Vignette - Issue 1

ISSUE 1 - APRIL 2015 VIGNETTE A Visual Guide to Calgary’s Creative Culture


Welcome to the first issue of Vignette! We're so excited to show #yyc how incredible our city truly is.

Transcript of Vignette - Issue 1

Page 1: Vignette - Issue 1

ISSUE 1 - APRIL 2015

VIGNETTEA Visual Guide to Calgary’s

Creative Culture

Page 2: Vignette - Issue 1

To our readers, welcome. Thank you for taking the time to explore something new. There is artistry all around us. Whether it’s a well-cooked meal, an architectural masterpiece, a gorgeous painting or a live performance, creativity breathes life into our city. We at Vignette are all about a visual experience, providing insight into the lives and creations of some of some of the most creative and talented individuals.

The most wonderful thing about our city is the creativity and passion of the people found within. Calgary is changing for the better. It is an amazing time to be young in this city. Just stroll down 17th Ave on a sunny April day and it would be impossible not to notice the electricity in the air of a million people working, loving and living together.

We would like to encourage our readers to forget everything that they think they know about our city and join us on a journey through a side of Calgary that few people are familiar with.

Claire BourgeoisEditor - in - chief


Page 3: Vignette - Issue 1



Page 4: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 5: Vignette - Issue 1

When the announcement was made

that Arkells would be returning to

Calgary at the end of February, it

seemed as though everyone with a

passion for alternative rock wanted to

get their hands on tickets.

This was not the first time that Arkells

have played sold-out shows in Calgary,

and the release of their newest album,

High Noon, has greatly increased their

fan-base in the past months. The show

sold out in mere weeks, proving that

our city has a deep-rooted reverence

for the alt-rockers from Hamilton,


Supported by Vancouver favourites

Dear Rouge, the guys have been

making their way across Canada and

stopping only to put on incredible,

high-energy shows with an honest,

genuine feel that could only be brought

by nice-guy rockers like the Arkells.

“Now, I want you all to close your eyes

and dance like you’re naked in your

bedroom and no one’s around,” lead

vocalist Max Kerman announced to the

crowd during one of the band’s more

upbeat numbers, Dirty Blonde.

To see hundred of people dancing

letting loose like that was an experience

unlike any other. People from all walks

of life were brought together by one

thing: a love for music and a desire to

let loose for just one night.

By the confetti-filled finale, the crowd

was roaring. Dear Rouge joined

the band onstage for a rendition of

Marvin Gaye’s Ain’t No Mountain High

Enough, followed by fan favourite

Leather Jacket, ending the evening on

a definite high note.

The evening was exactly what one

would expect from an Arkells show;

high spirits, lots of beer and a collective

feeling of mutual love and respect

between a band and their fans.


Page 6: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 7: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 8: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 9: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 10: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 11: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 12: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 13: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 14: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 15: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 16: Vignette - Issue 1

At the end of March, Calgary welcomed YouTube sensations OK Go to the University’s MacEwan Ballroom. Best known for their outrageous and viral music videos, the band put on an immensely personal performance for the sold out show, highlighting their skills as entertainers.

The tricky thing about a band like OK Go is that their sound is not necessarily well-suited for a rock show. The songs themselves, while nice to listen to, are fairly laid back and low-energy, which may have made for a relatively unexciting performance if not for the band’s ability to keep the crowd entirely engaged.

The technical showmanship itself was spectacular. A combination of props, costumes, video components and truckloads of confetti all contributed to some of the most impressive showmanship Calgary has seen in quite a while. In fact, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to assume that an entire truck must have been dedicated to the transportation of confetti alone.

At one point in the set, the guys even recorded the stomps and

claps of the audience on an IPhone to be used as percussion in what was introduced as “the nerdiest part of the show,” a statement that garnered many cheers from the crowd.

Showmanship aside, the band’s musical talent became evident when, during the song Last Leaf, a microphone malfunction caused vocalist Damian Kulash to play completely unplugged. The moment, in keeping with the rest of the evening, was unforgettable and provided a well-needed break from the confetti showers.

