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best neighbourhoods COOL JOBS Five local people whose work sounds like fun
the most loveable and liveable areas within our great big City
FIRE IT UP Pro tips for barbecuing, campfire cooking and tailgating
IT ALL BEGINS IN THE COMMUNITY OF BELMONT. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a growing family Belmont is a vibrant, growing community suited for all walks of life. With a new showhome and phase on the way, Belmont is certainly a community that is worth a second look!
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DISCOVER CALGARY’S MOST UNIQUE SHOPPING DESTINATION Wellness seekers, foodies and fashionistas will find some good old-fashioned family fun at Aspen Landing Shopping Centre.
Stepping into Aspen Landing is not like stepping into any other shopping centre. Situated in Calgary’s west end, Aspen Landing Shopping Centre is uniquely designed as a village concept. Rather than just a quick shopping stop, Aspen Landing is a community hub where visitors can gather, dine, rejuvenate and enjoy 175,000 square feet of charm. VILLAGE CHARM The village concept is built, felt and seen in every aspect of Aspen Landing. It’s nestled between rolling hillsides and a spacious pond complete with its own serene waterfall. The styled landscape naturally connects to the interconnected pathways leading to the central plaza, which boasts a massive evergreen tree and plenty of space to sit and enjoy the warm summer days. The buildings play into Aspen Landing’s natural appeal with one- and twostory stores and offices, stone cladding and a mix of local and big-name retailers. There’s even free underground parking for convenience if you’re driving in to visit. Whether you live in a nearby community or are just dropping by for the day, it’s the perfect place to relax, walk or simply enjoy the scenery.
the destination, and Aspen Landing businesses offer some unique global offerings. Time travel to the ’50s by stepping into the Belmont Diner, which boasts retro décor and an all-day breakfast with bottomless hashbrowns and coffee. For lunch, there are plenty of drop-in dining options like MELTwich Food Co. for its signature grilled cheeses and unique poutines, Han Chao serves up Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, or Crave Cookies and Cupcakes for a sweeter lunch treat. Evenings are just as enjoyable in Aspen Landing, with stunning sunset views and an atmosphere that invites you to enjoy some drinks and a sit-down dinner. The Park Kitchen & Bar brings a modern take on traditional dishes and inventive twists on cocktails that make for a perfect pairing to delight any foodie’s palate.
FOR FOODIES Part of a complete dining experience includes
WELLNESS SEEKERS If the natural scenery and open-air don’t quite fill up your wellness tank, don’t worry; there are plenty of wellness options to pamper yourself. Studio 85 HIIT and Yoga and Krank Fitness Studios will both provide a healthy sweat. Medical skin and body clinic Vive Rejuvenation offers your choice of esthetics like laser treatment, Botox, CoolSculpting and more. The Barber Shop and Frilly Lilly offer a complete pampering for nails, hair and beard styling for a summerready makeover.
FAMILY FUN Looking for some fun while visiting Aspen Landing with the family? There are plenty of play options at Aspen Landing throughout the year, with the two biggest events being the annual Stampede breakfast and holiday season festivities. The Stampede breakfast returns after a two-year hiatus, and beyond the breakfast flair, there are dancers, bands, face painting and a petting zoo to enjoy. During the holidays, Aspen Landing transforms into a snowy winter wonderland with festive décor and a giant Christmas tree, courtesy of the plaza evergreen tree. Sip on a hot chocolate, ride a horse-drawn carriage or bring your kids for a visit with Santa. Aspen Landing always has something for everything from spring to winter, whether it’s to walk, shop, dine, or just visit. For more information, visit aspenlanding.ca.
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Urban living redefined You really can have it all in Seton. Your suburban side will love the outdoor spaces designed for healthy active lifestyles, as well as the variety of condos, townhomes, duplexes and single-family homes to choose from. Your urban side will love the nearby Seton Urban District with its shopping, dining and entertainment, plus the world’s largest YMCA.
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DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE AT Y E A R - R O U N D R E L A X AT I O N C O M F O R T, C O N V E N I E N C E A N D C O N N E C T I O N Welcome to Canada’s Community of the Year for 2022—awarded by the Canadian Home Builder’s Association. Westman Village is a resort-style community located on Mahogany Lake where you’ll enjoy that vacation feeling year-round.
Meticulously crafted to bring that care-free, vacation feeling to your doorstep, Westman Village also boasts an impressive number of amenities that provide a wide range of offerings, all while fostering a sense of community for those who call it home.
Resort-living means that you have a home where everything is taken care of. Have more time for the things that matter the most in your life thanks to living a maintenance-free life. Spend more time socializing with friends and family, focusing on your hobbies, keeping fit while living your best life.
The 40,000 sq. ft. Village Centre that lies at the heart of the community ensures you’ll never run out of things to do. Get in a solid workout in the state-of-the-art fitness centre, take a cooking class in the demo kitchen, or work on your game at the golf simulator.
All of this comes with a number of beautifully landscaped greenspaces and breathtaking water features that are found throughout Westman Village.
You could also enjoy a tasting in the exclusive Wine Vault or connect with new friends in the billiards room and other communal spaces.
Resort-living also means being able to stay comfortably where you are. Get your errands done, grab a coffee (or a cocktail!), or simply do some shopping at the 20 boutique shops and services right at your doorstep. There are also dining options within Westman Village that will keep you coming back again and again. Experience a perfect blend of upscale dining and a relaxed lounge atmosphere at Chairman’s Steakhouse, where you’ll enjoy the finest in Alberta beef. Or enjoy a complete night out at Alvin’s Jazz Club. You can sample contemporary takes on culinary classics, indulge in an expertly crafted cocktail, and have a front row seat for live music. You’ll also enjoy full access to the amenities at Lake Mahogany, which you’ll be able to enjoy at your own pace. Go kayaking in the summer, skate in the winter or simply go for a stroll along the shore. Don’t miss your chance, only limited suites remain.
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WON’T YOU BE OUR NEIGHBOUR? BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS I COOL JOBS I SUMMER GRILLING
best neighbourhoods COOL JOBS PM# 40030911
Five local people whose work sounds like fun
the most loveable and liveable areas within our great big City
FIRE IT UP Pro tips for barbecuing, campfire cooking and tailgating
on the cover The Plaza Theatre in Kensington Photo by Jared Sych
contents 18 Editor’s Note 19 Letters to the Editor 66 Work of Art
23 Detours A new book illustrates some of the buildings in Calgary that are no more. Plus, both GlobalFest and Sikome lake are back in action this year and we want you to be prepared; the story behind the resurrection of the Plaza Theatre; our own Tsering Asha tries fly fishing for the first time; and D.O.P. bar manager Priya Kaila gives us her recipe for the perfect summer sipper. 52 Dining The ultimate summer meal is one cooked on the barbecue, or even over
FE AT UR ES open flames. With expert advice from chefs and recommendations on the best barbecues and tools, this guide to grilling is guaranteed to get you all fired up. 58 Mountains If you have the urge to pack up your bike with camping gear and provisions and hit the trails, these tips from a seasoned bikepacker will help you get rolling. 60 Decor A family ranch home in the foothills gets gutted to the studs and rebuilt as a truly modern farmhouse.
29 Best Neighbourhoods With the help of an expert panel, we've crowned winners across 13 categories — from Best Heritage Neighbourhood (built before 1950) to Best Future Neighbourhood (currently under construction) — for this year’s list of the top areas to live. By Shelley Arnusch, with files from Gabby Cleveland 38 Neighbourhood Gem: Pachamama Soul Café We asked readers to nominate someone they felt was worthy of recognition as a good neighbour, and these café owners
were put forth for their neighbourly way of doing business. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth 40 The Community Conundrum As many community associations struggle to operate with limited volunteers, the role these associations play for the residents they serve comes into question. By Ximena González 44 You Get Paid for That? Meet five local people with really cool jobs. By Kendall Bistretzan
P H OTO S BY ST E V E CO L L I N S , J A R E D SYC H
D E PA R T M E N T S
ver the years, we’ve crunched numbers, dissected data, summed up spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet, all in a valiant effort to rank one Calgary neighbourhood above another. But, while doing the math does allow for straightforward rankings, it often led to unsatisfying results. When it comes to where we want to live, the intangibles are just as big a factor as the statistical data. The schools, day care options, playgrounds and big backyards that draw young families to one particular neighbourhood might be the very same things that drive mobility-challenged empty nesters away. A sports car aficionado and a car-free urban-cycling advocate are simply going to want different things when they’re in search of a place to call home. Whether someone is attracted to the old character homes of a heritage neighbourhood, or the shiny modern dwellings of a new community is a matter of aesthetic preference. How, then, can one figure better than the other? It’s why, for this year’s Best Neighbourhoods list, we chose to look at Calgary’s communities through the lens of 13 categories, such as Best Mid-Century Neighbourhood, Best New Neighbourhood and Best
SHELLEY ARNUSCH EDITOR IN CHIEF s a r n u s c h @ re d p o i n t m e d i a . c a
A Sense of Place
Accessible Neighbourhood. After years of comparing apples to oranges, the 2022 Best Neighbourhoods list is an attempt to compare apples to apples instead. We engaged a panel of experts from a range of sectors — real estate, academia, urban planning and community building — and, with their help, created this lineup of noteworthy neighbourhoods that all have something special about them. The list is in no way exhaustive: There are many more communities in Calgary that could be called out for being great places to live. You could argue that every nook and cranny of this city is loveable in some way to someone. But bearing that in mind, we hope reading this list of Best Neighbourhoods helps you get to know the city a little better and ultimately appreciate all that makes your community great, too. It’s not all about the neighbourhoods in this issue. We also catch up with a handful of Calgarians who do cool and interesting things for a living, from making candy, to photographing pro sports and taking care of rescued farm animals. Plus, our feature on grilling should inspire you to fire up that ’cue and make the most of what’s left of summer. Maybe you’ll even be motivated to host a neighbourhood barbecue and get to know the people on your block a little better, making your own little nook of Calgary that much more loveable.
