Last year, Restaurants across Calgary & Southern Alberta fought to see whose burger reigned supreme. This year, ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR restaurants in Calgary will do battle for the hearts, minds and stomachs of Calgarians in May, and even more in Southern Alberta in September!

Calgary International Beerfest


Increase your beer knowledge and find a new favourite by sampling some of the more than 500 different types of beer on site.

Take part in beer seminars, vote for the People’s Choice awards, meet new people, sample delicious foods, enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment, and most importantly have a great time!

Upon entry, each guest will receive an official Calgary International Beer Festival sample mug to use throughout the event and take home with them afterwards!

The Mavericks

When all of the cities in the world that host events are rated, did you know Calgary, with the Calgary Stampede, comes in at #8 globally? We do, and that amazing event, along with the vibrance, uniqueness, and Western culture the Calgary Stampede brings, has helped to create other interesting groups.

One of these is the Mavericks Chuckwagon Racing Team, which is comprised of 25 local businessmen who have a passion for worldclass chuckwagon racing and local children’s charities. Eighteen years ago, it all started with five friends who were invited to the private hosting area called the “Barns”. This is where over a 1,000 thoroughbred chuckwagon horses, the drivers, and the barn crews hang out for the 10 days of Stampede. TO those five friends, this experience was literally life changing. It was something they wanted more of, so they organized themselves into a group, and the next Stampede they sponsored a wagon and ran it under the name “The Mavericks”.

Having been at it for the last 17 years, They are now the longest consecutive running Calgary Stampede chuckwagon sponsor, and march 17th, 2016 was a huge day on their calendar. This is what is known as the Canvas Auction. It is held at Boyce Theatre on the Stampede Grounds, and this year, over 180 registerd sponsors bid on the 36 wagon drivers that will compete at Stampede from July 8th to 17th of this year. It is an opportunity to showcase your business or group in front on the Grandstands with over 30,000 people but also on a World Stage as the event is televised nationally and internationally.

The Canvas Auciton is also viewed as a barometer of the economic health of the city. This year, the combined agregate of the canvas sale was $2.29 million down only slightly from 2015 and much stronger than some praciced a good sign for our city. The Maverichs have once again sponsored two wagons for 2016, and we are thrilled to have the legendary Rick Raser and the strong running up and corner, Layne Bremner, flyoing our logo this year.

From the first Stampede the Mavericks became involved in they know they were on to something that was unique, and they wanted to build on it. Embracing the community and spirit of Calgary, the Mavericks not only wanted to work with the chuckwagons and Stampede, but they wanted to give back to the community they loved. After the first Mavericks Stampede year, they had $4,000.00 left int he budget so they gave it to the Children’s hospital. So began what is now a 16 year history of giving to local children’s charities.

The Mavericks are excited to embrace the 2016 season of chuckwagon racing and charity events. They have raised over $4,000,000.00 for local children’s charities and are looking to significantly add to the total this year.

To learn more about a group so unique to our city, be sure to read every issue of Oilfield PULSE as we will be showcasing regular articles in future issues. To Participate in our charity events go to

Catch the wave

Calgary has a number of well-established lake communities within the city limits and new neighbourhoods featuring lakes continue to be added every few years. Living in a lakeside community is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, featuring access to the water and beaches for a wealth of summer activities with friends and family, as well as skating and other pastimes in the winter months. However, despite the many options for Calgary homebuyers that wish to settle near the water, it’s still tough to find good recreational boating in these areas, particularly for those people operating motorized craft.

For those that enjoy life on or beside the water, there are so many excellent opportunities for recreation for families and individuals right on your doorstep on the east side of the city. Take advantage of the exciting possibilities found in areas east of Calgary, where you can enjoy many of the unique benefits of lakeside living without necessarily having your own home situated within one of the city’s lake communities.

Chestermere Lake and the surrounding area is well known to most residents of Calgary. The four-kilometre-long body of water is perhaps the most familiar destination along the city’s eastern border for families and individuals interested in lakeside living and relaxation during the summer months. It is one of the few lake recreation areas around that allows motorized vessels in their waters.

