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Flex Your Brain at Telus Spark’s Brainasium

Phase Two of the Brainasium at TELUS Spark Allows for Learning Through Play

Seven new play structures have been added to the Brainasium outdoor play park at Telus Spark in Calgary.



Sure, we know about the benefits of exercising our bodies, but when was the last time you flexed your brain muscles? Studies show that the ability to problem solve and communicate effectively is bolstered by taking the time to play, and the Brainasium outdoor park at the TELUS Spark science centre gives guests the opportunity to do just that. The outdoor park has been in full swing (pun intended—there are indeed swings at the Brainasium) since fall 2014, with structures including a teeter-totter built for six and a giant 36-foot tall tower and an accompanying 63-foot long slide. The brains behind the Brainasium decided, however, to expand the park, and the highly anticipated second phase opens on August 4, 2015 with seven brand new play structures. The giant log jam is great for testing your balance, while the swings allow you to touch the sky. Grab a friend and work as a team to balance the swing scales, or climb across giant molecule-shaped blocks. Spin around a circular apparatus and explore centrifugal force.

The Brainasium is open year-round, and it is recommended that visitors wear proper running shoes or flat footwear. All ages are welcome to climb, play, learn, and feel the brain benefits of play.

The Fringe Festival: Calgary’s Celebration of the Theatre

Get Your Fringe On 1


Take a break from going to the movies this week and instead head to the Calgary Fringe Festival, Calgary’s premier celebration of the theatre. Originating in Edinburgh, Scotland, “fringe festivals” have become some of the largest art festivals in the world, and the Calgary chapter has taken root in Inglewood. There truly is something for everyone at the festival, as genres include drama, comedy, improv, and more.

With over 160 diverse performances of over 20 productions spanning the nine days of Calgary Fringe (with show times slotted for both afternoons and evenings) there is plenty of time to check out a new favourite show. Here are some we’re excited to check out:

A Picasso is a dramatic tale that takes place in Paris during the 1940s when the beautiful and mysterious Miss Fischer summons iconic artist Pablo Picasso to a private vault. There, Picasso must attest to the authenticity of confiscated paintings. When Picasso finds the real reason of the verification, tensions rise and negotiations come into play.

Oscar buffs won’t want to miss Best Picture, a wild comedy in which all previous films that have scored the most coveted Oscar award are lampooned in 60 minutes.

A man takes his partner to meet his crazy trailer-park family in Tales Too Tall for Trailers, in which songs, shadow puppetry, and strange stories come together to tell a heartwarming tale.

Along with the plays, the Inglewood SunFest, happening August 1st, is a family-friendly outdoor event and a collaboration that includes street performers, vendors, dancers, and a bouncy castle for the kids.

The Fringe Festival runs from July 31 – August 8 at various  venues in Inglewood. www.calgaryfringe.ca 











Swanky Sippin’

One18 Empire boasts an impressive whiskey menu and delectable dining.




One18 Empire knows a thing or two about whiskey. Not only do they have a thoughtfully curated and constantly updated cocktail menu (focusing on whiskey, of course) but they also offer over 100 whiskeys, scotches, bourbons, and ryes to choose from. Whiskey fans will be able to sample from all over the world including Taiwan, India, Austria, and Japan. If you’re hoping to stick to tradition, there are plenty of choices from Kentucky and Tennessee as well. Interestingly, One18 Empire carries a selection of some of the finest single cask, single malt whiskey, bottled by the world famous Scotch Malt Whiskey Society. Due to the unique bottling process and the limited amount of bottles available, this whiskey is incredibly rare, and members of the club receive a 25% discount on the selection. Non-members typically do not have access to this exclusive selection of whiskey, however at One18 Empire, anyone can be part of the club for an evening. I ended up on the Mint Julep, a refreshing, summery drink with a bit of a kick.


