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Calgary

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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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

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

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!

Read more…

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!

5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY & STACEY PARKER

Lotus Root Salad at The Coup (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Lotus Root Salad at The Coup (Photo: Jason Dziver)

If you’re a vegetarian, you must love salad—because if you don’t, there won’t be a single thing you can eat on most restaurant menus. Fortunately for your taste buds, these five Calgary restaurants are turning out (mostly) vegetarian menus loaded with options.

THE COUP
Be sure to arrive with time to spare in order to gain entry to this 17th Avenue hotspot. Well known and loved among Calgary’s vegetarians, The Coup is entirely vegetarian with a focus on fresh, whole, local, organic food. Vegans and gluten-free diners will be comfortable here as well. Don’t forget to try one of their unique cocktails such as the Kombucha Gimlet with schizandra berry, rose, citrus, vodka and elderflower liqueur, topped with hibiscus rose kombucha.
Must Try: Lotus Root Salad (pictured). Okay, technically this is a salad, but it’s a lot more hearty and flavourful than the standard pile of lettuce. Warm Asian greens, lotus root and organic cherry tomatoes are dressed in a citrus ponzu sauce, then topped with toasted pine nuts and perfectly crisped tofu.
• 924 – 17 Ave SW, 403-541-1041, www.thecoup.ca
Map and reviews
Read more…

PARKLUXE 2014: Front Row Fashion in Calgary

Screen shot 2014-09-30 at 1.14.29 PM

When it comes to fashion, “local” and “luxury” can be synonymous—which is exactly what PARK aims to showcase in their annual PARKLUXE fashion show.

PARK—which stands for Promoting Artists, Redefining Kulture—is a Calgary-based, non-profit organization that provides opportunities for emerging and working designers to promote and showcase their work. Their annual PARKLUXE fashion show is their penultimate extravaganza, showcasing top-tier luxury fashion from local designers.

Strutting on stage this time will be designs by Caitlin Power, Laura Siegel, Malorie Urbanovitch, Paul Hardy, Nicole Campre, and Matthew Gallagher.

Milan-trained Matthew Gallagher will be featured as a special guest designer this year as the 2014 Cayman Islands Stylemaker, an innovative recognition program that supports talent in the fields of culinary, fashion, interior design and the arts. Having just presented his FW14 Collection at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week, Gallagher’s sleek, elegant designs are prepped and polished for the Calgary PARKLUXE 2014 runway.

Like what you see? Bring the fashions from the runway to your wardrobe! “Our guests will also have an exciting opportunity to ‘shop the runway’ at the first PARKLUXE Designer Pop-up Shop, which will be available post-show,” Kara Chomistek, PARK President says.

The event is open to the public—fashionistas, aspiring designers, art lovers, culture-savvy Calgarians, and those just looking for something fun and different to do for a night out should definitely check it out. Fashion shows, shopping, drinks, and conversation… it’s a showcase of Calgary’s cultural scene at its finest.

PARKLUXE takes place on Saturday, October 4 at 7 pm in the Calgary Opera Tent located at the Riverwalk Plaza in East Village, 618 Confluence Way SE.

Tickets range from $40-$150 and can be purchased online at www.ourPARKonline.com.

Nordstrom’s Grand Entrance in Calgary

By BREANNA MROCZEK

(Image: courtesy Nordstrom, Inc)

(Image: courtesy Nordstrom, Inc)

Make room in your closet for fall fashion! The iconic fashion retailer Nordstrom makes its Canadian debut in Calgary at Chinook Centre on September 19, with doors opening at 9:30 am.

Nordstrom is certainly making its arrival into Canada a grand entrance: before you even get to the fashion, there’s eBar coffee bar, Bazille full-service restaurant, a beauty boutique, free wifi, and personal stylists to consult. Once you make your way to the racks of covetable clothing, you’ll find exclusive brands and high-end statement pieces right alongside modestly priced everyday wear.

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Calgary Can’t-Miss Events in September

By KARRY TAYLOR

Beakerhead is "a smash up of art, science and engineering." (Photo: Neil Zeller, courtesy Beakerhead)

Beakerhead is “a smash up of art, science and engineering.” (Photo: Neil Zeller, courtesy Beakerhead)

Festival season is still going strong throughout September with major events like Beakerhead and the Calgary International Film Fest hitting the stage. That’s not all that’s hitting the stage—several major comedians are coming to town this month, with and without YYComedy Festival. Oktoberfest is on its way too, with bratwurst, oompa and, of course, beer. Prost!

