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Alberta

Warm Cocktail Recipes to Heat Up Your Holidays

By RACHAEL FREY

Photo: Viktor Hanacek  / picjumbo.com

Photo: Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com

Calgary is notorious for its cold, blustery winters. While you might set out for the night in the mood for a cocktail, by the time you arrive at your destination a cold drink is the last thing on your mind. Luckily, Calgary’s savvy mixologists are on the case, creating delicious cocktails that are served warm enough to defrost your fingers and heat you from the inside out. And, if you get snowed in, they’ve kindly provided the recipes so you can re-create their inventions at home.

Nouvella Picante (Photo: courtesy Candela Lounge)

Nouvella Picante (Photo: courtesy Candela Lounge)

Nouvella Picante at Candela Lounge
The bar dominates the centre of the room at the elegant and exotic Candela Lounge. The menu reflects its global flair with a focus on small plates with a Latin twist, such as bison chorizo with caramelized onions, tomato and melted cheese curds or “Russian roulette”—six oyster shots, one of which is extra hot. That playful sense of flavour extends to the cocktail menu as well. Created by mixologist Darren Fabian on a frosty December night, the Nouvella Picante is a warm, sweet, rich drink that can be paired with dessert or just replace it entirely. As an added bonus, the espresso component will keep you dancing all night.
• 2 parts Amaretto
• 1 part Frangelico
• 1 part Zanin pepperocino
Add:
• 2 parts hot espresso in room temperature martini glass
Shake 1 oz vanilla syrup and 4 parts whipping cream over ice and double strain on top of liquid in glass to float. Garnish with coffee beans.
♦ 1919 – 4 St SW, 403-719-0049, candelalounge.com

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6 Spots for Coffee & Tea

linfordj_24

Photo by Jennifer Linford.

Nothing wards off the chill of winter winds like the perfect blend of roasted beans or dried tea leaves. You’ll feel like you’re carrying a talisman against the season with a cup from one of these spots in your hands!

1. Burrow
From the owner of the much-loved Elm Café and District Coffee Co., comes Burrow: the perfect grab-and-go café for travellers! Located conveniently in the LRT Central Station, you can pick up a craft coffee and a tasty breakfast sandwich before you head out to explore downtown.
810-10060 Jasper Ave. | 780-425-9991

2. Da Capo Caffe
An authentic Italian espresso bar, Da Capo offers the ambiance and flavours of Italy in Edmonton. Its coffee is made with traditional Italian espresso with none of the fuss: no syrup and no single-varietal espresso, just a bona fide cup of Italy.
8135-102 St. | 587-521-2276

3. Iconoclast Koffiehuis
When you enter this inviting coffee shop with its gorgeous repurposed woodwork, you’ll have a selection of seats to warm up at and sip your java. All of their coffee beans are roasted in small batches on site in a Has Garanti drum roaster, which allows for a careful, perfect roast every time.
11807B-105 Ave. | 780-705-7788

4. The Tea Girl
It may seem overwhelming to select from nearly 200 types of teas, but the friendly staff here have extensive training in tea culture and can help you find one suited for your taste! A life-long lover of tea, owner Sarah has built a welcoming tea community at her shop.
12411 Stony Plain Rd. | 780-732-4832

5. Cally’s Teas
This cozy tea shop will remind you of grandma’s house with its quaint 50s-style décor. With over 250 teas from around the world to select from, and savoury baked goods made in-house daily, Cally’s Teas will surely warm your body and heart on any chilly day.
10151-82 Ave. | 780-757-8944

6. Cha Island Tea Co.
With its pleasant atmosphere, Cha Island Tea Co. will make you believe you’ve been transported out of winter and in to an actual island café. And with live music from local bands most nights, you’ll find yourself escaping frequently to this relaxing eatery for a cup from its selection of over 100 loose leaf teas, or one of their sweet and savoury waffles!
10332-81 Ave. | 780-757-2482

—Matthew Stepanic

New Year’s Eve in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

NYE_post

Ring in the New Year at one (or more!) of these glittery events around Calgary.

Dance ’til You Drop
December 31
Every year, the City of Calgary hosts a free Family Dance Party at City Hall and Olympic Plaza. There are games, live entertainment, and some crazy dancing for all ages, and a countdown at 9 pm for little ones who can’t stay up until midnight. If you can’t wait to ring in the new year, there’s skating, fire pits, and live music to enjoy before the countdown.
• City Hall Municipal Building, 800 Macleod Tr SE, www.calgary.ca

Auld Lang Syne
December 31
Sometimes you have to go back to move forward. Travel back to a genteel era at Heritage Park’s Selkirk Grille, an inviting vintage dining room with a special menu by Chef Jan Hansen to welcome in 2015. Highlights include boudin blanc with braised Swiss chard, apple jus, crispy chicken skin and fire weed, and a choice between Alberta Heritage Angus beef and seared Red Spring Tofino salmon.
• Selkirk Grille, 1900 Heritage Dr SW, 403-268-8607, www.heritagepark.ca

Party Like an Animal
December 31
Zoo Year’s Eve is a beloved family-friendly tradition in Calgary. Festooned with more than 1.5-million twinkling lights, the Calgary Zoo opens its gates to revellers of all ages with a fireworks display, bonfires, hot chocolate and live entertainment, plus a Kids Zone with fun and games for little ones.
• Calgary Zoo, 1300 Zoo Rd NE, 403-232-9300, www.calgaryzoo.com

