Avenue Magazine December 2021

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26 YEARS OF CITY | LIFE | STYLE | CALGARY

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STAR ON ICE Elladj Baldé is flipping the narrative of figure skating


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Happy Holidays! F R O M O U R T E A M H E R E AT S O T H E B Y ' S I N T E R N AT I O N A L R E A LT Y C A N A D A

Looking back at 2021 we remember with sincere gratitude our Alberta community of faithful clients, friends, and family. May the beauty and hope of the season stay with you all throughout 2022! Sincerely,

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The Community Knowledge Centre connects Calgarians to hundreds of local charities and not-for-profits, making it easy to support the causes you care about most. Visit ckc.calgaryfoundation.org to learn more.


C ONT E N TS 08

EDITOR’S NOTE

66

WORK OF ART

D e ce m b e r 2 0 2 1

47

58

ON THE COVER P H OTO G R A P H B Y PA U L Z I Z K A

Figure skater Elladj Baldé on Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.

DEPAR T MEN TS

F E AT U R E S

13 DETOURS

19 HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE

Most kids will say that recess is their favourite part of school. Read up on a group that’s all about keeping the fun of recess alive for grownups, too. Plus, a look back at some key events and exhibits Telus Spark has done over the past decade, and a primer on established local singing group, the Calgary Men’s Chorus.

47 DINING A celebration of that holidayentertaining mainstay: the charcuterie board, whether you’re one to curate your own or have it made and delivered. 6

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54 MOUNTAINS Five winter walks in the regional mountain areas that provide opportunities for epic photos.

58 DECOR Step inside the home of party decor retailer Amber Sandmoen-Vanee, whose wholehearted approach to holiday decorating is all about magic and whimsy.

64 THE LIST Jessica McCarrel, owner of Kaffeeklatsch coffee shop, on some of her favourite things in the city.

The joy of holiday shopping is browsing boutiques and finding unique gifts for everyone on your list. This year’s holiday shopping guide takes you through six festive retail districts around the city, with gift ideas from shops in each area, as well as suggestions of where to go for a post-shopping coffee or cocktail. By Shelley Arnusch

26 PROFILE: ELLADJ BALDÉ The back-flipping skater with the bright smile became a social media superstar last

winter by posting videos shot around Calgary and in the nearby mountains. Now part of the Stars on Ice Canada tour, we find out what makes Elladj Baldé tick. By Danyael Halprin

32 BEYOND THE FOOD BANK The request for non-perishable food items is ubiquitous during the holiday season. But while these foods certainly help fill an immediate need, the solutions for helping underprivileged people eat healthily year-round are much more complex. By Ximena González

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

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JUMPING FOR JOY

L

ast year, when indoor recreation facilities were shuttered and organized sports put on ice due to government-issued gathering restrictions, outdoor skating became the winter activity du jour. Community rinks were hives of activity at all hours, while images of sunny days at scenic skating spots in the nearby mountains were constantly popping up on everyone’s social media feeds. Also popping up on social media feeds was a certain Elladj Baldé. The former Senior World Championship-level Canadian figure skater of Russian and Guinean descent became a much-liked figure on TikTok and Instagram for posting videos of himself skating to hip-hop tracks and featuring the kind of choreography more closely associated with contemporary music videos. Oh yeah, he did backflips, too. With his joyful and unabashedly heartfelt skating, unencumbered by competition scores or rules or referees, Baldé was just what everyone needed last winter: a breath of fresh air. His videos showed how

Shelley Arnusch Editor in Chief sarnusch@redpointmedia.ca

“Elladj Baldé was just what everyone needed last winter: a breath of fresh air.” much fun skating — or anything, for that matter — can be if you just go out and do it for yourself in your own style. The fact that many of his video locations from last season were outdoor rinks here in the city and frozen lakes in Banff National Park is no coincidence: Baldé’s wife and choreographer Michelle Dawley is from Calgary originally, and the couple spent much of last winter back in her hometown. Of course, when the opportunity arose to find out more about what makes this charismatic skater tick (or, you know, Tok), we triple-axel-jumped

on it. You can read long-time Avenue contributor Danyael Halprin’s profile story about Baldé starting on Page 24. Along with outdoor skating, ’tis the season for holiday shopping. This year we’re celebrating something that many of us missed out on last year: the kind of shopping experience where you make a day of it, exploring boutiques in fun and festive retail districts, and capping things off with a fancy coffee, a cocktail or just a good old-fashioned pint. Our 2021 holiday shopping guide showcases some great gift ideas if you’re looking for inspiration, but it’s also a guide to engaging with and exploring the city while you cross names off your gift list. And since ’tis also the season for holiday entertaining, we decided to pay homage to the evolution of the humble party platter: the charcuterie board. What’s great about this presentation is how it can be tailored to suit a range of dietary needs — including vegans. From a self-curated spread featuring artisan products from a variety of makers and specialty retailers, to a list of local providers who will create and deliver charcuterie to your door, we have what you need to be chairperson of the board this season. We wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best for the new year ahead. CO R R ECTI O N

In the November issue of Avenue the restaurant WholeLifeGo was misidentified in a photo caption as SaVeg Cafe. We regret the error and apologize to both businesses. We also incorrectly stated that WholeLifeGo’s California roll sushi is made with tamagoyaki. It is made with a vegan version of tamagoyaki.

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P H O T O G R A P H B Y H E AT H E R S A I T Z ; C L O T H I N G S T Y L I N G B Y G R A V I T Y P O P E

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

CELEBRATE ZOOLIGHTS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

FROM NOV. 19, 2021, TO JAN. 2, 2022, THE CALGARY ZOO IS GOING BIGGER AND BRIGHTER TO CELEBRATE 25 PROUD YEARS OF ZOOLIGHTS AND CONSERVATION SUCCESS bags that include headphones, fidget spinners and more. A sensory accessible map will lead guests through ZOOLIGHTS to areas without music, flashing or moving lights or visually overwhelming displays. There will also be signs with early warnings about heavy sensory areas.

25 YEARS OF CELEBRATION

hristmas traditions and celebrations can vary among different families and cultures, but at the Calgary Zoo, there’s one celebration that everyone shares: the annual ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company. This year's event will be even bigger and brighter than ever to honour ZOOLIGHTS' 25th anniversary, so don’t miss out. Here’s what you need to know:

DAZZLING DISPLAY FOR ALL

Each year, the Calgary Zoo transforms into a dazzling display of lights, sights and what feels like a touch of magic. While the displays revolve annually, this year’s event will have even more, boasting thousands of lights and many new features. It’s a sight that has thrilled Calgarians for years, and, in true holiday spirit, it’s accommodating for everyone. “Whether you’re coming on a date or with friends and family, the experience is something where we want you to feel the holiday spirit,” says Gillian Cardwell, the special experience manager and lead organizer and planner for ZOOLIGHTS. This year, sensory sensitive guests can now enjoy ZOOLIGHTS every night of the week thanks to free sensory ZOOLIGHTS runs from Nov. 19, 2021, to Jan. 2, 2022. To buy tickets visit websales.calgaryzoo.com/buy/special-event/zoolights.

For 25 straight years, the Calgary Zoo has hosted its ZOOLIGHTS event, including providing safe experiences throughout the pandemic. It’s a point of pride among zoo staff, who have planned a special 25th-anniversary celebration. “It started as a way to celebrate with Calgary during the holiday season and bring people down to the zoo, and now it has grown into something pretty special,” says Cardwell. The anniversary celebration will feature perennial favourites and the return of Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary display, along with new features. Visit the “Tunnel of Lights” (an Instagram-worthy spot, Cardwell hints), a tribute to Canada’s wetlands and, for the first and likely only time, a portion of the Prehistoric Park will be lit up for “Dinos in the Dark.” Each area will be immersive and tell a story in a way Cardwell says will draw guests in and make them feel like a part of the experience.

BEHIND THE SCENES

ZOOLIGHTS seemingly appears and disappears as though overnight, but it’s a different story behind the scenes. The zoo team handles every aspect from prep, design and even building props from the ground up. Planning begins as early as January, says Cardwell, while stringing lights starts in August. It takes another three months to fully take down the lights when January rolls around again. “There are thousands of lights and figures and stories, and we want it to be something special,” says Cardwell. “We want [guests] to remember it, so we put a lot of our heart and passion into it every year.”

GIVING BACK

Not only is attending ZOOLIGHTS a great way to spend time with loved ones and get into the holiday spirit, it’s also a great way to give back and support conservation efforts. “Every time someone joins us at ZOOLIGHTS, they’re giving back to the community as well because the zoo is all about conservation,” says Cardwell. “The more people come to ZOOLIGHTS, the more things we can do for conservation.”


DETOURS TYSON “COACH T” BANKERT, FOUNDER OF RECESS CALGARY.

NO STRESS RECESS CALGARY GETS ADULTS PLAYING SCHOOLYARD GAMES.

PHOTO BY JARED SYCH

I

f going to the gym equals fitness, then going to Recess Calgary equals fun. Bean toss, Simon Says and people-sized Snakes and Ladders are just a few of the classic, old-school games that Tyson Bankert (a.k.a. Coach T) hosts at Recess Calgary, a recreational sports and games organization for adults. “I really believe that play is a form of wellness that, oftentimes, adults have [distanced themselves] from,” Bankert says. “That sense of play and creativity comes out when you get involved and connect with other people at Recess.” Bankert started Recess in 2018 to encourage adults to “take a break from adulting.” The former day-camp counsellor wanted to create an inclusive space where adults could relax, play games and make friends, without the emphasis on scores or rules that you get in recreational sports leagues. Instead, Recess mixes the physical and whimsical sides of exercise. Participants could be playing hopscotch one moment, stacking jumbo Jenga blocks the next — no two Recesses are alike.

NO SCORES

JUST PLAY

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A DECADE OF DISCOVERY AT TELUS SPARK From midday New Year’s countdowns to after-hours cocktails, Telus Spark Science Centre has spent the past 10 years celebrating discovery of all sorts. Here, marketing, communications and PR specialist Jacqueline Tran gives us her highlight reel of exhibitions and events since Spark opened in its permanent location in 2011.

