G AM E CHANGE RS 2 015 t h e art of pl at i ng
c omfort zon e mor e t han i n k
e x tr aor di nary love ac tually (mayb e )
ISSUE 08: THE AFFIRMATION
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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ISSUE 08: THE AFFIRMATION
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GAME CHANGE RS 2015 th e art of pl at ing
Conquer the city.
e xt raordinary love act ual ly (maybe )
on the cover
Game Changers 2015: Two of this years’ Game Changers, co-executive chefs Sean MacDonald and Alex Edmonson, sit in the dining room of MARKET Restaurant, a space designed by a firm co-founded by another pair who topped our annual list – Walker McKinley and Mark Burkart. Photo by Carson Tofin.
want to contribute? Want to talk to the team? Give us a shout. email@example.com
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from us to you You know life is what we make it And a chance is like a picture It’d be nice if you just take it What can come from an audacious charge into the unknown? Failure for one, that’s always a risk we take when we jump before we’re ready. But the risk can also pay off, and pay off big time. Risk-takers know one will never truly be ‘ready’ for any big decision, move, or idea. But chances are, if you believe in what you’re doing you’ll achieve success. Risk can be reinventive and reinvigorating – and since it’s a new year we’re definitely ready for new goals, experiences, and affirmations. Affirmations cause you to implement new habits of thought and practice behaviours that lead to a more positive life. An affirmation is a bold declaration, a moment when everything seems clear. Once you determine an affirmation, it’s hard to forget it because the thought is a direct reflection of your aspirational values. Now, just to clarify, we’re not talking about “realizing” you’re “meant” to attend the $2 breakfast at IKEA, or see the new Star Wars movie – this kind of affirmation is much more epic and it affects the bigger picture. “The Affirmation” is about knowing who you are, what you want, and completely running with it. It’s a statement of truth and the process by which we agree to take charge of something and shoot for the stars. In this issue you’ll meet 10 individuals and teams who chose to be fearless, take risks, and jump before they were ready. Formally, we call them the 2015 Game Changers – informally, we call them community builders and friends. We are proud to include a list of diverse and inspirational people. Each of their stories is wildly different, but their purpose is one and the same – to create a better Calgary. Now that we’ve reached the end of another extravagant holiday season, you’re probably ready for some good old-fashioned comfort food – check out our tasting section and see where we stopped in our search for YYC’s homiest meals. We also got to the bottom of how chefs are pushing the boundaries through the art of plating, and what that means for the culinary industry. For music you’ll meet A.Y.E., a hip-hop artist that is way more than your average upand-coming rapper. We take you on a guided tour into the fascinating world of crystal energy and discover how the mysterious gems can affect your life. Our resident dating experts offer insight into loving yourself first, and how to clearly separate a ‘Fuck Yes’ from an ‘Or Nah’. Finally, one can’t forget a story so close to our hearts; we discovered the meaning behind mastectomy scar tattoos and how with the help of some badass tattoo artists, brave women are taking back their femininity after kicking cancer to the curb. All of these stories represent affirmation in a different way. Whether they are embodying their own affirmation, or being inspired by someone else’s, the voices in this issue confirm that bravely jumping into life is a decision few regret. In life no one wants to live the same year over and over again, so seek an affirmation that will propel you forward and make 2016 an incredibly fulfilling and adventurous one.
contributors Adam Culligan, Alesia Sullivan, Allison Seto, Amber Chomeczko, Aprille Lu, Asim Overstands, Breanne Sinclair, Brittney Hruska, Carson Tofin, Courtney Manson, Dario Hudon-Verrelli, David Cree, Distance Bullock, Hannah Cree, Hazel Anderson, Janet Dyer, Jess Bobyn, Jess Maximo, Joanna Magik, Kayla Mann, Lauren Larsen, Liam Lafrance, Lindsay Larsen, Milena Petrovic, Neila MacIntyre, Savannah Qui, Shane Arsenault, Tieran Green, Twyla Hayes
IN THIS ISSUE Meet some of the most innovative and brilliant individuals walking the streets of YYC â€“ our 2015 Game Changers.
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SWEAT AND SWAGGER how breaking a sweat builds confidence Words by Joanna Magik of The Sweat Style @joannamagik @thesweatstyle Photo by Jess Bobyn Photo featuring @TheSweatBandits Apparel by lululemon athletica, Footwear by Adidas 14 | LIVING
Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. If I was to choose one reason for being active it would be the overall impact on my well being. It makes life richer for you and those around you. The feeling you get from accomplishing something, the lessons you learn from sucking in the moment, and then sucking a little less next time (or maybe still sucking). The friendships you make (and the friendships you break), the team dynamics that give you incredible highs and lows, and all the lessons in between. All transferrable skills from sweat life to real life. These fitness experiences come bundled with not only positive physical side effects (body), but also positive psychological effects (mind). One of these side effects is very important to how
your life will unfold – confidence. Before we dive into the connection between exercise and confidence, I want to be fully transparent that although I have experience as an athlete, coach, and fitness instructor, I am not a doctor and sometimes I’m quite the opposite, where I think I lost my sunglasses even though I’m wearing them on my head (you too?). There are many ways to build confidence and exercise is only one of them. But the mind/body connection is very strong, and the simplicity of lifting a weight, peddling a bike, lapping a pool, and moving in a group fitness class is powerful.
BUILD IT AND IT WILL COME When you pull on your gym clothes a few times a week, you build confidence at a molecular level (physiological effect) and at
a more nebulous mental and emotional level (psychological effect). The forces at work here apply to the average person hustling to the gym a handful of days a week as much as the professional athlete. Things can get a bit tricky in the hyper context of a professional sweater or athlete. However, their confidence can flux depending on how they’re performing in their role. Miss shots? Slower time? New hot fitness instructor in town with more Snapchat followers? This can increase stress, anxiety, and generally mess with self-confidence. This topic can quickly get complex so let’s level set, “Ultimately exercise is critical to mental health and feeling great about yourself; increasing your feelings of competency and confidence,” says Dr. Dana Sinclair, registered psychologist who serves as a consultant for businesses and professional sport franchises including the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Calgary Flames to name a few. She generously got on the phone with me to work through this complex topic, “Confidence doesn’t necessarily come naturally to these athletes or executives. It builds over time through repetition. Whatever you are trying to tackle, whether it’s on the ice or in your work or personal life, it can be daunting. It’s unfamiliar. There is a fear of failure. But through repetition of physical tasks you will become more positive and less self doubting. This will seep into all areas of your life.” So what exactly happens while working out that builds confidence?
ENDORPHINS A sedentary lifestyle, synonymous with how most of the population lives and works, is detrimental to your health. In a study conducted at Nova Southeastern University it concluded that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise is enough to release the beta-endorphins that increase feelings of well-being, and to lower levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress and anxiety. You need to do the work and move your body, so that you create the conditions for the confidence juice to flow through your body and mind. Movement equals confidence. The more intense the workout doesn’t necessarily mean you will have more intense results. Moderate exercise will generate these benefits for you. But, everyone is different. Experiment with different workouts to see what you connect with most. Do chill yoga vibes get you there? Or does a pumped up HIIT class do it for you?
FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT When your posture is like that of a question mark, how do you feel? When you open your shoulders, straighten your back and widen your stance, how do you feel? Working out keeps you body aware and keeps your body aligned. I reference this often in my workouts: the back-straight, shoulders-open, eyes-straight-ahead position works in the studio and outside of it. Confidence can create this posture, or, use this posture to create confidence.
BABY STEPS Just showing up for a workout and engaging is enough to bring up your sense of achievement, which in turn, boosts your confidence. You don’t have to be the fastest, strongest, and sweatiest. Simply doing the workout will bring you up. Bit by bit, the shift will happen.
“ULTIMATELY EXERCISE IS CRITICAL TO MENTAL HEALTH AND FEELING GREAT ABOUT YOURSELF.”
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Your workout gives you unconditional love. It is there for you. It’s got your back (and your glutes and your biceps…badda bing). The studio, gym, or arena can be your safe space to celebrate your wins and purge your losses.
SELF(IE) CONFIDENCE People’s confidence is often heavily tied to their body image. This is such a complex topic. Being your best self is what to strive for. Hot bods come in all shapes and sizes so don’t let a handful of magazine editors who have insecurities just like the rest of us tell you otherwise. Real people like variety. As you sweat towards the best version of your body, you will develop a very authentic sense of self-assurance in your body’s abilities and unique qualities. Sunny Briton, head instructor at The Sweat Lab in west Calgary, shared her personal fitness journey with me, “At the beginning of my fitness journey I was 220lbs and not at all confident” says Briton. “Working out felt foreign and uncomfortable. There’s a
lot of negative self talk that happens when you begin to be active later on in life, a lot of regret and fear. But one mile of running eventually turned into two, and then three and so on. There was an inner fire and confidence that increased with every workout. I trusted I could do it. When you embrace fitness there is no room for fear, regret, or doubt. I’ve seen this in the eyes of some of my most tentative [spin] riders. Their fear is replaced with fire as they realize that their bodies will get them through the ride. My hope at the beginning of my journey was that I would lose weight. Instead, I gained confidence and a passion for fitness that has changed me forever.”
WIN SOME, LEARN SOME What if it’s the act of exercise or your sport that is messing with your confidence? Working through those obstacles will set you up in all areas of your life, “I see it all the time,” says Dr. Dana Sinclair. “Working with NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB players who are in a slump and the coach is on them. It’s not that their technical skills or fitness is holding them back, it’s their confidence. They are distracted, they are thinking too much, the ‘what ifs’ etc. We have to slow it down, declutter, and refocus on the task at hand. Shift focus away from what could go wrong, to the one or two things that you need to accomplish to be successful. Then they start to play their game consistently. There is a mental process that, if you apply it, it will infiltrate all areas of your life, not just sport.”
Before we conclude, I want to add an important disclaimer. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The confidence or the behaviour? Sometimes people get caught up in trying to feel confident before they do something, “This is where it gets tricky,” says Dr. Sinclair. “Don’t wait for it. Go and do something and you’ll start to accumulate results. Sometimes you have to manufacture it.” Sounds a lot like the simple, powerful, slogan of that swoosh brand “Just Do It.” And, if after this you take it too far and become a Drake lyric – “I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence” – life will find a way to level set that. At least you’ll know how to build it back up from an exercise perspective.
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c re at o r
Thoughts and anecdotes from some of YYC’s most motivational peeps
i nn ova tor
founder of Octopus & Son Social Media @dariohudon
I am the sum of my experiences, nothing more, nothing less. I have cultivated my own unique convictions because I decided to experience life, make foolish mistakes, and laugh at the end of the day. Throughout my 35 years, there are three sayings that I have followed. They have inadvertently become the foundation to my ethos, shaped who I am, and how I express myself. They’ve yielded in me the ability to rise from an abusive home, to one that I am a proud husband and father to. This is why I value them. You are a product of your environment The first, gave me cause for concern because I feared I would forever be marred by the memories of coming home to the smell of stale beer, curtains drawn closed from a sun permeating the air with a sickly warmth, as I heard shuffling in the kitchen of a Father unable to cope. At 11, this kind of strong association is hard to shake. I still shun the summer heat and stale beer amongst other relatively harmless scenarios, and for the longest time they did take up much of my thoughts because I had no other experiences to drown them with. So at the age of 16, I ran away. ‘Go west young man’ is the saying, isn’t it? I took a Greyhound from Montréal to Calgary, 56 hours of on the road glory. I laugh that I have a story which resembles landing in New York Harbour from the old country. I had no job experience, no money, and absolutely no idea, but I had the one thing I
needed, I had an adventure. Not soon after I got to Calgary did I find myself sleeping in +15s. Now I walk by many of the places I once called home, and from time to time I stop and stare at them. I stand remembering that I have money in my pocket now, a business, a family, a son, but I stop short of patting myself on the back. There are too many variables in life for me to raise my flag and state that, “I alone, thrived and overcame the evils of my unfortunate past!” Such ego. Much mistake. Whether it was through luck or kindness, I have surrounded myself with good people. The only attribute I will take sole pride in is my affable nature. This characteristic alone has afforded me the friendship of the powerful and poor alike. This was the only currency I consistently held, and I am grateful it was given to me.
There comes a time when you no longer sleep well, when the alienation of a public space and the loss of humanity you begin to feel takes its toll. Restlessness, apathy, and depression make one hell of a poison. One of my father’s last efforts to make up for the past came in the gift of $800. I went straight to MEC and bought a tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. I bought a ticket to Banff and decided to reinvent myself. Instead of being homeless, I was going to be a backpacker. I was going to find the compassion and understanding people seemed to have lost for me. I faked it until I made it However, this calm didn’t last long as I found myself fighting the greatest enemy we all have – ourselves. Years of anxiety had formed, and without my understanding, became anger and ego. I had to face myself and admit there was something wrong, that I didn’t know what it was. I had to take responsibility for the only thing I have ever been in control of, myself. Knowing that I had a family history of mental illness, I faced that truth and sought help. One of my greatest victories was turning my greatest weakness into a part of my story. Now, every year I get older I look in the mirror and marvel at the new lines and scars that cross my face. I am getting older, an honour many have not had. My company is built from the collected skills I have come to learn, and everyday, providing I am willing, I add to it. My home, once made of bramble, now sits warm because of my partner, the greatest person I have had the pleasure of being loved by. That strength alone, as cliché as it sounds, and it is cliché – makes life so much easier to tackle.
Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are My father loved this quote, and for all his failings, this is his legacy in my mind. As with everything in life, it took a multitude of errors before I came to realize their value. Being a homeless teenager provided many with the opportunity to befriend me, and after several attempts that yielded unsavoury situations, you learn to trust your instinct. I formed the motto, ‘Know what you do not want’ to help me clarify my expectations better. Everyone wants health, riches, and beauty; this is easy. I found that defining myself through the things I did not want made a lot more sense. As I got older, the criteria for my friendship became more strict. I avoided what it is I did not want and came to the realization that friendship is not altruistic, it is an exchange. We decide to trade “I had to face myself and admit there was something our greatest currency, time, wrong, that I didn’t know what it was. I had to take in exchange for responsibility for the only thing I have ever been in presence. So control of, myself.” why surround yourself by those who don’t value this? And finally, there is my son, whose This perspective came to being because everyday adventure reminds me to not take of the third saying that haunts me, a Globe mine so damn seriously. I have surrounded and Mail advertisement that ran in 1998. It myself by people I learn from everyday, those changed everything for me, and no, it didn’t who are willing to ask questions for the sake just suddenly make sense. It festered until of curiosity and together and we are a fierce resource. one day I understood it. Perspective is everything. People ask me how I came out of homelessness, and the truth is, I tricked myself. BRANDED | 17
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six ways to get into debt 5
Get a mortgage then get creative. Mortgages are generally considered good debt to get into. A property is considered an investment that tends to grow in value over time at a higher rate than the interest you’re paying on the loan. So getting one in the first place can be a good idea.
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.
Moving some of your higher interest debt into a mortgage might make sense, too. Be sure to talk to an advisor first to see if this is the right option for you.
Many of us are scared of debt. (Although some of us should probably be a little more afraid.) And what’s that cliché piece of advice we hear when we’re afraid of something? Face your fears.
So here are six ways that getting into debt can actually help you, not hurt you. We chatted with Chris Proctor, ATB’s Uptown 17th Avenue branch manager, to help us figure it out.
Get credit when you don’t actually need it. When you’re in a good financial situation it’s easier for banks to approve you for lines of credit and credit cards. So even if you don’t need them it may be a good idea to open them and leave them unused. That way if you ever get into a bind and need to use credit, you’ll have it already and won’t need to try to get it when your financial situation isn’t so hot.
Use credit cards and pay your balance on time.
Make your tax return more complicated.
Use a line of credit to pay off a big credit card balance. If you are carrying credit card debt, open a line of credit with a lower interest rate and use that line of credit to pay off your card. Then at least you’re carrying debt at a lower interest rate than on a credit card, which carry some of the highest interest rates of any kind of debt.
