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Cult Footwear


Photo courtesy Fluevog Shoes

With a dedicated fan following that includes celebrities such as Whoopie Goldberg, Jack White, and Madonna, Fluevog Shoes has returned to the capital with a new shop for Fluevogers. For over 40 years, this Canadian shoe designer has been crafting art-deco inspired styles that are as comfortable and functional as they are fashionable. Rush your comfort-craving feet over there as soon as possible: some Edmonton-only, limited-edition shoes (pictured) will be available only while supplies last!

Dean Brody: Beautiful Freakshow Tour

Dean-BrodyReady for a little bit country? Canadian country music artist Dean Brody is on his Beautiful Freakshow tour, and the city’s lucky to be one of the stops. The superstar has numerous awards under his belt, including the 2016 Juno Awards’ Album of the Year for Gypsy Road and several years as the Canadian Country Music Association’s Male Artist of the Year. Soak in the talent as Brody showcases an album that mixes in a little rap and reggae to push some of the preconceptions of country. Joining him are Canadian country singer Madeline Merlo and country group the James Barker Band.

Dean Brody | May 26 | $39.50–$65
Northlands Coliseum | 7424-118 Ave. | 1-855-985-5000

5 Unique Caesars


Illustration by Rudy Smith

Synonymous with summer and patio weather, this classic Canuck cocktail is Canadian culture for your taste buds! So dive into Canada’s favourite salty sip (with a unique twist!) at these local hot spots.

1) Tavern on Whyte boasts a loaded Caesar with a grilled cheese sandwich, boiled egg, pickle, asparagus, celery, stuffed olives & more!

2) Chartier uses Old Bay spice for their rims and tops their Caesar with home-made pickles and house-smoked meat.

3) Try 1ST RND’s Maple Bacon Caesar, which is mixed with a bacon vodka and maple syrup and garnished with bacon and asparagus.

4) MEAT makes their tasty Caesar with Buffalo Trace Bourbon and horseradish.

5) Available only on request, Black Pearl Seafood Bar’s signature Caesar comes with a crab claw!

Chris Hadfield’s Canada 150 Tour


Courtesy Chris Hadfield Inc.

After winning the hearts of people from across the planet with his entertaining videos from space, Colonel Chris Hadfield has become an international (and possibly intergalactic) sensation. Now a retired astronaut, Canada’s first spaceship commander will be sharing stories of the country’s history and future that promise to be out of this world on his Canada 150 Tour. His fun-loving singles—including “In Canada” and “Beyond the Terra”—are sure to give you a patriotic feeling! From the Canadian land and skies to the space beyond, this entertaining evening will have you re-imagining Canada’s role not only on the planet, but in the greater universe.

Chris Hadfield | May 15 | $45 – $79.50
Winspear Centre | 4 Sir Winston Churchill Sq. | 1-800-563-5081

Breakfast in the ‘Burbs


When that craving for eggs and waffles strikes, there’s no need to trek in to downtown Calgary — check out these five delicious places for breakfast or brunch in the ‘burbs.


The Bro’Kin Yolk
This friendly neighbourhood breakfast joint has become a favourite in north Calgary. Bro’Kin Yolk has the look and feel of a cool inner city restaurant but is located right in the middle of the suburbs and its bright atmosphere has made it a hit with families. But after all, who doesn’t love waffles, bacon, and eggs Benedict made from local ingredients?
130, 12580 Symons Valley Rd NW, 587-317-5743, www.brokinyolk.ca

Starbelly Open Kitchen & Lounge
Grab brunch at Starbelly Lounge where urban living meets the ‘burbs. This restaurant has a great modern atmosphere with an even better menu. Brunch on Sundays is “market style” — guests fill their plates from different stations set up around the restaurant. Snag a waffle, sausages, potatoes, eggs, mac and cheese, and many other options from 10 am – 3 pm every Sunday!
220, 19489 Seton Cr SE, 403-570-0133, starbelly.ca