The members of OK Go did not put on a show. Instead, they created an experience for their fans. From multiple question and answer periods between songs to inviting audience members onstage during Here It Goes Again, it was as if the crowd themselves were a part of the band.

The evening was a musical adventure for all in attendance and if OK Go return anytime soon, it is clear that Calgary will welcome them back with open arms.

Page 17: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 18: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 19: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 20: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 21: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 22: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 23: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 24: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 25: Vignette - Issue 1

IN SEARCH OF SASQUATCHhomegrown indie rock

Page 26: Vignette - Issue 1

Born and raised in Calgary’s suburbia, alternative rockers In Search of Sasquatch are just beginning to heat up. Fresh off the release of their first self-titled EP, the guys are living proof of the strength of Calgary’s alternative music scene.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about In Search of Sasquatch, other than their musical talent, is their age. Three of four members will graduate high school this year, while the fourth graduated in 2014. Despite their age; however, the EP itself emanates a certain sophistication typically reserved for musicians in their 30s.

With influences including early Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, the EP contains captivating lyrics and a mature sound demonstrating a musicality beyond their years. The ability of In Search of Sasquatch to sound so very mature, yet still sincere, is what sets them apart from others within the local rock music scene.

They have been playing small shows around the city in the

months leading up to the release, and certainly do not show any sign of slowing down anytime soon.

“I’ve never been so interested in anything else before. Self expression through music is honestly the best thing ever,” explains lead vocalist Shane Andrews about the band’s live shows.

Currently, the shows have been on a smaller scale (their most recent show was at punk-rock hot dog joint Tubby Dog), but they’re hoping that the hard work will begin to pay off. With plans to enter assorted music competitions including The Peak Performance Project and X92.9’s Exposure, the boys believe that they have good chances of increasing their popularity within the next year.

When asked about the possibility of new music, the band hints that fans can expect new music in the near future. But for now, they are simply enjoying the ride and working to finish high school before moving on to bigger and better things.

Page 27: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 28: Vignette - Issue 1

“I’ve never been so interested in anything else before. Self expression through music is honestly the best thing ever. “

Shane Andrews, Vocalist


Page 29: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 30: Vignette - Issue 1


Gavin John is not your average photographer.

He is a photojournalist, and a versatile one at that. His work has ranged from hockey games to war zones, providing the viewer with an inside look into the minds and hearts of his subjects. With the unique ability to communicate emotion through a single photograph, Gavin continues to travel the world as he collects stories to share.

It could be said that the most interesting thing about Gavin is not his skill as a photographer. His experiences traveling to many interesting countries - from Iraq to North Korea - have provided him with unique insight on the world, its citizens and how incredibly lucky we are to have been born in a country like Canada.

We were lucky enough to have Gavin answer a couple of questions regarding his experiences as a traveling photographer.

Page 31: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 32: Vignette - Issue 1

Q: Of the countries that you’ve photographed, would you say that one place has stood out as particularly impacting?A: “That’s a tricky question. I think that the focus of my work is generally on places that are going through hard times. So it’s really impacting for me to go to a place and find people going through the worst of times, in the worst of places, [who are still] good, honest, kind people.

“What means a lot to me is that as someone who goes to Iraq or goes to North Korea, people can say, ‘What a terrible place, why would you go there?’ For me to be able to come back and say that there are kind, generous people all around the world can have such an impact. So it’s not so much a specific place, it’s the people that you find in these places. I’ve never been let down by humanity.

“Iraqis [for example] are one of my favourite groups of people. I love them to bits. They’re kind, generous… full of this optimism that you don’t even see here in North America. I think that’s really impacting for me when I do my work because it’s my job to show

that. It’s my job to say ‘Hey, check out these cool Iraqis. They’re going through some tough times but they are good, honest people and they should have our sympathy.

“Think of North Korea, the most brutal dictatorship in this world, but yet there’s kind, gentle, honest people there. I love that I get to come home and tell people that, and say that yes, the North Korean government is fucked up. But don’t paint everyone with the same brush.