Invest in your future - and your wallet - with student loans. Student loans are good because they are ultimately debt you’re taking on to invest in your future earnings potential. And, you don’t pay interest until after you’re done school and are working. Bonus option: get a student loan even if you don’t need it – then you can invest that money and build wealth until you need to pay it back when you graduate.
When we’re young tax returns tend to be simple. But do yourself a favour and start thinking about how you can make them a little more complicated to help you in the future. Here’s why: lines of credit and credit cards aren’t tax deductible, so you’re paying all the interest yourself. But, rental properties are tax deductible, so you can claim the interest you’re spending on mortgages for properties you’re renting out for a tax benefit. Any debt you take on to invest into equities or mutual funds that pay dividends is tax deductible as well, as long as those investments are held in unregistered accounts, like a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).
Debt can be turned to your advantage. So if you’re going to get into debt, make it good debt. And, keep in mind that everyone’s financial picture is different, so you’ll probably want to consider whether this stuff fits with your own situation. You can reach Chris on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Use a credit card and just pay your balance regularly to build credit. A good credit score can help you get even more good debt. BRANDED | 19
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The SMART AND COZY containers are seriously useful. The sustainably sourced bamboo organizers not only save you time and aggravation in the kitchen, they also add a touch of warmth – something that may be particularly welcomed in a sleek, modern kitchen.
Let there be light, seriously, there is so much opportunity for lighting with this system. Cabinet lighting is key, and also a practical and cozy addition to any kitchen. Adding in-drawer lighting is even better, helping you find what you need even when raiding the kitchen for those midnight snacks.
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crystal healing words by katie tetz photos by krystal boyd
On a late Saturday afternoon in October, I walked out of a new age shop with three of my friends. One had just purchased a handful of crystals that were supposedly going to aide her in gathering courage. She was just about to quit her day job in order to pursue her passion. For myself, I had purchased a couple of gemstones that would hopefully bestow some clarity and inner peace on my fluctuating mood swings. In other words, I was hoping they’d stop me from being such a bitch. Our single friend, frustrated with her dating life, held a giant piece of rose quartz in her hand, “If I’m still single in six months, I’m returning this.” The pursuit of harmony As you can see, we all had our issues. After stuffing our faces with formaggi pizza and gabbing about our problems, a form of therapy in and of itself, we half jokingly decided that we were in need of some crystal healing, a growing curiosity of ours. No matter where you are on the scale of practical realist to crystalloving-fire-walking-yogi, as a human being, you’re on the hunt for harmony. Or courage. Or a soulmate. Whatever it may be, you want something. There’s a reason why there’s a plethora of books, seminars, and businesses built on this idea that through positive intention and affirmations, we can change our lives and find what we ache for. Yvan Duban, owner of New Age Books & Crystals, explains that in our search for balance and harmony, affirmations and positive intentions go a long ways, “There’s
serious potency in that. Affirmations are a frequency - this is scientifically proven.” Besides verbal frequencies, we also communicate in subtle ways on a telepathic level; this communication also has a frequency. Think about those times when you’ve met someone and for no apparent reason, you got a ‘bad vibe.’ Or perhaps you’re aware enough to notice how certain spaces make you feel, whether it’s energized, calm, or creeped right out. Crystals communicate with us in the same kind of way. It’s on a subtle energetic level, an intuitive kind of communication that takes quieting your head noise to hear, “There’s a reason why humans like walking on sand and climbing mountains,” explains Duban. It’s not just for the view; it’s how we feel in the presence of what could be considered a colossal sized stone, or billions of mini crystals beside the ocean. And though they may not be able to magically manifest you a boyfriend, it’s on that subtle energetic level that crystals can serve you.
The science of intention Scientifically defined, crystals are a constituent of atoms, ions, and particles that come together to form crystalline structures. In fact, the basis of the technology that we use every day is founded in crystals. Our iPhones, laptops, microchips – they are all a simplified use of crystals, quartz, and minerals, all of which hold information and reflect it back to us. On another level, Duban explains that crystals can be defined
as “the essence of life manifesting on earth.” He admits this definition is more grandiose, but when you realize that you’re interacting with crystal forms everyday, and that you already communicate on telepathic levels, in a sense, crystals are just another form that bring these two worlds together. Aside from their medical and symbolic use throughout history, if you want proof of the power of positive intentions in crystals, science can give that to you. Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto conducted experiments in which he took jars of water and used either positive or negative affirmations to influence them. He wanted to observe the physical effect of positive words, prayers, and music on the crystalline structure of each jar of water. Not surprisingly, positivity gave way to beautiful geometric crystals, whereas negativity created disfigured crystals. A crystal is not a prescription After spending an afternoon talking to Duban at New Age, I realized that my friends and I had it all wrong. Though they may have powerful energies, a crystal is not a prescription; it cannot fix you. Of course we weren’t quite that naïve, but in a sense, that’s how we were shopping that afternoon. I had picked up a tiny blue gemstone and read the description of it; it said something about helping its holder stop being so judgmental. “Alex - I think you need this one,” I said. Similarly, my best friend couldn’t walk two feet without adding another stone to her shopping basket.
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“I have a lot of issues,” she explains. Duban explains that it’s our western culture that feels the need to prescribe a medicine when something is wrong, rather than looking for an answer or healing from within. Crystals, with their subtle energies and ability to hold onto information, are designed for us to get in touch with our own intuition. “Crystals don’t do anything to you,” corrects Duban. “What they are is a reflection of that which is already in you; they are illuminating something in you.” In other words, they cannot give you something you don’t already have. Think of them like little mini affirmation assistants. Like how the feel of sand brings you joy, and the mountains help you feel grounded, those feelings are already inside of you. Sometimes it just takes a catalyst to bring them out. Choose a crystal like you choose a lover Unlike some of the other shops that sell crystals, New Age does not display explanations of the healing properties of each stone. Duban leaves those details out for a reason. He’s not interested in prescribing a crystal to the people that walk into his store. Though that might be easier for us, he’s much more interested in facilitating our intuitive process.
“It’s the same way in which you choose your partner, your girlfriend, any important thing in your life. It’s through your own guttural intuitive process.” Rather than telling you, “This stone will help with anxiety,” or, “This stone will nail you the love of your life,” it’s more effective to see which crystals you are drawn to. “Physicality is important,” says Duban. “But more so, it’s the intuitive draw.” If you like purple, you like purple. But if you choose a crystal because you are drawn to it, “this allows the crystal to have a more potent impact,” says Duban. Like choosing a lover or a career, “The mind should be secondary to what your heart is saying.” Since buying one crystal has led me to buying a whole bunch, I want to know if it’s possible to have too many, like shoes. Or do certain crystals not like other crystals? “This is the human condition we try to put on everything,” explains Duban. In our own lives we’ve had experiences of “too many cooks in the kitchen” or certain people clashing with one another. But crystals are not human. Unlike us, they all get along fine. The best place to keep them is near you
or on you, which is why you’ll find them in a lot of jewelry, “Some I party with; some I travel with,” says Duban. It’s all up to you and that intuition of yours. When we’re willing
“there’s a reason why humans like walking on sand or climbing mountains.” to listen to our intuition and believe that our affirmations have power, we begin to live with more ease. The use of crystals is simply a vehicle to explore that deeper. Back to my girlfriend who is counting on her rose quartz to facilitate her in finding love. Duban points out, “If you’re going to manifest something, the first thing to do is say it.” Whatever it is that we want - balance, love, direction, or courage - the pursuit of those things all begins with a willingness to say it out loud. Affirmations and intention hold power, and evidently, so do those beautiful little stones.
WORDS BY HANNA MCLEAN PHOTOS BY ALLISON SETO
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The difference between extraordinary and ordinary is that little bit extra – and that’s exactly what hip-hop artist A.Y.E. (real name Jahimba Hutson) puts into his music. His name may be larger than life, but rapper A.Y.E. a.k.a A Young Extraordinaire, is pretty humble when it comes to his music; considering he produces, mixes, and masters all of his own material. With a self-produced and self-written EP and a full-length album under his belt, not to mention another one dropping any day now – the 24-yearold has been going non-stop with his music since he graduated high school. He’s headlined at Sled Island, opened for Pusha T, D12, Young Jeezy, and Raekwon to name a few. He plans to add more performances to his calendar in the future, but not until his set is perfected. “It comes down to the right timing, even pronunciation – to be on the same level as high caliber artists these days. You have to look at those things and take time with your craft for sure.” A.Y.E. was surrounded by music at an early age. His father is in a reggae band called Strugglah, who have shared the stage with the likes of the Wailers and Burning Spear. As a kid he often watched the bands’ rehearsals in his family’s basement, and while he was in junior high he performed as a keyboardist on stage with the band. Thus, it was only natural that A.Y.E. began exploring his musical talents, and when he was 16 he formed a hip-hop group with his brother and sister called The Hutson Fam Music Group. A few years after forming the family trio, A.Y.E. realized music was something he was seriously interested in pursuing. He then separated himself from the rest of his clan, came into his own, and took the name A.Y.E. The influence of reggae and classic rap is evident when listening to his music and lyrics, and it helped him develop his own individual style, one he describes as rooted in hip-hop with notes of urban, alternative, and indie. the evolution of A.Y.E. One of the first things I ask A.Y.E. is the story behind his name, and the answer I get is more complex than I had anticipated. The acronym stems from his experience converting to become Muslim and practicing the Islamic religion. Since A.Y.E. was 16 at the time of the conversion – old enough to pick his own spiritual path – the choice to convert to another religion was a personal one. “When I was younger my mom introduced me to a good friend of hers who was a practicing Muslim, so that opened my eyes to the religion.
After learning more about it, I felt something with the Islamic religion. It just felt natural for me to convert.” So what does his conversion have to do with him developing his rap name? A.Y.E. walks me through the connection. “I also had a Muslim friend myself, and his mother gave me the name ‘Aleem’ which basically means close to God. I took that name, and all through junior high and high school people called me that.” Aleem was eventually shortened to ‘A’ by his friends and peers. From there, he extended ‘A’ to A.Y.E. to give his name a bit more meaning. It’s interesting to learn the rapper has such a colourful history when it comes to his spirituality, and even though he is still Muslim, he is no longer a strict practicing one. But he acknowledges his conversion as something that was critical in shaping who he is today. in the beginning The message of moving onward and upward is one that A.Y.E. has always incorporated into his music, starting with his debut EP titled Goodbye, which was released shortly after he completed high school. “I was the only person out of my mom’s family to graduate – so I made sure I did that,” he says. “Back then I was very immature, there was a lot of negative influence in my household, and I just felt like it was time to grow up.” “I had learned that certain friends I had at the time were maybe not the healthiest, and the environments I was putting myself in were probably not the greatest – there were other things out there for me.” His passion for music combined with his bond with recording partner Imfamous Studios helped him realize he was destined for bigger and better things. Now, this is not your typical recording studio; it is run by a family in the southeast who flipped their garage to create a studio solely for the use of up-and-coming artists in Calgary. “I definitely became really tight with the family. They opened their doors, they saw the dedication and the passion I had in my music, they gave me the opportunity, and they left me with the keys to the studio.” “Those are the people, you know, when something happens, you go back out and you look for.” The kindness of the founders behind Imfamous allowed A.Y.E. to completely dedicate himself to his first full-length 11-track project titled 90 Now.
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“At that time I had moved out of my mom’s house and moved into this studio that sponsored me, I worked on this project day in and day out.” The album dropped through Imfamous Studios and Makebelieve Records in March of 2014, and it was an ode to the golden age of 90s hip-hop. 90 Now received rave reviews from critics and music lovers alike, and the project subsequently solidified A.Y.E.’s place in the hip-hop landscape in Calgary. The album even made it to the ears of the execs at a vinyl record label in France called Chopped Hearing. The label soon contacted A.Y.E. to make a deal, one that would include producing a limited-edition version 90 Now on vinyl overseas. “I was broke and eating watered eggs,” he says. “All of a sudden there were people buying the CD from all over, from the States to South Korea to France. That really solidified it for me, like, if I stay true to myself and just keep working hard then nothing is out of reach.” finding the light A.Y.E. kept up the momentum from 90 Now and has spent almost two years working on his second album, Nox. He made it a point to integrate live music into this 16-track project, and is accompanied by his four-piece band called The Extraordinary Gentlemen. The band consists of drums, guitar, bass, and a DJ, with the occasional additions of keyboards and percussion. “It’s something people are going to want to put on their headphones and listen to, or put on when they’re driving to another city, they’re going to want to take time with it.” The album title, which means darkness in Latin, is a statement about getting through the curveballs life throws at you. “I’ve felt like I’ve been surrounded by negativity and darkness to a certain degree,” he says. “I talk about a time where I wanted to take my life.” A.Y.E. bravely goes below the surface with this album, touching on sensitive subjects such as suicide, murder, and depression in his lyrics. “Seeing and watching what’s going on out in the world outside, on the TV, or on social media,” he says. “Just simply going on Facebook and scrolling down and seeing cops going crazy with their brutality, the amount of murders and senseless killings occurring, you have to try to stay positive.” A.Y.E. uses inspiration from his life experiences to weave a heavier message into his material. “There’s some social topics that tie into my 28 | LIVING
music, some personal things – I had a friend that passed away in between working on my projects. Also, close family friend just took her own life.” “It’s things like that that just touch my heart because it’s something a lot of people are going through,” he says. “I’m hoping it can uplift a few spirits and inspire people.” the beauty of music The rapper claims he is more introverted and shy, but it’s clear to see where his assurance lies by the flickers of confidence that occur as he speaks about his music. “I find music is that therapy and that tool that can get you through the lows to the highs. I use music as a therapy for myself.” He says out of writing, recording, and performing, the latter is the best part about being an artist. “Going out and sharing what you’ve been working so hard for, sharing the music and connecting with people, seeing their faces and how they respond to the music.” A.Y.E. says the Calgary music scene is treating him well, proving those who say YYC has no rap scene wrong. I ask if he’s ever thought about moving out to Canada’s hip-hop mecca, Toronto. His response sounds like it’s coming from someone with decades of experience in the industry. “You can easily get swallowed there, there’s a lot of fish in the sea. When you go out there you want to make sure all your ducks are in a row, then you can hit the target perfectly.” Not content with simply marginalizing himself as a rapper and hip-hop artist, A.Y.E. is aiming to grow and evolve by experimenting in different genres. “It’s easy to plateau. There’s a lot of people in the world and there’s a lot of people who want to do the same things that you do, you really gotta work for it.” He’s made it clear that he is all about trying new things, so I had to ask; would he ever dare to venture into the realm of making country music? “It’s funny you ask that. I do love country actually. If it’s put together well, if it hits the right chords, I respond well to every kind of music,” he laughs. “If I can hear it, if I can feel it, I like it no matter if it’s country or what.” So who knows, maybe you’ll see an A.Y.E. country album sometime in the future. “Dubstep, trance, who knows,” he adds grinning. “Anything’s possible, I’m not tying myself down.”
“I FIND MUSIC IS THAT THERAPY AND THAT TOOL THAT CAN GET YOU THROUGH THE LOWS TO THE HIGHS. I USE MUSIC AS A THERAPY FOR MYSELF.”
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more than ink. words by Milena Petrovic, photos by Kayla Mann, hair & makeup by Aprille Lu
Nothing says â€˜cancer was hereâ€™ as loudly as a mastectomy scar. The journey to the moment a breast cancer fighter sees their scar after surgery is an arduous one. The battle is an unpredictable fight full of emotional and physical stress beginning from diagnosis and lasting throughout treatment.
