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our team FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Mandy Balak



COPYEDITORS Lauren Steeves Katie Tetz





on the cover


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winter 2015



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Conquer the city.

Cutting It Old School: step into the shop and get a glimpse of the intrigue surrounding the culture and history of traditional barbering. Photos by Allison Seto. Read about YYC barber culture on page 54 and check out Insight and Inspiration for more of Seto’s killer shots, page 16.

want to contribute? Want to talk to the team? Give us a shout.


from us to you I told my city I’d be gone till November, then November came Then I came right back on my worst behaviour In other words: it’s November, we’re back, and we truly are on our worst behaviour – in the best way possible. As our calendar year comes full circle, many of us may find ourselves reflecting on our obstacles and celebrating the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past 365 days. As we tirelessly rally the energy up each day during the last few months of 2015 we remain determined to continue to be productive, inspiring, and successful despite the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter. This is our drive. We know working our hardest right up until the holidays allows us to feel a little less guilty about buying ourselves those $300 headphones for our personal Christmas gift, or having those six extra rum and eggnogs on Boxing Day. Our drive pushes us to keep going even when we feel like stopping – it helps you beat the odds, reach your goals, and sparks the drive of those around you. “The Drive” is a celebration of the accomplishments that hard work can bring. The goal of this issue is to inspire those who may be ready to drop the ball this winter by sharing stories that echo our theme of strength, positivity, and celebration. Our cover story is a prime example of how dedication to one’s craft can inspire the revival of a subculture, in this case, old-school barbering. You’ll also meet a ballerino (a male ballerina – if you don’t know, now you know), who defied the odds of his conservative Japanese culture and made a career out of his passion. We got to the bottom of what compels some of YYC’s most prominent coffee connoisseurs to continue brewing our life source. For your love life we’ve brought you expert advice on how to become Switzerland in the battlefield of love, and also how to date someone out of your age range without feeling like a parent or child – yeah, we know, gross. This years’ gift guide makes things easy for you when it comes to finding the perfect something for him or her. Our men’s style shoot is an ode to troublemakers everywhere, while our women’s shoot is a cool, calm, and stylish tribute to winter fashion. Check out the exquisite desserts that Calgary has to offer for the holiday season and read about how to burn those calories off in a piece from our fitness guru Joanna Majik. We found inspiration in a story of incredible resilience from Larry Lintick, someone who struggled with demons like addiction and homelessness and overcame both triumphantly. For your ears, we’ve brought you Beach Season, one of the city’s most promising and dynamic electronic music duos. Every story in this issue shows drive in a different way, each individual has overcome obstacles to achieve either professional or personal success in some way, shape, or form. Not unlike Drake, our drive has helped us start from the bottom, ‘now we here’. We work to create content that will inspire and enlighten, stuff that will get your gears going and get your own drive moving. We encourage you to celebrate what you’ve done, or what you’re going to accomplish in the future. So YYC, even though you may want to park, we encourage you to keep on motoring and enjoy the drive.

contributors Adam Culligan, Alexandra Sciore, Alex Kool, Allison Seto, Asim Overstands, Brittney Hruska, Brenna Hardy, Bronwyn Hendry, Caitlin Best, Carson Tofin, Claire Marjanen, Courtney Manson, David Cree, Hannah Cree, Hazel Anderson, Jared Bautista, Jenna-Wade Kozak, Jess Bobyn, Jess Maximo, Joanna Majik, Lindsay Larsen, Mallory Chapman, Megan Rutkowski, Monica Meadows, Phaedra Godchild, Rod Redford, Sarah Lee Jamieson, Savaya Shinkaruk, Tieran Green


IN THIS ISSUE More than an errand on your to-do list, a trip to the barbershop is one tradition that has made a come back – just ask some of YYC’s neighbourhood barbers.





P U T YO U R M A R K E T I N G WHERE THE MONEY IS William Sutton was one of the most notorious bank

the obvious, before moving onto more complex ideas

robbers of the 20th century. Otherwise known as

and theories about a particular event, situation,

“Slick Willie” or “The Actor”, Sutton was one hell of a

or symptom.

guy. With nine arrests, three prison escapes, and over 19 robberies under his belt, Sutton was a man who

By primarily focusing on the obvious, physicians

knew what he wanted—cold hard cash.

save the time, money, and energy they could have unnecessarily spent trying to diagnose a patient with

The Brooklyn native exercised ingenuity and

complex tests or procedures.

innovative tactics when robbing, including posing as a postman, telegraph messenger, policeman, and

So, when it comes to marketing, we used the same

maintenance man among other things when heisting

thought process as the infamous “Slick Willie”. We

businesses and banks.

know where the money is, except we work hard to


Sutton, who was known for being a gentleman and

obtain the revenue without breaking the law—even

impeccably dressed—even when in the midst of a

though Sutton’s carefree attitude is oddly liberating to

robbery—has a law named after him as well. This

read about, it won’t work in this day and age.

came after Sutton made a highly publicized and now legendary response to a reporter who asked him why

Since the time of Willie Sutton, getting to revenue

he chose to rob banks.

has changed considerably. In order to gain revenue, marketing is critical. Basic communication tactics

“Because that’s where the money is.” Obvious, right? You would think the reporter might’ve thought of that conclusion before asking Sutton, but let’s all remember one of our favourite sayings, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question”. This is where Sutton’s Law was coined and used as a policy for medical professionals when diagnosing a patient. Sutton’s Law refers to the act of ruling out


are no longer enough, and the swim lane approach is ineffective. We need to collaborate and manifest unique, vibrant, and holistic campaign experiences that we are able to generate, quantify, and tweak at our discretion. Critical to these new experiences will be tying back to recognizable revenue, new partners, and customer subsets that are thoughtfully built and executed directly and clearly. We believe that “following the money” is a new way of looking at your brand and your customers. We are living in the Age of Technology. We are using technology to get the economies of scale to deliver, and to leverage data to make the best decisions in order to optimize. Just like Sutton, we go where the money is. That’s why our tag line is “we sell more” and it means just

OUR CLIENTS SELL MORE. We have invented a new way to deliver marketing ROI for our clients. Our artistry with code, creative and brand strategy is delivered with a unique combination of digital and traditional marketing tactics for every client.

as much for us as it does for our partners. It’s that simple. We built a tool to find the money efficiently, repeatedly and with data to tie initiatives to outcomes. We are in Calgary because many businesses understand our way of working and we are always seeking like-minded allies. We also like to have a really good time after we find the proverbial cash.

We lead with innovation, creativity and conscience on our mission to change the perception of the marketing industry. We sell more for our clients.

Except instead of buying a custom-made suit like Sutton, we will probably just a crack a beer, always readily available at the office 24/7. Sutton, who was always well armed when attempting his heists said, “You cannot rob a bank on charm and


personality”. We agree. So, come and get to know us as we’d love to grab a beer and help you find the money.


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Stalking people leaving Chinook Centre for their parking spot is a regular occurrence around the holidays.

You avoid taking your hockey equipment to get cleaned, yet again.

C OM Shit Calgarians say.

We’ve all been there. Here are some of the things only Calgarians would understand.



You have traded in your Nikes and denim jackets for your new winter uniform of Sorels and parkas.


You leave for work in the dark and later leave work in the dark.

Clearing snow off of your car is your morning workout.

#CofRed – need we say more?


tweet us @brandedyyc #commonincalgary





We love unique photographers. Whether you’re behind the scenes, on top, or upand-coming, we will track you down. Here’s who caught our eye this month.

What first got you into photography? “When I was a kid I used to always have a camera in my hand. Since I was 12 or 13 [years old] I used to take my family’s basic point and shoot and bring it to school. They were always the crappiest photos, but it was just good moments. I kept shooting all the way through high school, and then when I was around 16 I decided I wanted to be better. I invested in a better camera and started learning. Ever since then I’ve taken photos all the time. I did a project where I had to take a photo every day for a year, which really helped me grow.” How would you describe your style? “I’d say it’s documentary style. I find that when I shoot I like to just blend into the background and not direct a lot, to watch the moment unfold.” What’s your favourite thing to shoot? “I love shooting music. I did a tour with Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, and even though it was the same show over and over again the photos were always so different. That’s definitely been a career highlight for me and I’m excited to go back on tour with him again at the end of the year.”

ALLI SON SETO More than meets the eye.

Instagram: @ajseto Portfolio: Age: 24

Are you interested in pursuing photography full time? “Yes, eventually. Right now I work at iStock by Getty. I’m in contributor relations, so basically I interact with other contributors – a lot of troubleshooting, but it’s fun because I love helping people. I’m also a volunteer marketing coordinator for PARK. My end goal is definitely to do my own photography full time. I need to be shooting regularly before I really make that leap. I’m still building momentum.” What’s your favourite thing about photography? “Capturing a moment. When I was younger I was so afraid of forgetting things. I would go on vacations and try to collect brochures or souvenirs – I started taking pictures just so I could remember things.” What are the most challenging aspects of photography? “Getting out of your own head. You’ll take pictures and think ‘I’m not good enough at this.’ Sometimes when I’m editing I really second guess myself, and it can spiral from there.” What advice do you have for staying inspired? “Surround yourself with really good people. I’ve become friends with a lot of photographers. Being able to talk to them and relate to them is really great. We can look at each other’s work and give honest critiques. I’m close friends with so many creative people and we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other.” Do you have a dream person or event you would love to take photos of? “I would love to go on tour with a bigger name, like Beyoncé. I don’t even know what I would do after that. I would probably just retire.”


LIVING Summer may be over, but Beach Season is just warming up in Calgary’s electronic music scene.






NICK LUIT It’s interesting how people settle into their professions. Some study for years, even decades to perfect their chosen craft. They examine predecessors, teach successors, and hope that their legacy lives on whether it’s through their theory, their creation, or the memory of their work in general. Some attend institutions for degrees or certifications and achieve success through fiscal and powerful means, others find spiritual success with minimal materialism and little advantage, and some find their unwavering artistic passion and marry it with an occupation that will allow them to have the best of both worlds – success and happiness.




ick Luit is one individual who settled into his incredible artistry – tattooing – and made it his livelihood. He is one of the most downto-earth people you could come across, yet he has a staggering waitlist around six months long. Despite the incredible demand for his work, he would be the first one to ask you what you wanted tattooed and when you wanted it done in an inviting and genuine manner. Working out of Scythe & Spade Tattoo in Kensington, Luit’s well known in Calgary and people seek him out for his unique and signature tattooing style, which he describes as a more classic American traditional one – although he doesn’t really like to label it. Luit’s style is one that he has developed and refined since he began tattooing around nine years ago. After stints playing music and working in the restaurant industry, Luit realized he couldn’t settle down in a profession without getting restless. He decided to leave the home that he knew, Calgary, and head to B.C. where he eventually gained an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop in Richmond called Osmosis Tattoo, “A lot of people don’t know, but it’s very difficult to get into tattooing and to gain an apprenticeship. So to get to the point where I was not only in the door but to kind of have this under my belt, it was a serious personal accomplishment.” Luit learned the ropes in B.C. and he also quickly learned the difference between high caliber and poor quality tattoos thanks to another shop nearby which produced work his tattoo shop was constantly fixing, “I think you can tell when someone is passionate. When you look at someone’s work, I feel that you can feel the soul that was put into it, the heart. You can tell when people are being lazy in my field.” Luit makes it a point to go above and beyond when prepping for his pieces, making the six-month wait well worth it. He reiterates that most of his art requires research and sourcing before he can actually put it onto someone’s skin, “I have a pretty extensive library at home,

and I pride myself on that. If someone wants an old image, I’m looking at images from 1910 to the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s – I’m trying to create that emotion in my work.” Luit sees tattooing as an obsession, and this obsessive nature leaves him working around ten hours a day, and sometimes even up to 15 hours between in-shop appointments and after hours drawing. If you ask him why he’s so devoted, you’ll get an honest response, “I don’t want to be responsible for permanently implementing something onto someone and then have them be dissatisfied. I put so much pressure on my work and myself that I literally lose sleep over that shit.” Luit admits that from time to time someone comes in who isn’t completely ready to go under the needle – in those cases he is happy to take the time to work with the client until they’re comfortable with their decision, “Maybe it’s intuition, I’m not sure – but I can just feel when somebody isn’t satisfied and they’re too nervous to voice it or they’re just not ready to commit, and I’m usually right about it.” Luit notes it’s his clients that are constantly keeping things interesting, and he can’t pin down just one tattoo he’s created that’s his all-time favourite, “I think it changes all the time. There’s always cool people coming in with their ideas and stories,” said Luit. “Actually, I tattooed this huge Polish immigrant steamship on this guys’ chest with the banner and his ancestors initials – that project was really special for me.” When it comes to the Calgary tattoo scene in general, Luit said it’s booming, “I have friends who are tattooers scattered across the country. When we’re together and able to socialize it’s natural to discuss work – it’s interesting to hear how tattooing can vary from place to place. Calgary is a thriving community. People like to get tattooed here.” With over 200 hours of sitting time under his belt for his own tattoos, Luit obviously knows a thing or two about getting inked. His personal collection includes tattoos on the top on his hands, knuckles, and neck pieces that end just shy of his jawbone. Tattoos in

“I was acknowledging that I was separating myself from society and decided that this was kind of it. I was dedicating my life to this.”


“I don’t want to be responsible for permanently implementing something onto someone and then have them be dissatisfied. I put so much pressure on my work and myself that I literally lose sleep over that shit.”

these areas are traditionally considered taboo, although that opinion is quickly changing. Luit’s tattoos are highly visible, even in the long sleeve shirt that he had on during our interview – but it was clear that he wasn’t sporting his ink for attention’s sake, so why did he choose to become so heavily tattooed? “I actually got the right side of my neck tattooed the day before I went full-time tattoo artist. It was kind of a right of passage for me, it was a mark for myself that I was acknowledging that I was separating myself from society and decided that this was kind of it. I was dedicating my life to this.” It was surprising to hear the 30-year-old admit to experiencing a certain amount of apprehension and nervousness prior to getting his neck and hands tattooed, “Obviously the pressure of society and the job limitations that come with those kind of areas being tattooed – it’s a little scary. After that I had some anxiety wearing it for the first little while, I don’t think that I was second guessing my decision, I think I was just coming to terms with it.” Luit has many tattoos from a range of artists spread across North America, so it’s understandable that he can’t pick a favourite, “Everything that I’ve collected in the last five years is really my favourite stuff on my body,” said Luit. “I think when you hit 25 you just kind of start to grasp more who you are as a person. Up until that point I think I was collecting things just to be tattooed and cover space, where as now I know exactly what images I want to wear and what they mean to me.” Because Luit is getting close to becoming completely covered, 24 | BRANDED

I asked if he’d ever consider getting a facial tattoo, Luit smiled and promptly replied, “Never.” He does however have plans to fill up the few spots he has left on his body during his travels through Europe planned for next year. Luit’s decision to cover himself in ink was a personal one, and one he has no regrets about. But there is this growing tattoo culture where celebrities, bands, and characters in movies and television shows make being tattooed iconic and in turn widely accepted, so it’s not difficult to feel the pressure to get a tattoo if you’ve never gotten one. Even though tattoos traditionally exemplify the aspirational cool and rebellious culture that is currently exploding, Luit reminds us that not everyone should feel the need to get inked, “So many people these days have tattoos, I think some people who don’t have tattoos feel pressure, because they’re the odd person out. I don’t think that’s a good reason to get tattooed,” said Luit. “Some people should not get tattooed, it’s not for everybody. It’s good to own that and conceptualize that.” Luit embodies the variety of a tattoo artist who is a recluse, which subsequently clears up any misconception about tattooers leading any sort of flashy or glamorous existence, “Some people think we just show up and do our job, and a lot of people associate it with some ostentatious lifestyle and it’s really not. Most tattooers I know are introverts and live a quiet life,” said Luit. “I’ve always said that tattooing is more of a lifestyle than a job, and it takes a certain kind of person to do it.” Clearly the tattoo artist lifestyle suits Luit, and there’s not a shot in hell that he’ll be quitting the inking game anytime soon.


