Count Up to 2017

20 Things To Do in Calgary Under $20


1.   Calgary Tower

Located 191 metres above the downtown core, the Calgary Tower offers the best view in the city and is must-see for any visitor or resident! On the Observation Deck, you’ll experience a spectacular 360* view of the city, the Rocky Mountains, the foothills, and prairies.
Stand on the glass floor for a birds-eye view of the city streets below. Enjoy a complimentary tour and learn about Calgary’s history, landmarks, and future plans.
General (13-64) $18, Senior (65+) $16, Child (4-12) $9, Infant (3 and under) FREE

2.   Glenbow

A key cultural cornerstone in Calgary for 50 years, Glenbow has surprised and engaged generations of Albertans and visitor to the city with remarkable connections between art, culture and the world around us. Check out their website for the current collections and showcases.
Adult (18+) $16, Senior (65+) $11, Student (with valid ID) $11, Youth (7-17) $10, Child (6 and under) FREE. Family (up to 2 adults & 4 youth) $40.

3.   Loose Moose Theatre

Located on the second floor of the Crossroads Market in the historic Inglewood neighbourhood, this theatre company presents weekly improvised comedy shows. Every show is different, but they’re always funny!
General $15, Student $12

4.   TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre

The science centre houses four exhibit galleries, movies, planetarium shows in Calgary’s only HD Digital Dome Theatre, interactive activities in the Creative Kids Museum, live science demonstrations, and more. The Brainasium outdoor park features an interactive play area where children learn momentum and teamwork of the five tone spinning rock, explore simple physics on the teeter-totter built for six, slide their hands along the musical railing and climb the netting tower to the 63 foot slide! The second Thursday night of every month is “Adults Only Night”, where the venue is open only to adults to enjoy unique programming, an open bar, workshops and presentations, and kid-free play.
Adult (18-64) $19.95, Senior (65+) $17.95, Youth (13-17) $15.95, Child (3-12) $12.95, Children under 3 is FREE

5.   Heritage Park Historical Village

With more than 200 exhibits and attractions spread over 127 acres of lush parkland, this living history museum has a lot to offer both the history buff and the pleasure seeker. It’s the perfect balance between historical fact, adventure, discovery and fun! This isn’t a museum where history stays behind the glass. The interactive exhibits, costumed interpreter, historic buildings, and hundreds of working antiques are all just waiting for you to touch, smell, taste, hear and see how the West was once.
In the Winter Season, only Heritage Town Square and Gasoline Alley Museum are open. Heritage Town Square is loaded with great shopping, food, and a 2-acre nature park. It is located before the gates and is an admission free zone. Winter admission includes access to Gasoline Alley Museum where you can explore the rare and stunning antique truck and car collection as well as the world’s largest public petroliania display.
Gasoline Alley is open Tuesday – Sunday, October 11, 2016 – May 19, 2017 (open select Holiday Mondays)
General (15-64) $10.75, Senior (65+) $8.50, Youth (7-14) $6.75, Child (3-6) $5.50

6.   The Plaza Theatre

The Plaza plays alternative films and functions as a first-run art house cinema. Watch timeless classics or a new indie flick in their 370 seat auditorium. Movie prices vary and usually cost under $10!

7.   Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Located at Canada Olympic Park, you can discover Canada’s greatest sport legends at the Hero Station, experience more than 60 sports in our 12 Gallery Exhibits filled with interactive experiences, treasured sport memorabilia and artefacts that will transport you into the work of Canadian sport, and learn about Canada’s sporting history from the experts in the Education and Resource Centre.
General $12, Seniors (65+) $10, Youth (4-18) $8, Children (3 years and under) FREE, Family (2 adults & 2 youth) $35

8.   Olympic Oval

The world-class, high performance atmosphere of the Olympic Oval skating rink is not just for professional athletes! Located at the University of Calgary, the 450 metre oval ice surface is open to the public, with equipment rentals available at the Skate Shop.
Adult $7, Youth/Senior (55+) $4.75, children under 5 FREE, special needs (with an assistant) $5

9.   Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

Located on a hilltop in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Calgary hosts public events and open houses that offer perfect occasions to star gaze. The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory (RAO) is dedicated to expanding our knowledge of the Universe and educating students, school groups and the public about the wonders of Astronomy. The side provides easy access from Calgary and an unobstructed view of the entire night time sky. Also, the observatory has one of the three largest telescopes in Canada!
$20 per car (all proceeds go towards Rothney Astrophysical Observatory educational programs). Gates open at 8pm and the event runs until 11pm

10.   Lougheed House

Lougheed House is a hub of cultural happenings and programs, and is at the heart of Calgary’s vibrant Beltline community. A National and Provincial Historic Site and Museum located on it’s original 2.8 acres. This 14,000 square-foot sandstone prairie mansion remains one of the finest residences in Canada’s Northwest, and was the political and social hub of fast-growing Calgary until 1938. They offer spectacular flower and vegetable gardens (free and accessible 24 hours) and indoors (with paid admission) they offer self-guided and audio tours, historic interpreters (if booked in advance) and year-round revolving exhibits, concerts and happenings produced in partnership with their cultural collaborators.
Adult $8.50, Student/Senior $6.50, Child (6-12) $5, Family $25, Under 6 FREE

