Avenue Calgary January/February 2021

Page 1

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2021 | $4.95 AVENUECALGARY.COM

TA

GAZINE AWA MA RD

S

20 20

ALB ER

26 YEARS OF CITY | LIFE | STYLE |

NEW R ESTAU RANT S Great spots that opened in 2020

O F F I C E S HE DS Working from home in the backyard

LO VE C A L G A R I A N S

W E

ACTOR ANDREW PHUNG AND OTHER FINE FOLKS WHO MAKE US LOVE OUR CITY

F L I P OV ER FOR T HE W EDDING IS SUE


VISIT ONE OF OUR LOCATIONS TODAY! RETAILER

CDL South CDL North INFO (403) 255-1811 (403) 275-3304 7265-11 Street SE 11752 Sarcee Trail NW Calgary, AB T2H 2S1RETAILER Calgary, AB T3R 0A1

INFO @CDLcalgary

CARPET • RUGS • HARDWOOD • andersontuftex.com ZZ067 TANZANIA | 00542 SHALESTONE

CDL Invermere (250) 342-1592 4B 492 Arrow Road Invermere, BC V0A 1K2

cdlflooring.ca


CARING ABOUT THOSE WHO CARE FOR OTHERS

ADVERTISING FEATURE

A

t some point in their lives, more than half of Canadians will provide unpaid care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability, or age-related need. These caregivers play an integral role in supporting relatives, friends and neighbours, and often go unrecognized and unsupported. A new charitable foundation — The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation — aims to change that by providing grants to charitable organizations that support family caregivers. “The dedication of family caregivers is unshakable,” said Leila Fenc, executive director, Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation. “But it comes at a cost. Sixty per cent of caregivers say they struggle to manage being there for those who need them, while also managing their jobs as well as their own family responsibilities and personal commitments.”

A caregiver never stops caring and we want to recognize and support the work they do every day because it makes our communities stronger. Caregivers provide roughly 75 per cent of all patient care in Canada. Among other things, family caregivers provide transportation, meal preparation and housekeeping. They schedule appointments, help with medications and provide emotional support. In dollar terms, it’s estimated they deliver help worth as much as $72 billion across Canada annually.

For more information about the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation visit: www.caremakers.ca

“A caregiver never stops caring and we want to recognize and support the work they do every day because it makes our communities stronger. Awareness of what caregivers are going through, and the aid they provide, needs to be raised so that we can have a national conversation about how best to help those who help so many,” continued Fenc. Caregiving comes in countless forms, and caregivers are often frustrated and overwhelmed. More than three-quarters of Canadian family caregivers say they wish there was somewhere they could go for help and advice. The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation is just beginning its work. Raising awareness of the needs of caregivers, and working towards ensuring they get the kinds of supports, information and assistance they deserve is a long-term proposition. “It’s a journey we need to undertake, because looking out for each other and taking care of each other is a fundamental Canadian trait. We need to make sure the ones who do the caring are being cared for too,” concluded Fenc.


CO N TE N T S 6

Janu ar y / Fe b r ua r y 2 0 2 1

15

EDITOR’S NOTE

F L I P OV ER FOR T HE W EDDING IS SUE

D E P A R TM E N TS

ON THE COVER Andrew Phung Read more about Phung and other Calgarians We Love, starting on page 15. PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK WONG STYLNG BY RENNA REDDIE GROOMING BY SANDRA TANG

4

avenue January / February 21

11 DETOURS

34 DINING

Call it a comeback: how a crew of local sports fans made nostalgia for Calgary’s pro teams of yesteryear into a fashion statement. Plus, some things to know about lunar new year and the story behind the eclectic sculpture studio Little Monkey Metalworks.

You might be surprised to hear just how many new restaurants opened in Calgary last year, and not just new locations of existing restaurants, either. Read about a few of our favourites among the exciting new options for diners to discover.

28 DECOR

38 MOUNTAINS

As working from home becomes our new normal, the trend of building wellequipped backyard office sheds is gaining momentum. Takes a look at what’s out there right now, from the decidedly DIY to the deluxe.

Panorama Mountain Resort has long been a go-to spot for Calgarians to take a ski vacation. This season, the resort also has much to offer its guests in light of COVIDrelated safety concerns.

FE A T U R E S

W EDDINGS

15 CALGARIANS WE LOVE

SPECIAL SECTION

There are folks in every city whose strength, character and positivity inspires everyone they meet. We’d like to introduce you to just a handful of the Calgarians out there who make our city a great place to be, a group that includes activists, philanthropists, archiects, balloon artists and at least one award-winning TV comedy actor. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Christina Frangou, Colin Gallant, Jacquie Moore, Colleen Seto, Gayathri Shukla and Julia Williams

Flip over this magazine for a special Avenue Weddings section, featuring the results of our first-ever survey where readers told us their favourite service providers for planning a perfect wedding in Calgary. Plus, getting married in a pandemic: with restrictions on gatherings and travel, many couples whose weddings were slated to take place last summer decided to postpone. Meet three couples who instead decided to adapt their celebrations to fit with the times and keep their plans to say “I do.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH, NICK WONG, TKSHOTZ PHOTOGRAPHY

30


Cambridge Manor

The Brenda Strafford Foundation is bringing our ‘people-first’ approach to our innovative new seniors wellness community. START THE NEW YEAR IN YOUR NEW HOME AT CAMBRIDGE MANOR 253 Smith St. NW | 403-536-8675 | cambridge@theBSF.ca Visit us online at: cambridgemanor.ca | theBSF.ca

Market Mall

WELCOME HOME TO CAMBRIDGE MANOR

Sm

32 Avenue NW

ith

ee

t

University of Calgary

Now

Open

ith

Sm

Shaganappi Trail NW

39 Street NW

Str

Shaganappi Trail NW

The health and wellness of our people and our NW ue community is always our top en v A y t priority. At this time, Show i Unive r s Suite Tours are by individual appointment only.

e Str

et

Alberta Children’s Hospital University of Calgary NW e nu e v Univers ity A

Renowned for award winning care, The Brenda Strafford Foundation is proud to be opening Calgary’s newest seniors’ wellness community in the University District. Enjoy a rich and full life with the comfort and security of a true aging-in-place experience, from independent and assisted living to enhanced care and memory care.

Alberta Children’s Hospital

Divorce isn’t easy, but it’s a path to a new beginning.

Trust our experience, expertise and strength to guide you to the life you deserve. Contact Us Suite 1900, 639 5th Ave. S.W. Calgary, AB T2P 0M9 Phone (587) 356-4342 info@wellsfamilylaw.com

www.wellsfamilylaw.com avenuecalgary.com

5


EDITOR’S NOTE

D

espite everything still feeling precarious, there’s something refreshing and hopeful about a new year. As we set about creating this issue of Avenue, we wanted to celebrate the city, to reconnect with what it is we love about Calgary. After all, the pandemic has forced us into disconnection in so many ways. But as we continue to self-isolate to varying degrees, we had to ask ourselves: What specifically do we love about the city when so much — the restaurants, the unique local shops, the arts, the vibrant events — has been curtailed? The answer was immediately obvious. What defines a city is the people who call it home, and that’s what we love about Calgary: Calgarians. While we do miss many aspects of city life that have been affected by the pandemic, what truly makes Calgary great is the amazing people who live here and dedicate their lives to building the city. In this sense, our shared difficulty in meeting with each other and in forging new connections is a most devastating loss. Fortunately, that is where magazines (both print and online) excel: they bring readers together through the stories they tell.

6

avenue January / February 21

Käthe Lemon Editor-in-Chief klemon@redpointmedia.ca

Share what you love about Calgary and tell us about some of your favourite things in the city, from parks to community projects to shopping districts and more, in our first-ever Neighbourhood Gems online ballot, starting January 18 at AvenueCalgary.com. We continue to be hopeful about this city and so we wanted to profile some of those people who make us the most optimistic, people who are doing the work, day by day, of making Calgary better, each in their own way and with their own vision of what a “better city” looks like. Starting on page 15 we introduce you to some of these “Calgarians We Love.” Speaking of love, a wedding is, in many ways, the most hopeful of all events — two people, two families coming together to build a new family and a life.

On the flipside of this double issue, we have the results of our first-ever Best Wedding Services online survey. Last year was particularly difficult for those planning weddings and the companies who provide these services. The huge reader engagement we saw about these companies and service providers (more than 14,000 people responded online) I think points to how passionate people are about celebrations, and weddings in particular. Many couples have rescheduled their celebrations, waiting for a time when they can have the gathering they always dreamed about. But others went forward, albeit with adjustments to their original plans. We spoke with three couples about why they decided to proceed with their weddings last summer, and how they worked around constantly shifting regulations on travel and limits on get-togethers. This continues to be a time like no other in this city. It is a time of change, both on the small, personal scale and at the level of the whole municipality, and on an even grander scale, of the world. I hope that each of us is able to adapt and to find something to love in this new and continually evolving year.

PHOTO BY JARED SYCH

HERE AND NOW


ON THE WEB

avenue TOP

NEW

E AT E R I E S COMING SOON We’ve got the scoop on new Calgary restaurants and cafés opening in 2021

AvenueCalgary.com/NewEateries FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @avenuemagazine

UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2021

NOMINATIONS CLOSE END OF APRIL

avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine avenuecalgary

GET OUR NEWSLETTERS Subscribe to our weekly Food, Style, Weekender and Good News newsletters to get the latest on what is happening in the city, including new stores and restaurants, things to do and inspirational stories.

S I G N U P AT

AvenueCalgary.com/Newsletters

TOP40UNDER40.COM avenuecalgary.com

7


avenue RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions

Editor-in-Chief Käthe Lemon, klemon@redpointmedia.ca

100, 1900 11 St. S.E.

Design Director Steve Collins, scollins@redpointmedia.ca

Calgary, Alberta T2G 3G2

Digital Editor Alana Willerton, awillerton@redpointmedia.ca

Phone: 403-240-9055

Digital Engagement Editor Alyssa Quirico, aquirico@redpointmedia.ca

Toll Free: 1-877-963-9333 x0

Associate Editor Colin Gallant, cgallant@redpointmedia.ca

Fax: 403-240-9059

Staff Photographer Jared Sych

info@redpointmedia.ca

Contributing Editors Shelley Arnusch, Diane Bolt

AvenueCalgary.com Facebook: Avenue Magazine — Calgary Twitter: @AvenueMagazine Instagram: @AvenueMagazine

Editorial Interns Travis Klemp, Tsering Asha

NEXT ISSUE MARCH

2021

Contributors Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Christina Frangou, Jacquie Moore, Renna Reddie, Dave Robertson, Colleen Seto, Gaythri Shukla, Sandra Tang, Julia Williams, Nick Wong Land Acknowledgement Advisors Elder Edmee Comstock, Elder Reg Crowshoe,

Subscriptions

Elder Rose Crowshoe

(Prices do not include 5% GST)

Senior Production Coordinator Erin Starchuk

3 issues: $15

Sales Assistant Robin Cook (on leave)

1 year: $27.95

Account Executives Janelle Brown, Michaela Brownlee, Jocelyn Erhardt,

2 years: $46.85

Deise MacDougall

3 years: $65.25

Digital Producer Katherine Pickering

1 year (USA): $40.00 U.S. To subscribe, visit:

Printing Transcontinental LGM

redpoint-media.com

Distribution City Print Distribution Inc.; NextHome

subscriptions@redpointmedia.ca

With feedback from our readers in a wide range of categories, our judges have selected the Best Overall Restaurants across the city, and we raise a toast to them in this much-anticipated annual issue.

