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COVID-19 has impacted us all and we are in this together. Thank you to our staff for all you do to help keep Albertans healthy and safe. And thank you to Albertans for continuing to do your part by keeping your distance, washing your hands, wearing your masks, and staying home when you are sick.
Congratulations to the AHS Winners of the 2020 Top 40 Under 40 award Eden McCaffrey
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The Ranchmen’s Club Congratulates Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 The Ranchmen’s Club is Alberta’s first and only Platinum-ranked private club. We have a strong culture of celebrating community and business leaders with vibrant business and social events since 1891.
Contact our Marketing & Membership Director, Cristina Guevara, to book an official tour of our clubhouse. email@example.com www.ranchmensclub.com
Congratulations Neil Gruninger on your place amongst Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40! The Kidoodle.TV® team couldn’t ask for a better teammate in making the digital world safer for kids around the world!
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WORK OF ART
Nove m b e r 2 0 2 0
94 D E P A R TM E N TS
ON THE COVER This year’s Top 40 Under 40 includes Jean-Yin Tan and Rahim Kachra. Read more starting on page 26. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
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FE A T U R E S
Quickdraw Animation Society’s annual Lockdown took on new meaning this year, Ariel Learoyd helps Calgarians find mind-body connection through wholistic counselling and First Nations Athletics builds resiliency through mentorship and opportunities for youth athletes.
The Charming Inns and Small Hotels of Alberta celebrates 20 years of welcoming guests. Plan your close-to-home vacation at one of these locally owned getaways.
84 DINING Pivot is the name of the game these days, and in no business is that more true than restaurants. We take a look at some local dining establishments that have reinvented themselves to great effect.
94 DECOR Improve your work-fromhome area with tips and ideas from local experts who have made the most of their home office set-up.
26 TOP 40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2020 Celebrating the successes of Calgary’s high achievers. 28 Signe Bray 29 Fang-Chia (Jackie) Cheng 30 Man-Wai Chu 31 Ivan Čilić & Jordan Ramey 32 Kaely Cormack & Hayley Muir 34 Isabelle Couture & Briana Loughlin 36 Will Craig 37 Sue Crawford 38 Daniel Delgado & Jordan Tetreau 39 Antoine Dufour 40 Nicole Dyer 41 Justin Eyford, Jeremy Ho
& Ben Put 42 Ilyan Ferrer 43 Caitlin Gallichan-Lowe 44 Katie Green 46 Rachel Grimminck 48 Neil Gruninger 49 Rita Henderson 50 Jason Jogia 51 Hanif Joshaghani & Tiffany Kaminsky 52 Rahim Kachra 53 Nathan Yo'el Lenet 54 Alexander Leung 55 Eden McCaffrey 56 Kate McKenzie 57 Carly McMorris 58 Caitlynne Medrek 60 Kristina Oriold & Jen Woods 62 Aaron Phillips 64 Michael Roumeliotis 66 Rémi Schmaltz 67 Teddy Seyed 68 Dayle Sheehan 69 Emma Spanswick 70 Kate Stadel 71 Jean-Yin Tan 72 Ashley Tedham 74 Patrycja Vaid 75 Meg Wilcox 76 Tyler Williamson
SIDEWALK STUDENTS SITE PLAN
4 1 8 FUTURE VISION
COMMUNITY BOULEVARD PLAN 1
6 1 6
2 3 7
ow often do you think about sidewalks? If you’re like most of us, probably not very often – at least until the pandemic hit. Typical sidewalks are little more than a narrow strip of concrete that separates the cars from the front doors of the shops we dash into after parking. This summer changed that. In many parts of the city, sidewalks in commercial areas were temporarily expanded to create more space for socially distanced walking and outdoor eating.
Imagine what our city could be like if some of those changes became permanent. That S A P L . U C A L G A R Y. C A @UCALGARYSAPL
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Mixed-Use Developments Patios Multiple Seating Options Linear Plaza Wide Pedestrian Pathway Tree Boulevard with Bioswales Buffered Cycle Path Reduced Road Width for reduced speed At-Grade Table-Top Crossing
was the design challenge facing Master of Planning students at the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. Led by assistant professor Francisco Alaniz-Uribe, the graduate students worked with the Montgomery Community Association to imagine how permanent upgrades to their commercial area could create streets for people and not just cars. Ravi Siddhartha and Neelima Siddharta envisioned broader sidewalks with all-season kiosks and patios that make a dynamic and safe place for the community to shop, dine, and peoplewatch. Perhaps that is the real takeaway
from a summer of temporary changes due to COVID. Streets designed with people in mind are a must. By giving families, seniors, and young couples a place where they can enjoy being outside, peopleoriented streets are also good for business. “We’re educating the next generation of city-builders,” says John Brown, Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.. “Our planning students are learning how to design cities that are great places to live as well as resilient, sustainable and eﬃcient.”
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE
or more than two decades, we have been celebrating the Top 40 Under 40 in Calgary each year. Each year, as much as this project is designed to celebrate the individual successes of the honourees, as a group the Top 40s tend to tell us something more, with each class serving as a snapshot of the city at a particular time. Some years there is more emphasis on entrepreneurs. Some years the arts are of a moment. And sometimes it’s the non-profit sector that truly stands out. But if ever there was a year where the group of individuals selected for the Top 40 Under 40 reflect the particular times we find ourselves in, this is it. Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40, presented in association with the University of Calgary, uses a two-step process for nominations. Nominators must fill in an online form by the end of April and then, by the middle of May, the nominees themselves have to provide information on their work and community contributions. As with any application process, the bulk of the
Käthe Lemon Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org NO ONE DOES IT ALONE: SEE WHO THE TOP 40 THANKED FOR HELPING THEM GAIN THEIR SUCCESS VISIT AVENUECALGARY.COM/TOP-40-UNDER-40/2020/
nominations and nominee forms tend to come in at the end. If you’re like me and can’t quite remember what late April and early May were because you were completely exhausted, I can confidently say that filling in forms for a magazine was a pretty low priority for most people. Additionally, many businesses were in a state of chaos or constant flux, meaning that for many entrepreneurs this was not the year they felt like trumpeting their successes. So, needless to say, I expected to receive far fewer nominations for the Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2020. However, as with almost everything else this year, what happened defied my predictions. While there were sectors where we didn’t see the typical level of nominees, overall this year’s
CLASS OF 2020
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nomination numbers were almost as high as last year and we ended up with about 400 completed nomination packages. After shortlisting that group down to about 70, we shared the nomination packages with an incredible group of judges drawn from our Top 40 alumni: Allison Hakomaki, Louisa Farrel, Avnish Mehta, Zain Velji, Shafeena Premji, Tim Fox and John Pantazopoulos. They combed through the nominations and weighed in on who should make it into the final list that you see in this issue. Across the board, Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 is engaged with the city. They give back in unique and interesting ways. They are building a better future for the city and those who live here. If there's one trend among this year's class, it's that it has more medical professionals than we’ve had in most previous groups, and while many have been involved in some way in work related to the pandemic, many aren’t directly related. Another trend is that many work with marginalized populations — including the elderly, children with neuro-developmental disabilities, immigrants and people with physical limitations. Perhaps the pandemic has made us all more aware of the importance of our frontline workers and of looking out for those in our community at greatest risk. Ultimately, this is an inspirational group of Calgarians at a time when most of us could use a little inspiration. I hope that reading their stories helps remind you that this city can foster great success, that it is worth fighting for and that we have the ingenuity here to build a great future for us all. If you know of an inspirational Calgarian, please do share their story with us. And if they happen to be under 40, take note: nominations for Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2021 are open now at Top40Under40.com.
PHOTO BY JARED SYCH. OPPOSITE: BY VIKTORIA KURPAS/SHUTTERSTOCK
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OUR D O ORS A RE OPEN Amica Britannia is pleased to announce our doors are once again open to friends, family, and guests. While we have long awaited this day, we have done so with caution and with a priority – always – on the health and safety of our residents and team members. We are now welcoming visitors on an appointment basis and look forward to showing you what life at Amica is all about. Contact us for more information or to book a visit.
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avenue An online discussion of how Calgary's tech sector trajectory has changed due to the economic downturn coupled with the pandemic. MISSED THE EVENT? You don't have to miss the discussion. Find the event recording online at AvenueCalgary.com/InnovationEvent
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DETOURS DRAWN TOGETHER QUICKDRAW ANIMATION SOCIETY KEEPS LOCAL ANIMATORS CONNECTED AND SHOWCASES SOME OF THE BEST IN OUR CITY WITH ITS ONLINE PROGRAMMING.
S Still from My Friend is a Magical Extrovert by Tiffany Sengsavang
ince March, there has been a deluge of stories about how much COVID-19 has impacted artists, but not all artistic disciplines felt the same effects. Animation, for example, can be done from home using software and minimal gear. In fact, the local community has been busy making new work since the pandemic hit. avenuecalgary.com
DETOURS Still from Shelf Life by Noah Spencer.
Insider WHOLISTIC COUNSELLOR ARIEL LEAROYD ON MIND-BODY CONNECTION AND OVERALL WELLBEING.
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numerous video meetings throughout the day. The theme of this year’s Lockdown, “Call to Adventure,” made for interesting results given creators were house-bound throughout the process. Shelf Life by Noah Spencer and My Friend is a Magical Extrovert by Tiffany Sengsavang are great exam-
Standing Buffalo received from the organization and through a partnership with Calgary Animated Objects Society. “[RKLSS] is a super personal film about violence he experienced growing up, his time spent in a youth detention centre and what got him out of those struggles.” QAS has reopened with
“...WHERE IT EXCELS IS WHEN PEOPLE ARE SHARING THEIR HUMAN EXPERIENCE AND BRINGING THAT INTO THE WORLD OF ANIMATION,” ples of this juxtaposition of inspirations. You can watch all of the Lockdown shorts for free on QAS’ website. Joanne Fisher, Arielle McCuaig and Tank Standing Buffalo all participated in this year’s Lockdown in various roles, and each of them had works screen on the festival circuit. Standing Buffalo’s RKLSS showed at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. “It was a real Quickdraw success story,” says Von Hagen, noting the classes, scholarships and grants
limited access, and is about to launch GIRAF, its festival of international animated works, online. Programming was still under wraps at press time, but Von Hagen says quarantine-themed works were prevalent in the submissions this year and that QAS has found ways to keep engagement a core part of the festival experience. —Colin Gallant GIRAF runs November 19 to 29. More information is available at quickdrawanimation. ca and giraffest.ca
Ariel Learoyd’s wholistic counselling services are available remotely via ariellearoyd.com
P H O T O G R A P H B Y R O S E AT H E N A
Does that make animation a quarantine-proof artform? Ryan Von Hagen, programming director for Quickdraw Animation Society (QAS), says the answer is both yes and no. “Yes, animation can be made at three in the morning by yourself under one light, but really where it excels is when people are sharing their human experience and bringing that into the world of animation.” QAS is one of only two non-profit, member-based animation organizations in the country and has operated since 1984. The member-driven charity offers workspace, gear rentals, education and programming opportunities. The group also organizes the annual Animation Lockdown, where members hole up at QAS for three consecutive days to create new works. This past May, as the 13th Animation Lockdown took place, the name took on a new meaning. Von Hagen says QAS was able to successfully translate the experience to the virtual realm with
s the oceans are to Earth’s ecology, the mind is to human health: we know it’s there but we don’t really understand how it works. Ariel Learoyd, a Calgary social worker and wholistic counsellor, has practiced for 20 years, exploring mental health her own way. She focuses on the ways mental health steers behaviour and cognition, but also how our body, spiritual practice and self-awareness contribute to overall wellbeing. “Wholistic counselling integrates both traditional counselling methods like cognitive behavioural therapy and talk therapy, plus mindfulness, guided visualization and other methods that are more inclusive of the mind, body, emotions and what we might call the intuition. It asks people to go a bit deeper, into not just what behaviour is causing a problem, but why? And why now?” “Awareness is a really basic skill that helps us be aware of what’s going on when we’re starting to feel anxious: What’s happening in the body? What kind of thoughts are going on in the mind? What kind of emotions are arising? That increase of awareness is a real, basic skill that I think can benefit all of us.” “[Wholistic counselling] is a great approach for some people: those going through big life transitions, looking for something that isn’t just about behaviour management, people going through a crisis-of-meaning in their lives. … But for people who are going through profound mental-health crises — bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia — I would refer them to a specialist, as would any therapist.” —as told to Colin Gallant
Country Living Furnishings & Design
Openings MARKET WINES Market Wines is all about affordable, high-quality wine with a story behind it. Its new second location in the University District was designed by Fort Architecture and offers beer and spirits as well as hundreds of wines priced at $20 or less on the main floor. 4109 University Ave. N.W., 403-284-4516, marketwines.ca Athlete Zach Manywounds
While the original Mikey’s Taco Shop can still be found inside the Mikey’s on 12th Avenue music venue, you can now also get your taco fix at its new second location in Highwood. Pop in to try chef and co-owner Alli Said’s Mexican street-style tacos featuring pork carnitas, baby shrimp, chorizo and beans and more. 4121 4 St. N.W., 403-475-7467, mikeyson12th.com
NAN’S NOODLE HOUSE + VEGAN MARKET The team behind Hearts Choices has opened a new vegan restaurant in Tuxedo Park. Visit the express noodle house to try dishes like the rich miso ramen or khao soi soup, then pick up some takeaway meals, snacks or sauces from its vegan market on your way out. 3103B Edmonton Tr. N.E., nansnoodlehouse.com
V BURGER This new eatery serves fast-food favourites with a plant-based twist. Try the barbecue “bac’n” cheeseburger, avocado-beet burger, buffalo “chick’n” bites or some poutine before treating yourself to a vegan sundae, shake or cone for dessert. 819 17 Ave. S.W., 587-387-7272, heyvburger.com
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RESILIENCY, ON AND OFF RESERVE
supports them in their pursuit of excellence. illy Gorrell says a major draw for FNA is an online apparel and sponsorship busihim toward his career as a police ness. Young First Nations athletes are nominated officer was the prospect of workto become a representative and sales person for ing with Indigenous youth and the brand, giving them an opportunity to make communities. Gorrell spent part of some extra money to support their dreams. his youth in Timiskaming First Nation in eastern This year FNA launched the Ambassador Canada before moving to Forest Lawn in Calgary. Project to connect the youth athletes with schools However, it was not until he started working with through live streaming to speak reserves around Calgary through to kids who look up to and idolize athletics that he was able to see the them. They are showing kids that potential and resiliency of so many “THEY ARE they can live a healthy lifestyle and Indigenous kids. THE FUTURE. find success in something they are But when the day came, as he was THE NEXT passionate about. working as an officer in Tsuut’ina, WAVE OF Athletes can be reached through that he had to take a young man ATHLETES AND the FNA website for classroom he admired as a hockey player and LEADERS.” speaking engagements about their athlete to jail, Gorrell realized that experience, their nutrition, their his place in the Indigenous commugoals and achievements. Students receive infornity was not in policing. With Indigenous youth disproportionately represented in both the justice mation about the athletes before they arrive and and childcare systems, Gorell wanted to reach the prepare questions in advance. Gorrell says his reward is in seeing the work kids before they ended up in a prison cell. of athletes and their motivations to become role “There was a better way that I could help,” says Gorrell. “I had spent time playing NCAA baseball models and make their communities proud. He sees FNA as a story of the resilience and potenand I thought that working with youth from a tial of First Nations youth, not the success of a young age to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle specific business. would be more beneficial to them and myself.” “They are the future. The next wave of athletes Gorrell left the force in 2013 after seven years and leaders. We want to help show them how to and started First Nation Athletics (FNA), a busiget there.” says Gorrell.—Travis Kemp. ness that connects with Indigenous athletes and
P H O T O G R A P H B Y S A M S V AY
MIKEY’S TACO SHOP
HERE’S TO MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE All of you have stepped up in these unprecedented circumstances to lead, to innovate, to create — to do the extraordinary work you always do. But better. Our warmest congratulations to this year’s Top 40 Under 40. Thanks to your creativity, ambition, entrepreneurial thinking and your dedication to serving others, the outlook is brighter for all of us. This year, like most, many of the honourees are part of the University of Calgary family. You make our city and our planet a better place to live. We hope you will continue to explore, discover and learn more by staying connected to the University of Calgary at alumni.ucalgary.ca.
