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Every Day is a Holiday: Where to Celebrate Wacky Holidays in Calgary

Succulent fried chicken at Cluck 'N' Cleaver

September is National Chicken Month! In Calgary, celebrate with some delicious fried chicken to-go at Cluck ‘n’ Cleaver.

Sure, we all know about Halloween and Thanksgiving, but do you know when National Taco Day or Chocolate Cupcake Day are? We’ve listed some great places in Calgary to celebrate fall holidays, no matter how wacky they are.

September: National Chicken Month
Did you know that September is deemed National Chicken Month? Celebrate this beloved bird at Cluck n’ Cleaver, where mouthwatering southern-friend chicken is the star of the show, along with homemade buttermilk biscuits, side salads, and homemade cookies.

September 3: National Beard Day
Get your facial hair a gift of grooming products from Kent of Inglewood, or pop by a barber shop such as Tommy Gun’sCannibale Barbershop, or Johnny’s Barber and Shop for a trim.

September 9: National Teddy Bear Day
Head to the Toy Shop at Heritage Park for a vintage-style teddy bear, or find a new furry friend at Livingstone and Cavell Extraordinary Toys.

September 16: National Guacamole Day
Watch as your server makes guacamole table-side at Añejo, or dive into the fresh guacamole and chips at Native Tongues. Make a return visit on October 2 for National Taco Day. Be sure to add a margarita for the celebration!

September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
Arrr, matey! Anchor your ship and enjoy a few rum cocktails and snacks at the Caribbean-themed Ricardo’s Hideaway. It’s a perfect spot for a pirate and fellow crew members.

September 21: National Mini Golf Day
Summer may be over, but you can still perfect your put at Winsport or Shakers Fun Centre.

September 24: National Cherries Jubilee Day
Did you know that the cherry jubilee was invented for Queen Victoria? Dine like royalty with this sweet treat at Hy’s Steakhouse. It’s an off-menu item, but also their signature specialty so you can order it any time.

September 25 – October 1: Banned Book Week
Celebrate diversity in literature and the freedom to read with banned books-printed notebook, socks, or a fun heat-reactive mug from the Calgary Public Library Store.

September 28: National Drink Beer Day
There are hundreds of places in Calgary to celebrate this day, but we recommend looking for ones with beers from local breweries on the menu: Big Rock Brewery, Wild Rose Brewery, Village Brewery, Dandy Brewing Company, Toolshed Brewing Company, and Banded Peak Brewing. Last Best Brewing and Distilling, Brewsters, and Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewing are all brewpubs that create their own beers in-house.

Delicious pizza can be found at dozens of places in Calgary, including this potato and leek pizza from Posto, to celebrate National Pizza Month in October.

Delicious pizza can be found at dozens of places in Calgary, including this potato and leek pizza from Posto, to celebrate National Pizza Month in October.

October: National Pizza Month
Order up some tasty pies at local favourites Una Pizza + Wine, Without Papers, Pulcinella, Posto, PZA Parlour, or Double Zero. Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you if you celebrate all month long!

October 1: National Vegetarian Day
Take a break from meat and head to The Coup or White Rose Vegetarian Kitchen for an all-vegetarian menu, or to Ten Foot Henry or Charbar where over half of their menus are comprised of meat-free dishes.

October 10: National Porridge Day
It’s time to celebrate this underrated breakfast item! Order up a bowl at Blue Star diner (we recommend the pumpkin and toasted walnut) or at Yellow Door Bistro for their steel cut oats with a homemade coconut cream and sliced peaches. Diner Deluxe also has a delicious oatmeal with a caramelized banana topping.

October 14: National Egg Day
Get crackin’ on October 14 and visit OEB Company for their amazing menu selection featuring dozens of options for eggs benedict, classic egg dishes, and omelettes.  At Bro’Kin Yolk all four of their eggs benny specialties are served on a homemade waffle.

