Avenue Mar/Apr 2023

Page 1







©2023 Highland Distillers Limited. Highland Park® Scotch Whisky, 43% Alc./ Vol., Please Drink Responsibly. IS MADE A WILD HARMONY

In Cochrane, Alberta, discover the new, exclusive community of Pinnacle Estates at Sunset Ridge. Luxurious contemporary modern estate homes with a view, find your perfect lot today. Scan our QR code and visit our lots page to view lot maps of the community.

HOMES STARTING in the $800s

Scan QR to view our Interactive Lot Map

the ranchmen's club

Immerse yourself in one-of-a-kind culinary experiences with our unique dining programs, such as our in-house Dry Aged Beef, our fabulous Wine ellar, Private Dining, Wedding and vents atering, and more!

Indulge in culinary artistry with delectable dishes from hef Douglas King! Renowned for his work with some of the best restaurants in the country, such as Bar Von Der Fels ( algary, AB) and Kissa (Vancouver, B ), his mastery of fine cuisine brings sensational dining experiences to the members and guests of our Platinum-ranked Private lub!

ST. 1891



YMC rts PR NT OUR 2023 ON


The Ritual of Celebration, for over 50 years Downtown | 512 4 Avenue SW | 403.264.1222 Willow Park | 110 10816 Macleod Trail S | 403.278.3930 caesarssteakhouse.com

Feeling Fresh For Spring


Featuring beautiful executive homes, breathtaking views, walking and biking paths, and west Calgary’s premier shopping destination Aspen Landing Shopping Centre.

pcl blues J B 14 & 15 b d & p w o r l d s ta g e S S M M jazz series J x T 8 td amplify cabarets E M 1 & bd&p world stage S ! 6 national geographic live F S w S fl M 7 & 8 F * D u l d b d umb m , umb k u d. W l k N l G L v d CL Blu w ll u w d y u l k , d u w ll b l d k . 403 294 9494 . / Title Sponsor BD&P World Stage Presenting Sponsor National Geographic Live Title Sponsor PCL Blues Title Sponsor TD Amplify Cabaret Public Sector Support VIP Reception Sponsors Media Sponsors Explorer Circle Engagement Sponsors Diva Amon –From Shallows to Seafloor Supporting Sponsors NGL Student Engagement Sponsor NGL EXPLORE National Geographic Sponsor NGL BluWater Partner Anonymous Teatro Fund for Arts Commons Education EXPLORE National Geographic Supporting Sponsor /Partner C y n b ! © L
2023 FOR MORE INFORMATION AvenueCalgary.com/InnovationEvent June 14 Platform Calgary THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
SHANEHOMES.COM/ LOVE-IT-OR-CUSTOMIZE-IT Build a new home with a chef approved kitchen.

This spring it’s time to finally complete your smile. No one is better suited to the task than a periodontist, a dental specialist for implants. In addition to dental implants, periodontists help restore and maintain healthy bone and gums around your teeth and implants. For more information visit us online at: albertaperiodontists.ca

Alberta Academy of Periodontics


Calgary is already a recognized hub for cancer research, treatment and care. That’s nothing compared to what we’re poised to become when the doors to the new Calgary Cancer Centre - one of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in North America - open in 2024. But big dreams need big support. Help us raise $250 million to accelerate research innovations and provide world-leading cancer care and treatment right here in Calgary.

If you’ve been thinking about improving your smile hop to albertaperiodontists.ca


Best Restaurants 2023

The most delicious issue of the year is here! Find out who our esteemed judges chose for this year’s Best Overall and Best New Restaurant lists, plus, the results of our annual online ballot in which Avenue readers cast votes for their favourite dining destinations in 29 different categories.

64 What is Canadian Food?

Unlike other global cuisines, Canadian food isn’t so easy to describe. We decided to see what local chefs and hospitality pros had to say about it.

Future of the City

Our annual deep dive into how we’re creating the Calgary of tomorrow, today, looks at whether our public transit system can get us where we need to go. Plus, how we’re building our communities, arts institutions, residences, parks and more. By Jessica Barrett, Stephanie Joe, Dominique Lamberton, Jacquie Moore, Amber McLinden and Michaela Ream 92

Calgary’s poet

speaks his mind. By David Silverberg

March/April 2023 20 PHOTOS BY JARED SYCH; ILLUSTRATION BY VANJA KRAGULJ 22 Editor’s Note 114 You Are Here 27 Detours Contemporary artist Maggie Hall explains her move to a more concrete medium. Plus, we toss a few questions out to a local recycling expert; local travel author Bill Corbett outlines his all-time favourite day trips from Calgary; and shoe designer Ropa Mupambwa gives us her list of favourite places and spaces in the city. 107 Calgary Style PR maven Ellen Parker models an ultraversatile look from her own closet to take on Calgary’s volatile springtime weather.
108 Decor Alykhan Velji and Jason Krell, a.k.a. The Style Guys, showcase the space they consider the heart of their newly renovated home. 110 Mountains Hitting the open road in a motorhome is a classic summer pastime. But that’s not to say you can’t be out there during the colder months, as well. RV ski trip, anyone?
Wakefield Brewster
the cover
Pastry chef Alysha Tubera and executive chef Don Lee at Ten Foot Henry, one of Avenue’s Best Overall Restaurants for 2023.
contents 34 64 70 MAR/APR23
Photo by Jared Sych

Doyou want to design the future of Calgary? Fight climate change? Make cities more equitable, vibrant, and healthy? Then the Bachelor of Design in City Innovation (BDCI) may be for you. It’s the first undergraduate degree in Western Canada to focus on learning how to design innovative changes that improve the physical and social infrastructure of cities.

Located within the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the BDCI is an ideal preprofessional program for those interested in becoming an architect, planner, or landscape architect. Alternatively, it can be customized with a variety of minor programs as a pathway to graduate programs in law, social work, public policy, public health and business. The BDCI also prepares graduates for direct entry


into the workforce in a variety of city-building careers in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

“The climate crisis and increasing social inequity are two of the biggest challenges facing the future of cities,” says John Brown, dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. “This degree delivers the knowledge and skills needed to design solutions that will reduce our impact on the environment and improve quality of life.”

The BDCI multi-disciplinary curriculum is delivered through experiential learning in design studios that deal with city innovation at a hands-on level, explains Brown, adding that students will also gain skills in 2D and 3D visualization, history, theory, sustainability studies, entrepreneurship and data science. “Right from day one, students

apply the theory they learn in the classroom to real world design projects in the studios.”

This is something that is badly needed, says Kate Thompson, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the group responsible for the development of downtown’s East Village and the new central public library building. The BDCI will deliver a critical educational option that is currently missing in Alberta, she adds. “The widereaching inputs to city building (physical, social, political, economic, historical) must be studied so that together our city can emerge as a leader in the world of urban design.”

For more information visit sapl.ucalgary. ca/bdc i.

New University of Calgary degree now accepting applications for Fall 2023

Ican’t help but smile when I look at this month’s cover — our illustrious photographer Jared Sych’s shot of Ten Foot Henry’s pastry chef Alysha Tubera and executive chef Don Lee radiates pure joy. It’s no secret that the business of feeding people can be extremely stressful; the angry, fed-up chef is a well-worn cultural trope. But it’s not all so serious, either. Going out to eat is an inherently joyful activity and creating delicious food is inherently fulfilling. A great restaurant is at the confluence of these two very happy streams.

It’s why our Best Restaurants issue always feels like a celebration — you can’t help but feel uplifted when you see all the love on the plates in these pages. Once again, we enlisted a panel of dining-savvy judges to identify which of Calgary’s established restaurants stand out right now, and which new spots are making a splash right out of the gate.

If you like what you see (and how could you not?), you’ll definitely want to join us for the return of Avenue's Best Restaurants Tasting Experience on March 23 at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, which will feature a good number of the Best Overall and Best New Restaurant lists-makers, along with some of the category winners from our annual readers’ choice online ballot. We haven’t been able to hold this fan-favourite event since 2020, and those two years away have made us extra hungry to taste and toast our city’s top restaurants together. You can buy tickets online at avenuecalgary.com/restaurantsevent.


Along with the Best Restaurants, this issue also includes our annual deep dive into the subject of city building — how the decisions we make today are creating the Calgary of tomorrow. Writer Jessica Barrett takes a good, hard look at Calgary’s public transit system, and whether it’s equipped to drive us into the future. We also examine some of the ways we are literally building this city, from trends in residential construction and community development to the Indigenous perspectives informing the design of the proposed addition to one of our premier arts institutions. As a city magazine, it’s natural that we love talking about city building, and we hope our readers will come and join the discussion at our upcoming Future of the City event on May 2. There’s more than enough love to go around.

If you’re interested in these and other events, Avenue’s membership program (a.k.a. the “A-List”) comes with some significant advantages: a basic membership provides early-bird access and a 15-per cent discount on ticket purchases, while A-List+ members get free access to all Avenue events. Memberships come in six-month or one-year plans. To purchase (just in time for the Best Restaurants Tasting Experience), visit avenuecalgary.com/shop.

22 March/April 2023
Editorʼs Note
YYC FOOD & DRINK EXPERIENCE March 17-26, 2023 Celebrate Calgary’s largest prix-fixe dining festival with YYC’s favourite restaurants & enjoy 10 delectable days of dining and creative culinary events. foodanddrinkexp.com
avenuecalgary.com 23 Pioneer Pricing Available DISCOVER CALGARY’S NEWEST SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY In Hotchkiss, live the life you’ve only dreamed of. Thrive in affordable homes that fit your lifestyle, and truly belong to a warm and welcoming community. 11 New Show Homes Now Open. HotchkissCalgary.com

RedPoint Media Group

1721 29 Ave. S.W., Suite 375 Calgary, Alberta T2T 6T7

(letter mail only)

Phone 403-240-9055

Toll Free 1-877-963-9333 x0

Fax 403-240-9059 info@redpointmedia.ca


Facebook Avenue Magazine — Calgary

Instagram @AvenueMagazine


(Prices do not include 5% GST)

3 issues: $18

1 year (6 issues): $25

2 years (12 issues): $40

3 years (18 issues): $60

1 year (USA): $36 US

To subscribe, visit redpoint-media.com


Advertising Inquiries

Phone 403-240-9055 x0

Toll Free 1-877-963-9333 x0 advertising@avenuecalgary.com


Published six times a year by RedPoint Media Group. Copyright (2023) by RedPoint Media Group. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40030911.

Editor in Chief Shelley Arnusch, sarnusch@redpointmedia.ca

Design Director Steve Collins, scollins@redpointmedia.ca

Managing Editor Dominique Lamberton, dlamberton@redpointmedia.ca

Senior Digital Editor Alana Willerton, awillerton@redpointmedia.ca

Digital Engagement Editor Alyssa Quirico, aquirico@redpointmedia.ca

Special Projects Editor Tsering Asha, tleba@redpointmedia.ca

Contributing Editor Karin Olafson

Editorial Assistant Michaela Ream

Digital Editorial Assistant Chris Landry

Staff Photographer Jared Sych

Design Intern Sofia Velasquez

Contributors Karen Ashbee, Jessica Barrett, Kendall Bistretzan, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Jennifer Friesen, Gabriel Hall, Jennifer Hamilton, Stephanie Joe, Vanja Kragulj, Patricia Lau, Amber McLinden, Michelle McIvor, Liz Middleton, Jacquie Moore, Mateusz Napieralski

(Gust of Wind Studio), David Silverberg, Jarett Sitter

Fact-Checkers Kendall Bistretzan, Samantha Gryba, Amber McLinden

Land Acknowledgement Advisors Elder Edmee Comstock, Elder Reg Crowshoe, Elder Rose Crowshoe

Print/Digital Production Manager Mike Matovich

Digital Producer Paula Martínez

Sales Support Manager Robin Sangster (on leave)

Client Support Coordinator Alice Meilleur

Account Executives Michaela Brownlee, Jocelyn Erhardt

Printing Transcontinental RBW

Distribution City Print Distribution Inc.; NextHome


CEO Pete Graves, pgraves@redpointmedia.ca

President Käthe Lemon, klemon@redpointmedia.ca

CFO Roger Jewett

Manager, RPM Content Studio Meredith Bailey, mbailey@redpointmedia.ca

Art Director, RPM Content Studio Veronica Cowan, vcowan@redpointmedia.ca

Accountant Jeanette Vanderveen, jvanderveen@redpointmedia.ca

Administrative and HR Manager Tara Brand, tbrand@redpointmedia.ca

Marketing Specialist Kristen Thompson, kthompson@redpointmedia.ca



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

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.

The Innovation Issue

Our fourth annual look at the individuals and organizations driving the innovation economy in Calgary.

Best Things to Eat

A new list of tasty treats found at markets and shops around the city.

Guide to Summer in the Mountains

All the inspiration you’ll need to get out there and enjoy the regional Rockies and beyond.

Avenue is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Magazines Canada and the International Regional Magazine Association, and abides by the editorial standards of these organizations.

Avenue has partnered with TreeEra to plant 1,425 trees, replacing all the trees used to print the magazine this year.

by April 1 to get the May/June 2023 issue to your door. Three-issue subscription $18, one-year $25. redpoint-media.com SUBSCRIBE



Garden Loft is a prefabricated age in place backyard suite that enables seniors and their families to live together with a customized blend of independence, togetherness, safety, and support.

With Garden Loft’s family focused aging in place, seniors live with their family as a neighbor rather than a roommate, with their own independent backyard living unit linked by a common deck or garden to the main house. Families decide as a group when they spend time together and apart, how to share the responsibilities of daily life, and where to bring in additional services as needed. This powerful combination of independence, togetherness, safety, and support enables high quality aging in place and benefits all members of the family – old, young, and in-between.

Garden Loft’s light-filled interior has 18 safety and support features such as a fall-safe floor that reduces the chance of injuries from a fall, and up-down kitchen and bath counters that allow those with stamina issues to sit while working. These features help seniors continue to live independently even as their needs increase. Best of all, Garden Loft costs less over the long run than renting a unit in most lodges or retirement homes.

To learn more attend our next webinar or book a tour of our Show Suite


Housebrand, celebrating 26 years of residential design-build in Calgary

avenuecalgary.com 25 garden loft
Photography by Michael Grondin
GL 480 one bedroom unit installed in SE Calgary. Below: GL 480 interior
MARCH/ APRIL 2023 26 Keep finding new Firsts Jim ENJOYING OLD HOBBIES (and still discovering new sounds) Come experience the best of older adult living Book your tour at UnitedActiveLiving.com BECOME A MEMBER TODAY! FIND OUT MORE avenuecalgary.com /membership Fine Chinese Cuisine Since 1966 Large selection of Dim Sum (Calgary only) Extensive menu, live seafood, Cantonese & Szechuan dishes Lunch, Dinner Open 7 days a week and all holidays Take out, delivery and catering services 106 - 3 Avenue SE • Chinatown 403-264-5326 silverdragoncalgary.com 109 Spray Avenue, Banff 403-762-3939 silverdragonbanff.ca




If you’ve come across any of Maggie Hall’s maximalist pop art paintings, at Masters Gallery, or Contemporary Calgary or even on Instagram, you’d be forgiven for mistaking them as photographs. The detail with which the multidisciplinary artist depicts everything from a package of Hawkins Cheezies to a pile of pink plastic Barbie shoes is staggering.

But, while she’s mastered this precise, hyper-realistic style, Hall isn’t interested in sticking to it exclusively. As a self-taught artist, her approach is all about curiosity — exploring new techniques and materials, then working tirelessly to learn them. “My creative process is [asking] what new material I can use, understanding that I’m going to be bad at it the first 30 to 50 times I use it, and just not having too many emotions about that,” she says.

27 avenuecalgary.com
[ A
Artist Maggie Hall in her Ramsay studio.


That’s how Hall, who works out of her studio at nvrlnd. in Ramsay, has come to her latest material obsession: concrete. After five years of extremely detailed, focused work, she was ready for something new. “I got to a point where I needed some movement,” she says. “I was bent over, working on these tiny little sections of paintings for hours and hours. And I think I just got a little bit squirrely.”

Last summer, as her father recovered from an illness, Hall spent a lot of time at her parents’ house. Her father owned a concrete restoration business, so, with his guidance, she started playing around with concrete — and she “fell in love.”

concrete mix that’s lighter than the standard stuff. She pours and positions the concrete mix on a wood frame, allowing it to set, then uses an electrostatic flocking machine (“it sort of looks like a giant flashlight”) to cover the concrete in vibrantly coloured fibres, leaving the piece with a velvety, must-be-touched texture.


“It was a big departure from all my other work,” she says. “You mix the concrete and you have 15 minutes before it sets. So, all the marks you make, all the decisions, everything’s done in minutes, versus the weeks that I spent doing these other pieces. With the weight of the concrete and moving it around, I was just exhausted at the end of the day, but so happy.”


Last October, Hall debuted her new flocked concrete works as an exhibitor at Art Toronto, her first art fair. “I was encouraging people to touch them, which is something you’re usually not supposed to do at art fairs or museums,” she says. “I think people were really interested and fascinated by the fact that they’re hard and heavy and solid, but also soft and luxurious.”

3 questions for...


Chloe Stone from the City’s Waste and Recycling Services department shares some best practices when it comes to your blue cart.


What does “wish-cycling” mean?

People put items in their blue carts that they’re unsure about, or that they hope or wish will get recycled. Common wish-cycling items we see are plastic straws and cutlery, coffee cup lids, chip or snack bags, clothing and electronics. The more unacceptable items there are results in more staff time to sort these unwanted items.


Are tinfoil and Styrofoam recyclable? Tinfoil is, you just have to rinse off any food residue and then crumple it into a ball before putting it in your blue cart. Styrofoam and other foam products are not accepted — they’re too light to be sorted properly.

Together with her dad, Hall created a proprietary

Hall says she’s just scratched the surface with concrete, and can’t wait to get back to using her electrostatic flocking machine as the weather warms up (it makes too much of a mess to be used inside, she says). “It looks like a huge departure now, but this is just another tool and medium I’m learning. Eventually, they will all blend together over the course of my career.” —


Should items be cleaned before they go into the blue cart? Yes.

That’s a really important step, as food residue in containers is considered contamination, which affects the quality of sorted recyclables. If something isn’t cleanable, put it in your black cart.

Find more answers to common recycling questions at avenuecalgary.com.

MARCH/ APRIL 2023 28
One of Maggie Hall’s flocked concrete pieces.


Luxury Townhomes in the Westside Neighbourhood You Love

Introducing curated townhome living in the westside’s most coveted location. Beautifully designed. Artfully crafted. Sophistication meets comfort just a heartbeat away from the from the very best shops, dining, fitness studios, schools, and services.

This is everything you’ve waited for, but don’t wait – an opportunity this rare, in a neighbourhood this amazing, is sure to be gone in a ash.


CURATED BY Alykhan Velji Designs

avenuecalgary.com 29 I c nnot st nd pe op l e w o do not t ke food seriously .Osc r W i ld e 525 5th Ave SW
$500S From the high MODERN LUXURY 2 & 3-Bedrooms with Attached Garages Sales Centre Now Open ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH PARKING LOT 800 - 85 STREET SW Adam Zymirski, Area Sales Manager 403 246 2127 | west83townhomes.com 20', 17' & 16' 1,290 - 1796 SQ.FT. � MODEL WIDTHS - to choose from -

Day Trips from Calgary

Bill Corbett’s Day Trips from Calgary was first published in 1995. Now in its fourth edition, the full-colour guide spotlights must-see destinations and hidden gems that make for spectacular days out. Here, Corbett shares three of his favourites.


“This has been the first entry in the book since 1995. It’s this huge protected area just outside the city limits, donated by the Cross family. If you look to the east, you see the looming presence of Calgary, and if you turn the other way, all you see are mountains and foothills and grasslands and wildflowers. I try to go every June, when the first wildflowers are out and the bluebirds are flying around. There are more than 20 kilometres of trails, ranging from a short walk to a viewpoint, to the 8.6-km Paradise Trail. If you want to extend your day, nearby is the Leighton Art Centre, where, when it’s clear, you can see almost to the Crowsnest Pass.”



