Avenue Calgary Nov 2019

Page 1




P 40 U




Fareen Zaver


Nicolas Beique


510 8th Avenu


ue Southwest

Live Your Best Life in Coach Ridge

Mark Eleven Photography & Lemons for Days


If you’re looking for a community that provides both a comfortable home and a fulfilling lifestyle, look no further than Coach Ridge. Nestled in Calgary’s coveted SW community of Coach Hill, this new, conveniently located neighbourhood isn’t just about relocation. Investing in Coach Ridge is about finding a place to lay roots and develop a true balance between work, family, relaxation and play.

The Lifestyle You Seek

The Home You Need

Calgary’s SW is one of the city’s most coveted areas for good reason: in addition to its close proximity to both the mountains and the city core, neighbouring communities like West Springs and Aspen Woods have become hotbeds for restaurants, boutiques and other key services and businesses. In Coach Ridge, you’ll not only have a quick commute downtown thanks to nearby CTrain lines and major roadways, but so much of what you need is already located here in the area. Less travel time means more time to spend with family and friends, doing the things you love.

It’s easy to find your forever home in Coach Ridge. The community offers options to fit a wide array of needs and preferences. Choose from convenient and comfortable bungalows or two-storey front-garage homes, including wider lots with room for triple car garages. Currently, Coach Ridge has only 18 estatestyle lots available, starting from the $830s. Whatever plan you choose, the homes can be personalized with a range of interior upgrades and options to create a sanctuary that truly reflects who you are. Coach Ridge is also home to the 2020 STARS Lottery Home. This is your chance to buy into a community where residence is worthy of a major prize!

The Community You Want With a wide range of versatile home plans available and plenty of green space, Coach Ridge is already attracting residents of all ages, ranging from young professionals and families with kids to mature adults and retirees looking for a luxurious but laid-back lifestyle. Coach Hill itself has been developed since the 1970s, giving the area a sense of richness and maturity. There’s no need to wait for future amenities to be built: Edworthy Park, the Bow River Pathway, schools, sports and recreation facilities and the Coach Hill/Patterson Heights Community Centre are all already close by. In Coach Ridge, you can build a brand-new home in a dynamic, well-established community.

The Balance You’ll Find Between the exquisitely appointed estate-style homes, proximity to downtown and major roadways toward the mountains, and all of the services and green space within the community itself, Coach Ridge isn’t just an address to buy into — it’s a place to build a life. This is a rare opportunity to take all of the pieces that constitute genuine quality of life and turn them into your own reality. Coach Ridge is truly a one-of-a-kind place that you can be proud to call home.

Contact Trico’s sales team at coachridge@tricohomes.com or 403.454.7252 or visit us at 7005 11 Avenue SW to start your journey towards a life in Coach Ridge.




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BED:3 BATH: 1 1,056 SQ.FT. MLS C4270639 Fantastic location on a quiet street, this mid-century modern West Haysboro gem is a must-see! Offering over 1900 sq ft of living space & 3 bedrooms, it is perfect for a couple or family. The living room is warm & inviting with tons of natural light.

BED:4/1 BATH: 3/1 2,667 SQ.FT. MLS C4270264 Exclusive ridge property in highly desirable Evansview. This 5-bedroom family home features over 3,700 sq ft and sprawling south and west views from ridge.

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BED:1/1 BATH: 1 103 ACRES LOT MLS CA0174501 Beautiful lake view parcel overlooking Sylvan Lake, which was just voted as one of the top six recreational lakes in Western Canada. Just 90 minutes north of Calgary, and 15 minutes from Red Deer.

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We saw the signs years ago, and now...

Tim Fox is offici ally one of Avenue's top 40 u nder 40!

Calgary Foundation is so proud to work with Tim and knows just how lucky Calgary is to be home to his passion, power, and positive influence.



DETERMINATION, PERSEVERANCE AND CONFIDENCE. They are the faces of education. We are the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and we believe in them.


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The Timeless Accessory of the Top 40 Every year we’re thrilled to see so many UCalgary alumni on the pages of this issue of Avenue magazine. May you wear this and make an even deeper impression on the world . . . Wherever Life Takes You.

You make us proud — congratulations. Please keep in touch at alumni.ucalgary.ca



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P 40 U



CLASS OF 2019 Meet this year’s class of 40 exceptional Calgarians, all under 40 years old, whose successes, achievements and contributions reveal the best of what the city is, and what it can be. By Shelley Arnusch, Jessica Barrett, Diane Bolt, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Andrea Fulton, Christina Frangou, Colin Gallant, Sam Gryba, Jennifer Hamilton, Stephanie Joe, Nathan Kunz, Taylor Lambert, Amber McLinden, Alana Willerton, Julia Williams and Mariah Wilson


Dr. Fareen Zaver (page 102) and Nicolas Beique (page 47). PHOTOGRAPH BY JARED SYCH avenue







PM# 40030911




Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 | Coffee Shops | Winter in Waterton

Fareen Zaver

P 40 U

Nicolas Beique





45 p.

46 Bill Alexander 47 Nicolas Beique 48 Catharine Bowman 49 Heather Buchanan 50 Andrew Bullied & Erica O’Gorman 52 Oluwatomilayo (Tito) Daodu 54 Louis Duncan-He 55 Deinera Exner-Cortens 56 Conrad Ferrel & Louisa Ferrel 58 Tim Fox 60 Marco Gallo 61 Isis Graham 62 Laurel Green 64 Jordan Guildford 66 Sam Hayes 67 Peter Hemminger 68 Kate Hewko 69 Laura Incognito 70 Kelly James 72 Travis Juska 74 Usman Tahir Jutt 75 Maya Kambeitz 76 Christopher Lloyd 77 Emily Marasco 78 Kerri McGrath & Jesse Messom 80 Sky McLean 82 Amish Morjaria 84 Liz Nandee 86 Umair Pervez 88 Shafeena Premji 90 Nabeel Ramji 92 Aalia Ratani 94 Marshall Ross 95 Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand 96 Jung-Suk (J.S.) Ryu 97 Farida Saher 98 Ryan Todd 99 Rachel Wade 100 Lauren Walker 102 Fareen Zaver 104 Meet the 2019 Judges

contents NOVEMBER 2019


Labour Trafficking in Alberta Temporary foreign workers are being exploited in Alberta. Those who advocate for victims of labour trafficking say the problem is more widespread than the numbers suggest due to a culture of fear and uncertainty that keeps workers from speaking out. Erin Tettensor

112 Fashion

Shiny and sleek looks with just a hint of vintage style for effortless cool on long nights.


Café Culture in Calgary We look at some of the newest and hottest coffee shops in the city right now and revisit some of the oldies and goodies still pouring after all these years.

By Colin Gallant




contents NOVEMBER 2019



Winter in Waterton Waterton Lakes National Park may have a bustling summer scene, but during the winters there’s almost nothing open and almost no one around. For intrepid winter adventurers seeking peace and quiet, that’s exactly why you should go.


Detours Read up on how Calgary’s roots and country music scene reflects the city’s economy in a new book. Plus, an exhibit at the Military Museums that offers an artistic interpretation of the atomic age, the Calgary Flames’ organist sounds off on the song that always gets the crowd on its feet, and the numbers that tell the story behind the 107-year-old Grey Cup. 24


130 Decor

Not wanting to give up their ideal location backing onto a rural golf course, a couple enlists a team of designers to make their dark and dated home feel warm and inviting.


New + Noteworthy This month’s finds include pieces in winter wool by a local designer known for leather, new face oils by Routine, a made-in-Alberta ottoman with a twist and a mail-out service for cocktail lovers who want to broaden their repertoire.


CONGRATULATIONS TO AVENUE CALGARY’S TOP 40 UNDER 40 At TD, we have a strong culture of celebrating the accomplishments of our people who make a meaningful difference and play an integral role in enriching the lives of our customers, communities and colleagues. They are the high achievers and innovators who challenge thinking, seize new opportunities and effect positive change. That’s why we’re so inspired by this year’s Top 40 Under 40 winners, all of whom have accomplished tremendous feats in their respective fields in our great city, and will certainly continue to lead, inspire, and grow. Here, we’ve asked one of our own leaders in Calgary, Robert Ghazal, Senior Vice-President, Prairie Region for TD, to reflect on some of the elements that help to instill leadership, motivation and satisfaction along just about any career path.

On the power of effective mentorship …

“I would encourage everyone to have a mentor, no matter their career or life stage. In my experience, I have benefitted greatly from peer-peer mentorships as opposed to the more traditional top-down dynamic. I have found that when different people with complementary skills come together, the dialogue between them becomes more thought-provoking and therefore broadens the perspectives of both parties.”

On the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone …

“Stepping outside my comfort zone taught me a lot about how to trust. Early on in my career, I had a hard time leaning on others and thought I could be the expert at everything. Then, more and more, I was put into situations where I was most definitely not the expert, and it was clear that success was impossible through my efforts alone. It was a big wake-up call. I quickly saw the benefit of engaging in a collaborative process with others, to empower team members so they could leverage and combine their knowledge and skills to achieve great results. It made me realize how lucky I was (and still am) to be surrounded by a diverse group of smart, passionate and thoughtful people, each with something unique and valuable to offer.”

On keeping an open mind …

“Years ago, my boss came to me and said, ‘I want you to run the human resources department.’ I was reluctant, but she encouraged me to take the opportunity to further develop as a leader.

I’m glad I took her advice. The job was a lot different from what I thought it was going to be. I had envisioned the role to be more reactive and task-orientated, but I quickly discovered that the job had a significant strategic component, which I enjoyed. I learned about the complexities of what it means to be in an employer-employee relationship that I could not have reasonably known from the outside. I also appreciated that the decisions I made had real impact on people’s lives, and I took that very seriously. In addition, the job taught me to keep calm under pressure, think carefully about solutions and execute on action plans. These are the same skills I apply in my current role every day.”

On the fundamentals of effective leadership …

“There are many qualities an effective leader must have — the ability to challenge thinking, to be forward-looking, to inspire others. But I think the most important one is to have empathy. I believe empathy is the quality that enables leaders to listen to others without judgement and have a greater understanding of people and processes. Empathy also allows leaders to position their communication in a way that resonates with their audience, which is particularly useful during times of change. Empathy creates an environment of understanding and respect, and that’s where people thrive.”

Robert Ghazal Senior Vice-President, Prairie Region

Come visit us or book an appointment at tdcanadatrust.com/locator AvenueCalgary.com


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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A DV ERTI S I N G I N QU I R I E S Phone: 403-240-9055 x0 Toll Free: 1-877-963-9333 x0 advertising@avenuecalgary.com AvenueCalgary.com 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.



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 Editor Andrew Guilbert Top 40 Under 40 Intern Amber McLinden Editorial Intern Nathan Kunz Digital Interns Stephanie Joe, Mariah Wilson Fact Checker Jennifer Friesen Proof Readers Meredith Bailey, Jill Foran Contributors Jessica Barrett, Diane Bolt, Brianna Brown, Ivan Buendia, Shantel Capri, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Celina Ellerby Wold, Christina Frangou, Andrea Fulton, Sam Gryba, Brenna Hardy, Emilia Kuczma-Porebska,Taylor Lambert, Citlali Loza, Amber McLeod, Marcia Melanson, Lisa Monforton, Raynie Morberg, Heather Saitz, Savannah Spooner, Erin Tettensor, Julia Williams, 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 (on leave), Melissa Brown, Michaela Brownlee, Jocelyn Erhardt, Deise MacDougall, Anita McGillis, Chelsey Swankhuizen Production Manager Mike Matovich Digital Advertising Specialist Katherine Jacob Pickering 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 Persaud, apersaud@redpointmedia.ca Operations Manager Terilyn Lyons, tlyons@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







Winter adventuring with a dog in tow

Divorce isn’t easy,

doesn’t have to be difficult. We take a

but it’s a path to a

DOG ON BOARD look at ways to have snowy fun in the mountains if your BFF (best furry friend) is along for the ride.

H O L I D AY S E A S O N S U R V I VA L G U I D E If the combination of holiday events, shorter days and cooler temperatures is leaving you feeling under the weather,

new beginning. Trust our experience, expertise and strength to guide you to the life you deserve.

check out our guide for how to survive both the seasonal crush and the worst parts of winter.

BEST BAKERIES Learn the stories behind some of Cal-

Kathleen Wells

gary’s most beloved bakeries and the


best spots for standout baked goods from croissants to cakes.

Casey McQueen Casey@wellsfamilylaw.com Suite 1900, 639 – 5th Ave SW Calgary AB T2P 0M9 WWW.WELLSFAMILYLAW.COM Direct: 587-356-4342 AvenueCalgary.com








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Nabeel Ramji is helping to build a more accessible city, which will make life easier not only for people in wheelchairs, like himself, but for parents with strollers, small children and anyone with mobility issues (which is the vast majority of us at some point in our lives). Dr. Marshall Ross has created an opiate overdose protocol being used by emergency doctors across the province, improving life not only for addicts, but also for emergency room staff. Jung-Suk Ryu has already helped to grow the capacity and sustainability of Indefinite Arts Centre now he’s trying to transform it into the National accessArts Centre, a national centre for artists with disabilities. Isis Graham is both highlighting and building opportunities for Alberta’s electronic musicians, while Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand is doing similar work to support young Indigenous musicians. Dr. Fareen Zaver is building online curricula and


communities to help support medical students, so they don’t have to struggle as much as she did. And Bill Alexander is aiding reconciliation by sharing Indigenous cuisine locally, nationally and internationally. These days it is easy to find the bad-news stories. But on these pages you will meet the Calgarians working to solve the problems. The Top 40 Under 40 is the good-news story of the year. I know that for some, reading the Top 40 can be a bit disheartening — how can these people possibly achieve all these things? Do they somehow have more hours in the day than the rest of us? But I hope you can also see the inspiring sides to their stories and feel uplifted in knowing that these people aren’t just doing great things, but doing great things here in our city. And if you know someone we should have featured, don’t hesitate to act on it: nominations for next year’s Avenue Top 40 Under 40 are open now at Top40Under40.com.

Photograph by Jared Sych; Leah Leather Jacket by Malika Rajani, available through malika-rajani.myshopify.com; earrings from Kate Hewko Concept Store.

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

t eflj avenueNOVEMBER.19

Nicolas Beique


ight now in Calgary, we don’t all seem to agree on the direction for the future of the city. That’s often viewed as a negative situation. But one reason we don’t all agree is that there are more of us at the table. A wider range of Calgarians than ever have a voice and are getting involved in helping to answer the questions. So although we may not all agree on what will make this city better, it is a positive thing that we have such a huge range of people working on it. This year we had the highest number of Top 40 Under 40 nominations we’ve ever had in Calgary — approximately 800 across a wide range of communities, industries and types of success. It’s a positive indicator of the health of the city. After our nominations close, our editorial team shortlists from the initial pool of candidates down to just under 70 nominees we send to our judging panel. Drawn from Top 40 alumni and the business community, our judges provide a wide range of experience to help us select the final Top 40 Under 40 for the year. We really couldn’t do it without their help — you can read more about them on page 104. One of the things that has stood out to me about the Top 40 Class of 2019 is how many of them are working to create bridges between communities and to help make not only a better city, but a city that is better for all Calgarians.



PM# 40030911

Introducing the Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2019

P 40 U


Fareen Zaver


Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 | Coffee Shops | Winter in Waterton

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Amber McLinden is an award-win-

Lisa Monforton is a Calgary-based

Jared Sych is a Calgary-based

Mariah Wilson is a photojournalist

ning, Calgary-based journalist whose

writer and editor with more than 20

shutterbug and when he’s not

and urban studies consultant who

passion lies in writing meaningful

years of experience dealing with the

working full-time for RedPoint Media

is passionate about learning about

stories. Her recent stint as Avenue’s

fun side of journalism: travel, food and

& Marketing Solutions as the staff

the stories that weave together the

Top 40 Under 40 intern allowed her

lifestyles. Her writing has appeared in

photographer, he likes to spend his

fabric of urban life. She got her start

to write about the city she loves and

WestJet Magazine, PostMedia, The

free time with his lovely fiancée Bre,

in journalism while working at the

the people who are shaping its future.

Globe and Mail, City Palate and many

daughter Harlow, dog Joey and cat

University of Calgary’s student-run

When she’s not doing work accom-

other publications. She loves being in

Gomez. His favourite thing about

newspaper, The Gauntlet, where she

panied by an inordinate amount of

the mountains, camping, hiking, cy-

shooting Top 40 Under 40 this year

won a national journalism award for

coffee, she can be found volunteering

cling, kayaking, skiing or snowshoeing.

was the impromptu Taylor Swift

her writing on urban issues. You’ll

for local 2SLGBTQ+ organizations,

At home, you’ll find her cozying up

dance party.

never find Mariah without her handy

drinking craft beer or fantasy-plan-

with her dog Anouk and a good book.

ning a trip to somewhere far away.

Modern squirrels find comfort in onions. When what you build is impeccable, what you say is irrelevant.

Discover our collection of townhomes, villas, single family and custom homes at CalbridgeHomes.com



camera or a cup of tea.


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DETOURS Sonic Booms and Busts A new book hitches the local roots and country music scene to Calgary’s economic engine.

Photograph by Claire Bourgeois


ou’ve heard it seated at a table at the Ironwood Stage and Grill, at the bar at the King Eddy or reverberating outside the corrugated metal walls of The Blues Can: that distinct Calgary country twang. Now, a new book, Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town, takes an in-depth look at our local strains of roots and country music while considering the forces that drive financial success in the city in the arts and beyond — namely, oil prices. Calgary-born author Gillian Turnbull, who holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and teaches the subject at Ryerson University, has plenty of experience with the Calgary roots and country music scene. Turnbull first became interested in the topic while studying for her undergrad at the University of Calgary, where her education focused largely on classical music. “I was going to all these bars that had great roots music and realized there was this whole thing happening that I had been unaware of,” says Turnbull. “There was a whole community of musicians making music together that had not gotten any attention whatsoever by radio, other forms of media, or even generally in discourse about Canadian music. So I thought it was time to tell their story.” Spanning the early days of the Calgary Stampede to today, with a particular focus on the past two decades, Turnbull analyzes how the booms in oil prices relate to high times for Calgary music, while busts create an enduring sense of resiliency in artists wanting to keep the scene alive.

Tom Phillips. AvenueCalgary.com


Through Turnbull’s first-hand experiences, the book explores the city’s music scene while drawing connections between it and surrounding political and economic forces. According to Turnbull, Calgary’s roots sound is characterized by a constantly evolving twist on traditional roots and country music. Anchored in Western tradition, Calgary roots music is able to bend and focus on new concepts and ideas as they come. Less concerned with becoming commercialcountry sound-alikes, Calgary roots artists bring distinct voices to the genre. “We search for those people who articulate how we understand ourselves, and how we identify ourselves,” says Turnbull. “That’s what Calgary musicians are doing for their audiences.” Calgary scene veteran Tom Phillips relays his experiences in the book, sharing stories from more than 30 years performing in the city. Phillips says the Calgary sound is a hard one to nail down, largely due to the musicians who make up the scene. “The Calgary sound has to do with people from all different musical backgrounds playing together. There’s a lot of cross-pollination between genres of music,” says Phillips. “It’s as diverse as we are.” Turnbull says spending time in Calgary’s roots and country scene made clear to her that the unique brand of music produced within the city deserves far more attention than it is given. “If you just spend some time talking to Calgarians, you realize the narrative that gets spun to us so often is not at all true,” says Turnbull. “It’s a really rich, dynamic, exciting place that could and should be on the international radar.” —Nathan Kunz Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town is available at The Next Page, Pages on Kensington and Shelf Life Books. Tom Phillips performs Tuesdays at The Blues Can in Inglewood with his band Tom Phillips and the D.T.s 34



ethbridge artist Mary Kavanagh has been researching nuclear technologies and the atomic age for approximately 10 years, producing a sizable collection of varied works along the way. Her exhibit, Daughters of Uranium, includes a number of these works, alongside artifacts collected at nuclear sites, historical documents and loaned art. Daughters, according to its accompanying text, “explores the legacy of the atomic age from the perspective of the sentient body and intergenerational trauma,” and stems from Kavanagh’s “longstanding interest in the body as a site of memory, erasure, violence, and inscription.” Daughters of Uranium is currently being shown at the Founders’ Gallery at The Military Museums, where it will be up until Jan. 18, 2020. Though this show is something you certainly have to see for yourself, here’s a brief overview of three of the works on display.

Rosa the Beautiful.



This piece is made of uranium glass, which contains uranium oxide and glows under black light. Uranium glass became popular in the mid-19th Century and remained so into the early 20th Century, but fell out of fashion once uranium was weaponized. The level of radiation in the glass is negligible and won’t cause radiation poisoning. This particular piece was two years in the making: Kavanagh worked with a Winnipeg-based glass fabricator to obtain the semi-scarce glass material and find the right model for the glass-casting process. She then created a variety of uraniumglass objects before ultimately creating the compelling Rosa the Beautiful.

