Avenue August 2018

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1320 Prospect Avenue SW, Calgary, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 5/1 6,001 SQ.FT. MLS C4181222

This magnificent home has just been totally gutted and renovated by well know Rockwood Homes.

Heather Waddell 403.471.0467


916 Elizabeth Road SW, Calgary, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 4/1 4,127 SQ.FT. MLS C4176031

As you approach and drive thru the gated entrance you get a sense of French Country.

Heather Waddell 403.471.0467


1216 Belavista Crescent SW, Chestermere, AB

BED: 5 BATH: 5/1 4,401 SQ.FT. MLS C4189819

Extraordinary home in Bel-Aire backing onto the Calgary G&CC. Luxury finishes throughout & private sprawling yard. Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112

176127 168 Avenue W, Rural Foothills M.D., AB

BED: 5 BATH: 5 5,529 SQ.FT. MLS C4189588

This impressive home, set on 4 acres, offers an Empire Kitchen, theatre room, indoor pool, wrap-around deck & more!


67 Lakeshore Drive, Lower Kananaskis Lake, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 2 3,383 SQ.FT. MLS C4119962 Mountain cabin along the shores of Kananasksis Lake less than an hour and a half from Calgary yet worlds away.

Christopher Vincent 403.707.8048


11 Mackenas Court, Springbank, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 4/2 3,458 SQ.FT. MLS C4186387

Stunning walk-out bungalow, 0.7 acre south-backing green space lot with mountain views, exceptional finishing quality & exclusive gated community.

Lisa Tomalin-Reeves 403.650.4353

Barb Richardson 403.613.8737



#100 178142 192 Street W, Priddis, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 4/1 4,547 SQ.FT. MLS C4189497 This home offers over 4,500 sq.ft of exceptional living space with complimentary outdoor patio set within a 9 acre private setting of mature landscapes.

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112

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587 East Chestermere Dr, Chestermere, AB

BED: 4 BATH: 4 2,331 SQ.FT. MLS C4190670

An amazing lakefront lifestyle with boating, swimming, paddle boarding, backyard fires, and sunsets over the lake.

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112


5 Wentworth Terrace SW, Calgary AB

BED: 4 BATH: 2/1 MLS C4191961

Spectacular south backing bungalow, triple attached garage, oversized corner lot in Wentworth Estates. Barb Richardson 403.613.8737

Jacqueline Thorogood 403.909.8766


#103 2815 17 Street SW, Calgary, AB

BED: 1 BATH: 1 535 SQ.FT. MLS C4186938

A fully renovated home located PuraVIDA on a quiet street walking distance to the shops & restaurants of Marda Loop.

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112

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25M+ Visits Annually 115M+ Page Views Annually sothebysrealty.com & sothebysrealty.ca 251201 Welland DriveNW, Rural Rocky View County, AB BED: 5 BATH: 3/3 8,487 SQ.FT. MLS 4131567 As you approach and drive thru the gated entrance you get a sense of French Country. Heather Waddell 403.471.0467 $8,900,000 NEW PRICE NEW PRICE Canadian Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. SOTHEBYSREALTY.CA Your best life begins with a home that inspires you. LIVE INSPIRED SOTHEBYSREALTY.CA CALGARY 403.254.5315 CANMORE 1.855.254.5315 VANCOUVER 604.632.3300 SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773 KELOWNA 1.877.530.3933 VICTORIA 250.380.3933 TORONTO 416.960.9995 MONTREAL 514.933.4777


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Best Neighbourhoods 2018

Our annual ranking of the city’s residential communities might surprise you — or not. Either way, you’ll want to read up on which neighbourhoods are hitting all the right notes, and why.


The Loneliness Epidemic

Research shows that acute loneliness isn’t just an individual concern, but something that affects everyone, as its effects extend into the health-care system and across other social milieux.


Local Spirits

There’s much ado about craft beer these days but local craft distillers are also making their mark and elevating Calgary’s cocktail culture. Find out more about the makers and brands that you need on your 100-mile bar cart.



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Avenue Calgary .com 15 THEIVY@BROOKFIELDRP.COM (403) 516-5950 Play areas & pathways to LOCAL AMENITIES Balconies & Garages PRIVATE Community Walk Score 90 and 23 CENTRAL COURTYARD INTELLIGENT LIVING Bedroom Townhomes








A local artist’s plan to master her craft is good news for art lovers on a tight budget. Plus, three experts on water conservation and protection share their insights about what we should be doing in Alberta, the GlobalFest fireworks by the numbers and a Canmore web series that hits close to home.

68 Profile: Jen Gerson

Whether you agree with her or disagree with her, if you care about politics you’re probably reading her. Find out more about the Calgary-based journalist and pundit whose voice has risen above the rabble.

74 Mountains

The Whyte Museum of the Rockies in Banff celebrates its 50th anniversary this year by paying tribute to the founding couple whose love and passion brought it to life.



The Calgary Women’s run turns 40 this month, making it one of the oldest events of its kind in the country. Spritely septuagenarian Mary Madeline White plans to be at the start line for the 34th time.

88 Style Statement

Dancer Rodney Diverlus on his eclectic personal style.

90 New & Noteworthy

Locally designed jeans and furniture, the arrival of a cult beauty brand at Hudson’s Bay and a workout based around a unique apparatus.



A stunning riverfront home with a curved ceiling makes waves architecturally, while on the inside it’s an effortless blend of luxury and easy-living.

92 The List

Danny Eisenberg, co-founder of Fuse33 Makerspace, on his favourite things about his adopted city.

16 avenueAUGUST.18 contents AUGUST 2018
Avenue Calgary .com 17 This is not an offering for sale. The Developer reserves the right to make changes and modifications to maintain the high standards of these homes. Prices are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E Your Best Value From Every Angle Now Over 60% Sold! Own With as Little as 5% Down, Move In Spring 2019. 2 Bed 2 Bath Homes From $375K with Underground Parking and Storage Invest in Bridgeland. Invest in Radius. Invest in Yourself. VISIT US TODAY! TWO NEW 2 BED SHOW SUITES VIEW PRICING AND AVAILABILITY ONLINE BUCCI.COM/RADIUS • 403.225.0023 3 - 88 9th Street NE CALGARY murdoch park edmonton trail 1STave. ne 9 th st. ne 9a th st. ne memorial dr. Radius features one, two and two bedroom plus den homes in a LEED Registered 7-storey concrete building, parkside in the heart of Bridgeland, with panoramic downtown views + a rooftop patio + an urban garden + concierge + parking with every home + dog wash station + 5-minute access to the CTrain and the river pathways + private yoga, spin and weight training studios + bike/ski workshop + more.

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Contributors Aldona Barutowicz, Marcello Di Cintio, Christina Frangou, Jennifer Friesen, Kait Kucy, Tyler Lemermeyer, Victoria Lessard, Katrina Martinez, Brendan Stephens, Katherine Ylitalo

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18 avenueAUGUST.18



There are so many neighbourhoods in Calgary we love, and we’re lucky enough to be able to specialize in a few of them. If these inner-city neighbourhoods are close to your heart, too, follow the links to learn more.






“Imoved a lot as a kid. Unfortunately not by choice, but by circumstance. When you can’t pay the rent or your neighbours call the police a lot, landlords can get pretty upset.” That’s just one of the topics that might come up when you’re chatting with Dennis Plintz. The Calgary real estate associate will tell you he “saw some crazy stuff” growing up in dozens of homes around the city.

Plintz got his first job at 13, always doing what he could to help make end’s meet at home. From delivering flyers door-to-door, to hustling in pool halls at 14, he had to get creative and resourceful to find a way to pay his own school fees and stay out of trouble.

him in his first book Hustle: A Guide to the Ethical Art of Selling & Survival

Plintz looks back at his time on the edge of failure with a lot of perspective these days. “We’re not trapped by our surroundings or circumstances.

They’re not us,” he says.

Plintz has developed a camp for graduates of the Calgary Dream Centre, inspired by his own youth. “This month, we’re headed into the wilderness for the fourth year of Youth Dream Camp,” he says. “We take six or seven young men to a hike-in campsite where we hang out, share meals, tackle some building projects and have fun on the water. It’s about sharing stories and making connections that will last way beyond the few days outdoors. When these guys go back to their lives, they’re bringing back a new positive outlook to their communities. These connections make a world of difference.”

Plintz looks back at his time on the edge of failure with a lot of perspective these days. “We’re not trapped by our surroundings or circumstances. They’re not us,” he says. Those experiences inform how he gives back to his community (Plintz is a fervent supporter of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, having spent time there as a kid), and in helping clients find their new homes.

“Wherever you’re looking to buy, there’s a good chance I’ve lived there or close by and I know what’s great about it. The schools, the shawarma shop, the drycleaner—there’s something good about every community.” Sharing those connections is how Plintz and his team help connect clients with the best neighbourhood to match their lifestyle goals. He writes more about the tough stories that shaped


Plintz & Associates | plintz.com

Dennis Plintz is a third-generation Calgarian whose team has been getting to know this city’s neighbourhoods for more than 15 years.

“We aren’t just people who sell homes,” he says. “We’re here to do everything possible to make one of the biggest, most stressful transactions in life a little easier and a lot more fun. We make sure that the home-owning experience is the best it can be for first-time buyers and multi-generational clients, in whatever neighbourhood you move into.”

For a copy of Hustle , Plintz’s memoir about his upbringing and how it shaped him in business, send him an email (dennis@plintz.com) or call or text, mention this article and let him know what you think makes a really great community.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is Independently Owned And Operated.

Avenue Calgary .com 19
Dennis Plintz
Once, a landlord’s nightmare, now he sells homes. Plintz knows all the best neighbourhoods.
CalgaryDreamCentre.com to learn more or reach out to Plintz directly at dennis@plintz.com. ADVERTISEMENT

Surveying the City

Ranking our neighbourhoods reveals our common interests.

Each August for the past nine years, we have taken a deep dive into some of the data available for Calgary’s almost 200 residential communities, examining everything from crime statistics and Walk Score to the business and pet licenses. We also conduct a yearly survey to ask our readers how to weight each of these characteristics in ranking Calgary’s neighbourhoods. The results of the survey may not surprise you — most people want a neighbourhood that has lots of parks, is safe and easy to get around in and where their neighbours are engaged in the community.

That said, the rankings may surprise you.

On the surface, this year’s top two are pretty dissimilar. At number one, the Beltline is the quintessential high-density inner-city community, while Arbour Lake, in second, is a surburban oasis. But dig a bit deeper and you find the two express Calgarians’ common desires for accessible amenities and high levels of engagement.

Speaking of which, one major change this year was in how we determine our engagement score. In addition to looking at community association projects and membership numbers, we included data that measures the likelihood for community members to bump into each other. We believe the more neighbours know each other, the more likely they are to be engaged with one another’s lives, so we looked at things like percentage of dog ownership, bike and walking commuters and access to community hubs like libraries. While no measure of something as subjective as engagement is perfect, we think this at least gets us closer to what that perfect measure could be.

As always, we are sure that this issue will be hotly debated. Our list is accurate based on the results of the data, but what makes a neighbourhood best for you comes down to personal choice and preference and how you interact with your surroundings. Because of that, we left it up to you to add the colour to our neighbourhood illustrations. We hope you will enter your coloured pages in our contest sponsored by The CORE Shopping Centre. We also welcome your feedback so please join us on Facebook and on our website AvenueCalgary.com, or email me directly as we do want to hear your views. What makes your neighbourhood great? What factors have we forgotten to include? What would make the reporting more useful and nuanced? We hope you enjoy the issue and, most of all, we hope you love your neighbourhood, wherever it landed on our list.

What you do with your city is important. That’s why we thought a colouring book was a perfect metaphor for city life. Send in your work for a chance to win a gift package courtesy of The CORE Shopping Centre. Find out more at AvenueCalgary.com/colouring.

Photograph by Jared Sych; jewellery supplied by Brinkhaus. For information turn to page 87.
Avenue Calgary .com 21 the most delicious destination in the Canadian Rockies Reservation: 1.800.661.1586 www.posthotel.com


The luxury condo market in Calgary is small but significant because it has resisted the recession and is poised to grow exponentially. Find out why.


From back to school/work to the changing of the seasons to the hidden hazards of everyday urban life, we look at how to survive and thrive in YYC.


Calgary’s post-secondaries have a lot going on, and we explore some of the news.



Marcello Di Cintio is the author of four books including Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense which examines life in contemporary Palestine as seen through the lens of literary culture. Another of Di Cintio’s books, Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Di Cintio’s magazine writing can be found in publications such as The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, The International New York Times and Afar


Tyler Lemermeyer is a practicing illustrator residing in Calgary. He developed a love for drawing at a young age. Lemermeyer works from his home studio while balancing a day job, and is currently seeking new clients to work with so he can ditch the day job and illustrate full time. When Lemermeyer is not drawing or spending time with his wife and two young boys, he indulges his passion for cycling and operates a small bicyclerickshaw business called Highroad Pedicabs around downtown and the Beltline. See more of his work at lemermeyer.com and on Instagram @lemermeyer_.


Tina Shaygan recently graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in polical science. During her time on campus, she wrote news, opinion and humour pieces for the student newspaper. She loved it so much, she’s going to Ryerson University in September to do more journalism. Shaygan loves tacos and wine almost as much as she loves her dog. She has no free time, but if she did, she’d spend it reading, doing yoga and watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.


Brendan Stephens is an award-winning conceptual advertising/editorial photographer working out of Calgary and Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in photography from Alberta College of Art + Design and his passion for photography is grounded in his love of cinema and pop culture, while his work parallels his personality — clever and loud. With work published nationally and internationally, Stephens loves collaborating with clients to create distinct and memorable images. See more of his work at bstephoto.com and on Instagram @bstephoto.

22 avenueAUGUST.18
September 2018 NEXT ISSUE


Avenue Calgary .com 23 sign up ON THE WEB Subscribe to our weekly Food, Style and Weekender newsletters to get the latest restaurant and store openings, advice on what to eat and where to shop and our picks for the best things to do in Calgary.
See where your neighbourhood ranked in our complete list of results. Avenue Calgary .com/ BestNeighbourhoods AVENUECALGARY.COM /NEWSLETTERS /avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine @avenuemagazine
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The Cost of 10,000 Hours of Art

Original art work can be prohibitively expensive. However, one local artist, Jessica Whiting, is in the midst of a project called The First 50 that makes buying fine art affordable.

Whiting is selling her first 50 alcohol-ink paintings for $150 each, an amount that just covers the cost of supplies for the two-foot-by-40-inch

paintings. Her overall goal is to achieve the famed “10,000 hours” needed to gain mastery in her chosen field. “At this stage in my art career, I’m not looking to get rich; I’m really focused on getting my practice hours and developing my art form,” says Whiting. “And the best way to do that is to be able to turn art over quickly.”

The low price point means she’s able to do just that, as

Whiting will typically sell her creations within a few days of the ink drying. With this quick turnaround, she believes she’ll be able to achieve her 10,000 hours in six years.

Once all 50 paintings have been sold, Whiting plans to donate $1,000 to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, a cause she cares deeply about as both her own children and her friend’s children have benefitted from its help.

