Mark Wilson On behalf of our team at the Hotel Arts Group, I would like to extend a warm welcome to 2013 and best wishes for a great year ahead!


We are extremely excited of what this year has to bring. As always, we have a full list of things to look forward to including some highlights to mark in your calendars for the next few months:

  • Oprah Show - January 22 *BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW!* - offer ends January 11
  • Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit - January 25
  • Alberta Cocktail Challenge - January 29
  • Special Valentine's Day Menus - February 14
  • Big Taste Calgary Dining Week - March 1-10
  • Pool & Patio Season - May or when Calgary temperatures rise!

In this edition, we'd also like to introduce you to two key members of our group: James Werner (GM of Yellow Door Bistro) and Christina Mah (GM of Raw Bar) who is returning to where she started her bartending career under the tutelage of Graham Warner.


We've officially wrapped up renovations on the rooms at Kensington Riverside Inn and welcome you to visit our amazing 19-room luxury inn.  We're also gearing up for a late January opening of the Yellow Door Bistro at Hotel Arts.  Furnishings have been delivered onsite and we're in the final phases of installation.  We've also welcomed our dynamic team to the hotel and have begun our training sessions in preparation for opening day. Reservations can be booked at 403.206.9585 or via  info@yellowdoorbistro.ca.


Happy Reading!



Mark Wilson

General Manager & VP

Hotel Arts Group 

KENSINGTON RIVERSIDE INN Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn 

Guest Room Renovation Update

What started as a design palette and some drawings almost 2 years ago has finally culminated in the completion of our 19 beautifully redesigned guest rooms.  The vision for the rooms was that of luxury and opulence while remaining true to the original comfort and warmth of the Inn, already well known by our many regular guests.  Gauging from the reviews so far, we have succeeded! 


The rooms are warm and inviting, featuring contemporary furnishings, impressive beds, efficient and accessible work stations, as well as deep soaker tubs and rain showerheads. All of our rooms come with our standard luxury amenities including  Frette linens, bathrobes, slippers, Aveda amenities, a coffee/tea tray at your door, newspaper, high-speed wireless Internet,  bottled water, as well as our exclusive Geneva sound system.


Our intimate, personal and intuitive service along with our new rooms and exclusive amenities is well-suited for corporate clients, friends and family, or that special getaway in your own city.

Valentine's Day Special 

Chef's Table is often rated as a top destination for Romantics, so what better time to come and experience this for yourself. To really impress that special someone, why not retire upstairs after dinner. Walk in on a trail of rose petals, switch on your fireplace and enjoy a deep soaker tub or rain shower.  Wake up in the morning and wrap yourself in a Frette bathrobe while you enjoy morning coffee and pastries left outside your door. Then head down to our open kitchen restaurant for a beautiful breakfast.


Valentine's Day packages (including dinner for two and accommodation) start at $429. Book your romantic experience now by calling 403.228.4442.  

CHEF'S TABLE Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  Find us on Yelp

New Tasting Menu

New Year's Eve saw the reveal of Chef de Cuisine Chris Barton's latest Tasting Menu, and the reviews were fantastic! If you missed it then, come in and enjoy it any night of the week (excluding Sundays). Imagine split peas and ham, pickerel, chestnut soup, lamb and clams, and banana chocolate. This new menu is full of dishes your palette can't resist. Enjoy our exquisite wine pairings, the intimacy of our open kitchen and our talented and knowledgeable service & culinary team.

To preview the menu, visit http://www.kensingtonriversideinn.com/assets/files/January%201,%202013%20Tasting%20Menu.pdf. 

Valentine's Day Menu

We're accepting reservations for Valentine's Day! Book your dinner today and let us impress your special someone with an orchid bloom flower and glass of Prosecco upon arrival, followed by a sumptuous 5-course tasting menu, optional wine pairings and a supreme level of service. Take away hand-made truffles to share at the end of the evening.


Dinner is $100/person (excluding wine pairings, gratuity and taxes).


Chef's Table tends to fill up fast for this special ocasion so please make your reservations today by calling 403.228.4442.

YELLOW DOOR BISTRO Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook 

Yellow Door Bistro is the latest restaurant to be launched by the Hotel Arts Group. Following on the successes of Raw Bar at Hotel Arts and Chef's Table at Kensington Riverside Inn, Yellow Door Bistro will seat 112 patrons for breakfast, lunch & dinner service.


Located on the lobby level of Hotel Arts with street access off 12th Avenue SW, the design marries classical elements and contemporizes them with some unexpected and almost whimsical surprises which become instantly evident upon entering the restaurant space.