Advertising Inquiries Phone: 403-240-9055 x0 Toll Free: 1-877-963-9333 x0 advertising@avenuecalgary.com

Fashion

Published 9 times a year by RedPoint Media & Media & Marketing Solutions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40030911.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. Avenue is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Magazines Canada and the International Regional Magazine Association, and abides by the editorial standards of these organizations. REDPOINT MEDIA GROUP INC. President & CEO Pete Graves, pgraves@redpointmedia.ca Client Relations Manager Anita McGillis, amcgillis@redpointmedia.ca Accountant Jeanette Vanderveen, jvanderveen@redpointmedia.ca Administrative Assistant Tara Brand

We acknowledge the traditional territories and the value of the traditional and current oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

Peek inside some local boutiques and shops for tips on what to wear now and how to support the city’s fashion retailers.

Go With a Guide Get out into the mountains safely with the thoughtful help of a guide. No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, there is someone to lead you in the right direction.

Cheryl Foggo Find out why this playwright and filmmaker has devoted decades of her creative career to the story of John Ware.

SUBSCRIBE by February 5 to get the March issue delivered to your door. Three-issue subscription $15, one-year $27.95.

redpoint-media.com

8

avenue January / February 21

PHOTO BY TOM POOLE

AvenueCalgary.com

Marketing Solutions. Copyright (2021) by RedPoint

Best Restaurants


BRILLIANT BUS-STOP

GUY GARDNER AND SHELBY CHRISTENSEN PROTOTYPING INTERACTIVE ELECTRONIC LIGHTING COMPONENTS

IMAGE COURTESY OF KARAN SHARMA (MArch’20)

W

hat do you do when the Mayor’s Office calls to ask for assistance in making the area around City Hall a more welcoming and distinctive outdoor space? For John Brown, dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the answer was clear. “Instead of a long-range plan, we proposed a small demonstration project that could be implemented quickly and have an immediate impact on the local environment.”

Architecture professor Mauricio Soto-Rubio took on the project along with a team of students from the Master of Architecture program and robotics specialist Guy Gardner. The team worked with City officials and the Calgary S A P L . U C A L G A R Y. C A @UCALGARYSAPL

Municipal Development Corporation to design and build a canopy at the bus stop in front of the University’s City Building Design Lab located in the former central public library building on the corner of MacLeod Trail at the City Hall C-Train station. “MacLeod Trail has a high volume of cars and a super wide sidewalk,” remarks Soto-Rubio. “We wanted the canopy to be more than a shelter— something that would also be a visually striking landmark for people riding the C-Train or driving by.” The students used robots to fabricate a wood structure that appears to undulate down the street. Using the School’s large-scale 3D printer, they also constructed a series of LED

light sconces made of recycled plastic. As people walk underneath the canopy, sensors in the canopy change the sconce’s colour. The outcome is a playful and functional addition to downtown Calgary. This type of hands-on project is a key part of design education at the University of Calgary. Architecture student Jonathan Monfries reflects, “Working through various iterations of the design, making real-world decisions, and working with contractors to assemble the components we fabricated in the lab provided a learning opportunity not possible in a classroom.”


We’re by your side so your loved one can stay at . Call (403) 984-9225 or visit HomeInstead.com/Calgary

P E R SO NAL C A R E | M E A L S & NU T R I T I O N | MEMO RY CA RE | N U RS I N G C A RE Each Home Instead® franchise is independently owned and operated. © 2020 Home Instead, Inc.

Embrace all that The Ranchmen’s Club has to offer. As Alberta’s first and only Platinum-ranked private club we offer first class dining experiences, private and safe spaces for entertaining, business, and exceptional events. The Club is a place to experience the best that life has to offer and in the finest company. Come connect with other professionals who are shaping Calgary’s diverse fabric and creative energy.

Where business is done. Well. Contact our Marketing & Membership Director, Cristina Guevara, to book an official tour of our clubhouse. membership@ranchmensclub.com www.ranchmensclub.com 10

avenue January / February 21

@RANCHMENSCLUB1891


DETOURS GOING, GOING, GONE (BUT NOT FORGOTTEN) LOCAL CLOTHING COMPANY C OF DEAD RESURRECTS ICONIC CALGARY SPORTS TEAMS.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH

L J O N AT H A N A N D E RSON, GARRETT CRUM P, RYAN W ILLIAM SON

ike many ambitious ideas, C of Dead Clothing Co. was thought up over a round of beers. Jonathan Anderson and Garrett Crump found themselves reminiscing about Calgary Cannons AAA baseball games (the team relocated in 2002). They began searching for Cannons merch with little luck — and they suspected they weren’t alone. “Very quickly, we realized that there was an opportunity to do it ourselves,” Anderson says. “The idea was to connect people that had these same memories and love for this gone-but-not-forgotten franchise.” avenuecalgary.com

11


DETOURS POON CHOI

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS CITY.” Anderson and Crump followed through on the idea, acquiring logo trademarks for the Cannons and Calgary 88’s (Calgary’s short-lived basketball franchise). They began printing and selling small batches of shirts and hats under the C of Dead moniker by late April 2019. From there, the brand began expanding its catalogue, bringing in Ryan Williamson as a designer to create original tributes to other Calgary icons of yesteryear. Since then they’ve built a full line of T-shirts, sweaters, tank tops and hats featuring tributes to defunct Calgary teams and historic landmarks, from the Cannons to the Stampede Corral. Anderson says C of Dead’s success to this point has been thanks to fellow Calgarians who “get it.” Tributes to the Hart family’s Stampede Wrestling, the Cecil Hotel, Race City Motorsport Park and Lloyds Recreation roller rink all help stir up Calgary nostalgia. The brand’s line of Calgary Flames tributes — which includes an “It Was 12

avenue January / February 21

In” shirt in reference to the infamous no-goal call in game six of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals — act as an inside joke amongst fans. “We pride ourselves on that sort of ‘if you know, you know’ stuff,” says Anderson. Now nearing its two-year anniversary, C of Dead continues to expand. Orders have grown from 25 shirts to upward of 500 shirts at a time, all through word of mouth and an ever-active social media presence. Anderson says this growth confirms the initial hunch that others out there were looking for inside-baseball Calgary memorabilia the same way he and Crump (and later Williamson) were back in 2019. “We’re three guys that absolutely love this city,” says Anderson. “To see other people share that passion is just incredible. It never gets old.” —Nathan Kunz You can get your wearable tribute to Calgary’s bygone teams and landmarks at cofdead.ca

6 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LUNAR NEW YEAR

I

n 2021, the Lunar New Year and its corresponding multicultural celebrations start on February 12th. If you’re new to the lunisolar calendar, celebrating the Lunar New Year can be a sensory overload, but Calgary’s multicultural communities are a well of knowledge to draw from if you need guidance on what to eat and how to enjoy the celebrations. Here are some basic things to know.

1

2021 is the Year of the Ox In the Chinese zodiac, 2021 is the year of the ox. People born under this sign are said to be hardworking and strong-willed.

2

It’s Also Year of the Buffalo The Lunar New Year is given different names outside the Chinese zodiac. For example, if you celebrate Tết, the Vietnamese New Year, look forward to the year of the buffalo, a positive symbol of agriculture and farming for Vietnamese people.

3

Tibetan New Year is Known as Losar If you celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year, then this year is the Dragon Wood year of 2148. Tibetans

celebrate the first few days of Losar with family and friends, praying and cleaning their homes. Tibetan Trom in Eau Claire Market is where local Tibetans and Mongolians go to stock up on incense and other home goods for Losar.

4

Go out for Poon Choi This hearty Chinese dish is a mix of various meats, vegetables and seafood. It’s often served during Lunar New Year at big events and dinners, but you’ll also find it at many restaurants in Chinatown.

5

The Traditional Dish of Tết Has Two Variations. When celebrating Tết, the customary dish is a Vietnamese stickyrice and mung bean cake that comes in two versions: northern (bánh chưng) and southern (bánh Tét).

6

Snack on Khapse and Po Cha During Losar, celebrants snack on a Tibetan version of biscuits and tea. Khapse is a deep-fried pastry twisted in a braid and sometimes covered in powdered sugar. It’s served with po cha, a hot tea made with butter, milk and salt. You can find po cha year-round at Tibet Kitchen in Kensington. —Tsering Asha

P H O T O G R A P H B Y I S T O C K / A S I AV I S I O N

“WE’RE THREE GUYS THAT


L I T T L E M O N K E Y ’ S M A RV E L O U S M E TA LW O R K S

P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y J E R O M Y D E L E F F A N D K E L LY H O F F E R

H

usband-and-wife duo Michael and Claire Perks started Little Monkey Metalworks in 2008. Michael, a graduate of SAIT, is an artistic welder who grew up watching his father, a welding instructor at SAIT, at work. This, in part, fuels his passion for creating artworks out of metal.

In addition to his artistic practice, Michael has worked in snowmaking and operations at ski resorts for three decades, earning the nickname “Mountain Architect” along the way. Claire, who holds an MBA, is the business mind behind Little Monkey and a self-described marketing guru. Together, she

“The [Catalyst statue] at SAIT is smooth and polished on the front, but the back is rigid and you can see the bolts and pieces sticking out. It is meant to show the opportunity for growth and learning that SAIT represents.” - Claire Perks

“The replicated pieces sold at farmers’ markets are largely how we got started. We’ve grown and changed in many ways but these pieces are always important to us.” - Claire Perks

3620 8 AVENUE NW

$1,849,900

A1043386

and Michael create pieces small enough to adorn a coffee table or big enough to act as the first impression on a college campus. Here, Claire takes us around some places and spaces in the city where you can see Little Monkey artworks on display. —Travis Klemp

“Every year Michael spends time creating the fine art pieces for his booth at the Calgary Stampede Art Show. This is always the unveiling of what he has been making throughout the year.” - Claire Perks

PARKDALE BEDROOMS: 3 | BATHS: 3.5 Sophistication & elegance embody this exquisite home, built by Hudson Fine Homes, situated on a 32’x150’ lot backing onto green space in the mature community of Parkdale. Offering over 3,900 sq ft of developed living space, spacious bedrooms & superb finishing & painstaking attention to detail throughout, this 2019 BILD Awards finalist home will take your breath away at every turn. Basement development is customizable; however, currently includes a large family/media room & a mudroom with access to the garage.

GARRISON WOODS BEDROOMS: 4+1 | BATHS: 3.5

Beautifully renovated home situated on a picturesque street in the heart of Garrison Woods. Bright, open & spacious 4+1 bedroom family home with over 3,300 sq ft of living space. The main level is fresh & inviting with new engineered hardwood, all new baseboards & trim, 9’ ceilings, lovely upgraded kitchen & all new lighting throughout. Upstairs presents 4 generous-sized bedrooms all with new carpet & a completely redone 4 piece main bath. Escape to the master suite, complete with walk-in closet & spa-inspired 5-pc ensuite with dual sinks, luxurious freestanding soaker tub & glass shower.