Exit Stage Left
December 31
Eat, drink and be merry on New Year’s Eve at Jubilations Dinner Theatre, where the fun is going all night with a performance of the three-act musical comedy Pirates of the North Saskatchewan, a four-course dinner, special late night buffet, DJ and dancing after the show, and—of course—champagne.
• Jubilations Dinner Theatre, 1002 – 37 St SW, 403-249-7799, calgary.jubilations.ca

Waltz in to 2015
January 1
Join an all-star cast of European singers and dancers, as well as a full orchestra, to greet the new year Viennese-style at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s Concert Salute to Vienna. The concert will feature uplifting melodies from famous operettas, including Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow, along with polkas and Strauss waltzes.
• Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-571-0849, www.cpo-live.com

6 Places for Gourmet Gifts to Go in Calgary

By STEPHANIE ARSENAULT

Macaron cakes by Yann Haute Patisserie (Photo: Blair Hill)

Yann Haute Patisserie (Photo: Blair Hill)

‘Tis the season for dinner parties, holiday get-togethers, and festivities galore, which also means you’ll be picking up host and hostess gifts on the regular. If your go-to gift is a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, it may be time to change up your game plan and opt for something just a little more delicious—and ready to eat—for your foodie friends. Here are six spectacular spots for gourmet gifts this season:

YANN HAUTE PATISSERIE
You can’t go wrong with chocolate, and the Five Ways Chocolate Tart from Yann Haute Patisserie features chocolate short bread dough, passion fruit and dark chocolate baked custard, chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, and chocolate glaze. It must be ordered in advance, but it’s perfect for a small dinner party or to give to your host to enjoy on their own. Day-of, try a selection of macarons like the Black Forest Macaron: chocolate mousse and black cherry jelly, kirsch bavaroise, and amaretto cherries. Délicieux, non?
• 329 – 23 Ave SW, 403-244-8091, yannboutique.com

Red Tree Catering (Photo: Blair Hill, courtesy Red Tree Catering)

Red Tree Catering (Photo: Blair Hill, courtesy Red Tree Catering)

RED TREE CATERING
Marda Loop’s Red Tree Catering creates seasonal bites that manage to have both a sophisticated and homemade appeal. Choose from individual desserts, like cheesecakes, petite cakes, and crème brûlée; or, pick up a cake or pie that serves eight to ten people. The folks over at Red Tree generally prefer that orders are made 48 hours in advance, but they do have ready-to-go goodies in store so you can certainly just pop in to pick up your gift en route.
• 2129 – 33 Ave SW, 403-242-3246, www.redtreecatering.com

Janice Beaton Fine Cheese (Photo: courtesy Janice Beaton Fine Cheese)

Janice Beaton Fine Cheese (Photo: courtesy Janice Beaton Fine Cheese)

JANICE BEATON FINE CHEESE
Janice Beaton Fine Cheese has a ton of great gift baskets, like the Trio Burlap Bag—a simple-but-delicious package of three gourmet cheeses and Paris Toast crackers or Savoury Crisps. Or, go all out and opt for the Simply Abundant basket, which includes nine cheeses, two types of crackers, a house-made condiment, almonds, dried fruits, and a cheese knife for $150. Can’t decide? Get creative and pick out some cheeses and preserves for a delicious DIY gift.
• 1017 – 16 Ave SW, 403-229-0900, www.jbfinecheese.com

Ohh La La Patisserie (Photo: Stephanie Arsenault)

Ohh La La Patisserie (Photo: Stephanie Arsenault)

OHH LA LA PATISSERIE
Ohh La La Patisserie serves an assortment of traditional French desserts and pastries, including their to-die-for macarons. Choose from flavours like lychee and raspberry, pistachio, lavender and milk chocolate, lemon velvet, and blackberry—or try out one of their seasonal flavours. Macarons can be purchased individually or in boxes of six or 12. Or, keep it simple and bring some of Ohh La La’s famed maple croissants for your host to enjoy with coffee the next morning.
• 8561 – 8A Ave SW, 587-353-0111, ohhlalapatisserie.com

Wilde Grainz Artisan Bakery (Photo: courtesy Wilde Grainz Artisan Bakery)

Wilde Grainz Artisan Bakery (Photo: courtesy Wilde Grainz Artisan Bakery)

WILDE GRAINZ ARTISAN BAKERY
At Inglewood’s Wilde Grainz, you’ll find fresh, seasonal ingredients incorporated into some of the best artisan baking in the city. Opt for one of their cakes or tarts if you’re bringing something to serve, or simply pick up a handful of individual treats as a sweet gift to your host or hostess. Don’t forget to grab one for yourself while you’re at it! Plan ahead by visiting their website and checking out their pastry schedule so you know what’s available.
• 1218 – 9 Ave SE, 403-767-9006, wildegrainz.com

Mercato (Photo: Stephanie Arsenault)

Mercato (Photo: Stephanie Arsenault)

MERCATO
A visit to Mercato’s Market is like a trip to Italy for your taste buds, but without the long flight. Choose from delicious Italian treats like biscotti, tiramisu, or cannoli, or, opt for something savoury like an assortment of olives, cheeses, and meats. If you want to go all out, pick up a fresly-baked baguette, a container of bruschetta, a bottle of olive oil, and some vine-ripened cherry tomatoes imported from Sicily.
• 2224 4 St SW, 403-263-5535, www.mercatogourmet.com
• 873 85 St SW, 403-685-0460