“We wouldn’t want them to do it with us by comparing us to the worst of our society. So why are we doing it with them? Why are we looking at a country and the worst of its society and applying that to everyone?

“So I guess I can’t really say that there’s one country [that has had the greatest personal impact] because I specifically go to countries that are all the same in a sense. But it’s the people that I meet that end up impacting me the most.”

Page 33: Vignette - Issue 1

33 EthiopiaPhoto by Gavin John

Page 34: Vignette - Issue 1

In 2014, Gavin began his tedious expedition to one of the most secluded regions on the planet, North Korea. He spent a week in the city of Pyongyang, observing the harsh practices of the country’s government and law enforcement individuals.

Since it is illegal to travel to North Korea as a journalist, Gavin used the alias of a wealthy tourist with an interest in photography, and discreetly documented the faces of a nation under a brutal dictatorship.

Page 35: Vignette - Issue 1

35 Pyongyang, North KoreaPhoto by Gavin John

Page 36: Vignette - Issue 1

Q: Having visited North Korea yourself, what is your personal opinion on Sony’s “The Interview”?

“In all honesty, it’s stupid. The movie itself is dumb. It doesn’t help the situation. And yes, I agree with free speech. You can make whatever movie you want, but let’s turn the tables here.

“Let’s say that China makes a movie about two goofy sidekicks who travel to Washington and assassinate Barack Obama. Imagine the outrage of Americans everywhere. You put any other country and world leader in the same scenario and all of a sudden it becomes an outrage.

“So there’s something to be said about how we see a nation where it’s a joke. The assassination of a world leader is a joke worthy of an, at best, B-rated movie. Make whatever movie you want. You know, Harold and Kumar go to Guantanamo Bay [for example]. Same concept. You know, the torture and wrongdoings that happened there are no laughing matter, but because they’re terrorists or Middle-Eastern it’s okay. It’s the same with North Korea.

“I’m always shocked that we look at a country that has a military that’s the second-largest in the world, that has nuclear weapons and is ready to use

them, and yet we laugh. While there is a place where we need to address atrocities done by nations, it has to be done in a way that’s respectful. Even satire. There is respectful satire and there is disrespectful satire.

“Having been to North Korea, I can say that they honestly believe that the Kim Dynasty are gods. So of course they’re going to be offended. It just reinforces their stereotype that we are this nation that wants to kill them. That we are people that just hate them for what they are and the only reason that they are still alive is because of the Kim Dynasty. All this movie did was not only reinforce our stereotype of them, but also their stereotype of us too.

“So I don’t think it should have been made. It was, and the directors and actors and everyone involved have the right to free speech and that’s something that, even if I don’t agree with it, I’m going to support. But don’t be surprised if this does nothing but disservice the North Korean people (as well as) Westerners.

“We should have meaningful dialogue to solve human rights issues, and that’s not meaningful.”

Page 37: Vignette - Issue 1

Pyongyang, North Korea Photo by Gavin John37

Page 38: Vignette - Issue 1

Feat-Palestine-Protest, CalgaryPhoto by Gavin John

Page 39: Vignette - Issue 1

39 EthiopiaPhoto by Gavin John

Page 40: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 41: Vignette - Issue 1

41 EthiopiaPhoto by Gavin John

Page 42: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 43: Vignette - Issue 1

43 Calgary Canucks AJHL hockey teamPhoto by Gavin John

Page 44: Vignette - Issue 1




USE On 8th avenue sits a small,

unassuming white building. From the outside, it looks entirely insignificant. The inside; however, is a creative wonderland. Vinyl records play as artists--arranged haphazardly around the room--create art using all mediums as observers make their way around the room. The room buzzes with creative energy as people from all walks of life connect over a love of art.

Welcome to Rumble House: a unique artist collective unlike anything else in Calgary. The premise? Every Wednesday at 7:00, many of Calgary’s talented artists bring their supplies and are given two hours to create something. Observers can show up early to watch the magic, or arrive at 9:00 just in time for the live auction.

Rumble House (successor to Calgary’s old Gorilla House) fosters creativity and acceptance within the city’s art community and provides an atmosphere of kinship between artists of all ages and levels of expertise. It is a place where anyone can spend their evening, as a spectator or an artist, and be surrounded by creativity of all forms.

