airdrielife.com SPRING 2023 EDEN REGIER REIGNS Meet the 2023 Airdrie Women AIRDRIE HAS ITS OWN TV GAME SHOW OLYMPIC DREAMS Take our reader survey and you could WIN $1,000 in groceries Amazing 20
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Find your home at E XC E L H O MES .C A PR O UD L Y BUILDI N G I N Calga r y • Edmonto n • Ai r dri e
PUBLISHER Sherry Shaw-Froggatt
MANAGING EDITOR Jim Zang
DIGITAL MANAGER Erika Tobolski
DESIGN DIRECTOR Kim Williams
Our regular aidrielife contributors are ordinary Airdronians just like you. They’re your friends, your neighbours and your kids’ friends’ parents; you see them at the grocery store, the local school and various community events. And, like you, they’re all here for a reason.
Sergei Belski, Amanda Benner, Britton Ledingham, Devin Leinweber, Jaymie Lindquist, Adena Malyk, Patricia Merrick, Joni Millar, Carl Patzel, Josie Randall, Kristy Reimer, Brie Robertson, Jody Sanderson, Kayla Schellenberg, Stephanie Todd, Wyatt Tremblay Katie Whyte
Stock photography from Pexels and istock
SALES DIRECTOR Wendy Pratt
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Sharie Tanner
PRINTING Central Web
For this issue, in celebration of spring and new beginnings, we asked each of our writers and photographers just what it was that made them decide to call Airdrie home.
My wife Tracy and I moved to Airdrie when we bought our first home together back in 2007. The house prices were somewhat cheaper in Airdrie and it was still very close to Calgary. We have no regrets about our decision.
My husband and I moved to Airdrie eight years ago. We moved to this wonderful city for affordable housing, close proximity to Calgary and to raise our children in a family-oriented community.
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airdrielife is published quarterly by Frog Media Inc. with the cooperation of the City of Airdrie Economic Development Department.
Craving a small-town atmosphere, slower pace, less traffic and a community where you could easily connect with neighbours and absorb local events, we chose Airdrie as our home 13 years ago.
I have lived in Airdrie for almost the entirety of my 27 years! I love being close to my family and just a short trip away from the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
VOLUME 20, NUMBER 1 | ISSN 1916-355X
Contents copyright 2023 by Frog Media Inc. May not be reproduced without permission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher.
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My husband and I moved to Airdrie as a young married couple, wanting to buy our first home. That was 19 years ago! We liked that housing was a bit cheaper in Airdrie than Calgary and we both grew up in small, prairie communities, so Airdrie seemed like a good fit.
I moved to Airdrie a year and a half ago, to be closer to my daughter and four grandkids. It has quickly become home! It is a friendly place to live, with a down-home feel that has made me feel totally welcome!
“I moved Airdrie from the Yukon ten years ago for two reasons: this is where my wife is from and to escape the long winters!”
6 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
ALL IN THE FAMILY
For Sadhna Grover, her kitchen is her haven, where culinary creations come alive and food preparation takes on a whole new meaning. “Cooking has always been my passion,” says Grover, a retired high school economics teacher.“I learned cooking from my mother. My mother-in-law, also a wonderful cook, challenged me. And my husband, who had a specific palate,encouraged it.”
cityBornandraisedinKanpur,the10thlargest in India, Grover was one of six children. Her parents believed education meant job security and worked hard to ensure all their children were Encouragedcollege-educated. by her mother, after high school she received her teaching degree.“Be- ing a teacher was a noble profession for a woman,”says Grover, who also earned a mas- ter’s degree in economics. She married Darshan Grover, a high school math teacher, and they had two chil- dren, daughter Rachna and son Hemant. For job opportunities,the couple moved to Kenya and eventually Botswana, where they both taught in government-funded schools. Although her teaching life offered plenty of time to cook, it was not until Grover’s retire-
In 2011, her husband also retired. That same year Rachna and her husband immi- grated to Calgary along with their two sons. The couple quickly fell in love with Airdrie and settled here. Sadhna and Darshan had a decision to make. Would they return to India for their retirement or join their daughter and family in Canada? The next year, wanting to watch their grandchildren grow up, they came to Canada – and they embraced their new country. One day when she was going to
Hi Jim, I just saw the new winter edition, and we are so happy to see our Neel featured!
Thank you so much for featuring our family for the second time!
Your magazine also ran an article on my mom (who is late now) in 2015, and I remember she showed it to everyone for months and months, and to have two generations featured by your magazine is such a matter of pride for us.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for running such a sweet magazine! I have forwarded this to so many of our friends and family!!
Warm regards, Rachna
In Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the spring season is the day of the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator moving northward.
Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21, but astronomers and calendar manufacturers alike now say that spring starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America.
This year, the first day of spring officially arrives on Monday, March 20, 2023, at 3:24 p.m. mountain time.
This day is known as the Vernal Equinox. The word ‘vernal’ translates to ‘new’ and ‘fresh’, and ‘equinox’ derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). Essentially, this is when hours of daylight – which have been growing slightly longer each day since the winter solstice in December – are approximately the same as hours of nighttime.
Of course, here in Airdrie, even though spring may officially start in late March, we know it’s not really spring until the snow is gone for good.
For many people, it’s a time of new beginnings, especially in colder climates. The grass is starting to turn green, flowers starting to bloom, trees are in bud and wild animals are having babies. Spring is all about new life, making it the perfect time to run our Amazing Airdrie Women issue.
Women have been blessed with the unique gift of actually being able to sustain and then give life – the greatest gift of all.
In my own life, I’ve encountered dozens of amazing women; beginning with my mom, sister, daughter, my favourite aunt, daughter-in-law and girlfriend. Each has had an impact and left their own unique stamp on my life.
In this issue, we celebrate women from all walks of life – musicians, artists, athletes, business owners, community leaders, friends and family – all of whom make Airdrie a better place to live.
We hope you enjoy reading their stories and, if you happen to know any of these ladies or recognize them on the street, be sure to say “Hi” and give them a big “Thank you”. They don’t do what they do for the recognition, but they certainly deserve it.
Enjoy this issue, which marks the beginning of our 20th year of publishing airdrielife, and remember to go online to complete our reader survey as advertised on page 29. We’d love to hear your feedback and you can win $1,000 worth of groceries!
Jim Zang Share
on airdrielife with firstname.lastname@example.org
8 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
GREATLIFE | LETTERS
92 airdrielife.com | WINTER WINTER 2022/23 | airdrielife.com 93 RETA SAADA, 7 NOMINATOR: THERESA KENNEDY, FORMER GRADE 2 TEACHER AT SAINT VERONICA SCHOOL Reta truly changes the environment in the classroom and school. She is a kind student who helps others feel welcomed, cared for, and loved. She is a compassionate student who models this characteristic to her fellow classmates with her actions, and as a result other students are more open to understanding. Reta is always staying positive and the other students see this and this has a tremendous positive impact on her fellow classmates. Reta keeps herself busy, as she is a ballet dancer and she loves to sing. She is a studious young lady. Reta goes above and beyond her expectations as a student. She is always doing extra homework, reading about current events and already thinking about what she wants to be when she grows up: a teacher! Reta attends church every Sunday with her family and loves to share bible stories with the class. She truly portrays faith, compassion and courage in all who meet her! Reta is super kid! What do you like about ballet dancing? feel so happy, special and proud when am dancing ballet! NEEL MADHAVAN, 12 NOMINATOR: STEPHANIE WILSON, FORMER GRADE 6 TEACHER AT CW PERRY MIDDLE SCHOOL Neel is an exceptionally hard-working young man who’s work is insightful and thoughtful. He is kind to his peers and is an excellent role model not just in our class but in our school. He is very community minded his submission for the Mayor For Day contest (on installing tactile pavement for the visually impaired) was one of the top three finalists chosen for this year, and the Councillors were blown away by his confidence and the thoroughness of the presentation that he gave and animated himself. He also entered the Bus Safety Week poster contest and was chosen as a finalist for that. I’ve been teaching middle school in Airdrie for 10 years and Neel is the first student that I’ve nominated for a city-wide award. That speaks volumes to the fact that he has worked hard to stand out amongst the truly wonderful students that I’ve encountered in my career. Editor’s note: In fact, Neel ended up winning the Mayor For A Day after nominations were submitted. What is something about yourself that people don’t know that you would like them < CITYLIFE | YOUTH AL_winter2022/23.indd 92 life in the community MulticulturalisM
story by lori KuFFnEr photos by sErgEi bElsKi 62 airdrielife.com spring 2015
10 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING greatlife 13 Prairie painter 16 Young Canadian 18 Rental Rewind 20 Chef’s special 24 Home cooking 26 Arts awards 28 Marketplace 30 Show time 32 What’s happening 34 New you 36 Getting fit 38 Parentlife 39 Kid Fest 40 Oh baby 41 Seniorlife homelife 42 Decorlife 47 Securitylife 48 Excel-lent home 50 Ahead by a century worklife 53 Businesslife 54 Women’s health 56 Hair for you 57 Critter care 59 Financiallife 60 Women at work citylife 62 Helping hands 63 Catching up 65 Awesome event 66 Fire on ice 69 Girl power 66 18 69
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GREATLIFE | LOCAL LANDSCAPES
WHAT TO SEE, DO, EAT, LISTEN TO AND MORE
Airdrie landscape artist Christina Gouldsborough has a day job, but her heart is in her studio.
“I love all forms of art, which is a problem because it’s hard to find the time to do everything I want to do.”
Self-taught, Gouldsborough captures quintessential Alberta scenes in acrylic and oil using a vibrant representational style.
“My job is not to copy something, but to interpret it for other people and how I think they might feel when they’re looking at it.”
Her subjects, painted on a range of canvas sizes, depict those places people drive by but often don’t have the time to stop and appreciate. The Rockies, grain elevators, animals, fields, ghost towns and old, rusting vehicles slowly succumbing to the hands of time find new life through her deft brushwork and lavish use of colour.
STORY BY WYATT TREMBLAY
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 13 greatlife
16 MUSIC | 18 TELEVISION | 24 FOOD
CHRISTINA GOULDSBOROUGH BRINGS ALBERTA LANDSCAPES TO LIFE
PHOTO BY KAYLA SCHELLENBERG
Her canola field series, which are bright and immersive, is an example of her style, she explains.
“I want it to look real. I want you to feel like you can walk right into it and carry away the feeling of those sunny days of August and September into the cold months.”
Gouldsborough, who is originally from Northern Ontario, moved to Airdrie in 2000. She is currently the director of e-commerce for a wellness brand in the United Kingdom. She also facilitates meetings for Mastrius, an online artist mentorship service that features more than 100 industry professionals, including Airdrie’s Veronica Funk.
She credits her mother for her love of art and nature.
“I grew up on a rural farm. My mom taught 4-H and was very creative. We did everything from baking to painting to needlepoint, so I learned the gamut.”
The youngest of her siblings by twelve years, she says she often felt like her mother’s only child and credits those early years to her lifelong love of art and nature.
Despite this, art has always been something she dabbled in, a passion she fit in the spare moments between raising a family and work. However, the pandemic gave her an unexpected opportunity.
”We were told to stay home, so I began to paint and make connections in the arts community.”
The artist mentoring service Mastrius was one of those connections.
”It’s remarkable. I’m learning from incredible artists like Robert Caldwell and Gaye Adams.”
In the fall of 2022, Gouldsborough participated in the Calgary Artists Studio Tour, where patrons visit the homes and workspaces of artists.
“We turned our home into a gallery, and I sold a lot of pieces.”
Since then, she’s been busy rebuilding her inventory, pulling inspiration from photographs she takes when travelling. She and her husband enjoy camping, which she uses as an opportunity to add to her repository of images.
“What I love about art is bringing back that feeling you had when you were somewhere else. I think that’s what I want people to have with my art. I want what you see in my paintings to be recognizable – that silo, the grain field, it’s all around us.” life
14 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
“I want what you see in my paintings to be recognizable –that silo, the grain field, it’s all around us.”
GREATLIFE | LOCAL LANDSCAPES
You can check out more of Christina’s work at christinagouldsborough.art
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 15 We can help your business Launch. Grow. Thrive. One-on-one support, referrals, learning opportunities, entrepreneurial development, research services and more! Contact Airdrie Economic Development airdrie.ca/business email@example.com Surprising Secrets Revealed! Okay maybe not that sensational, BUT our weekly a-list gives you early access to stories and weekly features AND our a-list subscribers have exclusive access to contests worth more than $7500 in prizes in 2023! Join today at airdrielife.com
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PHOTO BY KRISTY REIMER
16 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING GREATLIFE | CHANTEUSE a
“I could sing, but I had no dance experience. I had to work hard and rely on my athleticism, and adapt.”
It’s easy to forget that Airdrie’s Eden Regier is only 19. This vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and local basketball phenom already has an impressive list of accomplishments.
”When I tell people I was in Young Canadians, and I played basketball and I did this and that, they say, ‘You’re too young to have done all that.’”
Regier, a graduate of George McDougall High School, plays the keyboard, percussion, saxophone, baritone ukulele, and bass guitar. She credits her father for her musical passion and her mother for her love of sports. She also credits McDougall’s music teacher, Jordan Harris, for providing the perfect musical outlet.
“I was that kid who wanted to play every instrument. If I ever need to give credit down the road, Jordan Harris is on the list.”
She poured the same enthusiasm into basketball, playing in the Alberta Summer Games and in numerous tournaments with her twin sister, Ava – but her true passion is music.
“She’s the athletic one, and I am the artsy-fartsy one,” she explains, laughing. ”When I was 15, I was like, ’Okay, I don’t see myself going to university for basketball. I don’t love this as much as my sister does.’”
By this time, she was a regular performer in Airdrie coffee shops and became known for her smooth vocals and skillful guitar and piano playing. Always one to push herself, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts in 2019.
“My experience with the Young Canadians was excellent,” she says, but Regier found it challenging to balance school, sports, and music.
“I thought basketball was hard, but I got into this, and it was a whole other level. Even with COVID, the work it takes, the mental game, and how you have to prepare for it if you want to be a musician and make a name for yourself.”
Her expertise on the basketball court also came into play.
“I could sing, but I had no dance experience. I had to work hard and rely on my athleticism, and adapt.”
When the Young Canadians returned to in-person performances at the Calgary Stampede in 2021, Regier was one of six featured vocalists. Her vocals were prerecorded, but she was able to perform on stage to the soundtrack.
“Seeing that big audience, with so many people since COVID, it was overwhelming hearing my voice and dancing to it. I was like, ’Okay, I see why people do it and why they put in the hours.’”
It was also the moment she realized she could launch out on her own. She left the program at the end of her third year.“At the end of the day, I knew I wouldn’t be a pop star dancer. Deep down, I’m still that girl that played the piano at coffee shops. The credit I give my band teacher for music, I give the same credit to the Young Canadians for giving me the confidence to pursue my craft.”
Though high school graduation was less than a year ago, Regier hasn’t taken any time off. She works a part-time job, has fifteen music students, and regularly plays gigs in Airdrie and Calgary. Working with Stagehand, a group that pairs organizations and musicians, she’s been performing in places as diverse as the Calgary Public Library, YYC, breweries, and other public venues that give her the exposure she needs. She was also a nominee for the Youth Artist Award in this year’s Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts, held February 11.
Working as a server and teaching music, Regier says she is taking a year to discover who she is as a musician.
“This has been a year of learning to market myself, of being a professional and knowing who the right people are.”
Regier says she starting to make enough money that she may have to quit her part-time job.
“I’m 19 years old, and I never expected this.”
Recently, she’s been jamming with fellow musicians and performing at open mics, and has been co-writing with local songwriters including her vocal coach, Brian Farrell.
”Brian’s one of my mentors. He said to me a while back, ’I go to work and I’m happy every single day,’ That’s my goal, to walk in with my head up and know who I am.” life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 17
YOUNG CANADIANS PHOTOS BY JONI MILLAR
In the first Jurassic Park movie, what is the primary gender of the dinosaurs?
That’s the kind of question you can expect from Rental Rewind, a new TV game show being produced in Airdrie by Crooked Cinema. If you can remember heading out to the video rental store every weekend to pick up the latest VHS movie releases, this show’s for you! And the answer, by the way, is ‘female’.
“Rental Rewind is a thrilling new game show that takes you back to the golden era of movie rentals in the ’80s and ’90s,” says Mitchell George, the show’s producer and owner of Crooked Cinema. “Each episode, contestants will answer trivia questions about classic movies and television shows from the era, as well as play mini games that test their knowledge and memory. Points are awarded for correct answers and successful completion of the mini games, and the contestants rent VHSs for their chance to win the game. With its nostalgic theme and exciting gameplay, Rental Rewind is a must-see for fans of the ’80s and ’90s.”
Rental Rewind is the company’s first ever game show with TV distribution, says George. “Before this, I used to stream on Twitch, where I made hundreds of game shows that were available on the global level, and the responses were always fantastic. That’s what inspired us to move it from the digital world and bring it to the studio level.
“We wanted this to be a community project, and trivia is such a communal thing. You work together, collaborate and share experiences around a common theme. It just seemed so perfect. Plus, with the nostalgia, we wanted to really revisit that old movie experience, and the culture we all shared.”
The show features two teams of three people each, all from Airdrie, who compete to answer movie trivia questions. Daniel Perry, a middle school teacher who has a masters degree in script writing and is a great drama performer, and Tare Rennebohm, also a middle school teacher as well as a well known artist and performer, are co-hosts of the show.
RENTAL REWIND RENTAL REWIND
A REAL TRIP BACK IN TIME
STORY BY JIM ZANG
18 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
GREATLIFE | GAME SHOW
“Our goal is to hit three pilot episodes, and hopefully we can show that it has legs, and push for a full season,” says George. “Right now, we are looking to the community to help sponsor prizes, and create a collaborative community project, but the real prize is the experience. We want to create a fun, comfortable atmosphere – and if these pilots work out – then we’ll look into growing bigger.
“In theory, this would be something we would like to do for the next year, but we’ve been limited to having the entire production wrapped from start to finish in four months. Due to the cost of space, and nowhere to host the set, we’re forced to make fast moves.”
George, who has lived in Airdrie for most of his life, began Crooked Cinema as a freelance endeavor about 10 years ago. Since then, the company’s shot many different short films, product commercials and corporate videos and recently won the Professional Artist Award at the 2023 Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts.
“At the heart of everything we do is story. My experience with storytelling is lifelong. The beauty of video production is that it’s an expressive art form. Everything has a story, and even if you don’t think it does – we will pull the story out of it. I’ve actually got a BA in Child Studies and Counseling, and I teach at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.”
