Avenue October 2017

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Our annual roundup of delectable treats

Alberta Shines

The Alberta Medical Association (AMA)

is proud to salute nine Albertans –seven physicians, one non-physician and one medical student – as they are honored with the most prestigious awards bestowed by the AMA and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

AMA MedAl for distinguished service for outstanding personal contributions to the medical profession and to Albertans who have contributed to the art and science of medicine and raised the standards of medical practice:

• dr. gary A.J. gelfand Calgary

• Dr. David S. (Shaun) Gray Edmonton

• Dr. Nairne W. Scott-Douglas Calgary

AMA MedAl of honor for extraordinary contributions by a non-physician to Albertans in medical/health research or education, health care organization or promotion:

• Sangita (Gita) Sharma, PhD Edmonton

AMA AWArD for CoMPASSioNAte service for serving as an inspiration to others with outstanding compassion, dedication and extraordinary contributions to volunteer or philanthropic efforts to improve the state of the community:

• Dr. Moosa Khalil Calgary

• Dr. Daniel M. Li Edmonton

CMA AWArD for YouNG LeADerS (Student and Resident Categories) for exemplary dedication, commitment and leadership in clinical, political, education, research and/or community service:

• Student Category

Simei (Amy) Li Calgary

• Resident Category

Dr. Aravind Ganesh Calgary

CMA Dr. WiLLiAM MArSDeN AWArD in MedicAl ethics for outstanding leadership, commitment and dedication to promoting and advancing excellence in medical ethics:

• Dr. James L. Silvius Calgary

For more information on these awards and individuals, visit www.albertadoctors.org or www.cma.ca.

The AMA awards were presented at its Representative Forum and Annual General Meeting September 15-16 in Edmonton. The CMA awards were presented at its 150th Annual Meeting and General Council August 20-23 in Quebec City.

Fall Autumn for

West Island College Calgary Join us for WIC’s annual Open House October 26, 2017 7 p.m. Grades 7 to 12 To RSVP, register online at www.westislandcollege.ab.ca/openhouse and complete the online form West Island College Calgary @WICYYC Be Bold. Be Brave.Be Ready. OWN YOUR FUTURE Encourage the innovator in your child within community spaces, where students gather to hypothesize, explore, and experiment to further and deepen their own learning. westislandcollege.ab.ca 403.255.5300 7410 Blackfoot Trail S.E. admissions@mywic.ca ®

Taste, touch, and see the true potential for your kitchen. From appliance test-drives to chef-led demos, we invite you to explore our products with all of your senses engaged.

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TheLawrenHarris Experience AtGlenbow

Higher States: Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries

October 7, 2017 -

January 7, 2018

Curated by Dr. Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens


Lawren S. Harris, Abstraction 119, ca. 1945, Audain Art Museum Collection, Whistler, Gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa © Family of Lawren S. Harris
Sponsor: Supported by: Funded by: Organized by: CONSULATE


#404 600 Princeton Way SW, Calgary, AB Bright and airy sub-penthouse in the luxurious Princeton Grand- the pinnacle of luxury downtown urban living. MLS C4106791

Heather Waddell 403.471.0467


#2209 175 Silverado Boulevard SW, Calgary, AB Perfect condo for the first time home buyer/ investor in the heart of Silverado. 2 bdrms & 2 full baths. MLS C4133825

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Mountain contemporary above Canmore. Privacy on a substantial Silvertip 0.39 acre lot with views to Banff. MLS C4108566

Christopher Vincent 403.707.8048


1331 Windsor Street NW, Calgary, AB

Executive home with luxury finishes throughout & a spectacular private West backyard in St.Andrews Heights. MLS C4133495

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Stunning 2 bedroom + flex 2.5 bathroom contemporary two storey industrial loft suite at SoBow in Inglewood. MLS C4123850

#401 922 19 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB Amazing Lower Mount Royal location just a few steps from the shops, restaurants & amenities of 17th Ave. MLS C4133070

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112


251201 Welland Drive NW, Rocky View, AB Presenting this opulent, grand, palatial sanctuary in the country. High Quality Estate Home. MLS C4131567

Heather Waddell 403.471.0467


11370 Valley Ridge Park NW, Calgary, AB

Stunning timber frame home of daring design that blends inspiration from Canmore & West Coast architecture. MLS C4123651

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112



2222 13 Street SW, Calgary, AB

A stunning Mount Royal home on a 75x185’ lot offers a private park-like setting and beautiful city views. MLS C4110458


A rare opportunity to own a river-front contemporary home in the hamlet of Bragg Creek. MLS C4111960

Jacqueline Thorogood 403.909.8766

Christopher Vincent 403.707.8048

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112


2125 29 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB

Contemporary design and style throughout this 4 bedroom inner city home with city and mountain views. MLS C4135099

Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112




Patterson Drive SW, Calgary, AB

Louise Willerton 587.228.1890

CALGARY 403.254.5315 TORONTO 416.960.9995 MONTREAL 514.287.7434 VICTORIA 250.380.3933 VANCOUVER 604.632.3300 MOSCOW PARIS HONG KONG NEW YORK E&O.E: Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement. Real estate agency. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage. Independently Owned & Operated. This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective
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Julie Dempsey & Tim Huxley 403.923.6299 SINGLE
55 Elmont Drive SW, Calgary, AB
Luxury & craftsmanship throughout this 5,000+ sq.ft home on over an acre in the exclusive Springbank Hill. MLS C4135175 Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112
19 Centre Avenue, Bragg Creek, AB
32 Juniper Ridge, Canmore, AB
Immaculate 4 bed/3.5 bath home over 4,300 sq.ft. of living space. Beautifully landscaped south backyard. MLS C4130480
529 Silvertip Pointe, Canmore, AB
Privately positioned on the Silvertip Golf Course, this mountain estate home features stunning vistas. MLS C4016958 Ave two level penthouse in Eau Claire providing panoramic views from the 23 & 24th floor. MLS C4135170
Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112
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romp through Mother Nature’s backyard whether on a bike, horse or your own two feet deserves a refreshing reward. Step into one of Bragg Creek’s many eateries to quench that thirst or hunger pang.
The Bragg Creek & Area Chamber of Commerce


How GPS Put Calgary on the Map

The current idea that technology start-ups are the key to a more diverse economy in Calgary has a precedent in the rise and fall of tech companies such as NovAtel and Nortel and the emergence of the city as a leader in geomatics.


Rules of Engagement

Four couples share their marriage proposal stories. Plus we get tips from wedding professionals on how to plan the perfect moment.


Cracking the Binary Code

While there are issues with representation, it appears the tech sector in Calgary is warming up to women, though that’s mostly in comparison with Silicon Valley, where the situation is infamously dire.


Men’s Fashion

Choice pieces for a stylish work-life wardrobe for fall and winter.

Photography by Luc Wilson Styling by Phaedra Godchild

25 Best Things to Eat

Our annual list of the best take-home treats available in Calgary right now.

18 avenueOCTOBER.17 FEATURES contents OCTOBER 2017
Avenue Calgary .com 19

Checking in on two new hot spots: the Bengali-boho Calcutta Cricket Club and sandwich shop Meat and Bread.


Style Q&A

The long-time friends behind The Neat Blog, Kayla Browne and Suzanne Stewart, talk fashion and why they love colour.

Puerto Escondido, Mexico, has great surfing, great restaurants, open-air markets and the chance to set little baby turtles free.

84 Mountains

Head to Jasper National Park this month for the Dark Sky Festival — a stargazing celebration of the park’s official designation as a Dark Sky Preserve.

Three items in Calgary we love right now.

The home of Chris Lemke, co-founder of Alloy Homes, shows how modernist design can be welcoming, warm and family-friendly.



We talk to experts to find the best way to furnish a challenging space, from narrow hallways to awkwardly positioned fireplaces.

20 avenueOCTOBER.17 24 EDITOR’S NOTE 26 CONTRIBUTORS 112 THE SOURCE 114 WORK OF ART contents OCTOBER 2017 DEPARTMENTS CITY 31 Detours Comedian-on-the-rise Andrew Phung talks Kim’s Convenience and YYComedy. Plus, tips on choosing a tattoo artist and finding out why Phil & Sebastian bought a farm. 36 Mixer
Ménage will change the way you look at vermouth. 38 The Pour Cava,
is a light,
wine that won’t
Spain’s sparkling wine,
enjoyable sipping
break the
80 Getaways
98 New & Noteworthy
101 Decor
40 Dining



Avenue brings high-quality interiors and amenities to an established West End location, and the results are dramatic. Soak up magnificent river views while cooking in your CresseyKitchen™, an open concept design that has reinvented the heart of the home.

Avenue brings high-quality interiors and amenities to an established West End location, and the results are dramatic. Soak up magnificent river views while cooking in your CresseyKitchen™, an open concept design that has reinvented the heart of the home.





Avenue Calgary .com 21
MOVE IN FALL 2017 10 ST SW BOWRIVER 9 ST SW 6 AVE SW 5 AVE SW 1037 5th Avenue, SW, Calgary Sat & Sun: 12–5, Mon–Wed: 12–6 Thurs & Fri: Closed
Prices, floorplan layouts and finishes are subject to change. This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a Disclosure Statement. E&OE.
NEW SHOW HOMES & PRESENTATION CENTRE COMING SOON MOVE IN FALL 2017 10 ST SW BOWRIVER 9 ST SW 6 AVE SW 5 AVE SW 1037 5th Avenue, SW, Calgary Sat & Sun: 12–5, Mon–Wed: 12–6 Thurs & Fri: Closed
Prices, floorplan layouts and finishes are subject to change. This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a Disclosure Statement. E&OE.


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On Oct. 18, 90+ restaurants in 19 cities are donating proceeds from dinner service to support community food programs across Canada. Get involved: Make your dinner reservation today!

Calgary Restaurants: Alforno Bakery & Cafe // Bonterra Trattoria

// CHARCUT Roast House // Cibo

// Cucina Bistro // Deane House

// Foreign Concept // Mill Street

Calgary Brewpub // NOtaBLE ~ The Restaurant // Posto Pizzeria & Bar

// River Cafe // Royale Brasserie

// Scopa Neighbourhood Italian // Teatro Ristorante // The Nash // Vendome Cafe

In Calgary, Restaurants for Change supports:



Avenue is proud to support local initiatives in our community. Visit AvenueCalgary.com/events to find out more about upcoming events in the city.


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Published 12 times a year by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. Copyright (2017) by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

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Publisher Joyce Byrne, jbyrne@redpointmedia.ca

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

Executive Editor Jennifer Hamilton, jhamilton@redpointmedia.ca

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Executive Editor, Digital Content Jaelyn Molyneux, jmolyneux@redpointmedia.ca

Associate Editor Shelley Arnusch

Associate Art Director Sarah McMenemy

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Staff Photographer Jared Sych

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Fact Checkers Nicole Halloran, Fraser Tripp

Contributors Kate Barutowicz, Ellis Choe, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Tom Firth, Phaedra Godchild, Tieran Green, Danyael Halprin, Lisa Kadane, Kait Kucy, Tara Paquette, Lynda Sea, Luc Wilson, Katherine Ylitalo, Ricky Zayshley

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22 avenueOCTOBER.17
Avenue Calgary .com 23

Bounty of the Harvest

October is harvest season and, with that in mind, it’s time once again for our annual list of the 25 Best Things to Eat in Calgary. As in years past, we’ve recruited local food expert and cookbook author Julie Van Rosendaal to give us her picks for the can’t-miss things to eat right now.

While a lot of our usual food coverage focuses on dining out, 25 Best Things to Eat identifies those wonderful treats you can savour at home.

The list includes things that may more accurately be described as ingredients — such as dry-aged steak and olive oil — along with ready-to-enjoy edibles such as perogies, pitas and a breakfast sandwich. There are savoury delights such as mouhammara and several treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.

In addition to questions about the local food scene, I often get asked how changes to technology affect our work here at Avenue. For most of us, no matter our field, technology is now the world we operate in. We use — or build — the Internet in some way every day.

In this issue we look both to the past and the future of the tech industry in Calgary. Our writer Christina Frangou talked to a number of

Calgarians, including U of C president Elizabeth Cannon, about how the city became a powerhouse of GPS research and innovation. And in chronicling this part of the city’s economic history she reveals some powerful lessons for the future of developing Calgary into a hub of innovation in other tech fields as well.

And with all the recent news about the terrible experiences many women have had working in tech companies in Silicon Valley, we asked


Join us as we announce this year’s Top 40 Under 40 on October 30. Tickets are on sale now at avenuecalgary.com.

Julia Williams to investigate what the high-tech working environment for women is like here. You can see that story starting on page 49.

We round out this issue with some thoughts from Calgarians about getting engaged to be married and we also look at current men’s fashion trends. Altogether, it’s sort of our own version of the bounty of the harvest — a taste of everything that’s going on in and around your city, served up just for you.

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


The highlight of my Haskayne MBA was connecting with a diverse network of leaders and peers. Real world challenges, valuable insights and timely experiences were brought to the table, providing a myriad of perspectives that challenged my preconceived notions. This experience armed me with the sound leadership, strategic thinking and collaboration skills required to succeed in today’s challenging corporate environment.”




Danyael Halprin has been tracking Phil & Sebastian’s story since their early days on the coffee scene at the Currie Barracks farmers’ market and she’s excited to write about their latest development for Avenue. Halprin got her start in journalism in Toronto at Canadian Living magazine. Over the years she’s taken on the personas of book reviewer, restaurant reviewer, trends columnist and photo essayist. Her lifestyle pieces have most recently appeared in The Calgary Herald and Swerve


Tara Paquette is an interdisciplinary creative professional with a passion for illustration, animation, typography, art direction and design. A lifelong artist, she loves to transform concepts and narratives into compelling imagery. Her aesthetic is bold, experimental and vibrant, and she believes illustration releases one’s imagination, captures poignant emotion, creates impossible worlds and opens one’s mind. See more of her work at tarakp.com.


A Calgarian since grade two, Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of nine best-selling cookbooks and has been the food columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One for 10 years. She’s a food educator, stylist, TV personality, freelance food writer and columnist who contributes to online and print publications across Canada. She also writes and takes photos for her popular food blog, dinnerwithjulie.com, which documents real life in her home kitchen in Ramsay with her husband, Mike, and 12-year-old son, Willem (a.k.a. “W”).


Luc Wilson is a Calgary-based commercial and fashion photographer. After receiving a bachelor of design degree from the Alberta College of Art + Design last year, he is now working out of his multidisciplinary studio in the city, shooting model go-sees, editorials, campaigns, look-books et al. When he’s not looking at pictures of golden retrievers, he’s cycling, eating tacos and playing records at his studio afterhours parties. Fashion is Wilson’s main focus as he continues to build his book and search for opportunities internationally. Find him on Instagram @lucwilson or online at lucdwilson.com.

26 avenueOCTOBER.17
The Haskayne MBA. Calgary’s MBA.
allow us to reintroduce ourselves... cravings market restaurant | 7207 fairmount drive se | @cravingsyyc
28 avenueOCTOBER.17 six chefs six courses one mission: win november 2, 2017 markin macphail centre winsport benefiting: tasteofhomeyyc.com ON THE WEB AVENUECALGARY.COM THIS MONTH FOOD & DRINK NEWSLETTER Our tips for where and what to eat. STYLE NEWSLETTER Weekly advice on fashion, decor and shopping. WEEKENDER The best events and happenings in the city. Ready, Set, Market Arts and crafts markets dominate the weekends from now through December. We’ll tell you where and when they are. AvenueCalgary.com/HolidayMarkets sign upAVENUECALGARY.COM/NEWSLETTERS /avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine @avenuemagazine /avenuecalgary Little Modern Market
photo by Lindsay Skeans Photography


Our annual list highlights the best and brightest young people moving the city forward right now. From educators and entrepreneurs to doctors and inventors these are the people building (sometimes literally) Calgary’s future.


There’s so much to do in the mountains that you can’t do it all. Don’t be overwhelmed — get out there with our guide to essential winter activities.


Home-entertaining season swings into high gear. We’ve got you covered with tips and tricks to take you from being a no-host to a host-with-the-most.

Avenue Calgary .com 29
ISSUE 5IF i.PUIFS &BSUIw 3JOH www.carpetandflooring.com @CDLcalgary CDL South 7265-11 Street SE Calgary, AB T2H 2S1 CDL North 11752 Sarcee Trail NW Calgary, AB T3R 0A1 CDL Invermere 4B 492 Arrow Road Invermere, BC V0A 1K2 Your Floors, Our Passion
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Andrew ComedyPhung’sCavalcade

For Andrew Phung, comedy is a muscle, one he has to consistently work out in order to stay in touch with what audiences find funny. This attitude might explain the Calgary-born comedian’s non-stop schedule; this past summer, Phung travelled across Canada, filming the second season of the CBC sitcom Kim’s Convenience in Toronto, emceeing events in Calgary and

performing improv in both cities. He even fit filming a part in an upcoming romantic comedy into his schedule.

This month, you’ll find Phung in Calgary hosting the YYComedyFestival’s gala event. The festival brings well-known comedians to the city (this year’s lineup includes Shaun Majumder and Laurie Elliott) and also involves local Calgary talent. This makes Phung a fitting host,

Avenue Calgary .com 31
Photo by Kenneth Locke


Phil & Sebastian Have a Farm (ee-i-ee-i-o)

On their quest to present our city with only the finest coffee, Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb of Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters (P&S) are turning to Mother Earth.



as he’s gone from producing local Loose Moose Theatre Company improv shows to winning a 2017 Canadian Screen Award for his supporting role on Kim’s Convenience. (Not to mention being included in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2009.)

“I feel like a kid who climbed on another kid’s shoulders and put on a big coat and we snuck into a movie theatre,” Phung says. “I feel like I shouldn’t be here sometimes. It’s been a surreal year.”

