Look out internet, here we come.
We all love the internet. A lot. But the internet in Canada doesn’t really love us back.
ll l e inte et A lot k d ly, n’t
We don’t know about you, but we can’t think of any other industry that’d still be around if half their customers didn’t like ‘em. Really, we asked (you can read all the results on our blog), and 51% of Albertans just wouldn’t recommend their internet service provider to their friends, family or even their enemies.
Okay we didn’t ask about the enemies. But still.
Well, we’re here to change that. Big telco bullshit. Gone. Contracts. Nope. Shifty pricing. If you’re looking for the “cheapest”, you won’t find it here. We’re all about fair, sustainable pricing—good news for the 93% of you that think your monthly bills are too high. (We really did ask.)
blah blah blah think your m gh (W y d )
Featuring beautiful executive homes, breathtaking views, walking and biking paths, and west Calgary’s premier shopping destination Aspen Landing Shopping Centre.
8 Editor’s Note
82 You Are Here
How a new community rink in Parkdale makes ice sports more inclusive, plus three more winter sport organizations championing diversity, equity and inclusion. Soup Sister Sharon Hapton on her latest initiative to share soup with Canadians in need, a Lambrusco with Alberta roots, and Olympian Gilmore Junio’s list of his favourite things in Calgary.
The top restaurants in Calgary serving cuisines from the African continent.
Nothing says après-ski like fondue. We round up the best spots to go for a dip in Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise.
76 Calgary Style
Local designer Haithem Elkadiki models a look from his own closet that shows how to look “hot” when it’s cold.
Designer Amanda Hamilton shows off a living room she loves. Plus, home and condo renovation trends for 2023.
18 Best Wedding Services 2023
The big reveal of the winners and runnersup as chosen by our readers in our annual online ballot, celebrating the best and brightest businesses in the local wedding industry, from cake makers and caterers, to dress shops, decorators, makeup artists and more.
By Karin Olafson
35 The Avenue Wedding Album
Heartwarming stories and photos of Calgary couples who said “I do” in 2022.
By Michaela Ream
on the cover
Sweet emotion: Gorgeous floral designs adorn this stunner of a cake by Bake My Day, winner of the Best Cake/Desserts category in this year’s Best Wedding Services ballot.
Photo by Nadine Mckenney
43 Making a Fresh Start
A collection of personal stories and informational pieces on how to start fresh, start anew and be inspired to make changes in your personal life.
By Derek Clouthier, Jacquie Moore, Karin Olafson and Michaela Ream
As has become tradition here at Avenue, we’re kicking off a new year by celebrating the best and brightest businesses in the local wedding industry. Conceived as a way to lift up a sector that was struggling during the restrictive COVID years, the Best Wedding Services ballot has blossomed into a much-anticipated annual project in which readers nominate and then vote for their favourite artisans, entrepreneurs and creators across a range of categories: everything from cake makers and caterers to photographers, florists, decorators, dress shops, hair stylists, makeup artists and more. This year’s slate features some new talent along with some repeat (and three-peat) winners. Discover who came out on top (along with first and second runners-up) starting on Page 18.
Along with the ballot winners, we have another edition of Real Wedding Stories, with two tales of Calgary couples who overcame adversity on their journeys to be married. One couple’s engagement sustained them through a life-threatening illness, while the other couple’s eventual elopement was the
culmination of a series of events that began with one of them fleeing his home country to escape government-sanctioned violence and discrimination. Two very different couples, two very different weddings, both equally heartwarming.
As the new year embarks, there’s also a natural inclination to take stock, and that stock-taking often leads to a desire to make some changes.
Whether that involves your physical health, mental health, career, relationships, or another area of life, the process is never easy. But sometimes, hearing from others who have gone through major life changes and come out the other side can make it just a bit easier. Our package of stories and informational articles on the topic of making a fresh start might be just the inspiration you’re looking for to move forward.
After all, we’ve made a fairly significant change of our own here at Avenue — this year marks the start of a new publishing schedule, where we will be releasing a new issue every two months.
We’ll continue to put out thoughtful and visually engaging print magazines for you, while also creating informative and dynamic digital content on our website, producing our many regular newsletters and running our signature events, such as the Best Restaurants Tasting Event, which returns in March for the first time since 2020, the Innovation Event, Made In Alberta Awards, Top 40 Under 40 Gala and more.
There’s so much to be excited about on the horizon right now and the best way to be a part of it is to sign up for our new Avenue membership program, which provides access to all these events, along with a variety of other benefits.
Members also get a spot on our brand-new editorial board, which provides the opportunity to give feedback and share insights on the magazine, have your name in the masthead at least once a year, and get invited to exclusive editorial board events. It’s like a backstage pass for all things Avenue; for information on memberships and subscriptions visit AvenueCalgary.com/shop.
We wear our heart on our sleeve when it comes to Calgary, and we can’t think of a better way to grow that love than to have our readers along for the ride.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Winter Tennis, Anyone?
Thanks for the informative article by Jacquie Moore, “The Winter of Our (Dis)content” (Avenue December 2022). The one “winter sport” not mentioned is outdoor tennis, which is possible under certain conditions throughout the winter months in Calgary. Regrettably, the City takes down tennis nets on city courts, but the court where my friends and I have played every month of the year, starting in 2020, is not a City court and the net stays up. Today (Saturday Dec. 3, 2022), the court has been mostly cleared by one of the regulars. I look forward to a sunny, “warm” Sunday of outdoor winter tennis.Mary Valentich
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We acknowledge the traditional territories and the value of the traditional and current oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.
Avenue is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Magazines Canada and the International Regional Magazine Association, and abides by the editorial standards of these organizations.
Avenue has partnered with TreeEra to plant 1,425 trees, replacing all the trees used to print the magazine this year.
The hotly anticipated annual list of the city’s Best Overall and Best New restaurants, selected by our illustrious panel of dining experts.
A look at how we’re creating the Calgary of the future today, with stories about transit, architecture, new communities and more.
Checking in with our city’s reigning poet laureate at the midpoint of his two-year term.
by Feb. 1 to get the Mar-Apr 2023 issue to your door. Three-issue subscription $18, one-year $25. redpoint-media.com
Exceptional Retirement Living in
Calgary’s “Best Neighbourhood for Seniors”
Opening in early Spring 2023, the latest luxury retirement community from Verve Senior Living, located in “Calgary’s Best Neighbourhood for Seniors,” is a state-of-the-art urban gem where active retirees, as well as those with higher care needs, can have it all. Located in the heart of Mission and Cliff Bungalow neighbourhoods, Riverwalk Retirement Residence offers a unique standard of design, energy, and community advantages you won’t find anywhere else, and is generating unprecedented buzz for combining luxury suites and amenities with an exciting and active community and unique neighbouring shops and restaurants.
THE PERFECT LOCATION
Just steps from the Elbow River, pathways, parks and the many trendy shops, restaurants, and essential services of 4th St. S.W., Riverwalk eschews the tradition of retirement communities being located in far-flung suburbs, far away from the things that make life exciting.
“It’s really beneficial for the active senior to be able to just walk out their door, not have to worry about a car, and have easy access to the huge variety of services and retail options that are available in the community,” says JoLynn Whidden, Riverwalk’s General Manager. “Even something as simple as taking a stroll along the beautiful Elbow River pathway is something our residents can easily enjoy on a daily basis, with no need for transportation.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED
While its location is a prime draw for Riverwalk, it’s the breadth of amenities that make it difficult to leave. Multiple dining options, including a cocktail lounge, bistro, formal dining room and a private dining room for family gatherings, are helmed by in-house Red Seal chefs who take great pride in their creations, seasonal menus, and Riverwalk’s ‘Living-Loving-Local’ Farm to Table culinary program.
Luxury amenities include a spa, beauty salon, movie theatre, games room, lounges for relaxing and socializing, a fitness centre providing a variety of activity programs, outdoor amenity spaces, and a Life Enrichment team to work with residents to develop the customized programs that are a cornerstone of Verve’s resident-focused philosophy. Live entertainment, guest speakers, performers and vendors all make regular visits. “I like to equate it to an allinclusive vacation resort,” says Whidden.
Riverwalk’s off-site Presentation Centre and Show Suite is located one block east of the Residence, at 140 - 2424 4th St. S.W.
EXCEPTIONAL VIEWS AND DESIGN
Riverwalk is a new build, utilizing cuttingedge technology and engineering. Being located in one of the trendiest parts of Calgary, the entire property has been designed with an elegant, modern aesthetic, with spaces that are expansive, bright and airy: think luxury boutique hotel and you get the idea! Incredible river, mountain, and city views are all available, and residents may choose from a range of suite sizes and designs – from minimalist to generously sized two-bed and two-bathroom plans.
PERSONALIZED TO YOUR NEEDS
At Riverwalk, every resident receives personalized service and care, whether they are independent or require more advanced assisted or memory care. Importantly, this range of care means residents won’t have to leave Riverwalk if their needs change, and, wherever possible, Riverwalk will work to keep couples together, should their care needs differ.
Learn more at Riverwalkretirement.com or call 403.271.7244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to book a “Discovery Tour.”
A NOTEBOOK OF THE CITY ]
WINTER RECREATION FOR ALL
THE PARKDALE ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY RINK HAS BECOME A MODEL FOR INCLUSIVITY IN CALGARY AND BEYOND
reating communities that are more accessible is not as difficult — or costly — as one might think.
Just ask Parkdale Community Association president Amanda Affonso, a member of the team that oversaw the creation of the community’s fully accessible outdoor rink, the first of its kind in Alberta and only the second in the country. Marking its one-year anniversary on Jan. 29, the rink has set the standard when it comes to designing inclusive facilities that everyone can enjoy.
When discussions about replacing the community’s 30-yearold rink first took place with various stakeholders, the question of whether it would be an accessible facility was raised.
“This simple question led to research and engagement with the Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg, which built Canada’s first accessible outdoor rink,” says Affonso. Next came local discussions with the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association (CSHA), and learning about accessibility from para hockey athletes. “This partnership raised our awareness that community
spaces need to be built for everyone,” Affonso says.
Five years after that question was first posed, the Parkdale Accessible Community Rink opened, following two years of construction. Free to use and open to the public, the rink features barrier-free access from the parking lot, a locker room with gender-neutral washrooms and a warming area for those transferring from a wheelchair or prosthetic to a sled. Users experience a smooth transition to the ice, with no lip to enter the rink, along with wide entrances and clear boards for an unobstructed line of sight across the ice.
“The rink has been an important facility for Calgary Sledge Hockey this past year,” says CSHA president Alan Halbert. “It’s allowed additional opportunities for our players to hone their para ice hockey skills, while expanding their sense of community.”
Since opening, the rink has achieved Gold certification under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program, which Affonso says raises awareness on the importance of building accessible and inclusive spaces in Calgary. Another key learning that Affonso wants to get out there? Making the rink accessible did not mean increasing the project’s budget: “Accessibility does not cost more,” she says. —Derek Clouthier
2Canadian Adaptive Snowsports Calgary (CADS Calgary) provides recreational ski and snowboard instruction to Calgarians with disabilities. Operating out of WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park (since 1974, when the hill was still known as Paskapoo), CADS Calgary offers lessons on Sunday evenings between January and March. Last year, about 100 students passed through the program, powered by 200 snow-loving volunteers. cadscalgary.ca
SKATE GLOBAL FOUNDATION
1Professional skater Elladj Baldé and his wife, choreographer Michelle Dawley, founded the not-for-profit Skate Global Foundation (SGF) to create equity, diversity and inclusion in skating. SGF launched its first initiative last year, partnering with EllisDon to build and upgrade outdoor rinks in underserved communities across Canada, including Calgary’s Temple Community Outdoor Rink. Additionally, SGF teamed up with Jackson Ultima to supply skates for Temple community members to use. skateglobalfoundation.com
OLOUR THE TRAILS
3Since launching in 2020, the Alberta chapter of Colour the Trails has offered winter events like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice climbing and avalanche safety courses. Founded in B.C. in 2017 by Judith Kasiama, Colour the Trails is a collective of BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ adventure enthusiasts that hosts outdoor outings in all seasons, with the aim of making the outdoors more welcoming and inclusive. Watch Colour the Trails’ social media platforms for news on events this winter. colourthetrails.comElizabeth Chorney-Booth
THE SOUP MUST GO ON
QHow has Soup Sisters changed since the pandemic began?
