ranch with their families. “We provide housing for our employees,” says Elan. “That is one of the benefits we provide to attract people to agriculture – we can provide their families with a home and provide a nice lifestyle in a rural community. One of our families has six children! “I might know one other agricultural community that provides as much accommodations and benefits for its employees as we do,” she adds. “Being so close to Airdrie and Calgary, it’s unique.” The Lees met at university in Saskatoon. Scott was from Arcola, Elan from Qu’Appelle. Both came from farming backgrounds, although Elan was studying education and psychology at the time. They came to Alberta to work for the Grads in 1988.

“My favourite part about it is the customers,” says Elan, now Soderglen’s business manager (Scott is general manager). “We get to meet some wonderful people in agriculture, and I get to deal with them on a day-to-day basis.” Adds Scott: “It’s all I know how to do. Anybody who works in this sector comes from generations of it. The genetics side of it is definitely the passion … just breeding better cattle is what keeps you going.” The Lees are quick to stress that Soderglen’s success wouldn’t be possible without the staff, a diverse one with several employees hailing from Mexico and Uruguay. “Don’t think Elan and I run all this,” Scott says. “We have a grain manager, feed-lot manager, genetics guys, the guys in [Soderglen South who] run their own deal. They have their own responsibilities and their divisions, just like a company.” He adds that a benefit to developing a corporate ranch is it provides careeradvancement potential. “Inside of traditional agriculture, there’s little room to grow; unless you are family or it’s generational land being transferred within families, the capital

Soderglen managers Elan and Scott Lees

requirements are a barrier,” he says. “If you work for a father and son, or an individual, how far do you think you can go there? That’s your glass ceiling.” A tour of Soderglen North reveals a world well apart from suburban Airdrie or Calgary. Rolling hills stretch for kilometres, and the Grads keep their home alongside a small lake that appears, landscape painting-like, as Elan’s truck crests a ridge. On one horizon, a set of bleachers rises above the canola and wheat – that’s where ranch rodeos for charity are hosted. Earlier this year, the Balzac 4-H Club held its achievement day at Soderglen. In February, buyers head out to attend the annual bull sale. The ranch also hosts a trap club. Soderglen may be carrying on a long agricultural tradition, but it has always embraced technology. “Technology has really helped us connect to more people. It’s a way to grow a company, absolutely,” Elan says.“We find our customers have less and less time, so if we can provide more to them, without them having to get off the farm, that’s beneficial for them. “For six years, we broadcasted our sale live on Shaw TV,” she adds. “We held an Internet timed auction this spring, and that was our first time doing that.” When it comes right down to it, though, ranching is the ultimate in work-from-home. “It’s quite the lifestyle,” Elan says. “My eight-year-old daughter [Chelan] came to work with me after she was born. How many places can you do that? It’s quite a family environment we provide.” life summer 2012 | 63

amazing proudly presents

airdriewomen airdriewomen

2012 AMAZING AIRDRIE WOMEN AWARD RECIPIENTS (Left to right) Lori McRitchie, Amazing Leadership; Marthe Desmarais-Moen, Amazing Heart; Taelyr Patton, Amazing Promise; Jennifer Ruklic, Amazing Determination; and Jody Yakubowski, Amazing Courage (the Tracy Work Memorial Award)

It was an amazing day – the first conference for women in Airdrie and the second annual Amazing Airdrie Women Awards luncheon. More than 100 women celebrated with laughter, tears, lessons and lots of interaction. See more photos from the conference at To be on the alert list for the 2013 conference announcement, send your e-mail address to Nominations for the 2013 Amazing Airdrie Women Awards are now being accepted. Please visit today and fill out the online form.


Pharmsave, Dundee Wealth, Airdrie Optimist Club, Apple Wellness, Goodlife Fitness and Hasset & Reid Amazing Airdrie Women is produced and managed by

Proceeds from this event go towards women’s programming needs at Community Links

64 | summer 2012

home life at 70 Showoffs 73 home to Stay 80 underground

life at home|neighbourhoods


delights story by Sarah Deveau

photo by Carl Patzel

Zachary Patzel and Tara Gardiner take a relaxing break under the budding trees

Tucked away in southeast Airdrie sits one

of the most walkable neighbourhoods the city has to offer. Bordered by East Lake Boulevard to the west, Yankee Valley Boulevard to the south, Thorburn to the north and farmland to the east, Meadowbrook is an established community, consisting primarily of single-family dwellings, that was developed beginning in the 1980s. “I always tell potential buyers that I try not to be biased because I’ve lived in Meadowbrook for 18 years,” says Century 21 Realtor Annette Coates.“But I do tell them how much I love living in this community. We love the rec centre and spent a lot of time there with our kids while they were growing up. That’s been a huge feature for potential buyers. “The lots are a little bigger than in some other neighbourhoods,” Coates adds, “and because of the low density, the roads aren’t as busy.” Coates initially chose Meadowbrook when moving to Airdrie for proximity to schools and because the area seemed quieter than most.“When we first came to Airdrie we chose the east side because it was quieter,” she says. “It was also a bonus that all three schools (elementary, middle and high) were close by.”