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CLASS OF 2020
or more than two decades, Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 presented in association with the University of Calgary has celebrated younger Calgarians who are moving the city forward. But this year, celebrating success has taken on new meaning. In some ways, this celebration, like so many others held during these exceptional times, is tinged with sadness. On the other hand, in identifying those Calgarians who continue to find success here, and who are literally and figuratively building the Calgary of the future, we hope sharing with all of our readers a much-needed positive vision, one that sheds light on the achievements happening right now, and on the great things to come. The people you will meet on the following pages are entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and artists who are each making a difference in their field and in the city. The Top 40 list is not just a celebration of young, successful people, but also of the city that, despite the double-whammy of a years-long economic downturn and a global pandemic, allows their successes to be possible. What success means in this city is changing; it looks very different today than it did two decades ago when the first Top 40 Under 40 issue for Calgary was published by Avenue’s predecessor. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that the stories of success we are celebrating in this issue are about building the kind of city that fosters further success for us all. If you know someone who should be celebrated in these pages next year, let us know. Nominations for the Top 40 Class of 2021 are open now until April 30 at Top40Under40.com. BY SHELLEY ARNUSCH, TSERING ASHA, C H R I S T I N A F R A N G O U , C O L I N G A L L A N T, S T E P H A N I E J O E , T R AV I S K L E M P, N AT H A N K U N Z , C O L L E E N S E T O A N D A L A N A W I L L E R T O N
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
HAIR AND MAKEUP BY ARTISTS WITHIN AND DIVA SALONSPA
DR. SIGNE B R AY Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, and Scientific Director of the Child and Adolescent Imaging Research Program, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
i Dr. Signe Bray uses high-tech imaging and advanced computer programming to study childhood brain development while training the next generation of researchers.
“[THE HARDEST LESSON FOR ME HAS BEEN] WORKING IN A FIELD WHERE DEALING WITH CRITICISM IS PART OF THE PROCESS.”
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H A I R B Y N A T U L LY B A O , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
r. Signe Bray was drawn to engineering because she likes problem solving. Early on, she dedicated her career to solving one of life’s most complicated puzzles: what happens inside children’s brains as they grow? As scientific director of the Child and Adolescent Imaging Research Program at the University of Calgary, Bray combines her skills as a computer engineer and researcher in cognitive human neuroscience to unlock these mysteries. “Even though what I’m doing might be just chipping away at a small piece of that, we need all of the knowledge we can get,” she says. Bray and her team have collected data from more than 400 children and their families, tracking them over time to monitor brain development and learn how neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and preterm birth affect the brain. “Ultimately, we hope that this work helps not only to better understand children’s development, but to support children with cognitive or behavioural changes,” she says of her research, which has identified alterations in the structure, function and wiring of the brain in children with these conditions. Since starting her research group in Calgary in 2013, Bray has brought in more than $1.5 million in grants and her work has been cited more than 2,600 times in peer-reviewed literature. She also created and teaches a course at UCalgary on computer programming for health sciences graduate students and is developing a unique-in-Canada program to teach computational neuroscience. Bray dedicates most of her work hours to helping other researchers and students, including as an inaugural member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also gives back to the wider community. “It’s important to me to have a life outside of work,” she says. —C.F.
FA N G - C H I A (JACKIE) CHENG Mental Health Clinician and Clinical Psychologist, Alberta Health Services - Community Geriatric Mental Health Service and Fercho Psychological Services
i Jackie Cheng helped develop and implement Alberta Health Services STAT program, which streamlines access to mental health services for seniors.
“A LARGE PART OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THERAPY IS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO
H A I R B Y M A N D Y K W A N , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
hen Fang-Chia (Jackie) Cheng was 14 years old, her mother encouraged her to volunteer at a southwest Calgary care home. Now, Cheng says her career as a registered psychologist championing mental health care for seniors blossomed from those early experiences, as well as a connection to elders that she feels is rooted in her Taiwanese background. “It’s all the little things,” says Cheng. “I love knowing that I can have even the tiniest influence.” Cheng played an integral part in developing and implementing the AHS Short Term Assessment and Treatment (STAT) program and has helped streamline access to geriatric mental health services in Calgary by working with clients through short-term therapy services and connecting them with the right community supports. The STAT program has helped reduce wait times for patients to see a clinician from four-to-six months down to six-to-10 weeks, with the STAT team connecting within weeks for support and assessment in the interim. Cheng’s commitment to mental health access also extends to her private practice work with Fercho Psychological Services, where she completes several assessments annually as part of Brighter Stars, a scholarship program run by Fercho that offers free assessments to children and adolescents who otherwise may not be able to find the support they need. Cheng also continues to volunteer as one of a group of people who are called up to be the BMO bear mascot. Although she first volunteered as the mascot to check the experience off her bucket list, Cheng says she ended up loving her time in the costume. She embraces the challenge of high-fiving kids who may be scared, or adults caught acting too cool. She sees a through-line in her work and volunteer efforts. “Alleviating a little bit of suffering or pain, and then just seeing if I can make an impact, that’s where I find success,” Cheng says. —N.K. avenuecalgary.com
M A N -WA I C H U Associate Professor, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary
i Man-Wai Chu transforms tests and exams from dread-inducing to fun in order to keep students interested in learning.
“I’M NOT SURE WHAT MAKES ME GOOD AT WHAT I DO, BUT I KNOW I’M HAVING A LOT OF FUN DOING WHAT I’M DOING.”
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an-Wai Chu knows that students’ distaste for a subject can often stem from the way they’re being assessed — the test, homework and marked assignments — rather than the topic itself. “Assessments could be the reason why students have anxiety against learning a specific subject — maybe they’re not against the subject, but they are against the assessment,” says Chu. “But assessments can also be a very valuable and necessary tool in the learning process.” Breaking the assessment status quo is at the core of Chu’s research at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. Chu, who began her career as a high school science teacher with the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD), develops assessments that tread off the beaten path, creating alternatives that students enjoy while improving the way teachers can understand their students’ strengths. One of her latest projects, a video game developed with local non-profit MindFuel, sees students learning about storms in an interactive setting, complete with coins as rewards which can be spent in-game on cars and other incentives. While she admits early video game efforts have been described by students as “fancy worksheets,” Chu notes the MindFuel collaboration has had students re-playing the game to gather more coins on their own time. Chu’s research as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator and collaborator, has received around $1 million in funding, including $90,123 worth of grants to work with the CCSD to help improve assessments. And for her own teaching, she has received several accolades, including a University of Calgary Teaching Award for Full-Time Academic Staff (Assistant Professor) in 2020. “I get to work with a lot of people, many of whom are my friends. The collaboration is what makes my job so much fun,” says Chu. “Together I know we’re all improving each other’s passion and vision of what education could be.” —N.K.
MAN-WAI CHU HAIR BY MICHELLE TRUONG, DIVA SALON SPA, MAKEUP BY KRISTY BOND, ARTISTS WITHIN. IVAN CILIC AND JORDAN RAMEY HAIR BY SHERRY PETERS, DIVA SALONSPA; MAKEUP BY JAZ JALEEL, ARTISTS WITHIN
I VA N Č I L I Ć Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Burwood Distillery; Real estate agent, Re/Max Real Estate (Mountain View)
JORDAN RAMEY Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Burwood Distillery; Professor of Brewing Science, Olds College
JORDAN RAMEY IVAN CILIC
Ivan Čilić and Jordan Ramey have built Burwood Distillery into a maker of award-winning spirits while showcasing Alberta’s natural resources and entrepreneurial spirit.
ordan Ramey had been a professor in the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program for two years when he bought a house from real estate agent Ivan Čilić in 2015. The following year, the two (along with Čilić’s older brother Marko) founded Burwood Distillery. Today, Burwood is one of Alberta’s most esteemed craft distilleries, with revenue expected to surpass $1 million in 2020 and a raft of awards. Ramey and Čilić credit their success to the fact that they “can’t sit still” and that they have both diverse skills and backgrounds. Ramey, who holds a PhD in microbiology, knows beverages inside out. Čilić brings entrepreneurial expertise and grew up around community distilling in Croatia. Burwood is most celebrated for its honey liqueur, Medica, which won double-gold at the last three consecutive international SIP Awards and, as a result, a Consumers’ Choice award in 2020. It’s made with honey from the Čilić family apiary and Alberta barley. Demand for the popular liqueur is quickly outpacing production. In fact, Burwood is looking for a new, larger location as it prepares to launch its inaugural whisky next year. As agri-producers, Čilić and Ramey are grateful to this place and the community here. That’s partly why they mobilized on hand sanitizer production within days of lockdown orders, soon recalling most laid off staff for assistance. They produced thousands of litres of sanitizer within those first few weeks and gave most of it away. Burwood has since added the sanitizer to its roster of products and it donates partial proceeds to Mealshare, a non-profit society that aims to end youth hunger. “The community has helped us out over the years, and it’s our moral obligation to give back,” says Ramey. —C.G. avenuecalgary.com
36 K A E LY C O R M A C K Executive Director, Femme Wave Arts Society
H AY L E Y M U I R Artistic Director, Femme Wave Arts Society
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n the summer of 2015, Kaely Cormack and Hayley Muir, friends and bandmates in feminist punk group The Shiverettes, decided to put on an event showcasing women and non-binary artists. That idea morphed into the first Femme Wave Feminist Arts Festival, a four-day event held in November of that year produced with a crowdsourced budget of $5,000. Five years later, Femme Wave has grown into an annual festival and non-profit society with around 20 committee members, a board of directors and an operating budget of $77,000. As one of very few interdisciplinary feminist arts festivals in Western Canada, it garners artist applications from across North America and beyond. To date, Femme Wave has presented more than 450 acts, all with at least one member who identifies as a woman or as non-binary. As a cultural and activist non-profit, the true success of Femme Wave is measured less in dollars and more in social impact. Femme Wave didn’t invent the concept of safer spaces — a pledge by presenters and venue hosts to do their best to protect artists and audience members from discrimination and harassment — but it has definitely been a trailblazer in Calgary for adopting these practices on a festival-wide scale. Femme Wave will not present a 2020 festival, and the break from regularly scheduled programming will be a time for restructuring, training and evaluation of how the operations can more closely align to the group’s guiding mandates of diversity and inclusion. “What success looks like for Femme Wave [is] fostering the same kind of community internally that we try to foster externally and making sure we’ve built an organization that can outlive us,” says Muir. It will be a time for big conversations, which suits the co-founders. “We’re both talkers,” Cormack says. “We come up with ideas just sitting around, hanging out, and talking through things.” —S.A.
H A I R B Y R O Z B H A N WAT H , D I VA S A L O N S PA ; M A K E U P B Y Z A I N A B A L - R I K A B I , A RT I S T S W I T H I N
As co-founders of the Femme Wave Arts Society, Kaely Cormack and Hayley Muir help give women and non-binary artists the stage in safer and accessible spaces.
40 From the Top 750 Under 20. What you call Top 40 under 40, we call Imaginal Leaders. Imaginal Leaders see, learn from, and create the future. They are the artists, innovators, researchers, inventors and outliers who transform their world. At Master’s Academy & College, we prepare our students to become Imaginal Leaders and change the world. Congratulations Top 40 Under 40–the world needs more people like you ... And we’re up to the challenge!
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ISABELLE COUTURE Co-Founder and Director of Engagement and Collaboration, Plastic-Free YYC
BRIANA LOUGHLIN Co-Founder and Director of Inspiration and Change, Plastic-Free YYC
i Isabelle Couture and Briana Loughlin initiated a critical conversation about plastic use in Calgary, encouraging thousands of Calgarians to reduce their waste. 34
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hen we picture plastic pollution, the image is often straws caught in sea turtles’ noses or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But landlocked cities like Calgary are a primary source of that garbage — in fact, 80 per cent of ocean plastic was originally discarded in-land. Through their volunteer-run organization Plastic-Free YYC, Briana Loughlin and Isabelle Couture build awareness of the problem and engage individuals, businesses, and government in making plastic-free changes through initiatives such as Ban the Bag YYC and The Last Straw Calgary. Plastic-Free YYC began in 2017 as a blog written by Loughlin. She connected with Couture through a zero-waste meetup, and one coffee date later, the two partnered to make Plastic-Free YYC Calgary’s leading organization preventing plastic waste. At that time, China had announced it would ban several plastics for recycling. “That’s when people
realized recycling wasn’t so great, and we got pushed into the limelight,” says Loughlin. They dove into the cause, setting up their nonprofit, speaking at events, and to media. “Our first year was about finding our voice,” recalls Loughlin. Drawing on their combined skills and experience in communications and public policy, the two honed their messaging and focus, and now lead a passionate team of more than 20. Plastic-Free YYC produces the Zero Waste Directory and hosts events like the Zero Waste Festival — the first in Western Canada, which attracted 35 exhibitors and 2,200 attendees in its first year. “We’ve raised the profile of Calgary as a progressive city with environmental initiatives,” says Couture. COVID-19 has created more work ahead for the team, as it has drastically increased our use of disposable plastics. “We need to get away from the idea that plastics are clean,” says Loughlin. “We can be safe and sustainable.” —C.S.
HAIR BY SHERRY PEDERSON, DIVA SALONSPA; MAKEUP BY ZAINAB AL-RIKABI, ARTISTS WITHIN
37 WILL CRAIG Principal, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd.
i Will Craig is strengthening city-building efforts in Calgary through his role at Kasian, where he helped launch the innovative Lifescape start-up, and through his non-profit work.
“IT’S ALL ABOUT STARTING WITH A VISION AND THEN BUILDING SOMETHING FROM THAT VISION. AND THEN THE REALITY BECOMES WAY BETTER THAN THE VISION, OFTENTIMES.”
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HAIR BY MICHELLE TRUONG, DIVA SALONSPA;MAKEUP FELICIA VANDURME, ARTISTS WITHIN
or Will Craig, it’s important to look at city-building from the perspective of how people interact with buildings and how they can enhance urban livability at the ground level. “The thing that got me going initially into design was I could see that it wasn’t just about making pretty facades,” Craig says. “There’s a root reason why we’re doing this: to create more viability, to enhance people’s lives, to create more socioeconomic benefits.” The registered architect brings this approach to his work as a principal at architecture and design firm Kasian, where he oversees the Calgary office team (whose headcount fluctuates between 40 and 60), performance and business development. Craig is also the firm’s national commercial sector leader and the global chair of Lifescape, a start-up within Kasian dedicated to creating more engaging environments on the ground level of existing and new buildings, with the end goal of making better cities for people to live in. Craig played a central role in establishing Lifescape in 2017 and continues to lead it today, growing the team to around 12 core employees and leading the ongoing development of its new research arm. Lifescape has been part of around 20 projects so far; in Calgary, that includes the first laneway revitalization project in 2017 and the redeveloped IBM Campus called The District at Beltline, as well as projects beyond the city such as Kelowna’s One Water Street development. Outside of the office, Craig has held several positions with the Urban Land Institute (ULI). He recently served as chair of its Alberta chapter (2018 to 2020) and is a member of the ULI Redevelopment and Reuse Product Council and a co-founder and steering committee member of the Canadian City Catalysts Initiative Council. He’s also a co-founder of Art and the City, a non-profit promoting Calgary’s art scene through downtown walking art tours, urban interventions and events like last year’s Off Stephen — The Green Alley Project. —A.W.
