Avenue Jan 18

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HOW TO GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT Tips for finding more time, success and happiness

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Think Different. Think Big. Think BOSA. We are pleased to announce that our teams at Bosa Development and Embassy BOSA have joined to form the new BOSA. Our name has evolved but our belief in Calgary as one of North America’s most dynamic and entrepreneurial cities is stronger than ever. For over 20 years we have led projects here that have built communities that have changed the way we live. And we continue to combine functionality and aesthetic excellence to increase the urban vibrancy of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods. BOSA has a big vision with a long term commitment to Calgary. With our current projects we strive to elevate expectations at every level. These exceptional developments are more than just homes, they are vibrant destinations.

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contents JANUARY 2018 Loose Moose alumnus Bruce McCulloch revisits his days with the local improv theatre company playing Theatresports, a competitive game scored by judges.


How To Get What You Really Want The new year brings with it new resolve to look better, feel better and just be better overall. Instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, take the advice of experts on everything from cleaning house, to dressing well, to making time for the things that make you happy. By Jennifer Allford, Shelley Arnusch, Jennifer Friesen, Kait Kucy, Käthe Lemon and Alana Willerton





By Jennifer Dorozio, Andrew Guilbert and Käthe Lemon

By Bruce McCulloch


HOW TO GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT Tips for finding more time, success and happiness

PRIVATE DINING Great restaurants for any event P LUS


PM# 40030911

A case for why weddings matter more than ever in our modern times. Plus, real-life wedding stories from five local couples and three brides explain the unique joy of saying “I do” with a bit more life experience behind you. 12


Of Moose and Men Local improv training and performance company Loose Moose Theatre marked its 40th year at the start of this season. Among the many that have stepped out onto the Loose Moose stage over the past decades was a certain young (drunk) punk, who credits the company for playing a key role in launching his own comedy career.

Avenue Weddings

Bruce McCulloch | How to Get What You Really Want | Avenue Weddings








contents JANUARY 2018


Dining Private restaurant dining rooms are an ideal solution if you want the vibe of a dinner party without having to do all the cooking and cleaning up. See the spaces available at Blink, Bonterra, Deane House, the Lake House, One18Empire, Starbelly and Teatro.


Detours A man who masquerades as Batman for charity and a dog trainer who takes on the toughest cases. Plus, the second-oldest Canadian to summit Mount Everest describes the view from the top and the training regimen that got him there.




Mountains Calgarians are used to heading west to the Rockies for a wintertime getaway, but there’s a wonderland of skiing, skating and other snow activities to the east as well in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Tricia and Mike Flanagan, with the help of Marvin DeJong, designed their inner-city bungalow to accommodate their current active lifestyle (and contemporary art collection) and adapt to any mobility issues that might come with age.


The List Heidi Blanchette and Nikki Maas, co-owners of the East Village gift and lifestyle boutique Liz & Lottie, on what they love in Calgary.



A roundup of trendy foods that do a body good, including locally made bone broth, energy bites and small-batch vegan kimchee.

Interior designer and fitness enthusiast Jennifer Mehalko is a popular yoga and spin teacher here in the city and has now added clothing design to her repertoire with the eye-catching activewear line Parts + Labor.

Eat This





New and Noteworthy A slim pendant light with a big impact, a bracelet that includes a charitable donation in its purchase price and a series of patches that plant trees on your behalf are all things that caught our eye this month.

are Trade Marks used under license from The De Beers Group of Companies.

Forevermark Black Label Collection Five shapes, each cut with supreme symmetry to unleash the dazzling light of a Forevermark diamond. Beautiful. Rare. Responsibly Sourced.

© Forevermark 2016. Forevermark ®,



For Light Lovers Only



avenue RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions

Publisher Joyce Byrne, jbyrne@redpointmedia.ca

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Facebook: Avenue Magazine — Calgary

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Vanessa DeZutter, Jennifer Dorozio, Christina Frangou, Jennifer Friesen, Kait Kucy, Bruce McCulloch, Cat Nantel, Michael Pool, Ally Reeves, Gwendolyn Richards,


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For the month of January, mention this ad and we’ll show you the love with 15% off non-surgical treatments and 10% off retail.

Dr. Jonathan P. Lee MD, FRCSC










Book a consultation and learn about our complimentary luxury service upgrades. (403) 286-4263 | calgarysurgery.com AvenueCalgary.com



Jewellery supplied by Brinkhaus, for source information turn to The Source, page 67.

Small Packages

Taking advantage of a shift in tempo to refocus on strengths.


Bruce McCulloch | How to Get What You Really Want | Avenue Weddings




HOW TO GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT Tips for finding more time, success and happiness

PRIVATE DINING Great restaurants for any event P LUS

PM# 40030911


Going forward into the New Year, we are trying to build on what we’ve seen from these and other inspiring projects, to create our own best work and to find new opportunities to get in touch with our community. You may notice we’ve done a bit of reorganizing. We’ve stopped doing certain columns and have refocused in areas where we think the city is shining brightest. And we are excited about some upcoming partnerships and opportunities that will be rolling out in the coming months. We hope you’ll tell us what you think and join us in finding new ways to engage with Calgary.



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


ike many of you, here at Avenue we have felt the effects of the local economic slowdown. Although I’m not a business owner, as the manager of a team of great employees and the face of Avenue I get asked almost daily how we are dealing with it. Certainly, we’ve seen a slow down. But the flip side has been a huge amount of support from our clients and an even greater level of engagement from our readers. More than ever, a greater number of Calgarians are looking at what their city has to offer and how to make it better. In part, this is because more of us have the time and attention to give now that things have slowed a bit (or for some completely) at work. At Avenue, we have been inspired by a number of local businesses doing extracurricular projects, which build community and get potential customers in the door. For example, Masters Gallery has been opening up their space to public school groups. Though in this case no one sees the kids as potential clients (well, maybe down the road), for owner Ryan Green, the intention is to share his love of art with kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to come into a gallery. Wu & McHugh, dealers in Chinese antiques, have been hosting monthly “warehouse talks” in both English and Mandarin on a variety of topics. While attending one of these talks last fall, I met the owner of My Sewing Room, who spoke passionately about her personal involvement with the charity Days for Girls, which provides reusable feminine hygiene products for women in developing countries. It was a passion project that developed into a calling and, in turn, helped to grow community around the business.


G E T AV E N U E O N Y O U R TA B L E T! To get the tablet edition, go to avenuecalgary.com/tabletedition.






CONTRIBUTORS JENNIFER ALLFORD Jennifer Allford is a Calgary-based freelance writer who does a monthly column for the Calgary Herald and contributes regularly to the Toronto Star travel section. She also pops up in magazines such as Travel + Leisure, WestJet Magazine and CAA publications across the prairies. Allford was a journalist with CBC Radio in newsrooms across Canada for 15 years before running a couple of big, noisy and talented marketing departments for SMED International and the Calgary Herald. After getting fired twice in a row, she decided to stay home and work from her kitchen.

VALERIE BERENYI Valerie Berenyi is a free-range writer and editor with an extensive background in newspapers and magazines. A former Avenue editor, Berenyi also worked as a section editor, reporter and columnist at the Calgary Herald and was editor of the Herald’s Swerve magazine. A senior contributing editor to Toque & Canoe, she loves to travel and write about her adventures and use her storytelling skills for a variety of clients. When not working from her home-based office (with Luna the cat on her lap), she is happiest skiing, snowshoeing, cycling, swimming, hiking and generally being out in nature.

VANESSA DEZUTTER A newly minted Torontonian by way of Calgary, awardwinning editorial and commercial photographer Vanessa


DeZutter specializes in lifestyle, fashion and portraiture. Driven by a passion for the creative process, she strives

How to incorporate the latest

to construct compelling and powerful imagery. Since

looks into your home.

graduating from ACAD in 2013 with a bachelor of design in photography, DeZutter’s editorials and cam-

MODEL CITIZEN Hannah Donker is the latest Calgarian to find success as

paigns have appeared in dozens of publications both nationally and internationally, and she regularly contributes to a variety of major photo volumes.

a fashion model. We chat with her about modelling, travelling and working for The Weeknd.

ALLY REEVES Ally Reeves is an award-winning illustrator and graduate


of Sheridan College’s BAA illustration program. Based in Toronto, her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail,

Get away to the mountains to

Quill and Quire, Canadian Wildlife and other publica-

relax and rejuvenate.

tions. She spends what little downtime she has reading children’s books and wishing she had a dog.





G ET FIT From bungee gyms to bike parks, we have options for staying active in Calgary in 2018. AvenueCalgary.com/fitness

/avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine

Photograph courtesy of Bungee Workout Canada


Subscribe to our weekly Food, Style and Weekender newsletters to get the latest restaurant and store openings, advice on what to eat and where to shop and our picks for the best things to do in Calgary.



New Year, New Beginnings Divorce isn’t easy, but it’s a path to a new beginning. Trust our experience, expertise and strength to guide you to the life you deserve. Kathleen Wells Kathleen@wellsfamilylaw.com

Casey McQueen Casey@wellsfamilylaw.com WWW.WELLSFAMILYLAW.COM Direct: 587-356-4342






11:10 AM


Last May, Calgarian John Oldring (below and right) became the second-oldest Canadian to summit Mount Everest.

Training For the

Photography courtesy of John Oldring



he one piece of advice that Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest, offered Calgarian John Oldring before he attempted his own Everest climb in 2015 was, “get through the Khumbu Icefall as quickly as you can.�

23 AvenueCalgary.com



John Oldring (left) with climbing partner Damian Benegas at the summit of Everest.



in his late 40s after a friend convinced him to give it a try. He says he only considers his age when he’s training, as he never wants to hold the group up. “I always know that I’m probably going to be the oldest climber on the team,” he says. “My theory is you train harder, you train smarter and you try to climb smarter.” For Everest, Oldring trained more than 30 hours a week for about six months. Part of his regimen was climbing Ha Ling Peak near Canmore every weekend carrying added weight — sometimes three times per weekend and frequently twice in one day. “It’s mentally, physically and emotionally challenging,” says Oldring. “I can say that I reached the point where I don’t ever want to go up Ha Ling again.” After seven weeks spent tackling Everest, Oldring says he couldn’t wait to get home to his bed, a warm shower and a glass of red wine. However, as happy as he is to be home and recovering, he hasn’t ruled out a third run at Everest, and he knows he’ll be looking for his next challenge soon enough. “You know, it’s funny,” he says. “After you’ve been down for a little while you can’t wait to find another mountain again.” —Jennifer Dorozio


For 15 winter seasons, Ian Newcombe has made it snow at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, allowing riders to jet down the hill at high velocity. Ninety-nine per cent of the snow at the park is artificial by Newcombe’s estimate, and as soon as the temperature sustains below zero he and his crew mobilize. “We need 25 periods of 24 hours to make all the snow we need across the hill. We will make snow 24 hours a day, seven days a week if the weather allows us to. “[The term] ‘artificial snow’ is kind of funny because it is actually real snow; it’s just made out of a machine. We have high-pressure air and water and we pump the water through a snow gun. We add an additive called Snomax — it’s kind of like the nucleus of a snowflake — which then allows us to build real snowflakes. So we break that water down through high-pressure nozzles and the air helps disperse those water particles to make them even smaller. They freeze, and then they drop and make snow.” —J.D.

