Avenue Feb 18

Page 1





HOME SWEET DREAM HOME See inside Jill Carlsen’s glamorous family home

EVERYTHING OLD IS FABULOUS (AGAIN!) How and why to repurpose old finds for your decor


Creating a Culture of Inclusion Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is not a trend or concept that will disappear. The development of people-focused strategies are essential to employers in the private and public sectors. All workplaces, and the communities in which we live, benefit from inclusive practices. Through purposeful development, organizations can experience better employee recruitment and retention results, increased productivity, and higher employee and customer satisfaction. While D&I is on the wish list of many companies, help is often needed to get started. Often there is a plan but little knowledge on how to implement and execute; others feel they do not have the resources and capacity. Two employers that understand the importance of D&I training and development are Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Enbridge Inc. In 2017, EIA began its D&I employee engagement program. With a diverse workforce there was a need for a greater understanding of intercultural competency to build cohesive and effective teams. “We recognize how important diversity is to our business,” says Kirstan Jewell, VP HR & Organizational Effectiveness. “Even more important is the ability to build and maintain an inclusive culture. We came to NorQuest College to assess our needs and they recommended we built an onboarding and orientation tool aligned with our business goals.”

Workforce Relevant

An orientation tool is a great way to start the awareness campaign within an organization. With NorQuest, the first phase of EIA’s strategy was successfully executed in the fall of 2017. “We are excited to continue to strengthen our programs and build diversity and inclusion into our culture,” adds Jewell. Enbridge has worked with NorQuest’s team for over five years to develop and deliver D&I learning content. The company strives to facilitate conversations, promote understanding and awareness of differences, and to integrate D&I practices into internal programs and procedures.

NorQuest’s dedicated team of researchers, trainers, and subject matter experts define the dimensions of diversity into three categories of maturity: • Primary factors are age, gender, and race; these set the foundation of understanding for an individual. • Secondary level goes beyond global cultures and includes external dimensions such as marital status, work experience, income, and religion.

“We look for training that will educate our workforce in topics related to D&I, including leadership development,” says Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, Rose Dolabella.

• The third layer is the hard and uncomfortable questions an organization can face to determine their level of awareness. The organizational dimension includes but are not limited to inclusive leadership, recognition of unconscious bias, and those harder to identify stereotypes that influence people’s attitudes and behavior at a functional level of operations.

Enbridge has 10 employee resource groups and an estimated 23 chapters across North America; all initiated by employees, sponsored by the dedicated D&I department, and fully supported by leadership.

NorQuest works hard to build an understanding of needs no matter what stage a company’s D&I progression. Supporting their efforts, the college works to develop an actionable and manageable solution to build D&I into the organization’s values to create a culture of inclusion.

“Buy-in from the leadership team is critical to creating a culture that embraces diversity and inclusiveness,” adds Dolabella. “It’s also important to have clear goals and established measurement to assess success.”

Contact us: NorQuest.ca/ContinuingEducation ContinuingEducation@NorQuest.ca 780.644.6480

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3902 1188 3 Street SE, Calgary AB

4003 1188 3 Street SE, Calgary AB BED:2 BATH: 2/1 2,431 SQ.FT.

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Paramount Suite on the 39th floor of The Guardian features modern upscale finishes, media room/office and stunning views.

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Breathtaking mountain, river valley, and downtown views from Emerald Stones mere steps away from 17th Avenue.

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1007, 788 12 Avenue SW, Calgary AB

BED: 2 BATH: 2/1 1,564 SQ.FT.

MLS C4160762

Exquisite 2 bedroom/2 bath condo in Princeton Waterfront beautifully appointed. Open spaces, huge covered decks overlooking pathways and river.


$749,900 2305, 1410 1 Street SE, Calgary AB


203, 670 Princeton Avenue SW, Calgary AB

11370 Valley Ridge Park NW, Calgary AB

31143 Grandarches Drive, Springbank, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 4/2 4,260 SQ.FT.

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Casually elegant 2-storey, stunning architecture, 5 bedrooms. Perstigious 2 acre lot, QUAD garage, 1,800 sq.ft. of outdoor living, panoramic mountain views.

Dennis Plintz

Dennis Plintz

Dennis Plintz

Lisa Tomalin-Reeves







$2,850,00 1216 Belavista Crest SW, Calgary AB BED: 5 BATH: 5/1 4,401 SQ.FT.

MLS C4147839



108 Swift Creek Cove, Springbank AB

563 Killarney Glen Court SW, Calgary AB

BED: 5 BATH: 4/2 5,345 SQ.FT.

7028 Bow Crescent NW, Calgary AB

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BED: 6 BATH: 3/1 2,475 SQ.FT.

MLS C4160763

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Stunning transitionally styled virtually new 'Grandscape Homes' 2 storey, his and her garages (4 bays), 2 acre lot, private cul-de-sac, screened patio.

A bright & vibrant upgraded 3 bedroom townhouse in a park-like setting walking distance to Marda Loop.

On one of the most esteemed properties backing on to the Bow River. Nearly 1 acre of private grounds with custom built estate home. 15 min to downtown!

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Dennis Plintz

Calley Erickson




403.701.1313 « S IN G LE FA MILY H OMES



$1,199,900 1331 Windsor St NW, Calgary AB BED: 4 BATH: 3/1 2,432 SQ.FT.

2408 28 Avenue SW, Calgary AB MLS C4133495

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MLS C4149766


71 Wentworth Manor SW, Calgary AB

319 47 Avenue SW, Calgary AB

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BED: 5 BATH: 2 1,032 SQ.FT.

MLS C4142561

MLS C4146352

Executive family living in St.Andrew Heights with triple garage - near schools, Foothills Hospital, and only a short drive to downtown.

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CALGARY 403.254.5315


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VANCOUVER 604.632.3300

VICTORIA 250.380.3933


SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773

KELOWNA 1.877.530.3933

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MONTREAL 514.933.4777




TWO LOCAL GUYS, A WHOLE LOT OF IMPACT The creator of Goodpin and the relationship building Realtor®

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112 Plintz Real Estate | plintz.com Dennis has been in sales (or as he sees it, “relationship-building”) since he was seven years old. It started with his brother’s beloved Star Wars collection. Dennis went door-to-door building relationships with those toys. He’d already figured out by then that building relationships meant independence. “In real estate, I’m talking finances, health, babies, marriage and any of the other exciting or difficult life situations with people I’m meeting sometimes for the first time,” Dennis says. “I want people to connect with me as a person through the service I give and the causes I support.” Dennis is the Senior Vice-President, Sales, for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.


hen it comes to the minor task of changing the world, Dennis Plintz and Jay Baydala want more people to know: a little plus a little equals massive impact. Plintz is a real estate associate with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada (plintz.com) who transformed the challenges in his youth into a career that allows him to give back to the kinds of organizations that gave him opportunities. Baydala is the founder of Goodpin (good.pn), a platform that’s making charitable giving better for small to medium businesses and consumers who want to partner with them. Within their industries and lives, they have benefited massively from how business and giving work so well together. They wholeheartedly believe that all businesses and individuals can gain a monumental advantage from connecting the two. “I’m convinced that we all want to make the world a better place in some way,” Baydala says. He was travelling in Sri Lanka and Nepal when he first recognized what extreme poverty looks like. Baydala quit his corporate IT job and sold all his stuff—including property and vehicles—and launched UEnd:Poverty. It was a game changer in the world of charity, allowing a gift card system of giving that people could give as gifts to friends. A decade later, Baydala has again keyed

in on how tech can be used to fix a “broken” charity system. “Think of your last charity experience,” he says. “It’s interruption-driven and guilt-driven.” Goodpin facilitates genuine partnership between businesses and consumers, letting them choose where a business’s charity funds go, while also being a marketing tool for those brands. It makes total sense to Plintz. “I am blown away by what small acts of kindness can do,” he says. After a childhood that included experience in Calgary’s shelter system, Plintz knew he wanted a career where he could help youth overcome barriers and challenges. But a problem hit him. There was a chronic lack of resources in the kinds of programs he wanted to be part of. Plintz saw another way. He could become a person who could contribute to these programs. Plintz embarked on a sales career that today lets him do just that. He works closely with the Calgary Dream Centre with a camp that he and his wife founded. He also supports the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. “These are not just charities. These are life-changing organizations.” “Selling is that four-way stop where life, business, philanthropy and connections collide,” he says. “I don’t do real estate. I do relationships. And if you do them right, they benefit everyone involved forever.”

Jay Baydala jay@good.pn Goodpin | good.pn Since age 12, Jay’s known one thing for sure: “I want to leave the world a little better than how I found it.” He says making positive change can start as simply as figuring out what’s important to you and what assets you have to make it happen. Also, with the trend of micro-giving, small donations from many people can lead to big change. Jay Baydala is the founder and CEO of Goodpin, which is helping companies put “purpose” at their core and is currently closing a round of funding that will be used to scale up the business.

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Homesites Estate Living from the



contents FEBRUARY 2018






5 Great New Decor Trends After years of mid-century modern, the homedecor pendulum is swinging back toward bigger and bolder design. Hear from local experts on how to make current trends work for you.

A local start-up that’s saving the world’s endangered frogs, a group of grade 6 students who helped bring an innovative urban-design initiative to life and the Calgary Zoo’s curator on how to get penguins to fall in line.

Dining Two Penny’s modern twist on a classic cuisine (Chinese), two new additions to the city’s burgeoning contemporary Italian scene, an update on the new talent at Teatro and how Elbow Room is bringing its A-game to brunch.

By Fraser Tripp


Oldies but Goodies In defense of salvaging furniture, fixtures and architectural details. Plus, where to shop for antiques and where to have them refinished or refreshed.




A family home that blends artful decor with functional design.

Whether you’re looking for something yoga-specific, fitnessfocused, or just a place to tune out and look inward, here are some of the ways to do wellness in the mountains this year.


By Rita Sirignano







Shelf Expression Tips and tricks for how to curate the kinds of shelving displays that make an artful addition to any living space. By Ellis Choe 16


Calgary-raised model Hannah Donker has gained world-wide recognition from her role in the music video for “Secrets” by The Weeknd, which has surpassed 70 million views. We caught up with her to chat about life after going viral.

Diagnosed with autism as a toddler, JorDen Tyson took up figure skating in her twenties and has since risen to the top of her competitive field.


The List Solita Work, owner of ReWorks Upcycle Shop, on her favourite coffee beans, favourite craft beer, favourite pizza and more.




Avenue’s February 2018 ‘Feature Home’ Builder

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Staff Photographer Jared Sych Production Designer Rebecca Middlebrook Editorial Intern Fabian Mayer Fact Checker Fraser Tripp Contributors Ellis Choe, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Jennifer Dorozio, Daniel Downey, Christina Frangou, Jennifer Friesen, Asim Overstands, Rita Sirignano, Fraser Tripp, Katherine Ylitalo


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The Home Decor Issue | Reclaimed and Refinished Furniture | Calgary’s Next Supermodel Hannah Donker


HOME SWEET DREAM HOME See inside Jill Carlsen’s glamorous family home

PM# 40030911

EVERYTHING OLD IS FABULOUS (AGAIN!) How and why to repurpose old finds for your decor

1/8/18 11:51 AM

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




A-02-18-Cover.indd 1

It’s the perfect time to explore the great indoors




Ready, Set, Stay


With so many amazing new restaurants opening it’s easy to forget about old favourites. We revisited one of mine, Teatro, on page 60. Käthe Lemon Editor-in-Chief klemon@redpointmedia.ca

display shelves that are stylish enough to inspire you to take “shelfie” photos that will make your social-media feeds the envy of others, even if you’re not on a tropical vacation. Plus, we look at how refurbished, refinished and reused furniture and architectural elements have evolved from being the go-to aesthetic of budget-conscious bohemians to a design-forward choice of those in the know. In this issue, we also feature two Calgary women whose paths to success have been very

different. Writer Christina Frangou talked to top-ranked competitive figure skater JorDen Tyson about her training program and her experiences as a Special Olympian, while Fraser Tripp sat down with Hannah Donker, a model with Calgary roots whose profile has risen significantly since being featured in the viral-hit music video for the song “Secrets” by The Weeknd. Wherever your path takes you this month — whether indoors or out — we just hope you stay warm and hyggelig.

Photography by Jared Sych; jewellery supplied by Brinkhaus. For information turn to page 51.

ast year, the word on everyone’s lips was hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) — a Danish term that describes a sense of coziness and well-being. Given the Scandinavians’ expertise in dealing with winter and darkness, one would expect they would have something to share with the world in this regard. And while the marketing onslaught attached to the term seems to have backed off a bit, it’s still a worthy concept for this time of year in Calgary. This is the time of year to settle in with a good book, ideally next to a crackling fire or wrapped up in a blanket. The holiday season is long over, but there’s the sense that winter will be with us for quite a while yet. Since we’re hibernating anyway, we thought this the perfect time to look at indoor spaces. In this home-decor focused issue, you’ll find a story on the latest design trends and tips on where to find them at local retailers. Whether you’re hoping for a quick update, a total design re-do or just some armchair shopping, you’ll be up-to-date on the latest looks in furniture, wall coverings, tile and more. In another home-decor story, writer Ellis Choe shares tips for creating



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CONTEMPORARY AvenueCalgary.com



CONTRIBUTORS SHELLEY ARNUSCH Shelley Arnusch is a National Magazine Award-winning writer who has been part of the Avenue team since 2010. She currently handles the mountain and adventure stories for the magazine, something that is well-suited to her



love of skiing and other such things. Her most recent career wins include two silver awards from two different magazine associations for an editorial package on how to get people who hate camping to change their tune, and a chance to skate with a Disney On Ice cast member. In her free time, you’ll find her hanging out with her guy Steve, daughter Greta and stepson Simon.