So, what’s been the biggest challenge so far?
“Time,” says George. “Lots of time, and the ability to overcome consistent obstacles. When working on creative projects, overcoming adversity can be a challenging but important part of the process.
“We maintained a positive attitude and stayed focused on our goals. It was helpful to remind ourselves of the reasons why we are pursuing this creative project and to stay motivated and determined to see it through. This project was successful because we reached out for support from others, such as friends, family, and other artists, who provided support, encouragement and advice.
“Sometimes, adversity can be a sign that it is time to try something different or to approach a problem from a new perspective. By being open to new ideas and approaches, we found solutions to challenges that seemed insurmountable before.
“Rental Rewind is the result. We went big, and the goal is to see it through.”
You can watch Rental Rewind on Telus Optik TV or YouTube beginning sometime next year, says George. life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 19
“We wanted this to be a community project, and trivia is such a communal thing.”
Rental Rewind cast and crew photo from left to right: Back Row: Dan Perry, Keigan Hassett, Mitchell George, Jesse Schofield, Steve Knox Front Row: Jamie Anne, Tare Rennebohm, Scawt Polachuk, Ricci Chantel
RED SEAL CHEF
CAPTAINS THE SECRET GALLEY
GREATLIFE | FINE DINING
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CARL PATZEL
While you may infer some surreptitious, enigmatic meaning behind the Secret Galley restaurant’s moniker, there’s no mysterious puzzle to great food.
Located in the Best Western Airdrie Inn, with their side entrance discreetly across from the parking garage, this fine-dining restaurant isn’t a place you’ll notice just driving past.
Instead, it’s a destination unto itself, just as husband and wife team, Chef Rajesh Kumar and Deepika Sood, envisioned when they opened the culinary hideaway in July, 2022.
“The first time I came in to see this location, we just went around and around and couldn’t find the location. So, the ‘Secret’ came from there and ‘Galley’ means kitchen,” says Sood who manages the dining establishment.
But the name is where simplicity ends and unique, tantalizing flavours begin.
With a wealth of experience garnered in his homeland of India, and throughout Europe and Canada, Chef Kumar cut his cooking knives in Romania, Poland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Australia and Canada.
“I had been working in five-star hotels in India. Then I moved to Europe for five years and Australia for two years,” says the Red Seal Chef who endured a modicum of racism towards his East Indian heritage while overseas.
“But I wanted to settle down somewhere, a nicer place with multiculturalism ... and a respectful place.”
Canada, and Airdrie, topped the list for a landing place.
Since coming to Airdrie in 2010, the culinary artist continued to cook his way through several chain restaurants as a kitchen manager.
But Kumar felt restricted by corporate-driven menus, looking to escape the bonds of an unbending formulaic structure.
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 21
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“I just want to serve great food to the local community here.”
“These were all franchises, so I just wanted to do something of my own so I can modify the recipe for how people want it,” says Chef Kumar who scours the local markets for fresh ingredients in the early morning hours, making everything from scratch.
Though it may be a bit tricky to find, the Secret Galley is worthy of an Amazing Race-style gastronomic search once your discover the treasure trove of dishes that awaits; from pizza, to burgers and bowls, salads and a few uniquely, creative surprises.
“As we go, we learn more what people like and don’t like. It’s a small family business and we love the support from the local community. I just want to serve great food to the local community here,” Kumar adds.
22 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
GREATLIFE | FINE DINING
LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE
Along with a few other pasta dishes, including an oven-baked lasagne and Alfredo fettuccine, the Secret Galley creates one of their most popular dishes with a Lobster Mac & Cheese.
This is not your mom’s one-pot special, out-of-the-box lunch. Chef Kumar blends a pasta, cheese and sauce to elevate this dish to levels beyond the ordinary.
A good portion of Cavatappi, a short corkscrew pasta, is laced with chunks of tender lobster and ultra-creamy cheese sauce, a combination that would entice any land-locked seafood lover.
Served with a baguette for sopping up all the goodness, an encrusted cheese baked toping adds a bit of texture to this velvety-smooth family favourite.
Mirroring a clear midnight sky, the Bison Burger is held together by a dark-coloured charcoal brioche sprinkled with blinking sesame seed stars. The dramatic-looking bun also provides a slight sweetness to this out-of-this-world delight.
Under the soft bread is a healthy layer of lettuce, tomato and onion slices, a slab of maple bacon and generous helping of burger sauce.
This tender patty drips with juices, which makes wrangling this large, filling sandwich a job which requires ample napkins. It is served with a satisfyingly-salty basket of truffle oil-laced parmesan fries and creamy dip.
RACK OF LAMB
If you could put sophistication on a plate, it would look and taste like the Grilled Rack of Lamb. This somewhat rustic classic favourite, popular throughout the best eating establishments throughout the world, is pure elegance.
The Secret Galley grills four tender-onthe-bone lamb chops to a juicy, savoury and slightly sweet perfection.
Simple but stylish, each chop is topped with a tasty dollop of cheese while accompanied by fresh asparagus, tender carrots and baby corn, rosemary butter mash potato, au jus and a side of gravy for an extra savoury finish.
Small, cheese-topped roasted tomatoes add a splash of colour and zesty flavour to the plate. life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 23
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FAST, FUN FOOD FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
WITH STEPHANIE TODD
When Stephanie Todd wrote her first food blog in 2016, it was just for fun – a part-time hobby to help pass the time and share her knowledge with others.
“I was working full time out of the house with a toddler and needed to claim my sanity back and get organized – which I did with meal planning and meal prep,” says Todd, a 16-year resident of Airdrie. “l started a Facebook group that grew by the thousands within days, and then launched the website in 2016, followed by the meal planner app in 2022!”
While she’s not a trained chef or dietician, Todd’s practical recipes proved so popular that she left her corporate job in 2019 to focus full-time on what had by then turned into a small online business called Meal Plan Addict. In addition to helpful tips and recipes, a by-subscription meal planning app, Meal Plan Collective, offers customizable weekly menus, automated grocery lists, and recipe database to streamline meal planning and grocery shopping.
Here’s a couple of simple recipes to keep the whole family happy. And, of course, you can find more at mealplanaddict.com
Breakfast Banana Split
5 minutes | 4 servings
4 bananas (sliced in half lengthwise)
2 cups yogurt (flavour of your choice)
1 cup granola
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
8 strawberries (sliced in half)
1/4 cup honey
Slice each banana lengthwise and place the halves on a plate, side by side
Add ½ cup yogurt on the banana.
Top with ¼ cup granola, 14 cup raspberries, 14 cup blueberries and 2 strawberries.
Drizzle with honey (optional).
Nutrition (estimate per serving)
Calories 352kcal; Fat 10g; Carbohydrates 55g; Protein 9g; Fibre 6g; Sugar 39g; Cholesterol 16mg; Sodium 69mg; Vitamin A 173IU; Vitamin C 29mg; Calcium 191mg; Iron 2mg
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GREATLIFE | RECIPES
Refreshing Vermicelli Noodle Salad
15 minutes | 4 servings
7 1/16 vermicelli noodles (200 gram package)
2 carrots (cut julienne-style)
4 Persian (mini) cucumbers
1 bell pepper (any colour, sliced into thing strips)
1 cup cilantro (rough, chopped, adjust to taste)
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp red chili flakes (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp minced garlic (or one very small clove)
Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the package. When done cooking, rinse with cold water and set aside in a sieve.
In a large bowl, add the carrots, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro. Add the cold noodles into the bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, garlic and chili flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything.
Top with crushed peanuts, and add more cilantro if that is your jam! Leftovers will last 2-3 days and you can store leftovers with the dressing for this one.
Nutrition (estimate per serving)
Calories 339kcal; Fat 10g; Carbohydrates 46g; Protein 13g; Fibre 5 g; Sugar 9 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium1,447 mg; Vitamin A 6,376 IU; Vitamin C 43 mg; Calcium 63 mg; Iron 2 mg
This is not a recipe where you want to measure garlic with your heart. Less is more here. This is raw garlic in the dressing – use a very small clove or limit to ½ tsp of minced garlic. The salad can be stored with the dressing. In fact, it is better once the dressing marinates with the noodles and vegetables a bit. life
DISCOVER THE NATURAL
Come home to a four-acre environmental reserve and the limitless tranquility of Southwinds in Airdrie. With a variety of home styles and models available, you’re sure to find your dream home in Southwinds.
403-980-8765 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 25
SOUTHWINDS New Showhomes and Sales Centre Launching Soon Register for updates: mattamyhomes.com/alberta/calgary
Follow us: @mattamyhomes Homes are subject to availability. All dimensions are approximate. Prices, specifications, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. E.&O.E.
Be the first to know about our new community expansion, including our signature WideLot™ design in every home, a unique recreational area with a pump track and more exciting things to come! Visit our Sales Centre to learn more about current offers and register for updates on the opening of our new Showhomes.
GREATLIFE | ARTS NIGHT
MAYOR’S NIGHT OF THE ARTS
PHOTOS BY AMANDA BENNER
Airdronians turned out dressed to the nines for the sixth annual Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts (AMNA awards, held Saturday, February 11, at Bert Church Theatre.
The event recognizes and celebrates the talent, energy, enthusiasm and support for the local arts community, with 30 nominees in six award categories covering a wide field of artists including singers, painters, potters, make-up artists, actors, culinary chefs, graphic designers, teachers and arts supporters.
The gala evening was emceed by Mayor Peter Brown, ably assisted by a unique mime performance from Bill and Gill (also known as Tare Rennebohm and Haley Day), and featured a number of dazzling performances highlighted by Julian Austin singing Styx’s Come Sail Away in a heartfelt tribute to his recently deceased son.
“All of the nominations received were of top quality,” says Tina Petrow, committee chair. “Our adjudicators were impressed and pleasantly surprised by the talent we have here. We are so proud of the Airdrie Arts community!”
Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners and thanks for making our community better!
26 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
Taylor Burton (centre) accepts the Emerging Artist Award ward from Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown and Emily Smith of Qualico Communities while Gill and Bill look on.
Clockwise from above: Julian Austin, Northcott Prairie School Music Program, Sparq Productions.
PATRON OF THE ARTS Glenn Smaha accepts on behalf of Davis Chevrolet
Space to grow.
Duplexes from the mid $400Ks
Detached Homes from the low $500Ks
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 27
You’ll find plenty of space to gather, play and live life in Chinook Gate. Enjoy parkside living next to 55 acres of year-round recreation opportunities. Plus big city amenities with a small town feel, and spacious new homes from Excel Homes, McKee Homes and Brookfield Residential. ChinookGate.com Lots Available!
YOUTH ARTIST Caleb Gatcke –Music, saxophone
Mitchell George, Crooked Cinema Inc. –Video and film production
CHAMPION OF THE ARTS Robin McKittrick – Nose Creek Players
Lisa Ammirati –Skyline Music
AIRDRIE HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW
The annual Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show (AHLS), hosted by the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce and presented by Cam Clark Ford, April 29-30 at Genesis Place, is a great way to kick-off your spring. From local businesses and artisans, to food vendors, to non-profit community groups; the AHLS features nearly 200 exhibitor booths. With an entertainment stage and opportunities to win some great prizes, there truly is something for everyone in the family. New this year is a Maker’s Market, where locally hand-crafted items or homemade goods will be showcased.
For just $5 admission (children under 12 are free), you can literally spend the entire day browsing chatting, taking in some live entertainment, learning something new, meeting with friends and supporting local businesses.
The first 250 attendees each day will receive a free swag bag and there are also door prizes, a ‘Money Tunnel’, and an exhibitor BINGO game that offers a prize.
If you’ve been feeling couped up all winter, this is the perfect time to get the whole family out of the house in preparation for another great Airdrie summer. life
The AHLS is open Saturday, April 29th from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 30th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
For entertainment stage details, a list of exhibitors and more information, visit airdriechamber.ab.ca/airdrie-home-and-lifestyle-show
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GREATLIFE | NEAT THINGS
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 29 Handcraf ted Magnetic Lashes & Eyeliner www.qmbeautique.ca Sustainably packaged 100% Cruelty-free Vegan-friendly Take the reader sur vey, tell us about you and be automatically entered to win in groceries from See complete contest details online. Open to Airdrie and area residents only. DEADLINE TO ENTER IS MAY 1, 2023 $1000 , WIN Take the sur vey NOW at airdrielife.com! Airdrie’s Premiere Dress Shoppe
BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE
Ali Hassan’s Does This Taste Funny?
SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 7:30 P.M.
Ali Hassan’s dreams were simple: become a chef, get a food show on television, get a second food show on television, be the face of the network and have oven mitts with his face on them. But then a little thing called ‘life’ happened.
Prairie Mountain Fiddlers
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2 P.M.
A foot-stomping, toe-tapping good time is guaranteed as the Prairie Mountain Fiddlers bring their brand of old-fashioned fun to town.
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 7:30 P.M.
The Long Run: Canada’s Salute to the Eagles
FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 7:30 P.M.
Relive musical history with some of Canada’s top touring musicians in this critically acclaimed retrospective salute to one of the most enduring country/rock bands of all time.
Bert Church High School Music Department with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 7:30 P.M.
Bert Church High School music department and members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra come together for a night of music. Showcasing masterful musicians and amazing emerging artists.
Nimihitowin! (Knee-me-toe-in) is an all-ages, music and dance performance created and performed by Wild Mint Arts! This performance expresses Indigenous culture through Powwow dance, hoop dance and Métis jigging, providing entertainment and education throughout the show.
This is a Pay-What-You-Choose performance with a recommended donation of $15 per seat. Advance sales are available for a guaranteed seat, or Pay-What-You-Choose at the box office on the day of the performance!
Moving you beyond pain into good health
30 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING accesschiropractic.net #120, 52 Gateway Drive NE 403-945-0855 Chiropractic | Cold Laser Therapy | Massage Therapy Custom Foot Orthotics | Compression Socks Graston Technique | Naturopathic Medicine | Acupuncture Now accepting new patients
GREATLIFE | ON STAGE
LOUISIANA HAYRIDE SHOW
SATURDAY, MAY 13, 7:30 P.M.
Take a trip down memory lane with this unique and incredibly entertaining musical spectacular. You’ll laugh at the antics of the artists and you’ll love the interesting bits of information as legendary stars like Elvis, Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynne, Conway Twitty, Crystal Gayle, Roy Orbison and Shania Twain come to life before your eyes!
Dufflebag Theatre’s Peter Pan
SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2 P.M.
Bring the family and live the adventure as Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and friends travel to Neverland to battle his arch-nemesis Captain Hook in DuffleBag Theatre’s fun version of J.M. Barrie’s beloved classic.
Alice in Wonderland
FRIDAY, MAY 26, 7:30 P.M.
SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2 AND 7:30 P.M.
Join Alice as she journeys through Wonderland, meeting a curious cast of characters along the way in this presentation of the Lewis Carroll classic from the Nose Creek Players and Director Garry Buzzard.
For more information and tickets, visit bclt.ca
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 31
111, 304 Main St. SE Airdrie AB T4B 3C3 T: (403) 948-0600 airdriepubliclibrary.ca More Than BOOKS Visit your library! Engage with literacy through children, youth, teen, and adult programming, and: - The Makerspace - Tech Help - Video Gaming - DVDs/Blu-rays - Author Visits - Writers Workshops - Book Clubs - and much more Online, access a vast collection of books, music, movies, eResources, and much more! FOLLOW US: $ 6 5 $ 6 5 T i c k e t s T i c k e t s o n o n s a l e s a l e n o w ! n o w ! airdriefoodbank.com Cocktails + Dinner + Entertainment + Auctions + Dance + Evening Snack 100% OF PROCEEDS TO SUPPORT THE AIRDRIE FOOD BANK TO SUPPORT THE AIRDRIE FOOD BANK
SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 6 P.M.
AT TOWN & COUNTRY CENTRE
The Airdrie Food Bank’s annual Shamrock Shimmy fundraising dinner includes dinner, dancing and a live and silent auction, with all proceeds supporting the Airdrie Food Bank.
Fore more information and tickets visit airdriefoodbank.com/shamrockshimmy
Rocky Mountain Symphony OrchestraBohemian Brilliance
SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 7:30 P.M.
AT POLARIS CENTRE
Slavko Popovic, the Calgary Philharmonic’s first chair Clarinetist, performs the incredibly virtuosic 2nd clarinet concerto by Weber, paired with Dvorak’s 7th Symphony, one of the finest examples of the genre.
For information and tickets, visit rockymountainsymphony.ca
Airdrie Horticultural Society and Airdrie Community Gardens
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 7 P.M.
AT AIRDRIE AGRICULTURE CENTRE
Interested in having a community garden plot or joining the Horticultrual Society? Then this free introductory meeting is for you!
For more information, visit airdriehortsociety.com
Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 7 P.M.
AT POLARIS CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
The Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts (March 20-30) promotes the appreciation of music and speech arts by organizing and operating an annual festival that encourages amateur performers and students to participate and perform in a non-competitive environment.
For more information and schedules, visit airdrierotaryfestival.org.
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GREATLIFE | EVENTS mycommunitylinks.ca 211, 125 Main St. NW 403-945-3900 Our programs & services cover ALL the stages of life From infants to children/youth through to adulthood and seniors
CURE YOUR SPRING FEVER WITH A LARGE DOSE OF LOCAL EVENTS
Airdrie Farmers Market
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 10 A.M. – 4 P.M., AT TOWN & COUNTRY CENTRE
Shop local makers, bakers and more at the Spring Fling. Admission is a donation to the Airdrie Food Bank. For more information, visit airdriefarmersmarket.com
Boys & Girls Club of Airdrie Spring Market
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 & SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 10 A.M. – 3 P.M., 200 EAST LAKE CRESCENT
Whether you’re shopping for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or just for fun, you’ll find it here while supporting the BGC. Admission $2, children under 12 free. For more information, visit BGCairdrie.com
Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra –Horns, Horns, Horns
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 3 P.M. AT POLARIS CENTRE
How many French horns can fit on one stage? 4? 8? 12? What a glorious sound! This one is a matinee, so be sure to bring the whole family!”
