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Collaborative project brings together newcomer Calgary musicians 16







15,000 sq ft of training space, including a separate weight & cardio floor, personal training, cycle, group fitness & yoga studios, meditation space, locker rooms & showers, massage services, SaVeg cafe, and more. @theacademy_yyc

A comprehensive wellness studio, built on passion, grown with hard work, dedication, and commitment to providing top personal training to those who need it most. @ragefitnessyyc

Offering yoga, HIIT, spin, massage and a variety of workshops. There is a little something for everyone under their roof, it’s a huge operation run lovingly by a few dedicated members of the community, everyone knows and adores everyone. @passage.studios


A variety of pole and aerial fitness classes for all levels, plus workshops throughout the year. Everyone is welcome from beginner to advanced. @rsongstudio

to Calgary Opera, art exhibits and the Taboo sex show, there’s something for everyone in November’s calendar

The LYFE Project offers a way for newcomer Calgarians to connect through the music of their homelands

NOVEMBER 2023 • 3 1721 29 Avenue SW, Suite 375, Calgary, AB, T2T 6T7 CONTRIBUTORS
LA TIMES CROSSWORD ANSWERS CEO, Co-owner Roger Jewett President, Co-owner Käthe Lemon, Director Strategy & Content Meredith Bailey, Print/Digital Production Manager Mike Matovich Client Support Coordinator Alice Meilleur Account Executive Jocelyn Erhardt Accountant Jeanette Vanderveen, Administrative and HR Manager Tara Brand Kirk Bodnar Sarah Comber Eric Dyck Autumn Fox Cam Hayden Nathan Iles Tsering Asha Leba Hamish MacAulay Lori Montgomery Mike Platt John Tebbutt Kelly Sutherland Jared Sych Krista Sylvester Mary-Lynn Wardle Alana Willerton Editor-in-Chief Mike Bell Design Kris Twyman Cover: The Lyfe Project Photo by Jaren Sych properties on a Monopoly board 20 Supply company in Road Runner cartoons 21 Must 22 Simon and Garfunkel, e.g. 23 Button on a quartermaster’s calculator? 26 Little rascal 27 Term of endearment 28 Burden 29 Amount consumed 30 One? 35 Burdened 36 “For sure!” 37 Archer of myth 38 Builds to a crescendo 40 Colorado site of the Winter X Games 43 Thick & Fluffy waffle brand 44 Detest 45 Ceiling 48 Bad mood 49 “__ McCartney”: 2016 compilation album 50 Birds + Bees = Bundle of Joy? 54 Jump over 55 Judean king 56 Stockpile 57 Valuable minerals 58 Female sheep 59 Laundry appliance 60 Self-checkout action 61 Australian sextet 63 Staunch advocates of quotients? 68 Category on Disney+ 70 Cries from Homer 71 Cogito __ sum 72 Down Under bird 75 Neighborhood 76 Vowel sequence 78 Move furtively 79 Shrill bark reciting multiplication tables? 102 City west of Flint, Michigan 103 Hydrox rival 104 Lend a hand 105 Poseidon’s realm 106 Fails to complete a subtraction problem? 111 Toque, e.g. 112 Cara of “Fame” fame 2 Curmudgeon 3 Act unceremoniously? 4 Birds 5 Ship owner who described Ahab as “ungodly, god-like” 6 “Both Hands” singer DiFranco 7 Road groove 8 Dim sum drink 9 Liam of One Direction 10 Uses steel wool, maybe 31 Duma veto 32 Campari cocktail 33 Goaded 34 Farm sound 35 Flips (through) 39 Reasons 40 Arthur in the International Tennis Hall of Fame 41 40-Across forecast 42 Wildly improbable goal sort 61 Inks 62 __ one’s time 64 Lendl in the International Tennis Hall of Fame 65 Garfield’s goofy housemate 66 Like a hummable tune 67 June celebration 68 Spanish term of affection 69 Son of Zeus 73 Female zebra 94 Plugged in 95 Arcade coin 97 Send (to) 98 Letter between Sierra and Uniform 99 Clambake leftovers 100 Split 101 Paint choice 103 Stench 107 Globe 108 Hosp. areas 109 “I smell a __!” 110 Psyche component ANSWER TO TODAY’S PUZZLE 9/3/23 9/3/23 ©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC. LIVEWIRE 5 As the white stuff starts to fall, the City is confident in its plan to combat snow on Calgary’s streets, sidewalks and bike paths BITS 6 From a professional tennis tournament
BOOZE 8 Local distilleries get into the spirits of the season and neighbourhood taprooms helping build community FOOD 10 A look at some of Calgary’s coziest coffee shops and roasters ART 9 New exhibit showcases the life and career of inspiring and influential Calgary artist Faye HeavyShield THEATRE 14 Broadway smash-hit with an Alberta connection Hadestown comes to Calgary for a Jubilee Auditorium run BOOKS 19 Canadian treasure Jann Arden set to release her first novel, cross the country with comedic foil Rick Mercer FILM 21 November’s a great month for cinephiles with several events, including GIRAF and the Calgary European Film Festival MUSIC 22 Canadian roots-rock mainstays The Skydiggers hit the road with new music and a host of fan favourites MUSIC 26
Puppy and Steve
festival brings the heat, while SoundOff brings the music industry
ahead at the month in music, including upcoming concerts by KISS, Metric, The Cat Empire, Skinny
24 Historic
up good times, good tunes and great food
musical landmark The King Eddy still serving
Festival presented by
Downtown Vibrancy Program presents CUFF.Docs Documentary Film

Calgary prepped to tackle this winter’s snowy roads, pathways

The snow is on its way.

And the City of Calgary said this October that it’s prepared, with a bolstered fleet and cash in hand to keep the city roads, cycle tracks and pathways cleared.

Chris Hewitt, mobility maintenance manager for the City of Calgary, said that they had a $54 million budget for 2023 (January to December) and there’s still $31 million left for this year. They have 101 sanders ready for duty and 27 graders, plus contracted equipment to go with an army of leaders and snow blowers, he said.

With maintenance all under one umbrella this year, Hewitt said he expects the City to be better at clearing some of those nagging connections between roads, pathways and transit stations. In past years, those connections have gone uncleared due to the jurisdictional difference between roads, pathways and transit.

“We’re expecting a much smoother transition from one travel mode to the next and that’s a real priority this year,” he said.

“We’ll be looking at continually increasing how accessible the network is for everyone.”

The City will still operate on a priority routebased system, with higher volume routes taking precedence within the first 18 hours – Deerfoot, Glenmore, Crowchild, Memorial – cascading down to high volume collector roads, then into main parts of residential areas (Priority 3) after the first 36 hours.

Windrows will be a focus

While the City of Calgary works at keeping main roads cleared, in years past it’s sometimes come at the expense of pushing windrows (the pile of snow after a snowplow has cleared the road) into the path of transit stops.

“Accessibility is going to be a large, major priority for us this year,” Hewitt said.

“We will be looking at doing more focused work as we’re doing our day one, day two operations and certainly that third day, making sure that we’re keeping things like bus stops, crosswalks, traffic islands clear of windrows so that we’re not impacting mobility of folks who are either in wheelchairs, pushing strollers, whatever the case may be.”

Snow is a given in Calgary, and so are complaints about snow clearing. Hewitt said that they try to manage citizen expectations and relay information about how they handle service in the city.

He said informing the public about simple things like the difference in service – priority one roads go down to pavement while residential roads do not – are important.

It’s been five years since the City of Calgary called a snow route parking ban, Hewitt said. That’s mainly because conditions haven’t warranted it. They take a look at weather patterns and if there will be consecutive days of snow that could hamper Calgarians’ travel.

“We haven’t really found ourselves in a time over the last few years where we’ve had enough consecutive snow, without any melt, that we were worried about snow capacity,” he said.

As always, if there is a snow route parking ban, cars will have to be off the roads for 72 hours.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 5
PHOTO: DARREN KRAUSE. Chris Hewitt, mobility maintenance manager with the City of Calgary, says the City is prepared for winter.


No Taboo November

From Remembrance Day to opera, tennis, hip-hop dance festivals and much more on this month

Pay your respect this Remembrance Day with several events at the Field of Crosses on Memorial Dr. PHOTO: DOUG BROWN

Filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann on will share his experiences as a climber and diver during the National Geographic Live: Andy Mann: From Summit to Sea event at Arts Commons.

No. Hibernating is not allowed. Not quite yet (although we’ll likely have this conversation again in December.)

Yes, you want to, you want to wrap yourself in a comforter and shut out the frosty world outside of your iced-up, apartment window, but you still have a month or more to get acclimatized before you close everything down for the next five (?), seven (?) or ten months.

There’s too much to do this November — from professional tennis competitions, and a wine and spirit showcase to more solemn and sombre events surrounding Remembrance Day.

Whatever the case, whatever it is that stops you from settling in for a long winter’s, well, winter in your den, there’s much to keep you and the cubs entertained.

Here are some suggestions.


As you travel along Memorial Drive this month, take a minute to honour the memory of the Southern Alberta and Canadian soldiers that have sacrificed their lives. More than 3,500 white crosses will be set up in fields along the road from Nov. 1-11 as part of the Field of Crosses Memorial Project. The public can visit the five-acre memorial throughout that time, attend sunrise and sunset ceremonies until Nov. 10, or attend the Remembrance Day ceremony here on Nov. 11.

For more information, visit fieldofcrosses. com.


Calling all tennis fans! Don’t miss the chance to see some of the incredible tennis players from the ATP, ITF and WTA World Tours at the Calgary National Bank Challenger from Nov. 5-12. The professional men’s and women’s tennis tournament takes place at the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre. Daily admission tickets are available, as well as weekend and weekly passes.

For more information, visit Calgary.


Ever been to a bar or restaurant where they

didn’t have the drink you were craving? That something, only thing to slake your thirst.

Doubtful you’ll have that issue at what is described as, “Calgary’s largest premium wine, spirits and beer tasting event.” Taking place Nov. 17-18 at the BMO Centre, there are ample lectures throughout the weekend with wine- and spirits-guides, as well as more than 150 booths where you can sample brews and booze from far and wide, as well as food from some of the city’s best.

For tickets, please go to grape-escape/.


National Geographic Live casts a spotlight on some of the most interesting explorers, scientists, photographers and filmmakers in the world as they share their research and experiences with live audiences at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Covering everything from the rise of the T. rex to life in the arctic, the series’ 12th season kicks off with a presentation from filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann on Nov. 19-20 that will explore his experiences as a climber and diver.

For more information, visit artscommons. ca/whats-on/national-geographic-live.


Broadway Across Canada returns to Calgary from Nov. 21-26 with the first show of its 2023-24 season, the Tony Award-winning production of Hadestown. The musical takes on two love stories from Greek mythology, ushering guests into the underworld with Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as King Hades and Persephone. If that weren’t interesting enough, the show also has a unique local connection: Before taking the theatre world by storm, Hadestown was originally partly developed at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. Please see story on P. 14 for more information.

For tickets visit


The Calgary Opera takes on a classic fairytale this month with the one-act opera Beauty and the Beast. Running from Nov. 24-Dec. 3 at the Mamdani Opera Centre in

6 • NOVEMBER 2023


the Beltline, the production follows the story of Beauty, her two sisters and her father, and how Beauty’s life is turned upside down after she requests that her father get her a single rose on his travels.

