Posts tagged yyc
Citizens of Capitol Hill: Pistachio Bake Shop
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By Aarthie Fernando and Maria Castillo-Stone

Aarthie and myself were eager to welcome new kids on the block: Pistachio Bake Shop , so we were invited to have a chat with Ismah Souraya - the brain child behind Capitol Hill’s treat spot, and sample some of the goodies for ourselves.

What made you you decide to choose Capitol Hill to situate your business?

When we were looking for a location, this was a perfect place - next to the school, next to the church and the old folks home, and near SAIT which seemed like a great location. The people here are super friendly, family-orientated. You see a lot of demographics here - families, students and seniors.

What inspired your line of business?

I started baking pastries at SAIT (graduated in 2016). From there, I’ve worked as a cake decorator at Co-Op, and at Bridgeland Market as a baker.

I’ve always had a passion for baking, and I’ve always wanted to open up my own coffee shop and bakery. My dad has owned a few businesses  - we jumped at the opportunity for this place.

For a new customer, what do you recommend they try first?

Definitely something Middle Eastern because that’s what we’re about here at Pistachio. I would recommend the Raspberry cake slice or the Basbousa. (Author’s note: Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake. It is made from a semolina batter and sweetened with orange flower water or rose water simple syrup.)

What was your favourite treat growing up?

My favourite dessert - it’s Lebanese, called Knafeh. It’s made with semolina flour, and cheese - it’s melted. It’s best served warm.

What are your three essentials for the kitchen?

Passion - a love for baking. Patience and butter!

Who inspired you growing up?

Definitely my mum -  she’s a part-time baker

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting a business in Capitol Hill?

If somebody found a place to start a business in Capitol Hill, I would say “Go for it!” Because the community is amazing and the people here are lovely.

Pistachio Bake Shop is located at 1104 20 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2M 1E8. At time of print, their opening hours are 9am-6pm (except Mondays - they are closed) but I recommend calling ahead at: 403-475-1104 to confirm their opening hours.

Do you have an interesting story to tell? Do you have a hobby, talent or a sustainable way of living? Are you a business (big or small) owner in Capitol Hill and you want people to know about what you do - please get in touch at: communication@capitolhillcommunity.ca and you could be featured here!

Neighbour Day Bike Programs

By Pamela McHugh

Thanks to the generous support of the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund, the Capitol Hill Community Association is able to host a number of free, active transportation focused programs.

On June 15th, as part of the CHCA Neighbour Day event, Safer Cycling Calgary will offer FREE Family Bike Rodeo (Level 2: Cycling Basics course) workshops. Plan to come to the community association for the Neighbour Day and sign your kids up for this "playground" based event that introduces cyclists to key bike handling skills that they will need to ride safely. Helmet are required and this course is typically designed for kids 6 years of age and older.

Workshops will take place at 9am, 11am and 1pm. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to help us plan for numbers. Head to the Safe Cycle Calgary website: https://tinyurl.com/SCCL2CH. Kids participating in the workshops will have the chance to win lots of fun bike safety prizes. At 2:30pm we will have an obstacle course open for kids of all ages and abilities

Adults and kids alike should bring their bikes because we will have Velofix Calgary on-site offering FREE bike tune-ups out of their mobile repair van. They will be on-site from 11am until 4pm so come on by.

And don’t forget to swing by the CHCA information booth to fill out a community survey and enter for a chance to win one of many fantastic prizes. See you there!


Citizens of Capitol Hill: Rachel Taylor-Fergusson
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By Maria Castillo-Stone

Having spent most of my education hanging around art studios, art shops and visiting galleries, it was a real treat to be invited to the home of local artist, Rachel Taylor-Fergusson (who also fed me some yummy liquorice tea!).

There’s nothing like being in an eclectic studio space, surrounded by mood boards, materials, artwork and inspiration.

How would you describe the community of Capitol Hill to an outsider?

It’s a small town that’s like it’s own little island, in the big city! I love it here. I grew up here, went to the local schools. I love that when you walk down the street, you can meet or get to know your neighbours. I have friends that live in communities and they don’t have the same experience.