ASIM OVERSTANDS Asim Overstands is a proud father and husband who holds down a job at an investment firm by day and pursues his creative interests as a street, lifestyle, travel and portrait photographer outside of the office. You can see more of his work at asimoverstands.com or on his Instagram feed @asim_overstands.

SARAH MCMENEMY Sarah McMenemy is a Calgary-based graphic designer. She has worked for Chatelaine and Sportsnet magazine and is currently the associate art director at Avenue

The much-anticipated list of the can’t-miss places to eat in Calgary.

magazine. McMenemy loves travelling, spending time in the Rocky Mountains and hanging with her new puppy, Moose. She is currently working on a series of oil paintings entitled Wash Ride. See more at sarahjeanne.ca.

GET ON IT GUIDE It’s already time to start planning your ultimate summer mountain adventure.


RITA SIRIGNANO Rita Sirignano is a writer, painter and the program associate at Wordfest. Since moving to Calgary 20

Street-style maven Aldona Barutowicz

years ago her work has appeared in magazines and

launches a new regular column in

newspapers across Canada, and has even won a few

anticipation of her upcoming Calgary

awards. In her spare time, when not looking for dis-

style book.

carded treasures at the side of the road, she makes up songs to sing to her poodles and is fond of prosecco, not necessarily in that order. She is currently working on a book of auto-fiction.



Best Restaurants and On The Web photographs by Jared Sych

B E S T R E S TA U R A N T S 2018



D ATE NIG H T Our ideas for going out in Calgary, whether it’s your first date or your 50th anniversary. AvenueCalgary.com/datenight

/avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine @avenuemagazine


Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare As imagined by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop Originally produced by Canada’s National Arts Centre

“Laugh-out-loud funny” the globe and mail

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



January 30 to February 24 Tristan D. Lalla, Bruce Dow and Janelle Cooper in Twelfth Night. Director Jillian Keiley, Set, Costume & Puppet Design The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Lighting Design Cimmeron Meyer, Sound Design John Gzowski. Photo by Andrée Lanthier.

#tcTwelfthNight theatrecalgary.com 403-294-7447 Arts Commons Max Bell Theatre





DETOURS The offices of Biopod, a local company that produces specialized terraria, features a phyllobates terribilis or “golden poison” frog, one of the most toxic species of frog.

A Hoppy Home for Endangered Frogs

Photograph by Jennifer Dorozio


frog enthusiast and an entrepreneur walk into a children’s party … What seems like the setup for a joke is, in fact, how Jared Wolfe, a biologist, and Tom Lam, a developer and businessman with experience working in Silicon Valley, met and hit upon the idea for Biopod, a business that produces and sells self-contained terrariums about the size of a medium-to-large fish tank. Wolfe’s original inspiration for Biopod was to replicate habitats for endangered species of frogs. “Since many of these [frog] habitats are so tiny, once they get wiped out, that’s it,” says Wolfe. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could preserve that somehow?’” Using a combination of LED lighting, an autoirrigation system, integrated heating and other

25 AvenueCalgary.com


Flyover States


eviving underused public space is an old idea. Entrusting the design to individuals who still break for recess, however, is rather new. It has also transformed the dingy area underneath the 4th Avenue flyover in Bridgeland into an engaging urban space. Grade 6 students from Langevin School, just up the street from the flyover, have helped lead the process to revamp the patch of land northeast of the intersection of Memorial Drive and Edmonton Trail. Nearly 60 students were involved throughout the process, from back-and-forth idea generation with University of Calgary Environmental Design students, to community consultations and presenting in front of the City’s planning commission.



and sell 100 units,” says Lam. “We ended up raising $50,000 in about four hours.” The Kickstarter campaign eventually drew close to $730,000. Biopods are conditionally available through retailers in Canada, the U.S.A., the U.K. and Australia right now, and are expected to show up in local pet stores in the coming months. The terraria are sold without plants (or animals) but there are plans to provide some topiary with the tanks in Canada and the U.S. As cool as they might look on your shelf, Biopods are not your basic home decor piece. By nature, Biopods have a connection to conservation efforts, meaning everyone who has one can feel like they’re a part of something bigger. “We think this has the potential to help save species, to really engage the public,” says Wolfe. “We want to change the world and make a huge impact.” —Jennifer Dorozio

“[The kids] could really see the potential, where maybe grown-ups might have a harder time,” says City of Calgary transportation engineer Jen Malzer. “It was a great way to include more ideas.” Twelve-year-old TJ Mundra was excited to break the grownups’ longstanding monopoly on urban design. “Adults would probably just want to sit there and read books,” says Mundra. “We’re actually going to engage with the space and play.” The plan is for the flyover area to eventually feature trees, a plaza, outdoor furniture, a boardwalk, play areas and a flood-mitigating rain garden. Not content to wait for the permanent installations, the students began transforming the area last summer. The class painted a vibrant street mural and brought in temporary patio furniture, ping pong tables and foosball tables. Langevin teacher Kate Logan says that since many

Local students are helping transform the 4th Avenue flyover space in Bridgeland.

of the school’s field trips are downtown or on St. Patrick’s Island, the students are regular users of the flyover area, which fostered their enthusiasm for the project. “These are real, active citizens,” says Logan. “They have an investment in this area and want it to be safe, creative, and aesthetically pleasing.” —Fabian Mayer


For the Calgary Zoo’s king penguins, colder temperatures mean the return of walk time. Of the five species of penguin at the zoo, only the kings are allowed to go walking as they’re the only ones able to withstand the cold, says Calgary Zoo curator Dr. Malu Celli. “King penguins are a sub-Antarctic species so they can tolerate a great deal of cold. They would definitely be okay from zero to below minus-20.” The walk is voluntary for the penguins. “They tend to know that [walk] time is near, so close to 11 o’clock they are moving toward the gates,” Celli says. “We open the gates of the outside exhibit that is occupied by the Humboldt penguins during warmer seasons and we walk whichever king penguins come out down toward the zoo bridge. The public stay on one side of the extensions and the penguins stay on the other side and then staff and penguins walk down and stop for a photo op. “When they come back they get a fish and then stay outside if [conditions allow]. They tend to really enjoy it.” —J.D.

4th Avenue flyover photograph by Ali McMillan

features that can all be controlled with a smartphone, the terraria can replicate more than 300 habitats — everything from desert to tropical rainforest. As such, Biopods are proving to be a unique conservation technology used by universities and zoos around the world for species preservation and controlled-environment research. The Calgary Zoo has landscaped two Biopods with the intention of housing and breeding northern leopard frogs, a species considered to be at risk in Alberta, while Chester Zoo in the U.K. has been using Biopods in a breeding program for endangered frogs for over a year. Wolfe and Lam originally launched Biopod with a Kickstarter campaign 2015, during which they realized the demand for their terraria didn’t end with zoologists and conservation enthusiasts, and extended to the domestic pet and decor markets, as well. “We thought there might be a market for [Biopod] if we could raise $50,000






BAR ANNABELLE Order a glass of wine and some tapas while listening to jazz records in Blink Restaurant’s 22-seat sister eatery on Stephen Avenue.


109A 8 Ave. S.W., 403-457-9884,

this month


barannabelle.com, @barannabelle

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FEB. 22 TO 25

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last April. Karl Hirzer conducts

Productive Obsession follows a

110, 815 17 Ave. S.W.,

the performance celebrating

19-year-old ballerina who meets

beyondscarf.ca, @beyondscarf

the rock ’n’ roll icon’s immense

the proprietor of a punk club and

musical talent and one-of-a-

is introduced to a world of sex,


kind personality with orchestral

drugs and underground anar-

Chow down on turkey legs, brisket

covers of classics such as “Little

chists. The coming-of-age story

and Alabama chicken wings at this

Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain”

blends a feminist message with

new smokehouse in the Beltline.

and others.

a lively punk-rock score.

818 16 Ave. S.W., 403-452-5925,

Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts

Theatre Junction Grand,


Commons, 403-571-0849,

403-205-2922, theatrejunction.com




Quebec-based Cacao 70’s first


Calgary eatery is a brunch (and

FEB. 15 TO 17

that features apple-and-bacon

A wintertime rejoinder to the

waffles, Mediterranean frittatas and

Calgary Folk Music Festival,

peanut butter-chocolate fondue.

Block Heater features local,

Unit 136, 30 Springborough Blvd.

national and international acts

S.W., cacao70.com, @cacao70_mtl

chocolate) lover’s dream with a menu

in venues around Inglewood and the East Village. This year’s


headliners include Leeroy Stagger

Take a road trip north to Edmonton


and Justin Townes Earle.

to shop for stylish men’s apparel,

JAN. 30 TO FEB. 24


footwear, watches, bags and more

Various locations, 403-233-0904, Winefest 2018.

at Michael Kors’ first Canadian men’s store in West Edmonton Mall.

Shakespeare’s story of shipwrecked


8882 170 St. N.W., Edmonton,

the land of Illyria is familiar, but


that’s where conventions end in

FEB. 15 TO 17

FEB. 23 AND 24


Theatre Calgary’s staging of

The international touring dancer-

Wineries from around the world

Twelfth Night. This imaginative

illusionist troupe MOMIX is

converge on the BMO Centre this


version of the classic comedy

performing Opus Cactus as part

month, providing the opportunity

This 50,000-square-foot entertain-

brings together The Old Trout

of Alberta Ballet’s 2017-2018

to sip, sample and savour their

ment centre at Deerfoot City has

Puppet Workshop and the

season. The colourful landscape

wares. Tickets include hors

more than 100 arcade games, an

National Arts Centre’s award-

of the American Southwest

d’oeuvres and a complimentary

augmented climbing wall, a virtual-

winning director Jillian Keiley.

serves as the backdrop to a sur-

wineglass. Guests are encouraged

reality room, custom doughnut bar,

The Bard’s wit, along with vivid

realist world of cacti and snakes

to bring a donation or non-perish-

restaurant and more.

costume and stage design, make

depicted using costumes, light,

able food item in support of the

1180, 901 64 Ave. N.E.,

for a colourful play in more ways

shadow and the human body.

Calgary Food Bank.

587-535-6077, therecroom.com,

than one.

Southern Alberta Jubilee

BMO Centre, Stampede Park,


Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons,

Auditorium, 403-245-4222,


403-294-7447, theatrecalgary.com



twins and their misadventures in



780-484-5672, michaelkors.ca,

Prince photograph courtesy of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

do to


Chinese Chin ppy C Y ew earr r N


*While quantities last. AvenueCalgary.com


-5Great L O C A L


T R E N D S BY Fraser Tripp

The decor world has been awash in mid-century style for the past few years. As the pendulum swings back toward big and bold, we asked local design experts and retailers to weigh in on how to get the looks that are trending in 2018.

30 avenueFEBRUARY18

Photograph by Jared Sych




ooking to introduce a little colour into your world? Time to get the blues. “Blue is a natural colour,” says Emily Sissons, director of design and sales at Domaine Furnishings (a family-owned-and-operated business marking its 10-year anniversary this month). “It’s related to the ocean and the sky. It can go from very sophisticated to very serene.” Deep blues, specifically navy blue, can be easily integrated into existing decor or, if you’re eager for a redesign, used as a starting point. “You can look at blue, quite literally, like a good pair of blue jeans,” Sissons adds. “You can dress it up or dress it down.” Julian Riley, co-owner of Maria Tomás Indoor and Outdoor Living agrees. “A deep blue is a neutral in some ways. For interiors, you’re going to be more into the royals and navy because that pairs very well with the gold metals.” And, while black and gold are also on the rise, Riley says mixing that gold instead with a deep blue or deep green takes it to a different level. If blue isn’t your colour, there’s still plenty of room to go bold. Riley says grey remains a dominant design choice. It might be a darker, smokier grey, he adds, but you can pair in jewel tones in accessories and finishes — and not just in blues and greens, either. “It’s more about the saturation level of a colour,” Riley says. “There are reds. There are pinks.”

A move away from minimalism can be seen in bold colour and rich fabrics such as the blue velvet couch here in this interior designed by Karen Ryan.

jewel tones

gold sophistication Between You and Me Side Table from Bondars.

Royal Knight Endive Blue Spruce Mixed Berry pie Lemon Loaf Premier Infinity paint from Canadian Tire.

blue velvet

Nouveaux Classiques collection from Roche Bobois.