Residents can use the lake’s boat launch for free once they’ve officially registered their boat, but you don’t have to be a resident of Chestermere to enjoy all the splendid amenities that the lake has to offer. There are daily fees for non-residents for the use of boats, non-motorized watercraft on trailers, and personal motorized watercraft. If you’d like to use the lake on a regular basis once you’re fully settled in to your eastside Calgary home, a series of 10 day passes for the lake’s boat launch can be purchased at a discount, offering an excellent value for money opportunity to enjoy this wonderful location.

As well as motorboats, a variety of canoes, kayaks, sailboats and paddleboats are also popular on the lake during the summer. There are no fees for using these types of craft on the water at Chestermere but you’ll need to invest in your own craft and equipment as the lake has no rental items available either for residents or visitors. Fishing is also a popular pastime on the lake at Chestermere all year round and enthusiasts have been known to regularly catch some pretty large fish over the years.

In addition to the boat launch that’s used by residents and visitors alike, the Calgary Yacht Club has been a feature of Chestermere Lake’s east shoreline since 1933. The Calgary Yacht Club is great for families, offering a wide variety of boating and sailing activities and is also a popular venue for social events. The club is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. You don’t need to be a resident of Chestermere to become a member and enjoy all the privileges that the Calgary Yacht Club has to offer. The club has a small number of sailboats that members are able to either rent or lease but paddlers are also welcome.

Some Yacht Club members are very experienced on the water but the facility welcomes everyone, regardless of age or ability, when it comes to sailing at Chestermere. Activities at the Calgary Yacht Club include youth sailing camps, youth racing, adult sailing lessons, disabled sailing, weekend race regattas, training sessions, and a range of special events. While an annual membership fee is required to use the club’s facilities, this doesn’t apply to those people attending courses, lessons, and camps at the club.

Beyond Chestermere, there are also many other opportunities for water-borne recreation on Southern Alberta’s rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that lie east of Calgary, including boating, fishing, and aquatic recreation. The Bow River that flows through Calgary is a renowned tourist destination and a scenic wonder of the Rocky Mountains but the portion of the river that flows east of the city has long been a favourite location for fly fishers. Fish are abundant in this stretch of the Bow, including rainbow and brown trout.

Eagle Lake located southeast of Strathmore is another great spot for pike, trout, and walleye. The lake is perhaps more popular with many fishing enthusiasts during the ice fishing season rather than in the summer. For recreational activities during the warmer months of the year Eagle Lake has a campsite, recreation area, and a boat launch. Namaka Lake and Stobart Lake are similarly located close to Strathmore and there’s also Dalemead Lake, near Langdon just east of Chestermere.

If you’re interested in venturing further afield in the area, Bassano Dam is just two hours east of Calgary. The surrounding area features a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, waterskiing, swimming, and camping. For those interested in fishing Crawling Valley Reservoir is excellent location for catching northern pike, walleye, and trout.

If you enjoy recreational boating, fishing, and the many different aspects of lakeside living but aren’t that sold on settling into a new home in a lake community, there’s never been a better time to check out what East Calgary has to offer, where a new day dawns first every morning.

An Invitation from Chestermere Wine Club

Some of you may know that last year I teamed up with a sommelier, Yannick Bedard, here in Chestermere, and we organized the first formal Chestermere Wine Club.

Chestermere Wine Club is a group of individuals that enjoy wine, likes to meet and talk about wine.

We are excited to invite you to our Spring event: Wine Pairing Dinner on March 11th.

Tickets are for sale now and can be purchased by cash or credit card. Please contact me to reserve one for you and your guests.

This event is perfect for a fun date night, birthday gift, something new to do with your friends, or actually learn more about food and wine!

See attached invitation for all information.

Looking forward seeing you there.



Calgary’s suburban commercial market is bucking the trend and chugging along in the face of Alberta’s current economic downturn, say industry experts.

“The perception is that all commercial real estate is facing challenging times, but the reality is our industrial market and our suburban office market and our retail market are very resilient,” said Colliers International managing director and broker Joe Binfet.

“And, while I wouldn’t say robust, I would say active.”

Binfet credits the suburban resilience to a lower percentage of energy-sector tenants compared with the downtown market, which saw vacancy rates top 17 per cent in the third quarter – nearly double from 9.8 per cent in 2014.