While doing research at the Canadian War Museum, Kavanagh encountered a design for a suit intended to be worn by pigs, which were used as a proxy for humans in chemical, biological and nuclear testing. Daughters of Uranium features a replica suit that Kavanagh had made based on designs provided to her by the Canadian War Museum. There’s something deeply unsettling about the concept of a pig being dressed up in a costume and subjected to a nuclear blast in the name of science.

TRINITY In 2005, Kavanagh went to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where the Trinity nuclear test took place on July 16, 1945. In 2012, she began a research project that involved annual visits back to the Trinity test site (which is open to the public only two days per year) to conduct interviews with visitors on their motivations for visiting and other subjects. Kavanagh has since accumulated approximately 200 interviews with everyone from scientists to “atomic tourists.” In Trinity, two channels of video play a mixture of her interview footage and archival reels of the blast and its preparation. —Colin Gallant The Founders’ Gallery is on the grounds of The Military Museums, 4520 Crowchild Tr. S.W., 403-410-2340, themilitarymuseums.ca

Sonic Booms cover courtesy of Eternal Cavalier Press; Rosa the Beautiful by Mary Kavanagh


An Artist’s Take on the Atomic Age


Photograph (from 1989) provided by Willy Joosen


Willy Joosen’s career as organist for the Calgary Flames spans more than 30 years, from the captainship of Lanny McDonald all the way to the Mark Giordano era. Since his first game — the 1988 Calgary premiere of Wayne Gretzky as a Los Angeles King — the classically trained pianist has led rowdy Saddledome crowds in “go Flames go” chants at nearly every home game. Driven by the interplay between the fans and the music, Joosen’s pick for the most iconic hockey organ song of all time is one that’s almost guaranteed to garner a reaction. “I can usually count on a response from the ‘Chicken Dance.’ I was actually forbidden by one of my old bosses from playing it because he hated the song. And then [management] changed so I snuck it back in. I always love playing that thing. I can either lead the crowd to clap for themselves or pound the drums. The [World Junior Ice Hockey Championships] was here in 2012 and I caught a replay and heard the announcer saying: ‘he’s got the crowd going pretty good there. That’s the old “Chicken Dance.” I’ve heard that more than any person alive.’ “It really is a staple.” —as told to N.K.

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A Love Letter to the Arts

The collaborative RococoPunk Grand Portrait celebrates the talented students, alumni and faculty of UCalgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts.




hotographer Tim Nguyen wanted to create his own Renaissance-inspired painting. He had photographed a performing arts master’s thesis production of Molière’s The Learned Ladies at the University of Calgary, and was enamoured by the Rococo style of the costumes. Nguyen, whose company Citrus Photo is contracted by UCalgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts to photograph performances, approached April Viczko, associate professor and chair of the drama department, with the idea. Viczko then approached various departments and eventually decided to incorporate alumni, photographing them over UCalgary’s Alumni Weekend in 2018. Nguyen photographed current and past students as well as faculty in small groups, then constructed the entire photo in post-production. The resulting image was unveiled at the 2019 Alumni Weekend this past September, and a 59" by 42" stretched canvas print is now on display at the Reeve Theatre lobby.

The photo incorporates the costumes from The Learned Ladies (the play originally debuted in 1672) juxtaposed with contemporary things such as Converse sneakers, ripped skinny jeans and iPhones. “The idea of the whole picture was imagining a baroque salon party, where you have artists and the socially conscious attending parties,” says Viczko. “I described it as Marie Antoinette meets Vivienne Westwood.” The concept of the photo was inspired by the JeanHonoré Fragonard painting The Swing. Leda Davies, an alumnus who is a circus artist, appears in the photo suspended over the crowd on a trapeze wearing a billowing dress. Nguyen, an alumnus himself, can also be spotted in the photo holding a camera. Both Nguyen and Viczko describe the image as a representation and demonstration of the talent of the university’s creative and performing arts graduates and the work they’ve done to build Calgary’s arts scene. “This has been my love letter back to the community,” says Nguyen. —Amber McLinden

Photograph, concept and editing by Tim Nguyen, @citrusphoto; concept, costume design and art direction by April Viczko; costumes and art direction by Erin Molly Fitzpatrick; makeup design by Connor Pritchard; set by Trevor McDonald, Scott Freeman and Carolyn Choo

RococoPunk Grand Portrait features 57 members of the Calgary performing arts community, specifically students, alumni and faculty of UCalgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts.




The 107th Grey Cup by the Numbers

Grey Cup won by an American team The Baltimore Stallions took home


the cup in 1995 during the CFL’s short-lived

was recovered the next day.


Grey Cups won by the Calgary Stampeders since the team’s inception in 1945.


Grey Cups won by the Toronto Argonauts, more than any other team in the league.

1 $48

expansion into the United States. the reported cost

reported instances of the Grey Cup being stolen. In 1967, the Cup was stolen from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before being abandoned by pranksters three days later. In 1969, the trophy was stolen from the Ottawa Rough Riders. It would later be recovered

from a hotel locker. In 1997, the cup was stolen from Toronto kicker Mike Vanderjagt at a bar, though it


times Shania Twain has performed during the coveted halftime slot,

making her the only solo artist to perform the

when it was first donated

halftime show more than once. (Randy Bachman


the first year Calgary Stampeders fans (alleg-

has also made two appearances, though not with the same act.)

C O ME DY JUST FOR LAUGHS COMEDY NIGHT IN CANADA NOV. 9 This national tour, hosted by Rick Mercer, Debra DiGiovanni and Ali Hassan. Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons, 403-294-9494, artscommons.ca


edly) rode a horse into the lobby of

In this world premiere of the latest Sherlock

a hotel on Grey Cup weekend. While

show by R. Hamilton Wright, Holmes inves-

confirmation of the first ride in Toronto’s Royal

tigates the death of a beloved uncle only to

York Hotel is disputed, a horse has been

discover a family curse, intrigue and mystery

ridden by a Stamps representative into a hotel

along the way.

lobby in the host city most years since.

Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115 9 Ave. S.E.,


403-221-3707, vertigotheatre.com

incidents in the Grey Cup’s history have damaged the trophy enough to require repairs. Mishaps


include an Edmonton Eskimos play-

NOV. 14 TO 17

er sitting on the trophy in 1987 and


Expect dazzling costumes and skating skills

offensive lineman Blake Dermott

during this show that traverses the rich Disney

reportedly headbutting it in 1993.

universe. Notable characters featured include Aladdin, Ariel, Elsa and others.

bases have been under the actual trophy cup,

Stampede Corral, Stampede Park, disneyonice.com

with the original base made of wood. The latest replacement, which will


allow for more name plaques on the trophy, debuts this year.

-35 avenueNOVEMBER.19

NOV. 27 TO DEC. 1

the temperature in degrees

The Calgary Underground Film Festival’s doc-

Celsius (with wind chill) at

umentary edition will show 12 feature-length

halftime during the coldest

films about bizarre and fascinating subjects.

Grey Cup on record, the

1991 Grey Cup in Winnipeg.


this month

features stand-up sets by Ivan Decker,

of the Grey Cup

by former Governor General Earl Grey in 1909.

do to

Globe Cinema, 617 8 Ave. S.W., Grey Cup.


Photograph by Bret Kentworthy


rom horses in hotels to a trophy being held for ransom, the Grey Cup has a storied history unlike any other prize in professional sports. With this year’s Canadian Football League (CFL) finals taking place in Calgary on Nov. 24, we dug a bit deeper into the numbers that tell the story of the Grey Cup, from past seasons to this year’s 107th match-up. —N.K.

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Each year, Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 presented in association with First Calgary Financial and the University of Calgary highlights those Calgarians who are moving the city forward. These are the high achievers who are literally and figuratively building the Calgary of the future.

The people you will see on the following pages are entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and artists who are each making a difference in their field and in the city. While we celebrate them here for their individual achievements, the majority focus on building up those around them, providing others with opportunities and collaborating within their field and their community. The Top 40 is not just a celebration of young, successful people, but also of the city that makes such success possible.



0 4 P U



Top40 Under40 Class of 2019 20

And if you know someone who should be celebrated in these pages next year, nominations for Top 40 2020 are open now until April 30 at

Top4 Under4 .com

BY Shelley Arnusch, Jessica Barrett, Diane Bolt, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Christina Frangou, Andrea Fulton, Colin Gallant, Sam Gryba, Jennifer Hamilton, Stephanie Joe, Nathan Kunz, Taylor Lambert, Amber McLinden, Alana Willerton, Julia Williams AND Mariah Wilson


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45 AvenueCalgary.com

Bill 39 Alexander

Bill Alexander is taking Indigenous culinary tourism to the world in his roles as executive chef of Little Chief Restaurant and as the first-ever Indigenous consulting chef for WestJet, as well as the chair of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations and the Canadian Ambassador for ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.



Bill Alexander, Indigenous Consulting Chef, WestJet; Executive Chef, Little Chief Restaurant, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino. 46


Photograph by Brendan Klem




Bill Alexander uses food to share his culture and create better understanding between Indigenous and nonIndigenous people. But Alexander didn’t originally consider cooking to be a lifelong career. In fact, only after 10 years of being a head chef did he start to think that he might be cooking for the rest of his life. “I was very fortunate to love what I was doing,” he says, “and [cooking] never seemed like something I was forced to do. Now I find myself in a situation where what I’m doing is more than just cooking food.” His many roles have allowed Alexander to use his platform for creating inter-culinary experiences. He is the executive chef at Little Chief Restaurant, the Indigenous consulting chef for the WestJet 787 Dreamliner and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and the chair of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations, a non-profit organization he founded in partnership with ITAC. When people taste his dishes, he says, it prompts them to ask questions about the ingredients, which leads to the history of the people who have survived off the same food for time immemorial. “It creates a situation where food is the most powerful conduit toward people being able to ask questions,” he says. When asked what an Indigenous-themed menu looks like, Alexander says he lives by the “I didn’t wake up one morning “what does the land provide” philosophy of and say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ using locally sourced ingredients and staying to the original diet. Bison, venison, elk, But I woke up one morning and true rabbit and duck make up most of the proteins realized that I couldn’t complain on his menus. Frybreads, bannock and Saskaabout the leaders I had without toon berries are other staples in his restaurant Little Chief also makes its own preserves doing something about it.” and from foraged ingredients. Alexander hopes to create positive dining experiences for his guests so that Indigenous cuisine is no longer niche. “[I’m working to] create an environment where it’s the new normal to wake up in the morning and go, ‘I feel like having Indigenous cuisine today.’” —S.J. P 40 U

Nicolas34 Beique

With his bootstrapped fintech start-up yielding $48 million in revenues, Nicolas Beique is leading the way for Calgary’s emerging tech sector by showing that successful start-ups can be built here — and live here.




Most people wouldn’t necessarily consider a move to Calgary as integral to building a career in tech, but for Nicolas Beique there’s a critical link. When Beique was 12, his parents announced they were moving the family from Montreal to Calgary. They offered a bribe to their two sons to sweeten the deal: the family would adopt a dog and get a new computer. Both sparked lifelong passions for Beique, still a dog owner, and now head of the fintech company he built thanks to the coding skills he started learning on that computer. “In my bedroom there was a small bed in the corner and three different computer desks,” he says. “I had multiple work stations set up.” By the time he was in high school, Beique was working as a freelance web designer building e-commerce sites for local businesses and noticing the difficulty many had processing payments online. He “I’m a believer founded Helcim in 2007 to help solve the probin perseverance. lem, but soon encountered a hurdle of his own — he still needed to partner with a mainstream More than intelfinancial institution and the banks weren’t interligence, more ested in a deal with a 23-year-old. Beique wasn’t discouraged. It took more than than talent, more two years, but he managed to ink a deal with than anything, it’s a subsidiary of U.S. Bank and has since built perseverance — Helcim into a made-in-Calgary success story. In the last five years, the company has grown just kind of hitting from two employees to more than 50, providyour head against ing payment infrastructure for more than 6,500 a wall until somebusinesses across the U.S. and Canada and processing more than $2.5 billion in payments. thing breaks.” With revenues of $48 million, Beique says the company has stood up to competition from much higher profile companies like Shopify, PayPal and Square by being ultra-transparent in an industry known for tricky contracts and hidden fees. “It really came down to ‘let’s be the good guys in the not-so-great industry,’” he says. In the process, Beique has also become living proof that you don’t have to move to Vancouver, Toronto or San Francisco to run a successful tech start-up. Calgary, like Helcim, can punch above its weight. —J.B. P 40 U 40


Nicolas Beique, Founder and CEO, Helcim. AvenueCalgary.com


Catharine21 Bowman

As a teenager, Catharine Bowman came up with an idea for a potential pharmacological treatment for lymphedema. Now in her early 20s, her idea is moving closer to reality as she continues to raise awareness about this common and sometimes painful condition associated with cancer.




When she was just eight years old, Catharine Bowman watched her mother struggle with lymphedema, an inflammatory condition that often develops following cancer treatment. “I promised her then that I would develop one of the first pharmacological treatments for the disease,” Bowman says. It was a pretty impressive promise for a kid. But even more impressive was that seven years later, she was well on her way. At 14, while reading a story about the lupine flower in Canadian Gardening magazine, Bowman had her eureka moment. She wondered if the anti-inflammatory compounds in the flower could be used to reduce the swelling and pain of lymphedema. She wrote to scientists across Canada looking for someone working on something similar and eventually connected with Dr. Pierre-Yves von der Weid at the University of Calgary. In the summer before Grade 11, Bowman flew from her home in Hamilton to Calgary to start her research. “I’m really grateful to have mentors who looked beyond my age and instead, focused on my abilities. That made a difference,” she says. gives credit, too, to her older brother, “Get comfortable She a scientist who taught her advanced statisbeing uncomfortable.” tics while she was in junior high. Now 21, Bowman is in her last year of study for her bachelor of health sciences degree at UCalgary with plans to pursue an MD/PhD. She continues to lead a research project into the same compound she learned about six years ago, and presents at international and national conferences, applies for grant funding and partners with researchers and patients across Canada. She is now also studying the psychosocial aspects of lymphedema, which helps her better understand what her mother went through, and is exploring non-invasive lymphatic imaging technology. “As a scientist, people think of us looking in microscopes and things like that. But I’m motivated to produce work that has the ability to help people and connect people,” Bowman says. While she is obviously focused on her research question she still finds time to relax by writing and playing music. She sings, plays guitar, piano, bass, drums and ukulele, and performs as a busker or at long-term care homes and church. “It’s a different way to share a part of myself,” she says. —C.F. P 40 U 40


Catharine Bowman, Student, Bachelor of Health Sciences, UCalgary; Researcher; Board Director, Alberta Lymphedema Association. 48


Heather 33 Buchanan

Heather Buchanan has become an empire of one in the Calgary art world, subverting the traditional artist path and finding success by cultivating an international clientele and through high-profile commissions dealing with emotional subject matter.




Heather Buchanan’s first Etsy sale from across the Atlantic was a gamechanger. “I stayed up all night making dumb paintings of whimsical people and sheep and listed them on Etsy within 48 hours of learning it existed,” says Buchanan. “I was 22 and not sure what I wanted to do with my life and someone in Germany bought my paintings. I was like, okay, maybe I could actually do this!” Since then, despite avoiding the traditional gallery-show business model, Buchanan has become one of Calgary’s most recognizable artists. She has racked up more than 15,000 sales in over 40 countries, her pun-laden pop-culture art appears on greeting cards, and collectors adorn their walls with her portraits of characters from Wes Anders on movies. While pop culture- and humour-themed pieces are a sizeable chunk of Buchanan’s portfolio, she also has a serious side to her work. In April, 2018, Buchanan was commissioned to illustrate portraits of those killed in the Toronto van attack for the cover of The Globe and Mail. Over the course of a week, she built a connection to each victim through stories and photographs that she found online and that were shared with her by The Globe, and she worked tirelessly to capture their authentic personality in each illustration. Her extra care and attention resulted in 10 portrayals that helped tell the deeper story. Buchanan’s latest work focuses on anthropomorphizing inner anxieties and other feelings. “When you see a piece of art and are like, ‘Wow I feel like this gets me,’ you feel better,” she says. “You feel like a part of you is seen.” —N.K. P 40 U 40


Heather Buchanan, Artist.

“Steve Martin said: ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you,’ and it’s a bit of a mantra for me.” AvenueCalgary.com


Andrew 33 Bullied Erica 31 &O’Gorman Andrew Bullied and Erica O’Gorman have spent years championing Calgary’s growing craft beer scene through their own successful microbrewery and work with the Barley Belt collective.




When Andrew Bullied and Erica O’Gorman founded Annex Ale Project in 2015, Calgary had only a handful of breweries. They opened their West Coast-inspired microbrewery and taproom in May, 2017, and focused on creating an inclusive, aesthetically pleasing taproom and introducing different styles of beer to Calgarians. Two and a half years later, Annex Ale Project now has 18 employees and has gone from selling 465 hectolitres of beer in its first year of business to 1,530 hectolitres in its second year. And it’s not just customers who love Annex Ale Project beer — the brewery won six Alberta Beer Awards (plus two more for its sodas) in the last two years and was named one of BeerAdvocate’s 50 Best New Breweries in 2018. In August, Bullied and O’Gorman expanded their taproom to open Alberta’s first adult soda shop. The soda shop features Annex’s non-alcoholic craft sodas mixed with local spirits as well as food by Lil’ Empire. Bullied says it was a way for Annex to “extend the taproom cultural experience” to people who don’t drink beer. Bullied and O’Gorman haven’t just grown their own business, they’ve helped grow the whole brewery scene in Calgary. O’Gorman is a co-founder of the Barley Belt, a collective of a dozen neighbouring breweries, distilleries and cideries that has established Calgary’s Manchester industrial area as a goto beer destination. With its annual Barley Belt Tap Tour, the group has raised more than $18,000 for the United Way over the last three years. The Barley Belt team is also making the area safer and more commuter-friendly. Thanks to their efforts lobbying the City of Calgary, including a petition spearheaded by O’Gorman, Manchester will receive a new mixed-use pathway or bike path and sidewalk along 42 Avenue S.E. next year. “We just want to make the area better for Calgarians,” says O’Gorman. “It’s kind of a forgotten neighborhood that probably doesn’t have such a loud voice because it doesn’t have a lot of residents. So we’re hoping to, as business owners, create that voice for this area of Calgary.” —A.W. P 40 U 40


Andrew Bullied and Erica O’Gorman, Founders and Owners, Annex Ale Project and Annex Soda Mfg. 50


I think we both had the privilege of growing up with a lot of people that really believed in us and helped us get this going. There’s no way that we could have done this in a bubble.” —Andrew Bullied

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Dr. Oluwatomilayo (Tito) Daodu 32 Dr. Tito Daodu is an award-winning researcher, volunteer and pediatric surgery fellow who works to break down barriers to patients in need of surgical care.




Dr. Tito Daodu believes pediatric surgeons have the best job in the world. “They don’t just save lives, they save lifetimes,” she says. She wants to make sure more people around the world can access a pediatric surgeon when they need one. After all, pediatric surgeons can’t save the lifetimes of people who can’t get to them. “When we help the worst off or those with the least access, we do a service to the entire system,” she says. As a medical student, Daodu co-developed a project in Tanzania focused on adolescent gender and reproductive health. She spent her summers researching childhood pneumonia in Nigeria, and more recently launched a surgical needs assessment for the country. Currently completing a master’s of public health at Harvard University, Daodu is part of a team led by Dr. Mary Brindle working to revise the safe surgery checklist for high-income countries around “There is the world. She’s amassed a long list no reason of peer-reviewed publications and awards on topics including colorecto believe tal surgery, pediatric trauma and that I cannot global health. In Calgary, her research is achieve things focused on the effect of socioecothat I set out nomic status on surgical outcomes to achieve.” and access to care. Daodu was born in Nigeria and emigrated permanently to Canada when she was eight, after first being deported. She grew up in a rough neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s inner city and found early mentors at West Broadway Youth Outreach, a local drop-in centre for kids. They changed her life, she says. Today, she’s driven to offer the same mentorship to kids coming up behind her. Kids need to believe that it doesn’t matter where they come from or what they look like, says Daodu. When she finishes her training, she will likely become the first black woman practicing pediatric surgeon in Canada. “One of the things that excites me about the future is that I have a story that not that many people have,” she says. “I am probably uniquely situated from what I’ve gone through in life to be able to speak not just from an academic point of view, but from real life.” — C.F. P 40 U 40


Dr. Tito Daodu, Pediatric General Surgery Fellow, Division of General Surgery, UCalgary. 52


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Louis 36 Duncan-He Louis Duncan-He is a gifted interior designer, but it’s his volunteer work with PFLAG Canada that genuinely shines, and it’s changing the way members of the LGBTQ+ community see the world.




“I view obstacles as a game and there’s always a solution.”