WELLNESS.” —TYSON “COACH T” BANKERT Bankert encourages people to play at their own pace or opt-in or -out of games. The low barrier to participation — Bankert traditionally sets up in different, accessible locations around the city on a rotating basis — is matched by a low barrier to entry, with drop-in sessions priced at $9. Of course, not everyone has fond memories when it comes to schoolyard games. For many, recess was chracterized by being picked last for the dodgeball team or falling off the monkey bars. These experiences are often brushed

off as just being part of childhood. But Bankert says that our childhood experiences can have lasting impact on our comfort level around socializing through physical activity. To face this head-on, Recess always starts with an icebreaker, setting an open, friendly tone for the fun to follow. Recess is certainly different from joining a sports team or pumping iron at the gym. According to Bankert, that difference is by design. “This isn’t about competing,” he says. “It’s about enjoying yourself.” —Tsering Asha

RECESS 101

COACH T’S TIPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS COME WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS You’ll have more fun at Recess if you leave your expectations at home and come prepared to try something new. “It’s about being open-minded to what’s possible and that spirit of being a child,” says Bankert. BRING A FRIEND If you’re nervous about the idea of running around in front of strangers, bring a buddy. “A friend can make you feel a little more at ease and help you manoeuvre that awkwardness,” Bankert says. CREATE BOUNDARIES Recess may be a collective experience, but remember that you can still set your own rules around participating. “When you say, ‘I don’t want to play this game,’ or, ‘I’m feeling tired right now, and just want to watch people,’ that’s totally okay,” says Bankert. “That’s a form of wellness.” To find out about Recess Calgary events go to recesscalgary.ca

Most Memorable Exhibit Body Worlds: Vital was the first Body Worlds exhibit at Telus Spark, providing insight into illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and the way food affects the body after death. Body Worlds showcases real human bodies preserved by plastination, allowing visitors to see what the body looks like under the skin. A New Kind of Nightlife Spark’s monthly adults-only Spark After Dark events happen after regular hours and feature DJs, guest speakers and a bar. One of the most memorable, Beyond the Binary in 2019, also featured a drag show. “Beyond the Binary celebrated diversity and inclusivity in its purest form. People danced and sang, and the atmosphere was irresistibly vibrant and jovial,” says Tran. “The event became a community, and everyone was welcomed.” Creating Holiday Traditions Holiday extravaganza Sparkle Sparkle transforms the Spark atrium into a dazzling light show with even more holiday fun on the upper level, like last year’s Candylandthemed display. (Sadly, no upper-level atrium holiday activities are happening this season.) New Year’s for All Noon Year’s Eve is a celebration for Spark’s “littlest visitors who may not be able to stay up until midnight,” says Tran. When the countdown begins towards 12 noon, huge exploding hydrogen balloons are set off, and, at “midnight,” guests are invited to jump on a 10,000-square-foot spread of bubble wrap, to create the sound of firecrackers. Spark Goes Digital The $2-million Digital Immersion Gallery, Spark’s newest permanent exhibit, opened in July 2021. The 6,500-squarefoot gallery features floor-to-ceiling screens that display a new show every six months. Debut production Every Second features actress, author and philanthropist Isabella Rossellini narrating a story “about the math of moments that make up a lifetime,” Tran says. —Ado Nkemka Learn more about what’s happening at Telus Spark at sparkscience.ca

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BODY WORLDS PHOTO BY AMANDA RICHTER

“I REALLY BELIEVE PLAY IS A FORM OF


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DETOURS

Openings TWO GIRAFFES CHILDREN’S FOOTWEAR Family-owned and locally operated, Two Giraffes offers high-quality footwear for different stages of child development and walking patterns. The staff is trained in finding the best fit for a child’s needs. 476, 10816 Macleod Tr. S.E. (Willow Park Village) 403-570-1512, twogiraffes.ca, @twogiraffesyyc

CALGARY MEN’S CHORUS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR YOHEI SAKAI.

PARLOUR ICE CREAM Kelowna staple Parlour Ice Cream has set up shop in East Village. The small-batch ice cream-maker focuses on using fresh local ingredients and offers unique and exciting flavours, like Key lime pie and caramel-apple cheesecake. 537 Riverfront Ave. S.E., parlouricecream.ca

MONSOON IZAKAYA From the team behind Tokyo Street Market and Ke Charcoal Grill and Sushi, this new izakaya (casual drinks and snacks) restaruant offers up Japanese snacks like tempura, sushi rolls, ramen and stone-grilled meats. 6920 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-474-3288, monsoonizakaya.com, @monsoon_izakaya

LA PALMA SPA With its “boutique hotel lobby” aesthetic, this new spa offers massages for couples and pre-and-postnatal clients, among other treatments. There’s also a curated selection of art and goods for sale. 2039 26 Ave. S.W., 587-327-9070, lapalmaspa.com, @lapalmaspa 16

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As we enjoy the return of live music this holiday season, get to know this ensemble and the history of men’s choruses in Calgary.

M

en’s choruses — a term in many cases interchangeable with gay mens’ choruses — have been a way for predominantly queer people to gather, sing and have fun since the days of Harvey Milk. A group of local gay men formed the Calgary Men’s Chorus 27 years ago, and, over the decades, it has remained a space where queer people come together and find community. Read on to get to know the Calgary Men’s Chorus and learn about the history of this tradition.

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The Calgary Men’s Chorus has a new artistic director.

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You can join without auditioning or having prior singing experience.

The Calgary Men’s Chorus is a non-audition chorus, which means novice singers are welcome. Sakai offers a private assessment to anyone who doesn’t know their range. While the chorus does use sheet music, members can be taught by ear and learn to read music as they go. Another way it is accessible is by offering a financial-assistance program.

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The chorus performs traditional and non-traditional choral music.

It’s not just for men.

Despite the name, the only requirement for membership in the Calgary Men’s Chorus is that you can sing in the range of tenor one, tenor two, baritone or bass (TTBB). That means all genders and sexualities are welcome.

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The original men’s choruses started as a way to fight for gay rights.

The still-running San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, considered the first gay men’s choir, performed for the first time in 1978, immediately following the assassination of activist-politician Harvey Milk. It was incredibly risky to be out at the time, and the performance made gay men impossible to ignore. The Calgary Men’s Chorus was incorporated in 1994, though not explicitly to fight for gay rights.

Yohei Sakai joined the chorus as artistic director this year. Originally from Japan, his previous post was as artistic director and founder of St. John’s Men’s Chorus in Newfoundland. Sakai speaks English, Japanese and Spanish, and plans to program works in multiple languages and from different cultural traditions.

Unlike other local choirs with an artistic mandate to stay in a particular lane, the Calgary Men’s Chorus has a broad approach, described by Sakai as, “a wide variety of musical selections that reflect the society we live in.”—Colin Gallant

Follow the Calgary Men’s Chorus and find concert announcements at calgarymenschorus.org

P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F C A L G A R Y M E N ’ S C H O R U S , T W O G I R A F F E S C H I L D R E N ’ S F O O T W E A R , PA R L O U R I C E C R E A M , L A PA L M A S PA

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CALGARY MEN’S CHORUS


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SHOPPING

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H O L I D AY S H O P P I N G

UNIVERSITY DISTRICT AND MARKET MALL UDistrict is something new, while Market Mall has it all.

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1 Bad Dad Floral Pocket Square The well-suited in your life will love this 100-per cent silk square by the Calgary-based designer of mens lifestyle products. $30 at Adesso Man, CF Market Mall, adessoman.com 2 Prism Sparkle Ball Stud Earrings In addition to being sparkly and fun, proceeds from purchases of these earrings support the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, an organization that works to empower gender and sexually diverse communities and end discrimination. $75 at Hillberg & Berk, CF Market Mall (and two more regional locations), hillbergandberk.com 3 Kalita Wave 185 Pour-over Brewer This Japanese-made piece of brewing equipment will impress even the most hardcore coffee-culture warriors. $42 at Monogram Coffee, 4153 University Ave. N.W. (and two other locations around Calgary), monogramcoffee.com 4 McKinley Traverse Snowshoes There are a lot of winter days ahead, which means a lot of opportunity to get out and enjoy the trails with these lightweight snowshoes in men and women sizing. $130 at Sport Chek, CF Market Mall (and 11 other Calgary locations), sportchek.ca 5 DJI RoboMaster S1 From the company best known for drones, this ground robot is ideal for techy types who get to build it, program it and can even use it to battle other robots. $649 at Saneal Cameras, CF Market Mall (and one other Calgary location), sanealcamera.com

LANDMARK CINEMAS MARKET MALL 3412 49 St. N.W. After a day of shopping, a movie probably sounds pretty good, especially if you’re watching it in one of Landmark Cinemas’ deluxe recliners. Reserve your seat in advance at no extra cost when you buy your ticket online. landmarkcinemas.com 20

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P R O D U C T P H O T O S 1 , 2 A N D 5 C O U R T E S Y O F R E TA I L E R S ; P H O T O S 3 A N D 4 B Y J A R E D S Y C H

H O L I D AY S H O P P I N G

1 Bat Signal Even non-comic book nerds will go nuts over having their own working Bat Signal, which displays the iconic sign at seven-to-10 feet. $400 at Another Dimension Comics, 424B 10 St. N.W., another-dimension.com 2 Dakine Kodiak Gore-Tex Gloves Around here, the right winter gloves can make or break your day. Dakine Kodiaks are extra-warm and fully waterproof — not to mention alpine-retro-cool in brown leather. $165 at Fresh Skis, 108 10 St. N.W., freshskis.com 3 Double-Salted Licorice You might think it tastes like old tires, but, to the Dutch and other aficionados, salted black licorice is simply lekker. $2.79 per 100 grams at Gummi Boutique, 205 10 St. N.W., gummiboutique.ca 4 Van Gogh Paint by Numbers Kit Those who loved the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit at the BMO Centre can keep the feeling alive by painting their own Irises or Starry Night. $35 at Sunnyside Art Supplies, 132 10 St. N.W., sunnysideartsupplies.com 5 Zero Waste Shave Kit For those who want to look good and feel good — about doing their part to keep disposable plastic razors and shavingcream canisters out of landfills. $37 at Canary, 1225A Kensington Rd. N.W., canarygoods.ca

K E NS INGTO N Down by the Bow, it’s a great place to go.

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DEVILLE COFFEE 1122 Kensington Rd. N.W.