5 BEDROOMS | 4.5 BATHROOMS $1,749,900

CLIFF A2016063



HARMONY A2010988


4 BEDROOMS | 3.5 BATHROOMS $1,199,000

Local Book Spotlight DayCalgTrips y DayCalgTrips y from The city of Calgary is surrounded by some of the most spectacular and varied landscapes in the world. These include the fantastically shaped badlands of Drumheller, the sublime ranchlands of Millarville, the rolling hills of Rumsey, the cottonwood forests of Lethbridge, the prairies and pelicans of Brooks, and the foothills of Pincher Creek, to name a few. This revised and updated edition of Day Trips from Calgary now features several brand new trips, including a superb new $25-million Aboriginal facility (Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park) and a National Historic Site that commemorates a fascinating Mormon agricultural village. There’s also much more detailed information about great places to grab a coffee or a bite to eat. Day Trips from Calgary is the must-have resource for families, seniors, avid naturalists, and anyone interested in embarking on a little weekend or afternoon adventure. BILL CORBETT Day Trips from Calg y BILL CORBETT whitecap www.whitecap.ca
Day Trips from Calgary: 4th Edition (Revised and Updated) by Bill Corbett, $35, whitecap.ca
Detours SPRUCE

“In my mind, Lacombe is the finest small city/town in Alberta. It’s just north of Red Deer, and it’s got this Edwardian streetscape, with all these old, stately houses. It was one of the first participants in the Alberta Main Street Program, which restored historic downtown buildings. There’s a classic flatiron building, similar to the one in Kensington in Calgary. Lacombe also has a great food scene: Cilantro and Chive is a very sophisticated restaurant and Blindman Brewing is, I think, the [best] small-town brewery in Alberta. On the other side of Highway 2, there’s Gull Lake, which is a favourite place for people to swim, fish, boat and lay on the beach.”


“This is a protected area in southwest Alberta. Take Highway 22 south of Longview, cross the Oldman River, and [you wind up in] the largest undisturbed montane landscapes in the province, with grasslands, fabulous limber pines and Douglas firs, the Livingstone Range to the west, and then, to the north and south, these spiny ridges. It’s a great place for a walk. If you go through Claresholm to get there, the Claresholm & District Museum has a collection of historic buildings, as well as a garden dedicated to Louise McKinney, one of the Famous Five.” —D.L.

HANSON PARK A2012084 46 HANSON DRIVE NE 3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms 2,275 SQ. FT. SOUTH CALGARY 2110, 28 AVE SW 1,902 SQ. FT. 3.5 BATHS 3+1 BDRMS $1,175,000 RICHMOND A2001317 2209 28TH AVENUE SW 4 Bedrooms | 3.5 Bathrooms $1,199,900 Tanyaeklundgroup.ca Direct (403) 863-7434 Each office is independently owned and operated.


The List


The inspiration behind local fashion designer Ropa Mupambwa’s shoe brand, Celyn Roze, is threefold. First, Mupambwa was influenced by her mother, who used to sew her clothes and make wedding dresses in their hometown of Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. Second, Mupambwa was motivated to produce inclusive, accessible fashion: “My mom’s name is Rose, and Celyn is a gender neutral name of Welsh origin. I wanted to name my business after my mom, and Celyn goes well with the brand as my shoes are for everyone,” she says. Finally, Mupambwa was looking to solve a problem she noticed when she worked in retail while studying finance at SAIT: A lack of heel height options for shoes. So, she decided to create her own. “I wanted people to have options in what height they buy and wear, and I also want to tell people that they are beautiful in any heel height.”

In 2020, bold and colourful Celyn Roze shoes in sizes five to 13, in five heel heights — flat, 3.5 cm, 6 cm, 9 cm and 12 cm — debuted online (as well as at Flying Solo in New York) and Mupambwa has been reaching new heights ever since. When the designer has some precious down time, these are her favourite spots to eat, shop and find inspiration at in the city. —Tsering Asha (with files from Michaela Ream and Kendall Bistretzan)


“My mom always used to say, ‘Fabric first, then design,’ and now I design the same way. So, I visit Fabricland to get my mood/vision board going for my collections — seeing all the fabric options helps me plan my colour palettes.”


“I also visit thrift stores when I’m looking for certain fabrics for my vision board. I usually go to the Value Village near Sunridge Mall.”


“This is the best Brazilian restaurant in Calgary. The servers come around and slice the meat for you from a skewer while you grab the pieces with tongs. And there’s a big salad bar with very tasty options. Picking what I like is the best part!”



“I love how small and cozy this place is. When my friends come to visit, I take them for tacos; I love the beef birria.”


“I go to the 10th Avenue location downtown and usually try to sample different flavours each time — but salted caramel in a waffle cone is my favourite.”


“It can be hard to get a reservation at Major Tom, but when you do, it’s worth it. I like heights, so I love the views from 40 floors up. And the food is so good, especially the cheese toast and steak tartare.”


“I go to Nose Hill for the view, some fresh air and to clear my head. In the summer, when I have the time, I’ll usually head there once every two weeks. It’s the perfect place to hang out with friends and just walk.”


“At Japanese Village, the chefs cook right in front of you, playing with fire, doing knife tricks and interacting with you and whoever you’re with. So, you get a good meal and a show.”

March/April 2023 32

At Riverwalk, our resident-centered approach to Memory Care is as distinctive as your loved one. With intimate fifteen-person households, exciting outdoor destination terraces, and innovative programs and care, Riverwalk promotes wellbeing and a sense of purpose.

Riverwalk is the only premium retirement residence with a continuum of care in Calgary’s best neighborhood for seniors. We invite you to visit and experience the Riverwalk difference.

33 avenuecalgary.com Inspired Retirement Located in the exciting Mission/4th Residence is the central location Steps away from parks & river pathways, shopping experiences, and brimming location for a retirement residence At Riverwalk, we believe in individualized living & vitality - with customized and Memory Care living options For more information, or to 403-271-7244 or visit verveseniorliving.com/riverwalk OPENING FALL 2022 RESERVE YOUR SUITE TODAY PRESENTATION CENTRE NOW OPEN 528 25 Avenue SW, Calgary Presentation Centre: 2424 4th Street INSPIRED SENIOR LIVING WITH Riverwalkretirement.com 528 25 Avenue SW, Calgary | 403-271-7244 Now taking reservations for Assisted Living & Memory Care BE SUPPORTED ON YOUR OWN TERMS SOCIAL INSPIRED Safe HEALTHY Empowered MEMORY
at Riverwalk
INDEPENDENT LIVING SUITES 80% RESERVED Trust us to create your special occasion desserts. Walk-in take out | Preordering available cheesecakecafe.ca 7600 macleod trail se | Calgary 220 – 42 avenue s.e. | 403 287 9255 alloydining.com | @alloyrestaurant events@alloydining.com


Karen Ashbee is the Calgary city editor for Western Living and a regular food and lifestyle contributor to Avenue. Her experience as a food writer and restaurant judge includes work on the annual Canada’s 100 Best list.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a frequent contributor to Avenue’s Dining section, as well as the restaurant columnist for the Calgary Herald and the food trends columnist for CBC’s The Homestretch.

Gabriel Hall has racked up an impressive number of dining experiences in the world’s great cities over the past two decades and is regularly called upon to apply his global knowledge to judge and assess restaurants in Calgary.

Patricia Lau is always seeking out delicious food experiences, locally and wherever her travels take her. She has been keeping tabs on Calgary’s restaurant scene for more than a decade, sharing her dining adventures on social media.

Liz Middleton writes about food and luxury travel, and serves on several non-profit boards in Calgary. Born in Vietnam, she has also lived in Italy, West Africa, New York, Washington, D.C. and Australia, and has eaten all over the world.

march/april 2023



We love Calgary restaurants, so when it comes to celebrating our city’s best, we can’t wait to dig in. Once again, we engaged a panel of expert judges to determine this year’s lists of Best Overall Restaurants and Best New Restaurants, while letting our readers have their say in our annual online ballot. There’s more deliciousness in these pages than you could possibly even imagine, so get ready to toast your old favourites, discover new ones and celebrate all that our dining scene has to offer.


Bridgette Bar

Who’s behind it?

Concorde Entertainment Group, regional chef Mackenzie Pavka, general manager Amy Campbell.

What’s on the menu?

Comfort dishes with global flavours.

Why we love this place

If there’s a formula for a winning restaurant, Bridgette Bar seems to have found it. Start with a charming, exposed-brick room complete with a stylish mural and a fun retro lounge area, dedicate care and time into developing and training

staff, prepare dishes with consistent high quality, and have the bar sling a specially curated selection of wine, beer, sake and cocktails. Voila! A place where diners feel right at home.

Increasing the customer’s sense of familiarity is a menu of perpetual favourites — a grilled octopus salad has been on the menu since day one (at one point early in the history of Bridgette Bar, the kitchen staff were braising more than 40 pounds of octopus per week as preparation for that single dish). But perhaps the best representation of the Bridgette Bar approach is the Alberta lamb sirloin,

marinated with a Berbere spice blend, cooked over a mix of birch and apple wood on the wood-fired grill and served with a pumpkin-seed emulsion, chickpea panisse, swiss chard, pickled red currant and a smoked lamb-fat jus. That dish encapsulates the kind of care and attention the Bridgette team puts into every aspect of the experience, making this restaurant everyone’s perpetual favourite, no matter the occasion. —G.H.

739 10 Ave. S.W., 403-700-0191 (text only) bridgettebar.com, @thebridgettebar

march/april 2023 36

Chairman’s Steakhouse

Who’s behind it?

Owned by a group of stakeholders spearheaded by developer Jay Westman, operated by Vintage Group, with chef Cedric Truchon and general manager Dustin Makarenko on the ground.

What’s on the menu?

Premium steak, with classic sides, salads and seafood.

Why we love this place

Traditional steak houses located in far- out suburbs don’t typically make Best Restaurant lists, but Chairman’s defies expectation. Not that it needs to sell itself: As a rare higher-end restau-

rant outside of the city’s core, it has no problem filling the seats in its luxe dining room and more casual lounge, drawing guests from every quadrant. While many of Calgary’s most popular restaurants take a high-low approach, pairing gourmet food with servers in jeans and minimally adorned tables, Chairman’s takes a different route with white tablecloths and jacket-clad staff, creating a deliciously old-school sense of luxury and hospitality. As the overall restaurant landscape becomes increasingly un-fancy, Chairman’s gives guests a reason to dress up, whether it’s for a quick martini at the bar or a no-expensespared special occasion dinner.

The food lives up to the swanky setting. Chef Cedric Truchon’s kitchen keeps things classic, with excellent versions of cheese toast (the item by which all steak houses should be measured), Caesar salad and double-stuffed potatoes. Of course, the steak is where it’s at, and choosing a cut from a meat board as the server explains the selections of the day, including 35-day-aged Alberta beef and, if you’re lucky, more exotic chops of bison and imported wagyu, is almost as fun as eating it. —E.C.B.

2251 Mahogany Blvd. S.E., 587-291-9898 chairmans.ca, @chairmansyyc


Who’s behind it?

Owner Tony Migliarese (also behind Pizza Face), general manager Kayla Blomquist, chef Sandro Chinea.

What’s on the menu?

Family-style Italian fare, with antipasti, pasta and large-format meat dishes.

Why we love this place

D.O.P. owner Tony Migliarese’s late father used to run an Italian restaurant that his son remembers as being the epitome of warm service, comforting food and community-building. In his tiny restaurant space, Migliarese set out

to carry on his dad’s hospitality legacy — albeit with some modern tweaks — and has succeeded brilliantly, creating an intimate and vibrant spot that feels like both destination dining and a neighbourhood joint, serving family recipes with a contemporary touch.

The best way to eat at D.O.P. is to order some ultra-fluffy grilled bread and as many antipasti items as possible: spicy nduja spread, whipped ricotta topped with “really good” olive oil, and Migliarese’s mother’s crunchy pickled green tomatoes. Follow that with at least one pasta and an enormous veal chop, shared among the table with a bottle of

Italian wine. You’ll be rubbing elbows (literally) with the table next to you, but the tight quarters are part of the charm.

D.O.P. plans to move into the Grain Exchange building when its current building is torn down for redevelopment, but even with the opportunity to expand, the new digs promise to have a similar capacity and atmosphere. “We’re still working with an old space and keeping it quirky,” Migliarese says. “I know what we are and I don’t want to be anything else.” —E.C.B.

1005A 1 St S.W., 587-349-2656 dopyyc.com, @dopyyc

march/april 2023 38


Who’s behind it?

Chef-owner Darren MacLean, Shokunin Collective.

What’s on the menu?

Multi-course tasting experience showcasing Canadian coast-to-coast producers, with a mandate to create conversations on Canadian food.

Why we love this place

Eight offers an extraordinary display of gastronomic genius and culinary expertise. “With Eight, I am as creative as possible. My intention is to showcase the best of Canadian sustainable producers and the diverse people across Canada, whether they be Indigenous or from away,” says chef-owner Darren MacLean. With three seatings on a typical week and just eight seats at the angled bar overlooking the open kitchen, Eight is in high demand, continually sold out at a fixed $285 per person (not including pairings).

The evening starts with snacks, perhaps chawanmushi, a delicate Japanese steamed-egg custard, and warm gougères with culatello. From there, the journey unfolds like a food fantasy, unexpected and artful: Fogo Island squid, fried then grilled and served with a Cambodianinspired amok curry made with the squid livers; B.C. sablefish with fresh ginger, spinach grown locally on MacLean’s farm and ankake sauce; iridescent Acadian caviar; sweet P.E.I. lobster; Newfoundland single-line-caught bluefin tuna.

A true chef’s table, the experience includes watching the final stages of plating while engaging in conversation with MacLean on his methods, stories and inspiration. Strangers become friends over the course of the evening. —L.M.

631 Confluence Way S.E., 403-457-2153 eightcdn.ca, @eight_cdn

avenuecalgary.com/RestaurantsEvent ONE NIGHT TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW 20+ RESTAURANTS
ROUGE R e s t a u r a n t

Major Tom

Who’s behind it?

Concorde Entertainment Group.

What’s on the menu?

Old-school Manhattan-style steak house classics with a modern touch.

Why we love this place

You’re looking at least a month in advance to score a prime-time reservation at Major Tom these days. Located on the 40th floor of downtown’s Stephen Avenue Place, eating here is, truly, an uplifting experience. Handsomely decorated with breathtaking views, the sweeping expanse of a room is packed

nightly with patrons happily sipping cocktails and popping “Major tots.” Head chef Garrett Rotel, former head chef of the Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill in Kelowna, executes a menu that has wowed locals and visitors alike, including Canada’s 100 Best critics, who last year ranked Major Tom the Best New Restaurant in the country.

True, it is still relatively new, having only opened in the summer of 2021 after a year of pandemic-induced delays, but Major Tom already feels iconic, and appetizers such as the potato doughnuts and cheese toast have developed a cult following. Both pair well with

instant-classic mains, such as the surfand-turf 12-ounce A5 wagyu striploin with garlic shrimp. The cuts are beautifully marbled and properly cooked.

Crispy French fries are even better with a swipe of addictive peppercorn Brandy or Bearnaise sauces. The wine list, masterminded by sommelier extraordinaire Brad Royale, truly has something for everyone.

Loud, lively and with food that lives up to the hype, it’s no wonder Tom is the hottest table in town. —K.A.

700 2 St. S.W., 403-990-3954 (text only) majortombar.ca, @themajortombar

march/april 2023 42


Who’s behind it?

Chef-owner Darren MacLean (the name Nupo is inspired by his mother’s maiden name, Nuponnen), Shokunin Collective.

What’s on the menu?

Fish- and vegetable-forward dishes with nods to Eastern Asia, and a six-seat omakase sushi bar.

Why we love this place

To rank on par with its international peers, a restaurant must demonstrate that it understands how to surpass the limitations of its ingredients, which takes time, care and dedication. It must allow for learning and exploration. It also must be able to communicate this to diners through the food, the ambiance and the attention to detail of the service.

Nupo is successful on all counts. The room at Alt Hotel in East Village is well lit and tastefully modern. Staff demonstrate expertise in pairing dishes with the bar’s cocktail creations or selections from the sake list, with knowledge that extends beyond the origins of the bottles, to the polishing rate and production methods of the nihonshu they are pouring — uncommon outside of Japan.

Sushi snobs who save their appetites for infrequent trips to that country could save thousands and be just as well sated by staying a night in East Village and booking the omakase sushi experience (a multi-course menu determined by the chef) at Nupo. The care taken here in balancing and maximizing each component in each dish is laid bare through the simplicity of the fish, application of aging techniques and handling of the deceptively simple shari (sushi rice). —G.H.

631 Confluence Way S.E., 587-353-1388 nupo.ca, @nupoyyc


River Café

Who’s behind it?

Proprietor Sal Howell first opened the restaurant more than 30 years ago; executive chef Scott Mackenzie has been on board since 2021.

What’s on the menu?

Impeccably prepared Canadiana fare with an eye on regionality, seasonality and sustainability.

Why we love this place

Despite being right in the middle of the city, River Café is an oasis of calm and idyllic hospitality, with its warm wooden interior, inviting stone fireplace and water-facing patio. After

some particularly challenging years, last summer was River Café’s time to shine — glorious weather and a taste for the freshest of foods, paired with a Top 10 placing on the Canada’s 100 Best restaurant rankings made that legendary patio the place to be. “It was our best patio season ever,” says owner Sal Howell. “A lot of hard work, but we’ve never seen a summer like it.”

While River Café feels like pure magic from the diner’s perspective, it is that incredibly hard work that makes all the difference: front-of-house staff make guests feel like they’re the only people in the room; executive chef Scott Mackenzie’s food hits the perfect balance

between luxury and craveability, with his à la carte dishes and signature tasting menus telling a story of what grows, lives and swims in the Canadian landscape; and longtime sommelier Bruce Soley ties it all together with one of the most carefully considered wine lists in the city. From its classic Highwood Crossing Red Fife sourdough bread to its Haida Gwaii halibut and Rangeland bison striploin, everything about River Café speaks to a greater vision of what it means to celebrate the very best of our country’s land and people. —E.C.B.

Prince’s Island S.W., 403-261-7670 river-cafe.com, @rivercafeyyc

march/april 2023 44


Who’s behind it?

Owners Paul Rogalski and Olivier Reynaud, chef Dean Fast, manager Rey Dalman.

What’s on the menu?

Canadian spirit and bounty transformed through French technique.

Why we love this place

With its setting within the historic A.E. Cross House, it would be very easy for a decades-old restaurant like Rouge to start to feel stuffy. But with its bountiful backyard garden, commitment to seasonal (and often foraged) ingredients, and the optimistic outlook of its affable

owners, the Inglewood mainstay has managed to keep things fresh — all while eschewing any potential for snootiness. A young couple scraping together pennies for an anniversary dinner will always feel just as comfortable and well-attended at Rouge as well-heeled executives celebrating a big deal.

Rouge seems to have a fire in its belly these days, which owner Paul Rogalski credits to his staff in both the front and back of house, quite an achievement given the industry-wide staffing issues that have persisted since the pandemic. “They’re enthusiastic, they’re engaged, they are passionate,” he says. “They want to know more about wine, they want to

know more about where the food comes from, they want to know more about the story of the restaurant.”

That enthusiasm becomes contagious, prompting guests to become just as engaged with their meals. Combine that with chef Dean Fast’s command of flavour, picturesque plating and flawless technique, as showcased in dishes like his red- and golden-beet salad, seared wild boar tenderloin with apple and potato puree, or his sous vide Arctic char, and you’ve got a taste of a very special place. —E.C.B.

