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BalletBoyz’s Dance of Life & Death


Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

Ten male dancers unify power and sensitivity in the thrilling U.K. dance troupe, BalletBoyz. The Canadian premiere of this breathtaking work by internationally acclaimed choreographers Javier de Frutos and Pontus Lindberg creates a profound and gripping look into contemporary dance. In this performance, titled Life, the dancers’ superior athleticism create visceral stories that illustrate a conversation around life and death. You’ll walk — or dance — away both moved and provoked to see the world around you in a dynamic new way. Visit Alberta Ballet’s website for tickets.

Life by BalletBoyz | February 24 & 25
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 1-844-355-9494

Talent Spotlight: Sheri Somerville


Photo by Ryan Parker Photography.

When she was a young girl, Sheri Somerville went to a screening of The Sound of Music, and after she witnessed Julie Andrews dancing and singing up the hill, she knew she wanted to become a performer. “I saw my future and my whole head nearly exploded,” recounts Somerville. After several repeat viewings and sing-alongs, she discovered she had a strong voice, and her mother signed her up for music lessons.

After studying in several prestigious music programs in the country, Somerville’s career shifted when a musical director introduced her to obscure showtunes. They put together a revue for a nightclub act, and Somerville began to perform around the world in cities such as Paris and Hong Kong. However, once she had her first baby, she decided to return to Edmonton so her family could help raise her son while she continued her career. “As a woman who was raising two children while trying to have a career, Edmonton and the women and families in the community allowed me to have my career by keeping my children safe,” says Somerville. “I feel a debt of gratitude to give back to the city who gave me so much and allowed me to have a wonderful career as a performing artist.”

She describes her current role as the executive director for Citie Ballet as an “arts matchmaker.” “I reach out into the community and I bring in ideas,” explains Somerville. Though it may seem odd for someone who’s used to being centre stage to move to this background role, Somerville believes one influences the other. “It’s only because I’ve had a career in music with some dance and lots of theatre that I understand the dynamics of what’s necessary on stage to create something memorable and meaningful.”

Somerville still spends time in the spotlight though. On top of continuing to record new music, she regularly performs with Die-Nasty, the live improvised soap opera. “It’s hard for me to give up meeting some of the most talented people in Edmonton every night and playing together,” says Somerville. “It keeps me creatively sharp.”

Visit Citie Ballet’s website to learn more about their upcoming performance. —Matthew Stepanic

Winter Fun in Edmonton

Winter-Fun-TubingEmbrace the season with these cold-weather activities!

Skate Outside!
Lace up your skates and glide under the stars at one of the city’s free outdoor rinks!

Alberta Legislature | 10820-98 Ave.
Head to the back of the building where part of the grounds has been converted into larger rinks perfect for a pickup game of hockey!
City Hall | 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
The fountain in front of City Hall is converted into a skating rink that features music and light displays. Skate rentals are available.
Victoria Park Oval & IceWay | 12130 River Valley Rd.
Nestled in the River Valley, this protected outdoor rink is the home of the Edmonton Speed Skating Association, but is also open to the public. You can access the IceWay from the oval, which features a 3-loop skating trail that weaves its way through Victoria Park.
Hawrelak Park | 9330 Groat Rd.
Take a turn around the huge frozen pond in Hawrelak Park that is all lit up at night in the winter. There is a heated change room and skate rentals available.

Ski Hills & Trails
Whether it’s the thrill that comes with careening at break-neck speed down the slopes, or the quiet communing with nature that comes from gliding on cross-country skis that you are after, Edmonton can deliver both!

The Edmonton Ski Club (9613-96 Ave.), Rabbit Hill (25512 Township Rd., Leduc County), Snow Valley (13204-45 Ave.), or Sunridge Ski Area (10980-17 St.) will supply you with all the downhill thrills you ache for, while the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club will help you track down some perfectly groomed cross-country trails.

Go Sledding!
Grab a sled (and your inner child) and head to Emily Murphy Park (11904 Emily Park Road), Gallagher Park (97 Ave. and 92 St.), or  (2903-113 Ave.) for some of the best tobogganing in town!

