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Remembrance Day events in Calgary


November 11 is a very important day of reverence for people across Canada and around the world. Each year, there are a number of events in Calgary held specifically to honour those who lost their lives fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today. If you’re looking for a way to remember our fallen soldiers and give thanks, we’ve put together a list of options for where to pay your respects on Remembrance Day.

Photo: Silvia Pikal.

Remembrance Day installation at Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
This beautiful Church in downtown Calgary is honouring the fallen with a display of thousands of handmade crocheted poppies. It’s been up for over a week now and makes for a peaceful place to gather and remember.
604 1 St SE, www.anglicancathedralcalgary.ca

Field of Crosses
Over 3400 crosses line Memorial Drive, row on row, from November 1-11 each year, each memorializing the name and regiment of a Southern Alberta soldier who paid the ultimate price for our freedom in the line of duty. Each day that the crosses stand guard on the hill, a sunrise and sunset ceremony, complete with bugling and speeches, is conducted to accompany the raising and lowering of the flags. The ceremonies culminate in a Remembrance Day memorial service at 10:30 am on November 11. The general public is invited to attend any of the free ceremonies, or come walk among the crosses at their leisure whenever they can over their 11 days on duty.
Sunnyside Bank Park, 200 Memorial Drive NW, www.fieldofcrosses.com

The Hangar Flight Museum
Every year the Hangar Flight Museum holds an outdoor ceremony for Remembrance Day. Arrive by 10:15 am; ceremony starts at 10:30 am. This year, the museum will also mark the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid and the 60th anniversary of NORAD. The museum is accepting donations to the Veterans Food Bank. Stay afterwards to tour the exhibits at the museum, where admission will be by donation.
4629 McCall Way NE, www.thehangarmuseum.ca

The Military Museums
After a traditional memorial service at 10:30 am, The Military Museums will be open to the public free of admission, with many veterans in attendance to share their stories. Non-perishable food item donations are encouraged. Keep in mind that there will be limited parking available on site in the field to the east of the Parade Square. You can also park at the Flames Community Arena.
4520 Crowchild Trail SW, 403-410-2340, www.themilitarymuseums.ca

Central Memorial Park
Pay your respects as the Calgary Highlanders infantry regiment march along 4th St SW. A free memorial ceremony is to follow, held at the Cenotaph in the heart of the park. The Highlanders can be found at many ceremonies across the city, committed to honouring those communities who contributed men to the Tenth Battalion and the Highlanders in times of war.
1221 2 St. SW, www.calgaryhighlanders.com

Batallion Park Ceremony
Speeches, a public address, wreath laying ceremony and performances of traditional songs and poetry are among the agenda of this memorial. The King’s Own Calgary Regiment are slated to march beginning at 10:30 am. Event is free and open to the public, and if able, participants are encouraged to walk to the site.
3001 Signal Hill Dr. SW, www.kingsown.ca

The poppy is just one of many war-time symbols explored in Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation. (Photo courtesy of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.)


Remembrance Day Cemetery Tour Banff
If you’re headed to the mountains this weekend, a tour of the Old Banff Cemetery is in order. Hear stories of hardship and heroism from veterans on hand, and learn the history of Banff as you never have before—during the World War era.
102 Wolverine St, Banff, 403-762-1200, www.banff.ca

Fort Calgary
There will be an indoor ceremony held at Fort Calgary starting at 10:30 am; arrive early to ensure seating. Afterwards there is a holiday artisan’s fair, and entrance is free with a non-perishable donation to the Veterans Food Bank.
750 9 Ave SE, 403-290-1875, www.fortcalgary.com

Jubilee Auditorium
Political, military, veteran, civic and community leaders will lay wreaths in honour of our fallen soldiers outside the auditorium beginning at 9:30 am, with a march to follow and moment of silence at 11:11 am. Anyone wishing to lay a wreath on behalf of a family member, friend or loved one is encouraged and welcome. Weather permitting, for the latest updates visit the Jubilee Auditorium online.
1415 14 Ave NW, 403-297-8000, www.jubileeauditorium.com

Visit your local Legion 
Remember to head down to your local legion after paying your respects, as this is where many veterans will gather after mid-day memorials to share stories, laughter, tears, and a few beers—and the company of those they fought so hard to protect is always welcomed and appreciated. Browse here to locate the Royal Canadian Legion nearest you.

