DECEMBER 2020 | $4.95 AVENUECALGARY.COM
GAZINE AWA MA RD
SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDE HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR EVERYONE FROM STORES RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY
25 YEARS OF CITY | LIFE | STYLE | CALGARY
PARTY PIVOTS How restaurants are doing holiday events this year
THE CONNECTION QUEEN
Tips and tricks to keep entertaining outdoors
ALICE LAM HELPS CALGARIANS GIVE BACK THROUGH VOLUNTEERING
merry & BR GHT A S P EA NS PL EA NN DL I AN NG D IS NH GO P SP HI ON PG P CI EN NG T CR E N T R E
O N E O F C A LG A RY â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S MO S T D ESI R AB L E P LA C E S TO C A LL H O ME
FREE INDOOR PARKING
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, giving back to those who need support in our community is more important than ever. Calgarians arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t strangers to tough times. But regardless of the struggle, we always rally together to support one another. Every act of kindness has a ripple effect and can add up to make a big difference for those in our community who need it most. United, we make the biggest differenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and this holiday season, your gift is needed more than ever. Start your own ripple of positive impact now by texting BeUnited to 20222 to give $20 to United Way of Calgary and Area. Every donation has the power to improve local lives. United Way helps improve the lives of more than 150,000 Calgarians every year by partnering with local agencies, philanthropists, workplaces, and government to help ensure the right supports are in place for those who need it most.
UNITED, WE MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE. To learn more about United Way of Calgary and Area, or to donate funds to help your community, visit calgaryunitedway.org..
CO N TE N T S EDITOR’S NOTE
WORK OF ART
28 FUNDRAISING IN HARD TIMES
38 D E P A R TM E N TS
ON THE COVER Meet Alice Lam, creator of Volly and the Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market. Read more starting on page 34. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
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FE A T U R E S
With gala events and other fundraising standbys on hold, charitable and non-profit organizations are having to adapt to survive. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
16 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
34 ALICE LAM, COMMUNITY CONNECTOR
Did you know there’s a CSI Calgary? It has nothing to do with forensic investigation and everything to do with high-performance athlete training. Plus, meet who you gonna call when you lose your wedding ring in the snow, and a roundup of regional podcasts for your listening pleasure.
Just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean outdoor entertaining should be stopping. From food, to firepits, to fun activities, find out what you’ll need to become a true-blue “wintertaining” wizard and keep the outdoor party going all season long.
Gift picks for everyone on your list, mostly from bricksand-mortar shops that offer curbside pick-up, so you can support local retailers and keep everyone healthy while you do so. By Jennifer Hamilton
The creator of the Volly app, which connects potential volunteers with causes and organizations that are a good fit, has also helped revitalize one of Calgary’s historic blocks with a pop-up market. By Travis Klemp
24 SAFE SHOPPING
38 PARTY PIVOTS
Used bookseller and literary community builder SueShane Tsomondo tells us about the people, places and things in Calgary that she loves the most.
This current era is a whole new ballgame for retailers. Whether you’re shopping at a mall or in a retail district this season, find out what stores are doing to control crowds and keep customers safe. By Tsering Asha
For the hospitality industry, this year’s holiday party landscape looks very different than that of years past. Local hoteliers and restaurant events managers talk about what they are doing to ensure we can still celebrate. By Gwendolyn Richards
A look at some of the great wintertime deals out there for staying and playing in the mountain areas near Calgary.
56 THE LIST
P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y C O L I N W AY, C O U R T E S Y O F M O U N T E N G A D I N E L O D G E ; I L L U S T R A T I O N B Y P E T E R Y A N
D e ce m b e r 2 0 2 0
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ONE MONTH FREE RENT* Aria brings you luxury apartments in the heart of University District. Onsite amenities include a fully equipped fitness room, yoga space, large group kitchen and dining areas, lounge with pool table and games room. Aria also boasts Calgary’s largest inner courtyard with 22,000 square feet featuring multiple bbq’s/lounge areas, performance stage, pickle ball court, bocce court, group fire pit and a vintage Airstream for hosting private events.
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large dog play area with artificial grass, and a convenient dog wash in the underground, heated parking garage GE energy efficient stainless steel 4-piece kitchen appliance package In suite laundry Large windows in all suites Concrete construction Save-On-Foods (with delivery service), Market Wines (with delivery service), daycare centre and much more at base of building
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A VARIETY OF UNIQUE SUITE DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM: One bedroom suites from the $1,300’s Two bedroom suites from the $1,600’s Three bedroom suites from the $2,800’s For more information visit ariacalgary.ca or call Jillian at 587-852-0933 to book your appointment. 4135 UNIVERSITY AVE NW, CALGARY, AB
raditionally, the end of the year is a time for celebration and at Avenue we typically dedicate much of our December issue to themes of gift-giving and parties. This year, of course, things are very different, but in other important ways they are very much the same. For most of us, 2020 has been a year of loss. We have lost loved ones or friends. We’ve lost jobs and co-workers. Some of us have lost a sense of identity tied to work or a social life that no longer exists. But while it may not seem like a time to celebrate, I think this is exactly why we need to celebrate, to mark the passing of time and acknowledge what we’ve lost, but also, what we still have. There are perhaps few stronger traditions than those that surround our Christmas and New Years’ celebrations, and this is a year that many of us need the comfort of tradition. So in this issue, we have focused on how to morph our traditions to suit the times. You’ll find stories here on how restaurants and hotels have created new offerings to keep party
Käthe Lemon Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
While it may not seem like a time to celebrate, this is exactly why we need to celebrate. guests safe. We also have our annual gift guide, but this year we’ve focused on gift ideas mainly from bricks-and-mortar stores in Calgary, and highlighted those offering curbside pickup, delivery or other options for socially distanced shopping that also supports local retailers. It’s gift-giving that gives back to the city. Through the summer, many of us opened up our social lives a little by gathering with friends and family outdoors. Now, as we enter the depths of winter, we’re focusing on how to keep entertaining outdoors with our “wintertaining” story. There are obviously times and weather conditions that will force us all inside, but we hope this roundup of tips and products at least gives you some options.
December is also a time that many of us think about charitable giving, whether we make an annual contribution to a charity, give to food banks, or make a donation on behalf of someone as a gift. As with local businesses, local non-profits have had to pivot in the wake of the economic downturn, coupled with the pandemic. Writer Elizabeth Chorney-Booth checked in with some non-profit organizations and charities in the city, both grassroots and established, and provides an update on how they are adapting. If your year-end tradition includes creating resolutions, perhaps you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity to engage with others and give back to a cause you care about. Our cover story about Alice Lam will introduce you to her startup, Volly, which connects volunteers with suitable organizations. I hope that through this unique holiday season you are able to find some way to connect with friends and family, with traditions that are meaningful to you, and with what brings you joy — right now, but also in the year to come.
Corrections In the November 2020 issue of Avenue in the Top 40 Under 40 article, we incorrectly stated that Sue Crawford is 37. She is 32. We regret the error. In the same issue, in the Top 40 Under 40 profile of Dr. Michael Roumeliotis, we incorrectly implied that the Okolo team developed the novel delivery method for the five-day treatment for early stage breast cancer that limits toxicity. This was not developed by Okolo. We regret the error.
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PHOTO BY JARED SYCH
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P H O T O B Y N AT H A N D U M L A O / U N S P L A S H
Marketing Solutions. Copyright (2020) by RedPoint
Three couples share their stories about how (and why) they decided to get married last summer and what they did to keep their celebrations in line with regulations around gatherings.
S H A R E WA R M T H . S P R E A D J OY. S TAY S A F E .
Happy holidays from all of us at Amica Britannia. We hope that you and yours find ways to be merry and bright, even from a distance.
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FREE HEATED UNDERGROUND PARKING AT BANKERS HALL EVERY SATURDAY IN DECEMBER PLUS ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEARS EVE.
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LIKE FINDING A RING IN A SNOWBANK
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVE COLLINS
BILL JONES AND KEVIN NIEFER USE THEIR METAL-DETECTING EXPERIENCE TO HELP TRACK DOWN VALUABLES LOST IN THE SNOW.
algarians lose countless valuables in the snow each winter, from wedding rings that slip off while sweeping windshields to keys that fall from unzipped pockets. Rogers Rent-All owner Brad Seamans says these stories of lost items make up the majority of the shopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s metal detector rentals, with varying results upon return.
BINGE-WORTHY LOCAL PODCASTS
here’s something about a good podcast that leaves you feeling like you just spent an hour with a close friend. Since we could all use a bit of that feeling right now, we tracked down five excellent podcasts from and about Calgary.
“IF YOU’RE WILLING TO DIG UP SOME PULL TABS, YOU’RE GOING TO DIG UP SOME RINGS.” Calgarians can also leave it to a pro. Airdrie-based retiree Bill Jones has more than 40 years of metal-detecting experience under his belt — a skillset he offers to those in need year-round. “It’s just hours of use,” says Jones on how he has honed his searching abilities. “If you’re willing to dig up a lot of pull tabs, you’re going to dig up some rings.” Jones is one of three local “detectorists” listed on TheRingFinders.com, a global directory of searchers who track down rings, keys and other metal valuables. Jones says while rings are most common, he has received calls for numerous items, including a cochlear implant. Jones estimates he’s done hundreds of searches, with the longest lasting around four hours and the shortest lasting seconds. Kevin Niefer, another part-time ring finder, says his stories are just as varied, with his longest search lasting more than six hours. “Sometimes you figure 12
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‘there’s no way I’m going to find this ever,’” says Niefer. “Then when you find it, it’s just unreal.” Both Niefer and Jones work on a reward basis, charging only for travel costs. While Jones says he has scaled back his searching in recent years due to health complications, he continues to enjoy the work, especially giving back and creating lasting stories out of otherwise hopeless situations. “It’s about the thankfulness from people,” says Jones. “The reward is in the smiles you get back.” If you find yourself missing a ring this winter, Jones and Niefer have a few tips: check every pocket, as well as your gloves, keep search teams small to decrease the odds of kicking or burying the ring, and if you can pinpoint an approximate area, try gathering up the snow and putting it in a bathtub to melt. —Nathan Kunz If none of these tips work, head to theringfinders.com.