BARLEY & SMOKE
J O I N U S FO R A S M O K I N ’ G O O D T I M E S AT U R DAY A U G U S T 27 E N M A X PA R K
P H O T O B Y H E AT H E R S A I T Z ; C L O T H I N G S T Y L I N G B Y G R A V I T Y P O P E
E D ITOR ’ S N OTE
L E T T E R S TO T HE E DITOR DIDSBU RY D ESE RV I NG O F M E NT IO N I read with great interest your April edition of Avenue, in particular the “And, We’re Rollin’” article by Kendall Bistretzan about the regional film industry. As the Economic Development Officer & Strategic Operations Coordinator for the Town of Didsbury, I was a little disappointed that we were not mentioned as a key filming location. Carstairs, along with Calgary, was pointed out as the main filming location for Under the Banner of Heaven, however, this series was actually mainly filmed in Didsbury. We have a lot of props from this production, which we plan to showcase at a future date. While I understand this article was meant to put southern Alberta on the map, it is important that, when filming locations are outlined, the main locations are mentioned. On the “Keep Alberta Rolling” website, the two main towns are Didsbury and High River. Didsbury is the No. 1 film location for town settings in central Alberta. Along with Under the Banner of Heaven, it has been the location for Wynonna Earp, and other shows. I thought I would bring this to your attention as we are trying to further establish ourselves in this market and potentially open a regional filming office/commission. In fact, Didsbury, Sundre and Mountain View County are currently working on a joint regional film-related project — a searchable photo/video library, database and mapping of locations, as well as a list of resources, fees and film guidelines summarized under a regional, comprehensive website that will also include a translation tool. The three economic development offices recently announced this project has been approved for Federal Government for CanExport Community Investments - Foreign Direct Investment contribution funding. The funding will assist with the initial steps to develop tools intended to attract the talent and IT companies needed to establish Mountain View County and the Towns of Didsbury and Sundre as an international production environment. Alexandra Ross Economic Development Officer & Strategic Operations Coordinator, Town of Didsbury
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CL AR I FI C ATI ON In the June/July 2022 issue of Avenue, the New + Noteworthy section featured a clothing company, Sownsmith, whose mandate to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation included donating seven per cent of profits to an organization with links to the conspiracy movement QAnon. Avenue does not condone this organization and would encourage those who want to support the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation to donate to local charities #NotInMyCity or RESET Society of Calgary. Sownsmith has been made aware of the association and has chosen to donate to other local and international organizations fighting human trafficking instead. avenuecalgary.com
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A TOAST TO BREAD Take a fresh-from-the-oven tour of the bread-baking scene in Calgary and meet some of the artisans crafting loaves, flatbreads and buns of beauty.
REAL REAL ESTATE Ten things that will affect the way Calgarians buy and sell homes in the next 10 years.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS A look at some of the initiatives and programs that local arts groups created during the days of closed theatres and shuttered stages.
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
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make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. 20
P H OTO BY C H R I S L A N D RY
restaurants ballot VO T ING OP E N A U G UST 2 2 – SE P T E M BE R 16 avenuecalgary.com/best-restaurants-ballot 22
NOTEBOOK OF THE CITY
I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y R AY M O N D B I E S I N G E R , C O U R T E S Y O F G O O S E L A N E E D I T I O N S
hese six buildings no longer exist in Calgary, but their legacies are enshrined in Raymond Biesinger and Alex Bozikovic’s book, 305 Lost Buildings of Canada (Goose Lane Editions, March 2022). Merging his love of history with his “rectangular and blocky” illustration style, Alberta-raised, Montreal-based Biesinger started bringing some of Canada’s defunct structures back to life in a print series in 2012. Now, the illustrations make up a 200-page book, accompanied by
synopses by Bozikovic, architecture critic for the Globe and Mail. There are 19 buildings in the Calgary section, from ranchers’ mansions to Biesinger’s personal favourite, the Summit Sheraton Hotel, formerly of 220 4th Ave. S.W.: “It’s one of those buildings that desperately attempted to be part of the future,” he says. “It was a giant cylinder of 1960s modernism, complete with rotating restaurant. It was demolished just 24 years after being built. I guess it just wasn’t futuristic enough.” —Dominique Lamberton
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Summit Sheraton Hotel, The Herald Building, Cecil Hotel, Hull's Opera House, CPR Station, St. George's Island Bandstand avenuecalgary.com
Detours WE TRIED IT
Avenue’s Tsering Asha (left) with Jill Collyer. 24
THESHOWGOESON H O W C A L G A R Y ’ S O L D E S T O P E R AT I N G CINEMA GOT A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
he Plaza Theatre in Kensington opened as a single-screen cinema in 1935. The first movie it showed was the comedy Mr. Skitch, which adults could see for 25 cents (and children for 15 cents). The Plaza stood strong through floods and droughts, recessions and booms, its screen illuminated with new releases, art-house and independent films, until 2020, when it was forced to close after struggling to stay afloat during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This story, however, has a hero: Fatima Allie Dobrowolski. After moving to Calgary from England in 2014, Dobrowolski frequented the Plaza with her husband, David, the two of them often talking about what they would do if they ever owned such a theatre. In 2021, they got the chance to find out when Dobrowolski signed on to be the new long-term leaseholder. The doors remained closed —
but, this time, to undergo extensive renovations. The result, unveiled in January 2022, features lush pink carpets and furnishings, locally made artwork depicting films like The Maltese Falcon and Brokeback Mountain, a café and a speakeasystyle cocktail bar. “Movies transport you for a moment in time to another place,” says Dobrowolski. “We wanted to create that sense of being transported from the moment you walked through the doors.” Dobrowolski hopes to make the Plaza a gathering place for not just movie-lovers, but for all who frequent Kensington. “People called
us the heart of the community because of where we’re placed. But it’s not something you can just claim; you have to earn it,” she says. One way Dobrowolski serves the community is through BYO Baby, a weekly mid-morning screening designed for those with children under the age of one. These screenings, along with familyfriendly matinees on the weekends, have resulted in an overall clientele that ranges from infants to Plaza veterans. “I met a woman in her early 70s who told me she came here on her first date when she was 16,” says Dobrowolski. “And when we reopened, we had a couple who wanted to be the first people through the door because they used to come here when it was 50 cents to see a movie.” Thanks to Dobrowolski’s vision and dedication to maintaining the building’s history, it seems the Plaza is earning its place as the heart of the community once more. —Kendall Bistretzan AUGUST 2022
F LY F I S H I N G P H O T O B Y S T E V E C O L L I N S ; P L A Z A T H E AT R E P H O T O S B Y J A R E D S Y C H
For more than a decade, the Calgary Women Fly Fishers Club (CWFFC) has been hosting events from May to August. The club has grown steadily over the years, and got a boost during the pandemic, as fly fishing is uniquely suited to physical distancing — the further away you are from the ripples of someone’s movements, the greater your chances of catching a fish. For my first-ever outing this past spring, I met up with CWFFC president Rhonda Saunders and events co-ordinator Jill Collyer, along with about 20 club members, at Eagle Lake RV Resort. Collyer loaned me the required waders (a waterproof boot/overall garment), and I wore thick woolen socks to keep warm while standing in the water. I stayed close to the shore while most of the club ventured further into the lake in search of pike. Casting in the water is harder than practicing on dry land, though Saunders shared an insider’s tip: wear a hair elastic on your wrist and slip the handle of your rod underneath it to keep from tossing it too far over your shoulder. I didn’t hook any fish, but I didn’t accidentally hook anyone wading by either. Most importantly, I had a reel great time. —Tsering Asha
3 More Cultural Festivals to Check Out This Month
1 G L O B A L F E S T P H O T O B Y J U L I E V I N C E N T ( 2 0 2 1 ) ; E X P O L AT I N O P H O T O B Y J . A S H L E Y N I X O N ; C H I N AT O W N S T R E E T F E S T I V A L P H O T O B Y I R E N E S H I U
Get there when the gates open and stake out your spot
Plan to arrive between 6 and 7 p.m. — Bell recommends parking at Marlborough Mall and taking the shuttle to the park, since there are limited parking options around the festival site. To participate in the Passport Pursuit contest, which will have you answering trivia questions around the grounds for the chance to win prizes, download the Cluesolvers app in advance or grab a paper passport at the gates. But, before exploring further, stake out your fireworksviewing spot in the South Bowl or on the north side of the park — bringing your own blankets and lawn chairs is encouraged.
Grab something to eat and drink
Whether you’re craving a Shahba Shawarma chicken wrap or a pork burger from Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen, you’re in for a flavour trip. “We curate a diverse range of foods, rather than just standard festival fare,” says Bell, who is a big fan of the bubble tea from returning vendor Ami Tea. The festival has a site-wide liquor licence, so you can sip a Red Truck Beer Company brew or Burwood Distillery vodka-soda as you stroll.
E xp o L at ino HOW TO DO
GlobalFest (Like a Pro) After being cancelled in 2020 and run in a pared-back version in 2021, Calgary’s premier culture and fireworks festival is back in all its explosive glory for its 20th anniversary. There’s lots to see and do from the moment the gates at Elliston Park open until the fireworks go off at sundown. Olwen Bell, GlobalFest’s marketing and communications manager, shares some expert tips to maximize your experience.
Watch a performance or two
There’s always something on at the festival’s stages. The Main Stage is where you’ll see dance productions by larger troupes, including those from Blackfoot Crossing and Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. On the Village Stage, take in more intimate performances, such as partner routines.
Explore the night market and cultural pavilions
There are 21 pavilions to explore at this year’s festival, each run by different cultural associations across the city. Be sure to check out those from festival first-timers Hungary and Indonesia. Interspersed within the cultural pavilions and activation spaces, you’ll find night market booths for some festival shopping, including Arcane Coda for eclectic kaftans and robes.
Finish with fireworks
Last year’s champion, India, will kick off the International Fireworks element of the festival on opening night (August 18) in an attempt to defend its title. Austria is up next on August 20, followed by France on the 23rd, Germany on the 25th and a Canadian production to wrap things up with a bang on August 27. —D.L.
AUGUST 19-21 Food trucks, artisans, live music, and salsa and flamenco performances take over Prince’s Island Park for Western Canada’s largest Latin festival. expolatino.com
Carifest AUGUST 12-13 Don a colourful costume for this Caribbean festival at Shaw Millennium Park, complete with a steel pan concert, parade and more. carifestcalgary.com
Ch inatow n St reet Fest ival AUGUST 20 After missing the last two years, this one-day street festival returns to Chinatown, filling the community with food, merchandise and cultural tents, plus a fun zone for kids. visitcalgarychinatown.com
AUGUST 18-27 AT ELLISTON PARK, GLOBALFEST.CA 25
Detours Drink of the Summer
FRESH TO DEATH P R I Y A K A I L A , B A R M A N A G E R A T D . O . P. , C R E A T E D T H I S R E F R E S H I N G C U C U M B E R A N D C I T R U S C O C K TA I L , J U S T F O R U S
R ec ipe
“Fresh to Death is the embodiment of summer vibes,” says Priya Kaila, who can be found mixing Italian-style cocktails and spritzes behind the bar at D.O.P. “With cooling cucumber, crushable white wine, citrus, floral gin notes and bubbles, it’s refreshing and evokes feelings of being poolside with your pals on a sunny day.” Feel free to incorporate basil or mint (“Just give them a good slap and add to the glass before ice,” says Kaila), or leave the booze out and top with more soda water for a crisp mocktail. —D.L.
Cu cu m ber S y r u p 1 cup roughly diced cucumber, with skin 1 cup sugar 1 cup water Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the chopped cucumber. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Strain the syrup and store in the fridge.
Order Fresh to Death at D.O.P (1005A 1 St. S.W.) from August 15 to 31. For directions on how to make a one-litre batch, visit avenuecalgary.com.