1240 8 Ave S.E., 403-531-2767

rougecalgary.com, @rougerestaurant

march/april 2023 46
M g d by Vi g G o p

Who’s behind it?

Chef-owner Darren MacLean, Shokunin Collective.

What’s on the menu?

Japanese izakaya-style small plates, world-class sushi and sashimi and a finely curated sake program.

Why we love this place

On any given night, a ’90s hip hop soundtrack sets the mood at Shokunin, which is booked out weeks ahead with local foodies as well as international tourists who follow chef-owner Darren MacLean’s endeavours on Netflix and the Food Network. Inspired by the din-

ing scene of the Tokyo underground, MacLean’s ultra-cool contemporary Japanese restaurant is perhaps best known for its binchotan-grilled yakitori from free-range Alberta chickens — a perfect pairing with Takashima Homarefuji “Zen Master” sake.

Other must-haves include a 48-hour miso-cured grilled bone marrow served with escargot and shiso pistou; coldshucked scallops with nuoc cham; and a super-luxe wagyu pastrami “sando” made from short rib brined for seven days and hot-smoked for 24 hours.

The sushi and sashimi at Shokunin is also exceptional. (No surprise, considering MacLean is also behind Nupo restau-

rant, with its world-class omakase sushi experience. And, along with overseeing the triad of Shokunin, Nupo and Eight, chef MacLean operates a farm, raising chickens, ducks, geese and pigs, which are fed vegetable scraps from the restaurants, dramatically reducing the amount of kitchen waste.) Glistening pieces of Japanese shima aji belly or New Zealand Ora King salmon are cut to order, while seasonal offerings, such as fresh B.C. spot prawns and creamy, Newfoundland sea urchin, are get-them-before-they’regone treats. —L.M.

2016 4 St. S.W., 403-229-3444

shokuninyyc.ca, @shokuninyyc

march/april 2023 48

Teatro Ristorante

Who’s behind it?

Teatro Group owner Dario Berloni and daughter Mia Berloni, chief operating officer and director of culinary Matthew Batey, executive chef David Leeder.

What’s on the menu?

Technique-driven dishes rooted in classic Italian cuisine, with influences from around the Mediterranean.

Why we love this place

Teatro has been a cornerstone of Calgary’s culinary scene since it opened in the heart of downtown’s theatre and art district back in 1993. As it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in October of this year, the restaurant maintains a timeless appeal with contemporary art pieces adding a playful touch amidst the Beaux-Arts architecture of the historic Dominion Bank Building.

Likewise, the menu has ties to both the past and present, exemplified in executive chef David Leeder’s signature ravioli solari with ricotta, brown butter and hazelnuts. Chef Leeder’s hire in the spring of 2022 infused new and exciting energy into Teatro —the Alberta-bornand-raised chef has worked at several of the world’s most renowned restaurants, and this experience is evident in his spectacular tasting menus of techniquedriven dishes that showcase his creativity. Not to be overlooked is the 12,000-bottle wine cellar, curated by beverage director Taylor Simpson and housed in the former bank vault located below the dining room.

Teatro has long been synonymous with impeccable service, which remains unchanged. This legacy, paired with the exciting new talent in the kitchen, sets a high bar for fine dining in this city. —P.L.

200 8 Ave. S.E, 403-290-1012 teatro.ca, @teatrorestaurant


Ten Foot Henry

Who’s behind it?

Husband-and-wife restaurateur team of chef Stephen Smee and Aja Lapointe.

What’s on the menu?

A wealth of vegetable-centred dishes that make this a favourite spot for vegetarians, as well as meaty options such as pasta with tomato and bacon, roasted chicken and a strip loin steak.

Why we love this place

Since it opened in 2016, Ten Foot Henry’s understated room adorned with myriad hanging plants has become an any-night-of-the-week goto for Calgary diners. Headed by the husband-wife restaurateur team of Aja

Lapointe and chef Stephen Smee, with executive chef Don Lee captaining the kitchen, Henry’s philosophy is simple: you can eat your vegetables and enjoy them, too. Or, as Lapointe puts it: “We bridge the gap between what you should be eating and what you really want to eat.”

Although the menu champions vegetables, these aren’t the sides your mother served. Patrons have a tough time choosing between platters of cauliflower seasoned with gochujang, sesame and ginger; charred cabbage with Manchego; or the perennial favourite whipped feta and tomatoes on crusty sourdough. “We can never take these dishes off the menu,” Lapointe

says. And hereby lies the secret of Henry’s success: consistency. “In addition to maintaining our standards of cuisine, we have kept our value-driven focus as well,” Lapointe says, adding that it’s, “tough to do with food costs skyrocketing.”

Whatever your order, pastry chef Alysha Tubera’s legendary butterscotch pudding is the perfect finish. “We joke that people come for the pudding and stay for dinner,” laughs Lapointe. Try it once and you’ll want to eat your dessert first, too. —K.A.

1209 1 St. S.W., 403-475-5537 tenfoothenry.com, @tenfoothenry
march/april 2023 50
avenuecalgary.com 51 s u hc r m ll.c m Gifting just got easier. Experience the convenience of buying a gift card with our self-serve machines. A bu gift cards A Located near our main entrances & Guest Experience desk.


When it opened July 2022

Who’s behind it? Syndicate Hospitality Group, owner Nick Suche, chef-owner Mikko Tamarra, pastry chef Teisha Huff.

Why we love it already Just off the RiverWalk between Chinatown and East Village, Fortuna’s Row is a stunner — a jaw-dropping 10,000-squarefoot space designed by Fort Architecture. Chef Mikko Tamarra (of Con Mi Taco fame) draws on his cooking experiences in Mexico and Peru to take diners on a culinary journey across Latin America, with offerings like the pato (a classic rice dish with

duck breast confit) and the pincho (charcoal-grilled sirloin with shoestring fries and morita salsa), while talented pastry chef Teisha Huff has created an impressive lineup of Latin American-inspired desserts and pastries. If it’s cocktails you’re craving, beverage director Ivana Lovric’s inventive menu is organized by feature ingredient, a bold list that includes flavours such as white chocolate, yuzu, wasabi and corn.


421 Riverfront Ave. S.E. fortunasrow.com, @fortunas.row


When it opened April 2022

Who’s behind it? Chef-owner Kenny Kaechele (formerly of Workshop Kitchen & Culture).

Why we love it already With its cutting-edge location within The District at Beltline complex, inventive cocktails and a fresh, contemporary interior by designer Amanda Hamilton, the word is out on Kama. But it’s chef Kenny Kaechele’s inventive Mediterranean-influenced menu, drawing from the cuisines of Spain, North Africa and the Middle East, that has really gotten people talking. “I like to push the envelope using ingredients that historically go together, like shrimp and grits, but mixing it up by using Turkish street prawns and cumin polenta instead,” Kaechele says. “They may seem to be unlikely choices, but they all have one thing in common, a familiarity.” Case in point, the addictive popcorn octopus with mojo verde, delicate and tender with just a lick of heat: discuss. —K.A.

211 11 Ave. S.W.




When it opened December 2021

Who’s behind it? Concorde Entertainment Group, executive chef Tomo Mitsuno.

Why we love it already Japanese-inspired Lonely Mouth Bar on 17th Avenue S.W. hits all the right notes: cozy and welcoming; tasty food that’s fun to eat; and drinks that make any visit feel special. The menu is stacked with instant favourites that include a bluefin tuna tartare, chicken wings that are brined and dried overnight, and a 24-hour sous vide pork shoulder tonkatsu “sando.” The house-specialty udon noodles have the perfect amount of chew. Fresh ebi shrimp tempura comes with house-blended murasaki and irisake sauces that are good enough to drink on their own. Save room for the signature shareable dessert — the fluffiest sweet-potato donuts with miso caramel and sesame gelato. Lonely Mouth also gets top marks for service, the team displaying impressive expertise when it comes to the 39 different sake selections that form the backbone of the drinks menu. —L.M.

528 17 Ave. S.W.





When it opened February 2022 (dine-in)

Who’s behind it? Owners Mike Lange and Leslie Lamont.

Why we love it already Mike Lange and Leslie Lamont’s Noble Pie started with a weekend infatuation with pizza dough that turned into a two-day-a-week pop-up in the taproom at Eighty-Eight Brewing Co. After seven months, they expanded the service to four days a week. Lange quit his day job and Lamont soon followed in his footsteps. Drawing inspiration from trips to New York, Lange and Lamont (the duo are a couple as well as business partners) have cultivated a devoted following who will wait patiently — and sometimes not-so-patiently — for their pies. During the early days of the pandemic, when Lange and Lamont were doing takeout orders out of Eighty-Eight, they would sell out of a week’s worth of pies within minutes, the odds of securing one earning wry comparisons on social media to winning the “pizza lottery.” Their new eat-in location in the Beltline has only deepened that devotion. —G.H. 720 11 Ave. S.W. (alley) noblepiepizza.com, @noblepiepizza


When it opened January 2022

Who’s behind it? Maven Group (Sammie and Brekkie cafés), chef Michelle Hobbs. Why we love it already Styled with vintage lamps, repurposed furniture and lots of plants, Maven feels like a warm hug from your green-thumb grandmother. Overseeing what has already become one of Calgary’s top brunch spots, chef Mish Hobbs draws from her own story of an expat life abroad: she was born in Singapore and lived in Japan, Australia, Trinidad, Iran, Norway, the Netherlands, Scotland and Indonesia, while still having strong roots in Alberta (her father is from Edmonton).

The range of dishes means everyone can find a favourite with advice from kind and attentive staff, whether that’s the decadent candied-bacon eggs Benedict, sublime Singaporestyle pork-ball congee, or comforting German pork schnitzel in a swoon-worthy mustard-dill sauce. Local and seasonal Alberta produce; house-made stocks, condiments and jams; 72-hour house-cured salmon gravlax; and 12-hour braised meats and maple syrup from Quebec all contribute to brunch offerings that are thoughtful and delicious with every bite. —L.M. 1006 17 Ave. S.W. mavenyyc.ca, @maven_yyc


When it opened July 2022

Who’s behind it? Vintage Group, with The Fleetwood Group of Restaurants. Why we love it already The fine-dining component within the cluster of new Italian food and beverage offerings at the base of The Oliver building, Luca serves upscale fare in a stylish setting with impeccable service. Menu highlights include the calamari with tender semolina-dusted Humboldt squid accompanied by an artichokelemon tartar sauce, the succulent veal chop saltimbocca with prosciutto and sage, and an indulgent lobster risotto big enough for two. Sommelier Dean Norris’ wine list is a mix of Old and New World options, expertly curated. If you happen to have room for dessert, the fluffy, warm bombolini served with lemon curd and vanilla cream are molto delizioso. —P.L. 524 10 Ave. S.W. lucayyc.com, @lucayyc


When it opened April 2022

Who’s behind it? Owners Sarah Luong and Long Thai of Pho Dau Bo.

Why we love it already When news broke that the team from Pho Dau Bo were opening a new restaurant on Centre Street, fans in the north part of the city rejoiced over a chance to get their signature pho sate closer to home. But Môt Tô quickly proved to be more than Pho Dau Bo North, with its beef dip-esque pho grilledcheese sandwich, caramelizedfish-sauce chicken wings, and less ubiquitous Vietnamese soups like tomato-based crab and pork bun rieu, as well as the PDB classics. The cool, contemporary room, fun cocktails (including one made with pho broth), and laid-back vibe make Môt Tô a leader of the next generation of Vietnamese restaurants in Calgary. —E.C.B.

1609 Centre St. N.W. mottovietnamese.com, @mottoyyc

march/APRIL 2023 54


When it opened January 2022

Who’s behind it? Managing partners James Martin and chef Mike Pigot. Why we love it already Mike Pigot has a strong local following from his pandemic-born Pigot’s Burger Club, but Pat & Betty restaurant gives him a chance to do something a little closer to fine-dining. The food at Pat & Betty is high-luxury — oysters, caviar, foie gras and other delights abound — but the atmosphere in the Victoria Park restaurant is young and lively. The share-plate menu and two-level eclectic-chic room is as conducive to a night of drinks and snacks as it is a full multi-course dinner. —E.C.B.

1217 1 St. S.W. patandbetty.com, @patandbettys


When it opened May 2022

Who’s behind it? Owner Dominic Caracciolo (Mercato Group), chef Jackson Miller.

Why we love it already Interior designer Nam Dang-Mitchell took her cues from the cuisine here, using traditional Italian materials such as warm woods and burnished terra cottas in a fresh way to complement chef Jackson Miller’s menu of fresh takes on traditional Italian flavours, executed simply, using fresh ingredients. “We wanted to showcase a new forward-thinking cuisine,” owner Dominic Caracciolo says, on what is currently his third restaurant under the Mercato Group flagship. “The neighbourhood is seeing an influx of young professionals and they don’t want the old-school heavier Italian dishes. Lighter pastas, such as the pasta limone and cauliflower cacio e pepe are getting great response.”

Look for a possible late-night menu when the patio opens, takeout options and a happy hour coming this year. —K.A.

1036 Centre St. N. sorellatrattoria.ca, @sorellatrattoria


When it opened April 2022

Who’s behind it? Chef-owner Jun Young Park.

Why we love it already In the heart of the bustling Fresh & Local Market + Kitchens, Zushi is a tiny, four-seat gem serving exceptional-quality sushi by chef Jun Young Park. The omakase experience, a multi-course menu in which the chef decides the lineup of dishes, is exquisitely done here, with each course meticulously prepared using the freshest seasonal fish and premium ingredients like koshihikari rice. With his passion and attention to detail, combined

with his careful knife skills and purposeful selection of condiments, chef Park artfully highlights the nuanced flavours and textures of each individual piece. This omakase has become hugely popular, especially due to its surprising affordability, so reservations must be made well in advance. Zushi also offers an à la carte menu that customers can enjoy without a reservation — the delectable Brant Lake wagyu oshi-zushi is not to be missed. —P.L.

12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E. zushiyyc.ca, @zushiyyc

avenuecalgary.com 55


Flavours Restaurant

4129 4 St. N.W, 403-719-2770


@flavoursrestaurant Safari Grill

100, 255 28 St. S.E., 403-235-6655 safarigrillcalgary.com, @safarigrill

Abyssinia Restaurant

910 12 Ave. S.W., 403-452-3498


Yenny Delights

81, 3131 27 St. N.E., 403-880-5731; and Crossroads Market, 1235 26 Ave. S.E.; @yennydelights1

Habesha Restaurant

1039 17 Ave. S.W., 403-243-0307 habeshacuisine.ca, @habeshayyc


Silver Dragon Restaurant

106 3 Ave. S.E., 403-264-5326



Great Taste Chinese Restaurant

123 2 Ave. S.E., 403-265-9880; and 594 64 Ave. N.E., 403-275-6577 greattastecalgary.com


U & Me Restaurant

201, 233 Centre St. S.W., 403-264-5988 uandme-restaurant.com

Bill’s Peking House

380 Canyon Meadows Dr. S.E.

C HOIC E readers 2023

403-278-3338, billspeking.ca


Ho Won Restaurant 115 2 Ave. S.E., 403-266-2234 howoncalgary.com


Cassis Bistro

2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036

thecassisbistro.ca, @cassisbistro

La Boulangerie

2435 4 St. S.W., 403-984-9294



Fleur de Sel Brasserie

2015 4 St. S.W., 403-228-9764 fleurdeselbrasserie.com


Purlieu Bistro

3109 Palliser Dr. S.W., 403-280-7474 purlieucalgary.ca, @purlieuyyc

Hutch Cafe

795 1 Ave. S.W., 403-454-8823 hutch-cafe.com, @hutchcafeyyc


Calcutta Cricket Club

340 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-1555 calcuttacricketclub.com


Cinnamon Indian Cuisine & Bar

1207 11 Ave. S.W., 403-290-1777; and 3022 23 St. N.E., 403-454-3640 cinnamoncalgary.ca


Masala Bhavan South Indian Cuisine

4604 37 St. S.W., 403-460-4535 masalabhavan.com


The Curryer

550 11 Ave. S.W., 403-493-3374 thecurryer.ca, @the.curryer

Moti Mahal

1805 14 St. S.W., 403-228-9990




1005A 1 St. S.W., 587-349-2656 dopyyc.com, @dopyyc Mercato

2224 4 St. S.W., 403-263-5535 mercatogourmet.com


Bonterra Trattoria

1016 8 St. S.W., 403-262-8480 bonterra.ca, @bonterracalgary

Vero Bistro

209 10 St. N.W., 403-283-8988 verobistro.ca, @verobistro Teatro

200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012 teatro.ca, @teatrorestaurant


OMO Teppan & Kitchen

5222 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-764-3222 omoyyc.com, @omoyyc

Fuji Ramen and Sushi

111, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 587-352-5595



Lonely Mouth Bar

528 17 Ave. S.W., 403-990-5094 (text only), lonelymouthbar.com



2016 4 St. S.W., 403-229-3444 shokuninyyc.ca, @shokuninyyc

Shiki Menya

824 1 Ave. N.E., 403-454-2722 shikimenya.ca, @shikimenya


Roy’s Korean Kitchen

2024 4 St. S.W., 1-825-863-8849 (text only) royskoreankitchen.com, @royskitchenyyc Jinbar

24 4 St. N.E., 587-349-9008 jinbar.ca, @jinbaryyc

Bow Bulgogi House 3515 17 Ave. S.W. 403-686-6826

Wow Chicken

324 10 St. N.W., 403-460-7557 (plus three other locations) wowchicken.ca, @wowchickenca


1058 17 Ave. S.W., 403-475-2218 (plus two other locations) hankkica.com, @hankkicanada


Aida’s Bistro

2208 4 St. S.W., 403-541-1189 aidasbistro.ca, @aidasbistro

Jerusalem Shawarma

Eight Calgary locations jerusalemshawarma.ca


56 march/april 2023
When it comes to Calgary’s best restaurants, we also like to let our readers weigh in. More than 32,000 votes were cast across 29 categories in our annual online ballot. Here are the results in order of most votes received.

Paros Real Greek

1436 8 St. S.W., 403-453-1039; 8650 112 Ave. N.W., 403-547-7040; and 1810 80 Mahogany Rd. S.E., 403-395-0095 parosrealgreek.com, @parosrealgreek

Santorini Greek Taverna

1502 Centre St. N., 403-276-8363



Broken Plate Kitchen & Bar

10816 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-225-9650 brokenplate.ca, @brokenplateyyc


Native Tongues Taqueria

235 12 Ave. S.W., 403-263-9444; and 829 49 Ave. S.W., 403-454-8976 nativetongues.ca, @nativetonguesyyc

Añejo Restaurant

2116 4 St. S.W., 587-353-2656

anejo.ca, @anejoyyc

Tacos Mexico Memorial

3725 Memorial Dr. S.E. 403-457-6117, tacosmexicoyyc.com


Fonda Fora

630 4 Ave. S.W. (Westley Hotel) 403-764-6260, fondafora.com


Moose and Poncho

First Street Market, 1327 1 St. S.W. fsmyyc.com, @mooseandponcho


White Elephant Thai Cuisine 1808 19 St. N.E., 403-457-1172


Juree’s Thai Place Restaurant

2055 16 Ave. N.W., 403-264-6477



Tuk Tuk Thai

Nine Calgary locations (plus Airdrie), tuktukthai.com


Chili Club Thai House

1904 36 St. S.W., 403-217-8862

chiliclub.ca, @chiliclubthaihouse

Thai Sa-On 351 10 Ave. S.W., 403-264-3526



Pho Dau Bo

4909 17 Ave. S.E., 403-272-5160 phodaubovietnamese.com


Golden Bell

Three Calgary locations goldenbell.ca, @goldenbellrestaurant

Paper Lantern

115 2 Ave. S.E. (downstairs), 403-457-7765 paperlantern.ca, @paperlanternyyc

Van Son Vietnamese Calgary

308 16 Ave. N.W., 403-276-9990 vansoncuisine.ca, @vanson16th

Oriental Phoenix

104 58 Ave. S.E., 403-253-8189 orientalphoenix.net


Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey

1136 Kensington Rd. N.W. 403-283-3021, haydenblockyyc.com


Jane Bond BBQ

230 11 Ave. S.E.; and 321, 723 46 Ave. S.E. 403-277-7064, janebondbbq.com


Big Sky BBQ

306016 15 St. E., Okotoks, 403-938-0701, bigskybbq.ca, @big_sky_bbq

Palomino Smokehouse

109 7 Ave. S.W., 403-532-1911



Big T’s BBQ

Three Calgary locations (plus Airdrie) bigtsbbq.com, @bigtsbbq


OEB Breakfast Co.