—Lindsay Shapka

Interview with Edmonton Artist Emily Chu

Emily-ChuWHERE Edmonton: Why art? What made you want to be an artist?
Emily Chu: I look at art and design as a form of visual communication, as a challenge to balance between clarity and creativity. Being a visual person, I really enjoy these types of challenges. As well, I love to constantly experiment with different mediums and improve on my craft.

W: Did you go to school for art? Do you have any professional training?
E: Yes, I went to ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) for their Visual Communications program. I majored in Illustration.

W: What mediums do you work in/prefer?
E: Most of my commercial work is digital. However, I also have a background in painting, so I often paint with gouache.

W: What is your favourite subject to paint or illustrate?
E: A lot of my works are inspired by nature. Stylistically, I love working with colours, textures, and patterns. I tend to create images that are light-hearted and fun.

Emily-Chu-IllustrationW: What do you want to create that you haven’t yet?
E: So much! I’m always wanting to do more personal work — paintings, another graphic novel/zine, etc. I also love seeing my work on products, so I’m hoping to create a stationary set in the near future.

W: Where can readers view or purchase your work?
E: I sell my work in person at local markets, through my online store, and in various gift and comic stores in the city (Happy Harbor Comics, Vivid Print, TIX on the Square, to name a few). For updates of my markets/event listings, you can follow my Instagram: @heyemilychu, or you can visit my website to view my work and my online store.

Through the Lens


Photo by Curtis Trent

Innovative and provocative photography showing a vision of “the future” will be exhibited in this show that is a part of InFocus Photo 2017. The diverse techniques of 27 up-and-coming photographers from across Canada — including Curtis Trent, Kevin Tuong, and Laura Grier — will be on display that also takes place during the Exposure Photography Festival. View more details on the exhibit’s website.

InFocus Photo Exhibit | February 7 – 28
Front Gallery | 12323-104 Ave. | 780-488-2952

High-Heeled Hit in Edmonton


Photo courtesy Broadway Across Canada.

Struggling to live up to his father’s expectations, Charlie Price is trying to continue the family shoe business when Lola, a fabulous performer, shows up in need of some sturdy new stilettos. Inspired by true events, the Broadway musical Kinky Boots takes you from a failing gentleman’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan, and features songs written by award-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper. It is a celebration of the belief that you can change the world when you are willing to change your mind. To date, the musical has won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Choreography. Get your tickets here! —Lindsay Shapka

Kinky Boots | February 14 – 19
Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 1-866-540-7469

7 Stories from Edmonton’s Past

Joseph Henry Morris owned the first car in Edmonton. In 1904, Morris purchased a 1903 Ford Model A in Manitoba and brought it back to Edmonton by train. He was issued licence plate “No. 1”, but was responsible for constructing the licence plate himself. Morris was later taken to court for failing to display a proper licence plate, to which he argued that the broomstick placed vertically at the back of his car was sufficient to display his number. If the stories can be believed, he won the court case, but was issued a proper leather licence plate the following year.

A rapid population boom in 1907 left many Edmontonians living in tents because builders could not keep up with housing demands. Many of the descriptions of the “tent cities” from that time are very rose-coloured, due to a phenomenon called “boosterism,” in which settlers exaggerated amenities in order to attract more people to their neighbourhoods. Fort Edmonton Park’s “tent city” can be visited to see how people lived during this period.

Mail from Edmonton to St. Albert and surrounding areas used to be delivered via moose-drawn cart! Buffalo Bill Day, as he was known to townspeople, raised two orphaned moose in 1910, and the pair of moose — named Pete and Nellie — went on to pull his mail cart.

The first permanent traffic light was installed in Edmonton in 1933 at the corner of 101 St. and Jasper Ave. The light replaced a battery-operated one, which had to be held up by a police officer!

In 1938 the Al Rashid Mosque was built in Edmonton and became the first mosque in Canada. The land and money needed to build it was collected by a group of local women. Al Rashid Mosque has changed locations several times since then. In 1992, the original building was moved to Fort Edmonton Park, where it still stands as an important landmark of Edmonton’s history that can be toured by park visitors.