5 Must-see art exhibits in Calgary

By Silvia Pikal and Shauna McGinn

November doesn’t have to be all about gearing up for the holidays. It can be a great time to find a moment to yourself to enjoy things that peak your interest, especially before your schedule becomes jam-packed with events and obligations. For seasoned art lovers and newcomers alike, these five exhibits are a great way to spend a peaceful afternoon.

Buy local
On November 10, The Group Art Society of Calgary, which celebrated the big 5-0 in 2018, is having a fall show and sale. Browse artwork in different sizes, mediums and prices, chat with the people behind the pieces and snag an original from a local artist.

Courtesy Esker Foundation.

An artist’s homage
For seven years, artist Tammi Campbell started nearly each day by drawing a grid on fine Japanese rag paper and writing “Dear Agnes” in the top left corner. She’d then fold it twice like a letter and store it before continuing with her other work. Letters from the final three months of that practice — 85 of them in total — are on display now until December 21 at Esker Foundation. At its core, the work is a tribute to the late Agnes Martin, a renowned visual artist born in Campbell’s home province of Saskatchewan.

Campbell kept up the letter-writing practice for seven years as an intentional homage to an absence that Martin took from painting midway through her career, from 1967-1974. Paintings from Campbell’s Monochrome series — stark canvasses displaying paint manipulated to look like everyday materials such as cardboard and packing tape in a minimalist style — are also on display as part of the installation. Opposite those hang a collection of Martin’s, meant to reflect, according to the Esker Foundation, “the two artists’ mutual meditation on silence, ritual, and repetition within artistic practice.”

Courtesy Kathy Aldous-Schleindl.

Artist spotlight at Loft 112
Loft 112, Calgary’s creative hub, is hosting a show and sale from November 19 – December 14. These show features local artist Kathy Aldous-Schleindl,  whose paintings are mainly figurative and express movement and emotion. The exhibit includes work in acrylic, oil, watercolour and fabric. “Some of the work focuses on the simple pleasures in life that we can find when we take time to get off the ride and look closely at the beauty in nature that surrounds us,” she says.

Courtesy Newzones Gallery.

Deck the walls
From November 29 – January 12, an entire wall at Newzones gallery will be adorned with unique art in different sizes and styles, just in time for the gift-giving season. The Deck the Walls! annual exhibition at Newzones is your chance to gift or own artwork from renowned artists, including Bradley Harms, Colleen Philippi and Dianne Bos.

Photo by Ron Janert.

What is life?
Until November 30, explore Victoria Park to view a magnificent piece of public art before it’s gone. Fireflies at Twilight is painted across two 40-foot shipping containers and honours Siksika First Nation’s Chief Crowfoot, who played a key role in the Treaty 7 negotiations. On one side, a stunning landscape is painted next to fireflies moving skyward. On the other, Chief Crowfoot is gazing towards the distance, with a bison in the background. At the centre is a portrait of him and one of his memorable quotes, believed to be his last words. Adrian Stimson, a Governor General Award-winning Siksika artist, collaborated with Springboard Performance on this piece, which is part of containR — pop-up mural installations and art parks made out of recycled shipping containers. The works are temporary, feature local artists and aim to connect communities through art.

Hot Art Round-Up: Nov 1-3



Opening Day and Family Fun Weekend at the new Central Library
Thursday – Sunday

First Year MFA Group Exhibition
Little Gallery, University of Calgary Department of Art
Thursday & Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, closing reception Friday 5 – 7 pm

New Oil Paintings by Patricia Bellerose
Webster Galleries, through November 13

Festival of Crafts 2018
BMO Centre, Thursday – Sunday

Free First Thursday Night
Glenbow Museum, 5 – 9 pm



Live Art Auction + Preview
Levis Fine Art Auctions, Mount Royal University
Previews: Friday (5 – 8 pm), Saturday (10am – 5pm), Sunday (10am – 1pm)
Auction begins at 1pm

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

Muslim Art Movement VI
Festival Hall, 6:30 – 11 pm



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

What if we were alive
Untitled Art Society, 11 am – 5 pm

Sarabeth Carnat: Sublime
Blackboard Gallery, Fine Art Jewellery Exhibition and Sale
Nov 3 – Dec 29, Opening Reception Nov 8, 5-8pm

Meet & Greet with Lori Lukasewich
Christine Klassen Gallery, 1 – 3 pm

David Alexander: A fifty year boots & brain journey in the land
Wallace Galleries, 2 – 5 pm

Dan Cardinal McCartney: Misgendering Mouthfuls
Untitled Art Society, 3 – 5 pm

Ryan Jason Allen Willert Art Exhibition
The Dandelion, 6 – 9 pm


15 things to do in Calgary in November


Without the colour-changing leaves or the anticipation of the holiday season, November can get a bad rap for being a lost month. But between the much-awaited opening of the New Central Library, diverse musical performances, and a litany of craft and art shows, November in Calgary is shaping up to be a month worth getting excited about.