Four Calgary locations eatoeb.com, @oeb_breakfast

Queens Breakfast Cocktails

3927 Edmonton Tr. N.E. 403-764-0878, queensyyc.ca


The Bro’Kin Yolk

Three Calgary locations brokinyolk.ca, @brokinyolk

Blue Star Diner 809 1 Ave. N.E., 403-261-9998 bluestardiner.ca, @bluestar_yyc

Red’s Diner

Four Calgary locations redsdiner.com, @reds_diner

Diner Deluxe

Three Calgary locations dinerdeluxe.com, @dinerdeluxe


1006 17 Ave. S.W., 403-457-7898 mavenyyc.ca, @maven_yyc

Brekkie Cafe

125 20 Westpark Link S.W. 403-452-9005 brekkie.ca, @brekkieyyc

Pigeonhole 306 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-4694 pigeonholeyyc.ca, @pigeonholeyyc


940 2 Ave. N.W., 403-453-1140 vendomecafe.com, @vendomeyyc



Lil’ Empire

Three Calgary locations

lilempireburger.com, @lilempireburger Boogie’s Burgers

908 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-230-7070; and 2129 33 Ave. S.W., 403-454-2902 boogiesburgers.com, @boogiesyyc

V Burger

819 17 Ave. S.W., 587-387-7272 heyvburger.com, @heyvburger

Inglewood Drive In 802 12 St. S.E., 403-265-5198 inglewooddrivein.com


Clive Burger 736 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-9224 cliveburger.com, @cliveburger


Silver Dragon Restaurant 106 3 Ave. S.E., 403-264-5326 silverdragoncalgary.com


U & Me Restaurant

201, 233 Centre St. S.W. 403-264-5988 uandme-restaurant.com

Chinese Cultural Centre Cuisine 197 1 St. S.W., 403-457-9988 chineseculturalcentrecuisine.com

T.Pot China Bistro & Cafe 9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. N.E. 403-532-3982, tasteofasiagroup.ca

Forbidden City Seafood & Dim Sum Restaurant 999 36 St. N.E., 403-250-1848 tasteofasiagroup.ca


Una Pizza + Wine

Three Calgary locations (plus Banff) unapizzeria.com, @unacalgary Noble Pie 720 11 Ave. S.W. (alley), 403-536-4075 (text only), noblepiepizza.com @noblepiepizza

Bow Tie Pizza

Four Calgary locations bowtiepizza.com @bowtiepizza

Matador Pizza & Steakhouse

4625 Varsity Dr. N.W. 403-286-3133, matadorpizza.com @matadorpizza

avenuecalgary.com 57

Posto Pizzeria and Bar

1014 8 St. S.W., 403-263-4876 posto.ca, @postocalgary


Alumni Sandwiches

725 17 Ave. S.W., 403-455-7255 alumnisandwiches.com



1308 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6452 spolumbos.com, @spolumbosdeli

Lazy Loaf & Kettle

8 Parkdale Cres. N.W., 403-270-7810 lazyloafandkettle.com, @lazy_loaf

Peppino Gourmet Foods

Five Calgary locations peppinogourmet.com, @peppinoyyc

Sammie Cafe

2205 33 Ave. S.W., 403-457-9682 sammieyyc.ca, @sammieyyc


Chairman’s Steakhouse

2251 Mahogany Blvd. S.E., 587-291-9898 chairmans.ca, @chairmansyyc

Major Tom

700 2 St. S.W. (40th Floor), 403-990-3954 (text only), majortombar.ca


Modern Steak

Three Calgary locations modernsteak.ca, @modernsteakca

Caesar’s Steak House

512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222; and Willow Park Village, 403-278-3930

caesarssteakhouse.com, @caesarssteak

Vintage Chophouse

320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262




The Coup

924 17 Ave. S.W., 403-541-1041 thecoup.ca, @thecoupcalgary

Hearts Choices Cafe Market

4127 6 St. N.E., 403-276-2163; plus two more locations (Calgary Farmers’ Market South and Calgary Farmers’ Market West) heartschoices.com, @heartschoices

Mondays Plant Café

208 4 St. N.E., 825-222-9080



The Allium

211A 12 Ave. S.W., 403-264-5416

theallium.ca, @alliumcalgary

Vegan Street

1413 9 Ave. S.E., 403-453-3282

veganstreet.ca, @veganstreetyyc


Major Tom

700 2 St. S.W. (40th Floor), 403-990-3954

(text only), majortombar.ca


River Café

Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670 river-cafe.com, @rivercafeyyc

Cafe Alchemist

850 2 St. S.W., 403-261-0938 cafealchemist.com, @cafe.alchemist

Modern Steak

100 8 Ave. S.W., 403-244-3600 modernsteak.ca, @modernsteakca


200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012 teatro.ca, @teatrorestaurant

Fonda Fora

630 4 Ave. S.W. (Westley Hotel) 403-764-6260, fondafora.com


Caesar’s Steak House

512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222 caesarssteakhouse.com, @caesarssteak


110 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8100 kleinharris.com, @klnharris

Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

8 Avenue at 3 Street S.W., 403-663-3363 hyssteakhouse.com, @hyssteakhouse

One18 Empire 820 Centre St. S., 403-269-0299 one18empire.com, @one18empire


Bridgette Bar

739 10 Ave. S.W., 403-700-0191 (text only) bridgettebar.com, @thebridgettebar

Ten Foot Henry 1209 1 St. S.W., 403-475-5537 tenfoothenry.com, @tenfoothenry

Pat & Betty

1217 1 St. S.W., 403-453-7690 patandbetty.com, @patandbettys

Lulu Bar

510 17 Ave. S.W., 403-519-0444 (text only) lulubar.ca, @thelulubar

Model Milk

308 17 Ave. S.W., 403-265-7343 modelmilk.ca, @modelmilk

Native Tongues Taqueria

235 12 Ave. S.W., 403-263-9444 nativetongues.ca, @nativetonguesyyc

Bonterra Trattoria

1016 8 St. S.W., 403-262-8480 bonterra.ca, @bonterracalgary

Calcutta Cricket Club

340 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-1555 calcuttacricketclub.com


Foreign Concept

1011 1 St. S.W., 403-719-7288 foreignconcept.ca, @eatforeign Orchard Restaurant

620 10 Ave. S.W., 403-243-2392 (text only) orchardyyc.com, @orchard.yyc


Calgary Momo House

2150, 4310 104 Ave. N.E., 403-660-7043 calgarymomohouse.com


White Elephant Thai Cuisine

1808 19 St. N.E., 403-457-1172 whiteelephantcalgary.com

Queens Breakfast Cocktails

3927 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-764-0878

queensyyc.ca, @queensyyc

Amihan Grill + Bakeshop

208, 3132 26 St. N.E., 403-455-6050 amihan.ca, @amihan.grill.bakeshop

Starr Distilling Co. 4127 6 St. N.E., 403-395-0105 starrdistilling.com, @starrdistillingco



4611 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-288-4372 notabletherestaurant.ca


4th Spot Kitchen & Bar

2620 4 St. N.W., 403-984-3474 4thspot.com, @4thspotkitchenbar

Flores & Pine

254028 Bearspaw Rd., 403-241-7611 floresandpine.com, @floresandpine

Nick’s Steakhouse & Pizza 2430 Crowchild Tr. N.W., 403-282-9278 nickssteakandpizza.com


The Bro’Kin Yolk 130, 12580 Symons Valley Rd. N.W. 587-317-5743, brokinyolk.ca @brokinyolk


Chairman’s Steakhouse 2251 Mahogany Blvd. S.E., 597-291-9898 chairmans.ca, @chairmansyyc

Fuji Ramen and Sushi 111, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 587-352-5595 fujiramenandsushi.com


The Park Kitchen & Bar 163 Quarry Park Blvd. S.E., 403-719-7200 parkkitchen.ca, @theparkcalgary

The Lake House 747 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E. 403-225-3939, lakehousecalgary.com


Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant 15979 Bow Bottom Tr. S.E. 403-476-1310, bvrrestaurant.com


58 march/april 2023

“Fe d the entire family forjust..."

Make dinner plans for Bragg Creek on April 21st

You won’t have to scrounge around to feed your appetite.

Taste of Bragg Creek is back after a hiatus due to “you know what.” Well, now that “that’s” behind us, gather up the scurry and hurry to Bragg Creek. Year round, wine & food merchants, caterers, and restaurateurs offer culinary experiences to fit every occasion. On April 21st, from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, at the Bragg Creek Community Centre and surrounding Hamlet, we celebrate a variety of local tastes in one sitting. Bring your taste “buds” and enjoy.

For complete details visit tasteofbraggcreek.ca facebook facebook.com/tastebraggcreek TWITTER @TasteofBragg

avenuecalgary.com 59
In partnership with and proudly supported by:
march/april 2022 60 CALGARY’S BRUNCH SUNDAY SAFARI BRUNCH Indulge in a wild brunch experience every Sunday. A delicious meal and day filled with animal adventures awaits. Learn more at calgaryzoo.com. happy hour WWW.ONE18EMPIRE.COM @ONE18EMP IRE 4PM-6PM EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK!


The Himalayan 3218 17 Ave. S.W., 403-984-3384


Cassis Bistro

2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036 thecassisbistro.ca, @cassisbistro

Mercato West 873 85 St. S.W., 403-263-6996 mercatowest.com, @mercatowest

Una Pizza + Wine

8529 Broadcast Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183 unapizzeria.com, @unacalgary

Modern Ocean

10606 Southport Rd. S.W., 403-300-1424 modernocean.ca, @modernoceanca


Una Pizza + Wine

Three Calgary locations (plus Banff) unapizzeria.com, @unacalgary

OEB Breakfast Co.

Four Calgary locations eatoeb.com, @oeb_breakfast

Cactus Club Cafe

Three Calgary locations cactusclubcafe.com, @cactusclubcafe

Kinjo Sushi & Grill

Seven Calgary locations kinjosushiandgrill.com, @kinjo_sushi

Earls Kitchen + Bar

Eight Calgary locations earls.ca, @earlsrestaurant


Con Mi Taco conmitaco.com, @conmitaco

Pigot’s Burger Club



Tokyo Chopsticks



Garbanzo’s garbanzos.ca, @garbanzosyyc

Respect the Technique




Ship & Anchor

534 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333



Trolley 5

728 17 Ave. S.W., 403-454-3731 trolley5.com, @trolley_5

Last Best Brewing & Distilling

607 11 Ave. S.W., 587-353-7387

lastbestbrewing.com, @lastbestbrew

Citizen Brewing Company

227 35 Ave. N.E., 403-474-4677 citizenbrewingcompany.com


Wild Rose Brewery

4580 Quesnay Wood Dr. S.W. 403-727-5451, wildrosetaproom.com




220 42 Ave. S.E., 403-287-9255 alloydining.com, @alloydining

Major Tom

700 2 St. S.W. (40th Floor), 403-990-3954 (text only), majortombar.ca


River Café

Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670 river-cafe.com, @rivercafeyyc

Pat & Betty

1217 1 St. S.W., 403-453-7690 patandbetty.com, @patandbettys

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

15979 Bow Bottom Tr. S.E. 403-476-1310, bvrrestaurant.com



200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012 teatro.ca, @teatrorestaurant

D.O.P. 1005A 1 St. S.W., 587-349-2656 dopyyc.com, @dopyyc

Deane House 806 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-0595 deanehouse.com, @deanehouseyyc

Caesar’s Steak House 512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222; and Willow Park Village, 403-278-3930 caesarssteakhouse.com, @caesarssteak

Rouge 1240 8 Ave S.E., 403-531-2767 rougecalgary.com, @rougerestaurant


Who’s behind it? Co-owners Uri Heilik and chef Rogelio Herrera. What’s on the menu? Globally inspired dishes such as tempura prawns with gochujang and maple glaze, and classics like braised beef short rib.

Why we love this place A hidden-gem location with a gorgeous enclosed patio matched by a superlative guest experience.

Alloy celebrated its 15th anniversary last fall, while this year, Avenue readers recognized it as their No. 1 choice in Calgary for special occasions. Co-owner Uri Heilik chalks Alloy’s success up to a few factors: a unique location in the Manchester area conducive to hosting parties, an amazing and dedicated staff (some of whom have been at Alloy since it opened), and consistency in the food and overall experience. “We take enormous pride [in the fact] that what we created feels special to our guests,” says Heilik, who runs the restaurant with chef and co-owner Rogelio Herrera. “Striving for

consistency so that all our guests receive the Alloy experience has created many, many regulars.”

One of those regulars, Cam McVeigh, dines at Alloy with family and friends often — up to three times a week for lunch, and three times a month for dinner — to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or, simply, because “we are hungry and need a good meal,” he says. “We keep coming back because the food is excellent, the menu is always changing, and the service is impeccable,” says McVeigh. “Special events work well at Alloy due to the flexibility in seating, including the huge patio in warmer months, and Alloy’s ability to customize food, beverage and decor [for each event].”

Heilik believes Alloy can maintain its fine balance of evolution and consistency. “After 15 years, we try to bring an experience that matches the times we live in, while still keeping the same formula that has brought us success,” he says. “But the beef short rib will always be with us!” —Chris Landry

avenuecalgary.com 61

Innovating to bring great meals to Canadians

“A key learning from the significant disruption of the foodservice industry is the need to be flexible and versatile,” says Samay Bhardwaj, Senior Brand Manager, Foodservice and Ingredients at Lactalis Canada. “We’ve been quick to adapt and respond to the changing needs of our customers and that’s what sets us apart — our readiness to bring solutions and innovation to their day-to-day culinary preparations.”


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the foodservice industry has worked hard to come up with new and different ways to engage with customers. Now, after two years of on-again/offagain closures, businesses, such as restaurants, bars and catering companies, have to redouble their efforts to get people eating out and ordering delivery and takeout regularly again.

To do so effectively requires the support of foodservice suppliers. Lactalis Canada leads the way with its 140-year history of bringing the best dairy products to Canadians. Throughout the pandemic and looking to the year ahead, Lactalis Canada continues to innovate to provide vital resources to the foodservice industry.

“Lactalis Canada is focused on providing a wide range of dairy solutions for our customers, from enhancing their menus to reducing the requirement for labour, given industry shortages,” says Steve Hutchinson, Vice-President, Marketing, Foodservice and Ingredients at Lactalis Canada. “Our topmost priority is to be actively engaged with our customers so we can work together to drive the foodservice industry forward.”


To help with supply-chain issues fuelled by the pandemic, Lactalis Canada’s wide product range and flexibility allow customers to find solutions by substituting with similar products. Instead of a single offering, Lactalis Canada is the ultimate one-stop dairy shop with a variety

of options across its 16 brands, including Astro, iÖGO, Beatrice, Black Diamond, Cracker Barrel, Galbani Professionale and Lactantia. Innovation has also been the key to developing new products that meet customers’ needs and wants. For instance, Canadians are looking for foods that accommodate allergies and sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance. Lactalis Canada launched Galbani Professionale LactoseFree Pizza Mozzarella as a delicious option for those operators who want to provide something on the menu for everyone — including those with lactose intolerance. Similarly, the company has also proven to be an innovation leader by expanding its plant-based offerings.


Developing foodservice partnerships is critical to success. Recently, Lactalis Canada’s Foodservice division began a new collaboration with the Canadian Culinary Federation to leverage collective expertise and deliver excellence in Canadian foodservice.

All of this work has not gone unnoticed, with Lactalis Canada winning the industry’s prestigious 2022 Pinnacle Award for Supplier of the Year. “The industry has shown from the past few years that we have the strength and people to not only overcome challenges but to pivot in the right direction, and our success must also be accredited to their support,” affirms Hutchinson. Such recognition validates the company’s efforts as a leading foodservice industry supplier and motivates it to continue to innovate, particularly in the digital realm. “This is the era of digital and it’s absolutely critical for brands to be in that space today,” says Bhardwaj. “Digital is a great means to disseminate information to our customers and partners on the products we have today and the ones we are developing for tomorrow. When it comes to digital, there is always something that hasn’t been tried yet, and new ideas can come from anywhere — this is the mentality we hope to drive 2023 with.”

Learn more at lactalisfoodservice.ca
Ensuring the foodservice industry continues to thrive requires collaboration and creativity.
Crafting and Delivering Exceptional Dairy Solutions for Menus


“Canadian food is very hard to narrow down to one particular style, Canada being such a big country, with four distinct seasons and people from all over the world. I believe our food here is just as diverse as the weather and the people. My Colombian friends who have never been here ask me, ‘What do you guys eat or cook there?’ My answer is always, ‘Whatever we want.’ But I always tell them about the local meats like bison and elk and how tasty they are, and they seem to be intrigued by that more than anything else. They also ask if I have eaten bear, and, of course I have, but I can’t say it was my favourite.”


Whatis Canadian food?

“Canadian cuisine is ever-evolving and shaped by the people of this country and the ever-changing landscape of ingredients and culinary influences through waves of migration. There is much diversity across this vast country, and a vast number of unique edible ingredients, grown in different climates and affected by the unique geography and traditions of First Nations and the traditions of early settlers, and influenced by culinary traditions from around the world.

“In its simplest form, Canadian cuisine is made from ingredients grown in Canada. Contemporary Canadian cuisine can also share influence and ingredients in common with other northern, Nordic countries. At River Café, we ask ourselves, ‘how local can we be?,’ and look for unique regional ingredients grown and raised by people who are committed to responsible stewardship of the land as a renewal resource. Our food circle can be large, as we source coast to coast for Canadian ingredients not grown in our Prairie food shed.”

march/april 2023 64

Darren MacLean


“Defining a cuisine is no easy task. I believe that food culture is dependent on the movement of people and what they do with the ingredients they find in new places. No place on earth embodies this concept more than Canada! In short, Canadian food is currently evolving. Ours is a cuisine defined not only by location, culture and circumstance, but by the chaotic conflation of the three. Our cuisine is born of migration, whether it be Indigenous or international. Canadian food will be passed down through shared history and tradition, not just between parents and children, but neighbours, friends and loved ones whose stories may have begun in vastly different places, but who found their home in Canada. Over time, this shared voice will create a cuisine that is uniquely Canadian. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in 100 years!”


Scott Pohorelic




“I’ve spent the bulk of my career trying to figure out what Canadian cuisine is, as, in my former life, I was the chef at River Café. I understand the taste of place and local ingredients, but what I really love about Canadian cuisine is that it’s largely undefinable. That lends itself perfectly to education, because my students need to look at geographical and historical influences on Canadian cuisine. We look at Indigenous peoples and what they ate, and the French and the English, but what’s really exciting is the [influence of] immigration. We’re a multicultural country and we’ve embraced those cultures. All of these influences are defining Canadian cuisine right now, but it’s constantly evolving.”

avenuecalgary.com 65

“My friend, the late Anita Stewart, would say, ‘Canada is food and the world is richer for it.’ She founded Food Day Canada in 2003 to actively promote the growth and study of our distinctly Canadian food culture. Food Day Canada is celebrated annually by those in the know (and, sadly, that’s not many) on the Saturday of the August long weekend.

“So, what is our distinctly Canadian food culture? It’s a work in progress.

