• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom


8 winter cocktails to warm you up in Calgary


When the chill winds start to blow and you’re looking for a way to warm up, start from the inside out with these unique winter cocktails inspired by the season.

Courtesy Proof.

Industry Nog at Proof
What’s Christmas without a splash of eggnog? This adaptation adds an extra zip to the classic recipe by substituting Old Overholt American rye for the usual rum to give the drink hints of baking spice. It also serves as a wink and nudge to fellow industry professionals with the addition of Fernet Branca, “which is known to us cocktail bartenders as ‘the bartender’s handshake,’” says Proof’s bar manager Makina Labrecque. Olorosso sherry, BG Reynolds Falernum syrup, milk, whole egg, and Angostura bitters round out this holiday must-have.

Photo: Jason Dziver.

Falcon Tears at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill
After six years of tinkering with the recipe, Murrieta’s beverage manager Mitch Vernaroli has settled on this “rusty nail treated with penicillin,” a fusion of two classic drinks: a rusty nail and a penicillin cocktail. Falcon Tears is made with Nirasaki whisky, Drambuie, Giffard Ginger of the Indies liqueur, honey Calvados syrup, housemade fresh lemon juice, and a Bowmore 12 whisky float.

Photo: Shauna McGinn.

Mauna Kea at Ricardo’s Hideaway
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say when you take a sip of this cocktail and are instantly reminded of the land where palm trees sway. Mauna Kea is the highest point in the Hawaiian archipelago and often boasts a snowy cap — much like this namesake cocktail made with Brugal white rum, Amaro Averna, coconut milk, mango juice, orgeat (an almond-based syrup), citric acid and lavender bitters.

Courtesy Cilantro.

Marmalade Rusty Nail at Cilantro
If anyone knows how to keep the party going through a long, cold winter just as well as Canadians, it’s the Scots. “Marmalade on toast is a staple in Scotland, so much so Scotch producers often sell marmalade mixed with a dash of their spirit,” notes Mike Squire, bar manager at Cilantro. To compensate for the sweetness of the marmalade, Squire went easy on the Drambuie and added a dash of smoky Laphroaig Quarter Cask Scotch along with Famous Grouse Blended Scotch.

Courtesy The Tea House.

The Spray Tan at The Tea House
When getting on a plane and escaping to the tropics isn’t an option, The Tea House at Two Penny Chinese has a little something that’ll transport you to warmer climes, if only in your dreams. Enhance your staycation with this combination of Plantation pineapple rum, Flor de Caña four-year-old rum, Angostura bitters, orange zest and a pinch of five spice for a holiday flavour.

Courtesy Cannibale.

The No. 9 at Cannibale
Need a pick-me-up with your warm-me-up? The coffee in this wintery concoction will give you a little kick-start, while the Great King Street Scotch and Dos Maderas Rum take care of the rest. Named for the street car that connected Cannibale’s home of Bridgeland to the rest of the city, the flavours of this cocktail — including Cynar, Lucano Amaro, and fig — reflect Bridgeland’s ethnic diversity.

Courtesy One18 Empire.

Sundance at One18 Empire
Decked out with the flavours of honey sage and chai, along with Suntory Whisky Toki, Amaro Montenegro and lemon, this cocktail is a homage to the Sundance Kid, who helped open a hotel in Calgary in One18 Empire’s location before heading south to meet with Butch Cassidy.

Courtesy Raw Bar.

Grannie’s Cookies at Raw Bar
Anyone lucky enough to have a baker in their family knows the joy of that one special treat that only gets made at holiday time. Tyler-James Cleveland, a bartender at Raw Bar, was inspired by his great grandmother’s gingersnap cookies when he created this hot drink made with Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, Bolivar bitters, a teaspoon of gingersnap butter and a lemon twist. Stir in the gingersnap butter for a sip of rich, sweet nostalgia.

Where Calgary Gift Guide 2018


In the often hectic holiday season, deciding on a gift for every person on your list can be pretty stressful. Our yearly gift guide has items ranging from children’s toys to high-end apparel, and we crafted it to encompass a wide variety of budgets, styles, and tastes. Plus, it features some amazing Calgary-based businesses and artisans – so if you’re looking to support local, you’ve come to the right place. If you’d like a printed version of the guide, be sure to pick up a copy of our November/December 2018 issue!

Photography by Jason Dziver.


Multi-sized playing marbles, $1.50 – $3.95, LIVINGSTONE & CAVELL

Mechanical robot toy, $44.95, LIVINGSTONE & CAVELL
A perfect item for the little science and tech lover, this toy robot also looks stylish displayed as part of funky themed décor.

