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APRIL 2012


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Mark Wilson

Welcome to the April Edition of the Hotel Arts Group E-Newsletter.  We are delighted to share some stories about our various enterprises, upcoming events taking place at our venues, a recipe or two as well as to share some highlights of our community involvement and happenings in our surroundings.


We invite you to share this E-Newsletter with your friends and hope that you will enjoy the various products and services that we have to offer at Hotel Arts and the Kensington Riverside Inn.


Happy Reading!



Mark Wilson

VP, Hotel Arts Group

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Spring Menu


Chef de Cuisine Craig Boje and Sous Chef Chris Barton have prepared a new Spring Menu. There are many highlights therein including some amazing starters like foie gras brulée, rock shrimp linguine, a mackerel lightly poached in grapefruit ginger nage, and cured pork belly with lemon marmalade, sprouts, and sweet and sour fennel.  Tantalize your palate with some amazing entrées from the à la carte menu like guinea fowl, sole with almond butter crumble and lentils, and smoked prosciutto wrapped veal loin with brown butter sweetbread.  In listening to the brainstorming between chef and our maitre d' about ingredients, presentations, and the perfect wine pairings, this season's menu is sure to leave you spellbound and hungry for more!  And with the advent of spring, summer's warmer weather is also right around the corner, so stay tuned for our summer patio menu!


Chef's Table will also be launching a new lounge menu for our patrons to enjoy as well. Stay tuned for more updates.


Easter Brunch at the Inn: Sunday, April 8

Join us this Easter Sunday for a wonderful à la carte brunch, served between 9am and 2pm, with the last seating at 1pm.  Sweet Potato Hash, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, and the best Eggs Benedict in town! Limited seating so please book while you there are still spots at 403.228.4442.  


Titanic - The Last Dinner: Saturday, April 14 

Chef's Table has limited tickets available for this elegant experience set back in the time when the Titanic sat out on its ill-fated maiden voyage. Come for a night filled with four-diamond dining, beautiful wine pairings and live entertainment. Tickets are $250/person including wine, tax and dress is black-tie or period attire. Overnight stays are also available at Kensington Riverside Inn.


We invite you to book your Titanic experience now by calling 403.228.4442.    


Dine & Stay at the Inn 

Looking for that perfect weekend getaway without the added pricetag of a flight or time spent with a lengthy commute to your destination?  Book your Staycation at the Inn.  The Dine and Stay Package is available Friday and Saturday nights and includes luxury accommodation, $50 food and beverage credit to Chef's Table, complimentary parking, and all our regular guest room inclusions!   


You can also "wow" that special someone by adding our Romance Package or an in-room R'n'R Wellness Spa treatment.



Book your Stampede event at the Inn

Interested in booking an intimate stampede reception at the Inn for anywhere from 30 to 60 people?  Call now for details and exciting menu options for a truly out-of-the-ordinary Stampede party.



On Thursday April 19th, Chef's Table brings together several culinary stars with strong connections to the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia for an amazing culinary experience at Kensington Riverside Inn.


This invite-only event that will include samplings from four talented chefs - Chef Duncan Ly from the Hotel Arts Group; Chef Michael Noble from NOtaBLE; Chef Andrew Springett, an instructor at  S.A.I.T.; and Chef Nicholas Nutting from The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn. The affinity of these chefs to one another goes back many years and involves many intertwining threads.


Chef Ly started his career at The Pointe in 1996 and later went on to join the kitchen brigade at Catch, under Chef Michael Noble. Chef Nutting also worked under Chef Noble at Catch before joining The Pointe team in 2006 with Chef Springett. Chef Springett worked with Chef Noble at Diva at the Met before he became Head Chef at The Pointe.


These four acclaimed chefs share a love of high-quality sustainable food with a particular emphasis on fresh seafood. They will be hosted by Chef de Cuisine Craig Boje from Chef's Table at the Kensington Riverside Inn and invited to prepare some amazing dishes paired with some incredible BC wines.


Stay tuned for recipes to be posted on our website after the event! 


Check out www.wickinn.com for more information on this Relais & Chateaux property on the beautiful West Coast of Vancouver Island.

