MAY 2013

Mark Wilson

Warm temperatures have finally arrived and you know what that means - poolside patio season is back at Hotel Arts! The poolside patio will be open on Saturday, May 18 for sun-soaking and cocktail sipping. Our group also has some other updates we are excited to share with you including our newest addition of Cruiser Bikes, Chef's Table's spring menu, and a recap of Jinhee's performance at the AGCcooks competition.


Calgary is an incredibly energetic city right now both from a tourist and business perspective and we thought you would be interested in watching Calgary's newest destination video, #RightHereYYC as well as reading up on what Calgary will look like in 2020. We have also engaged Richard White as a guest blogger for our E-Newsletter with his first article being about the 1 Street underpass, linking downtown south to the downtown core.


You'll also read about some upcoming events, notable mentions and other interesting things going on with our group.


Happy reading!



Mark Wilson

General Manager & VP,

Hotel Arts Group 

Right Here - Calgary Destination Video
Right Here - Calgary Destination Video


In early April, Tourism Calgary released Calgary's newest promotional video in partnership with Calgary Economic Development, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and Meetings & Conventions Calgary. The video "showcases Calgary's unique energy, community vibe and highlights Calgary's attractiveness to potential guests regardless of whether they are looking for a place to live, meet or visit".


Be part of the energy!

Calgary in 2020

Tourism Calgary recently held their annual general meeting and reported on what the city could look like in 2020 based on stakeholder input of priority areas that should be focused on. Transportation infrastructure (expanded airport) as well as new arts (National Music Centre), convention facilities were among the highlights. Greater hotel inventory was also seen as a need as Calgary leads the country in occupancy (70.8%) and average daily rate ($157.31 - $20 higher than Toronto).  


Avenue Magazine picks up on Tourism Calgary's lead and highlights 11 things to look forward to including pandas at the Calgary Zoo, an exciting East Village neighbourhood and a hop-on hop-off bus tour.   

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AGC Cooks

Sous Chef Jinhee Lee competed this past week at AGCCooks, the Art Gallery of Calgary's Annual Fundraiser to assist with their public and education programming. Six chefs from some of Calgary's top restaurants (Teatro, Charcut, Home Tasting, Market, Catch and Raw Bar) showcased showcased their culinary artistry with four-course meals and wine pairings. Days prior to the event, chefs were given two secret ingredients (rhubarb and abalone) to use in preparation for two of their courses.


Jinhee served up four innovative dishes that won over the crowd and the judges in attendance helping her to win the coveted Media Food Critic Award.

  • 1st Course: Abalone & Rhubarb Hot & Sour Soup with Razor Clam, Halibut Cheeks & King Crab
  • 2nd Course: Caramel Glazed Noble Farm Duck Breast & Goat Cheese Salad with Baby Beets, Pickled Chocolate Walnut & Petite Greens
  • 3rd Course: Abalone Bacon, Rhubarb Cured Foie Gras, Rhubarb Marshmellow, Rhubarb Poached Asparagus, Abalone and Fish Jus
  • 4th Course: Banksy Inspired Grapefruit Meringue, Almond Crème Brulée Centre and Lemon Broth

James Waters, Raw Bar alumnus and new Executive Chef for Home Tasting Room won the People's Choice Award. Josh Methot from Teatro won the Sommelier Award and Dave Bohati, new Chef for Market took home the Best Dessert Award.

Poolside Patio

We have been busy this spring installing new tile for our outdoor pool and we are preparing to unveil our patio for licensed dining on Saturday, May 18th.  At the same time, we'll be unveiling a new cocktail menu as well as Asian-fusion offerings from the Raw Bar.


Raw Bar's poolside patio will be open for lunch daily from 11am onwards. The patio will remain open for dinner service (weather permitting) except on Sundays and holidays when it will close at 5pm.


Bring your shades, sunscreen and an appetite to enjoy summer in all its splendor poolside at Hotel Arts.


Raw Bar is also undergoing a few changes over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for pool season. Hint: Teal, Aqua & White! Stay tuned for information about Raw Bar's pending transformation. In the interim, we're open daily (except Sundays and holidays) for business.

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

Spring Menu 

The sunshine came out and so did our Spring à la Carte Menu featuring new seasonal and lighter ingredients.  Our scallop dish is going over extremely well with its absence of starch or sauce. It features pickled cucumber, spicy compressed melon, sesame yogurt, grilled cucumber skin, samphire and pomello with seared scallops. 