For information and tickets, visit rockymountainsymphony.ca
Amazing Airdrie Women Awards
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 7:30 P.M. AT BERT CHURCH LIVE THEATRE
Come celebrate the accomplishments of this exceptional group of ladies as featured on pages 70-86 in this issue of airdrielife magazine. Includes prosecco reception and dessert intermission, with $10 from every ticket donated to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. Tickets $40 at tickets.airdrie.ca
Know Where to Turn
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 9 A.M. AT ED EGGERER PARK
Airdrie’s Run to End Family Violence combines raising awareness of local resources for individuals and families impacted by family violence with raising much-needed funds to support the frontline services provided at Community Links. The event offers professionally-timed 5K, 10K, and half marathon options and a kids’ race. To volunteer, message email@example.com
For more information, visit knowwheretoturn.ca
Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra –Chopin & Beethoven
SATURDAY, MAY 13, 7:30 P.M.
AT POLARIS CENTRE
This concert features the Grand Prize Winner of the Canadian Music Competition, Stephen Nguyen, performing Chopin’s first concerto, plus Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, a bright and cheerful perennial favourite. For information and tickets, visit rockymountainsymphony.ca
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 33
A CHANGE FOR CANDACE
Candace Webb wanted a change. And she wanted to invest in herself after two years of COVID home colouring and cutting.
Mary Ann Lacoursiere with Envy Salon was more than happy to comply, picking Candace as our spring makeover recipient.
A facial analysis quickly determined Candace’s eyes deserved a more flattering cut and colour. After changing the direction of the fringe and deciding on a new length, colour was the next step. Candace was ready to be adventurous and after a quick colour removing technique that left her previous bland colour in a golden state, Mary Ann’s team worked with both cool and warm red tones to really pop. Styling was a simple blowout utilizing a fibre mousse for lift and support and a serum for hair protection and shine.
Next, it was off to The Brow StudioAirdrie, where Candace’s brows were tinted dark brown, and brow expert Terry waxed and tweezed her beautiful brows creating a natural and defined shape. Her waxing and tinting services will last four to six weeks, allowing for a low-maintenance, polished look.
When doing Candace’s makeup, Madison from The Brow Studio-Airdrie, accented her beautiful green eyes with warm tones using an elegant gold shimmer to brighten. Candace’s face was bronzed and highlighted to accentuate her beautiful skin. And of course, perfected those brows with a hint of brow powder!
“I’m so happy I won this! “says Candace. “I learned a lot about what a great difference a good cut and colour can make for my skin, my eyes and even make my nose look straighter. Also, how important brows are to framing my eyes, I’m so grateful to airdrielife and all the professionals involved in giving me this makeover. Airdrie has some amazing and talented professionals.” life
GREATLIFE | MAKEOVER
PHOTO BY KRISTY REIMER
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 35 Waxing Threading Lash/Brow Lifts Tinting PMU Microblading Now offering Make-up Services! Love is in the hair! 520 1st Ave NE Airdrie 403-980-2150 atdawnwellness.ca Award Winning Wellness Centre Massage Therapy Osteopathic Manual Therapist Naturopathic Medicine NUCCA Chiropractor Physiotherapy/Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy GRAND RE-OPENING RATES GET MORE LIFE FOR LESS
PHOTOS BY KRISTY REIMER
FIT CHALLENGE 2023 TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
It’s just a coincidence our annual Team Fitness Challenge began right around New Year’s resolution time this year. But it’s a positive coincidence, as our 2023 teams are working towards a happy and healthier 2023.
We checked in with our competitors at the halfway point in February to see how things were going.
As always, our competitors are in good hands working with the professionals at Simply For Life and Orange Theory Fitness, who are providing competitors with the knowledge, individualized programs and support they need to achieve their goals.
Members of the winning team will receive a three-month nutrition program from Simply For Life, plus one month free membership and $200 worth of swag from Orange Theory Fitness.
Final results and winners will be announced in our summer issue in June.
TEAM 1: SPOUSES
Husband and wife team Tammy Murden and Mike Hughes have a great reason to want to get fit this year, their first grandchild was born last summer.
“Our first grandbaby was born this summer and we want to be able to do things with her and keep up. I am looking most forward to working with the nutritionist, learning how the food I eat affects my body and how to improve that. I just hope my body can handle the workouts.
“I am having a lot of fun. It’s getting easier and easier to get up and go to the gym in the morning. I have noticed quite a change.”
“I became a grandfather for the first time this summer and want to be healthy to spend time with my grandchild and keep up and not be tired. I am most looking forward to getting healthy and hopefully being able to buy clothes at any store.
“It started hard, but over time the routine has been building into my lifestyle change. The team at OTF have been very supportive and Simply for Life has given me a meal plan that I can handle. I’m down 24.6 pounds!”
36 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING GREATLIFE | FITNESS
AGE 49 49 STARTING WEIGHT (LBS) 252.6 330 MIDPOINT WEIGHT (LBS) 238 305.4
TEAM 2: IN-LAWS
Mother and daughter-in-law Julie and Jessy Crawford aren’t just in-laws – they also live in the same home – along with both their spouses.
“I want to feel healthy and run with my grandchildren. I want to improve energy and have less pain. During the pandemic, I was home a lot because of osteoarthritis and getting a hip replacement. Being able to get out with other people and focus on losing weight and working out is something that will help my mental health a lot. I’m also looking forward to spending time with my daughter-in-law, Jessy, and working on this together.
“I started this Fit Challenge in pretty poor health and January was not easy for me. I started on new medication that has a side-effect of weight gain, so my weight has not changed at all yet, but I have been so encouraged by the changes I have seen by being consistent in participating in Orange Theory classes, and the coaches have been so motivating! The last six weeks at Orange Theory have been a great highlight of this Challenge and I look forward to what the next six weeks will bring.
“I’ve been wanting to improve my fitness and lose weight for a while since having babies, but I’ve lacked motivation. Recently I have started Keto, but it’s not giving me the results I’m hoping for. I am looking forward to becoming healthier overall, losing weight, gaining energy, and maintaining this healthier lifestyle long term.
“So far, it’s been a little difficult with scheduling as I have two kiddos and navigating child care beyond an already busy schedule has been hard for me. The workouts can be challenging, but I always feel so great and accomplished after! This has been such an awesome opportunity so far, and all of the coaches are great, encouraging and the workouts are great! I look forward to continuing on and seeing what the next few months will bring!”
TEAM 3: BFFS
Best friends and self-professed goofballs Aubrey and Kelly say there is literally nothing that will stand in the way of their fitness goals – and that they’ll be the life of the party at the gym.
“I want to get healthy and create long-lasting healthy lifestyle habits for my son and I! Nutrition has always been the hardest part of living a healthy lifestyle for me. Growing up in a family that loves to celebrate with heavy foods, it will definitely be my biggest challenge. I have a goal to run a 5K race before my next birthday. I mean, I would also love to wear a bikini for the first time in my life, this challenge would help with my confidence in picking a hot pink one!
“I am really enjoying the challenge and the accountability from the coaches. Everyone has been so great! Things are going great so far. There have been some roadblocks which, in the past, would have easily stopped me in my tracks, but I have been able to use the tools provided to me to step past the barriers and keep going! Kelly and the rest of the participants are also working so hard which keeps me motivated!”
“I want to learn healthy habits, get fitter, get leaner and lose weight. For me, it’s about finding a new way off living and getting off the couch! My biggest challenge will be consistently carrying out food prep and not eating on the fly daily.
“It’s going well. I am enjoying Orange Theory more than I thought I would and the coaches are so supportive and uplifting. SFL is also supportive and very helpful with finding options that suit my lifestyle and taste. I am a huge foody, and this isn’t my first rodeo, so it’s really helpful to have someone to bounce my food ideas off of (good and bad). The food prep is still the biggest issue, but I’m getting it done and I am beginning to see the benefit in it. It’s great working with Aubrey and touching base with the other pairs keeps us all motivated.
“Not the weigh loss I was hoping for, but I am on program. I know I am receiving results in fitness level and body shape and hopefully my body is now well prepped for the second half of the challenge, and I will see better results on the scale.” life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 37
JULIE JESSY AGE 57 28 STARTING WEIGHT (LBS) 249.8 210.6 MIDPOINT WEIGHT (LBS) 249 207.2 AUBREY KELLY AGE 36 51 STARTING WEIGHT (LBS) 193.6 243.4 MIDPOINT WEIGHT (LBS) 187.4 243
MOTHERHOOD: THE MOST CHALLENGING REWARD
Inever understood how something could be so challenging, yet so rewarding at the same time, until I became a mom. I have a three-year-old son and seven-month-old daughter and they have shown me what love truly is, but also what it’s like to lose yourself in motherhood. It’s isolating but you also become part of a community.
I had an emergency C-section with my son Brandon and found out he had a cleft palate and Pierre Robin Sequence (basically, an underdeveloped jaw) after he was born. They took him away to the NICU before I could even get a good look at his sweet little face. The face I had been so eagerly waiting to admire for nine months.
Since then, it has been a bumpy road with our boy, from a major surgery to other medical issues and a diagnosis of Global Developmental Delay.
When I was pregnant for the second time, we were looking forward to having the “normal” baby experience. But not long into my pregnancy, they determined our daughter Summer also had a cleft palate and Pierre Robin Sequence. I will never forget that moment. My husband and I sat in silence and cried while the doctor explained to us what they saw on the ultrasound.
It took some time to accept that “normal” baby experience just wasn’t in the cards for us. We were having another baby that wouldn’t be able to come home for weeks. We would have to watch another baby go through the same painful surgery and all of the feeding and medical challenges along the way.
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GREATLIFE | GUEST COLUMN BOOK NOW @ t o g e t h e r s o c i a l w e d d i n g s e v e n t s
parentlife WITH PATRICIA MERRICK
CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL PROMISES FREE FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN
Kick-off your summer with some free family-friendly fun at the 2023 Airdrie Children’s Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nose Creek Park.
Founded in 2018, the Airdrie Children’s Festival has grown to become one of this region’s premier events, with more than 10,000 people attending in 2022.
With many things happening around the park all weekend, the Inspiration Stations continue to be the base for the festival. These hands-on, accelerated learning centres are hosted by businesses and organizations from around the Calgary region, allowing kids the chance to see, feel and learn about things they might not otherwise. The Entertainment Stage will have performances by Smilin’ Rylan and then, of course, the Children’s Village will have all the games and activities to keep your kids busy for hours! Each activity is curated to meet the Festival’s mandate to ‘Create Curiosity, Inspire Creativity or Remove Fear’.
All that activity can work up an appetite and there will be food trucks on-site to help keep hungry tummies happy.
The entire two-day event is free to attend thanks to sponsors, including Cam Clark Ford, presenting sponsor for the Festival.
“Cam Clark Ford is the perfect partner to have as our presenting sponsor,” says ACFS founder and board chair Pete Lewis. “We have a shared vision to make a difference and to provide opportunities in our community that inspire our younger population to achieve greater things.” life
For details on performance times and workshops, visit airdriechildrensfest.com, or follow on Instagram (@airdriechildrensfest) and Facebook (@AirdrieChildrensFestival).
MAGAZINE MEDIA 3.0 THE FUTURE IS NOW MAY 11 & 12 albertamagazines.com CONNECT WITH PUBLISHING COLLEAGUES SELECT FROM MULTI-TRACK BREAKOUT SESSIONS HEAR GENIUS KEYNOTES CELEBRATE EXCELLENCE AT THE ALBERTA MAGAZINE AWARDS GALA Join us at Canada’s largest magazine media conference. You’ll gain cutting-edge insights and learn how innovators are adapting to grow their brands and find success. ALBERTA MAGAZINES CONFERENCE 2023 A T 5 0 0 C E N T R E A V E , U N I T 1 0 1 ( 5 8 7 ) 3 6 0 - 4 0 1 1 o r b o o k t o d a y f o r y o u r : w e d d i n g b i r t h d a y p a r t y c o r p o r a t e f u n c t i o n s & M O R E ! Visit Airdrie's Premier Candy Destination www.gummiboutique.ca
GREATLIFE | KIDSTUFF
AERIAL PHOTO BY ROCKYVIEW AERIALS
A LABOUR OF LOVE FOR GENESIS LAND
AIRDRIE’S BABY BOOM HAS CONTINUED INTO
2022, and once again Genesis Land and airdrielife magazine are teaming up to promote and produce the Airdrie Baby Book, celebrating babies born to Airdrie parents prior to December 31.
Born of the pandemic, with 2021 being the first edition, the 2022 Baby Book features the story of Jimmy and the Treehouse, a children’s tale about achieving your dreams with the help of your friends. It is written by Calgary author Leonor Henriquez and illustrated by Airdrie artist Mackenzie Cox. The duo paired up for the first time, last year, creating Baby Bunny Boing and the Welcome Party.
“These babies are our newest citizens, and we want to commemorate their birth by giving them a lifetime treasure,” says Olga Mardones, Marketing Manager for Genesis Land. “Many of these babies will grow-up and spend their lives here in Airdrie, living in a Genesis community. This is what community building is all about.”
The book is an adventure story where kindness and friendship are the heroes, says Henriquez. “It’s a story that celebrates nature, as trees are a symbol of growth and abundance,” she says.
“I’m grateful and honoured to be trusted by airdrielife and Genesis Land to be part of this beautiful project that celebrates life itself,” says Henriquez. “I hope my words bring smiles to your readers and warmth to their homes.”
A special hard cover version featuring baby photos will be produced for babies’ families with copies of the children’s storybook version available at Genesis show homes while quantities last. A digital flipbook version can be found online at both the Genesis Land and airdrielife websites.
All families who registered for the 2022 Airdrie Baby Book were automatically entered to win a baby photography package valued at $500. life
40 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
GREATLIFE | 2022 BABIES
“This is what community building is all about.”
seniorlife WITH JODY SANDERSON
What’s your retirement look like?
I’m involved in a project right now that I never dreamed would be a reality. I sit on a committee that is planning our 50th high school reunion for next year. Unbelievable!
Our logistics co-ordinator has been rounding up 1974 grads for a few years now and has tracked down most of us. Several we have lost too soon, yet everyone is pitching in to make this a reality.
We have a Facebook page that has attracted so much traffic, other years are considering a reunion.
We had our first informal gathering of those interested in organizing an event about a year and half ago, meeting in Calgary at the Legion in Kensington, our old stomping grounds.
We met in Calgary at the Legion in Kensington, our old stomping grounds.
You can imagine what it would be like to see everyone you went to high school with. It was like that. We shared memo-
ries, life experiences and spent most of that first get together just trying to recognize each other. Some of us hadn’t changed a bit…older, of course…and some we couldn’t figure out at all.
Where we had our own little circles then, (nasty or wonderful as those cliques were) there was none of that as we got to know each other again. Some of us have become friends now, where we barely knew each other in high school.
Since then, we’ve had a half dozen of these casual events, and eventually our conversations centred around that R word. The word we’d been avoiding as we got to know each other. You know, the R word. Retirement.
What struck me most during our conversations was how retirement looks far different than what most of us had envisioned. I learned that people who are in second or third marriages are usually more financially secure than those who are single (widowed or divorced) or with their original spouse.
There are a few battling health issues that have impacted these later years significantly. Covid has played a big part in this. Our current inflation and interest hikes have forced a few others, who thought they were going to be okay, into the kind of budgeting that has meant everything from selling assets to using the food bank. Adult children we thought we launched sufficiently into the world, are back at home or we are living with them.
Overwhelmingly, these regular kids I went to high school with a half-century ago, have a pragmatic, hopeful and often humourous response to their circumstances. We are thrivers and survivors, still full of plans, and adventure, in our own ways. We still hurt, cry, pray and keep on keeping on. We’re all just doing the best we can.
It’s encouraging and freeing to see there is really no one size fits all when it comes to applying the R word. It’s like a collective legacy we can pass down, and I find that inspiring. life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 41 tour Cedarwood Station CheCk uS out on FaCebook 304 FirSt ave nw, airdrie 403-945-2222 CedarwoodStation Ca Independent Senior Living in the Heart of Airdrie - All inclusive pricing - vAriety of suites AvAilAble - MicrowAves & cooktops in eAch unit - heAted underground pArking - pub nights, hAppy hours, pAint clAsses & More!
GREATLIFE | COLUMN
FIGHTING THE URGE TO MATCH
Ihave worked with many clients over the years, from small renovation projects to new-home construction, and there seems to be one thing that nags at everyone – the urge to match!
Clients will get discouraged because they love a gold light fixture but feel they can’t use it because they have black faucets. Or, they love black door handles but decide against them because it won’t match the chrome cabinet hardware.
I always remind my clients that the bits and pieces of your home must “go” together, but they certainly don’t have to “match”.
Layering is what will bring your house to life! Don’t be afraid to use mixed metals, contrasting colours, and different textures. It is what will add interest and bring depth to every room! Without it, your room or house can start to fall flat.
If you are doing a light countertop, consider a black granite sink and black faucet to add contrast. If you are doing a light floor, try a dark railing to add visual interest. Maybe you have found a beautiful piece of granite that has beautiful colour and detail, consider pairing it with a plain backsplash in a matte tile laid in a simple stacked brick pattern.
Why not try gold hardware on all your cupboards and wicker light sconces over your island?
Don’t stop there! The layering continues as you add furniture and décor to your new space. Incorporate pattern and texture into carpets, drapes, and pillows. Add colour with artwork on the walls and beautiful frames in different materials (think different shades of wood). Mirrors are also the perfect touch, and my personal favorite, because they will bounce light around the room creating the illusion of a larger room.
And, lastly, don’t forget to layer in lighting! Perfectly placed lamps are the cherry on top to bring warmth to every room. life
Jaymie Lindquist is a Home Planner/Designer for McKee Homes.
42 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING
47 HOME SECURITY | 48 NEW HOMES
GUEST COLUMN 50
IDEAS AND ADVICE FOR YOUR HOME, INSIDE AND
designlife WITH JAYMIE LINDQUIST
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 43
this idyllic location of Southwest Airdrie.
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securitylife WITH DEVIN LEINWEBER
SECURITY SYSTEMS CHANGING WITH THE TIMES
Like everything else in life, it should come as no surprise that the electronic home and business security alarm industry has been changing.
For example, one of the industry shifts that has occurred over the past 20 years has been a move from hard-wired, landline with basic keypad systems, to smart cellular systems with door lock, thermostat and light control capabilities.
Closed circuit video camera installation is a rarity these days, as they provide very low-quality images and are relatively expensive. Nowadays, Wi-Fi and network cameras are comparitively inexpensive and offer much better quality.
Also, with both camera and alarm systems, notifications sent to peoples’ smart devices have really redefined the industry. Some of these smart devices offer different monitoring packages, from self monitoring to the traditional practice of monitoring with phone calls from a central station.
Cameras now use video analytic rules like trip line and intrusion boxes created within the picture so artificial intelligence (AI) will notify you upon someone trespassing on a property or when your Amazon deliveries arrive.