Page 45: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 46: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 47: Vignette - Issue 1

Rich Théroux, high school art teacher and creator of Rumble House, knows a lot about art. So much, in fact, that he has done his own TED talk on the subject. He is a firm believer in the idea that art is essential to one’s own life and health. So, it is not surprising that the passion he brings to the classroom follows him to Rumble House. Rich is a talented artist himself, and is filled with a reverence for all aspects of creativity.

“Behind it all was this idea that we needed to open up a studio space that’s both gallery and studio. So when you’re leaving for work in the morning, you walk by the window and there’s a guy painting. He’s putting out a canvas and setting up. And by about midday you leave for lunch and he or she is about halfway done and by the end of the day you come home and you’ve become connected with the art making,” he explains of the studio gallery.

The most important value of Rumble House? Inclusion-ism. It is a place where artists of any skill level and background can get together to create something beautiful, and where non-artists can still feel connected to the creative process.

Rich explains, “It’s important that outsiders, who I think in the last 100 years artists have had a sort of disdain for, need to become insiders again. We need to create a connection between the artist and the viewer. So the idea of the gallery was to create sort of a transparent bubble of an art gallery and an art studio.”

From art battles to evening figure-drawing sessions, Rumble House is a constant source of creative energy. It is a place where anyone may be welcomed in with open arms, as a spectator or artist, without fear of judgment. As Rich put it, Rumble House, for everyone, is “a safe place for us to grow.”


Page 48: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 49: Vignette - Issue 1

Jess SzaboRumble House co-founder

Page 50: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 51: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 52: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 53: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 54: Vignette - Issue 1

Combining great food, live performances of all kinds, visual art and a passion for supporting Calgary’s most creative individuals, Cafe Koi provides a unique evening experience perfect for a night out.

Page 55: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 56: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 57: Vignette - Issue 1

It is a sunny March day. Geoff Zimmel, one of Koi’s two owners, sits at the bar with one of the restaurant’s signature rice bowls sitting directly in front of him. It is a regular Monday at Koi, and the staff are preparing for the arrival of singer/songwriter Kate Weekes before her evening performance on the room’s small stage.

Co-owned by Geoff and his good friend Aziz Kapasi, Cafe Koi specializes in Asian-fusion type food with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, live performances and a laid-back atmosphere perfect for socializing. The artwork adorning the walls is continuously changing, featuring new artists regularly.

Ironically, Cafe Koi is currently showcasing artwork by Rumble House’s own Rich Théroux. Yet another amazing example of the sense of community and support between Calgary’s artists and performers.

“We always wanted to have live music,” explains Geoff on the topic of the frequent live performances. “It’s so important to build communities within Calgary and to give the arts and music community a place to perform and a place to present their works and their passions.”

Cafe Koi hosts a variety of events, almost every day of the week, featuring different performances. The events range from B.Y.O.V. (bring your own vinyl) to open mic

night to featured jazz musicians. There is truly something for everyone.

“The Notorious hip-hop night has got to be one of my favourites,” he comments. “It’s a hip-hop improv comedy show. But everyone has got their own thing here which is awesome.

“Classical Revolution is super mellow. It is essentially chamber music outside of an orchestra setting and in my opinion, it really takes the pretentiousness out of going to an orchestra and brings to a cafe setting which I personally appreciate as well.”

One of the most enjoyable nights at Koi is often open mic night. Restaurant regulars as well as newcomers come from all over show off their musical talents in an open environment. It is a judgment free zone; everyone is incredibly supportive.

What is amazing about Cafe Koi is the diversity. They offer something for everyone, and an amazing food and drink menu to elevate the experience even more. The laid-back atmosphere really lends itself to the nature of the performances, and allows everyone to feel welcome and comfortable no matter who they may be.

It is a place where anyone can have an enjoyable time, while supporting local artists simultaneously.


Page 58: Vignette - Issue 1

Page 59: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 60: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 61: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 62: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 63: Vignette - Issue 1

A new restaurant is opening on the corner of 12th Ave, right across from Central Memorial Park.

