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No Need to Fear Virginia Woolf in Edmonton

We're-Not-Afraid-2Are you afraid of Virginia Woolf? Citadel Theatre has two reasons you shouldn’t be! The first production the theatre put on was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — so for their 50th anniversary, they’ve chosen to revisit the classic. Between February 4 and 6, alongside Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning drama in the Shoctor Theatre, you can catch an improvised version of the play performed in The Club. Stay for a nightcap at the theatre and don’t miss either of these brilliant performances!

We’re Not Afraid | February 4 – 6
In this improvised homage to Edward Albee’s masterpiece Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edmonton’s longest-running improv company Rapid Fire Theatre uses the same structure and relationships as the original, but adds in absurdity and spontaneity. The show will be different every night, but you’re guaranteed a hilarious amount of booze, delusion, and misery.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? | Through February 13
Edward Albee’s scorching classic about a bitter married couple and the young couple they draw into their frustrated relationship was the first production ever taken on by Citadel Theatre. For its 50th anniversary, the theatre revisits this American tale with prominent Canadian actors, including Brenda Robins and Tom Rooney.

Citadel Theatre | 9828-101 Ave. | 780-425-1820

Wine in Calgary

Winefest in Calgary

Winefest in Calgary

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a glass of smooth, dark red wine has never seemed more romantic, nor has a glass of crisp, white wine ever seemed more fresh and flirty. We’ve got some expert tips on drinking wine, whether that’s at a restaurant, a wine boutique, or a wine festival in Calgary.


Love Is in the Air at Edmonton Film Society

Three_Coins_In_The_FountainGet caught up on classic romantic comedies with Edmonton Film Society’s latest series: Love Is in the Air. In each curated movie, characters face challenges and entanglements on their quests to find love. With some of the greatest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood — including Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and Frank Sinatra — these romantic movies will have you falling in love with classic cinema. The series will screen in the comfortable theatre at Royal Alberta Museum on Mondays in February, March, and April.

February 8 | 8 pm
Three Coins in the Fountain
Three American secretaries working in Rome make a wish and toss a coin into the city’s Trevi Fountain, thus precipitating romantic involvement with local men.
Starring: Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters

February 22 | 8 pm
All that Heaven Allows
Everyone expects the new widow to settle into her single life, but she finds it stifling. A relationship develops between her and the younger gardener, which her family and friends vehemently oppose.
Starring: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson

February 29 | 8 pm
Penny Serenade
Dunne and Grant are about to divorce. Playing phonograph records, the wife recalls in flashbacks the happiness and heartache of her marriage.
Starring: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne

March 7 | 8 pm
The Lady Eve
Many call this the perfect romantic comedy. Aboard a ship, a naïve, inexperienced wealthy fellow becomes fascinated with a con girl.
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn

March 14 | 8 pm
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This sparkling, and at times poignant, romance is about a free-spirited young lady from the hinterlands who redefines herself in New York and falls for an aspiring writer.
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Mickey Rooney

March 21 | 8 pm
Letter from an Unknown Woman
Fontaine harbours a teenage crush on her neighbour, a famous concert pianist. Later, he adds her to his long list of conquests―and forgets about her until….
Starring: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan

April 4 | 8 pm
The Enchanted Cottage
A disfigured war pilot retreats to an isolated cottage. A plain, painfully shy woman is also hiding from the world’s cruelty. The unwanted loners befriend each other, agree to marry, and find that their love unexpectedly transforms them.
Starring: Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Herbert Marshall

April 11 | 8 pm
To Have and Have Not
Bogart’s a sailor uninterested in the war, until the luminous Bacall appears at his doorway and persuades him to take on a dangerous smuggling job.
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan

Royal Alberta Museum | 102 Ave. & 128 St. | 780-439-5285
For more information on the series, visit the website.


Take a Spa Day at a Hammam in Edmonton

During the prolonged Edmonton winter, it can feel like the cold is seeping into your bones and making your skin dry and itchy. The best remedy? A luxurious steam and scrub in a traditional Middle Eastern bath called a hammam, of course! And you don’t have to venture far to find one — we have two options right here in Edmonton.

The Ritual
Also called a Turkish or Roman bath, the hammam is part of a ritual that began in the Roman city of Constantinople. When the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1450 (and renamed it Istanbul), they imported their own bathing customs and eventually merged these customs with the Roman ones to create the cleansing tradition called hammam — or spreader of warmth.