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Once the bandages
are taken off after surgery, women are left feeling disconnected from their body, looking at a scar that marks where their breasts once were. After years of being poked and prodded, survivors now choose to be artfully pricked to reclaim their bodies with meaningful mastectomy tattoos. Turning clinical into beautiful, Stacie-Rae Weir, a paramedical tattoo artist specializing in areola restorative and artistic mastectomy tattoos, is helping survivors heal by inking them. After undergoing a preemptive mastectomy due to a BRCA1 diagnosis at 32 years of age, Stacie-Rae recalls having her bandages removed, “The part of my brain that I can’t reason with, didn’t understand what it was seeing. It was telling me to rub my eyes, that my vision was blurry.” It felt surreal, what once was so familiar to her had become strange. She quickly realized that this is where her tattooing talents could be used – to help survivors take ownership of their bodies. Unimpressed by the work of surgeons attempting to do mastectomy tattoos, Stacie-Rae found her drive to become a paramedical tattoo artist. “I was livid seeing some of their work. It’s unethical. Just like an anesthesiologist administers anesthetic. Tattoo artists should be tattooing.” With over 20 years of experience working with scar tissue, Stacie-Rae established H.E.A.R.T (Hope Eternal Areola Reconstructive Tattoo Services) for breast cancer survivors to confidently have areola tattoos and mastectomy scars concealed by a trained tattoo artist. Women who have never imagined stepping into a tattoo shop have worked with Stacie-Rae, who has done over 15,000 mastectomy tattoos. She has fervency towards her art and the stout-heartedness to educate aspiring tattoo artists to understand the complexity of working with scar tissue.
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With a domineering drive to work with survivors to get them the quality of tattoos they deserve, Stacie-Rae brought P.Ink Day (short for Personal Ink) to Calgary in 2014. P.Ink Day is a non-profit organization connecting breast cancer survivors with mastectomy tattoo artists to help them heal by giving them the opportunity to get tattoos done without the cost. It ran for the second time this year on October 10. It’s time to rethink the use of ink – tattooing is no longer being perceived as rebellious self-expression but as a dynamic art that is used purposefully to help heal emotional wounds by concealing the physical. StacieRae would like to see the public look beyond mainstream representations of tattooing, “The fact that tattooing has gone to everyone’s living room via television has really given people the idea of what they think tattooing is about when they really don’t know. Take a look at the rich history, cultural implications, and the way they have been used for healing.” Just a few hours in a tattoo parlor can help a survivor feel empowered. Nicole Fischer, P.Ink Day 2015’s survivor, sat in Stacie-Rae’s chair for six hours for her brightly coloured floral piece that includes birth flowers for her three daughters. After having seven tattoos done in the past, working with Stacie-Rae was an entirely different tattoo experience. Nicole says, “I had never had this type of connection or conversation during my other tattoos.” After using every ounce of energy to survive, the scar left behind reminded Nicole of the shadow cancer cast on her life and body that reconstructions alone can’t fix. When Nicole saw her finished mastectomy tattoo for the first time, the reveal of it triumphed over the memory of having her bandages removed after her mastectomy surgery. “It’s my masterpiece.”
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â€œ I had never had this type of connection or conversation during my other tattoos. â€? - Nicole Fischer
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â€œ I had areolas already, getting them again would be useless. I wanted them to be beautiful this time.â€? - Holly Johnson
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Mastectomy tattooing is a therapy that is changing the culture of healing. It helps rebuild a body cancer tried to break. Nicole no longer avoids mirrors feeling uncomfortable in her own skin – she embraces her breasts again. “They’re art and I would love to show it off with the lowest cut shirts I can,” Nicole says. It is a thoughtfully designed mark acting as a trophy for the appreciation of the strength of their body. P.Ink Day artist Nina Gremo, working out of Gypsy Rose Tattoo, feels a great sense of gratitude working with survivors. The survivors are so enthusiastic that when it comes to discussing the design they trust the artist to mesh the medley of ideas they bring in. “There’s a pressure removed from designing. It’s just like, ‘make it pretty, go,’” Nina says. Alongside Stacie-Rae, Nina believes they need to work in the medical field to help others be aware that there are reliable scar-tissue tattooing services to use that will help survivors change their perception of themselves. When surgeons tattoo survivors, “They are almost creating a scar of its own,” Nina adds. Stacie-Rae has been actively promoting the power of healing in tattoos. “The whole thing about using tattoos to change the way that you see yourself and empowering yourself to take life back on your own terms is not limited to breast cancer. I’ve tattooed over amputation scars, alopecia, vitilago…” Stacie-Rae says. It is not simply a tattoo – it helps a person find the confidence that they’ve lost to trauma. At 50 years of age, Holly Johnson got her first tattoo before her daughter had a chance to surprise her with one of her own. Like many survivors, Holly didn’t think she would ever want a tattoo, even before beginning her battle with breast cancer. It wasn’t until years after her surgery that she found out about P.Ink Day and realized
that she needed a tattoo. She decided to do an artistic scar coverage piece to mix up what nature gave her. With a contagious sense of humour Holly says, “I had areolas already, getting them again would be useless. I wanted them to be beautiful this time.” Holly used to be the woman that would rock a comfy sweatshirt and ripped jeans, not caring much about what she looked like on the outside. As long as she had coordinated sexy lingerie underneath, she felt beautiful. However, she felt a part of her femininity diminished after surgery. “Not being able to wear a bra is saddening for me, because that used to be a real expression of my femininity. Now I feel like I have an absolutely beautiful, permanent bra that I get to wear every day.” Her tattoo makes her feel free. As a swimmer, she no longer feels like she will be looked at around the pool as if something is missing but rather because something lovely is there to be admired. Nina worked on Holly’s whimsical English garden themed breastplate for about 10 hours. Spending more time looking at her breasts, Holly says, “I no longer feel like a blank slate.” Holly has a butterfly tattoo representing her endurance and the changes she has grown through. Since Holly is so pleased with her tattoo, instead of having a mastectomy scar as a reminder of cancer, now the only reminder she is given is to put a shirt on. Chemotherapy takes a breast cancer fighter’s hair, radiation takes their energy, mastectomies take their breasts, but survivors can take control of the scars left behind to make a meaningful mark of their choosing. There are many ways to face breast cancer and tattoo artists like Stacie-Rae and Nina are there to help survivors find theirs by using a survivor’s strength as their muse and their scars as a canvas to create a beautiful reminder that they’ve kicked cancer to the curb.
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NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Life-Stylish On the outside: a striking statement of sophisticated living. 129 boutique style homes in the heart of Calgary’s cultural, culinary and artistic epicenter: the Beltline – home to more Smith’s than anywhere else in Calgary. On the inside; handsome interiors finely crafted offer a peaceful retreat from the action of 17th Avenue. Couple that with amenities like a private Smith bike share program, you will wonder how you ever lived without.
HOMES UNDER $300,000 STILL AVAILABLE
WINE & DINE
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17 AVE SW
4 ST SW
5 ST SW
16 AVE SW
6 ST SW
7 ST SW
8 ST SW
9 ST SW
10 ST SW
11 ST SW
15 AVE SW
LOVE THIS CITY Meet our 2015 game changers. They are some of Calgary’s most impressive hustlers, creators, and leaders – and they’re also just downright cool.
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INSIGHT + INSPIRATION 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 issue.
40 | LOVE THIS CITY
How would you describe your photography style? “I generally focus on architecture, but what draws me to architecture is the geometry and lines. I think in urban landscapes there’s usually a lot of chaos and clutter. There are signs, there are people, there are garbage cans – it’s a lot of clutter. My focus is to try and simplify and see the lines that are not usually super apparent in the first place. The lines of light and shadow that come from where the sun is, from between buildings, from reflections – it’s about using photography to draw attention and highlight certain elements of those lines and geometry.” How did you first get into photography? “It’s been a hobby of mine for well over 10 years, and I’m selftaught. I started with film photography. I picked up a couple of old film cameras from the 70s and played around with those. I taught myself how to develop film, how to print in the dark room – all of the old-fashioned techniques. I was actually late getting into digital photography, but in essence it’s really the same, except that using film forces you to take care in what pictures you do take because a roll of film only has 36 shots. Now thinking back in hindsight, I don’t think I could just take 36 shots – running out of film would be a constant fear.”
ERNEST HON Instagram: @ernest_hon Portfolio: ernesthon.com Followers: 17.8k Age: 28
What do you like most about taking photos? “I find it meditative. First of all, it requires a lot of patience, especially if you’re in an urban environment, which generally I am. It’s about waiting for things to happen, or things to be aligned, or the sun to be in a certain place, or a car to be in a certain place. So to be willing to stand in a spot waiting for the right shot at the right time requires diligence. If I have a shot in mind, a scene or a sight that I need to capture, I will wait for it and try and get it. I know what I want, but I have to wait or look for the right spot until I capture it.” How do you stay inspired? “Travelling is a great source of inspiration for me, as well as the art scene in wherever I am. Most museums I go to, the first place I stop in is the photography wing, although even the great museums like The Met or The Chicago Art Institute only have a tiny one. I like to see how photographers have unique perspectives in capturing common things. I always try to look for an inner beauty, geometry, or perfection in things that aren’t very superficially pretty. Most streets or downtowns aren’t that pretty, but I find it challenging and fun to try to capture it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Visiting new places has an amazing way of giving me ‘fresh eyes’, as regular and mundane become unique and worthy of contemplation. For example, one of the coolest things about Calgary that people here hardly notice is the fascinating visual of people traversing downtown in a network of steel and glass bridges right above our heads.” Do you have a favourite photograph that you’ve taken? “Maybe one of my favourite photos is of a taxi in New York I featured at my art show. It’s a yellow taxi in a cityscape, taken on 6th Avenue in New York – one of the busiest streets in the world. There are people, there is garbage – it’s a jungle. This one time I was walking on it, and at that right moment the sun was shining between two buildings to lay a perfect line of light in a perfect trapezoid. The sun laid a line of light across the road. Seeing that, I waited for a chance where there were no people and just one car passing by. Seeing the right spot, knowing there was a cool image to be found there and waiting for the right time – and timing it as the car passed. What would have been a very chaotic urban environment, turned into something very pure and very simplistic.” BRANDED | 41
w en ur s
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an Ca d W l th ga bus hil e e t r l fa w c y’ e ex vou ore s c of e oo do of pl rit . or e Ea ln w te n e p c in lac h ess nto fa w vo di es iss u ex n ffe u re to e w ten life r t nt ea e ds , t he ’ he ll po t, h ck sw bri far t u et ea ng b ruth stle s o t, y ey f t sho ou on is he p o d ci , a ur ty nd .
1 ST SW
a. centre ST
GEMS: chinatown d.
4 AVE 1 ST SE
c. 2 AVE
a. CALGARY CHINESE CULTURAL CENTRE 197 1 Street SW Since 1992, the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre has been the focal point of the Chinatown community. Its beautiful architectural temple structure, coupled with the intricate design details makes it one of the most iconic buildings in YYC. But the Chinese Cultural Centre is more than just a pretty building. It’s home to a Chinese museum and library, cultural tours, education programs, and host to many city events such as Market Collective. As February 8 marks the 2016 Chinese New Year, you can bet the Cultural Centre will be the place to be to celebrate. the year of the Monkey. Chinese astrology predicts 2016 will be a year in which anything can happen.
b. THE NEW GALLERY 208 Centre Street South While Chinatown may be known for its incredible eats and treats, it’s also home to some of Calgary’s best contemporary art. The New Gallery is a non-profit artist-run centre that focuses on showcasing social and political creative practices from both emerging and established local artists. Most of The New Gallery’s exhibits are interactive and engaging, allowing you the chance to learn something new and gain a better appreciation of the arts. With its open and approachable space you don’t need to be an art buff to feel welcome here, making it the perfect pit stop on a Sunday stroll.
c.SILVER DRAGON RESTAURANT 106 3 Ave SE
d. 1POT 123 3 Ave SE
Silver Dragon Restaurant has been slaying it in Chinatown for 44 years, so it’s safe to say they are true experts when it comes to Chinese cuisine. With highly trained chefs and a menu of over 200 items, Silver Dragon offers something for everyone. And when you see a dim sum trolley pass your table by, be sure to stop it immediately. Seriously, stop that trolley. We promise you won’t regret it. If anything you’ll be thanking us, along with thanking Silver Dragon for offering downtown delivery and takeout so you can always get your fix.
1Pot makes it so you can have whatever you like, no really, like, whatever you want. At this all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant you get your very own pot to customize and cook your hot pot dish. Step One: pick your soup base. You can go for a classic like beef broth, or sweat it out with a spicy Szechuan. Step Two: pack your pot full of noodles, meat, and veggies. Step Three: get saucy at the sauce buffet. You can play it safe with one sauce, or experiment with a few different flavours. Step Four: feast on your yummy eats. Trust us, it only takes one visit to 1Pot before you’ll be hopping back for more.
e. CHATIME 328 Centre Street South
f. QALALA #151 328 Centre Street South (inside mall)
Chatime may be the new kid on the block in Chinatown, but this café is known all over the world for its delicious drinks. It’s basically the Starbucks of bubble tea. With its bright and fun atmosphere and customizable menu, Chatime will quickly become one of your favourite downtown spots. There are a ton of drinks to choose from, like smoothies, milk teas, fruit tea, Chatime jelly, mousses, and coffees. We recommend the Roasted Milk Tea – it’s unreal. You don’t have to have a big sweet tooth to enjoy the treats offered at Chatime; the staff can customize your sugar and ice levels to your liking. Whether you’re a bubble tea lover or not, we guarantee Chatime will have you falling steeply in love.
If Willy Wonka had a candy factory in YYC, Qalala would give him a serious run for his money. Qalala is the candy store that literally has it all, and then some. Qalala sells some of the most popular Chinese treats like spicy crispy anchovies, Hello Kitty fizzy pops and Hi-Chews. It even sells cheesecake and pumpkin spice Kit Kats that you bake in the microwave. It’s safe to say that you’ll be in a candy coma when you leave Qalala.
136 2nd Street SW MINASSTEAkhouse INFO@MINASSTEAkhouse.com
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Meet your Neighbour
Catching up with Master Tommy K.K. Lee words by Lauren Steeves / photo by Krystal Boyd
Walking around Chinatown is like being transported into the streets of Hong Kong. It’s a community that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Calgary’s core and experience a neighbourhood that’s packed with a rich history. Part of that history revolves around the celebration of the Chinese New Years, a holiday known for its traditional Lion Dance performance. With the 2016 Chinese New Year falling on February 8, we wanted to get to know the man behind the lion mask. Meet Master Tommy K.K. Lee, the founder of Calgary’s Lion Dance team and the master of Chinatown’s martial arts club, Okinawa Gojuryu Karatedo Kugekai. Master Lee has been a mainstay in Chinatown since the early 90s and has helped grow the arts and culture of the community to what it is today. Learning about Master Lee’s accomplishments makes you think he’s lived multiple lives. Not only is Master Lee a fifth-generation Kugekai trainer with 55 years of karate under his belt, he’s also appeared in over 50 films and has written four books. Master Lee is a true family man too, as a father to three sons and a grandfather to four grandchildren. But it’s Master Lee’s goal of building a Chinatown community that upholds authentic Chinese traditions that makes him a true visionary and master in our city. What’s the history behind the Lion Dance? “It’s a traditional performance art that dates back centuries. Back in China obviously they didn’t have lions that we know of, so we heard about them in tales from far away lands. We heard that there’s these creatures that have fangs and fur and are very powerful. There are different stories of how the Lion Dance started. One version would be that a monster was terrorizing a village. They found that the only way they could scare it off was through loud noise, the colour red, and lions. Every year in order to keep this evil or monster away, people dress up as lions, play the drums nice and loud, set off firecrackers and use the colour red predominantly throughout the celebration to scare everything away and bring good luck. Everything surrounding the Lion Dance is about bringing good luck, prosperity and good health.” How did you first get involved in Lion Dance? “I immigrated here 28 years ago, and it all came through from the spirit of Chinatown. Chinatown inspired me to start up the Lion Dance team under the Kugekai. In Chinese culture, there’s a lot of celebration that typically happens and that was my inspiration: to be a part of the festivities. During my second year in Canada, I decided to
open up my first Dojo (karate studio) at the Calgary Chinese School to teach others the Lion Dance.” What was your vision for the Lion Dance team? “Initially when I started the Lion Dance team, my vision was to have an in-house celebration team that was just strictly for Kugekai club itself. Once I passed on the responsibilities to the members of the club, they ended up taking Lion Dance beyond the club doors to the public. All the members of the Lion Dance team originated from the karate club, Kugekai. I’ve directly trained six to eight lion dancers. From there, those dancers went on to train others. I always believed in first setting up my roots, then training a group of people under me, and eventually I wanted the club to grow by itself. I planted the seed in all those below me and wanted them each to grow in their own way— kind of like a forest.” What makes the Kugekai club different from other karate clubs? “Kugekai members are trained from the actual origin of karate, so our techniques are traditional. We don’t learn a mixed marital arts form and try to conceive it as karate. All of our karate comes from past generations, so the person that came up with the discipline of karate, his methods and techniques, are what I teach. It’s a pure form that can be traced back to the beginning.” Describe the growth of Chinatown since you first came to Calgary. “I’ve noticed there’s a lot less people in Chinatown now. There are fewer families bringing their children here because there are so many suburbs and each community has its own Chinese stores. The city is now very diverse and spread out as opposed to what it used to be when Chinatown was very centralized. Before the only Chinese school was in Chinatown and now different communities have their own schools. It’s very similar to Vancouver now. Like any big city with a Chinatown, once the city grows people spread out in their respective communities.” What’s next for you? “I’m retired now, so my concern is with enjoying my life and health. I want to travel now and spend time with my children and grandchildren.”