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AGC Cooks: The Art of Cuisine

AGC Cooks is the Art Gallery of Calgary's annual spring fundraiser celebrating contemporary food, art and culture by showcasing six of Calgary's top chefs in a friendly culinary competition (Raw Bar, Catch, Charcut, Sky360, Rush & Home Tasting Room - will all be competing for top prize). Food critic John Gilchrist and food & wine aficionado Don House have selected 3 secret ingredients that will be revealed to the chefs only 2 days before the event. Guests will be treated to a 4-course culinary surprise from one of these restaurants, and each course is paired with wine expertly chosen by the restaurant's sommelier.  


Raw Bar and Chef's Table have a storied history at this event winning top prizes consistently: Raw Bar has won the Golden Whisk on three occasions, won the Critic's Choice and the People's Choice awards twice. Sous Chef Ausama Mansy will be representing the Hotel Arts Group at this year's black box competition. The event takes place at AGC on Wednesday, April 11th. Proceeds go towards supporting the Gallery's Public & Education (Kindergarten - Grade 12) programming, which provides access to art for Calgary's youth. For tickets, please contact them at (403) 770-1353 or visit them online at www.artgallerycalgary.org.  


G'Vine Gin Competition

G'Vine Gin Connoisseur 2011 preliminary competitions took place at Raw Bar at Hotel Arts in late March with Calgary's top bartenders competing for the opportunity to travel to Cognac, France to compete in the global finals. Raw Bartender Colin Tait prepared "Fleur Intentions" using G'Vine Floraison.


His cocktail consists of G'Vine Floraison, Chamomile Infused Apricot Brandy, Sugar Syrup, Lemon Juice, Orange Bitter and Egg White. Raw Bartender Kai McMillan Green prepared the "Sage McGarry" as his entry and it featured G'Vine Floraison, Grapefruit Lemon Pepper Liqueur, Sage Simple Syrup, Hopped Grapefruit Bitters and Lemon Juice. More great examples of the amazing talent at the Raw Bar making innovative and enticing cocktails for our diverse array of guests.


Picture: Colin Tait prepares the "Fleur Intentions"



Mad Men Season 5 premiered earlier this month and Lisa Kadane, columnist with the Calgary Herald, profiled some Mad Cocktails by some of Calgary's best bartenders including the bourbon classic - the "Old Fashioned" by Colin Tait. Raw Bar alumni Christina Mah, who now works at Notable, mixed up a mean Black Walnut Manhattan. There's also a delicious Brandy Alexander from the eternally classic Oak Room Lounge at the Fairmont Palliser that was featured in Lisa's article in the Calgary Herald http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/classic+cocktails/6355110/story.html.   


For tips on making your own "Old Fashioned" at home to watch episodes of Mad Men, check out Colin Tait's recipe:

  • 2 oz Makers Mark Bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 heavy dashes of Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
  • 1 large coin-sized orange peel swath
  • Garnish: One large swath of orange peel (make sure to avoid as much of the pith as possible). One cherry (optional). 

Add the orange peel and sugar cube to a 16-oz Boston mixing glass and soak with bitters, then muddle the sugar cube into the orange until it takes on a paste-like appearance.


Add the bourbon to the mixing glass and fill the glass with ice, then take a large bar spoon and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes (this can vary depending on the type of ice you use, but the key is to make sure the drink is perfectly chilled and enough dilution has taken place to blend the sugar, bourbon and bitters).


Strain the mixture into a standard rocks glass over one large ice cube (if available, otherwise use enough regular cubes to fill the glass); large ice is better as it keeps the drink perfectly chilled without melting too quickly. Finally, cut a wide swath of orange peel and express the oils over the glass, twist and drop into the cocktail, add one cherry if desired. Sip and enjoy.


Note: There are several different techniques to making the Old Fashioned, and there is nothing wrong with building the drink straight into the rocks glass; just follow the above instructions, half fill with ice and stir for several minutes, then top with ice to finish.  



chocolate cheesecakeJoin Raw Bar and/or Chef's Table on Thursday, April 26th for decadent desserts in support of Make-A-Wish Foundation. 100% of the dessert proceeds on this day will go towards to the Southern Alberta Make-A-Wish Foundation to help raise $22,000 and grant two wishes in 2012.    


Sweet chocolate for you means a sweet dream for a child that is suffering.  Thanks in advance for your participation. To learn more about Sweet Dreams Dessert Day and the work by the Southern Alberta Make-a-Wish Foundation, please visit their site at  www.makeawish.ca/chapter/southern_alberta/news/read/2236.