Historical hammams throughout the Middle East are elegant marble and stone structures with high-domed ceilings, sweeping arches and elaborately carved columns. The treatment areas feature heated marble, often inlaid with geometric mosaics in shades of blue, green, or grey. Inside the cavernous, warmly lit space, it’s easy to close your eyes and travel back to an age of grandeur and indulgence.

Istanbul is where I first encountered — and adored — the hammam experience, which involves several stages: steam, scrub, and rinse (sometimes followed by massage).

The Edmonton Experience
In Edmonton, the Healing Waters Spa on Whyte Avenue and Kaya Kama Hammam and Day Spa on 34 Avenue offer this traditional experience, though on a smaller scale and with a few adaptations. For example, traditional hammams are community gathering places, with multiple bathers enjoying the ritual at once. In contrast, Edmonton’s hammams prioritize privacy.

Healing Waters provides robes and wraps for the steam room, and private body parts are covered with towels during the body scrub and rinse. “The estheticians are aware that not all people are comfortable in these situations and are respectful of the client’s modesty,” says Carla Pichonsky, the owner, manager, and an esthetician at the spa. At Kaya Kama, clients receive disposable undergarments that are mandatory for males and optional for females.

Although the physical grandeur of the original hammams can’t be duplicated here, they’re still incredibly relaxing and a unique experience that’s definitely worth trying!

Healing Waters Spa
Pichonsky, who has owned Healing Waters Spa for five years, says their hammam service “is a calming and cleansing treatment… we don’t call it a bath because people [incorrectly] assume we have tubs.”

The service begins with a cozy Epsom salt foot soak — the perfect remedy for frozen toes — before a half-hour steam in the private hammam room. A revitalizing full-body salt or sugar scrub on a heated marble surface exfoliates and stimulates the skin. After a gentle rinse, the finishing flourish is a warm lotion application to replenish moisture. The earth-toned tile work and soft candlelight create a serene ambience that will help you forget the cold outside.

The Healing Waters hammam is a relaxation experience, but it’s more than that. Pichonsky says, “The salt scrub is invigorating and helps renew the skin [and] the steam will soothe sore muscles and detoxify the body.”

Kaya Kama Hammam & Day Spa
Shiv Arora, owner and manager of Kaya Kama, opened the spa with his wife Anju in 2006. He says she had a desire to “calm and serve people [and] feels she has ‘a Turkish soul’,” so they included a hammam in the spa. Arora explains that it “cleanses the exterior body and detoxifies the interior body [so it’s] a holistic treatment that’s also luxurious.”

Arora says that the spa focuses on providing complete relaxation. “We don’t try to rush things. We take our time.” The treatment begins in the glass-enclosed, high-intensity steam chamber in the hammam room. Eucalyptus in the steam removes toxins from the body, and the steam itself opens the pores. During the session, which lasts about 20 minutes, the client controls the temperature from inside the chamber.

The skin-cleansing scrub takes place on a heated concrete bed with a smooth epoxy coating. Middle Eastern-style lanterns cast low ambient light. The imported black Moroccan soap contains mineral clay called rassoul. It’s olive oil based, so
it moisturizes without harsh chemicals. The esthetician exfoliates the skin with a coarse fibre glove called a kessa, and the final rinse reveals supple skin.

After the treatment, clients can enjoy sipping masala chai, juice, or mineral water and nibbling on a cookie or chocolate in the lounge. —Tracey L. Anderson

Healing Waters Spa | 10740-82 Ave. | 780-988-7873
Hammam treatment: 90 minutes, $180
Hammam packages with additional services available; couples accommodated.

Kaya Kama Hammam & Day Spa | 9328-34 Ave. | 780-988-5554
Hammam treatment: 30-40 minutes, $79.95
Hammam packages with additional services available; couples accommodated.

Mention this article when booking at Kaya Kama to receive a 25% discount on your hammam service!

Interview with Burton Cummings, Canadian Music Hall of Fame Recipient 2016

By Breanna Mroczek

Burton Cummings

Burton Cummings is the 2016 Canadian Music Hall of Fame Recipient at the 45th annual Juno Awards.