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10 ST NW
14 ST NW
KENSINGTON RD NW
photos by Carson Tofin
Being able to acknowledge incredible individuals and teams working in our city is the highlight of our year. In fact, itâ€™s essentially why we are here; to tell the stories of those that are killing it in various industries, and making Calgary a better place because of their work. These individuals defy stale traditions and pursue new creative paths for themselves, their teams, and our community. Due to the incredible examples they set, those included in the list have the power to shift opinions and mindsets, something that is not easily done. Their hours, uniforms, and professions vary, but one thing is consistent â€“ they are all going against the grain in the best way possible. They radiate innovation, ooze charisma, and are perpetually attempting to make a difference in YYC and beyond. We are pleased to introduce you to our Game Changers of 2015.
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EVAN PATTERSON @kidsupfront Kids Up Front Calgary executive director
48 | LOVE THIS CITY
He’s also found that the people he’s building relationships with One night a young boy named Victor made Evan Patterson are one of the best parts of our city. What does Patterson love most realize why he loves his job. He was doing an interview with some children who had been about calling Calgary home? It’s the work ethic and ambition that he given tickets to a hockey game through Kids Up Front, an incredible sees all around him. “There’s a real positive energy in this city. I think there’s a real charity in its 15th year of operation in our city. “There was a point where he looked at me and asked if he could ambition that people display in their day-to-day work. I feel there’s say something...he hadn’t said three words pretty much all evening. a really young dynamic here. It’s encouraging to see the great work Out of the blue comes the most candid response and impromptu happening all across the sectors.” Through collaboration Patterson has found success, and the interview from Victor, ‘Going to a game makes me really really happy and it’s great to be here and meet new friends. This is the first time I’ve process of bringing together many ideas and views, is what defines been to a hockey game. Actually, this is the first time I’ve ever been Kids Up Front Calgary. “I can tell you first of all that it is certainly not about how much to anything!’” Patterson recalls. “It was kind of at that moment that I money you have because I don’t think that has any bearing on really tuned into our mission and what Kids Up Front is doing.” Kids Up Front takes unused event tickets and redistributes success,” says Patterson. “For me, success is going to bed at night them to underprivileged kids and their families so that they can go knowing you’ve done the best job that you could, in whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s work or to events. relationships or giving back to “We give children an your community.” opportunity to go and experience His greatest achievement, something truly amazing in the aside from the amount of tickets city.” For me, success is going to bed at night they have given to deserving Last year they redistributed families, is assembling his 1.7 million dollars worth of tickets current team and fostering the for free to kids like Victor, who knowing you’ve done the best job that relationships with so many will never forget his first hockey supportive community partners game. you could, in whatever you’re doing. that share the same mission as Whether it’s a sporting he does. event or theatre, Kids Up Front Whether it’s work or relationships or “When I talk about your provides opportunities and network being your net-worth, I experiences to children that giving back to your community. think the proof is in the pudding would otherwise not get them. with Kids Up Front and being “What our foundation able to partner with 200 agencies, does is provide an alternative to 450 ticket contacts, and amazing selling tickets online or letting community partners.” them go to waste, which would Patterson explains that when they say they’ve redistributed be even worse,” says Patterson. With the growth of Kids Up Front expanding to Vancouver, 32,000 tickets last year, they mean four, 10, and a dozen at a time. Edmonton, and Toronto, the biggest challenge Patterson faces is in They partner with social workers, teachers, and principals that are empowered to select the kids and families that are in the most need in managing the speed of its growth. “We could potentially double in size and double in ticket their respective programs. In other words, in his work with Kids Up Front, Patterson has not donations overnight if we were to really ask for that support from the city,” says Patterson. “So I think the challenge is being responsible only given thousands of kids amazing opportunities and experiences, and always providing that accountability to our partners in the he’s also empowered hundreds of others to participate in this awesome charity. community.” “Whether it’s a small thing or an extremely large thing, it doesn’t In his role Patterson has learned how important it is to build relationships and then create a team, “I have fundamentally learned matter if you’re helping a thousand people or just one person. Just that your network is your net-worth. I certainly cannot do it all, but I’ve take it upon yourself to do one thing that makes your community made a point of going out and fostering relationships and meeting better, and if you multiply that effort by 1.2 million you’re going to have a great city.” people that have so many different and unique skill sets.”
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VANESSA SALOPEK @marketcalgary MARKET owner
SEAN MACDONALD @seanymacd ALEX EDMONSON @alexedmonson MARKET co-executive chefs
50 | LOVE THIS CITY
Despite having garnered so much success, the chefs at MARKET MARKET Restaurant provides much more than just delicious have had to overcome some obstacles as well. One of the biggest cuisine – it provides an experience like no other. Since it’s re-opening in February of 2013, the restaurant has challenges for them has been their ages; being that MacDonald is become a staple in the Calgary culinary scene and a leader in local 24 and Edmonson is 23 – they felt they had a lot to prove when they stepped onto the culinary scene. food production. “We’re really young chefs so it’s hard for people to understand The restaurant takes the farm-to-table movement to a whole new level, making virtually everything that’s served in-house. Whether it’s where we come from; to prove that it’s quality of experience over jams, sauces, pastas, or bonbons – you name it; it’s basically made next quantity of experience. To prove ourselves to everyone and to show to or in the small but mighty kitchen. You can even see MARKET’s our passion,” says MacDonald. “It’s been really tough in this industry vegetables and herbs growing year-round in the urban cultivator because typically you don’t become a chef until you’re at least 30.” “We just want to show that we still have the same skills and while enjoying your meal – now that’s what we call growing local. Its emphasis on producing regional and seasonal food is what capabilities to make the same food, if not better,” says MacDonald. Consistently creating comfort food fused with a modern twist, makes MARKET so unique and popular among Calgarians as well as those just visiting YYC. MARKET was even named one of the Top 50 the chefs push the envelope and showcase their talents with each dish. “We definitely show a lot of our true colours through social Restaurants of 2014 in Canada by vacay.ca and also Canada’s Best New Restaurant in 2013 by enRoute Magazine. Much of the credit for media, like our creativity and our passion. I think a lot of people see this success goes to Vanessa Salopek, the owner of the restaurant who that,” says Edmonson. “We inspire each other. We kind of see different things the other person is doing and want to push it to the next level.” was determined to see her vision for MARKET come to life. This artistic flare was something that came naturally to them “We home make everything from our chocolates, syrups, homemade butchery, cheeses, and bread. We really take it to that next when it came to conceptualizing dishes. “My mom was an artist so growing level. Really, no one else does that here up I always saw her creating water in the city,” says Salopek. colours and oil paintings and I always At just 28 years old, Salopek was liked the shapes she would create and named one of BDC’s top 10 young colour patterns. So that’s definitely entrepreneurs in Canada in 2015 – For us, collaboration is what we the something I take into context when something she says really solidified her I’m doing a plate. I try to think of as a businessperson in the city. “For me professionally as an do every single day. We wouldn’t contrasting colours and stuff like that,” says MacDonald. entrepreneur that was a really big thing be here without each other. An experience at MARKET is for me,” says Salopek. “But last year we stylish and refreshing, with no pretention just got named restaurant of the year by or pomposity, the food is impressive yet Tourism Calgary so we got White Hatted approachable. (an award for excellence in the service MARKET is also big into the industry) which was pretty awesome.” business of giving back – it partners with The extra effort of making everything in-house connects diners to their meals in a refreshing Grow Calgary who provides local, fresh, and nutritional food to the way. Under the leadership of co-executive chefs Alex Edmonson and Calgary Food Bank as well as Mealshare – offering a buy one, get one Sean MacDonald, MARKET’s ever-changing menu embraces seasons support for the Calgary Drop-In Centre. “I think it’s really important that we partner with them to allow and trends in food, leaving guests always wanting to come back. “As soon as I heard that something was going to happen with everyone, all Calgarians, access to local fresh nutritious food. We MARKET I kind of threw myself out there,” says MacDonald. “I basically put all our fundraising into Grow Calgary and host events wanted to take over and I thought that we could do a really good thing throughout the year and partner with them,” says Salopek. Supporting Calgary just makes sense, because the MARKET for MARKET and we could take it to where it wants to be.” Between Salopek, Edmonson, and MacDonald, MARKET has team feels Calgary supports them right back. “I don’t know exactly what it is...it’s definitely a very homey been able to consistently stand out in a city where good restaurants city. It kind of takes your heart when you stay here for awhile,” says are anything but rare. With the open-concept dining room and kitchen, MARKET Edmonson. “The way everybody gets together when the Flames are in the functions like many urban restaurants these days – small staff, small space. But innovative thinking and teamwork keeps the co-executive playoffs or something like that. Just the way that everyone cares for each other and looks for the common good in the city,” says chefs from feeling overwhelmed. “For us, collaboration is what we do every single day. We wouldn’t MacDonald. Beautiful plating, locally grown flavours, and an atmosphere that be here without each other. I think the two of us combined make such better ideas and we really notice our work escalate more when we use makes you never want to leave – MARKET has stolen our hearts and captivated our taste buds. We’ll surely be returning to see what the both of our heads,” says MacDonald. team is going to cook up next.
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JAY BAYDALA @jaybaydala / @meetgoodpin Goodpin co-founder and CEO
52 | LOVE THIS CITY
GAME CHANGERS Jay Baydala is kind of like Calgary’s very own Spiderman – he cool. We have to change this. This is clearly not okay.’” Baydala mentions a specific injustice that continues to drive his saw the lack of justice in the world and wanted to change that. Instead of grabbing a red spandex suit, he flexed his philanthropic determination to make a change, an injustice that affects those both muscle and began brainstorming ways to get the community involved in and outside the borders of developing nations. “The all too frequent treatment of women in abused relationships in helping the world become a better place. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Goodpin, a mobile app that and abused family situations. Being way too familiar with that, that’s provides an in-the-moment-do-something-about-it-button, which a big one.” His innate need to help people, along with his experiences serves as a way to donate to dozens of worthy charitable causes. The idea for the app grew out of Baydala’s experience starting an travelling and witnessing despair, prompted Baydala to leave his online charity called You End Poverty. During that project he realized successful business position and forge a new, more fulfilling path for himself. that you couldn’t just rely on people’s philanthropic drive alone. It hasn’t been an easy ride to get Goodpin to where it is today. “You have to make it fun, exciting, and interesting for people to Baydala and his co-founders found it difficult to convince people that participate in changing the world.” From there, it occurred to Baydala that weaving together charity the business model the app uses would be a successful one. “The time involved in proving out each of those components, and and technology could be a revolutionary way to get millennials involved in making a difference – and Goodpin was the result of this then knitting it all together to create this product has been the biggest challenge,” says Baydala. “To help unleash all this good in the world “aha” moment. “Now we’ve got super computers in our pockets (a.k.a cell and remove all those barriers between that moment of inspiration and phones). So incorporating those super computers and the ability to the act of doing something.” Goodpin’s aim to bring together charities, corporations, retailers, publicly display what’s important to you, that’s where Goodpin came and people in the community has from.” proven a bit complex in terms of The app is incredibly figuring out how each of those accessible giving anyone, components work together, but anywhere, at any time, the ability also been a very worthwhile to donate to a worthy cause. As I travelled around the world making it’s endeavour. Baydala says this accessibility As CEO of Goodpin, was critical for Goodpin, so a few bucks in corporate IT, seeing what Baydala has learned that the developing a functioning mobile key to success is all about interface had to happen to ensure collaboration and understanding, the idea’s success. was going on in the world I realized both within the community and “You can participate within the Goodpin team. by looking at your list of ‘Whoa - this is not cool. We have to “The western version of a opportunities, scrolling through, leader is ‘command and control’, making a click, and making a change this. This is clearly not okay.’ but that just does not cut it. It’s difference in the world.” the wrong way. And I’ve learned Baydala is helping redefine that I need to listen and trust philanthropy in a modern and my people, and empower my approachable way. Through people.” Goodpin you can donate to Baydala and the Goodpin team take the term “do-gooder” to a anything from a local charity such as the Calgary Food Bank, to a more widespread cause like the fund for Amnesty International on whole new level, and now with the app live and functioning, you can too. behalf of Syrian Refugee Relief. “It’s giving people more opportunity in the world, and that’s what The app presents people with opportunities to make a difference relevant to the time and space they are in. This makes it easy for I want to do. So it starts with our organization.” Baydala notes that the shift of the emerging creative class people to see something they want to change – and then help change has set a new tone for acts of kindness. You no longer have to be it. Baydala remembers a time when he was affected by not having an established businessperson or a millionaire to be considered a the power to do anything to help someone less fortunate than him, philanthropist making a difference in the world. “The change that is happening right now, in the last few years, “During my travels, I saw a man lying in the street in a developing nation. Knowing that there’s no social net to catch him, that he’ll likely this incredible youthful energy, this creative energy – it’s infusing die on the street, he’ll not get any help from anyone, anywhere – let everywhere and everything.” “It’s an exciting time to be in this city for sure, the people are alone his community – that was a realization that something needed magnificent.” to be done.” So really, our friendly neighbourhood Spiderman is giving us all Baydala’s natural tendency to help those in need is something he says, he inherited from his mother. He describes her as having a a chance to be modern-day superheroes in YYC and beyond. We’d say that’s an accomplishment that even the web-slinger himself would be wonderful, giving heart, and clearly, it’s rubbed off on him. “As I travelled around the world making a few bucks in corporate impressed by. IT, seeing what was going on in the world I realized ‘Whoa - this is not
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JENNIFER BARROLL @missjennybar In The Lead program director Calgary Youth Justice Society
54 | LOVE THIS CITY
As the program goes on, teachers often see what Barroll describes Realizing one’s own strengths doesn’t always come naturally. This is something that Jennifer Barroll can whole-heartedly as a “spark” in students, something special they don’t recognize in agree with, “I always felt like I was a little too much,” laughs Barroll. “I themselves yet. “I am so passionate about seeing people discover their best never stopped. I was always going, going, going.” She was the girl who always had her hand up in class, always version of themselves, discovering their own talents, their own chatting and trying to engage with anyone that would listen – this strengths, and then beyond that, discovering a way to use it to also help others to serve a bigger purpose.” wasn’t always seen as a positive thing. Barroll explains that the program is helping teenagers develop “I always wished I could be that quiet girl in the class, or I wished into unique and strong individuals as opposed to pressuring them to I could be a little less, as opposed to being too much all the time.” As Barroll got older, she realized that her knack for conversation fit in. It’s about showing them their strengths, something we all need was not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, being curious and talkative if we’re going to step up into our potential. “When you contribute and help out a teenager, that is serving so opened a lot of doors for her and allowed her to understand life from many more generations beyond yourself. I feel like I’m able to really different points of view. “What I do for a living, every single day, capitalizes on that help them see who they are and how they can help.” Barroll had made good use ability to have a conversation of her previously unappreciated with anybody, that desire to talents, and along the way she interact and engage and to have discovered a way to do the same. those conversations.” “I feel like the way that I use What Barroll does for a When you contribute and help out a my talents, my strengths, and my living, is serve as the program is helping people to do that director for In The Lead, a teenager, that is serving so many more gifts for themselves, but specifically unique leadership development helping young people who I program that matches vulnerable generations beyond yourself. I feel like think a lot of people in society youth with volunteer corporate have written off.” mentors in the Calgary area. Barroll gives back to Calgary The aim is to help them identify I’m able to really help them see who they with her services everyday, and their own strengths and inspire now that she’s been in wild rose leadership within them along the are and how they can help. country for 15 years, she sees way. herself as a Calgarian, something “We’ve got young people that she’s incredibly proud of. who never would have gone to “This community is one that university and are now engaging has shown me that, especially in post-secondary, who never would have thought of themselves as a business person and are now through the flood and through different things that have happened since I’ve been here, that there’s such a rich, charitable, generous enrolled in business schools.” The candidates for In The Lead are teenage students who community feeling here.” The best part about the city? Barroll says it’s the incredible spirit wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to be a part of a leadership program. In The Lead allows teachers to nominate students that that the community has in YYC. “This city is a place where you can dream big, you can do what might be considered troubled youth or who could potentially be you want to do, you can try and fail, and get up and try again.” making bad decisions. Barroll represents a resilience that is rare – and that, along with The program runs for one semester, and when that time frame has concluded, the staff gives participating students the opportunity an unwavering passion, has made her a role model to dozens, and an inspiration for the rest of us. to come back for a second semester at their own request. “They write us a letter and tell us why they feel like they deserve another chance to make an impact in the community, to learn more about themselves.”