An offside colour taking the spotlight these days is a sort of blush pink (often dubbed “millennial pink”). “In the ’80s pink and grey were very popular and you are seeing a bit of that coming back,” Riley says. “Mix pink in with warm walnut woods, with some yellows and oranges in there as well.” Bold jewel tones are commonly seen in heavier velvet fabrics. “The pendulum has swung so far toward that very minimalist, clean, mid-century look, that you’re going to start to see a swing back,” Riley says. AvenueCalgary.com



start in neutral

Warm walnuts and oatmeal tones make a good base for dramatic black-and-white decor, as in this study designed by Sarah Ward.

lack and white can bring to mind an art gallery. “It’s very stark, very cold,” says Julian Riley from Maria Tomás. The way to warm up black and white is to start with a neutral palette, Riley says, such as the warm walnuts and oatmeal tones of the midcentury trends of years past. At the Paris design show Maison & Objet, Riley says he noticed black replacing grey when it came to accessories. While entire rooms of black and white are unlikely to catch on, he expects to see more inexpensive approaches such as black feature walls becoming more common. “You’ll see a return to picture frames being black. You’ll find a lamp with some black on it.” The black-and-white pairing can also be layered into a space with a more vibrant palette to balance it out, says Domaine’s Emily Sissons.“It’s classic, but it can also bring a really mod/luxe touch to a space that needs a bit more sophistication,” she says. While clients are often hesitant to go big and bold with colour, they tend to be attracted to the timeless nature of black and white. “You can switch up [colours] with

Petit Visage - Jean Cocteau cushion from Roche Bobois.

cushions and art, but black and white are just so timeless,” Sissons says. “People aren’t afraid of that.” If you’ve updated to a jewel-toned couch, take the advice of Jordan Bondar of Bondars Furniture (which marked its 25th year in its current location last July) and pair it with black-and-white artwork. “Take that deep velvet couch and put all of your black and white art above it,” says Bondar, who also manages Home Evolution with her family. The key is not overdoing it on either end of the spectrum, but rather creating a balance between your blacks and whites and vibrant colours. Sissons agrees, “Our advice to clients: have black somewhere, just to anchor the room.”

black & white art

Obstacle Course artwork from Home Evolution.

white chair, black walls Bardot chair from Domaine Furnishings.



Interior photographs by Jared Sych, wallpaper photograph supplied by Farrow & Ball

B L A C K & White

coloured accents

wallpaper as art au natural materials

Farrow & Ball, Helleborus wallpaper, (available to order from Maria Tomás).

Home designer Jeffrey Riedl installed pressedbark as a wall covering in a client’s home.


Thibuat grasscloth collection (available on order from Maria Tomás).

W A L L Treatments


oing something to a wall that goes beyond paint tends to feel so, well, permanent. Most everyone has less-than-fond memories of scraping away at an expanse of wallpaper with no end in sight. According to Julian Riley of Maria Tomás, however, those bad memories can stay just that — memories. With the advancements in today’s wall treatments (and having those treatments applied by professionals), there’s really nothing to fear. In other words: “this ain’t your grandmother’s wallpaper.” Suppliers such as Robert Allen have even come out with fabrics that can be applied to the wall like wallpaper, and are typically just as easy to remove. These large-scale treatments can help create visual tension in a room that might contain fewer furniture items. “A big panel of fabric or wallpaper becomes art, especially if it’s in a larger-scale pattern,” Riley says. Natural materials and fibres are another trend in wall treatments. Robert Pashuk, of Robert Pashuk Architecture

says this is connected to the movement built around the concept of hygge (pronounced HOO-gah), a Danish word which describes the quality of coziness and comfort that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. “If anything, [hygge] goes back to natural materials and fibres,” he says. Designer Jeffrey Riedl, who co-owns Pomp & Circumstance with Pashuk, agrees. “We’re typically doing more of a natural feature wall,” he says, one example being the pressed-bark feature wall Riedl had installed in a client’s home last year. For a simple but impactful return to nature, Domaine’s Emily Sissons suggests creating a feature wall using grasscloth, which she describes as “organic and approachable.” The textural quality of grasscloth maintains a flexibility that allows for layering with everything from fuchsia pillows to a patterned carpet. Installed the proper way, grasscloth also has the flexibility to be easily removed when you’re ready for a new look down the road. AvenueCalgary.com


trendy trapezoids

MUDtile batter pattern in Salt Mix designed by Catherine Braconnier, available at Icon Stone + Tile.

graphic designs

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Ames Tile & Stone Rockford Marble series teardrop in Bianco Cararra; Tierra Sol Arvex Glaze Craze series blast mosaic in Lotus Pearl; Saltillo Tile HP Fan series in light grey; Ames Tile & Stone Vetro D’Terra Mosaic series elongated hexagon in Carrara; Euro Ceramic Tile Alhambra series arabesque in cream, all available at CDL Carpet & Floor Centre.


B O L D & Mosaic Tile

one thoughtfully and intentionally, tile can transport you across time. “We’re seeing a connection with not quite Old World, but older styles and tile patterns that may have come from Europe,” says Domaine’s Emily Sissons. “[Tile] is like a beautiful found material that you’ve brought into your home.” Julian Riley of Maria Tomás notes that at places such as Uniquities, a local seller of architectural salvage, “you can buy whole floors from French chateaux.” Like all good design, however, tile is best used to a point, especially as trends shift from tiny, glass mosaic tile to larger-format, patterned tile. “You want to use these things sparingly, so they still seem special,” Riley says. Robert Pashuk also warns that there is risk in using graphic tiles. “You have to be careful with how graphic you go with tile because it’s a hard



element to change,” he says, noting that anyone who has purchased a house built in the 1970s (a heyday of graphic tile) knows how challenging it can be to remove. Pashuk is less apprehensive about the trend toward more interesting shapes of tile, such as hexagons, chevrons and, most prominently, trapezoids. In these cases, the bold effect is achieved by the combination and distribution of the tile, rather than the graphic. Sissons notes that both distribution and scale speak to the essence of how tile works within a space. “If you have just a small morsel of tile in one little area, it may look so under-scale that it has no impact. When you play with scale and do a whole surface in something, it’s like an illusion,” she says. “The space looks bigger.” Still tentative about tile? Jordan Bondar advises starting with a small space, such as a powder room, where tile can make a big impact.

found materials

Antique French encaustic tile floor from Uniquities Architectural Antiques.

Boutique Furnishings by Design







ou may be ready to overhaul your home decor, but it’s probably best not to put the sofa out on the curb without a plan and, well, a little financial foresight. Julian Riley says the practice of phased decorating is a mantra at Maria Tomás, especially during times of economic recession. When clients come in saying they’re looking for “just a sofa,” it’s never really just a sofa — a little backtracking usually reveals plans to do the dining room or a bedroom, as well. Rather than one space or piece at a time, it’s better to see redecorating as a cohesive plan: focus on one area but keep the others in mind so the design will flow and feel connected. Emily Sissons has had similar experiences with the clientele at Domaine, a family owned and operated business that marks its 10th year in business this month. The team there encourages clients to be mindful in planning the entire project, even if they want to start in one space. “We’re following a concept from the get-go,” Sissons says. “We’re still hitting those key design elements in each room and being mindful of where we started and where we need to finish.” Along with being easier on your credit, phased redecorating is a more thoughtful and curated process, says Jordan Bondar. “You need to find those special pieces to make your house your home, and that doesn’t happen overnight.” If your goal is a total redesign, be considerate of timelines when it comes to planning. “We’re not talking a 10-year plan, because that’s not realistic,” says Riley. “Generally, it’s going to be two-to-three years, at most.” “We usually say do it in three-month chunks,” says Sissons. “We’ll sometimes plan an entire space or home for our client, and they’ll go ahead and order, but we’ll delay the shipping so that things can come in phases.”





romantic rachmaninoff with luca buratto 16 + 17 february 2018 // 8pm jack singer concert hall

C A L G A R Y P H I L .C O M | 4 0 3 . 5 7 1 . 0 8 4 9 AvenueCalgary.com


BY Rita Sirignano ILLUSTRATIONS BY Daniel Downey

36 avenueFEBRUARY.18


Goodies BUT

Giving new life to old furniture, fixtures and architectural details can save you money (sometimes) and is easier on the environment, but perhaps the best thing is the sense of history and permanence that something old can bring to your home.


ne of the most beautiful pieces of furniture I own I found at the side of a road in upstate New York while driving my son to hockey practice. The shelf is Amish in its simplicity: just three boards less than an inch wide, dado-jointed to two slightly thicker sides that are rounded at the top and bottom. It’s nailed to the wall via four holes that look like they were punched with hand tools, through wood that has been oiled and polished and cured for decades. “People pay big money for patina like this!” I shrieked as I loaded my find into the trunk, which meant my son — and his brother, still in a car seat — had to share the backseat of our Toyota Corolla with his hockey bag and was 10 minutes late for practice. Now in his late twenties, it’s perhaps no wonder he lives in a house furnished from IKEA and The Brick. It was not the first time I’d picked something off the side of the road for the house, nor the last. My favourite dresser was found on the street in Queens, N.Y. — a total stranger helped me carry it two blocks and up the stairs of my apartment building without mugging me — and has moved with me seven times. Painted a high-gloss canary yellow when I found it, when stripped it was revealed to be made of a gorgeous tiger maple. The table in my painting studio and the pantry shutter doors were also free finds. Some of the living room moldings I rescued, with permission, from a house being torn down on the edge of the Beltline, and three circa-1910 light fixtures were pulled from Mount Royal mansions that an electrician friend helped renovate.

In fact, except for the George Nelson bubble lamp hanging over the dining-room table, the kitchen appliances and my bed (even I draw the line at a used mattress) my entire house is furnished with second-hand items, most of them found, thrifted or bartered. Which came first — my aesthetic sense or my frugality? I’ve asked myself this question often over the years and can never quite answer it, though they’re most certainly intertwined. I went to art school, and among the skills art school teaches you is how to create something out of nothing, which is good to know when your life’s calling is one which, in all probability, will provide a lot of nothing in the way of salary. Essentially, my house — a century home in serious disrepair when I purchased it 20 years ago — is just one big art project, much of it painted with mistints from the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. While Europeans have always incorporated the past in their interiors, here in North America, a love of the used and the worn once occupied a small niche populated by creative types, antique dealers, and retirees looking for projects. No one knows this better than Julia Shantz, who, with her husband Doug, owns Uniquities Architectural Antiques. Originally from Wales, Shantz opened Uniquities more than 25 years ago after purchasing a heritage home that needed renovating, only to discover it was near impossible to find materials to add architectural detailing to it in Calgary. Back then, the Shantzs didn’t even use the word “salvage” to advertise their wares, as salvage was associated with car wreckers. But since then, homereno TV has brought salvage into the mainstream. AvenueCalgary.com


Shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper, where Joanna Gaines’ kitchen remodels often feature barn wood and vintage light fixtures, have made finding and reusing old materials not only palatable but downright desirable. These days, using salvage in residential spaces isn’t just for century homes or “rustic-chic” interiors. Much as artists moving into a neighbourhood can gentrify it and raise home values, the rustic-modern look created by bargain-hunter bohemians is now coveted by many homeowners with far deeper pockets — even those with interior designers helping them. Martine Ast, senior designer at Paul Lavoie Interior Design, believes that repurposing midcentury elements can be the highlight of a modern interior space. “In my own home, I recently revitalized a mid-century metal railing from a house that was about to be torn down,” says Ast. “With the help of Modern Metals in Calgary, we were able to reimagine the railing in our new home, creating a centrepiece for discussion and architectural interest.” For another project, Ast’s team found the perfect Victorian-period door, which they modified to work with barn-door style hardware. “We kept the weathered, painted patina but reinvented the door to accept its new style of hardware. The result was a stunning mix of contemporary design with Victorian charm,” she says. Shantz notes that salvage can be challenging to work with, but that it is so worth the effort. “You cannot faux-finish things to look historic; it also has to feel historic, and that can only be achieved by using authentic pieces and materials. My mantra is ‘the perfection is in the imperfection.’ You cannot strive for perfection when building with antique salvage. If you want things to be perfect then salvage is the wrong material for you. Everything you look for in old materials is the opposite of new. We want to see patina, checking, ancient wormy holes, signs of use, discolouration, unevenness, et cetera!”

The shelf from the side of the road in upstate New York now hangs in my bathroom, above the hundred-year-old, extra-long claw-foot tub that sold me on the house. (Who cares if the windows are falling out of rotting frames, look at that bathtub!) I often soak in the tub and look at the shelf and think about where it might have come 3 8 avenueFEBRUARY.18

“My mantra is ‘the perfection is in the imperfection.’” –Julia Shantz, Uniquities Architectural Antiques

from and who made it. Salvagers often cite character and history as the reason they prefer old wood or used furniture. At the risk of sounding a tad woo woo, I’d add that many of the things I’ve rescued have an energy. Warren Hall understands this, as might be expected of a woodworker whose studio is called Soulworks. He recently created a bed for a client in Calgary’s Rosedale neighbourhood using reclaimed Douglas fir sourced in Saskatchewan. “The rafters that are making part of the bed were in a house for 60 years. Old wood was put into houses wet and nailed in place, which is like being in a straitjacket, the wood couldn’t move and dried in place for 60 years. You just can’t buy new materials in any way, shape or form with the same quality. Now this wood is being made into a piece of furniture that will last for another hundred years. So, there’s a reverence for the tree by giving it multiple lives.” Hall knows the story of all the wood he recycles — where it comes from, how it was used in a previous life — and enjoys the hunt, which he likens to an archeological dig. “My fantasy is

to go to the Southern U.S. and salvage old tobacco kilns or barns made of chestnut planks. There was a chestnut blight and we haven’t had chestnut for a hundred years.” Shantz primarily scours Europe for her salvage and antiques, uncovering everything from pre-Industrial Revolution bricks to mid-century Belgian bar stools, and yes, even occasionally kitchen sinks. Incorporating historic items and elements adds not only energy, but also a sense of permanence to a home. It also makes sense from an environmental stance. Decorating with the reused, the refurbished and the reclaimed began as a necessity for me but has since become an ethical imperative as well. With even IKEA’s Head of Sustainability saying the planet has reached “peak home furnishings” I believe the only way we will survive is to buy less new stuff. I realized this recently when I decided to shop for a new couch. After searching for months I decided to reupholster the 1940s camelback sofa I’ve been storing in a garage for the past 10 years. I think it will look lovely in millennial-pink velvet.

