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Calgary Reads

Calgary Reads Book Sale

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One of Calgary?s most anticipated and attended events!?Hundreds of thousands of?previously-loved books will be ready to be purchased and find new homes. You can be a part of this great event – DONATE or PURCHASE!


We welcome donations of good quality, gently used adult and children books for the book sale! (We cannot accept encyclopedias, dictionaries, text books, Harlequin Romances, Reader?s Digest, cassettes, magazines or agendas)

Book collection locations, dates and times:

At Calgary Food Bank,? 5000, 11th Street SE, Calgary:

  • Monday to Thursday April 25 to 28 ? drop off at Door #3 from 8:30am ? 7pm
  • Friday, April 29 ? drop off at Door #3 from 8:30am -3:30pm

At Calgary Curling Club,?720 3rd St NW, Calgary:

  • Tuesday to Friday May 3 to May 6 from 9am ? 7pm sharp
  • ?Saturday??and Sunday May 7 and 8 from 9am -4pm sharp

Our 14th annual event! Held at the Calgary Curling Club. 720 3rd St. NW, Calgary:

  • Friday May 13th ? 9am-9pm ? TGIBs (Thank Goodness It?s Books) Author Reading 7pm
  • Saturday May 14th ? 9am-9pm ??Back by popular demand! Jazz & Book Night! Shop to the musical sounds of Midnight Blue Jazz Society?with cash wine bar 6-9pm.
  • Sunday May 15th ? 9am -12pm. Children?s Story Tent?with crafts and storytelling by Girl Guides.

To Find Out More visit Calgary Reads Website?

Like Their?Facebook Page and Follow them on Twitter?


Rock Stars, Hobbies and Silver Ribbons

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We?ve all had some fascination into the lives of the rich and famous, but have you ever wondered what they do for a hobby? Are they too cool to even have a hobby? Would you ever suspect a super rock star such as Rod Stewart to be linked to model railways??Well you?re in for a surprise! Many famous performers have a variety of hobbies. From fishing, cooking, ballroom dancing and many other types of hobbies which proves both interesting and enlightening.

Stewart is best known as the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a Living Grammy Legend. With a career that has spanned over 5 decades and still going strong. Many of us may have already asked the question; what does a guy like that do to unwind. It isn’t always secluded island getaways. While most of us have presumed the only models that Stewart was interested in were the tall blonde and leggy type; contrary to that popular belief, he has also developed a life long secret passion as a model railway enthusiast.?In fact, over the past 20 years, the iconic legend fanned his passion of trains by booking an extra hotel room while on the road, where in order to unwind and relax, he could continue to work on his railroad. That passion eventually led him to recreate Manhattan.

Tucked away in 1,500 sq. ft. the entire third floor of his California estate that exudes English Manor charm with a bit of Tuscany splendor, lies an HO-scaled model of New York?s Grand Central Station replicating 1940?s Manhattan.
Consisting of 44 platforms, 67 tracks, along with 13 trains that can run at once, is not your average model train set. With exquisite details right down to clock faces made from opals, to the Tiffany glass clock that?s part of the front of Grand Central station.
The world?s biggest magazine devoted to model railways, Model Railroader, has been privileged to feature Stewart?s pride and joy twice.He wrote to the famous magazine, considered by many to be the ?miniature train bible? about his finished work asking them, “as an avid reader of yours”, if they would publish photos of his train hobby.
Other notable rocker rail fans are Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Roger Daltry. The allure of silver rails has reflected a passion of trains for ol? blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra; Johnny Cash to Neil Young and many more. Model railroaders are on track when it comes to ribbons of steel!
Model train fascination has been around for over 100 years and shows no sign of stopping. In fact, quite the opposite.??Every person should have one hobby that really captures his interest.? Says Stewart, his passion for trains has got him working out buying his own steam engine.?And why not buy your own full size train if your passion is something you can share with others?

Well right here in Alberta, one man has done just that! Jason Thornhill of Aspen Crossing, has been creating a train themed destination here in rural southern Alberta for the past 12 years. As of May 2015 Thornhill dubbed affectionately by staff and friends as ?Walt of the Prairies?, had a 5 car diesel train depart from the Aspen Crossing Station with it?s first Inaugural excursion on 14 miles of track, that took 6 years of negotiation with CP to make it all happen.