On April 29, 1947, children and teens marched down Jasper Avenue to protest the rise of the candy bar prices from 5 cents per bar to 8 cents per bar. Many of their signs read “don’t give way to inflation!” They weren’t successful — nor were their co-protesters in other Canadian cities — but their efforts will never be forgotten.

Canada’s first successful open heart surgery was performed at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton on September 18, 1956. Doctor John Carter Callaghan undertook the ten-hour-long procedure on ten-year-old Suzanne Beattie using a heart-lung pump as mechanically complex as a car. Dr. Callaghan went on to pioneer many other heart surgeries, including one that saved his own great-granddaughter’s life a few years later. He was also the co-developer of the world’s first cardiac pacemaker, and pioneered the use of cold-therapy during surgeries.

—Danielle Mohr

50+ Things to Do in Calgary this February

<small>Menu card from Valentine's dinner at the Hotel Palliser (now the Fairmont Palliser), 1935.</small>

Menu card from Valentine’s supper at the Hotel Palliser (now the Fairmont Palliser), 1938.

Whether the weather, get out of the house and shake off that cabin fever with some of the many arts, sports, food, and music events happening in Calgary this February (2017) — including Valentine’s Day romance.

The Audience
Through February 18
Get a glimpse into the private world of Queen Elizabeth II in this play that explores her relationship with Britain’s prime ministers.
Arts Commons, Max Bell Theatre, 205 – 8 Ave SE, www.theatrecalgary.com

Wait Until Dark
Through February 19
In this stage thriller, when a trio of men terrorizes a blind woman she discovers her blindness might just be her secret weapon.
Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115 – 9 Ave SE, 403-221-3708, www.vertigotheatre.com


The day of love has inspired local food producers to create some delicious goodies to tantalize the tastebuds.

Stop by Jelly Modern Doughnuts for heart-shaped maple bacon doughnuts, because “I brought you a bacon doughnut” is pretty much the same as “I love you.”
Available February 14 at 1414 – 8 St SW and 111- 5 Ave SW, jellymoderndoughnuts.com

Eau Claire Distillery and Cōchu Chocolatier have collaborated to create hand-crafted and hand-painted cherry gin chocolate bonbons that will warm your stomach to match your heart.
Available February 1 at select Calgary liquor stores and the Tasting Room at Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, www.eauclairedistillery.ca

In another tempting collaboration, Wild Tea Kombucha and Wild Rose Brewery have mixed up Blushing Brew, a limited edition kombucha beer. The blend is a colourful combination of hibiscus, rose petal and juniper berry kombucha with Cowbell sour.
Available February 8 at National Westhills, National 17th, Midtown Kitchen and Bar, Wild Rose Brewery & Tap Room, Cafe Koi, and Charcut Roast House, www.wildsparklingtea.com and www.wildrosebrewery.com

Through May 7
A group exhibition of otherworldly, surreal, magically figurative ceramic sculpture and illustrations, produced both individually and collaboratively, by seven contemporary artists.
Esker Foundation, 444, 1011 – 9 Ave SE, 403-930-2490, www.eskerfoundation.com

Calgary Flames Home Games
Calgary’s NHL hockey team at the Scotiabank Saddledome: February 1 vs Minnesota Wild; February 13 vs Arizona Coyotes; February 15 vs Philadelphia Flyers; February 28 vs Los Angeles Kings.
555 Saddledome Rise SE, 403-777-4646, www.calgaryflames.com

YYC Hot Chocolate Festival
February 1 – 28
Whether you like your hot chocolate as chocolate-y as possible, with a dash of booze, or a more unique version, you’ll be able to sip it all during this tasty festival. 77 different restaurants and cafes in Calgary have created 90 different alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot chocolates, and all proceeds are donated to Meals on Wheels. Go for a hot chocolate crawl around the city to try as many concoctions as you can! 
Various venues, see website for more information: yychotchocolate.com

Exposure Photography Festival
February 1 – 28
Exposure partners with most galleries in Calgary, Canmore, and Banff to dedicate space to showcasing the work of local beginner, amateur, and professional photographers. The festival also includes several workshops and additional activities.
Various venues, see website for more information: exposurephotofestival.com