SINGULAR THEY, PLURAL YOU
In the podcast world there are two types of listeners: true-crime obsessives and everyone else. Global News’ Nancy Hixt has been covering crime for more than 20 years and shares insights only a journalist of her experience can offer. curiouscast.ca
Host Dev (drag performer DeVery Bess) discusses things like what it means to be sex positive and obscure intercourse slang in this show about relationships and sex from a non-binary perspective. (You might want earbuds for this one). spotify.com
HEROES, HUSTLERS AND HORSEMEN
THE UNLEARNING CHANNEL
This Alberta history podcast will leave you in awe at how much there is to discover about our province’s past. Topics include Blackfoot runner Api-kai-ees (dubbed “Deerfoot” by colonists) Black cowboy John Ware, and the early brothels of Calgary. cbc.ca
This pod from MelVee X and jaqs gallos aquines aims to help listeners unlearn racism and white supremacy. Episodes have covered CommunityWise Resource Centre’s Anti-Racist Organizational Change program and Black Lives Matter. soundcloud.com
THE VOW, VOICE OF WOMEN No, it’s not about the NXIVM cult — this podcast about inspirational Calgary women is quite the opposite. From Tanya Eklund of Tanya Eklund Group, the show interviews women in business and leadership, who dish on what makes them tick. —Colin Gallant
IMAGE COURTESY OF KARAN SHARMA (MArch’20)
hat’s old is new again. For centuries, buildings have been made with large format heavy timber columns and beams - think medieval buildings or the Game of Thrones set. The use of wood structures in commercial construction started to decline in the nineteenth century as buildings got taller and steel and concrete became the predominant structural systems. Unfortunately, these materials have large environmental footprints because their production generates significant green house gas emissions. In the past decade, timber construction has been making a quiet comeback. That’s S A P L . U C A L G A R Y. C A @UCALGARYSAPL
why students and researchers at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape have joined an expanding group of professionals looking at reintroducing heavy timber beams and columns as a structural system for large scale contemporary buildings, including high rises. “Wood, when harvested sustainably, is a renewable resource and can be transformed into a durable, efficient building material with a lower carbon footprint due to its reduced construction and assembly complexity,” explains Joshua Taron, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) for the School. “Mass timber can reduce construction times, improve building performance and
lower embodied energy compared to other more energy intensive material systems.” But the advantages extend beyond a reduced environmental footprint. According to Karan Sharma (MArch’20), who worked with Taron on this research, “having so much exposed natural wood on the interior of a building helps create a healthier work environment. It’s beautiful and connects the user with nature.” Sharma took this idea even further by integrating plants and trees into the design of his project. The result is a project that’s healthy to live in and better for the planet.
Openings ABBEY’S CREATIONS The next time you’re craving something sweet, visit this new shop in Montgomery for some hard and soft ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream cakes and more. Choose from nearly 80 ice cream flavours including halo-halo, ube queso and brownie fudge swirl. 13, 4703 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-454-0072 abbeyscreations.com
IKUSA IZAKAYA & TOKYO MARKET The team behind Ke Charcoal Grill & Sushi has opened a new Japanese restaurant and market in Bridgeland. Stop by to try the yakitori, oysters, sushi and stone-grilled meats, then pick up some snacks from the market on your way out. 903 General Ave. N.E., 587-352-3288 ikusaizakaya.com
LINA’S ITALIAN SUPERMERCATO Groceries, deli meats, baked goods, pizza, fresh flowers — you’ll find all this and much more at Lina’s Italian Market’s new second location. Be sure to enjoy a coffee and bombolini at the in-store café while you’re there. 100, 4916 130 Ave. S.E., 403-523-7713 linasmarket.com
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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE CANADIAN SPORT INSTITUTE CALGARY
he Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) is a network of resources for athletes located at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park. It includes elite training facilities, a team of doctors, researchers and dietitians and programs that address athlete health beyond physical performance. Here are just a few things to know about it.
It was the first national sport institute in Canada. Opened in 1994, CSI Calgary is now part of a nationwide network of seven sport institutes and centres.
Reigning champs headed for Tokyo in 2021 and Beijing in 2022 are training there now. They include Erica Wiebe (pictured), Justin Kripps, Ted-Jan Bloemen, Brady Leman and several others.
It’s a lot more than a training facility. One of CSI Calgary’s flagship programs is Game Plan, a “total athlete wellness program” that supports national athletes by helping them develop their skills, network, health, education and career opportunities for their time in sport and life afterwards.
Players from the CFL, NHL and MLB sometimes visit. The Calgary Flames receive annual preseason fitness tests here and athletes from major sports leagues sometimes train at CSI Calgary in the off-season. Olympic and Paralympic athletes make up the bulk of athletes who train there, though. Athletes who have worked with CSI Calgary have claimed a total of 155 Olympic and Paralympic medals. Calgary’s biggest connection to the Olympics was as host of the ’88 Olympic Winter Games, so it’s not a shock that 119 medals were earned during the winter games vs. just 36 in the summer games.
Some CSI Calgary programs are open to the public. CSI has a food kiosk at the University of Calgary’s MacEwan Hall, with a menu designed by the institute’s professional chefs and performance dietitians. Another public program is the new-ish R2P (return to play) Code, offering science-backed reports for athletes recovering from injuries. The institute works with major brands through its Sport Product Testing division. It pairs scientists, high-performance athletes and members of the public with products from brands like Lululemon and Under Armour for production validation and development. —C.G.
P H O T O G R A P H B Y D AV E H O L L A N D
ARC’TERYX This Canadian brand opened its second Calgary location in CF Chinook Centre this past summer. The new store strikes just the right balance between Calgary’s urban and outdoorsy sides, offering a stylish space to shop for performance and lifestyle clothing. CF Chinook Centre, 587-391-4818 arcteryx.com
Escape with confidenceâ&#x20AC;Ś A time for gratitude, freedom and simple pleasures Let the Post Hotel & Spa with its intimate and exclusive setting be your home away from home The place where you can feel safe, calm and cared for
Reservation: 1.800.661.1586 www.posthotel.com
Show local retailers some love this season by doing your shopping at Calgary stores. These and other great gifts are all MADE LOCALLY
1 Nothing breathes life into a room like plants, especially when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re stylishly displayed in this Bolo hanging planter by Umbra. $50 from Guildhall. Online only, guildhallhome.com 16
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2 Who wants Tupperware when you can pack lunch in a charming bento box? This three-part bento is inspired by a traditional Japanese doll. $30 at Nanao Kimono; get it giftwrapped in a furoshiki cloth for an additional $5.99 (small) or $9.99 (large). 225 10 St. N.W., nanaokimono.com
3 Designed in Brooklyn and responsibly made in India, these 100-per cent cotton bath mats by Cold Picnic are cushy for feet and are great conversation pieces, as well. $98 at Fieldstudy. 102, 1812 4 St. S.W. 587-356-2134, fieldstudyshop.com
4 The Blooms of the Month subscription from Bridgeland Market provides fresh flowers bi-weekly or monthly for a minimum of three months. Bouquet sizes are $35, $65 or $95; subscription rates are based on size and frequency. 1104 1 Ave. N.E., 403-269-2381, bridgelandmarket.com
5 Romero Distilling Co. pays homage to Albertaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rum-running history with its craft rums and spirits. Make it a tradition to have a bottle of their spiced rum on hand for the holidays. $75 at Romero Distilling Co. 688 Heritage Dr. S.E., 403-640-7886, romerodistilling.com *Made in Calgary
BY JENNIFER HAMILTON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH CRAFT BY TERESA JOHNSTON
from shops right here in the city, with options for delivery or curbside pickup. 6 From the man who turned us on to the joy of Japanese knives comes a book that tells the stories behind the knives. Find The Knifenerd Guide to Japanese Knives by Kevin Kent for $45 at Knifewear. 1316 9 Ave. S.E., 403-514-0577, and Calgary Farmers’ Market, 403-690-7894; knifewear.com *Made in Calgary
7 Iwachu cast iron teapots are exquisitely crafted by hand in Japan and are intended to last a lifetime. $248 at The Naked Leaf. 4, 1126 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-283-3555, thenakedleaf.ca
8 Originally made in England in 1901 from chip-resistant earthenware, Mason Cash mixing bowls are as charming as they are functional. $67 at Lee Valley. 7261 11 St. S.E, 403-253-2066, leevalley.com
9 Playful Coding Critters teach early STEM concepts to preschoolers through storybook coding challenges that are totally screen-free. $55 at Telus Spark Store. 220 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-817-6894, store.sparkscience.ca
10 The Art Deco Aroma Light electric diffuser from Saje’s 2020 holiday collection uses a flame-free halogen bulb to warm up scented oils and set the mood in any space. $38 at Saje. multiple Calgary locations, saje.com
11 Sure, you could just buy root beer but where’s the fun in that? Make your own with The Kitchen Alchemist’s 9-Spice Root Beer Kit. $30 at The Silk Road Spice Merchant. 1403A 9 Ave. S.E., 403-261-1955, silkroadspices.ca 18
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12 The Belmont bar cart by Viski will glam up any room, perfect for bar ware and bottles or plants, books and other curated objects. $350 at Liz & Lottie. 537 Riverfront Ave. S.E., 403-263-0800, lizandlottie.ca
13 Handmade in Calgary by KnitWits, this chunky-knit cat bed is so creaturecomfortable you’ll want a people-sized one for yourself. $50 at Regal Cat Café. 303 10 St. N.W., 403-455-2287, regalcatcafe.com *Made in Calgary
14 Snuffle Mats slow down a dog’s eating, and offer other comforting benefits, as well. $42 at Doodle Dogs. 841 1 Ave. N.E., 403-452-2134; 3b Parkdale Cres. N.W., 587-349-3647; doodledogsboutique.com *Made in Calgary
15 A basic men’s hoodie can be dressed up with a blazer or paired with sweatpants for the ultimate in at-home comfort. $58 at Oak + Fort. CF Chinook Centre, 403-457-9199, oakandfort.com
16 Rocky Mountain Soap Co.’s Nomad hand sanitizers are powerful germ fighters with natural ingredients to keep skin soft. $18 for 240 mL, $6.95 for 60 mL. Multiple locations, rockymountainsoap.com *Made in Canmore
Meet the Matchmaker
Krystal Walter is Calgary’s go-to matchmaker and dating expert, matching singles all over Canada since 2012. She helps clients build meaningful relationships by finding ideal matches for professionals, executives and divorcees.
U N D E R40 CLASS OF 2020
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS!