The Foundation has offered to auction off any remaining pieces once the collection is completed, but Whiting says she doubts that will be necessary. “Everyone that I’ve sold [a painting] to has basically said, ‘I need more, I want a

second and third piece,’ because they love the art, but they want to fill a bigger space,” she says. “Once I finish the 50, I think I will start doing much bigger pieces.”

Whiting believes her project also caters to a demand for low-cost fine art. “I see so much beautiful art and it’s out of my price point,” she says.

“I can appreciate why a lot of art is that price, but I don’t feel like the alternative should be to buy a print from Winners or HomeSense. There’s a huge area in between that I feel a lot of people would fit into.”

For more information, visit jpwhiting.com

Avenue Calgary .com 25 DETOURS Photograph
courtesy of Jessica Whiting
Impanema Novus, alcohol-ink painting by Jessica Whiting.

How to save Alberta’s Waterways

Anew book of essays calls on readers to rethink the ways we think about water. Published in July, Water Rites: Reimagining Water in the West is based on presentations from last year’s Calgary Institute for the Humanities Annual Community Forum: Water in the West.

Three contributors to the book — artist and academic Warren Cariou, environmental coordinator Flora Giesbrecht and lawyer David K. Laidlaw — answered our question: What is the best course of immediate action that should be taken to protect and conserve water in Alberta?

Warren Cariou

“Petrography & Water: Artist’s Statement & Portfolio”

Warren Cariou, a professor at the University of Manitoba, says it was not his plan to create visual art when he first visited bitumen mining sites near Fort McMurray. But he felt that he needed a way to show what was happening to the environment in the region, so Cariou began to take photographs of the areas affected by bitumen mining.

His answer:

“There have got to be legislative responses to solidify some of the protections that are in place now. Policy is crucial because individual choices can have some effect, but I think we have to rely on our government to make the right decisions to protect our water and land, because they’re setting the parameters within which companies are operating.

“As citizens, one of the most important things we can do is contact our governments [and] lobby our politicians. In another way, it’s important for artists, but also for citizens to remind one another of the connectedness that we have to water. That’s something that art and writing and video and film can do, is reinforce those intimate connections. For me that’s a crucial component [in addition] to the legislative and lobby component.”

Flora Giesbrecht, “The Elbow River Watershed Partnership”

The Elbow River Watershed Partnership (ERWP) is a non-profit organization that aims to ensure the continued health and protection of the Elbow River watershed. In her essay, watershed coordinator Flora Giesbrecht describes the range of ERWP programs, including educational activities for students and restoration work.

Her answer:

“Look at the land uses and the cumulative effects they may have on water quality and quantity. For example, in the Elbow basin there is no single land use that dramatically affects water quality; it is the cumulative effects we should be concerned about: cattle grazing, logging activity, oil and gas [and] development, if it’s done in a manner that’s not taking into consideration the ecosystems...

“Industry and homes can minimize water consumption. According to recorded history, Alberta (especially Southern Alberta) is considered semiarid and prone to drought; we need to protect and value what we have. In terms of conserving water there are certain actions that [individuals] can take, and it’s also important to look at industry. Industry uses a lot of water, depending on what is being manufactured or processed, so we applaud when new technologies are being used that are helping to conserve water.”

David K. Laidlaw, “Indigenous Water Rights & Global Warming in Alberta”

David K. Laidlaw is a research fellow at the Canadian Institute of Resources Law and specializes in Aboriginal law. In his essay, he presents a history of Indigenous rights regarding water in Alberta and discusses the effect of climate change on those waters.

His answer:

“Historically, agricultural uses have had a huge allocation of existing water supplies and that’s from the government’s water policy that provides for extensive unlimited use of water rights. The way it works is that the government allocates a fixed amount for an indefinite period of time at a very limited cost to the water users. It’s based on a priority system, such that if you’re the last in line — in other words you’re the most recent person granted a water right — you will be denied any sort of water right, even though the prior owners will have not necessarily used all of their water allocation.

“I would suggest getting started on renegotiating the water allocation system in Alberta. [It] is a priority and it’ll take time. Best get started now. The area that we live in, the South Saskatchewan River Basin, is highly stressed. It’s almost fully allocated. In terms of climate change, it’s predicted that we will see increasing conflict between municipal uses, agricultural uses and matters of that nature.” as told to Victoria Lessard

26 avenueAUGUST.18 DETOURS
Flora Giesbrecht photograph by Sasha Hughes Book cover of Water Rites: Reimagining Water in the West
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Forget it, Glenn, it’s Canmoretown

Mountain towns like Canmore might seem tranquil to tourists, but there’s a seedier side that Melanie DesRoches, artistic producer of Theatre Canmore, wants to bring to light. “People have a concept of Canmore and the Bow Valley as this almost idyllic place where you can come and relax and everything is running smoothly,” says DesRoches. “I wanted to portray the other side of it, that there’s this whole underbelly of the town that people visiting don’t realize; that the people working in the restaurants have this other life that’s hard to comprehend or have struggles that are not evident to the people that are visiting here.”

Enter Canmoretown, a web series written by DesRoches and launched last May by Theatre Canmore. The series depicts a small mountain town similar to Canmore, where service-industry workers and young people struggle to find housing and make a living.

Many of the series’ cast and crew are in similar situations to their onscreen counterparts. When the original actor playing the character of Glenn the plumber had to move during filming due to an inability to find affordable housing, Glenn had to be recast, which led to an appropriately meta solution.

“We initially thought we could fly [the actor] out and finish the episodes, but then we thought, why don’t we bring in someone else to play that part? We would just explain that Glenn had to move away because of the housing situation, and it fit with the Canmoretown theme. So we got a female actor to play the role, but now she’s had to move, too, because she was laid off, so we now are working on our third Glenn,” says DesRoches. “It’s like we’re filming real life.” —A.G.

Canmoretown releases new episodes periodically with season one concluding in November. Visit theatrecanmore.com/ canmoretown for information.

By the Numbers: GlobalFest

GlobalFest has been lighting up the night sky in Calgary since 2003 with its international fireworks competition, but creating this bombastic annual event is no easy task. Here are the GlobalFest fireworks by the numbers:

1,700 feet is the height fireworks can reach after they explode. The biggest explode up to 1,500 feet in diameter.

25 per cent of the soundtrack music for each show must be from the competing country, a rule implemented after GlobalFest 2008 when competing countries played almost the exact same soundtrack.

7 different categories of restrictions must be considered in order to set off fireworks in the city — everything from parking and air-traffic restrictions to fire safety.

10 people from GlobalFest and 2 representatives from each competing country work for 3 days to set up each 22-minute fireworks show.

1,000 feet is the minimum distance required between the viewers and the fireworks.

Between 8 and 640 shots can be combined into a single “display cake” (a number of fireworks placed in individual cylinders in a box and connected together by a fuse). Teams set off approximately 120 to 200 cakes over the course of a single show.

2,570 mortars are available to competitors to use for shell fireworks.

800 single shots (on average) are set off during a GlobalFest display.

4 countries will be competing for the championship title this year: China, the Philippines, Spain and, for the first time, the Ukraine.

80,000 people came to watch the fireworks at GlobalFest in 2017. —V.L.

GlobalFest 2018 runs Aug. 16 to 25 at Elliston Park.

28 avenueAUGUST.18
Canmoretown photograph by Toomas Meema; Globalfest photograph by Lisa Amos The original cast of Canmoretown


200’ x 200’



50’ x 120’


Growing up is all about running around and exploring. And Watermark at Bearspaw’s 46 acres of parkland, three playgrounds and many other outdoor amenities offer plenty of opportunities. Plus, with average lot sizes of 1/4 to 1 acre in size (our smallest lots are almost twice as big as an inner-city estate lot), there are countless adventures to be had in your own backyard. When it comes to giving your family more space to experience and grow, bigger is certainly better. WatermarkAtBearspaw.com

The Landscape of Wynonna Earp

Calgary-raised Emily Andras is the creator and executive producer of Wynonna Earp, a supernatural Western, now in its third season, filmed in the Calgary area. For those who don’t count themselves among the series’ hard-core fans (known as “Earpers”), the show is about the greatgreat-granddaughter of legendary cowboy Wyatt Earp. Due to a family curse, Wynonna must use Wyatt’s “Peacemaker” gun to shoot demons (resurrected nemeses of Wyatt) and send them back to hell. Historic CL Ranch west of Calgary stands in for the Earp homestead.

Andras says part of what drew her to the material (the show is based off of a comic book of the same name) was the realization that she could film the show in Calgary. Andras spent most of her childhood here before before a job change took her family out east when she was 16. She was particularly upset about the move,

Meet Tanya.

Meet Tanya. She’s been one of Calgary’s top selling Real Estate Agents for years. She has valuable experience working within Calgary’s Inner City Real Estate market, and she understands every client is as unique as their home.

Tanya takes the time to listen; to understand your wants and needs. She doesn’t expect your trust, Tanya earns it by consistently remaining honest, accessible and tenacious. That’s what sets Tanya apart.

The Tanya Eklund Group was founded on Tanya’s principles. The professionals within her group don’t work for Tanya – they work for you, the client. They provide unparalleled expertise, skill and service to Calgary’s inner city. And their clients know it.

since she had just been cast in her high school’s production of Anne of Green Gables. In a twist of fate, Megan Follows, who played Anne in the well-loved 1985 TV adaptation (and defines the role for many) is joining the Wynonna Earp cast this season in the role of Mama Earp.

Andras considers the landscape around Calgary to be a character in itself. “Endless landscapes, eerie plains and imposing mountains, and this idea that danger can come from anywhere, even miles away, and maybe you can watch it coming toward you but there’s nothing you can do — I think it injects the characters on the show with the sense that this land is so special and unique and raw, that it’s worth fighting for,” Andras says. “It’s not just the people on this land that they’re trying to save, but the land itself. I really don’t think we could make the show anywhere else but Calgary.”

Sometimes the Albertan landscape can provide drama in real life as well — Earp has had to stop filming twice because of the cold. Andras says that production shut down not because the

crew complained, but because the cameras stopped working. “Just to give you some sense of the ruggedness of our crew, the equipment gave up before our people did,” she says. “This is kind of what you get for such incredible beauty. That’s the trade-off, the extremes. Let me tell you something, it’s never boring.” —V.L.

30 avenueAUGUST.18 DETOURS
Emily Andras.
of Bell Media Inc. © 2018
Photographs courtesy
Wynonna Earp cast members during shooting last winter.
www.tanyaeklundgroup.ca Direct (403) 863-7434 “Connect with me today — about your real estate needs for tomorrow” Each office is independently owned and operated.
Avenue Calgary .com 31 PIANO | FESTIVAL | COMPETITION PIANO COMPETITION & FESTIVAL 30 AUGUST TO 8 SEPTEMBER 2018 | HONENS.COM PANTONE PANTONE PANTONE PANTONE PROOF SIZE SIZE: FLAT SIZE:BLEED: 2.5" x 9.8125"2.5" x 9.8125"n/a 1:1 WAX PROOF #1 LINDA WALDNER director, operations D403 781 3364 linda@WAX.ca 1209803_AD_Avenue_2.5x9.8125.indd 1 2018-06-28 3:01 PM You’re more creative than you think. Register for a Visual Design course or certificate and explore your inner designer. Art Theory and Practice | Interior Design | Photography CONTINUING EDUCATION 403.220.2866 conted.ucalgary.ca/visualdesign Fresh fruit and veggies, meats, ready to cook meals, baked goods & breads, honey, wine, pizza, mini donuts, artisans, clothing and more. ENTER TO WIN MALL GIFT CERTIFICATES. Visit our Summer market Tuesday’s from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Open until September 25, 2018. Plenty of parking available and roller baskets for your shopping ease. www.grassrootsmarket.ca Destination Deerfoot City, in the northeast parking lot. DEERFOOT TRAIL & 64TH AVENUE N.E. GRASSROOTS FARMERS’ MARKET



AUG. 3 TO 11

Every summer, local and visiting theatre artists and performers congregate for the annual Calgary Fringe Festival. Choose from dozens of performances ranging from musicals to improv shows to scripted plays. Various locations, calgaryfringe.ca

this month do to


AUG. 11 TO 12

Cheer on colourful dragon boats as they race across the water at North Glenmore Park. Thousands of Calgarians turn out every year for the event, which also features beer gardens, children’s activities and more.

North Glenmore Park, calgarydragonboatsociety.com



Get inspired for your next outdoor adventure while shopping for apparel and gear at Arc’teryx’s first standalone Calgary store.

150, 815 17 Ave. S.W., arcteryx.com


An Italian-style feast awaits at the new Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality restaurant in Chinook Centre that can be accessed through Saks Fifth Avenue or from an outside entrance on the mall’s west side. CF Chinook Centre, 403-3512316, buffocalgary.com



AUG. 4


AUG. 1, 8, 15 AND 22

Few things say “summer” like an outdoor movie screening. Spruce Meadows equestrian facility brings back its popular outdoor movie series for four screenings this month. This year’s picks were not announced at press time, but last year’s movies included Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 18011 Spruce Meadows Way. S.W., 403-974-4200, sprucemeadows.com

The neighbourhood of Inglewood comes alive with music and family-friendly activities during this annual summer celebration. Shop more than 200 local vendors, watch street performers or just explore the historic ’hood. inglewoodsunfest.ca


AUG. 9 TO 12

The 22nd annual Taste of Calgary sees attendees making their way around Eau Claire Festival Plaza with handfuls of $1 tasting tickets to try bites of food from dozens of local restaurants. The weekend food festival also features live music performances and a beer garden. Eau Claire Festival Plaza, Barclay Parade and 3 St. S.W., tasteofcalgary.com


AUG. 17 TO 19

Grab your cowboy hat and head to Prairie Winds Park for the third edition of this outdoor music festival. Country music superstars Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith and Eric Church are headlining this year’s event, which also features performances by artists such as Dean Brody, Jess Moskaluke and Chad Brownlee.

Prairie Winds Park, 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E., countrythunder.com

Calgary Climbing Centre’s fourth location is just west of Winsport Canada Olympic Park, and has 65-foot indoor walls as well as an outdoor climbing wall and a colourful ClimbPark.

10721 West Valley Rd. S.W., 587231-9116, calgaryclimbing.com


This new restaurant, which gets its name from the Japanese word for Godzilla, brings ramen and yakitori to Inglewood.

1214 9 Ave. S.E., gorillawhale.ca


The poke trend shows no signs of slowing down in Calgary with the arrival of Hoku Poke Bar on 17th Avenue S.W.

105, 17 Ave. S.W., hokupokebar.com


At this new brew pub, Texas-style barbecued meats and burgers pair perfectly with beers from the on-site microbrewery.

105D 58 Ave. S.E., prairiedogbrewing.ca

32 avenueAUGUST.18
Country Thunder photograph by Jenn Pierce; dragon boat photo courtesy of Calgary Dragon Boat Society Inglewood Sunfest. Calgary Dragon Boat Race & Festival. Movies at the Meadows. Country Thunder.






Walden is a lively Southeast community where you can live, work and play. Enjoy walkable amenities, a vibrant shopping district, and a variety of modern architecture styles designed with beauty in mind. Discover the difference at Walden.



