Avenue Calgary April 2021

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PANDEMIC CALG ARY P redic ting the f uture o f h o mes, dining , shop p ing , of f ices, transit and more

JAPANESE EATS Beyond sushi and ramen

STYLE STILL MATTERS Best dressed Calgarians tell us why

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A CITY OF DISRUPTION AND DISRUPTERS As the province advances in its vaccine rollout plan to protect our city’s most vulnerable, it’s unclear when and what semblance of pre-COVID life will take hold. What we do know is, to emerge from the disruption, technology is the differentiator. While the world continues to navigate the financial impact of COVID-19, Calgary aims to stay the course charted in its economic strategy over two years ago. Prior to the pandemic, the city was already facing a downturn in its backbone industry – the energy sector – and full-scale disruption was expected across industries due to the rapid rate of technological advancement. To meet the opportunities in the digital future, the community created Calgary in the New Economy as a roadmap to attract and retain the world’s best entrepreneurs who embrace innovation to solve global challenges. From cleaner energy and safe and secure food; to the efficient movement of goods and people and better health solutions – our economic strategy is more relevant than ever as the pandemic accelerates the digital transformation of industry around the world.

Fortunately, Calgary is home to innovators and problem solvers with a signature entrepreneurial spirit – the disrupters not the disrupted – who have already put our city on the map as a burgeoning tech centre. New research for Calgary Economic Development by IDC Canada reveals Calgary companies will lead the approximate $20 billion digital transformation spend across all industries in Alberta by 2024. Calgary is also ranked a top tech talent city, with a talent pipeline fed by post-secondary institutions with strengths in STEM. In fact, Calgary has the highest concentration of high-tech workers and the highest number of engineers and geoscientists per capita of major Canadian cities. This is an important reality as the demand for office space in Canada is driven by strong tech talent. There’s space to grow in our opportunity-rich city and we’re focused on the vibrancy, not the vacancy, in our downtown core. Quite literally, vertical farming is not out of the question. We’re a city that’s open to innovation in all directions – microdistribution centres, enterprise zones, green building conversions – it’s all on the table.

While diversifying into other high-growth industries, it goes without saying we will always champion our energy sector. We are experts in energy and recognized as leaders in the energy transition. As Canada strives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, many Calgary companies are innovating to reach this goal. Renewables and cleantech are growing sectors and the province boasts some of Canada’s best wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal resources.

Calgary companies will lead the approximate $20 billion digital transformation spend across all industries in Alberta by 2024 IDC Canada

Because of our talented people and the strength of our community, Calgary will continue to punch above its weight and roll with the punches as far as analogies go. It’s a long road to recovery, but we’re at the dawn of new opportunities. We have what it takes to build shared prosperity as a city of disrupters solving global challenges.

To learn more, visit calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/the-new-economy avenuecalgary.com






April 2021

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APRIL 2021


P O S T- P A N D E M I C C I T Y | J A P A N E S E F O O D G U I D E | S T Y L E N O W

PANDEMIC CALG ARY Predicting the future of homes, dining, shopping, of f ices, transit and more

JAPANESE EATS Beyond sushi and ramen

STYLE STILL MATTERS Best dressed Calgarians tell us why PM# 40030911

ON THE COVER Building the post-pandemic city, starting on page 17. I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M AT E U S Z N A P I E R A L S K I


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A look at what it’s like to be a working stuntwoman. Plus, a travel book about Calgary that appeals to newcomers and long-time locals alike, and a toast to Park by Sidewalk Citizen restaurant for picking up some impressive design awards.

Why the rugged Slocan Valley in B.C.’s West Kootenays is the ideal destination for those looking to leave the urban grind behind.

32 DINING If your knowledge of Japanese food starts and ends with sushi and ramen, then you’re missing out. A guide to some of the most popular genres of contemporary Japanese cuisine right now and where to find them in Calgary.

42 DECOR The home of Dayle Sheehan, an interior designer with mobility challenges, is a showcase for how universal design is beautiful design.



That the pandemic has changed the way we live is a given. The question now is what effect the pandemic will have on the way we build our city going forward. From how we will get around to where we will live, eat, work and shop, experts weigh in on what’s in store.

If you can’t show off what you’re wearing, does style even matter? We caught up with former Best Dressed List honourees to find out how their fashion sense has weathered the past year.

By Tsering Asha, Colin Gallant, Travis Klemp and Michaela Ream

By Shelley Arnusch



Whoa. Stunning homes require fewer words.

Homes from the $200s / townhomes / villas / single family / custom homes / CalbridgeHomes.com avenuecalgary.com




hange is our constant companion, whether we want it or not. But for most of us, the pace of change over the last year — from the personal level to the global scale and everything in between — has been dizzying, if not completely terrifying. Cities are typically pretty slow to change. It takes years, sometimes decades, to build and adjust major infrastructure. It also takes time for human behaviours to change, and for cities to then adapt and rebuild in response to those changing behaviour patterns. Not so in the whirlwind we’ve been living through for the past year. En masse, we have changed the ways we work, live and play, and even more so, where we do all those things. It is, in fact, difficult to conceive of a facet of life that hasn’t faced upheaval since this time last year. The question now, is which of these changes will become permanent? Many of the lifestyle changes we’ve made in the past year were already trending. The shifts to e-commerce, takeout dining and

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

remote work, to name a few examples, were all well underway before the pandemic pushed them into overdrive. These things seem likely to be the way of the future. Other changes we made over the past year were specific responses to the pandemic, but may have long-lingering effects — or alternately, backlashes. Will we continue physical distancing even after COVID’s threat passes? Or will we instead feel compelled to gather in even larger groups because we’ve missed the sense of energy and community that comes from being part of a crowd? An apt metaphor, considering the times we live in, for thinking about how as a city we should adapt to the pandemic’s assault, can be found in the human immune system. By accepting and fighting through an attack, we in turn grow stronger and more resilient, and are then better able to identify a similar threat in the future and protect ourselves

from it. But just like the immune system can turn against the body as in the case of an autoimmune disorder, we also need to guard against attacks on the body politic. “We are stronger together” cannot be just a platitude. The pandemic is not the only force changing our cities and affecting our future. Social justice movements, climate change, the fluctuating economy; all of these things factor into the ways Calgary as a city needs to adapt. In this issue, we focus on the idea of the future city, and how we would go about creating it. We talked to industry insiders, realtors, architects and urban planners, but we’d like to hear your thoughts as well. Tell us how you think the city should learn and grow from the changes of the past year. Tell us which things you hope go back to the way they were, but also what changes you have appreciated and what you hope continues to evolve. One thing that has changed a lot is the way we dress. Now that so many of us are spending so much more time at home and interacting with others mostly through our screens, the concept of style seems almost beside the point as sweatpants and “Zoom shirts” have taken the place of a full wardrobe. It’s why we pressed hold on our usual annual feature of naming a Best Dressed list for the year and instead reconnected with past Best Dressed honourees to discuss what style means to them now. From their responses it’s pretty clear that true style is not dead, though maybe just taking a bit of a nap — much like the city itself. Our March 2021 issue of Avenue listed Earls Kitchen + Bar as tied for second place as Best Chain, but Earls should have been noted as tied with Cactus Club Cafe for first place in the category. Also in our March issue, we forgot to note the contribution of Michael Trudeau Photography, who took the photo of Eight restaurant that appeared on page 28. We regret these errors.



N O M I N AT I O N S C L O S E END OF APRIL T O P 4 0 U N D E R 4 0 . C O M 6

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Park and Live-Work Towns Coming Soon Welcome to East Hills Crossing, a new master-planned community by Minto Communities. Enjoy the convenience of these unique live-work townhomes that are designed to offer the breathing space you need between work and home. East Hills Crossing features intertwined walking/running paths and green space. It’s just steps from East Hills Shopping Centre and the 307 MAX Purple BRT stop across the street, with close proximity to Stoney Trail.


Learn more at




ontrary to popular belief, stunt performers are not just adrenaline junkies, says Sally Bishop, an industry veteran in Alberta, who has stunted and doubled for A-listers like Demi Moore, Julia Roberts and Robin Wright over the course of her career. With no formal certification to become a stunt performer in Alberta, or Canada, most

stuntwomen are martial artists, gymnasts, swimmers, or, in Bishop’s case, horsewomen — she grew up trick riding and Roman riding (riding while standing on the backs of two or more horses) — who spend years honing their craft. Breaking into the industry requires a bit of luck “The first job you get is essentially a stunt coordinator taking a chance, because it’s sometimes quite risky,” Bishop says.

S A L LY B I S H O P ( L E F T ) A N D L E S L I E M C M I C H A E L ( R I G H T )





hen Park by Sidewalk Citizen opened in late 2019, its innovative interior was much admired by Calgarians and frequently posted on Instagram. But now Park has official accolades as well. The Mediterranean restaurant in Central Memorial Park received two major design honours in 2020. It won the Casual Restaurants and Cafés/Coffee Shops category of the Hospitality Design Awards. It was also one of five hospitality projects recognized by Canadian Interiors’ Best of Canada 2020. Local firm Studio North designed and built the unique structure, while the interior was designed collaboratively by Studio North with assistance from RJC Engineers and Remedy Engineering, Sidewalk Citizen and Field Kit. Park by Sidewalk Citizen remains open in cooperation with changing pandemic restrictions, with new dishes added regularly to the menu. —Colin Gallant 340 13 Ave. S.W., 403-263-2999 sidewalkcitizenbakery.com 12

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P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y J A R E D S Y C H , H AY D E N P A T T U L L O , C H R I S T I N A R Y A N


career can only last as long as their Stunt coordinator and performer body does, leading many to have Leslie McMichael’s expertise in moalternative aspirations. McMichael tor vehicles, fire work, martial arts has melded her industry experience and wire work has earned her credits with academia, attaining a PhD in on a variety of projects, from a Ninja psychology with an emphasis on meTurtles TV series to the movie Xdia psychology, researching the effects Men: The Last Stand. of concussions in the stunt industry. McMichael says that performing a She continues to work fight scene in a minias a stunt coordinator skirt — a garment that “WE LIT OUR on projects such as the leaves little room for protective padding FINGER ON FIRE, 2019 Disney film Togo. Bishop toyed with or insulation — is part-and-parcel of the THEN OUR FOREARM, the idea of law school, going so far as to enroll industry for women. THEN OUR WHOLE at one point, but she One of her most dropped out before memorable stunts was ARM ...” classes began to comher first safe skinmit to trick riding fullburn for the movie time. She currently represents Alberta Final Destination 3. Slathered in on the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, fire-resistant gel that was at the time Television and Radio Artists’ national still new to the industry, McMichael stunt committee. was set aflame for a scene where a “I certainly have had times in my character gets trapped in a tanning life where I wonder if [being a stuntbed. “First, we lit our finger on fire, woman] was the right choice, but I then our forearm, then our whole don’t think I would have been happy arm, and then I did from my waist in [another] life,” she says. “I have and my arms all the way up to my had an adventurous life and I don’t neck,” she says. regret it.” —Tsering Asha Stunt performers know that their

A FRESH TAKE ON THE FAMILIAR Even long-time locals will get a fresh perspective on their city with this book.


eleased last year, 111 Places in Calgary That You Must Not Miss appeals to long-time locals and first-time visitors alike. Each place gets a chapter, complete with photo, contact information and a tip on a nearby or thematically similar place to visit (if you count the tips, the book includes 222 places). Author Jennifer Bain lives in Toronto but has deep connections to Alberta. She interned with the Calgary Herald in 1990, later worked for the Edmonton Sun and has spent much time on a ranch her husband owned until recently. “I knew that Calgary was a very good city to write about because there still are a lot of

2003 41 AVENUE SW



old, cool, lingering, undiscovered places that haven’t been bulldozed by the modern world,” she says. The book features stories about a tattooing pastor, a Victorian-era sex worker’s favourite haunt, a famous pair of shoes and much more. One of Bain’s suggestions is going to the Stampede Grounds to learn about local history by viewing statues and murals open to the public yearround. It’s an example of how 111 Places encourages a deeper appreciation of familiar spots. Photojournalist and SAIT instructor Christina Ryan, who shot the majority of the book’s photos, can attest to this. “When you’ve been living in a place for so long, you have a tendency to revisit

your ordinary haunts,” she says. “You get a slanted view of what your hometown is like until you go on an adventure.” COVID-19 had little impact on Bain’s final list as many of the 111 entries are outdoors or viewable while distancing. But one bittersweet moment was the permanent closure of Ranchman’s after the book had gone to print. “If the first print run sells out I will be asked to update it. At that point, the Ranchman’s chapter would fall out and other worthy places would come into play,” she says. —C.G. 111 Places in Calgary That You Must Not Miss is available at major retailers and independent bookstores.


