What’s Happening at Stampede Park: December 26 – January 1

Hope everyone’s having a Happy Holidays so far!  Because with the festive season now upon us, it only means one thing around here:  Hockey! Between the 2012 WJHC and the Mac’s AAA Midget Hockey Tournament championships, there’s lots of hockey action to catch this week at Stampede Park.

Details on that and more here:

Make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

A little under the weather

Well, I said I’d try for a post a week, but shortly after I wrote that piece, I got ridiculously sick.

Now, I don’t get sick often, but when I do it tends to hit me. Hard.

This guy is particularly nasty. It started as a scratchy throat (re: Throat infection), then moved down to my lungs. That’s typically normal of respiratory system infections (at least, with me), but then it actually moved back up into my sinuses, and now I think it ran back down my throat and up my left ear, all in a period of four or five days.

Ew.

Anyways, I’m at about a week and two days into it, and while my lungs have settled (re: Stopped burning) and my sinuses seem to be calming down (still producing a crapton of mucous though; I’ve actually managed to fill an entire garbage bag with used tissues, LOL! Double ew.), my voice is still a little squeaky, I haven’t fully entered the “purge” phase yet, and I’m still concerned about the ear. But as long as I continue to have fevers though, there’s a chance that my body will heat up hot enough to kill it all; I just have to continue to take care of myself and keep myself warm, covered and indoors.

I’ll give the body another week or so try to kill this thing off on its own, and if it gets worse, has no change, or has every indication of “lingering” then I’ll probably get it checked out (really want to avoid antibiotics if possible, just because they should only be used as a last resort and 9 times out of 10 my body can handle illness if I just leave things well enough alone).

But if you’re wondering why I’ve been AWOL in various channels lately, it’s because of this and the fact that I’m probably curled up somewhere covered by four layers of blankets trying to sweat this thing out. Experience has shown me if I try to force things through medication or ignore my body’s processes, things can get worse quickly. So I’ve learned that if I get really, really sick, I should drop everything and just cope since the time spent on recovering will be less than if I try to prolong things with fever reducers and so on.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: December 19 – 25

Christmas is rapidly approaching, but that doesn’t mean things are slowing down here at Stampede Park!  We’ve got LMFAO and the Cherrytree Pop Alternative Tour rockin’ at the Stampede Corral plus more hockey than you can shake a (hockey) stick at with World Juniors and NHL action all happening on Park this week.

Details on that and more here:

Make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: December 12 – 18

Prince returns to Calgary on his first multi-city national tour since 2002.

Details on that and more here:

  • Prince:  Welcome 2 Canada, Prince!  Multiple award-winning American singer, songwriter and musician Prince will be embarking on his first multi-city Canadian tour since 2002 with the Welcome 2 Canada tour and will be stopping in Calgary on Wednesday, December 14.  The concert starts at 8 p.m. at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster.
  • WHL Hockey:  The Calgary Hitmen take on the Regina Pats this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Puck drop is at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 16, and tickets for the game are available through Ticketmaster.

Make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

My 3 Things for Calgary

Back on Friday, October 21, I was privileged to attend 3 Things for Calgary: A Conversation about Citizens and Cities. Held at the John Dutton Theatre at the Central branch of the Calgary Public Library, it was part talk about what citizens can do to help improve their communities, as well as the launch event to the 3 Things for Calgary initiative, spearheaded by the newly-formed Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee (MCEC).

“Reg loves the big 3!”

Back on Friday, October 21, I was privileged to attend 3 Things for Calgary: A Conversation about Citizens and Cities. Held at the John Dutton Theatre at the Central branch of the Calgary Public Library, it was part talk about what citizens can do to help improve their communities, as well as the launch event to the 3 Things for Calgary initiative, spearheaded by the newly-formed Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee (MCEC).

If you want to see video of the event, check it out below:

The premise is simple:

  1. Think about 3 Things you can do to make Calgary better. These things could be for your street, your neighbourhood or for the entire city.
  2. Do those 3 Things.
  3. Encourage 3 more people to do the same.

The deadline, so to speak, is to complete the objective “before the tulips blossom,” which, as Mayor Nenshi half-jokingly stated, “since this is Calgary, that could potentially be in August,” although to be honest, I’m not even sure if tulips bloom in this neck of the woods.

