Avenue Oct 2019

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MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE GUIDE Plan your best-ever winter


Shines The Alberta Medical Association is proud to salute these extraordinary Albertans as they are honored with the most prestigious awards bestowed by the AMA and the Canadian Medical Association.

Our remarkable


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

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. Michael J. Bullard Edmonton

• Dr. Vincent I.O. Agyapong Edmonton

• Dr. David B. Hogan Calgary

• Dr. Debra L. Isaac Calgary

• Dr. Frances L. Harley Edmonton AMA MedAl of honor for outstanding personal contributions by a non-physician to Albertans that have contributed to the advancement of medical research/education, health care organization, health education and/or health promotion to the public:

cMA sir chArles tupper AwArd for politicAl Action is presented to a CMA member who has demonstrated recent leadership, commitment and dedication in advancing CMA goals and policies through grassroots advocacy: • Dr. Alika Lafontaine Grande Prairie

• Mr. Harold James Sherwood Park • Ms. Brenda Reynolds Edmonton 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/ Annual General Meeting Evening with the President September 27th in Edmonton. The CMA awards were presented at its 152nd Annual Meeting and Health Summit/General Council August 12–13 in Toronto.

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BED: 3 BATH: 2/1 1,645 SQ.FT. MLS C4261575 Exquisite 3 bedroom villa backing Clearwater Lake with 3078sqft of developed space and immaculate finishes.

BED: 3 BATH: 2/1 1,448 SQ.FT. MLS C4264121 Fabulous 3 bedroom townhome backing greenspace in prime location in Wentworth - easy walk to schools, shopping, transportation. Low condo fees - well managed complex.

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For More Information

For More Information

CALGARY 403.254.5315

CANMORE 1.855.254.5315

403.909.8766 403.613.8737

VANCOUVER 604.632.3300

VICTORIA 250.380.3933

403.613.8737 403.369.1185

SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773

KELOWNA 1.877.530.3933

TORONTO 416.960.9995

Canadian Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.


MONTREAL 514.933.4777



Grades 7 to 12

Join us for our Open House on October 24, 2019 To register visit www.westislandcollege.ab.ca/openhouse SOYEZ










L’AVENIR T’APPARTIENT westislandcollege.ab.ca


7410 Blackfoot Trail S.E.


Four Mushroom Steak 12oz certified angus beefÂŽ NY striploin, shiitake, portobello, button and crimini mushroom demi-glace, buttered mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus.


When you’re ready, let us get to know you. Together we can create a personalized senior living experience to support your unique needs, even as those needs change.




What are you doing for the next 200 years? Before a single tree is harvested, we plan two centuries ahead to make sure we never take more than we give back.

Learn more about your relationship with Alberta’s forests at loveABforests.com








contents OCTOBER 2019


Flora Fromage vegan cheese. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jared Sych




Our annual list of the most delicious bites, beverages and ingredients that you can buy here in the city and take home to enjoy.

Our municipal cemeteries are places of peaceful reflection. They’re also at capacity. Even with a new cemetery set to open, the question of whether cemetery burial will be viable for future generations remains.

Talking with some of the local people who have channelled their immense grief over the untimely and unexpected death of a loved one into creating something in their honour that makes the world a better place.

The 25 Best Things To Eat

By Julie Van Rosendaal

The Afterlife of Cemeteries

By Ruth Richert



Silver Linings

By Taylor Lambert





Winter Mountain Adventure Guide


Detours The compelling art of taxidermy, explained; a chat with one of the founders of a company that runs workshops to ease the conversation around planning a funeral and other end-of-life events; a Calgary-based effects house that’s known world wide for its fake blood. Plus, expert advice on how to build a better Halloween costume and our picks for must-see events this month. 14



Matters of Life and Death As a death doula, Sarah Kerr has made it her life’s work to help others navigate the transition of death — either for a loved one, or in the case of those diagnosed with terminal illness, their own. She has also had to draw on what she knows in her own life.

With winter on our doorstep, there’s no better time to plan your grand alpine adventure for the 2019-2020 season, whether that involves outdoorsy stuff like skiing and snowshoeing or eating your way through the restaurants in the nearby National Parks.


Decor An interior designer and her husband find their perfect match in a modern farmhouse.

The List Canmore-based jewellery artisan and shop owner Jade Ansley on the things she loves best in the Bow Valley.


New + Noteworthy Custom-made glass beads that hold what’s close to your heart, tea towels that tell a story, a better baby book and an online consignment market for fancy jewellery founded by a Calgarian.

From the first toast to the final bite, relish every moment and meal.

Cooking. Refrigeration. Dishwashing. Calgary Showroom • 1245 – 73 Ave SE Calgary, AB T2H2X1 • 403-297-1000



avenue RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions 100, 1900 11 St. S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 3G2 Phone: 403-240-9055 Toll Free: 1-877-963-9333 x0 Fax: 403-240-9059 info@redpointmedia.ca AvenueCalgary.com Facebook: Avenue Magazine — Calgary Twitter: @AvenueMagazine Instagram: @AvenueMagazine

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Put your geeky skills to good use. Learn everything from software development, information technology and cybersecurity to digital design and more in the School of Creative Technologies. Launch a career where things get made, and you get paid. bowvalleycollege.ca/tech



Published 12 times a year by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. Copyright (2019) by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40030911.

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

Publisher Joyce Byrne Editor-in-Chief Käthe Lemon, klemon@redpointmedia.ca Executive Editor Jennifer Hamilton, jhamilton@redpointmedia.ca Senior Art Director Venessa Brewer, vbrewer@redpointmedia.ca Executive Editor, Digital Content Jaelyn Molyneux, jmolyneux@redpointmedia.ca Senior Editor Shelley Arnusch Associate Art Director Sarah Nealon Assistant Editors, Digital Content Alyssa Quirico, Alana Willerton Editorial Assistant Colin Gallant Staff Photographer Jared Sych Production Designer Austin Jansen Contributing Editors Andrew Guilbert Top 40 Under 40 Intern Amber McLinden Editorial Intern Nathan Kunz Digital Interns Andrea Fulton, Stephanie Joe, Mariah Wilson Fact Checker Jennifer Friesen Contributors Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Kevin Brooker, Katherine Erwin, Jennifer Friesen, Julia Hajnoczky, Taylor Lambert, Roth and Ramberg, Ruth Richert, Julie Van Rosendaal, Kristyn Snell, Sébastien Thibault, Katherine Ylitalo Land Acknowledgement Advisors Elder Edmee Comstock, Elder Reg Crowshoe, Elder Rose Crowshoe Print Advertising Coordinator Erin Starchuk, production@redpointmedia.ca Sales Assistant Robin Cook, rcook@redpointmedia.ca Director, National Sales Lindy Neustaedter Account Executives Elsa Amorim, Liz Baynes, Janelle Brown, Melissa Brown, Jocelyn Erhardt, Deise MacDougall, Anita McGillis, Chelsey Swankhuizen Production Manager Mike Matovich Digital Advertising Specialist Katherine Jacob Pickering (on leave) Digital Advertising Coordinator Silvana Franco Audience Development/Reader Services Manager Rob Kelly Printing Transcontinental LGM Distribution City Print Distribution Inc.

Avenue is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association and Magazines Canada, abiding by the standards of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Paid circulation is audited by BPA Worldwide. REDPOINT MEDIA GROUP INC. President & CEO Pete Graves, pgraves@redpointmedia.ca VP Sales & Marketing Andrew Persuad, apersuad@redpointmedia.ca Operations Manager Terilyn Lyons, tlyons@redpointmedia.ca Controller Dwight Fieseler, dfieseler@redpointmedia.ca Business Development Strategist Anita McGillis, amcgillis@redpointmedia.ca Client Relations Manager Natalie Morrison, nmorrison@redpointmedia.ca Events & Marketing Coordinator Angela Chios, achios@redpointmedia.ca Senior Accountant Marienell Lumbres, mlumbres@redpointmedia.ca Office Manager Anna Russo, arusso@redpointmedia.ca





TOP 40 UNDER 40 Find out who made this year’s list of movers, shakers and city builders.

W H AT ’ S B R E W I N G Locally roasted coffee is having a moment, so we provide a roundup

Christmas I THE COU TRY Nov 2-3 & 9-10, 2019 · 10am - 4pm

of some of the best coffee shops and cafés in the city, both new and old.

FA L L FA S H I O N Get ready to go out with fabulous fall looks, all available in Calgary shops.

Over 1500 pieces of fine craft & unframed artworks by local artists! Free Admission & Complimentary Treats

leightoncentre.org 282027 144 St. West Foothills AB · 403-931-3633 AvenueCalgary.com



Death and the City

G E T AV E NU E O N YO U R TA B L E T! To get the tablet edition, go to






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

When a death is a tragic loss — either because it is sudden and unexpected or because it is violent — those affected are often overwhelmed by their grief. Grieving can be like wandering alone through a fog and finding others can be one of the best ways through what is a profoundly disorienting experience. Some people find a way to work through these saddest times in their lives by creating something new and hopeful. Writer Taylor Lambert spoke with a number of Calgarians about their work creating legacy memorials for people who have died. Each of the stories involves tragedy, but also hope and light.

If you want more insight on Calgary’s cemeteries, the City offers a series of free guided walking tours through the public cemeteries. Find out more by visiting the City’s website calgary.ca and searching “cemetery tours.” At the other end of the spectrum, this issue also features our popular annual 25 Best Things to Eat list. From savoury to sweet, these eat-at-home treats are our current favourites. You will also be able to find many of them at our Best Things to Eat Market, alongside items from previous years’ lists, on Oct. 26 at the Inglewood Community Association Hall. We hope we see you there! CORRECTION: In the September issue story about the Made in Alberta Awards Food category runnerup VDG Salumi, we misspelled the name of founder Stuart Kirton. We regret the error.

Photograph by Jared Sych

hen we decided to do a series of stories on death, we weren’t really sure where it would take us. Obviously, death affects us all — we all experience the deaths of loved ones as well as our own death — but it’s also something that very few of us want to talk about. In Calgary there are several people trying to change that and help us feel more comfortable discussing death. Sarah Kerr is a death doula, helping people find their way toward their own view of what a “good death” might be, and the Calgary organization Crows in a Row helps normalize the discussion of death, in part by discussing it openly and not sugar-coating it with euphemisms such as “passed away.” We talked with both Kerr and one of the founders of Crows in a Row in this issue and we hope these discussions help start some important conversations for you. Both Kerr and Crows in a Row help Calgarians prepare for death, but once someone has died there are even more considerations. The City of Calgary has changed a lot since Union Cemetery opened in 1890 and even since Queen’s Park, our newest public cemetery, opened in 1940. The City will soon open a new public cemetery on the southeast end of the city, but it, too, will eventually reach capacity. Writer Ruth Richert looked into the question of what and who cemeteries are for and why we continue to need them.

Made in Alberta Awards Gift Guide 2019




A curious pizzeria & wine bar in downtown Calgary





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CONTRIBUTORS JULYA HAJNOCZKY Julya Hajnoczky is a photographer and visual artist based in Calgary. When she’s not in town shooting (usually things that sit still, like food), she likes to be out roaming the backroads of Western Canada, camping in her home-built teardrop trailer the Alfresco Science Machine, always on the hunt for great places to eat and forests to explore. You can see more of her work at obscura-lucida.com and follow her wilderness adventures on Instagram @obscuralucida.

RUTH RICHERT Ruth Richert is a Calgary-based writer, editor and blogger. A generalist who is interested in pretty much everything, her writing has been featured in a variety of local and international magazines. Her previous work has covered topics such as Calgary's aquaponics industry, ski mountaineering, and Thailand’s fishball obsession. When she’s not writing, you can find her snarfing Vietnamese subs and waiting for the Green Line to revitalize her slice of east Calgary paradise.


This is date night.

Based in Matane, Quebec, Sébastien Thibault creates

Currie is uniquely situated to provide a connection to the hustle of downtown and the amenities of Marda Loop, without sacrificing space and beauty. Just a seven minute drive from the downtown core, Currie offers inner city living with parks, playgrounds, green space, beautiful streetscapes, and a range of housing opportunities from a variety of award-winning builders.

current topics. He uses graphic shapes, simplified form

Learn more about Calgary’s most exciting inner city community at



books, longtime food columnist for the Calgary Eyeopener

illustrations that provide sharp political commentary on and intense colour in his images. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and The Economist.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of 10 best-selling cookon CBC Radio, and contributing food editor for The Globe and Mail. She’s also a columnist for WestJet Magazine, freelance food writer, host of a Canadian food podcast called Crispy Bits, and recipe developer and cooking instructor. Many people know her through her popular blog, Dinner with Julie. She grew up in Calgary and eats a lot.






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2019-08-20 2:14 PM


Photograph by Perry Steinhilber

In Death as in Life

An owl mount by Perry Steinhilber of Calgary-based Cougar’s Den Taxidermy.

Taxidermy isn’t just for hunters — museums, scientists and pet owners all have an appreciation for this occasionally macabre art form. Perry Steinhilber, the owner-operator of Cougar’s Den Taxidermy in Calgary, gave us some insight into the process of giving deceased animals a second life as objects of fascination



A Second Life in Death

How did he get into it?

The path to a career in the funeral industry is rarely a straight one.

“It all started with roadkill,” Steinhilber says. He worked on cleaning and preserving skulls and skeletons before moving into full-on taxidermy, teaching himself the skills without any formal instruction.

Who are his clients? Steinhilber creates mounts (stuffed skins) and skeletal displays for private clients including hunters and owners of deceased pets. He also helps meet the unique needs of museums and scientific organizations such as Parks Canada, Banff Park Museum, the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Guyana National Museum, for whom he hunted a common species of butterfly and taught taxidermy skills to the staff. He has also worked for world-renowned hunter Jim Shockey, who operates the Hand of Man Museum of Natural History, Cultural Arts & Conservation in Maple Bay, B.C.

What’s the process? Taxidermy begins with fleshing, also known as skinning, where skin, fat and other tissues between the skin and bones are removed. This is the messiest part of the process and even a small mistake can impact the final result. Though fleshing is time-consuming, the tanning process takes much longer — up to several months. Finally, the tanned skin is formed. This is when the stuffing (or what those in the business call “mounting”) and setting takes place. A big project like a life-size mount of a bear can take up to two years.