66 | summer 2012

While new homes are still being built in the area, it’s the established feeling the residents love. And with quick access to the highway, Yankee Valley shopping district and Genesis Place, everything they need is within walking distance. In the Meadowbrook shopping complex sits a bustling new thrift shop and a Chinese restaurant that’s become a guilty pleasure of many Airdrionians. Meadowbrook’s best season is arguably autumn, when the mature trees form a canopy of yellows and burnt oranges over the wide streets. It’s no wonder Hair Lounge owner Wendy BatesWiebe, a nine-year Meadowbrook resident, can’t stop raving about the beauty of her neighbourhood.“We really chose this area because of the mature trees,” says the mother of two. “I love the green space, and the treed path that runs from the lake to Yankee Valley Boulevard. “Our family goes out on our bikes quite a bit, and the kids have a nice safe path they can take to the park,” Bates-Wiebe adds.“I love that the park is surrounded by houses and not busy roads.” It’s this well-maintained pathway system of lovely wooded routes connecting active residents to multiple green spaces that makes Meadowbrook stand out in these prairie parts. life

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life at home | personal style


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68 | summer 2012

A man’s garage is his castle SaNCtuary CaN COME iN MaNy FOrMS. For Jesse Hegedus, it’s his garage, and there’s a good chance a few of his neighbours are envious of this impressive refuge. When the large, two-car door is raised, this customfitted haven is hard to ignore and garners regular compliments from passersby. It also entices a few covetous smiles from male counterparts. “I get quite a few people [who] comment on wanting a garage like this,” says Hegedus. “I do get a lot of people walking by and if I have my garage door open it’s actually amazing how many people stop and stare.” Visitors can’t help being wrapped up in the showroom atmosphere, encircled by candy-apple red cabinets and too many tools to count, all pulled together by a custom black-and-white checker parquet floor. The space is a refuge from the outside world, enveloping like a warm blanket against the stresses of the daily grind, and Hegedus embraces the familiar surroundings of tools and cabinets like a comforting friend. “That’s exactly what it is,” he says. “When I need a break from the wife and kids I come out here, grab a pop from my fridge and hang out for 15 minutes.” A compliment to his well-honed finishing carpentry and cabinet-building skills, it took the tool man only hours to complete the space. “It’s pretty easy when you have that (skill and tools). I just went in there, said I’m going to make some cabinets … busted out the tape measure and two days later I [had] them in,” says the owner of JLH Construction Ltd. While many of us among the less organized search for that elusive tool or accessory in a cluttered mess we call the garage, Hegedus retreats into a world of order and tranquillity where everything is in its right place. From the smallest screwdriver to the largest wrench, the carpenter can easily find the right instrument at will.

Hegedus is also fondly known around the community as the ‘Tractor Man’ for his fully restored 1948 International tractor which permanently decorates the garage. This moniker he carries with pride for the bright, shiny red machine that occasionally is on display on the driveway and surrounding pavement, much to the surprise of neighbours and those driving by. “That’s why I painted my cabinets red. It was built as more of a display room than an actual garage,” says Hegedus, who, after a day of woodworking, immerses himself in the hobby world of metal manipulation with machine lathes, grinders, drill presses and welders. The tractor – which was originally owned by his grandfather and took two years to finish (a skull gearshift knob being the only non-original part) – just fit the bill of a relaxing diversion. Not yet finished with the space, Hegedus is looking to take his utopian hangout to the next level – literally – by developing a room above the garage. He has included a winch-driven, almost-invisible door with a drop-down ladder leading to an area that will eventually be transformed into the ultimate gentleman’s retreat. “When I come home from work I don’t want to play in my garage; it’s more of my hangout,” he says.“When I think ultimate garage, I think where someone has a television, beer fridge and tools for tinkering.” And, he says of the ‘garage’ that’s used as more of a hobby area than workspace:“I even have nicer drawers in my garage than I do in my kitchen.” That fact is not lost on Hegedus’s family. His wife isn’t allowed to park in the luxurious space. “They love it, but it’s my area,” he says. “That’s just the way it’s always been with my marriage – when it comes to the garage, that’s my area. She can have her computer area and music room, but the garage is my domain.” life summer 2012 | 69

life at home | showhomes

the Sovereign Sunset shows an openconcept design with built-in fireplace and tech centre, open-rise staircase, vaulted ceilings in the master and stainless steel appliances and granite in the large kitchen

side by-side Bayside by Genesis is now home to a new community of side-by-side home designs by Sovereign Homes and Genesis Home Builders. These designs are so stylish and quiet, the most common feedback is “This doesn’t feel like side-by-side living.” DirECtiONS: taKE yaNKEE vallEy bOulEvarD WESt tO bayWatEr bOulEvarD