How to Go


Even if you live in a new build, you can add elements of salvage-chic by having antique or vintage furniture pieces re-upholstered or refinished. “A high-gloss painted finish on an antique cabinet breathes new life into a tired piece of furniture,” says Martine Ast of Paul Lavoie Interior Design. “If you’ve inherited an heirloom that you cannot bear to discard, a stunning refinish and new hardware will bring exciting new life to a cherished handme-down.” If you’re not D.I.Y.-inclined here are some local companies that reupholster, refinish, rewire or otherwise reinvent furnishings and architectural elements.


Banbury Lane Design Centre.

Hinchcliff & Lee

Where on Earth Did

One of the best places to find

You Get That?

Asian antique furniture and home

Laying claim to the title of “South-

accessories in the entire country,

ern Alberta’s largest antique mall,”

this Inglewood store has plenty

you’ll find this sprawling antique

of unique pieces.

hub just north of the city in Airdrie.

1217A 9 Ave. S.E., 403-263-0383,

325 Edmonton Tr. S.E., Airdrie,


403-948-3669, whereonearth.ca

Inside Avenue Antiques

Wu & McHugh

You’ll need to set aside some

Carrying both antiques and archi-

time to scour the wares of the

tectural salvage, including doors

more than 50 vendors operating

and screens, this shop specializes

out of this 15,000-square-foot

in pieces from China and also

antique mall.

has an event space where they

3419 8 St. S.E., 403-287-1988

run monthly “warehouse talks” on a variety of subjects.

Iron Crow Antiques and

Bay 3, 9727 Horton Rd. S.W.,

Objects of Intrigue


In addition to antique furniture,


Mid-Century Dweller photograph by Linda Kee

Iron Crow is chock full of one-of-

Mid-Century Dwelller.

a-kind decorative items celebrating


Alberta culture. Oil-and-gas,

Banbury Lane Design Centre

western and Indigenous artifacts

Updating hardware on furniture

feature prominently.

and cabinets is an easy way

4305 9 St. S.E., 403-287-8770,

to add new life to old pieces.


Banbury Lane has been selling high-end home accessories and

Mid-Century Dweller

hardware since 1986. Many of

Grab yourself some of the design

their lines are custom made or

aesthetic that has defined furni-

have a heritage feel.

ture trends in recent years at this

1301 10 Ave. S.W., 403-244-

tasteful Inglewood showroom.

0038, banburylane.com

1221B 9 Ave. S.E., 403-918-4475, midcenturydweller.ca AvenueCalgary.com




Rockyford Distributors

Rowland Custom Furniture

Powder coating offers better

& Upholstery

protection than regular paint.

In the Calgary upholstering game

Rockyford uses high-pressure

for more than 100 years, Rowland

steam in its system, eliminating

reupholsters both home and patio

the need for harsh detergents.

furniture and offers pick-up and

Items are sprayed and then


cured in their 24-foot oven.

5005 Macleod Trail S.W., 403-

251223 Sunshine Rd. N.E.,

243-6996, rowlandupholstery.com

403.219.8569, rockyforddist.com

Before and after images from a project by Athlone Restorations.

Simmering Upholstery


Started in the 1930s by John

Davidson’s Furniture

Simmering and now run by son


Bob and grandson Jim, Simmer-


Priding itself on wooden furniture

ing specializes in cleaning and

Athlone Restorations


restoration, Davidson’s is the place

restoring delicate fabrics and

Owner Ken Farley studied

All Through the House

to bring antique tables, chairs and

custom upholstery.

antique furniture restoration in

Make the drive to Okotoks to

chests that have lost their lustre.

1902 10 Ave. S.W., 403-244-

Germany and has since brought

peruse this recently expanded

131, 519 34 Ave. S.E., 403-243-

4656, simmeringupholstery.ca

his expertise repairing and restor-

collection of rustic antiques and

ing 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century

salvage with farmyard flavour.

Timeless Upholstery

antiques to Canada.

185, 100 Stockton Ave.,

Finishing Traditions

This firm specializes in antique

3931 Brooklyn Cres. N.W.,

Okotoks, 403-995-2399,

Run by third-generation furniture

furniture restoration and custom



refinisher John King, this shop has

designs and serves both residen-


extensive experience in a trade

tial and commercial clients.

where that still counts for a lot.

Bay 8 1235 64 Ave. S.E.,

Furniture Medic

Started with the goal to keep

4536 14 St. N.E., 403-250-3246,


Working on-site whenever

material out of landfills, Tim’s



possible, Furniture Medic offers

Reusables stocks a wide variety

a range of services, from leather

of saved and salvaged building

restoration to repairing flood-

materials, fixtures and hardware.

and fire-damaged furniture.

Bay B, 336 35th Ave. N.E., 403-


276-1616, timsreusables.com

8300, davidsonsfurniture.ca

Tim’s Reusables

furnituremedic-calgary.ca Uniquities

4 0 avenueFEBRUARY.18

Architectural Antiques

Blackstone Refinishing

the U.K., France and Belgium

This bathtub and tile refinisher

Uniquities carries an impressive

serves Calgary from just south

selection of antiques and rare

of the city and will refinish your

materials ranging from Victorian

claw-foot tub in the colour of

doorknobs and Welsh slate roofing

your choice.

tiles to pre-Industrial Revolution

1, 113 Orchard Way,

hand-thrown brick.

Strathmore, 403-630-6534,

Bay 2, 2501 Alyth Rd. S.E.,


403-228-9221, uniquities.ca

Incredtuble Refinishing


Offering free estimates for

Lighting Renewal

claw-foot tub restoration and

This shop operated by Glazier

re-glazing, Incredtuble serves

Electric has loads of replacement

Calgary and surrounding

lighting parts and also repairs

communities as far as Banff.

a wide range of fixtures from

16 Lake Huron Pl. S.E.,

table lamps to chandeliers.


7134 Fisher St. S.E., 403-283-


4111, lightingrenewal.com

Sourcing their salvage from

—Fabian Mayer

Timeless Upholstery photograph courtesy of Timeless Upholstery

Timeless Upholstery.








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SHELF EXPRESSION Create the kind of displays that will make your Instagram followers jealous. BY Ellis Choe

Photograph from Stocksy/Lumina


reating “shelfie-worthy” bookshelves might seem like an easy task, but even the pros agree, it’s tougher than it looks. “The challenge is that there are no hardand-fast rules for designing a great shelf,” says Myra Murias, former home stylist for West Elm in Calgary. For her, it’s mostly about trusting her intuition. The same goes for Katie Rioux, interior decorator and owner of Decorating Den Interiors. “It involves a lot of stepping back, eyeballing and rearranging,” says Rioux. For those who lack that intuition, here are some basic guidelines to help you curate and transform bland ledges into photogenic spaces that will warrant Instagram likes.

F O C U S ON A FEELING Myra Murias advises to start by removing

In her immaculate home office, she

everything from the shelves, then determine

has styled dark chocolate bookshelves with

what kind of feeling you want in the space.

favourite novels and art and history books,

“You have to figure out what your per-

and accented with silver-framed family pho-

sonal tolerance is for chaos and clutter,” says

tos, a silver cigar-box that belonged to her

Murias. “If you have a low clutter tolerance,

husband’s grandfather and a silver pocket

then you may want grey, cream and silver

watch she gave to her husband on their

for a calm, relaxing look. Other people could

wedding day.

have things all over the place and that looks awesome to them.”

“This is my work space and I want to be surrounded by things that make me happy,”

Danielle Burns is one of those people with

says Burns, “but I don’t want too much. I feel

a very low tolerance for chaos in her space.

like too much stuff makes my mind cluttered.” AvenueCalgary.com


VARY TEXTURE AND HEIGHT Vary the heights and textures of display objects, especially in a grouping. Ideally, you should group items in odd numbers. “If you want the grouping to look cohesive, it’s nice if there’s one thing that unites all of them,” says Murias. “That’s what makes it look like it has purpose.” In the case of three pictures, all the frames could be different materials and sizes, but the unifying factor could be


that they are all black-

You can create depth by layering

and-white photos — or

your display items to create visual

the frames could all be

interest. Lean a painting or an attrac-

metallic or the mats could

tive tray against the back of the shelf,

all be white. Assembling

then place a smaller piece of artwork

three white vases of vary-

in front and complete the grouping

ing heights and textures

with a glass vase in front of that.

also makes an attractive grouping. “Varying the heights will keep your eye moving rather than keep it stagnant in one space,” says

SPACE OUT Just as the “rest” (that breath of silence) is

Irene Chen took negative space to another

important in music, so is the space between

level, designing a staggered assortment of

objects. “That’s the other mistake people make

individual box shelves to give pause between

— they don’t have quiet spacing or what we call

each of her favourite vases and objects. As a

negative space,” says Murias. Instead, people

result, each cheery Granny-Smith-apple-green

often put too much on their shelves, she says.

item is framed and spotlighted in a showcase

“When you have a little grouping to one side,

of its own. “I didn’t want the typical shelves for

leave some space, then put a stack of horizon-

books and stuff,” says Chen. “I wanted it to be

tal books or a little topiary just by itself.”

like a gallery.”

4 4 avenueFEBRUARY.18

Large photograph from Stocksy/Bonnin Studio

Katie Rioux.

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COLOUR For Rioux, accessorizing shelves begins with a colour palette. “It’s important to have some sort of colour you’re drawing from in the room,” she says. “You want to determine your colour palette and repeat it throughout.” In her own home studio, Rioux selected a few bright blue and orange vessels for her shelves matching the tones in the modern artwork that is the focal point in the room (left). By contrast, Sue Han’s 89-year-old home is blanketed in a serene, neutral palette with white shelves flanking her white brick fireplace. “Because my house is really white, [the shelves] are one area in the room where I can play around with colour and texture” says Han, an interior designer. “Knick-knacks can look messy but I like to curate just enough so it adds another dimension to my house.”

MIX IT UP “Too much of one thing is not a good thing,”


says Rioux. “It’s important to get a variety

Whether you’re aiming for a

of different things — anything from books,

symmetrical or an asymmetrical

sculptural objects, trays, pictures, vacation

look, all of the tips given here can


help to create balance.

Avoid filling shelves with the same types

“Symmetry can be great for

of items such as only framed photographs

a calming feeling, if you like things

or all vases or too many plants.

very orderly,” says Rioux. “Asym-

The exception is books, says Rioux. Still,

metry just kind of shakes things

she notes that filling the shelves with books

up. People are [increasingly] be-

may not work for just any room. “You would

coming fans of that eclectic feel.”

be more apt to see that in an office or a study versus your living room.”

To attain asymmetry success, keep in mind the visual weight of objects, making sure one item’s


proportion isn’t overpowering an-

In all the talk of selecting items it can be easy

heavier and dominate a space

to forget that your display items should reflect

more than a large transparent

your personality and be meaningful to you.

or lighter-coloured object. “Don’t concentrate all one

one shelf is occupied by Lego. “My son went

colour on one shelf,” says Murias.

through a phase when he was crazy about

“[Having said that], a whole wall of

Lego so we got the Architecture series and he

all whites, creams and silver could

built them and we have it on display because

be really beautiful, too.”

it’s reflective of what we do,” says Kochorek, owner of Calista Homes Ltd. On another shelf sits an antique radio that she picked up from a pawn shop 30 years ago. “You need something used, with a bit of life

Which is to say, that in the end, it’s still a bit about intuition, and individual taste. “Put your stuff on the shelf, stand and stare at it for about

and soul to it, which is something antiques

10 minutes — live with it for a bit,”

have,” says Murias. “They just have an energy

says Murias. “Do that, and if you’re

and soul to them.”

happy with it, then it’s good.”

4 6 avenueFEBRUARY.18

Top photograph by Janis Nicolay; bottom photograph by Jared Sych

For example, in Lamise Kochorek’s home,

other’s. A small, dark item will look

Imagine concrete

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DECOR BY Jennifer Dorozio PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych

Adorned &

PURPOSEFUL A new build allows for a little glitz and glamour in a space that can handle the rigours of family life.


ill Carlsen was more than ready when she began the process of building her new home two years ago. She had spent hours up to that point scrolling through interior-design Instagram accounts and had a stack of dog-eared magazines creating a list of what she had to have and what she wanted to avoid. By building new, Carlsen says, “I knew that we would be able to get everything we wanted.” For the two-storey home in a mature neighbourhood near Confederation Park, Carlsen enlisted architect Suzanne Devonshire Baker with Devonshire Baker Architectural Design, contractor Chris Hone of Manor House Crafted Homes and interior designers Reena Sotropa and Alanna Dunn of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. It was important to Carlsen that she, her husband Chris and their three young children, Sasha, Tate and Vivian, have a home that was beautiful but also built to handle the life of a busy family of five. “We’re a fun family,” says Carlsen. “I don’t want a house that looks like kids don’t live in it.” Despite the gilding of metallic accents and reflective wallpaper, the house takes its cues overall from a functionfirst design principle. This is exemplified in the stylish and well-used mud room. Bold patterned tile on the floor helps camouflage tracked-in mud and dust. Grey-stained oak lockers, one for each family member, provide ample storage space, while mesh shelving underneath allows wet boots and gear to dry quickly. The kitchen is another space that balances function with design. Carlsen chose bevelled, handmade subway tile for the kitchen walls, adding a touch of luxury to a classic and durable wall treatment. At each stage of the build, Carlsen worked with the design team to flesh out what would be functional and grow



with her young, energetic family. The dining nook in the kitchen is a high-traffic area that is often overtaken with kids’ craft supplies and toys (Carlsen refers to it as “Lego central”). The nook’s large window seat was designed from the outset to withstand heavy usage, and features a cushion upholstered in a fabric that was deliberately selected to work with potential scuffs and spills. As a partner in the-upside.ca, an online luxury consignment clothing reseller based in Calgary, Carlsen’s work life involves timeless designer fashion pieces. Similarly, she designed her home to have high-end details that won’t easily go out of style. “We always wanted the house to be timeless,” says Carlsen. “I didn’t want my house to be something that would look dated in 10 years.” That said, Carlsen was unafraid to commit to wallpaper, which shows up in the dining room, guest bath and kids’ bedrooms. Interior designer Sotropa says the trick with wallpaper is to avoid competing patterns and ensure that there is neutral space between papered areas. “It makes those rooms even more special,” Sotropa says. The inspiration for Carlsen’s choice of colour palette came while she was out shopping with Sotropa for the perfect living-room rug. Carlsen was adamant that the rug be ethically sourced and ethically manufactured. She found what she was looking for in a Creative Matters carpet on display at HPR Gallery. “I walked in and saw this rug hanging and thought, ‘that’s awesome,’” Carlsen says. Throughout the home, neutral whites, blacks and metallics serve as a backdrop for pops of colour drawn from the rug. “I didn’t want to commit to the whole house looking too industrial,” says Carlsen, “We have two girls and one boy, so I wanted that feminine-masculine balance.”