Personalized & Confidential Krystal Walter Matchmaking is a personalized and confidential service that matches singles based on lifestyle, values, goals, personality and physical preferences. A thorough screening process is completed prior to onboarding so Krystal knows exactly what her clients are looking for in a partner. Dating During the Holidays Krystal loves the holidays—it’s by far the most romantic time of the year. However, there can be lots of pressure during the holidays from family members asking about your love life. If you need some extra guidance on the do’s and don’ts of holiday dating, Krystal has made hundreds of successful matches, and she can help guide you through the process! Call us to meet your perfect match!
The Ranchmen's Club, Woodford Reserve and RocketHouse.
1-888-919-9487 www.krystalwaltermatchmaking.com firstname.lastname@example.org avenuecalgary.com
17 OTS shampoo and conditioner bars help eliminate plastic waste. The Botanist with peppermint and rosemary makes for an invigorating start to the day. $35 (set) at The Cinder & Sage Loft. 2107B 4 St. S.W., 403-681-0705, cinderandsage.com *Made in Calgary 20
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18 Versatile, flattering and stylish, kimonos are all the rage, and the Serene kimono by Tofino Towels is just boho enough. $90 at Oak+Tonic. Southcentre, 403-236-9509; CF Market Mall, 587-352-4011; and CF Chinook Centre (pop-up until Jan. 30, 2021); oakandtonic.ca
19 In this age of typing and texting, there’s something inherently elegant about handwritten notes, especially with a Platignum studio fountain pen. $24 at Recess. 1323 9 Ave. S.E., 587-433-4226, recessshop.ca
20 Better living through better drinking is a noble goal and with Proof’s cocktail boxes, it’s an attainable one. Choose from eight boxes, including the Old Fashioned, with ice-cube tray, rocks glasses and instructions. $85 at Proof. 1302 1 St. S.W., 403-246-2414, proofyyc.com
21 Sitting outside in the winter is a lot more comfy with a Lazy Bear heated camp chair, with insulated beverage holder and phone pocket and a 10,000 mAh power bank to keep things toasty. $200 at Campers Village. 7208 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-252-3338, campers-village.com
25 24 22
22 You can always find stylish and unique items at Kate Hewkoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shop in the Devenish Building and this asymmetrical knit layering piece is no exception. $105 at Kate Hewko Concept Store. 112, 908 17 Ave. S.W., 587-356-1229, katehewko.com
23 Old-timey shaving is back in style, so say goodbye to wasteful disposable razors and grab a deluxe shaving kit (with complimentary mug) for the gents you know. $209 at Kent of Inglewood. 100B, 1316 9 Ave. S.E., 403-457-1595, kentofinglewood.com
24 Living in a bubble is better with board games, especially artisanal ones like the Whiskey Trail Woodwork cribbage board, complete with metal pegs and playing cards. $115 at Stuff. 709 11 Ave. S.W., 403-209-2606, stuff4him.ca *Made in Strathmore
25 Locally made Thirsty Naturals skin care is designed for teens and made from all-natural ingredients. Products range from $12 to $20 at Community Natural Foods. 1304 10 Ave. S.W., 403-930-6363, and two other locations, communitynaturalfoods.com *Made in Calgary
26 This soft quilted leather clutch by Tory Burch looks as good with a gown as it does dressed down. $498 at Nordstrom. CF Chinook Centre, 587-291-2000, nordstrom.ca
27 Made from recycled glass with a ceramic mechanism, these salt/ pepper grinders are designed by Indigenous B.C. artist Kelly Robinson (Nuu-chah-nulth/Nuxalk). $72 at Reworks Upcycle Shop. Bankers Hall (pop-up inside Dose of Happiness), 403-263-4366, shopreworks.ca 22
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28 The Central Library is a glorious architectural addition to the city, and you can show your love for it on your ears with library window earrings by Cinder & Sage. $22 from the Library Store. Online only, librarystore.ca *Made in Calgary
29 Finally, a sleek way to get a growler home by bike! This leather carrier strap by Fyxation is a musthave for pedalling around the Barley Belt. $60 at Bike and Brew. 921 1 Ave. N.E., 587-356-2739, gobikeandbrew.ca
30 Common Crown Brewing Co. was crowned 2020 Brewer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Celebrate with a four-pack of gold-medal-winning Coppersmith Brown Ale. $12.25 (off-sales). 943 28 St. N.E., commoncrown.ca *Made in Calgary
31 Be baby’s biggest booster with buttons that celebrate achievements such as: “I built a snowman” and “I can tie my shoes” by Calgary company Kasual Kiddo Handmade. $29 for a set of 12 at Collab (also available individually for $3). Southcentre, 403-724-7920, collabyyc.com
32 The Big Battery lamp by Kartell is rechargeable and cordless so it can be moved wherever soft light is needed and holds its charge for eight hours. $499 at Robert Sweep. 808 16 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8525, robertsweep.com
33 Calgary is Canada’s sunniest city, so your shades game needs to be strong here. With these Diff Eyewear x Uncommon James retro sunglasses, a percentage of sales goes to vision care around the world. $128 at 27 Boutique. 1510 17 Ave. S.W., 587-353-1127, 27boutique.com
34 Misplacing your mask is the new misplacing your glasses, but the fashionable/functional Milos mask chain by Coutukitsch ensures it’ll be right there when you need it. $35 at The Livery Shop. 1119 10 Ave. S.E., 403-453-7711, theliveryshop.com *Made in Calgary
35 Exceptionally comfortable Glerups slippers are designed in Denmark and made from pure felted wool. They feel like a hug for your feet, and who couldn’t use a hug right now? $100 at gravitypope. 1126 17 Ave. S.W., 403-209-0961, gravitypope.com
36 Storybook torches by Moulin Roty enhance the art of storytime. Insert a colourful disc in the flashlight, shine the projected images on something flat and captivate your audience. $22 at Purr Petite. 118 10 St. N.W., 403-283-7877, purrpetite.com
BY TSERING ASHA
SHOP LOCAL SHOP SAFELY
SHOP THE BOUTIQUES IN A RETAIL DISTRICT
Calgary has more than 10 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), which attract locals and tourists alike to boutiques, shops, restaurants and more. Since spending time in outdoor spaces lowers the chances of virus transmission, many BIAs are gearing up to welcome socially distanced shoppers. “Everyone is hungry for experiences that feel like normal life is returning,” says Annie MacInnis, executive director of Kensington BIA. Kensington will be hosting a number of holiday-themed events this December, on weekdays as well as weekends, to help spread out crowds and diminish contact outside cohorts. The BIA is also installing more lights to make Kensington look extra pretty, and staging social media campaigns with prizes. Families can greet Santa during his annual visit (minus sitting on his lap) and do self-guided supper 24
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How Calgary retailers are making the necessary tweaks to help their customers do their holiday shopping this year.
or hot chocolate tours. There will also be extended hours late-night shopping. Kensington isn’t the only BIA to explore this season: check out the shops of 17th Avenue S.W., or stroll 9th Avenue S.E. in Inglewood.
USE CONTACTLESS PICK-UP AND DELIVERY
When pandemic restrictions first shut down the city, many businesses were
quick to add reduced-contact options such as online ordering and curbside pick-up or delivery. These days so many shops offer new ways to access their wares without having to come into their stores that your best bet is to call your favourites to ask about the options. It’s best to call ahead (or visit the store’s website) even if you are planning to visit in person, as many have new rules in place to control capacity and ensure their customers can stay physically distanced. Plant,
located at 1327 9 Ave. S.E. in Inglewood, has implemented a reservation system similar to that of a restaurant: customers can choose to “wait in line” for their turn to shop in-store and are notified via text message when it’s their turn. Other local shops offering contactless pick-up or delivery: Collab, Southcentre (main level). gravitypope, 1126 17 Ave. S.W. Kit Interior Objects, 725 11 Ave. S.W.
SHOP BY APPOINTMENT
Booking an appointment or a private shopping party for yourself or your cohort is a practical and personal option to safely visit your favourite store. Saks Fifth Avenue, for example, has a service called Saks By Appointment. You can book time with a personal stylist who will take you through the store before or after regular store hours, decreasing contact with other customers. “We knew that we had to evolve with the times to still make the experience relatable back to our company, because we’re a company that really believes in personalization,” says Lydia Seifert, vice president general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Chinook Centre. Saks also offers virtual shopping
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COLLINS
OVID-19 continues to alter our habitual ways of living, and figuring out how to shop this season is just one more thing to consider. Local retailers know there’s no room for crowds this year and have implemented some creative approaches. Here are some of the options out there for safer shopping this season.
appointments via video chat with personal stylists who will take you around either Saks Chinook or Saks Toronto locations showing products and options in real time. Other local shops with personalized shopping experiences: 27 Boutique, 1510 17 Ave. S.W.; private after-hours shopping and one-on-one styling appointments. Joydrop, Southcentre, Westhills and CF Market Mall; private shopping hours by appointment and appointment shopping during regular hours. Rubaiyat, 722 17 Ave. S.W.; in-store shopping by appointment (also open at reduced hours for non-appointment shopping in December.)
SHOP FOR MADE-IN-CALGARY BRANDS ONLINE
If you prefer to shop from home, or you’re unable to leave your home but still want to support local retailers, Calgary-based localshops.com has launched just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, with more than 10,000 products listed and growing by the day. The beauty of this platform is that it gives local artisans and businesses a home advantage in the e-commerce space. Simply select a city you’d like to browse in on the homepage, and shop away. Etsy, the global marketplace for handmade and vintage items, is another great resource for reaching independent maker-retailers in Calgary who may or may not have a storefront. It’s relatively easy to tailor your search to find them: after searching for an item on the Etsy homepage, open the filters on the left-hand side and change your shop location to Calgary, Alberta.
STROLL THROUGH INGLEWOOD POPPING INTO THE MANY BOUTIQUES A L O N G 9 T H AV E N U E .
FUNDRAISING IN HARD TIMES
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BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH
The economic downturn had already slashed charitable giving budgets in Calgary, but the pandemic has brought both unprecedented difficulties and higher needs. Now those raising funds for non-profits and charities are working to figure out how to move forward.