After 15 years in advertising, Louis Duncan-He shifted into lifestyle design after a chance encounter with a newly qualified physician who asked him to help redefine her style. What started as a makeover and shopping spree became a career inspiration. “Through that process, I saw how empowered she became, and that’s the piece that brings me the most joy,” he says. Today, Duncan-He moves effortlessly between work in art, advertising and interior design. He’s also a sought-after keynote speaker. His emphasis on collaboration and his ability to connect with people makes his design input a hot commodity in the lifestyle arena. But while his career successes are certainly impressive, it’s his work with PFLAG Canada — a charity organization that offers peerto-peer family support for those challenged by gender and sexual identity — that makes him peerless. In 2017, Duncan-He spearheaded the development of Destination Pride, an online search platform that allows users to quickly measure a city’s attitudes toward LGBTQ+ travellers based on the local “laws, civil rights and social sentiment.” The initiative picked up 13 awards at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and not only makes global travel safer for members of the LGBTQ+ community but also provides essential data and benchmarks to cities who need and want to do better. Duncan-He sees a through-line in these seemingly disparate areas of influence. “I want my brand to stand for something and to empower everyone to live beautifully,” he says. “If I can help you do that, it’s going to have a profound impact on your ability to navigate the world.” —D.B. P 40 U

Louis Duncan-He, Principal Designer, LDH; Partner and Director of Creative Strategy and Services, Iconic; Board Member and National Director of Marketing, PFLAG Canada. 54


Dr. Deinera Exner- 34 Cortens Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens is making waves and directly affecting programming with her research on dating violence amongst young people.




Many of us feel horrified by the revelations of the #metoo movement. The University of Calgary’s Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens’s research channels those sentiments into preventative action to help young people better form safe and healthy relationships. Much academic research has been done on adult partner violence, but the study of how dating violence can be prevented is relatively underdeveloped territory. Since completing her PhD five years ago, Exner-Cortens has brought $1.3 million in research funding to UCalgary and her work has caught the attention of CBC, the Washington Post and Time magazine, prompting the U.S. Air Force and the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to adopt some of her findings. While many researchers spend most of their time in a lab, Exner-Cortens is usually out in the community, working directly with schools and programs and collecting data from local youth. “I joke that most of my research is driving around handing out scones because a lot of it is about community relationship-building,” she says. “My goal is to support school and community organizations who are doing the hard, front-line work.” Exner-Cortens has been pivotal in convincing the powers that be that this front-line work is essential: since 2014 her work has been published in 25 peerreviewed publications and her research has been cited 950 times in other scholarly publications, backing up her own research showing the importance of decreasing the instances of dating violence. A portion of Exner-Cortens’s funding is always earmarked for local service delivery to children and youth — she’s the lead outcome evaluator with the Calgary Centre for Sexuality’s WiseGuyz program, which helps adolescent boys develop healthy attitudes toward sexuality. Her grants will allow many of the 700 to 800 boys who will participate in her research to also take part in this renowned program over the course of the next two years. “All youth are entitled to healthy relationships where they feel safe, supportive loved,” she says. “And I think “I work directly with a lot of community and the research we’re doing is a key partners and I see how hard they work part of that.” —E.C.B. P 40 U 40


every day for children and youth, so I want to work just as hard to provide them with the research and tools they need to support their work.”

Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work and Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. AvenueCalgary.com


Conrad Ferrel & Louisa Ferrel

39 38

Five years ago, Conrad and Louisa Ferrel created a kombucha company that now sells its beverages across Canada. Their success has led them to give back to Calgary and create their non-profit business school, True Incubator.




When Conrad and Louisa Ferrel decided to start a kombucha company, they pictured a relatively easy life of going to farmers’ markets on weekends to sell their fermented tea beverage. “I’ll ski four or five days a week and we’ll take it easy,” Conrad recalls thinking. “And then it just kind of didn’t end up happening that way.” The Ferrels are the creators of True Büch Kombucha. You can now find their kombucha in more than 500 retailers nationally. In 2019, they expect revenues of $1.6 million and next year they project sales of $4 million. They recently sold a portion of True Büch to Zenabis, a publicly traded cannabis company, so CBD-infused kombucha is potentially in the company’s future as well. They attribute their success to the work ethic they developed as chartered accountants (CPA, CA) as well as their harmonious relationship. Although being in business with your romantic partner isn’t always easy, it seems to be working for the Ferrels. “We always joke that Conrad makes kombucha and I give it all away,” Louisa says. “We’re both passionate about different things, but they complement each other.” The success of True Büch has also made it possible for Conrad and Louisa to give back to the community. Their community partners, including Mealshare, Orenda, TreeEra, Camp fYrefly, AARCS, The Alice Sanctuary and others, all benefit from the success of True Büch. The Ferrels continue to increase their impact with their latest project, True Incubator, a non-profit business school that provides entrepreneurs with tools they need to turn ideas into a reality. Over the course of 12 weeks, the classes provide skill-building and mentorship to help local entrepreneurs to start and scale their business. That element of community-building is a key part of starting a new business, Louisa says, “because for me, one of the most important things about entrepreneurship is surrounding yourself with people that are also going through the same stuff.” —A.M. P 40 U 40


Conrad Ferrel and Louisa Ferrel, Founders, True Büch Kombucha and True Incubator. 56



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Tim Fox


Tim Fox provides community leadership in helping both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Calgarians work toward an honest understanding of what Truth and Reconciliation really means.




As vice-president of Indigenous relations at the Calgary Foundation, Tim Fox’s job is to help the foundation beter work with Indigenous communities and in turn help the wider philanthropic sector. As an Indigenous man living through the process of Truth and Reconciliation, the line between his life and his day job can blend together. At the Calgary Foundation, Fox sees his role as being a “systems changer.” Recognizing that simply upping the number of grants allocated to Indigenous-focused projects wasn’t enough to facilitate real change, in 2017 the Foundation hired Fox to help shift the organization’s culture from within to create a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives. Fox’s work is not about making sure Indigenous “Change is just initiatives get the money they need going to be- to operate, he is also working to the entrenched systems that come a reality. change continue to put Indigenous youth It’s not going and communities at a disadvantage. these young people who to be within have“It’stonot change to fit into society,” my lifetime, Fox says. “It’s the systems and surbut it’s going roundings around them that make communities and young to be within Indigenous people so vulnerable. That’s what has my daughter’s to change.” Fox has also facilitated hundreds lifetime or with of workshops on Indigenous interyounger people. generational trauma and IndigThey’re going enous learning opportunities and on multiple boards. He to inherit these volunteered works with incarcerated Indigenous positions of men at the Calgary Correctional leadership.” Centre, is the co-chair of the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and has given a TedxBowValleyCollege talk about Indigenous experiences. Working to eliminate barriers for Indigenous communities is what pays the bills, but it’s also an essential part of who Fox is. “It’s more than a job, it’s a passion,” he says. “Indigenous people play such a unique role in this work because we’re tasked to walk through this life in two different worlds, trying to bridge that gap.” —E.C.B. P 40 U 40


Tim Fox, Vice-President, Indigenous Relations, Calgary Foundation. 58



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Dr. Marco 37 Gallo

Dr. Marco Gallo has brought single-cell genomics research to Calgary. His work has led to discoveries about the genetic mutations at work in brain tumours, findings that will be critical for developing precise, individualized treatments for these cancers.




“In science, we deal with failure probably 90 per cent of the time, and failure is completely outside of your control.”



When non-scientists visit his lab at the University of Calgary, Dr. Marco Gallo likes to show them two glass plates where cancer stem cells are growing. The plates contain the same type of cells taken from two patients. Even to an untrained eye, the cells look different. “So you can imagine then, from the molecular point of view, that the differences in cancer cells are vast,” says Gallo, an assistant professor in physiology and pharmacology, biochemistry and molecular biology at UCalgary. With a PhD in medical genetics, Gallo studies the cells involved with adult and pediatric brain cancers. His work has led to new approaches to identifying the genetic makeup of individual cells in brain tumors. He and his colleagues have discovered that the genetic mutations in cells that cause brain tumors can differ, even in the same person. Growing up in rural Italy, Gallo was enthralled by science; he read books on DNA for fun. In high school, he received a scholarship to attend an English-speaking international boarding school. Gallo, who spoke little English at the time, learned and excelled at science by looking up almost every word in the dictionary. He was recruited to Simon Fraser University and moved to Canada at 19. In 2015, he came to Calgary to start a program in single-cell genomics, a technique that profiles the individual cells in a tumour. Since then, he has brought in more than $2 million in funding and contributed to four major peer-reviewed publications. He says his biggest personal challenge is learning to deal with the repeated failures that are part of the scientific process, knowing that families are desperate for treatment now. Ultimately, Gallo hopes this work will lead to individualized treatments for brain cancer, particularly glioblastoma. Most people with this aggressive brain cancer survive for just over a year. “I’m optimistic that by applying the right technologies, we’re really going to make some discoveries that will show us how these tumours can be defeated or at least stopped,” he says. — C.F. P 40 U

Dr. Marco Gallo, Assistant Professor, Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, UCalgary. 60


Isis 36 Graham

Isis Graham has created a career as an internationally touring DJ and co-founder and head of Canada’s only electronic music conference, while using her various platforms to create more opportunities for her peers.




Isis Graham threw her first rave in 1997 at age 14. Since then, she has become an internationally touring DJ and an instrumental force in increasing and improving opportunities for Alberta musicians as a co-founder of Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON) and an administrator at Chinook School of Music. In 2016, 85 people attended the first AEMCON, which cost $14,000 to produce. Last year, AEMCON’s operating budget was almost $90,000 and it attracted 500 attendees for panels, lectures, workshops, one-on-one mentoring and performances. Graham curates and produces all panels and speaker events on topics ranging from contracts and royalties to tech and the socio-political role of electronic music — all on a volunteer basis. In fact, most of her work championing for musicians has been unpaid. From co-founding the Girls on Decks DJ collective, to the mentorship and networking opportunities she helped provide at both the Studio Social listening party and record label Substation Recordings, she has increased the viability of electronic music as a career path in Calgary. As her profile rose as an organizer, so did her income as a DJ. “You add value by being someone that’s in the community chopping down tall grass, trying to get somewhere, and I think that the free work pays off,” she says. Graham says that the electronic music business is overlooked and considered niche, despite the fact that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Graham is someone who sees a solution before others even notice there’s a problem, not least of all at her “day job” at Chinook School of Music. Since 2003, she has taken the school’s pen-andpaper organizational systems to “The hardest thing I ever the digital age and helped grow the student body from 60 to learned was that not every- school’s more than 1,000 students a year. thing you start or create will The fourth annual AEMCOM place this month, from Nov. survive — and that’s okay. It’s takes 13 to 17. Graham says the conferokay to cry about it. But then ence’s work isn’t just about making you have to get off your ass Calgary better, it’s about bringing the key pieces to support the and do something.” in great artists who are already here. “We’re really sick and tired of all the best people leaving Alberta because there are no resources for them,” she says. “If the music industry lives in Toronto or Vancouver, we need to build that here so that people don’t have to go there to seek it out.” —C.G. P 40 U 40


Isis Graham, Co-founder, Acting Director and Curator of Programming, Alberta Electronic Music Conference; Administrator, Chinook School of Music. AvenueCalgary.com


Laurel36 Green

Laurel Green made One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo even more high performance, beating a box-office record and boosting attendance only six months after taking over — in a downturn no less.




Career dramaturg Laurel Green has built her life’s work around supporting the development of new performance work. Whether that’s by collaborating on more than a dozen world premieres at Alberta Theatre Projects, staging grassroots bike scavenger hunts and backyard variety shows or producing One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo (HPR), she has made it her mission to be a critical support for artists. In part, she’s driven to prove just how hard artists work. “Theatre is not a hobby. It is not a side gig. It is not a whim. It is an industry like any other,” Green says. Hired as festival producer just six months before the start of HPR 2019, Green wound up helping the legendary festival beat a box office record and increase attendance and participation. She also implemented a host of new community-building initiatives, including an Indigenous community liaison position, a new festival associate position in partnership with the Centre for Newcomers and the expansion of the Beautiful Young Students youth outreach program. “Whenever I start putting together a team, I start to think about who I need in the room, I start to think about who’s not usually in the room,” she says. “I’m all about getting the right person for the right job.” Green is also a prolific artist in her own right. In this year alone, she has travelled and worked in Ontario, Europe and Australia. This fall she’s directing the world premiere of W.R.O.L. (Without Rule of Law) by Michaela Jeffery, which opens at the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon on Nov. 1. She is also a tireless ambassador for Calgary’s arts scene. Green survived a rare form of cancer diagnosed during her mid-20s and now gives back by acting as a peer “Part of my priority, support volunteer at Wellspring as festival producer Calgary’s new Randy O’Dell House. One of her efforts has and in all my positions, been organizing outings for has been making sure its young adult members living with cancer and, fittingly, she that the artists are has invited them to be her guests being championed at the High Performance Rodeo and paid fairly.” in 2020. —C.G. P 40 U 40


Laurel Green, Theatre Artist; Festival Producer, One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo. 62


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Jordan 34 Guildford 19

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Jordan Guildford started a small jewellery drive to give Christmas gifts to women in Calgary shelters and over the past four years has grown it into a multi-faceted charity that helps women build self-confidence and life skills to end the cycle of domestic abuse. When she was 14 years old, Jordan Guildford and her two siblings pooled their money to buy their mom a bracelet for Christmas, even though they were struggling financially. Overcome with emotion, their mom put on her best clothes, did her hair and makeup, and explained that the bracelet had been a much-needed and unexpected reminder of her self-worth. Inspired by her mom’s transformation, four years ago Guildford decided to give that reminder of self-worth to more women by collecting gently used jewellery and donating it as gifts to women in Calgary shelters on Christmas morning. Now, Guildford’s charity, Gems for Gems, has evolved from a small jewellery drive that provides women with a thoughtful gift and a boost of selfconfidence, into a resource and advocate for victims of domestic abuse. In addition to jewellery drives across the country, Gems for Gems runs the Zero to Hero program, which brings together skilled professionals and survivors of abuse to teach women life skills such as financial literacy as well as self-defence, resilience and coping mechanisms. The program aims to encourage positivity and self-confidence, and better equip the participants to move forward after experiencing abuse. To date, Gems for Gems has donated more than 11,000 items of jewellery to women across Canada through its annual jewellery drives and has reached more than 1,000 vulnerable women in Calgary through Zero to Hero. The charity has also recently started offering a scholarship program geared toward abuse survivors. “I believe that if we can empower women and give them the tools [they need] to change their lives, that’s the key to actually break the cycle,” Guildford says, “not just for one woman, but for her children after her.” —S.G.



Jordan Guildford, CEO and Founder, Gems for Gems. 64


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Sam 36 Hayes

Since moving to Calgary in 2011, Sam Hayes has become an innovative leader in the energy sector, a patron and advisor for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and a hands-on community builder devoted to supporting and creating initiatives for survivors of domestic violence.




Back in 2013, Sam Hayes attended the funeral of Dick Matthews, a successful Calgary businessman, a lifelong supporter of the arts and a beloved family man. Hayes had met Matthews a few times and particularly admired him as a philanthropist. “I thought, ‘that’s the model of a great Calgarian, that’s the model I aspire to,’” Hayes says. Hayes, who moved to Calgary from London, UK, in 2011, is already well on his way to fulfilling that aspiration. At Suncor, he leads a team of 10 to 15 people tasked with helping to improve processes at the company to the tune of $2 billion by 2023. He’s also a committed philanthropist and volunteer. After noticing the Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence couldn’t provide education support for women in the two-year Progressive Housing Program, Hayes and his wife, Angela, established the Hayes Education Fund in 2016 to provide learning resources and scholarships. To date, their fund has supported 19 women. At the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, he was asked by the founders of a patron group to be an original member and is now sponsoring an annual family concert, with the first concert in January, 2020. Not content to simply be a donor, he commits up to 40 hours each month to these organizations, serving as vice-chair of the board for the Brenda Strafford Society and as a board member for the CPO. “You have to be present. It creates more opportunities when you’re involved,” he says. Hayes views giving back as a lifelong project. He says he learned early on that it doesn’t matter what you give, as long as you get started. He laughs that he has a spreadsheet at home mapping out the next 40 years of his philanthropic efforts. “Most of my philanthropy is ahead of me, and I’m lucky to have learned early what it can mean to my family,” he says. —J.W. P 40 U 40


Sam Hayes, Director, Advanced Analytics, Suncor Energy. 66


Peter 36 Hemminger Peter Hemminger is laser-focused on his mission to make Calgary a more creative, collaborative and idiosyncratic city. His work with Quickdraw Animation Society, CJSW, the Calgary Underground Film Festival and other organizations is helping make that a reality.




Peter Hemminger says Calgary’s arts community gave him a sense of belonging after struggling to find where he fit in as a teen. Since then, Hemminger has dedicated much of his life to returning the favour. “I didn’t set myself up for a career, I set myself up for a city. And that’s all about having been able to work with a lot of really amazing people who are willing to give me opportunities,” he says. Since 2013, Hemminger has served as executive director at Quickdraw Animation Society, a charity that offers workshops and camps and provides equipment rentals to animation artists. Quickdraw also presents public screenings and the annual Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF). Working alongside the society’s other two employees, Hemminger and his team have revitalized and grown Quickdraw, raising yearly earned revenues from $48,000 to more than $120,000, while securing close to $100,000 worth of federal grants per year. Hemminger is also coprogrammer for GIRAF, a role that includes sifting through more than 1,200 submissions to select 60 exceptional works to be screened each November. (This year’s festival takes place Nov. 21 to 24.) Beyond Quickdraw, Hemminger has advocated for and supported many other local arts organizations. Through his work with the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) and Sled Island, he has had a hand in bringing vibrant arts programming into the city. As a member of the Creative Calgary Congress advisory committee alongside Calgary’s largest arts organizations, he has successfully pushed for increased municipal arts funding. And he spends hours each week digging up music by independent artists to share on his CJSW 90.9 FM radio show. Hemminger says the importance of his work can be seen in how the institutions he works with are valued by others — the individuals who feel that Quickdraw is one of the most important things in their life; or CJSW, or CUFF. “If other people can find that much importance in it, that means that I can, too,” he says. —N.K. P 40 U

“The things you say no to are as important — or more important — than things you say yes to, because no matter who you are, you only have so much energy and so much time.”



Peter Hemminger, Executive Director, Quickdraw Animation Society. AvenueCalgary.com


Kate Hewko


Fashion entrepreneur Kate Hewko has cultivated a distinctive brand of apparel and accessories, which she sells from her thriving bricks and mortar concept store. She also supports multiple fashion-based charity fundraisers in the city.




Kate Hewko is the heart and mind behind the Kate Hewko brand of clothing and accessories and the eponymous concept store in the 17th Avenue landmark Devenish Building. Hewko first opened her concept store in the building in 2016, then moved this past spring into another space, doubling the size. The racks of clothing, all with Kate Hewko tags on them, might suggest that she designed the pieces, but that wouldn’t be accurate. Taking a page from successful international fashion brands, Hewko instead sources items that reflect her aesthetic created by manufacturers for private labels like her own. Hewko did design jewellery at one time, bold and brazen pieces that were picked up by Urban Outfitters and Free People, sported by Cyndi Lauper, Miley Cyrus and Idina Menzel, and featured in Korean Vogue in 2015. But her move away from designing to brand cultivation has allowed her to serve her clientele the looks she loves, while keeping her prices accessible. It has also allowed her to thrive. Even with construction on 17th Avenue S.W. and in nearby Mount Royal Village, Hewko’s in-store sales doubled in 2018. A classic entrepreneur, Hewko has a high tolerance for taking risks. “I’ll literally jump into anything,” she says. She’s also a collaborator at heart, who believes that “nobody ever gets ahead by putting down their competitor.” She has a verve for supporting charity fashion fundraisers in the city, putting in between five and 80 volunteer hours a month. Hewko has also donated to the YW Calgary, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Pawsitive Match, Wood’s Homes, the “Fashion Forward” events in support of HomeFront and Dare to Care’s “Strut” shows for anti-bullying initiatives and other local organizations. This past August, she was the primary organizer and the headliner for The Alley Party redux fundraiser for The Grand theatre. Hewko also volunteers on the curriculum board for the Fashion Institute by Olds College. Seeing how she has created a brand and a retail concept that works for both her and for the city she is based in, the next generation of style creators and purveyors would do well to learn from her. —S.A. P 40 U 40


Kate Hewko, Owner and Sole Proprietor, Kate Hewko Concept Store. 68


“The fact that I wake up on a Monday morning and I’m excited, is success. I feel like a lot of people are waiting for Friday, and I don’t wait for Friday.”

Laura 28 Incognito

In four years, Laura Incognito has grown her health foods company Little Tucker from a micro-operation run out of her kitchen and sold in local cafés to a nationwide brand sold in major grocery chains.