His biggest project? Steinhilber created a stuffed rhino for the Calgary Zoological Society, working with only parts of the animal after relinquishing other pieces to Society scientists for research purposes. He also once created a 600-pound grizzly bear mount (the animal was killed in a collision with a motorcycle) for Alberta Fish


avid Root meets his clients on some of the hardest days of their lives. The client interactions that differentiate his work in funeral directing from those in other businesses surely aren’t for everyone. But Root says that unique dynamic is one of the things that drew him to the field. “The norm for us is that we’re dealing with people in a very delicate, tender, wide range of emotions,” says Root. “Being able to be that person for them to lean on for support and help them with guidance was something that made a lot of sense for me.” Root is the general manager at Pierson’s Funeral Service Ltd., a business that has been in his family for three generations. He says he originally didn’t want anything to do with the profession and opted to work toward a career in pharmaceuticals. However, his part-time work at the funeral home while attending classes in the science department at Mount Royal University (MRU) made him change his mind — and his major. Root now teaches at MRU in addition to his work at Pierson’s. Coming to funeral services after another career is not an uncommon story among MRU’s Funeral Service Education students, according to program administrator Donna Palmer. Students in the program, which includes a funeral director certificate, embalmer certificate and a funeral service diploma, tend to be older than those in other comparable programs. Previous professional and academic backgrounds vary among the student body, ranging from paramedic nurses to elementary school teachers. Funeral education focuses on skills central to the business, including planning and directing ceremonies, consideration of religious and cultural death traditions, restorative art techniques and the embalming process. The school is one of only two recognized by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board for funeral director and embalming programs (the other is Winnipeg’s Canadian College of Funeral Service). Root notes many students in his prerequisite “Introduction to Funeral Services” course express personal experiences with the funeral industry — both negative and positive — as being influencial in their career choice. While reasons for signing up vary, both Palmer and Root say they’ve noticed many students say similar things when asked how they ended up in the program. “One common theme I’ve heard is that they really felt it was a calling,” says Palmer. —N.K.

and Wildlife.

What he won’t do. “There was one lady who had gangrene in her foot. The hospital removed it and [she kept it]. She brought me her foot and asked me to skeletonize it because she wanted to make it into a doorstopper,” he says. “Well, you know, I draw the line at humans.” —Colin Gallant 24


A student in MRU’s funeral service education program performs a class exercise in restorative art.


Hanne Loosen’s sets and costumes have appeared on nearly every major stage here in the city, as well as in many international productions. She says, a good costume elicits an immediate reaction, telling a story before a line has even been spoken — a rule that applies both on stage and while out trick-or-treating. “What is the first thing that you need to see? Is this person shy? Is this person confident? Is this person bossy?” says Loosen. “Your first impression, that’s going to stick. So if that first impression is not who this person is, before they open their mouth, you could have already deceived your audience. “The best Halloween costumes are the ones that tell a story. It’s as simple as putting a knife in your head, and a murder happened. Maybe that’ll lead to wondering what is the story behind it? How did it happen? I think that can be very inspirational — choosing to bring it to the next level by creating the whole side-story.” —as told to Nathan Kunz See Hanne Loosen’s costume and set-design work in Theatre Calgary’s Iceland, Oct. 15 to Nov. 2, and Alberta Theatre Projects’ production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Nov. 19 to Dec. 29.

Photograph courtesy Of Mount Royal University


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Let’s Talk About Death


that you want to share with descendants. Violini ay you were to die tomorrow, what shares the story of her childhood ballet dress as would you want your funeral to be an example: Her ballet teacher required students like? If the question leaves you clueless to wear a dress made with satin and sequins, maor uncomfortable, then consider payterials her grandmother had never worked with ing a visit to Janine Violini and Jamie before. Even so, Violini’s grandmother painstakWhittaker. The pair are the founders of Crows in ingly hand-sewed the dress for her anyway. “I a Row, a Calgary company that hosts workshops remember that all I could think was ‘she must inviting people to integrate death into their life, love me so much,’” Violini says. “That making planning around end-of-life “WHEN WE’RE ballet dress is my ethical will because moments less stressful and more DEALING WITH it demonstrates in tangible, feeling maempowering. terial what a grandmother’s love is like.” Crows in a Row workshops range PEOPLE WHO ARE SHARING One of Violini and Whittaker’s in length from two to 12 hours and THEIR EMOgoals with Crows in a Row is to tackle everything from anticipating TIONS, IT BEimprove what they call the “death litthe needs of loved ones during their eracy” of our community. They believe grieving to creating an “ethical will” COMES A SACRED SPACE,” that removing direct death language to leave to future generations. -Janine Violini. from society and removing death from An ethical will can be anything all aspects of our life has contributed that’s had meaning for you in life

to our fears of death. Crows tries to combat this by normalizing the use of the words “death” and “dying” and avoiding softer metaphors. “It’s hard for some people to hear the direct language, but we try to do it in a way that allows the conversation to go a bit further,” says Violini. Much of Crows in a Row’s work happens through the sharing of personal stories to allow attendees to better understand their own relationship with death. Violini believes these emotional moments are an important part of increasing death literacy, bringing life back into the conversation about death. “When we’re dealing with people who are sharing their emotions, it becomes a sacred space,” says Violini. “And there is nothing more life-giving than that kind of space shared in community.” —Andrew Guilbert For more information, visit crowsinarow.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 2019 recipients of SAIT’s Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards. Visit sait.ca/alumni to read more.



Bloody Good

Photograph by Leo Wieser


eed non-toxic fake blood? A handbuilt demonic creature? What about a staged autopsy? Bleeding Art Industries, a multidisciplinary effects company co-owned by Becky Scott and Leo Wieser, can do all of it — and then some. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of Bleeding Arts’ strong suits is its fake blood, which has been used internationally in the film industry. The company sells a rich variety of bloods, including a sweetflavoured mouth blood, to clients as far away as Australia, China and Europe for use in film, theatre, military simulations and other applications. The company also makes a popular animal-safe fake blood using only ingredients that can be safely digested by non-human cast members who have a penchant for licking wounds both real and fake. Among the productions that have used Bleeding Arts’ animal-safe blood are Game of Thrones, Wynonna Earp and Heartland. As good at sanguine simulation as it is, Bleeding Art’s lifeblood is actually its ability to meet the wide-ranging needs of clients through

A creature from Skeleton Girl, an award-winning short film by Becky Scott and Leo Wieser of Bleeding Art Industries.

an array of effects, prosthetics, creature builds and whatever other odd custom creations they require. Scott and Wiese are jacks of all trades, mostly because they have to be to survive — Scott says that the film industry in Alberta is “up and down,” necessitating a diverse skill set to please a wide variety of clients. The company operates a small storefront space in its workshop near the Calgary Film Centre. During business hours, you can walk in and grab a jug of blood, some special-effects makeup or costume and wardrobe supplies. You can also commission a custom project based on your specific needs. For inspiration, consider this: a war veteran who lost an eye in combat commissioned a prosthetic eye-hole so he could pop a fake eye out at his friends to give them a scare. Bleeding Art also serves cosplayers and the fetish community’s needs for custom prosthetics. In their spare time, Scott and Wieser also pursue their passion for creation through original artistic works. Their 2012 short stereoscopic

Deanna Burgart

Trevor Lamb

Chemical Engineering Technology ’00

Petroleum Engineering Technology ’97

3D and stop-motion animated film (a first in Canada), Skeleton Girl, premiered at New York City’s Be Film The Underground Film Festival and won an award for Best First 3D Film. —C.G. Visit Bleeding Art Industries at Bay 3, 3815 61 Ave. S.E. or online at bleedingartindustries.com.

Gursh Bal Pre-Employment Electrician ’12, Electrician ’16

Kai Fahrion Electrician ’15

2019 Distinguished Alumna President and COO, Indigenous Engineering Inclusion Inc.

2019 Distinguished Alumnus Vice President Operations (Retired), Three Streams Engineering LTD.

2019 Outstanding Young Alumni Director, Business Development, Virtuoso Energy (GB)

After several years in the pipeline industry, Deanna launched a unique engineering consulting firm, Indigenous Engineering Inclusion Inc., with a commitment to bridging the gaps between the energy industry, government and Indigenous communities. Deanna is a speaker with the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau and also partners with SAIT to develop curriculum designed to increase awareness of the oil, gas and pipeline industry.

With more than 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Trevor has a wealth of industry expertise and his insights as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council help strengthen programs in SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy. In 2015 Trevor and his wife Gail established the Lamb Learner Success Centre at SAIT, providing accessibility and testing services for students with learning challenges.

Director of Operations, Virtuoso Energy (KF) With a passion for green energy, sustainability and the environment, Gursh and Kai have grown their solar and energysaving company, Virtuoso Energy, into a leader in Calgary’s renewable energy market. With the goal of making sustainability the core of everyday life, they provide solutions to both residential and commercial clients and are making outstanding contributions to the communities of today and tomorrow.




do to


This new adult soda bar in the


Barley Belt pairs craft sodas by

OCT. 11 TO 14

kitchen run by Empire Provisions.

The organizers of ScreamFest

4323 1 St. S.E., annexsodas.com

Annex Soda Mfg (the same team that’s behind Annex Ale Project) with deli creations from an in-house

are back with an epic new event for Calgary (ScreamFest continues in Edmonton Oct. 24 to 27). A combination of fan expo, film festival and spooky carnival, Hex features celebrity guests, cosplay, a marketplace,

OCT. 5

screenings, games and haunted

Don’t call it a costume party. This

houses to explore.

witchy group of makers focuses

BMO Centre, Stampede Park,

on feminist vendors who embrace


the occult. In addition to sellers,


Tuxedo Park Community Hall,


202 29 Ave. N.E., crucifixvi.com

OCT. 25 AND 26

sage, a drop-in steam room ses-

Just in time for Halloween, and

sion or some time in the infrared,


in recognition of the fact that

cedar or Himalayan salt saunas.

the next Ghostbusters movie

102, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E.,

OCT. 23 TO 26

was filmed in and around Cal-


This world premiere adaptation

gary, the Calgary Philharmonic

of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Orchestra will perform the


is Alberta Ballet like you’ve never

original score and eponymous

You can scratch skydiving off

seen it before. Expect a massive

pop tune while the film screens.

your bucket list without having

multimedia stage environment

Which obviously raises the

to set foot in a plane at iFly, a

and a blend of classic and con-

question, “Who you gonna

new indoor skydiving facility at

temporary ballet styles.

call?” to join you.

Deerfoot City. Participants float

Southern Alberta Jubilee

Jack Singer Concert Hall,

in a 3.65-metre wind tunnel dur-

Auditorium, albertaballet.com

Arts Commons, calgaryphil.com

ing this family-friendly experience.

there will be live entertainment and a licensed bar at this bazaar.

Visit this new boutique spa in Avenida Village for a relaxing mas-

811 64 Ave. N.E., 403-365-4288, Alberta Ballet’s Frankenstein.


K TOWN FRIED CHICKEN This Crescent Heights restaurant serves Korean fried chicken in flavours such as sweet-andspicy barbecue, creamy onion, spicy soy garlic and even asiago cheese and truffle oil. 919 Centre St. N.W., 403-4550610, ktownfriedchicken.com 28


Frankenstein photograph courtesy of Alberta Ballet, Annex photograph by Jared Sych, Cedar & Steam photograph by 2CStudios



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Calgary is a culinarily savvy city with a hearty appetite for locally produced food and drink. Beyond our enviable restaurant offerings, here are 25 things Calgarians are distilling, making, brewing and baking that are well worth seeking out.

BY Julie Van Rosendaal PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych

31 AvenueCalgary.com



Frozen Stock from The Cookbook Co. Cooks

The Old School Cheesery Ltd. Flavoured Cheese Curds

It’s the new bag of chips! The Old School Cheesery Ltd. makes curds every day and flavours them with garlic, dill, chipotle, barbecue seasoning and black peppercorns. They come by the bag and are ridiculously addictive. (There’s also the option of a combo bag of plain cheese curds plus chunks of pepperoni sticks from Farmer’s Own Meats & Custom Cuts, the ultimate Alberta snack pack.) Available at retailers around town or by phone at 587-281-8888, oldschoolcheesery.com

Excellent stock equals excellent soup (or stew, or gravy). If you don’t have the gumption to save scraps and simmer your own, you can buy house-made veal, beef, chicken, fish or vegetable stock frozen at Cookbook Co. Cooks to tuck in your freezer for whenever the situation calls for stock. 722 11 Ave. S.W., 403-265-6066, cookbookcooks.com


Organic Fennel Small Batch Salami from Salt Craft Meat Co.

Calgary has no shortage of great salumi, and the fennel seed salami from Salt Craft is one of the greatest. Firm, coarse and buttery, studded with fennel seed, this particular finocchiona is perfect for nibbling with your favourite crackers. Available at retailers around Calgary and through Salt Craft Meat Co., saltcraft.ca

Glass bottle, $11, from The Cookbook Co. Cooks; Pog oak cutting board, $30, and cheese knife, $40 (set of three), both from EQ3; Hay tea towels, $35, from Kit Interior Objects, marble coaster, $10 (set of four), from HomeSense.

Flora Fromage Vegan Cheeses







Bud vase, $20, and cutlery, $55 (five-piece set), both from West Elm; Pog oak cutting board, $30, from EQ3; tablecloth, $60, from HomeSense.