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Breathtaking modern farmhouse style 4+1 bedroom home by Calbridge Homes offering over 4,600 sq ft of luxurious developed living space, located in the award winning community of Harmony. The main level presents hardwood floors, high ceilings & is illuminated by recessed lighting & elegant light fixtures showcasing the open floor plan comprised of a living room with soaring ceiling & extraordinary floor to ceiling fireplace, chef-inspired kitchen equipped with huge island/eating bar, plenty of storage space including built-ins with wine storage & excellent appliance package.



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BIG IDEAS BOLD LEADERS CALGARY IS CHANGING. SO TOO IS THE HASKAYNE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS. If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us all, it’s that change is always around the corner. Changing economy. Changing priorities. Changing times. Tomorrow’s business leaders will be the entrepreneurially-minded people who see the opportunity in today’s challenges. They will need the business skills that help them lead teams to successfully navigate uncertain times. They will need the foundation of business knowledge based on evidence-based research. They will need the network of contacts to turn big ideas into tomorrow’s solutions. In short, they will need the education, skillset and community connections that come with a Haskayne School of Business education. With a strong demand for Haskayne’s undergraduate program and expanding graduate program offerings – the Master of Management, MBA, Executive MBA,


Doctor of Business Administration and PhD – more and more students are looking to Haskayne. Graduate program enrolment is up 30 per cent over the past five years, driving an expansion plan supported by Calgary’s most influential business leaders. In 2018, the school celebrated with Ronald P. Mathison who made a transformational gift to Energize: the Campaign for Eyes High. Mathison Hall, named in his honour, is now well under construction on the University of Calgary campus. From that initial generous gift, other Calgary business icons got on board too, including Rob and Ruth Peters, Michael and Renae Tims and Mac and Susan Van Wielingen, through their Viewpoint Foundation. These early champions provided the seed funding that is making the Haskayne Capital Expansion Project possible, and paving the way for future donors. Mathison Hall will be a four-storey 10,000 m2 building connected to Scurfield Hall, Haskayne’s current home. In all, 12 new classrooms will be added to the business school, including a new finance lab and a 100-person theatre. That’s in addition to the new group workrooms, study spaces and gathering places within a sustainable,


LEED Platinum and architecturally stunning building. In planning the project, Haskayne emphasized the need for technologically enhanced classrooms and workspaces; study spaces for all types of learning; and places to meet, socialize and eat. We don’t know how Calgary will transition, but we know it will. We don’t know what the new normal will look like, but we know world-class management education will be critical in adapting to a new future. We don’t know what university education will look like in 20 years, but we know how we were able to adapt in 2020 and we will take the best of online learning and engagement into the future.

Bold leaders never stop learning.

More than ever, we face an uncertain future. But what we do know is where tomorrow’s business leaders will come from.

Haskayne MBA

The Haskayne School of Business is growing. Join us. To learn more about Mathison Hall and how you can get involved visit: haskayneexpansion.ca

Apply Now. haskaynemba.ca



Building for Tomorrow In the southwest development of Currie, residents can design a life that works for them. The COVID-19 pandemic will forever change how we look at our homes and the communities surrounding them. Over the past year, our houses have become workplaces, classrooms and safe havens, with neighbourhood parks doubling as exercise facilities and spaces for socially distanced gatherings. Even as we move towards a post-pandemic world, many Calgarians will continue to require flexibility and adaptability from where they live. Well before the pandemic began, the southwest development of Currie was designed to appeal to buyers in search of a balanced lifestyle. The award-winning masterplanned community offers residents a quick commute to the downtown core, easy access to the mountains, plenty of public outdoor space and an array of housing options to suit any family configuration.“One of the reasons people are looking to live in Currie post-pandemic or even during the pandemic is that it’s easy to be close to home,” says Mary Thymaras, Director of Real Estate for Canada Lands Company, which oversees the Currie development. “If you’re working downtown, it’s only seven minutes by car or a 25-minute bike ride. If you’re not commuting to work, you’re close to kids’ schools or the grocery store.” There’s plenty for people to enjoy within the neighbourhood, helping to create a sense of community and relieve pandemicinduced feelings of isolation. Currie is home to several parks, including a 13-acre green space where residents can meet

Find your home at CurrieLife.ca 16

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friends, walk their dogs and enjoy being out and about. Full of heritage buildings and mature trees left from the area’s previous life as a military base, Currie has a sense of history to it even though it’s a brand-new development. “Every builder involved in Currie has been passionate to add architectural style and more families to the community. And we hope to work with even more builders in the coming years,” says Thymaras. The current slate of builders includes Crystal Creek Homes and Empire Custom Homes, both of which custom build homes with the option of a carriage suite over a detached garage to make for multi-generational family living, a rental property or a home office. Another new builder with a long history of building in Calgary, Dominium, will launch its Currie homes later this year, redefining traditional spaces to give buyers even more choices. “A lot of our Currie residents are thinking ahead of the curve,” Thymaras says. “If their parents are retiring and want to travel after the pandemic, they may be looking at a carriage suite. The zoning in Currie allows for secondary suites so people can plan ahead and make space for their mom and dad or childcare providers to move in.” With all of these options to choose from, Currie residents can design a life that works for them as they adjust to the post-pandemic world.




etween social-distancing orders, business closures, gathering restrictions and more, the pandemic has reshaped nearly every aspect of life in Calgary. Usually changes (good and bad) to a city take years, even decades, or longer, to be seen and felt. But the pandemic had immediate effects on city life. Residential neighbourhoods were suddenly full of workers on video conference calls from their home offices and children remote-learning from kitchen tables, while office towers and the businesses that serve them everything from coffee to parking sat empty. The City transitioned roadways now unused by commuter traffic to extra space for walking and biking. Restaurants became takeout pickup

hubs and shops focused on their e-commerce offerings. In many cases, the pandemic accelerated existing transitions, such as the move to e-commerce or the desire for multigenerational housing. In others, it highlighted problems we hadn’t really identified and demanded that we start to think about our spaces in a new way to ensure safety and equity as we move forward. Alongside Calgarians themselves, Calgary as a city proved resilient by transitioning quickly to make short-term changes, but some of these changes will also be long-lasting — the question is which ones. We take a look at predictions for where we go from here and how we build the city for the new future.





COVID-19 is more likely to affect the near- and middle-term future of services, while long-term capital projects are key to the long-term development of the system and the city.


algary Transit was quick to implement safety measures for COVID-19: masks, distancing, Plexiglas barriers and increased peace officer presence. Russell Davies, acting director of Calgary Transit, says he believes zero cases were transmitted through the service, despite carrying approximately 35 million passengers last year. The challenges COVID-19 created for the transit system were more about changes to our behaviours, which have struck a major blow to ridership and therefore revenue. Huge numbers of Calgarians started working from home and there were suddenly fewer non-work reasons to leave home due to restrictions on gatherings, events and businesses. This has already caused service reductions and route changes, the question is how long the changes both to ridership and the system, will last. Davies estimates that in a normal year about 45 per cent of Calgary Transit’s budget is covered by fares, in comparison to around 30 to 35 per cent in other cities. While that favourable ratio of fares to


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taxpayer subsidy was a strength of the Calgary system and its sustainability before the pandemic, it became a liability last year when ridership dropped dramatically. Davies noted that as of December 2020, Calgary Transit was projecting an annual loss of $40 million to $45 million for the year, but that this was actually down from an earlier projected loss of $105 million to $110 million, because the service made $60 million in cuts. While Davies wouldn’t speculate on future funding, it seems reasonable to assume that making up for decreased ridership going forward could mean increases to fares, to municipal property taxes, or both. The challenge of changing ridership comes with opportunity — Davies says it’s possible to redesign the city’s entire bus route network in one to two years. That flexibility may be key since it’s unclear when or if everyone will return to the commuter life they had before the pandemic. The City of Calgary has been collecting household data on travel for more than 50 years, most recently with the My Travel Log survey that has run on an ongoing basis since 2015. It was

temporarily suspended in March of last year but resumed by September to produce COVID-specific data sets on various forms of transportation that should be finalized by the time you’re reading this. (The survey closed again through the winter and is expected to reopen this month.) At a meeting of the City’s Transportation and Transit committee in October of last year, staff presented three scenarios for how COVID-19 may affect transit use (all of which indicated reduced ridership) and recommended enhanced data collection, finding new ways to make money and planning ahead for a shortfall. Before the pandemic, Calgary Transit was already making changes. Recent developments include the mobile ticketing app My Fare and an on-demand transit pilot program currently underway in outer suburbs. In 2019, Calgary Transit launched the fourth line of the MAX bus rapid transit (BRT) system and opened North America’s largest indoor compressed natural gas bus-fuelling complex. Davies says the fuelling complex is the first step in one of the organization’s biggest goals:

O U T- O F - T H E - B O X TRANSIT IDEAS ON-DEMAND TRANSIT Cities worldwide are studying demand-based transit that could eventually be routed by algorithms. Two pilots are underway in Calgary in far-flung suburbs with low ridership rates. calgarytransit.com TRANSPOD CALGARY-EDMONTON HYPERLOOP The Province has agreed to cooperate in Toronto-based TransPod’s feasibility study on a vacuum-sealed “hyperloop” line between Calgary and Edmonton. Estimated to cost $7 billion and be capable of travelling at speeds exceeding 1,000 kilometres per hour, it is still in the research phase and has received no government funding. transpod.com

“greening the fleet.” The next step is an electric bus pilot planned to launch around the end of the year. Future developments include improved accessibility for the Access bus fleet, and explorations into a range of things, from a fleet of electric scooters to driverless buses. “I’d say, on the bigger projects, that Calgary is on the right track,” says David Cooper, principal of Leading Mobility, a transit consultancy currently working with Calgary Transit. “The challenge in Calgary is that it’s been a lot easier to secure funding for bigger-ticket capital projects like an LRT expansion or the new BRT system. But it’s been incredibly challenging to get operating dollars.” Cooper authored a strategic report for the Canadian Urban Transit Association with recommendations to the federal government on how to support transit with funding and policy to ensure systems can survive the pandemic and thrive long-term. The report highlights three of its recommendations as most important: ongoing operating support, continued completion of transit networks and decarbonizing transit fleets. It also recommends

funding higher frequency of service and active transportation connections, like bike lanes and improved pedestrian access to transit stops. “It’s well known that frequency is quite strongly linked to ridership,” says Willem Klumpenhouwer, a postdoctoral fellow at the Transit Analytics Lab at the University of Toronto who originally hails from Calgary. “Of course, doubling the amount of buses means doubling the amount of buses, so it costs twice as much to operate … This brings into focus this really important conversation that people don’t have very often between capital funding for projects like the Green Line … and the operational side, which is things like increasing yearly funding to increase frequency,” says Klumpenhouwer. Rerouting, service frequency and funding are likely to be the near- and middle-future of transit in the city. Major projects like the Green Line, greener initiatives and innovative pilots like ondemand transit will have more influence on the long-term future. We need to keep our eyes on both streams as we move forward, because while demand is low now, it’s expected to return. —C.G.