What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid, $22.99, SHELF LIFE BOOKS

Suede baby moccasins, $23, STEELING HOME
Warm, cozy, and durable, these booties are suitable for babies 0-6 months old.

Pizza sticker patch, $4.95, PAPYRUS



Star and heart-shaped cookie cutters, $15 each, WILLIAMS SONOMA
An excellent add-on item for seasoned bakers, or a good go-to for a holiday gift exchange, these cookie cutters can be bought in sets or individually.

Marble star coasters, $43.95, WILLIAMS SONOMA

Gold place mats, $15 each, WILLIAMS SONOMA

Copper measuring cups, $101.95, WILLIAMS SONOMA
These copper pieces look great on display in any kitchen and hit all the marks when it comes to sleek, stylish and simple.

Copper ladle, $59.95, WILLIAMS SONOMA

‘Share’ serving plate, $101.95, WILLIAMS SONOMA

Reclaimed wood Alberta sign, $40, RURAL CREATIVE
This stunning locally made artwork comes in various colours, and is the ultimate way to show some love to our beautiful province. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas book, $25.99, CHAPTERS INDIGO

YYC dishtowel, $26, STEELING HOME
Whether you’re a Calgarian or not, this city-themed dishtowel is a lovely handcrafted accessory item for any kitchen.

The Golden Book of Fortune Telling, by K.C. Jones, $20.95, CHAPTERS INDIGO

Feminist Agenda notebook, $26, REID’S
This popular item from a local stationary retailer is great for the planner on your list who likes to make a statement.

1917 notebook, $20.98, REID’S

Kaweco rose gold fountain pen, $99, REID’S

Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent mints, $5.95, LIVINGSTONE & CAVELL
The ideal stocking stuffer for Notorious RBG fans.

Gold treasure bars, $9.95, LAND & SEA

Moderne Art Deco magnifying glass, $39.95, PAPYRUS



Silver dotted custom boots, $560, ALBERTA BOOT CO.

Balenciaga knife metallic ankle boots, $1,740, HOLT RENFREW
New Year’s Eve, anyone? These stylish boots carry all the glitz and glamour while remaining wearable.

Saint Laurent Hi-Top leather sneakers, $775, SAK’S FIFTH AVENUE

Pyjama shorts, $49.95, VICTORIA’S SECRET

Snowflake wool mittens, $65, STEELING HOME
Because who doesn’t need a new pair of cozy mittens for the cold months ahead?

Salvatore Ferragamo Mini Vara Silver bag, $1,400, SAK’S FIFTH AVENUE

Bunny charm and coin purse, $550, LOEWE

Atom-patterned scarf, $44, BEAKERHEAD
Sold at Beakerhead, the storefront for Calgary’s yearly science-meets-art event, this stylish scarf is sure to become a beloved item for the science minds in your life.

Tanner Goods Journeyman card and cash holder in natural, $80, BROOKLYN CLOTHING CO.

Tanner Goods key lanyard in natural, $80, BROOKLYN CLOTHING CO.

Deakin & Francis cufflinks, $450, SUPREME MENSWEAR
Modelled after old school diving suit masks, find these timeless and unique cufflinks at one of Calgary’s most popular menswear boutiques. 

Hot Art Round-Up: Nov 29 – Dec 2



Deck the Walls! – Group Exhibition
Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art, 5:50 – 7:30 pm

Kevin Sonmor – “Equus and the Others”
Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art, 5:50 – 7:30 pm

Post Mini Show and Sale
University of Calgary Department of Art, reception and live auction 4 – 7 pm



The Small Paintings Show
Webster Galleries, 3 – 6 pm

Common Ground – Art Show
Colony Photography Studio and Cowork Space, 5 – 10 pm

Calgary Night Market Holiday Shopping Series
Eau Claire Market, 5 – 11 pm

This Place is Ours: Coven Retrospective
Stride Gallery, 8 pm – midnight



Splash Art Christmas Market 2018
Neon Milkshake Art Studio, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

YYC Alternative Market
Inglewood Community Hall, 10 am – 4 pm

The 2018 Calgary Expo Holiday Market
BMO Centre, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm 

Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 1 pm 

Craft Market at North Glenmore Park Community Association
10 am – 3 pm

Christmas Group Show
Gibson Fine Art, 10 am – 5 pm, through January 5

Solo Exhibition Opening – Jean Pederson
The Collectors’ Gallery of Art, noon – 4 pm

