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Calgary

Reelin’ In the Fun: Fly-Fishing on the Bow River

By IAN DOIG

Out Fly Fishing guide Naoto Aoki prepares to release a freshly caught Bow River brown trout. (Photo: courtesy Josh Nugent)

Out Fly Fishing guide Naoto Aoki prepares to release a freshly caught Bow River brown trout. (Photo: courtesy Josh Nugent)

Fly-fishing outfitter and guide Josh Nugent loves his work. A day at the office involves wading and/or floating along the Bow River. Practicing catch-and-release fishing, Nugent and his team of seasoned guides help clients match wits with the river’s world-famous trout.

What kind of fishing experience do you offer clients?
We offer a really large variety of trips. The first question our guides ask customers in the morning is what do you want out of this day?

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Perfect Patios: Where to Dine Outdoors in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

The Living Room's patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

The Living Room’s patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

When summer arrives, the city’s outdoor restaurant patios bloom. Here is a sample of Calgary’s best places to eat, drink and socialize in the sun.

THE LIVING ROOM
514 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-9830, livingroomrestaurant.com
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 12 am; Sun, 5 pm – 12 am.
Venue and Vibe: Plush and contemporary, serving family-style dishes meant to be lingered over in good company.
Patio Appeal: Two outdoor fireplaces and light-wrapped trees cast a warm glow.
Sun and Shade: Mostly shade with dappled sunlight.
The View: Great street-level people watching on 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District.
Recommends: Cheese fondue with aged white cheddar, black truffle and truffle oil, plus your choice of meat, seafood and veggies to dip. Pair with a light, dry white wine.

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Decades of Decadence: One Family’s Epic Eats

By IAN DOIG

Decades of Decadence is a cookbook by local food writer Rebecca Klemke (Photo: Rebecca Klemke)

Decades of Decadence recently won a Gourmand World Cookbook award in the Historical Recipes category. (Photo: Rebecca Klemke)

Author and food blogger Rebecca Klemke is a member of one of the city’s first families of food. Her uncle Pat O’Connor is the founding owner of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR). The company’s boutique resort hotels and game-focused restaurants (including Cilantro and Bar C) are definitively Western Canadian, sourcing much of their ingredients from the region and the group’s own ranch.

Decades of Decadence is Klemke’s first cookbook and not only catalogues her family recipes, but the clan’s cuisine-centric passion for life. It was recently accredited as being among the Best in the World in the Historical Recipes category at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook and Wine Book Awards.

Rebecca Klemke, author of Decades of Decadence (Photo: courtesy Rebecca Klemke)

Rebecca Klemke, author of Decades of Decadence. (Photo: courtesy Rebecca Klemke)

What kind of cookbook is Decades of Decadence?
Bursting with over 300 recipes, it allows readers to choose their own adventure with food. From cocktail parties to romantic dates, summer cooking, holiday spirits, extravagant feasts or just dinner with friends and/or family.

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Cycle the City: Explore Calgary by Bike

By ANGELA NEUFELD

BikeBike's Sean Carter advises visitors to explore Calgary on two wheels (Photo: Laura Johnston)

BikeBike’s Sean Carter advises visitors to explore Calgary on two wheels (Photo: Laura Johnston)

Whether you’re a fair-weather rider or a serious cyclist, Calgary is easy to explore by bike with over 700 kilometres of paved pathways throughout the city.

“Checking out a city by bike is infinitely better than any other mode,” says Sean Carter, owner of BikeBike on 17 Ave SW. “You’re in the environment; you’re not stuck behind a windshield, so you can smell what’s going on in the neighborhood, and you can stop very quickly at a restaurant or a shop.”