The influx of new opportunities for Phung may seem sudden, but he’s been paying his dues in the Calgary comedy scene since he was 16 years old. Phung has seen comedy in his home city flourish, with more stages, improv troupes and opportunities now than when he first started, but it’s still relatively uncommon to see Calgary comedians break into the national spotlight. “Toronto and Vancouver have their scene, it’s spoken for, it’s established. Whereas the Calgary scene is still changing,” Phung says. “There’s room for new producers, who continue to be part of that change. That’s what I love, that the scene here this year is so different than it was in 2012, and so different than it was in 2006.”

Phung’s work has certainly contributed to this continued evolution. By producing his own shows, co-producing annual high-school theatresports competitions and showing that Calgary comedians can find a national audience, he has created a blueprint to inspire the city’s current crop of comedians.

The real benefit of this work, and of YYComedy’s mandate to showcase local talent, isn’t necessarily for those comedians to break out in another city. What’s equally important to Phung is to see Calgary’s comedy community develop further.

“My story has not been written yet,” Phung says. “So when I hear from people that say you can’t make it in Calgary or Calgary’s scene sucks, I say, ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’”

Andrew Jeffrey

Andrew Phung hosts the Funny1060 AM YYComedy Gala on Oct. 21. The festival runs Oct. 16 to 21. yycomedy.ca

This past summer, the pair purchased just over three acres of farmland on the mountain slopes of Santa Bárbara, Honduras, a region known for producing coffee with fruity, exotic notes. With this acquisition, P&S joins only a handful of roasters in the world who enjoy such an intimate relationship with the coffee bean.

Robertson and Sztabzyb say owning and operating their own farm allows them to be fully involved without overstepping boundaries, and to take risks and tweak the growing process based on their own research.

To hear these engineering graduates discuss subjects such as soil microbiology and variables in the fermentation process evokes the image of two impassioned scientists. “We want to establish good practices based on real data to yield amazing coffee,” says Sztabzyb. “If we get enough data, eventually we can crack that code.

“Our goal with the aspiring organic farm is to build a learning centre and bring all of our coffee producers to share their practices and, for us, to unlock the secrets that we’ve learned.”

This year’s Calgary Tattoo & Art Festival will host more than 400 tattoo artists, including special guests from TV shows Ink Master, Tattoo Nightmares and NY Ink, as well as local artists. Steven Peace of Immaculate Concept Tattoo & Piercing in Calgary has been part of the festival since its inception in 2004. Interested in getting ink done? Here’s what Peace has to say about finding the right artist for the job.

“A lot of it should be whether you jive with the artist … just making sure you’re of the same mindset. I think if you’re on the same wavelength, you’re gonna end up with a tattoo that you like.

In September, Robertson and Sztabzyb ceremoniously planted more than 4,000 trees of various species. Cultivated and warmed under the Honduran sun, the coffee beans will be ready for roasting in 2022. —

“It’s not just about the tattoo, it’s about the experience, as well. You want to make sure you get along with your artist if they’re jabbing needles in you. If you don’t get along at the beginning, you’re not gonna get along at the end.

“Make sure your artist is interested in what you want and not just in a paycheque.”

32 avenueOCTOBER.17
The Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival runs Oct. 13 to 15 at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park. albertatattooshows.com/ tattoo-calgary The view from Phil & Sebastian’s farm in Santa Bárbara, Honduras.

1220 39th Ave SW


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OCT. 9 TO 15

More than 70 presenting authors and artists will participate in a range of events over the course of this seven-day festival. Crowdpleasers such as the Poetry Cabaret and Literary Death Match are returning, but the highlight of this year’s roster will likely be Between the Pages, an event that will gather all five of this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists together. Various locations, 403-237-9068, wordfest.com


OCT. 10 TO NOV. 4

Theatre Calgary presents this new English-language musical adaptation of the play by French-Canadian playwright and novelist Michel Tremblay. Set in 1960s Montreal, Soeurs is about a working-class housewife who wins a jackpot of

trading stamps, though the joy of her windfall gives way to a growing distrust of her jealous friends and neighbours.

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


OCT. 13 AND 14

The well-known comedian and star of the eponymous ’90s TV show will do four stand-up performances during his two-day appearance in the city. Seinfeld’s relatable everyday-life observations are the key to his enduring popularity and hilarity.

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, hahaha.com


OCT. 17 TO NOV. 4

Alberta Theatre Projects presents this stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. As in Woolf’s novel, the play centres

around a young painter who returns to the seaside home of the woman she considered a mother figure, following the woman’s death. The play deals with the nature of memory and making sense of chaos and tragedy.

Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons, atplive.com


OCT. 25 TO 28

Alberta Ballet presents its version of the erotic thriller set in pre-Revolution Paris, depicting through dance a story of irrepressible sexual desire and revenge among members of the French aristocracy. Originally created for the Norwegian National Ballet by Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maître, this production’s adult themes make it more suitable for mature audiences.

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 403-245-4549, albertaballet50.com

Celebrating Alumni Excellence

Every year SAIT recognizes graduates who are accomplishing great things in our community, on the national stage and around the world. Congratulations to the 2017 recipients of SAIT’s Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards

Chemical Technology ‘64

Former Chief, Samson Cree Nation, Co-founder, Peace Hills Trust

Working to build a brighter future for his people through education and economic development, Victor served as Chief of the Samson Cree Nation, co-founded the Peace Hills Trust Company, built four state-of-the-art schools, established the Samson Education Trust Fund and received the Order of Canada for his e orts.

Emergency Medical Technology Paramedic ‘82

As a paramedic in Calgary’s downtown core for 32 years, David was known for sharing a kind word, a reassuring touch and advocating for patients who weren’t being heard. He was the first person to receive both the Alberta College of Paramedics Award of Excellence and the Federal Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal.


OCT. 28

This family- and pet-friendly run presented by the Calgary Marathon Society takes place at dusk. Race divisions include a one-kilometre kids’ run, five-km fun run and 10-km competitive run. The event will wrap up with a post-run celebration featuring prizes, awards and a photo booth. Proceeds support the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.

Eau Claire Plaza, 200 Barclay Parade S.W., calgarymarathon.com


1918 TAP & TABLE

Owned and operated by the Royal Canadian Legion No. 264, 1918 Tap & Table is on the main level of the new Legion building in West Hillhurst. The 180-seat restaurant offers a seasonal menu that will change regularly. Executive chef Chris Murphy’s creations include an Alberta beef chuck burger with doublesmoked bacon, aged white cheddar and tomato jam and a linguini dish with braised Alberta lamb shoulder. 1918 Tap & Table also does brunch.

1918 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-209-1918, 1918tapandtable.com, @1918tapandtable


Reworks Upcycle Shop and Calgary Bike Rentals have joined forces to open EcoHub YYC, a bike-rental and retail-shop hybrid. Browse the range of sustainable and upcycled products, rent a cruiser bike to explore the city or grab some java from the in-house coffee bar. EcoHub also offers guided bike tours — try the Bike and Brew tour to check out three local microbreweries or visit local green spaces on the Parks and Picnic tour, which includes a packed lunch from Manuel Latruwe. 1325 1 St. S.E., 403-263-4366, ecohubyyc.ca


This new vegan boutique on 17 Ave. S.W. makes it easier to get cruelty-free fashion in Calgary. The PETA-approved, 900-square-foot shop carries vegan and ethically made shoes (no leather or products such as glue made from horse hooves), as well as outerwear, apparel, bags and accessories for men and women. Shop brands such as Votch (a UK company that makes vegan-leather watches), Herbivore clothing, Wully Outerwear and Matt & Nat. 101, 323 17 Ave. S.W., 587-350-4628, grinninggoat.ca


Tap your creative juices at this new craft studio in Mahogany. Adults and children can stop in to make crafts such as splatter art, decorative wall letters, lollipop bouquets and menu chalkboards. As you create your masterpiece, sip on a beer, glass of wine or Rosso coffee, or munch on one of the studio’s six kinds of thin-crust pizza. 137 Mahogany Plaza S.E., 403-278-9065, pinnovate.ca, @pinnovateyyc

Avree Bujaczek

Bachelor of Science – Construction Project Management ‘15

Field Coordinator, PCL Construction

There’s a generation gap in the construction industry, and 29-year-old Avree is determined to address it. She knows first-hand the rewards of construction work, having been involved in projects ranging from the Airport Trail tunnel and new runway, to flood mitigation at the Calgary Zoo.

Albert Myles Mejia

Aircraft Structures Technician ‘10 | Business Administration ‘14

Founder and Owner, Legal Hustle Clothing Inc.

This 27-year-old designer and entrepreneur owns his own streetwear company, is a professional dancer who co-founded Empirical Freedom, and he is also the founder of YYC SOLEdiers – a community of people passionate about sneakers.

Nicky Nash

Business Administration ‘08

Executive Director, Kids Up Front Calgary


marks the 30 th Anniversary

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Contributing to the community is second nature to Nicky. At Kids Up Front Calgary, Nicky and her team work with 230 partner agencies to distribute donated tickets for hockey games, concerts and plays to youth who are experiencing poverty, abuse, illness or disability. of SAIT’s Alumni Awards program. Visit sait.ca/alumni to read more.
Dash of Doom 2016.
Dash of Doom photo by Dave Holland RACE




17th Avenue brasserie wants you to fall in love with vermouth.

What pops into your head when you hear the word “vermouth?”

Likely the image of a neglected bottle of Martini & Rossi, pushed to the back of the fridge or, worse, the liquor cabinet, to oxidize and render future martinis stale.

For Mitch Vernaroli, however, vermouth is a stand-alone aperitif and elegant cocktail additive that’s simply misunderstood. Royale’s bar manager has been won over by the likes of Cocchi Rosa, Dolin Dry and Miró Rojo, and he wants to change your mind about vermouth, a lightly fortified wine aromatized with herbs and spices. Rather than a necessary evil for classics such as the manhattan or negroni, it’s Vernaroli’s mission to show drinkers that vermouth on its own has merits (and is worth a spot up front in the refrigerator). “I just love its versatility,” he says. “It’s a great evening opener and it’s a great closer. I want people to fall in love with vermouth.”

To nudge the Royale clientele toward that goal, Vernaroli’s bar list includes 12 vermouths that can be ordered as a 1.5-ounce pour, or in cocktails where vermouth is the star, not the backup. The “Vermouth & Bubbles” section features Italian, Spanish and French vermouths — red (sweet), white (sweet or dry) and extra dry — stirred or shaken into drinks. Many are riffs on classics. “I take cocktails that I love and twist them. With these, I’ve twisted them in favour of vermouth,” Vernaroli says.

The Standard floats La Quintinye Rouge (a big, sweet vermouth from France) in bubbly rosé and adds a dash of orange bitters and a spray of orange zest for a drink that channels an Aperol spritz. Nonna’s Mule pours a tot of rum, spicy jalapeno-coriander syrup and Miró Extra Seco (a Spanish vermouth that tastes subtly of oregano and rosemary) into the staples of a mule: lime and ginger beer. The result is as tart, spicy and refreshing as you’d expect, with the vermouth adding a distinctive “oooh, what’s this?” complexity.

Ménage, another of Vernaroli’s vermouthforward cocktails, is a flip on a Corpse Reviver #1 that uses three French spirits: La Quintinye Rouge vermouth, Cognac and Calvados. Rich and juicy — almost big-red-wine-like — with spicy notes thanks to the vermouth’s herbal ingredients of angelica, cardamom, cinnamon and wormwood, the initial vermouth bang is tempered by the Cognac and Calvados, which cut the sweetness with a dry finish. Reminiscent of boozy caramel apples, Ménage is just the drink for a crisp October evening and, with any luck, what you think of now when you hear the word “vermouth.”

Into a mixing glass add:

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1 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge + 2/3 oz. Château de Montifaud V.S. Cognac + 2/3 oz. Père Magloire Calvados + 1 dash Angostura bitters + 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters + Stir ingredients in the mixing glass with ice until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Fine-strain into a classic martini or stemmed cocktail glass. Recipe courtesy Mitch Vernaroli, Royale
Avenue Calgary .com 37 220 - 42 avenue s.e. | 403 287 9255 @alloyrestaurant | events@alloydining.com alloydining.com Come enjoy the season with us! Book your holiday party with alloy. Elev. 1731 m Deer Lodge, Lake Louise Views from the rooftop hot tub. crmr.com Capture a landscape. Or be absorbed by one. Seize the Ro es Ski, snowshoe or stay in and pursue new extremes of comfort. Our rustic mountain lodges energize the body and settle the soul.

on the menu



Tapas and Brut

Dine the Spanish way with a selection of pintxos. The Spanish Table at the recently renovated Ox Bar de Tapas (formerly Ox and Angela) features olives, meats, bread and other yummy bites, which pair perfectly with the mineral-driven and crisp Bujonis ($9 for the glass, $50 for the bottle).


Tuna Tataki and Cava

Sometimes you just need the little pick-me-up that comes with a glass of sparkling wine. But if you’re the only person at the table ordering it, consider the Segura Viudas Brut in a 200millilitre bottle ($11) — perfect with the tuna tataki starter.


Brut Cava and Garlic Prawns

It’s best known for its pizzas, but there are plenty of other things worth eating at Una, too. Try matching the garlic prawns (or the kale Caesar) with the crisp and toasty Pares Balta brut ($38). You’ll likely need a second bottle for the pizza you’ll inevitably end up ordering, as well.

Spain’s Sparkling Gem

Cava is a perfectly light anytime sipper and excellent value, too.

Cava is the sparkling wine of Spain, and uses both international and indigenous grapes not commonly found elsewhere in the world. It is generally inexpensive, fizzy and ubiquitous at New Year’s Eve celebrations and at brunch.

The winemaking history of Spain goes well back to the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians several thousand years ago, but sparkling wine

in Spain has a much shorter history. The first sparkling wines in Spain seem to have emerged around the mid-to-late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1974 that the export of Spanish sparkling wine became significant enough to garner interest. This follows Spain’s agreement in 1970 to stop calling its sparkling wine champaña (as it was much too similar to you-know-what for the French) and cava came to be.

Cava, quite simply, means “cellar” or “cave” in Catalan and is used to describe most sparkling wine produced in Spain. After getting burned by Europe’s Common Market in regards to its sherry industry (despite Jerez and its environs being the home of Sherry, English “sherry” like Harvey’s Bristol Cream was able to continue using the name because it was grandfathered), in a bold masterstroke, Spain simply drew the boundary

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Cava and the Spanish Table at Ox Bar de Tapas.

of cava production around where the producers were located — about a third of Spain.

Most cavas come from Catalunya, specifically the area around Penedès, with the municipality of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia the centre of production. For the most part, cava is made from macabeo, paredella and xarello grapes, though chardonnay and grapes like garnacha, monastrell, and pinot noir are permitted. Trepat, an uncommon variety, is also used, but only in rosé cava.

Cava is made in the method traditional, where the second fermentation (where the bubbles come from) takes place in the bottle through the addition of yeast and sugar. However, rather than doing it by hand as they do in Champagne, most producers use automatic gyropalettes, a quicker and more cost-effective way to remove the yeast cells after they do their work. With vineyards representing a much smaller investment than those in France, and the cost of production being lower as well, cava is much easier on the wallet than many other quality sparkling wines.

The world of cava is dominated by a few very large companies. Freixenet (of frosted black bottle fame) and Codorniu account for the vast bulk of cava production. The success of its largest brands might have led to an overly “commercial” perception of cava, but that isn’t to say the Spanish aren’t capable of making some excellent wines that remain very cost-effective.

Recently, in an effort to create a premium category for cava, producers have opted to create a new formalized quality tier, since cava lacks any formal “crus” or regulated prestige terminology. Now there is a tier called Cava de Paraje Calificado, which is focused on controlled yields, the companies vinifying their own wines (as opposed to purchasing base wines), and at least three years of bottle aging. As this new tier becomes more prominent, we should see more of these wines in our market.

Cava generally pairs well with tapas or sushi. But it also works exceptionally well with fried foods — not only fried chicken, but also salty snacks that come in crinkly bags. Its flavours are well-suited to shellfish of all types, and can be a solid match with a variety of salads including those with bitter greens, citrus and nuts.

Though most bottles are made for immediate consumption, cava can age fairly gracefully. Interested in aging cava? Try it with some of the more expensive bottles, or do what I do and forget you have one or two in the cellar for a few years. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.


One of the finest cavas available, and a rosé, too. Deeply coloured (for rosé) with slightly bruised strawberry and cherry fruits, brioche and mineral aromas. Flavours are intense with clean berry fruits, plenty of depth and a long, almost tart finish. Drink or keep — it’s delicious either way. $55


A sweeter style of cava, and one that might be more suitable for casual sparkling-wine drinkers. Look for tropical fruits, a decidedly pineapplelike character, as well as richness on the palate. Tired of off-dry gewürztraminer with spicy Asian-inspired cuisine? This might be your new best friend. $20


Possibly the first “premium” cava in our market, just as popular for its packaging as for the wine inside. Lemon and lime lead the way on the nose with mineral and saltine-cracker toastiness on the palate. Lots of depth and great balance — a deal for the price. $30


Using the traditional varieties of macabeo, xarello and paradelle, look for a citrus aroma with plenty of toasted almonds and apple. Light and crisp with great acidity, the mild nuttiness on the palate would be perfect with sushi (or chips). $21


One of the few producers making wine strictly from its own vineyards, the quality in this bottle is noteworthy. Deep expressions of toastiness and sourdough bread lead off, with citrus and apple flavours following. Rich and almost powerful in the mouth, it’s a pleasure to drink. $30


Oh, hello there, little charmer! Lively greenapple fruits, a little herbaceousness and spiciness, and just a touch of succulent leaf make this very well-priced cava a treat on its own or mixed into a cocktail. $17

Avenue Calgary .com 39 PICKS


Calcutta Cricket Club


Unlike most curry joints, when you walk into the Calcutta Cricket Club, 17th Avenue S.W.’s stylish new Indian restaurant, the most noticeable thing isn’t the aroma coming out of the tandoori oven. It’s the look of the room that is most immediately striking: with a black-and-white checkered floor, pale-pink seating, rattan bar stools and a spectacularly ornate bar showcasing a leopard

Calcutta Cricket Club’s lush decor is the creation of Calgary artist and co-owner Maya Gohill.
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leaping over the liquor bottles, this is not your typical neighbourhood Indian spot. The room, designed by artist and co-owner Maya Gohill, signals that Calcutte Cricket Club offers a stylish atmosphere, and also a different kind of Indian-inspired food.