The value of steel was worth a lot if ripped up for scrap metal, but when Thornhill learned there was a way to save the tracks and fulfill his vision of bringing family and friends together, to create cherished memories, he knew he had to try to save a part of history. Through tenacious determination Thornhill and his team secured the line for historical and cultural preservation.?Thornhill believes so strongly in preserving our history and heritage that in 2012 he even made a pitch for the Aspen Crossing Railway on the Dragons Den; the popular TV series where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas.

While the Dragons loved the miniature train on the stage, they couldn?t share the full sized vision. They claimed that rural Alberta was too far?however, it?s actually in a very strategic location between two major cities on well maintained highways. It?s the equivalent distance of the average Canadian?s commute to work. The only difference being, it?s an extremely easy scenic drive which in itself, is worth the journey!

But despite their decision, 3 years later, Aspen Crossing Railway had their first season with 7 different themed excursions. The first season finished out with the famed and much beloved Christmas movie train, The Polar Express?. This makes Aspen Crossing, the 2nd location in all of Canada to be awarded the rights through Warner Bros. and Rail Events, to offer such a well renowned magical journey to the North Pole. Close to 10,000 people visited Aspen Crossing to make that magical journey in it?s first offering in 2015. Many families attended in their matching PJ?s specifically selected for the occasion. Some families consisted of 3 and 4 generations, ready to share and be a part of a new tradition and create cherished memories. There was also a very famous celebrity family onboard one of the trains! You just never know who you might bump into, whether it?s in the dining car or the train.

What?s next in the ever evolving train themed prairie oasis you ask? There are now 12 different train themed excursions to choose from. The size of the train has grown to include a dome car, kitchen car and two more additional dining cars. All excursions except the Dinner Theatre, has a train robbery performed by the Guns of the Golden West.

If you don?t know if trains are your thing, you?ll never know until you try. It could lead to a very fascinating journey. Always remember, it?s not about the destination!

?All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them?.
? Quote by Walt Disney

Visit Aspen Crossing!

Address: Highway #24, Mossleigh, AB T0L 1P0
Phone:(403) 534-2129

Aspen Crossing? ? ?Facebook? ? ? ?Twitter?



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The last year or so has brought us some economic uncertainty in Calgary, which has led the real estate market to perform out of the norm. Right now our city is sitting in buyer’s market conditions, which simply means that there is a higher inventory of homes for sale, leading to lower prices and giving buyers a lot of options. But as we move into the spring market, which generally tends to be the busy season for real estate, this may mean more buyers will be coming onto the scene.

If you are looking to sell your home this season, you can still have a successful sale and get the price point you’re looking for, by tackling some of these easy tips to stay competitive and appeal to buyers.?

  • Pricing is important:?this is one of those important parts of a home sale that can be easily taken for granted if you’re not working with a professional REALTOR?. The main thing in selling a home, especially in a competitive space, is to price it right from the beginning. Researching the area, current market conditions and various points about the property is important, but this is easily done if you’re already working with a real estate professional.


  • De-clutter:?cleaning your home and making it clutter-free is important for staging a home for sale. People coming to view your home want to be able to envision themselves in it, so the less there is to clutter their minds the better. Plus, cleaner, clutter-free homes tend to appear larger.?


  • Curb appeal:?make your property look appealing from the outside?in. Ensure your home is properly landscaped and consider putting out some plants or flowers before you have professional listing photos done, or before you open your doors to potential buyers.


  • Get it move-in ready:?make your home appear ready for a buyer to simply move in. What this means is that little repairs or upgrades are already completed for them, saving them time and money upon moving in. This might include things like: painting, flooring repairs, etc. It would be a good idea to consult a REALTOR? on this if you have one, to see what would be worthwhile investments for you in order to sell the home.


  • Offer incentives:?you may have noticed that some home sellers in Calgary are getting creative with what they are willing to throw in with the sale of their home. You can discuss options with your REALTOR?, but this kind of incentivization may be more beneficial if you’re in a hurry to sell.