11.   The Military Museum of Calgary

The Military Museums of Calgary, AB is the largest tri-service museum in Western Canada and the second largest military museum in the country. It consists of the four founding regimental museums and the Naval, Army and Air Force Museums of Alberta. You can walk through a World War I trench, enter the wheelhouse of a World War II ship model, and visit exhibits at the Founders’ Gallery.
Adults $10, Senior $5, Student and Youth (7-17) $4, Family $20, Children under 7 FREE

12.   The Hangar Flight Museum 

Formerly the Aero Space Museum of Calgary, The Hangar Flight Museum is a busy and growing museum that fosters the understanding and appreciation of the evolution of flight through stories told about the airplane, and helicopters in their collection and the men and women who designed and flew them. The collection holds rare and historically significant military and civilian aircraft sure to delight visitors young and old! Movie Nights are the second Thursday of each month from October to May, and begin at 7 pm.
Adult $12, Senior (65+) $8, Student (12-17 with valid student ID card) $8, Children (3-11) $6, 2 and under FREE

13.   City of Calgary Leisure Centres

Get active at The City of Calgary’s two leisure centres. Admission includes access to the wave pool and slides, fitness centre, gymnasiums, exercise and aquafit classes, as well as scheduled public skating and shinny hockey. The recreation areas also have their own unique qualities – the 5.5 acre Village Square Leisure Centre, located in the northeast, boasts its own safari-themed waterpark, while the Southland Leisure Centre, located in the southwest, spans 227,000 square feet and its pool features a rope swing!
Adult (18-64) $12.50, Senior (65+) $6.25, Youth (7-17) $6.25, Preschooler (2-6) $3.10, Under 2 FREE

14.   Art Classes

The community-based Grasby Art Studio, located in the northwest, offers more than just art supplies! They also teach art classes and paint night events, as well as host several art shows a year. Their drop-in open studio offers instructed art classes daily. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced artist, choose your medium or genre and work closely with an art connoisseur. All students learn a five-step drawing strategy and the six fundamental principles for professional art production.
$16/hour (all supplies included) or $13/hour (bring your own supplies)

15.   Dance Classes

Put on your dancing shoes! Every Friday night, Alberta Dancesport holds a dance party from 9:15 pm to midnight. The dance party is preceded with a workshop that begins promptly at 8:15 pm and is held at their Vecova (formerly called VRRI) location in the northwest. Complete with DJ, you can dance to your hearts contect!
$8 (includes admission to the Friday night workshop that runs from 8:15 – 9:15 pm)

16.   Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, you will discover one of the world’s oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps. In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a World Heritage Site, placing it among other world heritage monuments as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Galapagos Islands! Even though this isn’t in Calgary, this historical site is well worth the drive.
Adult (18-64) $15, Senior (65+) $13, Youth (7-17) $10, Child (0-6) FREE

17.   Fort Calgary

In the fall of 1875, the North West Mounted Police built a small wooden fort at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, and laid the foundation for the city that became Calgary. Located just east of downtown on a 40-acre site, open year-round, the Fort offers Calgarians and their guests fun, interactive exhibits and tours.
Adults $12, Seniors (65+) $11, Students (post-secondary) $11, Youth (7-17) $7, Children (3-6) $5, 2 and under FREE

18.   Butterfield Acres

Enjoy an authentic farm experience from April to October at Butterfield Acres, located on Rocky Ridge Road. Toddlers can play at the Nursery Rhyme Park, and children can enjoy pony rides and tractor pulled wagon rides through woodlands and over hilltops. Pet the feel the farm friends and new baby arrivals at the Farm Corral, from chicks and bunnies to piglets and donkeys! You can even learn how to milk a goat!
Adults (18+) $14.99, Seniors (65+) $12.99, Children (able to walk to 17 years) $11.99

19.   Fish Creek Provincial Park

One of the largest urban parks in North America, and the largest in Canada, Fish Creek Park features the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre, Environmental Learning Centre, and a seasonal interpretive program and Sikome Aquatic Facility (the manmade beach and lake are the perfect summer spot to hang out). Bird watch, fish, bike, and hike through trails in the riverine forest location. Take a break and dine at Annie’s Café or the upscale Bow Valley Ranch Restaurant, or pack your meal and take advantage of the picnic tables and shelters complete with a fire ring and charcoal grill. Fish Creek’s beautiful scenic environment is enjoyable all year-round!