Four years ago, Australian expat Laura Incognito was at a crossroads. After graduating from university, she had set out travelling with Canada in her sights. She ended up in B.C. for six months and then found herself in Calgary. Feeling somewhat directionless here, she took the advice of an entrepreneurial friend to start a business and began making and selling energy balls created with raw, plant-based ingredients such as dates, almond butter and coconut and spiked with superfoods like maca and lucuma. Though these kinds of products are ubiquitous in her homeland, Incognito found offerings here to be scarce. Branding her company Little Tucker (“tucker” is Aussie slang for “food”), she made the healthy snacks in her home kitchen from her own recipes and sold them through local cafés and fitness studios and at small markets. At her first market, she brought in what she thought would last five hours and sold out in 30 minutes. Incognito’s prescience about Canadians’ appetite for plant-based eating, coupled with her indomitable work ethic have taken Little Tucker from a grassroots operation to a nationwide brand with sales revenues expected to top $1 million this year. Growth has been exponential — the company had 200 retailers across Canada in January of this year and counted 950 by May. In her early days in business, Incognito had told a friend Whole Foods would be her ultimate dream retailer. Now Little Tucker treats are sold by the upscale market chain. (She describes the experience of seeing her products on the shelves there as “surreal.”) Obviously, with the kind of volumes she’s now dealing in, Incognito no longer makes Little Tucker products herself. But she remains as committed to the company as she did when she was the one wielding the wooden spoon. “I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way of doing ” she says. “My “Success is owning business, big-gest rule is to listen to what you’ve done my gut and always stick and being proud with my core values, and something doesn’t align of what you’re do- ifwith what my values are, ing and waking up then I don’t do it.”—S.A. P 40 U 40


every day and just loving it.”

Laura Incognito, Owner, Little Tucker. AvenueCalgary.com


Kelly 30 James

Through her work with governments, NGOs and non-profit organizations, Kelly James helps lift people out of poverty by improving knowledge around clean water and safely managed sanitation.




Kelly James can pinpoint the exact moment she knew fostering social justice through health and sanitation would become the focus of her career. She had attended a retreat for the Calgary chapter of Engineers Without Borders as a University of Calgary student, when a member told the story of a friend in a developing country who had to choose between buying antibiotics and putting food on the table. “A choice like that has never been part of my reality,” James says. “I decided I couldn’t accept that was the reality for others and I couldn’t do anything but work toward promoting health and promoting equitable development around the world.” After graduating from UCalgary with a degree in development studies, James earned her master’s of science in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, UK. With her qualifications and passion for public health, she could have joined any number of organizations based all around the world, but chose to return to Calgary and work for the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) in what she calls her dream job. Currently, James spends about half her time in Calgary working out of the offices of the non-profit, and the other half in Africa providing research and capacity-building support to local organizations working in water and sanitation. Whether tackling the stigma against latrine-emptiers in Senegal, surveying sanitation practices in Kenya, or assessing the local market potential for household water filters in Chad, she says the common goal is to improve access to clean water and safely managed sanitation, and the improved health and economic oppor“I chose a career tunities that come with those things. But James, who is also that I am extremely a founding member and volpassionate about. unteer with Fair Trade Calgary, When things get says her work ultimately enables something more than survival: hard, this motivates a life lived with dignity. —J.B. P 40 U 40


Kelly James, Knowledge and Research Advisor, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology. 70


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Travis Juska


Travis Juska goes above the call of duty with his efforts to build positive relationships with law enforcement through more than 10,000 hours of volunteering.




For someone who always felt called to protect and serve the public, you’d think becoming a police officer would handily tick that box. For Travis Juska, however, monitoring covert surveillance activities with the Calgary Police Service’s Strategic Intelligence Group is just where his community contributions begin. Since starting as a patrol constable in 2007, Juska has logged thousands of hours of volunteer service in his off-shift hours, doing everything from crossing the country on foot to raise awareness for victims of crime, to promoting literacy by reading to elementary school kids, to coaching high-school basketball for high-risk youth in Forest Lawn. In 2018, Juska helped organize the International Association of Women Police conference in Calgary and for the past two years, he has also acted as project manager for Connect Line, an app, released this past September, designed to help victims of domestic violence connect with resources and services in the city. Even with the added work of being a dad to two young kids, Juska insists his extracurricular efforts energize him, especially when they present the opportunity to create positive associations with law enforcement for the public. “Every officer has an obligation “My father had to start to change some of the stigmas that exist in poa saying: ‘pull the negative licing,” he says, noting something rope.’ It’s okay as simple as coaching basketball reading to kids can help lay the to ask for help, to or foundations for constructive relaneed something, tionships with cops. “The interacbut whatever you tions that I have with members the public or assisting my own do, pull some of of colleagues, those are the things the weight.” that recharge me,” he says. “I also inherited my father’s trait of not needing a lot of sleep, which is super beneficial.” —J. B. P 40 U 40


Travis Juska, Acting Staff Sergeant, Strategic Intelligence Group, Calgary Police Service. 72


Liz Nandee. Set Designer. Game Changer. As a Bow Valley College Graduate and owner of Basic Black Designs Inc., Liz Nandee is a talented Calgarian changing how set design merges with fashion and design. She has designed sets for Oprah, Barack and Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, and more. Congratulations to Liz and all of this year’s Top 40 Under 40 honourees. Follow @bowvalley or visit bowvalleycollege.ca to find out how our graduates are transforming Calgary.

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Usman 35 Tahir Jutt Usman Tahir Jutt was Canada’s youngest McDonald’s franchisee and now with more than a dozen restaurants (and counting), is one of the largest. His entrepreneurial success fuels his philanthropy, which includes supporting community gardens and raising awareness about opioid addiction in high schools.




Usman Tahir Jutt has never eaten a Big Mac. For most people, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but most people don’t own more McDonald’s restaurants than they can count on two hands. Jutt grew up in Edmonton in a home that housed up to 16 extended-family members. As the eldest of eight children born to a father who was unable to read or write, maturity came early. At 12, Jutt was reviewing banking documents for his father. At 18, he bought his first business — a gas station in Camrose, Alta., where he was attending first-year university. “I found out it only cost $12,000, so I manipulated some of my student loan money and bought it,” he says. After two years he dropped out of school and moved to Calgary to pursue full-time entrepreneurialism, searching for opportunities that fulfilled his three-pronged mantra: “I want a business where I don’t have to worry about the guest count. I want to be able to make money, to make my investment worthwhile. And I want a business that allows me to do what I call ‘scale for good.’” McDonald’s turned out to be an ideal fit. He bought his first restaurant in 2013 and currently owns more than a dozen in Calgary, Airdrie and Strathmore, doing $45 million in sales annually. Jutt has created a fast-food empire dedicated to employee satisfaction. His executive team is 80 per cent women and his company, Chirp Foods, offers a maternity leave top-up and subsidized child care. Already one of the largest operators in Canada, Jutt plans to keep growing aggressively, leveraging the scale so he can continue to grow his community work. Spanning two decades, Jutt’s community involvement has had an impact of almost $1 million. Chirp Foods has donated to numerous charities including the United Way, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Special Olympics. Jutt also works to raise awareness about opioid problems in high schools, funds a community garden for low-income seniors and advocates for provincial policy for affordable child care and transit. All that, and he still hasn’t had a Big Mac. “We take our growth as seriously as “I decided I’d have one when I bought my own — I’d make it myself — but it was so chawe take the growth and prosperity restaurant otic the night I took over, I forgot. So I decided I’d of the communities we operate in. be the owner who’s never eaten a Big Mac.” He really Because when those communities likes the Filet-O-Fish, though. —J.H. P 40 U 40


are doing better, we do better.”



Usman Tahir Jutt, President, Chirp Foods.

Maya 34 Kambeitz

Maya Kambeitz has grown Norfolk Housing Association into a thriving non-profit social enterprise that provides Calgarians with affordable housing in a safe and inclusive community.




The best advice she’s received: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”



Maya Kambeitz knows the importance of having a home to call your own. Kambeitz immigrated to Calgary from Bosnia when she was 10 years old and understands the socio-economic challenges and barriers faced by many Calgarians, including new Canadians, especially when it comes to affordable housing. So, when she saw a job opportunity with Norfolk Housing Association (NHA) in 2009, Kambeitz was eager to apply. The organization provides sustainable and affordable housing through an inclusive socialenterprise model, where half of the residents pay a standard market rent, and the rest pay based on their income. By the time Kambeitz came on board, limited funding and aging buildings were affecting the organization’s stability and future. Kambeitz quickly transitioned into the role of executive director. In that role she piloted NHA’s asset renewal program, investing $2 million in capital upgrades, 30 per cent of which was funded by grants from both the provincial and federal governments. This allowed NHA to grow and improve its current buildings, while enabling the organization to maintain its inclusive spirit and goals of providing stable and affordable housing. Kambeitz has been integral to revitalizing what was once a “sleepy” organization with only three employees into a dynamic and diverse non-profit with nine employees serving more than 180 residents. By this past year, NHA was completely mortgagefree and acquired its first additional building in 15 years — without any government funding. “Norfolk Housing empowers people to live the best life that they can, regardless of their circumstances, by giving them something that’s foundational, and by treating them with dignity, respect and allowing a sense of self-determination,” says Kambeitz. “I think I’ve just drawn out what was already there by creating an organization that’s foundationally strong, that’s really aware of its stakeholders, the people that it serves, the people that it employs, and its value to the community and how it can continue to generate that value.” —S.G. P 40 U

Maya Kambeitz, Executive Director, Norfolk Housing Association. AvenueCalgary.com


Christopher 32 Lloyd Christopher Lloyd is president of Oneball Charitable Cancer Organization, a group changing how men deal with testicular cancer through stigma-busting humour and by funding research that has had national and international impact.




The moment Christopher Lloyd cites as his proudest might tell you all you need to know about him. It was the moment he first laid eyes on the seven-foot-tall testicle mascot costume that he designed and had made for the Oneball Charitable Cancer Organization. “It will probably remain the most ridiculous thing I’ll ever do in my entire life,” says Lloyd. “Love it or hate it, you won’t forget it.” A two-time testicular cancer survivor, Lloyd got involved with Oneball after struggling to speak openly about his diagnosis. Even though testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men ages 15 to 35, when Lloyd was first diagnosed at age 18, he found most of the patient-peers in local support groups were 30 to 40 years his senior. Oneball’s “ballsy” approach to eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease immediately resonated with Lloyd. Testicular cancer has a 99 per cent localized survival rate, so instead of focusing on finding a cure, Oneball strives to make a positive impact on cancer journeys. This has led to a research funding partnership with the Tom Baker Cancer Centre to improve emotional and psychological impacts for patients and families, along with campaigns to raise funds for treatments otherwise not possible. Last year, Lloyd spearheaded a $65,000 GoFundMe campaign to provide trial medication for a patient. While the medication was unsuccessful, Oneball helped the family access palliative care. The trial also helped move the medical knowledge of treatment forward and Lloyd takes pride in eliminating lingering “what ifs” that can follow similar situations. The campaign inspired Lloyd’s latest pursuit, to engineer a completely digital platform to streamline existing financial assistance and allow Oneball to help more patients as a result. With puns and dad-jokes galore, and events like a 40-Year-Old Virgin-inspired chest-waxing fundraiser, Lloyd and the entire Oneball team spread awareness while keeping things light. Oneball’s direct effects keep him working to ensure this small charity makes a big difference. “We can have a very meaningful impact on patients’ lives,” says Lloyd. “I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than that.” —N.K. P 40 U 40


Christopher Lloyd, President, Oneball Charitable Cancer Organization; Digital Solutions Architect, Spartan Controls. 76


“Building cool things that create positive change — that’s really at the core of a lot of what I do.”

Emily 30 Marasco

Emily Marasco mixes math, science and creative thinking to prepare engineers for the challenges of tomorrow. Her robotics web series has been watched around the world, she redesigned first-year engineering instruction at the University of Calgary and is developing outreach opportunities for K-12 students.




Emily Marasco’s Grade 3 teacher told her it was okay if she wasn’t good at math because she could be good at art instead. But Marasco’s mother said there was no reason to choose between math and the arts, so she listened to her mother. When she went to university, Marasco decided to study computer engineering and the oboe, eventually amassing dozens of awards for academic excellence and leadership. She earned her PhD in 2018, and has never accepted the conventional notion that engineering is best suited to a certain type of person (male and non-artistic). Instead, she has shaped a career out of making engineering more accessible for people with diverse talents and backgrounds. Until recently, Marasco worked at the Canadian robotics company EZ-Robot developing and presenting a web video series that teaches robotics to learners and has been used by STEM educators in more than 80 countries. She also created design challenges and educator guides for teaching robotics to students from kindergarten to Grade 12. As a long-time sessional instructor and researcher (now program evaluation and planning specialist) at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, Marasco works to encourage creative, interdisciplinary thinking in some 800 firstyear engineering students. She also leads outreach programs — including workshops, Beakerhead projects and teaching modules — that encourage young people to pursue engineering careers. Marasco’s work has helped her to hone skills that she believes will be necessary for the next generation of engineers: storytelling, communications and teaching. “We’re facing global grand challenges,” she says. “It’s not just about getting women into engineering. We want to attract people into engineering who have diverse backgrounds, have creative interests, are athletes [for example] — that’s the diversity we want.” “My parents always told As well as an educator and engineer, me to take advantage of Marasco is a jewellery artist and music opportunities even if I was teacher — and a new mom. She’s a living example of the polymath sensibility worried I wasn’t the perfect she hopes to cultivate in others. “We candidate. Why would you need to have experiences, teach each say no? Say yes!” other and be capable of thinking in different ways,” she says. —J.W. P 40 U 40


Emily Marasco, Program Evaluation and Planning Specialist, Schulich School of Engineering, UCalgary. AvenueCalgary.com


Kerri McGrath 36 & Jesse Messom 37



Growing up, Jesse Messom was the kind of kid who never sat still and always took things apart to see how they worked. His sister Kerri was more the calm, collected type — a diplomat with a keen eye for detail. As kids they might have been opposites, but as adults Messom and his sister Kerri McGrath’s complementary skill sets and shared family values have helped them build Bigfoot Industrial Services Ltd. into one of Canada’s 500 fastest-growing companies, and have set them on a path to help transform Alberta’s energy industry. P 40 U




This brother-sister duo is redefining the image of the energy industry in Calgary through a focus on clean technology, developing a desulfurization system to reduce the environmental impact of heavy oil.

Messom started Bigfoot as a one-man millwrighting and industrial mechanic business out of the back of his Chevy Silverado in 2010. He deliberately courted a diverse client base. “Being a born-and-raised Calgarian, I’ve seen oil and gas go up and down. I just wasn’t interested in riding that wave,” he says. Instead, Messom took on a range of projects in a variety of industries — not only oil and gas, but also agriculture, fulfillment, food-processing and courier services. In 2017, he brought on McGrath, previously a paralegal and director at the commercial development firm Arlington Street Investments (now Arlington Group), to help grow the business. Now Bigfoot has about 60 full-time employees. The pair have since turned their sights toward clean technology, joining and then taking over management of International Ultrasonic Technologies, to develop a desulfurization system. Their product, set to come to market this fall, is capable of removing up to 98 per cent of sulphur from heavy fuel oil, including bitumen produced in Alberta. With new marine fuel regulations set to come into play in 2020, McGrath says they’ve already found a keen market for their technology in Europe. But she says she and her brother are most excited to apply the technology to make Alberta oil more marketable to meet tightening emissions regulations. At the same time, they see Bigfoot as a platform to develop more homegrown solutions for a cleaner future. “We want to position the company as a place where innovation comes to be built,” says McGrath. —J.B. Kerri McGrath, COO, Bigfoot Industrial Services Ltd.; President and CEO, International Ultrasonic Technologies; and Jesse Messom, President and CEO, Bigfoot Industrial Services Ltd.; Chief Manufacturing Officer, International Ultrasonic Technologies.

“When things are going well, don’t take your foot off the gas pedal.” —Jesse Messom




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Sky 35 McLean

Sky McLean has built a hospitality brand from the ground up. Since opening her first hotel, Basecamp Resorts Canmore, in 2017, she has added three more properties in Canmore and has two more in progress in Golden and Revelstoke.




Sky McLean knows she doesn’t fit the profile of a typical hotel CEO (a man in his 50s). As such, McLean constantly faces misperceptions that her company, Basecamp Resorts, must have a wealthy benefactor. “People think, ‘oh, you’re young and you’re a girl so someone’s just giving you money.’ Well nobody just gave me money. Let me tell you! I had to go find it,” she says. In 2016, McLean, who previously worked for real-estate developers, scraped together the funds to build her first property, a townhouse-style hotel in Canmore. She refinanced her car and convinced her husband to rent out their home in Calgary and move into a camping trailer on the site — only to have two bank loans for construction fall through. At the 11th hour, a private lender loaned her the $5.5 million she needed to pull the project back from the brink, allowing Basecamp Resorts Canmore to open in August 2017. It was recently appraised at $13.5 million. McLean then raised $1.75 million in equity to develop 10 residential townhouses above her Canmore corporate office. Simultaneously, she raised $3.5 million to purchase and redevelop two more hotels in Canmore: Lamphouse Hotel and Basecamp Lodge, formerly derelict buildings that were reinvigorated with Basecamp’s alpine-modern aesthetic. “Obviously, in business, you have to do things that make economic sense, but it’s nice to be able to make economic sense of something that’s adding value to the community,” McLean says. Currently, McLean has Basecamp projects underway in Golden and Revelstoke with two more planned for Canmore. The company gives back to that community by hosting an annual Christmas gala for the Canmore General Hospital that raised $8,500 in 2017 and $15,000 in 2018. And this past summer, McLean was elected to the board of the Bow Valley Builders and Developers Association, further cementing her status as a builder of note, and changing the face of the hotel establishment while she’s at it. —S.A. P 40 U 40


Sky McLean, Owner, Basecamp Resorts. 80


“Sure, money is great — who doesn’t want to go on holidays, or buy a boat? That’s all good. But if you’re miserable on your boat, that’s useless. I’d rather be happy sitting in the sand than miserable on my boat.”

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Amish 38 Morjaria

Over the past eight years, Amish Morjaria has built a marketing company that prioritizes the growth of its small-business clients by charging an affordable, flat monthly retainer, and founded a platform that unites local business owners to help out in their community.




“I believe that in a time of hardship, you see true innovation.”



Relationships and community-building are at the core of everything Amish Morjaria does. He sums up his business philosophy as: “move our people, our clients and our community forward.” By infusing these values into his company, Forward Level Marketing, Morjaria has been able to attract like-minded small-business owners and employees that he says are equally engaged in increasing Calgary’s economic standing and contributing back to the city. Since he started the company eight years ago, Morjaria has built Forward Level Marketing into a full-service marketing company with more than 20 staff. He points to Forward Level’s unique pricing model, where clients pay an affordable monthly retainer rather than per-project hourly consulting fees, as the key to not only his success, but that of his clients. Forward Level Marketing has been able to retain clients for as long as 89 consecutive months and counting because the company offers a level of service that clients can’t get for the price by going elsewhere — or even by having an in-house marketing team. “The idea from the start is that we’re going to become your marketing department and we actually become a part of your company,” says Morjaria. “Just as you would have an HR department in-house, or an accounting department, you now have a marketing department here and at your fingertips.” Morjaria also puts a lot of stock into creating strong relationships. “Business is personal,” he says. Part of building a business relationship with his clients and his team is celebrating big and little milestones, whether it’s hosting a companywide barbecue for Forward Level’s longest-standing client or recognizing the friendships his colleagues have fostered with one another. Outside of office hours, Morjaria works on uniting local small-business owners through Move Forward YYC, an organization he co-created to encourage local businesses to tackle social issues and create change. For example, when Morjaria learned that The Mustard Seed was short of towels, Move Forward helped collect almost 3,000 towels within three months. Now, The Mustard Seed has an overabundance of towels and has started donating some to other local charities in need. “This is just the beginning for Calgary,” Morjaria says. “We have an amazing city, but it’s just the beginning of how amazing it’s going to be.” —M.W. P 40 U

Amish Morjaria, Founder and CEO, Forward Level Marketing. 82



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Liz 37 Nandee

Born-and-raised Calgarian Liz Nandee works closely with some of the world’s biggest celebrities to create set designs, but she’s still committed to shining a spotlight on Calgary’s homegrown talent and supporting her local community.