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Freewheeling Fun: Roller Derby in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

The Chinook City Kill Jills (in yellow) take on Fernie's Avalanche City Roller Girls (Photo: Steve Recsky Photography)

The Chinook City Kill Jills (in yellow) take on Fernie’s Avalanche City Roller Girls (Photo: Steve Recsky Photography)

*** We’re giving away a pair of tickets to Flat Track Fever every day from May 12 to 16! Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for five chances to win. ***

Sparkle Motion. Negative Nancy. Crimson Shivers. These rough and tumble nom de zooms are a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 1970s heyday of roller derby, a full-contact, roller-skate sport now experiencing a North American renaissance. Artfully rugged, fast-paced and surprisingly strategic, matchups see each team’s “jammer” score points by lapping the opposing team’s “blockers” on an oval flat track. In Calgary, these matches are held at indoor community halls surrounded by floor-level spectator seating. Sparkle Motion, aka Claire Lacey, is a member of Calgary’s co-ed Chinook City Roller Derby league. She skates on its women’s team, the Kill Jills, and coaches new recruits.

What position do you play?
I play all positions. I love the speed and single-mindedness of jamming, as well as the physicality and strategy of blocking.

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Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: Chinook Centre

By SARAH SUSSMAN

Chinook Centre is located on Macleod Trail SW at Glenmore Trail.

Chinook Centre is located on Macleod Trail SW at Glenmore Trail (Photo: courtesy Chinook Centre)

A top city shopping destination, Chinook Centre is one of the largest enclosed shopping centres in Calgary. Featuring over 250 retailers, a movie theatre and several full-service restaurants, the centre is a hotspot for brand-name apparel. Here are our picks for the 10 best places to shop in Chinook Centre.

Miss Sixty/Energie
These two stylish urban apparel labels owned by Italy’s Sixty fashion company feature chic statement pieces and cutting edge designs for women. Geared towards the 20-something set, the clothing is casual with a focus on denim.
• Miss Sixty/Energie, 403-252-3922, www.misssixty.com

Victoria’s Secret
Perhaps the best-known lingerie brand in North America, this stylish pink boutique offers fashionable lingerie, bras, underwear and sleepwear as well as daytime apparel and footwear. Chinook Centre also features PINK by Victoria’s Secret, which carries swimwear and workout apparel.
• Victoria’s Secret, 403-265-2660, www.victoriassecret.com

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Funniest Night of the Week: Broken City’s Comedy Monday

By IAN DOIG

James Moore, comedian and host of Comedy Monday Nights at Broken City (Photo: Marnie Persaud)

James Moore, comedian and host of Comedy Monday Night at Broken City (Photo: Marnie Persaud)

Some of the biggest laughs happen in small clubs, and Calgary features a handful of such intimate comedy venues. In fact, the longest-running (almost nine years) open-mic comedy show in Western Canada takes place once a week in what happens to be one of the city’s coolest music clubs. A collection of bar stools and booths surrounds the dance floor and stage at Broken City. Here, on Comedy Monday Night, you’ll find funny-man host James Moore and his comic guests surrounded by a semi-circle of laughter.

The show has a reputation among stand-up comics: Zach Galifianakis and Bob Odenkirk have both dropped by. Why is that?

They’re comics, and they like to get out and try new stuff. We have a reputation for putting on a show, and that probably draws them in. Galifianakis absolutely destroyed the place. Odenkirk had some great new bits he was trying out, equating his kids to living with the worst roommate ever.

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On A High Note: Calgary’s Intimate Live Music Venues

By RACHAEL FREY

Hired Guns play to an excited crowd at the Ironwood Stage & Grill (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Hired Guns play to an excited crowd at the Ironwood Stage & Grill (Photo: Jason Dziver)

When the sun sets, the sound of live music and laughter escapes the historic Garry Theatre just east of downtown Calgary. The comfortably worn-in brick heritage building that’s home to the Ironwood Stage & Grill, a music club featuring live performances every night of the week, with two shows daily on weekends. It seats 140 yet maintains a cozy, intimate vibe.