Ian Newcombe and Winsport photographs courtesy of WinSport

The Khumbu Icefall is considered the most dangerous part of the Everest climb due to constantly shifting routes, falling ice and unexpected crevasses. As it turned out, when Oldring, a managing director at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and his expedition of seven others were on the icefall, a massive earthquake shook the area, exponentially increasing its danger, which resulted in the group having to return to base camp. “I think they had already written our obituaries when we walked into camp,” says Oldring. Despite that experience, Oldring was undeterred. Though about half of his original group decided against it, he chose to attempt the climb again, finally reaching the summit in May of 2017 at the age of 64, which made him the secondoldest Canadian to have done so. “It’s pretty neat to stand at the tallest spot on earth and look out to see the curvature of the world,” says Oldring. At the time of the climb, Oldring didn’t know he’d be one of the oldest Canadians to summit Everest. It was only after he returned home and saw the news coverage that he learned of his new title. A long-time lover of mountain views and the outdoors, Oldring began seriously climbing

Dog Days


The Hero Calgary deserves

HolyBatman photography courtesy of HolyBatman; JC St. Louis photograph by Cat Nantel


referring to keep his identity secret, the man known as HolyBatman patrols the streets of Calgary in his Batman costume and Polaris Slingshot Batmobile — complete with Batman decals — doing good by visiting sick children and making appearances at charity events. While movie and comic-book Batman’s origin story is famously tragic, HolyBatman (the name is a reference to the campy Adam West version of Batman) got his start two years ago, when he and his wife moved to Houston for her work. While on the job hunt there, HolyBatman used his free time to engage in charity work by putting on his custom-designed Batman suit and visiting children with cancer who were recovering from chemotherapy treatments in the hospital. One of his first hospital visits was at the request of a mom whose son was feeling under the weather, thinking that a visit from Batman would be just the thing to brighten up his day. “And it really did,” HolyBatman says. “That was one of the things that melted my heart and I said: ‘That’s it, I need to keep doing this.’” Upon moving back to Calgary a year ago, HolyBatman began making appearances at charity events such as the Calgary police marathon and the United Way plane pull, as well as at Ronald McDonald House and other places, posing for photos and engaging with kids. It has now come to the point where organizations are reaching out and requesting an appearance. One of the hardest things about being HolyBatman is maintaining the superhero’s characteristically brooding demeanour. “It’s tough, because

when I’m out there, people say, ‘Batman doesn’t smile this much,’ and I’m like, ‘well, you try to be in a picture and not smile,’” he says. “When the kids have such a big smile, it makes me smile.” It’s not just kids who have benefitted — late last year, HolyBatman was asked to give a 74-year-old fan a ride in the Batmobile, fulfilling a longtime wish. “She really wanted to go for a ride with Batman and I couldn’t resist, so we patrolled the streets, looking for the Joker. She thanked me so much and gave me the biggest hug and said she’s always going to remember this,” he says. “There are so many moments like that, that I remember and can look back on. Maybe that’s why I smile so much in pictures.” —Andrew Guilbert For more information visit holybatman.org.

C St-Louis isn’t your average dog trainer. A retired Calgary Police Service officer and dog handler, he has worked with canines since 1977, including a stint as a breeder that sold dogs to police departments across North America. St-Louis addresses all behavioural issues including excessive barking, poor recall, jumping, separation anxiety and more. However, dog owners often decide to call him when their four-legged companion has shown signs of aggression. “People will put up with a lot if the dog is friendly,” says St-Louis. “But when it becomes aggressive, it ruins the human animal bond and folks want help addressing that.” As a former member of the K9 unit, St-Louis is used to dealing with large assertive dogs. He understands why canine aggression occurs and how to deal with it. “My toughest case was by far Carlo, my police dog,” says St-Louis. “I was Carlo’s third handler and he was on the verge of being removed from the Calgary Police Service’s K9 unit. That dog helped me become a better trainer. The cases I see today are very manageable thanks to my experience with Carlo.” Carlo suffered from a high state of arousal, meaning he was overresponsive to stimulus, which St-Louis channeled into training for titles. By the time Carlo was three, he had earned eight titles including DPO II, a service dog examination used by many federal and military agencies, and Schutzhund level III, the masters level of tracking, obedience and protection. These days, St-Louis welcomes clients to his dog-training facility, which features an indoor training centre, agility field, kennels and a twoacre fenced yard. St-Louis also makes house calls. “I usually have a pretty good idea of the type of dog I am dealing with and the technique that will work best after a short conversation,” he says. “If I can, I try to fix the problem during a [home] visit and give clients the tools they need to continue working on the problem. My objective isn’t to get clients to commit to lots of training. People seem to appreciate that.” —Cat Nantel

HolyBatman and a young fan in the Polaris Slingshot Batmobile. AvenueCalgary.com


do to

this month

Space Station helped install the

JAN. 13 TO FEB. 11


Vertigo Theatre presents the world

JAN. 19 AND 20

taking more photographs from

premiere of Rebecca Northan’s

One of the original breakout

the prime vantage point than

latest improvisational stage

stars of So You Think You Can

anyone else. Expect engaging

production. Each Undercover

Dance, choreographer Travis

stories from the snap-happy

performance will see one audi-

Wall and three co-creators went

spaceman and some awe-inspir-

ence member enlisted to play a

on to start the dance company

ing images of our home planet.

rookie cop tasked with solving

Shaping Sound, which is known

Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts

an interactive murder mystery.

for its high-energy mash-ups of

Commons, 403-294-9494,

Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115 9 Ave.

dance styles and musical genres.


S.E., 403-221-3708,

Shaping Sound’s After the Cur-


tain is a dance spectacle that tells

station’s 360-degree-view cupola and he made good use of it, too,


creative discovery after his lover’s


death, presented this month as

JAN. 26 AND 27

JAN. 14

part of Alberta Ballet’s 2017-

For those looking to consume

Alberta’s largest wedding show

2018 season.

Russian culture in a traditional

offers inspiration for those in

Southern Alberta Jubilee

form, the Calgary Philharmonic

the nuptial-planning process

Auditorium, 403-245-4222,

Orchestra is closing out the final

with fashion shows, decor displays,


weekend of January with an

the story of a man’s search for

all-Tchaikovsky lineup. Part of the

food samples and photo booths. More than 250 wedding specialists are expected at this year’s fair. BMO Centre, Stampede Park,


CPO’s Rush Hour series, From

JAN. 21 AND 22

following night features a heftier

Russia With Love will feature music from Swan Lake and


403-862-1890, theweddingfair.ca

JAN. 5 TO 13

Floating 400 kilometres above

dose of the great composer with

This contemporary musical


the earth, it’s hard not to gain

The Best of Tchaikovsky, featuring

adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s

JAN. 18 TO 21

some perspective. Astronaut

conductor Tania Miller and rising-

classic poem with music and lyrics

Offering opportunities to drink

Terry Virts brings his to Calgary

star cellist Maciej Kulakowski.

by Veda Hille was a runaway hit

local beer and dance under patio

as part of the National Geo-

Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts

when it premiered in Vancouver in

heaters, this four-day music

graphic Live series. The former

Commons, 403-571-0849,

2016. The show comes to Calgary

festival is the perfect antidote to

commander of the International


this month, presented by Theatre

the winter blues. This year’s lineup

Calgary and One Yellow Rabbit as

features Portland metal band Red

part of the 2018 High Performance

Fang and ska punks Less Than

Rodeo. (You can also catch Calgary

Jake, as well as the return of Sled

Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s

Island favourites Duchess Says

Eugene Onegin on Feb. 3, 7 and

and Guantanamo Baywatch. Go

9 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee

to the website to purchase wrist-


band passes for easy access to

Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons,

festival venues.

403-294-7411, hprodeo.ca


The 2016 production of Onegin. 26


Astronaut Terry Virts.

Romeo and Juliet on Jan 26. The

Onegin photograph by David Cooper; View From Above photograph courtesy of National Geographic



Openings 8 CAKES

Re-think Sunday dinner

You’ll find cupcakes, macarons, choux pastries and cakes here, as well as organic tea and fair-trade coffee to go. 109, 3411 20 St. S.W., 403-455-2253, 8cakes.com

BLUSH & RAVEN This by-appointment-only bridal shop offers couture bridal and event dresses and bespoke jewellery. 103, 1118 12 Ave. S.W.,


403-474-6777, blushandraven.com



Chef Justin Longpre serves shareable dishes on locally made dishware for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. 1002 9 St. S.W., donnamacyyc.ca, @donnamacyyc

ELBOW ROOM This Britannia restaurant does lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch featur-

an Inglewood original rougecalgary.com

ing Liège waffles with toppings such as orange marmalade. 802 49 Ave. S.W., 403-460-8128, elbowroom.ca, @elbowroomyyc

HILLBERG & BERK The Canadian jewellery company’s store features its latest collections of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. CF Market Mall, hillbergandberk.com, @hillbergandberk

SHELTER This Beltline bar has apocalypsethemed decor and a light fixture made from 5,000 bulbs. 1210 1 St. S.W., 403-233-7730, shelteryyc.com

UTCA Hungarian chimney cakes are the specialty at this new Beltline eatery. 207 13 Ave. S.E., utca.ca, @utcachimneycake






an rg d i i c o a o r


ZERO ISSUE BREWING The taproom here has a Donkey Kong-inspired display wall and a selection of comics. 4210 12 St. N.E., zeroissuebeer.com, @zeroissuebeer AvenueCalgary.com


Get What You Really Want Top tips from local experts on how to feel and look better and have a happier life, a cleaner house, more time and more success.

BY Jennifer Allford, Shelley Arnusch, Jennifer Friesen, Kait Kucy AND Alana Willerton ILLUSTRATIONS BY Ally Reeves


W 28 avenueJANUARY.18

hen it comes to getting organized, home is often where the heart of the problem is. Helen Youn, the Canadian Prairies’ first certified KonMari consultant, specializes in helping clients clear out the clutter using the KonMari Method. Created by Marie Kondo, author of the international bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the KonMari process is about determining whether items in your home “spark joy” within you (and getting rid of them if they don’t). According to Youn, just being in a cluttered space can take up a lot of brain power. By getting

rid of distracting clutter and only keeping items that make you happy, you have more time to work on your “ideal lifestyle” — basically, getting rid of junk frees up your emotional and mental space to focus on being happier. “What makes the KonMari Method really different is we organize by category and not by room,” Youn says. For example, instead of looking at all the stuff in your living room, with the KonMari Method you’d start by looking at all of your clothes, then books, papers, miscellaneous items and, finally, sentimental items. “Whenever people are thinking about tidying up, they’re usually only thinking about a specific area at home [like the kitchen or living room]. But when you do that, you end up moving things from room to room, so you waste a lot of time and that’s what we don’t want people to do,” says Youn. “We want people to look at things just one time and then they don’t have to deal with them again, because then you can move on and actually live the life that you want to live.” —A.W.



o you think you’d be happier if you scored the winning lottery ticket? Ran away to Mexico? Were swept off your feet by prince/princess charming? Nope. Turns out it’s not money, escape or even love that will make you happy. The good news is that the formula for happiness is easy. The bad news is, it’s hard work. “To be happy you basically have to do what you’re good at and you have to work hard at it. That’s it,” says Patrick Finn, associate professor in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary. “Happiness is deep and connected to meaning and effort. It has to be meaningful and there has to be effort.” The trick, says Finn, who has lectured on the topic of happiness, is to find an area you’re really drawn to — something that “makes your heart sing” — as opposed to something you think you should do. “What often happens is we get the idea that work should be terrible and a struggle and horrible, so you should just get used to that. Instead, it’s about working to feel good about what you’re doing,” says Finn. Hundreds, maybe hundreds of thousands of positive psychology books chart the way to happiness through positive thinking and though that’s a nice way to while away the afternoon, to be really happy you

have to find your “way of being in the world” and contribute from there, says Finn. “The idea is you should work so hard at it that your muscles are sore from it, but not so sore that you can’t get up and do it again tomorrow.” Wait, you say, I don’t want to work, I want to chuck everything and move to the beach. That won’t do it, says Finn. Happiness isn’t about abandoning things it’s about “finding your place and serving from there.” As for hoping to win millions in the lottery ... “Quite famously, when we look at the stats, winning the lottery has a negative impact on happiness,” says Finn. So, forget buying those lottery tickets, roll up your sleeves and get to work on being happy. —J.A.





lthough money can’t buy happiness, it turns out that money can buy more time, which leads to more happiness. A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America showed that “buying time” by paying for helpful services did more to promote happiness than buying material objects. So, instead of spending your limited free time running around town tending to your never-ending to-do list, take advantage of Calgary’s plethora of mobile and delivery services. The sheer number of time-saving services available in the city just might be an indication of how willing we are to dole out our cash for a bit of extra time. And, as a side benefit, you won’t be spending your money filling your home up with items that you’ll just have to KonMari later. —K.K.