32 S U E C R AW F O R D Co-Founder and Executive Director, Enable; Registered Nurse, Psychiatric Emergency Services Team, Alberta Children’s Hospital
i Sue Crawford is a trailblazing nurse-entrepreneur who co-founded a social enterprise to help families who have a member with a disability connect with support workers.
H A I R B Y R O Z B H A N WAT H , D I VA S A L O N S PA ; M A K E U P B Y Z A I N A B A L - R I K A B I , A RT I S T S W I T H I N
“THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF KNOWLEDGE I CAN GIVE OTHER PEOPLE ARE MY EXPERIENCES THROUGH MY STORIES.”
s a pediatric psychiatry nurse who has worked with intellectually disabled children and youth for more than a decade, Sue Crawford identified and then closed a gap in the system that was keeping families from accessing care for their family member with disabilities. Though funding is available to many of these families to hire a support worker, actually hiring them can be difficult. So, in 2016, Crawford (along with a former co-founder) launched Enable, a forprofit social enterprise that matches properly vetted support workers with those who need help. “We are making changes to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families,” Crawford says. Crawford runs Enable while working as a nurse at Alberta Children’s Hospital. She is also a nursing instructor at Bow Valley College, a guest lecturer in nursing at UCalgary and she recently successfully defended her thesis for her Master of Nursing. Enable has so far reached $250,000 in annual services, with 40 support workers logging over 15,000 hours for clients. Crawford’s initiative has not gone unnoticed by her alma mater: UCalgary named her its most promising first-time entrepreneur in 2017, while the Faculty of Nursing, as part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, named her the 2010 to 2020 decade representative for “changing the face of nursing” as an “EntrepreNurse.” Crawford continues to develop as an entrepreneur by mentoring. Since 2018 she has volunteered with Team Hunter at the UCalgary’s Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation housed in the Haskayne School of Business as a guest judge, speaker and entrepreneur advisor for undergraduate business students. “Nurses have a lot of the same qualities as entrepreneurs. A lot of nurses don’t see that,” Crawford says. “It’s really important to get that message out. Because nurses are making it happen for their patients every day, and they don’t recognize how entrepreneurial their work is.” —S.A. avenuecalgary.com
33 DANIEL DELGADO JORDAN TETREAU
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Daniel Delgado and Jordan Tetreau created the first co-working warehouse in Canada, connecting tradespeople in the city and helping grow small businesses.
o-working office spaces are commonplace these days, but Daniel Delgado and Jordan Tetreau have created a unique take on the concept with their “co-warehousing community,” TradeSpace. The first of its kind in Canada, TradeSpace is also a collaboration hub where people working in the trades can bounce ideas off of one another and build a community. “TradeSpace is a platform for growth,” says Delgado. “We want people to use the space to grow every aspect of their business, whether it is production, distribution or eCommerce. This can be that place.” TradeSpace opened in April, 2018, and quickly outgrew its original 10,000-square-foot warehouse. In 2019, the company moved into a new 40,000-square-foot space in the Highfield Industrial area, then added an additional 30,000 square feet through the acquisition of existing warehouse space for a total of 70,000 square feet. By June, 2019, there were 15 companies and approximately 45 people (employees and owners of the 15 companies) working out of TradeSpace. Today, TradeSpace supports nearly 60 companies, and member organizations have hired more than 40 new employees, shared over $1 million in referred business among each other, and contributed an estimated $15 million to the local economy. “Our members pay for the exact amount of space they need, when they need it, which helps them manage overhead and become more resilient,” Tetreau says. For Delgado and Tetreau, TradeSpace is a way to grow business in Calgary, to welcome start-ups, to encourage growth and innovation, but more than anything else, to build a network of like-minded people. “We want everyone to work together, share ideas, lean on one another,” says Delgado. “TradeSpace can be that community.” —T.K.
H A I R B Y E M I LY H U N K I N G , A R T I S T S W I T H I N ; M A K E U P B Y J A S M I N J A L E E L , A R T I S T S W I T H I N . O P P O S I T E P A G E : H A I R B Y R O Z B H A N W A T H , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y Z A I N A B L A L - R I K A B I , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
Co-Founders of TradeSpace
DR. ANTOINE DUFOUR Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
i Dr. Antoine Dufour leads groundbreaking research looking for the signatures of inflammatory diseases to find the right drug for the right person at the right time.
“SUCCESS IS NOT A STRAIGHT LINE. YOUR FAILURES AFFECT YOU MORE AND THEN DICTATE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO NEXT.”
s a kid, Dr. Antoine Dufour wanted to be a hockey player, a scientist and an artist when he grew up. Now, that’s exactly what he is. Dufour, who grew up in Quebec City, was drafted to play junior hockey in Saskatchewan at 17. He spent three years playing junior, while working on his English and reading about quantum physics for fun. “I’m like a kid in a candy store with science,” he says. Hockey led to a NCAA scholarship at the State University of New York at Oswego where he studied chemistry. Later, during his PhD, Dufour fell head over heels for a complex area of health research called proteomics. His research led to two US patents for novel cancer therapies. Today, with his own lab at UCalgary, Dufour focuses on proteases, the molecular scissors that snip or change proteins to alter their function, often due to disease. He works on multidisciplinary teams exploring things like multiple sclerosis, cancer, the effects of exercise on disease and now COVID-19. “It’s like solving puzzles. We have, say, 30 pieces of the puzzle but we don’t know how many pieces the puzzle has yet,” says Dufour. He uses his hands in the air to illustrate the way an immune cell grabs hold of bacteria. “Most people don’t get to see that kind of beauty in the way things work,” he says. “But we get this little window of understanding and it’s super exciting.” Dufour sees failure as a critical step in every success. “Success is not a straight line. Your failures affect you more and then dictate what you’re going to do next,” he says. He made that artist thing happen, too. He has written two books and is working on a third, and also does scientific photography. “I value diverse art forms as a scientist because it’s an efficient way to explain challenging concepts to a non-scientific audience,” says Dufour. — C.F. avenuecalgary.com
NICOLE DY E R Co-President and Director at Vytality At Home
i Nicole Dyer co-founded a tech start-up that connects older adults and their families with caregivers who can provide personalized service, enabling seniors to live independently for longer.
“EVERY CHALLENGE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND GROW.”
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H A I R B Y P AY T O N S I M O N S , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y S Y D N E Y G A T A I A N T, A R T I S T S W I T H I N
hen Nicole Dyer graduated from the University of Calgary with an economics degree, the seniors’ housing company where she worked as a part-time receptionist offered her a full-time job. Dyer said she’d try it for three months as she wasn’t sure the industry was for her. Thirteen years later, she still works in senior care but now at the helm of her own award-winning tech company, Vytality At Home. “I was lucky to find something that I was truly passionate about and made it my life’s work,” she says. In February, 2019, Dyer and business partner Brad Lohman launched Vytality, an app and web-based program for seniors and their families to select caregivers and services for in-home care. Clients can request a specific support worker to make meals, play games, or clean house, for example, and at a specific time. The client’s family can receive confirmations that a caregiver has arrived and carried out services. “We’re providing people with choice, which they haven’t had,” says Dyer. “I believe that we’re providing families with peace of mind from a transparency perspective.” The idea for Vytality grew out of Dyer’s own experience. Her grandmother lived alone and relied on home care services, but her family didn’t know if and when help had come. When older adults can access the help they need, when they need it, they’re more likely to live at home and independently longer — which is important to quality of life for many people, says Dyer. “The current senior wants that choice, the up-and-coming senior will mandate it,” she says. In Vytality’s first year, the company grew to have 55 employees. Many are mature workers and foreigntrained health professionals who previously struggled to secure employment. Mother to two young children, Dyer says the last three years have been a whirlwind of new challenges. But, she says, it’s never been so rewarding. —C.F.
JUSTIN EYFORD JEREMY HO BEN PUT H A I R A N D M A K E U P B Y S AVA N A H S P O O N E R , A RT I S T S W I T H I N
Co-Founders, Monogram Coffee
i Eyford, Ho and Put have grown their business from a pop-up coffee cart into three bricks-and-mortar cafés and a global-export operation, while holding steadfast to their principles and values.
eople over profit, community investment and caretaking the future of their industry are values shared by Monogram Coffee’s three founders. Jeremy Ho (the wisecracking wit who steers the brand), Justin Eyford (the thoughtful supply chain and operations savant) and Ben Put (the stoic quality-control expert) met while working at Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. They banded together and launched Monogram in 2014. Since then, Eyford, Ho and Put have grown the business from a single hand-built coffee cart to three bricks-and-mortar cafés and an international export business. Company revenue in 2019 was $4.5 million. That success is partly due to national and global competition wins: Put is a highly decorated competitive barista with an impressive list of honours, who now coaches other baristas. This year, his guidance helped Monogram’s Jill Hoff win the Canadian Barista Championship for the first time. Numbers and prestige aren’t the be-all and endall for the Monogram founders, though. Eyford
vets each international coffee supplier to make sure dealings are safe and fair for all parties. Ho keeps the company values — especially that of being of service to the community — front of mind in all decisionmaking as pertaining to the company’s future. The trio’s COVID-19-era decisions demonstrate these values in action. Since June, Monogram has donated all proceeds from in-café drink sales on the first day of the month to justice-focused causes. The company has also given away hundreds of pounds of coffee to front-line workers. When Monogram staff didn’t feel safe returning to work, the team kept cafés closed, while translating the Monogram experience to patrons’ homes through educational content and new bulk products. “What we’re all truly in this for is to improve people’s lives through coffee,” says Ho. “When I look at the communities that we’re a part of, and how much joy it brings to us as a team and the people that come into our stores ... It’s something that I see as actually life-impacting.” —C.G. avenuecalgary.com
38 CAITLIN GALLICHAN-LOWE Drama Specialist and Program Coordinator for Western Canada High School, Calgary Board of Education
i Gallichan-Lowe explores difficult themes that interest her students to create new theatre works with them, including the first-ever high-school show to be presented at the One Yellow Rabbit’s High Peformance Rodeo.
“SO MUCH OF WHO I AM, AND ANYTHING GOOD THAT’S EVER HAPPENED HERE HAS BEEN BECAUSE OF MY STUDENTS. I FEEL LIKE THEY’RE THE REAL TOP 40 UNDER 40S.”
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H A I R B Y E M I LY H U N K I N G , A R T I S T S W I T H I N ; M A K E U P B Y J A Z J A L E E L , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
aitlin Gallichan-Lowe “wouldn’t exist” without theatre. Her parents met at the National Theatre School and enrolled her in art school. While theatre is vital to her, she believes arts education is more about empowering people’s voices than learning any specific discipline. Gallichan-Lowe has been the only drama teacher for Western Canada High School for the last 12 years. Her job entails artistic creation and classroom instruction, including budgeting, producing, directing, designing and promoting plays, plus serving on committees and student counselling and mentoring. Over the years, Ms. G (as she’s known) and her students have created an entire catalogue of boundary-pushing theatre works. This past year, their Revolution Or Slumber became the first high-school show in the High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts. Slumber deals with themes that affect her students’ lives: climate change, finding a voice, and the increasing burden on our next generation to quite literally save the world. Gallichan-Lowe also works with Western’s gay-straight alliance and has helped to organize the annual “HomoHop” where LGBTQ2S+ youth from Calgary-area high schools gather to celebrate during Western’s in-school Pride Week. She also volunteers with Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek camp, a theatre program for kids from all over Alberta but that is particularly special for kids in rural areas who may not have access to the kinds of opportunities available to those in cities. She has also helped form an intergenerational queer-straight alliance called StrongHold to connect LGBTQ2S+ people of all ages. “I want to do everything in my power to make sure these kids are heard,” she says. “Because we need to hear them.” —C.G.
37 I LY A N F E R R E R Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, and Associate Member, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary
i The first Filipino Canadian to receive a tenure-track position in social work in Canada, Ilyan Ferrer is a nationally recognized expert in social gerontology.
“THE WAY THAT I WENT THROUGH SCHOOL WAS VERY HIERARCHICAL AND IT WAS HARD TO FIND NURTURING SUPERVISORS OR MENTORS. SO WHAT I LEARNED IS TO BE THAT PERSON.”
lyan Ferrer researches how aging, immigration, labour and care intersect and codeveloped the concept of “anti-oppression gerontology,” with Dr. Wendy Hulko, Dr. Shari Brotman and Dr. Louise Stern. The subject is close to his heart: his parents immigrated to Montreal from the Philippines in the 1970s, and growing up he witnessed first-hand many of the things that he now investigates as an academic. “As a scholar, it is my responsibility to share these stories and develop innovative techniques that promote social change,” he says. Ferrer is a recognized expert in social gerontology, and in using techniques such as photovoice (a fusion of oral history and imagery to show a subject’s reality) to highlight the realities of marginalized populations. He has been lead researcher on five research grants and co-lead researcher on seven grants totalling more than $2.8 million. One of his co-lead research efforts is a seven-year national project that will develop a multi-level and multi-component intervention to promote social connectedness among older, racialized immigrants. Ferrer is also working on a study with the local charity Carya about social inclusion and exclusion of older adults as a result of social distancing efforts. Outside academia, Ferrer is a leader in the Filipino community. He was part of the first Filipino Leadership Conference in 2018 and was one of the original members of Sikolohiyang Pilipino Calgary, an intergenerational group that examines processes of decolonization in the community. “What I’ve learned outside of the classroom is to always be humble and receive criticism, and to be extra careful that what you’re teaching is what the community wants,” Ferrer says. “I don’t necessarily define success as an individual trait, but rather the success of the community.” —S.A.
31 K AT I E G R E E N Self-employed Visual Artist
i Artist Katie Green creates striking murals and public art works that impact Calgary’s urban environments and inspire community connection.
“THE ARTS COMMUNITY IN CALGARY SEEMS YOUNG, BUT WITH THAT COMES AN EAGERNESS AND CURIOSITY TO GROW, EXPAND AND BUILD.”
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HAIR BY SARAH AZIZI, DIVA SALONSPA; MAKEUP BY ISABELLA MANSBRIDGE, ARTISTS WITHIN
atie Green has been creating murals since 2012, with her first mural project in Kathmandu, Nepal. That was when she truly started exploring public art and the impact it has on its environment. She began to recognize the responsibility of entering an environment and altering it, therefore changing the way people experience that environment. “I saw how this created opportunities for conversation and relationship building,” Green says. “Working in public spaces presented a way that I could connect with people.” Green’s most ambitious public art display so far is Bridge, painted on 16 separate surfaces along the East Village RiverWalk, including public washrooms, sheds and bridge abutments. The process for creating Bridge had Green collaborating with 13 Calgarians, aged 13 to 65, from a range of community groups including the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, The Salvation Army and others. Commissioned by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the work took her four months to complete. “[Bridge] was really important for me because it was the first time I integrated my painting practice in a way where I was able to connect with people in what felt like a more meaningful and tangible way,” she says. Green has also done murals for cSpace King Edward, the Beltline Urban Murals Project, Calgary Public Library’s Bowness location and the Department of Art at the University of Calgary. She is now participating in the City of Calgary-commissioned Black Lives Matter mural series in partnership with Pink Flamingo and other groups, maintaining her focus on collaborative work, though with a more behind-the-scenes role providing leadership to other artists. “I want any tools and skills I have learned within my practice to be ones that are helpful to others,” Green says. “A big reason I create work is to not only explore the relationship I have to myself, but to move from that place to be in relationship with others.” —S.J.