The enticing dinner menu features food that is hearty and locally inspired. The maple bacon- wrapped dates are small morsels that, with the sweetness of the date and the smoky bacon, pack a mighty punch. The large soft pretzel (which I smothered in their whipped peanut butter) was warm and comforting, while the short ribs were juicy and full of flavor. The fried chicken board, the shining star of the meal, was pulled off to perfection, with tender meat nestled down under a crispy and well-seasoned shell.


One18 Empire also serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and late-night dining.


Happy Hour in Calgary: Summer 2015

By Janet Davie


Photo courtesy of Tourism Calgary










Don’t worry, get happy! We’re in the middle of summer in Calgary, and what better way to spend summer than on a patio? Better yet, go for Happy Hour, a magical time of the day when drink and food specials will make soaking up some rays all the more sweeter. Here are some of our favourite Happy Hour spots in the city:

The Ship and Anchor
With one of the largest patios in the city and on a prime spot on busy 17th Ave, the Happy Hour at the Ship and Anchor is a great place to be every Monday through Friday from 4-7PM. Happy Hour includes a $5 can of Mexican Tecate beer and $5 tacos (2 beef or 2 shrimp, with salsa). 534 – 17 Ave SW  www.shipandanchor.com

National on 17th
Show up to National’s 17th Ave patio and indulge in $5 pints and cocktails from 3 – 6PM Monday through Friday. We recommend the Strawberry Lemonade—it’s like summer in a glass. 550 – 17 Ave SW ntnl.ca

Mango Shiva
Take a trip to India without leaving the city by visiting Mango Shiva on Stephen Ave from 3-6PM every day of the week. Happy Hour includes a $5 beer and wine list, as well as $2 off all cocktails (including their summer staple the coconut mojito!) Select appetizers are also on for $5 bucks. 218 – 8 Ave SW www.mangoshiva.com

Pizza lovers should hurry down to Cibo on the weekdays from 3 – 6PM for half off pizza pies. Flavours include Wild Boar Bacon and Smoked Scamorza. 1012 – 17 Ave SW www.cibocalgary.com

Local 510
Swing by this trendy hotspot on 17th Ave and enjoy non-important draughts, highballs, and wine all for $5.10, Monday through Friday. 510 – 17 Ave SW www.localtavern.ca

Get ready to party during Anejo’s ‘Halfy-Hour’, with half priced tacos, tequila, margaritas and Mexican beer from 3-5PM every day of the week. 2116 – 4 St SW  www.anejo.ca

From 3-5PM, guests can enjoy half-off appetizers (a hot and buttery pretzel, anyone?) from Monday to Friday along with $5 draft beers and special prices on wine. 2437 – 4 St SW  www.wurst.ca

Catch Oyster Bar
Swim up to this oyster bar between 1-5PM, Monday to Friday, and enjoy $6 feature wine, beer, and caesars. All of their daily food specials are available as well. 100 – 8 Ave SE  www.catchrestaurant.ca

The Yardhouse
Perfect for people watching in Kensington, the Yardhouse patio offers $4 off appetizers, $4 highballs and domestic bottles, and $5 import bottles and wine. 1136 Kensington Rd NW  www.yardhouse.ca

Take a seat in the bar and enjoy an 18oz ground sirloin burger with a side of golden fries for only $12 from 3-6PM. 738 – 3 Ave SW  www.buchanans.ca











Fall Fashion Comes Early at Nordstrom’s Annual Sale




Though it’s only July, a fashionista must always think a season ahead. The Nordstrom Annual Sale, which is held both in-stores across North America and online, is especially significant for Calgary’s location, as they are celebrating their One Year Anniversary since opening their doors in September 2014.

As we arrived at Nordstrom in Chinook Mall, we were promptly paired up with a stylist, who had thoughtfully pre-picked out some options already hanging up in the dressing room. After an initial brief tour through the racks of clothing I got an education on what is expected to be hot as the weather cools. Expect to see a large wave of 70s nostalgia as the disco decade gets a modern makeover for 2015 with plenty of knits, flared pants, and floral prints. Crop tops will still be in, but paired with long skirts rather than denim cutoffs. Chunky is a theme too, from heels to jewelry and jackets.

Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed—Nordstrom has a flock of styling experts, who’s services are free of charge, to help you stay true to what you like while incorporating trendy pieces. With many of the sales hiked up to as much as 40 percent off on brand-new merchandise, there is no better time to give your autumn wardrobe a fashionable boost.

The Nordstrom Annual Sale ends August 3rd 2015.

20 Things to Do in Calgary Under $20: Summer 2015 Edition


Float down the Elbow River on a hot and sunny day. Photo: courtesy of Tourism Calgary

You don’t have to spend a lot to have a good time! Here are 20 seasonal activities that you can do this summer in Calgary for under $20:

Read more…

Re:Grub Burgers are Made with Serious Love



Since Calgary is known as a beef town, one is always looking for the next great burger in the city. Enter Re:Grub Burger Bar, a new restaurant that recently opened its doors on 11th Avenue. There are 13 burger options on the menu including three breakfast burgers, as well as a selection of salads and sides, and all of them look as mouthwatering as they sound. I ordered the “Andale” burger and quickly realized that I had made an excellent choice. The succulent beef patty, layered with queso fresco and a bright pico de gallo within a toasty house made bun, had me swooning. A unique feature of Re:Grub is the Venezuelan influences that are evident in the ingredients, such as the tangy pickled cactus and fried tortilla chip wedged into my burger, and other toppings including pickled pineapple, fried plantain, and torched asiago. I decided to also indulge my sweet tooth and opted for a creamy, sweet Peanut Butter and Honey shake on the side, made with gelato from local favourite Fiasco Gelato. If you are hoping for something a little stronger, you can always order an alcohol-infused milkshake, or choose from their list of craft beers and sangria.

The décor of Re:Grub is bright and a bit quirky, with plenty of seating for a casual meal. Take a seat on their sunny patio if you want to enjoy some beautiful weather or, alternatively, take your meal to go. Don’t fret if you cannot make it here for lunch, as it is opened early during the week for breakfast and stays open late into the night from Thursday to Saturday for a satisfying meal after a night on the town.

• 625 — 11th Avenue www.regrub.ca

Take a Calgary Stay-cation: Summer 2015

Stephen Avenue, Calgary Downtown. Photo courtesy Travel Alberta.

This summer, downtown Calgary is the place to be. A lot of Calgary’s best events and festivals are taking place in and around downtown, and many of the city’s hot new restaurants have opened downtown, too. Making stay-cation plans and staying downtown is a fun an easy way to access everything going on—you’re within walking or C-Train transit distance of a lot of  activities, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

Just some of the events taking place downtown and around this summer include: Calgary Folk Fest, Calgary Stampede, and Sled Island Music Festival. Exciting new restaurant and bar openings including Beltliner, Pigeonhole, National on 10th’s rooftop patio, and Pr%f. On a hot summer night, walking around the downtown core and Beltline area to explore is a wonderful activity that can lead to patios, live music, and some of the best food and drink discoveries—you’ll see why Calgary is becoming a dining destination city. Downtown Calgary is also keeping things lively in the core with free pop-up picnics, live music, street vendors, and food trucks throughout the week during their Soundtown Calgary event.

Read more…

Step Back in Time with Calgary’s New Dinosaur Exhibits


(Photo: Cynthia Radford, Courtesy TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre)

Dinosaurs in Motion at TELUS Spark (Photo: Cynthia Radford, Courtesy TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre)

Triceratops, pterodactyls, and tyrannosaurus rex—oh my! The dinosaurs are alive again in the latest installment of the Jurassic Park film franchise—Jurassic World—which roars into theatres in June. A visit to Calgary can have you starring in your own dinosaur adventure with all the dinosaur attractions in and around the city.