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Café culture converges in this heritage space in the heart of Kensington. Settle in and sip a classic flat white, or treat yourself to something more indulgent like a chocolate ganache latte. devillecoffee.ca avenuecalgary.com

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H O L I D AY S H O P P I N G

From fine jewels to must-have handbags: everything’s waiting for you. 1

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1 Givenchy XS Antigona Crossbody Bag A lipstick-red leather bag is just the thing to make spirits bright. What fun it is! $1,945 at Holt Renfrew, The Core Shopping Centre, holtrenfrew.com 2 Munsteiner Rhodolite and Tourmaline Ring Long-standing downtown jeweller Brinkhaus recently underwent renovations to its interior spaces, all the better to showcase pieces like this stunning gemstone ring by German design studio Atelier Munsteiner. $7,350 at Brinkhaus, 823 6 Ave. S.W., brinkhaus.com 3 Gran Sasso Cardigan Made from 100-per cent extra-fine Merino wool, this full-button cardy is classy enough to sub in for a blazer or casual enough to dress down with joggers. $535 at Henry Singer Eighth Avenue Place, 545 8 Ave. S.W., henrysinger.com 4 Black Spruce & Vanilla Bubble Bath Canmore-based Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s new Winter Forest Collection includes this bubble bath made with skin-nourishing coconut oil and invigorating black spruce — an all-new take on “forest bathing.” $15 at Rocky Mountain Soap Company, The Core Shopping Centre (plus three more Calgary locations), rockymountainsoap.com 5 Marc Cain Scarf Softly woven in soft blush-peach tones, this scarf is like a summer sunrise you can wear. $198 at La Chic, Bankers Hall, lachiccalgary.com

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HAWTHORN DINING ROOM 133 9 Ave. S.W. The Fairmont Palliser’s premier dining space is a throwback to the grand CP hotels of the past. Time your visit for afternoon tea, served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with freshly baked scones, tea sandwiches and sweets. Call 403-260-1219 to reserve. hawthorndiningroom.ca 22

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D OWN TO W N


H O L I D AY S H O P P I N G

1 Westinghouse EnerG+ Infrared Electric Patio Heater With its rugged cage design, this portable waterproof heat source is perfect for tailgate parties and other outdoor activities, or a great addition to any outdoor living space. $220 at Canadian Tire Mount Royal, 906 16th Ave. S.W. (and nine other Calgary locations), canadiantire.ca NOTE: The above item is no longer available 2 Engineered Garments Cover Vest An effortlessly cool utilitarian piece in goes-with-everything olive green. $505 at Less 17, 930 17 Ave. S.W., lessoneseven.com 3 Fjällräven Kånken Rainbow This special-edition line of backpacks by the iconic Swedish brand is part of the Save the Arctic Fox initiative, in which one per cent of sales is donated to environmental and climate projects. $110 at Fjällräven Calgary, 815 17 Ave. S.W., fjallraven.com 4 Tiger Silk Tunic A 100-per cent silk piece from German designer Simone Bruns Cashmere Couture for lounging around at home or breezing around a tropical resort. It only comes in one size, which takes the guesswork out of gift-buying. $745 at Ooh La La, 1575 7 St. S.W., oohlalawomenswear.com 5 Midori MD Notebook Diary Analog types will love this Japanesemade 2022 monthly block and memo diary with paper that’s designed to resist smearing and bleed-through and a paraffin-paper wrapping rather than a standard notebook cover. $20 at Reid’s Stationers, 710 17 Ave. S.W., reidstationers.com

1 7 T H AV E NU E S .W. The shops on the Red Mile make everyone smile.

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RICARDO’S HIDEAWAY 1530 5 St. S.W. The bar tucked in behind National on 17th gets decked out for the holidays as the Sippin’ Santa cocktail bar, with a special festive drink menu (Christmas Carol Barrel, anyone?) and Tiki-themed holiday decor. Mele Kalikimaka, y’all! ricardoshideaway.ca

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I N GLEW O O D Quirky and fun, this ’hood is the one.

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1 Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore For the mycology nerd-cum-forager in your life, this A-Z encyclopedia contains 180 entries on all things mushroom by renowned mycologist and author Lawrence Millman. $25 at The Next Page, 1217A 9 Ave. S.E., nextpageyyc.ca 2 Meadowlark Wooden Toys Ninth and Brick is a seller of local artisan brands, including Meadowlark Toy Company, a sister-brother team that creates wooden toys with a clean, minimalist aesthetic, like this adorable canoe-and-peg-doll set ($45). Ninth and Brick, 1312B 9 Ave. S.E. ninthandbrick.ca 3 I Approve This Message Notepad Madame Premier is best known for its clothing with fearlessly feminist messaging, but the new flagship store is also a source for great stationery products like this 75-page notebook by Made Market Co. $12 at Madame Premier, 1012 9 Ave. S.E., madamepremier.com 4 Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates These skates are great for beginners and come in a rainbow of colours, plus they have wheels that can roll outside when the weather warms. $199 at Nerd Roller Skates, 917 12 St. S.E., nerdskates.com 5 NAQP Rugby Shirt With a whitetwill collar at the top and kangaroo pocket at the bottom, this rugged shirt is at the crux of preppy and sporty. $160 at North American Quality Purveyors, 1207 10 Ave. S.E., shopnorthamerican.com

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REVIVAL BREWCADE 1217B 9 Ave. S.E.

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Located next to The Next Page bookstore, this beer hall-arcade hybrid is perfect for pints and pinball, particularly on Sundays when pints, pretzels, tater tots and shots are all five bucks a pop. drinkrevivalbeer.com

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H O L I D AY S H O P P I N G

1 The Bomb Bar Slush Cup Lethbridge-based The Bomb Bar makes colourful bath products that look good enough to eat — or, in the case of its slushie cup of bath dust topped with a loofa sponge, to drink. $13 at The Bomb Bar, Southcentre Mall, thebombbar.ca 2 Crank Classic Gramophone 3D Puzzle This 424-piece wooden set assembles into a working gramophone, complete with volume knob, that can be wound up and played without a battery. It comes with a three-song vinyl record and can play other 7- and 10-inch records, as well. $125 at Treehouse Toys, Southcentre Mall, treehousetoys.ca 3 Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserve Everyone knows a Scotch drinker, and all those Scotch drinkers want for Christmas is Scotch. This 21-yearold single malt finished in Caribbean rum casks is sure to impress. $324 at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, 10801 Bonaventure Dr. S.E., willowpark.net 4 Pretty You London Bamboo Night Shirt This super-soft sleepwear is made of breathable bamboo fabric for the best gift of all — a good night’s sleep. $78 at Knickers ’n Lace, Willow Park Village, knickersnlace.net 5 Wrendale Designs Covered Butter Dish Part of a line of adorable baby animal designs by British artist Hannah Dale, this piece will melt your heart every time you reach for the butter. $30 at The Compleat Cook, Willow Park Village, compleatcook.ca

WILLOW PARK VILLAGE AND SOUTHCENTRE Boutiques to explore and a mall next door.

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CRAFT BEER MARKET Southcentre Mall

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The popular beer hall has daily happy hour specials (including all day Sunday) and a bottle shop where you can get cocktails to go, like the Shaft On Draft made with local cold brew coffee and Alberta honey. craftbeermarket.ca/calgary/ southcentre avenuecalgary.com

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GNIPPILF THE N A R R AT I V E

BY D A N YA E L H A L P R I N

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PHOTO BY KRIS ANDRES

Figure skater Elladj Baldé vibes on the ice to make his sport more inclusive.


PROFILE

gents are calling. Brand-endorsement requests are rolling in. Cartoon Network cast him as a character. Figure skater Elladj Baldé’s life is exploding in all kinds of amazing. He also scored a spot on the Stars on Ice Canada tour, a live show that has previously only featured Olympic and senior world champion figure skaters — and only one other Black skater (1988 Olympic bronze medallist Debi Thomas) in 1992. It’s another step forward for the ebullient 31-year-old who is flipping figure skating’s ages-old narrative on its head. avenuecalgary.com

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PROFILE

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“For so long I was told I had to do things a certain way, so the thought of doing something completely different felt uncomfortable.” ELLADJ BALDÉ competitors choose for their programs, oldfashioned perspectives within the skating community make it less likely to embrace genres like rap and hip hop. With his newfound freedom, skating fans get to see Baldé moonwalking on blades to Pascal Letoublon’s “Friendships.” And that moment when he looks up and flirts with the camera. That smile. He’s clearly in his element. It just took him a while to get here.

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lladj Baldé was born on Nov. 9, 1990, in Moscow to a Russian mother and Guinean father. In 1991, his older sister, Djouldé, then eight, was diagnosed with leukemia and the family moved to Bonn, Germany, for her treatment. She died not long after their arrival. Baldé and his younger sisters, Catherine and Djoulia, all have tattoos of the words inscribed in German on their

sibling’s gravestone: “An angel is watching over you.” Hoping to be more harmoniously integrated in Canada after facing racism in Russia and Germany, the family immigrated to Montreal in 1992. When Baldé was six years old, his mother, a former figure skater, introduced him to the sport. Baldé clearly excelled at it and would go on to win a silver medal at the 2007 Canadian Junior Championships, the junior title at the 2008 Canadian Championships, and the Nebelhorn Trophy at the 2015 International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series in Germany. But though he loved skating, there were many times when he didn’t think he could be a figure skater — mainly because there were not a lot of people who looked like him in the sport. This, he says, affected him on a subconscious level to think that he wouldn’t be successful at it, either. To shake those feelings

PHOTO BY KEVIN LIGHT PHOTO -CBC

aldé did compete at the seniorworld-championship level like his fellow Stars, but his renown has mostly come through an alternate avenue: social media. While most skaters in the modern era have an online presence, it could be said that Baldé is figure-skating’s first bona fide social media star. And his ascent has been nothing short of meteoric: from only a couple of hundred followers on his new TikTok account last winter, Baldé had 1.1 million followers as of this fall, and more than 16 million “likes” on his TikTok video output. On Instagram, his following is upwards of 466,000. One of his first major breakout videos from last winter showed Baldé mischievously running across a road in his skates and then nonchalantly landing a backflip to the beats of N.E.R.D. For Calgarians; there was another level of interest as the setting was clearly the Altadore community rink. The number of views, combined with his Instagram on that video now flutters at 32.1 million. Baldé did another video at the community rink in Ramsay and also began posting videos on ice surfaces in stunning settings throughout the Bow Valley, and in Banff and Jasper national parks, set to contemporary, hip-hop or RnB music and embellished with his now signature backflip. The local connection is Baldé’s wife and choreographer, Michelle Dawley, who is from Calgary. The couple married this past August in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and split their time between Calgary, where they have a home, and L.A., where Dawley, a classically trained ballet dancer, choreographer and creative director, has lived since 2010 and Baldé since 2018. The couple’s Calgary connections include pop star (and Dawley’s former dance student) Tate McRae, whom Dawley works with as a choreographer and creative director on video shoots and tour performances. Watching Baldé skate, you’d never suspect he was initially resistant to making the videos. He didn’t feel like expressing himself so freely was considered acceptable by the skating community. “Skating is so structured, everything is in such a box,” Baldé says. “For so long, I was told I had to do things a certain way, so the thought of doing something completely different felt uncomfortable.” While Skate Canada does not vet the music


EXPERIENCE CALGARY

ARTS Visit yycwhatson.ca to check out what's on in Calgary – whether online or in person. A project of


PROFILE

“He is an engaging and approachable role model for everyone to look up to.” KURT BROWNING

for underserved communities and organizes events for Black and Indigenous skaters. The FSDIA is also lobbying for systemic change and has pressed for action from Skate Canada, the governing body for competitive figure skating in this country, and from national sports associations worldwide. In July 2020, Skate Canada created an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion working group (Baldé is a member). Skate Canada has also made changes in terminology and technical competition requirements; created educational resources for LGBTQI2S+ inclusion and anti-racism resources; and amended bylaws and rulebook items to ensure gender inclusivity. “It is people like Elladj who help further our education and responsibilities,” says Canadian World Champion and Stars on Ice performer Kurt Browning. “He is an engaging and approachable role model for everyone to look up to.”