Local band Free The Cynics, who are performing at the annual Listen Up! charity event for Calgary’s Distress Centre. Courtesy Free The Cynics.

The much-awaited opening of the architecturally magnificent new library kicks off on November 3, with days of celebrations including live music, crafts, performances, and more.

Part of Quest Theatre’s new “Sweet Pea” series, this November 4 show will be a collection of interactive stories and songs for kids aged 3-7 and up.

From November 1-4, check out one of Canada’s largest holiday craft fairs featuring products from over 250 artisans across the country.

Over a thousand pieces of fine crafts and artwork by local artists will fill the historic Leighton Home from November 3-4 and 10-11. There will be free parking, admission, and complimentary holiday treats.

From November 3-11, head out to see some works of art from talented film makers from Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, and more.

The Jazz YYC fall series is bringing the best of the genre to Calgary from November 8-11.

The Giller Prize-nominated author will discuss her latest novel Trickster Drift. The November 8 event includes an audience Q&A and book signing.

Cécile Doo-Kingué. Photo: Terry Hughes.

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitarist Cécile Doo-Kingué will be on stage on November 9 and 10 at the Arts Commons for a night of music heralded for its ability to be as “soothing and soulful” as it is electrifying. The Montreal-based artist’s latest album, Anybody Listening Part 2, blends blues, jazz, folk and more, and is grounded in inspiration from her Cameroon- American-Canadian heritage. 

Don’t miss this story of the unlikely friendship between 10-year-old Mary from Melbourne, and Max, a middle-aged man from New York with Asperger’s, running until November 11.

Four-fifths of the world-famous band — Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood — are making a stop in Calgary on November 12.

The NMC will commission one of the most well-known parts of its music and technology collection, The Original New Timbral Orchestra (referred to as TONTO), during TONTO Week from November 14-18. With it, the NMC will host a full week of music programming centred around TONTO, and will feature artists like A Tribe Called Red, who will be the first group to create music with the legendary synthesizer.

This rendition of the travelling on-ice spectacle will land in Calgary from November 14-18, and features five Disney princesses, each from different eras of the franchise: Moana, Anna from Frozen, Rapunzel, Belle and Cinderella.

This annual charity concert for Distress Centre Calgary features a mix of local musicians and bands, including Free The Cynics — whose lead singer is a Distress Centre volunteer. Rich Paxton started the concert after seeing firsthand how critical the centre’s services are to Calgarians. Head out and show your support on November 24.

Calgary’s beloved Heritage Park will be the place to get into the spirit this year as it transforms into a festive Christmas village, complete with carols, wagon rides, and, of course, a chance to take a photo with Santa. You can visit the family friendly park every weekend starting on November 24, up until the day before Christmas Eve.

See this beloved holiday classic that premieres on November 26 at the Lunchbox Theatre, with a cast made up of one of the group’s award-winning ensembles. 

Hot Art Round-Up: Oct 25-27



Open House & Public Consultation
Lougheed House, 5 – 7:30 pm

Daniel Culcea: Paper Fall

cSPACE, DHC Paintings 5 – 8 pm

Ryan Danny Owen – Nocturne!
Marion Nicoll Gallery, 6 – 8 pm

Hannah Neufeld – Water (Flåm)
Marion Nicoll Gallery, 6 – 8 pm

Daniel Audet: Bone Pink
New Edward Gallery, Thursday and Friday 7 – 10 pm, Saturday 2 – 6 pm


State of Art Society Fall Show and Sale
Strathcona Community Centre, Friday & Saturday

Rumble HOUSE Tap Room Gallery Showcase
Village Brewery, 6 – 10 pm

Fluid Fest | Body in Space: An Art Party
cSPACE, Friday & Saturday 8 – 11 pm



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

Canzine Festival of Zine Culture & The Independent Arts Calgary Edition
Memorial Park Public Library, noon – 6 pm

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

Ted Raftery solo show
Gainsborough Galleries Ltd, noon – 5 pm 

12 Hour Halloween Movie Marathon presented by CUFF
Globe Cinema, Saturday & Sunday 7 pm – 7 am

Check out The Static Shift in a new National Music Centre exhibit


The National Music Centre launched a new exhibit on October 26, 2018, dedicated to showcasing Alberta’s musical trailblazers, including Calgary-based trio The Static Shift. The 19-year-old rockers say that being on display next to artists like Joni Mitchell and Russell Broom is a huge honour.