It was all a dream, I used to use an elliptical machine… And now I don’t. Most of us don’t. Or maybe you’re an elliptical evangelist – and are still using the shake-weight, too. The fitness industry cycles through trends just like any other. It may not be something you spend much time thinking about, if ever, but the ebb and flow of fitness trends does seep into your life. Maybe you’re an indie yogi, a barre star, a spin club addict, in the crossfit army, or a mega-distance endurance event pimp. All of the aforementioned were at one time a distant cousin of what you see now. So it’s kind of cool to peer into a fitness crystal (kettle)ball to see what may be seeping into your life soon. YOGA

Yoga seems to refresh every year. It first entered the Western world in the 1980s as a form of physical exercise, now 30 plus years later it resembles its Indian roots a little more; a physical, meditative, and spiritual exercise (but don’t Google Harmonica Yoga. Aw you just did, didn’t you?). There is a type of yoga for everyone and when you combine yoga with another emerging trend (see: yoga x sweatclubbing) it seems there is no limit to its staying power. Which totally aligns with what yoga is for most of us; you never arrive – you’re always growing. 26 | BRANDED


You may be like, “Wait – you already talked about yoga,” and are wondering how it relates to fitness. As I shared earlier, there is an increasing awareness of the connection between physical, mental, and spiritual exercise through yoga. As yoga continues to be the ‘It Girl’ of fitness, you’ll see its cousin, meditation, coming to more parties. Meditation is cited as one of the most effective ways to achieve happiness, according to those who research happiness professionally. There are obviously many ways to work towards happiness (and the related wellness benefits) but, to reiterate, if you were to choose just one of those things, the experts would land on meditation. So as our culture continues to focus on the pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of the meditation studio could be a natural evolution. SWEATCLUBBING

Studios are taking inspiration from top retailers and nightclubs and incorporating trendy decor, flattering lighting, good sound systems, pop culture, and thoughtfully curated retail space. Many fitness studios are acknowledging that they have a more culturally discerning clientele that ‘get it’, and these studios have nicely responded to the rise of the creative class and their style expectations by putting extra care into how their businesses look. Studios execute this with

top sports bra by the sweat style tights by lululemon athletica

varying levels of success, and the effort and weeks spent on Pinterest are worth it. Guests acknowledge the effort and are willing to pay a premium for it. I also want to celebrate that I very rarely ever hear ‘Sandstorm’ or ‘Kernkraft’ in workout environments. But, alas, it still happens. SURPRISE LOCATIONS

Instructors and programs are turning to unique spaces to add novelty to their programs and to keep them relevant. These surprise locations can offer an exciting reprieve from the predictability of their normal space, add the element of surprise for their guests, and build some word of mouth hype. These experiences are often an authentic extension of the instructor’s personality or program and are super fun. Parking garage sprints, nightclub HIIT, warehouse yoga – expect the unexpected in 2016. ACTIVE BLENDS AND ACTIVE ALTERNATIVES

Social sweat. Sweat working. Sweat escapes. People are increasingly seeking ways to blend their workouts with their lifestyle and social life. Not just as an isolated commitment to bang off their list, but as a lens through which they make all decisions. Social activities are being incorporated into fitness programs whether they occur before or after class, or on a different day completely. Beers after bike club. Pub crawl after running. It’s permeating vacation plans too. Keighty Gallagher of the trendsetting fitness program Tight Club Athletics in Vancouver explains, “More and more people are choosing active alternatives to the all inclusive pina-colada-punch-inthe-face vacations. Women in particular are finding more value in self improvement, mindfulness and homestead-y add ons to their yoga and fitness retreats. Alex Mazerole

of Ladyvana Retreats and Anita Cheung of Social Yoga are great examples of these retreats.” These group-based activities are not losing momentum. Lindsay Jang, an ex-Calgarian who is now an influential fitness personality in Hong Kong (and beyond) weighs in, “I see the movement of sweating and ‘suffering’ as a group, growing and growing. Group exercise used to indicate aerobics or step classes and I love how it’s evolving into every type of training from lifting to HIIT to running and so on. I suppose this also proves that fitness isn’t a trend, it’s always been in our lives but people are starting to rally together to positively push each other. I love this.” This is appealing for our oversaturated schedules too. If you can accomplish several obligations in one time block, then it eases the tension. Even if you don’t stay for the after-party, you can still accomplish more than a calorie burn. Spin class with your girl squad? Boom – reconnected. Lunch run with your project team? Boom – task list minimized. Some wine on your yoga retreat? Boom – stress released. HIIT

Speaking of overcommitted schedules, high intensity interval training packs a lot of results into a brief timeframe. It’s an exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. These programs often just require your body weight or limited portable weights. They are intense and you feel spent, strong, and accomplished afterwards. That is, unless you take it too far – and this is where some HIIT haters chime in. Be sure to monitor how your body feels during any workout, and check with your doctor before doing something significantly out of the norm. One of my favorite HIIT formats is

Tabata where 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise is followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for four minutes (eight cycles). This keeps things super fresh and engaging. Shout out to Keighty Gallagher of Tight Club for getting me onto this. ATHLETIC ASPIRATIONS

A lof our what we do in our non-professional space can now imitate the professional. Your personal website design can rival that of a major brand. Your camera or computer can perform like that of a professional photographer or designer. Your body, well, it can nearly look and perform like a professional athlete (your expensive superhigh-performance limited-edition workout tights tell me so). Calgary Spin-Motivator at YYC CYCLE, and well-travelled fitness influencer, Andrew Obrecht, sees athletebased group fitness concepts when he looks into the fitness crystal ball, “Businesses that allow their members to ‘train like an athlete’ are increasingly prevalent in the fitness market. Members train like top athletes to succeed like elite athletes in their every day lives. For example boxing studios (like GloveWorx in Santa Monica) or training camp style classes (such as Tone House in NYC).” Striving to perform at the highest level possible for our bodies, whether it’s the big leagues or the beer leagues, is inspiring. If this type of pursuit of excellence fuels your fire, there could soon be many programs for you to choose from. We’ve just reviewed a nice pile of potential trends. But, just like the weather forecast, there’s no guarantee we’ll see them in Calgary. You may even see some other exciting programs I’ve overlooked. So keep an open mind, don’t hate before you participate, and remember, that elliptical machine will still be there if you decide to come back for it. there BRANDED | 27

Celebrate your



M AL L ORY CHA PMAN “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” It’s a quote you’ll always remember after being exposed to Studio Revolution and learning about who we are. My path wasn’t always clear, but it taught me more then I could’ve imagined. If you look at my resume, you’d think I have commitment issues. After getting my Bachelor of Criminology and minoring in psychology I started my journey as a counselor in the justice system. After five years in that industry I felt the need to move into a more positive space, which meant making a change in my life, so I decided to turn to what I knew always elevated me – fitness. I got my fitness certifications and started a small company off of the side of my desk running small outdoor bootcamps and inhome personal training. I was doing this while I moved around into various roles in different industries, and at the same time I was trying to pay my bills while attempting to turn my passion into my living. The one and only consistent part of my career development and soul searching adventure in my early-mid twenties was this belief that I was truly put on this planet to inspire others, and help them get to a place where they develop into the best versions of themselves. So how did I go from this once-upon-atime counselor to the now owner of Studio Revolution, the first SURFSET fitness studio in Alberta? I realized just before my 28th birthday that I was operating and living from a place of fear and hesitation, as opposed to from a place of passion. I had enough drive and was forced to make the change – a change that I’m so grateful I made. These four principles are what helped me achieve my success and will hopefully serve as a guide for you when you’re feeling uninspired:


Refocus and shift to what you’re truly passionate about. For me, I absolutely love the water and I get into this state of euphoria whenever I’m being active in it. Whether it’s wakeboarding, river surfing, or surfing in the ocean – it’s a feeling I get that I needed to replicate and share with the world in some way.

Know fear is your biggest limitation, but be empowered knowing that at anytime you can make the choice to overcome it. My biggest fear in surfing used to be falling off the board, as I was afraid of what was below. It’s when I got a taste of riding out my first baby wave in Sayulita, Mexico with my husband when I was 20, that I somehow forgot all possible dangers under me. I found a passion and a love for the ocean that forced me to be brave. I opened Studio Revolution and started operating from a place of fearlessness and let go of any fear of falling. To act from a place of fearlessness is the driver of what will empower you to charge that next wave, that next challenge, that next big thing in your life.

in style


In any board sport you’ll figure out quickly that hesitation is your worst enemy. Whether your approaching the tip of the wake on a wave, or launching off a snowboard jump, if you hesitate you’ll definitely regret it. You’ll either miss out on that amazing feeling you get if you would’ve landed it, or you’ll get hurt because you thought you were going too fast. Timing is critical. I learned to understand that timing will never be perfect and that if you hesitate and wait for the perfect time to do something, the next guy in the lineup will have stolen your wave.

Warm Hospitality,

Brazilian Style


Getting lost at sea is easy, but when you have someone who can act as a strong anchor for you in your journey, you’re unstoppable. My husband Trevor Chapman is my unconditional support, the person who will help me through a storm and lead me in the right direction if I feel lost. There have been countless trying moments and so much blood, sweat, and tears put into Studio Revolution. Whether you’re getting shredded in a surf class, a TRX class, or you follow us within the community – you’ll be inspired to remember why you started. The expression “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started,” is displayed throughout the studio as a reminder to me, my team, and my community to never give up or give in when life gets hard because the reason why you started is greater than what you’re feeling right in this moment. I can’t express how grateful I am to the Calgary community for being open and adventurous enough to embrace an entirely new concept and crush it.

Boas Festas!

136 2nd Street SW MINASSTEAkhouse BRANDED | 29

changing the game

turning passion into a business

Peters’ Drive-In

On the recent expansion of Peters’ Drive-In: “You can’t take the current Peters’ and just transplant it, you have to do a lot of work and research. Because we don’t want to disappoint our customers.” – Joanne Rowe, Peters’ Drive-In

Chasing your dreams, changing the game, choosing adventures – there’s a lot to think about when you’re an up-and-coming Calgarian. When it comes to making your ambitions a reality, the struggle is real. So here’s a column that aims to inspire action and provide advice. It’s not your typical financial advice – it’s more like cool stories that sometimes happen to be about money. We talked to a few Game Changers about the challenges they’ve faced in the process of turning their passion into a business. We then asked some industry experts to weigh in.

YYC Cycle “I wish I would have known how much hard work actually goes into this whole thing. I think there are a lot of people out there, entrepreneurs, who do things really, really well and make it look really, really easy, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not that easy.” – Warren Matzelle, YYC Cycle “Entrepreneurs are a rare breed. If you’re going to start a business, imagine how many hours you’re going to work, and then double it. Because you have to tirelessly go over every single problem. You can’t give it to HR, to marketing, or to finance – that’s all you. You have to do everything, and you don’t have anybody you can give things to when you’re starting out. Very, very long hours. Daytime might be spent working with customers, and the other hours of the day are spent managing the business.” – Ed Straw, ATB Financial

“Building a great brand is about how you show up, every day, in the community you serve. There has to be something more meaningful than just a transaction. That’s what separates a good product from a great brand.” – Carol Shmygol, ATB Financial

Fiasco Gelato

“You’re in huge dollar swings every day, purchasing plastic containers, making payroll. It’s the challenge of cash flow and having a team on your side who understands how important that is.” – James Boettcher, Fiasco Gelato “He nailed it right at the beginning. We use a statement that says, ‘cash is king’. When you’re starting a business, you need to understand your cash flow cycle. If you’re going to buy something, you need to know how much time you have to pay it.” –Ed Straw, ATB Financial

Village Brewery “If I asked you to come help me move and I told you I’d give you $8.75 plus deposit, you’d probably say, ‘Stuff it!’ But if I said, ‘Hey, come help me move, I’ll buy the beer,’ you’ll do it for different reasons. It’s about being together and being part of something. We wanted people to get together. We wanted to make Calgary a better place.” – Jim Button, Village Brewery. “They’ve got a pretty innovative business model. Even though they make darn good beer, it’s about how they connect in the community. It’s a completely different brand experience.” –Wellington Holbrook, ATB Financial.

Cru Juice

“Don’t ignore the multitude of funding options available to entrepreneurs in this province. Filling out grant applications can be time consuming, but there are many opportunities for in-kind or capital support available and should be explored in tandem with other, more traditional financing models.” – Amanda Hehr, Cru Juice “Talk to your financer before you spend even one dollar. The reason for that is you might spend your own money where you could have received funding from the bank. If you come to the bank, they might not be able to help you anymore because you’ve already spent your money on something they could have funded, but they can’t fund what you now need money for. Ask yourself: where can I get all my funding sources, and who can finance what.” – Ed Straw, ATB Financial

These are just some of the Calgarians who have rolled the dice on their passions, and so far, it’s working out pretty well. The one thing they have in common? They’ve asked for help from people they trust along the way.


BEKKESTUA tufted and upholstered headboard will allow you to comfortably binge watch Netflix marathons for hours on end. #netflixandchill

Placing RENS sheepskin beside your bedside will treat your feet to the warm and soft feeling on cold mornings.


Use the STENKLOVER blanket as an additional layer to make your bed as luxurious and comfy as possible.

RITVA white curtains will let in just the right amount of light to keep your space feeling fresh and airy, but not enough light to disturb your leisurely afternoon sleep-ins.

Hibernation Season 8000 11 St SE

Forget about those fancy all-inclusive vacays to tropical beaches, this year save your cash and energy and start preparing for a winter staycation at home. All this requires is prepping your bedroom (and your snack cupboard) for multiple days of hanging out and relaxing at home – something you probably don’t do enough of.

Cozy into the STRANDMON chair and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read since last July.