For more information, visit


It’s a cultural aspect of our city that, when you’re stuck in the ’burbs or just not looking for it, can be overlooked and under appreciated. Too bad, because Calgary’s hip-hop community really is one that’s as talented and welcoming as any other in this country. For the second year in a row, that talent will be on full display with this year’s fest, running Nov. 23-26 at

several locations around the downtown core. From a kickoff show at The Palace, featuring a “Hip Hop Movie Night,” and an album release for artist Cee the Music, to a freestyle and choreo battles over the course of the weekend, there will be so much to take in, get entertained, and if needed, educated by.

For more information and tickets, please go to calgaryhhsdfest/.


Using large-scale photo-collages and hand-built ceramic sculptures, Lethbridge-based artist Angeline Simon explores the role and impact of food in Chinese-Malaysian culture and her own family’s experiences and memories. This exhibition is available to

November Music Event Listing

Nov 1 Wed Ironwood Open Mic

Nov 2 Thu Red Hot Hayseeds’ Red Hot Hootenanny

Nov 3 Fri Brother Bicker Band

Nov 4 Sat Prime Time Big Band Brunch

Nov 4 Sat Bryson Waind & The CB

Nov 5 Sun Summit Big Band

Nov 7 Tue The Skydiggers

Nov 8 Wed The Skydiggers

Nov 9 Thu Private Event

Nov 10 Fri JAZZYYC: Dirty Catfish Band

Nov 11 Sat JAZZYYC: Kai Ponscent’s Legacy Project

Nov 11 Sat JAZZYYC Cdn Festival: Cheryl Fisher Quintet

Nov 12 Sun JAZZYYC: Calgary Women’s Jazz Orchestra

Nov 12 Sun JAZZYYC: Calgary Women’s Jazz Orchestra

Nov 13 MonVictoria Chatham Book Launch

Nov 14 Tue The Fugitives

Nov 15 Wed Ironwood Open Mic

Nov 17 Fri Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra

Nov 18 Sat Prime Time Big Band Brunch

Nov 18 Sat Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra

Nov 19 Sun Hippocratic Oath Big Band

Nov 21 Tue Dan Duguay’s WhoKnows Variety Show

Nov 22 Wed Ironwood Open Mic

view for free at the Esker Foundation from Oct. 23, 2023 to Feb. 4, 2024.

For more information, visit


Looking for the perfect gift for her/ him/they this Christmas? Always good to start early, which means that the Taboo: The Everything to do With Sex Show Nov. 11-13 at the BMO Centre couldn’t come at a better time (stop it). Whether you want to just be a giggling, blushing lookie-loo or you’re looking to satisfy whatever kink you have, whatever partner(s) you have, there’ll be a vendor or presentation for you. Because, well, there ain’t nothing taboo.

Please go to for more information.

Nov 23 Thu Roderick MacCormack

Nov 24 Fri The Kimberlites

Nov 25 Sat Bluegrass Session

Nov 26 Sun Westwinds Music Society

Nov 26 Sun Westwinds Music Society

Nov 28 Tue Chuck Rose StanFest Tribute To Stan Rogers

Nov 29 Wed Ironwood Open Mic

Nov 30 Thu Steve Pineo’s 17th Christmas Extravaganza

Dec 1, 2 & 3 Steve Pineo’s 17th Christmas Extravaganza

Dec 2 & 9 Prime Time Big Band X-Mas Spectacular

For More Info Visit

For Reservations

403.269.5581 or

1229 – 9th Ave SE

In the Heart of Inglewood On Calgary’s Music Mile

NOVEMBER 2023 • 7
Angeline Simon, pineapple tarts, 2023. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.

Seasonal Spirits

A Visit to Manchester Industrial’s Distilleries provides a way to taste fall and winter flavours

On a recent trip to Calgary’s Manchester Industrial area, my wife and I decided to change things up a bit, foregoing the breweries that we tend to focus on, and instead do a bit of a distillery hop in search of some delicious fall/winter spirit and cocktail ideas.

We started our tour off at Two Rivers Distillery (453 42 Ave. S.E.) and were lucky enough to find Mark Freeland, Two Rivers founder and distiller, working a rare night behind the bar. Having a distiller who is very passionate about his products to walk you through his wares could be somewhat comparable to having a master artist take you through every nuance and brushstroke of a fine painting. He took us through their considerable portfolio, but in my search for seasonal releases, Freeland pointed me toward two that had just recently been bottled, the Pumpkin Spice Liqueur and Nanaimo Bar Liqueur.

Now I know, pumpkin spice can be over-

done, and even polarizing at times, but the Pumpkin Spice Liqueur is delicious, far more nuanced, and flavourful with a deep, dark sugar character without being too sweet, combined with an aroma of clove and nutmeg, and finishing with a nice cinnamon spiciness that is more “Hot Tamale” than “Fireball.”

As for the Nanaimo Bar Liqueur, I was frankly blown away (and even purchased a bottle to take home). One sip left me feeling as though I had just taken a bite of the most delicious Nanaimo Bar, with all the rich and creamy milk chocolate and mild coconut characteristics. Believe me, even if you are completely stuffed after eating a holiday meal and have no room for dessert, you will have no trouble sneaking in a couple sips of this luscious treat.

Both liqueurs are limited release bottlings but should be around for most of November.

After leaving Two Rivers, we made our way over to Skunkworks Distillery (4009 4 St. S.E.), who specialize in crafting premium sugar beet moonshine. Now, don’t let the

word “moonshine” scare you; I can absolutely assure you this is nothing like your uncle Ed’s homebrew that he used to whip up back on the farm. The folks at Skunkworks call it “the smoothest moonshine on any known planet” and I would probably agree, as I was quite impressed by the smooth texture and flavour of their standard moonshine as well as a hibiscus infused version called Moonwater which included distinct floral notes.

The stand-out, though, and perhaps the most seasonally specific selection of the bunch, was their Desert Moon. This moonshine includes a mild addition of spices that you might find in a chai tea. The aroma and flavour of cardamom in particular hinted at vast possibilities for using this in some holiday cocktails.

The final destination for us was Confluence Distilling (507 36 Ave. S.E.). The tasting room is a true classic lounge that harkens back to yesteryear, full of quirky, yet comforting “bohho” elements that present as part speakeasy and part grandma’s living room (complete

with a plastic-wrapped easy chair).

We were greeted by Sage, our engaging and knowledgeable bartender, who guided us through Confluence’s upcoming fall/winter cocktail menu. Featured prominently is Confluence’s popular seasonal release, Winter Spice Gin, which is now available again this year. Winter Spice Gin features the addition of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – all the flavours you love in your mom’s ginger snap cookies. Be sure to come by the taproom and have Sage mix you up a tasty booze-forward tipple called The Toboggan, which features Confluence’s Winter Spice Gin and is a part of the new fall menu.

So next time you go to the Manchester Industrial area, be sure to visit the local distilleries. With their distilled spirits, moonshine and liqueurs, not to mention their plethora of cocktail options, they add an element of sophisticated charm to the overall character of the district, helping to make the area a truly world-class destination for beverage seekers.

8 • NOVEMBER 2023
Two Rivers founders Patrick Roy and Mark Freeland have come up with a pair of new seasonal sips, Pumpkin Spice and Nanaimo Bar liquors. The decor of Confluence Distilleries is part speakeasy and grandma’s living room — a comfortable spot to sample The Toboggan, a tipple using the distilleries classic Winter Spice Gin. PHOTOS: JARED SYCH

Calgary Breweries Building Community

Neighbourhood taprooms embrace their surroundings and offer a new hub where residents can gather

As more breweries continue to open in and around Calgary, some owners are moving away from the industrial area-based production concept, choosing instead to open smaller, community-focussed breweries and taprooms in residential neighbourhoods. The resulting impacts have resonated in positive ways throughout these communities, providing far more than just “another place to grab a beer.” Instead, they are creating gathering places for human connection on an elevated level — a true community hub.

Tucked between Crowchild and 14th Ave. S.W., just west of the Beltline, the Community of Sunalta would be considered inner-city, though the area has more of a residential feel than the nearby Beltline or 17th Avenue areas. Until quite recently, when looking for a place to gather, or perhaps simply for a good time, Sunalta’s residents would have had little choice but to head over to one of those other nearby, hip and happening urban neighbourhoods. Though over the past year or so, with the addition of three new breweries in the area (namely, Tailgunner, Two House, and Best of Kin), Sunalta has undergone a sudden transformation into a brewery hotspot, and this is giving local residents a reason to stay much closer to home.

“We now like to call it Sun-Ale-ta!“ says Omar Masood, community resident and treasurer of the Sunalta Community Association.

“Since I moved to the area around six years ago, the community has always been amazing — things going on — but I always felt we were missing something like a real hub for the community, and now with the breweries opening up it has really created a positive impact where you can get together and make real connections and this can all take place without having to leave the community.”

Another Calgary community that has recently welcomed a new neighbourhood brewery is Haysboro. In this case, the brewery is Stonyslope Brewing Company, and despite being open for less than a year, it has already made an impact that is being felt throughout the community.

“The fact that Stonyslope chose us as a neighbourhood is fantastic, and I think it

Haysboro’s Stonyslope Brewing Company is fast becoming a community hub.


Best of Kin: Potluck IPA

Fruit forward melon, with a biscuit malt backbone, Potluck IPA is set to release shortly after Thanksgiving.

Sailor’s Delight

Sailor’s Delight is a collab between Best of Kin and Calgary Heritage Roasters. Expect a well-rounded stout with the addition of cold brew coffee, sugar kelp, and a pinch of sea salt.

reflects how Haysboro actually is perceived as a desirable place for people who appreciate local, small, family-owned businesses,” says Stephanie Thomas, president of the Haysboro Community Association,

“I have to admit that when the association received notice of the permit application for Stonyslope, I was just like, ‘Yes! This is going to be so cool!’ Simply put, we need more gathering spaces, and that’s only going to improve the neighbourhood, the community, and ultimately Calgary going forward.” No matter the neighbourhood or brewery,

Stonyslope: Aldona

Keptinis (available start of November) Keptinis is a traditional Lithuanian beer style which features oven-baked mash — Painstakingly baked by Conrad — and which produces “childhood memory-invoking“ aromas as it bakes. It is fermented with Lithuania farmhouse yeast.

the one common element that speaks to the concept of inclusivity and “community” is the fact that breweries tend to focus on being a hub for the entire family, not just the adults. It is perhaps this “family-friendly” aspect that has made the biggest impact and differentiates brewery taproom “culture” from that of typical pubs and bars. Now, don’t get me wrong, any great neighbourhood pub can be that place where people can come together for companionship; that comfortable, familiar place “where everybody knows your name“ and all that, but it could be argued that there is a distinctly adult-focussed purpose to pubs.

“I think it has everything to do with the built environment and the intended function of the space,” says Masood. “At a pub or a bar,

you go there for an adult event, perhaps to get away for a night without your kids, which is fine. But the breweries are not just for the adults. With our brewery culture, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah bring your kids, bring your dog’ — you feel a real sense of community.”

“Stonyslope being family friendly is just such a welcoming element, creating an inclusive addition to the neighbourhood,” Thomas adds.

“It gives families another place to go — where the whole family can be together.

“I also think breweries represent artistry,” considers Thomas. “It’s the brewer’s unique twist on flavours of beer, and you don’t necessarily get that same level of artistry at a standard pub that might just be pouring beer from the big international brands — so that’s what brings the cool factor, that’s what’s unique and that’s why it’s so fun to visit different microbreweries, because they are all so distinct from one another.”