  • Be flexible:?be flexible with potential buyers of your home. Meaning that the more you accommodate their requests for things like showings, the happier they will be. Be open to flexibility in showings, minor upgrades, etc.

If you have questions about selling your home in this real estate market in Calgary, Calgary Signature Real Estate?is happy to answer your questions any time at?403-228-5557.

Visit their Website or follow them on Twitter!


Spring Pruning Tips

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Spring is here, the weather is nice, and we are finally sitting out on our decks enjoying the sunshine? and looking at all the yard work we have to do!! Here are a few things to think about while considering your trees.

Before doing any pruning it is important to know the species of trees you are working on and any restrictions on pruning times associated with them. For example, Elm trees are subject to a province wide pruning ban between April 1st and Oct 1st to reduce the chance of spreading Dutch Elm Disease, a deadly fungal disease of Elm trees. Most trees can be pruned any time of year however stressed trees or trees that are especially susceptible to fungal infections such as Maydays and Schubert trees should be left to prune during the dormant season.

The first thing to consider when pruning is your objective, this can vary from keeping the tree healthy, reducing the risk of failure, providing clearance, influencing flower or fruit production, or improving aesthetics. Most structural pruning should take place during the first 25 years of the trees life, and is done to establish appropriate scaffold branch spacing, strong branch attachments, and influence the orientation of branches.? Most seasonal pruning done on established trees aims to keep the trees healthy and maintain clearance from houses, sidewalks, etc. Removing dead, diseased, low vigor, or rubbing branches reduces the risk of branches falling from the tree and reduces the spread of decay, pests, and disease from dying or dead branches into the rest of the tree. ?It is best to avoid removing large limbs on mature or declining trees, as the tree may no longer have the ability to deal with the wound.

Once you have a clear objective have a good walk around the tree to assess its structure from all sides and come up with a plan. Whatever the objective, it is a good rule of thumb to never remove more then 20% of the foliage producing wood as this can significantly reduce the trees ability to photosynthesize the energy it needs to deal with the wounds and to maintain its health. Another, often overlooked, outcome of over pruning is that the tree often responds to the injury by producing more (structurally unsound) growth, and so can even have the opposite of the desired effect.

When pruning, less is often more.

Make sure to use clean sharp tools, cleaning the tools with 10% bleach solution between trees, and on diseased trees between cuts, and using proper pruning cuts. Proper pruning cuts are clean without jagged edges, and are made outside of the branch bark collar (the knuckle where a branch meets the parent branch), but without leaving a stub.

If you are uncertain as to what should be done, contact a Certified Arborist.? Arborists have training and experience in tree care and are prepared to do the job properly.? Pruning and removing trees, especially large ones, can be dangerous and should be done by professionals that have the appropriate training and equipment. Always ask for the ISA certification, proof of insurance, and WCB.

A BIG THANK YOU to?Lisa Sullivan B.Sc. a ISA?Certified Arborist and ASCA Member for guest blogging. To contact her company for professional services in your yard contact them below!

Sullivan Tree Service LTD.

Sullivan Tree Service provides free quotes and quality service.

?Contact them by phone 403-247-1596 or through their website at

Follow them on Facebook or Like them on Twitter for more tips and offers!


April in YYC

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With spring weather warming and the grass greening it’s time to get out and enjoy some AMAZING events happening in our city. Whether your a mom, a family or a senior – there is something for everyone! We have picked our top 4 events for this month and trust you will support local business, learning something new or just have some good fun in our great city!


calgary womans showCalgary Women’s Show

Calgary BMO Centre April 16th & 17th

If you are looking for a fantastic girls day out you best not miss this event! With over 300 exhibitors, Free SWAG, Fashion Shows, Fashion and Beauty Tips not to mention the samples and tastings its one way you and your girlfriends can have fun. Best thing yet is the amazing celebs that will be on location – for more information and to buy tickets visit their WEBSITE.

body soul spirit expo

Body, Soul, Spirit Expo

Grey Eagle Resort Casino April 8th-10th

Over 20 years of bringing together the best of health, well-being,ancient wisdom, complementary medicine, holistic therapies, spirituality, new consciousness and more. Exhibits, Lectures, Workshops, Healers, Readers, Conscious Market Place. ?Over 100 exhibits and 50 presentations included. To learn more visit their WEBSITE.