The Juno Awards are being hosted in Calgary, AB on Sunday, April 3, 2016, and this year the Canadian music awards show will have lots to celebrate.

2016 has officially been declared — by Calgary’s esteemed Mayor Nenshi — as the Year of Music in Calgary. If Year of Music was a music festival, then the headliners would be Juno Week (March 28 – April 3, 2016) and the opening of the National Music Centre in Studio Bell (Summer 2016).

The 2016 Canadian Music Hall of Fame (CMHF) recipient will be the very first CMHF recipient to have their award plaque displayed in the new National Music Centre — and the winning artist is Burton Cummings. Cummings called Where Calgary from Los Angeles, en route to perform a series of shows in Las Vegas, to chat about the upcoming Juno Awards celebrations and his career.

“This [award] is very nice. This is different [to win as a solo artist]. It’s an honour and I’m not accepting it lightly. It’s harder to earn these as a solo artist. When The Guess Who was finished I didn’t know what was next. I left the safe cocoon of a band to be a solo artist. It’s a scary step. It was all new and different to me, but I didn’t stop performing and creating and here I am now. And the fact that this award will be placed in the new building gives it more perspective. This is not just another Junos. This is a really special christening, an evening that’s more special than usual.”

Cummings, who will officially be awarded this accolade during a tribute montage during the live Juno Awards broadcast, is no stranger to the Juno Awards. He’s hosted four times (a record in itself) and won five awards, and he’s already part of the CMHF as part of The Guess Who band, which was awarded the honour in 1987. This time, he’s earned the award for his work as a solo artist.

“The year I co-hosted the Junos with Alan Thicke [in 1983] we held up Toto’s album IV and we basically said: ‘Ladies and gents, this is a compact disc. This is the way the music industry is going.’ We showed the audience a CD for pretty much the first time, and that moment has always stuck with me. When I think about it now — that was pretty historic.”

Accepting his CMHF award on April 3 will be a memorable moment for Cummings, adding another milestone to his Juno Awards show memories. In 1977, Cummings was established as a notable Canadian musician with The Guess Who, but had just started his solo career the previous year with his hit songs “Stand Tall” and “I’m Scared” on his self-titled album. That being the case, he was nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year — and won both.

“When I got up on stage to accept [the second award] Male Vocalist of the Year, I said to the audience ‘don’t let anybody tell you things don’t move fast in Canada. I went from most promising to best in 50 minutes’.”

Cummings’ career in music has now spanned five decades, an experience he describes as “dream fulfilling” and “fascinating.”

“My mom used to play 78s — my dad left when I was about a year [old] — and my mom worked at Eatons and every morning before work she would play her 78s for me, and I loved that. I loved the freezing of time, that you could play the 78 over when it was over. From a young age I thought it’d be terrific to be one of the guy’s making those records. I did that. I even got to meet the guys who made the records I would listen to. I was listening to guys like Bobby Darin and Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon and eventually I grew up and met these guys. I’ve got a poster on my wall of Bobby Rydell that he’s signed “Thanks for being a fan.” I was a kid delivering papers, delivering the Winnipeg Tribune for 45 cents, to save up and buy his records for 90 cents each. It’s nice to have gone into the business and succeeded. When I was in my first band [The Deverons] I never would have dreamed this. I never would have dreamed I’d be one of the lucky ones to have a career that would allow me to go on stage by myself year after year, there’s so few of us that get to do that.”

Even though Cummings’ is skeptical about the way some contemporary artists are performing their music, he says “there’s always room for something fresh.”

During his 50 years in show business, Cummings has seen a lot of changes in the industry regarding how music is produced, performed, and consumed.

“I remember the days when lots of people were selling millions of albums a week. That’s just not the case any more. You can name most of the artists that are selling millions of records in one sentence. These days you pretty much have to have live chops to exist, because you can’t rely on record sales any more. My live shows are completely organic. We use absolutely no sampling, no tracks. Not even any percussion. Anything we do, my band [and I], is live. I’m proud of that. We’ve been called an organic band and I like that. There’s so much machinery used now. We do a lot of live shows and everything is played and sung live.

I love the two hours I spend on stage [during a show]. I just turned 68 so it’s the other 22 hours that are a little tougher now. But the fact that I have this pile of songs that people know, that are in people’s heads and memory banks, I love singing them and watching people’s reaction. As long as we still sound like the records, I’m proud of that. My manager and I talk about it all the time — we say ‘you know, when it gets lame we won’t do it any more.’ But judging from the reaction these days to our live shows, it’s anything but lame.”