Big Wreck
February 2
After re-forming in 2010 following an eight-year separation, the band has released three albums including 2017’s Grace Street.
Flames Central, 219 – 8 Ave SW, flamescentral.com

Bridge to Terabithia
February 3 – 18
This powerful adaptation, supported by a lyrical score, focuses the humor, warmth and emotional intensity of Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award winning novel.
Beddington Heights Theatre, 375 Bermuda Drive NW, 403-216-0808, www.storybooktheatre.org

Dierks Bentley
February 3
Known for songs such as “What Was I Thinkin’” and “Come a Little Closer,” the country music singer and songwriter has two platinum albums and 15 number one singles under his belt. He’s now touring his eighth and latest album, Black.
Scotiabank Saddledome, 555 Saddledome Rise SE, 1-855-985-5500, www.ticketmaster.ca

February 3 – 11
Anorexia is explored in this play about obsession, addiction and not wanting to get out of bed, with songs from 2013 Olivier Award nominated Caroline Horton.
Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115 – 9 Ave SE, 403-221-3708, www.vertigotheatre.com

Sam Roberts Band
February 3
The Canadian rock band’s newest album, Terraform, was release late 2016 and features a more psychedelic sound than previous records.
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, 1-866-943-8849, www.greyeagleresortandcasino.ca

February 3 – 4
The Canadian alternative dance musical duo’s sound is a mixture of drum and bass beats, grunge-like guitar riffs, and 2-step rhythms.
Flames Central, 219 – 8 Ave SW, flamescentral.com

February 4
The multiple Juno Award-winners are back with a new album, Morning Report, featuring the single “Private School.”
BMO Centre, 20 Roundup Way SW, 855-985-5500, www.ticketmaster.ca

Bubble Guppies Live
February 4
Dive into a bubbly world of learning and laughter with Nickelodeon’s Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock. Koba Entertainment is making a splash with its theatrical tour starring the lovable guppy friends. Featuring rockin’ music, comedic high jinks, and audience participation, the Bubble Guppies will leave no stone unturned and no bubble left un-popped in order to get the show on the road.
Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.artscommons.ca

Calgary Roughnecks Home Games
Calgary’s champion lacrosse team at the Scotiabank Saddledome: February 4 vs Saskatchewan Rush; February 12 vs Toronto Rock; February 18 vs Vancouver Stealth.
555 Saddledome Rise SE, 403-777-4646, www.calgaryroughnecks.com

February 4 – 10
Filumena, an Italian immigrant in a loveless marriage, finds passion in a forbidden affair. When faced with a lie, she finds truth in herself. This Calgary Opera new work (originally co-commissioned and produced with The Banff Centre), had its world premiere in 2003. It opened to rave reviews, and is now the most produced Canadian grand opera in history.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW, 403-262-7286, www.calgaryopera.com

Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience
February 4 – June 4
Set phasers to stun! Calgary’s science centre is recruiting Starfleet Academy cadets. “Career Day” at the academy tests your knowledge and skills — you’ll undergo a series of simulated science, engineering, medical, and command evaluations in nine different zones. Life-long and new Star Trek fans alike will have a blast discovering the science that shaped the final frontier.
Telus Spark, 220 St George’s Dr NE, 403-817-6800, www.sparkscience.ca

This is That Live! 150 Years of Canada
February 8
The hilarious improvised CBC radio comedy This is That is on the road again with a new version of their popular live show. Hosts Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring provide all the voices for this parody of public radio with made-up news. This edition parodies stories and important happenings from throughout Canada’s history.
Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.artscommons.ca

Dinner and a Movie
February 7 & 21
Enjoy a themed meal before watching a classic movie screened inside Gasoline Alley Museum in a mock drive-in set-up. Watch Casablanca on Feb 7 (alongside a meal that includes a “Here’s Cooking at You Kid” chicken dish) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Feb 21.
Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW, 403-268-8607, www.heritagepark.ca

Howie Mandel
February 9
In his more than 30-year-long career, Canadian comedian Howie Mandel has been everything from a game show host to a cartoon voice to a judge on America’s Got Talent. He also performs as many as 200 stand-up shows per year and is well known for his hilarious takes on current events and improvised reactions to audience members.
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, www.greyeagleresortandcasino.ca