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GILL CO (@gillykoko) VINCENT TRUONG (@vnice_) TARA WILSON (@tearemup) @pulsestudioscalgary Pulse Studios co-owners
56 | LOVE THIS CITY
Since each member of this trio plays a big role in creating It takes courage and resilience to pursue a creative career in what Pulse is going to look like in the future, collaboration is very the arts, and dance is certainly no different. Tara Wilson, Vincent Truong, and Gill Co make up the team important to them. “I think collaboration is critical in anything that you try to do in that serves as the leadership of Pulse Studios, Calgary’s only urban performance and hip-hop dance studio. The studio is currently life. You just can’t do it all by yourself. There are very few people in celebrating a huge accomplishment – making it to the five-year mark the world that really can accomplish great things alone,” says Wilson. Truong notes that living in Calgary makes collaboration that – something remarkable in any type of business. Vincent Truong, marketing director and co-owner of Pulse much more exciting, “We have such a diverse group of people that Studios, says that forging ahead in the dance industry meant going really want to better the city, and offer what they feel the city might be missing or a way to build our identity.” against the grain and taking a risk initially, but this risk has paid off. Co adds, “There are just a lot of cool things happening right Truong and his business partners are incredibly energetic and positive people; being around them literally makes you want to now in Calgary, and I feel like there’s a lot of spark and energy from start moving, so it’s not hard to see why they are successful in their a generation of people who just want to try and make YYC a better place to live.” business of teaching. The Pulse owners say the “Dance is my life,” says coolest thing that they’ve been Tara Wilson, creative director a part of is something called the and principal of Pulse Studios. Change The Game Project. “Hip-hop is a culture and a way “We collaborated with of seeing the world that changed Hip-hop is a culture and a way Bobby Mileage from New my life, changed my game up, York City, who’s part of the and really saved my life in many original hip-hop crew and the ways.” of seeing the world that changed Elite Force crew and we put on Though these three may North America’s biggest dance prefer different styles of dance, my life, changed my game up, and competition and urban street their passion for this art form dance camp,” says Truong. collides and makes Pulse Studios really saved my life in many ways. “It was a fantastic turn out. a place of learning, collaboration, We had people from all over and movement. the world come take the camp, Wilson speaks about compete, and vibe out for a whole finding a place in the dance week. Also a lot of the originators community that really meshed and educators that created these dances came down too and passed with who she was. “For me it was really based in dance, but also included people the knowledge.” Giving back to the community through teaching both at the that were involved in many other urban art forms and a common mindset with other people that maybe didn’t fit in or maybe didn’t studio and in collaboration with the Change The Game Project has belong in the regular way,” says Wilson. “When I discovered hip-hop, established the Pulse team as leaders in the urban arts community. “If I think back to all the different things that we’ve been able to it opened up my mind to the possibilities of myself as an artist.” accomplish and do,” says Co. “I feel like we’ve had to make decisions This is exactly what Pulse aims to communicate to its dancers. Gill Co, dancer and co-owner, explains that the biggest challenge where we’ve really had to know what our intentions were, what right now is planning where to go from here since the studio has our vision was, how we could be different, how we are serving our community, and then also being able to take the risk.” reached its five-year mark. Their intentions are clear and their vision of a colourful and “Thinking back on what we’ve been able to do and accomplish, how do we go forward from here? What does Pulse look like in another electric urban dance scene in Calgary is coming to life. Truong, Co, five years? How can we contribute to Calgary in the way that we can?” and Wilson will be popping, breaking, vogueing, and twerking – yes twerking (just ask Wilson, she’ll demonstrate) – for a while yet. says Co.
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MARIJA PAVKOVIC TOVISSI @makamicollege MaKami College founder
58 | LOVE THIS CITY
“Being an immigrant child means you usually learn English At 21 years of age, most young adults are deciding what cocktail to order at happy hour; when Marija Pavkovic Tovissi was 21 faster than your parents do, and I was asked to go into post-secondary environments to translate on behalf of my parents as a teenager at she decided she wanted to start a private college. It was 2001, and Tovissi remembers the reactions she received a very young age,” says Tovissi. “What that led to was a little bit of when she initially told people about her ambitious goal, especially her concern about how they were treated.” “I honestly just thought that maybe there could be a better way father’s. “Even my parents thought it was ridiculous and hilarious,” to do things.” Tovissi learned English in the second grade thanks to the vast laughs Tovissi. “I remember telling my dad, he was just getting ready for bed, and he literally was in his underwear laughing like crazy in amount of resources in elementary schools, but for her parents – adults entering post-secondary school – there wasn’t a place they could turn his bedroom.” Immigrating from Yugoslavia in 1987 to create a better life for to for help. Tovissi explains how it feels to be relatively unfamiliar with their family, Tovissi’s parents were one of her biggest inspirations for a dialect as an immigrant, “If I’m nervous that I’m going to be judged, or I’m scared of how I will be perceived when I speak, my accent, I’m her creating a private college. Tovissi remembers the struggle of learning the ropes in a new less likely to attempt to try to have a conversation.” Tovissi wanted to be sure that she gave students studying English country, and the hardships that came with learning English as a second language, not so much for her – but for her parents. Despite as a second language a fair shot at a good quality education and running into setbacks due to language barriers, Tovissi’s parents successful career through MaKami, so with the help of technology and achieved new successes through their personal educational pursuits, one-on-one teaching sessions, that’s exactly what she does. Between helping ESL students flourish and providing career opportunities to and she experienced her family’s lives slowly improve. everyone enrolled at MaKami – “I’m inspired daily by my Tovissi is making a difference, parents’ plight to get educated and the effects reach much here in Canada and how hard further than the classroom. they had to work here,” says “I think what I’m most Tovissi. “We went from an I Googled how to start a private college excited for is what we do here apartment with cockroaches to on a daily basis and how it one that was a little nicer, to one at the age of 20, found out some affects our students’ lives, but that had an extra bedroom, and not only their lives, their families finally to an actual home.” information and just followed Google’s lives. When I can educate an Because of her parents’ individual, what happens is I dedication she and her brother instructions and proceeded, and here improve their life situation and were given opportunities they that directly impacts their family wouldn’t otherwise have been and their children.” afforded. This was what initially we are today. “And that’s what I get up inspired MaKami College, one in the morning and get excited of Alberta’s largest privateabout.” vocational colleges. Tovissi believes that “I Googled how to start a anything is possible, and private college at the age of 20, found out some information and just followed Google’s instructions says looking at her journey from 2001 to now proves that. It’s hard to imagine where she found the time to own or co-own 15 other and proceeded, and here we are today.” MaKami College officially opened in 2001, now with both businesses, and co-author multiple books focused on helping women Calgary and Edmonton campuses, it is the largest massage therapy succeed in business, but she did. “I think my favourite quote is, ‘Don’t tell me that the sky is the school in Alberta. The college offers a 3,000-hour diploma program in Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy and with plans to expand with limit because I know that there are footprints on the moon,’ and I take two more programs this year, MaKami is growing fast. Currently the that to heart daily.” Tovissi’s passion for education is clear – she is also one of the college hosts 1,200 students annually, but they are hoping to more founders of the Queen Esther Education Foundation, a foundation than double that number within the next three years. “I am always spreading the message of education. But not just created in order to help the community through the power of education, the right kind of education, the kind of education that’s in education, helping immigrants new to Canada have a better quality demand, the kind that makes sense for the current market place, that of life. It seems that whatever Tovissi does, she does it with grace, style, makes sense for your passion, dreams, and pursuits.” One of the biggest pillars of MaKami College is providing a and success. It’s safe to say that she is a total boss, one who fearlessly platform of opportunity for ESL students. Tovissi’s experience with leads by example, and one who definitely won’t be doubted ever again. “After 15 years of doing this I think I’ve kind of proven to people her parents’ difficulty to grasp the English language later in their lives that I’m capable of running a private college, and there doesn’t seem greatly affected her. to be too many people laughing now.”
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WALKER MCKINLEY MARK BURKART @mckinleyburkart McKinley Burkart co-founders
60 | LOVE THIS CITY
The offices of interdisciplinary design firm McKinley Burkart McKinley and Burkart collaborate to develop concepts, and just like can easily be compared to the home of an eclectic world traveller. their friendship, working together is easy. The pair just click, allowing Every nook and cranny is filled with beautiful, interesting, and frankly, concepts and designs to come together flawlessly. “We rarely argue about the design principles,” says Burkart. perplexing items that have clearly been gathered by someone with an “We argue because I like to argue and he puts up with me,” incredible imagination and an eye for design. One couldn’t help but ponder how all of these curious items laughs McKinley. “I think Mark’s one of the most talented designers made their way into the offices of two of Calgary’s most successful I’ve ever met.” The duo get inspiration from a multitude of things, including and innovative architects and designers, Walker McKinley and Mark movies and travel, or as McKinley puts it, “everything except Burkart. Each individual sculpture, figurine, painting, and installation architecture and design”. “When you start a project sometimes the most powerful seeds of has a story behind it. Despite everything being drastically different, the decor somehow cohesively flows with exceptional design and an idea come from kind of non-designer architectural things, and they execution. From a villainous taxidermied raven perched on the edge can really kind of blossom from there,” says Burkart. One of the reasons why the pair has been so successful is of Burkart’s desk, to a massive photograph showcasing trailer park people in all of their blue-jean-beer-can-wife-beater glory spanning because they believe in each other’s talents and trust their judgment. the largest wall in McKinley’s office – this space is an office like no They offer different skillsets, but have very similar values. “I think it’s interesting that what brought Walker and I together other. As head of Strategy and Business Development and head of 20 years ago was a shared desire to be a game changer, like an Design, McKinley and Burkart serve as the leaders of their 35-person architectural game changer,” says Burkart In those 20 years of business, the pair says the growth of their team. Their projects are numerous and impressive considering the firm and their community has been their size of their team. biggest success. In YYC alone, the firm has successfully “A lot of firms have come out of our firm. created some of the city’s most celebrated We’ve grown some great young designers who gathering places, including the Simmons have gone on to create great companies of Building, National on 10th and bowl, I think it’s interesting – their own,” says McKinley. Wurst, Village Ice Cream, Craft, MARKET, “It’s the culture we have created in the Commonwealth, Le Germaine Hotel, and people really need office, and seeing people grow over time,” Phil & Sebastian – and that’s just a drop in the says McKinley. “Of course seeing the kind bucket. McKinley Burkart has worked outside beauty in their lives. of breadth of work we do is obviously very the borders of Alberta, creating beautiful satisfying, but it really comes down to the spaces both nationally and internationally, culture of the office and seeing the people here with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. enjoy their lives.” When the duo began their partnership McKinley notes another great success – a over 20 years ago, the design industry was in solid long-term business partnership, “It’s like an entirely different place than it is today. “At that time architecture was very self-referential and about the a marriage, actually a lot easier than my wife,” he jokes. Burkart agrees having a partner has allowed him to live a more object. I think we really came together and were talking about how architecture could be about making an experience not like a thing,” well-balanced and full life. “You can go away to Paris for three weeks or hike the West Coast says Burkart. McKinley Burkart has now become one of the revered firms in Trail and know things are being covered for you,” says Burkart. Both men are well travelled and have favourite destinations the country. Specializing in fully integrated architectural and interior design, the firm’s vast range of projects include retail, hotel and resort, outside of YYC, but they believe Calgary in particular is on the cusp of something great, both inside and outside the design industry. restaurant, residential, and workplace spaces. “There’s a great entrepreneurial spirit here,” says McKinley. Being a design firm based out of Calgary hasn’t come without its “And that optimism is fantastic,” Burkart adds. challenges. Having the economy so dependent on oil and gas prices McKinley turns to Burkart and nods in agreement, “Refreshing, has left a lot of room for doubt over the years, but the firm has steadily kept growing, and with not one desk available in their office, it’s clear right?” As their team grows, their firm expands, and their projects reach the skills the firm possesses are in high demand. “We’ve been lucky we have such a breadth of work,” says Burkart. far outside Calgary, one thing is certain; for McKinley and Burkart “Now we are starting to get more work across Canada – we’re working the goal to create experiential atmospheres through design and in Ontario all the way across to B.C., and getting US clients so that architecture will stay consistent. Burkart says it simply, “I think it’s interesting – people really really helps.” Each space they tackle is incredibly unique and designed to need beauty in their lives.” communicate a specific idea and create a particular atmosphere.
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ANDREW OBRECHT @andrew_obrecht YYC Cycle motivator
62 | LOVE THIS CITY
As I navigated my way through the flashing lights, electrifying dynamic form of exercise. With a new location opening in Edmonton music, and people in skin-tight outfits, I could feel the energy this month – the trio will soon be taking over YEG and have a lot to look forward to. intensifying around me. “The motivators, my partners, and also the biker gang have had From that description you might deduce that I was in a nightclub, but no, I was stepping into Andrew Obrecht’s 5:15p.m. class at YYC the ability to positively influence.” Obrecht has been working to train an entire team of new Cycle in Kensington. I’m told the overwhelming buzz in the studio before Obrecht’s motivators for the Edmonton location. He lit up when I asked about class is a regular occurrence; this is how it always is before one of the the lengthy training process, explaining that watching them grow into their own styles and techniques is one of the best parts of working motivator’s 50-minute spin sessions. He’s been doing this for three years, and Obrecht has definitely with them. “My measure of success is the amount of people I can positively made a name for himself by emerging as one of Calgary’s most ininfluence.” demand spin instructors. His way of giving back starts at YYC Cycle but goes much After riding through one of his classes, I can see why. The session was packed with positivity, grit, and determination, further than just leading a class and saying goodbye at the door. A huge part of Obrecht’s day-to-day life is giving back to the not to mention high-energy music – everything that makes a workout Calgary community as much worthwhile. Usually sweating for as he can. He’s involved in an hour can be intimidating and supporting the Little Hippies slightly terrifying, but Obrecht Yoga Foundation, been a domade the minutes fly by. When gooder in the fall United Way the class was finished no one left It’s the community and the family that Campaign, and even worked with the room without a smile on their Prospect Humanity providing face – quite the accomplishment we’ve built, and the impact that we’ve spin classes for adults with for a bunch of tired people on a developmental disabilities. cold December evening. been able to have on the community Obrecht has also been at the He’s charismatic on and forefront of the Calgary branch off the bike, making anyone that’s beyond these four walls – that’s of a movement which started in taking his class feel welcome Halifax, NS, where winter gear and excited to be a part of what’s such as jackets have been placed happening in the spin room and YYC Cycle’s biggest success. out in the city with a note asking in the community. Maybe that’s anyone in need of some warmth why his classes fill up in the blink in YYC to take the coats and of an eye – no seriously – you can mittens freely. barely land a spot on the wait list. The motivator is passionate “Being a motivator within the studio and within the community is just the embodiment of my about good vibes, and clearly aims to spread them in his off time as passion. My purpose is to motivate others, so that they can then well as his time on the bike. “There’s no stopping a group of people that have the same continue motivating others.” Obrecht says this cascade of motivation is why he loves what vision, and are joined together within the same core values.” When it comes down to it – even though there is usually one he does so much. In the last year alone he had the opportunity to sit down with over 17,000 people in YYC Cycle’s spin rooms located in instructor leading a spin class, it is all about teamwork at YYC Cycle and for Obrecht in general. Marda Loop and Kensington. “What I’ve learned in my current role is that the bigger the dream He says his biggest achievement yet has been uniting the that you have, the more important the team.” community through his work at the studio. Based on his track record, Obrecht is headed for big things – and “It’s the community and the family that we’ve built, and the impact that we’ve been able to have on the community that’s beyond quickly. There’s really no telling what this motivator will accomplish in time. If you feel compelled to ask what’s coming up next for him, these four walls – that’s YYC Cycle’s biggest success.” Obrecht and his partners Warren Matzelle and Grady Topak you’ll surely be able to touch base with the man himself after one of ambitiously founded the studio to offer Calgarians an innovative and his spin classes – if you can catch your breath that is.