70 | summer 2012

style the Genesis Greenwood features a large, open family room with tile detailing around the fireplace, a kitchen with granite countertops and full-height cabinets, and spacious bedrooms summer 2012 | 71

life at home | column


with Michelle Carre

Curb your enthusiasm


you clean the windows) and let the natural light in. If the weather is nice, open a window or two for a nice breeze. I always recommend fresh-cut flowers, but during the summer it’s a must. Buy two or three bunches and then split them up into smaller groups. Use a small vase for an arrangement on the table at your front entry or perhaps the en suite counter or on a dresser. We typically think of flowers being on the dining room table, but change it up and put them somewhere unexpected. In the kitchen, the bright colours of fruit and vegetables make great accents, so put them in a bowl on the counter or the table. Outside, you want to have your yard looking as good as it can. We’d all love to spend our summers gazing at a lake with a forest beyond while we sip on a cold drink, but since that view isn’t

hen it comes to preparing your home for sale in the summer you can simply look outside for inspiration. Last month, I focused on getting the spring cleaning done. Now that your place is sparkling it’s time to liven it up! Curb appeal is important and nature provides the perfect accessory in flowers. Choose flowers that complement the colour of your house. If you have a front porch, a couple of chairs and a table always look great, or try a bench with some pillows. Consider something that isn’t expected, such as a brightly coloured watering can placed on your deck or a quirky gnome peaking out from behind a bush. These things can make a memorable first impression and help a buyer remember your home. Inside the house, think “light and fresh.” Open the blinds (but make sure

available in our city we want to create our own little oasis in the backyard. Help the buyers picture themselves relaxing on the patio or deck. Set up the outdoor furniture if you have it, place some hanging baskets if you can or fill planters with bright flowers. Try to keep the lawn cut and the garden weeded – the last thing a buyer wants to see is work that needs to be done. If you have a new home with a yard that isn’t landscaped, you can still make it look nice by picking up any garbage that may have drifted in. If your builder is completing any landscaping, leave a note for the buyers so they will know it’s going to be done. With a few simple touches it is really easy to make your home look great this summer. – Michelle Carre is a Realtor with Re/Max Rocky View in Airdrie


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72 | summer 2012

life at home | builder profiles

Home Business story by Sarah Deveau | photos by Sergei Belski

Bryan Grosul, wife Rachel and sons Nicholas, Jaiden and Jeremy

Homebuilders live, work and play in Airdrie


hen Bryan Grosul moved to Airdrie 16 years ago, he began working as a helping hand on a framing crew. After just a few shorts years, Grosul took a position with a builder in Airdrie, learning everything he could about the homebuilding process. After completing his master builder training and learning how the industry leaders build smart and efficient homes, in September

2010 Bryan and his wife, Rachel, opened Sovereign Custom Homes Ltd. “We love living in Airdrie, so building homes here makes sense,” says Grosul. “Our intention was to only build two or three houses a year.” It wasn’t to be. “After we completed our first home, we began discussions with Genesis Land Developments with interest in Bayside Phase 7,” he explains. The water features in Bayside, along with the pathways, parks, schools and easy access to Airdrie’ s amenities, made it the natural loca-

tion at which to establish two showhomes, as well as commit to building 56 more houses that families could call home. The entrepreneurial couple knew the importance of being part of the industry’s well-respected programs and the value these memberships would bring their customers. “By October 2011 we had all of our certifications, including the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, Calgary Home Builders Association, Better Business Bureau and master builder accreditation,” says Bryan proudly. summer 2012 | 73

life at home | builder profiles

the harder family: Wayne, Simona, zachary and brady

Sovereign’s showhomes are now open, displaying the quality workmanship and attention to detail that drive the company. “Our focus is building each home as if we were moving our own family into it,” says Rachel. “[Bryan and I] have three boys involved in everything Airdrie has to offer … hockey, baseball, judo and tennis, so we know that enjoying your home requires thoughtfully designed floor plans and smart use of space.” Harder Homes founder Wayne Harder agrees. “My wife and I live with our two children in the very neighbourhood we’ve built the majority of our homes in,” he says. “I work with my customers to build them their dream home, and then I see them all the time when I’m out walking with my kids. There’s nothing greater than when my clients tell me how much they love the house I built them. “The majority of our houses are custombuilt,” Harder adds. “Customers can choose from our predesigned floor plans or they can work with our design team to develop their own unique dream home.” Primarily building in Cooper’s Crossing, Harder Homes recently released six new lots that showcase huge frontage and southern exposures. “The nice part about Cooper’s,” he