5 Spots to Grab a Bite in the West End of Edmonton

burger1. Cactus Club Café
An import from the B.C. coast, Cactus Club Café’s menu is designed by the first Canadian to win Iron Chef America, Rob Feenie. His innovative dishes will delight the senses, especially when partnered with a signature cocktail or martini.
West Edmonton Mall | 8882-170 St. | 780-489-1002

2. Guru Fine Indian Cuisine
Butter chicken samosas, shrimp pakora, chana masala — if your mouth’s watering just from hearing the names of those dishes, you’re probably an Indian-food veteran. But if not, Guru’s the perfect place to start, or heighten, your experience as the restaurant prides itself on preparing some of the finest Indian cuisine in Edmonton with its highly trained and award-winning chefs.
17021-100 Ave. | 780-484-4300

3. 1ST RND
With over 75 brands of beer, this bar is perfect for meeting fellow Oilers or Oil Kings fans! And you’ll feel like you belong in the City of Champions if you manage to finish 1ST RND’s The Great One: two all-beef patties, double cheddar, and double bacon all between two grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches.
West Edmonton Mall | 8882-170 St. | 780-487-4600

4. Ban Thai Restaurant
True flavours of Thailand shine in each dish at Ban Thai — from hot sour soup to pad thai to creamy coconut red curry — as the family-owned restaurant draws from its recipes passed down through generations in Thailand.
15726-100 Ave. | 780-444-9345

5. Soda Jerks
Soda Jerks is a classic burger-joint experience, complete with your choice of a dozen bottled soda brands and over twenty flavours of milkshakes — which you can upgrade by adding a shot of booze! Build the best burger based on your own tastes by picking from over 50 toppings, including Doritos, mini donuts, and gin & bacon sauerkraut.
17520-100 Ave. | 780-486-5375

Matthew Stepanic

20 Holiday Things to Do in Calgary Under $20

Zoolights 2

Zoolights at Calgary Zoo is one of the many holiday activities to enjoy in Calgary.

You don’t have to be a Scrooge this Christmas: get in the holiday spirit with these 20 holiday activities in Calgary that each cost less than $20! Enjoy!

1. Christmas in Inglewood
When: December 6, 13, 20
Where: Community of Inglewood
Cost: Free!
Enjoy special events, free parking, festive window displays, an holiday lights as you shop the unique boutiques in Inglewood for creative gift ideas. Be sure to check out new-to-Inglewood businesses The Nash Restaurant & Bar and Lauren Bagliore Concept Shop.
More Info: calgary-inglewood.com/events

2. Spruce Meadows Christmas Market
When: November 21-23, 28-30
Where: Spruce Meadows
Cost: $10; Seniors and Children 12 and under are Free
A reindeer petting zoo, elaborate light displays, hot chocolate and international food kiosks, fire pits, live music, and holiday entertainment make a visit to this shopping market fun for everyone.
More Info: sprucemeadows.com/christmas_market.jsp

3. Zoolights
When: November 21 – January 3, 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: Calgary Zoo
Cost: $14 General Admission; $11 Child (3-15)
See some unique animals at the Calgary Zoo… ones made out of coloured lights! Bundle up and stroll the elaborate outdoor light displays while enjoying ice skating, a visit with Santa, children’s activities, and carols.
More Info: calgaryzoo.com/events-activities/special-events/zoolights 

4. Once Upon a Christmas
When: Weekends November 22 – December 21, 9:30 am – 4 pm
Where: Heritage Park Historical Village
Cost: $8.50 Adult; $7.50 Senior; $6.50 Youth (7-14); $5.50 Child (3-6)
Nothing feels more traditional than a day at Heritage Park for Christmas and Hanukkah crafts and activities, gift shopping, antique photos, sleigh rides, theatre, and homemade treats.
More Info: heritagepark.ca

5. Christmas Art & Craft Shows
When: Weekends November 27 – December 21
Where: Various Venues
Cost: Free – $7 per Adult
Shop for unique, locally-made gifts at Calgary’s art and craft shows including the Festival of Crafts (Nov 27 – 30), Eau Claire Winter Market (Nov 29 – 30), A Merry Market Collective (Dec 5-7, 12-14, 19-21), The Vixens of Vintage Market (Dec 6), and A Merry Makers Market (Dec 6-7).
More Info: where.ca/alberta/calgary/shop-calgary-seasonal-markets-craft-shows

6. ‘Twas the Night
When: Thursday, November 27, 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Where: The CORE
Cost: Free! Donations to the YMCA are accepted.
Shop ’til you drop and get a head start on Black Friday sales at this after-hours shopping party. TV personality Tanya Kim hosts the red carpet and there will be festive music performed by jazz musician Matt Dusk. Stores will offer one-night-only specials and discounts so you can shop for everyone on your list. Plus… valet parking is even free!
More Info: coreshopping.ca/events/core-twas-the-night-2014

7. Christmas in Kensington
When: November 29, December 6, December 13, December 20
Where: Various Venues in Kensington
Cost: Free! (Except for some movies at Plaza Theatre)
Christmas festivities abound in this eclectic Calgary neighbourhood: Enjoy a pancake breakfast, hay wagon rides, tree lightening ceremony, carollers, and a visit from Santa on November 29; A petting zoo, photos with Santa, and a screening of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas at Plaza Theatre (FREE!) on December 6; Late night shopping, shopping tours, and a visit from Santa on December 13; Christmas tree karaoke, Ugly Sweater Red Carpet Event and a screening of Love Actually at Plaza Theatre ($15 for both).
More Info: visitkensington.com