2164 VIMY WAY SW A1048946

$999,000

Each office is independently owned and operated.

www.tanyaeklundgroup.ca | Direct (403) 863-7434 avenuecalgary.com

13


A S P E N L ANDI NG SH OP P I NG CE N T RE

O N E OF C A LG A RY ’ S MO S T D ESI R AB L E P LA C E S TO C A LL H O ME

14

avenue January / February 21

FREE INDOOR PARKING


BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH, CHRISTINA FRANGOU, COLIN GALLANT, JACQUIE MOORE, COLLEEN SETO, GAYATHRI SHUKLA AND JULIA WILLIAMS

C A L G A R I A N S

WE LOVE

The city has become a very different place over the past 10 months, but one thing still holds true: Calgarians are what make Calgary a great place to live. What with winter weather and social distancing, it can be tough to meet other Calgarians right now. So, we’d like to introduce you to some of our favourites. There are way too many to highlight in the pages of the magazine though, so join us online for even more profiles of Calgarians We Love through the next two months and into the future.

avenuecalgary.com

15


PHUNG’S WAY As his show Kim’s Convenience sets to air its fifth season,

comedian Andrew Phung reflects on growing up in Calgary, developing his instinct for humour and his enduring love for this city.

16

avenue January / February 21


BY JACQUIE MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK WONG

Andrew Phung

S T Y L I S T: R E N N A R E D D I E , G R O O M I N G : S A N D R A T A N G

ACTOR/COMEDIAN

ifteen years ago, at the former Outlaws Nightclub on Macleod Trail, Andrew Phung danced like nobody was watching. Twentytwo and single, he’d just been introduced to an attractive woman who was, indeed, watching as he lost his footing and went down hard. As he lay in a small ocean of spilled beer while Jamiroquai played on, Phung saw two choices: he could slink out the back door, or he could stand up and keep dancing. He chose the latter — proving his long-held suspicion that the more spectacular the failure, the bigger the success: charmed as hell, the girl married him. Like many professional comedians, Phung, who plays sweet, goofy Kimchee on CBC’s hit television series Kim’s Convenience, isn’t laugh-a-minute in conversation. In a Zoom interview from Toronto, looking every bit his character in a backward baseball cap and surrounded by dozens of pairs of collectible sneakers, Phung is earnest and articulate. “Kimchee leans closer to myself in my late 20s, but he’s more blunt than me, and he’s got different insecurities,” he says. Early on in the series, while workshopping his lines with his fellow actors, a mantra would loop through Phung’s mind: “He’s not you, Andrew.” Phung was born in Calgary to a Vietnamese mother and a Chinese father who was raised in Vietnam. His parents both immigrated to Canada with their families in the late 1970s. Phung is still piecing together his parents’ respective pasts in Vietnam, consuming what morsels they occasionally dish out, and filling the gaps through conversation with his close but vast extended family (his mother is one of 13 siblings, all of whom came to Canada together). “My mom is pretty guarded on

her family history and I realize now that she doesn’t tell me a lot because she holds a lot of pain in her heart,” he says. Perhaps not surprisingly, comic relief was appreciated in the Phung household. “My mom was a huge John Ritter fan,” says Phung. “We’d watch Three’s Company together and Murphy Brown re-runs and SNL, and that helped my parents learn some of the nuances of North American comedy to maybe connect more with me.” Many Saturday nights, when his mom worked the late shift at Japanese Village, young Phung and his dad would pick up Taco Bell and rent Jackie Chan movies. “The cultural learning went both ways: my dad was teaching me Hong Kong comedy and I saw myself in Jackie Chan,” he says. Armed with legit taekwondo skills for his age, Phung attempted to emulate the over-the-top fight scene from First Strike. “My dad would find me in the basement and tell me to stop using our ladder as a Jackie Chan weapon.” Phung’s mom worked various jobs, serving in restaurants and at a school cafeteria, and then opening a flower boutique near Marlborough Mall. His dad worked at a metal fabrication shop, saving money and learning the trade and eventually opening his own business. Phung was an only child, often left, quite contentedly, to fend for himself. “I was raised by immigrants who worked non-stop,” he says. “My parents took every opportunity they could to make our lives better.” The summers he worked at his dad’s shop were some of the hardest of his life. “That time gave me the work ethic I still carry with me.” That work ethic applied even to Phung’s

hobbies. In high school, on the advice of his drama teacher who sensed he might have an affinity for improv, he and a group of friends walked into Inglewood’s old Garry Theatre, former home base of The Loose Moose Theatre Company, looking for something to do. “Improv classes were free, and I can tell you without a doubt that is the number one reason I’m on the path I’m on,” says Phung. “It was something I didn’t need permission or money to do every weekend.” His parents would have found a way to pay for just about any other type of class (preferably science or math tutoring) but comedy? He laughs at the thought. Like all participants, Phung helped clean the theatre and rip audience show tickets. He enjoyed a steady diet of free popcorn and lime rickeys, but he was most gratified by the opportunities to fill his comedic toolbelt with tricks and skills gleaned while watching the competitive improv comedians in action. Loose Moose founding director Dennis Cahill recognized Phung’s drive and diligence. “Andrew worked really, really hard to get where he is,” he says. Still, in the arts especially, hard work alone is no guarantee of success. Cahill recalls 16-year-old Phung was typical in that, like a lot of young people who showed up to the theatre, “he was full of enthusiasm and not very skilled.” And, future stars are not always obvious. “We learned that a long time ago: when someone starts out at this, you don’t know how they’ll do, but Andrew not only stuck with it, he had charm.” Cahill recalls Phung’s penchant for volunteering at the box office on show nights, animatedly chatting up everyone who came to the window and making new friends all around. Later those evenings, when audiences were asked to award points to favourite players and eliminate others, guess who owned their hearts? “He started winning all of those Maestro Impro rounds,” says Cahill, laughing. “It’s not that he wasn’t talented, but that charm went a long way.”

avenuecalgary.com

17


But Phung never considered himself particularly funny in those early days, nor did he see comedy as a viable job option for himself. “I didn’t have dreams of doing this,” he says. “I joined the theatre with a bunch of other kids who wanted stand-up to be their career. They were the funnier ones — I was just trying to learn and hang out with these cool kids.” In fact, Phung was set on a career in oil and gas because, well, it was Calgary in the early 2000s. (It was also a respectable consolation for his mother, devastated that her son wasn’t aiming for med school.) Instead, after completing an economics degree at the University of Calgary, he wound up running the city’s robust Sport & Social Club and later, overseeing Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (now Youth Central) — a non-profit aimed at providing leadership opportunities to youth. That work earned him a spot in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2009 and put him in a position to facilitate a session with youth and then-Governor General Michaëlle Jean. “I considered doing an MBA and getting into the corporate sector,” says Phung, who showed up for the program’s introductory session in a T-shirt rather than the de rigueur power suit, and promptly changed his mind. Phung was 26 when he came to terms with the real possibility that he could pursue comedy for a living. “That’s when I finally realized that I could hold my own with anyone on stage, that I’d created my own toolbelt,” he says. He cut down his hours at the youth agency and, for four or five years, was Calgary’s most sought-after emcee (tied only, perhaps, with Dave Kelly), charismatically hosting upward of five events a month, from huge shows on the Bell Stage at the Calgary Stampede, to an annual chicken wing festival. He white-hatted Michael J. Fox rocking a pair of Nike Air Mags from Back to the Future Part II (“a boyhood dream come true”). Phung also started initiating his own productions, co-hosting a live late-night show called Past Your Bedtime with Renée Amber, a friend and fellow comic who he says educated him on avoiding the low-hanging fruits of misogyny that plague comedy. He wrote for and co-starred in a video series called Cowtown, 18

avenue January / February 21

“I LOVE this city... so now when I’m on a national scale I want to represent Calgary in such a positive way.”

which also featured one of his closest friends, Calgary artist Mandy Stobo. “I had such big dreams and Andrew would always check in on me and say, ‘Mandy, I’m hustlin’, you hustlin’?’ And I’d say, ‘I sure am,’” says Stobo. Phung also devoted himself to connecting Loose Moose to the community. He breathed new life into the company’s annual highschool Theatresports tournament, which was experiencing a bit of a lull, and made it rock again. “Andrew really took to heart what the Moose gave him,” says Cahilll. “He became instrumental in a lot of our high-school programs and that’s part of his legacy here.” In the summer of 2015, Phung performed his improvised action-movie parody Kill Hard at the Edmonton Fringe. Toronto playwright Ins Choi was also at that year’s festival, and ended up in the audience. In development at the time for the TV adaptation of his hit play Kim’s Convenience, Choi approached Phung after the show and took down his contact info on a piece of paper. Months later, Choi handed the paper to the show’s casting director. Kim’s Convenience, the fifth season of which

is scheduled to start airing in January 2021, revolves around a Korean-Canadian family and their friends. In classic sitcom form, messy misunderstandings and problems (most often fuelled by Mr. Kim’s Archie Bunker-like stubbornness) are endless; obvious solutions are elusive; and conclusions are generally absurd, heartfelt and gratifying. The ensemble cast is stacked with deft physical comedians, including Phung, whose whole being registers surprise, warmth and hurt in broad theatrical strokes. “I play Kimchee as a mix of a bunch of people in my life — a cousin, an aunt, an uncle, a sibling, an old friend — I want people to see him and know that guy,” says Phung, who won the Canadian Screen Award for best supporting comedic actor in 2017, 2018 and again in 2020. A national profile hasn’t dimmed Phung’s love for his hometown. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more zealous about Calgary. “I love this city,” he says. “For 10 years, people came to see me on Friday nights at Loose Moose, and they trusted me and cheered for me and laughed for me and so now, when I’m on a national scale, I want to represent Calgary in such a positive way.” He is overtly fond of the city’s culturally diverse northeast quadrant, having grown up in various neighbourhoods including Falconridge, Pineridge, Temple, Coral Springs and Monterey Park. Phung is also a vigilant champion for local businesses: when COVID-19 hit, he took to Twitter to urge Calgarians to order food from Chinatown stalwarts like Regency Palace and Silver Dragon. “People got weird about Chinatown and I wanted to get ahead of any anti-Asian hate,” he says. On Kim’s Convenience, Kimchee is the funny, affable sidekick, but Phung would argue that his character has had some of the most growth on the show: “You’re seeing a young slacker turn into an adult with a job, healthy relationships, his own quirks.” And even though, he’s not Phung, many of Kimchee’s defining characteristics define both of them. Certainly, Kimchee is the show’s most exuberant and consistently kind character, its unexpected moral centre. In short, he’s the guy you want to be friends with.


PHUNG FACTS Favourite Chinese restaurant in Calgary Regency Palace. Favourite Thai restaurant Spicy Hut. Favourite Vietnamese sub Saigon Deli, Forest Lawn Favourite pho Nho Saigon, Marda Loop. Most frequent Insta post Cuddles and cartoons with his kids on Saturday mornings. Hardest part of his job: Learning lines. Stellar night at home Takeout dinner, running KC lines and watching TV with his wife, Tamara. Something someone said that stuck with him “You can’t make everyone happy.” (Mayor Naheed Nenshi). Most surprising place he has been recognized by fans Times Square. Favourite niche YouTube show Cash Jordan’s NYC Apartment Tours Current book he’s reading A Flawless Mistake: Tales From a Beautiful Life of Colossal F*ckups, by Tamara Woolgar.


