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Calgary

15 things to do in Calgary in January

By MICHAELA RITCHIE and SILVIA PIKAL

Acura Tube Park

January is the perfect month to experience the joy of sliding down a snowy hill on a snow tube. The Acura Tube Park at WinSport is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and features 12 lanes. The park is open every weekend in January, and some select evenings too.

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5 cocktails we loved in 2017 (and what to eat with them)

By SILVIA PIKAL

Here are five cocktails we ordered again and again in 2017, and the dishes we like to enjoy with them. This is part of our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Mimosas at Buttermilk Fine Waffles

Mimosas at Buttermilk Fine Waffles/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

Freshly squeezed orange juice is a must for breakfast and brunch. The team at Buttermilk Fine Waffles go through about 800 pounds of California navel oranges a week! They’ve recently stepped up their orange game by adding mimosas to the menu, which make use of those oranges and 3 oz of Prosecco. Pair your sweet drink with a savoury waffle like the green eggs and ham (poached eggs, maple smoked ham and aged cheddar).

Buttermilk Fine Waffles, 330 – 17 Ave SW, buttermilkfinewaffles.com (more…)

Building 93 North

By: Nicky Pacas

Think of the coolest thing you’ve ever made. Maybe it’s the Christmas decoration you crafted in kindergarten that your mom still hangs on the tree. Maybe you’ve brewed some drinkable beer out of containers stored in your basement. Maybe you built a shelf that from afar, doesn’t look too crooked.

Yeah, your cool creations are pretty legit. But your cool creations are nowhere near as cool as what Max Flowerday and Sam McEwen are making.

Sam McEwen (L) and Max Flowerday (R) at their shop in Canmore, AB. Photo: Mikey Stevenson

Building 93 North

Highway 93 North is one of the most scenic highways in the world. It navigates through two national parks and connects Lake Louise with Jasper. It’s as infamous for its breathtaking views as it is for suboptimal driving conditions in the winter. It took 600 men ten years to build the road (most of it was completed by horse and hand because there was only one tractor per crew). And since its completion in 1940, the highway, also known as the Icefields Parkway, has been a hotspot for sightseeing, wildlife encounters, and as the starting point for some of the best mountain adventures the Canadian Rockies offer.

It’s also the inspiration for the name of Flowerday’s and McEwen’s burgeoning business, 93 North Skis.

Operating out of a small shop in Canmore, AB, Flowerday and McEwen are handcrafting skis. Both are mechanical engineering graduates from Queen’s University with backgrounds in ski racing. To say they’re still passionate about skiing would be an understatement.

The seed for 93 North Skis was planted when Flowerday and McEwen would go backcountry skiing together: conversations on the up-track about what makes a good ski became the catalyst to McEwen’s research on actually building skis. Then, as Flowerday puts it, “we met for a beer and we made a list of everything that we would need [to make our own skis].” A partnership was built.

Constructing skis initially began as a hobby. Working together in the evenings and on weekends, the pair would develop plans for building skis; they’d talk about it, and then they’d do some work. But, like with most hobbies, work and life would take over and the project would get dropped for a little while before its seductive charm would woo them back into production.

In July 2015, the first prototype was made and they tested it on glaciers before refining and reworking their ideas into other prototypes. Cut to a year later, and McEwen and Flowerday made the executive decision to leave their engineering jobs to pursue ski production fulltime. Originally, they planned to work in Calgary, but after considering the best fit for their business, a serendipitous opening of a shop space in Canmore pulled them westward. In September 2016, the team behind 93 North Skis had moved to Canmore, and by December, the products they made as hobbyists were transforming into something professional.

With the transformation from hobby to profession now complete, Flowerday and McEwen are building some seriously good skis. The Andromeda and Andromeda 166 are versatile skis designed for the variable conditions of the Rocky Mountains. Primarily off-piste skis with the capability to hold an edge on-piste, the Andromedas handle ice, wind-swept slopes, and powder—they’re durable, but they perform well. In other words, you can have your Andromeda cake and eat it, too.

It’s not by chance that the skis work so well in the Rocky Mountains; Flowerday and McEwen tested different materials in their prototypes and ultimately decided on constructing a ski with a maple core. The maple is durable, but lively. It is a consistent wood with minimal defects and a dense grain structure that ensures strong binding retention. The p-tex used as the sidewall material was specifically chosen because of its performance in cold weather (ABS plastic gets brittle in the cold), and poplar has been added to complement the maple. And though it doesn’t take 600 men 10 years to complete a pair of 93 North skis, it does take Flowerday and McEwen about ten man-hours to handcraft each set.

Sam McEwen and Max Flowerday working on a pair of skis.
Photo: Mikey Stevenson

Max Flowerday at work on a pair of 93 North skis.
Photo: Mikey Stevenson

The thoughtfulness in the construction and design of the Andromedas isn’t something you can easily see (it is something you can feel). But if you had to look for something indicative of precision and expertise, look no further than the artwork on the skis. Local artist Emily Beaudoin (@emily.beaudoin) was chosen by McEwen and Flowerday to create the top sheet designs for the Andromeda and the Andromeda 166. Her precise line drawings and integrated watercolours are a callback to artwork from a contemporary world of minimalist designs. Even if you’re not a skier, you could take a pair of skis home just to hang on the wall.

A pair of 93 North skis with art by Emily Beaudoin. Photo: Mikey Stevenson

Working with Beaudoin is only one of the ways that 93 North Skis is keeping things local. By establishing relationships with local guides and athletes, McEwen and Flowerday have set themselves up to be in Canmore long term. And like most locals, they’re super friendly and want you to pay a visit to their shop; they’ll show you their process and let you know how you can demo a pair of skis. You can even sign up for one of their ski workshops and build your own set of skis (just watch your cool factor increase when you replace your shoddy shelf with some sweet boards).