The Juno Awards committee — and millions of fans, many of which are ready to applaud him at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on April 3 — certainly don’t think so. The music industry may be ever-changing, but Cummings’ talent hasn’t.

One thing that hasn’t changed in Cummings’ eyes is the thrill of selling hundreds of thousands of albums — “the Gold records are still as pretty as the day you get them, they always will be beautiful” he says.


5 Spots for Brunch in Edmonton


Photo by Jennifer Linford.

1. MEAT offers brunch dishes with savoury, smoked meats, including the classic Southern Grits with sausage gravy, a poached egg, and its city-famous brisket.
8216-104 St. | 587-520-6338

2. Satisfy your brunch cravings at Blue Plate Diner with all the fixings in the Gonzo: fresh eggs, tasty sausages, crisp bacon, house-recipe potatoes, and grilled grapefruit!
10145-104 St. | 780-429-0740

3. Family-friendly Cora serves the most important meal of the day with heaping sides of fresh fruit, whether you’re ordering a savoury crêpe or its signature Eggs Ben et Dictine.
#111, 2920 Calgary Tr. | 780-465-2672

4. In a Parisian setting, enjoy a chic petit déjuner at Café Bicyclette with a scrumptious Croissant Sandwich made with eggs and Gruyère cheese or smoked salmon.
8627-91 St. | 587-524-8090

5. Not only can you enjoy a delicious breakfast pizza at Rosso Pizzeria, but you can also order all the brunch goods — fire-roasted potatoes, fennel sausage, poached eggs — cooked up in a cast iron skillet!
8738-109 St. | 780-433-5382

Valentine’s Day Activities in Calgary 2016

Photo courtesy of Uppercase Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Uppercase Magazine.

It’s the most romantic day of the year — and this year you have all weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day as it falls on the Sunday before Family Day holiday Monday! We’ve gathered special events happening all weekend that will really impress your date.

In the Heat of the Night | Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, 6 pm | $100 per person for tables of two | The Calgary Zoo, 1300 Zoo Road NE | 403-232-9300 | www.calgaryzoo.com
“You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals!” Enjoy a romantic dinner held in the Calgary Zoo’s conservatory, complete with decadent desserts. Once dinner is over, zookeepers will begin their informative presentation on courtship and mating in the animal world. Dress in your flashiest Vegas-style outfit and strike a pose in the Vegas-themed photo booth.

Let’s Get Physical! Adults Only Night | Thursday, February 11, 6 – 10 pm | $26.45 | TELUS Spark, 220 St. George’s Drive NE | 403-232-9300 | www.sparkscience.ca
Brains and beauty are a great combination, so grab your sweetheart for a fun and educational night out. Take a look at the new Body Worlds: Vital exhibit in an adults-only setting (no kids running around!) and enjoy some themed programming that explore love from both a physical and a psychological perspective.

Chocolate and Yin | Saturday, February 13, 4:30 – 6:30 pm | $30 | Yoga Passage, 521 – 11 Ave SW | yogapassage.ca | Treat your taste buds and your body! Snack on organic, handmade chocolates infused with super foods after a relaxing and strengthening yoga class.

Dynamic Directions | February 11, 7:30 pm; February 12, 7:30; February 13, 2 pm & 7:30 pm | $20 – $119 | Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW | 403-297-8000 | www.albertaballet.com
Three of Canada’s best known choreographers – Aszure Barton, Wen Wei Wang, and Yukichi Hattori – present a thrilling and romantic evening of contemporary and neo-classical ballet.

Dashing Date “Secret Crush” Speed Dating Event | February 14, 6 pm | $39 | Venue is TBD | www.dashingdate.com
Looking for love on Valentine’s Day? Dashing Date is hosting their Secret Crush! speed dating event for women between the ages of 25 to 36 and men between 27 and 38. A special icebreaker game will kick things off.

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse | February 14, 5 pm – late night | $69.95 per person | 521 – 10 Ave SW | 587-354-3441 | www.pampasteakhouse.com
Take your sweetie for a luxurious dinner at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse on the big night. Their special Valentine’s Day menu includes limitless carvings of 11 cuts of meat plus caramelized grilled pineapple, coconut lime prawns, grilled salmon, and lobster tail — these extra dishes are being served exclusively for the holiday. Celebrating early? The option to upgrade to the V-Day menu is available on Friday and Saturday as well.