Julie Van Rosendaal TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER WITH FOOD

20

avenue January / February 21

“FOOD ISN’T JUST A THING THAT KEEPS US ALIVE. IT’S HOW WE TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.”

PHOTOGRAPH BY JEREMY FOKKENS

E

very so often, well-intentioned people give Julie Van Rosendaal ideas for honing her “personal brand,” but she doesn’t usually follow through. For Van Rosendaal, author of 11 cookbooks and a popular blog, food writer for The Globe and Mail and other publications (including this one), CBC Calgary radio contributor, cooking teacher and social media personality, it’s never been about her brand. Everything she does is about food, which for her means it’s about connection and community. “Food isn’t just a thing that keeps us alive,” she says. “It’s how we take care of each other.” Van Rosendaal’s sense of community and ability to see a good idea through are qualities she inherited from her mother Meg Van Rosendaal, a co-founder of the Music Mile project to promote the numerous performance spaces from East Village to Inglewood, and many other local initiatives. These qualities came to the fore when COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020. Aware that many children depend on school and community spaces for meals — spaces that had been shuttered — Van Rosendaal began reaching out to her network of local restaurants, producers and social agencies. She teamed up with Paul Rogalski, chef and co-owner of Rouge Restaurant, and an army of volunteers to turn surplus ingredients and donated food into bagged lunches, then distributed the lunches at sites across the city. This continued until the kids returned to school in September. Meanwhile, Van Rosendaal was tapped to join the Business Sector Support task force for the City of Calgary, discussing challenges and possible solutions for local businesses. Despite her well-earned status as a leader in matters of eating, cooking and food security in Calgary, Van Rosendaal is endearingly self-deprecating, insisting she’s not even much of a planner. “I’m kind of all over the place,” she laughs. Nonetheless, she’s crystal clear on the subject of why she does what she does. “I never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from, and I think it’s my responsibility to do what I can for people who don’t have that experience,” she says. —J.W.


Allison Dunne MURALS THAT MATTER

Like so many of the most effective activists, Allison Dunne co-founded her Pink Flamingo group out of a place of joy. Dunne has roots in Calgary’s arts and music scenes as well as Calgary Pride and Voices (a local coalition of two-spirit, racialized LGBTQIA+ and chosen allies). She developed Pink Flamingo as a series of inclusive events centred on QTBIPOC (queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and people of colour) participants. Pink Flamingo parties are ultra-fun and purposely gaudy, but the group’s mandate is serious. That has become more clear as the focus shifts from parties to projects like its ongoing Black Lives Matter murals, which will continue to pop up around the city over the next year. “Calgary is full of Black queer producers, but there aren’t a lot of spaces for us, so we had to create that,” Dunne says. “Being a Black queer woman, I definitely wanted to create spaces for people like me.” —E.C.B.

Kara Chomistek and Jessie Li (PARK)

P H O T O G R A P H B Y J A N E T D AV I E S

POPS OF POSITIVITY AND CREATIVITY THROUGHOUT THE CITY

Since the pandemic began, PARK co-founders Jessie Li and Kara Chomistek have been curating pops of positivity throughout the city. PARK prides itself in sustaining creative talent while meeting community needs (the name stands for “promoting artists, redefining kulture”). Last May, PARK partnered with Pattison Outdoor to have local artists transform 80 blank billboards into uplifting messages. The #OURPARK2020 digital mural campaign boldly showed appreciation for frontline workers and encouraged distancing. In July, PARK brought more good vibes to public spaces: playfulness flowed over St. Patrick’s Island with the #StayBright and #VibranceYYC installations, while

Deerfoot City was turned into a fun and safe outdoor patio space with the #YYCBlockParty street mural. PARK is no stranger to immersive cultural experiences, having spearheaded the #ChromaYYC art pop-up at Southcentre Mall in the spring of 2019 as well as the PARKSHOW fashion events that bring together Canada’s emerging designers along with artistic, musical and culinary talents. But their work during the pandemic brought all of that together: creating work for artists, joy for participants and connection to community. “It’s really cool to draw people in to experience spaces in a totally different way,” says Li, PARK’s vice president. “It’s not just about creating artwork, but artwork with a purpose.”—C.S.

avenuecalgary.com

21


Erica Weibe WRESTLING WITH CHANGE

Olympic gold-winning wrestler Erica Wiebe qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games back in March, only to find out a few weeks later that the Games were postponed. So, Wiebe, a self-described “dreamer” and “doer,” decided to focus on things she could control and worked to grow as both an athlete and a leader. She picked up road cycling; continued volunteering as a board member of Canadian Sport Institute Calgary; created, developed and served as a counsellor for an online youth wrestling camp; and even embarked on the executive MBA program offered in partnership by Queens University and Cornell University. “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up,” Wiebe says, with a laugh. “I’m really fascinated by the leadership space and I’m looking to learn and develop, to improve the lives of people in the community and around the world.”—C.G

Jennifer Black As an urban planner, Jennifer Black understands the importance of walkability for a thriving neighbourhood. It’s why she chose to live in Crescent Heights. After joining the community association’s board, she led a number of creative walkability initiatives, including a street chalk festival, a community asset map, an intersection painting program, a build-a-bench workshop and Calgary’s first augmented reality mural. But she noticed a lack of businesses at the community table, so she began knocking on doors to launch a Business Improvement Area (BIA) to boost business along Centre Street. “It took a lot of 22

avenue January / February 21

work,” says Black, who singlehandedly tackled the application process before recruiting a small team of volunteers. “It took us three years and two tries to get there.” But it was worth the effort. The Crescent Heights Village BIA now supports more than 110 diverse and inclusive businesses, and few have closed during the COVID crisis. “In fact, we’ve seen a few open,” Black says. “This is a testament to the power of BIAs: helping businesses open and stay open. These business owners live in our community. They don’t pick up and leave when times get tough. We should support them.”—C.S.

P H O T O G R A P H B Y D AV E H O L L A N D

CREATING A WALKABLE WONDERLAND


Lourdes Juan POSITIVELY MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOGRAPH BY LORI ANDREWS

L

ourdes Juan is one of the most upbeat, friendly people some of us may ever meet, exceedingly nice but in a genuine way. But even though she’s such a positive person, Juan sees problems everywhere. What makes her remarkable is how enjoyable she finds the process of solving them. Juan is a Calgary entrepreneur. Following the completion of her master’s degree in environmental design at the University of Calgary in 2010, she opened Soma Hammam & Spa in the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in the community of Seton. She then started Hive Developments to help developers stickhandle processes, permits and more. Juan is perhaps best known in Calgary for her social enterprises. Her Leftovers Foundation is a non-profit that “rescues” unused food from restaurants, bakeries and grocers, and delivers it to service agencies such as the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Alpha House and Inn from the Cold. Staff and volunteers rescue more than 10,000 pounds of food per week in Alberta alone. The widely desired service has expanded into Edmonton and Winnipeg, and creating Leftovers also got Juan recognized by L’Oréal as one of its Canadian “Women of Worth.” She recently kicked off another not-for-profit social enterprise called Fresh Routes, a solution to the challenge of ensuring food equity in food deserts (neighbourhoods with no easy access to fresh produce and other healthy groceries). Juan oversees a small fleet of Fresh Routes delivery vehicles in Calgary, Edmonton and soon, Winnipeg, including a decommissioned and retrofitted City of Calgary transit bus — the only such bus in North America sporting a refrigerated cooling system. “We bring affordable, culturally appropriate grocery shopping to the doorsteps of newcomer families, seniors in affordable housing, students and people on Indigenous reserves with few grocery-store options in their community,” says Juan. Juan, who is expecting a baby this spring, offers that perhaps her postitve outlook is in her genes. “My mother worked three jobs my whole childhood to makes ends meet, and she is the most cheerful person I know. She never finishes a sentence without laughing and she hugs people before she’s even met them.” Wherever she gets it from, Calgary is benefitting from all of Juan’s positive energy. —J.M.

HER LEFTOVERS FOUNDATION IS A NONPROFIT THAT “RESCUES” UNUSED FOOD.

avenuecalgary.com

23


Shovik Sangupta CRAFTING THE DINING EXPERIENCE

Shovik Sengupta claims that his success can be attributed to his ability to surround himself with creative and hardworking people, but the personable restaurateur’s other secret weapon is the way he creates enthusiasm and a sense of warmth. Sengupta has a stake in both Native Tongues Taqueria and Lil’ Empire Burger, but there’s a special place in his heart for his Calcutta Cricket Club, which celebrates both Sengupta’s family background and his love of fun and modern restaurant spaces that are as much about atmosphere as they are about delicious food. “We put as much weight behind the space because we wanted to create an experience,” Sengupta says. “We wanted to create really cool rooms where the design and the music and the vibe tie together, with great food on top of all of that.”—E.C.B.

Heather Campbell Heather Campbell can still recite the Brownie code: “I’m still a Brownie in my mind,” she laughs. “I do right by my people and my country, and I try to do good every day.” Campbell holds the position of team lead, legal registry for TC Energy Corporation and spends her nonworking hours volunteering. She’s a public commissioner on the Calgary Police Commission, a member of the advisory council for Western Engineering, a board member for Arts Commons, the People’s Warden for 24

avenue January / February 21

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church and co-chair of Alberta’s first-ever AntiRacism Advisory Council, advising the Government of Alberta on how to take action to combat racism. These extracurricular commitments keep her (very) busy, but Campbell says they’re a source of deep meaning in her life. “I am a Black woman with an engineering degree, I’ve trained in the arts since I was three years old, and I’m a woman of faith,” she says. “I do things that are fundamental to the core of who I am.” —J.W.

PHOTOGRAPH BY PHIL CROZIER

DOING GOOD EVERY DAY


John Brown BETTER LIVES START WITH BETTER CITIES

To architect John Brown, design is an inherently optimistic discipline. “You’re always imagining the world that could be,” he says. And the world Brown imagines is one where we address the biggest challenges of our time — climate change, social vulnerability and public health — through the way we build our cities. As dean of the school of architecture, planning and landscape at UCalgary, Brown was instrumental in creating the City Building Design Lab, a teaching and research facility in the site of the former Central Library downtown. He calls it a “living lab,” where students are connected to the community and can observe the way our built environment shapes our possibilities. Brown intends to train a generation of professionals who know how to collaborate with other disciplines, and understand how to create good infrastructure that allows us to live good lives. “It’s all about the city,” Brown says. “We make our cities and then our cities make us.” —J.W.

Matt Masters

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN DENNIE

LIVE MUSIC TO GO

When the pandemic put live performance on ice last year, veteran roots musician Matt Masters and his wife Amanda Burgener launched Curbside Concerts, an “a la carte culture delivery service.” They produced more than 500 socially distanced private concerts within the first six months. Today the company operates across Canada and has a roster of more than 50 musicians. Masters says that Curbside’s format could expand to include fitness, comedy and more. He plans to add health and dental benefits for performers and eventually take the company global. While Curbside Concerts started in response to COVID-19, Masters believes it provides a solution to pre-existing difficulties

in the live-music industry. Many musicians enjoy touring, but it can be tough to be away from their homes and families for extended periods of time. Curbside Concerts allows them to make a modest income from home, playing to an audience partially developed by the company in addition to their established fanbases. Masters believes that when venues reopen, this model can integrate within the conventional live-music industry by offering musicians a way to earn income between tours. “The artists get to choose the gigs they want, where they want,” he says. “It’s up to the artists: work when you want, as much as you want.” —C.G.

avenuecalgary.com

25


Maria Dina Galura BEYOND BALLOONS

Maria Dina Galura is the owner of Calgary Party 50, where she creates beautiful balloon installations for events, organizations and charities. A portion of her sales go to The Happy Birthday Project from Made By Mama, an organization that throws birthday parties for children in shelters. One of her most famous creations is the large-scale installation for the 2018 Beakerhead festival that turned the former Enoch Sales House in Victoria Park into a vibrant homage to the movie Up. Galura sees planning and executing these creative projects as her way of giving back to community. “Seeing an installation by yourself makes you happy, but if we experience it with a friend or family, and with everyone else, I think the happiness is elevated,” she says. The thousands who saw (and photographed) the Enoch Sales House installation would certainly agree. —G.S.