The end result is still soup, but the way we get there has changed so much. Our model for 11 years was partnering with commercial cooking schools to hold events where people came together and created this tangible, heartwarming gift of soup for women and children who were fleeing family violence and domestic abuse. Our events took place in 27 cities; there were 40 or 50 events every month. On March 11, 2020, there was an event at Sunterra in Calgary, and it was the last in the country — that was the day a global pandemic was declared. I’m a pretty obsessive human, so my obsession was, “the soup must go on”; so many people and agencies were relying on us.
QSo, how did you make it happen?
I had a relationship with a commercial producer in Edmonton,
and they had actually made a couple of our recipes before. I called them and they said they could make the soup. But, how do we get it delivered? I went to the website for VersaCold Logistics Services — it’s Canada’s largest refrigerated trucking company — and the president’s email was listed. Within 24 hours, VersaCold said, “We’re in.” And they have, for two-and-a-half years, been delivering our soup, for free, right across the country. That’s a hero story.
QHow has it been going since then?
We’ve delivered over 200,000 lbs of soup to more than 40 agencies. Certified master chef Michael Allemeier helped us with the formulation of all our soups, so they’re lowsodium, filled with fresh ingredients and highly nutritious. The soup is flash-frozen in 4-lb, family-size bags, and it’s ready to heat and serve. Long story short, there’s nothing like this
happening anywhere — it’s really the country’s first soup bank.
QWhat kinds of soup are being produced?
Our chicken noodle is No. 1, it’s so delicious. All of our Indigenous agencies love our hamburger soup. There’s mushroom, bean and barley, which is my recipe via Bonnie Stern — the recipes all come from the Soup Sisters cookbooks. Potato leek, minestrone, we introduced chili… Each month, we produce two 2,500lb kettles of soup; one is vegetarian and one has the protein.
QAre you looking to expand?
Yes, yes, yes. We’re producing a little over 5,000 lbs of soup a month — with funding, with resources, it could be 10 times that. The efficiency of the soup bank is beyond anything I could have imagined.Dominique Lamberton
Cheers to a New-to-Calgary Lambrusco
We’re toasting the new year with a new beverage: Tomato Wheels Lambrusco. Fresh on Calgary liquor store shelves as of the fall, the Italian sparkling red wine is the brainchild of Edmontonbased Indigenous entrepreneur Moirae Choquette. On a trip to Italy in 2015, Choquette discovered the pleasures of a chilled glass of Lambrusco, and, upon returning home, realized it wasn’t widely known here in Alberta. So, in 2021, with the help of Calgary sommelier Brad Royale, Choquette found a fourth-generation vineyard in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, to produce Tomato Wheels, a natural, skin contact, low-ABV Lambrusco that, according to the tasting notes, is “bursting with notes of violet, cold blueberries, lavender and crème fraîche, with cheek gushing acidity and a little rip of tannin.” Maybe next year, Dry January. D.L.
Tomato Wheels is available at liquor stores across the city; find a retailer at tomatowheels.com.SHARON HAPTON
Three-time Olympic speed skater Gilmore Junio made headlines at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics when he gave up his spot in the men’s 1,000-metre event to his teammate, Denny Morrison, who went on to win a silver medal. That display of sportsmanship won Junio a spot in hearts across the country, proving he’s as great a guy as he is an athlete.
Now, Junio is putting both his good nature and competitive prowess on display as a cast member on the new CBC series, Canada’s Ultimate Challenge. Together with five other coaches, Junio will help everyday Canadians achieve realityshow glory. “The show is unique in that it’s made by Canadians for Canadians,” Junio says. “It’s got bits of The Amazing Race combined with The Voice and American Ninja Warrior.”
While Canada’s Ultimate Challenge takes Junio and his team of contestants on adventures throughout Canada, his home is right here in Calgary, where he was born and raised. “Calgary has a small-town vibe with a big-city heart and that big-city ambition,” he says. Here are the spots he frequents, icebased and beyond. —E.C.B.
Canada’s Ultimate Challenge premieres Feb. 16 on CBC and CBC Gem
“I started going to the Olympic Oval when I was 13 — it’s been my home for the past 19 years. I skated the world record and qualified for my first Olympics there — that building gave me the world.”
“At the 2018 Olympics in Korea, the whole Team Canada would go to private karaoke rooms after we were done competing and sing all night. So, it was cool to have a connection to one of these places when I came back to Calgary. Galaxy is run by a family, and they always make sure you have a great night.”
“I love that Monogram was founded by Calgarians, and that its baristas have repeatedly represented Canada at the World Barista Championship. I like to trust the professionals, and, when you’ve got Canadian champions at play, you can develop a lot of trust in that.”
OUTDOOR RINK AT OUR LADY OF PEACE SCHOOL
“This is the rink I grew up at, attached to the school I went to and two blocks away from where I lived. I would literally spend eight hours a day skating around there. My dad was even the Zamboni driver at one point.”
“I love brunch. The omurice (Japanese rice omelette) at Brouhaha really appealed to me; it’s a dish I hadn’t seen in Calgary before. The restaurant is also a bit hidden and I always like to find those holes-in-the-wall.”
ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD
“Pizza is probably my favourite food outside of tacos. I just love the fact that this spot makes really good pizza and I can say, ‘Wow, this is actually pretty good.’ I think that’s hilarious.”
“The Saddledome has a lot attached to it for me, being a legacy building from the 1988 Olympics. It encapsulates Calgary with its saddle shape, and it’s my favourite part of the skyline.”
OEB BREAKFAST CO.
“I’ve been going to OEB since the Edmonton Trail location was the only one. It’s been cool to see how it’s expanded, in Calgary and in different cities. My favourite dish is the confit de canard breakfast poutine; I’m not crushing that every week, but it’s definitely a nice treat.”GILMORE JUNIO
AGING IN PLACE
Garden Loft is a prefabricated age in place backyard suite that enables seniors and their families to live together with a customized blend of independence, togetherness, safety, and support.
With Garden Loft’s family focused aging in place, seniors live with their family as a neighbor rather than a roommate, with their own independent backyard living unit linked by a common deck or garden to the main house. Families decide as a group when they spend time together and apart, how to share the responsibilities of daily life, and where to bring in additional services as needed. This powerful combination of independence, togetherness, safety, and support enables high quality aging in place and benefits all members of the family – old, young, and in-between.
Garden Loft helps seniors avoid a premature move to a care facility while still ensuring the peace of mind that comes from having a safe living environment that supports differing needs and abilities. It enables families to provide the kind of care and support their loved one deserves in a manner that is convenient enough to be managed over the long term and that doesn’t disrupt the lives of the rest of their family.
Book a virtual or in-person tour of our Show Suite
Housebrand, celebrating 25 years of residential design-build in Calgary
Each year for the past three years, avenue readers nominate and vote for their favourite wedding businesses and service providers across a range of categories, everything from apparel and venues to cake makers and caterers. Now, it’s time to celebrate this year’s winners — some old, some new — who create memorable celebrations for their clients, all year long.
BEST BRIDE ATTIRE
or the second year in a row, Avenue readers voted this boutique studio in Airdrie the best place to shop for bride attire. Offering a personalized experience through two-hour appointments, Marisza Cottam, owner of Taffeta & Tulle since 2018, builds relationships with her clients to help them find their dream gown. “We specialize in custom bridal gowns, which is something we have become known for,” says Cottam. “We also have ample recommendations and referrals for our brides for their wedding, which is an added bonus.” Taffeta & Tulle has gowns to fit a variety of budgets and carries dresses by Canadian designers as well as Cottam’s own line, Mish.Elle. 209 Bayside Loop S.W., Airdrie (appointment only) 403-650-0248, taffetaandtulle.com, @taffetaandtullebridal
BEST BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE
For brides who want everyone in their bridal party to also feel their best on the day of the celebration, there’s Park & Fifth. According to studio manager Leanne Glass, the exclusive Park & Fifth dresses — all beautifully designed and produced in Vancouver — come in a variety of fabrics that are comfortable and easy to wear. “We are proud that our collection is wearable and timeless. Our dresses can be worn again and again,” says Glass. If brides want variety in their bridal party gowns, Park & Fifth helps mix and match dresses of different colours, patterns and fabrics. 1317 9 Ave. S.E. (appointment only), 825-540-3044 parkandfifthco.com, @parkandfifthco
Durand Bridal durandbridal.com @durandbridal
Adorn Boutique adornboutique.ca @adorncalgary
Maide wearemaide.com @madethelabel
BODY BY CHAI
Shopping for luxurious lingerie is an inclusive and safe experience at Body By Chai. “Brides come in every shape and every gender identity,” says Chai Swinton, the boutique’s owner and operator. “Everyone deserves to get married.” Swinton says all are welcome to embrace their unique beauty and find modern and polished undergarments for their wedding day and
honeymoon. “I help people find garments that fit well, are beautiful, and that they will want to wear all the time.” She adds that the store hosts groups for bachelorette parties and bridal showers.
7, 718 17 Ave. S.W. (appointment only on weekdays and Sundays; walk-ins accepted on Saturday afternoons), 403-243-7138 bodybychai.com, @bodybychai
Knickers ‘N Lace knickersnlace.net @knickersnlace
Cream Lingerie creambodyandbath.com @creamlingerie
EVSTENROOS evstenroos.com @evstenroos
Joanna Bisley Designs joannabisleydesigns.com @joannabisleydesigns
Adorn Boutique adornboutique.ca @adorncalgary
Best Dry Cleaning/ Preservation
Multiple locations in Calgary and Airdrie stephencleaners.ca, @stephencleanersinc
Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners fishmans.ca @fishmansyyc
Anika’s Alterations 403-483-9933 @anikasalterations
Best Groom and Groomsmen Attire
ATELIER BY ENSEMBLE 403-901-3199, atelierbyensemble.com @atelierbyensemble
Ed Williams Mens Wear ewmw.ca @ewmenswear
Harry Rosen harryrosen.com @harryroseninc
Positioning themselves as Trusted Experts, Willow Park Wines & Spirits quickly gained recognition as Canada’s leading authority on all things wines, beers and spirits related. After purchasing historic barrels from Napa Valley, establishing Canada’s first Bordeaux and Scotch Futures program, and collecting rare and personalized bottles from producers around the world, Willow Park Wines & Spirits has earned international accolades for their contributions to the liquor industry.
Choosing the perfect libation for your collection or a special occasion can be daunting. At Willow Park Wines & Spirits, the Trusted Experts are here to guide you through the selection process and make top recommendations based on your likes and budget. Whether you need help deciding on a wine, beer or spirit, the Trusted Experts hold a wealth of knowledge to help you find exactly what you are looking for. You’ll find them in the store while you are shopping, or you can book a Personal Shopping Experience for a one-on-one session.
EMILIA BEAUTY ART
Emilia Kuczma-Porebska has been styling hair professionally for more than 15 years and opened up her Calgary studio in 2019. Kuczma-Poresbska also travels to venues in and around Calgary, combining her technical prowess with her fashion know-how so everyone’s hair looks beautiful for their wedding celebration. 403-400-4107, emiliabeautyart.com, @emiliabeautyart
Aeko Collective aeko.ca @aekocollective
Amplified Artistry amplifiedartistry.ca @amplifiedartistry
ESMÉ BEAUTY BOUTIQUE
This Ramsay-based beauty boutique is a welcoming and inclusive place for any member of a wedding party to get their nails done. Decorated in neutral tones, Esmé is also a relaxing environmnet to get pampered with a manicure or pedicure before the big day. The boutique uses long-lasting nail products, like the made-in-Canada Akzentz gel line, and makes its own lotions, scrubs and bath bombs for pedicures. 2010 11 St. S.E., 403-475-5355 esmebeautiful.com, @esmebeautiful
Distilled Beauty Bar distilledbeautybar.com @distilled_beautybaryyc
Wholly Soul Beauty 403-620-6223 @whollysoulbeauty
Amrita Mann says her salon’s philosophy is to make everyone feel their most confident. “Glow Beauty services the modern-day bride — someone who wants to look like her very
best self on her big day,” says Mann. “Our makeup style is red carpet-chic, effortless but glamorous, and it looks amazing on camera and in real life.”