Honens International Piano Competition
Sep 4 – 7
Some of the world’s best piano players will be performing at this competition. Music lovers will enjoy intimate recitals, late night gigs in Calgary clubs and pubs, open-air concerts, family-friendly performances and music-based films and lectures.
• Various venues, 403-299-0130, www.honens.com

ZooGala is the Calgary Zoo's annual fundraising event. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Zoo)

ZooGala is the Calgary Zoo’s annual fundraising event. (Photo: courtesy Calgary Zoo)

ZooGala
Sep 5
One of the Calgary Zoo’s most important annual fundraisers offers an evening of wine, food, live music and behind-the-scene views to many of the zoo’s wild critters and creatures. New for this year is Roaming Among the Wild, a cutting edge fashion show for those with a wild sense of style.
• 1300 Zoo Rd NE, 403-232-9300, www.calgaryzoo.com

Calgary Mini Maker Faire
Sep 6 – 7
A festival of creativity and resourcefulness focused on the maker movement, which is comprised of amateur inventors and hobbyists who invent, design, create and build things by employing DIY (Do It Yourself) techniques. The event celebrates innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft with hands-on demonstrations and lectures.
• TELUS Spark, 220 St Georges Dr NE, 403-817-6800, www.makerfaireyyc.ca

Jann Arden
Sep 9
The Canadian songstress is back with a cross-Canada tour and a new album, Everything Almost.
• Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 – 14 Ave NW, 403-777-0000, www.ticketmaster.ca

Beakerhead
Sep 10 – 14
Beakerhead’s tagline is “a smash up of art, science and engineering,” and there really is no better way to describe it. The zany five-day festival turns all of Calgary into a mad scientist’s laboratory with interactive installations and performances for all ages. Flying robots join forces with humanoids in electric stage shows, scientists hit the streets with live experiments, roving art installations are engineered with eye-popping effects and restaurants create delicious gastro-science eats. Most events are free.
• Various venues, 587-351-7787, beakerhead.org

The 'Masters' tournament is Spruce Meadows biggest event of the year. (Photo: courtesy Spruce Meadows)

The ‘Masters’ tournament is Spruce Meadows’ biggest event of the year. (Photo: courtesy Spruce Meadows)

Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament
Sep 10-14
The best athletes from the world’s top show jumping nations will be at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, one of the world’s premiere equestrian events, to compete for over $2 million in prize money. Off the track, enjoy family entertainment and an international shopping bazaar.
• 18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, 403-974-4200, www.sprucemeadows.com

Calgary Bridal Expo
Sep 16
Watch fashion shows, sample products, shop for wedding dresses, and talk to vendors about everything you need for the big day.
• BMO Centre, 1409 Olympic Way SE, 403-660-0166, www.bridalexpo.ca

The Imagination Movers star in a Disney TV show. (Photo: courtesy Imagination Movers)

The Imagination Movers star in their own Disney TV show. (Photo: courtesy Imagination Movers)

Imagination Movers: Back in Blue
Sep 16
The stars of the popular, kid-friendly Disney TV show hit Calgary for a concert and meet-and-greet.
• Epcor Centre, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.epcorcentre.org

The Walrus Talks Philanthropy
Sep 16
A lively and thought-provoking discussion on the state of philanthropy featuring Blackfoot elder and spiritual advisor Casey Eagle Speaker, Free the Children’s Craig Kielburger, former NHL player and child advocate Sheldon Kennedy and others.
• Theatre Junction Grand, 608 – 1 St SW, thewalrus.ca/the-walrus-talks-philanthropy-2014

Calgary International Film Fest
Sep 18 – 28
An 11-day showcase of international and Canadian cinema with over 200 film screenings.
• Various venues, 403-283-1490, www.calgaryfilm.com

Calgary Home + Design Show
Sep 18 – 21
Get products and advice for your home renovations and meet HGTV star Bryan Baeumler.
• BMO Centre, 1409 Olympic Way SE, 403-253-1177, www.calgaryhds.com

50 Years of James Bond
Sep 19
Suspense, mystery and drama abound as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra plays soundtrack highlights from the blockbuster 007 films. Re-live the secret agent’s most thrilling moments with classic Bond theme songs and memorable film scores from Dr. No, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only and the Oscar-winning song Skyfall.
• Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-571-0849, www.cpo-live.com