8. Hawkers Holiday Feast
When: November 29, 6 pm – 12 am
Where: Test Kitchen, 1436-8th St SW
Cost: $10
The food-and-drink party returns to Calgary for a seasonal edition in support of the Calgary Food Bank. Music, beer, food trucks, and a whole lot of fun. The focus is on the food as you get to sample an assortment of vendors’ most popular dishes as well as some limited-edition seasonal offerings.
More Info: hawkersmarket.com

9. Lions Festival of Lights
When: November 29 – January 8, 6 pm – 12 am
Where:  14 St NW, South of 24th Ave
Cost: Free!
Where: Calgary’s beautiful Confederation Park is covered in light displays that are free to view. Walk or drive by.
More Info:lionsfestivaloflights.ca

10. With Bells On
When: December 1 – 24
Where: Lunchbox Theatre
Cost: $25 Adult; $20 Senior; $20 Student
When an uptight, recently divorced accountant and a drag queen dressed as a Christmas tree get stuck in an elevator together, they forge an unlikely friendship in this hysterical, heart-warming play.
More Info: lunchboxtheatre.com

11. Lougheed House Christmas
When: November 28 – December 21
Where: Lougheed House
Cost: $8.50 Adult; $6.50 Student/Senior; $5 Child; $25 Family
Enjoy a traditional Christmas at this beautiful historic site with live music, crafts, holiday lights, complimentary hot cider and homemade cookies, a gingerbread house competition, and a visit from Victorian Santa. In honour of the WWI Centennial this year, there will be WWI-themed activities the weekends.
More Info: lougheedhouse.com

12. Christmas Cooking Classes
When: December 4, 11, 18, 12 pm – 1 pm
Where: ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen
Cost: $20
These lunch-and-learn sessions include lunch, a demonstration on how to make the dish, and a take-home recipe. December’s classes include a course on how to make Holiday brunch using holiday dinner leftovers, Holiday Hors d’ouvres, and Christmas dinner alternatives to turkey and mashed potatoes.
More Info: atcoblueflamekitchen.com

13. A Merry Market Collective
When: December 5 – 7, 12 – 14, 19 – 21
Where: Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 – 1 St SW
Cost: $5; Free for children (12 and under)
This isn’t your typical craft fair! Here, Calgary’s crafty DIY crowd sells handmade, Pinterest-perfect and Instagram-worthy creations. Shop for gift ideas and holiday decor, and take a break to enjoy food trucks, gift wrapping, and Market Collective’s popular photo booth.
More Info: marketcollective.ca

14. Family Christmas Movies
When: December 6, 13, 20, 11 am
Where: Cineplex Theatres
Cost: $2.50
Enjoy some classic holiday films on the big screen that will put you in the Christmas spirit with laughter and whimsy. Movies in this series are: A Christmas Story, The Polar Express, and Fred Claus.
More Info: cineplex.com/Events/FamilyFavourites

15. Festival Chorus: Christmas in Venice
When: December 6, 8 pm
Where: Knox United Church
Cost: $22 Adult; $18 Senior; $18 Student; $12 Child
We all know that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear! Experience the magic and glory of the Christmas season from historic Venice with rhythmic and memorable melodies by Vivaldi, Palestrina, and Schubert, as well as some Italian folk carols. Plus, the audience sing-a-long will include classic holiday favourites.
More Info: epcorcentre.org

16. Teddy Bear Toss
When: December 7, 4 pm
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
Cost: $17.50 – $22.50
The Calgary Hitmen WHL team host the Moose Jaw Warriors for this annual spectacle. When the Hitmen score their first goal, the audience showers the ice with teddy bears which are then donated to children’s hospitals and charities. Even Jimmy Kimmel gave some attention to last year’s game!
More Info: hitmenhockey.com

17. Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
When: December 12, 6 pm
Where: ​9511 Horton Rd SW, Gravel Parking Lot on Horton Rd behind The Brick & Schanks
Cost: Free! Food bank donations accepted.
The Holiday Train is coming through town! The 1,000 foot long train has 14 rail cars brightly decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs.When the train stops, there is a half-hour performance of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs by Odds (you’ll recognize their song “Happy Place” from Corner Gas) and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy.
More Info: cpr.ca/en/community/holiday-train

18. Christmas Sleigh Rides
When: December 20 – January 1, 10 am – 4 pm
Where: Horsin’ Around Trail Rides
Cost: $10 Adult; $8 Children
Go dashing through the snow in a cozy horse drawn sleigh with Horsin’ Around Trail Rides. When you’re done your ride, enjoy a pony ride, petting zoo, and tobogganing.
More Info: horsinaround.ca

19. Christmas with New West
When: December 20, 7:30 pm
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall
Cost: $16.05 – $22.10
New West Symphony and Chorus, a 100-member choir and orchestra, presents an upbeat and moving performance of new and classic Christmas songs. Sing along and enjoy the sounds of the season!
More Info: epcorcentre.org

20. It’s a Wonderful Life
When: December 20, 22, 24
Where: Cineplex Odeon Crowfoot Crossing
Cost: $6
This classic, heartwarming holiday movie is a holiday tradition for many—now see it in all it’s glory on the big screen! You know the plot: an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
More Info: cineplex.com/Events/ClassicFilmSeries

5 Dim Sum Restaurants in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

Shumai (front) and chiu-chao fan guo at Silver Dragon Restaurant. (Photo: Laura Johnston)

Shumai (front) and chiu-chao fan guo at Silver Dragon Restaurant. (Photo: Laura Johnston)

Steaming pots of tea, the chatter of happy diners, and carts groaning under the weight of mouth-watering foods—dim sum is a dining experience unlike any other.