Anyways, it’s quite clever when you think about it. They’ve broken down civic engagement into three potentially simple steps, the success of which depends on the cumulative effect of others performing three things as well and repeating. As they like to say:

If every Calgarian did at least 3 Things for Calgary, we’d have more than 3 million actions making Calgary an even better city.

I remember when Mayor Nenshi was speaking about the program, he said that he recognized many people in the audience and knew that they were already doing things in the community. So he asked all of us to “just do 3 more things” which I thought was pretty sneaky, but only because it’s a trick I sometimes use to try to get people to push beyond their potential, or what they think their potential is. So well played, Mr. Mayor 😉

Ever since then I’ve been wracking my brain to think of three things to do before writing a blog post about it. The problem is, at least in my life, opportunity seems to come with very short notice, and it’s hard for me to plan ahead since I already have so much going on. In fact, at the time, I was so swamped with commitments that I really couldn’t see myself cramming in 3 more things without killing myself, unless they were super simple tasks.

Fast forward to now, and upon reflection, I guess I’ve already done three things since then to try and help contribute to making Calgary a better place. Actually, depending on how you look at things, I may have done more than three, but the ones I’ll list here are the ones I’ll count for now.

So, what have I done in the seven weeks since I heard about the program?

Well:

  1. I’ve started blogging again for myself.If you’ll notice, there’s some content flowing again over here despite me blogging for some other organizations in the meantime. You may be asking yourself what this could possibly have do with helping to make Calgary a better place. Well, if you’ve been watching my Twitter and Facebook feeds, you’ll notice that I try to put a lot of local content on those platforms, or try to promote other local community initiatives. I figure that perhaps I can highlight some of that content here as well plus add some commentary of my own and help promote those initiatives by others or at least bring awareness to others about them. I’ll admit, it’s been very difficult for me to write these days, although it’s gradually been getting easier again. I’m not sure how consistent I can be, but my goal is at least one new post a week. Wish me luck!
  2. I’ve volunteered to help with the High Performance Rodeo.There’s a reason why I reposted the piece I wrote for the Downtown Calgary Blog on the High Performance Rodeo. Not only because it’s just around the corner and that I love the event, but it’s also because I’ve volunteered to help with their social media efforts this year. Like I said in the previous piece, after being exposed to the HPR for the first time last year, I fell in love with it and feel that all Calgarians should know about this unique and world-class arts event that happens right in our own backyard, and I want to do my best to help spread the word. The Calgary Stampede sucked me in the exact same way back in 2006 by exposing me to some really neat things that I was never aware of beforehand, so I’m hoping I can take what I’ve learned in helping them promote things since I joined the Stampede as a volunteer and apply and innovate on those techniques with the HPR (and ideally, bring back some of what I’ll learn with helping the HPR to my Stampede work, thus ensuring the continuation of the Circle of Life). So…if you’re looking for a great gift idea, why not grab a High Performance Rodeo Flex Pass? 😉And make sure you’re following the HPR on Facebook at facebook.com/HPRodeo and Twitter at @HPRodeo and keep an eye on the #HPRodeo hashtag too for contests, promotions and other cool stuff.
  3. I’ve joined an events subcommittee with 3 Things for Calgary.Yep, I love the concept so much that I’ve decided to try to help out in an official capacity. A few weeks ago, the organizers held a 1-2-3-GO! meet-up where the public could meet some members of the team, learn more about the program, and brainstorm ways to help implement the program in various places in the community. There were so many ideas that came out of that meeting that we all figured that we should get together again and flesh some of those out and maybe even execute them. The formation of the subcommittee still needs to be approved by the MCEC, but regardless whether it goes through or not, I’ll find a way to get involved somehow, either officially or unofficially.

So those are the three I’m going to submit for consideration.

Of course, part of me wonders if it’s a cheat since the way it was technically supposed to work was that we post/share what our 3 Things would be, try to do them, then when the tulips blossom, look back and see how we did.