So, it’s clear that communities are excited to have breweries open up shop in the area, but is being an integral part of the community a priority for breweries?

“Being in an established and growing neighbourhood was really desirable for us,” says Ryan Mortson, self-proclaimed “head of business stuff” at Sunalta’s newest brewery, Best of Kin Brewing. “That sense of community is a key part of our core values. For example, we made a point of trying to hire employees who live in the community, so that from a socio-economic point of view, we are supporting the community by employing people that live in the community.

“It makes a difference when they can walk to work and become an integral part of a small business within their own community.

“It raises neighbourhood pride,” says Conrad Meers, owner and head brewer of Haysboro’s Stonyslope Brewing Company. “We’ve only been open a short time, but people tell us that they are excited, and it’s something for them to get behind and support, something they see as being their own.”

The positive impacts that breweries have on their local communities goes so far beyond simply providing the neighbourhood with fizzy beverages. The ability to foster human connections is real - head over to your local neighbourhood brewery and see for yourself.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 9

Calgary Coffee Culture

City offers many unique and tasty coffee experiences for when you need caffeine to get you started, keep you going

Did you know that Calgary has a few coffee places that have some hot brewed goodness created from the freshest ingredients? It’s true. You don’t have to go to the supermarket or your local Starbucks to get your coffee even though it is convenient. Like anything, if it’s local, it’s so much better. You can smell, taste, and feel the difference when you have a steaming hot cuppa in your hands. We can’t grow coffee here but we can certainly convert the beans into a nice cup of Joe or find places close by that can.

Many of us need a pick-me-up whether it is when you first get up in the morning or just getting off a hard day of work. There are several different coffee shops all over the city but only a few that actually deliver a caffeinated experience like no other. How many of us can say that we have freshest coffee in our cups? What are the best coffee companies/cafes here? Here is a list to help you find the best coffee ever.


In the heart of Downtown Calgary is a tiny little spot where the coffee is always top-notch and roasted to perfection each morning. This is a café where chemistry and unique flavours are discovered every day whether it is one of their health-conscious dishes or hidden tastes in the ingredients of their hot beverages. There is always something new to discover here. Such as their best seller which is the Inferno Coffee — a full-bodied coffee that has concealed caramel and toffee notes. A perfect coffee for anyone with a secret sweet-tooth. 850 2 St. S.W,


Calgary’s sweetest coffee shop in the Beltline has a lot to offer. If you are in search of a macaron, cake or cookies then look no further — especially that chocolate obsession cake. You will be obsessed after that. However, their coffee brews a new kind of fixation. If you look at the Guatemalan coffee that comes from the Onyx Coffee Lab in Arkansas you will know for sure. Take their Catalogue coffee for example; it has the wonderful tastes of cooked marshmallows, nutty walnuts and a slight hint

of sour fruits. A well-balanced coffee that can go with everything whether it is a cake or a sandwich. Then again, everything goes good with a hot cuppa.

1007 8 St. S.W.,


Where is a cool, hip place where you can get an honest latte and some ice cream? Good news! It’s in the heart of Inglewood. Any time you can find a shop that has a new feature coffee that caters to every coffee nerd’s taste is worth checking out. Whether it is an Ethiopian bean roasted in BC or a company from Bucharest, Romania that roasts Brazilian beans, you can travel the world one cup at a time. Maybe pair it off with an ice cream sun-


A little live music to go with a good cup of coffee can be found in this cozy, classy cafe. A high-end coffeehouse — that is also a family business — is giving a whole new meaning to taking a break. Calgary’s own Five’21 Roasters — operated by the folks behind the show — supplies the beans for this coffee bar, an amazing coffee company that hopes it will help the community one cup at a time. Starting your day with the Blue Bird medium roast is not only a boost for the population but yourself as well. A little taste of South American cocoa is found in this cuppa and will bring a smile to your face. 1221 8 St. S.W.,

dae to go with it. Such as their latest; Sloane Anaerobic Mondo Novo with its fruity notes and chocolate rum nuttiness along with a caramel soft serve ice cream. A match made (not in heaven but) in Calgary. 1608 17 Ave. S.E.,


Downtown is always the place where many people like to stop in for a quick cup to go.

With many awards under their belt and positive working relationships with producers from all over the world, quality is assured in every sip. Take their Hti Ta Maung coffee from Myanmar, for example — people who drink it say it’s like having a warm cup of comfort. Creamy caramel notes, with the juniper and grapes create a balance of that sweetness and makes a good hot drink.

140 8 Ave. S.E.,

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More local music and bold bean flavours are in the offering at this northeast hub. The community-driven, independent, ‘90s-inspired coffee house — including old-school gig posters from Calgary’s past alt-rock scene — opened its doors last year in the Tuxedo/Highland Park/Greenview area promising a return to the basics: dark, rich coffee, great conversation and community-focused initiatives. If you’re wanting to warm yourself on the upcoming cold winter days ahead, there’s plenty to put in your mug, including a Pumpkin Pie or Cinnamon Dolce Latte, or a Hot Apple Cider. Check their website for upcoming events and food and drink specials. 1A 215 36 Ave. N.E.,


Another coffee company that has a wonderful philosophy. They get all their beans from Colombia — but they do much more than that. They get the beans from low-income farmers, which helps their families and the communities surrounding them earn a sustainable living, get better education, and achieve economic growth. So, the next time you are enjoying a cup of their Parcero coffee with its citrus notes and tastes of rhubarb, just know that you are helping a whole community of people. That is something to feel good about.

1154 Kensington Cres. N.W.


What started as a pop-up coffee cart has

grown into a full-on business that is filled with a rare bunch of wonderful people. Always looking to serve others with their best coffee, Monogram looks to inspire wonder to the public and with their wild flavour profiles — and they have surely succeeded. If you have a sip of the Elida Estate Gesha, you can taste how true that is. Look for the flavours of Earl Grey, Fruit Loops, and peaches when you try it. Does more need to be said? Speaking of trying something new, they have different coffee classes from a Home Brewing Class to Milk Steaming/Latte Art Class. 420 2 St. S.W.,


Nearly 30 years of roasting has put this company on the map and made them famous all-


This is a special place that was founded by wildland firefighters that still fight for the environment. By buying a bag of their coffee, one tree will be planted in the wilds. Now that is an excellent philosophy to go with some organic coffee. Some of their coffees are named after Alberta’s wildlife (e.g. Bison, Burnt Timber) or from the countries that they get the beans from (e.g. Indonesia, Guatemala). Whichever kind of bag you get, each cup will have a chocolate taste, perhaps a little caramel mixed in and a nice smoky finish. 2020 11 St. S.E.,

over Western Canada. Committed to making a splash in the world of coffee, their work shows that they are detail-oriented. Because they work closely with the farmers that produce the beans, it is a true farm-to-table experience. If you have a cup of Nicaragua coffee you get a taste experience like no other thanks to its black tea and jasmine flavours. 4021 9 St. S.E.,


Italian coffee with Canadian spirit? Yes, please! In the lively Beltline neighborhood, you will find this brick-and-mortar shop. A strong supporter of small farm, fair-trade, organic coffee beans, Milano combines numerous Arabica beans from around the world. Famous for their espresso, this contemporary

coffee shop is a favourite for the people in the area. Although they have many choices, you can never go wrong with the Milano Classico — a combination of strong and sweet, you can find an innovative mixture of sweet anise, rich dark chocolate and spicy cloves. #102, 602 11 Ave. S.W.,

One-of-a-kind cafes in Calgary are always a favourite for anyone needing a caffeine fix, but they are so much more than that. Coffee shops are meeting places for friends, a quiet cozy place to focus on work or homework, and a favourite for first dates. Coffee certainly creates a lot of starts for us. Let’s face it, folks, serving a good cup of coffee is a public service.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 11

Past, Present and Future Come Alive

Exhibit explores the remarkable 40-year career of Indigenous artist Faye HeavyShield


The crowds’ tone at the exhibition opening celebration might be reverent, only Faye HeavyShield is so down to earth. She addresses the assembly of family, friends, collaborators, and art goers. The spirit in the room is one of respect, support, and optimistic vision. She offers thanks to family, inspirations and contributors. Although HeavyShield says that she regrets certain close relations are not present, she is “surrounded by family.”

At the entrance, gallery text prepared by curator Felicia Gay reads, “Faye once told me that when a Blackfoot person travels far away and returns home, people will say, ‘Did you make any relatives?’”

I can only imagine an answer.

The Art of Faye HeavyShield at the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary, presents artworks that span 40 years of her practice in a touring exhibit organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery of Regina.

The Nickle Galleries website informs us: “Faye’s work grows out of her experience as a Blood woman and cultural matriarch, resulting in a potent minimalist aesthetic that differentiates her from other senior artists of her territory.”

The MacKenzie Gallery states: “Faye HeavyShield entered the Canadian contemporary art scene during her third year at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta in 1983 and has since inspired several generations through her work as an artist, mentor, and writer.”


High ceilings and wide-open spaces are austere yet inviting. Dim lighting sets a sombre tone, like a stage set waiting for a story to play out. The work is presented through the curatorial lens of Gay. Her practice brings forward Indigenous worldviews. She educates through the exhibition labels, “Within an Indigenous worldview, we believe that our ancestors watch over us and that time is fluid. What does it mean for Indigenous people that time is in flux? In some ways, it means that past, present, and future are intertwined. Our ancestors are not just in the past, they are here

now, and they are in the future.”

This quote references the work of art titled aapaskaiyaawa (they are dancing), 2002. The cluster of 12 suspended sculptures, reminiscent of abstract moss bags or cradle boards, floats and gently shifts in response to the air current. Their animation lends to the effect that the spirits are present.

Through an Indigenous worldview, many things are animate and can interact; with effects that slip through time. From this viewpoint, objects in this exhibition, like objects in the natural world such as grass and water, can be animated. Suspend any disbelief; the ob-

“Our ancestors are not just in the past, they are here now, and they are in the future.”

jects on display are entities. They may call to you, and you may converse with them. Consider as well, that many of these object-entities are stored in museum collections across the country.

HeavyShield tells us, referring to Indigenous artworks in museums, “I speak Blackfoot to them so they can listen because they probably have not heard Blackfoot in a long time and are housed far away from their communities.”

The work Red Dress, 2008, continues this conversation. The garment appears akin to ceremonial Blackfoot dress, but museum tags hang from the collar instead of elk teeth.

HeavyShield, a living artist from a living community, created this multi-layered, artifact-like sculpture.

The exhibit text discusses further, “When museums acquire and integrate Indigenous art into their collections as ‘artifacts,’ it places Indigenous people outside social reality and suggests their culture is no longer alive.

“I recall listening to my young son tell me what he was learning in his Grade 3 class about Indigenous people and culture. My son talked to me as if we no longer existed, he did not recognize himself in the narrative he was being taught.”

Following this line of thought, body of land, 2002-2022 is a living work of art that resides in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

HeavyShield established a fluid agreement with the National Gallery to maintain this as a living artwork. She has access allowing her to add, detract, change, and repair the artwork overtime.

The label reads: “Body of Land is more than a body of work owned by an institution; it is a living culture, an embodiment of knowledge connected to place encapsulated in each con-

ical structure thoughtfully placed on the wall.

“The cones are abstracted tipis stretched out onto the land. They represent the skin of our bodies, each line a story, a voice, a thought. I have heard it described what the tipis represented for individuals, but what I saw was the powerful, evolving, and inclusive nature of the encampment.”