“We are literally documented in a place where there’s these legends — so it’s really cool that they asked us,” said Mitchell Brady, guitarist and lead singer for The Static Shift. Bassist Keone Friesen said the band was approached by the NMC a few months ago and interviewed on camera – part of the series of documentary-style videos that make up a section of the exhibit.

Left to right: drummer Isaiah Stonehouse, lead singer and guitarist Mitchell Brady, and bassist Keone Friesen. Photo: Shauna McGinn.

The Static Shift describes their music as a mixture of classic rock and blues, with romps of alternative, indie, and psychedelic rock. Despite their age, their style evokes that of ‘70s era musicians, complete with the flowing hair, leather jackets and bell-bottom corduroys.

Although they’ve been playing together for six years, the band became widely known after being selected earlier this year for CTV’s The Launch, a series that gives budding Canadian musicians a chance to compete to release a hit single. The Static Shift walked away victorious with the song “Wide Awake.” “It helped us really get out there,” said drummer Isaiah Stonehouse. “We filmed it in September and then it didn’t get launched until January, so we had to keep it a secret for about four months.”

When it comes to the music scene and community in Calgary, Friesen said, “I think it’s good and it’s getting stronger everyday, partially from the help of places like the NMC.” Friesen recalls visiting the NMC as a child (back when it was the Cantos Musical Foundation), and notes that the band grew up playing at the nearby Blues Can.

As part of their participation in The Launch, The Static Shift is now set up with a booking agent, and their plan is to keep working on new music and playing as many shows as possible. But for now, their music and their story will be on display for the next year along with the rest of the Alberta Trailblazers. “It’s an honour to be local Calgarians and to be a part of this place,” Brady said.

Denise Donlon on what Calgarians can do for gender equality


For entertainment industry executive Denise Donlon, success isn’t about how much power you have – it’s about how you wield it. To Donlon, pushing for diversity, equality, and inclusion, and being mindful of the need to “pull our sisters up with us” is what we all must do to advance women’s rights and ensure everyone has equal opportunity to succeed.

Donlon was the keynote speaker at this year’s Conversations to Inspire Change breakfast with the Canadian Women’s Foundation at Calgary’s Hyatt Regency. From enforcing greater media literacy at MuchMusic to being the first female president of Sony Music Canada, Donlon weathered isolation and tough decisions with a quote from famed feminist Gloria Steinem in mind: “Feel the fear. Then do it anyway.” And she left the audience in Calgary with a mantra of her own: “Decency is genderless, and we are not powerless.” Donlon talked to Where Calgary about how everyone can do their part in the fight for equality.

Photo: Ping Hu.

How can Calgarians get involved and help push feminism forward?
If you’re looking for your own empowerment, sometimes it’s having the conversation and pointing out to people that you’re talking to, or that you want to make a change with, ‘That makes me uncomfortable’, or, ‘This would be better if there were more women involved’, or ‘Why can’t I have a chance at that opportunity?’ People like to help at the end of the day, but often times we’re so focused on ourselves that we’re so oblivious to what’s going on around us, so you really need to put yourself forward that way.

You mentioned that young girls now are often told they can do and be anything, but then face challenges when they get into the workplace. Can you talk more about what that looks like?
We’ve been in a parenting mode, at least here in North America, where we have been endeavouring to empower our daughters by saying, ‘You can do anything’. And sometimes they can’t – sometimes it’s ‘Maybe perhaps not a singer, perhaps dentistry’, or whatever it might be. So it’s a real balance between confidence building and wanting to be frank with people about what’s going on in the world. And when you start to go into more corporate workplaces or something and those (gender parity) numbers do start to become more evident, you will start to bump into some walls. So I think the conversation with our daughters is really to make sure that they’re open-eyed about it and they know what to expect, and to ask for help if they need it.