With the usual problems of Calgary having a very late and short spring, Chef de Cuisine Chris Barton tries to use a large amount of produce from the Okanagan like rhubarb, leeks, asparagus, apples, radishes.  As well as some other BC products like fiddleheads, ramps and mushrooms.  April and May are often the most difficult times of year for local produce in Alberta because it is the "in between" season.  All the winter products are finished now and the spring ones are just starting to arrive or will be coming in a few weeks in very limited quantities.


Fruit Smoothie 

Chef de Cuisine Chris Barton likes to start off his day with a simple but delicious fruit smoothie. He's pleased to share a quick and healthy recipe for you to try at home when you are in a rush.


Serves 3-4, approx. 1 liter


1 liter frozen strawberries or any fruit of preference

1/3 cup plain yoghurt, substitute Greek yoghurt for extra protein

1 tbsp honey

1 cup orange juice


Serve in a fun glass and bendy's irresistible!


Dan Labutes, Sous Chef, Chef's Table 

Growing up in a home where the standard was set by a very hospitable mother, Dan knew that he was destined for a career in hospitality. He started his journey in Edmonton in 2007 working at The Keg doing a little bit of everything. It was here that he discovered his passion for the culinary side of the industry. After learning the basics, he wanted to hone his skills and moved onto a new adventure at the casual fine dining restaurant Red Ox Inn.


While there, Dan helped compete twice in the illustrious Edmonton Gold Medal Plates completion. The skills and confidence gained here gave Dan the inspiration to pursue his passion as a career and he attended the Culinary Program at NAIT. While a student, Dan competed in the two man team-based culinary competition Toque Demagny. Out of the twelve teams competing that night, his team placed third and took home the $250.00 cash prize. Once a graduate, Dan stayed on at NAIT as a teacher's assistant. During his time he assisted with the evening dining classes and continuing education courses.


Dan was given the opportunity in 2010 to be a part of the opening team of The Marc Restaurant as senior cook. Dan's passion and dedication to detail pushed him to the next level earning his first Sous Chef title. In 2011, Dan made the decision to move from Edmonton to Calgary in order to pursue his career at Rush Restaurant. In August of 2012, Dan joined the Kensington Riverside Inn as Sous Chef for Chef's Table. Immediately he liked the direct interaction with the guests through an open kitchen concept. Dan is thrilled to be a part of a team that understands his passion about service and making people happy.


On the rare occasion that Dan gets out of the kitchen and is able to enjoy someone else's cooking, he prefers to visit local ethnic restaurants.

HOTEL ARTS Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn

Boutique Cruiser Bikes 

Our team is excited to try out our newly arrived Brooklyn Cruiser bikes for summer season. Our guests are going to look pretty cool on Calgary's pathway system. We are picking up helmets and bike locks to go along with our fancy new rides so that our guests can head out and explore what the city has to offer this summer.


Check out the Brooklyn Cruiser site for a sneak-peak of what guests of Hotel Arts and Kensington Riverside Inn will be riding this summer:  

Stampede Events

Believe it or not, Stampede is just around the corner and a host of great parties are already taking shape. We still have pockets of availability for the 101st Stampede and our Events Team will be pleased to work with you in hosting a memorable event.


To secure your spot, please contact our events department today: 

KENSINGTON RIVERSIDE INN Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn 
Tis the season to talk weddings!

Looking for the perfect venue to book your upcoming wedding?  It's not too late to book for select dates this summer.  Our unique combination of intimate, modern luxury accommodations and award-winning fine dining makes us one of Calgary's best choices for your wedding.


Our intuitive service anticipates your every need. We take the time to make your event memorable, and pursue perfection in service and luxury.  Our experienced team is dedicated to ensure your event is planned and executed with the highest level of service and professionalism. 


What makes us truly unique as an event location is the option to buy out the Inn in its entirety, both venue and guest room accommodations, for a truly private, exclusive event. 


Contact our Wedding Specialist, Brian Brownlee, at or call 403.206.9563.


Photo Credit: Anne Wright Photography 

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 #SauvBlanc Day

On Friday, May 17, Yellow Door Bistro will be participating in the 4th Annual #SauvBlanc Day; a global, social media wine tasting for people across the globe to celebrate a wine, in particular the Sauvignon Blanc. We'll be featuring the following wines that day:

  • St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California - $8.00
  • Matua Sauvignon Blanc, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand - $7.00
  • Maison Sichel "G de Guiraud", Bordeaux, France - $10.00

Come in to the restaurant and celebrate a wine favourite... Sauvignon Blanc! Participate in the online conversation by using #SauvBlanc on Twitter and Instagram.


