The weather rarely cooperates with retailers and since stores are usually ahead of the forecast when it comes to seasonal stock—spring attire when it’s still cool and fall wares when it’s hot.

If you’re in the market for new outerwear, consider a few of our favourite styles to spice up your cold-weather closet. 

The belted coat is a nice alternative to the shapeless, sleeping-bag-inspired thing you’ve been sporting so far. We’re all for staying warm but don’t sacrifice your figure in the process. And if you’re already a proud owner of such an item, switch up the belt for a quick and easy update. 

A Canadian winter essential, the parka has gone from utilitarian staple to a chic and sophisticated must-have in the past few seasons. Look for unexpected details like fur trims, pretty pockets or interesting colour combinations to set you apart from the parka crowd.

For a polished and flattering take on winter, you can’t go wrong with a pea coat. The style looks great on every body type and if you’re talking practicality, wool is a winter warmer.

If your coat closet is packed to the max, there are other ways to update your winter wardrobe and get rid of those cold-weather blues. 

Winter accessories—hats, gloves and scarves—not only bring the heat but can also make cold weather chic.

I say toque, you say beanie, they say hat—whatever you call the head-topper (another one!) toques (we’re Canadian, after all) are our favourite winter accessories. We’ve embraced the slouchy version seen on cool kids around town (it looks equally cool on older folk for the record). And don’t be afraid to brighten up your day with a colourful toque (red, green and orange are our picks) or, have fun with texture.

I say snood, you say cowl, they say infinity/circle/tube scarf—whatever you call those cozy and chunky scarves that you slip over your head and sometimes wrap once,
or twice, they are the hottest winter accessory this season. With endless colours and style options, you’ll be warm and cool until spring arrives.

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The Holidays Light Up Calgary

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Calgary’s Best Soup

Last week, I put a call out on Twitter asking people to name their favourite soup in the city, looking for a little help with my research. I expected a sprinkling of responses, but what I got was a deluge. It turns out us Calgarians are soup superfans, and opinions run strong and plentiful.

Soup season has barely started and runs a long time so why not branch out and try some of the great suggestions put forward by the soup aficionados? Pho – Vietnamese noodle soup — is a huge fan favourite, the wor wonton at King’s got many mentions and Caffe Rosso seems to have soup dialed in as several of its soups garnered mentions. Cassis Bistro and Catch also got general props for their soup-making skills.

So here they are, 21 of them, not ranked or rated — just highly recommended.    

Borscht from Perogy boyz. (food truck, perogyboyz.com, @perogyboyz)

French onion at Caesar's Steakhouse. (512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222, caesarssteakhouse.com)

Beachfront hot pot at The Coup. (924 17 Ave. S.W., 403-541-1041, thecoup.ca, @thecoupcalgary)   

Italian wedding soup will warm your soul on a cold day

Italian wedding soup will warm your soul on a cold day. Photo by land_camera.

Italian wedding soup at the Primal Soup Company at the Kingsland Farmers’ Market. (7711 Macleod Tr. S.W. 403-255-3276, kingslandfarmersmarkter.com)

Roasted Butternut and Sage at Sky 360. (101 9 Ave. S.W., 403-532-7966, sky360.ca)

Spicy Thai chicken at Caffe Rosso. (803 24 Ave. S.E., 403-971-1800 and Telus Convention Centre 140 8 Ave. S.E., caferosso.ca, @cafferosso)

Tomato bisque at Caffe Rosso. (803 24 Ave. S.E., 403-971-1800 and Telus Convention Centre 140 8 Ave. S.E., caferosso.ca, @cafferosso)

Fire roasted tomato at Famoso. (105, 2303 4 St. S.W., famoso.ca, @famosopizzeria)

Pho at Saigon Annam. (11566 24 St. S.E., 403-457-3885)

Pho sate at Pho Pasteur Saigon. (207 1 St. S.E., 403-233-0477)

Pho sate at Saigon’s Baguettes. (718 17 Ave. S.W., 403-457-0669)

Roasted red pepper soup Eat! Eat! (1325 9 Ave., S.E., 403-532-1933)

