Wednesday, November 14, 2012

These are a Few of my Favourite Things about Calgary

I'm not really sure what inspired this...but I've come along way from loathing Calgary the way I did when I first moved here. I've come to find the prairies beautiful, and I've gotten used to sunny winters. I'm not quite used to the cold, but I'm dealing. :)

So, in not really any particular order, here are some of the things I love most about Calgary:
My church, Foothills Lutheran. I've been going here since November of 1999, a few months after I moved to Calgary, and a month after I met Trevor. And then we got married here in 2002. And I don't really mean I love the building (although after working there for four years, spending weekends sleeping on the floors with the youth, spending hours in the kitchen putting on meals, etc, I do feel a certain fondness for it...) it's the people who make up the church that I love! Whenever we talk about moving back to BC, the first 'con' I think of is that it would be so hard to leave our church family.

The view of snow-covered mountains never fails to make me 'awe', especially when the sun is setting behind them. Although I've yet to take a photo of a Rocky Mountain sunset that actually does it justice!
Heritage Park, from my trip this summer with Shelli.
Heritage Park, from my friend Teresa's wedding a few years ago. If Trevor and I ever get married again, we're doing it at Heritage Park. :) I'd spend way more time there if I could - I just love it. For a history geek like me, it's heavenly.
The Gibson Collection at the University of Calgary library is SUCH a gem. Bob Gibson was a Calgary man who spent his entire life collecting books. Most of them are of the speculative fiction variety, and if anyone thinks I have a lot of books...he had over 35,000 pieces that were donated to the UofC in 2002, after he died. That was 10 years ago, and they're still cataloguing! I had a tour of some of the stuff that's still not catalogued, and there are years and years more of work to do on the collection. The real crown jewel in the collection are Gibson's 500-ish hand-bound anthologies that he put together himself of stories from magazines. He bound each one in paper with a hand-written cover, and kept meticulous records in a card catalogue system. I wish I could have met him!

When Words Collide is a Calgary convention for people interested in reading, writing and publishing fiction. 2013 will be the third annual con, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm always too busy to take pictures - this one is from 2011, with my friends Brittni and Anita at the EDGE party. It's small, and SO well run, and there are always too many interesting panels to see - I'd need a time-turner to do everything I'd like to. :)

Riker, Troi and Worf at the 2012 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.
A Darth Vader cosplayer at the 2011 Comic Expo.
Brent Spiner (Data) at the 2010 Calgary Comic Expo - this was my first con ever, and it was amazing. It opened my eyes to a strange new world of geekery and fandom! They've already announced Michael Shanks for 2013, and I SWEAR by my pretty floral bonnet that I will have my steampunk cosplay ready by then. :)

The Calgary Military Museum is fantastic. Again, as a history geek it's one of the best museums I've been to, but also for their annual Remembrance Day service. We decided to go to a different one this year because I wasn't feeling well and wasn't up for all the walking and standing involved, but I do regret it a bit. In a world that's increasingly secular, it's lovely to go to a service with all of the military pomp and circumstance, as well as prayers and hymns. If you've never been, I highly recommend it!

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is my newest favourite thing. It's only about 20 minutes from our house, but it's outside town enough that it makes me feel like I've been out to the country. The view of the mountains is beautiful, and the prairie scenery is unparalleled. It has lots of different walking paths, so you can go for a long walk, a short stroll, or just a picnic. Beautiful!

Heather and me at the Calgary Philharmonic's sci fi tribute, narrated by Robert Picardo (The Doctor) and John DiLancie (Q), a few years ago.
Me, Anne (with Bethany the baby bump) and Heather going to a Christmas performance of the Messiah at the CPO in 2007. I think if had to pick just one favourite thing about Calgary it might very well be the CPO. The most recent concert I've been to was last week - it was Songs of the War Years, with the orchestra and a singing group, and it was fabulous. I've only been to one concert that disappointed, and in that case it was the imported group rather than the orchestra who were disappointing. They are so amazing - as a non-musician, it's magical to hear the disparate parts of the orchestra warming up in controlled chaos, and then to hear the harmony when the maestro lifts her baton. Just...just...GO see them, ok?

Calgary is home to some fabulous heritage architecture. When I first moved here, while I was struggling with hating this cold, beige city, one of the things that distracted me was the heritage buildings everywhere downtown. I have a list of them saved, and it's still one of my goals to visit every one of them. Maybe there's some way to turn that into a history paper....

The red pandas at the zoo are the cutest things ever. I'm not really a fan of zoos, although I've been to it a few times. But the red pandas...they're worth the price of admission, right there! My little brother took this photo last Christmas when he was here. Lookit the cute little red panda TONGUE!

Something that I don't have a photo for is the Morpheus Theater Group. They do four shows a year, and I never miss their Gilbert & Sullivan one in the new year. They perform in the Pumphouse Theatre, which is one of those great pieces of Calgary heritage architecture. They are definitely worth supporting, and their ticket prices are really affordable.
So there you have it; some great things about Calgary. If you live here and haven't experienced some of these things, well, what are you waiting for?! Get off the computer and out there ASAP! And if you're travelling to Calgary, make a list of things you want to do, let me know when you're coming, and I'll try to show you around! :)
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