CLEANING The number-one task most people want to outsource is housekeeping — so it makes sense that there are a huge number of options. If it’s eco-friendly residential cleaning you’re after, Sho Luxury Home Care will get your home sparkling clean without filling it full of chemicals. Prices vary per room and square footage, sholuxuryhomecare.com

MEAL DELIVERY Having food delivered to your home is nothing new, but take-out is getting fresher and faster as the number of delivery options grows. One of the latest entries in this crowded field is UberEats, which offers delivery from more than 100 local restaurants — although the fact that McDonalds is at the front


and centre of its marketing says a

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and time-consuming. Fortunately, companies such as Spud, Sunterra and Save-On-Foods make it easier with online shopping and home delivery. And Superstore’s Click & Collect program lets you skip the walking-the-aisles and waiting-in-line parts by purchasing your groceries online (though you still have to go pick them up). Spud, free delivery, spud.ca; Sunterra, $8 delivery, sunterramarket.com; Save-On-Foods, $10 delivery, shop.saveonfoods.com; Real Canadian Superstore Click & Collect fee $3 to $5 depending on time of day, realcanadiansuperstore.ca

BIKE TUNING Whether you’ve given up car commuting in favour of your trusty two-wheeler or you’re more of a recreational cyclist, you still need a way to get your bike tuned up. Eliminate the hassle of getting your bike to the shop by having Velofix come to you. The company offers a range of repair and maintenance options and also does mobile ski and snowboard service. Starting at $79, velofix.com PET CARE Your precious pooch need not leave the vicinity of your home


for grooming or veterinary care.

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et’s get something straight right off the bat: no one is suggesting you step in the ring and get the stuffing beat out of you in the name of getting fit. Rather, what we’re talking about is instructor-led classes that use basic boxing manoeuvres (jabbing, ducking, uppercuts, fancy footwork and the like) in a high-octane workout of calisthenics, push-ups and planks. If you want to hit people, ask the guy in your office with two black eyes about where to go for that club that you’re not supposed to talk about. But if you want to get lean and ripped and develop the reflexes of a panther, then boxing fitness is right up your alley. At Undrcard, a boxing studio that opened its doors in December 2016 (on Boxing Day, naturally), the standard class experience takes place in a room full of heavy bags suspended from the ceiling — participants sign up for a bag and use it for the duration of the class. Real leather boxing gloves are necessary and on hand to use free of charge, though participants must purchase their own hand wraps to wear underneath the gloves. Newbies need to arrive early enough to learn how to wrap. Once you’re wrapped and gloved and bagged, that’s when the good stuff starts. The DJ pedigree of Undrcard co-owner Joanna Majcherkiewicz (a.k.a. Joanna “Majik”) is evident in the dimly lit, night-clubby vibe and booming PK Sound system in the workout space. As for the boxing, you can go through the motions, or you can wail on that bag with all you’ve got, which adds a stressbusting element to the whole endeavour, not to mention a serious endorphin high when it’s all over and done. No worries if you’ve got noodle arms and look like you couldn’t beat an egg; the disco lights and throbbing beats make everyone feel like a contender. —S.A.

3 B OX I N G F IT NE S S STUDIOS T O T RY RUMBLE 720 17 Ave. S.W., 587-352-7625, rumbleboxing.com, @rumbleboxing THE SWEAT SCIENCE 1406 9 Ave. S.E., 403-998-6129, thesweatscience.com, @thesweatscience UNDRCARD BOXING STUDIO 349 10 Ave. S.W., 587-356-3779, undercard.com, @undrcard



he quest to perfect your wardrobe starts with understanding which stores carry clothes that will fit your body best, says B.R. Pirri, a fashion stylist with the Style Concierge program at Southcentre and campus manager at The Fashion Institute by Olds College. She recommends using a stylist service like hers to help navigate the overwhelming number of stores out there.

“Work with someone instead of wandering from store to store and getting frustrated,” she says. Another of Pirri’s tips is to have a flexible approach to sizing. “We don’t all fit into one box. So when you’re shopping, please don’t have a size in mind, because you could have the most amazing shopping experience if you’re not married to a number,” she says. Although online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, Kara Chomistek, personal shopper at Bankers Hall and the president of PARK (an organization that promotes and celebrates local designers and retailers), agrees that actually visiting the stores and interacting with style experts in person can really improve your look. Many local boutiques have their own personal stylists in-store to help shoppers choose what will look best for their coloration, body type and confidence level Chomistek says. Both Southcentre and Bankers Hall have done free events where anyone can come and hear from experts about everything from new collections to how to pull off the latest trend. Chomistek says locally, fashion is edging toward taking more risks, and recommends pushing beyond your comfort zone. Mixing unorthodox textures and prints is trending this winter and people often find perfect pieces by “taking the plunge.” “It’s definitely an era of confident dressing,” she says. —J.F. AvenueCalgary.com




eing the largest organ in your body, your skin reveals and impacts your overall health. When your skin looks healthy and young, it’s likely that you look and feel healthy, too. Angela Robertshaw, managing director of Vive Rejuvenation, says that healthy skin starts with preventing damage, by using sun protection and incorporating vitamin C and antioxidants into your daily skincare regimen. She recommends a new product by Vivier Pharma called GrenzCine Serum, an eye cream with antioxidants and vitamin C that hydrates the skin and stimulates regeneration in the cells, making it look plumper and younger. Catherine Lubitz, operations manager at Art of Skin in Canmore, recommends using mineral sunscreens, such as TiZo, which offer





here may be as many different forms of success as there are people who want to be successful.

But whether it means nabbing that big promotion, nailing that personal best or staying sober for another day, the path to success always starts at the same place — knowing yourself. “Self-awareness is absolutely fundamental to betterment because it’s the only way to evaluate your actions and hold yourself accountable,” says Mark Tewksbury, Olympic gold medalist and co-founder of Great Traits, a corporate training and development company. Tewksbury’s own idea of success has changed over the years, from swimming his way to gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic games, to advocating for gay rights, to becoming an entrepreneur and a sought-after speaker. “There are basic things that are part of the formula for success, such as being able to

sun protection without the risk of irritation from the chemicals in SPF sunscreens. The minerals act as tiny mirrors reflecting UV light off the skin. Mineral sunscreens also last longer than chemical creams. For sun-damaged or aging skin, both clinics offer treatments to help restore collagen and diminish sunspots. Robertshaw says some of these types of treatments take time — both for post-treatment recovery and to start to see results — so a little research and preparation is recommended. “Don’t be afraid to do some consultations and get a feel for different clinics to find out what might be the best fit,” she says. A popular treatment at Vive right now, says Robertshaw, is the PICO Genesis treatment that reduces redness and sun spots while simultaneously tightening the skin. The non-thermal treatment uses sound waves, which means no recovery time, making it easy to work into a busy lifestyle. Art of Skin, which specializes in medical treatments, offers a trichloroacetic acid chemical peel, which removes pre-cancerous cells caused by sun damage, lowering your risk of developing certain skin cancers, while reducing fine lines and improving skin texture. “You’re going to see a brand new, brighter complexion,” says Lubitz. —J.F.

set a goal and write it down, but all of that is dependent on knowing what you want,” says Tewksbury. “And that requires self-reflection and holding yourself accountable to getting there which, again, requires self-awareness.” This whole getting-toknow-thyself thing can take a little work. We can be distracted by access to endless information, billions of dollars of marketing in our faces on any given day and what our friends are doing on Facebook and Instagram. While those highly curated and perfectly art-directed social media posts may motivate some of us to define what success looks like — power lunches in a power suit at the power job — they can pollute other people’s quest for what they really want

(say, making artisanal mousetraps in the garage). “We live in such an intense reactionary period in history that it’s really difficult to just map out time to reflect on what you’re doing,” says Tewksbury. Once you define what success looks like for you, give yourself a reasonable schedule to get there. Some goals are short-term, such as cleaning out the spare room to turn it into a home office. Others, such as building a business, take more time. “Maybe you’re looking four years ahead, and the place to start over the next six months is keeping your job and taking a night class to start to build skills,” says Tewksbury. Regardless, the first step to success is walking up to the mirror and taking a good, long, hard look. —J.A.




Based on the graceful shape of a blooming tulip, Manuel’s “Flower” Ring. available for viewing now!

Activities: -Interactive classes every 30 minutes from local fitness facilities on 2 stages -Ninja Warrior style obstacle course -Performances from aerial circus performers -FMC Fitness Model Search -Free massages -Mini Crossfit Games -Parkour competition -Calisthenics playground -Battle of the Bars -100+ fitness based exhibitors -Professional demonstrations -Roller Derby -Delicious local food -Bike show -Axe throwing

Happily ever after begins here.

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Photograph by The Toths Photo and Film


35 AvenueCalgary.com

The Best Thing We Did

Wedding days come in all venues and guest-list sizes. Here’s what five couples said was the most significant thing they did on their special day. BY Jennifer Dorozio





A quaich is a double-handled cup that, when a couple drinks from it, symbolizes trust, love and a commitment to sharing all that the future may bring. As Sancia’s family grew up partly in Scotland, it was important to her to include a piece of that part of her life in the wedding. Just as the blending of families and traditions come together, they combined the quaich ceremony with a traditional communion ceremony. “That we took communion from this cup that had those symbolic and spiritual connections for us, it was special,” says Sancia.


Photography by Sarah Whitlow, Two Cents Photography


riends first, business partners second and husband-and-wife third, is how Sancia Toth summarizes her relationship with her husband, Mitchell Toth. Together, the couple runs The Toths Photo & Film, a wedding photography and videography company. After shooting so many weddings, they had a particular vision of what they wanted their own special day to exude: intimacy and significance. Almost three years after they were married, the Toths consider their exchange of vows and the time they took to go off with their own wedding photographers to take photos, to be among the most significant parts of the wedding. “[That break] really gave us time to be like, ‘Hi, we’re married, this is amazing! This is the day that we’ve been waiting for — and for more than just a party.” To keep the ceremony uninterrupted by flashes and arms reaching for photos the Toths had an “unplugged ceremony” where the intent is to keep the experience free of distractions by turning cellphones off. “The ceremony itself was, I think, the most intimate part of what we did,” says Sancia. They said their vows in front of Mitchell’s dad, who was officiating. Then Sancia’s sister sang for the crowd of 150 guests while the couple was led in a Scottish quaich ceremony by Sancia’s dad.