RAIL FOR ALBERTA This lobbying group argues that a greener, less car-dependent mode of transportation already exists — it’s just not as sexy as new tech. Advocacy for standard-speed or bulletpaced rail for the province is ongoing. railalberta.com CALGARY-BANFF RAIL The Canadian Infrastructure Bank and Alberta’s transportation ministry are studying the feasibility of a rail line from Calgary International Airport to Banff, with stops in Calgary, Cochrane and Canmore. cib-bic.ca PRAIRIE SKY GONDOLA This Edmonton project would carry passengers over the city’s River Valley on a privately funded and operated gondola system. It has so far drawn mixed reactions but raises interesting questions about how private urban transit could function alongside public service. —C.G. prairieskygondola.com




R E S TAU R A N T S The way forward for Calgary dining may be a hybrid of dining out and dining in.


he immediate, reactionary changes to dining in Calgary have had a significant impact on the future of the restaurant industry. And according to those involved, some significant trends have already surfaced. Online ordering will likely continue to be a choice for many, and restaurants will likely downsize their dining rooms as a result. In December, Cody Willis, founder of Thank You Hospitality, a group that includes the A1 family of restaurants as well as Calcutta Cricket Club and Native Tongues Taqueria, said that uncertainty during the height of the pandemic was the most difficult thing to manage. Regulations involving masks, social distancing and capacity reductions forced Willis and his group to look at how staff were being taken care of. “We want to always make sure that our staff feel safe and supported. You can never plan for something like this to happen, but staff need to know


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that you’re looking out for them,” Willis says. At the same time that in-person dining disappeared, food delivery soared. Willis says this is something that now needs to be part of plans when opening new locations, as his group did throughout the pandemic with the new A1 Cantina in Britannia Plaza. “Having better pickup areas, thinking through how people wait for their food, maybe building in pickup windows, are all things we have had to think about when expanding,” says Willis. Despite preparing for continued take-out service, Willis thinks people will want to be back in an energetic and lively environment when it is safe to do so. “I think there are going to be many who just miss that human connection and energy that these rooms have,” said Willis. Commercial real estate broker Michael Kehoe, owner of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc., says multiple trends that were bubbling to the surface pre-pandemic have accelerated because of the current disruption. “Spaces over 3,000 square feet

are becoming way less desirable as restaurateurs look for less overhead and rent. We have seen ghost kitchens and pop-ups before in the city, and I think that is going to continue to grow as we go forward,” Kehoe says. Expect to see several concepts sharing one kitchen — in some cases using the dining room at different times of day and in some cases not having an eat-in space at all. Restaurants that are intended to be takeout only might also choose traditionally less desirable, cheaper spots off the beaten path, such as industrial areas. However, Kehoe predicts trendy areas will maintain traffic and popularity if landlords are willing and able to break larger restaurant spaces into multiple smaller spaces. Kehoe’s approach to brokering a deal between food service professionals and landlords is based on relationship-building and for the past eight years his team has acted as a mediator of sorts. He finds that these services are more relevant now than ever. “We make sure that what the chefs and

CITY BUILDING “This is an industry wtih notoriously thin profit margins. They need a lifeline more than ever.” -MICHAEL KEHOE FAIRFIELD COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

C I V I C P R O J E C T U P D AT E S 9TH AVENUE PARKADE AND PLATFORM INNOVATION CENTRE WHAT: Multipurpose parkade with 500+ parking stalls across five levels and a 50,000-square-foot Innovation Centre space across two levels. PROJECTED COST: $80 million STATUS: Construction is well underway and expected to open in spring 2021. ARTSCOMMONS EXPANSION WHAT: Expand and upgrade Arts Commons in a two-phase plan beginning with adding new venues and meeting spaces. Phase two will update and renovate the existing building. PROJECTED COST: $440 million ($240 million for phase one and $200 million for phase two) STATUS: Funding has been approved and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation has signed on as development manager. Phase one construction is expected to begin in 2024.

professionals are signing in terms of leases and agreements are fair and that they are protected. In the past year we have included pandemic-centered language in contracts. People need to be able to feel secure,” says Kehoe, echoing Willis’s point about restaurant owners struggling with uncertainty. Kehoe believes that Calgary’s restaurants are currently shifting into the next phase of survival and he thinks that in order to provide a recovery, or a cushion from the impact of the pandemic, landlords should be creating new rent arrangement that fix the restaurant’s rental expenses with an acceptable percentage of gross sales. “This is an industry with notoriously thin profit margins. They need a lifeline more than ever,” says Kehoe. Restaurant spaces not only have an impact on individual diners but on the city as a whole, with destination dining areas creating vitality. Figuring out how they can adapt will be important not only for the restaurant industruy, but for the resilience of the city. —T.K.

BMO CENTRE EXPANSION WHAT: Double the rentable area of the current BMO Centre by increasing the floor space to almost a million square feet. PROJECTED COST: $500 million STATUS: Funding has been approved, and partial construction on the northeast side of the building was finished in spring 2020. Full construction on the BMO Convention Centre will begin in spring 2021. The grand opening is planned for June 2024. CALGARY EVENT CENTRE WHAT: Replace the old Saddledome with a new event centre that will also be the home for the Calgary Flames NHL team. PROJECTED COST: $550 million STATUS: Funding has been approved and in June 2020 the final firms were approved for the design and construction process. Construction is expected to start in late 2021 and be completed in 2024. FOOTHILLS FIELDHOUSE WHAT: A multisport fieldhouse featuring a 400-metre track, sports fields, capacity for 10,000 spectators and more. PROJECTED COST: $285.8 million

STATUS: In 2019, City Council approved $19.8 million to begin planning and designing the new facility. The University of Calgary pulled its funding due to budgetary concerns, however, further funding is still in the works and design plans are still moving forward for the new site while looking for other sources of funding. THE GREEN LINE LRT WHAT: Add 29 new stations and 46 kilometres of new track to Calgary’s current LRT system. The project will be built in two stages, starting with Ramsay/Inglewood to Shepard, then Elbow River north to 16th Avenue. PROJECTED COST: $4.9 billion STATUS: General design plans for the expansion have been approved, and construction is expected to begin in late 2021. Stage two functional planning is expected to be ready by spring 2021. The procurement process for stage one has been delayed until early 2021. The timeline for funding from the provincial government is in question. UCALGARY MATHISON HALL WHAT: Combine a new four-storey Mathison Hall building with renovations to Scurfield Hall to create a new home for the Haskayne School of Business. PROJECTED COST: $90 million STATUS: Funding has been approved, and construction is currently underway. Both the project and budget are on time and are expected to be finished by 2022. CONTEMPORARY CALGARY WHAT: Renovate and transform Calgary’s Centennial Planetarium into a signature cultural destination. The renovation will add a Class A exhibition space for international exhibitions, more studio space, and allow space for new education programs for youth. PROJECTED COST: $117 million STATUS: Funding is being sought from the federal government, the Government of Alberta and the private sectors. The City of Calgary has already provided $25 million for the first phase. —M.R.





Not all businesses will have the same needs in the post-pandemic world, but adaptability will be key in whatever comes next.


s offices continue to evolve, effective. For example, cleaning stations placed flexibility and adaptability will throughout offices, well-communicated (and be key with modular furniture, enforced) mask policies, encouragement to make “hoteling” desks that employees sure desks are ready for cleaners at the end of the book when they need them day and air purifiers all provide safety that comes instead of having dedicated with a physical reminder that the employer cares spaces, and businesses exploring coworking and about staff health. flexible office spaces. Many workplaces are using a hybrid attendance “I think there’s a general trend that started way model allowing for both in-office and remote work before COVID,” says Hannes Kovac, president instead of an all-or-nothing approach. This means and CEO of Opus, a full-service commercial real adjusting again to new work patterns. “That is not estate company. “Flexible work arrangements such to be not to be taken lightly in terms of figuring as working from home have been around since out how you’re going to do that and how it’s going before COVID-19, but it accelerated this trend, to work,” says Baxter. and ‘forced’ employers and employees to work That shift affects how employees work together remotely sooner.” as well as the orientation of office space. Baxter Robyn Baxter, senior vice believes some employees could president and co-managing share desks and others may Workers who come director, workplace advisory, have no dedicated workspace in once a week or less with Colliers International, whatsoever. This could result in says remote work in particular “reconfiguration and reallocamight entirely rely on has moved forward dramatition,” where spaces within an hoteling and not have cally. “Employees, managers office that used to serve one a dedicated desk of and executives who previously function may be repurposed for their own. thought, ‘no, we cannot have others. It’s possible that workers our people work from home,’ who come in once a week or less have overnight figured out that, might entirely rely on hoteling in fact, people can work from home,” she says. and not have a dedicated desk of their own. In an interview in December 2020, Baxter said Jerilyn Wright, principal of Jerilyn Wright & that some Colliers tenants were looking at making Associates, has been working on future-looking a reintegration into the office by mid-2021. For interior design strategies with her commercial some, it will largely be back to business as usual. clients throughout the pandemic. She believes the But she expects changes both big and small from built environment is “the best kept secret” when it how things were, noting that different industries comes to impacting health and work performance, and companies will adapt differently. and that the next chapter of office work revolves Baxter says when safety measures are made around strategies for changing spaces to improve front of mind for workers they can be more workers’ mental states.