The bottom line is, with the growth in this industry, there are many new products available that offer very cost-effective solutions to your security needs. life
Journey Back. Live Forward.
Just a short drive north of Airdrie, escape the hustle and bustle to a postcard-worthy community surrounded by natural beauty, an abundance of greenspace, and nearby schools. Enjoy the simple life where the pace is gentler and life revolves around family and neighbours. Find the life you long for here, in Vista Crossing.
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 47
HOMELIFE | GUEST COLUMN
the Owner/Operator at Airdrie Alarm.
Everything Touch Turns to I Sold TM 403-827-4663 @terristephensrealtor www.terristephens.com firstname.lastname@example.org Prices and speciﬁcations are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E. Discover Crossﬁeld MCKEE HOMES | HOMES BY DREAM vistacrossing.ca
CHARM COMES STANDARD.
Just outside the city. Porch-front Laned Homes STARTING FROM $399k Pond-backing Front Drive STARTING FROM $549k
Excel Homes simplifies your journey home
STORY BY JIM ZANG
Building a new home should be an exciting and rewarding experience. At Excel Homes, they’ve spent the past 35 years refining and simplifying their home buying process – from purchase to possession – so that the journey is smooth, and buyers get a house they’ll truly be able to call ‘home’.
Since they first began in 1988, Excel has built more than 13,000 homes, in more than 80 communities, and earned over 50 awards for design and industry excellence. In 2021, they built 500-plus homes in Alberta, and 2022 was another strong year, including a BILD Award for design, says Kristina Plank, marketing manager for Excel Homes.
“That experience has helped develop a refined homebuying experience that values buyers’ time, simplifies the big decisions, and minimizes any stress that can come with building a new home. Some of ways we simplify things is with our online shopping tools, such as virtual tours, floor plan customization and we offer our website in over 10 languages.
“We also have a design centre located in every sales centre, to save customers time and make it easier to make interior selections. In addition, we provide free legal fees, when using our legal partner, as well as a move-in concierge service for our clients. Lastly, every Excel Home is not only Certified BUILT GREEN®, but also
backed by the Alberta New Home Warranty Program to give people piece of mind.
“These are some of the many ways that Excel Homes is Simplifying Your Journey Home.”
In Airdrie, they’ve been active since 2009 and are currently building in both Chinook Gate and Cobblestone Creek, with 40 total lots available in the two communities.
Homes in Chinook Gate feature front-drive (garage), laned homes and duplexes ranging in size from 1,214-2,569 square-feet and starting from the mid $400,000s to upper $600,000s.
“We have four beautiful show homes that opened in the spring of 2022,” says Plank, “including one front drive home (The Newbrook), which is a new model, one laned home (The Windsor), a bestseller, and two brand-new duplex models (The Willow and The Magnolia).”
Down in Airdrie’s new southwest corner, in Cobblestone Creek, front-drive and laned homes check-in at 1,493-2,569 square-feet and range in price from the low $500,000s into the low $700,000s.
“We have two new show homes that opened in Cobblestone Creek in the summer of 2022, including a front-drive home featuring a third storey loft (The Fleetwood), as well as a laned home (The Dawson).
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HOMELIFE | BUILDER
“Airdrie is a very desirable place to live, with a strong sense of community.”
“Our buyers are typically younger families, between the age of 25-40 yearsold, looking for their first home or looking for a bigger home for their growing family. We have lots of families who are either just starting a family or growing their family. We also see a lot of families with multi-generational living.”
The company is celebrating their 35th anniversary with customers, industry partners and community members with a variety of events, giveaways and sponsorships planned throughout 2023.
“There will be some exciting new releases, such as new anniversary models, interior selections, special pricing, customer bonuses and much more!” says Plank.
As for what else is in store for the remainder of this year, “It’s always difficult to predict what future markets will do, but there are a lot of key indicators that make us optimistic for 2023. Alberta is an extremely desirable place to live, with a strong economy and high demand for employment. We have many people relocating to our province from other parts of Canada and worldwide. With this influx, the demand for housing will only get stronger.
“In addition, Airdrie is a very desirable place to live, with a strong sense of community and affordable housing - demand for new homes will only continue to grow. Excel Homes is proud to not only build new communities in Airdrie, but to be a part of the Airdrie community. We look forward to sharing many more years together.” life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 49 www.Cr yst alAdamo.com Whether you Buy or Sell, We are the Team for you! Residential, Condominium, Acreages Cr ystal Adamo 403-660-4152 Cr ystal Roach 403-660-4152 Thank you for all the referrals. We are always grateful for the continued suppor t of so many in this amazing community we have proudly called home for more than 30 years!
24/7MONITORINGby 403 948 -1830 AIRDRIE AIRDRIE ALARM ALARM 24/7MONITORINGby 403 948-1830 AIRDRIE AIRDRIE ALARM ALARM • NEW! ULC Fire Panel Monitoring • 24/7 Monitoring • Burglary Alarm • Surveillance Cameras 403.948.1830 email@example.com Residential & Commercial airdriealarm.ca • Automation • Guard Services & Response • Vacation House checks • Card Fob Access Control
MELCOR BUILDING ON A 100-YEAR FOUNDATION
STORY BY JIM ZANG
IMAGINE IT’S 1923.
King Tut’s burial chamber has just been opened; the first home game is played at Yankee Stadium in New York; Ford’s Model T is the best-selling automobile of the year; the village of Airdrie has around 170 residents – and Melcor Developments is founded in Edmonton.
Fast forward 100 years, and the Model T is long gone; Airdrie’s population has grown to nearly 80,000; and Melcor is still going strong, having developed hundreds of new communities across Alberta during that time.
The company was originally founded as a real estate company intent on helping people attain the dream of home ownership, says Erin Cripps, marketing project coordinator at Melcor.
Over the next 50 years, Melcor grew to be the largest real estate brokerage in western Canada, until that part of the business was sold to A.E. LePage (now Royal LePage) in 1976. Over the years, Melcor established synergistic subsidiaries to help achieve the goals of providing housing and improving quality of life for western Canadians, including mortgage, insurance and land development firms and a home building division.
Since the 1970s, Melcor’s main business lines include developing master planned and amenity rich communities (several including golf courses) and planning, building, and managing income generating commercial assets.
With over 140 residential communities and millions of squarefeet of commercial properties built, Melcor has played a significant role in shaping the urban and suburban landscape of Alberta and today manages over 4.8 million square-feet in commercial properties.
In Airdrie, Melcor has been actively developing new communities for the past 25 years, including Lanark Landing, King’s Heights, StoneGate and their newest master-planned community, Cobblestone Creek, in the city’s deep southwest.
“We have an attention to detail when we’re doing our master plans that is executed not only from the conceptual stage, but down to the actual details of the design, the architectural controls and the final product that’s on the ground,” says Cripps.
“We put a large focus on amenities within the community. For example, parks, open spaces, a pump track in Lanark, and hockey rink in Kings Heights. In Cobblestone Creek, we’re planning basketball, tennis and pickleball courts, with construction to start this year. Our attention to detail is probably why our communities are some of the best selling historically in Airdrie.”
A public Kindergarten to Grade 9 future school site is also located within the development.
A scenic creek runs along the east border of the community, says Cripps, offering homeowners the opportunity for a relaxed lifestyle of quiet creekside living, a return to a slower pace of life and reconnection with nature.
The architecture of the homes in the community will be based on traditional home styles, including Prairie Brownstone, Tudor, and Craftsman – adding to the classical and traditional feel of the neighbourhood. A bright colour palette brings a modern element to the design that helps homes feel contemporary, without losing the focus on its traditional roots.
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HOME LIFE | CENTURIANS
The community is designed to be walkable, with a variety of walking paths and outdoor gathering locations, encouraging residents to interact with nature and connect with each other as they stroll through the neighbourhood. Many of the homes in the community will have front porches, further encouraging residents to engage with nature and with their neighbours.
This interconnectedness of the community is symbolized in the brand and logo through its interlocking elements and the use of nature photography, says Cripps.
Cobblestone Creek residents can rest-assured the picturesque neighbourhood will maintain the high standards Melcor demands, thanks to the community’s homeowners’ association, who will look after bylaws in terms of architectural standards and fencing, among other responsibilities.
The 156-acre master-planned community is entering its third phase this spring and will have 1,200 homes at build-out.
Phase 1 show homes opened in March 2022, with new show homes from Shane Homes, Excel Homes, Douglas Homes and Rohit Custom Builders opening last September. Prices from the low $420,000s to just over $800,000.
“There’s lots of selection for both firsttime homebuyers and move-up homeowners,” says Cripps. “Our buyers are families and couples looking to set their roots in Airdrie.”
In fact, Melcor’s unique doorhanger program offers a free tree to every home buyer so that they can literally put down roots in their new home.
Maybe, like Melcor, it will still be there in another 100 years. life
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K
Register at www.volunteerairdrie.ca today
We create VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES to address community needs and to INSPIRE YOUTH for a lifetime commitment to service. Join us weekly for projects that will make POSITIVE CHANGE.
1. VISTA CROSSING BY DREAM (CROSSFIELD)
2. MCKEE HOMES IN VISTA CROSSING
3. WILDFLOWER BY MINTO (COMING SOON)
4. SHANE HOMES IN MIDTOWN
5. GENESIS BUILDERS IN BAYVIEW
6. MCKEE HOMES IN BAYSIDE
7. CALBRIDGE HOMES IN BAYVIEW
8. MCKEE HOMES IN CHINOOK GATE
9. EXCEL HOMES IN CHINOOK GATE
10. CHINOOK GATE BY BROOKFIELD
11. COBBLESTONE BY MELCOR
12. SHANE HOMES IN COBBLESTONE
13. COOPER’S CROSSING BY WESTMARK
14. HARDER HOMES IN COOPER’S CROSSING
15. LANARK LANDING BY MELCOR
16. HOMES BY AVI IN LANARK
17. SOUTHWINDS BY MATTAMY
18. THE PINNACLE BY MELCOR (COCHRANE)
19. PRAIRIE ESTATES COMMUNITY BY MELCOR (COMING SOON - BALZAC)
52 airdrielife.com | 20|23 SPRING 14 15 16 17 LOCATED IN COCHRANE LOCATED IN BALZAC
AND BUILDERS ADVERTISING IN THIS ISSUE ARE FEATURED ON THIS MAP. TO GET YOUR PROJECT ADDED CONTACT WENDY@FROGMEDIAINC.CA
YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD!
SHOW HOME MAP
WITH ADENA MALYK
Caution! Women at work
March 8 marks International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
It’s a day to think seriously about the power of entrepreneurship to drive social change. In Canada, over 1 million women are entrepreneurs, with 15 per cent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, about 110,000 companies, are owned by women. And that number continues to grow! In fact, over the past 40 years, the number of female entrepreneurs has quadrupled.
Despite recent advances, gender inequality is still an issue in the world of entrepreneurship. Women face barriers in accessing capital, are less likely to seek debt and equity financing, and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money. The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada’s future competitiveness and prosperity. The Government of Canada has identified that continuing to increase women’s participation in the economy could add up to $150 billion towards Canada’s GDP.
Many women entrepreneurs, however, have continued to innovate, create new jobs, export, and drive economic growth. Some are leading high-growth ventures. While women have historically been underrepresented in the high-growth start-up space, the number of new women-founded start-ups with a valuation of more than US$1 billion in Canada has almost doubled since 2019. Women’s entrepreneurship not only has a clear impact on economic growth and job creation, but it also plays an important role in contributing to broader social and environmental goals.
Airdrie is no stranger to incredible and hard-working women entrepreneurs. From cleaning companies, cannabis operations, clothing boutiques, personal services, eateries, florists, fitness studios and niche retail stores – women touch, manage and run many facets of our community. And the proof is in the pudding: 92 out of our 133 SMARTstart graduates have been female, and we are fortunate to have 29 female mentors between our two entrepreneurial training programs – SMARTstart and AdvanceSMART.
We want more women entrepreneurs; we want more women in leadership positions, and more women in tech. Let’s help Canada reach its goal of doubling female entrepreneurs by 2025 as part of the federal Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy.
We can work towards this goal by taking the time to visit and support our local women-owned businesses. Their contributions continue to be vital to the health and liveliness of our city, province, and country.
Today and every day we admire all of the talented, brave and powerful women in our business community who make Airdrie a better place to live, work and do business. life
Resources for female entrepreneurs:
Airdrie Economic Development: 403-948-8844
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs: awebusiness.com
Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub: wekh.ca
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54 HEALTH | 59 FINANCES | 60 CITY WOMEN
| COLUMN worklife MEET THE MOVERS, SHAKERS AND BUSINESS MAKERS 57
Adena Malyk is an Economic Development Officer with the City of Airdrie.
WOMEN’S HEALTH & WELLNESS
STORY BY JIM ZANG | PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI
If Rebecca McElhinney had a time machine, she’d love to go back and give her younger self a few friendly words of advice.
McElhinney, a licensed nurse, is the founder of Vena Women’s Health & Wellness, a two-year-old company focused on providing medical-grade non-surgical female health services.
“I worked in private health care for 90 per cent of my nursing career, in IVF clinics, and at other mobile health care businesses,” says McElhinney. “My nursing background and passion is women’s health. I’ve been a nurse for over 10 years, starting in labour delivery and post-partum, then moving into reproductive health and infertility.
“I saw a profound need to increase women’s health awareness and autonomy in the community as my nursing career grew. As a mother of two girls, my goal is to ensure they are confident and comfortable with the complexity of being a female.”
With that goal in mind, McElhinney took a leap of faith, bet on herself, and, with mentorship from the City of Airdrie’s SMARTstart program, launched her mobile fertility consulting business in 2020. The business also offered mobile lab collections, vaccinations and IV Therapies.
“That was the first taste of excitement into how I could advocate for women’s health and build bridges within our health care system.”
But McElhinney didn’t stop there. Given an opportunity to bring in advanced technology designed specifically for women, she immediately dove head-first into education, training and getting a space where she could start providing specialized care.
“As a mother of two and stuck with the same answers with the standalone options of pelvic floor health, core strengthening and realignment, hormonal imbalances and sexuality, I was instantly intrigued by this new technology that can bring advanced support to what is currently being offered. A bridge I was searching for.
WORKLIFE | FOR FEMALES
“With only a moment of ‘This is a huge investment I may not be ready for’, I knew there were thousands of women out there that are ready for it. I flew down to Austin, Texas, and learned from three of the best gynecologists that have been using this technology for years now. I obtained advanced education and protocols to ensure I was bringing a truly medical-grade non-surgical service to Airdrie.”
Vena Women’s Health & Wellness is located in the historic Nauton Place house at 117 1st Street NW, but still offers mobile IV Therapies and blood work collection services.
“IV Therapy is a direct way of getting a therapeutic dose of vitamins, amino acids and electrolytes that would otherwise be lost when taking oral vitamins and is used for rehydration, immune support, recovering from illness, providing cellular support that benefits your stress response, assisting with better quality sleep and an increase in energy throughout your day.”
In-clinic services include things like pelvic floor and abdominal/ core strengthening using EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) and relief of GSM (genitourinary syndrome of menopause) using gentle thermal radiofrequency for internal and external contraction. There are also treatments providing relief of dryness, irritation,
poor lubrication, impaired sexual function, urgent need to urinate, and recurrent UTI’s.
A technique called Fractional RF micro needling with subdermal remodeling can be used all over the body by rebuilding your own collagen and elastin, says McElhinney, resulting in reduced fine lines and wrinkles, defined jaw line, reduced scar tissue such as stretch marks and acne scars as well as active infections such as acne, yeast infections, and break down scar tissue including lichen sclerosis.
“My motivation comes from being a woman, a mother, a nurse, and knowing our health care system is ever growing and advancing and to be a part of the change in how health care can be received and accessed more readily,” says McElhinney. “I am passionate about making health care accessible, so I created a clinic where women have advanced options to their health concerns and further access to knowledge and support. My compassion for others has always been my fuel.”
“I want my daughters to feel empowered by their feminine health and know early on how hormones work, reproductive health and have autonomy over what their bodies are doing and get the answers to their questions.”
And there’s no stronger motivation than that. life
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 55
“I am passionate about making health care accessible.”
What one is most struck by when entering The Hair Lounge, is that it’s a house. It’s welcoming before even opening the door.
Built at Calgary Stampede Park in the 1960s, this 1,600-square-foot house was moved to Airdrie and is a throwback to simpler times. Even with ten chairs, it feels homey.
Wendy Bates, who opened The Hair Lounge 15 years ago, is a big part of the welcoming atmosphere, making customers feel like they’re in her home. Which, according to Bates, is the entire purpose of her business.
“That is exactly how we want our clients to feel when they’re here,” enthuses Bates. “That they’re home, amongst friends they’re comfortable with.”
Bates bought the property in May 2008 and, after extensive renovations, opened that December. It’s a far cry from her first career in oil and gas for 13 years, but Bates has never looked back.
“I am definitely a people person, a leader, mentor and, from the beginning, immersed myself in the community. I knew very early I had come home,” says Bates, who moved here in 2003.
Her community involvement includes volunteering for the Food Bank, and the BGC of Airdrie. She is a Rotarian, a SMARTstart mentor, and most recently received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award.
Welcome home to THE HAIR LOUNGE
STORY BY JODY SANDERSON
Despite COVID having had such a huge impact on small business, especially the salon industry, The Hair Lounge has thrived in response.
Beautifully appointed, the basement is a replica of a wine cellar in Portugal that Bates once visited. The large upstairs windows reflect the natural light, and the greenery gives it a spa feel. While the salon itself has changed décor over the years, Bates’ commitment to service has not.
“My clients have been coming for 14 years. I’ve watched children grow up, marry and bring their own children here. We’ve shared in marriages, births, divorces, even deaths. My staff and clients all feel like they belong here, that they’re welcomed and appreciated.”
The glowing reviews on the salon’s website, and the stylists’ ease and camaraderie in the shop are testimonials to the success of Bates’ initial vision for her business; giving back to the community that is so supportive.
“We have a great team of stylists, who are talented and experienced, who really listen to what the client wants. The culture of The Hair Lounge is our brand and is what I’m most proud of.”
In this case, Bates herself is the model for the brand of her business. Her compassion and commitment are the integral spirit of this great little company.
In fact, you might even say this home-grown company has its roots right here in Airdrie. life
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WORKLIFE | COMFORT ZONE
PHOTO BY SERGEI BELSKI
PAWSITIVELY PERFECT PET CARE
STORY BY JIM ZANG | PHOTO BY SERGEI BELSKI
At Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic, pets are people too.