HeavyShield herself says, “My environment includes family, language/narrative, the land. Each portrait is a body ... of knowledge, histories, and stories both real and imagined.”

Photography restrictions of the National Gallery Collection limit us from sharing im-

12 • NOVEMBER 2023
Aapaskaiyaawa (They are Dancing), 2002, acrylic on canvas ACRYLIC PAINT, BEADS, PLASTIC FILAMENT, 178X366X183 CM. slivers, 2010, mixed media 236.2X243.8X3 CM, INDIGENOUS ART COLLECTION, CROWN-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA, GATINEAU, QC.

Red Dress, 2008, nylon, cotton, metal and paper tags, glass beads 135.5X103X40

ages of this artwork, you will have to investigate for yourself. Internationally, many museums continue to develop policies of repatriation as part of reconciliation. The process by which museum artifacts are repatriated to communities is difficult and laborious; often there is no clear path. These artworks foster healthy engagement and discussion regarding power, display and use of these “artifacts.”

The forward-looking exhibit text reflects: “Causing narratives to shift from artifact to art, history to living culture, inanimate to animate and linear time to fluidity in time would reframe in healthy ways how we speak about and understand Indigenous nations on Turtle Island.”


While addressing a university community, curator Felicia Gay noted, “not every person can be a storyteller; it is often communities or loved ones that recognize and nurture this role in us.”

No doubt, the community and loved ones that support Faye HeavyShield have recognized and nurtured her role.

We thank Faye HeavyShield; her family and inspirations. We thank the staff of the MacKenzie Art Gallery and Nickle Galleries. We thank MacKenzie curator Felicia Gay and in-house Nickle Galleries curator Michelle Hardy. We thank the land. Join the audience; contemplate the narratives, be grounded and share space with the art.

The Art of Faye HeavyShield at the Nickle Galleries at the Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary runs September 21 – December 9. Free to the public. Open 9-4 weekdays, 11-4 Saturdays.

In honour of MŽtis Week, see some of AlbertaÕs rising MŽtis artists on stage.

DECEMBER 14 & 15, 2023

The Andy Kim Christmas in support of National Music Centre is coming back to town on December 14 and 15. Featuring performances by Andy Kim, Ron Sexsmith, and more guest stars to be announced.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 13

Welcome to Hadestown

Tony-winning, smash-hit, Broadway musical with Alberta roots brings the melodies, makes memories

Originally developed in part at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, the Tony award-winning Hadestown musical is making its return to Alberta in November.

Broadway Across Canada’s first show of the ’23/’24 season kicks off on Nov. 21 at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and audiences won’t be disappointed. Inspired by the Greek mythological love story of Orpheus and Eurydice, the musical is described as a “hell-raising journey to the underworld and back.“

What really makes this production special though, is the innovative fusion of folk, jazz and blues music composed by American singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. She started writing songs at just 17, already earning her

first award by the time she was 22. Mitchell teamed up with director Rachel Chavkin to develop her album Hadestown into a stage musical in what was more than a decade-long process.

In 2016, the show debuted in New York and a year later, Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre brought it to life on stage. Since then, the Broadway production of Hadestown won eight Tony Awards in 2019, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, and Mitchell received the Tony for Best Original Score.

The musical’s touching melodies and lyrics have resonated with audiences as evidenced by its acclaim and awards. Combined with the production’s beautiful visual style, elaborate choreography and unforgettable characters, audiences will be captivated by Hadestown.

From top left clockwise: Matthew Patrick Quinn, Lana Gordon, J. Antonio Rodriguez, Will Mann, Amaya Braganza and company in the Hadestown North American Tour 2023. PHOTO: T CHARLES

Before the show heads to Calgary for a Jubilee Auditorium run, theSCENE spoke with Mitchell about how her melodies have been transformed into a critically-acclaimed Broadway musical.

What are your influences as a singer-songwriter and where do you draw inspiration?

I love heavy lyricists like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Ferron, Tom Waits and Gillian Welch. I also love traditional British Isles balladry. Anything that tells a story or paints a picture, really. I also love ’80s pop music.

How did you come up with the melody for Hadestown?

Generally, for me, melody is very organic, like this natural strand in the braid of music, language and feelings. Words are where I really bang my head against the wall and rewrite and rewrite, but melodies pretty much just arrive, thank goodness.

How did the process of this turning from a melody to a full-blown musical go?

Hadestown started as a do-it-yourself theatre show in my home state of Vermont. Then it became a purely audio project. I made a studio album and toured the show in concert

14 • NOVEMBER 2023

form. I always wanted to develop it further for the stage, but it took many years, various moves to New York City and Vermont and back and then meeting Rachel Chavkin and our producers. Overall, it was a 13-year process of just slowly, slowly trying to make Hadestown into the fullest version of itself it could be.

What was the biggest challenge through this process?

As a musician entering the world of the theatre for the first time, there was a big learning curve for me in terms of how to make things work not just musically but dramatically. I honestly feel like my time working on the show, especially the last few years heading into Broadway, was like graduate school.

Were you surprised by the success and progression of what started as a melody

into a Broadway musical?

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this little show would land on Broadway. It will always be one of the most beautiful and absurd miracles of my life to have written it.

What can audiences expect from Hadestown?

It’s a tragic story, but I think our telling of it is very celebratory. Audiences can expect to feel the music with their whole bodies, ideally to laugh and cry and surrender to the visual feast of Rachel Chavkin’s production.

What do you hope audiences get from Hadestown?

I hope audiences are moved and feel a sense of togetherness and resilience in the act of storytelling.

Hadestown plays at the Southern Alberta Jubilee from Nov. 21-26.

More on the boards: November Theatre

Made in Italy at Theatre Calgary’s Martha Cohen Theatre

Until Nov. 11

Every meal tells a story and this one is about family. In this tour-de-force solo show, Francesco, a young Italian immigrant and his father, Salvatore, recall their experiences in 1970s Jasper, AB.

Sleuth at Vertigo Theatre

Nov. 18 to Dec. 17

Famed mystery novelist Andrew Wyke lures his wife’s lover to his country home and convinces him to stage a jewelry robbery. As the stakes rise, it sets off a chain of events that leaves audiences trying to decipher who is truly in control. This Tonyaward-winning play full of fun, humour and mystery has been called the ultimate game of cat and mouse.

A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary

Nov. 30 until Dec. 31

The city’s favourite holiday classic returns with this wistful timeless tale by Dickens of redemption full with added spectacle. Audiences know and love the story, making it a holiday family tradition for TC: On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who confront him with the consequences of his actions as they show him his past, present and future.

Top Gunn: A Maverick Musical at Jubilations Dinner Theatre

Now until Jan. 13

Take a ride on the Highway to the Danger Zone with this parody spin on the fighter-jet franchise starring Tom Cruise. The show stitches together wo classic movies made 30 years apart featuring a movie star that somehow looks like he hasn’t aged a single day.

Krista Sylvester

NOVEMBER 2023 • 15
Anäis Mitchell created the melodies behind Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hadestown. PHOTO: JAY SANSONE. Vertigo Theatre is presenting the classic cat-andmouse tale Sleuth, starring Christopher Hunt and Braden Griffiths. PHOTO: FIFTH WALL MEDIA.

lyfe project

Thinking about the past while building the future

There’s a sense of optimism glaringly evident in “Your Friendly Neighbourhood Rapper” KTheChosen, also known as Thabo Chinake. He came to Calgary from Zimbabwe in 2015 as a 19-year-old to attend university, and despite his family being a half a globe and over 40 hours of travel away, stayed. His memories of arriving reveal something about who he is and why he doesn’t just appreciate Calgary, but improves it by actively promoting music from the African and Caribbean diaspora.

“I am a very independent person, so when I arrived, I didn’t get a taxi or an Uber to the university campus. I was like, ‘No, I’m going to take my bags, get on the train and take a bus.” To me, I love learning places by getting lost. Probably not the smartest idea to do,” Chinake recalls. “I think I arrived at like 11:00 p.m., and this was during fall so it was pitch black. In retrospect that wasn’t smart. But Calgary’s such a safe city I remember getting on campus and was going the wrong direction and this couple said, ‘It’s late at night and this is probably where you need to be.’ And that’s what happened, they picked me up and dropped me off so I got there safely. Whereas you don’t have that kind of safety in other major cities, just because the more people you have it increases the problems of crime or danger.”

That independence and bravery shown traveling halfway across the world as a teen speak volumes about why Chinake, named a Top 20 Compelling Calgarian by the Calgary Herald in 2022, was a key player in creating the LYFE (Lost Yesterday, Found Eternity) Project which brings together newcomer Calgary musicians and honours the lived layers of their music. The project has over 10 rappers and singers, including 2023 YYC

Music Awards People’s Choice nominee Tea

Fannie and many instrumentalists such as saxophonist and DJ Slim Tyme. The first single, Nigerian-born Jey Oh’s Eternal Memory, a lovely, layered R&B song that’s a perfect summer soundtrack, hit the pavement July 7. Something Different, a song by K-Riz x The Blue that marries rap with a flowing sense of musicality, was released in early September The entire LYFE album will be released Nov. 17. The project emerged from the seeds of a casual conversation between Chinake and executive director of the Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation, Toyin Oladele, just before the pandemic when the two noticed a trend. “We go to all these events, you know, Ethnik Festival, other festivals, and it’s the same performers every time, and the music might be from a Black artist but it doesn’t really represent the culture where they are from,” Chinake says.

There were ongoing conversations, but as with everything else, the pandemic slowed action down. Chinake’s vision was to invite newcomers to lend their musical talents to enhance the bigger picture. Over time, the LYFE Project emerged.

“In terms of trying to formalize it, we would have video calls and just try to formalize … what would this project look like, who would be on the project, what’s the best way to do it … I think collaborative projects are great because you’ve got so many voices involved, but there need to be clear objectives and clear leaders, right, because otherwise they kind of expand horizontally but don’t actually move forward.”

Chinake, aware of a diaspora of people from Africa and the Caribbean, wanted to capture some of their experiences. “So, we talked about what’s the perfect team, and that was

Continued on page 18

16 • NOVEMBER 2023

Chinake’s vision was to invite newcomers to lend their musical talents to enhance the bigger picture.

Pictured: Thabo Chinake, left, and 3rd Verse Record’s Nii Ayi) Right

Continued from page 16

around the time that (3rd Verse Record’s Nii Ayi) and I started talking. He was coming into the industry from the managerial and studio manager perspective. It’s funny because I’d spoken to Toyin about Nii, ‘Oh, he’s creating a studio that might be an ideal location to record.’

“As we started talking about his goals and things he wanted to do it was like, you know what, I think we’re all talking about the same things from different perspectives. That would have been earlier this year, early March.”

Ayi adds, “September or October me and (3rd Verse producer and engineer) Chef Beatz and a couple of producers started talking about doing a collaborative project for the city. And seeing as I ran 3rd Verse Records, the music studio here, when you work with some artists you don’t have much control over release dates … So, when we first started the studio, you felt like there’s an element that’s outside of your control if you want to market or have people hear your sounds. So, I think I need to do a project that represents the city that brings people together, that could be a label project.” Ayi and Chef Beatz had already put out a “beat pack” featuring R&B, hip-hop, Afrobeats and “house techno type vibes.”

