Avenue December 2022

Page 38

WE CALGARY avenuecalgary.com 12.22 / $6.50 Expert tips for making your gifts look too pretty to open WRAPPER’S DELIGHT How the City is stepping up to help us love winter OWNING THE COLD SET FOR STYLE A dinner party tablescape for the holidays and beyond GIFT GUIDE ALL THAT WE WANT THIS SEASON Splendour in a glass CALGARY’S BEST COCKTAIL BARS
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Do you want to design the future of Calgary? Fight climate change? Make cities more equitable, vibrant, and healthy? Then the Bachelor of Design in City Innovation (BDCI) is for you. It’s the first undergraduate degree in Western Canada to focus on learning how to design innovative changes that improve the physical and social infrastructure of cities.

ince the energy sector downturn in 2015, Calgary’s downtown has seen unprecedented office building vacancy rates. This in turn caused problems for small business owners who rely on office workers for much of their sales. So how do we bring downtown back to life?

SSince the energy sector downturn in 2015, Calgary’s downtown has seen unprecedented office building vacancy rates. This in turn caused problems for small business owners who rely on office workers for much of their sales. So how do we bring downtown back to life?

CALLING FUTURE CITY BUILDERS

strength and influences between relationships.

strength and influences between relationships.

to graduate programs in law, social work, public policy, public health and business. The BDCI also prepares graduates for direct entry into the workforce in a variety of citybuilding careers in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

sustainability studies, entrepreneurship and data science. “Right from day one, students apply the theory they learn in the classroom to real world design projects in the studios.”

That’s the question occupying the minds of many people including building owners, real estate professionals, and the City of Calgary. This spring’s decision by City Council to create a $200 million investment fund to kickstart redevelopment projects that would revitalize downtown is a very promising first step. But where should that money be spent to ensure maximum impact?

That’s the question occupying the minds of many people including building owners, real estate professionals, and the City of Calgary. This spring’s decision by City Council to create a $200 million investment fund to kickstart redevelopment projects that would revitalize downtown is a very promising first step. But where should that money be spent to ensure maximum impact?

Located within the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the BDCI is an ideal pre-professional program for those interested in becoming an architect, planner, or landscape architect. Alternatively, it can be customized with a variety of minor programs as a pathway

Fortunately, researchers at the University of Calgary are working on an answer. Assistant professor Alberto de Salvatierra, for example, specializes in big-data urbanism at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. He is developing a platform called the Civic Common Catalyst that helps decision-makers better understand the broader social, cultural, and economic impact of a particular redevelopment decision.

Fortunately, researchers at the University of Calgary are working on an answer. Assistant professor Alberto de Salvatierra, for example, specializes in big-data urbanism at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. He is developing a platform called the Civic Common Catalyst that helps decision-makers better understand the broader social, cultural, and economic impact of a particular redevelopment decision.

“The climate crisis and increasing social inequity are two of the biggest challenges facing the future of cities,” says John Brown, dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. “This degree delivers the knowledge and skills needed to design solutions that will reduce our impact on the environment and improve quality of life.”

De Salvatierra and his team have assembled large datasets on everything from risk sources and ecological systems to infrastructural networks and human geographies. He elaborates, “By overlaying this information onto maps of underutilized land and vacant buildings, we can

De Salvatierra and his team have assembled large datasets on everything from risk sources and ecological systems to infrastructural networks and human geographies. He elaborates, “By overlaying this information onto maps of underutilized land and vacant buildings, we can

The BDCI multi-disciplinary curriculum is delivered through experiential learning in design studios that deal with city innovation at a hands-on level, explains Brown, adding that students will also gain skills in 2D and 3D visualization, history, theory,

This is something that is badly needed, says Kate Thompson, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the group responsible for the development of downtown’s East Village and the new central public library building. The BDCI will deliver a critical educational option that is currently missing in Alberta, she adds.

test various redevelopment options and identify which will have the biggest impact.”

test various redevelopment options and identify which will have the biggest impact.”

Thom Mahler, Manager of Urban Initiatives with the City of Calgary sees significant value in this approach. “This project will be a source of both knowledge and inspiration to drive transformational change to underutilized civic and private assets.”

Thom Mahler, Manager of Urban Initiatives with the City of Calgary sees significant value in this approach. “This project will be a source of both knowledge and inspiration to drive transformational change to underutilized civic and private assets.”

“The wide-reaching inputs to city building (physical, social, political, economic, historical) must be studied so that together our city can emerge as a leader in the world of urban design.”

With the stakes so high and the cost of urban development so great, no one can afford any missteps. This cutting-edge research project is showing us how applying big urban data in novel ways helps to minimize risks and build a better Calgary.

Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023 start. For more information visit sapl.ucalgary.ca/bdci.

With the stakes so high and the cost of urban development so great, no one can afford any missteps. This cutting-edge research project is showing us how applying big urban data in novel ways helps to minimize risks and build a better Calgary.

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on the cover

The Grace O’Malley at Betty Lou’s Library: Bartender Keifer Korol’s creamy eggnog cocktail, named after the notorious Irish pirate, is spiked with rum, Cognac and coffee liqueur and garnished with coffee beans and fresh-ground nutmeg.

Photo by Jared Sych

Art direction by Steve Collins

Statement ring from Rubaiyat

Dress from Luna Blue

Model Lexie F.

8 Editor’s Note

DEPARTMENTS

15 Detours

Get a closer look at one of the master ful stained-glass windows at historic Lougheed House, created for the original residents by the still-operational and family-run Robert McCausland Studio in Toronto. Plus, meet the 16-year-old founder of an organization that wants to make chess more accessible, get ideas for things to do on December 25, and discover ProArts Society artistic director and all-round arts champion Damon Johnston’s favourite spots in the city.

46 Mountains

If you’ve got the time, these three interior B.C. ski resorts are worth the drive, with great snow, amenities and vibes.

52 Decor

Bringing together rustic woods, rich greenery and place settings in dramatic charcoal and gold tones, this tablescape works equally well for hosting during the holidays or throwing dinner parties on any given winter evening.

FEATURES

22 Gifts Galore!

This year, our holiday gift guide starts small and builds to a big finish. Whatever your budget, there’s something for every one in this roundup of items, all available here in the city. Plus, pro tips for perfect present-wrapping!

30 Winter of Our Discontent

We can’t change our cold winters, but those behind the creation of Calgary's Winter City Strategy believe we can at least make them more fun and accessible.

Jacquie Moore

36 Mixing it Up

Writer Gwendolyn Richards rounds up the best places to sip delicious cocktails in Calgary right now. And, for those who prefer beer, Dave Robertson investigates the story behind the disappearance of GoldSpur, a notorious Belgian tripel created by the owner of the former Hop In Brew pub.

66

An Artful Farewell

Our Work of Art curator and columnist signs off after seven years.

By Katherine Ylitalo

december 2022 6 ILLUSTRATION
PHOTO
36
contents 30 52
12.22

better spaces. better living.

That is our philosophy. It’s the spaces around us that define our experiences and connect us. It’s how we move in that space, it’s how we inhabit that space...that is how we live. You know you’re home — you can feel it, as soon as you walk in the door. allistongroup.ca

Visit our website for SHOW HOME locations and hours or to book a viewing. See you soon!

What’s Not to Love?

winter seemed to charge out of the gates this year. Thankfully, it held off until after Halloween — I grew up in Edmonton in the 1980s and recall several years of suiting up in full snow gear and slogging through drifts for trickor-treating, so I can say with authority that it is a diminished experience.

A couple days after Halloween, however, winter blasted in with all the force of the Kool-Aid Man blasting through a brick wall. Oh yeah.

Aside from skiing and snowboarding aficiona dos, who get positively giddy over the first major snowfalls, the arrival of winter mostly invokes a sense of malaise, a palpable collective sigh of “here we go again.” Those who have the means for a season-interrupting tropical getaway set it squarely in their sights; those who don’t have to find other ways to fortify themselves emotionally to make it to spring.

But what if it wasn’t a matter of “making it?” What if winter was seen as a season full of warmth (figurative) and whimsy? Of street-level vibrance? Of community and collaboration?

The idea that our northerly location and its accompanying weather can invoke civic pride and engagement rather than hibernation is the driving force behind the Winter City Strategy — a municipal initiative, in line with those in other northern Canadian and Scandinavian cities, that sees winter as an asset. You can’t beat the weather, so how do we, as a city, join it? Writer Jacquie Moore’s story, which you can read starting on Page 30, examines some of those ways.

If you’re dead set against the idea of having fun outside during the winter, well, you can always toast the season in the warmth of one of our city’s top cocktail bars. From classic spots like Proof, to hidden-away speakeasies like Betty Lou’s Library, we’ve got a list of amazing bars where you can settle in and sip an expertly mixed drink.

The onset of winter also marks the onset of the holiday season, and our annual gift guide is back, with items ranging from stocking stuffers to bigticket buys. No matter your budget, this year, we’ve got you covered with gifts available for purchase from local makers and at stores around the city.

While you’re out shopping, keep your eyes peeled for public artworks. And, if you happen upon one, make sure to pause and take a closer look. Whether you find it inspiring or perplexing, there’s a compelling story behind every piece — something we’ve learned from our Work of Art columnist and curator, Katherine Ylitalo, who signs off this month after seven years of writing about public art for Avenue’s back page. There’s an art to what Ylitalo does and we couldn’t be more appreciative of what she has contributed. Whether it’s a brash and bright outdoor mural, an imposing sculpture, or a placid contemporary painting in an office-tower lobby, there’s wonder all around us, even in winter.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Language Matters

Thank you for recognizing Evan Legate in the Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022! Epilepsy Association of Calgary is beyond thrilled to have its Board Chair profiled in such a positive manner. I also had an opportunity to attend your first-class event on Wednesday, Oct. 26 to celebrate Evan and all of the class of 2022.

Epilepsy Association of Calgary would like to share Evan’s good news in our monthly newsletter, Brain Buzz, which goes out to the community in Southern Alberta who are affected by epilepsy. In doing so, I wanted to raise a matter worth noting.

In the feature about Evan, the word “epileptics” is used in the context of describing how he and his team have introduced and revived programs, includ ing multi-week sessions on adjusting to life with active seizures, sessions on addressing depression and mental wellness, and programs that teach cop ing methods for cognitive issues.

In our community, the word “epileptics” is no longer used to refer to people with epilepsy. It is a term that was common in the past, but along with work to try and break the stigma associated with epilepsy, the term has fallen out of use. Instead, we refer to our community as “persons with epilepsy” or, when including family members, we say: “people impacted by epilepsy.”

I offer this feedback with the utmost of respect, but I felt it was my job to point out the appropriate language to use in referring to people with epilepsy. Congratulations again on a wonderful event and on the selection of a quality 2022 cohort.

We welcome letters from our readers! Please send your feedback, comments, constructive criticism and other correspondence to me at sarnusch@redpointmedia.ca.