As demand grows for plant-based cheeses, the offerings are becoming more delicious. Flora does a truffleblack pepper, garlic-and-herb-macadamia and smoky jalapeno, all made from a creamy cashew base. Available at retailers across Calgary and through florafromage.com



Tacos from Unimarket

Some of the best, freshest tacos in town — think carne asada, birria, chorizo and al pastor — can be found at Unimarket for just a few dollars apiece, and even less on Wednesdays. 128 50 Ave. S.E., 403-255-4479; and 2405 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-984-3373; unimarket.ca




Vinland Aquavit from Confluence Distilling

The only Alberta-made aquavit on the market is distilled with locally sourced red wheat from Innisfail, and a unique blend of botanicals including caraway, dill, anise, fennel, garlic and apple to produce a strong (50-per cent ABV) newschool version of an old-school Nordic spirit. 507 36 Ave. S.E., 587-771-1286, confluencedistilling.ca


Small-batch Worthy Jams

With unique combos like vanillarhubarb, strawberry-cardamom, Earl Grey-lavender-peach and black cherry-chai, these smallbatch jams are the kind you wish your neighbours would leave on your doorstep. Too good for peanut butter, they’re definitely toast-worthy. Available at retailers around town and through enjoyworthy.com


Nudemarket Peanut Butter

Nudemarket’s mission is a world less packaged. To that end, its freshly ground dry-roasted peanut butter (plain, with coconut flakes, or with sustainably farmed, fair-trade chocolate) comes in refillable jars. Available through nudemarket.ca


Fatoush Dressing from Beirut Street Food


Tzatziki from 2 Greek Gals


There’s nothing quite like the thick, garlicky tzatziki from 2 Greek Gals. It’s one of the products that made them one of the most popular vendors at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. There’s also a ridiculously good vegan version. At the Calgary Farmers’ Market, 510 77 Ave. S.E., 403-617-9124, calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/ vendors/view/2-greek-gals

At the city’s only charcoal-fired shawarma eatery, you can take home the same pickles, sauces and dressings it has on the menu. Co-owner Ramzal Salem’s parents send za’atar from home in Lebanon, and Salem turns it into a vinaigrette, which you can also buy by the jar after you fall in love with it on the fatoush salad. Bay C, 7220 Fairmount Dr. S.E., beirutstreetfood.ca

7 9





11 SunnyCider

One of Calgary’s newest cider producers makes small-batch ciders using 10-per cent Alberta fruit, with the rest coming from B.C. Its goal is to go 20-per cent local, and to that end it collects urban fruits of all kinds — apples, cherries, pears, berries — and if you drop it off, you get paid in cider credit. (The kitchen also offers local products, such as pies from Pie Junkie and a cider float with Made by Marcus ice cream.) 1, 3300 14 Ave. N.E., 403-454-0638, sunnycider.ca

12 Seven Spice Chili Oil

Serbian mother-daughter team Anna and Natalia Lazic came up with uniquely flavourful hot and mild chili oils spiked with garlic and spices that elevate everything from eggs to pizza. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Available at farmers’ markets and retailers across the city, and through sevenspice.com


Vezorla Olive Oil and Chocolate Bars

Table runner, $25, from HomeSense; Sophie Conran serving set, $60, from The Compleat Cook; teak spoon, $25 (set of four), from The Cookbook Co. Cooks; knife, $55 (set), from West Elm; Menu glass, $28, from Guildhall; Ferm Living spoon, $16, from Kit Interior Objects; concrete oil bowl, $35 (set of three), by CoCreateCo (through Etsy); napkin, stylist’s own.

Ramsay resident Veronica Guirado grew up in Cazorla, Spain, an olive-harvesting region for more than 800 years with a protected designation of origin due to its unique geographical environment and natural and human factors. She brings olive oil to Calgary from her family’s grove, as well as smooth, earthy dark-chocolate bars made with six-per cent olive oil. It’s as local as olive oil gets in Calgary. Available at retailers across Calgary and through vezorla.com










Tablecloth, $120, from WilliamsSonoma; Visto appetizer plate, $7.95, from Crate and Barrel; coupe pasta bowl, $130 (set of four), from Le Creuset; cheese knife, $40 (set of three), from EQ3; napkin, stylist’s own. 36






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South Island Pie Co. at Cabin Brewing

Among the best tasting-room menu items in town are the hot steak-andcheese, vegetarian and seasonal meat pies at Cabin Brewing. Made by South Island Pie Co. in Edmonton, they’re served with a traditional red plastic tomato ketchup bottle brought to the table — something that only Kiwis might recognize. 505 36 Ave. S.E., 403-244-3331, cabinbrewing.ca


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St. Lawrence Bagels

Calgary’s bagel offerings have always been relatively sparse, but a new location on Parkdale Boulevard has brought chewy, sweet, Montreal-style wood-fired bagels to the Northwest. Sesame, poppy, plain or multi-grain, by the dozen or half, they’re usually still warm when they bag them up. 2638 Parkdale Blvd. N.W., 403-453-5121


Honest Dumplings

With flavours like ginger beef, kung pao-tofu and truffle-mushroom, these tasty dumplings in delicate coloured wrappers are quick to cook, and make you feel more than okay about your dinner coming out of a bag. Available at retailers around the city, or through honestdumplings.ca


Cheese Biscuits from Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar

The towering, slightly slouchy cheese biscuits at Gravity are tender, buttery and completely irresistible with coffee or tea in the morning, soup or chili at lunchtime or beer and wine if you go for the live music in the evenings. If you’re lucky, they’ll still be warm when you arrive. 909 10 St. S.E., 403-457-0697, cafegravity.com

The Ranchmen’s Club Executive Chef Kenneth Titcomb

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Contact Cristina Guevara membership@ranchmensclub.com @RanchmensClub1891 www.ranchmensclub.com AvenueCalgary.com


P Doubles are an essential Caribbean street food: two round, chewy, turmeric-scented bara (fried breads) with curried chickpeas sandwiched in between, topped with cilantro and tamarind chutneys and other accoutrements. Joycee’s tiny Bridgeland grocery has been making them fresh for decades. 630 1 Ave. N.E., 403-234-9940




Trinidadian Doubles from Joycee’s Caribbean Foods



MARKET Join us for the Avenue Market:

Best Things To Eat

October 26 at the Inglewood Community Association Hall AvenueCalgary.com



2534 19 STREET SW C4239557


APRÈS LODGE A beer-cocktail by our friends at Sound & Wood Events Build in a rocks glass: 1⁄ oz Wildlife Distillery Amaro 2 1⁄ oz balsamic vinegar 4 3⁄ oz simple syrup 4 Stir, then top with Ponderosa Frost Berry Gose and a pinch of nutmeg

BANKVIEW Modern, sleek, luxurious & drenched in natural light from a profusion of huge windows, this 3+1 bedroom home with over 4,500 sq ft of living space & panoramic city views! The chef-inspired kitchen is finished with Denca cabinetry, a huge island/eating bar, high-end appliance package & dining area that’s spacious enough to host large family gatherings or dinner parties. A dramatic open riser staircase leads to the second level introducing the master retreat with access to a private balcony, fireplace, 2 walk-in closets & opulent 5 piece ensuite with 2 vanities, a tranquil freestanding soaker tub & glass encased shower.

BRIDGELAND This gracious 3+1 bedroom home is situated on a 40’x110’ lot on an idyllic canopy-treed street in the heart of Bridgeland & offers 2,201 sq ft above grade plus an additional 1002 sq ft of basement development. The main level of this home presents hardwood floors, 9’ ceilings & is illuminated by pot lighting. A beautiful chef-inspired kitchen finished with quartz counter tops, ceiling height cabinets, stainless steel appliances & inviting dining area with built-in hutch. The spacious master retreat has a downtown view & features a walk-in closet & spa-like 5 piece ensuite with heated floors, dual sinks, a relaxing soaker tub & oversized glass shower.

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Each office is independently owned and operated.

www.tanyaeklundgroup.ca | Direct (403) 863-7434 AvenueCalgary.com






Distinctly Home tablecloth, $60, and Sophie Conran plate, $18, from Hudson’s Bay; Epicurean cutting board, $17, from The Cookbook Co. Cooks; spoon, $55 (five-piece set), from West Elm; serving board, $15, from HomeSense. 40



Black Forest Cake from Edelweiss Imports


Edelweiss is part deli, part bakery, part import store, a gem of a spot to find anything from pearl sugar to ornate cuckoo clocks. It’s perhaps best known for its European pastries, especially the towering schwarzwaelder kirschtorte — Black Forest cake layered with real sour cherries, kirsch and whipped cream. 1921 20 Ave. N.W., 403-282-6600, edelweissimports.com




So many occasions call for cake, but full-sized cakes can be too much. The wee cakelettes at Sweet Relief are mini versions of its classic cakes, perfect for two-to-four people. (Sweet Relief also has the very best happy hour — $2 cupcakes the last hour of every day.) 120 13 Ave. S.W., 403-402-9448, sweetreliefpastries.com

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30 7-9pm | $100

Cakelettes from Sweet Relief Pastries

VIP ENTRANCE 5:30pm | $150




Hoopla Donuts A search for the ultimate

doughnut to pair with its coffee led Phil & Sebastian to create its own. Beyond the perfect honey-glazed, the menu at Hoopla includes flavours such as London Fog, Manjari chocolate sprinkle and crème brûlée, with vegan options and seasonal selections to keep things interesting. 248, 414 3 St. S.W., hoopladonuts.ca


Ambrosial Cheesecake Shop

Who needs an entire cheesecake when you can have your own singleserve hit? These truly are ambrosial. Ambrosial Cheesecake Shop starts with its own small-batch, hand-made cheese and tops the tiny cakes with Nutella, sour cherries, salted caramel and other irresistible flavours. Available at markets around Calgary and via ambrosialonline.com

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





NOVEMBER 2, 2019 | 7PM | TICKETS $250


in support of the






Tablecloth, $25, and marble coaster, $10 (set of four), both from HomeSense. 42



Kin + Pod Bean to-Bar Chocolate

“Bean-to-bar" refers to chocolate that’s actually made from scratch, from cocoa bean to chocolate bar — a rare process for craft chocolate makers. (Most chocolatiers source their chocolate from large companies.) Kin + Pod earned three gold medals from the International Chocolate Awards in 2018 for its 70-per cent darkchocolate bar. Kin + Pod also collaborates with Rosso Coffee Roasters on its Two Wheel Espresso bars, and makes a vegan coconut-milk-and-candied-cacao-nib bar. Available at retailers across Calgary and through kinpod.ca


Dwarf Stars Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups


Dwarf Stars’ thick, creamy answer to Reese’s cups are vegan, dairy-free, glutenfree, peanut and tree-nut free. The company even offers sugar-free versions, and yet they’re all 100-per cent delicious. Available at retailers around town and through dwarfstars.ca

25 Otto Gelato

The brothers behind Otto Gelato spent their youth in Sicily and learned to make dense, sticky gelato in Rome. They brought their craft to Calgary, and the frozen deliciousness is as sublime as any gelato you would find in Italy. Try the stracciatella, gianduja and pistachio, made with ground whole pistachios they roast themselves. Otto Gelato, 125, 400 5 Ave. S.W., 403-826-0434, ottogelato.ca

SOURCE CoCreateCo etsy.com/ca/people/cocreateco The Compleat Cook, Willow Park Village, 403-278-1220, compleatcook.ca The Cookbook Co. Cooks, 722 11 Ave. S.W., 403-265-6066, cookbookcooks.com Crate and Barrel, Southcentre, 403-278-7020, crateandbarrel.ca EQ3, 100, 8180 11 St. S.E., 403-212-8080, eq3.com Guildhall, 1222 9 Ave. S.E., 403-454-4399, guildhallhome.com HomeSense, multiple Calgary locations, homesense.ca Hudson’s Bay, multiple Calgary locations, thebay.com Kit Interior Objects, 725 11 Ave. S.W., 403-508-2533, kitinteriorobjects.com Le Creuset, CF Chinook Centre, 403-262-1128, and multiple other Calgary retailers, lecreuset.ca West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.ca Williams-Sonoma, CF Chinook Centre, 403-410-9191, williams-sonoma.ca AvenueCalgary.com


As the city grows and changes, do our cemeteries need to change as well?

44 avenueOCTOBER.19

Union Cemetery, one of Calgary’s first cemeteries.

I BY Ruth Richert PHOTOGRAPHY BY Julya Hajnoczky


t’s a peaceful place, Union Cemetery. Tree boughs sway gently in the breeze, and freshly mown grass bristles between the gravestones that dapple the hillside in pleasantly untidy rows. There’s a chapel on the hilltop, shady pathways, and during the spring and summer months, the scent of flowers from the nearby Reader Rock Garden lingers in the air. Macleod Trail demarcates the western boundary, a sort of artery of the living hugging the land of the dead. It’s the kind of place that grips the popular imagination: this is what it means to rest in peace. But this cemetery was also built for a different era. Union was one of Calgary’s first cemeteries. It was established in 1890, when the west was much wilder and far less populated than it is today. The agricultural commission that would later give us the Stampede was then newly established, and Calgarians were a hardy lot of farmers and ranchers. They initially buried their dead on what is now Shaganappi Golf Course, but digging graves in the rocky soil proved backbreaking, so the cemetery was moved to higher ground, where Union now exists. Notable Calgarians, from early settlers like John Ware and James Macleod to members of the Lougheed family, are buried here. The City would open several more cemeteries over the years that followed: Burnsland Cemetery immediately to the southeast, The Chinese Cemetery to the west and St. Mary’s to the west of that. Queen’s Park Cemetery, our most recent public cemetery, opened in 1940, when Calgary had a population of almost 90,000. No one predicted that within 80 years, our city’s population would grow to more than 1.2 million.

And now Queen’s Park is almost full. Even on the seemingly endless prairies, land is a finite resource, especially when the dead claim it in perpetuity. In response to the pressing need for cemetery space, the City is on the verge of opening a new cemetery, Prairie Sky, on the southeastern edge of Calgary. Just as Union does, it will allow the living to remember the dead, and it will keep a record of our shared history. But it will also have striking differences. It is built for a vastly more diverse and larger population, and the City has had to grapple with environmental concerns and space constraints that simply weren’t factors for Calgary’s founders. In a few decades, it, too, will be full, which is why it’s an appropriate time to ask some critical questions: what do we do with bodies? How do we memorialize our loved ones? And how much space are we prepared to devote to the dead?