Bennys Breakfast Bar

Bennys Breakfast Bar

Bennys Breakfast Bar
Hit up this one-of-a-kind diner with the family and indulge in everything brunch! The menu runs deep with over 10 kinds of eggs Benedict to choose from, along with other classic breakfast and lunch dishes and some more unusual options. The restaurant is designed like a classic ’50s diner and the décor is definitely the cat’s pajamas.
7007 – 11 St SE, 403-252-3443, bennysbreakfastbar.ca

Diner Deluxe (Aspen Landing)
This perpetually busy brunch hotspot is a hit with Calgarians living in the west end, so be sure to get there early or plan ahead and make reservations because there will be a line on the weekend! Try the breakfast poutine topped with your choice of double-smoked bacon, barbecue pulled pork, maple chicken sausage, or chorizo.
350 Aspen Glen Landing SW, 403-457-3000, www.dinerdeluxe.com

Cafe Le Matin
This small neighbourhood diner is the perfect place for a laid-back breakfast or brunch any day of the week. Fresh ingredients, great menu, warm atmosphere — there’s nothing not to like about this little gem. Dine cafeteria-style on comfort food like French toast, eggs Benedict with house-made hollandaise, and tasty soup and sandwich specials.
5720 Silver Springs Blvd NW, 403-247-6647

Ask the Expert: Les Clefs d’Or Corner (May/June 2017)

We asked Edmonton expert and Les Clefs d’Or Nella Mirante at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald for her advice about celebrating spring’s weather, holidays, and festivals in the city!

1. As the weather warms up, what spot would you recommend for a drink on a patio?
I love the patio at the Confederation Lounge! Sip on a refreshing Pomegranate Paloma or the citrusy Right Word while admiring the fantastic view of the blooming river valley below.

2. Where would you send a guest to buy a special gift for Mother’s Day?
My Mother’s Day shopping starts at LUX Beauty Boutique. Spoil your mom with a special package of indulgent bubble baths and hard-to-find beauty brands used by celebrities!

3. And what about for Father’s Day?
Head down 104 Street to The Helm, where you will be greeted by warm and welcoming associates who will help you find the perfect gift, including casual clothes and stylish accessories!

4. What festivals in May and June are your top recommendations for visitors?
My fave festival in May is the International Children’s Festival with tons of free and fun activities! In June, the Works Art & Design Festival showcases local artists and their creations throughout the downtown core.

5. What’s your favourite restaurant that’s opened in recent months?
I love the look and feel of the new Baijiu located in the historic Mercer Warehouse. My fave dishes are the Devilled Tea Eggs and Fried Bao Ice Cream Sandwich. Finish off with a Hennessy & Green Tea shot!

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.

Land of the Midnight Sun


Courtesy Gavin Lynch

One of the key disruptors in the art form of landscape painting, Ottawa-based artist Gavin Lynch surprises viewers with juxtaposed styles and elements in his work, such as fluid and sharply delineated forms. In his first exhibition with the Peter Robertson GalleryLand of the Midnight Sun, Lynch melds memory and imagination in each image. Fans of Steve Driscoll’s work at Peter Robertson last year—where the space was transformed into a lake—will not want to miss this event, as the gallery has a special installation surprise in store.

Land of the Midnight Sun | May 4 – 20
Peter Robertson Gallery | 12323-104 Ave. | 780-455-7479

Canadaland Guide to Canada: A Rude Book About a Polite Country


Illustration by Dan Buller, courtesy Canadaland

Illustration by Dan Buller, courtesy Canadaland

Jesse Brown, Canadaland podcast host and publisher, is inviting Canadians to learn more about their history beyond the inspirational narratives Brown says will be abundant during Canada’s 150th birthday year.

In his new satire and comedy book, The Canadaland Guide to Canada, he takes the reader on a journey through Canadian history, politics, and culture to shatter any illusions about Canada as a utopia of maple syrup and rainbows.