Artist Advocacy + Advice: Free Drop-In!
Carfac Alberta, TRUCK Contemporary Art: 2 – 4 pm



Art Acoustic Sunday Series
Art On 9th, 10 am – noon

Wildflower Art Salon & Sale
Wildflower Arts Centre, 10 am – 4 pm

Wolf Willow Winter Sale
Wolf Willow Studio, 10 am – 4 pm

Moe Shelley’s Annual Holiday Handmade Market
Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club, 10:30 am – 5 pm

Art in The Hood
Ramsay Community Association, 11 am – 4 pm

“JaZzY”, Cityview Salon
Kat Lakeman Studio, noon – 5 pm


15 things to do in Calgary in December


The holiday season is in full swing, with a variety of markets, shows, craft sales and more underway. But peek behind the festive fun and you’ll find that this December goes above and beyond the typical offerings of the Christmas season, with unique events bound to make this month a memorable one.

Ellen Doty. Courtesy Take Aim Media.

As part of the National Music Centre’s Alberta Spotlight Series, Calgary-based singer-songwriter Ellen Doty will take the stage on December 6 for an intimate performance. Doty’s musical touch blends jazz, folk, soul, and indie-pop, which come together to create a style at once unique and distinctly soulful.

Calgary’s own Big Rock Brewing Company will be at Heritage Park on December 6 teaching beer lovers how to craft their own brew from start to finish.

Proof cocktail bar has morphed into a magical Christmas haven, complete with special holiday drinks like the Christmaspolitan and the Run Run Rudolph. Sip and get into the spirit from 4:00 pm – 1:00 am until December 23.

Popular Canadian operatic group The Tenors are performing their Home for the Holidays show on December 8 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

See Canadian theatre star Stephen Hair play Ebenezer Scrooge for the 25th year in a row in this holiday favourite, on until December 23.

Catch this show at the Calgary Opera from December 7-9. Created by Gian Carlo Menotti, this one-act opera is the reimagined tale about the biblical Magi, or “wise men.” The story is told from the perspective of a young disabled boy who winds up accompanying the three men as they bring their gifts to Bethlehem.

This display on the mall’s lower level, on until December 24, transports you to the Frozen Forest with Sammy the Snowman for a unique holiday shopping experience.

Courtesy Calgary Zoo.

The Calgary Zoo is continuing its annual tradition of making the zoo glow with an array of holiday-inspired light installations that visitors can explore after dark while the animals are asleep in their enclosures. With plenty of chances to visit, Zoolights is perfect for date night, a quick photo-op, or simply to get into the spirit. Visit from November 23 – January 5.

It’s one of the only hockey games of the year where throwing something onto the ice is not just allowed — it’s encouraged. On December 9, bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to this year’s game and aim it at the ice every time our Calgary Hitmen score a goal against the Kamloops Blazers. See if records can be broken for most stuffed toys crowded into a hockey rink at the same time.

On December 10, join the Calgary branch of the United Nations Association in Canada at the new Central Library for a panel discussion and screening of the film Indian Horse, based on the novel by the late Indigenous writer Richard Wagamese, in honour of Human Rights Day.

This monthly event, taking place on the evening of December 13, sees the impressive science centre turn into a fun after-hours party where adults can sip and enjoy the space.

Hosted at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries until December 15, this exhibition displays Osborne’s sculptures, which are inspired by forces of transformation in nature.

Local playwright Charlotte Nixon has adapted the classic tale of Snow White into a unique stage experience hosted at the city’s Morpheus Theatre from December 7-15.

Courtesy Heritage Park.

Heritage Park has transformed into a festive Christmas village, complete with carolling, food and drink, shopping and more. Visit on weekends from 9:30 – 4:30 pm until December 23.

From November 27 – December 30, Alberta Theatre Projects is presenting a fresh, fun take on an old legend.

Calgary actor Stephen Hair plays Scrooge for the 25th time

Stephen Hair in A Christmas Carol, 1984-85. Photo: Trudie Lee.


Written 175 years ago, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is as relevant today as it was in 1843.

After his father was sent to a debtor’s prison, Dickens was forced to work in a rotting, rat-infested warehouse at only 12 years old, which sparked his lifelong interest in drawing attention to the working poor — A Christmas Carol was part of those efforts.

“I think it’s never lost its relevancy and that’s the shame of it,” says Stephen Hair, who’s playing Ebenezer Scrooge for the 25th time this year in Theatre Calgary’s stage adaptation of the book. “Poverty is still around us, there’s discrimination and hatred and division everywhere.”