CONDOS $130s





34 avenueAUGUST.18
Avenue Calgary .com 35 neighbourhoods AVENUE'S 2018 What makes a neighbourhood truly great is the colour you bring to it. Enter the Best Neighbourhoods colouring contest for a chance to win a gift package courtesy of The CORE Shopping Centre valued at $250. Colour any of the illustrated pages in the section and share your work on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #AvenueColours and tagging @AvenueMagazine and @COREShopping. Visit AvenueCalgary.com/colouring for full details. ENTER TO WIN

What makes a community a great place to live?

According to our ninth annual survey, access to PARKS + PATHWAYS ;

here are more than 180 residential neighbourhoods in the City of Calgary. Most of us know only a few of them well — where we live, where we work, maybe a couple others that we visit frequently. But it’s hard to know a lot about all of them, so we’ve tried to do some of the heavy lifting and provide a bit of insight into a variety of Calgary’s best neighbourhoods. From the inner city to the city limits, the very small (Roxboro has fewer than 400 residents) to the very large (almost 26,000 people in Panorama Hills), from neighbourhoods with mountain views to those with river access — there are a variety of great places to live across Calgary.

By necessity, this is a data-driven response to what the average respondent is looking for in a place to live. But ultimately, for most of us, what makes a neighbourhood speak to us is subjective and very personal. What makes a neighbourhood the perfect place for you to live is often a matter of personal taste — being close to friends, loving a particular street

or the look of a particular home. But what makes a neighbourhood a great place to live for most Calgarians? What characteristics and amenities are the most desirable to most of us? And which neighbourhoods provide the best of the best? That’s the question we try to answer each year with our Best Neighbourhoods survey and rankings.

The survey, administered by Leger, asked respondents what was most and least important to them in comparing a variety of aspects of communities including crime rate, parks, recreation facilities, community engagement, walkability and more. Using a max-differential analysis, Leger calculated the weighting of each characteristic and amenity. Then, using data we collected from a variety of third-party sources including the City of Calgary, the Calgary Police Service, Walk Score and others, Leger ranked the city’s neighbourhoods.

The results are here — the 2018 Best Neighbourhoods — and you’ll find even more information and rankings on our website AvenueCalgary.com.

36 avenueAUGUST.18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bowness Edgemont Crescent Heights Eau Claire Brentwood Downtown Commercial Core Hamptons Signal Hill Beltline Arbour Lake
*Overall score. • 57.08* • 51.33 • 48.76 • 48.15 • 47.89 • 47.40 • 47.12 • 46.70 • 46.20 • 46.15
Find out how the city’s communities ranked and why.

City of Calgary

Between 2009 and 2014, Evanston’s population grew by 118%.

In 2017, Rocky Ridge had only a 0.02% vacancy rate.

At 6.8 square kms each, Tuscany and Varsity are the largest of the Top 50 Neighbourhoods.

Bowness Park was one of the City’s most severely impacted areas during the 2013 flood, and remained partially closed until summer 2017. Redevelopments include a new teahouse, wading pool and a new Central Square.



BELTLINE 1 (57.1)

ARBOUR LAKE 2 (51.3)

HAMPTONS 3 (48.8)

SIGNAL HILL 4 (48.2)

BOWNESS 5 (47.9)

EDGEMONT 6 (47.4)


BRENTWOOD 8 (46.7)

EAU CLAIRE 9 (46.2)


DALHOUSIE 11 (45.85)

VARSITY 12 45.82)

SOMERSET 13 (45.81)


SUNNYSIDE 15 (44. 8)


CHINATOWN 17 (43.92)

TUSCANY 18 (43.90)



ROCKY RIDGE 21 (43.0)

SCENIC ACRES 22 (42.96)

POINT MCKAY 23 (42.75)



ROSEDALE 26 (42.65)

HILLHURST 27 (42.62)


RIVERBEND 29 (42.341)

ALTADORE 30 (42.339)

EVANSTON 31 (41.5)

MONTGOMERY 32 (41.4)



LAKEVIEW 35 (41.0)

MISSION 36 (40.9)




MCKENZIE LAKE 40 (40.28)

SHAWNESSY 41 (40.26)

RANCHLANDS 42 (40.03)

ACADIA 43 (39.96)

RIDEAU PARK 44 (39.7)

HAWKWOOD 45 (39.4)


EVERGREEN 47 (39.11)

HAYSBORO 48 (39.06)

ASPEN WOODS 49 (38.9)

INGLEWOOD 50 (38.8)

More than 3,000 people moved to Aspen Woods between 2015 and 2017, giving it the city's 10th highest growth rate.

Shawnessy is home to seven City of Calgaryrun playgrounds.

Panorama Hills was Calgary’s most populated neighbourhood as of the 2017 census — 25,925 people live here.

At 1,453 people per square kilometre, Montgomery is the least dense community on the Calgary’s Top 50 Neighbourhood list.

Although Hillhurst is one of Calgary's oldest neighbourhoods, it wasn't linked by bridge to downtown until the 1950s.

Canadian music duo Tegan and Sara attended Crescent Heights High School in this neighbourhood.

At 0.2 square kms, Chinatown is Calgary’s smallest community.

While crime across the city has mostly increased, property crime in Mayland Heights dropped 90% between 2015 and 2017.

Inglewood was named best neighbourhood in the 2014 Great Places in Canada competition run by the Canadian Institute of Planners.

89.9% of the homes in Riverbend are owner occupied (the city average is 68.8%).

McKenzie Towne was identified by the Urban Land Institute as one of the top master-planned communities in the world.

DEERFOOT TRAIL DEERFOOT TRAIL MACLEOD TRAIL SARCEE TRAIL BOW RIVER BOW RIVER ELBOW RIVER STONEY TRAIL 2 30 32 5 15 27 37 7 22 4 8 43 20 10 42 48 26 1 29 50 12 19 38 11 28 3 6 33 34 25 9 17 18 14 45 13 16 21 23 24 31 35 36 39 40 41 44 46 47 49



Another year, another first-place ranking for the Beltline. The bustling inner-city community on the southern side of downtown has gotten pretty comfortable at the top, having reclaimed this year the first-place finish that it last achieved in 2016 and in 2015 after dipping into second in 2017.

Still, three first-place finishes in four years is what sports fans call a dynasty, and like the legendary dynasty teams, the Beltline’s dominance can’t be chalked up to one individual thing. Rather, it scores high in most of the characteristics survey respondents said makes an ideal ’hood: lots of great restaurants and cafés (14 of the 25 places on Avenue’s 2018 list of the city’s best restaurants are in the Beltline), two major supermarkets plus a handful of artisan markets and specialty grocers, inviting green spaces and play areas, a high level of walkability and myriad transit options (including public transit access and car-sharing services) that make owning a vehicle a choice, not a necessity. With a population of just over 23,000, the overwhelming majority of which lives in multi-family residences, the Beltline is just slightly less populous than the entire town of Cochrane. And so much human energy translates into vibrancy; even at rest the Beltline seems to hum.

Calgarians who came of age in the 1980s might recall a different kind of energy in the Beltline, when it was home to the infamous Electric Avenue, a stretch of 20-some bars along 11th Avenue S.W. between 4th and 8th streets. If that’s what you think of then you might recoil from the idea of the Beltline as a desirable place to live for anyone other than party-hardy twentysomethings. But the current reality is that the Beltline is desirable for respondents

BELTLINE By the Numbers


SCORE:57.08 (average: 35)

2017 POPULATION: 23,219


across the demographic spectrum, including seniors and those raising families.

The evolution of the Beltline as a family-friendly neighbourhood in particular reflects a generational shift in the concept of homeownership says two-term city councillor Evan Woolley, whose Ward 8 encompasses most of the community. “[People] are more comfortable with renting an apartment, with renting longer and to have a kid in that rental apartment,” he says. Beltline has one of the lowest percentages of owner-occupied homes in the city at just over 25 percent, and while it also has one of the lowest numbers of children per home in the city, there are still more than 1,800 children living in the Beltline.

The trend of families choosing the inner-city lifestyle is something that Tyson Bolduc can speak to. An architect who holds the volunteer position of director of planning and urban development for the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association, Bolduc and his partner Maria Landry, also an architect, both grew up in suburban settings, but took to the inner-city lifestyle during their university years. “I got used to not driving a lot. I got used to being able to walk places. I got used to being able to go out and not worry about an $80 cab ride to get home, to the point where I started to feel too restrained if I wasn’t living in an inner-city environment,” Bolduc says.

The couple live in a fourth-floor condominium that they own in a Beltline high-rise. In 2016, they welcomed a son into their family, and for the time being, have no plans to move. “We weren’t ready to give up on the lifestyle and the idea that he could share our lifestyle — which is certainly not taking him to nightclubs and stuff — but being able to walk to a coffee shop or restaurant ... using the community as your living room,” Bolduc says.



90 76




*The engagement score takes into consideration the number of community association members, events and projects, the percentage of walking and biking commuters, the percentage of owner-occupied residences, percentage of dog owners, pathway access and library access.

38 avenueAUGUST.18
The inner-city community scores high across the board.
Avenue Calgary .com 39

Since becoming a father Bolduc says he’s also tuned into the breadth of family life in the neighbourhood. “In our building there’s a ton,” he says. “Hardly a day goes by that I don’t encounter a kid in the elevator.”

It appears those kids are increasingly staying put, as well. Beltline resident Lee Stanfield and her husband Mike moved with their two young daughters to the Beltline eight years ago after getting fed up with the commute between their downtown corporate jobs and their southwest suburban home. The move corresponded with their older child starting school and the couple became active in their local CBE Connaught School, serving on the parent council and parents fundraising group for the school and extolling the school’s multiculturalism. “We have, at any given time at the school, more than 50 distinct birth countries represented, so it’s not just one level of new to Canada, it’s a little bit of everything, which is really fantastic,” Lee Stanfield says.

Their younger daughter will start Grade 5 at Connaught this fall and Stanfield says that the evolution of the Beltline

Number of Restaurants, Cafés

(weighting of importance 12.6)

as a more family-focused neighbourhood is reflected in the school’s enrolment. “When my older daughter started there, I think there were 140 kids and we’re up to 340 or 350 now. That’s huge growth,” she says. In addition to the numbers, Stanfield has seen the school become less transitiory, with her younger daughter having several friends that have all been in the school together since kindergarten. Unlike the majority of Beltline residents, the Stanfields own one of the rare standalone homes in the community — a century-old house on the neighbourhood’s west side. Back when they revealed their move plans, Lee Stanfield says she often got the reaction that crime would be an ongoing concern, but that hasn’t been her personal experience. “I think it’s because there is that sense of community,” she says. “You know everybody who’s got dogs and they wave as they walk by and people keep an eye out for each other. It actually does have that sense of a community and of being a neighbourhood, rather than people just passing through.” —

High Walk Score

(weighting of importance 12.4)

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that access to restaurants, cafés and bars is important to Avenue readers, given the amount of dining coverage we do. Using the City of Calgary’s business license data, we scored every residential neighbourhood on restaurant access inside its borders.

These are the neighbourhoods in Calgary with the most restaurants, cafés and bars.

Survey respondents ranked Walk Score as the fourth-most-important characteristic of a great place to live. Walk Score measures the walkability of a neighbourhood based on the percentage of daily errands that can be accomplished on foot in the area. Walk Score is a private company based in Seattle, Washington, and it provides a complete list of both Walk Scores and Transit Scores for Calgary neighbourhoods on its website. A score of 90 to 100 means daily errands don’t require a car and a score between 70 and 89 means most errands can be done on foot. Calgary is the 10th most walkable large city in Canada according to walkscore.com. These are the most walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary.

High Transit Score

(weighting of importance 6.5)

Like Walk Score, Transit Score is a patented measure of how well a location is served by public transit on a scale from 0 to 100. With 155 bus routes and 118.1 kilometres of CTrain track, Calgary is fairly accessible in terms of transit. These neighbourhoods have the highest transit score due to their proximity to transit routes.

RANK NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE 1 Downtown Commercial Core 84 2 Downtown West End 83 3 Chinatown 82 4 Downtown East Village, Eau Claire (tie) .............. 81 5 Beltline 76 6 Sunnyside 72 7 Hillhurst 71 8 Crescent Heights 66 9 Sunalta 65 10 Bridgeland/Riverside, Mission (tie) 63
RANK NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE 1 Chinatown 95 2 Downtown Commercial Core 93 3 Cliff Bungalow 92 4 Eau Claire 91 5 Downtown West End, Beltline (tie) 90 6 Downtown East Village, Lower Mount Royal (tie) .................. 86 7 Hillhurst, Sunnyside (tie) 85 8 Mission 84 9 Crescent Heights 79 10 Manchester 78
and Bars
RANK NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE 1 Downtown Commercial Core 352 2 Beltline 288 3 Arbour Lake 56 4 Hillhurst ................................................................... 53 5 McKenzie Towne 45 6 Chinatown, Forest Lawn (tie) 43 7 Signal Hill 42 8 Shawnessy 41 9 Mission 39 10 Crescent Heights 38 40 avenueAUGUST.18
Calgary is the 10th most walkable large city in Canada according to walkscore.com.

Great to Raise People

Communities with great amenities for families have a lot to offer everyone, and vice versa.


What makes a neighbourhood ideal for families looks an awful lot like what makes a neighbourhood great for seniors, singles, indeed, for everyone. At least that’s what the results of the last few years of Avenue’s survey seem to indicate. For the past several years, the neighbourhoods ranked as best overall have been strikingly similar to those ranked as best for families.

This year, the Beltline was the number-one ranked neighbourhood across all demographic groups that completed our survey. While there are some characteristics that are much more important for people with kids at home — such as schools and playgrounds — even for families those are not as important as characteristics that are important to everybody — such as access to parks and pathways and low crime. Families want what everyone else wants and on the other side of that equation, everyone wants what families want — including walkability and access to amenities like recreational facilities, restaurants and grocery stores.

According to Beverly A. Sandalack, associate dean of the faculty of environmental design at the University of Calgary, this trend may indicate that parents want neighbourhoods they can age in. “In the past, there might have been the tendency for families to locate in the outer suburbs because it was more affordable and there was this perception that it was a family-friendly place,” she says. “But over time, there’s been a shift in thinking. People want to move into a neighbourhood where it’s good for kids — they’ve got parks and schools and it’s affordable — but there is more of a tendency, perhaps, where they want to stay in a neighbourhood over time so as the family ages and their interests change, they’ve [still] got all their needs met.”

These needs are being met not only by a shift of more families living in the inner-city, but also to suburban developments providing more amenities and being built as complete communities for every demographic.

It’s more than just a matter of convenience. Sandalack says walkability, for example, has become an important health issue. “The last few decades in research have shown us that if kids start walking when they’re young and develop that lifestyle, it’s going to serve them well for the rest of their lives,” she says.

As Calgarians start expecting different amenities in their neighbourhoods, many developers are creating communities with a “Main Street” philosophy, which means designing shops and services around a walkable high street such as in Garrison Woods, McKenzie Towne, or the new developments of Harmony and Livingston.

“Neighbourhoods are starting to include more of a mix of uses so it’s not just schools and parks, but you’ve got a lot of different amenities,” Sandalack says. “You can walk to the grocery store or walk to the gym or to all the other things people need in their lives.” — T.S.

