Vignette - April

ISSUE 2 - JUNE 2015 VIGNETTE A Visual Guide to Calgary’s Creative Culture


Transcript of Vignette - April

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ISSUE 2 - JUNE 2015

VIGNETTEA Visual Guide to Calgary’s

Creative Culture

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Hello Calgary, and welcome to issue two of Vignette.

Thank you so very much for returning to read more about the spectacular creative souls within Calgary They are the ones who breathe life into our city and the reason why it is such an amazing time to be young.

In this issue, we’ve collected six unique stories to share with our readers. Two bands; one touring, one local. An artist from Cuba with an amazing story to tell of why he never stops painting.

And our feature story. Three very different, spectacular shops in the heart of Inglewood. All three reflect the passion and creativity required to own a successful business.

So please enjoy the hard work that has gone into these next pages. We are so very excited to show you all some more of the amazing life within our city.

Claire BourgeoisEditor - in - chief




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Words and photos by Janessa Day

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When Chad Baird and Joe Fraser met up for their very first jam session approximately a year ago, they had no idea that their instant musical connection would lead to the beginning of something great.

Introducing local funk rock duo Disco Banta, made up of drummer Chad Baird and vocalist/guitarist Joe Fraser.The band fuses funk rock and indie disco to create a unique, toe-tapping feel and evoking a strong desire to simply drop everything and dance.

Drummer Chad Baird explains of the name choice, “It kind of describes us. We are unique, we have a different sound. Our sound has rock tendencies and it’s funky; it makes you want to dance”

At an early age, both musicians began experimenting with a variety of instruments and sounds.

This passion for music at an early age has created this unstoppable desire for these musicians to create and continue to push their musical limits, leading to the release of their first album, “Modernity.” Vocalist and guitarist Joe Fraser states, “[Playing in the band] is a great outlet. It’s a great fit for us and it’s a certain kind of high when you do it – it’s euphoric. It’s something you’ll never get sick of doing, and it’s something you try to chase the feeling of again. “

“There are a lot of people that just settle. They get into a routine and don’t have a lot of time to do the things they love. I truly love this. I love giving the feeling through to people.” Chad adds.

As Calgary’s music scene continues to grow and produce great local talent, Disco Banta believe that they really are

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at the right place at the right time.

“We have enough material that we can take it up a notch and start getting out there a little more, and Calgary is actually great for that,” Joe affirms.

“There are a lot of contests and venues and stuff. There’s a great scene here, you’ve just got to be out there and in it.”

Disco Banta definitely know that there’s more to being in a band than just playing a couple of original tunes to an audience. Being a musician is no easy route, and can be overlooked by many.

Joe explains, “A lot of people think it’s a joke profession, but it’s not. It’s an art form. It’s very difficult to be self-motivated, and creating when there’s people around you that may be pessimistic towards what

you do with your life.”

It’s undeniable when one hears their songs and really listens to what they’re saying that Disco Banta possesses a great deal of passion and talent and have the drive to push to bigger and better things.

“I’m a musician at heart and I don’t think I can ever deny that. If we can make people dance, that’s a beautiful thing. We just want to get people’s attention, give them something really unique to listen to and have a good time.

“We are going to pursue the hell out of this and we’re going to make it happen.”

Find the guys online:w w w. d i s c o b a n t a . c o

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Cat E


reThe most accurate way to describe a set by Australian jazzy ska band Cat Empire would be something similar to an old-time circus. Their MacEwan Hall performance was insanely crazy, wild and a whole lot of fun.

By the time the band took the stage, the crowd had been drinking heavily and were very clearly ready for a party, which the band members were obviously ready to give them. With instruments ranging from trombones and trumpets, to bongos and a DJ booth, Cat Empire brought a unique sound full of variety.

By Claire Bourgeois

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The seven-piece band was also in party mode, dancing along with the crowd and having a great time as they encouraged fans to get as rowdy as humanly possible.

The musicality was absolutely spectacular. The amazing technical talent of each and every musician was highlighted separately within the songs through a series of long, complicated solos for each instrument, including trumpets, drums, trombone, bass and keyboard. Even vocalist Felix Riebl took to the bongos for a feature of his own.