The EKTORP footstool at the end of the bed will provide storage for extra pillows, which, if we’re being honest, you’ll definitely need for a makeshift table while eating pizza in bed.





A L L T H E D AT E I D E A S . O N E P L A C E . w w w. i t s d a t e n i g h t . c o m (you’re welcome)

Karleen Sweat Bandit. Fierce & Fashionable. BASIC is not on her itinerary.


Works at: Kit & Ace

Neighbourhood Caffeine Charmer. Works at: Caffe Beano

17th Ave Wishlist

See their picks and win $500 to spend on 17th Ave SW.

One-Of-A-Kind Finds Curated by


17th Ave’s Finest

Petal Pusher. Sweet tooth. Lover of the creative and curious. Works at: Anne Paterson’s Flowers






Listening to a song by Beach Season can only really be described as an experience – one that propels you into a state of sonic utopia. As you listen, you’ll feel like you’re in a dreamlike state with a heightened sense of consciousness. Now, that may sound intense – but it’s actually a really nice time, like a captivating daydream – except there’s a much heavier base. So who exactly is behind these crooning vocals and incredible soundscapes? Meet Samuel Avant and Simon Blitzer, both 22. They are the producers who teamed up in 2014 to make up Beach Season, one of Calgary’s most promising electronic music acts. The pair initially met in high school, and after playing together in a couple of garage bands that didn’t lead anywhere, Blitzer joined Avant’s personal project named after his love of the coast – and the duo was born. Now, when I say these two are ‘cool’ I really mean it, and not in the so-hip-I-wear-a-buckethat kind of way – just genuinely down-to-earth cool. As I sat down with them at Local 510 to chat they automatically made me feel like we were old buddies – something you might not expect when first meeting burgeoning musical wunderkinds. Although Blitzer and Avant shared a passion for music when they were in high school, after graduation they chose to go in different directions. Avant headed to the University of Calgary to take a whack at post-secondary; after one year he decided it wasn’t for him, and he reunited with Blitzer to pursue music more seriously. Blitzer, on the other hand, never felt drawn to veer away from making music, “I kind of believed I could do it the whole time, even though thinking back on it now, the music I was making back then was not what would make me successful – but I always believed in it.” Colleen Krueger, the duo’s manager, teamed up with the guys in 2014, and they’ve been playing a steady stream of shows ever since, keeping the artists perpetually creating and practicing.

Beach Season has played gigs across Canada, including one last year at the Red Bull Base Camp in Montreal, and more recently at Calgary’s own Sled Island. “Colleen found us two years ago and right off the bat she was talking about doing tours, doing interviews, releasing projects with labels, things like that. That’s when we really decided to go for it,” said Avant. The pair initially found their unique sound after countless hours of listening to music online where they were influenced by the work of other artists and producers, “We were always exposing ourselves to music that way. We decided we’d try experimenting, and started doing stuff that was outside of the box,” said Avant. Their distinctive sound is the product of combining Avant’s buttery vocals and Blitzer’s mesmerizing soundscapes. The craziest part? Aside from some previous traditional musical training, the two are essentially self-taught. “I heard Passion Pit’s Sleepy Head and that was the first time I’d ever heard a band use synths and samples. I thought it was the coolest thing, I had no idea how they did any of their stuff. So I researched for days. That’s how we found music software and things like that,” said Avant. “YouTube is the best teacher,” Blitzer added. Electronic music is thriving thanks to the Internet and music-sharing platforms like 8tracks, Hype Machine, and Songza where artists can post, repost, or remix material. It makes sense that when Beach Season was ready to share their ambient electronic tracks, they made the Internet their stage using SoundCloud and YouTube as easily sharable platforms. It’s fitting then, that Beach Season’s 2014 debut EP created with Calgary-based electronic label Close To Modern, was titled Internet Evening. This EP is packed full of elements from different stylistic pockets of music, using soothing melodies and instances of energetic drops to prompt listeners to keep songs on repeat.


Both musicians currently have jobs outside of music, something they don’t mind, because they work out of their home studio most of the time, “At the end of the day I feel like if we both didn’t have jobs we would lose our minds because we would just be at the house all the time, working where we live,” said Avant. Blitzer interjected, “Unless we were touring and we had a lot on the go – which might be coming up for us next year, so who knows what will happen.” It’s easy to forget that Beach Season is a relatively new act based on their intermediate sound and impressive stage presence. But up until now, the guys haven’t played many shows outside of North America. In the future, one of their biggest goals is to explore and perform on other continents. “Travelling with music is my dream. Going out to Europe and even getting out to Asia would be awesome,” said Blitzer. “That’s a goal right there – I’m excited to hunker down and just get really weird, make a ton of really awesome stuff, and see cool things,” said Avant. When asked if they had any pre-performance rituals, nothing came to mind at first – then Avant remembered one, “Turning on our MacBooks and praying that they still work,” he laughed and then took a more serious tone, “Treat them right and they’ll treat you right.” Despite their older-generation Macs (which are still working fine, by the way), Beach Season continues to create more material. The guys have a process for generating their signature dreamy

sound, which includes listening to other artists for inspiration, “As far as sounds go, I think we just tinker for hours and hours – or we’ll hear a sound we like in a song and we’ll try to get somewhat close to it and make our own version,” said Avant. Getting that ‘specific sound’ can be a challenge sometimes, “You get to a certain point and you’re satisfied. You’re like, ‘This

“WE DECIDED WE’D TRY EXPERIMENTING, AND STARTED DOING STUFF THAT WAS OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.” is the best I could do at this point right now in my life, let’s put it out’,” said Blitzer. There’s a risk they could go back and fiddle with songs forever, but the duo seems to know when enough is enough, “When you feel like if you keep working on it your life will slowly slip away into a vortex of dark abyss – then you know it’s done,” said Avant.

With a new more upbeat and dance-ready album due out next year, the guys are trying to squeeze in recording and producing in between performances and their participation in The PEAK Performance Project, a contest open to all musicians in Alberta. This project has an end goal of developing up-and-coming musicians. Beach Season was one of 12 finalists who attended the PEAK bootcamp, a crash course about everything the music industry can throw at you. “Bootcamp was an eye-opener for sure. We didn’t have any idea about the magnitude or the scope of the business side of music – that just made us realize how much we need to stay focused and get our shit together,” said Blitzer. They may have some things to learn about the business side of the industry, but in terms of the music, the pair doesn’t seem to be in need of any guidance. Along with creating original material, Beach Season has also remixed other artists’ music including official remixes for HUMANS and Mt Eden. The pair appears to be charmingly unaware of how talented they are, or if they are aware, they are seriously humble about it. “We want to make a good impression as an up-and-coming duo. If people can lose themselves at our shows, I think that’s the most important thing, that they can really get into the music and vibe out,” said Avant. In the future, Beach Season is making it a point to become multi-purposed in terms of their roles in the band, “At this stage, I’m going to be doing some back-up vocals and Sam is going to do

some more instrumentation himself,” said Blitzer. “We’re starting to cross paths so we can just be fantastic at everything,” said Avant with a grin. Despite the whirlwind of The PEAK Performance Project, live shows, and creating a new album, the guys have stayed tight as ever, keeping their bromance strong, and only experiencing rare moments of disagreement. “We live together. It’s like we’re in that married couple phase, you know what I mean? Where we’ve been married to each other for so long that it’s normal to already be hanging out all the time,” said Avant. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a fight before,” said Blitzer. “I think we’re going to have a fist fight one day though,” he jokingly mentioned. Avant smiled and replied, “When we get to that cocaine rock star phase – I think that’s when things will heat up.” Let’s hope their rock star phase doesn’t occur anytime soon. Beach Season produces one of those often-replicated-neverduplicated type of sounds – something that’s hard to achieve within the large scope of the electronic music industry and the copycat culture that comes along with it. I don’t know how music can sound chill and epic at the same time, but they’ve managed to nail it. Clearly, Beach Season will be making ripples for a while yet.



Human Interest:

Larry’s Story

words by Hanna McLean photo by Krystal Boyd

Larry Lintick and I walked towards Olympic Plaza on a crisp

morning. We passed a man curled up and perched on a large rock at the base of the bridge leading into the park. His few possessions were spilling out onto the ground in front of him: a worn hat, a backpack, and a cardboard sign reading ‘Christian man looking for a decent job’. His situation, homelessness, was arduous, and one that Larry was all too familiar with. Looking at Larry now, you wouldn’t assume he had lived a difficult life full of obstacles. But the reality was, the 66-year-old had experienced an existence with enough tragedy to fill up three lifetimes. He wore a grey button-down shirt and held his red Flames cap in his weathered hands as we settled into a corner table at Waves Coffee House on 8th Street. Larry reached out for the mug of coffee in front of him, “I like when they give you a real mug at coffee shops, instead of those flimsy paper cups,” he says. There was a time when Larry couldn’t have imagined sitting in a café drinking fresh coffee out of a clean porcelain mug, “When you’re homeless you don’t have the confidence to do a lot of things. You feel like ‘I can’t go in there because I’m not one of them’,” he says, remembering walking past coffee shops when he was living on the streets of Calgary. It wasn’t long until I discovered Larry had lived a relatively privileged life up until a series of events had him faced with living on the streets. I quickly learned he was one of the most well-travelled people I’d ever met. He’d lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, travelled to Ireland and Europe, and had been to every state in the U.S. except Alaska. So what happened along the way that left his life in shambles? Larry’s childhood was relatively pleasant, although he admits there were some challenges when it came to his relationship with his father, “My dad played in the NHL for half a season and then broke his leg and finished his career. He wanted someone to go on and play in his legacy,” he says. “I wasn’t athletic; this really set up a wall between me and my father.” Larry attended boarding school and eventually met his wife, Carol, during an optician apprenticeship. He was in love and had a promising career ahead of him. The couple had five children together.

Larry openly admits he was a ‘rotten father’ because he was busy with work, but he still loved being a dad, “Teaching them, watching them. Them teaching me, that was the best.”

The Accident

In 1978 when Larry was 29 years old he was in a serious car accident. He was T-boned by a drunk driver at an intersection, which left him in critical condition. After a year in the hospital Larry walked away alive, but not unscathed; he suffered third degree burns on over 60 per cent of his body, “It was painful to be burnt, but that wasn’t the worst part,” he says. “The psychological part is unbelievable.” At this point in his life, Larry had established a successful janitorial business with contracts all over the city, as well as a delivery service that travelled to different restaurants around Calgary. Whatever work he had built up came to a sudden halt when the accident happened, “At that time I was on a lot of morphine because I was in pain. That’s when my drug addiction started.” Along with morphine, Larry began using coke and continued to dabble with marijuana. Larry had started using drugs when he was 15 years old, but after the accident, his drug use wasn’t as innocent as smoking pot at the height of Beatlemania, “It was a big strain. Drugs are very expensive. The wife was juggling everything – I could barely walk when I got out of the hospital.”

Losing His Rock

Four years after Larry was released from the hospital, Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer, “We went through the usual rollercoaster ride of that, she went in and had chemo and everything, but a while later it was back.” He recalls one of the most traumatic times in his life was when Carol chose to undergo a mastectomy, “It would have been less cruel if she just would’ve went,” he says. “For her, that killed Carol right there.” This left Larry feeling confused about where he would end up in the future, and had him wondering whether Carol would be beside him when he landed there. Although Carol’s suffering is now a distant memory, the pain of her passing is evidently still very real. BRANDED | 41

“Imagine seeing your life partner wasting away in front of you, and there’s nothing you can do about it, absolutely nothing.” “She asked me to kill her a couple of times,” he says, struggling to talk about this time. It was at this point in his life that Larry’s drug use got progressively worse. As I continued to ask Larry about his late wife, his eyes welled with emotion, I was witnessing him remember again, “Imagine seeing your life partner wasting away in front of you, and there’s nothing you can do about it, absolutely nothing.” Larry looks at me, and then turns toward the window. He pauses, takes a deep breath, and then faces me again, “Lost? You want to talk about lost?” he says. “After Carol passed, the kids were looking to me, and I didn’t have the answers. I mean, I was barely hanging in there myself.” Larry eventually sent his children to his sister’s home in Denver, Colorado. He describes his sister as “coming to the rescue,” providing his children with guidance and a stable place to call home. After his children were out of the picture, Larry had nothing to hold him back from total obliteration, so he further numbed his depression, “I basically lost everything I had through drugs and booze.”

Living On The Streets

He began moving from couch to couch crashing at friends’ places, but this got old quickly, “People were trying to help me, but I wasn’t trying to help myself. I wasn’t ready yet.” Larry ended up on the streets, and his last option for shelter was the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre. He spent a great deal of time there trying to get clean and sober using the resources the centre had, while also working to abide by the centre’s strict ‘no drug’ policy, “When I was on the streets, I had lost the respect of my children. To a parent that’s the ultimate, when you don’t have your children’s respect. So I started to climb out, started working, and tried to rebuild a life.” It took four attempts to finally get sober and save up enough money to start his life again, “A lot of people have alcohol problems, and the Drop-In tries to help them, and some of the things you see there are really sad.” He takes a sip of his coffee and pauses again. Larry is recalling some painful instances, some things he hasn’t thought about for a long time, “It bothers me when I see things there, because I can’t imagine what I was like.” 42 | BRANDED

Larry says it was his children and his now 96-year-old mother that motivated him to get clean, “My mother was really good to me, and I had really let her down. I’ll bet you over the years I’ve probably pawned my mother out of $100,000-$150,000 dollars easily. And she caught onto me and was disgusted.” His mother cut ties with him after this realization, leaving Larry completely isolated from any family. Despite this being a trying period in Larry’s life, not every day was a grim one. I ask him if he remembered any acts of kindness during his homelessness, Larry suddenly smiled, “I remember I needed a pair of shoes, the shoes I was wearing weren’t suitable. I was up at SAIT picking bottles, and there was a janitor outside smoking a cigarette. He called me over and asked me what size my feet were, he went in and gave me a brand new pair of sneakers.” It was moments like this that eventually inspired Larry to make a change. After a few months of sobriety, part-time labour work, and waiting, Larry qualified for a pension, which along with a donation from the Homeless Foundation, gave him enough money to rent a one-bedroom apartment in one of the Drop-In Centre’s residential buildings in downtown Calgary.


Larry is now retired, and living happily off of his pension. He has reconnected with his children and his mother, and has planned trips to visit them all in the next few months. Larry has also recently become a great-grandfather, something he’d previously never thought he’d survive to become, “I found myself asking, ‘What did I do? Go pick on someone else for a change!’” he says, “Now, I’m getting older, and I realize life, it’s just, no one’s picking on you, it just happens.” There’s something to be said about those who rise from the dark corners of busy metropolises – it’s difficult to conquer addiction and struggle the way Larry has. He has a strong spirit about him – an unwavering one at that – and he displays more optimism than some people I know who have consistently maintained a high quality of life. Larry’s story is a tale of triumph, and even though it’s not a glamorous one, it’s a story he’s proud of, “I’ve now accomplished something with my life,” he says smiling. “All the money and success in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t feel you’ve accomplished something.”