Craig Elias As an award-winning entrepreneur, author and business advisor, Craig Elias says he is on a mission to liberate and inspire people from all walks of life to create and commercialize new ideas. He says his motto is “tell me I can’t, and I’ll show you I can,” which certainly goes a long way toward explaining how he seems to pull of some impossible-seeming things. “I am a lucky sales guy, who then became a lucky entrepreneur, who then become a lucky husband and a dad, who gets to do the things he loves,” he says. 26

avenue January / February 21

Elias is currently the entrepreneurin-residence at Bow Valley College, where he is passionate about helping students become entrepreneurs. He also started and runs three student pitch competitions: VentureQuest, 150Startups and the Inventure$ Student Pitch Competition held annually at the Inventures conference by Alberta Innovates. All three bring together some of the brightest minds in Alberta’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to inspire and lead the next generation to continue this city’s entrepreneurial spirit—G.S.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PENNY BREEDON

INSPIRING CALGARY’S NEXT ENTREPRENEURS


DAVID O’BRIEN ON A VISIT TO A BOARDING SCHOOL THAT CAWST HELPED SUPPLY WITH CLEAN WATER.

David O’Brien FINDING MEANING IN PHILANTHROPY

W

hen David O’Brien arrived in Calgary in 1977 to work as legal counsel for PetroCanada, he thought natural gas was the same thing as the gasoline he got at the pump. “That’s how ignorant I was,” says O’Brien with a laugh. But he wasn’t deterred by his lack of knowledge, even though those first weeks were among the most challenging in a career that spans more than four decades and transformed not only Alberta’s oil and gas industry but Canadian business. His secret? “Be curious, ask questions and think about how to make things better.” O’Brien, who became an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008, is best known for his time as CEO of Canadian Pacific Ltd. from 1995 to 2001, during which he relocated to the company to Calgary. He led the split of Canadian Pacific into five public companies (Canadian Pacific Railway, PanCanadian Energy, CP Ships, Fording Coal and CP Hotels, now Fairmont Hotels) and eventually negotiated the merger to form Encana Corporation. (Last year a reorganziation saw Encana renamed Ovintiv and the head office moved to Denver.) He followed that with 10 years as the chair of the Royal Bank of Canada. Since retiring in 2013, O’Brien has embarked on what he calls the most rewarding work of his life: philanthropy. Inspired by Bill Gates’ charitable work, O’Brien aims to do something similar from Canada, funding non-profit organizations while providing hands-on support in a way that changes lives. Since 2013, he has served as chair of Calgary’s Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), a charity focused on improving drinking water, sanitation and hygiene as well as education about these topics around the world. He has donated more $41 million to CAWST as the organization expanded to 50 employees helping CAWST operate on the ground in 87 countries. In 2014, O’Brien and his wife Gail donated $12 million to the University of Calgary’s population health and health care research program, now named the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. His advice to everyone, retired and not is “think about giving back. When you get involved with something bigger than yourself, it is extremely rewarding.” —C.F.

“BE CURIOUS, ASK QUESTIONS AND THINK ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.”

avenuecalgary.com

27


RE+U USES A MODULAR APPROACH TO BUILDING, SO A BACKYARD OFFICE CAN BE BUILT IN AS LITTLE AS FIVE DAYS.

B 28

avenue January / February 21

U

N

K

I

E


BY DAVE ROBERTSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH

DECOR

L

H O W P A N D E M I C - M A N D AT E D WORKING FROM HOME IS FUELING DEMAND FOR STYLISH AND F U N C T I O N A L B A C K YA R D O F F I C E S .

L

O

V

E

ike many construction contractors, Claus Brink has been working from home for years. He’s well-acquainted with what legions of workers are now just discovering in the age of COVID-19: the interruptions from kids, pets and partners, the work papers piled on the dining room table, no place to escape work at the end of the day. A little over 10 years ago, Brink realized the solution was as close as his own backyard, and he set about converting an old workshop behind his Altadore bungalow into an office. After taking it down to the studs, he replaced the aging wood floor with concrete, had the walls insulated with spray foam and finished the interior to professional standards. The result is a beautiful, comfortable, distraction-free workspace that is also a portfolio piece for his business, Rhodes Brink Construction. Like Brink, other resourceful Calgarians have embraced backyard offices. The next step up from backyard studio spaces (a.k.a. “she sheds”), office sheds are less whimsical hobby hubs and more intentional workspaces designed to be close to, but still separate from a home. As COVID-19 lingers, and with it the need to isolate from traditional office set-ups, which are often unsuited to follow socialdistancing protocols, look for the demand for backyard offices (or “bunkies” as they’re known in some circles) to grow. Writer Fiona Wren’s office shed is tucked behind her 800-square-foot home in Glendale. Built by her husband, junior high teacher Mike Stahl, Wren’s shed has all the comforts she needs to work comfortably in summer and winter: electricity, heat, a desk with a large monitor and a sunny view of her backyard. The couple originally built it as a bonus room for their modest-sized home and, at first, used the space for yoga and spin training. But when COVID-19 struck, Stahl started teaching classes from home, and he soon tired of spending so much time in the dark improvised office space they had created in their drab basement. Operations quickly moved to the shed. Today, Stahl is back in the classroom, but their bunkie continues to act as a backyard office for Wren and her eight-year-old son avenuecalgary.com

29


DECOR Niko. At 9 a.m. each morning, they make the short commute to their desks so that Niko can attend Grade 3 online while Wren attends to her writing work. Wren says that having a backyard office is critical to her family’s sanity. “It’s been nice to have the extra space even just for a mental break from each other,” she says. She laughs about the shed being her “escape” from the house, her voice rising in a shaky, pandemicworn way about just needing to get out and spend time in the office. In all seriousness though, Wren cherishes the shed and the privilege of leaving her work behind when she reenters the main house. “We just can shut the door at the end of the day,” she says. Compared to the expense of building an extension on a house, a well-insulated shed with heat and light can be a relatively inexpensive option for creating a comfortable and attractive home office. Despite what you may have heard, the building process is not entirely free of red tape though: according to Calgary’s development and construction bylaws any structure with electrical, gas or plumbing requires permits and inspections, even if the footprint is less than 10 square metres. Ulrik Seward, chief building official and managing chief of approvals for the City of Calgary, advises that homeowners should go the extra mile to protect their personal safety and property value. For those doing the construction themselves, Seward advises that it’s still a good idea to consult the building code, as a safe structure must tolerate wind, rain and snow loading. For those who are less confident about their building skills, Seward recommends engaging design and construction professionals. “Although it does cost extra, I think in the end, it’s very much worth the money to work with somebody [who] knows what they’re doing,” he says. Fritz Kass agrees. Shortly after moving to Calgary, Kass purchased the services of custom home renovator Unique Projects at a charity auction. His daughters had enjoyed a treehouse at their previous home in Ohio, and while the Calgary home didn’t have suitable trees for another one, Kass wanted them to have a similar space where they could do homework, practice music and hang out. Kass consulted at length with Adrian Wilson at Unique to make sure that their backyard shed would complement the design of his West 30

avenue January / February 21

FIONA WREN AND NIKO USE THEIR BACKYARD OFFICE FOR WRITING AND ONLINE SCHOOL.

“IT’S VERY MUCH WORTH THE MONEY TO WORK WITH SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING.” Coast modern home and would be comfortable during Calgary’s harsh winters. It includes touches like a loft to make the space ideal for his girls. And while their backyard structure wasn’t designed to be an office, building it essentially gave Kass back his office within the main house, which had been taken over by his girls for homeschooling during the initial COVID-mandated school shutdowns. As COVID-19 lingers, other Calgary designers and builders are creating their own new versions of these “shedquarters.” Builders like Unique Projects and Urban Shed are using techniques and finishes from custom home building, while firms like Re+U and Modern Huts are introducing prefabricated solutions that are both attractive and quick to erect. After designing corporate offices for over 30

U LR I K SEW AR D , C I TY O F C ALG AR Y

CLAUS BRINK CONVERTED AN OLD WORKSHOP INTO AN OFFICE THAT ALSO SERVES AS A PORTFOLIO PIECE FOR HIS COMPANY.


N

W

E

Leadership. At Master’s, it’s more than a buzzword.

S

Introducing Imaginal Leadership In a world where change is happening all around us, we need strong leaders who see a better future and bring it to fruition with faith, hope, and love.

continue to work with international companies and think tanks. We have developed these experiences into a curriculum that specifically addresses innovation, design, collaboration, and futurism. We call this the Imaginal Leadership Program.

‘Leadership’ is not a buzzword at Master’s because we At Master’s Academy and College, we prepare our intentionally provide the environment, processes, and students to be Imaginal Leaders. Imaginal Leaders see, learn from, and create the future. They are the innovators, tools that the leaders of today and tomorrow need. inventors, and disruptors who transform our world. Discover the Imaginal difference. Visit our website and book a tour today. Since its inception almost 25 years ago, the mission of Master’s has been to create a breakthrough model of education and share it with the world. We are working in countries all over the world as more educators and schools see the Imaginal difference. Throughout our history we have collaborated with global leaders in innovation and creativity; and we

Master’s Academy & College

masters.ab.ca


DECOR IN A FUTURE DOMINATED BY ZOOM, HOME WORKSPACES ARE THE PUBLIC FACE OF THE COMPANY. years, the pandemic gave Re+U founder Keith Moe a fresh opportunity to explore his interest in designing small, elegant spaces. Moe grew up on a farm near Drumheller and his modern designs are inspired by the simplicity of the bunkhouses, farm sheds and granaries that lie scattered across the Prairies. Re+U uses a modular approach that starts with a 10-square-metre base unit constructed from prefabricated structural insulated panels placed on a floor assembly. Last fall, Moe built a demonstration unit in a residential community in southwest Calgary to iron out the construction details. With that experience behind him, he expects he can now construct a new unit in about five days. Despite the speed of construction, he is still dedicated to creating a thoughtfully designed, high-end product. Drawing on his experience with corporate offices, Moe believes companies that are now embracing work-from-home policies need to find new ways to make a positive brand statement. In a future dominated by Zoom, home workspaces are essentially serving as the public face of the company, making the case for employees to have more professional settings at home. “This now becomes an impression of the company, rather than just a happenstance of the pandemic,” Moe says. Of course, there’s a cost to all of this. While a homebuilt solution like Wren’s might cost as little as $10,000, professionally built versions of the backyard office shed can range from $15,000 to upwards of $50,000, depending on construction, finishes and accessories. It’s a fair chunk of change and a barrier that some cashstrapped families simply can’t afford. Builder Jeremy Johnson hopes to overcome the cost issue by leasing backyard offices preconstructed from recycled shipping containers. Johnson’s company, Modern Huts, was already using shipping containers as a durable building envelope for homes, cabins and studios they’ve built for clients in Calgary and across Western Canada. When the pandemic started, he piv32

avenue January / February 21

INSIDE A RE+U OFFICE SPACE.

