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Calgary

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

VALENTINE’S TREATS

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

Earthlings
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

Mess
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

USS
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

Arkells
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

Filumena
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

Sonreal
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

VALENTINE’S DAY EVENTS

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

Skylight
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

Gracie
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

Where to Celebrate the Oscars (and Movies) in Calgary

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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.

Read more…

Where to Dine Awards: Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2016

Whitehall (Photo: Neil Zeller)

Whitehall (Photo: Neil Zeller)

It’s no secret that Calgary spent much of the past year in a recession, but that didn’t slow down the creative efforts in Calgary’s restaurant scene. Diners were hungry (pun definitely intended) for new and diverse offerings, and restaurants new and old responded. Here we present the top three restaurants in 24 categories as voted by our readers*. Cheers!

By Breanna Mroczek
Read more…

Seasonal Sweets and Sips in Calgary

SS_main
By RACHAEL FREY

The holiday season is synonymous with rich, mouth-watering indulgence. This year, upgrade Santa’s milk and cookies and treat yourself to some of Calgary’s finest winter desserts and cocktails.

VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS

ss_crave

(Photo: By Genevieve Renee, courtesy Crave)

Gingerbread Eggnog Cupcakes at Crave Cookies & Cupcakes
A twist on the classic holiday flavours, these sinfully delicious cupcakes will make you nostalgic for Christmases past. Spiced gingerbread cupcakes are topped with a generous swirl of eggnog buttercream and garnished with tiny gingerbread men. They’re also available in gluten-free and party cake versions.
1107 Kensington Rd NW, 403-270-2728, www.cravecupcakes.ca

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(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Winter Cranberry Cloud Pie at Pie Cloud
Walking in a winter wonderland will come to mind when you taste this delectable creation: a flaky pie crust is topped with a layer of tart cranberry gelée, followed by an abundance of pink cranberry custard, and finished with billowy mounds of snowy meringue garnished with frost-kissed, sugared cranberries.
314 – 10 St NW, 403-802-3141, www.piecloud.ca

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(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Holiday Collection Macarons at Ollia Macarons & Tea
A delicate, crisp meringue shell gives way to a heavenly, creamy centre — there’s nothing like a perfectly made macaron, and Ollia does them right. The holiday collection arrives December 1 with seven seasonal flavours including candy cane, gingerbread, and eggnog, plus a champagne buttercream that’s perfect for ringing in the new year.
810C – 16 Ave SW, 403-457-9775, www.byollia.com

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Golden Crème Brulee Sphere at The Oak Room
While it may look like a perfect ornament plucked from the boughs of a Christmas tree, this extravagant treat tastes of the tropics. A decadent Tahitian vanilla cream sphere is dipped into a tangy-sweet passion fruit glaze and topped off with a golden leaf. It is served exclusively during The Oak Room’s weekday Festive Lunch Buffet. Mele Kalikimaka!
133 – 9 Ave SW, 403-262-1234, www.fairmont.com/palliser-calgary

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Yule Log at Decadent Brûlée
The Yuletide simply isn’t complete without a Yule Log, a flour-less chocolate sponge cake spread with ganache, then filled with dark chocolate mousse. Variations include brandy-soaked cherries or white chocolate mousse with raspberries, but owner Pam Fortier’s favourite is dark chocolate with Armagnac-soaked prunes — if you think you don’t like prunes, this will change your mind!
722 – 11 Ave SW, 403-245-5535, www.decadentdesserts.ca

SPIRITS OF THE SEASON

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Good Morning Vietnam at Raw Bar
If you like a splash of liqueur in your coffee when the cold wind starts to blow, this spicy take on Vietnamese coffee is the perfect cozy cocktail to warm you from the inside out. Strong coffee and condensed milk are combined with chocolate-and-chile-infused tequila, Frangelico liquor, and bitters, plus a dash of festive cinnamon and star anise.
119 – 12 Ave SW, 403-206-9565, www.rawbaryyc.ca

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

White Christmas at The Oak Room
You’ll be dreaming of a white Christmas, though this cocktail is unlike any you used to know. It’s a creamy sensation with a hint of graham and nutmeg to balance out the sweetness of exquisite Godiva white chocolate, topped with a toasted marshmallow and served over ice.
133 – 9 Ave SW, 403-262-1234, www.fairmont.com/palliser-calgary

(Photo: by Jeff Savage, courtesy Proof)

(Photo: by Jeff Savage, courtesy Proof)

Fireside Chats at Proof Cocktail Bar
The famous radio broadcasts of Franklin D. Roosevelt inspired this warm, rich drink, and much like those fireside chats it’ll leave you with a reassuring sense of well-being. It’s an updated version of hot buttered rum with cognac, cinnamon, Averna (an Italian bitter) and a hearty dollop of brown butter.
1302 – 1 St SW, 403-246-2414, proofyyc.com

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

A Whiskey a Day at One18 Empire
It’s not guaranteed that drinking one of these every day will keep the doctor away, but it’s worth a try. Whiskey is combined with apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and hints of vanilla for a cocktail that’s reminiscent of chilly autumn days and a warm slice of grandma’s apple pie.
820 Centre St SE, 403-269-0299, one18empire.com