Photograph by The Toths Photo and Film


wedding, at its essence, is two people sharing a commitment to one another. In practice, however, there are considerations that must be taken into account for every other person who attends. It was for this reason that Rebecca and Reid Cornwall decided to elope. “Early in the process we realized we were planning a party for everyone else and it was taking away from the commitment we were making to each other,” says Rebecca. So, they decided to simplify everything about the day. There would be no caterer, no reception, no guest list. Instead, the plan was to have just the officiant, the videographer and the wedding photographers as witnesses. Then, 24 hours before they were set to elope, the couple decided that having their siblings, parents and grandparents attend was a must, so they sent out last-minute invitations. Rebecca

and Reid had pre-arranged to have hair and make-up professionally done and had selected three general locations for the ceremony around Lake Louise (anywhere with the least amount of people) but largely left the day up to whatever they decided they wanted at the time. “The flexibility of our wedding was also a huge blessing,” says Rebecca, because when their officiant was delayed for two hours due to a car accident, instead of stressing out they just extended their first-look ceremony and took photos until the officiant arrived. After a small ceremony where they read personalized vows, Rebecca, Reid and their family members joined together at a table in the Lakeview Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. “The intimacy of our wedding kept the focus on our marriage and commitment to each other,” says Rebecca.











he first time Juan and Angie Rodriguez got married was on July 7, 2013, in a hacienda in Colombia surrounded by friends and family. The second time they said their vows, three years later, was beside the turquoise waters of Lake Louise with only a photographer there to witness it. While the two events couldn’t have differed more, Angie says both represented important covenants to her and Juan. Juan and Angie are both from Colombia and met in their teens, but they lost contact with each other when Juan moved away. They would eventually reconnect when Angie was studying in New York and she realized through Instagram that Juan, a musician, had an upcoming gig nearby. They met up and Angie says she realized then that Juan “had all the things I’d always looked for.”

Angie says the highlight of their wedding day almost five years ago in Colombia was the wedding party made up of people they genuinely loved. Shortly after the wedding, the couple’s plans were to move to Calgary, where Juan had been living for 10 years and working as a musician, so they wanted to make the most of their limited time in Colombia. “It was really important for us to not only care about details and decorations but to share time with people that we knew we weren’t going to see again,” says Angie. Angie admits that first year of marriage in Calgary was “pretty rough,” partly on account of being in a new city. As a response, the couple decided to re-state their purpose for marriage in a private ceremony in the mountains. “It was meaningful because it was just the two of us,” says Angie. “It was a way to start from zero again.”

Rocks photograph by Jared Sych; Juan and Angie Rodrigues photograph by Doris Alvarez Fotografía

lexis and Curtis Woodley took seven years to decide to get married, but only one month to plan their wedding. “It was pretty fast, but it all came together,” says Alexis. The Woodleys had decided they wanted an unfussy but meaningful day, which they achieved by gathering their 50 guests together in a smaller venue rented through the charity organization Servants Anonymous (now called Reset Society). Alexis describes the day as “the wedding I never knew I wanted.” “I’m just not somebody who ever really thought about it that much,” she says. The absolute best thing they did on their wedding day, says Alexis, was taking a novel approach to creating a guest book. During the ceremony, they asked each of their guests to hold a rock. Afterwards, the guests were asked to write something on that rock for the couple. “The guests could sign the rock with a thought or a drawing or advice they wanted share with us,” says Alexis. One stone says: “Always choose peace.” Another: “You inspire me with your love for each other.” Alexis and Curtis now keep the rocks scattered in different spots in their new home, in plant pots and on shelves. Their long-term plan with the collection of rocks is to feature them in outdoor landscaping or in a greenhouse. “It’s kind of the physical manifestation of the support we felt from the people who held the rocks during the ceremony and the energy of the space where we got married,” says Alexis. Her and Curtis both love to re-read them periodically. “Even in times of trouble, those rocks are always there.”



Photography by Riana Lisbeth Photography


amie Duncan and Jeremy Leakvold love challenging backcountry hikes in the Alberta Rockies, and have never really let things like snow or distance slow them down. So naturally, they knew their shared love for the outdoors would be an essential aspect of their wedding day. Save making their guests snowshoe up a mountain, the best alternative was the winter wonderland that is Azuridge Estate Hotel in December. “We both agreed that we wanted a winter mountain wedding to reflect the places that we liked to spend our leisure time,” says Leakvold. It wasn’t just the wedding venue that they wanted to represent their relationship. The day also included a number of finer touches that are uniquely emblematic of their relationship. All the details, from the wood-burned ornaments they created to the plaid scarves they gifted their guests to wear throughout the day, are significant mementos they are happy they took the time to include. The entire day reflected Duncan and Leakvold, with twinkling lights, red-berry bouquets toted by the maids of honour and their personal crest of two mountain peaks sprinkled throughout the decorations. “Those are little markers of the things we love about each other that we can remember, hold onto and cherish,” Leakvold says. AvenueCalgary.com


Timing it Right A little older, a little wiser and often with a previous marriage under their belt, those getting married later in life often walk down the aisle with different perspectives — and expectations — than their younger counterparts. Three Calgary women explain why weddings, like wine, can and do get better with age.



or Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer, one of the biggest differences between her first and second marriages stemmed from having a clearer picture of what she wanted — a sentiment that seems to be a recurring theme in later marriages. For her and husband David Pfeiffer, being older meant not wasting time on things that aren’t worthwhile. Following their initial blind date, the couple’s second date involved David whisking Sheenah off to New York for a weekend, a big step for some, but for this couple, a sign they were on the same page. “I think when you get older you have a very clear idea of what you want and you’re not going to waste time on it, so you want to cut through the fat fast — at least that’s how we were



looking at relationships at that time in our lives,” says Rogers-Pfeiffer. “We didn’t really feel we had to go through ‘let’s date for a year and let’s live together for another two years, and then a few trips together.’ We went right for the jugular to determine if this was going to be something or not.” While she did enjoy her first wedding, a small affair with 50 guests in Laguna Beach, Calif., the second time around at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise allowed Rogers-Pfeiffer to increase the guest list and include more of the people who mattered to her. The expanded list went hand in hand with the intention behind the special day, which had also evolved from her first wedding. “This was more of a true celebration of finding this person, celebrating our family, and we wanted a lot of people around for that,” she says. Rogers-Pfeiffer says the biggest difference between her first wedding and her second wasn’t anything material, but rather the confidence with which she was able to go into the marriage itself. “The first marriage, I was very good friends with my husband. I think I didn’t quite understand the difference between friendship and love, but I was too young and naive to understand that feeling,” she says. “Knowing what I know now, there is a definite distinction between truly loving someone and wanting someone as your husband, versus liking someone a lot and wanting to spend a lot of time with them.” The idea of getting remarried can seem daunting, especially when society can exert a lot of pressure on what marriage should look like, be and do. In spite of this, Rogers-Pfeiffer believes that if you know yourself, you can’t go wrong. “It comes down to your instincts and your intuitions,” she says. “Do what feels right to you as an individual and feel confident in every decision that you make.”

Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer photograph by CTK Photography

BY Andrew Guilbert



ara Anand Cowles married for the first time at 25. Twenty years later, in the summer of 2016, she returned to the altar, not once, but twice, with new husband Jay Cowles. “We joke that I married Jay twice, so I must really want to be with him,” she says. In fact, the reason had to do with bureaucratic clutter surrounding marriage laws in Italy, where they wanted a destination wedding. “Getting married in Florence, we discovered, was incredibly difficult. You have to get your ceremony notarized, have it translated — it was very complicated,” says Anand Cowles. “And there’s a possibility that they won’t let you know until two or three days before your date whether they approve the wedding or not.” Not wanting to run the risk of being unmarried past their set wedding date, the pair secretly tied the knot in Kelowna a month earlier, making their Italian wedding an encore performance. Though getting remarried was never a priority for Anand Cowles, donning a wedding gown again did stir something inside her. “I didn’t think marriage was super important to me, but it actually feels really special,” she says. “I like calling him my husband. It feels good and it creates a really nice closeness and a bond, being married.” The Florence wedding was a more laidback affair than Anand Cowles’s first, offering a chance to vacation in a beautiful location that reflected who she and Cowles were as a couple, without having to worry about micromanaging small details. “We made a conscious decision to make it an amazing vacation for everyone, rather than being stressed about the little things, which I think I was the first time around,” she says. “When I first got married I was so young, I didn’t really know myself. I think I just did everything that was expected of me rather than knowing what I really wanted. This time, it was way more personal and true to who we are as a couple.” Another special part of the wedding was the presence of not just Anand Cowles’ 22-year-old son but also the bride and groom’s baby son, Anson. “Having a baby together made getting married important,” says Anand Cowles. “It was about joining together and having the same family name. “It made it feel a little more sacred.” AvenueCalgary.com





hues meant to evoke the sea by Tilley’s childhood home in Brisbane, Australia. The theme also served as a nod to the sapphire birthstone of both Pinder and the twins, all of whom were born in September. That Tilley requested such a unique and personal colour scheme in her guests’ wardrobe demonstrated how her approach toward weddings has evolved. “I felt much more confident in what I wanted the experience to be like [this time] and I cared less about what people thought,” she says. “I knew what I wanted, knew what would make my two boys and now-husband happy, and I think 10 years ago I thought more about what people would think.”


Family photograph by Liz Bourassa; couple photograph by Andras Schram


hough Jodie Tilley celebrated her first wedding this past September, it was not her first time facing a walk down the aisle. A decade earlier, she and her then-fiancé had planned a wedding, only for the groom to get cold feet mere days before the ceremony and call it off. “It was one of the most tragic and devastating things that could happen to somebody. I was in a bit of a fog, [feeling] shock and disbelief for probably two weeks after that, when it all became reality,” says Tilley. Sadness set in for a long time afterwards until she realized this was her life and she had to pick up the pieces. Despite what she had been through, Tilley says she still aspired to get married. What changed after her first engagement was how much more selective she was about choosing her partner. Nearly a decade later, her high standards manifested in her husband Ryan Pinder. The pair met through mutual friends at a concert in the summer of 2014 and began dating soon after. In spite of their strong chemistry, Tilley had some reservations, as she had planned on having children the following year, with or without a partner. “About three months into our relationship, I said, ‘We need to make a decision on breaking up ... I don’t want you to get in the way of my plans to become a parent,’” says Tilley. “He stepped up to the plate, and said, ‘I’ve fallen in love with you and I don’t want you to go on this journey without me. I want to be the father of your kids.’” Their twin boys, Blake and Cruz, were born in September 2015, and the couple were engaged a month later. Tilley and Pinder wed in the fall of 2017 at Eagle Ranch Resort in Invermere, a location that allowed Tilley the Rocky Mountain wedding she’d wanted the first time around. Unlike the first time, however, this wouldn’t simply be a marriage between two people, but a union binding their whole family together, making it all the more special. “We made [the twins] a very big part of this wedding,” Tilley says. “They were the ring bearers and they walked down the aisle and stood with us on the podium at the gazebo, while everybody else watched the four of us get married.” The wedding theme was “shades of blue,” with everyone but the bride dressed in various