Until June 28, 2015
Art and science combine in this multi-media exhibit with interactive activities and large-scale art installations that are replicas of dinosaur skeletons. “When guests view the exhibit, they’ll be learning about components of history by reading about the era of the dinosaurs, and the artistic process used to create the sculptures,” says Devon Hamilton, VP of Exhibits at TELUS Spark. Don’t forget to check out the castings of Alberta dinosaurs on loan from the Royal Tyrell museum.
• 220 St Georges Dr NE, 403-817-6800, www.sparkscience.ca

Until October 31, 2015
The plot of Jurassic World revolves around a dinosaur theme park, which is what you can experience in the larger-than-life and recently updated Prehistoric Park at Calgary Zoo. Seventeen lifelike moving and roaring lifelike animatronic dinosaurs accompany fun programming and activities that will immerse you in the Jurassic era. Unlike in the movies, though, you don’t have to worry about the dinosaurs running rampant. Some of the dinosaurs will even listen to your commands with interactive consoles let you control when the dinosaurs move, roar, and breathe.
• 1300 Zoo Rd NE, 403-232-9300, www.calgaryzoo.com

Dinosaurs Alive! at Calgary Zoo (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Dinosaurs Alive! at Calgary Zoo (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Though not in the city, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller (an hour and a half northeast of Calgary) and Dinosaur Provincial Park (two and a half hours east of Calgary) are well worth the drive for dinosaur enthusiasts!

FOSSILS IN FOCUS at Royal Tyrrell Museum
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s new Fossils in Focus exhibit opened May 16 and showcases recent fossil discoveries, exciting new research, and fossils from the vault of Canada’s largest fossil collection. The displays in this exhibit will change frequently to allow guests to see different fossil finds each time they visit. The exhibit highlights more of the museum’s most remarkable and scientifically significant fossils, as well as specimens that reflect current research as the science of palaeontology moves forward. Plus, the museum’s usual displays of dinosaur skeletons, hands-on activities, the fossil preparation lab, and exhibit galleries offer up close and personal insight into the days of the dinosaurs.
• North Dinosaur Tr, Drumheller, 403-823-7707, www.tyrrellmuseum.com

Besides time travel, a dinosaur experience doesn’t get more authentic than this! This Badlands site holds the world’s largest deposit of dinosaur bones and fossils. For the most surreal Jurassic Park-like experience, sign up for a Dinosaur Dig and join an excavation led by a professional paleontological technician to uncover fossils. In order to avoid a situation like the scarier scenes in Jurassic Park, it is recommended to book a tour to fully experience the park at its best. Reserve a bus tour, enjoy a customized program, go for a hike, take a photography tour at sunset, or camp out. If you prefer to explore on your own, self-guided trails are available for hiking.
• 48 km northeast of Brooks, 403-378-4342 Ext 235, www.albertaparks.ca/dinosaur

Calgary Summer Festival Guide 2015


Brazilian Association of Calgary dancers Paula Regehr (left) and Marie Benoit rehearse for GlobalFest's 2013 One World Festival. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Brazilian Association of Calgary dancers Paula Regehr (left) and Marie Benoit rehearse for GlobalFest’s 2013 One World Festival. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

It’s festival time, Calgary! From culture to music to food, there’s a festival to suit every taste this summer—check out this handy guide and get ready to celebrate.



Calgary International Children’s Festival
May 20 – 23
A feast for the brain, this child-oriented fest includes award-winning theatre, interactive activities, and free, outdoor performances.

Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival
May 22 – 30
A film fest that celebrates queer culture across the LGBT spectrum, from hilariously campy to heart-wrenchingly poignant.

Read more…

Spring Into Action: 6 Fun Family Attractions in May


Calaway Park's Vortex roller coaster. (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Calaway Park’s Vortex roller coaster. (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Got some energy to spare after a winter indoors? Trade cabin fever for spring fever in May, when Calgary’s seasonal family-friendly attractions throw open their gates and invite kids (and the young-at-heart) in to stretch their legs and minds.