The Body Problem

Washington state is allowing people to compost their bodies starting in May 2020. Recompose, the company pioneering this method, covers the deceased in natural materials such as straw or wood chips. In three to seven weeks, microbial action breaks the bodies down into soil, which is then given back to families. It’s up to them to decide what to do with it, but the Recompose website hints at the obvious option: “...we can nourish new life after we die.” You may see this as an environmental victory, a desecration,

or simply a rich source of gardening humour. Whatever your perspective, this development highlights an important fact: what we do with bodies after death matters. Calgary doesn’t allow for body composting (yet). The current Alberta Cemeteries Act limits Albertans to dispose of bodies through burial, mausoleum interment, cremation or donation to a post-secondary institution. It’s a narrow range of choices, but one that raises a host of questions. What kind of burial do you want? Traditional? Green? Family farm? (Just kidding, that last one’s not allowed.) Perhaps a mausoleum? What should be done with cremated remains? Should they be buried? Scattered? Placed in a columbarium niche? Contained in an urn on top of the Steinway? And what about body donation? It’s an incredible gift to give, but the University of Calgary’s medical school only accepts around 60 bodies per year, and they have very specific criteria. Even if your donation is accepted, you’ll still be cremated at the end of your service. And both cremation and burial have repercussions for the environment and for land use. Traditional burial does not tread lightly on the earth. Embalming chemicals eventually reach the soil and from there, the ground water. Ornate caskets use large amounts of hardwoods, metals, plastics and synthetic fabrics. Most caskets are placed into concrete burial vaults, which lengthens decomposition time. Cremation is seen as the more environmentally friendly option, but it, too, comes at an environmental cost. A single cremation requires the equivalent of two SUV tanks of fuel, and the process releases CO and CO2 into the atmosphere, AvenueCalgary.com


as well as mercury vapour from amalgam dental fillings. Newer methods such as alkaline hydrolysis (essentially liquefication by water and lye) are touted as more environmentally friendly than cremation by fire. But while the process is legal in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, Alberta has yet to approve it. That’s not to say Calgarians aren’t concerned about the environmental impact of death. During the community engagement phase of planning for the new Prairie Sky Cemetery, many people expressed interest in green burial, a process that eschews embalming and individual headstones, and requires that caskets be made of natural materials. But that interest hasn’t yet radically changed policy. “[Canada] is still largely in the stage of people being very curious. It has not yet reached the stage where interest has transitioned into a surge in demand for green burials,” says Catriona Hearn. As a senior associate with LEES + Associates, which designs and constructs cemeteries, Hearn has worked on a number of cemetery projects including Queen’s Park. She is also a volunteer with the Green Burial Society of Canada. There are hopeful signs, though. Unlike most municipalities, Calgary doesn’t require the use of concrete burial vaults or liners, so Queen’s Park can already accommodate green-er burials, and many funeral homes in Calgary offer green casket options made from more readily biodegradable materials. The Prairie Sky Cemetery will offer a dedicated green burial area, with unmarked graves and natural landscaping, and this may increase the demand for these options. But while green burials leave a lighter footprint than traditional burials, they still require land. 46


The view toward downtown Calgary from what will be Prairie Sky Cemetery, set to open in 2020.


The Land Problem

Land: it’s a problem in Calgary, but not because we don’t have enough of it. The problem is that there is so much of it, we’ve sprawled across it, the way toddlers sprawl across their parents’ beds in the middle of the night. New subdivisions keep stretching their tentacles further and further into the north and the south. Parks sprawl. Roads sprawl. And cemeteries that were built when Calgary had one-fifteenth of our current population sprawl. If you ignore the environmental impact of this, it sort of works. That is, until one

interest bumps up against the boundary of another, which is what happened in 2018 when the City considered annexing a dog walk to expand Queen’s Park cemetery. The cemetery sprawl met the dog sprawl, and suddenly it became a turf war between the living and the dead. The dogs won that time. But it won’t be the last fight. “The City of Calgary has dropped the ball and they have done so for several decades,” says Michael Pierson, president of Pierson’s Funeral Service Ltd., a multi-generational funeral home in the southeast. “I mean, they’ve opened up 160 dog parks, they’ve paved tons and tons of land, but they can’t find some for cemetery space? Cemeteries are at least as important as dog parks and asphalt.” While some of Calgary’s dog-walkers would have a bone to pick with Pierson, it’s hard to deny his point. “I love all the cemeteries here! I just wish there were more,” laments Pierson. But devoting more space to cemeteries won’t ultimately solve the problem. We will always need more space, because Calgarians keep dying. There

is, however, a way to provide enough cemetery space for Calgarians without consuming dog parks. Whether we have the appetite for it is another question. “Potentially, each province in Canada will eventually follow the lead of Australia and many European countries and develop regulations and incentives for leased graves and some forms of grave reuse,” says Hearn. Reuse can involve removing the remains after the lease has expired, or deepening the grave and burying a new body on top of older remains. It’s a practical solution, but not one that’s being seriously considered in Calgary, perhaps because we’re so used to having abundant land. “Change in this area is incredibly slow to manifest,” says Hearn. The City is not unaware of our cemetery space problem. “We’re using up land fairly quickly,” says Gary Daudlin, superintendent of cemeteries for the City of Calgary. “We’ve been considering this for the last several years as to what land becomes available. Because it comes down to making cemetery services affordable for the

Queen’s Park Cemetery is next to a dog park. In 2018, a plan to expand the cemetery by annexing the park met with opposition and ultimately did not proceed.

Eden Brook Cemetery is one of only two privately owned cemeteries in Calgary.

community.” And affordability matters, because death isn’t cheap. The simplest of cremations in Calgary can easily cost upwards of $1,000. Bury the remains, and your costs go up substantially. Choose a mausoleum interment (a more expensive choice, where caskets are stacked and sealed inside the walls of an above-ground structure) or a traditional burial complete with embalming, a fancy casket, vault and gravestone, and costs can top $30,000 or even $40,000 (and that’s before funeral or memorial service expenses are considered). Considering the people who make up our community is also critical. “In the city of Calgary, we’re so multicultural,” Daudlin says. “Every one

of those groups, whether it’s a religious group or a cultural group, have specific traditions.” In planning the Prairie Sky Cemetery, Daudlin consulted with Calgarians of many different cultural and religious backgrounds and walks of life, trying to find cemetery solutions that work for our diverse population. There will be columbarium niches (which hold cremation urns) and scattering gardens, green burial and traditional burial areas. For some cultural groups it’s important to be buried surrounded by other members of their community. Some want grave plots oriented on a north-south axis, others on an east-west axis. Caring for the afterlife of Calgary is no simple task. And it’s

one that the City must grapple with, for the simple reason that the private sector, for the most part, isn’t technically allowed to do so. The Alberta Cemeteries Act states that only municipalities and religious denominations and auxiliaries are allowed to open and operate new cemeteries. The restriction was likely added to the Act because Calgary and other municipalities in the province had, in the past, been saddled with the care of private cemeteries after their owners abandoned them. Municipalities and religious denominations tend to have a longer shelf life than private companies, which puts them in a better position to fulfill the promise of perpetual care. Several religious denominations have created their own cemeteries, including the Chevra Kadisha and Beth Tzedec Memorial Park operated by the Jewish community, and the Calgary Muslim Cemetery. But real life is rarely as straightforward as legalese suggests, and there are, in fact, two private cemeteries in Calgary — Eden Brook and Mountain View — both owned by Arbor Memorial, a company that owns numerous cemeteries throughout Canada. They were grandfathered into the Act, and they continue to serve Calgarians in a strangely competitionfree arena. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by other industry professionals. “The government has given them a monopoly on the private side of the cemetery business,” says Pierson. Were it not for the issue of perpetuity, allowing other private companies to enter the grave-tending business wouldn’t be so risky. But the stakes are high when we expect to spend eternity in well-maintained grave plots. AvenueCalgary.com


An obvious question regarding the problem of cemetery space in Calgary is, with current cremation rates at more than 70 per cent and growing, do we even need more space? We aren’t required to bury ashes, after all — there are many other things you can do with them. Consider the glass bird that sits on Karla Ramsay’s windowsill: delicate, yet strong, and streaked with green and blue. It’s more than a tchotchke, though, as it contains the cremated remains, or “cremains,” of Ramsay’s sister-in-law, Debbie. After Debbie died, her daughter gathered close friends and family members at an Okotoks glass-blowing studio to make the ornaments. The small amount of cremains that the artist swirled into each ornament shows white against the glass. “He was very respectful,” says Ramsay. She had never considered the idea before, but now she’s grateful that she went ahead with it. “It was quite a healing thing to have these made,” she says. Cremains can be mixed into ink and used for tattoos, turned into coral reefs, added to fireworks, pressed into vinyl records and blasted into space. An Alabama company even offers to load cremains into shotgun shells, “a tribute to your outdoorsperson like no other!” Then there’s the memorial diamond industry, where cremains are turned into real diamonds using extreme pressure and heat. The options for memorializing the dead with cremains is seemingly endless. There’s a flipside to it, though: pottery breaks, diamonds get lost, the scattering ground gets sold. “The favourite fishing hole may no longer be a 48


fishing hole,” says Jeff Hagel of McInnis and Holloway Funeral Homes. “Things change.” There is, of course, the option of simply keeping the cremains in an urn or some other vessel. But that has its own risks. Stories of cremains being stolen occasionally pop up in the news. Then there’s the question of what happens when an urn of cremains has been passed down for multiple generations. Are descendants ever allowed to get rid of it? A cemetery keeps a record of the person who died and provides a safe place for their cremains. “As a funeral profession, we definitely try to educate families to speak to the permanence, the record-keeping, the place to visit, the place to grieve that cemeteries afford. As crazy as it sounds, those records are for eternity,” says Hagel. But in an age when we KonMari our houses and store our memories on the cloud, do we really need physical records for eternity? It’s true that some mourners haven’t considered the implications of bypassing cemeteries, that mementos and scattering grounds don’t last forever, and the historical record moves on without the entry of their loved ones. But others have perhaps acknowledged a greater truth that cemeteries can’t shield us from: no matter how well preserved, our physical bodies won’t last forever, and our death won’t be mourned in perpetuity.

Okotoks Hot Glass Ashes in Glass memorials.

What’s Next?

Extreme embalmings. Drivethru funeral home viewings. Action-figure urns. It’s body disposition day in “Topics in Death and Dying,” Janet Arnold’s class at Mount Royal University. Some of the themes are humourous in a macabre sort of way, but they have a point: Arnold wants her students to think about what will happen to them after death. “The more we talk about death and dying, the better and healthier our society will be,” Arnold says. As part of the course, the students plan their own funeral services and final dispositions. It’s the first time that some of them have ever considered their own demise, but the fact that they’re talking about it at all puts them ahead of most Calgarians. “Most people are not well informed about death-care options and don’t talk about death and disposition until they have to,” says Hearn. And the sum of decisions made in the face of grief and immediate need does not generally produce great land management policy, or take into account the needs of future generations of Calgarians. So cemeteries are important — it’s a recurring theme that runs through the conversations I have with funeral directors and city planners, priests

“MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT WELL INFORMED ABOUT DEATH-CARE OPTIONS AND DON’T TALK ABOUT DEATH AND DISPOSITION UNTIL THEY HAVE TO,” - Catriona Hearn and architects, anyone who works with the grieving and the dead. Physical places for grieving and remembrance matter, for most of us, at least. But cemeteries as they currently exist in Calgary are unsustainable. The math of finite land claimed in perpetuity by an infinitely growing population of the dead simply doesn’t compute. There's no doubt that changes to final disposition will come, whether in our lifetime or in the future. Body composting may cross the border and head north; interest in green burials is growing; the cremation trend is already inspiring an increasing focus on columbaria, which nibble rather than gulp land the way in-ground options do. Graveleasing presents an obvious opportunity for providing mourners with a physical place to grieve without claiming land from future generations. But the ultimate change must occur in our expectations of what our final resting place will be. If our own choices don’t lead us there, necessity eventually will.

Okotoks Hot Glass photograph courtesy of Okotoks Hot Glass

Memorializing the Dead

the art of food pairing with urban fare

When it comes to finding products that will enhance the joys of eating your favourite local treats, there’s no better place to go than Urban Fare. With its impressive selection of grocery offerings, not to mention a variety of delicious, freshly prepared dishes, this beautiful grocery store on the edge of Mount Royal has everything you’ll need for creating food pairings that satisfy. Here, we bring you just a few suggestions for combinations that shine.

craft cider

montreal-style bagels

vegan cheese

small-batch jams and jellies

gourmet doughnuts

Dessert or a snack?

Brunch or to go?

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Sweet or savoury?

Is this for breakfast?


to go dessert

Snack on Nora seaweed snacks

dinner appetizer


Toast your bagel and spread some grass-fed butter on top

Or Way Better chips


Pair with Fentiman’s ginger beer

Create an antipasti platter using Make a glaze for Urban Fare’s Signature Tomahawk Pork Chop

Enjoy with a glass of Black River pineapple juice

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Spread on a fresh, multigrain croissant

Make a vegan Beyond Meat burger with “cheese”

Build an ice cream float using Betterwith 100% natural ice cream



Vicky’s Artisan Bakery rosemary flatbread

McClure’s pickles

Organic rainbow carrots

Brew some organic Frog Friendly coffee from Mexico

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LININ 50 avenueOCTOBER.19

L GS Creating a lasting memorial is a way for many people to move forward through grief.