Calcutta Cricket Club takes some cues from another of co-owner Cody Willis’s restaurants, Native Tongues, which also strives for a combination of style and authenticity (albeit with Mexican food). At Calcutta, chef Rene Bhullar has put together a menu that focuses on Bengali-style small plates, with an emphasis on bar snacks and Kati rolls — tandoori meats or paneer wrapped in flatbread. Dishes like Hakka-style chili chicken and keema (chopped lamb) croquettes pair perfectly with Calcutta Cricket Club’s cocktail menu, particularly the crushable gin and tonic, which has its own spicy kick.

The menu is rounded out with tandoori vegetables and meat kebabs, curries, and a few larger scale dishes such as a dum-style beef short-rib biryani and an impressive lamb shank kosha mangsho. Diners are invited to eat (and spend) as much or as little as they want, another concept carried over from Native Tongues. Pop in for a drink and a couple Kati rolls or build yourself a full Indian feast — this lively place is designed for either.

340 17 Ave SW, 403-719-1555, calcuttacricketclub.com


Arestaurant concept needn’t be complicated to be successful. Since 2010, Meat and Bread has been serving sandwiches consisting of little more than, yes, meat on bread to Vancouverites to massive acclaim. Granted, both

the meat and the bread are of superior quality, but with this growing chain, simplicity (and a little bit of hipster styling) seems to be key.

Over the years, Meat and Bread expanded to open a second Vancouver shop, one in Seattle and, as of this past

summer, a Calgary outpost in the historic Grain Exchange building. The Calgary space, consisting of a long prep counter and a few tables (as well as a bar and a row of seats along the front window) is design-savvy, both in its aesthetic appeal and in its efficiency. Don’t be daunted if there’s a line (it frequently goes out the door), as it’ll move fast and you’ll have a sandwich in hand before you have time to take in all the rustic butchery-chic details scattered around the room. As for the sandwiches, the theme of simplicity continues: there’s the signature porchetta with crackling and salsa verde, Alberta beef with pickled mushrooms and onions, Buffalo chicken with carrot-and-celery slaw and a daily special, as well as a rotating roster of soups and salads. That’s it. But the bread is soft and chewy, the meat the real deal (splayed out on a cutting board, the roasted porchetta is literally the first thing you see when you walk in). And that is all you really need. 821 1 St. S.W., meatandbread.ca, @1meatandbread

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we love
Signature porchetta with crackling and salsa verde at Meat and Bread. Hakka-style chili chicken at Calcutta Cricket Club. Meat and Bread interior.



avenueOCTOBER.17 42


Back in 1981, in the dust of the big bust that swept through downtown, leaving an empty 25 million square feet of shiny new office space in its wake, a group of Calgary engineers embarked on a project so out of this world that it would eventually put the city on a new high-tech map. But the story starts a few months before the bust. In August 1980, Gerard Lachapelle, an engineer with a dimpled chin and a bright Quebecois accent that hadn’t dimmed during four years of postgraduate study in Europe, arrived in Calgary to join Shell Canada. He worked with a small team doing a type of surveying work that used then-modern techniques involving a network of satellites known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS was very much in its infancy — only a handful of satellites were in geostationary orbit, nowhere near the constellation of 27 satellites that exists today and provides a precise, continuous system.

“I remember our first piece of equipment that we were working with to learn the system. It weighed 500 kilos,” says Lachapelle. “Thirty-five years later, 500 kilos has shrunk into a chip inside this,” he says, picking up his iPhone, “which is more powerful than the initial receiver. That chip is about the size of half a thumbnail and that chip can do all the GPS stuff. This is how much it has progressed.”

That progress was unimaginable to the handful of engineers working on GPS in downtown Calgary in 1980. But even then, they knew that the expensive, clunky technology could one day play a role in high-precision areas of oil and gas development where every centimetre counts. That’s what Lachapelle and his colleagues were striving for in October 1980 when the National Energy Program was announced (a federal revenue-sharing initiative enacted by the Trudeau Liberals that many Albertans decried for siphoning hard-earned profits out of the province). They were still working on GPS when the industry took a subsequent blow in 1981 as the global price of oil plummeted.

A TI4100 GPS receiver developed and built by Texas Instruments in the early 1980s, the first field-deployable GPS receiver on the market. Calgary-based Nortech Surveys ordered the first four commercial units produced in 1981 and used them to successfully conduct surveys around the world for the ocean-exploration and energy industries until the late 1980s.

Over the following year, as unemployment in the province surged and newspaper classified ads began listing homes still filled with furniture for sale at bargain prices, Shell dropped its plan for in-house GPS development. Lachapelle and about 10 colleagues borrowed money to buy the assets from Shell and formed their own company, Nortech Surveys. Their goal was to provide navigational and positioning services using GPS to the oil-and-gas industry. Soon after, they created Norstar Instruments Division to develop GPS software.

Elizabeth Cannon, then an undergraduate student in engineering at the University of Calgary, joined Nortech as a summer student in 1983 — the only female engineer among the company’s 50 or so employees. Nobody outside the company, she says, understood what she meant when she said she worked in GPS. (The technology did make headlines that fall when, after Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down for wandering into Soviet airspace,

Avenue Calgary .com 43
The idea that tech start-ups are the key to a more diverse economy isn’t
Here’s a look back at one aspect of the history of our high-tech future.
Photo by Samson Duborg-Rankin on Unsplash

U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced plans to open up for civilian use the GPS system that the Department of Defense was working on.)

That summer, Cannon, who has been president of the University of Calgary since 2010, recalls Nortech’s offices were filled with desks without computers. The bulk of their work was carried out in a large computer lab with multiple terminals where engineers worked collaboratively on computer programming and data processing to develop a GPS receiver.

“At that time, seeing how heavy the equipment was, and how expensive it was, you couldn’t have imagined that one day it’d be small enough to fit into your watch and it would be ubiquitous across society,” says Cannon. “It was kind of exciting to feel that you were part of something that was going to be revolutionary. You knew it was going to be important and you wanted to be part of it.” Following her summer at Nortech, Cannon returned to the University of Calgary to pursue graduate studies eventually receiveing a Ph.D. in geomatics engineering, the discipline of gathering, storing, processing and delivering information related to location.

In 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing everyone on board, it slowed the development of the modern GPS satellite fleet. The GPS satellites had been designed to be launched by space shuttle as they did not fit onto conventional rockets for launch from the ground. For the following three years, no satellites

were launched until the U.S. government acquired Delta II, a rocket designed by McDonnell Douglas, to get satellites into orbit.

The delays in the GPS satellite launch forced Nortech to sell its Norstar division to NovAtel in 1988. NovAtel, a public-private jointventure telecom company formed during Peter Lougheed’s tenure as premier of Alberta, had been founded as part of the Alberta government’s plan to diversify the province’s economy. The hope was that it would help insulate the economy against future drops in oil prices.

NovAtel came to be known as the high-flying star of the 1980s that then flopped dismally — “a stunning failure,” according to the Globe and Mail — costing taxpayers more than $600 million. But after NovAtel divested its non-GPS communication businesses in the 1990s, the remnant was a profitable company focused on GPS chipsets, the guts of the system. NovAtel, now a private company that still employs 350 people from its headquarters in the city’s northeast, has gone on to become one of the world’s prime manufacturers of high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) components and systems. (Since the U.S. developed GPS, other regions in the world followed suit, building satellite navigation systems of their own. A global system, GNSS, has been built up comprised of all satellite navigation systems in the world, including GPS, the Russian GLONASS, the European Union’s Galileo and China’s Beidou.)

What started as a far-fetched idea by a group of former Shell engineers in the 1980s has since become a launch pad for a spate of start-ups in geomatics in the city, giving Calgary and the surrounding area one of highest concentration of companies in this industry in the country. As NovAtel’s GPS experience grew, so did the University of Calgary’s geomatics department, where both Cannon and Lachapelle (who eventually married after meeting at Nortech) have worked since the late 1980s.

In the 38 years since the department was established, more than 250 masters and Ph.D. students have completed their studies in positioning and navigation work, with an estimated half staying to work in Alberta. Professors have been poached by powerhouse tech companies such as Apple. Numerous patents have come out of research in the department — Lachapelle and his research team alone have around 10 to their credit. One spin-off company from the U of C’s geomatics department, Trusted Positioning Inc., created a new technology for cellphones that allows navigation indoors —“a holy grail of GPS,” one industry watcher said. The company was acquired by Invensense in 2014 for US $36 million.

“You have this very nice synergy in the city, where Calgary became a bit of a mecca of GPS development, talent development, research and application development,” says Cannon. “When people talk about where are things happening in the world in GPS, Calgary would be one of those few communities that people would point to.”

Calgary’s start-up tech community got a further boost from another unlikely source — the collapse of Canadian tech darling

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LEFT The Norstar1000 unit developed by the Norstar Division of Nortech Surveys between 1985 and 1988 in partnership with two American companies was one of the most advanced commercial receivers on the market. The technology was transferred to NovAtel in 1989.

FAR LEFT An attendee of last June’s Tecnovate tradeshow attempting to ride a bike with handlebars that turn the wheel in the opposite direction than is expected.

LEFT Foot pod, developed by Cochrane-based Dynastream Innovations (now owned by Garmin), lets runners know how far and fast they’re running in real time.

and telecom titan Nortel Networks in the early 2000s. The telecommunications and data-networking equipment manufacturer, which once operated six Calgary-area facilities and was valued at nearly $300 billion, laid off tens of thousands of people worldwide, eventually letting go of every one of the more than 3,000 Calgarians employed by the company.

Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary, the University of Calgary’s business incubator and accelerator, worked at Nortel from 1980 until 2001. “Most fundamentally, what Nortel and NovAtel did was build a critical mass of people with talent in the digital and wireless sectors — hardware and software developers, project managers, people with the expertise to operate businesses in this space. When NovAtel, and subsequently Nortel, disappeared, those people blew to the wind and, I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration [to say], ended up virtually everywhere in the tech sector in Calgary.”

Last June, more than 60 companies from across Canada met at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre for Tecnovate, a tradeshow featuring the latest in geospatial technology (that is, technology of, or relating to, the relative position of things on the earth’s surface). Tecnovate is hosted by Tecterra, a Calgary group that specializes in supporting small- and mid-sized Canadian businesses in the geospatial industry. Tecterra has worked with more than 160 geospatial companies in Alberta, including 69 start-ups.

Among the conference highlights was a station at which attendees could attempt to ride a “backward” bike, where the front wheel turns counter to the direction you turn the handlebars — a deliberately frustrating exercise designed to reinforce the idea that innovation can be uncomfortable and difficult. Tradeshow exhibitors included companies specializing in subjects such as location intelligence, worker safety, energy efficiency, mapping and virtual reality. A few of the local start-ups on site included Decisive Farming (technology that provides farmers with financial and agronomic data, including seed and fertilization recommendations based on their land), LocalIntel (an online site that provides communityby-community demographic and economic information to guide companies looking to invest), and Blackline Safety (technology that provides wireless monitoring of lone workers to track their safety in the field).

Tecterra CEO Jonathan Neufeld says Calgary is developing a reputation as a centre for geospatial innovation on both national and global levels. The province is home to 40 per cent of the coun-

try’s geospatial firms, largely a result of the U of C and the resource companies that have been willing adopters of the new technology. Neufeld graduated from the University of Calgary’s geomatics program in 2003, well after NovAtel and Nortel’s prime. Looking back, he acknowledges that those companies were instrumental in sparking an industry here. “They were the big giants that paved the way for everybody else, the ones who established an industry presence here in Calgary,” he says.

If you want evidence of a start-up success with roots in NovAtel and Nortel, drive northwest on Crowchild Trail, past the university and the outer suburbs and the Bearspaw Country Club and down the 3.5-kilometre hill with its seven-per cent grade (infamous among road cyclists) into the town of Cochrane. With a population of just over 26,000 in the 2017 municipal census, there is a strong chance that more sport technology is built per capita here than anywhere else on the planet. The town is home to Garmin Cochrane and 4iiiis — both makers of wearable sport-technology. And both companies also have ties to the husband-and-wife engineering team of Kip Fyfe and Victoria Brilz.

Fyfe and Brilz moved to Calgary in 1987; he took a job with NovAtel, she with IBM. Fyfe’s position involved writing software for cellphones and, while at NovAtel, he created an unusual patent related to having multiple protocols for a single cellphone. While this was a rarity at the time, it has since become commonplace, modern cellphones having 10 to 20 protocols. One company decided to fight his patent. It failed. “So, I became an expert witness and it’s there I learned the power of a patent,” Fyfe says.

In the late 1990s, two things happened that were gamechangers for Fyfe and Brilz. First, Kip’s brother Ken Fyfe, a mechanicalengineering professor at the University of Alberta, came up with a groundbreaking technology that allowed runners to know how fast and far they were running in real time with a little pod that could be put into their shoes. Around the same time, the couple was in a serious car accident that involved hitting a gravel truck. The experience gave them a new outlook on life and inspired them to embark on their own tech start-up journey. As Kip Fyfe says: “We figured the rest of our life is for free.”

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Tecnovate photo by Kendal + Kevin Photography

Working from the couple’s new home in Cochrane, it took two tries, but Fyfe and Brilz, along with Ken Fyfe and a fourth co-founder, Jim Rooney, eventually succeeded in launching Dynastream Innovations Inc., developing a foot pod and a wireless technology (ANT protocol) that’s used in most wireless cycling and running technologies for athletes. Since the company formed just as Nortel went into its tailspin and NovAtel laid off employees, Dynastream was able to pick up people with technical know-how. Soon after Dynastream finalized its first contract with Nike, the technology exploded into mass consciousness. In 2006, Garmin acquired Dynastream for approximately $46 million (in cash) and still runs the company out of Cochrane.

Since then, Kip Fyfe and Victoria Brilz have started another company, 4iiii Innovations, just 1.3-km down the road from Garmin Cochrane, producing wireless technologies that give athletes realtime feedback on performance. Among the users of 4iiii products are a past holder of the America’s Cup and Tour de France cyclists.

The environment now for technology start-ups in Calgary is very different than it was three decades ago, says Fyfe, who serves on a number of boards for start-up companies and the organizations that support them. “The information they have versus the information I had access to are a hundred-fold different. There are a lot more people doing start-ups. We were the only clowns at the time who were trying to do that.”

Garrett, of Innovate Calgary, says that for all the successes, there is still a long way to go for Calgary’s innovation community. The field will always be subject to the cycles of commodity-pricing waves: when oil and gas is at the top of the wave, more people will

be lured into the energy sector. When it’s down, people migrate to tech. “Tech is very complementary to the oil and gas industry in that regard and helps to stabilize the overall economy,” says Garrett. That cyclical nature has advantages and disadvantages for Calgary’s geomatics industry. After all, the industry got its start when Lachapelle and his team of young colleagues were let loose from Shell during a downturn and formed their own company. They then grew it during an upturn in the local economy. In the 40 years since, Calgary’s geomatics industry hasn’t always been on a steady incline. Companies have come and gone; more are likely to come and go. But in the meantime, the city has slowly built up a critical mass of talent. Today, it’s more than a few scattershot companies working in isolation. Instead, it’s a real ecosystem of start-ups that have put Calgary on the geomatics map.

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Building a female-friendly tech and innovation sector in Calgary.

Once a handful of scrappy entrepreneurial success stories, Calgary’s technology and innovation sector has quietly become a thriving industry. From an economic perspective, this is great. Few would deny that a diverse economy is a strong economy, and something we should work toward. A diverse workplace, on the other hand — that can be a harder sell. Like the energy sector, the tech sector is historically male-dominated. It would be reasonable to wonder if Calgary is just a breeding ground for industries that tend to exclude or resist female contribution. But when you dig deeper, you find a more interesting (and far more feel-good) story. Rumour has it, Calgary’s tech and innovation sector is an exceptionally friendly environment for women.

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Last year, Calgary Economic Development CEO Mary Moran travelled to Silicon Valley with Mayor Naheed Nenshi to persuade tech companies to set up satellite offices in our city. The trip was part of CED’s 10-year economic strategy to diversify Calgary’s economy, one key pillar of which is to build the innovation sector.

At the time, news stories described the trip as an effort to create a “Silicon Valley North” in Calgary. Not only was this an inaccurate summary of CED’s goals, but it coincided with a slew of negative press about Silicon Valley’s misogyny problem, with stories detailing widespread gender-based harassment and discrimination in the California tech hub. (In April, 2016, The Atlantic went so far as to run a feature article with the unequivocal title: “Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?”)

Fortunately, none of the Calgary women interviewed for this story described anything comparable to the sexist culture reported in Silicon Valley: no allegations of harassment, discrimination or even rudeness. So, Calgary definitely isn’t bad, which may be enough to make it “exceptionally friendly” for women — but that’s a very low bar to clear.

What’s more useful is to find out whether or not Calgary is a good place for women to work in the tech and innovation sector.


When you look at just the numbers, frankly, they don’t look great. Canadian women are entering the tech and innovation sector in lower numbers than men. A Statistics Canada National Household Survey found that women aged 25 to 34 account for only 30 per cent of mathematics and computer-science program graduates. When women do graduate and enter the field, they make less money, on average, than their male counterparts.

