2020 is coming to an end, a year of many challenges, but also of transformation and reevaluation. Through the difficult moments of this year, we have been reminded of what really is important: family and community.
And it is precisely our local community that needs us the most this holiday season. Calgarians have come together for months to help our amazing local businesses stay open despite the difficulties. Through a take-out experience, by choosing to shop in a local grocery store or even leaving an online review, we have made a difference in the life of a fellow Calgarian.
As we enter this holiday time, one that in many ways will be different, we must continue looking ahead to the future with solidary and kindness, as we really are all in this together.
The pandemic has put many families in a difficult financial despair, but we are here to tell you that there are many ways you could help spread the holiday cheer in our community, with a small donation of time or resources if it is within your possibilities.
Let our good actions inspire others and carry us through this month and the new year. In the spirit of giving, our team has come up with a few practical, safe and fun ideas to #SupportLocalYYC during the month of December. Community is always first.
- Spread the local restaurant love: Consider supporting local restaurants this Holiday season. Many of our neighbours are open with delicious dine-in and take-out options for your family, following the protocols and standards established by Alberta Health Services.
- A great way to celebrate at home is with the DYI Brown Bag cocktail kits from Klein / Harris. Pair them with one of their delicious true north cuisine menu items. Klein/Harris is currently moving to their old location on Stephen Avenue, and will be reopening very soon, follow them on social media for more updates.
- Anabelle’s Kitchen has quickly become a favourite on Stephen Ave with modern Italian food. They also have delivery and curbside pick up of food and wine to enjoy a cozy night at home.
- One of our team’s most loved spots in the avenue is One 18 Empire, located in the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel. On December 24 and 25, they will be cooking up a delicious Christmas feast to-go, making your dinner extra special and easy. For more details, click here.
- There are so many fantastic culinary options in our downtown core that we would have to dedicate an entire blog post to it, thankfully Downtown Calgary has a great list of recommendations.
- Give the gift of coffee: Local coffee shops Rosso Coffee Roasters and Deville Coffee are open on Stephen Avenue. If you are going for a safe walk downtown, stop by to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee to warm you up. Their coffee packages also make a perfect gift for the “café” lover on your list.
- Holiday cards made easy: If you haven’t taken your family holiday photos this year, we recommend you explore Snap Foto Club, a hidden gem on Stephen Avenue. Snap is not your typical photo studio, it is a place where you can have fun (with all the safety precautions) while capturing special moments. This year, they are open for Holiday photo packages until December 23. Our friends Décor & More Calgary have created some spectacular backdrops to make your photos even more magical. Snap Foto Club also offers gift cards.
- Take a tour in the Cellar: Located right in the heart of Stephen Ave, the Cellar Wine Store is a boutique shop with a great selection of wine, spirits and craft beer to pair with your holiday meals. They also offer personalized gift options for corporate or family gifting.
- Bring the magic of the season to your house with flowers: Local flower company Twigs offers online floral orders, delivery or pick up, with beautiful choices to decorate your dinner table and/or house for the holidays. Review their arrangements here.
- Gift and support local: Our Calgary retailers have worked very hard to continue moving forward during the pandemic, and contributing to our local economy. If buying gifts or goods this season, consider supporting them. Here are some ideas:
- Find Christmas downtown: the CORE is following all the safety measures necessary for a safe shopping experience. They have beautiful holiday displays to enjoy with your family, and many small and local stores with wonderful gift options. Plan your shopping experience here.
- Best of Calgary Food’s box is another fantastic option for presents. It comes with a wonderful selection of Calgarian brands of bakery, beverages, candy, deli, desserts and more.
- The season to give back: Our local charities and shelters have been highly affected by the pandemic, and they need our community support to continue their important and life-changing work. This year, many organizations had to cancel their annual fundraising galas and events, please consider offering your support them during this month. Some of causes close to our hearts are:
- Inn from the Cold: On December 1, this local charity is doing a donation drive-thru. There are also other ways you can help them during this holiday season, discover them here.
- Calgary Women Emergency Shelter: CTV Calgary’s Toy Mountain is back this year until December 23, in support of the Calgary Women Emergency Shelter.
- Calgary Drop-In Centre: December 1st is Giving Tuesday 2020. Read more about their important role in our society in this Avenue Magazine’s article.
- Social media sharing is free: Lastly, there is always an inexpensive and powerful way to help support our local community and their initiatives: social media. With a simple share, retweet, comment and review, you are activating your community in support of each other.
We kindly ask you that you lend a hand in contributing to the social media and offline efforts of our live events community and the event professionals in our city. This season looks very different for all of us without the traditional celebrations, but we are still here, playing an important role in our city, supporting each other. Giving up is never an option.
As we prepare to enter 2021, we would like to express our most sincere gratitude to all of you, reading this blog, for being there for us and our community during these times of change. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season.