BY Taylor Lambert ILLUSTRATIONS BY Sébastien Thibault

The annual gala is intended not only as a fundraiser, but also as a way to honour the lives of those lost and the people who struggle to cope with that particular grief. Each year, a video presentation highlights the stories of two families. Tiny Footprints has since raised $360,000, much of it to help pay for the renovation of the pregnancy and infant loss program at Foothills Hospital, which opened in 2017. But the orgaives begin and end daily nization also brings together people who have in a city of 1.3 million experienced a particular type of tragedy, one that people. Some of those is often isolating. And both Oriold and Woods say deaths are expected, even welcome. Others are the community and support network that has tragedies, whether natural or unnatural, plunggrown around Tiny Footprints is no less imporing those close to the deceased into the depths tant than the money it raises. The committee of grief. But tragedy can also be an unexpected that organizes the gala now has 50 active memcatalyst for something life-affirming. As difficult bers. “It started off as an event, but now it’s so and overwhelming as the grieving process can much more,” says Woods. be, there are occasions when people find the strenAs Tiny Footprints has shown, even the shortest gth and motivation to push back the darkness by of lives can have powerful and lasting influence. creating something good — a charity, foundation Jessica Janzen Olstad and her husband Ronnie or memorial space — turning a personal loss Olstad had two months of joy with their newborn into something beneficial. son Lewiston before he suddenly became limp and There are many cases right here in Calgary. weak. Medical tests confirmed a diagnosis of Type In 2011, Kristina Oriold learned that only 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Lewiston lived one of the twins she was pregnant with would four more months, then died in his mother’s arms survive. The other, a daughter she named Riley, after his morning bath. was deemed by her doctors to be “incompatible Janzen Olstad says that while Lewiston only with life.” Advance warning of a tragedy gives lived for 179 days, they made the most of that time to prepare, but that doesn’t make the grief time. “We had the blessing of knowing our son any easier to bear. “We knew the birth day was was dying,” she says, recalling how she and Ronnie going to be both joy and sorrow,” says Oriold. made every minute count. “When you’re given “It was a really tragic event. I didn’t know how a terminal diagnosis, you live differently.” to navigate that.” As the date of what would have been Lewiston’s Oriold began counselling during her pregfirst birthday approached, the family considered nancy and continued for years afterward. “After how to mark the occasion. They decided a fundabout five years, I wanted to give back to the raiser would be a good way to give back to Alberta programs that were helping me navigate everyChildren’s Hospital, where their son spent most thing,” she says. of his short life. With their friends and Her best friend Jen Woods had family, they created the Love for stood by and supported her Lewiston Foundation. Their throughout the years of initial fundraising goal of AS OVERgrief, and Oriold enlisted $10,000 was dwarfed by the WHELMING AS THE her expertise as an event $42,000 they collected. GRIEVING PROCESS planner to create the The foundation has since CAN BE, THERE ARE Tiny Footprints Gala. focused on raising awareOCCASIONS WHEN PEOPLE “We wanted to open ness, advancing research FIND THE STRENGTH AND the doors for conversainto SMA, and supportMOTIVATION TO PUSH tion about pregnancy ing families who have BACK THE DARKNESS and infant loss, but we suffered similar tragedies. BY CREATING SOMEalso wanted to have a fun Sometimes the goal of THING GOOD. event, so we had to strike a memorial foundation is not that balance,” says Woods. to fundraise or raise awareness AvenueCalgary.com


for a cause, but simply to establish a positive legacy in the name of the person who died. When Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang was killed in December, 2009, by a roadside bomb while on assignment in Afghanistan, Canwest Publishing — then the owner of the paper — created a journalism fellowship in her memory. Each year, the fellowship provides the opportunity for a student to pursue a project “that would address the goals Michelle aspired to in her daily journalism: telling stories that have gone unreported or unnoticed on topics of social significance.” The gig comes with a year’s salary. Half of the fellowship spent in Calgary, the other half at the Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia, which now owns the former Canwest papers, has continued the fellowship. Because Lang held a Bachelor of Arts degree, the fellowship is open to students in any discipline, and competition is stiff. Michelle Lang fellows have researched and written on topics ranging from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, to immigration to homegrown terrorism. As with Lang, pro-wrestler Owen Hart’s death also occurred on the job. During a 1999 show in Kansas City, Mo., the Calgary-born wrestling star died during an entrance gimmick gone wrong — meant to be lowered into the ring from above, Hart instead fell 24 metres, landing chest-first on the top rope and later dying from his injuries. After a multi-million-dollar settlement with the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment), Hart’s widow Martha launched the Owen Hart Foundation, a charity that provides post-secondary scholarships to high school students, as well as assistance to low-income families saving to buy a home. Any unexpected death can feel senseless, but a life taken in violence is devastating. Depending on the circumstances, mourning families and friends can find themselves unwillingly shoved onto the public stage, and slow-moving criminal prosecutions can drag out the grieving process 52


or re-traumatize those closest to the deceased. In 2008, a man named Joshua Lall — believed by police to have been mentally ill — stabbed and killed his wife, two of his children and a tenant in their home before killing himself. That tenant was Amber Webb-Bowerman, a 30-yearold member of Calgary’s journalism community. Webb-Bowerman’s death shocked not only those close to her, but also people who only knew her professionally and, indeed, strangers who had never met her. Colleen Seto, who was then executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association (AMPA), was among them. “This can’t

be her legacy, this can’t be how she’s remembered,” Seto recalls thinking at the time. She and some other friends and colleagues of Webb-Bowerman’s (including Avenue editor Käthe Lemon) began talking about establishing some sort of memorial or scholarship. “None of us had done this before, we didn’t know what the ins or outs were,” says Seto. There was agreement early on, however, that the legacy initiative should focus on WebbBowerman’s life rather than the circumstances of her death.

The murder so affected the journalism community that someone (Seto doesn’t recall who) suggested that writers should contribute their next freelance cheque to the cause. AMPA began receiving unsolicited cheques before the foundation was even registered. The following summer, the group held its first annual fundraiser — a lawn bowling tournament (a favourite pastime of WebbBowerman’s) called the Sugar Bowl. “It was just great, because it was a chance for everyone who knew her and loved her to come together and share memories without it being so sad,” says Seto. Today, the Amber Webb-Bowerman Foundation is a registered charity that has created scholarship endowments for journalism at SAIT and Mount Royal University, and contributes funding to other grassroots writing endeavours, such as the WordsWorth creative writing camp for teens. One of Calgary’s most high-profile violent crimes involved five young victims from different families. In 2014, a young man with undiagnosed schizophrenia stabbed five people to death at a house party in Brentwood where they were celebrating the end of the school year. The killings captivated the city and the media as Calgary’s worst mass murder. It also left many people close to the victims, especially their parents, awash in grief. Charitable initiatives and scholarships were started in the name of individual victims, but it wasn’t until a couple years after the murders that the five families began discussing what could be done as a collective memorial. Statues were suggested, along the lines of those honouring the RCMP officers shot to death in Mayerthorpe, Alta., in 2005. But it didn’t quite feel like the right fit, according to Shannon Miller, mother of Kaiti Perras, one of the victims. Eventually the idea of a memorial garden came to the forefront. The families got to work fundraising, and with donated land by the City and professional help with planning and design, the Quinterra Legacy Garden is scheduled to open next year. The unique space, located in South Glenmore Park, is more than just a simple patch of greenery. Rather, the garden has been carefully

designed to serve as a multi-faceted tribute for in the end, it is separate each of the five unique young people. from the grief. “One of their main connections [between the Like Miller, Oriold five victims] was something to do with nature,” expects to grieve the loss says Miller. “Kaiti loved hiking, she loved walkof her daughter forever, but ing through parks; she felt a real peace and calm hopes to help others, not in nature.” only through Tiny FootLawrence Hong was studying urban planning prints, but by sharing her and loved to ride his bike, so a park was also a own experience. “I think natural fit for him. The garden’s large stage for it’s good to see somebody public performances is a nod to Joshua Hunter one step ahead of you [in the and Zackariah Rathwell’s passion for music, and grieving process],” she says. Perras’s love of dance. Jordan Segura was known “It helps people feel hopeful, like as someone who loved community and bringing they can move through this.” She people together, values that are reflected by also sees Tiny Footprints as a way to a public gathering space. All were young, ranghonour her child. “I think everybody ing in age from 21 to 27, and something about on our committee joins for that reason, the continuous growth and life of a garden feels to honour somebody that they’ve lost or like a fitting way to commemorate lives cut short. to honour someone else’s loss.” For the Olstads, grieving baby Lewiston’s The garden features a motif of the number five in death is also something they don’t expect to design elements, including five permanent chairs end. But Janzen Olstad says creating an ongoin the victims’ names. ing positive legacy helped them, in her words For Miller, the Quinterra garden is not just “party in the pain.” about creating something positive out of tragedy, “We decided to ask our friends to surround but creating a place to take her grandchildren us with love and happiness,” she says. “I believe to, or to just sit and feel her daughter’s presence. the process has been so much lighter because “I’m not sure I found [the garden] a way to move we’ve asked others to share the load with us.” forward with my grieving,” she says. “I honestly Seto’s grief over the sudden death of Webbbelieve there’s no end point to grief, I’ll forever Bowerman was different from, say, a parent who be grieving. It’s just about how I can live a happy, mourns a child. But for her, helping to create purposeful life with that grief.” The circumstances of these examples are all a legacy that would support young writers like the quite different, from the types of tragedies and ones Webb-Bowerman mentored was part of her the nature of the loss that served as a catalyst, grieving process. “Because the circumstances to the forms of legacy that have come from were so terrible, we needed something, we needed them. But what they have in common is that a light, we needed some beacon of hope to say they are rooted in death and grief, and they are something good can come out of this,” Seto says. all remarkable for the same reason: that people “I think because so many of us are storytellers, in the depths of sorrow felt compelled to put we’re continuing her story, too. I’m contributing something good into the world in the face of to something that will be her legacy.” Unexpected deaths happen more destruction. The question of how people often that we might care to are able to do this — and why — think, and they can touch depends on who you ask. “I HONESTLY any family. In October BELIEVE THERE’S NO Some of the people 2017, my cousin Cara END POINT TO GRIEF, I’LL involved in memorial Kernohan was rushed FOREVER BE GRIEVING. IT’S initiatives echoed Millto the hospital after JUST ABOUT HOW I CAN LIVE er’s sentiment that the suddenly feeling A HAPPY PURPOSEFUL LIFE positive work they ununwell. She was 29, WITH THAT GRIEF.” dertake might be about –Shannon Miller, mother of legacy, or remembering, pregnant and healthy, Kaiti Perras or personal healing, but but within minutes of

arriving at Foothills Hospital she was in a coma with bleeding in her brain. Doctors saved the life of her daughter Blakely, born five weeks premature, but Cara never got to see her child. She remained in a coma and died a few days later. It was an abrupt tragedy for Cara’s family and friends. It was also, for most of us, our first introduction to HELLP syndrome, a rare variant of preeclampsia, for which there is no screening process and no cure. “Trying to wrap your head around it, I still can’t fathom that it even happened,” says Cara’s mother Jillian Young. “The unanswered questions and grief in the first six months or so was so painful, and I thought, ‘What’s going to get me out of this?’” As Young learned more about the medical condition that killed her daughter, she felt an urgency to advocate to do something. Nothing could bring Cara back, but by raising awareness and research funds she might prevent others from suffering the same fate. On Oct. 5, 2018, the first anniversary of Cara’s death, Young hosted the inaugural Cara HELLPs Preeclampsia Fundraiser Walk and Run, which is intended to now be an annual event. Not only has she raised close to $50,000 for HELLP research and education, but Young has become something of a spokesperson for the cause, invited to speak at conferences in Edmonton and Williamsburg, Virginia. “This was something that was so preventable and happens more than anyone knows,” she says. AvenueCalgary.com



“I wanted to take that grief and anger and put it into something that’s going to help other young pregnant women.” I didn’t know what to do with my grief when Cara died. I had lost young friends to tragedy before: to a car accident and to brain cancer. But the sudden death of a family member, someone who was happy, healthy, newly married, excited

to be a mother, felt almost unreal, the sort of awful thing you secretly think will never happen to your family. The five stages of grieving are said to be denial and isolation; anger; bargaining; depression; and finally, acceptance. This is not a scientific fact, but a broad observation; not everyone experiences all of these, nor is the order fixed. Different

people respond differently, and the direction and length of the route taken varies widely. I didn’t bargain, nor did I feel angry. My grief settled me between the lines in some murky and contradictory combination of denial, depression and acceptance. There is no rulebook or road map for working through the storm of emotions after the death of a loved one. The examples here of people striving to find and create light in their darkest time are remarkable, but not everyone can be expected to do this, as Cara’s mother acknowledges. “Not all of us have that in us,” says Young. “It would be so easy to give up when you lose a child. There’s nothing worse. You can’t even get your head around it.” For her part, Young says the Cara HELLPs fundraiser did indeed stem from her grieving process. But she sees value in it beyond that, even beyond her fight to prevent other mothers suffering the same tragedy — it helps her keep her daughter’s memory alive. “It really helps me talk about Cara,” says Young. “When I don’t, I’m more sad. Talking about Cara helps me grieve. When you stop talking about someone, it’s like they’re gone.” Cara’s daughter Blakely will turn two this month. One day she will learn the story of her birth and her mother’s death. But she will also know that that tragedy was transformed into a force for good in the world. While that won’t bring her mother back, it is something.

Amber Webb-Bowerman Foundation


Owen Hart Foundation

Second annual walk/run takes place Oct. 5, 2019. carahellps.com

Annual fundraiser on Oct. 18, 2019 featuring a performance by Jerry Seinfeld. owenhartfoundation.org

Quinterra Legacy Garden

Love for Lewiston

Apply at calgaryherald.com/news /the-michelle-lang-fellowship

Tiny Footprints Third annual gala is on Oct. 5, 2019. tinyfootprints.ca/buy-tickets 54


The Sugar Bowl lawn bowling tournament fundraiser happens annually in mid-August. amberbowerman.ca


South Glenmore Park. quinterralegacygarden.com

Michelle Lang Fellowship




Join us to celebrate the best and brightest Calgarians at Avenue’s

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Don’t miss your chance to network with the Class of 2019

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PROFILE BY Nathan Kunz PHOTOGRAPHY BY Roth and Ramberg

Matters of Life and Death Sarah Kerr’s work as a death doula and ritual healing practitioner was inspired by her own journey to come to terms with the prospect of losing someone she loved. Now, her journey has taken a new turn as the diagnosis of illness sees her looking inward and considering her own mortality in light of all she has learned.


eath is something we’re conditioned to avoid. Though it happens to all of us, it’s also one of the most difficult things to comprehend. At a time when we’re in need of peace and reflection, the death of a loved one, or a diagnosis of illness can instead bring emotional upheaval and chaos. Navigating that chaos is central to Sarah Kerr’s work as a death doula and ritual healing practitioner. Kerr says she has always possessed an ability to stay grounded in chaotic situations. It served her well in her previous work as a wilderness guide in northern Canada and Alaska, and continues to serve her well in her practice of providing emotional, spiritual and practical support to those faced with the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a terminal or serious illness. This grounded nature is evident in conversation: Kerr is thoughtful and precise, often pausing in reflection to decide how best to articulate the big ideas she deals with on a dayto-day basis. Her home in northwest Calgary manifests her reflective qualities, displaying art pieces inspired by a variety of world cultures and traditions, including Hindu philosophy and Mexican Tree of Life craft. Her interest in culture and tradition drew Kerr to pursue doctoral studies in transformative learning and change at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in the early 2000s. Her studies focused on how rituals and traditions support individuals during times of life-altering transition, though not death, specifically. But when her father unexpectedly suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2010, Kerr was struck by how “unprepared” she felt with the very real prospect of losing him. “So, I made a vow to be more prepared,” she says. Kerr has since gone from feeling lost when confronted with the idea of mortality, to becoming an authority and a guide for others. She graduated from her program in 2012, and later that same year founded her company Soul Passages.