But female leaders in general are the minority in Calgary. A 2016 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which ranked Canadian cities on measures including health, economic security and leadership for women, ranked Calgary third from the bottom. In the “leadership for women” category, which looks at positions including elected officials and senior management, we slipped to second-last; women hold only 29 per cent of those roles in this city.

But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Anecdotally, a number of positive trends and factors are steadily removing barriers for techminded and entrepreneurial women in Calgary — and making the tech and innovation sector a better place for everyone to work.


Arleigh Vasconcellos is principal of The Agency, a marketing firm that works primarily with Calgary’s tech and innovation companies. She says about 30 per cent of the companies in her client base are led by women, a number that lines up with the numbers cited in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report. However, context is key here: this percentage is an encouraging accomplishment in the traditionally male-dominated tech sector. “If we were the same company in Silicon Valley, we’d be working almost exclusively with men,” Vasconcellos says.

Moreover, Vasconcellos sees plenty of room for that ratio to shift as Calgary’s young tech ecosystem (the preferred nomenclature of those working to build the sector) evolves, noting that many of the sector’s foundational organizations — which provide everything from mentorship to venture capital — are run by women. Alberta Innovates, Startup Calgary and Alberta Enterprise are all female-led, as is the A100, an organization in which seasoned tech entrepreneurs support and mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The A100 executive director Cynthia van Sundert held leadership roles in the performing arts and finance sectors in Montreal before she entered the world of tech start-ups in Calgary. She says Calgary’s innovation sector has a reputation for an open, trusting culture and she believes it’s a place where women can thrive. “If I compare it with my experience, [Calgary] absolutely is very open and very supportive of women in senior leadership roles,” says van Sundert.

That’s not to say van Sundert hasn’t found areas that need improvement. When she joined the A100 in 2015, women were under-represented on the organization’s membership roster. “I started going, ‘um, there’s three women on this list. What the heck?’” van Sundert says. She and her team quickly identified and removed a membership requirement that was posing an unintentional barrier to women: that A100 members must have exited (read: sold) their companies. According to van Sundert, women are more likely than men to launch start-ups as long-term commitments, whereas men are more likely to start and then sell companies on a shorter time line. Now that this “exit” requirement has been removed, more female founders qualify for membership, and van Sundert has seen a corresponding increase in interested women.

It’s not just high-level decisions that are affected when women hold leadership positions. For women considering careers in the field, seeing other women in leadership roles can be the difference between staying the course or switching majors.

Rosemary Sanchez is a career coder who recently took on the role of people lead for web software development at Benevity, a local company whose software makes it easier to donate and volunteer with charities. Sanchez’s firstyear computer science professors at the University of Calgary were almost all male, but there was one course taught by internationally renowned computer science expert Katrin Becker (now a professor at Mount Royal University). That course made a lasting impression on Sanchez. “[Becker] made programming less scary and more fun. The fact that she was open and that she was a very visible professor at the university, for first-level students, really solidified the fact that there was a place for women there. And that was good for me,” says Sanchez.

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As a co-founder of the web-based construction management software company Evoco in 1999, Alice Reimer forged a path in Calgary’s innovation sector long before it became an “ecosystem.” She says it’s incredibly important for young entrepreneurs, male and female, to have role models. Only in retrospect, she says, did she realize how lucky she was to have the support system she did. “[My co-founders and I] were able to find those key folks who were willing to invest in us, and, in particular, in me as a young female leader,” Reimer says.

Today, as board chair of the A100 and member of the board of Calgary Economic Development (and the former president of Startup Calgary), Reimer is determined to give back as a mentor for up-and-coming tech entrepreneurs.

In the past five years, access to mentorship programs and support systems has become easier for women — for everyone, in fact — in the tech sector. Agencies like the A100 and Rainforest Alberta, an organization created to nurture a

robust innovation ecosystem in the province, have emerged, alongside grassroots organizations that focus on recruitment and training for women.

Chic Geek is a non-profit that focuses specifically on welcoming and coaching tech-curious women. Back in 2012, founder Kylie Toh felt lonely and uncomfortable as a young women learning to code. Unable to find the support she wanted, she decided to create the organization she believed the sector was missing. She expected 40 people at Chic Geek’s first event and 120 showed up. The grassroots organization now hosts about 25 events and workshops each year and engages in corporate partnerships and sponsorships.

Toh (a member of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 class of 2016) isn’t the only one making strides on the community side of tech and innovation; there are other programs that reach out to school-aged girls, as well. One of these is the Alberta Women’s Science Network’s Operation Minerva, a one-day on-the-job experience for grade eight girls who want to know what it’s like to have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career.

Sanchez is involved with both Chic Geek and Operation Minerva as a mentor. She says the fears young women express about their careers echo the fears women have at all ages: “How do I know that I fit in? How do I know I’m good at this? If I’m weird, how do I not stand out?”

“One of the best answers I heard was, ‘Maybe you don’t fit in because you’re a leader, and you should embrace that. You should know that fitting in is not your end goal,’” Sanchez says.

Not all entry-level supports are aimed exclusively at girls and younger women pursuing tech careers. The Calgary chapter of Ladies Learning Code, a workshop series that began in Toronto in 2011, is aimed at anyone interested in learning coding. Its workshops welcome women returning to work after raising children, entrepreneurs who need specific technical skills and people testing the waters before investing in a degree program.

The former Calgary chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code, Darcie Milliken, is a software developer who studied mathematics and cryptography, a field in which women are dramatically outnumbered. She says programs specifically aimed at women create a level of comfort that facilitates learning. “When you’re in a room full of women you’re not thinking about being a woman,” she says. “You’re thinking about the thing you’re thinking about.”

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—Rosemary Sanchez


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Building a career as a woman in Calgary’s tech and innovation sector is like battling a hydra, says Sanchez. But in this metaphor, she isn’t the slayer — she’s the many-headed beast. Whenever Sanchez lost a head along the career path, she just grew another one and attacked from a new angle. “Many children have a dream and the moment there’s resistance it can easily distract them,” Sanchez says. “That didn’t happen to me.”

It didn’t happen to Chic Geek founder Toh either, despite experiencing what she describes as a “meltdown” the day she realized her dream of a high-powered corporate career was at odds with her wish to become a deeply engaged parent. Instead of giving up on ambition or family, Toh grew another head. Now, as a self-made founder and entrepreneur, she has options that she believes will allow her to blend her career and life in the way she wishes. “That was a very conscious choice,” Toh says of forsaking the conventional corporate path for the higher-risk start-up world. “There were no regrets.”

Toh isn’t the only one who sees the tech and innovation sector as a place where a woman can forge her own path. The A100’s van Sundert also chose to enter the tech and innovation sector because of its reputation for open-minded, flexible company cultures. “At one point in my life I was a single mom. That flexibility made all the difference,” she says.


When Reimer was launching Evoco with her husband and their business partner, she had no female role models or mentors in the business. Fortunately, she had John Eddy, who was CEO of Evoco for six years and an ongoing source of support for Reimer. “For an industry to be supportive of women, it needs supportive men,” says Reimer, who knows from experience that men in Calgary’s tech sector do value their female colleagues. “I think there is a recognition in Calgary about what women can bring to the table in the technology and innovation ecosystem,” she says.

Benevity, Sanchez’s employer, is making strides to advance women in the workplace, in part by changing the way it thinks about men. The company recently launched a shared parental leave program, which offers two weeks of paid leave and an extended-leave top-up (a fixed percentage of the employee’s salary) for fathers or mothers. While most working parents are entitled to parental leave benefits from the Government of Canada, top-up pay is a discretionary benefit offered by some employers. Many companies don’t offer top-up pay at all, and very few explicitly encourage new fathers to take it or acknowledge the importance of paternal involvement.

In an International Women’s Day blog post, Benevity founder and CEO Bryan de Lottinville encouraged other business leaders to implement similar policies. “When society can consider fathers equal parents, it can consider women equal workers,” he stated in the post.


Toh says she sees increasing evidence that gender parity is a priority in Calgary’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Chic Geek has several sponsoring companies and collaborators. The Calgary Council of Advanced Technology held a 2016 award celebration for companies committed to recruiting, retaining and advancing female employees. The Alberta Women’s Science Network, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and Next Gen Men, a non-profit that works with boys and men to redefine masculinity and work toward gender equality, are all chipping away at the systemic issues and stereotypes that limit women’s — and men’s — potential.

Sanchez has always balked at stereotypes, particularly the old chestnut that women are natural-born communicators, or that we can endear little girls to technical pursuits by giving them Barbie dolls with plastic laptops. Instead of wondering how to make the tech and innovation world appealing to women, she believes we should focus on the traits that draw people — men and women — to the sector. “I want to support anyone going into technology because technology is awesome and fun,” Sanchez says. “Solving problems, creating puzzles, that god-mode where you feel like you can do anything. Having girls feel that. Having anyone feel that. I think we need to stop seeing gender as binary.”

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Alica Reimer
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Cornerstone Music Cafe

You don’t have to be taking lessons at Cornerstone’s music studio to stop by for a curry. The café always has selections such as butter chicken, chickpea, lamb or lentil curry, all made from scratch, to eat in or grab from the freezer to go.

139, 14919 Deer Ridge Dr. S.E., 403-278-3070, cornerstonemusic.ca, @cornerstonemsc

$5 Takeout Breakfast Sandwich

The Beltliner

Not everyone knows the Beltliner has a takeout coffee bar. Even fewer are aware that you can get a to-go breakfast sandwich — a soft English muffin loaded with eggs and bacon or avocado, tomato and greens — for a mere $5.

243 12 Ave. S.W., 587-955-1555, thebeltliner.com, @thebeltliner

Whether your tastes tend toward rustic or refined, this collection of local treats is an ode to all things sweet and savoury.

Frozen Pizzas

Urban Butcher

The pizzas stacked in the freezer at the Urban Butcher are the same ones served at Cilantro, (they’re both part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts group). The crust is cooked in a wood-burning pizza oven — said to be the city’s first — which gives it the requisite char and smokiness, and then topped with combinations such as boar sausage, veggies and cheese, or the famous pear and gorgonzola. It takes just eight minutes to produce restaurant-quality pizza in your own oven.

3, 2100 4 St. S.W., 403-245-6662, and two other locations, urbanbutcher.ca, @urbanbutcheryyc

Exceptional Perogies

Bobby Reed Perogy lovers who have gone gluten-free are thrilled with Bobby Reed’s perogies. Made

in Cochrane, they come in flavours such as lamb with mint and rosemary, or chorizo with roasted-garlic mashed potato and sundried tomato. Try the Canadian bacon classic, or “CBC,” filled with bacon, un peu de sirop d’érable (maple syrup) and a polite serving of potato. Available at Fromagerie Bergeron, 519 1 St., Cochrane, 403-932-1123, bobbyreed.ca

Elderflower Tonic

Eau Claire Soda

The makers of some of the best gin in the world now produce a small-batch tonic to mix with it. The elderflower version is tasty enough to sip on its own, but why wouldn’t you add a splash of Eau Claire Parlour Gin? For availability, go to eauclairesoda.ca, @eauclairesoda

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Carrot Cake

Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar

The moist, old-school carrot bundt cake with cream-cheese frosting has been a staple on the menu at Gravity since it opened. It’s a cake co-owner Zara Verge used to make at a pub in the UK. Here, it pairs as well with coffee or tea in the morning or afternoon as it does with beer or wine in the evenings, when the café hosts live music by local musicians.

909 10 St. S.E., 403-457-0697, cafegravity.com, @cafegravity

Ginger Caramels

Cochu Chocolatier

Full disclosure: the chocolatier behind Cōchu is my sister. But it’s not just me who thinks her chocolates are sublime. Anne Sellmer is the only Canadian on the 2017 International Chocolate Salon’s list of top 10 chocolatiers and confectioners in North America. Her ginger caramels are the ideal hit of sweet, buttery and chewy, with the warmth of ginger.

Available online at cochu.ca, @cochuchocolate


Sucre Patisserie & Cafe

Sucre’s dense, chewy French florentines are a butter-andsugar lover’s dream. The mixture of buttery caramel and finely sliced almonds is spread thin and then cut into small circles, leaving behind scrap pieces that you can buy by the discounted bag-full to nibble on inside the Parisian-style space, or take for a sweet treat to enjoy later on.

1007 8 St. S.W., 587-352-5505, sucrecafe.com, @sucrecafeyyc

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Birthday Cake Cookies

Pretty Sweet

Pretty Sweet has become the it bakery for stylish custom wedding cakes and pastel-hued, Instagram-worthy sweets, but among the best things on the menu are the chewy sprinkle sandwich cookies, spread thickly with buttercream, that taste just like birthday cake. Take note: the bakery is only open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment. 536 42 Ave. S.E., 587-356-1225, prettysweetco.com, @prettysweetyyc

Club Maté High Line Brewing

Made with fermented yerba maté tea, steeped with cider yeast and spiked with grapefruit zest, Club Maté is glutenfree, slightly sweet and citrusy, with five-per cent alcohol and a nice kick of caffeine. A new alternative to beer or cider for your growler.

113, 1318 9 Ave. S.E., highlinebrewing.com, @highlinebrewing



Mama Cathy’s soft, warm, sugared yeast doughnuts are perfect paired with coffee or nibbled from a paper bag. 2224 4 St. S.W., 403-263-5535 and 5000, 873 85 St. S.W., 403263-6996, mercato-gourmet.com

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Tucked in near the food court at Crossroads Market, Molcajete has 45 made-fromscratch Mexican and Chilean salsas on offer, but the creamy, tangy, pale-green cilantro salsa is instantly addictive. Use it as a coleslaw dressing, a dip for Molcajete’s house-made tortilla chips, or eat it straight up with a spoon — no judgment here.

1235 26 Ave. S.E. (Crossroads Market), 403-606-0644

Olive Oil

Bridgeland Market

The Traya family, owners of Tazza Deli and Grill and Bridgeland Market, have relatives who grow their own olives in Kherbet Rouha, Lebanon. They send batches of their own clean, grassy, cold-pressed oil to Calgary to decant and sell by the bottle. That’s almost local olive oil, isn’t it?

1104 1 Ave. N.E., 403-269-2381, bridgelandmarket.com, @bridgelandmrkt

Vanilla Latte

Almond Butter


Munch makes a variety of nut butters in unique flavour combinations such as cashew with cardamom and clove and pumpkin seed with coconut and turmeric, but the vanilla latte almond butter with chia seeds, espresso, vanilla and a pinch of Hawaiian salt will elevate your toast to new heights.

587-897-4448, munchyyc.com, @munch_yyc

Mayo Chimmi’s

This Okotoks company started by making chimichurri-inspired hot sauces using Peruvian family recipes and expanded from there. Its creamy mayo with a spicy kick elevates a burger to new heights, or try spreading it on the outside of a grilled cheese before you grill it.

Available at Basha Foods, 2717 Sunridge Way N.E., 403-2806797, and seven other locations; 403-700-5887, itswhatyoucrave.com


The irresistible Lebanese roasted red pepper, walnut and pomegranate molasses spread that Aida’s Bistro is known for is now available by the container to go. Pick one up along with a few pitas and enjoy anywhere.

2208 4 St. S.W., 403-541-1189, aidasbistro.ca, @aidasbistroyyc, and Bite Groceteria, 1023 9 Ave. S.E., 403-263-3966, biteyyc.com, @biteyyc

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Cilantro Salsa Mouhammara
Avenue Calgary .com 61 Offering a locally inspired menu, featuring items that are meticulously handcrafted. 2008 AIRPORT ROAD NE 587-232-0538 | YAKIMAYYC.CA SOCIAL KITCHEN + BAR AVENUECALGARY.COM/NEWSLETTERS Subscribe at NEWSLETTERS FOOD & DRINK STYLE WEEKENDER

Dry-aged Steaks Silver Sage Beef

Silver Sage beef hails from a ranch in the grasslands near the intersection of the Alberta-SaskatchewanMontana borders, where the cows are free to roam and graze. The steaks are dry-aged for 60 days to enhance flavour and tenderness, and exemplify how great Alberta beef can be.

Calgary Farmers’ Market, 403-8082210, silversagebeef.com, @silversagebeef

Thai Beef Jerky

Tuk Tuk Thai

The Thai-spiced beef jerky at Tuk Tuk is moist and tender, packaged up so you can take it to go. The small scraps and strips are dark, chewy and sweet, marinated in soy, ginger, cinnamon and whole coriander seed that adds a complex floral flavour.

636 17 Ave. S.W., 403-455-0999, tuktukthai.com, @eattuktukthai

Culatello Empire Provisions

Culatello is a prized salumi in Italy, where it’s cured in humid cellars by the river Po. Locally, it’s made by Empire Provisions using Broek Pork Acres Berkshire pork.

It takes five to six months to fully cure the pork with salts, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper, for a result that’s best described as “prosciutto extreme.”

Numerous retail and restaurant locations, empireprovisions.ca, @empireyyc

Bolognese Spinelli Italian Centre Shop

A proper Bolognese is hard to find. The Italian Centre Shop makes the traditional meaty sauce with grass-fed, locally raised Piedmontese beef (a breed of cattle from northern Italy), pork and milk-fed veal — perfect with freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano. 120, 9919 Fairmount Dr. S.E., 403-238-4869, italiancentre.ca, @italianctryyc

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SAIT Culinary Student Creations Downtown Culinary Campus

You’ll find everything from fresh bread to chocolates and preserves here, and every purchase supports SAIT’s esteemed culinary arts program.

226, 230 8 Ave. S.W. (TD Square), 403-284-8535, culinarycampus.ca

Espresso Cacao Granola Highwood Crossing

Located just outside High River, Highwood Crossing has been making granolas from its own organic oats, canola oil and flax for years. Recently, they launched a few new varieties, including one with cacao nibs, whole coffee beans and espresso extract that will jump-start your morning with more than fibre.