He muses that the holiday season is a time of reflection for many, an ideal time for A Christmas Carol’s themes of charity and selflessness to resonate with audiences — could we be kinder to those around us? Could we open up and let others in? Could we treat others as we want to be treated?

“I had one man come to me after the show. They brought him backstage and he was in tears. He didn’t know the story and he realized this was his story. At the end when Scrooge sees the light and realizes there’s a way out, he says he found himself laughing along with everyone else. He said, ‘I wanted you to know it changed my life, and I’m going to change as Scrooge changed.’” Hair says a key part to making that message resonate with audiences is portraying Scrooge not as a buffoon, but as a real person, who is flawed just like the rest of us.

“It’s a story about a man going from darkness to light. He’s not an evil or bad man. He makes decisions, as we all do along the way, and they took him to a very dark place, and he has the opportunity to turn that around and become a new person again.”

James Kirchner (left) and Stephen Hair in A Christmas Carol 1984-85. Photo: Trudie Lee.

He says to bring about that kind of transformative power through art, and make the journey believable — to make the audience really feel — he has to feel too. “Our job is to touch people’s hearts, their minds, and to entertain them,” Hair says. “You learn that what touches an audience is letting your own emotions come through.”

He recalls being captivated as a small child by a 1951 film version of A Christmas Carol, starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge. Hair thinks it’s the best screen adaptation of the book. In 2001, he received a digitally re-mastered 50th anniversary edition of the film as a gift from his mother.

• More than 600,000 people have seen the show since 1989.

• For more than 20 years the cast and crew have been collecting donations backstage and in the lobbies after the show for the Calgary Food Bank, raising more than $1.8 million.

• 1989 was the first production of A Christmas Carol in the Max Bell Theatre, making this Theatre Calgary’s 32nd overall production of the play.

“I hadn’t watched it (after getting the role as Scrooge) purposely because I didn’t want to copy him, but it did the opposite and made me realize what he had done was so real and so genuine and so touching. I didn’t realize as a little kid how much of an impression it made on me — to find that truth and that realism on stage, that’s what I’ve always been striving to do.” When Hair was a small boy in England, he showed an early aptitude for acting. “My mom said even when I was little I used to walk behind the local people, walking the same way they did,” Hair says.

After his family moved to Montreal in the 1950s, Hair scored the lead in a play at his junior high school. Soon he was producing school plays and writing assemblies for special occasions. He studied drama at Queen’s University in Kingston, and made his way west in 1973 to join a newly formed theatre company in Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP). He performed in a vaudeville show at Heritage Park. Five times a day he would perform in a 40-minute show, six days a week, culminating in 331 performances over one summer.

After surviving that grueling schedule, he was asked to join ATP for their first professional season, the start of a long and varied career as an actor. He’s been involved in hundreds of productions as an actor or director in major theatres across Canada, including dozens of productions for Theatre Calgary. He’s played a myriad of roles, from tragic and complex characters like Shakespeare’s King Lear to a singing, dancing and cane-twirling Snoopy in a musical version of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He was also artistic director at Vertigo Theatre for five years, and currently serves on the board of directors for Theatre Calgary. In 2007, Theatre Calgary established the Stephen Hair Emerging Actor Award for theatre artists in Calgary. “To help build this theatre community over 45 years has meant as much to me as any of the roles I’ve done,” Hair says.

From left to right: Kevin Rothery, Stephen Hair, Christian Goutsis in A Christmas Carol, 1984-85. Photo: Trudie Lee.

His range as an actor is impressive, and he’s been acting professionally since his early 20s. But when he first joined the production of A Christmas Carol in the 1980s, he played other roles for the first few years, including the Ghost of Christmas Future, and had to convince the artistic director to cast him as Scrooge at 44 years old. “He said I was too young and didn’t have the life experience and I said, ‘Oh really? You know nothing about my life experience. And Alastair Sim was in his early 40s when he played the best Scrooge there ever was.’”

Hair was ready to walk away from the play when he got a call a couple of weeks later to discuss it. It took a three-hour lunch, but he managed to change the artistic director’s mind. “After the first year he said to me, ‘You could play this forever.’ Prophetic words.”

Hair says it’s been a privilege to play the role year after year. His most memorable moments for him are meeting viewers after the show. “That’s what I would remember most if I drop dead tomorrow, that somewhere along the line maybe I’ve made a difference in some stranger’s life — what more could you ask for in what you do?”