Adrenaline 2012 - Paris meets Calgary IV: Thursday, April 5

Adrenaline is a party that celebrates all forms of entertainment at its very best. Whether there is a real, live Tiger or a world famous musical act; Adrenaline is an event that gives you unforgetable memories. Join in on the party with the international celebrity host Kenny Hotz from Kenny vs. Spenny and great tunes by DJ Rico Drummond. Tickets are $34.99 and can be purchased online at http://adrenaline.zoobis.com/   



Western Cup XXX: April 5 to 7   

Western Cup is celebrating its 30th Anniversary over the Easter Long Weekend and is an event that brings together Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals & Transgenders (LGBT) communities. The weekend event for Apollo Friends in Sports is an annual multi-sport tournament, as well as a celebration and fundraiser with over 500 attendees! 

Western Cup XXX features five sport tournaments: bowling, curling, dodgeball, squash, and volleyball. Social events include Friday's Casino Night and Saturday's unforgettable Dance - one of the largest annual LGBT dances in Alberta. Both events are hosted in our Spectrum Ballroom.    

For more information visit www.apollocalgary.com.     


CMA Speaker Series: Thursday, April 12

CMA Alberta hosts a speaker series regarding the career path of top CMA professionals. Their next Calgary event is on April 12th at 530pm at Hotel Arts with two guest speakers: Ian Folinsbee, Senior Financial Analyst with Alberta Health Services and Rick Masters, Deputy Treasurer with the City of Calgary. Tickets are free and available through the CMA website.

Tonic Fundraiser: Saturday, April 14

 Tonic: Mix it Up for a Cause is an opportunity for you and your friends to shake it up for a good cause. Sure to become one of your most memorable nights out in a long time, the event will showcase cocktail flair and cool eats, live entertainment by local dynamo Kyemara and an amazing selection of silent auction items. And the best part of all, 100% of proceeds will go to KidSport Calgary. There's no better excuse for getting out and having a good time!  To get tickets for Tonic, please visit www.tonicforacause.com. To learn more about KidSport and the array of activities that they have underway, please visit them at www.kidsportcalgary.ca.    


Karen Brown's Art Show: Sunday, April 15 

Karen Brown, one of the original owners of Kensington Riverside Inn, has spread her creative wings since the Hotel Arts Group purchased her exquisite 19-room Luxury Inn a few years back.  She's gearing up for her first solo art show featuring original works.  "Beyond Reality: New Works by Karen Brown" takes place on Sunday, April 15 from 2-5pm at Holy Grill (827-10th Ave SW).



California Wine Fair: Friday, April 20  

The Calgary Opera presents the 2012 California Wine Fair, to be held at Hotel Arts. It is a night filled with culinary delights prepared by Chef Duncan Ly paired with great wines and features a fabulous silent auction that will include private cellar and hard-to-find wines, personal wine tastings and other unique items!  


For more information visit http://www.calgaryopera.com/performancesandevents/wine.php. We hope to see you there!    


Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo: April 27-29

Calgary Expo takes place on the last weekend of April and it's bound to be an intergalactic explosion of activity as comic fans, cult-classic enthusiasts, sci-fi freaks, anime-aficionados and horror buffs will all be on-hand to partake in Western Canada's largest pop culture convention and the 2nd largest in all of Canada! One of the highlights of the weekend includes Star Trek TNG Exposed where the cast from the pilot will be reuniting for the first time in 25 years in front of appreciative fans. Sir Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby will all be joining us here in Calgary! This auspicious occasion will be celebrated by two separate events: the Calgary Expo (April 27-29) and Star Trek® TNG EXPOsed (April 28, 2012).


For detailed info on the show line-up and programming, please visit Calgary Expo at www.calgaryexpo.com/programming. 


To prepare for the big event, Colin Tait, Raw Bartender, is working on a prototype cocktail - the Borg.  After one taste, resistance is futile...for another sip that is.  


Alley Oop: Friday, May 4

Save the date for a truly unique event.  Mercury Opera presents a streetside performance of "Alley Oop" on Friday, May 4 on Stephen Avenue Walk.  Hotel Arts is pleased to help sponsor this novel undertaking of a sundown opera performance in the alley.  For tickets, please visit www.alleyoop.eventbrite.ca.  