“Canada is the world’s second-largest country and, as a tricoastal northern hemisphere country with the longest coastline in the world, it has a terroir (a taste of place) that is largely unknown to Canadians — let alone global food travellers. We have a hard time seeing what’s special about what is right in front of us. Most people don’t realize Alberta has seven signature foods: beef, bison, canola, honey, Red Fife wheat, root vegetables and Saskatoon berries. There are novel tastes here and, therefore, as the elements that make up our terroir are identified, exposed and celebrated, we will become one of the world’s most exciting food destinations.

“We grow a lot of the world’s food — grains, pulses, beef and mustard are great examples — and we also have a bountiful supply of wild foods thanks to the abundance of boreal forest. Canadian culinary institutions yield talented chefs on par with the world’s best. So, how do we begin to tell the rich stories that go with the quality of food here?

“The world has transitioned from agrarian to industrial, information and service economies, and we are now entering the age of experience and transformational economies. This is the perfect way for Canadians and travellers to our country to discover what our food is, through experiences that connect them with our food and leave them transformed.

“In my own experience as a food tourism operator, I’ve seen the profound effect of taking city folk to meet farm folk. When people discover the dedication it takes to grow food, when they hear the stories and taste the difference of locally grown food, they are transformed. They value food and food producers. That is the fundamental beginning of a food culture. This is the best way I know to connect with another human. This is what we all crave.”

Denia Baltzer


“As an Indigenous chef, this question takes me directly to the wild ingredients I grew up eating, and it invokes memories of family gathering to feast; of the Deh Cho, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where I was raised. I can close my eyes and smell the smoke used to cure the meat hunted and the fish caught, and I recall the scent of the sweet wild strawberries in the heat of summer, or highbush cranberries in the autumn air.

“These memories are ones I cherish and call upon when creating my own dishes today. The food I cook is inspired by, and often contains the same ingredients as, the foods the Indigenous peoples of Canada have eaten since our beginnings.

“So, what exactly is Canadian cuisine? Much like the cultural tapestry that makes up this country, I understand there is a depth to Canadian cuisine, as it is a blend of many cultural foods, from all over the world, fused in a creative, approachable, comfortable way. It represents the history of this land, from the First Peoples to current times.”

march/april 2023 66

Roy Oh

“I think about Canadian food and I’d equate it to who I am as a person. I am Canadian! But wait, you look Asian? I am. My parents immigrated to Canada from Korea. Then you’re Korean? Well, no, I was born and raised in Edmonton. I am Canadian. To be more accurate, I am Canadian-Korean. But Canadian first. My memories of food are of traditional Korean dishes like kimchi stew, marinated short ribs and grilled mackerel, mixed in with

pizzas, perogies, nachos and fries. But wait, pizza is Italian and perogies are Ukrainian and nachos are Mexican. And fries — aren’t they from France? And what about the food of the Indigenous peoples? Weren’t they the first ‘Canadians?’

I believe that Canadian food is a mix of all of the cultures and nationalities that have made this country home. All of the immigrants who have come to find a better life and have, in the process, made a better Canada. I am Canadian-Korean, I make Canadian-Korean Food. I’d like to think that Canadian food is a little bit spicier because of it.”

Michelle Hobbs

“As a Canadian, I feel we are not as easily defined by our cuisine as other countries. There are probably not a lot of Canadian restaurants in France. If there was a Canadian restaurant in Paris, what would it serve? Poutine? Smoked salmon? Bison burgers on bannock? Maybe. I don’t feel more Canadian when I eat poutine, but I always want to take people who visit Canada to eat poutine or bison burgers. I think of these foods as being associated with Canada, but not a definition of what Canadian food is.

“I did not grow up here and I was not born here, but I have been a citizen since birth. I was born abroad and raised by my Singaporean and Canadian parents to feel both deeply Canadian and deeply Singaporean. We lived all over — Indonesia, the Netherlands, the U.K., the U.S., Norway and many places in between …

Jenny Burthwright

“Canadian food is as hearty as Canadians are. It must be comforting, all-weather and, of course, have roots in our regional flavour palate, like foods from the cold-water oceans and lakes — oysters, lobster, trout and salmon. Foods that cultivate and thrive in our climates, like root vegetables, add earthiness to stews and soups. Land-animal meats like venison and moose are less common, but no less Canadian.

“But anything cooked over a flame speaks to our senses. With Canada’s vast, tree-rich landscape and seasonal climates, our foods long to be cooked on fire, as was common practice with our First Nations folks until quite recently (and even still). Food made over flame is perfectly Canadian, as we are outdoorsy and need warmth in winter.”

“Canadian food is the food I ate as a small girl in Scotland when dad barbecued steak on a charcoal grill and changed the way the people in our hamlet thought about beef. Canadian food is the piping hot bowls of bubur (congee) my mom made when we were sick. Canadian food is preparing a delicious meal from ingredients that grow on this land and remembering I live in Treaty 7 territory.

“I think Canadian food is something different for every Canadian, but, ultimately, it’s about how lucky we are that we can have opportunities to cook, eat and share it.”

avenuecalgary.com 67

Sylvia Kong and Emily Richards


“Canadian food is not only about the ingredients, but the people who are preparing and eating it. There is so much that our country has to offer when it comes to traditional ingredients, but Canada has also welcomed many new foods and diverse cultures, which have become part of our terroir as well.

“Small local family farms have been a major contributor to the availability of Canadian ingredients, and they allow families across the country to cook with those ingredients. Family and food go together, and creating recipes and cooking together is a Canadian experience in homes across the country from all backgrounds. We are honoured to be a part of this food experience, to help create interest and fun with recipes to continue the Best of Bridge tradition: to get people in the kitchen to cook.”


“I couldn’t agree more when Canada is referred to as a ‘cultural mosaic.’ We’re so lucky to live in a country where we’re encouraged to celebrate the values and traditions of our individual cultures. Canada’s diversity makes living here so unique, but it’s our inclusivity that makes Canada’s food so delicious. When I think about how we eat here, I look at the thousands of items on our shelves from all over Europe. And I think about how, in the last decade, we’ve seen so many local makers following their passions and producing dishes and delicacies from their homelands. Our shops give them a platform to tell their stories and sell their products. As an Italian, I’m so excited to see olive oil being made on Salt Spring Island. It’s remarkable!

“Of course, when I look at what our shoppers have in their carts, I see Italian ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, cured meats and cheeses. But, alongside them, I see Ukrainian pierogies, Spanish chorizo, fresh Mexican tortillas and tinned fish from Portugal. To me, this is Canadian food — a little bit of everything delicious, no matter where it’s from. We’re blessed to live in a country where this is our way of life.”


“Being from B.C., I grew up in the forest, camping, foraging, exploring, catching dinner. After cooking school, I spent a lot of time working at various farms and restaurants where I would take fruits and vegetables from the farm to the kitchen table.

“I find it important to know the story behind the food, the farmer, the fisherman, the forager, the rancher, the beekeeper. They share their passion with you, and you pass it on to the plate. I was in Revelstoke last fall, foraging mushrooms for our restaurant, and it gave me and my family such great joy, doing it together. Working on the beautiful Tsuu T’ina Nation, I have been introduced to a whole new culture of food and flavours. For the Canada Day buffet, we do new and classical Canadian dishes, and we also do First Nations dishes, which gets a lot of the staff involved. This spring, I am looking forward to learning from some foragers from the Nation about wild edibles that we can put on the menu. That is how I see ‘Canadian food’ — working with what’s in season.”

march/april 2023 68

Korae Nottveit


“In my opinion, Canadian food is fusion food. Canadian culture is such a mix of different ethnicities. Whenever I meet a Canadian, most of the time, they or their ancestors are from a different country. This leads to very different food products and dishes being brought to Canada. Having lived in the U.S. and visited Europe multiple times, I’ve noticed how we take for granted the fact we can find authentic Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Brazilian and other foods, all around one Canadian city. The amazing part is when Canadian restaurants take those cultural foods and combine them together.

I worked in a Calgary restaurant where the sous chef was from Venezuela and we were, by name, a French/Italian restaurant but served South American food with some Spanish/Mediterranean influence: that to me, is what Canadian food is.”


“Canadian food and Filipino food are very similar, because both draw from diverse cultural influences. As a classic example, the ginger beef invented in Calgary is a product of Alberta beef, an ingredient that is abundant here, and the cooking technique of chef George Wong, an immigrant from Hong Kong.

“As for Filipino food, our cuisine has evolved from being very simple to being very diverse due to the varied influences of cultures who came to trade (Chinese, South Asian), colonize (Spanish, American, Japanese) and immigrate (South Korean, Indian). Our dishes used to be as simple as fried fish and steamed rice but with the introduction of different ingredients, spices and cooking techniques from other cultures, we developed dishes that are largely influenced by these cultures, such as adobo, caldereta, kare kare, pancit, lumpia and more.

“Being Filipino-Canadian, I tend to infuse my cooking style with ingredients that are available and easier to source here with cooking techniques that I learned growing up in the Philippines. One instance (and I won’t take credit for it, as it was a group effort) is when [Amihan] joined La Poutine Week in 2021. Our team in the restaurant came up with ‘sisig poutine’— a dish that is truly Canadian but also truly Filipino. We combined fries and house-made white cheese sauce and topped it with sisig (minced barbecued pork belly marinated in Philippine lime, salt, pepper and spices), chicken-liver aioli and crispy onions. This dish is what I believe represents what Canadian food is — a fusion of ingredients, flavours and textures influenced by the rich culture of its people.”

avenuecalgary.com 69

the Calgary of the future is being created right now: From Changes to the way we get around to how we construct our homes, communities, arts institutions and recreation spaces, here’s how.

future of the city

march/april 2023 70

As a city magazine, it should come as no surprise that we at Avenue are perennially interested, and invested, in the future of Calgary, and digging into it from an urban-planning and building perspective is one of our key areas of coverage. As has become tradition every spring, we’re once again exploring the state of the city and where it’s headed from a few different perspectives, including an in-depth look at Calgary Transit, the design principles going into the Arts Commons Transformation project and what a community of the future looks like. We’re also tak-

ing the opportunity to celebrate, in stories about the Brawn Family Foundation Rotary Park (a first-of-its kind space designed to support mental health and wellness) and how Calgarians have enthusiastically embraced e-scooters in our inner-city neighbourhoods.

This year, to complement our annual city-building deep dive, we’re excited to announce our firstever Future of the City Festival happening on May 2, an opportunity to come together to illuminate and examine where Calgary is going. As the great Jane Jacobs wrote: “Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design.” We hope you will join us in being engaged Calgarians in our laboratory, celebrating what’s great, questioning what’s not and championing a Calgary for all.

avenuecalgary.com 71

hen I moved to Calgary from Vancouver in 2017, I knew the city wasn’t exactly known for stellar public transit. But, I was determined to make the best of what there was.

A die-hard cyclist, pedestrian and transit user who’d never owned a car, I’d hoped my inner-city location would set me up to enable car-free living. It took exactly one transit trip, wherein I spent the better part of an hour trying to get from Bankview to Inglewood for a Sunday afternoon of shopping, to realize the flaws in my plan. The kicker was a 25-minute wait for a bus transfer on a cold and deserted downtown street corner. I attempted transit a few more times but it never seemed to make sense: buses didn’t go where I needed to be, or, if they did, the time it took to get there was prohibitive. Eventually, I realized my short-distance trips were more efficiently handled by walking or biking. As for everything else… well, I now own a car.

To be fair, when it comes to transit, Calgary has done some things exceptionally well. Our LRT (light rail transit) system was one of the first in North America and experts say it routinely punches above its weight, particularly when it comes to weekday rush hours. Pre-COVID, more than 300,000 people took the CTrain daily, rivalling some European cities like Copenhagen, where public transit is part of the cultural fabric. Meanwhile, the Max and BRT lines have introduced rapid transit to parts of the city not served by LRT, and the future Green Line is poised to become the metaphorical backbone of Calgary’s transit system — a “spine” running through the centre of the city, bringing walkable train stops through the heart of communities ripe for densification.

But the fact is, many parts of our city remain unor underserved by transit, while infrequent service and inefficient connections relegate it to a mode of last resort for many. This doesn’t just frustrate people who rely on the system — it drives potential users away. What’s more, the gaps in our transit system are holding us back from reaching our sustainability,

Stopsand Starts

march/april 2023 72
Why many believe Calgary’s public transit system is keeping our city from moving forward.

economic and social goals as a city. If we hope to become a destination for highly skilled workers and large corporations who have their pick of any city in the world, we need transit that does more than move people into and out of downtown on either end of the workday. It needs to become an efficient and affordable choice for running errands, going for dinner and taking our families on outings. This is where the system has fallen chronically short. Add to that, the impact of the pandemic on ridership, service and safety concerns, and the City certainly has its work cut out for it in redirecting a transportation system — and a culture — built around cars. Fortunately, it’s full of people who think we can do it.


From his vantage point ferrying Calgarians to far-flung vacation spots, airline pilot Jeff Binks has a bird’s-eye view of the city, especially the cars and trucks crawling along Deerfoot and other arterials at rush hour. “It made me start to question: Is there a better way to approach city-building in Calgary? And, to me, that was investing in our transit infrastructure,” he says.

In 2014, Binks started the LRT on the Green Foundation to advocate for the Green Line and other transit improvements. After spending a lot of his downtime exploring some of the world’s greatest cities, often by transit, Binks says he’s realized Calgary isn’t as far away from having a more functional transit system as many people think. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel; there’s a lot of places doing a lot of good things,” he says. “You just have to be open-minded enough to reach out to those cities and borrow their best practices.”

One approach Binks and other advocates say would do wonders in Calgary is implementing 10-minute transit — running buses and trains on major routes every 10 minutes or less for extended periods, not just at peak times. “That 10 minutes is a big psychological thing for people,” Binks says. “Beyond that, people start checking schedules and they’re not taking transit when they want, they’re taking transit when they have to.”

Research has found that when people know they won’t have to wait, say, 25 minutes in the cold for a bus or train, they’re more likely to take spontaneous trips and make transit a bigger part of their lives. This, in turn, leads to something called “diverse demand,” where you have more potential riders throughout the day paying fares, populating routes and generally reducing the cost of transit. In fact, experts say a major

avenuecalgary.com 73

factor that separates cities like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal from Calgary isn’t necessarily the multibillion-dollar rapid-transit infrastructure like subways (though those help), but the frequency of the buses that feed them. “People start to realize that, actually, the best way to get into town is a quick bus to a train,” says Willem Klumpenhouwer, a transit researcher who grew up in Calgary and now lives in Toronto.

In fact, the 10-minute transit idea isn’t new to Calgary; it was outlined in the 2013 document RouteAhead: A Strategic Plan for Transit in Calgary, a 30-year vision for Calgary transit. A major part of the plan calls for the creation of a Primary Transit Network (PTN) that would see buses and trains along major routes run at 10-minute intervals, or less, 15 hours a day, seven days a week. But, other than a brief period of running CTrain lines and the No. 3 bus route on 10-minute intervals that was quashed in 2019, the plan hasn’t moved ahead. According to a City spokesperson, budget constraints, the economic downturn and COVID all conspired to keep the PTN from expanding, though it is being reconsidered for the updated Route Ahead strategy to be released by the second quarter of 2023.


Obviously, boosting transit service comes at a price, and the City’s $486 million transit operating budget (a 2021 figure that includes a net budget of $285.7 million from tax support) is already stretched. However, advocates say that transit-operating budgets are unfairly scrutinized, likely because they are purely funded by fares and property taxes, while roads and other vehicle infrastructure often get funding from senior governments. Yet, Binks and other advocates think people would likely feel differently if they had a better grasp of the costs associated with maintaining infrastructure primarily used by private vehicles — and the benefits of doing things differently.

A recent study from the Université Laval found the cost to individuals using transit is largely the same as driving, at 94 and 95 cents per kilometre, respectively. But, when you add up the cost to society, including road construction and maintenance, pollution, accidents, traffic enforcement and time lost in gridlock, travelling by private vehicle costs more than four times that of public transit, at $5.46 per km vs. $1.14 for transit. What’s more, data shows those costs grow as more drivers use our roads, while increases in transit ridership bring costs down. “We could be spending our money on better things that are more efficient at what we’re trying to accomplish,”

march/april 2023 74
“The more challenging the transit system is, the harder it is for companies to select that city to move into.”

says Justin Simaluk, president of Rail for Alberta, an advocacy group pushing for urban, regional and inter-city rail networks. Additionally, he says, investments in things like rail infrastructure come with economic advantages for cities that you don’t see when you invest in roads. So, while capital projects like the Calgary Ring Road and the Green Line both come with multibillion dollar price tags, one stands to bring a much bigger economic benefit to the city.

Kate Koplovich, director of strategy for Calgary Economic Development, says the Green Line is expected to create 20,000 direct and supporting jobs for Calgarians. But the bigger benefit is the $2.2 billion the city stands to see due to the property uplift and increased market value for properties close to the transit stations. “There’s a direct economic development impact of public transit that is so important for a world-class city really looking to stimulate its economy,” she says.

Then there’s the impact on the City’s efforts to attract diverse corporate investment in competitive industries like tech. Many Calgarians will remember the frenzy Amazon caused in 2017, when it announced its location search for a second North American headquarters. Calgary was one of more than 200 cities to throw its hat into the ring with a cheeky campaign featuring a lumberjack type offering to fight a bear for the e-commerce behemoth. We might have fared better if we’d offered to build a rail link to the airport instead.

While transit doesn’t explicitly top the list of factors large companies like Amazon say they look for when considering investing in a new community, it has an outsized impact on their top three considerations, says Faisal Karmali, senior wealth advisor & portfolio manager with CIBC Private Wealth Popowich Karmali Advisory Group. Things like the availability of talent, the ease of doing business and the attractiveness of the location for employees are all impacted by transportation considerations. “The more challenging the transit system is, the harder it is for companies to select that city to move into,” he says.

In the end, Amazon went with Northern Virginia, an area rife with regional rail connections to Washington, D.C., and an airport so close to the proposed HQ2 location the bid reportedly included a pedestrian walkway to the terminal.


It’s not just companies that are increasingly considering transit when looking for a long-term home. The pandemic saw millennials close the gap with older

avenuecalgary.com 75

generations in terms of car ownership, but studies show they consistently drive less than their predecessors. Gen Z, the oldest of whom are now in their mid-20s, are even less likely to get behind the wheel, citing environmental, financial and lifestyle factors. This trend means that public transit is becoming a bigger consideration for young people when deciding where to live, and, for a city that already struggles to retain its young adults, sub-par service is a liability.

John Clegg says it seems like Calgary is behind the times when it comes to public transit. Growing up in the southwest communities of Oakridge/ Oakridge Estates, the 28-year-old journalist and writer says transit was viewed in a “derogatory way.” He remembers neighbours launching protests against the introduction of bus routes in the area. “It was like, ‘poor people take transit,’ which is not how transit is viewed elsewhere around the world.” It wasn’t until moving to Vancouver around 2014 that Clegg discovered transit can be more than a social service for those who can’t or can’t afford to drive, but an equalizing force that every demographic uses. “I was like, ‘ah, yeah, they’re not doing it very well in Calgary at all.’”

While Clegg says he still loves his hometown, he doesn’t ever see himself moving back. His job requires a lot of travel and the lack of a rail link to the airport is a major stumbling block. But, beyond that, the way the city seems to cling to car culture belies

an “incompatibility” with his values. “That extends to things like transit funding, things like municipal livability for lower-income people,” he says.

Changing the perception — both inside and outside the city — of Calgarians as categorically attached to their cars is crucial to moving the city forward, and doing so comes down to a matter of political will, says Ward 8 councillor Courtney Walcott. Citizen satisfaction surveys routinely show Calgarians want better transit. A recent survey showed that 72 per cent of people here rate transit as “very important” but only 23 per cent say they are “very satisfied” with the service. The survey also saw transit ranked the third-highest area that Calgarians

agreed needed more investment, above road maintenance, which ranked sixth.