Spicy miso at Muku Japanese Ramen House. (326 14 Street N.W., 403-283-6555)

Thai lobster bisque at Raw Bar. (119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-266-4611, hotelarts.ca)

Tortilla soup from Los Chilitos Taqueria. (1309 17 Ave. S.W. and Calgary Farmers’ Market, 510 77 Ave. S.E., 403-228-5528)

Truffled mushroom soup at Fresh Kitchen. (2042 42 Ave, 403-214-7771, freshkitchen.ca, @fresh_kitchen)

Wild mushroom soup at Borgo. (818 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-2202, borgo.ca, @borgotrattoria)

Wor wonton at Kings. (104 Meridian Rd. N.E., 403-272-2332, kingsrestaurant.net)

FORT CALGARY ADMISSION

Fort Calgary is one of Canada's National Historic Sites, the birthplace of Calgary and an interactive interpretive centre and museum.

Discover how the hopes and dreams of the North West Mounted Police combined with those of early Calgary citizens to shape our city. Visit Fort Calgary to see how we are Connecting Yesterday to Tomorrow.

Open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed January 1, Good Friday, December 24, 25, 26 and 31. www.fortcalgary.com

 

High Performance Rodeo 2012

Traxx Coachlines Preferred Listing: 2011-2012

Get out and about with your family this season.

1. Skiing: Getting the family together to go to the mountains can be difficult to squeeze into a busy lifestyle of work and school. Calgary’s WinSport is the convenient and fun solution to that problem.

Hills for all skill levels and a half pipe are all located at 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, just off of the TransCanada Highway. WinSport is open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays 9am to 5pm.

2. Snowboarding: Not a skier? Take advantage of lessons at WinSport for individuals of all ages and abilities. Take the initiative with private lessons or family private lessons.

3. Snow skating: Bring the summer fun of skateboarding into winter with snow skating. Most like snowboarding without bindings, this is a fun and exciting way for you and your kids to enjoy the snow. Snow skates can be found in stores that carry skateboards and snowboards, such as Mission and the Source. Remember to be safe and wear a helmet and wrist guards.

4. Zoo Lights and other light displays: Every year, people of all ages head to the Calgary Zoo to enjoy hot chocolate, fire pits, snow bowling and the display of 1.5 million twinkling lights. The Zoo Lights are open every day from 6pm to 9pm (gates close at 8:30pm), November 23 - January 5, 2013 (excluding Christmas day and New Year’s Eve). Admission for adults is $10.00 (includes parking) and admission for children is $7.00.

Monkey Jungle at Zoolights
Monkey Jungle at Zoolights

Or take a family drive to see Merry Christmas written in 17 languages at the 23rd Annual Lions Festival of Lights located at Confederation Park. The display is illuminated daily from 7pm to Midnight until early January.

5. Plus 15’s: Don’t be wary of exploring the streets of downtown Calgary because of the chilly weather. Take advantage of the world’s most extensive pedestrian skywalk system spanning across 16 kilometres and enjoy the snow covered streets without the parkas and snow pants.

6. Calgary Winter Festival: This 11-day festival is held at 11, 634 Avenue SW in early February to commemorate the 1988 Winter Olympics and all other winter activities. Music, entertainment, sports competitions, carnivals and children’s activities can all be found at the Calgary Winter Festival. The festival includes a free Winterfest Carnival at Fort Calgary and a free family fun zone at WinSport.

7. Winter hikes: Some great areas that are suited for the whole family include Heart Creek Trail just 45 minutes from Calgary. It is an easy half-day hike on mainly flat ground, which follows a creek. Also, Bow Valley Provincial Park located less than an hour west of Calgary is a great way to get moving and enjoy the outdoors.

8. Olympic Plaza: Originally built for medal presentations during the 1988 Winter Olympics and located at 228, 8 Avenue SE, Olympic Plaza is a great place to bring the family to enjoy a day of skating. The rink is open to the public daily from 10am to 9pm until the middle of March, depending on the weather.

9. Chinooks: Calgary’s geography brings a welcomed break from the cold winter weather of the Prairies. Take advantage of the warmth and take the family for a hot dog roast in one of Calgary’s parks.