The BIG DEAL: Friday, May 11

The Rotary Club of Crowchild is hosting the 2012 BIG DEAL poker tournament and casino night at Hotel Arts. This event will raise money to support local and international projects such as Right To Play & Newborns in Need. Play tournament-style Texas Hold'em or enjoy Roulette, Blackjack and Craps. Tickets are $150/person and can be purchased online at http://bigdeal.zoobis.com.


Pig & Pinot Festival: Wednesday, June 20 

Hotel Arts is pleased to team up with City Palate and Calgary Food Tours to host the annual Pig & Pinot Festival in our spectrum ballroom on the eve of the Summer Solstice. Teams of chefs will work their magic on delicious local piggie parts with their creations matched with pinot noir and pinot blanc from around the world. Raw Bar and Chef's Table will prepare specialty pork dishes along with the talented chefs from Rouge, River Café/Boxwood, Muse/Kensington Wine Bar, SAIT, Mercato and Charcut. Stay tuned for more details about Pig & Pinot special at Raw Bar and Chef's Table for the month of June as well as posts about our tour of the specialty pork farms that we'll be visiting in preparation for this "Pig Out".


Tickets are $100.00, available at the The Cookbook Co. Cooks at 403 265 6066 ext 1. Proceeds will go to Meals on Wheels. For more info, visit: http://www.facebook.com/hotelartsyyc1#!/events/423909580956157.  



Thursday, March 29 was an exciting time in our city as Calgary celebrated the 100 Day Countdown to the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. Olympic Plaza hosted thousands of people for an afternoon filled with pre-Stampede fun!


Everyone got into Calgary's western spirit - clothed in boots, jeans, plaid shirts, cowboy hats, and anything else symbolic to the Stampede. Our very own Paul Brandt got our boots tap'in while we sang along to his "Alberta Bound". Red cow bells were the popular give-a-way, the YYC Food Trucks were selling delicious eats for $1.00, and our Stampede Parade Marshall, Ian Tyson, was announced.


What a great way to get Calgary amped up for our centennial celebrations! We're extremely excited for what our city has in store for us this July.



The Alberta Ballet, Canada's second biggest school of dance, put on a beautiful presentation of the famous Swan Lake.

As a little girl, I always dreamed of being a Prima Ballerina and pursued dance for many years growing up.  


As a result, I was quite excited to roll up to the Jubilee Auditorium in my finest pink pointe shoes ready to experience a contemporary spin on one of the timeless treasures of the ballet world. From the set, to the costumes, to Tchaikovsky's score, to Kirk Peterson's choreography, no detail was missed to ensure a perfect execution of this piece. Even the way the swans couru'ed with their feet parallel made you believe like they were floating on water.


The group has been working on this particular piece since July of 2011 and, without question, their efforts resulted in a masterful performance on opening night.


Whether you dreamed of an aspiring ballet career or not, I definitely recommend that all fans of the arts should actively seek out tickets for Alberta Ballet's next amazing performance.  Jean Grand Maitre's interpretation of the music of Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin in "Love Lies Bleeding" returns to Calgary May 2-5/12.  www.albertaballet.com/page/love-lies-bleeding/1000552.   



Our new neighbours at Vine Arts Wine & Spirits celebrated their Grand Opening Extravaganza on Sat, Mar 31st at 1310-1st Street SW (one half block south of Hotel Arts) . Check them out online at www.vinearts.ca and learn more about what our friends at Vine Arts Wines & Spirits are pouring.


BLO, down the street from Hotel Arts, has just launched their very own BeautyGram! A BeautyGram is beauty in a pink box filled with luxurious beauty and wellness products and is a thoughtful alternative option to sending flowers. Check out BLO's BeautyGram at http://beautygram.com/shop.   


Endeavor Art Gallery across the way officially launches their new art exhibit "Elements" on April 5 and is open until May 1. We got a sneak preview of the exhibit and they definitely have some interesting pieces to show you. Make sure that you check it out during the month of April! For more information on Endeavor, please visit www.endeavorarts.com.  


Take a stroll down First Street SW and get a feel for our vibrant neighbourhood!   



Calgary Music Maps

Hotel Arts has been collaborating with some stakeholders in the community to help launch the Calgary Music Maps initiative. This project is the brainchild of marketing professor Patti Derbyshire to provide an online community where people can share stories about our music scene with the goal of capturing 2012 stories to celebrate Calgary's Cultural Capital designation in 2012. Hotel Arts will be contributing some stories from our past when our property used to house the legendary Westward Club where bands like Nirvana, Flaming Lips, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Glider, Forbidden Dimension, UK Subs, Tragically Hip, Lenny Kravitz among others played to sweaty appreciative crowds. Check out the project at www.facebook.com/calgarymusicmaps and contribute your own stories. Patti's business students at Mount Royal University have also posted a background video about the project.