D O N AT I O N S WA I T I N G T O B E PA C K A G E D I N T O H A M P E R S AT U M O J A C O M M U N I T Y M O S A I C .
ost weekday mornings since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March, the Soccer Without Boundaries headquarters has been a hive of (masked and socially distanced) activity. Located in a nondescript townhouse in an affordable housing community in the southwest, the living room and kitchen are full of volunteers packing hampers of vegetables, tinned fish and other foodstuffs, as well as diapers and other supplies. Each hamper is tailored to fit the needs and cultural specifications of the recipients. Shelves and tables are stacked with bags of cassava flour and different varieties of porridge — staples for newcomer families from East and West Africa, who are in need of nourishing and familiar food explains Jean Claude Munyezamu, the group’s founder and executive director. Before the pandemic, food distribution wasn’t on the menu for Munyezamu — his mandate has always been about building connection through soccer clubs and after-school programs. But as he looked around neighbourhoods like the one where his office is located, Munyezamu saw that his neighbours were facing unemployment and that traditional food distribution centres were either closed or too difficult for people to access without transit. So, Munyezamu shifted gears and by the end of the summer he was sending weekly hampers to 500 families (roughly 1,800 people), and had plans to expand. Since then, the organization has changed its name to Umoja Community Mosaic to better suit the shift in focus. avenuecalgary.com
f there was ever a time that Calgary needed people like Munyezamu and others rushing to meet the needs of our more vulnerable citizens, it’s now. Stories of charities and grassroots organizations springing into action to meet the immediate needs of communities during the pandemic (on top of what has seemed like a never-ending economic downturn since the price of oil dropped in 2014) aren’t uncommon. As the world shifted, seemingly overnight, many Calgarians of means fought pangs of helplessness and dread by opening both their chequebooks and schedules to donate or volunteer, feeling the need to do something. That altruism in the face of emergency has been helpful — and for most charities every dollar really does count, but individual donations have been a bit of a Band-Aid solution. Current conditions continue to hit most non-profits hard, especially when so many rely on big corporate dollars and flashy in-person events to keep their budgets rolling. And for many charities, the needs they serve have grown in inverse proportion to the decline in corporate gifting. While the scene at Umoja Community Mosaic is certainly inspiring, even for Munyezamu things are not entirely rosy. He says that despite the community enthusiasm for what he’s doing and a new influx of volunteers, online donations as well as some money from sponsors and funders like Calgary Foundation and United Way, it’s still not enough to meet the demand for food. In order to support local businesses and ensure his clients have culturally specific food, Munyezamu buys from nearby markets rather than relying on in-kind food donations. He’s constantly worried that the funding for his hampers won’t be there the following month. “Shifting from sport to food was very easy,” Munyezamu says. “I had the people to do it. But the problem is funding — we still have a problem with funding. The money we raised online between March and August is as much as we’ve had over the last 10 years in total. But the need is
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“The money we raised online between March and August is as much as we’ve had over the last 10 years in total. But the need is growing and it isn’t enough.” JEAN CLAUDE MUNYEZAMU, UMOJA COMMUNITY MOSAIC
growing and it isn’t enough.” A growing need and a shortfall of funds is a pretty common story for the charitable sector and something many have been struggling with for the last five years of Calgary’s economic downturn, if not longer. But COVID-19 has created a new state of crisis. Allison Schulz, vice-president of capacity building at Calgary Foundation, says that corporate sponsorships — which typically provide a much more robust and reliable injection of cash than donations from individuals — have been steadily declining since 2015 and big gala dinners and events, which act as marketing events for charities as well as fundraisers, have ground to an understandable halt. Calgary Foundation works directly with big-ticket donors and hundreds of non-profit and charitable agencies, both by inspiring local philanthropists to give and by offering grants to community organizations. Schulz says the foundation has seen an uptick in the number of donors looking to set up long-term legacy endowments as they contemplate the gravity of the pandemic and other world events, as well as excitement around grassroots projects like Umoja Community Mosaic. However, she says there’s no sugarcoating the fact that most charitable organizations have seen a shortfall in revenue over the last several years, even before COVID-19 factored in. “When we look at that diversification of revenue, between government grants, philanthropy and corporate sponsorship, we are seeing a decrease overall of what will be available to organizations,” Schulz says. “When there is an excess of demand for services over revenue, charities have to become resourceful. They need to think about how they are going to do things differently, not just to survive, but to focus on their mission and core purpose.” ifferent kinds of organizations are experiencing different levels of funding issues. The Alex, a multi-pronged agency that runs a number of initiatives, including a community health centre,
AY S H A K L A W I T T E R , T H E A L E X C O M M U N I T Y F O O D C E N T R E .
housing programs and a community food centre, offers critical frontline services of essential importance to its clients. Tori Wright, The Alex’s director of community engagement and development says that her organization hasn’t seen a serious post-COVID dip in revenue as of yet and that it is also seeing some flexibility from funding partners authorizing money marked for pre-COVID projects to be reallocated for urgent-response measures. When The Alex could no longer run its mobile health buses during the spring due to the pandemic shutdown, the organization regrouped. The staff across its mobile health buses, as well as the food and social support staff, reorganized and developed emergency social dispatch efforts to connect with 5,000 vulnerable Calgarians over the first three months of the pandemic, delivering 14,500 meals and distributing $77,000 worth of grocery cards. All of that is encouraging, but The Alex is bracing itself for what comes next as the initial shock of the pandemic fades and Calgarians fall into a “new normal” with an even more challenging local economy and limited fundraising opportunities. “We have seen incredible support from hundreds of community-minded people and generous corporate supporters,”
Wright says. “But it’s really that horizon of future fundraising that we have our eye on, beyond the response phase of this pandemic. We can imagine that there’s going to be some impact on the people who have supported us through this time, and we don’t know what the ripple effect will be into the next year and even a couple of years down the road.” Grassroots and emergency response services are one thing, but Calgary’s arts sector is in a significantly tighter spot. Patti Pon, president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development, says that not-for-profit arts organizations typically rely on a combination of government funding, community fundraising, corporate sponsorships and earned revenue (such as ticket sales) to make ends meet. Calgary Arts Development supports local arts organizations by allocating City funding. While Pon says she’s pleased that Calgary City Council committed to keeping municipal funding in place through an emergency resiliency fund and a doubling of her organization’s base fund in response to the downturn, the other three pieces were already waning before the pandemic. Although several arts organizations saw a quick uptick in donations in the spring when many patrons chose to donate the ticket cost of cancelled avenuecalgary.com
programming back to the organizations rather than accepting a refund, both the sponsorship aspect and tickets sales dropped off immediately as of midMarch. And now arts companies have no ability to plan for future performances. “Arts was one of the first and most significantly impacted sectors when public gatherings were banned,” Pon says. “Most companies have no real idea of when they can sell a ticket or how they can garner a sponsorship because they don’t know when they’ll be back up and going again. We’re not anticipating that the full recovery of the sector will come until 2022 or even into 2023.” This is compounded by so many arts organizations building their philanthropy models on performances and other in-person events. Whereas many Calgarians write an annual cheque to the Calgary Food Bank or the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre over the holidays, we’re more likely to support arts organizations by going to a show or gala. These luxuries are the first to be dropped from household budgets during an economic pinch and are impossible to host during a pandemic, in their traditional formats at least. The other fundraising standby for many non-profits, charity casino revenue, was also already dwindling because of higher demand for the available spots over the course of the downturn. Then with casinos closed for months over the early part of the pandemic, many organizations lost their chance for that revenue entirely this year.
o, what is a charity or non-profit to do? The answer, as with so much that’s happened over the last year, is to pivot. Just like many local businesses and indeed many families, charities and non-profits are looking at every line item and rethinking how they do what they do. Pam Krause, president and CEO at the Centre for Sexuality, feels lucky that she was able to squeak in its inaugural ReProm gala fundraiser. The gala, styled as a do-over of high-school prom for
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“We have seen incredible support from hundreds of community-minded people and generous corporate supporters, but it’s really that horizon of future fundraising that we have our eye on.” TORI WRIGHT, THE ALEX
B E L O W : S H R U T I M U K H E R J I , T O R I W R I G H T, M A C K E N Z I E G U L I A K , K E N N E D Y H U I Z E R , A I D A N S M I T H , B A R B A R A C U R R I E , K I R A D A LY A T T H E A L E X .