“I was pretty young when I developed a passion for animals,” says Dr. Erin Heck, speaking from the modern new Happy Paws East location in King’s Heights. “I grew up in Olds, and knew from a young age that there was a Veterinary Technician program at Olds College.”
Heck’s partner in business and in life, husband Jeff Boucher, also grew up in Olds and when his high school sweetheart moved to Calgary to pursue her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree, Jeff wasn’t far behind.
“I worked for a year and a half as a Vet Tech, but found myself really missing the direct contact with pet owners, so I went back to school and was part of the first graduating class from the University of Calgary’s – at that time – brand new vet school,” says Erin.
With new degree in hand, and Jeff working in the banking industry, the couple were looking for a place to raise a family that had the amenities of a city but with a smaller town feel – and Airdrie fit the bill perfectly. The couple live in town with their two young children, Fiona and Ethan, plus golden retrievers Sam and Sherman.
”Airdrie has a large population of pets that were underserved based on our demographic research,” says Jeff, who handles the business end of things for the company. “It’s also close to our families. It just felt like a natural fit.”
”We had big dreams to both improve the quality of veterinary care in town and improve the lives of the team providing that care,” adds Erin.
And so they opened the first Happy Paws location roughly seven years ago in Bayside. Like many startups, they began small, both to minimize risk and because it’s what they could afford, focusing on dogs and cats, working out of a 1,500-square-foot clinic with three exam rooms and mopping the floors themselves. It’s a space they grew into, and out of, it very quickly.
Their business was growing in leaps and bounds, just like the patients it serves. And, to Erin and Jeff, that could only mean one thing – expansion.
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WORKLIFE | FURRY FRIENDS
“There was so much growth in the city and an obvious need for more veterinary care that it just made sense to open another location,” says Jeff. “We have a good community reputation and we wanted to be able to serve the community’s increasing needs.”
“In a business where there’s an industry-wide shortage of veterinary professionals, we were turning away good candidates simply due to lack of space,” says Erin.
The new location has 5,500 square-feet of work space, built from scratch and custom-outfitted with all the latest veterinary medical technology, effectively tripling their treatment capacity with nine examination rooms. The ultra-modern facility has separate cat and dog exam rooms, an operating theatre, dental care room, indoor dog runs and kennels, all designed with making the experience more comfortable and less stressful for both pets and owners.
“We chose this location for a number of reasons,” explains Jeff. “The size of the space and the ability to customize it, affordability, and strategic in that it not only gives us locations on both sides of the city but we’re hoping the better accessibility once the new 40th Avenue intersection and connector road to Kingsview Boulevard is complete will bring more business. This was a really unique opportunity.”
In addition to the regular services they offer, like general wellness consulting and check-ups, vaccinations, sick pet visits, integrative
care, general surgeries and dental car, Happy Paws is launching two new services, a Palliative-Hospice program called Pet’s Best Life and a mobile euthanasia service to ease the burden on owners of terminally ill pets.
They’ve also added Dr. Sarah Pedersen, a Certified Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapist and Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist, to the team as a specialist in Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitation Therapy and pain management.
From a staff of six at their first Christmas party, they’ve grown to 30 and, if things grow as anticipated, they’ll need to bring on another 10 or so “pawsitive people” by the end of this year.
It’s this feeling of family, of genuine caring on the part of everyone, says Erin, that makes Happy Paws who they are.
Customers from the west location are welcome to book at the east facility, comfortable in the fact that because Happy Paws rotates it’s staff through both locations their pets will receive the same professional care at each.
“We’re focused on the human/animal bond,” says Erin. “We provide veterinary medical services by building a relationship with pet owners and focusing on communication, so they can make the informed decisions about what’s best for their pet’s health care. It’s all about helping people create more life, love and memories with their pets.” life
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WORKLIFE | FURRY FRIENDS
“We had big dreams to improve the quality of veterinary care in town.”
How to save money on your mortgage renewal
Do you have a mortgage renewal coming up in 2023?
If so, rising interest rates may have you worrying about what your new mortgage payment might be. Many homeowners are struggling with affordability and an increased mortgage payment might not be an easy pill to swallow. So, how do you save money on your mortgage renewal and make sure you’re getting the best rateavailable to you?
As long as you’ve paid your mortgage on time and never missed a payment, odds are very good that your current lender will reach out between three to six months before your renewal date with a renewal offer letter. However, your current lender will never offer you the best rates on your first renewal offer!
You can save thousands in interest by shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. The easiest way to do that? Use a mortgage broker! Your broker can compare rates and products for you to ensure you’re getting the best rate and product on the market for you.
Using a broker is free to you (in most cases) and they work for you, not the lender.
Most lenders will offer better rates to new customers, so it usually works out in your favour to switch lenders at renewal time. To switch, it doesn’t cost you anything as the new lender also covers the cost of the transfer. It’s a win-win!
What happens if you don’t qualify?
If you’ve recently lost your job or came into debt, you may be worried about an upcoming renewal and not qualifying for your mortgage. If you don’t qualify to switch your mortgage, you’ll always be able to sign your renewal offer at your current lender. If this is the case for you, we recommend a shorter term than the standard five years so that you can shop around when your finances rebound. life
THE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS. FIND your FIT! airdrie.ca/careers
DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR, FINANCIAL ANALYST, FITNESS INSTRUCTOR, APPLICATION SUPPORT TECHNICIAN, CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, PROCUREMENT SPECIALIST, PARKS CREW LEADER, EQUIPMENT OPERATOR, CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR, FUNDING ADMINISTRATOR, WEB DEVELOPER, CARE LEADER, RECREATION LEADER, PROPERTY ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAL LABOURER, ACCOUNTS PAYABLE ADMINISTRATOR, CORPORATE STRATEGY ADVISOR, PLANNER, EDUCATION COORDINATOR, PERSONAL TRAINER, MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST, COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR, JUNIOR LAND ADMINISTRATOR, STORMWATER TECHNICIAN, INFORMATION GOVERNANCE & MANAGEMENT TECHNICIAN, WATCH CLERK, TAXATION CLERK, WATER
FACILITIES COORDINATOR, ROADS COORDINATOR, ASSESSOR,
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 59 Got a tech-ache? ALBERTA’S #1 CYBER SECURITY & DATA EXPERTS WINDOWS PC | APPLE DEVICES | PRINTERS | EMAIL ISSUES | SMART HOME TECH Any issue BIG or small, give us a call. ALBERTA’S #1 CYBER SECURITY & DATA EXPERTS WATCH OUR SHOW! Wednesdays, 2 p.m. Book online www.dontgethacked.ca Call/text 1-867-888-4225 24/7 for any emergency As seen on MupoEntertainment As Heard on QR Radio
WORKLIFE | GUEST COLUMN
Brie Robertson and Katie Whyte are mortgage brokers and owners of Illuminate Mortgage Group
financiallife WITH BRIE ROBERTSON AND KATIE WHYTE
CITY WOMEN ADD TO DIVERSE WORKFORCE
PHOTOS BY SEGEI BELSKI
The City of Airdrie, whether at City Hall, the Parks Department building, Bert Church Theatre, or other City-run facilities, is proud of their dedication to a diverse and inclusive workplace. They are always working towards having a workforce that is representative of the community in which we live, supporting local culture and laying the foundation for future growth – and it shows.
Of the City’s approximately 750 employees, nearly half (49.5 per cent) identify as female and just over half (52.46 per cent) of employees in leadership positions are women.
airdrielife caught up with a trio of these ladies who work behind the scenes at the City of Airdrie to get to know them a little better and find out more about what they do.
Name: YSABEL LAVENDEL
Title: Equipment Operator
When did you start at the City of Airdrie: January 2014
What does your job title mean to you? Serving this city by making the roads safe. Filling and patching potholes, putting grit/salt down in the winter months, sweeping the grit/dirt in the spring/summer months, filling cracks and picking up garbage.
How do you serve the city of Airdrie residents? I bring a positive attitude to work every day. I push myself to do the jobs to the best of my ability so at the end of the day I can go home knowing I have made a difference. What is the most important aspect of your job? Work/life balance. Having two children, I find it very important the City promotes work/life balance.
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What is one thing you think everyone should know about your department? Our winter shift runs from mid-October to the beginning of April; it is seven days or nights on and then seven off. There are four crews of six people on each crew. Our summer schedule is four days a week, and all together there are 18 of us to run all of the summer programs. What is your favourite thing to do in Airdrie? I really enjoy visiting all the cute, little shops and boutiques around the city, as well as supporting local restaurants. I also enjoy the street festivals, the Airdrie Farmers Market, parades and the Festival of Lights.
Anything else you’d like to add? I’ve been with the City for nine years. I am the only woman equipment operator in the Roads Department and the first female to operate a street sweeper and snow blower in Airdrie.
Name: KENDALL BAMPTON
Title: Parks Development technician
When did you start at the City of Airdrie: Originally, I started November of 2007 with the Parks Department, and was an area crew lead, and then became the Urban Forestry Technician until July 2009 when I moved to Edmonton for love! That turned into a marriage, two boys, and then a move back to Airdrie. I started back with the Parks Department in October 2018, again as an area crew lead, then Urban Forest crew lead, then Horticulture Crew lead for a season, and then September of last year I became the Parks Development Technician.
What does your job title mean to you? To me, this title is a shift from what I am used to – maintaining our parks and assets – to now working with Planning and Development, getting to oversee new parks and greenspaces from concept, to plan view, through construction to completion. How do you serve the city of Airdrie residents? In my previous operational roles, I was part of the front-line field staff that is always out there in the community. I was changing garbage, pruning trees and shrubs, planting flowers to beautify our city and for residents to enjoy and plowing sidewalks to making ice in the winter. Now, with my new role, I get to be part of ensuring the new developments within the communities are up to Parks standards and that they will provide Airdrie residents with sport and leisure opportunities, as well as ensuring continued connectivity through our wonderful path systems.
What is the most important aspect of your job? Review development plans from a Parks perspective, as well as carrying out site inspections
during construction. We are involved from irrigation installation, to tree planting.– We want to ensure we will be able to maintain the amenities and greenspace, once the City takes it over from the developer.
What is one thing you think everyone should know about your department? I’m part of the Parks Department, and we are a team of just under 30 hardworking people. We are a relatively small department for the number of things we look after but, individually or as a team, we come together to get things done, and make our city look great.
What is your favourite thing to do in Airdrie? I like to support local as much as possible, if I don’t have to leave Airdrie that is a bonus! The Airdrie Farmer’s Market is very popular in my house and we live within walking distance, so its nice to pick up some local goods and hit up a food truck or two and have the night off from cooking supper!
Name: BEVERLY STADELMANN
When did you start at the City of Airdrie: March 15, 2015
Title: Performing Arts Coordinator
What does your job title mean to you? I consider this position to be an advocate for the fair and equitable access to the arts which is an integral part of the human experience. Performing Art is such a communal activity that promotes connectivity, diversity and inclusion.
How do you serve the city of Airdrie residents? I curate the presented series with Airdrie in mind, in hopes of bringing shows that people will enjoy, but also connect to because they see themselves on stage. I cultivate community partnerships to grow art holistically throughout the city and create opportunities for audience members and creators alike.
What is the most important aspect of your job? I believe everyone deserves to express themselves and feel connected to others while experiencing art. I consider myself a facilitator of these opportunities and enjoy being witness to the energy that exists between creators, audience members and citizens.
What is one thing you think everyone should know about your department? We are a team of passionate arts supporters, educators and professionals who are invested in seeing arts and culture continue to grow in our facility and our city.
What is your favourite thing to do in Airdrie? Eat Ramen at Mio Stone Grill & Sushi! life
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CITYLIFE | ALTRUISTS
A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR COMMUNITY 65
ORGANIZATION EXISTS TO HELP OTHERS
STORY BY PATRICIA MERRICK
Volunteers are essential to charitable organizations and thanks to Volunteer Airdrie, the community is not short of them. The agency was established in 2010 to support the City of Airdrie and charitable groups and organizations in the community. It’s the go-to hub when looking for volunteers to help with events.
“Volunteer Airdrie exists to encourage people in the community to gather together and serve various events and functions that happen within our town,” says Jason Heer, director of community engagement and fund development for Volunteer Airdrie.
“People were looking for volunteer opportunities and they didn’t know how to go about that and so a group of people came together and wanted to form this agency to provide people with kind of like a hub to connect for those opportunities.”
Volunteer Airdrie services a variety of organizations, including Community Links, the Airdrie Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie and Stephen’s Backpacks. The agency also provides volunteers for events like the Santa Claus Parade and Airdrie Festival of Lights.
Volunteers take on all sorts of jobs, whether it’s collecting tickets at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo or making sure the grounds stay clean, navigating people and blocking off traffic at the Santa Claus Parade or collecting food bank donations at the Airdrie Festival of Lights and setting up or taking down the lights.
Approximately 1,000 volunteers make up Volunteer Airdrie. Opportunities are distributed through email or posted on the agency’s website. Heer says most volunteers are between the ages of 45 and 65. However, Volunteer Airdrie is also an affiliate of YVC Kansas City, being one of approximately 40 in North America and one of three in Canada.
The youth program started in Airdrie three years ago and there are now 165 youth aged 11 to 18 registered. Heer says they serve in various capacities three times a week.
Two youth volunteers were recently recognized at the YVC (Youth Volunteer Corps) annual event in Kansas City for having served more than 100 hours.
“Being able to connect and see young people actually get excited about serving the community and taking ownership within their community – and then seeing them want to continue to find new opportunities to serve – I think that’s the most rewarding part about the job,” says Heer. “We’re one of the fastest growing youth affiliates in North America and we were actually recognized in 2020 for being the new affiliate of the year because of our hard work.” life
For more information or to get involved, visit volunteerairdrie.ca.
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Cyclist with cerebral palsy rides
2000 KILOMETRES IN 2022
Lovepreet Deo used to be a little girl who endured stares from people, due to her cerebral palsy, and kept her dreams to herself.
“I was in my own little world, I didn’t open up to anybody,” recalls Deo.
Deo knew no one when she moved to Airdrie with her family as a 27-year-old in 2008. Feeling alone and bored, her family encouraged her to go to the gym in 2014.
“I went one day and never looked back,” says Deo, now 41 and a fixture at Genesis Place, punching in no less than 175 times in 2022. “The gym is one of the places where I feel like I’m accepted for who I am, where I don’t feel like I have a disability.”
Shortly after she first used public transit and her walker to get to the gym, her trainer, Dawn Sorsdahl, helped her begin setting goals. Ever since, Deo’s been pushing back at what was deemed impossible for her motor disability and slight, five-foot-tall frame.
Deo’s routine is that of an elite athlete. When her 5:30-6 a.m. alarm rings, she often swings her legs out of bed and shuffles over to her stationary bike in her room for a quick five-kilometre cycle. She then eats breakfast and, three-to-five days a week, goes to the gym for a bike ride or workout with Sorsdahl. After the gym, she works from home.
Since joining Genesis, Deo’s completed multiple 20-plus kilometre races on her tricycle, challenged herself to stair climbs and daily step goals, raised thousands of dollars for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta and won a variety of awards and recognitions.
“I needed something to spark the fire, and I think that being at the gym did that,” says Deo.
CITYLIFE | DETERMINATION
STORY AND PHOTOS BY BRITTON LEDINGHAM
When she completes one challenge, she takes on another, and beginning in 2019 she wanted to bike 2,000 kilometres in one year.
There were setbacks to aiming at the lofty goal. Health issues stopped her the first year, then the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted things in 20202021. When 2022 rolled around, she leaned into the challenge.
Her friends and staff at Genesis Place, Brad Anderson and Shawn Livingstone, took on the challenge with her, and by last September, she was about 1,500 kilomteres towards her goal, but exhausted.
“I looked at Shawn and I told him, ‘I’m tired, I give up,’” recalls Deo. “He looked and me and goes, ‘Give up then.’”
That was the necessary chirp only a true friend could give to light a fire under Deo.
“If you tell Lovepreet, ‘you can’t do something’, then she’s going to prove you’re wrong,” says Livingstone.
In the end, all three passed the finish line, and when Deo finished her 2,000 kilometres on December 15, 2022, she continued riding routinely until New Year’s Eve, and crushed the goal, cycling over 2,100 kilometres for the year.
Anderson also completed the challenge, logging most of his kilometres on his electric bike during
his daily commute to manage Genesis Place.
“She’s just inspired so many over the years in terms of her tenacity and resiliency, taking on challenges as they come and still keeping such a smiling face all the time,” says Anderson.
Deo bought Anderson a t-shirt to wear while he works out. It reads “Lovepreet Beat Me At Biking.”
Living with a disability makes Deo standout in a crowd, sometimes receiving unwanted stares or words from strangers. After nine years of good-natured, often colourful, banter with friends and tons of smiles, hugs and support, she no longer lets “stupid comments or looks bring me down anymore.”
“I’m not letting my disability define me,” says Deo. “I’m more at peace with my disability. I love Genesis Place. Everybody needs a place like Genesis.”
She’s even taken foray into the modeling world and been photographed recently for Buttercream Clothing and Kello Inclusive, a talent agency exclusively representing disabled and visibly different people.
As 2023 began, she turned her focus to a new goal – 500 kilometres of rowing on a machine along with 1,000 kilometres of cycling. Given her past history, it seems like a pretty sure bet. life
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lovepreet is a former winner in the Amazing Courage category of our annual Amazing Airdrie Women awards and was on the front cover of our Spring 2017 issue.
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CITYLIFE | DETERMINATION SPRING 2017 airdrielife.com 7th Annual AMAZING AIRDRIE
Stories that inspire Art’s Big Night Out Escape from RWANDA One Airdrie woman’s harrowing story TASTE AIRDRIE Dish up the best flavours in town SHE-preneur SUCCESS Entrepreneurs that shine Lovepreet Deo Courage + Strength = AMAZING!
“I needed something to spark the fire, and I think that being at the gym did that.”
Lovepreet celebrates riding 2,000 km with friends Shawn Livingstone (left) and Brad Anderson.
Good times at AWESOME AIRDRIE KIDS wrap-up
Our Awesome Airdrie Kids program wrapped up January 25 at Glitch Gaming Lounge with a fun party for nearly 100, including 20 of our Awesome award recipients plus their families.
Thanks again to our sponsors: Pureform Kids, Volunteer Airdrie and Graphnix, and also to Vitreous Glass for donating $50 to the charity of each child’s choice as part of our airdrielife Pay-It-Forward program.