Where the Families Are

(and Aren’t)

According to the 2016 city census.

Panorama Hills has the highest number of kids 19 and under, with 7,934; Taradale has the highest number of kids per household, with 1.39, and per square km with 2,257. Eagle Ridge has the lowest number of children 19 and under, with just 55 in the 2016 city census; Eau Claire has the lowest number of kids per household, with 0.02; Greenwood/ Greenbriar has the least number of children per square km, with 117.50

Avenue Calgary .com 41

Arbour Lake

Resort-like living in the city’s northwest.

Environmental psychologists don’t know exactly why proximity to water, including urban water features, is good for our physical and mental health — they just know it is. So it should surprise no one that one of the city’s lake communities ranked as the secondmost-desirable neighbourhood in Calgary.

Arbour Lake, whose namesake lake is both the geographic and recreational hub of the community, offers residents swimming, boating and fishing in the summer, and ice skating, curling and ice fishing in the winter. On sunny days the beach is a hive of family fun, with children making sandcastles while teens play beach volleyball, parents prepare picnics and seniors stroll the lakefront pathway.

Arbour Lake’s “blue space” gets much of the attention, but the community also has enviable access to green space. A bike-and walking-trail network winds through the rolling

hills and ravines, affording sweeping views of the Rockies to the west.

But it’s not all play at this northwest community. People have to get to work, too, and Arbour Lake’s proximity to major routes such as Crowchild Trail, Stoney Trail and John Laurie Boulevard as well as its Transit Score, thanks to the nearby Crowfoot CTrain station, are significant factors in its high ranking. Having a grocery store or specialty market in the neighbourhood is another highly prized attribute to survey respondents and Arbour Lake has them in abundance, from a Safeway and a Co-op to Amaranth Whole Foods Market. While much of what recommends Arbour Lake is outdoor-focused, there are also abundant opportunities for indoor fun, including a movie theatre, the Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot, Schanks Sports Grill and The Spa Ritual if you just need to unwind. —

What the Neighbours Say

“My wife Deanna and I have lived in Arbour Lake for 18 years. The main draw was definitely the lake. We raised four children here and now we have two grandchildren. We’ve thought about downsizing since the kids are gone but we’re still the hub of the family, the place where everyone gathers to go fishing, paddleboarding and eat hot dogs. We go to just about every event the community hosts — the fishing and ice fishing derbies, movie night at the park and the Canada Day fireworks display. It’s always packed but it never feels crowded, and it’s great to see so many young families moving in. I think this is just a beautiful community because it has everything you need for a growing family.” —BERNIE


By the Numbers

RANKING: 2/186

SCORE:51.33 (average: 35)


46 43



42 avenueAUGUST.18
Avenue Calgary .com 43

Going to the

Dog ownership in Canada has been on the rise. According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute, 41 per cent of Canadian households include at least one dog and that number has grown consistently over the last 10 years — and for good reason.

A study published in BMC Public Health journal found that dog owners walked an average of 22 minutes and 2,760 steps more per day than those without dogs. And a study in Scientific Reports found dog owners live longer and healthier lives.


But even if you don’t own one, you can benefit from having dogs in your neighbourhood. Dog owners need parks and walkable pathways. Anyone who owns a dog knows how having your pooch with you makes it easy to start conversations with strangers. These factors mean dogs in your neighbourhood can help you meet people and create a sense of community. This is why Avenue included the percentage of dog owners in a community in the calculations of neighbourhood engagement scores.

“Furry friends bring so many positive social impacts to our neighbourhoods,” says Calgary Ward 7 councillor

Druh Farrell. “Dogs bring neighbours together who otherwise might not have a chance to meet. They help combat loneliness and keep us fit. As we find ourselves in an age of increasing isolation, our pups can bring us companionship and a happier state of mind.”

Melanie Rock, an associate professor at the University of Calgary, researches how pets integrate into our society and lives. She says while it’s unclear whether people choose to live in certain neighbourhoods because of their dogs, or choose to have a dog because of where they live, a relationship exists between neighbourhood characteristics and dog ownership. “That means being able to walk in neighbourhoods, parks, and so on,” Rock says.

This relationship is evident in Calgary. Last year, McKenzie Towne, Cranston and Tuscany were the three neighbourhoods with the highest number of licensed dogs. Cranston and Tuscany are also amongst the communities with the best access to pathways. All three communities have higherthan-average access to greenspace and all ranked in the top third of Calgary neighbourhoods in our analysis.

Pet City

Greenwood/Greenbriar has the highest number of dogs per dwelling in Calgary: 0.5585. Tuscany is home to 2,512 dogs and 914 cats. Huntington Hills, Beddington Heights and Silver Springs each have five off-leash parks.



— a total of more than 1,250 hectares that make up 17 per cent of the City’s total Parks space.

44 avenueAUGUST.18
You don’t need to have a dog to reap the rewards of dog ownership.
COLOUR THIS IN FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! Enter the Best Neighbourhoods Colouring Contest for a chance to win a prize courtesy of The CORE Shopping Centre valued at $250! Colour any of the pages and share to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #AvenueColours and tagging @COREShopping and @AvenueMagazine for a chance to win. Complete rules are at AvenueCalgary.com/colouring

Access to Parks and Pathways

(weighting of importance 13.4)

Access to parks and pathways ranked as the most important characteristic of a great place to live according to our survey respondents, with a weighting Leger calculated at 13.4.

We then scored neighbourhoods on proximity to regional (part of City-wide network), local (secondary route within communities) and trails (unpaved pathways recognized by the City). The great news is that 40 neighbourhoods had the highest level of access with a score of 18.

For parks access we considered the size of parks, the number of smaller green spaces that the City does not provide size data on and the parks adjacent to communities.

These neighbourhoods had the highest scores for parks access.


Low Crime

(weighting of importance 12.5)

Once again, low crime rate was top of mind for our survey respondents. These neighbourhoods ranked the lowest in terms of personal and property crimes per capita (per 1,000 population) in 2017.


Paul Clark


Paul Clarke has lived in Edgemont for 24 years.

“The thing we like about this community is the [mature] green spaces. Outside the window of my home office is a pine tree that was less than six-feet tall when we moved in, and must be 40-to-50-feet tall now.”

Edgemont has 7,805 trees or 1,176 trees per square km.

Carole Carpenter BOWNESS

Carole Carpenter grew up in Bowness and moved back to the neighbourhood in 1992. She’s now the president of the Bowness Historical Society. “[Bowness] has a very long, unique history ... There has been a lot of development over the years, but there’s still a lot of history here. We have six historic homes left in Bowness, from 1912/1913. We have a historic-home tour every year.”

Rob Van Gastel



Rob Van Gastel has lived in McKenzie Towne for 19 years. “I love the fact that it’s just like a little town. That’s what drew me and my family here in 1999. My kids actually used to refer to McKenzie Towne as ‘little town’ … The whole community is conducive to walking around; there are front porches. There’s encouragement to get out and get to know your neighbours.”

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50 2 Huntington Hills 48 3 Beddington Heights 47 4 Varsity 45 5 Cambrian Heights, Riverbend (tie) 44 6 Sundance 42 7 Lake Bonavista 41 8 Thorncliffe, Collingwood, Scenic Acres, Lakeview, Woodbine (tie) 40 9 Canyon Meadows 39 10 McKenzie Lake 38
NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE Lowest Property Crimes per Capita 1 Hamptons 16.12 2 Mayland Heights 17.91 3 Cougar Ridge 22.34 4 Strathcona Park .......................... 23.00 5 Panorama Hills 23.88 6 Evergreen 24.11 7 Rocky Ridge 24.70 8 Hawkwood 24.92 9 Citadel 24.97 10 Kincora 25.30
Person Crimes per Capita 1 Bel-Aire 0 2 Redstone 0.29 3 Rocky Ridge 1.55 4 Rideau Park 1.68 5 Kincora 1.73 6 Lakeview .......................................... 1.81 7 Shawnee Slopes, Hamptons (tie) 1.85 8 Nolan Hill 1.88 9 Evergreen 1.91 10 Citadel 1.94
*Some of Calgary’s newest neighbourhoods were included in crime calculations available from the Calgary Police Service although completed data sets on all amenities were not available.
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Debra Lee has lived in Bridgeland/Riverside for 21 years and is involved with the community association.

“We really want to continue our culture of friendliness. And for people to know that when they move here, it's very different from suburbia. Please don't drive into your garage, pull down your blinds and never come out. This is a walkable community, we know our neighbours, and you can get involved.”

Bridgeland/Riverside has an engagement score of 79.29.

Gord Vogt


Gord Vogt has lived in Signal Hill for 28 years.

“We have lots of elevation. It’s great exercise up and down the hills. We have lots of opportunities to view the city from Signal Hill. On the east side, you have full views of the city. You can see planes landing from here.”

Access to Recreational Facilities

(weighting of importance 5.2)

In our scoring of access to recreational facilities, we included public leisure centres, art centres, aquatic and fitness centres, outdoor pools and rinks, athletic parks, multi-sport facilities, tennis courts and lakes. We evaluated neighbourhoods based on the facilities inside their borders and in adjacent neighbourhoods. (Private lakes were considered recreational facilities for the home community but not for adjacent neighbourhoods.)

These neighbourhoods ranked the highest for access to recreational facilities.

Community Engagement

(weighting of importance 8.6)

Gauging the levels of community engagement across more than 180 neighbourhoods in a systematic way is one of the most difficult, and contentious, aspects of our Best Neighbourhoods research and reporting.

James Hughes


James Hughes has lived in Eau Claire for 10 years.

“What I most enjoy is it’s true urban living, but in the setting of the riverbank. The urban living is part of being downtown. I can walk to all the entertainment options, like Arts Commons, and the shopping. I can also go outside and enjoy Prince’s Island and the Riverwalk system.”

Eau Claire has a Walk Score of 91.


Mike Jankovic grew up in Crescent Heights and moved back six years ago to raise his family. He fondly recalls growing up in the inner city. “You could go downtown and meet your parents when you got a little older. When I was 10 or 12, I would go downtown on my bike and meet my dad at his work for lunch.”

This year we gave our whole engagement score system an overhaul, adding in a variety of new information focused on the idea that a neighbourhood where neighbours run into each other more often, and where they have more opportunity to see each other, is more engaged. We considered the percentage of households with a dog because the more dog owners in a neighbourhood the more people are out walking their dogs around, meeting their neighbours. We also added access to pathways and the percentage of bike and walking commuters as well as the number of playgrounds and libraries,because having more places for neighbours to bump into one another increases the chances that they do. We also included some more typical and formal measures of engagement: community association membership levels, the activities of the community association and the percentage of owner-occupied dwellings. Based on these factors, these are the neighbourhoods that came out as having the highest community engagement scores.

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RANK NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE 1 Montgomery 132 2 Varsity 126 3 University of Calgary 124 4 University Heights ......................... 119 5 Mayland Heights 106 6 Acadia 104 7 Hillhurst, Pineridge (tie) 98 8 Brentwood, Silver Springs (tie) 97 9 Dover 94 10 Palliser 93
RANK NEIGHBOURHOOD SCORE 1 Eau Claire 110.74 2 Bowness 106.71 3 West Springs 97.81 4 Wildwood 97.67 5 Rosedale 97.62 6 Altadore 96.75 7 Arbour Lake 95.95 8 Elbow Park ................ 94.86 9 Beltline 93.73 10 Sunnyside 92.49


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Just 3 hours from Calgary, Fernie transforms into a majestic display of autumn colours September through October.

Fernie Chautuaqua & Fall Fair Cultural Festival

September 13-16th

Celebrate the culture, art, heritage, music and flavours of Fernie – Chautauqua is the modern interpretation of a century-old tradition. Live music, street fair activities, cultural demonstrations and interpretive events will fill Historic Downtown Fernie for four days. Dance, learn and taste the spirit of the mountains!


Fernie this fall for spectacular scenery, culture & festivals.
Ndidi Onokwulu | John Wort Hannam | Johnny Summers Jazz Quintet | Flatback | Red Eyed Soul | Wayne Norton | Peter & The Wolves | Heather Blush and the Uppercuts | Heavy Petal Burlesque | Calgary Chinese Music Association | Marc Vantrol Percussionists | Idlewild | Wild Honey | Doggone Brothers | Hearts Content Ensemble

Book your lodging from $104/night. Visit TourismFernie.com to plan and book your getaway.

Elk Valley Pride Festival

October 9-14th

A celebration of Pride in beautiful Fernie, BC for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Locals and visitors will enjoy 10 fabulous events over 6 days, including live LGBTQ+ entertainment, outdoor activities, queer art and culture, and more!

Non-binary Musician and Author Rae Spoon | It’s A Drag! Feat. Misty Meadows | Friday Fuze Pride Party | Rainbow Flag Raising and Opening Night | LGBTQ+ Literary Evening | Beers & Queers | Karate! Beginners Class | A Big Gay Brunch | Fairy Creek Falls Hike ferniepride.ca


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little over a year ago, Anne Cartledge fell in the lobby of her apartment building. It was a small misstep — her flip-flop hooked on a floor mat and down she went. She didn’t break any bones.

But in the next weeks, Cartledge felt a bit broken by what happened. She was badly bruised and developed recurrent cellulitis, a painful skin infection requiring antibiotics. The medications to treat it upset her stomach.

Back and forth she went to the Rockyview General Hospital for weeks, relying on taxis to get there — an extravagance for her already tight budget. She struggled to learn how to shower with an intravenous site on her arm.

“That’s when I felt the loneliest,” she says. “I was injured and I was alone.”

Cartledge never imagined she would wind up lonely. She raised three daughters, trained as a social worker, owned a dog. She’s outgoing and articulate, funny and engaging. These are things that ought to buffer against loneliness.

But, at 67, she is lonely — and in that, she isn’t alone. Around the world, loneliness is emerging as a public-health problem, contributing to depression and anxiety and to coronary heart disease and stroke. It’s associated with a 26-per cent increased risk in premature death.

Loneliness cuts across all ages and socioeconomic groups, affecting people who live alone but also those who don’t. Millionaires, celebrities, senior citizens, teens — no one is immune.

An American study released this spring showed the high rates of loneliness, with nearly half of the 20,000 survey respondents saying they sometimes or always felt alone or left out and one in four said they rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them. And, it was the youngest generation surveyed, those aged 18 to 22, who felt the loneliest.

No similar study exists for Canada, but experts say loneliness is hurting Canadians at unprecedented levels. “We are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness and isolation,” says Lisa Androulidakis, executive lead, Centre of Excellence for Peer Support and Recovery at the Calgary branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Smaller studies show loneliness is prevalent in certain groups across Canada: a 2016 survey found two-thirds of university students felt lonely in the last year; for Canadians aged 75 and older not living in an institution, almost one in six has no close friends they can confide in or call on for help.

Humans have never been so technologically connected, but we have less social contact than in the past, according to data from Statistics Canada. Consider your interactions over a day in Calgary, a growing metropolis with a population of more than 1.4 million. We can connect superficially with more people than ever before in the course of a day: strangers in the Plus 15 walkways, people at spin class, a person (if, indeed, it is a person) on the end of one of the more than 300 million active Twitter accounts.