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Why Weddings

Still Matter Despite so many cultural and social changes that have eliminated the obligatory aspects of marriage, weddings are more relevant than ever. BY Käthe Lemon


ceremony, not only continue to carry weight, but are in some ways f it ever was a truth universally acknowledged that a single more important to those who choose them. man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, Relieved of so much of the legal baggage that marriage formerly it certainly is no longer. had to carry, modern marriages are about joining partners who Jane Austen’s opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice truly and freely choose to enter the union. For many committed reveals much about what marriage was in Britain during the partners a wedding isn’t important and they are free to make that Regency period — a way of bringing together a man and woman, choice — leaving those who choose to marry with both a marriage to join together (preferably well off) families. Since British upand a ceremony that they can craft to represent who they are. perclass women of the time could neither work nor inherit, a And whether or not the wedding has religious or traditional asgood marriage was the only way for their families to assure they pects, for most people the ceremony has become about the public would be looked after. It went without saying that the marriage declaration of love and support rather than a legal transaction. It’s was expected to produce heirs (and that unmarried women were a time for two families and two sets of friends to join and celebrate expected not to). becoming one. Instead of being the moment after which “you may So much has changed since then. The social mores that trapped now kiss the bride,” weddings have evolved to become about recogmany an Austen character in a loveless marriage of necessity have nizing a union that has already likely weathered given way in most of contemporary Canada. some ups and downs and stood at least a short A single man these days may find himself in test of time. want of a husband, or may decide to stay single, MODERN MARRIAGES Part of what’s wonderful about the modern even to rear children on his own. And what of ARE ABOUT marriage is its flexibility. It is an institution the wife? It may in fact be she who is in possesJOINING PARTNERS strong enough to encompass couples of difsion of that great fortune. ferent religions, sexualities and traditions. It Along with those changes, marriage itself has WHO TRULY AND is strong enough to include couples who have changed. Marriages, for the most part, start later FREELY CHOOSE TO and don’t have children or have children from and may be less stable in the sense that they have ENTER THE UNION. previous relationships. It can stretch to couples the option to end in divorce. who have been brought together through a That being said, I would argue that all of huge variety of circumstances. these changes have made marriage better and All it requires is the people getting married commit to each stronger and weddings more relevant. We’ve been able to keep the other — and they are free to define that commitment themselves. best parts of marriage, while those aspects that forced many to Far from being “just a party,” weddings are the public declaration enter or stay in unsuitable partnerships have been left behind. of that commitment. And just as not every couple needs to get In many communities, having sex, living together, owning married to commit to one another, not every couple that does get property, even having children together isn’t reserved for people married needs a wedding. bound by marriage. Changes in laws about common-law marriage When my partner and I told my mother we’d gotten engaged make it clearer and easier for each partner to be protected if the to be married, her first question was, “Why?” relationship ends or if there is a medical emergency. And changes For me, the answer was easy — to take a moment to declare to divorce laws make it easier to end a marriage that no longer our commitment to one another and to ask our family and friends works. Obviously, women are now able to have their own money not only to bear witness to that, but also to commit to helping us and build their own careers and households, so what most women live up to the promise we’d made to one another. It was a beautiful look for in a partner is someone who primarily supports them not day with the most significant people in our lives, setting us off on financially, but emotionally. a new, if familiar, path. When we came to the fork in the road, All of these things change what marriage is and why people we chose it together and have continued to ever since. get married. But the institution itself, along with the wedding





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BY Bruce McCulloch PHOTOGRAPH BY Michael Pool

Of Moose & Men Local improv theatre company Loose Moose marked its 40th anniversary milestone at the start of this season. Just as it did in the early years, the company continues to offer improv training and present shows (cofounder Keith Johnstone is credited with creating the now-ubiquitous Theatresports format), these days out of a space within the Crossroads Market building southeast of Stampede Park. While the venues have changed over the past decades, much about the company has remained constant, including founding member Dennis Cahill, currently in the role of artistic director. Here, one of the company’s best-known alumni ruminates on the role Loose Moose played in launching his own comedy career and how the company’s intrinsic generosity is a big part of why it has lasted so long.

T 46

hat logo hasn’t really changed all that much in 40 years, even if much else has. You know the logo? That wry cartoon moose grinning out at you, more drinking buddy than animal. Like a funny couch-surfing fixture of Calgary, Loose Moose has just kept hanging around, somehow, a true institution, but one that doesn’t demand attention, like the people who have made it and kept it great.


I first stumbled into one of Loose Moose’s Theatresports shows almost 35 years ago. Even back then it seemed like they’d been around forever, or maybe that’s what it felt like to me. I was a student at the time at Mount Royal College (not University yet) and I was both curious and cynical, still in the grips of my punk stage, student by day, forklift driver by night and this was my night off. I’d heard that improvisers “just made things up” and that it was competitive. Worth a shot. If I hadn’t gone, I still may be loading trucks at Canada Dry. (Well, I would have hurt my back by now, so I presume I’d have moved into sales). Back then the venue was out near the airport beside the Port O’ Call hotel in a converted cattle-auction facility. Not a lot of theatres can boast that. I paid my three bucks or so and settled in, enthralled, even if I didn’t want to show it, being a punk and all. The improvisers bounded out on stage, rock stars in unflattering pants. They were the first group of cool nerds I’d ever seen: Dennis Cahill, Dave Duncan, Jim Curry, Kathleen Foreman and the Totino brothers, Frank and Tony, who seemed to float in slow motion. Three judges eyed them like prey, ready to score their scenes or sound a horn mid-scene if they found it boring. Wow. The sheer indignity of being told to stop what you’re doing and leave the stage! Some rejections are private. This one certainly was not. This was the knife’s edge that I found immediately exhilarating and which has been the source of Loose Moose’s decades-long staying power. The performers took suggestions from the audience and made stuff up on the spot. (How could they do that!?) Given a line of dialogue, a scene emerged. Even when it wasn’t perfect, it was alive and real. Watching, I felt in some way I had found my tribe. My religion. As if I’d stumbled into a church and finally it all made sense. After the show, I waited. Like much of the audience, I was secretly wondering if I could do this. When Dennis came out, I sidled up to him, stared down at my purple shoes and asked, “um, how do you get to do this?” He explained that they let anyone do it. He explained that




Loose Moose founding member and current artistic director Dennis Cahill, photographed on location at the company’s current space in the Crossroads Market building. Co-founder and former artistic director Keith Johnstone (right) and Cahill performing an “arms scene,” with Tony Totino visible as Cahill’s arms.



I would just have to volunteer at the shows and come to their improv classes and if I did okay there they would start me out with a 10-minute Theatresports game. That is the key to the Loose Moose philosophy, the great democracy that anyone can get on stage. They let people on stage before they were ready, and, well, you are never really ready for the for first time, until maybe after the first time and perhaps not even then. The classes were held once a week in an upstairs space just off of 8th Avenue. I leapt up those stairs scared out of my mind. It was a grimy little studio, even by punk-kid standards, out of which Kathleen Foreman warmly taught us the tenets of improv: don’t try to be too interesting (no problem there); don’t try too hard (a rule I have broken constantly, though, at least considering that rule has led to me making a living in the arts); and, of course, don’t say no. This one is tougher. It creates good scene work but, in life, could land you in rehab. Keith Johnstone was a genius from England who wore Ski-Doo boots well into spring. He had everyone’s attention by never demanding it. He taught me to not

Loose Moose archival photos by Deborah Iozzi; Dennis Cahill photograph by Jared Sych

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP McCulloch (right) during his Loose Moose years with Theatresports teammate Graeme Davies.

be attached to my ideas, despite my inclinations to believe that my ideas were all I had and all that separated me from the others. I learned that in improv the true pleasure is in making your partner look good; that is when it works. No one knew this more than my cohort Mark McKinney, who would walk on stage, watch what you were doing and then just fold in. He’d never panic — unlike me, who looked like a flopping fish trying to jump out of your boat. I watched him and cynically thought (remember I was half cynical) that I needed him to be my friend. More importantly, I needed him to be my creative partner. We did Theatresports for a while but were driven to write our own ideas. And Keith let us. His whole enterprise was based on the purity of improv, and yet, he let a group of ungrateful upstarts do written sketches. No one ever read them or came to a rehearsal, they just let us. Dennis Cahill and his wife Deb Iozzi, in particular, could have shut us down, but they only encouraged us. They gave us their most valuable commodities: their stage, their audience. As young men, we never fully realized how generous this was. We did our sketches after Theatresports for free. It went well (oh, the luck of the young) and soon we were charging admission for “Late Nite Comedy.” Then people started coming just for our show. Some nights we even outdrew Theatresports. Being young and dumb in equal measures, we never understood how this could have rankled the old guard. Unbelievably, no one ever complained. As the months went by, we packed that theatre doing sketches that one day would become part of the Kids in The Hall oeuvre. Eventually, we decided we had to move to Toronto to “make it,” walking away from the home we had been given without pause. Loose Moose even housed our “important” last shows with a true sense of pride. After the last show, John Gilchrist (the company’s general manager back then, who would go on to become a prolific local restaurant critic) pulled us aside. We thought we were in trouble for the mess we’d left the green room in, but no, we weren’t. Instead, he pulled out an envelope. Inside was a cheque for $4,000. They had been saving up all the money we had made without telling us. They thought we might need it to make the move to Toronto (wow, were they right). It was the most generous gift from an organization that had already given us so much. And they keep giving to the thirsty audiences and performers of Calgary, welcoming them the way they welcomed us. The company has nurtured so many talented people. Many have gone on to other things and some, like Dennis Cahill, have stayed and kept it great. Somehow, after all these years the moose keeps smiling, ready to share a drink and make us laugh.

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DINING BY Gwendolyn Richards

Private Dining Rooms

Hosting a dinner party at home brings with it all the stress of cooking and cleaning. Dining out in a private room, however, eliminates that while still offering the intimate vibe of a dinner party at home. From a semi-secret library to an opulent marblebedecked space with sky-high ceilings, these private dining rooms in local restaurants can host everything from a small shindig to a big bash.



Deane House

Intimacy is on the menu at this private dining room tucked away next to the kitchen at this downtown restaurant. Seating only 10 around a large table, the room also features glass doors that give you a sense of the energy in the rest of the establishment, while keeping you in a world of your own. The exposed brick wall reflects the building’s history, but the menu focuses on contemporary, fine-dining Canadian dishes that mirror the season. Owner Leslie Echino’s knowledge of and passion for wine also means you can order an incredible bottle to celebrate the season.

It’s truly Italian to gather everyone around a big table for a feast, and what better place to come together than a wine room? Set off from the main Bonterra dining room by a short set of stairs, the Wine Room provides enough space for 30 people to enjoy a hearty meal of everything from pasta to pannacotta. You can select your dishes from an extensive menu, or leave the decisions in the hands of head chef Benjamin Mills who will create four multi-plate courses and have them served up family-style.

The library at Deane House — named for Fort Calgary’s Captain Richard Deane, who had the house built when his wife refused to sleep in the Fort Calgary barracks — is a room that echoes with history. The walls of this private dining room are lined with long bookcases filled with antique books, while maps and other artifacts make you feel as if you’re in a room trapped by time (and the small Scotch bar tucked into one corner is really something all good libraries should have). For private dinners of 12 to 24 people, the refined dishes of executive chef Jamie Harling are laid down on the two slabs of California Redwood that serve as tables, though the room also works as a space for cocktail parties of up to 50 guests. With views out to the river and the passing trains on the tracks nearby, it’s easy for time to fall away.

111 8 Ave. S.W., 403-263-5330,

1016 8 St. S.W., 403-262-8480,

806 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-0595,

blinkcalgary.ca, @blinkrestaurant

bonterra.ca, @bonterracalgary

deanehouse.com, @deanehouseyyc

Blink Restaurant and Bar Bonterra

The Lake House photograph by Abby + Dave Photography; Starbelly photograph courtesy of Starbelly Open Kitchen + Lounge; Teatro photograph by Liam Glass; all other photographs by Jared Sych

The Lake House

One18 Empire

Overlooking Lake Bonavista, the large windows that line the private dining room at The Lake House offer a soothing view of the water. With enough space to seat some 60 people, the room is nicely set off from the rest of the restaurant with a velvet curtain. Exposed wood beams and antler chandeliers give the room a rustic yet refined feel. That combination is neatly reflected in the menu. As a Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts property, dishes at the Lake House have the signature Rocky Mountain flair, and chefs Thomas Neukom and Gareth Colville skillfully create house-made charcuterie as well as delicious entrees using game meats and local ingredients.