The night was a wild party for everyone involved, from the band members themselves to the packed audience. The sound was something unique to Cat Empire, a latin take on old-school ska music with a jazzy twist.

A strong emphasis on the band’s rhythm section really lent itself the wild dance party that continued on throughout the night, from the moment the band took the stage until the very end of the encore.

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Lined with interesting shops, bars and restaurants, Inglewood is widely regarded as one of Calgary’s best neighbourhoods for culture and history.

Vignette visited three very different shops to feature in this month’s issue, highlighting the creativity and passion of three incredibly driven individuals who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to provide Calgarians with a unique shopping experience.

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Words and photos by Janessa Day

Plant Terrariums

Among Inglewood’s multitude of shops and restaurants

sits a small, unassuming store, easy to miss among the plethora of interesting spots lining 9th ave.

Stuffed to the rafters with a variety of greenery, walking into the store is like entering another world.


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Welcome to Plant Terrariums, a business specializing in the creation of unique indoor gardening setups. Founded in 2014, Plant is a new addition to Inglewood’s continuously growing community of artists and creators.

Plant’s owner and founder, Kyle Chow, has always been a passionate gardener. Drawing experience from past work in greenhouses, he began experimenting

with terrariums in 2011; eventually expanding beyond terrariums into other indoor gardening techniques. Through this experimentation, Plant Terrariums was born.

“It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about and now I get to do it every day. It’s like a dream come true; it’s hard not to love that,” he explains of his daily work in-store on the assorted terrariums.

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Upon stepping into the shop, the amount of talent and artistic ability required to create an interesting business such as Plant is very clearly reflected in the unique design and layout of the store. It is as if the room itself is alive with the energy of hundreds of living things, lining the floor, walls and even hanging from the ceiling.

The passion and hard work which would

have been required to open the shop is showcased through the many miniature ecosystems. Carefully displayed in a variety of glass containers, they reflect the unity of art and nature on a whole new level.

Kyle explains that the terrariums “go far beyond the basic potted plant.” These personal, self-contained ecosystems add life to any room and provide a nice


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touch of the outdoors to any indoor space.

Of what it’s like to be a small business owner in Calgary, Kyle spoke of the significant importance of being passionate about one’s work and how that passion can directly affect success.

“Know that if it’s a job that you love, it doesn’t ever turn off. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Definitely choose things beyond popularity, choose things you’re really interested in.

“I think it’s reflective in how you interact with your customers because if you care about something and you’re wanting to share that with them, they start to see it and get excited about it. I find that if you create longer, lasting relationships with people, [they] will come back for other things and remember you and get to know you. And I think that’s more meaningful.”



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R E W O R K S{ G r e e n i s t h e n e w b l a c k }

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R E W O R K S{ G r e e n i s t h e n e w b l a c k } By Claire Bourgeois

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Welcome to ReWorks, a creative space in Inglewood dedicated to the creation and distribution of hand-crafted, one of a kind pieces made out of recycled material.

With new items constantly being put up for sale, ReWorks provides an opportunity to lose one’s self in the environmentally friendly collection of artwork. The shop has been up and running for almost four years now, and continues to expand its long list of local suppliers.

Solita Work, artist and owner of ReWorks, has always had a passion for the environmental movement.

Growing up on a farm in B.C., she was constantly surrounded by the wonders of nature and became deeply infatuated with the forests and mountains surrounding her home. This love for the outdoors evolved into a desire to preserve the beauty of nature.

She explains, “My background is in art and design, and I would classify myself as an environmentalist as well. So I needed to create myself a job that

I felt was morally sound and making a difference but also allowed me to be creative.”

With ReWorks, it appears that she has finally found her niche. Judging by the layout of the store, is is clear that Solita’s design background has definitely played a defining role in its inception. Everything in the shop has been upcycled, from the wine-bottle lights to the faux animal heads adorning the wall.

ReWorks is one of the many stores in the area that are one-of-a-kind. Inglewood, where local business owners thrive, is full of culture and unique creativity thanks to people like Solita.