LGBTQ2S+ adults and allies, was held in February, a few weeks before most public events were cancelled. But the likelihood of being able to host it again in 2021 seems low. Krause and other non-profits that serve the LGBTQ2S+ community also lost huge fundraising opportunities when Pride celebrations were curtailed this past summer. But this proved to be an example of where a community was able to get creative. Some events like the Shake, Stir & Strainbow cocktail fundraiser for Skipping Stone (a foundation that
supports trans Albertans) and other smaller product and restaurant-based initiatives were able to proceed, while also encouraging supporters to spend their money at struggling local businesses. Similarly, Krause and her team transformed their annual Pride Brunch into a virtual event. The brunch supports the Centre’s Camp fYrefly, a program for LGBTQ2S+ youth that itself had to take place online this summer. During this year’s fundraiser, supporters watched the programming from home and had the option to purchase a takeout brunch from one of three participating local restaurants. The ticket price (and subsequently, the revenue) was substantially lower than it would have been for the in-person event, but this was partially offset by lower overhead and a greater number of people who could attend without even having to be in the city. Krause said while it wasn’t ideal, in addition to raising some money the brunch did accomplish the goal of raising awareness for Camp fYrefly and the Centre’s other programming. While many organizations are still figuring out how to make these virtual events work, Krause does think that we may see a permanent shift away from the traditional gala format, even when large-scale events are deemed safe again. “2021 is when we’ll really be thinking about if we’re all going to jump back on the bandwagon and go back to those 400-people dinners at the Convention Centre. We really need to start thinking about creative ways of doing things,” Krause says. “It’s going to become about being savvy and figuring out ways to gain attention for the needs you have.” Many working in the charitable sector agree — innovation and the ability to reimagine fundraising is going to be key as we contemplate a new reality. There’s a danger that the novelty of virtual charity events will grow thin before long, but we’ve seen attention-garnering projects, ranging from Wordfest’s 25@25 online festival to the NHL’s wildly successful 50/50 draws over the last few months. Funders are also trying to do their part: Calgary Foundation developed a COVID-19 recovery fund earlier this year
“We really need to start thinking about creative ways of doing things. It’s going to become about being savvy and figuring out ways to gain attention for the needs you have.” PAM KRAUSE, CENTRE FOR SEXUALITY
and in the summer Calgary Arts Development introduced its Rise Up platform to help boost arts companies’ efforts to generate revenue. Artists, frontline workers and events organizers tend to be creative and resourceful, meaning they’re likely to come up with new ideas that work and form corporate partnerships with businesses that have been more resilient during the downturn, while pooling their resources and even merging fundraisers and services to make the most of limited funds. But they also need enough runway to come up with these creative ideas
before they disappear. From grassroots organizations like Umoja Community Mosaic to massive charities with multi-million-dollar budgets, they all need support, and as a city and a society, we have to collectively figure out a way to prioritize the services and programming we most value. “Organizations really have to identify those opportunities to engage people, but in a way that is protecting them and keeping them safe,” Schulz says. “Between the economy and COVID, we can’t go back to the way things were. That time is gone.” avenuecalgary.com
Holiday gift guide
BESSIE BOX Support local farmers and gift AB beef this holiday season. Use code AVENUE10 for $10 off. bessiebox.com
CARRIAGE HOUSE HOTEL Give the gift of a relaxing and safe staycation. Check out our seasonal guest room packages. carriagehouse.net
MASTER CHOCOLAT Master your cravings with Master Chocolatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate Gift Boxes. Find us at one of our 3 locations or shop online. (403) 252-5750 masterchocolat.com
LAMOSE Personalize your corporate holiday gifts with names, logos or photos at LAMOSE. (403) 225-0926 lamose.ca
CEDAR & STEAM Come experience the secrets of relaxation with sauna & steam sessions. Get the full experience when you book a massage. (825) 251-2386 [text] (403) 452-2257 [phone] cedarandsteam.com
HOME TWEET HOME Rustic Birdhouses made from Cedar, driftwood, rocks, acorns and other natural products. Find us on Facebook or email to order. Home Tweet Home email@example.com
CUISINE ET CHATEAU CULINARY CENTRE Give the gift of an exceptional food experience, in-person or online, with professional chefs. 227, 10 Street N.W. (403) 764-COOK cuisineandchateau.com
MOXIE’S GRILL & BAR Purchase $50 in Moxie’s gift cards this holiday season and receive a FREE $10 bonus card! For bulk orders & incentives, visit: moxies.com/giftcards
ROUTINE NATURAL DEODORANT Crafted in Calgary by sisters, Routine Natural Deodorant offers a rainbow’s worth of scents so you can find a hue that’s true to you. routinecream.com
STUDIO BELL Find unique, music-inspired gifts by local artisans. Browse the NMC Gift Shop in-person at Studio Bell or online at: nmcgiftshop.ca
WILD ROSE BREWERY With a flavour reminiscent of Black Forest cake, Cherry Porter returns to the taproom and liquor stores across Alberta. wildrosebrewery.com
BANFF SUNSHINE Gift the gift of Canada’s Best Snow this holiday season and treat the skier or snowboarder on your list to a Sunshine Super Card. skibanff.com
TELUS SPARK SCIENCE CENTRE Cuddle up with Amuseable Pineapple! Spark joy this holiday season. Visit the Spark Store online to find that perfect science-inspired gift. sparkscience.ca
SALON TRUE Oway Linea Razor: An elegant rust-proof razor. 100% stainless steel and aluminum, shop the collection at Salon True Bespoke. 924 17 Avenue SW. salontruebespoke.com
YANN HAUTE PATISSERIE Authentic French macarons & holiday desserts, the gift of comfort & yums for everyone! 329, 23rd Avenue SW (403) 244-8091 yannboutique.com
AVENUE MAGAZINE Give the gift of local stories with a subscription to Avenue magazine. Three month and yearly subscriptions available. $5 from each year-long subcription goes to The Magic of Christmas. redpoint-media.com
GIVING BACK A L I C E L A M is building community by connecting people, whether through the creation of Volly, an app that pairs volunteers with the organizations that need them, her own volunteer work, or the management of the Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market.
hen Alice Lam started Volly, a web-based platform that works as a sort of concierge service connecting volunteers and nonprofits, she put into practice her desire for community building. Volly connects volunteers to causes they are passionate about, and volunteer opportunities that fit their schedule. Non-profit organizations also use the site to find people who care about the work they do and manage the logistics of coordinating multiple volunteers to achieve success in their projects. “I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to find an emotional connection to a volunteer opportunity,” says Lam. “Whether it was working with seniors, immigrants or animals, volunteering is the most effective when they feel connected to the cause.” What sets Volly apart from other volunteer assistance websites or apps is that although it’s an online platform, there is a human element to the interaction and users can email real people for advice. While anyone can browse the opportunities on the site, once they’ve registered, volunteers can build a profile by choosing from a dropdown menu that includes more than 30 types of non-profit causes such as LQBTQ+, youth or Indigenous causes. Potential volunteers can use an interactive map to find opportunities close to home or work and filter searches to events, ongoing groups and donation opportunities. “People do not have a lot of time to do research on every organization in search of volunteers. I wanted to do that research for them and create a platform that people can easily use to find their next volunteer opportunity,” says Lam. Lam was inspired to create Volly during her time working as a communications project manager with an educational consulting company in New York. That’s where she came across the New York Cares website, which connects New Yorkers interested in volunteering to causes and organizations of their choice. When Lam moved back to Calgary in 2014, she got to work building Volly with help from CivicTechYYC, a group that pairs those with technological expertise with people like Lam who have a great idea. Volly officially launched in 2018.
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“I WANTED TO MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO FIND AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY.” -ALICE LAM, CREATOR OF VOLLY
B Y T R AV I S K L E M P P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y J A R E D S Y C H C R A F T I N G B Y T E R E S A J O H N S T O N
Today, Volly has helped more than 2,000 Calgarians find causes to work with and has assisted over 80 non-profit organizations find the help they need. Larry Mathieson, CEO of the Kerby Centre, a local seniors advocacy organization, says that when COVID-19 hit, many of the services they offer became much more complex, requiring more volunteers at a time when they were harder to find. “We were in a position where we needed help immediately,” Mathieson says. The Kerby Centre began delivering free meals to seniors in March when the city was just beginning to feel the intense impact of COVID-19. By August 7th, the centre had delivered 10,000 meals. According to Mathieson, none of that would have been possible without Volly. “Being in the non-profit world we definitely knew of Alice and the incredible work she has done and continues to do. We are so grateful for her and Volly and so are those who got their meals delivered. We needed 50 drivers — she got them to us,” says Mathieson. Lam, a born and raised Calgarian whose parents moved to the city as Vietnamese refugees, is a methodical and intelligent speaker. When she talks about community building, her words carry a confidence driven by her passion for positively impacting her city. As is the case for many young people, Lam’s first foray into volunteering was driven by how it would look on her university application. At the end of junior high school and throughout high school she volunteered at the public library helping immigrant children with their reading comprehension. “I learned very quickly that it was so much more than something to go on a transcript, it was an opportunity to interact with these kids who did not have a lot of adults in their lives, outside of their parents, who looked like them, who could speak their language and who they could trust,” she says. While her volunteering may have helped get her into the University of Alberta, where
she completed a degree in economics, and then to a spot at the IÉSEG School of Management in France for a masters of science in management with a specialization in strategy, organization and human resources, that first opportunity opened Lam’s eyes to the importance of connecting with the community. Lam now applies what she learned in university and her passion for citizen-led initiatives in the name of civic engagement to unite Calgarians. She has spent time working with the Creative Aging Calgary Society, Crescent Heights Community Association and the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA), among others. According to those who have volunteered alongside her, Lam does not simply sit on the boards of these organizations, she leans in 100 per cent. “[For Alice] this is not just about volunteerism,” says Shirley Turnbull, a former director on the CIWA board with Lam. “Alice is not in that class of do-gooders who sit on boards for an hour a month, satisfied with just managing problems. Alice wants to fix them. She is always looking for different ways to problem-solve. What I love most about Alice is that she is humble, and she is not afraid to ask for advice.” In addition to managing Volly, Lam works as a commercial property manager with Certus Developments. It was her day job that led to one of the many other hats she wears as the founder of the Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market in Crescent Heights. The Tigerstedt Block is one of the only remaining unchanged commercial blocks in the city, and its initial construction in 1928 marked the beginning of development on Centre Street north of the river. It is now owned by Certus Developments, and in 2018, when Lam saw that one of the businesses on the block was folding, she jumped at the opportunity to build something for the Crescent Heights community.
For years beforehand, Lam and her friends had hosted pop-up markets for local artisans in community centres. They had always had great turnouts, so the opportunity to expand was intriguing. Today, the Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market has two permanent vendors, Prairie Bazaar and Strawberry Boots, and the remaining area is reserved for pop-up shops from local makers, scheduled flea markets and holiday markets. From jewellers to florists, dollmakers to fashion designers, the Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market hosts some of the most unique artisans in the city and also sells products online through its website. “I really wanted the block to survive and give local makers the opportunity to sell their goods at a lower price. We started the market to give artists and artisans a way to showcase their product but also to tell people to explore the whole block, grab a coffee, meet the great people,” says Lam. Most recently, Lam has helped build the crowd-funded community fridge in Crescent Heights. The idea of a community fridge (which had already popped up in cities including Edmonton, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles) is to address food inequality by providing essential goods to those who don’t have access or cannot afford them. The Calgary Community Fridge, located at the Tigerstedt Block, is stocked with fresh produce and perishable foods, as well as dry items and pantry essentials. It is open and free to use by anyone who needs it, no questions asked. Lam has been part of communities of all sizes and scopes. She has travelled the world and learned from community builders in other countries. For Lam, the idea of community always comes back to connecting the people who build communities. Her greatest work, in that sense, has been in building and strengthening places where even more connections can be made by others.
FIND OUT MORE Volly, vollyapp.com ; Tigerstedt Flea Pop-Up Market, tigerstedtflea.square.site ; Calgary Community Fridge, linktr.ee/calgarycommunityfridge
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“WE STARTED THE MARKET TO GIVE ARTISTS AND ARTISANS A WAY TO SHOWCASE THEIR PRODUCT BUT ALSO TO TELL PEOPLE TO EXPLORE THE WHOLE BLOCK.” -ALICE LAM, CREATOR OF VOLLY
M AY N G
etween a worldwide pandemic, increased unemployment that has exacerbated an economic downturn and restrictions on how we gather and with whom, this year’s holiday party season is packed with challenges for Calgary restaurants and hotels. You won’t see many of the “closed for private booking” signs that usually hang on restaurant doors at this time of year, because with lower capacity numbers due to social-distancing regulations, for many venues private buyouts don’t make sense economically. But despite, or perhaps because of it all, Calgarians want to celebrate the season with friends, colleagues and clients, somehow. “It’s been a difficult year for everyone,” says Hotel Arts general manager Mark Wilson. Even so, he says, “people still want to host safe and memorable celebrations.” So this year, it’s all about the party pivot. To answer the need for creative and strategic thinking to keep the holiday spirit alive for themselves and their clients, hotels and restaurants are tackling the party season with four main tactics. CYBER C E L E B R AT I O N S
AT G O R O + G U N T H E Y A R E D O I N G IN-PERSON SUSHI-MAKING CLASSES WITH SMALLER GROUPS SPLIT A C R O S S S E V E R A L TA B L E S .
