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Where to Go Calgary

Where to Celebrate Wacky Holidays in Calgary

April is Grilled Cheese Month, the ideal time to head to Naina's Kitchen for an ooey-gooey ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar). (Photo: courtesy Naina's Kitchen)

April is Grilled Cheese Month, the ideal time to head to Naina’s Kitchen for an ooey-gooey ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar). (Photo: courtesy Naina’s Kitchen)

National Noodle Month: March
Noodles: the best food ever, or simply amazing? Kick off the festivities at Paper St. for a ramen burger — who needs buns when you have noodles? If your broth to noodle ratio ends up uneven at Jinya Ramen Bar, order a kaedama (noodle refill) for a second helping.

National Absinthe Day: March 5
Teetotalers, avert your eyes! This day is dedicated to the charming little beverage known as absinthe, which boasts an alcohol content of about 55 – 75 percent. Invoke the Green Fairy with Bourbon Room’s four-person absinthe fountain, or (careful, now) sample your way through five varieties at Avec Bistro.

Worship of Tools Day: March 11
No, not your ex — the useful kind of tool. If you’re bereft of tools to worship, visit Lee Valley, a family-run business that has it all from woodworking to gardening. About a third of the tools they sell are of their own design.

Waffle Day: March 25
There can be no waffling when naming the best sweet, bread-ish breakfast food — it’s clearly waffles. Get your waffle on with sweet and savoury variations at Buttermilk Fine Waffles or check out Starbelly’s weekend brunch buffet which features its own waffle station.

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month: April
Archer said it best: grill… me… a cheese. Naina’s Kitchen is well known for their stuffed burgers, but their grilled cheeses are underrated hidden gem — the ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar) is the work of a genius.

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day: April 2
Peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time! Now that the song is stuck in your head (you’re welcome), let’s move on to where you can celebrate this illustrious day. For true PB&J cred, you need Tubby Dog’s Cap’n Dog: a hot dog slathered in peanut butter and jelly, then topped with a sprinkle of Cap’n Crunch cereal.

National Beer Day: April 7
Not to be confused with every other day of the year, this is the day to enjoy a nice, cold bottle and/or glass of suds. Make the day extra special with a sampling of the world’s finest craft brews at Craft Beer Market, which boasts more than 100 beers on tap.

Movie Theatre Day: April 23
This is the perfect time to hearken back to the movie experience of yesteryear at Calgary’s indie movie theatres: The Plaza in Kensington and downtown’s Globe Cinema.

Pinhole Photography Day: April 30
To take a photograph, you need two things — and no, a camera lens isn’t one of them. Pinhole photography uses the simplest of cameras: a light-proof box with a tiny hole in it. Dianne Bos is a renowned pinhole photographer, and naturally her work will be on display at Newzones on this most appropriate day.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Valentine’s Day can be kind of hit-or-miss, but Houseplant Appreciation Day and Drink Wine Day are a guaranteed good time. Here’s where to go in Calgary to celebrate some of the more “interesting” holidays.

Bean Day: January 6
Beans, beans, the musical fruit… enough said. The humble bean doesn’t get much attention, but all that changes today. Go to Native Tongues Taqueria for frijoles piled on tacos and tostadas or, if you prefer your beans baked, head to Holy Smoke BBQ for Southern baked beans with a side of barbeque.

Old Rock Day: January 7
Alberta is absolutely littered with old rocks — like, 60 million years old. It’s well worth the day trip to Drumheller’s Royal Tyrrell Museum to see one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaur fossils, plus other fossilized flora and fauna from prehistoric eras long before Alberta was Alberta.

Houseplant Appreciation Day: January 10
This is the day to really show your houseplants how much you love them. Perhaps an extra splash of water? If your houseplants didn’t survive your, um, previous lack of appreciation, start fresh at Plant with incredible tropical, succulent, cactus, and airplant terrariums, or take a workshop and learn to create your own little plant world.