October 18: National Cupcake Day
We know you don’t need a reason to indulge in a chocolate cupcake, but celebrate this day at Crave or Sweet Relief Pastries where delicious cupcakes (of all flavours!) are baked fresh daily. Sweet Relief Pastries even has a cupcake “happy hour” from 5 pm – 6 pm on weekdays where all cupcakes are only $2 each.








Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Under the Sky


Photo courtesy Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

There is no better way to end summer than with four days of music! The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra heads to Hawrelak Park for an incredible repertoire that will include the music of Simon & Garfunkel, Hollywood hits, and the classical sounds of Mendelssohn, Strauss, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Sunday night will end with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The following weekend, the ESO moves to the great outdoors of the city to perform a FREE concert in Churchill Square! Enjoy family-friendly performances of favourite songs from Disney films, including The Little Mermaid,Beauty and the Beast, and The Jungle Book. Come early for activities in the square and remember to bring your own chair.

Symphony Under the Sky | August 25 – 28 | 7 pm
Hawrelak Park | 9930 Groat Rd. | 780-428-1414

Symphony in the City | September 2 & 3 | 5 pm & 3 pm
Churchill Square | 102 Ave. & 100 St. | 780-944-7740

Chef Spotlight: Serge Jost


Photo by Pedro Escobar.

The head chef at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Chef Jost is originally from the Alsace region of France that borders Germany. His father was a winemaker in the region, and so he was raised working on the family winery and learning how to make and appreciate the nuances of wine.

The transition from wine to food was a natural one for Jost, who trained in Strasbourg, France, and then spent the first years of his career working at hotels in Paris, Germany, and Hong Kong. After his international foray into the culinary world, Jost returned to France to open his own restaurant, but found the complicated French permit process was preventing him from doing what he really wanted — creating great food and delighting diners.

So, he left France and came to Canada, arriving in Quebec where he worked for 17 years at three different exclusive hotels. Before making the move to Edmonton, Jost visited the city and the food scene got him excited: “I saw that the food scene was moving in Edmonton, and it felt exactly the same as when I started 17 years ago in Montreal. There was huge potential and I wanted to be a part of that.”

And a part of it he has become. Jost has created fantastic, must-try menus for the Harvest Room, Confederation Lounge, and the new Gold Floor at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald that feature dishes made with local, high-quality ingredients. Visit the website to see the full menus. —Lindsay Shapka

And They’re Off! Horse Racing in Edmonton


Photo courtesy Northlands.

It’s official, this is the last year of operation for the historic Northlands Racetrack, and they are going out with a bang! The sand and clay track opened in 1900, and during its 116 years of operation, it has served as one of Western Canada’s top racetracks and been the official home of the Canadian Derby since 1957.

To celebrate the final season, the 87th Canadian Derby on August 20 is going to be bigger and better than ever before. This prestigious race began in Winnipeg as the Manitoba Stakes in 1930, and when it evolved into the Canadian Derby, it drew top competitors from all over Canada to Winnipeg from 1941 to 1956. It has only grown in size and prestige since it moved to Northlands in 1957.

This year, not only will you be watching the exhilarating races, and enjoying fantastic food, you will also be entertained by Canadian country superstar Paul Brandt who will be performing in the evening. Tickets for the event range in price from $20 to $150 depending on where you would like to sit and dine.

And don’t forget to dress your best! This is the time to show off your fanciest hat, boldest party dress, or perfectly tailored sports coat. The derby attendees are hands down one of the most well dressed crowds of the summer!

Not going to be here for the Derby? No problem! There are races every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday throughout July and August. Don’t miss Park After Dark on Friday nights with specialty food, drinks, and sunshine on the patio while you watch the thrilling races — post time is at 6:30 pm. —Lindsay Shapka

Canadian Derby | August 20
Northlands Racetrack | 7410 Borden Park Rd. | 780-471-7210

5 Spots to Watch the Olympics in Edmonton

OlympicsRunnerFeel united with the rest of Canada while you cheer along with other passionate fans as the country’s top athletes earn medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio! Don’t miss a single thrilling moment by stopping in to one of these ideal spots to watch Team Canada compete with ice in their veins.