Photography Film Series
February 9, 16
These films give insight on world class photographers and their work and stories. Check out Don’t Blink on February 9 to learn about the reclusive photographer Robert Frank and Suzy Lake: Playing with Time on February 16 to learn about a feminist Canadian photographer.
Glenbow, 130 – 9 Ave SE, 403-268-4100, www.glenbow.org

February 9
Can he get a witness? Canadian hip hop and alternative artist SonReal hits Calgary on tour for his latest EP The Name.
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, The Gateway, 1301 – 16 Ave NW, www.gatewaycalgary.ca


Ready for romance? These eight events will put a sparkle in your lover’s eyes.

Adults Only Night
February 9
Explore the future of love: can androids trick us into thinking they’re human? What’s the ultimate algorithm for love? A licensed bar will be available, along with music and access to Telus Spark’s galleries.
Telus Spark, 220 St. George’s Dr NE, www.sparkscience.ca

Valentine Ball
February 11
Treat your sweetheart to an elegant evening of dining, dancing and love stories at Calgary Opera’s Valentine Ball, a fundraising event in support of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program.
Fairmont Palliser, 133 – 9 Ave SW, www.calgaryopera.com

Valentine’s Day Comedy Extravaganza
February 11
Prove to your date that nothing’s more attractive than a great sense of humour at this night of hilarious stand-up comedy, including music and prizes.
North on Centre Showroom, 2820 Centre Street NE, funnyfest-valentine.eventbrite.ca

In the Heat of the Night
February 13 – 14
Enjoy a gourmet dinner in the Calgary Zoo’s Enmax Conservatory, followed by special presentations on courtship and mating the animal world — you might even learn a few moves!
Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Dr NE, www.calgaryzoo.com

Dave Kelly Live: Valentine’s Day Special
February 14

Enjoy a unique, Valentine’s themed live show experience packed with performances, interviews, games, stories, and humour. Special guest Paul Brandt will be joining Dave on stage.
Theatre Junction Grand, 608 – 1 St SW, davekellylive.com

Mate Nite
February 14
Take in a panoramic view of the city from the top floor of the Bow Building, along with dinner, drinks, and a silent auction, followed by a racy presentation on the sex lives of wild animals.
The Bow, 54th Floor, 500 Centre Street SE, www.eventbrite.ca

Valentine’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
February 14
Have a killer good time at Resort to Murder, an interactive murder mystery performance filled with wacky hijinks. Tacky tourist/resort wear is encouraged!
Fort Calgary, 750 – 9 Ave SE, www.fortcalgary.com

Wine & Chocolate
February 14
Aphrodisiacs, anyone? Find out which wines go best with chocolate by combining wines from ports to bubbles with mouth-watering, handcrafted chocolates from Calgary’s Old Coal Chocolates.
Willow Park Wines & Spirits, 10801 Bonaventure Dr SE, www.willowpark.net

Block Heater Festival
February 10 – 12
Twenty-five local, national and international roots, world music, funk and indie artists perform in concert and songwriter-in-the-round/collaborative sessions. Performers include Dojo Workhorse, Leonard Sumner, and Sykamore.
Various venues, see website for more information: www.calgaryfolkfest.com/block-heater

Drinking Habits
February 10 – April 16
Accusations, mistaken identities, and mysterious relationships run wild in this traditional, laugh-out-loud farce. What will happen when two reporters go undercover at a convent to catch wine-making nuns in the act? Enjoy a dinner buffet with the show.
Stage West Theatre Restaurant, 727 – 42 Ave SE, stagewestcalgary.com

Night at the Museum of Country Music
February 10 – April 16
The locals claim that if you happen to be passing the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame in the wee hours, you can hear the faint sounds of country stars past and present coming to life! Featuring hit songs from legends like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, and modern country stars like Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood. A four course meal is served during the performance.
Jubilations Dinner Theatre, 1002 – 37 St SW, 403-249-7799, www.jubilations.ca