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CHRISTINA MAH @rawbaryyc Raw Bar, Hotel Arts general manager Alberta Chapter CPBA president
64 | LOVE THIS CITY
If you think bartenders are simply kicking around to mix your up at the mention of one of Calgary’s favourite watering holes. The drinks, and leave at the end of their shift – you’re mistaken. That may open and airy feel of the bar allows guests to feel at ease, kind of like be the case for some mixologists, but Christina Mah is one bartendress the atmosphere in a relaxing spa oasis – except, let’s be real – you most that takes the world of booze and the skills that come with it, pretty likely have a deliciously crafted cocktail in hand. The space is unique and like no other, but people love the bar for seriously. The born and raised Calgarian is not only the general manager much more than the chic décor and stellar craft cocktails. The team, of the sleek and sophisticated Raw Bar located in Hotel Arts, she is led by Mah, succeeds in exceptional service night after night, and that also the founder and president of the Alberta Chapter of the CPBA takes work. “Being the general manager of Raw Bar in such a dynamic area (Canadian Professional Bartenders Association). “Whether it’s creating events for people to come and support, is being able to lead a strong team and a strong product and push that or simply educating people,” says Mah. “The best thing is creating forward for our guests to come and enjoy and not to come once, but an event and then chatting with people at that CPBA event, it all ties to continue to come over and over. To come enjoy themselves and be a part of our family.” together.” Mah puts an emphasis on giving back through both of her Mah says being a part of the CPBA allows her to truly connect with those around her and reflect on her industry in a whole new professional ventures, even if that simply means giving an opportunity way. The organization aims to provide an educational platform for or a platform to be heard to other members of her community. “Every Thursday at Raw Bar, we do what we call ‘Raw Bar members and non-members about services, cocktails, beer, wine, and Rotations’ which supports local musicians in Calgary,” says Mah. spirits. “Through the Bartender’s The organization created Association, we also like to a collective voice for bartenders support charities. So any events and those in the industry to have that we’ve ever done along the a constructive dialogue with there’s always been a charity liquor licensing agencies across The more defined our palates become, way, component to it. We always want the country. With this open to make sure that we’re taking conversation occurring since the the more dynamic our cocktail industry care of others that are around us.” CPBA’s first provincial formation It’s safe to say that Mah has in Vancouver in 2009 – the nonprofit organization has made and food and beverage scene becomes been a catalyst when it comes to refining cocktail culture in leaps and bounds for bartenders YYC. For Mah, the profession across Canada. in Calgary. That will really put us on is one that should be respected, The over-arching goal of and acknowledged as one that the CPBA is to push the industry the map, not only nationwide but also takes talent, persistence, and in new and exciting directions, determination. She wants to one that makes life behind the worldwide. ensure that people recognize wood, anything but bleak. cocktail culture as more than Being a part of an a trend; it’s a culture that will organization that possesses one continue to grow and flourish. invested interest – educating “The more defined our people and bartenders alike – has palates become, the more given Mah even more knowledge about the food and beverage industry, one she’s been engulfed in dynamic our cocktail industry and food and beverage scene becomes in Calgary. That will really put us on the map, not only nationwide but since she was 18 years old. “The coolest thing that I’ve been a part of so far is actually also worldwide,” says Mah. “We can highlight and showcase all the creating a little community. We run the Alberta chapter, and it’s talent that we have here in Calgary for everyone in the world to see really neat because we brought together 10 individuals from around what’s going on here.” Mah continues to be inspired by those she works with both at our industry that love what they do, and are very passionate not only Raw Bar and at the Bartenders Association, as well as her friends, about libations but food, the service and everything that they do.” Mah says she and her fellow Alberta Chapter CPBA members family, and significant other, James. These factors keep her grounded, are not only training people and educating them, they are building a and ready for any challenges that may come her way. “Waking up everyday and being excited to wake up, getting out legacy for future generations of mixologists. “Right now, we are focusing on hosting cocktail competitions for of bed and wanting to do what I do best and not being scared, now that newer generation of bartenders to come through at any caliber to that’s success, and that’s what I strive for.” Behind the bar, she’s a pro, in front of it; she’s calm, collected, and help build the cocktail scene in Calgary,” Between CPBA meetings and events, Mah spends the rest of her seriously cool. It’s safe to say that we would be happy sitting across from Mah on either side of the bar, and we hope to be sipping on one professional time at Raw Bar on 12 Ave. Mah’s eyes brighten when we start speaking about the of her fantastic concoctions in the near future – like tonight. In other ultramodern bar and restaurant, and she’s not the only one who perks words, we’ll meet you at Raw Bar.
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RYAN MASSEL @immrfabulous immrfabulous.com founder
66 | LOVE THIS CITY
GAME CHANGERS of humour, Mr. Fab created the life he had aspired to have as kid – one Ryan Massel has a lot to celebrate. Massel, or Mr. Fab, as he’s fondly referred to by those in-the-know, where he could rock something from the Sears formal department any is a lifestyle blogger with a platform that’s killing it, immrfabulous. day of the week. Massel uses his blog as a way to inspire his readers and make com. He’s established himself as one of Calgary’s friendliest (and liveliest) faces by teaming up with some of our community’s favourite connections within the community. “I love it because it gives me a chance to take what they do and local businesses: Fiasco Gelato, Crave Cupcakes, and Jelly Modern share it with my audience.” Doughnuts to name a few. Clearly his audience, and Calgary, loves Mr. Fab, and he definitely Massel has yet another delicious creation coming out with Jelly Modern this holiday season, and has released a greeting card loves it back. “I don’t ever go down a street and think to myself, I’m collaboration with Swell Made Co. based out of Toronto. He can often be seen doing segments on Breakfast Television, or attending parties, uncomfortable being in this crowd, I don’t have the money to be here, or I have too much money to be here. I never feel I’m too this, or I’m galas, and charities around the city. What Massel has been celebrating most these days, is the fact too that. I never feel ‘too’ anything in this city.” “I see our city as a place that we should all celebrate together.” that he is doing something that he loves. And he gets to do it. Every. Immrfabulous is a clear success, but Massel admits he still faces Damn. Day. “I’m not an artist. I’m not a cook. I’m not a chef. What I am is a challenges like explaining what he does for his profession. “People don’t get it. They’re like, ‘So you’re a blogger? What’s a collaborator. I can give you a great idea, because that’s what I’m full of. And then I can let you take your skill and make it into something blogger? That’s not a writer, that’s not a journalist, that’s nothing. So you have like a homemade blog? What do you talk about? Your cat?’” amazing that we can both share.” Massel has stayed true to his love for writing and sharing new Massel wasn’t always so sure about what he wanted to do; in fact products and adventures with his readers and followers, and he he struggled with the decision while growing up in Saskatchewan. “We were never really taught to be dreamers, we were never emphasizes that no, he doesn’t just write about one thing. Fashion, trends, food, politics, inversion taught to want more than what microwaves – you name it – he’s we already had.” probably posted about it. Where he was from, the “All of it! I write about all of norm was you stay where you grew up, worked for the I want everyone in the world to know that it. That’s what brings me joy.” One of the most surprising government, or got a technical things about Massel? He used job. But this was not appealing no matter who you are, where to be close-minded about for Massel. blogging himself. Years ago “That was never going to be you’re from, or what you believe in, when his cousin started a blog me.” on MySpace – the platform that “When I was in school they that you all deserve to feel fabulous. served as a catalyst for online put a whole bunch of things in blogging – Massel didn’t hesitate front of me, they said ‘This is to hide his distaste. what the future holds for you,’” “I remember looking at it Massel says. “You could be a and I had no idea what it was. baker, a lawyer, a doctor – and Who are these losers? An online journal? And I was a naysayer none of those things really resonated with me.” As a young man Massel spent his summers on a farm. He used because I just didn’t get it. But then I realized, it’s not my place to get to flip through the pages of the Sears catalogue and daydream about it.” Obviously, his opinion has changed. And after the success of his living a life where he would be able to wear the suits and formal own blog, Massel has a string of exciting projects in the pipeline. clothes that were plastered on the pages. “Something I really love doing is collaborating with other brands. “For some reason that’s the life I wanted. I wanted to be in the in-crowd, I wanted to go to these great parties and see these new ideas I love it because it gives me a chance to take what they do and share it with my audience.” and new things.” Collaborating with brands is just a part of what Massel does. He Not knowing what he was going to do when he got here, Massel packed his bags and headed to Calgary 13 years ago to make a name says he is mostly in the business of making people feel special. “I want everyone in the world to know that no matter who you for himself. “You see a lot of great things in the world, you see a lot of galas, are, where you’re from, or what you believe in, that you all deserve to a lot of events – and unless you’re in that industry, you’re never going feel fabulous.” Always looking towards what’s next, Massel is a self-proclaimed to be invited to participate in them.” Massel wanted to be at all of those events – he wanted to find a “life hoarder,” attempting to get the most out of every opportunity and way to make himself a must-invite character in YYC (and beyond), experience. “A compliment is a success for me. Making someone smile is a and that’s when immrfabulous was born. After his friend Michael Morrison of mikesbloggityblog.com inspired him to follow in his success for me.” Community builder, lifestyle blogger, TV personality, creative footsteps and be a man about town, Massel linked up with all the movers and shakers of the city and started his own blog. From there he collaborator; call him what you want – we call him fabulous. developed his signature voice, and armed with wit and a great sense
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TASTING With plating there’s so much more than meets the eye. Trust us, when it comes to the art of your plate, it’s always worth the wait.
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words by Hanna McLean · photos by Brittany Back
It’s officially winter. That means we’ve traded in patios for parkas and ice cold cocktails for mulled wine. No longer able to bask in the sun, we now beeline to Calgary’s coziest restaurants to take shelter while enjoying comfort food in relaxing atmospheres. There’s a nostalgic element that goes with comfort food, something sentimental and heart warming that is intrinsically intertwined with mass amounts of carbohydrates and seriously tasty eats that your momma used to make you. Fresh, warm, and familiar, classic comfort food is back in season and we’re ready to chow down.
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h o m e & a wa y b u c ke t o f c h i c ke n , p o p c o r n s h r i m p, b a b y b e e t s , s u p re m e f r i e s
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fa r m m ac ‘ n’ c h e e s e , p o r k r i b s , ga rd e n m u s e s a l a d , h o u s e p i c k l e s , c h e f p o t at o e s
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ikemen c h i c ke n ka ra a g e , g yoz a , u n a g i p o ut i n e , m i s o ra m e n , g re e n c u r r y ra m e n
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briggs fo n d u e d i p, n o t t h o s e b r u s s e l s p ro ut s , f u l l c h i c ke n , c r i s p y b l u e c h e e s e t a r t
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orange is the new black you may be old, but I don’t carrot all words by Lauren Steeves
While we often associate a carrot with a snowman’s nose or Bugs Bunny’s favourite snack, this veggie offers so much more as it is rooted in a history that is just as rich and colourful as its kind. The discovery of carrots dates back to 3000 BC, in the dry, hot lands of Afghanistan and Iran. People began picking carrots seeds and selling them to neighbouring African, Arabic, and Asian countries. These areas were immediately fond of the vegetable and began to experiment; creating and crossbreeding to develop new varieties. These innovations were ultimately what led to the carrot’s colourful transformation from purple and black pigments to its signature image – its bright orange look. Nowadays carrots are used all over the world and they are the second most-popular vegetable next to the infamous potato. Carrots are incorporated into many diverse dishes and are praised for the multitude of benefits they offer like improved vision, healthier skin and stronger gums and teeth. They are also known to reduce the likelihood of cancer, strokes, and aging. Because of this, it’s time for us to stop skipping out on our veggies and fully embrace the carrot’s resurgence as a household staple. Alberta is home to some of the best vegetable farmers in the country. Gert Lund has operated a certified organic family farm in Innisfall, Alberta since 1988. Although Lund’s growing season is brief – from April to September – he has garnered a reputation for growing the best carrots in Calgary. Chef Stephanie Borgens from Cassis Bistro describes his carrots as, “the sweetest carrots I’ve ever seen. They’re so crunchy, but they aren’t woody or hard.” Market 17 owners, Alan Yee and Alison Gilroy, echo that sentiment saying, “Customers consistently say, ‘These are the best carrots in the world. There’s some sort of magic in the soil, I don’t know what it is.’” Part of Lund’s carrot success can be attributed to the fact that he doesn’t rush his process and his products are grounded free of herbicides and pesticides, allowing his customers to get the most flavour for their buck. Chef Borgens incorporates carrots into several dishes at Cassis like the carrot ginger soup and as a side for the pork belly with lentils. However, Lund’s carrots are so sweet on their own that she doesn’t do much to them other than adding a little bit of butter and salt and
pepper. In fact, it’s the versatility of carrots that causes Chef Borgens to call them, “the most underappreciated vegetable.” We’ve seen carrots in soups, as sides, in salads, and in baked goods. It’s hard to imagine what else can carrots be used for. But just like we can reinvent ourselves every New Year, what’s stopping carrots from doing the same? So what’s on the horizon for our favourite orange vegetable in 2016? We can expect to see a lot of carrot chips and pickled carrots. Gilroy and Yee say that Market 17’s supply of carrot chips are flying off the shelves. Unlike potato chips, carrot chips offer a healthy alternative to the salty potato snack and are packed with both vitamins and minerals. Carrots are definitely making a comeback in the kitchen. When it comes to winter ingredients, orange is definitely the new black.
carrot ginger soup Serves 4-6 1/2 yellow onion 1/2 leek (whites only) 1 celery stick (chopped) 4 Lunds Farms carrots (chopped) 1/2 cup vegetable stock 10 gram fresh ginger (peeled) Sea salt (pinch) Pepper (pinch) Mix sweet onions, leeks, salt, pepper, and celery in olive oil. When slightly tender, add in the chopped carrots. Cook on low heat for a few minutes. Pour in vegetable stock. Cook on medium heat until carrots are tender. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Blend ingredients on high speed until smooth. Using a fine edged grater, grate peeled ginger into the soup. It is better to start with half of the ginger and then add in more to taste.