IT TAKE S DIVERSITY THINKERS DOERS CONNECTION LEADERS STRENGTH INNOVATORS PRIDE
TO BUILD A COMMUNIT Y I N 2 016 , SA I T M A R K E D I TS CENTENNIAL AND HUNDREDS OF A LU M N I, E M PLOY E ES , ST U DEN TS A N D NEIGHBOURS JOINED TOGETHER TO C ELEBR ATE TH IS EXTR AOR DI NA RY C O M M U N I T Y . T H I S Y E A R W E H AV E H I T A N O T H E R M I L E S T O N E – W E H AV E R E AC H E D OU R 250,0 0 0 GR A DUAT E .
A QUARTER MILLION GRADUATES AND COUNTING. A QUARTER MILLION LIVES CHANGED BY A SAIT EDUCATION. Graduates – like those being recognized as some of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 this year – are making a difference in our city, throughout Canada and around the world. SAIT graduates can be found in every facet of society as we know it now and are leaders in creating what’s to come. SAIT congratulates all Top 40 Under 40 honourees and is proud of the vast achievements of our growing alumni family.
38 DR. RACHEL GRIMMINCK Clinical Medical Director for Psychiatric Emergency Services at Foothills Medical Centre and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
i Dr. Rachel Grimminck improves care for those with mental illness by innovating the education of the health-care providers who look after them.
“WE HELP GIVE PEOPLE THEIR LIVES BACK IN THE MOST PROFOUND WAY AND HELP THEIR FAMILIES GET THEIR LOVED ONES BACK.”
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H A I R B Y P AY T O N S I M O N S , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y S Y D N E Y G A T A I A N T, A R T I S T S W I T H I N
hen Dr. Rachel Grimminck needed surgery as an undergrad student, a group of health care workers stood in her room and discussed her fever, but never introduced themselves. She remembers thinking, “[Medicine] doesn’t seem nearly as hard as I thought it would be — and I would introduce myself to the patient.” She applied to medical school soon after. Today, Grimminck is the clinical medical director for psychiatric emergency services at Foothills Medical Centre and cares for patients in hospital. She also created a first-of-its-kind in Western Canada program to help health-care workers navigate tricky situations involving patients with mental health issues. Grimminck helps train actors to simulate clinical scenarios such as highly agitated patients or patients who violate sexual boundaries. “It’s about creating an environment that’s safe for patients and staff, so anybody can speak up if something’s not right,” says Grimminck, who received a prestigious national award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for this work. Widely used in other areas of medicine, simulation is still in its infancy in psychiatry. Grimminck is adamant that mental illness has been overlooked for too long, with severe consequences. She wants people with mental illness to know their condition can improve, especially if they seek treatment early. “People suffer for so long and so much, and that’s not necessary.” An avid cyclist who commutes by bike, Grimminck is past president of the Foothills Medical Centre’s Medical Staff Association and chairs the local committee on women in medical leadership. When she’s stressed about a new challenge, Grimminck recalls advice her mom gave her: be curious and ask questions. “It’s a really good place to start learning how to better understand something.” —C.F.
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37 NEIL GRUNINGER Uncle, Co-Founder and President at Kidoodle.TV
i Neil Gruninger helped develop one of the safest video-streaming platforms in the world for kids.
“OUR SERVICE HELPS PARENTS WITH THE EVERYDAY. WE GIVE KIDS A SAFE SPACE AND GIVE PARENTS A BREAK.”
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H A I R B Y S A M A N T H A C U C H , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y A LY S S A N I E D Z I E L S K I , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
creen time can be hard to limit at the best of times, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, what was once difficult became near impossible. As screen time has jumped exponentially for most families, parents struggle even more to monitor what their kids are watching. That’s where Kidoodle.TV comes in. “Kidoodle. TV is a safe-streaming video service where families can watch all their favourites in a safe sandbox we’ve created,” says Neil Gruninger, who created the app with CEO Michael Lowe. “Humans screen all of our shows, which is a big differentiator. This gives parents peace of mind knowing their kids aren’t watching content that is harmful.” In 2014, Kidoodle.TV launched commercially across Canada and the U.S., and is now available in more than 160 countries through Apple and Android devices as well as on connected TV platforms and smart TVs. “We’re one of the top dogs now, and it’s a big space with big players,” Gruninger says. The company continues to set Kidoodle.TV apart by vetting ads and providing extras like a safe place for users to upload and share their own family videos. The pandemic has amplified demand with more than six million monthly active users as of midSeptember. “We’ve hired 35 people just during COVID,” Gruninger says. This more than doubles the company’s employee count. The Kidoodle journey was far from easy, though. Early on, Gruninger moved into Lowe’s basement. The move saved him money but also gave him access to a testing team for the app — Lowe’s kids. “We had a lot of naysayers,” says Gruninger about those early years, “but it’s about believing in what you’re doing and pushing forward… It doesn’t happen overnight.” As Kidoodle.TV builds on its 25,000-plus episode library with original content that’s produced locally, Gruninger and Lowe remain dedicated to families. That’s why Gruninger’s first job title reads: “Uncle.” “Our company is families first,” he says. “What we do at home matters.” —C.S.
39 D R . R I TA HENDERSON Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
i Dr. Rita Henderson makes health care more responsive to the social drivers of disease.
H A I R B Y N A T U L LY B A O , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
“LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS BECAUSE YOU WON’T LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE THEM ALL YOURSELF.”
r. Rita Henderson’s dad used to tell her a lesson from his pilot training: “Learn from the mistakes of others because you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Henderson says it’s advice that she tries to follow in her work in health research, too. “Be humble. Be at the table willing to fix errors.” Henderson earned her PhD addressing the social impacts of multigenerational trauma in Chile and adapted that to focus on the health effects of historical trauma among Indigenous communities in North America. She educates physicians on ways to improve clinical care experiences for medically underserved groups, and co-leads national and provincial projects on the health of Indigenous patients, including in the areas of diabetes, brain health and the overdose crisis. “What I do is address inequities within white systems. And I say that as a person who is of settler background,” she says. “As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says, reconciliation is a responsibility of all Canadians.” Her research has brought in over $2 million to focus on the social determinants of health among vulnerable and at-risk populations in Alberta. She also helped secure a $3.5 million grant to improve Indigenous primary care across the province. Henderson is driven to make sure everyone has access to not only health care, but to opportunity. “On the one hand, it’s about justice and human rights, but fundamentally, it’s about optimizing the potential of all people,” she says. As a mother of two, Henderson is at the stage where many women’s academic careers falter as they try to balance family, research and funding cycles, bu she’s intent on changing that — both for herself and future generations of women scholars. “It’s not just about having a woman on board. It’s about having a whole different way of looking at problems,” she says. —C.F. avenuecalgary.com
38 JASON JOGIA Chief Investment Officer, Avenue Living Asset Management
i Jason Jogia has transformed what real estate investment can look like and teaches others how to succeed in the industry.
“THINKING BIG IS VERY IMPORTANT. BUT, SO TOO, IS BEING HUMBLE AND WORKING REALLY HARD.”
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H A I R B Y N A T U L LY B A O , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N O N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
ason Jogia has mastered the ability to break a big plan into bite-sized steps. “Whatever the goal, I can bring it back to operational and financial needs so we can achieve it,” he says. “I’m like a walking Gantt chart.” In 2016, Jogia joined Avenue Living, one of the largest private real estate owner-operators in Western Canada (and no relation to Avenue magazine). There, he is now accountable for more than $1.7 billion in assets. Avenue Living invests in and operates properties including multi-family housing, storage, agricultural and commercial — not necessarily a glamorous portfolio. “The investor preference is the shiny object, the new build that looks cool and sexy on the brochure,” says Jogia. “But we’ve brought attention and credibility to investing in the everyday.” By repackaging the mundane to reveal lucrative potential, Jogia has attracted $500 million in alternative equity investment. In fact, Avenue Living has privately raised more money than any real estate initial public offering (IPO) in Canada in the last three years. In doing so, the company created more than 200 jobs with no layoff plans, and remained a net-positive employer during the pandemic. Beyond the office, Jogia sits on the Calgary Public Library Foundation board as part of its audit and finance committee, and teaches at the University of Calgary. He put his three finance degrees to use to design an inaugural course on real estate investing that has led to a new MBA and BComm specialization program at UCalgary's Haskayne School of Business. “Teaching allows me to train and mentor; l love having the privilege to do that,” he says. Growing up in Calgary in a home with four generations under one roof, Jogia learned to work hard and stretch a dollar through the example of his immigrant father’s entrepreneurialism. And it’s his family that inspires him to this day. “If it wasn’t for my parents, my spouse, my mentors — including Anthony Giuffre, Avenue Living’s founder and CEO — I wouldn’t be creating value and pushing boundaries,” he says. —C.S.
HAIR BY SARAH AZIZI, DIVA SALONSPA; MAKEUP BY ISABELLA MANSBRIDGE, ARTISTS WITHIN
HANIF JOSHAGHANI Co-Founder and CEO, Symend
T I F FA N Y KAMINSKY Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Symend
i Tech entrepreneurs Hanif Joshaghani and Tiffany Kaminsky are transforming the way large companies deal with delinquent accounts by providing a platform that treats customers with empathy and dignity.
he traditional approach to debt collection is a lose-lose scenario: the service provider loses a customer and the customer faces the ruinous consequences of a poor credit rating. Calgary tech entrepreneurs Hanif Joshaghani and Tiffany Kaminsky are transforming debt-recovery for the better. The company they co-founded, Symend, helps organizations develop individualized “treatment” programs for at-risk accounts. “Symend is not collections; we are in the business of helping consumers,” Kaminsky says. “We help our clients better engage their customers, while helping the consumers avoid the collections process.” Since launching in 2016, Symend has grown to have more than 200 employees, with headquarters in Calgary and offices in Toronto and Denver. By the end of this year, the company will have treated approximately 100 million customers for clients that include major North American telecommunications providers and financial institutions. And they’re only getting started: Symend recently secured $52 million USD in the largest “Series B-
stage” fundraising round in recent Alberta history. The company received the CIBC Fintech Startup of the Year Award for 2019 and both co-founders are rising stars in Canadian tech: Joshaghani is a member of the C100, a national association of technology CEOs, and Kaminsky was named one of Canada’s Top 50 Women in FinTech for 2019 by the Digital Finance Institute. Though Symend is poised to make an impact globally, the co-founders continue to give back locally by volunteering to mentor and coach. They’ve made charitable giving part of Symend’s corporate culture by supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the U.S.A. For both co-founders, their mission is as important a measure of success as profits. “Our ‘north star’ of treating people respectfully and giving them dignity throughout the process has really been our foundation,” says Kaminsky. “We don’t view this as a business, but rather a calling and a mission,” Joshaghani says. “That’s what drives us … it’s our fuel.” —S.A. avenuecalgary.com
“ONE OF MY FAVOURITE QUOTES IS FROM ONE OF MY MENTORS, DR. SYLVAIN CODERRE: ‘WHEN ALL ELSE
DR. RAHIM KACHRA Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine; Director of Teaching Innovation and Director of the Internal Medicine Clerkship, Undergraduate Medical Education, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary; MD Training Officer for Department of Medicine COVID Medicine Emergency-Pandemic Operations Command
i Dr. Rahim Kachra uses innovative methodologies to redesign medical education and has created virtual education opportunities to teach medical students and resident and practicing physicians, before and during the pandemic.
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r. Rahim Kachra’s accomplishments in 2020 alone are numerous: as the director of teaching innovation in undergraduate medical education at the University of Calgary he led a team in designing a new prototype for medical education that moves away from traditional models of training. He also helped create virtual education programs to teach medical students during the pandemic and organized the teaching of more than 600 local physicians who enlisted to work on inpatient COVID-19 medical units. In his research work, Dr. Kachra co-led a team that set up the largest international survey of medical trainees to better understand the impact of their training being interrupted by COVID-19. He and his team also transformed the Calgary Interprofessional Challenge (which he co-created in 2016), renaming it the COVID Intervention Challenge and taking it to a virtual platform across the country. Dr. Kachra has also treated hundreds of medically complex patients hospitalized on the Internal
Medicine unit with everything ranging from heart failure to liver disease to kidney injuries to COVID-19. And if that wasn’t enough, he also got married in July. “I am terrible at work-life balance,” he admits. Dr. Kachra says he chose internal medicine because he enjoys complex problem solving and having the opportunity to learn something new every day. “I knew in medicine, especially internal medicine, I would always be challenged,” he says. He also has a Master of Education degree from Harvard. “I wanted to learn from people who work outside of medicine,” he says. “We often look at innovation as something that has to be a brand new idea, but innovation may be something that is adopted from one field and used in a different context.” The son of immigrant parents from East Africa who raised him in Edmonton, Dr. Kachra credits his family with his success. “They sacrificed so much for me,” he says. His goal for 2021? To spend more time with them. —C.F.
H A I R B Y M A N D Y K W A N , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N O P P O S I T E P A G E : M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
FAILS, YOU CAN ALWAYS BE DILIGENT AND KIND.’”
39 N AT H A N YO ' E L LENET Executive Director of Freed Artist Society and ReFreshed Crew
i Nathan Lenet helps Indigenous youth grow their resiliency and remain connected to their culture.
“OUR BIG SUCCESSES ARE SUPPORTING THE YOUTH TO MOVE ON AND FIND THEIR OWN SUCCESS.”
athan Yo'el Lenet’s life is guided by the tenets of hip-hop and rap music: fight for yourself and for those who haven’t had a fair shot. As the founder and executive director of Freed Art Society and the youth hip-hop and urban arts program ReFreshed, Lenet works primarily with Indigenous youth on- and off-reserve, encouraging them to pursue artistic endeavours that speak about what they have experienced. He handles just about everything in regards to both non-profit organizations, from grant writing and securing funding, to organizing workshops with communities and Elders and teaching kids about beat-making and rapping. ReFreshed seeks to empower Indigenous youth through resilience-based initiatives that not only inspire creativity but address trauma and focus on selfesteem and self-love. “Our mission is, essentially, to support vulnerable, Indigenous youth through arts, culture, mentorship and apprenticeship,” says Lenet. “Everything is already there for these kids, but it may be hidden because of trauma inflicted by colonialism. We want to bring it out.” Currently, the ReFreshed Crew consists of around 25 people — both contract employees and volunteers. Over the past five years, ReFreshed has presented 260 workshops for up to 60 youth at a time in the communities of Morley and Eden Valley (Stoney Nakoda Nation) as well as Tsuut’ina Nation. The Crew has also visited northern Alberta, British Columbia and Sierra Leone to share their work. After a smudge and opening ceremony performed by Elders in the community, the session participants and ReFreshed Crew share a meal and then the youth split into four groups focused on different aspects of hip-hop creation: music-making (DJ-ing and beat-making), dance (hip-hop and breaking), rap and visual arts/graffiti. “They are just kids; the most earnest kids,” says Lenet. “Yeah, they have seen a lot and been through more than some adults, but they are amazing to work with and they are so open and willing to learn and support each other. It’s beautiful.” —T.K. avenuecalgary.com
DR. ALEXANDER LEUNG Endocrinologist, Alberta Health Services, and Assistant Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
“A GOOD DOCTOR IS NOT NECESSARILY THE SMARTEST DOCTOR BUT THE DILIGENT ONE … THEY’RE THE ONES WHO ARE GOING TO CONSIDER THINGS A BIT MORE. THEY’RE NOT GOING TO WRITE OFF THINGS THAT AREN’T EXPLAINED.”