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“Don’t make too many long-term decisions based on being in the middle of an imperfect experiment.” -ROBIN BAXTER, COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL

Wright focuses on modular and flexible design solutions that can be tweaked to quickly respond to changes as needed. Her company has been developing products since COVID-19 began. One example is the “Perch.” Essentially a bar that attaches to the wall for workers to lean against, the Perch provides more distance between each person at a meeting than conference table seating. It’s just one of the ways she is looking at how a space can be both socially distant and inviting. Recognizing that COVID-19 made many of us feel powerless, Wright expects the desire for personal control to play a big role in improving employees’ productivity. She suggests giving employees more individual control over their space, such as lighting and air conditions or desk orientation, to calm nerves and boost productivity. In addition to changing furnishings and how we use office space, many are predicting changes to how much office space we will need. “There are lots of companies that are reevaluating their real estate requirements,” says Alex Putici, founder and member of Work Nicer Coworking, which closed one of its former spaces and acquired The Commons last year. While coworking used to be thought of primarily for startups and freelance workers, Putici believes many businesses are considering either leaving or reducing their existing office space and instead moving toward a blended remote work model using a combination of corporate offices, home offices and co-working spaces. Baxter and Wright both have a warning for companies looking at restructuring their offices: don’t jump the gun. “Don’t make too many longterm decisions based on being in the middle of an imperfect experiment,” says Baxter. Understandably, a lot of companies are looking for a permanent resolution to their current problems. But these experts’ principles of “reconfiguration and reallocation,” and “flexibility and modularity” are ways to work toward long-term success. There’s no perfect workplace of tomorrow, just ways to address change as it comes. Hard as that is, it’s a smart way to move into the future. —C.G.




HOUSING Complete communities with a variety of housing types mixed with spaces for other uses anticipate a future Calgary that is bigger and more diverse.


stimates suggest that Calgary’s population will increase to 2 million people over the next 50 years. So, we can certainly expect that more homes will be built. But what kinds? And where? “The one thing we know about cities is that they are never static,” says Robyn Jamieson, a senior planner at the City of Calgary’s planning and development department for the guidebook for great communities. “There’s always growth and evolution happening within cities around the world.” By 2040, Calgarians aged 65 years or older are expected to account for 20 per cent of our total populace. In part because of this, Jamieson says, Calgary needs a range of residential buildings to create diverse neighborhoods and even households, where seniors can age-in-place alongside young professionals or in multigenerational homes, and where neighbourhoods encourage strong social networks. While Jamieson says that low-density areas and new communities will be popular for a long time and “won’t be going extinct,” she believes the goal for city planners is to work toward a compact urban city with more mixed-use and high-density buildings such as condominiums, apartments, row homes or townhomes by revisiting established neighborhoods and repurposing existing infrastructure. Ben Klumper, co-founder of Modern Office of Design and Architecture (MODA), predicts multigenerational households will become more popular in Calgary and influence how spaces within a home are used. “There’s an economic value to integrating generations, but there’s also an intrinsic social value — you see it all the time,


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how little kids and older people interact and react to one another. It’s such a valuable thing,” he says. While Klumper says it’s too early to tell what long-term effects the pandemic will have on residential housing design, the events of the past year have emphasized how much humans are a social species, while also putting a spotlight on home workspaces. Klumper says it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the return of the true home office, “something that you might have seen maybe decades and decades ago in the more formal home,” noting that it’s financially easy to incorporate this into most floorplans, especially in single-family homes. Erica Lowe, founding principal of Lola Architecture, foresees developers and architects using technology and design to construct and market af-

fordable multi-family residential buildings that are energy efficient in order to meet the requirements for government grant and funding options. “What a lot of developers are doing now is running energy modeling and showing how much energy they can save,” says Lowe. “We can show that we’re going to reduce energy costs and then reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the future.” The benefit is two-fold: lower energy use, and therefore lower long-term cost, could attract more types of residents under one roof, while also increasing the amount of affordable housing being built in the city. The need for affordable housing has been highlighted by the pandemic, which made overcrowding not only uncomfortable, but unsafe for public health. While a lot of the talk about the city focuses on the inner-city, many future homeowners will still have an appetite for suburban and satellite communities. And as with, everything from groceries to clothes, people are also increasingly comfortable shopping for their homes online. Wanda Palmer, vice president marketing at Trico Homes, says that during the pandemic Trico increasingly connected with potential homeowners using artificial intelligence and other online tools to enhance the home-buying experience. “Technology is going to really transform how people shop and how they buy,” says Palmer. But she also notes that technology supplements the element of human interaction rather than replacing it entirely. “I think that the city and developers and home builders, we’re just going to have to get a little bit more flexible and be able to meet the needs of what people really, really want,” Palmer says. —T.A.


SHOPPING Bricks-and-mortar stores will evolve into “customer experience spaces” that integrate a brand’s physical store with its online shop.


ccording to retail experts (and everyone who has been exclusively shopping online since March 2020) the pandemic has rocked the industrial model of retail by accelerating its digital transition. “In the digital era, media is no longer something [brands] buy to push people to distribution, media is the store,” says Doug Stephens, founder of the consulting firm Retail Prophet. “If a consumer sees your ad on Instagram, that’s the store — you can buy directly from it.” So, what will actual stores, and therefore malls and retail areas of Calgary, look like in the future? “I think we’re going to start to see more and more retailers that make every aspect of their store, from the moment [we] walk in, a much more clickable, scannable environment,” Stephens says. Brands will need to focus on transforming their bricks-and-mortar stores, whether freestanding or within a shopping centre, from a place to browse and purchase, into visually appealing interactive spaces offering one-of-akind experiences. “[Retailers are] going to have to create really remarkable content to keep their consumers engaged with their brand and that’s something that’s foreign to a lot of small businesses, especially,” Stephens says. He predicts that with technology like QR codes that customers can scan for information, pricing and purchasing, only a select group of expert staff with extensive product knowledge and customer service skills will serve clients. None of these are new predictions or new forces pushing the retail transformation. The pandemic

shows creating unique experiences to entice shoppers, while helping retailers adjust for the future. “You will never replace that physical in-person experience,” says David Low, executive director of Victoria Park BIA. “You will get replaced though, if you’re not doing a good job of it.” Some stores might need to transform more than others to become distribution points or fulfillment centres, depending on the products and commodities they offer. Malls have been traditionally reticent to allow tenants to operate as fulfillment centres, says Darryl Schmidt, vice president of leasing for Cadillac Fairview (owners of CF Market Mall and CF Chinook Cen“The tre). But he predicts shopping malls fundamentals of will evolve into mixed-use centres and incorporate more flexible retailing don’t change: you’ve got to have compel- and creative leasing terms. “It’s going to be a live-work-play ling product, you’ve got environment, with enhanced to be remarkable. ” dining and service facilities -MICHAEL LEBLANC, RETAIL over and above the already great COUNCIL OF CANADA shopping amenities that are there,” just accelerated the timelines. he says. “The fundamentals of retailing don’t Schmidt and Low agree that whether in change: you’ve got to have compelling malls or neighborhoods, landlords will have to product, you’ve got to be remarkable,” says get creative with their leases to help new business Michael LeBlanc, a senior retail advisor for the owners secure storefronts and ensure physical Retail Council of Canada. “There’s going to be a stores remain in Calgary. You can expect to see renaissance in our cities and towns and suburbs, because when millions of people are working from more pop-ups, shared or smaller spaces and creativity to attract and retain retailers and shoppers. homes, the retailers and service providers will all “It’s a great thing to bring in those independents start to adjust where they are and say, ‘I’m going to and locals, try to incubate them into longer-term go where the people are,’” says LeBlanc. tenancies and provide a real sense of community The Victoria Park Business Improvement Area and local flavor to each one of our shopping cen(BIA) is anticipating those same trends, priming ters,” Schmidt says. —T.A. its streets and sidewalks with inviting art and light





Pick your favourites in 11 categories.

TO BUILD COMMUNITY, BUILD CONNECTIONS. CMLC has been building connections in downtown Calgary’s east end since 2007. We’ve built bridges and underpasses, cycling lanes and riverfront promenades. We’ve forged enduring relationships with developer and community partners whose projects have profoundly enhanced Calgary’s identity. We creatively nurture those all-important human connections that make a community a home. And we bring citizens proudly together through the city-building and life-enriching initiatives we’re spearheading throughout East Village and Calgary’s emerging Culture + Entertainment District. For a glimpse into all the ways we build connections and community, visit calgarymlc.ca


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VOTE EARLY VOTE OFTEN Open from APRIL 15 TO MAY 15 MadeInAlbertaAwards.ca

WHAT IS ST YLE NOW? Former Best Dressed List honourees confirm for us that even as the world changes, great style abides.

BY SHELLEY ARNUSCH avenuecalgary.com


“It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing something you’d consider traditional, like a suit, because the delivery is always going to be different. My style is going to be very different. I’m still sashaying those straight-cut pants.”

ack in the spring of 2020, when escalating rates of COVID-19 sent everyone home for the unforeseeable future, what we were wearing took a backseat to how we were coping. Relegated to online interaction, the business world collectively loosened its tie. Meanwhile, opportunities to get all dolled up dried up as cultural venues, restaurants and bars shuttered, festivals and gala events were deferred and weddings were postponed. The sartorial vacuum created by the pandemic soon became an echo chamber for commentary about how fashion was so over, and that the time had come to throw off the shackles of style and embrace the new sweatsuit order. Because as with the proverbial tree falling in the woods: if no one can see you, do your clothes make an impact? If we were ever going to ask that question in Avenue this is the time to do it. Over the past decade, the April issue has served as our celebration 28

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of style in the city with the reveal of the annual Best Dressed list. Each year, Avenue editors, together with a panel of fashion industry insiders and social calendar mainstays, selected a group of Calgarians whose style choices they deemed noteworthy. Some of the honourees were all about big-ticket designer items while others embodied thrift-shop chic. Some were decidedly outré, while others favoured classic tailoring. But regardless of where they landed on the flamboyancy spectrum, there was always a common thread, in that style was self-expression: they wore what they wore because it felt right for them. But this year, the idea of asking people to put themselves out there and flaunt what they’ve got seemed out of step with the times. So, rather than choosing a new list, we instead checked in with a handful of Best Dressed alumni to see how the events of the past year had impacted their sense of style and the way they express it.

When so much has changed in the world, we wanted to know: has their style changed, too? For Domingo Lumanog, who graced the 2019 list with his gender-free looks, a career change in 2020 necessitated a style change — at least for his work attire. Lumanog’s previous job in the fashion industry gave him licence to be as flamboyant as he wanted, while his new role as director of the Berlitz Calgary Language Learning Center requires him to button down in business suits. Lumanog works out of the Berlitz office whenever possible, but he has also done a considerable amount of work from home over the past year. At home, he still accessorizes those suits with his signature high heels, though he switches to suede loafers when he goes to the office. As someone who considers shoes “punctuation,” the loafers may not be the exclamation points of heels, but are certainly eye-catching enough to make a statement.



“Sobriety is, honestly, the best thing that happened to me [last year]. I’ve never felt so creative in my entire life. I’ll be walking down the block to get some fresh air and I’ll see a colour of a vehicle, and I’m like, ‘this just inspired me to create an entire outfit in my head.’” PAUL CONRAD SCHNEIDER, A.K.A. DRAG PERFORMER PERLA

“The thrill of getting dressed up and getting a designer piece that I absolutely love, that hasn’t changed. And I don’t want it to, because it makes me feel good.”