Interior designer Liz Nandee’s venture into celebrity stage and set design began after she attended an event where Maya Angelou spoke. “I saw the set, and I [thought], ‘ooh, I could do that differently,” says Nandee. So, when she heard that Oprah Winfrey was coming to Calgary, Nandee started knocking down doors and eventually secured a meeting with the queen of daytime television’s producers. Nandee left that meeting with the set design contract for all seven cities of Winfrey’s Canadian tour. Today, in addition to Winfrey, Nandee’s client list includes celebrities and public figures such as Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kim Kardashian, all of who have called on Nandee to create stage designs that capture and highlight their unique personalities without overshadowing them. “I want them to be comfortable and surrounded by things that they like, and I always emphasize Calgary’s local products and artisans,” says Nandee. While her work might sound like it’s all fancy events and hobnobbing with celebrities, in between design projects Nandee has found time to create Entertainment Calgary, a social media-based lifestyle show for the city, and is also a successful investor in two M&M Food Market franchises. And when she’s not working, Nandee volunteers with Calgary’s Alcove Addiction Recovery for Women, an organization that she appreciates for housing women in recovery with their children, as well as the Food Bank, Kids Help Phone and other women-focused charities. While Nandee’s interior design work has been featured in more than 50 magazines internationally, she remains humble about her success. “It feels like my work is validated and appre- “[The key to my success] is ciated, but it’s not just the hard work, determination and aesthetics, it’s the look on [people’s] faces and seeing my passion for design. Being them feel better,” she says a female and a female of co“There’s a purpose, and that’s what motivates me.” —D.B. lour, it’s difficult to expand in P 40 U 40


Liz Nandee, Owner and Designer, Basic Black Designs Inc. 84


this industry. I’ve worked very hard to achieve [success.]”

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Umair 33 Pervez

When he’s not discussing the future of work with world leaders, Umair Pervez is deeply involved in making Calgary a better place, whether through the Global Shapers Community, helping Syrian refugees, or advising provincial and municipal policy-makers.




Umair Pervez loves Calgary because of a banana peel. While visiting family here, he was eating a banana on the CTrain and began searching for a bin to dispose of the peel. A woman offered to take it, then got off at the next stop and threw it out. “This would never happen in London,” Pervez (who was living in the UK at the time) recalls thinking. He fell in love with the city right then and there. Since moving here, Pervez has worked relentlessly to help make the city more resilient in his area of specialty — the future of work and the changes that lie ahead. “It is the biggest threat faced by cities right now, and this is what policy-makers should be concerned about,” he says. With a combination of training and experience in psychology, technology and business, Pervez’s views on the coming “fourth industrial revolution” have been sought by everyone from the Government of Alberta to world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where earlier this year he spoke with luminaries including Bill Gates and Jack Ma. An idea he proposed to the World Economic Forum was “If you’re recognized as one of the Top 50 Global Ideas for presented helping cities cope with the changing nature of with an work. Pervez is also a steering committee member for the City of Calgary’s resiliency strategy. opportuIn addition to his day job as a management nity, then consultant at PwC, Pervez has been involved with numerous wide-ranging projects, from aiding seize it.” settlement of Syrian refugees, to encouraging charitable giving by Alberta millennials, to helping create a charity that provides free health care to slums in Pakistan. He was an organizer of the Yes campaign for the 2026 Olympic plebiscite, and when he’s not volunteering with other local causes, Pervez runs a hypnotherapy practice out of his home office. Pervez says he doesn’t think he’s anything special: he just ... “does stuff.” “The key to success is resilience,” he says. “When you put yourself out there and try and take advantage of opportunities, then a lot of them fail, and you need to get used to it.” —T.L. P 40 U 40


Umair Pervez, Manager, PwC Canada. 86















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Dr. Shafeena 37 Premji

Dr. Shafeena Premji is improving women’s access to health care with two family clinics focused on women’s health and by advocating for quality care with the South Calgary Primary Care Network.




Dr. Shafeena Premji opened a family clinic focused on women’s health to provide a place where women could find trustworthy, consistent, quality care. Within 18 months, the clinic was full, so earlier this year, Premji opened a second location. Women’s health care services are often fragmented, with patients seeing various specialists who don’t talk to one another. At Premji’s clinics the many different aspects of women’s health are addressed by different doctors or specialists, all within the clinic. By bringing prenatal and postpartum care, breastfeeding support, contraception advice, and pelvic floor and menopause consultations all under one roof, Premji has streamlined care for women in south Calgary. Premji and her teams at Mahogany Medical Clinic and The Village Medical focus on building rapport with their patients, establishing trust and focusing on lifelong health. Premji calls this concept creating a “medical home,” and it helps patients feel confident in their doctors and the choices they make regarding their health. “They need to feel trust in their care provider to be able to completely open up and be honest about what their health needs are,” she says. “They’re not just another patient [coming through] our door, they’re coming to a place where they are the priority.” In addition to her clinical practice, Premji works at the South Calgary Primary Care Network (SCPCN) maternity clinic once a week, delivers babies at the South Health Campus, and acts as a liaison between the SCPCN and all 12 physicians she works with to disseminate new standards of care and regulations and advocate for better standards of care for women. Premji also has a side-gig as a certified Ash Kumar henna artist and works at weddings to decorate brides in this traditional art form. “Whether it means delivering a baby or applying henna, I feel like I was given a gift from God, and I want to be able to use that gift to serve,” Premji says. “That’s what drives me.” —A.M. P 40 U 40


Dr. Shafeena Premji, Medical Director and Physician, Mahogany Medical Clinic and The Village Medical; Physician Lead, South Calgary Primary Care Network; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. 88


“Everything I do, I do from the heart. There’s no secondary gain for me.”

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Nabeel33 Ramji 19


Many people overcome significant obstacles in their lives. Only a few then dedicate their lives to reducing those obstacles for others. Nabeel Ramji was born in Karachi, Pakistan. After being adopted by Canadian parents at six months old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cerebral palsy that would affect his life so much, the adoption agency gave his parents the option of re-turning him. They didn’t. Ramji started using a wheelchair around age four and couldn’t speak until he was eight. Now 33, he has spent years working to reduce the daily accessibility challenges faced by people with disabilities. In his day job, Ramji works for Strategic Group evaluating the financials for 63 apartment buildings on the East Coast. But his passion is increasing accessibility in Calgary. As a consultant with RK Access, a design consulting firm that focuses on accessibility, Ramji has helped bring inclusive design to projects in an elegant, holistic way, rather than as something that “gets tacked on at the end.” Through the non-profit Bricolage, which Ramji describes as his “favourite” among his many projects, he works to improve accessibility in areas like housing, arts and culture, and technology. One of the group’s initiatives is a Google Maps-style app called Pedesting that displays accessibility barriers in Calgary — when you have a movement disability, something like an unexpected curb or stair can throw your route, even your entire day out of whack. Ramji’s ultimate goal is to make Calgary the most accessible city in the world. Part of that lies in improving our physical landscape, but another part is storytelling, so that disability and accessibility become better understood through art and media. “I’m really passionate about storytelling and having equal representation,” Ramji says. He admits Calgary has a long way to go to truly be an accessible city, but he’s also optimistic that change is possible. As he points out, it’s in the city’s best interests to create an environment that is universally inclusive. “Calgary can be a more successful community and more innovative community because of that,” he says. —T.L. P 40 U






“[My parents] opened up a world of opportunity for me. Very few people like my parents exist, in my opinion, who would make such huge sacrifices to give me the quality of life that I have. I really want to pass on that legacy to others, but on a mass scale.”

A tireless advocate for universal accessibility, with several innovative local start-ups to his credit, Nabeel Ramji works to make Calgary the most accessible city in the world.

Nabeel Ramji, Manager, Strategic Atlantic and Real Estate Finance, Strategic Group; Co-founder, Bricolage.

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Aalia 34 Ratani

In her job as a manager for consulting giant McKinsey, Aalia Ratani leads teams of analysts to help clients save millions of dollars, but her biggest passion is fighting for gender equality in the workplace.




Aalia Ratani takes her job as an engagement manager for McKinsey & Company very seriously. Leading teams of analysts, she works primarily with the executives of energy companies in Calgary to help them become more efficient and solve business problems. “What I do is incredibly challenging and intense, but in a really good way,” she says. “You’re constantly being challenged, your job is constantly changing.” While her work life is about helping remove barriers to profitability for her clients, much of her life’s work is actually about removing barriers “Focus on for women in the workplace itself. Gender parity is a big deal for what makes Ratani and she says it’s a big deal you happy. for companies as well, whether know it yet or not. “Research It’s my driv- they has shown that companies that er… it has are more diverse in their senior helped me leadership team perform better I am a firm believer accomplish financially. in diversity and the benefits that what I’ve it brings,” says Ratani. Ratani has led leadership dewanted to velopment workshops for women accomplish.” who are up-and-coming in Calgary, and organized and co-facilitated workshops for executives on how gender parity can benefit their organizations. Ratani also mentors young girls who have just come to Canada, coaching them on how to navigate Canadian society without feeling like they have to change who they are intrinsically. She also sits on the board of directors for the YW Calgary as well as many other governance and strategic committees. “By driving the conversation on gender diversity, more people become aware, and the more things can actually change. By tackling the things that I am really passionate about, I’m able to make a change in a city I really care for.” —A.F. P 40 U 40


Aalia Ratani, Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company. 92




Dr. Marshall 35 Ross

Dr. Marshall Ross created a new protocol for addressing opioid addiction in Calgary emergency rooms that has formed the basis for ER treatment of overdoses throughout the province.




Dr. Marshall Ross doesn’t need much sleep. We should all be grateful for that. It’s partly how he has managed to help overhaul treatment of opioid addiction in emergency rooms across Alberta, work as an on-call physician for STARS air ambulance and maintain long hours in his career as an emergency room doctor, all while making time for his young family. He also somehow manages to fit in time for research. The ongoing opioid crisis, which has killed more than 2,000 Albertans since the provincial government started reporting opioid-related deaths in 2016, has been a constant and worsening shadow during his time in the ER. “Pretty much every shift, I come in and see someone overdosing on opioids,” says Ross. “It’s just a huge part of what we do.” But “what we do” — reversing an overdose, then sending addicts back out into the world — struck Ross as insufficient. “I was just giving them a pamphlet and sending them on their way. It didn’t seem like we were doing anything to change things.” So he set about changing things himself. He had read a Yale study that showed the ER is one of the most underused places to help someone break an opioid addiction — for many suffering addiction, it’s their only contact with health professionals. Ross developed an emergency room protocol for the use of suboxone, a drug that binds to opioid receptors in a way that limits its potential for abuse. By preventing overdosing and withdrawal symptoms, “Find work that you suboxone is the “best chance at getting off enjoy so it never opiates,” Ross says. After Calgary ER physicians started using feels like work.” Ross’s protocol, it gained traction and has formed the basis for a province-wide protocol. There’s a lot of stigma around addiction, and Ross acknowledges that medical professionals aren’t immune to it. Some doctors and nurses were resistant to the new approach. “They’re not thinking of it as a disease, they’re thinking of it as a behavioural problem.” But in a deadly crisis, it’s hard to argue with what works. “We’ve got to do this,” says Ross. “It would be crazy not to do this. I don’t see anyone else doing it, so I’m going to take it on and champion it.” —T.L. P 40 U 40


Dr. Marshall Ross, Emergency Physician, Alberta Health Services; Clinical Lecturer, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. 94


Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand 28

Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand, host of The Good Medicine Show on CJSW 90.9 FM, found a lack of Indigenous representation in the music industry so he started Indigenous Resilience in Music, an organization that creates workshops for Indigenous youth and works to Indigenize Calgary’s music festivals.




Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand was 12 years old when he first picked up an instrument, and since then music has been a constant throughout his life. Though he has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Calgary, it’s his musical expertise that he uses to create change within the city. In the winter of 2016, Running Rabbit-Lefthand was touring as a fill-in (providing music and entertainment between songs) for a band called Heavy Weather. When the group hit Saskatchewan, local Indigenous youth came out to watch Running Rabbit-Lefthand perform — even though the band wasn’t Indigenous-centered. It was through that interaction that Running RabbitLefthand realized the need for a permanent space for Indigenous musicians to mentor Indigenous youth. “I saw Indigenous youth wanting this, and they didn’t have it,” he says. So he created Indigenous Resilience in Music (IRIM). IRIM is an Indigenous-led organization with a mandate to create space for Indigenous musicians and support them in mentoring Indigenous youth through music. The organization provides a space for Indigenous youth to reclaim their identity through workshops and artist residencies and a platform for Indigenous musicians to showcase their work. Running Rabbit-Lefthand has forged connections with the Sled Island festival and Calgary Folk Music Festival, allowing “When you leave your community, you’re the IRIM to help curate and create Indigenous not representing just yourself, you’re rep- content for them, as well as a number of other music festivals. IRIM also hosts and facilitates resenting your nation … so, pay attention music workshops and showcases curated to everything and everyone around you, by Running Rabbit-Lefthand at a variety of because if you don’t, you’re going to miss venues including Studio Bell, home of the Music Centre. In addition, he hosts experiences that need to happen for you to National a weekly Indigenous-focused music show on understand who you are as an individual.” CJSW 90.9 FM and performs his own music. Running Rabbit-Lefthand says IRIM encourages and inspires Indigenous youth to pursue a career in music and gives them the tools to do so. “Because we’re doing what we’re doing [with IRIM], opportunities for the youth are no longer missed,” he says. “We’re filling a major gap that a lot of people don’t work to fill for Indigenous people and for the music industry.” —S.J. P 40 U

Curtis Running Rabbit-Lefthand, Executive Artistic Director, Indigenous Resilience in Music. AvenueCalgary.com




Jung-Suk 34 (J.S.) Ryu

In just two years, J.S. Ryu has revitalized Indefinite Arts Centre by increasing both its funding and artist capacity and making it part of the international conversation. Now he is leading the charge to make it into a new national hub for disability arts.




A grand vision requires boldness, and J.S. Ryu says he has something even better. “I’m utterly shameless,’” he says. In his view, his role as CEO of Indefinite Arts Centre (IAC) is to relentlessly lobby public and private funders and take policy-makers to task when people with disabilities are inadequately represented. IAC was already Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts centre — in size, operating budget and number of artists it serves — when he took over. Now, Ryu’s vision for the centre is even bigger. In the two years he has led the organization, Ryu has increased operational funding by hundreds of thousands of dollars by accessing untapped grant programs and expanding and reigniting the passion of its donor base. He has also expanded IAC’s operations from four to five days a week and thus dramatically reduced its client waitlist; built a new, visionary team; shepherded the organization through an emergency relocation (and back) in 2018; and given IAC’s artist community its first international exhibitions. The next step for Ryu, a Salzburg Global Fellow and former lobbyist for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, is to transform the site surrounding IAC into the National accessArts Centre (NAC). Partly inspired by his time working at the Banff Centre, he envisions NAC as a national destination for disability arts, purpose-built to be meaningfully accessible to everyone. He says he has had positive conversations with both the former and current provincial governments, and Ryu is hopeful NAC will be designated a priority project and “It’s not simply about the output funded either this fall or in the of our artists’ works. It’s about coming spring. how we use that to start forcing “It’s about looking at our role as much more than simply a training conversations about inclusivity ground or just a location,” he says. and accessibility in the arts, and “It’s about facilitating a much more national conversation about supportthe tremendous amount of mising artists with disabilities.” —C.G. P 40 U 40


J.S. Ryu, CEO, Indefinite Arts Centre. 96


conceptions that people have about people with disabilities.”

Dr. Farida 36 Saher

At her two dental clinics Dr. Farida Saher treats the most vulnerable populations, including low-income children, refugees and patients with special needs, many of whom have extensive dental disease and extreme dental anxiety. She has also participated in 10 international dental missions.




Going to the dentist isn’t most kids’ idea of fun, but Dr. Farida Saher’s Southport office looks more like an indoor playground than a dentist’s office. A panoply of primary colours and bright, open spaces, the welcoming environment is designed to alleviate patient stress. Saher specializes in treating children who are very young, medically compromised, with extensive dental disease and extreme anxiety, as well people of any age with special needs like autism or Down’s syndrome. Over the past two years, her clinics have also seen an influx of refugees whose teeth are rampant with decay, infection and abscesses. Many of these patients can’t be safely treated in a traditional dental office and their treatment must be done under general anesthetic in a dental surgical suite. Saher’s Southport clinic is the only pediatric dental office in Alberta that has its own on-site surgical suite. Saher has also participated in 10 international missions with the dental charity Kindness in Action, travelling to the remotest regions of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Haiti and Peru. She also led a team of 18 dentists and staff to Cambodia in 2017, treating more than 1,000 patients over two weeks. “There is nothing more rewarding than relieving the pain of a person who has been suffering in agony for literally years. It’s a gift to both them and the person doing the treatment,” Saher says. In Calgary, Saher oversees the daily operations of her two Dental Care for Children practices, which have 18 chairs between them, a surgical facility and a staff of 25. Of her 8,000 active patients, many are low-income, so she is also a financial advocate, appealing for assistance through government programs, trusts and grants so that money “It’s important to use your isn’t a barrier to care. “Everybody is welcome,” she says. “Whatever challenges skills for good. You have to you bring to this office, you’re welcome look within yourself to find here, and we will do our best to treat you with the utmost compassion and what you can give, but you care.” —J.H. P 40 U 40


don’t have to look very hard to find someone to help.”

Dr. Farida Saher, Pediatric Dentist and Owner, Dental Care for Children; Clinical Lecturer, Department of Surgery, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. AvenueCalgary.com


Dr. Ryan 33 Todd

A practicing psychiatrist on a mission to improve the mental health of Canadians, Dr. Ryan Todd founded headversity, a start-up that measures, tracks and trains mental health resilience in the workplace.




At two o’clock every afternoon, Dr. Ryan Todd blocks off 10 minutes for himself. He heads into his office, closes the door and meditates, before stepping back into his roles as physician, entrepreneur, public speaker, husband and father to a toddler and a newborn. “I can get disjointed throughout the day, going from one thing to the next. I’ve learned to meditate every day to reverse that,” he says. Todd is practicing what he preaches. He’s a psychiatrist at the Foothills Medical Centre, where he works with patients dealing with extreme adversity: athletes facing career-ending injury or people struggling with the effects of chemotherapy, for example. He believes mental health skills can and should be trained. That’s why, in 2018, Todd launched headversity, a start-up that measures, tracks and builds resilience among employees in the workplace. Headversity uses techniques from psychiatry, sport psychology and neuroscience to train people to strengthen their resilience. “We set the goal that we want to impact a million people — arbitrary and audacious and maybe foolish, but we’re not going to stop until we accomplish that,” he says. Headversity employs eight people and has partnered with more than 10 organizations, including the United States Hockey League and ATB Financial. Now in the second phase of its business plan, the company has raised $1 million from angel investors and is valued at $5 million. Todd’s love of sport is woven into his life. He grew up in small-town Saskatchewan where he says “there was nothing to do” other than play sports. During his medical residency, he fundraised for and produced the documentary A Dark Room to raise awareness of mental health in hockey. Endorsed by the National Film Board of Canada, the film is now screened in high school physical education classes. He volunteered as the crisis intervention team psychiatrist for Canada during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and has worked with UCalgary to develop a mental health care strategy for young athletes. “I think you need to dig into life,” Todd says. “You need to engage, you need to build skills, you need to not avoid things that are difficult.” —C.F. P 40 U 40


Dr. Ryan Todd, CEO, headversity; Psychiatrist, Foothills Medical Centre; Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. 98


“There is, quite simply, a need to educate and give people the skills to help them take care of their own mental health.”

Rachel35 Wade

Rachel Wade pushes the boundaries of inclusion and diversity in corporate Calgary for companies such as ATB Financial. She also helped secure funding that saved the charitable Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society from having to cease.




Rachel Wade describes herself as “tenacious.” It’s a quality that has made her an influential force as someone who works to promote corporate diversity and inclusion. But it isn’t easy. “[There’s been] a lot of no’s along the way, a lot of doors bolted shut,” she says. As an employee of ATB Financial, Wade was a key player in the creation of the company’s 11th value (“courageously be yourself and a true ally to each other”) and she was the founding chair of ATB’s largest employee resource network, Ellevate, which focuses on advancing women in the workplace with the support of allies. In her time at ATB, Wade not only found ways around the “no’s,” she turned them into valuable conversations about diversity and inclusion. In her former role as director of external equity & inclusion for ATB, she focused on removing systemic barriers to banking for vulnerable populations. That included consulting on how people with disabilities can better access banking services and liaising with LGBTQ2+ employees to address pronoun usage in ATB’s banking system. “For me, the end game is about raising others up. It’s about creating opportunities for all people,” Wade says. Wade’s tenacity also extends to her volunteer work. Two and a half years ago, when she took on the title and responsibilities of board president for the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, the charity was six months away from closing its doors. Wade helped the organization acquire $475,000 in funding and also secure an official partnership with the City of Calgary. Now, in a new role with Parkland, a fuel and petroleum company that recently moved its corporate head office to downtown Calgary, Wade is bringing her advocacy to a global stage. The constant running through all her achievements is her ability to inspire others into action. “Don’t be afraid to have that passion and to use that as the spark that ignites everyone around you, too,” Wade says, “because when somebody sees that you are excited about something, they want to get excited with you.” —A.M. P 40 U 40


Rachel Wade, Leader of Diversity & Inclusion, Engagement & Culture, Parkland; Board President, Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. AvenueCalgary.com


Dr. Lauren 34 Walker

As a researcher and clinical psychologist, Dr. Lauren Walker has developed groundbreaking programs to help patients suffering from cancer-related sexual difficulties, one of the most distressing but often ignored side effects of treatment.