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (yields 4)


  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup extra smooth ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted) or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and strawberries


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Press ricotta through fine sieve into separate bowl.  Whisk in egg, milk, butter and lemon rind.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir until just moistened (batter may be slightly lumpy).
  3. Heat large nonstick pan over a medium heat; brush lightly with vegetable oil.  Pour ¼ cup batter per pancake into skillet, spreading with spatula to form 5 inch circles; cook until bottom is golden and bubbles break on top but do not fill in, 1.5 to 2 minutes.  Turn and cook until golden on the bottom.

Kathy Richardier from Swerve Magazine reviews Yellow Door Bistro via Calgary Herald.


Kelly Nestruck reviews the Kensington Riverside Inn & Chef's Table via The Globe & Mail.


Yellow Door Bistro's fantastic breakfast buffet was featured on the April cover of Culinaire Magazine.


Valerie Howes with Reader's Digest posted a blog, Food on Your Shirt, featuring a stylish photo of our Raw Bar General Manager & Mixologist, Christina Mah wearing her "Bacon Rocks" t-shirts designed by Pierre Lamielle and Candace Bergman.


The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

The CPO has a variety of different performances throughout the month of May. View the calendar of events here.  


Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Calgary this Spring. They'll erect their Grand Chapiteau again on the Stampede Grounds with Amaluna which will invite the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Show opens April 10 - get your tickets! Keep in mind that Hotel Arts is a short post-dinner stroll to the Grand Chapiteau on show nights and we have fabulous parking here on site. For more information visit   

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine is hosting another great winemakers dinner on Wednesday, May 15 in Yellow Door Bistro featuring Paul Bosc, pioneer of the Canadian wine industry and founder of Château des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Paul will present Château des Charmes' award-winning and sustainably-farmed wines - each paired carefully for a delicious six course meal.


Reservations are limited for this very exciting evening through Vine & Dine. Reserve your place now by contacting Linda at 403 870 9802


For more information visit

National Jazz Summit

The National Music Centre presents the National Jazz Summit May 23-25, "a weekend that brings jazz musicians, educators and fans together for a series of concerts and workshops".


For more information visit:   


If you have not yet checked out their extraordinary collection of instruments, NMC hosts guided tours on Thursday evenings and on Sunday afternoons. A perfect Sunday could start off with brunch at Yellow Door Bistro, a tour of the National Music Centre, a visit to Village Ice Cream and then some time to relax poolside at Hotel Arts with a cocktail or two from the Raw Bar.

The Glenbow Museum 

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and Art Gallery of Alberta, the Glenbow hosts a touring exhibit of Maurits Comelis Escher (1898-1972). Images of his work are reproduced  

and enjoyed by millions of people around the world, yet few have a sense of the depth of the artist's career, or of the intricacies of the original artworks when viewed in person. Experience 54 incredible works selected from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, only at Glenbow this summer from May 25 - August 18.

For more information visit 

Lilac Festival 

With Spring underway, it's time again for the 24th Annual 4th Street Lilac Festival in the Mission District between 13th Avenue and Elbow Drive.  Each spring, thousands of attendees come out to enjoy the unique and pedestrian friendly 4th Street venue, offering an array of musical talent, artisan vendors, quality entertainment and some perfect people watching. At the Lilac Festival, there is an activity made for all ages. This could mean a jump in the bouncer for the kids, discovering a great new band, choosing a perfect summer patio or searching for a trendy fashion; there is no shortage of things happening.


For more information visit:

A Creative Affair

Alberta Diabetes Foundation is hosting the second annual event "A Creative Affair" with a celebrity twist on Friday, May 31 in the Hotel Arts spectrum ballroom. The evening will include a silent auction featuring local artists in Calgary, culinary delights prepared by Executive Chef Duncan Ly and his team, and celebrity art pieces. Last year's celebrities included Brett Wilson, Bruce Covernton, Connie DeSousa, Deva Dave Richards, and Linda Garson...stay tuned for their 2013 celebrity artists.


For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Beef Gala

On Wednesday, June 13, Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski from "Restaurtant Makeover" will join Chef Duncan Ly and some of Calgary's top chefs for a collaborative dinner at Hotel Arts. A custom menu design by Chef Corbin, Chef Ly and the top chefs will showcase unique cuts of Alberta's famous beef in inspiring dishes while the action from the kitchen is played live for attendees. An evening of exquisite dining and unmatched entertainment, not to be missed!