810 Centre St SE, High River, 403-652-1910, for retailers visit highwoodcrossing.com

Salted Caramel Almonds Going Nuts

It’s hard to choose just one thing from Going Nuts, where they grind their own nut butters and slow-roast candied nuts in their kettle roaster. Crunchy beer nuts, butter-rum pecans and our favourite, salted caramel almonds — it’s delicious snacking by the handful.

Calgary Farmers’ Market and several other markets, 403818-7520, goingnuts.ca, @goingnutsyyc

Lahm Bi Ajin Village Pita Bakery

Village Pita has been baking pitas from scratch here in Short Pants Plaza (can you resist the name?) since the ’70s. Topped with meat, cheese or za’atar (thyme, oregano, sumac and olive oil), the pita pies are a tasty and affordable food to go. 255 28 St. S.E., 403-273-0330

Root Beer Annex Ale Project

It took 35 test batches for Annex to come up with the right combo of roots, spices and other botanicals to make a creamy, wintergreen-heavy root beer that’s perfect in a cocktail or with a scoop of ice cream. It’s available by the bottle or on tap in the Annex tasting room for those who want a non-boozy brew. 4323 1 St S.E., 403-475-4412, annexales.com, @annexales

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THE NEW RULES OF engagement

Four couples share the stories of their marriage proposals. As different as these stories are, they all show that planning is key when it comes to popping the question in a memorable way.

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Julianne Young knows what the perfect day is supposed to look like. In fact, it’s her job to create beautiful and seamless wedding days for clients with Julianne Young Weddings, the company she founded and which recently launched a new service — planning proposals. Little did she know she would end up being her first engagement client.

It was nearing the end of the busiest time of the year for Young — summer wedding season — and she and her then-boyfriend Kristian Wieclawek decided it was the perfect opportunity to slip away to Banff for some rest and recreation. By this time the couple had known each other for 10 years and had been dating for three and half years. “I had really, really hoped that Kris was going to propose,” says Young.

But when Wieclawek showed no signs of preproposal nervousness — his appetite at dinner was healthy and his palms weren’t sweaty at all — Young was resigned that it wasn’t going to happen this time. “I was thinking to myself ‘just calm down.’ You’re not getting engaged this weekend,” she says.

Avid outdoorsy types, Wieclawek and Young had included a long-distance run along the Rundle Riverside Trail in their plans. Not 100 metres into the 17-kilometre run, Young spotted a bouquet of flowers on the ground and a woman with a camera. “I thought for a split second that we were running into someone

else’s proposal, not mine,” says Young, “and then Kris bends down to get the flowers and looks at me, and I just instantly started ugly-crying.”

A sign pinned to a tree with hand lettering that read “Walk Our Story” led Young and Wieclawek along a trail marked with photographs of

the couple’s favourite memories. Awaiting them was an antique table laid with all her favourite things: flowers, Champagne and macarons. There, Wieclawek got down on one knee and proposed.

But the surprises weren’t over. After Wieclawek popped the question, Young’s colleagues jumped out from their hiding spots and admitted to concealing the proposal from her for days. Young switched out her bear spray and running vest

for a dress her colleagues had brought to the site and the pair got engagement photos done on the spot by Corrina Walker Photography.

“At the end of the day, if Kris had pulled over at a McDonald’s and proposed I would have been so happy,” says Young. “It’s never about the event, no matter how much people spend on weddings or proposals. It’s always about the feeling and the moment, and there isn’t a price tag for that.”

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ENGAGED Oct. 23, 2016 RING Classic solitaire-set diamond on a rosegold band from Blue Nile VENUE Rundle Riverside Trail, Banff, Alta. PHOTOGRAPHER Corrina Walker Photography Corrina Walker Photography


Sometime in the middle of the night in the Mojave desert, the flimsy nylon walls of Adaeze Obiajunwa and Dan Girgis’s tent began to quiver as an intruder scratched at it from the outside. “I’m going through the possibilities of what sort of animals are out there,” says Obiajunwa. “Is it some sort of bone-creature? A person? What’s worse?”

Turns out it was a coyote — or so the park ranger of Hole-In-The-Wall campground informed the couple the next morning after a night of very fitful sleep.

Girgis had been planning to propose sometime during the couple’s California weekend getaway, and he jokes now that the restless night was all on purpose. “I set up the worst night ever so that I would set myself up for success.”

The opportunity presented itself while the couple was driving past a picturesque grove of Joshua trees and decided to pull over.

Obiajunwa just thought Girgis was having what she called “a U2 experience” (a reference to the Irish band’s classic album The Joshua Tree). She did notice Girgis seemed particularly nervous, though. “I was like, ‘why are you so nervous? We are just walking among the trees,’ and

then the next second he’s down on his knee.”

Obiajunwa and Girgis met after being set up through a mutual friend. Obiajunwa, who will soon be a registered psychologist, says she admired Girgis’s intensity and thoughtfulness when they met. Girgis is a general physician who credits Obiajunwa with bringing levity to his sometimesfrenetic energy.

She says they often talked about what they wanted their relationship to look like. “Any sort of union, like love, takes dedication. I think that’s something we are constantly aware of and working on,” says Obiajunwa. For them, getting engaged was an important indicator of commitment. “I love the idea of marriage and making a commitment and really fostering and strengthening that bond as you go through those years together,” Obiajunwa says.

Girgis says they both believe in the tradition of marriage, as do their families. “For us, it feels like this is an important extra step. I’m not sure if I can philosophically back that up, but it just feels different,” he says.


Jared Bell and Fontaine Schaerer had their first date at the Purple Perk on 4th Street S.W. after meeting online. She says: “I had basically given up on the dating sites. The dates were sort of ending up in disaster.” But that all changed with Bell.

After a few years of dating, the couple had discussed marriage enough to know that an engagement wasn’t very far off. So Bell needed a ring, and he quickly realized he was out of his depth. “Whatever ring I was going to buy was just going to be a horrible disaster, because everything I thought Fontaine wanted was just the exact opposite.” He admitted defeat and pulled Schaerer in on the ring hunt and together they designed her ring with Vancouver designer John M.

Next came the surprise proposal itself, for which Bell also

wisely sought advice, enlisting the expertise of Clarence McLeod, a certified professional butler and general manager at Azuridge Estate Hotel.

The stage was set for New Year’s Eve, the anniversary of when Bell and Schaerer became a couple. An unsuspecting Schaerer arrived at Azuridge. She says she was looking forward to the weekend and was distracted by everything there was to see at the lovely estate. “I think it made it hard for Jared to get my attention.”

This led to what may have felt like the longest night in Bell’s life as he spent the evening trying to lead Schaerer to the fireplace room where he’d hidden the ring box in a bowl of puffy white marshmallows — to be discovered while the couple made s’mores.

They dined, strolled the estate, played not one, but three games of pool, and it was when Schaerer suggested they play poker that Bell finally put his foot down and declared it “s’mores time.”

Their photographer Emily Exon had been getting chilly waiting outside the windows to capture the moment of engagement, so Bell knew there was no time to waste. He dug into the marshmallow bowl until his hand closed around the ring box. Not about to let the moment get away, Bell got down on one knee and proposed.

Looking back, he says, “I guess the fact that you go to the effort and a bit of stress and trouble and grief to do this kind of thing shows your partner that you’re serious.”

“It solidified everything,” adds Schaerer. “It made it a lot more special and confirmed to me we are on the right path.”

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ENGAGED Dec. 18, 2016 RING Asscher cut diamond, custom designed at Kaufmann de Suisse VENUE Joshua Tree Grove, Mojave Desert, Calif. PHOTOGRAPHER Heidrich Photography ENGAGED Dec. 31, 2015 RING John M. VENUE Azuridge Estate Hotel PHOTOGRAPHER Emily Exon Photography Obiajunwa-Girgis photo by Heidrich Photography; Schaerer-Bell photo by Emily Exon Photography


From their full-on fashion-show wedding hosted by leading lady Carly York Jones of the performing drag troupe Carly’s Angels, to their customdesigned engagement and wedding rings, Saul Benary and Greg Elian delight in breaking the mold. “Picture a traditional wedding, and then picture the opposite. That’s what we’re doing,” says Elian.

When it came to getting engaged, Elian, a financial planner, says he applied the same level of attention to detail he uses in his day job to pulling off an epic proposal. Months in advance he chose the location (the Seattle Japanese Garden in Seattle, Wash.), ordered the custom-made ring (designed by the couple’s friend Charlotte Furneaux at Gem by Carati) and planned a series of distractions to throw Benary off.

All Benary knew was that he was tagging along to Seattle where Elian and their friends were attending a big gaming convention.

Despite Elian’s careful planning, however, there were a few

bumps along the way. First, the ring only showed up the day before they left for Seattle. Next, Benary and Furneaux, who was also on the trip, nearly walked right into Elian on the street right before he was going to change into his tux, while he was supposed to be attending a panel discussion, forcing him to hide behind a statue to avoid being spotted. Finally, when Elian arrived early at the garden where they were to meet later on, he realized he was at the wrong location. When he did manage to find the right spot, he then learned he couldn’t propose there because the landscape was made of special plants and they didn’t want anyone kneeling on the grass.

Determined not to let anything else get in the way, Elian decided to propose on a bridge in the garden and there he waited, pacing. An oblivious Benary showed up expecting to enjoy the foliage and take some selfies but instead was swept off his feet by Elian’s proposal. It was Elian, however, who nearly fainted with relief that it had all gone to plan.

ENGAGED Sept. 1, 2013

RING Custom design, Gem by Carati VENUE

Seattle Japanese Garden PHOTOGRAPHER

Marcus Sanzi (engagement); Diane + Mike Photography (wedding)

Having been married for almost two years now, the couple agrees that getting engaged and later married wasn’t just the next logical step in the relationship; it was a positive message they wanted to share with their community. “I got engaged to Saul and married him for the obvious reasons,” says Elian, “but also to make those statements that it’s okay to be LGBT and it’s okay to find someone and love someone and get married to them.”

Benary says, growing up, he saw very few gay couples on television or in movies, so to him getting engaged was “exercising this right that has been denied to so many other people in our community for so long, and to make that statement to younger people that a loving relationship was possible for them, too.”


Don’t overthink your photos.

“Feel free to laugh, move if you feel awkward and focus on the person you are on this adventure with. It sounds cliché, but have fun. Treat your session as a date. Enjoy a rare hour in your wedding planning process without a to-do list or agenda.”

—Mitchell and Sancia Toth, The Toths Photo & Film

Don’t wait too long to pop the question on the proposal day.

“Remember, you’re asking the person that knows you best, so there are going to be nuances to your behaviour. I’m a firm believer in proposing in the beginning [of the day]. It minimizes the kinks to your plan.”

Clarence McLeod, general manager and butler, Azuridge Estate Hotel

Write out what you want to say.

“In the moment, there are so many emotions swirling in your mind and the right words can get swept up and lost. Putting your thoughts in print is the perfect insurance policy. Plus, the proposal note makes for the sweetest keepsake.”

—Aimsley Leece, wedding coordinator, Julianne Young Weddings Inc.

Don’t obsess over the ring price.

“Don’t focus on the price tag as much as what it represents. Get something that speaks to you. Maybe the colour of a stone reminds you of the colour of their eyes. Maybe you appreciate the symbolism of weaving two kinds of metal being about two lives becoming one. Make it about your new journey together.”

—Charlotte Furneaux, design consultant, Gem by Carati

Do talk about money.

“Communication is key. Be transparent about each other’s financial picture. As you get engaged, open a separate joint account to establish your combined financial history and as a place to deposit gifts from the wedding. This will serve as the nest on which you’ll build your future.”

—Victor Kuntzevitsky, sr. associate, Northland Wealth Management

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Photo by Marcus Sanzi
Financing Available. *
A CHANGE OF SEASON CALLS FOR A CHANGE OF TIRES. *OAC. Conditions apply. See in store for details.
72 avenueOCTOBER.17 CSN-LOUS_halfpageAd_7.875x4.8125_111816_HR.pdf 1 2016-11-22 11:10 AM - PAIR A PINT OFAlberta Crude Oatmeal Stout WITH FRESH BAKED PRETZELS - THIS OKTOBERwildrosebrewery.com @wildrosebrewery y WILD ROSE BREWERY TAPROOM LOCATED IN THE CURRIE BARRACKS


Mixing structured pieces with knits, and suiting with casual and even outdoor gear creates a look that easily transitions for anything the climate or the day throws at you.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY Luc Wilson STYLING BY Phaedra Godchild (STYLEISTA) GROOMING BY Kate Barutowicz Tom Ford jacket $5,595, Tom Ford turtleneck $1,365, Tom Ford pants $1,195, Tods boots $535, all from Harry Rosen.
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Moncler jacket $1,645, Hugo by Hugo Boss blazer $545, Boglioli shirt $365, Boglioli pants $595, Eton tie $150, Moncler scarf $250, all from Henry Singer; boots $450, from Simons; bag $399 from Modern Menswear.

Le31 double-breasted blazer $350, Le31 pants

$150, Le31 turtleneck

$79 all from Simons; Nomos Club Datum watch $3,220 from J. Vair Anderson Jewellers; Bottega Venetta Bag $3,390 from Holt Renfrew.

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76 avenueOCTOBER.17
Eleventy blazer $895, Canali sweater $725, Eleventy shirt $365, Neil Barrett pants $675, all from Holt Renfrew; Tag Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Edition watch $7,200 from J. Vair Anderson Jewellers.
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Acne coat $1,400, Lardini sweater $1,100, Eleventy shirt $350, Paul Smith pants $450, all from Holt Renfrew; boots $425 from Simons.
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Le31 coat $295, Le31 sweater $79, Le31 shirt $59, Le31 pants $69, all from Simons; bracelet $60 Adesso Accessories.
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Mackage jacket $660, Ted Baker blazer $645, Rag & Bone shirt $335, all from Nordstrom; pants, $140, belt, $80, boots, $380, all from Modern Menswear; Grand Seiko 36000 Hi Beat Professional 600M Diver watch $15,400 from J. Vair Anderson Jewellers; Skagen bag $415 from Nordstrom.


The Gems of Mexico’s Hidden Port

With golden beaches, world-class surfing and more coconuts than you can stick a straw in, Puerto Escondido is a great spot for Calgarians fleeing falling temperatures.

One of the many beaches to be enjoyed in Puerto Escondido.
Photo courtesy of Vivo Resorts

The crisp crunch of leaves can hardly compete with the feeling of warm sand underfoot, but that’s not the only draw to Puerto Escondido (the “hidden port”) on the south side of Mexico’s Oaxaca region. Along with warmer weather, Puerto Escondido offers the opportunity to visit a coffee plantation, rescue baby turtles and surf.

What to do LEARN TO SURF

Frequently rated among the best surfing in the world, a visit to Puerto Escondido demands you spend some time getting tubular. Surf season runs March to December, with waves in the area known to reach 20 feet during the summer months. Zicazteca surf school, found right off the main strip of Zicatela beach, offers daily lessons at 10 a.m. specifically geared toward the beginner and intermediate levels. Sign up for the two-hour group lesson, or, if you’re a more seasoned wave rider, ask about their trips to less-crowded destinations that offer the kind of waves the region is renowned for. zicazteca.com


Puerto Escondido’s local market is where you can ditch the tourist-trap fare and pick up local produce, thin strips of meat (known as tirada) hanging in the carnicerias or local cheeses such as soft queso and stringy quesillo. You’ll also find the region’s famed chocolate products here, including drinking-chocolate powder and mole sauce, as well as dried hibiscus leaves, an essential ingredient in agua de Jamaica, a juice drink popular here. Grab lunch at one of the stalls in the market’s food court, which presents a wide variety of options, from fish dishes to traditional tacos and chilaquiles


Life for baby sea turtles can be nasty, brutish and short, as these endangered creatures are favoured snacks for local predators. That’s why, from October until May, the Palmarito Turtle Camp dutifully collects turtle eggs to hatch at their camp. Once hatched, the tiny, two-inch turtles are brought by bucket to the edge of the surf at sunset to flipper their way into the ocean. Groups such as Lalo Ecotours will take you to and from the release point to help release these tiny creatures by scooping them up with a coconut shell and placing them on the beach (then feeling your heart melt as the newborns make their uncoordinated dash to the waves). lalo-ecotours.com


While the souvenir stalls at Benito Juarez might seem appealing (the prices are certainly better than the gift shops at airports), if you’d like to pick up a sugar skull, piece of locally crafted jewellery or other unique trinkets, save your pesos for the Adoquín, an open-air night market on the Alfonso Pérez Gasga avenue. The name references the Spanish term for “cobble,” a reference to the cobblestone road the market occupies every night from 4 p.m. onward, when the street turns pedestrian-only. The market, which runs parallel to Playa Principal (the main beach), also has a wide selection of beach clothes, mescals and woodcrafts, as well as restaurants and bars for a post-shopping meal or cocktail.

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1. Surfing at Zicatela Beach. 2. Sign for the Zicazteca surf school. 3. Produce for sale at Mercado Benito Juarez. 4. Helping to release baby turtles into the surf is a mustdo in Puerto Escondido.
Market photo by Andrew Guilbert 2. 4. 3.