Homeowner Jill Carlsen in her kitchen, which has a backsplash wall of handmade subway tiles and Hudson Valley Pelham pendant lights with plenty of shine.









INT ERI OR DES IGNER R E E NA SOTROPA’S TI PS F OR AC HIEV ING TI M E L E SS DES IGN 1. Use more than one metal for accents “I always like to mix metals,” says Sotropa, principal designer at Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. “We like to sprinkle different metals around the house so it looks like [the decor] evolved over time.” 2. Select building materials that will age well “Anything that we knew would be interacting with the family we tried to make a reasonable surface with patina that would look better and better as time went on.” 3. Avoid bold colours for more-permanent features “For things that are hard to change, we tended not to do colour, so that there was no big commitment to any particular colour.” 4. Mix up cabinet finishes “We kept mixing and matching the [cabinet finishes] throughout the house, dependent on what the requirement was or what we needed to achieve,” says designer Alanna Dunn, who works alongside Sotropa. “It helps if something goes out of style, then you’re not locked in.”

1. An eye-catching Jonathan Adler chandelier hung above the main staircase adds a touch of glamour to the upper hallway area. 50


2. The dining nook balances style and function with a window seat designed for durability and a configuration of Knoll Saarinen table and Knoll Eames chairs.

3. The mud room has custombuilt lockers for each family member and bold-patterned tile chosen for the demands of a high-use area.

4. “Petal Pusher” patterned wallpaper by Hygge & West adds visual pop to Carlsen’s daughter’s bedroom.



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Architect Suzanne Devonshire Baker, Devonshire Baker Architectural Design, devonshirebaker.com Interior design by Reena Sotropa and Alanna Dunn at Reena Sotropa In House Design Group, 211, 3332 20 St. S.W., 403-686-8488, reenasotropa.ca Contractor Chris Hone, Manor House Crafted Homes, 2420, 246 Steward Green S.W., 403-8702556, manorhouse.ca Kitchen backsplash tiles are Ann Sacks Collection from Empire Kitchen and Bath, 5539 1 St. S.E., 403-252-2458, empirekitchenandbath.com Kitchen countertop from Icon Stone & Tile, 521 36 Ave. S.E., 403-532-3383, iconstonetile.com Hudson Valley Pelham pendant lights from Carrington Lighting, 2513 5 Ave. N.W., 403-264-5483, carringtonlighting.com Counter stools from Restoration Hardware, Southcentre Mall, 403-271-2122, restorationhardware.com Wolf oven from Bradlee Distributors, 1245 73 Ave. S.E., 403-297-1000, bradleedistributors.com Dining-nook light fixture by Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com Knoll Saarinen table and Knoll Eames chairs from Element Integrated Workplace Solutions Ltd., 4411 6 St. S.E., 403-444-7390. elementiws.com Creative Matters living-room rug from HPR Gallery, 1206 20 Ave. S.E., 403-262-5323, hprgallery.com Drapery custom designed by Reena Sotropa In House Design Group; fabricated by Casablanca Interiors, 403-252-4645 Custom blue couch and grey chairs in living room from Kravet Furniture, kravet.com Blue ottomans designed by Alanna Dunn at Reena Sotropa In House Design Group; fabricated by Red Eight Workshop, 934 55 Ave. N.E., 403-219-8885, redeightworkshop.com Bar cart from West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.com Artwork displayed above bar cart by Cathy Daley, cathydaley.com, from Newzones Gallery, 730 11 Ave. S.W., 403-266-1972, newzones.com Custom concrete fireplace designed by Reena Sotropa and Alanna Dunn at Reena Sotropa In House Design Group; fabricated by Sculptural Design, 237 39 Ave. N.E., 403-276-8846, sculpturaldesign.ca Chandelier above the stairs by Jonathan Adler Girls’ room Petal Pusher wallpaper from Hygge & West, hyggeandwest.com Mud-room tile from Icon Stone & Tile Mud-room decorative hooks from Anthropologie, Chinook Centre, 403-252-7411, anthropologie.com

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PROFILE BY Fraser Tripp PHOTOGRAPHY BY Asim Overstands

Hannah The Calgary-raised model touched down in her former hometown last fall to walk the runway as the face of Hudson’s Bay’s “Be Yourself ” campaign and chat about the career boost she’s gotten since appearing in the viral-hit music video for “Secrets” by superstar artist The Weeknd.



he makes a living stomping down runways and staring down cameras with her captivating gaze. But here, up in a faux living-room suite on an upper floor at the downtown Hudson’s Bay, Hannah Donker pauses in mid-conversation to apologize for not making good eye contact. It’s a display of down-to-earth humility from the 26-year-old model, who was back in her former hometown last September to lead the runway show of HBC’s fall-winter clothing lines. The Calgary-raised ingenue was thrust into the spotlight last June, having landed the role of The Weeknd’s love interest in the moody “Secrets” video, shot in the architecturally striking Toronto Reference Library. As of the end of last year, the music video had exceeded 70 million views on YouTube. The Bay’s fall show in Calgary featured projections of the video, creating larger-than-life images of Donker floating over the department store’s walls. The video has brought about a major career shift for Donker, who says she wasn’t expecting the level of attention it has garnered and laughs at the suggestion that she’s now attained a level of fame in which she might start demanding red M&Ms and no other colour on her rider. “Who does that? I want to know!” she says. “I’m still in shock that people are excited to see me. I’m just Hannah Donker.”



Donker, who is British-Jamaican, moved to Calgary when she was 10 and began her modelling development with local agency Mode Models. She was “rediscovered” in 2015 by Dallas Bugera, who was working with Elite Toronto, and has been modelling full-time ever since. Donker’s return to Calgary as the face for the Hudson’s Bay “Be Yourself ” campaign was a unique opportunity to work on home turf. “It feels awesome to rep my city,” she says. It also gave her some much-appreciated time to see her family in Calgary. Represented by Wilhelmina Models in New York and L.A. Models in Los Angeles, Donker is a frequent flier between those two cities. The release of the video kicked her travelling into an even higher gear. “I’m basically living out of a suitcase, on a plane,” she says. Back in the heyday of MTV, the channel that famously announced its presence to the world with “Video Killed the Radio Star,” an appearance in a chart-topping music video could provide a significant career boost for a young actress or model — think Courteney Cox literally being picked out of the crowd in Bruce Springsteen’s video for “Dancing In The Dark” circa 1984. What’s surprising is how the video format has made a resurgence as a starmaking vehicle even as MTV and other channels like it are now more interested in teen moms and teen wolves than playing music videos.







That, of course, is due to the widespread reach of online platforms such as YouTube and VeVo, which can turn music videos viral, reaching into the billions of views. For a model or relatively unknown actress, a memorable appearance in a viral video can mean instant celebrity, as it did for Emily Ratajkowski following the release of the video for 2013’s “Blurred Lines.” On another level, artists like Beyoncé are putting video on par with music in feature-length visual albums such as 2013’s surprise drop Beyoncé or her acclaimed Lemonade in 2016. According to Mode Models president and CEO Kelly Streit, it wasn’t so long ago that a music video would have had little to no impact on a model’s career, and the only thing that truly mattered was the cover of Vogue Italia. “There was a time where you had to be one or the other [a model or an actress]. If you were an actress, you couldn’t be taken seriously as a model and vice versa.” Now, Streit says, that crossover is beneficial. In Donker’s case the appearance in “Secrets” will have an indelible effect on her career. “[Hannah] will always be the girl in the ‘Secrets’ video for The Weeknd, forever,” he says. “It’s not something that’s fleeting ... the views are going up. It’s something that she’ll always have in her arsenal. You can never take that away.” Since the release of the video, Donker has continued to make waves, appearing on the fashion-insider pages

of the online publication Coveteur, where she shared a few secrets of her own from her skincare regimen, and in commercial modelling campaigns for Lululemon, Dynamite and Free People. While she says she’s grateful for the exposure “Secrets” has provided her, she’s not just sitting back and waiting for the opportunities to fall in her lap. Prior to her Calgary trip, she had spent the relatively quiet period that follows New York Fashion Week attending casting after casting. “I had six [in two days] and it’s a slow time,” she says. “It’s time to go.” Donker will admit that when it comes to modelling, one of her dreams is a heavenly one — walking the runway as a Victoria’s Secret angel. “I saw the casting directors this year,” she says. “I didn’t get the callback, but I was like, ‘I’m here. This is crazy.’” Only time will tell whether or not her video foray will open the door to more acting roles. “It’s a whole other beast on top of modelling,” she says. “I don’t want to tackle it just because I can. I want it to be genuine and do really good work.” Over all, Donker credits every opportunity she receives to her positive approach. “If you go into something with a great attitude, great energy and just be happy in the moment, anything can happen,” she says. “If I came in wanting things and having that different mindset, I don’t think I would be where I am. I’m never like, ‘I want this or that.’ I’m just lucky to be able to do the job that I do.”

Music video by The Weeknd performing Secrets. © 2017 The Weeknd XO, Inc., manufactured and marketed by Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc., directed by Pedro Martin-Calero

The Weeknd and Donker embracing in a scene from the “Secrets” music video.

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DINING BY Elizabeth Chorney-Booth PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych



Two Penny

U The main-floor dining room at Two Penny Chinese.

nder the banner of Thank You Hospitality Management, Cody Willis is part of the teams behind Native Tongues and Calcutta Cricket Club, two of the city’s liveliest and most popular restaurants. After bringing a little bit of whimsy to the worlds of Mexican and Indian cuisine respectively, Willis and his partners have taken on Chinese food with the newly opened Two Penny. AvenueCalgary.com



Crispy half-chicken with ginger, scallion and soy at Two Penny.



Bread and Circus Trattoria

T Drawing inspiration from the family-style neighbourhood Chinese restaurants that most Calgarians grew up on (think places like Silver Dragon), chef Scott Beaton uses the skills he picked up at Teatro and Native Tongues, as well as fresh local and house-made ingredients to elevate nostalgic Chinese favourites. The familystyle menu has classics such as beef and broccoli made with an ultra-tender Wagyu brisket and smoked oyster sauce, and a kung pao studded with Empire Provisions’ Chinese-style bologna, as well as a selection of dumplings, bao buns, and Hong Kong-style barbecued meats. The dishes run from familiar Chinese take-out/ dim sum fare (pork soup dumplings, shrimp wontons) to more intensely flavoured showstoppers like the spicy cumin lamb ribs and a shrimp-and-duck fried rice served with a bone full of marrow meant to be mixed in after the dish hits the table. This is where Two Penny shines — the less surprising dishes are nice enough, but it’s the riskier plates that may lead diners to consider the admittedly more expensive Two Penny over their favourite joint in Chinatown or their local strip mall. As with Native Tongues and Calcutta Cricket Club, the design of Two Penny is stylishly cheeky — designer Sarah Ward took her cues from retroChinese art deco chic, with plenty of curved lines, luxurious lamp shades and a long, elegant bar at the back of the room. There’s a second concept in the basement — a darker, cozier bar that serves slightly more experimental creations both on the menu and from a dim-sum cart, all meant to be washed down with a craft beer or a cocktail. And, speaking of cocktails, the drink list on both levels is just as interesting as the food. Local bar wizard Stephen Phipps is responsible for Two Penny’s cocktail list, which is full of concoctions that employ classic Asian flavours like sesame, plum wine and orange blossom. Phipps’ gingersoy sour is already on its way to becoming a Calgary favourite. 1213 1 St. S.W., 403-474-7766, twopenny.ca 58


he 900-square-foot space between the Una Takeaway counter and Frenchie Wine Bar in the unit next door to Una Pizza + Wine doesn’t seem like the most intuitive spot to wedge in a restaurant, but there’s something about Bread and Circus Trattoria that just works. The energetic atmosphere, with its bustling

open kitchen surrounded by bar seats, lives up to the name, a reference to an old Roman phrase that could just as easily translate to “dinner and a show.” But it’s the food at Bread and Circus that gets star billing. Modelled after Roman-style trattorias, the menu is small, with the sections for antipasti, salad, pasta and dessert all maxing out at six or fewer selections. That said, chef Kayle Burns (a newcomer to the Calgary restaurant scene) does a lot with what he offers: standouts include the generously portioned chicken liver and almonds and the spaghetti alla bottarga, which is topped with house-made (salted and cured) shrimp bottarga and plenty of fresh tarragon for a simple but intensely flavourful dish. The relatively small Italian-centred wine list is also expertly curated. Which is pretty much what Bread and Circus is all about: simple sophistication. It may not look like much from the street, but this tiny space is filled with surprises. 616 17 Ave. S.W., 403-476-3615, breadandcircusyyc.com

ABOVE Inside the diminutive Bread and Circus. LEFT Chicken liver and almonds with cured egg yoke, chervil, pickled red onion and honey-oat granola.

on the menu

Valentines Gift Guide

Cardinale’s Sage Advice, a gin-based cocktail that gets its colour from sage and peas. ITAL I AN R EDUX




or a decade, La Vita e Bella was the perfect spot for a pre-Saddledome Italian meal. Tucked in next to Cowboys Casino, the restaurant had a prime location, but after 10 years the owners wanted to give it a refresh. Riding high on the success of his Kensington barbecue joint, Hayden Block Smoke and Whiskey, co-owner Jared Kichula decided it was time for a make-over when the lease came up last fall. The lease stipulated that the space remain an Italian restaurant, but Kichula and his partners decided to renovate and turn La Vita e Bella into a hipper, more comfortable Italian spot with a strong cocktail focus — the restaurant is actually named after the cardinale cocktail, a boozy mix of Campari, vermouth and gin. In addition to other concoctions like Sage Advice (a gin-based cocktail that gets its bright green colour from sage and peas), Cardinale also boasts a handsome list of Italian wines. Chef Steven Dowdell was around for the La Vita e Bella days, but he’s overhauled the menu, going for a more casual vibe. Pasta plays a big part, with must-trys like the mezza maniche with a carbonara-style sauce made with bone marrow and bacon from the Hayden Block smoker, and the pappardelle with slow-cooked veal shin ragu and burnt chicken liver. More traditional entrees such as veal rib-eye steak and pork braciola are also available for those who prize protein over carbs.