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ith an internet connection and a package of tasty goodies, celebrating the holidays can be a virtual experience. At this time of year, restaurant buyouts and corporate cocktail parties are usually the norm for Concorde Group, whose properties, such as Model Milk, Bridgette Bar and Goro + Gun, are typically booked up for the whole season. Concorde’s manager of business development Tifanee Po notes that bookings of smaller groups in-line with pandemic-enacted restaurant restrictions have been strong this year. But aside from that, Concorde is also offering virtual cooking classes, with a pre-recorded class and packaged ingredients, so people can then log in and follow along. At Goro + Gun they are doing in-person sushi-making classes with smaller groups split across several tables as a chef guides them through the process, while some of the other Concorde restaurants will offer chef cooking demonstrations at their in-person events.
PA R T Y P i VO T
Although it’s beginn ing to look a lot like Christmas, for the hospitality in dustry, this year’s ho liday season will look like no other. BY GWENDOLYN R ICHARDS PHOTOG RAPHY BY COLIN WAY
“ E V E RY T H I N G H AS TO B E R E T H O U G H T A N D T I N K E R E D W I T H .” FRASER ABBOTT, HOTEL ARTS
HOTEL ARTS TO GO P R I VAT E D I N I N G AT D E A N E H O U S E
Hotel Arts is also delving into the world of online gatherings this season. Where the hotel would normally welcome parties of up to 1,000 guests, COVID-19 health restrictions have stymied that. So, Hotel Arts has taken a three-pronged approach: what they’ve termed “multi-day, multi-time and multi-venue.” The multi-venue approach means having smaller groups from the same company at a number of locations, all celebrating at the same time — with the same menu — with the possibility of a video connection between them all. “Virtually, they will be all together. It’s the same experience, but in different locations, so it won’t be ‘Oh, accounting got the shrimp and we got this dish instead,’” says Fraser Abbott, the hotel’s director of business development. For the multi-time approach, the host welcomes different small groups at various times during one day, or even over the course of several days, allowing for proper cleaning protocols in between. Hotel Arts also offers a virtual party, complete with a link to live entertainment and food and beverages delivered to a distribution location, such as an office, where partygoers can pick them up to then enjoy in their own homes. Alternately, guests can book into different rooms at the hotel to enjoy the party as a staycation. Event organizers are also aware that not everyone in a group is necessarily at the same comfort level when it comes to socializing 40
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“TK TK” TK TK
“ YO U ’ R E G O I N G T O C E L E B R AT E T H I S Y E A R B U T YO U ’ R E N OT G O I N G T O T H R O W A 1 0 0 - P E R S O N P A R T Y.” SAL HOWELL, DEANE HOUSE AND RIVER CAFÉ
these days. And, so Hotel Arts has created a hybrid approach for those who feel comfortable attending an in-person event with others joining virtually. “They would have the same experience, except some people are in their pyjamas while others are in their ballgowns,” Abbott says. Abbott notes that these offerings mean a lot more logistical hoops to jump through than a typical holiday season, but he’s happy for the chance for guests to celebrate in a safe way. “Everything has to be rethought and tinkered with. It’s finding ways to be innovative because of the safety factor and then dialing it up with that creativity,” he says. “We want to get people back to a sense of excitement.”
P E T I T E PA R T I E S
his past September saw Joell Bradco phoning companies to let them know their 150-person parties — many of which had been booked since the previous winter — were no longer feasible. As Bonterra’s assistant general manager and events manager, it was her task to outline for clients the restaurant’s new capacity for private bookings (54 total, with 36 in the main dining area and 18 in the wine room) and new rules (guests have to remain seated and wear masks when moving around the space; mingling is discouraged). Events could be split across several nights or booked for a smaller number and the flow of the evening would change.
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“It’s not that we don’t want them to have parties, it’s just that we need them to understand the safety stipulations,” she says. While the capacity restriction has forced some parties to cancel, Bradco says this has also opened up bookings for other smaller groups who have been calling the restaurant. “People are still looking for the Bonterra experience,” she says. Deane House, with its collection of rooms, is ideally set up for smaller gatherings. Since spontaneous dining has taken a backseat during the pandemic, proprietor Sal Howell says Deane House has reintroduced tasting menus at the historic home restaurant. These celebratory menus will be available through the holiday season. “We have found that people really want to dine out and they want to make an occasion out of it, so we’ve built on that,” she says. At Howell’s other restaurant, River Café, the holiday season usually finds the doors closed to regular patrons as private bookings take up most evenings. This year instead, River Café will remain open for à la carte services, allowing for many more chances for smaller celebrations, says Howell. “If you can’t travel or go somewhere, you can still escape the city by walking (or snowshoeing or cross-country skiing) over to Prince’s Island,” Howell says. “Our fireplace will be roaring.” S T AY- A T - H O M E
estaurants and hotels are banking on some people still wanting to celebrate with a restaurant-quality meal or appetizers, but at home. Concorde’s Po says there is an appetite for catering and she expects that to increase even more over the holiday season. Teatro Group launched a new catering division in August, with offerings from its numerous restaurants. While there are set menus available, events manager Brittany Rondeau says customers can also have custom-made 42
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” “WE’RE DOING WELL AND, BECAUSE WE’RE DOING WELL, WE CAN’T AFFORD T O D O C H R I S T M A S PA R T I E S . I T ’ S S U R R E A L , T O B E H O N E S T .” STEPHEN DEERE, MODERN STEAK
BUSINESS AS meals created. “If people have wines they want to serve, for example, they can work with our chefs to create a menu,” she says. Few restaurants have more experience with take-out turkey than River Café, which will be offering that, along with several other eat-at-home options, over the holiday season. Howell says the restaurant offers a handful of family dinner menus, complete with detailed instructions, that people can book in advance for any day of the week, plus “River Café Party Provisions” — a package of canapés and other ready-to-eat goodies. River Café’s eat-at-home offerings are now available for pickup at Deane House, which is more conveniently located for drive-up access. Deane House will also continue to offer Friday pickup meal kits with different menus each week, a service it started last summer. All, of course, can be purchased with wine pairings, cider or cocktail kits and fresh flowers. “You’re going to celebrate the holidays this year, but you’re not going to throw a 100-person party,” says Howell. “The trend will be entertaining at home, family dinner at home.”
or the first time in his 20 years as a restaurant owner, Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak, is turning down party bookings. Instead, both locations will be open for regular dining throughout the season. Normally, Deere would welcome the chance to reserve tables or restaurant buyouts for sitdown dinners and cocktail parties. But, with the physical distancing requirements under COVID-19, parties are a money-losing proposition due to the limits on how many people can be in the space at once. And so Deere, along with many other restaurateurs will spend the holidays as if Christmastime isn’t here at all. “We can’t make the numbers work,” Deere says. “We’re doing well and, because we’re doing well, we can’t afford to do Christmas parties. It’s surreal, to be honest.” Perhaps that’s the most consistent current approach to celebration for the partygoers, their hosts, and the restaurants welcoming them: we all just have to find what works to get through this strange and surreal time.
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WINTER M O U N TA I N DEALS Whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay or something to do, there are deals to be had in the nearby mountains.
ith winter in full force, the mountains are beckoning us to come and experience astonishing views, invigorating activities and cozy lodgings. This year there are great deals out there for Albertans staying closer to home. Here are some of the top deals offered over the next three months in Banff, Canmore and other nearby mountain destinations.