The Heart Truth Calgary Fashion Show
February 11
Enjoy an evening of luxury, music and art inspired by the romance of the Renaissance-era. Heart & Stroke researchers will educate guests on the risks of heart disease and stroke by providing them with the tools to increase their knowledge of heart health.
Eighth Avenue Place, 525 8 Ave SW, www.eventbrite.ca

National Geographic Live: the Risky Science of Exploration
February 12 – 13
It takes a special kind of person to laugh about being stranded on a remote island, running out of oxygen in the Bahamas’ blue holes, risking it all to report on drug trafficking in the Caribbean, or chasing venomous snakes across both land and water. National Geographic’s 2011 Explorer of the Year Kenny Broad returns to Calgary with more stories of his triumphs, his tragedies, and his just plain weird experiences.
Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.artscommons.ca

The Exquisite Hour
February 13 – March 4
The year is 1962, the season is summer and Mrs. Darimont has boldy penetrated the pleasant backyard of bachelor Zachary Teale late in the afternoon, to politely ask him for an hour of his time. What ensues is a heartfelt, funny and touching play about a blossoming relationship, the pursuit of knowledge, and the discovery of hope.
Lunchbox Theatre, 160 – 9 Ave SE, www.lunchboxtheatre.com

February 14 – 25
On a crisp London evening, two former lovers from vastly different worlds find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desire. At times deeply personal, at times shockingly confrontational, this intimat play invites audiences to watch as embers of a broken relationship spark, ignite, and illuminate exciting possibilities.
Arts Commons, Engineered Air Theatre, 205 – 8 Ave SE, www.theatrecalgary.com

Life by BalletBoyz
February 16 – 18
The all-male company of ten dancers performs the Canadian premier of Life, which illustrates a raw conversation about life and death.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW,403-294-9494, www.artscommons.ca

Billy Talent
February 18
The band is touring in support of Afraid of Heights, their new studio album. The album, their first in five years, topped the Canadian Neilsen Soundscan Top Albums chart upon its release in late July, marking the fourth consecutive #1 album for the group. All ages.
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, 1-866-943-8849, www.greyeagleresortandcasino.ca

The Hockey Sweater
February 19
Narrated in concert by award-winning author Roch Carrier, this iconic children’s literary classic is so beloved a line from the story was once featured on the Canadian five dollar bill. Brought vividly to life with original illustrations from the book, the performance is part of Calgary Philharmonic’s Symphony Sundays for Kids series.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW, 403-571-0849, calgaryphil.com

Kinky Boots
February 21 – 26
Inspired by true events, this Broadway smash hit (presented by Broadway across Canada) takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. With songs by Grammy and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW, 855-985-5500, calgary.broadway.com

Behind the Scenes Tours
February 22, 23
In celebration of Glenbow’s 50th anniversary, these tours showcase not only the amazing material in Glenbow’s collection, but also the incredible people that work here. Discover some unexpected items deep in Glenbow’s storage areas with our knowledgeable technicians.
Glenbow, 130 – 9 Ave SE, 403-268-4100, www.glenbow.org

Cowtown Cabaret Featuring Prison Divas
February 23 – 26
Part of a cabaret evening including opera improvised with Twitter, jailbird divas get into trouble in this Orange is the New Black parody.
Festival Hall, 1215 – 10 Ave SE, www.eventbrite.ca

Dianne Reeves
February 23
With 30 years of music-making and five Grammy Awards under her belt, Dianne Reeves has soaked up influences and styles and tried them all. With improvisational prowess, Reeves blurs the lines from old-school scat singing all the way to the contemporary pop and R&B of today.
Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.artscommons.ca

Canadian Synchronized Skating Championships
February 24 – 26
Over 800 skaters will descend on Calgary to vie for national titles and the honour of representing Canada at the world championships.
WinSport, 88 Canada Olympic Rd SW, 403-247-5452, skatecanada.ca

Matthew Good
February 24
The Canadian alt-rocker recently released the album I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited, in which he recorded new versions of songs from his most memorable album. On this tour he will performs Beautiful Midnight in its entirety including the hits “Load Me Up” and “Suburbia.”
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, 1-866-943-8849, www.greyeagleresortandcasino.ca