Bare Beauty shopbarebeauty.com @barebeauty___
Emilia Beauty Art emiliabeautyart.com @emiliabeautyart
FOOD WORKS CRAFT CATERING
For almost 10 years, Food Works Craft Catering has prepared food made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and offered detail-oriented service. Garret Mitchell, the business’ co-founder and classically trained culinary director, says the menus are internationally inspired and include a range of cuisines. The company works with couples to determine their vision for the reception’s food — that might mean formal, multi-course plated dinners, small plates and canapés, or family-style sharing plates — and then customizes the menu to reflect that.
150, 221 62 Ave. S.E., 403-804-7775 food-works.ca, @foodworksyyc
An Affair To Remember anaffair.com @affairtoremember
Fork + Farm Catered Events forkandfarmcatering.com @forkandfarmyyc
BEST MOBILE BAR SERVICE
THE WILDFLOWER WANDERING BAR
This mobile bar serves up a healthy dose of nostalgia, wanderlust and whimsy. Couples can book “Poppy” — a beautifully restored 1967 Skamper — for their celebration, and choose signature cocktails and mocktails for the reception in addition to the standard bar menu of wines, beers, soft drinks and water. There’s also “Rosie,” a luxe, circus-style cart. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor weddings, this mobile bar serves up frozen beverages like frosés, margaritas and bellinis. 403-200-2502, thewildflower.ca @the.wildflower.bar
The Prosecco Cart proseccocart.ca @theproseccocart
BAKE MY DAY
For Tamara Rutschmann, the best part of creating wedding-day treats is meeting the couples and making something that’s representative of them. Rutschmann says she has created glamorous tiered wedding cakes, as well as cakes that are fun and quirky (think fantasy-themed treats and animal figurines hidden in cakes for pet-lovers). Rutschmann also loves
preparing mini-dessert tables, which can include macarons, tarts and colourful sugar cookies. “I strive to make sure everything is freshly baked and use simple ingredients and madefrom-scratch sauces and pureés,” she says. “I love to play with design, but I let the ingredients stand out first!” 1109 8 St. S.E., 587-998-5177 bakemydaycalgary.com @bakemydayyyc
Black Dog Bakery blackdogbakery.ca, @blackdog_bakery
8Cakes 8cakes.com, @8cakesyyc
Suds & Sodas sudsandsodas.com @sudsandsodas
403-700-1792, TIME W INNER EMIT W RENNI
BEST WEDDING PLANNER
CHAMPAGNE N CAVIAR EVENT DESIGN
Sisters Chloe Bellaart and Cassey Iovan plan thoughtfully curated weddings so the bride and groom can be fully in-the-moment and stress-free on their special day. “We want our clients to be guests at their own wedding,” Bellaart says. Whether couples want a big wedding, an intimate celebration or an elopement, Champagne N Caviar focuses on the small details that make the celebration memorable. cnceventdesign.com, @cnceventdesign
This mini studio-style photo booth from Tkshotz Productions adds an element of both fun and elegance to a wedding reception. The self-automated photo booth — hand-built by Tkshotz’s Todd Kwiczak — uses professional photography equipment to capture timeless black-and-white images. Guests instantly receive the digital version by text or email, and they can also get their four-by-six-inch photo printed on high-quality photo paper right away.
403-700-1792, pureportrait.ca, @pureportraitbooth
The Sugar Cube sugarcubeyyc.com @sugarcubeyyc
Oxeye Floral Co. oxeyefloralco.com @oxeyefloralco
The Chocolate Lab chocolatelab.ca @chocolatelab_ca
LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION!
Imagine today is your big day; it may be your wedding, an important corporate event or a celebration with friends and family. But, instead of being greeted by a simple room with tables, chairs and some décor, guests are transported into a winter wonderland with tranquil snow trickling down the walls or an underwater world where fish swim through rippling waves. It sounds like a dream, but it’s not. This transportive display of lighting is called projection mapping and is what Hi Tech Productions, an entertainment and DJ company, specializes in creating.
business because of the technical side. I wanted to cure my appetite of merging my artistic design capabilities with my technical aptitude,” says Dan McNeil, coowner of Hi Tech Productions. “Now it’s more because it is amazing to see the impact you have on people’s events and lives.”
Since opening in 1992, Hi Tech Productions has focused on two key elements: creating lasting memories and turning regular days into extraordinary experiences. To do just that, McNeil and his team push the boundaries of technology and incorporate event lighting design, such as projections and visual effects that acts as or becomes an integral part of the décor. Additionally, Hi Tech Productions works with clients to find the perfect fit.
“We believe a DJ should be picked specifically for you, particularly for weddings” says McNeil. “For example, if one person is from an Italian background and
the other Latin, your DJ should have experience in those cultural backgrounds and music. If we don’t have the right DJ available, we simply don’t take the booking.” That, McNeil says, has been the key to their success for over 30 years.
For McNeil, lighting is one of the most important aspects of what they do at Hi Tech Productions because of its ability to be fluid, not static.
“When it comes to lighting, many people use it as an accent, like up lighting. Often in one colour only, but it can do so much more. Dynamic lighting can make northern lights appear and change colours, or we can turn a formal lounge into a rustic barn or have moving scenes like fireworks for a first dance, all at the flick of a switch,” explains McNeil. “We transport guests and couples to whole new spaces through the use of
colours and transitions.”
Popular requests in the past have included projection-mapped cakes, which use a white or plain cake to project images, texts or moving pictures. Customized digital textures, sparklers, low-lying fog and holographic DJ systems are also popular requests. Across weddings, corporate events, anniversaries and more, McNeil says his favourite events have been the hours and work donated for events including the Boys and Girls Club and the Airdrie Health Foundation. These events offer the most creative and rewarding freedom in giving back as much as possible. “As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to give back to the community,” says McNeil. “Simply put, we love what we do and take the utmost care in doing it.”
HI TECH PRODUCTIONS 403-827-1405, hitechproductions.ca, @hitechyyc
Split Circuit Sound splitcircuitsound.com @splitcircuitsound
Vegas Entertainment vegasthedj.com @vegasthedj
PAPER + PETALS hollylovespaper.ca, @hollylovespaper
Lovesky Design loveskydesign.ca @loveskydesign
The Social Page Design Studio thesocialpage.ca @thesocialpagedesignstudio
Best Floral Services
FLOWERS BY JANIE 403-700-8299, flowersbyjanie.com, @flowersbyjanie
Small Flower Floral Studio smallflower.ca @smallflowerfloralstudio
Grasslands Flower Co. grasslandsflowerso.com @grasslandsflowerco
Best Decor Rental
CHAIR FLAIR 18, 11651 40 St. S.E., 403-923-8751 chairflair.ca, @chairflair
Modern Rentals modernrentals.ca
Orange Trunk Vintage Styling & Rentals orangetrunk.ca @orangetrunk
BEST BAND/ SOLOIST
Booking Jamie Serafi means getting one musician with the talent of two. Serafi, who has played both piano and tenor saxophone professionally for more than 20 years, is a versatile musician able to perform a variety of musical genres. “Jazz, pop, classical — I can cover all styles,” Serafi says. He adds that this makes a wedding celebration uniquely customizable. “You can have a pianist for the ceremony, a saxophonist for the reception, or a combination of both.”
587-225-0321, coolsaxnkeys.com @coolsaxnkeys
Allison Lynch allisonlynchmusic.com @allisonlynchmusic
Chixdiggit paquinartistsagency. com/roster/artist/ chixdiggit @chixdiggitofficial
Best Dance Lessons
FREE SPIRIT DANCE
112 16 Ave. N.W., 587-288-4056 freespiritdance.ca, @freespiritdnc
Dancesport MD dancesportmd.ca
Arthur Murray Dance Studio arthurmurraycalgary.ca @arthurmurrayyyc
Best Gift Registry
CRATE AND BARREL Southcentre Mall, 403-278-7020 crateandbarrel.ca @crateandbarrel
Hudson’s Bay thebay.com @hudsonsbay
Rubaiyat rubaiyatcalgary.com @rubaiyatgallery
BEST OFFICIANTJUDY WILTSE — VOWS BY JUDY
Judy Wiltse has performed wedding ceremonies for couples in and around Calgary since 2015. A runner-up last year, Wiltse says she brings a calmness to the ceremony and helps couples manage the emotion that accompanies a wedding so they can really enjoy their day. Wiltse also offers vow-writing assistance and will help couples personalize their wedding ceremo nies, which might include adding elements such as a Champagne toast or a meaning ful poem.
Jane Paterson — JP Weddings jpweddingsyyc.com @jpweddingsyyc
Awedding at The Wilder Institute/ Calgary Zoo promises a roaring good time. The zoo is able to host small, intimate ceremonies, as well as large bashes of up to 350 people. Couples can choose between four venues, such as the Eurasian Gateway Tent, which offers a lush, garden backdrop, and the rustic-chic Grazers restaurant. It’s also a venue you can feel good about supporting, as revenue aids the zoo’s animal-conservation and research efforts. 210 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-232-7770 calgaryzoo.com, @thecalgaryzoo
Elevate your wedding with tips from the zoo!
Wedding planning is one of the most exciting chapters in your love story, but it can be overwhelming. The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is Calgary’s most unique venue and has decades of experience planning weddings. Here are 3 tips from our team.
Tip #1. It starts with “I do”. Many couples focus their planning on their reception, but don’t forget about the ceremony. Make it special by adding your personal touches – from the décor to your vows. Our ceremonies are especially zoo-nique – you may have a peacock striding through your ceremony!
Tip #2. Set the stage for an extraordinary event. Choose a venue that reflects your personalities. For example, the zoo has four different wedding venues. Craft an intimate affair under the twinkling lights of Grazers restaurant, deliver a spectacular celebration on the Asia Lawn and Tent and everything in between.
Tip # 3. Our couples tell us that food is one of the most important aspects of their wedding. Have a budget in mind and be prepared with dietary needs and tastes. With one of the largest catering teams in Calgary, we deliver a wide range of menu options to ensure the needs of couples are met.
Your wedding is an opportunity to celebrate your love story with the people who matter most to you. Our event coordinators are ready to help you create your one-of-a-kind wedding experience. Not only will you impress your guests, but also support our critical conservation work.
BEST OUTDOOR VENUEWILLOW HILL LODGE
This 67-acre property, run by husband-and-wife team Cathy and James Lipe, boasts views of the Foothills and the Rockies. Located along the Cowboy Trail, the property has a Wild West town and glamping options that include a covered wagon and a 1940s grain truck. (It’s common for wedding parties to stay a night or two.) The farmhouse tables and benches are handmade from 100-year-old wood by James, who made the wedding arches, too. 554044 159 St. W., Longview, 403-796-5391 willowhilllodge.ca, @willow_hill_lodge
Gathered thegathered.ca @the.gathered
Meadow Muse Pavillion 403-305-7701 meadowmuse.ca
BEST INDOOR VENUE (UNDER 100 GUESTS)
Co-founded by mother-daughter duo Penny Dyte and Bretton Grassie, Venue 308 is in a gorgeous 1910 historic building in Victoria Park. The ambience is best described as modernglam: bright and airy, with brick walls and a 21-foot bar. There are also two getting-ready lounges (one with a pool table), so both members of the couple have their own spaces. “Venue 308 feels welcoming, like home — but with three times the closet space and lots of room for flowers,” says Dyte. 110, 308 11 Ave. S.E., 403-888-4718 venue308.com, @venue308yyc
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant bvrrestaurant.com @bowvalleyrancherestaurant
The Inn on Officers’ Garden theinncalgary.com @theinnyyc
BEST INDOOR VENUE (MORE THAN 100 GUESTS)
HERITAGE PARK AND THE BROWNSTONE (TIE)
These two winners, while very different, are both amazing for a wedding celebration. Heritage Park, the “living history” museum that’s been around for decades, connects guests to the past while providing a sophisticated setting for couples celebrating their future. Vintage venue options include the Canmore Opera House, River Forth Dining Car and the Wainwright Hotel. The Brownstone, on the other hand,
is relatively new, having opened in July 2021. The inner-city venue has an industrial chic ambience and can accommodate a variety of seating options. There’s also a private patio ideal for cocktail hour, a cigar table or a reception photo booth.
