Calgary Citizen Newsletter Thursday Feb. 22

Good morning !

There’s just a week left until the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games brings athletes from across Canada to showcase their skills, pursue personal triumphs, and potentially secure a coveted spot on Special Olympics Team Canada. Calgarians are invited to witness the achievements of these inspirational athletes from Feb. 27-March 2. On March 2, cheer on the medalists as they receive their awards on the podium at the Safeway Champions Celebration at Olympic Plaza from 10am-1pm with free pancake breakfast, fun prize giveaways, on-ice performances, and more. 

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition:

  • Leading from the heart

  • Dino fossils found in donations

  • BMX park at risk of closure

  • Wise guys get even wiser

Today’s read time: Approx. 4 minutes

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Calgary mother-of-five is teaching children about leading from the heart in her fifth book release

Yewande Daniel-Ayoade is marking Black History Month ahead of her fifth book release. // Submitted

I​​t’s a lesson in leadership but not in the book section you’d expect. Calgary author and mother-of-five Yewande Daniel-Ayoade wanted to celebrate Black culture and teach kids about leadership. The Little Regent is among a wave of new books aimed at teaching children about cultural differences through the eyes of characters who are often underrepresented in children's books.

Born in Nigeria, Daniel-Ayoade immigrated to the United States in 2003 before moving to Canada in 2010. As the sixth of eight children, she draws from her own immigrant experience in a way that introduces children to West African history and culture.

“I want kids to know that regardless of age or gender, they can make a difference. I also want them to understand that true leadership is not about lording it over others but showing compassion and empathy,” she says.

Daniel-Ayoade’s new book tells the story of an eight-year-old girl who becomes the leader of her village after her father dies. Second-guessed by the village chiefs and unsure of herself, she takes inspiration from her late father's words and discovers what it means to lead from the heart.

The book will be available online and in bookstores on March 15. A classroom guide will also be available with pre-reading activities and discussion questions that teachers can use to spark conversation in their classrooms.

Related Story

Need to know

💰 Premier pitches massive Heritage Fund as she shelves tax cut and tightens spending ahead of next week’s budget.

🦕 An unexpected discovery: Dinosaur fossils were discovered in a box at a Calgary Goodwill.

🚴 A popular Calgary BMX indoor bike park is battling soaring costs as it tries to survive past spring.

💔 A dog owner pleads guilty in connection with fatal attack on senior and agrees to euthanize the dog.

🔥 It's the middle of winter and more than 100 wildfires are still smouldering across the province.

🚄 A man has died after a car crash involving a CTrain and car in the city’s northeast.

💸 A senior citizen is concerned he is out $3,000 following a possible rental scam. 

👮 A man is facing charges after allegedly exposing himself to boys in the locker room of a recreation centre.

🏒 The Calgary Flames are not giving up on the playoffs, even if the rest of world writes them off.

🏢 The city has selected two city-owned sites to be developed into transitional housing.

Beloved Wise Guys Liquor store gets even wiser as it inches closer to its revenue goals

Wise Guys Liquor owner Sean Semark started the business in 2016 when he was just 30 years old.

Being a stubborn hustler with an entrepreneurial drive who refuses to quit is what led Sean Semark to start his business, Wise Guys Liquor in 2016. Almost a decade later, not only is Wise Guys Liquor a popular spot to pick up some beer and wine, but it has also earned recognition for its efforts. Semark credits a lot of the shop’s success to the community support it receives. We talked with Semark about the local beer scene and the community he loves so much.

We know you had a $3 million annual revenue goal - how is that going?

The shop has been growing. We are still working towards the revenue goal of $3M annually. I have added a few new bars and restaurants to our client list, but at the same time a few of my clients unfortunately closed their doors. It feels like for every two steps forward, we take one step back. Wise Guys has won “silver place” in the 2023 Calgary community best retailer for wines and spirits awards. This completely blew me away as it was not expected. We were listed among some of Calgary's liquor industry giants that I have a lot of respect and admiration for. Next year we are aiming for number one!

What can you say about the support from the community?

The community has been such a huge proponent of our existence. I am a Twitter junkie and I love sharing the ups and downs of building a business on Twitter. We have made lots of friends over the years. We have delivered products to news anchors, doctors, CEOs, and radio personalities. I feel we are building a cult-like following. We are the underdog, but we have a lot of people cheering us on. I love giving back to charity and non-profit causes.

What can you say about the local beer scene?

We absolutely love the local beer scene, and by local, we mean all of Alberta! We do our best to rotate and support all the local craft beer we can get our hands on.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 Sensory Friendly Day at Regal Cat Cafe: The Regal Cat Cafe will have low/no music and dimmed lights for the first hour and last hour of the day on Feb. 26 to provide some relief for those who enjoy a sensory-friendly environment when visiting the cats and sipping on coffee.

🍴 Sushi Bar Zipang: A popular sushi spot in the city’s northeast, Zipang is known for its authentic sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese cuisine.

Have a food or drink suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Local specials

💸 Modern Steak: In just a week, all three locations of this delicious steak spot will introduce Club Steak Frites happy hour, which is a Flat Iron and Frites for $24.25, Striploin and Frites for $29.50, or Ribeye and Frites for $33.75.

💸 Oasis Wellness Spa: If you’re looking for a reason to treat yourself, this is it. Oasis has a variety of promos and specials you can take advantage of.

Have a promo suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Things to do

🎟️ YYC Hot Chocolate Fest: There’s only a week left of the annual YYC Hot Chocolate Festival and we don’t know about you but we definitely need more hot chocolate before it ends.

🎟️ Locked Library: Chopping Block: On Friday, this 13th edition of Locked Library at the Central Library invites teams to finish a two-hour cookbook-themed evening of puzzle-solving and fun.

Have an event suggestion? Message us and we might share it!


One of our readers shared this stunning sunset pic from near Cochrane. // Lee-Ann Dawley

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