S he did his best to fall in line. “I completely shifted the way I operated in the sport, from the music I chose to what I wore — off the ice as well — to fit what I was told I needed to do to be successful, which was what my white peer competitors were doing,” he says. There were pressures outside the rink, as well. Baldé often lied, saying he ran track and played soccer, to avoid being mocked for being in a sport that wasn’t considered “masculine.” Another issue was accessibility. Figure skating is prohibitively expensive and becomes exponentially more so the higher one advances. Baldé’s family didn’t have the financial resources that high-level competitive skating requires — after Canada wouldn’t recognize his civil-engineering accreditation, Baldé’s father returned to university to study computer engineering, while working at a factory a few nights a week to provide for his 30

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family. In Baldé’s later competitive years, he says his skating cost $40,000 to $50,000, annually. His coaches in Montreal and Detroit gave him breaks, allowing delayed payments on his training and even coaching him pro bono at times. Baldé says, if it weren’t for these concessions, he wouldn’t be where he is today. While Baldé is throwing it down to tracks by Rich The Kid and grooving alongside dancer Kelli Erdmann in L.A., there is gravity to the levity. He is leveraging his social media presence to create visibility for other skaters of colour, to inspire the next generation of kids to be their authentic selves, and to make the sport of figure skating more accessible. This past year, Baldé and 10 other skaters formed the Figure Skating Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (FSDIA) to facilitate the involvement of racialized youth in sport. The FSDIA funds access to gear, provides grants

o, needless to say, Baldé has our attention. Coming from a time when he wasn’t being his authentic self, skating fans are now witnessing Baldé living his dharma (the Hindu/Buddhist concept of “righteous living”) using his gifts and skills in the service of humanity. This is best represented by his skate to the recording of Amanda Gorman’s poem from the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Just when you thought the piece was artistically untouchable, Baldé elevates it to the sublime. As with Baldé’s other videos, the skate to Gorman’s poem was choreographed by Dawley. Baldé beams with joy as he recounts hearing from the poet, who messaged to say that the choreography had really touched her and that she thought he had performed it beautifully. “All Michelle and I knew was that we were working toward freedom,” Baldé says. “Now we get to live our lives doing what we love. My freedom came from knowing who I am as a human being and operating from a space of love. And once I applied that to skating, I was able to find freedom in my skating career.” It shows there’s more than one way to overthrow a flawed and antiquated system: to rage against the machine or stage a revolution Elladj Baldé style, with grace, artistry and intention — and, of course, some hip hop.


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BY X I M E N A G O N Z Á L E Z I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y P E T E R YA N

BEYOND THE

FOOD BA N K

During the holiday season, donation bins overflow with non-perishables like dried pasta and canned corn. But, while these foods might help with short-term need, they do not address root causes of food insecurity, that require dignified, long-term solutions.

n the season of giving, doing a good deed couldn’t be easier — just pop a few non-perishable items into a food bin. Ease and convenience for donors doesn’t necessarily translate into the best supports for those in need, however. Consider those well-meaning boxes of Kraft Dinner. Without milk and butter, what use are they? “Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry,” reads a tagline on the Calgary Food Bank’s website. Then, on the programs page: “The Calgary Food Bank is the city’s main charitable food hub and the first line of support for anyone facing a food emergency.” Food insecurity is not always an emergency, though, and hampers don’t address root causes. According to Dr. Dana Olstad, a registered dietician and public-health nutrition expert, “the root problem is not a food problem, it’s an income problem.”

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“It’s easier to get [government] funding to run programming like a community garden or community kitchen than it is to get funding to give people food.” KATE STENSON, HILLHURST-SUNNYSIDE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

Temporary or not, food-insecure Calgarians do need food to eat today. So, in the absence of a long-term solution, organizations are shifting to better address one of the primary shortcomings of the food-bank model: dignity. According to Bethany Ross, executive director of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK), charitable organizations tend to be prescriptive and assume they know best how to address other people’s needs — an assumption that undermines their clients’ sense of dignity. An example of this mindset is the longheld belief that poor nutrition is caused by a lack of knowledge and skills to prepare healthy meals. “If people [buy] less-healthy foods, it’s not because they want to eat unhealthily — it’s by necessity, and because they’re trying to get enough calories to survive,” says Olstad, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary and an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. According to a 2021 report produced by the Canadian Poverty Institute and Vibrant Communities Calgary, a non-profit arm of the City of Calgary, food-assistance users need access to no-strings-attached free or affordable food that includes a variety of fresh produce and meat choices. But unfettered access remains a gap in the system, notes Kate Stenson, executive director of the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA) and staunch advocate for food security in Calgary. “It is easier to get [government] funding to run programming like a community garden or community kitchen, than it is to get funding to give people food,” Stenson says. “Those activities are great for community-building, but they’re not single-handedly going to solve food insecurity. People just need money so they can buy food.” 34

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ood insecurity — in essence, not knowing where your next meal will come from — is a growing problem that, in 2020, affected one in five Calgarians. Those most likely to be experiencing food insecurity include precariously employed individuals, renters, single mothers, visible minorities and people on income support. Only one third of foodinsecure households in Canada seek food support — a number well below the proportion of households in severe need. There are barriers within the food-bank model that contribute to this discrepancy, including proof of income and a cap on the number of hampers a household can receive in a year. Access to traditional models of food support have also been tainted with prejudice and shame. For this reason, new and existing local organizations such as

Fresh Routes, The Alex Community Food Centre (CFC) and BB4CK are working towards a more dignified model. “It was really important for us that we acknowledge the barriers that people face in accessing food-assistance programs, and the dignity that is so important in the process of how they access those supports,” says Miriam Bankey, impact and evaluation specialist at BB4CK. “So, we tried to mitigate those things by not making people prove their need.” Lourdes Juan, founder and CEO of not-forprofit social enterprises the Leftovers Foundation and Fresh Routes, puts it this way: “When I go to the grocery store, they don’t ask for my T4, they don’t ask what I made [on] my last paycheque.” At the Fresh Routes mobile market, anyone can shop for affordable produce — no proof of income required.


“When I go to the grocery store, they don’t ask for my T4, they don’t ask what I made [on] my last paycheque.” LOURDES JUAN, CEO, LEFTOVERS FOUNDATION AND FRESH ROUTES

According to Stenson, “there needs to be a way for people to increase their access and their economic means to acquire the food; to be able to just go to the grocery store and choose exactly what they want and what’s going to work for them and their family.” Being able to afford to shop at the nearest grocery store can mitigate the transportation issues low-income Calgarians experience, and nearly eliminate “food deserts” — neighbourhoods lacking affordable grocery stores. Discount superstores are often in commercial shopping areas best accessed with a vehicle; however, most neighbourhoods in Calgary have at least one major grocery store, and this is an opportunity that BB4CK has been able to leverage with an innovative program. As soon as school classes came to a halt due to lockdown measures in the spring of 2020,

BB4CK launched a gift-card program to continue to feed food-insecure children learning from home. “These cards [allowed] people to choose culturally appropriate foods,” Bankey says. “[Parents] were able to select the foods that their children love to eat, and that they want their children to eat, as well.” Parents in the program reported decreased levels of stress and an increase in the ability to buy healthier food. Naming the initiative the Grocery Card Program had dignity implications. “That was a really intentional shift,” Bankey notes. “A shift away from the idea of gifting, and towards acknowledging that food is a basic human right.” But addressing the issue of food insecurity requires more than gift cards. Ultimately, long-term, systemic change in the food system

will require public policy on poverty issues. “We need policies that ensure that people have a sufficient income,” Olstad says. “When people are receiving social assistance, welfare, they should receive an amount of money that allows them to live comfortably. They should have enough money to purchase enough nutritious food.” Without that, advocates believe the effort to really address food insecurity will continue to be insufficient. “When you get into the BandAid solutions, I think we’re trying to fill a gap,” Stenson says about the broad range of foodassistance programs in Calgary, including the ones offered by the HSCA. “But none of us are directly addressing the root problem.” For this reason, some Calgary organizations are exploring different ways to expand their influence beyond temporary reliefs. “Not wanting to lose the impact that we have with today’s solution, we’re very much exploring what it looks like for us to show up in that kind of longer-term space,” Ross says, regarding the work being done by BB4CK. The Alex CFC is already showing up. “We’ve been quite involved with some of Enough for All, specifically around the basic income work,” explains Darrell Howard, a team lead. (Enough for All is the City of Calgary’s poverty-reduction strategy, developed in partnership with the United Way and implemented since 2015 by Vibrant Communities Calgary.) “If people have a livable income, then they have what they need to access good food or purchase good food for themselves.” The organization’s work doesn’t stop at advocating for a basic income. It also helps empower marginalized communities to advocate for themselves through the Community Action Training program. “We are trying to create robust community members who are civically engaged,” Howard says. Supporting an affordable and dignified model can be challenging. To remain viable, Calgary food charities, non-profits and social enterprises rely on acquiring foodstuffs at a discounted rate, which often excludes buying from local producers, as the cost of their products tends to be higher. “There’s a lot of nuance in getting really good, culturally appropriate, affordable food into communities,” Juan says. “I think once we start localizing our produce, working with farmers, we can work to bring those prices down.” avenuecalgary.com

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOOD SECURITY AND FOOD INSECURITY

“Folks who are living on limited incomes have to make decisions about how to obtain their basic needs.” DARRELL HOWARD, THE ALEX COMMUNITY FOOD CENTRE

The value of fostering local connections is widely recognized throughout the charity sector. According to Howard, “the more we have relationships with local producers, the better off we are.” One organization seeking to bridge the price gap between local producers and charitable organizations is the YYC Food Security Fund. Founded by philanthropist Zai Mamdani, the fund supports local producers, farmers and ranchers in getting their product to market in an affordable, cost-effective way, and intervenes on a case-by-case basis with charitable organizations to help them pay fair market value to a local producer for produce and other items. The Fund promotes the environmental impacts of supporting producers and consumers in the local food economy and acts as a medium for projects at the incubation and pilot stage. Addressing the root cause of food insecurity — poverty — is also a matter of public health. Having an insufficient income to 36

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purchase nutritious food leads to chronic health conditions such as Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Olstad says, because “less-healthy food tends to be cheaper.” Unhealthful processed foods are also easier to overeat. “Fruits and vegetables — they don’t taste as amazing as unhealthy foods,” Olstad adds. But, even though we are all prone to choose less-nutritious, highly rewarding foods, low-income folks are the ones stigmatized for buying and consuming them. One of the primary gaps perceived by foodassistance clients in Calgary is the limited availability of free and low-cost options that provide fresh produce and meat. “Folks who are living on limited incomes have to make decisions about how to obtain their basic needs,” Howard says. Fixed costs such as housing, transportation and child care often take priority over food, which then leads food-insecure households to make unhealthful choices, Olstad notes, highlighting that income-constrained Calgarians may have to

Food-assistance organizations in Calgary address a myriad of challenges in the continuum between food security and food insecurity. But the two terms are often misused. “When we think of food security we think about hampers and food banks and emergency food relief, but that’s food insecurity,” says Zai Mamdani, a Calgary philanthropist and founder of YYC Food Security Fund. “Food insecurity is when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, [whereas] food security comes when producers and farmers get paid fair market value for their produce and can ensure consistent food supply.”

choose between buying healthy food for their family or keeping a roof over their heads. “What would anybody rationally do? They’re going to try to make both work, because they need both to survive.” Calgarians can help amplify the impact charitable organizations have on food insecurity, not only by donating, but also by learning about the different aspects of our food system that require attention, Ross suggests. The other way to help is to advocate for policy change. “Advocacy can come from all sides, including from the donor, to say, ‘We want this to go where it’s needed most’— especially in December,” Stenson says. “It would be great if [donors] were putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and giving an option that really lets the other person choose.”