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th e a rt o f p l a ti n g words by Hanna McLean photos by Brit tany Back shot on locat ion at MARKET
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You’re in a restaurant, starving, waiting patiently for your meal. You have your eagle eye poised and ready to spot your server coming from the kitchen towards your table. Finally, he’s on his way over. The food is coming. Best. Feeling. Ever. He places it down in front of you and you try to act like you’re not a ravenous beast about to take down this tuna tartar. Once he’s safely out of your vicinity, you pick up your fork and move in for a direct hit when suddenly – “Stop! Instagram!” Typical. We all have that friend who insists we wait as they take a photo of freshly plated food. These days, it’s not uncommon to see a millennial standing on a chair attempting to get the perfect shot of a decadent dish. It might look absurd, but considering the quality and presentation of the food coming out of restaurants these days, who can blame them for wanting to remember killer cuisine? There’s something about a wellpresented plate that causes you to stop and stare – no matter how hangry you may be. This effect is the result of food plating, an art in and of itself. From ladling lumpy grey stew into bowls in the Middle Ages, to when Louis XIV brought lavish dining to its apex at Versailles with incredible culinary spectacles in the 1600s; plating has been challenged, innovated, and had its limits pushed by chefs throughout history. Over the centuries chefs of royalty came up with some astounding presentations to impress their sovereigns. From sotelties of the Elizabethan Court, to perhaps the world’s first celebrity chef, Marie-Antione Carême, and his elaborate architectural grande cuisine in the 1800s – there is no end to the fascinating tale that has developed food plating to where it is today. Unlike in history, us common folk are no longer subjected to strictly potatoes and corn. We have the ability to try new culinary experiences any night of the week. This
exposure to a variety of presentation styles may have people exiting restaurants after a meal, pondering how exactly chefs go about plating. Any worthy foodie would know that it’s more than just a thoughtless act to present our food, but I wanted to take a closer look at the factors that go into plating and the artistry behind the skill.
wh e re food + des i gn col l i de
Realistically, you’ve probably gawked at more plates than you have pieces of art. This is exactly what culinary artists – or chefs as they’re commonly referred to – want you to do, and they appreciate it. “Sometimes after work I’ll sit down and have a glass of wine. If I hear the server explaining a dish to guests, I kind of lean in and try to see their expression,” laughs Kevin Yang, pastry chef at MARKET. “It’s kind of creepy and funny in the same way.” Yang is one of many chefs who strive to impress with their visuals using aroma, architecture, balance, colour, shape, and texture. It’s no surprise that chefs attempt to push boundaries by making a dish interactive. This could mean peeling, pulling, or cracking through a layer (think crème brulee times 10). Even with the most complex designs, it always starts with choosing the right base. Plates can extenuate the colourful beauty of a dish, bring organization to an otherwise organic creation, or change the way a dish is structured by using negative space or linear compartmentalization. “If a cheesecake is pink, you don’t want it on a green plate,” says Chef Yang’s partner in crime, MARKET’s sous pastry chef Madison Toy. “I know it sounds crazy, but it really affects the overall tasting of the dessert,” Chef Yang adds laughing. Creating beauty and surprise in a dish is a challenge, one that takes plating to a whole new level. Different techniques, various tools, and a variety of plating concepts ( such as a piece of slate, a series of wires, or a fork sticking up) are used to explore different facets of culinary creativity. “When you’re tasting a plate from a
chef who was really excited while putting it together, you can taste that excitement in the dish,” Yang says. When a chef begins conceptualizing a new dish, he or she must do some serious thinking. They focus on what they are trying to get across to a guest. Is it minimalism? Elegance? Decadence? There are numerous methods to choose from when executing an idea: stacking, laying, smearing, squiggling, and piping sauces in patterns – this list can go on and on. Creativity can spurt from anywhere, including a restaurant’s grocery order. “You get new fruit in and you’re like, ‘What can I do with this?’” Toy says. When Yang is conceptualizing a dish, he does what any other creative would do when starting a new project – he grabs a notebook and starts sketching. Yang and Toy work as a team, figuring out the main components of a dish, and filling in missing flavours or visuals around that. Yang then draws a rough version of what the plate will look like. The pair often plays around and tests out new dishes on multiple plates, deciding what is missing or what’s not working before putting it on the menu. Sometimes a wave of inspiration will occur and they’ll know exactly what they’re making. For instance, it was Yang’s affinity for Don McLean’s song Vincent (Starry Starry Night) that inspired him to create starshaped bonbons. “I love that song – I listen to that song quite often. I usually go on YouTube and play it. The background of the video is the painting by Van Gogh. So one time I’m sitting there and think, ‘That’s beautiful – we’re making bonbons tomorrow, we can make a chocolate that are inspired by that!” Chef Yang says. Of course not every plate can be planned out perfectly prior to execution. What sometimes starts as trepidation in the kitchen, can turn into an unexpected stroke of genius. “Sometimes you accidentally drop something and you’re just like, ‘Wow, that actually doesn’t look bad,’” says Toy. The artistry involved in elaborate BRANDED | 81
“ You l ook at how thi ng s are b e ing p l ated now, e ve n com pared t o s ix months ag o – it ’s in a constant st at e of evol u t ion.” - C hef M i c ha el Al l e m e i e r
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and delicate pieces such as bonbons can include polishing, hand painting, and even airbrushing. It may sound tedious, but judging by the way he speaks about his team and his craft, it doesn’t seem to bother Chef Yang. “Let’s face it, it’s not the most glamorous job. It’s a lot of work. It’s long hours on your feet all day. You have to be in it to win it in a weird way, you have to love it.” t h e d e ve lo pm ent o f pl at i ng Chef Michael Allemeier has been working in the culinary industry for 30 years. As a professional chef and instructor at SAIT, he’s seen the industry shed the rigid formalities that were previously associated with the art. Plating has now become so diverse that creativity and imagination have never been so apparent, and that’s a good thing. “That’s what’s really exciting about our business right now; there are so many different styles and different concepts,” Chef Allemeier says. “If you think of some of the true innovators of the industry, their plating style is always changing.” The chef says that plating is becoming more technical than it used to be because of all of the different variables to take in account. Aside from the food prep, a chef has to keep in mind how long a dish will take to prepare. It is imperative that the design is simple enough that anyone from the back of house can put it together, and quickly enough for it to be delivered to a guest at the ideal temperature. For the food itself, the emergence of exotic ingredients from around the world has given chefs the opportunity to fuse cultures and flavours into innovative new ideas. Foods that were once a rarity are now readily available. “Finding very unique ingredients like lichen, foraged sea asparagus, wild greens, wild mushrooms and things like that is huge and of course when you get these really unusual ingredients, it has a profound effect on presentation,” Chef Allemeier says. Plating style can evolve and vary depending on the atmosphere of where you’re dining. If you’re hitting up a boutique Gastro Pub you’re bound to get a heaping plate of fantastically delicious comfort food, whereas a high-end French restaurant with small portions and multiple courses may seem criminally overpriced to some, but elegant and thrilling to others. “I think that the concept needs to be consistent. The idea of having elegant plated food served to you in a very weathered, low maintenance barbeque restaurant is a bit of a
contradiction,” says Chef Allemeier. It makes sense that presentation plays off the atmosphere and ambiance of a restaurant. The environment you’re eating in can affect your mood, expectation, and experience. pl eas i ng t he pal at e Your palate’s happiness is of the utmost importance. This is the main rule of plating. The art form has basic rules and guidelines that should be mastered before an individual imposes his or her own creativity into a dish. The harmony of the plate – both visually and in taste – have to balance out in the end. If one works and the other doesn’t then changes must be made. It is a challenge to create a perfect dish, but when a plate is complete, it pays off. “It’s hard to explain that feeling. When you just feel like, OK, this is right,” Chef Yang says. But if the technique and skill behind the application of cooking isn’t present, Chef Allemeier says the effort put into plating is all for nothing. “Could you imagine if everything on the plate was green? Or if everything was round? Or if everything had been deep-fried?” he laughs. “If you haven’t been able to capture the pigments properly and the doneness correctly, then it’s kind of disappointing when you start eating it.” Once the taste is assured to be out of this world, chefs make sure the design makes sense visually and for your taste buds so you get the most out of the dish and understand their concept through the flavours. Chefs also plate the food in a particular way, so you eat and taste the food the way it was intended. Height is an incredibly important part of plating. “We forget about that sometimes, right? I make sure when the servers place a new dessert on the table, they know which side should be facing the guest,” Chef Yang says. A one-dimensional dish looks unexciting, so chefs work to make sure a plate looks great from every angle, but most importantly, the angle that is facing the guest. Who would have thought that even the direction you maneuver your cutlery plays a part in how your food is plated and presented? “You gently direct your guest on the way they should eat. It’s kind of funny,” Yang says. Toy elaborates, “How your spoon moves, it should go into sauce.” Mind = blown.
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t h e f u ture of f ood p re s e n t ation The connection between social media and plating is a strong one. Chefs and culinary students no longer have to buy books and magazines to be inspired and kept up to date, they simply need to log on to Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram to see what others in their industry are cooking up. “You’re getting chefs straight out of cooking school that have such an advantage. They can skip years of experience of working with other experienced people by literally spending hours and hours on Instagram,” Chef Allemeier says. With the explosion of the interweb and the notion of immediacy it brought with it, chefs are working at record speed to remain original and inventive. “You look at how things are being plated now, even compared to six months ago – it’s in a constant state of evolution,” says Chef Michael Allemeier. Not all chefs may like it, but one thing is for sure, Instagram and the use of social 84 | TASTING
media is affecting plating in more ways than one. Not only does Instagram inspire and enlighten chefs looking for ideas, it also gives them unlimited access to visuals that they can plagiarize, something culinary educators such as Chef Allemeier now have to be aware of. “You get a lot of copying, a lot of stealing peoples’ concepts and things like that,” Chef Allemeier says. Having an individual style of plating is an important aspect to the culinary arts, one that is more difficult to develop these days due to the overexposure of images. “At the end of the day there has to be some ethics. If it’s your food, make it your food, and don’t copy someone else’s ideas and concepts. I think it’s very important that you are true to your own style and your own philosophy,” Chef Allemeier says. He’s not saying creativity and individuality always come easily, but they are necessary to be successful and respected in the industry. As with any artist, chefs run into creative blocks sometimes. Chef Allemeier
remembers going through some instances of frustration during his career. “Some days it’s just oozing out of you, other days it’s like, ‘I don’t think I have a creative bone in my body right now.’” Toy uses Instagram to share her own creations and check out the plates of other chefs for inspiration. The MARKET pastry team uses the platform as a way to keep each other in the loop and spark ideas to try new things. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where a chef’s inspiration came from or how long it took them to get your plate looking perfect. The important thing is to acknowledge the amount of thought that goes into a single well-cooked and well-plated dish. So the next time you’re out dining, take a moment to appreciate the wonderful skill behind the art that is plating. Oh, and be sure snap a picture – it’ll last longer.
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DATING Roses are red. Violets are blue. Cupcakes are the new flowers. Just look at these two.
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Love, Actually (maybe) “The magic moment is that in which a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ may change the whole of our existence.” - Paulo Coehlo words by Katie Tetz
Reader discretion: A lot of ‘F’ bombs.
88 | DATING
Decisions, decisions. To text him, or not to text him. To kiss her, or not to kiss her. To get back together with the asshole, or to tell the asshole to go to hell. To marry her, or not to marry her. If at these kinds of relationship crossroads you’ve never second guessed yourself, or felt pulled in different directions, then you are one of the lucky ones. It’s no secret that dating and relationships can be tricky. Love, and our pursuit of it, is one of the most talked about and written about issues in our lives. It’s this emotion that in many ways is the most beautiful and uncomplicated thing in the world. Yet the amount of hours I’ve spent decoding conversations, analyzing feelings, and asking for advice, is insane. And I know I’m not the only one. This also isn’t unique to our generation. I have a friend, who in all of her brilliance still calls me asking for dating advice even though she makes a living helping other people with their problems. She’s the one that everyone else goes to. Yet when it comes to dating in her forties, she’s got the very same questions my friends in their twenties do. Then there’s the 60-year-old woman I met in a mastermind program. One night I spent nearly two hours on Skype with her talking about the man she had feelings for, “Should I text him? What should I say?” We’re not all that different. It’s the same rush of emotions, the same conversations, the same questions. Much of our time is spent in a grey area, unsure about where things are going, or if we want them to go anywhere at all.
The Law In 2008, Mark Manson wrote an article titled Fuck Yes or No in which he explains, “Most dating advice exists to ‘solve’ this grey area for people. Say this line. Text her this. Call him this many times. Wear that. Much of it gets exceedingly analytical, to the point where some men and women actually spend more time analyzing behaviours than actually, you know, behaving.” Indeed, the Internet is full of articles insinuating that they hold the secret to finding love or keeping it. The only problem is, there’s another human being involved. A human being with his or her own thoughts, feelings, patterns, and behaviours that regardless of how much you perfect your behaviour or text messages, will still act on his or her own accord. So, Mark Manson provides some clarity. Here is the answer we’ve all been waiting for. Law of Fuck Yes or No states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. Law of Fuck Yes or No also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.” It’s uncomplicated, clear, and incredibly effective. If it’s not a “Fuck Yes” then that means it’s a “No”. Manson explains that this gets rid of a lot, if not most of the grey area in dating. We would save ourselves a lot of energy and pain if we lived by this. “The Law of Fuck Yes or No implies that both parties must be enthusiastic about the prospect of one another’s company. Why? Because attractive, non-needy, high self-worth people don’t have time for people who they are not excited to be with and who are not excited to be with them.” While I agree with everything this article says and try to live my entire life by this, I’m going to play devils advocate for a few minutes before I go back to following this law religiously. What if you’re one of those people who falls hard and fast, for everyone that you meet? If this doesn’t apply to you, you know someone who does this. For these hopeless romantics, everyone they date is a “Fuck Yes”. What if it doesn’t feel like a “Fuck Yes” right away? My current relationship started with my boyfriend behaving like a fuck boy. I was his manager at the time, and he overheard me
saying that all I really wanted for my birthday was birthday sex. (I know, I should have been more aware of who was listening). So he offered it, and I promptly told him to fuck off (I know, not very professional). But he’s a smart man; the seed was planted and obviously in this case it bloomed. He went from fuck boy to fuck yes, but it took a little bit of time. What if it was a “Fuck Yes”, but things change? Furthermore, what if this is a pattern that you keep repeating? Where no one seems to do it for you. Reasons for this could include but are not limited to: daddy issues, ex issues, or your own shit that you’re not dealing with. Maybe your parents got divorced and you’re therapy’s biggest cliche, unable to let yourself be loved for fear that it will be ripped away from you (re: mom and dad). Maybe an ex fling that you had amazing sex with keeps playing with your head. What if the reasons why that “Fuck Yes” feeling goes away is about you, not about the relationship itself? Manson does elaborate and explains that you should apply the law to your decisions as it suits your particular circumstance, “Fuck Yes or No doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be falling in knee-wobbling love at first sight. It doesn’t even mean you have be completely convinced that someone is right for you. You can be “Fuck Yes” about getting to know someone better. You can be “Fuck Yes” about seeing someone again because you think there’s something there. You can be “Fuck Yes” about giving things a few months to pan out and see if you can fix the problems in the relationship. The point is: both you and the other person need to be “Fuck Yes” about something, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.” Of all of the dating advice I’ve ever heard, Mark Manson’s is in my opinion, the most refreshing. Frankly I’m a little upset that I didn’t come across it for another seven years after publication. I could have really used that advice in the summer of 2008. And 2009. And 2011. Of course, you don’t have to take this advice or any for that matter; as with all things, you get to decide for yourself. And no law or rule of thumb is going to make those decisions any easier. What I would suggest is making sure your choices are actually yours, and not a result of some personal shit that you aren’t dealing with. Make sure that that “Fuck Yes” or “No” is coming from a clean slate. Once you’ve got ‘you’ handled, then start saying “Fuck Yes.” Otherwise it might be your ego or your pants doing the talking.
She Said HE SAID
HE SAID “
Oh man, now I feel like I have to be all politically correct and tell you it’s her body, and if that makes her feel good, you should be supportive… but screw it, this is an advice column. I think a woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her body. It’s awesome that you think she’s perfect just the way she is though.
I met this girl through friends, and she’s perfect. After our third date, she revealed her plans to undergo multiple cosmetic surgeries in the near future, including her nose, breasts, and eventually her butt! I found my dream girl, but she wants to change herself, what should I do?