Dr. Lauren Walker’s superpower has always been her willingness to talk about the subjects everyone else likes to avoid. With parents who trained as social workers, she grew up in a home where no topic was off limits. It’s a philosophy that drives her work now as a psychologist and researcher who helps people address issues often considered taboo: primarily, cancer, sex and dying. “People think that these are private matters. We don’t talk about them. But that mentality means people are left suffering alone,” she says. A born-and-raised Calgarian, Walker decided in high school to pursue clinical psychology after her cousin took his own life. She never veered from her plan. While completing her masters degree, she began a research project looking at sexual function among cancer survivors. She saw people in need of help. “Sexual difficulties are the most persistent and distressing long-term side effect of cancer treatment, but people don’t know how to talk about it,” she says. Over the following decade, her work led to the development of several innovative programs to help cancer patients and their partners deal with sexual changes during and after cancer treatment. Based on the success of her programs in Alberta, several have been implemented across Canada and abroad. Walker is both a clinician who treats patients and a scientist who studies the outcomes of treatment programs. She’s responsible for researching, publishing, securing “It’s vital to funding and advocating for change, with more than 30 publications and help people 50 conference presentations to her develop concredit. She also has a private practice in the city’s northwest and has written fidence and a book for prostate cancer patients. the skills to She believes that every person, not just mental health professionals, can be able to change the way Canadians approach communicate conversations about mental health, so about topics she encourages everyone to talk about the things that are hard. “I would love that, for many, to see people breaking down those can feel almost barriers so they can be social support to their friends and to their commu- paralyzing to discuss.” nity,” she says. —C.F. P 40 U 40


Dr. Lauren Walker, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary; Owner and Clinical Psychologist, Walker Psychological Inc. 100


WE BUILD Communities, Strategies, Relationships & Culture. ELLEN PARKER IS A PROUD TOP 40 UNDER 40 ALUMNI

and the founder of PARKER PR, a public relations firm in Calgary. PARKER PR is a group of communication professionals with a proven track record of helping businesses thrive through creating and implementing thoughtful communication strategies. Prior to founding PARKER PR, Ellen worked in New York City for the Institute for Children and Poverty and for boutique PR firms representing a variety of celebrities, hotels and small businesses. In Canada, Ellen has worked for the Alberta government, WordFest: Banff, Calgary International Writers Festival, the Calgary Food Bank and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Ellen is most proud of her family — including her husband and her two boys — her team at PARKER PR, and her commitment to volunteerism as a board member for Dress For Success, the Chair of the Hillhurst Parent Council and an ongoing volunteer for the Brenda Strafford Centre, a home for women and children fleeing domestic violence. PARKERPR.CA



Dr. Fareen 34 Zaver

Dr. Fareen Zaver is changing medical education in ways that will help new doctors in Canada and around the world.




Dr. Fareen Zaver always wanted to be a doctor in her hometown of Calgary. But, she wasn’t initially accepted into medical school in Canada. Instead, she completed her medical degree at a school in the Caribbean. That made her an international medical graduate, limiting her options for getting back to Canada to do a residency in emergency medicine. So she moved to Washington D.C., to complete four years of residency and a fifth year at the Mayo Clinic. In her last year there, while studying for her Canadian certification exams, she built an online education curriculum for emergency medicine residents. Today, Zaver is an emergency physician at the Peter Lougheed Centre and the South Health Campus and her medical curriculum is used around the world. She could have returned to Canada earlier if she had been willing to train in a different specialty, but that wasn’t an option she would consider. “Emergency medicine is the place where you get to hold someone’s hand, look them in the eyes and tell them that you’re going to try to provide safety for them on what might be their worst day,” she says. She hopes her story inspires others who struggle with unexpected obstacles on their career path. “It’s about working hard and being resourceful and not giving up when things get really difficult,” she says. Inspired by her own difficult experiences in training, Zaver developed a virtual online community for residents and directs a fellowship for physicians who want to create online training programs. Her online emergency medicine curriculum is now used in 10 countries, making her an international leader in medical education. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in medical education. For her thesis, she is creating a curriculum to help “It isn’t about benew doctors as they transition from ing the expert in trainees to independent practice. “I don’t want someone else to have your field, it isn’t to go through those same struggles about having all I did,” she says. “I want to build something so the next generation the credentials. of people experience it differently.” It’s about work—C.F. P 40 U 40


Dr. Fareen Zaver, Emergency Physician, Peter Lougheed Centre and South Health Campus; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary. 1 02


ing hard and being resourceful and not giving up when things get really difficult.”


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Joyce Byrne was the publisher

MEET THE 2019 JUDGES Evelyn Ackah is the founder

and managing lawyer of Ackah Business Immigration Law with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Her practice focuses exclusively on Canadian and cross-border NAFTA U.S. immigration law. After 12 years of practicing law in Toronto at national and international law firms, she moved to Calgary in 2008 as a partner with a leading national law firm. In 2010, Ackah launched her own firm to focus on what she does best — immigration — and to provide innovative and flexible legal solutions that embody her independent spirit and passion for law.

Desiree Bombenon

is president and CEO of SureCall, a global business optimization company; CEO and founder of Desirée Imports, a boutique wine importer; and founder of Mentor in a Mini-Skirt, an endeavour supporting female leaders to reach their potential. She is a Harvard alumnus and a member of the Advanced Leadership Initiative cohort working on critical humanitarian issues. Bombenon is also an active member of Young Presidents Organization. She was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, 2016 and 2017, by the Women Executive Network and one of The 50 Most Empowering Women in Business by InsightsSuccess. The Center for Economic and Leadership Development, in consultation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, recognized her as a transformational leader, honouring her with the Enabler of Vision award for 2017.

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of Avenue Calgary for five years. She has served on the boards of the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF), the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association (AMPA) and the International Regional Magazine Association, and has been recognized by her industry with numerous awards including the NABS Honour Roll (2012) and the Advertising Club of Edmonton’s Fellowship Award in 2013. She received the AMPA Award for Achievement in Publishing in 2017, and the NMAF Outstanding Achievement Award in 2018.

Dr. Vikas Kuriachan joined

the division of cardiology at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and University of Calgary in July 2010, after completing a year of training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. He is currently a clinical associate professor and medical director of the Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Clinic in Calgary. He was part of the Avenue Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.

Käthe Lemon is the editor-

in-chief of Avenue magazine in Calgary. She has worked as a magazine editor and writer for 20 years and has been at the helm of Avenue since 2007. For five years, she also taught communications history and theory through Athabasca University. Her work in magazines has been recognized with awards from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, the Western Magazine Awards, the National Magazine Awards and the International Regional Magazine Association. In 2011 she was named Editor of the Year by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

Jay MacGillivray is the Chief

Growth Officer of GenerousSolutions, a tech start-up that provides non-profits the online tools they need to improve their fundraising effectiveness and reach. He is honoured to have served on the boards of One Yellow Rabbit, Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons), Calgary Opera, the 2016 Juno Awards and Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society; and is proud to have been part of the Avenue Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2008.

Sarosh Rizvi is executive

director for both the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) and the Kleos Microfinance Group, a woman-centred international development charity based in Calgary. Rizvi’s support of marginalized communities at home and abroad landed him in the Avenue Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2014. Recently, he was recognized by The Canadian Times with the Unsung Hero Award and by MOSAIC Volunteers Association with the Community Hero Award.

Su Ying Strang is an artist

and cultural worker based in Calgary/Mohkinstsis, originally hailing from the southern United States. Strang has been involved in the not-for-profit arts sector since 2010. She is currently the director of The New Gallery (TNG), president of the Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres and a governor on the board of Glenbow museum. TNG was recognized at the 2017 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions, where the organization was presented with the Sandstone City Builder Award. Strang was part of the inaugural cohort of the Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership program in 2017-2018. She received a 2018 AUArts Alumni Horizon Award and was part of the Avenue Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.

Shelley Vandenberg is the

president of First Calgary Financial. Leading more than 300 employees who serve First Calgary’s 80,000 memberowners, Vandenberg’s career in financial services has spanned 25 years with portfolios including risk management, privacy, facility services, contact-centre management, retail banking, business banking and wealth management. Vandenberg believes banking is about more than money — it’s about positively impacting the lives of those around us and making Calgary a great place for everyone to live, work and thrive. Visit avenuecalgary.com/top40thankyous to see a list of the people and groups that the Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 would like to recognize for helping them succeed.


Labour Trafficking in Alberta

BY Erin Tettensor

Migrant workers are being lured to the province with false promises of a better life, only to find themselves trapped, exploited and abused. This is a glimpse at these hidden practices operating right under our noses.

10 6 avenueNOVEMBER.19


orcing workers to live in squalid conditions, sometimes under oppressive surveillance. Withholding pay for “expenses” and other mysterious “fees” and “fines.” Confiscating passports and bank cards so workers can’t leave. Threatening workers with deportation or harm if they complain about these or any other abuses. No, this isn’t another story about forced labour in Qatar or Saudi Arabia. These things are happening right here in Alberta, in hotels and workshops, in farmers’ fields and in private homes. Even your favourite fast food joint might be using trafficked labour. Though numbers are hard to come by, evidence suggests that human trafficking for the purposes of labour is big business in our province. And while activists have been raising the alarm for years, the abuses go on, unseen and largely ignored by the media and the general public. “They’re horror stories,” says Devin Yeager, a labour relations officer with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). “Frankly, the things that are happening today, people would lose their minds over [if they knew].”

Ella’s story

“She used me until the last day of my visa.” Ella* weeps quietly as she tells her story. It was November 2015. Ella had been a virtual prisoner in a home in northeast Calgary for three years, forbidden to leave the house unescorted, working 14-hour days and sleeping on a sofabed with her few belongings crammed underneath. Her passport had been taken from her, as well as her bank card. Now, with her visa expired, her employer had tossed her out into the street. With nowhere else to go, she walked to the nearest CTrain station in search of help. There, she found a good Samaritan — a fellow Filipina who helped Ella find a boarding house. She had a safe place to sleep, at least. But she was still alone, homeless, unemployed, and now undocumented and facing possible deportation. She had no idea what she would do in the morning.

Trafficking is Exploitation

Stories like Ella’s are not new. As early as 2010, the RCMP singled out Alberta as being at the forefront of a rising number of complaints related to labour trafficking across the country. Reliable statistics don’t exist — there’s no national database,

and many victims never come forward — but organizations that work with survivors of labour trafficking in the province have seen dozens of cases over the past few years. It’s widely believed that those cases are only the tip of the iceberg. So why aren’t we hearing more about it? The problem, say advocates, starts with myths and stereotypes. When we hear the word “trafficking” most of us imagine something out of the movies. A college student kidnapped by organized crime (Taken), or a shipping container packed with women smuggled from eastern Europe (The Wire). But in fact, kidnapping is rare, and smuggling people across borders isn’t necessary for a case to qualify as trafficking. As defined by the Criminal Code of Canada, trafficking in persons occurs when someone “recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation.” “It’s about exploitation, not movement,” says Amy Wilson of the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta (ACT Alberta). Yet the image of women and girls in cages persists, and Wilson says these stereotypes can be incredibly harmful, making it harder for law enforcement and service providers to recognize real-life victims when they come across them. It may even make it more difficult for victims themselves to realize they’re being trafficked. That’s especially true given the vague wording of the criminal code, which leaves plenty of room for interpretation. “It can be quite challenging to accurately identify a case of human trafficking,” Wilson says. The intersections between the illegal and the immoral, between trafficking and other forms of exploitation, are not always clear-cut. Jessica Juen works for Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), a local non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services to all immigrants and refugees in southern Alberta. She says that when it comes to labour trafficking, even cases that involve extreme exploitation might still fall short of trafficking. “A lot of times,” says Juen, “I will not put clients in that box.” There’s also a tendency to focus on sex trafficking, including in law enforcement and policy circles. Yet evidence suggests that human trafficking for the purposes of labour is actually more common, both globally and nationally.


Here in Alberta, labour trafficking accounts for nearly half of the referrals to ACT Alberta, according to Wilson. As for who’s using trafficked labour, it’s often everyday, legitimate businesses. You can find trafficked workers on farms, in nail salons, cleaning hotel rooms, or pushing a baby carriage down the street. Some employers may not even realize they’re using trafficked labour — though ACT Alberta insists that’s rare. Most of the time, says Wilson, employers are actively involved in the exploitation. Migrant workers are especially vulnerable. Almost all of the labour trafficking cases ACT Alberta deals with involve victims who are foreign nationals. “Most of the cases we see are with people entering the country with a valid visa,” Wilson says. Marco Luciano is the director of Migrante Alberta, a community organization that works with migrants. He agrees that the majority of cases involve newcomers who have entered the country legally, as opposed to the prevailing stereotype about trafficking, which is “where they pay this guy, and he puts them in a trunk and they cross the border.” Specifically, he points to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as the source of many of the problems — and he’s not alone.

A Problematic Program

Indentured labour. Modern-day slavery. Legalized trafficking. These are just a few of the terms community organizations and human rights groups use to describe the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) — and that’s before anything illegal takes place. The program has been heavily criticized for years, accused of offering employers an easy way to hire cheap, exploitable foreign

* Not her real name. All details in this story, including those provided by named and unnamed sources, have been confirmed according to Avenue’s fact-checking procedures. AvenueCalgary.com


labour. It’s also been singled out in many studies as the most common method by which labour trafficking occurs in Canada. Established in 1973, the TFWP was originally designed to bring in highly specialized workers — academics, engineers and the like — to fill gaps in the labour market. But in 2002, faced with a booming economy and labour shortages, the federal government created a new stream in the program for “low-skilled” workers. That, say advocates, is when the problems really started. “Nobody sat down and [thought] about: what is this going to do?” Yessy Byl, a lawyer and former temporary foreign worker advocate with the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), told the AFL in a 2001 interview. “Have we got a program in place that protects people who are coming with very tenuous rights?”


Tenuous, because work permits obtained through the program are highly restrictive, tying workers to a specific employer in a specific location. Some workers interpret that to mean they don’t have the right to quit. They do — in theory. But to get a new job in Canada, they would have to find another employer willing to file for a new work permit, a process that includes a Labour Market Impact Assessment and a price tag of a thousand dollars or more. For many, that just isn’t a realistic option, so they are stuck. In practice, says Luciano, “their status in Canada is at the mercy of their employer.” If that employer turns out to be exploitative or otherwise abusive, the temporary foreign worker has little recourse — and the employer knows it. Experts say that creates a situation ripe for abuse, with unethical employers threatening to deport workers who complain, who don’t work “hard enough,” or who have the temerity to ask for things like medical attention when they’re sick or injured. Sometimes, employers make good on those threats. “We’ve absolutely had calls like that,” says Yeager. “People that have been injured, and rather than being taken to the hospital, they’re taken to the airport, because it’s just easier to ‘deport’ them, for lack of a better word, than to get them medical treatment.” 1 08


Employers don’t actually have the right to deport anyone, but migrant workers don’t always realize that. They may have a limited command of English and be unfamiliar with Canadian laws. And when people don’t know their rights, says UFCWs Yeager, “they can be threatened with all sorts of things.” By the same token, they can be lured with false promises. A job that doesn’t exist. Wages and benefits that never materialize. The promise of a path to permanent residency that was never possible. This sort of bait-and-switch is all too common, according to reports. And once the trap has been sprung, it can be very hard to escape.

Arjun’s story

Arjun (not his real name) came to Canada in 2018 on a tourist visa, then decided to try to find work. After months of applying without success, he found a trucking company in Calgary that said they already had the paperwork in place for a temporary foreign worker. He was hired as a supervisor at a promised wage of $28.85 an hour. After a few months, his employer told him there wasn’t enough work for him as a supervisor. Arjun hadn’t really been paid yet — just a few hundred dollars in cash here and there. If he wanted a steady paycheque, he was told, he’d have to drive a truck. Arjun protested that he wasn’t a truck driver. He says his employer told him, “‘It’s your choice. Otherwise, I cancel you and you get deported.’” Not only would he never work in Canada again, the employer told him, but being deported would forever be a black mark on his record. No country would take him after that. “So what can I do?” Arjun says. “I start driving a truck.” He worked 70 hours a week, without holidays or overtime pay. Instead of the original $28.85 an hour, he was now promised $2,000 a month. Still, his wages came only sporadically. To keep the company books in order, the cheques were issued for the amount on his contract — $28.85 per hour — but Arjun was obliged to reimburse the employer most of that amount in cash, in accordance with his new, under-the-table salary. When he was paid at all, he received $1,900 a month. Arjun felt he had little choice but to keep working. He needed money to survive, and he hoped to become a permanent resident one day. Then the employer told Arjun that he had to pay $11,000 in “taxes” or he wouldn’t give Arjun any more work and would cancel his permanent residency application. Otherwise, the employer told him, his application would be sabotaged. The threats and promises continued for months, until Arjun managed to cobble together $5,000

from his family in India. At that point he went to CCIS for advice on whether he should pay that amount as the first installment on the $11,000 in the taxes he believed he owed his employer. Based on what he learned from CCIS, Arjun quit and filed a complaint with Service Canada. In response, he says, the employer — who was also born in India — sent his relatives to threaten Arjun’s family back home. CCIS referred Arjun to ACT Alberta, who investigated the case and was able to get him an open work permit. At the time Avenue interviewed him, he was looking for a job — and still receiving threats from his former employer. Arjun’s story is far from unique — The Globe and Mail recently published a lengthy investigative report on the trucking industry's use of the TFWP, which alleged illegal payoffs in exchange for jobs, under-trained drivers being put on the roads, and repeated safety violations.

“The exploitation’s in the documentation.”

Critics say the vulnerability of temporary foreign workers isn’t a bug in the system but a feature, part of a model explicitly designed to take advantage of foreigners looking for a better life here. According to a 2011 UFCW report on the status of migrant workers, the temporary foreign worker program “reflects a targeted shift from a governmental model favouring entry of permanent residents, [who] would have equal access to legal rights and a path to citizenship, to migrant workers who are faced with precarious immigration status and more limited access to legal rights.” The inevitable consequence, says the report, is a perpetually vulnerable and exploited workforce. “Migrant workers are de facto second class workers subjected to employment conditions deemed unacceptable to most Canadians and working in constant fear of repatriation at the hands of unscrupulous employers if they assert basic rights.” Put simply, says Michael Hughes of UFCW, “The exploitation’s in the documentation.” Alberta has historically had a voracious appetite for temporary foreign workers — in 2014 the province hosted more than 110,000. According to ACT Alberta, this province had the highest number of temporary foreign workers of any province every year from 2008 to 2014. Though the numbers have fallen with the economic downturn in the province, industries like meat packing and agriculture still employ large numbers of temporary foreign workers.

That’s not a problem on its own, says Hughes. “We’re not against the temporary foreign worker. We’re against the temporary foreign worker program that exploits those workers.” And farm workers, according to the union, are among the most exploited of all.

Life on the farm

The camera threads its way through a warren of cramped rooms. Personal belongings are crammed into every available space. Mold from an unventilated shower spackles the ceiling. Nearby, someone warms tortillas on a hot plate. Hughes and his colleagues at UFCW shot this video back in 2010, in a three-bedroom house in southern Alberta where farm workers from Mexico and Central America were being housed by their employer. According to Hughes, 18 adults were crammed into that space — and obliged to pay hundreds of dollars each in rent for the privilege. His organization shared the video with CBC, but the workers involved were too afraid to talk to reporters directly. That fear, advocates say, is a big part of why so many cases go unreported. Traffickers use a combination of deceit and threats to convince migrants they could be deported at any time, or that they or their loved ones might come to harm. They use other methods of control, too — seizing passports, for example, or withholding bank cards. Some keep workers under constant surveillance, isolated from neighbours and the community. Take the case of a farm in a small community outside of Medicine Hat. As Yeager and Hughes relate the story, it’s a textbook example of many of these control tactics. It began at the recruitment stage, with the employer travelling personally to Central America to gather workers. She went to small Indigenous villages where people spoke only local languages, which ensured that her workers couldn’t communicate with each other, let alone the surrounding community. When the men arrived in Canada, their passports were seized. Then came the threats. If anyone complained, they would all be deported. Not only that, she would never hire anyone from their hometown again. As Hughes puts it, “The entire livelihood of their town [back home] was reliant upon people putting up with exploitation.” The farm was even rumoured to have its own “police.” If workers wandered off without permission, they were rounded up and brought back, “as if they were stray cattle,” says Hughes. So keen was the employer to keep her workers isolated from the

community that she served a church group offering them free haircuts and access to the Internet with a cease and desist letter. That’s what led the church group to call UFCW. Isolation in rural areas is a big reason why farm workers are so vulnerable, Yeager says. “You don’t see them, and it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind.” Luciano of Migrante Alberta says much the same about domestic caregivers. Because they often live in their employers’ homes, they’re all but invisible, and it’s relatively easy for employers to control their movements, not to mention their finances and identity documents. Sometimes, the only connections migrant workers have aside from their employer is the recruitment agency that brought them to Canada — and those agents might themselves be traffickers. In fact, experts say that recruitment agencies — also referred to as immigration consultants, employment brokers and employment agents — are usually the first link in the chain of labour trafficking. Sometimes, the process starts abroad; in other cases, local recruiters are involved. Often, it’s both. And some of those consultants allegedly make huge sums of money. One particularly notorious agency in Vancouver is alleged to have made $5 million a year from migrants looking for a better life in Canada. So strong is this desire to immigrate that, in addition to labour exploitation, migrant workers are vulnerable to other scams and abuses designed to take advantage of them.

