Every symbol has more than one meaning. Indeed, when I was contemplating the move out from the east, the perception among the locals about this City was limited. ("It's cold" "All yahoos out there" "There is nothing to do there socially" "They are not friendly over there" "It snows all the time" "There is no public transit, you have to buy a car") And none of the above turned out to be true. In fact, as I soon realized, Calgary was very much the opposite of all these notions.
Either you raise taxes or cut services to millions of Albertans. Or both. You can't make a balanced budget exist out of no where, although the Redford Conservatives have tried by calling their previous budget balanced by excluding capital funding. Skirting the fundamental problems with Alberta's governing party can only go so far and a part in government can only run around the issue for so long before reality hits.
Every society has windows of opportunity where it becomes possible to accelerate change ... Sometimes the opportunity comes about in response to negative circumstances, such as when so many women entered the workforce during the war. Other times it is in response to a unique need. Then there are times when a combination of circumstances just seems to create a fertile environment for innovation.
When Olivier Reynaud moved from Avignon to Calgary in 1999, he didn't anticipate being a pioneer. That seems to be what happens to entrepreneurs in Western Canada, however, and it wasn't long before the co-proprietor of Rouge found himself at the forefront of a local food movement in Alberta's largest city.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Calgary 2012 grow from even before its official inception.. As the project comes to a close in March of 2013, I took a moment to consider what my favourite event was. From the Sweet City Lip Dub to the Artist in Residence program, the projects implemented this year have all been unique. However, my absolute favourite event was Nuit Blanche.
I spent the summer on the road, touching down in nine of the 10 provinces in Canada. Tourism opportunities abound in big centres and small, with people eager to search out local experiences, whether it be culinary finds or historic tours that are short on gimmicks and strong on depth and personality. In all, 2012 was a fantastic year for seeing Canada.
What last week illustrated is that even Vancouver — not really a winter city in the common use of that title — needs to think more about our ability to handle tougher winter conditions. With the weather being less predictable, and frequency and intensity of storm events getting worse with the consequences of climate change, anticipating and designing for unusual weather conditions is going to be the new normal for all of us.
There isn't a single spot in your brain that is reserved for "the Winter Holidays," instead, you would remember the "Winter Holidays" by the smell of hot chocolate or eggnog, the sudden jingle of bells, or warmth given off by the heat of a warm fire. Memories are created and triggered by your senses. These are great activities to do in Calgary that will stimulate your senses...because you'll never know when you are creating a memory.
When questioned upon the divide between the progressive conservative values from his time in office to the conservative values of today, I heard the "has become more right-of-centre" one too many times, paired with his opinion that the party has maintained similar ideologies, thought processes and policies.
The volume of the City of Calgary official policy that supports both the concept of a pilot project and the removal of the bylaw against egg laying hens is simply enormous.
As my readers will know, with the NHL lockout seemingly without end, I've been forced to seek alternate employment.. And thus, for the viewing pleasure of the general public, I present the 10 Most Annoying and Strange Customers of The Gas Pumper:
The hardest part of that week was trying to maintain some semblance of normality in every other aspect of my life. I tell this story for one reason: to highlight the incredible resilience of those living on the streets. I was fortunate. My experience was fleeting, and yet, that brief stint of not having a place to call home impacted me greatly.
Creating capacity in municipal governance isn't really something the elves can build and throw in Santa's toy bag. It will take politicians and citizens committed to a superior democratic structure to make this one happen. It would be the best Xmas ever if Alberta embraced this exceptional opportunity to craft a truly democratic society.
Calgary technology trailblazers Decoder has introduced Remixes, a free iOS app that makes it easy for music lovers to find and listen to remixes and covers of the songs in their music libraries. Users select a song and the app searches SoundCloud for available remixes and covers.
It is with a heavy heart that I sit to write this, because it was inspired by a recent incident in Calgary. In that incident a homeless man was eating in a local restaurant, having had a meal paid for by others. The story is a bit murky, but apparently he became a bit disruptive, and an employee at the restaurant asked him to leave. While I understand asking any disruptive patron to leave it was the words apparently used that troubles me. The employee told him to leave because he was dirty, smelly, and "looked offensive".
We'll drive, copilot, change the tunes, serve up the beverages, adjust the heat and ensure government doesn't fall asleep... but someone has to open the doors so we can get in the car. Unlock the doors of government and let citizens in, that is the mantra of imagineCalgary, now firmly in the hands of hardened bureaucrats. The language of imagineCalgary is not their mother tongue and they are struggling with just the basic translation, let alone the incredibly lofty and epic targets found within the imagineCalgary tome.