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I L L U S T R AT I O N S : C R E AT I V E -T O U C H , C O U R T E S Y i S T O C K

Caring for Community As a city that cares, Calgarians have always gone above and beyond to support others, and 2021 was no exception. Over the trials of the past year, locals have tirelessly provided love and support to those in need while finding new ways to give. From investing in Alberta’s youth to supporting clean water globally, here are four Calgary organizations that are caring for community.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

A YMCA CAMP FOR ALL KIDS

CAMP CHIEF HECTOR YMCA CELEBRATES 91 YEARS OF INVESTING IN YOUTH AND DEVELOPING FUTURE LEADERS ince Camp Chief Hector YMCA first opened in 1930, it has always been more than just a camp. It is a place ingrained in a rich history of culture, friendship, resilience and growth, and offers space for children and youth alike to grow and thrive. Over the camp's 91-year history, there have been a few key changes. Originally, the camp was for boys only, and it wasn’t until 1972 that girls were also able to attend. It was also renamed from Rocky Mountain YMCA to Camp Chief Hector in honour of Chief Hector Crawler, a Stoney Nakoda First Nation Chief who helped YMCA start the camp on the Ancestral Lands of the Stoney Nakoda and the Blackfoot Confederacy. But what hasn’t changed is the history and value the camp offers year-round to its campers –– the most important of which is ensuring the chance for all children and youth to experience camp life. “It should not be a luxury to go to camp and have fun and learn and explore,” says Jennifer Walker, Vice President, Philanthropy at YMCA Calgary. YMCA Calgary is a charity and believes in opportunity for all no matter what, especially when it comes to a life-changing camp experience. Annually, YMCA Calgary and its donors financially support more than 1,000 kids to participate in the camp totalling over $350,000 in camp financial aid each year. 38

Initially, Camp Chief Hector YMCA offered summer programs and family weekends before it expanded to provide educational programs year-round. Today, there are multiple activities available, from canoeing, hiking, archery, arts and crafts, horseback riding, a climbing tower and more. Campers can choose from six- to 13day long camps available for children ages six to 15. No matter the activity or the duration, Camp Chief Hector guarantees that all its campers meet goals, gain resilience and grow both independently and as leaders of the future. For youth 16-18 years old, Camp Chief Hector

offers a one-month Leaders in Training (LIT) program where youth learn and develop their counsellor and leadership skills through training and leading activities for younger campers. For more adventure-inclined kids, there is the opportunity for a six-week canoeing trip through the Northwest Territories. The campers themselves plan the entire expedition, including stops, meals and schedules, while developing leadership, personal and group skills through the experience. “We want kids to have a fun summer camp experience, but also focus on how their experience will help them become better friends, better communicators and more inclusive community leaders supporting others and not just themselves,” says Walker. For over 90 years, Camp Chief Hector programs have created memories and friendships to last a lifetime. YMCA Calgary is creating a Camp Chief Hector Alumni Program to rekindle old friendships, reminisce, and share camp updates and events. All former campers and staff are invited to complete an Alumni Survey at ymcacalgary.org/cchy-alumni. Get reconnected with camp, old friends and hear about the exciting plans in store for Camp Chief Hector YMCA as it approaches its Centennial year. To enroll at Camp Chief Hector YMCA, please visit ymcacalgary.org/camps.


Reconn t with the camp you love.

Camp Chief Hector YMCA has been offering exceptional experiences at camp for over 90 years, providing countless stories and memories. Visit ymcacalgary.org/cchy-alumni to rekindle old friendships, reminisce and learn about camp updates and events.


ADVERTISING FEATURE

GIVING BACK TO OUR HEALTH CARE HEROES

THESE LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS ARE CREATING RESPITE AREAS FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS TO OFFER MUCH-NEEDED REST ince the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, 38,000 health care providers, 3,000 physicians and 4,900 hospital volunteers have been at the forefront of providing care and support to Calgary patients. They have often donned different hats and acted as counsellors, friends, confidants and more to those in need. That care, fearlessness and what often seems like superhuman strength have earned health care workers the title of hero, but even heroes need time to recharge. Pandemic safety precautions prevented patient family members from entering hospitals and took away their opportunity to directly give thanks to hospital workers. Unable to share appreciation offerings such as coffee and baked goods with the staff, this initiative gives loved ones an opportunity to show their appreciation by donating. A desire to give back to these heroes coupled with a need to offer support in kind sparked a conversation between EllisDon Construction and Building Services and the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) in 2021. The idea of a dedicated respite area with the intention to create a quiet, outdoor space where health care workers can gather to relax, recharge and refocus during long, strenuous shifts emerged. Completed in September 2021, the FMC respite area is outfitted with picnic tables, green and yellow privacy screens appropriately adorned by large heart cut-outs and planters for a touch of greenery. Health care workers at 40

FMC have already expressed praise and gratitude for their new space and the opportunity for a moment of quiet reflection. Around the same time, Calgary Health Foundation (CHF), a philanthropic organization that advances research, treatment and care, and Oxford Properties, a leading real estate investment, development and management company, were having similar conversations. “There’s been this acute pressure on the health system that made us all think more about mental health in the workplace,” says Mike Meldrum, CEO of the CHF. “Not just a short-term thank you, but something that would be functional to help health care workers in the long run.” After hearing of the FMC respite area, Oxford and CHF joined the initiative and are providing

monetary support to create respite areas at the Rockyview General Hospital, Peter Lougheed Centre and the South Health Campus. Each location will be individually designed and built with direct feedback from health care workers about their needs and wants. The goal is to see the respite areas built within the next year to show appreciation to the health care workers for all they have done to ensure the safety of our community. Together with EllisDon, Oxford is helping to shine a light on the tremendous efforts of health care workers and invites Calgarians to participate and give thanks. “The pandemic has been an accelerator for us to focus on people and have an awareness around their well-being and mental health and how we can make workspaces better spaces,” says Dave Routledge, the Vice-President and Head of Western Canada Office, Oxford. For years, Oxford has prided itself on creating what it describes as “smart, sustainable and healthy communities. Places that are futureproofed, flexible and put people first.” So, helping to create respite areas across Calgary that are nourishing and people-focused was a marriage of its strengths, values and intention to help others.“It’s not about us; it’s about thanking and supporting and giving back to all of them,” says Routledge. “But I am incredibly proud of our partnership with EllisDon working together to make it happen. I'm also very thankful that I work for an organization like Oxford that will contribute to these kinds of initiatives in our communities to help make a difference.” To pledge your support to our health care heroes visit calgaryhealthfoundation.ca/events/ recovery-for-health-care-heroes.


Recovery for health care heroes

Thanks for doing your part. Now it’s time to give back. Together with EllisDon, Oxford is supporting the Calgary Health Foundation’s goal to build Respite & Recovery Centres at hospitals, providing much-needed dedicated areas for health care workers. It’s a small action to show appreciation for all they have done to ensure the safety of our community. This is an opportunity for Calgarians to give thanks.

To learn more & donate, click the QR code.


ADVERTISING FEATURE

DOING WELL, DOING GOOD

TRICO HOMES SHINES A LIGHT ON INSPIRING COMMUNITY STORIES THROUGH ITS GOOD LIVES HERE PLATFORM elling the stories of acts of kindness in its communities is important to Trico Homes, and with its Good Lives Here initiative, there is certainly no shortage of people and organizations “doing well” and “doing good” during times of need. “We do well when we create value for our customers by building safe and healthy homes, Trico Wellness Centre

and we do good by helping to build stronger, healthier, thriving communities that we all live, work and play in,” says Glenda Schwartz, Director of Marketing for Trico Homes. Trico has been part of various initiatives over the years to help support its community. One effort Schwartz is particularly proud of is the Trico Centre for Family Wellness, a non-profit, community-operated fitness and wellness facility in south Calgary. After leading a 2008 initiative to support community recreation and active living with a $1.5 million naming sponsorship agreement, Trico renewed its commitment this year by investing another $2 million into the facility. Through various collaborations, the Trico Centre Cares program offers children of all ages a chance to participate in swimming and skating lessons free of charge. The centre’s partnership with the City of Calgary also provides lowincome families with fee assistance for

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wellness programs. In addition to its Good Lives Here program, Trico has made an impact with several local initiatives, including Community Leadership, Sustainable Practices and Giving Back, which supports those dedicated to solving social, cultural and environmental issues. “Our community investments are an integral element of our greater purpose and brand marketing activities,” says Schwartz, “and as such, we sponsor and donate to a number of selected initiatives and organizations each year that help us fulfil our commitment to promoting vibrant, healthy lifestyles and strengthening our community.”

Do Good, While Doing Nothing. When you buy a Trico Home, we believe it makes you a do-gooder. Because our homes help protect the environment. They’re 21% more energy efficient than the national average. Saving you 21.59 gigajoules of energy each year. And in the process, helping prevent 1.4 tonnes of emissions from entering our atmosphere. Which means as a homebuyer, you can do good without doing anything at all.

B U I L D I N G I N 2 6 C O M M U N I T I E S : F R O N T- G A R A G E H O M E S | L A N E D H O M E S | D U P L E X E S | T O W N H O M E S

Four Time Best For The World

Find out more at tricohomes.com

Honoree

2004 - 2021

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

FROM CALGARY, AROUND THE WORLD

TURNING "WATER KNOWLEDGE" INTO COMMON KNOWLEDGE, CAWST CREATES GLOBAL, SUSTAINABLE CHANGE algary’s Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) provides water and sanitation resources and education to the world's underserved communities, creating a future where people can thrive.

In 2020, 960 organizations across 88 countries accessed CAWST services, tapping the expertise of a Calgary-born, global solution and disseminating relevant skills to others. Over 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home. Twice as many lack basic sanitation, making this work more important than ever. "When they possess the knowledge themselves, they don't just look after the water and sanitation needs of their families and neighbours," says Tal Woolsey, CAWST’s senior director of global services. "They share it beyond their community, creating change that lasts for generations." CAWST also brings its specialized skills to the front lines of the ongoing pandemic through the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub — a free online service that supports individuals and

organizations in areas where help is needed most. A highly successful international partnership, the hub enables programs that influence handwashing in underserved communities and help combat the pandemic's devastating effects. And that's just one of the many facets of CAWST, which provides globally available online and in-person training, tools and consultation to thousands of individuals and organizations every year. It is a crucial time for this kind of work and CAWST offers Calgarians the chance to think globally by giving locally this holiday season and help create long-term change around the world. "The gift of water is the most important gift you can give," says Woolsey. "Without clean water and sanitation, all other quality-of-life improvements, better health, better education, better income, are all virtually impossible." Visit www.giftofwater.ca or contact CAWST directly at give@cawst.org or 403-243-3285 ext. 251 to support its cause. This holiday season, all donations will be matched at twice their amount through the O’Brien-Cumming Match program, tripling their total impact.