Lumanog approaches video meetings with the same passion for detail that he applies to getting dressed. “Sometimes I change up my living room. I get the ideas from The Real Housewives when they do their confessionals,” he says. The shift from in-person to online interaction and the effect that has on how people present themselves was a common theme among many of the Best Dressed alumni. Those in the fashion and beauty industry, such as makeup academy owner and beauty entrepreneur Tara Cowles and fashion stylist Julie Roth (both Best Dressed class of 2020) were already using Instagram to promote their businesses and their personal brands. Roth says that COVIDmandated isolation gave her the space to become more mindful about what she was putting out on Instagram. It also encouraged her to let her hair down as bit, as with her “stuff you didn’t ask

to see” video series, a tongue-in-cheek take on the influencer-culture staple of addressing comments from followers. As for her personal style? “I’m still wearing my sequins and feathers. That has not changed,” she says. Drag queen and runway model Perla is another Best Dressed alum (class of 2020) whose Instagram presence blossomed during the pandemic. Perla is the alter ego of Paul Conrad Schneider, who himself was a Best Dressed list-maker in 2017. In Perla’s case, having a visual platform during the times when live, in-person drag performance wasn’t possible has kept the creative juices flowing. “It’s been so cool to really pop into the digital aspect of drag,” Schneider says. “It’s a different creative outlet.” That said, it’s no substitute for the real deal. “I’m still performing every day in front of my bathroom mirror and working on so much that I’m excited to do once I can actually perform at a bar again,” he says.

Schneider says he experienced a creative reawakening after embracing sobriety last fall, while the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement of 2020 also made him consider how he — and Perla — can use their platform to be more effective advocates for the Black queer community, queer community and Black community. Inspired by BLM, Schneider dropped the stage surname “Coddington” after namesake Grace Coddington, the legendary former creative director of American Vogue, was revealed to have racist decor pieces displayed in her home back in 2019. “As much as I love fashion, and Coddington was such a reference to that, I think it’s important to address it and grow past it,” Schneider says. Perla’s core identity as a “fashion queen” hasn’t changed, however. “I’ve definitely been playing around a lot more with makeup now that I have the time, and it’s been fun just getting to experiment, but first and foremost, Perla is fashion,” he says. avenuecalgary.com


“The isolation of the pandemic really made me look at my style in a more emotional sense. I would find myself getting dressed up to hang out at home by myself just because it lifts my mood.”

“We have fashion to tell the story and there are still stories to be told, so style is still important. I feel sorry for the people who punish themselves for wanting to express themselves.” ADORA NWOFOR

Carl Abad

“The isolation of the pandemic really made me look at my style in a more emotional sense. I would find myself getting dressed up to hang out at home by myself just because it lifts my mood.”

Other alumni also spoke of their style gaining a greater sense of purpose. “Through the last year with Black Lives Matter, with people of colour, with trans movements, there’s so much that has happened in society about not letting people tell you what you should be thinking,” says stylist and jewellery designer Carl Abad, a Best Dressed honouree in 2020. “Not having to dress for other people’s eyes and just dressing for myself really made me explore my personal style,” Abad says. “It’s evolved into being a little bit more outrageous, if you can believe that.” Adora Nwofor was celebrated in the 2017 Best Dressed list, rocking her signature ’70s-inspired glam style. A comedian, model and public speaker who is also the president of Black Lives Matter YYC, Nwofor has long understood the relationship between fashion and activism and finds that the events of the past year reinforced that connection for her. 30

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“I have an activism wardrobe,” she says, which can be brash and attention-grabbing or more somber and dialed back, depending on the cause and the event. “Fashion has always been a way of connecting to your community, or expressing what’s happening,” she says. “I don’t think that it is something that people should shy away from. True style is personal, it’s your personal expression, and you should never be asked to separate from it. That is something that’s very valid and important in our world.” Life in pandemic-mandated lockdown didn’t change Nwofor’s style, but it did force her to consider what it means to make an entrance. As an outspoken Black woman standing more than six feet tall — not including the rose-gold platform heels that she doesn’t need an excuse to wear — Nwofor has always been able to command any room with just her physical presence. That presence doesn’t

exactly translate the same way through the confines of a computer screen. “I for sure had to re-evaluate what entering a space looks like,” Nwofor says. If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about commanding attention, it’s Dr. Diana Monea, the flamboyant optometrist-entrepreneur-philanthropist whose dramatic custom gowns topped by exquisitely crafted millinery and bedazzled eyewear burst forth from the pages of the 2018 Best Dressed issue. The year 2020 was supposed to be a big deal in the eye care field, so Dr. Monea, who also had a milestone 65th birthday that year, decided to write and self-publish a book about her life’s story, partly so she could celebrate its release with a big splashy party that would also serve as a fundraiser for the Not In My City anti-human-trafficking charity she supports. Of course, the year was a bust for book launch parties, but it certainly didn’t diminish Dr.



“You have all of these things that you never wear, so the question is: why did we buy it in the first place? We were waiting for that moment of when it would be special. Well, forget about waiting. I’m just doing it, today.” DR. DIANA MONEA

“I’m an extroverted person, so there was a big fear that I would lose my identity to what is happening in the world. But as soon as I put those rings on and layer up the necklaces and throw on my sequins, I come back to me.”



Monea’s verve for putting an outfit together. If anything, it made her double down: when life gave her a pandemic, she had a custom coronavirus-patterned dress made and topped her ensembles with blingedout masks designed by her close friend Paul Hardy. Dr. Monea kept her three optometry practices running throughout the pandemic and walked the walk alongside her staff on the front lines. She has always dressed for the office like she was heading to opening night of the hottest theatrical ticket in town and continues to do so. Her looks are part of her mission to bring joy to her patients at a time when many are struggling with their mental health. “That’s why I called my book This Party Called Life, because we have to take the time to make sure that we know every single day is special,” she says. Therein lies perhaps the most convincing point for why style continues to matter: if you’re someone

who enjoys dressing for self-expression, there’s no freedom in not caring. Rather, it’s like watching your favourite movie with all the best parts blanked out. Tara Cowles says her style “relaxed” somewhat during lockdown periods last year, though for her that translated to YSL leopard-print booties rather than stilettos with her leather pants. The lack of opportunity to get dressed up and hit the town in one of the many fabulous designer pieces in her extensive closet inspired Cowles and her husband to host virtual dinner parties where dressing to the nines wasn’t a suggestion. “We actually said to people, ‘this is a dinner party, so you’re not allowed to come in your sweatpants and no makeup to dinner,’” she says. Her beauty routine, of course, has remained constant, even while working from home. “Doing makeup every day is still important to me to feel like

me,” she says. “I enjoy doing makeup and trying different colours. It’s still a part of who I am.” What those who call for an end to fashion are missing is that great personal style isn’t just window dressing, it’s an expression of what’s inside. Just as an artist shouldn’t stop creating art just because the gallery closes, personal style doesn’t just disappear when there’s nowhere to show off an outfit. “For me, and I know for a lot of fashionistas and stylists in the city, our wardrobes are our creative outlet,” Roth says. “And so, for those individuals who are not in fashion, this is a great way to try that out and have that freeing creative experience.” These days, you’ll find Roth pairing her sweatpants with heels and a trench coat. And jewellery. Lots of jewellery. “I still wear all my rings,” she says. “When you’re on FaceTime, if you’re a hand talker like me those rings really sparkle.” avenuecalgary.com







A guide to Japanese cuisine beyond sushi and ramen and where to get it in Calgary.



orth Americans often pigeonhole Japanese food as sushi and ramen, but this is a very limited view of such a rich and varied cuisine. It is estimated that there over 30 food genres in Japan, ranging from convenience-store fare to multicourse fine-dining culinary experiences designed to honour nature through complex technique. Japan’s culinary scene is highly respected internationally. In recent years, Tokyo has been recognized as the most Michelin-starred city in the world, with awards given to restaurants of different categories and price point. Here in Calgary, the variety of Japanese restaurants has also grown, with options that include katsu, Japanese curries, yakitori, “sandos” (sandwiches) and more. Here are a few popular genres of Japanese gastronomy to check out locally and 12 restaurants where you can find them.



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J A PA N E S E GRILLING ith the popularity of grilled meat dishes in Japan, it’s hard to believe there was once a 1,200-year ban on eating meat. In 675 AD, Emperor Tenmu, a devout Buddhist, decreed the killing and consumption of animals to be taboo for religious reasons, and the ban was only officially lifted in the mid-19th century. The aroma of meat cooking over high heat is undeniably enticing, and Japanese cooking uses various grilling techniques and ingredients to coax out as much flavour as possible. Yakitori literally translates to “grilling (yaki) bird (tori),” and refers to skewers of seasoned chicken grilled over charcoal or flame. It’s common in Japan to stop for a beer and snack of yakitori as a way to decompress from the workday before heading home for dinner. In Calgary, Ke Charcoal Grill & Sushi has one of the largest selections of yakitori skewers in the city, using many different parts of the chicken, as well as other proteins, seafood and vegetables. The late-night yakitori specials have also made Ke an after-shift gathering spot for the hospitality industry. Teppanyaki is the style of Japanese cooking that uses a large, flat grill. At Omo Teppan & Kitchen guests are treated to an interactive dining experience watching teppanyaki chefs cook their meal with showy flair moves and tricks. While the multi-course teppan meals offer guests a choice of protein, owner Eric Sit is especially proud of the restaurant’s beef offerings. “We are the only restaurant in Alberta that serves both authentic Miyazaki A5 Japanese wagyu, as well as Brant Lake Wagyu, which is the highestrated steak in Alberta,” Sit says. Binchotan refers to the type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese grilling. As its name implies, Bincho Sushi & Izakaya has a wide variety of charcoal-grilled dishes on the menu, along with sushi and drinks. Bincho’s skewer varieties include negima (chicken thigh and green onion) and mochi bacon, a skewer of chewy rice cakes wrapped in bacon and grilled with Bincho’s house sauce.


K E C H A R C O A L G R IL L & S U S H I 1501 15 Ave. S.W., 403-283-3288 kecharcoalgrill.com, @kecharcoal O M O T E P P A N & K IT C H E N 5222 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-764-3222 omoyyc.com, @omoyyc B IN C H O S U S H I & IZ A K AYA 2204 4 St. S.W., 403 -457-8887 binchoizakaya.business.site, @binchoyyc OMO TEPPAN & KITCHEN




K O JI K AT S U 106, 1111 6 Ave. S.W., 587-664-7001 kojikatsu.ca, @koji.tonkatsu KOJI KATSU




n Japan, it’s common to find katsu — deep-fried breaded cutlet — served in a variety of ways, including with sides of rice and cabbage salad, on Japanese curry, or sandwiched between bread as a katsu “sando.” Katsu is the shortened form of katsuretsu, a generic word that means “cutlet.” A great katsu has light, crispy breading, while the meat retains its juiciness. Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) is the most popular form of katsu. At Koji Katsu, each cut of meat is brine-cured to lock in flavour and moisture, tenderized to the perfect thickness, then breaded in fresh panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Owner Eric Jung serves a variety of katsu dishes. For customers who have a hard time choosing, his “special mix katsu” includes samples of hire katsu (pork tenderloin), cheese katsu (pork deep fried with mozzarella cheese) and ebi katsu (prawn). 34

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K AT S U T E N 3220 28 St. S.W., 403-475-1677 katsuten.ca, @katsuten_calgary F I R S T AV E N U E C O R N E R S T O R E 824 1 Ave. N.E. shiki-menya.myshopify.com @firstavenuecornerstore

Siblings Jisun, Nahyun and Sunchul Lee started Katsuten in 2016 to introduce katsu to Calgarians. The katsu of their upbringing was not a heavy dish and could be eaten almost daily. The Lees use Glamorgan Bakery breadcrumbs for a light and crispy breading. The menu includes dishes such as katsu don, a pork-loin cutlet served atop rice with egg, onion and pickled ginger. Koki Aihara, owner of Shiki Menya, launched First Avenue Corner Store in 2020, a relaxed takeout joint inspired by the Japanese conbini (convenience store) culture. “I wanted convenience store vibes,” Aihara says. “Japanese convenience-store food is actually good. I wanted to build a grab-and-go-style place that serves good food and minimizes wait times.” The focus at First Avenue Corner Store is on Japanese “sandos” (soft, crustless sandwiches) with a variety of fillings including pork katsu, Flamin’ Cheeto chicken katsu and wagyu menchikatsu.