74 | summer 2012

says, “is that we can do a rear-car-garage home, an estate home or a move-up product, all in the same community.” Harder started along the road to homebuilding by sweeping floors on his father’s commercial projects as a kid. He began his career as a production foreman for building giant Qualico Developments before moving on to a multitude of roles, including sales representative and lumber manager, for well-respected ZyTech Building Systems. “I am lucky to have been exposed to so many different aspects of the construction industry,” he says. With 17 years of experience under his belt, founding his own custom home-building company in 2008 was the natural next step. Harder Homes builds an average of 10 houses a year. The homes are designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, and always include certain features customers love, such as granite, main-floor hardwood, custom cabinetry and surround sound. “I am passionate about my business and I love what I do. I think it shows in the finished product,” says Harder. He’s also passionate about being civic-minded.“We support local as much as we can, from

using local trades and suppliers to supporting local charities and events. I really feel it’s important to give back to the community that’s been so supportive of us,” he says. So what’s in store for Harder Homes?“Continued sustainable growth,” says the company founder. By using quality materials and suppliers, cutting-edge building technology and a one-on-one approach to each project, Harder Homes strives to continue to meet customer needs and deliver each home on time, every time. “Customer satisfaction is my top priority and our goal is to make the homebuilding process as smooth and stress-free as possible,” says Harder. From the City’s perspective, these two companies epitomize the heart of the community. “Residents like the Grosuls and Harders represent what we continually work towards in Airdrie – families that actually live, work and play right here in the community,” says Kent Rupert, City of Airdrie Economic Development team leader. “As residents and homebuilders, they have a great pulse on all aspects of the community, which makes them great ambassadors for the city.” life

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life at home | gardens

Green Uprising DO YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR GARDENING but not a lot of time? Is getting down on your hands and knees to plant, weed and harvest too difficult? Would you like to achieve optimum yield in a small space while maintaining an organic environment? Then maybe raised gardening is right for you. A raised garden is a space that allows the gardener to plant above ground level. Basic raised gardens are square or rectangular and usually bottomless, set on the natural soil to enable plant roots to access the nutrients be-

low. Often, they are built in modules so ‘boxes’ can be added or removed without disrupting the original planting space. Some, especially those placed on rocky or poor soil, have a slatted bottom or a semipermeable cloth base to help contain a rich prepared planting mix while still allowing good drainage. “If you have good soil you get rid of so many problems,” says Leigh Smythe, certified landscape gardener at Blue Grass garden centre. Smythe recommends a mix of 50 per cent peat, 25 per cent compost and 25 per cent

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loam (peat holds the moisture, compost adds organic material and loam is good, rich black soil), which can be purchased in bulk or mixed by the gardener. Elevated sides, a foot or more off the ground, make the garden easy to reach and provide a place to sit while weeding. The sides keep garden soil from being washed away during heavy rains, help keep pathway weeds from invading garden soil, prevent soil compaction and are a barrier to such garden pests as slugs and snails. Raised gardens are also ideal for those who

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don’t have the time and patience necessary to build a successful ground-level garden. “For the younger, new gardeners, it’s the way to go, because they will have more success,” says Smythe.“A garden in the ground requires weed control and pest control. You still have that with raised beds, but it’s easier because you’ve created your own soil and have more control over what is going on.” Gardens can also be elevated to waist level, making them excellent for gardeners with mobility challenges, back problems, age-related health issues and poor flexibility. Height can also be adapted for wheelchair accessibility. “The two things that discourage people are the weeding and it’s physically hard on you to be down on your knees,” Smythe says. “Get it up off the ground and it’s a much more rewarding experience.” There are other bonuses to raised gardening. It is easier to ‘be organic’ when you choose the soil, fertilizer and pest control. Planting can occur earlier, because the soil is warm sooner, and some raised gardens have covers creating a hothouse/hotbed effect. Covers must be removed when plants begin to grow and the danger of frost is past. Raised gardens can be made of wood, rock, brick or landscaping stones and can be any size or shape the gardener desires. They require at least six-and-a-half hours of sunlight each day, and Smythe recommends spending time in your garden beforehand to see if the area you’ve chosen gets enough sunlight. Vegetables, herbs and flowers can be grown at the maximum amount recommended for the area, producing maximum yield. Seed tape makes measuring easy. Miniature vegetables produce well in raised gardens – cherry or grape tomatoes, baby carrots, radishes, miniature squash and watermelon are only a few. In 1981, the book Square Foot Gardening (Mel Bartholomew, Rodale Press Inc.), considered the origin of raised-bed gardening, introduced the concept of vegetable gardening in one-square-foot allotments. The book has been most recently revised in 2006 and is still an excellent guide for raised-bed gardeners. life