But some experts suggest the quality of our social relationships is eroding. In modern, industrialized cities, we often live far away from extended family. We’re more likely to live alone, to not have children. We email, text, tweet, Facebook but we don’t talk to strangers. We bank online and order coffee by app and buy groceries from Amazon to be deposited outside our front doors. We live in homes with closed garages and fenced yards, especially in Calgary.

“It’s like people’s homes have swallowed them up,” says Annastasia Stevens, the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society volunteer services manager, comparing life in the city of Calgary to the small towns where she grew up. “They don’t know their neighbours. They aren’t out on the street; they aren’t interacting.”


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Social isolation isn’t just bad for your psyche. It’s linked to a host of ailments including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression and suicide. But is chronic loneliness a life sentence or is it possible to re-engage with society and find health and happiness?

Cartledge lives by herself in a subsidized one-bedroom apartment in the southeast neighbourhood of Fairview. She’s estranged from her two surviving kids. Her dog, a bichon mix named Belle, passed away about five years ago. Cartledge, who suffers from severe arthritis and fibromyalgia, didn’t feel up to the task of acquiring and caring for a new pet.

Most, if not all, of the tenants in her building receive financial support to live there. For some, it’s their first home after living on the streets. They tend to keep to themselves. So does Cartledge.

“Being lonely and isolated makes people more agoraphobic. It’s much easier to be that way,” she explains.

There are stories about loneliness from every pocket of the city, covering all age, socioeconomic and ethnic groups in each quadrant and neighbourhood.

At the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society, Stevens spends her days finding volunteers to help isolated seniors throughout the city. The stories that Stevens hears about older citizens across Calgary astonish her, even after 13 years in her job. At Christmas, a young volunteer delivered a gift to a retired professor, the first present he had received in years. One man, distressed by the death of his cat, secretly buried it in his backyard. He refused to leave its body when it came time for him to move. “Loneliness is a huge problem,” says Stevens.

Calgary’s urban sprawl might be a contributing factor, especially for the very poor, she adds. People who have ready access to transportation tend to have stronger social connections, even in the age of the Internet. “If people don’t have a lot of money and aren’t able to afford groceries on a weekly basis, they are unlikely to use what they have to participate in anything social, which leads to further social isolation and loneliness.”

There’s nothing to suggest that Calgary is a lonelier city than others, as there’s no study that compares loneliness city by city in Canada. The closest thing may be Canada’s General Social Survey (GSS), which queries Canadians on different themes like social networks and social engagement every five years. Compared to other Canadians, Albertans appear to be well-connected to friends and family: 60 per cent of Albertans have at least five close relatives and 54 per cent have five close friends. In both categories, we do

better than the national average at 55 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively.

But loneliness isn’t something you can measure from social connections alone.

Toronto psychologist Ami Rokach surprised his colleagues in 1980 when he said he wanted to study loneliness. “They thought I was lonely myself, and so needed to study the subject,” recalls the York University professor.

But academic thinking on loneliness has changed dramatically in the last 38 years. It’s now studied by researchers in fields ranging from psychology to urban design. Loneliness is no longer considered “just a feeling,” says Rokach. “It is now considered an epidemic, and the proof of how seriously it is taken can be seen by the appointment of a minister of loneliness in Britain.” Rokach rattles off a list of descriptors for loneliness including crushing pain and “internal emotional storms.”

“If it is chronic, it can be severely depressing, and complex … We do not have nice or sweet kinds of loneliness. It is always painful,” he says.

Loneliness differs from social isolation, a problem easier to identify and easier to address, says Rokach. “Social isolation happens when a person doesn’t have enough people to interact with.

Loneliness is the experience we endure when we feel that we are not important to others, that no one truly cares about us, that we do not have emotionally intimate relationships and when we do not succeed in getting out of that situation.” Being alone isn’t a requirement for loneliness; loneliness happens at home, on a bus, at a party. Sometimes, the most painful loneliness occurs in an intimate relationship, says Rokach, “where we expect to be close to someone and we find out we don’t know the person we are sleeping with at night. And then we feel a terrible pain, the pangs of loneliness.”

Loneliness is not the same as depression but it’s a strong risk factor for depression, and viceversa: depression exacerbates loneliness. They’re partners in crime, each goading the other on. Writer Andrew Solomon, whose book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, calls depression “a disease of loneliness.” Solomon wrote in The Guardian

in 2014 about the association of love, loneliness and depression: “Love — both expressed and received — is helpful, not because it ameliorates the symptoms of depression (it does not), but because it gives people evidence that life may be worth living if they can only get better. It gives them a place to admit to their illness, and admitting it is the first step toward resolving it.”

A 2015 study by American psychologists showed loneliness, social isolation and living alone were associated with a higher risk of early death — even more so than obesity. Down to the cellular level, we can see the effects. Loneliness leads to fight-or-flight stress responses, affecting the production of white blood cells. John T. Cacioppo, the psychologist who led the 2015 study, called loneliness “social pain,” a sensation humans developed to protect us from the harm of isolation.

Cacioppo died this spring after a diagnosis of cancer. His wife Stephanie Cacioppo, a brain researcher with whom he’d shared an office for the last seven years, wrote an email to the New York Times after his death, saying, “as John would say, and I agreed with him: ‘If you think about what our species would be like without loneliness, it would not be nearly as endearing a species. Loneliness, which compels us to bond with others, gives us what we call Humanity.’ ”

Loneliness becomes a serious concern when we suffer from it for extended periods, John Cacioppo wrote in his book Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection

Chronic loneliness doesn’t just affect our physical health but impedes our ability to make intelligent decisions about what is good for us.

Cacioppo once led an experiment in which some participants were told that no one wanted to

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– Andrew Solomon

work with them, setting them up to feel socially disconnected. Those participants ate twice as many cookies as those eaten by participants who had been told everyone wanted to work with them. It’s among the simplest of studies, but a telling one.

“This loss of executive function also helps explain the oft observed tendency of rejected lovers to do things they later regret,” he wrote.

Linh Bui, the program coordinator for the Greater Forest Lawn Community Connector Initiative, draws from her own experiences when she talks about how to address the loneliness of people in our communities.

Bui and her husband moved to Calgary from Vietnam in 2005 and lived in a secondary suite in the basement of a house in Forest Lawn. The family who lived above didn’t know them but “took us in as part of their family,” Bui says. For months, these neighbours were the closest friends the Buis had in Calgary. Acquaintances of the family helped them to buy a car — a terrible second-hand one that kept breaking down, but a car, nonetheless.

Bui remains grateful to the people who helped in those first months. Now, she tries to do the same for other newcomers. She organized a “pay-it-forward” day in Forest Lawn to spread random acts of kindness. The community is often portrayed as a ghetto, she says, with high rates of crime and violence, which makes people leery of each other. She wants Forest Lawn to be a place where people feel comfortable talking to strangers, so Bui and volunteers handed out Tim Hortons gift cards and started conversations at

Avenue Calgary .com 55

bus stops with people they had never met before. “It’s so important that we build a sense of community,” says Bui.

She’d like to see more funding for programs that build community and support the socially isolated. “We see seniors who rarely go out. I also see it with single parents, especially single moms who have limited access to resources and limited time. I see it with newcomers or the immigrant population. Language barriers contribute to social isolation.”

Bui’s colleague Marichu Antonio, the executive director of the Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary, says addressing loneliness in Calgary needs an approach that’s three-pronged: individual, community, systems. People can start by paying attention to their neighbours. Don’t overlook people whose accents or skin colour or socioeconomic situations are different than yours, she says. The Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary where she works recently changed its name to Action Dignity — a move to reflect the organization’s belief that every human deserves to be treated with dignity.

Antonio talks about building a “culture of humility” in Calgary. “This is how we can build a welcoming community. If we are respectful of the cultures of others and we don’t see ourselves as the dominant culture, we can instill the culture of humility. That will, I think, spark the culture of kindness and caring among us.”

Dr. Nabeela Nathoo is a resident physician in neurology at the University of Alberta. While in medical school in Calgary, she and classmate Omar Damji created a program to call isolated seniors at home once a week, based on a similar initiative in the U.K. It was “eye-opening,” she says, to see how a simple intervention can help.

“Loneliness is a growing problem and if we don’t keep it at the forefront of our thoughts in health policy and planning and things like that, it will grow into being a bigger issue than it is now. It probably is one of those things that we can curb through trying to enhance people’s social interactions,” says Dr. Nathoo. “It’s something that truly does have an impact on people’s health and well-being overall. I hope that people take it more seriously than we have.”

From her Fairview apartment, Cartledge agrees. When she found herself struggling with paperwork related to her pension, she reached out to the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society. They paired her with Jon, a volunteer who took her grocery shopping. She made him laugh by tossing groceries into the cart. He taught her to text and nicknamed her “Shenanigans.”

His friendship changed her life.

“Through him coming into my life, I was able to open up — a lot. I saw a lot of attributes that I had that came to the foreground and he encouraged them,” says Cartledge. She has since become an advocate for better housing policies for lowincome Calgarians, arguing that a person’s income can worsen their loneliness.

To make her case, she wrote a poem about aging in isolation, something she wouldn’t have had the courage to do last summer:

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Nabeela Nathoo
“Not one person, cares enough to come and ask, And this old body and mind cannot, will not, venture out there anymore.”
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A look at the established players and the new micro-distillers on the block that are adding local flavour to the cocktail culture in Calgary.

When the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) changed its minimum production requirements for breweries in 2013, the province saw a corresponding boom in craft beer producers, from 19 licensed brewers prior to the rule change to more than 80 as of this past spring. Like craft brewing’s smaller, boozier shadow, craft distilling is also having a moment, with the number of craft distillers in the province climbing from zero to 29 in the past five years.

David Farran, head of the Alberta Craft Distillers association and president and co-founder of Turner Valley-based Eau Claire Distillery, says the recent economic downturn has been a catalyst for this explosion in distilling and brewing. “A lot of entrepreneurs, engineers and others have looked around and said, ‘I have to find something else.’”

As these distillers roll out their vodkas, gins and whiskies, it has brought an infusion of local flavours into Calgary, and with it, a renewed interest for cocktail drinkers in what’s going into our tumblers.

Avenue Calgary .com 59


A closer look at two local producers, one old and one new, putting out high-quality spirits for your bar cart.


With 450,000 barrels aging across 10 warehouse buildings at its location, Alberta Distillers is on an entirely different level from the local micro-distilleries that have popped up in recent years. And it is an important player in the story of local spirits. Founded in 1946 by oilman Frank M. McMahon and B.C. distiller George H. Reifel, it is the first and oldest distiller in the province. Its factory, tucked away in the Alyth/ Bonnybrook industrial area, still sports the original, polished-hardwood floors in some areas, though the operation has expanded significantly since its inception, growing from four fermenters and six small tanks to more than 30 product and processing tanks.

Though Alberta Distillers is known locally for valuepriced whiskies like Alberta Premium, it is an important player on the global market, one of the few producers in the world distilling 100-per cent-rye whisky, considered a Canadian specialty. Former head distiller Rick Murphy, who retired in 2018 after 35 years with the company, says in spite of its long history most people in Calgary don’t even know there’s a major distillery in the city.

Last year, Alberta Distillers won best Canadian distillery at the Canadian Whisky Awards (CWA) and, in 2018, the CWA honoured Murphy with a lifetime achievement award. “Alberta Distillers has a reputation for expertise, in particular with rye mashing, that plays prominently in some of the world markets. In Calgary, and in Canada, it’s almost exclusively known for producing the Dark Horse and value-price brands, which is kind of odd,” says Murphy. “Alberta Distillers produces products that are shipped all over the world — there’s probably no place on the planet that you can go where you won’t find something [from Alberta Distillers].”

1521 34 Ave. S.E., Calgary

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The first craft distiller in Alberta Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley pays tribute to its unusual origin in its logo, which depicts two draft horses hitched to a plow. The equines reference the preferred pastime of distillery co-founder David Farran — traditional horse-farming using 100-year-old equipment to produce rye and barley. It was over drinks after an arduous evening of harvesting their shared crop back in 2013 that Farran, a former vice-president at Big Rock Brewery, and a group of fellow horse-farming enthusiasts decided to start distilling their grains.

Though provincial legislation at the time required distillers to produce more than a million litres, Farran wasn’t deterred. After a trip to Oregon, where he saw first hand the growth of craft industries like beer, coffee and spirits, he convinced his Big Rock associate and master brewer Larry Kerwin to come on board. The duo ordered a still from Germany and began lobbying to change the legislation. Initially, they were given 18 months to produce the minimum required amount of 500,000 litres per year, but a few months later, in December of 2013, the AGLC eliminated the minimumproduction requirements for liquor manufacturers and Eau Claire was free to produce its artisan vodka, gins and flavoured spirits in smaller batches. (Kerwin has since become one of Eau Claire’s master distillers, along with Caitlin Quinn.)

Though it does buy some grain to supplement production, all the cereals harvested in the traditional method by Farran and friends go into Eau Claire’s whiskies, an amount that equates to roughly 37,000 bottles’ worth. (Total whisky output is 50,000 to 75,000 bottles per year.) Its spirits, which vary from straight vodka to creations using prickly pear or even frankincense and myrrh, have gone on to win numerous awards, including a medal at last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its Parlour Gin and a Consumer Choice Award at the U.S.-based Sip Awards.

113 Sunset Blvd. S.W., Turner Valley eauclairedistillery.ca


If you want to talk distilling in Alberta, you’ve got to know your rye and barley.

What makes Canadian rye unique? “One word: flavour,” says former Alberta Distillers’ head distiller Rick Murphy. “If you consider rye bread versus Wonderbread, which is enriched white flour and neutral flavour, rye bread comes across as having a more bold, unique flavour with a harder edge. Whisky that’s made from corn tends to have a sweeter character, whisky from wheat tends to have a more neutral character, but rye really stands on its own in having a spicy character.”

Alberta produces around half of all the barley in the country. The grain lends a toffee-like, roastedcereal flavour to single-malt whiskies. Bryce Parsons, master distiller for Last Best Brewing and Distilling, says it’s a combination of environment and know-how that makes our barley shine.

“Number one, it’s climate — nice hot dry summers. And it’s a long history of agriculture. With barley, especially, we’re still getting really good yields off of our varietals per acre,” Parsons says. “The farmers [in Alberta] have the skill set and the generations of knowledge that have been passed down. As well, there are school programs, from Olds College to the University of Alberta, that offer educational aspects, too.”

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Eau Claire Distillery master distiller Larry Kerwin (opposite page) and president and co-founder David Farran (right) with horses used in traditional farming practices to produce grains that are distilled into Eau Claire spirits.



Park’s distillations garnered six awards at the International Sip Awards in 2017, and the Classic Vodka and Bird’s Eye Chili Vodka, with its mild, lingering heat, are what your local bartender is really excited about.


Black Velvet makes whisky, and it makes it well. Try the original black velvet, or opt for the sweeter Toasted Caramel or the spicy Cinnamon Rush.

2925 9 Ave. N., Lethbridge blackvelvetwhisky.com


Burwood loves to play with honey, producing a sweet honey liqueur, similar to a digestif, and a honey eau de vie that’s like a clear, slightly sweet whiskey.