I believe Pub Nights have had a lot to do with that - or being at the park. You chat with a parent and say: “Come along to Pub Night!”


So you’re an artist, what is your background?

I did a lot of art in school, and took part in an art program at Queen Elizabeth High School, as it had one of the better art curriculums in the city. I was thinking about going into art school but I was still undecided in where I was heading. I did Art 10-20-30 and Portfolio Art but felt unprepared at the time. So I decided to step away from art for bit, and went to university to study other subjects instead.


After the passing of dad two and a half years ago, I fell back into art - he was an artist. Processing the loss, I did a lot of family portraits. I discovered that I really enjoyed art and that I was actually good at it.

What has been a seminal experience for you artistically?

I love that question. So I was struggling with the medium of watercolours (when I started art again),  - the lack of control. I couldn’t get skin tones down, I was having a hard time with colour theory, and in the end, I realised that I was going to have to redirect my whole style.

When my son Fin was little, I got him doing some painting. It lead to an epiphany: I had to start over, I have to start playing with the materials again and being more exploratory. I looked at his art, copied his use of colour, and it lead to free-flow, dripping effects. I then superimposed portraits over top of the painting, using pen and ink.

I let go of the need to have the finished picture visualised in my head, as it would be represented on the page. Instead I let it become what it would become. Seeing what my son was making, completely changed my approach to art - it made me 100,000 times better!

How do you work best?

Probably in directed periods of time. I’ll spend a lot of time in the thinking process, such as the Canadian Wilds for example. About the animals, and what they mean to me, what do they represent? I do a lot of art that represents a specific time - I’m very present in this moment, what is going on for me, emotionally, what things are representing me right now, what am I trying to express? Also, if I have time away from my son, I like to spend plenty of time immersed in a project! So I’ll end up getting a whole piece done in one day.

I also love it when I’m motivated from an experience, such as one piece I did as a gift for an instructor, for the end of class. This piece was a perfect example of being present in this moment.

Who are your influences?

Just Fin. I don’t observe a lot of art. Fin has been really inspirational for me, especially his use of colour. And also my dad - his use of lines and portraits.

What are your essential tools for working?

The tool I could not live without is this easel [points] I went into the art store and asked them to show me what easels they have. The easel that caught my attention ended up being the most expensive one! Yet my justification for getting was: I want an easel that will meet my needs, a good investment piece.

I also have a favourite brush - I’m very particular about materials, it’s very funny you asked me that! It’s a No.12 and there are smaller ones for detail work. Also the Pilot Fineliners - they’re the cheapest pens. I bought $50 worth of pens to do testing and honestly the Pilot is my favourite one - I love how it bleeds and I love to use a monochromatic black, so I use Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna to make my black. I also love using water soluble crayons [shows me an array of crayons!]  - I bought them on a whim for Fin. Yellow is my favourite to work with, I love Yellow!

What is an artistic look on life?

I would say it’s a couple of things: truly being present - in the moment, because you have to be, when you’re drawing or painting, You have to use your eyes, not your mind. You have to look, not think. You can’t be evaluating and judging, and not thinking: “Where’s the future going to take me?”

And looking for deeper meaning and metaphor in life. For example, wolves from my Canadian Wilds pieces, they’re big on metaphor - to represent the things that eat at you. Anxiety is a “big wolf” in my life because it’s that fear of something that can get at you. Being able to represent those concepts in metaphor is an artistic life.

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Lastly, What is your favourite spot in Capitol Hill?

I really like this tree area at the St. Pius school - we call it the Peace Garden. It’s just trees surrounding large tree trunks you can sit on. It’s very grounding.

Free Your Mind
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By Jenny Li, President and Founder of Free Your Mind.

Free Your Mind was created to provide the public with a long-lasting understanding of mental health. We aim to provide our audience with mindfulness strategies that they can use in their daily lives.

Our event, Project Mindfulness, is taking place at the Plaza Theatre on June 1st, from 12 PM to 4 PM. There is a health professional presenting on mental health and wellness strategies. We are inviting representatives from different mental health organizations to provide information on local resources. A variety of recreational activities, such as yoga, are being held to help participants relax.