I Z A K AYA he word izakaya is a combination of the words i (stay) and sakaya (sake store) and refers to bars where the Japanese go to catch up with friends over drinks and kobachi (small plates). Japanese izakaya culture is social and fun, while the kobachi are designed for sharing and to accompany alcoholic drinks such as sake, whisky, beer or cocktails. The extensive menu at Japanese Cuisine Daruma highlights a variety of izakaya-style dishes. Chef and owner Atsushi Hayashi aims to broaden awareness of Japanese cuisine by offering a wide range of small, shareable menu items so that customers can try various dishes over the course of a meal. Some of the kobachi offerings at Daruma include nasu hasami age (eggplant tempura with beef-patty stuffing) and kimpira gobo (thinly sliced burdock root braised in sesame and soy), as well as the popular takoyaki, flour-battered and deep-fried balls made with octopus and vegetables. During the 13 years that Shibuya Izakaya has been in business, it has developed a substantial menu to complement its beer and sake lists. Named after Shibuya Station, a vibrant nightlife district in Tokyo, this Calgary izakaya has a loyal following that keeps coming back for the beef tataki, creamy yaki udon and the black cod saikyo, a dish of grilled buttery Alaskan black cod marinated in a miso sauce. Ke Charcoal Grill & Sushi owner Terry Ke opened Ikusa Izakaya & Tokyo Market in 2020. Ikusa’s menu features stone plate grilling, an interactive experience wherein guests are given a hot stone for their table to grill selected proteins from a menu that includes wagyu, duck and lamb. Ikusa also serves fresh oyster platters, which pair well with the selections on the sake list.


J A P A NE S E C U IS IN E D A R U M A 630 1 Ave. N.E., 587-352-7568 darumacalgary.com, @daruma_calgary S H IB U YA IZ A K AYA 449 16 Ave. N.E., 403-277-8823 shibuya-izakaya-calgary.com, @shibuyaizakayacalgary I K U S A I Z A K AYA & T O K Y O M A R K E T 903 General Ave. N.E. ikusaizakaya.com, @ikusa_izakaya







WESTERN-INFLUENCED J A PA N E S E C U I S I N E estern gastronomy has played a major role in Japan’s culinary scene. Within Japanese cuisine there are two major distinctions: washoku, referring to dishes made using traditional Japanese technique passed down through generations; and yoshoku, referring to Japanese dishes that have evolved from Western influences or origins. Not to be confused with dishes from other countries that are available in Japan, yoshoku dishes are considered part of Japanese cuisine and are often considered comfort foods. Here in Calgary, Respect the Technique is the brainchild of Kaede Hirooka and Jonathan Chung, chefs who are passionate about showcasing the diversity of Japanese cuisine through popup dining events and private classes. “Yoshoku is Japanese soul food,” Hirooka says. “In a way, we like to think we are pushing the concept of yoshoku further with an emphasis on incorporating Canadian ingredients.” Examples of this include Alberta quail katsu, B.C. “cherryaki” chicken and mentaiko brandade. Japanese curry is another yoshoku dish. Introduced to Japan by British expats, over time this Westernized style of curry has evolved into a popular Japanese comfort dish. In Calgary, Redheads Japa Cafe is well known for its curries, such as katsu curry, Hamburg curry, and karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) curry. Another yoshoku offering at



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Redheads is the “Japa burger” made with Japanesestyle fried chicken. For nearly a decade, Calgarians have enjoyed Japanese-Italian fusion dishes at Carino on 4th Street S.W. Carino’s dishes are not technically of the yoshoku genre, rather, the blend of Italian cuisine with Japanese ingredients has been referred to as “Japalian.” Chef and owner Toshi Karino’s creations are robust in flavour: the spicy wagyu Bolognese ramen is a must try, as is the agedashi mozzarella, a reimagined version of the sushi restaurant staple agedashi tofu using the ubiquitous Italian cheese. An experienced wine director, Karino has also curated an impressive wine and sake list to pair with his unique fusion menu.

R E S P E C T TH E TE C H N I Q U E respectthetechnique.com @respectthetechniqueyyc REDHEADS JAPA CAFE 105, 638 11 Ave. S.W., 403-532-0600 redheadscafe.com @redheadscafe CARINO 2210 4 St. S.W., 403-454-7668 eatcarino.com, @eatcarino

SHIRATAMA PARFAIT AT TSUJIRI The Japanese adore the combination of matcha (powdered green tea leaves) and red bean. In this dessert, Tsujiri’s signature matcha and vanilla soft serve is paired with chewy shiratama (mochi balls) and sweet red bean. 205 16 Ave. N.E., 403-454-4488, tsujirialberta.com @tsujiri_alberta

MOCHI DONUTS AT AMAIDO CAFE Amaido’s delicious doughnuts incorporate the addictive chewy texture of Japanese mochi with interesting flavours such as London Fog, cereal milk and Vietnamese coffee. 105, 128 2 Ave. S.E., 587-9177002, amaidocafe.com, @amaidocafe

TAIYAKI WITH SOFT SERVE AT UZU TAIYAKI Head to Chinatown for this fun and photogenic treat, which features a fish-shaped waffle cone filled with rotating flavours of soft-serve ice cream. 110 2 Ave S.E., 403-560-5928, @uzutaiyaki

CUSTARD PURIN MIX FROM TRUE WORLD FOODS This popular Japanese dessert gets its name from the English word “pudding” and is like an instant crème caramel. It’s also super easy to make at home: mix the purin powder with milk and put it in the fridge to set. 1826 25 Ave. N.E., 403-2354024, trueworldfoods.ca, @trueworldfoodscalgary


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C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: H I K E R S A T G W I L L I M L A K E S I N V A L H A L L A P R O V I N C I A L P A R K , C Y C L I S T S O N T H E S L O C A N V A L L E Y R A I L T R A I L , R U I N S I N T H E G H O S T T O W N O F C O D Y, S T I L L - S T A N D I N G B U I L D I N G S I N T H E G H O S T T O W N O F S A N D O N , L A K E S I D E L O U N G I N G A T N A K U S P I N T H E N O R T H E R N P A R T O F T H E S L O C A N V A L L E Y.


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T he r ugge d Sloc an Valle y is the u l t imate ge taway for thos e s e eking to re c harge in nature .

Lake at the north end of the valley or South Slocan in the southern part of the valley. Regardless of where you start, when you arrive, expect the world to slow down. Bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore.

P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y K A R I M E D I G ; M E G A N M C L E L L A N ; F I E L D A N D F O R E S T. C O ; A N D R E W P E N N E R


etting off the grid. Hiding out. Losing yourself. Given the times, these desires have gained some momentum. But you can’t achieve these things if you’re fighting for air amongst crowds of other peace-seeking pilgrims. You need space. Quiet trails. Abandoned places. Remote beaches and creekside campsites where only a few of your fellow humans are also hunkering down. British Columbia’s West Kootenays were carved out for such a purpose, however, you’re not going to find what you seek in a happening spot like Nelson. You’ll have to dig deeper, specifically, the area deep in the West Kootenays known as the Slocan Valley. Cutting through the Selkirk Mountains, the 105-kilometre-long Slocan Valley is a region of exquisite natural beauty. Lakes shimmer. Icy-topped mountains tower. Little lakeside towns, once thriving with miners seeking silver and gold, are now sparsely populated and serene. There’s neither hustle nor bustle these days in the Slocan Valley. Not surprisingly, you’ve got to work a bit to get there. From Calgary, it’s approximately a seven-hour drive to reach either Summit

Whether you’re a flip-flop-wearing wanderer or a hard-core trekker, there is a hiking trail (or a hundred) for you in the Slocan Valley. Calling this region the epicentre of backcountry adventure in B.C. isn’t far off: Valhalla Provincial Park, a 30-km swath of wilderness on the western side of Slocan Lake, is a veritable backcountry Disneyland. Access is via rough logging roads or a boat ride, so do your homework and come prepared. A couple of signature hikes in Valhalla Provincial Park include Gwillim Lakes, a difficult but spectacular 12-km trek showcasing majestic tarns that reflect the jagged peaks, and Gimli Ridge, a nine-km stunner that gains approximately 900 metres of elevation. Camping is free in this park and accessed on a first-come, first-served basis. Even though the park is relatively new — it was established in 1983 — Valhalla has already achieved legendary status among wilderness enthusiasts. Consider every blister you get there a badge of honour. If you prefer your hiking (or cycling) adventures blister-free, explore the Slocan Valley Rail Trail, a 52-km gem with a number of access points along the way so you can tailor the grunt factor (level of difficulty) to your ability. The beautiful 16.5-km stretch between Crescent Valley and Passmore is perhaps the most popular section of the trail, with its scenery of bucolic farms and rugged shorelines where you can discover numerous secluded beaches. avenuecalgary.com




B.C. Highway 31A, a 46-km stretch of road between New Denver and Kaslo, is one of the best places to explore if you’re drawn to stories of the supernatural. Abandoned mining towns and rusted ruins litter this area. Unquestionably, the highlight is Sandon. Once the booming brothel- and saloonendowed capital of the “Silvery Slocan,” Sandon was, in its 1890s heyday, home to more than 5,000 people. Prospectors and prostitutes flocked there in droves while silver was king. But fires and floods, along with a collapse of silver prices, all combined to bring Sandon crashing down in the early 1900s. Today, the town is a whisper of what it once was — just the old city hall is still standing, along with a few ramshackle buildings and ruins. Just over one km from Sandon down a rough forest trail, the nearly gone town of Cody is another place where you might find a few ghosts lurking around. Tread carefully.

S I LV E R T O N , T H E A D V E N T U R E D O M E S I N N E W D E N V E R .



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If you’re into Big Macs, Baconators and Blizzards, you’re going to have a tough time eating your way through the Slocan Valley. Otherwise, there are ample opportunities to fill up on farm-fresh local fare. The popular New Denver Friday Market, held weekly on Fridays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from the beginning of June through the end of September, will give you a taste of the region’s healthy and holistic ways. And, if you’re in or around Winlaw on a Sunday, check out The Valley Kitchen’s local food market. Other eateries offering mouth-watering fare include Silverton Camp Cafe in Silverton, Sanderella’s in New Denver and Frog Peak Café in Crescent Valley (get the eggs Benny).