Much in the way a birth doula offers emotional and practical support at the beginning of a life, a death doula offers support at the end of one. The practice has historic roots. Janet Arnold is a certified thanatologist (a branch of science that deals with death, its causes and phenomena, as well as the effects of approaching death and the needs of the terminally ill and their families) and is an instructor of Mount Royal University’s Topics in Death and Dying course. According to Arnold, up until the 19th century, there was usually a woman in each community who would be called upon to support families and the dying. This role included practical tasks such as washing and clothing the deceased in preparation for burial. The rise of the funeral industry in the 1800s saw a shift away from the home for the care of the dead. But in recent decades, a movement that has brought other life processes and milestones back into the home, such as home-schooling and home-birthing, has similarly regenerated interest in the “home death.” Using an approach more spiritual than religious (she describes her role as “clergy for the unchurched”) Kerr uses both big and small rituals to familiarize those in mourning with the intense and hard-to-comprehend transition of death. Kerr says she typically works with three-to-five family groups navigating a current death in a year, the work with each family happening over multiple months. She also does between four and six individual support sessions per week, either in person or over the phone. Her work always starts with an open and honest conversation. “It’s the absolute opposite of small talk,” she says. “People are just true — true in the love, true in the grief, true in frustration, true in whatever is happening.” The work is unpredictable by nature. Calls at 3 a.m. aren’t uncommon, while a client taking a turn for the worse can mean reworking her schedule with a moment’s notice. Following the death of a client, Kerr immediately delivers

Sarah Kerr sits amongst her culturally inspired art pieces in her home, including a textile patchwork (left) and an Islamic-inspired Arabesque pattern (centre). AvenueCalgary.com



Kerr uses elements such as shakers in her guiding of rituals, including during burials and other ceremonies.




a good-bye ceremony. This is rarely where the work ends. Her services include practical and spiritual consultation, funeral planning and officiating, and healing unresolved losses. While she doesn’t offer services pertaining to preparing bodies for burial, she does educate and support families who wish to take this on themselves. Kerr does not provide palliative care, but will refer clients to specialists and help navigate the process of moving into hospice. She also offers consulting services for people recovering from or learning to live with a non-terminal illness. Kerr’s academic studies on ritual and tradition have guided her death doula and ritual healing practice, in that she focuses on the loss of “collective experience” in Western culture. This, in turn, has led to a view of death as an isolating time, rather than a time of comfort and community. Kerr defines a ritual simply as “an action that means something.” One example of a healing ritual drawn from her own practice is gathering a group together to share memories of the deceased in a facilitated setting. Arnold says collective rituals, such as those Kerr facilitates, create a clearer path for concepts that feel abstract. “Rituals give us a guidepost of what we can do when we don’t know what to do,” says Arnold. “[A ritual] helps us feel like we have a little bit more control over what’s happened. And in that control, it helps us feel like we have more power.” Kerr also teaches classes and workshops, in person and online. The students who come to her range from those looking to start their own death doula practices, to those just looking for new perspectives on death and dying. Chris Vander Pyl first sought out Kerr in 2016, hoping to gain some insight in advance of volunteering at the Foothills Country Hospice. The following year, Vander Pyl was at her own mother’s side as she passed away. “If I hadn’t been working with Sarah, I think being there at my mother’s bedside would have been very different,” Vander Pyl says. “Instead I was able to see this as a transition, to really be present with my mom, to talk to her about death and how she was feeling about it, and to really receive that and hear that in a way that allowed her to be very present with it.” Kerr provided doula services for Vander Pyl and her family when they buried their mother, designing a ceremony around her wishes. With Kerr present and on hand as a guide, Vander Pyl says the family was able to focus fully on grieving, and that she, herself, was able to experience the burial fully, participating as a daughter. When her own father passed away in 2017, Kerr brought in several of her former students to hold that same space for her. “The dying of someone you love is, by definition, something that takes you apart,” says Kerr. “To allow myself to be the grieving daughter, I needed others around to hold the space [together].” Looking back at how blindsided she felt when her father had his stroke, Kerr now recognizes how her perspective on death has completely transformed. “I made a commitment

to myself to develop these skills and to be able to help other people,” she says. “At [my father’s] deathbed, I felt capable, I felt comfortable. I felt prepared.” She even went so far as to document the process on social media, opening up about her own loss to the community of those she had helped. “The love that flowed back was incredible,” Kerr says. “It felt like being held.” In all, Kerr and her family took a month to send off her father. Having guided many others through the transformative experience of death, Kerr’s own experience marked a sense of closure for her, and also helped her realize what she does is of real value. She believes that the modern Western world’s “dysfunctional” relationship with death stems from fear of facing the unknown without a picture or map of the other side, and rejects notions that those grieving need to “get over it.” Instead, a central component of her work is the recognition of ancestry and those who lived — and died — before us. “My focus on my ancestors and my teachers is about making visible that they are still present, that I do what I do because of them. I recognize that they’re still in my life,” Kerr says. It’s a sentiment echoed in the words etched on her father’s gravestone in a small country cemetery in southeastern B.C.: “What is remembered, lives.” This past summer, Kerr’s experience with mortality became even more personal when a routine mammogram revealed a three-centimetre cancerous tumor in her breast. “I don’t think this is a death sentence, but it certainly brings mortality into the space,” she says. “In the first few days, when I was really in shock, the possibility that I could die became so much more real to me than it ever has.” True to form, Kerr shared the news openly through her social-media channels and created a page on her website labelled “my cancer journey.” Her video and Facebook posts drew immediate response from past clients. Within two days of her initial announcement, Kerr says she had received over 200 emails and hundreds more comments containing words of support from the community she has fostered. Some told her they had performed small rituals on her behalf. “It’s been an incredible validation,” Kerr says. “I don’t think it is, but if this were to be the end of my life, I could feel good about what it has been.” Kerr plans to continue to work through her treatment, albeit cutting back slightly on the number of clients she takes on. She had surgery last month, having requested a slight delay (with the approval of her surgeon) in order to feel more “aligned and understanding” of both the tumor and the operation before proceeding. Whatever lies ahead, Kerr’s work over the past 10 years has given her a deep well to draw from of learned experience, both academic and practical knowledge, spiritual tools and supportive community. In the days immediately following her diagnosis, Kerr says she engaged in an exercise from her workshops, running through what she would do if she did have only a year left to live. “I went through that in my mind and was like, ‘Okay, mostly I’m doing it. But I think I’d like to get a dog, actually,’” she says, laughing. “If time is short, I want a dog.”

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M O U N TA I N S BY Shelley Arnusch, Kevin Brooker, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Katharine Erwin AND Kristyn Snell


WINTER The air is cooling and the mountains are calling. Here’s where to go to enjoy the snow, the food, the wine and the view in the glorious winter days ahead.

61 AvenueCalgary.com

It’s Hip to be Square When it comes to pure enjoyment factor there’s nothing “intermediate” about skiing blue cruisers.


espite frequent claims to the contrary, the purpose of downhill skiing is not to defy death. Nor is it about being sick, rad, sphincter-tightening or extreme to the max. No, it’s about one thing and one thing only: shouting “whee!” like a kid. And that’s where blue runs come in. Wide-open, pleasantly undulant and yielding only occasional moguls, they designate terrain suitable for intermediate riders, on slopes graded at between 25 and 40 per cent. That includes kids, of course, plus pretty much everyone else. Blue runs are built for the mode known as “cruising,” which can generally be described as making swooping arcs with nearly as much speed as you can gain, all while keeping your eyes on the scenery rapidly approaching you instead of fixating on your tips. This is where sliders learn to let their boards run while affecting a relaxed but alert posture, and occasionally even a cool one. It’s worth noting that those familiar green/blue/black trail icons



were actually designed in 1964 by The Walt Disney Company for a never-built California resort, and their first usage in North America occurred four years later. So there has been plenty of time for advanced skiers — honest ones, at least — to learn that there is nothing middling or square about a quality blue. From teen shredder to Grandma telemark, it’s the one zone where the whole family can ride together and have legitimate fun. Another blue-square bonus has to do with machine grooming, which these runs get in disproportionate quantities thanks to mountain operators trying to please the largest number of guests. A piste of buttery corduroy is ideal for focusing a learner’s attention, and it’s better still if the trail crew works its magic right after the lifts close, hopefully to be dusted by four or five centimetres of overnight snowfall. That would be your “powderoy,” a fortuitous surface condition which makes an excellent stepping stone to riding true off-piste powder. Which reminds us that human nature compels us to constantly improve, skill-wise. And yes, the blue square is where much of that progression will take place. Just prepare to squeal with delight while you’re doing so. —K.B.

Photograph by Chris Moseley courtesy of Lake Louise

Grizzly Gully, Lake Louise Ski Resort.


Grizzly Gully Lake Louise Ski Resort Blue-square cruising is about taking in the view, which the front side of Lake Louise has in spades. But this run offers more. Access it from the Top of the World chairlift via fellow blues Sunset Terrace or Home Run. As the name implies, it flows down the gut of the run (an area known for grizzly activity during the summer months) offering multiple opportunities to traverse left or right and bite off a taste of advanced terrain, with the assurance that a safe exit awaits below.

Gold Road Nakiska Ski Area Superb blues dominate Calgary’s nearest mountain resort for good reason: the ’88 Olympic site was one of the world’s first ski areas whose runs were computerdesigned to optimize natural fall

MONSTER MADNESS Panorama’s extremely advanced terrain isn’t for the faint of heart, or weak of knee.


anner skied The Monster!” exclaimed my friend Diane on the phone. Tanner, who is 10, is rumoured to have been conceived in a snowcat while his ski-guide father and avid-skier mother were stuck between two avalanches on the road exiting a backcountry lodge that they worked at. The “monster” that his mother was referring to is a 200-plus acre zone of steep and gnarly terrain on the eastern side of Taynton Bowl, the hub of expert skiing at Panorama Resort. Best known for its impressive vertical rise

of 4,200 feet (around 1,300 metres), Panorama currently ranks as the fifth-largest ski area in B.C. The resort debuted the first four Monster runs at the start of the 2017-2018 winter season and will be expanding further this season with the addition of four new extremely advanced lines in the area that are set to open in December. If you want to take on The Monster on regular weekdays you’ll have to earn your turns the old-fashioned way (hiking/touring in). But on weekends, holidays and special dates throughout the season, Panorama makes it easier by running a 13-seat passenger snowcat into the area for $15 per ride (over and above the price of a lift ticket). The cat picks up skiers and snowboarders at Taynton Bowl’s Never Never Land run and ferries them to the furthest reaches of The Monster zone. The ride

takes about 10 minutes and there’s a great stereo system on board to get passengers stoked for what’s to come. Speaking of cats, last season Panorama debuted its snowcat version of a food truck, the Snowlicious Mobile Kitchen, that roams the mountain serving up burritos and beer, though it’s unlikely this cat will make it over to The Monster. For those who suspect they may not have what it takes to tackle The Monster but feel it’s in them to work up to it, Panorama offers “adult improvement sessions” — small-group lessons for skiers and snowboarders of similar ability, who work with instructors toward specific goals like improving confidence in Taynton Bowl, or even skiing it for the first time. For the rest of us, we’ll be content with watching the GoPro videos of our hard-core friends’ hard-core kids. —K.E.

lines. Sometimes called the “carving capital of Canada,” it’s one of the best places to learn proper technique. The beauty of this run is that it’s the only blue coming off the Gold Chair’s summit.

Cloud Nine Kicking Horse Mountain Resort There’s nothing like the exhilara-

Panorama photograph courtesy of Panorama Mountain Resort

tion of a top-to-bottom run, especially when it runs for 1,260 vertical metres. Starting in the wide-open Crystal Bowl, Cloud Nine drools down through rolling, treeless meadows. Where the upper bowl spits out, riders are offered multiple routes back to the gondola, both blue and blueish-black diamond. Worst case, you bail to the green-circle haven of It’s A Ten. But feel no shame if you do; that run is a thigh-roasting 10 km long. —K.B.

The Monster, an area of extremely advanced terrain at Panorama Resort, is expanding this season. AvenueCalgary.com


M O U N TA I N S B EYOND BLACK DIAMOND Panorama isn’t the only resort near Calgary where you can find in-bounds terrain that qualifies as “extremely advanced.” For Calgary skiers and snowboarders of a certain ability, Sunshine’s Delirium Dive has long been a rite of passage. All riders of

Meat in the Mountains At the end of a snowy day frolicking in the mountains, nothing hits the spot like a warm and savoury meal. While there are certainly veggie and vegan options in the mountain eateries, alpine cuisine, traditionally, is very much about the meat. Here are six supremely satisfying meat dishes served up in restaurants in Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks that all serious carnivores should try this winter.

The Dive must be equipped with avalanche gear (digital avalanche transceiver, metal shovel and col-

Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen.

lapsible probe) and be with a partner. Access is through a gate at the top of the Continental Divide chairlift. Lest you think you can slip in there without the requisite gear, the gate is equipped with a sensor that registers each rider’s transceiver as they pass through single-file. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is blessed with an abundance of expert-level terrain, a major reason why it’s a stop on the annual Freeride World Tour (FWT). Kicking Horse’s Ozone area was previously only open during FWT events — and only open to those competing. But that all changed this past season when, following the 2019 tour events in February, the resort opened up the 660-acre Ozone terrain to the public. Before you go charging in there coincidence that one of Canada’s best sports surgeons, Dr. Mark Heard, operates in Golden. The prize for the most underrated spot to ride extremely advanced terrain in-bounds goes to Castle Mountain Resort, the community-owned and operated ski area tucked in the mountains northwest of Waterton Lakes National Park. If you want to test your mettle, take the Tamarack chairlift to the top and get one of the friendly locals to point you toward the infamous Chutes, where you’ll find a cornucopia of challenging lines. What you won’t find are the kind of crowds that you get at other ski hills, so you’re also very likely to find them dusted with fresh snow. —K.E.



Family Style Dinner from Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen Jasper National Park

Classic Vienna Pork Schnitzel from Walliser Stube

The deepest canyon in the Rockies, Maligne Canyon attracts winter visitors seeking out its iconic frozen waterfalls. The recently reimagined on-site restaurant, the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, is overseen by chef Stuart Allen, a real-deal barbecue chef from the American South. The family-style dinner ($55 per person) includes a choice of starter and a big ol’ platter stacked with smoked and glazed baby back ribs, hickory-smoked chicken, grilled venison sausage, and a 16-hour slow-cooked Alberta beef brisket, along with traditional Southern-style sides. The meat is made all the more flavourful with a dab of Allen’s from-scratch barbecue sauces (do not miss the Alabama white sauce — it’s a revelation).