Project Mindfulness also aims to raise funds for a critical mental health organization, Distress Centre Calgary. A donation box and donation forms will be made available at the event. Our goal is to raise 1000 dollars. All proceeds will go to Distress Centre Calgary, a 24/7 crisis service. More information can be found on their website, https://www.distresscentre.com/.

We hope to see you soon!

http://www.facebook.com/freeyourmindyyc/

http://freeyourmindyyc.wordpress.com/

Who Says You Can't Have A Winter Wedding?!
Photographer: Jenn Grayson

Photographer: Jenn Grayson

by Abi Harker

Our lovely young couple came to us in 2018 with wedding dreams for 2019

They wanted a small, but elegant wedding - not just a reception, but the full deal - wedding,  sit down dinner and dancing the night away. They fell in love with our all inclusive wedding package giving them ample time to decorate it to their liking and get ready for the days festivities as Mr. & Mrs. We thank them for sharing their beautiful photos of  a magical day.

Photographer: Jenn Grayson

Photographer: Jenn Grayson

My husband and I got married at the Capitol Hill Community Centre in February, and our experience was fantastic! Abi Harker, the

facility manager, was an absolute delight to work with. She understands how crazy wedding planning can be, and accommodated us every step of the way. Having access at 8am to decorate and being able to come and go as needed throughout the day was so nice! The hall is very spacious, and even has a separate room (lounge) for guests to escape to if they need a break from the action. There is a conference room downstairs where the bridal party got ready, so we didn’t have to get ready at home and travel far in our dresses (not to mention, waste precious time driving)!

 This place has it all, and for a price that other venues do not offer. Our damage deposit was fully returned to us, and boy did we ever party after the ceremony and dinner.

 Who says wedding planning has to stressful? Go get your dress. Get your decorations. Find your caterer.  Hit up Costco liquor store.  Get married at Capitol Hill Community Center!  

To reserve the community centre for your next party, wedding or celebration, email Abi Harker at: rentals@capitolhillcommunity.ca or check our information page or calendar for availability.

Brewfest 2019

By Jarvis Schmidt

Craft beer is exploding in Alberta.  A few short years ago, the first microbreweries were popping up and trying to make it work in a market that didn’t really know what they were offering.  Now in 2019 things are expanding at breakneck speed and it would be tough to even visit every brewer in Calgary.  

To make this experience easier for you - whether you love your beer or would like to dip your toes into the craft beer universe, Capitol Hill is hosting our first brew festival, providing a family-friendly event for people to try out some of the province’s best beer.  

More details and purchasing tickets can be found at the bottom of this page, in the meantime, please read ahead for what Brewfest 2019 will have to offer. (Details are subject to change in unforeseen events)

Introducing our brewers who will be providing at this years event:


These guys hail from Lacombe, 25km north of Red Deer, and are always on the cutting edge of new popular styles. They believe in supporting the places they live and in the people that live there, by sourcing their products locally.

My favourite beer from them is their New England Pale Ale, which is a great style that is full of citrus and hoppy notes.



The legend goes something like this: three high school friends reunite bringing their outside knowledge of chemistry, cooking and education, and join forces with a business expert. After building and nurturing their idea, The Dandy Brewing Company was born as a fully fledged company in January 2014.

Every time you walk into their tap room in Renfrew, there is always a style you haven’t heard from. They pride themselves on being unique, and do a great job at it.  Every summer I look forward to their sub-4% India Session Ale, the Cosmic Dancer.


While this brewery doesn’t appear intent on pushing the boundaries, they instead focus on a high-quality, consistent product.  And it works.  

Last summer, I took many cans of Plainsbreaker as I could - a perfect accompaniment for a trip to the cottage, as there’s nothing like a pleasant, slightly hoppy wheat beer, that can appeal to almost everyone.  

An aromatic, style bending approach to the pale ale. The PlainsBreaker is bursting with late addition hops, boasting a huge tropical flavour and aroma. Well balanced, interesting and very approachable, this beer is for every adventure.


A relative newcomer onto the scene, they have been able to impress with their ability to make craft beer lovers reach for their classic styles.  Founded in 2016 by two friends, Freehold sought to encapsulate friendship and conversation, over good food and beer.