Brown promises the reader will find plenty of shocking, funny, and surprising things about Canada.

“It’s a very rude book about a polite country,” Jesse Brown says. “Of course what makes a country interesting is all the nasty stuff, which we’ve got plenty.”

Brown will be performing live across the country to promote the book. He says he doesn’t want to sit and read from his book while on tour, adding that since the book is visual, the show will be too.

He’s going to engage audiences with songs and stories about Canadian cities, amounting to what Brown describes as a “profane TED Talk.” Some fun facts will feature Canada’s first prime minister, John. A. MacDonald, who Brown says was a “raging, raging alcoholic.”

“He drank his way through a successful election campaign,” Brown says. “He was really a blackout drunk throughout his time in office. He was more drunk than most people, but everyone was drunk. It was really cold up here and everyone was hard drinkin’ — that’s the roots of the country.”

For those picking up the book, what really makes the proverbial cherry on top (or gravy on top of the poutine, if you will) is the book’s cover — a reproduction of a Dan Buller painting of Drake cuddling a moose, which is currently hanging in the Canadaland office. What’s more Canadian than that?

Jesse Brown is stopping in Vancouver (May 11), Victoria (May 12), Calgary (May 13), Saskatoon (May 14), Edmonton (May 15), Winnipeg (May 16), Montreal (May 20), Hamilton (May 23), London (May 24), and Kingston (May 26).

Alberta Ballet’s Our Canada


Courtesy Bottom Line Productions

If you could read Canada’s mind, many of its thoughts would be found in Gordon Lightfoot’s gorgeous folk songs. To honour its 50th season and Canada’s 150th birthday, Alberta Ballet will explore the country’s soul through some of this iconic songwriter’s most-beloved songs in Our Canada. Acclaimed choreographer Jean Grand-Maître has combined 30 superb dancers and impressive multimedia installations to portray some of Canada’s most significant moments in history with songs such as, “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” and “Sundown.” This inspiring ballet will encapsulate everything from our geography and diversity to the Indigenous cultures and our collective spirit that drive this country.

Our Canada | May 12 & 13 | $24 – $124
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-429-1000

Artist Spotlight: Hayley Wright

Hayley-WrightWHERE: Why art? What made you want to be an artist?
Hayley: Ever since I was little, art has always been a huge part of my life in one way or the other. It is really challenging to pursue art as a career, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

W: Do you have any professional training?

H: After I graduated from a specialized Fine Arts high school in Ontario, I studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. I also received my degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising from the Vancouver College of Art and Design.

W: What mediums do you work in/prefer?
H: I absolutely love experimenting with all sorts of mediums, and am constantly wondering how I can combine materials together in an unusual way. However, I definitely gravitate towards pencil, watercolour, and oil paints… oh, and glitter, of course!

Hayley-skateboardW: What is your favourite subject to paint/illustrate?
H: I love drawing portraits—specifically, girls and women who are both feminine and fierce. I also love incorporating elements from astronomy—stars, galaxies, and planets.

W: You recently started painting skateboard decks. Where did the inspiration come from?
H: I was getting a bit tired of always drawing on paper and wanted to try something completely new and unfamiliar. I also loved that this would make my artwork portable, and introduce my work to an entirely new group of people.

W: Where can readers view/purchase your work?
H: All of my work can be purchased online, and readers can follow me on Instagram.

James Marsters Reflects on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Legacy


James Marsters performs at Saskatoon Expo. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Expo)

James Marsters performs at Saskatoon Expo. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Expo)

When asked what he liked most about playing Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, James Marsters doesn’t hesitate: “Getting to mess with Sarah Michelle Gellar.”

Marsters says while Gellar was great to work with, he enjoyed having a bit of fun at the expense of the show’s lead. He adds that in Hollywood the lead actor or actress is usually treated like royalty on set, whether they’re nice people or not.

“When they called the beautiful word ‘action,’ I got to mess with her,” Marsters says. “I would constantly try and make Sarah forget her lines.”