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life at home | column


Why do men see red when women see



Why do men and women decorate differently? We have the same eyes, ears, hands and minds. Yet when it comes to picking that perfect paint colour for the kitchen, we suddenly speak two foreign languages. When as cavemen we travelled in tribes and lived in caves, our roles were defined – men were hunters and women were gatherers. Females developed the ability to discern which food was fresh and edible by colour and smell for their continued existence. Then we became more civilized and clothing evolved from skins to skin-tight dresses! Women began choosing the colours of the fabrics, became the seamstresses and started creating the outfits. The cosmetics industry gave women a new way to express themselves through colour and was a major influence. (Don’t worry: I haven’t forgotten the contributions made by the great male artists and designers who also crafted with colour.) Through the ages, men traditionally held the power positions and focused on how to maintain value and the return on investment of physical assets such as the house, car and sports equipment. Women were given the responsibility to maintain the emotional value of the family and to enhance their home using honed colour-related skills. Today, the line that formerly defined our roles is becoming blurred. Both men and women are working longer hours, parenting equally and dividing the responsibilities evenly. But on the whole, it’s the women who take on about 90 per cent of the homedecorating challenges. It all comes down to perception, and how men and women ‘perceive’ value. Men tend to appreciate the value in tangible items and in the lifespan of that item. Women tend to appreciate the value in the intangible or visual qualities of their surroundings. Some believe that colour perception is more about ‘paying attention’ than any genetic differences. Women just care more about the colours than men do. The fact is, women are generally more colour-conscious. Ultimately, I think we are still trying to find the perfect balance between the standards of the past and the expectations of the future. When choosing that paint colour for the kitchen, keep in mind everyone (male and female) who uses that area. It should reflect, consider and compliment all family members, as well as your lifestyle. life – Tina McMillan, CiD (a.k.a. The Decorating Diva), is a local interior designer who has called Airdrie home for several years

78 | summer 2012


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summer 2012 | 79

life at home | spaces

The Man Cave story and photos by Carl Patzel


t could be a segment on a real-life mystery television program: several husbands are disappearing on Hillcrest Street. On a regular basis, wives and girlfriends find themselves befuddled over losing their other half when walking through this Excel Homes Clarington showhome. The unsolved is soon explained, however, when they reach the basement area in this 2,800-square foot abode. “We call it more of the man cave or pub-cell basement,” says Excel Homes Hillcrest manager Angela Kolewaski, who has seen many husbands and boyfriends go missing in the engaging underworld at 10 Hillcrest St.“It’s like a pub down there. The most common comment is we have a urinal in the bathroom.” Imagine your dream amusement getaway just a few steps away, and you’ll come up with this sanctuary from the mundane. With just over 1,000 square feet of space this basement is set up as entertainment central. Unique to the area, the delightfully designed basement is tucked conveniently under the garage. This underground oasis is of a modern design developed out of necessity for the everchanging residential building codes. “Now with the higher-density lots and with city requirements, we can’t go up so far and we can only go out so far on certain lots,” Kolewaski says. “With the prices of homes, people are looking for that extra rec room or storage.”

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Besides the complete bathroom, other features include direct access from the garage and stairs that lead into a ‘cold’ storage room, which in turn empties out into a full bar complete with refrigerator, sink and plenty of storage cabinets. Moving down the carpeted living room stairway, the retreat branches off into two distinct arenas. A sunken living space opens into a spacious media room complete with large-screen television and a lower ceiling creating a movie-theatre effect. A quick 180-degree turn takes you back into a larger space, with a nine-foot ceiling, that houses a pool table and separate alcoves for a poker table and dart board. For display purposes, the basement is custom wired to include a handful of speakers and television screens, which offer unlimited viewing from any angle in the room. While most of these hobbyist accessories can be picked up at market value, the actual construction cost of this subterranean man cave would be between $30,000 and $40,000 depending on design and lot grading. So far plenty of people have been entertaining the thought of living in this ultimate amusement area, Kolewaski says. “We get them to come into the showhome to talk to us so we can figure out what they want to do in their basement,” she says. life

Come in and experience a classic feel with an edge. Indulge in luxury products and enjoy a relaxing atmosphere.

Hillcrest showhome reaches out to the guys

3, 125 Main Street 403.912.9099 A Kevin Murphy Session Salon

Your Creation. Our Profession.

Love the Kitchen You’re In.