1900 Heritage Dr. S.E., 403-268-8500 heritagepark.ca, @heritageparkyyc; 120, 221 10 Ave. S.E., 403-888-4718 thebrownstoneyyc.com @thebrownstoneyyc
Azuridge Estate Hotel azuridgehotel.com @azuridgeweddings
The Lake House lakehousecalgary.com @thelakehouseyyc
REAL WEDDING STORIES
Dean and Ivan
A vacation to Canada’s easternmost point turned into an impromptu elopement.
Dean Paddock, from Calgary, and Ivan Malyshev, from Russia, met in 2015 while vacationing in Tel Aviv, and stayed in touch on social media.
Around that time, government-led initiatives in Russia were targeting and persecuting members of the LGBTQIA2+ community, and Malyshev had begun to fear for his safety in his home country. In May 2016, he moved to Vancouver and obtained the status of a protected person.
“It was a heartbreaking decision for me to leave my home, but leaving was also one of the best decisions of my life as it gave me the opportunity to build my life and be myself,” Malyshev says.
The two remained in contact as Malyshev settled in Canada. Three years later, Paddock invited Malyshev to join him at a concert in Vancouver; Malyshev suggested they meet for dinner the night before. That night, they each knew they’d found “the one.”
Malyshev moved to Calgary and began studying nursing at Mount Royal University. The program required him to write a personal essay, and his was about how in Russia he would never be able to marry safely. Paddock happened to read the essay and, sensing the perfect opportunity, proposed to Malyshev with a note in the track-changes feature of the document. “When he finally read it, our smiles were so big,” Paddock says.
The couple soon realized the challenges of planning a wedding during the pandemic. “We kept seeing friends and loved ones cancelling their plans and adjusting dates and locations, and this tempted us to think about creating something small, flexible and, most importantly, intimate,” Paddock says.
Last August, while on vacation to
Newfoundland’s famous Fogo Island Inn, they decided to elope.
The morning of the wedding on Aug. 24, 2022, Paddock and Malyshev picked wildflowers with a guide who explained the symbolism of each. They gathered fireweed, cloudberry and clover, representing rebirth, optimism and love, and used the flowers to create boutonnières.
“The most heartwarming thing was that many of the flowers of Fogo Island are also present in Russia,” says Malyshev.
They were married later that day on an embankment along the coast.
The Inn arranged for an officiant and photographer, and the witness was a retired schoolteacher from Canmore they had met on the ferry.
After dinner, the couple went for another walk along the ocean, this time as husbands. “It was surreal; I never thought of myself in the role of ‘husband,’ just because it’s simply not possible in Russia,” says Malyshev. “I think it was very ‘us’ to do it the way we did: location, nature, the intimacy of the ceremony — it was all about us and our love for each other.”
Planning by Natasha Irich, Lead, Groups and Special Events, Fogo Island Inn
Flowers and boutonnieres by Lorie Penton, Lead Outdoor Activity Guide, Fogo Island Inn Officiated by Blanche Bennett, Fogo Island Inn
Cake and meals overseen by Timothy Charles, Executive Chef, Fogo Island Inn
Photography by Darren Hatt, Hatt Photography
“LOCATION, NATURE, THE INTIMACY OF THE CEREMONY — IT WAS ALL ABOUT US AND OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER.” –IVAN MALYSHEV
Take the spotlight on your wedding day. Literally.
Have a wedding that’s sure to get a standing ovation. At Arts Commons, that’s our business. Celebrate with us in the heart of downtown Calgary.
Book your wedding at Arts Commons today ! Call us for your customized quote at 403.294.7418 or email us at email@example.com
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REAL WEDDING STORIES
Jessica and Jonathan
After overcoming life-threatening illness, this couple won the luxury wedding of their dreams.
Jessica Pecush (now Ferguson) and Jonathan Ferguson met online and had their first date on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. The conversation flowed, and, by the second date, the pair decided to share their health journeys. Jessica had struggled with ulcerative colitis in her early 20s, which led to her becoming a holistic nutrition practitioner. Jonathan shared his diagnosis of a rare, slow-progressing liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, which has no known cause and would eventually require a liver transplant. For Jonathan, the discussion about his illness had deterred prior relationships from progressing to the next level. But, with Jessica, it brought them closer.
By 2019, Jonathan had entered endstage liver disease and was officially added to the transplant list. Before being hospitalized, on a trip to Tofino, B.C., for Jonathan’s parents’ 50th anniversary, the couple took a walk together, and Jonathan proposed. “Whatever happens, I want you to know that we’re on this journey together, and things are going to get better,” Jonathan recalls saying.
Over the next year, Jonathan’s health continued to decline while he waited for potential donor matches — since a healthy liver regenerates to normal within a few months, a living person can donate a portion of their liver, or an entire liver from a deceased donor can be transplanted. COVID-19 hit, grounding all flights and putting all surgeries on hold, but, in June 2020, with flights and surgeries happening again, Jonathan’s brother, Daniel, was approved as a living donor. A surgery date was set and Daniel ended up donating 67 per cent of his liver to his brother.
In November 2021, family members nominated Jessica and Jonathan for an all-inclusive luxury wedding at Azuridge Estate Hotel, a boutique property in Priddis. They were chosen out of more than 200 applicants.
On Feb. 24, 2022, a snowy day, Jessica and Jonathan were married. Daniel stood by Jonathan’s side as best man on a day filled with laughter, tears, joy, healing and love. The program included
a photo tribute to Jonathan’s mother, who had passed away the previous year from cancer.
“It’s still a dream to us,” says Jonathan. “To experience that with friends and family and remember things that got me through the rough times when I was dying, like thinking about the future with Jessica and what it was going to hold for us; I’ve never cried so much, yet laughed so much.”
Event spaces, accommodations and catering by Azuridge Estate Hotel
Event planning and design by Azuridge Weddings (Michaelle LeManne Lamb and Sarah Ostman)
Decor details by Avenue Accents
Florals by Creative Edge Flowers Cakes by Sweetnd Custom Cakes and Butter Love Sugar
Officiated by Tamara Jones Rings, jewellery and accessories by E.V. Stenroos
Decor rentals by Modern Rentals
Photography by Angie Rodriguez (Juan & Angie) Videography by Gary Lewis (Lewis + Co.)
Makeup by Mariam Akbar Hairstyling by Karie Demers Stationary/signage by Lovesky Design
Alcohol sponsor, Willow Park Wines & Spirits Ceremony and reception DJ services by Pez Productions
Bridal Dress by Blush & Raven Matron of Honour/Emcee dresses by Adorn Boutique Groom’s suit by Ed Williams Mens Wear Groomsmen suits by Derks Custom neon signs by Stef Forward Events
“I’VE NEVER CRIED SO MUCH, YET L AUGHED SO MUCH.” –JONATHAN FERGUSON
KELLY AND LEVI
Date July 29, 2022 | Venue Venue 308
Favourite Memory “Watching a live-streamed speech by Ikem’s parents from Nigeria. They were not able to be at our wedding as a result of visa processing timelines, so it was emotional and special for us to connect with them from all the way across the world!”
Date July 23, 2022 | Venues The Gathering Ranch and Tool Shed Brewery
Favourite Memory “Finally becoming husbands after COVID cancelled our first planned wedding, and how happy all of our family and friends were to be a part of our special day.”
Date July 23, 2022 | Venue Eau Claire Distillery
Favourite Memory “Having a beer with our photographer, Kate, in this beautiful field overlooking the Foothills, when, suddenly, a man pulls up on a quad and yells at us for being on his property, Yellowstone style.”
They Said “I do” i n ’22
JACQUI AND DEVIN
Favourite Memory “Despite it being –22˚C, we were blessed with sunshine.”
Date July 29, 2022 | Venue Deane House
Favourite Memory “Epic dance floor party with lots of acrobatics; fortunately we did not break through the floor or pull the chandelier off the ceiling!”
Date Aug. 6, 2022 | Venue Alloy
Favourite Memory “Being surrounded by close family and friends to celebrate our wedding. And the food, of course!”
Date Sept. 11, 2022 | Venue Alloy
Favourite Memory “The ceremony: walking out into the courtyard and seeing all of our family and friends. You could feel so much love in the air.”
Photographed by Nichola Knox
Date July 2, 2022 | Venues King Eddy Rooftop/The Brownstone
Favourite Memory “Arriving at dinner: It was the culmination of so much planning, and the pinnacle of a truly beautiful day, getting to share a delicious meal with everyone we loved, all there to show their love and support for us on this new chapter.”
Photographed by Rebecca Frank Photography
Date Sept. 10, 2022 | Venue Kelowna Yacht Club
Favourite Memory “Having all of our friends and family gather to celebrate us. We were very aware that it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment to have our people in one room having an amazing time together!”
Photographed by Nicole Delaine, Nicole Delaine Photography
Date Oct. 8, 2022 | Venue Fairmont Palliser
Photographed by RS Wedding Studios
MARTINA AND KALVIN
Date Sept. 10, 2022 | Venue
Favourite Memory “Our grand entrance into the reception as husband and wife. The energy was electric.”
Photographed by Black + White Photo and Film
Combining a trip abroad with the opportunity to seek dental care at a lower cost may seem a reasonable choice. While the savings at first glance may be significant, the true cost of treatment that is completed abroad may only become apparent once you return home. To help ensure your treatment meets your expectations, and that you avoid bringing back any unpleasant “dental souvenirs” visit: albertaperiodontists.ca
START A FRESH
We all become stagnant or face challenges from time to time in our careers or personal lives. To gain some insights, we spoke to inspirational Calgarians who’ve taken leaps and started anew, and sought advice from experts on rekindling relationships, finding success after failure, improving professionally and more. Because, while making a fresh start can be tough, it’s not impossible. And what better time than a new year.
ince arriving in Canada, Boban Stojanovic has made the most of his new life — but the transition hasn’t always been easy.
Stojanovic was born in Serbia and began his career as a radio and TV host in his small hometown of Zajeĉar. From there, he moved to the Serbian capital city of Belgrade, where his passion for activism was sparked. “I met many interesting people, queer activists, feminists and peace activists,” says Stojanovic. “I met many politically angered artists, as well. I learned a lot from all of them.”
An openly gay man, Stojanovic quickly learned that many in his home country did not approve of him. “I was attacked physically so many times, my apartment was shot twice by neo-Nazi groups, I got threats from Serbian government officials and my life became unbearable,” he says.
In 2016, Stojanovic was again attacked and, even though he had recognized his attackers, the local police did nothing, nor did they even seem to want to help him. He knew it was time to leave Serbia.
Stojanovic moved to Canada with his partner, Adam Puškar, in January 2017, submitting an application for asylum, which was accepted that March. The couple relocated for a variety of reasons, one being that Canada is one of the most open coun-
finding freedom in a new land
After experiencing violence and oppression in his former home, Boban Stojanovic is now an inspriation to others seeking a new life.
tries for LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers.
“We were a little bit scared about what it would look like,” Stojanovic says. An acquaintance, who had lived in Calgary for more than 25 years, offered the couple a room. “We said yes, because we have to start a new life, and we can create it anywhere.”