“There’s a more diverse tenant mix (in the suburbs) – medical, some high-tech engineering –and we’ve become the distribution hub for Western Canada – companies are setting up logistics and distribution centres,” he said.

Avison Young senior associate Ryan Rutherford said Calgary’s suburban retail market is still “extremely tight” in terms of vacancies.

“Overall in Calgary, our vacancy rate has been below three per cent, going back to probably 2011,” he said. “The suburbs are still holding strong; the suburban north part of the city is at 1.1 per cent, suburban south 2.7 per cent.

“Alberta retail sales have not gone down really … people are still spending dollars, maybe differently. We’re hearing many of the clients (like restaurants) are flat or up a bit, but their downtown locations are definitely down. Grocery stores are still a big traffic-driver.”

What remains to be seen is what impact the province’s raising of corporate tax and minimum wage might have on smaller retailers, added Rutherford.

“If retail sales go down, and with corporate taxes going up and minimum wage going up, we will see some kinds of (businesses) get squeezed,” he said. “If they have tight margins, we will have some space come back to the market, and the vacancy rate goes up.”

Calgary as a whole saw a noticeable decline in “deal velocity” with regards to commercial property between 2014 and 2015, said Paul Richter, director of research for RealNet (Altus Data Solutions), adding this comes after a spike in 2014.

Commercial transactions in the city declined to 88 in the third quarter of 2015, from 144 the same time a year prior. Fourth-quarter results are not yet available.

Edmonton’s commercial market fared similar to Calgary’s. Market transactions in Edmonton spiked at 114 during the third quarter of 2014, dropping to 68 in the third quarter of 2015 – which, Richter noted, is still higher than any quarter in 2013 which dropped as low as 48.

“It really does appear that people are just hitting ‘pause’ and the trades aren’t happening,” said Richter, noting the statistics take into account office deals, retail, industrial, apartment buildings, hotels and residential and commercial land; he uses the term “deal velocity” to avoid confusion with “deal/dollar volume.”

John Fisher, senior vice-president at CBRE Ltd. in Calgary, cautions, however, that no business or industry is recession-proof.

“Some companies are less susceptible, and some tenancies in the suburban market do international work and are, by a relative measure, doing OK,” he said. “It’s fair to say it depends on your business how the current economic cycle is affecting you.”

Alex Frazer-Harrison

Let the celebrating begin and forget about your floors!

If that sounds confusing to you consider this scenario: it’s your night to be the host/hostess. You’ve prepped, cleaned, and put out fresh flowers so that your guests will feel welcomed in your abode. You’ve taken care everything from the catering to the decor, and made sure the night was perfect for your guests to have a fabulous time in your home. People start arriving and they all look amazing (they are your friends after all) – their outfits are on point from head to toe…including their shoes!

Ahhh…that awkward moment when they hesitate to take off those pretty pumps that elevate their ensemble to the next level. They look around and see all the shoes gathered in your impeccably decorated entryway that only has one shoe rack, hoping they will find their new pair of Prada’s unharmed at the end of the affair. Well, you would be the hostess with the most-ess if you enthusiastically told them to leave them on! Yup, your home would be that much cooler if the floors could take a stiletto.

So here’s the scoop: take special care when you’re deciding on new flooring. Many people consider the size of the kitchen and the addition of an island bar when they think about entertaining in their home, but few think about ensuring their flooring is made of a durable and forgiving material, even to sustain the spills and dents from everyday use. This doesn’t mean your options will be limited; there is everything from wide planked, rustic, engineered hardwood, to simply acid staining your existing lower level concrete floors. You can also use large format tiles, strong, satin finished concrete, laying down a good wool carpet, or installing a gorgeous vinyl.

Your home is what you make of it, and if you are an entertaining home owner, make sure you tell your realtor when you’re looking for your next home. This way they’ll not only help you select a home that has the built-in bar and open space you need for your guests, but also a durable floor that can support all of the parties.