Safe water changes everything This holiday season, when you give water, you give hope.

cawst.org

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2021

Holiday gift guide

BEVERAGE BOMBS Award winning tea & coffee bombs by Beverage Bombs® - London Fog, Caramel Macchiato, Chai & more! beveragebombs.com

BANFF SUNSHINE VILLAGE Give the gift of Canada’s Best Snow this holiday season and treat the skier or snowboarder on your list to a Sunshine Super Card. Skibanff.com/card 403-705-4000

CALGARY ZOO This holiday season, give the gift of a Calgary Zoo Membership. Call Guest Relations: 403-232-9300 or Visit: calgaryzoo.com/support-us/membership-gift-cards

CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE Sponsor a meal for 500+ Calgarians who will be sheltering at the DI over the holidays. Donate today at: calgarydropin.ca/meals

espy EXPERIENCE Support local and buy Canadian this Christmas! espy branded unisex bathrobe made of organic cotton. $189 online & at espy. 1009 9th Ave. S.E. espyexperience.com

MY MOMMY DRINKS WINE Cheers to Calgary’s first local & female-owned wine label offering a red, white, and a subscription wine club. Mama mia! hello@mmdwwines.com mmdwwines.com

CEDAR & STEAM Come experience the secrets of relaxation with sauna & steam sessions. Get the full experience when you book a massage. 825-251-2386 [text] 403-452-2257 [phone] cedarandsteam.com


2022

ADVERTISING FEATURE

LEIGHTON ART CENTRE Find truly unique gifts created by 125+ talented Alberta artists, in person at Leighton Art Centre and at: shop.leightoncentre.org

ONE YELLOW RABBIT’S HIGH PERFORMANCE RODEO Ignite their winter at #HPRodeo! Give them the gift of live performance with tickets and festival passes. The perfect holiday gift. HPRodeo.ca

HERITAGE PARK Gift a Family & Friends Escape or Express membership before December 24 and receive a free Express level guest pass! heritagepark.ca

MASTER CHOCOLAT Hot Chocolate Bombs from Master Chocolat, available in singles or multipacks. Three locations in Calgary or shop online. 403-252-5750 masterchocolat.com

WILD ROSE BREWERY Brewed with a unique blend of sweet and sour cherries, Cherry Porter returns to the taproom & stores across Alberta! 4580 Quesnay Wood Dr. SW wildrosebrewery.com

LAZY BAKE Lazy Bake’s monthly subscription includes two easy baking kits delivered right to your door! GF options available. lazybake.com

CARTER-RYAN GALLERY TELUS SPARK SCIENCE CENTRE 2021-10-26 5:02 PM Hand-crafted and signed by Indigenous Artist Kick back and enjoy a drink in an anatomical Jason Carter, these translucent Alabaster heart whiskey glass. The perfect gift! stone ornaments are the perfect gift! $50 $49.99 set of 4 carter-ryan.com sparkscience.ca

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PIE JUNKIE Made from scratch • All butter pastry • No fillers or preservatives. Kensington | Spruce Cliff | Mahogany | Crowfoot Crossing piejunkie.ca @piejunkieyyc


2021

Holiday gift guide

ADVERTISING FEATURE

CHOPVALUE YYC ChopValue YYC locally remanufactures each product out of recycled bamboo chopsticks. Use code YYC-10 at ChopValue.com or contact directly at calgary@chopvalue.ca

LEELA ECO SPA Calgary’s most preferred destination for wellness. 6 locations offering massage, acupuncture, esthetics, chiropractic, couples massage, wine service, private events. leelaecospa.com

COCKTAIL.CLUB Give the ultimate at home cocktail experience. Gift a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. www.cocktail.club

MONOGRAM COFFEE Coffee that inspires wonder and warmth. Shop holiday gifts like fresh coffee, mugs and more online or at our four cafes. monogramcoffee.com

TEN DEGREES CHOCOLATE Give the Gift of Chocolate! Gift baskets, hot chocolate bombs and more. Fine chocolate locally made in our chocolate factory. 818 – 16 Avenue SW. tendegreeschocolate.ca

MODERN STEAK The perfect stocking stuffer for the steak lover or corporate Thank You for that special client. For more information, call: 403-300-1424 modernsteak.ca

GLOBALFEST Celebrate a World of Difference with GlobalFest. Tickets available at Calgary Co-ops and online. Holiday Special pricing until 31 December. 403-569-9679 globalfest.ca


DINING

BOARDS OF

BEAUTY

A charcuterie spread is de rigueur for entertaining during the holiday season. Whether you’re one to curate your own board or just unveil someone else’s handiwork, we’ve got the goods to ensure an evening of successful nibbling.

CHARCUTERIE BOARD FROM THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS. SERVING WARE FROM BRITANNIA KITCHEN & HOME.

BY C O L I N G A L L A N T P H OTO G R A P H Y BY J A R E D S Y C H F O O D S T Y L I N G BY S Y LV I A K O N G avenuecalgary.com

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Marcona almonds from Going Nuts, goingnuts.ca Gingersnap apple spread by Worthy Jams, worthyjams.com\

Roasted beet hummus by Mother MayiBake, mothermayibake.com Prosciutto by Valbella Gourmet Foods, valbellagourmetfoods.ca

Château de Bourgogne Brie from Peasant Cheese, peasantcheese.com

Charcuterie board by Ferrous and Fibre, ferrousandfibre.ca

Gluten-free crackers by Grassland Gluten Free Baking, @grasslandglutenfreebaking

Assorted pretzels by Twigz Pretzels, twigzpretzels.com

Klondyk medium Swiss by Sylvan Star, sylvanstarcheesefarm.ca Pickles by Grumans Catering & Delicatessen, grumans.ca

Nanuk maple-smoked sockeye nuggets from North Sea Fish Market (Willow Park), facebook.com/northseawillowpark

Moltinero black truffle pecorino from The Italian Centre, italiancentre.ca

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DINING House-smoked Cerignola olives by Empire Provisions, empireprovisions.com

Shopshire blue from Our Daily Brett, ourdailybrett.com

Pistachio, apricot, cherry paté and smoked duck breast by Pioneer Butchery, pioneeryyc.com

Smoked bison pepperoni by Urban Butcher, urbanbutcher.ca

Cranberry honey mustard by Brassica, brassicamustard.com Assorted salamis by Salt Craft Meat Co., saltcraft.ca Sourdough baguette by Sidewalk Citizen, sidewalkcitizenbakery.com

Shanklish by Chinook Cheese, chinookcheese.com\

Bourbon hot honey by Peace River Honey, peaceriverhoney.co Borettane onions in balsamic from Lina’s Italian Market, linasmarket.com

Double-smoked lachsschinken from Edelweiss Imports, edelweissimports.com

Salt Spring Island Cheese garlic chèvre from Springbank Cheese Co., springbankcheese.ca

CHARCUTERIE BOARD FROM THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS. SERVIING WARE FROM BRITANNIA KITCHEN & HOME

The ultimate charcuterie spread is a carefully curated masterpiece of morsels from a range of artisan producers and retailers. Here’s how to build your board with the finest the city has to offer. avenuecalgary.com

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DINING

EF FORT LE V E L : M I N I M UM Not everyone has the time or the desire to run all over town curating charcuterie. Here are eight great options for having someone else do the work so you can relax and focus on other hostly duties. THE GRAZE COMPANY

If it’s wow factor you want, The Graze Company offers a luxurious charcuterie spread (starting at $1,250) that arrives in a platinum box. The box features caviar and accoutrements, Cinco Jotas jamón Ibérico, Dom Perignon, pecorino tartufo (truffle), manchego, garnishes and a nine-inch serving board. The Graze Company also retails premium serveware that can be added to any order. If you’re looking for a less luxurious option, Graze offers a DIY kit, starting at $100. 1502 27 Ave. S.W., 403-465-4875, thegrazecompanycalgary.com, @thegrazecompany

BOARDS BY TAYLOR

This Instagram-based business serving both Calgary and New York City offers charcuterie plates served on palm leaves and charcuterie boards and grazing tables presented on wood. There are gluten-free, lactose-free and pork-free options, plus vegetarian and vegan spreads. There’s occasionally a special where a bonus item is thrown in. Tasty addons include sugared Prosecco grapes and chocolate-covered strawberries. @boardsbytaylor SALON

If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an event catered by Salon, you know this company is a cut above. Operated by the team behind gourmet market-restaurant Our Daily Brett (and Actually Pretty Good and Neighbour Coffee), the charcuterie offerings include large-format boards for full-service events, but the odd drop-off package is available. 1507 29 Ave. S.W., 403-457-0422, saloncatering.com, @saloncatering BRIE & BANQUET

This company offers exceptional presentations of boards, boxes and tables that include flowers, greenery and serveware rentals. There are a staggering number of options, ranging from a picnic box for two to grazing tables to serve 40 or more. For the holiday season, you may want to try a holiday feast package available in servings for four to 14 (packages start at $189). Each package includes a platter, mixed toasts, macarons, crackers and “sticks,” a beverage option and a decorative bunch of eucalyptus. 524 42 Ave. S.E., 403-874-7006, brieandbanquet.com, @brieandbanquet 50

avenue December 21


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BRIDGELAND MARKET

This ever-reliable market for gourmet goods offers cheese trays and charcuterie boxes in sizes small ($50, serves three to six), medium ($80, serves six to 10) and large ($120, serves 10 to 12). Each comes with crackers, fruit, olives and preserves. There’s also an option to order just the quantity of sliced meat and cheeses of your choosing. If you’re shopping for gifts (or for yourself), check out the cheese subscription club and cheese gift boxes. 1104 1 Ave. N.E., 403-269-2381, bridgelandmarket.com, @bridgelandmarket FRASER & FIG

This storefront in South Calgary keeps things fun and fanciful. There are the expected boxes and boards in various sizes, but a unique option is the “charcusicles” package ($60): 20 skewers stacked with two meats, two cheeses, plus fruits and veggies. Offerings rotate monthly, so, if you love Fraser & Fig’s food, check back regularly to see what’s new. 2010 34 Ave. S.W., 403-923-7632, fraserandfig.com, @fraserandfig

GREAT EVENTS CATERING

This long-running caterer run out of Cravings Market Restaurant offers a range of charcuterie boxes big and small. Options run from the $35 vegetarian box to one that comes with Champagne for $167. For mass appeal, you can’t go wrong with the rustic charcuterie box. 7207 Fairmount Dr. S.E., 403-256-7150, greateventscatering.ca, @greateventscateringyyc

BESPOKE BOXES

Bespoke Boxes makes a wide variety of charcuterie boxes, including themed ones for special occasions like “date night.” There are vegan and pork-free boxes, a breakfast box of pastries, sweets and fruit and an outdoor/indoor picnic set with serveware and a picnic box that you keep. Bespoke also has interesting add-ons like the “forever rose” from Rosé Designs (a preserved rose that lasts years without water) and “gem berries,” a collection of colourful, chocolate-dipped strawberries from Gem Boutique. 825-882-2693, bespokeboxesyyc.com, @bespoke.boxes.yyc 52

avenue December 21

PANTRY PROVISIONS A stocked pantry makes preparing a charcuterie board a breeze. Keep a few clutch items on hand just in case you need to throw something together last-minute. Tinned seafoods generally pair well with wine. You can also stock the pantry with jars of olives and pickled peppers; nuts; spreads like jam, honey and chutney; crackers; dried fruit; and cured or dried meats. Many of the retailers on these pages (Bridgeland Market, Empire Provisions, The Cookbook Co. Cooks, et al) have a great selection of elevated non-perishable goods.