National Pie Day: January 23
The pie’s the limit on this holy day. The question is, savoury or sweet? At Pie Junkie, the answer is both — maybe one to stay and one to go?

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day: January 31
There are lots of ways to inspire your heart, but art is definitely one of the least risky and most rewarding ways. Pay a visit to the Esker Foundation to see their new exhibition Earthlings (starting Jan 21) — otherworldly, surreal, magically figurative ceramic sculpture and works on paper by seven contemporary artists.

National Hot Breakfast Month: February
Not to be confused with National Breakfast Month (September), this month is dedicated specifically to hot breakfasts — not lukewarm, and definitely not cold. Yellow Door Bistro has just the thing, a weekend hot breakfast buffet with a changing menu that highlights seasonal ingredients and creative takes on traditional breakfast fare.

Umbrella Day: February 10
Rain, snow, sleet, or even sunshine — let not a drop of it touch your skin on this day dedicated to your own portable canopy. If you don’t own such a canopy (also known as an umbrella), pick up a Hudson’s Bay striped one at The Bay or choose from dozens of other styles.

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day: February 18
Though it may seem a bit odd to be breakfasting on frozen treats in the middle of the winter, we must nobly soldier on. Village Ice Cream opens at 11 am, which is technically still morning, but if you’re more the breakfast in bed type plan ahead and pick up a pint or two to go.

Drink Wine Day: February 18
If ever you needed an excuse to drink wine, here it is. There’s simply nothing we can do, we must obey the day. Get to Murrieta’s Bar & Grill or Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro for whites, reds, ports, sparkling, and maybe a little food. Don’t overdo it on the snacks though — this isn’t Eat Food Day.

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day: February 23
We strongly suggest that you let your dog handle the appreciation on this illustrious day. Help ensure your fuzzy friend makes the most of their soon-to-be-favourite day with a gourmet biscuit from Bon A-Pet-Treat! Pet Bakery in the Calgary Farmers’ Market. They also make dog cakes that are so enticing you’ll want to try a bite (don’t, though).

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
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 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.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
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.

Where To Dine Awards Calgary 2014

Blink Restaurant (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Blink Restaurant (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Every year, some of the city’s top food critics convene to decide who deserves top honours in Calgary’s dining scene. Here are Where Calgary’s selections for 2014.

THE PANELLISTS

John Gilchrist is a Calgary restaurant critic, food writer, Where Calgary “Hot Dining” columnist, and author of Calgary and area restaurant review books My Favourite Restaurants and My Favourite Cheap Eats.

Julie Van Rosendaal is a best-selling cookbook author, the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One, and a columnist and freelancer for several publications across Canada.

A. Warren Downs is the Gold Manager and Chef Concierge at the Fairmont Palliser, and the Regional Vice Director of Les Clefs d’Or Canada.

Diana Ng is a digital media strategist by day, and hungry, hungry hippo/food writer by night. She is the co-founder of Eat North, and has written for Culinaire, WestJet’s Up!, and Avenue, as well as other publications like Canadian Living and Fodor’s travel guides.

Dan Clapson is a food writer and columnist in Calgary who helps to chronicle the Canadian food scene for media outlets like Avenue magazine, Food Network Canada, enRoute magazine, and more. He loves London Fogs when it’s minus five or colder.

A CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC
Where Calgary’s Restaurant of the Year is Blink
No gimmicks, no trends, no themes, no features: Blink Restaurant is just simply good. “Year after year, Blink proves that you don’t need to latch onto what’s “cool” to be one of the top dining destinations in the city,” Clapson says. “The wine list is one of the best you’ll find and Chef Chris Dewling’s menu is all local and all delicious.”