Hot Art Round-Up: Nov 22-25



Calgary Holiday Craft Market
SAIT Campus, 10 am – 4 pm

Fall Show + Sale │ First Night Fundraiser
ACAD, 5 – 8 pm

Messenger, an exhibition of Nick Rooney
New Edward Gallery, Thursday and Friday, 7 – 10 pm

Paint Night in Support of Calgary Visual Arts
The Tommyfield Gastro Pub, 7 – 9:30 pm

GIRAF Festival of Independent Animation
Quickdraw Animation Society, Globe Cinema: November 22 – 25

Klimt’s Women: Studio Presentation
Theatre Encounter, cSPACE: November 22-24 & Nov 29-Dec 1
7:30PM nightly, with a 2:00PM Matinee on December 1


Artist Talk with Tamara Lee-Ann Cardinal
University of Calgary Department of Art, 10 – 11:30 am

Fall Show + Sale
ACAD: Friday, noon – 7 pm & Saturday noon – 4 pm

Curated Winter Market Calgary
Bowness Community Association, Friday 5 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Robin Arseneault / Double Healing
Jarvis Hall Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

The Search for HMS Erebus & HMS Terror
Glenbow Museum, 7 – 9 pm

Alice – In Partnership with the GIRAF Festival of Animation
Calgary Cinematheque, 11 pm – 1 am


Little Modern Markets Holiday Edition
The Official Rally Pointe Volleyball Club, 9:30 – 3:30 pm

Splash Art Christmas Market 2018
Neon Milkshake Art Studio, through December 16 (four weekends)

Holiday Market 2018
Bridgeland Riverside Farmers’ Market, 10 am – 3pm

YYC Alternative Market
Inglewood Community Hall, 10 am – 4 pm

Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 1 pm 

Open House + Portfolio Review Day 2018
ACAD, 10 am – 2 pm 

Small Business Saturday OPEN HOUSE
Uppercase studio, Crystal Ink, 11 am – 3 pm

Natalie Gerber: Studio Fabric Sale
cSPACE, every Saturday through December 15: 11 am – 4 pm 

Amy Dryer: Primary
Masters Gallery Ltd, opening reception 11 am – 4 pm

Rotating Holiday Group Exhibition
Wallace Galleries Ltd, opening reception noon – 5 pm 

Got it Made: A Handcrafted Market
Kingsland Community Hall, noon – 6 pm

Augmented Mural Launch Event: Won’t You Be My Neighbour
Crescent Heights Community Association, Buds of Buds: 1 – 2:30 pm

Mountains: Shaping the landscape
The Edge Gallery, opening reception 1 – 4 pm

The cREative Realm wrap up event
Blank Page Studio, The Coup: 3 – 5 pm 

Wings—A show of work by Kathy Aldous-Schleindl
KAS Paintings, Loft 112: 7 – 9 pm

Let it Snow – Calgary
Alberta Craft Gallery, cSPACE: 7 – 11 pm


Art Acoustic Sunday Series
Art On 9th, 10 am – noon

Chef Spotlight: Rogelio Herrera


Rogelio Herrera has a succinct food philosophy: “I think local, but I cook global.” It’s also the perfect description of the diverse menu at Alloy, the upscale restaurant Herrera co-owns with Uri Heilik. Herrera has been head chef since Alloy opened 11 years ago.

Photo: Rafal Wegiel.

Originally from Colombia, Herrera’s mother raised him and his two siblings on her own, so learning to cook was more about being able to help out rather than a romantic pastime. “I don’t really have the beautiful story of the grandmother that was making Thanksgiving dinners and stuff like that,” Herrera says.“I kind of parachuted into the profession.” 

At 19, he left Colombia and worked in kitchens in places like France and Israel, and then on cruise ships throughout the Mediterranean. This exposure to different cuisines, along with his upbringing, are what continue to inspire Alloy’s fusion-style menu, which has lobster fettuccine next to Latin-inspired fare like duck arepas or wild prawn ceviche. 

“I’m a curious person by nature, so I’m always trying to do something innovative,” Herrera says. “I like to experiment a lot… and working with my cooks on a daily basis, they also teach me a lot.”

In terms of his own personal favourite dish, Herrera jokes that, “All of the things on the menu are like my kids — I don’t pick one over the other.” He says that while he enjoys trying new things, there are some dishes — namely the truffle gnocchi and braised short ribs — that are here to stay. “Those dishes have been there from the beginning and are untouchable,” Herrera says.

Having worked in the food industry in Calgary for over a decade, Herrera’s seen firsthand how the city’s restaurant scene has evolved. “Calgary has become one of the best cities (for dining) in Canada,” he says. “The restaurant community is very close. We collaborate a lot, and we also pull for each other — we want everybody to do well, and that sort of friendly competition pushes us to be better.”