1. As close to Team Canada headquarters as you can get, Hudson’s Canadian Taphouse will be celebrating every medal and offering delicious, no-frills pub food.
10307 Whyte (82) Ave. | 780-433-4526

2. Though Fionn MacCool’s place serves traditional Irish favourites, you won’t have to worry about its allegiances — pub-goers will be cheering on Team Canada!
10200-102 Ave. | 780-424-4330

3. A dedicated sports bar, 1ST RND now has a location downtown and will always be close by for you to catch the latest Olympic event.
11248-104 Ave. | 780-428-7177

4. Guaranteed to be playing sports all the time, the friendly Kelly’s Pub will welcome you in with a pint as you hang around to catch up on the Olympic standings.
10156-104 St. | 780-451-8825

5. With many wide-screen TVs throughout the bar, you can see Olympic action from any angle at Schanks Sports Grill.
9927-178 St. | 780-444-2125

—Matthew Stepanic

Artful Grouping at Lando Gallery


“Canola Late Season” by Adele Knowler.

A collection of works will take over the Lando Gallery for the month of August and will feature artists Ruby Mah, Adele Knowler, and Karen Rieger. Mah’s vibrant abstract paintings are in private collections all over Canada, Knowler (pictured) is known for her landscape and figurative work, and Rieger creates whimsical still-life and figure paintings. —Lindsay Shapka

August Group Selling Exhibition | August 2 – 27
Lando Gallery | 10310-124 St. | 780-990-1161

Author Spotlight: Tracey Lindberg


Photo by Stacy Swanson.

At the outset of Tracey Lindberg’s debut novel Birdie, Bernice “Birdie” Meetoos, a Cree woman, resets her life, moving from her home in northern Alberta to Gibbons, B.C., on a quest to meet her teenage crush, Pat John of The Beachcombers. However, when her aunt and cousin join her, Bernice’s waking reality and dreamscape merge together as she’s forced to confront the trauma in her past.

Though this is her first experience writing a novel, Lindberg has won awards for her academic writing, and she teaches and practices indigenous law. Her prose doesn’t borrow much from the academic style, except for her ability to influence and challenge your perceptions through story. Birdie was a finalist for this year’s Canada Reads, where it fit tidily in the theme of “starting over”.

BirdieThe narrative moves forward in a nonlinear fashion, blending moments of Bernice’s past: her time in foster care, on the streets of Edmonton, and in a psychiatric hospital. Readers may feel unsettled in the story, but Lindberg binds it tightly together through the use of Cree poetics and story-telling traditions. Imbued with a dark and complex humour, the book’s a mindopening exploration of the consequences of sexual trauma and present-day First Nations issues. This shifting novel is a story of reconciliation — for Bernice and her past, and for Canadians living on indigenous lands and looking to renew relationships with its peoples. Bernice’s voice and story is a powerful and necessary challenge to colonial perspectives and indigenous stereotypes. —Matthew Stepanic

Buy a copy at local bookstore Audreys Books.

Exciting August Festivals in Edmonton


Photo by Jennifer Linford.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival | August 4 – 7
International stars of blues, Celtic, bluegrass, gospel, and world music perform at this open-air festival, where a hillside serves as a natural amphitheatre. This year’s headliners include Calexico, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Passenger.
Gallagher Park | 9411-97 Ave.