NOW SERVING AIRDRIE and surrounding area at #208, 960 yankee Valley Blvd. SE. 403.945.1188 •

Look for our Cochrane and Canmore locations as well

summer 2012 | 81

Bayside (SW) 2308 Baywater Cres. Model: The Newport 2310 Baywater Cres. Model: The Sunset

RavenswooD (SE) 1313 Ravenswood Dr. Model: The Warrenpoint King’s Heights (SE) 1191 King’s Heights Rd. Model: The Ballymartin II Cooper’s Crossing (SW) 1161 Cooper’s Dr. Model: The Lough Neagh IV 1165 Cooper’s Dr. Model: The Newtownards Bayside (SW) 2429 Bayside Circle Model: The Carlingford Reunion (NW) 2378 Reunion St. Model: The Bingian Lifestyle R

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where are Airdrie’s favourite showhomes? you decide and win $3,000 in home furnishings and decor prizes! it’s so easy – each season, take a tour of these participating Airdrie showhomes and fill out the ballot provided at each sales centre to vote for your favourites.

BAySiDe (SW) Phase 7

2304 Baywater Cres. Model: Greenbriar 2306 Baywater Cres. Model: Greenwood


Phase 9

2433 Bayside Circ. Model: Charlesmark 2437 Bayside Circ. Model: Mayfair


Vote on your favourite kitchen and entranceway. WIN $500 McArthurs Gift Card or $500 home hardware Gift Card fall:

Vote on your favourite children’s room and special feature (media room, garage, office, etc.). WIN $500 McArthurs Gift Card or $500 in hot water Gift Card wintEr:

Vote on your favourite master ensuite and favourite floor plan. WIN $500 McArthurs Gift Card or $500 United Flooring Gift Card DRAW DATES: Aug. 2 2012, Nov. 2, 2012, and Feb. 2, 2013

sales Centre 3701-1001 8th st nW

see complete contest details online at or at each showhome location

sales Centre 242 Williamstown Close nW

sales Centre 1813 Reunion Terrace nW summer 2012 | 83


Wishes really do come true 12-5pm sat, sun • 2-8pm Mon-Thurs

starting in the


Please call or email Kevin d’Costa


403 605-5559 for more information

84 | summer 2012

work life at 88 artistic Endeavour 90 Offbeat Occupations 92 Job trends

life at work | column


with KEnt RUPERt


Build it and they will come

In this new column, City of Airdrie economic development team leader Kent Rupert shares insights and the latest news

t’s construction season! And in Airdrie, it isn’t just roads that are being built. As you drive, walk or bike through any area of the city, you’ll see construction crews hard at work as the commercial and industrial building season swings into full gear. Areas under construction include several new retail buildings in Sierra Springs, anchored by a new London Drugs. Just across Highway 2, you’ll find Kingsview Market expanding with Home Hardware, Bow Valley Credit Union and Toad and Turtle Pub. Along Eighth Street, you can’t miss two new multifamily residential projects in Creekside; both will include new commercial space on the ground floor. In the industrial sector, we’re proud to have Techmation Electric & Controls Ltd. building its new head office just off Highway 2. Several other Airdrie companies are expanding their operations, such as Cam Clark Ford and some of our local banks, and the large-scale industrial building in Highland Park will soon be completed and ready to welcome even more employers to Airdrie. From an economic development perspective, it’s nice to see so many construction projects moving forward following the economic slowdown of recent years. Plus, new retail establishments provide Airdrie residents with close-to-home access to goods and services they want and need. And even better, these new developments continue to provide Airdrie with an attractive urban landscape and a good residential/non-residential mix, as well as promoting walkable communities. Landwise, as a result of annexation with Rocky View County, the City of Airdrie is pleased to welcome more than 12,640 acres to

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our boundaries. This land (located to the east, west and north of current city limits) will allow Airdrie to have planned growth for the next 50-plus years. In addition to new residential communities, this land will help Airdrie develop its employment base, and the economic development department will focus on attracting target-sector businesses to Airdrie. It will also add to our commercial sector to meet the growing needs of our residents. With all of this activity, it’s no wonder Airdrie continues to be one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities. But we all know it’s the people

who make our city so dynamic and inviting. As a recent example, it was inspiring to see so many local business owners support Airdrie’s bid for the 2014 Alberta Summer Games. Our local businesses are always great ambassadors of “Airdrie’s Winning Spirit.” So the next time you tour around Airdrie, check out the new construction projects underway. And then when those businesses open, take the time to stop in, check out what they have to offer and thank them for choosing – and helping to build – our fabulous city. life

Your local Nerd: Mike Duffy 403.471.8082

TM Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under the license by LoyaltyOne, Inc and Nerds On Site Inc.

Room to Live.

Williamstown by VESTA is an award-winning master planned community offering the perfect setting for your family to live and grow. Choose from a wide variety of spacious bungalows, townhomes or single-family residences featuring upscale architecture, modern open plans, private yards and full basements. Enjoy 60 acres of open green space in your backyard including scenic nature paths that wind alongside Nose Creek and plenty of ponds and park space. Best of all, you’ll be close to Airdrie’s best amenities and just 20 minutes from Calgary.

It’s all here for you at Williamstown. Isn’t it time to make a move?