Calgary-born Ayi, whose dad is Ghanian and mother Trinidadian, visited both countries often as a child. “I think of the influence that had on my own self-worth, self-value, understanding of who I am. my own strengths. Also, a massive part of that was the love of music, because we used to go to Ghana in (the mid-2000s), we’d bring back burned CDs. At that time, it was a highlight for hiplife (a fusion of hip-hop and Ghanian music), before Afrobeats (which began in the early oughts and from a mix of musical influences including sounds from Nigeria, Ghana and the UK), and we would listen to these CDs it would just say, Track 1, unknown artist, and we’d just be jammin’.

“That helped us here (understand) culture there and see how hip-hop and hiplife turned into Afrobeats and expanded or became more prominent in the western world. It almost changed the image of being African, because being African was being uncool as a kid growing up. It was cooler to be Caribbean than it was to be African because of Bob Marley, right?

“Africa was the fly in the eye — what are those commercials? You know, World Vision

“To get Africans back to Africa, to share their talents, to show what it means to live here — that all comes back through people’s stories, through their music... That’s a hope of mine. That’s a vision of mine. And we’re going to just keep working to make sure we can execute it.”

commercials, that was the perception. Now we’ve seen the perception of Africa change, even of African beauty, of African music, it’s all changed so much in the last I’d say 10, 15 years. That’s been an amazing experience for the diaspora and also why it’s so important for the diaspora to connect back with our roots to music.

“Because music’s our history – from Billie Holiday to NWA, whatever it is, it’s always in our music.”

A recent trip to Ghana inspired Ayi to bring momentum to the project, especially by bringing back music from several countries and inspiring local Black artists to return to their musical roots. “That’s something that’s always been important to me as a person, having people connect with their roots. Because I did

the single it kind of sets them up for something they haven’t really heard,” Ayi says.

“The next single we’re releasing something different; the artists (K-Riz x The Blue) are so experienced on that track, so the momentum behind it will be a bit different. So, we get an unknown artist and a known artist but the quality is still the same.

“Circling back to diaspora, my parents came for education and I was born here. A lot of people came as refugees, and the refugee experience is so much different than the experience of people who came for education.

“We’ve seen the impact that’s had on certain communities, like South Sudanese community, the Zimbabwe community, and that had a massive part of Calgary history from the early 2000s to maybe two years ago. There’s so much violence and stuff, and that gets expressed in the music, right?

“So that’s even, you said, how did you choose the first single? Why Afrobeats? Well, we grew up on hip-hop, we love hip-hop, there’s a certain aspect of hip-hop that’s not as marketable or relatable to some people, but it’s very much real to the people performing it, the people that wrote it, the people producing it that understand the situation, even in Calgary, Alberta.

“All our friends have lost people to gun violence. We all know these people so this is still a part of our city. So even after selecting the artists on the project, that was something to consider. We want to represent Calgary from the high to the low, but kind of keep that reality to it.”

grow up here as well so I’ve seen people sort of connecting with my own heritage in my life, so I want artists to experience the same thing.” The momentum meant Ayi and Chef Beatz completed most of the production work, reached out for grants, and started considering how to promote the project.

Chinake adds, “It’s been great learning from artists because we have different backgrounds. We also have different approaches to music. The single was kind of interesting that way because we have so many different songs to pick from but the initial reception of songs were all hip-hop. It was an intentional decision to pick one that was more Afrobeats which is how we went with Eternal Memory.”

“Yes, and Jey O has a really unique voice, which gives the album, like when people hear

Going forward, once the project is released, its creators want to take it on tour, including festivals next year, and sets by project musicians that could represent LYFE. Eventually, they would love to tour it in Africa. As Ayi explains, “To get Africans back to Africa, to share their talents, to show what it means to live here — that all comes back through people’s stories, through their music. They would also be receiving so much from the cultures there when they go home. That’s a hope of mine. That’s a vision of mine. And we’re going to just keep working to make sure we can execute it.”

The LYFE Project will be released Nov. 17. They’re also promoting a pair of shows: Ship Hop on Nov. 1 at the Ship & Anchor; and a night at Festival Hall Nov. 3 featuring project participant The Blue as well as KTheChosen, who is celebrating the release of his new EP, IRL.

18 • NOVEMBER 2023
Participanats in The Lyfe Project

Unapologetically Arden

Calgary’s own Jann adds novelist to her resume with new book

For the record: No matter what mommy and daddy told you, you’re not special. Especially online.

If you’ve been blocked by Jann Arden on Twitter (X can suck it), you’re one of, say, more than 13,000 carefully selected, stupid, argumentative souls.

“I’m thinking I do, maybe, 5-10 a day?” Arden says from her home in Springbank. “I just block.

“Last year, maybe the year before, I had a woman come up to me in Safeway. She goes, ‘I know who you are.’ Thank, God, I was in the checkout. She said, ‘You blocked me on Twitter.’ And I said, ‘You must have fucking done something.’

“I just paid for my stuff and I moved on. But I didn’t hear any murmurings or anything. I’m like, ‘You got a lot of balls.’ ”

As does Arden — artist, actor, author, activist, personality, performer, rabble rouser and all-around excellent human person. She lives — and has for the past 30 years —

Arden on Mercer

To celebrate the release of her new novel, The Bittlemores. Jann Arden will be joined on a cross-country jaunt by friend and funnyman Rick Mercer, who is also releasing a new, biographical book The Road Years: A Memoir Continued …

The 75-minute conversation between the two will be introduced by former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and will include audience questions, which will be submitted in advance.

MB: Tell us about your relationship with Rick Mercer. Because it’s been, well, it’s been going on for a long time.

on her own terms, almost uncancellable now, contentious when she needs to be, taking on whatever comes her way, whatever suits her pleasure, caring not at all what you may think.

“Listen, I just stumble along,” she says. “I do things that I like, and I keep the lights on. And I work with really great people. And it’s, it’s always fun trying new things …

“But yeah, I mean, I’m enjoying where I’m living (Springbank) and, and getting older, believe it or not, is kind of interesting. And I just feel very fortunate.

“I try and yell at people whenever possible, and get into some kind of altercation on social media, but I just feel like I can’t sit on my hands and let other people get yelled at. I feel like I need to, because I just don’t care.

She continues: “But I enjoy it. And I feel, believe it or not, I have a degree of empathy. Because I think for the most part, the the disconnect comes from … they’re people that feel virtually invisible. And the only traction they get is just yelling, yelling and throwing

Continued on next page

JA: Well, you know, it’s so funny. People assumed that we had this great friendship for many years, when the reality of me doing his show, The Mercer Report, was he phoned me up or his people would call my people and ask, “Can she do this? And can she fucking climb the CN Tower” or whatever the shit it was … And I was always signing a waiver. So I would do the schtick with him. And then I wouldn’t see him or talk to him for a year and a half.

And it wasn’t really until probably the last 10 years when I think after the CN Tower thing, we went and had dinner at the CN Tower. I think we were up there, and they offered to feed us lunch or something, and then I think that was the first time we exchanged numbers.

He always calls me “missus.” Now I consider him a very good friend, but it wasn’t right out of the box. He needed me to do my schtick, and it was an opportunity for me to be on television with him. And I don’t think we realized how much people would enjoy the pairing of (Mercer) with a woman in peril, which was the truth of it, because I hated every single thing he made me do. And I’m not a risk taker. I’m just a sight gag. There’s nothing physically fit about me. And I was always scared. And I always just felt kind of sick at any of these things, and he loved it.

And so I think what people saw was really genuine. And so there’s lots of lessons there. Like you can’t force that stuff. And I don’t think you can pretend to be a damsel in distress, like, I was clearly not enjoying any of it. And it came across as funny. So I think we really saw the value in our pairing and, and he was always very generous

with me and he just said “it’s so great — the highest rated episodes we ever did were the ones with you.”

I’m looking forward to seeing him. I think we’re just going to interview each other and read excerpts from the books and talk about them, and I think it’ll be fun for people.

MB: OK, I do want to pit you two against each other. So whose book is better?

JA: I think my book is better. But I think he’s a lot funnier than I am. I think he’s a lot smarter than I am. He’s much quicker on his feet … but I think I’m tougher. I think I have thicker skin.

Like when he sees me on Twitter, like just three days of battling conservatives or whatever the case may be, he’ll pop up in my text, he’ll go, “Missus … please.” He generally gets so concerned for me, like he’s very tender hearted. And he doesn’t like confrontation. He doesn’t like people disliking him at all. He has never been in a Twitter battle. And I’m like, “Rick Mercer, I am not going to live in silence.” I said, “I can’t do it. I cannot … When I’m dead, please give me this — they can look through my Twitter feed and go back and say girl had some shit going on. And that’s important to me. I think silence, I think apathy is not what I want.

MB: Do you have to sit there and sign them?

JA: No. But I think we’re doing pre signs. Someone gave me the head’s up like, “Look, you’re going to be signing 600 books every day, get ready.” I’m like, “Oh, but I don’t mind, I’m fine with that.” I think I do it in the privacy of my own hotel room. So yeah, I don’t think I’m standing in front of people. It should be fun.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 19
Singer, author and activist Jann Arden is set to release her first novel The Bittlemores.

Continued from page 16

vitriol around.

“It’s gonna be really interesting decade, Mike. I’m so curious to see how this unfolds, and what the implications are for us, you know, living in cities and kind of making a go at being a person.”

A busy person, with a lot going on.

In the works now is another television show — her sitcom Jann enjoyed three years, and many Canadian television awards on CTV. She describes the new one, in development and with a newly hired showrunner, as a “a crime procedural — like Black Diamond, very dark, and murder and going home.”

On top of pitching the project to the powers that be, she and longtime collaborator Russell Broom are currently in the midst of recording an album of cover tunes.

More pressing, though, is the release of Arden’s first novel, The Bittlemores, which will be released Nov. 7. Having already written several biographical tomes, she now sets her sights on the (mainly) fictional world.

“I’m really excited about that,” she says of the book which she’s been labouring over the

“I think it’s really unique. And I’m really proud of it.
I’m glad I finished it. If I never do one of these things again, I’m like, ‘Thank God.’“

past 15 years. “But I was determined to finish it. I’m like, ‘I gotta finish this thing. I I can’t just leave it sitting in a box. I need to figure out how it ends and carry on just for my own peace of mind.’

“So I it was a lot of fun to do it … I don’t really know what I’m doing, but you don’t really need to know what you’re doing to do things, I’ve discovered.”

Arden calls The Bittlemores “a modern-day fairy tale,” where the protagonist and antagonist “are really shitty people.”

It features a young girl growing up on a rural property, living with her elderly folks — an abusive alcoholic and, his wife, a rotund, disinterested mother figure.

“If you can just picture the most heinous (people): the father’s really, really skinny, and

would send you out for cigarettes and booze; and his wife is like a barrel with legs, and they’re just not good people.”

Of course, it being a sort-of mystery there are origin stories, family secrets and, well, what would a novel be without talking livestock?

“It kind of just crept in there, that whole narrative of just animals being such a part of our lives and the way they’re treated,” says Arden, a vocal animal rights proponent, who’s fighting to stop the export of live Canadian horses to Japan for slaughter and consumption.

“But, you know, that at some point, they decide to turn the tables. And that’s a really fun part of this book, too, is that you really you hate these people so much that I tried to

find a balance where that didn’t overshadow the otherwise good things in the book, because they’re so terrible, they’re such terrible people. But I think I found a nice balance.”

Um, so basically it’s like a hybrid of Animal Farm, Babe, Mathilda and Dolores Claiborne?