Visit 93NorthSkis.com to get in touch with Flowerday and McEwen or to read more about their hand crafted skis. You can also visit one (or all) of the retailers selling 93 North skis so that you can take advantage of the winter that has finally graced us with its presence.

93 North Retailers:

Ski West in Calgary
Vertical Addiction in Canmore
Pure Outdoors in Jasper
Soul Ski and Bike in Banff
Ernie’s Sports Experts in Grand Prairie

The photos in this story were taken by Mikey Stevenson. To see more of his photography, visit his website here.

6 things to do in Calgary this week: Dec 18 – 24

By SILVIA PIKAL

Photo by Silvia Pikal.

A LIFE-SIZE GINGERBREAD HOUSE 

If you’ve been hoping to see what a giant gingerbread house looks like, you’re in luck. The Fairmont Palliser is displaying a life-size one in its main lobby. You can even step inside the house with a cash or non-perishable food donation, benefiting the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre and Calgary Food Bank. The giant donation box was so full of non-perishable goods last weekend, it had to be emptied! Help Fairmont Palliser fill it up again until January 2.

Main Lobby, Fairmont Palliser, 133 – 9 Ave SW, Fairmont.com/Palliser-Calgary (more…)

5 things to do in Calgary this week: Dec 11 to 17

By SILVIA PIKAL and MICHAELA RITCHIE

THE SANTALAND DIARIES

This Lunchbox Theatre show is stirring up some laughs by playing to the naughty elf in all of us. Based on the bestselling adventures of David Sedaris, who once worked as an elf at a Macy’s Santaland himself, this story follows a down-on-his-luck New York City actor as he finds himself in the exact same predicament. The show runs select dates until December 23.

Lunchbox Theatre, 115 – 9 Avenue SE, lunchboxtheatre.com

DINNER AND A FLAMES GAME 

On December 14, watch the Calgary Flames take on the San Jose Sharks. Enjoy dinner (and dessert!) before the game at Cardinale, a new Italian restaurant. Cardinale is a short walk away from the Scotiabank Saddledome. From 3 to 6 pm, Cardinale’s happy hour features $6 glasses of red and white wine, $8 Negroni cocktails and more.

Cardinale, 401 – 12 Ave SE, cardinale.ca
Scotiabank Saddledome, 555 Saddledome Rise SE, ticketmaster.ca   (more…)

6 things to do in Calgary this week: Dec 4 to Dec 10

By SILVIA PIKAL

Photo by Silvia Pikal.

LIFE-SIZE GINGERBREAD HOUSE 

See a life-size gingerbread house at Fairmont Palliser until January 2. The house took more than 300 hours to build! Step inside the house with a cash donation to the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre or Calgary Food Bank, or with a non-perishable food donation.

Main Lobby, Fairmont Palliser, 133 – 9 Ave SW, Fairmont.com/Palliser-Calgary (more…)

Where Calgary’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

By MICHAELA RITCHIE and HANNA DEEVES

This holiday season, shop Where Calgary’s favourite finds for under your tree. (Photo by Jason Dziver.)

There’s no denying that the holiday season is finally upon us—it’s in the window displays at the nearest shopping mall, it’s on the radio, and with Black Friday fast approaching, it’s even in our email inbox. For some, it’s a welcome arrival… and for others, not so much. But whether you’re a Saint Nick or a Scrooge, we know you’ll thank yourself later for getting started on your Christmas shopping now. While you’re at it, why not consider adding some of our favourite items from Calgary retailers to your list, and add some local flare to this year’s gift giving festivities? (more…)

Calgary Souvenirs Get An Upgrade

By HANNA DEEVES

Hand-turned birch bowl by Ken Hawtin of Ardrossan AB. Available at Galleria Inglewood. Photo Courtesy Galleria Inglewood

If you are looking for a little more than T-Shirts and tiny bottles of maple syrup to bring back home after visiting our beautiful city, try checking out these spots. Even locals are sure to find something to show off their Calgarian spirit. (more…)

4 Must-See Films at Calgary International Film Festival

By SILVIA PIKAL AND MICHAELA RITCHIE

With more than 200 features and short films being screened from Canada and 40 other countries, there’s plenty of choice at the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF). Here are four must-see films playing until the festival’s last evening on October 1. (more…)

Art Exhibits You Can’t Miss in Calgary

By HANNA DEEVES and MICHAELA RITCHIE

Courtesy of cSPACE

Calgary is home to some amazing artists. Here are a few exhibits and projects that you won’t want to miss.  (more…)

Calgary’s Most Creative Cocktails

By HANNA DEEVES

Timo Salimaki, The Living Room, Winner of Canad’s Most Imaginative Bartender 2017, hosted by Bombay Sapphire. Photo By Trevor Lalonde Photography

Whether you’re in Calgary for business or pleasure, there is always time for a good cocktail. For bars that can cater to your preferences with alluring drink lists, it’s important to know where the creative bartenders are.
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Escape to Calgary and Grey Eagle Resort & Casino

Aug. 5, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Fancy a taste of the city during your mountain vacation? Calgary is a dynamic and friendly urban oasis at the foot of the Canadian Rockies.

Canadian Rockies, Calgary, places to stay

Why Calgary?

Just an hour and a half from Banff, Calgary is right on your doorstep if you’re staying in the national park. If you’re flying through Calgary International Airport, the city a great place to explore before or after your time in the mountains.

From historic sites to urban glitz, the city is pocketed with eclectic districts. Sample the unique shops, funky bistros and buzzing nightlife in Kensington Village, Stephen Ave Downtown Pedestrian Mall, Inglewood and 17th Avenue SW. With endless bike and walking paths (many along the Bow and Elbow Rivers), it’s very safe and child-friendly. (more…)