December 2022
CLOTHING STYLING
EDITOR'S NOTE
PHOTO BY HEATHER SAITZ;
BY GRAVITYPOPE
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PROUDLY SERVING ALBERTA CALGARY 403.254.5315 CANMORE 403.707.8048 EDMONTON 780.918.2635 LETHBRIDGE 403.308.3308 Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage, Real estate agency. Independently Owned & Operated. E & O.E: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. From our home to yours, we wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a Joyous New Year. SOTHEBYSREALTY.CA Aga Bara Kodette LaBarbera Heather Waddell Michelle Fournier Thomas Yeung Christopher Vincent Luke Nichols Jeremy Amyotte Shannon Cadman Valerie Konechny Barb Richardson Kym Barton Janelle Lawton Rachelle Normandin Thoran Malitowski Colin Harms Mason Kramer Katherine Burns Steven Hill Wynn Carr Aldo Laratta Kyle Stone Jaqueline Thorogood Norb Park Thomas Buchanan Chucks Okafor Mark Bhaggan Jordan Paterson
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Editor in Chief Shelley Arnusch, sarnusch@redpointmedia.ca

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Staff Photographer Jared Sych

Special Projects Intern Kendall Bistretzan

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Contributors Eluvier Acosta, Erin Donnelly-Ferguson, Colin Gallant, Lisa Kadane, Amber McLinden, Jacquie Moore, Gwendolyn Richards, Dave Robertson, Pete Ryan, Jarrett Sitter, Katherine Ylitalo

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.

Avenue is a proud member of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Magazines Canada and the International Regional Magazine Association, and abides by the editorial standards of these organizations.

Avenue has partnered with TreeEra to plant 1,425 trees, replacing all the trees used to print the magazine this year.

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

Jan-Feb 2023 NEXT ISSUE

Wedding Winners

The big reveal of the winning wedding businesses and service providers chosen by our readers in our third-annual online ballot.

Fresh Starts

A look at how some Calgarians are rebuilding, restarting and recovering in their lives and creating resilience as they move forward.

African Restaurants

An expert-guided journey through the city’s African dining scene, and the community that gathers there for a taste of home.

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by Dec. 7 to get the Jan-Feb 2023 issue to your door. Three-issue subscription $18, one-year $25. redpoint-media.com

10
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BY BRITTANY HUNTER
avenuecalgary.com 11 TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW avenuecalgary.com/RestaurantsEvent CALGARY’S restaurants 20+ RESTAURANTS, ONE NIGHT MARCH 23, 2023 TASTING EXPERIENCE Experience Inspired Retirement Living Steps away from parks & river pathways, seconds from unique dining & shopping experiences and brimming with 5-star amenities, Riverwalk Retirement Residence is where lifestyle meets life. We offer options that include Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care, all with an individualized approach so that you can live your way, each and every day. Come experience your opportunity to be a part of this vibrant community in the heart of the Cliff Bungalow-Mission district today. For more information, or to request an appointment, call (403) 271-7244 or visit verveseniorliving.com/riverwalk 528 25 Avenue SW, Calgary VISIT THE PRESENTATION CENTRE TODAY! 2424 4th Street SW, Calgary RESERVE YOUR SUITE THIS SUMMER BECOME A MEMBER TODAY! FIND OUT MORE avenuecalgary.com/membership

holiday gift guide

STUDIO BELL

Find music-inspired gifts for fans of all ages. Browse the NMC Gift Shop in-person at Studio Bell or online. nmcgiftshop.ca

STYLE COUNCIL CALGARY

Personal Stylist Gift certificates available for all services including personal shopping and styling. stylecouncilcalgary.com

CALGARY DROP-IN CENTRE

Sponsor a meal for 650+ Calgarians who will be sheltering at the DI over the holidays. Donate today at: calgarydropin.ca/meals

THE

SERVUS

CALGARY MARATHON

Gift your loved ones a life-changing experience. Run or walk together on May 28 to continue your wellness journey together! calgarymarathon.com

BANFF SUNSHINE VILLAGE

Give the gift of Canada’s Best Snow this holiday season. Ski & Ride 3 free days with your Sunshine Super Card. skibanff.com/card

CLAIRE

DISTILLERY

A special spirit that celebrates the holidays with 24k Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Christmas Gin, the perfect gift for Ginmas! eauclairedistillery.ca

EAU

WILLOW PARK WINE AND SPIRITS

The Wine Club invites you to taste, learn, and enjoy! Give the gift of a three-bottle pack monthly subscription. willowpark.net

KORITE INTERNATIONAL

This Ammolite pendant from KORITE is a part of the Unity collection which is rooted in the strength of connection.

korite.com

CARRIAGE HOUSE HOTEL

Give the gift of a relaxing staycation. Yearround, outdoor heated pool; Seasonal guest room packages; Gift certificates available. carriagehouse.net

WILD ROSE BREWERY

Alberta’s favourite holiday beer for 20 years. Cherry Porter 4 packs available at: wildrosebrewery.com @wildrosebrewery

i FLY

Nothing will delight the adventurer on your list like Indoor Skydiving. It’s exhilarating for all ages and abilities, from $89.95 excl. GST. iflyworld.ca

TELUS SPARK SCIENCE CENTRE

Obsession-worthy sips are written in the stars. Cosmos Tumbler $43.99 The perfect gift! sparkscience.ca

LEIGHTON ART CENTRE

Find truly unique gifts by 100+ talented Alberta artists, in person at Leighton Art Centre and at: shop.leightoncentre.org

CODY & SIOUX

Put some Yellowstone vibes under the tree from Calgary’s coolest western boutique. Ladies, men’s, home decor, Pendleton. Inglewood • Cochrane codyandsioux.com | @codyandsioux

Give the gift of self-care with a HydraFacial gift card from Beauty edit. Purchase online at: beautyedit.ca

ADVERTISING FEATURE
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Rempel WINEFEST 2023 Sip & savour at Winefest 2023! All-inclusive, early-bird tickets start at $105, until January 2. For more information, visit: celebratewinefest.com WILDER INSTITUTE/CALGARY ZOO Shop with purpose this holiday season. Find unique gifts and experiences for loved ones while supporting wildlife conservation.
HIGH PERFORMANCE RODEO Ignite their winter at #HPRodeo! Give them the gift of live performance with tickets and festival passes. SHADES OF SLEEP AND ACCESSORIES Give the Gift of Sleep with our luxury sleepwear and bedding. Located in Inglewood or shop online. shadesofsleep.com (403) 457-0092 ADVERTISING FEATURE avenue Reconnect WITH YOUR City SUBSCRIBE TO THE avenue WEEKENDER avenuecalgary.com/newsletters
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Detours

[ A NOTEBOOK OF THE CITY ]

WINDOWS TO THE PAST

n the heart of the Beltline, Lougheed House is both a national and provincial historic site, and recognized as a Métis household in honour of Lady Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed, whose beloved gardens are now a popular park attract ing 80,000 visitors each year. Lady Hardisty Lougheed and her husband, Senator Sir James Alexander Lougheed, had a love for the nature of this region, which is showcased throughout their 1891 mansion in a series of stained-glass windows created by Toronto-based Robert McCausland Limited, North America’s oldest studio. Family-operated since 1856, the studio is cur rently run by fifth-generation owner, Andrew McCausland. The windows are fine examples of Golden Age Victorian stained glass. The grandest features a painted panel of a mag nificent stag by a mountain lake.

McCausland says it was common in that era for clients to se lect bird and animal designs from books published in England. As such, the Western bull elk calls up the red deer stag in Sir Edwin Landseer’s iconic painting, The Monarch of the Glen. The large window parades Robert McCausland’s impressive repertoire of materials in an eclectic mix of texture and colour. Deep crimson, flashed orange, pebbled green, faceted jewels and bevelled glass surround the oval emblem that underscores Senator Lougheed’s status and ties to British culture and fash ion, as well as the deep, enduring connection of Lady Isabella’s people to the natural world. —Katherine Ylitalo

Lougheed House is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with admission fees in effect; lougheedhouse.com

PHOTOGRAPH
BY TK TK TK PHOTO BY JARED SYCH
15 avenuecalgary.com
I THE ARTFUL STAINED GLASS INSIDE HISTORIC LOUGHEED HOUSE SHOWCASES THE FOUNDERS’ APPRECIATION FOR THE NATURAL WORLD

local podcast

spotlight

Three things to do

ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN AND AROUND CALGARY

WHETHER

THE STORYTELLING

Since 2019, Cherie McMaster has been the host of Calgary Arts Development’s (CAD) The Storytelling Podcast. Every month, save for a few in 2020, McMaster, the events consultant for CAD, has interviewed Calgar ians from all walks of life on their art practices and why they choose to make Calgary home. The uplifting series digs into top ics such as how the guests affect social change, build a sense of community, and promote men tal health and wellness. A com panion podcast, The Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories, co-hosted by Sable Sweetgrass, focuses on the same themes of creativity and community from the perspectives of Indigenous creators. —Tsering Asha

1

Swap gingerbread and Christmas specials on TV for buttered popcorn and a big screen. Since 1947, when Road to Rio starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby hit theatres on Christmas Day, the holiday typically sees at least one big Hollywood release. This year, Babylon, a dazzling oldHollywood epic with Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire and Jean Smart, has secured the spot. Also out in December is Sarah Polley’s Women Talking (Dec. 16); the long-awaited Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water (Dec. 16); and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Dec. 21).

SEE A HOLIDAY BLOCKBUSTER2

Ski bunnies, rejoice!

Resorts are usually open Christmas Day, meaning you can shred without the crowds. All SkiBig3 mountains (Mt. Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort) will have lifts running, with some holi day surprises planned throughout the day. At Banff Sunshine Village, lift tickets will be 50-per cent off on December 25, and all proceeds will go to cancer research. banffnorquay.com skibanff.com skilouise.com

HIT THE SLOPES3

If the 25th is just another day, Chinese or Indian food are classic dining-out or takeout choices. Many Asian and South Asian restaurants are open, including John Wong’s Chinese Restaurant in Haysboro and Tamarind East Indian Restaurant in Panorama Hills. If you’re celebrating, but want someone else to cook, make a reservation at the Fairmont Palliser for lunch in the Crystal Ball room or at Hotel Arts’ Yellow Door Bistro for a festive buffet brunch or dinner. —Dominique Lamberton johnwongs-restaurant.com tamarindcalgary.ca fairmont.com/palliser-calgary yellowdoorbistro.ca

BABYLON

december 2022 16 Detours
Listen to The Storytelling Podcast and The Storytelling Podcast: In digenous Stories on SoundCloud. YOU CELEBRATE OR NOT, WE’VE GOT SOME IDEAS FOR GETTING OUT AND ABOUT ON DECEMBER 25
PODCAST
GO OUT TO EATPHOTO BY SCOTT GARFIELD; BANFF SUNSHINE VILLAGE PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIBIG3; TURKEY DINNER PHOTO COURTESY OF HOTEL ARTS
17 avenuecalgary.com We don’t throw fancy parties, use a lot of jargon, or distract with flashy charts. Our approach is simple: invest in good companies and do what’s best for clients. Get the straight facts. Contact us. Richardson Wealth Limited is a member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Richardson Wealth is a trademark of James Richardson & Sons, Limited used under license. Darrin Hopkins BA (Econ), CDFA, MBA, CIM® 403.260.3877 • Darrin.Hopkins@RichardsonWealth.com Grant MacEachern 403.260.8453 • Grant.MacEachern@RichardsonWealth.com

Make Your Move

CHESS FOR YOUTH, BY YOUTH

Muhammad Saim taught himself chess as a teen hanging out at the Country Hills Library, where sets were free to use. As he became more involved in the game, he felt that the skills he was learning — among them, planning and patience — could be beneficial to other kids his age. So, in 2021, at 16 years old, he founded Checkmate Foundation Canada (CFC) and now serves as its president.

CFC is a non-profit with a mis sion to “equalize opportunities for youth and vulnerable populations by fostering development through chess education.” In its first year alone, the organization has raised money for The Mustard Seed through a chari table chess tournament, sponsored

chess clubs for Westmount Charter School and Henry Wise Wood High School, conducted its first profession al instructor-led workshop, and part nered with four different community organizations to offer programming and donated chess sets.