While the end product will be fabulous, Hotel Arts has been filled with the "music of progress" as contractors work busily on building Yellow Door Bistro. Our construction journey has been quite the saga with complete overhauls of the kitchen, floor and ceiling and shipping delays stemming from the Hurricane Sandy. Notwithstanding these challenges, we will have a stunning bistro ready for opening in late January.


Photo: Potential dessert item - flavoured cream puffs with Yellow Door Bistro logo. 


James Werner brings his sharp-dressed style and passion for great dining experiences to his new role as GM of the Yellow Door Bistro opening in late-January at Hotel Arts.

An Edmonton native, James has worked throughout Canada at diverse properties.


James started his hospitality career where, after years of working diverse trades, he hoisted his backpack and spent his last $60 on a bus ticket to Kananaskis. With aspirations of snowboarding, he looked up a friend at the Delta Lodge Kananaskis to launch his culinary journey.


During his four year tenure at the Delta, James progressed through different roles in banquets, room service, the market, the lounge as well as the 4-Diamond rated Seasons Restaurant. Delta provided James a tremendous framework from a management and culinary perspective.


He has many fond memories of his time in the mountains, most notably meeting his wife, Lisa. In the Spring of 2006, James and Lisa moved to Muskoka to work at the Water's Edge at the prestigious Lake Joseph Club.  At the end of the golf season, James and Lisa loaded up their car for another trek West where they have resided since that time.


James has worked in a variety of capacities at Murietta's in both Calgary and Canmore, the Trib, Rush Restaurant, Olives, West and Home Tasting Room


James is excited to open Yellow Door Bistro with personality-driven professional service to support the bistro-inspired menu being developed by Executive Chef Duncan Ly and Sous Chef Quinn Staple.


Fun Facts: 

  • Favourite Wine - Torbreck Les Amis 2002 from the Barossa Valley. 100% Granache. Received it for a special occasion and cellared it for a few years.
  • Hidden Talents - James is a pool shark having spent part of his teenage years working on his billiards game.
  • Favourite Sport - Short and shifty, James is a speedy left-winger. Although his favourite player Doug Weight likely towers a full foot above him, James admires his character, leadership, tenacity and deft saucer passes.
  • Favourite Hike - Trolls Fall, accessible by Nakiska. It's a 2-hour round trip hike with 7 waterfalls along the way. He enjoys packing a fresh charcuterie platter, assorted fruit and a nice bottle of wine to enjoy at the perfect vista.
  • Celebrity Fight - James got in a snowball fight with Hugh Jackman when he was on set filming X-Men in Kananaskis. Director Brian Singer knew Wolverine was outmatched so he brought a halt to the battle.
  • Favourite Vacation - James and Lisa celebrated their wedding at Runaway Bay in Jamaica. They have fond memories of endless sunshine, a trip out on a catamaran for their forty guests and a hike up to Dunns River Falls.

This Valentine's Day (although he's working), he'd like to cook a nice meal for his wife, Lisa. Perhaps he'll uncork his coveted bottle of Torbreck (2002)...or wait a little while longer. After all, they're expecting twins in March so we suspect he'll enjoy this special bottle with Lisa a few months from now.


James is delighted to welcome you to Yellow Door Bistro when it opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner service later this January. For reservations, please contact Yellow Door Bistro at 403.206.9585 or info@yellowdoorbistro.ca. We'll also be booking reservations via www.opentable.com shortly.

RAW BAR Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  Find us on Yelp
"O" What A Night... with Pomtini's!

Going to see Oprah? Raw Bar invites you to stop in for a drink or two before the event. They are offering a special $9 cocktail created with one of Oprah's recipes; Oprah's Pomtini! Show your Oprah ticket and receive the discount on your drinks.


Hotel Arts also has parking available! Park, stop in for a cocktail and take a quick 3-block walk over to the Saddledome for an evening with Oprah.


"O", what a night!

Let's Celebrate Chinese New Year

Raw Bar with red chairs Raw Bar will be offering a special Chinese New Year menu focused around bringing you and your family together on Sunday, February 10. Executive Chef Duncan Ly and Raw Bar Sous Chef Jinhee Lee will be creating family-style dishes to share at the table. General Manager and Mixologist Christina Mah will be featuring a tea cocktail, Mr. Grey, using Earl Grey tea. All diners who join us will receive a traditional red envelope with a special gift.


Stay tuned for more details on our website www.hotelarts.ca/raw-bar, and social media (twitter.com/rawbaryyc and facebook.com/rawbaryyc). If you'd like to make a reservation, please call 403.206.9565.


Christina is excited to return to Raw Bar as General Manager where she first started bartending back in 2008 under the visionary leadership of Graham Warner.  