Some of the kids have grown noticeably since we last saw them in October, and some have more teeth in their smiles, but one thing that remains the same is just how impressed we are with the thoughtfulness, politeness and community spirit exemplified by this group of young Airdronians.
Our future truly is in good hands.
WE GET AROUND
Our Winter 2022 cover model, Jonah, couldn’t make the event because he was visiting his grandfather – seen here reading a copy of airdrielife on his deck in Ghana, West Africa.
SPRING 20|23 | airdrielife.com 65
CITYLIFE | AWESOMENESS
PHOTOS BY SERGEI BELSKI
Before she even took her first breath, doctors gave Darby Beeson a slim chance of ever walking normally.
Now, the gregarious, optimistic Airdrie teen athlete has dreams of taking to the ice as an Olympic speed skater.
With the omnipresent odds-makers already betting against her, nail-biting expecting mom, Monique, scanned an ultrasound as doctors speculated the unborn Darby may have to contend with a life-altering birth defect.
“When they were doing an ultrasound, they thought I had spina bifida. Until I was born, they didn’t actually know it was club foot,” says the 16-yearold Darby. “My mom was actually relieved because spina bifida would have been the worst case.”
Embracing this silver lining, the congenital foot defect couldn’t contain the hyperactive young Darby. Constantly trying to keep up with other children her age, she never stood still despite enduring several surgeries, relapses and numerous braces and casts.
“I can’t even count how many casts I’ve been in. When I was around nine, my foot relapsed, so I had to go into another surgery where they had to switch the tendon onto the other side of the foot. So, it was a very different childhood then normal.”
A unique upbringing differing from her young companions, Darby’s days were filled with exercises, stretching, and a love for any kind of athletics despite tremendous physical obstacles.
Between constant doctor appointments and a substantial recovery regimen, sporting activities jumped to the forefront for the determined youngster. Like a moth to the flame, she was drawn to gymnastics, tumbling, lacrosse, dancing, swimming and even roller derby.
“Any sport, you name it. My mom always kept me active – I was very hyper,” says Darby. “I just wanted to run and do everything everyone else could. Being active was the best thing I could have done for myself.”
Attending a World Cup speed skating event at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Darby found her sports-field calling.
Speed Skater Chases OLYMPIC DREAMS
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CITYLIFE | ICE QUEEN
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CARL PATZEL
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“I saw speed skating and I was like, ‘that is so cool, I want to do that!’”
Now a member of the Alberta Provincial Speed Skating Team, and most recently the Canadian Junior National squad, the fleet-footed skater spends six days a week training and carving ice at the University of Calgary oval. The benefits of being surrounded by national-level coaches and Olympic athletes at a high-level professional training centre is proving pure motivation for the enthusiastic athlete.
“It’s crazy! When I warm up, I skate on the ice with Olympians sometimes. It gives me a lot of inspiration, because I look up to Olympic speed skaters, and talk to them, interact with them, take information from them. I find it an amazing environment to train with those athletes.”
Skating her way to the national level, Darby’s courageous determination paid off with a first-place gold in the 1,500 distance and silver in 3,000 and silver overall at the 2023 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships in Quebec this past January. This opened the door to compete at the World Speed Skating Championships this February in Inzell, Germany, from February 10-12, where Darby achieved personal bests in every race and finished 13th overall.
Beyond that, the perky youngster has lofty goals on the speed skating oval.
“Obviously that overall goal is the Olympics, for everyone that’s the highest level,” says Darby, who, despite having two more years at the junior level, is looking far down that icy track.
“I’m really involved in the sport and I truly love it. The thing with long track, you can skate long track for as long as you want. People in the Olympics, still skating long track, some are 30-40 years old. It’s such a sport that no matter how old you are, you can be involved with it no matter what.”
Living under the cloud of an unpredictable abnormality, the spirited speedster has been advised by doctors to absorb life’s bright spots and shoot for her lofty goals while she’s able.
“There’s a 30 per cent chance that I won’t be able to walk when I’m older and it will relapse. That’s why he encourages me to do all the things that I want early in my life. Later on, I might have some difficulties, there’s still that possibility,” says the bubbly optimist.
“I just try to put all my work and effort into now, so that I don’t regret it when I’m later in life.” life
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CITYLIFE | ICE QUEEN
“It’s crazy! When I warm up, I skate on the ice with Olympians sometimes.”
THAT’S HOW MANY AMAZING AIRDRIE WOMEN WE’VE PROFILED SINCE LAUNCHING THIS RECOGNITION PROGRAM IN 2011.
AMAZING AIRDRIE WOMEN 2023
This year, the 47 women nominated set the bar again for their amazingness. We were delighted to meet them over the few days we set up our props and set for photos. Why the balloons? Balloons are hope, light, dreams, they represent soaring to new heights, lifting yourself and others. And they make you smile. I think I just described our 47 2023 Amazing Airdrie Women! Most people are nervous and self-conscious when asked to pose for a portrait. Giving them props takes them out of their head and gets them to relax, smile, laugh, even dance. We had a great time at Kristy Reimer’s studio, meeting each woman and giving her a special moment in the spotlight.
All of these woman deserve their spotlight moment whether they showed promise as a young woman or courage in the loss of a child. The airdrielife team is proud to present these pages to you. In 2024, we’ll climb well over the 500 mark. I know it. Because there are hundreds more women to celebrate in this city.
Voting opened March 1 and closes April 9 at midnight. Please vote in all the categories after learning more about each woman featured here. Head over to airdrielife.com or use the QR code.
THE MOST AMAZING NIGHT
Join us at the Bert Church Theatre Thursday, April 27, for the party of the year. This is such a fun night for everyone – nominees, their friends and family – with luscious desserts from La Table, bubbly prosecco, and everyone will leave with gift bags from our long-time partner and sponsor Pharmasave on Centre/The Store Upstairs.
We will feature some great female performers on stage and present the ten awards with all the fanfare and glitter they deserve. Tickets are available online only at tickets.airdrie.ca The doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Sponsors, THANK YOU! We simply cannot do this without you. From our OG sponsors Pharmasave and McKee Homes, to our newest sponsors, we can’t thank you enough for supporting this annual project! A big Amazing thank you to our award sponsors: Pharmasave on Centre/ The Store Upstairs, Pureform Radiology, McKee Homes, Explosive Edge, First & Main Financial, GPK Law, Vitreous Glass, Pink Wand Cleaning, Superior Hearing and Cream Lingerie. And to our evening sponsors Excel Homes, Shilo Storey, Illuminate Mortgages and Airdrie Eye Care.
Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Publisher
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CREAM BODY & BATH AMAZING DETERMINATION
SilverCity CrossIron Mills Cinemas. It’s a safe place for those with children to get out of the house and watch a movie in a baby-friendly environment.
“I spent the last few years in isolation, trapped in a two-bedroom condo with two babies, not seeing anybody, not allowed to go anywhere with all the lockdowns,” Ramanand says.
“I said to myself, ‘I am going to come here and have this fresh start’. It’s been life changing. I feel a sense of purpose I haven’t felt before.”
Nominator Sean Ramanand says his wife Cynthia’s accomplishments have been inspiring.
“She has shown that you can accomplish so much in such a short period of time as a newcomer,” Sean says. “Her determination and focus has brought her success in the past year and she is passionate about bringing other women together to network and build connection in the community.”
As the Director of People, Culture and Communications has faced many challenging problems and dedicated herself to solving
“For me HR isn’t just about what you do within your own organization,” says Songhurst, who has been in the HR industry for more than 20 years. “It’s about who you are and how you share that with others. I am dedicated to being a part of shaping HR to make a difference in the industry as a whole.”
To that end, she mentors new and upcoming HR professionals, or those who recently moved to Canada, and also plays a large role in her local HR industry group, providing support and guidance to other non-profit sector HR professionals.
In 2022, Songhurst won the Alberta CPHR Strategic Innovator Award. She’s currently working on completing a Masters of Executive Leadership at Royal Roads University with the goal to become a better leader in the HR industry and discover methods to teach other HR professionals.
“The effort Ilda puts in to accomplishing her goals is inspiring,” says husband and nominator Rod Songhurst. “It’s always amazing to me that while she puts everyone else first, she still manages to find the time to grow and learn to improve herself as well.”
JENNIFER AVERY wanted to continue her daughter’s legacy after she passed away in a devastating car accident in 2019.
She focused on giving adults a better opportunity to upgrade their education in order to pursue better career opportunities. As owner of Academy of Learning Career College in Airdrie, Brooks and High River, Avery encourages everyone to overcome their hurdles.
“When my daughter died, I had to overcome that hurdle somehow. Then COVID came and I had to get over that hurdle. But I realized I have my students, my family and my community to help get me through,” says Avery.
“Even when I am at my lowest, they help me, and I help them when they are at their lowest. We keep going and battling every storm that comes our way. It’s all about having a positive outlook.”
Supporting the education system has always been important to Avery. She was a rural bus driver for more than a decade, and eventually became a School Board Trustee for Rocky View Schools.
Nominator Teresa Merryfield says Avery always looks to find the best in everything.
“For more than 15 years, Jennifer has supported the Airdrie Community,” says Merryfield. “She leads with amazing passion for others and her students to achieve their potential and move toward their best futures.”
JONI DALEY always looks on the bright side of life, no matter how challenging things might get. Her husband passed away 24 years ago from brain cancer, and she has since raised three children as an only parent, plus built a few successful businesses. “I would say my life has not been for the faint of heart,” says Daley, who has herself recovered from a brain aneurysm and has had multiple organs removed and other health complications.
“You can move on, you can have joy, you can see your dreams be fulfilled if you stay positive.”
As the founder of Rival Axe Throwing, Daley says she has always had a heart for building community and the less fortunate. Over the years, Daley and her family have purchased food and clothing for people in need and volunteered for various organizations like homeless shelters and various nonprofit organizations. She has also partnered with organizations to help people get back into society who may have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances or have spent time in prison or on the streets. Nominator Jena Storms calls her mother a role model. “My mom shows me and others how to be courageous. She never gives up. She is a true shining light to many.”
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
For NIKAELA LUTZER, having a positive attitude and being persistent have paid off.
As a single mom with two children, Lutzer was struggling to pay bills.
“I had nothing. I had a ton of debt from court fees and lawyers. I had no job. I had no way of sustaining myself and my two children,” Lutzer says.
“I was trying to relax in my hot tub in the backyard, and I looked at my kids and said I am going to teach swimming lessons in here.”
Lutzer put an advertisement on Kijiji and had 173 responses overnight to do private swimming lessons. She worked more than 12 hours per day, seven days a week teaching lessons.
Now, Lil Bettas Swim School and Safety Training has 17 locations across Alberta.
“My life wasn’t over. It sounds cliché, but it was just beginning,” says Lutzer. “It took some hard work but my children get to see their mom come from the lowest of the low to being happy. They get to see us as a family, overcome a very difficult situation and move on and build a great life.”
“Nikaela is a woman who has looked fear in the face and decided that she was going to be and do better,” says nominator Samantha Laycock.
PREET NIJJAR puts her heart and soul into keeping her business afloat.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on her business as a makeup artist and esthetician, like many other businesses, but Nijjar did not give up hope. “I was pretty much in full safety gear, because I have clients of all ages, from 10-years-old and up, and some with different medical conditions. I had to do whatever I could to keep everyone safe. 2020 was the year that taught me a lot as a business owner,” says Nijjar, who owns Studio 150 Makeup and Aesthetics.
“Then came 2021 and I saw the transition from ‘I don’t think I can survive this’ to ‘No, we got this’. 2022 was by far as one of my best years in business.” In the coming years, Nijjar has plans to create a certification program for those wanting to learn makeup and pursue a career in it. Nominator Arianne McQuay has been with Nijjar since the beginning.
“Through good or bad, Preet is wildly tenacious,” says McQuay. “Given the ever-changing environment we find ourselves in, she always ends up on top, and finds herself stronger on the other side of any obstacle thrown her way. She never falters from her course, even through the most difficult and trying of times.”
SAMI ISSA-TASSE is intent on removing barriers to dental care.
As a dental hygienist, Issa-Tasse is all about prevention, so she opened The Beautiful Tooth Company in Airdrie four years ago, focused on improving oral health and preventing disease.
“It’s all about education and awareness. I want to empower patients to take care of their oral health. Not only will this reduce the risk of costly dental treatment in the future, but it allows patients to achieve better overall wellness since the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body,” says Issa-Tasse.
“Regular hygiene maintenance is important, so I wanted to create a welcoming space with a positive culture that people would look forward to coming to and have a long-term relationship with.”
Issa-Tasse uses a lower fee guide and tries to work within people’s budgets to make services more accessible and uses the latest innovation in her practice to elevate care to her patients.
Nominator Renae Krevenchuk say Issa-Tasse’s efforts to educate on oral health care are inspiring. “She loves helping her patients achieve their best oral health and overall wellness by educating and empowering them to take control of their health. She feels everyone deserves affordable and high-quality care and goes above and beyond providing for her patients,” says Krevenchuk.
TERRI STEPHENS is unflinching in her determination to be there for others. Of her 26 years living in Airdrie, she has been on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club Board, and Airdrie District Hospice Society Board.
Stephens has also volunteered at Our Lady Queen of Peace school and the Canada Day and Santa Claus Parades. “I love meeting people and making a difference, when possible, with my time,” Stephens says. “When I see someone becoming a better person, or succeeding in their business, it just motivates me to work that much harder.”
For the past 19 years, Stephens has worked as a real estate agent in the community, while also pursuing her interest in the spiritual realm as Ukrainian Baba Madame Marushka, giving signature and card readings.
Nominator and friend Melina Lindsay has seen the years of dedication Stephens has put towards the community and serving as a helping hand to strangers.
“Terri is an amazing woman that goes out of her way for all her clients, friends, family, co-workers and even for strangers,” says Lindsay. “She always empowers people and goes above and beyond for others.”
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BARBARA GROSS has found purpose in helping parents gain the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to guide their children and find joy in parenting.
For the last 26 years, Gross has been working for families and children at Community Links. As Family Resource Services Manager, Gross is the driving force behind services that support parents in understanding their child’s development and how best to guide them to be their best.
“The legacy I want to leave is one of hope. Parenting can be one of the hardest jobs you can do but you don’t have to do it alone,” says Gross.
“It can be tough, especially when you hit rough spots, to see the potential and the joy children bring.”
Nominator Brenda Hume is the executive director of Community Links and has known Gross for more than 15 years. She says Gross has also mentored many staff over the years and empowered them to reach their full potential.
“Throughout the years, Barb has been instrumental in creating and implementing a high quality, holistic service delivery with an effective and collaborative approach with many organizations,” says Hume.
“Barb’s legacy embodies her strong belief in the wellbeing of children and their families.”
CANDICE KOLSON wants to improve the quality of life for every single person living in Airdrie.
That’s why she took over the Airdrie Farmers Market in 2009 – to support local businesses, artists and organizations. Over the years, Kolson introduced a program for local youth entrepreneurs to set up for free and discounted rates for local artists.
Kolson was also first elected to Airdrie City Council in 2013 with the intention to be a voice for women and young families.
“If I can play a minor role in helping people living in Airdrie to build their business, feel like their concerns are being heard, and helping to bring a sense of happiness into their lives, then I know I am doing what I was meant to do here,” says Kolson.
“As far as legacy goes, I hope I can inspire others to get involved. No matter your age, struggles, or what happens in your life, you can make a difference.”
Fellow Airdrie City Councillor Heather Spearman nominated Kolson because she never stops giving to the city’s residents.
“Candice has been an advocate for fairness in the city, and approaches everything with a cool mind, a gentle heart, and a warm smile,” Spearman says.
FIRST & MAIN AMAZING LEGACY
DULCIE SINCLAIR enjoys putting a smile on peoples faces through her art.
Throughout her life, Sinclair estimates she’s given away hundreds of original artworks to others.
“It’s really the little things, remembering someone’s birthday or seeing the way they carry themselves. Are they happy? Or are they down? I sit for hours and just create something with them in my mind,” says Sinclair.
“If someone really loved something, I would do it as a surprise or just because I like the person. Creating is the joy of my life so I want to pass that on.”
The 83-year-old grew up in Montreal, and moved to Airdrie in 2004. She finds inspiration through animals because of their freedom.
Sinclair has been a member of the Airdrie Regional Art Society where she showcased her artworks at various shows. In March, she will be exhibiting a collection of animals at the Calgary Zoo.
Nominator Karen McAuley says Sinclair is a truly wonderful self-sacrificing lady who loves to share her joy with others.
“My nomination for Dulcie is the legacy she gives to those who view her wonderful paintings and receive the gift of peace, solitude and escape from stress, sadness and anxiety as they are drawn into the beautiful paintings that she gives birth to so beautifully and easily.”
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
JOANNE SHANAHAN has spent the last 25 years dedicated to improving the lives of Airdrie families.
As lead for the Family Day Home Program with Community Links, Shanahan recruits and supports educators and manages consultants within the program. Her mission has been to promote a safe and healthy place for children’s development and learning.
“The legacy I want to leave is how amazing our program is. We have worked so hard to train people and match the right families up with the right educators,” says Shanahan.
“It feels really good to see the kids are so well taken care of and just safe, thanks to the work we have done over the years. The families have peace of mind when they go to work knowing their children are happy when they are dropped off and happy when they are picked up.”
Community Links executive director and nominator Brenda Hume says Shanahan’s long-standing passion for quality childcare is commendable.
“Joanne has worked daily with many families over the years to offer flexibility in childcare choice, assisting parents in choosing a family day home suitable to their child’s optimal development and family’s needs while addressing their cultural, social, linguistic, and spiritual heritage,” she says.
airdrielife selected Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. in 2023 as the ticket sales recipient and this year $10 from every ticket sold is a donation directly to them which they desperately need at this stage. In addition Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is creating a POWER Pamper Package with lots of wonderful goodies for some quality self-care to raffle off as a fundraiser.
Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is coming up on their twoyear anniversary of opening their Day Shelter facility. In that time they’ve been able to help over 100 women with resources, education, safety planning, legal clinics, and more.
Unfortunately, Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. is facing a significant funding shortfall for 2023.
LORI REIST lives by her own personal motto to be kind, always.
Since moving to Airdrie in 2008, the mother of five has helped found and support a number of organizations dedicated to helping those struggling in the city.
“Many people are struggling and hurting behind the scenes, and we have no idea,” Reist says. “It’s important to me to help others any way that I can. You don’t need to have money to help out, you can give with your time and efforts.”