While youth are the core demo graphic targeted by CFC, the orga nization is working with additional

populations, as well. Its community partnerships include the Calgary Dream Centre, which works with in dividuals recovering from addiction, and the Kerby Centre, which serves a senior population.

So, what about those benefits?

“There have been a lot of stud ies that suggest playing chess can improve your cognitive ability, aid your emotional and psychological development, and help with pattern recognition,” Saim says. Plus, there’s the fact that it feels good to be part of a community where you share a common interest and goal.

Finally, Saim says that chess gets a bad rap — perhaps deservedly — as an elitist, male-dominated game. He hopes that through CFC’s initiatives, he can help change that.

Want to learn chess?

If you’re looking for an in-person experience, check out local clubs such as the Alberta Chess Association (albertachess.org), the Calgary Junior Chess Centre (calgaryjuniorchess.com) and Calgary Chess Club (calgarychess.com) — the latter offers one free session for visi tors before requiring membership.

Alternatively, try the game out from the comfort of your computer: Saim recommends Chess.com, the world’s largest online chess-playing platform, where there are video lessons and users are matched to opponents at their same skill level. ChessKids.com, an offshoot of Chess.com, is designed specifically for younger players.

And, of course, you can keep up with Checkmate Foundation Canada online at checkmatefoundation.ca. Its website includes helpful play guides, info on upcoming events, as well as volunteering and fundraising opportu nities. —C.G.

december 2022 18
Checkmate
Foundation
Canada’s
Muhammad Saim
suggests a few ways to get started
AT JUST 16 YEARS OLD, CALGARIAN MUHAMMAD SAIM LAUNCHED CHECKMATE FOUNDATION CANADA TO BRING CHESS TO TEENS ACROSS THE CITY Checkmate Foundation Canada founder Muhammad Saim.
Colin Gallant
“... playing chess can improve your cognitive ability, aid your emotional and psychological development...”
MUHAMMAD SAIM, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, CHECKMATE FOUNDATION CANADA
MUHAMMAD SAIM PHOTO BY JARED SYCH; CHESSBOARD PHOTO BY MICHAEL ANDERSON, COURTESY OF CALGARY CHESS CLUB
avenuecalgary.com 19 • Get rid of the OLD and outdated. • Create NEW outfits with EXISTING pieces. • Arm you with style tips to make getting dressed EASY. An espy stylist will go into your closet and: Start off 2023 with a closet you LOVE! WRAP UP A STYLIST THIS CHRISTMAS A CLOSET INTERVENTION is the perfect gift. Rune’s Christmas 2 December / 7:30PM 3 December / 2:30PM (Relaxed Performance) Jack Singer Concert Hall Sounds of the Season: On the Road 6 December / 7:30PM YMCA Rocky Ridge 7 December / 7:30PM YMCA Seton Home Alone in Concert 9 December / 7:30PM 10 December / 2:30PM Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Traditional Christmas 13 + 14 December / 7:30PM Grace Presbyterian Church Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert 1 January / 2:30PM Jack Singer Concert Hall Tickets at calgaryphil.com
Rune Bergmann Music Director

The List

DAMON JOHNSTON

It’s fair to say that Damon Johnston has spent the bulk of his career build ing up the Calgary arts scene.

For 16 years, he served in a variety of roles at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, then spent five years as artistic director of Dancers’ Studio West.

In 2008, Johnston took on the role of artistic director of the ProArts Society. Formed in 2002, ProArts stages free lunch-hour concerts every Wednesday at noon at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer downtown. Under Johnston’s guidance, the concert series grew from an average of 30 weekly attendees to nearly 200 at its peak in 2019. Shows have in cluded everything from flamenco performances and jazz trios to classical singers and opera.

This year marks the 20th season of the ProArts Society concert series. “I’m proud of [what we’ve done],” Johnston says. “People love to meet the artists and talk to them; it’s great. It’s the world’s best arts-management job.”

Here, Johnston shares some of his favourite things in Calgary — in the arts world and beyond.

FESTIVAL HALL INGLEWOOD

“I’ve seen a lot of great shows there, including performances by Ian Tyson and I Am The Mountain.”

ROTARY DOG PARK

“I’m a standard poodle guy. We dog owners get together here and share our joys of having a new puppy and our sorrows when our furry friends pass away. It’s a place where you can go and run into a friend or take a walk and unravel some of the world’s complexities.”

PHO ANH HUYEN RESTAURANT

“My family has been eating at this Vietnamese restaurant for over 25 years. The owners are like extended family, and I know the menu inside and out. I highly recommend the pad Thai.”

THE ROASTERIE IN KENSINGTON

“I don’t go out for coffee a lot, but, when I do, I go to the Roasterie and always order an Americano, black. I’ve known the owner since he was a kid, and a great cast of characters comes through the doors.”

SHIP & ANCHOR PUB

“The Ship & Anchor is a Calgary institution. I mean, if you were hosting Kevin Costner and he said, ‘Let’s go out for a drink,’ well, you’d probably take him to the Ship.”

ONE YELLOW RABBIT PERFORMANCE THEATRE

“One Yellow Rabbit is a gem in Calgary’s arts crown, having created some of my favourite theatrical moments. I love going to their performances; I love going to their festivals; and I love hanging out with them.”

DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS

“I worked with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks from 1984 to 2000. I’m very proud of all the productions that I worked on, and I totally admire their continued growth and success under the current artistic director.”

INGLEWOOD BIRD SANCTUARY

“I’ve been going for a couple of decades at least; it’s one of my favourite places. You can watch the seasons change, and I love being outside and walking around. My favourite bird is the much-maligned magpie; they’re so smart.”

december 2022 20 Detours
DAMON JOHNSTON PHOTO BY JARED SYCH; ROASTERIE PHOTO BY MICHAEL SWIERCZEK; SHIP & ANCHOR PHOTO BY TREVOR HATTER; BIRD SANCTUARY PHOTO BY JASON FISCHER/@JSNFSCHR

Gingerbread. Once you start snacking on these sweet clusters, you won’t stop. italiancentre.ca

From $15 Prairie Garden Soak. This soothing bath soak contains lavender, rose and calendula. tenderlivingfarm.ca

december 2022 22
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$38 Miir Thermo Camp Mug. Add a box of Flash Fuel (opposite page) to delight the camper in your life. canarygoods.ca

STAMPEDE BLING

$30 Shania Charm. This 14-karat-gold-filled charm stars clear cubic zirconia crystals. coutukitsch.com

$35 Little Critics by Joanna Fox. Discover 109 kid-approved recipes from chefs across Canada. penguinrandomhouse.ca

$45 The Giving Toque. For every toque sold, one is donated to a homeless organization across Canada. locallaundry.ca

$35 Finisterra Arches. These handmade clay and metal earrings will complement any holiday look. jennybefree.com

$32 Cat Lady Botanic Body Cream. Any Calgarian will appreciate the gift of hydrated skin this season. routinecream.ca

$40 2023 Wall Calendar. Stay up to date with a bold, typographic calendar, complete with stickers. voidpaperco.com

From $42 The Rad Box Subscription Socks. Organic cotton socks, delivered monthly. plainsbreakerapparel.com

From $48 Macramé Dog Collar. Get your pup a collar handcrafted by Mayan makers in Mexico. lofygoods.com

$34 Winter Spice Gin. Liquid ginger snaps: This gin has hints of ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. confluencedistilling.ca

$45 21" Santana Wooden Ukulele. Great for all ages, this ukulele has easy-to-play strings and a rich sound. indigo.ca

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EGGNOG ENHANCER
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$74 Gift a Surprise Road Trip Gift Card. Send this gift card and your giftee can choose one of four one-day road trip itineraries in the Calgary area. guesswheretrips.com

december 2022 24
2022 2022 Gift
Gift Guide $70 Mr. Summer Patterned Trunks. Get into vacation mode with these fun, quick-dry draw string trunks. adessoman.com $75 Custom Blend Tour. Tour Romero Distilling Co., then make your own blended spirit to take home. romerodistilling.com $73 Baker’s Delight Spice Set. Enhance your sweets with whole nutmeg, vanilla sugar and more. silkroadspices.ca $60 The Cleek Putter Grip. Score points with the golfer on your list with this quality Paduak wood grip. hardwoodgolf.com $55 Kids Hoodie. This “Jingle All the Way” sweater’s design is a collaboration with Indigenous artist artbyJFM. holibae.ca $75 Everlasting Candle Co. Candles, Vase & Oil (sold sepa rately). You’ll have these candles forever. holtrenfrew.com $60 Plaid Mug. Meet your new favourite ceramic mug, wheel thrown in Calgary. jaepolgar.ca
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$250 Anon Sync Goggles. A clear, fog-free view of the slopes awaits, no matter the conditions. burton.com/anon

$108 Printable Minds Lasercut Wood Calgary Map. This map’s minimalist design lets you rep the city in style. simons.ca

$210 Lunar Veil. Revive your skin with local facialist Annie Graham’s overnight mask. xotreatmentroom.com

$125 Empire Signature Gift Box. Everything you need for holiday grazing, from almonds to olives. empireprovisions.com

$250 Therabody Theragun Mini. Tackle tension anywhere with this portable yet powerful massager. holtrenfrew.com

$160 Wool Blanket. Pick up this 100-per cent merino wool throw at Kotn’s new store in Inglewood. kotn.com

$190 MSR Evo Trail Snowshoes. Strap on this unisex pair and hit the trails with superior traction and stability. mec.ca

From $119 Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase. Take beauty sleep to the next level with this antiaging, frizz-fighting pillowcase. nordstrom.ca

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$465 Poppy Barley The Backpack. A pebbled leather backpack that converts into a briefcase. poppybarley.com

$265 “Grounded” Premium Box. This luxury gift box is filled with Indigenous-made goods. indigenousbox.ca

$315 12 Nights of Cocktails. This advent-style box holds 12 surprises, including craft syrups, bitters and spirits. vinearts.ca

$285 Olang Calgary Boot. With built-in ice cleats and insulation to -30°C, it’s no wonder this style is named after our city. olangcanada.com

$295 Champagne Friday Yearly Membership. You get two bottles per quarter, plus extra perks. champagnefriday.co

$430 Solo Stove Bonfire Pit & Stand. Give your backyard a glow-up with this portable, smokeless fire pit. nordstrom.ca

$345 Timemore Nano Carrying Kit. This high-end kit includes a hand grinder, kettle and more. eightouncecoffee.ca

$258 Bare Knitwear Alpaca Travel Wrap. Blanket, scarf, shawl: This piece is as versatile as it is soft. fieldstudyshop.com

$280 Wood Jerseys Calgary Flames Away. Save your jersey for the ’Dome and hang this rep lica instead. woodjerseys.com

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Elise Maree Fehr of Hip Hoorary Studios — host of craft parties and maker of paper goods — gives us her step-by-step guide to creating colourful presents (using her own illustrated wrapping paper).

Choose your wrapping paper, and position your gift box on a sheet or a piece you’ve cut from a roll.

Run a double-sided tape dispenser along the top edge of one side of the paper.

Fold the two sides of paper over the box, pulling them tight and ensuring the taped edge is on top. Press it down over the op posite edge to secure.

On one end, fold the top flap onto the side of the box, followed by the side pieces. Add double-sided tape along the edge of the bot tom flap, then fold up and press to secure.

On the opposite side, use scissors to remove any excess paper, creating a band that can be used to wrap around another gift.

Repeat Step 4 on this side.