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

(Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Northern Star at Model Milk
Star anise, a traditional Christmas spice, steals the show in this wintery cocktail with bright notes of licorice — perfect for an evening cuddled up by the fire. Mount Gay Rum, Cointreau, lemon juice, egg white and star anise syrup are poured into a glass that’s been rinsed with absinthe for an extra bit of holiday cheer.
308 – 17 Ave SW, 403-265-7343, www.modelmilk.ca

(Photo: courtesy Evangeline PR)

(Photo: courtesy Evangeline PR)

Donner at Teatro Ristorante
Named for one of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer, this zippy cocktail will give you the energy you need to fly through your gift-giving and merry-making. Woodford Reserve bourbon and Cocchi Americano apertif wine are shaken with simple syrup, citric acid water, and Peychaud bitters, then garnished with a jaunty lemon twist.
200 – 8 Ave SE, 403-290-1012, www.teatro.ca

(Photo: courtesy Ki Modern Japanese)

(Photo: courtesy Ki Modern Japanese)

Festivus at Ki Modern Japanese & Bar
For the rest of us! Make sure to have this “all too real” cocktail in hand when you gather around the Festivus table for the Airing of Grievances. Campari and Chambord liqueurs are combined with local brewery Tool Shed’s Star Cheek IPA, plus a dash of lime juice and ginger syrup.
308 – 4 Ave SW, 403-264-1133, kijapanese.com

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The Jerk Nog: An Egg Nog with A Caribbean Twist at Ricardo’s Hideaway
Rum and egg nog is a staple this time of year, so naturally Calgary’s local rum bar offers their own version made with Indonesian cinnamon from Silk Road Spice Merchant and three types of rum for some island vibes.
☆ 1530 – 5 St SW, 587-349-2585, www.ricardoshideaway.ca

 

Sunrise Sour at Añejo Restaurant

Sunrise Sour at Añejo Restaurant. (Photo: Amanda Zelichowski, courtesy Añejo)

Sunrise Sour at Añejo Restaurant. (Photo: Amanda Zelichowski, courtesy Añejo)

(Photo: Amanda Zelichowski, courtesy Añejo)

(Photo: Amanda Zelichowski, courtesy Añejo)

Raise a glass of this piquant cocktail to the dearly departed on Día de Muertos. Inspired by a classic New York Sour, bourbon is replaced by Hornitos Black Barrel Añejo tequila — which is an ideal substitute for bourbon-based drinks as it undergoes a similar aging process in deep charred oak barrels — and mixed with orange juice, a splash of lemon juice, egg white, and agave, then finished with a Cabernet Sauvignon float and a couple bourbon-soaked cherries.

♦ Añejo Restaurant, 2116 – 4 St SW 
   587-353-2656, anejo.ca

Recipe for Sunrise Sour:

1.5 oz Hornitos Black Barrel Añejo
1.5 oz Orange Juice
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
0.25 oz Agave
Egg White
0.5 oz Cabernet Sauvignon

Add the Hornitos Black Barrel, orange juice, lemon juice, agave, and egg white into a Boston shaker. Dry shake, then add ice and shake again. Pour over fresh ice into a double rocks glass, and using a bar spoon, float the Cabernet Sauvignon on top. Garnish with bourbon-soaked cherries and enjoy!

Where to Celebrate Wacky Holidays in Calgary

Christmas is great and all, but you just don’t hear enough about Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day or Look For Circles Day. Here are some of the places in Calgary to celebrate the more unusual holidays in November and December.

On Look For Circles Day, take a gander at public art piece Travelling Light. (Photo: Sakib Pratyay)

On Look For Circles Day, take a gander at public art piece Travelling Light. (Photo: Sakib Pratyay)

November: Peanut Butter Lovers Month
Suffering from an insatiable desire for peanut butter? Never fear, the doctor is in at RE:GRUB Burger Bar — the Doctor Peanut milkshake, that is. It’s infused with peanut butter and topped with peanuts, peanut butter cups, and Reese’s Pieces, plus a plastic syringe filled with a shot of extra peanut buttery goodness.

November 2: Look for Circles Day
It would be cheating if we told you where all the circles are, but here are a few hints: visit the Chinese Cultural Centre and look up — way up — to the spectacular domed ceiling. Keep an eye out for the public art piece Travelling Light (aka the Giant Blue Ring) on your way to the airport at the interchange of Deerfoot Trail and 96 Ave NE.

November 3: Sandwich Day
There’s an overabundance of places to celebrate this day (what a great problem to have). Make the pilgrimage to Holy Grill and discover to-die-for panini, or head to Grumans Catering and Delicatessen for a reuben crammed full of thick-cut smoked meat and tangy sauerkraut.

November 12: Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day
To order a pizza with the works except anchovies, you must go to a pizzeria that actually has anchovies — otherwise you’re just shouting into the void. Pizza Bob’s thin crust and Stromboli Inn’s thick, fluffy crust pies both fit the bill. And if you love anchovies… well, you’ll just have to come back another day.