- Male, 27, in a relationship
It’s one thing to get plastic surgery on one part of your body but practically your whole body? This points to bigger emotional issues; never being satisfied, always wanting more, and not feeling good enough. This girl doesn’t need a surgeon, she needs a counselor. She is definitely struggling with her self-image. Tell her she’s beautiful and you wouldn’t change a thing. Tell her again, and again, and again. Obviously if she wants that much plastic surgery though, you can’t stop her, and don’t think for a minute you can change her mind by loving her enough. If she chooses to proceed, and you feel like it’s something that will affect your relationship long-term, you’ll have to end the relationship if you are not comfortable, this definitely is a deal breaker situation.
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the cupcake date
Hey Gents, on a sweet date make sure to wear something comfy for her to snuggle into, this cashmere button up cardigan serves just that purpose. It’s all about balance, so have some fun with chambray, it’s comfortable, looks sleek, and won’t wrinkle. Ladies, don’t be afraid to show off those tats — especially if they’ve got a good story behind them. Open up the conversation by flashing a little ink with structured shorts. A muted sweater goes great underneath a killer statement piece like this oversized leather jacket that screams badass.
her: Oak & Fort Jacket Leather Jacket ($198), The GAP sweater ($55), Club Monaco Shorts ($99), Joie Booties ($418). him: Black Brown 1826 Cardigan ($80), Hudson North Chambray Button Up ($30), Black Brown 1826 Trouser ($135).
photo by Krystal Boyd, styling by Hazel Anderson, shot on location at Crave Cookies and Cupcakes in Kensington BRANDED | 91
WORDS BY adam culligan
Courageously seeking out a life partner is arguably one of the most difficult things we will do in our lives. There is endless questioning. Am I good enough? Is he smart enough? Does she make me laugh? How many peas does she eat at once? Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: A friend of mine has a girlfriend. She is gorgeous. Everyone tells him how lucky he is to have landed someone so beautiful. He is determined, as he always has been, to treat her like the goddess she is. And wouldn’t you know it, in return she treats him with the three R’s – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. She never returns the favour of care and compassion that she receives. She constantly puts her own needs ahead of his. She is forever feeding the self-doubt that my friend expresses, which allows her to keep him under her control. She is constantly coming back to him whenever she needs a pick me up and maybe some actual affection. And nobody likes her. As we bear witness to these travesties it should cement our own desire to avoid any similar fate. It did for me when I got some great advice that many of us have gotten before. Never settle. Compromise yes, but never settle...ever. To that point I had the typical high school experience of different girls from different schools and felt pretty confident I could do alright. I was now 19 years old, in university, increasingly sure of myself 92 | DATING
IF YOU’RE THINKING and making pretty much every relationship decision with the attitude of ‘who’s next’. In that immaturity I used the advice as a crutch. It meant I could unabashedly break up with anyone for pretty much any reason provided it didn’t align with my view of what a girl should be. Now I will admit my needs were pretty unilateral but I still possessed a laser like focus to discovering a shortcoming that would allow me to maintain the emotional upper hand. After all, how could I possibly commit in any way to someone who snorted when she laughed? After breaking up with all manner of girls for all manner of reasons it occurred to me that I had been using very sound advice for a very unsound partner search. It was selfdoubt that had caused this perspective. It was my desire to reject first as opposed to being rejected that led me down the path of noncommittal relationships. It was not long after Oprah’s book club endorsed He’s Just Not That Into You that I came to a stark realization. As I sat there inwardly smoldering at these women who somehow needed a book to tell them they were selling themselves short, it occurred to me that I was doing the same. I was suiting myself in a coat of chainmail woven so thick with insecurity and linked together by selfdoubt that I was literally and metaphorically weighing myself down in the search for someone special. It was then, in my mid 20s, that I decided to make a philosophical shift in how I approached dating. I would stop searching for the petty and start cultivating the inspiring. I would stop finding reasons to say no and start creating reasons to say yes. This can be a slippery slope mind you. I most certainly gave some people way too much of my time but that little journey only further entrenched my commitment to searching for the great in others and providing my own version of awesome in reciprocation. A few broken hearts would be my penance for such a decision. A small price to pay for maintaining your own self-worth and commitment to the positive. So it’s 2016. You are in some stage of the relationship journey. How can you ensure that you start your heart off with a bang in the New Year? How can you build self-assurance and shed the armour of self-doubt? Here are my six tips to stay heart-smart in 2016: 1. Don’t analyze if they like you; assume they
do until proven otherwise. How can they not? You’re beautiful. You’re funny. You’re smart. You eat your peas by the forkful. Maintain confidence and be your best self until they lose interest. Then take your best self to someone more appreciative. 2. Get out of bad relationships. You know if you’re in one. Your friends have stopped inviting you both out. The mood in a room drops when they’re around. You find yourself questioning why you stay more often than being happy that you have. Just get out. Now. It’s never too late. 3. Stop showing off. We all know it’s covering insecurity. It’s more obvious than Donald Trump’s weave. No one is impressed so just stop. Humility and modesty are the way to people’s hearts. You’ll find a much better one by dropping the façade. 4. Stop desperately seeking reassurance. This is directly correlated to number 3. It is most apparent to your friends when you start taking up new sports or stop listening to your favourite band because ‘Dave’ said you should. I’m all for expanding your repertoire to accommodate someone you love, but do not stop being you. There is most definitely a wonderful person out there that will love you for just that. 5. Trust your gut. You know when you need to make a change. You know when you’ve stopped being your best self. It settles in the pit of your stomach like a delicious double Clive Burger. Only this one didn’t taste unreal on the way down and it DEFINITELY isn’t agreeing with you. Check once with your close friends to ensure you’re not bonkers and then act on your gut. It’s the best litmus test we have. 6. Don’t start until you’re ready. If you’re still figuring out who you are and where you’re going, don’t over commit. Have some fun, swipe right every Saturday, do whatever you like, just don’t convince yourself you’re ready for a relationship. You’re not. Take 2016 to get closer to your own heart before getting close to another’s. Tell you what. Regardless of where you’re at, let’s spend 2016 being more sure of ourselves. Let’s all commit to garnering a deeper connection with our soul centre and do more of what we love and less of what we don’t. Let’s take emotional control of our search for another and courageously say ‘no’ when it would be all too easy to say ‘yes’. Let’s be us and kick 2016’s ass.
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THE FIRST T H E PAT I O THE COFFEE T H E C O C K TA I L THE I’M SORRY
D AT E D AT E D AT E D AT E D AT E
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)
STYLING New Year, new look – it’s safe to say that 2016 is taking men’s fashion to a whole new level.
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PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSICA PECHET ASSISTANT: TWYLA HAYES MODEL: RACHEL (NUMA MODELS) MAKEUP: AMBER CHOMECZKO (NIIMD) HAIR & NAILS: JANET DYER (NIIMD) EDITOR: KIM NOSEWORTHY
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PREVIOUS: Zuhair Murad blazer (Ette), Triumph body suit, CoutuKitsch body chain. CURRENT: Pamela Roland dress (Ette), Aandra Neen necklace and purse (Ette) 98 | STYLING
Averynthe dress, Nikibiki bralet (Apt 22), Coutu Kitsch and H&M rings, Earrings stylistâ€™s own.
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Daniel Silverstein dress (Leo Boutique), Coutu Kitsch body chains. RIGHT PAGE: J Mendel gown (Ette), Earrings stylistâ€™s own.
100 | STYLING
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N E W
Y E A R S
F E E L Photographer: Asim Overstands Stylist: Savannah Qiu Hair & Makeup: Breanne Sinclair Model: Liam Lafrance (Sophia Models)
102 | STYLING
burgundy windbreaker jacket (Supreme). polka dot denim shirt (TOPMAN). BRANDED | 103
blue blazer, burgundy turtle neck overtop a patterned blue turtle neck with navy checker pants. (TOPMAN)
Gravity pope x John Fluevog shoes
104 | STYLING
leather vest, camouflage windbreaker jacket, (Supreme)
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white short sleeve button up shirt, navy oversized crewneck, navy blazer, (TOPMAN). Louis Vuitton Scarf.
106 | STYLING
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SHIRT gravity pope forte forte $420 JACKET gravity pope Sofie Doore $1850 PANTS gravity pope Isabel Marant $380 SHOES gravity pope Stephane Kelian $570 BACKPACK gravity pope rag and bone $724
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PR ACTICE MAKES PATRÓN. FROM HARVESTING THE FINEST WEBER BLUE AGAVE TO HANDNUMBERING EVERY LABEL, IT TAKES MORE THAN SIXTY HANDS TO TO DETAIL MAY NOT SOUND EFFICIENT, BUT PERFECTION RARELY IS.
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CRAFT EACH BOTTLE OF PATRÓN TEQUILA. THIS EXCESSIVE ATTENTION
BACK BAR Being a bartender isnâ€™t always easy work, but Neila MacIntyre has revealed some tips and tricks that ensure any mixologist smooth sailing behind the bar.
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Where Kensington goes for cocktails.
124 10 Street NW Calgary AB
FLOWER POP A soft and flirty take on a whiskey sour with hints of herbs in all the right places. Recipe crafted by: Chris McKinnon Location: Cilantro Ingredients: No. 3 London Dry Gin, Cointreau, Strawberry simple syrup, Lavender bitters, Egg whites, Lemon juice
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118 | BACK BAR
Ask the Bartender: Life Behind the Bar
Eash issue we like to educate ourselves in a different realm
– the boozy realm of bartending. This time we hopped
behind the bar with Neila MacIntyre, bartender at Ox and Angela, and she gave us some insight about what it takes to become a high caliber mixologist. words by Neila MacIntyre photos by Krystal Boyd
If you had asked me when I was younger what I wanted to do with my life, I’m not sure bartender would have been my response. It was much more of a “just for right now” kind of job. I always had one foot in the door and one foot out when it came to the hospitality industry. But, to my very pleasant surprise, bartending turned into a creative outlet for me. With great food, delicious drinks, lively characters, along with local, national, and international cocktail competitions, bartending offered a vibrant and exciting environment, which has been a staple of what I am now proud to call my career. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, however. I had to really work hard, practice intently, and observe and learn attentively. The thing about bartending, like anything I suppose, is that to do it well you need to have skills and know-how, and no one is born with either. So I worked diligently into the late nights, observing, studying, and asking questions because I wanted to be the best I could. I wanted to be recognized for my work. Eventually, I received an invitation from a more senior and widely respected bartender to try my hand in competition. This was really exciting for me because I was included in the same conversation as some of the best mixologists in the city, and the winner would represent the province at a nationwide competition. Less exciting for me, was that I didn’t win. But it’s not all bad news; I took a lot from the experience, and I’ve learned that anyone with the right attitude towards what they do, and with the right amount of commitment to practice, can learn to make really great drinks. If you’re a new bartender or you’re thinking about becoming one, it wouldn’t hurt to pay attention to the following guidelines.
Decide where you want to spend your time. Sports bar? Night club? Fine or casual dining? Whichever you choose, there will be others to guide you, share their knowledge, and help you to excel in your new position but remember: it’s up to you, ultimately, to get where you want to be. Get new shoes. Seriously, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet and you don’t want to melt or fall apart because of your bunk shoes. You’ll start off small. If you’ve never been in the hospitality industry before it’s very likely that you will start at the bottom, but don’t let that discourage you, it’s the most exciting part. From here you’ll see such dramatic improvement day-to-day. Take notes. Make sure to observe, ask questions, jump in and do. It’s a chance for real hands-on learning. No one ever got anywhere by sitting around. Speak, recite, write, and repeat every recipe, every cocktail, and every food menu ingredient. It may sound tedious but all of the best bartenders have done it, and you want to be the best right? Be intuitive. Remember that every bartender is different; the best not only know their craft but know they’re there for their guests. Learn to anticipate their needs, assist with drink choices, and always keep their half of the water glass full. Be a “yes” person. Don’t say “no”, rather, try offering suggestions if you don’t have exactly what a customer is looking for. Try and be as accommodating as possible. Be ready to present menus, and realize when guests are ready for the bill.
Observe and learn. Eventually, after countless hours spent behind the bar, you’ll notice things. What face do the guests make when they try your cocktail. Spot the signs of first date jitters. Be patient, take the time to explain the menu, answer questions thoughtfully, and surely you’ll win raving fans. It’s a very satisfying thing to do a job well and be recognized for it. Your guests are all going to have different personalities, needs, and wants and it is your job to give them all a personalized experience. Just for them. You need to be adaptable behind the wood, changing with an anticipation of their wants and needs. Be a team player. Offer to close for a sick teammate or to stay late and close for a burnt out manager. Always be on time if not early. Keep in mind, you’re in a team environment. In a winning environment, everyone is there for the end goal of guest satisfaction. A bundle of sticks is harder to break than a single branch, so act as a unit. Ask to run drinks, food, or take payment for a busy server. It all comes back around. Be proud of your bar. Wipe down the sticky bottles, face the labels towards your guests, make sure if you are using spouts that they are all facing in the same direction. Keep clutter to a minimal. You want your bar to be a sight for sore eyes not an eyesore. These tips should help you grow, learn, and excel in a position; or they’ll shed some light on how hard bartenders work to make sure your experience is a positive one, and to make sure you keep coming back to their barstools over and over again.
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d l r o o f w r e e d h t words by Katie Tetz
Nothing beats a glass of red wine on a cold winter night, but if you’re like us, on the spectrum of ‘clueless’ to ‘wine snob’ you fall further to the left. We sat down with Colina Marshall of Truvé Wines for a Wine 101 lesson; we figured it was time to stop buying wine by the price tag. With so many amazing varieties and flavours that you can still find for under $15, it’s worth expanding your knowledge and finding out what your red wine loving soul truly prefers.
new world Everywhere else: North and South America,South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.
Anywhere European: France, Italy, Spain. Any good wine snob should know that France is the mecca of wine. TASTES: LEATHERY, MEATY, DUSTY. Fact: Because of their rich history, Old World wines are created within strict laws. For example, certain regions require winemakers to use specific grapes to that region. After making wine for hundreds of years, they’ve got it figured out. Why mess with a good thing, right? Though usually more dusty and leathery in taste, with over 10,000 different vine varieties, the flavours you can find are vast. One of Marshall’s favourites is the grape of Mencia from Spain. It tastes cool and refreshing, like blueberries and blackberries. With a soft amount of tannin, she confirms that it’s “quite crushable.”
TASTES: LIGHT, FRUITY, JAMMY. The big difference: They do whatever they want. There’s more freedom and room for innovation with New World wines. Fun fact: In 1976 at the Judgement of Paris wine tasting, California wines killed it even though the panel was mostly French and English wine connoisseurs. This pissed the French off, but put California on the map. TIP: If you’re drinking a wine from a certain region, pair it with food from that region as well. Their tastes will compliment one another.
where to start? 1. LIGHT AND FRUITY Easier to drink - these pair well with life in general. Think red fruits like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and red cherries. Try these: PINOT NOIR: Pair with salmon or mushroom risotto. GRENACHE: Pair with roasted red meats or a stew. This is one you could sit and drink all day. MERLOT: Pair with chocolate. It’s a match made in heaven.
2. FULL BODIED These hit every single taste bud. As Marshall put it, “It’s like a red wine punch in the face.” Try: CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Eat with a steak and you’ll feel like Don Draper in the 50s. MALBEC: Think fresh fruit, jam, and a chalky, dusty texture. Warms you up and makes you feel happy inside.
3. BOLD & SPICY Think blackberries, pepper, and leather. Try: SYRAH FROM FRANCE: Pair with grilled meat or anything hearty. BRUNELLO FROM ITALY: Pair with a tomato based pasta. LAMBRUSCO FROM ITALY (sparkling Italian red): Amazing with cheese.
4. SWEET Never be ashamed of wanting a liquid dessert. Try: AMARONE FROM ITALY: Made from raisins with a touch of sweetness. PORT: Big, juicy, and sweet. Think raisins, prunes, toasted almonds. BANYLUS FROM FRANCE: Juicier than a port and a little more refreshing. Think blackberries, or strawberries. BRANDED | 121
LET THE BEAT DROP. #BRANDEDYYC
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Issue eight of Calgary's lifestyle magazine.