Marsters breaks into the punk-rock vampire’s trademark British accent: “Hello love, I’m going to ruin your day.”

“I really enjoyed just messing with the poor girl.”

Spike was only supposed to be a short-lived character, but he became so popular with fans that show creator Joss Whedon was forced to keep him around. Spike became one of the most iconic characters in the beloved series, and stuck around until the series finale.

Marsters has a straightforward answer for why Buffy is still such an enduring part of popular culture, “Because it didn’t suck.”

He says the show owes its success to the great actors, Whedon’s genius and the team of talented storytellers. Many of the writers are now major power players in Hollywood, and work on all the big shows like Battlestar Gallactica, Lost and Mad Men.

Marsters says Whedon gave the writers the chance to take risks with their writing: “He asked writers to come up with their worst day, the day they don’t tell anyone about, that keeps them up at night. Their dirty little secret. And slap fangs on top of that pain and tell the world about it.”

He says the writing was packed with so much nuance, that sometimes it was a challenge to fit everything into a tight shooting schedule.

“Filming for me was constantly a question of ‘Are we getting what’s on the page to film?'” Marsters says. “That’s not that easy to do when there’s so much good stuff in the script. You’re basically at war when you’re filming and the enemy is time. Time always wins the battle and it’s heartbreaking when the script is really good, and you read through the script afterwards and think, ‘We didn’t achieve that one little flicker or interesting thing that was described.’ It’s painful.”

The show left a mark on television and pop culture, breaking the conventions of genre storytelling and weaving in powerful and realistic depictions of death, loss, love, addiction, abuse, and other issues alongside a fantastical plot filled with vampires, demons and other monsters.

Marsters says the show is still relevant today thanks to its portrayal of teenagers struggling with life’s most important questions.

“How do you make it out of your teenage years without giving up on the world and giving up on yourself?” Marsters says. “How do you get to the point in your life where you realize the world is really messed up, and your parents don’t know everything, and your teachers barely understand the subject matter? How do you decide to keep trying? It’s a struggle. I’m not a teenager anymore but I still struggle with that one. How do I not give up?”

One of Marster’s favourite episodes was “The Body,” where Buffy struggles with her mother’s death.

“All of the vampires and jokes and stunts were stripped out of it and you watch a teenage girl lose her mom,” Marsters says. “We all saw the characters were strong enough to stand on their own as people.”

After Buffy, Marsters remained a pop culture fixture, appearing in shows like Smallville, Torchwood and Caprica; being a voice actor for cartoons and videogames; and narrating the audiobooks for The Dresden Files detective novels. He’s also a member of rock band Ghost of the Robot, and a solo musician.

Marsters will be in town for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (April 27-30), and is playing an acoustic solo set at Cowboys on April 28.

“Calgary’s a real fun place to come to,” Marsters says. “I’m really looking forward to playing music in Calgary because you still love guitars. There are few places left in the world that appreciate guitars and Calgary’s one of them. LA’s not a place that is welcoming to six strings anymore. They’re more into drum machines and keyboards right now.”

His show will include music from all the way back to the first song Marsters ever wrote in New York City in the 1980s, music from Ghost of the Robot, and new songs that haven’t been recorded yet.

He says while he loves both music and acting, songwriting allows him to reveal a more personal side.

“It’s very scary but also very liberating to be that honest in front of a large group of people.”

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella


Photo by Carol Rosegg

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s contemporary take on Cinderella — the classic tale of a servant girl’s adventures with a pumpkin carriage, wicked stepsisters, a glass slipper, and a handsome prince — includes an incredible score, jaw-dropping transformations, and some surprising new twists. Be transported back to your childhood while you marvel over Cinderella’s beautiful gown for the ball, the strange but wonderful Fairy Godmother, and beloved songs like “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”

Cinderella | Through April 23 | $30-$106
Jubilee Auditorium | 11455-87 Ave. | 780-427-2760