Calgary chef dishes about competing on new Netflix show


Calgary Chef Darren MacLean (on the right) competes on new Netflix cooking competition The Final Table. Photo courtesy Parker PR.

Calgary’s own Chef Darren MacLean, owner of Shokunin, is one of 24 chefs who was chosen to participate in Netflix’s first cooking competition — The Final Table.

Described as a global cooking competition, chefs from all over the world aim to impress top culinary experts by whipping up cuisine from nine different countries. The Final Table features 12 teams of two chefs cooking the national dishes of nine different countries, including Mexico, Spain, England, Brazil, France, Japan, the U.S., India and Italy. Celebrities, food critics and a notable chef from each country eliminate teams until the finale.

MacLean opened Shokunin in 2016 in Calgary’s Mission neighbourhood, and it quickly garnered acclaim, making the top 50 list of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants two years in a row.

The Alberta born-and-raised chef says he first fell in love with Japanese cooking after trying the food at Zen 8 sushi restaurant, a Cowboys-owned restaurant. He was slinging drinks at Cowboys nightclub to pay his way through university and was impressed by the simplicity and freshness of the food at Zen 8. After travelling around the world and taking a culinary tour through Japan, he decided to bring “a taste of the world to Calgary” with Shokunin, offering a contemporary Japanese dining experience.

The menu fuses traditional Japanese cooking methods and flavour profiles with seasonal Canadian ingredients to provide palate-pleasing dishes, which are all inspected by the chef himself before they get to your table. Alberta bison tataki and eggplant and goat cheese tempura are just two examples of this culinary combination.

You can choose from a variety of small plates, including vegetables, meat, fish, skewers and more, along with an impressive selection of sake by the glass. If you want to pair beer with your food, there’s an ale brewed with rice and sake kasu (leftovers from sake-making) on the drinks menu, a collaboration between Ol’ Beautiful Brewing and Shokunin.

MacLean was the only Canadian chef selected to compete on The Final Table. He sat down with Where Calgary to tell us about his experience on the show, which is available for streaming on November 20.

What can you tell us about the show?
I can tell you that The Final Table was probably one of the greatest single best experiences I’ve ever had in my whole career. The Final Table is unlike any culinary show that you’ve experienced.

What is the format?
There’s a bunch of chefs competing against each other, cooking cuisines from around the world. It’s not just American-centric or North American or French. So not only is it multicultural and inclusive, it’s a real reflection of the industry because it’s all about the food.

How does it differ from other cooking shows?
It’s not like other cooking shows that are personality driven, where they try to get you to argue with competitors — they put people together in situations because the drama is what they think people want to see. Netflix doesn’t have to worry about that. They have subscribers. So when you see it, they’re like, ‘You need to make a taco. You have 60 minutes.’ It’s all about the food. They give you the best pantry I’ve ever seen. I wish I could have their pantry. Every day you’re cooking with some of the best chefs in the world. You’re being judged by the best chefs in the world.

What was it like working with the other chefs?
We all became friends. We have a chat group. We all still talk online — it was amazing. And I’ve since cooked with seven of the chefs, and we still want to collaborate. Every single person on that show deserves to be in the finale. They were all incredible.

You were the only Canadian chef — tell me what that meant to you.
Being the only Canadian chef is a tremendous amount of pressure, but I also saw it as a wonderful opportunity to showcase Canada. It’s pretty ironic that a guy from Canada cooks Japanese food, but it’s because we’re a complete cultural mosaic. So when we faced multicultural challenges, I felt that being Canadian gave me an advantage because I see all these cultures on a daily basis.

Secondly, it’s not Toronto, it’s not Vancouver, it’s not Montreal — I’m sure on the future seasons it will be, but the first season it’s a guy from Calgary — that matters to me. I think that shows the caliber of the city. It shows how far we’ve come as a food city and there are 10 other chefs that could have represented just as well in this city. I really hope that I reflect Canada well, and I hope that I opened up the doors to a new Canadian cuisine, and I hope that it helps put some of the international spotlight on other great Canadian chefs, greater than me. There are amazing chefs in this country, and there’s an inclusivity in Canada for ethnic chefs and female chefs that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. I love it here.

