Laneway living in Calgary

Behind the facade of Calgary’s inner-city neighbourhoods is a largely dusty area of garbage cans, bottle pickers and garages. It’s the perfect place to build a home. While there’s been a lot of rhetoric as of late around suburban versus urban growth, there’s a wealth of unused land in Calgary. In other cities that same … Continue reading Laneway living in Calgary

An outsider’s view of outsiders: an interview with Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden’s novels are all about place. They are anchored not only in the wilds of Canada (for the most part), but they are tied to the First Nations consciousness of a homeland. So it’s funny that Boyden, who lives in New Orleans, stays away from these places in order to better understand and write … Continue reading An outsider’s view of outsiders: an interview with Joseph Boyden

Citizens on the backburner: it’s all about the oil in Alberta

Imagine if you could run roughshod over the laws and be comfortable in the knowledge that you’d only get in trouble about one per cent of the time, and when you did, it amounted to a miniscule fine. What would you do? You’d probably behave like the oil companies operating within Alberta. In a recent … Continue reading Citizens on the backburner: it’s all about the oil in Alberta

The quiet of Calgary’s 2013 flood

When Calgary was hit by a devastating flood in the spring of 2013, the city of over one million people turned into a virtual ghost town in the inner neighbourhoods and downtown. The silence was eery and there was nothing but space for roaming roadways normally choked with traffic. All photos by Drew Anderson

Bow River, kind of a jerk

Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this, I know you’ve been busy. Yeah sure, no problem. I love your paper. Er, thanks. So, why are you such an asshole? Begging your pardon? You heard me, you’ve been a bit of a prick lately. Hey man, c’mon, I’m just going with the flow. You … Continue reading Bow River, kind of a jerk

Incarceration and freedom with Kent Monkman

For those of us who live here, the Calgary Stampede can be many things — beer-soaked debauchery, greasy food, the midway, the rodeo, or simply a time to get the hell out of the city. For artist Kent Monkman, however, the Stampede represents something else entirely. Commissioned by the Glenbow to create an installation based … Continue reading Incarceration and freedom with Kent Monkman

Calgary’s slow but steady cycling plan

Calgary is the poster child for the poetic notion that things end not with a bang but a whisper. It’s the lead up to that silent, accepting conclusion that causes all the problems. Need proof? Look at the Peace Bridge, or the bike lanes on 10th Street N.W. Infrastructure changes don’t come easy to Calgary, … Continue reading Calgary’s slow but steady cycling plan

Alberta’s craft brewers in war of words with importers

It could be labelled as an ideological battle, but that might be too exteme. Is it a story of the hometown hero versus the outsider? Is it about fairness? Selection? Consumer choice? Well, this battle of the beers is technically about all of those things. Alberta’s small brewers are trying to pressure the provincial government … Continue reading Alberta’s craft brewers in war of words with importers

A two-pronged attack on creativity

If you want to see the kind of mind that supports closing arts programs, in this case at Mount Royal University, have a look at two recent opinion articles. One by the Calgary Sun ’s Ian Robinson is a barely coherent demonstration of ignorance and simple-mindedness. The other, by the Calgary Herald ’s Karin Klassen, … Continue reading A two-pronged attack on creativity

Wreck City artists run amok in Sunnyside

Wherever there is cheap space, you’ll find artists. Detroit is a great example. As the city empties and houses are abandoned, property is bottom-barrel cheap and artists move in. There are blocks of decorated houses because, well, what else is anybody going to do with them. Calgary? Not so cheap. Yet, if you wander along … Continue reading Wreck City artists run amok in Sunnyside