The Star Keeper
February 24 – 26
A star falls from the sky and an adventure begins! Follow Pretzel, a funny little worm with a funny little face, as he journeys through a world inhabited by a spider who tap dances in the belly of a man, a mermaid playing hard to get, a temperamental baby and a dignified lady who is very, very old. Universal theatre without words, Théâtre de l’ Oeil returns to Calgary with a beautiful play that has toured the world over.
The Playhouse, 161, 115 – 9 Ave SE, 403-221-3708, www.vertigotheatre.com

Tom Segura
February 24
Known for his stand-up work and comedy podcast Your Mom’s House, Tom Segura is hitting the stage in Calgary on his international tour No Teeth, No Entry.
University of Calgary, MacEwan Hall, 2500 University Dr NW, www.ticketfly.com

Winefest Calgary
February 24 – 25
Attendees have the chance to sample a delicious array of wines from all over the world. Guests are also welcome to indulge in hors d’oeuvres and sample a variety of tantalizing bites from local businesses.
BMO Centre, 20 Roundup Way SW, www.celebratewinefest.com

February 28 – Mar 18
This one-actress performance explores the world through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl born into a polygamous community.
Arts Commons, Martha Cohen Theatre, 205 – 8 Ave SE, www.atplive.ca

A Red Carpet Affair
February 28
While celebrities in Hollywood will be dressing up for the Academy Awards, Calgarians will be dressing their best for this fun and elegant affair hosted by the Calgary International Film Festival. Place your bet on the films, actors, and actresses that will take home the awards (and enter to win prizes for getting the most right), enjoy food and drink, and then settle in to watch the awards show live on the big screen.
Arts Commons, Engineered Air Theatre, 205 – 8 Ave SE, www.artscommons.ca

Chef Spotlight: Andrew Cowan

Andrew-CowanFor Andrew Cowan, co-chef and -owner of Northern Chicken, there’s nothing else he’d rather do than cook, as it’s technically the only job he’s ever had. At 15, he started as a dishwasher on a golf course in Ontario and eventually worked his way up to cooking. “I wasn’t planning on being a chef when I was working there,” admits Cowan, “but I eventually started really loving it and having a good, fun time.”

Cowan says he enjoys working in a kitchen for the camaraderie: “I come from a sports background and [cooking] was a very team-orientated job — we won as a team, we lost as a team.” It’s fitting that after working as a chef for Packrat Louie and other restaurants, he’d team up with his good friend Matt Phillips to open this new fried-chicken-focused venture. “We’d worked together at Century Hospitality Group and we’re both really into fried chicken,” says Cowan. He believes the partnership works well because they come from slightly different backgrounds. “Matt’s spent a lot of time in the corporate sector, and I’ve done a few more independents,” explains Cowan. “Matt’s very good at the business side of things and that’s kind of my weakness.”

Why the bond over, and focus on, fried chicken though? It’s good, old-fashioned comfort food. “I remember eating Kentucky Fried Chicken with my grandma back home on weekends,” explains Cowan. “Those were good times and good memories.” Everything they serve at Northern Chicken — including the spice blends, mayos, and even the sweet pickles — is made from scratch except for the bread, which Cowan is hoping to create a program for later.

Cowan appreciates the support he’s received from the Edmonton community, as the fried-chicken concept began with pop-up nights at local restaurants. “I think it goes to show the dining scene in Edmonton is really coming along, and it’s more of a community than it used to be,” says Cowan. In turn, Cowan loves eating and exploring all that Edmonton has to offer. Among his top recommendations are Tres Carnales and the brunch at Workshop Eatery. “I enjoy trying all the places I can around town,” says Cowan, “There are so many awesome new places opening up, it’s hard to keep on top of them all.” —Matthew Stepanic

Where to Celebrate the Oscars (and Movies) in Calgary


A Red Carpet Affair hosted by Calgary International Film Festival

The nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards have been announced and the count down is on to the main event on Sunday, February 26, 2017. From celebrating the biggest night in Hollywood to enjoying a few movies in between, here’s a guide for movie and entertainment buffs in Calgary.