4127 6 St. N.E., Calgary burwooddistillery.ca


Highwood likes to experiment with its products — whisky, rum, gin or vodka, it’s got different styles for all, and the pre-mixed offerings for cocktails are worth stocking up on for impromptu cocktail parties.

114, 10 Ave. S.E., High River highwood-distillers.com


Krang’s fruit liqueurs and apple brandy are the reasons you’ll want to tour the distillery and snag some free samples.

315, 1 St. E., Cochrane krang.com


While it’s waiting for its whisky to come of age in barrels, Last Best offers a rotating selection of small-batch botanical spirits through its White Label series, which, this year, includes a new gin every week as part of its Gin Craze YYC program.

607 11 Ave S.W., Calgary lastbestbrewing.com

219 Banff Ave., Banff parkdistillery.com


While you’re waiting for the mandatory three-year cask-aging required for whiskies, you can get your rye fix with Raw’s Unaged Rye, or try one of its gin varietals including citrus, botanical or peppercorn.

1460 Railway Ave., Canmore rawspirits.ca


Secret Barrel’s white rum, which won silver at the 2018 New York Spirits Competition, is made with sugar-cane liquor imported from Guyana and has notes of vanilla and butterscotch.



Starr’s Summer Love Raspberry Vodka uses raspberries from British Columbia and features a label created by local artist Dean Stanton, making it a fun bottle to have on hand this summer, or in any season.



Tippa, which is Finnish for “drop,” is a new nano-distillery in Okotoks that produces one thing: Lovebird Gin — a clean, smooth, clear spirit in a bottle adorned with art by Calgary-based Lisa Brawn. tippa.ca


Wild Life’s gin is a favourite among bartenders in the city due to its fresh citrus and coriander notes and spicy finish.

160, 105 Bow Meadows Cres., Canmore wildlifedistillery.ca

“The coolest thing [new distillers] are doing is they’re going out and foraging for ingredients themselves. Matt Hendriks from PARK is getting his own spruce tips and freezing them so they can use them throughout the year.”


average gin, which is heavy on the juniper and coriander. [This gin is] completely different — it has mace in it, a lot of grains of paradise and fenugreek.”

—Eric Auclair, Calcutta Cricket Club

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Makina Labrecque with the Right Here in the Light cocktail at Proof. Honey May I, a cross between a Bees Knees and a Gin Martini, isn’t on the menu at Calcutta Cricket Club, but they will make it for you if you ask.

“The decision to stock local liquor is about quality and relationships. I would say that PARK does make a great spirit — we work with their gin, and their Bird’s Eye Chili Vodka — but it’s also based on the relationship. We know them personally and everything starts from there. The Park gin is more a London dry style — they call it an alpine dry — so you can use it in any sort of traditional cocktail that calls for a London dry, but it has some new-world qualities so it’s versatile. The Bird’s Eye Chili vodka is great because there are a lot of distilleries that do a spicy vodka, but this is different because the [spiciness] comes in the finish, so it’s layered.”

“DARK HORSE WHISKY is something we’ve had on the menu since day one. We do a drink called the Tiki Horse, which is a peach-based hippy-style drink with peach valernum . I like the flavour profile [of Dark Horse]. It’s got a touch of nutty-sweetness, it’s really great in cocktails, and drinking it on its own is not too bad, either.”

—Mark Roeric, Cannibale —Christina Mah, Klein/Harris Christina Mah with the Tiki Horse Cocktail at Klein/Harris.
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Army and Navy cocktail from Cannibale.



The only Calgary-made bitters on the block, Black Cloud has been making its way into liquor cabinets and cocktail bars since 2015. These handmade flavour boosters come in a variety of intriguing flavours, including charred cedar, prairie rose, saffron mango and more.


While it’s the G in G ’n’ T that most people fuss over, choosing the right tonic can add real flair to this classic cocktail. That’s where Calgary company Porter’s Tonic shines. Owner Nicole Fewell makes every batch herself, and has come up with a number of flavours, from hibiscus to cardamom orange, that will make your tonic-infused cocktails the talk of the town. Porter’s has also teamed up with Ontario-based distillery Muskoka Brewery to make a canned gin and tonic using Fewell’s original recipe.


Not everyone has the time to figure out fancy recipes or compile the necessary ingredients for their preferred cocktails, so the folks at Eau Claire went ahead and created ready-made sips. Their canned gin and tonic — the first Alberta craft cocktail in a can — combines Eau Claire’s award-winning Parlour Gin with its house-made tonic water. For more of a kick, try the Equineox Mule, a bottled cocktail that combines the distiller’s Equineox spirit with ginger beer from Calgary’s Annex Ale Project for a unique, local take on a Moscow Mule.


Last Best Brewing and Distilling’s master distiller Bryce Parsons is a funny guy. When he saw how many craft gins were coming into the market, he wondered how anyone could keep track of it all. “As a self-dare, a joke, I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to confuse things even more and make 52 gins in one year,’” says Parsons. He certainly

had the chops to pull it off, having written his thesis on gin flavour profiling and mapping during his studies at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. Thus, Gin Craze YYC was born.

Parsons is producing 35 bottles of micro-batch gin each week throughout 2018. Each batch is numbered with the week it came out and named for its unique personality. Flavours have ranged from week 13’s kaffir-lime to week five’s cryohopped dry gin with cardamom. (Cryohopping is when hop cones are frozen to a temperature where the lupulin — the powdery, pollen-like substance that holds the aromas and acids that give hops their unique characteristics — separates from the vegetal material.) Each week’s flavour is written up on Last Best’s Instagram feed. Those lucky enough to snag a bottle can enjoy at will; for everyone else, a selection of past bottles is behind the bar at the restaurant for in-house consumption.


In 2017, Park Distillery in Banff was the first craft distillery in Canada to release signature barrel-aged bottled cocktails: a Negroni and a Martinez using its Alpine Dry gin and a Manhattan using its Glacier Rye. The drinks are aged six months in new charred-oak casks, allowing the spirits to mellow, with bitters added to round out the flavour once each 110-litre cask is opened. The initial run sold out quickly and Park’s latest batch came out this past June. The distillery is already aging another batch of casks made in collaboration with Proof bar manager Makina Labrecque and the Craft Spirit Collective.


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Jen Gerson

Starting last winter, journalist Jen Gerson seemed to be everywhere. She had abruptly left a National Post correspondent position at the end of January. By mid-February, three weeks into her freelance career, Gerson had already amassed an impressive number of stories. People noticed. Edmonton journalist Omar Mouallem posted on Twitter that he had read four great articles that day, all penned by Gerson. Her former National Post colleague Tristin Hopper tweeted that Gerson was “in the midst of the most explosively successful post-@NationalPost 100 days in the history of National Posting. If you haven’t noticed, her byline is more ubiquitous than Benedict Cumberbatch.”

Gerson replied: “S–––, I’m only on day 33, f–––ers.”

By the end of April, at the actual 100-day mark, Gerson had written about Canada’s obsession with the sex lives of ice dancers, gotten into a Twitter fight with Conrad Black about journalistic standards, tackled the “hippie vs. rig pig” pipeline battle between B.C. and Alberta, addressed sexual harassment in Canadian politics and written about the chaotic Ontario provincial election — including breaking the story about the Ontario Progressive Conservative party conference call that put an end to Patrick Brown’s run for Premier. Gerson also started a gig as the journalist-in-residence at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, appeared regularly on CBC’s Power & Politics panel and began a biweekly politics podcast with journalist Justin Ling called Oppo.

Gerson’s omnipresence appeared sudden and explosive, but I wanted to know how and when her journalistic

fuse was lit. She agreed to meet with me last spring even though she was coming off a rough week. Gerson was recovering from strep throat, and her 18-month-old son had also been sick and spent the previous few nights in Gerson’s bed kicking her in the face. She had just recorded an episode of Oppo from inside her closet because it is the most soundproof place in her house. “You have to picture me in my closet still, in my pyjamas, shaking back and forth because I haven’t slept,” Gerson said. “And I’m on antibiotics. I am so exhausted.” Still, she sat down with me to run through what has gotten her to this point.

Gerson’s first press conference, in 2002, was about the notorious Robert Pickton pig farm, where police eventually identified the remains of 26 murdered women. Gerson was 16 years old. She was volunteering for course credit with the student newspaper at her high school, Gleneagle Secondary in Coquitlam, and was shadowing a reporter from the local newspaper who took her in “like a little duckling,” Gerson said. She recalls questioning one of the other reporters in the scrum about a bit of journalism jargon he used. “I was trying to feel tough,” Gerson said. “I was really — how should I describe it? — intense as a 16-year-old.”

The reporter ride-along to the Pickton press conference, along with the September 11 attacks which occurred around the same time, abruptly expanded Gerson’s view of the world outside her little town. These two tragedies — one global, one local — combined with Gerson’s longheld fascination with language and story. “I don’t know if that is a grim thing to say, but it was an interesting and

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The backstory to the seemingly overnight success of one of the country’s fastest-rising political pundits shows she masterfully positioned herself to be the perfect person in the perfect position to write about Alberta politics at exactly the moment it became relevant to everyone.
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exciting time to be trained as a journalist,” Gerson said. “The world became a very different place after that.”

After graduating from high school, Gerson enrolled in journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto. She quickly realized her future job prospects didn’t rely on her GPA.

“I took the lay of the land and I realized nobody is going to give a shit if I have an A or a D,” Gerson said. “Nobody is going to care about my grades.” Instead, she focused on gaining newsroom experience. Gerson joined the Ryerson student newspaper, The Eyeopener. “I knew from high school the student newspaper was where all the cool kids hung out,” she said. She started off as circulation manager, a sort of rite-of-passage job that involved pushing a massive cart loaded with papers throughout campus and making early morning deliveries. The job earned her goodwill among the higher-ups at The Eyeopener. “All of the editors went for breakfast with me afterwards. It was a social thing.”

Social things were hardly Gerson’s speciality. “I was an only kid. I never got along with other people,” she said.

“I was a weirdo.” Gerson was also a year younger than all her peers, and couldn’t join them for post-class drinks.

More than this, though, Gerson’s ruthless pursuit of her career goals did not always endear her to her J-school classmates. “Right from the beginning, I had my eye on the prize to a creepy degree, and that was extremely offputting to my peers,” she admitted. “I definitely didn’t win Miss Congeniality or Miss Popularity in university. That’s for sure.”

Gerson landed plum internships at The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Calgary Herald. Then, in 2007, she got a job as a tourism reporter at The National, a new government-owned newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. She enjoyed the travel opportunities the job offered, but found the expat vibe in Abu Dhabi a sort of frat-house version of a foreign news desk. “Everybody is away from home and they drink a lot. You wind up going on these boozy brunches every Friday and getting into trouble,” Gerson said. “It is literally like grown-up university.” Despite that, she enjoyed the scene for about two years before The National’s credibility began to disintegrate under the weight of increased government censorship.

At the time, Gerson figured that Yemen might be an interesting place for her to work next. She arranged to spend a month in Sana’a studying Arabic. She did the math on how many freelance articles she would have to publish every month to pay her rent and how much she would need to spend on “kidnapping and ransom insurance.” But then, on the day she had planned to send her deposit to the language school, the Calgary Herald sent her an email offering her a general-assignment reporter position. The timing seemed like a sign. “I decided to come home,” she said.

Gerson worked at the Herald for nearly two years before getting promoted to covering Alberta for The National Post. Premier Alison Redford dropped the writ on the provincial election on Gerson’s second day on the job. Within a few months, Redford was out, Jim Prentice stepped in, and then Rachel Notley’s NDP wave washed away 44 years of Conservative rule. Alberta politics — long considered the most boring beat in Canadian journalism — suddenly became the most interesting and relevant political topic in the country. “I just lucked out,” Gerson said. “I ended up on the back tail of a star and rode it in.”

Retired journalist Catherine Ford poured me a glass of wine, then fetched half of a limoncello martini she had leftover in the fridge from the night before. When she returned to her living room, she said, “If I had a daughter, I’d want her to be Jen Gerson.”

I was there because I had been told Ford was, along with Don Baird and Colby Cosh, something of a mentor for Gerson. This made perfect sense. The two journalists share much in common. Ford describes Gerson as a funny and mouthy woman who “doesn’t take s––– from anyone,” an accurate description of Ford herself. Ford said, too, that “Jen has a tendency to be — what’s the word I am looking for? — confirmed in her opinion. Like I was.” Both women are admired for their fierce and entertaining columns, even by readers who may disagree with them.

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Stop mullion it over already!

It is tempting to suggest Gerson is following in Ford’s footsteps. Instead, Ford imagines following Gerson. “In Jen, I see the possibilities that might have been if I started out now,” she said. When Ford first joined the London Free Press in 1966, she was the only female news reporter at the entire paper, and women journalists have long felt pressure to be “one of the boys.” “Jen is quite feminine,” Ford said. “You can be that [now] and still be a great journalist. That’s a huge difference.”

However, Ford doesn’t envy Gerson for the current precarious state of the business and the paucity of journalism jobs available to young reporters. Nor does she have any interest in the online world today’s journalists must navigate. “If I was starting out in the business today and I didn’t have a thick skin, with all the trolling on social media, I am not sure I wouldn’t have drunk more than I used to,” Ford said.

For her part, Gerson endures less online abuse than many other female pundits she knows. Gerson’s writing rarely delves into the sort of topics like feminism and race that tend to rile the web’s most vicious hate nerds. Most of all, though, Gerson thinks her refusal to align herself with one political tribe or another makes her a less of a target. She considers herself to be generally centre-right-leaning in her politics, and harbours “a fundamental skepticism about the competence of any government to do anything useful,” but she is neither a party flag-waver nor an ideologue. It is hard to wage war on someone who hovers outside the fray.

Gerson also believes that her fierce online character dissuades many attackers. “I think people realize that if you want to f––– with me on Twitter, I’ll f––– with you right back,” she said. “And I’ll probably win.” The Jen Gerson on the page, though, is not the same as flesh-andbones Jen Gerson. “Every pundit has a persona, to some degree,” she said. While Gerson The Person considers herself shy, Pundit Gerson describes herself as bossy and aggressive. “I’ve got a funny, bulls–––, sort of take-no-prisoners persona,” Gerson said. She wouldn’t consider her persona false, but it is certainly crafted. This “puppet of Jen Gerson” allows her to separate herself from the sort of online backlash that punditry breeds, especially for outspoken women like her. “Most of the time I can disconnect from the emotional consequences of being out there,” she said.

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All of Gerson’s work presents her particular stance on an issue — she is an opinion writer more than a reporter, although her work is based in research — but she does not care if readers come over to her side. “I’m not invested in people’s growth. That’s just useless to me,” she said.

Gerson would rather guide readers through her thought process than necessarily change their views. In her critique of the 2018 federal budget, for example, she ran the numbers on the Liberals’ much-ballyhooed overhaul of the Universal Child Care Benefit and revealed that households making $30,000 per year are still spending between half and two-thirds of their net income on childcare. “We women are very good at this kind of math,” she wrote.