20.   Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

In 1883, Colonel James Walker settled the land that is now occupied by the sanctuary. In 1910, the current brick house – named Inglewood – was built, and the surrounding area was named for the most prominent property in the area. In 1929, Colonel Walker’s son, Selby, applied to the Federal government to have the 59 acres on the west side of the Bow River be designated as a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary. His request was granted and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary was born. When Selby died in 1953, Ed Jefferies acquired the property and leased it to the Alberta Fish & Game Association. In 1970, The City of Calgary purchased the property and has been managing it as a natural reserve ever since. The Sanctuary’s Nature Centre was built in 1996 and grassland restoration projects began in that same year.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Centre have been providing migratory birds with a place to rest their wings since 1929. That’s more than 80 years of conservation! To date, 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 347 species of plants have been recorded at the Sanctuary and Nature Centre by members of the public, volunteers and staff.
Trails are open sunrise to sunset all year-round. Reminder, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a natural environment and NO DOGS permitted on site (except assistance dogs).
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19 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium


You know that you need calcium for strong, healthy bones. Usually, getting enough calcium means drinking milk and eating yogurt and cheese. Is drinking milk and eating dairy products the best way to get the calcium you need? The answer might surprise you. 
Various research studies show that milk and dairy products are not necessary for strong bones. In fact, the opposite could be true, as a recent study in the British Medical Journal found that women who drank multiple glasses of milk daily had a higher fracture risk than women who drank less than a glass a day.  American magazine Mother Jones summarized the research and the marketing by the dairy industry in the US that impacts what you think about milk in a great article here
Milk and dairy products are also high on the list of food allergies and intolerances and can be common triggers for inflammation in the body, resulting in eczema, acne, bloating, gas and joint pains. 
Calcium is still an important mineral proper muscle tone and nerve function, and not just for women and kids. So how do you get calcium without drinking milk? 

1.  Tofu

4 oz of tofu has a whopping 774 mg of calcium in it! You can easily add diced tofu to stir fry or you can enjoy it scrambled as a substitute for eggs. Buying organic, non-GMO tofu is highly recommended

2.  Collard greens 

1 cup of steamed collard greens has almost the same amount of calcium as 1 cup of cow’s milk (266 mg vs 276 mg) and can be enjoyed as a side dish with some drizzled olive oil and your favourite spices.

3.  Spinach 

1 cup of spinach has a bit less calcium than 1 cup of milk and can be enjoyed in salad or even added to your morning smoothie.

4.  Mustard Greens

5.  Beet Greens 

6.  Turnip Greens 

7.  Bok choy

8.  Swiss chard

9.  Kale

All of these greens can be enjoyed steamed or stir fried to add an extra punch of calcium to your meal. 

10.  Cinnamon

Did you know that 2 tsp has over 50 mg of calcium? Add a big dash to your oatmeal or tea to get a touch more sweetness and calcium in your life. 

11.  Sesame seeds

You can add ¼ cup for over 350 mg of extra calcium in your cereal, salads or snacks.

12.  Sardines

Sardine fans rejoice! 3 oz gives you almost 300 mg – more than a cup of milk!

13.  Cabbage

Using cabbage in soup or enjoying it fermented as sauerkraut? One cup gives you 60 mg of extra calcium.

14.  Broccoli

15.  Brussels sprouts

16.  Green beans

You can easily enjoy the above greens roasted or steamed and they give over 50 mg of calcium per cup.

17.  Oranges

Did you know that a medium sized orange provides over 50 mg of calcium?

18.  Summer squash

When summer comes around again, you can get 50 mg of calcium in 1 cup. 

19.  Fennel

You can add fennel to stir fry or salad for an extra 40 mg of calcium per cup.
Whether you’re looking to get enough calcium for yourself or your kids, it doesn’t have to mean reaching for milk, yogurt or cheese. A combination of the above foods can make it easy to get enough calcium. If you have any questions about how much calcium you need, don’t hesitate to ask your naturopathic doctor!



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18 Vitamins and Minerals You Should Eat Every Day


Eating a balanced and healthy diet is the foundation to good health. Today, we are highlighting some vitamins and minerals that are important for our health and where to find them in our diet. 

1.  Vitamin A

The beautiful yellow pigment found in plants is fantastic to keep skin, eyes and your immune system healthy! Incorporate more carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach into your daily meals.

2.  Vitamin C

One of the most important anti-oxidants in our bodies and helpful to reduce allergies! Add a scoop of mixed berries to your smoothie or snack on an orange or kiwi to get your dose of C

3.  Vitamin D

The Sunshine Vitamin, often difficult to get in the winter. This vitamin is important for keeping bones strong, improving mood and immune system! Cod liver oil is a good source

4.  Vitamin K

Found in our leafy greens including broccoli and spinach. Vitamin K is important to build strong bones along with Vitamin D

5.  Vitamin E

Another important anti-oxidant to protect our cells especially our red blood cells. Make a trail mix of sunflower seeds, pecans and hazelnuts and enjoy a lovely mid-afternoon snack!

6.  Magnesium

Marvelous magnesium is a wonderful mineral to help combat constipation, muscle cramping and insomnia! Eat your beans – soybeans, kidney beans and lima beans are great sources!

7.  Calcium

An important mineral to help prevent osteoporosis. Also helpful for insomnia along with magnesium! Some non-dairy suggestions include turnip greens, collard greens, rhubarb and sardines. 

8.  Iron

Feeling tired? Incorporate some more iron rich foods into your daily diet! Beef and liver are fantastic animal sources.  Lentils, lima beans and the leafy greens are vegetarian sources

9.  Zinc

important to enhance immune function in the winter months and help reduce skin concerns from the dry weather! Add some pumpkin seeds to your daily routine to increase that Zinc in your diet.