FRONT GARAGE SINGLE FAMILY 3 & 4 bedrooms plus dens

TOWNHOMES URBANS & CLASSICS 2 plus loft or 3 bedrooms

LANED SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 3 bedrooms 1,300 - 1,600 sq. ft

• Nestled around a tranquil pond & nature trails • Many feature bonus rooms, dens & laundry • Full unfinished basements for storage

• 1,100 - 1,500 sq. ft. plus basement • Backyards and some walkouts • Access to Trails’ amenity centre

• Walking distance to a new school • Decorative front yard landscaping & fencing • Full basements and spacious backyards

Urbans from $244,900 or $923/mo* Classics from $319,900 or $1,206/mo*



$349,900 or $1,319/mo* includes Lot &GST

$312,900 or $1,180/mo* includes Lot &GST

includes Lot &GST Sales Centre & Showhomes (Airdrie, Calgary) Open Monday to Thursday 2-8pm, Weekends and Holidays 12-5pm From HWY 2, Exit West onto HWY 567, West on Veterans to 8th St. Townhome Inquiries 403.980.9209

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Greenway Inquiries 403.980.3345 Reflections Inquiries 403.980.0741

summer 2012 |

* Based on 10% down payment, 30 year amor tization, Var iable r ate mor tgage, 5 year s ter m OAC . Rates subjec t to change without notice E&O apply. 87

life at work | artwork

zach abbott

Catching the Wave how one business gave local artists a really big chance to shine

88 airdrie com || summer summer 2012 2012

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summer summer 2012 2012 ||

airdrie com 89

life at work | cool jobs Greg Lockert, Manager, Genesis Place Managing a facility that attracts 1.2 million visitors annually takes skill, and Greg Lockert has the touch. Before joining the City of Airdrie six years ago, Lockert spent 20 years in the golf course industry, moving up the ranks from course bartender to general manager, working in Carstairs and the Calgary area. “The golf business is all summer work … my wife is a teacher and she [would be] off for two months when I went to work, and when I was off she was back to work. I missed a lot of stuff with my kids growing up,” says Lockert. “I said, let’s find a job that lets me take some time off in the summertime. I probably play golf more now than I did in the golf business!” Lockert became manager of Genesis Place five years ago, as it was undergoing its expansion. Today, he oversees staff members who facilitate school trips, gymnastics tournaments, day camps and pool activities. “I love working with people,” says Lockert. “And there’s always something different going on – never the same thing twice. You meet kids one to two years of age up to seniors.” Lockert recently oversaw the launch of Genesis’s $20-million expansion, which will add two indoor hockey rinks. He also works with the Airdrie Regional Recreation Enhancement Society’s fundraising committee. He calls Genesis Place a national-calibre facility, one that would be great no matter where it was situated – Calgary, Ottawa … or Airdrie. “I’m the lucky guy who gets to come in here and watch it develop and grow every day,” Lockert says.

Nice work ... Greg Lockert

story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photos by Kurtis Kristianson

if you can get it!

90 | summer 2012

Tom Lee, Head Golf Professional, Woodside Golf Course

Tom Lee

Golf is a sport that takes minutes to learn, but years to master. At Woodside Golf Club, Tom Lee’s job is to help golfers of every skill level get the most out of the game. Lee joined Woodside in 1991 after serving as assistant professional at Bearspaw Country Club and head professional at Cochrane Golf Club. “As a golf pro, we’re always introducing the game to novices, always helping the average player become a better player,” he says, adding that Woodside is at its heart an entertainment centre. “We try to make sure our customers come out with a memorable experience.” There’s serious business behind the job. “All my fellow professionals are businessmen or women … you’re responsible to your [course] owners and your members,” Lee says. “We have a passion for the game, and the business side is what drives you to become a professional.” From the course to the pro shop, Lee says, there’s a new challenge to be met every day. But his love of golf has never waned. “The passion for the game is always there,” he says, adding that he enjoys casting a practised eye on other courses while he plays a round. “It gives me a sense of relaxation in different surroundings,” says Lee, citing courses in Thailand and Hawaii as among his favourites away from Woodside. Back home,“I get great pleasure in giving a lesson, taking someone from that really novice level and having him or her really begin to enjoy the game,” Lee says.“That gives me a big smile.”