Math has driven Gerson’s career from the very beginning. Every career move she has made as a journalist emerged from unsentimental arithmetic. Her focus on experience instead of grades at Ryerson, for example, or her calculation that penning short opinion columns is a more financially fruitful use of her freelance hours than investigative reporting. Gerson has written a couple of book proposals, too, but has reasoned that even a successful book about Alberta politics won’t earn enough money to be worth her time writing it. “I’m not interested in making $20,000 a year,” she said. “Money is how we keep score.”

Mercenary mathematics may fuel her career choices, but it is her long-held desire to tell good stories that drives the work itself. This hasn’t changed since she was a precocious high-schooler. “I want to be good at doing the craft,” she said.

Gerson has never harboured any hope to change the world and rejects the J-school aphorism that the purpose of journalism is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. “That is an activist model,” she said. “If you’ve accepted that, then you’ve accepted your role in journalism as an activist, and as a left-leaning activist whose job it is to shit on the rich.” Gerson said she worries that too many journalists consider challenging power to be a more important goal than simply telling truthful stories. “That being said, I’m perfectly happy to take out the powerful when I think they deserve it. I’m thrilled. I’ll take your head and I’ll put it on a wall if you deserve it,” then she added, “I’m really nice. I’m just very disagreeable.”

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A Legacy of Love

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff celebrates its 50th anniversary this year by paying tribute to its founders and their vision for an artistic and cultural hub in the mountains.

All photographs courtesy of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, clockwise from top left: WyP.02.039, V683/iii/A/1/pd-1-42-004, V692 PA133 8a, V683/iii/A/1/pd-1-42-004, WyP.02.002


Robb Whyte and Peter Whyte (right side of image) with Cyril Paris and George K. K. Link; groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Whyte Museum, 1967; Peter and Catharine Whyte in front of their log home; oilon-canvas paintings

by Peter Whyte of Columbia Icefield and Lake O’Hara.

THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT Opening day, June 16, 1968; library interior circa 1968; Peter Whyte and Catharine Robb Whyte scouting locations to paint.

Just off Banff’s main thoroughfare stands the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. The angular roof of the entryway echoes the planes of the mountain behind it and also hints at what’s inside — a museum dedicated to honouring the Rocky Mountains and the vibrant artistic community that has long been drawn to the area.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Whyte Museum, which is celebrating with an exhibition about the artistic legacy of its eponymous founders, Peter Whyte and Catharine Robb Whyte. Running until Oct. 21, Artistry Revealed: Peter Whyte, Catharine Robb Whyte and Their Contemporaries offers a unique opportunity to see the two artists’ work on display.

Through their brushstrokes, the Whytes’ paintings express the deep love they held for the landscape — and for each other. Their love story begins in 1925 when the pair met as students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston,



Massachusetts. Catharine Robb Whyte had grown up in a wealthy family in Concord, Mass. Peter Whyte, on the other hand, had grown up in Banff, but ended up at art school in Boston on the recommendation of the American painter Aldro T. Hibbard. Whyte and Hibbard had become acquainted that summer while painting alongside each other at Lake O’Hara, and it was Hibbard who convinced Whyte to attend his alma mater.

In 1930 the Whytes married and moved to Banff. They explored the mountains, climbing Abbot Pass with guide Rudolph Aemmer and painting at Lake O’Hara and other spots. The couple also became renowned for their hospitality. “Their house on the Bow River was the epicentre of cordiality,” says Anne Ewen, the Whyte Museum’s curator of art and heritage. “Artists would visit the Whytes whenever they were in town.”

The Whytes also became informal historians, collecting items and taking recordings relating to the history of the Rockies. The goal was to one

day have a physical space for their collections and their extensive art holdings. “They wanted to create some place where this beautiful community, its old stories could be celebrated,” says Banff-based writer and adventurer Chic Scott, author of the biographical coffee-table book Mountain Romantics: The Whytes of Banff.

In 1958, the Whytes took the first step toward realizing their vision by forming the Wa-CheYo-Cha-Pa Foundation (now known as the Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation). Banff local Maryalice Stewart was hired as the director of the foundation in 1965. Though Peter Whyte passed away the following year, Catherine Robb Whyte and Stewart vowed to carry on.

In 1968, the museum officially opened (though not as the Whyte Museum) in a space that also housed the Banff Public Library, the Peter Whyte Gallery and the Archives of the Canadian Rockies. In 1983 the library moved to another home and a heritage gallery was created in its place. Two years

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All photographs courtesy of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, clockwise from top right: V692/C/pa-19, V692/C/pa-52, V683/iii/a/15/pa-184

later, the space was renamed the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. In 1993, a new wing was added to create a larger art space and the museum took the shape visitors today will recognize.

At the heart of the Whyte Museum has always been a sense of community. Every year since its debut the museum has hosted an event called Back to Banff Day, which is a gathering for artistic and mountain-culture communities. “It’s a hub where I connect up with other people in the art community on a regular basis,” says Canmore-based artist and photographer Dan Hudson. “Most people in the art community, as well as the general public, go to a lot of events at the Whyte Museum. [As an artist] you work on your own in your studio by yourself a lot, so to have a place like that where you can connect with the larger community is really important.”

Currently, one of the Whyte Museum’s most popular event series is Fireside Chats, which started back in 2012 and is hosted by Scott. At the events, Scott sits down with a prominent mountain-culture personality in front of an audience and has them tell their stories, which are recorded and published on the Digital Vault section of the museum’s website. The events are always jam-packed. (The next Fireside Chat is Sept. 20, with adventurer Renate Belczyk.) Another popular event series is Rockywood Reels, which screens archival films shot in the area.

The Whyte Museum also has a mandate to engage with the region’s Indigenous communities. Created by archival assistant and First Nations liaison Dagny Dubois, the Recognizing Relations program presents photos from the museum archives to members and elders of the Stoney Nakoda community with the goal of getting them to name the people in the photographs. The program is now in its fourth phase, and has presented around 450 photographs to the Nation so far.

“It’s important for us to engage the Stoney Nakoda community,” says Dubois. “We want to share [our collections] however we can and

work together on bringing these things forward so that the community knows what we have and to become a resource for them.”

Looking forward to the next 50 years, the museum’s current director Vincent J. Varga says he hopes to continue to honour the founders and what they would have wanted. “Peter and Catharine were extraordinary for not only their artistic accomplishments but the vision that they had. You can imagine a town of [just over 3,000] people back in 1968, how extraordinary it would be to have an institution like the Whyte Museum open,” Varga says. “Not only did they build the

building, but then they also helped endow the museum so that it could continue to function into the future. And they set the stage by ensuring that the building and the collection in its impetus had to do with collecting the stories, the objects, the artifacts, the visual art that somehow captured the essence of this place.”

For Scott, the Banff community would be a little less without the museum. “Communities without history, without a story, are sort of hollow shells,” he says. “To me, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is the memory of Banff and the Rocky Mountains.”

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Top photograph by Victoria Lessard; bottom photographs courtesy of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, V692/A/pa-144 (left), V692/A/pa-161(right)
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Whyte Museum exterior; Peter Whyte Gallery circa 1968; Peter Whyte Foundation.
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Mary Madeline White

The Calgary Women’s Run turns 40 this month, making it one of the oldest events of its kind in the country, and this avid runner will be there at the start line for the 34th time.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY Brendan Stephens


Back in the summer of 1979, Mary Madeline White noticed an ad for an upcoming run for women, the first of its kind in Calgary. The nurse and mother of two had been running recreationally for years, but she had never raced, unless you count that one time back in 1943, at the age of four, when her mother entered her in a race for 12-and-unders. “And I won,” laughs the pixiehaired White, now 79.

Back in the summer of ’79, however, the idea of racing as an adult seemed intimating to White. In those days, women were anomalies at running events — even at those events that permitted them to enter, as many did not.

White ended up calling the telephone number in the ad anyways. Marg Carleton, the race organizer and a member of the Calgary Roadrunners Club, answered.

White asked Carleton what kind of runners she expected. Carleton answered, “all kinds.”

White told Carleton she could run up to four miles. “Great,” Carleton responded, “then you can run six.”

So White showed up on race day, paid her $4 entry fee and ran the first Calgary Women’s Run, a 10-kilometre race sponsored by Bonne Belle Cosmetics, a company that was then leading a push to get a women’s marathon event into the Olympics. (The event debuted at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.)

“Running was so different then,” says White. “It was intimidating for a lot of women, although it probably still is for some.”

Intimidating or not, today, of course, women participate in road races in increasing numbers. According to statistics published by Canadian Running magazine in 2016, women accounted for more than half of participants in five-km, 10-km and half-marathon distance categories in Canadian races.

This month, the Calgary Women’s Run celebrates its 40th anniversary, making it one of Canada’s oldest races for women, and White plans to be at the start line for the 34th time. She believes the run’s longevity is due to its inclusive vibe. “There are some very fast women who run that race and there are also lots who walk it,” White says. “If a woman [is hesitant] to get into a race situation, it’s a great place to start.”

Since her first go at the Calgary Women’s Run back in 1979, White has run three full marathons, 26 half-marathons and several hundred races

of shorter distances. She mostly sticks to halfmarathons or shorter now, having run her last full marathon in 2000 at age 62. These days White, who stands just under five feet tall, runs between 20 and 32 kms in a week. She runs outside in the summer and on the treadmill or indoor track in winter, having given up running outdoors in cold temperatures several years ago on the advice of a doctor who said cold air was aggravating her asthma. White also avoids running outside in less-than-ideal air conditions to manage her asthma and always carries an inhaler.

Despite her age and respiratory issues, White says her doctors are very supportive of her running and believe it has helped strengthen the cartilage in her knees and kept other health problems at bay. On their recommendation, White takes Vitamin D daily and cycles for five minutes before and after each run. “In my case, asthma and arthritis are just two wee things that are manageable with help and do not interfere with my fun,” she says.

White is also a firm believer in the benefits of cross-training. In addition to all the running, she cross-country skis and trains on elliptical exercise machines. She’s also an avid cyclist and is the proud owner of “5.5 bikes” (one is a tandem). When it comes to her diet she describes herself as “not doctrinaire.” She doesn’t eat red meat, having given it up a few years ago (“you could say I’m 95-per cent vegetarian,” she says), and eats her biggest meal in the middle of the day,

something she is accustomed to from growing up on a farm. She then has an afternoon snack and a light dinner so she can sleep more easily.

Aside from the odd ankle issue, White has mostly stayed injury-free. “It’s not running that hurts people, it’s compulsive behavior. I’m too lazy to run myself into injury,” she says.

That said, White did experience a bout of plantar fasciitis at the age of 76 while training for a half-marathon. She says her doctor laughed while advising her to rest, telling her that he doesn’t usually see 76-year-old women with plantar fasciitis. “I looked at some of my 76-year-old friends and the bad things that are happening to them and realized I’m one of the lucky ones. I really am,” White says. “I did everything my doctor advised and the plantar fasciitis went away. I did my half-marathon and never got it back.”

White’s own approach to running is that it can be complicated — or not. “If you decide you want to run, and something doesn’t feel right or isn’t comfortable, you need to pay attention to it,” she says. “Visit with your doctors, hear them out. Pay attention, take care of yourself, and that’s all there is to it.” She says she still learns something from every race. And sometimes a race will just remind her of things she already knows, like last year when she watched her 10-year-old grandson smile through his first-ever 10-km race.

“Running is supposed to be fun,” White says. “So let it be fun.”

The 40th Annual Calgary Women’s Run takes place Aug. 26, calgaryroadrunners.com.

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“It’s not running that hurts people, it’s compulsive behaviour. I’m too lazy to run myself into injury.”
— Mary Madeline White

West CoastModern Ease

The curved timber roof of this family home makes waves on its riverfront property.

The upstairs family room features a curved timber ceiling made of Douglas fir glulam and Kayu Batu wood.
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When Michelle and Tyler Armstrong first started working with Marvin DeJong at DeJong Design Associates (DDA) to design their house in Rideau Park, the couple had difficulty pinning down their exact vision. But the design came together once the roof was brought into the picture. The distinctive curved-timber roof makes the West Coast-modern-inspired house a sight to behold from the outside. And inside, the wood ceiling in the upstairs family room gives the space a breezy grandeur.

Exterior photograph by Mike Heywood
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The silhouette of the curved timber roof is distinctive against the sky.


Michelle Armstrong wanted the room to have a comfortable feel, where the couple’s two teenaged daughters could relax and do their homework. The Douglas fir timber glulam (a shortening of “glued laminated timber”) rafters and Kayu Batu wood are visually impressive, but the materials also make the space very inviting. “Wood is just so warm,” says DeJong. “Even though this is a contemporary house,w there’s nothing austere about it. People love that connection to real wood.”

Creating the curved roof was an intricate and involved process. DDA provided the timber frame supplier with drawings. The rafters were made in B.C., then shipped back to Calgary. “It’s a bit like a Meccano kit. It all comes pre-cut, pre-made, and you basically assemble the roof on site with a crane,” says DeJong. “You can’t be an inch bigger or inch smaller; it has to fit. There’s a lot of coordination required when you do a roof like this.”

Coordination and cooperation were imperative to all parts of the process of creating this home. DDA worked closely with interior design firm McIntyre Bills and general contractor Stonewater Homes to create the Armstrongs’ distinctive addition to the Rideau Park streetscape.

Interior designer James McIntyre credits the unified design of the house to everyone’s collaborative efforts. “I love, architecturally, how integrated the inside is with the outside,” says McIntyre. “I think it’s an example of great teamwork when the interior designer and the architect and the builder are all on the same page. That’s when you get your most successful result, when they’re working as a team.”


An essential component of home design is choosing the right materials. Designer Marvin DeJong prefers to use natural materials wherever possible. “A design tenet is that there’s truth in materials,” he says. Here are DeJong’s three tips on materials that elevate the design of a home.

1. Full Bed Masonry Full bed masonry, a thick stone or brick that is used as a finish, helps to ground a home. “Brick has weight to it. It’s thick; it roots the house. We tend to do that on traditionally based houses. We like to root them and we use [real stone] masonry.”

2. Real Materials DeJong is not a fan of faux. He prefers to use cementitious siding, or cement fibre board, and recommends using the smooth side rather than anything with faux-wood grain. “We never use anything with fake-wood embossing on it,” he says. “I joke that I can’t find that wood grain in nature, so let’s just not pretend.”

3. Triple-paned Windows

“I can always tell the quality of a house in construction when the windows go in,” DeJong says. “Always use great windows. [The best windows are] usually metal-clad windows. They are the most robust window for our environment.”

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The impressive curved timber roof adds both a distinctive look and a coziness to the space.

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McIntyre’s design for the interior of the Armstrong home was inspired by the architecture of the house and the beauty of the Elbow River. Along with his design-firm partner Ronald Bills, McIntyre focused on making choices that would reflect the surroundings rather than draw attention away from them. “We tried to choose furniture that had a strong connection to the architecture — that is, not too decorative, but furniture that looks more like it fits conceptually. When you do that, it allows the eye to enjoy the view out to the water,” he says.

McIntyre points to the hand-blown glass chandelier that hangs above the dining table as an example. He and Michelle Armstrong found the John Pomp Studios piece while on a buying trip they had taken together to Los Angeles. “The chandelier, as beautiful as it is, you can see through it to the river because it’s glass. It’s not obstructing the view, it’s enhancing the view,” says McIntyre. “None of [the furniture is] too attention-seeking.”