For the uninitiated, here’s how it typically works: diners are seated at an already set table with a pot of tea. Servers circulate throughout the room with wheeled carts loaded with different types of dishes and stop at each table. If you see something you want, they’ll leave it on your table and check it off on your order slip. It pays to be adventurous with your selections! The restaurants listed below are some of the best places in Calgary to indulge in a traditional Chinese dim sum feast.

Tips for Enjoying Dim Sum

• The dishes are meant to be shared by the whole table family-style rather than each individual ordering their own.

• Each place setting gets a small bowl and a small plate. The bowl is for eating out of and the plate is for discarding bones or other stuff you don’t want to eat.

• While chopsticks are standard, it’s okay to ask for a fork if needed.

• When the teapot is empty, turn the lid upside down and place the pot near the edge of the table to signal that you need a refill.

• If you spot something you want on a cart across the room, it’s acceptable to walk over to the cart to be served rather than waiting for it to come to you.

• If you want something particular and don’t see it on the carts, just ask—most places are willing to have the kitchen make it for you.

• It’s fine to ask for a to-go container for leftovers. Diners will often order quite a bit more than they can eat with the intention of taking the extras home.

Silver Dragon Restaurant
Arrive before noon, as the dining room fills up quickly and the line to get in to this second-storey restaurant can go all the way downstairs to the street. They have the standard dim sum offerings such as ha gow (a shrimp-filled dumpling with a translucent wheat starch wrapper) and shumai (an open-topped dumpling filled with pork), as well as some less common options like hatosi, a small piece of toast coated with minced shrimp and deep-fried.
• 106 – 3 Ave SE, 403-264-5326

A server dishes up steaming packets of sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves at Silver Dragon Restaurant. (Photo: Laura Johnston)

A server dishes up steaming packets of sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves at Silver Dragon Restaurant. (Photo: Laura Johnston)

U & Me Restaurant
If you’re struck by a sudden dim sum craving at 2 am, head straight to U & Me. Open from 8 am to 4 am, it’s one of the few places in Calgary to get any meal that late, let alone dim sum. Don’t miss the deep-fried shrimp dumplings served with a dollop of mayonnaise or the zhaliang, fried dough wrapped in a flat sheet of rice noodle.
• 223 Centre St S, 403-264-5988, www.uandmerestaurant.ca

Dragon Chinese Restaurant
This relative newcomer to Calgary’s restaurant scene opened in 2013. The décor is impressive, with plenty of red, gold and—naturally—dragons. Rather than choosing from carts, customers simply check off the dishes they want on a list and servers bring it out from the kitchen. Try the steamed buns stuffed with crabmeat paste, and for dessert, the “wolfberry jello” made with goji berries and lychee.
• 200, 118 – 5 Ave SE, 403-718-0088, dragonchinese.wordpress.com

Regency Palace
Located on the upper floor of the Dragon City Mall, this large dining room serves up dim sum from the traditional carts as well as buffet style. If you’re tired of waiting for the carts to come around, just go up to the buffet and pick out what you want (remember to bring your order slip so the buffet attendant can check off your selections).
• 335, 328 Centre Street S, 403-777-2288, www.regencypalacerestaurant.com

Ginger Beef Bistro House
Don’t let the name fool you—the dim sum is authentic here. The clean, contemporary restaurant also offers an additional perk in that you can watch the chefs at work in the kitchen through a large window. They’re known for their ginger beef (of course), Peking duck, and xiaolongbao, a difficult-to-make Shanghai style dumpling filled with soup.
• 400, 388 Country Hills Blvd NE, 403-265-1616, www.gingerbeef.com
• 9629 Macleod Tr SW, 403-271-2233

20 Holiday Activities in Edmonton Under $20 in 2014

Celebrate the season throughout December at the Alberta Legislature!

1. Celebrate the Season
Cost: Free!
Where: Alberta Legislature Building, 10800-97 Ave.
When: December 4 – 23
About: The first day of this month-long event features a choir performance and the Premier’s ceremonial turning on of the colourful lights outside the Legislature buildings. During the rest of the month, guests can enjoy afternoon and evening choir performances and hot chocolate when visiting the Legislature rotunda.
More info here!

2. All Is Bright on 124 St.
Cost: Free!
Where: 125 St. and 102 Ave.
When: Saturday, November 22, 3 pm – 8 pm
About: Celebrate the coming of winter with a stunning showcase of fashion, food, and entertainment on 124 St. Enjoy holiday-themed storefront displays, hot holiday drinks and food truck specialties, live music, sleigh rides, and a pop-up Christmas market to start your holiday shopping!
More info here!

3. Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up
Cost: Free!
Where: Churchill Sq. Downtown
When: Saturday, November 15, 4 pm – 7 pm
About: Kick off the festive season with activities and entertainment for the whole family, including free balloon artists and face painting, stilt walkers, mascots and carollers, singers and musicians. Santa himself will be around to light up the majestic 72-foot tree adorned with more than 14,000 LED lights, cascading snowflakes and stars, followed by an impressive fireworks display.
More info here!