Your day job leaves you queasy Diagnosis:

You’re an entrepreneur

Let us help you start, grow or buy your own business. Resources. Financing. Mentoring.




9030 MACLEOD TRAIL SOUTH 403-253-1101

LOVE THIS CITY From pliés to major ballets, Alberta Ballet’s Yukichi Hattori shows us the true meaning of drive – a story that’s sure to keep you on your toes.




11 AVE SW a. b.

5 ST SW c.






While we often favour the hustle and bustle of downtown life, the truth is Calgary’s coolness extends far beyond the core. Each issue we’ll bring you our favourite places to eat, sweat, shop, and explore in different pockets of the city. words by Lauren Steeves


NEIGHBOURHOOD GEMS: design d istrict

a. LAST BEST BREWING / 607 11 Ave SW Last Best Brewing & Distilling may be a newer brewpub in Calgary, but it was established by Bearhill Brewing, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced brewing groups in Alberta. This brewpub offers a distinct twist on beer classics like IPAS, lagers, and ales, but also leaves room to play with its experimental beers like its Caramel Latte Beer. Last Best is the perfect spot for a Saturday night round, or even a mid-week lunch – but remember if you go, you might not make it back to to the office on time, considering the lengthy list of delicious brews and menu of classic comfort food like the Last Best fish and chips. #sorrynotsorry

b. A VINTAGE AFFAIR / 638 11 Ave SW Entering A Vintage Affair is like stepping into another time – one that is colourful, elaborate, and just down right fabulous. This boutique has become a haven for those seeking authentic vintage fashion, collectibles, and furniture in YYC. Here you can expect to find exquisite garments and accessories from the 1920s all the way up to the 1970s for both men and women. So whether you are hunting for a flapper dress from the roaring 20s, an embroidered handbag from the 50s, or you’re in search of the perfect Don Draper-esque suit, A Vintage Affair will surely have you looking like a fashionable blast from the past.

c. RE:GRUB BURGER BAR / 625 11 Avenue SW Brace yourself, because once you eat at Re:Grub you’ll become a regular at this boutique burger joint. This oneof-a-kind burger bar puts fast food to shame by creating and serving burgers that are made from scratch using fresh ingredients that are locally and ethically sourced whenever possible, making you feel a little less guilty about your new obsession. Try the Smoke N’ Fire burger: a combination of smoky potato threads, jalapeno jack cheese, tomato, pickled habanero, and spicy aioli – this guy is hot, so we recommend grabbing one of Re:Grub’s innovative milkshakes to wash it down. With a killer selection of food, and more importantly, beer, Re:Grub has already become a neighbourhood staple.

d. BRÛLÉE PATTISSERIE / 722 11 Ave SW (lower level) At Brûlée Pattisserie the desserts taste just as amazing as they look, and take it from us, its treats are works of art. This patisserie is dedicated to creating fresh and delicious desserts, making everything from scratch using only the finest ingredients. While Brûlée specializes in cakes, it also serves top-notch cookies, brownies, tarts, tortes, and breakfast baking. Brûlée also offers custom ordering, making it the perfect choice for any special occasion. The bakery has coined the expression ‘We bake joy into every bite’ – rest assured, we’re buying what Brûlée is selling.

e. THE COOKBOOK CO. / 722 11 Ave SW Try and think of something culinary-related that The Cookbook Co. doesn’t already do and we’ll be impressed. This business sells specialty kitchen and food products, offers catering services, and even provides cooking classes. The Cookbook Co. sells all those hard-to-find ingredients that you scour Safeway shelves for and often come up empty-handed. The Cookbook Co. also houses some of the freshest cheeses and herbs in the city making it the ultimate destination for any foodie. To keep your culinary skills on point, take one of its cooking classes offered almost every night of the week. Learn how to hand-make stuffed pastas, marvelous macarons, and classics like Pad Thai – that’s got us saying bon appetit.

f. KIT INTERIOR OBJECTS / 725 11 Ave SW Kit Interior Objects helps puts the ‘Design’ in Design District. Kit is known for its authentic, cool, and modern furniture and accessories – think clean lines, sleek design, and a mix of both art and practicality. From tables to sofas, to pendant lamps and tableware – Kit has it all. This business provides YYC with pieces that would only otherwise be found in Denmark, the world’s capital for furniture and design. Thanks to Kit, you don’t have to travel far to make your space look chic and make your house guests extremely, extremely, envious.



Meet your Neighbour

Catching up with Alex Clarke words by Lauren Steeves / photo by Hanna McLean

When one thinks about Calgary’s Design District, thoughts of chic galleries and trendy watering holes come to mind. One of the last things you’d expect to find is an urban sneaker boutique – but thanks to Alexander Clarke, the creator of Lexington Ave Culture Spot, that’s all about to change. This lifestyle store is inconspicuously tucked into 11th Ave between the contemporary burger bar Re:Grub and brewpub Last Best, but the store has developed its own following in YYC through the use of social media, and it’s emerging as a go-to shop for those looking for a pair of pumped up kicks. Clarke continues to push the boundaries by molding his business around the culture and happenings of Calgary. Every part of the store has a touch of local love, from the music blaring from the speakers, the clothing on the hangers, to the art displayed on the walls. Lexington Ave Culture Spot may be a relatively new retailer, but Clarke’s understanding and appreciation for our city is something he’s always felt. Why did you choose to open a sneaker store? “I’ve always been into sneakers since I was young. It definitely was always a dream to own a sneaker store, but I didn’t know if I could do it or not. Then I actually met Albert Myles, the store manager, and we just started talking about it. I asked him if he’d be interested in coming in with me if I started this, and he was down. I sold my house, took all the equity I had and just bought sneakers. I sold my truck at the time too, and I did what I needed to do to make it happen.” What’s the story behind the name? “I had an idea for the store to be street themed, but I didn’t know a name. I put a contest up online, and I didn’t even tell anyone about the street theme. This guy got back to me with Lexington Ave, but you can’t incorporate Lexington Ave because it’s a street name. I added ‘Culture Spot’ because I thought it sounded cool, but you know hip-hop culture, sneaker culture, art – I just thought it was the culture spot.” How do you find such rare sneakers? “People come in here all the time selling sneakers. I would also buy them off eBay. I’ve gotten lucky though because once I became known as the buyer in town, people would call me or have their friends call me and say, ‘This guy’s got 70 pairs he wants to sell,’ and then I would go look at them and buy them.” Why did you choose to put local art up in the store? “When we moved in here I noticed it was kind of the art district, there were galleries everywhere. I figured I knew a lot of artists already, so why not throw up their work in the store and see if it sells? After that we started selling a lot, and you can make good money on an art piece. For the most part, the artists have been coming to us. Some artists, I

see their work while I’m out. For instance, this artist was featured at a friend’s house and the girl who painted the entire store is actually the girlfriend of a friend of mine. I honestly just took a path and everything has just fallen in line.” You’re a hip hop musician and music is a big part of your life, how do you tie that into the store? “It seems like all of my friends make music. All of us guys that work here actually bought a house, turned it into a studio, and music’s been coming out of it. I love when people come in here and I can play them new tracks. I don’t know how I became this figure, where people are like ‘I really want you to hear my stuff,’ but that’s cool because I like listening. We’ve also had live battles in the store where we move all the racks and have crazy battles. I just want to be that cool thing in the community. I would hear about things on the radio when I was a kid but they were never in Calgary, they were always in Toronto – I want to give Calgary that chance.” What drives you and your business? “To be the best. I like that everyone talks about our business. We don’t really promote ourselves, we just use social media, so most of our promotion comes from word of mouth. People are shocked, they come in here saying, ‘This is in Calgary?’ and I hate that. Why are we (Calgary) viewed like that? It doesn’t make sense. I want to change that – that viewpoint. I’ve also worked so many jobs and have seen how so many businesses are run, so I just took all the stuff I really liked out of those businesses and made it my own. For instance, we offer cookies here on the table now because one time I went for Lasik (eye surgery) and it had cookies. I thought that was the best. So now we have coffee and cookies – our cookie jar has become famous.” How has the city and community shaped your business? “The community has helped us by buying stuff and just by talking about us. It’s crazy to hear other stores talk about us and come up to us and say ‘Everyone talks about your store.’ That’s the best thing I could ever hear. Everyone is really good to me. Less 17 let us go in and check out the Yeezy sneaker before it even dropped and do a review on it. They let us drop the review on the Friday and the shoe didn’t even come in until Saturday. Little touches like that make a huge difference.” What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur hoping to make it in YYC? “Make sure it’s something you love – that’s how I feel. People make money all the time off stuff they don’t love. I could make millions off of selling mattresses, but I would hate that. I want a business that I love. This, to me, doesn’t feel like work at all.”


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On Pointe

How Yukichi Hattori is redefining ballet

words by Lauren Steeves, photos by Krystal Boyd


ou only need to see Alberta Ballet’s Yukichi Hattori dance once to recognize his tremendous talent, feel his passion, and become engulfed in his craft. Ballet requires hardcore dedication, persistence, and resilience. One has to be willing to commit mentally and physically for months to deliver a performance that resonates with an audience, and momentarily makes them feel some sort of emotion. Hattori truly dances with conviction, making it impossible for audiences to walk away unfazed and unimpressed. But Hattori packs so much more than pliés and a pirouette, showing that his profession doesn’t define him, rather, he defines ballet – and on his own terms at that.


the days before pliés Hattori grew up in Tokyo. His grandfather a composer and his parents both actors, making Hattori the third generation to work in the performing arts. Coming from a family where art came naturally, Hattori is first to admit that he wasn’t forced into the arts, it was something he chose for himself. “I think what it is, is what art does to people, intellectually, you just start thinking a little bit different than the majority of society. I think that’s why I did not get along with any of my schoolmates – there was no other world for me to be in.” Hattori began dancing when his parents enrolled him in classical ballet classes at the age of 6. While he was originally interested in music and theatre, his parents knew he’d enjoy ballet, and it was something he would need to learn at a young age if he was going to pursue it professionally. Hattori admits there were times when he didn’t enjoy dancing and would even occasionally lie to his parents about attending his classes. However, that all changed when he was accepted into the School of Hamburg Ballet in Germany, “Once I got into the school, I realized I didn’t need the rest of the world – I had this.” During Hattori’s time in Germany he did much more than dance, he also found love. Hattori met his future wife, Galien, in 1999 when they both danced for the Hamburg Ballet. Things started getting serious between the two of them, and they wanted to relocate to a new place. The only problem? It was difficult to find a company with positions for both of them – enter the Alberta Ballet. In 2006, Hattori and Galien moved to Calgary and began dancing and choreographing for Canada’s third largest dance company. Today, Hattori has choreographed over five performances and is entering his tenth season with the company, “There’s lots of possibilities here. People have a more flexible mind and it helps a young artist like me really experiment. There’s room for failure too because of that. In Europe, you mess up once and there’s so many others waiting. The audience here is very open-minded, and I love them for that.” ballerino problems Dance is typically considered to be a female-driven activity, which made it difficult at times to overcome stereotypes and push the boundaries of gender roles – especially in an ultra-conservative Japanese culture. “Although Japan is part of the G8 and all that, it’s still very conservative. We grew so fast, but people still live in an old-fashioned way,” says Hattori. “Tokyo too, the fashion is super modern, but there’s still sexism and homophobia, and it’s very strong. And the religion isn’t very free – it’s this way, or you’re cast out.” “I had to hide it (dancing) in elementary school, a lot of my generation did. But nowadays it’s different.” Thankfully for Hattori, his family was totally cool with his passion, “My family are all artists, so they were all very supportive. They were happy that I was doing something I enjoyed.” Although he has overcome the stereotypes associated with being a male ballerino and society is becoming more accepting, Hattori still struggles with other issues like being underappreciated both inside and outside of the industry, “I think each culture has its own idea of what a dancer is. We always have to either achieve to match that, or we have to try and sell ourselves so that our image actually gets better,” says Hattori. “In Europe, you are just as appreciated as the army. You are doing society a service, and they are very appreciative. But then you come here and you say, ‘I’m a dancer,’ and it’s like, ‘Oh, but what’s your real job?’” Hattori also gets frustrated when people value dancers with university degrees over those that don’t have one. He explains that just 52 | BRANDED

because some dancers don’t have degrees, it doesn’t make them less educated, “We have to know anatomy – we know so much more about the body than physicians do. You have to know music, composers and novels,” says Hattori. “Let’s say you are doing Hamlet – you’ve got to know what the story’s about and what the choreographer’s version is, and you adapt your character and make it your own. It takes a tremendous amount of academic education really.” the black swan effect Ballet is beautiful to watch on stage, but everybody is curious as to what goes on once the curtain drops – is that whole Black Swan situation a reality? Hattori assures me that although ballet does take a physical and mental toll, it’s not nearly as dramatic as the movie makes it out to be. The mental toll ballet takes on him is pretty obvious – he “can’t stop thinking about it, ever.” But in terms of physicality, Hattori says the toll is real, “A lot of my teachers have plastic hips because of their dedication to the craft.” As for competition, Hattori has never seen the Black Swan paranoia side of it either. “You hit a certain point, where you build a healthy competitive relationship with one another. Usually the great dancers I encounter are the nicest people – they’re harsh about laziness and complacency, but never to people who work hard and appreciate the craft.” What separates the good dancers from the great? Hattori says that’s all subjective. “Some people might think that it’s great that someone can do 20 turns and do eight feet jumps. Some people might find it amazing that you can do crazy isolation moves. I think it’s all about awareness of your body. If you can move your body in full awareness, every inch of your body, then that makes you a great dancer for sure.” staying on pointe Committing to ballet requires some serious dedication, but it definitely has its perks too. One of Hattori’s favourites is the intense workout he gets from dancing all day. He likes ballet not so much for the health aspect, but more because he can eat whatever he wants. Hattori confesses that he doesn’t follow a strict diet at all, “Just dance six hours a day and you won’t need a diet plan.” In fact, he loves to chow down on Ichiban noodles, not something you would guess a classical dancer reaches for after practice. Like any other profession, it’s just as important to play as hard as you work. As graceful a dancer that Hattori is, he also has a side that is very tongue-in-cheek. For example, his favourite movie is Mad Max: Fury Road, and he admits to being a “lippy brat” as a child. When asked what motivates him to keep going, the first thing that comes to his mind is the beer after the show. But in all seriousness – what drives this seriously kick-ass ballerino? “The feeling you have for working together. It’s always the feeling of community that you get. Every time I choreograph, I’m so touched by the communication we have with the dancers in the studio and I’m so happy. Then the communication that I have with the audience while the piece is going on – that connection we build through the performance is definitely my drive.” Hattori may be uncertain of what his future holds, but if we’ve learned anything from this fierce ballerino, it’s that he’s bound to keep us on our toes.