Your gift is wrapped; admire your handiwork. Now, for the fun part: embellishments! Start with a ribbon that will wrap around the entire box.

Drape the ribbon over the top, then wrap it around the sides, flipping the box over. Twist the two ends before bringing them back over the opposite sides. Tie in a knot at the top.

Add more ribbons (or yarn or rick rack) in an array of colours and textures by tying pieces of varying lengths around the knot of your main ribbon.

Top it off with a homemade pompom. For Elise’s instructions on how to make one, visit avenuecalgary.com.

Finally, add a tag. Simply punch a tiny hole in your tag (if it doesn’t have one), thread a ribbon through it and tie it to the pompom or ribbons.

Ta-dah!

Find this wrapping paper and more of Elise’s paper goods at hiphooraystudios.com.

december 2022 28
1 5 9 10 11 2 3 4 6 7 8
PHOTOS BY
JARED SYCH
HOW TO WRAP A PRESENT
avenuecalgary.com 29 Christmas Saturdays in Inglewood November 26th, December 3rd , 10th & 17th Street Performers, Santa, Holiday Markets, FREE Hot Chocolate & more! @inglewoodyyc @InglewoodCalgary inglewoodyyc.com
December 2022 30 The Winter of Our DisContent F OLLOWING IN THE TRACKS OF FELLOW NORTHERLY C ITIES E DMONTON, W INNIPEG AND OULU, FINLAND, C ALGARY’S N EW WINTER CITY STRATEGY PUTS N OVEMBER T HROUGH A PRIL A T THE FOREFRONT O F URBAN FUN A ND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY.

othing burns like the cold, writes author George R.R. Martin in A Game of Thrones. “But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and, after a while you don’t have the strength to fight it.” His description of how men routinely freeze to death guarding the fictitious Kingdom of the North can easily be applied to feelings around shovelling one’s walk on a frigid Calgary morning. Sometimes, he continues, “it’s easier just to sit down or go to sleep.”

In Calgary, as in many cities around the world with four distinct seasons, winter has tradition ally been approached as a time of collective sanctioned discontent. Sure, we might wear our prairie-born hardiness as a point of pride when interacting with tender Vancouverites, but who among us has not felt intense despair, if not rage, when faced with a 10-day forecast 20 degrees on the wrong side of zero?

Arguably, from driving to dressing, most things are harder in winter (skiing, sledding, skating and other snow-sporty things, aside). Sometimes, nothing beats staying in. To that end, Denmark has embraced one of the most enviable approaches to making the season tolerable: their philosophy of hygge — loosely translated to “cozy contentment” — has overtaken North America in recent years, turning “couch-potato” into an elegant, beeswax-candlelit lifestyle choice.

But, is retreating indoors — to living rooms, arenas and concert halls — a fruitful path to happiness six months of the year? As the Grinch might put it, maybe winter, perhaps, means a little bit more. Approached with a dollop of Norwegian friluftsliv (“open-air life”) winter can, potentially, be not only tolerable, but delightful outside, too.

Such was the thinking of a group of North American and European urban planners, archi tects and engineers, who, in 1982, established the Livable Winter Cities Association. Their ideas were subsequently laid out in a book called Livable Winter Cities (no longer in print), published in Edmonton. It claimed that Alberta’s capital, like most cities in Western Canada, was built “almost entirely in the 20th century by private and public

avenuecalgary.com 31

builders working on their properties, to answer their own needs” — a focus that left our cities “unconnected, spread out and ill-equipped to deal with winter.”

In recent years, the push to make communi ties in northern latitudes more appealing and accessible year-round has gained momentum via organizations like the Winter Cities Institute which, in 2005, took over from Livable Winter Cities to organize idea labs, promote events such as the International Winter Cycling Congress, and otherwise inspire strategy and infrastructure for sustainable cold-weather fun. In 2007, the Toronto-based organization 8 80 Cities followed suit, formalizing the idea that a world-class city must be as accessible, safe and fabulous for an eight-year-old as it is for an 80-year-old.

Decades of exuberant, mass attendance at Carnaval de Québec — the largest winter festival in the western hemisphere — is proof that people are, indeed, willing to line up in the bitter cold if given an affordable and beguiling reason such as a bikini snow bath (bain de neige) and a mug of sweet, rye-spiked wine (possibly not in that order). Another city known for its good cold fun is Winnipeg, home to the Nestaweya River Trail with its architectural Warming Huts, as well as a 20-metre-tall ice-climbing tower and the annual Festival du Voyageur, celebrating its 53rd edition this February. Chicago’s Oak Park has heated sidewalks; Tromsø, Norway has ski and kick-sled lanes alongside roadways; and, in Oulu, Finland, they plow snow from pathways before clearing the roadways, making the city a global winter-cycling capital. Over the past decade, Edmonton has also gained traction as a dazzling winter locale; check out this claim from its WinterCity Strategy:

Remember the old days? When it was fashion able to grumble about the cold? When we started the winter season by wondering aloud how soon it would end? Well, Edmonton isn’t like that anymore.

Huh? What has changed in Calgary’s northerly counterpart, where winter temps routinely dip to sub-30 degrees Celsius? Hint: it’s not the weather.

Edmonton’s goal to quash winter’s “dangerous, dark, lonely and boring” reputation includes add ing light, warmth, art, accessibility, affordability and fun to public-space design. The initiative’s WinterCity Think Tank, formed in 2012 as part of the WinterCity Strategy, zeroed in on a wide spread attitude of hibernation as a major block to good times and is retelling the city’s winter story to evoke “feelings of wonder and playfulness... adventure, magic, mystery and humour.” The city was already well on its way: Edmonton’s peren

nially well-attended mid-January Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Fete has hit that mark for 15 years with light installations, film shorts and live music — followed in February by a series of out door stories by Indigenous Elders, a snow garden and sporting events at the Silver Skate Festival. Edmonton is also investing in improved clearing of snow on roads and pathways, as well as con structing sidewalk ramps that don’t collect ice and exploring public-building design that mediates transitions from indoor warmth to outdoor cold.

So, where does this leave us? Well, not to be left in a snowbank, the City of Calgary recently kicked off its own Winter City Strategy. A collec tion of events and planned infrastructure, it’s a multi-year plan that aims to spread cultural vi brancy and economy-boosting investment across

12 months, rather than blow it all on summer. While many civic efforts have been made over the years to spark urban winter fun, Calgary has come late to the official winter city party — tardi ness that may be overlooked given our natural state as an attractive frosty metropolis, even with out the official paperwork. Indeed, Winnipegger Anders Swanson, secretary of the Winter Cycling Federation, marvels at the thought that Calgary could be perceived as anything less than a winter paradise. “Oh, geez,” he says, when I tell him about Calgary’s campaign to convince its citizens to celebrate winter. “People love Calgary for its op portunities to play in the snow; that’s the percep tion of Calgary,” he says. “And, if Calgary needs to be convinced of that? Then Calgary needs to give its head a shake.”

December 2022 32

But, with every urban centre from Anchorage to Zurich making a sexier play for winter, Calgary is on the job now, too (we’re in sync with our little prairie sibling, Regina, which recently launched its own make-winter-fun-again plan).

Certainly, former city councillor Druh Farrell (currently the NDP candidate for Calgary-Bow in

the next provincial election) didn’t need convinc ing. “I’d been working on making Calgary a more appealing winter city for more than a decade,” she says. “I knew that communities in the downtown were experiencing high levels of loneliness that worsened during the winter, but I also knew that many Scandinavian countries are able to avoid

the seasonal depression we had come to expect here.” As well, Farrell says she saw people pros pering and having winter fun in Winnipeg and Edmonton where, she says, “they treat winter as an asset.”

In 2019, council got to work on a plan that aligns with the growing global zeitgeist to inject more diversity, safety, fun and equity into cities year-round — especially in the downtown core. The plan dovetailed fortuitously with the onset of the pandemic. “What really spurred things along was COVID: there was a sudden sense of urgency to create great public spaces for people to enjoy, to be safe and to combat loneliness throughout the year,” says Farrell.

The not-so-catchily named Winter City Strategy rolled out starting most spectacularly with the Chinook Blast festival in February of 2021. In partnership with Tourism Calgary, the in augural festival included a variety of free outdoor pop-up theatre events, musical performances and art installations. Franca Gualtieri, executive director of Chinook Blast with Tourism Calgary, says audience turnout far exceeded expectations.

“Chinook Blast drew between 60,000 and 80,000 people to downtown events each weekend,” she says. Not only that, but the 2021 fest hired upwards of 500 artists, as well as highlighted dozens of local amateur athletes in Olympic Plaza. And, anecdotally speaking, says Gualtieri, “shops, restaurants and sidewalk patios along Stephen Avenue were absolutely packed on Family Day weekend of the festival — it was so much fun to see the downtown come alive like that in winter.”

While the 2021 edition of Blast could only offer an abbreviated menu of events due to COVID, the timing of the Winter City rollout proved seren dipitous. Sure, the pandemic triggered an uptick in the number of Canadians making trips to the liquor store, but its constraints also drove people outdoors to play in all kinds of weather.

The COVID-times creation of friluftsliv forward activities as part of the City’s plan includ ed a new firepit program, which is an initiative close to Farrell’s heart. “A firepit is a place where people can connect and celebrate winter togeth er,” she says. For years, Farrell had pushed to have firepits along Stephen Avenue, but was frustrated when they were installed with wide barriers that kept visitors several feet from their warmth and light. “Calgary had a very risk-averse approach to winter — but if you eliminate all risk, you lose the fun.” The pandemic spurred the City to remove the barricades from those firepits, and to erect dozens of firepits in city parks, for which they provided

avenuecalgary.com 33
“PEOPLE LOVE CALGARY FOR ITS OPPORTUNITIES TO PLAY IN THE SNOW.” ANDERS SWANSON, WINTER CYCLING FEDERATION

wood. The City also facilitated nearly 1,000 per mits for gas-powered stoves and firepit bookings.

In January 2022, Alberta’s first outdoor acces sible community rink — complete with standards for sledge hockey — opened in the northwest neighbourhood of Parkdale. A free, annual FrostFest featuring DJs, ice sculpting, carnival games and food trucks launched in 2021 over two November weekends at parks in southeast and southwest communities. As well, in 2020, Calgary became the first city in Canada to offer rental ice-bikes, giving non-skaters of all ages at Bowness Park the opportunity to glide across the lagoon, and Parks and Rec flooded nearly two kilometres of ice trails that meander through the trees paral lel to the Bow River.

There’s more to come. Plans are currently afoot to develop more outdoor winter dining and markets in Calgary, as well as a greater number of warming huts in parks and plazas; to add more free events, transportation and warm outerwear for low-income populations; to build more shelter

options for vulnerable populations through agencies such as Calgary Housing Company; to seek out new innovations to heat sidewalks for improved safety; to promote Calgary’s Indigenous winter-life history; to create a more diverse array of year-round cultural celebrations; and to provide newcomers access to winter-sport lessons and gear. Certainly, it’s enough to make some of us want to retire our well-worn hyggebukser (Danish for comfy oversized couch-pants).

Still, there’s work ahead if Calgary is to catch up with the world’s most envied cold-weather cit ies. While the strategy includes plans to increase cycle track accessibility, we lag far behind Finland where the majority of children bike to school yearround, and many places can be reached faster and more safely on bikes than in vehicles. Oulu’s 875 km of cycle paths are cleared within three hours of a two-centimetre snowfall; there are plans to speed up Calgary’s current promise of a 24-hour sweep. Our own boss of winter cycling — Tom Babin, journalist, YouTuber and author of

Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling — would approve.

