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yyc shopping

Retail Spotlight: Calgary Jewellery


A Calgary-owned business spanning three generations, Calgary Jewellery has been a staple in the city’s retail scene since 1955. Started by Les and Dora Florence, today the store is run by their son Bernard Florence and their grandson Jonathan, along with a team of dedicated staff. Jonathan spoke to Where Calgary about how the family business has continued to thrive.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Florence.

Calgary Jewellery is going on 64 years in business. What has kept it relevant all these years?
It’s truly because of the customer service we provide. We pride ourselves on the things that are unique, exclusive, but also, when it comes to anyone’s budget, we focus on providing the exact same experience whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $100,000. Also, the members of our staff have been with us anywhere from 10 years all the way up to 30 years. So when clients come in, they see a familiar face and they can feel comfortable with someone they know.

What was your grandfather’s initial business philosophy, and what does that look like for the store today?
It was integrity, it was customer relationships, and it was providing the same experience for everyone. One of the most important things now is having a unique selection of product. People want something that’s unique to them, and if they have their own taste and style, we’re able to cater to that.

What would you tell someone who is looking for a really special piece — like an engagement ring, for example — but has no idea where to start?
The most important thing is that if they were going to come into the store with zero knowledge, it’s our job to educate our clients. Using an engagement ring as an example, we would sit the client down and make them feel comfortable — for us the sale isn’t the end goal, it’s the relationship we’re building. We would go over a little bit about Diamonds 101, and we would ask questions like: ‘What makes you happy?’ or, ‘What makes you smile?’ At the end of the day, jewellery is an emotional purchase. If a client has no idea about jewellery, the most important thing is that the jeweller asks the right questions and learns about the client first.

How have you seen the retail market in Calgary change over the years?
Social media has become a wonderful tool, and we look at it as an opportunity to connect with clients that we may not have had before. We are one of the first truly independent jewellers that started in Calgary, and we have such a great history… Calgary Jewellery — it’s an easy name to know and to find.

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.

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.

Where to buy hemp products in Calgary

By Silvia Pikal

Hemp is a versatile crop that can be cultivated for fibre used in clothing, rope and paper products or cultivated for seed. It’s a super plant that has been widely maligned thanks to the fact that it’s one of two strains of the cannabis sativa plant — the other being marijuana. Hemp has very low levels of the mind-altering chemical THC, which has made marijuana famous. We’re showing some love to this misunderstood plant by highlighting hemp clothing and bath and body products you can find in Calgary.

Courtesy Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Refresh with hemp-based soap
Use Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s patchouli and mint soap on your face, hands or body to nourish dry skin. The soap contains a blend of essential oils, including peppermint leaf, patchouli leaf and hempseed. Free of artificial colour, synthetic fragrances and preservatives, it also contains green clay to help remove dead skin cells.

Courtesy The Apothecary in Inglewood.

Personal care that’s good for the Earth
Tired of buying pads every month? Pick up a reusable menstrual pad at The Apothecary in Inglewood. The pads are lined with a fabric made of organic hemp, which is soft and absorbent.

No period? No problem! They also sell hemp seed oil, which they recommended for hair care along with jojoba to restore damaged and dry hair, or massaged into the nail bed for stronger nails.


Courtesy Seed.

Add some hemp to your wardrobe
Seed clothing is designed and manufactured in Calgary and made with all-natural fabrics, including hemp and cotton. Seed clothing is sold primarily on their website, or at pop-up shops around the city.

Courtesy Ketchum Public Relations.

A healthy snack
Pick up hemp foods at Community Natural Foods. Try the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, which we love sprinkling on cereal, yogurt and salads for some crunch.