What would you say to women who want to speak up and be involved, but might not have the confidence?
Well it’s hard to build confidence. I’ve never been the ‘fake it till you make it’ type of girl, I’m more of the ‘99 per cent experience and 1 per cent inspiration’. You know, we always think our failures are bigger to us than they actually are… perspective is really important. So for women, when you get out of your comfort zone and you surround yourself with a myriad of experiences, open yourself up to possibilities, and say ‘yes’ to a lot of opportunities, then you start to build that confidence. We are better than we think we are – we really are.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would just say, don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s hard because when you’re growing and learning, you don’t know what the small stuff is – you think everything’s big stuff. But as my mom used to always say to me, ‘This too will pass, my dear’. She always uses that Winston Churchill quote, ‘When you’re going through hell, just keep going.”

Chef Spotlight: Jenny Kang


Eating farm-to-plate isn’t new for Jenny Kang — it was always a way of life. Kang, the executive chef of Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, grew up on a farm in South Korea where her parents taught her the value of growing and picking your own food. “That’s how I grew up, so I know how different the flavour is,” Kang says.

Courtesy Great Events Group.

Kang brings that passion for fresh and local food to Bow Valley Ranche, which has its own garden. The restaurant is in a historical ranch house situated in a valley in Fish Creek Provincial Park. Every summer they bring fresh herbs they’ve grown into the kitchen. She’s committed to sourcing all their vegetables, grains and meats from local producers.

Kang’s cuisine is inspired by traditional Italian and French recipes, thanks to her background of working in several of Calgary’s fine dining establishments like Teatro and Catch, with Asian flavouring mixed in. “I have all the traditional and classic recipes and try to incorporate modern styles,” Kang says. She points to a popular item on the current menu — the Bouvry farm elk tartar with horseradish cream, cured yolk, truffle powder and parmesan.

One of her favourite parts of the job is developing new menus, from the Sunday Night Chef’s Table to menus for the multiple events they host in the building. Seeing a customer’s happiness after trying one of her meals keeps her energized and motivated in a demanding industry. “I love to cook for people. It makes me happy when they enjoy my food. I hope they taste the freshness of what we’re using.”

Kang invites patrons to walk the grounds, which offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. She’s always happy to share her passion for cooking farm-to-plate with other people. “I have the background so it’s easy for me, but people are thinking, ‘That’s not easy,’ but they can do it at home too. I can show them our garden.”

Ethical shopping at Calgary’s consignment stores


At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit earlier this year, designer Stella McCartney delivered a decisive call to action to the fashion community. “We have to have this conversation and we have to be held accountable,” she noted in an online statement, in reference to finding viable solutions to sustainability in the business of fashion. Enter consignment clothing. Calgary has a plethora of consignment shops, each with their own focus and range of items – and they’re waiting to be discovered for those who have yet to make a foray into this market.

Courtesy Peacock Boutique.

Why shop consignment?
“Because consignment hasn’t been a household name for so many years, people think that it’s thrift or charity shop,” says Michelle Morigeau, the owner of Peacock Boutique. “(At Peacock) we’re very picky — we give 40 per cent of the selling price to the consigner, we curate and clean everything, and we only take things that are in season and trendy.” Morigeau took over Peacock from her mother, who purchased the store in the late ‘80s when there were few other consignment shops in the city. She revamped it and “brought it into the 21st century” which turned out to be a success; Peacock opened its second location in early 2016.

Consignment shops in the city:

145 Kensington Cres NW, 1415 – 11 St SW

8244 Elbow Dr SW

1502 – 14 St SW

1314B – 17 Ave SW

1002 Macleod Tr SE; 113, 1013 – 17 Ave

908 -17 Ave SW

200, 1022 – 17 Ave SW

120 – 10 St NW

202, 12100 Macleod Tr SE

KINDRED THRIFT (online only)

1911 – 34 Ave SW

488, 10816 Macleod Tr

7702 Elbow Dr SW

2100 4 St SW #12

Consignment shop owners are also very aware of how their businesses are playing into the sustainable fashion conversation. Morigeau says that, if in the past shopping consignment was a bit of a faux pas, it has now become trendy. “It’s completely different — a lot of the reason for that is because people are thinking more ethically and recycling.”

This discussion, while currently gaining traction, is not new. For years, proponents of sustainable and ethical fashion have been pushing back against fast fashion, with campaigners referencing everything from environmental threats to human endangerment — the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 brought to light the horrific work conditions many labourers in the fashion supply chain endure.