Edeline’s story

Edeline Royo’s greatest dream was to come to Canada. Originally from the Philipines, Royo had gone to Hong Kong in 2002 to do domestic work. When she heard a laundry service in Edmonton was looking for workers, she jumped at the chance. She paid a Hong Kong-based agent more than $7,000 in recruitment fees. Her paperwork came through, and in July 2014, she arrived in Edmonton as a temporary foreign worker, washing linens for hospitals and hotels. Royo hoped to apply for permanent residency so she could bring her family over from the Philippines, but her employers told her they couldn’t nominate her. If she wanted to stay, she’d have to find a new job. She did an internet search for the Labour Market Impact Assessment, which temporary foreign workers need to get if they want to apply for another job, and an ad from a local recruitment agency popped up. “It says, we can help you … and we have so much jobs,” she says.

If you suspect trafficking activity, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) to report an anonymous tip, or you can call the 24-hour confidential Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010. You can also call your local law enforcement or RCMP office. For referrals, information, advice and coordination of services, call ACT Alberta at 780-218-5815 (for Edmonton and Northern Alberta) and 587-585-5236 (for Calgary and Southern Alberta). It is also possible to make an anonymous tip to Employment Standards, a department of the Government of Alberta. Do not try to intervene directly in suspected cases of trafficking. Traffickers can be dangerous, and intervention may put you and the victim at risk or jeopardize the integrity of an ongoing investigation.

Royo contacted the agency and was reportedly told that instead of seeking work, she should apply as a student. “Once you become an international student,” she says they advised her, “you can get your family, you can get your children to study here.” She was told that after graduating she could apply for an open work permit and permanent residency. All it would cost her was $3,000 in fees to the recruiter and $18,000 in tuition, books and other expenses to the school. Royo had already sold her motorcycle and mortgaged her house to make her way to Canada, so she turned to her parents, who mortgaged their own home to raise the money. She was halfway through her studies when she learned the truth. Some of her classmates, who had been recruited by the same agency, had started to graduate and were applying for the promised work permits. Those applications were being rejected. They weren’t eligible for permanent residency through the program. They never had been. “All my world turned upside down,” Royo says. She had no money, no work permit, and was saddled with debt. “How can I pay? I cried. I really cried.” She and her classmates are now suing Solomon College, and immigration consultant Amarjot Singh, accusing them of making “false representations.” Employers and recruiters often work together to funnel migrants into exploitative situations, AvenueCalgary.com


according to a recent report on human trafficking in Calgary. Sometimes, the network reaches all the way back to migrants’ countries of origin. Traffickers are often from the same ethnic community as those they exploit. And sometimes, they’re even closer than that.

Ella’s story

Ella was working as a nanny in Hong Kong when a relative reached out to her. The relative was already living in Canada and had a successful cleaning business in Calgary. Would Ella like to come and work for her? “And I’m really happy,” Ella says, “because it’s my privilege to come to Canada.” Ella says she was promised $1,000 a month — the “prevailing rate,” according to her relative. She’d have free room and board and be able to send money back home to the Philippines for her mother, who suffered from chronic health problems. Ella borrowed money to pay for her airfare and roughly $3,000 in recruitment fees through agencies based in Hong Kong and Canada. She arrived in Calgary in 2012. Things started to go wrong straightaway. Ella and another new employee were taken to the bank to open joint accounts with their employer (Ella’s relative) — to allow direct deposit of their salaries, they were told. But their bank cards were taken by the employer, and their passports too. Six of them lived together in a house owned by the employer — they had to share bedrooms. But instead of the free room and board Ella had been promised, she was responsible for a share of the utilities and she had to pay “rent” in the form of five free hours of work every day. Ella says she knew it wasn’t fair, but she didn’t complain. Every day, she and the other employees left the house at 8 a.m. and cleaned until 5 p.m. They went home for a brief supper break, then resumed cleaning from 6 to 11 p.m. (the later shift going toward “rent”). While Ella was earning the equivalent of about $2.50/hour, her employer was charging her labour out at $25/hour. It was a lonely time. Ella wasn’t allowed to have a phone. She wasn’t even permitted to leave the house for church. And still, she says, she didn’t complain. “Because I know that it’s really hard to come to Canada, so I need to try my best to earn money.” Jessica Juen of CCIS says she encounters that sort of resolve often. “They are just so focused on their intention to stay.” As with any abusive relationship, the dynamics are complicated, and victims may feel they have no choice but to remain with their abusers. They may have debts back 1 10


home, or relatives in difficult circumstances, and feel that their only option is to endure. Ella endured for more than three years, until her visa was set to expire. Her employer promised to renew her work permit — and even took $1,000 from Ella to pay for it — but the promised paperwork never arrived. Then came the final abuse. “She asked me to go out from her house. She said, ‘You need to go out right now because the authorities, the police, they know that you are staying with me. So it’s better you will leave the house right now.’” Ella was turned out onto the street with only what she could carry. Terrified and alone, she turned to strangers at a CTrain station for help. “Imagine that it’s my own blood,” she says. “How can she do that? I think she’s very greedy with money. Money is the devil.” Ella managed to find help, thanks to CCIS and ACT Alberta. But her trials aren’t over. She still needs to find a new job, and, as she discovered, there are all too many predators waiting to take advantage of the vulnerable. Despite all the obstacles, Ella managed to find an employer in Calgary who was prepared to hire her. They went together to a local recruitment agency, where she says she paid $2,000 for help with her paperwork. She never heard from the recruitment agent again.

Supporting the survivors

Organizations like CCIS, Migrante and ACT do what they can to support victims of labour trafficking, but the cases they see almost certainly represent only a fraction of what’s out there. Many survivors are too afraid to come forward. Others may not think of themselves as being trafficked, especially if they’ve experienced exploitation before coming to Canada. Still others, like Ella and Arjun, will suffer in silence in the hope they will one day become permanent residents and provide better lives for their families. “You would be surprised how much they would endure,” says Juen of CCIS. When they do come forward, it’s often to community organizations rather than law enforcement. Asked whether she went to the police with her case, Edeline Royo’s response is typical: “How can I go to the police? The police can easily kick me. If I go to the police, [they would say] ‘You are not a permanent resident. You don’t have any status here. You look like an alien. What’s your right to complain?’ They will easily kick me out of the country.” Other interviewees expressed similar worries and doubts about whether law enforcement would be relevant or helpful in their cases.


Perhaps tellingly, despite a concerted effort by Avenue over a period of several months to speak with representatives of the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP (the latter having the clearer mandate with regard to labour trafficking), no one was made available for an interview. Even when authorities do manage to identify traffickers, prosecution is notoriously difficult. As of 2018, there has only been one labour-trafficking conviction in Canada. Here in Alberta, while labour-trafficking charges have been laid a handful of times, none has resulted in a conviction, as such, though there have been instances where cases of labour-trafficking have resulted in convictions for other offenses, with the offenders receiving jail sentences. Experts point to the vague wording of the criminal code and the tendency of the justice system to interpret “coercion” very narrowly, in a way that requires the victim to fear for his or her physical safety. Absent the threat of physical violence, prosecutors may hesitate to lay human trafficking charges even in cases of extreme exploitation, preferring instead to rely on watereddown charges in order to secure a conviction. The criminal justice response aside, what’s really needed, advocates say, is better protections for migrant workers. Here, at least, there are signs the federal government is paying attention. Following years of criticism, it has progressively made a number of changes to the TFWP designed to curb abuses under the program. In 2018, it announced it would set aside $33.19 million a year to fund surprise inspections of employers using the TFWP, and another $3.4 million to establish a pilot network of support organizations to assist in cases of potential abuse. Most recently, in June 2019, it announced measures to allow migrant workers who are in an abusive job situation to apply for an open work permit. It’s too soon to say how effective these measures will be, especially if they aren’t widely known among the people who need them most — namely, foreign workers themselves. But there is, perhaps, reason to hope that migrant workers will be a little less vulnerable in the future. In the meantime, community organizations will continue to work with what few resources they have to increase awareness, and to support survivors like Arjun, Edeline and Ella.

Save now, pay dearly later DENTAL TOURISM: Discount treatment can be costly The complications created by substandard dental implant treatment and lack of follow-up may last a lifetime. Dental implant therapy is a popular tooth replacement procedure, and individuals are drawn to tourist destinations by the lure of low-cost dental work. While the price tag may be appealing, going abroad for complex dentistry is risky. Problems created by dental tourism are rising dramatically. Patients seeking care while on vacation are often returning with loose implants, jawbone and gum infection, sinus problems, nerve and bone damage and poor esthetic results. Low treatment costs abroad are associated with generic, inferior-quality parts, resulting in poor fit, loosening or break-

Canadian Academy of Periodontology

age. When these procedures fail and repairs are required, the initial cost saving is lost and much long-term expense is created. Periodontists are registered dental specialists who treat gum disease and understand the foundational structures that support teeth and implants. In Canada, dental specialists are strictly regulated, completing three or more years training beyond general dental study. Periodontists are highly trained and practice to a standard of care that may not be matched in foreign locations. Dental practices adhere to stringent sterilization protocols and documentation demanded by Alberta Health. Before risking vacation dental work, please consult your local dentist or periodontist.

• Failed implant floating in sinus infection

Find a periodontist today by visiting the Alberta Society of Dental Specialists at asds.ca More information: Canadian Academy of Periodontology, cap-acp.ca

One Yellow Rabbit’s

January 8 – 26, 2020



Own the night PHOTOGRAPHY BY Heather Saitz STYLING BY Brenna Hardy (Styleista) HAIR & MAKEUP BY Emilia Kuczma-Porebska MODELS Grace C. (Mode Models) AND Marco D. (Klass Management) PHOTOGRAPHED ON LOCATION AT Taiko Canteen

112 avenueNOVEMBER.19

Jacket, $205, and shirt, $110, both from Kate Hewko; skirt, $147, from Bellissima; Vince shoes, $158, from The Upside; clutch, $225 from Parts + Labor; earrings, $25, from Kate Hewko; ring and belt, stylist’s own. OPPOSITE (ON HER) L’Agence slip dress, $680, Theory T-shirt, $100, Smythe blazer, $795, Save the Duck coat, $295, Rene

Caovilla boots, $1,520, and Saint Laurent bag, $1,800, all from Holt Renfrew; earrings, $95, from Hillberg & Berk; hair clips, $9 (set of two), from Simons. (ON HIM) Saint Laurent sweater, $1,540; Paul Smith pants, $1,195; Salvatore Ferragamo belt, $480, Moose Knuckles jacket, $650, and Balenciaga boots, $1,520, all from Holt Renfrew. AvenueCalgary.com


Comme des Garรงons shirt, $490; Balenciaga jacket, $2,450, and Paige jeans, $285, all from Holt Renfrew; Alonso Oyarzun bracelets, $20 to $40, from Man of Distinction; chain belt, $18, from Kate Hewko. 1 14


(ON HER) Michael Michael Kors dress from Michael Kors, $450; BP boots, $115, from Nordstrom; earrings, $30, from Simons. (ON HIM) Sportcoat, $225, pants, $69, Le 31 turtleneck, $50, and Le 31 belt, $59, all from Simons; Prada boots, $965, from Holt Renfrew; Bremont watch $6,995, from J.Vair Anderson Jewellers.



(ON HER) Y/Project dress, $1,245, and La Seine & Moi faux-fur jacket, $1,195, both from Simons Edito; earrings, $85, from Hillberg & Berk; clutch, $59, from Simons; J.Vair Anderson Collection ring, $22,500, from J.Vair Anderson Jewellers. 1 16


(ON HIM) Le 31 blazer, $295, Le 31 shirt, $99, and Hugo Boss pants, $225, all from Simons; Sinn watch, $2,000 from J.Vair Anderson Jewellers; shoes, $135, from Simons.


Gift Guide 2019 1







Spirits With Smoke Add WOW factor with fire! Experience elevated flavour by adding aroma, using our unique smoked cocktail kit! spiritswithsmoke.ca


Hippo Hug Give the greatest hug this season! Our custom weighted products settle, comfort and provide calm.

hippohug.ca, 587.356.0633


Hollyberry Soaps Join us in the berry patch. Storefront locations in Cochrane and Carstairs Alberta. Instagram and Facebook


Suzie Q Studio Give the gift of creativity with deluxe, easy-to-make, Serendipity Bead Stew bracelet kits and jewelry-making parties! Exclusively at suzieqstudio.com


Lowen’s Skincare Gentle yet powerful face and body cleanser made with 50% Alberta-sourced ingredients. EWG Verified™ safe and effective.

lowens.ca @lowensskincare


Sweeten up your life with Those Chocolates. Available online at Avenida Food Hall (inside the Mercantile) and at Fresh & Local Farm Outlet.


thosechocolates.ca @thosechocolates


Broek Pork Acres Farm-raised Heritage Breed Berkshire Pork. Available at their farm store, high-end restaurants, & local niche & natural health food stores.

broekporkacres.com, 403.381.4753

@hollyberrysoaps, hollyberrysoaps.com



Dress, $168, and earrings, $25, from Kate Hewko.

1 18



Bellissima, multiple Calgary locations, bellissimafashions.com Era Style Loft, 917 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-5095, erastyleloft.com Holt Renfrew, The Core, 403-269-7341, holtrenfrew.com Hillberg & Berk, CF Market Mall, 403-202-6277, hillbergandberk.com J.Vair Anderson Jewellers, 409 3 St. S.W., 403-266-1669, jvairanderson.com Kate Hewko Concept Store, 112, 908 17 Ave. S.W., 587-356-1229, katehewko.com Man of Distinction, 115-12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-523-0120; 1418 9 Ave. S.E., 403-454-3133; Unit 12B 49 Elizabeth St., Okotoks, 403-995-0616; manofdistinction.com Michael Kors, The Core, 403-264-4981; CF Chinook Centre, 403-537-0093; and Southcentre, 403-225-1943; michaelkors.ca Nordstrom, CF Chinook Centre, 587-291-2000, nordstrom.ca Parts + Labor, partsandlabor-inc.com Simons, The Core, 403-697-1840, simons.ca Smithbilt Hats, 1015 11 St. S.E., 403-244-9131, smithbilthats.com The Upside, 1-844-877-4331, shoptheupside.com

Go Far. Together. ABOVE (ON HIM) Bonobos bomber, $220, Hugo Boss T-shirt, $118, and Tiger of Sweden pants, $229, all from Nordstrom. (ON HER) Alice and Olivia blazer, $630, and sweater, $515, Smythe skirt, $395, ChloĂŠ bag, $2,200, and Monica Vinader rose-gold bracelet, $1,295, all from Nordstrom; ring, $170, and earrings, $110, from Hillberg & Berk, Lionette necklace, $478, from Era Style Loft; hat, $220, from Smithbilt Hats.

Partner with us by visiting cumberlandprivatewealth.com or call 1 403 705 1200 Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc. | Calgary | Toronto | Kingston



BY Colin Gallant PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych AND Mariah Wilson

boutique New

Coffee Shops Third-wave coffee has crested in Calgary. Peek inside the newest spaces shaking up the vibe of the neighbourhood coffee shop.

12 0 avenueNOVEMBER.19

Bagel sandwich at I Love You Coffee Shop.



he fact that I Love You Coffee Shop (ILYCS) owner Dan Murray spent much of his career in the music industry comes as no surprise: inspired by Japanese jazz bars, his new basement café on 4th Street S.W. is stocked with around 600 records at any given time. Murray has quite a sense of humour — he calls ILYCS both an “art project” and his “plan C” — which shows in the second-hand furniture, ever-smooth portrait of Carlos Santana, mismatched mugs and wacky social media stunts. In an indirect response to the placid decor and neutral colour palette saturating the coffee shop market, Murray spent dozens of painstaking hours designing and implementing the shop’s best feature — an explosive array of colours that jump out at you from cubist-inspired painted walls that become more entrancing the longer you look at them. ILYCS brews mild, savoury Calgary Heritage Roasting Company coffee for its drip and espresso options. If you’re looking for the opposite of caffeine, there’s a playful selection of cheap-andcheerful wines, local craft beer and Miller High Life, the Champagne of beers. For food, Murray has sourced his favourite items that aren’t easily accessible to carless Beltline residents, including Montreal Bagels and Empire Provisions cured meats, which ILYCS combines into casual but elevated sandwiches. There are also Japanese pastries from Foster’s Oguraya Bakery in Spruce Cliff. All told, each part of ILYCS adds up to a lighthearted, invigorating whole. Whether you want to geek out on records, take advantage of the bathroom’s pink-and-orange selfie walls or just have an unfussy snack, I Love You is a coffee shop for the people.

348B 14 Ave. S.W., 403-454-1901, iloveyoucoffeeshop.com




Located in a Chinatown lower-level space, The Muze Coffeehouse manages to be both cozy and vibrant. Owner Peter Chan, a retired oil-and-gas professional, has decorated the space with both family heirlooms — paintings on ceramic tiles hung on the red walls — and playful modern touches like the see-through “ghost chairs” and metallic tables in the centre of the room. Order a cup of Rosso coffee and a house-baked, Hong Kong-style bun before rooting through the shop’s record collection — anyone is welcome to take a turn playing DJ. 100 3 Ave. S.E., 403-457-6822, themuzecoffeehouse.ca


This new(ish) roaster has been amassing customers since 2015 despite having just opened its eponymous café in June of this year. Located inside the historic C. C. Snowdon building in brewery-heavy Ramsay, the space features rustic, hand-built tables and nods to both the building’s history and the company’s mascot Bubba the grizzly bear. CHRC’s coffee has a classic quality, eschewing the high-acid floral trend of other contemporary roasters. Have it with a fresh pastry from Butter Block & Co. or a piece of specialty toast. 2020 11 Ave. S.E., calgaryheritageroastingco.com


Lukes Central Library manages to be both highly curated and a crowd pleaser. Whether you want to sip natural wine while enjoying the latest special by chef Eric Hendry, try the signature soft serve or simply grab a quick cup of Bows & Arrows coffee with a hearty takeaway sandwich, the experience is entirely up to you. If you’re sticking around, grab a niche art or food magazine off the rack by the entrance and cozy up in a booth next to the living wall. 800 3 St. S.E., lukeseastvillage.ca 1 22



Neighbour Coffee opened in 2017, but its function as a coffee shop changed significantly after renovations completed in mid-June of this year. Originally a grab-and-go establishment (owned by Brett McDermott of Our Daily Brett and Alkarim Devani of Rndsqr.), a new expansion that includes seating makes the space feel like a minimalist greenhouse. Now the menu is vast, creative and sensitive to all common dietary restrictions, while the coffee comes from Anchored Coffee based in Dartmouth, N.S. Start by trying a tostada or two — you can have them breakfast-style, with smoked salmon or with shrimp. 4038 16 St. S.W., nhbrcoffee.com


This coffee shop in the west end of the Beltline neighbourhood recently changed ownership and management, but Doug Godard and Kym Howse aren’t planning on reinventing the wheel. Though they have added food (the espresso brownie is a highlight) and a retail section of artisan products, the open-concept space and Phil & Sebastian coffee-based drinks will keep the regulars comfortable. Societe also has a revolving menu of guest beans available for pour-over coffees. Order a drink, grab the Sunday edition of The New York Times and claim a spot on the behemoth of a brown leather couch. 1223 11 Ave. S.W., 403-474-6055, societecoffee.ca


You’re unlikely to meet two people more obsessed with coffee than Kitty Chan and Caleb Leung. The two work six days a week at their highly specialized coffee house on the Tigerstedt block in Crescent Heights, where Leung does the roasting and Chan focuses on spreading the gospel of fine, pure and ethical coffee. Their ethos is also reflected by local artwork throughout the space and their choice of suppliers, including organic milk from Vital Green Farms and locally made beanto-bar chocolate by Kin + Pod. Enter Sought x Found with an open mind — Chan and Leung encourage customers to forgo cream or sugar because the subtle notes of their house-roasted beans are best enjoyed plain or with hot milk. 916 Centre St. N., 403-830-7278, soughtxfound.coffee AvenueCalgary.com


Classi c Coffee Shops


THE BLEND Most recently bought and

renovated by Giovanna and John Nicastro in 2014, Higher Ground serves customers who tend to sit-in rather than grab and go. Expect to see a study session, business meeting or first date on any given occasion. ESSENTIAL SIP Organic tea and London Fog lattes are popular, but the bestsellers are the decadent specialty coffee drinks and tea mistos including lavender flavour. 1126 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-270-3780, highergroundcafé.ca


THE BLEND All attitude, no frills. Most Thurs-

days there are free screenings of high-brow cinema by EspressoKino, which draw hipster teens and good-old-days regulars alike. ESSENTIAL SIP As the name plainly states, beans are roasted in house. Try the ice brew at your own risk: it’s a kick in the teeth of fast-acting caffeine. 314 10 St. N.W., 403-270-3304, roasterie.com


THE BLEND No Wi-Fi here, but that’s because Beano-goers are going to be your next best friends. Artists, writers, musicians and regulars of nearly three decades create an open-door clubhouse vibe. ESSENTIAL SIP Beano has its own proprietary espresso blend by Fratello. Try one on its own or as an Americano.