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Selection from the five-course chef’s tasting menu.

Teatro chef de cuisine Dave Bohati and Teatro Group corporate executive chef Matthew Batey. U P S C A L E ITA L IA N


N The sunny main-floor dining room at Elbow Room.


Elbow Room


ot to be confused with the Elbow Room Lounge in the Glenmore Inn, this Elbow Room is a new restaurant in increasingly trendy Britannia. The two-storey restaurant features a sunny mainfloor dining room with an open kitchen, plus an upstairs bar with a walkout patio. Chef and owner Ryan Blackwell leans to a selection of items described as “simple and delicious” that draw 60


influence from various cultures while using local products. A mix of small share plates and more traditionally plated entrees, the aim is to make everyone from the nearby neighbourhood feel comfortable when they’re ordering. Traditionalists can opt for steelhead trout or Sungold lamb T-bones, while new-school eaters may share a plate of fried chicken with Blackwell’s signature ultrafluffy Liège Belgian waffles.

Where Elbow Room really stands out is with its brunch menu, which Blackwell has tried to distinguish from dinerstyle pancakes ’n’ omelettes fare. With sophisticated offerings like a forest-mushroom fricassee, a Moroccan stew with merguez meatballs and a sausage-androasted-pork-loin bread pudding, this could be a game changer for the brunch scene. 802 49 Ave. S.W., 403-460-8128, elbowroombritannia.ca

o, Teatro is not a new restaurant — it’s the same grande dame across the street from Arts Commons that we’ve all grown to know and love. But over the past few months Teatro has been injected with new life, thanks to new talent in the kitchen. First off, chef Matthew Batey, known to most Calgarians as the former executive chef at Michael Noble’s Inglewood restaurant The Nash, has stepped into the role of corporate executive chef for the Teatro Group, overseeing Teatro as well as Royale, Cucina, Alforno, and the group’s other properties. The other major change is Dave Bohati, the former executive chef at Market, has taken over the more hands-on chef de cuisine gig at Teatro. Bohati has been celebrated for his creative approach to food and he’s bringing a fresh take to the upscale Italian fare that Teatro has built its reputation on. The menu changes regularly so Bohati can take full advantage of seasonal ingredients. His dishes — especially those in the five-course chef ’s tasting menu — are modern and often whimsical, while still using Teatro-esque ingredients such as duck breast, lamb and pasta. Teatro is still that iconic restaurant that Calgarians have been hitting for pre-theatre dates and special occasions since 1993, but Bohati and Batey are doing their part to keep this classic vibrant and relevant. 200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca

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3915 23 Avenue SW

MLS C4142474


Spectacular beautifully renovated 3+2 bedroom 2 story home in Glendale with over 3700 sq ft of living space! The main floor of this home showcases white oak hardwood and marble flooring throughout, a very spacious great room, dining area and gorgeous chef’s kitchen finished with granite counter tops, large island, custom cabinetry, plenty of counter space and top of the line appliances. On the second level, you will find 3 good sized bedrooms and a 4 piece main bath. The master bedroom boasts a sitting area, large walk-in closet and lovely 4 piece ensuite with dual sinks and large walk-in shower. The fully developed basement features family and recreation rooms, 2 bedrooms, a 3 piece bath and laundry room with ample counter and storage space. Additional highlights include full wiring for surround sound throughout, beautifully landscaped gardens and huge south facing back yard with deck, patio, hot tub and storage shed.

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Above: Grade 6 students from Strathcona-Tweedsmuir hold longboards they designed and built themselves as part of an immersive class experience exploring the principles of design. Top right: A West Island College campus classroom, where class sizes never exceed 20 students. Bottom right: Uniforms are mandatory at West Island College and many other private schools.


n Mackenzie’s Whitfield’s grade 10 year, she began to encounter problems academically. Part of the reason for this, she says, was the large class sizes at her school, which would sometimes reach up to 40 students per one teacher. It got to the point where Whitfield didn’t feel comfortable asking a question in class and grew anxious walking the crowded hallways. Resolved to find a solution, Whitfield and her parents made the choice to move her out of the public school system and into Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, a K-12 private school

just outside Calgary, where the class sizes are capped at 16 students. At her new school, Whitfield’s grades, and her confidence, started to soar. “I think the relationship with the teachers was the biggest thing,” says Whitfield. “[They] were able to get to know everyone really individually … their strengths and weaknesses.” She says she felt challenged and listened to in class by her teachers, and the once-shy teen even began to take part in school plays and other extracurriculars as her worry went away. Calgary has several premier private schools, and, while they may be diverse in their educational approaches, most rarely see class sizes

Photos: top left by Jennifer Chipperfield Photography; top and bottom right by Carla Huhn

Small class sizes, specialized curriculum and leadership development are just some of the advantages offered by Calgary’s premier private schools.

swell beyond 20 students. At Rundle College, a K-12 private school in southwest Calgary, classes are capped at 15 students. “We really focus on individualized education and building strong relationships between our faculty and students, and our faculty and parents,” says Rundle College Society Headmaster Jason Rogers. Knowing a child will receive the attention they need within smaller, more attentive classroom settings is just one item in a long list of reasons why almost 10 per cent of Alberta parents, according to a 2016 Fraser Institute Study, choose private or independent school education for their children. 63

Photos clockwise from top left: courtesy of Calgary French International School; Rundle College; Carla Huhn


Top left: Calgary French & International School, a Pre K-12 school, offers a fully immersive French program. Students communicate in French in all school classes and activities. Top right: Rundle College Headmaster Jason Rogers speaking with an Ascent Leadership student group. The Ascent Program takes a module-based approach to introducing students to the principles of leadership using real-world examples. Left: To set its graduates up for success, West Island College students explore workplaces within their fields of interest through the Institutes program.

UNIVERSITY PREPARATION Another element that sets a private school education apart from other streams is the remarkably high post-secondary acceptance rate for private-school graduates. At West Island College in southeast Calgary, 100 per cent of graduating students last year received admission offers from post-secondary 64

institutions of their choice. Scott Bennett, head of strategic planning and initiatives at West Island College, credits this stat to the school’s “Institutes model,” in which the faculty works with each student to identify their key talents and interests — as early as in grade nine — and then provides venues for that student to explore those passions both in and out of the classroom.

For example, a student intrigued by health sciences can visit relevant workplaces like hospitals and clinics in order to build on their knowledge base. Bennett says the rationale for the Institutes, which are broken into Business, Health Sciences, Engineering and Liberal Arts, is “to offer enriched experiences and learning opportunities for students not only within the class, but outside of it.”

Grades 7 to 12

Be Bold.

Be Brave.

Be Ready.


West Island College Calgary



West Island College Calgary

403.444.0023 7410 Blackfoot Trail S.E.





CALGARY PRIVATE SCHOOLS BY THE NUMBERS Top photo courtesy of Rundle College; bottom photo courtesy of River Valley School


Percentage of private-school graduates who are accepted into a post-secondary institution of their choice


Average number of competitive sports teams per school

Above: Students of all ages at Rundle College are encouraged to develop leadership skills through ambassador and mentorship opportunities. This begins with programs such as reading buddies or volunteering as lunch helpers. Left: Education is approached cross-curricularly at the River Valley School. For instance, math classes may correspond with geography curriculum.


Average class size

503 Average school population

12 Number of private schools in Calgary that offer full kindergarten to grade 12 classes


At the River Valley School, a private school for preschoolers to kids in grade six, children are taught early on the principles of creative problem-solving through a partnership with the STEM Learning Lab in Calgary. Erin Corbett, head of school at River Valley School, says these approaches give their students the tools to be successful right from the start of their formal education. “I think that is absolutely what is required of students when they move on to post-secondary work, if they are to be entrepreneurs,� says Corbett.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERY KIND OF LEARNER Private schooling opens doors for all learning styles and differences. Schools like Rundle, for instance, have an academy program for divergent thinkers who may deal with challenges like ADD and dyslexia. Similarly, the Calgary Academy hosts two learning streams: the Collegiate program for on-track, grade-level students and the Academy program, where students can receive specialized support.

At River Valley School each student is taught based on who they are, how they learn and what engages them. We believe children thrive when exposed to caring teachers who are specialists in their ďŹ eld. That's why, in addition to core curriculum, we have specialists in Music, French, Drama, Art and Phys Ed. River Valley is one of the only schools in Alberta included in the prestigious Cambridge University Innovation 800 group, representing schools worldwide dedicated to innovation and fresh thinking. We have also partnered with STEM Learning Lab and have rich integration of technological tools including iPads, coding, app development, website design and various other digital literacies. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders and innovators. Let's work together to prepare your child for success in our rapidly changing world.



Top photo by Jennifer Chipperfield Photography; left photo courtesy of Lycée Louis Pasteur


Above: Strathcona-Tweedsmuir school is Alberta’s only school to offer the International Baccalaureate program, an enriched Alberta curriculum that introduces global perspectives in learning, to its students from K-12. Right: At Lycée Louis Pasteur, students follow two curriculums across two languages.

Oscar Eichler, a graduate of the Academy program at the Calgary Academy, is currently working toward completing the criminal justice policing program at Lethbridge College. He explains that, because of the difficulties he faced in traditional schooling while dealing with his ADD, he used to feign illness to get out of school. That changed for him in grade 10, when we joined the Academy program and began to receive instruction adjusted for his focus issues. “I started to realize that there was a way out of feeling like I didn’t really know a whole lot,” says Eichler. Within two months, Eichler’s grades shot up, and even today, he still uses learning tricks passed on from his Academy teachers. “A sense of academic confidence was the biggest thing that I got from [attending the Calgary Academy],” says Eichler. Banbury Crossroads School, near the Currie Barracks, embraces a self-directed learning 68

“We are trying to help students become autonomous decision-makers: people who are self-sufficient, who learn how to analyze logically and morally, and who are aware of the rights of others.” —Diane Swiatek, Director of Banbury Crossroads School

method that allows students to take initiative in their education. Classrooms include a mix of ages and education levels, and children are empowered to be self-starters and learn at a pace unique to them, with a teacher or aid tutoring one-on-one when necessary. “We are trying to help students become autonomous decision-makers: people who are self-sufficient, who learn how to analyze logically and morally, and who are aware of the rights of others,” says Diane Swiatek, director of Banbury Crossroads School.

FOCUSED EDUCATION The option of private schooling also offers the chance for highly focused and specialized learning that’s specific to parent and student values.


Their Education Journey Starts Here

ILIT B I S N O RESP E G A U NAL NG O I A T L A T N C TER N I ESPE T R N G E N I LOPM ARN E E L V E Y D T I N CTER A R COMMU A H ENT C M E G A French 3 year old to Grade 12 – Located in Altadore E MAN 495 network schools globally – International student exchange program Children with no prior French welcome (Preschool to Grade 5)

OPEN HOUSE March 8 and 27, 2018


Photo courtesy of Calgary French & International School


The majority of students who graduate from the Calgary French & International School started at the school by the age of three. According to the school, children are likely to encounter less difficulty adopting a new language by starting earlier.