As Babin writes on his blog, Shifter : “When a city makes it easy to bike in winter, for instance, a large number of people will do it.” Where he says he used to shudder at a fresh snowfall, now he looks forward to those days as ideal biking oppor tunities, “because it means the city will be prettier and the odds of a passing car throwing salty mud onto my face are reduced.”

This coming February, the third-annual Chinook Blast will include more free outdoor events and more ticketed events over four weeks. In addition to all the music and light displays, expect an Asian night market, an art tour and, yes, a Hygge Hut where “soft lighting, a warm drink” and, above all, “the snuggle vibe” will rule.

Even as the benefits of a more intentional win ter city are being tallied, it’s unlikely the strategy will entirely melt one of Calgary’s most gratifying winter pastimes — complaining about it. Perhaps, however, the initiative will convince us to seek more joyful opportunities like those described in Finland’s beloved fictional series, Moomin Launching himself into a snowbank, the books’ central character, Moomintroll, is surprised to feel the same excitement as he does when he wades into the ocean for a summertime swim. “‘So that’s winter, too!’ he thought. ‘You can even like it!’”

December 2022 34
“WHAT REALLY SPURRED THINGS ALONG WAS COVID: THERE WAS A SUDDEN SENSE OF URGENCY TO CREATE GREAT PUBLIC SPACES FOR PEOPLE TO ENJOY...”
DRUH FARRELL, FORMER CITY COUNCILLOR
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FROM HIDDEN GEMS TO CLASSIC BARS WITH A TWIST, HERE ARE SOME OF THE TOP SPOTS IN CALGARY FOR COCKTAILS .
it up 36
Mixing
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MINK
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the archetype PROOF

Anchored by its wall of liquor that stretches to the ceiling — with a library-style ladder for reaching the literal top-shelf bottles — Proof evokes a classic lounge feel. A leather banquette spans the wall of windows, while a long marble bar beckons patrons to have a seat and watch the theatre of staff shaking and straining concoctions into delicate glassware.

Classic cocktails are de rigueur and standards such as martinis, mojitos and Manhattans are on feature during happy hour. But Proof also shines with a creative, ever-evolving cocktail list that plays to more unusual spirits, bitters and house-made syrups and infusions. This bar even ups the ante with some of those old standbys. Barrel-aged cocktails, which can smooth the sharper edges of a cocktail and lend more depth of flavour, are aged in-house and offered on a rotating basis. And, of course, the extensive back bar means just about any single-pour craving can be indulged — even rarer bottles like Pappy Van Winkle bourbon or 40-year-old Scotch.

While the focus is drinks, a well-curated food menu makes for good snacking. Pork belly, seared tuna or tofu tucked into pillowy bao buns, flatbread studded with chili-garlic shrimp and jalapeno and a charcuterie board with rotating meats and cheeses make the perfect side to any cocktail or wine order.

1302 1 St. S.W., proofyyc.com

MORE CLASSICS

Evoking another era, Cannibale in Bridgeland offers cocktails and nibbles (and a shave and/or haircut during the daytime) in a room punctuated with dark wood and a marble bar.

813 1 Ave. N.E., cannibale.ca

The old railway hotels are always reliable for classic cocktails and the Fairmont Palliser’s Hawthorn Dining Room and Bar delivers with its signature Old Fashioned.

133 9 Ave. S.W., hawthorndiningroom.ca

Back and in a bigger space than its original location, Milk Tiger has shifted further south into Mission, but is still offering up masterfully mixed archetypal cocktails, from Aviations to Singapore Slings.

2004 4 St. S.W., milktiger.ca

avenuecalgary.com Dining
This page: Proof’s French Connection: Campari, dry vermouth, St-Germain and lemon.
BY GWENDOLYN RICHARDS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH CANNIBALE COCKTAIL PHOTO COURTESY OF CANNIBALE
37
Opposite: The Grace O’Malley at Betty Lou’s Library, an eggnog cocktail with rum, Cognac and coffee liqueur.

Perhaps symbolically set above the Happy Together Convenience and Food Store, Missy’s This That is accessed by a dim staircase from the street-level door. Turning the corner at the top reveals an open space with windows span ning three sides letting in the natural light during the early evening hours and creating a cozy darker atmosphere at nighttime. There’s a sprinkling of tables and a diner-style zinc bar-top, punctuated with stools, that wraps around a minimalist kitchen and bar area, topped at one end with whatever unusual bottles proprietor Thomas Dahlgren is currently pouring.

Formerly of Von Der Fels, Dahlgren has brought his passion and extensive wine knowledge to Missy’s, meaning bottles and by-the-glass pours rotate

december 2022
38 Upstairs/Downstairs MISSY’S THIS THAT Dining
The Layover at Missy’s: Nikka gin, Plantation white rum, house-made orgeat and a black lime garnish.

regularly and offer uncommon grapes, delightful surprises and obscure wineries. Beyond the menu, along one wall is the “tickle trunk” case of bottles on display for “catch-your-eye” picks.

Missy’s also pours highballs and classic cocktails, including premium martinis featuring some more unusual gins and vodkas, as well as a curated collec tion of house-made concoctions, such as the Cosmos of Zamalek and Pink in Paradise. While these two sig nature drinks have a permanent place on the menu, other house cocktails swap out frequently.

Spanish flavours underpin the list of Madeira and Sherry offerings, along with the tapas-style food menu of Iberico ham, chorizo, cheeses, olives and things on toast — perfect nibbles for a quick cocktail or leisurely bottle of wine.

348A 14 Ave. S.W., missysthisthat.com

The main floor at The Wednesday Room has a mid-century vibe, but downstairs is a nod to the swinging ’60s with plush seating and one of the trippiest carpets in town. 100, 118 8 Ave. S.W., 403-452-5080, wednesdayroom.com

Down the stairs and underneath A1 Café, find the Tea House with its varied cocktail list featuring Eastern flavours, such as mandarin, passion fruit, ginseng and jasmine. 1213 1 St. S.W., 403-474-7766, teahouseyyc.com

Tucked under the Guild restaurant, Sub Rosa is an underground lounge that offers cocktails and bottle service in a space that mixes industrial decor with lush furnishings.

200 8 Ave. S.W., subrosayyc.com

avenuecalgary.com WEDNESDAY ROOM PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WEDNESDAY ROOM
39
MORE BARS WITH STAIRWAY ACCESS
Home Treasures & More Elements Outfitters Give the gift of ... Armadio Gifting fashion and comfort for the entire family has never been easier with Willow Park Village’s selection of fashion boutiques, home décor shops, and jewellery specialists. Patagonia & Filson Pre-loved Fashion Cozy Home Décor 10816 Macleod Trail South wpv.ca @wpvillage
Missy’s Palomino Ranch: Santanera blanco tequila, Manzanilla, Kina, grapefruit and tonic.

undercover BETTY LOU’S LIBRARY

Concealed entrances and secret pass words have been connected to cocktail bars since the time of Prohibition, when hidden spots were the only way to enjoy a tipple. While drinking has long since been legalized, the idea of covert cock tails still adds allure to a night out.

Betty Lou’s Library evokes that bygone era, from the requisite password, door hidden behind a bookcase, gin-centred cocktail list, antique furniture and live jazz and burlesque shows — not to mention the ban on hoodies and baseball hats.

Set in the basement of the historic Devenish Building, Betty Lou’s leans into that underground hideaway vibe. Just like a real library, patrons are encouraged to speak low and take the phone out side for conversations. And, with an insistence that

guests be seated (no standing and milling around) there’s a real feeling of escaping to a different time and place.

Owner Blaine Armstrong has created an experi ence as much as a lounge, with an eye for details, right down to the vintage glassware and tin ceiling tiles. Even the drinks honour history, with cocktails named for prominent women of the Jazz Era, from author Anaïs Nin to artist Amelia Peláez and dancer/rule-breaker Josephine Baker. Gin — the liquor of choice during Prohibition — is the basis for a number of drinks, mixed with fruit and herb syrups, and shrubs.

The food menu features local producers, with cheese and charcuterie sourced from area suppli ers and desserts from Black Sheep, just down the street from Betty Lou’s. 908 17 Ave. S.W., 403-454-4774, bettylouslibrary.com

MORE HIDDEN GEMS

618 17 Ave. S.W., 403-476-3615, frenchieyyc.com.

Bubbles are the focus at the aptly named Untitled Champagne Lounge, which is behind an unmarked door.

104, 620 8 Ave. S.W., 403-475-7226, unitledyyc.com.

Go around back of the new Neighbour Coffee in Inglewood to find tiny cocktail bar Business & Pleasure 1327B 9 Ave. S.E. (alley), itsbusinessandpleasure.com

december 2022 40
Frenchie Wine Bar has expanded into the former Bread and Circus space behind Una Takeaway, but it still feels like a secret spot. FRENCHIE PHOTO COURTESY OF FRENCHIE WINE BAR Betty Lou’s sultry Anaïs Nin: a whisky sour with rye, rum, lemon and chai-tea syrup.

COCKTAIL PROS SPILL

Perfect pairing

“A margarita in my backyard with my best friend.”

What I love about cocktail culture right now “How community-focused it has been after COVID-19. Bartenders are doing pop-ups, there’s sup port and camaraderie.”

Ingredient to obsess over “Aperol. It’s so bright and citrusy and a little bitter — it can spruce up any cocktail.”

Perfect pairing

“A daiquiri at Ocho in Seattle with Anthony Bourdain.”

What I love about cocktail culture right now

“It’s nice to see each other’s ideas. A bartender’s personality comes out through drinks.”

Underrated spirit “Rum. There are no rules to making rum, unlike Scotch or tequila.”

MAKINA LABRECQUE

Beverage

consultant/owner Here and There Consulting

Perfect pairing

“The world’s greatest martini (bartend er’s choice) at Proof with Brad Royale.”

What I love about cocktail culture right now “We’re getting back to a more simplistic style that focuses on using ingredients in different ways that create less work on the back end when it comes to prep.”

Underrated spirit “Cognac. Everyone thinks it’s just for sip ping, but I love adding a quarter-ounce to my Old Fashioneds or Manhattans. It adds brightness.”

Willow Park Village has everything you need to share your passion for food with loved ones this holiday season whether entertaining at home or dining out.

avenuecalgary.com 41
RHIANNON
Dining
...
Give the gift of
Cookies and
Dine In or Take Out Sushi Cobs
10816 Macleod Trail South wpv.ca @wpvillage
Cupcakes
Bread Baked Fresh Daily

T HE LEGEND OF

GOLDSPUR

FORMER FAN

NOTORIOUS

Today, the quality and variety of locally brewed craft beers is extensive. Two decades ago, however, there were a mere handful: Wild Rose’s Indus trial Park Ale and Big Rock’s Traditional Ale being two of the best-known from this era.

And then, there was Gold Spur, a Belgian tripel served exclusively at the Hop In Brew, the well-loved Calgary pub that once occupied the Edwardianera mansion on 12th Avenue S.W. between 1st and 2nd Streets, now home to the Civic Tavern after former namesake publican Dick Hoppener retired and sold it in 2018.

Hoppener knew his suds and he built a welldeserved reputation for his curated selections on rotating taps. He was also an accomplished hobby brewer who created the recipe for GoldSpur, which he served at the Hop for nearly 18 years.

Local beer snobs argued whether GoldSpur was the best tripel ever or just boozy swill. Re gardless, it had a loyal following. Rumours about its alcohol content circulated among younger patrons, who consumed it as a consciousnessbending tool. Some claimed it was 11 per cent. Others 15 per cent. In truth, it was only 9.5. Many former imbibers described it as being “dirty.”