WTD_blink1

Blink Restaurant (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Blink opened in 2009 and ever since have served up dishes that do an outstanding job of showcasing local ingredients with delicious—and sometimes unexpected—flavour pairings. “One of the best qualities in a good restaurant is consistency,” Van Rosendaal says, “Blink serves a consistently fantastic menu in a beautiful, historic setting.” This is not to say that consistency, where Blink is concerned, is tired or outdated or frumpy—it’s inviting, contemporary, and unpretentious. Blink is just an enjoyable place to be. The exposed brick walls and soft lighting create an ambiance that’s pleasant for any sort of dining experience—date, business lunch, drinks, group get-together—without being distracting. Memorable meals are what Blink serves up, because you’ll remember everything about it from the presentation to the complimentary flavours to how upset you felt when you got to the last morsel on the plate (good thing there’s always dessert). There’s a sugar pumpkin soup with spiced crème that I’d like to have until it disappears from the menu.

FAMILIAR FAVOURITES: RUNNERS UP
Raw Bar by Duncan Ly
“Raw Bar has always been one of Calgary’s hot spots, a superbly designed room with a unique Vietmodern menu by Executive Chef Duncan Ly and Chef de Cuisine Jinhee Lee, and some of the best cocktails in the city created by mixologist Christina Mah,” Van Rosendaal says. “If there’s a bar to be set in terms of Modern Vietnamese cooking, then Chef Duncan Ly has certainly set it. The plates of food here as beautiful to look at as they are to eat,” Clapson says. “Raw Bar pleases both fans of traditional Asian cuisine as well as people who may not be familiar with Asian food, with chefs Duncan Ly’s and Jinhee Lee’s expert hands at combining Asian flavours and ingredients with solid cooking techniques,” Ng says.

Rouge Restaurant
“Rouge is that charming and rare union between sophistication, casualness, polish, and homegrown,” Ng says. The ingredients are as local as possible, and the techniques and style of the food is timeless, all done in a cozy and historical setting.”
You can’t get more local than a place that grows its own produce in the garden just outside the restaurant and sources everything else from Calgary area producers. “Rouge has become a Calgary icon with skilled chefs, a dedication to local ingredients, and attention to detail—not to mention the best garden party venue in the city” Van Rosendaal says.

YEAR OF THE PIG
Calgary’s Best New Restaurant of 2014 is Black Pig Bistro
It was an easy, unanimous decision to award Black Pig Bistro this title: “I’m always hard-pressed to find something wrong with this place,” Clapson says. “Impeccable service, great-looking room, and the food—those pork and beans are one of my favourite dishes in this province.” Pork and beans? Yes! This dish of savoury porchetta topped with green beans, broad beans, and edemame beans is the restaurant’s most popular, co-owner Larry Scammell says. “Black Pig Bistro offers up an inspiring menu with a Spanish edge and dedication to the pig, but they’re far from one-dimensional” says Van Rosendaal. “It’s worth a visit for their small plates, interesting cocktails, and fantastic desserts, all served in a comfortably current space.” Chefs Allison and John Bieber and owners Denise and Larry Scammel opened the restaurant in April 2014, inspired by Allison and John’s travels to Spain.

Black Pig Bistro (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Black Pig Bistro (Photo: Jason Dziver)

The restaurant name refers to the Black Iberian Pig, indigenous to Spain and Portugal, known for its high caliber of flavour. Here, they source their pork from Broek Pork Acres, a family run farm in Coalhurst, AB that raises grain-fed and pasture-dwelling pigs without antibiotics. Beyond tapas and typical pork dishes, the menu at Black Pig Bistro is truly innovative with resulting dishes that will satisfy hungry eaters and don’t just look pretty on the plate (though they do that, too.)