They aim to bring pride to the province of Alberta and start the conversation #albertabychoice?

Freehold is founded on the thought that Albertans choose to carve their own way. A choice made because there is a finally a place that reflects an internal resiliency and the celebration of earnest hard work. Every Albertan in their own way is in their own pursuit of building a better place. A simple question, “How do we tip our caps to this place?”, to remind us of the importance of this question.

My favourite recommendation is their Big Chutes, a beer that is rich in body and full of flavour.


I hope this has piqued your interest and look forward to welcoming you, your family (minors are welcome!) and friends to our first ever Brewfest at Capitol Hill. Until then, I leave you with this quote from Canadian essayist and professor Hugh Hood:

“Nothing ever tasted better than a cold beer on a beautiful afternoon with nothing to look forward to than more of the same.”


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Fibre Arts Club
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In case the symptom of cabin fever is wearing thin, Tricia Hamilton has come to the rescue with her bi-weekly Fibre Arts club!

Any level of expertise is welcome to join, whether you’re a novice, and expert or just wanted to try a new skill. This is also a fantastic opportunity to meet your neighbours and make some new friends.

Bring along some snacks to share and keep cosy with a warm cup of tea.

Citizens of Capitol Hill: Banzai Sushi & Teriyaki House
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by Maria Castillo Stone

For our very first “Citizens of Capitol Hill” interview, we’re featuring Banzai Sushi and Teriyaki House. If you’ve been in Calgary longer than I have (I’m still five years or so young in this sunny city), you’re probably familiar with Banzai Sushi when it was situated downtown on 4th Ave, until it’s move to Elbow Drive.

I had moved to Calgary in 2013, fresh from two years spent living and working in Tokyo. My husband and I were out and about, and craving Japanese food. He took me to Banzai and I had a hot bowl of Udon tempura that I had been missing.

Since then, Banzai Sushi has been going on strong and blessing the community of Capitol Hill with their second location since last October.

During their busy schedule, I had the privilege to meet the team, get a glimpse behind the scenes, and interview the manager Soo Cheol Jung.

Why did you choose Capitol Hill for your business?

I already have a Banzai restaurant in the SW - I used to have one downtown, so I wanted to have another one somewhere in the NW community. Capitol Hill has a great location, it’s safe, and I like the busy traffic on 10th Street and 20th Ave, which is great for me!

In the 3 months that you’ve been open, what do you like about running a business here?

Firstly, the neighbours, there are good neighbours here. Since I’ve been open, they’ve been very interested in my business, have said positive things, and given great feedback. Secondly, the commute from here is easy to travel in all directions.

For someone who’s never been to Banzai Sushi, what would you recommend for their first visit?

For their first visit, if they like sushi, I would recommend the Poke bowl. (Author’s note: Poke bowl: pronounced PO-KAY, originates from Hawaii where native Hawaiians feasted on freshly caught fish massaged with sea salt, seaweed and crushed inamona or kukui nuts. Later on, immigrants from China and Japan introduced soy sauce and sesame oil.). The great thing about our Poke bowl, is that you can customise it your own way - the base, protein, sauce, toppings, the overall taste. (Author’s note: You can also customise the bowl if you have dietary requirements)

If people don’t like the sound of raw fish, the beef or chicken-don (Japanese rice bowl topped with beef or chicken) is also good too!

How about you, what’s your favourite dish here?

My favourite dish here is the beef rice bowl.

What’s your biggest influence in running Banzai Sushi?

My inspiration are the customers - cooking for them. I’m cook for them, give them the food and to see them enjoy it, that makes me happy. It’s all about the customers.


What inspired you to get started in the food industry?

I studied Food and Science in South Korea - it’s not just about the cooking, it’s also about the ingredients, the chemical reactions, and the nutrients. Afterwards I came to Canada in 2006, and started my career as a chef in Japanese Village (10 Ave SW). After 10 years, I became the head chef, and then we had a couple of sister restaurants - Banzai Sushi and I became the General Manager and the owner.

What are your favourite ingredients to work with?