Lake Louise Though it’s known for being an après-ski fondue restaurant, Walliser Stube actually doesn’t do raw-meat fondues. But the pork schnitzel ($49) is a suitably meaty entree, with plenty of local cred. Chef de cuisine Simon Samad uses thinly sliced and tenderized pork shoulder from Broek Pork Acres near Lethbridge, which is just fatty enough to create a moist and juicy schnitzel. Continuing on the local theme, Samad uses free-range Alberta eggs for the breading and serves the pork cutlet with duck-fat confit potato coins, puréed lingonberry jam and a bitter and peppery blend of salad greens from Deepwater Farms, a Calgary-based aquaponic vegetable and fish provider.



Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen photograph courtesy of Pursuit

though, consider that it is likely no

Chuck’s Steakhouse.

A CARROT ABOVE Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore that likes a well-balanced plate, the braised carrots at the Banff Springs’ 1888 Chophouse are so good they stand shoulder to shoulder

Bison tartare at 1888 Chophouse.

with any of the other menu items. Sourced from Poplar Bluff Organics in Strathmore and served with pistachios and wildflower honey, these not-so-humble root veggies are a star attraction in their own right. —E.C.B.

Cast Iron Bison Short Ribs from The Bison Banff

Chuck’s Steakhouse interior photograph by Orange Girl; Chuck’s food photograph by Anna Robi; 1888 Chophouse photograph courtesy of Fairmont Banff Springs

Chuck’s Steakhouse.

Benchmark Farms’ Cowboy Cut Steak from Chuck’s Steakhouse Banff

When visitors come to Alberta, they often look for a thick and juicy slab of genuine Alberta beef. For steak lovers looking to track down their meat’s pedigree, Chuck’s offers steaks in a range of feeding and aging methods, sourced from ranches specified on the menu. Corporate chef Salvatore Polizzi’s very favourite cut is a 28-ounce 45-day dry-aged bone-in rib eye from Benchmark ranch (sold at market price), which is served family-style with two sides and a sauce. The dry aging breaks down the fat and adds a touch of sweetness to the beef, offering a quintessential Alberta-beef experience. chuckssteakhouse.ca

Canadian Rangeland Bison Tartare from 1888 Chophouse Banff

If Banff has an unofficial meat, it’s got to be bison. Once a native species to Banff National Park (and recently reintroduced after being almost driven to extinction), bison is a high-protein meat with a mild beef-like flavour. The Bison serves it up in a few different preparations, but the most popular is the fall-off-the-bone-tender plate of short ribs ($51), served with bacon lardon, mushrooms, baby potatoes and root vegetables. The Bison’s farm-raised bison is all grass-fed, making for a leaner and healthier meat. thebison.ca

The steak house at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel naturally offers some great cuts of beef. But among its best dishes is the bison tartare ($26) from the appetizer menu. The hotel’s executive chef Robert Ash says 1888 chose to go with bison rather than beef for its tartare dish because “due to the indigenous nature of the meat, it speaks to the local land and region.” Whatever the reason, this tartare is rich and delicious, made with rangeland bison from Lacombe that is lightly smoked and paired with juniper sourced from just outside the park’s borders, house-made mustard and potato crisps.

Charcuterie Board from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts



All three of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ mountain properties (Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff, Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, and Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park) offer a charcuterie board for two ($30) stacked with smoked and cured meats, pickles and CRMR’s famed mustard melons. Individual selections are subject to change, but you can expect to see some products from CRMR’s game ranch, all served with rye bread. —E.C.B. AvenueCalgary.com



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ocated just under an hour’s drive north of Kamloops, B.C., Sun Peaks Resort is perfectly suited for hosting a wine festival. The resort resembles a Tyrolean mountain village with a central core of ski-in-ski-out accommodations around a main promenade. Once you park your vehicle at Sun Peaks, you really don’t need to get back in it until it’s time to check out and head for home. For the past two decades, the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival in mid-January was the go-to event for oenophile skiers (and just oenophiles) at Sun Peaks. But last season marked the changing of the guard with the debut of the Savour the Sun festival, a threeday event in early December featuring the winemakers of Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country. While it’s a lot shorter than its predecessor, Savour the Sun made a splash in its debut year with two strong evening events: Savour the Sun at Sunburst, a tasting held at the mid-mountain Sunburst Bar + Eatery, and Uncork Your Senses, a food-and-wine extravaganza that paired 12 wineries with specific dishes, revealing an impressive depth from the kitchen team at the resort, as well as in the offerings by the host wineries. While the inaugural Uncork Your Senses took place at the Annex lodge in the resort base area, plans are to shift it to the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre for 2019.



With Savour the Sun at Sunburst, the elevated location provided an additional thrill. While all guests arrived at the venue by riding up the mountain on the Sunburst Express chairlift, confident skiers and snowboarders had the option of foregoing the lift back and riding down to the base by the light of complimentary headlamps, under the direction of a night-skiing guide. For most skiers, the route wouldn’t be considered challenging by any means. But even green runs can feel black in the dark of night — especially with a few glasses of wine in your system. You can see for yourself at the second edition of Savour the Sun at Sun Peaks, which runs this year from Dec. 5 to 8. —S.A. sunpeaksresort.com

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M O U N TA I N S Snowcat snowshoeing with White Mountain Adventures.

The history of Fernie is pretty wild: a mash-up of miners, myth, ghost stories and a series of natural disasters (fire and flood) in the early decades of the 20th Century that, legend has it, were caused by a curse placed on the valley by an Indigenous chief to avenge his jilted daughter. To this day, the forests of Fernie are still studded with the jagged remnants of burned trees from the fire and you can see them up close on the guided snowshoe hikes offered by Fernie Alpine Resort. The tours start from the Adventure Centre in the Lizard Creek Lodge, where you’ll get kitted out with the requisite snowshoes and hiking poles, before ducking into the

A former ski resort gets a second life as a hub for snowcat-accessed adventuring.


ortress Mountain in Kananaskis Country wasn’t always one of Alberta’s best-kept secrets. Located along Highway 40 just an hour or so’s drive from Calgary (depending on the weather), the former Fortress Ski Resort was a go-to for Calgary skiers and snowboarders for more than three decades, until its closure in 2004. Since then, the 2,000-plus acres of stunning alpine terrain has become an in-demand location for big budget Hollywood films — Inception, The Revenant and The Bourne Legacy, most notably. And while the chairlifts aren’t running anymore, the arrival of cat-skiing in the area in the 2011-2012 winter season has allowed skiers and snowboarders to continue to enjoy the slopes and glades of Fortress. Since the winter of 2015-2016, non-skier-snowboarders have also enjoyed this winter wonderland with snowcat snowshoe tours by White Mountain Adventures. With this cat-skiing-meets-snowshoeing hybrid, getting up the mountain is half the fun (if you ask nicely they may let you ride shotgun). The snowshoeing route includes access to some of the locations from the aforementioned block-




trail system just beyond the resort boundary. Even though you’re technically not that far away from it all, the sound-muffling properties of the snow instantly transport you into a mystical world where the trees have stories to tell. Full or half-day tours run throughout the winter, or get a taste with the Tuesday evening Snowshoe & Dine nights, a 1.5-hour snowshoe hike followed by pasta and wine at Cirque restaurant in the Lizard Creek Lodge. —S.A. skifernie.com

White Mountain Adventure photographs courtesy of Dennis Breymann White Mountain Adventures; Fernie photograph by Shelley Arnusch


buster films so you can walk, ahem, snowshoe in the footsteps of Leonardo DiCaprio through the serene landscape surrounded by towering mountain peaks. The only thing more satisfying than crunching along the trail of freshly packed snow is the fresh-baked cookies and hot chocolate enjoyed mountainside. The snowshoe adventures are offered on Saturdays from mid-December through the end of March and depart with a minimum of four registered guests. You’ll need to come dressed for the elements in winter boots or waterproof hiking boots, a winter jacket, snow pants, toque and warm gloves (ski goggles or sunglasses are also highly recommended). White Mountain Adventures has everything else covered: snowshoes and trekking poles, professional hiking guide and transportation up and down the Fortress Mountain Road to and from the starting point. Total trip duration is 4.5 hours (excluding transfers). The difficulty level is considered moderate to strenuous and as such is not suitable for kids under 12. If needed, White Mountain Adventures also offers a round-trip shuttle from Canmore and Banff. —K.S.


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Wellness Wing

The Fairmont Banff Springs introduced a new level of luxury to the historic castle hotel this past summer with the Signature Suite collection. Located on the sixth floor of the main hotel building, the collection includes five oneand two-bedroom suites measuring around 550-square-feet, plus the uber-luxe 850-sq.-ft. Gallery Suite. In addition to full bathrooms off every bedroom, the Signature Suites have powder rooms off the living-room areas, while the Gallery Suite has its own foyer entry and a butler’s pantry/food-service prep area for private catered dinners at the full-size dining table. The Gallery Suite and three adjacent suites can also be cordoned off into a private wing (if private wings are how you roll). All Signature Suites offer upgraded amenities, VIP concierge service, spa access, inroom breakfast from a special “signature menu,” and (naturally) gorgeous mountain views. While the decor in the suites is fully updated, unique touches, such as blueprints from the original hotel build framed and hung as artwork, provide links to the storied past.

The opening of the Kananaskis Nordic Spa last year seems to have kick-started a bit of a wellness movement up at Kananaskis Village. The new Crosswaters Resort, located adjacent to the spa on the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge compound, is also orienting itself around wellness. The adult-only third floor (designated the “wellness floor”) features rooms equipped with aromatherapy diffusers, weighted blankets and cellphone “sleeping bags” on the bedside tables to encourage you not to disrupt your rest with screen time. There’s also adult colouring pages and markers waiting for you when you step off the elevator. Though Crosswaters is owned and operated by the Pomeroy hotel group, it operates independently from the main lodge, which is part of the Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection of hotels (a recent brand switch after operating for years as a Delta hotel). As such, Crosswaters has its own drive-up entrance and lobby, and guests pay a mandatory resort fee for access to the Lodge’s pool, hot tub and fitness facilities. Note that the Nordic spa is a separate entity from both hotels, requiring its own price of admission. —S.A.



Sweet Suite

Avenue’s writers and editors are occasionally invited to experience dining or adventure activities as a guest, including some of the experiences in this story. Neither complementary experiences nor advertising are required for coverage in Avenue. Neither companies that advertise nor those that provide other incentives are promised editorial coverage, nor do they have the opportunity to review or approve stories before publication. 70


Photograph courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

The Gallery Suite is the biggest and fanciest of the Signature Suites, a new collection of luxury accommodations at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel.

If you’re looking to go off the grid this winter, but not too far off the grid, Brooks Creek Ranch is a modern bed-and-breakfast tucked up in the mountains just north of Fernie. The large home is segmented into two wings: guest accommodations on one side, the resident family’s quarters on the other, with interior access between them via a sliding barn door in the dining area. There are four guest suites at Brooks Creek — two on the upper level and two on the lower level — all with spacious ensuite bathrooms featuring large walk-in showers. Guests can enjoy a cozy common living-room area and hot tub with a mountain view. Brooks Creek also offers complimentary shuttles to and from Fernie for skiing, so you don’t have to worry about navigating the resort parking lot, and for dinner in the evenings, so you don’t have to worry about having that second glass of wine.

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The Modern FARMHOUSE The Altadore home of interior designer Katie Rioux and her husband Andre Rioux reflects both of their styles, as highlighted by the contrasting couches in the main living room.



An interior designer’s home and business space brings together rustic, modern and industrial elements.

TOP LEFT The kitchen’s bright whites are paired with rustic elements such as glassfronted cabinets and brick tiling for the backsplash. TOP RIGHT The dining room features an eclectic mix of statement pieces, including distinctive light fixtures and a wall of cutting boards hung as art. LEFT Windows left uncovered in the entrance area shed light on framed fabric artwork incorporating various patterns in the home.


atie and Andre Rioux first discovered the Magnolia modern farmhouse by Trickle Creek Custom Homes as a show home. Katie thought the entire home was beautiful, but the dealmaker for her was an upper-level loft space that she envisioned turning into an office for her interior-design business, DWK Interiors. The married couple enlisted Trickle Creek to build them a Magnolia home in Altadore. Naturally, Katie and her team designed the interior, with all furniture and decor sourced from DWK Interiors’ suppliers. As a result, the home now functions as show space for DWK clients. The modern-farmhouse aesthetic is currently very popular — Katie attributes that to HGTV shows such as Fixer Upper, where it’s the preferred style of celebrity renovators Chip and Joanna Gaines. The look combines the clean lines and sleek design of modernism with some industrial touches and the cozy, approachable and intimate feel of a farmhouse. It was the perfect combination for Katie and Andre, whose favourite styles are modern and rustic, respectively. “The modern farmhouse felt like a perfect complement for us because we get a mix of both,” Katie says. The two couches in the main living room are an embodiment of this combination of styles: the cognaccoloured leather couch, found at a Las Vegas market, represents Andre’s style, while the cream tufted couch matches Katie’s. “We call them his and hers sofas,” she says, laughing. AvenueCalgary.com



Every area of the home has natural light shining in through large windows. This is even true of the entrance, where the door and adjacent windows were intentionally left uncovered so guests can peer in and experience the home even before they come inside. “We just wanted people to feel like they were always welcome,” Katie says. In the main bedroom, soft light from the window illuminates the neutral tones of the room, and it’s easy to envision enjoying a lazy Sunday lounging in bed. With the addition of blackout blinds and drapery and a barn door that closes off the ensuite bathroom, it’s also the perfect place for an uninterrupted sleep. In the ensuite, a floating tub and soft tones set the scene for relaxation. The clean lines of the cabinets and hardwoodlook tile that flows uninterrupted through to the shower continue the use of modern and rustic elements found in each room. The basement is where the home’s industrial elements are most prominent. Katie had glass walls installed in the gym area to allow light from the windows to stream into the lounge and bar area. The wallpaper behind the television creates the look of an exposed foundation wall, 74


while bold navy-blue cabinets and black subway tile in the entertaining space acknowledge Andre’s Quebec City roots. (His wife refers to him as a “passionate Frenchman.”) Katie’s DWK Interiors studio is ensconced in the loft space on the home’s upper level. The DWK team often works and meets with clients here, just as Katie originally envisioned. Large windows on either side of the room give this space the most natural light of any room in the house, making it perfect for viewing fabric and colour samples. “I didn’t want an office where it was cubicles and desks; I wanted it to feel inviting,” she says. Although it looks seamless now, deciding exactly how to design a living space, show space and office within one house certainly wasn’t easy, even for a seasoned pro. “I would be lying if I said it wasn’t stressful. I definitely lost some sleep over things like light fixtures,” Katie says. “With this space I didn’t really follow any rules. I feel like I broke every rule.” But there was one idea that contributed to making their home a truly wonderful space, she says, and it’s one any homeowner can apply: “Create a space that you never want to leave.”