BUILDER JEREMY JOHNSON HOPES TO OVERCOME THE COST BARRIER BY LEASING BACK YARD OFFICES FOR AS LITTLE AS $500 A MONTH.

oted to building backyard offices from small shipping containers. When Johnson discovered that demand for the $20,000 units was soft, he introduced a leasing option that allows his customers to secure a backyard office for as little as $500 a month, including ongoing maintenance. Leasing not only makes Johnson’s solution more affordable, it also allows companies and the self-employed to write off their lease costs as a business expense. The flexibility offered by shipping containers is particularly well suited to Johnson’s leasing model because the offices can be built and stored offsite and delivered when customers

are ready for them. They’re also easy to remove and repurpose when the lease is over. This new world of backyard offices has the potential to influence the character of Calgary’s neighbourhoods, says David White, principal and owner of urban planning and design firm, CivicWorks. The company’s clientele includes developers in places such as Vancouver Island, where many professionals are choosing to migrate because they have the option to work remotely, and where demand for high-end homes with well-designed, professional workspaces is growing. After seeing the Re+U model office in southwest Calgary, White deemed it “a simple, considered,


27th Annual

The Calgary Awards Nominate an inspiring Calgarian at calgary.ca/calgaryawards THIS BACKYARD SHED PROVIDES SPACE FOR FRITZ KAAS’S KIDS TO DO HOMEWORK, PLAY MUSIC

Nominations close February 10, 2021 Award Sponsor

Event Sponsor

AND HANG OUT. 20-0008153

ONLINE BALLOT

BEST

NEIGHBOURHOOD GEMS Tell us about your favourite parks, recreation centres, community projects and more in our first-ever Neighbourhood Gems online ballot. Nominate your favourite things across the city. avenuecalgary.com/neighbourhood-gems-ballot/

N O M I N AT I O N S J A N U A RY 1 8 - M A R C H 1 avenuecalgary.com

I L L U S T R AT I O N : M A R I A H E R G U E TA

thoughtful and potentially really affordable, achievable addition to a property to be able to accommodate ... working remotely.” To White, another key benefit of the backyard office is less commuting, and as a result, less traffic. If the backyard office trend takes hold, White believes our neighbourhoods will also benefit. “I think there could be a really positive knock-on effect to neighborhoods being more amenity-rich and service-rich because of this,” he says, with more localized options for grabbing coffee, buying pens or conducting a business lunch. Says White: “It’ll take a while, but it will create more complete neighbourhoods.”

33


BY COLIN GALLANT PHOTOS BY JARED SYCH

MUST-TRY

NEW RE S TAU R ANTS These new spots have upped the ante for excellence in Calgary’s dining scene. At least something good happened in 2020.

O

ne of the thrills of dining is discovery, something that endures even in our current uncharted circumstances. An astonishing number of restaurants opened in 2020 and while many were new locations of old favourites, there were also those offering a welcome breath of fresh air. Here are just a few of the exciting new restaurants in Calgary.

PAPER LANTERN Find the sign that says “You Are Here” in Chinatown and you’ll have arrived at one of the chicest new establishments in recent memory. This family-run cocktail bar is equal parts homestyle Vietnamese cooking and tropical personality, with a mix of tiki classics like the mai tai and intercultural explorations like the “pandan pain killer” on the bar menu. Whatever ends up in your glass, it all 34

avenue January / February 21

pairs well with the menu of drinking snacks, banh mi and rice bowls. Make sure to inquire about the daily specials on savoury and sweet eats and the “break-even bottle” program, where luxe liquors are served at cost. 115 2 Ave. S.E., 403-457-7765, paperlantern. ca, @paperlanternyyc ternyyc


DINING A1 FAMILY OF RESTAURANTS This subset of Thank You Hospitality group exploded in 2020, beginning in July with Two Penny’s transition to the A1 Bodega & Cafe, a Mediterranean share-plates restaurant and mini-grocery store. The A1 Burrito counter inside the Ol’ Beautiful brewery arrived in August and a casual Mexican restaurant called A1 Cantina followed mid-fall at Britannia Plaza. While the offerings at each outpost are distinct, all are examples that growth is possible during hardship, as long as you’ve got the right stuff. 1213 1 St. S.W., 403-474-7766, @a1bodegacafe; 1103 12 St. S.E., @a1burrito; 829 49 Ave. S.W. @a1cantina; a1family.ca

ORCHARD RESTAURANT Cocktail culture and fine dining meet at this new Beltline restaurant from Nick Suche of Syndicate Hospitality Group, which operates Shelter cocktail bar, chef Jenny Kang (formerly of Vero Bistro) and Andrew Denhamer. The design of the greenery- and chandelier-bedecked space was a collaboration between Bold Workshop Architecture and Sturgess Architecture. The menu is “modern Mediter-

ranean” and shines thanks to pan-Asian flourish on European coastal staples. The signature cocktail list is well thought out: try the light-and-bright “from Shelter with love” or the complex “beckoning cat.” There’s also a cider menu with bottles you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. 134, 610 10 Ave. S.W., 403-243-2392, orchardyyc.com, @orchard.yyc

HUTCH CAFÉ This new French café by local kitchenware brand Hutch Kitchen does shareables, lunch, brunch and high tea, as well as takeaway. Chef Jay Magnaye (formerly of Blink, Mélo Eatery and Foreign Concept) serves up sweet and savoury daytime classics like a decadent croque madame and a pain perdue with berries, Chantilly cream and maple syrup, alongside goodies from local spots such as Yann Haute Patisserie and Wow

Bakery. There are also deli sandwiches, a picture-perfect high tea for two and a seasonal lobster roll and lobster bisque combo. If you’re taken with the dishware, you’re in luck — it’s all made by Hutch and available for purchase on site. 795 1 Ave. S.W., 403-454-8823, hutch-cafe. com, @hutchcafeyyc avenuecalgary.com

35


CLAY POT RIC E Clay Pot Rice blends tradition (the selection of Chinese dishes on the menu) with something decidedly modern: robots. While a human will still take your order, the host is a smiling robot whose mechanical sibling delivers food from kitchen to table. The main attraction is rice with your choice of fish, veg and meat cooked and served up in heavy clay pots, plus drinking snacks like wings and shumai (steamed dumplings). The vibe here is ideal for families and those looking to fuel up before a night out. No visit is complete without a round of Street Fighter and a selfie in front of Clay Pot’s massive mural. 4545 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-455-6802, claypotrice.business.site, @claypotriceyyc

RAIN DOG BAR This old-world inspired beer hall and “northern food” restaurant feels truly underground despite its second-floor location in Inglewood. The low-lit dining room features thrift-store decor and an open kitchen. The menu, printed as part of a takehome zine complete with word games and local advertisements, is an ever-changing selection of hearty meats and veg dishes designed to pair with beer. The beer list runs about 50 to 60 options at any given time and includes thoughtfully curated rare bottles from around the globe, including a large selection of must-try Trappist beers. 1214 9 Ave. S.E., 403-457-7263, raindogbar.com, @raindogbar 36

avenue January / February 21


DINING RESTAURANTS WITH NEW LOCATIONS

V BURGER

IN CALGARY

The hype around plant-based burger joint V Burger is warranted. Its range of burgers, “chick’n” bites, fries, poutines and “ice creams” are all totally vegan — and totally delicious. Try something drive-thru-inspired from the “over the top” menu, where pea protein-based creations like the Big Kahuna will have you swearing you’re eating meat. Or go for garden flavours on the “lighter side” menu such as the avo-beet burger. For dessert, it’s all about the VMix — a blended frozen treat that resembles a certain fast-food monarch’s signature treat. 819 17 Ave. S.W., 587-387-7272 heyvburger.com, @heyvburger

YENNY DELIGHTS This new Nigerian-Caribbean restaurant off the corner of Barlow Trail and 32nd Avenue N.E. serves up jollof rice, jerk chicken, fried plantains, curry goat and other aromatic entrees and snacks. Beyond the permanent menu there are limited-day features like the Jamaican curried chicken roti wrap (Tuesday to Thursday) and oxtail stew (Fridays and Saturdays). Don’t skip head chef Toyin Adepoju’s pastries — if you haven’t tried “chin chin” or “puff puff ” before, now’s the time. 81, 3131 27 St. N.E., 403-880-5731, yennydelights.com, @yennydelights1

ANNABELLE’S DOWNTOWN Modern Comfort Italian. 109A 8 Ave. S.W., 403-457-9884, annabelleskitchen.ca BLANCO CANTINA Tex-Mex with attitude. 100, 1140 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-454-9602, blancocantina.ca BLOWERS & GRAFTON Nova Scotian street food. 2120 4 St. S.W., 587-391-4848, blowersgrafton.com CALAN BEEF NOODLE Hand-pulled Chinese noodles. 683 10 St. S.W., 587-351-6633, calanbeefnoodle.com CARMINE’S PIZZERIA New York-style pizza. 9, 3109 Palliser Dr. N.W., 403-457-8884, carminespizza.ca LIL EMPIRE BURGER AND MADE BY MARCUS Burgers and ice cream, together at last. 1105 1 Ave. N.E., 403-455-4007, lilempireburger.com; 403-457-3068, madebymarcus.ca MIKEY’S TACOS Standalone spinoff from the music venue. 4121 4 St. N.W., 403-475-7467, mikeyson12th.com RED’S DINER Not-so-greasy spoon for all-day breakfast. 324 58 Ave. S.E., 403-386-6688, redsdiner.com TUK TUK THAI Fast-casual Thai. 108, 1020 9 Ave. S.E., 403-261-0680, tuktukthai.com UNA PIZZA + WINE California-style pizza. 8529 Broadcast Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183, unapizzeria.com Avenue’s writers and editors are occasionally invited to experience dining or adventure experiences as a guest, including some of the experiences in this story. Neither complimentary experiences nor advertising are required for coverage in Avenue. Neither companies that advertise nor those that provide other incentives are promised editorial coverage, nor do they have the opportunity to review or approve stories before publication. avenuecalgary.com

37


MOUNTAINS

WHY PANORAMA HAS THE GOODS FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A WINTER VACATION THAT KEEPS CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS IN MIND. s international holiday travel remains complicated, many Calgarians who normally block off time to visit warmer places through the winter are considering a ski vacation instead. After all, a day out on the slopes ticks many of the boxes for safer recreation in the time of COVID-19. Most skiers and snowboarders were already covering their lower faces to ward off winter’s chill even before the rest of the world started wearing masks. And as for social distancing, well, when you’re hurtling down a snowy slope, ensuring a good amount of space between everyone isn’t just a matter of policy, it’s a matter of self-preservation. Skis help ensure a good bit of distance between people waiting in line for the lift as well.