“I love Inglewood,” she maintains. “I live in there area too and to me its the most awesome neighbourhood. I love that it’s close to the river, and it’s got the trees and historic buildings, and it’s smaller and everything’s close together. About 60% of the shop owners also live in the area so it’s a bit like a small town as well. I purposefully picked this area for the store for those reasons.”

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I needed to create myself a job that I felt was morally sound and making

a difference but also allowed me to be creative.”

“-Solita Work,

owner of ReWorks

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The Kent of

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The Kent of Inglewood

Words and photos by Claire Bourgeois43

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“We believe that every man deserves a good axe, a great whiskey, and a perfect shave.”

This is the mission statement of The Kent of Inglewood, a shave shop located in the heart of Inglewood. Offering quality shaving products and stainless steel bar tools imported from Japan, the store is an ideal location for any man who is in search of a unique way to get back in touch with their masculinity.

The store, established in 2013, is full of knowledgeable staff who know all about the importance of getting that perfect shave.

“Once you learn to shave properly, you don’t ever really want to go back,” explains manager Mike Wrinch.

This statement defines the base clientele of The Kent; people who could never go back to the disposable razors of the past. Combining this with assorted cocktail recipe books and high-end tools, the shop provides anyone the ability to impress their friends at the next cocktail party.


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Being in a connected community such as Inglewood most definitely has it’s differences from the mall, for example. Mike explains that in the area, shop-owners “are so much more engaged with their customers and products.”

This engagement is derived from a passion for Calgary and its culture, and The Kent of Inglewood is a clear example of what happens when passion meets entrepreneurship.

One may ask what comes next for such a thriving shop that has so clearly found its niche. According to Mike, the answer is simple.

“World domination.”

Jokes aside, Mike maintains that The Kent is hoping to grow in its reach, and open new stores, joining the already open locations in Calgary, Edmonton, Ontario and Kelowna.

There is no shortage of Canadians looking for a nice shave or a great cocktail, so it seems that The Kent will have no difficulty in expanding in the near future.

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It is often the case that some of the world’s most creative individuals come from the

humblest of beginnings.

Enrique Hernandez, known by his friends as Enriquito, is an emerging artist from Cuba. A regular artist at Rumble House (featured in issue 1 of Vignette), he has a notable presence in Calgary’s art community. His bold, brightly coloured art draws inspiration from local Cuban artists, creating an abstract, expressionist feel within the paintings.

Before moving to Canada, he spent time living in Spain and perfecting his technique. Work was scarce, so painting became his only source of income and he began to make art every day. This was a fantastic opportunity to find a more consistent style and expression.

Truly dedicated to his trade, Enriquito explains that painting is a major part of his daily ritual. Getting home at around 6:30, he works from then until late at night on his pieces.

On how many pieces he has created, it is estimated that on canvas he has done “easily 800 since moving to Spain.” This doesn’t include other drawings, or the two

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Enriquito’s work can be found at Eau Claire Market’s Motion Gallery, as well as at many of Rumble House’s Wednesday art auctions. { }

giant murals he has completed outside of his home in the Southeast.

It’s gotten to the point where most of Enriquito’s friends have a piece or two of his in their own homes; he has started giving them away simply to free up space for more finished pieces.

As far as inspiration is concerned, Enriquito references his 14-year-old son, Kevin. He remains in Cuba and the two have not seen each other in over four years, but this will hopefully change in the future. Enriquito paints with the dream of being reunited constantly in his heart.

“Anytime I finish a painting, I imagine that if I line up all of my paintings to make a bridge to Cuba, I’ll be able to see him [Kevin],” he explains of his art. “The more art that I do, the better possibility I’ll have of seeing him again.”

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Y O U .To you, our readers, thank you. Vignette would be nothing without amazing people like you to explore the depths of our pages. We sincerely hope that you found our second issue to be an interesting read and we cannot wait to deliver issue three.

We have some other amazing individuals to thank as well:

• Janessa Day• Kaley Beaudoin• Steve Head• Chad Baird• Joe Fraser• Enriquito Hernandez• Kyle Chow• Mike Wrinch• Solita Work• Charlotte Anderson-Clift• Cory Jones• Paul Coates

Once again, thank you. See you in August.

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