Opening Weekend: May 16 – 18
Thrill seekers, get ready for heart-pounding, scream-inducing fun when western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park opens for the season. From the rockin’ rollin’ Mind Blaster to the twisty-turny, upside-down loopy Vortex rollercoaster, Calaway Park features more than 30 rip-roaring rides. While some are for experienced riders only, there’s plenty of fun for younger kids on rides like the spinning Berry Go-Round and the Mini Express rollercoaster. Need a break from all the zooming and zipping? Check out exciting stage shows ranging from song and dance to magic shows, or head to the air-conditioned theatre for a 3D movie. The Park also features fun games of skill and chance, as well as three walk-up food concessions and two restaurants.
• 245033 Range Road 33, 403-240-3822, www.calawaypark.com

Opening Weekend: May 16 – 18
Travel back in time and interact with nearly 100 years of Alberta’s history at Calgary’s living history museum. Don’t let the word “museum” fool you, though—an entire re-created village sits outdoors on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir. Hitch a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, feast on a fresh cheese bun, get your kicks on the antique midway, take a photo with costumed interpreters, or hop aboard the thundering steam train. On opening weekend, the first 500 guests who arrive before 10 am will be treated to a complimentary pancake breakfast. On May 23 and 24, Heritage Park hosts the 20th Annual Festival of Quilts with hundreds of beautiful, handmade quilts on display throughout the park.
• 1900 Heritage Dr SW, 403-268-8500, www.heritagepark.ca

Mountie Day: May 18
Located at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers, where the first building in Calgary was erected, the National Historic Site features a colourful interpretive centre. See what it was like on both sides of the law by trying on a blazing red Mountie uniform and spending a little time in the antique jail. Celebrate the founding of the North West Mounted Police on May 18 with special activities, games, and birthday cake for Mountie Day.
• 750 – 9 Ave SE, 403-290-1875, www.fortcalgary.com

Festival Dates: May 20 – 23
Every year, 50,000 people gather to expand their imagination, creative thought, and cultural understanding at the Calgary International Children’s Festival, one of the most prominent festivals of its kind in Canada and the largest presenter of theatre for young audiences in Calgary. A feast for the brain, it features performances on a free outdoor stage in Olympic Plaza, interactive activities of all sorts, and award-winning theatre on the next-door Arts Commons stages. This year’s exciting line-up includes Quebec theatre company Tout à Trac’s twist on Alice in Wonderland, the comedic percussion group BAM, and the eye-popping spectacle of SQUONK, a wild act that uses music to activate air-filled costumes—it has to be seen to be believed!
• Olympic Plaza and Arts Commons, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-7414, calgarykidsfest.ca

The most expansive trampoline park in Canada recently opened in Calgary, with a staggering 42,000 square feet of interlocking trampolines enclosed in trampoline walls. Extreme Air Park allows jumpers to catch some serious air on the two main courts, or bounce down a 50-foot trampoline half pipe into a huge pit of soft foam. You’ve probably played basketball and dodgeball before, but they take on a whole new dimension when you’re springing off a trampoline court to make a slam dunk or rebounding off of a trampoline wall to dodge incoming missiles. Friday and Saturday nights feature cool themes, black lights, music, games, and competitions. Trampoline gymnastics and aerobics classes are also available. Everything’s indoors, so a rainy spring day is no problem for a fun time here.
• 1411 – 33 St NE, 403-265-2733, calgary.extremeairpark.com

Thanks to some unseasonably (but welcome!) warm weather, Shakers Fun Centre opened their outdoor go-kart track and mini-golf course early this year. Putt-putt your way through 18 fun and challenging mini holes on the golf course, or test your driving skills on Calgary’s newest go-kart track. Inside, there’s something to suit fun seekers of all ages with a lazer tag arena, a video game arcade, a climbing tower and an indoor playground.
• 9900 Venture Ave SE, 403-236-2213, shakerscalgary.com

Made in the Shade: Calgary Summer Patio Guide


Watch the Fourth Street passers-by from Vin Room's rooftop patio. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Watch the Fourth Street passers-by from Vin Room’s rooftop patio. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