Beef. Steak! Especially good steak - makes everyone happy! Marbling and the content of fat makes good steak. More fat=more flavour.

What’s the one essential tool everyone should have in their kitchen

A good knife. The thing to remember is: a well sharpened knife - you cannot cut your finger, yet a dull knife - you will cut your finger. A sharpened knife will cut smooth and won’t take a lot of effort to cut through ingredients, unlike with a dull knife where you’ll use more force and be more likely to injure yourself.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

Everyone always says their mum’s cooking is the best! So for me, it’s fried rice made with garlic, egg, soy sauce, ham, vegetables and green onions. I still like it!

What’s your favourite place to eat in Calgary?

I like Han Corea. I enjoy eating there as they make a pretty good stir-fry pork with spices.

Do you have a favourite movie or book that you recommend to people?

It’s a Japanese book: 400 En No Mug Cup De 4000 Man En No Mono Wo Uru Hoho (400円のマグカップで4000万円のモノを売る方法 - 高井洋子/著) by Yoko Takai (which translates as: Making 400 Million Yen From a 4000 yen cup)

What’s your favourite part of Calgary?

I like to spend time with my kids, walking in the park behind my house in Rocky Ridge.

Many thanks to Soo Cheol Jung, Yeong Gwang Kim and Yeong Ran Kim for allowing me to visit their lovely restaurant!

Banzai Sushi and Teriyaki House are open Monday - Saturday 11-9pm and Sunday 12-8pm.

 
Welcome To Capitol Hill Community!
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Welcome To Capitol Hill

from Jessica Lajoie, President of CHCA

by Jessica Lajoie.

Welcome. It’s a simple word that we use every day, but what does it mean to live in a community that is welcoming? Or to feel welcome in a given space or place? Obviously, this answer varies from person to person and is hard to describe, but most of us know it when it we see it. Or, more accurately, feel it.


I remember being new to Capitol Hill and sending an eager email to the Community Association to inquire about how to get a membership and become involved. My email went unanswered and I felt ignored. Not long after, I met one of my neighbours while our children played at the park. We both wanted to be more engaged with the CA but didn’t feel our presence was welcome. With some effort and help we eventually worked our way onto the board, however, that first impression always stayed with me. What community organization doesn’t embrace new volunteers?


My hope is that anyone reaching out to the CHCA today (or even just reading our website!) will have a very different experience. Not only will you be acknowledged, but you will find people who are welcoming of the ideas and energy you want to share. Being open to meeting new people and supporting new events are two ways our community association radiates “WELCOME!” There are also some tangible areas everyone can influence to make our neighbourhood more welcoming:


Accessibility: A couple years ago we undertook substantial renovations to the community centre, including improving access for people with mobility aids. There are still further improvements needed, but we are aware and working towards solutions. We can all do our part by keeping the sidewalks in front of our home and businesses clear of snow and ice.


Inclusion: Capitol Hill is home for many diverse people with different needs and ability to access housing. Working with both public and private developers to create a variety of housing options means that we can welcome more people into our neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood has many wonderful amenities to share and more people can support more services, benefiting everyone.

Public Spaces: Walking through our neighbourhood can provide examples of both welcoming and hostile public spaces. The mature trees everywhere are one of my favourite things about living in an older, established neighbourhood. However I find the sound walls along 14th street to be necessary, yet wholly uninspiring, pieces of infrastructure. Nothing changes overnight, but as a community we can project a clear vision of how we want to shape our public spaces and make improvements when opportunities arise.


Moving Around: It is vital for the residents and visitors of Capitol Hill to feel safe in order to feel welcome. The Community Association can be a hub and a conduit for voicing concerns and delivering messages about safety, in particular related to traffic. Whether travelling by foot, wheelchair, scooter, bus, bike, car or truck, we all have a role to play in navigating our neighbourhood safely and ensuring everyone feels welcome to use their chosen mode of transit.

The CHCA vision for Capitol Hill is to be “a connected, walkable place that is safe and welcoming.” I look forward to seeing the community grow towards this future and meeting many new friends along the way. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity with the community association, please reach out! And remember to show your support by buying and maintaining your membership!