4. Luminaria
Cost: $11.50 Adult; $9.50 Senior; Children 7-12 $6.25; Children 6 and under are free
When: December 6 & 7, 5 – 9 pm
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Thousands of hand-lit candles sparkle along the paths of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. Strolling singers, ice sculptures, hot apple cider at the bonfires, illuminated Snow Sprites. An enchanting display! Call for tickets 780-987-3054 ext. 2223 to avoid lineups or order them online.
More info here!

5. Festival of Light
Cost: $9.50 Adult; $5.50 Child; $30 per Family
When: December 5 – 14, 5 – 10 pm
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo
About: The Festival of Light will stage a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations, live music, dancers, skating, and animal encounters within the unique setting of the zoo. Be sure to check out the gift shoppe, cafe, zoo school, multi-purpose room, and The Wander pathway.
More info here!

6. Cory Christopher Christmas Market & Holiday Workshops
Cost: Free to browse the market; prices vary for workshops and special events
When: November 1 - December 23
Hours: Tues – Wed 10 am – 5 pm; Thu 10 am – 9 pm; Fri 10 am – 5 pm; Sat – Sun 10 am – 5 pm; Closed Mon
Where: 10914 105 Ave. (alley entrance)
About: A treasure trove of yuletide delights awaits shoppers, showcasing the talents of local and Canadian artists and designers. Enjoy freshly brewed apple cider as you find the perfect holiday gifts, accents for your home, and of course something special just for you! Special events and creative workshops take place throughout the market; get creative and get in the spirit of the season!
More info here!

7. Theatresports Improv
Cost: $12
When: November 7, 14, 28, December 5, 12, 19
Where: Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Ave.
About: Edmonton’s renowned improv comedy troupe Rapid Fire Theatre performs Theatresports weekly, where teams of talented improvisers do their best to win over the audience in a series of improv challenges. Shout out your suggestions and watch a scene evolve — you never know what they might say or do, but they will make you laugh! And with the holidays on everyone’s mind, you’re sure to witness a few pokes at Christmas classics or holiday traditions.
More info here!

8. Candy Cane Lane
Cost: Free, though donations for the Edmonton Food Bank are accepted and appreciated. Extra fee for sleigh rides.
When: December 12,2014 – January 4, 2015
Where: 148 St. between 100 Ave. & 92 Ave.
About: Grab a hot chocolate and take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane — a ten-block stretch of impressive residential displays of colourful Christmas lights and decorations. Or, see the sights while taking a festive sleigh ride!
More info here!

9. Festival of Trees
Cost: $10 Adult, $5 Senior (65+), $5 Youth (13-17), $2 Children (2-12), Infants under 2 are free
When: November 27 – 30
Where: Shaw Conference Centre, 9797 Jasper Ave.
About: The University Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser (this year in support of a gamma knife to perform delicate brain procedures without making an incision) is a family-friendly event with magnificently decorated trees, festive displays, uniquely decorated cakes, and the most intricate gingerbread houses you have ever seen! Enjoy family scavenger hunts, live entertainment, and a special visit from Santa.
More info here!

10. The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever
Cost: $20 – $22
When: December 18 – 22
Where: Varscona Theatre, 10329 83 Ave.
About: What could be so hard about directing a Christmas pageant? It’s always the story with the same carols. But no one was expecting the Herdmans — “the worst kids in the world” — to show up for auditions! What has the potential to be the worst pageant ever turns out to be the best one as everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas in this funny, heartwarming play.
More info here!

11. Santa’s Arrival at West Edmonton Mall
Cost: Free
When: November 15, 10 am – 8 pm
Where: North Pole Place, West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.
About: Come and welcome Santa to his home-away-from-home for the holiday season! Exciting entertainment includes a magician, face painters, a balloon artist, and Rapid Fire Theatre will be there with a special improv performance of Disney’s Frozen!
More info here!

12. Crafters Christmas Sale
Cost: Free!
When: November 28 – 30
Where: Devonian Botanic Garden, 5 kms north of Devon on Hwy 60, 15 minutes from West Edmonton
About: Shop for seasonal handmade crafts like wreaths, centrepieces, dried floral arrangements, potpourri, candles, cards, unique gifts, cookbooks, and much more. Products are handmade by members of the Devonian Botanic Garden’s Crafters Association, many with materials harvested at the garden.
More info here!

13. Holiday Bazaar at The Roxy!
Cost: Free to browse!
When: December 4; 5 pm – 9 pm
Where: Roxy Theatre, 10708-124 St.
About: Join the 124 Grand Street Market for a holiday-themed market place with festive energy and grand vendors, in a unique theatre setting! Fill your bags with quality goodies from local makers that will impress all your secret santa’s with a one-of-a-kind gift.
More info here!

14. North Pole Christmas
Cost: $12 Adult; $10.60 Senior (65+); $10.60 Student (13-17); $6.50 Child (2-12): Children under 2 are free.
When: Sunday, December 14, 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: Muttart Conservatory, 9626 – 96A St.
About: The Muttart Conservatory is throwing an event to get you into the Christmas spirit! Activities include a seasonal craft, face painting, and Christmas cactus planting! And live music will fill Centre Court with the warmth of the season. You can even pick up a Muttart Conservatory–grown poinsettia!
More info here!

15. Print Affair: Pretty Paper
Cost: $20 (for members, $25 regular)
When: Saturday, December 6, 8 pm
Where: SNAP Gallery, 10123 121 St.
About: Enjoy a fun and elegant evening of holiday cheer with a community of members, volunteers, artists and art patrons. Enjoy great music from local DJs, wonderful food, exquisite drinks and, of course, high-caliber contemporary print art. This event focuses on the sale of contemporary print works at all price ranges and the Edmonton community is encouraged to support local arts and culture by purchasing art as gifts this holiday season.
More info here!