Here's a post from Geoff Owens who was one of lucky fans in the crowd when Nirvana played the Westward Club:


Calgary's Poet Laureate

Back at the start of March, Hotel Arts was pleased to host the Calgary Poet Laureate Showcase in our Spectrum Ballroom where the shortlisted group of nominees presented highlights of their works to a sold out audience. Kris Demeanor was ultimately selected as Calgary's Poet Laureate. Calgary Arts Development Authority captured some of the presentations on video and here is a short video of what Kris Demeanor shared with the appreciative crowd.


Andras Schram Photography & Bridal Fantasy

Hotel Arts was pleased to host a photo shoot with Bridal Fantasy back in the fall. Several of Andras Schram's shots were featured in their January publication. Andras took an aerial shot from one of our guestrooms of a wedding couple floating in our pool and it's definitely one of our favourites that we'd like to share with you.


To see more of the shots from this amazing shoot, please visit http://www.bridalfantasy.com/ and http://www.andrasschram.com/. 



Hotel Arts Group is actively involved in the neighbourhood around us.  Every month, we are dedicated to giving back to the community that supports our businesses and helps to make Calgary such a great place to live, work and play.    


Here are a few highlights of some of the groups we assist with donations:  

  • Made by Momma: Made by Momma is a local volunteer organization that provides wholesome nourishment and nurturing care to mothers and young children in need. In 2011, they helped over 150 families and are hoping to do even more in 2012. On Friday, May 4 they're hosting a Ladies Night Out Fundraiser at Melrose Cafe & Bar. For more information and how you can help support, visit www.madebymomma.org.   
  • Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta: The 9th Annual Cassie Campbell Street Hockey Festival presented by Penn West Exploration will be held on May 4th & 5th in support of the Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta. The Ronald McDonald House provides out-of-town families a home while their child is receiving treatment in a local Calgary Hospital. For more information visit www.rmhsouthernalberta.org.       
  •  The Third Academy: The Third Academy is a not-for-profit fully accredited special needs school, dedicated to those students with mild to severe learning disabilities. They are hosting a Gala on Saturday, May 5 for the Gift of Literacy bursary program for the students. For more information, please visit www.thirdacademy.ca.     
  • Bozo Cup: Hotel Arts is pleased to help sponsor some prizes for the Rob Bosinger Memorial Head to Head Racing Weekend taking place at Norquay on the Easter Weekend. Funds raised are earmarked for the Canadian SADS Foundation (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome). Rob was a former National Alpine Ski Team Member who fit a lot in his life but who tragically passed away in his sleep in 2005 of cardiac arrhythymia (no known cause). His interests were as diverse as his talents as a racer with the National Alpine Ski Team, coaching the Banff Mountain Academy, the National Alpine Ski Team and the Banff Alpine Racers. In addition to skiing, Rob had a passion for art with his company Hell's Kitchen Designs and worked, up until the day he died in 2005, as the Manager of IT Operations and Systems Support for Shell Chemicals. To learn more about the Bozo Cup visit www.bozocup.com. To learn more about SADS, visit their website at www.sads.ca.  

Thank you for taking the time to read about the Hotel Arts Group.  We invite you to create your own experiences at our properties that we hope will be source of your own memorable stories.


Thank you for supporting the Hotel Arts Group and best wishes for a great April.



Mark Wilson
VP, Hotel Arts Group

Contributing Editors: Katie Mayer and Fraser Abbott 


Along with the Hotel Arts Group Newsletter comes a chance to win Monthly Prizes and enjoy the many aspects of our properties, whether it be luxurious stays at the Hotel Arts or the Kensington Riverside Inn, or unforgettable dining experiences at Raw Bar and Chef's Table! 


This month's prize is: 




To enter in to win the prize above, please send kmayer@hotelarts.ca an email with the answer to this question: Which cocktail did Raw Bartender Colin Tait prepare for the G'Vine Gin Competition?   


If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email Katie Mayer at kmayer@hotelarts.ca.  


*Please respond by Friday, April 27, 2012