For more information visit  

Tonic Fundraiser

Tonic, Mix it Up for a Cause 2013 will be a Gatsby-inspired evening of glamour and fun 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 the best of the Jazz Age, cool eats, live entertainment and an amazing selection of silent auction items. And the best part of all, 100% of proceeds will go to Children's Cottage Society. There's no better excuse for getting out and having a good time!

The event takes place on Saturday, June 15 at 7:30pm in the Hotel Arts Spectrum Ballroom. Tickets are $100.00 per person. For more information visit:

Pig & Pinot

Pig and Pinot returns to Hotel Arts on Thursday, June 20th for another great night of pork dishes paired with great Pinots. Ten of Calgary's top restaurants will prepare dishes using pasture-raised and naturally fed Irvings Farm Fresh Berkshire pork. Participating restaurants include Alloy, Avec, Blink, CIBO! and Bonterra, The Cookbook Co. Cooks, Hotel Arts and Yellow Door Bistro, Kensington Winebar, Meez Cuisine, Model Milk, Nicole Gourmet Catering, SAIT, and Taste. Participating Wine Stores are Bin 905, Kensington Wine Market, Metrovino, Richamond Hill Wines, Vine Arts, and Wine Ink.


For tickets visit:

Reggaefest - August 14-18

The Calgary International Reggae Festival announced its star-studded 10th anniversary lineup that will feature none other than Bob Marley's internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated son, Ky-Mani Marley. Ky-Mani Marley will make his long-awaited return to Calgary on Saturday, August 17 at Shaw Millennium Park. Joining Marley on the ReggaeFest stage will be a veritable cast of international and Canadian Reggae superstars including living legend Tony Rebel, rocksteady pioneer Leroy Sibbles and Vancouver-based Juno Award winner Elaine 'Lil' Bit' Shepherd.


Advance ticket sales start June 1 online at and at all Calgary-area Canada Safeway stores.


In addition to two exciting main stage shows, ReggaeFest along with the National Music Centre and Calgary Folk Music Festival presents "Rebels Music: When Folk Meets Reggae," a workshop and lecture at the National Music Centre on Wednesday, August 14 with two-time Juno nominee Jason Wilson and Folk legend Dave Swarbrick.  


First Street Heritage Underpass is now Underway

Before Calgary became an oil and gas city, it was a railway town. In fact, not only does the Canadian Pacific Railway's (CPR) main line still run right through the downtown, its head office is located downtown on 9th Avenue at 3rd Street, at least until its planned move to the Ogden Rail Yards in a few years. The Steam Locomotive #29 sits, as a sentinel in front of the building on the plaza (FYI, its steam whistle blows daily at noon). Placed there in 1996 when CPR moved its headquarters from Montreal to Calgary, it symbolizes a significant milestone in Calgary's evolution as one of North America's major corporate headquarter cities. Locomotive 29 also has the unique distinction of being the last CPR-operated, steam locomotive to close out the railway's steam era on November 6, 1960 - one day shy of the Company's 75th anniversary of driving the last spike.


It is the CPR that shaped Calgary's downtown in the early 1880s, when it decided to locate the Calgary Train Station on the west side of the Elbow River. Why? Because, there was too much land speculation in the Inglewood area, so by placing the train station on the west side of the Elbow River, CPR could control the sale (profits) from all of the land around the new train station.


 The CPR's mainline (between 9th and 10th Avenues) meant building underground roads to link the warehouse district on the south with the commercial and residential districts on the north. Yes, the land north of the tracks used to be mostly residential. Nobody in their wildest imagination back then could have ever imagined Calgary's downtown would become one of the densest in North America on par with Manhattan and Chicago.  


Consequently, there are seven underpasses at 4th 2nd (Macleod Trail) and 1st Streets SE and 1st 4th 5th and 8th Streets SW. Of all the underpasses, the First Street SW underpass, built in 1908, is one of the oldest, busiest and dingiest. It is well known for the brownish liquid leaking from the tracks down the retaining walls to the sidewalk - looking like something from a bad horror movie. The idea of building bright, clean and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks hadn't even been thought of when this underpass was built. Although there have been some attempts over the years to improve the lighting and hide the leaking and staining of the retaining wall, the ugly patina soon returned.   