During her previous tenure as a server, supervisor and Head Bartender, Christina won numerous awards for her prodigious talents preparing classic cocktails as well as an impressive repertoire of innovative drinks. Christina is a past winner of the Calgary Cocktail Challenge as well as the Grey Goose Pour Masters where she won the opportunity to attend the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.


She has worked as the Bar-Chef for Charcut when it first opened up and also developed the cocktail program at Notable where she worked as a bartender. She is the President of the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association where local bartenders raise the profile and standards of their profession while also hosting numerous tasting events and competitions over the course of the year.


Christina is looking forward to helping chart the future direction of Raw Bar with artisanal cocktails and Asian-fusion influenced dining. She's excited to raise Raw Bar's profile as she develops a new troop of innovative Raw Bartenders. She's also thrilled to work with Executive Chef Duncan Ly and Sous Chef Jinhee Lee on new menus with Asian-fusion influences as well as great dessert offerings from her BFF and Hotel Arts Group Pastry Chef, Karine Moulin.


Fun Facts:

  • It's in the blood - Christina's grandfather was a bartender.
  • Her 1st Raw Bar Cocktail - Enji Miko prepared with Sake, Red Pepper Juice, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger, Lemongrass Cordial and Ginger Ale that was mixed and served in a Collins Glass.
  • Superhero Power - Christina wishes she possessed the superpowers of Phoenix from the X-Men to be used for good (of course) and only using their destructive element to dispatch of bad guys.
  • Favourite Dish on our Current Menu - BC Spot Prawn & Scallop Sunomono.
  • Favourite place to dine (other than our restaurants) - Una on 17th Avenue seems to have a tractor beam on Christina as she always ends up there on a night out or for late night nibbles after work.
  • Her dream pet - a prehistoric tortoise that she could feed heads of lettuce to.
  • Favourite Bitters - Bittermens
  • Favourite Bartender Tool - Her Japanese Heavyweight Jigger for accurate measurements and consistency of cocktail preparation....after all, an amazing drink should taste the same the next time you make it.
  • Favourite Spirit (at this moment) - Whiskey
  • Favourite Cocktail - I'd love a good Aviation. It's made with gin, marischino lfresh, a dash of crème de violette and a light squeeze of lemon. It has a light hue of the skyline and was prepared at the dawn of the aviation era.
  • Dream Cocktail - The Ramos Gin Fizz at the legendary Carousel in New Orleans.
HOTEL ARTS Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn

"O" What A Night

Oprah's Calgary Show may be sold out, but there's still a chance for you to go!


Oprah Winfrey is performing in Calgary on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the Scotiabank Saddledome and we want you to be there. Enjoy an evening for two with Oprah, an overnight stay at Hotel Arts and other special goodies. Package rates starting at $649.00 for a Luxury Room on Tuesday, January 22.


*Package includes two tickets to see Oprah's sold out show, complimentary valet parking, two complimentary drink tickets in Raw Bar at the Arts, a copy of the latest "O" Magazine, the latest book from Oprah's book club, and complimentary Internet.


*Guestroom rates to stay additional nights start at $205.00 + taxes/night.


To book this package, call 403.266.4611 or click here to book online.  


*Offer ends Friday, January 11 2:00pm*.  

Amazing Creations by our Pastry Department

Hotel Arts has an amazing Pastry Department lead by Karine Moulin and we wanted to showcase a few customized amenities we sent up to our VIP guests.  


  1)   2)

3)  4)


1) Four different flavoured brownies covered with fondont, White Chocolate Cake with cotton candy filling covered with rolled fondont, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


2) Congratulatory Cake with organic vanilla beans covered in fondont, Cotton Candy flavoured Ambre cakes, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Valrhona Chocolate, Chocolate Truffles flavoured with either violet lavender or apple pie


3) Chocolate Guitar Pop Rocks made with Valrhona Chocolate with custom piping


4) Chocolate Dipped Strawberry made with Valrhona Chocolate, White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Truffles, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, Dark Chocolate Boisenberry Truffle 


High Performance Rodeo

One festival that adds vibrant colour to our cultural mosaic is One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo. For the month of January, you'll experience music, theatre, comedy, visual art and more at its best! Hotel Arts is pleased to sponsor this event again this January and the line-up is fantastic, eclectic and certain to raise an eyebrow or two. There are some amazing touring productions "Metamorphosis", "Avatar", "Ride the Cyclone", as well as some local shows including Alberta Ballet's "Up Close" and One Yellow Rabbit's "People You May Know." Our highlighted list is by no means exhaustive so please visit www.hprodeo.ca  for more information on the festival schedule and to purchase tickets.