Cinnamon Heartbreak Cabaret | February 14, 7 pm | $25 – $28 | Distortion, 3828 Macleod Trail SW | www.brownpapertickets.com
Theatre Encounter will present its annual cabaret  showfeaturing The Rhinestone Affair Burlesque Entertainment, a sneak peek of Theatre Encounter’s play The Lesson, and rockabilly trio Stickshift Suicide. Bring your date for a saucy night out!

Southern Stardust Big Band Dinner and Dance | February 13, 6:30 pm dinner; 8:15 dance| $65 dinner and dance; $35 dance only | Calgary Austrian Centre, 3112 – 11 St NE | 403-850-4793
Do you and your darling love to dance? The Southern Stardust Big Band is hosting a Bug Band Dinner Dance for Valentine’s Day. Start with an appetizing buffet dinner, then dance to the 18-piece big band playing music for all different kinds of dance including foxtrot, waltz, rumba, cha-cha- tango, and swing.

Checkmate, My Sweet Valentine | February 14, 6 pm| $90 | Fort Calgary Barracks, 750 – 9 Avenue SE | 403-290-1875 | www.fortcalgary.com
Calling all murder mystery fans! It’s been over 10 years since Check Mate Dating Services started to make love matches, and they are throwing a murder mystery party at the Fort Calgary Barracks to celebrate. Get into character over cocktails and dinner and attempt to solve the mystery while mingling with potential love matches.

Stop Light Party | February 13, 8:30 pm| $25 | WXYZ Aloft Bar, 2359 Banff Trail NW | 403-338-4405 | www.aloftcalgaryuniversity.com
Grab your friends for a wild and fun night out! Jam to beats by Felonius Funk with special guest DJ Grimrock for a mix of old school hip-hop, house music, mash-ups and more. A signature Aloft cocktail is included in ticket price, along with a gourmet candy bar, late night snacks, and exciting door prizes. The dress code requires you wear red, green, or yellow, so dress according to your relationship status!

Funny Fest  Comedy Extravaganza | February 14, 6 pm| $49 | Nicastro’s Showroom, 2820 Centre St NE | 403-228-7888 | www.eventbrite.ca
Tickle your funny bone this Valentine’s Day! Laugh along to Funny Fest headliners including Jamie Hutchinson, Stu Hughes, and Dug Bueck as you have dinner and drinks. Roses, chocolates, live music, and great prizes are all part of the fun!

Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray | February 13, 7 pm| $25 | Arthur Murray Dance Centre, 231 B Forge Rd. SE | 403-319-0732 | www.arthurmurraycalgary.ca
Arthur Murray Dance Centre is hosting a Valentine’s date night for couples wanting to learn how to ballroom dance. Food, bar service, music, and romantic dance lessons are all included.

Date Night with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra | February 12, 8 pm; February 13, 8 pm| $20 – $80 | Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE | 403-571-0849 | www.calgaryphil.com
Join the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, 2012 Honens Prize Laureate Pavel Kolesnikov, and Samson Tsoy in an evening of romance and music complete with a dazzling performance of Prokofiev’s composition Romeo and Juliet.

Family Quest | February 11 – 15, 10 am – 4 pm | $5.50 – $10.75 | Gasoline Alley Museum, Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW | heritagepark.ca
Celebrate the love of your family (it is Family Day long weekend, after all!) with some fun activities and the brand new Reflections in Chrome motorcycle exhibit. View a display of more than 30 vintage, restored, and new motorbike, and then enjoy kid-friendly crafts and games that channel life on the road.

Wine + Chocolate | February 11, 6 pm | $40 | Vine Styles Kensington, 1127b Kensington RD NW | vinestyles.ca
Enjoy tastings of some delightful wine and chocolate pairings — maybe you’ll even find a combo worthy to take home for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Vine Styles is a boutique wine store that organizes their wines by tasting notes — crisp, smooth, dry, etc. — rather than by region, so they’re a friendly guide for any tasting even if you don’t know much about wine.