At the first sign of warm weather, Calgarians head to restaurant patios, even while wearing shorts, sandals—and a parka. While there are far too many excellent outdoor favourites to mention, here are a few great options for…


Ox & Angela: See and be seen at this authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, which is beloved for its expertly prepared menu and cocktails.
528 – 17 Ave SW, 403-457-1432, oxandangela.com

Vin Room: All sorts of fascinating people hang out in Mission, and you can watch them parade past from Vin Room’s rooftop patio while sampling 100 wines by taste.
2310 – 4 St SW, 403-457-5522, www.vinroom.com

Murrieta’s Bar & Grill: Get a bird’s eye view of downtown Calgary’s busiest pedestrian walk along with fresh, creative West Coast dishes.
808 – 1 St SW, 403-269-7707, www.murrietas.ca


Bonterra Trattoria: You’ll forget you’re not in Tuscany when you step into this rustic, vine-covered courtyard and taste the sophisticated Italian fare.
1016 – 8 St SW, 403-262-8480, bonterra.ca

Alloy: Sample Mediterranean and Asian flavours in the dappled sunlight on Alloy’s lush and peaceful patio (there’s plenty of parking space too).
220 – 42 Ave SE, 403-287-9255, www.alloydining.com

Raw Bar by Duncan Ly: Luxurious, poolside dining is a reality in downtown Calgary, elevated by Chef Ly’s award-winning “Vietmodern” cuisine.
119 – 12 Ave SW, 403-206-9565, www.rawbaryyc.ca


Oak Tree Tavern: This friendly pub has an excellent rooftop view overlooking the Kensington neighbourhood, the Bow River, and the downtown skyline.
124 – 10 St NW, 403-270-3347, www.oaktreetavern.com

Boxwood Café: The beautifully landscaped, Victorian-style Central Memorial Park is home to this modern café featuring rotisserie meats.
340 – 13 Ave SW, 403-265-4006, www.boxwoodcafe.ca

The Lake House: The patio juts out over the glassy surface of Lake Bonavista, and the sights coming out of the kitchen are just as appealing.
747 Lake Bonavista Drive SE, 403-225-3939, lakehousecalgary.com


Wild Rose Brewery: Go straight to the source at this small-batch, Alberta-exclusive brewery, which also boasts a large, sunny patio and tasty menu.
4580 Quesnay Wood Dr SW, 403-720-2733, www.wildrosebrewery.com

National on 17th: Everyone from hip artists to oil execs hangs out on the National patio, and not just for the large selection of North American craft brews.
550 – 17 Ave SW, 403-229-0226, ntnl.ca

1410 World Bier Haus: Look down on the commoners from their rooftop perch while sampling unusual beers from all over the world.
1410 – 17 Ave SW, 403-229-1410, www.1410bierhaus.ca


La Chaumière: The elegance of the classic French menu pairs perfectly with the beautiful patio, not to mention a wine list of over 800 vintages.
139 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-5690, www.lachaumiere.ca

River Café: The only restaurant on Prince’s Island in the heart of downtown serves world-renowned cuisine with a focus on exquisite local ingredients.
25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670, www.river-cafe.com

Rouge Restaurant: Situated in a vast, verdant lawn, patio diners can enjoy inventive dishes prepared with ingredients grown in the garden right beside the tables.
1240 – 8 Ave SE, 403-531-2767, www.rougecalgary.com


Cibo: The menu at this bright, modern Italian restaurant manages to be both kid and adult-friendly, and the trellised patio has a lush garden vibe.
1012 – 17 Ave SW, 403-984-4755, cibocalgary.com

Dairy Lane Café: A fixture since 1950, this little diner with a streetside patio uses organic ingredients and features a special menu of kid’s favourites.
319 – 19 St NW, 403-283-2497, www.dairylanecafe.ca

Los Chilitos Taco & Tequila House: With a two-tier patio overlooking 17th Avenue SW and a menu of authentic Mexican food, there’s plenty of food and good views for everyone to love.
1309 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-5528, www.loschilitos.ca