For ski resorts right now, then, the question is not how to keep guests safe from contracting COVID-19 while they’re skiing, it’s how to keep guests safe when they’re not skiing. In this sense, a very good bet for a safer ski holiday right now is Panorama Mountain Resort. Tucked in the Purcell Mountains above Invermere on the Lake, B.C., approximately three-and-a-half hours’ drive from Calgary, the ski-in-ski-out resort village has an array of condo-style accommodations, from studios to three-bedroom units. The resort has bolstered its cleaning process between bookings in response to COVID concerns by implementing electrostatic disinfection, in which a non-toxic solution is sprayed over a space to more thoroughly kill surface bacteria. Electrostatic disinfection is also being used in Panorama’s public spaces and offices.

avenuecalgary.com

39


BY SHELLEY ARNUSCH

38

avenue January / February 21


40

avenue January / February 21

A N T I C I PAT I N G A N I N C R E A S E D D E M A N D F O R I N - S U I T E D I N I N G , T H E R E S O R T ’ S F O O D A N D B E V E R AG E O U T L E T S H AV E E X PA N D E D TA K E O U T O P T I O N S ski days without face-to-face interaction with guest services staff. Panorama’s lifts are open air, so even though the resort will seat strangers together during busy times on the hill, the risk of spreading the virus is very low. Anyone uncomfortable with this can request a solo ride. With 2,975 acres of skiable terrain, keeping your distance from fellow resort guests isn’t hard when you’re up on the mountain — especially for those who ski at an expert level. This season, Panorama expanded the expertsonly zone known as the “Monster” and is once again running its Monster X passenger snowcat shuttle service into that area on weekends. The cat is also available for private small-group bookings mid-week. And if you’ve got the skill and the resources, there’s also heli-skiing: headquartered in

the resort village, RK Heliski is operating again this season with private day bookings for up to nine people. RK also plans to bring back its heli-accessed fondue dinners at the Summit Hut for exclusive cohort bookings between February and April. Whether you’re one to eat all the fondue, slay some Monsters or just hop gingerly down the bunny hill this season, it’s all about staying safe and keeping your distance, both on the slopes and off.

Avenue’s writers and editors are occasionally invited to experience dining or adventure experiences as a guest, including some of the experiences in this story. Neither complimentary experiences nor advertising are required for coverage in Avenue. Neither companies that advertise nor those that provide other incentives are promised editorial coverage, nor do they have the opportunity to review or approve stories before publication.

P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U RT E S Y O F PA N O R A M A M O U N TA I N R E S O RT

One of the best things about a ski-in-skiout set-up is that it provides skiers the option of retiring to their own space during the day for lunch, or just to rest their legs, rather than funnelling them into one of the day lodges, dining spaces, or on-mountain huts. Since all of these public indoor spaces at Panorama are operating with restricted capacities this season, having a place you know you can get in and out of whenever you like becomes particularly advantageous on chillier days. With fully equipped kitchens in the units, guests can stock up with groceries for the duration of their stay (and pick up any additional items from the small but well-equipped market on site). But after a vigorous day of outdoor activity, cooking isn’t necessarily something anyone feels like doing. Anticipating an increased demand for in-suite dining, the resort’s food and beverage outlets have expanded takeout options, offering complete family-style meals for between two and six people. This includes Alto Kitchen & Bar, which last year received an alpine-modern design refresh courtesy of Calgary firm Frank Architecture, which also oversaw the recent renovations of Rundle Bar at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Alto also got a culinary update from the resort’s new(ish) executive chef Vincent Stufano, who came to Panorama after stints at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts program. Scoring a table at Alto makes for a nice evening out, but with reservations harder to get this season, bringing Alto into your home-away-from-home means you can have your restaurant-prepared dinner, and eat it in your thermal underwear if you choose. Ultimately, the best way to ensure a socially distanced ski holiday at any resort is to go mid-week when there are no weekend crowds and fewer drive-up day skiers. To direct people into the mid-week period, Panorama is currently offering 25 per cent off lodging bookings for stays of four nights or more (conditions apply). The radio-frequency identification cards that Panorama uses in place of traditional lift passes also suit the current times: the cards scan electronically from inside the rider’s pocket as they approach the chair lift, eliminating potential contact between skiers and lift-operator staff. Since the cards are reloadable online, guests can even add extra


ADVERTISING FEATURE

INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS:

a class of their own

With small class sizes, experienced instructors and an array of academic and co-curricular experiences, independent schools offer students the chance to get more out of their education and Calgarians have a variety to choose from. From educational approaches that help hone universal skills to academic programs that create a competitive edge, discover more about how an independent school, both within Calgary and beyond, can help your child shine.

41



ADVERTISING FEATURE

Students at Lycée Louise Pasteur have access to cutting-edge technology.

GRADE LEVELS preschool to grade 12 STUDENT BODY POPULATION 425 CLUBS 45 SPORTS TEAMS 10 AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 14.58 AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 100%

Photo courtesy Lycée Louis Pasteur school

Lycée Louis Pasteur FROM CODING and scientific method to communication and adaptable critical thinking approaches, Lycée Louis Pasteur focuses on honing skills that will serve students well, no matter where life takes them. “What we’re really doing is providing them with the lifelong skills to adapt, adjust and constantly learn what they would need to learn,” says Head of School Frédéric Canadas. “Those fundamental skills are going to remain essential, I believe, for the next 50, maybe 100 years.” Established in 1966, Lycée Louis Pasteur is located in the quiet residential community of Garrison Woods. It is one of only seven schools across the nation (and the only one in Calgary) that implements the French Ministry of Education curriculum taught by French certified teachers with the Alberta curriculum taught by

Canadian teachers. The result come graduation is two diplomas — an Alberta high school diploma and a French Baccalaureate — which gives students an edge on a world-wide scale. “[The combination] creates global citizens who understand the world. That’s a big advantage,” says Canadas, noting that the French perspective expands the Alberta curriculum, particularly around culture and the history and geography of the world. Grade levels span from preschool to grade 12 with a student body of just 425 students, guaranteeing small class sizes and a tight-knit community. In addition to French and English education, students also study Spanish from grade 6 onwards as part of the French curriculum, meaning all students are trilingual upon graduation.

Beyond the Calgary campus, Lycée Louis Pasteur is part of a much larger network of more than 500 schools that teach the French curriculum — known as “lycées” — in nearly 150 countries. This international network allows for increased mobility for students should families need to relocate, and the opportunity to study abroad for a trimester or more. While students are immersed in French language and culture through lessons at school, Canadas notes that about 80 per cent of student families don’t speak French at home. As such, it’s a priority of the school to create an unintimidating environment to calm any concerns or hesitation from parents considering enrolling their child. “Their kid is not alone in the class. They won’t be the only child not speaking French at home,” says Canadas. Should students require additional help with French, teachers are available for daily study hall time after school. The small student body also makes the school unique. Spanning 13 years of education, Canadas says Lycée Louis Pasteur fosters a community in which teachers and administrative staff truly know the students they serve. High retention rates mean many students stay with the school from preschool or kindergarten straight through to graduation, creating lasting bonds within the Lycée Louis Pasteur family. “We’re a small team — we meet regularly with teachers and see [students] grow and improve,” says Canadas. “We know exactly from one year to the next where they are and how we can support them better to be successful.”

43



ADVERTISING FEATURE

GRADE LEVELS grades 8 to 12 STUDENT BODY POPULATION 520 CLUBS 38 arts and activity focused clubs SPORTS TEAMS 18 different sports to choose from AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 16

Shawnigan Lake’s Canada Field is a training base for Rugby Canada. Photo taken before COVID-19.

Photo courtesy Shawnigan/ Arden Gill

Shawnigan Lake School SITUATED JUST NORTH of Victoria, B.C., Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island uses its diverse and beautiful surroundings, along with world-class facilities, to their full potential. The independent boarding school is home to co-educational students from grades 8 to 12 in an environment that embraces new experiences. Founded in 1916, the school has developed a unique balance of tradition and innovation in education. “I think we foster an incredibly warm and embracing culture, and the students want to be here,” says Headmaster Larry Lamont, who’s now in his third academic year at Shawnigan Lake School. Shawnigan’s opportunities for learning, particularly its access to nature and purposebuilt facilities, are unlike anywhere else in Canada. Students can gain experience living independently while exploring a myriad of outdoor activities such as climbing expeditions, week-long ski excursions, fly-fishing trips and more. Exploring and understanding the outdoors, along with an emphasis on connecting with surrounding communities and First Nations,

allow students to gather a complete education around Canadian history, heritage and values. On campus, world-class facilities include a salmon hatchery, recording studio for music programs, observatory and robotics lab among other spaces for academic and extra-curricular exploration. Athletic facilities also allow students to try new experiences or further develop their skills. Facilities include Canada Field (a training base for Rugby Canada), the rowing waterway (a training base for Rowing Canada) and Charlie Purdey Arena, which houses Shawnigan’s growing hockey program. Within the classroom, Shawnigan’s experienced faculty deliver a blend of traditional and contemporary education, including AP courses designed to support and challenge students across the curriculum and beyond. In pursuit of future-proofing students, university preparation courses teach skills, such as collaborative work and research methods, to better equip students for post-secondary education. While Shawnigan is one of a handful of boarding schools in Canada, Lamont notes that the country is home to a relative few full

AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 100%

boarding schools when compared to the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. This distance from traditional models of boarding schools has allowed Shawnigan Lake to create its own identity — one that Lamont says he strives to make unpretentious and inclusive at every turn. “When you drive through the gates, there is a feeling of welcome and homecoming,” says Lamont. “And I do think there’s something very special about the supportive community at Shawnigan.” Adding to the inclusive nature of the school is the financial aid program, which helps ensure the Shawnigan experience is accessible to a broad array of students. Lamont notes that more than 40 per cent of students at the school receive financial aid to attend, allowing for a more socio-economically diverse intake. When speaking about Shawnigan’s student body, Lamont refers back to the “Four C’s” the school uses to define its experience: curiosity, compassion, community and courage. While he acknowledges that parents may be nervous about sending their children to live and learn away from home, he’s found that many feel the strong sense of camaraderie fostered within the gates immediately upon visiting. “What we want most of all for students and staff is that sense of belonging,” Lamont says. “And parents feel that sense of community and welcome on arrival.”

45



ADVERTISING FEATURE

Photo courtesy Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School/ Chipperfield Photography

StrathconaTweedsmuir School WHILE STRATHCONA-TWEEDSMUIR SCHOOL (STS) challenges its students with rigorous academic programming, its teachers also recognize that learning doesn’t only happen inside the classroom. STS’s campus and facilities, assortment of co-curriculars, and supportive, caring environment help students develop strong academic, social and emotional skills and become well-rounded individuals beyond the classroom doors. The academic offerings at STS challenge students to push their boundaries and become thoughtful problem-solvers. STS is the only continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Alberta, offering IB programs for students from kindergarten to grade 12. IB programs provide students with an enriched education that prepares them intellectually, personally, and socially for a globalizing world. Anand Mahadevan, Senior School Principal, explains that as students go into grade 11, they can choose to do the Alberta program of studies, a full IB diploma or take fewer courses for a partial IB certificate.