Marty Lawrence, News Reporter/Anchor, Air 106.1 FM

Marty Lawrence

Whether it’s managing a recreation centre, working as a golf pro at a local course or broadcasting on the radio, there’s no shortage of people with cool jobs in Airdrie

Marty Lawrence’s first love has always been radio. Originally from Toronto, Lawrence comes from a musical family.“I was in a band when I was as young as 12 … I’ve always had it deep in my blood,” he says. Lawrence’s family moved to Alberta in 1972 and he began his radio career in High River, eventually migrating to CHFM (now Lite 96) in Calgary and a 15-year gig with CHQR, where he was the afternoon drive host and producer. “I was there during the Olympics, and that was the heyday for me,” he says. “Radio was fun – heart-and-soul rock – it was a great time to be in the business.” The road to Air 106.1 FM wasn’t a direct one for Lawrence, who took time off to drive a milk truck and sell real estate, as well as host a community-access talk show with Shirley Gordon, between radio gigs. But radio kept calling him back.“The music is in your blood – it’s a compulsion, you have to return,” says Lawrence, who was working for a coffee company when he was invited by Jamie Giessen to join his new Airdrie station, the Range 106.1 in 2007 (it was rebranded as Air 106.1 last December). “It was a blast to go from this grassroots level, making a footprint in the community,” says Lawrence, who does voice-acting work and plays with the band Why Martin? when he’s not on the air. “You’ve got to be involved in what you love doing,” he says. “This is a great community and I have no hesitation gushing over the people here. It has tons of potential.” life summer 2012 | 91

life at work | business profile

Best Job Ever story by Alex Frazer-Harrison | photo by Sergei Belski

When your hobby becomes your job – it isn’t work! Yes, it’s a stereotype, but you’ll still find many guys whose idea of a perfect Saturday is tinkering with their car. Recently, airdrielife caught up with a local business that provides an outlet for these ‘manly’ interests.

Airdrie Auto Trends Whatever happened to that teenager you’d see in his driveway, tinkering with his car? He grew up and opened a business where he gets to do that all day long. “I’ve always been into cars. As a teenager, I always liked electronics and stuff,” says Jon Scott, who opened Airdrie Auto Trends two years ago. “I had my first car when I was 16 and it was probably the first thing I was tinkering with.” After graduating from Bert Church High School, Scott studied 12-volt car audio with Mobile Dynamics in Ontario, gained professional certification and worked for big-box

92 | summer 2012

stores and smaller shops in Calgary and Edmonton before deciding to open his own shop in his hometown. “It’s like a world of difference – that smalltown feeling when you’re here,” he says.“There are hundreds of places like me in Calgary if you do a little searching; here in Airdrie, it’s like me and one big box that specializes. “Even though we’re over 40,000, you still get that [small-town] feeling,” adds Scott, who gives back to the community by sponsoring such events as a recent basketball tourney at his alma mater. As for business, Airdrie Auto Trends specializes in“anything to do with 12-volt electronics,” Scott says. This includes audio systems, remote starters, Bluetooth devices, security systems and accessories. He’s also branched out to capture some of Airdrie’s strong marine market. “We touch on performance, as well, like exhaust systems and intake systems,” he says. “And we do some high-end oils. We’ve also

done multiple amounts of reverse cameras; they’re getting popular in every car. In-car video is big, too.” Diversifying is paying off, as Scott has a customer base that includes not just Airdrie, but Calgary, too. “The customers get to meet me, and I have one installer and he’s up front, as well, talking to customers, so they get to know me,” says Scott. “Word of mouth in Airdrie is really strong.” There are always new technologies or new accessories coming out for auto and marine, and that keeps things interesting for the business owner. “It’s always a learning curve and my name says it all – ‘Trends,’” says Scott. “There are so many things to keep up with, it’s unbelievable.” Still, he always keeps little tree-shaped car air-fresheners in stock, because you can’t go wrong with a classic. life More life online Read about Destination Cycles Inc. and find out why Barry Radu loves coming to work every day

life | last look

STORM CHASING Sure, we could have run a bright and sunny photo to honour summer, but this image of the rear flank of a mesocyclone near Didsbury, Alta., resonated with us, as we don’t want to take those hot sunny days for granted. Kurtis Kristianson, airdrielife photographer and storm chaser, explains how he got the shot. “April to September is storm season in southern Alberta and if you know what to watch for you can get a chance to see the occasional tornado between water Valley and Drumheller. As a storm photographer i spend nearly 60 days over the summer shooting active weather so my chances of getting close to a real tornado are very good. On July 7, 2011, i was following a system that was moving west through Sundre when a team member near Olds called us from his car where he’d seen the tornado touch down and was bombarded by three-inch hail. this image shows the power from a system that is large enough to produce multiple tornadoes.” -

– Kurtis Kristianson, photographer Share your photograph with airdrielife and you may see it come to life here in a future issue. E-mail a jpeg to

94 | summer 2012

Nature’s Community

Simply natural. Naturally simple. Welcome to Sage Meadows, a community designed so nature becomes part of your every day. It’s a place where the luxury you deserve and the convenience you need meet in harmony. Where the simple things in life and the beauty of the environment are at your doorstep.

Todays Homes

Genesis Builders Group

Passion Homes

ReidBuilt Homes





Another Uncommon Community by Genesis Land Developments