The communication that I have with the audience while the piece is going on – that connection we build through the performance is definitely my drive.



Cutting it Old School words by Hanna McLean, photos by Allison Seto, styling by Modern Menswear, shot on location at Cannibale

There’s something intrinsically comforting about an old school barbershop: the smell of musky aftershave, the rich leather on the chairs, the thick marble counters, the shine of the steel razors, and most importantly, the barber himself.


Barbering is one of the oldest confirmed professions still in existence. Hair and grooming have been an important social and religious issue throughout the history of mankind. Many ancient superstitions revolved around hair. In early Paleolithic societies priests cut hair at religious ceremonies to renew energies and remove evil spirits. From the Stone Age to the time of the Ancient Egyptians, barbers were some of the most highly respected individuals in any given community. For the Ancient Romans, the location of barbering became an extremely important fixture in the community. It was during this time that the barber found his place – his shop. From there the location became a pivotal part of the community, a gathering place, a place of education, and most importantly, a place of conversation. In the past barbers served as medicine men; they performed surgeries, pulled teeth, performed bloodletting, and even baptized children. From wig making in the eighteenth century until the French Revolution sent nobility 56 | BRANDED

tumbling, to relatively recent struggles like in the 80s when ‘long hair killed the barber’ – the story behind this profession is as extensive as it is rich. The barber’s role has evolved over the centuries based on religious, political, and economic factors, it has persisted and is still a widely practiced career in modern day. Today, the neighbourhood barber plays a role that is quite different from the barber in history, but that doesn’t mean the profession is any less important.

The Art of Barbering

It seems simple in theory: walk in, sit down, shave and a haircut, pay, and you’re gone. In reality, the act of going to a traditional barber is more than an errand to tick off a to-do list. There is a certain romance that surrounds this profession. At its most basic level, barbering is an art form. John Radu has been barbering for 20 years, and he’s been working at the Cannibale barbershop since its opening in the spring of 2015. He knows what quality means when it

comes to barbering. “A good haircut will make or break your day,” says Radu. “You’re only as good as your last haircut.” So what separates a decent barber from an amazing one? It’s a balance of experience and passion, “Barbering is one of those things where you have to practice it,” says Radu. “You get comfortable and you understand what certain guards and blade sizes do. You understand the shape of the head, what works, what doesn’t work.” A well-versed barber offers style advice to make sure they execute the best haircut possible, as opposed to simply giving their client ‘the usual’, or a haircut by the numbers. Passion and barbering go hand in hand because customers are essentially walking advertisements for their barber, “For me, it’s my business, so every head that walks by, I want to make sure it’s the best damn haircut they’ve had,” says Radu. And that’s exactly how Michael Campbell, owner of Chin Whiskey Shearing & Shaving Co., feels as well, “You don’t just

come into barbering. You’re a barber because you were introduced to it in a unique way, and it’s kind of in you at an early age,” says Campbell, who has been cutting hair for 14 years. “The difference is that you have more passion about it, and you really take pride in what you do, opposed to just coming into it and saying, ‘I want to do it because it’s cool’.” Campbell says proper training allows a seasoned barber to choose from a variety of methods to express the client’s individuality while providing a sharp haircut at the same time, “There’s so many techniques in barbering, from just straight scissor work, scissor finger work, scissor over comb, clipper over comb – I guess over the years you just visualize the head shape and you can kind of attack it.” If you walk into a chain barbershop, you may end up waiting around for a chair to open up, then receive an Average Joe haircut,

and finally end up being rushed out because the next customer is waiting. Alternatively, by making an appointment at an establishment that practices traditional barbering, you are making a commitment for 45-60 minute uninterrupted quality haircut, beard trim, or

brings us back to the age-old argument of ‘quantity vs. quality’ – and traditional barbers always choose the latter. “There are people that say you don’t make any money barbering, people have told me that – that it’s hard to make a living. But if you work hard and you’re passionate about what you do, you can make a great living doing what I do. There’s a misconception about that,” says Campbell. Cody Willis has been to various barbers in Calgary over the past 12 years, that is, until he came across Cannibale when it opened. Willis hasn’t received anything less than stellar haircuts since, but before connecting with Radu, he had some unfortunate barbering experiences that left him weary of the quality and technique of some barbers, “I had this experience once where I went to this place, they didn’t really ask what I wanted, and they took like half an inch off of

You can see when a guy walks out with a great haircut. They stand up straight; they have this sort of – almost like a royalty walk. That says a lot about a good haircut. shave. Of course, these services run for more than a typical quick-chop chain barbershop would charge, but the service you receive is undoubtedly worth the price. The comparison of these two different barbering techniques



my hairline and my forehead to ‘line it up’. I ended up having a five o’clock shadow on my forehead for two weeks. I was so pissed off,” says Willis. As a barbershop veteran of sorts, Willis knows that going to the barber is something you have to want to do; otherwise it feels like a chore, “You have to be into it because it’s a bit of a process. You have to want to go and engage and have a relationship with your barber,” says Willis. “Getting a haircut is not always an enjoyable experience – that’s why kids are usually mortified of it. You can turn it into something that’s enjoyable. It’s kind of a bit of relief from everyday life.” “It’s going to be way better than your $10 haircut at Ultracuts,” says Willis. The atmosphere in their shops along with the techniques Radu and Campbell use often change the way men feel about getting

Once you create the really strong culture, it doesn’t matter if you come get a haircut here, or go to one of the other barbershops, as long as you know that there’s a lot of room for everyone to be respected.

a haircut, and sometimes it changes how they feel about themselves too, “You can see when a guy walks out with a great haircut. They stand up straight; they have this sort of – almost like a royalty walk. That says a lot about a good haircut,” says Radu.

Barbershop Revival and YYC

Over the past few years, it seems that barbering culture has gone through a revival of sorts and its been picking up speed in markets where it hasn’t necessarily experienced demand before – like Calgary, “It’s interesting to see how its just all of a sudden come back, guys want to feel like their grandparents felt back in their shops,” says Radu. With this resurgence comes the ‘trendsters’ – the people who may try something just to say they’ve done it and not solely for the love of the experience and the intention of long-term commitment, “We do get the hipsters – it’s all about the hipster right now – everybody wants that cool haircut,” says Radu. Barbering culture in YYC is undoubtedly

becoming stronger, but Radu says it has some growing up to do in terms of preparing barbers and training them to be shop-ready, “Unfortunately some barbers, well, they call themselves barbers – they come out of hair school and they start cutting hair, and they’re doing some barbering yes, but they may only know a fraction of the necessary skill set.” Willis agrees that there are a lot of barbers trying to do traditional barbering, and from his experience, more often than not, it’s not always up to par, “It can be difficult I think, to find somebody that’s good, that knows what they’re doing, someone who’s more traditional about it.” Willis has been to many shops in the city and is always on the lookout for traditional barbering spots. He says that he’s seen the culture fluctuate over the years, “Whenever something’s trendy you always get someone that jumps on the bandwagon, and you get this imitation,” says Willis. “Barbering sort of ‘became cool’ somehow somewhere.” There are quite a few chain barbershops in Calgary, making the competition for the ‘cheapest haircut’ kind of cutthroat among that level of barbering, “Once you create the really strong culture, it doesn’t matter if you come get a haircut here, or go to one of the other barbershops, as long you know that there’s a lot of room for everyone to be respected. You can charge more because you no longer have to be the cheapest haircut,” says Radu. Radu has faith that the Calgary barbering scene will grow, and when it does, people will think about the profession in a more critical way, “I think barbers do deserve more credit because it’s a pretty great industry that’s been put in the forefront now, and it’s becoming huge,” says Radu. “The stronger a culture becomes in a city, the more respected it becomes.”

Shaping The Male Identity

Even though female customers are welcome to hop into the chair at most places, the barbershop plays a key role particularily in shaping the male identity. This is rooted deep in history. In Ancient Rome, getting your first shave at the local barber shop served as a symbol of reaching manhood. The daily ritual of heading to the barbers’ for a shave was considered as important as attending the bath house because of the social connectivity involved. Barber chairs are still seen as a symbol of masculinity, so it only makes sense that a trip to the shop with one’s father or grandfather serves as a ‘coming of age’ experience for the younger generation of gents – one that comes with uncensored discussion, unpredictable BRANDED | 59

characters, and sometimes if they’re really lucky, a shabby Playboy Magazine to gawk at. Radu still sees this classic tradition occurring, “I love seeing kids because you can see it’s a really proud moment – for the father too, I think. It’s a bonding thing.” Similar to a mother taking her daughter to pick out a prom dress, trips to the barbershop are an important aspect of male-to-male bonding within the family dynamic. Being in the shop environment allows men to converse and bond without the game blasting on TV, beers spilling from their cups, or their significant others chiming in during their conversations, “It’s more intimate. It enables guys to open up a little bit more, there’s definitely a bond between guys,” says Radu. The barbershop gives men the opportunity to take a break from their daily routines, “Now you’re finding that guys really do want to go back to barber shops, they want


to be in an environment where it’s definitely more masculine,” says Radu. It’s not just the patrons that receive advice and education within the shop, Campbell notes that he also gets a lot of guidance from his clients, “I’ve talked to a lot of my customers, and they give you guidance or information, and they become your friends, almost like family. And they’re dedicated to you, which is a good feeling.” Heading to a traditional barbershop is once again becoming a ritual, or for some like Willis, it’s always been one. The idea that men can go there to inconspicuously take care of themselves, without making a big deal about it is becoming more and more appealing. Radu says trained barbers are intuitive of their clients’ wants and needs, “They do want change, they just may not ask for it. Men are creatures of comfort.” Due to preferences in style, as well as changes in economical fabrics over time, this

tradition has been taken for granted at times, temporarily forgotten, or simply stopped being a cultural necessity for men like it was in eras such as the nineteenth century, “Unfortunately it did slide away for so long, and I think as a guy, there’s that appealing factor of this classic ‘guys want to feel like guys’,” says Radu. “You see the younger generation realizing that the old was cool in a way because they had that real-man-verymasculine thing to it. It lost that traditional factor, but it’s picking up.” The revival of old school barbering has brought back with it not only great haircuts, but also the celebrated social traditions that come along with it. Judging by the way classic barbering is going, it’s safe to say there will be well-groomed gentlemen walking the streets of Calgary for quite a while yet.


GAME CHANGERS GALA Every year we conduct an open nomination poll to find out who is doing something truly inspiring and different in YYC. In other words, we’re on the hunt for those who are doing something game changing. From those nominations we select a handful of peeps who have the vision to create, take the initiative to build, and have made sacrifices in their pursuit to raise the bar and do something great. Anyone can be a game changer in any industry – not just an entrepreneur. We’re celebrating inspiring people, the challenges they have overcome, and the success they have brought to our city. Bringing together Calgary’s movers, makers, do-ers, dreamers, and risk takers on Thursday, December 3rd. This is one party you don’t want to miss.







TASTING We jumped the line and got behind the baristas to speak to some coffee roasting pros about their passion for quality and the local coffee culture in our city.



shot at Phil & Sebastian BRANDED | 63

TREAT YO’SELF You could be headed to a classy dinner party, a tacky holiday party, a girls night in, or simply your grandmother’s house. It doesn’t matter what type of party you’re going to, if you’re in YYC there’s bound to be an amazing selection to treats to choose from. Calgary has a plethora of bakeries, patisseries, shops, and market stands that provide us with incredible selections during the holidays. The people behind these businesses create enough delectable treats to keep your festive plates piled high all year long; so go on, take a bite – just make sure you save us some.



‘ho’ straws Dixie and Twine

assorted candies The Sugar Cube

pumpkin pie Pie Cloud

raspberry almond tart Bite Groceteria


chocolate sea salt caramel popcorn Sugar Creek Gourmet Popcorn

chocolate gelato sammies Fiasco Gelato

assorted doughnuts Jelly Modern Doughnuts


Oly Studio, “Tristan” candlesticks Modern Duke

chai bourbon eggnog, raspberry candy cane, hazelnut chocolate, earl blue grey crème brûlée Burnt to Order

orange campari layer sponge with candied peel Sidewalk Citizen

greenery Blue Hydrangea Floral Boutique

cranberry apple basket weave pies Alforno Bakery and Café


praline cake Manuel Latruwe

Astier de Villatte, gold titanium cutlery Astier de Villatte, “Cresus” dinner plate Amanda Hamilton, “Spun in Bronze” white linen napkin Modern Duke BRANDED | 67

floral arrangement Blue Hydrangea Floral Boutique

fruit stollen Bite Groceteria

yule log with meringue mushrooms Brûlée Patisserie

NANA’S FESTIVE PARTY pumpkin pie Pie Cloud assorted cookies Cookie Occasion

assorted candies The Sugar Cube


‘be merry’ cake topper Dixie and Twine

chocolate and vanilla cupcakes Crave Cookies and Cupcakes


vanilla macarons Ollia

paris brest Yann Haute Patisserie

custom ombré chocolate cake Crave Cookies and Cupcakes



words by Caitlin Best

photos by Krystal Boyd

Erin Vrba Rises To The Top

Calgary’s own Cake Boss shares her flour-dusted philosophy on baking bread, the importance of keeping it simple, and where she finds inspiration.