W HAT TO PACK FO R A DAY AT S IKOME L AK E A summer day at Sikome lake (Sikome Aquatic Facility if you want to be official) is a Calgary rite of passage. After remaining dry through 2021, the human-made beach in Fish Creek Provincial Park has reopened this summer. Here are three items to pack in your bag before hitting the beach. —Michaela Ream 26
Coola Classic Body SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray This SPF 50 sunscreen ($38) is made with approximately 70 per cent certified organic ingredients and is water-resistant for 80 minutes, once applied. It’s also free of oxybenzone and octinoxate –– chemicals that cause damage to marine life. Multiple Calgary retailers, coolasuncare.ca
Le Jacquard Français Beach Towels This ultra-stylish beach towel line can be found at artisan linen retailer Inspirati, which recently opened in a new location in the Ramsay Design Centre. Lightweight and absorbent, the towels range from $171 to $270 and also make great picnic blankets. 120, 1900 11 St. S.E., 403-244-4443, inspirati.ca
Confluence Distilling Non-Alcoholic Gin & Tonic This zero-proof canned cocktail ($12 for a four-pack) by the Calgary-based distillery features house-made tonic, natural raspberry lemon flavours and gin botanicals. It’s perfectly refreshing, and also perfectly legal to consume on the beach, since alcoholic beverages are not permitted at Sikome. Multiple Calgary retailers, confluencedistilling.ca august 2022
F R E S H T O D E AT H P H O T O B Y J A R E D S Y C H
S in gle cock ta i l 1 oz. gin 0.75 oz. lemon juice 0.5 oz. cucumber syrup 2 oz. Pinot Grigio 2 oz. soda or sparkling water Pour everything except the soda water into a wine or Collins glass. Add ice and stir (about five seconds) to chill. Add more ice and top with soda water. Give it another quick stir and garnish with a lemon wheel.
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BY SHELLEY ARNUSCH WITH FILES FROM GABBY CLEVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CRISTIAN FOWLIE
BEST neighbourhoods e’ve got 197 of them; so where does one even begin in determining the city’s top neighbourhoods? This year, rather than taking a data-driven approach, we engaged a panel of experts to assess the subdivisions, communities and districts that form the best places to call home. Together, we came up with 13 categories and crowned a winner in each. While there are many more neighbourhoods we could have celebrated, these 13 represent what makes Calgary’s neighbourhoods — the special pockets where we live, work and play together — so great. JU D G ES : F RA NCISCO AL A NIZ URIBE Assistant Professor, Co-Director The Urban Lab, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - University of Calgary D E N N I S PLINTZ / DANIELLE RENE AU-HYRCE NKO, Plintz Real Estate MI CHE L L E SALT Zolo Realty LI NDSAY SK A BA R Bode Canada J A M ES STA UCH Director, Institute for Community Prosperity, Mount Royal University JOSHUA TARON Associate Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - University of Calgary avenuecalgary.com
B E S T M I D -CE N T U R Y
B EST LATE-CENTURY
BES T N EW
NE IG H BO U R H O O D
NEI G H B O URH O O D
NEI G HBOURHOOD
(B U ILT 1 9 5 0 -1 9 7 5 )
(B UI LT 1975-2000)
(B UI LT A F TER 2 0 0 0 )
C H A RLESWOOD Average Home Price $752,585 Established in 1959, Charleswood is a peaceful neighbourhood in the northwest with around 1,500 “With inner-city comhomes, many on munities seeing intense infill development, Charles- large lots typical of the “middle ring” wood still has many 1960s developments bungalows.” -L.S. (mid-century-built neighbourhoods between the inner city and the far suburbs). With Nose Hill Park to the north and Confederation Park to the southeast, Charleswood residents live in close proximity to two of the city’s premier park spaces, with easy access to the unique amenities Confederation Park offers, including golf in the summer, track-set Nordic ski trails in the winter and the annual Lions Festival of Lights over the holiday season. The Charleswood community is also active in the protection of Nose Hill as a natural municipal park.
Unique Feature Charleswood, Collingwood and Brentwood make up the Triwood Community Association. The first community association in the city to build its own arena, it was also instrumental in introducing the sport of ringette to Calgary. RUNNERS-UP Haysboro, Glendale
MI LL RI SE Average Home Price $375,313 Just south of Fish Creek Provincial Park, Millrise is a suburban community of mostly single-family detached residences that was developed in the early 1980s. Neighbourhood amenities include an outdoor skating rink, playgrounds and several seniors’ housing residences, while its proximity to Fish Creek offers Millrisers easy access to beautiful hiking and biking trails, fishing spots and wildlife-sighting areas. Millrise residents are also near a CTrain station and grocery shopping amenities in neighbouring Shawnessy, with the campus of St. Mary’s University to the northeast.
Unique Feature The Millrise Community Association is an active organization that hosts events such as colouring contests for kids, community gardening conversations and holiday celebrations. RUNNERS-UP Arbour Lake, Pineridge
GARRISO N WO O DS/ GAR RISO N G RE E N Average Home Price $580,335 (Garrison Woods) $510,381 (Garrison Green) These neighbouring communities represent Phases 1 and 2 of the redevelopment of the former CFB Calgary by Canada Lands Company. Streets in Garrison Woods are named for significant Canadian world war battles, while Garrison Green contains references to Canadian “This past year, peacekeeping. Though property in Garrison developed prior to the Green/Woods sold on arrival in Canada of average 38 days on market, the urban-planning representative of strong philosophy known as demand.” -L.S. “New Urbanism,” the neighbourhoods still borrow some of the key tenets, encouraging street-front engagement with pedestrian-friendly layouts and front porches, and garages relegated to back alleys. In 2020, Statistics Canada reported Garrison Woods to be in the top sixth percentile of urban neighbourhoods in Alberta for safety.
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“Access to LRT is quite important. Millrise has that access, as well as proximity to nature in Fish Creek.” FRANCISCO ALANIZ URIBE
Unique Feature Garrison Green’s Buffalo Park honours nine Canadian Forces members who were killed in a Buffalo aircraft in 1974 while flying over Syria. RUNNERS-UP Aspen Woods, Saddle Ridge
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“When I first moved to Calgary I lived in Cliff Bungalow and loved it. The community has done an excellent job of ... maintaining the original architecture.” DANIELLE RENEAU-HYRCENKO
B E ST HER I TA G E NE IGH BO U R H O O D (B UILT BE F O R E 1950) CLIFF BUNGALOW Average Home Price $424,089 Bordered by two BIAs — Fourth Street and 17th Ave — Cliff Bungalow residents have easy access to a bevy of bars, restaurants and boutiques, as well as proximity to the
scenic stroll alongside the Elbow River. With its mature tree-lined blocks and numerous heritage homes and multifamily buildings, this neighbourhood still maintains a hidden-gem feel when you walk inward from the bustling edges.
Unique Feature Street signs with previous non-numeric names reference the area’s former life as a French settlement. RUNNERS-UP Sunnyside, Inglewood
B E ST WA LK A BL E NE IGH BO U R H O O D BELTLINE Average Home Price $320,601 Named after Calgary’s historic municipal railway route, the Belt Line, this inner-city neighbourhood, comprising the communities of Victoria Park and Connaught and encompassing the north side of 17th Avenue S.W., has grown into one of Calgary’s most densely populated areas and vibrant dining districts. There are endless options for going out to restaurants, pubs, lounges and bars, as well as
boutique, grocery and other styles of shopping (including a recently constructed urban-model Canadian Tire). There’s also a library, park and playground spaces, a public elementary school and more, all within walking distance. That fact, along with the network of bike lanes, makes the Beltline one of Calgary’s most walkable communities, boasting a Walk Score of 91, a Transit Score of 80 and a Bike Score of 90.
Unique Feature High Park is the Beltline’s newest and most unique public park and event space. Located on the top floor of the parkade at the corner of 10th Avenue and 4th Street S.W., High Park’s colourfully designed installations and hangout zones offer Instagram-worthy photo ops, with activity stations including stationary bikes, ping pong and cornhole. RUNNERS-UP Sunnyside, East Village
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“A truly walkable neighbourhood is one where it’s actually a burden to have a car. The Beltline fits that bill beautifully.” JAMES STAUCH
B E S T FU T U R E
B EST ACCESSI B LE
B EST LA KE
NE IG HB OU R H O O D
NEI G H B O URH O O D
CO MMU N ITY
U N I V E R S I TY D ISTRICT Average Home Price $464,665 This northwest community is slated for completion by 2034, though it’s already exhibiting a lively urban energy. Last May, University District “How do you (U/D) was voted break down the town 2022 Best Growing and gown divide? Build Community by the a town on campus, of Canadian Home course!” -J.S. Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence. Designed to support and fund the academic mission of the University of Calgary, the community currently features 40 acres of park space (including a Central Commons that serves as a gathering space at the heart of the neighbourhood), a commercial core with a movie theatre and hotel, and regular popup events and festivals, including summer night markets and the wintertime Northwestival. U/D is also uniquely positioned as a community for those who work at Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children’s Hospital, Market Mall, and the university.
Unique Feature North Pond, on the northwest corner of U/D, is a purpose-built stormwater pond that is designed as a scenic park space and green feature. RUNNERS-UP Greenwich, Alpine Park
VARSI TY Average Home Price $542,874 Built in the 1960s and early 1970s, Varsity runs along the northern side of the Bow River, with the University of Calgary campus on its southern border. As was the style of the era, many homes in Varsity are roomy bungalow dwellings, a housing model wellsuited for those who use mobility aids. The proximity of the university also makes Varsity attractive for those seeking a community with accessibility in mind. As a public institution, the university is required to provide accessible amenities, which means that neighbouring residents who use those amenities can also benefit from the mobility modifications and universal design elements.
Unique Feature Vecova, “The main a facility located on intersections have Varsity’s southeastautomated signalized ern tip, offers health, pedestrian crossings and wellness and fitness touchless push-button programming and crosswalks.” -M.S. services for all ages and abilities, including adapted recreation for children and youth, and aquatics programming in its fully accessible and warm (34.5˚C) saltwater pool.
RUNNERS-UP Somerset, Brentwood
L AK E B ONAV ISTA Average Home Price $715,308 Established in 1967, Lake Bonavista is Calgary’s original lake community, and, even though many have followed in its wake, it remains “What used to be the gold standard. prairies in the 1960s The obvious draw is now one of the most here is the expansought-after lake commusive human-made nities in Calgary.” -D.P. lake, the well-built homes on large lots that continue to hold their value, beautiful landscaping and an active community association. Residents of Lake Bonavista can take advantage of programs, including Sunday Music at the Lake events, kayaking courses, standup paddleboarding lessons, and more.
Unique Feature What’s lake life without a beautiful lakeside restaurant? Managed by venerable hospitality group Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, The Lake House on Lake Bonavista is a longtime favourite of many Calgarians for special-occasion dining, or a peaceful mid-week escape. The upscale-rustic room with large lake-facing windows is a soughtafter wedding venue. And, unlike the actual lake, you don’t have to be a community resident to enjoy it.
RUNNERS-UP Mahogany, Auburn Bay
B E S T BU SI N E SS
IM P R O V E M E N T
NEI G H B O URH O O D
NEI G HBOURHOOD
A RE A ( BI A)
FO R NATURE-LO VERS
FO R S EN IORS
KE NSINGTON Average Home Price in Adjacent Communities $521,808 (Sunnyside) $677,527 (Hillhurst) This buzzy BIA is one of Calgary’s most vibrant urban areas, with unique boutiques, great pubs “I feel like and restaurants, Kensington really just cool coffee shops, speaks for itself. It’s got candy shops, a so much character.” comic shop, and -M.S. more. Bordered by Sunnyside to the east and Hillhurst to the west, Kensington serves as a main street for the two communities complete with CTrain station, grocery stores (both the supermarket and small natural market varieties), and an interesting and eclectic mix of art students, young families, retirees and others meandering along its blocks.