Brian Smith, director of operations at Wild Rose Brewery, prefers “unapologetic.”

“You either really liked it… or it was pretty tough going,” says Smith. “It did seem to be a very polar izing beer.”

Originally from Holland, Hoppener had the same reputation. The Dutch don’t suffer fools, and some mistook his direct manner as a kind of crankiness — or, as Smith says: “He didn’t seem to spend a lot of time too worried about how people felt … about him personally.”

As a former patron of the Hop, Smith’s recol lections prompted me to seek Hoppener out. After not a little investigative work from within the craft-brewing community, I managed to track him

down via email. To my surprise, he readily agreed to meet and discuss GoldSpur over a cup of coffee. (It turns out he rarely drinks beer anymore.)

I was greeted by a neat, serious man in frame less glasses and classic European men’s sandals. Putting to rest my fears that the GoldSpur recipe might have been lost over the years, the for

mer chemical engineer brought with him 11 photocopied pages tucked in a pristine manila folder, representing a comprehensive history of the beer’s creation. The first 10 showed impec cably hand-printed recipes with dates and page numbers in the top right-hand corners, depicting experiments with names like “Two Guns” and

BY DAVE ROBERTSON ILLUSTRATION BY PETE RYAN 42
december 2022
A
OF A
LOCAL CRAFT BEER THAT WAS SAID TO MAKE PUB PATRONS CRY FINDS OUT THE STORY AROUND ITS DISAPPEARANCE.

“Little Gem.” I was soon lost in the technicalities of it all, and, as Hoppener described the impact of a half-kilo of primary sugar on alcohol content, I blurted out my big stupid question: Why in crease the alcohol content so much? He laughed: “It’s simple! To get drunk!”

The final page was the typewritten recipe that Hoppener eventually gave out to contract brewers. “He needed a commercial brewery to produce [GoldSpur] to retail it out of the pub,” Smith says. Alley Kat Brewing Company in Edmonton brewed the first commercial batch in 2001.

Though the recipe represents GoldSpur’s final formulation, Hoppener continued with his experi ments. “[Once] we took the sugar out, replaced it with honey,” he said. The result had a startling and emotional effect on his patrons. “It caused crying,” Hoppener said. He only produced four kegs.

In its final days, GoldSpur was brewed by Wild Rose, where it finished its run in 2018. After the pub changed hands, a few kegs lingered at Wild Rose. The brewers aged the leftovers in oak barrels and it sold briefly in liquor stores under the Wild Rose label. Hoppener bought a couple of bottles. “It didn’t taste like GoldSpur,” he said. When the kegs were empty, GoldSpur disappeared.

Hoppener doesn’t make beer anymore, instead choosing to spend his retirement gardening and brewing mead. He’s let his masterwork go quietly. “We did that, and we’re proud of it, and it’s the past,” he said. “Sometimes things go by. That’s life.”

The next day, on Hoppener’s recommendation, I visit Two Pillars Brewing on Centre Street, where owner Boaz Leung and brewer Jeff Justason create Belgian-inspired beers in small batches. Unlike chefs, brewers are known to share recipes openly. While I sip a sampler of Golden Strong, Two Pil lars’ signature tripel, Leung and Justason pore over Hoppener’s recipe. Neither has heard of GoldSpur before, but Justason declares it a classic Belgian “danger beer.”

Leung chuckles when I tell him Hoppener thinks Golden Strong isn’t quite “dirty” enough. He explains that Two Pillars makes cleaner-tast ing beers that introduce the Belgian style while still appealing to a broad range of palates. But I really like Leung’s tripel, and, as I finish my sam pler, I start to wonder if it’s a sort of reincarnation of GoldSpur: more polite, more approachable, but still invoking happy memories of a beer that was just a little wilder.

43
“You either really liked it… or it was pretty tough going.”
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MORE INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS

Get a taste of Cuba and the Caribbean at Ricardo’s Hideaway, which features rum-based drinks and divine empanadas.

1530 5 St. S.W., 403-880-8924 (text only), ricardoshideaway.ca

Behind a door that looks like a Coca-Cola vending machine, you can escape to Japan at Ajito, an izakayastyle spot featuring tapas and drinks, from cocktails to shochu and sake.

110, 7212 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-252-7099, ajito.ca

Italian classics (Bellinis, Aperol and prosecco) are the order of the evening at the sparkling new Treno, a dual-purpose locale at The Oliver that serves coffee by day and bubbles by night.

524 10 Ave. S.W., 403-261-1911, trenoyyc.com

destination flavours PAPER LANTERN

When it comes to tropical drinks without the hassle of airport security and lost luggage, Cal gary has your ticket and Paper Lantern is at the top of the international departures list.

This Vietnamese speakeasy (which also could have fit into the covert and stairway-accessed categories) is a little escape with Tiki-style drinks and street foodinfluenced dishes. Hidden under Ho Won Restaurant in Chinatown, a peek behind the curtain reveals a tropical-themed room, with bird-of-paradise wallpa per, a wood-lined bar, bright paper lanterns and an animal-print banquette.

Far beyond the decor, though, the thoughtful drink and food menus are what make Paper Lantern truly feel like an escape. Salty nibbles like shrimp crackers and dried squid play against the fruity, boozy drinks. There are also more substantial dishes, including vermicelli bowls, banh mi sandwiches, skewers of beef, chicken and tender, rich pork belly and a Vietnamese play on beef carpaccio with peanuts and bright herbs.

Paper Lantern’s cocktail list features familiar mainstays that play with unique flavours and uncon ventional ingredients. The Old Fashioned is given a twist of banana-infused bourbon, while house-made creations feature ingredients such as cola syrup, Lap sang tea-infused Hennessy cognac, pandan coconut cream and condensed milk.

While the creative cocktails are not to be missed, liquor connoisseurs should take note of the “breakeven bottle” deal when it’s on offer. This rotating special features bottles of rare and fine spirits at a market price — a chance to be a high roller without the normal markup.

115 2 Ave. S.E., 403-457-7765, paperlantern.ca

december 2022 44
Paper Lantern’s Cuong Thi (Zombie) milk punch with rum, lime, cinnamon, grapefruit, falernum and absinthe; and Pandan Pain Killer (background) with Plantation dark rum, pandan, pineapple/orange juices and nutmeg. TRENO PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDRY
Dining
YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DESTINATION F Ex fee ark D T C C b G J A C Willow ark Cigars C & A 10816 Macleod Trail South wpv.ca @wpvillage Aldila Boutique U D Shoes S C Gift . . . amper

DESTINATION SNOW

T HREE B.C. RESORTS THAT ARE WORTH T HE EXTRA DRIVE TIME.

When the mountains to the west are capped with white, it’s tempting for Calgary skiers and snowboarders to hit the hills closest to home. But further into British Columbia’s mountainous interior is a rich offering of ski-in-ski-out resorts with big-mountain terrain, iconic après-ski bars, elevated overnight stays and unique amenities. While getting to these spots might require an investment in drive time, the payoff is you won’t need to do any more driving once you get there.

Here are a few destinations to consider if you want to make a week (or two) of it this winter.

december 2022 46
SilverStar Mountain Resort.

R

ED

MOUNTAIN RESORT

R ossland , B.C.

Drive time from Calgary: Approximately Eight Hours

The oldest resort in Western Canada, famous for being the formative hill of legendary Olympian Nancy Greene, has expanded its terrain by more than 30 per cent in the past decade. The resort gained an entire new peak (Grey Mountain) in 2013, a 200-acre terrain expansion with $10-per-run cat-skiing in 2014, and a lift and 300 more acres in 2019. With these expansions, Red is now the third-largest ski area in B.C.

The biggest surprise for new visitors will prob ably be the lack of other skiers — waiting for a chair is rare. Red is a five-minute drive from the postcard-cute town of Rossland, located in the middle of the West Kootenays, and is just out of the way enough to fly under the tourist radar. In fact, if locals come and see there’s a lift line, they’ll turn around and go home, according to longtime snow host, Mike Ramsey.

Even on weekend days, there are usually only about 1,200 skiers shredding up Red’s 3,850 acres of tree runs, steeps and mogul fields that pimple the face of the original namesake mountain, which hosted Canada’s first downhill ski race in 1897. There are plenty of less-advanced runs, too, includ ing groomed cruisers and gentle glades on neigh bouring Granite Mountain’s sunny south side.

Indeed, what endears Red to riders — besides the regular dumps of powder and the absence of crowds — is its variety of terrain. With 119 runs, you could ski here for a week and never take the same run twice.

The slopes may be empty, but Rafters, the hop ping après-ski bar (basically the attic of the day lodge), will probably be packed. It’s worth calling it a day before last lift to grab a table, order a pint of B.C. craft beer, and kick-start muscle-relaxation mode.

From Rafters, it’s mere steps to The Josie, a slope-side boutique hotel whose ski valet will whisk your planks away so you can make tracks to the cedar barrel sauna. Following that, a delicious dinner at The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge — now helmed by Takashi Harada, who moved to The Josie from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge — is a fantastic way to end the day. redresort.com; thejosie.com

avenuecalgary.com 47
PHOTOGRAPH
Lobby of The Josie , a ski-in-ski-out boutique hotel at Red Mountain Resort near Rossland, B.C. SILVERSTAR PHOTO BY BLAKE JORGENSON; JOSIE HOTEL PHOTO BY BRANDON BARRÉ

R EVELSTOKE M OUNTAIN RESORT

R evelstoke , B.C.

Drive time from Calgary: Approximately Five Hours

From the top of Revelation Gondola at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, nothing beats the view of the Colum bia River Valley, its snaking namesake often obscured by a bank of low-lying clouds punctured by the toothy peaks of the Monashee Mountains. From here, it’s just one more chairlift to the upper reaches of Mount Mack enzie and its four alpine bowls that, once upon a time, were reserved for cat-skiing. The terrain became lift-accessible in 2007 when the new resort opened, with a new gondola and chair lift that made it easy for expert-level riders to lap chutes, glades, wide-open powder fields, and the biggest vertical drop in North America, at 5,620 feet.

Some wondered if “Revy” would become the next Whistler. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened: locals want the town and resort to grow more sustainably, says Robyn Gold smith with Tourism Revelstoke, who likens Revy to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, instead — a historic industrial town that just happens to have an amazing ski hill.

Revelstoke is downright charming, with craft breweries, a smattering of farm-to-table restaurants,

and a railway museum for a dose of history. It’s also an epicentre of heli-skiing, and powder hounds have been making the pilgrim age to carve fresh tracks in the freeride terrain of the Selkirk and Monashee mountains for more than 50 years.

The primary accommodations at the resort are at The Sutton Place Hotel, which has 200 condo-style suites over three buildings and an all-season outdoor heated pool. But five minutes’ drive from the resort base, private group lodge The Flying Moose Chalet takes things to the next level with heli-in-heli-out capabilities.