Navigating ‘sustainability’
Environmentally and morally conscious consumers are also pushing producers by demanding transparency in clothing sourcing and manufacturing, leading to varying levels of response by brands. Recently ASOS, the global online curated shop, has committed to dropping cashmere, silk, down and feathers from its entire platform, and has also announced that it will launch a sustainable fashion training program for its designers.

Despite steps forward, it is difficult to determine what brands mean when they use the words “sustainable” and “ethical” to market products. For example, a manufacturer could source recycled materials while still overlooking the conditions of workers. Transparency and traceability in all aspects of garment production are challenging for consumers to access, which is perhaps why the pressure to buy sustainable or ethical doesn’t seem to pack a punch — the terms are often just too ambiguous.

High fashion from a renewable source
However, these complexities don’t mean that efforts to be conscientious of your shopping habits should be abandoned. While how to recycle or ethically source and produce fabrics may for most of us seem out of reach, reusing clothing is not. Blake Rawlinson, co-owner of Vespucci, emphasizes that, due to the high standard of curating at her luxury consignment shop, “a client doesn’t need to compromise when shopping consignment.” Just because a garment may be pre-owned, it does not mean “that it is in some way lesser quality or dated.”

On the contrary, Rawlinson explains that consignment may be the best way for people to access “high fashion” pieces that they might not otherwise be able to afford. “There are quite a few pieces that come into our hands that are a part of fashionhistory,” she says. “I really enjoy when we find a piece from a designer and are able to find the exact runway show or editorial that it appeared in.” Rawlinson also notices a clear shift in consumer interest towards ethical fashion.

“Consignment has always been around, but with people’s consciousness moving towards a more sustainable future, it has definitely made us leaders in the ethical fashion conversation. The biggest change, I’d say, would be people becoming more knowledgeable about where their clothes come from, and where fast fashion goes once it doesn’t sell end of season.” Whatever your budget or your style, you can rest assured that shopping consignment is not only a sustainable and ethical option, but a fashionable choice — in more ways than one.

Hot Art Round-Up: Oct 18-20



Exhibition Opening – Shona Rae: Re-Imagined Narratives
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary: 5 – 8 pm

Exhibition Opening – Jude Griebel: Illuminated Collapse
Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary: 5 – 8 pm

Raw Calgary Presents Ovation
Marquee Beer Market & Stage, 7pm – 1 am

Peter Moller: Drawings & Paintings
Hotbox Gallery, opening reception 7 – 9 pm


Halloween Costume Sale
Ghost River Theatre, Friday 4 – 8 pm, Saturday 10 am – 6 pm

Rachel MacFarlane / Memory Gardens
Jarvis Hall Gallery, 5 – 8 pm

2018 ACAD Alumni Awards
ACAD, 5 – 9 pm

Joanne MacDonald & Thai Le Ngo: Progressions Openings
Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Friday 5 – 9 pm, Saturday 2 – 5 pm

PPF Art Opening
The People’s Poetry Festival, Loft 112: 7 – 9 pm 

Evidence of Paint 2018
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 7 – 9 pm

What a Relief Steamroller Print Exhibition and Sale!
Prairie Dog Brewing, 7 – 10 pm


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

Calyx Fall Art Show & Sale
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

One Day Art Show and Sale
Calgary Sketch Club, 10 am – 4 pm

Anda Kubis: Vivid
Newzones, 2 – 4 pm

Eric Cameron – Thanatos
TrépanierBaer, 2 – 5 pm

Alberta Craft Awards Ceremony 2018
Alberta Craft Council, cSPACE, 7 – 10 pm 

Why we need arts funding in Calgary


Art isn’t just what we see on the walls in museums and galleries. You see, hear or feel it when walking across the Peace Bridge, or taking a selfie in front of the giant head called Wonderland, or putting your child in piano lessons, or when you spread blankets on the ground at Prince’s Island Park and listen to the artists at Calgary Folk Music Festival. Art is part of our daily life and its benefits to our city are numerous, including contributing to the economy, adding to the vibrancy of the city that draws business, talent and visitors to Calgary, provoking discussion and critical thinking, as well as connecting Calgarians to each other, according to Calgarians who are proposing increased municipal arts funding.

A photo from this season’s production of Extremophiles by Georgina Beaty of Downstage Theatre Company. Courtesy Caitlind r.c. Brown.