10.  Vitamin B1

Known as Thiamin, helps keep our nervous and cardiovascular system healthy. Brewer’s yeast added to oatmeal will provide you with some B1!

11.  Vitamin B2

Known as Riboflavin, helps with metabolism and converting the food we eat into useable energy! Best food sources include organ meats, dairy products and eggs.

12.  Vitamin B3

Known as Niacin, also helpful for metabolism. Can help reduce cholesterol as well! Food sources of niacin include turkey, chicken, sunflower seeds and avocado.

13.  Vitamin B5

Known as Pantethine, is great at reducing stress hormone (cortisol) levels! Foods to eat that are high in B5 – yogurt, salmon and sunflower seeds!

14.  Vitamin B6

B6 is a favorite female vitamin! Known to help reduce PMS and irritability it’s a great one to eat! Wild tuna, salmon, bananas and sweet potatoes have B6

15.  Vitamin B12

Our fantastic energy vitamin! Helps protect our brain and nervous systems as well. Animal sources give you your best bang – beef liver, sardines and cottage cheese rank high for B12 content

16.  Iodine

Supports thyroid function, energy levels and metabolism. Iodine-rich foods include kelp and dulse are good sources

17.  Selenium

A fantastic mineral for immune system and thyroid function, Three – four brazil nuts per day give you your daily dose of Selenium

18.  Vitamin B9 

Folate, important to keep red blood cells healthy. Best food sources include chickpeas, lentils and our favorite….spinach!


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17 Signs that You are Dehydrated & Reasons to Drink More Water


Yes we live in Calgary.

And yes, it`s dry here. Like a cornflake kind of dry.

But the dry climate of YYC isn`t always to blame for everything! Many people are under-hydrated and don`t even recognize is. Why is water so important for our health?

Dehydration can be a complex thing with several warning signs. Water makes up approximately two-thirds of our body. It plays a large part in your normal functions, such as lubricating your joints and eyes, keeping your skin healthy by eliminating toxins, and facilitating proper digestion. Here are 17 ways to know you are dehydrated and why you want to do something about it:

7 Signs of dehydration:

1.  Increased thirst- um, yes, you feel thirsty! 
2.  Dry mouth- also known as the pasties
3.  Tired or sleepy- tired at the office?  Have a water before a coffee
4.  Decreased urine output - your body is trying to conserve its fluids, so will decrease volume.  You urine may also be amore concentrated yellow.
5.  Headache- again, with an oncoming headache, try a glass of water and wait 20 minute before popping an aspirin.
6.  Dry skin- imagine how much money we could save if we drank water instead of slathered our skin with scented creams?
7.  Dizziness- especially when you change positions from sitting to standing
8.  Few or no tears- an especially telling sign in young children who may not be able to communicate with words.


10 Reasons to Drink Plenty of Water during the day 

1.  Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week without water. 

2.  Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite. 
3.  Water is necessary to maintain energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is mild dehydration. 
4.  For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can signicantly reduce joint and/or back pain because water is necessary for cartilage repairs. 

5.  Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease. 
6.  Water naturally moisturizes and ensures proper hydration of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance. 
7.  Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation
8.  Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation
9.  Stay healthy – all our organs need water to function, without it the body has to work harder. 
10. Know that you're getting enough! How to calculate the appropriate amount of water -  take your weight in pounds, divide by 2 and that’s the number of ounces of water you should be taking in a day.  Ex. 150 lb person should aim for 75 oz of water per day.
So folks, bottoms up! Water is the foundation to good health. Do your calculations and start including water in your daily routine!
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16 Tips to Getting Organized and Staying That Way

Today we are excited to showcase a guest blog post by professiona organizer, Mélanie Higuchi, with Functional Spaces.
Many of you may recognize Mélanie as being a former staff member at Grassroots. Mélanie has since graduated on to starting her own professional organizing business, Functional Spaces. We know first-hand the mad organizing skills this lady has.
When it comes to organizing your space, whether it be your home, office or even your car, she points out, it's one thing to de-clutter and get organized but without the proper process or system in place, you'll be swimming in your organized chaos again in no time. 
She's joining us to today to give us some tips on getting organized.. and staying that way! 

1.  Commit to be organized

If you aren’t ready, it’s not the right time.

2.  Morning Counter Routine

Take 5-10 minutes each morning clearing your kitchen counter. This can happen in 1-2 minute spurts...while your smoothie is blending up, the kettle is boiling or tea is steeping. Once it`s tidied and clear, it`ll be easier to keep it that way.

3.  The 1-in-1-out Rule

This applies to EVERYTHING. For example,if you buy a new piece of clothing, donate an old one.

4.  Acquire less things.  

Buy only what you need.

5.  Two question to ask yourself when de-cluttering

Ask yourself this:  Do I really NEED this item?  When is the last time I ACTUALLY used this?

6.  The One-Month Challenge.

Apply a ribbon/string to each hanger of clothing when you use it. At the end of the month, you will see what clothes you ACTUALLY wear.  Now you can decide what you can part with or donate.

7.  Organizing HACK: Bed Linens

Store folded flat and fitted sheets inside the matching pillow case.  This not only creates a tidy way of stacking, but you will always have the entire bed linen set together.  Never again will you be looking for missing pillow cases etc…

8.  Create a keepsake box/bin for kids crafts.  

Whatever fits in the box you can keep.  If it doesn’t fit, something has to go.  Involve the kids in this process.