By now you’ve probably gathered that Hyatts or Hiltons will not be part of the itinerary on your Slocan Valley adventure: #vanlife, crashing a wilderness hippy commune or bedding down in a yurt are more the style around these parts. For those in search of conventional camping, look up Summit Lake Provincial Park or Rosebery Provincial Park. For an eclectic stay, the Adventure Domes in New Denver are cozy domed cabins that are truly unique. As far as communes go, just dig around a bit and something’s bound to turn up. It’s the Kootenays, after all. For the most up-to-date information about interprovincial travel restrictions due to COVID-19 visit hellobc.com.

P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F E N D L E S S A D V E N T U R E ; M I T C H W I N T O N ; K O O T E N AY R O C K I E S T O U R I S M

Along with hiking and ghost towns, the Slocan Valley’s calling card is crystal-clear waters — some of the prettiest lakes, rivers and waterfalls your eyes will ever see. There are countless opportunities to enjoy these idyllic bodies of water, such as paddling the remote west bank of Slocan Lake via kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe, either as a day trip or as a multi-day adventure that involves camping out on remote beaches For an adrenaline-charged adventure, the Slocan River’s class I, II and III rapids offer a thrilling whitewater experience. The 80-km section between Slocan and Crescent Valley is a full-day adventure for paddlers of an intermediate to expert level. Due to its many access points, the trip can also be tailored for a half-day or even just a couple of hours. For gear rentals or guiding services (highly recommended, especially if your group includes less-experienced paddlers) visit Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley — their guided inflatable kayak trip is a great option for paddling newbies. If you just want to see an awesome waterfall, Wilson Creek Falls in New Denver is a short and sweet 2.5-km there-and-back hike with a thundering cascade as a reward.

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The custom-made kitchen island features a sink and counter at standard height and a sink and counter at a lowered height to suit the mobility needs of both homeowners. 42

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Expansive floor space in the halls and in between rooms allows homeowner Dayle Sheehan to easily navigate the home in a wheelchair.



ACCESS Interior designer Dayle Sheehan’s Willow Park home shows that accessible design is beautiful design.


t 16 years old, Dayle Sheehan was dreaming about the high heels she was going to wear to her graduation. But within a few months, she was readjusting to life in a wheelchair following complications from a surgery. Sheehan has used a wheelchair ever since. Her parents made quick work of renovating their home to make it accessible, adding chairlifts and lowering sinks, features that became Sheehan’s new normal. She would go on to get her degree in social work. “But then I got out of college and realized the world does not work very well for people in wheelchairs,” she says. Armed with her personal experience with accessibility and a love for all things design, Sheehan went back to school for interior design. After graduating from QC Design School in 2005, she launched Dayle Sheehan Interior Design. avenuecalgary.com



Clockwise from top The living room includes a “traffic pattern” so Sheehan can do a full loop of the room. Sheehan used classic black and white accessories throughout. Touches of gold are featured all over the home, in decor pieces such as this chest from Home Sense. The dining room is big enough for a 10-person table with space around it so Sheehan can easily get by. 44

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Sheehan (who was part of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2020) has since designed homes for people of all abilities. Through her company’s DSID Gives Back program, she provides free design consultations to families in need of more accessibility in their homes. “When you lose mobility in your life, you almost have to create it,” she says. “You lose the ability to stand up and walk across the room to get what you need, and there’s a kind of sadness that goes along with that. If I can hand that back to somebody, it’s the best gift.” Sheehan drew on her skillset to renovate her own home in Willow Park. She and her fiancé Darren Britton completed the renovation two years ago, after an exhaustive search to find the right space. “We’d almost given up on finding a house because we looked for a year and literally had no options,” Sheehan recalls. But when they first passed through the threshold of the 1972 bungalow they now call home, they looked at each other and said: “This is it.” The home had everything Sheehan and Britton needed to make it work within their budget, including a wide front entry, a level back entry and a large ensuite bathroom. They removed a wall separating the original kitchen and dining room to create a large, open-concept kitchen, then transformed the adjacent family room into the dining room. The expansive space allows them to host family and friends around a 10-person table with enough room around it for Sheehan to pass by in her wheelchair. Sheehan used touches of gold throughout the home to provide contrast with the black and white accessories. She outfitted the kitchen with pull-out cupboards and what she jokingly describes as a “his and hers” kitchen island: the 10-foot-long island has a section at standard height for Britton and a lowered section for Sheehan, complete with an accessible sink. “A well-designed home should work for everybody,” Sheehan says. “Accessible design and beautiful design are achievable at the same time. The balance between form and function actually creates the best design.”

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TIPS FOR U N I V E R S A L LY APPEALING S PA C E S Interior designer Dayle Sheehan is an expert in creating universal design solutions for homes. Here are some of her top tips for designing accessible spaces. BE AVANT-GARDE “Think of your design selections as a way to create an interesting and unorthodox space while specifically meeting your accessibility needs. A great example of this is using a single basin sink and mounting the faucet on the side for easier access. This design choice still meets the needs of other users in the home, including children who are looking for independence, making it the definition of universal design.” IF YOU CAN’T FIND IT, BUILD IT “If there isn’t a product in the market that meets your needs, design it yourself. In my home, and in many of my clients’ homes, I’ve worked with welders and fabricators to use materials like quartz and marble to create custom accessibility solutions, like my bath bench, which is as beautiful as it is functional.” FINISH STRONG “Mobility aids can [track in] a lot of the outdoors. In high-traffic areas, choose hardwood stained in natural and neutral tones in a matte or semi-gloss finish to hide imperfections.” 46

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Clockwise from top: The homeowners used space that was originally a third bedroom to create a large closet for the main bedroom.

The original ensuite bathroom was wide enough to accommodate Sheehan’s wheelchair. The couple added a makeup counter and a custom-made bathing bench.

Sheehan believes that “every generation has room for black and white accessories.” She also used gold accents throughout the home.

SOURCE Interior design by Dayle Sheehan Interior Design, 403-200-8131, daylesheehaninteriordesign.com Contract renovation work by TD Renovations & Construction, 403-819-4279, tdrenovation.com Kitchen cabinets by TD Renovations & Construction Pendant lights from Wayfair, wayfair.ca Decorative items from Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com Espresso machine by Nespresso, nespresso.com Entryway bench from HomeSense, seven Calgary-area locations, homesense.ca Rug from Simons, The Core Shopping Centre, 403-697-1840, simons.ca Wall art from HomeSense Living room accent chair from HomeSense Sofa and chaise from Hudson’s Bay, five Calgary locations, thebay.com Black-and-white pillow from Hermès, inside Holt Renfrew, The Core Shopping Centre, 403-767-9100, hermes.com Gold pillow from Target (no longer operates in Canada) Throw from Structube, six Calgary locations, structube.com Accent table from HomeSense Coffee table from Revolve Furnishings, 7070 11 St. S.E., 403-253-2838, revolvefurnishings.com Art and lamp from HomeSense Dining-room light fixture from HomeSense Grey velvet dining chairs from Wayfair Wingback chair from Z Gallerie, zgallerie.com Dining table accents from Silk Plant Warehouse, 6108 Centre St. S., 403-252-8282, silkplantwarehouse.ca Dining room art and decor from HomeSense and Nordstrom, CF Chinook Centre, 587-291-2000, nordstrom.ca Stick sculpture from HomeSense Mirrored chest from HomeSense Bedside tables repurposed from the Fairmont Banff Springs Lamps from HomeSense Headboard from Wayfair Bedding from IKEA, 8000 11 St. S.E., ikea.com Pillows from Target and HomeSense Art from Z Gallerie Rug from IKEA Ensuite tile from King’s Flooring Solutions, 403-255-5747, kingsflooring.ca Custom bath bench designed by Dayle Sheehan, fabricated by Fab Shop Custom Fabrication, 4660 54 Ave. S.E., 403-8133983, fabshopyyc.com; and Crown Granite & Marble, 3519 62 Ave. S.E., 403-457-3031, crowntops.ca Art from Leftbank Art, leftbankart.com Decorative perfume bottle from Z Gallerie Other bathroom decor from Nordstrom



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he University of Calgary is training the next generation of city builders. From business and engineering to social work, public health, the humanities and social sciences, students across every faculty are learning how to help create great communities. This includes the things we would expect such as economic prosperity, vibrant public spaces and green areas, good transportation, and safe neighborhoods. But it also means creating a future that is environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and infectious disease resilient. Across the campus, researchers are looking at these issues and empowering students to think big. The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape is at the centre of the action. “Our



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students work with researchers and industry professionals on real-life projects in design studio courses, hands-on building projects and community planning studios,” says John Brown, Dean of the School. “We believe in experiential work integrated learning. By connecting directly with communities, the work our students do can actually have an immediate impact.” To underscore this commitment, the University collaborated with the City to open the City Building Design Lab in the former central library building across the street from City Hall. The facility includes studio workspaces, a digital robotic fabrication lab, an exhibition gallery and event space. The CBDLab currently houses 15 city building research projects and, in the year

Architecture students working on robotic fabrication mock-up Architecture student assembling design/build project Architecture student project Calgarians attending downtown sketchcrawl event Architecture student fabrication project Landscape architecture student design project

before the pandemic, hosted over 7,500 professionals and members of the public at 150 city building events. “University of Calgary students aren’t just imagining a reinvigorated Calgary; they are designing it. From creating an interactive canopy at a bus stop and increasing safety in the downtown core, to using robots to recycle old building parts, these innovators are contributing to a brighter future. Their leadership offers many benefits to our community. With a sustainable, welcoming, safe, and inclusive built environment, our city will enjoy greater economic activity, a revitalized core, and a bustling tourism industry,” states President Ed McCauley.


From creating a home office that inspires productivity to finding the perfect paint colour to boost your mood, local experts share their tips for optimizing your space.

With the onset of the pandemic, Calgarians are spending more time at home than ever before, which means it’s easy to focus on those lingering home issues you’ve been meaning to fix with the perfect reno — but just haven’t gotten to yet. If anything, the last year has proved that a kitchen table is a less-than-ideal office space, a too-small living room can cause conflict and beige and grey tones throughout the whole house aren’t doing anything to lift spirits. Here, local experts weigh in on the latest renovation and design trends for 2021, so you can create the home of your dreams.



THE YEAR OF THE PERFECT HOME OFFICE Adding house plants to the home office is another popular office design trend this year. “Incorporating plants into the office redesign — or even just adding inspiring items from travels or photographs — is a nice way to keep the space feeling really comfortable so that you can focus and work,” Tsang says. “Don’t be afraid to decorate your home workspace as you would your office away from home.”

The last year has led to a lot of lifestyle changes, including having to reconsider how our homes function; for many, homes are no longer just places to unwind and relax. Neil Bailey, visionary and owner of the renovation and design company LD&A, says many Calgarians are now rethinking how to elevate their homes to adapt to changing circumstances and become better multi-functional spaces. “We help our clients optimize every inch of space. We help them see past how their home has always been and focus on how it could be,” says Bailey. In particular, as more Calgarians than ever are working from home, many are seeing the benefits of an improved home office. In fact, 2021 may just be the year of designing the perfect home office. Lindsey Tsang, design lead at LD&A, has noticed several design trends as more Calgarians create dedicated home offices that inspire productivity and focus. Coming off the heels of 2020, Tsang is seeing more homeowners incorporating bold colours. “There’s desire to add excitement through paint, wallpaper, furniture, or even cabinetry. For the past several years, colour trends went in the opposite direction: rooms were much more grey or neutral. Your home office isn’t your living room or bedroom, so you can be a little bit fun with it,” says Tsang, adding that now is the time to add pops of your favourite colour instead of opting for a taupe or beige.