Then in November 2011, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (the arm of the city responsible for developing the land east of City Hall), unveiled its very sleek and shiny 4th Street SE Underpass. Using 21st century thinking, they created a bright and open (an incline that allowed pedestrians and others to see from one side to the other) underpass, with subtle streetscape ornamentation and lampposts that directed light on the road and the sidewalk.


It didn't take long for the City to realize the need to make all underpasses linking the Beltline (south downtown) community with the downtown core more attractive. Up next is the First Street SW Underpass, with construction slated to begin late this summer.


First Street SW itself is significant in two ways. It is the only street from the 1913 Mawson Plan for Calgary that was actually built. Thomas Mawson was an early 21st century urban planner, who not only created a master plan for the City of Calgary, but also the City of Regina, University of Saskatchewan and Vancouver's Stanley Park. It is also the only street in Calgary that links the Elbow and Bow Rivers. For Hotel Arts' guests, it is THE gateway to the downtown - to Stephen Avenue Walk, CORE shopping center, Calgary Telus Convention Centre, EPCOR Performing Arts Centre, Bow River Promenade and Prince's Island.


Starting late summer and hopefully finished by Christmas (plans are to do most of the work off-site to minimize the need for closure of the underpass), the First Street underpass will be completely transformed into a pedestrian friendly corridor linking the south and north sides of downtown. The City of Calgary has awarded the project to Calgary's Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative. The project is more complex than you might think, as the new design must balance function, purpose and aesthetic design. Boutin is an excellent choice. Not only is he an award-winning architect, but also as his former office was a block away, he intimately knows the space and its challenges.


He and his creative team have generated a clever design that will convert the underpass into a work of art. There design consists of using two layers of a thin perforated aluminum screen mounted on the retaining wall to hide the stained concrete and allow for new water channeling infrastructure. One layer of the perforated aluminum screens are designed to reflect the new LED lighting such that it will create a mountain landscape mural on the west side retaining wall and prairie landscape on the east side wall. The second aluminum screen will have perforations that create the word "DOWNTOWN" to pedestrians walking north and "BELTLINE" to those walking south.


Above the roadway along the railway tracks, the existing billboard advertising will be removed and a huge aluminum frame lit in blue will be erected, creating a huge, picture frame-like rectangle that will transform the passing night trains or skyline into works of art. Ultimately, the pedestrian experience will be like walking into a cool outdoor cocktail lounge, or maybe a surrealistic painting with trains overhead.


Not only will the entire street be cleaner and brighter, but there also will be more people than ever using the underpass, morning, noon and night. It will be become the preferred way to get to and from downtown by Beltliners and Hotel Arts guests. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, there is no room for a designated bike lane, but cyclists can dismount and walk their bikes through this avant-guard corridor. This new underpass is destined to become another downtown Calgary Kodak moment like the new Peace Bridge, Wonderland sculpture on the plaza of the Bow Tower or the Trees outside Bankers Hall.


Richard White is our new guest blogger for Hotel Arts Group and he is Calgary's everydaytourist. You can follow him on twitter @everydaytourist or his blogs at  


On April 25, the Hotel Arts Group participated in Sweet Dreams Dessert Day where 100% of dessert sales from Raw Bar, Yellow Door Bistro and Chef's Table went towards Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Alberta. This day is very special as it was the day the first a wish was granted by Make-A-Wish.


Karine Moulin, Hotel Arts Group Pastry Chef prepared a delicious chocolate dessert for the occasion; a Valrhona Caramelia and Manjari Chocolate Pyramid. As judged by our patrons and a crack group of "researchers", it was absolutely AMAZING. We raised over $500 for the foundation!


We're hosting a Hiring Fair for our Banquets Department on Monday, May 13 from 2:00-6:30pm on-site.


Potential candidates need to bring a current resume and have a valid ProServe certificate. They must also be available to work closing shifts Thursday-Saturday.


We will be having a prize draw from the successful candidates for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate for Yellow Door Bistro or Raw Bar.


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 May!



Mark Wilson
General Manager & 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 newly opened Yellow Door Bistro! 


This month's prize is:  

One night weekend stay at the Kensington Riverside Inn.


Email (Alison Pearce) with the answer to this question: How much did the Hotel Arts Group raise for Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta Sweet Dreams Dessert Day in April?  


If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email Fraser Abbott at     

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Hotel Arts Group | 1.403.266.4611 | |
119-12th Ave SW
Calgary,Alberta T2R 0G8