“It’s not that dark,” she laughs. “Although it’s not a young reader’s book, either. I think in the book world they’re calling it a ‘coming-ofage mystery,’ which really made me laugh.

“But it’s not unlike what people do with my music. Because if you go on any of the streamers, sometimes I’m ‘adult alternative,’ sometimes I’m a ‘contemporary adult (artist),’ sometimes I’m, I’ve seen myself in jazz …

“So I think the book world is having an equally difficult time trying to just give me a label. But it’s a good story. I think it’s really unique. And I’m really proud of it. I’m glad I finished it. If I never do one of these things again, I’m like, ‘Thank God.’ ”

Jann Arden and Rick Mercer celebrate the release of their new books with a Wordfest event Nov. 17 at The Grand. The evening is sold out (in record time, apparently) but there is a waiting list, so please go to to add your name.

20 • NOVEMBER 2023

Screen Time

November another busy month for Calgary film lovers, with an eclectic slate of festivals on tap

Before the season of big-screen blockbusters, unnecessary live-action remakes, superhero flicks, reboots and obviously pandering Oscar-bait, there is a lull. A nice lull.

An autumnal lull where none of the mindless, gaudy, cinematic Christmas bluster is on display; instead, more mindful, engaging, challenging and important conversations being had on a filmic level, at a time when things are beginning to slow down, and hibernation is lazily beckoning.

To that end, November in the city promises something for every discerning cinephile with a handful of festivals offering documentaries, foreign films, animation and thought-provoking, socio-political fare.

Here’s what, where and when film lovers can indulge themselves over the next month.


Nov. 3-12

Twelve years in, this fest continues to highlight important work from across the pond. This year, the films have their origins in more than 25 countries, including Germany, Iceland, Serbia and Spain.

Highlights of the event — which features in-person screenings at the Globe Cinema and some at-home streaming opportunities — include: Icelandic film Band, which is “a comedy of failures,” about three women approaching their 40s “who give themselves only one year to finally become popstars or quit forever”; stylish Spanish self-exploration drama Creatura from director Elena Martín; and the acclaimed, animated sci-fi film White Plastic Sky.

It’s going to be a long winter, so why not take a 10-day European vacation without the hassle of air travel, lineups, late or cancelled flights, and gropey customs officers.

For more information and to purchase festival passes or single tickets please go


Nov. 16-19

Animation domination of a different sort. Calgary’s acclaimed Quickdraw Animation Society’s annual event GIRAF — Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival — is a

celebration of independent adult-oriented animation from around the world and a fabulous sampling of the best of what›s being made in the medium of visual artistry.

From full-length features and shorts packages to artist-led workshops and artist talks, the four days offer an eyeful of awesome.

“Each year, we scour the globe for the most astounding, inventive, beautiful, mind-altering and unexpected animated films out there” organizers say.

Full details on GIRAF 19, which takes place with in-person showings Nov 16-19, and select screenings available online Nov. 20-27, are yet to be finalized, but early bird passes are available now for those who know their entertainment is all-but guaranteed.

For information as it arrives, please keep checking back at


Nov. 17-19

Their vision: To influence positive behavioural change by sharing environmental and social justice films that inspire and engage neighbours to become global citizens.

Their mission: Providing a platform through film and visual arts that creates community awareness and discussion about justice issues that matter.

Yes, it sounds like some pretty heavy and heady stuff, but CJFF has, for the past 25plus years, made conversations about justice around the world accessible and engaging for all.

Many of the screenings feature conversations with the filmmakers or experts on the subject matter in the doc.

This year, the opening night film, Love in the Time of Fentanyl, shot in Vancouver›s Downtown Eastside is about “a group of misfits, artists, and drug users (who operate) a renegade safe injection site.” That screening, with a post-film discussion, will take place at the Globe Cinema, while all others will be at River Park Church Theatre (3818, 14a St. S.W.).

Oh, and to make your engagement a little easier, every screening is free.

For more information and the complete list of films, please go to


Nov. 22-26

Be it their main event in the spring or their fall celebration of documentary filmmaking, the Calgary Underground Film Festival has always been a seal of approval for those seeking smart, subversive and entertaining art.

This year’s CUFF.Docs is no exception, with almost 20 fascinating, factual films that will be gracing the Globe screen at the end of November.

Some of the notables include: Chasing Chasing Amy, which explores the impact the Kevin Smith film had on director Sav Rodgers, who was, at the time of its release, “a 12 year old kid from Kansas, coming of age and contending with queer identity;” and, what’s sure to be a fan favourite, Cat Video Fest, a curated, stitched-together, compendium of

this year’s best viral cat videos from around this weird fucking world.

Hands down, what should be the must-see, thoughHello Darkness. I’ll let CUFF’s programmers describe it.

“Comprised entirely of hundreds of film samples, Hello Darkness is a political fable that bears witness to the psychotropic spectacle of American politics from 2016 to 2021 … Taking form as a suburban stoner musical, the film follows a neighbourhood through these years as consensus reality disintegrates into conspiracy and other contagions.”

Interest piqued? Wait, there’s more!

“What unfolds is a rogue retelling of history in which hotdogs debate the culture wars, trashcans preach QAnon, zombies rally for revolution, and real events are refashioned as Broadway bangers from Cats, Les Miserables, Annie, and The Phantom of the Opera. There are songs and dancing, moments of menace and melancholy, shitposting and deep sincerity …

“The cast of characters include Tom Hanks, Annette Bening, Bruce Dern, Ice Cube, Wayne and Garth, Maya and Ana, Rue and Jules, Seth Rogan and Reyn Doi. American politicians play themselves, with Jesse Eisenberg in the role of Mark Zuckerberg, and The Phantom of the Opera as Vladimir Putin.”

I mean.

C’mon …

For the complete list of films, the festival schedule and to purchase tickets or passes, please go to

NOVEMBER 2023 • 21
Creatura 2: European Film Festival Cat: CUFF


As the Crow Flies

Canadian roots-rock staples The Skydiggers reflect on the changes they’ve seen travelling across Canada over a 35-year career

While Canadian roots-rockers The Skydiggers have a lot of roads to look back on – including 15 albums, several charting singles, and many thousands of highway miles covered while gigging from coast to coast — singer Andy Maize is quite happy being in the present with the October release of their EP, Bide Your Time, as a follow-up to the June release of their Hide Your Light EP.

Maize and guitarist Josh Finlayson have stuck together like honey on bread since before The Skydiggers were signed to California’s Enigma Records (Berlin, Sonic Youth, Wall of Voodoo) in 1989. While labels have come and gone during their career, The Skydiggers continue to offer their welcoming vibe.

Though the band has been based in Toronto for most of their careers, theSCENE caught up with Maize from a Vancouver apartment where he and his wife Andrea spend time to be close to her family when they are not in Toronto.

What was it like being on the road for so many years while you toured in support of your albums?

It’s been a real privilege to see the country. Our first tour we were opening for Grapes of Wrath, the summer of 1990, so we loaded up the van and headed west and we got as far as Thunder Bay and our agent called and said, “Bad news, the first week of shows has been cancelled. But the good news is that Frank at Crocks N Rolls will have you for a week.”

So we played at Crocks N Rolls for a week and it was terrific. It helped us; playing seven nights in a row you can’t help but get a little bit better. There were more people every night so word was getting around. We have fond memories of Crocks N Rolls.

Crocks had a big aquarium in the room and the fish, we used to say they were dancing because music was playing and they’d kind of be upright in the tank. Now we realize it was the vibration because the music was so loud. It was probably hard on them.

You covered a lot of ground during your career to date. Are there some places that stand out for you? There’s always something great about every

Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson have remained the core of Canadian roots-rock act The Skydiggers for more than three decades. The band has just released its second EP this year called Bide Your Time. PHOTO:

place we’ve been and most particularly the people that we met along the way. Some places are more beautiful than others, clubs might be nicer than others, but the people have been wonderful and we’ve made a lot of friends over the years.

(I remember) band houses and often running into another band going the other way. It was usually the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir.

How did these two EPs come about?

I made a recording to celebrate my 50th birthday 14 years ago now and I made it with a fellow based just outside of Victoria, BC named Joby Baker. We’ve remained friends over the years, and he sent me a note letting me know about a B.C. government grant called B.C. Creates and he said usually it’s for international artists coming to record in B.C. but because of Covid and the restrictions on people coming to Canada they opened it up to acts from other provinces, so we jumped on that and Josh and I ended up going out.

We started recording with Joby in February of 2022. It’s just great, he’s got a studio in his house in Saanich, a beautiful piece of property, and Joby is one of the finest musicians/ engineers/producers that we’ve ever worked with. Joby plays drums, me and Josh both played bass. Joby’s a terrific keyboard player. We’d record most of the tracks with just the three of us, and then our old friend Daniel

Lapp came and played trumpet, fiddle, and different horns. That was terrific reconnecting with him as well.

How did you decide which songs would be on the album?

We recorded 15 or 16 songs and 12 ended up making the cut between the two EPs, which will be issued as a vinyl recording at the beginning of November. I think the evolution of the CD, the amount of music that artists could put on CDs, I think they became a little less strict with what they put on. So I think albums got longer and artists maybe felt a little guilty about the price. Now we’re back, you know, streaming, you could do anything you want, but with an eye on making vinyl again. For us we wanted to make sure we could contain music within the two sides of a record. It’s about forty minutes.

The great thing about record albums there are two beginnings and two endings. The first ending has to make you want to turn the record over.

What changes have you noticed in the music industry over your many decades of releasing music?

I think it would be much more difficult starting out now because even though social media has allowed more direct contact with an audience, I find there are so many more things to

compete for everyone’s entertainment dollar. There’s streaming services, there’s a lot more restaurants than 30 years ago, there’s a lot of craft breweries. I think people who might have started bands 30 years ago have gotten into craft brewing.

And I don’t think people’s entertainment budget has increased greatly; there’s just a lot more competition. We started out touring the country playing a lot of colleges and universities, and that’s kind of the core of our fan base. Folks when they graduated started careers. They might have got married and started families. They drifted away from maybe being as actively participating in music or in entertainment, going out to shows. And I think what we’ve discovered now is we’re fortunate we have that core fan base because now that they’re a little bit older they’re looking to reconnect with a part of themselves that they’ve put on hold for 15 or 20 years.

Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?

The other big change that I’ve seen in the business is you used to be able to see what the steps were, you know what I mean? Okay, we rehearse, we go and start playing, we want to play some gigs, the 50 seaters, the 75 seaters. Well, then you want to play the 100-, the 150-seat clubs and you work your way up and if you’re good enough or lucky enough, maybe somebody from a label will come and see you, or a booking agent, or whatever. Those steps are blurred now. Sometimes social media can be a real leg up, but, sometimes, everything’s so fragmented.

I’m don’t think we’ve seen the full fallout yet from the pandemic. Because a fair bit of stimulus money was put into entertainment, and now that money’s gone. It’s so much more expensive for us to travel. You know, accommodations, car rentals.

We’re happy to be out playing again. We didn’t play – I counted it – I think it was something like 570 days with the full band. And that’s tough when that’s what you do.

We’re thrilled to be able to get out and play and come back to Calgary.

The Skydiggers play the Ironwood Stage and Grill Nov. 7-8. For information, go to

22 • NOVEMBER 2023


Ryan McLeish has a lively job with many highlights.