NEW AND NOTABLE: RUNNERS UP
Workshop Kitchen + Culture
Good theatre and good food have always gone together to form the perfect night out. That combination resides under one roof at The Grand, a historic entertainment building that is now home to the contemporary performance company Theatre Junction and the restaurant Workshop Kitchen + Culture. Named for the building’s original theatre group, Workshop 14, the restaurant matches the performances in contemporary innovation with dishes such as gin and juniper cured trout or roasted duck breast with a coriander and espresso glaze. Three, five, and seven course “improv” tasting menus are also available. Workshop even makes its own sodas in flavours such as vanilla maple cream and blackberry cardamom. “Workshop is a little bit of fresh air in a predictable downtown dining scene,” Clapson says. “There’s a lot on the menu here, but it’s all enticing.”

Scopa Neighbourhood Italian
Casual, neighbourhood Italian is the vibe here—and the food is deliciously suited to it. “The setting is part farm house, part Italian rumpus room, and the service is bright and the prices are right,” Gilchrist says. Perfect for families, dates, and friends, Scopa serves up crisp, crusty pizzas, creamy pastas, and authentic Italian desserts. “If you’re looking for a great Italian meal and good drinks without a crowd of hipsters standing in your way at the door, then this is the spot for you,” Clapson says. “Scopa’s inspired take on Italian (especially their polenta bread with pancetta and honey) is worth coming back for again and again.”

MAISON BIRKS SILVER SPOON AWARD
Centini Restaurant and Lounge

“All of our hotels have received many great comments back from our guests about the little things the staff at Centini have done to create a memorable dining experience for them; they will hand out cannoli as they are leaving, or let them in on a family recipe. As well as the excellent food, impeccable service, and consistency, they do their best to accommodate our guests when we call in to make a reservation.”
— Cindy Stewart, Chef Concierge Westin Hotel, Les Clefs d’Or Regional Secretary

BEST OF THE REST
Our judges’ picks for the top three restaurants in 22 dining categories

BEST FOR BEER
National
Craft Beer Market
Beer Revolution

BEST BRUNCH
Grumans Catering and Delicatessen
Yellow Door Bistro
Monki breakfastclub & bistro

BEST BURGERS
Naina’s Kitchen
Buchanan’s Chop House & Whisky Bar
Burger 320

BEST FOR BUSINESS LUNCH
Blink Restaurant
CHARCUT Roast House
Catch & the Oyster Bar

BEST CAFE/COFFEE SHOP
Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar
Caffe Rosso
Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters

BEST MULTI-LOCATION RESTAURANT
Redwater Rustic Grille
Earls Kitchen + Bar
Original Joe’s Restaurant & Bar

BEST COCKTAILS
Model Milk
Milk Tiger Lounge
Raw Bar by Duncan Ly

BEST DESSERT (RESTAURANT)
Yellow Door Bistro
Blink Restaurant
La Chaumiere Restaurant

BEST DESSERT (TO GO)
Yann Haute Patisserie
Brûlée Patisserie
Jelly Modern Doughnuts

BEST EAST ASIAN
White Elephant Thai Cuisine
Thai Sa-on Royal Thai Cuisine
The Himalayan

BEST EUROPEAN
Avec Bistro
Wurst Überkitchen
Cassis Bistro

BEST FAMILY DINING
Diner Deluxe
Cibo
Kinjo Sushi & Grill

BEST INDIAN
Namskar Restaurant
Clay Oven
Moti Mahal

BEST ITALIAN
Bonterra Trattoria
Il Sogno
Scopa Neighbourhood Italian

BEST FOR LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Rouge Restaurant
River Café
downtownfood

BEST PIZZA
Posto Pizzeria & Bar
Double Zero
Without Papers Pizza

BEST STEAK
Vintage Chophouse & Tavern
Wellington’s of Calgary
Rush Ocean Prime

BEST VEGETARIAN FOOD
The Coup
Boxwood Café
Namskar Restaurant

BEST FOR WINE
Divino Wine and Cheese Bistro
Vin Room
Wine-Ohs

*Note: Only restaurants that opened prior to November 1, 2014 were considered in all categories. Choices were voted on and discussed by the judges, with consideration for the visitor and local markets, which are Where Calgary‘s audience.