“The IB program positions learning within a global context,” says Mahadevan. “For example, when our grade 10 science teachers talk about genetics, they also discuss skin pigmentation and students develop their understanding of anti-racism. IB allows students to see that learning is interconnected and that they are connected to the world.” Carol Grant-Watt, Head of School, says the school campus and its high-calibre facilities also provide learning opportunities, inspiring students and supporting their education. STS is located on 220 acres just south of Calgary, with large fields, walking trails, a pond and impressive views of the foothills. “The campus really is spectacular. It allows us to interact with the great outdoors as part of our scheduling and programming,” says GrantWatt. The school features on-site campsites for

outdoor education training as well as an outdoor classroom which “sits in an aspen grove, and is a unique place for students to reflect, learn, and come together while physical distancing.” STS’s sizeable campus allows teachers to maintain a high standard of teaching without compromising physical distancing safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to classrooms filled with natural light to inspire focus, the campus has a range of impressive facilities, including a theatre, a gymnasium and state-of-the-art science labs. At STS, students are seen as individuals and have the opportunity to explore their interests. Students can participate in co-curriculars such as speech and debate club, Model United Nations, and drone club, where students become dronecertified pilots. There is also room for students to start their own clubs and projects. STS has a welcoming and inclusive feel, and the school’s recent expansion into the community — offering before- and after-school programming as well as summer camps for children who aren’t full-time STS students — reiterates STS’s commitment to caring for the Calgary community. “There is a rigorous, challenging learning environment here, but the support for students, teachers and parents is really remarkable,” says Grant-Watt. “The sky is the limit for our students and our STS community.”

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School sits on 220 acres offering plenty of space for outdoor exploration. Photo taken before COVID-19.

GRADE LEVELS K to grade 12 STUDENT BODY POPULATION 690 CLUBS 90+ SPORTS TEAMS 14 different sports and 35 athletic teams STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY SERVICE 100% AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 16 to 22 AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 100%

47


Grades 7-12


ADVERTISING FEATURE

WIC students practice their drumming skills in socially distanced classes.

Photo courtesy West Island College

West Island College WEST ISLAND COLLEGE (WIC) faculty know that success takes many forms, which is why helping each student navigate towards their calling sits at the core of what WIC does. “There are many different paths that kids can go through here and come out the other end successful,” says Jim Rieder, Head of Institutes and strategic development at West Island College. “Everybody can find their people here.” WIC hosts students from grade 7 to 12, providing a variety of programs to suit individual learners along the way. The school’s Institute Programs, for example, offer students experiential education to explore potential career paths. Students can choose from programming in the fields of business, fine arts, health sciences, engineering, liberal arts and international languages & culture. Students access the Institute Programs’ offerings in grades 9 and 10 through Focus Friday sessions, which include guest speakers, site visits and more. Beyond these experiences, students can choose to pursue and earn a subject-specific certificate come graduation in the areas that really interest them. Participation in meeting certificate criteria can begin as early as grade 7 and remain a focus for students throughout their WIC journey or be selected later in

create valuable learning opportunities by organizing high-profile guest speakers to video conference in, such as through a collaborative grade 9 project with Canadian senators. Additional cameras have also been installed in each classroom so students can attend school from home if need be. Instead of regularly scheduled drama productions, performances were live-streamed. Band classes have also evolved to socially distanced drum courses while restrictions on wind instruments are in place. The majority of student clubs and leadership opportunities continue to run whether in-person or online. “We’ve been trying to add value over and above the classroom in a lot of different ways,” says Rieder of the transitions. The community fostered by WIC’s team of dedicated and veteran teachers not only allows students to find their callings but also creates personal connections. Rieder says the sense of pride the team feels in helping students along on their journeys transcends that of a typical school experience. “When our students graduate, our teachers cry,” says Rieder. “They are so proud of the work they have done and the young adults they have helped create.”

their academic years. Institute courses include organized activities such as an annual trip to New York City’s Financial District through the Business Institute or annual drama and band camps through the Fine Arts Institute. The program also provides mentoring, internship, job shadowing and networking opportunities within disciplines from industry professionals. “We want them to see the possibility out there and find their passion, and that happens all the time,” says Rieder, adding that Institute certificates create a competitive advantage come application time for post-secondary schools. Elsewhere at the school, a full French immersion program, in which about 60 per cent of students’ education is delivered in French, allows bilingual learners to flourish. Students can also pursue an International Language & Culture Certificate, GRADE LEVELS grades 7 to 12 which exposes them STUDENT BODY POPULATION 565 to different cultures and prepares them CLUBS 35-40 for an increasingly SPORTS TEAMS around 35 total teams across nine sports globalized world. During the AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 17 COVID-19 pandemic, AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 100% WIC has continued to

49



ADVERTISING FEATURE

Calgary Academy offers a variety of hands-on programs including the metalworks program and the construction lab.

Calgary Academy GRADE LEVELS K to grade 12 (Collegiate); grades 2 to 12 (Academy) STUDENT BODY POPULATION 635 CLUBS 15 to 20

Photo courtesy Calgary Academy

SPORTS TEAMS 30 to 40 teams, 10 different sports AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 12 to 20 (Collegiate stream); 8 to 10 (Academy stream) AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 85% to 90%

THE TEACHERS AT Calgary Academy (CA) know that each student is unique, with different talents and challenges. That’s why the faculty prides itself on offering its students a personalized education. Tim Carlson, Principal of CA, says the school focuses on the individual needs of each student by offering two streams of learning: Collegiate and Academy. “The Collegiate program is for [more] typical learners who may or may not have a learning disability and are looking for smaller class sizes and an engaging, holistic and in-depth approach to learning,” says Carlson. “Our Academy stream is for students with a designated learning disability. We are very effective at closing academic skill gaps within [a] caring environment.” CA’s low student to teacher ratio enables personalization and creates a supportive environment that inspires a love of learning. Depending on which grade a child is in, there are between 12 and 20 students to one teacher in the Collegiate

program and between eight and 10 students to one teacher in the Academy program. Having these two streams is advantageous to families, as students don’t have to change schools and can stay within the CA community as their academic needs change. CA is a welcoming, accepting community that operates around five core values — Respect, Enthusiasm, Altruism, Commitment and Honesty — and these values are a cornerstone in every classroom and program. CA’s many co-curriculars enrich students’ athletic, artistic and altruistic sides, as well as their academic skills. (While some co-curricular activities are on hold due to the pandemic, they will be reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so.) Typically, students can participate in the school’s musicals, which are staged twice each year. Its numerous sports teams have a no-cut policy, which encourages participation as all students can have the opportunity to play a sport. There are outdoor education and multimedia and robotics classes, as well as opportunities to participate in hands-on programs, such as the metalworks program or the construction lab. And all programs, academic and co-curricular, are taught by dedicated teachers who are experts in their field and trained to teach students with a variety of learning needs. Students in each grade and learning stream also learn the value of giving back. All CA students contribute to Calgary by supporting local initiatives like Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids or joining in adopt-a-family programs during the holidays. Another instance of CA’s focus on altruism is its optional International Travel Studies program, which will return after the pandemic. Through the program, students in grades 10 to 12 travel to a developing country where they volunteer with local organizations. With dedicated and conscientious staff offering personalized learning, embracing holistic programming and maintaining a close-knit school community, all CA students can thrive. “CA students are engaged in their learning and resilient [to] challenges,” says Carlson. “They are excited about what they are doing and excited for their future.”

51


ADVERTISING FEATURE

Calgary Waldorf School STUDENT BODY POPULATION 190 SPORTS TEAMS 7 AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 18

FOR FAMILIES who want more than a traditional education, the Calgary Waldorf School provides preschool to grade 9 programming based on Waldorf and Alberta curricula. Waldorf education is grounded in a philosophy that nurtures capable individuals who create meaning for their lives and become freethinking and acting individuals. Waldorf education seeks to educate the whole child in their “thinking, feeling and willing.” Apryl Sponholz, Principal of Calgary Waldorf

School, says the school’s mission is to educate children in their developmental stages. “In addition to their academic success, it’s a child’s social and emotional behaviour that we look at right from the beginning,” says Sponholz. The learning experience is hands-on, and the school uses natural materials as opposed to technology (although computers are introduced to the older grades as a learning tool). Grades 1 through 6 are taught handworking skills such as knitting and crocheting. As the children graduate to grade 5 they begin practical arts like woodworking, leatherworking and metalworking. Art and music are incorporated into everything taught at Waldorf. Math, science, history, literature, and geography are experienced through art, movement, and story, which allows for a deep and rich understanding of the material.

Calgary Waldorf School’s hands-on offerings include tapestry weaving. Photo taken before COVID-19.

“In the younger grades, when we teach the alphabet, we’ll do songs, stories and poems about the letter, and then we’ll teach how to write,” says Sponholz. “We give students all the pieces so that when they first sit down with a book, they are prepared. They’ve got all those building blocks in place to read.” The program, Sponholz adds, is very integrated. “It’s about developing the whole child and exposing them to different ways of learning to make sure they understand a subject deeply. Our graduates leave the school with a clear sense of purpose, direction, and a strong academic foundation.”

A MEANINGFUL EDUCATION WHERE POTENTIAL IS AWAKENED & POSSIBILITIES ARE GREAT

#calgarywaldorfschool calgarywaldorf.org 52

Photo courtesy Calgary Waldorf School

GRADE LEVELS preschool to grade 9


ADVERTISING FEATURE

Photo courtesy Rundle/ Kaitlin Barker, Kindsight Studio

GRADE LEVELS K to grade 12

Rundle

STUDENT BODY POPULATION 1,133 (884 at Rundle College, 249 at Rundle Academy)

WHETHER STUDENTS ARE enrolled in Rundle College or Rundle Academy, a program dedicated to grades 4 to 12 students with a diagnosed learning disability, they learn to become resilient, lifelong learners and thoughtful leaders. Rundle’s 160 faculty members offer each student individual support and address their specific needs inside the classroom. This personalized approach is made possible by small class sizes, which range from six to 15 students, as well as teachers dedicated to making a difference in students’ lives. Besides academics, Rundle focuses equally on co-curricular opportunities, such as volunteering, music, arts and athletics. The school also nurtures students’ character development, preparing them for success by teaching essential 21st-century life skills. Jason Rogers, Rundle’s Head of School, explains

SPORTS TEAMS 35+

CLUBS 90+ AVERAGE CLASS SIZE 6 to 15 AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE 100% (Rundle College); 90% (Rundle Academy) Rundle teaches its students to adapt to change and rise to the challenge of a global pandemic.

that all students learn what it means to have a growth mindset when tackling challenges. “We [teach] perseverance, grit, and antifragility,” says Rogers. “Perseverance is finding ways to endure through difficult times. Developing grit is the will to overcome a challenge and antifragility is allowing ourselves to experience difficulties but grow and become stronger as a result of it.”

And in a year filled with COVID-19 disruptions, these life skills are more important than ever. Rogers has seen how students have put these skills to the test as they adapt to change and rise to the challenges of a global pandemic. “Our [main] goal is to help each student reach their potential,” says Rogers. “But [we also want] to nurture leaders that lift people in the greater community, so that they can reach their potential too.”

IMAGINE YOUR POTENTIAL | THE POSSIBILITIES

TOP 1% OF SCHOOLS IN ALBERTA | SMALL CLASS SIZE AND ACADEMY PROGRAMS ROBOTICS | STEAM | FINE ARTS | ATHLETICS GLOBAL ONLINE ACADEMY | INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES LEADERSHIP AND CHARACTER PROGRAMS | 100% UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE

RUNDLE Fall 2021 Enrollment rundle.ab.ca/imagine 53


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.