VEGAN CHARCUTERIE (IS NOT AN OXYMORON) One of the great things about charcuterie spreads is that they can be tailored to suit any dietary restriction — including vegan. Many of the establishments listed here offer vegan options, though, at Charcuterie Vegan Deli, vegan charcuterie is the specialty. The South Calgary shop offers charcuterie boxes with a variety of “mheats” and “cheezes.” For cheeze options, there are housemade products as well as brands like Flora Fromage and Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze (the piri piri cashew cheeze by Glowfood Creamery and smokey jalapeno cheeze by Flora Fromage are standouts). Boxes range from the “individual grazer” ($20) for one to two people, to the “boujee box” ($96) that feeds six to nine. 4, 3315 26 Ave. S.W., 403-242-4436, charcuterieyyc.com, @charcuterieyyc


Come enjoy the season with us! Book your holiday party with alloy.

220 - 42 avenue s.e. | 403 287 9255 @alloyrestaurant | events@alloydining.com alloydining.com

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

This holiday season gift yourself a complete smile. No one is better suited to the task than a periodontist, a dental specialist for implants. In addition to dental implants, periodontists help restore and maintain healthy bone and gums around your teeth and implants. For more information visit us online at: ab.greatgums.ca

Alberta Academy of Periodontics avenuecalgary.com

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BY L E I G H M C A D A M

WINTER WALKS WITH

PHOTO OPS W HE R E TO GO IN THE MOUNTAINS IF YOU WA NT TO G E T S OME F RESH AIR AND EXERCISE AND COME H OME WITH AN AMAZING PHOTO.

View from the top of Bear’s Hump trail, Waterton Lakes National Park.

A

walk in the mountains on a crisp winter day can really raise your spirits, and you can keep the feeling alive with an incredible photo of the alpine scenery. Whether on a sunlit blue-sky day or under star-studded skies on a dark, winter night, these five winter walks all offer amazing photo opportunities. Some are best at sunset, others at sunrise — both at mercifully civilized hours during the winter.

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If you decide to go, dress in layers, starting with a base layer of long underwear. Pack a Thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks and bring a couple of handwarmers to keep your camera batteries and your fingers warm. You shouldn’t need snowshoes on these walks — unless there has been a recent massive snowfall. However, with the combination of freeze-thaw cycles and foot traffic, a pair of slip-on ice cleats (a.k.a. “icers”) just might save the day.


M O U N TA I N S

P H O T O G R A P H Y C R E D I T S ( T H I S PA G E , C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T ) : PA U L Z I Z K A ; T O U R I S M F E R N I E / V I N C E M O ; H I K E B I K E T R AV E L

P EY TO L A K E V I E W P O I NT B A N F F N AT I O N A L PA R K

For a mind-blowing photo of a starry night, renowned Banffbased landscape and adventure photographer Paul Zizka says head to the Peyto Lake Viewpoint after dark. “It’s a short, easy winter walk from the parking lot to the viewing platforms, where you’ll enjoy inky-dark skies thanks to a lack of light pollution,” Zizka says. The sheer number of stars you can see at Peyto makes for fantastic astrophotography, plus, “you can get your shot by 7 p.m. and be back in Banff in time for a late dinner.” The elevated viewpoint is a premier spot to see the northern lights. To help time your trip for when the aurora borealis is flashing, download aurora-forecasting app SpaceWeatherLive — “the best one out there,” according to Zizka. Peyto Lake is also a great spot for a sunrise photo — around 8:30 or 9 a.m. in the depths of winter.

MAI DEN LAKE FERNIE, B.C.

The short hiking loop around Maiden Lake is right in the town of Fernie. You’ll find the trailhead behind Canadian Tire near the intersection of 9th Avenue and 19th Street, just a few blocks east of the Crowsnest Highway. It’s an ideal “stretch your legs” kind of easy winter hike, especially if you’ve been driving for some time. But it also connects to a huge network of community trails, so you can hike for hours, if you’re so inclined. Maiden Lake is popular

with birdwatching and dog-walking crowds, so the trail is usually well-packed. As a photo location, it’s also superb. Former Fernie resident Mike Cotton of Mike Cotton Photography says it provides “a great shot of Fernie’s Three Sisters and Mount Proctor, as well as Mount Hosmer and Mount Fernie, particularly at sunrise.” By early December, the lake is usually fully frozen, so you might get ice-skaters against your mountain backdrop, as well.

R AWS O N LAKE KANANASKIS COUNTRY

Upper Kananaskis Lake.

To start your 3.9-kilometre (one-way) hike to Rawson Lake, head for the Upper Kananaskis Lakes day-use area via Kananaskis Lakes Trail off Highway 40 South. Laura Dowling, owner of Canadian Rockies Experience, a boutique tour outfitter that opened last season, describes this winter hike as a perennial favourite. “Almost everyone can do it if they take their time, especially since the trail is usually packed

down,” Dowling says. On the 300-metre climb to the lake, you get an invigorating winter workout with a heart-stopping mountain scene on arrival, especially on a bluebird (blue-sky) day. In early December, before Upper Kananaskis Lake has fully frozen, you might get the added bonus of seeing the snowclad mountains reflected in open water — stunningly beautiful in the morning light. avenuecalgary.com

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M O U N TA I N S

AM A Z I N G P H OTO BOOK S BY R EG I O N A L MOU N TAI N P H OTO G RA P H ERS If you’d rather look at photos by professionals, here are three books to put out on the coffee table.

WAP TA FALLS YO H O N AT I O N A L PA R K

by Paul Zizka (Rocky Mountain Books, 2021) A breathtaking collection of Rocky Mountain photos taken from the air.

to the trailhead. The road into the Wapta Falls parking lot is closed in winter, requiring a walk in of about eight km (return). Although the trail is usually packed down, count on icy sections as you drop down to the viewpoint. Photographer Viktoria North of Canmore-based North Grove Creative recommends timing your visit for the afternoon, “when the sun is on the south-facing falls, the sky shows up as a magnificent blue and there’s beautiful light filtering through the trees.”

Where Rivers Meet: Photographs and Stories from the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country by Stephen Legault (Rocky Mountain Books, 2018) Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley in a collection of 200-plus photos and short essays.

BEAR ’ S HU MP WAT E R TO N L A K E S N AT I O N A L PA R K

The Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper & Beyond by John E. Marriott (Café Books, 2009) Wildlife and backcountry captures, along with classic Rocky Mountain scenes, by the Canmorebased nature photographer.

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For some of the best views in Waterton Lakes National Park, hike up the Bear’s Hump, a flat outcropping on the side of Mount Crandell that’s easy to access via the trail constructed in the wake of the 2017 Kenow wildfire. The trailhead is across the street from the entrance to the Prince of Wales Hotel on the road to the Waterton townsite. The trail to the “hump” climbs 225 m over 1.4 km. For safety’s sake, it’s best done with icers, and be prepared for Waterton’s notoriously

fierce winds at the top. Gales aside, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of prairie ranchland to the north, Glacier National Park (Montana) to the south, the full length of Upper and Middle Waterton Lakes and Linnet Lake, along with the striking Prince of Wales Hotel and the Waterton townsite. According to Carey Tetzlaff of Waterton-based Tamarack Outdoors, who led “breakfast on the hump” tours for several years, “winter sunrises can be incredible, and the sunsets are terrific, too.”

P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F T O U R I S M G O L D E N / R A C H E L W I L D ( W A P TA ) ; H I K E B I K E T R A V E L ( WAT E R T O N )

Aloft: Canadian Rockies Aerial Photography

Wapta Falls is the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River, spanning 107 m and falling 18 m. In winter, it’s a frozen wonder to see and photograph: a dynamic mix of running water and ice with Mount Vaux and Chancellor Peaks as a backdrop. Access to the falls is 26 km west of Field, B.C., on the south side of the highway, but, with no left-hand-turn lane, it’s safer to continue three km to the western Yoho National Park boundary, do a U-turn and then backtrack


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DECOR

This seating area is where homeowner Amber Sandmoen-Vanee and her family enjoy opening presents on Christmas Day and watching festive movies together during the holiday season. 58

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BY M I C H A E L A R E A M P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y J A R E D S Y C H

DECOR

magic&whimsy A M B E R SANDMOEN-VANEE’S H OL I DAY DE COR MAKES T HE SE ASON BR IGHT.

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hen Amber SandmoenVanee decorates her home for the holidays, it’s about more than just the visuals, it’s about capturing a feeling. “With Christmas, I want the feeling of childhood in my home,” she says. “My two biggest words for every holiday are ‘whimsical and magical.’” In 2014, Sandmoen-Vanee turned a hobby for making party crafts into her online store, Dixie + Twine, where she sells party and home decor items — including paper straws, party banners, cake toppers and, disco ball planters (her current favourite) — in bright, colourful and pastel hues. Though Sandmoen-Vanee isn’t one for traditional yuletide reds and greens, she still embraces festive decorating. “My dad is really big into the holidays, and it has always been that way since we were kids,” she says. “I like to decorate for [my daughter] to have the same experience and the same feeling in the house.” The home’s seating area gets the most attention. Colourful garlands and stockings hang above the fireplace, and a vintage 1961 Santa Claus blow mould sits next to a bookshelf displaying candy-coloured decorations. It’s the only spot in the home to feature a classic green Christmas tree — througout the rest of the home, small Christmas tree figures Sandmoen-Vanee makes from colourful pastel paper, repurposed bottle brushes and sparkly disco balls, pop up on surfaces and shelves. Sandmoen-Vanee’s holiday decor blends nostalgic elements from her childhood with vintage finds. A classic Christmas book from her childhood gets a spot on the bookshelf, while the vintage gumball machine by the tree is also inspired by a childhood memory (she displays an old picture depicting an identical gumball machine close by). SandmoenVanee also keeps a bowl of ribbon candy around, a

Colourful miniature Christmas trees are a staple throughout Sandmoen-Vanee’s home during the holidays. The more decor and colour, the better, she says.