The persistent idea that we need to continue to prioritize private automobiles alongside or even above public transit is the result of choices made by successive city governments, Walcott says. “The system that Calgary Transit is working under is one that has been totally dictated to them, so it’s a question of, are we going to be courageous enough to dictate a new model?”

So far the answer is: sort of. The latest City budget, passed in November, had initially proposed to increase frequency of service, improve security and expand capacity on CTrain — but at a cost to users. Fares were set to go up by three per cent annually until 2026, bringing a single-trip ticket from $3.60 to $4. After public hearings, council rejected the fare increase, opting instead to dip into one-time City funds to make the improvements while freezing fares at 2022 levels. It also voted to eliminate fares for kids under 12 and reduce the price of weekend family transit passes. Though not the radical change some feel the system needs, it’s a positive step. Walcott, who voted for the fare freeze, says it shouldn’t be on users to pay for and support a transit system that has failed to thrive due to a lack of political leadership. “That is not their job,” he says. “It is our job. It is the municipality’s job, it is the Province’s job, it is the federal government’s job

march/april 2023 76
“The System that calgary transit is working under is one that has been totally dictated to them.”
New Location Now Open in Aspen Glen Landing Everyone’s type of Delicious! 403.719.7200 #1200 163 Quarry Park Blvd SE | 403.686.6731 #114 326 Aspen Glen Landing SW | parkkitchen.ca Divorce isn’t easy, but it’s a path to a new beginning. CALGARY ALBERTA a ne Suite 1900, 639 5th Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 0M9 | Phone (587) 356-4342 | info@wellsfamilylaw.com | www.wellsfamilylaw.com Compassionate, Guidance Through All Areas of Divorce.
march/april 2023 78 BRINGING AWARD-WINNING CALGARY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS TO LIFE. Ready to talk about your project? CONTACT US TODAY! AVICONSTRUCTION.CA The instant when Celebration calls for Taittinger To find a retailer near you visit: liquorconnect.com/40873

to create the convenience for the highest and best use of our land and our people’s time.”

Certainly, agreements between City and senior governments for bigger transit improvements can be a struggle. Sharon Fleming, director of Calgary Transit, says the City is exploring further funding options with the federal government for capital projects that could free up more money for operations, but in the meantime, “we need to do the best with the money we have.” And not every problem Calgary Transit faces is financial. One barrier to implementing 10-minute transit in the city is a shortage of bus operators to run those extra routes, says Fleming, noting the City was forced to lay off drivers during the pandemic.

A critical hurdle in getting Green Line construction started, meanwhile, has been finding skilled contractors willing to do the work in a jurisdiction that seems reluctant to ensure funding. And Calgary Transit is still working to lure riders back to the system after COVID, which saw a lack of social supports in the city result in a notable increase in open drug use and drug dealing on CTrains and in stations, further driving riders away. Still, the system has had some success recouping ridership with discounted fares, new planning and payment apps and theme buses. As of September 2022, transit ridership was at 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Fleming says that Calgarians do need to take some responsibility if they want better transit, even if it’s just updating how they view the system’s role in the city. Rather than looking at transit as simply a mode of transportation, we need to see it as a critical component of the entire transportation network, one that benefits everyone by reducing pressure on our roadways and our environmental footprint. In this sense, “I don’t think Calgarians are there yet,” Fleming says.

In the end, residents may not realize the importance of better transit until they see the transformative power of projects like the Green Line. Two years ago, critics of the line called it a “train to nowhere.” But current CEO, Green Line LRT Darshpreet Bhatti, who came to the role after the “train to nowhere” comment was first made in an official context, has seen firsthand how transit can turn “nowhere” into somewhere special. A downtown street corner in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., for instance, where Bhatti worked on the LRT, is now the epicentre of more than 500,000 square feet of Google offices and a bustling mixed-use area.

That’s the kind of potential the Green Line has for revitalizing underutilized areas in the Southeast of the city, Bhatti says, although Calgarians

will have to be patient. Delays with the Green Line mean we won’t likely see the first trains run on Phase 1 until at least 2029, and funding for Phase 2 still hasn’t been secured. Yet Bhatti is adamant that we shouldn’t be discouraged. Other cities may have made much larger strides with transit in shorter time periods than Calgary, but with construction on the Green Line set to finally start next year, he believes we are moving in the right direction.

“You have to start somewhere,” he says.

avenuecalgary.com 79
“There’s a direct economic development impact of public transit.”


On a warm, sunny day in Calgary’s inner-city communities, you’ll be hard-pressed to step outside without spotting someone zip by on an electric scooter. In 2019, the City piloted its shared micromobility program to provide short-term-rentable e-scooters to the downtown core and surrounding areas. Since then, Calgarians have made nearly 1.3 million trips on e-scooters each year.

Four different e-scooter companies took to the streets over the course of the pilot program. In May 2021, the City announced it had chosen Bird and Neuron to operate here long-term. The following month, Bird announced it was moving its Canadian headquarters to Calgary. Bird’s chief operating officer Alex Petre says that, along with the strong local business community and emerging tech economy, Calgarians’ enthusiasm for e-scooters was a factor in the decision to relocate here. The numbers tell the story: Calgarians have ridden nearly 4 million kilometres on Bird scooters alone since 2019. “Calgary is at the forefront of Canadian cities in terms of [scooter] integration into daily life and not just something used for fun, but how you get around,” says Petre. “There’s no place like Calgary in terms of embracing and loving the scooters.”

So, what makes Calgary such fertile ground for e-scooters? Really, it’s a combination of many things — from abundant bike lanes and paved pathways (the city has the most extensive urban pathway network in North America), to frequently sunny skies, infrequent transit and a

spread-out urban footprint that creates distances between destinations that are just a little too far to walk. It makes sense that e-scooters — which are cheaper than ride-shares or cabs, more convenient than transit and faster than walking — would fill the gap. There are also environmental benefits: Petre says Bird e-scooters have replaced 900,000 car rides since they came to Calgary. Since 2019, Bird and Neuron have also created 150 employment opportunities for Calgarians.

The rise of e-scooters hasn’t been problem-free. The past five years have been a learning curve, says Andrew Sedor, mobility initiatives lead at the City of Calgary. From parking locations to slow zones to traffic and pedestrian interference, the micromobility program has had to develop a set of rules for e-scooters to peacefully coexist in our urban environment. “It was a new transportation technology that just showed up,” Sedor says. “[We needed] to create a culture and practices of what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable.”

E-scooters are not the only micromobility options out there, either: Despite the fact that an early run of shareable e-bikes by pilot program provider Lime was ultimately deemed unsustainable, both Bird and Neuron added e-bikes to their fleets last season.

Both Sedor and Petre attribute the success of the program to the collaboration between the private e-scooter companies and the City employees behind the initiative.

“I think it has served a really good niche within the city,” Sedor says. “Maybe [someone] took transit to work, and they say, ‘hey, it’s a nice day. I wouldn’t mind scooting home.’ I think it fills that need, too.”

march/april 2023 80
Fi nd out
Why Calgary is fertile ground for the City’s shared micromobility program (and why we can’t get enough of e-scooters).
garyInT heNewEc onomy. c om
Eco no mi c devel o pment i s a co l l a bo ra ti ve effo rt a nd we a l l pl a y a pa rt.

Winner of Best Brunch in Avenue Magazine

avenuecalgary.com 81



hat is currently known as Arts Commons has been a cultural hub in Calgary for more than 35 years. Home to major arts groups including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects and One Yellow Rabbit, stakeholders believe that as the building pushes 40, it has earned an upgrade. In May 2021, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), along with the City of Calgary and Arts Commons, announced the Arts Commons Transformation (ACT). Phase one will see a brand-new building with a 1,000-seat theatre built on the L-shaped lot beside Teatro restaurant, while phase two will see a full renovation to the existing building. This “transformation” will go beyond the physical structure, however, with

foundational and systemic changes in both the approach to the build, and to the programming offered once the project is completed. “There are so many ways in which our team has been pushed to think differently about who we can be to all Calgarians,” says Alex Sarian, president and CEO of Arts Commons. “How do we do things for Calgarians who have historically been excluded from the downtown arts community?”

This question is at the heart of what the ACT hopes to accomplish — to provide a space that is both inclusive and accessible to all people who call Calgary home. But, to live in a world that is both inclusive and accessible requires decision-makers to actively dismantle the status quo and potentially give up their voice so that nonEurocentric perspectives can thrive.

In this sense, it appears that the ACT is poised to succeed. According to CMLC President and CEO, Kate Thompson, it

was important for the leading design team of the ACT project to include Indigenous perspectives. “The result is a project that reflects the Indigenous experience and history, not only in the design, but in the use of the space,” Thompson says. “It should be informed by a different way of knowing and being, and be used in a way that we haven’t seen before.”

The design team overseeing the ACT is made up of local and international design leaders including Toronto-based KPMB, Hindle Architects and SLA, a naturebased design studio that operates out of Denmark. Another key player is Tawaw Architecture Collective Inc., headed up by Wanda Dalla Costa — the first female First Nations architect in Canada.

Dalla Costa is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation in central Alberta and grew up in Edmonton. She is currently based in Phoenix, Ariz., where she is institute professor, The Design School, at Arizona State

march/april 2023 82
How Indigenous architecture is shaping the future of Arts Commons.

University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; and associate professor, Del E. Webb School of Construction, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. With Dalla Costa’s lens over the entirety of the design, the ACT project is looking to be unlike any other structure in Calgary from the inside-out.

To decolonize is to dismantle current systemic structures (both physical and mental) and build them back up with Indigenous perspectives. As such, including Indigenous perspectives into not only the design of the exterior concepts of a building, but also the design-planning process, is a direct act of decolonization. “The design process is critical,” Dalla Costa says. “If we follow a Eurocentric process, we will

get Eurocentric results…

We think of architecture within a triad in order to achieve fully Indigenous design: worldview, or ‘Indigneous way of thinking;’ representation, or identity,

that is reflective of local culture(s); and function or use (program), to make sure Indigenous people are included in the final product. This helps to make architecture for and by Indigenous people, versus about Indigenous people.”

Renovating urban and cultural spaces is paramount, but with new buildings there’s an opportunity to create a new expression in architecture, says Dalla Costa. Indigenous value systems and worldviews can lead to new thought processes and identities in urban clusters — with 60 per cent of Indigenous populations currently living in urban spaces, it’s crucial to make cities and towns inclusive.

At this point, specific details of the ACT project are yet to be released, though what Dalla Costa will say is that her definition of “inclusive” refers to all cultures.

“It’s not just about centring Indigenous peoples,” she says. “It’s about centring all perspectives.”

avenuecalgary.com 83
“the design process is critical.
if we follow a eurocentric process, we will get eurocentric results.”
Left: Tawaw Architecture Collective’s design for The Chippewa of the Thames First Nation Heritage Hub. Below: Wanda Dalla Costa.



luxury building materials such as limestone and granite, and it was also easy to carve. That made new, side-by-side, single-family developments in Harlem, Brooklyn and the Upper East and West Sides of New York City, both affordable-ish and on point with the era’s obsession with Romanticism. The brownstone hit the elegant mark of natural and ornate; polished and weathered; beauty and art that only gets better over time. It’s a style that local lawyer-turned-builder Nathan Robb and his business partner (and brother-in-law) Connor Irving have recently brought to exquisite life with projects in Altadore and South Calgary.

rchitecturally speaking, our city is best described as “serially experimental.” From California pink stucco to stone-veneer faux-Tudor, each dominant design trend that has ever hit Calgary sits in stark contrast to the favoured look of the previous decade and the one that follows. While every aesthetic has its merits, few trends have achieved enduring appeal. A new surge of homebuilding in Calgary, however, is banking on a classic style that has endured for centuries in the major urban centres of the Eastern U.S.

The definition of a brownstone is loose, used as it often is to describe nearly any manner of stone row-housing. Technically, a brownstone is an attached dwelling clad in a dark red-brown version of Triassic-Jurassic sandstone (a lighter version, once quarried near Calgary, comprises many of this city’s heritage buildings).

On the mid 19th-century East Coast, brownstone — mostly extracted from now-defunct quarries in Connecticut — was cheaper than other

After years spent travelling widely and working abroad, Robb fell in love with the sophistication and durability of brick (sturdier cousin to brownstone) and brownstone-style houses. He sees the look as “timeless,” rather than “modern” — a term he feels is used gratuitously by many Calgary home builders. “Connor and I are drawn to what we think is beautiful and what we see has endured for centuries in other cities,” Robb says.

Their company, Oldstreet, was founded four years ago on the duo’s shared philosophy that a home’s exterior should exist outside of fads. “The inside of a home is a better place for people to exhibit their personality through art and furniture that changes and gets updated,” says Robb. Their Charles Block rowhouse development on 20th Street S.W. was completed in 2020, their Berkeley Block rowhouse development on 16th Street N.W. was completed in 2021, and their Brooklyn Heights-inspired King Edward Residences (where Robb and his family reside), created in collaboration with designer Amanda Hamilton, were completed in January 2023. Built into the appeal of nouveau-brownstones is

march/april 2023 84
Taking a page out of old New York’s storied city-building book is inspiring residential design in the New West.
COURTESY OF NATHAN ROBB Something old, something new: Homebuilder Oldstreet’s Berkeley Block project in Calgary.

hope for a community vibe that matches the liveliness and enduring appeal we associate with neighbourhoods like Greenwich Village. In Northwest Calgary, that intention is right there in the name: Greenwich, occupying 59 acres of boutique shopping, the new Calgary Farmers’ Market, and dozens of residential options including brownstone-esque townhouses, is marketed as “New York City style” south of Bowness.

Mathew Backhouse is the leasing manager with Melcor, the developer behind Greenwich. He says the community’s architecture and amenities aim for connectivity. “Greenwich is a lifestyle community

and the unique architecture supports the urban village feel of the development,” Backhouse says. “The community was designed to provide connection to the amenities and to enhance the commercial and residential experience. Greenwich allows people access to groceries and retail, walking paths, dog parks and community gardens, all outside their door.” As for the brownstone-style townhouses, “they fit the vibe and they look sharp,” he says.

Likewise, Oldstreet’s Parc on 30th development in Marda Loop, which, like the King Edward Residences, sold out long before it’ll be finished later this spring, has a buzzy urban spirit: the classic

front stoops extend into prominent front-yard living across from a popular park and public pool, a fire station and library, and around the corner from a coffee shop (Our Daily Brett). Those residences neighbour a high-end four-townhouse development by Nam Dang-Mitchell Design, also inspired by rowhouses in New York, Boston and London.

Before they build, Robb says he always asks himself: How will this project contribute enduring beauty and vibrancy to the community and to the city? Proof of an enduringly positive answer will be revealed in the decades to come — but Calgary’s got a beautiful start.

avenuecalgary.com 85
The brownstone hit the elegant mark of natural and ornate, polished and weathered, beauty and art that only gets better over time.


Did you know our talented team not only produces the award-winning Avenue magazine, but we also have a full service department that creates content and design for organizations across Alberta and beyond?

RedPoint Media connects communities and engages audiences through trusted storytelling. Your passion inspires ours. Talk to us today to take your message further.


Inside the Calgary park that was created with mental health and wellness in mind.

The Brawn Family Foundation Rotary Park is a first-of-its-kind space in Calgary designed to promote mental health and wellness. Created in partnership with Parks Foundation Calgary, the Brawn Family park is next to The Summit: Marian & Jim Sinneave Centre for Youth Resilience in the Northwest community of Hounsfield HeightsBriar Hill, and will provide families visiting the centre a place to reflect and connect with nature.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen a spike in park use,” says Parks Foundation CEO Sheila Taylor, who spearheaded the project. “More and more people are seeing parks and nature as an essential part of their well-being, but many parks are not inclusive, which means that not everyone feels welcome or safe. There is an opportunity to create multi-use spaces that appeal to more people, whether it’s teen girls, seniors, or equity-seeking groups.”

The inclusivity and nurturing aspects of the Brawn Family park feature across several zones that provide different engagement opportunities. A basketball

court and climbing structure offer fun physical activities, while an infinity walking loop and swing benches encourage visitors to slow down and be mindful. The pavilion structure and curved seating promotes social interaction, while still offering spots for solitude or private conversation. Each feature of the park is aimed towards providing safe spaces, whether users are alone or with family, friends or those going through similar experiences.

Taylor adds that materials used throughout the park were also chosen to create multi-sensory experiences. Plants and landscaping features provide calming benefits by engaging our senses of sight, sound and smell. With more than 60 trees and hundreds of different types of plants, the park is designed to invoke the tranquility of the natural world.

“Nature and physical activity are incredibly important for mental health and wellness,” says Taylor. “We heard repeatedly that teens wanted an outdoor space to disconnect from urban life and technology in order to reconnect with nature and other people. This park will be a place to retreat and refresh.”

march/april 2023 86


University of Calgary Properties Group (UCPG) is the award-winning developer behind University District (U/D), a thriving mixed-use community in northwest Calgary designed with a people-first approach. The developing community continues to enrich urban living with the growing list of retail and an anticipated 40 acres of green space at its completion. The urban green spaces in U/D enhance placemaking with innovative and scenic spaces for social interactions and recreational activities. One of the most highly anticipated green spaces is the newly completed 3-acre Central Commons Park, a signature destination that is multi-seasonal and mindfully designed.


Central Commons Park is a 3-acre green space nestled in the heart of University District. The space is designed to be an active social hub for events, markets, celebrations, and cross-pathway integration. The park is framed by Retail Main Street with south-facing outdoor patios from The Canadian Brewhouse, The Banquet, and Borough Bar + Grill, adding to the vibrancy and energy of the space.

button-activated fire features in the winter. The unique gathering hubs and amenities will attract different demographics and ages to enjoy all year long.


Central Commons Park is designed to encourage gatherings and connection with multiple access points to energize the inviting space. Many of the design features were inspired by the Rocky Mountains and the shifting tectonic plates. The design also supports visual triangulation. Visual triangulation is a design principle that allows each amenity to be visible and accessible throughout the entire space allowing for more organic encounters and relaxation.

The completion of Central Commons Park marks a major milestone in the development since the park’s construction began in 2019. The park invites people to connect in meaningful ways as a main gathering point and will become a natural corridor for residents, community visitors, cyclists, and commuters walking to Alberta Children’s Hospital or University of Calgary throughout every season.


Central Commons Park will change with the seasons. Amenities include a splash pad, picnic areas and briquette-fuelled barbeque stations in the summer and a temperature-regulated ice rink with

Explore this unique green space and what University District has to offer. Life works here.

Visit myuniversitydistrict.ca for more information.

avenuecalgary.com 87 ucpg.ca


Imagine. Connect. Create.

There’s a saying that things are bigger out west and that’s certainly true of Calgary’s parks and recreation facilities. This city of 1.4 million people contains the two largest YMCA recreation centres in the entire world. When you consider that, currently, YMCA operates in 120 countries and has more than 1,000 locations in Canada alone, it’s even more impressive.

Opened in 2018, Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge (the second largest) boasts 284,000 square feet of recreational space, including a 217-seat theatre, a first-of-itskind “self service” library, a 25-metre, eight-lane swimming pool and the largest gluelaminated timber roof in Western Canada.

In 2019, Brookfield Residen tial YMCA at Seton usurped Rocky Ridge as the largest with its 330,000 sq. ft. building, where you’ll find a 10-lane pool, a surf simulator, three full gymnasiums, and a 200-metre running/walk track, among other amenities.

Despite these two crowning achievements, YMCA vice-president, experience Tanya ConnellyScott insists that size isn’t everything. “Each [YMCA] is unique and the communities we serve are unique, but we have the ability to offer programming that speaks to our local communities,” Connelly-Scott says. “When you talk about the [YMCA] it’s bigger than these two buildings. We’re one of the longest serving non-profits in Alberta, so the fact that we can continue to be relevant and have an impact in our community is something we’re incredibly proud of.”