Reist founded Airdrie-based Adopt-A-Grad Foundation of Canada, which works with high school students struggling with graduation-related costs. Graduates are also able to browse an inventory of formal wear and select something to wear for free.
Reist is a volunteer member of two local boards: the Airdrie Food Bank and the Kalix Legacy Foundation. She also founded Airdrie’s #livelocal campaign that sells locally created goods with 100 per cent of proceeds from the mark-up going to support the Airdrie community.
Steve Miles nominated his sister, Reist, because he sees firsthand how passionate she is about getting involved in the community.
“How she does it, where she finds the time, I don’t know,” says Miles. “But I do know she inspires many peers, and with any luck generations of graduates to carry on that passion for community investment and giving back however they can.”
“Without additional funding, we will have to cut staff hours, and potentially even lose our client intake worker. The demand for our services only continues to grow, and it breaks our hearts to have to consider cutting our service hours to these women who so desperately need support. We have seen firsthand what a difference it makes to women fleeing domestic violence, to have the non-judgmental, wraparound support we provide at the Day Shelter, and we are passionate about continuing our work here,” says Executive Director Crystal Boys .
airdrielife is proud to say the Amazing Airdrie Women Awards night program has donated more than $10,000 to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. since 2017.
“It is such a privilege to partner with airdrielife for the Amazing Women Awards every year. Not only are we incredibly grateful for the donation from the proceeds of the ticket sales, but we are also thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of the event. It is wonderful to see this publication run by an amazing woman who is absolutely killing it in a male dominated field, as well as to see the incredible women in the Airdrie community celebrated for their achievements and character. We look forward to many more years and many more Amazing Airdrie Women!” Boys adds.
Learn more about Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. at airdriepower.com
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CHRISTIE CAMERON is tireless in her commitment to improving the lives of children.
Over the years, Cameron has been an active volunteer in the school community. She has served as Chair of the Heloise Lorimer School Council and the Friends of Heloise Lorimer School Society.
Cameron was also a key figure in upgrading Fuzzy Pickles Preschool from a modular home to a fully functional educational space by securing funding, managing build-out and working with the school committee to improve education.
“Education is so important for the growth of children,” says Cameron. “I see all the work teachers do and I want to make sure I can give back just as much as they are giving to my children.”
Cameron has also been President of the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association since 2019. In her role, she seeks to improve hockey culture for girls in the sport.
“My ultimate goal is for children to be happy. So, I work really hard advocating for their best interests.”
Nominator Erin Leggett says Cameron’s work in the community has inspired her to give back.
“Christie is truly an amazing advocate and tireless volunteer for her community,” says Leggett. “She has inspired me to volunteer my time and has no doubt inspired others.”
GPK LAW AMAZING ADVOCATE
HEATHER SPEARMAN feels like there’s so much more work to do.
After feeling a calling to run for Airdrie City Council, Spearman jumped right in after being elected in 2021.
“We have incredible people here and the world needs to know who Airdrie is because we get overlooked on so many levels, whether it is funding from different levels of government or social programming. A lot of people get told to just go to Calgary,” Spearman says.
“I wanted to change the culture of the perception of Airdrie, and I wanted to give us vision and help see it into the next era of our super strong city.”
Spearman is a champion for local business and events in Airdrie through volunteering and fundraising. On social media she shares lists of weekly local events, and updates from local groups and businesses.
Nominator Veronica Funk says Heather has been an incredible advocate for Airdrie.
“From Airdrie Pride, to the Indigenous community, to the arts, everyone, including marginalized groups, feel as though they have a voice in her representation. She is involved, honest and transparent, all attributes that build trust and faith in a person. With her support and engagement, I have confidence that arts, culture and equality will thrive and create an exciting future for Airdrie.”
KEELY BROWER wants every child in the world to know they are loved.
As Atlantic Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, Brower has spent the last four years giving gifts to children in need all around the world.
“Whether it is a child across the street or across the planet, they all crave that human connection. Someone to tell them ‘Hey I love you and I care about you,’” Brower says.
“My purpose on this earth is to advocate for love. I want to help foster love to youth who have felt ignored or have been through difficult situations. I believe it can change the world.”
More locally, Brower works as a youth leader for Living Springs Christian Fellowship. There, she hopes to connect with young adults and inspire them to show love, kindness, gentleness and patience.
“Keely is an amazing advocate and volunteer for so many organizations. She tirelessly gathers volunteers to pack shoeboxes through the holidays,” Nominator Brie Robertson says.
“On top of that, she is an ultra-volunteer – always lending a hand to any organization that needs it. Whether it is stepping up to run her son’s Scouts troop or volunteering on her kid’s school council committees – she is always on the go and truly has a passion for helping people.”
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
PAIGE CAIRNS remembers staying up into the wee hours of the morning painting empty paint cans and pre-cutting craft supplies for the first ever Boo at the Creek.
“It started out as a few moms who really care about the community and wanted to reignite the spirit of Halloween while creating a safe and free event that would bring the community together while raising money for a very important cause, the Airdrie Food Bank,” says Cairns .
“The most important part of Boo at the Creek is that it is accessible to all families, regardless of socio-economic status.”
The first Boo at the Creek attracted about 500 people and raised a few truckloads of food for the Airdrie Food Bank. In 2022, Cairns estimates close to 5,000 people attended the event and donated more than $10,000 (food and monetary donations combined).
Over the last eight years, Cairns says Boo at the Creek has raised just under $50,000 for the Airdrie Food Bank.
Nominator Chantal Rowan says Cairns is always advocating for helping others in the community. “I think it’s important to bring awareness that she does it all for the community, so that families can have a great day together and also she has such a passion to help the Food Bank,” says Rowan.
EXPLOSIVE EDGE AMAZING ATHLETE
LINDSEY HOGAN believes if everyone were just a little more active, we would be a lot better off.
At the end of 2022, Hogan launched a website filled with downloadable workout videos and education seminars. The idea is to inspire those who are intimidated by the gym, live rurally or don’t have equipment at home to get moving.
“I think that people underestimate their abilities,” says Hogan. “If you were to make very, very small changes you would notice leaps and bounds of difference. You are capable of more than you think you are.”
As a Grade 9 teacher for outdoor education and sports medicine, Hogan inspires young adults to get outside and take care of their bodies. She’s also coached volleyball, basketball and hockey, and helped people with disabilities get more active through swimming.
In 2022, Hogan completed her first full ironman competition – a 3.9-kilometre swim, 180.2-kilometre cycle and 42.2-kilometre run in Penticton, B.C., where she came in ninth in her age category.
Jessica Hogan wanted to nominate her sister because she saw just how hard Lindsey trained and works to inspire others.
“Lindsey trained for months for this race,” Jessica says. “I truly believe her hard work and passion for fitness and health deserves to be recognized.”
SOPHIA HOWELL has been working to realize her dream of becoming an Olympic triathlete since she was 15 years old.
It’s why she trains upwards of 23 to 27 hours every week, depending on the season.
“I started a bit later than some people, so I had some real catching up to do,” Howell says.
“There is something about being on that podium that is addicting. Being surrounded by elite athletes who want it just as bad as you do. It’s incredibly motivating. I just love the sport and I love all three sports in it and I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Howell is currently training at the National Performance Centre for Triathlon in Victoria, B.C. In 2022, she competed at the Canada Summer Games and won bronze and silver.
Nominator Ryan Doel says Howell is an inspiration and can’t wait to see her compete at the Olympics one day.
“Sophia is becoming an inspiration to many younger girls pursuing triathlon,” says Doel.
“She participates in volunteering and community events with McKee Homes in Airdrie, but most of her time is spent in the water, biking, running and the gym as she continues to strive to make the Canadian Olympic team and compete for Gold at the 2028 Olympic Games.”
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AMY KATLAN KAPCSOS wants to give everyone the confidence to love their bodies and live authentically.
The Body Love Evolution – an online group that branched from her work in boudoir photography – was created as a place to share that work, and cultivate a community that shares vulnerably, supports each other and learns to evolve indefinitely. The Facebook group now has more than 1,700 followers since it launched in 2021.
“Mentorship goes hand-in-hand with my philosophy of empowerment. Empowerment isn’t a gift you can give someone - it’s more like a door you choose to walk through. Unless you are willing to walk through that door, you can’t really feel the full effects of empowerment,” Katlan Kapcsos says.
“You have to want to make the change, to first accept yourself and then to love yourself, and sometimes walking through that door is scary, but I feel like just having a hand to hold can be really important because that fellowship without expectation is sorely lacking in our society.”
Nominator Heather O’Bery says Kapcsos drives an incredible message of empowerment and empathy wherever she goes.
“Amy mentors so many women to be their best selves and see beauty in lifting each other up unapologetically. She has literally touched thousands of lives and changed them for the better.”
DIONE IRWIN believes in empowering the people in her life to keep moving forward.
She has spent the past 11 years building a strong real estate team in Airdrie where each person is confident and authentic to themselves.
“It’s so much more than selling houses for me. I teach my team about positivity and attracting our best clients and how your attitude is going to reflect that,” says Irwin.
“I try to lead by example when I mentor and show people what I have done, what I have failed at and what I succeed at. You must keep looking up. So, I guide them as they grow and expand and become more confident.”
Over the years, Irwin has raised thousands of dollars for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and collected hundreds of food items for the Airdrie Food Bank through an annual pumpkin exchange program.
Jen Holmes has been Irwin’s executive assistant for three years. In that time, Holmes says Irwin has been an incredible mentor to her and others for more than a decade.
“Her determination, courage and heart is something I, and I know many others, truly admire,” says Holmes.
“I am honoured to know Dione, and thankful for the most incredible work environment I have ever experienced.”
MCKEE HOMES AMAZING MENTOR
LIANE PINEL has been there, done that, and can make the t-shirt.
As founder of The Spirit Within, she describes her job as helping ignite sparks in people ready to heal their trauma and take those tools to help others.
“We are a people-helping-people company,” says Pinel.
“I always say my job is to tick you off because if I tick you off that means I have touched something in your life that you haven’t healed yet. Let’s find it, dig it out, and fix it and use it.”
Over her 40 years as a life coach and spiritual guide, Pinel estimates she has mentored thousands of people. She has been nominated for the Amazing Mentor category an incredible seven times by those she has coached.
Nominator Launa Hobson says Pinel is one of the most incredible mentors and friends she’s ever known.
“She’s there to help you if you’re willing to do the work and she’s also there to kick you in the butt when you need it. I’m grateful for her tenacity and her entrepreneurial spirit and grateful she is in my life,” Hobson says.
“From teenagers to persons in their 80s, she provides a safe, caring, positive space,” says nominator Julie Marlatt.
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
LISA AMMIRATI has spent 25 years sharing her love for music with thousands of students of all levels.
“When it comes to music, my mentoring philosophy is that there is no wrong way of learning. There are just different ways. It’s about supporting my students and exploring our shared love for music with a sense of honesty and optimism,” says Ammirati, who founded Airdrie-based Skyline Music 16 years ago and was the recipient of the Arts Educator Award at the 2023 Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts.
Ammirati is also a member of the Airdrie Community Choir, helping the organization with social media, and also collects and drops off food/donations for the MEOW foundation.
Nominator Mariah Atkinson says Ammirati helped guide her through learning the piano to becoming a teacher at Skyline Music.
“As a mentor, Lisa always helps me grow as a piano teacher,” Atkinson says. “She provides encouragement and support when I need it and gives me the tools that I need to succeed. She is always willing to help guide me in a positive way.”
Ammirati still chats with students she taught 25 years ago.
“Over the years we’ve gone through so many ups and downs,” she says. “But we always had music to keep us connected along with the amazing memories of our time together.”
There’s something special about being a female business owner that MANDY LINES loves.
As the co-founder of Sisters Of Airdrie, Lines wanted to create a place where women in business could get together to encourage each other while giving back to the community.
“Women just connect on a different level because we have so many aspects of our lives that men don’t get. Especially when it comes to being a business owner and all the things that we juggle,” says Lines, who owns Budget Blinds and A La Carte Marketing.
The group makes lunches for local kids in schools and volunteers for various organizations like the Airdrie Food Bank.
In the past, Lines has mentored students at Bert Church High School through an entrepreneurship program where she helped students come up with a business, build a plan and present their idea to a panel of judges.
“My philosophy when it comes to mentoring is connecting people. I love to share real life stories and experiences with others so that people realize that nobody has it perfect or easy.”
Nominator Jacqui Jepson has known Lines for more than 10 years.
“I have, firsthand, watched her dedicate hours of her time to assist others with the number one goal to give back, build confidence, and ultimately grow leaders,” Jepson says.
NATALIE BERTHIAUME believes in leading by example.
As a realtor in Airdrie for the past 13 years, Berthiaume has committed to donating a portion of her commission to charity. She’s also taken the lead on organizing multiple charitable fundraisers for the Thumbs Up foundation.
In 2022, her charitable efforts helped raise more than $40,000.
“I think we all have an obligation as a community to look out for each other,” Berthiaume says.
“We have an obligation to look out for others and to improve the lives of others where we can in whatever way that we can. I hope I can inspire others to open their hearts and boost the lives of those living around us.”
At CIR Realty, Berthiaume mentors two agents under her group. Her goal is to nurture future agents to work hard and be genuine and respectful.
“Natalie is an inspiration to many,” says mother and nominator Susan Beneteau. “She is a mentor to many and her advice on various issues always comes from the heart.”
Over the years, Berthiaume has also volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters – taking young adults under her wing in hopes to inspire them to achieve great things despite their circumstances.
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DANA GABLE is a completely different woman compared to five years ago.
Since starting at Airdrie P.O.W.E.R., Gable has worked an excavator to dig out a sidewalk trench, learned to grout, planned a gala, applied for hundreds of grants, navigated social media and even cleaned toilets.
“I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I have been put in situations I never thought I could be in, much less handle,” says Gable, who is operations manager at the day shelter.
“I never thought I would be working with these women who have been through such intense, traumatic events. I was terrified I didn’t have what it took. So, I had to find that courage within myself. Now, I would do anything for these women. I would give them everything I have.”
Beverley Norman, nominator and board treasurer at Airdrie P.O.W.E.R, says the shelter could not adequately function without Gable.
“She is truly the heart of our initiative,” says Norman. “Her fervent commitment to being a key component in bringing energy to our organization comes through in everything she does. We would not exist without her creative diligence and dedication to P.O.W.E.R.”
PHARMASAVE ON CENTRE AMAZING HEART
DAWNIE MCELLIGOTT had a feeling it was going to be her.
One of her longtime personal friends and massage clients came into At Dawn Wellness Centre, founded by McElligott, saying she needed a new liver.
“I started my testing, and I was the one that followed through to the end – literally,” McElligott says.
On April 4th, 2022, Cindy Harris received a portion of McElligott’s liver.
“Dawnie started testing for me and never told me,” says Harris, who also nominated McElligott. “What an amazing, wonderful gift. She has an amazing heart. She saved my life and gave me my life back.”
McElligott was also nominated by her friend Tricia Andres McDonald. She says McElligott has always given back to the community.
Through her business, McElligott has donated gift certificates and products to fundraisers in Airdrie, and all her employees must provide three free services per year to clients in need.
She’s now working on getting the word out about signing-up for the donor registry.
“It’s my dream that people get that little heart on their licenses. Because when I saw Cindy’s skin tone go back to normal, and saw her energy and zest for life, it made my heart full,” says McElligott.
KARINA CLAYTON believes time is the most valuable gift we can give.
Since moving to Canada from Mexico 16 years ago, Clayton has kept an eye out for opportunities to help those around her.
“Whenever I see somebody going through a tough time, I think what can I do to help. I know everyone goes through tough times in their lives, my family has gone through tough times, so I know what it feels like when you don’t have somebody to reach out to,” says Clayton.
“Where our pockets cannot, our actions can.”
From running errands, getting groceries for those in need, putting together baggies for homeless people, cooking meals for those who are sick or going through a family loss, Clayton believes the small things add up.
“She literally will take her shirt off her back and give it to someone else,” says nominator and husband John Clayton.
“Karina truly has an amazing, compassionate, generous, kind heart, I have not met someone in my life as caring and loving as she is.”
Over the years Clayton has also donated her time to support United Way Calgary, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Liver Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, Woods Homes for Children’s Mental Health, and the Calgary Drop-In Centre and various food banks.
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
When her heart tells her to do something, KATHERINE BLUMHAGEN listens.
Whether that’s buying someone a cup of coffee, groceries, or pushing the company she works for to bring in new policies to improve the lives of her co-workers.
“I try really hard to support the people around me,” Blumhagen says.
“I want to help people ask themselves: ‘What do I want?’ It might seem silly, but we shouldn’t have to wait for permission to travel or dream or do something new. We can do it and we deserve it.”
As clinic manager at Airdrie Family Eye Doctor, Blumhagen has spent the past five years encouraging those around her to take care of themselves.
She has helped implement a number of policies, including paying for volunteer hours and additional counseling sessions, and has had a hand in developing programs for mental health support.
Blumhagen also created a cleaning company called Lemon & Lavender, with the idea that a clean, clutter-free space can give people the space to heal and relax.
Heather Cowie wanted to nominate Blumhagen because she inspires others to live their best lives.
“Katherine exudes kindness, generosity and love,” says Cowie, who owns Airdrie Family Eye Doctor. “She is not afraid to follow her heart and help others in need.”
KRISTEN WYNNE decided to open her heart when she met a man struggling with PTSD.
As a former police officer, Trevor P. says Wynne was able to help push him to become a better person and leave behind some of his past traumas.
“I have pushed myself, done things I have never done before, and wouldn’t have done, had it not been for her huge heart bursting with love and support,” says Trevor, who also nominated Wynne.
The pair met in spring 2022 and discovered they both lived in Airdrie and were neighbours for years. After their first date, Wynne decided she would do her best to get him out of his shell.
“It was to the point where he wasn’t leaving the house because of anxiety and the struggles he has had with his mental health,” says Wynne.
“Over the last year we have been on so many adventures across Alberta. He really sees it as his quality of life has improved significantly having me in his life, but I see it the same way having him in my life.”
Wynne adds navigating a partner with PTSD has actually made her better at communicating and handling emotional intelligence. The two are looking forward to another year of adventures as they start their new life together.
LESLIE PEOPLES believes in the Golden Rule: to treat others the way you want to be treated.
It’s a principle that Peoples has followed in her everyday life, and in her job, working for the past 31 years as a nurse in Calgary and B.C.
“I read a quote once that said: “Try and be what was missing in your life,” Peoples says.