Aggie Days

Stampede Park, Agrium Western Event Center April 9th ?& 10th

Enjoy many?interactive agriculture activities including cow milking, sheep shearing, livestock auctioneering, the amazing corn maze, and much more! And of course you will be able to meet a wide variety of farm animals from huge draft horse to tiny chicks that are?just a few days old. Come learn where your food comes from and enjoy going to the farm yet never leave the city. For more information visit their WEBSITE.

garden show calgary


Calgary Horticultural Garden Show

Spruce Meadows, April 9th & 10th

Tickets include access to over 80 exhibitors, gardening and cooking demonstrations, informative speaker sessions and much more!?Garden Show 2016 tickets are now on sale! Join us for a celebration of gardening on April 9 & 10 at Spruce Meadows. To purchase tickets or to learn more visit their WEBSITE.



Farmers Market on Stephens Avenue

April 12th and April 26th

Delisle Marketing & Events Inc. bringing the Farmer?s Market to Stephen Avenue in Downtown Calgary. 40 vendors including fresh food, spices, sauces, treats, art, fashion, jewelry and much more! This event will happen twice a month from April through September.?You will find up to 40 vendors with Fresh Food (produce, meats, etc), Spices, Sauces, Treats, Art, Fashion, Jewelry and so much more! Make a Trip to Downtown Calgary for your Farmer’s Market needs; see you on the “Walk”! For more dates and information visit the WEBSITE?.


Easter in Calgary

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Our city has always provided free and affordable ways for families to enjoy the holidays and Easter is no exception. Easter Egg hunts, petting zoos, brunch and of course visits from the Easter Bunny! We have collected some great events for you here in one place to make it easier for you and your family to enjoy some down time together whether here in the city or out in the mountains!

Calgary Farmers Marketeasterfarmersmarket

If your children love to give a hug and get a picture from the famous Easter Bunny then the Calgary Farmers Market has you covered! Join them?from 11am – 2pm and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny on April 4th! There will also be a colouring activity to participate in! To find out more about this event and other Easter Activites visit their website.


servicedogsNational Service Dogs

Do you want to get your pet involved in the fun? Thanks to the National Service Dogs they can!?National Service Dogs? Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs is a family event that includes ?man?s best friend?. It has been hosted in various cities?over the last 18 years. Join them at Calaway Park at 9am on? March 25, 2016. For more information on this great event visit their website.


pettingzooWestbrook Mall

What’s better then a free petting zoo? Thanks to Westbrook Mall your family can enjoy live animals in the city! Stop by and visit with the cute animals from Butterfield Acres on?Mar 23 – Mar 25. ?For hours and for more information on their Easter Activities visit their website!?



couple mountainsFairmont Banff Springs

What could be better then waking up in the beautiful Rocky Mountians on Easter morning. With spring offers?for ski and stay as well as incredible brunches your family can have a mini getaway close to home. Book your stay or brunch soon as these spots fill up fast – visit their website for more offers and information for booking.



playersFirst Alliance Church

If your family wishes to celebrate Easter with an intimate encounter of the Christian Faith First Alliance Church?has Good Friday and Easter Sunday services and events. For information on their times and activities visit their website.



Volunteer in Calgary

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Calgary is full of amazing organizations that go over and above with time, energy and funds to make life better for those who are less fortunate. As spring fast approaches many opportunities await you and your family that will allow you to give back!

Calgary Seniors Resource Society


Calgary Seniors has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that fit any schedule. Although all of our positions have slightly different requirements it is necessary that all of our volunteers be 18 years or older. Their?agency provides a variety of innovative and much needed programs to seniors throughout Calgary with the goal to end senior isolation and help them remain in their homes as long as possible.?Visit the website to get involved?