ABOVE The basement bar has an industrial feel with navy blue cabinets and a black tile backsplash. The glass wall of the gym space allows light into other areas of the basement.

LEFT Tile resembling hardwood flooring in the main-bedroom ensuite contributes to the farmhouse feel, while the floating tub makes the space a perfect place to relax.


BELOW Calming neutral tones in the main bedroom exude a sense of serenity.

HOW T O FOC U S YO U R D E S I GN C HOI C E S Styling a room — let alone an entire house — can be both exciting and daunting. Interior designer Katie Rioux shares her tried-and-true tips to streamline potential chaos. 1. Start with one thing you

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love. Rioux says the simplest way to envision a new space is to start with something that really clicks with you. “Every space in this house started with one piece that I loved,” she says. From there, you can work around a statement piece, like a gorgeous couch or a unique wicker cabinet, and make the room fit it. 2. Think thematically. Don’t overthink the theme of a space and overdo it. Instead, be inspired by design themes you love and choose a few pieces that fit that theme. “I knew I wanted to have in each space a modern element, a rustic element and an industrial element,” Rioux says. 3. Design to reflect you. To make a house a home, incorporate pieces of yourself into the space, like colours you love. Rioux says she and her husband love navy blue, so that’s why the bold decor colour is featured prominently in the basement. “Our whole previous house was navy blue, our wedding colours were navy blue.”

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DECOR LEFT Large windows in the loft allow for natural light in the work space, an essential element for Rioux and her team to view colours and samples. BELOW Designer and homeowner Katie Rioux in her upper-level loft office, a welcoming space for both clients and employees of her design business, DWK Interiors.

THANK YOU for supporting the 2019 Avenue Dinner Series. Partial proceeds from the 2019 Avenue Dinner Series will be donated to The Alex Community Food Centre and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.



more information ForFor information on next and year’s to purchase tickets, visit Avenue Dinner Series, sign up AvenueCalgary.com/ to become an Insider at

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Interior Design by DWK Interiors, dwkinteriors.com Builder, Trickle Creek Custom Homes, 1010 14 Ave. S.W., 403-984-4400, tricklecreekhomes.ca Houseplants throughout from Plant, 1327 9 Ave. S.E., 403-585-4226, plantshop.ca Wood flooring throughout from Mirage Floors, miragefloors.com Fireplace tile from Tierra Sol Ceramic Tile, 4000 106 Ave. S.E., 403-259-3467, tierrasol.ca Rug from Loloi Rugs, loloirugs.com Lamp from Arteriors Home, arteriorshome.com Pendant light from Cartwright Lighting & Furniture, 7301 11 St. S.E., 403-270-8508, cartwrightlighting.ca Tray from West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.ca Living-room couches and coffee table sourced by DWK Interiors Ladder from Wayfair, wayfair.ca Yellow cushions from HomeSense, multiple locations, homesense.ca Drapes by Rita’s Custom Draperies Ltd. 3927 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-277-2128; custom fabric for drapes from Maxwell Fabrics, #6, 6143 4 St. S.E., 403-259-5940, maxwellfabrics.com Kitchen cabinetry by Legacy Kitchens, 2980 Sunridge Way N.E., 403-291-6868, legacykitchens.com

Countertop from Hyatt Stone Ltd., 1310 Meridian Rd. N.E., 403-277-8890, hyattstone.ca Backsplash from Divine Flooring, 6717 Fairmount Dr. S.E., 403-285-2188, divinefloor.com Appliances from Jerome’s Appliance Gallery, 7152 Fisher St. S.E., 403-255-6050, jeromesappliancegalleryinc.ca Bowl on dining room table from West Elm Cutting boards on wall from a variety of retailers including Nordstrom and HomeSense Pendant lights above kitchen island and in dining area sourced by DWK Interiors Dining table, dining chairs and bar chairs all sourced by DWK Interiors Entrance-area credenza sourced by DWK Interiors Pendant light from Wayfair Rug sourced by DWK Interiors Ensuite floor tile from Divine Flooring Art from HomeSense Ladder from Wayfair Lighting from Cartwright Lighting & Furniture Bedding from West Elm and Pottery Barn, CF Chinook Centre, 403-259-2100, potterybarn.ca Carpet from Divine Flooring Office cabinets and table from IKEA, 8000 11 St. S.E., 866-866-4532, ikea.ca Chairs sourced by DWK Interiors DWK logo fabricated by Speedpro Canada, multiple locations, speedprocanada.com







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Melted Snowman Ice Cream by Scratch Rare Ice Cream “The Melted Snowman only comes out in the winter so I’m always waiting for it. It’s made with a candy-cane-andwhite-chocolate drizzle, and it’s the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my entire life.”

THE LIST AS TOLD TO Jennifer Friesen

Jade Ansley

PechaKucha Nights “The name translates to ‘chit chat’ in Japanese. It’s a free event where locals speak — everyone from athletes to artists to baristas. It’s very fast-paced and a really fun way to experience Canmore’s diversity.”


Wagyu Burger from Where the Buffalo Roam Saloon “By far my favourite hangout in Canmore. I love everything on the menu, but if I had to choose one thing, it would be this burger. It’s so fresh, and all of the ingredients are locally sourced.”



Lost and Found: Adrift in the Canadian Rockies by Jamey Glasnovic (published by Rocky Mountain Books) “This is my favourite local adventure story. The author is a long-time Canmore resident and has a really relatable writing style. The book itself is an interesting look behind picturesque mountain towns.”


Kake by Darci’s Flash Fridays “Darci’s cakes are to die for, but she doesn’t have a shop to sell her products. Instead, she has ‘Flash Fridays’ on Instagram where she announces a treat like s’more sandwiches, and then it’s a mad dash to get to her kitchen before they’re gone.” 7 8 avenue


Wild Life Distillery’s Tonic Syrup “The absolute best product for a gin and tonic. It’s locally made and the flavour is so nice and natural.”


Carter-Ryan Gallery’s Plays and Musicals “It can be hard to find theatre in the mountains because our communities are so small. The CarterRyan gallery owners [who were long-time members of the theatre community in Edmonton] started putting on plays in their gallery and at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, and they’re incredible.”

Landscape Paintings by Kerry Langlois “There’s no shortage of mountain paintings in Canmore, but [Langlois’s] are so imaginative and modern. She’s born and raised in Banff-Canmore and has such a fresh approach. It’s like nothing I’ve seen.”


Kerry Hunter’s Live Music “Kerry is my favourite local musician. She has a very sultry and refreshing voice. If you can’t catch her solo, she’s also the singer for Northern Quarter Band, Canmore’s favourite cover band.”


Open Mic Tuesday Nights at Hy Five “This is the ultimate locals’ pub. Tuesdays are a pretty quiet day in Canmore, so the pub’s Tuesday Open Mic Nights are always great for a casual night out.”

Jade Ansley photograph by Dila Pertiwi; Flash Fridays photograph courtesy of @kakebydarci; painting photograph courtesy of Kerry Langlois; Tonic Syrup Wild Life Distillery; book photograph courtesy of Rocky Mountain Books

Born and raised in the Bow Valley, Jade Ansley left Canmore in 2010 to study jewellery-making in New Brunswick. She returned in 2016 and, the following summer, launched Project A, a pop-up shop selling ceramics, woodwork, jewellery and fine art by emerging makers and artists. Project A has since become a permanent shop, located across the street from the original pop-up. “I may not be your typical mountain girl,” Ansley says, “I’ve only gone on one hike in the past five years. But there’s something incredible about rediscovering your hometown.” Here are 10 of her favourite things in Canmore.



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sentimental things such as cremation ashes, sand from beach holidays,

Canary is an online jewellery market for buyers and sellers of “pre-loved” pieces ranging in price from $250 to upwards of $20,000. CEO and founder Shannon Bowen-Smed was inspired by her own experiences parting with jewellery. “I bought it and I loved it at some point, and I thought that it deserved better than being melted or pawned,” says Bowen-Smed. “I was astonished to find out there [wasn’t] a dedicated, single-service jewellery consignment platform in the country.” The condition of each piece on Canary is ranked using a system that ranges from “treasured” to “exquisite” and all items are reviewed by a third-party gemologist from the International Gemological Laboratories to guarantee objective and unbiased pricing.

brick dust from a demolished family home or any other matter, provided it


BY Nathan Kunz

Local Finds Soulessence Keepsakes Soulessence Keepsakes are handcrafted custom glass beads that encase

online shop

can be contained within the glass. Creator and glass artist Tracy Slobodian began creating the keepsakes after the deaths of some close friends, whose families asked Slobodian to memorialize them by creating beads containing their ashes. Following that initial project, word of mouth led to others wanting to preserve the essence of a loved one, pet or special moment in a bead or other glass item. The beads are available in various sizes and colours, as well as complete bracelets and skeleton keys. Prices range from $20 to $150.

Tap-s-tri Collection Inspirati fine linens and French

Stash + Story Baby Book Box

textile manufacturer Le Jacquard

Frustrated by the limiting nature of most traditional baby books,

Français, Tap-s-tri Collection cre-

Calgary moms Erin Burns and Karla Takasaki founded Stash + Story

ates high-quality tea towels with

and developed a solution to better bundle the big milestones of early

intricate custom designs. The Tap-

childhood. Their three-ring binder book comes with a specialized box

s-tri team works with clients to

to keep everything safe and sound. The books are pre-packed with

bring their visions to life in beauti-

96 pages of prompts for documenting growth up to age 10. There

fully woven fashion. The tea towels

is also room to add to the portfolio and two folders to protect odd-

are available in one colour-plus-

shaped pages like report cards. Stash + Story also offers additional

white or multi-coloured options,

specialized page bundles, including a bundle of firsts for things like

and the woven images display an incredible level of detail. Tap-s-tri towels

first Christmas and first vacation, and a sacraments bundle for events

are ideal for promotional use and there is a fundraising package available.

like baptism and First Communion. Stash + Story also developed

“I believe that we need to be able to enjoy the simple things, and the sim-

a special NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) bundle for documenting

ple things do start with a tea towel,” says Inspirati founder Wendy Brownie.

NICU procedures and stories and donated 300 of them to families

“It was very important for me to form a relationship with a company that

in NICU in 2018. Stash + Story baby books cost $89 and are avail-

had the same philosophy.”

able with blush-, grey- and navy-accented pages.

Custom order through inspirati.ca/pages/custom-tea-towels

Order online at stashandstory.com and stashandstory.etsy.com

A partnership between Calgary’s

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Soulessence Keepsakes photo supplied by Soulessence Keepsakes, Tap-s-tri Collection photo supplied by Inspirati, Stash + Story Baby Book Box photo by Erin Brooke Burns

Custom order through keepsakes.soulessence.ca



WORK OF ART CURATED BY Katherine Ylitalo

In Search of Gold Mountain




TITLE: In Search of Gold Mountain (2000)

SIZE: 12 feet high by eight feet in diameter.

ARTIST: Chu Honsun LOCATION: Sien Lok Park, Riverfront MEDIUM: Yellow Avenue and 1 granite. Street S.W.

At the core of Chu’s art is an examination of the relationship between yin and yang. It is quite astonishing that an artist could use an uncompromising medium with such precision to convey a spirit of balance, but Chu certainly understands stone. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong in 1975, the Italian government offered him a scholarship to study art in Florence and Carrara where he learned from the master marble carvers. Well-respected in Hong Kong, where he has major works in

NOTES: The work was commissioned through a competition by the Sien Lok Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Canadian Chinese Culture and History in Calgary. Chu was also commissioned to create the Airdrie Centennial Sculpture.

public outdoor spaces and at the opera house, Chu came to live in Calgary in 1991 and moved to Cochrane in 2005. In Search of Gold Mountain has been in its current spot since 2000. Many factors contribute to its enduring success: thoughtful design, pure geometric form and harmonious proportions, enduring and beautiful material (15 tonnes of distinctive yellow granite brought in from China) and content that continues to be relevant to Calgarians.

Photograph by Jared Sych

his five-tier stone sculpture chronicles the history of Chinese people in Canada and offers a serene focal point within Sien Lok Park beside the Bow River. The name, In Search of Gold Mountain, evokes the dreams of prospectors who arrived by boat in 1858, lured by the promise of gold in the Fraser River Valley. But the phrase can also be read more broadly as the quest for a better life. The story is told in stylized images carved into the surface of three of the bands. The figures appear as polished shapes set in relief against a shallow background of pitted texture. In the lowest ring, the ship lands and the first generation sets to work logging, mining and building the railway. Their hard labour lays a foundation for successive generations. More educated and established, the figures in the next ring endure the restrictions of Canadian immigration legislation, the only laws in our history to limit immigration based on race and country of origin. The head tax and Exclusion Act are indicated simply with dates and names. In the upper level, images of tai chi, dragon dancing and acupuncture represent a time when cultural expression is allowed. The tip of the cone is embellished with rows of small, raised knobs, akin to those on early Chinese bronze bells. The reference is a reminder of ancient Chinese culture and places the Canadian experience in perspective within an extensive timeframe. Artist Chu Honsun (the artist’s name follows the Chinese custom of family name before given name) has a home studio out near Cochrane, where his sculptures are displayed in a field set against the backdrop of the foothills. Walking among them, he explained his admiration for the sculptors Henry Moore and Constantin Brancusi. “I like sculpture that is powerful, simple, strong and bold, without anything unnecessary,” Chu said. The same could be said of his work.

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