Along with a private helicopter landing pad, the 8,200-squarefoot, eight-bedroom, timber-frame house comes with a stocked bar for après-ski beverages; bartender, lodge manager, housekeeping, one hour of stretch class each morning and four hours of massage therapy per day; a chalet host who can organize heli-ski day trips; and a chef to prepare breakfast and dinner. And, last winter, Calgary-based Frank Architecture & Interiors converted the three-bay garage into a luxe heli-lounge with a big-screen TV to watch the day’s face-shot footage.

revelstokemountainresort.com; flyingmoosebc.com

december 2022 48
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is known for its steep runs and amazing snowfalls. Inset image: Revelstoke Mountain Resort village.
REVELSTOKE RESORT
RESORT
MOUNTAINS
PHOTO BY HYWEL WILLIAMS; VILLAGE PHOTO BY ROYCE SIHLIS
avenuecalgary.com 49 220 - 42 avenue s.e. | 403 287 9255 @alloyrestaurant | events@alloydining.com alloydining.com Come enjoy the season with us! Book your holiday party with alloy. Divorce isn’t easy, but it’s a path to a new beginning. CALGARY ALBERTA a ne Suite 1900, 639 5th Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 0M9 | Phone (587) 356-4342 | info@wellsfamilylaw.com | www.wellsfamilylaw.com Compassionate, Guidance Through All Areas of Divorce.

S ILVERSTAR M OUNTAIN RESORT

V ernon , B.C.

Drive time from Calgary: Approximately Eight Hours

What started as a community hill in 1958 has grown into one of B.C. largest resorts, with 3,282 acres of terrain split between the steeper runs on the shady backside, and the groom ers and sun-dappled glades on the front face. Don’t let its location close to Kelowna fool you into thinking it’s crowded, either — you can expect to ski on to almost every lift.

The cheerful mountain village (modelled after a colourful Victorian-era town) and its family-friendly reputation are a big draw for SilverStar, located a 25-minute drive northeast of Vernon. Families soon discover it also has challenging terrain, along with the other activities beloved by kids such as tubing, ice skating and junior snowmobiles to try out.

Start the day with a warm-up on the easy cruiser, Far Out, ending up in Trinity Trees and its rollicking woods with plenty of powder stashes. Then you can head up the gondola, traverse over to Attridge Mountain, and do laps on the leisurely Alpine Meadows chair to get to less-skied, powder-filled runs like Ridgeback and Attridge Face.

To mix up your winter fun, ride the gondola to SilverStar’s summit, clip into cross-country skis, and proceed to glide your way back to the base on the resort’s extensive network of Nordic trails. You’ll cross downhill runs on the upper mountain, and pass snowshoers and fat-bikers when you reach the multi-use paths near the village. The experience will convince you that, nowadays, mountain resorts truly are for all winter sport enthu siasts — not just downhill riders.

For a unique on-mountain experience, rent one of the resort’s Victorian-style homes. Some, such as Alpenglow Whole House, can sleep multiple families. It’s tempting to do all your après in the private hot tub, but the rustic vibe at Long John’s Pub is worth an order of nachos and a pitcher of beer for the plus-19 crowd.

Even if you do land accommodations with a private hot tub, you’ll still want to treat your tired muscles with a proper mas sage. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment at Elevate Spa, an Aveda Concept spa in the Silver Star village, that offers full RMT services as well as the ever-popular hot-stone massages during the winter season. skisilverstar.com

december 2022 50
MOUNTAINS
PHOTO BY BLAKE JORGENSON

Newly remodelled accommodation, centrally situated and just steps from the main lift and all resort amenities. The Approach is the basecamp for mountain adventure.

Check in & head out. Adventure awaits.

Book now, visit PanoramaResort.com

avenuecalgary.com 51
DECOR

Think Green

Real or faux greenery arranged in smoky glass vases and a simple eucalyptus garland running down the length of the table create a lush look, while smatterings of pine cones add winter whimsy, without being holiday-specific. Avoiding traditional Christmas colours and decor also helps with reuse — this is a table that you’ll set up for entertaining all winter long, not just throughout the festive season.

Smycka artificial garland (1.5 m), $3.99 each, and Gradvis vase (19 cm), $5.99 each, from IKEA; faux greenery bushes, prices vary, from Michaels.

Mix High and Low

Creating a seasonal tablescape shouldn’t break the bank, says stylist Erin DonnellyFerguson. For this table, she procured items from a variety of retailers, from Pottery Barn and Britannia Kitchen & Home to Michaels and IKEA, mixing in some of her own antique brass candlesticks col lected over the years from Inside Avenue Antiques. “The glassware, which is a play on a traditional bevelled design, is from IKEA,” Donnelly-Ferguson says. “It doesn’t need to be crystal to add formality.”

Sällskaplig wine glasses (9 oz.), $20 pack of four, glasses (9 oz.), $13 pack of four, and Tillagd 20-piece cutlery set, $80, all from IKEA; organic cotton tablecloth, $126, from Pottery Barn.

A WINTER SETTING

avenuecalgary.com 53
B RASS CANDLESTICKS, CHARCOAL-COLOURED DISHES, L USH G REENERY AND WARM TEXTILES COMBINE IN THIS C ONTEMPORARY T AKE ON THE HOLIDAY TABLE THAT W ILL SEE Y OU T HROUGH THE W HOLE WINTER SEASON. STYLING BY ERIN DONNELLY-FERGUSON PHOTOGRAPHY
ACOSTA
BY ELUVIER
GET THE LOOK

Play with Heights and Textures

The garland and pine cones clustered on wooden chargers keep things grounded at table level, while the vases of greenery, antique candlesticks and black taper candles draw the eye up.

Twilight Collection 10” taper candles, $45 pack of 12, from Britannia Kitchen & Home; mixed pinecone vase filler, $28, from Pottery Barn; wooden chargers and brass candlesticks, stylist’s own.

Add Twists on Formality

Donnelly-Ferguson’s design is a blend of traditional and contemporary: The charcoal tableware and gold cutlery are an unexpected take on formal table settings, and the black taper candles add a contemporary spin, especially paired with traditional candlesticks. Finally, flaxcoloured table linens make for a more re laxed feel than conventional winter white.

Mason square stoneware dinner plates, $57 set of four, mason square stoneware salad plates, $45 set of four, mason stone ware bowls, $45 set of four, and classic Belgian flax linen hemstitch napkins, $57 set of four, all from Pottery Barn.

Britannia Kitchen & Home, 816 49 Ave. S.W., 403-243-4444, britanniahome.ca IKEA, 8000 11 St. S.E., ikea.ca

Michaels, seven Calgary locations, michaels.ca

Pottery Barn, CF Chinook Centre, 403-259-2100, potterybarn.ca

december 2022 54 DECOR
SOURCE

CHARITA B LE CHEER

One of the reasons Calgary is such a great place to live is the fact that local businesses go above and beyond to show the community some love.

Whether it’s through charitable giving, special events or conservation efforts, these six organizations give back all year long — and that includes spreading good cheer during the holidays.

ILLUSTRATION: ILYAST, COURTESY i STOCK ADVERTISING FEATURE

EMPOWERING YOUTH OF TODAY AND THE FUTURE

YMCA Calgary is helping the city’s youth get active, make connections and become the best versions of themselves

Entering Grade 6 is an important time in a child’s life and development. Not only is it the final year of being in elementary school, but it’s also a time to prepare childr en for the independence of junior high school and to lay healthy foundations for the future.

Understanding the importance of giving back to youth and future leaders led YMCA Calgary to collaborate with the Calgary Flames Foundation in 2015 and create the Calgary Flames YMCA Grade 6 Program. This provides free one-year memberships to the YMCA to all Grade 6 students. Since its launch, more than 19,000 Calgary youth have explored their community and developed life-long skills. In other words, Grade 6 students have the chance to get active, build healthy relationships and have fun, all while becoming better equipped to transition from elementary to junior high.

“[The program] gives youth a safe place to practice independence, develop healthy habits and establish a sense of belonging in the centre of a community that promotes

the values of respect, honesty, caring and responsibility,” says Dean Paddock, vicepresident, community engagement at YMCA Calgary. “It pulls together youth from every background and every corner of our city to create new connections.”

Free memberships are offered to Calgary students for 13 months, from August to the following August without any other criteria. Grade 6 students simply need to visit their closest YMCA Calgary location with a parent or guardian, and after that, the fun begins.

Students can engage in the youth centre, practice badminton, try the climbing wall, join intramural sports or participate in creative and virtual programs. Membership includes reduced fees on day camps and opportunities to engage in other learning opportunities, such as leadership or babysitting courses, which many youth also choose to experience. Across all YMCA locations, various additional activities are hosted, such as street hockey, basketball, soccer, water polo and more.

Natasha, a current member of the Calgary

Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program, grew independently and made several new friends. “I’ve noticed Natasha is more comfortable going to the YMCA on her own. Her confidence has gone way up,” her mother shares. “The Grade 6 Program’s itinerary is well put together, and the kids are having fun and staying active.”

Once a community is built and new friendships are formed, that support and connection to the YMCA doesn’t end once youth move on. Grade 6 alumni opportunities are offered to students all the way up to high school, so they can continue to stay active and build the skills needed to work and volunteer in the community.

“We’ve found that the youth in the program want to stay engaged, and the alumni program provides an opportunity to grow and develop their leadership skills with their cohort,” says Paddock. “We’re excited to see the potential of this program over the long term.”

To continue to maintain the program’s support and accessibility, the Calgary Flames Foundation has dedicated $2.25 million and pledged to continue its support through 2023. “We want to help young Calgarians make positive and healthy lifestyle choices, and the YMCA is a fun and engaging place promoting health and wellness, recreation and social connections. The Flames Foundation is proud to partner with the YMCA to motivate, educate and inspire youth in Calgary,” says Kathryn Truscott, executive director, Calgary Flames Foundation.

For more information on YMCA Calgary or to join the Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program, visit ymcacalgary.org.

ADVERTISING FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY YMCA
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GIVING BACK THROUGH CONSERVATION

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo may not believe in inevitability, but it does believe in taking action, especially when it’s against allowing species-at-risk to go extinct. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, around onequarter of the world’s mammals, one-in-seven bird species and 40 per cent of amphibians are at risk.

“Here at the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo, we know we can’t just sit back and let this happen,” says Hira Shah, conservation communications strategist at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “Even the loss of a single species can drastically shift how ecosystems function and, in turn, how they provide benefits to us all.”

That’s why, when it comes to giving back both locally and globally, the Wilder Institute/ Calgary Zoo is supporting species recovery and advancing reintroduction science through its 18 collaborative initiatives within its conservation translocation and community conservation portfolios.

Shah explains that conservation translocation is the intentional movement of an animal, fungi or plant species from one place to another for a conservation benefit. It supports their recovery in the wild and works to restore the local function they play in the ecosystem. Conservation translocations can help return a species to an area from where it disappeared, bolster a current population or move species to an area beyond its historical range to prevent its extinction. This process can also include

breeding animals for relocation, such as through their Greater Sage-Grouse Program, or working with wild animals in need of help, such as their Burrowing Owl Program. In both instances, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo uses a combination of conservation research and animal welfare techniques to ensure they have the best chance at survival once fully released.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo also finds ways to give back to conservation by working with communities around the world to provide the support, resources and expertise needed to take meaningful action together. The Kenya Mountain Bongo Partnership works with the elusive and critically endangered mountain bongo — there are potentially fewer than 80 remaining in the wild, Shah explains —

and collaborates with other conservation organizations and with the local community to create sustainable livelihood opportunities, such as setting up a honey cooperative and production facility. Through this approach, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo creates win-win scenarios that simultaneously benefit wildlife and people.

For more than 30 years, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has led and supported critical wildlife conservation work at the zoo and at its off-site conservation breeding facility for some of Canada’s most endangered species, such as whooping cranes and Vancouver Island marmots. In 2021, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo broke ground on its much-anticipated Archibald Biodiversity Centre in a new, more remote location across 333 acres in Wheatland County. This new location ensures the conservation efforts and current programs can continue and increase in capacity.