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igh blood pressure affects one in four Canadian adults (approximately 250,000 Calgarians) and a conservative estimate is that 10 per cent of all high blood pressure cases are caused by hormonal imbalances. Endocrinologist Dr. Alexander Leung identifies and treats a variety of hormone disorders, but his key area of interest is those relating to high blood pressure. He has earned international recognition for his research, which seeks to improve how doctors diagnose and test those with high blood pressure and to increase the use of available and effective treatments. Interaction with patients fuels his research. “I really do enjoy seeing patients.” he says. “Each time I see a person in a clinic, they tell me a story and their stories generate questions for me.” Leung has received more than $5 million in research grants and awards, including two highly competitive federal grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research totaling $1 million. He was lead author for the 2016 and 2017 Hypertension Canada clinical practice guidelines for high blood pressure (a reference widely used by health-care workers) and is a co-chair of Hypertension Canada’s research and evaluation committee. Locally, Leung volunteers as lead for May Measurement Month in Calgary, an outreach initiative to measure blood pressure in the general public, which has engaged 500 individuals since 2017. “I think that all physicians should have some sort of accountability or stewardship toward the general public,” he says. In work, and in life, he also holds a strong belief in remaining humble. “Humble pie is nutritious and good for me.” he says. —S.A.
H A I R B Y S A R A H A Z I Z I , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y I S A B E L L A M A N S B R I D G E , A R T I S T S W I T H I N . O P P O S I T E P A G E : H A I R B Y M A N D Y K W A N , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y L I LY A H O N E N , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
i Dr. Alexander Leung is a leading voice in diagnosing and treating the hormonal imbalances that cause high blood pressure.
DR. EDEN MCCAFFREY Project Director, childmentalhealth.ca; Program Facilitator, Alberta Health Services; Therapist and Owner, Ascend Services
i Dr. Eden McCaffrey is an educator and clinical therapist whose innovative CanREACH program has helped kids with mental health concerns get treatment faster.
D “MENTAL HEALTH IS THE LARGEST HEALTH PROBLEM FACING CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN CANADA.”
r. Eden McCaffrey has been dreaming up ways to improve kids’ health since she was three. That’s when her brother James was born with biliary atresia, a liver disease. He died at eight years old, after a life of continuous medical treatment. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I always wanted to help kids,” says McCaffrey, who has a doctorate in medical education and is a trained clinical therapist, specializing in children’s mental health and trauma. For Alberta Health Services, McCaffrey created CanREACH, a program that has trained 350 primary care physicians to identify and treat pediatric mental illness. Doctors who took the program reduced the need for emergency treatment for psychiatric disorders in children and decreased referrals to child psychiatrists. The program is now being implemented in Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well. “Mental health is the largest health problem facing children and youth in Canada,” says McCaffrey. She points out there’s room for improvement — only one in five kids who meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder receive an intervention, and most adult mental illness begins in childhood. “If we address things in childhood, we can prevent a lot of problems down the road,” she says. To identify kids at risk, McCaffrey launched childmentalhealth.ca, a website that connects physicians and families with evidence-based tools to help diagnose mental health issues. McCaffrey enlisted her husband, Brett McCaffrey, an IT specialist, to build it. (The pair is competitive as well as collaborative: they’ve kept a running tally of their Scrabble scores since they started dating in 2005.) McCaffrey also runs a private therapy practice called Ascend Services and is a court-appointed expert on mental health, trauma, child abuse and parenting assessments. “I get to see the difference that even one caring adult can make for a child and I feel lucky to get to do that work,” she says. — C.F. avenuecalgary.com
K AT E MCKENZIE Director of Worldviews Productions and Manager at ATB X
i Kate McKenzie creates films that share inspiring stories of hope and resiliency, and also helps entrepreneurs thrive through ATB X.
“MY PARENTS GAVE ME GREAT ADVICE WHEN I WAS A KID. THEY SAID, DO SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE AND SOMETHING THAT MAKES THE WORLD A LITTLE BIT BETTER.”
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unior high teacher turned filmmaker Kate McKenzie is open about her yearslong battle with depression. It’s part of the reason she created Worldviews Productions, a film company focused on stories of hope amongst challenges and struggles. Her first feature-length documentary, The Secret Marathon, sold out two theatres during the Calgary Underground Film Festival — a first in the festival’s history. The film documents the stories of women who run in the Marathon of Afghanistan. “Many of the women that participate in the marathon, this is actually their first time running outside,” says McKenzie. “[Normally] when they run outside, people throw rocks at them, call them a prostitute or send them threatening messages.” The marathon’s location is even kept a secret until the last minute to prevent terrorists from attacking participants. After filming The Secret Marathon, McKenzie started The Secret 3k run/walk. This year, The Secret 3k was hosted in 16 locations across Canada and half the proceeds went to Girl Guides of Canada, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and the Marathon of Afghanistan itself. McKenzie’s message of positive storytelling has resonated with audiences. She has travelled throughout Canada to produce short documentary films about unsung heroes and has she conducted 25 workshops and presentations to 750 people across Canada to promote the power of sharing positive news. She was also invited to share her experience and findings through a TEDxYYC talk. McKenzie also manages ATB X — an accelerator program for growth-stage businesses. “I love that I get to help entrepreneurs as well as tell amazing stories of cool people doing awesome things. I kind of feel like I have the best job ever.” —S.J.
D R . C A R LY MCMORRIS Assistant Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary; Registered Child Clinical Psychologist
i Dr. Carly McMorris increases awareness of mental health problems in kids and teens with neurodevelopmental disabilities and is helping build a support system for their families.
H A I R B Y P AY T O N S I M O N S , D I V A S A L O N S P A ; M A K E U P B Y S Y D N E Y G A L I A N T, A R T I S T S W I T H I N
“THE HARDEST LESSON FOR ME IS JUST TO BE PATIENT. SMALL CHANGES ARE STILL IMPORTANT, BUT BIG CHANGES TAKE A LOT OF TIME.”
r. Carly McMorris is changing the perception of mental health in children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs) such as autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Though this population is highly prone to anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings, their needs are often overlooked. “What I hear from parents I work with and the kids I see in our therapy groups is that just naming it and identifying it and validating it for families is so powerful and therapeutic in itself,” McMorris says. In just under four years in her position as assistant professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology program in the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education and director of the ENHANCE Lab (enriching research in neurodevelopment, health and child education), McMorris has become a leading voice in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health. She is one of very few researchers in Canada examining suicide in children and youth with autism, and she has received local, national and international funding, including an $89,000 USD award from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. ENHANCE recently published the first paper showing that there are no valid or effective tools to assess for suicide in children and youth with autism. McMorris also led the Calgary-wide implementation of a group treatment for NDD youth with anxiety, and has conducted numerous workshops and professional development seminars for agencies and clinics to better serve NDD patients. She also volunteers with Special Olympics Canada as one of three Canadian clinical directors of the Strong Minds program. “The worst thing for me is doing work that doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t change anything” McMorris says. “How I define success is whether I can have an impact.” —S.A. avenuecalgary.com
C A I T LY N N E MEDREK Owner and Magic Maker, YYC Princess
i Caitlynne Medrek is an awardwinning actress and entrepreneur who molds the young minds of tomorrow through the magic of being a princess.
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H A I R B Y E M I LY H U N K I N G , A R T I S T S W I T H I N ; M A K E U P B Y J A S M I N J A L E E L , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
ver since her first theatre performance at the age of 10, Caitlynne Medrek has acted professionally throughout North America, winning multiple awards including a Betty Mitchell Award in 2019 for her role in Theatre Calgary’s Billy Elliot and an Indie Soap Award for Best Breakout Performance for an Actress for her work on the web series Out With Dad. Medrek acted in Toronto and L.A., but faced body image issues due to her small frame and childlike enthusiasm. She decided she needed to find a way to keep acting — but outside of the industry. The lessons she learned she now passes on to her young audiences. “The biggest thing I do is teach people that it’s okay to be yourself,” says Medrek. Through her company, YYC Princess, Medrek and her team of actors-turned-princesses perform musical theatre numbers to children in hospitals, at birthday parties and at the summer camps they run, all while wearing corsets. Since Medrek launched her business in 2016, she has donated money and supplied characters for numerous charity events. In 2018, YYC Princess staged an original musical that raised $1,000 for Make-aWish Canada. She creates other live-action musicals and events, writes scripts and organizes the events of her summer day camps. Medrek also continues to take on stage and screen roles — she played Ewan McGregor’s daughter in season three of Fargo. Medrek ensures that YYC Princess performers are inclusive, diverse and speak a variety of languages — including sign language — so that all children can see themselves reflected in the characters. “It’s so important that we start telling young boys that it’s okay to emote, it’s okay to feel and it’s okay to put on a dress,” she says. Medrek says making magic for children is about nurturing the small details for a big impact. “When you hug a kid, you never let go first, because you never know how much they might need it,” she says. —T.A.
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39 KRISTINA ORIOLD JEN WOODS Co-Founders of Tiny Footprints
i Kristina Oriold and Jen Woods have raised nearly half a million dollars for pregnancy and infant loss programs in Calgary over the last four years and created a powerful community of support for families in doing so.
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n May 2016, Kristina Oriold went to her friend Jen Woods with the idea to host a fundraiser for pregnancy and infant loss programs. Just five months later, along with a newly formed committee of Calgary women, they hosted the first Tiny Footprints Gala. Now, proceeds from the foundation’s annual event have reached almost a half-million dollars. Tiny Footprints was the primary benefactor for the renovation of the pregnancy and infant loss center in the Foothills Medical Centre, and the group’s fundraising has also benefitted programs at the South Health Campus, Rockyview General Hospital and Peter Lougheed Centre. “We felt the city’s need for this support, and that drove us to the next year, and the next year,” says Oriold. The greater value of Tiny Footprints is the community created for Calgary families who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. Oriold’s own loss her daughter Riley in 2011, motivated the creation of Tiny Footprints. As a nurse, she was able to access support programs quite easily, and she credits counselling with helping ease the acute grief that came with losing a child. She wanted to give back in the hopes of helping other women like her. Given that it is estimated that each year in Calgary one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, the need is significant. Best friends since high school, Oriold and Woods have navigated the highs and lows of life together, and they bring that sense of sisterhood to their organization. They now have a group of well over 100 women who come together in a safe space, free of stigma, to share their personal stories of grief. “It’s really powerful to see women coming together through this, I think that’s an amazing component,” says Oriold. “People are passionate to give back to this cause.” —T.A.
H A I R B Y R O Z B H A N WAT H , D I VA S A L O N S PA ; M A K E U P B Y Z A I N A B A L - R I K A B I , A RT I S T S W I T H I N
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DR. AARON PHILLIPS Assistant Professor in Physiology and Pharmacology, Clinical Neurosciences and Cardiac Sciences and member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
i Dr. Aaron Phillips leads groundbreaking research that is improving people’s lives after spinal cord injuries.
“YOU NEED SERIOUS BELIEF IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING. YOU HAVE TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT IT.”
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H A I R A N D M A K E U P B Y S AVA N N A H S P O O N E R , A RT I S T S W I T H I N
pinal cord injuries seem like one of those unsolvable medical problems, but not for Dr. Aaron Phillips. In university, first at Western and then UBC, Phillips studied experimental medicine, neuroscience and physiology, quickly becoming a specialist in spinal cord injury research. Phillips focuses on trying to understand how to stimulate cells in the spinal cord to respond to information from the brain after an injury severs the connection between the two. He’s motivated by the real changes he sees in people with these injuries. In 2017, the University of Calgary recruited him to start his own lab. The following year, he and his colleagues published an important finding: after electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, a patient with a severe spinal cord injury showed significant improvements in his ability to regulate blood pressure. (Blood pressure instability is a potentially fatal problem for many people with these injuries.) To date, Phillips’ lab has secured more than $2.1 million in direct funding, and he has collaborated with others to bring an additional $5.65 million to the university. To speed the process of taking his research into practice, Phillips recently co-founded the company StimSherpa Inc., to connect patients to neurostimulation technology. “I was never good at monotonous jobs,” he says. “Finding something that inspired me, where I could see change, was the major factor that made me want to do this.” He believes success comes down to a few key elements: passion, a strategy, a committed team and a strong belief that you can accomplish what you’re aiming for. “Without that belief, you won’t ever inspire enough great people to work on your vision,” he says. —C.F.
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DR. MICHAEL ROUMELIOTIS Clinical Medical Physicist with Alberta Health Services, Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Medical Physics, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary; CEO of Okolo Health
i Dr. Michael Roumeliotis improves the way radiotherapy is delivered in cancer treatment, demonstrating that new approaches can be more effective for patients and more cost-effective for the health system.
“IN ANY CAPACITY THAT I’M ABLE TO, I TRY TO PERSONALLY AFFECT THE CHANGE THAT I WANT TO SEE.”
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r. Michael Roumeliotis’s job involves a bit of medicine, a bit of physics and a lot of development of new lifesaving techniques and methods. “With my team, my work affects every one of the patients who has radiotherapy by modernizing the way we deliver treatments,” he explains. Dr. Roumeliotis designs and helps administer radiation treatments for cancer patients at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. He determines the best way to deliver radiation while maximizing cancer-fighting benefits and minimizing toxic side effects. While that part of his job is standard for a medical physicist, the rest of what he does is not standard at all. Roumeliotis also co-founded and serves as CEO of Okolo Health. The company aims to make brachytherapy — a cancer treatment that uses tiny radioactive implants placed in the body — more accessible to patients. Okolo aims to improve brachytherapy and help clinicians outside Calgary adopt innovations that were developed here. Okolo grew out of some of the treatments that Roumeliotis and colleagues have already worked on. He and his team have created technologies that improve the way radiation is delivered. They developed a novel method to deliver a five-day treatment for early stage breast cancer that limits toxicity. The method has become a standard of care in Calgary and its success has saved Alberta’s health-care system approximately $1.3 million already. “You can innovate treatments that are actually less expensive for the health care system,” he says. He hopes that by the time he retires, patients will have longer survival after a cancer diagnosis and endure less painful treatments — but he also hopes to see measurable changes before long. “We have the technical skills here and the clinical awareness to solve problems for patients tomorrow, not just five or 10 years from now,” he says. —C.F.
