Tag Archives: May 2016

Throwing Axes at the Batlgrounds

I had a serendipitous Saturday off last weekend and I was thrilled to spend the day with my buddy, Roman. When he asked what I wanted to do, I replied, “I am up for anything!” I expected him to suggest going for patio beers at the Ship and Anchor, or eating Made by Marcus ice cream by the Bow river, or something of the like. He would have to decide, because I wouldn’t be able to! The weather app on my phone was being as indecisive as I was, and it couldn’t make up its mind whether it would be a bright, ‘sunshiney’ day, or if we would have a thunderstorm. Roman came up with the perfect activity. He said, “we could go throw axes?”

I had no idea what to wear. Plaid? Sheepskin? Chainmail? I don’t know much about axe throwing or its history, other than a few terrifying scenes in Game of Thrones, so I really had no idea what to expect. What I found on the internet, is that axe throwing comes from the Middle Ages, and what was once a very necessary battle skill, has become a fun pastime for the most hardcore Calgarians. My research didn’t answer my initial question though, so I settled on plaid.

We arrived at the Batlgrounds, filled out the waivers— don’t throw axes at each other, if you drop an axe on your foot we aren’t liable, etc.— and were introduced to our two badass axe throwing coaches, Roach and Erin. We were shown the basics, the proper stance, the way to aim, the throwing technique, and then we were each handed an axe. With an axe in my hand, I felt ten times fiercer than my normal level of fierceness. I assumed the position, aimed, and threw the axe. It stuck right in the board, right in the second circle. The hesitation I felt before, thinking I might look like a fool, the fear of pulling a muscle, totally disappeared.

If one of our axes hit the target and then fell to the ground, even if we missed the board entirely, Roach would say, “if that board was a zombie, it would be dead, so you’re doing really well.” That being said, there was no better feeling than when the axe stuck right into the bullseye. Except of course, for the feeling when the throw was so strong, it was difficult to pull the axe out of the board. Man, I felt so great. I used to be afraid that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I would be the first to die, but with this new found skill, I’m not nearly as nervous! Bring it on, zombies! Thanks for the axe throwing fun, Calgary!

Batlgrounds is open for drop in axe throwing throughout the week. Try it out with a few buds, or book a private party. And once you really get into it, join a league!

Market Collective

You know when you walk or drive by certain places and you just think, Man, everyone in there is just so cool. Maybe it’s the hip people typing away on their computers in the window of Analog on 17th Ave. Maybe it’s when you drive past a packed Ship and Anchor patio on a Friday afternoon and it’s full of happy, smiling people. Or maybe it’s when you bicycle past a super cool art or music happening going on at ContainR in Sunnyside. Market Collective at the Chinese Cultural Centre is definitely another one of these places.

Market Collective was started by two women, Angel Guerra and Angela Dione in 2008, and has become a thriving local event in Calgary. The market showcases the work and art of Calgarian talent. Musicians create a soundtrack for the market, snacks and coffee drinks are served, and tables are set up so local artists may sell their creations, including clothing, jewellery, books, paintings, and drawings. The market takes place every month or two and has a $5 entrance fee.

The atmosphere of this place is rad. There is so much hustle and bustle in the room, people milling about, chatting, introducing themselves to the vendors and fellow shoppers. There was such an array of things to look at and buy. I really appreciate Market Collective because it is a well curated group of vendors. There is such a variety of goods to buy, but the sentiment is the same— community. Shoppers of all ages and ethnicities, from all walks of life, who have brought their family or their friends, sporting different hairstyles, fashion ideas, and various body art, all take an hour out of their totally unique lives to come together in this one place.

The paintings of bacon, the sassy calligraphy, the handmade leather goods, the beautiful handmade jewellery, the brightly coloured abstract paintings, the handmade wooden calligraphy pens, and the pressed leaf art were just a few of my favourite things. Thanks for the local art and crafts, Calgary!

Market Collective is on once again this weekend, May 27-29. Check out the website for more details. http://www.marketcollective.ca

Playing Games at Buttermilk Waffles

Before I turned 18 and was able to meet my friends and drink at the bar, I would often hang out with friends at one of our parent’s house and play board games. Settlers of Catan, Cranium, Charades, even the Game of Life, but only if we were really bored. It seems to me not enough of my time is spent playing board games with my friends anymore. I decided to make a change!

I follow Buttermilk Waffles, the waffle place on 17th Ave. on Instagram (because who doesn’t want to see multiple pictures of fluffy, delectable waffles flooding their newsfeed?), and found out that they have board game night on Wednesday nights! I collected my three best board game buds and we head to Buttermilk.

We each ordered our dinner— waffles— and took a seat. While Chris read the rules of Taboo aloud, I drooled over the Apple Bacon Cheddar waffle that was placed in front of me. He slowly became an adult in Charlie Brown as I tuned him out and focused on ensuring my every bite had the perfect ratio of homemade apple compote, and freshly chopped bacon bits.