Along with the world’s largest YMCAs, Calgary is home to some of the biggest and most extensive parks and pathways on the continent. Here are some highlights:


Plans for a connected pathway system in Calgary began to take shape in the late 1960s, with the first section completed in the early ’70s. Those pathways have only continued to grow, now spanning approximately 1,000 kilometres of paved paths and 96 km of trails, making it the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.


Fish Creek is the second-largest urban park in Canada and among the largest urban parks in North America. It spans 19 km east-to-west and is home to deer, coyotes, weasels, fish and hundreds of bird species.


This prairie grassland preserve is among the top 10 largest urban parks in Canada. At 11 sq. kms, it’s three times the size of New York’s Central Park and supports the conservation of the remaining five per cent of Alberta’s fescue grassland.

march/april 2023 88
When it comes to parks and recreation facilities, Calgary tops the charts.
FESTIVAL Spring2023 showpass.com/ future-of-the-city-festival i

Ready to Build?

Labbe-Leech Interiors Ltd., brings confidence to Calgary’s finest firms with expert construction management and interior renovation services.

Since 1974, Labbe-Leech has been the trusted advisor to professional firms across Calgary looking to open, relocate or renovate interior medical and office space. Labbe-Leech’s footprint can be seen throughout the city, with an expertise that includes medical offices, professional services, financial institutions, and security sensitive facilities, to name a few.

Recognizing that every successful project starts with a vision, Labbe-Leech works to make its clients’ project a reality. Whether it’s site selection, assisting with choosing a consultant group, pre-construction assistance, space planning and budgeting, Labbe-Leech is there to manage your project with the expertise and professionalism your facility deserves.

Labbe-Leech’s specialized knowledge is evident in its recent projects in the medical field. The company’s professional construction management group understands the unique challenges a medical facility faces, and guides its clients through these complexities. This expertise allows its clients to focus on their business knowing their project is being completed above industry standards.

Every aspect, from building codes, specialty finishes, complex integration of cooling and ventilation systems, structural considerations and specialty infrastructure such as emergency backup power, is taken into consideration.

The assortment of medical diagnostic and non-diagnostic facilities Labbe-Leech has created for its clients is limitless, and include MRI and CT suites, ultrasound, mammography and x-ray rooms, nuclear medicine and general practitioner offices.

In addition to the medical field, LabbeLeech has long been the trusted advisor for the commercial and industrial construction sectors, having completed such projects as Heartland Generation, a 41,000 sq.ft. two-floor renovation on the commercial side, and the industrial venture Tetra Tech, a lab testing facility and office renovation that spanned 47,000 sq.ft.

Safety is also a top priority for the LabbeLeech team, which holds COR Certification, and are members of Alcumus ContractorCheck, Avetta, ComplyWorks, and Entuitive.

Labbe-Leech puts its clients’ needs and the well-being of its community at the heart


BEAM RADIOLOGY (10,000 sq.ft.)

• diagnostic and surgery

RESOLVE MEDICINE (7,000 sq.ft.)

• internal medicine


• neurological

SUMMIT CARDIOLOGY (2,000 sq.ft.)

• cardiology

VIVO CURA HEALTH (15,000 sq.ft.)

• diagnostic and imaging

of everything it does, and offers ongoing support for local charities, including the Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids Society and Animal Rescue Foundation.

To bring your vision to life, visit labbeleech.com and see how Labbe-Leech can make it all possible.

avenuecalgary.com 89


What does a future-proof community look like?

We take a peek at Hotchkiss, one of Calgary’s newest residential developments, to find out.

In the middle of a large swath of bulldozed dirt near Stoney Trail and Highway 22X are two intersecting streets lined with a handful of brand-new homes in various styles and sizes — and not much else. Yet.

This 96-hectare area is Hotchkiss, one of Calgary’s newest communities and the first phase of urban residential development east of Stoney Trail in the city’s Southeast. Surrounding it on three sides is a prairie landscape, including Ralph Klein Park to the north. To the west are the communities of Copperfield, McKenzie Towne, Mahogany, Auburn Bay and Seton, filled with amenities such as the South Health Campus, grocery stores, schools and restaurants, like Diner Deluxe and Chairman’s Steakhouse.

Named after famed Calgary business and community leader Harley Hotchkiss, the community is a partnership between Hopewell Residential and Qualico Communities Calgary. It launched last October with 11 showhomes, and its first residents will move in later this year. In seven to 10 years, Hotchkiss is expected to be finished, with 6,0007,000 residents in 2,300 dwellings of varying types, plus a public elementary school, a fire hall and a 33-acre reconstructed wetland complex, Hotchkiss Nature Park, acting as a gathering place in the centre of it all.

If we look further ahead still, 50 to 60 years from now, Calgary’s population is estimated to double, surpassing 2 million people. In its Municipal Development Plan (MDP), the City of Calgary outlines its vision for sustainable growth and development to accommodate this future — and when it comes to community planning, the idea of “complete communities” is a top priority. A complete community is one in which Calgarians have their day-to-day activities within 15 minutes of their doorstep. “Designing communities with this consideration supports a transformation of the city — one with reduced environmental impact and stress,” reads the MDP. “Communities comprised of socially and economically

mixed neighbourhoods improve the overall quality of life for residents, workers and visitors.”

Hotchkiss has been designed as a complete community, says Alan Sylvestre, general manager, community development at Hopewell Residential. Amenities and employment hubs are within a few minutes’ drive (with more to come within the community in coming years); there’s a mix of paired, laned and front-attached garage homes, as well as multi-family buildings; there are plans for public art; and there’s plenty of green space — all elements that make up a complete, and future-proof, community.

It’s not so different from many of the 218 communities that make up Calgary right now: “Future communities may not be structured that differently

than some we live in today,” says Jeffry Haggett, senior planner, city and regional planning with the City of Calgary. “For instance, Acadia is over 50 years old, and, like newer communities built today, it contains a choice of housing options, places to play outdoors, community services and convenient retail.” However, in addition to being “complete,” some emerging trends will influence how communities work and are experienced in the future, Haggett says.

The first is transit accessibility, which includes expanding the City’s 5A Pathway and Bikeway Network and public transportation options — a major component of the MDP. In Hotchkiss, Shepard Station, part of the proposed Green Line LRT, will be a short drive away, and bus routes will connect

march/april 2023 90

residents within the community, as well as outside of it. This relates to another trend Haggett mentions: Communities will need to be designed in ways that help the City meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, which could include electric vehicle-charging stations and shared bikes and scooters. As well, home builders, including those in Hotchkiss, are exploring ways to make houses more energy efficient as we lead up to 2050.

Lastly, Haggett mentions the trend of considering how people will work and connect — something we’ve seen change massively in the last three years. “Over the coming years, urban planners will carefully chart if people return to offices or work remotely, and, if so, at what percentage,” says Haggett. “[They] will consider if future communities become more about collaborating, communicating and connecting with others. For example, a community could begin to offer services and spaces to meet and work.”

In Hotchkiss, the ways in which work has changed are reflected in the floorplans of Hopewell’s different home styles. In the “Rayn” paired home, for example, a home office or school work space is built into the landing of the stairwell that connects the main and second floors; and, in many of the laned and front-attached garage layouts, main-floor flex rooms offer opportunities for work-from-home setups.

Another way Hotchkiss is planning for the future is in its affordability and accessibility, says Sylvestre. Most of the floor plans are designed with a side entrance, making multi-generational living or mortgage-helper basement suites easier to implement — features that are attractive to first-time homebuyers, as well as immigrant and newcomer populations, which will continue to increase in coming years. “A lot of newcomers and immigrants, whether from outside our country or within our country, are looking for affordability and some space, as well as [to feel] like part of a community,” Sylvestre says. “We believe that having a strong community is the ultimate legacy of what [we] build.”

With many options available, from multiresidential buildings to front-garage homes, residents can remain in Hotchkiss as they progress through different life stages. “Today, someone might only be able to afford a townhome. But, in three or four years, they love the community, and they go and buy a laned home or a front-attached garage home,” says Sylvestre. “The idea is to provide lots of opportunities; it’s part of having that diversification within the community.”


CMLC has been forging future-ready buildings, infrastructure and neighbourhoods for more than 15 years. From our earliest projects like the Central Library and the Simmons building restoration to the BMO Centre expansion and Arts Commons Transformation currently in the works, all of CMLC’s undertakings stand as bastions of ingenuity and forward thinking. Our efforts continue to shape the Rivers District into Calgary’s most dynamic, livable community—one that’s now home to some of the most sought-after commercial and residential real estate in the city. We’ll keep cultivating the next chapter in the Rivers District—as a place of doing, creating and innovating for tomorrow. Life is good here. And it’s only getting better.

To explore more of the amazing spaces CMLC has been creating, visit calgarymlc.ca

avenuecalgary.com 91







You can ask anyone who knows Wakefield Brewster where they were when they first saw him perform, and you’ll be met with a quick answer. His stage presence is hard to forget.

For me, it was 1999, in Toronto. I was attending the city’s annual outdoor poetry festival, Scream in High Park, when Brewster’s potent lyricism wowed me to the point of that clichéd jaw drop. Sporting a thick, manicured beard, he strode onstage wearing a purple and black robe, and arrested my attention from his first words to his last syllable.

Before his final poem, Brewster threw off his robe, revealing a tattoo-heavy torso. He bellowed rapid-fire verses as he paced along the stage, no microphone required.

The pen is my Samurai blade

Clever quick cuts leaving pounds of paper flayed

My thoughts are hot rocks

They came to me through time and space

Unmeasurable distances

But they are ancient Old and forever Passing through a million worlds yet undiscovered Through atmospheres where satellites hovered

This was a poet who knew he couldn’t anchor his eyes on a page when he performed. On that stage, Brewster’s hands moved in rhythm with his stanzas. His words evoked an energy reminiscent of hip hop, where connecting with a live audience was as vital as writing fresh imagery and spirited wordplay. There’s a reason his poetry monikers are “Da Lyrical Pitbull” and “The WordWizard.”

Watching Brewster enthrall the audience that day, I knew he would soon be trending across the poetry scene in Toronto — the country, even. And he has: Now a Calgary resident of 16 years, Brewster, 50, is bringing his poetry to stages as the city’s sixth poet laureate, with his two-year ambassadorship ending in 2024. He performs at least weekly and is given opportunities he might not have received otherwise, including gigging at the Calgary Foundation’s Annual Celebration and col-

laborating with string quintet Kensington Sinfonia at The Establishment Brewing Company.

On the day of his appointment on April 12, 2022, he told City Hall: “In this 22-year career as a professional poet and spoken word artist, it is the single greatest publicly known milestone that I have ever achieved. With this appointment, enhancing the love of language and liberties through literacy will be paramount and prominent objectives.”

The motion to establish a Calgary poet laureate position was approved in 2011, and the inaugural selectee, Kris Demeanor, was announced in 2012, soon after Calgary was named the Cultural Capital of Canada for that year. While the chosen poet is invited to perform at schools and city-run events, they are also given the flexibility to schedule their own calendar as organizations contact them to collaborate and perform. As artistic ambassadors for the city, poet laureates are to produce “literary work that is reflective of Calgary’s landscape, cityscape, and civic identity and that may raise awareness of local issues.”

Kaley Beisiegel, engagement consultant at Calgary Arts Development, which facilitates the position and organizes the volunteer selection



committee, says the poet laureate can help open the minds of Calgarians to a range of stories they may not have been exposed to — and that’s one of the reasons Brewster was selected. “He has a stage presence that draws you in right away,” she says, “and he offers a perspective in this position that the city hasn’t had before.”

In 2006, Brewster moved from Toronto to Calgary, and members and fans of the city’s poetry scene soon became acquainted with his fast-paced delivery and poems on social justice, Black rights and environmental degradation.

Calgary’s spoken word landscape in the early 2000s was tiny compared to cities like Toronto and Vancouver, with monthly reading series such as Parole attracting more literary writers than performance poets. In 2001, the reading series Single Onion launched out of Shelf Life Books on 4th Street S.W., which started pulling together the spoken word-oriented writers. “Calgary had its poetry community, but it wasn’t jumping,” Brewster recalls of that time. “It was budding, it was buzzing. When I got here, I helped it. I know I did.”

Performance poetry got a major boost when poet, performer and producer Sheri-D Wilson

launched the Calgary Spoken Word Festival in 2003 and, three years later, founded the Calgary Poetry Slam. Brewster was a member of the slam team for several years and won the Calgary Poetry Slam as team captain three times, which culminated in him competing at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (a national poetry slam tournament) in Victoria and Toronto. While Brewster eventually moved on from the slam scene in order to continue evolving as an artist, Wilson says he energized the spoken word community: “His work was always interesting and delightful to watch; it was full of vivaciousness.”

For audiences, it’s difficult not to feel Brewster’s love for his craft pouring out of him. They may also notice his distinctive stage habit: Brewster often screws his eyes shut as his words fly from his mouth. “People say, ‘Your eyes are always closed when you’re performing.’ I tell them it’s like a guitarist soloing — don’t you notice their eyes are always closed? They’re in the zone,” he says. “When I get up there, nothing makes me feel that good.”

It’s not surprising to hear Brewster use a musical metaphor here. Long before he wrote his first poem, he was passionate about music, first picking

up classical electric organ when he was six, then switching to piano and percussion at age 12. “I wanted to be one of the only Black pianists in Europe playing in amphitheatres for hundreds of people on pianos that cost more than cars,” he says. “I know, that’s a strange dream for a Black kid to have in the 1970s.”

Hailing from a Bajan-Canadian family and born in Scarborough, Ont., his parents were supportive of his artistic pursuits, but it was Brewster who eventually grew disenchanted with music after enrolling at York University to pursue a BFA in Western Classical Performance. “I realized I was playing the greats, but I was becoming a professional parrot. When I switched to percussion and was told to play the black dots, I thought, ‘This isn’t for me. I want to pen the score.’”

Before he left York, he showed some of his poems to his humanities professor, Sherry Rowley. Rowley, now a contract faculty member, recalls a chat they had with Brewster on a grassy knoll on campus, when they told Brewster that poetry was his true calling. “He has a wide and deep grasp of language,” says Rowley, “and his imagery is so powerful. He always wrote about such interesting things.”

avenuecalgary.com 95

In 2003, Rowley made Brewster’s chapbook, Lyrical Pitbull Impounded, required reading for their first-year course, Fantasy and Topographies of Imagination.

It’s clear Brewster’s work has shifted since he arrived in Calgary, as he’s honed his writing acumen to ensure the content is tighter while being just as arresting on stage. His themes have moved from love poetry and cosmic lyricism to hyper-aware pieces calling out environmental issues, Black rights, mental health and wellness, and the importance of poetic expression.

A dramatic change in his personal life has also affected his writing. When he arrived in Calgary, Brewster was enveloped in addictive behaviour that saw him “doing anything that could be drunk or sniffed; anything except sticking needles in my arm,” he says. Now sober for the past six-and-a-half years, Brewster credits getting clean as a lifesaver not only for his health, but his poetry, too. “I had such self-destructive behaviour going on. My writing has benefited from sobriety, but it’s just hard to identify how exactly.”

When Brewster became sober, he leaned into wellness and healthy living, which is what led him to train as a massage therapist — a role he now splits with poetry writing and performance. “When I discovered wellness at massage school, I recognized what I’ve been doing with my poetry: I’ve been attempting to write my way to wellness.”

Despite a hectic schedule balancing the two roles, Brewster also organizes his own poetry series. The intermittent Pitbull Poetry Reading Series was run out of Patisserie Du Soleil in 2021, then out of a coffee shop in 2022, and, in the summer months, he invites poets to perform at Century Gardens. The summer event, Pitbull Poetry in the Park, launched in 2021 and is organized in partnership with the Calgary Downtown Association. At these shows, people relax on blankets as Brewster opens with a poem before inviting anyone who signed up for the open mic — typically, an array of writers spanning ages, races and styles — to take the stage.

It’s all part of Brewster’s mandate, both as poet laureate and as an artist in general, to bring poetry to the people: “If you’re an advocate, you’re going to put whatever you advocate in places that are unaware,” Brewster says. “You’re going to put it in places that people don’t want and expect it. That’s what I do with poetry. I believe it’s for everyone.”

Another way he makes poetry more accessible is through his role at The Grand, which, in 2019, made Brewster its resident poet and spoken word artist. Now, he’s an event programmer, a position

that allows him to give a platform to poets from marginalized communities. As Calgary’s first Black poet laureate, he considers elevating these voices critical to his role. Last August, he programmed a reading titled “February in August: Celebrating Black Artistic Excellence and Contribution,” featuring poets Sholley Powell, Adetola Adedipe, Chris L. Butler and Tanecia Cromwell.

Brewster says the growth and vibrancy of Calgary’s poetry scene is turning heads across the country. “The artistic community here is stepping up. A lot of us are getting our groove on really well,” he says. “Calgary is appealing to other artists because we’re getting more diverse, we have a lot of talent here and it’s just plain hot.”

Now halfway through his tenure, Brewster is generating a level of public performance engagement reminiscent of the city’s first poet laureate, says Beisiegel. “As people come back to in-person

events after years of being online, Wakefield is bringing a unique and important voice to the stage that Calgary needs right now.”

That engagement was palpable during last November’s Celebration for the Arts, hosted by Mayor Gondek at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Brewster shared a powerful piece he describes as “a poetic interpretation of conversations in our BIPOC artist community.” Near the end of his highenergy performance, his voice rose…

We need to shape the shift

We need to mould the maker

We need to smear a smudge

On their lily-whitest paper

We must point towards this place of peace

So poignant we feel free

To see ourselves and proudly state Mohkinstsis looks like me


Find your way through life’s financial challenges with expert guidance.

You may have ambitions around building wealth, retiring comfortably or establishing a legacy. We have helped families, individuals and foundations achieve goals like these for more than 30 years.

Our approach is to guide, educate and simplify through sound advice.

Gain a new perspective

We will develop a financial plan that is based on a deep understanding of you and your goals. We are independent and objective in our analysis of investment solutions and wealth management strategies.

Go beyond investing

Based on your needs, your plan can integrate strategic advice and collaborative expertise across investing, tax, legal, multi-generational wealth transfer, retirement planning, estate planning and more.

Move forward with confidence

Track your progress through regular updates and personal portfolio reviews. If you ever need guidance on what you’re seeing in the headlines, we’re always just a phone call or email away.

How can we help you?

Choosing someone to help you with your investment portfolio is a significant decision. We want you to feel confident with your decision. Let’s start with a brief introductory conversation.

Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc. 403-705-1200 | 333 7 Ave SW Suite 1800, Calgary, AB T2P 2Z1 For more insight, visit calgary.cumberlandprivate.com or scan this R code.
Portfolio Managers on the Perron & Partners team at Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc.


Whether you want to create a legacy with lasting impact or involve your family in financial planning, we ask experts about how to meet your goals and stay financially healthy.



empathetic way. That means they consider who you are, not just your portfolio. Trent Hamans, vice president of private banking and wealth planning with ATB Wealth, says that what sets ATB Wealth apart is its advisors and how they focus on their clients as people.

“When we engage with clients, we want to understand what they want to achieve right now, as well as in the future,” he says.


According to Hamans, financial planning isn’t just about a couple or the parents; it’s about the whole family unit.

“Our financial advisors aim to understand what the investor’s purpose, or legacy, could be, and then engage that next generation,” says Hamans. “Financial advisors give the children some peace of mind that mom and dad have worked hard to create a plan.”

And when should you bring your kids into the discussion? As soon as possible, says Hamans. But keep it age-appropriate. For example, discussing spending and saving when your young child receives birthday money is a good way to introduce financial planning and develop their financial literacy.


To properly plan for wealth transfer, Hamans recommends having ongoing financial conversations with the whole family.

“Back in the ’90s, seniors were reluctant to talk to their children about their estate plan. Today, there's a lot more transparency,” says Hamans. “People want heirs to be prepared for that inheritance as opposed to it being like a lottery win, where they aren’t properly equipped.”