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RÉMI S C H M A LT Z CEO and Co-Founder, Decisive Farming
As CEO of Decisive Farming, Rémi Schmaltz is making farming more technologically advanced, while mentoring a new crop of tech entrepreneurs.
orn into a multi-generational agribusiness family, Rémi Schmaltz is now leading the agricultural industry into the digital age as a co-founder and CEO of Decisive Farming. Schmaltz, along with his team, developed a software platform that serves as a farmer’s primary operating system, supporting everything from planning and budgeting, to soil testing, field and inventory management and all other concerns related to growing food. “We’re helping to create the modern farmer,” Schmaltz says. “A typical agronomist without technology like ours can manage about 50,000 acres and then they’re maxed out. We’re doing over 200,000 acres. The underpinning is digitization on the farm, but as you digitize you start to enable other significant efficiencies.” Since launching Decisive in 2011, Schmaltz and his team have grown it to 65 full-time employees supporting farmers with six million acres growing 40 different crop types under management across North America. Clients have seen profitability increase approximately 10 per cent and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions on their farms by approximately 0.1 tonnes per acre. Last December, Telus acquired Decisive in a deal that paid venture-grade returns to shareholders. Schmaltz remains as CEO and is now a soughtafter mentor in Calgary’s tech ecosystem. This past spring, he became a member of the A100, a mentorship community for Alberta-based tech entrepreneurs, and he was recently made an associate at Creative Destruction Lab-Rockies a non-profit organization with locations within post-secondary institutions in Canada, the U.S. and Europe that seeks to develop and market seed-stage tech companies with the potential to be massively scalable. The fast-paced world of tech suits Schmaltz, who has a high threshold for adrenaline-charged environments. “Realizing that not everyone moves at the same speed that I do is definitely something that I’ve had to learn,” he says. —S.A. 66
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T E D DY SEYED Wearables Researcher, Microsoft Research
i A global leader in the wearable tech industry, Teddy Seyed has revitalized Microsoft’s research into wearables with partnerships in fashion.
“I BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT WEARABLE TECH CAN BRING TECH LITERACY ALL AROUND THE WORLD.”
eddy Seyed’s work in wearable tech has taken him across Asia, to Brooklyn Fashion Week, and gotten him into the pages of Forbes and scientific journals. Seyed has conducted scientific research on wearable technology and explored its businessimplementation potential while at the University of Calgary. He now works full-time at Microsoft Research, leading wearables research and initiatives since October 2019. In this role, Seyed has worked with some major global fashion brands. Much of his work at Microsoft Research is confidential because it involves development with global leaders in apparel and speculative work we won’t see the results of for years. However, his major work so far, Project Brookdale, is all about sharing. Project Brookdale is a platform where wearables professionals can exchange knowledge and bridge gaps in skills between the tech and fashion industries. “From a business perspective, wearable tech is kind of an untapped area, so there’s a lot of opportunity for growth, for research, for new innovations, for stuff I haven’t even thought of yet,” he says. Seyed was the first person to complete an entrepreneurial PhD in Canada and was awarded the Bill Buxton Award for best PhD dissertation in Canada in the field of Human Computer Interaction. He credits his mentors for sparking his interest in science and supporting him in pursuing it his own way. To give back, he created the non-profit SOFIE Foundation, which has mentored youth in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) education from Calgary to Cape Breton. Recently, Seyed spearheaded accessible face mask initiatives to build research-informed design guidelines for effective face masks that consider the needs of wearers with disabilities (think straps that accommodate hearing aids, or tactile indicators for people who are visually impaired). It’s the kind of project that counters the misperception that wearable tech is just about watches and gadgetry. “There’s just so much opportunity to fix things around the world,” Seyed says. —C.G. avenuecalgary.com
D AY L E SHEEHAN Owner and Lead Designer of Dayle Sheehan Interior Design Inc.
i Interior designer Dayle Sheehan draws on her own life experience to create and advocate for beautiful and accessible design.
“MY WORK ALLOWS YOUR HOME TO LET YOU LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE.”
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ayle Sheehan describes herself as the kind of person who doesn’t like to miss out on anything in life. But by that she isn’t just referring to fun stuff, she’s also talking about not missing out on the hard work it takes to build your dreams. After a rare neuromuscular disease left her wheelchair bound at 16, it was that mindset that pushed Sheehan through gruelling physiotherapy while completing high school. It drove her to attend college for social work and, when she didn’t love it, to pursue her life’s work in interior design and decorating. Sheehan launched her eponymous company 15 years ago and, last year alone, Dayle Sheehan Interior Design Inc. worked on more than $3.6 million worth of projects. When designing a space, Sheehan often draws on her first-hand experience with accessibility. Over the past 10 years, she has provided free design consultations to around 40 families through her company’s DSID Gives Back division, to help make their existing homes more accessible based on changing needs. Sheehan has a significant presence in Calgary’s design and accessibility community. She’s a public speaker, a member of the board of directors for Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families, and she worked on the show suite decor for Accessible Housing Society’s Inclusio building. Sheehan also helped create a Bow Valley College course on universal design for the interior decorating program. In addition to her design-and-accessibility initiatives, Sheehan is also a supporter of Gems for Gems, a local charity that helps women break the cycle of domestic abuse. “If you have mobility challenges or not, you need to love your home and it needs to work for you and your life,” Sheehan says. “I feel like if I can help people love where they live and have that be a source of complete joy and happiness, they will go out into the world and do big, better, amazing, powerful, cool things.” —A.W.
39 JACKIE CHENG
EMMA S PA N SW I C K Assistant Professor, University of Calgary, and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Geospace Dynamics and Space Plasma Physics
i Emma Spanswick’s work in understanding space weather has translated to giant leaps in innovative technologies and a greater understanding of the cosmos.
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“SPACE IS ONE OF THOSE WEIRD THINGS THAT PEOPLE DON’T THINK MATTERS UNTIL IT DOES. AND WHEN IT DOES, IT REALLY MATTERS.”
mma Spanswick says a common trait connects her and her space physicist colleagues. “There is a stubbornness, [though] I would prefer to call it tenacity, to our group,” says Spanswick. “But I can see the ends. I can see where we’re going. I can see how much we could accomplish if we could get over the next hurdle.” No matter what you call it, that quality has served her well. Spanswick has helped advance knowledge of near-earth space by developing ground- and satellitebased instruments and diving into data to understand what’s happening above the earth. Spanswick studies space weather, such as sun conditions and solar winds, to better understand why and when different phenomena occur. In doing so, she contributes to improving space-dependent technologies like precise GPS, communication and security infrastructure that can be impacted by these conditions. Research proposals and projects led or co-led by Spanswick have garnered more than $50 million in funding for the University of Calgary. Amongst her proudest works have been several career-spanning projects related to radio receivers known as riometers — an instrument Spanswick played a huge role in revitalizing by exploring its untapped potentials — as well as the development of a nation-spanning network of cameras used to create mosaic images of near-earth conditions as part of NASA’s Thermal Emission Imaging System satellite program. For her efforts in that project, Spanswick received her first of three career NASA group achievement awards. Spanswick also passes on her knowledge to the next generation through teaching and internship programs, as well as through volunteer work with ExploreSTEM and other community initiatives. She says she is driven by a desire to create similar opportunities to those she had early on in her career and a love for fostering discovery. “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone have that ‘a-ha’ moment,” she says. —N.K. avenuecalgary.com
39 “BEING SUCCESSFUL, HOWEVER, THAT IS DEFINED, TO ME, MEANS STAYING FOCUSED AND NEVER GIVING UP.”
K AT E S TA D E L Executive Director, Ghost River Theatre
i Kate Stadel controls the business operations that keep Ghost River Theatre running and advocates for fair pay for artists so that the arts community can thrive.
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f the performers and designers are on the stage and the technicians and crew are backstage, Kate Stadel is “above the stage” in an office, balancing the books and advocating on behalf of the artists. As the executive director of Ghost River Theatre, Stadel’s job is to make sure artists and others in the theatre community get paid. While that may seem simplified, Stadel wants artists to be compensated and appreciated in the way she believes they deserve to be. Stadel tried her hand at acting and directing, but soon discovered that organizing and producing was more in her wheelhouse. Through her exceptional fiscal management, she has achieved a three-year running surplus for Ghost River all while ensuring artist compensation is at least 10 per cent above scale. Stadel’s passion for the theatre came in high school where she found her community at a time when so many of us are in search of one. “Theatre is belonging. It brings people together, whether you are watching or acting or working behind the scenes. You feel like you have a place,” she says. “If I can help create that connection further for audience members, theatre members, and everyone, then that is my goal, and that’s why I love what I do.” Stadel’s business acumen plays a massive part in keeping the theatre alive. While sustaining surpluses, she increased the capacity of Ghost River Theatre by creating a part-time salaried producer position and initiating the hiring of a full-time Canada Summer Jobs youth position. “When I start getting out into the world looking for sponsors and partners, a lot of people have the idea that artists all have their heads in the clouds, and that is not the case,” Stadel says. “In my role, you are working as hard as a typical business-person, but you also have to be extremely creative and flexible.” — T.K.
D R . J E A N -Y I N TA N Senior Instructor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
i Equine veterinarian Dr. Jean-Yin Tan educates and mentors veterinary students at the University of Calgary while running an outreach program to care for horses in need.
“ONE OF MY GOALS IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN TAKE CARE OF HORSES IN THE COMMUNITY NO MATTER WHERE THEY’RE FROM — IT SHOULDN’T MATTER.”
s a student with aspirations of becoming an equine veterinarian, Dr. Jean-Yin Tan was well aware she was something of an anomaly, since Asians represent only a tiny fraction (around 0.4 per cent) of equine veterinary practitioners. But Tan’s lifelong passion for horses overrode any barriers she faced. Growing up, she was an avid equestrian, and she started volunteering in veterinary clinics at the age of 14. Tan did go on to open her own equine veterinary clinic, which she ran for five years before joining the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Initially an instructor, she was made a senior instructor this past summer. Tan still provides equine internal medicine consultations for Calgary-area clinics, though her main role these days is educating and mentoring veterinary students. Her research in the field of veterinary education has seen her present at three international conferences and collaborate with other researchers in Scotland, England and the U.S. In 2018, Tan initiated a community outreach program offering free medical care for horses in First Nations communities. Since then, Tan and her students have provided more than $65,000 worth of veterinary services — more than 250 visits — to 132 horses and 31 horse owners. “I’m so happy that, through a fortunate series of events, I was able to connect with this community and found an underserved group of horses,” Tan says. “One of my missions has been to [help people] gain more equal access to veterinary medicine.” Her outreach work earned her the American Association of Equine Practitioners Good Works for Horses honour. “The best thing about my job is seeing the connection between animals and their owners,” Tan says. “The amount of joy you can bring to someone if you can help their animal is one of the most important things.” —S.J. avenuecalgary.com
ASHLEY TEDHAM Executive Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Canada (Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
i Ashley Tedham advocates for incarcerated and criminally involved youth and has revitalized the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
“YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THEY’RE VALUED, AND THAT THEY’RE CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING GREAT THINGS REGARDLESS OF THEIR BACKGROUND.”
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hen Ashley Tedham first started at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in 2017 she had two staff, no money and was operating out of a dingy office in a terrible location. Since then, Tedham has secured more than $1.5 million in grant funding, extended programming across Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut and expanded her staff to seven. The award is an international framework started by HRH Prince Philip in 1956 that aims to help youth develop into adulthood. Tedham heads the Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut division. She developed and implemented a pilot project to work with youth in the justice system in Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife. She and her team originally sought to help 30 incarcerated youth and have served more than 120 so far. “The [Award’s] justice program is all about opening doors of opportunities that would otherwise not be available to young people,” she says. Tedham has compiled data from the project and contributed to the national discussion about what our country can do in response to restorative justice programming for young people. “I am really passionately motivated to serve young people and to help build them up,” she says. Revitalizing the local chapter of the award and advocating for youth aren’t Tedham’s only contributions. She volunteers with Dress for Success Calgary, she sits on the board of directors for CAUSE Canada — a non-profit organization that works with people living in extreme poverty in developing countries — and she volunteers with the Rotary Tom Jackson Stay In School Program. She’s also a member and volunteer for the United Nations Association in Canada. “I’m honoured to be in a position where I get to impact people’s lives on a daily basis,” she says. —S.J.
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TO THE UALBERTA GRADS WHO MADE THE TOP 40 LIST
MAN-WAI CHU ’05 BEd, ’05 BSc, ’09 MEd, ’17 PhD
ALEXANDER LEUNG ’05 BMedSci, ’06 MD
RACHEL GRIMMINCK ’06 BSc(MechEng)
BRIANA LOUGHLIN ’10 BCom
KNOW A GREAT GRAD?
We’d like to recognize them! Go to uab.ca/HonRoll avenuecalgary.com
PAT RYC J A VA I D Clinical Nurse Specialist, Alberta Health Services
i Patrycja Vaid has improved health care education so that Calgary hospital patients have wider access to advanced pain treatments.
“SINCE HEALTH CARE WORKERS ARE IN A PRIVILEGED POSITION TO DO GOOD, WE OWE IT TO OUR PATIENTS TO DO SO.”
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atrycja Vaid has always believed “like mother, like daughter” is the highest form of praise. Her mother arrived in Canada from Poland in 1989 and raised two daughters on her own — all while going to nursing school and learning English. “Witnessing her strength and tenacity is the reason I don’t see barriers put in front of me as obstacles,” says Vaid. A clinical nurse specialist for the Acute Pain Service at Alberta Health Services, Vaid looks after patients with severe or complex pain, and leads efforts to teach other health care providers how to help these patients. Beginning in 2011, she led a change that enabled nurses to administer low-dose ketamine infusions for pain control on medical and surgical units throughout the city. The idea had initially met with resistance because it was believed the anesthetic required too much bedside monitoring, even though it can reduce overall opioid use. Vaid created new protocols and educational initiatives so nurses could implement these infusions. “If you educate nurses and expand their scope of practice, you can impact so many lives,” she says. As the opioid crisis has worsened over the last decade, Vaid and her colleagues have set up multiple protocols that take into account patients’ histories, new research and people’s needs after they leave the hospital. “When I see what we’re able to offer here in Calgary for pain management, I’m quite proud of our city,” she says. In 2019, her group received the Pain Society of Alberta’s Pain Excellence Award for the guidelines they created on pain treatment for people who are on medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. With two young kids of her own now, Vaid says she’s grateful to have a supportive family around her. “That allows me to continue walking through these doors to work,” she says. —C.F.
MEG WILCOX Assistant Professor, Journalism and Broadcast Media Studies, Mount Royal University
i Broadcast journalist and podcast creator Meg Wilcox is now making her mark as an educator at Mount Royal University by developing podcast studies courses and acting as principal investigator for a new state-of-the-art podcasting hub.
“I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS WORKED OUT WELL FOR ME IN THE END IS PURSUING
H A I R B Y E M I LY H U N K I N G , A R T I S T S W I T H I N ; M A K E U P B Y J A S M I N J A L E E L , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
THINGS THAT SOUND COOL.”
ince childhood, Meg Wilcox haws been interested in storytelling. It’s an interest that has led to a vocation as she earned a degree in communications before attaining a master of journalism degree. Wilcox has since reported on everything from politics to music in more than a dozen Canadian newsrooms. This includes stints at CBC, where she was part of the team that launched a band search contest that she later helped evolve into the national CBC Searchlight contest. She also spent time working at iPolitics and was a founding team member of Banff Centre Radio. For the past five years, Wilcox has used her extensive experience to share local stories in Calgary through her work as a journalist, educator and CKUA radio host. Additionally, she is a freelance creator of radio content and podcasts, for a clientele that includes Prudential Financial and ATB. At Mount Royal University, Wilcox shows emerging journalists the ropes as an assistant professor and has taken an active role in developing the university’s podcast studies. In addition to creating the first podcasting course at the university in 2017 (which she still teaches), Wilcox is currently in the midst of establishing MRU’s Community Podcast Initiative, a state-of-the-art podcasting hub launching in 2021 with the help of a nearly $30,000 John R. Evans Leaders Fund grant disbursed through the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “The whole idea of the podcasting hub is a way of bringing people together, both students and the community, to be able to sort of reimagine the way that we tell stories and to look at things that are maybe being ignored by legacy or traditional media,” Wilcox says. —A.W.