W H E R E T O S TAY Banff Lodging Company oversees some of Banff and Canmore’s most popular hotels and lodges. Additionally, the company oversees a range of restaurants and two spa facilities, which figure into Banff Lodging Co.’s various getaway packages. One example is the “Moose Forget-me-not Package” at the Moose Hotel & Suites, which includes one night in a Superior hotel room, two glasses of wine at Pacini restaurant and two $100 credits for Meadow Spa & Pools. Another is the “Everything Caribou” 44
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package at the Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa, a one-night stay, $50 food and beverage credit at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar in Banff and two $75 credits for Red Earth Spa, starting at $150 per person. If you prefer condo-style accommodations, Hidden Ridge Resort, located up Tunnel Mountain Road in Banff, has a “Hidden Ridge Winter Warmer” package starting at $75 per person that includes a one-night stay, a bottle of red or white wine and a s’mores package to enjoy at the outdoor fire pits. bestofbanff.com The Charming Inns of Alberta is a 12-member group of privately owned and operated boutique inns in the province. Members include A Bear and Bison Inn and Georgetown Inn in Canmore, Baker Creek Mountain Resort near Lake Louise, Riverside Chateau in Bragg Creek, The Juniper Hotel & Bistro in Banff, The Crossing at Ghost River near Cochrane and six others. In celebration of Charming Inns’ 20th year, the group is offering a 10-per cent bonus top-up on gift cards for any of the member inns (for example: a $100 gift card would become $110) when purchased through the Charming Inns website. charminginnsofalberta.com The “Canadian Rockies Ski Package” at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs is the ultimate luxury ski getaway. The package includes breakfast, plus two ski passes for each day booked that can be used at the “SkiBig3” resorts in Banff National Park (Mount Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village and the Lake Louise Ski Resort), with complimentary shuttle service between the resorts and the hotel. Rates start
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at $659 per night, which might seem steep, but with single-day adult lift tickets at the Big3 resorts ranging from $93 to $127 this season, it ends up being a pretty good rate for a stay at the Castle in the Rockies. The Springs also offers a year-round Alberta residents’ discount on accommodations of up to 30-per cent off the best available rate (based on double occupancy and subject to availability), but note that to get it you have to provide proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, at check-in. fairmont.com/banff-springs/ The Malcolm Hotel in Canmore has two great deals for the winter season for two very different experiences. The “Bed & Breakfast” package, starting at $200 per night, includes a suite or luxury room and daily breakfast (full menu) in the hotel’s Stirling Grill, while the “Romance Getaway” package, starting at $300 per night, includes a luxury room adorned with rose petals, a bottle of wine upon check-
in and a $100 dining credit at the Stirling. malcolmhotel.ca Throughout the winter season (excluding Dec. 19, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021) Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis Country has reduced rates for weeknight stays (Sunday to Wednesday). That, combined with the weeknight stay discount of 30-per cent offered year-round, makes wintertime the best time if you want to save on your stay at Engadine. The lodge also offers a year-round 10-per cent Alberta residents’ discount on overnight stays, though the residents’ rate can’t be combined with the weeknight discount. That being said, Mount Engadine is one of the Charming Inns of Alberta, and the current gift-card bonus offered by that organization can be used on discounted bookings at the lodge. mountengadine.com Signing up for Pursuit Rewards gives Alberta residents up to 20 per cent off at Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection hotels such as Mount Royal Hotel and Elk + Avenue Hotel in Banff, and Pyramid Lake Resort in Jasper. Pursuit Rewards also gets you 15-per cent off food purchases at the group’s signature restaurants, including the new Farm & Fire in Banff, Sky Bistro at the top of the Banff Gondola and Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen at Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park. banffjaspercollection.com And, if you’re up for a last-minute trip to Fernie, take note that Fernie Central Reservations is offering 10-per cent off for Alberta residents on bookings up to Friday, Dec. 11, on their in-town and on-mountain condos, townhomes and private vacation homes. ferniecentralreservations.com avenuecalgary.com
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long with deals on where to stay, there are great deals to be had this winter on things to do in the mountains. Most, if not all, ski areas offer deals and incentives for season’s pass-holders. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, check the resort websites regularly. For some of the best ski resort deals out there, though, head south. Castle Mountain Resort, located near Pincher Creek on the western edge of Waterton Lakes National Park, has a “Wonders of Winter Card” for $85 that gives cardholders 50-per cent off lift ticket purchases on any day at the resort throughout the 2020-2021 winter season (that’s right, no holiday blackout dates) and up to five 50-per cent off day passes at Pass Powderkeg ski area in Crowsnest Pass. The W.O.W. card is on sale until Dec. 31, 2020 and is available to anyone aged 13 and up. 46
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Those new to skiing or snowboarding should definitely consider Pass Powderkeg’s “Learn to Turn” program. For just $250, you get four lessons starting at the beginner level and progressing with the rider’s ability, and upon completing the lessons you’re gifted with a free season’s pass. The Learn to Turn package also includes a 50-per cent discount on a season equipment rental package and a 25-per cent discount on a 2021-2022 season’s pass. skicastle.ca, passpowderkeg.com There’s also a variety of things to do in the mountains that don’t involve skiing or snowboarding. The Discover Banff & Its Wildlife Winter Tour guided by Discover Banff includes some of the most scenic and historic attractions in the area, such as the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, Bow Falls, Surprise Corner Viewpoint, Hoodoos Viewpoint and Lake Minnewanka, with hot chocolate and maple cookies at one of the beautiful stops. You can
save 20 per cent on your tour by booking at least one week in advance through the Travel Alberta website, travelalberta.com, and using the coupon code Online2Save. Booking at least one week in advance through travelalberta. com and using the Online2Save coupon code can also score you a 10-per cent discount on a Banff Trail Riders sleigh ride. The 40-minute ride delivers the postcard-perfect and quintessentially Canadian experience of gliding along against a backdrop of mountain scenery, all bundled up in cozy blankets. Same thing goes for a 20-per cent discount on full-day guided tours at Lake Louise, which include hot chocolate and the chance to give snowshoeing a try. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend in the mountains or to get active in the outdoors, there are deals out there for everyone this winter season. Get ’em while they’re cold.
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B Y T S E R I N G A S H A A N D C O L I N G A L L A N T I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y P E T E R Y A N
THE GUIDE TO WINTERTAINING Even as daylight dwindles and temperatures tumble, there are still ways to have a stylish and fun outdoor party.
uring the warm-weather months of if you’ve got flames you don’t have to work too hard on lighting — string lights will do. For something this past year, outdoor gatherings more permanent, The Outdoor Lighting Company with guest lists carefully compiled has great options. to observe COVID-related restrictions helped open up our social Shelters trap heat and block out wind and lives. But the advent of winter snow, making them a wintertaining must-have. doesn’t mean we have to close them again. Calgary The top-of-the-line option is a permanent winters are harsh, no doubt, and outdoor “winterstructure such as a gazebo or luxury shed, but taining” can be a challenge, but Calgarians are a even a pop-up canopy makes a difference. Naomi tough bunch and more than up to the challenge. So Langer-McIntosh, creative director of Banff-based we spoke to local events experts for tips on how to Mountain Event Rentals, recommends tents throw a great outdoor winter shindig. Remember, an with radiant heaters and free-standing propane outdoor gathering is only lower risk than gathering heaters. But, she cautions, be aware of the wind. indoors so be vigilant when it comes to safety. “Wind blows away heat, no matter how many First, figure out your budget and heaters you have, and can be hazarddecide whether you’re a dabbler or in ous with wood-burning fire pits.” “THERE IS NO it for the long haul. “Doing an event For activities, backyard games like SUCH THING AS outdoors in the best of winter weather is ring toss and cornhole still work in the BAD WEATHER.” winter. Or host a dance party — just expensive,” says Kara Chomistek, president of PARK, a local events production make sure you have a weatherproof VICTOR JUTRAS company. If you’re not ready to invest sound system. A backyard rink for in things like patio heaters and shelters, skating, hockey and curling is more party rental companies such as Modern Rentals, ambitious. Canadian company Pro Hockey Life Party Rental Depot and Radar’s Rentals will have the carries Hockeyshot Revolution Skate-Able Synthetic gear you need. Ice Tiles in packs of 10, so your “ice” won’t melt if a If it’s -40ºC on party day, you probably need to Chinook blows in on the day of your party. reschedule. Otherwise proper attire is the key to Hot drinks are essential, so set up a self-serve success. “There is no such thing as bad weather,” coffee and hot chocolate bar (complete with says Victor Jutras, director of resort activities at sanitizer). Prepare a batch of spiked apple cider, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, “just people not hot toddies or mulled wine for guests who imbibe. wearing appropriate gear.” The day of the party, send Hot dogs or s’mores cooked over the fire are classics the forecast to your guests along with clothing sugfor a reason and adding a grate over the firepit algestions. Have spare scarves, mitts, toques, personal lows for more campfire cooking options. If you want hand warmers and blankets to loan or give out. something fancier or less hands-on, consider hiring Heat, light and shelter are three key elements a caterer or food truck. If you plan to keep guests for successful wintertaining. For heat, go with out of your home when nature calls, rent a restroom tiki torches, heat lamps, firepits and fire tables, or, trailer from Radar’s Rentals. if you want to make things more official, install Ultimately, remember that wintertaining — just patio-heating fixtures like those offered by Calcana like any entertaining — is supposed to be fun. Industries. Heat and light often go hand-in-hand, so Enjoy yourself and your guests will, too. avenuecalgary.com
A N AT O M Y O F A N O U T D O O R W I N T E R PA RT Y Set up Backyard Games Ring toss, cornhole and other backyard game are still fun in the snow for adults and kids. A little activity will increase heart rates and get your guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; minds off the cold.
Dress for the Weather Inform your guests of the forecast on the day of your event and make suggestions on appropriate clothing choices. Have spare scarves, mitts, toques, etc. to loan out or give away as party favours.
Install a Skating Rink You could flood the backyard, but synthetic ice is easier, plus, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t melt in the event of a temperature spike. Check out Hockeyshot Revolution Skate-Able Synthetic Ice Tiles by Pro Hockey Life.
Let the Music Play Weatherproof sound systems are available at retailers like K&W Audio. Music sets the mood and dancing will increase body temperatures. Clear away snow and ice from the dance area.
Light it Up Daylight is in limited supply in the winter so lighting is essential. Keep things simple with outdoor Christmas lights or fairy lights, or go all out with curtain lights, outdoor lamps, hanging lanterns or permanent light fixtures and sconces.
Make it Hot Heat is essential for wintertaining. Options run from cheap (tiki torches and DIY firepits) to luxury (patio heaters and fire tables with wind guards). Give out individual hand warmers and keep an eye on the wind around open flames.
Take Shelter Anything from tents to luxury shed structures will help block out wind and precipitation while containing heat. Go with something semienclosed to ensure proper ventilation.
Rent a Conversation Starter Make your winter gathering stand out with a stunt rental. Two options are the inflatable, imitation snow structure from Party Rental Depot and The Fender Blender pedal-powered generator from Open Streets Events.
Serve Hot Drinks A DIY hot chocolate bar provides both refreshment and something fun to do. As for the harder stuff, a bulk batch of spiked apple cider, hot toddies or mulled wine is always a crowd-pleaser.
Cook Over the Fire Hot dogs and sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mores are all-time classics. A grate over the firepit allows for a wider range of options such as roasting chestnuts. Keep sanitizer nearby any food or beverage stations. avenuecalgary.com
7 W I N T E RTA I N I N G WINNERS MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS FOR AN OUTDOOR WINTER PARTY THAT CAN BE PURCHASED LOCALLY.
Heartprint Threads Acumen Throw Blanket This Calgary-based company makes its blankets in Ecuador in collaboration with local artists. For every blanket sold, the company donates another to a Calgary charity. The Acumen comes in four colours. From $108, at Ninth and Brick, 1312B 9 Ave. S.E., ninthandbrick.com; DYP Refillery, 2036 34 Ave. S.W., 403-200-7443, dyprefillery.com; and Steeling Home, 1010 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-0777, steelinghome.ca
Spirit Hills Bonfire Mulled Wine
Toasterz Reusable Heat Pack
This mulled “wine” from a flower winery in Millarville is made of flower nectar, berries and spices. its flavour is reminiscent of warm berry pie with booze. $24 to $28, at Calgary Co-Op Liquor Stores and many other retailers, spirithillswinery.com
Reusable and non-toxic, these heat packs can get as hot as 54°C for as long as two hours. Boil in water for five minutes to reactivate after first use. $7, at MEC, 830 10 Ave. S.W., 403269-2420; mec.ca
This weatherproof speaker connects using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The sound is full and loud enough for socially distanced ears. $499, at Visions Electronics, four Calgary locations, visions.ca; and K&W Audio, 1424 4 St. S.W., 403-244-8111, kandwaudio.com
Swissmar Mont Brule Electric Fondue Set
This dishwasher-safe, flamefree fondue set can hold up to a litre of cheese or chocolate. It has a 1,000-watt heating element with adjustable temperature controls. $120, at Britannia Kitchen & Home, 816 49 Ave. S.W., 403-243-4444, britanniahome.com Galanter & Jones Apollo Conversation Set
Brunswick Parsons Teak Tournament Table Tennis This gorgeous teak table-tennis game is high quality and weatherproofed for the great outdoors. Wipe down paddles and ball between games for guests’ safety. $9,221 with RH membership ($100 a year) or $12,995 without, available at Restoration Hardware, Southcentre, 403-271-2122, rh.com
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This entry-level outdoor furniture set by Galanter & Jones comes with two heated chairs and an unheated table, available in two sizes. Heated set starts at $2,835, individual pieces and customizations offered, available online through Calgary-based Pash Collective, pashcollective.com
Giving Back Both Near and Far
The holidays may look a little different this year, though the tenacious generosity of Calgarians continues to shine amongst the difficulties. From non-profit work that shares Calgary-kindness around the globe to local-staples contributing to the holiday spirit in the city, Calgary organizations are finding ways to spread cheer this December. Here are two local initiatives to consider supporting as part of your holiday season.