16. Royal Bison Craft & Art Fair
Cost: $2 General, Kids get in free!
When: November 28 - 30 & December 5 – 7
Where: Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, 8426 Gateway Blvd.
About: Browse the beautiful boutique-like displays from local, independent vendors selling unique handmade clothing, jewellery, accessories, artwork, toys, and zines. This is the perfect fair to find a speciality, hand-made holiday gift! New this year: the fair will run for a second weekend in December that will feature the best crafts and wares from across the prairies!
More info here!

17. A Prairie Christmas
Cost: $12
When: December 13 & 14
Where: Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm, 56311 Lily Lake Rd., Bon Accord, 25 km north of Edmonton
About: Bundle up and enjoy some seasonal family fun at the cozy, rustic setting of Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm. Decorate cookies with the elves, ride the magical Polar Express, get a family photo with Santa, make ornaments and gifts at the craft station, and enjoy hot chocolate and other treats in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen.
More info here!

18. Whyte Christmas Sleigh Ride Shuttle
Cost: Rides by donation in support of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta
When: November 29 & December 6, 13, 20; 1 pm – 5 pm
Where: Old Strathcona
About: Experience the sights and sounds of the holidays along Whyte Ave. in Old Strathcona with a sleigh ride! And watch carefully because you may spot Santa roaming around Old Strathcona one of those days!
More info here!

19. Edmonton Oil Kings “Sing for Santa”
Cost: Tickets start at $18
When: Saturday, December 6, 4 pm
Where: Rexall Place
About: Watch WHL hockey teams Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Moose Jaw Warriors and enjoy special holiday-themed entertainment.
More info here!

20. It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Cost: $18
When: December 17 – 23; 8 pm
Where: Fort Edmonton Park, 7000-143 St.
Watch the classic holiday tale of despair and redemption performed as a 1940s radio broadcast by a cast in full period costume with live music and sound effects. It’s a perfect holiday treat with classic holiday music and hilarious commercial breaks.
More info here!

— Matthew Stepanic

War Memorials in Edmonton

Courtesy-Musee-Heritage-Museum,-St-Albert-Historical-Society-fonds

Photo courtesy of Musée Héritage Museum.

Over 100 years have passed since the beginning of the First World War, and remembering the sacrifices of past Canadians is as significant an action as ever. If you’re looking to pay your respects privately on Remembrance Day, you can visit one of these memorials in Edmonton to have a moment of silence or place some flowers to honour all the brave lives we lost during times of war.

Edmonton Cenotaph | City Hall
Unveiled Aug. 13, 1936, the cenotaph stands 23 feet high, weighs more than 100 tonnes, and was constructed from B.C. marble, concrete, and steel. The memorial represents the tombs of approximately 3,000 veterans from the Edmonton area who died in WWI.

Aboriginal Veterans’ Monument | Legislature Building Grounds
Placed in 2004, this plaque honours the aboriginal veterans of Alberta who have served in Canada’s military.

Korean War Memorial | Legislature Building Grounds
This cairn is in memory of the Albertans killed in action during the Korean War (1950-1953).

Albertans in the Canadian Naval Service Plaque | Legislature Building Grounds
Placed in 1985, this plaque honours all Albertans who served in the Canadian Navy.

Canadian Merchant Navy Plaque | Legislature Building Grounds
Unveiled in 1996, this plaque commemorates the Canadian Merchant Navy and was placed on the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

War Memorial Pipe Organ | U of A Convocation Hall
Erected in 1925 by Casavant Frères, a Canadian pipe organ company, the organ is in memory of the 80 University of Alberta comrades who gave up their lives during WWI. There are also tablets near the entrance of the hall with the names of the students, staff, and alumni who did not return from the First and Second World Wars.

— Matthew Stepanic

Shop Calgary’s Seasonal Markets and Craft Shows

(Photo: Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com)

(Photo: Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com)

‘Tis the season find Calgary’s talented makers, crafters, designers, bakers, and creators selling their unique, handmade goods at seasonal art and craft markets. At these four fairs you’ll find hundreds of vendors and enough gift ideas for even the most hard-to-buy-for people on your list!

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Guide to Holiday Entertainment in Calgary

By BREANNA MROCZEK, Illustrations By AMANDA SCHUTZ

holiday_post

There is never any shortage of things to do in Calgary, and the winter months are no exception—seasonal shows and holiday-themed events abound! Here are 25 seasonal highlights to enjoy:

1Jake’s Gift Until Nov 22
This charming play honours the spirit of Remembrance Day with a story about a Canadian veteran’s return to Normandy to reconcile his brother’s war-time death.

2Liberation Days Until Nov 9
A community in the Netherlands struggles to return to their “normal” lives post-WWII in this inspiring drama by a Canadian playwright.

3Vanishing Ice Until Jan 4
Explore frozen frontiers and the North Pole—indoors—in this Glenbow exhibition that explores how artists’ interpretations of the arctic have changed over the centuries.

Winte4r Bobsleigh Starting Dec 26
Soar down an Olympic bobsleigh track—piloted by a pro—through 14 twists and turns at 120 km/hr.

5Ice Skating at Olympic Plaza November – March
Bring your skates and go for a glide amidst twinkling, lighted trees in the heart of the city on this outdoor ice rink.