Cariwest Festival | August 5 – 7
Dance the song of life at this lively festival of celebrations, including a colourful costume parade, calypso competition, dance performances, block party, and steel band competition.
Various Venues

Animethon | August 5 – 7 
This annual event celebrates Japanese animation and design through workshops, gaming, costume contests, film screenings, and more. Special guests include Ladybeard, Misa Chiang, and AKIRA!
MacEwan University | 10700-104 Ave. | 780-497-5040

Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival | August 11 – 21
This alternative theatre festival is the largest of its kind in North America, featuring over 1,200 uncensored and non-juried shows and performances from over 200 theatre companies from around the world! Venues are located in the Old Strathcona area with roving street performers, beer gardens, delicious food, and great street shopping adding to the festive spirit. Now in its 35th year, the festival is celebrating its history with this year’s theme: That Was Then, This Is Fringe.
Various Venues

Edmonton Blues Festival | August 19 – 21
Top local and international acoustic and electric blues acts shake the house with everything from funk to zydeco. Hear popular blues musicians such as Shemekia Copeland, Paul Barrere, and Fred Tackett.
Various Venues

Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival | August 19 – 21
An intense series of Dragon Boat racing competitions on the North Saskatchewan River celebrate the city’s Chinese-Canadian community and the skills of several impressive athletes.
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park | 9999 Grierson Hill Rd. | 780-442-5311

Symphony Under the Sky | August 26 – 28
Enjoy some favourite familiar classical scores, contemporary hits, and Hollywood soundtracks at this annual outdoor music festival featuring the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Heritage Amphitheatre Hawrelak Park | 9930 Groat Rd. | 780-423-5311

Where to Watch Outdoor Movies in Calgary Summer 2016

We all love spending an evening watching a good movie, but on a beautiful, warm summer day it can seem wasteful to spend time indoors on the couch watching Netflix. Luckily there are a few outdoor movie screenings happening in Calgary this summer that combine the best of both worlds.

Illustration by Greg Doble, Courtesy CSIF

Illustration by Greg Doble, Courtesy CSIF


Dance to Psychedelic Tunes at Miike Snow in Edmonton

Miike-SnowRepresented by the strange and mythical jackalope — a jackrabbit with the horns of an antelope — Swedish indie band Miike Snow have a similarly strange origin story and iconic pop sound. They took the name of their band from a mutual childhood friend, who’d emailed them during a name brainstorming session, and added an i. You’ll feel like an “Animal” as you dance to the psychedelic tunes and next-level sound from their new album, iii.

Miike Snow | August 10
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square | 780-428-1414

WHERE Edmonton is giving away a pair of tickets to the concert! To enter to win, follow us on Twitter (@whereedmonton) and watch for tweets about the contest. Tickets will be drawn for on Wednesday, August 3.

Burgers & Shakes in Edmonton


The Vatican City burger at Burger’s Priest.

This combination is a classic for a reason, so satisfy those old-school cravings at one of these fantastic spots!

The Burger’s Priest
Sometimes, simplicity is best. At least, that’s the belief upheld by The Burger’s Priest, which cooks over a flat-top griddle and offers fresh, premium beef and simple toppings. Try the gooey cheese-stuffed breaded Portobello burger or brave the fiery bacon cheeseburger with crushed hot peppers. Or for a potentially religious experience, try your burger sandwiched between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Wash it all down with a Jarge-style (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry mixed) or black & white shake.
10148-119 St. | 780-760-0777

Delux Burger Bar
If you’re looking for a chic setting for your burger consumption, look no further. Delux gives its patrons a chance to dress up not only themselves, but their burgers too! Check out their online Burger Builder, which displays both the customizable options and their nutritional value. The restaurant prides itself on its environmentally sustainable Certified Angus Beef, to which you can add anything from creamy goat cheese to onion rings to buttered lobster. Then indulge in a three-scoop handcrafted milkshake, either virgin or spiked with whiskey, Kahlua, or schnapps.
9682-142 St. | 780-420-0101

