2016 was a rough year for some of us, like Groundhog Day for others (the same old thing repeating itself year after year), and incredibly fortunate and prosperous for the rest. Regardless, the year has come and gone and we get to begin anew! That means new hopes, new dreams, new challenges, new hardships, new lessons, and new realizations that make us better and more valuable to the people around us.
But before we do that ... let's take a moment to look back on the last 365 days and recall some of the most memorable experiences, unexpected finds, and most delicious meals of the entire year!
- "Among Giants" Open House and Art Show. It was an honour and a privilege to be included in this event hosted by my talented friend and accomplished artist, Bonnie MacRae-Kilb. Although it happened at the end of 2015 it certainly carried into 2016 and was the perfect way to ring in the new year! This event led to even more adventures as Bonnie went on to feature her work in the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase and held her "You've Given Me Purpose" Open House and Art Show this past December.
- JUNOfest 2016. When I got the phone call from the FRAM + Slokker Verve Sales Centre I was completely blown away when they told me they were giving me tickets to JUNOfest! The days leading up to the JUNO Awards I got to see Dzeko & Torres at the Marquee, the JUNO Songwriters' Circle with Paul Brandt, Matthew Good, and Great Big Sea at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, and Marianas Trench, Walk Off the Earth, and Keiran Mercer in VIP seats at the Stampede Corral. AHHH-MAZING!!
- Ad Rodeo 2016 Anvil Awards. This was a groundbreaking year for the Calgary-based branding studio, Swank Media. As a proud member of the team I was proud to be a part of our first Ad Rodeo Anvil Award! With the 2016 Anvil Award for "Website Design" and 2016 Merit Award for "Logo Design" our little team got to party BIG TIME at Flames Central to celebrate our win!
- Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. Although the Calgary Stampede always offers so many things to see and do, my favourite memory is the TransAlta Grandstand Show and, more specifically, the performance by Yukichi Hattori. Still mesmerized by his performance in "Love Lies Bleeding" (the final performance of his professional career) a few weeks earlier in Edmonton, the "Purple Rain" number was truly inspiring! Even though the crowds were drenched by the rain the performance made that all fade away for just a little while. So blessed to have been there for that!
- Country Thunder with Sticky Ricky's. This was by far the MOST FUN I had the entire year! What started out as a Blackened Catfish Po' Boy "bribe" for one day of assistance turned into back-to-back ridiculousness on the Sticky Ricky's food truck, singing at the top of our lungs with Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan and pushing poutine out the doors as fast as we could say "YEE HAW!". Too much fun to even imagine!
- DOTE Magazine. Seeing your name in print is something only a writer can truly appreciate (so I'll keep this short). Thanks so much to the leadership at DOTE Magazine for giving this six foot Canasian an opportunity to interview an amazing woman helping fellow Calgarians save money and build futures for their families!
- The Mission (Going back for more Brussels Sprouts, Charcuterie, Interactive Satay Board, and the Chocolate Paté)
- Ten Foot Henry (Need more of the Kale Caesar Salad, Spring Salmon, Handmade Bread Dumplings, and their Bloody Caesar)
- Umami Noodle Bar (Craving their Shrimp Dumplings, Chashu Buns, and TanTanmen Ramen with Shoyu Tomago and extra corn)
- La Pulcinella (finding an excuse to enjoy another Tempura di Parmigiano starter, Pappardelle di Bossca, and handmade Walnut and Honey Gelato)
FAVE FINDS (and future stories?)
- Jacob Grace Designs (so much more behind this little company than just infant fashions ...)
- Santisouk Photography (this woman is more accomplished than most Nobel Peace Prize winners ...)
- Hattori-Williamson School of Ballet (this is what happens when three professional dancers wanting to change ballet in the YYC - and possibly beyond - come together ...)
- Glass Candy (this woman's work is too beautiful to put into words ... but I will find a way!)
2017 ... I'M READY!
I'm excited for what this new year brings! With an "interesting" year behind us a positive energy driving us all forward I can't wait to see what new adventures are in store ... and the incredible new people I will meet along the way!
Let's all make the next 365 day the best ones, yet!