When actor, writer and drama therapist Raffi Minas came to Calgary in October 2017 from Lebanon, the 28-year-old had more than a decade of experience in writing and acting but found he had to start from scratch in Calgary.

“It’s hard to act here because you need to know the language, accent, networking, and the most important side in my opinion, you need to understand the culture,” Minas says.

When a friend sent Minas a poster advertising the Theatre Community Connections for Newcomers Program, which pairs newcomers with past theatre experience to mentors, he was eager to sign up.

The pilot project is a partnership between Downstage, a theatre company that produces Canadian work with a focus on social issues, and the Centre for Newcomers, which provides settlement and integration services to immigrants and refugees. Four participants were paired with mentors to create a five to 10 minute showcase performance.

Minas has written a script with his mentor for a 10-minute performance called Suitcase, the story of a man displaced by war, inspired by his own experiences of fleeing Syria for Lebanon before coming to Canada. The show features a refugee who comes to Canada with nothing but a suitcase. He is stopped for a bag check by a customs officer at the airport, and as he pulls items out of his luggage, he recounts the stories behind them— some funny, some tragic. Minas hopes the audience will have a new perspective about the civil war in Syria.

“We discovered it’s very difficult for newcomers to Canada who have professional experience in theatre to start working in their field,” says Ellen Close, the artistic director of Downstage. Close says there are many theatre jobs that are never listed, since companies often reach into their pool of established actors, designers or playwrights, or find talent through training programs that provide professional connections.

“We’re poorer as a theatre community by not having pathways for newcomers to start working,” Close says. “Our work should reflect the greater diversity of Calgary. The people we’ve connected with will be a tremendous asset to the theatre community and their work will be wonderful for Calgarian audiences to experience.”

While more than 20 newcomers wanted to sign up for the pilot project, they could only accommodate four people. Close is applying for project-based funding to continue the work, which means she doesn’t know what it will look like in the future. “If we had increased operating funding that would go a long way to make those commitments, and allow us to be more responsive to opportunities with partners as they arise,” Close says.


Quick facts:

156 organizations Calgary Arts Development invests in produce $134 million in value-added GDP to Canada, with the large majority in Alberta

More than 50,000 Calgarians
are employed by the creative industries sector

In 2017, there were 3,385,616 attendees to arts activities in Calgary

About 65 per cent of 500 Ontario workers who were surveyed said a vibrant arts community is a driving factor when moving for work

Sources: Calgary Arts Development, Data from organizations funded in part through Calgary Arts Development, Calgary Economic Development, Survey – Nanos for Business for the Arts

Patti Pon, president and CEO of Calgary Arts Development, says the Theatre Community Connections for Newcomers Program is a prime example of art providing meaning on an artistic level, public impact level and business level.

Calgary Arts Development is Calgary’s designated arts development authority that invests and allocates municipal funding. They are requesting an increase in municipal arts grant funding from $6.4 million to $19.5 million over the next four years.

They propose to increase operating investment in not-for-profit arts organizations, increase support to individual artists, and increase the diversity of the arts sector to better reflect Calgary’s demographics.

“We are on the verge of systemic change when it comes to diversification of not only our economy but our identity,” Pon says. “That’s a huge opportunity for those of us who are civic partners to work together and move the city’s identity and brand in a consistent direction where we all see ourselves in that identity — as an arts community I’m not so sure we have.”

They’re also proposing to build on arts development programs through research, engagement, events and more, which includes promoting talent we already have in Calgary to draw visitors. “Calgary is promoted as a gateway to the mountains, which is fantastic, but it shouldn’t be the first thing,” Pon says. “What about Prince’s Island Park and the Calgary Folk Musical Festival, or East Village and the container park, or Studio Bell?”

Philanthropists Christine Armstrong and Irfhan Rawji started Creative Calgary, a non-partisan group of citizens, in 2017 to advocate for an increase in municipal arts investment, noting that Calgary lags behind other major cities across Canada when it comes to art funding.

Rawji says due to the downturn in the economy, the corporate sector can no longer support the arts community like it once did.

“We started Creative Calgary because we realized if we didn’t get the sector together to describe that challenge collectively and highlight this gap, it probably wouldn’t get fixed, and put a lot of different companies at risk,” Rawji says.

He says from a business perspective, a vibrant arts and culture scene is key to recruiting knowledge workers.

“The cultural scene is part of what makes a city a great city,” Rawji says. “I’m interested in the arts as an individual and a human — and as a business person, it’s critical if we’re actually going to grow and diversify this economy.”