Contact Anna , the lifestyle agent, to find your home with the perfect entertainment space.
– Denise Panagakos

Panagakos Designs offers interior design, renovations, and new home construction in Calgary, Alberta. Visit Denise and her team at panagakosdesigns.caPanagakosDesign logoDrafts-04


How Buying a House Can Reduce Your Stress and Improve Your Health

“How Buying a House Can Reduce Your Stress and Improve Your Health”

Many studies show that stress is the leading contributor to many illnesses and diseases. Stress related diseases include high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, depression and anxiety, chronic headaches, and asthma. It is easy to overlook the daily contributors of stress in our lives. They can come from any aspect of our lives, such as financial, emotional, environmental, or even simply poor time management. We ignore them because we become accustomed to many of these stress factors. They are as simple as line ups when we are pressed for time, heavy traffic, and not having easy access to certain amenities which adds more travel time in our already busy schedules.

Studies have shown that reducing our stress load and leading active lifestyles can reverse harmful effects of stress. Although eliminating stress completely out of lives is not necessarily feasible (or desired for those who need that bit of a push), we can reduce it by making a few simple changes in our lifestyles.

So how can buying a house reduce your stress and improve your health?

For some people, not having the time to be active is a big barrier. This is why it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you decide to buy a home. When looking to accommodate an active lifestyle, here are some things you may want to consider and prioritize as you browse for your new home:
– Do you like to run, cycle, or go for walks around the neighbourhood? Then you may want to consider and prioritize your future home to be in an area that has easy access to bike paths or parks.
– Do you prefer indoor exercises or participating in group fitness classes? Look to see whether your future home is located near a gym, fitness center, or yoga studio as a positive outlet for emotional release.
Other things to consider that could help reduce your stress may include finding a home that has easy access to the highway for those relaxing mountain getaways, or a neighbourhood close to your workplace and multiple methods of transportation to help reduce commuting time. Making sure your home is close to amenities may also help reduce unwanted stress in our “time crunched” society, such as grocery stores, gas stations, veterinarian’s office (for those with animals as part of the family), and perhaps even a spa for those rare moments of relaxation.

It’s important to share your lifestyle needs with your realtor so that they can not only help you find the perfect house, but the perfect neighbourhood to create your perfect home. Click here (“here” will link to your contact me form) to contact Anna and begin your search for your new healthier life.

With the growing awareness of unwanted stress factors in our lives, we are empowered to make healthy choices that will lead us to prevent illness and disease in our lives.

– Clara Cuzzani
Health & Wellness Consultant

CREB Housing market remains unchanged in January

CREB Housing market remains unchanged in January

Calgary’s housing market is starting 2016 firmly in buyers’ market territory, much the same as last year ended.

“The recent slide in energy prices has raised concerns about near-term recovery prospects for the city,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Energy market uncertainty and a soft labour market are weighing on many aspects of our economy, including the housing sector.”

City wide, January sales totaled 763 units, 13 per cent below last year and 43 per cent below long-term averages. While new listings declined by 16 per cent compared to January 2015, the number of new listings far outpaced the sales, causing inventory gains. January’s city wide months of supply levels rose above six months.

“Selection for buyers in all product types and price ranges has improved,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “More choice and low interest rates have encouraged some potential buyers to start window shopping. So far, this hasn’t translated into sales activity as many are waiting for steeper price declines from motivated sellers.”

The aggregate benchmark price of $447,300 in January was 1.21 per cent lower than the previous month and 3.27 per cent below the January 2015 price of $462,400.

“As expected, the imbalance between housing supply and demand is continuing to place downward pressure on prices,” said Lurie. “However, the recent price retraction has not erased all the gains recorded in recent years, as the benchmark price remains 4.41 per cent above the January 2014 price of $428,400.”

While all property types have recorded price contractions from recent highs, the largest price declines have occurred in the apartment sector as this segment has had elevated months of supply since the second quarter of 2015.

The apartment benchmark price totaled $281,900 in January, a year-over-year decrease of 6.35 per cent and 2.12 per cent lower than the previous month’s price. In fact, apartment sector prices have once again fallen below the 2007 monthly high of $301,500.

The detached segment of the market continues to show variations depending on price range. The under $500,000 segment remains relatively balanced. However, recent trends are pointing to weaker sales-to-new-listings ratios in the $500,000 to $600,000 range of the market.

“Calgary’s housing market continues to face a wide range of challenges,” said Stevenson. “Sellers are reflecting on their expectations and considering all options available to them, given the dynamics of their specific market. In this environment, buyers have the opportunity to carefully consider their housing needs and make a decision based on their lifestyle and future goals.”