Jerry Seinfeld is performing four standup comedy shows in Calgary. (Photo: courtesy JS Touring)

Jerry Seinfeld is performing four standup comedy shows in Calgary. (Photo: courtesy JS Touring)

Comedy Stars
Sep 19, 20, 27
Three major comedians are hitting Calgary in September. Fresh off his appearance as a judge on Last Comic Standing, Russell Peters returns to the stage with all new material for his Almost Famous World Tour on September 19. Next up is Jerry Seinfeld—the popular sitcom star is bringing his standup act with humorous observations about every day life to Calgary for four shows on September 19 and 20. Bob Saget finishes off the month. The former star of Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos is in town on September 27 to promote his new book Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.
• Tickets available at Ticketmaster: 403-777-0000, www.ticketmaster.ca

NMC Out Loud Gala
Sep 20
A fundraiser for the National Music Centre, the gala is a one-a one-of-a-kind musical experience featuring elegant cuisine, interactive exhibitions and an evening of live music, including a special performance by Juno and Canadian Country Music Awards winning artist Johnny Reid.
• Uniquities, 2501 – Alyth Rd SE, 403-543-5115, nmcoutloud.ca

The Calgary International Flamenco Festival is a week-long celebration of music and dance. (Photo: courtesy Calgary International Flamenco Festival)

The Calgary International Flamenco Festival is a week-long celebration of music and dance. (Photo: courtesy Calgary International Flamenco Festival)

International Flamenco Festival
Sep 20 – 27
Enjoy a week of passionate and innovative music, as well as dance workshops and concerts featuring top flamenco artists from Canada and Spain.
• Various venues, www.calgaryflamencofestival.com

Calgary Oktoberfest
Sep 26 -27
You don’t need to travel to Germany to enjoy Oktoberfest. Celebrate Bavarian culture Calgary-style with beer, food, games and an authentic oompa band.
• Big Four Building, 1410 Olympic Way SE, 403-520-5433, calgaryoktoberfest.com

Alberta Culture Days
Sep 26 – 28
Ninety organizations across the province will celebrate Canadian arts and cultural life with free activities, performances, and workshops. As part of the festivities Fort Calgary, the city’s birthplace, will host family-friendly live stage performances, historical displays and movies as well as face painting and craft-making.
• Various venues, 403-290-1875, culture.alberta.ca/culturedays

Ziggy Marley is touring his latest album, Fly Rasta. (Photo: courtesy Ziggy Marley)

Ziggy Marley is touring his latest album, Fly Rasta. (Photo: courtesy Ziggy Marley)

Ziggy Marley
Sep 29
As a young child Ziggy Marley sat in on the recording sessions of his famous father, reggae master Bob Marley.  For the past 25 years, he has established his own musical name with 12 albums, six Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award.
• Jack Singer Concert Hall, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-9494, www.epcorcentre.org

YYComedy Festival
Sept 29-Oct 4
This fall, YYComedy Festival will be hosting 22 events that are guaranteed to tickle your funnybone. The lineup includes a variety of standup and sketch comedy performances, including headliners Harland Williams and Brian Posehn and a live taping of CBC Radio One’s The Irrelevant Show.
• Various venues, 403-614-6818, yycomedy.ca

You Gotta Eat Here in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

Comedian John Catucci hosts Food Network's You Gotta Eat Here. (Photo: courtesy Shaw Media)

Comedian John Catucci hosts Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here. (Photo: courtesy Shaw Media)

From posh urban eateries to down-home country diners, Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here showcases beloved Canadian restaurants, with host John Catucci sampling the most outrageous and mouth-watering dishes the nation’s chefs can concoct.

Fans of the show don’t have to just sit at home and drool, though. Head over to one of the 15 Calgary restaurants featured on the past three seasons and eat what John ate, or discover a hidden gem on the menu. You Gotta Eat Here airs Fridays at 7 pm on the Food Network.

BEER REVOLUTION
Premium beer and wood-fired, thin crust pizza are served at this unpretentious rock ’n’ roll bar. The 24 draft lines change several times per week with a focus on breweries outside the mainstream. Try the Blazing Saddle Pizza with blackened steak, banana peppers, white cheddar, mozzarella, crispy onions, cajun remoulade, seasoned arugula and horseradish aioli.
What John Ate: Pizza Spring Rolls — crispy, deep-fried rolls filled with pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, basil, mozzarella and spicy marinara sauce.
1080 – 8 St SW, 403-264-2739, beerrevolution.ca

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