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

(more…)

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

Where to Golf in Calgary: Top 10 Local Public Courses

Blue Devil Golf Club is Calgary's newest course. (Photo: courtesy Blue Devil Golf Club)

Consider teeing off at the Blue Devil Golf Club, one of Calgary’s many pristine public golf courses. (Photo courtesy of Blue Devil Golf Club)

Fooooore! Whether you’re looking to sharpen your game or just get in a few relaxing swings, Calgary has everything a golfer could desire—challenging courses, well-maintained greens and stunningly beautiful views. Here are Where Calgary publisher Brian French’s picks for the best public golf courses in the city and surrounding area.

1. Heritage Pointe Golf Course
Located 20 minutes south of the downtown area in Pine Creek Valley, this 27-hole facility is surrounded by scenic forested area, cliffs and beautiful flowing water. Heritage Pointe is among the best-maintained courses in the city and features the quickest greens. Green fees $80 to $115 for 18 holes.
• 1 Heritage Pointe Dr, DeWinton, 403-256-2002, www.heritagepointe.com
Map and reviews

2. Silvertip Golf Course
Silvertip is perched on the benchlands of Mount Lady MacDonald in Canmore, 50 minutes west of Calgary. It’s a little further away from the city, but most definitely worth the drive. It seems like each of the 18 holes on this championship layout are signature holes, many with breathtaking elevations. Green fees $75 to $175.
• 2000 Silvertip Tr, Canmore, 1-877-877-5444, www.silvertipresort.com

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Calgary Can’t-Miss Events in August

By KARRY TAYLOR

GlobalFest is an international fireworks competition, featuring entrants from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and France (Photo: courtesy Travel Alberta)

GlobalFest is an international fireworks competition with entrants from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and France (Photo: courtesy Travel Alberta)

It’s the height of summer in Calgary and fun is in full swing. August is bursting with sports, performances and festivals. Check out our roster of can’t-miss dates for this month.

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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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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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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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Stay Balanced: 6 Yoga Tips for Travellers

By RACHAEL FREY

Kate W. Mak is a yoga instructor at Yoga Santosha in Calgary (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Kate W. Mak is a yoga instructor at Yoga Santosha in Calgary (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Whether it’s business or pleasure, travel can leave you tired, sore and stressed. Yoga, however, soothes nerves and muscles while abroad. For the novice, vacation time is an ideal opportunity to try yoga at a drop-in class.

Kate W. Mak teaches yoga at retreats from Bali and Costa Rica. She’s also an instructor at Yoga Santosha (see list), a bright, airy studio in Calgary’s 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District. She has a few simple yoga tips for both the yoga veteran and the newly initiated.
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Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket

By RACHAEL FREY

One of the punk jackets on display at Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket (Photo: courtesy Glenbow Museum)

One of the punk jackets on display at Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket (Photo: courtesy Glenbow Museum)

Like a second skin, it still holds the shape of the body that broke it in. The leather is barely visible beneath patches proclaiming the wearer’s favourite bands and hand-lettered quotes musing on the failings of humanity. Bristling with swathes of silver spikes and studs, festooned with chains, this black leather jacket screams, “I’m not like you, and I’m proud of it!”

It’s one of many uniquely customized leather biker jackets on display at the Glenbow Museum’s Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket, February 8 to May 4. The collaborative creation of Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum and Seattle’s Experience Music Project (EMP) museum, the travelling exhibition explores the garment’s meteoric rise as a pop-culture icon.

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Best Pubs in Calgary: Winter Edition

Best Pubs in Calgary: Winter

Best Winter Pubs in Calgary: the Local 510 (Photo: courtesy of Local 510)

Alberta weather can be unforgiving from November to March, but nothing warms you up faster than a stop in at one of the best winter pubs in Calgary. We searched the city for the friendliest, coziest spots to spend a frosty night, and present to you the list below to make sure you never go cold again.

See the list of the 7 best winter pubs in Calgary »

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