There were, however, challenges from the onset, from improving his
English-language skills to the process of integrating himself into the country. “To feel rooted, you need time. A lot of time. And this feeling will come from the things some people take for granted, like citizenship,” he says. “I am a social person, and I like to meet exciting people like artists, writers and journalists, and, to get there, I had to prove myself.”
Making a fresh start in Canada was made even more difficult with the loss of his parents, who both died shortly after Stojanovic immigrated, his mother to complications with health issues and his father to suicide. “It was hard for me as I could not travel back home due to my complex immigration situation,” he says. “But, I coped independently and learned how I am grateful to have them as my parents.”
A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Calgary quickly became more than just “anywhere” for Stojanovic. Today, he feels very much at home here. Working at Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers — he started there in October 2017 after receiving his work permit in September — as its director of LGBTQ+ and vulnerable populations, Stojanovic provides aid to refugees and other immigrants wanting to come to Canada.
He has received numerous accolades for his activism, including a Trailblazer Award at the 2019 Calgary Stampede, a Newcomer Champion Award in 2022 from the Alberta government and was even the lead in the short film, A Walk Down to Water.
Ultimately, Stojanovic says he has realized that he needs very little to be happy in Canada. “I came here with my partner, our car and two suitcases. I left so many memories back home,” he says. “I know many people think being a refugee is hard. It is, but it is so liberating at the same time.” —D.C.PHOTO BY JARED SYCH
Little Warriors is a national charitable organization focused on the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse.
We also advocate on behalf of and with child sexual abuse survivors.
To learn more about the Be Brave Ranch or free Prevent It! workshop, visit littlewarriors.ca
Little Warriors is a national charitable organization focused on the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse.
We also advocate on behalf of and with child sexual abuse survivors.
A fresh Take on fitness
Looking to kick off (and stick to) a new exercise routine? You’ve come to the right place.
Getting a fresh start with anything can be challenging, but particularly so when it comes to introducing an exercise routine and improved diet into your everyday life. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, boosts mood and energy levels, combats illness, improves sleep quality and sex drive, and can be fun and social. So, how does a person initiate an exercise routine they will not only stick to, but also enjoy doing?
“Simply getting started with that first workout or first exercise is the hardest part,” says James Gaida, owner of Fit Body Boot Camp in Cochrane.
Gaida says one of the reasons why a lot of people abandon a new exercise routine is because they take on way too much from the onset. “To go from no exercise to committing to two hours a day, seven days a week, isn’t very realistic,” he says. “Alternatively, going from no exercise to committing to 30 minutes, three times a week, is more likely to stick.”
Some other roadblocks people face when kicking off a new exercise routine can be dealing with past injury or aches and pains, being uncomfortable or embarrassed about their body, having low energy levels, or the common excuse of just being too busy to fit it in.
“Everyone has a busy life and adding in one more thing to do is overwhelming. This is real and I get it,” says Gaida. “The truth is that intentionally prioritizing my fitness and self-care is the key to allowing me to function at a higher level with all of those other things in life.”
Gaida says working out with a friend, scheduling fitness into your day, exercising first thing in the morning and not expecting perfection are all strategies that can help establish a sustainable exercise routine. “If you miss a day or week, you are not failing,” he says. “Just get back on track the next day and try again. You can only fail if you quit trying.”
“The feeling you will have from being fit will be a constant motivation to keep moving forward.”
THE FOOD FACTOR: WHY EXERCISE AND DIET GO HAND-IN-HAND
Establishing a new exercise routine is a great way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, but it’s only half the battle. The other half is eating well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. says a healthy diet helps you boost immunity, lower the risk of certain illnesses and live longer. Vincci Tsui, a Calgarybased registered dietitian, certified intuitive eating counsellor and author, says it’s important not to focus solely on weight as a motivator for eating a healthy diet. “Weight is not an accurate reflection of a person’s health status, and we have less control over our weight than we think,” she says. Tsui also pushes back against the notion that there are “good” and “bad” foods. “All foods nourish and all foods provide nutrition,” she says. “There’s a lot of messaging out there that any food that’s not an unprocessed, ‘whole’ food, or any eating occasion that is not a planned meal, is ‘bad’ or devoid of nutrition, when, in reality, all foods have nutrients and all foods nourish.” —D.C.
Your Phil this Winter Waldorf is inspired learning
We are a diverse, passionate, engaged community. We fost r int ll ctual fl xibility by int grating imagination, arts, and movement into all academics. Creativity is the currency of the future.
Looking for an exceptional school for your children?
Schedule a visit, attend our Open Hous , and com xp ri nc the full potential of a Waldorf education for your family. PRESCHOOL | KINDERGARTEN | GRADES 1
it’s time we talked
Reconciling a relationship after a rift can feel like an overwhelming, impossible task. But, if you’re ready to give it another chance, here are some ways to begin.
Aheated disagreement between parents and kids over a big life decision, a political conversation among friends that takes an unexpectedly nasty turn, or an explosive argument between siblings where long-buried resentments suddenly surface — these things happen. And, after all that everyone has been through over the past few years, they might feel even more personal. But, while emotional outbursts can cause relationships to fracture and divisions to form, they can be salvaged through respectful conversation.
Here, Joel Zimmerman, a registered psychologist with Calgary Counselling Centre, offers some advice on giving relationships a fresh start.
HOW TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS
If you’ve decided to move on from an irreconcilable relationship, psychologist Joel Zimmerman shares three tips that will help in making new, meaningful connections.
Start with your interests
Shared interests are a good building block for friendship. Rather than seeking people out, do some soulsearching to discover what you’re interested in and seek those interests out.
Asking others open-ended questions — about their values, interests and perspectives — is a great way to learn about people and start laying a foundation for a friendship.
Know that you’re not alone Remember, it’s normal to want friends! Zimmerman says feeling wanted, and feeling like you have a group that you’re part of, is one of the most basic human instincts. —K.O.
QIs distance after a disagreement ever helpful? Taking time apart to cool off, regulate yourself and calm down is a really important part of any repair work. If you’re going to go into a heavy discussion after a disagreement, you have to take control of your emotions. There is a direct relationship between the amount of emotional arousal you have and the ability to think clearly.
QIf someone is ready to reconcile a relationship, what is a good way to start rebuilding? Build a culture of appreciation. So, before you try to make repairs and before you walk into a discussion, consider what you’re missing from the relationship, what you’re excited to get back and why you want to make repairs. Try to pick a time and a place where everyone’s in the best emotional headspace to have a discussion. Then, instead of plunging right into the heavy conversation, work your way into it and be as gentle as you can. It’s our responsibility to separate the emotional components, listen to and provide feedback. And take some responsibility for the part you may have played in the rift, too.
Sometimes, relationships need to be renegotiated. Maybe the relationship expectations fit better for a previous time — how a friendship looked before a move or how a mother-daughter relationship looked before a marriage, for example.
QDo all fractured relationships even deserve a fresh start? We have to be able to decide when it’s healthier to just not be in that relationship anymore and when it’s healthy to try and repair it. That’s really subjective, and it’s not consistent over time. Times change and circumstances change. —K.O.
FIND PRESTIGE AND COMMUNITY AT RANCHMEN’S CLUB
Ranchmen’s Club is moving towards a modernized future while maintaining its historical roots and lasting values as a community-focused group.
Long before Calgary was incorporated as a city, the Ranchmen's Club was an important part of the community. As Calgary's oldest and most prestigious social club, Ranchmen's has been home to countless familial, cultural and historical events since opening in 1891, including a visit from Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1919. Over the years, Ranchmen’s Club has continued to spread its historical roots throughout Calgary and become an integral part of Calgary’s business community, as well as the arts, culture and dining scene.
“The Club is more than just a business club,” says Will Trow, general manager of Ranchmen’s Club. “It is an outlet for many aspects of our members’ lives — whether it be social events and dining, access to arts and culture or immersing themselves into Calgary’s rich history. We strive to create exceptional, unique experiences for our members and their guests.”
While the Club is Alberta’s first and only platinum-ranked private club — ranked by the Club Leaders Forum — its members have always seen it as a second home. And, as Calgary and the Club move into a modern new
era and under new leadership with Trow, he is focused on investing in the Club’s future. “We are working towards bringing a new, modern energy into the Club, while still staying true to our history and values of the Ranchmen’s Club.”
Part of the growing vision of Ranchmen’s Club is building stronger partnerships and diverse connections with other organizations across Calgary to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience. Outside the Club, members have access to the ballet, Calgary FC, Stampede, Bow Valley Athletic Club, local performances and much more. Within the Club, members can participate in Mah Jongg lessons, join the community volunteer corps or attend events ranging from the annual lobster night, black tie galas, wine dinners and Mother’s Day brunch for the whole family.
“We aim to be a hub for cultivating innovation and leadership in the realm
of business and our community. We pride ourselves on being a place of connection,” says Trow, adding that one of the goals of modernizing the Ranchmen’s Club is to build a diverse group of young community leaders as a reflection of the Club’s future direction. And, the advantages aren’t just within Calgary, as Ranchmen’s Club also shares familial relations across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. If members venture abroad or across the country, whether on business or to scratch a post-pandemic travel itch, Ranchmen’s Club will send a letter of introduction to a reciprocal club. Upon arrival, members are treated as they would in Calgary, ensuring they feel welcomed even when far from home.
Ranchmen's is also elevating its dining experience, with Douglas King taking over the helm as head chef. King relies on high-quality and locally sourced ingredients, and brings past expertise from kitchens such as Lumiere, Hawksworth and Kissa Tanto in Vancouver. Trow says King shows how even a 131-year-old club like Ranchmen’s can be innovative and have a dining experience like no other. So, whether you visit the Club to dine, gather with old friends or connect with new ones, or to join a community engrained in Calgary’s history, Ranchmen’s Club doors are always open.
in 2019, I was working as a freelance ghostwriter and living in Hawaii. I was making the most of all the adventures life threw my way, and didn’t think twice about the fatigue, long-lasting cough or feverishness I was experiencing. After a friend noticed a lump on my neck, I visited a doctor. An X-ray revealed a big mass in my chest. I packed up my life and flew back to Canada. I was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma on June 27, 2019. I was 25 years old.
Life with cancer didn’t feel like my new normal, but I wasn’t in denial. I was very much aware that cancer was my reality, but I had been feeling exhausted for so long that getting a diagnosis and treatment plan almost felt like a relief. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is known for being treatable and curable, and I had a lot of encouraging responses from my doctors. I clung to the positives, without really mentally processing the diagnosis — I focused on the firm end-date of treatment, had faith in being cured quickly and saw this as a passing season, almost like being in university again and having to power through a hard semester.
I had chemotherapy and surgery, but I didn’t really alter my life. I took on a new work project, travelled and took pride in going for jogs the day after chemo. Mentally, I approached ending treatment as getting my life back. In December 2019, we held a big party after my last chemo session. I felt like this tough season was over and I could put it behind me.
In spring 2020, when I felt the lump in my neck, my heart sank. I was
Moving Through Tough Life Changes
3 USEFUL RESOURCES
Alberta Healthy Living Program
Workshops, classes and programs about specific chronic health conditions, like living with long COVID or Parkinson’s disease offered via Zoom, phone or recorded video.
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This charity offers free educational and self-care programs, as well as practical services, to any Albertan living with cancer or caring for someone living with cancer. 1404 Home Rd. N.W., 587-747-0260 wellspringalberta.caAMY REDING
diagnosed with cancer for the second time on June 26, 2020. After my first diagnosis, I went out of my way to not identify as a sick patient. But, after my second diagnosis, I reassessed and made the mental decision to let myself rest. I decided my entire focus would be on treatment — the chemotherapy was more intense this time and I had an autologous stem cell transplant. I made the choice to slow
down, to take a leave from work and I started creating cancer-inspired artwork. In a weird way, cancer gave me this freedom to let myself be sick, and opportunities have come into my life from that accepting mindset. I wasn’t ashamed of where I was at in life.
In October 2020, I received the news I was cancer-free for the second time. But, after opting for a precautionary scan, I got another call in
January 2022 and learned, for the third time, I had cancer.