For example, both the Calgary French & International School and Lycée Louis Pasteur, the International French School, offer completely immersive French curricula. At the Calgary French & International School, students not only succeed in adopting a new language, but also compete at a high level academically, on par with other schools in Alberta. “When you learn another language, you add neural connections in your brain and increase mental agility in all areas,” says Margaret Dorrance, head of school at the Calgary French & International School. “Learning a second language also opens the hearts and minds of children to other cultures, and to developing an international mindset.” Amy Pollard, director of finance and opera-


tions at Lycée Louis Pasteur, believes mastery of multiple languages better prepares students for post-secondary success and to be global citizens. Pollard says the goal for their students is “To be globally-minded citizens, to be able to communicate fluently in English and French, and to be [empowered] to make independent choices for their future.” Of course, language isn’t the only type of specialized learning available. Private schools like the Calgary Jewish Academy and Clear Water Academy are founded on Jewish and Catholic principles, respectively, and imbue those teachings into their curriculum. The focus for the Calgary Jewish Academy is on presenting a seamless blend of enriched Alberta curriculum and Judaic studies, says

Joseph Tappenden, director of marketing and advancement at the school. At one point, Ilana Krygier Lapides, an educator and mother, had all three of her children enrolled at the Calgary Jewish Academy. “The school is much more than just a place to learn academics, it’s really a community,” says Krygier Lapides. Similarly, at Clear Water Academy, students are taught to value academics and personal development, rooted in Catholic beliefs. “We encourage our students to become the best version of themselves by discovering their talents and strengths, and by helping them to see their weaknesses and work on overcoming those,” says Val Blahut, admissions director at Clear Water Academy.









Visit strathconatweedsmuir.com




Strathcona-Tweedsmuir athletes enjoy a 220-acre campus to train and play on. As a result, they have won multiple provincial championships for crosscountry running.

ATHLETIC AND CO-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES Most schools provide a handful of athletic, travel and co-curricular activities alongside their academic offerings. What differentiates private schools is the sheer variety and commitment to excellence within these offerings. At both West Island College and Strathcona-

Tweedsmuir School, not only are there seasonal sports teams competing at high levels, but the schools also offer adventurous outdoor programs that allow students to get out and test leadership, teamwork and wilderness skills. Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has 90 co-curricular options. “That really goes back to our students being well-rounded,” says Lara Unsworth, director of enrollment and commu-

nications at the school. “We like to give them as many options as possible so they can explore interests in the arts, athletics, design, environmentalism, speech and debate and model United Nations.” The world becomes more accessible for many students attending private institutions, too. For example, all students at the Lycée Louis Pasteur school visit France as part of their studies in

THE DRESS-CODE DEBATE SCHOOL UNIFORMS CAN BE DIVISIVE. There are those who argue that students who are required to dress in uniforms each day benefit because they don’t have to experience the pressure and guesswork of deciding what to wear in the morning. Others disagree, saying that uniforms are old-fashioned and don’t leave any room for self-expression. Even in the realm of private schools — places where, historically, uniforms tend to be an expected element in a student’s everyday experience — opinions these days differ. Erin Corbett is the head of River Valley School, which teaches students in grades K-6. She believes the school’s white shirts and at least one item — be it a tie, tunic or kilt — featuring the school’s blue tartan has value beyond making it easy for parents to shop for their children’s clothing. 72

“Uniforms in private schools go back to tradition,” says Corbett. “Our students are always crested, and that’s to unite us, to bring us together as a community. We are different in our individualities, but as a community, we are one.” At Banbury Crossroads in the city’s southwest, students do not wear uniforms. School director Diane Swiatek says this is a conscious philosophical choice that adheres to the school’s general principles. “We’re a self-directed learning school, and what we’re promoting is decision-making and self-responsibility, so uniforms don’t fit for us,” says Swiatek. “I want my students to be differentiated, I want them to be unique.” Despite the approach of schools like Banbury, uniforms seem to be winning the day; roughly three-quarters of Calgary’s private schools favour them.

Photos: top courtesy of Jennifer Chipperfield Photography; bottom courtesy of River Valley School


From preschool to Grade 12, Calgary French & International School students are inspired today, to reach their full potential as global citizens tomorrow. Our dynamic, full French immersion program includes a focus on enriched academics, Spanish, English, fine and performing arts, athletics, travel studies, humanitarian outreach and global citizenship. CFIS is located just off Old Banff Coach Road in the SW, with door-to-door bus service throughout the city. We welcome you to see our vibrant school in action by attending a personal tour or one of our upcoming open houses: preschool to Grade 6 on January 31st & Grade 7 to 12 on January 18th. RSVP at www.CalgaryFrench.com 73

ADVERTISING FEATURE grade eight. Beyond that, they have the opportunity to do an exchange with any other school in the world that teaches the same curriculum from grade nine to grade 12. At the Calgary French & International School, which is a United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization, global learning takes priority, and travel studies are available to all students from grade seven onward. By grade nine in the Calgary Jewish Academy, students will have travelled to Salt Spring Island, B.C., Washington, D.C, and Israel as a part of their comprehensive education. “They visit important and significant places in Judaic history, in world history and in biblical history, and they experience the dynamic culture of the state of Israel,” says Tappenden. And West Island College’s immersive French program sees its grade seven students visit Quebec to gain insights into the province’s language and culture. In addition to this, the school offers a summer school option in Switzerland, and travel opportunities in line with students’ study focuses. “[We] want students to be global citizens,” says Roger. “They have to be able to travel and be independent, meet new friends, and embrace new ways of thinking.” 

Students of the Calgary Jewish Academy are offered a well-rounded education with a foundation of Jewish teachings. There are opportunities to compete athletically, to explore robotics and coding, to participate in arts programs and to travel internationally as part of their curriculum.

Self Directed Learning Member of the CCSDL Canadian Coalition for Self-Directed Learning Our Students:

• Take ownership • Innate learning • Develop Character • Engage in Community • Enjoy project-based learning • Students academic programs are built around their innate curiosity, interests, abilities and needs

Call 403 270 7787 for a tour www.banburycrossroads.com Est. 1979


• • • • • •

Forming Christian Leaders University Preparatory School Small Class Sizes Co-ed Campus Gender-Style Education in Gr. 4 - 9 Top Ranking by Fraser Institute

Information Sessions & Personal Tours Visit our website for details Join us & learn more!



Contact: Val Blahut 403-240-7924 or vblahut@clearwateracademy.com



School Contact Information Banbury Crossroads Private School 201 2451 Dieppe Ave. S.W. 403-270-7787 banburycrossroads.com Calgary Academy 1677 93 St. S.W. 403-686-6444 calgaryacademy.com

Dr. Michelle Thal Quality dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and those with special heath care needs. Suite 210, 4915 Elbow Drive SW info@smalltotall.ca 403-474-5600


Calgary French & International School 700 77 St. S.W. | 403-240-1500 cfis.com Calgary Jewish Academy 6700 Kootenay St. S.W. | 403-253-3992 cja.ab.ca Clear Water Academy Currie Barracks, Bessborough Hall Building B7, 2521 Dieppe Ave. S.W. 403-217-8448 clearwateracademy.com LycĂŠe Louis Pasteur 4099 Garrison Blvd. S.W. | 403-243-5420 lycee.ca River Valley School Early Learning Campus 6305 33 Ave. N.W. Elementary Campus 3127 Bowwood Dr. N.W. | 403-246-2275 rivervalleyschool.ca Rundle College Primary/Elementary School 7615 17th Ave. S.W. | 403-282-8411 Jr. & Sr. High 7375 17 Ave. S.W. | 403-250-7180 Rundle Academy, Learning Disability Program 4330 16 St. S.W. | 403-250-2965 rundle.ab.ca

Every student has untapped potential. Academy Program Grades 2-12 Collegiate Program Grades 5-12 Accepting applications for Fall 2018. Learn more: www.calgaryacademy.com/learn-more 76

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School 306 Ave. W. & 32 St. W. Okotoks, A.B. | 403-938-4431 strathconatweedsmuir.com West Island College 7530 Blackfoot Trail S.E. 403-444-0023 westislandcollege.ab.ca



Rundle College offers an enriched academic experience for students in Kindergarten - Grade 12. Rundle Academy offers a premier academic program for students in Grades 4-12 with diagnosed learning disabilities. Rundle College and Rundle Academy offer: Independent, coeducational day school Rigorous university preparatory program Small class sizes ranging from 6-15 students Exceptional cocurricular activities Comprehensive athletic, language, and arts programs International travel clubs and outdoor education options Extensive volunteer, citizenship and leadership programs www.rundle.ab.ca • collegeadmissions@rundle.ab.ca • 403-291-3866


Jewish values, identity and traditions.


Academic excellence and innovation. 77

Retreat to the Mountains for Wellness

Sarah Harvie yoga retreat at Mount Engadine Lodge, Kananaskis Country. 78


Photograph by Sebastian Buzzalino

BY Shelley Arnusch


Clear air, evergreen forests, views that fill your heart and blow your mind — there’s nowhere quite like the mountains to make you feel alive. So it makes sense to head for the hills if you’re looking to do a wellness getaway or retreat. You certainly won’t be starved for choice as many alpine lodges and hotels are tapping into the burgeoning wellness movement and offering programs as a way to fill rooms during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Whether you’re looking for some “me” time, a regimented health-and-fitness retreat or a yoga retreat, here are just some of the ways you can get mindful in the mountains this year.



Lake Loiuse photograph by Nick-Fitzhardinge

Sarah Harvie Yoga Retreats Canmore-based yoga teacher Sarah Harvie is right at home in the Rockies. Raised in Calgary, Harvie has extensive training as a wilderness leader and incorporates that love of the outdoors and the natural environment of the Bow Valley into her yoga retreats. For those who want to rough it a bit (relatively speaking), Harvie offers a spring Wilderness Yoga Retreat at Camp Chief Hector in K-Country where participants stay in tipis or shared cabins. A couple more rungs up the luxury ladder are Harvie’s retreats at Mount Engadine Lodge, a Swiss-style alpine inn on the Smith Dorrien Trail, the unpaved stretch that connects Canmore and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Yoga is the clear raison d’être for these retreats, which Harvie teaches in an intuitive style that owes much to her other career as a craniosacral massage therapist. Mount Engadine’s remote setting on a rise overlooking

a marshy plain surrounded by jagged peaks allows participants to immerse in not just the physical aspects of yoga but the spiritual and emotional sides as well. You can expect a lot of crying during the group sharing sessions in which retreat attendees are free to reveal personal details about themselves and elaborate on their reasons for wanting to sign up. The lodge’s design also encourages introspection. The cabins and lodge rooms, while comfortably appointed, are without televisions; the dry sauna also suits a more contemplative state (as opposed to, say, a rowdy hotel hot tub). The inviting common room with its wood-burning river-stone fireplace is full of comfy spots to relax and tuck into a selection from Harvie’s personal library of books on yoga philosophy and practice (during the afternoons you can sip tea and nibble on one of Engadine’s famous charcuterie plates while you do). You’ll strengthen, you’ll stretch and you’ll do some soul searching, too. sarahharvie.com

Zen in the Art of Writing retreat at Lake Louise.


Creativity RETREAT

Zen in the Art of Writing at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise The shoulder season at Lake Louise can be unpredictable when it comes to weather. A tenacious winter can keep trails impassable through the spring for average-ability hikers while an early-season snowstorm has the same effect in the fall. Lateor early-season ice on the lake can similarly put a crimp into plans to go canoeing. Regardless of what’s going on weather-wise, though, the natural beauty of Lake Louise makes it an ideal spot to step away from the demands of daily life and spend some time looking inward, something the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has responded to by offering a program of transformative wellness retreats during the spring and fall months. The hotel will host 12 retreats in

2018 (six in March-April and six in October-November). While many of the retreats incorporate yoga, the programming is focused less on yoga specifically and more broadly on mindfulness and personal growth. The 2018 lineup kicks off with the return of Zen in the Art of Writing, a five-day retreat for those who want to enhance their writing process, whether for professional or personal reasons. The retreat is led by New Mexico-based author Sean Murphy and his partner Tania Casselle, a writer and teacher, who take participants through exercises designed to heighten sensory awareness, such as guided mediation, haiku composition and free-form journaling. The writing workshops are all presented in an atmosphere of non-judgement and the majestic setting of Lake Louise provides endless inspiration to remedy even the most severe case of writer’s block. lakelouisewellness.com AvenueCalgary.com




Me Time

Relaxation lounge at the Spa at Nita Lake Lodge.


Nita Lake Lodge The only lakeside hotel in Whistler, B.C., Nita Lake Lodge makes an ideal D.I.Y. wellness getaway. The lodge’s location in the Creekside neighbourhood provides the alpine-chic property with some remove from the hustle and bustle of Whistler Village, though if you do want to stroll the village a hotel shuttle makes it easy to do that, too. Once you settle in, however, you might not see much reason 80


to leave ­­— unless it’s for a walk or run along the trails that follow the shore of the mountain lake on your doorstep. During the warm-weather months, lodge guests can also make use of complimentary kayaks and stand-up paddleboards that are kept tethered to the hotel’s dock during the day. Start your stay on the right foot with a Kundalini massage treatment at the in-house Spa at Nita Lake Lodge, an intimate space decorated in contempo-

rary west coast style of fresh whites and soothing greys with natural-wood elements. The head-to-toe Kundalini treatment recalls ancient practices of weary travellers having their feet washed when they arrive at their destination by starting with an invigorating foot scrub (particularly invigorating for those with ticklish feet). That’s followed by gentle massage work on the back and, the best part, a soothing facial massage using argan-rose oil.