9.  Pair down like items all at once.  

For example, tackle all of your handbags at once.  If they are in three different closets, bring them ALL into one room to decide which your favorites to keep are.  Then apply Tip #5 above. :)

10.  Organizing HACK:  Computer cords

Use binder clips to get cords off the floor behind your desk.  Clip them to the back of the desk.

11.  Put your clothes away, right away.  

No more clothes piles on the floor!

12.  Be creative when organizing.  

Use items you already have to keep you organized.  Ie:  use a mason jar as a pen holder.  

13.  Organizing HACK: Labelling cords

Got a mess of cords behind your computer desk or entertainment unit? Use those little plastic clips from your bread bag to label cords.  

14.  Get a laundry sorter!  

Laundry day becomes that much easier when items are pre-sorted.

15.  Organize your fridge!  

I know, who thinks of that.  Store things “Like with Like”.  (ie:  sauces together, veggies together, fruits together etc..)


16.  Avoid storing bulk pantry items in plastic bags.  

Using clear jars/containers and a nifty label maker, your pantry will soon be Pinterest workth. Plus, your items will last longer.

Mélanie can be reached at for all of your organizing needs! You can also check her out on her Facebook page here.


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15 Performing Arts Groups to Check Out In Calgary in 2017!


Calgary has an amazingly vibrant local arts scene. From theatre to dance to opera, there is something for everyone. Many groups have special performances for children and also lots of volunteer opportunities that may allow you to check out the show while you're helping them out! Today, we are counting up 15 fantastic local performing arts groups that you can check out in 2017and help support our local artists!

1.  Alberta Ballet

Alberta Ballet is Canada’s second-largest ballet company and is renowned around the world for the contemporary and classical productions that encompass its repertoire. In 2016-2017, Alberta Ballet performs its 50th season and boasts a company of 28 classically trained professional dancers from as far away as Japan and as close to its home-base of Alberta.

2.  Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) has been a cornerstone to the Calgary art scene since 1955. From classical giants to rock and roll hits and family favourites, the CPO offer about 85 shows per season.

3.  Calgary Opera

For 44 years, Calgary Opera has made a name for itself as a company that is committed to the development of Canadian talent and the development of new opera works.  On the mainstage, Calgary Opera produces a subscription season of three full-scale operas at the 2,400-seat Jubilee Auditorium, complimented by a series of opera-related events and fundraisers.

4.  Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

Established in 1984, Decidedly Jazz Dance (DJD) has carved a niche for itself as one of Canada’s most unique dance companies. DJD continues to enrich Calgary’s arts scene and community through the creation of their dedicated jazz dance centre and world-class performances.

5.  Theatre Calgary

Theatre Calgary traces its origins to the 1960s grassroots movement for local professional theatre. Over the past 11 years, has engaged in national and international collaborations with companies such as Soulpepper, the Shaw Festival, the National Arts Centre, and American Conservatory Theater.

6.  Vertigo Theatre

Vertigo Theatre has entertained audiences for over 40 years with high quality programming, evolving into a truly unique organization. Vertigo Theatre is located at the base of the Calgary Tower in the heart of downtown Calgary, and is home to the organization, its two performance venues and its two performance series, BD&P Mystery Theatre and Y Stage Theatre Series.

7.  StageWest

For 30 years, Stage West has entertained Calgarians with theatrical performances from film and television celebrities. Today, the theatre and restaurant hosts 10,000 people per month.

8.  Jubilations Dinner Theatre

Jubilations Dinner Theatre has been a staple of the Calgary theatre scene for over 13 years. Take in the excitement (and the stunning live vocals) while you enjoy a four-course meal, served by the actors themselves.

9.  Luminous Voices

Founded in 2012, Luminous Voices is Calgary's professional chamber choir. Comprised of some of the finest ensemble singers in Calgary, the choir also brings together exceptional singers and musicians from across the continent to collaborate with local performers. 

10.  Alberta Theatre Projects

Founded in Calgary in 1972 by Douglas Riske and Lucille Wagner, along with playwright Paddy Campbell, Alberta Theatre Projects envisioned bussing school children to see plays about Canadian history at a historic site. ATP was the first Canadian theatre for young audiences to have its own home – the Canmore Opera House in Heritage Park. ATP now produces an annual season of six plays, including plays from the national and international repertoire, at least two world premieres, a Family Holiday Show, and a presentation.

11.  One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre

One Yellow Rabbit (OYR) was once a punk rebel upstart troupe of ‘creatives’ – actors, writers, poets, jugglers, musicians and a dancer – on the cusp of a cultural renaissance that was Calgary. Over 30 years, OYR has shape-shifted into a cultural treasure that transcends the narrow geographical boundaries of city and nation.

12.  Calgary Youth Orchestra

Calgary Youth Orchestra (CYO) is Mount Royal University Conservatory's internationally acclaimed ensemble and one of Canada’s leading community youth orchestras, comprised of approximately 65 musicians ages 14 to 24. The orchestra performs a series of concerts throughout the year, participates in the annual Alberta Youth Orchestra Symposium in Banff, and tours internationally.