Art on the Rocks: Mystery Art Night for Lovers and Fighters | Saturday, February 13, 7 pm | $30 | Glenbow, | glenbow.org
Are you a lover or a fighter? Single or taken? Regardless, you’ll enjoy creating some hands-on art at this adults-only event. The project you’ll be working on is top secret until the night of the event, but whether you come on your own, with your significant other, or a group of friends, you’ll have a great time. Enjoy a drink while you create, and groove to the tunes of a DJ.

Bend and Brunch | Sunday, February 14, 10 am | $25 | Craft Beer Market, 319 – 10 Ave SW | calgary.craftbeermarket.ca
Forget the Legally Blonde wisdom of “bend and snap,” “bend and brunch” is the way to go. BYOM (bring-your-own-mat) for a one-hour yoga class (suitable for beginners) then refuel with a tasty, freshly made brunch and a “beermosa” made with beer from local Village Brewery.

Market Collective | February 12 – 14 | $5 weekend admission | Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 – 1 St SW | marketcollective.ca
This local artisan market has vendors selling handmade gourmet food, clothes, jewellery, bath and beauty products, cards, decor, and more. Pick up a sweet gift for someone special, or give yourself some self love and buy something just for you. Take some time to pose for a photo in the Valentine’s Day-themed photo booth.

Cocktails & Burlesque | February 11 | $10 | The Bourbon Room, 341 – 10 Ave SW| bourbonroom.ca

The Bourbon Room is teaming up with King Nox for a sultry night of cocktails and burlesque. Two sets of live burlesque, Valentine’s themed cocktails and whiskey specials are all part of the exciting evening!

Artist Profile: Dana Holst


Dana Holst and her work. Photo by Lindsay Shapka.

Now based in Edmonton, artist Dana Holst received a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, and has made her career working in painting, drawing, and printmaking. Her work can be found in both public and private collections in North America, and explores issues of social stereotyping, female bullying, and attacks against individuality and sexuality.

While she admits that her work can sometimes take an autobiographical turn, Holst’s art is ultimately an investigation into the human experience, and she draws inspiration from vintage photographs, news clippings, and modern-day social conflicts. Her figures are often dressed in ultra-feminized clothing with menacing emotions, or look beautiful and peaceful but are placed in a disturbing scene.

You can see her latest solo exhibition, She’s All That, at the Art Gallery of Alberta until February 15. The show contains a series of oil paintings and encaustic drawings (pictured) that focus on the complexity of female identity. The works are divided into two rooms representing both the public and personal faces of female identity.

Visit danaholst.com for more information on the artist’s future exhibitions. —Lindsay Shapka

She’s All That | Through February 15
Art Gallery of Alberta | 2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq., 99 St. & 102A Ave. | 780-422-6223

Ice on Whyte in Edmonton


Photo courtesy of Ice on Whyte.

In the heart of Old Strathcona is one of the city’s most popular winter festivals! On top of live entertainment, a giant ice slide, and cool activities, this festival hosts an International Ice Carving Competition that attracts artists from as far away as Russia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Mexico! This year, ten teams will compete in the professional category, and five will compete in the novice category.

For its 13th year, the festival will host an early Mardi Gras celebration with a parade at 1 pm on January 21. Families can enjoy great activities all day, including crafts, games, storytelling, and a magic show! If you get a little chilled while exploring, you can quickly warm up with a hot chocolate in the heated cafe.

Ice on Whyte | January 21 – 24 & 28 – 31
End of Steel Park | Gateway Blvd. & Tommy Banks Way

Oscar-Worthy Movie Events in Calgary

Night with the Stars Oscar Party in Calgary

Night with the Stars Oscar Party in Calgary

The nominations have been announced and the countdown is on to the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be hosted on Sunday, February 28 by Chris Rock. Celebrate the magic of film with these upcoming movie-themed events in Calgary:

Fashion Films: Advanced Style | Thursday, January 28, 7 pm | $10 | Glenbow | glenbow.org/programs
Enjoy a screening of a fashion documentary, based on the popular blog of the same name. Advanced Style profiles the independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western’s culture’s increasing obsession with youth. Many red carpet-worthy looks abound in the film!

Great Digital Film Fest | February 5 – 11 | $6.99 | Various Theatres | cineplex.com/Events/DigitalFilmFest
Movie buffs know that the best way to see a film is on the big screen! See some of your favourite movies from across the decades in theatres again. This year’s lineup includes Dirty Harry, Serenity, Inception, Ghostbusters, and David Bowie in The Labyrinth.