No standard hotel meeting room, the McTavish Room in the Marriot Hotel’s One18 Empire restaurant is soothingly refined. The room can host up to 20 guests in a space nestled away from the hubbub of the busy restaurant. (For larger groups, you can reserve the back of the restaurant, which can be separated from the main area.) Organize a private dinner that starts with shared snack flights of marinated olives and maple bacon-wrapped dates and moves on to mains that cover all major meats from rib eye to halibut. Close things out with a whisky tasting that draws from One18 Empire’s impressive list of 275 brown spirits — everything from ryes and bourbons to Scotch.

747 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-

820 Centre St. S.E., 403-269-

220, 19489 Seton Cres. S.E.,

Consider this the grande dame of private dining rooms in Calgary. Once a watering hole for artists and actors, the Opera Room now plays host to a range of special events, from cocktail parties to corporate gatherings, dinners and many a wedding. (On one occasion it was even filled with flowers for a romantic dinner for two.) Just as a grande dame has prestige and earned respect, so, too, does the Opera Room. Its 18-foot ceilings, soaring windows, dark-wood finishings, lush curtains and Italian marble speak to an Old-World refinement. And the elegant food from the kitchen, now led by chef Dave Bohati, does everything to complement the room’s beauty.

225-3939, lakehousecalgary.com

0299, one18empire.com,

403-570-0133, starbelly.ca,

200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012,




teatro.ca, @teatrocalgary

Teatro’s Opera Room

Starbelly Open Kitchen + Lounge The private dining room at this suburban hotspot can seat 50 or host 80 for a cocktail party. The room is separated from the main space by windows hung with curtains that can be drawn for privacy. Leather banquettes, wood and exposed brick give the room rustic charm, while from the open kitchen, chefs prepare comfort-food dishes focused on using locally grown and raised ingredients, reflecting the season in their flavours.



M O U N TA I N S BY Valerie Berenyi

Winter in Head to the AlbertaSaskatchewan border for a wonderland of snow and outdoor adventure with a vibe all its own.




ome wintertime, you head west to play outside, right? We Calgarians rarely venture in the opposite direction, but if you’re up for an offbeat adventure, drive five hours east to find a hidden pocket of alpine paradise. Located just southeast of Medicine Hat, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, Canada’s first and only interprovincial park. Rising from the prairie like an island from the ocean, the ancient mountains are the highest point in mainland Canada between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador.

Hidden Valley Ski Resort.

The park’s tiny townsite, Elkwater, sits at nearly the same altitude as Banff. This high country was formed by layer upon layer of sedimentary deposits, followed by millions of years of erosion. Later, during the Ice Age, glaciers flowed around the Cypress Hills, but never swallowed them. Today, the park is a geographical anomaly with a cooler, wetter microclimate and unique ecosystem of evergreen forests, aspen woodlands, wetlands, lakes and grasslands. In summer, it’s a magnet for naturelovers. In winter, it’s a hushed, magical realm of snow, ice and skies forever.

Photograph by Matt Kunh

Cypress Hills

TOP RIGHT The Alberta Parks’ Learning Centre grounds feature a banked snow slide during the winter months. RIGHT Skating at Old Baldy campground loop. MORE WINTER ACTIVITES IN THE HILLS

terrain park that’s great fun for boarders and two-plankers alike. Started by locals in the 1960s, Hidden Valley is now run by Alberta Parks, which took it over in 2015. “People don’t think about coming from west to east to ski, but it’s an affordable way to have a weekend away,” says Mike Ractliffe, head of visitor services for Alberta Parks in Cypress Hills. Lift tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for youth and $30 for children. The resort’s Mountainside Café in the day lodge serves good salads, soups, burgers and, of course, fries, while the upstairs Snowflake Lounge is a cozy spot for an après-ski beverage.

In addition to downhill skiing, Cypress Hills has a good variety of other winter recreation activities as well. There are more than 30 kilometres of groomed Nordic ski trails in the area. Spring Creek Cross-Country Ski Trail System, a 10-km loop located just a short drive from Elkwater, is one of the most popular Nordic-skiing destinations in the region and fat biking is permitted on all groomed and track-set ski trails in the system, with the exception of the Spring Creek loop. Ice skaters can take a twirl or play hockey on Elkwater’s outdoor skating rink or glide along the Old Baldy Campground loop, a 1.5-km skating trail that is flooded and groomed during the winter months. Kids will love the luge, a banked snow slide in front of Alberta Parks’ Learning Centre, which serves as a warming centre in winter with free hot chocolate on weekends. The nearby Visitor’s Centre also rents skis, skates, snowshoes and kick sleds. If you’ve got a sport-fishing license, you can ice fish for rainbow trout at Reesor Lake, Arctic grayling, walleye and brook trout at Spruce Coulee Reservoir and northern pike and yellow perch at Elkwater Lake. Or, try your luck with Battle Creek’s brown trout.



What to do

Luge photograph by Tanya Koob; Skating photograph courtesy of Alberta Parks


From the beginning of December to the end of March, Hidden Valley Ski Resort returns you to the blissed-out days of small-hill skiing from when you were a kid. The vibe recalls former family-friendly ski areas such as Wintergreen near Bragg Creek or Pigeon Mountain at Dead Man’s Flats, however, the snow at Hidden Valley is consistently better. It’s not uncommon to see a dump of thick, fluffy powder in early March — and there are practically no line-ups. With 656 vertical feet (200 metres), the resort offers gentle beginner slopes, some good intermediate cruisers and a couple of more challenging runs, plus a





It doesn’t get more authentic than Historic Reesor Ranch, located within the park just a coyote’s whisker over the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The Reesor family has been cattle ranching here since 1904. The 100-year-old ranch house’s B&B isn’t open to visitors during the winter but you can stay in the ranch’s cowboy cabin or bunkhouse. The latter once housed hired hands and now sleeps six, while the rustic cowboy cabin, nestled in the trees to one side of the ranch yard, is perfect for two. Finished inside with rough-hewn, fragrant Cypress Hills spruce planks and decorated with all things horsey, there’s even a two-person jetted tub. Bring your own dinner fixings to cook on the hot plate in the tidy kitchenette, or barbecue on the covered porch. The Reesors also provide items for a self-catered power breakfast: bacon, eggs, hash browns, bread, jam, peanut butter, juice, coffee, tea, yogurt and hot cereals, as well as fresh and canned fruit. The two hardy ranch dogs, Justice and Dolly, will greet you when you arrive and essentially lead you on a three-km snowshoe loop. Kinnikinik Kliff Trail climbs up through an enchanted forest to a wide plateau affording spectacular views of the Battle Creek Valley below and the Cypress Hills rolling south and west. Aim to catch a glorious sunrise or sunset. One thing to keep in mind is that even though it’s only 30 km through the park from Elkwater to Reesor Ranch, it’s serious winter mountain driving, and an all-wheel- or four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

TOP Smoked chuck steak on cheesy grits with roasted cauliflower and shaved fennel salad at Camp Cookhouse. RIGHT The cowboy cabin at Historic Reesor Ranch.


306-662-3498, reesorranch.com ELKWATER LAKE LODGE AND RESORT

Named for the bull elk’s call in mating season, Buglers at Elkwater Lake Lodge and Resort serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Splash out with a 10-ounce rib-eye steak of local AAA beef or tuck into the pan-seared pork tenderloin served with apple chutney, scalloped potatoes and seasonal veggies. Breakfast is classic: two eggs as you like ’em, with ham, bacon and sausage, potatoes and toast or pancakes slathered with berries and whipped cream — not to mention generous coffee refills.

If you want a more conventional stay, Elkwater Lake Lodge is the premier destination in the Cypress Hills. Situated near the lake and only five minutes from Hidden Valley Ski Resort, it has 38 rooms (some with fireplaces), three cabins open during the winter (six during the summer) and 12 well-appointed condominium units. The rooms are spotless, spacious and contemporary. Request one with a Jacuzzi tub, or go for a soak in the lodge’s indoor salt-water pool and hot tub — you’ll need it after all those ski runs.

40 Lakeview Dr., Elkwater, Alta., 403-893-3930,

401 4 St., Elkwater, Alta., 403-893-3811,

401 4 St., Elkwater, Alta., 403-893-3811,







Camp Cookhouse photograph by Chris Amat, courtesy of Travel Alberta; Historic Reesor Ranch photograph by Carmen Drapeau Photography

This licensed restaurant, grocery/liquor store and gift shop-cum catering operation is run by Top Chef Canada alumnus Becky Ross and her partner Alexander Bruveris, who purport to be committed to old-school food preparation “even if it kills us.” Ross and Bruveris pickle and can local produce, bake bread and cure meat. The lunch and dinner menus are changed up every two to three weeks, though you can always count on finding some take on comfort food with an imaginative spin (think confit-style chicken leg on a bed of mash along with ratatouille, smoked beets with feta and arugula dressed with vinaigrette). Camp also pours an inspired selection of seasonal craft beer, cider, mead and fruit wine from B.C. and Alberta.



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BY Christina Frangou PHOTOGRAPHY BY Vanessa DeZutter

Jennifer Mehalko

With a background in interior design, this popular local spin and yoga teacher and fitness enthusiast has branched out into clothing design with the activewear label Parts + Labor.


s she walks into the studio to start her class, yoga teacher Jennifer Mehalko pauses to dim the lights. “Tonight,” she says, “things are going to get a little spicy.” It’s an unconventional beginning for a yoga practice but Mehalko’s regular students have learned to expect the unorthodox. A fulltime interior designer and part-time fashion designer, Mehalko also teaches yoga several evenings a week at Inglewood’s Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates, where she’s known for her AvenueCalgary.com






standout fashion sense, her reams of energy and her ability to wrest every bit of effort from her students. This Tuesday evening Mehalko wears a vintage cargo jacket tied around her waist, along with fringed moccasin booties, Lululemon leggings and a crop top. She sports a series of small tattoos along both arms: the coordinates to her grandma’s house, a cartoonish version of the evil eye symbol topped with big flirty lashes and a dainty skull on the inside of one wrist. Raised in southern Alberta, Mehalko, 36, began working as an interior designer in Calgary in her early 20s. During that time, a co-worker convinced her to try a yoga class. Within months, she was a seven-days-a-week practitioner of yoga. She also reconnected with an old boyfriend, Brad Mehalko, a professional hockey player who had returned to Alberta in the off-season. Now married, the pair dated long distance for a year before she moved to Norway to join him. Mehalko found work at a design firm there, but missed her social circle in Calgary, so she sought out yoga studios for community. “I’d have no idea what

they were saying,” she says. “I’d look around and try to do what they were doing.” Over the next years, Brad’s hockey career took the couple to Germany and Finland. Mehalko continued to do contract design work and sought out group fitness classes in each new locale. “No matter where we went, the fitness community was a community I could connect with,” she says. “It was something I knew, a place I was comfortable. Movement is movement, whether it’s in English, or Greek or whatever.” The couple moved to the Los Angeles area in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. At the time, American firms didn’t have enough work for established American designers, much less for a newly arrived Canadian. So Melhalko immersed herself in the fitness community of southern California — a mecca for yoga and spin enthusiasts. She became certified to teach yoga and spin and found teaching a refreshing change from the material world of design. “This wasn’t about stuff,” she says. It was about spending an hour or so with people, just turning on the music and moving.”