Rawji adds that in today’s tense political climate, and amidst the growing fear of the “other,” art is critical to bringing people together. “Visual arts or dance is a universal language and has a way of allowing us to share a common experience and bring us together,” Rawji says. “It’s a tool for inclusion and building bridges.”

Both Calgary Arts Development and Creative Calgary urge Calgarians who believe civic investment in the arts is important to reach out to their city councillors, who provide guidance for city administration in the next budget cycle (they are reviewing the 2019-2022 plans and budgets in November 2018).

“If we don’t decide as a city and community of citizens that we think this is important, it will probably disintegrate because it can’t survive under its current funding structure,” Rawji says. “If we decide as a community to support it, we can make it even better.”

What you need to know about cannabis legalization in Calgary

Photo: courtesy Pixabay


Today, Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. While governing bodies and citizens alike are still working out all the implications — positive and negative — of legal cannabis, a few realities are emerging from the haze. One thing that’s clear is cannabis retail is not going to be like your grandma’s head shops. Beaded curtains and Bob Marley posters are out; clean, modern design aesthetics are in. Gone are the days when consumers would get a mystery baggie and figure out the effects through trial and error — retailers are prepared to help consumers navigate the dizzying array of products available.

Quick Facts:

• The total cannabis market in Canada — including legal and illegal recreational products and medical products — is expected to generate up to $7.17 billion in 2019. Legal sales are expected to comprise more than half of that, up to $4.34 billion.

• Consumers who currently purchase illegal cannabis say they’re willing to pay about 10 per cent more for legal products.

• The frequency at which consumers purchase cannabis is expected to increase by 22 per cent for frequent users and 121 per cent for less frequent users.

• It is expected that the majority of consumers will purchase their products through brick-and-mortar retail locations, while about one-third will also buy products online.

• Legalization is expected to have a negative impact on alcohol sales as consumers substitute cannabis for beer, wine and spirits.

• More than half of current and likely cannabis consumers are interested in trying edible products, though edibles won’t be available legally for at least a year after cannabis is legalized.

Source: Deloitte 2018 cannabis report

“If someone is new to cannabis, or has been away from it for a while, our staff will help guide them to a product and experience they hope for,” says Angus Taylor, CAO at NewLeaf Cannabis. “(We) seek to offer a welcoming and informative environment where anyone can feel comfortable communicating their needs, as basic or complex as they may be.”

While being among the first to market a newly legalized product has its potential pitfalls, retailers such as Trevor Fencott, CEO of Fire and Flower, are excited to meet the challenge. “The legalization of recreational cannabis is a historic moment in Canada,” Fencott says. “It has been and will continue to be a process to see how the industry develops over the next year.”

Who can use cannabis?
Anyone over the age of 18 in Alberta and Quebec or over 19 in the rest of Canada, including Canadians and visitors from other countries, can use cannabis provided they follow laws and regulations. Cannabis use by minors is strictly prohibited, and minors may not enter cannabis retail locations.

Where can I buy cannabis?
Cannabis can be purchased online at albertacannabis.org, which is operated by the provincial government. It can also be purchased at licensed retail outlets in various forms suitable for smoking and vaping. While many more retail locations are expected to be approved in the coming months, only two have interim licenses to operate in Calgary on October 17:

Four20 Premium Market
D290, 9737 MacLeod Tr SW

Nova Cannabis at Willow Park
252, 10816 MacLeod Tr SE

The inside of NewLeaf, a cannabis store in Calgary (not yet open). (Photo: courtesy NewLeaf)

Where can I use cannabis?
It is legal to smoke, vape or otherwise consume cannabis on private property. The property owner may choose to restrict cannabis use on their property, meaning that it can be forbidden by landlord/tenant agreements or condo bylaws. It is illegal to consume cannabis in public places, except for designated cannabis consumption areas. As of right now, there are no areas designated for cannabis use, but if and when they are approved, they will be listed on the City of Calgary’s website.

Festivals and events in Calgary can receive permission to provide a designated cannabis consumption area, similar to beer gardens. These will be open air, fenced off zones for 18+ only. Smoking lounges, cafes or specialized bars for cannabis are not permitted, though this has the potential to change in coming years. Cannabis may not be used at any cannabis retail outlets. Using cannabis in vehicles (moving or stationary) is not permitted and it cannot be within reach of anyone in a vehicle.