13.  Spiritus Chamber Choir

Spiritus Chamber Choir is an internationally award-winning amateur choir founded in 1995, based in Calgary, Canada and their concert programming by the choir portrays a broad range of repertoire. Spiritus performs a number of concerts each season. Check out their website for more information!

14.  Lunchbox Theatre

Bartley and Margaret Bard and Betty Gibb were looking for a way to present live theatre during the lunch hour to downtown shoppers and workers, so in 1975 they founded Lunchbox Theatre. Located in Calgary’s downtown core, it is now recognized as one of the most successful and longest running noon hour theatre companies in the world!  Lunchbox Theatre focuses on the development and production of original one-act plays; many of which are written by local Calgarians and produce eight plays per season.

15.  Kensington Sinfonia

For more than 25 years, Kensington Sinfonia has been Calgary’s accessible classical performance ensemble. The group puts on a number of concerts each season, including several that encourage children to attend (with free admission for those under the age of 12!). Great entertainment for all ages!

So there you have it... a year's worth of local entertainment and fun for everyone.  Calgary has something special here with our arts scene. Check them out and support our local artists!


14 Natural Ways to Address Pain

There are many reasons why we experience pain. Perhaps it is from a tension or Chinook headache, or we were in an accident. Chronic pain and overuse injuries are also on the rise with our daily activities of driving for long hours and sitting at a desk all day. The best way to address pain is to make sure not to ignore it and get it properly assessed right away.

Once you know the cause, it will be easier for you to find the best way to get rid of, which might include one of more of the following:

1.  Diet

Certain foods can help increase inflammation in the body, such as processed foods, refined carbohydrates, trans-fats, and sugar. Other foods that are high in anti-oxidants and polyphenols help to reduce inflammation in the body. The more inflammation in your system, the more likely you are to be sensitive to pain or have an injury. The research on specific anti-inflammatory diets is still mixed, but eating a more plant based and whole food diet has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. 

2.  Meditation

Meditation and mindfulness have been shown to be beneficial to many aspects of our health. Studies are now being done showing how the practice of meditation, even in new participants, can change how the brain responds to pain. In some studies pain was reduced by 27% (in comparison to 22% from morphine).

3.  Sleep

There is a strong association between sleep and pain, though research is still catching up on which has a greater effect.  There is also the role of sleep in addressing inflammation in the body and therefore improving pain. Most findings show that sleep has a greater effect on pain and therefore improving the quality of sleep has a greater impact on reducing pain as well as reducing the risk of devolving pain in the future.

4.  Yoga

Several studies have shown that participation in group yoga classes can help with chronic pain, especially lower back. The effects are often more dramatic and longer lasting than those who participate in just stretching activity. There have also been benefits seen in improving the mood of those in pain as well as decreasing disability and improving functionality. 

5.  Stretching & Rolling

Often pain can be from overuse or underuse. We all recognize the fact that sitting all day at a computer is not great for our posture so what do you do? Gentle stretching to help balance out tight muscles has been shown to reduce chronic pain as well as lower injury. Rolling with a foam roller or a therapy ball also helps to target specific trigger points to pain and allow those muscles to release. 

6.  Exercise

There are many ways that exercise helps when dealing with pain. New research shows that regular exercise can help improve pain tolerance, as well as research on chronic low back pain and fibromyalgia show that regular exercise programs help to reduce daily pain. Increasing core strength and improving posture are often attributed to the pain improving benefits of exercise, as well as the improved circulation. Depending on the pain that you are addressing and the cause it is important to have an exercise routine designed specifically for you. 

7.  Acupuncture

Lots of people have tried acupuncture for addressing their pain. The traditional method is often found to be relaxing and painless during the treatments. Studies, such as the one the University of Maryland, is showing acupuncture to be effective in short term relief of chronic back pain as well as long term effects. Through analysis of several studies they found that that acupuncture provides real pain relief, not just a placebo effect. 

8.  EFT 

EFT or emotional freedom technique has moved from being more on the fringe to being well accepted not only for psychological health but also physiological conditions such as pain and athletic performance. Several studies have shown EFT or tapping to be effective in reducing pain experienced from tension headaches, following PTSD symptoms and fibromyalgia.

9.  Massage & Cupping

We all know how relaxing a good massage can be. Even the mean ones, like the deep tissue, help to release those tight muscles and get us back on track. Research shows it too, not only decreasing pain levels immediatly but also improving relaxation, sleep and recovery.  As the recent Olympics in Rio showcased the popularity of cupping; research is also getting behind that as an adjunct to a massage. The increase in blood flow and the release of fascia have shown it to be helpful in back, neck, knee pain and even carpal tunnel.

10.  Bowen & Craniosacral Therapies

Bowen therapy is a soft tissue technique that uses gentle manipulation along certain muscles to help the body and muscles relax. Scientific studies on Bowen therapy is limited, of those that exist 53% reported pain reduction and 33% reported improvements in mobility. Craniosacral, similarly, is another gentle technique with limited data. Again it is very relaxing and some of the research there on it does show a reduction in pain symptoms.