more than macaroons On this particular fall morning Chef Erin Vrba’s bubbly personality is in full-effect. Despite her hectic schedule, she’s all-smiles when she talks about her job, “When are they going to realize they pay me to bake cookies?” ‘They’ refers to the Creative Restaurants Group that currently owns and operates Parc Café and Brasserie, Posto Pizzeria and Bar, Bonterra Trattoria, Scopa, and Cibo. Vrba is the groups’ Corporate Pastry Chef and she oversees everything that is kneaded, baked, and buttered at these locations. Finishing her train of thought, she’s quick to say, “But seriously, it’s more than just macaroons and tiramisu.” So how did she find herself in this role? “Looking back now, the funny thing is that I went to school for cooking, but every position I was put into was for baking and pastry. At a certain point in life you’re like ‘Ok I get it!’ I know what I’m supposed to be doing.” For Vrba, the climb from junior baker to boss lady was a sweet but winding path that started back in high school. When she was feeling the pressure to pick a career, one of her teacher’s took the time to listen and put her in touch with Chef Judy Wood – a chef with an extensive background in pastry. Right from the beginning, the idea of working in a kitchen seemed like just the right fit, “I thought it was the best drug ever. The whole environment of the kitchen is sexy and dangerous,” says Vrba. “There’s this real adrenaline rush and I think if you ask most chefs, that’s what keeps them coming back.” Thinking back to her first real kitchen mishap is a little less sexy. “When I was catering – and this will stick out in my brain forever – I was preparing

a couple’s crème brûlée and I remember thinking, ‘This isn’t caramelizing properly’.” As it turns out, she had used salt instead of sugar, “Thank god they both worked in the industry. They were really nice about it and consoled me by saying, ‘Every time we eat crème brûlée, we’ll think of you’.” goodbye crème brûlée Vrba worked with Chef Wood for another year and a half before attending the professional cooking program at SAIT. After graduation, a stroke of good luck helped land her a position at the River Café as a baker, “This was a solid opportunity to learn from some incredibly talented people. The food philosophy and location was incredible. It was a culture where everyone shared the same values, which is such a rare thing.” The River Café is also where Vrba found her passion for baking bread, learning to use everything from wild rice to mashed potatoes, “River Café is where I finally fell in love with bread and it took me a long time to do so. Bread is this living organism. If you’re having a bad day, your bread is having a bad day. It needs to be nurtured and loved, otherwise it won’t react the way you want it to.” Taking her love of bread with her, she soon found herself in the role of pastry chef at Bonterra. This proved to be a challenging position that left her with a unique philosophy on how pastry chefs fit into the grand scheme of the kitchen dynamic. “I had a chance to help with prepping and line cooking – all these things I had gone to school for,” she says, “This has really helped me teach my team not to separate themselves from the kitchen because


it’s so important to have the ability to read a bill or jump in when you’re needed. We’re all a team, we’re all in this together.” At this stage in her career, Vrba really started to come into her own, but she’ll be the first to say those were some of the hardest years she’s spent in the kitchen, “There were definitely those days where I uttered the words ‘Tiramisu is ruining my life!’ and it sounds hilarious now, but at the time, you’re so tired and you just want to go home.” Bonterra may have felt daunting at the time, but it wasn’t until she took on the responsibilities at Cibo’s in-house bakery in 2012 that things really came into perspective for her, “That was the first time I had to be in charge of other people and holy crap – all my recipes actually had to be on a computer – not just handwritten in a book with a picture and a list of ingredients, with no methods.” A lunch rush at Bonterra generally meant 20 pizzas – but a Friday night at Cibo meant 550 covers. That means making dough for roughly 375 pizzas – and even still, running out at some point during the service.

is the fuel to my fire.” Chatting with Vrba, it is clear that for such a young chef, she’s already wise beyond her years. Despite her steady trajectory, she hasn’t let it go to her head, “The attitude I really try to avoid is the negativity,” she explains. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and if you’re not happy with something then you need to make that change. If something isn’t working find a solution and continue evolving.” Like her philosophy in the kitchen, her approach to food trends is equally laid-back and totally unpretentious, “It doesn’t have to have rose water in it. Have food be what it is.” As someone who’s dedicated her career to pastry, you might expect her to name Paris as her favourite inspiration, but inspiration comes from closer to home – Seattle’s Pike Place Market is what she calls her ‘happy place’. On a recent trip to San Francisco she tried what she considered to be “the best coconut cream tart” at Tartine Bakery; a place that values good simple honest food and a ‘come as you are’ approach, similar to her own. “I like my classics,” she says. Vrba admits she would gladly choose chocolate chip cookies over macaroons any day. As the sound of pots and pans pick up in the back of Parc, it seems to be a signal to Vrba that it’s time for her to return to the kitchen. She never knows what the day will bring; it could be a day of experimenting with puffed wild rice or incorporating farm-fresh plums into a pie recipe. Whatever it is, you know it’s going to taste delicious when it comes out of her oven.

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and if you’re not happy with something then you need to make that change.”

keep it simple Now responsible for five of the Creative Restaurant Groups’ brands, a typical day for the corporate pastry chef is a busy one that Vrba describes as, “Heavily reliant on the talented people in the pastry department.” “Every day is different, but it’s become a welloiled machine and everybody knows their place to keep things running smoothly.” To her, the environment of constant evolution and change is what makes it all worthwhile, “Day-to-day interaction



roasted white chocolate panna cotta ingredients 3 sheets unflavoured gelatin 2 cups heaven cream 2 tablespoons brown sugar 85g (3 ounces) roasted white chocolate 6 6-ounce bowls or ramequins method In a small bowl, submerge gelatin sheets in cold water and allow to soak for one to two minutes until softened. Drain the water and reserve the softened sheets to the side. In a medium saucepan bring cream and sugar to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and stir in softened gelatin sheets followed by the roasted white chocolate (head to with more deets on how to roast your choco). Divide the mixture among six, 6-ounce bowls or ramequins and cool to room temperature. Cover ramequins and chill for least four hours or overnight.



$50K OFF!






on the grind words by Katie Tetz • photos by Megan Rutkowski

rosso coffee roasters 76 | BRANDED

the first cup The first time Jessica McCarrel tried coffee she was repulsed. The beautiful aroma that filled her childhood home was a façade. By the time she was in post-secondary, the ‘shit-coffee’ that her school’s cafeteria served was just a way for her to stay awake. Similarly, the first time Phil Robertson of Phil & Sebastian ordered a cup of coffee, it wasn’t any better. He just needed a way to stay focused in his engineering classes, “It tasted awful, but it worked,” says Robertson. And when Cole Torode of ROSSO was 16, he just wanted to find out what all of the fuss was about at Starbucks. So he ordered a vanilla latte. “I hated it,” says Torode. Most of us have come a long way since our first sip. We no longer order a triple chocolate frappuccino and call it a coffee. Now, it’s become much more about connecting with each other than getting our caffeine fix. When someone says to you, “Let’s grab a coffee this weekend,” you know this means more than the words themselves; it means you’re going to connect, catch up, or gossip about last weekend. McCarrel’s cafe, Kaffee Klatsch, literally translates to ‘coffee’ and ‘gossip’. But that doesn’t mean the quality of what we’re drinking doesn’t matter – it actually matters a whole lot, especially to these roasters and baristas. This is the story of the individuals at the helm of coffee culture in our city. Whether they forged the path or are just getting started, they’re ensuring that we no longer settle for ‘shit-coffee’ while we send emails or get our gossip on. Jeremy Ho of Monogram explains that these days, “People’s standards are higher about what they put in their mouth.” That’s what she said. where them good cups of coffee at? Pre-Beltliner, McCarrel was always on the hunt for good coffee. “Straight up, I didn’t like anything that anyone made,” says McCarrel.

A few more years back in time, Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb, two engineering lab buddies, were also lamenting the fact that good coffee was so hard to find. Eventually, rather than just loving good coffee and complaining about having no where to get it, the two of them decided to step up and create such a place. Lech Wojakowski, owner of The Roasterie, shared the same problem: a love of good coffee but no where to get it, and so began his 30-year journey. His shop in Kensington was the first of its kind, bringing roasting to a street front cafe. It was the first time a lot of people had tried something other than Maxwell House or Nabob, “People were curious and in a very short time, we had a line up out the door.” Simply put, it was about noticing that there was something missing in our city, and then doing something about it. why coffee? So it’s clear that we needed better coffee, but how does one decide to turn this quest into a career? “I guess the sexy answer would be, I don’t even know what I would do without this,” laughs Ho. Four years ago, two of the three Monogram boys were working at Phil & Sebastian, “I found myself researching coffee in my spare time. I was giving so many hours to work, and barely any to university,” says Ho. Terrible student – but an amazing barista. McCarrel’s career choice was a process of elimination. “I have like, two interests: the visual arts, and coffee.” For Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb, their partnership was one of serendipity. After a mix up with his school registration, Robertson found himself with a brand new group of students in year two of engineering. Annoyed that he was separated from the peers that he had already formed relationships with, he needed a new lab partner, and Sztabyb happened to be stand-

“It’s become much more about connecting with each other than getting our caffeine fix.”


ing beside him. The rest is history. Robertson tells me about how more than once the university turned the lights out on them in a lab, “Right away we were fairly inseparable.” They never stopped working until their projects were perfect. It’s this very same standard of excellence that drives their business today. Unlike the others, Russ and Chris Prefontaine – better known as The Fratello Brothers – have a long history with coffee that dates back to the 70s. Their father, along with Wojakowski, were the first two pioneers of coffee in Calgary. Their businesses may be separate, but their goal was common - to create a community around independent coffee. Wojakowski, about to celebrate The Roasterie’s 30th anniversary, tells me that he knew there was a lot of opportunity in coffee, but never thought he would do it for 30 years. That’s the thing about finding the right career, whether you’re born into it or you stumble upon it, the passion takes over, “To me it was never work ... it was just a really good ride.” As I sipped on a latte at Corbeaux, the Prefontaine brothers reminisced about their long caffeinated history, “It’s literally the only job I’ve ever had,” says Chris Prefontaine. “I’ve never thought that we wouldn’t do this.” Looks like Fratello takes the cake for sexiest answer. coffee 101 Why are more people buying custom roasted coffee instead of grabbing a Starbucks? If you ask these pros what goes into a quality cup of coffee, you’re going to be there awhile. “It’s not ever one thing,” explains Robertson, “It’s about all the links in the chain. That’s where you achieve quality.” A little coffee 101 for you: those links he’s talking about are origin, roasting, and brewing, “You need to get all three of those 78 | BRANDED

right to achieve excellence.” Even if consumers don’t understand all of the chemistry behind a good cup of coffee, all of these roasters spoke to the fact that they have a lot of confidence in people’s ability to taste the difference. “Environment, service, product. It has to all come together,” says Chris Prefontaine. “When you can hit it all, you’ve got something interesting,” Russ Prefontaine adds, “A good cafe should be helping educate the consumer on discovering different flavours.” Chances are what you’re going to discover is the passion and expertise going into the coffee at these cafes is worth the trip. more than a flavour The quality of the coffee and the bean itself goes without saying, but the community of coffee culture in Calgary is just as important, “We heavily focus on service and creating a warm environment,” says Ho. “It’s assumed it’s going to be good coffee – we don’t have to talk about that.” Whether it’s the 75-year-old lady who has been a regular since day one, or one of their frequent canine visitors, when these coffee fanatics start talking about their community, that’s when they really light up. All the coffee connoisseurs spoke to the joy of getting to know their regulars and watching their lives grow. From dates, to newlyweds, to babies and business, “It’s great feeling like we’re a part of that,” says Jessie Attrell of Rosso. Even though they’re all serving the same beverage, you don’t get a sense of tense competition. Wojakowski says the discussions between roasters at industry conferences are always about the newest bean or innovation, “It’s always this happy group of people together.” They simply inspire one another to raise the bar. “We want to pull from the Tim Hortons and the Starbucks, not each other,” says Torode, “The more vanilla lattes we can transition the better.”

the roasterie

monogram coffee

corbeaux cafe

phil & sebsastian

kaffee klatsch

For Rosso, it’s saying no to vanilla lattes. But in all seriousness, they have the same challenges as any small business running on passion. “You have this idea of where you want to take your business,” explains Robertson. “But you need to have the patience to let it be realized. I always have higher expectations than we ever achieve. I always want it to be better, whatever it is.” And of course, like in business and in life, the people you surround yourself with are key. “The hardest variable to control in all of this is people,” explains Chris Prefontaine. “There are so many hands that have touched every step of the process. What is critically important is that you align yourself from start to finish with people that give a shit. That’s the key.”

bones, but when you think about the drinks and the experiences that you get, it’s so different.” It’s not to say that Starbucks is the devil, “They have done an amazing job in terms of consistency,” says Torode. Attrell adds, “People like what’s safe and they recognize a brand. But it’s worth stepping outside of the box to experience something special.” Wojakowski recalls when Starbucks started, “They brought a large scale of awareness to specialty coffee.” But it’s clear that being a part of a smaller micro world has a certain richness to it and unique opportunities for innovation. “Independent cafes should always be better. Period.” says Sztabzyb. “It shouldn’t be a question about where to go. The fact that we have to answer this question means we still have work ahead.”

starbucks vs everyone Robertson puts it this way: “How do you compare Model Milk to McDonald’s?” Ho gets me to consider the difference between going to Tim Hortons and sitting at Monogram. “They are almost like different products. Obviously they still have the same

the future It’s kind of like dating. Once you’ve tried something of high quality, Tim, Donald, and Buck just don’t do it for you anymore. At Rosso, Attrell tells me her favourite thing is seeing people’s reaction the first time they taste specialty coffee. Yes, Calgary wants


to see local thrive, but it’s the taste that’s really going to hook us. Because of these individuals’ high standards, the innovation, and creativity won’t stop anytime soon. In fact, with a research project underway at the U of C, Robertson is about to start tackling some of the big problems that the entire industry faces. (Hey, U of C – Better keep that lab open late.) Our city is evolving, and coffee plays a part in that. Ho, the Prefontaines, and Wojakowski all spoke about international influences in ‘Cafe Society’ and ‘Coffee Culture’, “We’ve experienced excellence elsewhere and we want it at home too,” says Chris Prefontaine. When I asked our original coffee pioneer what was next for him, Wojakowski didn’t hesitate, “Another 30 years.” In summary, I can tell you from experiencing the taste and getting to know the people driving this industry, the future of our coffee is in good hands.

This is not an offering for sale. An offering for sale may only be made after filing the Disclosure Documents. All renderings are approximate only and are subject to change without notice. E&OE.


THE NEXT LEVEL OF LIVING IS COMING This is a new level of sophistication and quality. World-class executive standards exemplify every detail at Arris. Perfectly positioned in the vibrant East Village, Arris is at the focal point of business and lifestyle, art and culture, dining and entertainment. It is not just a landmark home of the highest standard, but also a vibrant destination.

DATING It’s the one time of year we can be openly materialistic, so we’ve created a gift guide that has the perfect swag for him, her, or even yourself – just saying.





just a number? words by Katie Tetz

“Is he immature when you fight?” “Is he good in bed?” “He was born in the 90s?” “Early twenties is the way to go. You can mould them while they’re young.” “Does he do ‘that’ to you all the time?” These are the questions and statements I was bombarded with when it became common knowledge that I was dating someone younger than me. To address your concerns: No. Yes. Yes. Debatable. Yes. But I admit I had my fair share of concerns when I realized that my ‘baby crush’ was starting to turn into a full on ‘Oh shit I think I like him’ crush. Would this age gap be a problem? Maybe not now – but what about in the foreseeable future. Would we want different things in the next few years? I was taking “getting ahead of yourself” to a whole new level. initial concerns My greatest concern stemmed from having dated a multitude of men in the last four years who were closer to my age, or older, that seemed to hate the idea of committing to anyone or anything. It was always about sex. So naturally I became afraid that in a few months, or years, he would think to himself, “Wait a second - I’m a dude in my mid-twenties, I should be sleeping with everyone and everything.” I knew this wasn’t fair to him - I wasn’t giving him any credit. Just because he’s a handsome guy, doesn’t mean he’s going to turn into a monster. But still, I was afraid. I blame Tinder and ‘The Dating Apocalypse’ re: the newest issue of Vanity Fair.