Unique Feature Along with the reopened Plaza Theatre (read more on Page 24), Kensington is home to another purveyor of old-school charm: the Kensington Pub. This classic English-style pub has been run by the same family since 1993 and draws faithful regulars who come for a proper pint and authentic menu offerings such as ploughman’s lunch and Sunday roast. RUNNERS-UP Inglewood, 17th Avenue S.W.
L AK E VI E W Average Home Price $757,160 Located along the southwestern edge of the city, the neighbourhood of Lakeview draws homebuyers who appreciate its quiet streets and mature trees. It also has a lot to offer those who appreciate being close to nature, due to its access points to Weaselhead Flats. Created in the early 1980s and managed by the City of Calgary, this 237-acre natural area extends over the delta formed at the mouth of the Elbow River and features an extensive network of hiking trails that wind through coniferous and deciduous forests. A true wilderness experience, despite its location within the city limits, the Weaselhead is also home to a vast array of wildlife and birds.
Unique Feature In addition to the expected wildlife sightings, Weaselhead Flats is also known for black bear sightings.
M ISS IO N Average Home Price $405,153 Once known as Rouleauville, this inner-city community was historically home to French immigrants, French-Canadians and Métis peoples. These days, it draws a vibrant cross-section of the population, including a significant contingent of seniors. There are numerous options for different levels of independent living, from conciergeattended multifamily buildings to residences such as the longstanding Chartwell “When thinking Fountains of Mission, about where one chooses to live, adjacencies and capacity is building with the advance reign supreme, after of nearby projects all.” -J.T. such as the Riverwalk Retirement Residence. The pathways along the Elbow River are suited to daily walks, while fitness programming and rehabilitation services are close by at the MNP Community & Sport Centre (formerly Repsol Centre) in neighbouring Lindsay Park.
RUNNERS-UP Discovery Ridge, Silver Springs
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“I just love Lakeview. I love the big trees, the pride of ownership.” MICHELLE SALT
Unique Feature Located on the southeastern side of Mission as the Elbow River rounds the bend, the aptly named Rocky Beach is one of the city’s optimum spots for sitting in the river in a lawnchair on hot summer days. RUNNERS-UP Currie, Bridgeland
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“Manchester is industrial, but it’s a special kind of industrial, with one-of-a-kind and unexpected enterprises around every corner.” JAMES STAUCH
B E ST I N DUST R I A L NE IGH BO U R H O O D MANCH ESTER Calgary’s first industrial district, Manchester is southeast of the Stampede grounds. While the neighbourhood has its share of commercial operations of the kind you’d expect to see in any industrial area — autobody repair shops, bottle depots, impound lots — it has also become the heart of Calgary’s craft-brewing scene. After the Province lifted regulations around craft brewing in 2013, many brewers gravitated
to Manchester for its interesting and eclectic spaces suited to the backroombrewing-with-public-facing taproom model. The brewery boom was bolstered by the central location, accessible by CTrain or by bike from downtown. Along with breweries, Manchester is also home to several craft distilleries, at least one craft cidery and Calgary’s only urban winery, as well as the venerable Alloy, a perennial Best Restaurants list-maker.
Unique Feature Breweries? Sew what? On the eastern side of Manchester, you’ll find Rick Rack Textiles. Offering sewing classes, unique prints, indie patterns and more, this spot has become a hub for anyone in Calgary who prefers or aspires to make their own clothes.
RUNNERS-UP Greenview, Highfield
BE ST H I DDEN - G E M N E IGH BO U R H O O D G R E AT E R FOREST L AWN Average Home Price $344,716 What is known as Greater Forest Lawn was once an independent town that was annexed by the City of Calgary in 1961. Despite anchoring the southeast quadrant for more than half a century, Greater Forest Lawn tends to fly under the radar in discussions of the city’s best neighbourhoods. However, with mature tree-lined streets, affordably priced homes, a diverse
and engaged population, a public high school that recently installed sustainable solar technology, and proximity to the eclectic businesses and restaurants of the International Avenue BIA, it’s a community that certainly has much to add to this discussion.
discarded bicycles and donates them to schools across the city. Last year, Bike Shed sent approximately 40 bikes to the YYC Kids Ride program and, this year, the group has teamed up with Youth En Route, which is building bikes at Calgary schools.
Unique Feature Based in Greater Forest Lawn, Bike Shed is a volunteerrun project that salvages and fixes old or
RUNNERS-UP Willow Park, Spruce Cliff
W H AT T H E J U D G E S S A I D
“Spontaneous and unpretentious, one feels instantly welcome in Forest Lawn.” JAMES STAUCH
RIVERWALK PROUDLY LOCATED IN CALGARY’S #1 COMMUNITY FOR SENIORS The latest luxury retirement community from Verve Senior Living, located in “Calgary’s #1 Community for Seniors,” is a state-of-the-art urban gem where active retirees, as well as those with higher care needs, can have it all. Located in the heart of Mission and Cliff Bungalow neighbourhoods, Riverwalk Retirement Residence offers a unique standard of design, energy, and community advantages you won’t find anywhere else. This new seniors’ concept is generating unprecedented buzz for combining luxury suites and amenities with an exciting and active community and unique neighbouring shops and restaurants. THE PERFECT LOCATION
Just steps from the Elbow River, pathways, parks and the many trendy shops, restaurants, and essential services of 4th St. S.W., Riverwalk eschews the tradition of retirement communities being located in far-flung suburbs, far away from the things that make life exciting. “It’s really beneficial for the active senior to be able to just walk out their door, not have to worry about a car, and have easy access to the huge variety of services and retail options that are available in the community,” says JoLynn Whidden, Riverwalk’s General Manager. “Even something as simple as taking a stroll along the beautiful Elbow River pathway is something our residents can easily enjoy on a daily basis, with no need for transportation.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Riverwalk’s offWhile its location is a prime draw site Presentation for Riverwalk, it’s the breadth of Centre and Show amenities that make it difficult Suite is located one to leave. Multiple dining options, block east of the including a cocktail lounge, bistro, Residence, at 2424 formal dining room and a private 4th St. S.W. dining room for family gatherings, one of the trendiest parts of are helmed by in-house Red Seal Calgary, the entire property chefs who take great pride in their creations, has been designed with an elegant, modern seasonal menus, and Riverwalk’s ‘Livingaesthetic, with spaces that are expansive, bright Loving-Local’ Farm to Table culinary program. and airy: think luxury boutique hotel and you Luxury amenities include a spa, beauty salon, get the idea! Incredible river, mountain, and city movie theatre, games room, lounges for relaxing views are all available, and residents may choose and socializing, a fitness centre providing a from a range of suite sizes and designs – from variety of activity programs, outdoor amenity minimalist to generously sized two-bed and spaces, and a Life Enrichment team to work with two-bathroom plans. residents to develop the customized programs that are a cornerstone of Verve’s resident-focused PERSONALIZED TO YOUR NEEDS philosophy. Live entertainment, guest speakers, At Riverwalk, every resident receives performers and vendors all make regular visits. personalized service and care, whether they are “I like to equate it to an all-inclusive vacation independent or require more advanced assisted resort,” says Whidden. or memory care. Importantly, this range of care means residents won’t have to leave Riverwalk if their needs change, and, wherever possible, EXCEPTIONAL VIEWS AND DESIGN Riverwalk will work to keep couples together, Riverwalk is a new build, utilizing cutting-edge should their care needs differ. technology and engineering. Being located in Learn more at verveseniorliving.com/riverwalk or call 403.271.7244 or email email@example.com for information or to book a “Discovery Tour.”
M OUNTA I N S
f your neighbourhood is missing something, often the best thing to do is create it yourself. That, essentially, was the motivation behind Pachamama Soul Café, a cozy little coffee shop in Lake Bonavista. Kim Rokosh and her adult daughters, Emily and Gabby Pister, desperately wanted a place to get decent vegan and gluten-free food close to their suburban home and decided to turn their shared love of cooking and hospitality into a business, owned equally between the three family members. Initially thinking they might do a food truck, the trio instead set up a bricks-and-mortar storefront last fall in a strip mall just off of Canyon Meadows Drive in the southeast. Pachamama (a South American Indigenous word that means “Mother Earth”) quickly became much more than a place to simply grab a coffee and a plant-based snack. At most points throughout the day the café is full of a rich array of people, with groups of seniors meeting for coffee, parents with young kids out for a break, and people from all walks of life relaxing at 38 38
When we asked our readers to tell us about someone in their community who they consider a good neighbour, this independent coffee shop and gathering place made the case that, sometimes, neighbourliness is part of doing business.
B Y E L I Z A B E T H C H O R N E Y- B O O T H
tables or on hammock-style swings. The eclectic lived-in feel is intentional, in that the co-owners wanted customers to feel like they were stepping into someone’s home. “We want to offer good service and great food, but our main goal is having that connection and making sure people feel cared [for] and noticed,” says Emily. “Even if it’s busy, we take the time to give everyone who comes in some proper conversation.” Pachamama also shows its neighbourly stripes in more tangible ways, by allowing community members to use the space to host yoga classes, book clubs and other events. It has employed adults with developmental disabilities in the kitchen and, as animal-lovers, the owners also do regular fundraising for local animal sanctuaries and plan to launch more charitable initiatives in the future. “Even on days when we’re all feeling exhausted, we get a spark of rejuvenation when people say they appreciate us being here,” Emily says. “We never want to feel like we’re settling or staying stagnant with our community work.” august 2022
P H OTO BY J A R E D SYC H
PA C H A M A M A S O U L C A F É
BY XIMENA GONZÁLEZ ILLUSTRATION BY PETE RYAN
n a springtime Saturday afternoon, the main hall of the Thorncliffe-Greenview Community Association (TGCA) is busy with a birthday party, where six-yearolds dance away to Latto’s “Big Energy.” Downstairs, a group of cheerful preteens make use of the in-house bowling alley, while members of Thornview Seniors grab a bite to eat next door at The 56, a restaurant owned and managed by the community association. Adjacent to the main building, the Forbes Innes Arena hosts a hockey game, while a group of families watch from the concession area. Built in spurts since the TGCA was established in 1956, the facility encloses five event rooms with capacities that range from 30 to 800, and four racquetball courts, along with the aforementioned restaurant and bowling alley. Additionally, the space is home to a seniors’ group and an afterschool program and offers a variety of fitness and recreational programs. Revenues obtained from hall and arena rentals, as well as biweekly bingos, plus grants, enable the TGCA to employ eight full-time and approximately 40 part-time staff, allowing the board to focus on the community side of its mission, says Alison Abbott, TGCA’s vice-president of public service. “[It’s] very important to us that we’re able to offer low-cost or free events for our community members, and we’re fortunate because we have the other revenue streams available to us,” Abbott says. Visitors to the TGCA hall and arena can experience today what the heyday of community associations was like five decades ago, when these spaces functioned as a hub for their respective neighbourhoods. Today, this is less common. Currently, there are 151 community associations in Calgary, and, while all of them are run as not-for-profit, grassroots efforts independent from the City, no two are identical. Whereas some community associations such as TGCA run a successful facility that affords them full-time staff, others struggle to keep their buildings afloat — if they operate a building at all. “We are not comparing apples to apples when we look around the city at the different community associations,” says Leslie Evans, executive director at the Federation of Calgary Communities (FCC). The first community association in Calgary was formally established in the 1920s in Scarboro. Since then, the role has evolved. For many of these associations, operating a City-owned facility has become a barrier in the pursuit of their updated mission. “[Community associations] used to get funding; now they’re 100-per cent reliant on the goodwill of people joining the community association,” says Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, who co-authored a briefing paper on the future of community associations in 2016, before she was elected to office. According to Shannon Bowen-Kelsick, a hall-rental and facility management consultant who works with five Calgary community halls, one of the main challenges community associations face today is volunteer capacity. 40
As many of Calgary’s community associations struggle to maintain their facilities with fewer volunteers, the role they play for the residents they serve is being called into question.