How will this impact your work moving forward?
It actually fortified that I am on the right path, that real Canadian cuisine is engaging with our cultures. Our cultural diversity should be a defining trait of Canadian cuisine. I think that the most exciting thing for the future is I’m very comfortable in my own skin now. I did go really deep into the Japanese food, because I’m so extreme — it’s made me realize that I need to get back to my own culinary ambitions and aspirations. So I’m very excited to be an amazing Japanese chef, and I want to make sure that I’m also just an amazing chef, and I think that’s important.

Hot Art Round-Up: Nov 15-18



The Small Carvings Exhibit and Sale
Webster Galleries, through November 30

Art Market Art & Craft Fair 2018
Telus Convention Centre
Thursday & Friday (10 am – 9 pm) Saturday (10 am – 7 pm)  Sunday (10am – 5 pm)

Robert Bateman Sale
Avenida Art & Framing Gallery (through December 24)

Femme Wave 2018
Thursday – Sunday, various times and venues



Christmas Artisan Sale
Christ Church, Friday 4 – 9 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm

Thorncliffe Greenview Craft Fair
Thorncliffe Greenview Community Association, Friday 5 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – 3 pm

Anna Ostberg: Contrast + Camouflage
Ruberto Ostberg Gallery: opening receptions Friday (5 – 9 pm) Saturday (2 – 5 pm)

Calgary Night Market Holiday Shopping Series
Eau Claire Market, 5 – 11 pm

Christmas Launch & Open House
Loughheed House, 6 – 9 pm

The space, which is in between and neither before nor after
Blank Page Studio, Friday – Sunday

Kyle Beal solo exhibition
VIVIANEART Gallery, opening reception 6 – 9 pm



Connections 17 – Art Sale
756 Parkridge Dr SE, 10 am – 5 pm

Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 1 pm

Winter Market
Millican Ogden Community Association, 10 am – 4 pm

Art Exhibition and Sale
Calgary Sketch Club, Canyon Meadows Community Association: 10 am – 4 pm

Hand Made Here Holiday Art Show and Sale 2018
Triwood Community Hall, Saturday & Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm

Christmas Show
Stephen Lowe Art Gallery, through December 24

Artisan Holiday Market
Marlborough Park Community Association, 11 am – 5 pm

Bee Kingdom Glass Christmas Sale 2018
Saturday & Sunday, noon – 5 pm

Robert E. Wood Solo Exhibition
Gainsborough Galleries, noon – 5 pm

Meet & Greet with Chris Kuzmanovich
Christine Klassen Gallery, 1 – 3 pm

Marjan Eggermont & Bill Laing – Opening Receptions
Herringer Kiss Gallery, 2 – 5 pm

Anthony Redpath: Distilled
Paul Kuhn Gallery, 2 – 5 pm

Do More with More – Stride Gallery Annual Art Auction Fundraiser
Stride Gallery, 8 pm – 11 pm


Open Studio: The Stimulant
Arts Commons, 1 – 5 pm

Perspectives YYC Presents: Austin Kamenz
Vintage Caffeine Company (West Hillhurst), 2 – 5 pm

Winners and Losers play is sparking conversation


In Winners and Losers, on stage at Arts Commons from November 15-25, two friends and performers debate on stage over whether certain topics are winners or losers. The random topics run the gamut from Robin Williams to Meghan Markle, and camping to private schools. Is Meghan Markle a winner or a loser? That depends on which person you ask, because the two friends are each shaped by their different life experiences. 

Courtesy Chromatic Theatre.

“The two women are different races, different ages, different generations, and they bring a variety of different opinions to the table — and they might not always be the ones you expect,” says Jenna Rodgers, the founder and artistic director for Chromatic Theatre, which develops and supports culturally diverse voices in Calgary’s theatre community. Winners and Losers is a Calgary adaptation of an original play co-written and performed by Canadian theatre artists and friends Marcus Youssef and James Long. 

One Yellow Rabbit hosted the show’s run in Calgary in 2017 as part of the High Performance Rodeo, but it’s going to be new to audiences here, even if you’ve seen it before, since Rodgers and the two performers, Makambe K. Simamba and Valerie Planche, have re-written and re-cast the performance with an all-female team. 

“Gender is a construct, but we all know what society tells us about gender is that men and women fight differently — so what is at the core of our fighting?” Rodgers says. “How do you achieve similar effects when you flip the gender? Does gender matter at the core of the play? Can we get people talking the same way they were able to get conversation started with their work?”

The production premiered at Toronto’s SummerWorks Performance Festival in August, and Rodgers says the audience was keen to jump up and ask questions — or protest if they didn’t agree with the way the conversation was going. The play is scripted but the performers do ask for talking points from the audience, so don’t hesitate to bring your own ideas. 