Cerebral Palsy Association In Alberta


The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) offers volunteer opportunities for one-time events, ongoing programs or office-based work.?Volunteers play a fundamental role in the programs and services that we offer to our members and the community. Without volunteers, our weekly programs cannot run and there is an opportunity for individuals of all abilities to become volunteers.

By volunteering?with us, you are a positive representation of our organization in the office, the community and especially in the lives of other people.?Volunteering with the CPAA is an opportunity to use your personal interests and skills towards creating a Life without Limits for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Visit their website to get involved?

Immigrant Services Calgary

profile_page_174Immigrant Services Calgary provides a variety of services to support the settlement and integration of newcomers in the Calgary community. They?are committed to success, and are dedicated to making immigrants feel at home.

Ways they help include:

  • Find language training opportunities and other community resources
  • Adjust to life in Canada by supporting in the settlement process
  • Gain Canadian work experience through volunteer opportunities
  • Meet people from diverse cultural groups

Visit their website to get involved?

Hamptons Community

Did you know that our community association is run with volunteers! We do several events throughout the year such as the Family Skate, the Stampede Breakfast and Community Garage Sale. We always WELCOME ?new community members to volunteer their time and add their expertise and interests. Contact Us to GET INVOLVED.


Calgary Culture for Kids

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Calgary is one of the most amazing cities when it comes to the availability to culture. From art, to food, to theater – it has it all! The good news is that just because it is Winter does not mean you cannot get out and enjoy some of that! We have created a list for you and your family that will enable your kids to appreciate culture in a fun and engaging way!

  1. Glenbow – if you are looking for an inside culture experience this is the place to be this winter! It has MANY experiences that will have your kids opening their minds and thinking about the world in new ways. At Glenbow Museum visitors of all ages can enjoy exhibitions, programs, and activities that educate as well as entertain. Whether you’re young or young at heart, come in to explore, create and discover! Find out more about their events and programs here
  2. Calgary Art Walk – did you know there are over 50+ pieces of art to view in Downtown Calgary? Using their self-guided walking tour, your family can cover some of the Calgary?s most dramatic downtown public art. With the useful PDF walking map those warm Chinook days can be taken advantage of. Give your kids the gift of art! Talk about the piece, ask what they see and how they feel – the experience will have your family connected!
  3. Storybook Theatre – introduce your children to theatre in a fun and interactive way! With several productions throughout the seasons, you will definitely find age appropriate and entertaining options for your kids! You can take it a step further if you have children interested in acting and audition them for a role or volunteer to get a deeper engagement and knowledge of theatre. Learn more about their season here
  4. Calgary Public Library – this AMAZING and FREE option is always a viable choice when introducing your children to culture. With many books, documentaries and programs available it is a fine and laid back place to enjoy with your kids. Create a monthly focus and check out books and movies based around your choice. Take a look at their many programs offered or plan the outing yourself – either way it’s a great place to get started with teaching Culture to your Kids!

These are only a few options for your family – but remember Calgary is FULL of Culture! If you are looking for a larger list we suggest Calgary’s Child 115 Things to Do with Kids as it is FULL of ideas on how to expose your kids to CULTURE here in Calgary.


Cool Choir NEW to Calgary

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A revolutionary concept in choirs has arrived in Calgary! Cool Choir welcomes adults to join together weekly in singing well-loved, feel-good rock and pop songs from past and present by legendary artists and bands.

Cool Choir is a NON-AUDITIONED, all-inclusive rock and pop choir for adults (over the age of 18)

Cool Choir offers an extremely positive, supportive and friendly community that will leave you feeling great and on a natural ?high? at the end of the evening.

The Calgary version of a choir concept that originated in the UK, Cool Choir??is a unique adult rock and pop singing group that challenges traditional ideas about choirs. For one thing, it focuses on rock and pop music. For another, it?s the city?s first and only non-auditioned, all-inclusive adult rock and pop choir across multiple locations, for everybody.

Everybody is welcome to try a free ?taster? night any week of the three trimesters at any location to see if Cool Choir? is for them. There are no auditions, no singing experience required, no need to read music and singers can join anytime. If you?re over 18 and can speak, you’re in! To Read more about Cool Choir from Avenue Magazine Click HERE

Watch our latest interview with Global Calgary