“Most board members step forward to help with community events, build art and do fun things in the community — not to run large facilities,” she says. “In the ’70s and ’80s, there were a lot of volunteers that did do all that work, but we don’t have the volunteer capacity that we used to.” As recreation alternatives increase for Calgarians across the city, some of the activities traditionally facilitated by community associations are becoming redundant — including their aging facilities. Back in the day, Bowen-Kelsick says, community halls were, “a place where families went to and hung out, people were excited to volunteer, and everybody came together.” But that’s no longer the case. “Now we have to deal with these older facilities, having [fewer] volunteers, sometimes having really taxed and busy board members, and we have more and more demands that are being placed on us from the City.” Community associations today are not only tasked with facility management, programming, fundraising and reporting, they also enable grassroots initiatives for city-building and engage residents in the local area planning process, a time- and labour-intensive undertaking wherein the City collects the input of Calgarians to help inform the future of our city’s neighbourhoods within a predetermined set of principles, based on the Municipal Development Plan and driven by market forces. This situation has not gone unnoticed: Gondek’s 2016 paper calls for dedicated funding that reaches beyond facility maintenance. “It’s hard to sell the appeal of a community association when our options have become so broad,” she says. “Especially, expecting community associations to maintain upkeep of the building.” According to Sustainable Calgary’s State of Our City 2020 report, the role of community associations today is to “create community cohesion; foster independence and creativity; and promote participation, social support, neighbourliness, cooperation, shared vision, and trust.” Often enabled by the City of Calgary (though independent from it), community associations not only provide amenities that are highly valued by Calgarians, but they also propel the creation and revitalization of parks and public spaces and advocate for traffic-calming initiatives. Over the last decade, resident-led city-building initiatives like Bow to Bluff in Sunnyside, Flyover Park in Bridgeland and High Park in the Beltline have been championed by their respective community associations. Similarly, Thorncliffe’s recently completed inclusive playground is a result of the initiative of a committed group of neighbours who worked tirelessly on the project for four years with support from the TGCA. The success of community associations depends, to a large extent, on the capacity and agency of their members and volunteers. In February, Olga Maciejewski, president of the Riverbend Community Association, took to the media to evidence the Kafkaesque funding process that kept her organization from accessing a grant awarded by Calgary’s Parks Foundation. Although eventually funding did come through, the situation they found themselves in didn’t seem fair to her. “I feel like it all depends on the resourcefulness of the volunteers that are involved, their level of energy and their skillsets,” Maciejewski says — and she’s not wrong. In a 1994 paper, Ivan Townshend, a professor 41
of geography at the University of Lethbridge, identified human agency as a core driver of community associations, regardless of the socio-economic status of their members and neighbourhood residents. “Oftentimes, you have these sorts of influential, charismatic people in the community association who have strong connections to aldermen or the mayor, or they are connected at city hall, or they know the right lawyers,” he says. “They can get things done; their voices can be heard.” In the three decades since Townshend’s study, Calgary’s communities have become more segregated by income, a situation that may influence the concentration of skilled, connected and engaged individuals in certain neighbourhoods, and impact resource allocation. “Sometimes, it’s the same [community associations] that apply for the grants,” says Toun Osuntogun, a planner at the FCC, emphasizing that both the City and the Federation could be more proactive in supporting community associations. “There are so many grants, but how do you actually access them? That’s the biggest barrier.” While the TGCA doesn’t typically face significant revenue challenges (although, like most organizations, there were challenges due to COVID-19), Abbott recognizes the difficulties community associations encounter when it comes to volunteer 42
capacity. “It is work to stay on top of [funding opportunities] and make sure you’re accessing what’s available and advocating with your elected official when things aren’t [available],” Abbott says. “Working collaboratively with your elected officials is always important, because they can help advocate for you, as well.” Tina Brillantes, one of three team leads for neighbourhood partnership co-ordinators at the City of Calgary, calls community associations “valuable partners” for the City. “They are an extension of all the programs and services that the city runs,” Brillantes says. “Without them, Calgarians would not have the breadth and depth of opportunities to participate in programs and services within their communities.” The goal of the Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinators
(NPC) program led by Brillantes is “to support the community associations at the level they need [it],” she says, while the NPCs help direct community associations to ad-hoc resources, guide the creation of business plans to identify the organizations’ priorities, and function as the “ears on the ground” for City administrators. The City’s engagement framework includes educational components to level the playing field when it comes to resident participation in the local area planning process and community improvement projects. “We work with communities to help provide that educational background about the planning process and work with them to ensure we’re reaching the most people,” says Breanne Harder, local area plan co-ordinator at the City. august 2022
The compilation of a local area plan features working group sessions, during which, Harder explains, “investment priorities are developed from all of our feedback, including deeper dives with our working group [of which community association reps are included as members].” These priority investments and options are identified in the local area plan, but do not have associated funding, and investment priorities may be implemented by various groups, including the City, developers, the communities or other stakeholders in connection with redevelopment or if/when funding becomes available. “The local area planning process is really where we talk about what makes communities unique and special, and how they’re going to welcome new people into avenuecalgary.com
the community in the future,” Harder says, “thinking not only about who’s there now, but who’s going to be there in the future.” But, whether it’s creating business plans, writing and applying for grants, or learning about the local area planning process, ultimately, the success of a community association continues to depend on the capacity and agency of its volunteers. “We have left a lot to the grassroots, and we have left a lot to citizens,” Gondek says. “And, over time, they have delivered, they have been incredibly engaged, incredibly involved — but it takes time, and people don’t have time anymore.” Indeed, the availability of volunteers is a key disparity among community associations. According to Bowen-Kelsick, “in working class areas, where maybe everybody [is]
already working long days, they don’t have the time and the capacity to go and volunteer. Whereas, in some affluent areas, you might have one parent [at] home, or more able to run some volunteer opportunities.” At Saddle Ridge, a neighbourhood in Calgary’s northeast, engaging volunteers to join the board is one of the main challenges the community association currently faces. “This community is largely immigrants, so there are different priorities,” says Asim Baig, president of the Saddle Ridge Community Association. “When you’re trying to settle down, establish yourself, you do whatever you have to do: Side hustle, or two hustles [on top of ] a full-time job.” Essential to the success of the TGCA has been its leadership’s vision and capacity to adapt to new circumstances, and part of adapting to today’s reality is ideating innovative solutions to keep community associations viable. “Some community associations got very creative, and they ended up sharing a staff resource,” Brillantes says. “So, they’ve got a hall manager for three to four different community associations, or they are doing the grantwriting for associations.” Others are choosing to let go of their facilities altogether, though Brillantes says this is not common, and that associations (generally) see value in their facilities. It’s not that they don’t “want” the buildings, Brillantes adds, but that they don’t have the resources to cover the increased cost to maintain the buildings as they age, leading some newer associations to explore lower-cost facilities or innovative infrastructure. Bowen-Kelsick says that, despite the challenges, there’s still a commonly held perception that a facility is indispensable for the success of a community association. “I hear that a lot from community associations that don’t have a facility, and that’s all they’re fixed on,” she says. In working-class neighbourhoods, in particular, community association facilities continue to serve residents’ needs. A recent survey conducted by the Riverbend Community Association revealed that members viewed the community hall as an important feature of their neighbourhood. Perhaps a more palatable alternative would be Gondek’s. “It might not be a bad idea to look at how we do mixed-use on sites that already have community association facilities that are either failing into disrepair or starting to age,” she says. “I think it’s that type of public-private partnership that might be able to see a future for community associations.” In the meantime, volunteer capacity remains unaddressed. According to Abbott, “sometimes the City, and others, rely a lot on the community associations to be a conduit, or help take things forward, and it’s hard because there are not always the resources there to be able to do it.” Bowen-Kelsick believes additional support to execute the recommendations made by NPCs is essential for the survival of community associations. “It would be amazing if there was a group of individuals that could support the boards with reporting needs, like doing business plans, and running facilities,” she says. “If there was a small group of people filling that gap between the NPC and the board, especially for the smaller boards that don’t have staff and administrators.” Otherwise, the key issue remains: “There’s so much work to do, and oftentimes, there’s nobody to do it.” 43
BY KENDALL BISTRETZAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
YOU GET PAID FOR THAT
Meet five Calgarians with the
coolest jobs around >>>
Jodie Grisdale Fire Investigator and Accelerant
“The trust that has developed between us is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.” JODIE GRISDALE
Detection Canine Handler
magine having a job you love. Now imagine getting to do it with your best furry friend. Fire investigator Jodie Grisdale doesn’t have to wonder. She works with a black Labrador retriever named Willow, one of the few fireaccelerant detection dogs in Canada. Grisdale started out as a firefighter and worked her way up to being an investigator, a role that seeks to figure out how fires start. When signs point to arson, it can be difficult to determine what happened, as most of the evidence has likely gone up in flames. This is where Willow comes in, to assist in determining origin and cause. Willow was born into an organization that raises dogs to work with people with disabilities, but she failed her training on account of being overly fooddriven. This particular trait is important for fire-accelerant detection dogs, so Willow was given a new calling. Grisdale had been working as a fire investigator in Calgary for a year before she flew to New Hampshire for a month of training with Willow. The two have been working together ever since and have investigated more than 100 fires in the past three years. “The trust that has developed between us is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” says Grisdale. “We can’t communicate verbally, but we have our other ways of communicating.” Once a fire scene is deemed safe for Willow, she and Grisdale do a sweep of the site. If Willow sniffs out ignitable liquid — even a very small amount — she’ll alert Grisdale by sitting. Grisdale will then reward Willow and take a sample to send to the forensic lab for testing; an expensive and often difficult process made easier by Willow’s nose. Willow is brought on-scene for suspected arsons, but also for non-arson fires where the source is unknown. There have been instances where Willow and Grisdale’s results have changed the course of an investigation. “When I was a firefighter, I spent a lot of time going to fires and wondering, ‘how did the fire start?’,” Grisdale says. “Now, my job has come 360 as I get to go to fires and help figure out how they started.” After a long day, Willow likes to unwind by playing with her ball or going on a hike. She lives with the Grisdale family, which means that she and Jodie truly are inseparable. But Grisdale, who describes this work as her “dream job,” wouldn’t have it any other way. 45
“the minute I started boiling that sugar, I fell in love.” SARAH FOY