TYLER WILLIAMSON Associate Professor of Biostatistics, University of Calgary
i Tyler Williamson helped create the largest primary care health data network in Canada and has been instrumental in informing municipal and provincial policy surrounding COVID-19.
“DATA SAVES LIVES. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT.”
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M A K E U P B Y A LY S S A N I E D Z I E L S K , A R T I S T S W I T H I N
yler Williamson’s goal is to use data for good, to better our society and keep people healthier for longer. Now he’s pivoting to save the lives of Calgarians in the wake of COVID-19. On March 14, 2020, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called University of Calgary president Ed McCauley to help formulate the City’s plan to address COVID-19. As working groups formed that would ultimately inform City policy, Williamson and his team of data specialists were tapped for their expertise. “Data has the versatility to make society better, keep people healthy and safe,” says Williamson. Prior to COVID-19 Williamson, an associate professor of biostatistics at UCalgary, was instrumental in developing the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN). The CPCSSN gives primary care researchers and providers across Canada access to health data, improving collaboration and connection. For most people, 80 to 90 per cent of their interactions with the health-care system happen in primary care, most often with their family doctor. CPCSSN has used electronic medical records to create a health information system that can be accessed from anywhere, by any specialist or medical professional with permission for nearly 2 million Canadians. Going forward, the CPCSSN data will link to other health databases to improve the lifelong health tracking of Albertans and Canadians. Williamson received the 2018 North American Primary Care Research Group New Investigator Research Award for this work. Williamson is now using his versatile skill set to inform provincial and municipal policy during the pandemic. He also started a company, Pandemic Solutions, that provides science and technology solutions to help businesses get back on their feet. “My passion is not data; it is my family and my loved ones, and being able to work with data in the way that I do gives me the ability to use it for good,” says Williamson. —T.K.
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Louisa Ferrel was one of the recipients of Avenue’s 2019 Top 40 Under 40. Together with her husband Conrad, Ferrel started True Büch Kombucha, a Calgary-based kombucha company that produces delicious beverages, supports the environment and reinvests in the community. As a University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business graduate and a CPA, she is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs gain the skills they need to succeed through her nonprofit, True Incubator.
Tim Fox is the vice-president of Indigenous relations with the Calgary Foundation where he hopes to strengthen, enhance and shift the culture and practice at the foundation while incorporating work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission both internally and in the broader community. Fox is a proud member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainai (Blood) reserve. Recently, Fox wrote and published his first book, a children’s booked titled, Napi kii Imitaa (Napi and the Dogs). Fox facilitates Indigenous men’s domestic violence groups at the Calgary Correctional Centre, is co-chair for The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and is the proud father of an 9-year-old daughter. As a self-proclaimed edgewalker, Fox endeavours to incorporate a lens of equity and decolonization in all he does.
Allison Hakomaki is the senior vice-president and head of prairies, corporate finance for BMO Bank of Montreal. As head of the prairies region, Hakomaki is accountable for the management of all Canadian commercial banking lines of business, products and services for the region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). She joined BMO in 1997 as a commercial account manager trainee in Toronto and progressed through various roles in commercial banking, headquarters and corporate finance. Hakomaki holds an MBA from Queen’s University, is a chartered professional accountant and earned an undergraduate degree in business from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Käthe Lemon is the editor-inchief of Avenue magazine in Calgary. She has worked as a magazine editor and writer for 20 years for a range of publications and has been at the helm of Avenue since 2007. She started her career in trade magazines, working for West Coast Aviator, then launched and edited two in-flight magazines. She has also worked for The Atlantic Chamber Journal, Outpost and Alberta Views. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), the Western Magazine Awards, the National Magazine Awards and the International Regional Magazine Publishers Association. In 2011 she was named Editor of the Year by AMPA and this past year AMPA named Avenue the Alberta Magazine of the Year.
Avnish Mehta is a born-andraised Calgarian. He is an entrepreneur, community builder and avid volunteer. He has had a varied career from day trading currency and commodity in Singapore to developing the Calgary Refugee Health Clinic. Now, he is a principal of Stand and Command, a Calgary firm focused on presentation skills training. He is a beer baron with Village Brewery, a co-founder of FARE Development and the board chair for the Calgary Public Library. He was part of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.
John Pantazopoulos was recently vice-president corporate financial services with a large Alberta-based financial institution leading a 50-plus person team responsible for a $5 billion credit portfolio within energy, oil field services, project finance and financial markets. Prior to that, Pantazopoulos held the position of senior vice-president finance and CFO of an Alberta-based, private-equity backed intermediate E&P producer, which he co-founded. He is a CFA charterholder and holds an ICD.D designation. He is also passionate about public education, serving on several committees including the audit committee for the Calgary Board of Education. He also serves as chair of the Calgary Parking Authority. He was part of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2017.
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New art, new books, new treasures, always! Your favourite destination gallery is open every day from 10–6. We look forward to your visit! bluerockgallery.ca firstname.lastname@example.org 403.933.5047
DR. SHAFEENA PREMJI Dr. Shafeena Premji is a family physician with advanced training in women’s health, prenatal care, labour and delivery, contraception and menopause. She is the owner and medical director of two clinics in the southeast of Calgary — Mahogany Medical Clinic and The Village Medical - Westman Village. Premji sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Menopause Society. She is a true advocate and is passionate about the proactive health needs and overall well-being of women from teenage years, motherhood, mid-life and beyond the menopause transition.
ZAIN VELJI Zain Velji served as campaign manager for Mayor Naheed Nenshi and worked on the campaigns for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. President Barack Obama. Velji is now the vice-president strategy for Northweather. He is a frequent public speaker and political commentator who appears weekly on CBC radio and television. His writing has been published in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Christian Science Monitor and The National Post. He chairs the board of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, serves on the board of the YMCA Calgary and the Education and Lifelong Learning committee of the Calgary Foundation, and is the city co-chair of the Banff Forum. Velji was part of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 and named one of the top 50 political thinkers in Canada by the Hill Times.
BY SANIA SAEED PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLIN WAY
These five Calgary restaurants adapted their concepts to create fun dining experiences suitable for a global pandemic
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s the pandemic and resulting lockdown changed the way we can dine out in Calgary, local restaurants came up with creative ways to adapt to the social-distancing era. Each approach is unique to its restaurant and shows the resiliency of
both the restaurateurs and their staff. These diverse changes come in many forms: curbside pizza pick-up, patio ramen, hybrid restaurant-convenience stores and more. Here are some of the ways restaurants changed in order to serve fan favourites while trying out new menus and service styles that appeal to an evolving customer base and world.
A New Approach to Shareables
Cam Dobranski, co-owner of Eatcrow Snack Bar. Inset: root vegetable “tartare.”
hile Kensington diners may have been worried when the Brasserie Kensington closed amidst the pandemic, owners Cam Dobranski and Jacqueline Warrell had been planning their new, affordable concept Eatcrow Snack Bar as a replacement for some time. The lockdown gave them the opportunity to further rethink their approach, accommodate social-distancing guidelines in the design and test out new menu items. By designing the space themselves — they call themselves Warranski Design Co., a cheeky combination of their last names — they were able to put a personal touch on the restaurant. The renovations took longer than expected but, on the plus side, the lockdown inspired them to support local businesses when acquiring their signage and bar cages. With the change in concept that comes with Eatcrow, Dobranski says they wanted to “design a menu that felt very much like us,” and offer “a choose-your-own experience, especially because of COVID, so that someone could have one drink and leave, or stay all night and have high-quality cocktails and food without breaking the bank.” Dobranski and Warrell, who also operate the adjoining Container Bar and Winebar Kensington, say they worked to “unthink” and “unlearn” what they knew about restaurant food, and focused on offering more healthy and vegan options. The menu focuses on shareable, approachable food, with a number of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options to suit many dietary restrictions. The “‘un’ribs” made of seitan and the root vegetable “tartare” are both vegan, and the restaurant offers quickserve cocktails made from recipes by Danny Ronen, a top mixologist and spirits consultant in California. At the price point, Eatcrow Snack Bar encourages a unique dining experience while retaining a casual feel. You can get items from the restaurant’s distinct Crow to Go menu, which includes a popular “Warranksi” burger, for pick-up by direct order or for delivery via DoorDash. 100, 1131 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-457-4148, eatcrowyyc.com
From Basement to Underground Tokyo Subway Station
Top: Hokkaido-style soft serve ice cream.
okyo Street Market owner Terry Ke sees a silver lining on the pandemic: “Where there is challenge, there is opportunity as well,” he says. Keeping this in mind, Ke and his team used the lockdown to take a step back and think creatively about their restaurant. Beyond adjusting all customer areas with dividers and distanced tables, they decided to create the subwaysystem inspired Tokyo Station in the basement of Tokyo Street Market, and add Hokkaido-style soft-serve ice cream and donburi bowls to the menu. Designed by David Lam of Meiga Development Corporation, the colourful basement’s main feature is a convenience store selling to-go bento boxes and Japanese tapioca tea. Ke, who acquired Tokyo Street Market earlier this year, says that the Japanese food scene in the city is due for a diversification. “The majority of
the market is dominated by sushi and ramen,” he says. “There’s so much more I want to introduce to Calgarians to really show what Japanese cuisine is.” He aims to do this by encouraging his cooks to create special menu items. The restaurant offers a “chef ’s table” concept similar to omakase with a menu of Japanese dishes that are not widely available in Calgary. Considering the precautions taken and new offerings from Tokyo Street Market, it’s no wonder that it’s enjoying a steady flow of customers — the new design is highly Instagrammable, and the variety of menu choices including matcha-flavoured soft serve have been making their way into popular TikTok videos. Tokyo Street Market offers delivery through SkipTheDishes and pick-up via phone orders and its website. 922 Centre St. N.E., 403-452-3794, tokyostreetmarket.com
Bringing a Neighbourhood Feel Downtown
redicting that a slow economy posed a threat to fine dining in Calgary, Leslie Echino decided to replace her long-running Blink concept on Stephen Avenue with a second location of Annabelle’s Kitchen (one of Avenue’s Best New Restaurants 2020). Aiming to bring the “neighbourhood feel” of Marda Loop to downtown, the menu at Annabelle’s offers an approachable array of pizzas and pastas, as well as a daily happy hour with half-priced pizza and specials on drinks and pasta from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Comfort food is necessary during a time of uncertainty,” she says. “Right now, more than ever, a feeling of a neighbourhood place with fresh pizza, fresh pasta, and salad [is something] everyone is really drawn to.” At Annabelle’s Kitchen Downtown, Echino eschews exclusivity to allow a variety of clientele to 82
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have an enjoyable experience. With a kids’ menu, many vegetarian options and non-alcoholic drinks (including Annex Soda and True Büch Kombucha), the restaurant covers a wide range of needs. Echino worked with Walker McKinley from McKinley Studios to achieve an open and airy restaurant that leaves plenty of room for social distancing. Elbow grease from staff, 26 gallons of paint and some refurbished furniture later, she and her team created a mid-century modern interior that complements the signature seafoam green exterior. For those more comfortable eating at home, Annabelle’s sells fresh pasta and chili oil, as well as take-home meal kits. Delivery and takeout are available via DoorDash. 111 8 Ave. S.W., 403-263-5330, annabelleskitchen.ca
Salad and arancini.
Tuna Poke Bowl Inspired by the fresh, vibrant flavours of Hawaii. Dine in or enjoy at home: cactusclubcafe.com
Koki Aihara, co-owner of Shiki Menya. Inset: ramen.
Take-home, Grab & Go or Try a Sando
hiki Menya’s ramen kits quickly became much sought-after when Calgary went into lockdown. For a restaurant that did not previously offer takeout, its owners and staff quickly adapted to this change in direction. Koki Aihara, the co-owner of the restaurant, says his team of three kitchen staff and three drivers was “pumping out 500 bowls in three days each week.” Kits were also available for pick-up at nearby Bridgeland Market. The restaurant has now moved across the street from its old location and boasts new furniture, new paint, and a new look by Korr Design — as well as a spacious patio. “[For Shiki Menya], we originally wanted a small, busy place. People are comfortable with the patio because of the garage door,” Aihara says. The new space also has a larger kitchen that allows Shiki Menya to make noodles in-house instead of at sister restaurant Shikiji Japanese Noodles and Sushi.
The move also allowed Shiki Menya to open the First Avenue Corner Store, a Japanese “grab-andgo” spot with limited capacity inside and a takeout window. It focuses on Japanese street food including curried poutine and its signature range of katsu sandos. Ramen kits were paused at press time but are expected to return this fall. This new concept is distinct from Shiki Menya’s ramen offerings and appeals to those looking for a quick snack with limited interaction. “There’s a lot of foot traffic because of the window. It’s more approachable and faster,” says Aihara. “Our thing is being a quick place where you can go and get dope food.” With the convenience the pick-up window offers, and the open design of the new Shiki Menya space, Aihara has created two ideal spots to eat during a pandemic. 824 1 Ave. N.E., shiki-menya.myshopify.com
New York Pizza in Our Own East Village
onnie DeSousa and John Jackson planned to open Connie & John’s Pizza in 2021, but the pandemic convinced them to modify those plans. Instead of opening up a regular dine-in restaurant, the pair got to work in their event kitchen in the Simmons building and launched a takeout concept instead. After the sell-out success of its pop-up trial run, they knew they were on to something good. The restaurant offers New York- and Detroit-style pizzas with vegetarian options, optional gluten-free crust and even the “Connie and John’s Beer,” a pilsner made by The Dandy Brewing Company. There is a socially distanced queue for pick-up and guests can wait inside, subject to capacity. You can enjoy a drink on the patio while you wait, and the proximity to the East Village RiverWalk offers the perfect picnic area. Delivery is currently avail84
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able through DoorDash and Connie & John’s plan to launch in-house delivery service soon. Proudly speaking about the approach to the restaurant, Jackson says, “the baking component of the dough is gratifying, and absolutely every single piece of our ingredients is top quality.” The restaurateurs also created an online shop where customers can order from another of DeSousa and Jackson’s restaurants: Charcut. The store also includes the Charcut Butcher Shop, which sells make-at-home goods like a backyard barbecue kit, whole chickens ready for roasting and a butcher box packed with assorted meats. As the pandemic changes the restaurant industry, DeSousa and Jackson seem to be right there to keep up with it. 618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-710-2145, connieandjohns.com
Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, owners of Connie and John’s Pizza.
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Best Best Restaurants Restaurants 2021 2021
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Organizations throughout the city are doing their part to ensure no Calgarian is left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic Recognizing the essential work charities and non-profits are doing on a daily basis in their communities, businesses throughout the city have found innovative ways to help vital organizations rise to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through spearheading initiatives, adapting to fundraising protocols and offering financial support to crucial causes, Calgary companies are exemplifying neighbourly love, making sure Calgarians have the resources they need by lending a hand to the teams who provide them.
Bringing Funds to Front Line Care Faced with an increasing demand for services, charities and non-profit organizations across the nation have been forced to weather unique challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, all while providing the day-to-day support that many Canadians rely on. In response to these ever-growing challenges, TD Bank Group (TD) launched the TD Community Resilience Initiative to help support organizations delivering front line and long-term programs and services that are critical during this time. Launched in April, the TD Community Resilience Initiative comprises a $25 million commitment in both immediate and long-term support for organizations across the TD footprint engaged in COVID-19 response and community recovery. Of this amount, $1 million was allocated to support Canadian organizations with immediate front line needs. In the TD Prairie Region — which includes Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories — the immediate injection translated to $160,000 in donations to support 40 organizations with a focus on Indigenous youth, mental health initiatives and family support centres. Seven Calgary charities and non-profits were included to receive financial support through the TD Community Resilience Initiative: the Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre, Inn from the Cold Society, Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, the Kerby Centre, Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association Calgary and CUPS Calgary.