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Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: Southcentre

By SARAH SUSSMAN

The 962,000 sq ft shopping centre contains more than 180 stores (Photo: courtesy Southcentre)

The 962,000 sq ft shopping centre contains more than 180 stores (Photo: courtesy Southcentre)

Located in the city’s southeast, Southcentre has been renovated over the past few years to make way for new independent retailers and emerging businesses. While the mall still features department stores and franchises, it also includes many independent and niche stores as well as the flagship locations of several local retailers.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
This gourmet chocolate shop carries a sumptuous selection of handmade fudge (including rocky road and peanut butter), brittle, caramel apples and individual chocolates, as well as Kookaburra red licorice from Australia.
• Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 403-265-1950, www.rmcf.com

Blu’s Womens Wear & Shoes
Alberta-based Blu’s features high-end designer women’s wear and shoes at reduced prices by brands such as Hugo Boss Woman, Eileen Fisher, Ellen Tracey Company, Teen Flo and Blu’s own namesake private label.
• Blue’s Womens Wear & Shoes, 403-225-8315, www.blus.com

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B-Side Dinner & Drinks: Eat at the Bar in Calgary

By ANGELA NEUFELD

Bartender Travis Whitney shares a laugh with patrons at Avec Bistro (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Bartender Travis Whitney shares a laugh with patrons at Avec Bistro (Photo: Jason Dziver)

When you’re out for dinner and drinks in Calgary, consider requesting a seat at the bar. Bartender banter, cocktail clatter and the sociable setting of a communal elbow rest deliver an instant dose of nightlife. Also on the plus side, most venues’ dinner menus can be enjoyed at the bar sans (typically) reservations. Below is a guide to a varied assortment of great restaurant bars.

AVEC BISTRO
The Bar: Bright and contemporary, its blonde wood backbar and red bar seats are a fun and modern twist to this French bistro.
The Appeal: You can cozy up to your dinner date at this intimate six-seater. The rustic French food far exceeds its price tag.
The Feel: Refined yet happily casual.
Specials: Occasional weekend special: homemade ice cream sandwiches, seafood du jour.
Bar Reservations: Call ahead on Fri and Sat.
Recommends: Steak frites with béarnaise and aioli paired with a fine French red. Or the Drink French Fluently cocktail made with St. Germain liqueur and Champagne.
Hours: Mon – Thu, 11:30 – 2:30, 5 pm – 10 pm; Fri, 11:30 – 2:30, 5 pm – 11 pm; Sat, 5 pm – 11 pm; Sun, closed
• Avec Bistro, 105, 550 – 11 Ave SW, 587-352-0964, www.avecbistro.com
Map and reviews

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Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: The CORE

By ERIN LEGERE

The CORE features 160 stores, including flagships Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen (Photo: courtesy The CORE)

The CORE features 160 stores, including flagships Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen (Photo: courtesy The CORE)

Calgary’s largest downtown shopping centre boasts four levels lined with designer shops, unique boutiques and local retailers, and its recently renovated Devonian Gardens is a lush shopping-spree rest stop. For the third installment in our Best of Calgary Shopping Centres series, here are five of The CORE’s top shops.

Holt Renfrew
This upscale department store specializes in men’s and women’s designer apparel and accessories, featuring three floors of international fashion, shoes, designer handbags, cosmetics and fragrances. Boutiques include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Hermès.
• 403-269-7341, www.holtrenfrew.com

Harry Rosen
A Canadian high-end retailer of men’s designer fashion, Harry Rosen carries formal attire, sportswear, casual apparel and accessories. Exclusive in-stores boutiques include Tom Ford, Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna and Armani Collezioni.
• 403-294-0992, www.harryrosen.com

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Calgary Can’t-Miss Events in April

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo spans more than 418,000 sq. ft. of space, packed with programming, vendors, artists, and special guests. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo)

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo spans more than 418,000 sq. ft. of space, packed with programming, vendors, artists and special guests. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo)

As the snow melts, the city’s festival season kicks off. April is also jam-packed with concerts and cultural events, particularly the last weekend. Check out our roster of can’t-miss dates for this month.

The Calgary Spoken Word Festival
April 1 – 6
Devoted to literary expression, this festival features a plethora of poetry performances, workshops and panel discussions by Canadian and international artists. Highlighting the week is the energetic Ink Spot Poetry Collective slam competition, in which writers have three minutes to recite their work in front of a rowdy audience.

Kings of Leon
April 1
After a three-year hiatus, rockers Kings of Leon are back on tour following the release of their sixth album, Mechanical Bull. While the band has matured, their trademark gritty Southern blues sound remains.

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