Even though he has eased my fears and has proven to me time and time again that he’s one of the greatest human beings on earth, there are some things one needs to consider before dating someone a lot younger, or older for that matter. I have enough friends of different ages that I know it’s possible to have amazing relationships and connections with people that are both younger and older. Being young at heart, or an old soul, is a real thing. But romantic love is a little more complicated. As a girl in her late twenties, the last thing I want is to feel maternal in a relationship. Ew. Which is why I always stayed clear of men (boys) a lot younger than me. I never wanted to have to take care of a guy who didn’t have his shit together, or couldn’t handle his alcohol. I on the other hand, am allowed to drink too much tequila and need carrying home. I am fully aware of how hypocritical this sounds, but after dating for over a decade, I knew what I wanted: a strong intelligent man, who handles his alcohol, but lets me abuse half-priced wine night. He doesn’t judge me – he thinks I’m adorable. So no ‘boys’ allowed. when love takes over That was until I fell for one that I found to be more emotionally mature and intelligent than anyone else I had dated, probably ever. He was everything I had ever wanted. He was a ‘fuck yes’, the kind that I could stay up until 3 a.m. talking to. The only catch: He’s seven years younger than me. But after a few months of seriously seeing each other, it stopped crossing my mind entirely until someone would ask, “How old is he? What does he do?” Maybe that’s when you know the age gap isn’t a big deal - when you never notice it. Our connection made

me curious enough to keep seeing him, and eventually that connection far outweighed the seven-year gap. In fact, how great he is as a person outweighs the age difference even for my mother whose first reaction was naturally, “WTF are you doing?” But there’s one timeline none of us can escape— the biological clock. If you’re a girl approaching her thirties who wants babies, and your lover is in his early twenties, you might have a problem. Everyone wants different things, but how many guys do you know under 25 that are ready to be a father? That’s what I thought. Lucky for me, I’m not even sure I want kids. My boyfriend is the one who would happily give me a whole bunch of babies if that was what I wanted. Even in his early twenties, he knows he wants to be a dad someday. But let’s say I was dating someone in his early thirties who couldn’t wait to have offspring, and here I am approaching 29 still reveling in zero responsibility with a to-do list that includes everything but babies. I’d most definitely be running the other way. In case love was blinding me, I wanted to find out what other people were saying about the matter.

“But here’s the thing worth remembering, and then forgetting: heartbreak could happen whether we’re identical in age, or 20 years apart.” An expert at says that seven to nine years’ difference in either direction is doable without any major issues. This put me at ease, though I still get quite the reaction when I tell people that my boyfriend plays football – university football. decisions, decisions One afternoon during a particularly long procrastination spell, I came across Matthew Hussey on Instagram, dating columnist for Cosmopolitan and NY Times best selling author of ‘Get The Guy.’ I typed ‘age gap’ in the search bar. This is what Matthew had to say. “One school of thought is love is love, and you can’t help who you fall in love with. You have to just go with it. That’s certainly true in some cases and

there is some romanticism to that, but we also have to apply pragmatism to every situation and say, is this an unnecessary risk I’m taking at this stage...You have to be smart as well because let me tell you something: the guy won’t be smart for you.” He points out that the younger person of the two of you, girl or guy, won’t be the one to be pragmatic or realistic. Your younger counterpart is more likely to be reckless, positive, and carefree about the matter. I suppose if it’s not age, there may be some other gap or difference that might cause issues down the road. From tastes in music to crazy exes, relationships require you to jump over the odd hurdle, big and small. Far more dangerous than an age gap would be a difference in values, morals, or what you want in your life. I would way rather take the risk of dating someone younger who doesn’t yet have a career under his belt, than someone who makes bank but doesn’t have that little thing called integrity figured out. I recently read a Cosmopolitan article by Monique El Faizy who is also dating someone younger than her. But in her case, it’s a whooping 20 years. She’s calling it a, “‘Life ‘Do-Over’ with a younger man” because her first marriage, and the resulting life that she fell into, didn’t suit her. It’s like she’s reliving that part of her twenties, but this time, “I’m a better version of myself.” She’s well aware of the risks, and even mentions the ever present fear that he might leave her. But here’s the thing worth remembering, and then forgetting: heartbreak could happen whether we’re identical in age, or 20 years apart. So whether I regret it or not, I know I won’t be using the, “He’s too young” excuse to self sabotage this relationship. As he told me one night after I confessed my fears about him turning into a future fuck boy, “If we don’t work out, I can promise you it won’t be because of that. I’m not that guy, and I never will be.” If you’re in love with someone born in a different decade, but the risk never seems to cross your mind because everything else is smooth sailing, then age is most definitely just a number. To the realists in your life that might see it otherwise, remember that we’re all fools when it comes to love. Passing up a “fuck yes” who you have a healthy and happy relationship with because of something as trivial as a number would be far more foolish. Cheesy as it may be, love is always worth the risk.


On Him: VINCE trouser ($255), Robert Graham dress shirt ($258), Robert Graham cardigan ($298). 86 | BRANDED

On Her: Tacori ring (models own), Rudsak jacket ($1395), Elizabeth & James dress ($1295), Jimmy Choo booties $795.

styled by Hazel Anderson, photo by Krystal Boyd, shot on location at River Café Gentlemen, if there’s ever been a season to romance her, winter is it. Ladies love a romantic weekend getaway in the mountains. So get her some champagne, her favourite chocolate covered fruit, a gorgeous fireplace, and a postcard-worthy view and she will melt in your arms. Whether you’re whisking her away to Aspen, or taking a beautiful drive into the Canadian Rockies, keep your look sharp, but comfortable.


all’s fair in love and war

words by Adam Culligan

It has happened more often than Jimmy Fallon has broken character in a skit. You are merrily enjoying an ice cream with your sweetheart when suddenly one of you makes a comment and it’s carrying a hint of something sinister. Upon further investigation it becomes apparent that yes, you have a disagreement. Next thing you know it’s ten minutes later the situation has escalated so fast that you’ve come too far to back down. You’re in a full-blown battle, and just 20 minutes ago you were best of friends. This is relationship warfare. A slippery and deceptive battleground unlike any other you will face. One minute you are looking at each other lovingly ready to order an appetizer and the next you’re ready to flip the table over and question every relationship decision you’ve ever made. It can take as little as five minutes or as long as a month but rest assured you will travel through most (if not all) of the following stages of battle. Stage 01: Open Discussion This is the moment we all experience where we have something we want to share with our partner and we do so in a light and open manner. This can often be spotted by hearing, ‘I don’t want to start a fight’ or, ‘I’ve 88 | BRANDED

been meaning to ask you about something.’ If you are sitting in the car on a long road trip, you might want to run the risk of entertaining this conversation. If you’re out for a nice dinner that you’ve been looking forward to, you may want to postpone. This statement is the relationship equivalent of Putin calling Obama saying, ‘Hey B, you remember those missiles I said I didn’t have? Well, I’ve been meaning to tell you something…’. Wade into these waters gingerly and only do so when you’re in your best mood, otherwise…. Stage 02: Light Disagreement You’ve heard or delivered the opening statement and are prepared for some lighthearted debate. The telltale line that you’ve crossed into this stage is often ‘Sure, what’s on your mind?’ The answer? You don’t want to know – especially if you’re at Una and are about to dive into a Beltline pizza. That said, you acquiesce and ask. Now you are politely and agreeably sharing your differing perspectives on the subject over your second slice. Many relationship battles are averted right here. Patience, love, and open-

mindedness prevail with both parties coming away with a newfound respect for something they didn’t know about previously. Often however, a darker stage looms. Stage 03: Opening Salvos This is where posturing ends and actual warfare begins. Weapons come out and warning shots are fired. Battle stations are most definitely manned. Essentially, you’ve heard all you need to hear and are VERY ready to let loose a few rounds just to let them know you disagree and you mean business. Most often this is an escalating stage where the phrases ‘that is EXACTLY what (insert person they don’t respect here) would say’ or ‘you do this EVERY TIME’ make their first appearance. The original discussion about why there is still a dish on the counter and not in the dishwasher has taken a backseat to the much more pressing issues of ‘You don’t respect me’ or ‘This isn’t a partnership.’ It takes a very big person to pull back and reach a ceasefire at this stage, which is why it so rarely happens. If you hear yourself making statements like these, you have a choice. You can A) stop yourself, apologize for going off topic and return to the light

disagreement stage by acknowledging their perspective, or B) put away your bean bag launcher and head straight for the heavy artillery with the words ‘FINISH HIM!” echoing in your mind.

genuinely desire a salvaged relationship. If neither of those applies, smash the warning glass and hammer the red button until your shellac chips off. At the least you will learn something from your mistakes.

Stage 04: The Cold War The guns have been silenced. The explosions have stopped. There is a thick, acrid smoke in the air and both sides are peering through narrowed eyes trying to decide whether they will be the first to flinch. This is basically the same as each of you giving a giant middle finger to the other. It’s immediately recognizable by the complete lack of any emotional response and the increasing frequency of one-word answers. This is both a welcome reprieve from the firefight and a painfully awkward existence. You barely say anything to each other, which is really saying a lot. You are both operating through various ‘Intelligence Agencies’, and meeting often with your internal congress to decide what your next move should be. If you want out of this stage, it’s simple. Be the first to apologize and mean it. Go into the conversation ready to be wrong. If you aren’t sure you want out yet and you still have an itchy trigger finger, let me introduce you to the next stage.

Stage 06: Armistice The smoke has cleared and the battle has been won. Actually, like any battle, no one actually wins. We just maybe lose a little less than the other. Emotions have returned to everyday levels and it’s time to discuss peace. Who needs to do what? How can we avoid this in the future? What is it that they really needed from you, and how do you give it to them as quickly as possible? These talks can sometimes resemble the Treaty of Versailles. One side has been so grossly out of line that it is a requirement of the treaty that one side accept all responsibility and quite simply, just apologize and probably buy flowers. Or maybe a day at the spa depending on the indiscretion. Armistice is where relationships are actually saved. Sometimes you need to have an all out brawl to get some problems in the open and here is where you pull it all back together. It requires two determined parties and a common theme of love and respect, even if neither were apparent when you carpet-bombed your relationship in Stage 5. Maintain the perspective that it was like a controlled forest fire where you cleaned out all the underbrush and are now fostering a beautiful regrowth.





“Sometimes you need to have an all out brawl to get some problems in the open and here is where you pull it all back together.”

Stage 05: Nuclear Warfare The sound is deafening and the destruction colossal. Fingers go from hovering over the weapons control panel to mashing the red ‘FIRE’ button. You’ve said things you never thought you would say. You brought up how past partners were better than them and how you wished you never swiped right. You might even have admitted you were wrong but you are determined to make it right by obliterating the opposition. This is often where many relationships become irreparable. Not unlike this stage’s namesake, it can often take months, years or even decades for the fallout to subside. It’s rare that you come back from this stage. The damage is too severe and trust has been all but eliminated from the equation. Similar to the hotline installed in the White House that facilitates a direct line from the US President to his Russian counterpart (Google it, it’s cool), to avoid this stage you will need to have a planned lifeline. You will also need to

So the next time you catch yourself slipping into battle mode ask yourself, “Am I ready to trudge through all six of these stages over an empty gas tank?” If not, perhaps just let this little water balloon whiz by and keep on with your day. If you want to entertain the idea, remember you can pull out at any time by acknowledging the other person and respecting their position. Remember, if you’ve had a garbage day at work, got a speeding ticket on the way home, and just learned that Henderson from accounting forgot to process your expenses again, now is NOT the time to get into it. Then again…(places finger on giant red button).

RE/MAX Real Estate (Central)

(403) 975-9931


1319 9th Avenue SE


Calgary / Edmonton / Ottawa / Kelowna


She Said 1316 9th Avenue SE



She Said HE SAID


I went on a date with a guy on Friday, and we had a really good time. Saturday he texted me at 11pm, seeing if I would come over. I was out with friends and felt like it might be a booty call, and said no. The next day I got this text: ‘Hey, had a great time with you on our date on Friday, I just wanted to let you know I have decided I want to date lots of other women, and if you and I went out again I wouldn’t trust myself cause I am super attracted to you.’ WTF is wrong with men in 2015???

- Female, 31, dating


He’s. Just. Not. That. Into. You. 2015 is not the problem, this is right out of the playbook. Clearly the next day the message was actually... “Hey, I’m not that into you, but I totally would have been DTF, since you’re not, I’m moving on.” I give him points for originality though, making it look like he is ‘too’ attracted to you. It’s really a game of averages; you’re going to get guys like this at least five times out of ten, or maybe more. Use your instincts to weed out the douchebags. Soon enough, you will find the one that’s truly interested in you, and then you’ll be DTF, too.

Gift Guide photos by Brittany Back, curated by Hazel Anderson

From stocking stuffers to finding the perfect gift for the one who has it all, we’ve sourced some of the best gifts for this holiday season from the coolest spots around Calgary.


for him

Ladies, that old gym bag he doubles as an overnighter won’t do anymore. Let’s upgrade him to a sleek leather wallet and weekend bag and also, what man doesn’t love a good whiskey? Herschel Overnighter & Happy Socks (LESS 17) $400 & $13, Whipper Snapper Whiskey & glasses (Vine Arts), Ted Baker wallet (Espy Experience) $119, Midnight and Two shaving soap (Kent of Inglewood) $34.


For the classic man who keeps up with today’s trends, all of these items scream ‘perfect’. A classic shaving kit is the best thing for his skin, and will make him feel very gentleman-like, so lets take him back to basics with a good set. Miguel Vinyl (Sloth Records) $25, Pack Smooch Iphone Merino Wool case (The Uncommons) $30, Stainless steel shaving kit (Kent of Inglewood) $252, Tense Wood Watch (Espy Experience) $200, Phil & Sebastian gift card (Phil & Sebastian).

For the man who loves a good boot and steak, you can’t beat this combo. Men love their meat; why not nurture their love of cooking by gifting him with of the most delicious spices Calgary has to offer. Redwing Boots & People to Kill notebook (LESS 17) $350 & $24, Ted Baker Pocket Square (Espy Experience) $60, Spices (Silk Road Spices) $6-80.

Have a picky eater on your hands? Here’s a revolutionary gift for them: a fork, that holds the essence of flavours, tricking your taste buds into thinking you’re eating something you’re not. Is your mind blown? Yeah, so are ours. Molecule-R Cuisine R-Evolution Kit (The Uncommons) $60, Button Up shirt, Badges & Pins (LESS 17) $185 & $9, “Fuck Yes” pin (Branded) ask and you shall receive.


for her

Whether you’re looking for the perfect add-on or wanting to put together a carefully thought out gift basket, any and all of these very pretty and very practical products will make her jump for joy. If these things aren’t already her go-to essentials, you’re about to change her life. Macarons (Ollia Macarons & Tea) $14-120, Aesop Hand Balms (Fresh Laundry) $47, Bamboo Hairbrushes (Beach Beauty), Vitruvi Oil (Fresh Laundry) $38, Oh Deer Body Oil (Beach Beauty) $22, Golda Soap Sphere (Fresh Laundry) $22.