Care Beyond Borders Calgary’s Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) is creating sustainable change on a global scale. Since 2001, the non-profit organization has provided water and sanitation resources and education around the world in pursuit of creating a future where basic needs are met so people can thrive. By forming long-term partnerships in countries like Afghanistan, Cambodia and Zambia, CAWST focuses on spreading relevant knowledge and skills to local, underserved communities. By putting its vision into action through training and consulting with community members, CAWST can ensure its impact is sustainable for years to come. In 2019, 194 organizations across 132 countries accessed CAWST services, tapping into the expertise of the Calgary-born global solution. “With the right know-how, the people we train become more capable of addressing the water and sanitation needs of their families and share what they learn in their community and beyond,” says CAWST campaign manager Alex Laidlaw. “Our hope is that life-saving knowledge that’s easy to act on and understand spreads faster than disease.” CAWST has also brought its specialized skills to the front lines of the ongoing pandemic through contributions to the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub — a free online service, tailor-made to support individuals and organizations in areas where help is needed most. Through established global partnerships, the initiative leveraged custom hygiene programs and knowledge to influence handwashing in underserved communities in response to COVID-19.
In all facets of its crucial work, CAWST offers Calgarians the chance to think globally by giving locally this holiday season. Donations help create long-term change through an organization that shares Calgarykindness wherever it operates. “A gift of water is life-changing, making a lasting difference,” says Laidlaw. “By investing in building skills to safely manage water, donors can empower people with the tools to improve health and well-being in communities around the world.”
Visit giftofwater.ca or contact directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-243-3285 to support CAWST. Over the holiday season, all donations will be matched through the O’Brien-Cumming Match program.
G I V E L O C A L L Y. R E A C H G L O B A L L Y. CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, is a Calgary-based international water charity. A Gift of Water through CAWST supports our mission in building a world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed because their basic water, sanitation and hygiene needs are being met. All donations will be matched thanks to the O’Brien-Cumming Match. Join us. Visit giftofwater.ca today.
Spreading Local Love For the past several Decembers, Avenue Calgary has decorated one of the 150 Christmas trees on display at The CORE Shopping Centre for The Magic of Christmas, a local charity that then delivers those trees— along with presents and other holiday necessities— to Calgarians in need. Aligning with Avenue’s love of giving back to Calgary, supporting local businesses and celebrating the city, the tree-decorating initiative has become a tradition for the team behind the magazine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is on hiatus for 2020, though Avenue and The CORE have found a way to continue giving back.
Avenue is donating $5 from all subscriptions purchased for one year or more until December 24 to The Magic of Christmas – a total which The CORE will be matching up to 50 subscriptions. The CORE will also be accepting donations to the charity’s wish list at the Heritage Park pop-up in the shopping centre. “We know that this year is going to be so hard for so many Calgary families,” says Allison Onyett, marketing director with The CORE. “We are still committed to providing that magical holiday experience and supporting our local partners that make our city sparkle, especially during the holidays.” Funds donated to The Magic of Christmas will help ensure the organization’s annual Christmas Eve deliveries can once again brighten hundreds of family’s holidays in 2020. Using donated Calgary Transit buses, thousands of volunteers dressed as Santa and his elves will deliver gifts to families going through emotional, physical or financial issues this year, while also making
visits to hospitals, care homes and other institutions. “When our partners like the folks at The CORE and Avenue say, ‘This is something we’re offering to do — we think this might help you,’ it’s amazing,” says The Magic of Christmas president for 2020, Scott Perley. “It just warms our hearts because other people are [helping to support] what the Magic is able to then do.”
Subscriptions to Avenue Magazine can be purchased online at redpoint-media.com, supporting independent local media as well as The Magic of Christmas this holiday season. To learn more about The Magic of Christmas, visit themagicofchristmas.org.
This holiday season, Avenue has teamed with The CORE to spread more local love. For every subscription purchased for one year or more, we will donate $5 to The Magic of Christmas. For the first 50 subscriptions, The CORE will double the support by matching our donation.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY AT redpoint-media.com
THE LIST BY TRAVIS KLEMP
avenue December 20
S HE L F L I F E B O O K S “Taking a walk after brunch and stopping at Shelf Life in the colder months is a perfect morning.”
WOEZO AFRICA MUSIC & DANCE THEATRE “Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre is amazing. This city gives so many people places to be themselves and share themselves and I love that.” LOCAL MUSICIANS KAEYAE ALO AND LEMBA “In Zimbabwe, because of the economic and political situation, I think the creative scenes have taken a huge hit. People don’t create as much there so it is amazing to find people like me being successful and making great music here.” ICARUS SOUND “What [the DJ and event creation group] has done for the music scene is amazing. They make summers so much more enjoyable with their outdoor parties — like the all-day Suga Cane party.”
T HE L O U I S E ( HI L L H U R S T ) B R I D G E T O K E N S I NG T O N “I love walking this city. Walking from downtown into a neighbourhood like Kensington is perfect.” M O N K I B R E A K FA S T C L UB & BISTRO “I was not a brunch girl until I moved to Calgary. We have the best brunch here. I love Monki. I’ll stay for hours and just get refills.” J E L LY M O D E R N D O UG HNUT S “I have been obsessed with Jelly Modern for months. It’s all about doughnuts for me at the moment.”
G L E NB O W “Sometimes Calgary feels very isolated from the rest of the world and the Glenbow does a great job of encouraging conversations around global issues like race, gender and colonialism.” HI G H E R G R O UND ( K E N S I NG T O N) “I can sit and read and really feel connected to the city and the people here. I’m definitely guilty of going on a first date there.” R AW S O N L A K E T R A I L ( K A N A N A S K I S C O U N T RY ) “The view was so rewarding and the other hikers encouraged me and helped me when I was struggling. After descending, I went for a swim in Upper Kananaskis Lake. It was perfect.”
P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y J A R E D S Y C H , M O T I F P H O T O G R A P H Y, T O U R I S M C A L G A R Y, C O U R T E S Y O F M O D E R N D O U G H N U T S
ue-Shane Tsomondo was born and raised in Zimbabwe and moved to Calgary in 2014 to attend the University of Calgary. After graduating in 2018 with a major in international relations focusing on sub-Saharan Africa and a minor in English, Tsomondo moved her popular book club online and created an Instagram account called Sue’s Stokvel. The page now exists as a platform to uplift, share and promote the voices of writers of colour. The online club was expanded this year with a new website where Tsomondo sells used books, publishes reviews and interviews with authors and shares African folklore. The page has taken off and Tsomondo has partnered with Shelf Life Books to stock her selections. “It has always been important for me to see artists that look like me or have a shared experience, and that is what I wanted to share with Sue’s Stokvel,” she says. Here are 10 of Tsomondo’s favourite things in Calgary.
One step is all it takes. “Who I was then and who I am able to show up as now is like night and day.” — Heidi
where you get results
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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
ADVISORIES, BY JUDY ANDERSON A pyramid of pails and gleaming kettle are beribboned, encircled in cedar. But read the etched warning: “Boil Water, Do Not Consume.” Mind the 85 holes in each vessel. That’s the number of boil water advisories on First Nation reserves listed by the Government of Canada on the day last summer Judy Anderson drilled the holes, envisaging a toxic fountain of untreated water.
THE GLENMORE REZERVEOIR, BY SETH CARDINAL DODGINGHORSE Artist/musician seth cardinal dodginghorse partially refilled a jug of store-bought water with water from the Glenmore Reservoir and replaced the label with a band of rawhide with the message: “You drink Tsuut’ina land.” The inward-facing words are a potent reminder of his family history.
AOHKII/WATER BY FAYE HEAVYSHIELD Count on Faye HeavyShield, one of Canada’s pre-eminent senior sculptors, to bring simplicity and the wise use of materials in making a vessel that honours rivers, especially the Oldman, with poetic beauty. The bowl’s photo collage evokes the surrounding land; the smooth stones, the riverbed; and the freshwater mussel shell, living beings and their relationships.
QULLIK ASULU UTCHUKLU, KABLUSIAK Kablusiak turned from representation to an experimental mode for this project, keeping their parents’ communities of Ikahuuk (Sachs Harbour) and Tuktuyaaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktuk), in mind. Intuitively, they added markings to the stone's textures and colours. On the upper surface, they carved a smooth, boat-shaped concavity that holds water.
PAINED BY JESSIE RAY SHORT Jessie Ray Short made a vessel that could be transformed by water (love). With her mother’s help, she dripped molten sugar syrup over a form to fashion a hard candy bowl. Her parents were emissaries to the gallery opening where they poured water into the translucent blue bowl, initiating the hoped-for transformation, melting away pain.
WE’VE MADE OUR WATER BED… BY ADRIAN A STIMSON Artist Adrian Stimson's proposition builds on the form of John and Yoko’s famous bed, with the hopeful words “Water Bed Life Peace” painted on the bed base. Stimson’s version of a vessel for WATER EVENT is a waterbed, decorated on the headboard with a Blackfoot sign for water and tagged “for Jason and A. Stimson” on the back of the headboard.
avenue December 20
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONTEMPORARY CALGARY/BLAINE CAMPBELL AND HESAMADDIN REZAEI
oko Ono has invited her audience to become collaborators in the act of making art since the 1960s. With WATER EVENT, a piece launched in 1971, Ono provides the concept and idea of water; collaborators provide vessels. For this exhibit of WATER EVENT on now at Contemporary Calgary until January 31, 2021, Ono worked with six Indigenous artists from southern Alberta, marking the first time she has worked with a fully Indigenous cohort.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Prawns
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