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ABOVE The John Pomp Studios hand-blown glass chandelier hangs over the custom Red Eight Workshop dining table, designed to match the home’s millwork. RIGHT The home is an excellent space for entertaining, as well as cooking and baking, which the Armstrongs love to do. The lighter granite countertop and backsplash balance out the darker cabinetry.

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Functional beauty was a key concern for both Michelle and Tyler. “There’s a practicality to the Armstrongs. As much as they wanted [the home] to be beautiful, because it’s a busy family home they wanted it to be functional and practical,” says McIntyre.

The result is a mix of custom touches and easy pieces. The kitch-en features luxurious items like the chandelier, a custom dining table by Red Eight Workshop and a granite countertop and granite backsplash. The second-floor family room is a more relaxed space with wave wall art from IKEA and a cheerful turquoise patterned rug from Crate and Barrel. The mix of the functional and beautiful creates a home where the Armstrongs can run through their whirlwind everyday routine of school, work and extracurriculars, and still entertain family and friends with a touch of grandeur.

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The bar on the windows in the formal living room was set at furniture height in order to give the family an uninterrupted view of the Elbow River below. ABOVE The Armstrong home is full of shapes that are reflective of the architecture, including the curved wall of the staircase leading up to the family room.



Cartier Santos watch on pink alligator strap, $8,000; pear-shaped rubellite drop earrings with round brilliant-cut diamonds set in 18kt white and rose gold, $18,315. All available from Brinkhaus, 823 6 Ave. S.W., 403-269-4800, brinkhaus.com


Home design by DeJong Design Associates Ltd., 1217 10 Ave. S.E., 403-6409440, dejongdesign.com

Interior design by McIntyre Bills, 100, 1508 6 St. S.W., 403-2053888, mcintyrebills.com

General contractor, Stonewater Homes, 4012 4 St. S.E., 403-606-9000, stonewaterhomescalgary.com

Family-room ceiling wood from Kayu Canada, 8-6304 Burbank Rd. S.E., 403-541-9009, kayu.ca

Family-room sofa from Montauk Sofa, 617 10 Ave S.W., 403265-6777, montauksofa.com

Rug from Crate and Barrel, Southcentre, 403-278-7020, crateandbarrel.com

Wave art from IKEA, 8000 11 St S.E., 866-866-4532, ikea.ca

Desk from Crate and Barrel Lamps from Pottery Barn, CF Chinook Centre, 403-259-2100, potterybarn.com

Kitchen countertops from Caesarstone, 3054 15 St N.E., 403-476-9880, caesarstone.ca

Wolf range from Trail Appliances, three Calgary locations, trail-appliances.com

Backsplash from Icon Stone + Tile, 521 36 Ave S.E., 403-532-3383, iconstonetile.com

Bar chairs fabricated by Red Eight Workshop, 934 55 Ave N.E., 403-219-8885, redeightworkshop.com

Millwork by Bec Woodcraft, 8600 34 Ave S.E., 403-2738394, becwoodcraft.com

Dining table custom made by Red Eight Workshop Light fixture by John Pomp Studios, johnpomp.com

Living-room sofa fabricated by Red Eight Workshop Chairs are B&B Italia, bebitalia. com (the brand is carried in Calgary by Le Belle Arti, 1435 9 Ave. S.E., 403-234-9700, lebellearti.com)

Coffee table fabricated by Red Eight Workshop

Marble fireplace from Icon Stone + Tile

Mud room tile from Stone Tile West, 4040 7 St. S.E., 403-234-7274

Hicks pendant lights from Circa Lighting, circalighting.com

Avenue Calgary .com 87 AREA RUGS CARPET HARDWOOD LAMINATE TILE STONE VINYL contempacarpet.com 403.245.4353 1315 11TH AVENUE SW YOUR FLOOR COVERING SOURCE Ultima Custom Homes
The mud room is airy and bright with Hicks pendant lighting and ample storage.


Rodney Diverlus

Dancer, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Describe this outfit and why you love it. I always start my ensembles with one signature piece that can be paired and pulled together with other great options. I got these pants from Johannesburg, South Africa, and was inspired by their playfulness but, more importantly, that wrap style that is basically never seen here. The top I got in Sydney and you can never go wrong with mesh. The rest is from racks and bins pulled together over time. Describe your everyday style. Bold and unapologetic. Mismatched and miscellaneous.

Favourite local clothing store or designer? Thrifting all the way. Favourite local restaurant?


What are you currently reading?

Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard.

What, or who, is your style inspiration? No one can touch Rihanna — her inventiveness, creativity and ability to pair anything with just about anything is unmatched.

What’s your favourite current thing to wear? Obnoxious patterns on patterns and athleisure-inspired outfits.

What do you carry with you?

AcuBall, Jolly Ranchers, phone charger, glasses cleaner ... the essentials.

What is your greatest extravagance? My weekly online shopping binges. I love shopping at asos.com, isseymiyake.com, andrewcoimbra.com and notribeclothing.com.

88 avenueAUGUST.18

Local Finds

LSG Denim

When LSG Denim co-founder Papohang Subba first saw raw selvedge denim it was love at first sight. The narrow, woven fabric (“selvedge” refers to the finished edge that prevents it from unravelling) can only be made using an old-school shuttle loom which requires a skilled master artisan to operate. In 2013, Subba joined with two other denim enthusiasts to create affordable, high-quality raw selvedge jeans. Offering four different men’s cuts in 13.75- and 16.25-ounce denim weights ($125 per pair), LSG Denim is the only Calgary-designed raw denim company. “Once you break them in, the jeans take the shape of your body,” Subba says. “Selvedge denim can hold up for a long time, even with daily wear. With proper care, they can last for years.”

LSG Denim, 403-805-7214, lsgdenim.com

The Ordinary

Toronto-based cult beauty brand Deciem is now available at Hudson’s Bay. The company’s highly sought-after line, The Ordinary, is famous for pure-ingredient treatments at unheard-of low prices; the collection starts at $4.20 and most products are under $10. The brand was created with the intention of bringing transparency and integrity to the luxury skincare industry by showing that products made with great, pure ingredients can be affordable, too. Devotees swear by the various concoctions of vitamin C, antioxidants and retinoids.

The Ordinary at Hudson’s Bay, various locations, thebay.com


If you’ve been looking to switch up your studio circuit, add CrushCamp to your repertoire. The 55-minute classes feature a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit in a positive and supportive environment — no matter your skill or fitness level, the class can be adapted to your pace and strength.

CrushCamp is the first studio in Canada to feature the SkillMill, a non-motorized treadmill used by many elite athletes. On the SkillMill, you can do everything from regular running to a full-on sled push. CrushCamp drop-ins are $21 and the studio also offers an introductory rate of 30 days of unlimited classes for $65, so you can try as many classes as possible (and really get crushed).

CrushCamp, 313 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-3488, crushcamp.com

Mercedes + Singh

If clean lines and beautiful materials speak to you, the work of Calgarybased designer and engineer Sumer Singh (who also has trained as an architect) will certainly appeal to your aesthetic. The Tabula Rasa (blank slate in Latin) was the first table Singh ever made and it became the catalyst for his full-time studio practice, Mercedes + Singh, which he runs with his wife, Karen. Available in two sizes — an 18-inch side table ($300) and a 44-inch coffee table ($1,500) — each Tabula Rasa is built by hand in Calgary of gleaming black steel that appears to have been effortlessly bent into shape.

Mercedes + Singh, available at 4living, 1445 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-3070, 4living.ca and Guildhall, 1222 9 Ave. S.E., 403-454-4399, guildhallhome.com

Avenue Calgary .com 91 NEXT DOOR TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN POOLS AND SPAS lotuscontract@gmail.com | mountainhouse.ca | mountainhousecontract.com 403-455-9288 | 4611 MANHATTAN RD S.E. | CALGARY AB., T2G 4B3

AS TOLD TO Jennifer Friesen

Danny Eisenberg

Danny Eisenberg, co-founder and director of community at Fuse33 Makerspace, has a background in mechanical engineering and a passion for “tinkering.” Originally from Chicago, Eisenberg came to Calgary two years ago by way of Portland, Oregon. Launched in January, Fuse33 is a co-work space for entrepreneurs and fellow tinkerers, with a tool library, woodshop, metal shop, 3D printer and more. The name reflects Eisenberg’s intention that the space will “fuse” the left brain and right brain of its users. Here are 10 things in the city he can’t live without.


They have a great gallery in the taproom that supports local artists, and it’s one of the rare places where you can have a drink with the brewers. It’s great beer in a great setting.

It’s the best local spot to find unique lumber and some unique pieces in the process. They also host a lot of classes for people who are trying to get deeper into their hobbies.


Salted Caramel Gelato from Fiasco This is an addiction of mine becaus it’s probably the most amazing thing on earth. I like the smallbatch nature of it and that it’s local, and, at the same time, it’s straight-up delicious.

4Fish Creek Provincial Park Having a big slice of nature in your backyard is amazing. It’s great getting down there and seeing people fishing on the Bow, biking the trails or taking the dogs for a walk.

5High Tea YYC The best thing to do in the summer. They have little pop-up events in different locations throughout the city. You can have amazing conversations and some great tea and food in the process.


Jane Bond BBQ Incredible spot with great Southern flair. My go-to plate is definitely the pulled-pork poutine – just pure Canadian food made with delicious Alberta pork.

7Lawn Games at McKenzie Towne Hill Coming from Portland, I love how much sunshine we get here. The hill in McKenzie Towne is a great place to get outside and play some yard games with friends.


Quarry Lake Dog Park in Canmore Having access to the mountains is incredible, and the Quarry Lake Dog Park has the best view of the mountains. It feels like you’re hiking when you’re just taking your dogs for a walk.

9 The Blues Can Being from Chicago, I love blues. It’s great to pop in and see the truly outstanding musicians who come in to play. It was one of those happy moments when I realized I found a piece of home here.


Hummus from Green Cedars Food Mart

I found this spot when I was on the International Avenue Food Tour and was blown away. Their handmade hummus is out-ofthis-world. After that, I swore I would never get hummus anywhere else.

Salted Caramel Gelato photograph courtesy of Fiasco Gelato; coffee table photograph courtesy of Black Forest Wood Co. Village Brewery Taproom 2Black Forest Wood Co.
Avenue Calgary .com 93 follow /avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine @avenuemagazine



Time to reassess a piece of Calgary’s ’88 Olympic cultural legacy: the red sculptural arch at the entry to the Olympic Oval, long known by its nickname “the paperclip.” In scale and structure, the arch relates to its surroundings with verve, quite an accomplishment when you realize the entire area was under construction while the giant sculpture was assembled, welded and painted on site for its debut in August, 1987.

Walk through to experience the sensation of the transition of width to height. Five elements (called “bipods” by the artist) form a sequence. The first opens wide and low. The next ones become narrower and more erect, yet are still anchored to the ground, while the final one is held aloft. In this sense, the work’s official name Spire, is more fitting than its nickname.

Artist Charles R. (Bob) Boyce has always had a keen interest in systems, especially underlying ratios. Viewing the sculpture from the east side (with a view of the distant ski jumps) reveals that the tips of the bipods trace the arc of a perfect circle. The diameter of that circle, 19.88 metres, is both the crux of the design and the height of the sculpture. Using the numbers 1988 (the calendar year of the Calgary Winter Games) and five (the number of rings in the Olympic logo), he developed the structural logic. As Boyce has said: “Once I had the number, the rest fell into place.”

Boyce got the commission for Spire by winning a national competition. Just 31 years old at the time, he didn’t have a studio and created the design by using pick-up sticks, graph paper and a Texas Instruments calculator. When University engineers checked his design for structural stability using computers, Boyce’s drawings were accurate within three decimal points.

Boyce also folded pop-culture references into the work. Playing off the iconic Rudolph Zallinger illustration “The Road to Homo Sapiens” (a.k.a. “The March of Progress”) on the evolution from ape to modern man, Boyce proposes five stages of athletes: crawling, walking, running, jumping,

TITLE: Spire (1987)

ARTIST: Charles R. (Bob) Boyce

MEDIUM: Endura polyurethane on 16-inch tubular steel.

SIZE: 19.88-metres high, by approximately 30-m wide, by approximately 21-m long.

WEIGHT: 20 tonnes.

LOCATION: Olympic Oval, north entrance, University of Calgary.

flying. Look upward and you’ll discern a slight twist that complicates the symmetry of the sculpture, a nod to the DNA helix and a reminder of our physical building blocks.

Born in Saskatchewan, Boyce came to the Alberta College of Art (now Alberta College of Art + Design) from Moose Jaw. In the early 1970s he saw the Valley Curtain Documentation exhibition by the artist duo Christo and

NOTE: This work was commissioned by the Government of Canada with construction by Viking Steel. Other local works by Boyce include The Bridge (1980), currently at the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre (KOAC) in Springbank and The Archimedian (c. 1990) at 909 11 Ave. S.W.

Jeanne-Claude at the Alberta College of Art Gallery, and it had a powerful influence on him, setting him on course to make large-scale sculptural works that created an environment, a stage set for people to move within. Spire is his most monumental work.

In recent years, Boyce has focused on photography, though still with a feel for how people relate to their environment.

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Photograph by Dave Brown, University of Calgary
French Art de Vivre
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Cinéphile. Corner composition in leather, design Philippe Bouix. Maya. Cocktail table and console, design Stefano Bigi. Manufactured in Europe.


get your sledge hammer out and pound a sign on your lawn + track down city assessments on properties close by + ask your neighbour what they paid for their home a few years ago + hope for a straight answer + determine the marketability of the renovations you did three summers ago with your cousin and his kid + establish an aspirational list price + find a storage solution for Aunt Mabel’s mock Faberge Eggs + binge watch “Love it or List it” on HGTV + creatively move your furniture around + thank Karen from the office for her input on Feng Shui + take some pictures using your phone + find a zero commission brokerage to toss the listing on MLS + post pictures on social media sites where only the people you know will see them + remember they were all at your BBQ last night + wait for people to call you at work or at odd hours + juggle your days to show your home to potential buyers whenever it suits them + try to print off feature sheets + realize you are out of ink + run to the store to buy ink + find out they don’t make ink for your printer anymore so you buy a new printer + bake some cookies for the open house + chat with Bob from next door for a couple hours because he’s the only one at your open house + watch Bob eat all your cookies + grit your teeth and smile when people question your pricing strategy because you never know if they’ll be “the ones” + haggle with random real estate agents who say they have a buyer but they won’t show you their buyer until you agree to meet with them to list your place + but they might actually have a buyer and you most definitely don’t want to miss out on an actual buyer + read through offers when they come in + assess if they are actually legally binding contracts + fax some paperwork to Steve + wonder why Steve still faxes + ask your potential buyers why they need 4 different banks to do appraisals on your property + discover your oven handle broke off during the inspection + answer the phone on moving day while lugging your king size mattress down the staircase + wonder what your lawyer is talking about when she says the buyer is insisting on a holdback + lose grip on mattress + Google, “holdback”....

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