This whole journey hasn’t played out the way I thought it would. Even though I can process it all better than I could in the past, there are still really hard days. A fresh start doesn’t just happen on New Year’s Eve for me anymore; I’m constantly pivoting and reassessing what I can do and what I value. —As told to Karin Olafson
“even though I can process it better than i could in the past, there are still really hard days.”
Life with cancer means constant restarts and shifts. Amy Reding adopted a mindset of adaptability to handle the challenges of living with the disease.PHOTO BY MECOH BAIN
Coming from a long line of nurses, it was a natural fit for Annabelle Mastalic to pursue a career in nursing. Helping people get to a place of wellness and improve their quality of life also factored into Mastalic becoming a nurse.
For 17 years, Mastalic enjoyed a fulfilling career in oncology, specializing in the operating room and eventually conducting research with a neurosurgeon. Even so, after nearly two decades, Mastalic found herself wanting a change. “Seventeen years is a long time to be in a profession,” she says. “I tried to do a variety of things in my nursing career, but I felt stagnant in what I was doing and was looking for growth in another area.”
Alongside her love for nursing, Mastalic had a longtime passion for interior design — further sparked after she and her husband renovated their house, and then later built and designed a custom home. So, Mastalic decided to pursue a certificate in interior decorating at Mount Royal University, then went on to obtain credentials to be a certified aging-inplace specialist.
A core value in her new career is something Mastalic maintains from her nursing years. She realized there was an opportunity to improve people’s health through design by using a “health-care lens.” This may involve utilizing colours to create a calming environment or incorporating agingin-place features, such as barrier-free
fLipping the Script
showers or more open spaces.
Mastalic also helps design welcoming, multifunctional spaces so homeowners can adapt areas for work, family life and exercise to support their mental and physical well-being and foster social connections.
Since launching her new business nearly four years ago, Mastalic has worked on projects that are impactful to people’s health and describes her work as “well-being through design and minimalism.”
Mastalic continues to draw on her skills as a nurse in her new career. “There’s so much to learn in this industry and so many different directions I can take it. But there’s room to move,” she says. “I think anybody looking to make a career change has to look at it from that lens of, ‘Is there room to grow?’ Because, if there is room, you can do a lot of things within that career, and it’s something that will be sustainable.”
“It’s also really worth taking the time to look at your ‘why,’ like, ‘Why do you want to make the transition and what is your intention with it?’” Once you have the why, Mastalic says, it’s easier to research a new path, see what skills are transferable and set up a timeframe to keep yourself accountable to taking that next step.
“It’s a big change, [and] it’s definitely not a snap decision to make,” says Mastalic. “So be really committed to what your end goal is going to be.”
M.R.PHOTO BY JARED SYCH
After 17 years working as a nurse, Annabelle Mastalic felt the time was right for a radical career change.
The decision to make a career change is never an easy one. Leaving a position can feel risky, but, while change is necessary at times, it doesn’t have to be scary.
“We’re all the CEO of our own brand and our own career,” says Dr. Laura Hambley Lovett, an organizational psychologist with Calgary Career Counselling.
Hambley Lovett suggests three areas to consider for a smooth transition in your professional life. “Know yourself; what’s important to you, your value, interests and transferable skills,” she says. “Equip yourself with the knowledge of what’s out there, including networking, and then put together an action plan for how you are going to get there.”
Don’t get a degree first and then figure out what’s next, Hambley Lovett stresses. Instead, “figure out
what’s next first and then educate yourself on ... the best way to get to a certain career outcome.” Start with what transferable skills can be used to pivot into a new career or position. Next, talk to people who are doing the things you want to be doing, which Hambley Lovett calls “information interviewing,” to get first-hand knowledge of a potential new career path.
ASKING FOR A RAISE
“If you don’t ask, the answer is no,” says Hambley Lovett. “There’s no harm in asking, but it’s also how you ask. You need to go into the conversation with a mindset of confidence.” Gaining confidence starts with equipping yourself with knowledge about what the salary ranges are in your field and what range is normal for your current skill levels. If you want to learn learn more about current salary ranges, start by visiting payscale.com.
THE B-WORD: TIPS FOR AVOIDING BURNOUT
“It’s a slippery slope when people go through stress into burnout,” says Dr. Susan MacDonald, a registered psychologist with 20 years of experience offering career and personal counselling services.
“Our brain becomes really stressed then produces way too much adrenaline and cortisol, and too much of that creates an inflammatory reaction in both our body and our brain and will eventually lead to chronic diseases and ailments.”
Work-life balance, says MacDonald, is not just talking the talk, it’s walking the talk. “We’re not machines; we need to have a healthy balance,” she says. “Getting enough sleep, eating healthy diets and exercising regularly all contribute to our mental and physical well-being. Clear signs of burnout are feeling a lack of energy, motivation, feeling disengagement, rushed or pressured. That’s where career counselling is amazing in terms of helping people understand why the work they’re doing is not a fit and also what would be a better fit and how to get there.” —M.R.
“I don’t like the term work-life balance; I think it sets people up for failure. I like the term work-life wellness,” says Hambley Lovett. “It’s about what you need to be well in your work and be supported, and doing well in your life physically, mentally and emotionally.” The key thing to remember, she adds, is that nobody can set your boundaries except you. “Anyone can knock on your door at any hour of the day, but it’s up to you to open the door, and you don’t have to.” —M.R.
From setting boundaries to looking after your mental health, here’s how to re-evaluate your professional life this year.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you fail, the more you’ll learn about what it takes to succeed.
Last summer, the Museum of Failure opened at Southcentre Mall. At this touring exhibit, visitors were invited to explore the biggest product flops from around the world. Relics of corporate mega-disappointment included Coca Cola’s coffee-flavoured Blāk soda; Colgate-brand frozen meals; Google Glass; and a Bic for Her ballpoint pen. The collection proved nobody wants beef lasagna
from a toothpaste manufacturer and that failure is a positively instructive pit stop on the road to success.
Dr. Steven Bryant is a professor in the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary and is the school’s first Canada Excellence Research Chair in material engineering for unconventional oil reservoirs. In short, he’s world-famous in his field and, by all accounts, exceedingly excellent at what he does.
Still, Bryant had his share of epic fails, like a start-up he co-founded that went pear-shaped
when members of the team came into heated disagreement about its direction. “The failure was that the conflict got in the way of deciding whether or not it was time to pivot,” he says. “If the approach on how to pitch this pivot had been more solid, we wouldn’t have come to a point where an argument arose about the best way to proceed. The solution we picked was to hand over the reins, give some advice and wish them luck.”
Unafraid to use the word “failure,” Bryant believes people should generally speak more freely about their mistakes. “We don’t talk about failure
at award ceremonies or in school, but we should, because not everyone succeeds the first time out of the gate,” he says. “Your first idea may seem golden, but it might be terrible, and we have to be open to letting ideas go.”
In his role as chief scientist and mentor with Creative Destruction Lab-Rockies — a non-profit that provides objective-based programming for seed-stage science and tech companies — Bryant says: “We mentor folks to realize it’s okay to walk away. Failure is only a bad thing when you learn nothing from it.”
In the end, Bryant uses a sports metaphor as an example of how to recognize and learn from failure.
“Think of the Oakland A’s,” he says, referring to how the team’s 2002 “Moneyball” strategy changed the game of baseball by having the team loosen its grip on the home run in favour of playing a smarter game. “A home run is great. If you just get on base, you ‘failed’ to hit a homerun,” he says. “But, sometimes, a series of base-hit successes can get you to your goal just as well as the home run.” —J.M.
SAYING SORRY, THE RIGHT WAY
We all know an insincere apology when we hear one. While a misstep like this can perpetuate an argument or cold shoulder in someone’s personal life, such insincerity in the public sphere can take a billion-dollar corporation out at the knees. A genuine apology, on the other hand, can not only mitigate reputational damage, but actually strengthen a brand.
Alex Kingcott is the president and founder of Shareworthy PR and Communications (and a member of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022), who helps companies put out fires and put things right. Kingcott says the key to a successful rebrand is to already have a plan in place.BY KELLY HOFER
“When it comes to corporate reputation-repair, everything from PR to legal to HR and investor relations has to be considered,” she says. “Companies need to have a process and a response team ready in case a mistake is made.” She points to YouTube’s The Try Guys’ response to their recent kerfuffle — an unseemly workplace affair — as a watermark of authenticity resulting in widespread empathy and an increased fan base. “They were fast, they were transparent and they showed humility,” she says. “Their videotaped apology reminded their longtime fans why they trusted them and endeared them to new audiences.”
“Rather than take three days to workshop a perfectly crafted apology, see your mistake as an immediate opportunity to show who you really are, even if it means asking for a minute to assess the damage.” —J.M.
“see your mistake as an immediate opportunity to show who you really are.”
ALEX KINGCOTT, SHAREWORTHY PR
or so many Calgarians, African restaurants in this city stir up memories of home, serving as portals to the bustling streets of Addis Ababa or Lagos. These portals weren’t always so easily accessible. And, even though the number of African dining options has increased in Calgary over the past three decades, they are still spread somewhat thinly throughout the city. The majority of the African food served here is from Ethiopia, Eritrea or Nigeria, limiting Calgarians to a small sampling of Africa’s vast spread of culinary delights.
Some African restaurants in Calgary have thrived for decades, while others have struggled to stay afloat. Many find spaces in the northeast communi ties where rent is more affordable, while those in Calgary’s inner-city dining districts often end up paying a premium to attract new customers who are largely unfamiliar with their distinctive cuisines.
Over time, Calgary’s growing African population has helped bridge this gap. Africans from around the world are migrating to the Prairies faster than any other region in Canada — according to Statistics Canada, the African population in Alberta has quintupled since 1996. This influx of newcomers has enabled more African restaurants to flourish.
The dominance of Ethiopian-Eritrean restaurants in Calgary’s African food scene reflects the strong local communities. Many Ethiopian and Eritrean Calgarians came here in the early 1980s, fleeing the war in their homelands and seeking a fresh start. The cuisine caters to a variety of dietary preferences — the fussiest of vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters will all find something to enjoy on an Ethiopian-Eritrean restaurant menu. Communal eating has been at the heart of this cuisine for centuries: Individual plates, knives and forks are not part of the experience; instead, veggie and meat stews come to the table draped with house-made injera (flatbread). Everyone at the table rolls up their sleeves, tears off pieces of injera, and uses it to scoop the tasty offerings into their mouths.
For those who move to Calgary from equatorial Africa, restaurants serving a familiar taste of home are also a welcome retreat from the cold. The magic of the experience starts with a warm greeting from someone who speaks your native tongue and the enticing smells emanating from the kitchen.
Since Calgary’s African community is so tight knit, the chances of walking into an ex, old Sunday school teacher or cousin are high. You’ll lose control of your hips as you sway to the sounds of the Afrobeats filling the room. You’re bound to overhear a gathering of African uncles sparring over the state of politics back home; during these intense deliberations, the uncle with the most commanding voice (or the biggest beer belly) will usually assume victory. In the opposite direction, the aunties will have gathered to promote their unmarried nephews studying either law, medicine or engineering (any
other career track is not worth mentioning).
Dinner at an African establishment always involves laughter. There is something rather contagious about African laughter: it engages the full force of your stomach, spine and neck while displaying all 32 of your teeth. The sound of this laughter engulfs an entire restaurant, with everyone joining in and creating a vibrant energy.
A visit to any one of the African dining establishments that follow is guaranteed to make your next culinary adventure an unforgettable one, no matter where you come from.