1613 9 St. S.W., 403-229-1232, caffebeano.ca

S'more Mocha from Higher Ground.


THE BLEND With two distinct rooms and


adults all flock to this family-run business. It can be busy at times you wouldn’t expect, but service is fast and friendly. ESSENTIAL SIP The Loaf serves Paradise Mountain Organic Coffee, which is sourced from Thailand and roasted in Calgary. Use it to aid the digestion of the gargantuan sandwiches.

a spacious patio, Weeds’ mix of local artwork, family-heirloom furniture and brightly coloured walls scream coffee-house authenticity. In what used to be its smoking room, you can lounge in a barber’s chair, play a game of chess or tickle the ivories on the vintage piano. ESSENTIAL SIP Using Vancouver’s 49th Parallel beans, proprietor Joel Nania says Weeds makes a must-try classic latte. And classic it is: sugary syrups, though available, are discouraged.

THE BLEND A fiercely loyal cavalcade of neighbourhood families have made Bell’s the unsung epicentre for community gathering in Marda Loop. Savvy Mount Royal University students opting to skip Starbucks make up the bulk of non-regulars. ESSENTIAL SIP Blend in by keeping it simple with a cup of drip. Bell’s serves Kienna Coffee Roasters, a local roaster serving Calgary since 1999.

8 Parkdale Cres. N.W., 403-270-7810,

1903 20 Ave. N.W., 403-282-7940,

1515A 34 Ave. S.W., 403-243-3095,





THE BLEND Families, university kids and older

1 24


WATERTON’S YEAR ROUND, ALL-SUITE HOTEL • Open year round • Fireplace & Jacuzzi in every suite • Deluxe, Romantic and Loft Suites CALL FOR WINTER RATES

1.866.621.3330 www.watertonsuites.com


Modern Italian menu and pasta bar for all tastes. Located in Waterton Glacier Suites. 403.859.2004 redrocktrattoria.com



WATERTON There’s not much open and no one around, but if you want a peaceful and quiet winter getaway in the mountains, Waterton Lakes National Park is right where you want to be. Cameron Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park.

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Photograph by Stevin Tuchiwsky/Travel Alberta


M O U N TA I N S BY Lisa Monforton

Prince of Wales photograph by Mike Morrison/Travel Alberta; Cameron Lake Cabin photograph by Tanya Koob; tree photograph courtesy of Lisa Morforton

LEFT The landmark Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton is closed during the winter months.

BELOW Alpine Club of Canada’s Cameron Lake Cabin is open during the winter for backcountry skiers.

BOTTOM Reclining on a tree on the shores of Upper Waterton Lake.


he only sound I hear is my own breathing as I recline on a tree trunk bent horizontal by the stiff winds that blow across Upper Waterton Lake. The winds are quiet today and the lake is cloaked with a layer of ice fog, a surreal view that stops me and my son/hiking companion in our snowshoes as we traverse the shoreline. It’s utterly, almost eerily, still. A blissfully quiet moment like this is unlikely during the summer in Waterton Lakes National Park. Located just north of the U.S. border, butting up against Glacier National Park in Montana, the park was established in 1895, 10 years after Banff National Park became Canada’s first. Like its older cousin, Waterton Lakes National Park has a bustling summer tourist scene concentrated around a town centre. Unlike Banff, however, there’s little-to-nothing happening during the winter. The only skiers you’ll find are cross-country or backcountry-touring skiers, but even this type are scarce, as are the intrepid ice climbers who come to seek out the area’s frozen waterfalls and rock faces. Then there’s the occasional person like me who goes back year after year simply because they’re smitten. Waterton in the winter feels like a place that has been spared from an apocalyptic event and has yet to be rediscovered. Most businesses, summer homes and cabins close for the winter around Thanksgiving weekend, though there is a small year-round population of 108 residents (official census count) that includes Parks Canada employees.

Walking through town, deer and mountain sheep tend to outnumber fellow human pedestrians. On Waterton Avenue (essentially main street) icicles hang from the roofs of the storefronts like tentacles, the doorways invisible behind windswept drifts of snow. Shuttered during the winter months, the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel evokes the infamous set-piece from The Shining from its perch overlooking Upper Waterton Lake. Snowshoe hikers and Nordic skiers will find a bounty of uncrowded trails to explore. Bellevue Ridge offers 360-degree views, while the Bertha Point and Falls Trail, a popular summer route, looks especially lovely in the winter with the falls all covered in ice and snow. The Alpine Club of Canada’s Cameron Lake Cabin operates December through April for backcountry ski-touring. The hut sleeps up to eight guests and is accessed with a 15-kilometre ski-in trail (a three-to-four hour approach). AvenueCalgary.com



BELOW Waterton Glacier Suites. BOTTOM The Red Rock

Trattoria is one of two restaurants in town that are open during the winter.

For those who are looking for more amenities than a backcountry cabin provides, the Waterton Glacier Suites and Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort are both open during the winter months. Both places offer kitchen-suite accommodations, while the Lodge also has a pool, hot tub and games room for its guests. With limited dining options during the winter, it’s best to book a kitchen suite and bring along provisions to do some cooking while you’re there. As for dining out, The cozy Vimy’s Lounge & Grill at the Lodge was for a long time the only restaurant that remained open through the winter, though it has since been joined by the Red Rock Trattoria, a traditional Italian restaurant. Shameer Suleman, vice-president of the local Chamber and owner of Waterton Glacier Suites and Red Rock Trattoria, as well as the Bayshore Inn Resort and Spa, describes winter in Waterton as a niche market. “The people that I find enjoy it the most are people who want to unplug,” he says. Keith Robinson, whose family has owned the summer boat tour company Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. since the 1950s, grew up in Waterton. He has lived there year-round for the past five years. “You get to feel like you’re the only people on the planet,” Robinson says. But at least a few local business owners, Robinson included, would like the town to become a four-season tourist destination. Hoping to capitalize on the region’s designation as an International Dark Sky Park, Robinson and his brother recently co-founded Dark Sky Guides in Waterton. They’re now offering stargazing tours every weekend in winter 2019-2020 and custom tours by appointment during the week. Their big-picture plans include the opening of an indoor planetarium. Call me selfish, but I hope Waterton’s transformation into a four-season destination doesn’t happen too soon — at least before I get a few more quiet moments lounging in my tree. 1 28


Milky Way photograph by Alan Dyer, AmazingSky; Dark Sky Guides tour photograph courtesy of John Price/Travel Alberta

ABOVE and RIGHT Dark Sky Guides in Wateron offers stargazing experiences.

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





Faced with the challenge of redesigning a lived-in space, a team of designers add brightness and warmth to a home that was dark and dated.

1 30


Designers Kristin Peila (seated) and Stephanie Charest worked together on the dining room, transforming the space with an eye-catching ceiling treatment by Interiors to Inspire and decor elements such as the cowhide rug beneath the table.

Using a blend of cool and warm elements, the living room maintains a modern aesthetic while still being a cozy space to relax at the end of the day.

ABOVE Though the homeowners were ready for a change, they were happy with the location of their home in Bearspaw, so opted to redesign the interior.


ABOVE The dining room is set up for entertaining with a bar cart from Domaine Furnishings & Design.

ABOVE Textures and patterns throughout the home add character.

hen designer Stephanie Charest first met her client Candice Baxter at the front door of her Bearspaw home, Charest immediately took note of the contrast between Baxter’s fluorescent-orange running jacket and the dark tones of the interior. “[The house] was very cold — lots of hard finishes that did not suit her personality,” recalls Charest. “Everything was hard and austere, and just not warm and inviting.” Despite living in the 2,500-square-foot home for more than a decade, Baxter says it never truly felt comfortable. The location, however, was perfect. The home is situated along a fairway of the Lynx Ridge Golf Club near the Calgary city limits and Baxter believed it would be next to impossible to replicate the serene environment and picturesque views elsewhere. The conflict between a need for change and a love for where they were located prompted Baxter to call Charest, owner and principal designer of Stephanie Charest Interior Design. Over the following three years, Charest transformed the house bit by bit into a space that truly suited Baxter and her husband. Though she is certainly drawn to bright colours when it comes to workout clothing, Baxter’s decor tastes lean more toward neutral tones. Her home was previously dominated by dark greys and metals such as chrome and stainless steel. Charest worked slowly with Baxter to introduce new elements that would maintain the AvenueCalgary.com



The redesign of the home began in the kitchen, with lighter paint on the cabinetry and new white quartz countertops.

ABOVE Brass accents add subtle touches of warmth.

1 32


cooler modern aesthetic while creating a sense of warmth in the interior. “I tend to be sort of linear — kind of black-and-white in thinking,” says Baxter. “Stephanie’s good at pushing my boundaries a little bit.” Working mostly in light greys and muted greens, Charest used textured elements and brighter metallic accents to bring warmth into the home. To the right of the main entrance is the dining room, which Charest designed along with collaborator Kristin Peila, creative director of KP Design Co. Under the round dining table, the duo laid a cowhide on the reclaimed hardwood floor. The table’s deep-brown finish complements the dark-painted frames of the windows, which allow light to stream in and reflect off metallic elements, such as the decorative brass bowls and gold-framed chandelier. The off-white ceiling accented with gold and silver, created by Interiors to Inspire, was a

“game-changer,” Peila says. “It was a big inspiration for the rest of the home,” she says. “It tied cool and warm together.” In the kitchen, the design team painted the previously dark cabinets a soft grey, significantly brightening that space. They replaced the old stainless-steel hardward with warmer brass accents and added white quartz countertops that catch the light from the kitchen windows. The living room was another balancing act, with cascading drapes providing soft contrast to the rugged texture of the fireplace. Faced with the challenge of working in a livedin environment, Charest and Peila both say they felt pressure to preserve the home’s authentic feeling. But Baxter says the designers elevated the home’s sense of comfort. “It gives you that modern feeling but still gives you warmth,” says Baxter. “It actually enhanced the feeling of home.”







NEW SHOWROOM NOW OPEN | CALGARY, ALBERTA 6325 11 STREET SE #16, CALGARY, ALBERTA T2H 2L6 (587) 349-2290 | www.porcelanosa-associate.com/calgary AvenueCalgary.com



LEFT The bedroom design was enhanced by textured wallpaper from Crown Surface Solutions and a leather bench from CF Interiors. BELOW Homeowner Candice Baxter’s own aesthetic sensibilities are reflected in patterns such as the one on this chair.


2. Don’t fear light fabrics.

4. Take the plunge with

Sticking with the black

a fresh coat of paint.

leather and red woods

New paint is a quick way

Not every home has

popular in decades past

to change the feeling

ideal natural light. Designer

can be detrimental to

in a space. Try lighter

Stephanie Charest shares

the feel of a living room.

shades to brighten a

her tips on brightening

Light upholstery and

formerly dark room. In

and warming interiors with

natural woods are your

Baxter’s home, a fresh,

limited sunlight.

friends when brightening

light-grey spray treat-

1. Go beyond the glow.

up a space. With today’s

ment on the kitchen

It may seem like a no-

stain- and soil-resistant

cabinets immediately

brainer, but bringing in

treatments, light fabrics

a new light fixture can

shouldn’t be something

be essential to brighten-

to shy away from, even if

add warmth. Drapery

ing a room. “Lighting

you have pets or children.

can make a world of

is a game-changer,”

3. Small touches make

added brightness. 5. Work with drapes to

difference, adding soft-

says Charest. “It can

a big difference. “I often

ness as well as softening

completely transform

hear new clients say their

sounds and acting as a

a home and change the

houses just don’t feel

finishing touch to make

whole atmosphere of

finished, and most often

a space feel warmer.

a room.” But don’t just

it is the finishing touches

“People are always

think in terms of bright-

they’ve cut corners on,”

amazed at the impact

ness. Replacing a dated

says Charest. In the case

good quality draperies

and heavy fixture with

of Baxter’s home, brass

make in a home,” says

something more stream-

decor elements and area

Charest. “They add the

lined and modern can

rugs, such as the cowhide

warmth people are often

be just as important as

in the dining room, add

looking for but don’t

the light itself.

another layer of warmth.

think they need.”

1 34



Design by Stephanie Charest, Stephanie Charest Interior Design, 403-818-2283, stephaniecharest. com, and Kristin Peila, KP Design Co Contractor, Urban Square Developments, 2210, 1317 27 St. S.E., 403-815-7525, urbansquaredevelopments.com Floors throughout from Urban Timber, (Edmonton), 587-521-9663, urbantimber.ca Carpet from CDL Carpet & Floor Centre, 7265 11 St. S.E., 403-255-1811, and 11752 Sarcee Tr. N.W., 403-275-3304, carpetandflooring.com Dining-room tabletop custom made by Out Of The Woodwork, outofthewoodworkyyc.ca Dining room chairs from Maria TomĂĄs Indoor & Oudoor Living, 6051 Centre St. S.W., 403-4546051, mariatomas.com Cowhide rug from Stewart Drummond Studios, 5836 Burbank Rd. S.E., 403-236-9414, stewartdrummondstudios.com Custom draperies (dining room and bedroom) by Red Drapes, reddrapes.com; drapery fabrics from DWA Interior Furnishings, 501 36 Ave. S.E., 403-245-4014, dwainteriors.com Bar cart from Domaine Furnishings & Design, 7130 Fisher Rd. S.E., 403-301-2339, domainefurnishings.com Ceiling by Interiors to Inspire, 6, 4623 Manilla Rd. S.E., 403-243-7433, interiorstoinspire.com Bowls from Domaine Furnishings & Design Vase from HomeSense, homesense.ca Living-room chairs from Cricklewood Interiors, 6626 Centre St. S., 403-258-0050, cricklewoodinteriors.com; upholstery by Red Eight Workshop, 934 55 Ave N.E., 403-219-8885, redeightworkshop.com Custom couch by Stewart Drummond Studios Pendant light from Carrington Lighting, 2513 5 Ave. N.W., 403-264-5483, carringtonlighting.com Mantelpiece by Urban Timber Tray from West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.ca Light over kitchen table by Johnathan Adler, jonathanadler.com Kitchen chairs by Red Eight Workshop Backsplash from Porcelanosa, 16, 6325 11 St. S.E., 587-349-2290, porcelanosacalgary.com Hardware from Marathon Fasteners & Hardware, 40, 5251 48 Ave S.E., 403-291-2231, marathonhardware.com Kitchen pendant lights and brass plate from Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre, 4120 Blackfoot Tr. S.E., 403-245-8637, robinsonco.com Hallway wallpaper Stewart Drummond Studios Bedroom wallpaper from Crown Surface Solutions, crownsurfacesolutions.com Bedroom bench from CF Interiors, 38 Heritage Gate S.E., 403-515-0011, cfinteriors.ca Chandelier from Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre Art frames from Fine Art Framers, 1134 8 Ave S.W., 403-263-8008 Mirror from Crate and Barrel, Southcentre, 403-278-7020, crateandbarrel.ca Pillows by Stewart Drummond Studios Quilt from Restoration Hardware, Southcentre, 403-271-2122, restorationhardware.com

Trained Purveyors of Quality Decorative Hardware 1301 10 ave SW Calgary, AB 403.244.0038 www.banburylane.com

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Fan Donor Volunteer Ticket buyer Board member Champion of the arts Top 40 Under 40 We’re not surprised! Congratulations Samuel Hayes Thank you for all you do.

calgaryphil.com | 403.571.0849





Crafty Cocktail boxes include everything but the liquor and ice

BY Nathan Kunz

try this

needed to craft three feature cocktails. Each month, Crafty Cocktails selects a feature spirit and provides enough cocktail recipes

Local Finds

to use up one 26-ounce bottle. Co-founders Jennifer Simmonds and Chris Morrell say they hope to make home cocktails easier to mix. Order up a December box to wow your holiday guests with recipes based around dark rum. craftycocktails.com

Malika Rajani Fall Collection For several seasons, Malika Rajani’s leather jackets have featured a signature element — single- and doublewoven leather created for her through a partnership with a senior citizen artisan group in China. While Rajani continues to work in handwoven leather, she also has pieces crafted from wool, such as the leopard-print Josephine Cape ($625) and Sophia Jacket (shown, $675), for a warm and stylish winter look. Malika Ranjani’s fall collection is available at malikarajani.com

Routine Face Oils Local natural-deodorant maker Routine has made a foray into other personal-care products with two new face oils. Golden Slumber is a night oil that includes lavender and

myrrh and frankincense. Routine co-

The Floor Knot by Noise & Feathers

founder Neige Blair has been making

Handmade from strips of fabric stuffed with polyester fibre filling, Noise &

the oils since before the company’s

Feathers’ Floor Knots are knotted and sewn by owner and designer Stepha-

inception, and now believes she has

nie Jones. Designed to be used as a footstool or ottoman, Floor Knots are

perfected her formulas.

available by custom order in a variety of colours and patterns. Both comfort-

See a full list of retailers or purchase

able and eye-catching, the Floor Knot is sure to spark conversation.

online at routinecream.com

To order or find a list of retailers visit noiseandfeathers.com

rose oils, which are said to help with sleep, while Woke Glow includes

1 36 avenueNOVEMBER.19

CDL South 7265-11 Street SE Calgary, AB T2H 2S1 CDL North 11752 Sarcee Trail NW Calgary, AB T3R 0A1 CDL Invermere 4B 492 Arrow Road Invermere, BC V0A 1K2

@CDLcalgary CARPET • RUGS • HARDWOOD • andersontuftex.com


Congratulations Usman! Usman Jutt, local Proud McDonald’s® Owner has been named among the 2019 Class of Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40. ©2019McDonald’s



TITLE: Old School Selfie, 2016.


ARTIST: Aaron Sidorenko. MEDIUM: Oil and acrylic on canvas.

CURATED BY Katherine Ylitalo

SIZE: 72-inches square. LOCATION: Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, 635 Confluence Way S.E.


1 38

Old School Selfie colossal, uncompromising portrait confronts you at the end of a corridor at the new Alt Hotel Calgary East Village. Energetic, gritty brushwork on the six-foot-square canvas reveals


acute observation and tough psychological scrutiny, but also sheer pleasure in the act of painting: brushing, dabbing, blending, scraping and scumbling. The artist, Calgarian Aaron Sidorenko, grew up with a sketchbook close at hand and decided to study at the Alberta College of Art + Design (now the Alberta University of the Arts) in the early 2000s. A few years ago, as his life and studio circumstances changed, he made the decision to work big. In the non-flattering overhead light of his dining room, Sidorenko photographed himself with a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera and set to work, pushing the shadows and facing the hard

reality of his aging image. He began Old School Selfie by underpainting with hot colours. Neon orange and reds are still apparent in slivers and patches, while warm complementary colours come to life in tandem with the dark greens and grey-blues. He gave form to the cheeks and forehead with blocks of colour before defining the recesses with tonal variation, the eyes with little touches and the tousled hair in abstract passages. His Old School Selfie is a thoughtful, slow selfportrait in an era of ubiquitous phone selfies, a precursor to his current series of large portraits of the Second World War veterans at an elder care facility in the northwest. As Calgary is home to many excellent portrait painters, Sidorenko conceived and initiated the “People’s Portrait Prize,” an open exhibition for Calgary-area artists. He was amazed when 162 artists entered the first exhibition at C-Space in 2017. The following year, over 200 participated. Nvrlnd, the new art hub transformed out of the Shamrock Hotel in Ramsay, will host the third exhibition in 2020. Here’s an old school that is alive and well in Calgary.

Photograph by Aaron Sidorenko

NOTE: Aaron Sidorenko is represented locally by Paul Kuhn Gallery.

Photo: Michel Gibert, for advertising purposes only. Special thanks: TASCHEN. Architecte : www.christophebernard.eu. *Conditions apply, contact store for details.

French Art de Vivre

Scenario. Modular sofa in leather, double-depth backrests, design Sacha Lakic. Moved. Consoles, design Sandra Demuth. Nuage. Armchairs, design Roberto Tapinassi and Maurizio Manzoni.

CALGARY - 225 10th Avenue SW - Tel. 403-532-4401 VANCOUVER - 716 West Hastings Street - Tel. 604-633-5005

In-store interior design & 3D visualization services.*

Manufactured in Europe.



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