rowing up in a small town in England, Sarah Foy’s family didn’t have a lot of money, but one thing they could afford were visits to a local confectionary called Uncle Joe’s. Foy and her family moved to Calgary when she was 13, and in the years that followed, she noticed that the candy experience from her childhood was absent in her new home. While there were plenty of chocolatiers throughout the city, there were very few traditional candymakers. Foy spent years working in the food industry until injuring her back in 2019. It was during this downtime that her partner suggested pursuing her passion. “He [said], ‘You always talk about candy. You love it. Why don’t you give a candy shop a go?’” With just a $10,000 credit card and a series of instructional articles and YouTube videos on how to make candy, Foy and her partner opened the doors of Volio’s Confections in December 2019. “It started out with a really simple lollipop,” Foy recalls. “You just boil the sugar and pour it onto a stick. And the minute I started boiling that sugar, I fell in love.” She has since expanded her inventory to include a variety of hard candies with designs in the middle, candied nuts and other traditional sweets. While she tries to keep stock of classic flavours like peppermint and caramel, she also has a rotating selection of her own flavour concepts. Her “always and forever favourite” flavour is raspberry-black currant, but salted-watermelonchili (inspired by a snack she was given as a kid) has been a surprising bestseller, as well. While candy-making isn’t always easy — stretching heavy taffy over a massive wall hook at 270˚F certainly takes some practice — Foy says it’s all worthwhile when customers get to see the process. “It’s my absolute favourite thing when I can give them a piece of slightly warm candy. To see their faces light up when they try it is the best thing in the whole world,” she says. “I had kind of a rough childhood, but when I look back on the happy memories, I have Uncle Joe’s. The idea that in 20 years some kid who comes in here right now looks back and goes, ‘You know what, I used to go to Volio’s and that was one of my happiest memories as a kid,’ that just warms my soul.” AUGUST 2022
J MADILL Animal Sanctuary Guardian
on’t let the cows, pigs, goats and other domesticated animals fool you — The Alice Sanctuary is no farm. The 250 or so Sanctuary residents come from different backgrounds: some were abused, neglected or surrendered; some were orphaned or abandoned; others were born prematurely or with injury. But, regardless of their circumstance, Sanctuary guardian J Madill offers them a forever home where they can thrive. “We’re lifelong caregivers,” explains Madill (who uses they/their pronouns). “If the animals come in with so much trauma, the last thing they need is to be displaced into another space and have to rebuild their lives again.” With a background in social work, Madill is no stranger to helping the vulnerable, but, while much of the work at The Alice Sanctuary involves caring for the animals, a big part of the job is telling their stories. Some visitors to the sanctuary see their own struggles and adversity reflected in the stories of particular residents. “I never really thought I would be a storyteller until I started doing this, and then, all of the sudden, I learned that I love to tell stories, especially when there’s meaning and purpose behind it,” Madill says. “I think a lot of people want to experience belonging and triumph, and they tend to not actually experience that externally. So, they listen to the stories of the animals, and it resonates with them.” Take Maggie, a goat born prematurely in the middle of winter. Her twin passed away, and Maggie came down with a terrible case of frostbite that took the tips of her ears and resulted in the amputation of her back legs. The farmer who had raised Maggie to that point reached out to The Alice Sanctuary for help, and thanks to Madill’s round-the-clock care, Maggie has been given a chance for a long and happy life. “She represents courage and strength to overcome obstacles and challenges; a traumatic beginning to her life leading into triumph,” Madill says. “Her bravery has helped her to survive. We hope that Maggie’s story will help others who face hardship and overwhelming challenges, who feel worn out, that they can resonate with Maggie’s bravery, strength and courage to overcome the challenges she has faced.” avenuecalgary.com
“I never really thought I would be a storyteller until I started doing This.” J MADILL
Candice Ward Sports Photographer
“Showing youth, women, anyone in my community that there are places for them in these professional sports organizations is important.” CANDICE WARD
hotographer Candice Ward’s background is in newspapers, but she turned her focus to sports in 2013 when she started working with local women’s tackle football team, the Calgary Rage. Since then, she has been the team photographer for the Calgary Hitmen, Calgary Roughnecks and the Calgary Stampeders, and has a client list that includes the Calgary Flames, Hockey Canada and other organizations. “I always played sports as a kid, so I’ve always been able to understand it,” explains Ward. “The feeling you get when you photograph sports, to capture that, it’s almost like you’re playing. You can never go back and repeat that moment again.” Many teams have pre-game rituals and Ward likes giving fans insight into what game-day life looks like beyond what is seen from the stands and screens. She uses her knowledge of the sport and the team to figure out where the major plays will happen in order to get the best possible shots. When shooting hockey, for example, “I read the body language of the goalie and the defending players in front of the net to know where the puck [is coming] from: whatever direction they’re looking is where the shot [comes] from,” she says. Sports photography is a competitive field. There are fewer job opportunities out there these days, and, when photographers manage to land these positions, they typically don’t leave them. Along with a disproportionately low number of women, the field also has a disproportionately low number of Indigenous photographers; Ward happens to fall into both categories. “I don’t know any other Indigenous woman photographers shooting highlevel sports aside from myself, and that, to me, says that if there are women out there who want to do it, they need to see themselves in that role,” she says. “Showing youth, women, anyone in my community that there are places for them in these professional sports organizations is important.” Ward’s favourite part of the job is getting to watch the progress and development of various players throughout their careers, but also getting to capture those moments. “You’re documenting history. You’re documenting player history, you’re documenting team history, and it’s really cool to know that you’re a part of it.” AUGUST 2022
Jennifer Howse Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Educational Specialist
“Many scientific facts are imparted from the time of year and the position of constellations in the sky.” JENNIFER HOWSE
or more than 16 years, Jennifer Howse has been connecting people of all ages to the universe, as the educational specialist at the University of Calgary’s Rothney Astrophysical Observatory. Her role involves promoting the observatory’s RCT telescope, one of the largest in Canada. “It was originally designed with an extremely narrow field of view to look at a single star at a time,” Howse explains. “We’re working on turning the telescope into a robot. That would mean that astronomers wouldn’t actually have to come to the site. They would be able to link up to access and operate the telescope remotely, and what this means is that we can be a part of a larger network of astronomers and observatories.” With a job that revolves around gazing into the night sky, Howse is passionate about the issue of light pollution. Many of the children who participate in the educational programming at the Rothney have never seen a night sky unobstructed by light pollution, which is one of the many reasons Howse advocates for awareness, as well as for darksky preserves. “I had a group of grade six students from an inner-city school come for an evening program at the observatory, which is only 20 minutes southwest of Calgary, and some of these kids had never seen the Milky Way in their life,” she says. “That’s a terrible shame, but that’s just where they live. It’s constantly lit up, all the time.” A proper view of the night sky is more than just a scientific pursuit; it is a cultural one. As a member of Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, Howse is passionate about connecting the stars to Canadian history and cultural traditions. “Many scientific facts are imparted from the time of year and the position of constellations in the sky. There’s some very practical information about how to be guided by the stars, knowing when to move from one area to the next, based on seasonal migrations.” Astronomy, she says, is a great opportunity to connect to oral tradition. “I would argue that many aspects of astrophysics are cultural. The worst thing you can say to an astrophysicist is that there’s even a hint of subjectivity in their work ... But it has to do with how you see yourself in relation to what you’re observing, and that is cultural.” AUGUST 2022
DIN IN G
ALL FIRED UP BY CHRIS LANDRY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
WHETHER YOU’RE FLIPPING BURGERS IN YOUR YARD, ROASTING SMOKIES IN THE PARK OR PACKING YOUR PORTABLE ’CUE FOR A TAILGATE PARTY, HERE’S HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF GRILLING SEASON.
ost of us have a memory of a family cookout: folks gathered around the barbecue on a summer day, the air filled with the smell of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Even those who didn’t grow up with these experiences can likely recall scenes from TV and movies featuring an apron-wearing, tong-clutching dad lording over a charcoal grill. True, this is a distinctly North American trope, but cooking over open flames is something cultures around the world have been doing since the dawn of humankind — most anthropologists agree that gathering around fires and cooking is one of the factors that led to the start of modern society. Nowadays, grilling has become more technologically advanced, with WiFi-enabled automatic grills and thermometers to control the temperature, and more convenient, with small, portable grills on easyto-pack stands. So, “ketchup” with the times and relish the good weather, because summer won’t be here forever, and that means you must(ard) get out there and grill while the grillin’s good.
D IN IN G BACKYARD GRILLING
3 GR E AT GR I L L S Tim Lloyd of local retailer Barbecues Galore shares his favourite ’cues
1 Kamado Joe Classic III $2,500 A ceramic egg-style charcoal grill, this model offers first-rate heat-retention and plenty of accessories to customize the grilling experience.
2 Napoleon Prestige $5,300 This gas-fired grill comes with all the bells and whistles, including colour-changing LED knobs, two individual grilling spaces and traditional stovetop burners.
3 Weber Traveler Portable Grill $500 A great solution for small balcony spaces, this propane grill comes with a collapsible stand for easy portability and storage. 3505 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-250-1558; and 5875 9 St. S.E., 403-258-4440; barbecuesgalore.ca
Alberta-made Products to Slap on the Barbie 54
As for what to throw on the grill, you don’t have Andrew Plaza specializes in Southern-style to stick to standards like hamburgers and hot dogs. barbecue with his competition outfit and catering Plaza enjoys grilling pizzas because everyone can company, Double Aces Backyard BBQ, but he also customize them to their liking. The most important enjoys cooking in his backyard on his multiple thing, he says, is to have fun and “don’t be afraid to grills — propane and charcoal — and smokers. screw up.” “I’m the stereotypical dad; I’m always clicking GRILLING IN THE [the tongs],” Plaza says. It’s a habit that his young GREAT OUTDOORS son has picked up. “We got him a little plastic set Whether you’re in a campground or a city park, so he could emulate me cooking,” Plaza says. It cooking over an open fire is a primal activity. Someseems that barbecue mastery runs in the family: thing about having control over the entire process — “My oldest now does his own barbecue competistarting from kindling and firewood and ending with tions,” he says (and his youngest son has started a meal — connects you to your food in a way that no competing, too). other cooking style can. Whether you’ve got a sprawling Chef Jenny Burthwright, owner backyard or a pint-sized apartment of Jane Bond BBQ and a recent balcony, there are grill setups for “I’m the competitor on the Food Network every price point. If you’re limited stereotypical show Fire Masters, says it’s “in our in the amount of space you have, dad; I’m always DNA to cook over a fire.” consider a portable grill; if you’re When she’s not smoking meats limited in the amount of time you clicking [the at her busy barbecue restaurant, have, a gas-fired grill is likely your tongs].” Burthwright loves to cook over best bet. Charcoal grills require ANDREW PLAZA, DOUBLE an open fire at home, on the rare more work to get started, but they ACES BACKYARD BBQ occasion she has time to entertain produce a superior, more authenguests. To cook over a fire like a tic barbecue flavour, Plaza says. pro (we’re talking about tackling Charcoal grills are also more something more advanced than a hot dog on a labour-intensive to clean. Even so, charcoal is stick), having as much control as possible over your experiencing a resurgence with cleaner-burning, heat is key. A laser thermometer will help with this, higher-quality briquettes that produce more heat, and more technology to help automate the process. although you should also rely on your own intuition and manipulate your fire accordingly. Many firepits Tim Lloyd, a grilling enthusiast and salesperin Calgary parks have a built-in grill, which helps to son at Barbecues Galore, recommends Wi-Fi create different heating zones. A tripod-style grill and Bluetooth-connected fans (such as the that can be adjusted to move your food closer to or ThermoWorks Billows or FireBoard Drive) that further from the coals is a useful tool. attach to your charcoal grill and blow only when Coal-management is everything when cooking needed to keep the coals at the right temperature. on a wood fire. A long-handled shovel or heat-proof He also suggests using an accurate digital thergloves will allow you to move coals around and mometer (like the ThermoWorks ThermaPen or control your fire. Shovelling coals to one side creFireboard Spark) to make sure you take off your ates a slow-cooking arena, says Burthwright, which grub at the perfect time.