Just in time for those cozy mountain getaways, make sure to get her a gift that nourishes the body, soul, and her inner fashionista. Suede bomber ( $900, terrarium (Plant) $25-95, Tipsy Writers pen (The Uncommons) $42, Tea Press (Ollia Macarons & Tea), $48 Cousu Du Fil Blanc Soap Bar (Fresh Laundry) $18, Jasmine Tea (Ollia Macarons & Tea) $5-14.

Add some fun to the holidays with some snap, crackle, pop, and glam. Not only are all these items fantastic, but they’re also all the essentials for a night out on the town.

Gentlemen, with so much nice during the holidays, why not throw in some naughty? After all, life is all about balance. French lingerie – need we say more?

Make-up crackers (Eveline Charles) $45, Ted Baker Phone case wallet (Espy Experience) $109, Trust Fund nail polish (Beach Beauty) $15-18, Bracelets & Ring ( $85-135 USD, Ted Baker Scarf (Espy Experience) $145.

Aubade Lingerie set (SHE Lingerie) $100+, Fever Tree Soda (Vine Arts) $30+, Ilia lipgloss & Nablus soap bar (Beach Beauty), Portland Dry Gin, Porters Tonic.




Montreal Quebec City Ottawa Toronto Calgary Vancouver New York Boston Los Angeles Hong Kong Beijing Tokyo Osaka



STYLING Ain’t nobody got time for the winter blues, but we’re willing to make an exception for this season’s hottest fashion trends.






Adrianna Papell dress (Nordstrom) $345.00 Smythe blazer (Nordstrom) $823.06


Hugo Boss men’s suit (Nordstrom) $1,095.00 100 | BRANDED

Dries Van Noten dress (Holt Renfrew) $985.00 Boss blouse (Nordstrom) $250.00 Vince jacket (Nordstrom) $895.00 Steve Madden shoes (Nordstrom) $139.95 Ralph Lauren socks (The Bay) $22


Alice + Olivia turtleneck (Nordstrom) $198.00 Akris pants (Nordstrom) $570.00 Holt Renfrew Brand hat (Holt Renfrew) $85.00




STYLE REPEAT styleista

styleista_ca phaedragodchild


WINTER HAIR HOW-TO HAIR & MODEL 1: Alex Kool / MAKE-UP & MODEL 2: Claire Marjanen

B. A.

LOOK #1 A. Separate hair into two sections to start, braid down mid way then loosen out edges, once loosened enough continue down with the braid. Secure with an elastic then leave the middle tight while loosening edges again at the bottom of the braid. HAT FROM 27 BOUTIQUE SWEATER FROM COVETED BOUTIQUE

B. Curl hair in a uniform direction. When finished, brush out the sections with a cushion brush, then set with hair spray. Finish with a hat or toque for a signature winter look. BEANIE FROM KNITATUDE SHIRT FROM COVETED BOUTIQUE 104 | BRANDED

C. D.

LOOK #2 C. Pull hair into a high pony, back comb ponytail for texture and fullness. Twist hair around the base of ponytail and tie with an elastic. TURBAND FROM KNITATUDE / SWEATER FROM CAMP BRAND GOODS

D. Separate hair into two sections. To make an infinity braid do a figure eight wrap around the two starting sections all the way down to the end of the hair. Finish this braid tight and fasten with an elastic. BEANIE FROM 27 BOUTIQUE / SHIRT FROM COVETED BOUTIQUE



things your mama didn’t teach you




It’s hard to come dressed to kill when your leather booties are telling a different story, and a salty one at that. Fret no more – we’ve got the solution to keeping your leather booties looking spanking new all winter long. First wipe down your boots with some soap and water with a towel. Next, spray a mixture of water and vinegar on those unsightly salt stains. After getting your spritz on, wipe down your boots with a damp cloth to remove excess vinegar. Then grab some conditioner and lather it on your boots to lock in moisture so your boots can keep you looking good all winter long.

With the holidays fast approaching, so comes all the cocktail parties – also known to some girls as ‘stiletto season’. With a new brand pair of pumps there can be some obstacles, usually in the form of a painful blister. So before heading out simply swipe some deodorant on the back and sides of your foot protecting your skin from friction. This trick works like magic and will leave you feeling six inches of fearless.

Got the blue jean blues because your go-to pair no longer fit? We’ve all been there before, but rather than tossing your jeans aside, put your snug pair back on and grab a spray bottle full of warm water and spritz the areas that are in need of some stretch. When the problem areas are damp, do a few lunges or squats to make the fabric move with your body. Once your jeans dry, simply pull the fabric once again either horizontally or lengthwise and voilà, your jeans fit just like new so you can have another piece of pumpkin pie guilt-free.




For guys it’s the worst when you’re fooling around with bae in the morning and her makeup winds up smeared on your shirt collar by accident. But there’s no need to change or head to the office looking sheepish – shaving cream is your solution. Spray a small amount on your collar and gently rub it on the stain. Rinse it afterwards to remove the foam and let your collar air dry so you can strut into work with no worries.

Are you starting to feel the burden of holiday weight? We feel you – and your belt probably does too. You can easily cut your belt and your conscience some slack by using a hole punch to add an extra hole in your belt, extending its length. This works both ways; so if you are on a health kick and feel your waistline shrinking, simply punch in a hole to tighten your belt.

You’re running late for work when you realize your collar is in serious need of some ironing. You may not have time for laundering, but there’s no need to compromise your style. Simply flick on the hair straightener that is sitting on your bathroom counter and let this ‘mini iron’ do the work. The straightener serves as an easy alternative to a clothes iron, removing wrinkles and sharpening your crease leaving you looking on point no matter the time crunch. BRANDED | 107

Complete Look from Less17 Palace windbreaker ($250) Fucking Awesome tee ($55) Levi’s jean ($280) Nike Air Huarache sneaker ($130) 108 | BRANDED

CLUCK BOI You’ve seen him around. He shows up to your parties uninvited, he might steal your cab after night out, or you may simply pass by him on the street. This guy is the modern version of a troublemaker, a person who has little regard for public opinion, and won’t let anyone kill his vibe. This guy is someone who can’t wait to ruffle some feathers and see what happens – this is our salute to the cluck boi.

photographer: JARED BAUTISTA, model: CARSON LUDWICK (Mode Models), hair: JENNA-WADE KOZAK (Redbloom Salon), location: CHICKEN ON THE WAY KENSINGTON BRANDED | 109

Wemoto hoodie ($170), Modern Menswear Wemoto tee ($60), Modern Menswear Ontour jogger pant ($130), Modern Menswear Nike Dunk sneaker ($155), Groupseven


Shiki Menya x 6Streets collab tee ($40), Shiki Menya Nike jogger pant ($140), Less17


Chicken On The Way cap Frank & Oak denim shirt ($85), Frank & Oak Kit and Ace cargo pant ($98), Kit and Ace New Balance sneaker ($100), Gravity Pope



1009 9th Ave SE Calgary well priced fashion • for men & women • professional styling • closet interventions • custom suit room

Keep your neck game strong and be daring this season with your formal get-ups. Whether it’s combining colours, layering patterns, or simply choosing a bold accessory, you’ll surely to stand out at any gathering or celebration coming up on the calendar. Jermyn Street 1664 has a few dapper looks to make sure the attention is on you, and not your date at holiday parties.



There’s nothing nerdy about this combo, a good bow tie is pure magic and will go with any cheeky pattern for a smart and unique look. Hawes & Curtis Bow Tie ($74) Hawes & Curtis Chelsea Shirt ($159)

3 114 | BRANDED

This knitted tie is a modern spin on a traditional look. Pair it with a patterned shirt and the combo will be a show-stopper. Hawes & Curtis Knitted Tie ($99) Hawes & Curtis Mayfair Shirt ($159)

Not many guys are daring enough to try this ‘classic gentleman’ look. By sporting the unexpected, a.k.a suspenders with a classic tie, you’ll be admired and stylish – the best of both worlds. Hawes & Curtis Braces ($114) Hawes & Curtis Silk Ties ($79) Hawes & Curtis Blue Twill Luxury Shirt ($99)

BACK BAR Meet Rod Redford, bartender at Proof, and your new bestie. He fills us in on the ins and outs of bartending competitions and reveals a recipe for a stellar new boozy holiday drink.







VESPER ROYALE As polished as James Bond walking into a party - the Vesper Royale invokes an aroma of elegance and poise. With a subtle, fresh taste this is a cocktail you get dressed up for. Recipe crafted by: Brad Royale Location: Bar C Food + Drink Ingredients: Belvedere Vodka, Jensen Old Tom Gin, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal

Photo by: Tieran Green BRANDED | 117


Ask the Bartender Eash issue we like to educate ourselves in a different realm

– the boozy realm of bartending. This time we hopped

behind the bar with Rod Redford, bartender at Proof, to chat about what keeps him wanting to make us incredible cocktails – other than getting us tipsy. photos by Asim Overstands

You may not know this, but the life of a local bartender entails more than just hanging out behind the wood. So let’s get rid of the two feet of bar between us and have a chat. One way in which we get out and connect with one another is through competitive bartending. These competitions drive our creativity, connect us with likeminded individuals, and keep the drinks you’re sipping on interesting. The competitive side of bartending is much more than just juggling bottles. Flair may be important, but the major focus is on skill and creativity. Every one of us has different reasons for competing. Anywhere from bragging rights to taking the next step and working with big brands as an ambassador. When I approach a competition I look to see what’s new for me to learn; how can I improve myself and learn something new about cocktails? But mostly, it’s a lot of fun.

the spirit. It’s the same process I use when creating cocktails for Proof’s menu. After creating the drink you also have to come up with a presentation. How do you want to talk to the judges or the people who will be tasting your drink? What’s the story behind your cocktail and what sort of knowledge do you want to share about the brand you’re using? In other words, there’s a lot of planning and prep that goes into those after-work drinks you sip on. Regional competitions usually take place at a local bar. Next up is the Bacardi Legacy, happening at the Living Room. From there, you have the possibility of heading to nationals, which offers incredible opportunities like travel or meeting master distillers. We just had the Jameson’s Bartender Ball, where everyone who walked through the door got four free drinks. You can imagine the buzz in there. Pun intended.

The Rules Each competition has its own guidelines and rules that it enforces. We are given certain parameters such as, ‘Make a variation of a classic gin cocktail prior to 1950’ – and from there we let our creativity and mixing skills take over. Often it involves creating a cocktail to highlight a brand’s spirit, but there are other details that we pay attention to. Things like, how many ingredients can we use? Must those ingredients be house made, or do they have to be specific brands? Is there a theme for the competition and how much of the brand’s spirit do you need to use in your cocktail? Once you’ve established the rules, you can move on to developing your cocktail. This process differs for each one of us. I have my own ways of determining what I want to use and how those flavours will work with

The Results Behind every great bar program is a creative bartender. The competitions we attend really help with that. Aside from the fun, which let’s be honest, is the real reason we go, it can also be very educational. It’s not only great exposure for yourself, but it’s cool to see what everyone else is doing, especially at a national and global level. You learn from each other, and you also learn about products you may want to bring to your own bar. They are a great time for like-minded comrades in the service industry to sit down, hang out, and learn something while also being a creative force in the community. These competitions are almost always open to the public; that means anyone can come down and experience the fun and expose themselves to different bartenders in their

city or country. I always enjoy meeting people who have sat at my bar and enjoyed one of my cocktails. These competitions are supposed to be half serious, half fun, but usually sway more on the side of fun. We get to invite friends, family, and patrons into our world and show them the things we are passionate about. And after all is said and done, it’s always a great party. Bartenders have always been educators passing on knowledge to those who sit at our bars and to those we mentor. If it weren’t for the community of competitive bartenders talking about what they’ve done and how they’ve done it, many of us would not be exposed to new ideas and techniques, and your drinks would be awfully boring. The Recipe The holidays are approaching. You know what that means; so are the relatives and so are the drinks. Forget boozy rum and eggnogs – I’ve got something original for you to try, and it might be a little nicer on your waist line. I’d like to introduce you to a new cocktail appearing on our menu this season. The Dublin Invasion It’s a spin on the classic Hot Toddy. It’s simple, warm, and great to sip on in front of a fire. You can also easily make it in big batches to serve at your next party. 1 1/2oz Irish whiskey 1/2oz Calvados (apply brandy) 1/4oz lemon juice 1/2oz apple juice 2 dashes angostura (bitters) Mix it all up and bring ingredients to heat. BRANDED | 119

Stand out in the crowd this

Holiday Season

Perfect pairings and gifts for the holidays for over 22 YEARS! 2 GREAT CALGARY LOCATIONS! Main Store & Corporate OfďŹ ce 10801 Bonaventure Dr SE Willow Park Wines & Spirits Eau Claire 162, 200 Barclay Parade SW

phone: 403.296.1640


Words by Lauren Steeves It may be the season for eggnog, coffee and baileys and mulled cider, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget all about your buddy who has been with you all year – beer. With local breweries unleashing their new seasonal brews, it can be easy to stick with what’s familiar but there’s no need to feel intimidated about trying something different. After chatting with National’s beer ambassador, Natasha Peiskar, we were able break it down for you so you can try a winter brew that suits you best. Now all you have to worry about is whether you’ll be on the naughty or nice list.

Do you really like beer or are you just playing pretend?

erior and LED headlights, COFFEE AND stance and athletic CHOCOLATE, s monthly payments. PLEASE. ity

Do you feel a little nutty or are you going bananas?




It tastes like: Biscuits, nuts, and caramel.

It tastes like: Pineapple, mango, passionfruit with a hint of floral hops.

It goes with: Chocolate GLENMOREAUDI.COM cake, cherry pie, prime rib sandwiches.

It goes with: Sugar cookies, all the cheese and burgers.

It goes with: Warm biscuits, pumpkin pie, roast chicken, or a salad with almonds.

Naughty or Nice?: At 6.3 per cent, you’re a prime candidate for the naughty list.

Naughty or Nice?: At 5.3 per cent, you still have a chance of making the nice list.

12827 01987

winter 2015

Naughty or Nice?: At 5.5 per cent a few of these beers will have you on the naughty list.


It tastes like: Toffee, chocolate, and a hint of coffee.






Would you rather have chocolate and coffee or flowers and fruit?







BIG ROCK’S “DUNKELWEIZEN” It tastes like: Banana, chocolate, caramel, and cloves. It goes with: Banana flambé and sausage. Naughty or Nice?: At 5.0 per cent, you are guaranteed to be one of Santa’s favourites. BRANDED | 121


We CHangin’ the game.




Conquer the city. Introducing the new Audi Q3. Featuring a bold new grille, available stunning S Line exterior and LED headlights, the Q3 exudes urban sportiness with its wide, purposeful stance and athletic silhouette. Not to mention that, right now, it also conquers monthly payments. The new Audi Q3, starting at $44,900.*


Q3 2.0 TFSI速 Komfort Starting at








Branded Magazine: The Drive  

issue seven of Calgary's lifestyle magazine

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