As general manager of Calgary music hotspot the King Eddy for the past two and a half years, that definitely includes working steps away from the adjacent National Music Centre at Studio Bell’s largest artifact, the legendary Rolling Stones’ Mobile Studio. It’s where their seminal albums Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street were recorded, along with other little gems like Led Zeppelin IV (is it even legal to have a high school dance without playing Stairway to Heaven?) and Deep Purple’s 1972 album Machine Head with its monster hit, Smoke on the Water.

But despite the lure of bowing down to worship at this gateway to rock and roll heaven, his favourite part of his job is actually weekend brunches.

“Brunch is my favourite service,” McLeish says. “Saturdays we have an acoustic brunch where it’s a different artist every Saturday. They do such a great job of singing songs people will know and recognize, along with their own songs. Calgarians will sit and wait over an hour to get into an OEB or Diner Deluxe. They have some great brunches, but, here, you don’t have to wait, and our staff does a nice job of welcoming everyone with a nice smile and everyone wants to have a good time.”

Where history meets heart, music and great food in a landmark location

Sunday brunches are hosted by Calgary songwriting gem Carter Felker with a different musical guest each week. Both brunches are family friendly, as are all music events at the Eddy, as it’s fondly called — including Calgary’s own gentleman cowboy singer Matt Masters, who regularly hosts the happy hour on Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“We’re kid friendly. Kids are welcome day and night. Anyone under 18 can come for live music Friday or Saturday night. We encourage families to come for our brunches; we are seeing so many families come. It’s a great environment to introduce children to live music. It’s such a warm place.”

And while it’s fitting that one monument to

rock royalty, the Stones’ mobile studio, resides in another monument to historical royalty, the former King Edward Hotel — named after King Edward VII who was King of Canada when confederation occurred — that family brunch can foster conversations on history well beyond these aristocracies. Calgary historian Harry M. Sanders collected rich nuggets of the hotel’s past for the Historical Society of Alberta, like the fact the original three storey hotel was built in 1905 by Louis B. Charlebois to serve cowboys, ranchers and the working people who forged early Calgary. An addition added in 1907 topped up the building to five storeys. As part of Whisky Row, an array of hotels with bars, it took over from the Atlanta

24 • NOVEMBER 2023
PHOTO: SEBASTIAN BUZZALINO Calgary country quartet Nice Horse perform on the famed King Eddy stage.

Hotel west of it to become the first chance saloon for travellers arriving from the east, and the last chance saloon for travellers heading eastward.

During the rough and rowdy early days, Scottish-born second manager William Mill, who’d worked at an insane asylum then been a Calgary cop before taking over the hotel, was cited for running a loose and unsanitary establishment several times. The hotel’s notoriety carried forward during prohibition from 1916 to 1924 as the Eddy became known for bootlegging, and later became Calgary’s first desegregated bar under the management of Homer Meeks from 1946 to 1962. Well, desegregated for Black patrons; women and escorts remained segregated from the men-only sections of bars in the city until 1957.

Fast forward to the 1980s and ’90s when the Eddy became Canada’s revered Home of the Blues, drawing artists like B.B. King, Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Hammond, Paul Butterfield, Buddy Guy and Pinetop Perkins. Even Canadian hit-maker Brian Adams played at the Eddy way back when, as did Sheryl Crow for a showcase to promote her debut, Tuesday Night Music Club.

In fact, National Music Centre CEO Andrew Mosker stated that the Eddy’s reputation as Canada’s prime blues venue was the reason Studio Bell’s National Music Centre, which bought and lovingly restored the Eddy, was built where it is, just across 4th Street S.E. from the Eddy and attached to it by a skywalk. When the King Edward Hotel closed in 2004, it was the second oldest hotel in Calgary and the longest-running hotel and bar. In 2013, as part of building Studio Bell, the hotel bricks were numbered, taken apart, and then rebuilt for the Eddy’s 2016 opening as a dedicated music venue. Even the storied front step was saved.

Some of this rich history makes it a natural venue for corporate events as well, McLeish says.

“People tend to come in and just love the atmosphere here and also the history and love hosting events here compared to the normal stale event hall, I guess you might say.”

As the preferred caterers for the National Music Centre, the Eddy has prepared food and libations for events for General Electric, the Alberta Law Society, Landmark Cinemas and many more. They cater everything from cocktail parties with appetizers to complete meals, all befitting of holiday parties, Stampede

parties, and beyond. There is even a rooftop area available for private events, Stampede firework views included.

The team also offers some once in a lifetime moments.

“We’ve hosted some events this year and hope to do some more. Early in this year we did a Glenmorangie Scotch tasting. We actually opened up the Rolling Stone Mobile and everyone was able to go in and listen to Led Zeppelin IV as it was recorded through the Rolling Stone Mobile Studio. We also did a tasting and full dinner menu.

“We have an upcoming one in November where we are doing a wine tasting from a California winery, and the artist we are showcasing will be Fleetwood Mac. They actually recorded two albums in that mobile, Penguin and Mystery to Me.”

All this musical history seems to make the food taste even better. Some of the best things on the menu continue to be the spicy chicken sandwich, the burger with the works, and, perhaps made especially savoury by the sweet music played during consumption of it, the chicken and waffles served at brunch. McLeish highlights the fact the Eddy, being deeply rooted in Calgary’s beginnings, also remains deeply rooted in highlighting Calgary’s best, be it music or food and drink.

“We are as local as possible. We have 14 taps which are all local breweries. Alberta Distillers (located in Bonnybrook) we use for a lot of our cocktails and we work with them.”

This ethic of local also includes expanding to embrace all the locals who call Calgary home. “Our Korean platter (is what) I have most days for lunch,” McLeish says. “One thing we’re showcasing is we have a diverse menu so everyone walking in could see a dish they recognize or that brings memories from home, like our Korean barbeque platter. One of our staff members is from Korea. We make our kimchi from scratch here.”

From its history arising within 30 years of the signing of Treaty Seven to the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio over 50 years later to its legacy as a place where music and those who make it are honoured, the King Eddy is a one-of-a-kind venue which offers great food, great music and indelible history, all in the same sitting. There is no other place like it in Calgary, and few places like it in Canada and beyond.

For information on the King Eddy’s food and music, check out

The King Eddy is a one-of-a-kind venue which offers great food, great music and indelible history, all in the same sitting.
NOVEMBER 2023 • 25
PHOTO: M.GRONDIN The iconic sign outside the King Edward Hotel, which was recreated brick by brick. Chicken and waffles, a mainstay on the weekend brunch menu.

Your Month In YYC Music

From Skinny Dyck to Skinny Puppy, KISS to Dizzy, Downway to Ginger Beef, the menu for November has something for all tastes

If the only venues in the city you know are the Saddledome and, maybe, the Jubilee or Jack Singer, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not much going on musically in this burg we call home.

You’d be mocked mercilessly, possibly even laughed and pointed at, but forgiven.


Which is to say that what’s going on beyond the big names and big rooms you’re familiar with, is a host of aural opportunities and experiences.

Local, international, known, fringe,

releasing — there are so many live music opportunities of any style or genre on any given night in and around the core.

So if you’re looking for a cheat-sheet on the smorgasbord of sound that awaits in every nook and cranny of Calgary this November, here’s a good, but nowhere near complete, place to start.


Nov. 3 at Modern Love

Longtime local punkers headline a stacked bill to celebrate the birthday of frontman Dave Pederson. Which birthday is it? A gentleman never asks; so instead just buy him a beer — he’s earned it in his many (many?) years on this Earth.


Nov. 3 at Commonwealth Oshawa, Ont., dream-pop band built around three brothers — Alex, Mackenzie and Charlie Spencer — and the gorgeous vox of singer Katie Munshaw, bring to town their eponymous new album, which builds beautifully off of their Juno Award-winning debut, 2018’s Baby Teeth, and 2020’s strong sophomore outing The Sun and Her Scorch. As most Commonwealth shows, this should be an early one, so make sure you show up on time and set your face to smile.


Nov. 4 at the Back Alley

This rapper and R&B singer has the Drake seal-of-approval — Woods was signed to Drizzy’s OVO label — and some deeply soulful

singles, including Drama which features his benefactor, has been streamed more than 440 million times on Spotify, and a full-length album, Mixed Emotions, that has led him to the top of the charts around the world. Not bad for a once-unknown, 22-year-old lad from Brampton.


Nov. 4 at Bu Vintage Shoppe (110 3 Ave. S.E.)

Local artist Jiajia Li’s instrumental-pop project with her husband/producer Warren Tse (a.k.a. MSG) have just released their self-titled debut and now they’re ready to give it life in a fittingly cool, unassuming Chinatown location. Award-winning flutist Li leads her way merrily through the proggy retro soundscapes provided by Tse. You should probably expect many a jazz-flute or smooth-jazz guitar solo, and to groove away your Saturday night.


Nov. 7-8 at the Ironwood

Read our interview with Canadian rootsrock mainstays on Page 22.


Nov. 9 at MacEwan Hall

This Juno-winning all-girl, alt-rock act out of T.O. are hitting new heights with their exceptional second album Blame My Ex, which was released in September, and features great, melodic, harmonic pop with a pretty crunchy crust to it.


Nov. 11 at the Saddledome

26 • NOVEMBER 2023
Ginger Beef November 4 at the Bu Vintage Shoppe Roy Woods November 4 at Back Alley The Beaches November 9 at MacEwan Hall

Is it? Is it really? Well, maybe for this incarnation of the costume-rock legends. But, who knows? The band/brand could continue even without its core, as bassist Gene Simmons has intimated that KISS is the name and the songs, and as long as people are still willing to pay for both, it could be anyone under the makeup singing and playing the hits.


Nov. 11 at The Palomino

Celebrate the release of this L.A. (Lethbridge, Alta.) artist Skinny Dyck’s cool, twangy, roadhousey new record Palace Waiting. Slow, familiar and comfortable retro-country music — done lovingly, earnestly — it’s the perfect accompaniment to the Pal’s sweet and smokey BBQ, and perhaps a Pabst or four.


Nov. 16 at the Jubilee

It should be an unforgettable night of blueshued Americana from this trio of Texas troubadours. Acclaimed in their own right, possibly unstoppable when teamed together onstage, the Lone Star State represents strong.


Nov. 17 at the Grey Eagle Event Centre

Hot on the heels of the release of their new album Formentera II — companion piece to 2022’s Formentera — the beloved Canadian pop act are hitting the road for a North American tour with a stop at the Grey Eagle. Led by vocalist Emily Haines, the quartet always put on a capital “S” Show and always deliver an entertaining evening.


Nov. 17 at The Palomino

The raucous and rousing Calgary punkrock act are releasing their new album Colder Now. Grown out of local legends Knucklehead, the quartet in their current form have been at it now for almost a decade, building and audience with their singalongable songs with a punch.


Nov. 19 at the Grey Eagle Event Centre

Unlike Gene and Paul and whoever is the rest of their crew, if Skinny Puppy are promising to exit stage left after this swing, we’ll take them at their word. The pioneering industrial-rock act out of Vancouver, have been at

it off and on for the past four decades and are celebrating that milestone by saying goodbye. Loudly. Very, very loudly.


Nov. 24 at MacEwan Hall

This Aussie jazz-funk jam band has a hardcore following that always shows up strong. Should be the case when they return to a room they’ve played many times, with the act getting fans up and dancing or just chilling in the back, taking in the good, groovy vibes.