Spolumbo’s Sausages A portmanteau of the names of founders and CFL alumni Tony and Tom Spoletini and Mike Palumbo, Spolumbo’s sausages can be found at most grocery stores, as well as the eponymous deli in Inglewood. 1308 9 Ave. S.E., spolumbos.com
Motley Que BBQ Sauces and Seasonings This Edmonton-based company’s Sticky Fixx sauce was named the best barbecue sauce on the planet in 2021 at the American Royal Sauce Contest. Multiple Calgary retailers, motleyque.ca
Empire Provisions Beef Burger Patties Made with 100-per cent Alberta beef, these patties come expertly seasoned with garlic and thyme. 8409 Elbow Dr. S.W., empireprovisions.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEF T
Andrew Plaza is dressed to grill; Plaza’s French toast burger; chef Jenny Burthwright tends to a Tomahawk steak while camping; Brock Shepherd fills his tailgate plate with Shark Club chicken wings.
3 TOP SP OTS FOR COOKIN G ON A N OP EN F IR E 1 Edworthy Park, Calgary Situated along the Bow River in the southwest, this park has all the essentials: open fields for kids to run around in, reservable firepits and shelters in case the weather takes a turn. calgary.ca
2 Cascade Ponds, Banff National Park Located just off the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park, this picnic site makes for an easy and scenic day trip. Firepits are first come, first served, so arrive early to secure a spot, then spend the day walking the trails and cooling off in the ponds. pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff
3 Bebo Grove, Fish Creek Provincial Park This picturesque day-use area features several first come, first served firepits tucked within the trees. This oasis in the city is also close to Fish Creek itself, which is a great place to cool off on a hot day. albertaparks.ca
What to Pack for the Park 56
is helpful for warming, resting or on from the Stamps following the melting, too. “Don’t be afraid to 2014 season, his Nation lives on in “Don’t be afraid the West parking lot at McMahon manipulate your fire to the needs of to manipulate your food,” she says. Stadium at every home game. your fire to the One super-pro move when The Nik Lewis Nation is sponcooking over fire is not to use a sored by Shark Club, Spolumbo’s needs of your grill at all. “When I competed on and the Calgary Stampeders. food.” Fire Masters, I cooked a whole The tailgate parties are free for JENNY BURTHWRIGHT, side of salmon directly on the fans and Shepherd can be found JANE BOND BBQ coals,” says Burthwright. This cooking up Spolumbo’s sausages, technique also works well for burgers and more at every home hardy vegetables like squash or game. “We’ve even hired a DJ, so pumpkin. “Due to the lack of oxygen when cookwe have a full setup in the parking lot. It’s a great ing on coals, you can develop an amazing char atmosphere for any fan looking for a good time and flavour without burning.” before the game,” Shepherd says. Overall, Burthwright says cooking on a wood fire While he acknowledges that the tailgating scene is about patience, trial and error, and, most of all, in Calgary is nowhere near what it is in the U.S., enjoying the company of those around you. “The it’s a way to bring people together around delifirst time I cooked on a fire, my friend was in charge cious food and a common interest. With set-up, of the beer, and I tried making a stew,” she says. But, teardown and planning, it’s a lot of work, but it’s she accidentally dropped the meat on the ground an important part of football culture, and going to and had to wash it clean from dirt and pebbles. “The a game wouldn’t be the same without the atmostew was a little crunchy and the beer was warm,” sphere in the parking lot, he says. she says. “But it tasted good and we still had fun.” Looking to get into tailgating? Ease is the name of the game, says Shepherd. Get yourself a small, GAME-DAY GRILLING portable propane grill for efficient set-up and Tailgating is really the epitome of North American takedown. Everyone is welcome to tailgate before grilling culture — gathering around a portable a game; the only stipulations are that you must barbecue with friends and family, celebratrestrict yourself to one parking stall (which are ing your team and drinking cold beer. As a kid, first come, first served), and the sale of food is profootball fan Brock Shepherd grew up tailgating hibited — everything should be done in the spirit at games in the U.S. When he moved to Calgary of adding to the pre-game excitement. Get your from southern Ontario, he saw a need to build a tailgate on when the Stamps host the B.C. Lions on tailgating community for his new local CFL team, August 13, and at the annual Labour Day Classic the Calgary Stampeders. versus the Edmonton Elks on September 5. What started as a group of friends enjoying At the end of the day, wherever you are, grilling grilled food in the parking lot before cheering on is all about kicking back with family and friends to the Stamps eventually turned into a full-fledged enjoy good food and cold drinks. In Calgary, where tailgating operation dubbed the “Nik Lewis Nation” summer doesn’t last long, there is no time like the after their favourite player. Though Lewis moved present to head outside and spark up the grill.
Snow Peak Fire Tongs You don’t want to mess around when it comes to fire tongs. These durable, 43-cm, stainless steel snappers let you play with fire, without getting burned. $27 at Valhalla Pure Outfitters, 726 Main St., Canmore, vpo.ca
Brander Sidekick Digital Thermometer This thermometer has a built-in probe for quick temperature checks or opt for the included 99-cm wire probe for food that requires constant attention. $50 at Barbecues Galore, barbecuesgalore.ca
UNA Portable Table-Top Charcoal Grill The shoebox-sized grill is designed for portability, with the lid doubling as the base for the grill. All you need is charcoal and something to light it. $125 at Knifewear, 1316 9 Ave. S.E., knifewear.com
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CITADEL ARBOUR LAKE HAWKWOOD
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CROWFOOT CROSSING 826 CROWFOOT CRESCENT NW | 403.241.3475 SPRUCE CLIFF / WILDWOOD 8 SPRUCE CENTER SW | 403.452.3960 KENSINGTON 1081 2ND AVENUE NW | 403.287.8544 MAHOGANY 2171 MAHOGANY BLVD SE | 587. 623.1144
COPPERFIELD MACKENZIE LAKE
@piejunkieyyc | piejunkie.ca
4 MAHOGANY SETON
M OUNTA I N S
THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO
What to Bring An avid cyclist and manager of sports-consignment store Switching Gear YYC, Rory Allen is a seasoned bikepacker. His first-ever trip was a ride from Ottawa to Halifax on an old steel-framed bike, which is why he can say from experience that you can have fun bikepacking, even if you don’t have the latest and greatest equipment. “Whatever bike you’ve got is the best one to start with,” Allen says. Aside from the obvious food, water and shelter (a compact tent or bivvy sack), here are a few things he never goes bikepacking without.
BIKEPACKING It’s not easy, but the rewards of exploring the backcountry on a bike packed with camping provisions can be off the charts, creating the kinds of memories that stay with you for decades. G et t i n g O u t T he re There’s a lot to consider when planning a bikepacking adventure, from choosing appropriate routes, to arranging shuttles, purchasing or renting necessary gear, and many more things you won’t even think of until you’re 30 kilometres down a Jeep trail with no chance of encountering civilization for the next 72 hours. So, consider taking your first trip with an outfitter that specializes in this sort of thing, such as Wild Rose Adventures, which offers custom overnight trips through the Porcupine Hills and the Crowsnest Pass areas in southern Alberta, or Flow Mountain Bike Adventures, which leads two- to six-day trips in Kananaskis Country. If you do want to give it a go on your own, a couple classic routes in the nearby mountains are the Big Elbow/Little Elbow loop in K-Country and the Lake Minnewanka shoreline trail in Banff National Park, both of which offer numerous camping options along the way. Before you go off the grid, bone up on your bike maintenance skills by doing a comprehensive repair course such as the one offered by the Outdoor Centre.
WATERPROOF SLEEPING BAG A sleeping pad and lightweight sleeping bag compact enough to fit inside a frame bag (cargo bag attached to your bike frame) are essentials for overnight bikepacking. Allen’s sleeping bag of choice has a waterproof exterior for moisture management on colder nights.
TIRE REPAIR KIT Allen’s repair kit consists of tire levers, a bike-specific multitool, a small pump, CO² cartridges, a Presta valve adapter (which allows a traditional air pump to inflate any type of bike tires), a lighter, multiple patches and spare tubes.
DISC GOLF DISC Not only does playing a couple rounds of disc golf break up long cycling days, but the disc can also double as a plate or cutting board.
M OUNTA I NS BY GABBY CLEVEL AND WITH FILES FROM ANDREW PENNER PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COLLINS
CHEEZIES In addition to being his favourite snack, Allen notes that he uses Hawkins Cheezies as a fire-starter.
VOILE STRAPS Seasoned bikepackers are known to use this brand of bike rack straps to attach items that won’t fit into frame bags to the handlebars of their bike.
BEER AND/ OR WHISKY Although it may be heavy, Allen recommends bringing along as much of your favourite alcoholic beverage as you can carry, to enjoy once you reach your destination.
P H OTO G R A P H BY T K T K T K
FLIP-FLOPS Proper footwear is a must and Allen encourages firsttime bikepackers to wear comfortable riding shoes that can stand up to rigorous weather conditions. But no one wants to wear their riding shoes 24-7, so he also recommends bringing along a cheap pair of lightweight flip-flops or Crocs to wear around camp.
EXTRA SOCKS “Nothing feels better than changing your socks when you get into camp,” says Allen. avenuecalgary.com
D EC OR
HOME ON THE
RANGE A multigenerational home on a ranch southwest of Calgary becomes a truly modern farmhouse.