Silent Night No6v 8 – 14
Calgary Opera commemorates the centennial of WWI with the moving story of a truce between troops on Christmas Eve 1914 to celebrate the holiday and bury their dead.

7Spruce Meadows Christmas Market Nov 14 – 30
Reindeer games, light displays, hot chocolate, fire pits, live music, and shopping in the vendor marketplace: make a visit to this market a family affair.

Once Upon a Ch8ristmas Nov 22 – Dec 21
Nothing feels more traditional than a day at Heritage Park for Christmas and Hanukkah activities, gift shopping, antique photos, sleigh rides, and homemade treats.

9Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite Nov 23
The charming bunny siblings from the children’s TV show perform a kid-friendly version of the holiday classic with upbeat music and storytelling.

10Bach for the Holidays Nov 30
The Calgary Civic Symphony and Cantaré Children’s Choir perform classical holiday music as well as tracks from holiday movies like Home Alone and The Polar Express.

11‘Twas the Night Nov 27
This after-hours shopping party at The Core is a red-carpet affair with host Tanya Kim and festive music performed by jazz musician Matt Dusk.

12Deck the Walls! Nov 25 – Dec 24
An art show you can shop! The walls of Newzones gallery are decked out in various sizes and styles of artwork that are perfect to give as gifts.

13A Christmas Carol Nov 27 – Dec 24
It just wouldn’t be Christmas in Calgary without Theatre Calgary’s heartwarming annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story.

14Zoolights Nov 21 – Jan 4
See some unique animals at the Calgary Zoo… ones made out of coloured lights! Bundle up and stroll the elaborate outdoor light displays.

15With Bells On Dec 1 – 24
This hilarious, contemporary holiday play conveys the heartwarming spirit of the season.

16Christmas at the Opera Dec 4 – 7
Calgary Opera’s emerging artists and a live music ensemble perform delightful sounds of the season.

17Stuart McLean Vinyl Café Christmas Dec 4 – 5
Stuart McLean shares stories—joined by musical guest Chic Gamine—in the live holiday-themed version of his popular CBC Radio show.

18A Merry Little Pops Dec 6
Sing along to carols and jolly holiday songs with The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a choir, and Santa himself.

19Handel’s Messiah Dec 6
The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus perform this grandiose classical score that has become synonymous with the Advent season.

20Trailer Park Boys: Dear Santa Claus Tour Dec 14
Enjoy some Christmas chaos with the boys as Bubbles’ good-hearted holiday plans are thwarted by Julian’s scheming and Ricky’s pursuit to meet Santa.

21Sleigh Rides Dec 20 – Jan 1
Go dashing through the snow in a cozy horse drawn sleigh with Horsin Around Trail Rides.

22Lions’ Festival of Lights Nov 30 – Jan 8
Calgary’s beautiful Confederation Park is covered in light displays that are free to view.

23Country Christmas Dec 17
Canadian country music superstar George Canyon performs holiday music with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra—and a meet-and-greet reception is available.

24The Nutcracker Dec 18 – 24
The Alberta Ballet presents the whimsical story of Clara and her Nutcracker with dazzling choreography, detailed costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s timeless musical score.

25Celebrate!
We hope you have a festive holiday season full of fun, health, and happiness as you spend time with family and friends exploring our wonderful city!

Shadow Play at the AGA

Escobar_AGA

Art Gallery of Alberta. Photo by Pedro Escobar.

Try your hand at shadow play at the Art Gallery of Alberta’s latest late-night art party on November 15! Inspired by the avant-garde shadow theatres of 19th Century Paris, the night promises to be one of whimsy and illusion.

You’ll enter a world of intrigue and enigma as you explore light, dark, and colour in installations by local artists Patrick Ares-Pilon, Kyle Armstrong, and others. DJs will also provide a soundtrack for the night as you move from the dance floor to participating in some fantastical art projects, such as camera-less animation that will allow you to create a visually stunning movie by applying various media to 16 mm film — your short film will even be projected live that night!

Other installations include Harmony Light, in which Mark Templeton will use video feedback and printed overheads to produce various shapes of colour and light, and Into the Light, for which Leanne Olson will install hundreds of feet of transparent macro photos of the sky reflected in a creek’s sediment. The displays and setting of the gallery that night will make you feel as if you’ve been transported into a dream world!

As with the AGA’s previous Refinery Parties, this one offers you the opportunity to play with some unique fashions. The dress code asks for dark hues or pieces that create dramatic shadows, or you can slip into reflective attire that shimmers with sequins. Take a gander at the AGA’s Pinterst page to be inspired by imaginative new looks you could put together for yourself.

The evening also offers a unique opportunity to see the AGA’s current exhibitions, Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne, A Moving Image, and Amy Malbeuf: kayâs-ago, in a new light! For more information about this evening, be sure to visit the AGA’s website.

ShadowSelfie

Assistant Editor Matthew’s #ShadowSelfie

Contest alert!
The AGA has given us two tickets to the Shadow Play Refinery to give away! And on top of that, Sutton Place Hotel has given a one-night stay for the night of the party!

For a chance to win this fantastic prize package, we want you to try your hand at shadow play! To enter to win two tickets to the Shadow Play Refinery and a one-night stay at Sutton Place Hotel on November 15, send us a tweet @whereedmonton with a picture of your #ShadowSelfie! We’ll draw for the prize package on Wednesday, November 12, at 3:00 pm.

— Matthew Stepanic