Where to Eat ESPADIN

If you’ve travelled all this way, it’s certainly not to get boxed into a stuffy restaurant. With its hilltop view of the ocean and nearby Carrizalillo beach, the Villas Carrizalillo Hotel’s in-house eatery Espadin is the airy vacation restaurant of your dreams. The menu features seafood caught that morning, with dishes such as crispy red snapper stuffed with shrimp, squid and octopus, a pumpkin-seed-crusted fish fillet with bell-pepper sauce and coconut shrimp with achiote salsa. Regardless of the entree you choose, the must-try side dishes are the watermelon guacamole and the sweet plantains. And while mescal is the local liquor of choice in Oaxaca, if drinking it straight isn’t your style, try Espadin’s martini-style “mezcalini.” villascarrizalillo.com/dining.html


The restaurant at Hotel Santa Fe is known for its veggie-focused fare, something owner Robin Cleaver, a vegetarian, says was lacking in Puerto Escondido’s restaurant scene when he opened the hotel in the ’80s. Dishes on offer include tamales, chilaquiles, tostadas and every other classic Mexican dish you can think of. You’ll also find locally sourced

chocolate here, served as a wonderfully thick hot drink, perfect for cooler nights under the palapa. For dessert, the banana flambé in rum and honey is a treat, as is the generous portion of high-onfruit, low-on-crust strawberry pie. hotelsantafe.com.mx/restaurant/


Fresh was founded by a couple of Canadian expats whose background in the service industry shines through. The great service combines with a relaxed, beachside setting to create a dining experience sure to make your Instagram followers envious. Seafood is obviously the go-to anywhere in Puerto Escondido,

and Fresh is no exception; the restaurant lives up to its name with dishes such as pan-fried octopus with garlic and chili or tropical ceviche featuring the catch of the day with pineapple, cucumber, cilantro and chili. If you prefer turf to surf, the menu includes baby back ribs with house-made barbecue sauce, as well as Canadian Angus T-bone steaks. The drinks list is your best friend when it comes to beating the heat, and while the chocolate martini is a great dessert drink, it’s the Fresh Signature, a blend of rum, pineapple, coconut cream and Midori liqueur, that makes for the perfect slow sip.


Where to Stay VIVO RESORTS

Each of the 110 suites (ranging from studios to private villas) at this private beachfront resort just a 15-minute-drive north of town has a full kitchen and a patio with an ocean view. The resort’s inner courtyard features an infinity pool with swim-up bar, as well as an open-air restaurant area with great drinks, delicious food and snappy service. Vivo can facilitate a wide variety of adventure activities for guests, including sea safaris, fishing trips, ecological tours and scuba diving, and will be opening a clubhouse facility in December that includes a spa, fine-dining restaurant and lounge, kids’ club, business centre, event space, general store and sports fields. Should you happen to fall in love with the place, both suites and beachfront condos are available for purchase. vivoresorts.com


This hotel has 50 standard rooms, as well as junior, master and presidential suites, all surrounding a beautiful inner courtyard with pools and palm trees. For the ultimate luxury stay, Santa Fe also has eight private bungalows perched above the hotel compound with horizon-spanning views. Situated right on Puerto Escondido’s Zicatela beach, the hotel’s Mediterranean revival architecture and views of the surf provide the perfect setting for lazing the day away. Santa Fe also hosts excursions out to owner Robin Cleaver’s coffee plantation, Finca Las Nieves, providing guests the opportunity to walk through the high-altitude mountains and get a unique perspective on where your morning joe actually comes from. hotelsantafe.com.mx

LEFT Sunset view at Vivo Resort. BELOW Swim-up bar at Vivo Resort. BOTTOM Hot chocolate at the restaurant at Hotel Santa Fe. Vivo Resorts sunset and hot chocolate photo by Andrew Guilbert; pool photo courtesy of Vivo Resorts

Star Attraction

Jasper National Park’s designation as a Dark Sky Preserve makes it a must-do trip for stargazers during the fall.

Photos by Ryan Bray, courtesy of Tourism Jasper

Known as the “gentle giant of the Rockies,” Jasper National Park sits along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The park’s star attractions are its glaciers, rivers and wildlife, though the stars are also an attraction — particularly in October during the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, an annual celebration of the night sky.

Coming to Jasper in the fall means you can avoid the summer crowds, spot elk and moose moseying around town and see the stars like you’ve never seen them before.

What to Do


Over the course of two consecutive weekends in October (October 13 to 15 and 20 to 22), outdoor enthusiasts, scientists, astronomers, night photographers and amateur stargazers gather in Jasper to celebrate the wonders of the night sky within an official Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Dark Sky Preserve (DSP). The society recognizes a DSP as a place where no artificial lighting is visible and active measures are taken to reduce light pollution.

Jasper was officially named a Dark Sky Preserve on March 26, 2011, and is currently the second-largest DSP in Canada at 11,000 square kilometres. In 2016, nationalgeographic.com reported that more than 80 per cent of the planet’s land areas — and 99 per cent of the population of Europe and the United States — are under skies where the Milky Way is “virtually invisible” due to man-made light pollution, which makes having a DSP of this magnitude within five hours’ drive from Calgary (via the spectacular Icefields Parkway) that much more meaningful. As a condition of the designation, the town of Jasper is changing its street lamps to cast downward.

While the festival’s celebrity speakers are always a huge draw — past guests have included Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, actor-activist George Takei, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowski and science journalist Nadia Drake — there’s much more to do outside of the keynote events. At the Big Bang Expo, the Telus World of Science – Edmonton hosts science demos under a big white tent, where you can purchase a model rocket kit to build and launch in Centennial Field. The pop-up Jasper Planetarium (a heated inflatable dome theatre in the parking lot of the Marmot Lodge) features telescope viewings of the sun and other objects in the daytime sky under the guidance of experts such as Peter McMahon. The award-winning science journalist and star buff takes you “through the universe in 35 minutes,” and his entertaining presentation will indeed transport you across time and space as you encounter constellations and 360-degree views of the Northern Lights captured around Jasper.

Stargazing at Lake Annette is a free evening activity where public shuttles transport you to and from the site. Pros and amateur star buffs will let you peer through their telescopes, and there’s music and storytelling around a huge bonfire. For a more luxurious experience, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge hosts Symphony Under the Stars, a ticketed outdoor concert by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings.


A seven-minute tram ride whisks you up Whistler’s Mountain, while a guide points out mountain ranges and glacial lakes below. Once you reach the top, you’ll have time to wander the high-alpine Upper Station via boardwalks or take the 45-minute trail to the summit. On a clear day you can spot Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. jasperskytram.com


While it’s a favourite spot for ice walks and ice climbing in the winter, Maligne is a must-do in any season. Hiking the upper trails during the fall provides amazing views down into one of the deepest river canyons in the Canadian Rockies. While the trails are open to the public, if you prefer to go with a professional, SunDog Tour Company offers a Maligne Valley Sightseeing tour which includes a drive up Maligne Valley, a guided walk over the canyon’s first two bridges and a stop at Medicine and Maligne Lakes. sundogtours.com

The beauty of this relaxed festival is that you can peel away for your own quiet stargazing session (good spots include Pyramid Lake and Island, Medicine Lake and Old Fort Point) or stick with the crowds. Incredible as it is to see the shimmering Milky Way with your naked eye or through an impressive array of telescopes, there’s an intangible energy that comes from being in a crowd of people gazing at the stars together under the glow of the moon. Whether you’re out at the Lake Annette site or on the visitor-centre lawn in the middle of town, you’ll feel utterly small, yet universally connected to something bigger. jasperdarksky.travel

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SkyTram photo by Jeff Barlett, courtesy of Tourism Jasper; Maligne Canyon photo by Olivia Robinson, courtesy of Tourism Jasper OPPOSITE Jasper National Park’s designation as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2011 is celebrated with the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival. TOP The Jasper SkyTram. ABOVE Maligne Canyon.



Where to Eat


Locals are known to line up at this bakery as early as 6 a.m. for its fresh loaves of bread and mountain-roasted coffee. First-timers will stand agog at the display case packed with made-from-scratch European-style pastries such as white-chocolate raspberry tarts, hearty muffins, Danishes, scones and cookies, but the sticky cinnamon buns are a sure bet. There’s a second location a few blocks away called The Other Paw Bakery Café, but this is the original. 4 Pyramid Rd., Jasper, 780-852-3233, bearspawbakery.com


Floor-to-ceiling windows in a grand room with a rock fireplace provide epic views of Lac Beauvert and Whistler’s Mountain while you sip on a cocktail and nosh on gourmet burgers, seasonal salads and entrees such as steak frites.

Old Lodge Rd., Jasper, 780-852-3301, fairmont.com/jasper


This casual brewpub, which opened in 2005, was the first to open in a national park in Canada and is still one the liveliest spots along Connaught Drive (Jasper’s main street). The menu goes above and beyond usual pub fare, offering dishes such as flavourful elk meat loaf with seasonal vegetables, mushroom gravy and gaufrettes (crispy fried potato waffles). Signature beers such as Jasper the Bear Ale, named after the town’s iconic mascot, are brewed on-site, so ask for the free brewery tour if you want to see how it’s done.

624 Connaught Dr., Jasper, 780-852-4211, jasperbrewingco.ca


Inside the historic Athabasca Hotel (a.k.a. the “Atha-B”) is O’Shea’s, a place that promises the best breakfast in town and lives up to the hype. The dated-but-bustling dining room accented with antique knick-knacks, vintage equine decor, old-fashioned street lamps and photos of historic Jasper means your morning meal comes with a side of kitsch, but with the selection of breakfast skillets, omelettes, eggs Benny and Belgian waffles you’re guaranteed to leave feeling satisfied.

510 Patricia St., Jasper, 1-877-542-8422, athabascahotel.com/restaurant

Where to Stay


You can’t beat Mount Robson Inn’s location — stroll a few blocks down Connaught Drive and you can hit the downtown shops and restaurants in minutes. Pillow-top beds, flat-screen TVs and sitting areas offer a cozy home base to regroup after your outdoor adventures, and for your morning fuel-up, there’s a free continental breakfast buffet.

902 Connaught Dr., Jasper, 780-852-3327, mountrobsoninn.com


Located approximately six kilometres outside Jasper, this wellappointed alpine resort offers tranquility on the southeast shores of kidney-shaped Pyramid Lake. Soak in the panoramic views of the lake and Pyramid Mountain from the dock, which is just steps from the cozy chalet-style rooms equipped with fireplaces and kitchenettes. You’ll also find kayak, canoe, paddleboat and bike rentals onsite and hiking trails nearby.

Pyramid Lake Rd., Jasper, 587-802-3644, mpljasper.com/hotels/pyramid-lake-resort

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Bear’s Paw Bakery photo by Different Angle Photography; Jasper Brewing Company photo by Ryan Bray, courtesy of Jasper Tourism; O’Shea’s photo by Lynda Sea CLOCKWISE RIGHT Jasper Brewing Company; Bear’s Paw Bakery; breakfast at O’Shea’s Restaurant and Sports Lounge.
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Reserve your seat at Avenue’s 2017 Dinner Series.

Dining experiences presented by Avenue’s Best Restaurants Award winners.


Oct 3


April 18

May 24

June 21

Sept 20


Nov 7

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit AvenueCalgary.com/dinnerseries


Celebrating the recipients of the 2017 Emerald Awards RECOGNIZING ALBERTA'S ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS

The annual Emerald Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding environmental achievements across all sectors in Alberta. From classroom curricula to large, corporate initiatives, the program recognizes a variety of projects. The award categories celebrate those who demonstrate commitment to the environment and take

the initiative to make quantifiable, sustainable changes, educate others about the importance of sustainability and lead the way for other individuals and organizations to adopt their own environmentally friendly practices. Read on to learn more about the people and groups who are greening Alberta, one project at a time.

While the process of purchasing energy seems like a no-brainer for a homeowner, there’s a reason why it’s so easy to do so — in 2001, Alberta’s electricity market fully deregulated, meaning that the provincial government no longer controlled the energy sector and consumers could choose their energy providers. This open market allowed for new initiatives from the industry, and Decentralised Energy (DE) was introduced to the province to address the growing demands for energy in Alberta.

DE is energy that is produced, managed and/ or stored close to the user. This proximity results in lower emissions, lower energy costs for the producer and consumer, and less system failures — all while diversifying Alberta’s economy and creating more local jobs. A small group of stakeholders established Decentralised Energy Canada (DEC) in 2002 to connect and support businesses in the DE industry with project opportunities, investors and municipalities. The goal was to drive a paradigm shift from a carbon-intensive, centralized energy system to a cleaner, more efficient, more affordable and innovative decentralized energy system. This initiated an industry movement that marked the beginning of Alberta’s transition to a low-carbon energy economy.

In 15 years, DEC has cultivated an industry membership of more than 10,400 businesses, suppliers and professional service providers. Education initiatives have reached more than 98 per cent of homes in Alberta and more than 17 per cent of Alberta’s urban municipalities have accessed DEC’s services. DEC provides resources for users to understand and access DE programs that best suit their needs, and also match them with investment opportunities. DEC’s membership represents over $25.7 billion of revenue with over 70 per cent of these businesses based out of Alberta. Project support services have been delivered to over 900 projects, representing an estimated two million tons of carbon dioxide offsets annually compared with the baseline energy supply mix in Alberta. It works on projects involving alternative energies including solar energy, cogeneration, district energy, biogas and geothermal energy.

“[Alberta’s] energy infrastructure is aging; it’s an 80-year-old infrastructure,” observes Anouk Kendall, the president of DEC. “I think we’re transitioning now to the understanding that efficiency is important, that reducing emissions and protecting our environment is important, and that there are several technology options available to us to produce energy in a clean and efficient way that’s also affordable.” Ω

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Anouk Kendall, President, Decentralised Energy Canada


Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta – Community Group and Not-For-Profit Association: Large Organization

If you’ve ever experienced the thrill of the find at Value Village — a fun Halloween costume, an eclectic piece of decor, that perfect vintage chair for your retro-chic living room — you’ve participated in the second-hand economy. The buying, selling and trading of used or previously-owned goods is increasingly popular in Canada — 82 per cent of Canadians participated in 2016 — but the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) has been a steward of it for 22 years.

In 1995, the CPAA Recycling Without Limits program started as a clothing donation initiative to generate revenues that would provide funding support for the valuable services CPAA offers to its members including counselling, advocacy, patient support and social programming. Through a partnership with Value Village, donations of gently used clothing and small household items are dropped off at bins placed around the community and exchanged for revenue. In 2008, the CPAA expanded the program to include a bottle recycling program in partnership with the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation. These initiatives not only transitioned used and unwanted items to a good home, but they kept a lot of items out of landfills. Just how much? In 2016, donations kept over four million pounds of usable material out of Alberta landfills, an increase of 12.5 per cent over 2015. The Collection Crew recycled over 250,000

containers, which resulted in saving over 83,274 kilowatthours of energy, 24,293 kg of greenhouse gas emissions and more than 12,786 kg from landfills. The clothing and bottle recycling programs generate 60 per cent of the CPAA’s operating revenues and fund programs that serve over 3,900 Albertans with cerebral palsy and other disabilities every year.

Kara Flynn, VP Government and Public Affairs, from category sponsor Syncrude says, “Groups like these play an important role in fostering a healthy environment. Working within their spheres of influence, they engage people in creating awareness of environmental issues and opportunities, and in taking positive action.”

The Recycling Without Limits program involves volunteers, community groups and a not-for-profit association in its commitment to the environment. It has produced quantifiable results that demonstrate that it truly has a positive impact on the community and the environment. For these reasons, it is the recipient of the award in this category. Ω


GETAWAYS 90 avenueOCTOBER.17 The Emerald Awards 90 PROMOTIONAL
Janice Bushfield, Executive Director, CPAA


Aspen Heights MicroSociety –Education: School and Classroom

Imagine if your elementary school days had involved more than textbooks — what if it involved raising chickens and trout, running a bottle depot and growing vegetables?

That’s what the students at Aspen Heights Elementary School in Red Deer have to look forward to. Over the past six years, the Aspen Heights MicroSociety has worked to integrate a hands-on learning experience with the curriculum to continually increase students' knowledge of and their positive impact on the environment. Through a number of interactive activities — including constructing and operating a greenhouse made of recycled pop bottles, operating a licensed in-school bottle depot and raising trout and chickens — students work to understand how to live a sustainable lifestyle and why a sustainable society is important for the environment.

“ABCRC is very proud to be presenting the Education: School and Classroom category,” says Sarah Press, the Community Investment Coordinator for ABCRC. “We believe strongly in educating students about environmental stewardship at an early age.” Ω



The Green Medium – Youth

Millennials often get an unfair reputation as self-absorbed and unconcerned with world events, but the team of teens and young adults working on the environmental awareness blog, The Green Medium, are anything but. “The Paris Agreement Beyond Trump,” “Potentially Habitable Exoplanets” and “Meatless Mondays: The Simple Yet Effective Methodology That Could Help Reduce Our Ecological Footprints” are just some of the weekly blog posts that founder Elizabeth Gierl and a rotating roster of 50 young contributors create. Gierl started the blog as a way to engage her peers about environmental issues and to increase environmental literacy and awareness by relating


various issues to their daily lives. By providing interesting content written and researched by peers on a range of topics and a medium for individuals to actively care about, The Green Medium has worked hard to fight environmental apathy and misinformation in communities where such discussions would not have happened otherwise.

“Shell is proud to host the Youth category as we strongly believe in encouraging leadership development of Alberta’s young people generating knowledge and awareness of our ecosystem and conservation activities,” says Katie Cottingim, the Finance Manager of Shell Canada’s Scotford Refinery. Ω

Avenue Calgary .com 91 PROMOTIONAL 91 emeraldfoundation.ca
Allan Baile, MicroSociety Program Coordinator, Aspen Heights MicroSociety (from left to right) Sam Goertz, Elizabeth Gierl and Matt Gwozd

The Neat Bloggers: Kayla Browne & Suzanne Stewart


Friends since their childhood days in small-town Alberta, Kayla Browne and Suzanne Stewart both moved away to pursue post-secondary studies. They remained in touch over that time, however, and found themselves reunited when work opportunities in their respective fields (Browne is an architect and Stewart a nurse) enticed them to move to Calgary.

Upon arrival, both Browne and Stewart were similarly struck by the city’s fashion colour palette, awash in shades of grey, black and navy — a distinct contrast to their shared love of bold, bright colour.