The Best of Edmonton’s Food Scene


The Ahi Tuna Twists at Nineteen.

Over the past few years, Edmonton’s food scene has been rejuvenated with new hot spots serving incredible possibilities beyond the usual steak and potatoes: artisan pastries, gourmet and locally sourced dishes, beautiful brunch specialties, craft cocktails, and more. Though these modern and internationally renowned restaurants may astonish (and please) return visitors to the city who were unaware of the city’s burgeoning food scene, it’s no surprise to Vinod Varshney, Program Chair of NAIT’s Culinary Arts, and the culinary teams he’s been coaching and winning international competitions with over the years.

Since 2004, the team has earned dozens of medals at competitions in Erfurt, Dubai, Singapore, and other culinary hubs in the world. “The proof is in the pudding,” quips Varshney, “when [Culinary Team NAIT] can compete against the best in the world and still come back with medals.” At the 2013 Hong Kong International Culinary Classic, Culinary Team NAIT took home 20 medals in total, setting a record for most medals awarded to a team at the competition!

Why have Edmonton and its chefs seen so much success on the world stage? Varshney offers a simple answer that comes down to the qualities required of a great chef: a dedicated practice, good attitude, creativity, and time-management skills. “These students do a lot of practicing,” says Varshney. “When there is a will, there’s a way. These students are hungry and very eager to learn.”

For someone who’s experienced so much recognition for his leadership and tasted cuisines from around the world, Varshney still finds many reasons to admire the chefs and restaurants in Edmonton. Among his recommendations are the contemporary regional dishes of Larry Stewart at Hardware Grill, the Indian delights of Deependra Singh at Guru Fine Indian Cuisine, and the unique and delectable creations of Frank Olson at Canteen.

Champion Chefs
The appeal of Edmonton’s food scene will continue to intrigue travellers from around the world, and you don’t have to follow the teams to competitions to taste some of their appealing dishes. To start your mouth watering, review this list of the award-winning chefs and restaurants in the city receiving national and international acclaim:

Daniel Costa
10th on enRoute’s 2011 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants | Eat his work at Corso 32

Andrew Fung
Former Culinary Team NAIT member | Eat his work at Nineteen

Eric Hanson
2016 Edmonton Gold Metal Plates Winner | Eat his work at Prairie Noodle Shop

Blair Lebsack
4th on enRoute’s 2014 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants | Eat his work at RGE RD

Jacob Pelletier
Former Culinary Team NAIT member & medal winner | Eat his work at Duchess Bake Shop

Lindsay Porter
2016 Canadian Food Champion in Steak | Eat her work at Woodwork

Shelley Robinson
Winner on Season One of Food Network’s Chopped Canada | Eat her work at Atlas Steak + Fish

Jan Trittenbach
2015 Edmonton Gold Metal Plates Winner | Eat his work at Solstice Seasonal Cuisine

Ask the Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (January/February 2017)


Photo by Jamie Tweedy of Tweedy Studios.

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for her advice about celebrating the new year and winter in the city!

1. Where do you send guests when they want a healthy meal?
Noorish Conscious Eatery features a menu that includes a variety of organic, local, raw, vegan, and gluten-free options bursting with flavour and nutrition! I highly recommend their handcrafted elixir Matcha Messiah, which is loaded with vitality.

2. Where can we escape the cold?
When I think of escaping the cold, I think of the Confederation Lounge at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The warmth of the lounge, the panoramic windows with views of our river valley and gardens, and the roaring fire are sure to keep you warm!

3. What is the perfect Edmonton gift for Valentine’s Day?
For Valentine’s Day, your only stop will be Sweet Lollapalooza! They carry perfectly handcrafted artisan chocolates with modern flavours. You will be tempted to sample a few of their creations yourself!

4. Are there any festivals or events that you are excited about?
One of my favourite winter festivals is Ice on Whyte, as there is something new to experience every day! Run, play, slide down the giant ice slide, be amazed by a professional ice carver, learn to create your own ice carving, meet ordinary people from our past, treat your ears to live music, or savour a hot beverage or craft beer.

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! You can find Nella at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.