November 28: French Toast Day
Breakfast epicures have enjoyed French toast since the days of the Roman Empire, so it’s only fitting that it has its very own day. Honour the deliciousness with Diner Deluxe’s French toast stuffed with brie cheese and Canadian bacon.

December 17 is National Maple Syrup Day — only the pure stuff will do! (Photo: Rachael Frey)

December 17 is National Maple Syrup Day — only the pure stuff will do! (Photo: Rachael Frey)

December 2: National Fritters Day
Mention fritters to a Calgarian and you’ll likely be sent straight to Chicken on the Way, a beloved institution that has been serving up huge, salty-sweet corn fritters and juicy fried chicken since 1958.

December 4: Wear Brown Shoes Day
Black, white, red, blue, chartreuse? No! Only brown shoes will do. If you don’t have any, get yourself shod at Fluevog Shoes or Arnold Churgin Shoes. From heels to sneakers, remember: if you’re out on the town, your shoes must be brown!

December 14: International Monkey Day
2016 is the Year of the Monkey, so it’s especially important to pay homage to these adorable primates. Visit them at the Calgary Zoo, home to three species of monkeys: Eastern black and white colobuses, Japanese macaques, and mandrills (the largest monkey species on Earth).

December 16: National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
For some folks, every day is Chocolate Covered Anything Day. But if you need some guidance, get to Cococo Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut for the classics like chocolate covered almonds and chocolate covered orange peel.

December 17: National Maple Syrup Day
Maple syrup is the lifeblood of Canadians. If you’ve never had the pure stuff you might not understand the hype, but one taste and you’ll be convinced. A Taste of Quebec at the Calgary Farmer’s Market has the real deal, plus over a dozen maple infused delicacies from maple sugar pie to maple beef stew. Heritage Park’s Haskayne Mercantile Block (no admission fee required) also stocks syrup at Railway Café and Switzer’s.

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

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

September: National Chicken Month
Did you know that September is deemed National Chicken Month? Celebrate this beloved bird at Cluck n’ Cleaver, where mouthwatering southern-friend chicken is the star of the show, along with homemade buttermilk biscuits, side salads, and homemade cookies. Also check out the popular chain Nando’s — famous for their mouthwatering peri peri sauce — which recently opened a funky, brand-new location on 17th Avenue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 29: National Coffee Day
It’s not hard to find a coffee shop in Calgary, but on this day especially we recommend visiting a local cafe. Get hyper-local and head to Phil & Sebastian, Analog, or Rosso; these cafes all serve their own locally-roasted beans.

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

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

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

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

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

October 21: National Champagne Day
Order up a bottle of bubbly and toast this amazing day. Or, really indulge with a champagne dinner at Chef’s Table restaurant — you’ll be served a five course meal and six drink pairings from noted champagne brand Tattinger.

A Taste of the Tropics: Tropical Cocktails in Calgary

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

Lava Bowl at Proof Read more…

Magical Harry Potter Events in Calgary

Potted Potter. Photo by Brian Friedman

Potted Potter. Photo by Brian Friedman

Harry Potter Magical Midnight
When:
Sunday, July 31 at 12:01 am
What:
Re-live the rush of lining up to buy the latest Harry Potter book right at midnight with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth book in the series. Most Chapters and Indigo locations in Calgary will be open late so you can be the first to buy the book, or pick up your pre-ordered copy and a free tote. Chapters Chinook is kicking things off at 10 pm with Butterbeer lattes from Starbucks and activities (including house sorting). Chapters Shawnessy is hosting a costume contest (so dress up like your favourite wizard, witch, elf, or giant) and playing Harry Potter trivia. If your little ones can’t stay up until midnight, visit Chapters or Indigo during the day on July 31 for fun Harry Potter activities and stories.
Tickets: Attending the event is free, but the cost per book is $23.99.

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PokéStops at Calgary Attractions in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go

Trainers playing Pokemon Go at the entrance to Prince’s Island Park in Calgary. Photo by Dale Calkins.

If you haven’t heard by now, Pokémon GO is the augmented reality app game that’s extremely popular all around the world — including here in Calgary. Going on a quest to catch Pokémon has become a great way to explore the city and see some of its top neighbourhoods and attractions. Here are some places in Calgary that are popular for locals and Pokémon alike:

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Must-See Music Festivals in Calgary

Summer and music festival season are heating up, and you don’t have to go far to experience some great music! No matter what vibe you’re looking for, any of these large-scale local music fests will have you dancing and singing all day long.

Chasing Summer Festival in Calgary. Photo by Mike Hopkins, courtesy LiveNation

Chasing Summer Festival in Calgary. Photo by Mike Hopkins, courtesy LiveNation

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Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre, Opens in Calgary

 

It’s time to play the music at Studio Bell and, believe us, it’ll be music to your ears.
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100+ Things to Do in Calgary This Summer

You won’t be bored for a second this summer with all the events and activities happening in Calgary in July and August — there’s practically something to fill your calendar with every day. The best part is that many events are free or affordable. Cheers to a fun summer!

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