The Mehalkos moved to Calgary in 2010 when Brad retired from hockey. Jennifer launched her own interior design company, Found Design Group, and continued to teach yoga and spin. In 2014, the Mehalkos teamed up with two other couples to launch The Sweat Lab, a west Calgary gym offering yoga, spin and barre classes. Mehalko was involved in every aspect — designing the space, developing a small apparel collection with Lululemon and training instructors — but six months in, it was clear the partnership wasn’t working and the Mehalkos sold their portion of the business. A period of unhappiness set in, made worse by a car accident from which Mehalko suffered a concussion, soft-tissue damage in her neck and some nerve damage. She was unable to exercise for several months and stopped teaching classes for a full year. Even when she started exercising again, her heart wasn’t in it. “I would go practice [yoga] or go spin and I’d show up 60 seconds before the class would start and as soon as the class was over, I was gone,” she says. “Nine times out of 10, I’d cry through the class.” After that year without teaching, Mehalko came up with a new idea. Having been taught to sew by her grandmother, she had long dreamed of designing activewear. The name Parts + Labor came to her as she was driving home from having her car repaired. “Those are the two things a person needs to achieve the happy rush that comes from movement,” she says. “Parts are the gear, the clothing; labor [sic] is the sweat they put into it.” The first collection, “Heart Work,” was released in 2017 and features jackets with the same flirty evil eye image tattooed on her arm. For her own workouts, Mehalko sometimes trains with her husband (it’s a source of pride that she can outperform him in abdominal pikes) but group classes remain her go-to for everyday fitness. She’s an early morning workout person, hitting local studios for 6 a.m. classes in yoga, spin or barre and she visits Bridgeland’s Movement U gym once a week for a class called RowBody, a mix of rowing machines, free weights and resistance-band exercises. “When you only have an hour, that hour is pretty sacred,” Mehalko says. “If I go in with the right mindset — that I just need to take something away from it — I always feel better.”

CALGARY Feb. 23 - 24, 2018 Stampede Park BMO Centre Please enjoy your beverages responsibly. Minors are not permitted.




SHEAR LUXURY 1412 – 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0T5 403-455-2010 | shearluxury.ca @ShearLuxury.ca





The Bespoke

Bungalow Creating the perfect home for now and for the future, a couple worked with a team of designers to create one-level living on a corner lot with lots of natural light, privacy and display space for art.


fter Tricia and Mike Flanagan hit retirement and their three kids moved away, they were ready to move on and move out of their 3,800-square-foot, two-storey nest in the ’burbs. But condo-living was not an option. “We have a large family on both sides. We have a lot of sporting equipment. Plus, we don’t want some other group to determine what we can or cannot do with our yard, driveway or home,” says Tricia. Three years of planning and designing later, the couple moved into a low-maintenance bungalow on a xeriscaped corner lot in inner-city Calgary. “Bungalows rock,” says Mike. “We’re not running up and down stairs. I’m getting to be an old guy, but I also need a yard; I need to be able to be outside … I need to be able to putz around. And I don’t like the idea of elevators. I did that all my working life and I’m tired of that.” So they created a 2,100-square-foot, one-storey, one-bedroom home for two — albeit with a fully developed basement with a separate entrance, mudroom and storage, as well as another three bedrooms to accommodate family, guests or a future caregiver. Extra-wide hallways, doorways and doors, as well as walk-in showers that sit flush with the bathroom floor were all designed with the couple’s future accessibility needs in mind. “I think this is the perfect home,” says Tricia, who enlisted a team of talent, including Marvin DeJong, principal of DeJong Design Associates, to make their wish list come true.



Homeowner Tricia Flanagan describes the bungalow she and her husband created with Marvin DeJong as "the perfect home."




DeJong notes that more clients are looking for bungalows these days, particularly mature families. “It’s a bit of a trend,” he says. DeJong emphasizes that finding the perfect lot is the first step to creating a dream home and the Flanagans landed an ideal corner lot in the inner city. Corner lots come with their own set of challenges, however. “When you’re on a corner lot, you can be very vulnerable to the street,” says DeJong. “You don’t want to be on display all the time.” To address this, DeJong incorporated clerestory windows to allow an abundance of natural light without compromising privacy. The strategically sized and placed windows also leave ample wall space to exhibit the Flanagans’ contemporary Canadian art collection, which includes several local artists. The powder room is a work of art in and of itself, designed in collaboration with Tricia’s brother Peter Gorman of Gorman Studios, a renowned decorative arts studio in Vancouver. “It truly is a little jewel box,” says Tricia. 64


Chris Kuzmanovich, a Calgary artist and the interior designer on the home, describes the Flanagans’ new house as a departure in style from their previous residence, which was very traditional. Even so, they were still able to use the living-room furniture from the previous house. Kuzmanovich redressed two custom-built chairs in a smoky, charcoal alligator-textured fabric and had a stout traditional armchair reupholstered in a funky, turquoise zigzag motif. A blue rug ties everything together. “Chris is an amazing designer who is fastidious about designing within budget and with exquisite taste,” Tricia says. “We couldn’t have completed this project successfully without his guidance and talent.” Kuzmanovich notes that Tricia loves the colour blue and he used that as well as shades of grey throughout the home. “You can see little bits of the same colour in different areas and that was done on purpose for one room to relate to the next, but not have it be inyour-face at the same time,” he says. “Nothing too matchy-matchy.”

Clerestory windows provide natural light without sacrificing privacy and leave ample wall space for the homeowners’ art collection.

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT The main bedroom stays true to the home’s overall colour palette of blues and greys.

Homeowner Tricia Flanagan’s brother Peter Gorman of Vancouver-based Gorman Studios collaborated on the artfully designed mainfloor powder room.

A ladder-accessed loft in the main bedroom closet provides extra storage space (or a potential play area for future grandkids).

DeJong emphasizes that when it comes to one-level living it’s essential to separate the public spaces from the private. “It’s automatic when you have a two-storey house — the bedrooms are upstairs and not in public view. But [in a one-level house] you have to protect that. If you’re in the public part of the house, you should never see a bed or a toilet. I think it’s an absolute [design] failure if you’re sitting at a kitchen island and you can see a toilet,” he says. In the Flanagan home, a solid section of wall along the stairs serves as a buffer between the main bedroom and the living-dining room. The front entrance is also partially closed off from the rest of the home. These design principles cater to privacy concerns, but also create an element of visual interest and surprise. “I like to be drawn into houses where you wonder, ‘what’s around the corner?’” says DeJong. “To do that you have to provide something to focus on.”

The bedroom suite is an apt display of this philosophy. To the left of the entry is a spa-like bathroom illuminated by a skylight, with the toilet hidden around a corner from the large soaker tub. Exiting the ensuite through the bedroom closet reveals a silver ladder up to a loft area between the top of the storage features and the 15-foot ceiling. “Overflow sleeping for snoring issues,” laughs Tricia, “or someday if we have grandkids, it’ll be a great little play area.” The home also features a range of outdoor spaces that could provide future play areas — the private stone courtyard just beyond the wall of floor-to-ceiling glass in the bedroom, or the outdoor living room off the kitchen equipped for year-round use with built-in overhead heaters and a tabletop fireplace. “We use the whole house,” says Tricia. “Every room gets used, even with just the two of us. There are no atrophied rooms in this house.” AvenueCalgary.com


DECOR 5 TIPS TO TURN EVERYDAY MATERIALS INTO SOMETHING FRESH AND NEW Even if you’re using ubiquitous building materials, being creative with the way you use them can make your home stand out, says home designer Marvin DeJong. “Your house can come from Home Depot,” he says, “but it doesn’t have to look like it.” 1. Cut up HardiePlank in different configurations to create a unique siding look. “With the Flanagan home, we wanted to use the panels to create something unique, as the house really did not suit typical bevelled siding and stucco didn’t offer the texture we wanted,” DeJong says. 2. Use flush railings on a flight of stairs (just be aware of the strict building codes for height and clearance of railings). 3. Create a walk-in European-style shower room by having the shower basin flush with the rest of the bathroom floor. Keep in mind that this requires the floor below the shower basin to be at least four-inches lower than the adjacent floor. It’s very difficult to achieve if the house is already framed or if the basement floor is already poured, says DeJong, so make sure it’s in the plans from the beginning. 4. Get creative with excess space above shelves or below stairs — depending on the space it can become a loft bed or a hideout/play space for kids. 5. On upper kitchen cabinets increase the wow factor by selecting a wider door and changing the hardware to an upswing mechanism. “I am also a big believer in below-counter drawers,” says DeJong. “There is less bending and things tend not to get lost in the back of a drawer.” 66


ABOVE Building an inner-city bungalow allowed homeowners Tricia and Mike Flanagan to downsize for retirement but not at the expense of having a yard for “putzing around.”

BELOW The homeowners xeriscaped the property (a style of landscaping designed to minimize the use of water, fertilizer and labour) for easy maintenance.

BOTTOM LEFT The home features an outdoor living room with tabletop fireplace and overhead heaters. BOTTOM RIGHT The bedroom opens out to a private courtyard.

THE SOURCE EDITOR’S NOTE PAGE 18 Jorg Heinz 2-way Mystery Sphere with black and white diamond pavé set in 18kt white gold on 18kt white gold black strand necklace, $10,570; 18kt white gold diamond pavé hoop earrings, $7,745; diamond pavé band set in 18kt white gold ring, $10,130; Cartier Tank Américaine, mid-size, mechanical movement with automatic winding watch, $6,450; Demeglio diamond pavé stretch bracelet set in 18kt white gold, $28,585. All from Brinkhaus, 823 6 Ave. S.W., 403-2694800, brinkhaus.com

We Put the Home in Dream Homes

DECOR PAGES 64 TO 68 Home design by Marvin DeJong, DeJong Design Associates Ltd., 1217 10 Ave. S.E., 403-640-9440, dejongdesign.com Interior design by Chris Kuzmanovich (CVK), cvkprojects.ca General contractor Newgrowth Fine Homes, 403-270-0264, newgrowth.ca Living-room furniture customized by Stewart Drummond Studios, 5836 Burbank Rd. S.E., 403-236-9414, stewartdrummondstudios.com Built-in art piece above the fireplace by Gorman Studios (Vancouver), 1-604-251-6000, gormanstudios.com Artwork above living-room console by Chris Kuzmanovich Kitchen cabinetry by Denca Cabinets, 555 60 Ave. S.E., 403-252-5552, denca.ca Kitchen stools from Urban Living, 7012 Fisher Rd. S.E., 403-253-0433, urbanlivingcalgary.com Bowl on kitchen island from Crate and Barrel, Southcentre, 403-278-7020, crateandbarrel.com Light fixture over dining-room table from Vivid Concepts Lighting + Design, 631 Manitou Rd. S.E., 403-233-7738, vividconcepts.ca Dining table and chairs from Crate and Barrel Dining-room sideboard designed by CVK, built by Denca Cabinets Painting above dining-room sideboard by Royal Jarmon (Brooklyn, N.Y.), royaljarmon.com; painting to the left of dining-room window by Donna Rupert; large-scale painting to the right of dining-room window by Shannon Gillette Bedroom suite cabinetry by Denca Cabinets Bedroom closet light fixture from Vivid Concepts Lighting + Design Powder-room glass by Gorman Studios Powder-room sink from Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre, 4120 Blackfoot Tr. S.E., 403-2458637, robinsonlightingandbath.com Powder-room light fixture from Cartwright Lighting, 7301 11 St. S.E., 403-270-8508, cartwrightlighting.ca Outdoor furniture from Crate and Barrel Landscape design by Katherine Kinch, Your Space By Design, 403-971-5363, yourspacebydesign.com


2711 14th st SW I: @THEHEATHERCO







After Hours at Studio Bell “There’s no better way to

experience Studio Bell than with great music and a drink in your hand.” —Heidi Blanchette


Blowers & Grafton “Everything on the menu

is amazing, but I am a creature of habit and always end up ordering the fish and chips or the donair nachos.” —H.B.


Happy Hour at Blanco Cantina

“The most insane happy hour I’ve ever seen! Between the pineapple serrano margarita


Doodle Dogs Bandanas

and their generous nachos,

“My dog Hank rules my life

you leave feeling pretty happy,

when I’m not at the shop and this is where I go to get him a little bandana. The space is so cute and is full of all the best

indeed.” —N.M.


