All posts by Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck

Aydan is a social worker, blogger, tango dancer, outdoor enthusiast and co-parent with Patricia to 8 children and 16 grandchildren. He’s also a resident of the 'hood and loving it.

Local business struggles to stay afloat Bedouin Beats hopes to increase interest in belly dancing

“Anybody, any body” is the motto of Bedouin Beats co-owners Michelle Kaplan and Stacie Clarke.

“It doesn’t matter what body size or age or ability, belly dancing can work for you,” said Kaplan.

But that’s a tough sell these days. Clarke recently posted on their Facebook page: “With registration and sales at record lows, we are not sure how long we can sustain this business as we hoped we could. If you had been considering taking a class, now is definitely the time to register.” Continue reading Local business struggles to stay afloat Bedouin Beats hopes to increase interest in belly dancing

Roma Bistro serves up tasty Colombian food Local restaurant offers food and plenty of entertainment

True confession: it has been several years since my wife and I were last at Roma Bistro and it was because of dance lessons, not the food.

We had a few tortillas as appetizers, but did not explore their diverse and intriguing menu. In the meantime, friends kept encouraging us, “You have to go there. The sopa de mariscos is to die for.” Continue reading Roma Bistro serves up tasty Colombian food Local restaurant offers food and plenty of entertainment

Processing triumph and trauma through art Artist Marcie Rohr draws inspiration from the Avenue

Art, and by extension artists, help build community. That was the insight that inspired the Arts on the Ave initiative over 10 years ago and that continues to bring energy to the transformation of our community.   Continue reading Processing triumph and trauma through art Artist Marcie Rohr draws inspiration from the Avenue

Celebrate Latin American culture this July Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 returns for another year

It’s mid-afternoon at El Rancho Spanish Restaurant. Dora Arevalo, owner of El Rancho Restaurant and Orlando Martinez, dance instructor and entertainer, are intensely engaged in planning the second Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 (My Homeland 87th Street Festival), taking place July 14 to 16. Continue reading Celebrate Latin American culture this July Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 returns for another year

Serca Festival shows love of Irish influence Enjoy Irish arts and culture at long-running local festival

Liz Hobbs is an incredibly busy woman. Organizing festivals is her main gig, but she also directs theatre productions, writes, acts, and is currently the artistic director of the Serca Festival of Irish Theatre.

During the time I was tracking her down, Hobbs was in and out of the province. In and out of Edmonton. She was coordinating the Silver Skate Festival Folk Trail, then up to Kinuso (near Slave Lake) to audition 200 kids for Fiddler on the Roof, then back to work on the Chinook Festival. Continue reading Serca Festival shows love of Irish influence Enjoy Irish arts and culture at long-running local festival

Hugging regularly brings health and happiness Physical contact helps us bond with our loved ones

Science backs up what we all know intuitively: touch not only feels good, it is essential to our emotional and physical well-being.

Touching is fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health. It calms cardiovascular stress. It evokes safety and trust. It stimulates the brain to release feel-good chemicals that we produce naturally to encourage such behaviour (serotonin, dopamine and endorphins). Continue reading Hugging regularly brings health and happiness Physical contact helps us bond with our loved ones

Building communities in urban centres Mayors’ Forum addresses libraries and community

What can a library offer that most people don’t have already with smartphones and tablets?

Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi addressed a paying crowd of over 800 on Dec. 7 to defend the library’s continued relevance and explain why they believe it is worth the millions each city is putting into redeveloping its downtown libraries.

Continue reading Building communities in urban centres Mayors’ Forum addresses libraries and community