Nov. 24 at the Palomino

Some smart, eccentric and catchy pop-rock can be found on Prismatic, the debut fulllength from local weirdoes In Search of Sasquatch. Produced by fellow mad hatter, 36?’s

Taylor Cochrane, it borrows snippets and influences from everyone from the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys to, admittedly, “Tears for Fears and Hall & Oates,” and it’s a pretty slick, assured and tuneful announcement and proclamation that they’re one of the city’s best bands. At least one to definitely watch in the coming months or at least for one night.


Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at The Ironwood

Sure, you look at this thinking, “Oh, there are four shows — what’s the rush?” Apologies for taunting you, but you can assume most of the nights will already be sold out when you read this. If so, get on the wait list, as the Calgary bluesman’s annual event is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season. Expect notable guests, great musicianship, familiar songs, and fantastic food and booze. It is the perfect spirit-starter.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 27
1 3 4 17 10 12 19 21 4 5 29 18 5 N 1A 215 36 Ave ne Always all ages
Skinny Dyck November 11 at the Palomino Metric November 17 at Grey Eagle

SoundOff Summit and JazzYYC Canadian Festival Raise the Musical Mercury

For the industry, for the fans — the weekend of Nov. 9-12 offers something for both. But mainly for local music lovers.

The early part of the month features a pair of festivals over four days, which are focussed on spotlighting some of the best this city and country have to offer.

The first is the SoundOff Summit, which takes place from Nov. 9-11 at several locations around town and includes workshops, panels and artist showcases.

Hosted by Music Calgary, an organization tasked to “promote and create programs advancing the educational and economic viability of the (city’s) music community/industry,” it also aims to promote the incredible work being done by local artists and help them move forward in their careers.

Record execs, promoters, festival directors,

label founders, reps and others will be speaking at the summit side of things, which takes place all three days during the day at Central Library.

The all-ages element of the convention is open to the public.

If less talk, more song is your mantra, the showcase side of things, also open to fans, features 50 artists spread out across nine venues, including The Ranchman’s, Palomino, BLOX Centre and Ol’ Beautiful.

Some of the heavy hitters in the eclectic lineup include Astral Swans, Amelie Patterson, Florida BC, Tea Fannie, Sinzere, Shane Ghostkeeper, Amy Nelson, Samantha Savage Smith, Carter Felker, Starpainter and The Ashley Hundred.

For more information on SoundOff, please go to

If you’re looking for something on the jazzi-

er side of things, JazzYYC’s Canadian Festival runs Nov. 9-11 on the Music Mile.

If you’ve never been, it’s an approachable awakening for newbies, a stellar lineup for those in the know. Highlights include:

• A free kickoff concert at Devonian Gardens with Keith O’Rourke, a member of The Primetime Big Band and the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble

• Gil Goldenstein and Mark de Jong playing the music of Michael Brecker with the MusicConnect Chamber Orchestra

• Rubim de Toledo’s Global Jazz Project, which features the Edmonton-based, Canadian-Brazilian bassist Toledo and new music “inspired by Latin, funk, Afro-beat and ethno-jazz influences”

• Montreal soul-jazz artist Elizabeth Shepherd, a “classically trained pianist who turned to jazz through her love of old-school hip-hop”

• The always swinging and sassy Dirty Catfish Brass Band — a N’Awlins second line act of frozen north performers

• Jazz brunches with Kai Poscente and Calgary Women’s Jazz Orchestra. Of course it wouldn’t be a JazzYYC fest without their free, family-friendly JazzWalk. Stroll through the Inglewood neighbourhood and take in artists from the local jazz community performing in unique locations — shops, storefronts, restaurants, etc.

No doubt your ears and eyes will thank you for gifting them some of the best experiences they’ve ever had throughout the weekend.

28 • NOVEMBER 2023
MUSIC The Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas Andy Mann: From Summit to Sea Wakefield Brewster Presents, Pt. 1 Arts Commons, Engineered Air Theatre NOV 17 & 18 NOV 24 NOV 19 & 20 national geographic live td amplify bd&p world stage Artist, program, and date subject to change. 403-294-9494 or SEE YOU AT ACP Signature Series Presenting Sponsor BD&P World Stage ACP Signature Series Presenting Sponsor National Geographic Live TD Amplify Naming Sponsor NGL EXPLORE National Geographic Supporting Sponsors/Partners Teatro Fund for Arts Commons Education BD&P World Stage Supporting Sponsors NGL EXPLORE National Geographic Sponsor NGL Student Engagement Sponsor NGL Explorers Circle Engagement Sponsors Andy Mann –From Summit to Sea Joel Lipkind & Sally Sprague-Lipkind Public Sector Support Media Sponsors Hospitality Sponsors 3-PACK 5-PACK ARTS COMMONS PRESENTS THIS NOVEMBER, Arts Commons, Jack Singer Concert Hall Arts Commons, Jack Singer Concert Hall Elizabeth-Shepherd: Speaker-in-Woods

Direct from your radio pals at 90.9 FM, here is a snapshot of the current artists & albums topping the charts at CJSW. Tune in, turn it up and enjoy.

NOVEMBER 2023 • 29 CROSSWORD Find the solution on page 3 Calgary’s Guide to Going Out theYYSCENE “DO THE MATH” BY JILL RAFALOFF & MICHELLE SONTARP ACROSS 1 Mature 4 “Things Fall __”: Chinua Achebe novel 9 Exam for jrs. 13 Lack compatibility, as colors 18 Clickable address 19 One of 17 properties on a Monopoly board 20 Supply company in Road Runner cartoons 21 Must 22 Simon and Garfunkel, e.g. 23 Button on a quartermaster’s calculator? 26 Little rascal 27 Term of endearment 28 Burden 29 Amount consumed 30 One? 35 Burdened 36 “For sure!” 37 Archer of myth 38 Builds to a crescendo 40 Colorado site of the Winter X Games 43 Thick & Fluffy waffle brand 44 Detest 45 Ceiling 48 Bad mood 49 “__ McCartney”: 2016 compilation album 50 Birds + Bees = Bundle of Joy? 54 Jump over 55 Judean king 56 Stockpile 57 Valuable minerals 58 Female sheep 59 Laundry appliance 60 Self-checkout action 61 Australian sextet 63 Staunch advocates of quotients? 68 Category on Disney+ 70 Cries from Homer 71 Cogito __ sum 72 Down Under bird 75 Neighborhood 76 Vowel sequence 78 Move furtively 79 Shrill bark 80 Average thoroughfares? 83 Silent assents 84 Actor Mostel 85 School of thought 86 Tattle 87 Dull 88 Expand 89 “Gunsmoke” star 91 APR-reducing loan 92 Author 93 Sleeping spots for tabbies 96 Knack for reciting multiplication tables? 102 City west of Flint, Michigan 103 Hydrox rival 104 Lend a hand 105 Poseidon’s realm 106 Fails to complete a subtraction problem? 111 Toque, e.g. 112 Cara of “Fame” fame 113 Learning by repetition 114 In tatters 115 Time for lastminute gift wrapping 116 Pennies 117 Title for a fictional fox 118 Rose 119 Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second __” DOWN 1 Video counterpart 2 Curmudgeon 3 Act unceremoniously? 4 Birds 5 Ship owner who described Ahab as “ungodly, god-like” 6 “Both Hands” singer DiFranco 7 Road groove 8 Dim sum drink 9 Liam of One Direction 10 Uses steel wool, maybe 11 Increases, with “up” 12 “Fore!” site 13 Friend on “Friends” 14 Foamy hot beverages 15 From the Philippines, e.g. 16 Stir up 17 Sharpened 19 Insomnia option 24 Rips off 25 Oldest bridge spanning Venice’s Grand Canal 31 Duma veto 32 Campari cocktail 33 Goaded 34 Farm sound 35 Flips (through) 39 Reasons 40 Arthur in the International Tennis Hall of Fame 41 40-Across forecast 42 Wildly improbable goal 43 Portuguese bread? 45 Greeted a queen, perhaps 46 Away from the wind, nautically 47 “Hard no” 49 Hazard 50 Greek god of wine 51 Indian nurses 52 “Munich” star Eric 53 Sound of pain or pleasure 55 Bee hub 60 Supercilious sort 61 Inks 62 __ one’s time 64 Lendl in the International Tennis Hall of Fame 65 Garfield’s goofy housemate 66 Like a hummable tune 67 June celebration 68 Spanish term of affection 69 Son of Zeus 73 Female zebra 74 Over 76 City in Provence 77 Snaky fish 78 Big blunder 81 Emphasizes 82 Muscle-bone connector 84 Metal in pennies 87 Made dinner for 88 Tidied the garden 89 Away 90 Pixie 91 Ski rack spot 92 __ to sell 93 Open mic performer, often 94 Plugged in 95 Arcade coin 97 Send (to) 98 Letter between Sierra and Uniform 99 Clambake leftovers 100 Split 101 Paint choice 103 Stench 107 Globe 108 Hosp. areas 109 “I smell a __!” 110 Psyche component RELEASE DATE—Sunday, September 3, 2023 Los Angeles Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle Edited by Patti Varol and Joyce Nichols Lewis ANSWER TO TODAY’S PUZZLE 9/3/23 9/3/23 ©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
October Chartlist
1. Wants** - Wants EP (Self-Released) 2. Sargeant X Comrade** - Lo Fi Future (Mo Gravy Records) 3. Window Lamp** - Episode (Self-Released) 4. Apollo Suns* - Departures (Do Right Music) 5. Shane Ghostkeeper** - Songs For My People (Victory Pool) 6. Tough Age* - Waiting Here (We Are Time) 7. wihtikow* - weird kid (Self-Released) 8. Optic Sink - Glass Blocks (Feel It Records) 9. Nick Shoulders - All Bad (Gar Hole Records) 10. The Furnace** - The Desire to Become Human: Collected Works 2021-23 (Lavender Dream) 11. Slow Leaves* - Meantime (Make My Day Records / Birthday Cake Records) 12. Bells Larsen* - If I Was, I Am EP (Next Door) 13. Freak Heat Waves* - Mondo Tempo (Mood Hut) 14. La Sécurité* - Stay Safe! (Mothland) 15. PRIORS* - DAFFODIL (Mothland) 16. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Ongaku Zukan. (Wewantsounds) 17. Sunforger* - Sunforger (Cooked Raw) 18. Deep Covers** - Generation Loss (Self-Released) 19. C.O.F.F.I.N - Australia Stops (Goner) 20. Eve Egoyan & Mauricio Pauly* - Hopeful Monster (No Hay Discos) 21. Jeremy Dutcher* - Motewolonuwok (Secret City) 22. Brandon Isaak* - One Step Closer (Self-Released) 23. yep* - Reprimand (Self-Released) 24. Allison Russell* - The Returner (Fantasy Records / Concord) 25. The Spanish Flies* - Paradise Hotline (Self-Released) 26. Osees - Intercepted Message (In The Red Records) 27. Son Volt - Day Of The Doug (Transmit) 28. The Allergies - Tear the Place Up (Jalapeno Records) 29. The Soul Motivators* - Do It Together (Self-Released) 30. Beams* - Spark in Your Eye EP (Be My Sibling) ** Local * Canadian
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Holiday Cirque

9 December 2023 / 11AM + 6PM

Jubilee Auditorium

Experience the thrill of the circus and the beauty of the symphony as Troupe Vertigo joins the Calgary Phil in this must-see spectacular — combining all your holiday favourites with a spellbinding mix of music, circus, dance, and theatre. If you’ve never experienced holiday classics set in thrilling motion, you’re in for a treat!

Two shows only!

Kids’ prices available.

For details and tickets, visit

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