Avenue Calgary .com
ON KAYLA (LEFT) bucket bag hand-made; Mango accessories; Workhall poncho; COS dress; fringe booties from Aldo. ON SUZANNE (RIGHT) Lise Silva necklace; Mango bangles; Leo Monk clutch; vintage dress purchased in Vancouver; jacket purchased at local consignment store Vespucci; Hue burgundy tights from The Bay.

The two style connoisseurs wanted to connect with others in Calgary who had a similar aesthetic. They were also looking for a creative outlet beyond their professional lives. So, in 2013, they co-founded The Neat Blog (theneatblog.com), channelling their creative energies into writing about fashion, food, music, art and design. Their enthusiasm and dedication has since paid off as The Neat Blog has gained a loyal following in Calgary’s fashion scene. Currently, The Neat Blog has grown to feature a number of other contributors, though the easygoing chemistry between Browne and Stewart remains the heart of the project. In addition to being a way to reach people with a likeminded sense of style, The Neat Blog has also been a way for the two long-time friends to connect and spend time with each other.

How would you describe each other’s personal style?

S.S. We’ve coined this term for Kayla of “business-edgy.” Kayla is never casual. I see her in jeans maybe once a month. Maybe. And they won’t be regular denim. Kayla has this really innate ability to put things together that I don’t think anyone else could. Off the rack, you would never think those things go together and then when she puts them on, it’s like everything comes together.


What sparked the idea to start The Neat Blog?

Suzanne Stewart At the time, I wasn’t even living in Calgary, I was in Vancouver. Kayla had just moved to Calgary from Sydney. I remember I had lived in Calgary before, so we did talk a little bit about fashion and how we felt we didn’t really relate to the fashion here. We thought it would be a fun way to play around with that and show people what we liked.

Kayla Browne We’d been apart for a long time, and we felt like it was a way for us to connect and spend more time together and do something together that we’re passionate about.

What kind of reaction have you gotten from readers?

S.S. It has really allowed us to meet people. We don’t have a ton of followers, but the ones we do have seem to be very loyal. It validates what we thought — there are people out there like us.

How has the blog influenced your own fashion?

S.S. It hasn’t changed how I dress; I have always dressed the same way. But it has made me think a lot more about fashion, because we have this rule with the fashion posts where we don’t just want to talk about the outfit, it has to have some sort of a theme or a message. So it has made me not just flippantly think about fashion. I actually have to do some research and question why certain trends are coming in.

K.B. More and more, I try to make conscious decisions about where I’m purchasing things. When I [went] to Montreal, I found so many local designers that I loved, and I’ll make a note to purchase things either from them, or write their names down and feature them on the blog or buy something from them in the future — which I think we both do. Whenever we’re travelling, we’re always making notes of local makers and doers.

K.B. Suzanne wears lots of sneakers, which is perfect because the after-hours look is her thing. And she has, like 250 pairs of jeans — so much denim — which is also a casual look, and then always some sort of a funky top, not as much jewellery. Suzanne likes certain, specific bright colours, but in general more of a muted palette. So I would say she’s “edgy-casual.”

How would you describe your shopping habits?

S.S. When I was younger, I used to just go hard and not pay attention to how it fit into my wardrobe and sustainability and the lasting nature of a piece. Now, as I’m getting older, I want things to be in my closet for a long time.

K.B. I wouldn’t say we shop trends. We typically like things to last longer than a couple seasons, so we buy classics or things that have never been a trend, that would never be a trend. It’s just like its own piece.

Who are your fashion icons?

S.S. I really love Tilda Swinton, I love her whole aesthetic. I don’t know who styles her or if she styles herself but I think it’s out of control, so androgynous and just beautiful,

neutral tones. I also love this Russian lady named Miroslava Duma. She’s so ahead of the trends, it’s insane. If you look at pictures of her, the stuff she was wearing in 2007, other style bloggers are just wearing now.

K.B. I would say Solange Knowles is my number one. I love pairing a bunch of bright colours together. I love the structure to her architectural pieces. If she’s wearing all white, there’s something interesting to the piece that’s all white. I really love Jenna Lyons, because I also think she’s business-edgy. I love how she pairs a plain T-shirt with a super glamorous floor-length skirt. And I also actually really love my boss Jeremy Sturgess’ style. He wears super bright suits, multi-coloured shirts, really bright bowties and he’s known within the architectural community and within the city as just being very colourful.

What’s the most common fashion dilemma you face?

K.B. Suzanne wrote this statement on the blog a while ago, asking why, when you go into the kids’ section, are there a million colours of everything, and then you go into the adults’ and it’s grey, black and navy? When did that transition happen that we’re all of a sudden so boring with our wardrobes and our colour?

S.S. When people wear colour, other people enjoy it and comment on it, like, “Oh, you look so springy on this dreary day. That colour looks so great on you and it’s so bright, it makes me happy.” We think colour can have a huge effect on mood and tone, so we always wish there was more.

94 avenueOCTOBER.17
ON KAYLA Alex S. Yu Skirt; Mango top; Jules & Leopold blazer; Coach purple platforms; pink/orange clutch from Indigo; purple bangle by evstenroos; ikkx necklace ON SUZANNNE yyycollective necklace; Alex S. Yu top; Missguided skirt; Carlos clutch; United Nude booties


What do you have the hardest time shopping for?

K.B. I like chic dresses, they’re my most favourite thing, but we’re not very tall. So finding chic dresses that are the appropriate length for our height.

S.S. I would say the hardest thing for me is to find something that’s feminine but not overtly sexual. It’s a fine line. I think designers maybe struggle with that a bit.

What goals do you have when it comes to The Neat Blog’s content going forward?

K.B. I think the message of our blog is to be authentic, to be creative, and in general to help people have the confidence to wear what you want to wear, do what you want to do, and that’s cool. I really want to continue with that message and that trend, which means it’s not sponsored content. We’re only writing about things that we’re passionate about.

S.S. In the beginning, we didn’t really have lofty goals. It was more of a creative outlet and it was something fun to do. And then, as it has evolved, and we’ve been able to collaborate with lots of people and you see all of the opportunities that are available with it, I think our goals have turned into being able to collaborate with people that we love, that we really look up to. Not just in Calgary, but all over the world.

96 avenueOCTOBER.17
ON SUZANNNE Banana Republic clutch; Louve accessories, bought in Montreal; Liberal Arts sweater; Irina leggings, from Simons; Zara booties ON KAYLA Louve accessories, from Montreal; COS dress; Zara jacket; United Nude booties; Zara clutch Photographed in Fond Boutique at East Village Junction.


Favourite clothing store?

S.S. The Middle Sister boutique in Vancouver. [The owner] brings in lots of designers from Korea that feature bright colours, patterns and silhouettes.

K.B. Workhall in Edmonton, for sure, 100 per cent.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

K.B. An architect.

S.S. This is going to sound so bad, but I knew I just wanted to work with blood and guts, in some capacity.

What music are you currently listening to?

S.S. We’re listening to our own Neat playlist.

K.B. Our playlists are the best. Last movie you saw in theatres?

S.S. I love movies. I just saw the weirdest movie. It was called The Lure. It’s about mermaids. It’s a horror-musical, Polish mermaid movie.

K.B. La La Land. I hate going to movies, but I love going to see live theatre.

Favourite website to waste time on?

K.B. We waste a lot of time on ours. Like on the SEO? Oh my god.

Favourite TV show to binge watch?

K.B. All the Marvel comic ones like Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage.

S.S. I’ve been binge-watching


Favourite fictional hero(ine)?

S.S. I always really liked Matilda growing up. She had such a hard go of it. The little witch-girl.

K.B. She-Ra and He-Man.

Greatest extravagance?

S.S. Food.

K.B. Accessories.

Biggest pet peeve?

S.S. People who stand too close to me in a lineup.

K.B. When people think they’re better than other people.

Favourite locally made treat?

S.S. Almond croissant from Sidewalk Citizen.

K.B. A baguette from Manuel Latruwe.

Drink of choice?

K.B. Full-bodied, strong, not-too-sweet red wine from typically a New World location.

S.S. I really like bourbon.


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FURNITURE WALLPAPER DRAPERY AREA RUGS BEDDING LIGHTING w w w . s t e e l i n g h o m e . c a a c o l l e c t i o n o f t r e a s u r e s a n d s u r p r i s e s a c o l c i o o e a s e s a s u r s e s

Local Finds

Blue Collar Textiles

Aprons are enjoying a bit of a renaissance right now, and Red Deer-based Blue Collar Textiles owner Tyler Wheeler is right on trend. He started mak ing these kitchen essentials and other accessories as a side project while working as an automotive and motorcycle upholsterer. Each apron is made by hand and is an homage to work aprons from days of yore. The base model varies from 12- to 14-ounce denim and starts at $85. The aprons can be customized with embroidery for an extra charge. —K.K Contact bluecollartextiles@gmail.com to order

shopping news


This fall, CF Market Mall will welcome two new additions: Calgary’s largest Zara store and a new Sporting Life store. In 2018, Sport Chek will expand its existing space into a two-level, 60,000-square-foot flagship store, while Saks Off 5th will open in the current HomeSense space. The mall is also getting 83 new underground parking stalls to accommodate the extra shoppers. —R.Z. cfmarketmall.com

Mother Co.

Your next weekend-getaway essential has arrived. Local bag-design house Mother Co. is known for its classic and durable backpacks and messenger bags, but the Forge Weekender Bag ($169) takes the cake for a be-allend-all adventure tote. The acrylic canvas bag comes in three colours: slate (pictured), navy and sand, and each bag is handcrafted in the Beltline with thoughtful details such as full-grain leather accents and straps. The bags also come with a lifetime warranty, so they will take you around the world and back again (and then some). —K.K

203, 822 11 Ave. S.W., 403-831-0684, shop.mother.co

Samantha Pynn x Simons Maison

Notable Canadian designer and HGTV expert Samantha Pynn has partnered with Quebec City-based retailer Simons to create a textile collection for its Simons Maison line. Perfect for an autumn-themed table, the napkins ($6) and coordinating tablecloths (starting at $30) feature painted fall leaves in red, purple and gold. —K.K

Available at Simons, The Core Shopping Centre, 403-697-1840, simons.ca





Calgary’s fall roots music festival will take over the inner-city with songwriters and bands of the roots country and folk persuasions - playing Wide Cut music as close to the bone as your old boot-heel. 27 roots, country, blues and bluegrass artists from Canada and the United States will be performing a collection of concerts at Calgary’s finest live music venues.



Avenue is proud to support local initiatives in our community. Visit AvenueCalgary.com/events to find out more about upcoming events in the city.

100 avenueOCTOBER.17 Redeem 10% off your pet’s stay by mentioning #IALYYC during booking Located minutes from the YYC Airport, we offer top quality care for your pets E: booking@ialyyc.com P: 587-296-4706 ext 203 www.ialyyc.com Boarding • Daycare • Flight Service
Photo Credit: Liam Prost

fantastic LIGHT

A modernist family home combines efficient built-ins, clever cut-outs and expansive windows to draw the outside in and create a warm, light-filled space.

Alloy Homes owner Chris Lemke put his award-winning modernist design principles into action to create a home for his own family.

Avenue Calgary .com 101 DECOR



To many, modernist design can seem cold and bare. But for Alloy Homes Inc. owner Chris Lemke, modernism is playful and light. In fact, light is the first thing you notice when you walk through Lemke’s front door — even the door is full of windows.

After creating and building 200 custom homes for Albertans over more than 20 years, Lemke designed his second detached house for his own family of four in 2015. Of course, he incorporated his signature, self-described “unabashed modernist” values — the same values that earned Alloy a national award for housing excellence by the Canadian Home Builders Association earlier this year.

“We really believe in efficiency,” says Lemke on Alloy’s overall approach to home design. “We believe in considering a design holistically and we believe in the integration of home and site, house and environment.”

For his inner-city, 60-foot-wide corner lot backing onto a park and sitting across the road from a school playground, that integration meant taking full advantage of the views. The 3,300-square-foot home includes wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, wrap-around windows, glass doors and skylights throughout.

With its expansive windows and proximity to the school and park, the home has become something of a “neighbourhood beacon” for keeping track of local kids, says Katherine Perez, Lemke’s wife. “We get calls from other parents saying, ‘Could you just check the school yard and see if Charlie is there?’ ‘Yup, no problem. He’s playing baseball.’”

The home office and dining room both showcase glass-to-glass corner windows, a signature of Alloy designs that many clients request. “It draws your view out diagonally instead of straight out to the street,” says Lemke.

To offset the fishbowl effect created by the abundance of glass, Lemke included white sheer drapes and blackout blinds that provide privacy on demand. Grasses growing in built-in planter boxes beneath the living-room window offer additional screening.

That’s not the only place where Lemke has struck a balance between what is revealed and what is concealed. While natural light was a must-have for Perez, especially in the master bathroom and closet, she admits that she doesn’t mind having a few areas left in the dark.

One of those areas is the butler’s pantry cleverly hidden behind a large wall of built in appliances and cabinets, which Perez refers to as the “tomorrow kitchen.”

“My tomorrow kitchen is where the mess is,” she says. “If we have people over for dinner and there are pots and pans, they soak in there so I don’t have to look at them until tomorrow.”

102 avenueOCTOBER.17
The kitchen features a striking island with a quartz countertop and a hidden butler’s pantry that the family calls the “tomorrow kitchen.”


For Lemke, the essence of this home is about connecting the inside with the outside, blending home and site. One of his favourite characteristics of his home is the seamless flow between the dining area and the patio that spills into the backyard.

Three sides of the house and a large eight-footoverhang cocoon the patio, creating an outdoor room. “When you sit out here, you’re not really inside and you’re not really outside,” says Lemke. “You’re kind of in this middle space which makes you feel more comfortable. People like to be embraced by things.”

Upstairs, Lemke used glass panels instead of spindles and a railing on the rooftop deck off the master bedroom. The glass extends the view beyond the deck to the city skyline while enclosing the space. In fact, it feels enclosed enough to make it an impromptu campsite from time to time, Perez notes.

“It was a hot summer day and Chris and Nathan, our 13-year-old son, were out of town, and James, our 11-year-old, wanted to sleep outside,” Perez says. “I obliged, because I’m mom of the year, of course. We slept out here in sleeping bags for two nights. It was warm and definitely fun.”

Lemke’s designs often include elements of play. In this home, there’s the tree well — a large cut-out in the eave above the front porch for a columnar aspen to grow up through. The eave protects the home from direct western sun while the hole supplies filtered natural light into the dining room. And the tree creates a new landscape around the upper-level deck while providing a green scene at the main-floor level.

“I use [the aspen] as a metaphor for our philosophy for integrating a home in the environment and the site on which it sits,” says Lemke. “As this grows, it won’t necessarily be clear what was here first.”

Avenue Calgary .com 103
Homeowner and designer Chris Lemke created the staircase art piece out of salvaged wood sourced from Salt Spring Island. Throughout the home, celiling bulkheads hang down over the tops of the window frames, making the space feel bigger and enhancing the view.


An avid sailor for 40 years, Lemke designed his own boat and competed in and won the prestigious Transpacific Yacht Race this past summer. So, it’s not surprising that he draws a healthy dose of his inspiration from naval architecture — “most notably the extensive use of cabinetry with all its creative storage arrangements,” he says. “There’s a real beauty to the way every space is considered in three dimensions to achieve optimum efficiency.”

Wrapped around the perimeter of the ceilings, the bulkheads hide curtain hardware and accent lighting. They also deliberately cover the top frame of the windows. Contrary to what you might think, this actually makes the space feel bigger and accents the view.

“All you see is ceiling and sky,” says Lemke. “There’s no [window] frame. It doesn’t feel like you’re in a box looking outside the box. It dissolves the envelope completely. It really brings the outside into the house.”

The home is finished in natural surface materials. Lemke chose quarter-sawn, white-oak floors; book-matched walnut cabinetry and a concrete fireplace to bring warmth and texture to the white-walled, white-ceilinged, gallery-like space.

“We believe in honesty in materials,” says Lemke. “We don’t believe in faking wood grain. There’s a beauty to every material. We try to express that.”

How materials align and come together is also important. In the kitchen, a small reveal of wall between the ceiling and the top of the walnut cabinets creates a sleek, white border. “That detail is like the pleat in the pants,” says Lemke. “When you have crisp lines and edges, it sort of brings rationality to a space.”

All of these concepts and details contribute to Lemke’s goal of creating homes that are modern and timeless but also comfortable. “Part of the mission in designing this house was to illustrate to prospective clients how you can have a really comfortable family home that’s also a modern home,” he says.

Judging by the way that Lemke, Perez and their family live in the home, they have certainly attained that goal. “This is sort of the epicentre of neighbourhood activity, especially after school,” Lemke says. “Today, there were eight kids in the house — it’s very informal. People just drop over and have a glass of wine. It’s a hive of activity.”

One of the home’s more whimsical features, the “tree well,” is a cut-out in the eave that accommodates a columnar aspen.

104 avenueOCTOBER.17 DECOR
NEXT PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) The home’s exterior is finished with acrylic stucco and custom-milled stained cedar siding designed by the home builder. The expansive window in the master suite creates an open and airy feel, while the upper balcony is perfect for impromptu family campouts on warm summer nights. The home features wire-brushed oak flooring throughout. THIS PAGE TOP The dining room is centred around a custom honed concrete table with blue steel base and custom benches. BOTTOM The dining room is enhanced by a 24-bulb pendant lighting feature. Exterior photos by Chris Lemke


1. Integrate the house with the site. Note where the best views are and how the sun and wind move in that location. “Consider the trees on the property,” says Alloy Homes’ Chris Lemke. “Can they help filter light? If you don’t have a tree, then start thinking about eaves. There are a lot of simple design decisions you can make that don’t cost anything. It just requires you to think a little harder.”