Dinner and a Movie Series | February 9 & 23, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19; Dinner seating times between 5 pm – 6:45 pm | $42.95; $8 for movie only | Heritage Park | heritagepark.ca
Enjoy a movie-themed, three-course dinner in the Selkirk Grille restaurant, and then settle in for a screening of a classic film. Movies include: Star Wars IV: A New Hope, Easy Rider, Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters, and Pulp Fiction.

Canada’s Top 10 Film Festival
| February 20 – 26 | $6 – $10 | Globe Cinema | calgaryfilm.com
If you’ve already watched all of the Best Picture nominations, it’s time to see something new! In collaboration with Toronto International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival presents ten of the best Canadian films from the past year — an exhaustive “Best of” collection compiled by panelists based on audiences at Canadian film festivals and critics’ opinions. There’s something to suit every interest, and movies include Sleeping Giant and documentary Guantanamo’s Child.

Popcorn and Vodka Cranberry Macarons | Available February 23 – 28 | Yann Haute Patisserie | yannboutique.com/seasonal
Watching the Oscars or a movie at home? Snack on some of these locally-made treats in two flavours made just for the awards show.

A Red Carpet Affair | Sunday, February 28, 5pm | $75 | Engineered Air Theatre, Arts Commons | calgaryfilm.com
Watch the Oscars in style — formal or vintage wear is encouraged! — and cheer on your favourite films and actors alongside other enthusiastic film-goers. A live broadcast of the Oscars will be screened in an intimate theatre, and your ticket includes champagne, live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and a gift bag. This event is a fundraiser for the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) and local programming. (Fun fact: The Academy has named CIFF a qualifying festival for the Best Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film awards. This means that the recipient of CIFF’s annual Best of Shorts Award is eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards, without the standard theatrical run that a film typically needs to qualify for an Oscar nomination).

Night with the Stars | Sunday, February 28, 5 pm | $250 | Hyatt Regency | theatrecalgary.com
Theatre Calgary presents this glam, Star Wars-themed fundraiser on Oscar night. Dress your best and enjoyed a themed menu, award prediction contest, drinks, and a live broadcast of the Academy Awards.


Best Restaurants for Business in Edmonton

Great Spots to Get Work Done
You can’t accomplish much on an empty stomach! Grab a table at one of these intimate restaurants, where the quiet atmosphere allows you to focus and there’s enough room to spread out.

Cibo Bistro
11244-104 Ave. | 780-757-2426
The cozy, relaxed atmosphere makes this a great place to grab a single table and treat yourself to hand-rolled pasta. Nibble at fresh Formaggi or a plate of house-cured Salumi while you finish that report!

10542 Jasper Ave. | 780-757-6758
Tuck up to the bar, turn on your tablet, and unwind at this amiable spot to get stuff done. Their lunch options — with three choices of soup and tasty sandwiches on warm ciabatta buns — will motivate you to power through your prep work before an afternoon meeting.

10200-102 Ave. | 780-990-0188
At this sleek, urban lounge, you can enjoy some delicious Asian-fusion cuisine, perhaps while you work on fusion projects of your own. The spicy Ginger Chicken Bowl or Mediterranean Pork Belly will keep you content even if you’re suffering under a pile of spreadsheets.


Where to Meet a Client
The atmosphere and meals at these restaurants will impress your clients and make for a memorable and productive meeting.

Confederation Lounge
Fairmont Hotel Macdonald 10065-100 St. | 780-424-5181
Ever a charming spot since it opened in 1915, the Confederation Lounge offers impressive décor and food. Enjoy premium cocktails and Alberta classics, such as the Bacon Wrapped Wild Game Meatloaf with thyme whipped potatoes and black currant jus.

HardwareGrillFoodHardware Grill
9698 Jasper Ave. | 780-423-0969
You’ll be sure to make a good impression with the remarkable atmosphere at Hardware Grill. The contemporary and whimsical prairie flavours, which shine in dishes such as the Applewood Smoked Salmon with truffle-potato perogies and a grainy mustard-cream sauce, are a delight for anyone who enjoys a traditional, delicious meal.