The Downtown Diner
This casual dining restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan has a plethora of comfort food options. If you enjoy classics, the Downtowner burger includes brown-sugar bacon, smoked cheddar, and crispy onions. However, if you’re craving real comfort, choose the Meatloaf Burger with smoked bacon or the Shepherd’s Pie Burger with a crispy fried potato pancake. And no diner experience is complete without a milkshake — choices include chocolate cherry, pineapple, Rolo, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
10209-100 Ave., Fort Saskatchewan | 780-998-1435

Make sure you bring a big appetite! Particularly if you try the Triple Kingburger, which features one-and-a-half pounds of their juicy Alberta Angus beef and quadruple cheese, or even the veggie option loaded with guacamole, double Swiss, and a fried egg. The cooked-to-order burgers are beyond satisfying, but you’ll definitely still be tempted to add a thick and creamy milkshake (like a classic vanilla or fancier mocha java) to your order.
1755-102 St. | 780-469-8180

Jack’s Burger Shack
This family-owned business focuses on fresh food in both their St. Albert location and mobile shack. The ground beef and specialty buns are made and delivered daily, which they use to enhance their unique menu. Enjoy a beef patty topped with blue cheese, bacon, and fresh tomato relish, or try the mouth-watering poutine-inspired Quebecer (a classic patty topped with fries, cheese curds, and gravy). The unique milkshake menu includes such flavours as Cap’n Crunch, Darth Vader (vanilla and Coke), and Nutella.
15 Perron St., St. Albert | 780-458-0055

Jack’s Drive-In
The 50s have yet to go out of style at this iconic blast-from-the-past in Spruce Grove, where you can enjoy their extensive menu from atop a classic red stool! Try a tasty buffalo patty with BBQ sauce, Swiss cheese, and bacon, or a 99-cent teeny Buck Burger. Then get a large milkshake in one of the classic flavours or go for a rum and butter, licorice, or maple!
123 First Ave., Spruce Grove | 780-962-2727

The Next Act Pub
This casual pub just off Whyte Ave. offers juicy specialty burgers and a varied beer selection. Purists will enjoy the classic housemade patty with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, while the more adventurous can test out the PB&J (patty with crunchy peanut butter and housemade bacon jam) or the shrimp patty with sriracha tartar coleslaw. If you want to learn more about the secretive Cameo Burger, you’ll just have to drop by and find out for yourself!
8224-104 St. | 780-433-9345

Red Robin
This family restaurant has a burger for anyone and everyone! Options range from the garden burger with country Dijon sauce to a grilled turkey patty with zesty chipotle aioli to a beef patty with hardwood-smoked bacon and melted Pepper Jack. And you can’t go wrong by pairing your choice with a Monster Milkshake: a creamy classic (like vanilla, strawberry, or peach) with a bonus refill tin.
Multiple locations.

Rodeo Burger
A family-owned and -operated company, Rodeo Burger uses 100% Alberta Angus Beef, natural ingredients, and their own secret “rodeo sauce.” Choose a predesigned burger like the Western Burger with green chillies and guacamole or the Aussie Burger with a fried egg and pickled beets, or add your own veggies to a single or double patty.
8525B-112 St. | 780-435-6733

Soda Jerks
If you’re naturally indecisive, you may want to steer clear! Not only does Soda Jerks offer amazingly enticing choices like a burger with bacon, a fried egg, and hashbrowns or a beef patty with double bacon and chicken fingers, but you can create your own from an extensive list of options. Load up your chosen protein with a range of sauces and veggies and crazy fixings like chocolatedipped bacon, Doritos, and even gummy worms. Pair it with a classic milkshake like strawberry or peanut butter — or kick it up a notch by adding a shot of vodka, rum, or whiskey.
17520-100 Ave. | 780-486-5375

A Taste of the Tropics: Tropical Cocktails in Calgary

From tiki to tropical we’ve rounded up some fun tropical cocktails that will transform any day into a beach day. Whether you grab a coveted patio spot or not, you’ll be saying “aloha” to paradise.

Lava Bowl at Proof (more…)