10. Parks: Many parks throughout Calgary, such as Bowness and Fish Creek Park, are open year-round. Activities are available within the parks such as cross-country skiing, skating and just simply walking the trails and taking in the wildlife. A full list of Calgary parks along with photos can be found at calgaryarea.com/calgary_parks.htm.

11. Hockey: GO Hitmen GO! Bring family and friends out to support our
WHL Calgary Hitmen in their 2012/13 season.                                                             

12. Making Snowmen: Take advantage of the abundant supply of snow that falls in the city every winter and get out of the house and explore your creativity with the family. Build snowmen, snow women, snow children and anything else that can be crafted out of this frozen powder.

A game to give a unique spin to this activity is to have everyone grab five articles from around the house (make sure they won’t be ruined if they get a bit wet).

Write everyone’s names on small pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them in a bowl. Everyone picks a name from the bowl and gives the items they picked from the house to whichever family member was pulled from the bowl. Once everyone has their items, they must use all of their items in some way with their snowman.

Once all snowmen have been made, prizes for most creative snowman, best dressed snowman, and most unique snowman can be awarded.

13. Tobogganing: Get your snow gear and explore some of the many great tobogganing hills located all around the city. Some of the best hills in Calgary are St. Andrews Park near the University of Calgary, which offers 500 ft. rides; Nose Hill Park located in the North West is great for smaller children; and Confederation Park located in the North East.

14. Making igloos: Make use of the chilly winter nights by filling empty milk and juice cartons with water dyed with your favourite food coloring. Leave the cartons overnight to freeze and use them the next day to build your very own igloo or ice fort.

15. Banff: Calgary is located only 90 minutes away from the amazing Rocky Mountains. Take a day trip to Banff and enjoy a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola, or visit the many stores downtown.

Banff Gondola
Banff Gondola


16. Lake Louise Ice Sculpture Competition: Don’t miss the teams of professional carvers competing in the international ice carving competition at The Fairmount Chateau in Lake Louise. Watch as 12 international teams of two carvers turn 15 blocks of ice weighing 300 lbs. into seven-foot-tall sculptures in just three days. Also enjoy the Little Chippers festival held in Samson Mall of Lake Louise Village where children learn to drive a dogsled, get their faces painted and learn about ice carving.

17. Movie nights: Use the occasional blistery winter night as an excuse to stay in with the family and cuddle up together for a movie or game night. Having troubles figuring out what to watch? Check out the top ten family movies of 2009 at http://movies.toptenreviews.com/list_family_2009.htm.

18. Indoor bon fires: Show the freezing weather who’s boss by building a fire and roasting marshmallows.

19. Schedule a game night: Escape a blistering night by staying in and playing board games like Clue, Taboo, Pictionary and Cranium together. Old favourites such as Monopoly are still a hit but have received new and exciting twists like electronic credit cards.

20. Meals you can make together: Make cooking dinner a family affair and let your child’s inner chef escape. Simple recipes such as making your own pizza on a whole-grain crust allow for a tasty meal to be healthy and fun at the same time. Just spread some tomato sauce on the crust or a whole-wheat pita and set out bowls with various ingredients for your family to choose from such as pineapple, pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Finally, slide your creation into the oven.

Written by Deanna McArthur

Banff Summer Arts Festival

107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta

(403) 762-6100

E-Mail

box_office@banffcentre.ca

Directions

Banff Summer Arts Festival

JUNE to AUGUST 2016

Every summer, The Banff Centre features an eclectic lineup of concerts, dance, talks and exhibitions. Summer 2016 features outdoor concerts in the stunning Shaw Amphitheatre with the brass superband The Order of Canada; Ron Sexsmith and Basia Bulat who will perform with the Cecilia String Quartet; Randy Bachman; Blue Rodeo; A Tribe Called Red; and Leeroy Stagger and Terra Lightfoot. The summer also presents new contemporary dance works and opera, including Benjamin Britten's Rape of Lucretia; and talks from New Yorker staff writer, Nick Paumgarten and The Atlantic's Scott Stossel.

Tickets on sale now at banffcentre.ca

 

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