So, since there’s a chance that I may be a part of the 3 Things team now, I’ll post three more things that I’m going to try to do before the arrival of the tulips, if only to try to lead by example:

  1. Be a Snow Angel.This one seems simple: Whenever I shovel my sidewalk, I’ll do one of my neighbour’s as well. To keep things interesting, I’ll alternate between my left neighbour and right neighbour at random intervals (hey, just because I’m doing something nice for someone doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with it, no? :P). In all seriousness though, to me, this task seems very doable and if I’m in the snow shoveling zone, it’s sometimes hard to stop so maybe both neighbors might benefit ;-).
  2. Find one small one-off community event or initiative to volunteer with in some capacity.While it’s true that I’m active in the community and that it’s very difficult these days to cram much more into my free time, I’m going to find one event or cause to volunteer with that I’ve never done before or for an organization I’m not affiliated with. The HPR was kind of meant to be like that, although it is a one-month long event. I figure if this one is just a one-day thing, it can be squeezed in somewhere in my schedule and is probably accomplishable. Since I haven’t found one yet, I’m not sure what my contribution would be (it could be time, expertise, money, or other), but whatever it is, I hope it’ll be meaningful.
  3. Become a Calgary 2012 Cultural Ambassador.2012 is going to be a big year for culture in this city, with our recent designation of a Cultural Capital of Canada and the centennials of the Calgary Public Library, Calgary Stampede, and a few other organizations in the city. This Cultural Ambassador programorganized by Calgary 2012 sounds fun based on what I’ve heard on the down-low, so I’m looking forward to participating. It’s super simple. I just signed up and you can too by following this weblink.

So those are three more things I’m going to try and do before the tulips bloom, and we’ll touch base again later to see how I did.

Interested in joining along? To learn more about 3 Things for Calgary, visit the website, check out the Facebook page, and follow along on Twitter at @3ThingsYYC and the hashtag #3ThingsYYC.

And let me know what your 3 Things for Calgary are too in the comments! Peaking at what others have said, it’s fascinating how they can range from small tasks to big projects. Either way, it’s always inspiring to read up on what others are planning on doing or what they’ve accomplished thus far, and it makes me motivated to find ways to do more.

Why I’m now a fan of the High Performance Rodeo

**The next High Performance Rodeo is just around the corner (January 5-28), so I figured I’d repost a piece I did for the Downtown Calgary Blog earlier this year as I’m really looking forward to catching my first HPR from the very beginning and I figured you should know why. Originally published on January 27, 2011 on getdown.ca. Enjoy!

Would you believe that I’m a born-and-raised Calgarian, but never in its 25 years of existence, have I ever attended the High Performance Rodeo?

I mean, I had heard of it, obviously. One Yellow Rabbit is an institution of sorts in Calgary, and when you’ve been around for a couple of decades, one tends to cement a place in Calgary’s cultural scene.

But because, other than a couple of theatre shows I caught as a kid, theatre in general was never really a big part of my upbringing (low-to-middle class family, entertainment dollars had to be spent wisely), I was never really conditioned to check out local theatre as a form of entertainment, a mindset that has stuck with me even today, where I’m self-sufficient and successful enough to have a little disposable income to play with.

Now, it’s not because I’m adverse to theatre in general. On the contrary, the shows I saw as a child (for example, a production of Into the Woods that took place at Theatre Calgary) I really enjoyed, and ironically, I enjoyed watching theatrical productions on television (especially musicals; I love musicals!). I took Drama class in junior-high where I was cast as the lead in my school’s production of Aladdin, had a blast doing it, and would have continued on if not for a quirk in Grade 10 class scheduling that forced me to drop Drama as an option. It’s just that local theatre as an etnertainment activity has just never, ever entered my mind.

After some insistence from friends, I was persuaded to catch Catalyst Theatre’s production of Nevermore. I had heard good things about it, although I didn’t know much other than it had something to do with Edgar Allan Poe.

I didn’t know what to expect and did no research prior to attending so I was able to watch it with an open mind. I had heard it was a biography of sorts. In fact, as showtime approached, “musical biography” was a term I had heard thrown around a lot.

I’ll admit: I was intrigued.

What I saw amazed me.

It was a full-on musical production about the life of Poe. Surreal at times, relatable even by today’s standards at others, without reading a synopsis on the life of Poe beforehand, I couldn’t tell what was based on real-life fact and what was creatively interpreted, but the performance grabbed me in the sense that I couldn’t help but feel sorry about the difficulty and tragedy that Poe the child must have went through growing up. It made me revisit that age-old question about “Nature vs. Nurture” and made me wonder if Poe had a different upbringing, would his life have been different? If I had a different upbringing, how different would I be right now? Pretty heavy stuff, right there. Didn’t expect to be thinking about those sorts of things by the end of the night.