YENNY DELIGHTS’ CHEF TOYIN ADEPOJU AND HER SON, DAYO (PLUS, BEEF AND CHICKEN PIES, PUFF PUFFS, JAMAICAN RICE AND PEAS, JOLLOF RICE AND MORE).
meal at Abyssinia is a culinary experience that will leave you wanting more. Owner Ewinet Wenendimaguhu’s restaurant has become the premier choice for Ethiopian-Eritrean cuisine in the Beltline area. Most of the furniture, art and even glassware is imported directly from Ethiopia. The dining area features circular tables optimally designed for communal dining. Ewinet t’ibs (the name indicates the dish comes highly recommended by the owner) is a fan favourite. Served over kale, this dish features caramelized flank steak, serrano peppers, tomatoes and onions. Another favourite is lamb cha cha t’ibs, a crispy fried lamb dish with caramelized onions. Diners can finish with a riveting Ethiopian-Eritrean coffee ceremony served at their table — it’s widely believed that coffee originated in the region that is now Ethiopia-Eritrea, and the coffee ceremony celebrates this important culinary legacy. 910 12 Ave. S.W., 403-452-3498
The Nigerian dishes at Flavours Restaurant are bound to satiate even the mightiest cravings. Every meal is prepared from scratch from start to finish. No matter what you order, begin with the goat’s meat pepper soup, which will warm your chilled bones during Calgary’s winter months.
Jollof rice with stewed chicken is another popular menu item. The aromatic, tomato-based dish, a staple at Nigerian weddings and other events, serves as the base for Flavours’ tasty meat and vegetable stews. A bite of juicy chicken and jollof rice, combined with fried plantains, creates a sweet, spicy and savoury experience. Finish with puff puff — or, what owner Adebola Esan calls “African Timbits” — a sweet pastry deep-fried until golden brown.
4129 4 St. N.W, 403-719-2770
he inner-city community of Sunalta is where you’ll find Luubaan, a smallbut-mighty establishment that has been serving delectable Somali dishes for more than 14 years. A whole community has blossomed around this restaurant, which evokes the feeling of a mother’s kitchen. Grab a seat near the gorgeous mural of an African sunset and enjoy warm goat broth — a complimentary treat with eat-in orders. A unique liquid spice blend is on hand for those who want their soup to have an extra kick of heat. You can’t go wrong with Luubaan’s fried rice (a dish with African, Indian and Italian influences) and stewed goat, simmered for hours in traditional Somali spices. Authentic Somali flavours are not easy to find in this city, and Luubaan offers them in abundance.
1506 12 Ave. S.W. 403-452-2452
You may forget you’re in Calgary when walking into Safari Grill. Throughout the room, there is a strong sense of Tanzanian culture: The space is adorned with a captivating array of African tapestries, paintings and sculptures, while the barbecued meats are prepared with a delicious Tanzanian spice blend. The chicken, beef, short rib and shrimp offerings are all sensational. These meats taste even better when paired with Safari’s pili pili chips — fried potatoes or cassava seasoned in a spicy African pili-pili sauce made with lemon and peppers. After 18 years in business in Calgary, owner Ali Moledina knows many of his customers personally, and his welcoming energy attracts diners from across the province.
100, 255 28 St. S.E. 403-235-6655 safarigrillcalgary.com @safarigrill
his East African eatery, with locations in the Beltline and on International Avenue, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu includes Ethiopian stews and spaghetti dishes, Kenyan ugali beef dishes and even Somali-style breakfast options like foule, a spiced pureed-bean dish. The real draw here is the freshly blended juice: No meal at TG is complete without the legendary house-made mango juice. This refreshing concoction also comes in a mango, pineapple and avocado blend. For dinner, try the gomen (steamed kale) paired with derek tibs (fried beef cubes).
1330 15 Ave. S.W.; and 3513 17 Ave. S.E. tg-juice-bar.com
Afro-Caribbean food is the name of the game at this popular eatery, where head chef Toyin Adepoju strategically pairs Nigerian and Caribbean cuisines. Printed in big letters on a bright orange backdrop, a sign reads: “This kitchen is seasoned with love.” The sentiment cannot be denied, especially by the enthusiastic regulars who crave dishes like the authentic Jamaican oxtail paired with Nigerian jollof rice and plantains. Chef
Adepoju’s freshly made meat pies are another popular item found in both Jamaican and Nigerian cuisines. The light and flaky crust conceals a savoury chicken or beef filling that goes especially well with some fragrant coconut rice and Yenny’s fall-off-thebone curried goat.
3131 27 St. N.E., 403-880-5731 yennydelights.com @yennydelights1
This story was an editorial collaboration with Afros In Tha City (AITC), a media organization focused on telling Black stories. AITC Editor-in-Chief Tomi Ajele provided editorial consultation and the story was fact-checked by AITC contributor Ado Nkemka.
The trailblazing, feminist lawyer who has devoted her career to tirelessly advocating for women and minority rights, including the historic Roe v. Wade decision.
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From educational approaches tailored to individual learning needs, an array of academic and co-curricular experiences to opportunities to travel and study abroad, discover more about how attending an independent school can give your child an edge personally and professionally no matter where life takes them. >>>
LYCÉE INTERNATIONAL DE CALGARY
From a diverse school community that welcomes local and international students alike to a unique French education program, Lycée international de Calgary provides students with the knowledge, tools and resources to thrive in all walks of life.
“Our school is a beautiful community with families coming from countries all over the world,” says Emily Christmas, communications specialist and community events coordinator. “These international students contribute to the multiculturalism of our community.”
Nestled in the quiet, residential neighbourhood of Altadore, Lycée Calgary spans from preschool to Grade 12 with a student body of 452 students. As a result, class sizes stay small, with approximately 16 students, allowing for more teacher-student interactions. The smaller student body also helps foster a strong sense of community, which is a core aspect of the school since it was established in 1966. Today, Lycée Calgary is home to students from 34 nationalities and all linguistic backgrounds.
Lycée Calgary is also the only school in Calgary that teaches the French Ministry of Education and Alberta Education curricula. The French curriculum is taught by native French teachers certified in France, meaning students learn from a blend of traditional and progressive teaching styles. Additionally, students from Grade 6 onwards learn Spanish as
part of the French curriculum. Come graduation, students earn two diplomas — an Alberta high school diploma and a French baccalaureate — are fully trilingual and equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in their post-secondary studies and professional lives.
There is also ample learning opportunity for students beyond the familiar setting of their classrooms and city. Lycée Calgary is part of a much larger network made up of more than 500 schools that also teach the French curriculum across 150 countries. Known as “lycées,” the prestigious Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) network gives students the opportunity to spend a term or a year overseas in another AEFE school, starting in Grade 9. These experiences further help influence the career path, worldview and selfconfidence of each Lycée Calgary student.
For new students enrolling in Grade 1 or 2 who have little or no prior exposure to French, Lycée Calgary provides a
unique accelerated French immersion program. French Language Intensive Program (FLIP) offers individualized learning plans and significant oneon-one time with a dedicated teacher in a small class setting. FLIP ensures students can seamlessly transition into the regular bilingual academic stream by the end of the school year. As for parents who don’t speak French, Christmas says Lycée Calgary uses modern technology and teaching tools to ensure parents can easily communicate back and forth with their child’s teacher and help them with their homework.
GRADE LEVELS: PRESCHOOL (3YO) TO GRADE 12
STUDENT BODY POPULATION: 452
SPORTS TEAMS: 5
AVERAGE CLASS SIZE: APPROX. 16
AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE: 100%
Outside of class time, Lycée Calgary also provides a robust extra-curricular program for students from three years old through to Grade 12. Students can participate in basketball, fencing, volleyball, track and field, dance, yoga, rock climbing and more. Beforeand after-school care is also available for busy families, ensuring community support is always present.
Full-Day French Preschool to Grade 12. Individual attention with small class sizes. Bilingual learning and study abroad opportunities.
The future is bright for students at West Island College (WIC).
The university preparatory school offers small class sizes, English and continuing French immersion and rigorous academic programming. But, learning beyond the classroom is also integral to student success at WIC.
To support this, the school secured 30,000 square feet of additional space in 2021, which is dedicated to student and staff wellness.
“At WIC, we focus on academic wellness, but also on emotional and social well-being,” says Erlynn Gococo, director of admissions at WIC. The new space — named the Wolves Den — is used for wellness-focused extracurricular
clubs and activities, like spin classes, and as an additional learning space for Sports Medicine and Sports Performance classes. There is also a yoga, meditation and prayer space on the upper level of the Wolves Den.
“ These additions allow us to provide a more balanced programming experience by giving students other opportunities to explore their potential,” says Gococo, adding that WIC also acquired a 40-foot by 65-foot greenhouse, and gardening will be a new course option for students.
“In addition to following the Alberta Education curriculum, we implement experiential learning opportunities. The Institute Program is really what makes us unique — it is providing those learning opportunities outside of the classroom to help students explore potential career
paths,” says Gococo, explaining the new greenhouse contributes to WIC’s hands-on learning experience.
At WIC, building for the future is possible because the school community comes together to support new projects. With inspired and dedicated collaboration, opportunities are endless.
Since opening its doors in 1981 with 44 students and a handful of staff, Calgary Academy (CA) has prioritized nurturing its now 680 students throughout Kindergarten to Grade 12 with a focus on personalized learning.
“When students feel good about themselves as learners, they’re more apt to engage with their learning and open doors they might
GRADE LEVELS: GRADES 4-GRADE 12 (COLLEGIATE); GRADES 2-12 (ACADEMY); GRADES 9-12 (BLENDED+)
STUDENT BODY POPULATION: 680 CLUBS: 30
SPORTS TEAMS: 14 DIFFERENT SPORTS AVERAGE CLASS SIZE: 12-20 (COLLEGIATE); 8-10 (ACADEMY), 15-20 (BLENDED+)
AVERAGE UNIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE RATE: WITHIN ONE YEAR OF GRADUATING, 85-90% OF STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED TO A POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION.
level by encouraging them to collaborate, challenge themselves and continually embrace new opportunities. The highly supportive Academy program develops foundational reading, writing and math skills for students in Grades 2-12, setting them up for success throughout their entire learning journey.
Blended+ is a flexible approach to learning that allows Grades 9-12 students to choose their
clubs, but can also manage their learning at the pace that works best for them while taking their learning deeper.”
At CA, students have access to 14 different sports and 30 clubs, including the Calgary Academy Ski and Snowboard Club (CASSC) for Grades 5-12 and the International Travel Studies (ITS) program, where Grades 10-12 students learn the importance of giving back to the local and global community.
By creating a learning environment that mirrors an inclusive community and a supportive family, all CA students can thrive. “The impact this place and these teachers have on students cannot be understated,
WHERE TO EAT IN THE MOUNTAINS
while undeniably retro, there’s still something timeless about fondue. Skewering a morsel on a long fork and plunging it into a pot of something hot and bubbly is such a fun and social way to eat — and, if you go to a place that does it right, delicious, too. With après-ski rituals and Swiss alpine traditions, there’s no better place to fondue than the regional mountains. Whether you’re looking for cheese, meat or chocolate, these Bow Valley restaurants are all worth dipping into.
For the last 55 years, fondue in Banff has been synonymous with Grizzly House. Located on one of the busiest blocks on Banff Avenue, the chaletstyle restaurant is a blast from the past — complete with phones at each table (to converse and possibly make plans to canoodle with fellow diners) from the restaurant’s previous life as a disco and go-go club. Original owners Barbara and Peter Steiner introduced fondue as a way to comply with liquor laws that forced them to serve food. The restaurant still has that swinging ’70s sexy ski-lodge vibe, but it’s now run by Peter’s daughter and her spouse and has evolved considerably.
Grizzly House offers a full slate of oil and hotstone fondue entrees, which admittedly lend a sticky air quality and pungent smell to the place (pro tip: leave your coat in the car). But it is more than worth it. It’s best to go all-in and get the complete fondue dinner, which includes four courses: soup or salad, followed by either cheese or bangna cauda (garlic and butter fondue served with vegetables) fondue, a fondue entree, and a chocolate fondue with fruit. The quality of the ingredients is impeccable, with exotic options like ostrich, rattlesnake and alligator. 207 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-762-4055 banffgrizzlyhouse.com
This grand restaurant inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the place to go for an old-fashioned après-ski or hike experience, paying homage to the famed Swiss guides that pioneered the Bow Valley’s European alpine mountaineering culture. There’s plenty of non-fondue fare that changes up seasonally, but fondue is definitely the focus, with the option of cheese fondue or meat cooked in a rich bouillon made by simmering caramelized veal bones for 72 hours. The ’Stube is a more upscale affair, with luxurious flourishes like the option of adding black truffle or lobster to the cheese fondue and beef tenderloin, bison rib-eye, giant scallops and tiger prawns to dunk in the hot broth.