When we finally got the game started, it was super fun! Taboo is a game in which you try to have your team guess the word on the card but can’t say the other associated words listed on the card. The descriptions that come out are ridiculous. When trying to get Anna to guess ‘jumping,’ I said, “When you move your body to the sky then to the ground, to the sky to the ground.” Chris said, “weird young ones eat this,” when trying to get Ryan to guess crayons.

We thought about playing another game, but instead ordered more waffles. I learned that while games night started on Wednesdays, Buttermilk leaves their games out every day so waffle eaters can partake in board game any night of the week! That being said, on Wednesday nights, the Buttermilk Classic waffle is only $5! A beautiful fluffy waffle with butter and maple syrup is the perfect dessert. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Wednesday night than with board games, Buttermilk, and my radical friends. Thanks for the waffles and games, Calgary!

Calgary Reads Big Book Sale

One of my favourite things to do is read. I love reading! Whether its comic books, novels, or hilarious blog posts written by a spunky Calgarian, reading gives each of us the ability to visit other worlds, imagine the lives of people in other places, and experience adventures we had never dreamed possible. The love I have for reading is shared with the volunteer organization, Calgary Reads. Their vision: “A thriving community where all children can read with confidence and joy.” Isn’t that the most amazing vision?

Every year for 13 years, Calgary Reads has run a major fundraising event: a book sale! Not just any book sale though, this is the Calgary Reads BIG Book Sale. Thousands and thousands and thousands of books are sorted by volunteers into categories – fiction, non-fiction, childrens and then into specific genres like gardening, cooking, history, mystery/crime, historical fiction. The sale is entirely volunteer run and supports Calgary Reads’ children’s reading programs. This book sale is HUGE. The entire Calgary Curling Club space is packed with books

Last year the book sale welcomed about 6400 people through the doors, all who walked out with great deals on books.  They come to browse for hours picking up little known titles, they come with lists for English Literature classes and book clubs, they hunt the boxes below the tables to find the one book in sci-fi series that they don’t already own. They even come to find some beautiful books to adorn a table for a wedding or a special shelf above the fireplace. They come for one book and leave with armfuls.

The book sale begins in the morning of Friday, May 13. On Saturday evening 6pm-9pm, the book sale hosts Jazz and Book Night! Book lovers can shop to the musical sounds of Midnight Blue Jazz Society and enjoy a glass of wine from the cash bar. On Sunday the Children’s Story Tent is set up with crafts and storytelling by Girl Guides.

Bring your parents, bring your children, bring your lover(s) and your friends. Come create positive change in the community and support Calgary Reads’ vision to work towards a “thriving community where all children can read with confidence and joy”.

The book sale is on May 13th 9am-9pm, May 14th 9am-9pm, and May 15th 9am-12pm. It takes place at the Calgary Curling Club- 720 3rd St. NW. Thanks for the great reads, Calgary!

Glenbow Museum’s Free First Thursday

Whenever I travel to a new city, I like to experience everything that city has to offer; I go to museums, I see shows, I walk along the main streets, and check out all the markets and shops. I think a lot of people would agree that they do more activities like these in cities they are visiting, than they do in their own city. I’m the same. I am embarrassed to admit this, but Calgary, I can’t remember the last time I went to the Glenbow Museum. It has been on my list ever since the Kaleidoscopic Animalia exhibit opened in October 2015 and I just kept procrastinating. So, you can imagine my excitement when, in January 2016, the Glenbow Museum began offering free entry on the first Thursday evening of every month! I brought my parents!

We started on the top floor and worked our way down. The Mavericks exhibit on the third floor was incredibly cool. We took a trip down historical lane and learned about the hard working and spirited mavericks – both men and women – who helped build Southern Alberta. We learned about David Thompson, the map maker, D.W. Davis, Alberta’s first member of parliament, and Colonel James Macleod, whom you may know as an important RCMP officer, of the time or from that Trail we named after him. We learned about George Lane, one of the Calgary Stampede’s “Big Four,” who helped fund the first ever Stampede. Under his portrait was the quote, “always keep yourself in a position to look any man straight in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” Good for you, George Lane, and good advice for all of us. We read about Tom Three Persons, the first Native man to enter the Stampede Rodeo. He won the championship for bronc riding— on a horse that had thrown all the other riders! Henrietta Muir Edwards, one of the Famous Five, fought for the political rights of women. It was the Famous Five who fought to have women declared as “persons” under the law. Oh my gosh, I learned so much about Alberta.

On we went to the next floor. We visited the Kaleidoscopic Animalia exhibit, designed and curated by Paul Hardy. This temporary exhibit showcased window display-like installations with the most extraordinary costumes and props. Each abstract piece drew my eye. It was hard to look away! Paul Hardy said, “my desire in creating this exhibition was to startle the viewer,” and startle me he did!

The Glenbow Museum offers free entry from 5pm-9pm on the first Thursday of every month. The event is made possible by the generous support of Servus Credit Union.