$25,000,000 TD Community Resilience Initiative
immediate relief for Canadian Organizations
Funds donated are being used differently by each organization, so they can address the unique challenges they are currently facing. However, the constant across all the selected organizations is that they work with communities that have been disproportionally impacted by the effects of the pandemic. A recent COVID-19 Impact Poll1 commissioned by TD revealed that Canadian adults surveyed under the age of 34, as well as those from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities, are among the most likely to experience financial insecurity, job losses and reduced income as a result of the pandemic. The same survey also found that Canada's general population has become more financially vulnerable and less financially confident since the start of COVID-19. “Our branches and offices are part of the communities across Canada where we live and work. We want to help organizations that are delivering essential services to those who are most impacted by this situation,” says Robert Ghazal, senior vice president, Prairie Region, TD. “This funding is to help front line workers and volunteers provide resources such as food, shelter and mental health support for people who need this assistance during the pandemic.” While immediate community support in response to COVID-19 is of the utmost importance today, the TD Community Resilience Initiative represents just a part of the broader TD Ready Commitment, the bank's corporate citizenship platform. Over the past couple of years, the TD Ready Commitment has donated millions to organizations in the Prairie Region, with the goal of helping support a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
The TD COVID-19 Impact Poll examined the impact of COVID-19 on the financial situation of Canadians. A total of 936 online interviews with English and French-speaking adult Canadians were conducted by Northstar on behalf of the TD Bank Group between April 20 and May 6, 2020.
Online Silent Auction Nov. 2
Pivoting to Provide at Willow Park Wines & Spirits Since Willow Park Wines & Spirits first opened its doors in 1994, charitability has served as a pillar of its business — a commitment nowhere more evident than at the annual Charity Wine Auction hosted each November. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the in-person auction to be postponed, it hasn’t stopped Willow Park from finding ways to continue giving back. “I think it’s our duty to look around us and see who we can help,” says Willow Park Wines & Spirits president Peggy Perry. “By focusing on helping others, it makes us realize our own richness in life.”
Nov. 11 Charity Days
The team at Willow Park has pivoted to make sure they can still support organizations near and dear to them by designating November 2020 “Charity Wine Month,” complete with online raffles, donations from wine sales and an online silent auction of more than 100 items, including rare bottles and local trips, to keep the tradition alive. This year, employees selected seven causes to support — The Mustard Seed Ogden Hub, Calgary Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Bartenders Benevolent Fund, Calgary Poppy Fund and The Veteran’s Food Bank of Calgary, Wellspring Calgary and the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Perry says the choices stemmed from staff connections, representing causes close to members of the team. “I think everyone is very proud of the commitment to supporting local charities,” says Perry. “The whole team at Willow Park and ownership feel a great connection to that part of our work life.” On top of the auction and supplied raffle prizes from Willow Park, each cause is also scheduled for their own designated “Charity Day” between
WINE MONTH Starts at Willow Park Wines & Spirits on November 1, 2020. Go to willowparkwines.com to register for our silent auction. Rare large format bottles and amazing local trips available and many more unique items. Please contact our Corporate Concierge Kate Bennet with any questions: 403-296-1640 ext. 235
FANTASTIC GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON!
November 2 and 20 to receive a portion of profits from designated wine and spirit sales at the store and online. Willow Park’s online silent auction launches November 1 and ends November 11 through fundraising tech company Givergy. The Charity Days, meanwhile, begin on November 2, with the first day dedicated to the Calgary Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, and the last day, November 20, concluding with the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Raffles will run throughout the month, hosted on the individual charities’ websites.
B Y J A C Q U E L I N E L O U I E I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y C R I S T I A N F O W L I E
Come for the mountains, stay-cation for the charm.
ith fewer opportunities for international travel these days, this is a perfect time for Albertans to explore their own backyard. Why not treat yourself to a memorable winter getaway, and discover the peace, calm and enchantment of the Rocky Mountains in winter? The Rockies and the foothills feature an abundance of boutique lodges and independent inns in addition to the larger resorts you may already know. The Charming Inns and Small Hotels of Alberta formed in 2000 to draw attention to some of the best independent operators. Member hotels — located
from Waterton to Drumheller and around the mountain area — all have a minimum three-star rating from the Canadian Automobile Association, and typically receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence year after year. All are accessible by car. “All [our] properties are spectacular and one-of-a-kind,” says Gair Fryers, Charming Inns and Small Hotels of Alberta president. “The beauty of this collective is there is something for everyone — everything from quiet backcountry lodges and private cabins, to romantic getaways with spa, and pet-friendly hotels. The locations are extraordinary, whether you want to stay in a luxury cabin or a glamping tent
with a full bathroom and fireplace, or in a mountain town.” To mark the Charming Inns and Small Hotels of Alberta 20th anniversary, member hotels are offering a 15 per cent credit on gift certificates purchased through the group website charminginnsofalberta.com. In addition to the three inns explored here, Charming Inns member hotels also include Mount Engadine Lodge, Georgetown Inn, Juniper Hotel, Riverside Chateau, The Crossing at Ghost River, The Prairie Creek Inn, Crandell Mountain Lodge, and Heartwood Inn & Spa. The mountains beckon. Your adventure awaits. So don’t delay! avenuecalgary.com
O V E R L A N D E R M O U N TA I N L O D G E NEAR JASPER
Situated just outside Jasper National Park’s east gate, an approximately 35-minute drive from the Jasper townsite, Overlander Mountain Lodge is a 40-room getaway offering superlative mountain views. Built in 1963, the Lodge features cozy, comfortable guest rooms, as well as two-bedroom chalets and three-bedroom chalets complete with full kitchen. Not that you’ll need your kitchen, what with the Wine Spectator-awarded on-site restaurant, Stone Peak, dishing up farm-to-table fine dining. “From November until April, this place is so quiet that you have a good chance of getting most of the lodge to yourself,” says
lodge owner-operator, Clint Griffiths. “It’s such a unique and special experience.” Curl up near the wood-burning fireplace with a book and a glass of wine, explore the area by snowshoe, head to Jasper for ice skating and boutique shopping, go cross-country skiing at nearby William A. Switzer Provincial Park or explore the trails in Jasper National Park. There is a world-class ice walk at Maligne Canyon — suitable for anyone who can walk and is equipped with ice cleats. Hard-core winter adventurers also enjoy ice climbing in the area. overlandermountainlodge.com
A BEAR & BISON INN Relax, unwind and drink in the beauty all around you at A Bear & Bison Inn, an elegant alpine oasis in Canmore offering sweeping views of the Bow Valley. Each room features a fireplace, rain shower and soaker tub along with a king-sized bed. A gourmet three-course breakfast served on crystal and china, delivered to your room and bursting with fresh flavors, will fuel your day no matter what is on your agenda. Attention to detail is top of mind for A Bear & Bison Inn owner Lonny Middleton, a chef who 92
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has worked at some of the world’s best hotels over his career. This is an ideal destination for couples and anyone needing some self-care who is looking for a blissful retreat. With 10 guest rooms, A Bear & Bison Inn is tucked away in Canmore’s Benchlands community, so it’s away from the town’s hustle and bustle, yet close enough that you can be downtown in five minutes by car for lunch, dinner or shopping. abearandbisoninn.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY LEE HORBACHEWSKI
B A K E R C R E E K M O U N TA I N R E S O R T NEAR LAKE LOUISE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NICK FITZHARDINGE
Unplug from the world and reconnect with each other in your own private log cabin in the woods. Baker Creek Mountain Resort — winner of the Banff Heritage Tourism Award — is located approximately 15 minutes from Lake Louise in Banff National Park, just off the Bow Valley Parkway. The resort features a total of 35 guest rooms including 16 lodge suites and 19 standalone cabins. Nearly half of the rooms feature a Jacuzzi, the majority include kitchenettes. Each room includes both a French press and Chemex, with artisanal freshly ground coffee from Calgary’s Devils Head Coffee, as well as a river rock fireplace.
The Baker Creek Bistro serves authentic Canadian cuisine highlighting local and regional ingredients. This year the bistro offers a new online ordering option for guests. When conditions permit, outdoor activities include skating, snowshoeing (snowshoe rentals are complimentary for guests), cross-country skiing on track-set trails, and downhill skiing at Lake Louise Ski Resort. For an added treat, you can roast marshmallows over a firepit outdoors. Baker Creek Mountain Resort is also petfriendly. bakercreek.com
Avenue’s writers and editors are occasionally invited to experience dining or adventure experiences as a guest, including some of the experiences in this story. Neither complimentary experiences nor advertising are required for coverage in Avenue. Neither companies that advertise nor those that provide other incentives are promised editorial coverage, nor do they have the opportunity to review or approve stories before publication. avenuecalgary.com
BY COLIN GALLANT
WORKING FROM HOME IN STYLE DESIGN EXPERTS SHARE SOME OF THEIR FAVOURITE HOME OFFICE PROJECTS — INCLUDING IN THEIR OWN HOMES
ove it or hate it, working from home has become the new normal for many of us — including the staff of Avenue. Part of the difference between feeling like you live at work and appreciating the conveniences home offices provide lies in design. Some folks need a sanctuary that feels private and distinct from the home environment. Others want multipurpose rooms that seamlessly connect to other spaces that can be used for other needs. We tracked down some local designers (plus an architecture firm and a custom home builder) to show you a range of home offices in Calgary.
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DECOR Clockwise from opposite top left
P H O T O G R A P H Y ( C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T ) B Y B A R B A R A B L A K E Y | H O N E Y C R E A T I V E , M O D E R N N E S T P H O T O G R A P H Y, Z O O N A N D K L A S S E N P H O T O G R A P H Y.
LESLIE MANNIX DESIGN Leslie Mannix designed this parttime office for her husband with an eye for tidiness, efficiency and integration into the home. The small room opens up into the living space and feels like a natural extension of its surroundings. For convenience and integration with the rest of the home, functional elements like printers, filing cabinets and storage space are close at hand but hidden from view. LEONARD DEVELOPMENT GROUP Rod Leonard of Leonard Development Group and Kale Bandura of Charles Real Estate mixed old and new for this moody office in their previous home. By selecting furniture from different eras and setting brightly coloured art against an overall dark colour scheme, they created a space with enough light for reading but not so much that it spoils the drama of the space. ELENA DEL BUCCHIA DESIGN Elena Del Bucchiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home office was designed with her kids in mind. She incorporated spaces for her two daughters to craft and play so she can keep them close and occupied while she works on client projects. The spaceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-tone hardwood and dark-blue walls maintain a mature tone, while a library, telescope and generous window offer entertainment for the children. ALYKHAN VELJI DESIGNS Alykhan Velji designed this office in the spare room of his home for his husband, Jason Krell. Velji says it was important that the space be multifunctional and not take itself too seriously. Hence the playful wallpaper, signage and sofa (out of frame) where Krell takes breaks and guests sometimes spend the night. avenuecalgary.com
FORT ARCHITECTURE This apartment-style loft was added to the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s garage to serve as a private artist retreat. Built by Rawlyk Developments and designed by Fort Architecture, its 16-foot skylight and sharp contrast between black and white gives the space a sense of purpose and professionalism. The suite even includes a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
KAREN FRON DESIGN Designer Karen Fronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family home has two other dining areas, so converting this brightly lit formal dining space into an office was a natural fit. Now she can work while feeling connected to family. Drawing inspiration from strong women, Fron installed the buffet inherited from her grandmother and hung paintings by Alberta artists Daniel Audet (right) and Karen Klassen.
P H O T O G R A P H Y ( C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T ) B Y J O R D A N L O V I S , S H E L L A R D P H O T O A N D J A M I E A N H O LT.
Clockwise from above
STEPHANIE CHAREST INTERIOR DESIGN This home office was once a largely unused sitting room that opened directly into the front entry and dining room. Stephanie Charest Interior Design helped the homeownert totally reimagine it with French doors that offer privacy for working hours and a fresh coat of blue paint on the ceiling that adds a burst of liveliness. 96
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WORK OF ART C U R AT E D B Y K A T H E R I N E Y L I T A L O
Our Window DATE
AJA Louden with participants of the 2018 City of Calgary Street Art Program for Youth AUGMENTED REALITY ARTISTS
rom a painted secondstorey window, slyly elevated from the grid of the actual windows of the Downtown Calgary Mosque, light shines on a small green sprout. Crisply partitioned with white lines, monochromatic-patterned fragments surround the plant. The kaleidoscopic, tilted surfaces seem to vibrate around the seedling. Point your smart phone at the mural Our Window and use the Augle app to see the spirited animation by Calgary artist Jarett Sitter and The Bum Family setting the lunar cycle in motion as the sprout radiates energy.
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The mash-up of colours, styles, written language and new technology are indicative of the intertwined stories and shared hope that came together in creating Our Window. Edmonton-based artist AJA Louden led the participants of the 2018 City of Calgary Street Art Program for Youth (Tahj, Lindsay, Izyan, Asher, Celina and Arabella) in a six-week workshop of artistic learning and creating. Tomas Jonsson, coordinator of the program at the time, brought together a stellar supporting cast including the president of the Islamic Information Society of Calgary, Abdulla Barahim, and
Augle app, digital animation by Jarrett Sitter and stop motion by The Bum Family MEDIA
Mural: outdoor exterior latex paint and spray paint on cinderblock wall AUGMENTED REALITY
delivered through app, Augle SIZE
20.67’ (h) x 21.3’ (w) LOCATION
1009 7 Ave. S.W., east wall, Downtown Calgary Mosque NOTE
This is a temporary mural in the City of Calgary Public Art Collection with the collaboration of the City of Calgary Street Art Program for Youth and support of the Downtown West Community Association. OTHER PROJECTS IN CALGARY BY AJA LOUDEN WITH YOUTH
Collide and View, 2017, in two tunnels at Confederation Park Dagumisistiy wusa trok’a yasdar l, 2019, with Aj Starlight and youth of Tsuut’ina at Tsuut’ina Nation
PHOTOGRAPH BY CITY OF CALGARY
Blackfoot Elder Sheldon First Rider. The young participants saw a connection between the geometry and mathematical patterns of Islamic architecture and Indigenous beadwork and chose pattern as the visual language for the mural. Workshop assistant Kayla Simpson envisioned the symmetrical system of roots and branches below and above ground in two of the lower partitions. And the intricate tile pattern in turquoise and blue was contributed by calligrapher and Islamic geometric designer Masarah Maisari. Words appear in three sections: the word for “grow” in four languages, overlapping letters that spell “TOGETHER,” and the title phrase “Open Window,” Louden’s positive rebuttal to the broken window theory in criminology. On the left side of the mural, a triangular blue section shows a painted close-up of beadwork by Indigenous artist Judy Anderson, who the youth were able to meet with. Louden, who describes his own roots as Caribbean and Canadian, grew up between Calgary and Cochrane. He completed the graphic design and illustration program at Grant MacEwan University with a special interest in designing letter forms. He set up the Aerosol Academy a decade ago and the AJA Louden Studios four years ago with a focus on arts workshops that can affect social transformation. Louden says he considers the illumination on the plant a good metaphor for the project. “The plant needs light to shine for it to grow,” he says. We can all take heart in the afterglow.
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