And what I learned about the production astounded me. There are over 200 lighting and sound cues and 25 costume changes that the cast and crew have to contend with. The vast majority of the costumes and props are made of masking tape and tissue paper, which requires an obscene amount of maintenance after every performance to ensure they’re always ready for the next show. There is so much pride and passion put into this production on-stage and behind-the-scenes by the cast and crew, and every loving bit shines through in the performance.

Suffice to say, I was hooked. As soon as I got home, I hit my computer looking for the next show to see. I managed to catch the last showing of Billy Bishop Goes to War, a two-man act portraying some of the exploits of the legendary Canadian war hero. I was thrilled to see there were musical elements involved in the performance, and having studied Canadian military history in school, proud that they were able to come up with a performance that wasn’t just entertaining, but a fitting tribute to our Canadian war heroes as well.

My first-ever experience at the High Performance Rodeo was a good one, and I have to say that I’m now a fan. As I was exposed to the Rodeo rather late in the festival, looking through the festival program, I realize that I’ve missed a lot of performances, and missed a few shows that I’d probably enjoy.

However, when next year rolls around, I’ll definitely make time for the 26th annual High Performance Rodeo and plan things more accordingly.

There’s still some time to catch Nevermore at the Vertigo Mystery Theatre. It runs until February 6, 2011.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: December 5 – 11

As we start getting more settled into winter, the old cold-weather staple of hockey is prominent this week at Stampede Park, along with the holiday lights that facilities staff have been working hard on putting up these last few weeks and now adorn the grounds.

Details on that and more here:

  • NHL Hockey:  The Calgary Flames play thrice this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  First, they take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, December 6 followed by the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, December 8 with both games starting at 7 p.m.  The Flames finish off the week with an old-fashioned Battle of Alberta as they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m.  Tickets for all three games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • WHL Hockey:   Meanwhile, the Calgary Hitmen take on the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, December 9 at the Saddledome as well.  The game starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
  • SlimCore Wellness Revolution:  Ready to finish this year with a bang and then transform your life in 2012?  Wellness Revolution 2011 has something for everyone with local speakers that are experts in nutrition, dieting and eating habits, exercise, marketing and business as well as insights into becoming a healthier and stronger you in 2012.  Saturday, December 10 in the Boyce Theatre.  Tickets available online.
  • Stampede Casino: Open all year-round and featuring all your favourite slotstables, a 24 hour poker room, as well as excellent food and special events throughout the year, there’s always something going on down here so why not drop by for a visit? Here’s a taste of what’s happening this week:
    • UFC 140:  Catch UFC 140 from Toronto in the Big Sky Showroom on Saturday, December 10 featuring Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.  Tickets available through Stampede Casino Guest Services.

Make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, make sure to visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

And one holiday party to rule them all

My momma always told me, “Awesome is as Awesome does.” Next week, on Wednesday December 7, Awesome is doing it up with some 18 other meetup and topical groups to throw one of the best Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter Solstice / Pancha Ganapati / Kwanzaa / Festivus parties that there is to find in this city.

HOLIPALOOZA will see the meeting and mixed merriment of a massive multitude of magnificent mortals. Five participating awesome businesses (Melrose Cafe and Bar, Ming, Charcut, Crave Cupcakes, and Skyy Vodka) will be presenting some delectable treats for the masses and there will be a killer silent auction to boot! Each of the five businesses have chosen a local charity to be their beneficiary of their share of the collected funds.

We would love to see all of our awesome friends, pitchers, proposers, and winners help us celebrate the season, mingling with creative and fun-loving people, and helping out five worthy local charities all the while. You can get all of the information at the Holipalooza website.

Everyone is welcome, so spread the word, bring your friends, and participate in the awesomeness that is Getting Together and Giving Together!

Details

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Where: Melrose Cafe & Bar, 730 17 Avenue SW
Time: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Price: $25
(Price is for access to the delectable treats. You can attend the event itself for no charge, and can still make donations and/or bid on silent auction items.)

Twitter: #HPyyc and @Holipalooza
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Holipalooza
Web: www.holipalooza.ca

Want to be extra awesome?

Should you wish to be extra awesome and donate an item for the silent auction, please contact Awesome Foundation Calgary trustee John Smiley at [email protected]. All items for the auction should have a retail value of between $50 and $100.

Holipalooza is also looking for volunteers for the night of the event. Your volunteer shift will be no more than two hours. Please also contact John at the e-mail address above to inquire.

Happy Holipalooza, and hope to see you there!

Credit where due… I totally ripped off the blog title from @kaliereadwin