11.  Trigger Point injections

Trigger point injections and other injection therapies like neural therapy, that include injections into a trigger point or a referral pattern with a local anesthetic are quite common-place. You can even get injections with corticosteroids or botox from an MD.  The way it works seeds to be a disruption of the trigger point or pain generator from the needle and then the effect of what is injected causing vasodilation and relaxation of the muscle fiber. 

12.  Prolotherapy

Can you point to your pain? Is your pain from a tendon, ligament or muscle strain or tear? If so, prolotherapy might be an option for you. Prolotherapy, or proliferative therapy, is an injection technique that uses dextrose, a sugar water, diluted down with a local anesthetic to help stimulate connective tissue repair. Studies have shown it to decrease pain and improve joint function.

13.  Nutritional supplements

There are many supplements out there that help to reduce pain and inflammation. Some work by decreasing inflammation, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, others help to improve joint health and function, like glucosamine, and others replace key minerals, relax muscles and decrease pain perception such as magnesium. Your naturopathic doctor can help you determine which nutrients would be the most beneficial in your case, as well as reduce any potential side effects or interactions.

14.  Herbs

Herbs have been used hundreds of years for pain relief and are becoming popular again as an alternative to medications. There is more research and studies being done now to assess their efficacy and how they work to avoid any potential negative interactions. There are many useful herbs that help to reduce inflammation, improve healing time, decrease pain signaling and help protect joints. Common herbs and herbal extracts include Turmeric, White Willow, Resveratrol and Boswellia to name a few. Even though they are considered safe, it is important to speak to your naturopathic doctor to ensure that the source, the dosing and the choice of herb is right for you and your health.
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13 Ways To Turn Your Luck Around


The New Year is about renewed optimism and intention for a happy, healthy and prosperous year to come.  For some of us, 2016 was a hard year.  We faced challenges and changes... and somehow, we endured and survived. Luckily, life moves in cycles, and you can switch up your luck.
So, today on Friday the 13th, we are focusing on 2017 as a year of abundance, self-love and self-growth, your luck may just turn around with the right attitude and some easy-to-implement changes.

1.  Positive thinking

The power of our thoughts and actions can flip a negative event or experience, into an opportunity for learning and growth.

2.  Visualization

Creating mental images and foreshadowing positive events in our mind can lead to increased performance and confidence. Competitive athletes and successful professionals alike use these tools to attain personal bests. You can choose to visualize the final outcome, or visual all the steps needed to accomplish a specific goal. 

3.  Create Karma

Pay it forward, volunteer, give back. Good things happen to good people. Create a world you want to live in, and the world will become a loving and lucky place.

4.  Daily affirmations

Affirmations have been shown to rewire our brain chemistry; they release our happy and motivational neurotransmitters. Over time, these small affirmations can accumulate into changing our lives and attaining specific goals.

5.  Exercise

Exercise is one of the great equalizers. Moderate daily exercise is proven to increase moods, energy, boost immune system and increase quality and length of life. What could be luckier than that?

6.  Work smarter & put the time in

Hard work, perseverance and preparation all create opportunity and success.  Creating step-wise mini-goals that are time sensitive can make big dreams become reality.

7.  Gratitude

People who actively express gratitude have more positive moods, sleep better and experience more compassion and kindness.

8.  Write down your goals

Actions start as thought, and are translated into reality through writing them down. Take the time to write out your specific short-term and long-term goals, and lifetime dreams. Revisit these goals in a journal, or put them on your fridge as a daily motivator.

9.  Listen & Be present

Often, we can miss out on lucky opportunities when we are overly stressed, busy, or have our minds fixated on negative thoughts. Take a deep breath, come back into the body, and really listen to yourself, and to others.

10.  Be open & curious

Create new friendships and networks, try new things and put yourself out there. Opportunity doesn’t often knock while you at home binge-watching Netflix.

11. Take care of yourself – mental, physical, spiritual

When our minds and bodies are functioning optimally, we can focus our energy on reaching our full potential. If the body is bogged down with chronic pain, inflammation, or disease,

12.  Learn

Take luck into your own hands and educate yourself in the pursuit of your dreams. Study and read everything you can get your hands on to prepare yourself for when that lucky opportunity arrives.

13.  Nourish Yourself

We know the basics – clean water, colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and  healthy fats. Giving your body and mind the nourishment it needs is foundational to creating the building blocks to luck in every aspect of your life.
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12 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress


Breathing exercises are a simple and accessible way to help you reduce your stress. Most of us don't even realize how shallow we breathe when we are stressed or caught up in our day-to-day flurry. We take our breathing for granted... something that just happens without us even thinking about it. But did you know that changing your breathing pattern can make immediate changes in your heartrate, blood pressure and your stress hormones?

Take a few moments for yourself. Pause. And focus on your breath and try these breathing exercises. Find out which works best for you!

1. Triangle breathing

Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out through your nose for a count of four.  Repeat.

2. Square breathing

Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out through your nose for a count of four, pause for a count of four.  Repeat.

3. Balloon breathing

Imagine you have 2 balloons in your chest and you inflate them with your inhale through your nose.  When you're able to fully inflate the 2 balloons, imagine you have 4.  Continue increasing the number of balloons after you have fully inflated them.