Kyemara “This band is so talented. They sing ev-

goodies for your fur babe.”

erything from Rihanna to The

—Nikki Maas

Beatles and mash it up. Every time I see them, the dancefloor

Heidi Blanchette left) and Nikki Maas (right).


Chai Tea Lattes from Baya

in Bridgeland may be home to some quality Costa Rican cof-

Heidi Blanchette and Nikki Maas

fee, but their chai tea latte is the

Heidi Blanchette and Nikki Maas first connected six years ago while working at the same mortgage company. Three years (and a few margaritas) later, they came up with an idea for a boutique named after their grandmothers. Maas remembers her oma Liz for her joyous laughter that would come pouring out of the kitchen. Blanchette remembers her grandmother Lottie dressed in elegant gowns, moving through every room in style. Opened in the summer of 2016 in the East Village, Liz & Lottie offers a selection of carefully curated gifts, fashion and lifestyle products. Here are some things in the city that the shop owners love.

ski or snowboard, so the tube

6 8 avenueJANUARY.18

is always packed.” —H.B.

Rica Café “This cozy café

reason my husband and I keep going back.” —N.M.


Tubing at WinSport Acura Tube Park “I don’t

park allows me to have fun in


Shellac Manicures and Pedicures at Frilly Lilly

“This shellac is amazing and it

the snow without the risk of

lasts a minimum of three weeks.

tumbling face-first down the

The experience is so great, and

hill.” —N.M.

the owner is so friendly, it just feels like you’re hanging out with one of your friends.” —N.M.

10 5

Carly’s Angels at Lolita’s Lounge “Hands

down, the most entertaining live

Saje Natural Wellness

show in the city. Carly is so tal-

Sleep Well Lavender

ented and offensively hilarious.

Restful Sleep Mist “To help

They sell out weeks in advance,

you relax after a long day, this

but it’s worth planning ahead

is the perfect thing. Because

for.” —H.B.

it’s all-natural, you can just spray it on your pillow or your

Liz & Lottie, 537 Riverfront Ave. S.E.,

pyjamas.” —H.B.

403-263-0800, lizandlottie.ca

Trained Purveyors of Quality Decorative Hardware

1301 10 ave SW, Calgary AB 403.244.0038 www.banburylane.com


Putting Back in Style furnishings Interior Design Lighting Accessories

3701-17th ave. sw - 403.240.0111 | 16061 macleod tr. s - 403.873.8000 | countrylivingfurnishings.com AvenueCalgary.com


XO T RE AT M ENT R O O M Icy weather and overheated indoor spaces are probably not in line with your New Year’s resolution to get your skin concerns under control. Thankfully, XO Treatment Room has the solution. Pop in for the time-conscious XOA treatment ($350), a customized, multicorrectional treatment in which XO owner Annie Graham will assess your skin’s needs and use a combination of lasers, peels and facial treatments to get it back in shape. Need an extra little pick-me-up? Request to have a crystal facial massage added to your XOA for some extra sparkle.


Local Finds must try

1306 1 St. S.W., 403-475-3088, xotreatmentroom.com

SLAB P20 Pendant Craftsmanship meets inspired design with the SLAB P20 Pendant lamp ($460). Designed and manufactured in Canada by Lukas Peet, who was raised in the Banff area, and his company ANDlight, this LED pendant lamp is made of acrylic and covered in industrial-grade wool felt, giving it a fuzzy, textural quality. Available in a range of colours including fern green and marigold yellow, this isn’t your average light fixture. Designed to help absorb excess noise in both residential and commercial spaces, the fixture is a minimalistic 15-millimetres wide, making it unassumingly effective while still making a bold lighting statement in any room. Available at Vivid Concepts Lighting + Design, 631 Manitou Rd. S.E., 403-233-7738, vividconcepts.ca

Playfield Bracelets

TreeEra Patch

Having a social or environmentally conscious angle to your sartorial choices

Remember back in Girl Guides or Boy Scouts when you’d feel that incredible

is something to be proud of these days. Locally designed and manufactured

sense of pride with the addition of a new achievement badge? Think of this

Playfield bracelets ($40 to $50) are made from repurposed wood and natural

as your carbon-footprint badge. Local musician Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

stone beads and 10 per cent of the company’s profits go to charities such

founded TreeEra as a way of bringing people together around an issue he

as Brown Bagging For Calgary’s Kids. The company has also partnered with

cares deeply about. The local venture helps battle climate change by planting

TreeEra (more info on them at right) to produce the Playfield X TreeEra brace-

trees on behalf of its supporters in exchange for a monthly subscription fee

let, which sees three trees planted for each bracelet sold. Slide on one or two

(from $12 per month). If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, you can

(or three) and make a difference in not only your look but your community.

buy the 5-Tree Patch ($15) and TreeEra will plant five trees on your behalf.

Available at Jusu Bar Mount Royal, 816 16 Ave. S.W. and

Available at Liz & Lottie, 537 Riverfront Ave. S.E., 403-263-0800,

Meraki Supply Co., 103, 305 10 St. N.W., playfieldshop.com


7 0 avenueJANUARY.18

Brass Monocle In Every January A Great Sale Begins. *Off selected frames only. See stores for details.

Mount Royal 806 16 Ave SW 403.228.9191


The CORE +15 Level 213-751 3 St SW 403.269.7616



Jan 9, Feb 13, & Mar 13, 5:30pm CityU Canada in Calgary

you’re welcome to be a part of the discussion. At CityU Canada you’ll be a part of a small student cohort taught by local professionals who work in your field. We think of our students as colleagues and our goal is to change lives. Our doors are open. Our mission is make education available to everyone with a desire to learn — and in a way that works for you. Open to your possibilities at CityU.

1040 7th Avenue SW Suite 120, Calgary MASTER OF EDUCATION IN LEADERSHIP:

Face to Face. Alberta-Based Cohorts in Your Community calgary@cityu.edu or 587-880-4145

An affiliate of the National University System. This program is offered with the written approval of the Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education, effective November 2013 for Master of Counselling, and January 2014 for Master of Education Leadership,having undergone a quality assessment process through Campus Alberta, and been found to meet the criteria established by the Minister.



V IN E ARTS W I NE C L U B If a book-of-the-month club seems passé at this point, perhaps a wine-ofthe-month club is worth considering, particularly since there’s a new local entry on the scene. For $140 per month ($150 with delivery) club members receive six bottles, hand-selected by Vine Arts’ owner Jesse Willis, with tasting notes and pairing suggestions for each. They’ll even throw in a bonus bottle if you wrangle a friend to sign up. For more information visit either of the two Vine Arts locations or email info@vinearts.ca.


Thermotex Foot If you’re dealing with muscle pain

or inflammation caused by the cold winter weather, the next step in your foot-care regimen should involve next-level tech. The Thermotex Foot ($149.50) soothes away your toes’ woes with infrared heat technology.

shopping news

101, 932 17 Ave. S.W. and 1310 1 St. S.W. vinearts.ca

The infrared wavelengths work like magic, increasing the blood flow to your feet and temporarily eliminating pain and inflammation. The large slipper-like system fits both feet at the same time and takes 20 minutes for the infrared technology to be therapeutic. Available online, or at the Thermotex Therapy Systems Inc. office, 15, 6115 4 St. S.E., 403-252-5335, thermotex.com

Adorn Infusions Dry Shampoo There is something so freeing about not washing your hair; the time saved,

Evalina Throw Pillows

the electricity saved, the lack of heat and product damage. To keep your

Any home-decor lover worth their salt knows that the simplest (and most

locks looking fresh-as-a-daisy on non-wash days a good dry shampoo is

cost-effective) way to express yourself is to pull colour, texture and pattern

key. Adorn Infusions is a Calgary-based apothecary that has created two

through your home through accessories. Designed and made right here in

dry shampoos ($15 each) — chocolate for dark hair and grapefruit-lime for

Calgary by Evalina Schmidtke, a former couture designer, the Evalina throw

light hair. Made of arrowroot, cornstarch and baking soda, the lightweight

pillows ($130; cushions start at $55 with feather fill) are a bright botanical

powder products allow you to extend your hair-washing cycle without

welcome to any sitting area. Available in a gorgeous array of patterns, the

your hair becoming oily or dried out.

pillows can be purchased off the shelf or, if you’re looking for something more

Available at Outside the Shape, 1222 10 Ave. S.E., and various other local

specific, you can custom order as well.

retailers, adorninfusions.com

Available at Robert Sweep, 808 16 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8525, robertsweep.com

7 2 avenueJANUARY.18

“You have gum disease”

Now what? Get an expert on your team. If you’ve been told you have gum disease and need deep cleaning, laser treatment, surgery or extractions, you may benefit from a visit to a periodontist. Periodontists are specialists in treating gum disease, and they have a full understanding of the foundation structures that support teeth and implants. They also know that straight, white teeth and a nice smile don’t necessarily mean you have a healthy mouth. Gum disease can begin to deteriorate your dental health before there are any visible symptoms. If left untreated, gums may swell and bleed, teeth can loosen or shift, and gum tissue may be lost. These are not normal signs of aging.

Canadian Academy of Periodontology


If these symptoms are ignored or treatment is delayed, gum disease can progress and may result in tooth loss and unsightly aesthetics. Gum disease is the most common inflammatory disease in individuals today. It is also associated with other medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes. When you are advised to get treatment for a gum-disease issue, you need the kind of expertise that a periodontist can provide.

Find a periodontist today by visiting the Alberta Society of Dental Specialists at asds.ca More information: Canadian Academy of Periodontology, cap-acp.ca

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WORK OF ART CURATED BY Katherine Ylitalo

Site 9



TITLE: Site 9, 2017, based

SIZE: 28 feet in diameter.

on the series, Location

LOCATION: 2044 33 Ave.

Photographs for the


Pre-History of MN

NOTES: Commissioned

Hutchinson, 2006-2009

through Paul Kuhn

ARTIST: M.N. Hutchinson

Gallery for the Odeon

MEDIUM: Foil-backed vinyl


of digital print on concrete wall, printed and installed by Anvy Digital.

Photograph by M.N. Hutchinson


giant circular photographic mural by M.N. Hutchinson sits high on the dark wall of the Odeon Building in Marda Loop. You recognize leafy trees, mountains, lichen-covered rocks, a pond and a man in blue jeans dousing his head in a mountain stream. But the details appear more distorted as you look toward the centre. Scan the outer circumference and see how the landscape repeats itself, giving the effect of a reflection. Small differences reveal the two halves actually form a two-part time-lapse sequence. The man disappears in the bottom half. And a furtive dark shape behind the trees at the 10-o’clock spot has vanished from the corresponding four-o’clock spot. M.N. Hutchinson, the photographer and central character, is still perplexed by that mysterious dark presence. He had travelled to investigate his family history in Haukom, Norway, carrying a homemade motorized panorama camera that he fabricated with his father’s help. Holding the remote while he dunked his head, he didn’t notice any creatures nearby. Hutchinson (a.k.a. Hutch) is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced and inventive photographers in Calgary. An active professional photographer since 1981, he taught for 21 years, and continues to work as an artist, employing photography and a bit of performance. His selfportraits are somewhat mysterious, perhaps unlikely, but mostly true. Originally, Hutchinson envisioned this image as an anamorphic photograph on a table that would come into focus in a central upright cylindrical mirror. The French mathematician Jean DuBreuil published the complex distortion formula in 1679 and by Victorian times it was the basis for popular optical toys. When Hutchinson produced the digital image, he realized it was just as interesting on a wall without a mirror. This super-size version, in an outdoor public setting, is the next generation of experimentation.

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