“I have a very strong inner-strength to do things that other people do not want to do, and I understand that about myself, and therefore it is almost a duty to help others.”
Over the years, Peoples has welcomed others facing difficult situations into her home and volunteers for the Airdrie Food Bank in her spare time.
Peoples was nominated for the Amazing Heart award six times by friends and family.
“A truly selfless person who only wants people to be happy,” nominator Robin Peoples says.
“She gave us a place to stay, she made sure we were eating, sleeping enough, we had everything we needed … She was the positive light through our darkest times,” nominator Jordan Seegmiller says.
“Leslie is a kind sweet woman who brings joy, laughter and love to anyone she meets,” says Debbie Seegmiller. “A woman with a heart of gold!”
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SHALA HEGER is a big believer in lifting others up.
Born and raised in Airdrie, Heger spent most of her youth working for her father’s small business. The experience inspired her to become a champion for local business in Airdrie as a social media influencer and owner of The Little Blind Co.
“In every aspect of my life, I will always try to support small, local businesses. Because that is lifting up others right here in Airdrie. Hosting a party at Rival Axe, getting drinks from Balzac Brewing – there is so much our city has to offer,” says Heger.
“I just love this community and keeping dollars here. It’s been my mission to support those who make their life here and connect with them and be friends with them. It’s something Airdrie needs.”
Mikala McCormack nominated Heger after getting a visit from her while in hospital giving birth. Heger had brought a series of gifts from local businesses in Airdrie.
“Shala has the biggest heart of anyone I know,” says McCormack. “She supports and lifts up other small businesses at every opportunity, and I would love to see her recognized as an amazing Airdrie woman because she really is a pillar in the Airdrie community.”
PHARMASAVE ON CENTRE AMAZING HEART
STEPHANIE LUNN remembers watching her mother’s health slowly go downhill from a rare liver disease (PSC).
With no cure for this disease, a transplant was the only option and Lunn was the first of many to test for her mother. After multiple tests and meetings with the transplant team, it was determined the portion Lunn was set to donate was suitable for her mother, but the remainder Lunn would be left with was not enough to sustain herself.
A match was finally found for Lunn’s mother and the transplant took place on April 4, 2022.
“Our family will forever be grateful and thankful for my mom’s liver buddy,” Lunn says.
“I wasn’t able to help my mom, but I am able to help a child and that’s what I am going to do”!
On October 17, 2022, Lunn was approved to make an anonymous liver donation to a pediatric patient.
She is currently waiting to be matched with a child in need.
“Stephanie deserves this award, she has a kind, caring and beautiful heart. She will do anything for anyone, always helping and putting others first,” says her nominator. “Donating an organ is an incredible gift, Stephanie is ready to embark this journey and give the gift of life to a child she may never meet.”
TARA LEVICK wants Airdrie to keep that small town feel.
Over the years, she’s noticed the city growing, and has made it her mission to promote a place where people know their neighbours and support each other!
“As we get bigger, it’s important for us to stay grounded and remember what truly matters in life. My husband and I are choosing to raise our family here because we love this community,” Levick says.
“I want my kids to love it here and choose to stay here as well, so anything I can do to make it better is what is close to my heart.”
Levick has volunteered for many organizations, from holding board positions and sitting on committees to helping out at events. This includes the Thumbs Up Foundation, Airdrie Edge Gymnastics Club, 2020 Alberta Winter Games, and the Airdrie Parades Committee. She is always willing to donate a few hours of her time to better serve her community.
Currently, Levick sits on the board for the Children’s Festival Society. When she’s not with her family or volunteering, she’s supporting local businesses in her role as economic development officer with the City of Airdrie.
“Tara’s heart is as big as the water tower – an Airdrie icon she loves!,” nominators Sara Chamberlain and Pete Lewis say.
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
VERONICA STONE wants every woman to feel accepted.
It’s why she became director of Wine, Women & Well-Being in Airdrie more than two years ago. Her mission: to encourage women to get out of the house, make new friends and lift their spirits.
“No matter your age, what you do, who you love or what race you are, everyone is welcome,” says Stone. “I think my goal with this group is to give my whole heart to them. I want to create a community of women that will help carry you through hard times, laugh about it and find joy.”
As director, Stone discovered a passion for supporting local business. She has worked to showcase locals through sponsorships, door prizes, vendor tables and guest speakers at events.
After going through a major life change in 2019, Stone also decided to focus on improving her mental space. She completely redesigned her home and decided to start Happy Space Places to help other women create the same positivity in their homes.
Nominator Lisa Webb, who founded Wine, Women & Well-Being, says over the last few years Stone has created a community for women that has been both a source of joy and belonging.
“She builds community in Airdrie and always does it with a smile and kind heart.”
WENDY SMITH is the embodiment of the saying “wearing her heart on her sleeve”. She has worked with Inclusion Alberta and post-secondary institutions create inclusive classrooms and campuses for those with disabilities.
As Program Manager at Prospect Human Services in Airdrie, Smith helps people find employment and connect with others.
“Our community is made stronger by having people with different abilities and experiences around us,” Smith says.
“Some people face barriers that society has placed on them, and I feel that it is important to see the value in all people. I believe that every person deserves a seat at every table.”
Smith was nominated by two of her colleagues for the Amazing Heart Award. Kelly Yorston and Robbi Fender both say Smith has spent the majority of her life giving back to those facing barriers in society.
“Wendy is a fearless leader who ensures diversity is respected and honoured. She is a strong 2SLGBTQ+ supporter. She ensures that we are involved at events like the Airdrie Pride Festival, to share love and knowledge,” says Yorston.
“She truly puts 100 per cent of her heart into everything she does in Airdrie. She cares so deeply about Albertans and helping out where she can,” Fender adds.
THE TRACY WORK AMAZING PAY-IT-FORWARD FUND
In 2021 the mother and daughters of Tracy Work, one of our original 2011 Amazing nominees, created a memorial fund for our awards program in her honour. This is a pay-it-forward fund. What this means is each of our recipients will be allocated $100 to donate to the charity of their choice.
Tracy’s mom, Doreen Kleisinger and Tracy’s daughters, Emma and Kayla, have provided us with $3,500 in funds. Pureform Radiology, our sponsor of the Amazing Courage Award, which is also known as the Tracy Work Memorial Award, was so moved by the family donation they provided an additional $1,000 in 2021 and 2022. Doreen surprised us last year with another donation of $1,000. Pureform is also adding again to the fund in 2023 and this means we can carry this special pay it forward donation program into 2027! Charities that have been helped by this program include Airdrie Pride, Airdrie P.O.W.E.R., Airdrie Food Bank, Circle Connections for Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Society, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre (Canada), Ukraine Foundation and Alberta Pound and Rescue Centres.
“The Pay-It-Forward fund is a way to honour our mother and her legacy,” says Emma. “Our mother was a kind, caring and thoughtful woman who persevered for her loved ones and her community as she battled cancer. As incredibly selfless as she was, she would have wanted to support women that are just as amazing as she was. This is why this fund was created. To give back to the community and to celebrate the amazing women that live in Airdrie. She would have wanted to be a part of such an amazing part of women and to be able to help those around her. We hope that this can help to embody the heart and courage of women in all of Airdrie.”
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Kyla Work, airdrielife publisher Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Doreen Kleisinger and Emma Work at the 2022 AAW Awards.
As owner of Airdrie Eyecare Centre, AMY FORREST fosters an environment that promotes women.
Forrest has spent the last 11 years establishing relationships with her 40 employees by making personal connections, encouraging further education, and through team-building events such as potlucks and retreats.
“When you walk into a business it has a feeling,” says Forrest. “You can feel it when you walk in the door, and that feeling is not driven by the owners – it is driven by the team. So, if the team is strong, happy and supported then that feeling is positive, and you can’t fake that.”
Nominator Hilary Noble is a manager at Airdrie Eyecare. She says Forrest has created a collaborative environment with an emphasis on self-worth.
“Amy is honest, positive, fair and realistic with her team: we always know what is expected of us,” Noble says.
“Though dedicated to her work, she displays a healthy work/life balance and encourages us to do the same. We consider her a mentor and a leader and are all so fortunate to be able to call her a friend.
”Over the years, Airdrie Eyecare has given back to the community through volunteering at the Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie Festival of Lights and Airdrie Pro Rodeo, and delivering Christmas hampers.
PINK WAND AMAZING WORKPLACE
Illuminate Mortgage Group co-founders BRIE ROBERTSON and KATIE WHYTE believe in giving women a helping hand. Robertson and Whyte have helped many women buy their first home by working with them over months, or years, to build up credit and a save for a down payment.
“We are women that support women. We really want each other to succeed in business and in life,” says Robertson.
Adds Whyte, “We know that women are hard workers, natural multi-taskers and are a force in the workplace. We want to empower women in our company, but also in our industry as a whole.”
The two started Illuminate Mortgage Group in 2019 after meeting in a boutique mortgage brokerage in Calgary. The friends decided to bring their shared skills and values to Airdrie to help women in the community purchase a place to live and are known for going above and beyond to help those looking for somewhere to call home.
Illuminate Mortgage Group was nominated three times in the Amazing Workplace category, with three different nominators recognizing the Illuminate team’s exceptional service and community work.
“Brie and Katie are hard-working women based in Airdrie,” says nominator Amber Townsley. “They are working hard to continue to build their business while supporting local causes. They love their community and are a huge asset to Airdrie!”
HEATHER HARKE says empowering women is one of the backbones of Shoplift Deals LTD.
“I want to make sure women feel like they are supported in their lives when they work here, and that work is secondary, but that it is a fun and rewarding environment as well.”
Part of this is allowing staff to have flexible schedules to help improve the quality of their lives, such as mental health days, time off for caring for sick children or themselves, doctor appointments, focusing on school work, extracurricular activities, and other obligations.
“Creating a community where women can support one another, make our community better, talk about life experiences, and, of course, shop, has always been a focus for us,” says Harke who started Shoplift Deals eight years ago.
Nominator Amy Katlan works at Shoplift Deals and says she’s never met any business owner who cares as much about individuals’ overall well-being.
“At the forefront of everything at Shoplift, you will find Inclusivity, community, connection, advocacy for marginalized groups of people and a whole lot of love,” Katlan says.
In the community, Heather also supports local Indigenous Artists, volunteers as the Media Member for the Airdrie 1st Club, supports Airdrie Pride, is the President of the King’s Heights Home Owner’s Association, and contributes to fundraising and other volunteer work.
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
DR. MELANIE BEINGESSNER had a mission when she opened Blessingways Family Wellness clinic in Airdrie more than 14 years ago – she wanted to honour pregnant women and empower women of all ages.
“Women are the heart of our community,” says Dr. Melanie, as most people know her. “We put the health and wellness of our partners and family first. So, I want to serve the women who work at Blessingways, and the women who come here for help.”
The team of seven women offers chiropractic and massage therapy to families in Airdrie, along with infant massage and pelvic floor strengthening classes.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Blessingways created The Well Mom Network. It’s an online community where moms can connect with local professionals, businesses and resources.
In the last 10 years, Blessingways has also donated $20,000 to the Airdrie Food Bank to help women and their families in need.
They also created a series of ruling principles called the Awesome Mom Manifesto.
“All moms are superheroes,” Beingessner says. “We are not perfect, we make mistakes, we help each other, we care deeply, we celebrate each other and we celebrate ourselves. We live by this and hope the women who come see us feel inspired as well.”
SHARISSA LUTZ wants to spoil women when they walk through the doors of her business.
That goes for both clients and employees at CosMedic Laser and Skincare Clinic.
“I’m all about providing a positive and supportive work environment. Our business is a space where women come to build their confidence and a space where they feel free to be themselves,” Lutz says.
“We value women because we see their worth and importance. We know many women are struggling with insecurities with their skin, their body or to be honest unwanted hair, and we strive to help them get to the point where they feel beautiful and confident.”
Lutz gives employees the power to pursue their talents and dreams, and encourages further education in their field.
She is a proud supporter of the local LGBTQ+ community, and offers special deals for laser hair removal for women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Nominator Jenee Stothart is the office manager at CosMedic Laser and Skincare. She says Lutz has helped create a business in Airdrie that is focused on putting women first.
“She treats all her patients with special care and is a wonderful employer, business woman and person.”
Each year we gift our recipients with a unique keepsake. This year we are pleased to give each of the individual recipients a hand stamped bracelet with their initials and their category created by artist Ainsley Mathieson with Wildfire Rose. Our workplace recipient receives a custom painting by award winning artist Veronica Funk that reflects their environment (she’s also a previous Amazing Woman recipient!).
Each year we invite the community of Airdrie to be a part of the selection process for the 2023 Amazing Airdrie Women Recipients. This year eight of the categories are open for voting. We invite you to vote on our website airdrielife.com before midnight April 9, 2023.
Community votes account for 50 per cent of the decision making with the other 50 per cent coming from our editorial team and our previous recipients and sponsors.
You can vote once per category using the same IP address. We will announce the recipients in all categories at the 13th annual awards evening April 27 at the Bert Church Theatre. This is a public event and you can purchase tickets to support your nominees at tickets.airdrie.ca
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CARYS SINGHAN dreams of a life spent helping others.
After years of ups and downs in the medical system, the grade 10 student at W.H. Croxford High School was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a disease that weakens the connective tissues of your body.
“My knees and my kneecaps kept dislocating with very light activity like going up and down the stairs and eventually almost every joint began to dislocate sporadically with low impact,” Singhan says.
“It’s motivated me to go into the medical field because I want people to feel like they have hope in whatever they are going through. There’s light at the end of that tunnel, even if it is very dark sometimes.”
Singhan also spearheaded a campaign in her school to offer free and accessible menstruation and hygiene products for students.
Nominator Nashira Dernesch, a teacher at W.H. Croxford, says that despite everything Singhan has gone through, she maintained a 90-plus average and made a significant impact on students.
“She lives in chronic pain but maintains a positive attitude and leaves a mark on the people she encounters,” says Dernesch. “We see her as a leader and role model in our school. We are so proud of this ‘Amazing’ young woman!”
FARAH WALKER has a dream to inspire more women to get on the ice.
For her, there’s something about working with a team and pushing herself to the limit both physically and mentally that is exhilarating.
“I think there is still a lot of stigma out there around girls playing hockey, and sometimes rightfully so. But this sport has made me create lifelong bonds that I will cherish for my entire life. We are all growing together and supporting each other, and I think that is something more women need,” says Walker.
In 2023, Walker is headed to Colgate University in Hamilton N.Y. to play for the NCAA divisional team. It’s one of the top programs in the world for her age group.
She has her sights on one day playing for the Canada Women’s National Ice Hockey Team at the Olympics and other world championships.
Father and nominator Brent Walker says Farah has demonstrated exceptional talent as a hockey player representing her province with Team Alberta and a member of world champion Team Canada Women’s U18 team.
“She always puts others first before herself … She is an honour student in grade 12 and is recognized as a leader in school and on her athletic teams.”
SUPERIOR HEARING AMAZING PROMISE
KIERA MACDONALD laughs when she thinks about the progress she’d made as an artist.
The Grade 12 student at George McDougall High School says over the years she’s found her love for acrylic paint and being a hands-on learner.
“I didn’t start off this good. It takes work and patience and time to get where you want to go. I had to grow to where I am today,” says MacDonald. “But I like it because it shows who I am in a way that cannot be expressed in words.”
MacDonald was enrolled in Rocky View Schools Building Futures programme in Grade 10 and 11. It’s a program where students learn how to build a house from the ground up by working elbow to elbow with tradespeople while completing their education.
Over the course of those two years, MacDonald was also determined to complete certain art requirements to continue her studies. She took evening art classes that would eventually set her up to tackle an advanced placement studio art program.
“The artwork from those two years established a strong sense of personal self-expression and technical skill in Kiera’s artwork,” says nominator and art teacher, Marda Wright.
“I believe Kiera would be an excellent candidate for this award as she has the promise of being a very successful artist.”
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CITYLIFE | AMAZING
VITREOUS GLASS AMAZING CULTURAL AMBASSADOR
ELIZABETH HALL believes a healthy arts community creates a healthy city.
Over the COVID-19 pandemic, Hall created The Airdrie Artist Collective on social media. The idea was to find people creating art in Airdrie and share their work with the public while connecting with other artists.
“We have an extremely diverse art community in Airdrie; from visual arts, to theater, to music, to the makers - but it is not well known,” says Hall, who is a former tattoo artist currently focusing on mixed media and illustration.
“I would love to see a thriving arts community; an art scene that highlights the vast creativity we have, I really believe that our city will be better off for it.”
Hall has been president of the Airdrie Regional Art Society. She is also a member of the Airdrie Arts and Culture Assessment Committee with the City of Airdrie and the Mayor’s Night of the Arts committee
Nominator Veronica Funk says Hall deserves recognition for her contribution to the local arts community in Airdrie.
“Elizabeth has been an integral part of the Airdrie arts community for many years,” says Funk.
“She is a woman who is always willing to share her skills to support the arts community, and is always encouraging others.”
PUREFORM AMAZING COURAGE
CHERYL BULLOCH wants to be a voice for those struggling with addiction and mental health.
In 2020 Bulloch lost her 19-year-old son to an overdose. Seeing her son suffer with mental health issues his entire life, in and out of the hospital and waiting weeks for appointments made Bulloch want to make a difference. She’s since dedicated her life to ending the stigma associated with drug use and advocating for young adults struggling with mental health issues.
Bulloch co-hosts Overdose Awareness Day at Nose Creek Regional Park along with two other Airdrie women who have lost loved ones to overdoses. Together they organize inspirational speakers and booths that promote local resources and support for friends, family and current users. In 2022, the group also painted a bridge deck purple in Nose Creek Park for people to go and connect.
“People who are struggling with their mental health need help today, not three months down the line,” Bulloch says. “A Lot of these issues are being swept under the rug so a lot of people, my son included, have turned to using drugs because it makes them feel better even if it is just for five minutes.”
Bulloch is also working on creating an organization to promote mental health resources called Airdrie’s Hope for Healing. She hopes providing Naloxone training to as many people as possible can help save lives.
“Cheryl works hard to raise awareness about the stigma associated with addiction and what the reality is. She brings awareness about life saving measures, and what still needs to be done to bring the number of overdoses down,” says nominator Candy Adams. “She’s very dedicated to her cause.”
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Doors Open at 6:45 pm
a A W 23
Tickets available at tickets.airdrie.ca $40*ea. $10 per ticket donated to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R.
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27, 2023 | 7:30 pm
Ber t Church Live Theatre
Desser t Intermission
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