Bridal Fantasy Show

We invite you to experience Calgary's Boutique Bridal Show - Hollywood Edition, presented by Bridal Fantasy. The show will equip and engage couples to make the best choices in terms of their preferred decor, flowers, photography, travel and more. Brides will see an amazing fashion show and theatrical production featuring the latest trends in flowers, tuxedos, gowns, destination wear, hair and make-up.


Brides will have the opportunity to win over $75,000 in prizes and a chance to win the Fantasy Wedding Package featuring a One Week Honeymoon courtesy of AMA Travel! Brides will also receive a complimentary Bridal Fantasy Wedding Planner & Survival Guide (a $14.95 value) and as well as a copy of the newest issue of the Bridal Fantasy Magazine (a $6.95 value).   

The show will be at the TELUS Convention Centre on Sunday, January 13, 2013. Doors open at 10:30am for the Morning Show (Fashion Show at 12:30am) and 1:30pm for the Afternoon Show (Fashion Show at 3:00pm)

Bridal Fantasy is excited to announce that Renée Strauss will be joining the show this year as the Celebrity Keynote Speaker. Renée is an international bridal stylist to royalty, celebrities, heiresses and brides of all backgrounds. Film, television and commercial productions seek out her expertise regarding the design, construction, and trends of dresses, as well as the traditions and cultural nuances of weddings. She'll share her insights at the show.

Bridal Fantasy is an amazing way to find out all the unique and accommodating options available for brides. Don't miss out on the coupons, specials and prizes that will make your wedding day go smoother and keep your budget on track. 

Tickets are available online at www.BridalFantasy.com, at any Derks Location or at the Bridal Show Doors for $25.

Theatre Junction Grand - Haptic & Holistic Strara

Theatre Junction Grand is Calgary's culturehouse for multidisciplinary live art. From January 16-19they will feature a piece called Haptic & Holistic Strata; a performance that combines street dance and butoh with cutting-edge digital technology. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.theatrejunction.com/2012-13-season/haptic-and-holistic-strata/.

Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit

Hotel Arts is pleased to host the 15th Annual Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit on January 25. "Billy Poppins" will be a magical evening of sugar, song and spectacle.  Proceeds will be earmarked towards research, education and patient support in the fight against Prostate Cancer.


For more information and to purchase tickets to this event, visit www.calgaryhealthtrust.ca/events/event-list/2013/15th-annual-bill-brooks-prostate-cancer-benefit/.

Alberta Cocktail Challenge

Hotel Arts is pleased to sponsor the upcoming Alberta Cocktail Challenge. The event will feature 12 hand-selected Alberta Bartenders in a fierce competition to win claim as Alberta's Top Mixologist.


Each bartender will compete in 3 different categories: Winter Warmer, Soda-licious, and Black Box. The finalists from these three categories will go on to compete for the win. Culinaire Magazine, another sponsor, has published an article about the competition and will be presenting a "Culinaire Magazine Choice Award" ($1,000) based on your votes.


Raw Bartender, Savanna Beach, is selected as one of the competitors and her feature cocktail in Culinaire Magazine is "Eden's Love Affair". Support Savanna by voting for her cocktail here: http://culinairemagazine.weebly.com/the-battle-for-albertas-top-mixologist.html. Eden's Love Affair is also being featured in Raw Bar so come on down and try it out.


The event will be held at Hotel Arts on Tuesday, January 29. Tickets can be purchased at Raw Bar & Milk Tiger Lounge for $20. You will also be able to purchase tickets at the door on the night of the event.


The Glenbow Museum will be hosting Schmancy, a raucous night of art and culture, on February 9.  George Stroumboulopoulos will kick off the night's festivities and then the crowd will take over all the floors of the Glenbow Museum for an engaging evening of art and cuisine inspired by the Glenbow's current exhibitions and collections.  Building on the sold out success of last year's inaugural event, Hotel Arts is pleased to cater this event again. For more information visit www.glenbow.org/involved/ehdinner/schmancy/schmancy.cfm.


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 Happy New Year!



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, Chef's Table and opening soon, Yellow Door Bistro! 


This month's prize is:    

Two (2) tickets to Billy Poppins and a night stay at Hotel Arts on Friday, January 25 


To enter in to win the prize above, please send kmayer@hotelarts.ca an email with the answer to this question: Which Raw Bartender created the "Eden's Love Affair" cocktail?  


*Contest ends Monday, January 21, 2013.* 


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

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Hotel Arts Group | 1.403.266.4611 | kmayer@hotelarts.ca | www.hotelarts.ca
119-12th Ave SW
Calgary,Alberta T2R 0G8