“It’s a play that’s going to encourage you to have a conversation,” Rodgers says. “Bring a friend who you like having long, passionate talks over a drink with, or a friend you wish you could have a long, passionate talk over a drink with, because there will be plenty of fodder for conversation and thinking about your worldview afterwards.”

6 Calgary Christmas markets to visit this season


Holiday shopping season is upon us – and it doesn’t have to feel daunting. If busy malls aren’t your thing, head to one of these great local markets for inspired gift ideas, or simply to soak up the seasonal spirit. You’ll be supporting local vendors, getting a breath of fresh air, and turning an often-begrudged activity into a fun, leisurely experience.

Courtesy YYC Alternative Christmas Market.

Looking to buy and promote local in your shopping this year? This neighbourhood market is for you. On November 24, the annual Alternative Christmas Market will be hosting YYC-based vendors at the Inglewood Community Association Hall, selling everything from tea, vintage goods, artisanal doughnuts and more.

From December 7 – 9 and 14 – 16 at the BMO Centre, Market Collective is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with handcrafted wares for sale, along with food and beverage options and entertainment from musicians, DJs and some surprises along the way. Admission is $5, and free for kids 12 and under.

For the next three weekends, Spruce Meadows will be alight with the holiday spirit for its annual Christmas market. There’s a free shuttle bus to the grounds from the Somerset/Bridlewood LRT station, as well as limited public parking. Tickets are $12 per person, or $10 if you buy in advance.

Courtesy MarketSpot.

Running until December 31st, this pop-up shop has set up on the second floor of The Core Shopping Centre. Visit the MarketSpot storefront to wander through aisles of paintings, jewelry and more.

A great option for those living in or visiting Marda Loop, this one-day market  at the Marda Loop Communities Association on December 15 will be in support of the Calgary Interfaith Foodbank – so take the chance to give back while you shop.

Until December 23, enjoy a seasonal touch to the Calgary Farmer’s Market with special vendors dedicated to all of your favourite Christmas goods, from gourmet nuts to festive fruit wines.

Hot Art Round-Up: Nov 8-11



Art for War and Peace Exhibition
Micah Gallery at Fort Calgary (through November 11)
Art talk on November 11 at noon

First Solo Art Exhibition: Mosaic Portraits
Studio C, cSPACE: 5 – 7 pm

Nicole Mary – Safety Nets
Marion Nicoll Gallery, ACAD: 6 – 8 pm

Alexa Bunnell: maybe there is enough room for the two of us in this town after all
The Wall Gallery, ACAD: 6 – 8 pm

Sarabeth Carnat: Sublime
Fine Art Jewellery Exhibition and Sale (through Dec 29)
Opening Reception: Thursday, 5 – 8pm


Artist Talk with Adrian Stimson
University of Calgary Department of Art, 10 – 11:30 am

Main Space / The Topography of Bodily Sentiments
The New Gallery, 6 – 9 pm

Mixed Media Art Night
Loft 112, 6:30 – 9 pm

I feel the air of another world: Jen Reimer & Magnus Tiesenhausen
Esker Foundation, 7 – 8 pm

Fluid Me – An exhibition by Mao Kun Chen, artists reception
The Bridge Inc, 7 – 10 pm

Hannah Petkau: ebb and flow
Untitled Art Society, opening reception 7 – 11 pm

You hold me, as I fumble to emulate your care
TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary, 7 – 11 pm

Jocelyn Reid: Lay your weight on me, I will make you free
Untitled Art Society, opening reception 7 pm – 1 am


Farmers & Makers Market at cSPACE
cSPACE King Edward, 10 am – 1 pm

Galleria Christmas open house
Galleria Inglewood, 10 am – 5 pm

Christmas in the Country Art Sale
Leighton Art Centre, Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

Annual Fall Show & Sale
Calgary Creative Arts Guild, Montgomery Community Centre, 10 am – 4 pm

The Group Art society of Calgary’s Fall Show and sale
St Peter’s Anglican Church, 10 am – 4 pm

Southern Alberta Art Alliance 2018 Fall Art Show
Holy Cross Anglican Church, 10 am – 4 pm

Pop Up Shop Grand Opening
MarketSpot YYC, CrossIron Mills: noon – 4 pm

Joanne MacDonald and Thai Le Ngo Closing Reception
Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, 2 – 5 pm

Maria Loaiza resident artist meet and greet
Motion Gallery, 5 – 7 pm


Fort Calgary Artisan Fair
Fort Calgary, 11:30 am – 5pm