As well as building an office around windows and natural light where possible and focusing on adding warm task lighting, creating the perfect home office in 2021 also involves considering adaptability and flexibility. For Calgarians living in smaller spaces where a home office has to act as a multi-functional space, this is especially true. As such, Tsang suggests clearly dividing spaces for productivity. “It is important that when you are done work, you can put it out of your mind. Having a partition that can slide in front of your workspace can be an interesting decorative element in a room and provide that visual break,” says Tsang. “You can get creative with a metal trellis or even a piece of artwork.” Regardless of how much space your home has, Tsang says it’s more than possible to design an office that is both a productive place to get work done and a comfortable spot to unwind.


HERE’S TO THE HOMEBODIES As busy parents to three young kids, our Parkland clients desired a home where their family could relax and recharge. After completing a basement renovation with LD&A in 2017, they asked us to reimagine the main floor of their 1970’s-era residence. The mission? To carve out separate spaces that had clearly defined functions. With cooking high on the list of popular activities, our clients now have a large, thoughtful kitchen where multiple sous chefs can wield their culinary skills. And there are plenty of quieter spaces if a peaceful retreat is preferred. When asked about their favourite part of the reno, dad quickly replies, “Pretty much all of it!” He’s pleased to watch his kids naturally use each area in the way it was envisioned. In an unprecedented year, where we’ve transformed our houses into temporary offices and classrooms, it’s nice to still feel like there is truly no place like home.



MORE SPACE, LESS MESS As many of us are trying to work, home school and relax in the same space, finding a way to incorporate an extra room in your home, and gaining a little additional privacy, might be appealing. But renovating your home’s interior to gain that extra space — and going through the noise and mess of that renovation — might not make sense right now.

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Jason Fisher sees a creative solution as a 2021 design trend: adding an entirely new space outside the existing home’s foundation. Fisher is the founder and owner of Urban Shed, a Calgary-based business that builds, designs and installs stand-alone structures — most commonly used as home offices — in homeowners’ backyards. Homeowners get additional square footage without the hassle or mess of an extensive renovation inside the home; Urban Shed gives homeowners an additional 100- to 200-square feet of living space on average and can be installed in less than two weeks. “Your family will benefit by not having your home be the centre of an invasive, dusty and noisy construction project,” says Fisher. He adds that popular design components for Urban Shed clients this year include transom windows, cedar accents and luxury flooring. While backyard offices offer an easy commute and distractionfree workspace for the work-from-home professional, this isn’t a pandemic-only design trend. “An Urban Shed can be so much more [than a home office],” says Fisher. “When career plans change, these can be repurposed into art or fitness studios or hangouts for teenagers. Or they [build in a] Murphy bed, making it an auxiliary sleeping space for guests on the weekend. Everyone gets their own space, and everybody is happy.”


Renovating your home to reflect your specific tastes and needs means feeling even more comfortable in your space. Brody Haugrud, business director at CDL Carpet & Floor Centre, says that taking the time to renovate thoughtfully is a form of self-care. But feeling good about renovating goes beyond the planning and the personalizing; it also includes who you choose to work with. According to Haugrud, an ongoing trend he’s seen is homeowners choosing to support local suppliers. “When you choose to support a specialized local company, you’re getting the assistance of someone who knows what they’re talking about,” says Haugrud. “You’ll get a better understanding of what is trending when you visit local suppliers, and knowledgeable staff in specialized stores can tell you what will work better for certain spaces.” Haugrud adds that specialized knowledge is how CDL can advise its customers that natural tones and organic floors with less stain are trending among Calgary homeowners this year. Making sustainable choices is trending this year, too. And going green is something homeowners can feel good about. “Buyers wanting to go the green route will consider how something is made and its effect on the environment,” says Haugrud. “For flooring, hardwood is probably the most ecofriendly [choice], especially compared to a luxury vinyl. And there are hardwoods that are naturally finished with a mineral staining.” And a renovated home you love will never go out of style.



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FUNCTION AND STYLE AT YOUR KITCHEN’S CORE With many Calgarians requiring more versatility from their homes, Caesarstone’s quartz countertops help create beautiful, peaceful spaces built to take on everything thrown at them. “Our countertops and our kitchens have become more of a focal point over this last year,” says Elizabeth Margles, vice president of marketing for Caesarstone North America and Latin America. “You could be proofing your sourdough bread on the counter; you could be doing your homework, you could be working from home, you could be gaming, you could look over your shoulder and maybe see your toddler’s licking up the ice cream they spilled on the countertop. Throughout it all, you can have peace of mind knowing Caesarstone countertops are super hygienic and can handle anything you throw at them.” Established in 1987, Caesarstone is the global pioneer of quartz countertops. It uses the strong mineral to create an array of finishes to suit any kitchen, washroom, laundry room or even outdoor space, all while maintaining a human touch and attention to detail that ensures the natural beauty of each countertop shines through. Caesarstone continues to innovate year over year by introducing new collections that offer timeless design while also reflecting the state of the world. Inspired by the changes the past year presented, 2021’s Whitelight Collection aims to foster a bright and warm feel through serene neutrals. Margles explains that the collection taps into a sentiment of cleanliness. The bright finishes allow you to see what’s on your counter and in your personal space, which is


important for people committed to keeping their homes neat and tidy. From the luxurious simplicity of “Vivid White,” to the misty white base and subtle strokes of veining on “Aterra Blanca,” to the elegant interlacing jade and copper veins in the marble-like “Arbetto”, the collection of seven white-toned finishes creates a diverse, clean and bright feel. “We wanted to ‘Caesarstone it,’” explains Margles. “We didn’t want colours to be clinical; we didn’t want them to be sterile — people want to feel comfort in their homes, and they still want to have visual interest, and they still want it to be design forward.” Caesarstone’s countertops are nonporous, meaning they never need to be sealed or resealed. They’re also scratch-resistant and host no bacteria, mildew or mold. Cleaning is low maintenance because the surfaces are impervious to staining — wiping with water and soap or vinegar usually does the trick. If counters end up with blemishes beyond fixing with a simple tidy, chances are the team at Caesarstone has seen the issue before and knows how to solve it. Plus, a lifetime warranty guarantees your countertops stay pristine. If you’re ready to reimagine your kitchen, Margles suggests using countertops as the jumping off point. “Changing your countertop can completely change the vibe of your kitchen, the look of your kitchen and the mood of your kitchen,” says Margles. “It can really serve as both the design star and the function star.”

5112 Aterra Blanca


Whitelight Collection

Bring the earth into your home with our new 2021 white colours

A series of four nature-inspired lighter colours that are washed in white and wrapped in the smoothness of a stone. It’s a mark of our craftsmanship and care, carefully passing from us to you.


LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE Renovations and redesigns enhance your space, but filling those renovated rooms with beautiful and functional objects is what turns a house into a welcoming home. “After going through a huge renovation process, the final touches and the styling of the furniture are critical,” says Jeff Goth, vice-president of Dekora, Canada’s leading home staging company. “We all want to be comfortable and cozy. But often, after people spend time and money renovating, they bring in their old furniture, and it just doesn’t make the cut.” Staging is the art of strategically placing furniture, art and other accessories to optimize a home’s look, function and feel. In the past, Dekora primarily offered its home staging services to people selling their homes. But in recent years, the business has experienced a new demand: clients want its home staging services and goods to refresh their existing spaces. Clients love how inviting Dekora’s staging makes for-sale homes look and are using that expertise to make their own newly renovated homes equally inviting. “The finishing touches matter so much,” Goth says, explaining the trend of working with a professional. “Understanding furniture layout and how to style a home are essential to getting the most out of your renovation.”

Goth says Calgarians are gravitating toward home styling that is more relaxed than traditional interior design approaches. “More layering, more stuff, a more eclectic feel and a relaxation of design ‘rules’ can go really poorly if it’s not well-executed. I think people are responding positively to that warm, eclectic feel, but that’s hard to do well without a professional,” says Goth. At the end of the day, Goth says getting help with the important finishing touches “is all about creating a lived-in, loved feel.”








thing’s end (Eau Claire - red), thing’s end (Eau Claire - yellow)

thing’s end


(Eau Claire - red), thing’s end



avenue April 21


James Carl

(Eau Claire - yellow) widdling a rubber band will never be the same once you see the smart, sassy sculptures by artist James Carl in the airy lobby of Eau Claire Tower. The surfaces of the enigmatically titled thing’s end (Eau Claire - red) and thing’s end (Eau Claire - yellow) mimic the texture of the everyday rubber bands we all have stashed in a drawer somewhere, with the elegant restraint and satisfying proportions of a steel sculptural form that is both minimal and monumental. Toronto-based Carl is one of Canada’s leading sculptors, known for his playful use of unconventional materials, his impeccable craftsmanship and his far-reaching intellect. Carl introduced the first iteration of thing’s end in a retrospective exhibition organized by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery of the University of Toronto in 2009. Rubber bands have been around for 175 years. Carl’s project had him handmaking hundreds of rubber band look-alikes out of polymer clay. When he applied the concept to large public commissions, he required the same level of precision from fabricators to make the pieces on a grand scale. A giant blue version stands outside the Festival Tower in Toronto and there is a gargantuan one in Wuhan, China. The red and yellow thing’s end sculptures at Eau Claire Tower were constructed in China, where their steel armatures were clad with steel plate, ground and hand-hammered, before being shipped to Calgary for finishing and painting. Eau Claire - red is a single, continuously curling band with three flexed loops, overlapping as if ready to spring, but



Hand-hammered stainless steel with autobody paint finish. SIZE

289.5 x 259 x 259 cm (red) 320 x 274 x 102 cm (yellow) LOCATION

Eau Claire Tower lobby, 600 3 Ave. S.W. NOTES

Commissioned by Oxford Property Group assisted by Art to Public art consultants. Raw steel forms fabricated in China; paint finish by South Pointe Collision Center, Calgary; installation by Reggin Industries, Calgary. James Carl is represented by Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto and locally by TrépanierBaer Gallery.

poised in a moment of balance, barely touching the floor. The swirling lines circumscribe a spherical space, suggesting the hinge of an opening clamshell where they intersect. The sculptures invite various experiences throughout the indoor plaza designed by B + H Archiects. From the Plus 15 level, the people below bustle like Lilliputians in relation to the Gulliver-scaled thing’s end (Eau Claire - red), while from the adjacent seating area, the sculpture feels enormous, as if the viewer is now Gulliver on the second leg of

his voyage into the land of giants. Thanks to the Pop artists of the 20th century, we’ve come to appreciate humble, everyday objects as grist for art. In the early 1970s, Sorel Etrog riffed on hardware screws to create the bronze Sadko (red) and Kabuki (yellow) for Calgary’s Bow Valley Square. With the introduction of this contemporary red and yellow duo into our urban space, Carl has added his own invitation to marvel and be inspired by something so everyday ordinary as a rubber band.



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