When it comes to getting involved and giving back, Shah says there are plenty of ways to do so. As a non-profit organization, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo runs off the contributions of its supporters and donors.

“We can’t do this work without them,” says Shah. “It really comes down to everyone rallying together for these endangered species.” Monetary or monthly donations are always welcome, but other ways to give include lowering your carbon footprint, volunteering with the zoo or helping to raise awareness about these unique species-at-risk.

For more information on conservation efforts, visit wilderinstitute.org.

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For more than 30 years, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has dedicated its efforts to giving back to nature and people through its conservation efforts of species-at-risk
Visit calgaryzoo.com/ZOOLIGHTS for more details.

THE SPIRIT OF GIVING AT SOUTHCENTRE MALL

The holiday season has Southcentre Mall excited to give back to the Calgary community

This holiday season, Southcentre Mall will again embrace the spirit of Christmas by encouraging Calgarians to give back and celebrate the season through a number of charitable and community programming initiatives.

A longstanding tradition, Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s signature “Wrapping for a Cure” initiative will return for its ninth year at the shopping centre.

Guests can visit the Wrapping for a Cure gift-wrapping station to spruce up their gifts before putting them under the tree, in exchange for a donation. Each year, volunteers

wrap thousands of gifts in support of this important cause.

The ever-popular “Cookie Kitchen,” which supports Calgary Meals on Wheels, will also make a comeback this holiday season. Located next to Santa’s Enchanted Forest on the main level across from RW&Co, guests can visit the colourful kitchen to decorate a cookie in exchange for a donation to Calgary Meals on Wheels. Last year, a record-breaking 8,000+ cookies were decorated, raising more than $20,000 for the cause.

On the second level of the mall next to Lululemon, Little Red Reading House will support the importance of early literary with Santa’s Reading Nook , a special place for families to take a break from shopping and read a book together. Volunteers from Little Red Reading House will also host storybook readings, and guests can even take a book or donate a book to the library.

The kids also have reason to be excited about visiting Southcentre Mall this Christmas, as Santa Claus himself will be back to take fun family photos and listen to the Christmas wish of every child. Special dates and times have been reserved to safely and comfortably welcome immuno-compromised children, as well as children with sensory sensitivities and mobility issues to Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Santa has also set aside dates and times for pet owners to book appointments to bring in

their furry friends to experience “Paws with Claus” photo ops. Donations of new or gently used pet supplies will be accepted onsite and given to local pet shelters in the Calgary area. New this year, the internationally acclaimed Giving Machines will be making its first ever Canadian appearance at Southcentre Mall. A fun twist on the traditional vending machine, the Giving Machines allow passersby to donate directly to local and global charities of their choice with ease. Whether it be chickens, warm meals, soccer balls, blankets or schoolbooks, shoppers can buy meaningful gifts to support a variety of causes. Shoppers can find three Giving Machines, featuring many charity initiatives, in Sporting Life Court starting on “Giving Tuesday” (Tuesday, Nov. 29).

“The holidays are all about family and community, and we hope to create an atmosphere that inspires joy for everyone who visits us this festive season,” says Alexandra Velosa, marketing manager, Southcentre Mall. “Calgarians have come to know us as a place of community gathering and cheer and we look forward to connecting our guests with the wonderful charities and organizations that we are able to help showcase at this special time of year.”

This holiday season, pick up a dose of good cheer at Southcentre Mall and be sure to spread it around as you shop, give and spend time with loved ones.

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REVITALIZING BUILDINGS, CONSTRUCTING CARING COMMUNITIES

unfortunate circumstances can put an individual in a position that is not favourable to them,” says Olshevsky. “It's good to recognize that sometimes, both individuals and buildings, need a little bit of help.”

This drives Olshevsky and his organizations’ giving back philosophy. They support various non-profit organizations to help ensure those buildings, the neighbourhoods their buildings are in and the city as a whole, are great places to live.

“Our goal is to improve the places where we live and work,” says Olshevsky. “The

reintroduction of life into buildings has little meaning if the people within them aren't given opportunities and if we don’t help society.”

As the CEO of Astra Group Corp., and managing director of Peoplefirst Developments, Maxim Olshevsky leads the development and construction management companies in ensuring all buildings serve a purpose and provide value to the community. And, the way he sees it, people and buildings are quite similar.

“Sometimes unfortunate circumstances can leave a building in disarray, just like

Astra Group and Peoplefirst Developments donate items like furniture and cleaning supplies to non-profit organizations throughout Calgary. They also raise funds for local organizations that help newcomers affected by the war in Ukraine, like the Ukrainians of Calgary Association, and participate in job placement programs to help those newcomers find jobs.

“Our giving back outlook is based on being able to provide the necessary support to communities, whether that’s through supporting societal safety nets, bringing life back into a community or helping individuals improve their lives,” says Olshevsky. “Our projects, and the people connected to them, are one.”

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The people behind Astra Group Corp. and Peoplefirst Developments believe great, liveable buildings are part of a vibrant neighbourhood, but that the people within those buildings need support, too
Cleaning supplies being donated to the Calgary Humane Society. Furniture being loaded for donation to ReStore Habitat for Humanity.

BRINGING HOLIDAY MERRIMENT TO

Giving back is important to Qualico Communities Calgary all year long, and the desire to help only increases during the holiday season.

This is the third year Qualico Communities Calgary is running its Days of Giving campaign. Every business day in December leading up to Christmas, the social media campaign highlights a different charity it supports over its Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn channels. This year, Qualico Communities will

spotlight 17 organizations.

“Giving back is something we hold very close,” says Emily Smith, manager of marketing and customer care at Qualico Communities Calgary. “We are community builders, literally and figuratively. We don't want to just build the community and walk away — we're trying to build a legacy for our communities.”

Each of the charities or organizations Qualico showcases through the Days of Giving campaign fits into its corporate social

responsibility goals; the organizations Qualico supports help end the cycle of poverty, promote gender equality, encourage sustainability and building, promote lifelong education or celebrate healthy lives. Throughout the holiday campaign, Qualico will highlight charities it supports both financially and through handson volunteerism all year, such as Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. Qualico will also shine a light on charities it helps through monetary donations, as well as announce new organizations it will support.

Smith says the ultimate goal of the Days of Giving campaign is that it will inspire Calgarians to give back to these great organizations, too.

“We have a platform to talk about these organizations and amplify their great work,” says Smith.

For 70 years, Qualico has been developing communities filled with pride and legacy. Behind every project is a strong vision, cohesive planning, and the resources to create beautiful and value filled neighbourhoods.

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Through its Days of Giving campaign, Qualico Communities Calgary is inspiring locals to give back to organizations that make our communities great places to call home @QualicoYYC
MANY

IMPROVING LIVES THROUGH THE POWER OF COMMUNITIES

United

Founded in 1940, United Way of Calgary and Area has spent more than a century improving lives through the power of communities. As a local social impact organization, United Way brings together local agencies, corporations, donors, volunteers and

government to create lasting social change in Calgary.

“We unify our city’s tremendous giving power, directing it towards plans, policies and programs that address big issues and create big change,” says Karen Young, president and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area.

United Way focuses its community investments in four key areas to empower lives and give back. Socio-economic well-being focuses on initiatives that ensure individuals and families have access to basic needs, education and meaningful employment. Their focus on mental health through promotion, prevention and early intervention ensures those impacted by mental health concerns can access the supports they need before problems become deep-rooted and harder to address. United Way is also helping build back a stronger community post-pandemic

with a focus on healthy relationships through programs and initiatives that ensure individuals and families have the supportive environments they need to thrive. And, by removing barriers to social inclusion and creating opportunities for people to participate meaningfully in their community, United Way helps to ensure Calgarians are able to make positive connections and establish inclusive communities to live, play and work.

“Calgary can be a place where every person living in poverty has a path out of it,” says Young. “It can be a place where all children are born into opportunity. And, it can be a place where our communities are connected and thriving.”

A better tomorrow starts with you. Visit calgaryunitedway.org today.

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Way of Calgary and Area supports partnerships and initiatives designed to support, empower and enrich local communities
Karen Young, president and
CEO
avenuecalgary.com 65 Tells us about the parks, recreation centres, shopping areas and other parts of the city you love to visit in our Best Neighbourhoods Survey. ONLINE SURVEY WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES AND SPACES! avenuecalgary.com/NeighbourhoodSurvey NOVEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 31 2022 IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE LIFE’S SPECIAL DAYS TOGETHER AGAIN TICKETS AND INFORMATION AT AvenueCalgary.com/Celebrate A celebration of celebrations February 25

TITLE Happy Birthday ARTIST Ron Moppett

DATE 2008 MEDIA

Prismacolor pencil on newsprint.

LOCATION

The writer’s home office.

NOTES

Scan by Kevin Kanashiro. Ron Moppett is represented by TrépanierBaer Gallery.

An Artful Farewell

Dear readers of Avenue: After a sevenyear run, this month marks my last appearance on the last page of this magazine.

My first assignment set the tem plate for the 75 articles to come: A profile of a noteworthy artwork that’s free to experience in an accessible public space. I did the things I like best as I put the articles together: look at art, talk with artists, do detective work, make connections and be an advocate for the arts. With years of experience as a museum professional and educator at many of the institutions in town, I acknowledge that I’m an insider. (Plus, I’m happily married to an artist, Ron Moppett.) With this column, I wanted to let every one in on the diversity of artists and art, but also to reveal the ecosystem of the visual arts in Calgary.

Artwork comes into the public realm in many ways: commissions, donations, purchases, loans, collections, memorials, government programs, corporate initiatives, business revitalization and independent activity, just to name a few. You can

find publicly accessible art indoors and out, in artist-run centres, museums, galleries, educational institutions, cultural facilities, festivals, corporate and business spaces, or unexpected pop-ups. I set a goal to reveal that mix.

I got to know many artists who were new to me: Honsun Chu, a remarkable sculptor in Cochrane; Jer Thorpe and Ben Rubin, who brought the sounds of Bow Glacier melting into downtown; Sans façon, the artist-leaders of award-winning Dale Hodges Park; Beverly Pepper, whose land form in Ralph Klein Park was an enlightening surprise. I had reason to reach out to senior artists whom I admire, such as Ron Spickett, one of Cal gary’s first modern artists and a fierce champion of public art; and Katie Ohe, who has engaged Cal garians with her public sculptures since the 1960s.

There were gratifying behind-the-scenes ben efits, such as when Avenue’s Jared Sych took the first professional digital photographs of Spickett’s historic mural. It has been satisfying to hear about people using the articles as prompts to go look at art for themselves and talk about it, from ESL

teachers at Bow Valley College, to a colleague at the Military Museums who went on monthly treks with his teenage daughter.

I must admit there are times when the boomand-bust cycles of Calgary’s economy make me fear for the arts, but, in general, I’ve noticed three key things: that Calgary can hold its own among major Canadian cities as a centre for the visual arts, that more attention is being given to the care and preservation of historic work, and that there is a growing appreciation of the arts as necessary to the life of a vital community.

It has been an honour working on this project, but it’s time to move on to new challenges. I hope I’ve helped broaden your perspectives and have left you with an appetite for more art.

Yours truly, Katherine.

P.S.: If I was on a desert island and could have one work with me, I would choose Ron Moppett’s mosaic mural, THESAMEWAYBETTER/READER and orient it to catch the morning light with glints of silver and gold, the way it does in East Village.

december 2022 66 WORK OF ART
BY KATHERINE YLITALO
CURATED

Building hope. Building strength.

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