4. Count to 10

Take a deep breath through your nose as you count to 10.

5. FIve-second breathing

Watch a clock and inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds.  Continue for 1 minute then go back to normal breathing.

6. Count down from 10

Take a full belly breath in through your nose and after you exhale, count 10. Count backwards from 10 with each exhalation.

7.  Extended exhale breathing

Inhale through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold for a count of four and exhale through pursed lips for a count of eight seconds.

8. Bhramari breathing

Take a deep breath in through the nose and breathe out while humming so you sound  like a bumble bee.

9. Alternate nostril breathing  

Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe in through your right nostril.  Cover your right nostril with your left ring finger and release your thumb as you exhale through your left nostril.  Inhale through your left nostril.  Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and  release your ring finger as you exhale through your right nostril.  Repeat several times.

10. Light imagery breathing

Imagine yourself bathed in a white, healing light.  As you inhale, imagine your body fill with this white light.  As you exhale, imagine all your negative thoughts, emotions, pain etc seep out of your body and be washed away by the light.

11. Pulsed breathing

Inhale through the nose and exhale through pursed lips in bursts following the rhythm short, short, long.  Repeat.

12. Hands on abdomen

Place your hands on your tummy with your finger tips pointing towards each other and just touching at your centre line.  As you inhale, notice your hands expand apart as your belly lifts them up and out.  As you exhale, notice your hands come back together.

You will find different breathing exercises will suit different times of day. Hands on abdomen breathing is a great one to incorporate into your bedtime routine. If you suffer from indigestion and tend to eat fairly quickly, try the five-second breathing exercise a few times before you start eating. 

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11 Must-Haves for a Healthy Pregnancy


Pregnancy is an amazing and dynamic time in a woman’s life. Many symptoms of pregnancy can be managed effectively with Naturopathic Medicine; it is amazing how well clinical nutrition, botanical medicine and homeopathy can safely optimize health in the pregnancy, labour and delivery, and postnatal periods. Fill up your education tool box with a few tricks and ideas to getting started on the exciting path of a healthy pregnancy

1. An awesome prenatal vitamin

Choosing a prenatal with proper mineral and vitamin composition, correct dosages, and great bioavailability offers a great nutritional base for two changing bodies. One with no additives, waxes, artificial colours or fillers offers a clean and absorbable product.

2. Glass water bottle

Staying hydrated is so important during pregnancy, invest in a glass water bottle that can travel with you throughout the day. Add lemons, cucumber, mint, or chlorophyll to keep it interesting.  Pick up a set of mason jar glasses, or a decorated glass water bottle from a health food store.

3. Adequate protein

During pregnancy your dietary protein requirements increase dramatically. Striving for adequate protein can be a challenge for some mamas. Increasing protein at breakfast time with a green smoothie with added hemp hearts, vegan protein powder and almond milk, or a delish Spanish omelette. Match protein with snacks and meals throughout the day to assure balanced blood glucose levels.

4. Body pillow

Sleep during pregnancy is ESSENTIAL. A pregnant belly can be an obstacle to getting comfortable – check out body pillows to help find a good fit to get the rest and rejuvenation your body needs.

5. Red raspberry leaf tea

Starting in late second trimester or early third trimester, this yummy tea helps “tonify” your uterine muscle. Botanical medicine at it’s best!

6. The book: Ina May Gaskin – Guide to Childbirth

It celebrates the pregnancy goddess in each and every one of us! This empowering book strives to ease fears and remember that our bodies where made for this beautiful, intense event.

7. Prenatal yoga

Breathe, stretch, connect with your baby, your body and other pregnant mamas. Get your body ready for the marathon than is childbirth.

8. Super foods

Everyday, try to turbo-charge your diet with fresh, whole-food, colorful and organic super foods. Reach for antioxidant-rich berries, pomegranate, grapes, red and pinto beans, brightly colored veggies like yam, peppers, red cabbage. Nutrient packed nuts and seeds, like walnut, pecan, pumpkin seed, almonds can complement fresh salads with dark leafy greens. Healthy oils are great, alternating olive oil, avocados, and clean salmon, coconut oil to boost our bodies and brains.

9. Self care

Book that massage (with a licensed registered massage therapist), have a mani/pedi, rebalance your Qi with acupuncture.  Get some fresh air, have a bath, drink some tea, grab your fav book and light a few candles….looking after yourself and bringing your health and well-being to the forefront is pivotal in maintaining health, happiness, and preparing for labour and delivery.

10. Labour preparation acupuncture

For the whole of the pregnancy, until late third trimester, your body is doing it’s best to keep the babe snug and happy in the uterus. The big switch, both hormonally and energetically, needs to happen when baby is full term to give the signal it is time for the body to let go and babe to make its way into the world. Supporting the body with the gentle, downward-encouraging energetics starting around 37 weeks can help both the mother’s body, and the babe, to come on time. Naturopathic doctors and traditional Chinese doctors / Acupuncturists can all help during the home stretch.  

11. Support

It comes in many forms: partner, family, friends, OB, midwife, doula, family doctor, or naturopath. Whoever your team is, at the end of the day – this is all you really need. 
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