2. Use triple-pane, venting windows. Venting windows create cross ventilation, minimizing condensation in the winter and keeping the house cooler in the summer. On Lemke’s main floor alone, there are 10 venting windows. “We rough every house for AC, but we didn’t install it in this one because you just don’t need it,” he says. “The energy bills in this house are a fraction of what you’d expect, given the size.”

3. Be efficient. “Don’t build bigger than you need, spend money on the details and on the things that increase the quality of the space rather than simply adding quantity of space,” says Lemke. “For example: overhangs. That’s the detail we use all the time. The whole notion of creating an interstitial zone that is neither inside nor outside. You’re in this half-way zone and it expands your living space.”

4. Choose natural materials. “There’s beauty to every material you put into a house. We allow its inherent properties to be expressed, to add character to a space.”

5. And finally, “Hire an architect who can take care of steps one to four for you!”

Avenue Calgary .com 105 5 TIPS TO DESIGN A TIME -
106 avenueOCTOBER.17 7+( :,7+ 1(:67$/.&20 &$// 25 7(;7 For more information visit us at: www.sculpturaldesign.ca Or call us at 403-276-8846 for your complimentary consultation Imagine concrete

Furnishing Solutions


The challenge interior designers face in narrow living rooms comes from the difficulty of trying to create the conversational atmosphere you want without enough space for all the furniture pieces you think you need. Brigette Allensworth, interior showhome coordinator at home builder Albi Luxury by Brookfield Residential, advises you may have to look at furniture that isn’t what you initially envisioned for your living room. This includes pieces that aren’t too bulky. She also suggests space-saving replacements such as a storage bench instead of a coffee table.

“If it’s a long, rectangular room, you don’t want to put a couch on the short end of the short wall,” Allensworth says. “You want to go with the shape of the room when you choose your furniture.”

Allensworth also suggests using tall accessories to disguise the small size, such as a floor lamp or plant. “I’ll draw attention away from the narrowness by putting well-balanced art above the seating on the long walls, just to bring it to scale.”

Kristina Hutchins, creative director for interior design at Calgary home builder Cardel Homes, says that custom-made sectional sofas are an underappreciated solution for helping a living room feel wider. “Everybody thinks you have to have a massive room for a sectional, but it’s exactly the opposite,” says Hutchins. “They actually take up less space than a chair and a sofa.”

DECOR Avenue Calgary .com 107
Sometimes, furnishing your home is less about what you want and more about what works for a challenging layout. We asked local design experts for their tips on solving common space issues with smart furnishings, whether it’s a narrow living room, a lack of wall space or a corner fireplace.
Photo by Trinette Reed


Many homes lack an entryway or foyer to welcome guests or anyone else who knocks at the door, with the door opening straight into your living room instead, which can make your home feel a bit exposed. But Jeff Goth, Alberta branch manager at Dekora Home Staging says it isn’t too difficult to provide a more useful welcoming space in this situation. He advises placing furniture to create a makeshift division between where you want your foyer to end and living room to begin.

Moving furniture away from the wall, or “floating it,” to use industry parlance, creates a whole new home layout. Goth recommends floating the sofa to solve the no-entryway problem.

“Put the back of the sofa [toward the door] with a console behind it to divide a space into an entry area and a living room,” Goth says.

While that division is important, Christina Loc, co-founder of furniture store Metro Element, notes that the two areas should still feel cohesive. She says two-sided sideboards, storage benches and two-sided bookcases can all provide that division, while maintaining the living room’s decor.

“You can also incorporate the foyer into the living room just by putting up some artwork to create a little bit of balance, as far as making the living room the focal point and making the foyer feel like part of it,” Loc says.


Whether it’s because of an open-concept layout or an extended row of floor-to-ceiling windows, some homes don’t have much wall space to provide a backdrop for furniture pieces. In an open-concept home, Cardel’s Kristina Hutchins suggests pulling furniture toward the room’s centre, which may require choosing smaller living-room furnishings.

“In a living-room atmosphere we want to create conversation areas so that people can sit and enjoy each other’s company,” Hutchins says. “Rather than having these sofas and big pieces, maybe it’s four individual chairs and a nice bench. Then we have ottomans, so we actually can fit eight people in there, and it looks normal and comfortable.”

Hutchins notes that placing screens behind floating furniture creates a sense of the wall space your room lacks, while providing a great room atmosphere without feeling cramped.

Reduced wall space also limits your options for hanging art. But Metro Element’s Christina Loc points out that windows themselves can be considered a natural art piece.

“I wouldn’t be afraid to put a sofa in front of a window,” Loc says. “A lot of times people are afraid they’re going to obstruct the view, but it’s nice to lounge around on the couch and watch TV on one side or be able to rotate your body to look out the window.”

108 avenueOCTOBER.17
Photo by Jared Sych


One way to disguise a room’s small size is by using a variety of textures and materials in your furnishings. When it comes to small bedrooms, Carrie Hardiman, design consultant with interior design company Sturdy Design Co., has some other creative solutions as well.

Hardiman suggests using light sconces or pendant lighting rather than floor or table lamps, and selecting a smaller bed and single nightstand, each with drawers for storage. “You don’t need to have this perfectly symmetrical room where you have a nightstand on either side [of the bed], with matching lamps on either side,” Hardiman says. “That can take up a lot of space, so maybe it’s one nightstand and one lamp.”

Albi Luxury’s Brigette Allensworth notes that a bunk system is an easy solution for small kids’ rooms. A lofted bed opens up space underneath for a desk, shelving, seating or a play area. A headboard outfitted with storage is a space-saving solution appropriate for any age.“Use a headboard that incorporates two bookcases, one on each side, and then a bridge between the two that kind of goes over the pillow area,” Allensworth suggests. “You will have the proper amount of storage without having a chest of drawers across from the bed or beside the bed.”


Many interior designers dread the corner fireplace. Most people think of fireplaces as a gathering place in the home, the focal point for furnishings. But when it’s situated in the corner, arranging the room’s furniture to face the fireplace is awkward, to say the least.

Kristina Hutchins herself owns a home with a woodburning corner fireplace, and to deal with it, she followed the same advice she gives her clients.

“I really had to get my head out of the fireplace being the focal point,” Hutchins says. “That’s key. You have to rethink the space. We used [the fireplace] more as ambience than ‘let’s everybody stare at it.’”

If you do want to make the corner fireplace a focal point, Jeff Goth suggests using a sectional sofa and hanging your TV above the fireplace to make room for seating. But, like Hutchins, Goth says your best bet is

to disregard the fireplace when furnishing the room. “If the room is about conversation, then you might want to ignore the fireplace a little bit,” Goth says.

He also suggests floating furniture pieces in front of a corner fireplace. “Choosing smaller-scale chairs with shorter backs or see-through chairs, which lets you see beyond the furniture to the fireplace, works, too.”

Avenue Calgary .com 109
Bedroom photos by Jared Sych; fireplace photo by Nader Essa Photography, courtesy of Dekora Home Staging


Before you start searching for storage solutions, Jeff Goth advises a good decluttering. A “clear and thorough purge,” as he puts it, of things you don’t really need could be exactly what you need. “Talk to a professional organizer, there are all kinds of them out there that can come and help you go through your stuff,” Goth says. “I can’t stress enough that if you get rid of a bunch of stuff, you might solve your storage issues.”

If storage woes remain after decluttering, Goth has plenty of other ideas. He has created storage solutions with dining-room consoles, storage ottomans and side-by-side chests of drawers.

If your home has a shortage of built-in closet space, Brigitte Allensworth recommends using the home’s vertical space — an armoire, leaning bookshelf or pivoting étagère with cubbies, for example.

“There are special pieces of furniture for all applications,” Allensworth says. “A lot of homes are built with the footprint already established because of the land. You just have to work with what you’ve got, but there are a lot of good furniture options to make a space work.”


Our experts advise using a custom sectional sofa to solve all sorts of layout problems, from a narrow living room to a corner fireplace. These local shops offer fully customized solutions — or customizeable options on base models — offering you as much or as little sofa as you need.


Your wish is their command. These local providers work with customers to create exactly the sectional you want and need for your space.


1445 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-3070, 4living.ca

Domaine Furnishings

7130 Fisher Rd. S.E., 403-3012339, domainefurnishings.com


5, 6325 11 St. S.E., 403-259-4444, halstead.ca

The Heather Co.

2711 14 St. S.W., 403-474-5852, theheatherco.com

Metro Element

1221 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-257-7588, metroelement.net

Resource Furniture

510 12 Ave. S.W., 403-457-5711, resourcefurniture.com

Robert Sweep

808 16 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8525, robertsweep.com


Select from a series of options on a base model. Most of the fully custom providers also have options that allow customers to work from a base model. Customers have options of colours and sometimes fabrics for upholstery, options of length and sometimes depth, and other choices, as well.

Country Living Furnishings & Design

3701 17 Ave. S.W., 403-240-0111, countrylivingfurnishings.com

Crate and Barrel

Southcentre, 403-278-7020, crateandbarrel.ca


100, 8180 11 St. S.E., 403-212-8080, eq3.com


1015 9 Ave. S.E., 403-800-0780, limitless-calgary.com

Maria Tomás

6051 Centre St. S.W., 403-454-6051, mariatomas.com

McArthur Fine Furniture and Interior Design

67 Glen Brook Pl. S.W., 403-2466266, mcarthurfurniture.com


617 10 Ave. S.W., 403-265-6777, montauksofa.com

Roche Bobois

225 10 Ave. S.W., 403-532-4401, roche-bobois.com

Sofa Land

7300 Railway St. S.E., 403-640-9808, sofaland.ca

110 avenueOCTOBER.17 DECOR
Storage photo by Ali Lanenga; couch photo courtesy of Limitless Modular G-Sofa with adjustable backs from Limitless-Calgary.
Avenue Calgary .com 111 October 30, 2017 Jack Singer Lobby, Arts Commons Don’t miss your chance to network with this year’s Top 40 Under 40 honourees. Buy gala event tickets at AvenueCalgary.com/Top40Under40Tickets Join us to celebrate the CLASS OF 2017 Gold Sponsor Venue Partner Media Sponsor Platinum Sponsor Bronze Sponsor



Adesso Accessories adessoaccess.com

Harry Rosen The Core, 403-294-0992, Chinook Centre, 403-252-2848, harryrosen.com

Henry Singer Bankers Hall, 403-234-8585, henrysinger.com

Holt Renfrew 510 8th Ave. S.W., 403-269-7341, holtrenfrew.com

J. Vair Anderson Jewellers 409 3 St. S.W., 403-266-1669, jvairanderson.com

Modern Menswear 17, 2500 4 St. S.W., 403-457-3377, modernmenswear.myshopify.com

Nordstrom Chinook Centre, 587-291-2000, shop.nordstrom.com

Simons The Core, 403-697-1840, simons.ca


Laminated-white-oak-andchrome table in the den and white-leather chairs from Domicile contract sales, 403-262-9780

Glass-to-glass corner window in metal-clad wood by Lux Windows and Glass Ltd., 6875 9 St. N.E. 403-276-7770, luxwindows.com

Sheer window coverings by Global Shades, 26, 11410 27 St. S.E., 403-508-7200, globalshades.ca

Antique Harvest reclaimed-oak dining table in the great room from Restoration Hardware, Southcentre, 403-271-2122, restorationhardware.com

Iki pendant light by Arturo Alvarez (hanging over great-room table) ordered from Nostraforma (Munich), nostraforma.com

Grey-leather great-room dining chairs, Camerich Avalon sectional sofa, element coffee table in Carrera marble and custom wool broadloom rug, all from Domicile Teak end tables from West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.com

Custom-honed concrete hearth and mantle by 2Stone Designer Concrete, 40, 3504 72 Ave.

S.E., 403-236-3657, 2stone.ca

Marquis gas fireplace with river rock and back lighting from Classic Fireplace Distributors, 8002, 11500 35 St. S.E., 403279-4448, classicfireplace.com

Custom white-oak open-riser stairs with lacquered stringers by Timber-Tech Stairs & Railing, 5122 3 St. S.E., 403-255-2929

Glass guardrails designed by Alloy Homes Inc., 301, 919 Centre St. N.W., 403-264-3667, alloyhomes.com and supplied by AC Glass and Mirror, 18, 6420 79 Ave. S.E., 403-250-8080, acglass.ca

Birdie Wall Light stairwell sconces supplied by LightForm, 1005 9 Ave. S.E., 403-508-9980, lightform.ca

Quartz countertop in the kitchen by Granite Gallery, 1089 57 Ave. N.E., 403-250-3636, granitegallery.ca

Cream-leather kitchen stools from IKEA, 8000 11 St. S.E., 1-866-866-4532, ikea.com

Mercury pendant lights from Chintz & Company, 1238 11 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3449, chintz.com

Integrated fridge-freezer unit and 48-inch, six-burner stainless-steel gas range with integrated grill

Sub-Zero Wolf, subzero-wolf. com; 48-inch stainless hood fan by Faber, faberonline.com

Custom-honed-concrete diningroom table with custom benches and white-leather dining chairs from Domicile

Modern design principles extend to the ensuite in the home of Alloy Homes co-founder Chris Lemke

24-bulb Larmes pendant light feature over the dining-room table from B.A. Robinson Co., 5452 53 Ave. S.E., 403-7239031, barobinson.com

Master-suite bed frame and headboard and dark-grey Bombay loop rug all from Domicile

Triple-glazed metal-clad wood windows and doors by Lux Windows and Glass Ensuite white acrylic tub by Mirolin, mirolin.com

Chrome pendant light from B.A. Robinson Co.

Porcelain tile in ensuite and foyer from C&S Tile Distributors, cstile.ceramstone.com

All plumbing fixutres Hansgrohe, hansgrohe.com/en

All cabinetry designed by Alloy Homes Inc. and built by Kingswood Interiors Inc., 190, 10081 17 St. N.E., 403-2088808, kingswoodcabinets.com

Custom walnut solid-core interior slab doors by AAA Doors, 47 Aero Dr. N.E., 403-291-6711, aaadoors.ca

Engineered wire-brushed oak floor supplied and installed by Floor Trendz, 3425 9 St. S.E., 403-474-4401, floortrendz.ca

Custom milled stained cedar exterior siding designed by Alloy Homes Inc. and supplied by Mountain View Building Materials, 125 Commercial Court, 403-242-0404, mountainviewbm.ca

Exterior sconces from B.A. Robinson Co.

(Story continued from page 114)

Oldrich brought an understanding of European Bauhaus design principles that were key to the brutalist architectural style that was gaining ground in Canada. Intending to herald a new post-war era that stood for technological innovation, economy of resources and honest use of materials, brutalism reacted to the glassand-steel buildings of the early 20th century with the bold use of raw, unfinished concrete.

Oldrich’s abstract style and design philosophy found a good fit in his adopted home. “Canada is a rough, crude country with lots of sun and sky and wind,” he wrote. “Our sculpture and our architecture should take advantage of these conditions. Things should be three-dimensional, cast lots of shadows, have windscreens to break up the flow of air, provide surfaces for the snow to sit on and drift against.”

Oldrich preferred not to title his work, hoping people would respond to the work rather than the title. Recently, however, a Glenbow researcher located his annotated drawings (above) that show the three panels were intended to represent Calgary’s past, present and future. The murals accomplish what is required of many works of public art in Calgary today: refer to the history and aspirations of our locale, engage the public and indicate what goes on inside the building. Oldrich’s 1975 vision for the future is in the enigmatic third panel — people engaging with a variety of arts, including visiting museums. Has his idea of the future become our present?

112 avenueOCTOBER.17



You watched her on TV in the high-profile O.J. Simpson case, now listen to Ms. Clark share her personal experiences, both as a mother and an attorney.

Limited tickets available! Get yours today at YWCALGARY.CA/YWHISPER

Avenue is proud to support local initiatives in our community. Visit AvenueCalgary.com/events to find out more about upcoming events in the city.

Avenue Calgary .com 113


Concrete Murals

The concrete murals outside the Glenbow are a key site in the city’s brutalist past. Sharply slanted edges of three protruding bunkers suggest massive walls; deeply recessed windows mimic arrow slits. Together, they form a structure that suggests a castle. Each section is capped with a low relief panel six inches in depth. Within that shallow space, planes project and recede, catching light and casting shadows. The circle on the left stands out furthest from its background; the sharp contrast makes it the brightest spot in

TITLE: Concrete Murals (Untitled)

ARTIST: Robert Oldrich (1920 to 1983)

MEDIUM: Cast concrete.

SIZE: Left panel, 154 inches-by-92 inchesby-six inches; central panel 244.5 inchesby-92 inches-by-six inches; right panel 244.5 inches-by-91.5 inches-by-six inches.

LOCATION: The Glenbow, southern exterior facade, 130 9 Ave. S.E.

NOTE: Commissioned by Mr. Allan Hammond, executive vice-president of the Glenbow-Alberta Institute. Installed in 1975.

Other artworks by Robert Oldrich in Calgary can be seen on the exteriors of Bishop Grandin High School and the Calgary Central Library, and on the eastern facade of the Enmax Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo.



the mural. This representation of the sun testifies to the skilful craftsmanship of the artist. It also demonstrates wit — he positions the heroically proportioned cowboy so you can walk right up and look him in the eye. The overall surface has the texture of fine sand, the residue of a technically demanding process of casting concrete in wet sand moulds. The graphic design suggests a story of Calgary, augmented with thin raised lines that provide details, such as a belt buckle, patterns of fields or water and the artist’s signature.

The artist, Robert Oldrich, is a pioneer of public art in Calgary. Born in 1920 in Osrtava, a city in the Moravian-Silesian region of what was then Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), he received his artistic training through apprenticeship. He would go on to escape communist Czechoslovakia, arriving in Canada in 1951. Seven years later, he settled in Calgary where he taught at the Alberta College of Art (now Alberta College of Art + Design) for four years and initiated a successful business for architectural commissions. (Story continues on page 112)

114 avenueOCTOBER.17
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