Introducing your wealth advisor to the whole family can offer everyone confidence with how the family’s wealth is managed. ATB Wealth advisors go beyond expert financial mentorship — they’re also focused on providing a great, personable experience to all family members.

What matters most to you? That is what ATB Wealth advisors think of first when offering expert advice in a down-to-earth,

Simply put, connecting with an ATB Wealth advisor isn’t just about looking after your wealth. It’s about looking after you and your family.

“Lives are complicated today: children, second marriages, mixed families, different tax situations, immigration. All those factors can impact the financial objectives of a family,” says Hamans. “Unless you go through that discovery to get to know your client and understand their goals and purpose, you’d be doing a disservice to simply make investments for them. You really need to understand their lives.”

Whether you’re investing to grow your portfolio, estate plan or just thinking about how best to plan for your kids’ future, speaking with an ATB Wealth advisor means solidifying your financial health.
ATB Wealth® consists of a range of financial services provided by ATB Financial and certain of its subsidiaries. ATB Investment Management Inc., ATB Securities Inc., and ATB Insurance Advisors Inc. are individually licensed users of ATB Wealth. ATB Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.
y o pass on your w h and wisdom v our lov ou can r y’ll hav A PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE. AND THEIRS. TB W h s pro y r TB Inv isors Inc., ar TB W h. v und and Inv y ory Or Plan for what’s next at atb.com/YourLegacy


donated or entrusted to a loved one after passing away. Waite says the process creates an opportunity to discuss the client’s unique “why” about the specific reasons or values that motivate them to give back.

“It’s important for all people doing their estate planning to understand that their “why” is particular to them because there are so many different ways to give,” says Waite.

Shelley Waite is a partner with McLeod Law LLP and has worked as a lawyer specializing in estate planning, wills and estates for over 19 years. In her role, Waite has the opportunity to educate clients about the value of giving back and the importance of leaving a legacy that supports the people, causes and communities they care about.

“A great part of my job is being an educator, helping clients understand how to give to a charity, and also including family members and loved ones in identifying how that money gets utilized, by which charity and for what purpose,” says Waite.

Waite helps clients build legacy plans into their wills or estate plans that reflect their personal values. Legacy planning involves deciding how a client wants their assets

When choosing an organization to work with, Waite frequently directs clients toward the Calgary Foundation. “I always say the Calgary Foundation is a charity for charity,” explains Waite. “The Foundation has all these wonderful tools we can utilize to create a community of giving.” Since its inception in 1955, the Calgary Foundation has dedicated itself to nurturing healthy, vibrant, giving and caring communities across Calgary. By working with donors and their advisors, the Foundation supports both charitable and financial goals, while ensuring donors receive the maximum tax benefits from their gift. The Foundation’s endowment model means donors’ gifts will grow and support Calgarians well past their lifetimes. The Foundation also offers professional investment management for those endowed gifts. Waite says all of this brings peace of mind to clients interested in addressing the needs of loved ones and their community through the gift of giving.

According to Waite, there are two guarantees in life, “death and taxes.”

Creating a personal legacy plan ensures that more of your money goes to the people and organization you care about, even after death. Without proper planning, a large portion of taxes owed on your estate can go to the Canada Revenue Agency rather than benefiting family members or a chosen charity. Charitable giving, however, always grants a tax-saving return. Many

clients, Waite says, don’t realize that every dollar spent on charitable giving earns approximately a 55 cent credit.

Creating a legacy plan doesn’t have a deadline either, says Waite, as you can begin immediately, and don’t have to wait until the end of your life to give back. A fund created by family members can be passed down and managed by the family for years. At the same time, donating to an existing fund can support the generations impacted by those initiatives. Either way, Waite adds, the impact is significant. “Every single dollar you give makes a difference,” she says. “$5,000 from one individual is just as meaningful as the gift of $5 million by someone else.”

Being able to shape these lasting impacts is what makes Waite’s job so fulfilling. “Creating something so powerful and meaningful and lasting is the best part of my job,” says Waite.

Professional advisors can learn more about making Calgary Foundation a part of their clients’ legacy plan by visiting the website at CalgaryFoundation.org.

Financial legacy planning is an opportunity to create a lasting impact on the people and community you value and love.

Be part of Calgary’s future.

Each year, Calgary Foundation flows millions of dollars to every corner of our city, supporting causes as myriad as our population.

Talk to your professional advisor about partnering with Calgary Foundation in your legacy planning.

Learn more at CalgaryFoundation.org


Acumen Capital Partners can help you grow your wealth

When it comes to wealth management and smart investing, Acumen Capital Partners’ Vice President, Senior Investment Advisor Craig Madill believes that a tactical approach is vital.

“It’s common in the investment industry to reduce volatility by diversification through managed products. However, the reality is that after 50 stock positions, you typically have similar volatility to a portfolio with hundreds of positions. There is a diminishing return with over-diversifying, resulting in a portfolio that lacks strategy and just follows the market,”

says Madill.

At Acumen, the Madill & Le Lievre team takes a hands-on approach, focusing portfolios on individual equity and bond positions.


Madill says it’s also important to understand your advisor’s investing methodology and that it aligns with your wealth management goals.

“We believe that our focused approach to wealth management gives us greater depth of understanding into how we are positioned through a changing economic environment and the ability to adapt through those cycles,” he says.

“When markets are good, it’s easy to ride

the wave. But when they are not, you want to have confidence that your advisor can manage through difficult times.”


Madill says the team at Acumen is passionate about investing, including the companies they work with, the strategies they create and how it all comes together.

“Our approach aligns with our passion and helps ensure our clients meet their goals.”

For help creating a comprehensive plan for your investments, reach out to Craig Madill at Acumen 403.410.6018.

are an independent investment firm. We provide comprehensive wealth management & customize portfolios to your individual situation. We’d love the opportunity to get to know you. Craig Madill
Investment Advisor
cmadill@acumencapital.com ADVERTISING FEATURE
Vice President, Senior
calgaryphil.com | 403.571.0849 Brahms: A German Requiem 24 + 25 March Jack Singer Concert Hall Let Voices Resound 60th anniversary celebration of the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus 21 April Jack Singer Concert Hall Elgar’s Cello Concerto 5 + 6 May Jack Singer Concert Hall Chamber Music at the Bella 26 + 27 May Bella Concert Hall Diana Cohen in Concert 31 March + 1 April Jack Singer Concert Hall Corb Lund in Concert Presented in partnership with the Taylor Family Foundation 27 April / Bella Concert Hall 29 April / Jack Singer Concert Hall Katherine Chi in Concert 12 + 13 May Jack Singer Concert Hall Movie Magic: Morricone + Bernstein 2 + 3 June Jack Singer Concert Hall Brass Transit: The Music of Chicago 14 + 15 April Jack Singer Concert Hall Will’s Jams 30 April Jack Singer Concert Hall Marvel Studios Presents Black Panther in Concert Presented in partnership with the Calgary International Film Festival 18 + 19 May / Jubilee Auditorium On Stage with Branford Marsalis 9 June Jack Singer Concert Hall SUBSCRIBE TO THE avenue NEWSLETTERS: • MOUNTAINS • FOOD & DRINK • HOMES & REAL ESTATE • WEEKENDER avenuecalgary.com /newsletters Reconnect WITH YOUR CITY 105 avenuecalgary.com
CORETEC PREMIUM | VV569 NEWTON OAK | 05007 CDL Calgary (403) 255-1811 7265 - 11 Street SE Calgary, AB T2H 2S1 www.cdlflooring.ca CDL Invermere (250) 342-1592 4B 492 Arrow Road Invermere, BC V0A 1K2 @cdlcarpetandflooring



As founder and CEO of public relations and communications firm PARKER PR, Ellen Parker is known to attend multiple events in one day. And, because this is Calgary, her outfits must not only be on point, but able to withstand quick-changing weather.

“Calgary is super unpredictable,” she says. “But, I believe there’s no bad weather, only bad gear.”

To dress for the elements, Parker wears multiple layers and carries a handbag big enough to hold essentials like sunglasses, gloves and a change of shoes. She prefers high-quality, natural materials like wool, silk and cotton because they’re breathable and comfortable. But her secret weapon is a silk scarf, a beautiful yet practical addition: “If there’s any little chill, put on a silk scarf. You’re all set.”

Hat, Dior; coat, Anine Bing; scarf, Gucci; shirt, thrifted at Goodwill Chinook Thrift Store (one of her favourite second-hand shops); cropped jacket, Chanel; skirt, The Bamboo Ballroom Calgary; belt, Gucci; handbag, Gucci (procured in Italy by a friend); boots, ba&sh; earrings, Gucci (purchased at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver); rings, NVR NUDE and Gucci.

avenuecalgary.com 107
Calgary Style

fter months spent at home during the pandemic, Alykhan Velji and Jason Krell started to get restless.

The couple, also known as TV lifestyle experts The Style Guys, had lived in their Chinook Park home for 14 years, slowly renovating it over that time. But, they were ready for a fresh start. “We thought, ‘Instead of renovating the house again, what would we like out of a new one?’” says Krell.

So, in 2021, the couple purchased a 1960s bungalow in neighbouring Kelvin Grove and completely revamped it over the span of a year. “It’s cozy, warm and inviting, with a bit of a traditional moment to it,” says Velji. The two reimagined the main floor layout, tearing down walls to create an open concept living room and kitchen area, complete with a striking cathedral ceiling, that is the heart of their home.

Every aspect of the design is curated to fit the keen eyes and lifestyles of the couple, who, outside of The Style Guys, run an interior design firm (Velji) and PR agency (Krell). “It’s a multifunctional space where we can host, cook, hang out, even work when we need to,” says Velji.

The living room side features pieces from their travels (candlesticks from Palm Springs), a hand-cast fluted fireplace designed by Alykhan Velji Designs and an eclectic mix of furniture including a warm leather sofa and Boucle chairs from Urban Barn.

In the kitchen, integrated appliances disappear into the custom cabinetry, and an expansive Alpine granite island with plenty of seating eliminates the need for a dining room. “We worked hard to make sure we had everything exactly where it needed to go to be functional,” says Krell of the kitchen.

Since moving in last August, they’ve hosted many events, big and small: “Ultimately, it’s a space that brings people together,” Krell says. But, even when it’s just the two of them relaxing on the sofa or making dinner, it’s still their favourite space. “The most beautiful thing about it is that it doesn’t feel empty when it’s just Jason and I,” says Velji. “That was a huge factor when we were picking the finishes and creating these textural moments and layers — we wanted to ensure it felt as cozy when there’s two people in it as it does when there’s 20.”


March/April 2023
Favourite Spaces


Originally, the main floor walls were less than eight feet high. Now, the peak of the cathedral ceiling stands at 13 feet, creating what designer and homeowner Alykhan Velji calls “a grand moment” when you walk through the door.


The fireplace surround and tiles were hand cast by Phoenix Concrete Works. The curves of the fluted tiles paired with the angled mantle results in a look that’s at once modern and traditional.


To create a warm and inviting atmosphere, the space features a variety of layered lighting, including a few statement pieces: sculptural black metal and wood pendants above the kitchen island and a brass wall sconce next to the fireplace.


The curated furniture selection includes an antique side table and a cozy chair by the fireplace that Velji designed in collaboration with Vintage AF.

avenuecalgary.com 109
The open concept living room and kitchen in Alykhan Velji and Jason Krell’s newly renovated 1960s bungalow is the heart of their home, no matter the occasion.





Packing your family or friend group into an RV and taking to the road in search of adventure is a standard summer pastime. But it’s less common during the other three seasons. While cold-weather RV travel isn’t going to appeal to everyone, it’s certainly tailor-made for avid skiers and snowboarders. The ability to hit up multiple resorts during the same trip, without having to book, check in and check out of multiple accommodations, makes for a unique, free-range ski-vacation experience.

As someone who does enjoy skiing, and understands the appeal of roaming the mountains in a cozy home-on-wheels, I jumped at the opportunity last year to take a winter-ready CanaDream RV out for a weeklong ski trip into B.C. with my partner and our seven-year-old — despite never having operated an RV in any kind of weather.

CanaDream’s fleet of winter-ready Maxi Motorhomes are said to be comfortable in temperatures as low as –30˚C, though, the spring-break timing of our trip meant we wouldn’t be testing those limits, with temperatures mostly hovering around the freezing mark. The winter motorhomes come equipped with high-efficiency furnaces, generators, insulated and heated water tanks, and customized interior blankets and vent pillows that seal in warmth while you sleep. With a seven-foot interior height and slide-out section, a queen-sized bed in the rear sleeping quarters, plus room to sleep two more adults above the cab, a kitchenette, and a bathroom with flush toilet and shower, the 27-to-29foot Maxi models are basically condos on wheels. There’s also tons of cargo space — very important for hauling ski and snowboard gear.

If you’re new to the RV scene, there are some major benefits to going with the prolific CanaDream. The rental company, with headquarters just north of Calgary in Rocky View County, gets you well prepared for your journey with instructional videos and reference materials, while the CanaDream Club app provides discounts at campgrounds and assitance with booking activities.

There’s also a trip planner tool that you can use to create customized itineraries, including “ski safaris” at 17 winter resorts throughout Alberta and B.C. Our spring-break ski safari would take us first to Golden, B.C., for three nights of camping at the Golden Golf Club RV Park and two days of skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, then eastward on BC Highway 95 for two nights of camping and one day of skiing at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

The wide-open sightlines and straightaway roads heading westward from Calgary are a great way to get your bearings as a new RV driver. By the time we reached Banff National Park, both my partner and I were feeling fairly comfortable. It was a comfort level we would need to maintain on the section of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through the Kicking Horse Canyon, where construction zones have narrowed the road and removed the shoulder in sections.

After turning off the Trans-Canada, en route to the Golden Golf Club, we passed over a one-lane wooden bridge without incident and were able to back into our reserved spot with ease. With mature

trees and a picturesque alpine setting, the club’s RV park is an idyllic locale for winter camping. Along with electrical hook-ups, there are newly constructed heated washroom and shower facilities — a nice amenity for RV campers who are concerned about their grey water and sewage tanks filling up too quickly.

The golf club’s location just a few kilometres from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort made for easy travel back and forth between our home base and our daily skiing activities. Also easy? Travelling with all gear items in tow: Those who have ever skied with kids know the stress of accounting for the myriad items — everything from extra mittens to snacks — needed for a successful day on the slopes. This isn’t a concern when travelling by RV. You can’t forget anything at home or in your hotel room when your accommodations go where you go. Being able to break for lunch in the RV is another nice perk, although, a trip to Kicking Horse should include

111 avenuecalgary.com Mountains OPPOSITE PAGE
PHOTO BY BRENDAN PATON; SKIER PHOTO COURTESY OF SHELLEY ARNUSCH; INTERIOR PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADREAM Above The cargo area easily fits ski and snowboard gear. Below Condo on wheels: inside one of the winter-ready Maxi Motorhomes.

at least one lunch at the incredible Eagle’s Eye restaurant. The chalet-style dining room perched at a height of 7,700 feet offers expansive views of multiple mountain ranges in all directions. The restaurant is just steps from the gondola’s offloading station, so non-skiers can also enjoy Eagle’s Eye with the purchase of a sightseeing lift ticket.

On day four of our ski safari, we checked out of the golf course and drove down the mountain, stopping to make use of the sani-dump facilities at the Centex gas station in Golden. During the cold-weather months, there are fewer options for dumping and potable water fill-ups (the Golden Visitor Centre on the Trans-Canada is one example of a go-to spot in the area that closes for the winter), so it’s best to take advantage of opportunities when they are available.

The leisurely drive along Hwy 95 to Fairmont Hot Springs included a stop at Beeland Market in Spillimacheen, a spot famous for its gourmet goodies and honeys. From there, we continued through Radium and Windermere, before arriving at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. The RV sites here


are less private than those at the Golden Golf Club, though ideally situated to take advantage of the amenities, including the famous hot springs pools (guests of the RV park are allowed access to the pools, though admission is still required).

Our ski safari continued the next day up at Fairmont’s charming ski hill — an ideal spot for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, and families of varying ability levels. We took advantage of having our RV on site for lunch, then capped off the day with aprés-ski beverages on the sunny patio at the hill’s homey day lodge, before heading back down to our RV site and another evening dip in the hot springs.

On departure day, there was no frantic packing up. We had breakfast, secured loose items, retracted the “slide” room, unplugged, and set out for home through Kootenay National Park and then Banff National Park, where we veered from the Trans-Canada and took the more scenic Bow Valley Parkway. Maybe the best part of all? Handing the keys back to CanaDream when it was all over: no muss, no fuss, no storage fees, no problem.

While a full-scale winter-ready motorhome is definitely a luxurious vehicle for a ski safari, you can also take to the road in something more compact. With bases in Calgary and Vancouver, Karma Campervans offers winter-camping-equipped vans perfect for ski excursions. The campers have built-in heaters, extra-warm bedding and ample storage for winter gear and clothing. For an easy #VanLife spring-break ski trip, pick up in Calgary and head south to Castle Mountain Resort, which offers RV overnight parking right at the base of the hill.

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

March/ April 2023 112
PHOTO BY SHELLEY ARNUSCH; CAMPERVAN PHOTO COURTESY OF KARMA CAMPERVANS Patio perfection: The day lodge at the Fairmont Hot Springs ski area is made for sunny après-ski gatherings.
NOMINATIONS OPEN UNTIL APRIL 30 T op40Under40.com CLASS OF 2023 forty under forty TOP SPONSOR

You Are Here

University District

Alt Hotel

Set to open this summer, this new Le Germain Hotels property will feature modern stylings inspired by the Rockies. It will also be among the first Alt Hotels to be LEED certified, meaning it will meet ecologically sustainable and energy efficiency goals, in line with the sustainably developed surrounding community. germainhotels.com/en/alt-hotel


This locally founded retail store specializes in products for those living with diverse and special needs and their families. The goal is to provide a safe place for shoppers to experience the products and see if they are the right fit. Items in stock include wheelchairs, sensory development toys and safety accessories. adaptabilitystore.ca

Cineplex VIP Cinemas

Love going to the movies but wish you didn’t have to share the theatre with a bunch of little kids? This swanky cinema is for those aged 18-plus and features reclining, heated seats and in-seat service for drinks and food. Pro tip: order one of the fishbowl cocktails, which will last you a full movie. cineplex.com

Central Commons Park University District’s Central Commons is a space for all seasons. In the summertime, you can picnic at the public barbeques, cool off at the splash pad or check out summer markets and other community events; while in the winter, the central area becomes a skating rink, complete with cozy firepits. myuniversitydistrict.ca

Rotary Flames House

This facility, supported by the Calgary Flames Foundation, provides palliative and hospice care for children with life-limiting illnesses, and grief and bereavement support for their families. It’s the only hospice centre of its kind in Alberta, and one of only six in Canada. —Chris Landry calgaryflamesfoundation.com/ rotary-flames-house

March/April 2023 114
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
N 51° 4' 38.9", W 114° 8' 40.9"
avenue calgary.com 115
FLAMBE dining table
221 10 Ave SW Calgary, AB 403.262.6813 luxuriesofeurope.ca
TwelvetransparentglasslegshandmadebythemastersofMuranoglassonasmoked mirrorplinth.FifteenmmthickextraclearglasstopandturntablewithDiamante engravings.MadeinItaly.

Wolf Willow Local Species

B h v ur

3:15 PM

Family enters tree cover; enco Child appears delighted.

3:00 PM

Leave dwelling to participate in “hiking.”

Daily Habits of ] the Sapiens Hikeri

oung family of Sapiens Hikerium is on the prowl ld is 2 years old She uses to grow stron

The child is only 2 years old. She uses play to grow strong and independent. The abundance of greenspace in their habitat helps keep the entire family healthy and happy.

4:00 PM

Parent s s


L v A W fW w.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.