Afterwards, you can lounge on the lodge’s rooftop garden and enjoy views of the surrounding peaks from one of the two hot tubs. Nita also has an independently run yoga studio on the premises, Loka Yoga, which offers daily restorative classes. If you do venture beyond the lodge, keep the wellness vibe going at Scandinave Spa Whistler. The Norwegian-style outdoor spa recommends following a cycle that begins with heat (a stint in a steam room, sauna or hot pool), followed by a cold plunge or shower and a session of relaxation in either the outdoor or indoor lounge areas. Built into the landscape of the mountainside, Scandinave has a no-talking-no-cellphones rule, which allows you to tune out in a way that is increasingly rare in a hyper-connected world, while tuning in to the beauty of the alpine setting. nitalakelodge.com; scandinave.com/whistler

Photography courtesy of Nita Lake Lodge

BELOW Nita Lake Lodge’s Aura Restaurant and Cure Lounge both offer al fresco lakeside dining during the warm-weather months. BOTTOM In addition to the two hot tubs on the roof-top garden patio, the lodge also has a lakeside hot tub and plunge pool.

the most delicious destination in the Canadian Rockies

Reservation: 1.800.661.1586 www.posthotel.com




Healthy-Living RETREAT

Evolve Retreats

The Evolve Retreats programming includes group fitness training and workshops on nutrition and healthy eating.

created by chef Alan Wichert, a gregarious Aussie with almost three decades of health-retreat cooking experience under his belt. The retreats also include nutrition workshops and cooking demos in which you learn how to make your own nut milks, vegan sushi rolls and other clean-eating staples. While the high-end accommodations are certainly a soft touch, don’t expect to sleepwalk through your Evolve experience. The fitness component draws on the expertise of celebrity trainer Tommy Europe, while the outdoor-adventure

programming presents physical and personal challenges. Those who sign up for the advancedlevel guided hikes can expect to tackle trails such as Nihahi Ridge in Kananaskis Country, which has sections of steep side-hill terrain and an exposed high-alpine finish featuring a short scramble. Add in the risk of inclement weather and the result is one of those “I can’t believe we all made it”-kind of bonding experiences that certainly get the blood pumping and make the end-of-day massage treatments extra sweet.

Photography courtesy of Evolve Retreats

Conceived by Calgary physician Ingemaud Gerber, Evolve Retreats are immersive multi-day experiences that incorporate fitness, adventure, wellness and clean eating. It’s kind of like sleepaway camp for grownups who want to be their most fit and healthy selves. Unlike your standard sleepaway camp, however, at an Evolve Retreat you don’t have to sleep in a bunkhouse. The retreats are held at upscale venues such as Azuridge Estate Hotel in the foothills southwest of Calgary, The Crossing at Ghost River northwest of Cochrane and Baker Creek Mountain Resort near Lake Louise. Days at an Evolve Retreat start with sunrise yoga and amp up from there with fitnesstraining sessions and outdoor activities such as alpine hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Things wind down in the late afternoon and evening with more yoga, restorative massage and workshops on subjects pertaining to general wellness, such as how to get the best quality sleep. Evolve’s holistic approach to health extends to “clean eating,” as well, with a menu



Prana Yoga Festival

Banff Yoga Festival,


Bloom Festival

These days, yoga festivals aren’t just

Calgary, Alta.

Banff, Alta.

Whistler, B.C.

Edmonton, Alta.

about yoga, offering fitness activities

Single-day event series with

June 1 to 3, 2018. The

Aug. 2 to 5, 2018. Tickets

Sept. 29 to Sept. 30, 2018,

such as group runs, cooking and nutri-

dates in April, September

third year for this festival,

go on sale this month for

followed by a “Mini Bloom

tion workshops, guided meditation,

and November, 2018.

which makes the most of

this epic gathering, now in

Tour” in October with

social gatherings and marketplaces.


its stunning setting.

its seventh year.

events in Calgary, Banff,



Kelowna and Vancouver.

Here are four to check out in 2018.

itstimetobloom.com 82


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Contemporary & Stylish Living by



MBA ‘‘



1920 4818



My Haskayne MBA afforded me the opportunity to find a career path that suits both my passion and skill sets. It gave me the chance to develop a wide-range of practical skills, from leadership and people management to public speaking, which are critical as my career progresses. I also met many amazing people, who have become great friends, colleagues and mentors.” Kelly Lai, MBA’13 Senior Consultant Ernst & Young

The Haskayne MBA. Calgary’s MBA.

haskaynemba.ca 84



The Best Neighbourhoods survey is now open.

AvenueCalgary.com/survey C L O S E S F E B R U A RY 2 8 , 2 0 1 8

WORKOUT BY Christina Frangou PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych

JorDen Tyson Diagnosed with autism as a toddler, this Calgary athlete has found her true calling on the ice, rising to become the top-ranked figure skater in her level in the world, with Special Olympics gold to show for it.


ack in 2011, when she was 18 years old, JorDen Tyson decided she wanted to try figure skating. At the time, Tyson was uncomfortable in her body, having gained more than 70 pounds during her high school years, and was uncomfortable talking to strangers. She tended to be ambivalent about everything — no strong likes or dislikes. So when she felt strongly about figure skating, her mother, Trish Tyson, reached out to a coach listed with Special Olympics in Calgary. AvenueCalgary.com


WORKOUT JorDen has autism, a diagnosis she received at 20 months old. As a toddler, she wouldn’t speak and would rock her body. But as she grew older, she learned to sign, and then speak and eventually joined the public school system. Growing up, JorDen didn’t play many organized sports, mostly because coaches or instructors were uncomfortable teaching students with intellectual disabilities, her mother says. Her parents were able to find a dance teacher for JorDen and she studied dance until her midteens, but that ended when the instructor moved away. JorDen’s weight ballooned soon after. But figure skating has changed her life. Within two years of her first skating lesson, JorDen qualified for nationals with Special Olympics Canada. By then, the Calgary-born skater needed more advanced coaching, but the Tysons had difficulty getting local skating clubs to even return their calls. With the help of Skate Canada, they eventually found two coaches to work with JorDen and a home at Lake Bonavista Figure Skating Club, where she still skates today. Now 25 years old and a muscular 120 pounds, JorDen is currently the top-ranked skater in the world in her level, having won a gold medal at the world Special Olympics in Austria last March wearing a Spanish-inspired red dress with an ornate black-mesh skirt. “I love it. I’m not scared at all,” she says during an interview in the Tyson family living room, her medals on the coffee table, as we look through her competition photos. Adds her mother: “if you could put a bed right beside the skating rink and she could go straight from her bed onto the ice, that would be perfect for her.” The difference in JorDen over the last seven years is nothing short of remarkable. She smiles shyly in photos from her high school graduation in 2012, dressed in a pink gown in size 18, the largest she’d worn, while in a photo from a recent family wedding, she shows off muscular arms in a fitted red dress, wearing her favourite red lipstick and false eyelashes. On ice, JorDen has worked her way through the progression of jumps, perfecting all her singles except the axel (the toughest of the single jumps requiring one-and-a-half rotations). Off ice, she runs on the treadmill daily, and does strength training, ballet, yoga and Pilates workouts weekly, along with regular lessons in rhythmic gymnastics. 86


“I don’t get nervous. I get excited.”

Her off-ice training also involves a nutrition program. JorDen wakes at 4:30 a.m. before her morning training sessions and makes her own oatmeal, topped with berries and honey, before heading to the rink. She has given up bread, sugar and soda pop for skating and eats every few hours, often salads with a focus on protein. A nutritionist that the family consulted said that if JorDen doesn’t eat frequently, she could lose a few pounds a week with her training schedule. JorDen’s plans are to represent Canada again as a figure skater at the winter Special Olympics three years from now. “I don’t get nervous at all. Not at all,” she says. “You do get butterflies,” her mom reminds her. “I get butterflies. I don’t get nervous. I get excited.” Some of the biggest changes in JorDen don’t show up in photos. She is much more comfortable speaking with strangers these days; she has done radio interviews and even gave a presentation at a school (with the support of her mom in the event she couldn’t find the right word or wasn’t sure how to answer a question). Last November she travelled to Ottawa and was honoured in the

Canadian House of Commons along with fellow Special Olympic medallists. JorDen has also benefitted socially from Special Olympics. For the first time in her life, she has several close friends and a boyfriend, Darby, whom she met through the program. “Special Olympics has built a community for her,” says Trish. “Too many times, kids like JorDen are not given a chance. Special Olympics opens the door to say they can do this; she has that right.” JorDen still lives at home and her parents have postponed their retirement plans in order to provide their daughter with the financial and logistical support she needs to continue with her current skating schedule. People with special needs tend to have a shorter life expectancy. Many don’t partake in regular physical activity, partly because there aren’t organized sports programs for them, says Trish. They often lack friends and other social supports as well, factors that also contribute to poor health. In this way, JorDen is proud to be a role model for others with special needs. Her message: “Don’t give up on your dreams. Never give up.”

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Village Ice Cream

I’ve tried every flavour at Village and this is the one I keep coming back to — it’s like an addiction.


Coffee from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.

The two young guys who run it spent years backpacking around and started roasting their own coffee beans over an open fire. The flavours are fantastic.


River City Herbals Calendula Ointment

I get it at Community Natural Foods and it’s the ultimate cure for sunburns, cuts or scrapes.

I’ve found it’s better than aloe vera.


IPA Growler from Cold Garden Beverage Company


SalvEdge Boutique Quite often the second-hand

clothing here is manufactured in

They make a really good IPA and

Canada. I always find something

the brewery itself has a great at-

unique. I’ve found some of my

mosphere. It’s cool because they

favourite blouses and shoes here.

Solita Work

used a lot of recycled materials

Back in 1996, when she was a student at the Alberta College of Art + Design, Solita Work had an idea she couldn’t shake: to open a shop selling imaginative decor pieces made of recycled materials. Now, as the owner of ReWorks Upcycle Shop, she has done exactly that. ReWorks can be found at the Calgary Farmers’ Market and last year Work opened a new ReWorks store in the Beltline. Here are 10 things in Calgary she can’t live without.


and items [in the space], which fits with what I believe in.


Shroom Pizza from Without Papers

My favourite food of all time. It's

Bite Club

made with a variety of shiitake

Julie Van Rosendaal put

mushrooms combined with a bit

together this cooking club and

of truffle oil and fresh arugula. It

it’s amazing. We usually pick a

has a thin crust, too, made with

style of recipe or a cookbook and

fresh dough. You can't go wrong

everyone brings a dish from it.

with fresh dough.


Biking in the Snow on the Pathways South of

the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary If you can get out on the pathway just after a light sprinkle of snow, it’s like riding on the clouds. You feel like you’re in the country — but you’re actually in the middle of a giant city.

5 8 8 avenueFEBRUARY.18

Cargo Bike from BikeBike I can’t live without this bike.


Angie Rees Artwork Not only is she a brilliant

I use it to haul stuff to the shop

painter but her stuff is really quite

all the time, even at the Farmers’

clever. She makes these funny

Market location, so my inventory

combinations in nature look so

depends on it, too.


Nominate someone today!


Celebrating Calgary’s best and brightest under the age of 40 for the Class of 2018.


Nominate at TOP40UNDER40.COM by May 10, 2018.


FEB. 10

Join us for a unique tribute to Charlie Parker, featuring Canadian jazz legend PJ Perry, a classical string ensemble and jazz rhythm section.


Doing a New Build? Recycle your old home!

Call Wade’s House Moving to find solutions to remove and recycle your home today! 403 223 1885 Info@wadeshousemoving.com www.wadeshousemoving.com The environmentally friendly builder for this property is Trickle Creek Designer Homes AvenueCalgary.com


TITLE: Lake O’Hara, 2016 ARTIST: Blake Chorley


MEDIUM: multi-layer ambrotype (photograph on glass)

CURATED BY Katherine Ylitalo

SIZE: 24 inches by 20 inches LOCATION: Part of Exposure Photography Festival 2018, exposurephotofestival.com

Lake O’Hara 90



he photograph of Cathedral Mountain reflected in the crystal waters of Lake O’Hara sparkles with luxurious detail. The distant rock face is crisp, sunlit clouds dissolve into delicate filaments and the hummocks at the water’s edge are lush. If you have a mind for geometry, you’ll see triangles throughout. When you follow the outline of light around the spruce trees on the far left and down along the shore, the dark foreground looks as if it has been cut out and superimposed. (The actual construction features two glass plates, each hand-printed with a layer of the landscape, stacked over a black-metal backing, creating a heightened sense of space.)

This black-and-white photographic artwork is one of a series in a solo exhibition of young photographer, Blake Chorley. The exhibition is the award for winning last year’s Exposure Photography Festival Emerging Photographer Showcase. Chorley earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Windsor and a diploma in applied photography at Sheridan College. He operated a studio in Toronto for four years before moving to Calgary, where he graduated from the MFA program at the University of Calgary in 2016. Well-versed in the craft and history of photography, Chorley also nods to the relationship between painting and photography. To make contact with the wilderness landscapes painted by members of the Group of Seven, Chorley tracked down 25 locations in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. As he documented them in photographs, he came to understand their artistic devices and brought painterly eyes to his photography. This particular landscape bears kinship with Group of Seven associate Tom Thomson’s Northern River. Chorley mastered the wet-plate collodion photographic process introduced in the mid19th century. He re-enacted the approach of Ansel Adams (his idol), camping for two months in the backcountry, where he used a large-plate camera and rigged up a portable outdoor darkroom. He’s now developing his own technique, a combination of film, digital and wet-plate processes.

Photograph by Blake Chorley

NOTES: Blake Chorley is represented locally by Christine Klassen Gallery. For information on hiking to some of the best-known landscape locales in the regional mountain areas, consult the Hiker’s Guide to the Art of the Canadian Rockies (1999), or, for the Lake O’Hara region specifically, The Lake O’Hara Art of J.E.H. MacDonald and Hiker’s Guide (2003) by Calgary author Lisa Christensen.






Walden is a lively Southeast community where you can live, work and play. Enjoy walkable amenities, a vibrant shopping district, and a variety of modern architecture styles


designed with beauty in mind. Discover the difference at Walden.








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