The Marc
9940-106 St. | 780-429-2828
The casual setting and relaxed dress code at this fine-dining restaurant will make clients feel incredibly comfortable. And when they enjoy their Duck Breast expertly prepared with grilled scallion, smoked fennel, and parsnip purée or the Confit Lamb Shoulder with heirloom carrots, turnips, and pearl onions, you know they’ll be pleased enough to seal any deal.


Table for One? No Problem!
Though you feel comfortable travelling alone, it can still feel awkward eating alone. These exceptional restaurants have great seating for lone diners, and they offer food so delicious, you’ll be raving about your life-changing meal to family and friends later!

TresCarnalesTres Carnales Taqueria
10119-100A St. | 780-429-0911
As they serve some of the most popular tacos in town, it can be quite a wait for a table at this hot spot. But if you come alone, you can sneak a chair at the end of a long table and be quickly on your way to chowing down on appetizing Carnitas Tacos and house-made Guac with a cold cerveza.

The Burger’s Priest
10148-109 St. | 780-760-0777
This classic cheeseburger joint offers heavenly meals of burgers and fries. Challenge yourself to eat the Vatican City — a double cheeseburger between two grilled cheese buns — and you won’t have to feel so sinful because only you and your server will know how many calories were consumed.

10522-124 St. | 780-485-6125
At this casual and hip diner, you can tuck right up to the long bar and sample any of the mouth-watering items the menu has on offer. Though it changes with the season, the unique flavours and artisan ingredients — imagine smoky maple syrup — will have you dreaming about your meal for days.


Privacy Please
These restaurants offer not only fantastic food and service, but also private rooms that will allow you to get down to business without interruption from fellow guests.

Creations Dining Room & Lounge
4235 Gateway Blvd.
Capacity: 75
Reserve: 780-989-4439

Madison’s Grill & Vintage Room
10053 Jasper Ave.
Capacity: 200
Reserve: 780-401-2222

Vons Steak House and Oyster Bar
10309-81 Ave.
Capacity: 60
Reserve: 780-439-0041

10177-107 St.
Capacity: 35
Reserve: 780-702-0330

Ampersand 27
10612 Whyte Ave.
Capacity: 24
Reserve: 780-757-2727


5 Spots to Watch the Game
Whether you need to cheer on your team, catch the hard hits at a UFC match, or witness that unbelievable pass, these spots are guaranteed to have that can’t-miss game on at least one screen.

1. Fionn MacCool’s
Edmonton City Centre | 10200-102 Ave. | 780-435-6796
2. 1ST RND
West Edmonton Mall | 8882-170 St. | 780-487-4600
3. Central Social Hall
10909 Jasper Ave. | 780-705-1900
4. Kelly’s Pub
10156-104 St. | 780-451-8825
5. Schanks Sports Grill
9927-178 St. | 780-444-2125


—Matthew Stepanic

Ask the Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (January/February 2016)


Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Westin Edmonton for her advice about winter festivals and Valentine’s Day in the city!

1. It’s cold outside, and there’s nothing better than escaping the chill for a spa day! Do you have a favourite spot that you send clients to?
I love to send my guests to Studio J Urban Spa. If you are looking to get spoiled like a star or to warm up, escape with one of their hot stone massages or enjoy a therapeutic deluxe manicure and pedicure!

2. Valentine’s Day is coming soon! Where can we buy great gifts for our loved ones?
My favourite one-stop shop? Jacek Chocolates! The chocolate collections are luxurious and special, and you may even get to sample a few yourself!

3. A lot of visitors are in town for their kid’s sports tournaments that take them to the edges of the city. Where is a great spot to grab lunch in the south? West? North?
When sports team tournaments come into town, my top recommendations are:
South: Five Guys Burgers and Fries located at 10161-13 Ave. (vegetarian options are available)
West: Famoso Pizzeria located at 8882-170 St.
North: Old Spaghetti Factory located at 10220-103 Ave.

4. What is your favourite festival or show to see in the new year?
What I enjoy most is the Ice on Whyte Festival; it’s a fun-filled festival with live music from Alberta artists and incredibly creative ice carvers. You can learn to ice sculpt in a mini igloo and indulge in the outdoor food court!

Les Clefs d’Or Concierges have been opening doors for hotel guests in Canada since 1976, and today there are more than 150 members from coast to coast and more than 3,500 members worldwide!