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Clockwise from top left Sandmoen-Vanee’s love of holiday decorating and entertaining informed the design of the home, with light fixtures and colour palettes selected to complement her seasonal decorations. Childhood pieces and other nostalgic items are key elements of the holiday decor. The yellow stocking has been with Sandmoen-Vanee for 40 years, while the vintage gumball machine is a replica of a similar one depicted in a 1980s Christmas photo from her childhood.

tradition she inherited from her father. “It feels like young Christmas at my house,” she says. Sandmoen-Vanee buys most of her nostalgic decor pieces from vintage markets, but the stockings above the fireplace are family heirlooms. As a child, she and her sister received stockings made by a neighbour. Years later, when Sandmoen-Vanee married, she had the same woman make a stocking for her husband and, eventually, one for her daughter. Her own yellow stocking with a teddy bear on the front has been with her for 40 years. 60

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The home’s main entrance is adorned with festive stars and colourful trees, so guests and visitors are greeted with some festive cheer. The rainbow-hued glassware comes from various thrift stores and vintage markets. It’s tradition for guests to pick their own glass to use during get-togethers. Dave, the mini dachshund (and newest family member), also enjoys the festivities and holiday fun.

While the decorations add plenty of colour during the holidays, the home is cheery year-round, with its bright blue couch, matching kitchen island and white shelves curated with colourful objects. Custom-built by Baywood Homes four years ago, the spacious open layout was designed to suit the family’s needs and lifestyle, but also to complement Sandmoen-Vanee’s love of holiday decorating and hosting friends and family. The mostly white interior creates a clean backdrop for Sandmoen-Vanee’s bright and pastel-forward holiday hues.

The kitchen features simpler decorations, with gold stars and white snowflakes along the walls and a colourful garland adorning the doorway to the patio. Often, Sandmoen-Vanee will put a white Christmas tree on the patio with lights and festive music to expand her holiday decor outside the house and share the festivities and fun. “I like the social aspect of Christmas and the merriment of it all,” she says. “One of the neighbours came by in the spring and said she really appreciated the Christmas music, so people do like it.”


EUROPEAN STYLE DREAM HOME DESIGNED BY SMITHERICKSON AND BUILT BY CALBRIDGE HOMES C O S M O P O L I TA N R O M E / P L A N K S & H E R R I N G B O N E

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Photography: Michelle Johnson Photography

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Ed monton

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DECOR

H O L I D AY D E C O R AT I N G TIPS With a passion for bright colours and whimsical objects, party decor retailer Amber Sandmoen-Vanee’s holiday decorating style veers from traditional reds and greens. Here are her top tips for making a home festive and fun for the holidays. MAXIMIZE END-OFSEASON SALES

“Buy as soon as Christmas is over and make the most of sales and deals, because 11 months go by really fast,” Sandmoen-Vanee says. Look for deals on artificial Christmas trees, which can then be stored away. BREAK FREE OF TRADITIONAL COLOURS

“You don’t need to stick with reds, greens and golds,” she says. “If you have a colour palette that you like, or something that goes with your home or personal taste, then go with that. Break out of feeling like you have to stick with Christmas colours, just because it’s what you’re supposed to do.” MORE, OR LESS

Decorating a home is a lot like putting togehter an outfit, Sandmoen-Vanee says. “If it looks like too much, then take a little bit away. Take a step back and see where your eye is drawn — does that area need more, or less?” 62

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Clockwise From Top Sandmoen-Vanee chose the bright blue colour of the kitchen island to complement her whimsical holiday decor. You can’t miss the home during the holidays thanks to the eye-catching yellow door and hot-pink Christmas tree.

Since the main bedroom is a space where SandmoenVanee goes to relax, she keeps the decorations minimal. Opposite Page Sandmoen-Vanee calls this 1961 Santa Claus blow mould her “pride and joy.”


SOURCE Miniature Christmas trees throughout from Michaels, nine Calgary locations, michaels.com; and Target, target.com Christmas tree in main seating area from wayfair.ca Blue couch from EQ3, 100, 8180 11 St. S.E., 403-212-8080, eq3.com Grey armchair from EQ3 Blue side table from HomeSense, six Calgary-area locations, homesense.ca Disco ball wreath by Dixie + Twine, @dixieandtwine Dining-room bar cart from IKEA, 8000 11 St. S.E., ikea.com Dining table from IKEA Dining chairs from Structube, six Calgary locations, structube.com Artwork by Super Rural, super-rural.com Santa head from Michaels Rug from Anthropologie, CF Chinook Centre, 403-252-7411, anthropologie.com Paper trees from Chapters Indigo, 12 Calgary locations, chapters.indigo.ca Rattan plant shelf from kijiji.ca Disco-ball tree by Dixie + Twine Santa face from eBay.ca Kitchen island chairs from wayfair.ca Bed frame from Pottery Barn, CF Chinook Centre, 403-259-2100, potterybarn.ca Bath mat from Urban Outfitters, CF Chinook Centre, 403-264-5844, urbanoutfitters.com Santa Claus blow mould from Vintage Redefined Market, vintageredefinedmarket.com

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THE LIST

A S TO L D TO C O L I N G A L L A N T

JESSICA MCCARREL

K

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industrial and you can go all the way to Fish Creek Park.” P H O S AT E FR O M P H O D AU BO “It’s the most delicious, and you can add in tripe and oxtail, which is really fabulous.”

BEER FROM DANDY BREWI NG COMPANY “I’ve tried all of the beers from Dandy’s classic menu, so I get excited for new beers as they come out. Recently, I especially enjoyed the 2021 Haste Still Pays Haste: Vienna Lager.” ARTI ST-RUN C ENTRES (LIKE STRIDE GALLERY AN D TRUCK CONTEM PORARY AR T ) “I go as someone with a background in art to see work that I know is going to be interesting to artists.” SL ED I SL AND MUSI C AND ARTS FESTI VAL “The magical thing about Sled Island is seeing local bands amongst bigger bands and travelling around to venues I adore, like The Palomino and Tubby Dog.” BI KI NG TH E BOW RI VER PATH WAY “Past Inglewood, it gets really

CA L GA RY CI N EM AT H EQ U E “Cinematheque spotlights a specific director each season and does a deep dive on that director’s craft. They have different programming themes, so you can learn a lot about a specific director, actress, movement or region.” JACOB I N R EA D I N G CLU B AT CI V I C TAV ER N “Each Tuesday, we would read either a Jacobin article or a chapter from a book. There’s nothing greater than a bunch of nerds getting together to drink beer and discuss politics. [The club] is now online, but I don't do Zoom meetings that well.”

S O CI A L CU T & S H AV E “The pricing system here is based on the length of your hair, which is actually really smart. My stylist is Tyler. He knows my hair and it’s hard to find someone that you trust with your hair.” THE ALLIUM “I can’t not talk about The Allium because it’s a place in Calgary that’s run as a workers’ collective and is unabashedly anti-capitalist. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, and I don’t really care about that. I just think their food is fabulous and I like what they stand for.” TA N G D Y N A ST Y “I went there for my birthday two years ago, so it’s extraspecial to me. I really like the lamb skewers, oil-splashed hand-pulled noodles and smashed-garlic cucumber.”

J E S S I C A M C C A R R E L P H O T O G R A P H B Y J A R E D S Y C H ; S O C I A L C U T & S H A V E I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y PA B L O P U E N T E S

affeeklatsch is a German word meaning “coffee and gossip.” It’s also the name of a coffee shop founded by Jessica McCarrel. McCarrel moved to Calgary from Ontario during high school and attended Alberta College of Art + Design (now AUArts). After graduating, she lived in Berlin for six months, indulging her love of German art and culture. McCarrel first opened Kaffeeklatsch in 2014 inside a 25-square-foot closet in the CommunityWise Resource Centre (the Old Y building), while also running a coffee cart. Fast-forward through some other business models and Kaffeklatsch now has a storefront on 1st Street S.W. (as well as a kiosk at the Cambrian Wellness Centre). In addition to coffee and goodies, the shop sells books (from Shelf Life Books), wildflower seeds (from ALCLA Native Plants), flowers (from Grasslands Flower Co.) and work by local artists. “I see Kaffeeklatsch as an art project,” McCarrel says. “I see [the shop] as a gift … and I want to be able to share that gift with many others.” Here are just some of McCarrel’s favourite things in Calgary.


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WORK OF ART T I T LE

The Bone DATE

C U R AT E D BY B Y K AT H E R I N E Y L I TA L O

2018 ARTIST

Inges Idee MEDIA

THE BONE

High-grade glass paint on cast aluminium. SIZE

Dog stands 2.7 metres; bone is about 16 m up.

T

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LOC AT I ON

Seton Professional Building, 3815 Front St. S.E. NOT ES

Commissioned by Brookfield Commercial. Fabricated by Heavy Industries. Artist collective Inges Idee also designed the much-maligned Travelling Light (2013) — a.k.a. the “Blue Ring” — near the interchange of Airport Trail and Deerfoot Trail.

desire … It is funny, in a way.” As an individual artist, Hemmert is known for conceptual projects, performative events and signature balloon forms. He has presented experiential work that is often ephemeral or temporary in some of the art world’s most prestigious venues, including MoMA in New York. Local architectural and design fabricator Heavy Industries managed the planning and

fabrication of The Bone. When Hemmert came to Calgary for the installation and reveal, he writes that he was “wowed” by the experience of seeing the concept take form, “in real size and in real life in relation to our own bodies and body size.” If public art can distinguish a community, then The Bone marks this communal territory, a site of imaging, diagnostics and health care, with a welcome sprinkle of humour.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOKFIELD RESIDENTIAL

he lustrous purple pup on the sidewalk in Seton comes as a surprise. From afar, the vivid colour signals something out of the ordinary in the newly developed area around the South Health Campus. Up close, its toy-like character bids you to enter a place of wonder. Spending time in the company of the giant and spirited dog will take your mind for a walk as you gnaw on the questions of how and why this creature inhabits the space. If you think the breed looks like a balloon dog, look again. Start with those remarkable ears to puzzle out its anatomy. Dog-lovers will recognize the look of longing and the pose of a problem-solver. What has caught its attention? Is it mere coincidence that our friend stands alert outside a radiology lab? The Bone is the conceptual brainchild (brain-pup?) of Inges Idee, the Berlin collective founded in 1992 by four artists — Hans Hemmert, Axel Lieber, Thomas A. Schmidt and Georg Zey — who work jointly on projects for public spaces. Inges Idee has an impressive track record of approximately 60 projects in locales around the world, including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Each member of the collective is also an individual practising artist and brings their experience to the group-brainstorming process. When asked how the group developed the idea for The Bone, Hemmert emailed his reply from Germany: “The idea came to us by seeing the [word] ‘radiology’ on the top of the building. A dog is made of bones if you X-ray him. So, the dog is longing for the thing he himself is built of … a tautological situation. It’s a simple story for everyone on the street to discover. The dog is made by his own


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