Walliser Stube features an elegant bar and diners are encouraged to enhance their meal with selections from more than 500 wines, or something from the cocktail menu developed by Sam Clark, Fairmont’s regional manager of bars and mixology. The Carte Blanche (a play on the Vesper martini) pairs well with the lobster-cheese fondue, while the Chai Tai is recommended to sip with dessert.
111 Lake Louise Dr., Lake Louise, 403-522-3511 chateau-lake-louise.com
Fairmont Banff Springs’ fondue restaurant is set in the forest, which is a considerable part of its appeal. Hidden downhill from the hotel proper, the restaurant occupies what used to be the original golf clubhouse, with the more casual Waldhaus Pub tucked below. Both venues, upstairs and down, have a retro-Bavarian vibe, but it’s in the upstairs dining room that you’ll find the fondue experience.
Rather than often messy raw-meat fondues, the Waldhaus specializes in appetizer-sized cheese
fondue, serving pots of bubbling Emmental and Gruyère, spiked with white wine, garlic, kirsch and nutmeg and served with the traditional apples, gherkins and baguette pieces for dipping. Guests have the option to add roasted mushrooms and truffles to the cheese mixture, or cured meats to plunge into the cheese. Dessert is an indulgent Valrhona chocolate fondue, served with strawberries, pistachio financiers and other pastries, along with house-made marshmallows.
405 Spray Ave., Banff, 403-762-2221 fairmont.com/banff-springs
It’s common to see Swiss- or Bavarian-themed restaurants in the Rockies, but this Banff restaurant adds some Italian flavour to the mix. Inspired by the Italian-speaking Swiss canton (the Swiss equivalent of a province) that gives the restaurant its name, Ticino has been a Banff institution since 1979. The menu is a true mix of Italian and Swiss cuisines with a dash of local influence — examples being the elk osso bucco served with spaetzle, and veal with a wild mushroom sauce and rösti potatoes, with all meat coming from local ranches and producers. On the fondue front, Ticino does Alberta beef, venison or bison in hot oil; or, for a lighter choice, thinly sliced beef strip loin and shrimp in broth; both served with sauces and baby potatoes. Classic cheese and chocolate fondues are also on offer.
415 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-762-3848 ticinorestaurant.com
This tiny restaurant in Lake Louise’s Post Hotel and Spa is adorably cozy and the perfect après-ski treat. Filled with traditional Swiss decor, including cowbells, knick-knacks and artwork, the restaurant has only 24 seats, with hotel guests getting first dibs (non-guests can call day-of to see if there are any tables to spare).
Every night, chef Hans Sauter puts together a four-course fonduecentric table d’hôte (fixed price, with limited choice) menu, with the option of Swiss-style cheese fondue, fondue bourguignonne (hot-oil) and fondue Chinoise (a hot-broth fondue named for its similarity to Chinese hot pot).
200 Pipestone Rd., Lake Louise 403-522-3989, posthotel.com
Moonlight & Eli is a whimsical little Champagne and fondue bar in Calgary, but visitors to Canmore can also get a taste of the Moonlight & Eli experience in the comfort of their hotel rooms or glamping tents. The restaurant has partnered with both Sundance Lodges and Lodges at Canmore, providing fondue kits that can be pre-ordered and enjoyed at any time. The experience includes a pot and fondue forks, along with cheese, bread and other dipables. There’s also the option of adding on Champagne or other beverages, as well as indoor s’mores kits and truffles from Canmore’s Le Chocolatier. moonlightandeli.com
Even though it’s a franchise of a Montreal-based chain, the Canmore location of Cacao 70 has its own distinctly mountain-inspired feel. All of Cacao 70’s fondues are chocolatefocused and the offerings at this brunch café in Canmore follow suit. Cacao 70 serves up 70-per cent dark chocolate, 46-per cent milk chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter-chocolate fondues, with fruit, brownies and waffle bites to dip. These decadent dishes come in two sizes: the single is perfect for a pair of people, while the double size works well for groups of four.
302 Old Canmore Rd., Unit 109 Canmore, 403-675-7669 cacao70.com
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HOW TO LOOK HOT WHEN IT’S COLD
FOR FASHION DESIGNER HAITHEM ELKADIKI, COLOURFUL PIECES AND A SUMMERY FRAGRANCE ARE ESSENTIAL FOR FRIGID CALGARY DAYS.
Haithem Elkadiki is the designer behind the brand KaaDiki. Whether he’s making T-shirts, coats, button-down shirts or swimsuits, his designs are bright and bold. Having lived in Calgary since 1998, Libyan-born Elkadiki has figured out how to dress for cold weather while maintaining his sense of style. The key? Colour. “It’s like fuel for me. I walk everywhere, so wearing colour lifts my spirits,” he says. “Visual stimulation is important in winter when everything is white and grey.” Elkadiki accessorizes his winter wear with vibrant socks, a vintage Prada toque and Radish Vetiver, a Comme des Garçons scent mimicking the smell of wet grass. “Fragrance is like psychological empowerment to help me go out into the cold. Our winters are harsh, so every little thing helps.”
Coat, handmade by Elkadiki; Boots, Timberland; Jeans, Levi’s 501; Turtleneck, Dsquared2; Scarf, made by Elkadiki, inspired by the cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ 2009 album, Yes
hen Shari and Curtis Lester decided to renovate their two-storey French country-style home in the southwest neighbourhood of Willows of Wentworth in 2020, Shari described the process as a “creative adventure.” The couple, along with their two kids, had lived in the home for 14 years and were ready to reimagine the whole space. “It was such a wonderful opportunity to be creative again,” she says.
Shari reached out to Calgary-based Amanda Hamilton Interior Design, the firm that had previously completed their basement renovation, and she and Curtis spent the next year collaborating with the design team on a contemporary home with modern finishes to fit their lives. It all comes together in the living room, in particular — one of the Lesters’ favourite spaces, featuring a marble fireplace with a floating hearth, meticulously chosen furniture, curated art, and plenty of room for their family to live and play in.
There was an existing wood-burning fireplace in the space, but the room was reframed around a new insert with a Pietra Gray marble surround and floating hearth. “It’s super-contemporary, with very clean lines,” says Courtney Molyneaux, the lead designer on the renovation. While the striking fireplace is the centrepiece, the dual-treatment drapery helps soften the room, says Molyneaux.
Amanda Hamilton, founder and creative director of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design, adds that the marble plays off the rest of the space, including those practical details that make it functional for the family of four. “The stone interacts with the millwork, which holds the TV and games, and we’ve stacked the firewood in there for convenience, too,” Hamilton says. “It’s a beautiful balance between being a gorgeous space, but also practical.”
As the Lester family convenes to watch a Flames game, or for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning, their living room is the perfect place, especially with a fire roaring. “The fireplace is a beautiful, bold piece that just melts into the room,” says Shari. “And, on the weekend, when everybody’s there, you want to cozy up and hear that crackling. You can take your time and there’s no rush. Those are good days.”
After homeowner Shari Lester fawned over a painting on Vancouver artist Zoë Pawlak's Instagram, her husband, Curtis, surprised her with it for Christmas, and it became the living room’s feature art piece. Hints of the painting's pink are incorporated throughout the space.
Designing the solid marble fireplace with its floating hearth took months of structural engineering. The modern and minimalist design ties into the powdercoated black metal millwork, where the firewood is stacked for convenience.
The Lesters' existing Montauk sofa was reupholstered with a salt-and-pepper blue clay fabric. An iconic Eames chair in mohair works with the softer tones in the room.
All of the throw pillows were custommade to layer different textures and patterns, while keeping the overall colour palette neutral. Tweed and mohair fabrics soften the room, and brass light fixtures add warmth.
is the perfect place to curl up and relax with the family — all winter long.
“Finding artwork can be a process, but living or dining rooms are the first places you want to invest in. The goal is not to be matchy-matchy: People get stuck on the fact that their art must be the same throughout the house, but it doesn't. I always say that art needs to speak the same language, but it can have its own colours and personality. You can pull from the colours in the artwork as well, so, if there’s a dusty pink or purple in your painting, it’s nice to complement that on a pillow or on the sofa.”
“Install hardware on your cabinets that’s got a little more character to
and try mixing metals. People are playing around with copper; matte black metals are popular; and softer brushed silvers, like pewter, are on the up-and-up. Swapping out rounded surface mount lights with something more interesting and decorative is an easy way to update, too. And from an investment standpoint, hardwood floors are generally going to increase the return on your house.”
“There’s a big trend in moving away from grey. Grey had its time in the sun, but people are choosing warm tones. When it comes to wood, I’m still seeing lots of blonde, but warmer woods are being introduced. If you’re replacing your floors, those moreEuropean oak colours are pretty.”
T EXTURAL STONES
“We’re seeing less white and grey countertops, and, instead, warmer, more textural stones being used. Travertine, a beautiful stone with a ton of texture, is trending. I’m seeing more unfilled stones, too, so you’re getting the natural beauty of the material.”
“The best bang for your buck is always paint. A lot of people end up with homes that are ‘builder beige,’ and painting can brighten up and modernize a house quickly. Even just getting your baseboards and doors repainted goes a long way.”
WHETHER YOU’VE GOT PLANS FOR A ONE-ROOM UPDATE OR A TOP-TO-BOTTOM RENO, INTERIOR DESIGNER AMANDA HAMILTON SHARES TRENDS TO CONSIDER AND TIPS ON WHAT TO TACKLE.
St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor
Designated a sobor in 2018 — an elevated status akin to that of a cathedral — this stately institution serves as a hub for the Ukrainian community in Calgary. The building incorporates a museum housing artifacts of the first, second and third waves of Ukrainian immigrants, and a gift shop selling, among other things, pysanky and pysanky supplies. stvlads.com
Lukes Drug Mart
Run by third-generation owner Gareth Lukes, this cornerstone business is more than just a place to fill prescriptions. There are grocery staples in the basement, while the main level has a coffee bar where you can get barista drinks and artisan soft-serve. You'll also find magazines (good ones), houseplants, niche-brand grooming products and a morethan-decent selection of vinyl. lukesdrugmart.com
Opened in 2019 in the former Eisenbergs’ Fine Furniture store, this craft distillery and tasting room has won multiple awards for its proudly local spirits. The roster includes Glenbow Whisky, a single malt using barley sourced from a single field within a single Alberta farm, malted by Penhold-based Red Shed Malting. The distillery also makes an amaro named after the iconic Spolumbo’s deli. bridgelanddistillery.com
de Waal Block
Dating back to 1910, this Edwardian-style building was originally named The Poffenroth Block after builder Henry Poffenroth. The building was purchased by the de Waal family in the late 1920s, and underwent a full restoration between 2000 and 2009, earning a Heritage Calgary Award for restoration. Current tenants include Jin Bar restaurant and the Calgary Musicians Association. dewaalenterprises.com
Flyover Park Tree Sculptures
Local specialty fabricators Heavy made this whimsical public art installation of two tree forms adorned with lit-from-within spheres. Commissioned by Parks Foundation Calgary, the trees anchor the southwest corner of Flyover Park, a project that reclaimed a formerly dismal space underneath the imposing structure that funnels vehicles into downtown. —Shelley Arnusch heavyexperience.com/flyover-park
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) is taking a bold step towards the future in establishing a new dynamic partnership with Calgary's innovation hub - Platform Calgary.
Be the ﬁrst to learn about this unique ollaboration between secondary education and industry that will create exceptional learning opportunities for high school students while supporting Calgary's rapidly changing economy.
about an alternative hybrid high school program launching this year