BY KAREN ASHBEE PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH 60
here are few locations for a family farm as idyllic as the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where pastures stretch for miles under the vibrant blue of Alberta’s big sky. Originally purchased to raise gaited horses, a breed known for its stamina, this 160-acre ranch property has been in the family of the current owners for almost half a century. With the passing of the patriarch in 2018, and the transfer of the land and buildings to the adult children, the owners felt the time was right for a refresh of the farm’s primary home. Though built in the 1970s, the house was actually based on a design from the early 1950s — a dark and dated five-bedroom Cape Codstyle warren of small rooms. “It was all wood,” one of the homeowners says. “African gumwood in the living room, teak in the den, birch in the hall and, of course, knotty pine in the kitchen. And, with tiny windows and all that wood, the house was so dark.” august 2022
T HIS PAG E Dog day afternoons are perfectly spent in an armchair gazing out at the floor-to-ceiling view. O P P OS IT E Wide open spaces: The family property is located in the verdant foothills southwest of Calgary. avenuecalgary.com
The kitchen blends contemporary sensibilities with heritage elements
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP L E F T The large dining area, complete with leather chairs made by an Italian saddle maker, can seat up to 14. Plenty of windows and 15 ft. ceilings create a bright and airy main floor. Thanks to a fully-stocked bar cart, margaritas are always just a few shakes away. The scultpure above the bar cart is by local blacksmith artist James Greisinger. Louvres adjacent to the staircase allow for more light, and add an architectural feel. 62
The couple decided to keep the footprint of the house, gutting it to the studs. Their vision was a modern farmhouse that deftly blurred the distinction between indoors and out. Both agreed that they wanted “lots of light, easy access to both the back and side yards, and an open concept where we could entertain.” The home also had to be pet-friendly for the couple’s two energetic Labradors. Enter the Calgary design firm of McKinley Studios, masters of clean lines and meticulous attention to detail. Architect Walker McKinley transformed the existing house into
a modern, four-bedroom home with 6,500 square feet of living space, a spacious open main floor, 15-ft. vaulted ceilings in the living room, and banks of generous windows to take advantage of the sunny days and endless sweeping views. The kitchen blends contemporary sensibilities with heritage elements: Miele appliances and a stainless-steel sink are juxtaposed with traditional details such as wire-brushed white oak millwork, stained slate blue. Bronze T-pull hardware elements that will patina with age contribute further to the heritage feel. “It feels like a kitchen you would find in a Napa Valley restaurant,” McKinley says. “Well-appointed, open and warm, but with an elegance.” Tongue-and-groove oak panelling, chevron-patterned oak floors, and three wood-burning fireplaces add to the peaceful rusticity of the interior. Throughout the home you won’t find a shred of fussy brocade or delicate silk; rather, durable leathers, linens and wools in natural shades, and materials that can stand up to foot traffic and pets abound. The overall effect is a home that works, whether the job is a quiet night in for the resident couple, or a large, boisterous gathering of friends and family. Whoever happens to be there, the home is, as requested, always full of light: sunlight at almost any time of the day; moonlight at night. august 2022
THROUGHOUT THE HOME YOU WON’T FIND A SHRED OF FUSSY BROCADE OR DELICATE SILK.
T HIS PAG E Old meets new: The whitewashed tongue-and-groove oak panelling gives the main floor a fresh farmhouse feel, while the original fireplace (one of three) keeps things cozy. avenuecalgary.com
MODERN COUNTRY A home that exudes a country vibe need not be old-fashioned. Architect Walker McKinley, founder of McKinley Studios, offers some tips for incorporating urban elements into a ranch or farmhouse dwelling.
1 KEEP IT UNIFORM “Although the whitewashed tongue-andgroove oak panelling is in keeping with a traditional farmhouse look, the fact that it is uniform throughout the entire main floor lends a more modern feel to the space,” McKinley says.
2 D E TA I L S , D E TA I L S Modern details, such as the white glazed ceramic sconces with brass detailing by Entler used in this home, will create a more eclectic take on the farmhouse aesthetic,” McKinley says.
3 U P DAT E D EXTERIORS “We didn’t want to paint the exterior, as you also lose the warmth and the texture of the brick,” McKinley says. “Instead, we toned it down with a lime wash to lighten the look and impart a cleaner, more updated quality.”
CLOCK WI SE FROM TOP Cozy, durable materials provide both warmth and functionality throughout the home. This guest room, a.k.a the “Heritage Room,” is filled with heirloom furniture. The south patio, featuring an automated pergola and fire table, expands the homeowners’ entertaining space in the summer. The staircase louvres run all the way up to the second-floor landing.
OPPOSI T E PAGE The primary ensuite also houses a dressing room and laundry area.
Making Calgary feel like one big neighbourhood. The Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program provides free membership and active programming throughout the year to all Calgary grade 6 students.
SOURCE Architecture and interior design by McKinley Studios, 403-229-2037, mckinleystudios.com Contract renovation work by Rawlyk Developments Inc., 403-228-5115, rawlyk.com Furniture and accessories procurement by Smiddy Stegman, smiddystegman.com Flooring by Smith Bros. Floors Ltd., 403.917.1517, smithbrosfloors.com Kitchen and vanities by DreamSpace Interiors, 403-800-9378, dreamspaceinteriors.ca Hardware from Banbury Lane Design Centre, 403-244-0038, banburylane.com Bathroom accessories from Rejuvenation, rejuvenation.com Appliances from Trail Appliances, three Calgary locations, trailappliances.com Mirrors and glass from House of Mirrors & Glass, 403-253-3777, houseofmirrors.com Solid surface countertops by Alberta Marble & Tile Co. Ltd., 403-287-0944, albertamarble.com Sideboard from Crate and Barrel, crateandbarrel.ca Table between the armchairs, chairs on either side of the sideboard, and bar cart, all family heirlooms Wood coffee table by MöbiusObjects, 403-837-3980, mobiusobjects.com Living room chair by MorningWorks Studio from DWA Interior Furnishings, dwainteriors.com “Buckly the Buck” sculpture by James Greisinger from Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, bluerockgallery.ca South patio furniture from Mountain House Furniture, 403-455-9288, mountainhousefurniture.ca Automated pergola by Suite Outdoors, 403-295-6455, phantomscreensofcalgary.com Fire table from Barbecues Galore, two Calgary locations, barbecuesgalore.ca
Students entering grade 6 can register now!
Create a distinct look, with a piece of history.
www.freyia.ca 4640 Manhattan Rd SE 65
W OR K O F A RT
CURATED BY KATHERINE YLITALO
D AT E 2021
A RT I S T Hali Heavy Shield, a.k.a. Nato’yi’kina’soyi
MEDIA Digital prints on vinyl.
SIZE Seven prints, each three-by-five feet.
L O C AT I O N Saddletowne Library, Genesis Centre, 150, 7555 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.
ith si’káániksi~blankets, artist Hali Heavy Shield has created seven blanket designs, on display as vinyl wall hangings in a light-filled meeting room in the Saddletowne Library at the Genesis Centre. Heavy Shield, also known as Nato’yi’kina’soyi (Holy Light that Shines Bright) is a member of the Kainai (Blood) Tribe of southern Alberta, but she has ties to this part of the city, having lived in the nearby community of Martindale in a Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority residence as a teen. She went on to work as an educator and literacy activist and is a co-founder of the Kainai Public Library, the first public library on an Alberta First Nation reserve, earning her a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. Now a PhD student at the University of Lethbridge, Heavy Shield has turned to the visual arts as a focus for storytelling and sharing knowledge. The installation at Saddletowne is part of the Calgary Public Library Indigenous Placemaking program. 66
Three of the blanket designs feature colourful patterns, while four depict animals. The design featuring symmetrical, high-contrast loons is particularly eye-catching, and, like the others in the series, carries layers of associations. The image of a single loon, with its recognizable shape, becomes a simple form, while its splendid breeding plumage is represented with graphic dots and stripes. Joined back-to-back, the double loon motif repeats to form a circle. Half face outward as if serving as protectors, while the other half meet at the centre where the white space between them can be read as an eight-petalled flower, or a compass rose marking the orientation of the cardinal directions on a map. In this sense, Heavy Shield has deftly multiplied the image of the loon, a beloved summer lake dweller usually seen alone or in pairs, into a magical community.
Understanding the power of visual language was a given for Heavy Shield. In childhood, she saw her mother, Faye HeavyShield, making art daily. Faye HeavyShield is now honoured as a senior Canadian artist and is this year’s winner of the prestigious Gershon Iskowitz Award, which
Part of the multi-year project, Indigenous Placemaking, Calgary Public Library, supported by Suncor Energy Foundation. Heavy Shield’s digital art can also be seen currently as part of Divine Feminine, the summer chapter of the Land is Home exhibition at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
includes an upcoming solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Hali Heavy Shield draws inspiration from Edmonton-based Cree painters and printmakers Jane Ash Poitras and George Littlechild, both known for creating powerful visual narratives. She is also an admirer of the work of American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, author of the masterful graphic novel, Maus, A Survivor’s Tale. Books and storytelling continue to be part of Heavy Shield’s narrative, as she is now set to publish a children’s book, My Grandma is an Artist, with Second Story Press. august 2022
P H O T O BY J A R E D S Y C H
THANK YOU CALGARY OUR THANKS GO OUT TO Kelly Streit Event Chair, LOOK2O22 Kim Berjian & Erin Donnelly-Ferguson Vice-Chairs, LOOK2O22 Douglas Coupland OC, BCE M. Ann McCaig CM, AOE Kelly Oxford Adrian A. Stimson Honorary Chairs, LOOK2O22 Brett Sherlock Auctioneer Christie’s International Consultant The entire LOOK2O22 Steering Committee for their loyalty, endorsement and devotion to our cause.
Contemporary Calgary’s LOOK2022 gala gathered a diverse, vibrant and passionate group of Calgarians together to champion contemporary art in Calgary. Raising nearly $1 million, the funds will support exhibitions and public programs at one of the City’s most significant visual arts destinations dedicated to modern and contemporary art and a place of connection for Calgary’s art community. This celebration of the arts was presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859 and inspired by Studio 54 and the art of Andy Warhol. The art auction was sponsored by Heather Bala Edwards & k.d. lang, and supported by Deborah Herringer Kiss as auction chair.
The sponsors and patrons for their resources, time and endless effort. The galleries, artists and private collectors who donated their superb artwork to our live and silent auctions and to those who added a new piece to their collection. A small army of volunteers who flawlessly organized and handled countless details.
On this extraordinary night, the iconic Centennial Planetarium was transformed into an immersive intersection of art, fashion and disco, where guests had exclusive access to a one-night-only Andy Warhol exhibition as well as other engaging art activations. The Factory Dinner, sponsored by Holt Renfrew, and Studio 54 Reception, sponsored by Mawer, was curated by the talented chefs from Concorde Entertainment Group’s portfolio of award-winning restaurants. Guests danced the night away as they finished off their evening with a Studio 54-inspired After Party sponsored by our friends at Greta Bar and Arcade. Over 1,000 people experienced an unforgettable LOOK into the future of contemporary art in Calgary. LOOK2O22 ignited the SHANE senses and opened people’s eyes to a vision where arts and culture are essential to the City of Calgary.
And to the attendees who filled our galleries with effervescent energy. You truly made LOOK2O22 the party of the year.
Build & Price. SPONSORED BY
Heather Bala Edwards & k.d. lang
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To learn more or to donate, please visit contemporarycalgary.com
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