Named after the old streetcar that used to run down that road, The Beltliner is a modern diner with an interesting history and back-story. The restaurant specializes in a fresh take on traditional diner food with a much more upscale feel.

We caught up with owner Brendan Bankowski to hear more about inspiration and creative process behind his masterpiece - receiving an impromptu history lesson about the neighbourhood in the process.


Page 64: Vignette - Issue 1

“This restaurant was sort of the brainchild between myself and my best friend, Eric Francis (Calgary Sun, Jack FM). We used to live together when we were in our 20s and we used to have a lot of fun. As we grew older and had children, it became more difficult to see each other. We started to reconnect as our kids got older and started going for breakfasts a lot. I own another restaurant called Taste, and I was ready to open up something new.

“The breakfast culture in Calgary is pretty intense, but I think there was maybe a small opening in the market to do sort of a more upscale take on breakfast - a little more creative and authentic in the sense that we make everything ourselves.

“It’s called The Beltliner because there used to be a street car that ran up and down 12 avenue that was the Route 5, but people called it the beltline. Looking around I’m sure you can see that this restaurant is sort of a salute to the train and to it’s history. You can see the train tracks and the tin ceiling and the photos on the wall…

“Most of the wood you see throughout [the restaurant] is actually historic as well. Until 1952 CP Rail made box cars out of wood.

In ‘52, a farmer in Leduc bought 10 box cars and used the wood to build a barn. That barn came down last summer and we bought the wood to use here. So it’s actually like 80 year old wood that’s spent 80 winters and summers in Alberta weather.

“A lot of our stuff is up-cycled, actually. That old cart over there is an old mechanic’s cart… We’ve been trying to use Calgary’s history. I think that’s something that has been overlooked. It seems like in Calgary so many people are from somewhere else and Calgary is this fresh, new city and that’s true but it also has a lot of history.

“The library across the street was the first library in Alberta and it’s 102 years old. That was the first public space in the city of Calgary. The park next to it? It has a crazy history of hippies and peace protests in the 60s. It then became this gay prostitution park, and it has this wild history of all kinds of crazy shit.

“So that’s kind of what I like about the area. And that’s the idea. We really wanted to open up a neighbourhood joint and be really involved in this neighbourhood.”

Page 65: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 66: Vignette - Issue 1
Page 67: Vignette - Issue 1


“My favourite part about owning a restaurant in Calgary? The community, definitely. There are so many awesome, talented, generous people here. People work together in this community, and there’s this spirit of independent restaurants and chefs who want to do cool and fun things. That’s by far the best part. There are lots and lots of guys and girls in this community who are so awesome.

“It’s just so easy to call Cam from Wine Bar [for example] and say ‘hey, do you want to team up and do something weird on Sunday night? Okay, let’s do it,’ and people do. My friends own a restaurant called Una on 17th Avenue and they’re currently doing a taco joint on the other side of this hotel. We’re so stoked to be neighbours and do fun things together.

“As far as challenges go, it’s the same with any small business. You know, it’s cash flow, and trying to find a balance between your kids and your business. All that stuff. Challenges are the same for everyone, whether it’s a small oil company or a restaurant or a clothing store. Small independently owned businesses all fight the same battle, but that’s also part of the fun.”

Page 68: Vignette - Issue 1

Page 69: Vignette - Issue 1


Page 70: Vignette - Issue 1



Page 71: Vignette - Issue 1



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 have enjoyed the ride and we cannot wait to continue on this journey together.

We have some other amazing individuals to thank as well:

• Arkells• Kaley Beaudoin• Steve Head• Sarah Kitteringham• Rich Théroux• Geoff Zimmel• Aziz Kapasi• Gavin John• Brendan Bankowski• Shane Andrews• Nick Pichonsky• Nathan Kunz• Connor Burrows• Jess Szabo• Charlotte Anderson-Clift• Cory Jones• Paul Coates• Sebastian Buzzalino• Kristen Hamilton

Page 72: Vignette - Issue 1